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The Search Engine Report - Number 83

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A longer, more detailed version of this newsletter
is available to Search Engine Watch members.
This is just one of the many benefits members receive.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Watch News
+ SES Chicago Agenda Available!
+ Search Engine Articles By Danny Sullivan
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ About The Search Engine Update

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Search Engine Watch News
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Hello Everyone--

You may have noticed that I've begun sending more and more articles that I've written out via Search Engine Watch's SearchDay newsletter, rather than trying to publish them to coincide with when this newsletter goes out.

This new system has worked out very well for me, especially in that preparing my usual recap of search engine news from across the web takes so much time now, given all the news that's out there. It's also a nice way for me to give my diligent and hard-working associate editor Chris Sherman a break from the daily news grind.

While I always recap articles that appear in SearchDay, I've decided to break out those I've authored separately, for those who take a particular interest in items I've written. You'll find this recap in the Search Engine Articles By Danny Sullivan section below.

In another change, readers of this newsletter will be familiar with the regular recap of search engine articles from around the web that I regularly provide. Sometimes, my commentary about particular issues is long. To date, I haven't yet broken these commentaries out as standalone articles, though I might start doing this in the future.

In the meantime, as an experiment, I've begun adding "permalinks" to the end of some summaries. What this means is that when viewing the online version of this newsletter, you can click on a permalink reference and go directly to a particular commentary. That makes it easy if you want to bookmark the commentary or pass the exact reference on to others.

In other news, I was very busy doing site updates last month:

The News Search Engines page has been updated with new resources and a new section on RSS news feeds and blog search engines added.

The Shopping Search Engines page, Financial and Business Search Engines page, the Multimedia Search Engines page and the Other Specialty Search Engines page have also been updated with some new resources.

The Search Engine Index, a compilation of interesting search engine statistics over time, has been updated with some recent material.

Links to all these pages can be found below:

What's New With Search Engine Watch's Departments
http://searchenginewatch.com/article.php/2148821

Finally, I had planned to release today a long article looking at recent developments in local search. In the midst of preparing it, the big announcement about MSN dropping LookSmart as a partner came up suddenly, followed by the news about AOL extending its partnership with Google.

Suffice to say, writing those articles and getting this issue of the newsletter together meant the article on local searching had to be put on hold. However, I'm aiming to have it ready and published for this Friday. If you receive SearchDay, you'll get a notice of when it's ready. Otherwise, just watch the front page of Search Engine Watch. You'll see the story appear there, when published.

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SES Chicago Agenda Available!

I've just finished the agenda for our next US Search Engine Strategies show, which will be held in Chicago from December 9-11. For it, I've taken the best of the sessions we had during our San Jose show earlier this year plus added some new sessions, including Auditing Paid Listings, SEM En EspaÑol, Search Engines & Affiliates, Getting Local, Click & Convert and Outsourcing SEM.

The conference features speakers from major search engines as well as experienced search engine marketers sharing their experiences and tips. The conference web site provides full session descriptions, and there's a special Session Itineraries page to guide you on what to attend, whether you are interested in free/organic listings, search engine advertising, are new to search engine marketing or experienced. To learn more or sign-up, call (203) 662-2857 or visit the URL below.

Search Engine Strategies Chicago
http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/fall03/

Search Engine Strategies also comes to Munich next month. Most sessions will be conducted in German, though I'll be doing an introductory course in English. A full agenda for the event, to be held November 10-11, can be found below.

Search Engine Strategies Munich
http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/munich03/

Many dates for other Search Engine Strategies events next year have also been announced. More information can be found via the URL below.

Search Engine Strategies
http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/

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Search Engine Articles
By Danny Sullivan

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AOL Renews With Google
SearchDay, Oct. 7, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3088351

AOL has renewed its agreement with Google for search results in a new multiyear deal.

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MSN To Drop LookSmart
SearchDay, Oct. 7, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3088051
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3088141

LookSmart has announced that its deal to provide Microsoft with listings for its MSN Search service is not being renewed, leaving the company without its most important partner. Second URL leads to a longer version for Search Engine Watch members, which includes more coverage about MSN's thoughts on paid listings and special details for search engine marketers. What's a Search Engine Watch member? See http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10

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LookSmart Sponsored Listings To Take On Google & Overture
SearchDay, Oct. 2, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3086301
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3086381

LookSmart has relaunched its Sponsored Listings program using a new bid-for-placement model, a move it hopes will let the company win distribution partners from rivals Overture and Google, as well as increase its advertising revenues. The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members which includes special details for search engine marketers. What's a Search Engine Watch member? See http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10

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MSN Expands Overture Ads
SearchDay, Sept. 18, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3078531
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3078261

MSN Search has rolled out a new format for showing paid listings, a change it hopes will allow it to carry more sponsored results while still keeping its overall relevancy high. A look at the changes can be found in the article below. The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members which includes a closer look at ad placement and details for search engine marketers. What's a Search Engine Watch member? See http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10

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VeriSign Redirects Bad Domain Resolution
SearchDay, Sept. 17, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3078301

VeriSign is now resolving requests for non-existent .COM and .NET domains to a search engine that it operates, a move already raising controversy. Previously, such bad requests would have resulted in an error that in turn would be handled in different ways by various browsers. A look at the new system can be found in the article below. The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members. What's a Search Engine Watch member? See http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10. NOTE: VeriSign has now temporarily suspended this system. For more, see VeriSign Shuts Down Site Finder, http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article.php/3087071.

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Reader Q&A: September 2003
The Search Engine Update, Sept 16, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3078331

For Search Engine Watch members (http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10), this edition of the regular Q&A feature examines these questions: Every day I am bombarded with sites claiming to get "top ten listings" etc. Have you reviewed all these companies? How do I choose? Do they really work? -- What are DC meta tags?
-- When someone types my name at Google, I want my site to come up. As of now, hundreds of references to my books come up but not my site. Is this possible? -- I want to know which keywords are most popular each month or by search engine. -- I was told search engine spiders do not handle templates used to display different items well.

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Search Engine Resources
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HotBot Europe
http://www.hotbot.co.uk/?command=international

Lycos Europe has relaunched the HotBot Europe sites that it owns. The link above gives you access to the various country-specific editions that exist. HotBot Europe sites follow a similar look and feel to the HotBot US site that was relaunched at the end of last year (see Changes Afoot at HotBot, http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/2241301). Unlike HotBot US, HotBot Europe only gives you access to "web results" from one search engine: Inktomi. (permalink to this item)

Longer review for Search Engine Watch members:
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/updates/article.php/3078451#hotbot

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Google Alert
http://www.googlealert.com

Use Google often and want to track the same query over time? Google Alert is a free service that does this for you. It will run a query, then check each day to see if there are any changes. If so, you'll be informed of these via email. HTML and RSS feeds are also offered. The service is free but does require you to signup for an account.

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Inbox Robot
http://www.inboxrobot.com/

New news search service that gathers headlines from 5,000 news, blog and information sites each hour. You can keyword search, though it's disappointing that the service doesn't show an item's source next to the results. You can also browse for what the site calls "newsletters." However, these aren't really newsletters, in the traditional sense. In other words, you won't find a list of all the email lists about gardening. Instead, you'll simply subscribe to a set of keywords that will generate news results that get emailed to you -- sort of a tracking service. The site is currently free, but you need to register to view headlines. In a month or two, a $10 per month fee will be charged. For free alternatives, see the list of News Search Engines that we maintain: http://searchenginewatch.com/links/article.php/2156261 (permalink to this item)

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Clustered Hits
http://www.clusteredhits.com

Demonstration site to show topic distillation and clustering technology. Search for something like "flowers" and see how results are then grouped into various categories along the left-hand side of the screen, such as Health and Science. Hover over Science, and you can further drill down into Institutions, which brings back a short list of botanical institutions. Use the "High Ranking Categories" option to see the clusters shown in order of popularity. Pretty much ignore the "regular" search results, which don't really seem to come up according to any type of useful particular ranking system. If you like what you see, be sure to try the much more mature technology offered at Vivisimo, http://vivisimo.com, or new Vivisimo-powered clustering at Dogpile, http://www.dogpile.com. (permalink to this item)

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Froogle
http://froogle.google.com/

Google's Froogle shopping search engine gets some new features, including the ability to sort by price or see more results in "Grid View."

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AllTheWeb Recent Queries
http://www.alltheweb.com/recentqueries

See the last 10 queries performed on AllTheWeb.

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Jeeves IQ
http://static.wc.ask.com/docs/about/jeevesiq.html

Top searches and other search behavior information from the Ask Jeeves web site, presented on a daily basis.

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Google Indicateur
http://google.indicateur.com/

A directory of web sites and resources about Google. French-speakers will also find exploring the parent Indicateur site (http://www.indicateur.com/) interesting for coverage of all types of search engines and search resources.

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WinFind
http://www.briansbuzz.com/

Need help with Windows? Windows-guru Brian Livingston has a specialized search engine that brings back results from sites he considers to have high-quality Windows information.

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SideStep
http://www.sidestep.com

Travel search engine that you use by installing a 180K applet into your browser. That's a pain, though the advantage is that you can then view SideStep's travel search results in a browser window "pane" and compare them to results from another travel search engine, such as Expedia.

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KillerInfo
http://www.killerinfo.com/

Meta search engine that uses Vivisimo's clustering technology plus provides a traditional list of consolidated web results from various search engines. Each listing clearly shows where it was found and how it ranked in the originating search engine. The cool Quick Peek feature lets you preview the page within your search results, to better decide if you want to visit it. A variety of specialized and country-specific searches are also offered.

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Addresses.com
http://www.addresses.com

Claims to be the largest directory of email addresses, compiled through crawling the web.

Longer review for Search Engine Watch members:
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/updates/article.php/3078451#addresses

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Calchemy Live!
http://www.calchemy.com/uclive.htm

Like how Google's calculator lets you do sums by using units in plain language, such as speed of light * 2? Calchemy is a long-standing service that provides similar functionality. Unlike the Google calculator, it gives lots of documentation about the units it understands.

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Internet Archive Recall
http://recall.archive.org/

The Internet Archive is a wonderful project that lets you go back in time and see how web pages used to appear. Now a new add-on service called Recall lets you search against the text of the 11 billion pages that have been collected over the past seven years. That may be useful if you want to find past pages on particular topics but can't recall the exact address where those pages used to reside. The service will also plot how many pages were found for the terms you entered, over time. That's helpful to anyone interested in trends. For example, "push" technology was once considered hot. By entering "push," you'll see a red line in the right-hand chart that shows you how the use of the word peaked in 1999, then dropped off -- the rise and fall of push. You also get a left-hand chart that shows you the popularity of variations on your original word. (permalink to this item)

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SearchDay Articles
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Here's a recap of recent articles from Search Engine Watch's daily SearchDay newsletter:

Google Testing Frequent Searcher Program
SearchDay, Oct. 6, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3087501

Ever wonder just how often you use Google in a day? Soon you may be able to get an exact count thanks to a Google search counter the company has been quietly testing with a small group of users.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Oct. 3, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3086901

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Free $50 AdWords Credit via Yahoo - Lycos to Use AdWords - What Is Web Copy? - Keywords in a URL - Resubmitting to Dmoz? How to Correct a Bad Description? - Java Menus or Text Menus - Developing a Score Card for Keywords - Zeal - How Valuable? - Opinions on Froogle

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Search Engine Milestones for September 2003
SearchDay, Oct. 1, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3085821

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.

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A Personal Search Engine for the Web and Your Computer
SearchDay, Sept. 30, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3076341

Dynago DART combines a crawler, search engine and content analyzer that lets you organize, re-use and discover new patterns in your own personal information.

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Using Google to Search Your Personal Blogsphere
SearchDay, Sept. 29, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3082561

Adding a free 'blogs I read' search box to your own weblog provides your readers with an easy way to use Google to search the web, your site or just the blogs you read.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sept. 26, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3083811

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Gigablast Inventor Interview - SEO and Reciprocal Links - ODP Spam Handling Suggestion - Google Backlinks and PageRank Should Be Abolished - Link Popularity Improvement Methods - Microsoft Goes After Google

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A Conversation With Gigablast's Matt Wells
SearchDay, Sept. 25, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3080321
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3080291

Most major search engines rely on an army of hundreds of people to create and maintain their services. Not Gigablast -- it's a high-quality search engine built and operated by sole proprietor Matt Wells. The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members. What's a Search Engine Watch member? See http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10

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How Can Google's Gold Be Inktomi's Spam?
SearchDay, Sept. 24, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3067191

While there are some universal guidelines about search engine spam, each major engine has policies that can occasionally appear out of sync with others.

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Yahoo Launches New Product Search
SearchDay, Sept. 23, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3081551
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/article.php/3081541

Yahoo's new product search engine combines the best aspects of the company's existing shopping platform with new advanced search features, including product information gathered from the entire web. The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members which includes special details on the service's paid inclusion and paid placement programs. What's a Search Engine Watch member? See http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser10

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Dealtime Relaunches as Shopping.com
SearchDay, Sept. 22, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3080171

Shopping search and product review site Dealtime officially changed its name today to Shopping.com, marking another milestone in the fascinating journey of a storied domain name

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InfoSpace's New Mantra: Names, Numbers, Now
SearchDay, Sept. 16, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3076341

InfoSpace has updated its website, offering a number of easy-to-use business and people lookup functions, with access to public records, email addresses and more.

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LookSmart Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Proposed
SearchDay, Sept. 15, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3077341

A proposed settlement to a 2002 class action lawsuit against LookSmart will compensate customers who were required to accept a new commercial listings agreement to maintain inclusion in LookSmart's directory.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sept. 12, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3076381

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: 'Guaranteed' Top Ranking? - The Goal Is To Make Your Portal Profitable - Does Alt Tag Matter Any More? - Trickiest Scumware I've Ever Seen - Crude Reverse Engineering of Google Algorithm - What Would You Pay for a Link from a highly ranked Google page?

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An Open Source Search Engine
SearchDay, Sept. 11, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3071971

Nutch could rewrite the rules of search development -- especially with an impressive roster of Internet luminaries now lining up behind it.

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Behind the Scenes at the Daypop Search Engine, Part Three
SearchDay, Sept. 10, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3067201

This concludes a three part interview with Dan Chan, founder and sole proprietor of Daypop, a specialized search engine focusing on weblog and news content.

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Search Engine Birthdays
SearchDay, Sept. 9, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3071951

Google is only five, and even online veterans like Yahoo and AltaVista are comparative toddlers. In fact, it's only been a little more than ten years ago that the first web search engines were born.

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Happy Birthday, Google!
SearchDay, Sept. 8, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/2160731

Five years ago, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated their fledgling startup. The reason? So they could cash a $100,000 personal check that had been sitting in Page's desk drawer for a couple of weeks.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sept. 5, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3072741

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: - Ecommerce Optimization - Do You Make Your Pages Accessible? - A Snapshot of the Open Directory's Unreviewed Queue - Which Bid Management Tools Do You Use? - How Should I Form URLs, Dynamic vs. Static? - Using Tools To Monitor Rankings, Can It Harm Your listings? - Will Looksmart Be Able to Survive Without MSN?

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Search Engine Milestones for August 2003
SearchDay, Sept. 4, 2003
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3071941

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.

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Want to receive SearchDay? Sign-up for the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch via the link below:

SearchDay
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/

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Search Engine Articles
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iProspect Selected to Inc. 500 List of the Fastest Growing Companies in America
iProspect Press Release, Oct. 7, 2003
http://www.iprospect.com/web_site_promotion/press10072003.htm

I don't often run links to press releases, but this is notable. Search engine marketing firm iProspect has been named by Inc. Magazine as the 47th fastest growing company its Inc. 500 list. The list ranks privately held companies according to sales growth. Watch the list, because I'm sure in the coming years, you'll see many more SEM firms move up for similar recognition as the market grows.

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Web Searches: The Fix Is In
BusinessWeek, Oct. 6, 2003
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_40/b3852098_mz063.htm

BusinessWeek did more than 30 interviews and analyzed dozens of searches to conclude that paid inclusion seems to provide ranking boosts to customers. Unfortunately, the Lamps Plus example listed is a bad one. The person wasn't listed with LookSmart, which is the primary data source MSN search uses. He signs up and suddenly discovers he's ranking better.

Of course. He wasn't present before, and by getting in, there was a good chance he'd naturally rank well. The same would be true if he wasn't listed in Google, then got spidered. He might then suddenly rank better there, as well. In contrast, the only way to know if paid inclusion really gave Lamps Plus an actual ranking boost, rather than just a chance at ranking well, would be to see if they were already listed, then shifted their listings to a paid inclusion program and found a favorable ranking change.

Despite the Lamps Plus example being bad, other examples like "green sleeping bag" being full of paid inclusion listings do underscore the idea that paid inclusion content seems favored and sometimes can be terribly off-target. It also remains true that paid inclusion content can be helpful in some instances and that "pure" search results are hardly pure. It's just that the search engine itself receives no money directly.

Overall, I think the reason bad paid inclusion results are so annoying is because part of the paid inclusion pitch by search engines offering it is that content is carefully reviewed for quality. Discovering off-target paid inclusion listings causes you to lose faith. In contrast, bad "free" listings can at least be excused since no particular oversight is promised.

For further examination of paid inclusion, see http://searchenginewatch.com/webmasters/article.php/2167941#inclusion, which provides a summary and past articles I've written. (permalink to this item)

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VeriSign Shuts Down Site Finder
SiliconValley.internet.com, Oct. 3, 2003
http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article.php/3087071

VeriSign agrees to shut down its SiteFinder service that was grabbing traffic for .COM and .NET domains that failed to resolve to working web sites.

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Virus Blocks Search Engine Access
EnterpriseITPlanet.com, Oct. 2, 2003
http://www.enterpriseitplanet.com/security/news/article.php/3087251

I've changed the name of the article listed above primarily to draw your attention to the fact that a new virus is causing some people to be unable to reach their favorite search engines. Called Qhosts, it reroutes users trying to reach popular search engines such as Google or MSN to other locations. A variety of anti-virus makers have issues patches. This article points you at some solutions. (permalink to this item)

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Searching For Holiday Profits, Part 3: Landing Page Optimization
ClickZ, Oct. 3, 2003
http://www.clickz.com/search/strat/article.php/3086431

What you say on your landing pages is crucial if you want to drive conversion. Some tips to consider.

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Google shafts blogger, adds gagging clause to Adsense
The Register, Oct. 2, 2003
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/33180.html

Disturbing report about Google dumping one of its AdSense content providers, leaving the person with no ability to dispute allegations of fraudulent clicks. Also highlights a new clause preventing those in the program from discussing it.

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New Family Friendly Search Engine
About.com Web Search Guide, Oct. 1, 2003
http://websearch.about.com/b/a/2003_10_02.htm

Review of new family-friendly search engine Family Source.

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Punctuation at Google and Minor Site Updates
Search Engine Showdown, Oct. 1, 2003
http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/newsarchive/000726.shtml

Google doesn't ignore the ampersand or underscore in your searches, as it might with other types of punctuation.

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Nip and Tuck - Three Quick Tricks for Writing SEO Copy
Search Engine Guide, Oct. 1, 2003
http://www.searchengineguide.com/thackston/2003/1001_kt1.html

Tips on writing copy that pleases crawler-based search engines and humans.

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New Search Engine Focused on Business Documents is Now Available on the Web
ResourceShelf, Oct. 1, 2003
http://www.resourceshelf.com/archives/2003_10_01_resourceshelf_archive.html/#106495317742183706

Review of new business research search engine.

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Google Gets Personal
InternetNews.com, Oct. 1, 2003
http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/3085921

Google has acquired Kaltix, a start-up company of three people that attracted attention back in July and August, just after it launched. The company promised advances in personalized search but provided no further details. Now Google's bought them, likely because was an easy way to get three good people along with some personalization technology that might be leveraged. It's the second firm dealing with personalization that Google has purchased. Outride was the first, acquired way back in September 2001. Two years later, Google has yet to do anything concrete with that technology. For more, see Google May Get Personal, http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2164251. (permalink to this item)

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Google bowls Yahoo a googly
VNUNet.com, Sept. 30, 2003
http://www.vnunet.com/News/1143990

Google is the top search site in the UK, according to a new survey.

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The Coming Search Engine War, Part 2
ClickZ, Sept. 29, 2003
http://www.clickz.com/search/results/article.php/3083711

Everyone's coming after Google. How can it fend off competitors? Keep up with any new features offered by others and constantly rebuild its service as the "next" great thing. Sure. But the argument that "better" isn't as good as being "what's next" doesn't hold up, in my view. The search engine space is littered with companies that promised to be the next best thing but which didn't deliver the goods.

Google won droves of AltaVista users because it offered better results. But isn't that because it was perceived as the "next generation" of search? Perhaps -- but it was also better. After all, Direct Hit also emerged at the same time as Google. It was also a "next generation" service. Yet Direct Hit never gained Google-like traffic and no longer exists today. Why? Because its results clearly were not better.

WiseNut and Teoma both emerged as the "new kids" of search in 2001. WiseNut is nowhere near a threat to any major search engine. For that matter, neither is Teoma, in terms of traffic -- but at least Teoma has some small following. Teoma will argue that it is the "next generation" of search, but I'd say the gains its made compared to contemporary WiseNut are due to it being better.

No doubt that as Microsoft, Yahoo and others try to win the hearts of searchers, you'll keep hearing about how they are the "next generation" in various ways -- just as Google will keep rolling out changes to its own service. But such words will mean nothing unless backed up by performance. To date, no search engine has won long-term users through marketing spend and pitches. Just ask Northern Light, which spent millions on television ads only to disappear. Want more? Drop by sometime and I'll show you some funny commercials that HotBot, Lycos and Excite all made to attract users -- none of which kept those users in the long term.

The big winners we have today, Google and Yahoo, built their audiences on the back of strong word of mouth for having great technology or methods to deliver search results. The same is true for the minor winner of Ask Jeeves. The other big winners, AOL and MSN, won their audiences not through marketing but because their browsers (the AOL software; Internet Explorer) drive large numbers of users to their services. (permalink to this item)

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What next for Espotting?
NetImperative, Sept. 29, 2003
http://www.netimperative.com/cmn/viewdoc.jsp?cat=all&docid=BEP1_Feature_0000057774

FindWhat is renegotiating the terms of its merger agreement with European paid listings service Espotting. The move puts Espotting in a weak position, with this article saying the merger seems essential to Espotting's survival.

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Google FS paper online, and a look at patent history
Ars Technica, Sept. 29, 2003
http://arstechnica.com/archive/news/1064858653.html

Those interested in the file system that Google uses will find a reference to a recently published research paper here.

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Librarians Better Than Google, Study Says
AP, Sept. 27, 2003
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/6876474.htm

Cornell University reference librarians do a slightly better job answering questions via its free email service than those who pay for answers using the Google Answer service. The score was so close that no winner was declared. The survey itself can be found at http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june03/kenney/06kenney.html

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FindWhat Enters Japan Partnership
InternetNews.com, Sept. 26, 2003
http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/3084211

FindWhat is providing the backend technology to Mitsui, which will sell paid listings in the Japanese market. Mitsui doesn't yet have a distribution network, however.

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Searching For Holiday Profits, Part 2: Seasonal Keywords, Listing Expansion
ClickZ, Sept. 26, 2003
http://www.clickz.com/search/strat/article.php/3082261

Get ready for the holidays by looking at ways to expand and target your seasonal terms.

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Have I been kicked out of Google?
About.com Web Search Guide, Sept. 26, 2003
http://websearch.about.com/cs/articles/a/googleban.htm

Ways to tell if you've been banned by Google or other search engines and tips on getting back in.

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Google News Creator Watches Portal, Quiet Critics With 'Best News' Webby
Online Journalism Review, Sept. 25, 2003
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/kramer/1064449044.php

Krishna Bharat, the scientist who developed Google News, comments on the service. He touches on how a news site is defined, why press releases may show up in search results and discusses some criticisms that have been aimed at the service by journalists.

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Google in need of a Friendster indeed?
News.com, Sept. 23, 2003
http://news.com.com/2009-1088_3-984352.html

Rumor is that Google might be interested in acquiring Friendster, the friendship and dating web site.

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Speedy Returns Are Google's Goal
E-Commerce News, Sept. 18, 2003
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/perl/story/31616.html

A look at equipment behind the scenes in a recent server upgrade done by Google.

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Search tool scans blogs for business
ZDNet UK, Sept. 18, 2003
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/0,39020645,39116478,00.htm

News search provider Moreover has rolled out a blog search service for businesses, aiming to help them tap into consumer trends and opinions.

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New Search Algorithm Hears 'People's Voice'
NewsFactor, Sept. 16, 2003
http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/22301.html

The Vox Populi search algorithm is designed to automatically determine which words should be assigned more weight when performing a query. No test service using the algorithm is apparently available, however.

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Natural Search: The Overlooked Strategy
ClickZ, Sept. 15, 2003
http://www.clickz.com/search/results/article.php/3076661

Natural or organic search can produce lots of traffic, so it shouldn't be ignored. Instead, it should be part of a balanced campaign that includes both organic and paid search results, offering you the best of both worlds.

To be fair, "organic" search shouldn't be considered unpaid. There are plenty of people paying to be in organic results. Paid inclusion is much more common, and money is also often spent with third-party search engine marketing firms to improve the performance of organic listings. For those who "do it in house," while they may not have an ad budget, plenty of time (which is a form of money) is sometimes spent on natural search.

None of this takes away from that fact that everyone should consider doing a few, simple things that are not time-intensive but which can improve you natural listings. People who begin using descriptive page titles, for example, still tell me with amazement how just making that change help improve their listings with search engines. (permalink to this item)

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That Same Old SEO Soft Shoe?
Traffick, Sept. 15, 2003
http://www.traffick.com/blog/archive/2003_09_14_archive.asp#106363413896650297

Andrew Goodman makes a strong point in the first part of his column that everyone should take to heart. When any particular SEM strategy is pushed, you have to consider the source that's pushing it. All too often I hear from companies that are told by a particular SEM firm that they should pursue certain specific tactics to increase their traffic. It's common that these tactics just so happen to meet the firm's particular SEM business model, be it optimization of pages hosted by the client, trusted feed submission, pursuit of paid listings and so on. It's not that following any particular strategy is wrong, but you certainly want to expose yourself to the many options out there and go after what makes the most sense for your company. (permalink to this item)

Longer review for Search Engine Watch members:
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/updates/article.php/3078451#softshoe

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Finding Old Usenet Posts
About Web Search Guide, Sept. 11, 2003
http://websearch.about.com/cs/articles/a/qausenet.htm

Looking for old Usenet posts? Google Groups is a great resource, but there are a few other options to try, as well.

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Overture continues push into Europe
InfoWorld, Sept. 10, 2003
http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/09/10/HNoverturepush_1.html

Overture opens in the Netherlands, following on its expansion into Italy earlier this year. Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia are due by the end of the year, then Belgium and Ireland next year.

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Anacubis Unveils Blended Google, Amazon Search
ResearchBuzz, Sept. 10, 2003
http://www.researchbuzz.com/news/2003/sep4sep1003.shtml#unveilsblended

Review of upgraded tool that shows both Amazon and Google results in a visual manner.

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Blogger bucks premium-services trend
News.com, Sept. 10, 2003
http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-5074041.html

Blogger has come in two flavors, the free basic service and Blogger Pro, which at $35 per year, offered additional features. Now Blogger Pro has been eliminated. Blogger will be purely a free service offering all the features that Blogger Pro used to charge for.

Longer review for Search Engine Watch members:
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/updates/article.php/3078451#blogger

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Google "Related Searches"
WebmasterWorld.com, Sept. 9 2003
http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/16860.htm

When Google rolled out related searches functionality for its AdSense program, I asked if we'd see this perhaps appear within ordinary search results. I was told that anything was possible. Well, Google's definitely testing related searches now. This thread explains how they were originally assumed by someone to be added by scumware. Instead, GoogleGuy (who is indeed a Google employee) confirms that it's a test that Google is trying. And about time -- every other search engine offers some type of query refinement tool. Google is long, long overdue to do the same. Thread has a URL leading to a screenshot. (permalink to this item)

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Judge Rules in Favor of Pop-Ups
Reuters, Sept. 8, 2003
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,60347,00.html

Pop-up ads from WhenU don't violate copyright or trademark laws, a US District Court judge rules.

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Competition fierce for search engines that get to specifics
Boston Globe, Sept. 8, 2003
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2003/09/08/competition_fierce_for_search_engines_that_get_to_specifics/

A look at various enterprise or specialty search products that aim to be the best in their niches.

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An open letter to Vanessa Lintner of SeekerCenter.net
chrisSEO, Sept. 8, 2003
http://www.chriseo.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=28

Like everyone else, I got those emails telling me that my site isn't listed in search engines. Like Chris Ridings, my reaction to these is the same. Thanks, but no thanks, I don't need your submit to a million search engines service. A satirical look at an offer received.

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Inquiry Marketing Fulfills SEM's Promise
ClickZ, Sept. 8, 2003
http://www.clickz.com/search/results/article.php/3073371

At the Future Of Search Engine Marketing session held at our Boston Search Engine Strategies conference earlier this year, I recall one particular question about how existing marketers can expect to survive the continued changes in the industry. My response was that good search engine marketers have key skills that will help them overcome any of the changes. Foremost is understanding how people search. A good search engine marketer understands how to target the most appropriate venues.

Google is important to you, because a lot of people search there. That's obvious for many people. But an good search engine marketer will also understand that DealTime is a popular shopping search engine, so if they have an ecommerce client, making use of DealTime might make sense. Similarly, if you handle local clients, you'll look at the ways people seek local information, such as through online yellow pages.

Understanding where the search happens is key. Mark the right targets, then you follow to the second key component, understanding the ways to appear there. While some like to consider SEM to be black magic, it's often not a case of knowing some secret optimization component to doing well. Often, just getting included in the right places will bring back natural results. If not, then knowing about the advertising options provides a solid fallback position.

In essence, search engine marketing is about knowing how to reach people seeking information. General purpose search engines have been an easy, effective way to do this, since they are as I've spoken about before "reverse broadcast systems," where consumers broadcast their desires, a flipflop on regular advertising, where merchants broadcast messages to try and create desire.

Fredrick Marckini, in this column, asks whether search engine marketing is even the right word for the type of marketing that search engine marketers do. That phrase defines the activity by the venue, search engines, rather than the behavior -- consumer inquiries. Hence he proposes "inquiry marketing" as a better term to encompass future growth.

In large part, I agree. I've thought for several months that "search marketing" might be a better term than "search engine marketing" because, as with Fredrick's term, it puts the emphasis on the activity -- searching. I mainly hesitate to do so because it's only been about two years since I backed "search engine marketing" as a replacement for "search engine optimization," that some felt too limiting (See Search Engine Marketing: You Like It, You Really Like It, http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2164421).

Instead, I figure we'll see a gradual collapse of the phrase "search engine marketing" into "search marketing." But who knows -- perhaps "inquiry marketing" will take off. (permalink to this item)

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InfoSpace.com Re-Launches as Directory Site
InternetNews.com, Sept. 8, 2003
http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/3074111

InfoSpace.com has been redesigned and repositioned as a site for those seeking local information through yellow and white pages listings.

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Kelkoo revenue surges on Euro user growth
netimperative, Sept. 8, 2003
http://www.netimperative.com/cmn/viewdoc.jsp?cat=all&docid=BEP1_News_0000057035

European shopping search engine Kelkoo is finding revenues and its audience up.

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Search Marketing Organizations: A Road Map
ClickZ, Sept. 5, 2003
http://www.clickz.com/search/strat/article.php/3072181

Good review of three organizations involved with search engine marketing: the new SEMPO, the IAB search committee and AIM, a division of the Direct Marketing Association.

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A Selection of Recent Search Engine Related Patents from the USPTO
ResourceShelf, Sept. 3, 2003
http://www.resourceshelf.com/archives/2003_08_31_resourceshelfextra_archive.html/#106262467083474710

Gary Price's latest recap of search related patents that were recently issued.

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Yahoo-Overture Deal Wins Anti-Trust Approval
Reuters, Sept. 3, 2003
http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030903/tech_overture_yahoo_1.html

The US Department of Justice says it sees no reason why Yahoo and Overture cannot marry. Now Overture's parents -- in the form of its shareholders -- will have their say on October 7.

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How To Write Little Tiny AdWords Ads That Bring Giant-Sized Profits
Search Engine Guide, Sept. 2, 3003
http://www.searchengineguide.com/thackston/2003/0902_kt1.html

The headline sounds like the opening to an infomercial, but this article is actually about writing good copy for your paid listings with Google.

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Google pulls links to Kazaa imitator
News.com, Sept. 2, 2003
http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-5070227.html

Ah, the irony. Last month, eBay -- which bids on plenty of terms that are also trademarks of others -- pressures Google into preventing advertisers from bidding on phrases that contain its name. Now MP3 search service Kazaa, often accused of helping music piracy, employs the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to get Google to remove links to sites that distribute a version of Kazaa that it claims violates its copyright.

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