The Search Engine Update, February4, 2002, Number 118


About The Update

The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to Search Engine Watch members. Please note that long URLs may break into two lines in some mail readers. Cut and paste, should this occur.


In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To Boston & London
+ 2001 Search Engine Watch Award Winners To Be Announced
+ Lawsuit Over Paid Placements To Define Search Engines
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Europe's Paid Placement Warriors
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Google Ousts Overture At Earthlink, Begins Ad Distribution
+ Link Issues And Google
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ AOL Switches To Inktomi
+ Lycos And Fast Ready Paid Inclusion Program
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

People have written me that they received an email that purports to be from the "Advertising Dept. of" and asks them to provide information about how many visitors they receive. This is a hoax, and I have forwarded copies of this email to our legal department, which will be taking action against those sending it. INT Media, which publishes Search Engine Watch, does have an advertising department. However, they do not send out unsolicited email.


Search Engine Strategies Comes To Boston & London

On March 4 & 5, Search Engine Strategies will arrive in Boston for two days' worth of sessions packed with information about search engine marketing. The program is online and brings back many of the panels that proved popular from our last US show in Dallas, as well as some new ones.

The Search Engine Strategies conference is suitable for both those new to search engine marketing and those who are more advanced. Multiple "tracks" ensure there's always a session of interest to everyone.

Both experts in search engine marketing and speakers from major search engines will be presenting. Confirmed search engines include About, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, FAST/, FindWhat, Google, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos, Netscape/The Open Directory, Overture (GoTo) and Yahoo.

Search Engine Strategies also comes to London on April 23 & 24, for its first two day event in Europe. The London show will have a special emphasis on European search engines and search engine marketing issues.

Those interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at either event should contact Frank Fazio Jr,, for more information. Those interested in attending one of the conferences can find an overview of tentative sessions and sign-up information via the URLs below. Sign-up before Feb. 13 to save on the admission price for the Boston show and before April 9th to save on the London event.

Search Engine Strategies Boston 2002

Search Engine Strategies London 2002


2001 Search Engine Watch Award Winners To Be Announced

The decisions have been made, and the winners of the 2001 Search Engine Watch awards will be announced later this week, with Tuesday being the target date. My thanks go out to all of you who voted. You helped Chris Sherman and I in making our decisions, and we especially appreciate those of you who provided comments about why a particular search engine was your favorite in a category. Watch the link below, for the winners.

Search Engine Watch Awards


Lawsuit Over Paid Placements To Define Search Engines

Must something that calls itself a "search engine" provide trademark holders with some degree of visibility, regardless of payment, if they also carry ads for searches involving those trademarks? That will be determined in a $440 million legal action filed last week by the maker of the Body Solutions weight-loss program against AltaVista, FindWhat, Kanoodle and Overture. A close examination of the issues along with the text of the actual suits can be found via the URL below.

Lawsuit Over Paid Placements To Define Search Engines
The Search Engine Report, Feb. 4, 2002


Europe's Paid Placement Warriors

Paid placement listings on search engines in the United States are by now well established, and the clear leader there is Overture. By opening a single Overture account, you can get guaranteed placement on every popular search engine but Google. Now things are heating up in Europe, and unlike in the US, Overture faces competition for major partners in the form of United Kingdom-based Espotting. Espotting's success against Overture is unprecedented, when you compare it to the US experience. A look at how the two companies are squaring off, via the URL below.

Europe's Paid Placement Warriors
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 4, 2002


Google Ousts Overture At Earthlink, Begins Ad Distribution

Without announcement, Google has begun serving up search results to users of the Earthlink web site, taking over a partnership previously held by Overture.

Earthlink is one of the largest Internet service providers in the United States, and it has used Overture's paid placement results to power search at its site for the past two years. That deal expired in January, and Google apparently was selected to take over.

The change is extremely good news for searchers. Last year, as search sites such as Go, NBCi and Excite went under, it seemed as if the pure paid placement model was going to take over. All of those sites dropped editorial-compiled results and went for the easy money of ad-dominated listings.

The Earthlink deal is a substantial shift back to quality. Those searching at Earthlink are now getting a healthy-dose of top-notch editorial listings from Google, rather than a lot of ads from Overture. It suggests that perhaps other sites providing search will be motivated to think about both money and quality.

The Google results are not ad-free. AdWords listings that run on the regular Google web site also appear on the Google results provided to Earthlink, in the clearly marked "Sponsored Results" section at the top of the page.

This is the first time Google had distributed its ads outside of its own web site and a first move in having the company compete with Overture. Until now, a weakness in the Google distribution strategy has been the fact that it charges sites to carry its search results. In a tight economy, that's a tough sell against Overture, which tells sites that carry its results that they'll share in ad revenues.

Google said it couldn't yet comment about the Earthlink deal. However, the new product from Google, which combines ads and search results, certainly helps make the company more competitive. It can now tell sites that carry its listings that they, too, can share in ad revenues.

Google results and ads are also showing up at Sympatico, a Canadian portal which is minority owned by Lycos. Google is also now providing international web search results at the German search site, though AdWords distribution does not appear to be happening there.



Google AdWords FAQ: About Syndication

Explains to Google advertisers how their ads are now being distributed outside of Google and how to opt out of syndication, if you don't like it.

Two-Year, $10 Million Premiere Partnership Puts on Earthlink
Overture Press Release, Oct. 14, 1999

Details of the original deal between Overture (GoTo) and Earthlink.

Sympatico-Lycos, Inc changes search providers, Jan. 28, 2002

Lots of discussion of the Google-Sympatico implementation here.


Link Issues And Google

I've had several different link-and-Google related issues come up recently, so I thought I'd roll them all up in one article. It examines why the link: command might not work for your site, if you've spammed; how the Google Toolbar may only estimate PageRank and revisits the importance of inbound, outbound and internal linkage. The article can be found via the URL below:

Link Issues And Google
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 4, 2002


AOL Switches To Inktomi

It's not your imagination. AOL Search is now apparently using Inktomi results for its main listings, relegating the Open Directory's presence to having category-only links appearing at the bottom of the page. The switch happened last week.

It's a big blow for the AOL-owned Open Directory, given that AOL Search was the largest distribution partner it had. The Open Directory continues to provide the main results at Netscape Search, and it is also the data used for the Google Directory.

AOL couldn't talk about the change yet, but I'll be following up about the switch for a future issue.

AOL Search

Open Directory

Netscape Search

Google Directory


Lycos And Fast Ready Paid Inclusion Program

It's well-known that FAST search has been planning a paid inclusion program for public release. Now that finally appears ready to happen, given a change over at the web site, which FAST powers.

The Lycos Add URL page has been altered to provide basic details about a new "Lycos InSite" program that will get your site listed within the Lycos web index. The offerings are very similar to the FAST PartnerSite program that was beta tested at the end of last year.

Neither program is live, and the Lycos program will almost certainly be a rebranding of the FAST program. The only question is really which will be rolled out first, or whether they will come out at the same time.

There's also the issue of whether there will be any significant differences if you sign-up with FAST as opposed to Lycos. I doubt this will happen, but we'll see. Neither Lycos nor FAST is ready to discuss their programs in more details, but I expect to get answers for the next newsletter.

Meanwhile, FAST paid inclusion is live via Lycos Germany. A combined directory submission and crawler submission product has been offered under beta test since December. Lycos Europe uses its own, homegrown directory, as opposed to the Open Directory listings that have a presence on

Lycos InSite

More details about the paid inclusion program to be offered through Lycos.

FAST PartnerSite

More details about FAST's paid inclusion program.

Lycos Germany Inclusion Program

More details and sign-up form for paid inclusion with Lycos Germany.

Search Engine Resources


This research project aims to produce a new web search engine for scientists. They want as many search requests as possible, so they can test out new ideas.

SearchDay Articles

Here are some recent articles that may be of interest, from Search Engine Watch's daily SearchDay newsletter:

A "Hidden" Guide to the Business Web
SearchDay, Jan. 31, 2002

Like an underground mine filled with hidden treasures, one of the best business-oriented information resources is buried deep within a popular magazine's web site.


Google: No Pop-Ups; Introducing SearchDay Quick Tips
SearchDay, Jan. 30, 2002

Google takes a strong stand on those pesky pop-up windows; New SearchDay 'Quick Tips' offer tactics and techniques from world-class super searchers.


A New Sport for Searchers: Googlewhacking
SearchDay, Jan. 29, 2002

'Googlewhacking' is a new competitive sport that tests both your searching skills and your mastery of language.


Link Generating Programs: The Debate Continues
SearchDay, Jan. 28, 2002

Do link building programs help or hurt webmasters? Two experts debate the merits of one of the most popular automated link generators on the market.


Mapping the 'Dark Net'
SearchDay, Jan. 24, 2002

Researchers have discovered that up to 5% of the Internet is completely unreachable, impossible to access by web browser or search engine alike.


Northern Light Sold, Partners With Yahoo
SearchDay, Jan. 23, 2002

Yahoo now offers premium content from Northern Light with a subscription option that's a screaming bargain, posing a significant threat to other online content aggregators.


Searching the Web World Wide
SearchDay, Jan. 22, 2002

Finding global information often means going beyond your favorite search engine. These strategies and tactics from 20 expert researchers from around the world can help.


On the archive page below, you'll find more articles like those above, plus have the ability to sign-up for the free newsletter.

SearchDay Archives

Search Engine Articles

Defining Search Technology
ClickZ, Jan. 30, 2002

Profile of Google and its technology.

======================== Provides Business Internet Search on BusinessWeek Online Press Release, Jan. 29, 2002

Business directory will be powering business search for BusinessWeek Online.


Lycos UK pins its hopes on advertising and mobile services, Jan. 29, 2002

Q&A on how Lycos UK hopes to generate revenues.


School librarians get Web-savvy
AP, Jan. 29, 2002

Search engines are not replacements for librarians. Together, the two can make a powerful combination. Great opening about a cartoon with a librarian behind a nameplate that reads "Search Engine."


Search Me: Doom ahead for search engines that charge listing fees
SF Gate, Jan. 28, 2002

Search engines need to be like newspapers and have a clear delineation between editorial content and advertising, this column says. It sounds great, and there are indeed real concerns. But unlike media outlets, search engines also have a middle area of how they build listings that isn't quite editorial nor advertising.

Is Google doing something wrong by failing to index every page on the web, when it is well-known that there are manufactured pages numbering in the millions designed to do nothing more that get free advertising for some companies? Is Yahoo wrong not to review every submission it receives for free and response with a guaranteed yes or no, when the sheer number of spam submissions would simply swamp it?

Putting up paid barriers can help search engines as much as hurt them. There is a real fear of a slippery slope, but it is naive to think that there is some type of "level playing" field out there that would exist without paid participation programs.

Also, the column suggests that charging a listing fee is something that Yahoo has just begun to do. The company has actually offered it since early 1999, in response to demand from webmasters. It was made mandatory for commercial categories in back at the end of 2000.


Line between content and ads not always clear on Internet
AP, Feb. 3, 2002

The "Search Me: Doom Ahead" story that I gave a long review to above suggests that search engines will blur the line between editorial and ads so much that it will be news sites that begin taking over the search world. However, it seems blurring happens on online news sites, as well.


How the Wayback Machine Works
O'Reilly Network, Jan. 21, 2002

The headline says it all.


Image Search Engines
RLG DigiNews, Dec. 2001

Comprehensive test of image search engines, with Google coming out on top.


Jetpack Flies (Two Feet) High
Wired, Jan. 17, 2002,1282,49792,00.html

I'm sorry. I know it has nothing to do with search engines. But when I was a kid in the 70s, we were all told we'd have jetpacks. They never came. Then, watching a TV show one night recently, UK comedian Paul Merton went on with a hilarious monologue about how he, too, was wondering where the jetpacks were. Then last month, when the new season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer finally made it over the UK, I loved that the trio of Andrew, Jonathan and Warren who are fighting Buffy had on their list of goals to create workable jetpacks. As last, they've come -- but somehow, I still don't think we'll be flying in them soon :)

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