Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The decreasing importance of Google PageRank (Axandra)

Did Google drop the PageRank concept?

“Rumor has it that Google does not rely on PageRank anymore because it doesn't own the rights for it. Actually, the PageRank patent is granted to Stanford University

“If Google continued to rely on PageRank, Stanford might get a large amount of the profit when Google goes public. For that reason, Google might have dropped the PageRank concept with its IPO plans. This is only speculation but it doesn't sound too incongruous. At least it seems that PageRank is now less important than it has been before.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Google feels spyware strains (ZDNet)

“The problem shows no signs of abating. A recent survey reported that nearly one out of every three computers scanned for Trojan horse programs or monitoring software like spyware was infected, according to security software maker Webroot Software.”

“Google in particular has drawn the attention of interlopers. Researchers for Lavasoft which sells the popular spyware detection software Ad-aware, have identified one application that targets Google by altering the display of search results.

The spyware, known as "Gloggle.Shing," carries a high threat level, according to Lavasoft, because the software installs itself in stealth mode when people visit certain Web sites, which the company did not name.”

“Google also distributes its text ads to questionable areas of the Web through Applied Semantics, a company it bought last year. When Web site visitors type in a misspelled domain name, they might find a page of related sponsored ads from Google.”

“Yet Google's IPO prospectus acknowledges--if briefly--the threat facing the company: "New technologies could block our ads, which would harm our business."

Monday, June 28, 2004

Google PageRank and How To Get It (Site Pro News)

“The question now becomes what is the PR point value of the different PR levels. Most observers believe that the relationship between PR levels is logarithmic rather than linear. In other words PR5 is not worth 25% more than a PR4, but may be worth 4 to 6 times more.”

“Nobody knows for sure how Google calculates PR. I have shown this chart to a number of knowledgeable people and they have all agreed that my calculations look reasonable. One SEO guru from a major firm said the results were very similar to independent research that his firm had conducted.”

Sunday, June 27, 2004

9th Circuit Snaps at Gator's Argument (

“Gator, now known as Claria Corp., filed a pre-emptive suit against L.L. Bean after the Maine-based clothing company mailed a cease-and-desist letter to Gator, which distributed a piece of software causing pop-up advertising for clothing competitors to appear when people who had the software installed visited L.L. Bean's Web site.”

German court: Pop-ups need permission

“A European court has issued a preliminary injunction against Claria--formerly known as Gator--that prohibits the company's pop-up and pop-under ads from appearing over a German rental car Web site without the agency's permission.”

“When users clicked to Hertz's Web site, those [43 million] that had Claria's adware installed would see pop-ups from Hertz competitors and other businesses, said Richard Broome, a Hertz spokesman.”

“In making its ruling, the court ordered Claria to immediately halt the placement of software-controlled automatic advertisements on Hertz's Web site without the Hertz's permission. Claria could face a fine of up to $302,325, or six months in jail, for each violation of the order.”

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Two Arrested, Charged With Stealing AOL Names For Spam (E-Commerce News)

“Two men, one of them an employee of America Online, were arrested Wednesday on charges that they stole the entire list of AOL (NYSE: AOL) user names and sold it to e-mail marketers, according to prosecutors.

Jason Smathers, a 24-year-old AOL software engineer, and 21-year-old Sean Dunaway were arrested in their homes on conspiracy charges filed in New York federal court.

According to the complaint announced by U.S. Attorney David Kelley, Smathers in May 2003 "misappropriated a list of 92 million AOL customer account screen names."

“In April and May 2003, Smathers, using the employee identification code of another AOL employee, "improperly gained access to the data warehouse database, and began assembling a complete list of AOL's customer account screen names and related ZIP codes, credit card types (but no credit card numbers) and telephone numbers of AOL customers," the court papers indicated.

There is no evidence that anyone had access to or stole customers' credit account numbers, the company said. AOL stores this data in a separate location.”

“For AOL and its parent Time Warner, the news comes at a precarious time. Time Warner has worked diligently to convince analysts and investors that AOL is back on the right track after years of troubles.”

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Ten Truth's About Spyware (Spyware Guide)

Fact #1: Spyware and Adware are fundamentally different
Fact #2: Spy software creates dangerous security holes
Fact #3: Spyware is often illegal
Fact #4: Spyware is common
Fact #5: Spyware is easy to install
Fact #6: Spyware may be sold under legitimate pretenses
Fact #7: Spies intentionally ‘misuse’ monitoring software
Fact #8: Spyware software can be detected
Fact #9: Some commercial spy programs are repurposed ‘Trojan horses’
Fact#10: Deleting history and computer use logs does nothing against true spyware

Thursday, June 24, 2004

10 Ways To Increase Your Search Engine Ranking
(Linux Insider)

1. Proactively Submit the Site URL to a Search Engine
2. Consider Paid Submission
3. Tailor Content for Spiders
4. Remember: Page Title Is Vital
5. Mind Your Metatags
6. Cultivate Links In
7. Place Less Weight on Links Out
8. Focus on Reciprocity
9. Value Time's Passage
10. Update Frequently

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Mobile Search as seen on the Treo 600 Smartphone (marketing blog)


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

GMail: Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye!
(Search Engine Marketing Blog)

“GMail scanning my emails is not of concern to me. What I do not like, is that I tried the "password reminder" feature of GMail out of curiosity, and the question asked was "Enter Your Driver's License or ID Card # You Registered With:" to get your password.”

”This is what concerns me. I don't want to put my driver's license into a form on the Internet - EVER!!, much less social security number (which Adsense requires).”

”With driver's license number, they can dig up all kinds of information on you. Last known address, etc. etc. I haven't read it, but I'm quite sure you pretty much sign your life away, as if you were bungy jumping, when you join GMail. So the information collected could be sold and used for marketing purposes online, once this happens, companies will sell, and re-sell your info - who knows who has your info next, and what they plan on doing with it.”

“Seems to me Google is collecting the most private information a person has: Adsense = social security, GMail = driver's license. This info gets into the wrong hands, and forget about it. You're identity will be stolen. You're placing an awful lot of trust in Google to sign up for both those services. Google has always been known for hiring the best tech-savvy Phd's on the planet: apparently, they get marketing-types with Phd's too.”

Monday, June 21, 2004

Search Engine Optimization – SEO Is Dead.
Long Live SEO (Web Pro News)

“I get a lot of inquiries from web site owners looking for magical search engine optimization results. I wonder where they're getting the idea that top rankings can be had so easily for such a minimal investment. Many truly believe that Google's most competitive rankings can be conquered that easily.”

“Despite this complexity, your SEO will understand how to take your site from nowhere to high ranks if you listen to his/her suggestions. Your SEO specialist wants you to rank well, but you should understand that this business is tough. Search engines have their own business goals and you must conform to their needs. They have the power. It's that simple.”

”Search engines don't want you to have instant results anymore. They have a quality control checking system that you can't circumvent. They're smart and you will have to give them what they want.”

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Google steps back from responsibility (Official Wire)

YGP learns the hard way not to trust GMail

“According to 'The Google Team', Google, Inc., asserts no control over GMail users, who it is alleged have used GMail in an abusive and threatening way. Unlike most reputable Email providers, such as Hotmail or Yahoo!, Google does not enforce an acceptable use policy nor does the Californian-based company actively investigate complaints by any third party.

"Google is a provider of information, not a mediator," the unnamed member of 'The Team' wrote, following a complaint.”

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Former Search Guide Assumes Editorial Post at Search Engine Guide (Search Engine Guide)

Search Engine Guide , a leading online search engine marketing and consumer search news publication, today announced the appointment of former Web Search Guide Jennifer Laycock to its editor-in-chief position. Laycock will drive the creation of consumer-focused content, including industry news, product reviews and how-to guides, to support Search Engine Guide's educational scope.”

”Laycock joins Search Engine Guide after serving for more than a year as the web search guide for the popular content Web site, In addition to her new responsibilities at Search Engine Guide, Laycock will continue function as the forum administrator of , one of the industry's most trafficked search engine marketing discussion forums, and speak at major search engine marketing conferences.”

Congrats Jennifer! I'll miss your Scavenger Hunt.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Google offers flavoured search (Web User - UK)

Google has unveiled two new search features for website owners, including a tool that lets you offer your visitors search results tailored based on your site.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Britain cracks down on paid search (News.Com)

“British regulators have asked an Internet service provider to make clearer that some of its Web search results are paid advertisements, saying pay-for-placement listings from search provider Overture could confuse consumers.”

“The British ISP Wanadoo, a unit of its namesake French parent company, displays a light-gray hyperlink against a white background to explain that search results from Overture are ranked according to the highest bidder instead of by relevance.”

Search engine results must clearly identify sponsored links (

“Freeserve plc has been told by an advertising watchdog that search results on its web site, now re-branded as Wanadoo, must clearly identify sponsored links following a complaint that its rankings are based on the sums paid to search advertising company Overture, not relevance.

The ISP argued before the UK's Advertising Standards Authority that all sponsored links in the search facility at its web site were clearly identified as being delivered by Overture by a [light-grey] link at the foot of each sponsored search result.”

See also:

Searchers find it hard to distinguish between regular and paid results (Pandia)

“In a discussion on “Building Trust on the Web” under the Consumer WebWatch's April summit on Web credibility, Leslie Marable of Consumer WebWatch told that according to one study of April last year, 60 percent of the consumers they polled "had no idea that some search engines charged fees in exchange for prominent placement of search results."

“It should be added that since then several search engines have started designating their pay-per-click search results more clearly, not at least because of pressure from the American Federal Trade Commission.”


Commercial Alert Files Complaint Against Search Engines for Deceptive Ads (Commercial Alert)

FTC's letter to Commercial Alert (Commercial Alert)

Re: Commercial Alert Complaint Requesting Investigation of Various Internet Search Engine Companies for Paid Placement and Paid Inclusion Programs (FTC)

FTC Recommends Disclosure To Search Engines
(Search Engine Watch)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Google's Gmail: spook heaven? (The Register)

“The Gmail advertising concept is simple. When you log into the Gmail to retrieve and view your email, the service automatically scans the contents of the email and displays a relevant ad on the screen for you to see. Although it has been said that neither Google nor the advertiser "knows" the text or essence of the email message, this is not strictly true: if you click on the link to the ad, it can be reasonably inferred that the text of the email in some way related to the advertiser's service."

"But perhaps the most ominous thing about the proposed Gmail service is the often-heard argument that it poses no privacy risk because only computers are scanning the email. I would argue that it makes no difference to our privacy whether the contents of communications are read by people or by computers programmed by people."

"To avoid these draconian provisions, Google will likely argue that its computers are not "people" and therefore the company does not "learn the meaning" of the communication. That's where we need to be careful. We should nip this nonsensical argument in the bud before it's taken too far, and the federal government follows."

"Simply put, if a computer programmed by people learns the contents of a communication, and takes action based on what it learns, it invades privacy.”

Monday, June 14, 2004

Show Notes: Search Engine Strategies, Toronto May 2004 -- 7 Hottest Topics (Marketing Sherpa)

#1 Click-fraud
#2 Local Search
#3 Greater Description of Keyword
#4 Dayparts (aka Dayparting)
#5 Rise of the web analytics tools
#6 More personalized search
#7 Dynamic Pages are terrible for search engines

SES London: Link Building And Domain Name Issues (Web Pro News)

“Matt Cutts, a Google developer, said that "thematic incoming links from authority sites carry more weight than on-page optimization." Wow! That's something I've suspected for some time, especially after watching the Nigritude Ultramarine contest rife with wiki blasting, but to have Google say it is certainly reason to start beefing up on your inbound links.”

"In the advanced link building session Mr. Cutts emphasized that the quality of links is more important than quality." [sic!] [correct: quantity]

Sunday, June 13, 2004


Will Google IPO will set off talent exodus
(Search Visibility Report)

Here's hoping success won't spoil Google (

Google Co-Founders Hold 16% Stakes in the Company (RedNova)

Getting closer to a Google Portal? (Abakus)

Maybe Google wants to be next Microsoft
(Lexington Herald-Leader)

Is Google Really Ready to Take on Yahoo and MSN? (Internet Search Engine Database - ISEDB)

Google and MSN sending consumers to shopping sites (Rank for Sales)

Google dominates Web search, but faces challenges: report (Yahoo! News)

Google Gains Overall, Competition Builds Niches (ClickZ)

Baidu beats Google in terms of Web traffic
(Rank for Sales)

Google's Goal: "Understand Everything" (Business Week)

Owning the Standard for Search Engines (

Search engines take the stand (ZDNet)

Google Groups 2 (Google)

Google Logos (Google)

The World of Google Logos (

Lessons From The New Google Bomb (Web Pro News)

Saturday, June 12, 2004


What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s
(New York Times)

Google Losing IT's Cool?
(Internet Search Engine Database - ISEDB)

Google Confirms Automated Page Removal Bug
(Search Engine Watch)

Why You Can't Sue Google (FindLaw's Writ)

Get Your Banners Ready: Google Goes Graphic (ClickZ)

How to Use Your Google PI Key as Your Secret Weapon (Site Pro News)

Google PageRank (Marketing Experiments)

Google's ad plans provoke grumbling (

California Senate Approves Bill Curbing Gmail (ClickZ)

Google shows willingness to modify Gmail
(San Mateo County Times)

Google as Big Brother (Google Watch - Daniel Brandt)

What Big Brother? Gmail from Google wins a fan, despite its ads (International Herald Tribune)

Friday, June 11, 2004


Has Your Search Engine Optimized Content Lost Its Human Touch? (Web Pro News)

Search Engine Positioning Top 7 SEO myths
(Rank for Sales)

The perennial search engine submission myth (Axandra)

How To Get Indexed By Search Engines...Fast
(Site Pro News)

Define The Design of Your Website (Site Pro News)

You Had Me at the Search Engine
(In Vancouver - Canada)

SEO's Relationship With Website Architecture
(Search Engine Guide)

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Search Engines: What's the Difference? (Internet News)

What's the Best Search Engine? (Josh Freedman)

What search engine returns the best results?
(Internet Search Engines FAQ)

Return To The Sad Days Of More Than A Search Engine? (Search Engine Watch)

Differences in search engine technology (Rank for Sales)

Searching for success: an update on search engine developments (Free Pint)

Searching Vs. Finding (ACM Queue)

3D Search a Thing of the Future (NewsFactor)

The Future of Search Engine Technology (Pandia)

Future of Search Will Make you Dizzy (

Search Engines -- The Future (Computer World)

Web Search for Tomorrow (Business Week)


Spying on Search Strategies (Library Journal)

Searchers Get Serious (ClickZ)

SearchTHIS: Top 10 Questions (iMedia Connection)

Tool Kit for the Expert Web Searcher
(American Library Association - ALA)

The "So-called" Web Experts Are Already Whining Again (

Search Engine Prefixes and Shortcuts (ONLINE)

Search engine tackles tricky lists (New Scientist)

How Search Engines Teach Users To Search
(Web Pro News)

A Search Engine for Pages You've Read
(Search Engine Watch)

Search Engine Mania (PC Magazine)

Search Engines and the DMCA
(Virginia Journal of Law and Technology)

Search Has Found Itself (Biz Report)

Who Powers Whom? Search Providers Chart
(Search Engine Watch)

How Search Engines Connect Sellers and Buyers (Templates Resources)

Where Are They Now? Search Engines We've Known & Loved (Search Engine Watch)

The Search Engine Wars (National Public Radio - NPR)

Search Wars: Battle Of The Search Superpowers (SearchDay)

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Organic or Paid Marketing (Digital Web Magazine)

The Difference Between Paid And Organic Listings
(Web Pro News)

Paid search vs. natural search? Go for both, new survey says (Internet Retailer)

Yahoo Reawakens The Paid Inclusion Debate
(Search Engine Watch)

The Paid Inclusion Dinosaur (Search Engine Watch)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

SES London 2004 Review by Alan Webb
(Search Engine Roundtable) [Short]

Report: Search Engine Strategies Conference London, June 2-3 (Search Guild) [Detailed]

Monday, June 07, 2004

Yahoo! playing both sides of the spyware issue
(Spyware Info)

"Unfortunately, it turns out that Yahoo! has decided to set the toolbar to ignore all so-called "adware". The toolbar forces the user specifically to set it to seek out adware.

The reason for this decision appears to be the business relationship between Overture, which is owned entirely by Yahoo!, and the Claria corporation, which creates and distributes Gator. As it turns out, Yahoo!, through Overture, provides 31% of Claria's entire annual revenue."

"A Yahoo! spokesperson tried to deflect the issue by stating that they use Pest Patrol's antispyware technology, which itself makes a distinction between "adware" and "spyware". However, Pest Patrol's software does not ignore "adware" either by default or as an option. This change was made entirely by Yahoo!"

"Yahoo! is playing both sides of the issue, with users caught in the middle."

See also:
Yahoo Plays Favorites with Some Adware (eWeek)
New Yahoo Toolbar Does Not Default Scan For Adware
(Web Pro News)

Adware Advertisers Catch Legal Fire (DMNews)

“Several Internet advertisers have been hit with lawsuits over their use of desktop software applications serving their ads in a new tactic to fight the spread of advertising through desktop software programs. “

“Claria claims it has more than 425 advertisers including, Orbitz and NetFlix. WhenU reports about 400. 180Solutions, which is being sued in the eDiets case, has 6,000 advertisers.”

“Adware makers have increased their reach. Claria claims 43 million computer users have its ad software, which is bundled with popular file-sharing program KaZaA; WhenU reports 30 million; and 180Solutions boasts 31 million.”

“Given the litigation, some advertisers have reconsidered their dealings with adware makers like Claria and”

"I think the trend is for the victims of pop-up advertising to sue the advertiser directly rather than the companies that are delivering the pop-up ads," said Terence Ross, the lawyer for Weight Watchers and the lead attorney in many cases against adware makers and their advertisers.”

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Web Accessibility Myths (Netdummy)

1. Creating a text-only equivalent is sufficient
2. It's complicated and expensive to make my website accessible
3. Accessible and attractive web design can't go together
4. Accessible websites stifle creativity
5. My site visitors don't have a problem accessing my website
6. Web accessibility places restrictions on the web page design
7. Blind and disabled people don't use the Internet


Web accessibility isn't brain science. It's not just about disabled users being able to access your website - it's about everyone being able to access your website, including people using handheld devices, WebTV and in-car browsers. Any web developer with basic HTML and CSS design knowledge, and a bit of time on their hands, can easily learn and implement web accessibility.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Browser hijackings are more than just annoying
(Spyware Info)

“Browser hijackers are annoying. They lock you out of your own browser controls. They redirect you to porn sites or bogus search portals. Many of them launch a barrage of pop-up ads. Most set hooks deep into Windows and hold on for dear life when you try to remove them. Some people simply give up and turn off their computers permanently.

For some people, becoming infected with a browser hijacker can ruin their life. Someone, who's company computer becomes infected with the pornographic variety of browser hijacker, may find themselves in very hot water. People have lost their jobs, their spouses and, in some cases, people have been put in jail."

Friday, June 04, 2004

SearchEngineWatch Forums

Good job Danny!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Search Engines: What's the Difference?

"In no-holds barred session on the final day of the Search Engine Strategies conference [in Toronto, Canada], representatives of the three major search technologies -- Yahoo!, Google and Ask Jeeves -- duked it out to show which crawler-based site offers the best search technology.
Despite their differences, all three said they have the same mission and essentially the same message to those seeking to improve their search engine rankings: give us relevant content and we'll give you the most relevant results."

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Coming Soon - the Death of Search Engines?
(Law Library Resource Xchange - LLRX)

- Search engine indexes are way too big.
- Keyword guessing is getting harder.
- Search engines use outdated retrieval-and-sort mechanisms.
- Organizations are starting to pay for content that could be found for free on the web ?if only the searcher knew where to look.
- Search weariness may finally be setting in.
- What does the future hold for search engines and searchers?
- Has the time come for mass market paid web content?
- Are all these changes good for searchers?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Yahoo! release anti-spyware tool (Geek News)

"Web Giant Yahoo! has released a beta version of a toolbar it calls Anti-Spy. The program is available free to users and relies on technology created by the anti-spyware company Pest Patrol. Yahoo! is aiming to give consumers more control of the software that is loaded on their computers.

Anti-spy is another tool for the Yahoo! Toolbar, which also includes a pop-up blocker, search tools, and portable bookmarks. According to Yahoo!'s press release, PestPatrol was the first company to make a publicly available anti-spyware tool. Yahoo! has suggested it is only releasing the software to a "limited audience."