- March 2004
New Search World – Two Goliaths
month ago Yahoo began rolling out its new search
engine, dropping Google as it's main source
of search results.
the ‘New Yahoo” there are only two
major search engines now (for the moment, see
below about MSN); Google and Yahoo.
that Yahoo no longer displays results from the
Google search engine, Google's share of
the search market (in North America) has dropped
down to about 50% (They're still number
1). Most of these searches are performed at
the Google and AOL search sites.
which owns Inktomi, AltaVista, and All-the-web
as well as Overture, now accounts for about
44% of searches (About 15% of this are searches
on MSN search. Most of these results come from
the Inktomi search engine whihc Yahoo owns).
together Google and Yahoo account for about
94% of searches in North America. All the other
search engines make up the remaining approximately
6% of searches. Needless to say, improving your
results on Yahoo and Google is the name of the
Yahoo and Google to
focus on search engine SPAM (Search
Engine SPAM = Attempts to influence search results
considered to be detrimental to a search engine's
efforts to deliver relevant, quality search results)
Yahoo and Google spoke at the search engine
conference I attended in Orlando last month.
It was interesting to hear them both talk about
improving relevancy as a major goal and to let
us know that SPAM detection will be a key focus
over the coming months.
have been and will continue to implement more
“signal” detectors; filters to detect
SPAM or indicate the possibility of SPAM. In
many cases penalties will be automatically applied.
In other cases a signal detector will trigger
a flag that will be examined by a human.
major area of focus that was talked about is
employing link analysis to detect the rampant
growth in various linking tricks many companies
have developed to try to improve their rankings
such as setting up numerous domain names and
cross-linking the sites to inflate a site's
explained how relatively easy it is to detect
this kind of link SPAM. It's very obvious when
they see numerous links between sites, but very
few links from the rest of the “community
of sites” for a topic pointing to those
sites. Google acknowledged that they will go
so far as looking up the ownership of the domain
names. There's even been a rise in a practice
know as “domain name registration by proxy”
as companies try to hide their domain name ownership.
can't help thinking how much better these companies
would do in the long run if they focused there
efforts on building the best sites they can
for their visitors, why employing legitimate
optimization methods that are not considered
SPAM, instead of spending all their energy trying
to artificially affect there rankings.
of these companies are in for a real shock when
Google or Yahoo detects their SPAM and the site
is penalized or removed from the search engine.
I've worked for clients who've had this happen.
It takes months, sometimes more than a year,
New Paid Inclusion Program
do you get your pages into the new Yahoo engine?
as I mentioned in the last newsletter, in our
testing just after the announcement of the new
Yahoo Search Engine, we found that most of our
clients already had some number of pages indexed
(The new Yahoo search engine database likely
began life as a copy of the Inktomi database.
Plus Yahoo had been crawling the web for some
time before the annoucement.)
will continue its ‘free crawl',
following links on web pages looking for new
pages. So your site and the pages on it may
be found as long as we do a good job of Link
Building. Then it's largely a matter
of having a ‘search friendly' site
design for Yahoo, and all search engines, to
be able to crawl the site and index many of
also has a free “site submit” that
we can use to submit a site that hasn't been
found, but as is the case with all free submission
tools it can take weeks to months for the crawler
to visit your site and there are no guarantees
(It's much better to let a search engine find
a site by following links to it from other sites).
also has a new paid inclusion program that we
can use when it makes sense. This program will
be handled by Overture, which is owned by Yahoo.
The new program is called Overture Site Match.
new inclusion program works very much as the
former Inktomi Site Submit program did. There's
an annual submission fee, starting at $49 for
the first URL down to as low as $10 per additional
URL in quantity (For up to sites with 1000 or
less URLs to submit. There's another program
for larger sites).
also charges a cost per click fee of 15 cents
or 30 cents depending on the category. I think
this is going to be very confusing and even
controversial. People have gotten somewhat used
to idea that cost per click (also call Pay per
click, or PPC) programs mean you are paying
for position, the more you are willing to pay
per click the higher up in the results your
listing will appear. These listings are usually
displayed in a separate area of the search results
and are referred to as Sponsored Results, etc.
However, this is not the case with the Yahoo's
new program. It works as most Paid Inclusion
programs have always worked; you are paying
to have your page included in the database.
Where the page will appear in the results of
a search will still depend on all the criteria
the search engine evaluates to determine the
ranking of all the pages it finds related to
a specific search. (PS – You should be
aware that there have been similar inclusion
programs for some time for very large sites,
such as an ebay or Amazon.com might use to submit
pages. These programs are called Trusted Feed
or XML feeds and they usually include a cost
per click fee. Yahoo's new program is a hybrid
of theses past programs)
that there is a cost per click fee we have to
be concerned with controlling those costs. Overture
offers the same three options for managing costs
as it does for it's Pay-per-click search
engine ad programs:
Traffic Plan: You authorize Overture
to charge your credit card for a specified
amount when you have 3-5 days of funds left
in your account. This ensures uninterrupted
service with minimum account management.
Budget Plan: You set a monthly budget
that you want to spend on Overture Site Match.
When your balance reaches $0.00, your URLs
will be deactivated until the next month (Unless
you add more money to the account)
Plan: You choose when to add money
to your account, giving you flexibility over
the amount and timing of the deposits into
your account. When your account is depleted,
your URL's will be deactivated until you add
more money to your account.
should you use Yahoo's (Overture) Site
Match to submit pages from your site? We suggest
only paying to submit pages if the pages have
not been found within a reasonable time or if
the contents of the page(s) change frequently
and you want these changes picked up quickly.
Pages submitted via Site Match are refreshed
(re-crawled) every 48 hours (this a great way
to test the results of optimization done on
a page; make a change, see it's effect
within 3 days).
and All-the-web to use Yahoo database
and All-the-web (FAST), both owned by Yahoo
will begin using the new Yahoo index and no
longer keep separate databases. In fact, All-the
web has already started the switch over. The
two search sites will remain open, at least
for the foreseeable future, but the results
will come for the Yahoo search index.
to roll out its search engine soon?
As we've mentioned, before MSN Search has been
developing its own search engine for some time
now. Currently most of the search results come
from the Inktomi search engine database that
is owned by Yahoo.
MSN announced that they would be releasing a
redesign of MSN Search on July 1st which many
people assumed meant they would be bringing
out the new search engine at that time.
according to MSN, the changes to be implemented
in July are mainly cosmetic changes needed to
comply with FTC recommendations regarding the
labeled of Pay-per-click ads.
MSN has stated that it may not release the new
MSN search engine until 2005.