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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Oct 2000
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    Hey Gang,

    I was just finishing up my newsletter - and since the fourms have been a little slow recently I thought I might post an excerpt here.

    Hope this helps.

    SEARCH ENGINE UPDATE - February 2001
    Part A


    The 'webmaster's search engine' is shaking things up a little bit
    in the search engine world. The giant who recently partnered with
    LookSmart is threatening to enforce quite a few search engine
    patents it secured it's early development stages - which could
    effect search engines around the world.

    Rumors have also surfaced that AltaVista may be shutting down
    it's European operations, and several of AltaVista's top European
    executives have recently jumpped ship.

    Additionally, AltaVista is trying to gain some feedback on what users
    think about their service. If you perform a search on AltaVista now you
    will be presented with a link to take an opinion poll. So, if you want
    to give AltaVista some feedback, go ahead! Perhaps we can give them
    some feedback to make this a better search engine for all of us.

    Related Links:

    An AltaVista Search Engine Monopoly?

    AltaVista Loses Top Two European Execs.

    AltaVista Feed Back Opinion Poll



    As usual, the news about Excite and WebCrawler is that there
    really is no news except for the recent partnership with LookSmart.
    WebCrawler, which was once a powerhouse search engine in the
    early days of the web seems to be very slow in updating it's database
    or not updating at all. SEO specialists are also reporting that Excite is
    experiencing some technical difficulties updating their index with the
    LookSmart data. Nevertheless, we have provided some ranking tips
    for listings in Excite in the Spider Food Forums.

    Related Links:

    Spider Food Forums




    Based in Norway, Fast has gained a reputation as one of the largest
    indexes on the web and they are paticularly popular in Europe.

    A few months ago they claimed to be even larger than Google - to
    which Google quickly updated their listings to claim a larger data base.

    Lycos is also in the news for purchasing Raging Bull from
    AltaVista, a leading financial community on the Web. This move by
    Lycos could bring an estimated 200 million new page views per month
    to the Lycos community, so if you have not paid paticular attention
    to this search engine recently, now might be a good time to do so.

    Related Links:

    Terra Lycos Purchases Raging Bull

    Submit to Fast



    The biggest optimizaton news at Google this month was the rumor
    that they were dropping noFrames content indexing. Many people
    reported that their noFrames web sites had been dropped from the
    index, but then later many of those same people reported that those
    pages had reappeared.

    A simple search on Google for the term, "Sorry, but your browser
    does not support frames" reveals that Google is still including noFrames
    content in their index. Additionally, a review of some
    clients who use frames revealed that their web sites had actually increased
    in position since the last index update. However, the reports of pages
    being deleated should not be taken lightly.

    What is being widely reported is that while Google is dropping noFrames
    content, they ARE indexing the framed pages.

    Until this rumor is confirmed or ruled out I am recommending that people
    using a noFrames content opt for a two or three pixel frame to establish
    their frameset rather than a zero pixel frame. Just as you do not want to
    define the dimensions of a 1x1 transparent pixel gif for hidden links,
    perhaps you do not want to define a frameset as having a zero pixel
    frame. That could be considered spam and would be easily detectable..

    We will continue to investigate this matter and update you
    in our next report.

    In other news, Google has expanded it's AdWords program from
    listing 3 advertisers to 8. The rates for the top 3 positions will
    stay the same ($15, $12, and $10 per thousand ads shown),
    and the cost of positions 4 through 8 will be $8 per thousand ads

    A good study was also recently published comparing the cost
    of advertising on Google to that of other engines. If you have
    the time, it's worth a quick read. The link is below.

    And lastly, please be aware that Google is moving toward a
    new technology to index PDF files (Adobe Acrobat Reader).
    They have already installed the new technology on some servers
    and plan to continue the process over the coming months.

    Related Links:

    Have Frames Been Given A Bad Rap?

    Test Results for Paid Search Engine Listings


    The folks at seem to be popping up everywhere
    these days. With recent agreements to provide featured listings
    at AOL Search, Netscape, and AltaVista, became
    a much more important player in the search engine wars. And
    since our last report they have also reached agreements to
    provide listings for Direct Hit, NBCi, and Hot Bot.

    With all this attention prices for their top three listings (which are
    generally the ones shown on these partner engines) have risen and
    that has caused some concern among advertisers. For example,
    many advertisers worry that competitors will repeatedly click
    on their links simply to drive up their costs.

    To that end, has responded with a note of comfort.

    According to
    "GoTo uses a number of methods to ensure that all clicks that are reported to our advertisers are genuine. For security reasons, we do not disclose details of this protection methodology, nor do we give visual or system clues that click protection is active. Rest assured that "invalid clicking" is one of the most important issues at GoTo. We realize that it is mandatory to ensure the integrity of our marketplace."

    Related Links:

    News About - Protecting You From Inappropriate Clicks



    After developing a complete new interface and then announcing
    a 'pay for play' plan in December where you could get frequent
    spidering of your web site for a fee of $199, announced
    that it would be shutting down the network altogether. In a letter
    to Go Guides the comapny stated that the shut down date would
    be at the end of February.

    There is no word yet as to whether or not will offer
    those who paid the $199 fee a refund.

    This shutdown was sad news for many in the optimization community.
    However, as I have reported in previous reports, I believe 2001 will
    the year where the search engine wars are either won or lost by the major
    players. Loss of banner advertising revenue is driving all the engines
    to the 'pay for play' business model, and with so many engines and
    directories now holding their hand out for money, all of them can not

    Expect to see more shut downs and mergers in the coming year.

    Related Links:

    Walt Disney Co. To Shut Down

    Disney's To Be Shut Down


    Known as the giant that powers other search engines, Inktomi's
    list of partners has grown to over 27. Their recent 'pay for play'
    business model was met with a lot of skepticism by the optimization
    community, but as time passes more and more SEO experts are
    embracing the idea as a good one because of the frequent
    spidering of their web pages and quick updates. Because of the
    frequent spidering and quick updates, it's relatively easy to 'tweek'
    a page until you achieve high rankings.

    Questions have arisin, however, that either web sites submitted
    via their pay route at Position Technologies are being given a
    boost in the algorithm, or either sites submitted via the free
    routes are being penalized.

    If the later is the case and it is a penalty rather than a boost for
    using the paid submission process, there is one quick possible work

    All you have to do to get around this penalty is submit a gateway page
    which links to sites that link back to your own site from a different domain.
    When the crawler visits the page site again through the links on other site,
    the penalty should be avoided.

    Related Links:

    Gateway Pages

    Spider Food Forums


    DIRECTORY UPDATE - February 2001

    Continues to be one of the best directories on the web, but still one of
    the most overlooked. Make sure you also check out the pay-per-click
    options provided by Sprinks. If you think it works on, you'll
    find that it also works on And like, you can get
    started with just $25.00.

    I'd also like to thank Guide, Chris Sherman, of for his kind
    comments about and also for his contribution to the
    optimization community. Here is a short quote from Chris when
    he listed the web site.

    "Your site is excellent -- I've added a link in the Search Engine
    Optimization category, "

    Related Links:

    The Search Engine Directory

    Sprinks from



    Several curious items are in the news for LookSmart this month.

    First, LookSmart executives have been dumping their stock.
    Secondly, Looksmart raised the price for its basic submission service
    from $79 to $99, and they say further price increases may be in the future.
    Thirdly, they are now guaranteeing registered non-profit organizations will
    be listed in the directory within 8 weeks (these are the only non-government
    sites allowed to get free listings).
    The dumping of shares by executives at a time when the company's stock
    is approaching penny-stock values (it's in the $2-5 range right now) could be
    an indication of a lack of faith in the company's future. Furthermore, the failure
    of the basic submission price to bring in enough cash shows that Looksmart overestimated the number of paid submissions they would get. Raising the price
    to $79 and now $99 doesn't seem to be reducing their potential market, which
    implies a very steep dropoff for paid submission programs.



    The good folks at continue to plug along with their team of
    volunteer editors. However, it's not without complaint by experienced
    web developers. Optimization specialists continue to report that
    the folks at Open Directory are making significant changes to the
    submitted titles and descriptions for their web sites. In a few cases,
    specialists report all keywords being removed entirely.

    When submitting to the Open Directory Project keep your titles short and
    sweet and don't try to repeat keywords in either the title or the
    description. If you do so, the chances of your title and description
    being changed are high.

    Related Links:

    About the Open Directory Project

    Become and Editor at Open Directory
    (To become an editor, simply navigate to the category of your choice, and then
    click on the link for "Become An Editor.")


    NBCi (formerly Snap)

    This once seldom used directory is getting a lot more of attention due to
    an extensive television advertising campaign.

    Additionally, as we reported in our last report they have moved
    to a 'pay for play' business model which will result in your listing
    being moved farther up in the search results to what they call
    their "Top Sites Directory." Through February the fee for this
    positioning is $99. After February the fee goes up to $199.

    The higher ranking is not as attractive as it might sound, however.
    That's because NBCi is one of the directories that are also featuring
    listings from As a consequence, their "Top Sites Directory"
    listings are not displayed until after they've displayed the top three
    ranking sites at

    In other news, NBCi has launched a discussion forum of it's own to
    help members achieve higher ranking. The forum is moderated by an
    Advisory Board of members who have demonstrated success with
    their listings on NBCi. A link to the new discussion forum is provided

    Related Links:

    NBCi Forums

    Submit A Site To NBCi,566,-1077,00.html?



    Well, at the rate we are going we will soon all need to be accountants
    rather than SEO specialists to gain top ranking with the search engines.

    Just kidding, of course. However, Yahoo has come out with it's own breed
    of Google AdWords in addition to what a user must pay to be listed in the
    Business To Business category.

    Here is the text that explains the new program.

    From Yahoo:

    The Sponsored Sites program allows commercial web sites already listed in the Yahoo! Directory to enhance their placement. Participating sites are featured in a "Sponsored" module within the appropriate Yahoo! category, and are also highlighted in the regular alphabetic list of sites. Please note, this service is only open to commercial businesses with sites listed in a "Business and Economy/Shopping and Services" or "Business and Economy/Business to Business" category in the Yahoo! Directory. (If your site is not listed in the Directory, please use the Business Express <> process to submit it for consideration.)
    Pricing and availability varies by category. Categories priced in the $25-$300 per month range are handled through an online subscription form. These subscription categories are automatically billed on a monthly basis until cancellation. Categories priced above $300 per month are handled by the Yahoo! Sales Team and have a 3-month term. All sites listed in the Sponsored module have equal rotation.

    Related Links:

    Yahoo Sponsored Sites Info

    How To Get Listed In Yahoo

    Editor, J.K. Bowman

  2. #2
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Yes yes, Die looksmart. I hate that directory, its very very small, not at all...whats the word... comprehensive. If they die hopefully more sites will use DMOZ listings.

    As for complaints from webmasters they need to remember that DMOZ editors are supposed to remain objective.

    For instance I've had to deal with a few listings for classic notes recently. They went like this:

    Classic Notes: Romeo and Juliet
    Full and comprehensive notes on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare written by harvard students. Includes links to other Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare resources.

    Full and comprehensive are both subjective words, can't have those, remove them. And if you have "Romeo and Juliet" in the title you don't need it in the description.

    Classic Notes: Romeo and Juliet
    Study notes written by Harvard students. Includes links to other resources.

    Secondly, don't spam the directory. There are people who submit to every category their site is slightly related to. Don't do that, it upsets us. Submit to one category and if we feel it should be listed in others, we will list it. Spamming comes in different forms too. For instance trying to get a site where you sell essays listed as a free essay resource. Or there is this one company, pagewise, that makes one page sites filled with a little information and affiliate links and hopes to get them listed. Its just clever spam, I delete every single one (to see them:

    And you can't tell people what to do.

    "Search the complete works online" is not a good desc
    "The complete works online. Includes a search feature" is

    So submit to the appropriate category, dont spam, remain objective, don't tell people what to do. If you say a keyword in the title, keep it out of the desc. And also pay attention to the other sites where you are submitting (although if that category doesn't have an editor the listings may be pretty bad).

    The ODP does not exist for you to load your desc with keywords or anything like that. Many sites don't even rank your site by its odp listing. Instead they just index all the listed sites and then rank them via their page content meta tags etc (such as AOL, Google, etc)

    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums


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