The Search Engine Update, August 23, 1999, Number 59

August 23, 1999 - Number 59

By Danny Sullivan
Editor, 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,

Please note that long URLs may break into two lines in some mail readers. Cut and paste, should this occur.

In This Issue

+ General Notes
+ Excite Enlarging Index, Partnered With LookSmart
+ Inktomi Takes Over At AOL NetFind
+ FAST Gets Submit Page
+ Lycos, Copernic Release Search Tools
+ GovSearch To Keep Going
+ Search Boxes That Pay
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Subscribing/Unsubscribing Info

General Notes

Hello Everyone--

We recently transitioned the newsletter to a new mail server, and we apparently lost a few (just a few!) people along the way. I think everything should be fine now -- if you were one of those that missed an issue or two, my apologies. As a general reminder, the current and past newsletters can always be found online via the Search Engine Update home page, which is listed below.

Search Engine Update Home Page

I've posted a new article about performing search term analysis of your logs with WebTrends. Of particular interest for WebTrends users will be a keywords.ini file that instantly expands your default analysis to cover 30 major search services.

I've also given a slight update to the More About Meta Tags article, to cover issues relating to the order of the title and meta tags in relation to ranking (short answer -- it's not a big deal, in my opinion). The Search Engine Submissions Chart has also been updated with new turn-around times for HotBot, MSN Search and Go/Infoseek.

The new WebTrends article and the two updated articles can be found via the Subscribers-Only Area What's New page.

Subscribers-Only Area What's New Page

Subscribers-Only Area

Password Finder

Search Engine News

Excite Enlarging Index, Partnered With LookSmart

I mentioned briefly in the last newsletter that Excite planned to enlarge its index of web pages this month. I'm planning a full review of the changes in next newsletter, but I wanted to highlight some important points for you now:

+ Excite has already begun to enlarge its index, which eventually should contain around 250 million web pages in about a month or so.

+ Along with the expansion, Excite is upgrading its relevancy algorithm. In particular, it will be making much heavier use of "off-the-page" data such as link popularity and clickthrough measurements when ranking pages. Those are just two of many criteria Excite will be using, and no single factor stands above the rest.

+ Related to ranking, pages that are deemed more "popular" than others will be retained in the index. That should mean an end to past problems at Excite where many webmasters have found entire sections of their sites dropped from its listings for no apparent reason.

+ The submission system is being upgraded in the near future to be more responsive, so that pages submitted via the Add URL page are more likely to actually appear than under the current system.

+ Excite says it will be cracking down on the popular tactic of using mirror sites in order to dominate its results. This is where webmasters have run multiple web sites with identical or near identical content.

+ Excite is now making use of the LookSmart directory within its channels, so getting listed with LookSmart may help you receive some Excite-related traffic




Inktomi Takes Over At AOL NetFind

Inktomi is now powering the results at AOL NetFind -- expect a longer look in next newsletter. At the moment, there is no independent Add URL page for the service. Until one appears, I would recommend submitting pages to HotBot. That should cover you at AOL NetFind.

AOL NetFind



FAST Gets Submit Page

FAST Search has a new submit page you can use to alert the service to your site.

FAST Search Add URL


Lycos, Copernic Release Search Tools

A new utility from Lycos allows those using Internet Explorer 4 or 5 to highlight any words on a web page, then right click and send the words as a query to the Lycos search engine. Installation takes only a few seconds.

Lycos See More

Copernic has released versions of its desktop meta search tool for Mac users. A free version provides basic search abilities, including the ability to query the major search engines, while a fee version includes the ability to perform over 100 specialty searches.



GovSearch To Keep Going

Earlier this year, Northern Light launched a new government search engine in partnership with the US Department of Commerce's National Technical Information Service. Apparently, the NTIS is now to be closed -- but Northern Light says it will continue to run the government search engine on its own.



Search Boxes That Pay

Lycos has launched a new affiliate program that pays web site owners for putting up search boxes to Lycos-owned HotBot on their web sites. Site owners can earn 2 cents per search, or 3 cents if they link to other Lycos-powered features. A similar program has run for some time at

Lycos Affiliate Program Search On Your Site

Search Engine Articles

Compaq, CMGI finalize Alta Vista deal, Aug. 19, 1999,4,40692,00.html

It's official -- CMGI now has the controlling stake in AltaVista.


Are "registered user" figures worth anything?, Aug. 16, 1999,4,40538,00.html

A look at how much you can trust the registered user numbers quoted by portals.


AltaVista offers free dial-up Net access, Aug. 12, 1999,4,40425,00.html

I wrote in the last newsletter that AltaVista's free Internet access service had gone quietly live. Now they've gone public with it, and here's a recap.


BXs Expand Ad Buying Services
Check Box, Aug. 1, 1999

A look at how portal sites are moving excess inventory at discount rates through banner exchange programs such as LinkExchange.


The Battle of the Browser Sidekicks
PC World, July 28, 1999,1510,12021,00.html

A review of add-ons that bring content from Yahoo and Excite to your desktop.


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This newsletter is Copyright (c) corp., 1999

About the author

Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

To contact current Search Engine Watch editorial staff, please click here.