Introducing Search Engine Forums Spotlight

Today SearchDay begins publication of a regular new feature, spotlighting interesting, newsworthy or controversial discussions taking place in the numerous search engine forums.

Many searchers don't realize it, but there's an active community of webmasters who thrive on keeping up with the cutting edge of search engine technology. These intrepid hawks pore over their SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) scanning for any clues to how search engines rank pages and process queries.

They post their findings to a number of discussion group forums, including WebmasterWorld, IHelpYouServices, SearchEngineForums, and others. And it's rare that a finding is posted without another member of the community replying, offering praise, scorn, or alternative interpretations. They're lively groups.

Why should searchers care about webmasters skirmishing over the arcana of search engine operations? Because these discussions can often offer valuable insights that may help you become a better searcher. You may not realize that Google recently made some changes to its results ranking algorithm, for example -- the company made an effort to downplay the changes.

But the new changes did have an impact on the way some results were calculated. And the discussion groups were buzzing for days, with comments ranging from helpful tips for modifying content to wild conspiracy theories accusing Google of selling out or persecuting particular web sites.

For all but the most dedicated, navigating the search engine forums is a daunting task. It's not always easy to know which members know their stuff and which members are naive blowhards spouting patent nonsense. Because they are open forums, rumors and inaccuracies abound.

And yet there are some real gems to be found -- and these are well worth the attention of both searchers and webmasters alike.

That's why we're introducing the new Search Engine Forums Spotlight feature. Robert Clough, publisher of the daily Search Engine Guide Newsletter, will be scanning the forums for the most interesting, newsworthy or controversial discussions taking place each week. Every Monday, SearchDay will feature links to these posts, with brief snippets describing the topic of each discussion.

So without further ado, here's the first installment of Search Engine Forums Spotlight. Many thanks to Robert Clough for providing this valuable service to SearchDay readers.

Search Engine Forums Spotlight

For All Victims Of The Last Google Update
ihelpyou Search Engine Forums
Advises webmasters to confirm that the text used to link to them is actually on their pages. And, if not, add it.

One Thing Teoma Toolbar Has Over Google
Webmaster World Search Engine Forums
"What features would you really like to see in a toolbar?"

"Of" is a very common word and was not included in your search
Webmaster World Search Engine Forums
"If stop words are not included in a search, why do they produce different results when used?"

Googlebot and Javascript Menu
Webmaster World Search Engine Forums
"Can Googlebot spider a page with Javascript/DHTML menu?"

Is everyone too carried away with PageRank?
Webmaster World Search Engine Forums
"The reason PageRank gets so much attention is that it is the ONLY thing that you can really measure and that Google tells you explicitly that it is in the algorithm."

Search Engine Forums Spotlight courtesy Search Engine Guide.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Online portals news
Analysis: Plumtree unveils Enterprise Web portal strategy...
CRM-Forum Oct 21 2002 1:24PM GMT
Online search engines news
Ask Jeeves bans pop-ups...
ZDNet Oct 21 2002 12:12PM GMT
Online portals news
Yahoo Marketing Head Resigns... Oct 21 2002 11:11AM GMT
Yahoo users hit by email scam... reg Oct 21 2002 10:06AM GMT
Online search engines news
Autonomy enlisted in war on terror... Oct 21 2002 9:10AM GMT
Google Gains Virtual Ground... Oct 21 2002 8:03AM GMT
Online marketing news
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Internet: international news
A global universal description, discovery, and integration repository is unlikely part of web services in shor...
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Online search engines news
After three years, Opencola finally has a product...
National Post Online Oct 19 2002 8:48AM GMT
Domain name news
Inside ICANN - The Jonathan Cohen Interview - part 1...
Demys Oct 18 2002 5:29PM GMT
Online portals news
CD overload? Send them back to AOL...
CNN Oct 18 2002 12:51PM GMT
Web developer news
Mozilla 1.2 Beta Emerges...
Internet News Oct 18 2002 12:28PM GMT
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AtNewYork Oct 18 2002 12:28PM GMT
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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.