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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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Hint: when browsing the site, look for the , signifying New Zealand specific information.

May 30, 2003

Through the week...

It's been a busy week so the bullet points come out in full force for an interesting-article-catch-up.

May 23, 2003

Join the band wagon...

Everyone's talking about the Google Hacks book so I figure you'd be interested too..

Here's the Chris Sherman take on it - "These are terrific, hands-on tips for ferreting out information in clever ways. The value of these hacks goes beyond the pragmatic -- they also offer revealing insight into the mindset and thought processes used by a highly capable searcher."

See Why Google Hacks is a Bestseller or just buy the book for yourself.

May 21, 2003

New Zealand PPC Search...

Exclusively to is the news today that Altatude Marketing (who technically are the competition but hey, what can you do...) have released a New Zealand PPC search engine called iSpy. Aiming to match New Zealand businesses with New Zealand searchers, iSpy appears to be the launch of a well developed PPC engine.

The bulk of the listings as they stand at present are served from the with a number of Google listings at the bottom of the page.

In my opinion a PPC engine for New Zealand users is needed in our market so this could well fill an important gap. While you can target some PPC Campaigns such as Google Adwords on specific countries, most other local searching, centres around adding 'new zealand' into search terms in global search databases.

Having met some of the Altatude team at a search conference last year I can imagine that enthusiasm alone could push the launch through... Good luck to Paul and the team at iSpy.

May 20, 2003

Paid Placement Alternatives...

Search Engine Watch discusses alternatives to Overture and Google the '900-pound gorillas' in the pay-for-placement engines. FindWhat, Ah-ha and Search123 are all mentioned as good alternatives. I would have to add Kanoodle to that list as well.

See: Sign up for a Free $5 Trial Account. or
Learn more about how to increase traffic to your website with Ah-ha.

May 16, 2003

Yahoo! and Inktomi...

'Nearly one fifth of the Web portal's overall first-quarter revenue grew out of its partnership with Overture Services...' - Overture paid search pays off for Yahoo

After talking to a representative of one of the major Australian search marketing companies today, it appears Inktomi have been cleaning out their 'trusted feed' drawers over the past few weeks. They have been tightening up on their listings following the purchase by Yahoo! with a number of the trusted feed partners being dumped (I was told nine out of twelve) and the remaining being forced into stricter conditions...

May 14, 2003

Overture scaling back AV...

Overture said last week that it will be cutting 100 jobs from Alta Vista in areas such as sales and finance which is expects to yield approximately $7 million in annual savings.

See: Overture Cuts 100 Jobs at Altavista

May 13, 2003

Google to remove weblogs?

It has been reported that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has made an announcement saying 'Soon the company will also offer a service for searching Web logs, known as "blogs,"'. believe that precedent suggests blogs will be removed from the standard Google results given Google's treatment of the Usenet groups in the acquisition of

See: Google to fix blog noise problem and Google CEO Has No Near Term Plans for IPO

May 12, 2003

Google New Zealand launches local news services...

Today Google launched both an Australian and New Zealand version of it's Google News service. Google has now launched local versions of its news service for Canada, New Zealand, India, and the UK.

May 12, 2003

New Zealand Spam Laws (Update)

Shortly after the newsletter mentioned below was released, Paul Swain announced he had asked NZ officials to contact their Australian counterparts, to see if similar anti-spam legislation could be applicable to New Zealand.

See: Computerworld's article on Paul Swain's reaction to the Australian proposal.
(thanks to the the helpful team at Chapman Tripp for the update)

May 9, 2003

New Zealand Spam Laws

Having just read the Chapman Tripp Tech Law Update for May 2003, it's very interesting to see that New Zealand spam laws are non-existant at the moment. We apparently have no plans to change either:

'In New Zealand, there is no legislation to tackle spam, and none is planned.  According to the Minister for Information Technology, Paul Swain... New Zealand is active in appropriate international bodies, will watch developments in other jurisdictions, "and would consider joining any international efforts against spam, should they eventuate". However, the Minister says spam is "too difficult to legislate against".  He sees "a number of serious problems" in framing laws to stop spam, including the problem of “how to define what constitutes unsolicited commercial email.'

The article mentions that Australia are on the verge of legislation based on current US laws (surprise, surprise) and provides a good site for research into the internation effort on reducing spam (

See the Chapman Tripp - Tech Law Update May 2003 for more info.

May 6, 2003

Overture introduce 'Click Index'

Overture have introduced a small bar beside the keywords in an account called a 'Click Index' that shows how your advert is performing against the rest. This appears to be a blatant copy of the bar in Google Adwords that gives the 'Interest' in your advert. Again (as with Google) this will be used as a bench-mark to remove adverts from listings therefore enforcing respectively high CTR's.

'By closely monitoring your Click Index scores, you can stay on top of listings that are not performing well and take steps to improve your score, which will help your business receive more sales leads. The primary method for boosting your click-through rates is to modify your titles and descriptions, making them more relevant to search terms. The easiest way to achieve this is to add the applicable keywords to the titles and descriptions, which has been proven to increase both perception of quality and likelihood to click among search users.' - Overture

See the Overture FAQ's for more info.

May 2, 2003 bought for $1 million (NZD)

I just found out that the wonderfully inept New Zealand government have bought the domain name '' from Virtual Countries for $1 million NZ dollars. What a waste...

See - coughs up NZ$1m for
(thanks to Peter for the link)

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