The Search Engine Update, Dec. 20, 1999, Number 67

About The Update

The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to those people who have subscribed to Search Engine Watch,

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In This Issue

+ MSN Search Changes To Inktomi
+ RealNames Temporarily Suspends Registration Of Generics
+ FAST Upgrades Site
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Subscribing/Unsubscribing Info

General Notes

Hello Everyone--

I'm recovering from a week of the worst flu I've ever suffered, so I'm just going to highlight a few key developments in this issue, then I'll focus on them more specifically in the next one.


MSN Search Changes To Inktomi

MSN Search has returned to using Inktomi to power the "Web Pages" section of its results. Inktomi was dumped in favor of AltaVista earlier this year, in a business-motivated swap that Microsoft hoped would benefit its web-based applications such as Hotmail. AltaVista does continue to have a presence at MSN Search -- at the bottom of all results page, you'll see an option to try your search on AltaVista. Clicking on this link passes on your search query to the AltaVista search engine. For webmasters, while MSN Search does have its own Add URL page, you'll probably find you'll increase your representation by submitting to Inktomi via HotBot's Add URL page.

MSN Search



How MSN Search Works

The Inktomi changeover has no impact on MSN Search's main results, which continue to be powered by LookSmart. Learn more about being listed in this section.

How HotBot Works

Tips on submitting to Inktomi via HotBot can be found here.

Password Finder


RealNames Temporarily Suspends Registration Of Generics

As of last Friday, RealNames temporarily suspended the registration of generic terms as RealNames Internet Keywords. The company is reacting to a recommendation from its Policy Advisory Board that a formal approval process for generic terms is needed to ensure that the overall integrity of the RealNames system is being served. RealNames CEO Keith Teare said that he expects the company will have a policy in place and be ready to consider generic terms again by next April. The policy board became involved after a RealNames customer had sought to register a generic term earlier this year, was told that RealNames policy didn't allow this, then watched a competitor successfully obtain the term. Expect more details in the next newsletter. Also, Google has now added RealNames links to its search results.


RealNames Slipping Generics Into Specifics
The Search Engine Report, Dec. 6, 1999

Discusses the mixed signals RealNames has been sending about generics, which CEO Keith Teare says will now be corrected when the new policy is in place.


FAST Upgrades Site

FAST Search has upgraded its service to allow searching by language, added the ability to limit searches to title or URL text, and introduced new relevancy algorithms. Again, expect a longer look next issue. Meanwhile, webmasters, the Add URL form is now back.



Search Engine Articles

Ask Jeeves denies infringing MIT professors' patents
Reuters, Dec.17, 1999

Two MIT professors claim in a lawsuit that Ask Jeeves should have asked them before infringing on their natural language search patents. Ask Jeeves says the case is without merit.


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This newsletter is Copyright (c) corp., 1999