The Search Engine Update, April 20, 1999, Number 51

Search Engine Watch

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

+ General Notes
+ AltaVista Introduces Paid Placements
+ Lycos Adopts Open Directory
+ Subscribing/Unsubscribing Info

General Notes

Hello Everyone--

This is an extremely abbreviated mid-month update, due to my current travel schedule. I was at Internet World in Los Angeles last week. This week, I'm attending the Search Engines Conference in Boston, along with visits to Lycos and Direct Hit. I'm gathering lots of great information, but it unfortunately means I can't do a normal mid-month newsletter. I will catch you all up on everything in the next issue, including plenty of details on the two stories below.

Search Engine News

AltaVista Introduces Paid Placements

AltaVista has launched a pay-for-placement system somewhat like that at Current advertisers can purchase a position that sits just above the top results, through an auction system that rewards the highest bidder. Want to see it in action? Just search for "cars" at AltaVista.

Pay-for-placement is already a touchy subject, and the launch at AltaVista generated further controversy because advertisers were informed of the new service before AltaVista got a formal press release together about the program. Again, I'll be looking at this in depth for the next newsletter. In the meantime, the Wired article below is the best recap I've seen.

AltaVista Hazy on Sold Searches
Wired, April 16, 1999


Lycos Adopts Open Directory

Lycos made the stunning move of essentially transforming itself into a Yahoo-like directory without having to incur the costs of an editorial staff. That's because it is using information from the Netscape-owned Open Directory. The Open Directory's license has always meant that a competitor could do this, but it was never seen as likely by Netscape, when I've asked them about this in the past. So much for that theory.

Do a search now on Lycos, and you'll be presented first with matching information from the Open Directory, followed by Lycos crawler-based results after that. Lycos-owned HotBot is also making use of the Open Directory information, but not to the extent that Lycos has. Top results continue to come from the Direct Hit service.

I've been saying for months that being listing in the Open Directory is important. Now it becomes crucial. You absolutely must ensure that you have submitted to this service. The article below will provide some basic tips on doing so. I will also follow up with more details on the change at Lycos in the next issue.

NewHoo: Yahoo Built By The Masses
The Search Engine Update, June 22, 1998


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