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SEM News - Search Engine Marketing News

California Senate approves anti-Gmail bill | CNET
More on the Gmail privicy debate - "Technology groups opposing the bill noted this week that limits on e-mail scanning would appear to affect a large number of widely used industry practices that have not sparked any privacy concerns to date.
'We are unaware of any instances in which a consumer has been harmed as a result of the computer scanning that takes place today. In fact, we believe that the scanning technology is evolving largely in the pursuit of protecting consumers' interest,' the American Electronics Association wrote in a letter to Figueroa on Wednesday. 'Examples include spam and virus filtering, searching, spellchecking, auto-responding, managing mailing lists, flagging urgent messages, converting incoming e-mail to cell phone text messages, automatic saving and sorting into folders, converting text URLs to clickable links, converting date stamps to local time zones, building automatic address books, and so forth.' "

posted at 2:51 PM on Friday, May 28, 2004

Microsoft to Launch New Search Technology:
"Microsoft Corp. is looking beyond Internet searches, heading into its battle with Google Inc. with technology designed to allow people to scour their e-mails, personal computers and even hefty databases for information.
The search system will give consumers 'an end-to-end system for searching across any data type,' Yusuf Mehdi, head of Microsoft's MSN division, told analysts at a Goldman Sachs Internet conference Wednesday in Las Vegas."

Mehdi told the analysts that personalization is going to be an important part of Microsoft's search efforts.

The company hopes to soon have on its MSN Web site a system similar to's technology that will recognize a user even if that person hasn't expressly signed on to the Web site, he said. It also is working on a system that will track a user's movements over the Internet and use that data to build a more personalized Web page based on the person's surfing habits. Mehdi conceded that such efforts create thorny privacy issues.

"We're going to make a very big investment in personalization, but it's very clear that privacy and consumer trust is really a key thing in getting your arms around personalization," he said.

posted at 3:07 PM on Thursday, May 27, 2004

Search engines try to find their sound | CNET
"NPR's move points to the limitations of Google and Yahoo at a time when broadband Internet connections are becoming more popular among consumers, fostering new demand for multimedia content. Publishers are increasingly adding exclusive audio and video content for online access; educators are streaming courses online; broadcasters are bringing vast archives online in digital form; and small-time publishers are finding it cheaper and cheaper to create, produce and host multimedia on the Web. Yet you wouldn't find any of it on the primary search engines.
That's created an opportunity for specialty search engines focused on filling the gap. Already, technology companies including Singingfish, StreamSage, Hewlett-Packard, Virage, Nexidia and others have emerged to address some of the challenges. Yahoo and AOL are players, too. Yahoo owns AltaVista, which has one of the Web's oldest audio and video search engines, but so far, Yahoo has not sought to feature the technology. America Online, another dark horse in the search race, bought Singingfish earlier this year. "

posted at 12:55 PM

Yahoo Messenger to get facelift | CNET
"New features include animated 'audibles' that say hello or flirt and 'avatars' that represent users and can be customized with different hairstyles, clothes or ethnicities.
The service also will make it easier to play games with friends and share photos, music lists and information obtained from Web searches, among other things. " - further integration of search & photo-sharing...

posted at 12:15 PM on Monday, May 24, 2004

Hello : photo sharing messenger programme
Interesting photo-blogging software - will allow photos to be shared online and is a messenger service as well. Google may eventually look at their own messenger service, (or try to buy this one...), but in the mean time, this is exactly the solution many bloggers with digital cameras have been looking for...

posted at 3:57 PM on Saturday, May 22, 2004

Yahoo! News - Google, Microsoft Take Battle to the Desktop:
"As Google aims for the desktop and Microsoft turns to Web search, industry experts question just how heated the clash between the No. 1 Web search company and the world's largest software maker will get. "

posted at 2:49 PM on Friday, May 21, 2004

gmail swap: nifty, neat and noteworthy
slick website while gmail accounts are still rare. bloggers et al have invitations to invite friends to open accounts... here's what they could be worth....

posted at 9:09 AM

Online Search Engine College Launched:
"13-May-03 - A new online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing subjects is to be launched today."

posted at 4:47 PM on Thursday, May 20, 2004

Yahoo Watch
Yahoo Watch aims to highlight the 'issues' with Yahoo.

posted at 12:32 PM

Yahoo! Anti-Spam Resource Center - DomainKeys:
"DomainKeys: Proving and Protecting Email Sender Identity" - a Yahoo programme to combat email spam

posted at 12:43 PM on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 | DoubleClick buys Performics for $65M
DoubleClick plans to add a search and affiliate marketing business with yesterday's acquisition of Performics in a cash deal worth up to $65 million.
DoubleClick, New York, said it signed a deal that would result in the company's entry into the search marketing business thanks to Performics' bid-management tool, which lets advertisers automate paid-search, paid-inclusion and comparison-shopping listings across different search engines.

DoubleClick will pay $58 million in cash, with another $7 million based on Performics hitting financial performance targets. The deal is to close within a month.

Performics, Chicago, helps advertisers manage their search campaigns across top search engines, including Google and Yahoo. It manages the campaigns to maximize return by automatically adjusting bids based on each keyword's performance at the search sites.

"This is very similar to how advertisers and agencies currently use our ad-management product to manage thousands of campaigns across multiple sites," DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan said in a conference call.

DoubleClick plans to integrate the Performics search tool with its DART online ad platform, renaming the product DART Search. It will let advertisers using the DART platform construct, track and measure their various online ad campaigns -- from search to rich media to e-mail -- from one platform.

posted at 8:55 AM on Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Return To The Sad Days Of More Than A Search Engine?:
Similar viewpoint to an article I wrote for searchbites - "Wow. How the circle turns. After all the recent attention on search -- and the improvement in search quality that has come with it -- can it be that the major search players are about to make the same portal mistakes of the late 1990s?
Those portal mistakes, a desire to be more than a search engine, allowed 'pure search' Google to blossom. The difference is that this time, Google itself may be making the same mistakes."

posted at 11:38 AM on Sunday, May 16, 2004

Google AdWords Support
Google to start allowing banners and other image based formats. Currently only through the AdSense programme, but in future, potentially on the Google site too.

posted at 11:12 AM

Google to sell banner ads | CNET
"Search giant Google plans for the first time to sell ads that include images, a surprise reversal for a company that has won regard for its pioneering use of text-only marketing pitches and for keeping its home page religiously free of banner advertising.
A posting on the company's Web site describes the new program, which will allow customers to place image, or banner, ads on third-party Web sites that participate in its AdSense program. "

posted at 11:09 AM

New Google service challenges Yahoo Groups | CNET
"Taking on Yahoo in yet another field, Google is testing a service that lets people create e-mail discussion groups. Called Google Groups 2, the service lets people create, search and sift through e-mail mailing lists. People can also subscribe to and monitor groups of interest. "

posted at 11:01 AM

Google Blog
The Google Blog - nothing interesting here yet, but we'll see if there's anything good here in time...

posted at 3:57 PM on Friday, May 14, 2004

New spin on search ads - ZDNet:
"Tacoda's new service will be a hybrid of Google's service and profile-based advertising--two of the hottest sectors in online advertising today.

The service draws on pay-for-performance search deals--popularized by Google and Overture--in which marketers bid to show up in query results based on specific keywords. Advertisers pay only when visitors click on their sponsored text listings that appear on search results pages. But instead of using search keywords to determine when to place ads, Audience Match draws on profiles of Web surfers. The profiles, culled from online publishers, are then used to tailor ads to visitors' behaviors and demographics, or what's called behavioral targeting."

posted at 9:08 AM on Thursday, May 13, 2004

Google preps new tool to juice revenue | CNET
"Search engine leader Google is close to releasing new tools that could expand its profitable keyword-advertising business and fuel growth as it prepares for a highly anticipated initial public offering, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The technology aims to enable Google to examine the Web sites of large advertisers and to develop automated lists of keyword combinations that are likely to turn up in search queries, the sources said. If successful, the system will match more searches to advertisements, and thus boost revenue.

Google's proposed service would accept data feeds from retail marketers, in order to index those pages more often. But unlike Yahoo's paid inclusion, Google would not allow commercial listings to appear in its general Web index.

Experts said search companies run the risk of trading off relevance for reach. More-obscure terms may turn out to serve ads to an audience that is less receptive to clicking on them."

posted at 8:55 AM

Preparing for Semantic Web Services:
"The objective of the Semantic Web Architecture is to provide a knowledge representation of linked data in order to allow machine processing on a global scale. The W3C has developed a new generation of open standard markup languages that are now poised to unleash the power, flexibility and, above all, logic of the next generation of the Web, and open the door to the next generation of Web Services."

posted at 10:11 AM on Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Google's Orkut Personal Information Offered Outside Orkut
"It was rumored after the Orkut social network service was shut down a few days following its launch that Google was working to upgrade features to prevent the site's data from being mined.

Certainly at least one company got a good chunk of data, as shown by the Orkut Personal Network Geomapper. It lets you look up anyone in the Orkut database at the time the information was mined, then see their connections..."

posted at 10:19 AM on Monday, May 10, 2004

Google Floatation...: "there is something of a problem: no-one 'located' outside the US will be able to bid. For such a global business, this is vexing, especially given Google's reasoning: 'We have not undertaken any efforts to qualify this offering for offers to individual investors in any jurisdiction outside the US.'
In other words, it was too much like hard work to do all this worrying for every market in the world. Given the same SEC filing also points out how everybody at Google wants to 'make the world a better place', you'd have thought the world would have been given the opportunity to take a stake."

posted at 1:18 PM on Thursday, May 06, 2004

Mike Grehan - Acountability...
An interesting article about the accountability of search marketing, and the variables that skew the process. Some of it is scaremongering, but there is plenty of truth to the article...

posted at 1:05 PM

The UK arm of search company Looksmart has undergone a rebrand and will relaunch as UK Directory ( on Friday, following its closure earlier this year.

The latest venture follows a successful buyout by UK Net Guide at the beginning of the month. The company handed control of its remaining UK assets, its directory and domain name to search site UK Net Guide, following the closure of its UK operation in January.

posted at 12:34 PM

"Pay-for-placement search provider Mirago is to open a German office for the first time, following the launch of its German index last March."

posted at 12:18 PM

A new potentially great development which would greatly effect search. "Collecting a large body of information by searching the web can be a tedious, manual, and error-prone process. Consider, for example, finding a comprehensive list of summer camps for teen-agers that have both archery programs and sessions starting in July; or consider finding a list of people pursuing a graduate degree in Biotechnology related fields. Unless you find the ''right'' document(s), you are reduced to sifting through a large set of search results, one by one."

posted at 9:15 AM | Google Files for IPO:
"Google ended months of speculation yesterday by filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a $2.7 billion initial public offering that defiantly promised to keep the search giant's quirky ways. "

posted at 2:24 PM on Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Survey of users clicking on organic links v's Sponsored Listings:
"Web searchers find non-paid listings to be more relevant than paid listings on commercial searches, according to a new study.

The research found that 61 percent of searchers clicked on organic search results as the most relevant result in a search for 'used cars' from a buyer looking to purchase a car. The rest chose a paid search listing. "

posted at 1:39 PM

iMedia Connection: How's Your Reputation?
A big potential growth sector - reputation management. This will allow SEO's to offer to get top listings for a company or a person's name to ensure that there is no 'bad press' about them if people are researching them.

posted at 11:31 AM

FindWhat profits Soar:
"'s first-quarter profit rose 41 percent, the paid search company said, as it benefited from strong demand for search advertising.

CEO Craig Pisaris-Henderson said the company's acquisitions of e-commerce tool provider Miva, desktop software maker Comet Systems and European paid search company eSpotting Media would make FindWhat a 'robust global marketing company.'"

posted at 10:35 AM on Sunday, May 02, 2004

Ask Jeeves Profit soars on Google AdWords:
"Ask Jeeves reported a more than 50 percent increase in profits in the first quarter on the strength of its paid search listings partnership with Google.

Ask Jeeves has Google to thank for much of its success. The company said Google's AdWords listings generated 69 percent of revenue, or $27 million. Industry analysts estimate Ask Jeeves commands as much as 80 percent of the money generated from the listings.

Steve Berkowitz, chief executive of Ask Jeeves, said the company continued to outpace the industry in query growth, reporting a 42 percent year-over-year increase. Independent researchers tab Ask Jeeves as a distant No. 5 in the search market. ComScore Media Metrix puts its market share at 2 percent. Ask Jeeves disputes these estimates, putting its search share at 3.5 percent. "

posted at 10:33 AM

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