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The Search Engine Update - Number 194 - April 6, 2005

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In This Issue

+ SES International!
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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Hello Everyone--

I've tried something new in the newsletter this time. Many entries end with labels that correspond to how the story is categorized in our Search Topics area that's available to Search Engine Watch members. I thought it might be useful to help readers understand that there are other stories on these topics that have been categorized, in some cases stretching back for years.

The problem is that given this is a text-only newsletter, URLs are extracted from the original HTML content. If I kept in URLs to take you directly to the particular topic areas, it would make the newsletter even longer than it already is now.

Basically, if the categories listed whet your appetite to see more stories on the topic, simply click through on the article headline. That will bring up the story where the categories can be found at the end as links. Click on the link -- if you're a member -- and you'll be in the search topics area.

Hate it? Love it? Please let me know via the feedback link at the end of the newsletter.

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SES International!

After what turned out to be our biggest show ever in New York, Search Engine Strategies now heads outside the US. Our search marketing event arrives in Munich next week, Japan later this month, Toronto in May and London in June.

As with our US shows, each event will feature speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing. Details about all the events can be found via our Search Engine Strategies site. It also has preliminary details of our next US show in San Jose this August.

The Munich show is conducted mostly in German and focuses especially on German search marketing issues. The Toronto show will focus on Canadian issues, while the London show emphasizes UK and European issues.

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

SES NY 2005 Recap
SEW Blog, Apr. 6, 2005

There was an overwhelming amount of information and news that came out of the Search Engine Strategies show in New York last month. Looking to do some catching-up? Here's a guide to things you might review. (SEM Industry: Events)

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Google SEO Support Given To Advertisers
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Google & SEO Support For Advertisers now posted for Search Engine Watch members looks at how increased editorial listings support being given to large advertisers is raising concerns with search marketers and threatening the "church and state" division between ads and editorial results that Google has long sought to maintain. This blog post provides a summary of key issues covered in the article and some related reading, for non-members.

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More On Analytic Vendor Access To Yahoo's API
SEW Blog, Apr. 6, 2005

Controversy Mounts over Yahoo API Access from ClickZ covers concerns about Yahoo apparently not allowing some analytics vendors access to its advertiser API. In this post, a summary of how it may be that new analytics vendors not already using the API may get access in the future. See also our forum thread, Yahoo Could Be Dropping API Access to PPC. (SEM Industry | Yahoo: APIs)

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Playing with Kids' Search Engines
SearchDay, April 6, 2005

Looking for the best ways of discovering kid-friendly content on the web? Check out our just-updated listings and reviews of Kid Search Engines in this story.

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Google Using ODP Titles In Addition To Descriptions
SEW Blog, Apr. 6, 2005

Google has long used Open Directory descriptions in some cases for the web pages it lists. While that usage seems to have ramped up, it's doing something else I've never seen or heard of before -- using ODP titles for some of the pages in its listings. More in this post. (Google: Web Search | SEO: Titles & Descriptions | Yahoo: Web Search)

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Lycos To Distribute Ads Through AlmondNet Post-Search Network
SEW Blog, Apr. 5, 2005

Lycos in Deal for Search-Targeted Banner Ads from AdWeek covers how Lycos will be distributing its paid listings through the AlmondNet search behavioral targeting system I wrote about in January: New Search Behavioral Network Launched. It's the first significant paid listing vendor to publicly partner with AlmondNet. The company has other partners who haven't yet committed publicly. The AdWeek story also notes that Claria plans its own search behavioral targeting service, based on the data is gathers. See my Claria Debuts RelevancyRank: Search Ranking By Behavioral Activity article from last month for more about how that happens. (Other Engines: Lycos | Search Ads: Behavioral)

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Google Images Wins Cherry Tomato Challenge For Attribute Indexing
SEW Blog, Apr. 5, 2005

Tim Bray tests whether Google, Yahoo and MSN image search services can find images that make use of keywords only within the the ALT and TITLE attributes of an image tag. Google is the only one that can. The Cherry-Tomato Challenge and A Cherry-Tomato Winner tells the story. See also A Conversation with Tim Bray for more about Tim's background in search. (Search Research | Google: Images | MSN: Image Search | Search Types: Multimedia | Yahoo: Images)

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Google Debuts Satellite Images
SearchDay, April 5, 2005

Google has added high-resolution satellite images to its Maps and Local search services, offering a birdseye view of millions of locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. More details in this story. See also from Gary Price on the same day, Super Cool: Interact With Satellite and Aerial Images With NASA's World Wind Program. (Google: Maps | Search Types: Maps)

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Google Ranking Itself Tops For Britney Spears & The Need For Better Categorization
SEW Blog, Apr. 5, 2005

Stephan Spencer argues in "Does Google deserve a top 10 spot for 'britney spears'?" that Google is borderline spamming to come up in the top results for britney spears on its own site. I disagree. The content is relevant, nor are the changes suggested necessarily a solution to this "problem." C'mon along for a journey into the issues at hand. (Google: Web Search | Link Building | SEO: Spamming)

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Better Search Privacy Needs Addressing Overall
SEW Blog, Apr. 5, 2005

What Search Sites Know About You from Wired looks at the issue of search privacy. As usual, Google gets to be the whipping boy of concern when Yahoo and MSN, among others, should also be on stage for any potential criticism. There are concerns that the entire industry needs to address. More in this post. (Legal: Privacy)

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Click Fraud Suit Names Google, Yahoo & Other Search Companies
SEW Blog, Apr. 5, 2005

Rumors of a class action lawsuit over click fraud have been circulating for over a year. Now one may have finally arrived. Internet Firms Face Legal Test On Advertising Fees from the Wall Street Journal briefly describes a case filed in February by a group of advertisers against Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, AOL, Walt Disney, Lycos and FindWhat. They claim being improperly charged for fraudulent clicks. The lead plaintiff is Lane's Gifts & Collectibles, and the case filed in Arkansas seeks to be certified as a class action. See also our follow-up More On Click Fraud, The Lawsuit & The Need For Third Party Auditors, which has a few more details on the case and recaps a number of recent articles on the topic of click fraud. (Legal: Ads & Listings | Search Ads: Clickfraud)

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What the lsass.exe? Searching for Windows Processes
SearchDay, April 4, 2005

Ever wonder what all of those mysteriously-named Windows 'processes' are doing, and how they got loaded on your computer in the first place? Use the helpful ProcessLibrary.com to find out. This article explores more. (Search Types: Computers)

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Yahoo's FareChase Releases Hotel Search Beta
SEW Blog, Apr. 4, 2005

A beta released by Yahoo's FareChase service today allows you to simultaneously search multiple sites for hotel rates in the same manner you're able to search for airplane ticket prices. More in this blog post. (Search Types: Travel | Yahoo: Travel)

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Google To Start Indexing Web Video
SEW Blog, Apr. 4, 2005

News.com reports that Google cofounder Larry Page told an audience at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association show today that Google will soon provide access to more video content. Page said, "We're going to start taking video submissions from people" in the next few days." More in this post. (Google: Video)

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Google's First Venture Into Television
SEW Blog, Apr. 4, 2005

A new web-based TV station called Current was introduced in San Francisco. Backed by former US vice president Al Gore, Current will use Google search data and Google Zeitgeist lists for "Google Current" segments that will air each half-hour. More details in this post. (Google: Partnerships | Google: Promotions | Google: Video)

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Yahoo & FindWhat Face Off In Court This Month On Patents
SEW Blog, Apr. 4, 2005

Yahoo and Google settled their differences over a patent lawsuit involving paid listings last year, but Yahoo and FindWhat will duke it out in court later this month. Yahoo/FindWhat Patent Dispute Headed for Trial from ClickZ has more details. (Legal: Patents)

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American Blind Vs. Google Trademark Case To Go Forward
SEW Blog, Apr. 1, 2005

Google Takes Hit in U.S. Trademark Case from InternetNews.com notes that American Blind's case against Google over trademark infringement relating to paid ads is being allowed to go forward to trial. John Battelle has a copy of the ruling up here, for those interested in reading it. For some background, see also Search Engines Turning Trademark Law Upside Down and Trademark vs. Search: Do you Soo...gle?. (Legal: Ads & Listings | Legal: Trademarks)

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New Google Patent May Give Sandbox & Inner Workings Info
SEW Blog, Apr. 1, 2005

A newly filed Google patent -- Information retrieval based on historical data -- has search boards buzzing on whether it's providing new insight as to how Google operates. Many are finding things described fit the "sandbox" idea of sites not doing well until they've matured over time. Key links in this post and in the follow-up Breaking Down Google's New Search Patent Application post. (Google: Technology | Google: Web Search | Legal: Patents)

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, April 1, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Discuss the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards - Switching Overture Listings On & Off - Is Search Marketing Ready For A Standards Organization? - What To Do When You're Kicked Out of Adsense - Using Trailing Slash In Linking, and more. (SEM Industry: Forums)

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Yahoo Search Issues Index Weather Report
SEW Blog, Apr. 1, 2005

I couldn't be happier. Yahoo picks up the suggestion that many search marketers have wanted (and also see this), an official "weather report" letting them know if an index change was about to happen. Put up your umbrellas, folks, because the weather's about to change on Yahoo. More from the Yahoo Search Blog: Yahoo Launching New Search Index Tonight, including an email address to report any issues spotted. And yep, it's for real. (Yahoo: Web Search)

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April Fool's Jokes For Search: 2005
SEW Blog, Apr. 1, 2005

Lots of funny stories out for April Fool's Day relating to search. In this post, we list a bunch of them! (Search & Society: April Fools)

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No Foolin, Gmail Remains in Beta But Increases Amount of Storage Space
SEW Blog, Apr. 1, 2005

Gmail remains in beta but doubling the amount of storage space it offers from 1GB to 2GB and then will add a "yet-to-be-determined amount of extra storage daily with no plans to stop." More details in this News.com article and further background in this post. Also see 1GB: Yahoo Mail Users Getting Storage Space Increase for news on a Yahoo space increase that came before the Google announcement. (Google: Gmail | Yahoo: Mail)

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Winners Of 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards Announced
SEW Blog, Mar. 31, 2005

The votes have been counted, the editors have deliberated, and Yahoo has won the Outstanding Search Service category in the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards, breaking Google's four year streak. But Google wins in several other categories: Best News Search Engine, Best US Shopping Search Engine, Most SEO/Webmaster Friendly Search Provider and Best Search Ads Provider. A summary of all awards in each category is below. For a long rundown with details about the awards, comments and more, please see the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards page. Also see our forum thread, Discuss the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards, where Chris Sherman and I answer questions about the award and how next year, we may do both "people's choice" and "editor's choice" selections.

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WordPress Caught Spamming After Enlisting To Fight Spam
SEW Blog, Mar. 31, 2005

Back in January, blogging software provider WordPress was one of several vendors that signed on to support the new nofollow attribute designed to stem blog and search spam. That's why it was so ironic when it emerged yesterday that WordPress has been spamming search engines itself. A detailed look, in this article. (SEO: Spamming)

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Searching for People with ZoomInfo
SearchDay, March 31, 2005

ZoomInfo is a free service that's gathered information about more than 25 million peopleincluding you, if you have even a minimal presence on the web. The longer version of this story for Search Engine Watch members describes how to create your own ZoomInfo profile, or edit or delete information in your existing profile, if the company has already created one about you. (Search Types: People & Public Records)

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Google Prefetch Will Autoload Some Results
SEW Blog, Mar. 31, 2005

Google released a new feature today for Firefox and Mozilla users that allows them to "prefetch" the first result from a serp into their browser even before clicking the result link. More in this post. (Google: Browser | Google: Web Search | SEM Tips: Measuring | Search Features)

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Making Your Searches More Contextually Aware
SearchDay, March 30, 2005

Aware is a desktop search application that learns from context, automatically fine-tuning your search results and providing controls that allow you to influence the importance of your search terms. (Search Types: Personalized)

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NetIQ To Spin Off WebTrends
SEW Blog, Mar. 29, 2005

NetIQ is selling its WebTrends web analytics division -- which also is home to the WebPosition rank checking tool -- to the division's management team and a private investment firm Francisco Partners for $94 million. WebTrends to Go It Alone from ClickZ has more. (SEM Tools)

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On Yahoo's Mojo & The Tiresome Need For Perspective
SEW Blog, Mar. 29, 2005

I'd largely agree with Om Malik's idea that Yahoo is a sharper company that seen in the past, which he addresses in his How Yahoo Got Its Mojo Back. But perhaps a little perspective is in order. Yahoo's successes don't necessarily mean Google is failing. Some selected points and counterpoints in this article. Also see Yahoo Has Google's Mojo: Round Two, where I look at how Second sight from The Guardian falls into the same trap of oversimplifying things into a "Yahoo whomps Google" situation. From TheStreet, Yahoo Sharpens Its Tech Edge takes a more balanced look at how Yahoo never really lost its groove but that instead, new initiatives are being better recognized, especially as it buys into areas with lots of buzz such as RSS and social networking. (Google | Yahoo)

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Looking for Links In All The Wrong Places?
SearchDay, March 29, 2005

In their frenzy to build links to curry favor with the major search engines, web site owners miss a far more important audience that's increasingly turning to topical search sites. (Link Building)

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Yahoo 360 Community Site Opens, Sort Of
SEW Blog, Mar. 29, 2005

Yahoo's 360 social networking-blogging-photo sharing service offiically opens, as the Yahoo Search Blog is tells the world in Yahoo 3600 - A New Model for Online Sharing. Want to try it? Sorry, it's invite only, for the moment. More about the service in this post. Also see a related post, Yahoo 360 Invites for Sale on eBay; Washington Post Calls Service "Confusing" (Google: Orkut | Portal Features: Social Networking | Yahoo: 360)

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Google To Acquire Urchin Web Analytics Firm
SEW Blog, Mar. 29, 2005

Google is to acquired the Urchin web analytics firm, which provides both hosted and log-based tools for understanding how people are interacting with web sites. More in this post. (Google: Revenues | SEM Tips: Conversion | SEM Tools | Yahoo: Web Analytics)

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Enhancing Your Image with Snap.com
SearchDay, March 28, 2005

Logos help build brand awareness, and upstart search engine Snap makes it easy for you to add your corporate image to search results. (Other Engines)

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, March 25, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Can Tagging Help Search? - Yahoo Buys Flickr - Ask Jeeves Bought By IAC - Yahoo Could Be Dropping API Access to PPC - Deceptive Advertising in Search Results - Google Placing Less Emphasis On Link Popularity?, and more. (SEM Industry: Forums)

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Why Quality Content is Key For Search Engines
SearchDay, March 24, 2005

How did the subject of 'content' find its way onto the agenda of a search engine marketing conference? Because often, higher rankings in search engines go to websites with higher quality content that earn more links. (SEM Industry: Forums | SEO)

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Yahoo Releases Creative Commons Search Tool
SEW Blog, Mar. 24, 2005

Yahoo has partnered with Creative Commons and released a new resource that restricts a web search (using the Yahoo web index) to content available with a Creative Commons license. You're also able to limit a query to find content available for commercial purposes and/or content that can modified, adapted, or built upon. Most of Yahoo's advanced search syntax appears to work. More in this post. (Legal: Copyright | Search Types: Other | Yahoo: Other Services)

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Ads On Ask & Could Paid Listings Take Prime Position?
SEW Blog, Mar. 23, 2005

In The Search Interface Of The Future from MediaPost, David Berkowitz looks at future history, envisioning a move where Ask Jeeves puts paid listings in the prime left-hand column of results, with unpaid results relegated to the less noticed right hand side. An uproar ("Boycott The Butler") ensues, but Ask -- to some degree like GoTo back in 1998 -- holds its ground. Traffic survives, and revenues skyrocket. Others eventually follow, but then a crash happens when consumers ultimately train themselves to still seek out the "natural" results wherever they are. It's a funny story, well worth a read, but it's not necessarily fiction. A look at how this is sort of already happening, in real life. (Ask: Ads | Search Ads)

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Writing for Search Engines
SearchDay, March 23, 2005

Success in search engines almost always means striking a delicate balance between applying search optimization techniques to web pages and creating high-quality, meaningful content. Effective writing for search engines is the key to achieving this balance. (SEO | SEO: Meta Tags | SEO: Site Design)

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Three Newspaper Publishers Acquire 75% of Topix net
SEW Blog, Mar. 23, 2005

Three newspaper publishers (Tribune, Knight-Ridder, and Gannett) are jointly acquiring 75 percent of the Topix.net news search engine. More details in this post. (Revenues: Acquisitions | Search Types: News)

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Tagging Not Likely The Killer Solution For Search
SEW Blog, Mar. 22, 2005

In case you've missed it, there's been an explosion of interest in "tagging," the idea that if everyone labels photos, blogs and so on, we'll more easily be able to find what we're looking for. But all the interest (dare I say hype) is largely ignoring the fact that we've had tagging on the web for going on 10 years, and the experience on the search side is that it can't be trusted. More in this post. (SEO: Meta Tags)

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Yahoo Posts Ad Guidelines & Ad API Info
SEW Blog, Mar. 22, 2005

Yahoo has posted new guidelines about what's acceptable in its search advertising plus some information about its long-standing API system for advertisers. More details in this post. (Search Ads: Editorial Policies | Yahoo: APIs | Yahoo: Search Ads)

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Google News Says Au Revoir to Agence France Press Content Following Lawsuit
SEW Blog, Mar. 22, 2005

Less than a week after Agence France Press filed a lawsuit (see Agence France Presse Sues Google over News Content) against Google alleging copyright infringement of its content by Google, the folks in Mountain View will no longer index AFP material and remove old AFP content from the Google News index. The eWeek article: Google to Drop AFP from News Index, provides more details. If you would like to read the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in DC, we've posted it here: Full Text Court Filings: Agence France Press v. Google (Google: Legal | Google: News | Legal: Copyright | Legal: Crawling & Linking)

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NetRatings Search Popularity & Loyalty Figures For Jan. 2005
SEW Blog, Mar. 22, 2005

I've posted new, improved search-specific stats from NetRatings painting a picture of search popularity in the US for January 2005. In the past, NetRatings didn't provide stats based on search volume, which I feel provides a better picture of which search engines are being used the most. Now those stats are available. For last January, they show what you'd probably expect. Google is in the lead, followed by Yahoo, then MSN and AOL. Check them out here: Nielsen NetRatings Search Engine Ratings. For Search Engine Watch members, I've also done a longer analysis of the figures, comparing them to some recent comScore ones. I also looked at some some interesting "crossover" or "search loyalty" statistics that NetRatings released (link to PDF file) earlier this month. That members article is here: NetRatings Search Popularity & Loyalty Figures. (Stats: NetRatings | Stats: Popularity | Stats: Search Behavior)

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Just the Facts, Please
SearchDay, March 22, 2005

While the major search engines continue to dabble with shortcuts to reference sources, Wikipedia and Answers.com have quietly evolved into two of the most comprehensive online search resources for quick, free and reliable ready reference information. (Search Features | Search Tips | Search Types: Answers/Facts)

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Is Cloaking Deceptive Advertising? Not Necessarily
SEW Blog, Mar. 22, 2005

Search Marketing Techniques, Deceptive Advertising Laws & Other Laws from Alan Perkins at Search Engine Guide looks at how laws about deceptive advertising might be applied to search marketing. Alan's long argued that cloaking could be considered deceptive advertising, and he tries to build that case here -- the deception being that the search engine itself was being deceived about the real relevancy of a page. I disagree in this article that the deception can be definited to the tactic rather than the actual content. (Legal: Ads & Listings | SEO: Cloaking | SEO: Spamming)

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BlowSearch Offers Source Exclusion; When Will The Majors Do The Same?
SEW Blog, Mar. 21, 2005

BlowSearch's new PPC program will offer source exclusion. What's that, and why should the major providers give it to advertisers? More in this post. (Search Ads)

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MSN Shopping Beta Tests New Version
SEW Blog, Mar. 21, 2005

MSN Tests Shopping Search Engine from MediaPost has some details about a new comparison shopping service that MSN is testing, the MSN Shopping Beta. Shopping search isn't new to MSN. It's long had a shopping area (once called eShop, now currently MSN Shopping). In fact, a link to shopping search was offered on the MSN Search site until several months ago. It was quietly withdrawn until the new shopping search is ready for a full public debut, I was told earlier this month by someone at MSN. So check out the new beta, which is meant to provide a more comprehensive round-up of products than the existing service along with other features. And expect that shopping link to return at MSN Search in the near future. (MSN: Shopping | Search Types: Shopping)

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AOL Launches Pinpoint Travel
SearchDay, March 21, 2005

AOL's new Pinpoint Travel is an ambitious effort to provide truly comprehensive travel search that consumers can trust to provide the best options, not just inventory a travel provider or agency is anxious to sell. (AOL: Travel | Search Types: Travel)

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Official: IAC/InterActive Corp To Acquires Ask Jeeves
SEW Blog, Mar. 21, 2005

The story is now crossing the wires that it's official, IAC/InterActive Corp will acquire Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion in stock. For some additional background, see also our earlier post WSJ: IAC/InterActiveCorp Close to Acquiring Ask Jeeves. See also this followup post, IAC-Ask Jeeves 2005 Vs. IAC-Lycos 1999 & The Need For Being Inclusive. (Ask: Revenues | Revenues: Acquisitions)

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Yahoo Acquires Flickr
SEW Blog, Mar. 20, 2005

Yahoo is acquiring the web-based photo sharing site, Flickr. A post on the FlickrBlog says that Flickr's parent company has been acquired by the folks in Sunnyvale. The post also notes that Flickr WILL NOT become Yahoo Photos but Yahoo Photos and other Yahoo services will offer Flickr features. A bit more in this post. (Revenues: Acquisitions | Search Types: Multimedia | Yahoo: Photo & Flickr | Yahoo: Revenues)

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, March 18, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: New Search Ads Program Coming From MSN - Microsoft Search Advertisers Gets too Personal - The Complete AdSense Terms & New Features Update - Why Does Yahoo Add Strange Query String to Pages Indexed? - Click Fraud Check - How to Proceed? - Local Search Summarized: A Fascinating Lack of Data and Definition, and more. (SEM Industry: Forums)

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More From The SEW Blog
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Google Testing New Related Searches & Clustering System?
By Gary Price, Apr. 6, 2005

Search Engine Lowdown spots a new feature that Google might be testing that shows "try alternate searches" and groups results by topic. More on this post and the SEL site. (Google: Web Search | Search Features: Clustering | Search Features: Related Searches)

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Talking With MSN Search
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Interview with MSN's Web Search Team from Rand Fiskin at SEOmoz covers a range of topics, such as why the service was created, understanding its in a solid third place versus Google and Yahoo but hoping that being in the game will change that, some brief coverage on dealing with spam and other topics. (MSN)

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Got Good Rep? Strut That In Your Search Ads
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Give Your PPC Ad "Authority" and your CTR will skyrocket from Search Engine Guide has some nice advice on ensuring your play up your company's reputation in ads as a means of increasing clickthrough. (Search Ads: Creative)

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Feedster Adds Search Term Highlighting
By Gary Price, Apr. 6, 2005

The Feeedster blog/RSS feed engine is now highlighting your search terms in their static search result snippets. For example, you'll see that my search terms (Ipod and shuffle) bolded in the result snippets. (Search Features: Highlighting | Search Types: Blogs & Feeds)

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Online & Search Spending Rose In First Quarter 2005
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Internet Ad Spending Up In First Quarter from MediaPost reports of a new study finding online ad spend continued to grow in the first quarter of this year. See this post for a highlight focusing on search. (Search Ads: Spend Forecasts | Stats: Spend Forecasts)

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Travellazer Crawls For Travel Content
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Relatively new site Travelazer says it identifies sites as travel-related, then spiders them to provide searches that are focused to travel-related content. The spider identifies pages that seem to contain a variety of travel-related terms, to know if they should be included. Want to submit? Sorry, there's no option for that yet. (Search Types: Travel)

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Retaining Your In House SEM People
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Those who are good at search marketing are in great demand. So if you've got a good in-house SEM person, how do you keep them from jumping ship? Patricia Fusco at ClickZ in How to Retain a Good In-House SEM Professional offers suggestions beyond just keeping them well paid. (SEO: In House)

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Google Definitions Goes Multilingual
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

The Google Definitions service is now providing word definitions in languages in other than English, according to the Google Blog. The feature is described here. Exactly what additional languages are now being covered isn't said. Note that Google Definitions are generated automatically by Google and a completely different service from the definition links it provides to Answers.com -- the [definition” link that appears in the blue reverse bar at the top right-hand side of search results pages, next to the query count number. More on that here. (Google: Definitions | Search Features: Direct Answers)

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Ars Technica Reviews Desktop Search Tools
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Ars Technica tests and recaps major desktop search tools in Windows desktop search tools. From the conclusion, MSN Desktop Search comes out on top at the reviewers personal favorite, though anyone interested in web history search needs is pointed at Google Desktop. On a point basis, MSN gets 9, Copernic 9, Google 8, Yahoo 7, Ask 5. See also another review from Forbes with MSN winning "hands down" and Seeking a More Intuitive Search Tool from the Washington Post for another round-up. Google essentially comes out on top there, followed by MSN. (Search Types: Desktop)

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myGmaps Lets You Tag Google Maps
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 6, 2005

Want to tag and annotate Google Maps with your own information? myGmaps is a new service spotted via GoogleBlogoscoped that lets you do this. For example, here's a quick map I did for a good place for burgers in Newport Beach and the local Fry's Electronics, for after you are done eating. You can put whatever you want into the pop-up boxes. Just hover over the two points on the map, and you'll see examples of this. (Google: Maps)

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Sabre Holdings Purchases IgoUgo Travel Info Community and Database
By Gary Price, Apr. 5, 2005

Dow Jones reports that a major player in travel, Sabre Holdings, has purchased the online travel community and searchable vertical database of travel reviews, IgoUgo, for an undisclosed sum in an effort to offer more travel info and also get involved with paid search. Highlights and more in this post. (Revenues: Acquisitions | Search Types: Travel)

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Google Removes Child Porn Post & Reports To FBI
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

Child Pornography Complaint at Chilling Effects illustrates how Google received a complaint of child pornography in its Google Groups service, causing the company to remove the post and report the incident to the FBI. Google reporting to the FBI? As Chilling Effects explains, it's something electronic service providers are apparently required to do. Other search engines have probably taken similar actions, but Google is still unique to my knowledge in publishing its takedown actions to Chilling Effects. (Google: Groups | Legal: Ads & Listings | Legal: Government Regulation)

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Online Spend Beats Radio In The UK
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

My wife used to be in radio promotions with the solid job when I went into that fly-by-night internet stuff. Well, love, online advertising in the UK just nudged out spend on radio, 3.9 percent for online versus 3.8 for radio in 2004. Figures are promised in the next few weeks to breakdown online spend by category. Expect search likely to be a significant chunk. Won't it be interesting (perhaps inevitable) if in a few years, search itself manages to outspend radio? More details from ClickZ: U.K. Online Ad Spend Edges Out Radio. (Search Ads: Spend Forecasts | Stats: Spend Forecasts)

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Yahoo Adds Firefox Toolbar for Mac and Linux Users; Anti-Spy Feature Also Added
By Gary Price, Apr. 5, 2005

Yahoo has released a version of the Yahoo Toolbar with antispyware for Firefox users and versions for Mac and Linux users of Firefox. More details here. (Yahoo: Toolbar)

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Jux2 Results Pages Receive Makeover
By Gary Price, Apr. 5, 2005

Results pages on Jux2, the 2005 Search Engine Watch Award winner for best meta search engine have just received a makeover. Tabs on results pages now allow you to move easily between four types of results: Best Results (Results merged into a single list from all three engines); What "Google is Missing" (Results in Ask Jeeves and Yahoo but not Google); Results that Only Google Found; Direct link to Google results page. A few more details in this blog post. (Search Types: Meta)

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The German Greens Don't Like Google, Either
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

German Greens Worry About Google from Google Blogoscoped looks at how the German green party has decided that Google may be a monopoly worth resisting. As Philipp at Google Blogoscoped says, they don't really raise any new worries and actually sound dated at a time when Google is facing strong competition from Yahoo and Google. (Google: Critics)

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Surfing Seasonality With Search Marketing
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

In Seasonality and SEM Campaigns from ClickZ, Fredrick Marckini looks at how search marketers need to react to seasonal and season-like events, in order to catch a growing wave of interest, rather than see other marketers surf past you on it. (SEM Tips)

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MSN Chooses WhitePages For Phone Listings
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

MSN Replaces InfoSpace With WhitePages.com covers MSN dropping InfoSpace as its white pages provider in the US and shifting instead to WhitePages.com. MSN partners by linking out via the Look It Up section in the left-hand navigation of its home page. (MSN: Other Services | Search Types: People & Public Records)

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Searching For WiFi Hotspots
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

Heading off on that big trip and need to locate the nearest WiFi hot spot? WiFi Search Sites Offer Spring Freedom from Jennifer Laycock at Search Engine Guide has a rundown on resources to try. Also bookmark Geektels, a directory to hotels offering high speed acccess. Chris Sherman did a review of the service back in 2002: Searching for High Speed Hotels, and it still looks to be going. (Search Types: Computers | Search Types: Mobile | Search Types: Travel)

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Yahoo Auto-Linker Tool For Adding Links To Content
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

Philipp Lenssen from Google Blogoscoped has created Yahoo Auto-Linker, which taps into the Yahoo API to automatically insert links into any content you might have on your web site. More about how it works in this post. (SEM Tools | Yahoo: APIs)

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Google News Undertakes Consumer Ad Campaign In Japan
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 5, 2005

Google will undertake its first significant consumer marketing campaign to promote Google News in Japan. Google turns to advertising in Japan from the Industry Standard has details of posters that will be placed on subway and railway trains in Tokyo, as well as banner ads online. (Google: Promotions)

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Spain Says Hola to Ask Jeeves
By Gary Price, Apr. 5, 2005

Ask Jeeves has just released a beta version of their new search service for Spain. The engine provides access to both web and image databases. Three radio buttons below the search box allow the searcher to limit their search to Spanish language content (default), sites from Spain, or the entire web. Like other AJ web search services, relevancy is determined using their Teoma technology. More details in this post. (Ask: Non-US)

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On Spelling Correction and the Collective Knowledge of Web Users
By Gary Price, Apr. 4, 2005

Spelling correction as an iterative process that exploits the collective knowledge of web users written by Silviu-Petru Cucerzan and Eric Brill, both are part of Microsoft's Text Mining Search and Navigation Research team might be of worth a read by the techies out there who have interest in spelling correction systems. (Search Research)

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Yahoo Files Proxy Statement with SEC
By Gary Price, Apr. 4, 2005

Yahoo filed their latest proxy statement (DEF 14A) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You'll find officer bios, info about executive compensation, and and read about what will be voted on at the Yahoo Annual Meeting next month in Santa Clara. (Yahoo: Revenues)

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More On Yahoo's Media Group & Yahoo Wins MSN Content Exec
By Gary Price, Apr. 4, 2005

Yahoo's plans to be a player in providing access to various types of entertainment content is discssed in the AP article: Yahoo raises eyebrows with Hollywood push. On a related note, ClickZ reports in Yahoo Poaches MSN Content Exec that Scott Moore is leaving his post as MSN's general manager of programming to become the VP of content operations with Yahoo's Media Group. See also Yahoo's SoCal plans take shape from News.com for some brief details of openings for news editors, finance content partners and others. (MSN: Revenues | Yahoo: Media Group | Yahoo: Revenues)

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Looking Inside Yahoo News
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 4, 2005

Inside Yahoo News from the Online Journalism Review looks behind the scenes about how Yahoo News is creating, ranging from human editors involved with Yahoo Full Coverage, through how use of RSS/feeds are growing, to partnerships with wire services for content that have saved it from getting sued, such as AFP is currently doing to Google. (Search Types: News | Yahoo: News)

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Google: We Do Have A Grand Plan
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 4, 2005

Living by Google Rules from Newsweek is a revisit to the challenges Google faces against stiff competition. Revisit? Sure, because we saw these types of articles before last year, as people were dubious about Google's IPO and worried that Microsoft would simply sweep Google away. But it's a good big picture review. A recap in this post. (Google | Google: Revenues)

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Blinkx 3.0 Goes Live
By Gary Price, Apr. 4, 2005

Blinkx is online today with the release of Blinkx 3.0 (Windows only) that now combines (into a single results list) material from the web, your desktop, Blinkx TV, and other databases. Another new feature is a document preview window with support for more than 200 file formats. More in this post. (Toolbars & Utilities)

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MSN Search Champs: The Sequel
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 4, 2005

Last year, MSN Search generated some initial good buzz for itself -- plus gained some product feedback -- by inviting a number of bloggers and others to take part in its "Search Champs" program. Search Champs V2 gets going this month. More in this post. (MSN: Promotions | MSN: Search Champs)

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Google Joins Yahoo & Ask With Direct Display Of Stock Market Data In Results
By Gary Price, Apr. 4, 2005

Google has joined Yahoo and Ask Jeeves and is now placing a current stock chart and other info directly into search results pages. Previously, you had to click a second time to get to this info. More in this post. (Ask: Smart Search | Google: OneBox & Direct Answers | Search Features: Direct Answers | Yahoo: Shortcuts)

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Babelplex Translates Queries For Google
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 4, 2005

Need to search for something in a language you don't know, say "digital cameras" in German? Babelplex lets you enter the words you want to search for, then pick the language to translate them into, then lets you view the results side-by-side on Google. More in this post. (Search Features: Translation)

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Local Search: Asking For & Maybe Gaming Reviews
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 1, 2005

You know local search is maturing when local merchants are ensuring that clients give them positive online reviews. As Local Search Grows, So Does Temptation To Post Shill 'Reviews' from MediaPost takes a look. I think it's hardly "semi-guerilla marketing" at all for merchants to ask to be reviewed. That's commonplace for a lot of online sellers at eBay, Amazon and elsewhere. The concern is really more about whether companies will fake good reviews for themselves and bad ones for their competitors. Of course, they will eventually, and it will be interesting to see how local search players respond. (SEM Tips: Local Search | SEO: Spamming | Search Types: Local)

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New From Google Labs: Google Ride Finder
By Gary Price, Mar. 31, 2005

New from Google Labs is Google Ride Finder. This service uses GPS data to pinpoint and map (using Google Maps) the location of taxis, limos, and shuttle vehicles available for hire in 10 U.S. metro areas. More in this post. (Google: Local | Google: Maps | Search Types: Local)

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Yahoo Adds New Options to YQ
By Gary Price, Mar. 31, 2005

News from Sunnyvale that YQ (Yahoo's contextual search technology that was released as a beta in February) is offering a few new features for web page authors who embed YQ into their pages. Jeremy Zawodny has the details on the Yahoo Search Blog. Zawodny also writes that he is looking for some volunteers to test some new features for an upcoming Y!Q release. (Yahoo: YQ)

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Update: Adversarial Information Retrieval Workshop
By Chris Sherman, Mar. 31, 2005

The First International Workshop on Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web workshop, to be held at the 14th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2005), 10-14 May 2005, Chiba, Japan, is shaping up to be a promising event. If you're thinking of attending you might want to register today; early registration rates end March 31. A number of prominent researchers have already submitted papers to the workshop, at it looks like it's going to be a great anti-black-hat event. Read on in this post for a full list of accepted papers. (SEO: Spamming | Search Research: Events)

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Google Files Annual Report With SEC
By Gary Price, Mar. 30, 2005

Google filed their first annual report (10-K) with the Security and Exchange Commission. You can find the full text here. Supporting documents are linked on this page and include a list of Google's subsidiaries. See also Google Acquires Zipdash and More From The Google Annual Report for pointers to some places breaking down the report. (Google: Revenues | Revenues: Acquisitions)

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WSJ On Using Search To Build Brand
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 30, 2005

Your Ad Here, 10 Words Max from the Wall Street Journal (sub. required to read) looks at how search ads are being used to boost branding rather than to generate sales directly. Intel is just getting its name out with search. Pitney Bowes is said to be trying to build mindshare among executives that later might become customers. (Search Ads: Branding)

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Keeping Current With Persistent Search Tools
By Gary Price, Mar. 30, 2005

The Wall Street Journal is online with an about persistent search from companies like PubSub. The article is titled: New Web-Watching Tools Pique Interest of Investors. More bout these type of tools in this post. (Search Features: Feeds, Alerts & Monitoring | Search Types: Blogs & Feeds)

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CGI Holding Buys More, Changing Name To Think Partnership
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 30, 2005

CGI Holding Corporation, the company of many search marketing brands, has gained additional ones recently and will undergo a name change to Think Partnership. More in this post. (Revenues: Acquisitions | SEM Industry | SEM Industry: Outsourcing)

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Digital Impact To Be Acquired By Acxiom
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 30, 2005

Data management and marketing company Acxiom is to acquire Digital Impact, giving the company a new search marketing presence. Digital Impact gained search marketing capabilities through its acquisition of Marketleap last year. Acxiom to Acquire Digital Impact from ClickZ and Acxiom Acquires Digital Impact from MediaPost. (Revenues: Acquisitions)

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Can The Cookie Be Saved?
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 30, 2005

Crumbling Cookies Threaten SEM and Online Advertising from Kevin Lee at ClickZ looks at how a growing number of consumers eschewing cookies may make tracking conversions more difficult, thus impacting measuring search marketing effectiveness. He urges for various organizations to band together to save the cookie through education. Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Protecting Cookies from Deletion. (Legal: Privacy | SEM Industry: Standards | SEM Tips: Measuring)

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Google Employee On 20 Percent Time
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 30, 2005

Many of you have heard about the "20 percent time" Google employees are allowed to spend on anything they want. In Google 20%, Google software developer Joe Beda blogs his personal views on how it works. It's an i


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