In This Issue
Search Engine Watch News
I'm happy to announce that Search Engine Watch has added another person to our team: Gary Price, who has begun as our new news editor.
Gary will be well known to many of you who have followed his insightful comments about search via his ResourceShelf.com blog. Gary will continue his commentaries on information and library science over there. But for Search Engine Watch, he'll be helping us keep you all abreast of the many news stories that appear across the web related to search.
In other news, the Nielsen NetRatings Search Engine Ratings page has been updated with figures showing top search engines in the United States for June 2004.
The comScore Media Metrix Search Engine Ratings page has been updated with figures showing top search engines in the United States for May 2004.
Links to all these pages can be found via the URL below:
Search Engine Watch What's New
A new RSS / web feed has been added for the Search Engine Watch Forums site. It will keep you updated as to any new threads that have been created. You'll find the link in the left-hand column of the forum site at http://forums.searchenginewatch.com, or here is the direct link to it: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/icom_includes/feeds/special/sew_forum.xml.
Don't forget, you can also take SearchDay through a web feed -- the URL is at the bottom of the SEW home page, or use this direct URL: http://searchenginewatch.com/sew.xml
Finally, I'm currently traveling and so didn't have a chance to print out this edition of the newsletter to check for any typos. So please forgive any that may have slipped through my on screen proofing.
Search Engine Strategies begins today in San Jose, with over 60 sessions ranging from the fundamentals of search engine marketing to tracks looking at the business aspects of search engine marketing and getting inside the minds of searchers. There's also a free expo hall filled with search vendors. Full details about all that's offered and registration information can be found here:
Search Engine Strategies San Jose: August 2-5, 2004
Too late to make San Jose? SES comes to Stockholm from October 27-28 and Chicago from December 13-16. Basic information about these shows can be found via the URL below:
Search Engine Strategies
Search Engine Watch Articles
Here's a recap of major articles and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:
Search Can Provide Brand Lift, Study Finds
The Search Engine Update, Aug. 1, 2004
For search engines and search engine marketers, a holy grail has been figuring out how to attract the big money spent on branding into search. Now a new study gives both parties ammunition to say search can build branding. Exclusive article for Search Engine Watch members. Learn more about becoming a member at http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser8
New Data On How Paid Ranking Translates Into Traffic
The Search Engine Update, Aug. 1, 2004
A new study from Atlas DMT tries suggests that top rankings do indeed equal lots of clickthrough and traffic, at least in terms of paid listings. Exclusive article for Search Engine Watch members. Learn more about becoming a member at http://searchenginewatch.com/benefits/article.php?source=ser8
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, July 30, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: SEMPO Under Fire - Mike Grehan Stirs Up SEMPO Controversy - What Does SEMPO Mean To You? - Overture to Launch Bid Management Tool - Google's IPO Pricing - Could a Virus Shut down Google?
Google Adds Date Back To Cache
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 29, 2004
Hurray! Google finally has restored showing a date as part of its page cache feature, making it easy to know exactly when a page was last spidered. Let's hope the other major search engines follow to make it easy to measure freshness with similar date reporting.
Google Banned On...Google?
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 29, 2004
Google loses all of its own pages on its own web site for about a day.
Lost Per Click: Search Advertising & Click Fraud
SearchDay, Jul. 29, 2004
Click fraud -- the practice of clicking on a text advertisement served by a search engine for the sole purpose of forcing the advertiser to pay for the click -- is emerging as an important concern for search engine marketers.
Search Engine Marketing and Branding Challenges
SearchDay, Jul. 28, 2004
Search engines are recognized as one of the best ways to generate qualified leads online. What about branding aspects? Should search engine marketing be considered as part of a brand-building campaign? The second URL leads to the longer version for Search Engine Watch members that provides a case study detailing how a diversified manufacturer of consumer and business products successfully used a search marketing campaign to increase brand awareness for both the company itself and its products.
Mike Grehan Stirs Up SEMPO Controversy
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 27, 2004
Revelations that SEMPO's president has been paid a stipend since May, along with the appointment of a new European board member, have raised issues that the search marketing organization needs to improve its member communication and focus. Much discussion here, sparked by Mike Grehan's criticism of the group in this article: Who Needs SEMPO: http://www.netimperative.com/cmn/viewdoc.jsp?cat=all&docid=BEP1_Feature_0000067540. Also good discussions in other forum threads, such as What Does SEMPO Mean To You?, http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=7143&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=105, Sempo Under Fire, http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=8234, SEMPO Article by Mike Grehan, http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum5/5022.htm
New Web Search History Timeline
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 27, 2004
Marketwatch.com releases a timeline of major events in the web search business dating back to 1995. Take a look back in time & discuss the changes of the industry here.
Affiliate Marketing and SEM
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 27, 2004
Members discuss the pros and cons of having affliate programs, and creating rules for affiliates, including the issue of bidding on trademarked terms.
MSN Previews Personalized News Search
SearchDay, Jul. 27, 2004
NewsBot, the personalized news search and aggregation service that MSN has been testing in a number of countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa has gone live in the United States.
Google's IPO Pricing
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 26, 2004
Google announces details about its auction style IPO and expected starting prices of stocks
The Older You Are, The More You Want Personalized Search
SearchDay, Jul. 26, 2004
Those aged 50 and older want personalized search more than younger age ranges, a new survey has found.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Jul. 23, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Advertisers Look Elsewhere as Search Engine Ad Space Dries Up - Change To Link Bomb Sign Of New Link Analysis Shift? - Forrester Gives Nod To Yahoo Search - New Tool for Website Comparisons - Using Background Graphics to Hide Text - Following the Ratings - Ask Jeeves Moving Up.
Overture Announces New Bid Management Tool
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 23, 2004
Overture is rolling out its own bid management program for advertisers to manage prices automatically, and looking at adding other new features.
The Future of Search
SearchDay, Jul. 22, 2004
Representatives from the world's biggest search engine companies sat down with Danny Sullivan and several hundred of his closest friends to talk about the future of search and information retrieval.
Change To Link Bomb Sign Of New Link Analysis Shift?
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 22, 2004
The link bomb "out of touch executive" no longer brings up the Google corporate management page, something that's happened for the past several months. A sign of Google tampering with results in its own favor or instead, perhaps a change in how it measures links? This thread investigates and explores.
Report Says Search Needs More Inventory
Search Engine Watch, July 21, 2004
A new report suggests that a lack of supply may drive prices so far up that it slows the growth of search advertising.
Meet The Crawlers
SearchDay, July 21, 2004
Representatives of Yahoo, Google, Ask Jeeves and LookSmart offer a inside glimpse of how they operate under the hood. The second URL leads to the longer version for Search Engine Watch members that goes into more detail about Yahoo's free and paid inclusion programs, Google's recommended tips for webmasters, an update on Google's advertising programs, questionable optimization tactics all of the engines consider borderline spam, and much more.
How Much is a Search Marketing Firm Worth?
SearchDay, July 20, 2004
In recent months we've seen a wave of small search marketing firms selling to larger buyers. How much are search engine marketing companies worth? If you own a firm, when is the right time to sell?
The Current Time, Around the World
SearchDay, July 19, 2004
Need to know what time it is in Ouagadougou? Wondering if your colleague on the other side of the planet is awake or asleep? No need to search for it: Timeticker displays the current time for dozens of countries throughout the world.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, July 16, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry - Local Search Seen Hurting Local Media - Launching Content and e-Commerce Sites - Yahoo Category Links Gone Away? - About.com Links - Automated Link Exchange Backlash - Google Introduces Key Name Search Into Toolbar - $39.99 to Get Listed in Some Directory? - Different Stats In Different Stats Software
Google Toolbar Adds Keyword Browsing to Internet Explorer
SearchDay, July 15, 2004
Google has added a keyword based browsing feature to its toolbar, allowing users to type words rather than URLs into the Internet Explorer address bar and automatically see the 'most relevant' site for those terms.
Yahoo Category Links Gone Away?
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 14, 2004
I've written before of the value in getting "detour traffic" by being listed within the Yahoo Directory. Recent changes to Yahoo effectively end that detour value, in my book. A graphical look at how category links for the Yahoo Directory used to reign supreme but now are an afterthought.
Network Solutions Offers Enhanced Whois Lookup
SearchDay, July 14, 2004
Want detailed information about a particular web site? Network Solutions has significantly enhanced their classic Whois service, providing richer information and more useful tools than most other domain lookup services.
Growing a Successful Search Marketing Business
SearchDay, July 13, 2004
Building a search marketing company holds the promise of both meaningful profits and a lot of fun -- but it takes hard work and some savvy business sense to be truly successful. The second URL leads to the longer version for Search Engine Watch members that offers additional tips and strategies for search marketing professionals, including how to deal with undesirable clients, dealing with ad agencies, and crucial staff positions to consider.
Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 17, 2004
I haven't felt like it's been a good couple of weeks for the SEM industry -- and I explain why in the kickoff to this thread. Is it time for there to be an SEM whitelist? Does the industry need a code of conduct? Is the status quo OK? Debate and discussion on the topic, along with some spin-off threads: An SEM Code Of Conduct?, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=596 and Should There Be A Spam Checking Tool?, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=594.
Here are also some related articles that I will also try to wrap-up into one big article on this topic in the future: Integration Concentration, http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/3836.asp (be sure to read both parts); Seth Pokes the SEO Hive, Gets Stung, http://www.traffick.com/article.asp?aID=164; Seth Godin: Most SEO Not Worth the Money, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=483; Search Turf War: Industry Growth Foments Tension Among Mutually Reliant, http://www.mediapost.com/dtls_dsp_news.cfm?newsID=259130, SEO Consultants Directory To Launch Peer Review Network
A Visual Search Engine for Music
SearchDay, July 12, 2004
Want to find music similar to what you already enjoy? Musicplasma creates intriguing music maps revealing connections between musicians, styles and musical epochs.
MSN Search Employee Arrested for Allegedly Hacking AltaVista
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 12, 2004
A former AltaVista employee is accused of taking some of AltaVista's source code. Now he works for MSN on search -- though the alleged theft happened before that employment.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, July 9, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Threats and Opportunities of Search Engine Marketing - 90% of All Usability Testing is Useless... - Google Trademarks Targeted by Kids' Site Googles - How Do I Best 'Direct' Adsense? - If You Could Spam the Search Engines & Never Be Caught... - Yahoo searching tips & shortcuts - Seth Godin Interrogates SEO - New Yahoo Beta Design
Ad Agencies & Search Engine Marketing Firms Beginning to Play Together
SearchDay, July 8, 2004
Advertising agencies are spending more on search engine marketing, with one in five marketers buying in excess of 1,000 keywords, according to Jupiter Research.
Behind the Scenes at Yahoo Labs, Part 3
SearchDay, July 7, 2004
The head of Yahoo Labs talks about the competition, the challenge of balancing searcher needs with webmaster desires, the future, and the next big thing in web search.
GoTo.com Leads To Go2-Branded My Way
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 7, 2004
GoTo was the original name of Overture, and GoTo.com was the company's original domain name. Years later, plenty of links to GoTo.com remain -- and now send people to search results from MyWay. Ask Jeeves owns MyWay, and this particular version benefiting from the GoTo traffic a cobranded one run by Go2. Follow the bouncing ball of this story here.
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Search Engine Watch Forums
Search Engine Articles
Buying your own brand name leads to great conversion.
Microsoft demos a new unified desktop and web search tool for financial analysts.
We're talking, but we haven't actually bought Lycos, says Daum.
How to Stop Click Fraud (Or at Least Get a Refund)
MarketingSherpa.com, July 28, 2004
Case study on how a firm identified clickfraud in order to get refunds and to deter it.
Google's Ad Technology Tussle
InternetNews.com, July 28, 2004
Good look at the latest in the patent fight between Overture and Google involving Overture's claimed patent on paid listings. One key issue in the case is what "search results" is defined as. And did Overture wait too long to file for its patent?
Get Into Yahoo for Free Part II
Search Engine Guide, July 28, 2004
Got a personal blog? Then you might expect a speedy and free admission to the Yahoo Directory.
An internet virus that generated search requests slowed down or made Google inaccessible to many users, and other search engines had trouble, as well.
The Froogles.com shopping site, which began before Google's Froogle shopping search engine, gets to keep its name.
Making Your eBay Store Search-Savvy, Part Two
ecommerce-guide.com, July 22, 2004
Experiences in getting a small merchant site listed with major shopping search engines. Applicable even to those who aren't eBay store owners.
Google's former director of operations claims he was fired because he didn't fit into the company's youth culture, with stats saying just 2 percent of the company is over 40 years old. Google denies the claim.
The Strategy of Search
SearchEnginePosition.com, July 20, 2004
Get out of the trenches of search marketing from time-to-time and make sure that your overall strategies are well-grounded. How to do this? Get to know your customers and understand how they search.
Google is working with several universities to make searching across their digital collections easier.
Looks at how Yahoo is the last major search engine to still offer paid inclusion within its web results, an amazing change given that just over four months ago, everyone but Google was offering this. Similar coverage from Wired: http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,64092,00.html. From ClickZ, also a look at the issue, using a single case study as proof that paid inclusion can improve relevance and that without it, content wouldn't be found: http://www.clickz.com/features/case_studies/article.php/3382931.
Suffice to say, plenty of sites have found ways to get their "hidden" content found without paid inclusion. In fact, that's been essential for ages, since otherwise, these sites would lose visibility on Google. Paid inclusion just makes the solution easier for those with budgets -- and if relevancy is improved by having this content, then what happens when the budget runs out and it disappears?
As a reminder, the latest in my series on paid inclusion is here: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3369651. The issues are complex -- that's why I still have one or two more parts to go.
Overture vs. Google AdWords
Search Engine Guide, July 19, 2004
Very nice compare-and-contrast to some key differences to between how paid listings work at Google and Overture.
Tips on using search engine ads to also help with your natural SEO campaigns. And vice-versa: http://www.clickz.com/experts/search/results/article.php/3385001
Ask Jeeves searches for profits, gets results
San Francisco Chronicle, July 19, 2004
Profile on Ask Jeeves working to secure and grow its position among the majors of search. I still think the strategy of running multiple web properties will be tough to pull off. Others haven't had great success with it. One property tends to end up as the favored child. With Excite, the WebCrawler and Magellan properties ended up getting neglected. Lycos left HotBot to fester for ages. But there's no doubt the acquisition of ISH has helped Ask immediately gain a larger share. Some more discussion on this over here: Following the Ratings - Ask Jeeves Moving Up, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=393. And more coverage of Ask developments also here, Ask Jeeves CEO: Technology Matters in Web Search, http://www.eweek.com/print_article/0,1761,a=131225,00.asp and here, The Big Question for Jeeves: Can It Stand Out?, http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,672749,00.html
Nice long look at the issue of bogus clicks, how search engines monitor for it, but how marketers still have to watch out for themselves. Want some tips to protect yourself? Check out Jessie Stricchiola's guide, Click Fraud - An Overview, http://www.alchemistmedia.com/CPC_Click_Fraud.htm
MSN has purchased a firm that makes searching through Outlook's email data easier, along with desktop searching. I know of at least two other tools that also allow Outlook searching, which are mentioned here: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3334241. But the acquisition suggests that Microsoft may finally improve the native searching within Outlook, plus perhaps make use of the technology and human resources to improve web and desktop searching.
Searching for The New York Times
Wired, July 14, 2004
"How can the mighty New York Times, which considers itself America's paper of record, be the paper of record in cyberspace when its articles barely show up on Google," the story asks. The answer is easy. Because the New York Times pulls much of its content behind password protection after about a week. If the page is no longer accessible, people can no longer link to it (which helps with search ranking), and the actual content of the story is lost.
The NYT apparently doesn't care, figuring that the money it makes off of archive sales and database searches is more important than Google traffic. Plus, not mentioned is the fact that many stories will show up within Google News for up to a month through a special crawling deal that's been arranged with Google.
Selecting a Search Marketing Partner Webinar Breakdown
Search Engine Lowdown, July 14, 2004
Long rundown on the webinar Search Engine Watch associate editor Chris Sherman held on how to select a search engine marketing firm.
Google's Patrick Keane Afraid of Search Engine Optimizers
Search Engine Lowdown, July 13, 2004
Andy Beal comes away shocked/angered/stunned (and understandably so) that a Google representative seemingly suggests that SEM companies can't help people improve rankings. Of course they can. They can't guarantee this, but often someone who understand search engine optimization can certainly help. Google itself says that firms may be useful in its help pages, as I describe more here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?p=5471#post5471. Google tells me it still stands by those pages, as described here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?p=6008#post6008
Rumor has it, AV search is in the works at Google.
My life changed when I started using Adobe Photoshop Album earlier this year, in terms of how I organize my digital photos. With only minor work to tag my photos, I can now instantly find all those showing my kids, my wife, taken at Disneyland, at Stonehenge, during a birthday, at Christmas and so on. Apparently, Picasa is a similar photo search and organization tool. It was just picked up by Google, which gives the company its first solid entry into desktop searching, at least in terms of photos. Plus, the ability to build online photo albums gives Google a new way to lock people to its portal.
More consolidation in the search engine marketing space, as email marketing provide Digital Impact picks up SEM firm Marketleap in a deal valued at $3.8 million.
The most important upgrade Yahoo made to its email system last June (see http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3367771) wasn't increased storage. Instead, it was that the speed of searching dropped from taking as long as a minute to Gmail like sub-second times. Nevertheless, Yahoo apparently sees more work to do as it competes with Google over this portal feature, given the acquisition of Oddpost, an online email provider.
Looks at moves by online yellow pages to win some of the search advertising spend happening online. Nice anecdote of a newly converted SuperPages buyer pleased with what appears to be great conversion. But Yahoo and Google are hardly beat, given that he says he's not going to drop them.
Fredrick Marckini changes his mind and decides that affiliates can be a good thing in search engine marketing, after talking with a number of merchants. But there are still issues to consider.
Been thinking about online yellow pages? Here's a short guide to major programs to consider, as well as how new local search ads may be appearing in them.
Seasonality Descends on Searches
Wall St. Journal, July 9, 2004
Yahoo says paid listing revenue and query volume showed no major rise from the previous quarter, causing financial analysts to fear the paid search boom is over. Yahoo says it's a seasonal thing. Apparently, it hasn't been noticed as strongly in the past because of other factors that have pushed growth up. More coverage also here: http://news.com.com/2100-1024_3-5260471.html, and Ask Jeeves says the same here: http://money.iwon.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_rt.jsp?section=news&news_id=dji-00099420040728
A site about children's characters called Googles, created before Google existed, has filed a trademark infringement action against Google. In particular, it revolves around the right to use the word Google for a children's market.
Blogger Anil Dash won the second and final round in the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO contest. Unlike what the story says, Dash indeed did win through backlinking, not because of a single post. He benefited from having the many readers of his blog backlink to him using the words "nigritude ultramarine" in their links. For more background on the contest, see my past article: The Nigritude Ultramarine Search Engine Optimization Contest. Also nice screenshots at the official competition web site.
SEO Consultants Directory To Launch Peer Review Network
SEO Consultants Directory, July 7, 2004
This long-standing guide to SEO firms that have been reviewed and approved according to its own criteria will now allow approved firms to participate in approving of other firms, as a means to expand the guide.
Web ad for lawyer linked to competitor spurs dispute
The Courier-Journal, July 6, 2004
A Kentucky lawyer objects to a competitor buying an ad that shows up for his name. I like the part where the competitor thinks he has a constitutional right to do this. Legally, advertising laws may not forbid it. But search engines have their own policies -- and given these are ads, the US constitution doesn't provide much, if any, protection to him should they decide to weigh in.
How to get your RSS feed listed in the Yahoo search engine
Pandia, July 6, 2004
Tips on how to get Yahoo to recognize you offer a web feed (RSS/Atom) and display this alongside your listing in search results. A few more tips also right at the top here: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum35/2491.htm
Various Search Industry Interviews
Search Engine Lowdown, July 2004
Andy Beal's celebrating one year of putting out an excellent search blog with short interviews from various people involved with search. It's easiest to find them by scrolling down this page. Interviews include Search Engine College founder Kalena Jordan, Traffick's Andrew Goodman, Search Engine Roundtable's Barry Schwartz, Alan Meckler, CEO of Jupitermedia, which publishes Search Engine Watch and SearchDay editor Chris Sherman.
Search Engine Resources
Want to search your hard drive? Blinkx is designed to do this, plus provide the ability to search the web, as well. It's similar to what many expect Microsoft will one day try to do or that Google itself is rumored to be doing.
I'm wary of tools like Blinkx that are pitched as if they will eliminate keyword searching. Kenjin was exactly such a tool that Autonomy rolled out back in 2000 promising to put "search engines in the dustbin," in one PR quote that I recall. Read the release from the time for more hype about how our lives were going to change: http://www.autonomy.com/c/content/Press/Archives/2000/0329.html.
The idea was that you'd show Kenjin a "perfect" document, then have it go out and find others that matched. Kenjin failed, and the reason is pretty clear. How do you show it the perfect document, if you don't have it to show already? I know -- you use a search engine!
Blinkx is apparently using some of Kenjin's technology, plus resurrecting some of that hype -- but this time, a search box is also present. Reviews of the products can be found here: http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3376491, Gary Price has a nice long rundown here, http://www.resourceshelf.com/2004/06/search-web-news-and-your-computer-with.html and there's a recent Boston Globe review here, http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2004/07/19/software_searches_without_being_asked/
I downloaded a copy but couldn't get it to work -- you might have more luck. The site also offers an interesting online search feature for those with broadband connections, with some fun visualization tools to play with.
Who's linking to you in the blog and web feed world? A new feature at Feedster lets you measure via its database.
Billed as an engineering search engine, this is designed to help you find products and suppliers related to engineering, as well as general engineering information. It claims to have indexed information from over 100,000 engineering-specific web sites.
New site designed to help consumers educate themselves before selecting an SEM firm.
New meta search site that lets you meta search several major search engines at once or allows you to search just major sites, paid listings, "pure" listings (Yahoo gets dropped from this category, apparently because of its paid inclusion) and human listings from the Open Directory.
Meta search major medical search engines and databases from this new service. More info about it can also be found here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=571
Want to stream live what people are asking at the Wondir question answering search engine? Here's the free code to do so.
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Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!