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The Search Engine Report - Number 98

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In This Issue

+ SEW Search Term Research Resources Updated
+ SEW Awards Later This Month
+ SES New York Comes Next
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SEW Search Term Research Resources Updated

I've updated our long-standing What People Search For - Most Popular Keywords page to provide updated links to the ways major search engines let the public see what's popular.

Another long-standing page, Researching Keywords for our SEW members, has been updated to provide a fresh, annotated guide to major search term research tools, including the new Trellian one (more on that via this SEW Forum discussion) plus some high-end tools from Hitwise, comScore and Yahoo.

SEW members should also see our SEM Tips: Search Term Research and Stats: Search Behavior categories of Search Topics for articles generally on the topic of search term research, targeting and how people search.

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SEW Awards Later This Month

Later this month we'll start on the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards. As with last year, we'll have a nomination round open to anyone who is an SEW member. Then we'll have general voting open to anyone who is a subscriber to one of our newsletters.

I'll post news of when things get going both on the Search Engine Watch Blog and in the Search Engine Watch Awards section of the site. Members will be informed via email of when the nomination period opens, so you won't miss out. Everyone who gets a newsletter, including members, will also be sent instructions on voting when that opens.

As with last year, the email you receive will be a one-time key allowing you to vote. So don't pass on the URL you are sent to other people. If they use it before you do, they will have cast your vote!

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SES New York Comes Next

With Chicago behind us, our next Search Engine Strategies show comes to New York from Feb. 28-March 3, 2005. The show will feature a wide variety of sessions focusing on all aspects of search engine marketing plus an extensive expo hall.

A full agenda should be up by January 10 or earlier. Until then, you can get basic information about the event location, accommodations and so on at the conference web site.

Dates for other events around the world next year have also been set for next year. 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, important blog postings and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:

Search Resolutions for the New Year
SearchDay, Jan. 5, 2005

Now's an ideal time to reflect on your searching habits and ring in some changes that will make you a more effective searcher in the year to come.

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Talking About Search Engine Spam
SEW Blog, Jan. 5, 2005

This article for Search Engine Watch members draws comments and observations that came out of two sessions at our recent SES Chicago show on search engine spam and "white hat" versus "black hat" SEO.

Overall, one of the key points I felt that came out was that tactics have to be appropriate to the space you are in. Yes, you could use black hat tactics to get a top ranking for some relatively non-competitive queries. But do that, and you stand out like a sore thumb. As I note in the article, STO -- sore thumb optimization -- is to be avoided.

The article also looks at the myth of the top ten results being the most relevant results out there, as well as the sad state of how spam continues to be defined by particular tactics, rather than intent and end result.

Those seeking more background about spam should see the Search Engine Spamming article available to SEW members, as well as the SEO: Spamming category of Search Topics for an annotated guide to stories on spamming for SEW and around the web over the years.

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Comment Spam? How About An Ignore Tag? How About An Indexing Summit!
SEW Blog, Jan. 5, 2005

Bloggers seem increasingly upset at the comment spam they have to deal with, something driven primarily by those who seek higher search rankings by posting links to their sites into comment areas.

To me, the solution seems simple. Why not give designers a tag telling search engines to ignore portions of a web page? Or better yet, how about a coordinated summit among search engines and webmasters to advance the state of site indexing overall?

The solution would help more than bloggers. That's good, because more than bloggers need it. The problem bloggers face has already been an issue for those who run forums, guest books or any other type of venue allowing public contributions. All are -- and have been -- targets of those who want to promote web sites.

In this article, a look why it might be time for search engines to coordinate with themselves and webmasters -- something that hasn't happened since May 1996!

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The Best Online Reference Sites
SearchDay, Jan. 4, 2005

Looking for an answer to a specific question? Check out this list of the best reference sites of 2004, as compiled by the American Library Association.

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What Is Relevancy?
SEW Forums, Jan. 4, 2005

How do you measure the relevancy of search engines? That's a topic of discussion right now in one of this forum thread. I've dropped a post with a lot of background material on the subject into the thread. Have thoughts on this tricky subject? Please come by and contribute.

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GuruNet Becomes Answers.com and Is Now Available Free!
SEW Blog, Jan. 3, 2005

GuruNet, the very useful and formerly subscription-based ready-reference web database and client app, full of fast facts and other information from over 100 reference sources, has launched a new site, Answers.com, and is now available for free. A look at what's offered, in this post.

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Where O Where Have My Results Gone, Google?
SEW Blog, Jan. 3, 2005

Out of 278 million matches for a search on Yahoo, only 38 unique documents are found? That's what our forum members are discussing over here: Only 31 results shown for Yahoo. And it's not just for searches on Yahoo. Check out the thread for comments, including those from Google and how the command &filter=0 can bring back more results.

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Yahoo Offers Real-Time Traffic Reports
SearchDay, Jan. 3, 2005

Largely overlooked during the holiday craziness last month, Yahoo introduced real-time traffic information for 70 major U.S. cities.

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Google on 60 Minutes
SEW Blog, Jan. 2, 2005

Google was featured on the major US news show 60 Minutes and a summary of the story is now available here. In this blog post, a look at some oversights, including the fact that Overture deserves the real "revolutionary" credit for pioneering paid search. See also the prior Google Will Be Featured on 60 Minutes this Sunday post for an even longer review of the text article of the story. Missed seeing it? You can download it here in AVI format. Be aware it will be a big download.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 30, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: The Little Engine That Could - What Is Your Greatest AdSense Advice? - Search Engines and FrontPage Shared Borders - Can Look And Feel Be Copyrighted? - My Experience With Site Match and Trusted Feed - Spam Reporting: Obligations and Issues

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Search Publishers Not Friends Of Agencies, SEMs
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 29, 2004

In Buy Your Own Search Listings from iMediaConnection, Kevin Ryan writes of a concern I've heard from many search marketers over the years. Search engines aren't the friends of agencies and SEM firms. If they can, they want to go direct to the client and cut out the middleman. Heck, shoot back to 2002 when search marketer Greg Boser condemned "monetization targeting" at our SES San Jose show as just one example of this. More on this issue and some related resources and articles, in the blog post.

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Positioning by Press Release
SEW Forums, Dec. 29, 2004

Though brief at the moment, this forum thread touches on how Google News has almost become like a trusted feed service into Google, for those who know how to play the press release game.

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What Do Ad Agencies Think Of Search?
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 29, 2004

What do media buyers in traditional ad agencies think about search? That's something one of our forum members asked recently in our Media Buyers & Search Engine Advertising thread. I responded in that thread with a variety of resources on the topic of ad agencies and search, including the fact that we've seen some recent acquisitions. But most of this is from the perspective of SEM firms who tend to think agencies "don't get it." Got some other resources giving the view from the agency side? Have your own viewpoints to contribute? Please come by!

FYI, the SEM Industry category of our Search Topics area available to Search Engine Watch members has some additional stories compiled on this subject stretching back to 1996

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The Little Engine That Could
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 29, 2004

Our Ask Jeeves forums moderator Barry Schwartz feels Ask Jeeves has great potential but wondered what it would take to turn that into widespread popularity. So over the holidays, he fired up this forum discussion. Check it out for comments from me and other search commentators such as Andrew Goodman and Mike Grehan, as well as from Ask Jeeves senior vice president Jim Lanzone. Feel free to contribute your own thoughts, as well.

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New Patents for Google, IBM, Yahoo & Others
By Gary Price, Dec. 27, 2004

Another helping of new patents and published patent applications via U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including those for IBM, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. A rundown via the blog post.

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Will 2005 Bring More SEM Acquisitions?
SEW Blog, Dec. 23, 2004

Yesterday's purchase of iProspect has people wondering if there will be more buy-ups. DMNews.com looks at this in iProspect Deal Could Ignite Agency Buying Frenzy with various quotes. And in this blog post, I make a little chart illustrating SEM firm acquisitions over time. Also see these related posts and articles:

  • iProspect Acquired by Aegis Group: Search marketing firm iProspect was acquired today by the UK-based Aegis Group and will become part of their Isobar digital network. According to a report on the Revolution web site, Aegis paid about $50 million for iProspect.
  • CGI Holding To Acquire Proceed: Only days after the acquisition of iProspect by a major marketing group, CGI Holding Corporation goes the other direction and intends to gobble up Proceed Interactive, which specializes in search marketing. More on the move in this blog post.
  • Search Agencies Ripe for Picking: From ClickZ, this article takes a look at how further acquisitions of SEM firms may occur following in the iProspect acquisition last week. Several quotes, though mainly from those at SEM firms, rather than agencies.

Remember, Search Engine Watch members have access to categorized lists of stories on about revenues and acquisitions stretching back for years, within our Search Topics area. Our search revenues category covers material of all types relating to revenues in the search space, while our search acquisitions category covers items relating to the purchasing and mergers of companies.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 23, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Having Trouble Believing In Crosslinking Penalties - Directory Wars - Local Search is just Hype - 20 Guidelines To Create Successful Landing Pages - Google as Web King, For Now... - Robots.txt Issue With Duplicate Content

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Searching for Quick Answers To Odd Questions
SearchDay, Dec. 22, 2004

Looking for an obscure fact, and need the answer right now? Forget search engines: Specialized search tools can help you track down offbeat information in a flash.

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A Skeptic's Guide to Internet Research
SearchDay, Dec. 21, 2004

In this era of drive-by searching, when most people are satisfied with just about any 'information' that surfaces in a top ten result list, it's refreshing to read a book by a professional researcher who's an unabashed skeptic about virtually all sources of online information.

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Searching for Live Music
SearchDay, Dec. 20, 2004

Want to listen to a live recording, but don't want to risk potential problems from using a file sharing network like Kazaa or Morpheus? The Live Music Archive offers thousands of hours of free, legal music, available on demand.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 17, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Live from SES Chicago 2004 - White Hat/black Hat SEO Panel - So Now You Can Search Videos - Google Wins Major Legal Victory vs. Geico - Google Suggest Beta - The Dark Side of Exchanging Reciprocal Links

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Ask Jeeves Launches Desktop Search
SearchDay, Dec. 16, 2004

Ask Jeeves has launched a beta desktop search application, capping off a very busy year in the desktop search space.

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State of the Search Marketing Industry 2004
SearchDay, Dec. 15, 2004

Jupiter Research and SEMPO (the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) have released results of separate surveys providing one of the most detailed looks yet at current practices and advertiser spending in the search marketing industry. The longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members describes additional findings from the SEMPO report, including how search marketing budgets are poaching funds from other types of advertising, attitudes and concerns regarding the paid listing click fraud issue, and a finding that stands in opposition to one of the key findings in Jupiter's report.

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Yahoo Launches Video Search Prototype, New Media RSS Format
SEW Blog, Dec. 15, 2004

Yahoo has just unveiled a video search beta available via a link on its Yahoo Next site. The company is also introducing a new RSS-based video enclosure for producers to include with video content. Using the enclosure will help Yahoo (and others) discover and index media content. More about the moves in this blog post.

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Google Victorious in Trademark Lawsuit with Geico
SEW Blog, Dec. 15, 2004

Google won a landmark trademark infringement case filed against it by Geico, involving ads linked to works that are also Geico's trademarks. USA Today and Reuters have coverage of the win. And in the blog posts below, some related articles that have followed:

  • Can We Solve Trademark Issues Outside The Courts?: Nothing burns ClickZ columnist James Hering more than "a cheap competitor" trying to "hijack a customer" by purchasing ads linked to keywords that are also the trademarks of his clients, as he writes in Will Branded Keywords Kill Search? Sure, that act would upset any brand holder. But as I've written often before, the issues aren't so simple. A look at that and how Herings idea for a brand summit among marketers and search engines would be a great development for moving forward, in this blog post.
  • Legal Threats Still Loom For Google: A recap and look ahead on the Google-Geico case from MediaPost. Geico pledges to fight on; Google feels vindicated. Interesting commentary on the consumer confusion evidence introduced and how the survey was found lacking in part because Google no longer allows terms that are trademarks to be used in ad copy, except by trademark owners.
  • Google Versus Geico: What Does It Mean for Search Engine Marketers?: Matt Naegar, one of our legal panelists at SES Chicago and general counsel for search marketing firm IMPAQT, looks at the Google-Geico ruling from a marketer's perspective in this MediaPost article.

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Google Partners with Oxford, Harvard & Others to Digitize Libraries
SearchDay, Dec. 14, 2004

Google is working closely with five new content partners on a massive scanning project that will bring millions of volumes of printed books into the Google Print database.

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MSN Joins the Desktop Search Fray
SearchDay, Dec. 13, 2004

Microsoft has launched its long anticipated desktop search application, and it's packed with promising features and tools that make it a strong contender coming out the gate.

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Yahoo Details Desktop Search Plans; Ask Jeeves & MSN Launch This Month
SEW Blog, Dec. 10, 2004

Yahoo has announced that it will release a desktop search product after the New Year, putting the search engine firmly in the desktop search race that Google kicked off earlier this year and that other major search engines have already declared that they'd be entering as well. A detailed look at what will happen, in this post.

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Yes, AOL Desktop Search Uses Copernic!
SEW Blog, Dec. 10, 2004

Deep in my write-up on Yahoo's desktop search plans earlier today, I recapped the status of desktop search for the other players including AOL. An important point buried in there I should have broken out -- AOL's tool, bundled into its browser, is powered by the Copernic tool. More on that in this post.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 10, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: SEO Thoughts on Google - Yahoo Local Listings - New Program - User Reviews and Local Search Optimization - Data Providers: The Engine That Drives Local Search - Google Affiliates Update - Confessions of a White Hat Content Spammer: What I've Learned by Ignoring Google

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Google Suggest Offers Query Refinement
SEW Blog, Dec. 10, 2004

Google was long, long overdue to provide query refinement tools that other search engines have had for ages. And now the new Google Suggest feature finally lets anyone use it. More in this blog post. It's grown on me a bit more since the post, by the way.

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Friendster, Eurekster Team Up for Personalized Search
SearchDay, Dec. 09, 2004

Friendster has rolled out a new internet search service powered by Eurekster that taps into your online social network to personalize and enhance search results.

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Forrester Stats, Search Defection & Vertical Search
SEW Blog, Dec. 9, 2004

Charlene Li shares some stats from internal Forrester research about search loyalty in The battle for search loyalty drives innovation. Is Google facing defections? Will vertical search wipe out the big boys? Those are the suggestions, but things aren't that simple. I explore more in this blog post.

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Yahoo Bolsters Local Search Business Listings
SearchDay, Dec. 8, 2004

Yahoo has quietly expanded its local business listings and rolled out a service that gives businesses control over their listings in Yahoo Local through a new content inclusion program. The longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members goes into detail about Yahoo's new enhanced local listings, including a complete description of the additional features available, how they're used in both merchant information pages and in local search results and how to add or enhance an existing enhanced search listing.

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Getting The Google Text Banner Position
SEW Blog, Dec. 7, 2004

Occasionally you'll see that some paid listings on Google appear above search results, in a space once occupied by the old CPM-based "premium listings" or what were once called by Google to be "text banners." How do AdWords listings end up in this premium spot? AdWordsRep, Google's always busy official rep for AdWords on our forums, provides information in this thread, Top position? Impossible?

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Accoona Launches, But Isn't Ready for Prime Time
SearchDay, Dec. 7, 2004

New search engine Accoona launched with great fanfare last night, but hold the applause. It's a promising start, but testing shows Accoona isn't yet ready to play ball in the big leagues.

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My Letter To Playboy
SEW Blog, Dec. 7, 2004

After the now infamous Playboy cover story on Google, I along with other people such as Daniel Brandt of Google Watch and Andreas Heldal-Lund of Xenu.net were invited to contribute letters to the magazine about the article. Andy Beal's convinced his wife that in the sake of research, he needed to buy a copy -- so you can see a scanned version of what I wrote over at Search Engine Lowdown. My letter was edited for space, as was Brandt's. You can see Brandt's original copy here, and Heldal-Lund's original copy here. My original letter can be found in this post.

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Wishing For Better Anchor Text Searching
SEW Blog, Dec. 7, 2004

I've written before that on my wishlist would be for Google and its competitors to offer the ability to search for links across the web that point at a particular page with certain terms in the links. In this post, another plea for one of the major search engines to step up and make it happen.

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The Future of the Internet, Eleven Years Ago
SearchDay, Dec. 6, 2004

It seems hard to imagine, but the Internet was still a wild frontier just a decade ago. But at a leading industry conference of the time a group of seers offered some remarkably prescient predictions of what was to come.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 3, 2004

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: The Great SEO Myths of our Time - Let's Test Hijacking A Google Listing - Internet Searches Getting Re-directed - Search Engines Offering SEO Services? - Shopping Search Arrives as an Important Vertical - Is Having A Yahoo Directory Listing A Hindrance? - Google Not Reporting All Backlinks

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Shopping Search Around the World
SearchDay, Dec. 2, 2004

Although U.S. based shopping search and product comparison services receive the lion's share of traffic, other services are emerging throughout the world that serve specific regions and countries with more localized information.

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Google: Fortune's Cover Story
SEW Blog, Dec. 2, 2004

The December 13, 2004 issue of Fortune arrived today with Brin and Page on the cover. It asks the question, "Is this company worth $165 a share. The full text of the article is also online but requires a Fortune subscription. Highlights in this blog post.

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MSN's Third Portal To Gain Blogs; Where's The Blog Search?
SEW Blog, Dec. 2, 2004

MSN is now offering blogging space through its new MSN Spaces service, making it the third major portal to jump into this area. The first? Google, of course. More details in this blog post.

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Most Of Google Remains In Beta
SEW Blog, Dec. 2, 2004

Google's release of a new Google Groups service today ironically causes the majority of features offered via the Google home page to be in beta status. Overall, 4 of the 6 major services on the home page -- 66 percent -- are in beta. If you don't use Google Desktop, then it's 3 out of 5 services in beta, or 60 percent of them.

My article for Search Engine Watch members takes a longer look at this: Breaking Out Of Google's Beta Limbo. It's complete with a chart showing all the major Google services, when they launched and how long to emerge or remain in beta. For things like Google News or Froogle Shopping, we're talking two years or longer in beta.

Overall, that article concludes that at some point, it's time for these services to either emerge from beta or be dropped as ready for promotion to the general public.

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More From The SEW Blog
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Gigablast Offering Search Feeds
By Gary Price, Jan. 5, 2005

It's now possible to create customized XML-based "search feeds" at Gigablast. Matt Wells has posted instructions along with a complete list of parameters that any one can use in building a query (cool!) here.

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SideStep Allows Travel Search On Site
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 5, 2005

Travel search engine SideStep now allows you to perform searches via its web site, rather than having to do that through browser integration. More from ClickZ: Travel Search Company SideStep Launches Site.

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Survey Says: Google Workers Use Google 100 Percent!
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 5, 2005

In What Search Engines Do Search Engine Companies Use?, Nathan at InsideGoogle provides stats from Visitorville Intelligence showing what top search engines are used by those who work at particular search engines. Those at Google apparently use Google 100 percent of the time. Those at Yahoo use Yahoo 69 percent of the time, followed by Google 30 percent of the time. How does Visitorville know this? Can I trust these stats? Some more on this in the blog post.

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Questions & Answers Recap On Google Library
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 5, 2005

Barbara Quint does an excellent roundup of the many questions surrounding the Google Library project in Googles Library Project: Questions, Questions, Questions from Information Today. What will it cost Google? How can it actually get done in the timeframe predicted? How are duplicates between libraries handled? What do publishers think? This and more are in her article, compiled from talking with Google and gathering from various sources. In the related Google Scholar program, Gary has a bit more info from Google in his Creator of Google Scholar Answers a Few Questions. And some discussion of the Google library book scanning program and questions it raises is ongoing over in our forum thread Something fishy with Google library project?

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ObjectGraph and Other Dynamic Search Term Suggestion Tools
By Gary Price, Jan. 4, 2005

If you find Google Suggest interesting and/or useful, check out the ObjectGraph Dictionary. It has the look and feel of the new Google new term suggestion tool. It allows you to find definitions based on a word list using a version of the 1913 edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (about 200,000 words) or the Free Online Dictionary of Computing (about 14,000 terms).

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Did you mean...
By Chris Sherman, Jan. 4, 2005

The Yahoo search blog just posted a fun entry looking back at the top searches of 2004. Included on the list were the top "misheard" queries, which caused me to laugh: 1. Presidential Poles; 2. King Author; 3. Serious Satellite Radio; 4. Eyes of March. Wasn't King Author the guy in that Shakespeare play about the Eyes of March? ;-)

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Topix.net Adds New Channels
By Gary Price, Jan. 4, 2005

The San Jose Mercury News and Searchblog report that Rich Skrenta and his team at Topix.net have added three new channels that will be of interest to those of you who track startup companies. 1) http://topix.net/startups for news about 2500 privately-held startups automatically culled from the Topix database of 10,000 sources. 2) http://topix.net/startups/pr for press releases only from the list of 2500 companies. 3) http://topix.net/vc for the Topix.net venture capital channel. More in the Topix.net blog.

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Local Search Lacking Ads
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 4, 2005

Local search is hot? Not yet among advertisers, ClickZ finds in Local Advertisers Lack Search Zeitgeist. It takes the top local search terms in 2004 from Google (the first time the company has reported these) and discovers that only 1 in 20 bring up ads. Now there's a benchmark to test against next year!

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Ego Searching Is Good Business
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 4, 2005

In Small Businesses May Benefit from Ego Surfing from Search Engine Guide, Jennifer Laycock looks at how even small businesses need to be aware of how people may be searching for them by name. Do a little ego searching and make sure your reputation online is good. If not, she offers some tips on fixing it. Jennifer was inspired by a recent USA Today article on the same topic but looking at how bigger business are ego searching and surfing to see what people are saying about them: Some CEOs surf Web to see how they're being portrayed

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Resolutions For SEMs To Consider
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 4, 2005

Shari Thurow makes up a list of resolutions she'd like those in the SEM industry to adopt for this year over at ClickZ: SEM New Year's Resolutions. They include not focusing on positioning as a benchmark, being clearer with search marketing jargon and terminology, integrating search marketing into the design process, making statements based only on testing and verification, avoiding falling back on design excuses and following all search engine guidelines.

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Search & The Tsunami
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 4, 2005

Tara Calishain has put together a short link rundown on how various search engines have responded to the tragic tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean: Search Engine/Blogosphere Response to the Earthquake/Tsunami. They've primarily set up special pages linking to news and donation information.

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Desktop Search Rated: Copernic Tops
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 4, 2005

Keeper Finders from Slate gives you a fast rundown on new programs in desktop search, along with grades. Copernic comes up tops with an A. MSN follows with a B. Google's third with a C+, followed by HotBot (C) and Ask Jeeves (D).

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Pro Pay-Per-Call
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 4, 2005

Dick Larkin's a long-time yellow pages hand who's spoken on the topic at our SES show before. In Pay-Per-Call Will Revolutionize Online Advertising, he looks at why he thinks pay-per-call systems will be a big hit.

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A Look at the Yahoo Buzz Index
By Gary Price, Jan. 4, 2005

The January 2005 issue of the e-journal First Monday was published yesterday and includes the article: What's the Buzz about? An empirical examination of Search on Yahoo It offers a detailed look at the Yahoo Buzz Index over a 45 week period. The authors conclude, "the data available on the Index is symptomatic of a celebritycrazed, entertainmentcentered culture." See the blog post for a summary of key findings.

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Defining Click Fraud
By Danny Sullivan, Jan. 3, 2005

Sure, concerns are rising about clickfraud -- but do we even know how to define what a fraudulent click is? ClickZ gets Google and Overture to provide their own definitions in Google and Overture Define Click Fraud. Overture goes basically with calling it any click not done in "good faith," while Google leans towards clickfraud involving artificial or malicious clicks.

For more on the subject of clickfraud, see the Search Ads: Clickfraud of our Search Topics area available to Search Engine Watch members, which summarizes stories on the topic going back for years. FYI, here's one of the earliest we list, from Wired in 2001: Spam Scam Targets GoTo Listings.

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Customize the Look of the Exalead Home Page
By Gary Price, Dec. 29, 2004

The Exalead home page now lets you customize its look with shortcut links and preview images (thumbnails) to just about any web page. More in this blog post. Exalead is a search engine that launched (beta) in October, is loaded with advanced search features, and will soon have an index containing more than one billion pages. It's definitely one to watch in the new year.

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What's in Your Collection of National Geographic Magazines?
By Gary Price, Dec. 29, 2004

The National Geographic Publications Index provides indexing (including subject descriptors) for every story, map, etc. contained in most National Geographic publications back to 1887. It's also possible and very easy to limit your search to a specific publication. Just follow the instructions on this page.

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New Way To See Ads -- And Only Ads -- At Google
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 29, 2004

Spotted via Andrew Goodman's great SEM 2.0 mailing list, news of a special Google Sponsored Links service that you can use to see all the sponsored ads Google has for a particular query. In other words, it's all ads, all the time -- none of those pesky editorial listings to get in the way! When you first arrive at the service, you'll get what looks to be an error page: "Your search - - did not match any sponsored links." Just enter the term you are interested in, and the ads will come your way.

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Google Scholar's New Advanced Search Interface
By Gary Price, Dec. 28, 2004

The Google Scholar team has released an advanced search interface. More details on features in this blog post.

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One-Stop Travel Search
By Gary Price, Dec. 27, 2004

Search engines revved up for one-stop travel service takes a look at some of the new travel search meta search engines including Kayak (they just announced a deal with AOL), Sidestep (download required), Mobissimo (just out of beta), and Quixo. Pam Parker also reports that Kayak is about to launch a ppc ad campaign to help bring traffic to their site. See Kayak.com Readies New Year PPC Campaign. I've used Kayak for several months and particularly like its use of "sliders" to help modify and focus result sets.

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Waypath Debuts New Look and Service
By Gary Price, Dec. 27, 2004

Waypath, the blog search and discovery engine, is online today with a new look and new service. First, the Waypath home page has a new look. Second, the Seattle-based company has released "Blogs on the News." Find what the blogosphere is saying about a specific Yahoo News story. BOTN utilizes semantic matching analysis. You'll find blog comments even if the post doesn't link back to the underlying news story.

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IBM and Search
By Gary Price, Dec. 26, 2004

James Fallows' article in The New York Times: At I.B.M., That Google Thing Is So Yesterday, reports on his visit to IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center and some of what Big Blue is up to in the search arena, including their Piquant "answer agent", OmniFind, and other projects that utilize their unstructured information management architecture (UIMA). More on this and other IBM search projects in this blog post.

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Positive Press for the Butler
By Gary Price, Dec. 24, 2004

The LA Times looks at Ask Jeeves in the article: Which Search Engine Firm Is Coming Back? "The aim for Ask Jeeves is to become the first stop for Web searches, not just a service to try if Google doesn't deliver the goods, said Chief Executive Steve Berkowitz."

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Asking Search Engines Who's The Top Search Engine
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 23, 2004

It's been done before, but Gord Hotckiss takes a fresh look at what comes up tops for a search for "search engine" at, well, various search engines in his Of Serendipity and Search Engines article at MediaPost. More in this blog post, including coverage of similar past looks.

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Copyrighting For Search Ads
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 22, 2004

Kevin Lee's got a two-parter at ClickZ on writing copy for search ads. PPC Search Copywriting Strategies, Part 1 looks at the importance of keywords in the title and description, while PPC Search Copywriting Strategies, Part 2 looks at crafting compelling copy, such as price points and "power" words, along with other tips.

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Search Year In Review, With A Laugh
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 22, 2004

Peter Da Vanzo's 2004: The Search Engine Year in Review article over at SearchEngineBlog.com (soon to gain the rightful tag, The Original Search Engine Blog) not only gives you a short summary of major events in search with a search marketing perspective but also provides plenty of chuckles along the way. And in this blog post, just what is the deal with results for "why is the sky blue?"

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Google, Yahoo Post 2004 Most Popular Search Terms
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 22, 2004

The list of most popular search terms from 2004 continues, with Google weighing in today. More about that, plus top searches from Yahoo, in this blog post. And for other terms, see these blog posts:

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JavaScript & Search Engines
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 22, 2004

Shari Thurow shares some tips on how search engines interact with JavaScript in the aptly-named ClickZ column Search Engines and JavaScript.

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Fire Them Search Spammers!
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 22, 2004

Patricia Fusco, one of the new SEM columnists at ClickZ, comes out swinging with an argument that if the firm you outsource SEO work to uses "black hat" techniques, they should get axed: Search Engine Spam? You're Fired! The caveat, of course, is this assumes you hired a firm and weren't aware they might use frowned-up techniques. Firing a firm that went aggressive with the search engines after they told you they would, or because you told them to do so, doesn't make much sense. You shouldn't have hired them in the first place!

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A Conversation With MSN's Justin Osmer
By Gary Price, Dec. 22, 2004

Internetnews.com's Susan Kuchinskas had a chat with MSN product manager Justin Osmer last week during SES and her report is now available. Microsoft Search to be Pervasive. You'll read about the development of the MSN's algorithmic search engine (it took about 18 months) and their just released desktop search app/toolbar suite. The article also includes comments from Osmer about beta releases (including a knock at Google?) and Microsoft's plans for releasing API's once MSN Search officially launches.

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Google Now Blocking Santy Worm
By Gary Price, Dec. 22, 2004

The good news is that Google is now blocking the Santy worm. The the bad news is that people in the antivirus and computer security communities believe that Google could have and should have responded sooner, as this News.com article covers more. And past blog coverage of the worm here: Web Worm Uses Google To Spread.

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Happy Belated Birthday to AltaVista
By Gary Price, Dec. 21, 2004

A bit of web search history! Last week, December 15th to be precise, was the ninth anniversary of AltaVista's launch. Some links in this post, for those who want to learn more about the history of this former Google of its day.

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Time Life Photo Archives
By Chris Sherman, Dec. 21, 2004

Gary blogged below about Time Magazine's new article archive. This joins a complete archive of Time Magazine cover photos the company launched last year. Time Life also offers a searchable database of over 425,000 photos that appeared in Time, Life and other Time Life magazines over the past century. Want more? See my SearchDay article Searching Images of Popular Culture.

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Clickfraud: Rampant or a Manageable Problem?
By Gary Price, Dec. 21, 2004

Some believe that clickfraud is a huge problem. Others, say it's around but manageable. Brian Morrisey's article: Click-Fraud Threat: 'Staggering' Or 'Overblown'? offers comments from both sides.

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The Google/Yahoo Rivalry in 2005
By Gary Price, Dec. 21, 2004

The AP's Michael Liedtke offers a look at what 2005 might bring to the Google/Yahoo rivalry. Google collects technologies and then figures out what to do with them. Yahoo determines what's needed, then builds.

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More About The Internet Archive's Library Digitization Project
By Gary Price, Dec. 21, 2004

In our article about Google's library digitization project last week and this SEW Blog post, we noted another large library digitization project from the Internet Archive. Today, the Information World Review article: Internet Archive to build alternative to Google has more details. Ten large libraries are taking part in the project including the Carnegie Mellon University Library, The Library of Congress, and the University of Toronto Library. The Text Archive home page is located here. You can even view a movie of their book scanning machine at the University of Toronto here.

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A Search Engine that Talks
By Gary Price, Dec. 21, 2004

BBC Online takes a look at Speegle, a search engine that reads (using synthesized speech) Google results to the searcher. Google does something like this, or at least did, at Google Voice Search. It was created ages ago but no longer appears to be working.

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Build Your Own Topic Specific Engine With Gigablast
By Gary Price, Dec. 20, 2004

I've wondered when a general-purpose web engine(s) would begin offering a "roll your own search engine" service. No more wondering, say hello to: Gigablast's: Build Your Own Topic Search Engine. It's now possible to create a subset of the complete Gigablast web index that ONLY searches the sites (or subsites) you specify. You can select up to 200 urls. Simply copy and replace a few lines of code, list the urls of the sites you want your topic engine to search, paste the finished code into a web page, and you're done. You do not need to register and you can create as many topic engines as you like. Very cool!

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Poor Relevancy and Automated Search Ads
By Gary Price, Dec. 20, 2004

eBay ads on Google selling mothers? Shopping.com and Amazon.com ads on Overture selling plutonium? A brief look at some of the silly ads that can happen with ad automation.

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Marketing Head Cindy McCaffrey Leaving Google
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 20, 2004

Forget PageRank. If Google had a secret weapon (or two or three) to count toward its incredible successes, Cindy McCaffrey was a key part of the arsenal. And now, according to SiliconBeat, she's departing: McCaffrey leaving Google. A bit more in the blog post on the team she built and the large shoes she leaves behind as the highest rank executive to depart following the IPO.

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Desktop Search Matrix Available
By Gary Price, Dec. 20, 2004

Goebel Group, a systems integrator, has put together a handy matrix that allows you to compare the easily compare the capabilities of several desktop search applications.

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Search Engine Stategies Chicago Report
By Gary Price, Dec. 20, 2004

The article: Search-A-Palooza '04, offers a look at the just completed SES Chicago conference by Clickz Network executive editor, Rebecca Lieb.

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Google Desktop Search: Security Flaw Found and Fixed
By Gary Price, Dec. 20, 2004

John Markoff in the New York Times reports that a computer science professor and two of his students have discovered a "composition flaw" in Google's desktop search application. Google was notified about the problem in November and is began distributing a version of GDS with the security flaw fixed on December 10th.

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Second-Tier Engines Provide Low-Priced Leads
By Gary Price, Dec. 19, 2004

Brian Morrisey at DM News writes that although second-tier engines don't get the traffic Google and Yahoo offer, they do provide low-priced leads.

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MSN Deskbar Shortcuts
By Gary Price, Dec. 19, 2004

There's a new site loaded down with an constantly expanding list of shortcuts for the deskbar that comes with the MS Toolbar Suite beta.

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Reports from SES: Day Four
By Gary Price, Dec. 17, 2004

Barry Schwartz (aka Rustybrick) needs to be commended for the excellent coverage of SES Chicago 2004 he has provided in the SEW Forums. On the final day of the conference, Barry reports on the following sessions:

+ MultiSite and MultiDomain Issues
+ Meet the Crawlers
+ Big Sites / Big Brands

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Reports from SES: Day Three
By Gary Pri


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