The Search Engine Update, January 22, 2002, Number 117


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
+ Call For Speakers
+ Overture Names "Authorized" Bid Management Providers
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ So Long Direct Hit, Hello Teoma
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Northern Light Close Public Web Search, Partners With Yahoo
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone!

I've done a complete update of the How Overture (GoTo) Works page. If you've never used Overture, this page takes you by the hand and explains the system. If you are an experienced Overture user or regular newsletter reader, there are probably no big surprises on it, but a review might still be helpful.

How Overture (GoTo) Works


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 now 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, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, FindWhat, FAST/, 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 has 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


Call For Speakers

I'm looking for speakers for the Search Engine Strategies conference that will be happening in Boston on March 4 & 5. See the article above for more information about the conference.

I need two speakers for the "Case Studies" panel on March 4. The session features different people talking for 15 minutes each about how they approached a particular search engine marketing campaign. Any or all aspects can be discussed -- whether you used paid placement, if so, where and what did you like, dislike; did you do directory submission -- how'd you go about it, etc. Was search term research a challenge? How did you approach it. And so on.

I'm also looking for someone who's gone through the process of selecting an SEO vendor relatively recently. I want you to share your experience as part of the "Selecting A Search Engine Marketing Firm" session on March 5. You'd only have to talk for about 10 minutes, and no formal presentation is required. I'm mainly looking for a real-life experience to help round-out this session.

I need two case study speakers who are involved with purchasing paid placement. You would have 10 minutes to address your experiences with the various programs. You'd need to share pros and cons and any important tips you've gained from your experience, with the audience. One speaker will be on the "Managing Paid Placement Listings" session and the other on the "Purchasing Paid Placement Listings" session. Both are on March 4.

Finally, I need a case study speaker for the "Measuring Success" panel. You'd have about 10 minutes to share how you've measured your success with search engines, be that with rank checking, log analysis or return-on-investment tools.

For all these panels, if you have an interesting story to tell, then message me at to be considered. To increase the odds in your favor, tell me succinctly what you'd like to talk about in the session and note any previous speaking experience.

To be considered, get in touch by Friday, Jan. 25. I'll be making my decisions by Jan. 29 and will respond to those who are selected. Those chosen will get a free pass to both days of the event. Transport and accommodation are not covered.

Please don't ask to speak on any other panels besides those that I've mentioned. The agenda is done, and aside from what I've mentioned, there are no other speaking opportunities. Also, please don't respond unless you already know you are able to attend.


Overture Names "Authorized" Bid Management Providers

When bid management programs started popping up last year, one of my key questions to Overture was, are these OK? Should advertisers using them worry that they'll be getting in trouble? Silence was the response. The limbo about these programs has now ended. Overture has named seven companies as "authorized" third party bid management providers. These are BidRight, ClickPatrol, GoToast, PPCBidTracker, PPC Management, SavePerClick and Sure Hits. A look at the issues involved with naming "authorized" vendors and what may happen to unauthorized products can be found via the URL below"

Overture Names "Authorized" Bid Management Providers
The Search Engine Update, Jan. 22, 2002


So Long Direct Hit, Hello Teoma

Say your goodbyes to the Direct Hit search engine. Direct Hit is no longer the favored child of parent company Ask Jeeves, now that the company's new baby, Teoma, is growing up.

Ask Jeeves has begun using Teoma results in place of information that previously came from Direct Hit. In addition, Ask Jeeves said this month that while the Teoma site would continue to operate on its own, the Direct Hit web site would be closed later this year.


Northern Light Close Public Web Search, Partners With Yahoo

Northern Light has closed its web-wide index to the public but continues to offer access to pay-per-view content from thousands of periodicals, both through its web site and via a new deal with Yahoo.

The web index closure is no great loss, to the searching public. The web index was fairly small in terms of coverage of the web, and the relevancy quality was generally not very good, in my opinion. Northern Light's real trump cards were its "Special Collection" documents and the auto-classification it did of results.

With auto-classification, you could perform a search, then browse the results by drilling-down through subjects that Northern Light created on the fly, in its "Custom Search Folders" area.

If you were one of those that liked this auto-classification, then check out Teoma, Wisenut or Vivisimo. All are sites that offer similar services, and Vivisimo is closest to the Northern Light model. You might also check out the new demo site of Infonetware RealTerm Search (URL below; short review further in the newsletter).

Northern Light continues to let the public search for free against the high-quality content is has from thousands of publications and which is generally not available on the web. If you find an article of interest, you'll need to typically pay between US $1 and $4 to view it.

This content is also now being offered via Yahoo, in what appears to be a new but unannounced deal that began this month. If you search from Yahoo's advanced search page, you'll see an option to search against "Research Documents." This is the Northern Light's Special Collection content. You'll also find a "Research Documents" option at the bottom of the Yahoo search results page, which leads to the new Yahoo Premium Documents Search site.

The deal has also prompted speculation in some quarters that Yahoo is about to purchase Northern Light, which I think makes no sense at all. Yahoo has plenty to gain by partnering with Northern Light in the way it has without needing to acquire the company. Yahoo had no response to questions about this. The official line from Northern Light?

"Unfortunately, at the moment, we cannot comment on unannounced news or acquisition rumors," said Northern Light spokesperson Mylissa Tsai.

I like that! OK, no comment on the acquisition rumor, sure that's fine -- it's just a rumor, after all. But the entire world can see that Northern Light is providing research document listings to Yahoo. No one can talk about it because it is "unannounced?" Well, at least with some digging, I found the Yahoo help area that provides some more "official" information about what's going on.

Bon Voyage, Northern Light
SearchDay, Jan. 9, 2002

More details from Chris Sherman on the reasons behind the close of Northern Light's web index, as well as how the news search feature is remaining open.

Lights out for Northern Light free service
Reuters, Jan. 16, 2002

"We are not the search engine where you go to look for movie listings, products or the latest DVD player," explains a Northern Light executive, as to why it has pulled out of the web search game. Pity the company didn't realize this back in 1999, when it spent millions on television ads trying to capture the general public that it is now spurning as uneconomical. It's also interesting to consider that Northern Light was the very first "paid inclusion" search engine, among the major players. It carried some content because it could make money off of it. Indeed, it is now focusing only on that content.

Yahoo Premium Document Search

AKA Northern Light's Special Collection with Yahoo's branding on it.

Yahoo Premium Document Search Help

More details about the service at Yahoo

Yahoo Teams Up With Northern Light for Premium Document Search
ResearchBuzz, Jan. 15, 2002

Tara Calishain looks at both changes to the Northern Light site now that the web index has closed and the appearance of Northern Light content at Yahoo.




Infonetware RealTerm Search

Search Engine Resources

Iconocast's Search Engine Optimization Guide,1,1101,13,1.html

Lots of tips, stats and observations about search engine marketing, stuffed into a single page.



Formerly powered by AltaVista's search software, this search site for Switzerland shifted over to Inktomi, this month.



Offers a network of web sites that focus on different information technology areas. These web sites now offer search powered by Google. However, rather than web-wide search, Google is used to search against preselected sites in each technology area.


Infonetware RealTerm Search

This site is primarily designed to demonstrate classification technology from Infogistics. It's a meta search engine, and it does topical classification of results, like Vivisimo. However, it is unique in that you can select several different topics, then "drill down" to see results from all of them, rather than being restricted to the results from only one topic. It currently queries, AltaVista, Google and Yahoo. If you like classification of results, you'll want to check this out.


Internet Marketing Bar Conference

What's a Bar Conference? Well, a conference that takes place around a bar. The idea is that web marketers can gather around and share knowledge among themselves. The first one last year was the Pub Conference, since it took place in London. This one takes place in the United States, so it changes its name to the Bar Conference. It happens on Feb. 23, from 1pm to 9pm, right in my native home of Orange County, California. Sadly, my British wife forced me to move to the UK, so I miss out on the fun, this time. There's a minor fee of US $40 that goes towards beverages. The topic is the ever popular "role of search engines in the marketing and promotion of web sites."

SearchDay Articles

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

Automated Link Generators - Not Worth The Trouble
SearchDay, Jan. 17, 2002

Link popularity is crucial for search engine success, but don't even think of using automated software to help -- these programs are both useless and offensive.


Lycos Enhances Advanced Search
SearchDay, Jan. 16, 2002

As part of a renewed commitment to improving its web search capabilities, Lycos has quietly introduced new advanced features that are both powerful and easy to use.


The Search Engine Spam Police
SearchDay, Jan. 15, 2002

We don't like spam! Three prominent anti-spam crusaders pull no punches when describing common mistakes that will automatically banish your site from the major search engines.


Searching to a Different Beat
SearchDay, Jan. 14, 2002

All good journalists are adept at discovering information, and some of the best Internet discovery tools are maintained by reporters who've published their list of sources on the web.


Converting Searchers to Customers
SearchDay, Jan. 8, 2002

Getting visitors to your web site is only half the battle. To be victorious, you need to convert searchers into customers.


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

Your Search For an Engine Stops With Google
Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2002

Washington Post columnist Rob Pegoraro finds telling people which search engine to use has gotten a lot easier: "Use Google."


Seeking search engine perfection
The Guardian, Jan. 17, 2002,7369,634553,00.html

Profile of Google's growth, success and challenges going forward.


FAST and Fresh
ClickZ, Jan. 16, 2002

Profile of FAST, the company behind


The geeks who saved Usenet
Salon, Jan. 7, 2002

Behind the scenes about how Google managed to restore 20 years of Usenet posts.


Tiscali stops Lokace search engine
Europemedia, Jan. 8, 2002

One of the first French search engines, Lakace, has been closed.


Yahoo buys top Brazil search engine from StarMedia
Reuters, Jan. 8, 2002

Yahoo has purchased Cade, a major search engine in Brazil.


Search Engines and Spam
Web Design in New York, Dec. 29, 2001

Search engine marketer Daniel Bazac offers a definition of search engine spam and asks both search engines why they don't do more to fight it and search engine marketers why they perpetuate it.

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