Search Engine Milestones for November 2003

Editor’s Note: Danny Sullivan’s continuing look at the controversial changes at Google, scheduled to run in today’s SearchDay, will appear in Friday’s issue.

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

Warning: The links and descriptions below are from official press releases, and may contain marketing hyperbole, claims or euphemisms not necessarily endorsed by Search Engine Watch.

November 3 Launches Next Generation Shopping Search Engine

The new service provides the most products, stores, ratings, and relevant search listings.’s new search engine is faster and updates product availability and pricing information more frequently than any other shopping search engine.

GO TOAST Unveils CampaignOptimizer

CampaignOptimizer provides GO TOAST customers with a sophisticated modeling tool to automatically analyze the potential return on investment (ROI) for pay-per-click search engine keywords and advertising campaigns. Users select and launch the preferred campaign, and GO TOAST automatically manages and optimizes that campaign using sophisticated self-learning algorithms.

Yahoo Expands Search Functionality

The new search features make it easier to search for images, yellow pages and products, as well as the Web, from the Yahoo front page.

November 4

Ask Jeeves Launches Smart Search for Products

In response to extensive user studies, now delivers an easier, more intuitive way to find, research or purchase products online.

Newsknife Reports Google News Watch Results

Newsknife who rate the major news sites, monitored Google News regularly over the year to see how well Googles robot picks the top news stories chosen by leading US and UK news web sites. Google News chose the top two stories up to 63% of the time. By comparison Yahoo News and CNN hovered around 77% throughout the period.

November 6

Google Labs Introduces the Google Deskbar

The Google Deskbar is a free software download that appears as a search box in the Windows taskbar at the bottom right of most Windows-based PCs. Users enter queries into the search box and results are automatically displayed in a small pane that rises above the Deskbar and overlays a corner of the application theyre using.

November 10

InfoSpace Selects Vivmsimo to Help Users Quickly Zero-in on Relevant Results

Vivmsimo announced that the Search & Directory business of InfoSpace, Inc. has selected the Vivmsimo Clustering Engine for deployment on its web properties, showing results organized into folders or categories. The clustering feature is now available across InfoSpace Search & Directory’s Web metasearch properties, which include Dogpile, WebCrawler and MetaCrawler.

NBC Unveils New Internet Search Platform Powered by Overture and SLI

NBC today introduced a new search platform for its and Internet properties that will feature NBC entertainment content, NBC retail and media products, ShopNBC commerce opportunities, and Overture commercial search results. The new search services are powered by SLI Systems’ Learning Search and Related Search solutions which automatically learn from user behavior to improve the relevance of results.

November 11

Yahoo Launches New Free Pop-Up Blocker

The Yahoo Companion’s pop-up blocker enables users to improve their Web surfing experience by deciding when – and where – to receive pop-up windows on sites they are visiting.

November 13

The Lycos 50 Presents Its Fourth Annual List Of The Most Popular Toys And Video Games For 2003

Video Gaming Systems, Top Searched Toys; Bratz Dolls Most Popular Girls Toy; Resurgence in 1980s Toys Like Care Bears and Transformers.

Mamma Classifieds Announces Geo-Targeting Capabilities

The non-bidded pay-per-click solution will allow advertisers to target the traffic they require by country. This new tool is designed to direct the traffic advertisers receive from to include only the specific countries in which their target markets reside.

November 14

Swedish Engineer Wins Google Code Jam

Jimmy Mardell from Stockholm, Sweden competed against 25 finalists from around the world in the Championship Round today for the $10,000 grand prize.

November 19

AOL Acquires Singingfish

The Company announced its acquisition of Seattle-based Singingfish, a provider of audio and video search services. Singingfish’s products include the largest index of streaming media content.

BellSouth and LookSmart Join Forces to Promote Yellow Pages Advertisers Through Internet Search

BellSouth will offer Real Search Engine Solutions, a bundled solution to help Yellow Pages advertisers get listed across LookSmart’s partner distribution network via paid search inclusion. In addition, BellSouth will promote, its online destination for Yellow Page services, via LookSmart LookListings.

November 20

Google Releases Auto-Optimization for AdWords

When there are multiple ads in an Ad Group, the ad with the highest click-through rate (CTR) is shown more often.

KartOO Launches New Version With Targeted Personalisation Of Results

Kartoo now offers Personalisation of results according to your interests and previous searches, and an innovative and intuitive information management system: the Kapitaliser, for which KartOO SA has lodged a patent application.

Overture Launches Marketing Console

Overture Performance Marketing, a division of Overture Services, Inc., today announced the launch of Marketing Console, an online integrated marketing intelligence product that enables advertisers to easily measure the performance of their marketing campaigns across all online channels.

November 24

LookSmart Launches Web’s Largest Full Text Article Search

LookSmart has launched the Internet’s largest full text article search capability, delivering access to 3.5 million articles from more than 700 publications. The new service, which replaces LookSmart’s FindArticles publication database, will be available via a dedicated “Articles” tab on

Lycos Second Opinion Side Search Tool Gives Consumers Automatic Shopping Search Comparisons

Lycos Side Search provides a second opinion every time a user performs an Internet search or shopping search and eliminates the need to visit multiple sites in order to compare products and pricing for busy holiday shoppers.

November 26

Espotting Media Introduces Customised Service Guidelines For Tier 1 Agencies

Espotting’s CSG Programme has been introduced in order to offer a premium tailored service solution to Tier 1 Agencies.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

AOL to crack down on spyware Dec 3 2003 8:45AM GMT
Change to Google Ranking System Irks Merchants
Yahoo Dec 3 2003 5:38AM GMT
Webmasters Wary of Latest Google Tweaks
PC Magazine Dec 2 2003 7:22PM GMT
Latest Google dance leave vendors crying foul
Computer Shopper Dec 2 2003 5:23PM GMT
Sex sites fire up Internet search engines’ profit
IHT Dec 2 2003 4:52PM GMT
Microsoft Revamps MSN
PC Magazine Dec 2 2003 4:40PM GMT
Pay Per Click Search Engine Advertising: Smart Campaign Management Tips
Search Engine Guide Dec 2 2003 2:48PM GMT
Why it’s time to rein in ICANN
CNET Dec 2 2003 12:03PM GMT
Google reverses stance, will verify pharmacy ads
Seattle Times Dec 2 2003 8:36AM GMT
Search Engines Limit Ads for Drugs but Ease Rules on Sex
New York Times Dec 2 2003 6:51AM GMT
RIAA wins round in file-swapping suit
CNET Dec 2 2003 0:27AM GMT
I Search, Therefore I Google
PC Magazine Dec 1 2003 10:29PM GMT
XML, Data Mining, Yukon and Return on Investment Dec 1 2003 11:10AM GMT
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