The Search Engine Update – Number 180 – September 8, 2004


In This Issue

+ Search Engine Watch News
+ Search Engine Strategies Set For Stockholm, Chicago
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Search Engine Resources
+ About The Newsletter

Search Engine Watch News

Hello Everyone–

There were a googol of stories published about the Google IPO, and I’ve recapped none of them in this edition of the newsletter. It simply wasn’t possible to try and summarize even the most significant of them, because of the sheer amount would have prevented compiling all the other search news. In addition, some of the Google IPO stories go stale very quickly. I may try to pick out a few for the following newsletter that seemed especially important.


Search Engine Strategies Set For Stockholm, Chicago

With San Jose behind us, Search Engine Strategies brings sessions on search engine marketing to Stockholm from October 27-28 and Chicago from December 13-16. Basic information about these shows can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies

Search Engine Watch Articles

Here’s a recap of major articles and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:

Trademark vs. Search: Do you Soo…gle?
SearchDay, Sept. 8, 2004

Does Geico’s trademark lawsuit against Google have merit? How will the case be argued? What’s the likely outcome of the trial? A mock court of trademark experts weighs in with their verdict.


Reflections On SEMPO, Sept. 8, 2004

Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan recaps issues and concerns that marred the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization’s first birthday last month and looks at ways the group could go forward.


Google Out Of Index Space?
The Search Engine Update, Sept. 8, 2004

Is Google out of space for documents? Allegations from last year have been raised anew. A short recap of what’s been said, seen and some history for Search Engine Watch members.


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sep. 3, 2004

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: SEO for an eBay store? – Who Benefits Most from 3 AdSense Ads Per Page – What SEO Guarantees Do You Offer? – Keywords In Quotes Vs. Keywords In Italics – Yahoo Local Match & Yellow Pages


What SEO Guarantees Do You Offer?
Search Engine Watch Forums, Sept. 2, 2004

Clients want search engine work. What if they want a guarantee? Should you offer one? What should you offer. A look at what some people do.


Overture Shifting To Default Broad Match
SearchDay, Sept. 2, 2004

Within the next few weeks, Overture will make a major switch to matching terms on a broad basis, rather than the traditional exact match default it has followed since the company’s launch. This version of this story for Search Engine Watch members takes a closer look at how the new advanced broad matching will work, reasons to exclude terms, how “tiered” display of match types will continue, how higher bid prices for terms are likely and why traffic will increase for those doing advanced match.


Search Engine Milestones for August 2004
SearchDay, Sept. 1, 2004

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


How Do I Spot Cloaked Sites?
Search Engine Watch Forums, Aug. 31, 2004

If someone is cloaking content, how do you know? This thread explores the topic.


A New Player in Desktop Search
SearchDay, Aug. 31, 2004

Copernic, a well-known developer of web search tools, is entering the desktop search marketplace with the release of a new product today.


Visualizing Google Search Results
SearchDay, Aug. 30, 2004

MoreGoogle is a simple utility that enhances Google result pages with thumbnail images and other useful links.


New Google Advertising Related Patent App?
Search Engine Watch Forums, Aug. 28, 2004

Gary Price spots a patent to deliver contextual ads via browser plug-ins that names several Google engineers. John Battelle provides some further analysis here:


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Aug. 27, 2004

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Buying – Use Your AdSense Filter List With Caution – Branding is Back on the Web – When Should I See Results from My SEO Efforts? – Onsite Search Engine – Does Google Bot Check WHOIS Data? – Utterly Disillusioned With SEO


Are You Ready to Explode Your Keyword Lists?
Search Engine Watch Forums, Aug. 27, 2004

Over 50 percent of the 200 million searches performed a day have never been searched before. What are you doing to increase your keywords?


Search Engine Executive Roundtable, Part 2
SearchDay, Aug. 26, 2004

How do the search engines view search marketing firms? What are the growth drivers of the industry? And Is the search ‘bubble’ going to pop soon? Danny Sullivan continues his discussion with four top search executives. Also links to Part 1.


How should I go about SEO for an eBay store?
Search Engine Watch Forums, Aug. 26, 2004

How to manipulate the eBay item submission content manager to increase your chances of higher rankings on the search engines.


Achieving Search Engine Ranking “Success”
Search Engine Watch Forums, Aug. 26, 2004

What truly defines success across the major search engines? Is it possible to achieve top rankings across all the top SE’s with one site?


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About URL
SearchDay, Aug. 24, 2004

A new tool from search craftsman Michael Fagan uncovers a hidden wealth of information about virtually any web page.


When are pages “spam”?
Search Engine Watch Forums, Aug. 23, 2004

Always a hot topic – what page elements are considered search engine spam? What are borderline tactics? And how can you firmly establish spam without specific SE guidelines?


Lycos Introduces People, Discussion Search Tools
SearchDay, Aug. 23, 2004

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: SEMPO Under Fire – Mike Grehan Stirs Up SEMPO Controversy – What Does SEMPO Mean To You? – Overture to Launch Bid Management Tool – Google’s IPO Pricing – Could a Virus Shut down Google?


Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, August 20, 2004

Links to this week’s topics from search engine forums across the web: How Do You Compete With the Fortune 500s – Google Prices Stock at $85 Per Share – MSN Block-Level Link Analysis – Slickest Link Building Tricks – Your Message to New SEOs – How To Handle AdWords With Thousands Of Keywords


Lawsuit Filed Over Search & Gambling Ads
SearchDay, Aug. 19, 2004

Yahoo, Google and other major web sites have been hit with a lawsuit saying they carry online gambling ads in violation of California law. This comes after two of the major search companies earlier this year made moves that were supposed to remove online gambling ads entirely. This version of the story for Search Engine Watch members looks specifically at guidelines from Google and Overture about online gambling ads and examines why some ads seem to escape those rules.


Want to receive new Search Engine Watch articles every day? Sign-up for SearchDay, the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch. Also keep up with news and discussion via the Search Engine Watch Forums. Links to both are below.


Search Engine Watch Forums

Search Engine Articles

Marketers Fear Search Engines Obtain Sensitive Business Information, Sept. 8, 2004

Both Overture and Google offer conversion tracking programs, something that’s concerned some search marketers. What if they use that data to better see how much the market can bear? In addition, they have knowledge of what people are bidding on, ad budgets and tons of other information. A questionnaire from Overture recently caused some marketers to wonder if the company planned to offer a service that would let competitors tap into this data. Both Overture and Google say any data would be used only in aggregate, not to help particular advertisers.



Google Search & Cache Filtering Behind China’s Great Firewall
OpenNet Initiative, Sept. 3, 2004

In summary, the Chinese government appears to be focusing on filtering Google results and cache listings for its citizens and ignoring Yahoo and Gigablast. Good news then for those in China — use these alternatives, at least until the government catches on. For more background on China’s past actions with Google, see China’s Great Wall Against Google And AltaVista: Meanwhile, news on the words apparently filtered by China:



Google www.3 and www.2 redirected?, Sept. 2, 2004


Look Before You Leap – What to Look For and Look Out For When Choosing an SEO/SEM Firm
Search Engine Guide, Sept. 1, 2004

Looking to hire an SEM firm? David Wallace offers his advice on thing to look out for.


How to Handle Copyright Infringement Found by the Search Engines
Search Engine Roundtable, Sept. 1, 2004

Someone using your web page without permission. Some succinct steps you can take to at least get them out of search engines.


Less than 10% of Fortune 100 use search engine optimization effectively
Internet Retailer, Aug. 31, 2004

Search engine marketing firm OneUpWeb found only 10 percent of Fortune 100 web sites to be considered well optimized.


Gates: Longhorn changed to make deadlines, Aug. 30, 2004

The successor to Windows XP, Longhorn, is being pushed back until 2006. In addition, a new file system for that operating system designed to improve desktop searching, WinFS, won’t be fully implemented when Longhorn is released. A long interview with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates on these and other issues. And does this knock Microsoft out of the desktop search game? Nope. Microsoft’s MSN division has a desktop tool that I’ve talked with them about. It’s a standalone application that will be released in the near future, certainly before the end of the year, MSN says.


Answer Engines, Aug. 30, 2004

Gary Price does a round-up on recent news and papers about trying to get people direct answers to their queries, rather than links to pages that may (or may not) have the answers.


How Effective Is Your Keyword Research?
ClickZ, Aug. 30, 2004

Tips on researching keywords in a variety of ways.


They Don’t Get It (Yet): A Look Back at the Rude Awakening that Was SES
Traffick, Aug. 29, 2004

Canadian Andrew Goodman writes of his despair that despite a huge turnout at the first SES show in his country, the Canadian media failed to catch on. How about a little respect for search and search marketing north of the border, he asks.


Peterson Testimony Turns to Computer Data
AP, Aug. 27, 2004

What you search for can turn into evidence, as demonstrated in the Scott Peterson murder trial. Some discussion of the issue here: Search log files and Scott Peterson, I’m still waiting for some politician to find search logs are an issue during an election campaign, as I predicted way back here:


Driving SEM Campaigns Using the Rearview Mirror
ClickZ, Aug. 27, 2004

Learning from past actions can help with conversion — but you’ve got to be careful how far you look back and watch out for unusual spikes that can throw you astray.


PremierGuide Gets Social with Local Search
Clickz, Aug. 26, 2004

Local search asp PremiereGuide has added social networking functionality to its product. In other words, searchers can find local listings that have been reviewed or recommended by others.


RSS Attracts Really Serious Money
Wired News, Aug. 26, 2004,1367,64716,00.html

Weblog search tool Technorati has received a multimillion dollar investment.


The Google Browser, Aug. 26, 2004

Many have floated the idea of a Google browser before. Jason Kottke takes a short look at some recent reasons why this might be more likely.


Linux group aims for Google-like search, Aug. 26, 2004

Run the KDE version of Linux? Desktop search is coming your way in the next 18 months.


The Growing Pains of Search
MediaPost, Aug. 26, 2004

Gord Hotchkiss writes of seeing the SEM industry begin to split from those focused on tactics versus those envisioning long-term strategy. I actually think this type of split happened several years ago. It’s just that many more people now are picking up on the strategic part of SEM — and perhaps that groundswell make this a milestone year, as he suggests.


The Mystery of the Magical Keyword Density Formula, Aug. 25, 2004

If only you knew the exact number of target keywords to use in the exact correct places on your web page, then you’d skyrocket to the top of the search engines. Not. I agree with Karon Thackston. Chasing after the perfect density is likely to be futile effort. Instead, natural writing with a few basic tips as she suggests is likely to be more helpful for most.


Interchange Improves Local Search Platform
ClickZ, Aug. 25, 2004

Interchange makes it possible to find products and services linked to landmarks, in addition to other ranges already offered such as US ZIP and area codes.


Librarian: Don’t use Wikipedia as source
Syracuse Post-Standard, Aug. 25, 2004

Wikipedia lets anyone contribute to build a community encyclopedia. Unfortunately, as this article explores, the community nature also means that factual errors can perhaps more easily creep in.


“Building Your Business with Google for Dummies” Goes Beyond the Basics
Traffic, Aug. 24, 2004

Short review about making use of Google, from AdWords to AdSense, as part of your online business. The only caveat is to make sure you buy some other books that don’t leave you completely Google dependent.


Why Hasnt Anyone Figured Out How To Do Feed Searches?
Joseph Scott’s Blog, Aug. 24, 2004

Chris Sherman and I were talking about feed search engines not too long ago and how the relevancy often falls far short of what we’d like. So Joseph Scott’s critique of major feed search engines, and his concerns about them, really resonated with me.

Jeremy Zawodny picks up on the topic here:, going further to explain why traditional web search engines have problems filling the gap. They are all problems that could easily be solved, except perhaps with the key issue that taking in feeds and pings is far more problematic when you have a huge audience searching you. That huge audience means much more incentive for authors to ping all the time or throw out feeds of junk in hopes of picking up traffic.

Following from Jeremy, Rick Skrenta of Topix picks up here:, bringing in the key thing that may help web search engines take feeds and not be spammed: editorial review.


E-Biz [Search Engineā€ Satisfaction Improves, Lags
Clickz, Aug. 24, 2004

Search engine satisfaction is up for the third year running, according to the latest figures from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Google also maintains its top ranking of several search engines named, 82 out of 100 total points that could be earned. The survey stupidly doesn’t include Yahoo in the search category as well as the portal category, so we’re stuck relying only on Yahoo’s “portal” score of 78 for a loose comparison. Ask Jeeves came behind Google at 71.


SearchTHIS: Debunking Click Fraud
iMedia Connection, Aug. 24, 2004

The headline is somewhat misleading. Rather than debunk the idea that clickfraud happens, this is instead a look at the issue and some specific tips to detect clickfraud, prevent it and gain refunds.


Ask Jeeves knocking on Japan’s door, Aug. 23, 2004

Ask Jeeves has partnered with Tokyo-based software company Transcosmos and launched a beta version of Ask Jeeves Japan. More also here: Partner Is Key to Launch,


Why Nonconverting Keywords Will Drive Search Ad Spend
ClickZ, Aug. 23, 2004

Just because no one clicks on your search listing doesn’t mean it lacked value in the overall marketing mix. A search listing may add to your share of brand voice. Ensure you can quantify that some way, and you’ll be more than a one-hit direct marketing wonder.


The vs-Switch on Yahoo
JonnyGoodBoy’s Weblog, Aug. 21, 2004

Apparently, you can use the VS command in your query to see pages that Yahoo may have found but not yet published to its regular index. Only problem is, I didn’t find this to work in a very quick test I tried. I’ll look into it more.


24/7 Media Buys Search Marketing Firm, Aug. 20, 2004

Another search engine marketing firm acquisition, this time Decide Interactive being purchased for $15 million in cash and $11 million in shares, with $7.5 million additional depending on financial performance. Decide has been a major paid inclusion player, closely partnered with Yahoo — as well as managing paid placement campaigns.


Four Things Yahoo Can Do That Google Can’t, Aug. 17, 2004

Unlike Google, Yahoo lets you see all links to a particular domain rather than a URL, lets you filter out your own site when doing reverse link lookups, lets you search for more than 10 words in a query and lets you search for RSS/Atom/web feeds. Learn more in the PDF file from Tara Calishain

Search Engine Resources

Banner Ad Museum

Into banner ads? Check out this banner ad search engine and gallery. More about it here: A Site for Banner Ad Freaks,,1284,64642,00.html




New news search engine that’s in alpha testing.


Creative Commons RDF-enhanced search

Want to find material you can use through a Creative Commons license? This new search engine, powered by technology from Nutch, lets you scan the web to do just that.



New meta search site for the UK.



Using Firefox? This tool is designed to “look ahead” at the results that come up and automatically open them into multiple windows.



New travel search engine currently in beta. Checks travel agencies, airlines, consolidators and other sources.


NameProtect Search Engine AdTracker Reports

This new service is designed to track your brand name in bad ads. At $5,000 per year to track up to 10 keywords, there are far cheaper solutions such as WebPosition that are probably as effective. In conjunction with the launch of the new service, NameProtect issued a report saying that 92 percent of Top 100 brand had third parties buying ads linked to their names.

Freak out time! Well, dig a bit deeper, and some of those listings are from third parties working on behalf of the brand (such as affiliates, resellers). As it turns out, only 45 percent of listings were deemed to be from competitors or potentially unlicensed resellers (and in both cases, while annoying, the ads may still not be illegal). And the use of the brand name in the ads? Not necessarily a sign of trademark infringement — it really will depend on exactly what is said.

Some figures from NameProtect here: Nice write-up on the findings and observations from Kevin Ryan of iMedia Connection here:


PriceGrabber Car Quotes

New service designed to let you comparison shop for cars online.


Do a search, see the results from Google shown with their PageRank scores displayed. It’s also easy to click and see inbound links to the pages listed. Also offers rank checking on Google and Yahoo.


Recall Toolbar

Search through the content of web pages you’ve already visited using this toolbar for Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer already has built in search capabilities like this (push the History button, the use search in the window that appears). This looks to provide a nicer, more search engine-like interface, however.



Search Engines 2

New guide to search engines by topic, country and type.



The Search Engine Belt Buckle

Don’t get too excited — you can’t buy this belt buckle that streams queries across your waist. Instead, you’ll need to roll your own. Darn! Personally, I’d rather have a search engine lapel pin. Wait — how about a tie like this? Now I’d wear that to an SES show!



Trellian Keyword Research Tool

New, free tool that lets you query search data compiled over time, as collected by Trellian through partnerships.


Yahoo Search Blog

Now Yahoo has a blog, one totally devoted to search and feeling more blog like in informal nature than rival Google’s blog. A blogroll and amazingly, comment ability, adds to this. More about the blog here, Yahoo Search Starts to Blog,


Special thanks reader submissions and

+ Search Engine Guide,
+ Search Engine Lowdown,
+ Searchblog,
+ Search Engine Roundtable Weblog,
+ ResearchBuzz,
+ The Unofficial Google Weblog,
+ Google Blogoscoped,

for some of the items listed in this newsletter.

About The Search Engine Update

The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to Search Engine Watch members. Please note that long URLs may break into two lines in some mail readers. Cut and paste, should this occur.

How do I unsubscribe?

+ Follow the instructions at the very end of this email.

How do I subscribe?

The Search Engine Update is only available to paid members of the Search Engine Watch web site. If you are not a member and somehow are receiving a copy of the newsletter, learn how to become a member at:

How do I see past issues?


How do I change my address?

+ Send a message to

I need human help with my membership!

+ Send a message to DO NOT send messages regarding list management or membership issues to Danny Sullivan. He does not deal with these directly.

I have feedback about an article!

+ I’d love to hear it. Use the form at

Related reading

Search engine results: The ten year evolution
Five ways PPC customer support can help SMBs
#GoogleDoBetter The latest on internal issues at Google and Alphabet
Google Sandbox Is it still affecting new sites in 2019