In This Issue
+ Search Engine Watch News
+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To San Jose!
+ Search Engine Watch Member Articles
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Search Engine Resources
+ About The Newsletter
Search Engine Watch News
The Essentials Of Search Engine Submission section of the site has been updated. It covers key tips on getting important directory, crawler and paid listings with major search engines. There's nothing spectacular to regular readers and those experienced with search engine marketing, but for new people coming in, the pages have a much needed update.
In less than a month, the next Search Engine Strategies show will be coming to San Jose. This is traditionally our biggest event, and there will be plenty going on!
There are over 60 sessions ranging from the fundamentals of search engine marketing to tracks looking at the business aspects of search engine marketing and getting inside the minds of searchers.
We'll also have a moot court session where the issue of trademarks and keyword-linked ads will be put on trial, a session where search executives will share thoughts on the state of the industry and a "search memories" session where those involved with early search engines will reflect on past times and current events.
There's much, much more that will be happening. Full details about all that's offered can be found via the URL below:
Search Engine Strategies San Jose: August 2-5, 2004
SES also comes to Stockholm from October 27-28, and the year ends with a December 13-16 show in Chicago. Basic information about these shows can be found via the URL below:
Search Engine Strategies
Search Engine Watch Member Articles
Here's a recap of Search Engine Watch articles with exclusive coverage provided only to Search Engine Watch members:
MSN Search Gets New Look; Microsoft Gets New Search Engine
SearchDay, July 1, 2004
Microsoft released a public preview of its long-awaited web search technology today. The company also gave a facelift to its popular MSN Search site that remains powered by Yahoo's search technology and dropped paid inclusion listings there. This version of the article for Search Engine Watch members looks at some specific test queries for a rough sense of how the new search technology measures up, provides some general advice for webmasters wondering if they should optimize for "old" or "new" MSN and has more details on how the crawler operates and what it indexes.
Public Relations Via Search Engines
SearchDay, June 30, 2004
Blending the traditional tools of public relations with innovative search marketing techniques opens a new avenue of promotion for savvy content providers and site owners. This version for Search Engine Watch members offers specific, actionable tips for creating search engine friendly press releases, as well as tips for using blogs and RSS tools for public relations efforts.
Overture Launches Local Match Listings Program
SearchDay, June 28, 2004
Overture launched a new Local Match program today to allow its advertisers in the United States to more easily target listings toward those with a local interest. This version for Search Engine Watch members examines issues about how locator pages are required for all local listings, how local and regular listings are mixed so that advertisers are only ultimately represented by one listing, how the local program may cause a rise in prices for some locally-targeted terms, how pure local listings are ranked and the physical location requirement impact on resellers and others.
Search Marketing & the Spanish Speaking Internet
SearchDay, June 22, 2004
Looking for the hottest market potential in search? Look to the culture of salsa dancing, volcanic chili peppers and red hot Latin music. That's right, Spanish speaking Internet users. Search en Espanol. This version for Search Engine Watch members offers specific tips for marketing to Spanish speaking Internet users, including overcoming language challenges with keyword matching and spelling correction systems, and the best web sites to target for maximum exposure.
Going Beyond FTC Paid Inclusion Disclosure Guidelines
SearchDay, June 17, 2004
A look at how Yahoo might go beyond FTC guidelines about paid inclusion as a means of rebuilding faith in the impact of paid inclusion on relevancy and its listings in general. This version for Search Engine Watch members explains how to decipher listing URLs at Yahoo to spot paid inclusion content, how some results for popular queries may be hardcoded, finds paid inclusion showing up in only 2 percent of listings based on a small sample of 700 queries, and looks how sponsor labeling in Yahoo's directory hasn't appeared to hurt the sites shown there.
Search Engine Watch Articles
Here's a recap of major articles from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:
Search Engine Milestones for June 2004
SearchDay, July 6, 2004
Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, July 2, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: PPC, PFI et al - Is the Pain Behind Us Now? - Betting It All On AdSense - Help Please, Hired an SEO Firm, Now Banned - Google Pulls Plug on 'onmouseover' Pages - I'm Going to Write My Own Search Engine - Does Google Allow 'PageRank For Sale' Ads?
Behind the Scenes at Yahoo Labs
SearchDay, June 29, 2004
The head of Yahoo Research Labs talks about the challenges of indexing various types of information, and Yahoo's efforts at realizing a current hot trend -- personalized search.
Alt Attributes Appearing as Anchor Text in Text-only Cache
Search Engine Watch Forums, June 29, 2004
Explains how the Google Cache feature works and how a new "text-only" version of the cache has been quietly introduced.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, June 25, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Branded Keywords - Paid Listings vs. Natural Listings - Being #1 Doesn't Pay the Rent - Build First, Monetize Later? The Business of Search - Links Will Decide Position - Review and Breakdown of the New Google AdSense Terms, FAQ, Policies - Wanadoo Results - How To Reach Japan?
Use Caution when Going Broad with Overture and Google
SearchDay, June 23, 2004
Running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on Google and Overture can get complicated, especially now that both networks offer different types of keyword matching options when placing bids. Here's how to avoid trouble and maximize your campaign's effectiveness.
Ask Jeeves Sharpens Its Focus
SearchDay, June 21, 2004
Ask Jeeves announced today several new 'Smart Search' shortcuts, along with a new page preview tool.
New Google WebSearch Program Pays Publishers For Searches
SearchDay, June 18, 2004
Google has released two new services allowing site owners to install web search capabilities on their own sites, including one that pays.
Fox News & Danger Of Citing Search Counts
Search Engine Watch Forums, June 18, 2004
Fox News defended a report calling the BBC anti-American in part by citing a Google search count. The UK's broadcast watchdog didn't buy into that defense, nor should they. This thread explores how the same defense can be used to make the White House or George W. Bush seem even more anti-American -- and underscores why search counts are often hardly proof of anything.
Google Gains in Popularity, But Will It Last?
SearchDay, June 16, 2004
Over the past year, Google took significant market share from Yahoo and MSN, according to a new report from industry analyst Hitwise. But the increasing popularity of vertical search sites poses a big threat to all of the major search engines.
Yahoo new result layout
Search Engine Watch Forums, June 8, 2004
News and screenshots of the new search results page that Yahoo has been testing, leading to further information on how to try them yourself before the wider rollout happens. You can also read info here: http://tools.search.yahoo.com/whatsnew/
Want to receive new Search Engine Watch articles every day? Sign-up for SearchDay, the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch via the link below:
Search Engine Articles
PC World, July 1, 2004
A look at the pressures editorial results at search engines face given competition to rank highly, issues with paid inclusion, cloaking and where search may be going.
US-based paid listings provider FindWhat and Europe-based paid listings provider Espotting have completed their merger. Though merged, both companies will continue to operate separately and retain their names.
Apple plans to make it easier for users of its computers to search their local drive through a new release of its operating system dubbed Tiger planned for next year. Microsoft, of course, has similar plans for those using the next version of its Windows operating system, dubbed Longhorn, which may not come out until 2006. Apple's happy they're further along. Who cares. Why has it take both companies so long to deal with the issue period?
A look at the search engine spam problem. Nothing new to regular Search Engine Watch readers, but a generally good recap if the issue is new to you.
RIP I-Search, Long Live SEM 2.0
Traffick, June 30, 2004
Before we had search forums, it was the I-Search mailing list that was the primary way that search engine marketers and others could talk about search. The list has now closed, though its third and last moderator Andrew Goodman hopes to open a new chapter with a new SEM 2.0 list.
Banner day for online ad biz
The Deal, June 29, 2004
Search engine marketing firms may get gobbled up as internet advertising continues to regain strength.
iProspect's John Tawadros weighs in on why he thinks traditional agencies hate SEM. Summary? It's hard to make a profit. It's hard to find the right people. They lack the tools and knowledge. SEM is constantly changing. SEM requires constant research.
To Mod_Rewrite or Not
Search Engine Guide, June 29, 2004
Mod_Rewrite is a method of turning dynamic URLs into more search engine friendly formats. But before you reach for this powerful tool, understand whether you actually need it. It may be your dynamic URLs are being indexed without problem.
Nice rundown on spyware and other parasitic programs that can change search results you see at Google and other search engines. Also see Adware hijacking Google Organic Results, http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/000556.html for a good look at what one particular program did. Some forum discussion here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=230
Tips on why and how you should monitor your reputation through search engines.
SEMPO Outlines First Year Progress
Search Engine Lowdown, June 25, 2004
What's the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization been doing over the past year? President Barbara Coll outlines progress, in response to Andy Beal's call http://www.searchenginelowdown.com/2004/06/sempo-adds-board-member.html for an update.
Referrer data provides wonderful clues to how people found you. Learn how to read the tea leaves.
Pay-Per-Click Affiliate Deals Come Under Fire at Symposium
DM News, June 24, 2004
Paid search has grown from a pay-per-click basis, but as clickfraud grows as a problem, will the model have to change?
Know all those cool tools popping up recently that show Google PageRank scores in situations outside the Google Toolbar. They've all done this apparently by figuring out the checksum code Google uses to curb this type of use. Recently, someone tried to sell the code to do this on eBay. But others are offering it up for free.
Rundown on recent requests to Google to remove content because of alleged copyright violations.
The first rule about selling PageRank via Google's AdWords program is you do not talk about selling PageRank. The second rule is that you talk instead about how to improve or assist in gaining PageRank. More on the issue of ads that seem to go against Google's rules of SEO behavior being on Google itself.
Ask Jeeves is ending the remaining paid inclusion program it ran for its web search, the flat-fee based Site Submit. My understanding is that those with existing time left on their URLs will continue to receive listing benefits but no new URLs are being accepted.
Forging Yahoo's Future
Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2004
Interview with Yahoo CEO and chairman Terry Semel, touching on the need to own its own search technology and avoiding countering the "do no evil" mantra of Google with his own "what's good for consumers" thought.
Could Search Sites Spawn Worms?
PC World, June 24, 2004
A look at the idea that smart worms might mine search engine data as a means to seek out vulnerable sites.
Efficient Frontier, which has been managing paid listing campaigns for some very big companies, offers its services to the general public. The company aims to predict how a portfolio of keywords will perform over time, in an effort to make ad management easier.
Looking to automate you bid management? Here are some things to consider when looking at tools or services.
Study finds that if searchers made use of options such as radio buttons, they'd more easily find images, audio-visual files or other non-web page content. The same is true about tabs and drop-down boxes, of course. As I've written before, searchers simply ignore all these type of things, which is why search engines are having to progress to invisible tab insertion of material: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3115131
Summary of good mistakes to avoid if you are undertaking a search engine marketing campaign.
Yahoo launches a pure search service for China called Yisou.
Google's Gag Order: An Internet Giant Threatens Free Speech
PERRspectives, June 20, 2004
A long look at an issue that's come up numerous times before in this newsletter, that Google's unwritten rules about ads it will and will not accept create confusion for advertisers and cause it to be accused of censorship. As the article notes, Google's not required to publish anything it doesn't want to. But does it have a social responsibility to censor lightly? My past article for Search Engine Watch members, The Ads Google Just Says No To (http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3335041) looks at other cases like this. It also notes that since Google doesn't guarantee placement in its editorial results, those seeking visibility for key terms are told to buy an ad. But that's not a solution to getting your views out, if you are denied the ability to buy that ad.
Forget thinking about your campaigns on a keyword-by-keyword basis. Instead, consider that you have an entire portfolio of keywords, which overall you hope will achieve a particular ROI. Think of it as keyword-cost averaging!
Meta search the web or tab over to search through premium content research reports, human-powered directory results from the Open Directory or meta search news resources.
C2 Product Launch: How Coke Failed to Integrate Search
MediaPost, June 16, 2004
Good examples of Coke should have taken search into consideration before the launch of its new low carb Coke, C2.
An EU study found few go past the first page of search results and that Google is popular due to its usability.
In the UK, large ISPs have often provided paid listing heavy or all paid listing results to those searching via their portals, without clear disclosure. Unlike in the US, there have been no government regulations pushing them to disclose. Now the UK's advertising watchdog has ruled in favor of better disclosure in the case of one ISP. Ruling is here: http://www.asa.org.uk/adjudications/show_adjudication.asp?adjudication_id=38095, and good longer write-ups here http://www.out-law.com/php/page.php?page_id=searchengineresult1087378894 and here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1240738,00.html
Is a Google Backlash Building?
BusinessWeek, June 15, 2004
Will upset advertisers and publishers hurt Google in the long-run? A look at some complaints and efforts by the company to improve things.
Nightmare on Madison Avenue
Fortune, June 14, 2004
Search marketing, arguably the hottest form of internet advertising, isn't mentioned once in this long write-up on the challenges traditional ad agencies face given an onslaught of new media outlets and tighter cost watching. But search will certainly play its part in pulling the big TV ad spend away into new areas of advertising.
Google Stirs Controversy With Froogle
Washington Post, June 9, 2004
Google was running house ads for Froogle earlier this month. What did I think? Taking up one of the limited number of ad spaces from its own advertisers seems wrong. But promoting Froogle outside of the ad space? I'm all for it. In fact, it's exactly what I think they should do, and something they have done since March: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3332511. Unfortunately, my comments about this never made it into the story.
It's important to note that Google did NOT alter the regular "mathematically generated" web results that came up for golf clubs. Ten of those were still delivered, just as Google has regularly done. Those came from Google crawling the web and using its ranking algorithm to pick the best results. They did no intervention to those results.
By the way, Google house ads aren't new nor restricted to Father's Day. Going through my notes, I see one showed up for the words advertise website back on April 1 and is still running to promote AdSense. The words search engine optimization also bring up a Google house ad.
Yahoo is also doing the same. Reader David Ralph wrote me in the middle of June that Yahoo Shopping was being promoted to show up for the words "richie swimwear." His client, who runs Ritchie Swimwear, wasn't happy about this. Looking into it, it appears that Yahoo Shopping is bidding $0.13 per click for the term "swimwear" and being broadmatched against "richie swimwear," as well.
Search Engine Resources
The name says it all -- plus along with the list, you get some submission guidelines.
Enter a search term, then get results meta search style at the bottom of the page. No big deal. But look at the top, and you'll find a great visual representation of which pages are unique to a particular search engine or how a particular page ranks across several search engines. It's one of those things you've got to see to fully understand -- and well worth a look. Some have noted multiple word queries are turned into phrase searches. It would be nice to have an option to turn this off, as most people don't search that way -- so for comparison purchases, raw unquoted searches are more useful. But I also didn't find this happening, myself. I did find that the result didn't always match perfectly what I'd see on the engines themselves. Further discussion of the tool can also be found here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3759
Enter the address of one of your web pages, then Copyscape taps into Google to find other pages that might be using the material. I tried it using one of my pages. It found many pages that were carrying SEW headlines and story summaries, which was fine by me. No doubt it could uncover some copyright infringers, as well. What I really want is a big giant search box that will process more than 10 words, so I can be more selective about hunting down unique passages of text. We had tools like this around 2000, but they disappeared. You could also try the fee-based service, Turnitin, http://turnitin.com/static/products_services/search_engines.html -- though there are student issues about that, http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/01/21/ctv.plagiarism/
The popular US-based Pricegrabber shopping search engine has launched a UK and Canadian (second URL) version.
Are you doing a 301 redirect correctly? What's the last modified date your server is reporting? Information like this and more sent by web servers but not shown in a browser can be obtained via this free tool.
Guide to search engine-related terms. Another one that's come to my attention recently is The Search Engine Glossary, http://www.search-engine-glossary.co.uk/
I don't read Japanese, but I'm told this is a good site about search engine marketing issues for Japan.
Special thanks reader submissions and
+ Search Engine Guide, http://searchengineguide.com
+ Search Engine Lowdown, http://searchenginelowdown.com
+ Searchblog, http://battellemedia.com
+ Search Engine Roundtable Weblog, http://www.seroundtable.com
+ SEObook.com, http://www.seobook.com
+ ResourceShelf.com, http://www.resourceshelf.com
+ ResearchBuzz, http://www.researchbuzz.com
+ The Unofficial Google Weblog, http://google.weblogsinc.com
+ Google Blogoscoped, http://blog.outer-court.com
+ WebmasterWorld.com, http://www.webmasterworld.com
for some of the items listed in this newsletter.
About The Search Engine Update
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Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!