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Questions and Answers About Changes To SearchDay

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Both SearchDay and Search Engine Watch have been revamped recently. Here are some of the common questions you've asked, with answers and a glimpse of where we're headed in the future.

First, I'd like to say a big thank you to all of you who have sent positive comments about our changes. It's always nice to get encouraging feedback. That said, all feedback is important to us, and we do take your comments seriously, whether positive or not.

Why did you change SearchDay from plain text to HTML format?

The decision was made by Jupitermedia, SearchDay's publisher, to provide more flexibility for the advertisers that support the newsletter. Remember, advertising is what pays the bills and allows us to keep sending you SearchDay as a free publication.

But the change also made it easier for me to produce the newsletter. Rather than having two versions -- one for email and the other for the web -- I now need only produce a single version of SearchDay.

I don't like HTML email -- can't you make a text version also?

No, but you can read the current issue of SearchDay on the web as soon as it is published. The current version will always be the top link of the SearchDay home page. You can bookmark this page and read each issue on the web as an alternative to receiving it as an HTML formatted email.

What time do you publish SearchDay each day?

On most days, I publish SearchDay before 7AM, U.S. Pacific time. If you want to get an alert whenever a new issue is published, take advantage of one of the free URL tracking services I wrote about in Monitoring Web Pages 24 Hours a Day.

I use a program like Mailwasher to filter my email, and it has been flagging SearchDay as possible spam, or saying that it might contain a virus.

First of all, we would never deliberately send you spam, a virus, or anything other than what we've promised: search related information and news.

Most email filtering programs use general rules to look for possible problems -- and just like web filtering programs, they're not perfect and can make mistakes.

SearchDay includes advertising code that might be flagged as a potential problem by some email filters. In most cases, you can override these messages by marking SearchDay as a "friend" or whatever label is used to indicate a trusted source.

I encourage you to read Jupitermedia's Privacy Policy to get a better understanding of what these codes are used for.

If your organization uses the highest levels of filtering, you should talk to your network administrator to see if SearchDay can be treated as a trusted source. If this is not possible, you can always read the current issue on the web.

Why the major overhaul of the SearchEngineWatch.com Web site?

This is SearchEngineWatch.com's first major upgrade since Danny Sullivan launched the site in April 1996, using his own homegrown design. Over the years, the site has grown huge, and it was a major job for Danny and I to maintain it with the same basic web tools we've been using all along.

So in addition to giving the site a facelift, we also shifted over to using a sophisticated content management system that makes it much easier for us to focus on what we really like doing -- creating content rather than managing it.

Does this mean all of my links and bookmarks are now broken?

No. Even though the URLs have changed, we've worked hard to make sure that old URLs will automatically redirect to the pages you expect. Over the next few weeks you might occasionally encounter an error message because we haven't yet had time to completely inspect the thousands of pages on the site for problems. We're working on it, and would appreciate hearing from you if something doesn't work as expected.

Any more changes on the horizon?

No -- Danny has promised not to undergo another site redesign for at least seven years! Once everything settles down, though, we're planning to update and enhance most of the major content areas of the site, including the "how search engines work" section, search engine links, and so on. We're also planning on adding even more exclusive content to the members-only section of the site.

So thank you for your patience during the transitions of the past couple of months. Although we realize we can't please everyone, your feedback has been mostly positive, and we genuinely appreciate that.

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