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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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  © nzbase 2002 - keeping you in touch with daily online search engine news. Questions, comments or looking for search engine optimisation services?
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February 26, 2003

Overture to acquire FAST Search Services

This newsflash had to go up this morning after I received the announcement.

From Overture:
'Following Overture's previously announced plans to purchase AltaVista, we are pleased to inform you that Overture today signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Web search unit of Norway-based Fast Search & Transfer (FAST). The acquisitions of FAST and AltaVista substantially bolster Overture's global leadership in search and underscore our commitment to provide our advertisers with the most powerful ways to market online.
... In addition, this purchase demonstrates Overture's continuing commitment to international expansion as FAST has a significant international presence and relationships with some of Overture's key partners in the U.S. and Europe, including Terra Lycos, InfoSpace, Tiscali, T-Online and Freeserve.

For the first media reports see Overture to Buy FAST

February 25, 2003

Nzbase will be back in a jiffy...

2002 was a year pushing new forms of searching and promoting websites with 2003 shaping-up to be the 'consolidation year' as we've seen in a few other online industries since the bust.

Thanks to all those who have signed-up for the nzbase - new zealand search engine newsletter (see above). The newsletter will run it's first edition as soon as I come back from a well deserved few weeks in Sydney and Melbourne.

February 19, 2003


This from Overture in their account management pages:

'We are pleased to announce that Overture plans to acquire pioneering search company AltaVista. This acquisition reinforces our commitment to search and to providing you with new and powerful ways to connect with potential customers on the Internet. It also represents yet another step in our drive to accelerate and enhance our product development capabilities for both our advertisers and partners. Through the acquisition and going forward, AltaVista will continue to operate as a search destination and display Overture’s paid search results to its users. As the acquisition is finalized over the coming months, you’ll hear more about how this development will help you build your business.'

See also: Overture to buy AltaVista

February 18, 2003

Google buys Pyra Labs!

Google has made a major leap into the growing bloggers universe. Most bloggers who have been blogging for some time know and love for pioneering the blogging community and starting them off with a free blogging account including the tools and webspace to use it .

On (the personal blog of Evan Williams, ex-owner and founder of, Evan talks frankly about the purchase, 'So yes, I sold the company...'. There will be plenty of personal changes to come for him and the blogging community in general from this commercial shift. Luckily Evan picked a company with the vision to take blogging to a whole new level...

Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time

February 14, 2003

NetSafe: Society, Safety and the Internet

If you're in the internet industry in New Zealand you may be interested in the proceedings issued from the the NetSafe: Society, Safety and the Internet Conference that was held behind closed doors in Auckland a few days ago. Organised by the University of Auckland and the New Zealand Police the conference covered a wide variety of safety issues for New Zealanders.

NetSafe II: Society, Safety & the Internet is being held in Auckland, July 9-12, 2003 with an open door to the public.

February 14, 2003

MSN beta test new search

A few days ago MSN released a beta site for a new version of MSN search. is a stripped down version of the standard MSN search following the popularity of sites such as Google that have ultra fast loading times (without banners adverts) and revolve around text based advertising.

February 11, 2003

Shady ads spoil party for e-tailers

It can be a very frustrating experience to have to spend hours convincing a search editorial team that your advert is in fact relevant when they have no experience in your given online industry. What can add exponentially to that frustration is minutes later seeing someone who obviously shouldn't be listed under a given term when you have spent large amounts of time keeping your listing live from over-zealous editors.

Bob Tedeschi from The New York Times (reported on IHT Online) believes that 'reputable advertisers increasingly find themselves outbid for top search listings by unscrupulous and perhaps fraudulent e-tailers.' commenting that search sites are not vigilant enough (Shady ads spoil party for e-tailers).

I would have to humbly agree with Bob with the one caveat that search term editors need to have full knowledge of the industry they are dealing with before jumping in feet first...

February 10, 2003

Overture US Raises Bid Prices

Overture US announced a 'moderate price increase' from the 8th of Feburary. The minimum bid will now be $0.10 (raised from $0.05).

Grandfathered Bids

To minimize the financial impact this change will have on our valued advertisers, all existing listings with bids between $0.05 and $0.09 will be 'grandfathered' at their current max bid for the foreseeable future. Going forward, if you wish to make any bid changes to these grandfathered listings, your new bid must be at least $0.10. However, you may continue to update titles, descriptions and URLs for your grandfathered listings without affecting your bid. All new listings created from today forward must meet the $0.10 minimum bid.

February 07, 2003

What a busy week ...

Keeping busy all this week, so here's an update of some interesting news lately:
  • Overture managed to win (over Google) the bid for the next two years of's paid listings[more info].
  • Danny Sullivan decides to end the debate over cloaking which was once again started by Alan Perkins, if it ever stopped [more info].
  • Terra Lycos Cuts More Than 20 Percent of U.S. Staff [more info].

February 03, 2003

Paid Listings and ROI calculation

If you're new to the game of internet advertising, you may want to take a small amount of time out for Overture's latest tutorial. The simple tutorial covers the basic how to's of tracking url's and ROI (Return on Investment) calculations. Easily understandable and presented quite well, full credit should be given to Overture for not putting in too much of a 'raise your bid price' slant.

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