The Search Engine Report – Number 86

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In This Issue

+ Search Engine Watch News
+ SES Returns To The Big Apple!
+ Search Engine Articles By Danny Sullivan
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SES Coverage
+ About This Newsletter

Search Engine Watch News

Hello Everyone–

I hope you all had a great holiday break. I took a little time off and was relieved to see that no one was bought or sold or went IPO!

Since a new year has begun, it’s time once again for the Search Engine Watch Awards. As with last year, those who support Search Engine Watch by becoming paid members will be able to take part in the nomination round. Then we’ll let any of our newsletter readers vote for their choices among the finalists. My associate editor Chris Sherman and I will review the voting as part of the final decisions we’ll make.

At the moment, I expect to open the nominations on January 21. If you are a Search Engine Watch member, this is the day after your special mid-monthly newsletter goes out. You’ll get full details on how to vote in that.

Voting among the finalists will open to any reader of Search Engine Watch’s newsletters ( on January 28. We’ll let readers know exactly how to vote via SearchDay and perhaps a special mailing. Don’t worry — you’ll get the news!

Winners will be announced by February 6, at the latest.

Those looking for a refresher can find out more about the Search Engine Watch Awards and last year’s winners via the URL below:

The Search Engine Watch Awards


SES Returns To The Big Apple!

The first Search Engine Strategies show ever to be held on the US East Coast was in New York, in 2000. Now, I’m happy to say that it’s returning on March 1-4, 2004. I’ve just posted the full agenda, which features the return of our most popular sessions as well as plenty of new panels and topics. See the agenda links along the left-hand side of the page below:

Search Engine Strategies New York

Dates for several other Search Engine Strategies events in 2004 have also been set. Find out when it will come to Tokyo, Toronto and San Jose via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies

Search Engine Articles
By Danny Sullivan

Google’s (and Inktomi’s) Miserable Failure, January 6, 2004

A search for miserable failure on Google bring up the official George W. Bush biography from the US White House web site. Dismissed by Google as not a problem, it really points out a case where the real miserable failure is Google itself.


Trusted Feed Listings Ranking Well At AltaVista
The Search Engine Update, Dec. 16, 2003

Just over a year ago, I wrote how AltaVista’s paid inclusion program seemed to be giving a boost to some content submitted through its trusted feed program. Now it appears what was then explained as an “index blending” problem has returned.

This article is only available to Search Engine Watch members. For more about becoming a member, visit


Reader Q&A: December 2003
The Search Engine Update, Dec. 16, 2003

For Search Engine Watch members, this edition of the regular Q&A feature examines these questions:

+ Why would anyone pay for inclusion of more than the home page for a crawler like Inktomi, AlltheWeb, Teoma and AltaVista?
+ How do XML feeds to search engines work? And do only some companies have “authorization” to submit these?
+ I have a Flash site and can’t get listed. Help!
+ Are programs that submit to over 3,000 search engines too good to be true?
+ Do search engines analyze the outgoing links from my page to determine what my page is about?
+ I have a competitor who has spammed the Yahoo Directory. How do I tell them this?
+ I have a problem with sites cloning my content to boost their search presence. Should I contact Google?

For more about becoming a member, visit:


Florida Google Dance Resources, Dec. 7, 2003

A summary of articles from Search Engine Watch and resources from elsewhere that pertain to major changes to Google’s search algorithm that happened in November and December 2003. ‘Florida’ is the nickname that’s been given to this particular wave of changes known as the Google Dance.


What Happened To My Site On Google?, Dec. 7, 2003

The outcry from webmasters about Google’s recent ranking algorithm change has been unprecedented. In this article, Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan takes a Q&A-style approach to examine many of the issues and questions that have arisen from the change.

The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members. What’s a Search Engine Watch member? See


Google Dance Case Studies, Dec. 7, 2003

Real life stories of how sites were impacted by the recent Google ranking changes, with an analysis of factors that may be in play.


Speculation On Google Changes, Dec. 7, 2003

So what’s Google done that’s caused so many sites to drop? The company may be making use of Teoma-like local ranking to filter out irrelevant links that can throw its link analysis system off. Stemming is also a factor, and other techniques may be involved.

This article is only available to Search Engine Watch members. For more about becoming a member, visit


What Happened To My Searches On Google?, Dec. 7, 2003

Many webmasters have found that recent changes at Google have hurt them. But does all the hue and cry over Google’s recent algorithm change have any impact on searchers? There are some developments worth noting, and this article takes a Q&A approach to examine them.

SearchDay Articles

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

Super Searchers on Madison Avenue
SearchDay, Jan. 6, 2004

In the high pressure world of advertising, researchers need to be both good and fast. In the most recent addition to the Super Searcher series, some of Madison Avenue’s best information sleuths share their secrets


Search Engine Milestones for December 2003
SearchDay, Jan. 5, 2004

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.


Bungled Search Engine Optimization – Cleaning Up the Mess
SearchDay, Dec. 24, 2003

Many advertising agencies, design firms, and even web hosting companies offer search engine marketing services for their customers. However, some of the methods they use to obtain top positions are considered to be spam by the major search engines. How do you tell the difference?

The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members that describes specific tactics and strategies for fixing bungled search engine optimization, including email addresses for the appropriate teams at all of the major search engines.

What’s a Search Engine Watch member? See


Search Engine Contextual Ads Gain Momentum
SearchDay, Dec. 23, 2003

A relatively new form of search engine advertising has nothing to do with search engine results. Instead, ‘contextual ads’ are displayed on other sites’ Web pages, based on the content of pages people are viewing.

The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members that goes into detail about advertiser concerns with contextual ads, including their effectiveness, return on investment and other issues.

What’s a Search Engine Watch member? See


Search Engines and Trademark Issues
SearchDay, Dec. 22, 2003

The use of trademarked phrases in search engine marketing is controversial, with owners of protected marks at risk of misuse from both competitors and affiliates.

The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members that goes into more extensive detail about trademark issues, including how to manage problems that can arise when affiliates and marketing partners undermine search marketing efforts of trademark owners.

What’s a Search Engine Watch member? See


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 19, 2003

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: Kanoodle Kontext to Rival AdSense – Large Companies Using Pay Per Click – Adsense As Pay for Inclusion? – Thoughts from the Search Engine Strategies Conference – Google AdSense: Disqualified for Invalid Clicks – Google Apologizes – Google Tracking Clicks – Kanoodle Lands Major Investor.


The “Secret System” of Search Engine Advertising
SearchDay, Dec. 18, 2003

Search engines have become one of the fastest growing venues in the advertising market, bringing clients from the old world of traditional advertising to the new world of paid listings. Yet while ad revenue increases for the search engines, so do the concerns for some long-time search advertisers who have invested a huge stake in the industry.

The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members of this article that goes into more extensive detail about search engine advertising issues, including questions and concerns about paid inclusion programs, whether search marketing is just a fad and other topics.

What’s a Search Engine Watch member? See


Google Introduces Book Searches
SearchDay, Dec. 17, 2003

Google has launched an experimental program that indexes excerpts of popular books, blending the content from these works into regular Google search results.


How Search Engines Make Money
SearchDay, Dec. 16, 2003

Too often, web entrepreneurs today think of search as a one-way business, focusing solely on how to make money off of the search engines without understanding how search engines also need to make money in order to survive and thrive.

The second URL leads to a longer version of the article for Search Engine Watch members of this article that goes into more extensive detail about search engine monitization issues, including how the services balance the need to make money with providing the best possible search experience to users.

What’s a Search Engine Watch member? See


Google Enhances Froogle, Offers New Ad and Search Features
SearchDay, Dec. 15, 2003

Google has beefed up its Froogle shopping search engine, introduced two new ‘quick links’ for searchers, and has added new features to its AdWords program.


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Dec. 12, 2003

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: Do UK Searchers Use or – Introducing AdSenseAdvisor – Top 20 Web Directories – Shopping Search: Any Good? – Froogle New Super Affiliate? – Froogle Links At Top Of Google Web SERPs – AdSonar vs AdSense


A Basket of Shopping Search Services
SearchDay, Dec. 11, 2003

A roundup of other shopping search services worthy of your attention, with links to notable shopping search articles from the past year.


Search Gains Importance at Online Retailers
SearchDay, Dec. 10, 2003

Searching is rapidly overtaking browsing as a primary way people find and buy products online, and the major online retailers have all stepped up their efforts at improving their customers’ search experience.


What’s New in Shopping Search
SearchDay, Dec. 8, 2003

It’s been a busy year for the shopping search and product comparison services. Here’s a look at what’s new at the major players in the online shopping space.


Meta Search Engines are Back
SearchDay, Dec. 4, 2003

It’s been a busy year for the major meta search engines, with a number of notable developments that have restored their usefulness as worthy search tools.


Search Engine Milestones for November 2003
SearchDay, Dec. 3, 2003

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.


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


Search Engine Articles

Toolbars: Trash or Treasures?
Online, Jan/Feb 2004

A guide to the many search toolbars now littering our desktops, looking at what’s offered, options and possible problems.


Yahoo to drop Google as main search engine -WSJ
Reuters, Jan. 6, 2004

File this under duh. Yahoo is going to drop Google for its primary web search results. We’ve expected this since Yahoo paid nearly $250 million to buy Inktomi last year. It’s been a mystery why it’s taken Yahoo so long. In fact, the sometimes voiced explanation from Yahoo that the transition would happen when Inktomi was “ready” is downright embarrassing. Inktomi is apparently good enough for MSN to make full use of it later this month but owner Yahoo still needs to test it? Anyway, Yahoo’s been quietly telling paid inclusion providers that Inktomi will go live as early as the first quarter of this year. Expect a new, unified paid inclusion program to also be rolled out around the same time. (permalink to this item)


Yahoo Gets Set to Give Google Run for the Money
Wall Street Journal, Jan. 6, 2004,,SB107334921060956000,00.html

This is the source of Inktomi rollout timing. In addition, the story also discusses that Yahoo plans to use personalization and customization to improve the search experience, plus the company plans to expand the use of paid inclusion. Yep — there’s a good way to come out strong against Google, by confusing consumers with more paid content mixed in with what many consider to be unsold listings. Relatively few details on exact plans are in the article, but that’s not surprising given that Yahoo hasn’t been talking much specifically about what will happen in the future. (permalink to this item)


Overture Will Separate Bidding for Contextual Listings, Jan. 6, 2004

Overture plans to offer contextual ads as a separate buy, but the price of those ads will go up. Google is apparently sticking by the idea that its contextual ads won’t be sold separately. Expect that will probably change, both due to advertiser demand and to avoid being outdone by competitor Overture.


Yahoo CEO Semel: Search is everywhere in 2004, Jan. 5, 2004

Yahoo CEO Terry Semel tells conference attendees to expect Yahoo to make all types of content searchable.


Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs to Manage Google IPO
Bloomberg, Jan. 5, 2004

Google’s still not confirming anything, but bankers are leaking the news that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group are to handle its rumored IPO.


Why Ad Agencies Fail at Search Marketing
ClickZ, Jan. 5, 2004

Strategies of ad dominance, making use of traditional copyrighting or relying on image over substance may work in the real world but not necessarily in the search engine marketing one.

By the way, affiliates aren’t just problematic for search engines. These days, Google AdSense affiliates are a problem, as well. More and more I come across spam pages that not only have managed to rank well in Google, but they also make money by carrying Google’s own AdSense ads. The success of Google AdSense ironically has become a new major threat to the relevancy of Google’s results. (permalink to this item)


Google’s House of Cards
ClickZ, Jan. 5, 2004

Advertisers and publishers are upset at Google due to falling ROI on ads and lost rankings from free listings. Advertisers also continue to want AdSense offered as a separate purchase and at a lower cost. Is this Google’s House of Cards, where large revenues may suddenly disappear. Could be. It could also be an opportunity for the company to finally do what advertisers want and win back some lost friends by rolling out a separate program.

By the way, I’d counter that Google is indeed in danger of losing its sterling reputation with users. Twice over the holiday break, I’ve picked up popular magazines discussing how Google is losing its relevancy. Some of the arguments were incorrect, but readers may not understand this. Instead, the word of mouth going around is that Google has lost its shine — and upset advertisers and web site publishers will only add fuel to looking for proof of this. (permalink to this item)


Beyond Google: Narrow the Search
AP, Jan. 4, 2003,1282,61783,00.html

A look at tools that automatically categorize and sometimes even visually present search results. There’s nothing new about the concept. Northern Light did auto-categorization back in 1997, and AltaVista had a visualization tool in the same year, to name only some examples. They never caught on, but perhaps the new crop may have more luck — though even these “new” tools mentioned are all more than a year old.


Search Engine Marketing Recap of 2003
High Rankings Advisor, Dec. 31, 2003

Jill Whalen’s High Rankings Advisor newsletter is always an excellent read. In this issue, she recaps topics raised over the past year, ranging from the debate on cloaking to spam on Google.


Top Terms What Were We Looking for on the Web in 2003?, Dec. 30, 2003

Recap of top searches done in 2003, according to Lycos.


2004 Search Engine Predictions From SEO Professionals
WebProWorld, Dec. 29, 2003

What the coming year may bring, from various search commentators.


Australia’s Answer to Google? Nah.
John Battelle’s Searchblog, Dec. 29, 2003

I couldn’t have said it better. Start up Mooter plans an IPO, apparently because what the heck, Google’s doing it, so we can too. Of course, Google is estimated to be earning revenues up to $1 billion (versus nothing at Mooter) and doesn’t crash when more than 25 people try to search at the same time.

I will say this for Mooter — I did find it useful for a complicated query I tried recently, just as visual tool Grokker was also useful. I may revisit this more in the future and better illustrate how and why such categorization or visual tools can be useful, in the right instances. But neither is a Google killer in terms of the vast majority of searches that are done. (permalink to this item).


Online Data Conflict With Desire for Privacy
AP, Dec. 26, 2003

A look at the issue of balancing privacy in the wake of easier access to personal details via the internet and search engines. It’s summed up nicely in the closing paragraph, where someone asks Google to remove their phone listing but then uses Google herself to look up details about a potential date.


Understand Search Results Pages
ClickZ, Dec. 22, 2003

Want to be successful with search engines? Then you’d better understand where the results they show are coming from. The article provides an introduction to some common concepts about search engine results pages, or SERPs.


The “Florida Update” … Exposed ? (Google Patent Problem)
JimWorld, Dec. 22, 2003

This was a gem coming out over the holidays. Turns out, Stanford University owns the patent on PageRank, a part of the Google ranking system. Google apparently says it has full rights to use the patented work, so potentially, it’s not a problem. But author John Cokos theorizes that the recent Google ranking changes were due to its need to wean itself off of PageRank for a complication-free IPO.

More likely, the changes are due to the fact that no major search engine can continue to depend on link analysis as much in the past, as search engine marketers have gotten smarter about linkage. So the latest changes at Google are more a return to the “arms race” in the past between marketers and search engines, and one you can expect will continue for any search engine that relies on automated gathering to power its search results.

By the way, Google most definitely was talking about “organic” issues at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago. The company was on a number of panels that dealt solely with organic issues, and its representatives certainly did not sit there and say nothing.


Watching SEM Dials and Gauges
ClickZ, Dec. 19, 2003

If search engine marketing were an airplane that you flew, then here’s a guide to important dials that should be monitored for a safe flight.


Kanoodle Debuts Set-And-Forget Search Terms, Dec. 19, 2003

Kanoodle introduces dayparting, the ability to have your ads run for set periods of the day, or on particular days or in particular months. It’s a first for any US-based paid listings provider, though European provider Mirago deserves credit for being the first in the industry, to my knowledge, with the feature. Mirago rolled its dayparting feature out in November:


Is Google good for you?
BBC, Dec. 19, 2003

BBC technology columnist Bill Thompson plans to break his Google addiction in hopes of finding more refined search tools that he’s sure exist. The truth is somewhere in between. Many people are indeed addicted to Google and fail to seek other resources, when they should. But Google isn’t exactly sickly sweet Coke or fast food for search. It still manages to provide a decent meal much of the time.

You shouldn’t feel you need to “give up” Google because its somehow “bad” for you, any more than you should give up any search engine that is working for you. But when things don’t taste right for a particular query, yes! Get out of the restaurant and try something new.

The second URL leads to a follow-up article by Thompson, as he pursues his New Year’s resolution, exploring some of the many alternative search tools out there. (permalink to this item)


Citysearch Optimizes for Paid Search, Dec. 18, 2003

Citysearch redesigns to make itself more search box-oriented.


Harness the Power of Any Search Engine Onto a Cool Toolbar
ResourceShelf, Dec. 18, 2003

Review of NeedleSearch toolbar that lets you tap into any search engine. But be forewarned — it’s only for the Mozilla browser.


Google, In Print
PublishersLunch, Dec. 17, 2003

Long look at the new Google book search feature, with a survey of various publishers. Some were surprised to be included, while others had previous conversations with the company. Google also has just gained a former Random House exec, likely to help in its new efforts.

Also includes good details of plans apparently to let registered users (which would be a first for Google) read up to 10 percent of a book per month. The business model also seems not to be selling the actual books but using the book content as fodder for hosting Google’s own AdWords listings. That would be another departure for Google — traditionally, the service has not tried to keep people within its own site.


Google Here, There, and Everywhere
BusinessWeek, Dec. 16, 2003

As Google and other search engines make it easier to access all types of information, will publishers be finding themselves paying more for essential inclusion?


Going Deeper than Google
Fortune, Dec. 16, 2003,15704,563090,00.html

Review of Grokker, which lets you “fly” through results found by Google and other search engines.


Google makes friends in high places, Dec. 16, 2003

Scroll down, and you’ll find an item about a recent visit by former US president Bill Clinton to Google, the latest in a list of celebrities and politicians to make the stopover. Gwyneth Paltrow, former US president Jimmy Carter and former US vice president Al Gore have also been by. Current US president George W. Bush, the victim of two Google Bombing pranks (see, not surprisingly hasn’t called by.


Google Abuses Search Leadership
FTPOnline, Dec. 15, 2003

This open letter to the US Federal Trade Commission about alleged restraint of trade by Google actually has little to do with any type of search “monopoly.” Instead, it mainly focuses on Google’s oft-criticized (and deservedly so) changes imposed on those carrying its contextual ads. Publishers are forced to agree to new terms in order to get paid for ads run before the terms were altered. It also complains that the pop-up blocker in the Google Toolbar potentially restrains advertising, though the letter fails to explicitly suggest Google has done this to sell its own search and contextual-based ad products. (permalink to this item)


ClickTracks: Powerful Data Without the Mess
Traffick, Dec. 15, 2003

Review of the ClickTracks web site analytical tool.


GooglePrudery: Booted for Dissing Dubya, Dec. 15, 2003

Blather found itself running afoul of the Google advertising police, who pulled its ads for because the site had content that “advocated against George Bush.” What was this verboten content? Blather linked to George W. Bush’s official biography as part of the Google Bombing prank (see to make it number one at Google for a search on “miserable failure.”

Ironically, by this argument, Google itself should not be able to carry its own ads, given that its own search results are content that some would see as advocating against Bush.

In a further irony, while Blather is not allowed to pay Google to carry its ads, Google seems to have no problem with Blather carrying Google’s own ads — even on the evildoers page in question: (permalink to this item)


The Power of Paris Hilton
CPU Review, Dec. 15, 2003

Accidentally coming up tops for a search on “paris hilton sex video” for this web site turned out to be a costly mistake.


Connecting Offline Sales to SEM: A Case Study
ClickZ, Dec. 15, 2003

At the SES conference in Chicago this month, there were a ton of questions suddenly coming up about how to track offline conversions. So this column from Fredrick Marckini is very timely and worth reading. Search engine marketing can and should be measured offline, as well as online. Otherwise, you’re not getting the complete story about conversions.


Search And Destroy
Time, Dec. 15, 2003,9171,1101031222-561499,00.html

Newsletter readers have already seen this type of story before, and you can expect more of them as major news weekly and other publications educate their respective readerships about the coming Google IPO and the competition the company faces in the form of Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon.

There’s a passing reference of Google claiming to now have 4 billion pages indexed. Perhaps this is the sum of the pages they claim to have indexed on the home page plus those in the supplemental index (, a figure for which Google’s never disclosed.


Monetizing Graphical Search, Dec. 15, 2003

Trying to shake people out of the 10 textual search results format, a new version of Grokker provides the ability to “fly” through results items of interest, while Vivisimo has released a new toolbar to let you access “clustered” search topics from its acclaimed meta search engine.


Digital revolution leaves Google feeling quite flush
San Francisco Business Times, Dec. 14, 2003

More information than you ever wanted to know about new digital bidets at Google. The real question is whether they can project current searches happening at Google on the stall door while you, um, wait.


Google generation needs fun toys
USA Today, Dec. 14, 2003

Ugh. Just when you thought Google couldn’t be put on a higher pedestal, now we get an attempt to christen an entire “Google Generation.” These are kids and teens used to being able to access facts (remember, some facts, not all of them) quickly via search engines (of which Google is but one).

Not so sure of the attempt to then tie this into buying the right toys. However, the idea that there’s a generation that assumes everything is on the web and only a search away is correct — and somewhat sad. Most of the world’s knowledge is not on the internet, so if you want to be hip and hot about locating information, you’ll understand how to use other information resources such as, hmm, a library.


Tracking for Decisions in SEM
ClickZ, Dec. 12, 2003

Be aware that not all buying happens online, nor can every action be precisely tracked. In short, while search engine marketing provides much more precise tracking than other types of media buys, you can’t measure everything. Do the best with what information you have, and don’t worry if you only have 90 percent accuracy — that’s far better than with some other forms of advertising you may do.


Google Launches New Search By Number Options, Direct Links to Access Airport Delay Info, Dec. 12, 2003

Google has introduced a feature letting you get specific answers when entering shipping tracking numbers from UPS and FedEx, US patent numbers, FAA registration numbers or FCC equipment IDs. You can also check for airport travel delays by entering the airport’s three letter code followed by the word airport, such as “sfo airport” or “sna airport.” That brings back a hard to miss “view conditions” link at the top of the search results page. However, it didn’t work for London’s Heathrow airport (lhr airport), so it may be for only US airports. More info from Google at:


Search Guru Danny Sullivan Talks Google
WebProNews, Dec. 10, 2003

With so many people joking that they were addicted to Google and needing a 12-step recovery program, I took the actual 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonymous to see how they could be applied to those with a Google addiction to lead off my Search Engine Strategies keynote. I also covered what I think is far more important, the coming changes that invisible tabs ( will mean for marketers.


Keyword Analysis and Ranking: The Value of Brainstorming, Dec. 10, 2003

Stuck assuming that the only way to research terms is using the Overture search term suggestion tool and Put on your thinking cap, because brainstorming shouldn’t be forgotten. In fact, it’s the first step to take.


Shopping Engine Bidding Gets Smarter, Dec. 9, 2003

Want to do better on (formerly DealTime)? Now you can bid your way to the top of the results.


Search Engine Spam
ClickZ, Dec. 8, 2003

What’s search engine spam? Shari Thurow offers some advice on tactics that are best avoided, if you want to stay out of trouble. Cloaking gets lumped in there. Without wanting to reopen the debate from earlier this year about cloaking, just a gentle reminder that not all search engines consider cloaking spam nor have outright bans.

Google does, so you have to watch yourself there. And with the others, cloaking often goes hand-in-hand with low-quality doorway pages. It’s the low-quality content, rather than the delivery mechanism, that tends to be the problem. In short, it is good advice to avoid cloaking if you want to avoid trouble — but the issue is very complicated, and more so when you consider trusted feed programs.

For more, see my article from earlier this year on the topic of cloaking and spam:


AdSubtract to snip paid search results
IDG, Dec. 8, 2003

I mentioned AdSubtract in my last newsletter. Now the software, which removes paid listings from search results as well as blocks other types of ads, has emerged from its beta release.


Trademarks and SEM
ClickZ, Dec. 5, 2003

Recaps instances where trademarks might be linked to paid listings and ways to seek resolutions if you are a trademark holder with objections.


Google wants ruling on search trademark law, Dec. 4, 2003

Google has asked a US District Court to rule that it has the right to have advertising linked to terms that are also trademarks.


On the Google Deskbar
The Register, Dec. 4, 2003

The Register finds that, much as it says it’s depressed to admit, the Google Deskbar is a good thing. Review of features and how changing habits from browser-based searching to taskbar searching worked for the writer.


FindWhat, Verizon Go Local in Tandem, Dec. 3, 2003

Yellow pages site is planning a cost-per-click paid listings program for its site, powered with technology from FindWhat.


Sex sites fire up Internet search engines’ profit
New York Times, Dec. 3, 2003

Brief look at how search engines make money by carrying porn listings.


Interview with Craig-Nevill Manning
e-Marketing-News, Dec. 2003

Mike Grehan asks Google senior research scientist Craig Nevill-Manning about how the Froogle shopping search engine got started, issues in compiling its data, and touches briefly on the recent ranking change with web results. Interview comes after a rundown of thoughts and coverage from the recent Search Engine Strategies conference.


How To Prosper With The New Google
SEO Research Labs, Nov. 16, 2003

Don’t let the date fool you — this guide by Dan Thies is up-to-date on some well-thought out speculation on the latest changes at Google.


Die Zukunft der Suchmaschinen, Directories und Ads
Optimierung.Net, Nov. 11, 2003

If you speak German, this is a short interview with me about search engines.


Special thanks to:
+ Search Engine Guide,
+ Web Search Guide,
+ Search Engine Lowdown,
and reader submissions for some of the items listed above.

Search Engine Resources

SEMPO Job Board

You know search engine marketing is maturing when it gets its own job board. Courtesy of SEMPO, find or post SEM jobs here.



Search Engine Marketing Association 7 is a new organization for French search engine marketers that especially aims to resolve disputes about paid listings linked to trademarks outside of courts.


Advanced Searchbar

I’m waiting for someone to create ToolbarManager, which will manage all the various search toolbars that keep springing up. Here’s another one. It gives you access to 60 search engines, plus push button access to disk utilities, webpage translation, a calculator and other features. Downside is that it’s a 1MB download.


Google 2003 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

End of the year wrap up of top queries at Google.


Vivisimo Toolbar / MiniBar

Vivisimo is last year’s Search Engine Watch winner for Best Meta Search Engine. Now the service offers a toolbar that lets you tap into its results from your browser. The second URL lets you load a “mini” version of the toolbar, helpful for those who already have many other search toolbars installed.


Copernic Meta Toolbar

The Copernic Agent meta search software ( has had one big strike against it, a large download. Now Copernic is offered via a browser toolbar, in a much easier to digest sub-minute download. It’s also last year’s cowinner for Best Meta Search Engine from Search Engine Watch.


Search Engine Lowdown

Andy Beal’s search web log has done a great job over the past few months since it started in digging out interesting stories. It’s well worth a regular visit or an RSS subscription.


John Batelle’s Searchblog

New search companies, interesting technologies, great finds and thoughtful observations on search — all can be found in this relatively new blog from John Batelle.


Search Engine Roundtable Weblog

If you aren’t all blogged out, here’s a new one featuring posts from moderators at two popular search engine marketing-oriented forums, and



Users of the KartOO visual meta search engine will find a new “Kapitalyser” feature at the bottom left of the KartOO screen that memorizes their past searches, sites visited and tries to personalize subsequent searches based on past behavior. A new KartOO “Watch” feature in the lower right of the screen lets you monitor for when new pages appear in a query or when a page is updated or altered. There’s also a press release about the features:



Usually I’m not that excited by visual search products, and I’ve seen a lot of them come and go over the years. They never tend to take off because getting a list of sites is actually visual and useful. Nevertheless, Grokker is indeed worth a look. It’s pretty cool to be able to “fly” through search results grouped into different topics.

Either I or Chris Sherman will be coming back to take a look at the product in more depth. But I’ve had a demo of it and was impressed with what I saw. It won’t be replacing Google or other traditional search engines for most people, and certainly won’t be doing that with the price tag it carries and with the long download it requires. But in the future, if a free Grokker-light emerges, then the idea might take off. There’s a free trial, so give the software a whirl.

SES Coverage

Search Engine Strategies Conference Chicago 2003 Reviewed, Dec. 19, 2003

Collection of articles covering various topics at the show.


Search Engines Strategies Chicago Coverage
Search Engine Roundtable, Dec. 2003

If you missed the Search Engine Strategies conference earlier this month in Chicago, this page provides coverage from the event. Scroll down, and you’ll find “from the floor” posts about all three days.


Thoughts from SES Web Search Guide, Dec. 12, 2003

Thoughts from Web Search Guide writer Jennifer Laycock on the recent conference.


Search Engine Insider Reports
WebProWorld, Dec. 2003

Formerly the Search Engine Strategies area, this section of the WebProWorld forum has live postings from out of the Search Engine Strategies show, followed by discussion of topics by forum members. Be sure to scroll through the thread list and go back in time, to see when some of the earliest coverage was posted.


What if there were no search engines?
Brett Tabke, December 2003

Presentation on tips to go beyond search engines, from founder Brett Tabke, who presented at the show.


Search Engine Strategies Chicago
Search Engine Lowdown, Dec. 2003

Read from this blog post downward for various reports out of the conference.

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