The Search Engine Report, March 4, 2002, Number 64

THE SEARCH ENGINE REPORT
March 4, 2002 - Number 64

By Danny Sullivan
Editor, Search Engine Watch
http://searchenginewatch.com/
Copyright (c) 2002 INT Media Group, Inc.

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About The Report

The Search Engine Report is a monthly newsletter that covers developments with search engines and changes to the Search Engine Watch web site, http://searchenginewatch.com/.

The report has over 164,000 readers. You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long either part is sent in its entirety.

Did you know that there's a longer, more in-depth version of this
newsletter? The twice-monthly "Search Engine Update" newsletter is
just one of the many benefits available to Search Engine Watch members
Learn more about the advantages to becoming a member at this page:

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To London
+ Google Sweeps The Search Engine Watch Awards
+ Google Takes On Overture With Pay Per Click Ads
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Up Close With Google AdWords
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Lycos & FAST Launch Paid Inclusion
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Inclusion For Teoma
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Jupiter Media Metrix Releases New Search Specific Traffic Figures
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Legal Rulings On Image Search & Meta Tags
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Direct Navigation To Sites Rules, But Search Engines Remain Important
+
Google Enters Enterprise Search Space
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)

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Hello Everyone--

I've updated the "Essentials Of Search Engine Submission" guide to reflect new pricing at Yahoo and Inktomi, the new paid inclusion programs offered by Ask Jeeves/Teoma and FAST, and the new Google AdWords Select program. The five-part guide walks through the basic steps anyone should take to get a new web site listed with search engines.

I've also updated the Nielsen//NetRatings page, which shows traffic to various search engines and search related portals, as of December 2001. The Jupiter Media Metrix page has also been updated with new figures, and these are special "search specific" ones. There's an article in this issue of the newsletter that explains what a significant change this is.

Both pages, and the submission essentials guide, can be found via the What's New page, below:

What's New
http://searchenginewatch.com/whatsnew.html

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Search Engine Strategies Comes To London

Search Engine Strategies 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. The conference has programs helpful to 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.

Experts in search engine marketing will be presenting, including UK and European-based speakers. There will also be speakers from the major search engines, including so far AltaVista, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, Espotting, FAST/AllTheWeb, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos Europe and MSN Search.

Those interested in sponsoring or exhibiting should contact Frank Fazio Jr, ffaziojr@internet.com, for more information. Those interested in attending will find a program and sign-up information at the URL below.

Search Engine Strategies London 2002
http://seminars.internet.com/sew/london02/

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Google Sweeps The Search Engine Watch Awards

After Chris Sherman and I compiled the winners of the 2001 Search Engine Watch awards, I joked to him that if we were handing out gold medals as in the Olympics, Google would barely be able to walk under the weight. Chris countered that we ought to be testing Google for steroid use!

What's no joke is that Google came out as a big winner, being named for the second year in a row as "Outstanding Search Service." Google also won for "Best Image Search Engine," (Google Images) "Best Design," "Most Webmaster Friendly Search Engine" and in the "Best Search Feature" category (Google Toolbar & Cached Links).

In all, Google swept five of the eight categories where it was eligible to win. And for two of the three categories where Google didn't win, the company gained honorable mentions. It wasn't all Google, however:

+ Vivisimo won for "Best Meta Search Engine" and gained an honorable mention in "Best Search Feature," for its autocategorization.

+ Yahoo News won for "Best News Search Engine," with honorable mentions to AllTheWeb News, AltaVista News, & RocketNews.

+ Overture won for "Best Paid Placement Service," with honorable mentions to Google AdWords and Espotting.

+ Inktomi won for "Best Paid Inclusion Service," and LookSmart's Zeal.com won an honorable mention in the "Most Webmaster Friendly Search Engine" category.

+ Science search engine Scirus won for "Best Specialty Search Engine," with an honorable mention to Google Groups.

+ AltaVista and the Open Directory were both inducted into the Hall of Fame.

A rundown on all the winners and those getting honorable mentions can be found on the awards page. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all those who voted.

Search Engine Watch Awards
http://searchenginewatch.com/awards/

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Google Takes On Overture With Pay Per Click Ads

Google is no stranger to advertising, having had paid listings on its site since "text banners" debuted in December 1999. However, last month the company introduced a new pay-per-click payment option for its "AdWords" program that may make Google more attractive to some advertisers -- as well as establishing the company as serious competitor with Overture. The article below examines how Google aims to compete with Overture. The "members edition" has extended coverage, for Search Engine Watch members. Not a member? The last URL explains the benefits of joining.

Google Takes On Overture With Pay Per Click Ads
The Search Engine Report, March 4, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/03-google.html

Search Engine Watch members edition:
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/03-google.html

Search Engine Watch Membership Info
http://searchenginewatch.com/about/subscribe.html?ser03

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Up Close With Google AdWords

Forget the hype about what the new cost-per-click AdWords program means for Google, in terms of competing with Overture. What's in the program for advertisers, and how does the cost per click pricing fit in with the existing cost per impression ads? The article below takes a closer look. The "members edition" has extended coverage, for Search Engine Watch members. Not a member? The last URL explains the benefits of joining.

Up Close With Google AdWords
The Search Engine Report, March 4, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/03-adwords.html

Search Engine Watch members edition:
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/03-adwords.html

Search Engine Watch Membership Info
http://searchenginewatch.com/about/subscribe.html?ser03

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Lycos & FAST Launch Paid Inclusion

After months of beta testing, FAST has finally opened its paid inclusion program to the general public. However, FAST is not selling inclusion into its web index directly. Instead, FAST is allowing its search partners to resell the service to web site owners and site promoters. More details on the program can be found via the URL below. The "members edition" has extended coverage, for Search Engine Watch members. Not a member? The last URL explains the benefits of joining.

Lycos & FAST Launch Paid Inclusion
The Search Engine Report, March 4, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/03-fast.html

Search Engine Watch members edition:
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/03-fast.html

Search Engine Watch Membership Info
http://searchenginewatch.com/about/subscribe.html?ser03

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Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Inclusion For Teoma

Ask Jeeves went live last month with a beta program that allows paid inclusion into the Teoma index. The new program allows submission of up to 1,000 URLs, which are guaranteed to be added within 7 days, revisited each week and included in the index for up to one year. More details on the program can be found via the URL below. The "members edition" has additional coverage, for Search Engine Watch members. Not a member? The last URL explains the benefits of joining.

Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Inclusion For Teoma
The Search Engine Report, March 4, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/03-teoma.html

Search Engine Watch members edition:
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/02-teoma.html

Search Engine Watch Membership Info
http://searchenginewatch.com/about/subscribe.html?ser03

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New Look, New Features At AltaVista

That ever changing service AltaVista has once again altered its appearance, as well as having added some new features. Chris Sherman has rundowns on these, below. AltaVista has also gone from using a default Boolean OR operator to a default AND operator. Tara Calishain and Greg Notess have excellent write-ups on this development, which are listed below.

AltaVista has also resurrected once again a feature showing what people are searching for on the service. A link to "Real Seaches" is listed below. You can see real time searches on the web index, as well as in other areas such as image searching.

Meanwhile, AltaVista is closing the free email service that it offered to 400,000 people at the end of this month.

In another change, AltaVista has a new way of serving up page descriptions. Its will now try to form an abstract by looking for sentences on the page that contain your original search term, rather than using the first text on the page. This is similar to how Google has always operated.

However, if a meta description tag is used, then AltaVista will use that for the first part of that description and combine it with a dynamic abstract formed from content on the page itself. The last article listed is for Search Engine Watch members, which goes into depth about how the descriptions are created, in different situations.

AltaVista Gets a Facelift, Again
SearchDay, Feb. 21, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0221-avui.html

AltaVista has a new streamlined look, with a slimmed-down search box and a tabbed interface providing direct access to the major portions of the search engine.

AltaVista Offers "Shortcuts" to the Invisible Web
SearchDay, February 11, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0211-avshortcuts.html

AltaVista is making it easier for searchers to delve into reaches of the invisible web, providing "shortcuts" that point to high-quality deep web resources that other search engines typically can't see.

AltaVista Moves from Default OR to Default AND
ResearchBuzz, Feb. 13, 2002
http://www.researchbuzz.com/news/2002/feb07feb1302.html#altavistamoves

AltaVista Defaults to AND
Search Engine Showdown, Feb. 14, 2002
http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/new.shtml

AltaVista Real Searches
http://www.altavista.com/sites/search/real_searches

AltaVista Shuttering Free E-Mail
Boston.internet.com, Feb. 19, 2002
http://boston.internet.com/news/article/0,1928,2001_977171,00.html

AltaVista Descriptions Now Have Dynamic Abstracts; Paid Inclusion More Expensive
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 19, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/02-altavista.html

Long rundown on the changes to page descriptions at AltaVista, available to Search Engine Watch members.

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Jupiter Media Metrix Releases New Search Specific Traffic Figures

For the first time, comprehensive estimates of search activity by Internet users is being made publicly available, and it sheds new light on which search engines are really the most "popular." They rank MSN Search as the top search engine, but second-place Yahoo disputes the figures. There's no dispute that Google's third-place spot remains a remarkable show of how word-of-mouth can drive traffic. An explanation of the new figures from Jupiter Media Metrix can be found via the URL below.

Jupiter Media Metrix Releases New Search Specific Traffic Figures
SearchEngineWatch.com, Feb. 19, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/02-ratings.html

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Legal Rulings On Image Search & Meta Tags

In the right circumstances, image search engines don't violate copyright and using another company's trademarks in meta tags isn't infringement, two separate court cases have found. A rundown on the new rulings can be found in the story below. The "members edition" has extended coverage, for Search Engine Watch members. Not a member? The last URL explains the benefits of joining.

Legal Rulings On Image Search & Meta Tags
SearchEngineWatch.com, Feb. 19, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/02-legal.html

Search Engine Watch members edition:
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/02-legal.html

Search Engine Watch Membership Info
http://searchenginewatch.com/about/subscribe.html?ser03

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Direct Navigation To Sites Rules, But Search Engines Remain Important

A new release from StatMarket has found that web users are more likely to find web sites through direct navigation than a year ago, but this gain hasn't been at the expense of search engine usage.

As of February 6, 2002, about 52 percent of Internet users found web sites via direct navigation (entering a URL into a browser) or through bookmarks. This was up from 46 percent, a year ago.

In contrast, "surfing" links to find web sites dipped, dropping from 46 percent a year ago to about 41 percent in the most recent survey.

Search engine usage stayed the same, when compared to a year ago, with about 7 to 8 percent of Internet users finding web sites via search engines.

That low percentage surprised people, when it first came out last year, given how popular search engines are as a web resource. However, another study last year backed up the StatMarket figures. More importantly, the "low" figures don't reflect the importance of search engines for people in initially finding web sites they like, which they'll later visit directly.

"The search engines are going to remain really vital. People are going to find sites via search engines and then navigate directly to them," said Geoff Johnston, vice president of product marketing for StatMarket.

It also underscores the need to make a good impression, to avoid what I call the "search gap." This is where search engines may deliver you plenty of initial visitors, but a poor experience at your web site may not compel them to come back for repeat visits.

Johnston also stresses that branding is important. People not only have to like what they see, but they also need to understand how to find you again.

"Once people find you, your brand has to be important enough for people to want to come back again," Johnston said. "That's also why the site names need to be easy to remember."

Branding on the Web Takes Hold as Web "Surfing" Steadily Declines
StatMarket, Feb. 13, 2002
http://www.statmarket.com/cgi-bin/sm.cgi?sm&feature&week_stat

Release from StatMarket about the new figures.

Avoiding The Search Gap
The Search Engine Report, May 2, 2001
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/01/05-gap.html

Longer look at what the search gap is and how to keep visitors coming back -- be sure to follow the link at the top to the members-version of the article.

Search engines losing popularity
News.com, Feb. 14, 2002
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-837035.html

In case you only saw the headline, News.com's take on the StatMarket release was that search engines had lost popularity. This was based on the fact that direct navigation had risen in relation to the combined figures for surfing and searching. But when searching was broken out, as explained in my article above, it hadn't lost share at all.

Are Search Engines an E-Commerce Anachronism?
EcommerceTimes.com, Feb. 22, 2002
http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/16440.html

This is clearly based on the StatMarket release, though it never names it but rather says "some published reports indicate a measurable decline in search engine use over the past year" to back up the argument that shoppers are abandoning search engines and that this will get worse. Of course, StatMarket didn't say that search engine usage had dropped -- but that doesn't make a nice headline.

Shoppers Favor Search Engines Over Ads
DC.internet.com, Feb. 20, 2002
http://dc.internet.com/news/article/0,1934,2101_977481,00.html

Meanwhile, another survey out found that online shoppers are nearly three times more likely to find what they want on the web by using search engines versus responding to advertisements [banner ads, I presume”.

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Google Enters Enterprise Search Space

Google has introduced a new "search appliance," a pizza-box size unit that contains the full Google search functionality for internal networks and intranets. Designed to compete head-to-head with enterprise search tools offered by industry titans such as Verity and Inktomi, the Google appliance differs in that it's an integrated hardware/software product that needs comparatively little configuration to put into action. More details can be found via the articles below:

Google Search Appliance
http://www.google.com/appliance/

Google in a Box
SearchDay, February 11, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0211-avshortcuts.html

Chris Sherman provides a short rundown on the two search appliance products offered by Google and pricing. Longer coverage will also be coming in a future issue of SearchDay.

Commentary: Google's enterprising search
News.com, February 12, 2002
http://news.com.com/2009-1023-835736.html

Gartner sees some appeal in Google's product, but not necessarily for business with sophisticated needs. And a quibble with this: "While Google provides standard keyword analysis and other ranking methods, its PageRank--which analyzes a page's prominence against others in a categorical search to determine which is most often referred and linked to--is less valuable in the structured design of business sites or intranets." Of course -- but that also suggests that Google's on-the-page ranking systems are somehow inferior to other people. That's not necessarily the case at all.

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

Bookmarklets: Free Tools For Power Surfing
SearchDay, Feb. 28, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com//searchday/02/sd0228-bookmarklets.html

Bookmarklets are handy free tools that enhance your web surfing experience, acting much like "intelligent" bookmarks.

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The Ten Commandments of Internet Searching
SearchDay, Feb. 27, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0227-tencommand.html

Find the path to searching enlightenment and avoid the temptations that can lure you to commune with false ideas with these ten commandments of internet searching.

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iLOR Dumps Google for Ask/Teoma
SearchDay, Feb. 19, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0219-ilor.html

Just as the "I love Google" movement has seemingly reached its zenith, search engine iLOR has made a contrarian move away from being powered by Google to using the Ask Jeeves/Teoma web index.

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Speed Searching with Lycos Fast Forward
SearchDay, Feb. 14, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0214-lycosff.html

Lycos' new Side Search feature adds a new link to search results that lets you easily preview pages without having to click back and forth to the result page.

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Biography! or, Searching for Famous People
SearchDay, Feb. 13, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0213-biosearch.html

When you're searching for dirt on famous people, skip the major search engines and use these targeted, highly specialized biographical databases instead.

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Google's "Search Recipe" Contest
SearchDay, Feb. 12, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0212-google.html

Google challenges programmers to write code that does "interesting" things, with a cash prize and a VIP trip to the Googleplex as a reward.

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A Pre-Web Search Engine, Gopher Turns Ten
SearchDay #198, Feb. 6, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0206-gopher.html

Before the web became synonymous with cyberspace, Gopher was arguably the most popular Internet search engine, and despite rumors to the contrary, it's alive and "digging."

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An Official Fake Scam Web Site
SearchDay #197, Feb. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0205-fake.html

Borrowing the tactics of stock market con artists, the Securities and Exchange Commission's new fake investment web site has lured thousands of unwitting users who ultimately discover they've been scammed.

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Google tlhIngan majQa'! (Google Does Klingon :-)
SearchDay #196, Feb. 4, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0204-klingon.html

Google continues to go where no search engine has gone before, adding new interface languages including the warriors' tongue, Klingon.

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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
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/archives.html

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Search Engine Articles
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CIA-funded Indo-U.S. firm makes smarter Web search
Reuters, Feb. 25, 2002
http://news.cnet.com/investor/news/newsitem/0-9900-1028-8898739-0.html

The US Central Intelligence Agency has invested in a firm developing software to perform pattern searching similar to Autonomy.

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Report on Canadian Search Engines
Review Canada, Feb. 24, 2002
http://www.advancedhosting.ca/review_search_engine_canada.htm

Summarizes major Canadian search engines with links to submission forms.

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Robot Exclusion Protocol
Ftrain, Feb. 23, 2002
http://ftrain.com/robot_exclusion_protocol.html

Imagine you're hearing the music from Terminator, then read this funny short article: "I'm a Googlebot! I will not kill you...I'm indexing your apartment.''

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Some Yahoo sellers splitting personalities
News.com, Feb. 21, 2002
http://news.com.com/2100-1017-842630.html

Try to submit multiple sites that ultimately are owned by the same company to the Yahoo Commercial Directory, and you'll probably lose your submission fee. But establish multiple storefronts in Yahoo Store, in order to crowd out competition in the Yahoo Shopping search results, and you've got a winning tactic that Yahoo doesn't seem to mind.

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Espotting and Ask Jeeves strike new deal
Europemedia.net, Feb. 19, 2002
http://www.europemedia.net/shownews.asp?ArticleID=8524

Ask Jeeves will now carry more paid listings from Espotting on its UK site and position these more prominently.

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Search-Engine Marketing: Beyond The Black Arts
E-Media Marketer, Feb. 12, 2002
http://www.australia.internet.com/r/article/jsp/sid/11577

Focuses on Decide Interactive's InSearch product, which strips the content from a web page, then apparently generates a cloaked doorway intended to please Inktomi's ranking algorithms, which is submitted via Inktomi's Index Connect XML feed.

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Start your engines
WashingtonTechnology.com, Feb. 8, 2002
http://www.washingtontechnology.com/news/1_1/daily_news/17816-1.html

Long look at new requirements and challenges for those who want to power the US government's FirstGov information portal.

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Turbo10 search engine crawls the hidden Web
Pandia, Feb. 6, 2002
http://www.pandia.com/sw-2002/06-turbo10.html

Review of new invisible web search tool.

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Ask Jeeves Adds Comparison Shopping
DMNews.com, Feb. 6, 2002
http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=18847

Ask Jeeves will be providing answers to shopping-related queries with information from shopping search engine DealTime.

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When Web Site Search Engines Go Astray
Newsbytes, Feb. 5, 2002
http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/174220.html

Atomz is giving away a $1000 US Savings Bond to the person who reports the strangest search request for information on a Fortune 500 web sites.

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FAST winning the search engine race
Europemedia.net, Feb. 1, 2002
http://www.europemedia.net/shownews.asp?ArticleID=8123

Q&A with FAST, on how it is positioning itself in the search space, with the focus on technology.

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Three Minutes With Google's Eric Schmidt
PC World, Jan. 30, 2002
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,81685,00.asp

Q&A with Google's chairman and CEO, on various issues.

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