The Search Engine Report October 3, 2000 - Number 47

October 3, 2000 - Number 47

By Danny Sullivan
Editor, Search Engine Watch
Copyright (c) 2000 corporation

About The Report

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In This Issue

+ Conference News
+ LookSmart Acquires Zeal Community Directory
+ GoTo Expands To AOL, Netscape
+ Go2Net Gets Paid Links From Ask Jeeves
+ AltaVista Lays Off Staff, Promises Profits, New Direction In Search
+ Snap Changes Name to NBCi
+ Revised About To Launch
+ US Government Search Site Launches
+ Petition To Save Newsgroup Archives
+ SavvySearch Absorbed By
+ More Ways To Find Articles
+ Sound Search Engine Available
+ Interesting Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)


Hello Everyone--

This is an unusual issue in that there are no lengthy articles (is that relief I hear?). Just as I began writing this week, news came that my grandmother had passed away. I'm taking time to attend her funeral and be with my family. My planned articles and a return to a normal newsletter format will come next time.


Conference News

The next Search Engine Strategies conference is just over a month away, coming to Dallas on November 9. I'll be presenting and moderating sessions at the conference that features experts on search engine marketing issues and panelists from the various major search engines themselves. Services participating in the panels so far include, Inktomi, LookSmart, NBCi and RealNames. In addition to the main track about search engine marketing issues, new concurrent sessions will cover making your own site searchable for visitors and creating a vertical search engine. We're also planning a series of roundtable discussions that will cover advanced search engine marketing issues. Details about the conference, for attendees or potential sponsors and exhibitors, can be found via the URL below.

Search Engine Strategies 2000 - Dallas


LookSmart Acquires Zeal Community Directory

LookSmart has purchased the community search site. Similar to the Open Directory, uses volunteer editors to organize web sites into categories. I'll do a longer look at the acquisition and how the two directories will be combined in a future issue.


Community Search Blossoms
The Search Engine Report, July 5, 2000

A look at various "community search" sites that use volunteers to assemble listings.

Looksmart Plays Community Trump Card with Zeal Acquisition
Traffick, Oct. 1, 2000

More information about the acquisition.


GoTo Expands To AOL, Netscape

Paid listings from GoTo are now appearing at Netscape and will soon appear at AOL Search, through a new deal between GoTo and AOL. At Netscape, the top two paid results from GoTo for any term are displayed in the "Partner Search Results" section of the results page. At AOL, it will be the top three links from GoTo that are displayed. They are to go live sometime within the next three months.


AOL Search

Netscape Search

GoTo Redevelops, Reaches Out
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 4, 2000

Recent article that talks about other partnerships that have GoTo results appearing in places across the web.


Go2Net Gets Paid Links From Ask Jeeves

The paid link system run by Ask Jeeves has now expanded to appearing at the Go2Net service. Search at Go2Net (where the main results are powered by Go2Net-owned MetaCrawler), and the paid links appear on the left-hand side of the screen. At MetaCrawler, they appear on the right-hand side, within a box. At either place, nothing identifies them as advertisements.



Ask Jeeves Text Sponsorship Network

Sign-up here to have paid links displayed at Ask Jeeves, Direct Hit, Go2Net and elsewhere.


AltaVista Lays Off Staff, Promises Profits, New Direction In Search

AltaVista has tightened its belt in the quest to become profitable by letting 25 percent of its staff go last month. The company expects the restructuring and other changes will help it become profitable by the end of next January. Simultaneously, the company announced that it would continue to focus more on search, aiming for a "third generation" service that would intelligently determine what information best satisfies a user, such as automatically providing shopping results rather than web page matches or serving up different results based on a user's past queries.

Third generation? AltaVista defines the first generation of web search as service that relied upon analyzing the location and frequency of words on the page to determine ranking. The second generation is said to be the addition of off-the-page ranking criteria such as link analysis and clickthrough measurements. AltaVista hasn't yet rolled out portions of its third generation service, but expect more details, when they do.


AltaVista Refuels Drive To Profitability
Forbes, Sept. 18, 2000

AltaVista lays off 225
CNNfn, Sept. 15, 2000

AltaVista slashes work force by 25 percent, Sept. 15, 2000


Snap Changes Name to NBCi

The Snap site has undergone both a redesign and a name change to NBCi. NBCi is the interactive division of US television network NBC, and it the major owner of Snap. The company has decided to rebrand and consolidate its Snap directory and Xoom web page building service under the NBCi name and within a common site, Expect a longer look at the changes in the near future.

NBCi (Snap)

What's New at Snap and,566,-3271,00.html

More details from NBCi on the change.

NBCi Unveils Personalized Portal Service, Sept. 25, 2000,,3_468141,00.html

Some further news about the transition.


Revised About To Launch

Go is preparing a relaunch of its search site, which can be previewed via the beta link below.

Go Beta

Disney's Changes Direction With Web Site
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 15, 2000

Some more details about business motives behind the Go changes.


US Government Search Site Launches

A new service providing searchable access to information from the US government plus US state and local governments has launched. Called FirstGov, it allows both keyword searching or browse by category selection.


FirstGov: Not Yet Prime-Time Web Search Guide, Sept. 25, 2000

Background on the FirstGov project, plus a review.

Impartiality Of E-Government Portal Questioned
NewsBytes, Oct. 2, 2000

There's controversy over the licensing of FirstGov results to other services that may wish to use them.


Petition To Save Newsgroup Archives

I wrote last month about how only the past year of newsgroup archives are currently available at Now a petition to restore access to previous years has been posted.

Keep the Deja Archive Alive Petition

Newsgroup Searching: And Then There Was One
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 4, 2000

More about newsgroup searching at


SavvySearch Absorbed By

A year ago, Cnet acquired the SavvySearch meta search site, then later used the technology to power its site. However, the SavvySearch site continued to operate as a standalone service. This is now no longer the case. Attempts to reach now redirect users to

Movement In Meta Search
The Search Engine Report, May 3, 2000

More background on SavvySearch and the Cnet purchase.


More Ways To Find Articles

After last month's article about ways to find newspaper and magazine articles online, two tips to other resources rolled in. I haven't had a chance to review these sites myself yet, but they are all likely worth checking out.


Allows you to find articles, plus you can order results by date or publisher. Articles can also be found by browsing a directory structure.

King County Library System

Many public libraries offer access to databases of magazine articles, such as the system above from Washington State's King County. It's available to anyone with a King County library card -- check with your own public library to see if it offers a similar service.

Finding Articles Online
The Search Engine Report, Sept. 4, 2000

Last month's story on article searching at and Northern Light.


Sound Search Engine Available

Looking for sound files? A new search engine called FindSounds lets you locate sound effects across the web in AIFF, AU and WAV formats.

Search Engine Articles

Stunt: AskOJ vs. Ask Jeeves
eCompany, October 2000,1640,7515,00.html

Humorous look comparing questions put to OJ Simpson at the site versus questions put to Ask Jeeves.


GPulp Opens Up Web Searches
Wired, Sept. 18, 2000,1282,38836,00.html

Peer-to-peer Napster-style searching continues to attract attention, and a group of developers are working on an open source solution they hope will become a standard.


Disney's Changes Direction With Web Site
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 15, 2000

Some more details about business motives behind changes at As with the changes at NBCi (Snap), I'll be following up on the Go changes shortly.


Analysis: Search Patterns
Adweek, Sept. 11, 2000

Good overview of the search engine optimization industry.


Portal Peril
ClickZ, Sept. 5, 2000

Basic overview of purchasing advertising at portals.


Making a Game of Web Searches
Wired, Sept. 4, 2000,1284,38496,00.html

A new game show may be coming, and you have to drive a search engine to win.


Yahoo's Grand Vision for Advertising On the Web Takes Some Hard Hits
Wall St. Journal, Sept. 1, 2000

Hard look at unhappy advertisers at Yahoo and how the service is having to work harder for its deals. A paid subscription to the Wall St. Journal is required to read this.

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