The Search Engine Report July 1, 2002 - Number 68

July 1, 2002 - Number 68

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.

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Strategies Coming To California
+ FTC Recommends Disclosure To Search Engines
+ Forget The CPC! What's Your ROI?
+ Letter From Australia
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Various Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

First, a happy Canada Day today to all my Canadian readers and to my fellow Americans, a Happy Fourth of July later this week!

This has been one of those issues where I started out compiling it with a set budget of stories, then had to toss those aside due to some late-breaking new developments. In particular, Overture's move to a new auto-bidding model and the US Federal Trade Commission's recommendation that search engines provide better disclosure about paid listings were both substantial news stories that I felt warranted immediate attention.

By the time you get this, I'll actually still be working on the FTC story. It will either be done late today or tomorrow. However, a link to where it will be posted is listed below in the newsletter, and the page already has some preliminary raw information.

In another change, usually the newsletter that goes out at the beginning of the month is a two-parter. This will no longer be the case. When I first started doing the newsletter, all the articles I wrote were included in it. As these articles grew longer, splitting the newsletter into two parts was necessary, because a single newsletter was so massive.

Today, the articles haven't gotten any shorter. Consequently, I've decided it makes more sense to make the newsletter simply a listing of links to articles -- those I've written for Search Engine Watch, those Chris Sherman and others have done for our SearchDay newsletter, as well as interesting articles that have run in other places. I'll also continue to include brief write-ups and resources in the newsletter, as appropriate.

To stress, I'm still writing articles for Search Engine Watch, just as before. The only difference anyone will notice is that you'll just be getting a single-part newsletter at the beginning of the month, telling you where to find them, rather than a two-part newsletter. So don't keep looking for that second part :)

Coincidentally, last month was the five year anniversary of when Search Engine Watch launched. I'd actually forgotten until a "flashback" headline I saw reminded me (see below). The predecessor to Search Engine Watch, "A Webmaster's Guide To Search Engines," had been going since early 1996. So it's really over six years for me on this topic! Thanks to all of you who have been reading in that time -- I'll keep working as hard as ever for you.

Five years ago: Web site offers search engine gen
ZDNet, June 15, 2002,,t269-s2111876,00.html


Search Engine Strategies Coming To California

In August, our first three day Search Engine Strategies conference comes to San Jose, California. This is our "big" show for the year and features a new special track on enterprise search on the third day, as well as a number of new "clinics" designed to go beyond talking about search engine marketing issues and instead show changes by working with example web sites.

Of course, the event as always continues to feature sessions about improving both editorial listings in search engines and advertising on search engines. Confirmed search engines that will be speaking so far are AltaVista, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, Google, LookSmart, Lycos and Overture. More information can be found below, and the agenda will be fully updated by the end of this week.

Search Engine Strategies San Jose

Two day shows follow for Germany in October and Texas in December. Information, dates, and the ability to register for when agendas are ready for these events can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies


FTC Recommends Disclosure To Search Engines

The US Federal Trade Commission has made an important recommendation to major search engines suggesting that they better disclose their paid content. This came in response to a complaint made last year by the watchdog group Commercial Alert. I'll be writing a story about this that should be posted either late today or tomorrow at the URL below. However, some rough information is already available there now.

FTC Recommends Disclosure To Search Engines, June 29, 2002


Forget The CPC! What's Your ROI?

Purchasing paid listings just got a whole lot more complicated -- or a lot more easier -- depending on your perspective, thanks to changes at Overture last week. The company rolled out a new bidding system that will force many advertisers to think more about how much they can afford to pay to gain leads rather than how cheaply they can get those leads. This important change has come about through the introduction of "auto-bidding." This feature lets advertisers indicate the "max bid" they are willing to pay for a particular word, then have Overture automatically increase the amount they pay to get them the best position, as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum. More about the mind shift being required of advertisers can be found below:

Forget The CPC! What's Your ROI?
The Search Engine Report, July 1, 2002


Letter From Australia

I was in Sydney last month for the Search Engine Strategies conference, and in this article, I thought I'd share a few things that stood out in my mind as I listened to the various local speakers discuss search engine marketing. Not all of this is Australia-specific, so even if you don't target the region, give the rundown a quick skim. In particular, there's a mention of how Google AdWords may now be shown in the Premium Sponsorship area and Overture listings showing up in front of visitors to from outside the US & Canada. My "letter" can be found below:

Letter From Australia
The Search Engine Report, July 1, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info

SearchDay Articles

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

Portals to the World
SearchDay, June 27, 2002
Looking for authoritative, in-depth information about the nations of the world? Check out Portals to the World, a robust online Baedeker from the U.S. Library of Congress.


SEC Upgrades EDGAR Search Engine
SearchDay, June 26, 2002

The SEC's EDGAR database is an absolutely essential resource for business researchers, and recent upgrades have vastly improved its search interface.


Teoma Offers Free Search Toolbar
SearchDay, June 25, 2002

Teoma has introduced the Teoma Search Bar, a free online navigational tool that lets you search while viewing any web page with Internet Explorer.


The Languages of the Semantic Web
SearchDay, June 24, 2002

Today's simplistic web languages are giving way to richer, more robust symbolic systems that transcend information storage and retrieval and allow web pages to express meaning.


The Search Engines Ask You
SearchDay, June 20, 2002

At the Search Engine Strategies conference, representatives of the major search engines turned the tables on participants, asking the audience to respond to their key issues and concerns.


A Dream Job: Getting Paid to Search
SearchDay, June 19, 2002

Do you dream of being a professional searcher, paid to spend your days sleuthing for online information? A new book shows you how, with profiles of eleven super searchers who've succeeded on their own.


Tracking and Measuring Search Engine Marketing Success
SearchDay, June 18, 2002

It's not enough to simply optimize your web site and hope for high traffic. You need to use tools techniques to assure success, according to a panel of search engine marketing experts.


FAST Sprints to 2.1 Billion Docs; Google Upgrades Appliance
SearchDay, June 17, 2002

FAST announced today that it has expanded its index to 2.1 web billion pages, taking the lead from Google in the search engine size wars. Google announced enhancements to its Search Appliance.


How Search Engines Look at Links
SearchDay, June 13, 2002

Representatives of Google, Fast, and Ask Jeeves/Teoma share inside information about page ranking and search engine link analysis techniques.


The Living Internet
SearchDay, June 12, 2002

How much do you really know about the Internet? How does it work? Who invented it? The Living Internet has answers to these questions and just about everything else you ever wanted to know about our online world.


Optimizing Keywords for Search Engines
SearchDay, June 11, 2002

Effective optimization for search engines requires more than just fiddling with web pages -- you need to carefully select and focus your efforts on specific keywords for maximum success.


Updates From FirstGov and Ask Jeeves
SearchDay, June 10, 2002

The search engines at FirstGov and Ask Jeeves have both been upgraded and enhanced with new features and capabilities.


Meta Search + Invisible Web + Virtual Librarians = Wondir!
SearchDay, June 6, 2002

A team of respected search industry veterans is building a new and different kind of information service that seeks to unify cutting edge technology with the web's original egalitarian vision of people freely helping people.


It's Tough to Get a Good Date with a Search Engine
SearchDay, June 5, 2002

Search engines have problems with calendar information. Bottom line: you may end up searching for dates in all the wrong places.


Finding Search Engine Optimization Professionals
SearchDay, June 4, 2002

Looking for help crafting search engine friendly pages and link building programs? These directories of search engine optimization and marketing professionals can help you locate the person or firm that's right for your needs.


Google Announces Programming Contest Winner
SearchDay, June 3, 2002

Google has awarded a $10,000 prize to a programmer who created a program that lets users to search for web pages within a specified geographic area.


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

Exodus follows major shakeup of LookSmart leadership
San Francisco Chronicle, June 25, 2002

LookSmart CEO Evan Thornley is stepping down as of October 1, while three of the company's seven board of directors members resigned last month. The directors that left were apparently upset that Thornley will be staying on in his other position as chairman and over the company's direction. In particular, one director apparently wanted LookSmart to focus on something other than search listings. Certainly the company would be wise to diversify, but it seems hard to understand how LookSmart could abandon the only product it has and survive in the short term. Interestingly, the dispute does not appear to involve the recent controversy over LookSmart forcing thousands of existing advertisers into a new cost-per-click listing program (see Or, if it did involve that, this was never called out at the press conference about the shakeup.


Google Seeks to Invalidate Rival Overture's Web Search Patents
Bloomberg, June 19, 2002 News&

Overture has a patent relating to bid-for-placement services and has filed a suit against Google, claiming that company's paid listing program violates the patent. In response, Google is now asking that the patent be invalidated, saying that Overture operated its system for a year before filing a patent claim. That might invalidate the patent, though Overture says it is on firm ground.


Waiting for Google, June 18, 2002

Everyone's waiting for the Google IPO, but the company isn't giving any signs of when it will happen, nor is it in a rush to face the pressures of being a publicly-held company.

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