The Search Engine Report April 2, 2002 - Number 65

April 2, 2002 - Number 65

By Danny Sullivan
Editor, Search Engine Watch
Copyright (c) 2002 INT Media Group, Inc.


About The Report

The Search Engine Report is a monthly newsletter that covers developments with search engines and changes to the Search Engine Watch web site, You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long either part is sent in its entirety.

Did you know that there's a longer, more in-depth version of this
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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To London, Sydney & San Jose
+ LookSmart Changing To Cost-Per-Click Basis
+ Searching & Navigating Via Internet Explorer
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ SEO Guide Expands, But Ratings Upset Some Firms
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Google Embroiled In Scientology Debate
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Teoma vs. Google, Round Two
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ And More Google News
+ Google, Open Directory Get Foolish
+ LookSmart To Buy WiseNut
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Espotting Enhances Client Tools
+ Google Bombs Aren't So Scary
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hi Everyone--

Search engines are great, but sometimes you do find answers to your problems the old fashioned way -- by talking to people. As a case in point, associate editor Chris Sherman and I were discussing the universal problem of dealing with email spam last month, when we met up with each other at the Boston Search Engine Strategies conference.

I explained how pleased I was that the new version of Outlook I have been using, Outlook XP, has the ability to download only the headers of your email. That makes it easy to spot spam and delete it before having to download the full-text of your messages.

Chris did me one better, telling me about MailWasher. This is a small program that lets you download headers, just like Outlook XP. However, you can also mark those repeatedly sending you spam to be on your blacklist. Among other things, this means that messages from them will be bounced back, as if your email address no longer exists.

MailWasher has many other powerful tools, and it's now a keeper on my desktop. If you've been looking for a spam solution, check it out. You can run it as a freeware tool, but do consider reaching into your pocket and support the program with a voluntary donation.


I love the name Search Engine Watch but hate having to type that big huge URL into my browser, to reach the site. Actually, I don't do it as often as you, because I produce the site offline and check things on my local web server.

To reach that server, I always use the shorthand address of "sewatch." It occurred to me that this might make a good domain name for others to use, so I registered "" some time ago. Finally, things are now set up. If your fingers are tired, and you want to reach Search Engine Watch, you can do it by typing in

Please keep in mind that this is not a name change. The site will continue to be known as Search Engine Watch, and the main URL I will typically give out will be But now you have a warp speed way to reach the site, just as you can get to Ask Jeeves via and AltaVista via Sorry, no shorthand address for Google is available -- but they do have the Google Toolbar,


Search Engine Strategies Comes To London, Sydney & San Jose

Later this month -- on April 23 & 24 -- Search Engine Strategies comes to London. This will be our first ever two day show in Europe. The London show will have a special emphasis on European search engines and search engine marketing issues. 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 will be presenting, including UK and European-based speakers. There will also be speakers from the major search engines, including AltaVista, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, Espotting, FAST/AllTheWeb, Google, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos Europe, MSN Search, the Open Directory, Overture and Yahoo.

Those interested in sponsoring or exhibiting should contact Frank Fazio Jr,, for more information. Those interested in attending will find a program and sign-up information at the URL below.

Search Engine Strategies London 2002

The date for our next US show has also been announced: Aug. 12 & 13, in San Jose, California. A conference agenda and information will be available at the URL below, in the near future. In the meantime, you can leave your email address to have details sent to you, when they are ready.

Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2002

Finally, for those of you "Down Under," Search Engine Strategies will be coming to Sydney on June 11 & 12 of this year. You'll find the conference web site, when ready, via the new Search Engine Strategies site below:

Search Engine Strategies


LookSmart Changing To Cost-Per-Click Basis

Next week, LookSmart plans a shift to a model where most new listings in the commercial portions of its directory will be sold a cost-per-click basis.

Currently, LookSmart has site submission products aimed at small businesses where it charges a fee to review a site but does not charge continuing fees, if a site has been accepted for inclusion into the directory.

The change will have no impact on submission of non-commercial content into LookSmart via its volunteer directory. Non-commercial listings remain free of charge and listed if approved by the volunteer community at Zeal.

All past customers that used LookSmart's paid submission programs to gain listings are to be moved to the new cost-per-click basis over the course of the coming months. LookSmart expects to be sending further details about this migration to its existing customers next week, and I'll bring more details, when they are available.

As part of the migration, LookSmart will be crediting these existing accounts with a large number of free clicks.

The value of the free clicks should more than equal any submission fees that may have been paid by customers to LookSmart to have their site reviewed.



Searching & Navigating Via Internet Explorer

Everyone knows that the Internet Explorer browser lets you surf the web. But did you realize that Microsoft's popular browser also has some powerful search capabilities built into it? In the article below, we'll explore how IE lets you search and navigate on the web.

Searching & Navigating Via Internet Explorer
The Search Engine Update, April 2, 2002

Searching & Navigating Via Internet Explorer
The Search Engine Report, April 2, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


SEO Guide Expands, But Ratings Upset Some Firms

Late last year, I reviewed MarketingSherpa's "Buyer's Guide to Search Engine Optimization & Positioning Firms." Since that time, the first edition of the guide has undergone two further updates and a completely new second edition is on the way. The updates to the first edition have continued to build the guide into a resource that I'd highly recommend to anyone seeking a search engine marketing firm. However, they've also given rise to some serious concerns from some search engine marketing companies. A look at the changes, disputes and what it means in terms of developing search engine marketing standards.

SEO Guide Expands, But Ratings Upset Some Firms
The Search Engine Update, April 2, 2002

SEO Guide Expands, But Ratings Upset Some Firms
The Search Engine Report, April 2, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


Google Embroiled In Scientology Debate

Google found itself accused of censorship last month, after it removed some pages from an anti-Scientology web site in response to a legal request made by the Church of Scientology. The article below examines how the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act was involved and its implications for web searching.

Google Embroiled In Scientology Debate
The Search Engine Report, April 2, 2002


Teoma vs. Google, Round Two

Search engine upstart Teoma has officially launched, and the media is once again touting it as a Google killer. Search Engine Watch associate editor Chris Sherman takes a look behind the hype and the real reasons you'll want to add Teoma to your web search toolkit, in the article below from SearchDay.

Teoma vs. Google, Round Two
SearchDay, April 2, 2002


And More Google News

It was another busy month for Google, so here's a compilation of stories that cover its new news search service, a new "Search Microsoft" feature, how the Google Toolbar is being used to solve genetic puzzles and other items.

Google Turns Away Robots From Its Front Door
NewsBytes, March 28, 2002

Looks at how crawler-based Google blocks other crawlers from its site via robots.txt restrictions. Also surveys the robots.txt files of other search engines (or lack of them) at other popular web sites.

LookSmart France embraces Google
Webmaster World, March 26, 2002

While LookSmart may have acquired WiseNut, the service is apparently using Google as backup to its human-powered results in France.

Google turns up on CompuServe search, March 25, 2002

Paid listings from Google have shown up on CompuServe search, alongside those from Overture.

Google's New High Protein Diet
SearchDay, Mar. 25, 2002

Google is harnessing the collective computing power of its users to help model complex proteins, a project that could lead to the development of cures for Alzheimer's, cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

Google takes on supercomputing, March 22, 2002

Another look at the distributed Google Compute project.

BT Openworld and ntl move to Google
Webmaster World, March 22, 2002

Google results have shown up on two British ISP sites.

Ask the Search Engine & Google Launches News Search Beta
SearchDay, Mar. 14, 2002

What's the difference between paid placement and paid inclusion programs, and how do they affect search results? Stephen Baker from FAST Search and Transfer has the answer. Also has details on Google's new news search service.

Google's New News Search
About Web Search Guide, March 18, 2002

Looks at the new Google news offering and compares to some of the competition.

Google News Search

No, Google Hasn't Sold Out & Google Launches Microsoft Search
SearchDay, Mar. 12, 2002

Recent changes at Google have provoked cries of protest and alarm from both the media and webmasters. Pay no attention to this hoohaw: Google hasn't sold out. Also short details on new Search Microsoft service from Google.


Google, Open Directory Get Foolish

Another first -- search engines playing April Fool's Jokes. Yesterday, Google posted news of its new "PigeonRank" technology that employs -- you guessed it -- hundreds of pigeons pecking away to rank web pages. Meanwhile, the Open Directory got a new look, one featuring the Microsoft logo. At least for a day, Microsoft had acquired the Open Directory and changed it into GOD -- the Gates Open Directory project.

The fun didn't stop there. Stop by either of the search engine forums below and check out some of the posts from April 1, and you'll see a variety of foolishness pursued on April 1. Nor was Search Engine Watch immune -- a special SearchDay edition below features stories that we hope give you a chuckle.

Google, Open Directory Get Foolish
The Search Engine Report, April 2, 2002

Read the online version of this story to see a screenshot of how the ODP looked on April 1, since as of April 2, the Microsoft acquisition ended.

Google PigeonRank

Features illustrations of pigeons hard at work, pecking to make your searches better.

MSN Delivers Another Brick in "the Wall"

Fake press release about the Microsoft acquisition of the ODP.

Microsoft buys the Open Directory -- or not
Pandia, April 1, 2002

Reviews the ODP prank.

Webmaster World

Aside from having evolved into the Slashdot for the search engine marketing world, you'll find some funny April Fool's posts here.

Search Engine Forums

Another place for both serious search engine marketing discussions as well as some funny posts.

Google Quits Search, Focuses on Waste Management
SearchDay, April 1, 2002

Our special April Fool's edition of SearchDay.


LookSmart Buys WiseNut

LookSmart announced last month its intention to purchase the WiseNut search engine, which it hopes will turn LookSmart into an "all-in-one" solution for portals, internet service providers and others who need a search solution. The article below examines how LookSmart hopes to use WiseNut's technology to better compete with the likes of Google and even its current partner, Inktomi.

LookSmart Buys WiseNut
The Search Engine Report, April 2, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


Espotting Enhances Client Tools

Espotting launched new tools last month to help those advertising on its European paid-listings network, including an integrated bid management tool and a search term research tool, as well as enhanced reporting options. The new bid management tools are designed to let advertisers more easily set their positions within Espotting's results. For an additional fee, advertisers can also choose to automatically have positions maintained and "bid gaps" eliminated, so that they never pay more than necessary to maintain a particular rank.


Espotting Enhances Client Tools
The Search Engine Update, March 18, 2002

Longer review of the Espotting changes, for Search Engine Watch members.

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


Google Bombs Aren't So Scary

It sounds frightening. Google "Bombs" are now going off, where web sites are influencing Google's search results by controlling where they link to and what they say in their links. For some unusual queries, how you link and what you say in your links may have a big impact on Google. But "bombing" Google in this way is unlikely to have a big impact on more popular searches.

Google Bombs Aren't So Scary
SearchEngineWatch, March 18, 2002

Search Engine Resources

Custom Inktomi

This site is designed for those running Inktomi's enterprise search software as a site search solution. It's meant to help you spider better with the software, set meta tag controls, customize results and more.


WebPosition Gold 2

Haven't looked at it yet, but the venerable WebPosition Gold software has been upgraded to cover reporting at 75 search engines, including many outside the United States. Many other changes to the program's other modules have also been made.


Open Directory Public Forums

This new project from editors of the Open Directory Project is designed to foster communication between the general public and ODP editors. It is moderated by senior "meta" editors. You can read without registering but must create an account to post. Questions are accepted about submissions, listings, placement, becoming an editor and other topics.

SearchDay Articles

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

Seven Stupid Searching Mistakes, Concluded
SearchDay, Mar. 28, 2002

It's easy to make mistakes using search engines. Continuing with yesterday's four common blunders, this rounds out the seven stupid searching mistakes made by even the most experienced searchers.


Customized News Alerts from the Gray Lady
SearchDay, Mar. 26, 2002

The New York Times is now offering free, customized news alerts when articles that match your interest are published in the newspaper.


A (Free) Deep Content Search Engine
SearchDay, Mar. 21, 2002

FindArticles goes where most search engines can't, providing full text access to thousands of articles, many of which aren't freely available elsewhere on the web.


On the Road to the Semantic Web
SearchDay, Mar. 20, 2002

A new language called OWL will help power automated tools for the next generation web, offering advanced services such as more accurate Web search, intelligent software agents and knowledge management.


How Search Phrases can Help Copywriters - And Your Visitors
SearchDay, Mar. 19, 2002

Writing for search engines isn't the same as writing for people. Here's how to get copywriters excited and involved in the search engine optimization process.


Search Engine Smackdown!
SearchDay, Mar. 18, 2002

Google rules, and other search engines and directories are faded has-beens, says one search industry veteran. Nonsense! scoffs another, putting Google in its place and singing high praises for AltaVista.


Are Search Engines Biased?
SearchDay, Mar. 11, 2002

Can you trust search engines to deliver only fair and objective results? Maybe not, say the authors of a study seeking to measure how bias creeps in to search engineering.


Safe Searching with Lycos
SearchDay #219, Mar. 7, 2002

Parents, librarians or others needing to restrict access to adult or inappropriate web sites should look at Lycos SearchGuard, a flexible and sensible filter that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Newsblaster: An Automatic Weblogger
SearchDay #218, Mar. 6, 2002

Newsblaster is a great new tool for news junkies, and also points the way toward some seriously cool automated web harvesting technologies that will be a boon to searchers.


Ten Things You Need to Know about Linking and Link Popularity
SearchDay #217, Mar. 5, 2002

Understanding linking and link popularity is crucial for achieving high search engine rankings -- and for avoiding penalties for abusing the often-times unspoken rules.


Metadata or Metagarbage?
SearchDay #216, Mar. 4, 2002

Metadata is the holy grail for improving search, according to its advocates. Garbage! replies one critic, detailing seven reasons while even the most promising metadata schemes will fail.


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

Yahoo sneaks in yet more spam
MSNBC, March 29, 2002

Yahoo updated its privacy policy and changed user preferences to accept its email marketing offers at the same time.


AltaVista Search Gets Down to Business
PC World, March 28, 2002,aid,91683,00.asp

Short review of upgraded enterprise search software from AltaVista.


Search for yourself online
MSNBC, March 19, 2002

After "Donna" googled her name, she discovered a site listing her address and credit card details. Her story suggests that looking up your own name or personal data might not be an exercise in vanity but instead one of self-protection.


Plum AOL Deal Looks Like Overture's Tell, March 19, 2002

Overture is still negotiating with AOL to carry its paid listings, and the waiting is making some investors nervous. But Overture says even if the AOL deal was not extended, it still expects rising revenues this year and next.


Being Seen in New Zealand: The Lowdown on Kiwi Search Engines, March 18, 2002

Short guide to major search engines in New Zealand, plus tips on submitting.


Web portal Lycos Europe says to cut 200 jobs
Reuters, March 14, 2002

Lycos Europe plans to cut 200 jobs, in order to break-even later this year.


New Windows could solve age-old format puzzle--at a price, March 13, 2002

Microsoft hopes to make it easier to find things on your computer through changes to its future operating systems.


Netscape Navigator Browser Snoops On Web Searches
Newsbytes, March 7, 2002

I honestly don't know whether this is really a "sleezy" practice or something more commonplace. Performing a search via Netscape's address field sends your search terms to Netscape, along with your IP and information about the version of Netscape that you are using. Well, performing a search at any search engine will tell them your IP number, along with your search terms. Indeed, any request you make at any web site tells the web site your IP address. If this didn't happen, the web site wouldn't be able to send back information to your browser. The real issue in this story seems to be that some people might change the default settings within Netscape so that their queries go to Google. Frankly, Netscape's argument that it has to track these because it gets paid in part by the traffic it sends makes sense. Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser apparently won't log information like Netscape, if you use its SearchPane option. However, search from the address bar, and IE most certainly will detect your search terms, in order to decide what information to send you. And for users of the Google Toolbar, it's also going to be logging information and even more so if you install it with advanced features -- and Google clearly lays this out, when you install the toolbar.


FirstGov pick stirs controversy, March 4, 2002

The choice of Norwegian-owned FAST to power the US government's FirstGov government portal has some US-based vendors seeing red, but not white and blue.


CIA details found on Google, March 5, 2002

File this under "Add Google to the headline and they'll read it." The CIA details that found on Google were of CIA personnel, office locations and telephone numbers. Presumably, this was all information on publicly-accessible web pages. Given this, it could have been found by any decent crawler-based search engine -- and if it shouldn't have been found, it shouldn't have been placed out in the public, where crawlers could find it.

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