The Search Engine Report September 3, 2002 - Number 70

September 3, 2002 - Number

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 Comes To Munich
+ Google: Can The Marcia Brady Of Search Stay Sweet?
+ Inktomi Increases Size, Introduces Anti-Proximity
+ German Search Engine Resources
+ Terra Lycos To Launch Paid Placement Network
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles Review
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

It's been one of those terrible weeks. First I sat down to begin working on the newsletter, only to find myself so ill that I needed to lie down. The next day, it was my computer that got ill, showing me a new dreaded blue screen of death I'd never seen before, this time in Windows XP. Microsoft, here's a tip. Make it the default behavior that the blue screen actually stays up for more than one second, so it's easier to understand exactly what is wrong!

Of course, understanding that my "hive" file was damaged didn't help. It turned out to be unrecoverable even when using the mystery Recovery Console, since a password was required that did not match what I knew it to be. "Must be a virus," said the folks at Dell. Hmm -- isn't that what Norton Antivirus that loads at start-up is supposed to be protecting me from? Well, apparently it could be many things.

Who cares -- the end result was another day gone, as I enjoyed the always fun task of reinstalling my operating system and essential software. No, don't send me info on mirroring my system. I know I should do it. At least be happy that NO DATA WAS LOST. One thing I'm religious about now is backing up every day.

Lest you think you've tuned into, that great source for Windows tips, let's dive into search engines. The bulk of my work for this issue has focused on a giant article about the role Google plays in the current search universe. Is Google too powerful? Are there things to fear? These are questions being raised more and more, so I felt it worthwhile to take some time out and examine some of the issues.

Ironically, while I'm critical about people being too Google obsessive in the article, it also means that this issue is pretty focused on Google. We'll return to a more varied set of stories next time!

While speaking of Google, for the past week or so, I've noticed that Google's logo is completely messed up on its results page. Normally, something like that causes me to get a stream of email from others seeing such oddities, but not this time. So, I asked Google. It turns out that a few other people have also been getting the strange logo, and these are all NTL internet access customers in the UK.

Unfortunately, by the time Google figured this out, it was the weekend in the UK. Google's tried anyway to reach someone at NTL and get them to flush its network cache but has not yet had a response. Google says it will keep trying, so NTL users, hang in there.

Changing topics, for years -- literally years -- various people have asked if Search Engine Watch has an affiliate program. I'm happy to say that the answer is finally, "Yes!" The program allows you to link to Search Engine Watch and earn a 10 percent referral fee if visitors from your site become Search Engine Watch members. More details about the program can be found below.

Please note that there is a specific caveat about creating "doorway pages" solely designed to pitch Search Engine Watch memberships. One of my pet peeves about affiliate programs is the amount of search engine spam they generate. I certainly don't want to contribute to this madness. However, this caveat shouldn't pose a problem to anyone with original and substantial content, who hopes to support that content through affiliate earnings.

Search Engine Watch Affiliate Program


Search Engine Strategies Comes To Munich

Search Engine Strategies continues on its 2002 tour, this time coming to Munich on Oct. 17 & 18. As with all SES shows, there will be a variety of sessions about improving editorial listings in search engines and how to advertise effectively on them. There will also be an emphasis on German search engine marketing. Both search engine marketing experts and representatives from major search engines themselves will be speaking. Search engines confirmed so far include AltaVista, Espotting, FAST, Inktomi and Overture. A full agenda can be found below:

Search Engine Strategies Munich

For those in North America who missed our recent San Jose show, you have a last chance this year: Dallas, on Dec. 11 & 12. You can sign-up via the URL below to be informed when the conference agenda is ready.

Search Engine Strategies Dallas


Google: Can The Marcia Brady Of Search Stay Sweet?

Does search dominance by Google mean that the company is destined to be hated, in the way that Microsoft endures a poor reputation due to its dominance of operating systems, office software and browsers? Such a fate is not preordained, especially given that Google faces plenty of competition. But in a "Google, Google, Google" world, it can be easy for people to forget that Google competitors exists, which puts more pressure on the company. In recent weeks, the search engine has been banned by China, seen a third-party try to capitalize by selling Google's "PageRank" ratings, been accused of censorship and selling out its listings and even had a dispute over its ad policies with Body Shop founder and political agitator Anita Roddick. A look at these issues and more, just some of the new challenges Google's popularity has posed for the company.

Google: Can The Marcia Brady Of Search Stay Sweet?
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 3, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


Inktomi Increases Size, Introduces Anti-Proximity

Last month Inktomi rolled out a larger, 2 billion web page index, as well as making some internal changes designed to improve the relevancy of its listings. The article below looks at some of the changes.

Inktomi Increases Size, Introduces Anti-Proximity
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 3, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info


German Search Engine Resources

To prepare for the Search Engine Strategies show in Munich next month, I've been talking with a number of German search engine marketing experts. From these conversations have come a number of resources that should be useful to anyone who is a German speaker or interested in German search engines. They can be found via the story below:

German Search Engine Resources
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 3, 2002


Terra Lycos To Launch Paid Placement Network

Terra Lycos is set to enter the paid placement game alongside players such as Overture and Google, when the company opens its "InSite AdBuyer" program to advertisers in the coming weeks. The article below explains how the new program will populate "sidebar" ads rather than replace existing paid listing that are provided to Terra Lycos on Overture.

Terra Lycos To Launch Paid Placement Network
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 3, 2002

Search Engine Watch members edition:

Search Engine Watch Membership Info

Search Engine Resources

When this man Sullivan stopped laughing (see the Aug. 29 entry), he thought he should recommending checking out, a light, easy-to-read round-up of search engine developments. "It's a weblog about search engines."


Search Engine Optimization Support Forums

I don't actually see much "forum" activity going on here, but one nice thing is how the home page centralizes headlines from various search engine news sources. Guess Search Engine Watch will have to get its own RSS feed going!

SearchDay Articles

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


Why Search Engines Fail
SearchDay, Aug. 29, 2002

Two major research studies stress-tested web site search engines around the world, analyzing search failures and offering important insights for dramatically improving search usability.


New Search Engine Resource Center
SearchDay, Aug. 28, 2002

The Law Library Resource Xchange (LLRX) offers an excellent collection of articles, links and news that should be on every serious searcher's short list of must-read resources.


Find It Online: A Searcher's Baedeker
SearchDay, Aug. 27, 2002

The third edition of Alan Schlein's 'Find It Online' is both a guided tour of the web's most interesting and exotic information resources, and a hands-on tutorial for becoming a searching expert.


Science Search Engine Scirus Gets New Features
SearchDay, Aug. 26, 2002

Elsevier Science and Fast Search & Transfer have launched a new release of Scirus, a science-specific Web search engine that won Search Engine Watch's Best Specialty Search Engine Award in 2001.


Why Good Sites Lack Search Engines
SearchDay, August 22, 2002

A new survey attempts to explain the inexplicable: why some perfectly good web sites fail to provide a search engine to improve user navigation.


Battling Information Overload
SearchDay, August 21, 2002

Deluged with data? Coping with copiousness? Try these techniques for conquering info glut from internationally renowned super searcher Mary Ellen Bates.


News Sites Beat Search Engines in Customer Satisfaction
SearchDay, August 20, 2002

A respected customer satisfaction index reports that users are happier with news and information sites than search engines or portals -- and predicts the demise of several laggards.


Stumped? Ask the Library of Congress
SearchDay, Aug. 15, 2002

Some of the world's best 'search engines' work at the U.S. Library of Congress, and they're available online to answer your questions by chat or email.


Happy Birthday, Lycos!
SearchDay, Aug. 14, 2002

Eight years ago today Lycos opened its virtual doors to the public, offering a slew of novel features that forever transformed the web search landscape.


A Clutch of Calculators
SearchDay, Aug. 13, 2002

Searching for a calculator for a specific need? The Calculators Online Center has descriptions and links to thousands of specialized calculators on the web.


The Technology Behind Google
SearchDay, Aug. 12, 2002

Want a behind the scenes glimpse at the technology that powers Google? Take a guided tour with Jim Reese, Google's Chief Operations Engineer.


A Guide to Search Engine Marketing
SearchDay, Aug. 8, 2002

A new book tackles the ambitious challenge of explaining how search engines work, and the optimizing and marketing techniques that can improve search engine rankings.


The Seven Deadly Nyms
SearchDay, Aug. 7, 2002

Virtuous searching takes more than hard work and clean thinking -- you must keep constant vigilance against the seven deadly nyms that can play the devil with your search results.


Deja Vu: The Web Remembered
SearchDay, Aug. 6, 2002

Deja Vu allows you to experience the web's early years of stark text landscapes navigated with 'line mode' browsers -- a fascinating snapshot of the environment endured by the web's pioneers.


The Web Intelligence Consortium
SearchDay, Aug. 5, 2002

A group of researchers has launched a new consortium focused on artificial intelligence and advanced information technology on the next generation of Web-empowered products, systems, services, and activities.


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

Google searches for exposure--overseas
ZDNet, Aug. 30, 2002

Google is seeking out new markets, growing ad sales staff in Europe and Japan.


Search Engine Results You Can Control
ClickZ, Aug. 29, 2002

Media buyers need to be aware that good search engine marketing can build brand, as well as drive traffic.


PPC Versus "Free" Listings: Which is Best?, Aug. 27, 2002

Which is better to go for, free listings or cost-per-click ads? Why not find a balance between them both?


Search-Engine Marketing Will Boost Your Business
Wall St. Journal, Aug. 19, 2002

Overview of how different small businesses are using search engine marketing to gain customers.


Search works to clean up its act, Aug. 19, 2002

Review of disclosure changes at search engines in the wake of FTC guidelines about paid content.


Fast AlltheWeb Alchemist Competition
Pandia, Aug. 17, 2002

I haven't yet played with it, but I think's Alchemist feature is a great idea. It allows you to "skin" the site to have the appearance you would like. To popularize the use of Alchemist, AllTheWeb is now holding a content for the best skins.


Inktomi's troubles hit headquarters
San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 16, 2002

Inktomi may have to pay $114 million by the end of August to buy the headquarters it is currently leasing. It's got the money, but spending it would leave cash reserves low.


Google Fixes Security Flaws in Search Toolbar
IDG News, Aug. 8, 2002,aid,103706,00.asp

Security holes were found in the popular Google Toolbar, but the company says patches have now automatically been transmitted to anyone using it.


All The News That's Fit to Google
@NewYork, Aug. 6, 2002

Google's web search results and ad links are to be integrated into article search results at the New York Times and


Search Engine Tips That Get Clicks
WebTalkGuys, Aug. 2002

I was interviewed about search engine marketing recently for the WebTalkGuys radio show. Those interested can read a transcript of excerpts or listen to an archived version of the show.


Free Full Text: FindArticles and MagPortal
Online, July/August 2002

Review of two sites that allow free access to full-text articles from periodicals.

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