The Search Engine Report February 4, 2002 - Number 63

h2 align="center">THE SEARCH ENGINE REPORT
February 4, 2002 - Number 63

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,

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To Boston & London
+ 2001 Search Engine Watch Award Winners To Be Announced
+ Lawsuit Over Paid Placements To Define Search Engines
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Europe's Paid Placement Warriors
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Google Ousts Overture At Earthlink, Begins Ad Distribution
+ AOL Switches To Inktomi
+ So Long Direct Hit, Hello Teoma
-- (full story online, link provided)
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

People have written me that they received an email that purports to be from the "Advertising Dept. of" and asks them to provide information about how many visitors they receive. This is a hoax, and I have forwarded copies of this email to our legal department, which will be taking action against those sending it. INT Media, which publishes Search Engine Watch, does have an advertising department. However, they do not send out unsolicited email.


Search Engine Strategies Comes To Boston & London

On March 4 & 5, Search Engine Strategies will arrive in Boston for two days' worth of sessions packed with information about search engine marketing. The program is online and brings back many of the panels that proved popular from our last US show in Dallas, as well as some new ones.

The Search Engine Strategies conference is suitable for 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.

Both experts in search engine marketing and speakers from major search engines will be presenting. Confirmed search engines include About, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, FAST/, FindWhat, Google, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos, 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. Sign-up before Feb. 13 to save on the admission price for the Boston show and before April 9th to save on the London event.

Search Engine Strategies Boston 2002

Search Engine Strategies London 2002


2001 Search Engine Watch Award Winners To Be Announced

The decisions have been made, and the winners of the 2001 Search Engine Watch awards will be announced later this week, with Tuesday being the target date. My thanks go out to all of you who voted. You helped Chris Sherman and I in making our decisions, and we especially appreciate those of you who provided comments about why a particular search engine was your favorite in a category. Watch the link below, for the winners.

Search Engine Watch Awards


Lawsuit Over Paid Placements To Define Search Engines

Must something that calls itself a "search engine" provide trademark holders with some degree of visibility, regardless of payment, if they also carry ads for searches involving those trademarks? That will be determined in a $440 million legal action filed last week by the maker of the Body Solutions weight-loss program against AltaVista, FindWhat, Kanoodle and Overture. A close examination of the issues along with the text of the actual suits can be found via the URL below.

Lawsuit Over Paid Placements To Define Search Engines
The Search Engine Report, Feb. 4, 2002


Europe's Paid Placement Warriors

Paid placement listings on search engines in the United States are by now well established, and the clear leader there is Overture. By opening a single Overture account, you can get guaranteed placement on every popular search engine but Google. Now things are heating up in Europe, and unlike in the US, Overture faces competition for major partners in the form of United Kingdom-based Espotting. Espotting's success against Overture is unprecedented, when you compare it to the US experience. A look at how the two companies are squaring off, via the URL below. The second URL is a longer version of the article available to Search Engine Watch members. Learn about the benefits of becoming a member at

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

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

The version for Search Engine Watch members is above.


Google Ousts Overture At Earthlink, Begins Ad Distribution

Without announcement, Google has begun serving up search results to users of the Earthlink web site, taking over a partnership previously held by Overture.

Earthlink is one of the largest Internet service providers in the United States, and it has used Overture's paid placement results to power search at its site for the past two years. That deal expired in January, and Google apparently was selected to take over.

The change is extremely good news for searchers. Last year, as search sites such as Go, NBCi and Excite went under, it seemed as if the pure paid placement model was going to take over. All of those sites dropped editorial-compiled results and went for the easy money of ad-dominated listings.

The Earthlink deal is a substantial shift back to quality. Those searching at Earthlink are now getting a healthy-dose of top-notch editorial listings from Google, rather than a lot of ads from Overture. It suggests that perhaps other sites providing search will be motivated to think about both money and quality.

The Google results are not ad-free. AdWords listings that run on the regular Google web site also appear on the Google results provided to Earthlink, in the clearly marked "Sponsored Results" section at the top of the page.

This is the first time Google had distributed its ads outside of its own web site and a first move in having the company compete with Overture. Until now, a weakness in the Google distribution strategy has been the fact that it charges sites to carry its search results. In a tight economy, that's a tough sell against Overture, which tells sites that carry its results that they'll share in ad revenues.

Google said it couldn't yet comment about the Earthlink deal. However, the new product from Google, which combines ads and search results, certainly helps make the company more competitive. It can now tell sites that carry its listings that they, too, can share in ad revenues.

Google results and ads are also showing up at Sympatico, a Canadian portal which is minority owned by Lycos. Google is also now providing international web search results at the German search site, though AdWords distribution does not appear to be happening there.



Google AdWords FAQ: About Syndication

Explains to Google advertisers how their ads are now being distributed outside of Google and how to opt out of syndication, if you don't like it.

Two-Year, $10 Million Premiere Partnership Puts on Earthlink
Overture Press Release, Oct. 14, 1999

Details of the original deal between Overture (GoTo) and Earthlink.

Sympatico-Lycos, Inc changes search providers, Jan. 28, 2002

Lots of discussion of the Google-Sympatico implementation here.


AOL Switches To Inktomi

It's not your imagination. AOL Search is now apparently using Inktomi results for its main listings, relegating the Open Directory's presence to having category-only links appearing at the bottom of the page. The switch happened last week.

It's a big blow for the AOL-owned Open Directory, given that AOL Search was the largest distribution partner it had. The Open Directory continues to provide the main results at Netscape Search, and it is also the data used for the Google Directory.

AOL couldn't talk about the change yet, but I'll be following up about the switch for a future issue.

AOL Search

Open Directory

Netscape Search

Google Directory


So Long Direct Hit, Hello Teoma

Say your goodbyes to the Direct Hit search engine. Direct Hit is no longer the favored child of parent company Ask Jeeves, now that the company's new baby, Teoma, is growing up. Ask Jeeves has begun using Teoma results in place of information that previously came from Direct Hit. In addition, Ask Jeeves said last month that while the Teoma site would continue to operate on its own, the Direct Hit web site would be closed later this year. More details can be found via the URL below:

So Long Direct Hit, Hello Teoma
The Search Engine Report, Feb. 4, 2002

Search Engine Resources


This research project aims to produce a new web search engine for scientists. They want as many search requests as possible, so they can test out new ideas.



Formerly powered by AltaVista's search software, this search site for Switzerland shifted over to Inktomi, this month.



Offers a network of web sites that focus on different information technology areas. These web sites now offer search powered by Google. However, rather than web-wide search, Google is used to search against preselected sites in each technology area.


Infonetware RealTerm Search

This site is primarily designed to demonstrate classification technology from Infogistics. It's a meta search engine, and it does topical classification of results, like Vivisimo. However, it is unique in that you can select several different topics, then "drill down" to see results from all of them, rather than being restricted to the results from only one topic. It currently queries, AltaVista, Google and Yahoo. If you like classification of results, you'll want to check this out.

SearchDay Articles

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

A "Hidden" Guide to the Business Web
SearchDay, Jan. 31, 2002

Like an underground mine filled with hidden treasures, one of the best business-oriented information resources is buried deep within a popular magazine's web site.


Google: No Pop-Ups; Introducing SearchDay Quick Tips
SearchDay, Jan. 30, 2002

Google takes a strong stand on those pesky pop-up windows; New SearchDay 'Quick Tips' offer tactics and techniques from world-class super searchers.


A New Sport for Searchers: Googlewhacking
SearchDay, Jan. 29, 2002

'Googlewhacking' is a new competitive sport that tests both your searching skills and your mastery of language.


Link Generating Programs: The Debate Continues
SearchDay, Jan. 28, 2002

Do link building programs help or hurt webmasters? Two experts debate the merits of one of the most popular automated link generators on the market.


Mapping the 'Dark Net'
SearchDay, Jan. 24, 2002

Researchers have discovered that up to 5% of the Internet is completely unreachable, impossible to access by web browser or search engine alike.


Northern Light Sold, Partners With Yahoo
SearchDay, Jan. 23, 2002

Yahoo now offers premium content from Northern Light with a subscription option that's a screaming bargain, posing a significant threat to other online content aggregators.


Searching the Web World Wide
SearchDay, Jan. 22, 2002

Finding global information often means going beyond your favorite search engine. These strategies and tactics from 20 expert researchers from around the world can help.


Lycos Enhances Advanced Search
SearchDay, Jan. 16, 2002

As part of a renewed commitment to improving its web search capabilities, Lycos has quietly introduced new advanced features that are both powerful and easy to use.


The Search Engine Spam Police
SearchDay, Jan. 15, 2002

We don't like spam! Three prominent anti-spam crusaders pull no punches when describing common mistakes that will automatically banish your site from the major search engines.


Searching to a Different Beat
SearchDay, Jan. 14, 2002

All good journalists are adept at discovering information, and some of the best Internet discovery tools are maintained by reporters who've published their list of sources on the web.


Converting Searchers to Customers
SearchDay, Jan. 8, 2002

Getting visitors to your web site is only half the battle. To be victorious, you need to convert searchers into customers.


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

Defining Search Technology
ClickZ, Jan. 30, 2002

Profile of Google and its technology.

======================== Provides Business Internet Search on BusinessWeek Online Press Release, Jan. 29, 2002

Business directory will be powering business search for BusinessWeek Online.


Lycos UK pins its hopes on advertising and mobile services, Jan. 29, 2002

Q&A on how Lycos UK hopes to generate revenues.


School librarians get Web-savvy
AP, Jan. 29, 2002

Search engines are not replacements for librarians. Together, the two can make a powerful combination. Great opening about a cartoon with a librarian behind a nameplate that reads "Search Engine."


Search Me: Doom ahead for search engines that charge listing fees
SF Gate, Jan. 28, 2002

Search engines need to be like newspapers and have a clear delineation between editorial content and advertising, this column says. It sounds great, and there are indeed real concerns. But unlike media outlets, search engines also have a middle area of how they build listings that isn't quite editorial nor advertising.

Is Google doing something wrong by failing to index every page on the web, when it is well-known that there are manufactured pages numbering in the millions designed to do nothing more that get free advertising for some companies? Is Yahoo wrong not to review every submission it receives for free and response with a guaranteed yes or no, when the sheer number of spam submissions would simply swamp it?

Putting up paid barriers can help search engines as much as hurt them. There is a real fear of a slippery slope, but it is naive to think that there is some type of "level playing" field out there that would exist without paid participation programs.

Also, the column suggests that charging a listing fee is something that Yahoo has just begun to do. The company has actually offered it since early 1999, in response to demand from webmasters. It was made mandatory for commercial categories in back at the end of 2000.


Line between content and ads not always clear on Internet
AP, Feb. 3, 2002

The "Search Me: Doom Ahead" story that I gave a long review to above suggests that search engines will blur the line between editorial and ads so much that it will be news sites that begin taking over the search world. However, it seems blurring happens on online news sites, as well.


How the Wayback Machine Works
O'Reilly Network, Jan. 21, 2002

The headline says it all.


Your Search For an Engine Stops With Google
Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2002

Washington Post columnist Rob Pegoraro finds telling people which search engine to use has gotten a lot easier: "Use Google."


Seeking search engine perfection
The Guardian, Jan. 17, 2002,7369,634553,00.html

Profile of Google's growth, success and challenges going forward.


FAST and Fresh
ClickZ, Jan. 16, 2002

Profile of FAST, the company behind


The geeks who saved Usenet
Salon, Jan. 7, 2002

Behind the scenes about how Google managed to restore 20 years of Usenet posts.


Tiscali stops Lokace search engine
Europemedia, Jan. 8, 2002

One of the first French search engines, Lakace, has been closed.


Yahoo buys top Brazil search engine from StarMedia
Reuters, Jan. 8, 2002

Yahoo has purchased Cade, a major search engine in Brazil.


Image Search Engines
RLG DigiNews, Dec. 2001

Comprehensive test of image search engines, with Google coming out on top.


Jetpack Flies (Two Feet) High
Wired, Jan. 17, 2002,1282,49792,00.html

I'm sorry. I know it has nothing to do with search engines. But when I was a kid in the 70s, we were all told we'd have jetpacks. They never came. Then, watching a TV show one night recently, UK comedian Paul Merton went on with a hilarious monologue about how he, too, was wondering where the jetpacks were. Then last month, when the new season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer finally made it over the UK, I loved that the trio of Andrew, Jonathan and Warren who are fighting Buffy had on their list of goals to create workable jetpacks. As last, they've come -- but somehow, I still don't think we'll be flying in them soon :)

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