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The Search Engine Update - Number 183 - October 18, 2004

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Set For Stockholm, Chicago
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ Best Of The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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Search Engine Strategies Set For Stockholm, Chicago

Search Engine Strategies brings sessions on search engine marketing to Stockholm from October 27-28 and Chicago from December 13-16. Learn more by visiting the conference sites for both events: Stockholm & Chicago. Both have full agendas and detailed information.

Dates for other events around the world next year have also been. Those dates and basic information can be found on the Search Engine Strategies site.

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Search Engine Watch Articles
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Here's a recap of major articles, blog postings and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:

More Google Desktop Privacy Worries & A Microsofty's Fear
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 17, 2004

Google Desktop security issues as they apply to secure pages, such as those you view to do online banking or transactions, the issue of whether people are aware of exposing their private interests via search (ANY type of search), and someone who apparently works for Microsoft worrying that he's getting so tied to Google that "Google is kicking our butt."

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More On Google & Other Desktop Search Stuff
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 15, 2004

More assorted reports and comments on Google's new desktop search tool and other similar tools. They cover: a workaround for getting Firefox data tracked by GDS (the acronym that I see in growing use for Google Desktop Search), one blogger's fear GDS has made his computer unstable, AOL confirming it has its own product coming, a recap of products from Google rivals and existing desktop tools, reports of more than a C drive being indexed and revisiting desktop search privacy issues, such as the program may expose data to multiple users of the same computer and how on occasion, searches with "desktop" intent might be exposed to Google.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Oct. 15, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Filthy Linking Rich - Google Releases Desktop Search - Exit Page Statistics Query - 'Industrial Strength White Hat' Cloaking Questions - Content for Adwords - RSS Feeds as a Search Engine Marketing Tool

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Cloaking 101 - Questions and Answers
Search Engine Watch Forums, Oct. 15, 2004

Q&A on the often controversial issue of cloaking. Some previous good threads and debate on this topic include The Great Doorway Debate, How Do I Spot Cloaked Sites?. You might also look over an article I did last year, Ending The Debate Over Cloaking.

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Google Desktop Search Launched
SearchDay, Oct. 14, 2004

Google released a new Google Desktop Search tool today that allows people to scan their computers for information in the same way they use Google to search the web. Its ease of use, plus how it enhances the Google search experience, make it a compelling product to use.

This longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members rounds-up current players in the desktop search battlefield and examines the advantages Google's tool has against them, how relevancy and dates are determined, how the Google Desktop Cache works to make an independent mirror of all your data, issues with needing to delete both data and cached copies, how AIM data is indexed, if other IM/email clients will be supported, Firefox issues, the lack of ads, if they will come and some details of the project development and its unusual code name.

See also Google Desktop Search Becomes Reality from our SEW Blog for a round-up of first day stories, reviews and reaction to the launch of GDS.

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A Closer Look At Privacy & Desktop Search
SearchDay, Oct. 14, 2004

A new era of desktop search is being ushered in. With it comes some new issues about search privacy. If you've protected your data the way you always should, no problem. If not -- it's time you did.

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Search Marketing 2004: What's Right, What's Wrong
SearchDay, Oct. 13, 2004 - Danny Sullivan's wide-ranging keynote address at Search Engine Strategies San Jose prodded several raw nerves in the industry, sparing neither search marketers nor the search engines themselves, reports Andrew Goodman.

In this longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members, Andrew Goodman offers his own insights and analysis of industry trends, describing the increasing competition between traditional search engine optimization firms and advertising agencies and providing context for the undercurrents of change currently rocking the industry.

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Clickfraud: Whose Problem, FTC, Search Engines Or Advertisers?
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 13, 2004

Should the US Federal Trade Commission be doing more to prevent clickfraud? Should the search engines? Is a report that up to 50 percent of paid clicks are fraudulent true? Will there be a class action lawsuit against search engines? These issues are explored.

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Connecting with Customers through Search Market Research
SearchDay, Oct. 12, 2004

Want to learn to improve your customers' experience, pinpoint buyers' exact interests and reach prospects at every phase of the buying cycle? Look to your search logs to mine this crucial market research data.

This longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members goes into more detail about the process of search market research, presenting the findings of case studies and providing specific, actionable tips and tools for effective data mining and other forms of customer research.

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An Introduction to Exalead
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 12, 2004

Exalead is a new search engine that offers many advanced features, several unavailable from other major engines, and is worth a look.

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Block Analysis 101
Search Engine Watch Forums, Oct. 12, 2004

Looks at the concept of search engines breaking up a page into "blocks," to better understand which particular content or links within that content should be given greater or less weight.

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Problems With Searching By Date
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 12, 2004

The FirstMonday article Internet time and the reliability of search engines examines how search engines are undependable for social science research, since page dates are unreliable. In this blog post, a longer look at the issue of dates when it comes to searching.

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Client Parameter Makes Google Report Fewer Matches
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 11, 2004

Using the Firefox Browser? Search for "the" using the built in search box that taps into Google, and you'll get about half the results than if you searched Google from its home page. The order of the top results will be the same, but the overall count is dramatically different. A look at why this happens and workarounds.

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Namebombing: Linking To Influence Results For A Name
Search Engine Watch Forums, Oct. 11, 2004

Members discuss legal and ethical issues surrounding "namebombing" a practice similar to link and Google bombs, trying to control what comes up for a search on the name of a specific person.

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Search Engine Marketing 101
Search Engine Watch Forums, Oct. 10, 2004

One of our most energetic forum moderators Nacho Hernandez leads off this discussion with a helpful list of resources for those getting started with search engine marketing. Comments and further contributions follow.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Oct. 8, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Link Building With Affiliate Programs -- Does it Work? - Yahoo Launches Personal Search - Google To Snap? - Moving to a New Host - Any Issues With SEO? - Extending Your Search Marketing Campaign to Europe - New Overture Features - Raid of the Googlebots

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Where's The Privacy Freak Out Over Search Personalization?
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 8, 2004

Why haven't privacy advocates freaked out loudly and in large numbers about a9 and its personal search features, ask writer Alan Chapell? Only a few months ago, privacy concerns over Google's Gmail made headlines. Amazon's reputation of trust is part of it, but there's more involved, as well.

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Filthy Linking Rich
Search Engine Watch Forums, Oct. 8, 2004

Do the rich get richer, when it comes to those who already have links? A look at the issue and how it may impact search results.

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Contextual Ads: Vital to a Search Marketing Campaign?
SearchDay, Oct. 7, 2004

Are you bidding on keywords through Overture's Precision Match, Google's AdWords or another pay-for-placement service? If so, you're eligible to participate in their contextual advertising programs.

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Some Google Print Follow-Ups
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 7, 2004

A look at how existing electronic copies of books won't be included in Google Print, including no comment from Google on rumored plans of Project Ocean to digitize the Stanford Library. Also an update on progress with Amazon's Search Inside The Book, more tips on searching the full text of books outside of Google and Amazon and examples of how Google Print results now appear in OneBox display.

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Want to receive new Search Engine Watch articles every day? Sign-up for SearchDay, the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch. Also keep up with news and discussion via our Search Engine Watch Forums.

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Best Of The SEW Blog
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New Deep Link Ratio Tool
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 17, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041017-295

Deep Link Ratio tool that will calculate your "deep link ratio." What's that? It tells you of all the links pointing at a domain what percentage of them point at the home page. Why do you care? You probably don't need to, but it's interesting to see, nonetheless.

Some people want all their links to point at their home page, either feeling that this forces people through the "front door" or that it makes their home page much more important for search engine purposes. Personally, I think you should be happy getting a link from anyone who has quality traffic and who wants to route to the most appropriate page in your site.

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New Look at Search.Yahoo.Com
By Gary Price, Oct. 17, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041017-294

The sleek and clutter-free interface that I normally use to access Yahoo has a new look. The colored tabs offering acccess located to the left of the search box at Search.yahoo.com have been replaced with text links located directly ABOVE the search box. It's still possible to customize the look of the page by selecting the edit link and selecting the databases you want accessible from this page. The "old" look is still visible on the regional versions of Yahoo that I checked including Canada, UK, and Singapore.

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New "Answer Engine" Coming: Stochasto
By Gary Price, Oct. 17, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041017-293

Pandia has published an article about Stochasto, a new "natural language" engine from Norway that is set to launch in early 2005. We've blogged about Kozoru (another natural language answer engine currently in development) and Gurune here. We also mentioned Ask.com's Smart Search technology and a couple of SMS answer services here.

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Local Search + Social Networking
By Gary Price, Oct. 17, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041017-291

The article Socially Networked Start-Ups Challenge Big Boys in Local Search from ClickZ Parker takes a look at three new local search/social networking databases: Judy's Book, Yelp, and Insider Pages. A short blog post from Gary, Local Search With Yelp, has a few more details on that service.

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Executive Director Compensation Ends For SEMPO President
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 17, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041017-289

Want to know what SEMPO's board of directors discusses? A new area has just opened up on the site, with official minutes of the last meeting on September 28. In those minutes (link opens Word document), it's reported that the controversial executive director stipend being paid to SEMPO's president ended as of Oct. 1. Some discussion of the minutes being posted is here in our forum thread: SEMPO Board meeting minutes.

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Search Is An Overall Marketing Thing
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 15, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041015-287

Bob Heyman, with the title of Chief Search Officer that I've never seen before, argues that search needs to be considered as part of anyone's overall marketing plan: SEM: Still an Adolescent? Too right. Fredrick Marckini also recently said the same thing in SEM Wants to Embrace the CMO.

Heck, I'll add more fuel to the fire. Our next SES show in Chicago has a session called "Integrating Search Into Other Marketing." Hopefully, we'll have some good stories of actual integration happening, rather than hopes!

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Customer Targeting In SEM
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 15, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041015-286

Kevin Lee looks at how customer segmentation can be applied to search engine marketing: Connect With Customer Segments in Search from ClickZ. Can you target those high-end "Barrys," busy mom "Jills" or those tech-savvy "Buzz" people? Understand how they search and you can.

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GuruNet: Another Search Related IPO
By Gary Price, Oct. 14, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041014-281

GuruNet, the useful "answer engine" and search utility began trading on the AMEX yesterday. Details in this story from Israel's Haaretz.com: GuruNet launches on Amex. If you've never taken a look at this tool, it's more than worth a look. Here's a link to Chris's positive SearchDay review: GuruNet: A Handy Information Magnet.

Also, in the past few months, GuruNet has: Released a desktop search beta, Launched a version of their client for the Mac, Launched a web-based version of their product. You can now access most of their content without having to download any software.

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Job Recruiters & Searching Your Shadow Resume
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 14, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041014-280

Recruiters Use Google To Screen Job Applicants from the Wall Street Journal looks at how web searching could hurt the chances of some seeking jobs. In short, the web is turning into a "shadow resume" that potential employers can easily tap into. Some tips at the end on what to do if your shadow resume isn't up to snuff.

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Another Push For Candidates To Buy Search; Dean On Yahoo
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 14, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041014-279

Google for President from Slate is another take on the idea that political candidates should be making use of search advertising. But some other articles have been better, in that they include comments from some actual campaigns. For a roundup of those, see Candidates Missing Out On Search Ads. I've still yet to see anyone actually talk directly with the Bush and Kerry campaigns themselves, however.

Well, if the US presidential candidates won't come to the search engines, the search engines will come to them. At least Yahoo to former Democratic contender Howard Dean, that is. He's now shilling (and yelling) for Yahoo Local. Check out the radio spot via the Yahoo Search Blog: Howard Dean on Yahoo Local.

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Roll Your Own Yahoo Specialty Search Engine
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 14, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041014-278

Nice from Tara Calishain: Searchroller For Yahoo. Want to make a subject-specific search engine that brings back results from only certain web sites? This workaround she's created makes it easy via Yahoo.

Now if the search engines themselves would just directly offer such features! Ask Jeeves told me this may come later this year as an expansion to the personal search features it's recently launched. Yahoo's also told me this is something it's considering as when its own new search memory features get expanded.

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Google Wants to Enhance Your Browsing Experience
By Gary Price, Oct. 13, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041013-277

Google cofounder Sergey Brin comments about Google and web browsers. "There has been much speculation. But our work is focused on improving the browsing experience,...today's browsers are doing a pretty good job, but they can be improved. What we are looking to do is to enhance the quality of the browsing experience," he said. From DeepikaGlobal's article, Google working on improving browser tech: Co-founder.

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A Yahoo Research Labs Workshop
By Gary Price, Oct. 13, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041013-276

A Yahoo Research Labs workshop on recommender systems in August had a couple of interesting presentations. Professor John Riedl, University of Minnesota, presented Recommender Systems: Evolution of Collaborative Filtering Recommender Interfaces. Dr. Riedl is a member of the Group Lens project. One of their projects, MovieLens, offers free access to a movie recommendation service. Jon Herlocker of Oregon State University presented Collaborative Filtering: Some Comments on the State of the Art. Links to presentations bring up PowerPoint files.

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Recall Update
By Gary Price, Oct. 13, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041013-275

Recall, the database offering keyword access to a portion of The Wayback Machine, is no longer online (more on that here). But Brewster Kahle, CEO of the Internet Archive, told me last night that the move is just a temporary one. The IA intends to make the database available as soon as they can make it more reliable. "Given its instability we didn't want people to suffer," Kahle said. The Wayback Machine is still available. Let's hope that Recall, a very valuable research tool, returns to the web very soon.

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Jux2 Adds New Features
By Gary Price, Oct. 13, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041013-274

Jux2, the web tool that allows you to quickly identify search engine overlap, has added a couple of new features. Most important is that you're now able to compare results from three databases (Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves) with a single click. Some other changes and observations via the full blog post.

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Baidu Set to Double Revenue in 2004
By Gary Price, Oct. 13, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041013-272

According to this Reuters article, Chinese search company Baidu will see their revenues double in 2004. Google holds a minority stake in the company.

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Robin Good's Search Champs Experience
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 13, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041013-270

Last week, I had a roundup of various reports from Microsoft's Search Champs. Robin Good has just weighed in with a long account of his own experiences: MSN Search Champs: Robin Good Reports. As usual, NDA keeps any real details from getting out, but he paints around the edges as best as possible -- plus provides plenty of color.

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Google Will Expand Operations in India
By Gary Price, Oct. 12, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041012-268

During a vist to India by Sergey Brin and Larry Page the company has announced plans to expand their operations in the country. More in the article: Google plans big expansion in India

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Profits Triple at Yahoo
By Gary Price, Oct. 12, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041012-266

Yahoo's profits for the third-quarter tripled versus the same period last year. From a Bloomberg story, "Net income rose to $253.3 million, or 17 cents a share, from $65.3 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier...Excluding the gain from selling shares in Google's initial public offering, Yahoo said it would have earned $124 million, or 9 cents a share. That matched the average estimate of 9 cents a share from 26 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial." You can listen to the conference call and read the complete news release here.

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FeedForAll For Feed Creation
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 12, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041012-265

If you have to roll your own feed, FeedForAll makes it easy to do using a software interface. It can also help you modify and manage existing feeds. A nice alternative to those who don't have feed building integrated into their web authoring tool. What's an RSS Feed? My Making An RSS Feed article explains more.

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SEMPO Gets Forum For Members, Wants More Survey Data
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 12, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041012-264

SEMPO has opened its own forum area for members, a positive move that should help those within the organization better talk about its direction, growth and activities among themselves. Want to discuss? Visit our own forum thread: SEMPO Launches Members Only Forum.

Meanwhile, SEMPO's still looking for more SEM firms to take part in its search marketing survey. More about that here in my past post: SEMPO Search Marketing Survey Opened. To participate in measuring the size of the search marketing space, drop by here: SEMPO Research Survey.

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Fathom Keyword Price Index Provides Bid Benchmark
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 12, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041012-263

Search marketing firm Fathom Online has assembled a Keyword Price Index to show average bid prices for various industries. The index looks at the prices for the top five spots for the 500 most queried terms for an industry, as determined by Fathom. Prices include those on major and lesser-known search engines.

For September 2004, automotive had the highest average weighted price of $1.54 per click. Wireless telecommunications came lowest at $1.09. More details here: New Tracking Data Reveals Marked Disparities In Paid Search Costs, Yield.

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Jeremy Zawodny: Yahoo Search Blogvangelist
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 12, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041012-260

Jeremy Zawodny is a Yahoo employee who once worked on the search side and now returns to it, as he explains more here: New Job (Again). The move positions him as the first notable blogvangelist employed by a major search company. Will we see more of this? A longer look, in this blog post.

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Overcoming The Flash Challenge With Search Engines
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 11, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041011-257

Shari Thurow provides some strategies on dealing with Flash and search engine friendliness in ClickZ: Get Flash Sites Ranked in Search Engines.

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Search and Cluster the CIA WMD Report with Clusty
By Gary Price, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-254

The folks over at Clusty (aka Vivisimo) have just released a search/cluster version of the CIA WMD report that was released on Wednesday. In July, Vivisimo made a search and cluster version of the 9/11 Commission Final Report available.

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Publisher Reactions To Google Print; What About Authors?
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-252

New Google Service May Strain Old Ties in Bookselling from the New York Times today has some nice quotes on how publishers are reacting to the expansion of the Google Print service. Here's something I haven't yet seen. How are authors going to react? After all, publishers are now set to earn revenue off AdSense ads that appear in these books. But the books are the works for the respective authors. Shouldn't they get a share? Do contracts cover this? Will they have to going forward?

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Web 2.0 Search Wrap-Up
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-251

O'Reilly's put out its official wrap-up of various things discussed that were search-related at its Web 2.0 conference: Search: The Current and Next Big Thing. As a recap, here is other search coverage from the show we've blogged about:

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New Travel Search: Take a Trip with Kayak
By Gary Price, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-249

Kayak, a new travel search meta site that I've mentioned several times on the SEW Blog, has just launched a beta version. Kayak, simultaneously searches more than 60 site for air fares, hotels, and car rental pricing info. A further look at it and some new competitors the travel search space via this blog post.

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FindWhat To Carry Verizon SuperPages Paid Listings
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-248

Local paid listings from Verizon's SuperPages program are now to be distributed though FindWhat's distribution network. More details from the FindWhat press release. Last year, Verizon licensed technology from FindWhat to build the SuperPages.com Pay Per Click program that launched in May.

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Top Coders Say Google Is Tops
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-247

TopCoder.com polled its 44,000 members worldwide about their favorite search engine. A much smaller number actually voted, 450, and they really like Google. It gained 92 percent of the vote, followed by Yahoo at 3 percent.

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Google Demos Word Clustering
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 8, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041008-246

Google shows off new word clustering tools, and this post provides resources about it, as well as background. Also interesting is Google mention excluding "noisy" data to focus on the key part of a page. More on this possible named entities approach.

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IceRocket Launches Blog Search
By Gary Price, Oct. 7, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041007-245

IceRocket, the new search engine that investor Mark Cuban calls his "toy" now offers weblog search. Loren over at Search Engine Journal has the details along with an interview with IceRocket CEO, Blake Rhodes.

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Google & Synfonic Both Launch SMS Search Tools
By Gary Price, Oct. 7, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041007-244

Google has a just launched a new site that allows you to search and access content via SMS (short message service/text messaging) that's very popular in Europe and Asia. However, this new Google beta is only available in the United States. More on this and some competing activity in the post.

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Google PageRank Update Underway
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 7, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041007-243

If you're one who obsesses over Google PageRank scores (you shouldn't, but people do), you'll be happy to know that the little PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar is now showing new scores for pages for the first time in many moons. Bear in mind that the PR scores used as ONE part of the Google ranking algorithm may have been updated before this within the algorithm itself, but now the toolbar is likely playing catch-up. Or not. It's another reason why you shouldn't freak about it.

Barry Schwartz gives a little background here: PageRank Update Taking Place and a nice recap of various forum posts on the topics from across the web. Aaron Wall has background here: Google PageRank: Toolbar Update. Nick W dissects who should get first dibs on spotting the update and a tip to force your toolbar to see it: PR Update - Confirmed. Want to comment or discuss? Visit our forum discussion: Finally, a PR Update!

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Thanks For Your Horrible Link Request
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 7, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041007-242

As part of my Intro To Search Engine Marketing session at our Search Engine Strategies conferences, I always have a segment on link building and the appropriate way to do it. Key tip? Understand the site you are making the request from. What's it about? What's the best place for a link? How can you make this easy? In this post, a look at a recent request I got that violates all those rules.

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myGoogle Search Aims To Refine Google Results
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 7, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041007-240

myGoogle Search is NOT from Google, and somehow I suspect the letter asking for a name change will be coming from the lawyers at the Googleplex. But the idea is in the right spirit. Do a Google search, then tick the results you DON'T like to automatically bring back more that match what you DO want. The site's How To Use page has more explaining the concept, with examples.

The concept isn't new. We've had stuff like this in the past on major search engines, especially at both AltaVista and Excite, if I recall correctly. And the Similar Pages link at Google is even supposed to do something like this, though I've never found Google's implementation very useful.

Tara Calishain provides a write-up of the new site here: User-Guided Search Refining in Google. Be aware that when I tested it, the site didn't seem to be working properly. Want to comment? Visit our forum thread: myGoogle Search.

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Google Opens European HQ
By Gary Price, Oct. 6, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041006-239

The Google Blog and this Channel News Asia article: Google sets up shop in tech-oriented Ireland, informs us that Google has just opened it's "European Headquarters" today in Dublin. Sergey, Larry, and the Irish Deputy Prime Minister were in attendance.

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