Thursday, March 31, 2005

Yahoo getting Heat over API debacle

This snowball is rolling down hill and gaining a lot of weight and speed. I guess the phones over at GoTo central - sorry that was the old Overture - now the new Yahoo Search - are ringing alot and the question of the week is what is going on with the API.
A week and no official response makes this more and more curious.

Web Analytics Association Chairman, Bryan Eisenberg, agrees that it is time for Yahoo to give a definitive answer and has been told one should be forthcoming some time today.

Let's see if the conqueror's of Disney will have time to release some insight into what the future holds for SEM companies and analytic tool providers.

Hopefully the reaction to my recent blog entry will show them that their is a large amount of interest in this and the best way to grow is to help the companies that have provided them with business in the past and whose growth parallels their own. Though we don't need to rely on a particular engine, in the longrun Yahoo should know that if they don't find those new customers out there offline - when they come back they may have a hard time recapturing the people they have snubbed.

Don't forget MSN is about to fully jump into the space and to make a serious wrong move now could concede they are willing to become a second tier provider!

Here is the WAA announcement.

Search Engine Watch Awards

I will preface this with the fact that I am a moderator at Search Engine Watch forums - and yet I am really disappointed in the final selections that Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman made for a couple of the categories.

Hey I admit I really like Google, and maybe my opinion is biased by the friendships I have there - but look back through the blog and my posts on SEW and I think you will see me taking them to task as warranted.

The fact that the popular vote for Outstanding Search Service was overruled and given to Yahoo amazes me. I do not know what terms Danny and Chris search for over at Yahoo but please. In my vertical Yahoo is barely better than MSN (Making Search Nasty) - it can be so easily manipulated.

Has it improved over the past 12 months? Yes but hey if that was the criteria why not give it to SearchFeed or BlowSearch....

Hey the Awards should just be chosen by Danny and Chris and I would not have a problem as they can and should be able to use them to recognise companies within the industry that they feel have had winning years.

But to take our votes and then do this:
Just 2 percent of the 490 votes cast in this category went to Jux2, but we thought it deserved to win over the more popular choices. It provides a clean, simple way to see all the results from the most important major search engines. You can easily view what the big three crawlers of Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves agree on -- plus the results that are specific to each search engine, as well. There's no better way to understand the unique voices that each search engine speaks with.

Just says they really don't care.... why not call the request not votes but opinions or suggestions.

Congrats to all the winners and good job Danny and Chris...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Google Maps About to Integrate Keyhole

Google's recently acquired Keyhole product the zoom in on places using satelite photos, is being integrated with Google Maps
Interesting idea though I fail to see any real worth in the move. More a publicity stunt to get people more aware of the Google Maps product and pull users away from MapQuest and Yahoo Maps.
They are also going to eliminate the pricing. Which is promising - as Google does like to provide free solid products to support its search marketing efforts - a method I hope they never do away with!!!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dmoz Submitting is a Joke

I really think people have developed a "I will wait for you" approach to DMOZ - the Open Directory Project. Site Pro News has an article today that gives this as the best way to submit:
Procedure to follow for a successful DMOZ Submission:

1) Submit site
2) wait for 3 months
3) follow up email to category editor
4) wait for 3 months
5) escalation email to category editor above your category
6) wait for 3 months
7) ask for assistance in the Open Directory Public Forum
8) wait for 1 month
9) escalation email to DMOZ senior staff & post to various forums seeking help

How to spend a year and get no where is more like it here.

Get on the stick Netscape, force someone to start dealing with the problem on a large scale or the Project will be even further eroded. There is not much time left and an attitude is only going to hurt if editors are not truely willing to help.
This was started to stop the ego, now it is an old-school-tie group.

Google Collecting Taxes

Seems everyone is on to this story. The people who get money from Google for AdSense are noticing Google is deducting taxes - speculation (and from what I have been able to get from my accountant who is busy right now) is that they are grabbing backup withholding.
Hey any of you who are making money from affiliate programs - this is not a bad thing. True it will be initially missed but it also adds to the SSI you pay and ultimately the amount you will receive when you retire.

All those 20-somethings I guess you are just out of luck, because I doubt if the SS will be available by the time you get to retire...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Early Bird Gets Roped

Seems SEM companies are already marketing their services managing the MSN PPC campaigns for people.... but if they are not advertising in France or Singapore I guess Pomodo is just taking leads for the future.
It seems like they are jumping the gun a little. But it gets them listed in the engines and eventually they will be doing the work.
I may have to enter that I can manage your PPC campaign for the sson to be launched ABDC engine...
Seems this industry has future vision. Anyone advertising with Overture had to have gotten one of those emails asking to increase the amount of money in the account even though you had well over their 3 day limit. And it was always for nearly a month - like they were pimp for bucks.
Accoona even took money for advertising a couple of months before it became popular.
Now we have companies touting themselves as being able to manage an advertising campaign that has yet to roll out in the US.
Je ne parlez pas...

DigitalPoint Adds MSN and Yahoo to Tracker

I have used the Google keyword monitor at for over a year and am happy that they have extended this to include MSN and Yahoo.
It requires installing a php script on the sites' servers but given what you get that is no big deal.
Here is a central point where you can monitor your SERPs for various keywords across 3 engines.
Hats off to the great guys over there. Keep leading the way DP!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

New Currency Converter to Roll Out at AOL

I have been working with AOL to add the new currency converter on the revamped site. For a sneak preview try this link.

Google News Getting Sued by French News Service

Looks like the Google newsbot is a little to aggressive for some. The FPA is taking them to court for grabbing and indexing their news and photos... guess the French have not heard of a robots.txt file or a nofollow noindex meta tag.
Here's the story.

Funny post this and then go to Threadwatch and Google has dropped the content and stopped aleady... ah the power of legal papers.

Is Yahoo Destined To Be The Next LookSmart?

"We do not see Google and MSN as our competition," Tom Hochstatter said today, "we look at offline media as our competitors."

All aboard the Titanic. This senior staffer at Yahoo's Strategic Programming (their ROI, Tracking and Bid Management/Web Analytics department)spoke with me about the changes being made to their API.

Right now no new SEM/Analytics companies are being allowed in, or the "not no, not now" response. Though he did not confirm it, more pointedly he did not deny that the existing SEM/Analytics/Tracking partners would soon be pushed out as well. "I won't say if existing agreements will continue."

I hope Kevin over at Did-It, the guys at Atlas and KeywordMax et al are ready for this.

True they are going to maintain the individual access to the AWS. And he sang the praises of the Yahoo tools, and the company's desire to develop "bilateral relationships' while suggesting a new product will be roilling out before the end of the year. Taking the Yahoo products to a "higher level or more involved" in the space.

"We have a strategic position for the web going forward", he said.

So did LookSmart and when MSN left that engine it rapidly feel to the side. I hope the Yahoo stock does not fall as heavily as that of LookSmart come announcement day.

What it seems to me is that Yahoo does not really care about the granular analytics. They want to move back a step and attract the agencies - the offline media at the moment who really have not embraced the web in a great way.

Ad agencies look more at the bigger picture, at branding and demographics as opposed to specifics. If Yahoo tries to become the portal that gets the agencies and drops the importance of search - they are hoping for a major shift in web behavior. At a time when MSN is changing their method of PPC - it seems Overture (the company that started it all as we are always told by their reps). may be taking over that method.

Yahoo has made a few wrong calls lately in my opinion.

Tom thought the print world etc. was where Yahoo should be getting new traffic and advertisers and had no comment about Yahoo losing their contract with AOL in Europe.
The recent increase in traffic and bids for PPC in Europe has been huge and will only get bigger.

Keep a keen eye on the horizon Yahoo - if you see LookSmart's CEO sitting on an iceberg out there try and avoid it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Blow By Blow

BlowSearch and the CPV product. I actually posted favorably about these guys today and by the afternoon I am handed our weekly spend which included their new Cost Per View for the first time (which our rep had told us would not run more than $10 or so).

And there it was: $1,240 for the week from BlowSearch...

we get 200 clicks for around $10 with their PPC and all the bells and whistles make this a tight buy that converts well.....

But CPV gave us 240,913 impressions.... now here is the rub....

Our tracking only counted 91,224 impressions ....

Spoke to them but was told they do not consider third party tracking valid... so I guess that was a quick flush and another small engine gets written off the list.

It's a pity since I really like their aggressive technology and the features I had blogged about earlier in the day. Even always stop by and say hello at the conferences....

No longer will they be mygeek....

BlowSearch: Another Little Engine That Can

I saw a post by Danny Sullivan from a few days ago praising BlowSearch for allowing source exclusion. Thinking this was some method of countering false clicks or some other counter to dynamically generated code I dropped by - especially since I am also an advertiser.
While one of the possible benefits of their relatively new offering is lessening of Click Fraud, more importantly you can exclude your competitors from seeing your ad - thus not letting them click on it - but also not allowing them to just see the copy if they are copying... let them move on to a lesser competitor.
I will be playing with this and let people know how effectively it works.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Great Info on Google and 302 Hijackings

Nick W over at ThreadWatch has a great thread about the problems with 302 redirect hijackings and how best to counter them.
He does a great job over there and anyone reading my stuff should be stopping there.
I may have to add a list to my nav bar of other industry blogs worth visiting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

MSN Rolls out New Bidded PPC

Mark it down March 16th - appropos as Yahoo will soon be reeling like Julius Caeser crying "Et Tu Bill".
MSN announced its plans to start a bidded PPC program similiar to Yahoo and Google's search ad programs. It will include a self-serve component so smaller advertisers can start bidding and widen the scope of the existing MSN PPC offering.
Currently, companies willing to pay $75,000 or more a year can offer MSN a set of terms and then the company counters with a set price for all clicks gained for those terms.
I use this system and it took a few rounds of dropping terms both high and low (as measured by the bidded prices of Overture and Google) to get a set that was worth locking in at a set cost per click.
So now they are beta testing the system in France and Singapore (a foreign language site and an English site that is wholy owned by MSN).
I will be signing up for it next week and will let people know how it all looks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

GMail Out of Beta

Go to the front page and there they are... offer for GMail out to the general public. So the insider handshake is no longer cool.
I have 40 odd invites and may as well launch them into space.

Come one come all.... guess they were trying to steal a little of the MSN release about PPC today (guess close of business... as no word yet).

I Hate Domain Resellers

We got an email today from some joker trying sell us a domain name he owns. No site just the domain and the so-called redirect they said could make them so much money was not in place. All in all a lazy attitude and a great look at bottomfeeder economics.

The term has some worth but does not generate any serious traffic. And it is also not the best of converters. Yet the guy wanted 6k+ for this fine selection of keywords he signed up (more than likely only a few months ago). Before quoting a price to us it was just give me an offer, so we emailed back we would go $500. The insolent and arrogant reply about the worth of his domain is funny:

No thanks. It will generate 5 times that amount just in parking. It has overture bids of $6 per click.
I'm not sure you're quite familiar with domain valuation. Best of luck!

Okay mate... I did a search for the term's traffic and it comes back at under 600 searches last month. Now I will highball direct numbers and say 10% write the into the browser so you get 60 visitors a month.... not all of them are potential buyers... in reality they are more likely to be lookers with the type in since they have not been in the area enough to know the name of a real company.

Hey if it is a steady earner why are you getting rid of it?

Why not keep the domains like others I know do and build your monthly income by adding more domains. Selling the domain always seems like it did nothing for us, but there are some other people that pay a decent amount for clicks I will sell it to them at a serious premium and move on to something I can market.

I am glad I work in a niched area, few are buying domains - and guys like this are not trolling. Besides I have over 100 domains and adding more each month, we can afford to let someone else have that one, chances are they will be one of our affiliates that get it anyway.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Time to Boycott Google's PR numbers

I have had enough of the green bars. I think it is time that all Search Engine Optimization people organize a real boycott of the Google PR numbers. Let the newly formed SMA - NA and SEMPO join forces in this and show a true unity in the industry to remove the silly thing from the toolbar.

People should be stopped from discussing the value of PR, ways to improve PR, ways to share PR, and all the rest of the eternal posts and notes and conversations that are spent every day on the topic.

Those are moments of time wasted and unretrievable. I feel cheated of at least a solid week of my life. Now with the recent comments that the whole thing could have been a Wizard of Oz perception trick - I really feel like demanding compensation.

The pretty shiny object is distracting way too many people from the true job of SEO and that is to optimize pages for keywords. We even have bosses and clients who have been fooled into thinking that is the best measurement of success and get us chasing the illusion.

I would gladly have a grey bar if it meant getting a top ranking. Anyone want to trade their good keyword position for my 6s and 7s?

If anyone answered yes to that you show be drummed out of the SEO corps.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Tagging: The Future of Blogging

Interesting article over at Business Week on the use of tagging.
Have to give credit to Flickr for pointing it out to me.
Add this to the introduction of bookmarklets and the sharing of links and blogs should evolve the web to another area over the next year or two, especially as the younger users who have adapted to this technology enter the marketing and business realm.
It also is highlighted today by Technorati - the blog search engine.

MSN To Stop Mac Support

Guess the lovefest is over, or MSN like everyone else sees little return in catering to the Mac folks! Sadly, yet realistically, Mac web users represent such a small number that most websites do not consider it worth their while to even test how they appear there - hey most people don't even have a Mac platform to test on (though there are online sites that will show you).
This CNET articles gives the perspective.
Guess Mac moves further into the offline world.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Welcome to PPC Search Anoox!

We signed up for this months ago and it final arrived. Our username and password and the money we prepaid with is sitting there waiting to be spent.

Congratulations, your AnooX Advertiser account has been approved and
is now activated.

To access your AnooX Advertiser account (aka Paid Listings Account Management)
please go to this URL:

And log-in with this username & password:



(please make sure to have Cookies enabled.)

Once logged into your account you will then be able to completely
manage your AnooX Advertising and Paid Listings. Some of the things
that you will be able to do once logged in are:

1- Manage money: add money, add payment methods, etc.
2- Manage Keywords: add keyword, change keyword bids, etc.
3- Reports: generate various reports
4- Contact Support
Plus much more.

We thank you for becoming a very valued AnooX Advertiser.
And look forward to the success of your advertising through AnooX.
You can be sure that as a not-for-profit search engine, we are
dedicated to one thing only: that is the success of your business.
This means we will do everything possible, without regard to
our profits or share prices, to deliver the lowest cost in Search
Engine keyword based advertising to you with most accuracy in
targeting of the Ads to the intended audiences.

So Advertise through AnooX and Advertise a lot, because the more
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Not-for-profit business model.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact
Advertiser support via the related link from your Advertiser account
or call AnooX Advertiser customer service at (415)-577-5003.

Again thank you and we welcome you to AnooX Search Engine community.

Welcome to the Search Engine Game Anoox!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Late Lycos Notice

Lycos would like to notify you of recent changes made to the Legacy SearchSubmit (Inktomi) portion of InSite.s Search Engine Submission product. Effective February 18, 2005, Inktomi search results ceased appearing on the and search engines. As a result, URLs submitted for inclusion in the Inktomi search catalog will no longer appear on the Lycos and Hotbot search engines. Inktomi will continue to submit your URLs to other search engine partners, including and And as always, the Inktomi crawler will continue to refresh your URLs every 48 hours.

I gotr this in an email today!!! I really hope they told me about this last month and I have just been too busy to really have noticed the email.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Yahoo/Overture Wake Up MSN Will Soon Be Gone

I can't believe that anyone in this industry could possibly believe that MSN is not striking out on their own. Wake Up!
They are aggressively reaching out to the industry to hire people. They are gearing to do battle with Google.
They do not even see Yahoo/Overture as part of any serious competition. And once Yahoo loses the MSN income they will be bordering on a second-tier precipece...
But keep the stiff upper Overture and maintain the well reviewed customer service (and yes that is sarcasm) and who knows maybe you will get lucky and sold to SearchFeed.

Articles like this show lack of insight

Monday, March 7, 2005

Overture Betas CTR Influencing Positioning

Overture is beta testing CTR as an influencing factor on bid position. They diverge from the Google model, in that they are not using Max CPC and CTR to create a rank and an actual CPC. They are using your actual bid as the price they charge you but move you up if you have a high CTR.
Hope this model works - but something tells me if they find they are getting better click numbers this way it will roll out like a variation of Google.
Hope not I have too many knocks against the Overture system now as it is.

Good luck is all I can say and I will post how it has worked after I play with it for a month or so.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Booth Babes

You know our industry has matured when you walk through the SES convention and see 'Booth Babes'...
And they definitely were noticed by the women at the other booths who were actually there to help customers and provide support and network.
Seach Engine Watch Forums has a few who could be both.