The Search Engine Report, Nov. 4, 2002, Number 72

November 4, 2002 - Number

By Danny Sullivan
Editor, Search Engine Watch
Copyright (c) 2002 Jupitermedia Corp.


About The Report

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To Dallas In December
+ The Search Engine "Perfect Page" Test
+ Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results
+ Google Sued Over PageRank Decrease
+ Google Filtering Of French & German Web Sites Revealed
+ Paid Inclusion Listings May Get Boosted At AltaVista
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

Normally I do a recap of interesting search engine articles from across the web. However, I ran short of time to complete the recap for this edition of the newsletter. It took longer than I expected to finish two complicated articles about paid inclusion at AltaVista and the lawsuit filed against Google over PageRank values, not to mention that we conducted a new relevancy study across the major search engines that has just been posted today. Don't worry -- I'll planning a special mid-month mailing on Nov. 18. to catch you up on any important articles. In the meantime, I think you'll find plenty to read in this issue!


Search Engine Strategies Comes To Dallas In December

Missed the Search Engine Strategies shows that were held in the United States earlier this year? You've got one more chance to attend in 2003, when the show comes to Dallas on Dec. 11 & 12. The SES show provides a variety of sessions about improving editorial listings in search engines and how to advertise effectively on them. Both search engine marketing experts and representatives from major search engines themselves will be speaking, including Ask Jeeves/Teoma, Inktomi, LookSmart and Yahoo, so far. More information and the ability to sign-up can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies Dallas


The Search Engine "Perfect Page" Test

How effective are search engines at finding 'ideal' search result pages? Search Engine Watch tested the major engines to find out, and our findings are in the article below:

The Search Engine "Perfect Page" Test
SearchDay, Nov. 4, 2002


Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results

After months of speculation, Yahoo announced last week that it has renewed its relationship to use Google's results as part of its search listings. In addition, Yahoo made a substantial change to end its historic barrier between human-powered and crawler-based search results. The article below provides full details about how Yahoo is now essentially powered by Google.

Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results
The Search Engine Report, Oct. 9, 2002


Google Sued Over PageRank Decrease

Google finds itself now being sued by a site owner who saw a decrease in the "PageRank" score reported to those who use the Google Toolbar. He claims Google penalized him unfairly, because he was running a network designed to broker links between sites with high PageRank. Others might feel Google, if the allegations of penalties are true, acted in self-defense. A look at the case, issues it raises and the overall "linking lunacy" that it epitomizes

Google Sued Over PageRank Decrease
The Search Engine Report, Nov. 4, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


Google Filtering Of French & German Web Sites Revealed

Last month, a Harvard Law School study brought to light that fact Google does not include certain web sites in the French and German versions of its search engines, in particular neo-Nazi or white supremacy sites that have content that might be deemed illegal to publish in France and Germany. It should be noted that similar filtering may be happening at other search engines, but the study only encompassed a look at Google. A look at the situation can be found via the article below:

Google Filtering Of French & German Web Sites Revealed
The Search Engine Report, Nov. 4, 2002


Paid Inclusion Listings May Get Boosted At AltaVista

Last month, I wrote about how an AltaVista sales representative had pitched the company's "Trusted Feed" paid inclusion program as a way to get a guaranteed top rankings. AltaVista quickly denied that this was the case, repeatedly emphasizing that content in the program is not given any ranking boost over content that AltaVista's crawler-technology finds and lists for free. Despite this, it turns out that Trusted Feed content may indeed get a bump into the top results, in the right circumstances. The story can be found below:

Paid Inclusion Listings May Get Boosted At AltaVista
The Search Engine Report, Nov. 4, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info

Search Engine Resources

Origin Search

Genealogy searching is definitely NOT my specialty, but I've been told that for those who are trying to track down their roots, Origin Search is supposed to be a wonderful new resource. Founder and CEO Ian Galbraith says that the specialty search engine is designed to find web pages that contain genealogical information and covers over 300 million names from around the world. The service launched in August with 6 million web pages indexed, and that figure will rise to 8 million this month, raising coverage to an estimated 1/2 billion names. Next year, more coverage of non-English language web sites and multilingual searching support is promised. This is a subscription service -- you pay US $5 for 24 hours of use or $15 for 2 weeks. Want to try before you buy? Use the "Irish Origins" link at the bottom of the home page to see how the service works for Irish-only information.




At some point, I plan a longer write-up about Quigo and YourAmigo. Both offer some interesting new ways to feed dynamic content into search engines via XML feeds. If you need such a solution, consider checking them out.

SearchDay Articles

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

Anatomy of a Search Engine: Inside FAST
SearchDay, October 31, 2002

Here's a behind the scenes glimpse at the inner workings of FAST, the search engine that powers Lycos, and other regional portals.


Anatomy of a Search Engine: Inside Google
SearchDay, October 30, 2002

Search engines aren't just black boxes -- they are programs continually updated to improve indexing, search responsiveness and relevance ranking. Here's an insider's look at Google.


Making Dynamic and E-Commerce Sites Search Engine Friendly
SearchDay, October 29, 2002

Many dynamic and e-commerce web sites are unwittingly part of the Invisible web, but there are several strategies for making them more search engine friendly.


A Closer Look at Overture's Auto Bid System
SearchDay, October 28, 2002

Overture's Auto Bid program is designed to ensure that you do not pay more a penny more than necessary to get the top position for your search terms, but you need to understand the subtleties of the program to avoid unpleasant surprises.


Search Engines and Legal Issues, Continued
SearchDay, October 24, 2002

Is copying a web page 'fair use'? How many of your competitors' keywords or trademarks can you legally use on a web page? Recent court cases provided answers.


Search Engines and Legal Issues
SearchDay, October 23, 2002

What do Playboy and pagejacking, tarot readings and taxes all have in common? They were the subjects of ground-breaking court cases that set legal precedents for acceptable practices on the web.


NewsSeer: All the News that Fits You Personally
SearchDay, October 22, 2002

NewsSeer is both a straightforward news search engine and an adaptive tool that's constantly learning your interests to deliver personalized news tailored to your own needs.


Introducing Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, October 21, 2002

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


Perfecting Paid Search Engine Listings
SearchDay, October 17, 2002

Many companies are already "buying their way to the top" of search engines. Most of these advertisers are now focused on optimizing their campaigns to improve traffic and conversion rates.


Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet
SearchDay, October 16, 2002

A new book offers an eye-opening exposi of the varied types of chicanery, fraud and misinformation that's rife on the Internet -- and what to do if you get stung by it.


Search Engine Strategies: Looking at Links
SearchDay, October 15, 2002

Link analysis is one of the most important techniques search engines use to determine relevance and rank documents. Representatives from Google and Teoma explain how it's done.


Search Industry Pundit Launches Newsletter
SearchDay, October 14, 2002

Longtime information industry veteran and technology pundit Stephen Arnold has launched a new bulletin that's well on its way to becoming a must-read newsletter.


Big Sites + Big Brands = Big SEO Challenges
SearchDay, October 9, 2002

Big Web Sites and brands come with bigger challenges -- that was the main theme at the Big Sites and Big Brands Forum held at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, CA.


Search Engine Standards, Please!
SearchDay, October 8, 2002

Search engines should set standards and adhere to them, say webmasters, advertisers and a senior attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. Uniform standards would serve both web site owners and searchers.


NetCaptor: A Browser on Steroids
SearchDay, October 7, 2002

NetCaptor is a browser on steroids, powered with features that Microsoft should have, but didn't, put in Internet Explorer.


The Truth About Big Brother Databases
SearchDay, October 3, 2002

Worried that your personal details may be stored away in a database that anyone can search? Two public records search experts set the record straight on what exactly is -- and is not -- included in "big brother" databases.


Google News Search Leaps Ahead
SearchDay, October 2, 2002

Google has dramatically enhanced its news search service, serving up a portal of real-time news drawn from more than 4,000 sources worldwide.


Happy Birthday, Excite!
SearchDay, October 1, 2002

Excite, the first search engine to go beyond keywords and introduce concept based searching to the web, opened its virtual doors to the public seven years ago.


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

Information for Sale: My Experience With Google Answers
Searcher, October 2002

Very interesting behind-the-scenes account of being a researcher for the Google Answers program. A changed policy of not paying researchers if customers didn't like the answers they got caused this person to avoid difficult questions. The conclusion seems to be that Google Answers is evolving into a program that gets people answers they could find on Google themselves, if they had the time or skill, rather than being a research service that tries to verify facts and tackle difficult questions that cannot necessarily be answered easily through web searching.


The Next Dot-Com Miracle?
The Motley Fool, Oct. 9, 2002

Now that everyone on Wall Street seems to loves Overture, this author from the Motley Fool's web site is betting that challengers will hurt the company's prospects.


Inktomi cuts 20 percent of work force, Oct. 8, 2002

Inktomi tightens its belt again by laying off more workers, apparently from the enterprise search side of the business. The company remains with 300 employees.


Brands Suffer From Search Dysfunctions
ClickZ, Oct. 8, 2002

Improve your own internal search or risk having frustrated customers.


Meet basics 'or search engines won't come knocking'
Next, Oct. 8, 2002

Think about how you link to your own pages and how you construct URL names are two important tips out of this article on ranking better with crawlers.


Merrill Lynch Faces Suit From LookSmart Holders
Dow Jones, Oct. 8, 2002

LookSmart investors unhappy with the company's performance are targeting Merrill Lynch in a class action lawsuit, saying the firm failed to disclose a conflict of interest when issuing "buy" recommendations.


Google may charge for internet search
Daily Telegraph, October 4, 2002

Once again it slips out that Google might consider charging for search, this time to perhaps to provide a custom enterprise news search option. Google proactively tells me there's no particular push in this direction, and that the idea is being played up in this story far more than they are thinking about it. That wouldn't be surprising. I believe it was last year that a similar "Google to charge for search" story showed up via, and plans have yet to materialize. Don't discount the notion, of course. Google absolutely is thinking about such ideas -- but Google is thinking of many other ways to earn money, as well.

Meanwhile, my favorite part of this article is the analyst who declares that Google needs to do paid search because "the internet advertising model has been shown not to work." Hmm -- apparently paid listings don't fit into his idea of what the internet advertising model encompasses. That's too bad, because paid listings are not only working but they are bringing in plenty of money for Google and Overture.

Another unnamed analyst promises a "shake out" in search with only Google and Overture remaining standing. Gee -- assuming we buy into this, I can see Google standing -- but Overture? Overture gets about 95 percent of its traffic from partner search sites, not its own. Other search sites have to exist for Overture to survive, so perhaps that shake out will be a little less dramatic than this analyst is predicting. Crack reporting from my daily newspaper -- maybe I'll have to start taking The Times.


Media Buyer's Guide to Search Advertising
ClickZ, Oct. 2, 2002

Come from a traditional media buying background and trying to figure out the nuances of search engine advertising? Kevin Lee compares and contrasts with what you are used to.


Search firm caves in to privacy pressure, Oct. 2, 2002

After concerns were raised about web bugs at, owner FAST posts a privacy policy.

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