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The Search Engine Update, Nov. 18, 2002, Number 137

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About The Update

The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to Search Engine Watch members. Please note that long URLs may break into two lines in some mail readers. Cut and paste, should this occur.

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In This Issue

+ SES Conference Discount Deadline This Week!
+ Call For Speakers
+ What You're Asking
+ AltaVista Relaunches Site
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)

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Hello Everyone--

It's another beautiful day in Southern California, where I've come back for the Thanksgiving holiday. Consequently, this is an "on-the-road" issue, so let me warn in advance that there are some typos I may not have caught, when proofing on the small screen of my laptop. I've also kept this issue relatively light -- some answers to feedback questions I've received lately, as well as a recap of some recent articles about search engines. Having said this, I'm sure you'll find plenty to read! And, Happy Thanksgiving in advance, to those readers in the US, who will be celebrating next week!

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SES Conference Discount Deadline This Week!

Been thinking about attending the Search Engine Strategies show in Dallas next month, on Dec. 11 & 12? Sign-up by this Friday, Nov. 22, to save on the registration price!

The SES show provides a variety of sessions about improving editorial listings in search engines and how to advertise effectively on them. Both search engine marketing experts and representatives from major search engines themselves will be speaking, including Ask Jeeves/Teoma, About.com, FAST/AllTheWeb.com, Google, Inktomi, Overture, LookSmart and Yahoo. More information and the ability to sign-up can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies Dallas
http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/fall02/

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Call For Speakers

I'm looking for speakers for the Search Engine Strategies conference that will be happening in Dallas on Dec. 11 & 12. See the item above for more information about the conference.

If you are interested in any of the panels listed below, message me at [email protected] to be considered. To increase the odds in your favor, tell me succinctly what you'd like to talk about in the session and note any previous speaking experience.

To be considered, get in touch by November 20. I'll be making my decisions by Nov. 22 and will respond to those who are selected (if you aren't chosen, I'll also let you know, if time allows). Those chosen will get a free pass to the entire event. Transport and accommodation are not covered.

Please don't ask to speak on any other panels besides those listed. The agenda is done, and aside from what I've listed, there are no other speaking opportunities. Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't respond unless you ALREADY KNOW you are able to attend.

Here are the openings:

Doing It In House: I'm looking for two people to talk for 15 minutes each about their experiences of performing search engine marketing in house. You can talk about any or all aspects. Please do not ask to speak if you are from a search engine optimization firm. Instead, I need people who handle search engine marketing internally, for a particular company.

Paid Listings Tools: Looking for someone who has used a software-based paid listings tool, to take part in the Q&A portion of this session. No presentation is required. Please tell me the tool you use. I already have a GO TOAST user, so my preference will be for someone using an alternative tool

Campaign Case Studies: Looking for one person to talk for 15 minutes about a search engine marketing campaign that they undertook. You can explain any or all aspects of the campaign. You'll be on a panel with three other people, each talking for the same period of time, with 30 minutes at the end for Q&A.

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AltaVista Relaunches Site

AltaVista again rolls out a new look and renews past promises that it is firmly focused on providing the best quality search possible. Chris Sherman reviews the latest version of AltaVista in the SearchDay article below, and reports from others are also listed.

Can AltaVista's Phoenix Help it Rise Again?
SearchDay, Nov. 12, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1112-av-phoenix.html

AltaVista has a history of rolling out a new look along with promises about search that it fails to keep, but Chris Sherman feels the latest "Phoenix" launch by AltaVista shows the company as making genuine moves to reestablish itself as a web search leader. He examines new features, streamlining and under-the-hood changes.

AltaVista Makeover: A Better View
Wired News, Nov. 13, 2002
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,56335,00.html

"What we've done over the past year is focus the company back on our core strength and our roots, which is search," says Jim Barnett, AltaVista's CEO, in this article. Actually, AltaVista's supposedly been doing this for over two years, since major layoffs were announced in September 2000. In conjunction with those staff cuts, the AltaVista said it was firmly focused on being just a search engine, not a portal. "We are now in a position to unleash our search expertise with a clear, singular focus to penetrate every layer of the search market for both consumers and businesses," said then AltaVista CEO Rod Schrock.

AltaVista returns from the Wilderness
ComputerWire, Nov. 12, 2002
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/23/28043.html

The new AltaVista look
Pandia, Nov. 9, 2002
http://www.pandia.com/sw-2002/38-altavista.html

AltaVista searches for a new image
News.com, Nov. 8, 2002
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-965178.html

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What You're Asking

Among other questions, I've recently been asked...

Q. If a search engine using a "spider" or "crawler" to index web pages finds another search engine, does the entire index of that search engine get added to its own? Also, do these "spiders" of different search engines swap information with each other, so to speak?

Q. How often can you submit your URL to search engines before it gets to be too often? Weekly, daily, hourly? And what are the consequences if you submit too often? Does how often you submit have any influence on how high you rank in the search engine results list?

Q. I know the difference between a directory & a search engine, but how can you tell by looking at the site? Also, is there a site that lists directories.

Q. Recently, I looked at the source of a web page, and found multiple lines for keywords. What is the outcome?

Q. Do search engines care if more content is on the homepage versus the rest of the site? For instance, in Google, would a site with 10-pages of text on the homepage rank higher than a site with a 1-text-page homepage and 9 other 1-text-pages.

Q. Is there a straightforward (i.e., easy way!) to find our where a particular web site ranks in a certain search engine or directory -- and what category it's in? For example, I know that my web site is listed in Yahoo since it appears when I key the domain name in the search box, but I don't know what category it's been put into.

Q. Our competitors have submitted our site to an internet porn ring in an attempt to get us thrown out of the search engines. Is there anything we can do?

Replies to these questions can be found via the article below:

What You're Asking
The Search Engine Update, Nov. 18, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/11-asking.html

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SearchDay Articles
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Here are some recent articles that may be of interest, from Search Engine Watch's daily SearchDay newsletter:

Search Engine Marketing Shop Talk Forum
SearchDay, Nov. 14, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1114-ses-shoptalk.html

The Shop Talk forum at the Search Engine Strategies conference featured lively discussion and a wealth of tips and techniques from pros for maximizing search engine marketing efforts.

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Low Budget Search Engine Marketing
SearchDay, Nov. 13, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1113-lowbudget-seo.html

Need to be found in the search engines but can't afford to hire a search engine specialist? How can you attract visitors to your web site with little or no funding? Three experts share their proven low budget techniques.

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Effective Search Engine Design
SearchDay, November 7, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1107-seusers.html

Representatives from Google, Yahoo, and Lycos share insights into how they design for their users, and what users search for when they visit the major web navigation portals.

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Search Engine Marketing Boosts ROI for B2B Sites
SearchDay, November 6, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1106-sesb2b.html

Many Business-to-Business web sites don't bother with search engine marketing, and that's an expensive -- and possibly fatal mistake, according to a panel of experts.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, November 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1105-seforums.html

The most interesting, newsworthy or controversial discussions taking place in the numerous search engine forums during the past week.

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On the archive page below, you'll find more articles like those above, plus have the ability to sign-up for the free newsletter.

SearchDay Archives
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/archives.html

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Search Engine Articles
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Danish websites censored by Chinese authorities
Copenhagen Post, Nov. 14, 2002
http://cphpost.periskop.dk/default.asp?id=26012

Danish search engine jubii.dk is found to be blocked in China, following an investigation conducted on behalf of a Danish newspaper. No doubt many other search engines are also blocked, but people either aren't complaining, as was the case with Google and AltaVista earlier this year (see http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/10-china.html) or the blocking hasn't been uncovered because no one has done a specific investigation.

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Search Engine Usage Ranks High
InternetNews.com, Nov. 14, 2002
http://www.internetnews.com/stats/article.php/1500821

Nice stats here out of an email survey conducted by iProspect of 1,400 people, finding that only 23 percent of searchers go past the first page of results and only 32 percent even read the entire list on the first page of results. Survey was conducted in the spring of 2002. It also found that 52 percent of people stay with the same search engine regardless of the search they are conducting. Almost half, 46 percent, felt searches were almost always successful and when not, 27 percent tried using another search engine rather than changing their queries.

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Shoddy search prevents worker success
News.com, Nov. 13, 2002
http://news.com.com/2100-1001-965719.html

Poor intranet and corporate search tools could be costing companies up to $15 million per year, according to usability expert Jakob Nielsen's Nielsen Norman Group. The finding came from a examining 14 company intranets.

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SearchKing Google Rank Restored
Web Hosting Industry Review, Nov. 13, 2002
http://thewhir.com/marketwatch/sea111302.cfm

Once again, typing in "searchking" into Google brings the SearchKing.com web site up in the top results. This was not the case last month, when SearchKing filed its suit against Google over receiving a low PageRank score in the Google toolbar (see my past article, http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/11-searchking.html). However, how SearchKing ranked in the search results at Google is not an issue in the case, so it continues.

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Inktomi Exits Enterprise Search
SiliconValley.internet.com, Nov. 13, 2002
http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article.php/1500211

Back in early 1999, when Inktomi lost the MSN account briefly to AltaVista, the company downplayed analyst worries over lost revenues in part by pointing out that its network caching operations were the main way it made money. Web search was something Inktomi did, but it wasn't the only thing, the company stressed. Three years later, web search is now indeed the only thing Inktomi does. The company has sold off its enterprise search division -- which it acquired from Go.com/Infoseek in 2002, for $25 million to Verity. The sale and loss of employees associated with the division should make Inktomi cash-flow positive within two months, the company says.

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Inktomi back to square one after Verity search sale
ComputerWire, Nov. 14, 2002
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/23/28086.html

Another look at Inktomi's sale of its enterprise division, especially good for noting that Inktomi sunk about $350 million into enterprise search, only to sell the division off for only $25 million.

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Lycos hit by diving revenues
The Guardian, Nov. 13, 2002
http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,7496,839047,00.html

Lycos Europe reports a 22 percent drop in revenue, compared to the same quarter last year.

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Beating Big Brands at Search Engine Marketing
ClickZ, Nov. 13, 2002
http://www.clickz.com/search/opt/article.php/1499141

Being a big brand may help you get natural traffic for free from search engines and a budget to better compete for paid listings. However, by being targeted and perhaps seeking out paid listings with smaller providers, small businesses can still compete.

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Running Hot -- and Cold -- on the Web
Business Week, Nov. 12, 2002
http://businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/nov2002/sb20021112_3830.htm

A small business that sells heating pads and ice packs isn't sure if the internet is a good venue for advertising his products any longer and especially wonders whether search engine listing fees are still worthwhile. This Business Week column gives him advice. The Forrester Research analyst quoted suggests that it is "incredibly difficult" for little guys to get found via search engines, since big retailers have apparently made bidding for placement too expensive. I disagree. At Overture, for only about US $0.88 per click, the company could run a campaign of ads targeted to "heating pads" across major search engines that carry Overture's listings. Top listings can be had for "ice packs" for only about $0.72. More targeted terms such as "gel ice packs" or "microwave heating packs" can get top listings for only $0.05. Search engine advertising remains inexpensive, and the problems this small business is having is probably in making use of the wrong type of programs. It's not said what "annual listing" fees are paid to search engines, but whatever they are, running a short, budget-capped campaign using paid listings may quickly help the company know for certain whether search engine leads will pay for themselves with qualified buyers. Other advice like this from me is also covered in this article.

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How To Integrate Keywords Into Your Web Site Copy
SearchEngineGuide.com, Nov. 12, 2002
http://www.searchengineguide.com/kalena/2002/1112_kj1.html

Of all the "tips" about search engine optimization you could read, the most important and most overlooked is having good, solid body copy content that makes use of the terms you hope to be found for. This article takes a closer look at improving how you write your body copy.

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Terra Lycos Beefs Up InSite
Boston.internet.com, Nov. 11, 2002
http://boston.internet.com/news/article.php/1498141

The latest version of Lycos InSite lets you now submit your URLs to both the FAST index that powers searches at Lycos.com and the Inktomi database that powers some searches at Terra Lycos-owned HotBot.

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Ten Questions with: Brett Tabke
SearchEngineBlog.com, Nov. 2002
http://www.searchengineblog.com/interviews/interview_brett_tabke.htm

WebmasterWorld.com founder Brett Tabke comments on how the popular forum began, the future of search engine optimization and important coming issues for webmasters in general.

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Ten Questions with: Ralph Tegtmeier
SearchEngineBlog.com, Nov. 2002
http://www.searchengineblog.com/interviews/interview_ralph_tegtmeier.htm

Long-time search engine optimization expert Ralph Tegtmeier of fantomaster.com offers his view on the future of search engine optimization, cloaking, pitfalls with having SEO "ethics" and other topics, in this interview.

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