The Search Engine Update – Number 175 – June 15, 2004

In This Issue

+ Search Engine Watch News
+ Search Engine Strategies Comes San Jose
+ Search Engine Watch Member Articles
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Search Engine Resources
+ About The Newsletter

Search Engine Watch News

Hello Everyone–

I’ve got a ton of updating cooking, along with some new articles that weren’t quite ready to run URLs to in time for this edition of the newsletter. More news on all this in the next newsletter, promise!

I have pushed out a new version of Reader Q&A, which you’ll find below. I also thought it might be helpful to break out all the articles published recently by Search Engine Watch in this newsletter that have special content just for Search Engine Watch members. I hope you find this new division helpful.

The new Search Engine Watch Forums have also gone live, so I’d encourage you to come by and take part. More about the forums is described in this article:


Search Engine Strategies Comes To San Jose

Search Engine Strategies comes to San Jose from August 2-5. The West Coast is traditionally our biggest event. The agenda features nearly 60 sessions all dealing with search engine marketing issues. See the URL below to read about all the popular returning sessions and the many new ones that have been added:

Search Engine Strategies San Jose: August 2-5, 2004

SES comes to Stockholm from October 27-28, and the year ends with a December 13-16 show in Chicago. Basic information about these shows can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies

Search Engine Watch Member Articles

Here’s a recap of Search Engine Watch articles with exclusive coverage provided only to Search Engine Watch members:

Reader Q&A: June 2004
The Search Engine Update, June 15, 2004

Answers to the following questions from readers:

+ I read that outgoing links are a drain on a site’s total PageRank. Is this true?
+ Where are sources to discover how much of a search share a particular search engine has?
+ The top result from Google for a query shows a page of text for less than a second, then a new page comes up. Is this cloaking?
+ Do you know where to buy a database of recent actual queries made to a top search engines?
+ Does the exact order of elements within a meta tag make a difference to search engines?
+ Is it better to have static pages instead of dynamic pages?
+ What prevents my competitors from clicking on my paid listings and costing me money?


The Art and Science of an Effective Link Building Campaign
SearchDay, June 9, 2004

Is it wrong to buy or sell links? How far is too far in optimizing your internal link structure? If you operate a network of sites, can natural interlinking be perceived as link spam? A group of experts offers answers to these questions, and more.


The Paid Inclusion Dinosaur
SearchDay, June 2, 2004

Why would Yahoo and other search engines do paid inclusion? Money is a big reason — the ability to earn off what otherwise would be free listings. But paid inclusion involves a gamble that relevancy won’t be hurt. A look at the bet Yahoo’s making and alternative plays they could have tried.


A Web Directory that Helps You Do, Not Find
SearchDay, June 1, 2004

Gimpsy is a different kind of directory, listing only sites that provide online activity or help you accomplish a specific task. Gimpsy founder, Mordechai Chachamu explains why.


Cloaking By NPR OK At Google
SearchDay, May 28, 2004

A technique used by National Public Radio to get its audio content indexed by Google seems acceptable to the search engine despite apparently violating its own guidelines about cloaking.

Search Engine Watch Articles

Here’s a recap of recent articles from Search Engine Watch:

Yahoo Upgrades Email to Compete with Google’s Gmail
SearchDay, June 15, 2004

Yahoo has expanded capacity and significantly upgraded the performance of its email system, making it a viable alternative to Google’s Gmail service.


All the News That’s Fit For You
SearchDay, June 14, 2004

Findory is an online news aggregator that adapts its layout to the types of news stories that you read, providing a uniquely personalized view of the day’s headlines.


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, June 11, 2004

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Search Integration for AdSense Publishers – Why Is PPC So High for ‘Gourmet Coffee’? – Teoma’s Search Technology Summed Up – Google Reinclusion Service, Shouldn’t Google Offer Better Support? – Get High on Froogle – Customized Tracking URLs for Overture – Google Wants China – PPC Engine Content Partner Control – Does Alexa Ranking Matter?


A Search Engine for Pages You’ve Read
SearchDay, June 7, 2004

Having problems finding that web page you saw recently? A new tool makes it easy to recall everything you’ve seen on the web, automatically indexing all of this content and creating your own personal web archive.


Search Engine Milestones for May 2004
SearchDay, June 3, 2004

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month. Announcements without links to online versions were received via email.


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, May 28, 2004

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: India’s Secret Army of Ad Clickers – Making a Directory and Requiring a Link – Scam Ranking Booster – Outgoing Links Now Very Important? – Corporate SEO Salaries? – Title Question: Plurals & Synonyms – Minimum Site Size to get Indexed?


Want to receive new Search Engine Watch articles every day? Sign-up for SearchDay, the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch via the link below:


Search Engine Articles

Spam, Damn Spam, and Statistics
Microsoft/WebDB, June 17, 2004

Research from Microsoft showing that many machine-generated spam pages can be statistically identified through a variety of ways. That can help search engines weed out abnormal pages and linkage networks. It might not catch sophisticated spammers diligently working to escape being noticed by doing abnormal things and other types of non-machine generated spam. You’ll find links to the paper in PDF and PS formats via the URL above, in the Further Reading section.


Amazon Switches From Google To A9
SEO Book, June 14, 2004

Amazon’s web search is now powered by A9, its search subsidiary. Previously, Google powered Amazon web searches. Google is still a key partner, in that A9 itself uses Google at its core. But the change puts A9’s own unique feature now in front of a larger audience. More about A9 can be found here:


The “Real” Numbers Offer Clue to Google’s Huge Lead
Traffick, June 14, 2004

Andrew Goodman questions the statistics ratings services and others are pushing, finding Google may be stronger than reported.


The Missing Ingredient in SEO
Search Engine Guide, June 14, 2004

If I ever find more time, I want to start a “search log” feature where I document various searches I do each day and how things have gone wrong or right. So this piece resonated with me. Dave Wilkie wanted to reroof his house and needed a local contractor. Instead of using the print yellow pages, he risked doing a web search. Many hyphenated domains and doorway page middlemen later, frustration ruled.


Adware hijacking Google Organic Results
Search Engine Roundtable, June 14, 2004

From time to time, people have asked about programs that seem to change the free listings on Google and other search engines. I’m hoping to do an article on this someday. Meanwhile, here’s a good look at what one particular program did.


Traffix Buys SEM Firm, June 11, 2004

The acquisitions continue, with SEM firm SendTraffic to be purchased by online direct marketing company Traffix in a stock and cash deal worth $5.4 million.


ATW Now Offering Search Term Refinements, June 11, 2004

Yahoo-owned AllTheWeb gets new query refinement. Unlike the AltaVista Prisma feature (see at its sister site, the refinement tool lets you also “subtract” terms from a query. Precursor of things to come on Yahoo?


Portfolio PPC Campaign Management Part 1
ClickZ, June 11, 2004

Forget thinking about your campaigns on a keyword-by-keyword basis. Instead, consider that you have an entire portfolio of keywords, which overall you hope will achieve a particular ROI. Think of it as keyword-cost averaging!


Ask Jeeves Introduces Preview Feature
Search Engine Lowdown, June 10, 2004

Ask Jeeves appears to be testing a new feature to let you preview a web page before clicking on a link.


Ask Jeeves Buys Tukaroo
Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2004,,SB108674579703032419-email,00.html

Securing its future against expected desktop search moves by Microsoft and Google (see, Ask Jeeves has acquired search technology company Tukaroo. The company hadn’t yet released any products but promised advances in desktop and other searching.


Google mulls RSS support, June 9, 2004

Leaked memo from Google shows the company considering offering both RSS and Atom feeds. Most newsreaders appear to be able to handle either, so why bother? Main reason would be good PR. Offering both is easy and gets those behind RSS 2.0 off Google’s back about not supporting both major web feed formats. More background on that fracas here: Google Launches Official Google Blog, Not Blog Search,


PageRank Indicator for Linux and Mac OSX, June 9, 2004

Want Google PageRank scores in your browser but don’t run Internet Explorer. Here are new options for Mac and Linux users.


Yahoo tests new home page, June 8, 2004

Yahoo appears to be testing a new home page. One key change — a big giant search box right at the top. That will be welcome to those who go primarily to search. Screenshot available at the URL above, plus also more via this forum thread at Search Engine Watch:


Google making overseas ad push to boost revenue
San Jose Mercury News, June 8, 2004

A look at the battle by Google and others to grow revenues by focusing on markets outside the US. Interesting news about Google investing in a local Chinese search engine, as a means to finally book profits earned in China. Like the quote from the Chinese internet expert saying many Chinese internet users still don’t know of Google. So explain again why China found it necessary to block Google back in 2002? More on the Google investment in Baidu is also here:


A Contest to Outwit Google
Wired, June 8, 2004,1377,63755,00.html

The search engine optimization content I wrote about previously (see has its first winner. Here what the first place and second place awardees had to say.


LookSmart/UC Berkeley Bow Affinity Search
MediaPost, June 8, 2004

LookSmart, that Survivor of the search world, comes up with a new strategy with staying on the island — affinity search. UC Berkeley supporters will be encouraged to make use of a forthcoming CalBears Search service, powered by LookSmart. Some revenue earned by the service will go to support the university’s athletic programs. Question is, which way will Stanford University go? It was the birthplace of both Google and Yahoo.


Questions for Froogle’s Mastermind, Part 2
ClickZ, June 7, 2004

More Q&A with Google about its Froogle shopping search engine and tips on getting listed.


Yahoo Advertising on Google
MarketingVox, June 7, 2004

Yahoo’s running ads on Google to drive traffic to its shopping area. It’s not the first time a search engine has advertised on another one. Indeed, Yahoo’s currently running a major campaign in Europe on Google and Espotting to promote some of its portal features.


Transforming Clicks Into Rings
New York Times, June 7, 2004

No web site? No problem. Ingenio plans to insert telephone numbers in place of URLs for small businesses that are web challenged. Perhaps it will work, but I’ve got one big concern. It’s the wrong medium.

Someone who is already on the internet and doing a search to me will be more likely to click on an ad rather than pick up the phone. After they’ve visited an advertiser online and done some research, then I think they might be more inclined to call. But before? You’d do what’s normal, surf the web.

Consider the alternative. What if you opened your yellow pages directory and some ads had only URLs, for businesses that had no phone numbers. Would you put down the book and surf to the advertiser? Perhaps, but more likely you’d first call those who did have phone numbers.


Search Engine Strategies Conference London Report
SEO Chat, June 6, 2004

Missed SES London? Here’s a comprehensive rundown of sessions attended by Alan Webb.


Google, Yahoo face off in suit
San Jose Mercury News, June 4, 2004

Update on the fight between Google and Overture over Overture’s patent on paid listings. You’ll find past articles on the suit also listed here:


When to Kill a Keyword Listing
ClickZ, June 4, 2004

Tips to consider before you pull a keyword from your advertising campaign.


A Selection of Recently Awarded Search-Related Patents & Recently Published Search-Related Patent Applications, June 3, 2004

Gary Price’s regular rundown on who is patenting what in the way of search.


20 Questions with Gary Flake, Head of Yahoo Research Labs, June 3, 2004

Questions on how Yahoo is using its research lab to try and improve search and other topics. Personalization is seen to be the next “big” thing in search.


Google Gains Overall, Competition Builds Niches
ClickZ, June 2, 2004

Latest stats from OneStat put Google with the largest global search share, 56 percent, followed by Yahoo at 21 percent, then MSN at 9 percent. Also has demographics about major search engines as provided by Hitwise. Google is slightly more “male” than MSN Search and slightly younger.


Parts Bigger than the Whole
iMediaConnection, June 1, 2004

Wrap-up of search news and tips from the recent Ad:Tech conference.


You Had Me at the Search Engine
Search Engine Guide, June 1, 2004

You got them hooked with your search listing. Don’t fail to deliver when they walk through the door of your web site. Kim Krause provides tips to consider on keeping the interest and conversion going.


Yahoo Plays Favorites with Some Adware
eWeek, June 1, 2004,1761,a=128565,00.asp

Last newsletter, I mentioned in passing at it was ironic that Yahoo was offering an anti-spyware tool when it was partnered with two companies that are considered by some to be spyware. Nice to see this article that takes a long look at the issue. It notes that by default, the new toolbar doesn’t have adware/spyware detection enabled. You have to switch it on. Claria (formerly Gator) is among the adware programs detected. Given that Yahoo-owned Overture generated 31 percent of Claria’s revenue last year, you’d assume if Yahoo was serious about helping consumers, they wouldn’t partner with the company.


Doug Cutting Interview
Google Blogoscoped, May 28, 2004

Q&A with open source search engine founder and creator Doug Cutting, with some interesting comments on Google wanting to help but fearing it will help their competitors, the idea that Nutch APIs may be coming and comments on dealing with spam.


Search engines try to find their sound, May 27, 2004

Primarily a look at how StreamSage is linking written transcripts to audio content as a means to help search engines understand the content of sound files. Conceptually, this is nothing new. Virage (see and SpeechBot have been doing it for ages. It’s nice to have another player in the space, of course. For more on SpeechBot, other types of multimedia search engines and stories on this technology, see


Coming Soon the Death of Search Engines?
LLRX, May 24, 2004

A look at the challenges search engines are facing, such as indexes being too large and the resurgence of search engine spam. Will dissatisfaction allow pay-per-view searching to finally come of age?

Search Engine Resources


New search toolbar letting you query many major search engines and smaller players such as Gigablast or Nutch-powered Object Search. Does search term highlighting, jumping to keywords on pages, pop-up blocking and more.


Ask Jeeves Weblog

Provides a recap of news and information about happenings with Ask Jeeves.


Future PR Lookup Tool–tool11.htm

Google operates a series of data centers where new content is pushed out before it migrates to being accessible by the ordinary searching public. Thus, looking at these data centers can give you a few days notice about changes that may come on Google itself in the near future. This tool will show you the PageRank score of a particular URL. If it’s higher or lower than what you see in the Google Toolbar for that URL, it could indicate a change is in the wind.


Googlebomb Watch

Link bombs — or Google bombs at they are more commonly called – are attempts to manipulate the results on search engines through the efforts of mass linking. Get enough people to link to something for a particular term, and you may make that page come up tops. This new page recaps some of the more notable bombs, though all of them aren’t technically so.


HitsLink 3.0

Web-based tracking and page analytics service is being updated this month with new reports showing pages receiving traffic by search engine, search terms by search engine, pages by search engine and search terms and a search engine trend report, along with other enhancements.


Build your own specialty search engine with this tool that leverages Google. Pick the sites you want to search against, say a number of sites about golf. This tool will then let you just search against those sites using Google. I saw a similar service like this, but much better, from a major search company last year. Sadly, they still haven’t rolled it out.


NexTag UK

The popular US-based shopping search site launches a UK edition.


New newsletter covering search developments in Germany and in German.


Search Engine Log

Free script for PHP & MySQL that shows you visits from search engine spiders.


The Silk Road

Newsletter from Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy, which often has good information about search on the financial front.


Yahoo Gas Prices Shortcut

Type “gas 92663” or any other US zip code, and Yahoo provides links to sites that show gas prices for that area at the top of its results. Link above provides a list of all types of shortcuts like this Yahoo offers, as well as further instructions.

About The Search Engine Update

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