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The Search Engine Update - Number 182 - October 6, 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:

Google Print Opens Widely To Publishers
SearchDay, Oct. 6, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3417931

Google's nearly year-old Google Print program is set for a huge expansion of content through the launch of a new program today allowing publishers to more easily submit material for inclusion.

This longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members examines copyright protections in place to protect publishers, has more tips on getting started with Google Print and examines the opportunity for merchants to use Froogle to tap into Google Print traffic. Also see our sidebar More Full Text Books for several other services out there that offer searchable, full text and full image, access to book material online.

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Yahoo Introduces Personal Search
SearchDay, Oct. 5, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3417111

Yahoo has enhanced its My Yahoo service with personalization features including search history, the ability to save pages to a 'personal web' and block URLs from appearing in search results. This article is from Chris, who finds personalization at Yahoo is nicely done but underpowered compared to some other similar services and more a good start than a must-use application, in his view.

I'm much more positive and explain why in My Yahoo Search Offers Personal Search Features -- plus note that Google has no future plans for search memory-style tools to announce at this time. I hope they get them soon, because I'm finding them compelling.

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Search Personalization: A Marketer's Perspective
Search Engine Watch, Oct. 5, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3417131

Companion to our Yahoo Introduces Personal Search story exclusively for Search Engine Watch members that provides tips for search marketers on preparing for the coming of personalized search results, including a close-up look at how the My Yahoo Search "Block Site" feature works.

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MSN Search Preview Back Online
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 4, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/blog/article.php/3417071

MSN has just released a new preview of its forthcoming new search engine with more documents and additional features.

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Yahoo Local Officially Launches
SearchDay, Oct. 4, 2004
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3416421

After just two months in testing, Yahoo has pushed its local search out of beta and is giving the service prominent exposure on the Yahoo home page.

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Overture PPC Advertiser Center Changes
Search Engine Watch Forums, Oct. 4, 2004
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?threadid=1959

Overture upgraded the Advertiser center over the weekend, adding a daily budget function and other new features. Post your comments here.

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More Chinese Censorship At Google? I Think Not
Search Engine Watch Blog, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-209

Zhang Lin's translated account on Epoch Times, My Experience of Google's Censorship, explains how a search on his name at Google reveals tons of "omitted" results, another apparent sign of Google caving into the Chinese authorities. Well, almost certainly not. I explain why in this article.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Oct. 1, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3415891

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Click-Fraud Said to be 50% of Clicks - PPC [Pay Per Click” And Affiliate Marketing, Will It Last? - Press Releases for Link Development - New Adwords Traffic Estimator - AdWords: Is Broadmatch Really Bad? - Marketing Tactics with Shopping Search Engines - How To Optimize PDFs

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1P / Traffic Power Fake SEO Forum
Search Engine Watch Forums, Sept. 30, 2004
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=1911

Are search forums letting people report bad experiences with your company? Fight back by creating your own forums! That appears to have been one company's strategy, and it's got people buzzing.

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Reducing Information Overkill
SearchDay, Sep. 30, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3415071

Vivisimo has launched Clusty, a meta search engine with an impressive array of tools that helps you quickly find relevant results from a variety of information sources.

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Shopping Search Tactics
SearchDay, Sep. 29, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3413541

Shopping search engines make it easy for people to research and buy products. They can also be a powerful and cost-effective customer acquisition channel for merchants.

This longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members offers additional tips and strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of shopping search feeds, including the importance of doing cost analysis to make sure that an adequate ROI is being achieved through a shopping search campaign, how to take advantage of additional promotional opportunities through Shopping.com and additional guidelines for preparing and monitoring your inventory on shopping search engines.

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Google News In Beta To Avoid Ad Lawsuits?
Search Engine Watch Blog, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-159

Google News: Beta Not Make Money from Wired theorizes that Google has kept the "beta" moniker on Google News for so long because it's afraid that removing it -- and adding ads -- would cause it to be subject to copyright lawsuits. Maybe. But the same argument about lifting headlines and lead paragraphs is already applicable to the long-standing Google web search service. No one I know of has seriously sued Google over that. More from me on this via this article.

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iZito & Ujiko: Meta Search With Personality
Search Engine Watch Blog, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-156

iZito is a new meta search engine with a clever feature. Click on any listing you are interested in using the P icon next to the listing title. That "parks" the listing into your to do list. Click on the P tab, and you can see all the pages you've culled. A longer review via this article, plus a look at some similar cool search memory features at Ujiko.

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Click-Fraud said to be 50% of clicks
Search Engine Watch Forums, Sept. 29, 2004
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?threadid=1887

Just how invasive is click fraud today? Talk about inflated numbers and find ways to investigate click fraud.

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Search Marketing in Europe
SearchDay, Sep. 28, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3408621

Search marketing is increasingly global, but a local focus is still vital to achieve your goals. What does it take to have a successful search marketing campaign in Europe?

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Yahoo, How About A Feed Search Tab?
Search Engine Watch Blog, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-149

I've only begun to play with the new My Yahoo Beta I was excited that it was now possible to easily search for just web feeds, rather than having to do an entire web search and hope that feeds might also show up in association with a web page listing. But man, what a pain to get to this. A short guide to finding the info, plus info on the beta itself.

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Google's Revenue Is Not All Search-Derived (AKA Gmail Isn't Search)
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-148

So Gmail ads might be bigger than search ads for Google, we learn in this New York Post story: You Got Mail (& Ads). How about an important correction? Almost all of Google's revenue does NOT come from placement on its search engine, as I explain more in this post -- plus revisit concerns I have with contextual spending being lumped in with search.

A follow-up article, More On Mixing Contextual & Search Spending, looks at how AdSense doesn't just mean contextual at Google any more. Instead, it's an umbrella term they now use to represent both "AdSense for search" and AdSense for content."

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Is Google News Biased?
SearchDay, Sep. 27, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3412721

Google News tends to favor news stories with a conservative bias, according to new media observer J.D. Lasica, a claim which Google denies. Chris Sherman shares his thoughts in this article. I also take a look at the issue via this blog post: Postscript On Google News & Bias.

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Got To Censor Search Listings? Why Not Disclose?
Search Engine Watch Blog, Sep. 27, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040927-141

Google's explanation for omitting some China news sources to improve the quality of the service can sound like a euphemism, such as calling a computer bug a "feature." But the point is that Google doesn't want to run links to content that those in China cannot actually reach.

John Battelle fleshes this point out more in his Google News And China post. He also suggest something I was thinking of myself. Why not at least show that something was omitted, in the way that Google already disclosures of data omitted in response to US laws? A further look at the idea, in this article.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sep. 24, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3412381

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google - Paid inclusion? - Gbrowser - The Google Browser - Directory - Linkfarm, Where Exactly Is the Difference? - How Fair Is the Link Popularity Algorithm? - Ask Jeeves & Citysearch Partnership Goes Live - Pay Per Click Shopping Sites - Microsoft Using Doorway Pages

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Looksmart Acquires Furl.net
SearchDay, Sep. 23, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3411601

Looksmart has thrown its hat into the 'personal web' ring, with the acquisition of Furl.net, a web page clipping and archiving service.

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Search Spending Continues To Rise -- But Contextual Is Lumped In
Search Engine Watch Blog, Sep. 20, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040920-82

In the second quarter of this year, paid search advertising was nearly $1 billion -- a 29 percent rise from the same period as a year ago. It also makes up 40 percent of all online ad spending. This is according to new figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Contextual ads -- which are NOT search advertising -- are unfortunately lumped into these figures. In my book, that makes the figures misleading. They give no idea what's really fueling the rise -- more spending on search, more spending on contextual or what?

Also see More On Mixing Contextual & Search Spending, which revisits the report, touches on concerns that search is "slowing" and explains why paid search spending could have been tracked earlier than 2002.

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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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Most Searched For Shopping Brand?
By Gary Price, Oct. 6, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041006-237

What's the most popular search for brand in the shopping category? Amazon? Walmart? Nope, according to some just released stats from Hitwise, it's eBay. Details and stats via this blog entry.

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The Virtual Reference Service
By Gary Price, Oct. 6, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041006-236

A reason you might not be able to find what you're looking for with Google (or any other web engine) is that it's just not there. However, many libraries offer FREE access to databases that contain the full text from thousands of publications often not easily or entirely accessible via a general web engine. And a few more tips on tapping into libraries, via this post.

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Couldn't Find On Google? Tell "Can't Find On Google"
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 6, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041006-235

Can't Find On Google is a cool site to let you post what you couldn't find when searching on Google (or rightly, another search engine). Others can contribute to help. I just think it's an interesting new place to understand how people are search.

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Google Board Member Says Browser Not Going to Happen
By Gary Price, Oct. 6, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041006-232

At the Web 2.0 Conference Google board member John Doerr said that Google is not going to enter the browser space. More from this News.com article: Investor doesn't see browser in Google's future.

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Snap To It: New Search Engine Launches
By Gary Price, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-231

Bill Gross from Idealabs has a second search project he's working on called Snap. A beta went live today. You can learn more in this News.com article: New Snap site thinks outside the search box. Snap has licensed search technology from desktop search player x1. Data comes from Gigablast, Looksmart, along with "anonymous data feeds" from ISPs. A Snap site tour is available here and Gross explains the new service on the Snap Weblog.

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Semel Says Yahoo Needs No Merger
By Gary Price, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-230

Yahoo CEO Terry Semel spoke at an investment conference in New York today and this article: Yahoo chief sees no need to join media merger frenzy, offers a few quotes from the presentation where he sees Yahoo as a media partner, rather than merger target.

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Legg Mason Owns Lots of GOOG
By Gary Price, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-229

Reuters reports in: Legg Mason owns large stake in Google common stock that the Baltimore-based asset management firm owns about 13 percent (4.3 million shares) of Google's Class A common stock. Three weeks ago it was reported that Fidelity Investments owns about 16 percent of Google's Class A shares.

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More From The Microsoft Search Champs
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-228

Microsoft's Search Champs have been hearing from Microsoft Research today about various projects, none of which is under NDA. And that's not surprising, given that nothing I've read blogged so far hasn't already been mentioned in a variety of stories over the past few months. Nevertheless, you still might want to check out some of the posts, listed via the blog entry above.

Who are the Search Champs? Early Blog Reports From Microsoft's Search Champs leads you to a list of them, plus eWeek has a write-up: MSN Forms Search Focus Group. Microsoft's Search Champs A Man's Club? covers the issue of only one woman being included among 30 participants (and also lists a variety of women who are prominent in search).

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Finding Canadians
By Gary Price, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-227

Today, Canada411.com added a few new features to their service. They include a new reverse telephone number lookup, reverse address lookup, and partial name search. These services are also available via a new French language version of the site. The site is powered by Seattle-based W3 Data. A few more details in the news release.

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Search Everything You've Seen
By Gary Price, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-226

Allow me to suggest a personal search option that I would like to see one or more of the "big guys" offer in the future. How about a feature that allows you the option to automatically record and save EVERY html page that appears in your browser and then offers you the option to keyword search the full text of this material? More from Gary on this topic of a Tivo for the web via this blog post.

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Google Investor Relations Site Opens
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-225

No, don't get excited -- investor.google.com is not a new feature where you can build your custom stock portfolio at the Google stealth portal. Instead, it's the new Google Investor Relations area, for those who now hold stock in the company.

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Kanoodle Gets Self-Serve Contextual Ads, Too
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-224

Kanoodle launched a self-serve contextual ads program just days after FindWhat. See the press release here for details: Kanoodle Launches BrightAds Automated Content-Targeted Sponsored Links Solution.

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New DoubleClick Search White Paper: Stats But Not Clarity
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-223

DoubleClick, in conjunction with its Performics subsidiary, has released a new Search Campaign Considerations white paper (link is to PDF file). Based on data from analyzing thousands of terms managed on behalf of more than 100 clients that Performics handles, the white paper seems to promise some actionable data that marketers can use to do the right thing in their own campaigns.

Seems to. Digging into it, there's no particular "right" answer but rather stuff that feels more like obvious wisdom. For example, low volume terms are deemed important because even if they don't individually produce a lot of traffic, collectively, they add up. That's no surprise. That's obvious to anyone who has reviewed basic data as provided by Overture's search term suggestion tool.

More thoughts from me on this via the blog post above. Kevin Ryan also takes a longer look at the report here: DoubleClick on Pay-for-Play.

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Search Ad Pricing and Current Events
By Gary Price, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-218

Bambi Francisco takes a look at the relationship between current events (for example, the recent Vioxx recall) can drive keyword advertising in: News expands paid-search terms.

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Threadwatch Tracks SEM Forums
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-217

Search engine marketing forums can be great reading, but finding the best stuff among the chaff can also be hard. Threadwatch is a new blog from long-time forums participant Nick W, where he highlights threads he likes. Want more forum recap resources? See this blog post for even more suggestions.

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"Yahoo Next" For Tech Previews
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-216

OK, we've had Google Labs launched in 2002, a place where Google rolls out beta projects to the public. Overture then unveiled Overture Labs in 2003, later rebranded as Yahoo Research Labs at the beginning of this year. Now there's Yahoo Next, which has just taken over as the place to watch for Yahoo technology demos. The My Yahoo Search Beta is currently featured there. By the way, MSN's lab area is the MSN Sandbox.

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SEMPO Search Marketing Survey Opened
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 5, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041005-213

Little is known about the size of the search marketing industry. Paid search spending, sure -- we've got some sense there. But money being spent directly with search marketing companies themselves, on both paid and natural listings? Who knows? A new survey by SEMPO may help size that market. Anyone is able to participate using the form now posted here: SEMPO Research Survey. Results are planned for release later this year. More details on the survey can be found in this press release: SEMPO Launches Survey on the Size and Impact of Current SEM Activities and Spending.

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Blogger Founder, Evan Williams, Saying Goodbye to Google
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-215

Evan Williams, the founder of Pyra Labs/Blogger and currently the Blogger Program Manager, has just posted an announcement on EVHEAD (his blog) that he's leaving Google this Friday. Google purchased Pyra Labs in February 2003. William's mentions that he's gotten the "itch" to start a new company but isn't committing to anything at the moment. Nor, he says, does his departure related to a problem with Google. He writes that "all and all they've been awesome" and have "pretty much" allowed him retain control of Blogger since purchasing the company.

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Social Networking Meets the Yellow Pages
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-210

CNET reports about a new project from Bill Gross, the CEO of Idealab: Idealab chief stakes out new direction in search. IdeaLab is where Overture (known at that time as GoTo.com) began. It's called Insider Pages and lets people sign up to connect with friends and mine their recommendations for local shops and services. It's LA-only, for now. The article mentions that Seattle-based company called Judy's Book is about to launch a similar service.

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Redball Launches Discussion Search Engine
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-207

Redball.info from Austria has launched a new engine that claims to provide searchable access to 100,000 newsgroups, and 90,000 mailing lists. A bit more about Redball.info in this news release.

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Semel Speaks at Harvard
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-206

Terry Semel spoke to MBA students at Harvard on September 20th. Yahoo CEO Describes Art of the Deal from HBS Working Knowledge has the story. Semel sheds some "behind the scenes" info about the Overture and Inktomi acquisitions.

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Yellow Pages Publisher Launches Search Marketing Program
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-205

"Dex Media, publisher of print edition Yellow Pages, has designed a new program, which aims to help small- to-mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) establish both an online presence and a search marketing campaign. Analysts say the new product is simple enough to incentivize SMEs to allocate spending, but worry whether the cost-per-click (CPC) model is relevant to their needs." More from MediaPost here: Dex Media Pursues SME Market, Analysts Ponder Relevancy.

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Keyword Search Audio From First Presidential Debate
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-202

C-SPAN and StreamSage (the folks behind CampaignSearch) have just made available the chance to keyword search the audio of the first presidential debate, find results, and then click to view the section of the debate where your search terms are spoken. StreamSage uses voice recognition technology. It's not perfect. I would expect that the other debates will be available. See this blog entry for more, if you need a step-by-step in using the service.

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Just the Facts
By Gary Price, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-201

An article from BBC Online, The future of facts, takes a brief look at information quality and authority issues on the open web and then discusses what a couple of companies are doing about it, naming Kozoru, GuruNet, Ask Jeeves and 82ask.com. Longer summary of the article via this blog entry.

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Yahoo Paid Inclusion Can Be A Bargain
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-200

Fredrick Marckini looks out how paid inclusion on Yahoo can bring in traffic more cheaply than paid placement through Yahoo-owned Overture, in some cases: Paid Inclusion Beats PPC in Many Markets, from ClickZ.

Of course, it's also cheaper because the traffic is less predictable. You don't know if you'll actually show up for a term. If you do, you could be anywhere in the listings, rather than near the top. That potentially mean less traffic than with paid placement.

On the flipside, paid inclusion ironically is a paid route into the free or "natural search" results that searches are more likely to click on, as the article notes. That could mean more traffic for you, in some cases.

For the many issues paid inclusion raises, see my past article: Going Beyond FTC Paid Inclusion Disclosure Guidelines.

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Candidates Missing Out On Search Ads
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 4, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041004-199

From Business 2.0, an interesting article saying that political campaigns are failing to consider search in their marketing mix: Political Campaigns Are Missing the Boat on Paid Search. The Dean campaign found it effective. But others haven't got on-board. Good quotes.

Meanwhile, an article from MediaPost, Pew Study Reports Meager Spending On Web Ads By Political Campaigns, discusses a new survey of online media ads for campaigns. Don't get your hopes up about getting some real stats on political search spending, however. The survey only tracked banner ads. Survey can be found here: Presidential Campaign Advertising on the Internet.

Here's also some other articles on search and political ads: Political Campaigns And Issue Groups Take Search Baby Steps from MediaPost and SEM Power Politics: PACs, Nonprofits, and 527s from ClickZ, April 2004

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Yahoo News Results as an RSS Feed
By Gary Price, Oct. 3, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041003-197

Online about a month ago, officially online today, Yahoo News has added a link on every search news search results page (right column) that allows the searcher to add the search query directly to their My Yahoo page (a second button to work in any aggregator is due shortly). New results will be delivered as a "feed" on My Yahoo pages. It's possible to create and transport advanced queries to a My Yahoo page. However, you cannot limit to a specific source.

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How Much RSS?
By Gary Price, Oct. 3, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041003-195

A post on the Topix.net blog lets us know that the amount of RSS content from news organizations is not as great as some might believe. Rich Skrenta reports that of the 7000+ news sources Topix crawls only 7% have feeds. He goes on to say that even if the site has a feed, Topix usually crawls the HTML content.

What about search tools that focus on weblog content? About a month ago a member of the Waypath team posted some stats in the SEW Forums. It contained the following numbers: Only 63% of the weblogs Waypath crawls have feeds; only 22% have full-text in their feeds. These Waypath numbers were a bit surprising to me. I was thinking that the penetration of RSS/XML feeds in the blogosphere was greater especially when it comes to blogs offering full text feeds.

From the searcher perspective it's worth remembering that an RSS search might not be the same thing as a full text search.

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Gigablast Grows
By Gary Price, Oct. 3, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041003-194

Gigablast, the useful search tool that searches its own database of web content, has grown. An update on the Gigablast home page today informs us that the database now contains more than 640 million pages. Previously, the total page count was at 475,577,392.

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Keeping Googlers at Google
By Gary Price, Oct. 2, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041002-192

Lisa Baertlein's article, Google Challenge: Keeping Wealthy Workers, takes a look at Googler "retention" issues post IPO. Baertlein mentions that more employee "perks" are coming.

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Google Norway & Kenya Up
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 1, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041001-191

Via the Google Blog, the company has opened two new sites for Norway and Kenya. And we learn that Google in Norwegian apparently means "sunglasses." Details here: Made in the shade.

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MSN Messenger To Gain Search
By Gary Price, Oct. 1, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041001-188

The beta for MSN Messenger 7, due out Monday, will add search capabilities to its client. Yahoo Messenger has offered this for about a year. About ten days ago, CitySearch released an IM "bot" that allows you to "interact" with their database using AOL Instant Messenger. You can also search the AOL Yellow Pages this way. Details on the Microsoft move from InternetNews: MSN Putting Search in IM Beta.

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A Chat With Findory's Greg Linden
By Gary Price, Oct. 1, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041001-187

Searcher magazine (a popular publication in the library and info industry) has just published an interview I did with Findory Chief Executive, Greg Linden.

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Comparison Shopping Engines and the Small Retailer
By Gary Price, Oct. 1, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041001-186

In Comparison Shopping Threatens Smaller Sites, Jeannette Borzo of the Wall St. Journal takes a look at comparison shopping databases from the small business owner angle. The article says despite some chaos for the small retailer, comparison shopping engines, "can still be a great sales vehicle for retailers who know how to take advantage of them."

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FindWhat Opens AdRevenue Xpress Contextual Ads Program
By Danny Sullivan, Oct. 1, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041001-185

FindWhat joins Google in offering self-serve contextual ads for publishers. The system also allows publishers to add sponsored search listings to their site, similar to the Google AdSense for search program (formerly Google WebSearch). At the moment, the program is only open to those also advertising with FindWhat. Details from ClickZ: FindWhat Unveils Answer to AdSense.

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Blink 2.0 Coming Soon
By Gary Price, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-183

An InternetWeek article, Search Underdog To Take On Google, Microsoft, And Amazon, lets us know that a Blinkx 2.0 beta will be released in the next two weeks. The article also mentions that peer-to-peer MP3 file searching will be coming soon after the new version becomes available. Mac support is also still in the works. I've used Blinkx from time-to-time since it became available about three months ago and haven't found it especially useful but that might be just me. The company reports that Blinkx has been downloaded more than 1 million times since its launch. I'll take the new release for a spin and report back. Want to comment? Visit our forum thread: Blinkx Continues To get Attention

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Travel Search Continues to Heat Up
By Gary Price, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-181

The travel search and booking sector continues to get attention most recently with the purchase of Orbitz to Cendant. InternetNews.com looks at the marketplace in the article: Chasing The Travel-Search Rainbow Mobissimo, Kayak (a site I've been testing and really like), and the new FareChase offering from Yahoo (an beta was released a couple of weeks ago) are mentioned in the article.

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Feedster Does Job Search
By Gary Price, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-180

Feedster is testing a searchable database of job openings culled from thousands of RSS/ATOM feeds. Listings can be viewed online or sent directly to your aggregator.

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GoHook Offers Up a Database of PDF Content
By Gary Price, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-178

GoHook is building a database of Adobe Acrobat (PDF) content. GoHook used to provide an archive of completed eBay auctions. However, in March the service ended after the company ran into several problems with EBay. The new GoHook PDF database includes about 500,000 documents. According to the company more than 10,000 documents are added to the database each week. More details via this blog post.

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New Tool Blocks Paid Search Engine Listings
By Gary Price, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-176

A new version Super AdBlocker removes paid listings from about 20 search engines. Older versions of the product blocked pop-ups, pop-unders, rich media, Flash, and some spyware but this is the first time that sponsored results can be blocked. A bit more from the news release and this page that explains why someone would want to block sponsored listings.

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Will Better Search Sabotage The Business Model?
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-173

Microsoft search researcher Eric Brill suggests that as search gets better, it will be less a money-maker: Microsoft Researcher Questions Search Engine Business Model from CRN. Brill's comments were made yesterday at a conference at MIT. Brill's been involved in developing an answer engine for Microsoft, as Gary's blogged before: Microsoft Research Gets Serious About Search.

I'd love to have known more of the discussion. I'm guessing the idea is that if you give people the perfect answer naturally in the "free" results, they won't need to click on any of the ads.

Perhaps. But I also suspect we'll see that for very popular, very generic searches (think cars, movies, dvd players and so on), the "free" stuff simply won't be shown until well after ads. And as long as those ads are fairly relevant, it probably won't send most users fleeing from search engines.

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Froogle UK Quietly Launched
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-172

Froogle finally moves outside the US and opens a UK edition: Froogle UK (though as discussed in our forum thread Froogle coming to the UK, despite the name, products are still in US dollars). Being based in the UK, I plan to put Froogle UK to the test over the coming weeks against my longtime favorite UK shopping search engines DealTime UK, Kelkoo and Yahoo Shopping UK. FYI, Yahoo now owns Kelkoo but is still using different technology on its own site.

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Microsoft 1995: Search Isn't A Business!
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 30, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040930-171

An early search history lesson from one of Excite's founders, Joe Kraus, about when Microsoft considered buying his company. "I remember Nathan Myhrvold nearly yelling that search was not a business; that users would find their favorite site, bookmark them and then never go to search again." More here: Potty Talk.

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Questions from the Google Labs Aptitude Test
By Gary Price, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-168

After blog discussion like this from Adam Rifkin of questions from the Google Labs Aptitude Test, Google posts the whole test on its blog.

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Marvel at IBM's New Multimedia Search Tool
By Gary Price, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-167

IBM's 'Marvel' to scour Net for video, audio from News.com covers the Marvel project at IBM that's building a search engine to retrieve audio and video material. Content will be automatically scanned, parsed and indexed for concepts. In other words, automatically adding descriptive metadata to each video file. More on this and some related resource via the full blog post.

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IBM Releases New Product that Searches Disparate Sources Simultaneously
By Gary Price, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-164

A couple of items from the enterprise search beat. IBM uncorks Masala special brew from Computer Weekly covers IBM releasing its DB2 Information Integrator software that will allow simultaneous searching of disprate sources (web, internal databases, proprietary databases). Another company (one of many) that offers similar technology, FAST Search and Transfer, continues to land clients. They just announced deals with the United States Army and AutoTrader.com.

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Challenges in Running a Commercial Search Engine
By Gary Price, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-163

A presentation (PowerPoint slides) titled, Challenges in Running a Commercial Search Engine (3.5 MB; PDF) come from a keynote presentation by Amit Singhal, a Senior Research Scientist at Google. The presentation was given in Israel on February 16th at IBM's Second Search and Collaboration Seminar 2004.

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Feedster Providing Content to New IDG Product Guide
By Gary Price, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-161

The new IT Product Guide on InfoWorld.com includes news and weblog content via the Feedster database. A bit more in this news release.

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SEMPO Gets New Advisors & Parody Site
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-160

SEMPO's gained three new members for its advisory board: Chris LaSala from Google, Neg Norton from the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association and Safa Rashtchy from Piper Jaffray. More from SEMPO in this release. The new members fill spots vacated by the departure of Chris Sherman and myself (more on that here: Reflections On SEMPO).

Meanwhile, a parody site lampooning SEMPO, SEMPO-Tahoe, has been moving up in the rankings for a search on the organization's name. Today, it jumped to fourth place on Google. Discussion of that site can be found here on our forums: SEMPO Gone To The Dogs?

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New Google Traffic Estimator Tool Up - Got Suggestions?
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 29, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040929-158

Google's added a new Traffic Estimator tool that lets you discover traffic for a term without having to actually add the term to an account or campaign. You can see clicks per day, average CPC, cost per day and average estimated position.

The tool's gotten a good reception in our forums so far. But folks still want more features. Fortunately AdWordsRep, Google's official rep for AdWords on our forums, has been busy answering questions and gathering up the suggestions. So jump in if you've got feedback to share in this thread: New Adwords Traffic Estimator.

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Bloglines and RSS Bandwidth Problems
By Gary Price, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-155

Bloglines has released new tools (open API, Web Services) to help with RSS bandwidth issue which has been in the news recently. You can find more details in this news release and eWeek story

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Google Responds to China News Censorship Story
By Gary Price, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-153

Via its blog, Google shares why some Chinese news sources are not listed in the new Google News China: "For Internet users in China, we had to consider the fact that some sources are entirely blocked. Leaving aside the politics, that presents us with a serious user experience problem...We also considered the amount of information that would be omitted. In this case it is less than two percent of Chinese news sources."

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New Yahoo A-Z Index Page
By Gary Price, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-152

Along with the new My Yahoo beta release and the tweaks to the Yahoo home page that we've mentioned today, the company has also made a new A-Z index page of all Yahoo available online.

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Minority Of Searchers Make Up Majority Of Searches
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-147

John Battelle's got an interesting slide up from comScore showing that heavy search users, while making up only 20 percent of those searching, are responsible for 68 percent of all searches that happen. See it here: Search Volume by Type of User.

Conclusions? Depends on your angle, I guess. If more of us become heavy users, then there will be more searches happening, making advertisers who want more traffic happy. But solving the supposed search inventory problem isn't necessarily a solution for search engines. Lack of inventory may actually help them earn more per click.

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Top SEO Design Problems To Avoid
By Danny Sullivan, Sep. 28, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040928-146

Shari Thurow lists her Top Five SEO Design Mistakes over at ClickZ: failure to design first, SEO second; using splash pages, lack of focused content, balancing text and graphics and lack of customer focus.

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Moo! A Bovine That Monitors Amazon.com
By Gary Price, Sep. 27, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040927-142

A new service (it's free!) called Watchcow.net monitors the Amazon.com database looking for changes in the price of ANY product (new and/or used) or an entire wish list. Changes are delivered into your aggregator as an ATOM feed. Creating a feed is very easy. Simply use the Watchcow.net bookmarklet on any Amazon.com page and click again to add your aggregator. Neat!

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Small General-Purpose Web Engines
By Gary Price, Sep. 26, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040926-137

The developers of small general-purpose web engines continue to impress with their innovative spirit. A brief look at some nice features at Gigablast, FyberSearch and ObjectsSearch via this blog post.

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Yahoo's Advanced Syntax
By Gary Price, Sep. 26, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040926-136

Greg Notess reports that several of the "old" Inktomi advanced search prefixes(originurlextension:, stem:, domain:, and others) work at Yahoo.

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Google Images and Alt Text Tags
By Gary Price, Sep. 25, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040925-135

PixMisGoogled from Tim Bray provides an example of how Google Images "ignores" the alternatve text that's often associated with image files.

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Ads Are Part of New Moreover RSS Service
By Gary Price, Sep. 25, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040925-134

This news release along with a News.com story alerts us to a new and free service from Moreover that offers aggregated "topic" news feeds coupled with a contextually based advertisement. One ad per day is included with each feed. Ads are supplied by Kanoodle. Here's a complete list of RSS feeds that Moreover is making available with this new service. Another service, Moreover's FeedDirect offers free RSS news feeds for non-commercial sites that also include contextual text advertising from Google.

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The Next Search Titan: Comcast?
By Chris Sherman, Sep. 25, 2004
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/040925-133

The Wall Street Journal featured a wide-ranging interview with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts: Comcast's Big Bet on Content (subscription required). Comcast has grown into the USA's largest cable-TV operator, with more than 21 million subscribers -- and is also one of the largest Internet ISPs. In the interview, Roberts casually mentioned that Comcast is developing its own search technology.

It's highly unlikely that Comcast is developing its own technology, suggesting that one of the major search engines may be working with the company. Yahoo has the strongest multimedia search capabilities of the majors -- but don't overlook AOL, which purchased Singingfish last year. And you have to believe Google is at least considering multimedia search, an area where it is surprisingly lacking. One thing is certain: We're one step closer to the widely touted "convergence" we've been hearing will arrive any day now.

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The Daily Rundown Chats With Copernic Co-Founder
By Gary Price, Sep. 24, 2004
http://blog.s


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