Sunday, February 27, 2005

Search Engine Business Models

Came across this thread at Nick W.'s popular ThreadWatch. Between the actual article and the input of many smart commenters it makes for a great read.
Great insight into the interrelatedness of changing and newly started search engines.
The speculation on how the industry is going to evolve has recently increased - though the idea of a move to vertically niched engines does seem to be a stretch.
The SES Conference starting tomorrow should prove a great source of insights of the months ahead.
I will post back here about the sessions I attend and any interesting gossip I come across.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

PPC Cheater Forum

I just came across this forum and I think they deserve a mention. We need more of this to help educate the average PPC marketer.
PPC Cheater Forum

Google Changing AdWords Interface

Google has reported that its Adwords' interface will be unavailable on Friday February 25, 2005 from 9 pm - 12 am pst.
Apparently they are coming out with a new one and need a little time to change the system.
So there will a new topic of discussion this weekend and next week at SES Conference in NYC. Should be fun!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Domain Name Listings Drop in Google

This has been a few days in the making, but, after having checked a number of different sites, it appears Google used a filter in its last shuffling of the databases to downplay the placement of a site just because of its domain name.
Though the way they did it is still being debated on the various forums, there are two main ways it could have been done.
First the impact on the SERPs of a site purely from its domain name seems to be lessened. This could also be a reduction in the weight given to repeated anchor text - and in many cases domain names are used as the link.
I would appreciate all comments on this one.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Implications of Google as a Domain Registrar

In my wandering around the millions of websites that make up this landscape we work in, I have read all sorts of conjecture on the Google domain registration impact - but the one that seems the most interesting is that they will use the information they get access to to filter sites by registrants' names and addresses.
Guess the filtering for C Blocks will be a minor distraction when they start filtering by the name of the person registering the domain - will it be okay to have a vriety of sites on different topics or will it come down to one domain per name gets in? Will registering domains in relatives names become the new cloaking?
And then address - what happens to buildings in cities like NY where there could be 100 companies all doing the same thing - hell the finance district may as well start looking for different places to set up offices.
I don't know how it could work - but am sure at some level there will be a filtering.

Friday, February 18, 2005

New Images at Google SERPs

I don't know about anybody else but the new (well let's look like Alexa - and that is where they are coming from) pics I see on Firefox for Google searches is annoying.
I guess it is from a combination of XP and the latest Windows service pack that gives different result look for Firefox....

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Google ToolBar V. 3 launched

You can get the new Google ToolBar here.
It adds a bunch of new features such as a translators, a spell checker and an autolinker - my opinion on this one is out until I play with it some more.
But if they are counted as anchor text then hey that is a whole new ball game!!!

Google Pulls Different Title When Index is left as Default

There seems to be some type of testing of autofilling the title tag for sites that leave index.htm(l) as the title.
A recent discovery discussed in SearchEngineWatch and posted it on his blog over at SearchEngineRoundTable.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

SMA-NA Sets Meeting Date

Search Marketing Association - North America will hold a public meeting and membership drive at the SES Conference in NYC March 2.
This alternative to SEMPO is getting a lot of press on the various search engine forums and seems to be moving forward in the right direction.

BookMarklets has a list of Bookmarklets that are handy little Java servlets that have been made to provide specific results from various engines. Backlinks checker for whatever engine can be done on the fly by merely right clicking once they are installed.
Worth checking out.

Blogs Worth Checking Out

Like the newspaper I read everyday on the way to work, I am developing a list of Blogs that relate to our industry that I try and get to regularly.
If you have any suggestions please post them in the comments.
Right now my list is below:

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

MSN Italian Dislikes the Pope

I can think of plenty of keywords that would justifibly have the Pope come up in the top of the SERPs at MSN Italy. "Merda" (English translation - 'shit')is definitely one of them. But as a recent search shows someone has been spamming MSN and the new engine just does not seem to be up to the challenge of filtering for this just yet.

Hey, even Google still has the "Dubau" Bush biography listed as number 1 for "miserable failure" and it appears as if Clinton has gotten some serious attention from Republican spammers - he's number 2.

Hopefully this situation will be remedied ASAP - but as a recent thread at Search Engine Forums went into EBay is selling women and all other sorts of interesting items.

It happens and the system slowly changes to stop it if possible. Remember most things are discovered by beta testing and when hackers find some obtuse angle to take advantage of. Pass what you have along and hopefully things get changed.

For more about the Pope story

Google Pushing Closer To Portal

The addition of the new Beta Local on the Google homepage begs the question how many links does it take to be called a portal?

Come on guys roll it out. I know you have it designed and sitting in some area of the GooglePlex on an offline computer that only the priviledged get to see. Sort of like stolen masterpieces...

Okay how about we just start "Beta calling" your homepage - The Google Portal!

Anyway check out the new front page, seems Google likes having at least one item permanently called new.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 On The Block

Seems may soon belong to the highest bidder from Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves, AOL & New York Times.

With its recent acquisition of BlogLines - it seems AskJeeves are making a push to be considered a Tier 1 player.

The fact that AOL is in there bidding is a warning - they never make a wise investment - nearly as snake bit as Dow Jones who recently bought MarketWatch from CBS.

The New York Times have had some decent success with their online subscribers and this could be added seamlessly and give them more advertising space to sell - plus the writing staff that could make the site a lot bigger.

It is supposed to be done some time today.... will add an update later. is another good reference for this story.

Way to go Nick

Google Maps Watch Out MapQuest

This was quietly released yesterday in the now popular Beta version:

Google Maps

It is getting a decent amount of press today, though the recent Google Update is distracting most people right now. The look of it is a combination of MapQuest and the recently released Yahoo Maps, so I guess the engines are figuring to knock out the competition by grabbing them at the source.

Good comments at CNET:

Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines

This should be interesting another search engine (well kind of an engine) Ask Jeeves made public its purchase of BlogLines.

Google has Blogger, so is this the new wave every engine needs a blog.

I guess I will try it... maybe have another page with a BlogLines blog about another area of the industry and see of the two ultimately gets better rankings in the search engines or just more traffic.

To read more try this link:

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Submitting to Blog Directories

I am starting a submission project for this blog. I will document the various submission sites in case anyone else needs places to submit their own blogs to.

Blog search directory


Blog Search Engine

Blog Directory

Globe of Blogs

Will's Blog Directory

LS Blogs

Blog Catalog

Marketing Terms Bog Directory

Google Goes Selling Door-to-Door

Seems Amazon is not the only one who is working the local business market. Google has joined with local yellow page companies to develop local business listings.

For $25 a month, local businesses are being given their own online listings that will appear in localized search results at Google.

The joint venture with Yellow Pages and Map Quest begun last year is now employing a salesforce to go door-to-door to increase listings with local merchants.

The search armies are decending folks. And we thought there was going to be a decrease in traffic. With more people listing online that search population will grow with the increased users that go beyond looking at their new listings.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Google Selling Domains

I guess the march for world dominance continues. Google has started selling domain names. Nick W over at outlines a few interesting insights and plays with the possibilities.

Google Sells Domains

Wave at The Amazon Van in Your Neighborhood

Amazon has gone to great expense and undertaken a huge task to add visual pictures of business listings in its local Yellow Page ads. Chris Sherman over at SearchEngineWatch has wriiten an interesting piece about the efforts.

A9 is Coming

It's Official MSN Is Out Of Beta

Okay folks, let the search wars official begin. MSN is now out of beta, and despite some work it may need to weed the spam listings in certain areas, it is now a fully fledged competitor of the industry leader, Google.

It may not be until the end of the year that it adds its own PPC to counter the income stream of Google - while it uses the rest of its contract with Overture to test what works and where they want to go, but MSN is readying itself for a fight.

They have been aggressively seeking people in the industry from search engine forums and blogs - and getting people to refer anyone they know with skill in the area.

Hey with its promise of solid salary, top benefits and share options, it is a hard gig to pass by - but I think what it really has to offer the people in this industry is a seat in the wildest ride this industry is going to see for the next few years.

Getting in at this level, ensures one of being able to help develop where the PPC industry is going to head for the next 3-5 years.

Hopefully the whispers of using the European approach of paying commissions to agencies and SEM firms will prove true. Because not only will it help jump start their position but it will also see many of theagencies sitting on the fneces decide to get into the game - either through buying up small SEM firms or by developing their own departments which should prove to increase job opportunities in the industry.

I will keep everyone informed on what I hear.