Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Internet Scavenger Hunt (
“The Internet scavenger hunt section of is designed to provide
a fun way for surfers and students to practice their online researching skills
by searching for the answers to a challenging list of questions.”

“New scavenger hunts are posted each month and readers who send an
email with the correct answers and links to the sites where each answer
was located, will be featured on this page.”

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

SEM Predictions for 2004 - The SEM CEO's View (ClickZ)
SEM Predictions for 2004 - The Analyst's View (ClickZ)
2004 SEM predictions (JimWorld Forums)

Monday, December 29, 2003

More Businesses Are Turning to Paid Listings on Search Engines (New York Times)
“The main reason that search advertising has been successful is that
it presents advertising that consumers might actually want to see.
Someone searching for information on arthritis may well be as interested
in ads by drug companies and chiropractors as the reports by medical
foundations and information sites found by the search engines.”

“A less obvious driver of search ads, but perhaps as important in the long run,
is that they sell themselves. Rather than negotiating with an ad salesman, the
advertiser buys search ads on a Web site by entering a search term and price
it is willing to pay. The highest-bidding ads are displayed, and the advertisers
only pay when a user clicks on the ad to visit their Web page.”

Sunday, December 28, 2003

ReasonToBlog (EmacsWiki)
Why I #@&% Hate Weblogs! (bones)
Why Writers Hate Blogs and How We Can Allay Their Fears (Writer Online)

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Is Google good for you? (BBC NEWS)
“Technology analyst Bill Thompson wonders why he cannot
stay away from Google, even though he has his doubts about it.”

Friday, December 26, 2003

Applied Semantics & Stemming: The future of Google Searching! (Search Guild)
"Applied Semantics is a proven innovator in semantic text processing
and online advertising," said Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder and president
of Technology. "This acquisition will enable Google to create new technologies
that make online advertising more useful to users, publishers, and advertisers alike."

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Lawsuits Target Alleged Spammers (Wired News)
“Microsoft and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed lawsuits
Thursday against a group of e-mail marketers that they said were
responsible for sending billions of fraudulent spam messages.”

“Spitzer, known for his aggressive pursuit against corporate
fraud in recent years, said Richter was responsible for sending
more than 250 million spam messages per day.”

“On Tuesday, President Bush signed into law the first national
anti-spam bill, which bans some forms of junk e-mail and sets
jail time and multimillion dollar fines for violators.”

“But experts say the new law is not likely to stop the torrent of spam,
since it allows for businesses to send messages to anyone with an
e-mail address as long as they identify themselves clearly and
honor consumer requests to leave them alone.”

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

1 in 7 commercial websites have errors on their homepage (escalate, Canada)
Enough said.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Business Users Search Engine Survey (
“Do you know when a search engine listing is paid or unpaid?
Yes: 229 (51%)
No: 221 (49%)”

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Google trials text search (ZDNet UK )
"Google has started letting people search text within books, following
similar strides from retail behemoth"

"The service, called Google Print Beta, lets Web surfers call up brief exerpts
from books, critic reviews, bibliographic and author's notes, and in some cases,
a picture of the book jacket. The experiment comes two months after Amazon
launched "Search Inside the Book," a searchable index of millions of pages of books."

"Amazon's service lets people type in keywords and receive results for all the pages
and titles of various books that contain that term, and purchase books directly from
the site. The search feature works with approximately 120,000 titles from 190 publishers,
which translates into some 33 million pages of searchable text."

"For its part, Google has reportedly been in talks with several publishers to build its service
in recent months. So far, Google has made agreements that give it the ability to scan as
many as 60,000 titles."

Saturday, December 20, 2003

How Search Engines Make Money (Search Engine Watch) ... Unleashed; Everybody wants to make Money ! (Gnutella News)

Friday, December 19, 2003

Spammers Sued - 'Do Not Call' violators warned (Broadband Reports)
“The suits also focused on New York e-mail marketing company Synergy6
and its president, Justin Champion. Microsoft is along for the ride, since
many of the spammers used falsified Microsoft domains as origination addresses.
Microsoft and NY investigators discovered that the spammers utilized hijacked PC's
belonging to hospitals, schools, and even one foreign government's defense ministry.”

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Prepare to be Monetized, Punk: Google Plays Sherriff with
Commercially-Oriented Search Listings (Search Engine Guide)

“So does this mean SEO is dead? Far from it.”

SEC rules could force Google IPO (

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Search And Destroy (Time Magazine)
"A gang of Web-search companies is gunning for Google.
The stakes have never been higher."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Google adds new feature - track your Christmas packages (Google Web Search Features)
Search By Number
Parcel tracking IDs, patents and other specialized numbers
can be entered into Google's search box for quick access to
information about them. For example, typing "fedex" followed
by a space and a FedEx tracking number will return the latest
information on your package. Other special search by number types include:
* UPS tracking numbers
* FedEx tracking numbers
* Patent numbers
* FAA airplane registration numbers
* FCC equipment Ids

Via Search Engine Lowdown

Monday, December 15, 2003

KaZaA Claims Top Search Spot in 2003 (eMarketer)
“According to Terra Lycos, the top search term on its network in
2003 was KaZaA, beating Dragonball and even Britney Spears."

Sunday, December 14, 2003

When Did We Give Away the Internet? (CircleID)
“What king or dictator or bureaucrat has signed the document giving power over
the Internet to one organization or another? Did I miss the ceremony?”

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Open Directory Project ( with thumbshots results.
Via weblog

Friday, December 12, 2003

LookSmart Search Engine Losing Two More Partners (eWEEK)
“Sprinks and Inktomi, now owned by major search competitors, plan to drop
LookSmart's search listings as the company prepares to lay off half its staff.”

“LookSmart Ltd. is losing two more distribution partners and planning to
slash half its work force as it struggles to regroup from the loss of
Microsoft Corp.'s MSN portal as its largest search customer.”

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Death Before Birth - The Life Cycle of a Search Engine (Internet Search Engine Database)
“Many people have reported their Google Toolbar has been failing to return
PageRank 90% of the time. While the hysteria around PageRank is somewhat
overrated, it would be more assuring if the feature worked often.
In fact, it is not just the toolbar which is broken.”

“Spammers create link networks to manipulate PageRank. The one biggest flaw
with PageRank is that a link counts as a vote. A link is not always a vote.”

“Soon after Google introduced AdSense they included a related searches link
set underneath the ads which made webmasters angry. This technique was
siphoning off traffic from websites back to Google with no payment of any kind.
Quickly Google had to repeal this move.”

“I have already had concerned emails arrive from friends worried about loosing
thousands of dollars a month as their top listing evaporated. All I can tell them
is wait and see. Many speculate it is a commercial filter aimed to increase
revenues prior to IPO. If they are already profitable why do they need to
raise more money? Why are they sacrificing the quality of their search results
for money? Will they destroy the user based permission asset they built?”

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The Great Google Filter Fiasco: Mom & Pop take it on the chin
( - Daniel Brandt)

“This filter is taking down a lot of innocent sites at the worst
possible time of year, the Christmas shopping season. “

“How can Google be so dumb?”

“My feeling is that Google has reached the limits of fast
software when it comes to separating and ranking web pages.”

“They cannot merely slap a new algorithm onto their index at
this point without butchering innocent site owners.”

“Google has to do something, and they could afford to hire some
ombudsmen if they wanted to. Even a contract employee on
minimum wage, with a little training, can tell the difference between
a spammy affiliate site and a family niche business. “

“If Google's Ph.D.s with their clever algorithms can't do as well
as temp employees, then the Ph.D.s should be replaced.”

Via Search Engine News Blog

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Trouble on the Net by David L. Margulius. InfoWorld, November 24, 2003 (issue 46), p.40-48. [pdf]

Via Library Autonomous Zone

Monday, December 08, 2003

What Happened To My Site On Google? (Search Engine Watch- Search Day)
Google Dance Case Studies (Search Engine Watch- Search Day)
Cracking Google's New Algorithm (Web Pro News)
Google: New Algos or "SEO Filter"? (Search Engine Guide)
New Google Algorithms Upset Realtors' Marketing Rhythm (Realty Times)

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Might Google be sued for latest algorithm change? (Search Emgine Lowdown)
“I'm a big Google fan and use a lot of their offerings (toolbar, deskbar, blogger etc),
but when a company can make a change that appears not to be uniform across all
results, we should take a long hard look at said company to determine their intent.”

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Google uses Word Variations (Stemming)
“Google now uses stemming technology. Thus, when appropriate,
it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that
are similar to some or all of those terms. If you search for
"pet lemur dietary needs", Google will also search for "pet lemur diet needs",
and other related variations of your terms. Any variants of your terms that were
searched for will be highlighted in the snippet of text accompanying each result.”

See also ”My Google Filter Theory” (Search Guild)


Friday, December 05, 2003

Open Letter To Dell Inc. From The Security Community (Spyware Info)
“We in the antispyware, antivirus and security communities would like to
express our disappointment with the new technical support policy in place
at Dell Inc. Dell's new support policy does a disservice to its customers and
puts everyone on the internet at risk, including non-Dell customers, by
discouraging the removal of malicious software.”

“This policy forbids Dell technical support persons from providing assistance
to customers in removing infections of unwanted commercial parasites.
This policy forbids providing removal instructions or recommending a
spyware removal program. The policy even forbids mentioning informational
web sites that can provide information about the spyware and how to remove it.

According to a Dell employee, the only acceptable response to a customer infected
with spyware is to refer them to their Internet Service Provider (ISP).”

“Dell claims that removing spyware may violate the license agreement of other
software that may have installed the spyware and cites this as the reason for the new
policy. Perhaps Dell Inc. is unaware that many spyware programs and most other commercial
parasites are classified and targeted as viruses by industry-leading antivirus software.”

AOL fights spyware in coming software upgrade (CNET News)
"It's going to help members identify, remove and protect their PCs from
surveillance and advertising spyware," said Bentley, who declined to
comment further on how the software will work.”

“In the last three years, the number of spyware programs circulating on
the Net has shot up 13-fold, according to security software company PestPatrol.”

“Though definitions of spyware vary, it's generally thought of as software installed
surreptitiously on a PC that monitors a user's browsing habits or collects valuable
personal information and then sends that data to third parties. Spyware's more
common cousin, "adware," is similar but is routinely installed along with free
software such as digital video viewers or file-swapping programs. Some adware
programs monitor users' surfing habits and report back aggregate data to their
parent companies; others simply serve up ads displayed inside the software program.”

“More dangerous is "remote surveillance" software, which disguises itself on a
computer and reports back to whoever installed it every keystroke made on that PC.”

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Blogging Survey Results (Blog News for Bloggers - Blog Search Engine)
4. Do you run paid advertising in your blog?
No 86.6%

5. If you do not run advertising in your blog, why not?
Summary: 58.5% of bloggers who do not run advertising on their
blog claim that the reason is because they do not want advertising
or feel that advertising does not belong on blogs.

6. Have you ever been approached by a company or organization
asking you to blog about them or their product?

No 90.7%

7. Would you blog about a company's product or an
organization if they emailed or asked you?

Summary: Although the majority of bloggers have yet to
be contacted by a company or organization with blogging
info related to a product or service, 73.9% off all bloggers
are open to receiving and blogging about such information.

This is in vast contrast to advertising where only 29.4% of all bloggers
surveyed are open to running ads (run advertisements or would like to).
However, 41.8% of bloggers may be open to PR contacts, but are willing
to post a negative review in their blog if they do not like the product.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Why Search Engine Optimization is a science as well as an art
(Internet Search Engine Database)

“The "science" part of the equation
Today more than ever, every major search engine uses it's own
proprietary search algorithm, which can differ widely from one of its
main competitors. An experienced and professional search engine
optimization firm can develop and implement SEO techniques that
time has proven to be effective in achieving high search engine exposure.”

“The "art" part of the equation
Since all search engines today are very protective and silent when it
comes to their different search algorithms, the very way they make
those algorithms work will have an immediate impact in the way a
specific website will rank for certain of its keywords and key phrases.
Additionally, some rules and formulas implemented in some search engine
algorithms change constantly, further complicating the SEO landscape.”

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Top Five Search Engine Optimization Myths (ClickZ)

1) Guaranteed Search Engine Positions
2) Permanent Search Engine Positions
3) Instant Link Popularity
4) You Don't Have to Change Your Web Site
5) Create New Microsites

“Are all these myths applicable all of the time? Of course not.
Some SEO firms offer money-back guarantees.
They do this because they're confident they'll get results,
not because they practice unethical techniques.

Many other SEO firms know how desperate people are to obtain
top search engine visibility. They prey on that desperation.
So if you hear any of these myths in a sales pitch, proceed with caution.
Read the fine print in the contract. Follow best search engine practices,
and achieve the long-term results your company needs.”

Monday, December 01, 2003

I Search, Therefore I Google (PC Magazine)
“For example, there are sites that accuse Google of manipulating
search results to benefit partners. The most noteworthy is Google Watch.
It attacks Google for, among other things, dropping a cookie that
won't expire until 2038. But its main beef with the popular
search engine is the well-known page-rank system Google
uses to determine relevant results:

"…Google's primary ranking algorithm has less to do with the quality of
Web pages than it has to do with the 'power popularity' of Web pages.
Their approach to ranking is anti-democratic, in that already-powerful pages are
mathematically granted extra power to anoint other pages as powerful."

"Popularity should not have anything to do with relevance, but it does.
Something a vast number of people acknowledge as a source for
a specific kind of information probably is."