The Search Engine Update, February 19, 2002, Number 119


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
+ Google Sweeps The Search Engine Watch Awards
+ AltaVista Descriptions Now Have Dynamic Abstracts; Paid Inclusion More Expensive
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Jupiter Media Metrix Releases New Search Specific Traffic Figures
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Inclusion For Teoma
-- (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
+ Overture Extends MSN Deal
+ Search Engine Financial News

-- (full story online, link provided)
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

In the Members-Only Area, I've updated the Crawler Submission Chart, which gives a rundown on submission tips, limits and options for the major crawlers. I also expect to have the Directory Submission Chart updated very shortly. When that's ready, you'll find it mentioned on the Members-Only What's New page, below. A link to the Crawler Submission Chart is already on that page.

Members-Only Area What's New

Elsewhere in the site, I've updated the "Essentials Of Search Engine Submission" guide to reflect new pricing at Yahoo and Inktomi, as well as the new paid inclusion program offered by Ask Jeeves/Teoma. The five-part guide walks through the basic steps anyone should take to get a new web site listed with search engines. It links over to relevant Members-Only content, in appropriate places.

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


Search Engine Strategies Comes To Boston & London

In less than a month, Search Engine Strategies comes to Boston for two days' worth of sessions packed with information about search engine marketing. It's not too late to sign-up for the show, which happens on March 4 & 5.

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 and speakers from major search engines will be presenting, including About, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, FAST/AllTheWeb, FindWhat, Google, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos, MSN Search, 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 will have 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.

Search Engine Strategies Boston 2002

Search Engine Strategies London 2002


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 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


AltaVista Descriptions Now Have Dynamic Abstracts; Paid Inclusion More Expensive

Do your page descriptions seem funny at AltaVista? That's because the search engine has changed how it creates its page summaries. The article below gives you a rundown on changes, and it also looks at increased fees for paid inclusion, at AltaVista.

AltaVista Descriptions Now Have Dynamic Abstracts; Paid Inclusion More Expensive
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 19, 2002


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." An explanation of the new figures from Jupiter Media Metrix can be found below. 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.

Jupiter Media Metrix Releases New Search Specific Traffic Figures, Feb. 19, 2002


Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Inclusion For Teoma

Ask Jeeves has gone live 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 included in the index for up to one year. However, those currently signing up are given an extra three months as a bonus, giving them 15 months of inclusion, in all. More information can be found via the URL below. I've also listed the sign-up URL for the program.

Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Inclusion For Teoma
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 19, 2002

Ask Jeeves/Teoma Site Submit

You can sign-up for the program and get more information here.


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.

Legal Rulings On Image Search & Meta Tags
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 19, 2002


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."

This could be one reason not to fall into the hyphenated domain name trap. This is where people register domain names like, in hopes that by having the keywords in the domain name, they'll rank better with search engines.

This may help minimally with some crawler-based search engines, but there were also rumblings at the "Spam Police" session of the last Search Engine Strategies conference that the crawlers are beginning to discriminate against exceptionally long hyphenated names. That's because they can see a correlation between these names and spamming.

Hyphenated names are more effective with directories, especially at Yahoo, where having the terms in your URL can have a big impact, if you can't get them in your title or description. Indeed, it's almost embarrassing to see how Yahoo is allowing many mirror sites that are operating with hyphenated names through. For this reason, I think you'll eventually see Yahoo begin cracking down on this.

Overall, I still feel the hyphenated names give you minimal gains but with a very large potential loss. After someone arrives at your site, will they remember the domain name that got them there? With a long hyphenate, probably not. With a good, catchy brand name, they are more likely to return.

Branding on the Web Takes Hold as Web "Surfing" Steadily Declines
StatMarket, Feb. 13, 2002

Release from StatMarket about the new figures.

Avoiding The Search Gap
The Search Engine Report, May 2, 2001

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.

Longer Domain Names Arrive
The Search Engine Update, Jan. 4, 2000

Past article that looks at the issues involved with hyphenated domain names.


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

Google in a Box
SearchDay, February 11, 2002

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, February 12, 2002

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.


Overture Extends MSN Deal

Overture's stock took a big hit earlier this month, after the news came out that Google had become the search provider for Earthlink. However, positive earnings from Overture and an extension of its deal with MSN helped the company bounce back, among analysts.

The plunge in Overture's stock because of the Earthlink loss was probably a huge overreaction, in the same way that analysts were concerned about Inktomi, when it lost the Yahoo account to Google two years ago. In both situations, the losses were only one of many clients both Overture and Inktomi had. They were not knockout punches.

Having said this, the Earthlink deal shouldn't be glossed over, in terms of what it means for Google. It was a big win for the company, just like its win of the Yahoo account was two years ago. There is no doubt that Google will be aggressively going after some of the same distribution partnerships that Overture and others want. Google also has a strong "all-in-one" advantage of being able to provide excellent editorial results along with the ability for partners to monetize those results by carrying its paid listings. FYI, I'll be coming back to Google's developing entry into the paid listings distribution market shortly.

As for Overture, the agreement with MSN means that its listings can be carried through 2003. The company also says it has extended its partnership with Yahoo to run through the middle of this year.

By the way -- a quick follow-up on my article last month about Overture announcing "authorized" bid management tools. The tools are now limited to making bid changes only six times per day, though bids can be manually changed as often as desired. And so far, unauthorized tools have not been locked out. Overture is still negotiating with some of the makers of unauthorized tools, and the implication is that blocking won't happen while negotiations continue.

Overture surprises analysts, extends MSN deal, Feb. 12, 2002

Details on the highs and lows Overture's had this month, dealwise. Interesting stat that MSN and AOL accounted for 40 to 50 percent of Overture's revenue, last quarter. One analyst also expects Overture's international revenue to be "meaningful" by 2004 and account for 27 percent of revenue by 2006.

Overture Enhances Contract with MSN, Feb. 12, 2002,,8_973261,00.html

More details on the MSN deal.

Overture: Who needs EarthLink?, Feb. 7, 2002

Overture dismisses the Earthlink loss as having a significant impact on its business, and one analyst puts it at producing only 2 to 3 percent of Overture's business. Instead, it's MSN, Yahoo and AOL that are seen as key players in keeping the company's distribution strong. The MSN and Yahoo deals were tightened, after this article was written. AOL remains expiring in March.

Google challenges pay-for-play search, Feb. 5, 2002

Quotes from Overture and Google about the Earthlink deal.

Google Ousts Overture At Earthlink, Begins Ad Distribution
The Search Engine Report, Feb. 4, 2002

My article about the Google-Earthlink deal, and why it is so significant.

Europe's Paid Placement Warriors
The Search Engine Report, Feb. 4, 2002

The first story referenced above mentions one analyst's rosy expectations for Overture's international growth. This article look at what's happening in Europe, where Overture faces substantial competition for deals in the form of Espotting.


Search Engine Financial News

I've compiled a round-up of recent articles about search engine finances. Some highlights:

+ Overture posted fourth-quarter revenue of $101.2 million, up 40 percent from the previous quarter, and net earnings of $20.8 million, up from $9 million in the previous quarter.

+ posted a fourth-quarter profit of $1.6 million, up from $650,000, in the previous quarter.

+ Ask Jeeves had a pro forma loss of $3.5 million last quarter and warned that it expects a pro forma loss of about $10 million for its current quarter.

+ LookSmart reports a net loss of just over $11 million for its last quarter, compared to a net loss of $23 million for the same period a year before. But paid clicks are up 23 percent from the previous quarter, and the company said the last quarter was profitable on an EBITDA and cash operating basis.

Articles also cover revenue and business issues with Google, Inktomi, Yahoo. All can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Financial News
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 19, 2002

SearchDay Articles

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

Speed Searching with Lycos Fast Forward
SearchDay, Feb. 14, 2002

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.


Biography! or, Searching for Famous People
SearchDay, Feb. 13, 2002

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


Google's "Search Recipe" Contest
SearchDay, Feb. 12, 2002

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


A Pre-Web Search Engine, Gopher Turns Ten
SearchDay #198, Feb. 6, 2002

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."


An Official Fake Scam Web Site
SearchDay #197, Feb. 5, 2002

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.


Google tlhIngan majQa'! (Google Does Klingon :-)
SearchDay #196, Feb. 4, 2002

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


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

Search-Engine Marketing: Beyond The Black Arts
E-Media Marketer, Feb. 12, 2002

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.


Turbo10 search engine crawls the hidden Web
Pandia, Feb. 6, 2002

Review of new invisible web search tool.


Ask Jeeves Adds Comparison Shopping, Feb. 6, 2002

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


When Web Site Search Engines Go Astray
Newsbytes, Feb. 5, 2002

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.


FAST winning the search engine race, Feb. 1, 2002

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


Three Minutes With Google's Eric Schmidt
PC World, Jan. 30, 2002,aid,81685,00.asp

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

List Info

How do I unsubscribe?
+ Follow the instructions at the very end of this email.

How do I subscribe?
The Search Engine Update is only available to paid members of the Search Engine Watch web site. If you are not a member and somehow are receiving a copy of the newsletter, learn how to become a member at:

How do I see past issues?
Follow the links at:

Is there an HTML version?
Yes, but not via email. View it online at:

How do I change my address?
+ Send a message to

I need human help with my membership!
+ Send a message to DO NOT send messages regarding list management or membership issues to Danny Sullivan. He does not deal with these directly.

I have feedback about an article!
+ I'd love to hear it. Use the form at