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'Careful with fire'
is good advice, we know
'Careful with words'
is ten times doubly so.
Will Carleton
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December 27, 2002

Yahoo! to Acquire Inktomi

Yahoo! have released their intention to buy Inktomi for $235 million (US) in cash.

Inktomi has cut back it's staff an operations by around 80% over the past year to renew concentration on web search. With around 150 employees, Yahoo! have said they plan to employ most of the current staff.

With Yahoo! signing on Google as it's key search provider earlier this year, the obvious speculation is circulating that Google will be dropped and the Inktomi PFI (Pay-for-Inclusion) database will be used in Yahoo!'s main search listings.

Terry Semel, Yahoo's chief executive, said in an interview; 'Being less dependent on others to create the innovation for us is worth an awful lot of money to Yahoo' - (NYTimes).

To read more on Yahoo!'s own spin on the acquisition see the Yahoo Press Release.

December 23, 2002

Overture concerned about 'namespace' pushers

Overture have included in their monthly newsletter an article tackling the 'Keyword Navigation' epidemic that has a number of search advertisers and optimisers alike confused. Quoting Danny Sullivans' recent article the key thing to remember is that 'Microsoft has not named another company to take the place of RealNames, nor indicated any immediate plans to resurrect a similar system. Users will only be directed to [Keyword Navigation] advertisers' sites if they have downloaded and installed a special plug-in'.

Basically these people are trying to sell keywords in a 'patch' for Internet Explorer that allows the user to input a single keyword into the browsers address bar that will take them directly to the advertisers site.

Obviously Overture are concerned that their customers are being targeted (and therefore confused) in these scams and have also included a note pointing out that the 'Overture Advertiser List Not for Sale'. I would expect it to have taken a large number of help queries / complaints for them to release such a statement to all advertisers.

On the up-side Overture have announced their deal with Yahoo! Japan, an extended deal with (UK) and a three year exclusive deal with

You can open an Overture account and start advertising your site straight away by clicking here.

December 20, 2002

Search Interviews...

Blogger Peter De Vanzo (a fellow New Zealander) has been running a set of interviews with the 'whose who' of the search engine marketing world. In his final interview for this year he talks to Danny Sullivan the 'search guru'. Informative as ever...

December 20, 2002

After many months of tackling the owners of the domain, Google have finally launched their Google Australia site. With a soft launch to start, it will be interesting to see how Google plan to take on the market in the future.

December 18, 2002

Opting out of Google Adwords 'Syndicated Partners'

After sending a few correspondance emails back and forth with the Google Adwords team yesterday. I discovered that you can actually opt out of having your Google Adwords listed on 'Syndicated Partner Sites'. Obviously Google do not advertise this and the method is obscure to say the least but is it is possible.

Here's the details from the Google Adwords team themselves:

If you choose to display your ads on Google partner sites, your ads could be seen on sites including AOL, EarthLink, and AskJeeves (in the United States). Your ads will also appear on results pages for Google web search, Froogle (, 'Directory' (, and 'Groups' (

If you choose not to participate, your ads will only be shown for Web results on Google. You can opt out at the campaign level. This means that you can choose to syndicate some or none of your campaigns.

If you wish to opt out, please follow these steps:
1. Log in to your account.
2. Click 'View/Edit Campaigns' at the top of the page.
3. Click 'Edit Campaign Settings' next to the campaign for which you would like to opt out.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page to locate the 'Syndication Preference' box.
4a. If you want your campaign to appear on our partner sites, the box should not be checked.
4b. If you do not want your campaign to appear on our partner sites, check the box.
5. Click 'Save Changes' after completing the above edit.

December 17, 2002

Terra Lycos re-launches HotBot service

Terra Lycos are re-launching HotBot with the combination of search results from four different search engines (FAST, Google, Inktomi and Teoma).

Cnet reports Terra Lycos as saying it has launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to promote the site.

December 16, 2002

Diversification strategy paying off for Yahoo!

The Financial Review reports the Yahoo! CEO as spouting that new services have made the company less dependent on advertising.

'Yahoo! has tried to offset the advertising slump by adding fee-based premium services such as high-speed internet access, job listings and personal ads, and taking transaction fees for e-commerce activity it facilitates.... Yahoo! executives said they expected revenue to rise by 30 per cent in 2002 and by 20 per cent in 2003 - FR article

With the massive reduction in prominence of their in-house directory it was questioned by many where their revenue was going to be coming from. Webmasters in general appear to be holding off the over-priced submission to Yahoo!'s directory in favour of targeting Google and being displayed in Yahoo! SERP's by default.

December 13, 2002

Australia’s Top 100 Company Sites Incompatible With Search Engines

Ensuring your site (no matter how large) has adequately covered the search engine optimisation issue is key to surviving in any competitive market on the web.

Discussing her latest research with yours truly, Kalena Jordan, CEO of Web Rank finds insights into the Australasian Internet industry.

'You would assume that companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on web site development and online advertising would ensure their web sites were compatible with search engines', said Kalena Jordan. 'But surprisingly, nearly all of the Top 100 fail to address this issue. To invest such a massive amount of time, money and effort into an online presence and not ensure it can be found is like constructing a storefront with no doors.

Copies of the research report (in two versions) are available here.

December 13, 2002

Google launch Froogle

Google have quietly launched a shopping search engine Froogle.

'Froogle applies the power of Google's search technology to a very specific task: locating stores that sell the item you want to find and pointing you directly to the place where you can make a purchase.'


December 12, 2002

Search patterns, trends, and surprises

If you're curious about what the world is searching for in 2002, Google have released the 2002 Year-End Google Zeitgeist.

Google have also added a 'Google Viewer' to their labs. A must see.

December 10, 2002

New Zealand Shared Registry System

New Zealand have finally shifted to a much awaited shared registry system for .nz domains.

Fifteen registrars have been authorised so far and the first three competitive registrars have connected to the SRS (Shared Registry System). WebAddress, iSERVE and Iconz join Domainz as being able to register and manage .nz domain names directly with the registry.

You can find out more information regarding the transition at the Office of the Domain Name Commissioner setup by InternetNZ to be 'responsible for the day to day oversight of the .nz domain name registration and management system'.

December 08, 2002

BTLooksmart Closing

It's not particularly surprising that BT have pulled out of attempting to work as a search engine or pay-for-performance advertiser. Having helped setup the first BTLooksmart branded search attached to BTOpenworld a few years ago left me with questions as too what the branded search was actually adding to the BTOpenworld portal.

'Having pulled out of most of its other internet-based joint ventures to concentrate on its broadband push, BT is keen to retreat to its core businesses without the distraction of online joint ventures.'

Guardian: BT pulls out of Looksmart

December 03, 2002

Overture vs Google

In the ongoing struggle for Overture to hold onto it's major search partners and fend off Google, a small battle is won.
Overture Renews Freeserve Deal Temporarily

December 01, 2002

Watching the collective consciousness of the world

'The world spends a surprising amount of its time thinking about the same things. Irrespective of which country or region or time, the same topic areas bubble to the top... 'It's amazing how similar people are all over the world,' said Greg Rae, a member of Google's logs team.'

Talking about 'Live Query' and the detailed worldwide search statistics that may be commercialised by Google one day.
Search party: Inside Google’s engine

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