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Submit Express Newsletter


Submit Express Newsletter #58
January 1, 2003



1- News Summary
2- Yahoo Renews Google Deal and Buys Inktomi
3- Yahoo's New Change: Is It Worth Renewing Annual Inclusion
4- Yahoo Changes Business Express Interface
5- HotBot Redesigns Site and Searching Options
6- AltaVista Revamps Website
7- Overture Signs Deal with MSN and CNN


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1- Intro

A lot has happened in the search engine world since our last issue. Topping
the news was the renewal of the Yahoo's contract with Google. In conjunction
with the solidification of the deal, Yahoo officially changed their individual
search component to display mostly Google search results.

Millions of websites might have felt this change first hand as both engines'
changes took a distinct turn towards site relevancy - shaking free countless
thousands of less relevant websites.

As a result of this change, many "manipulated" sites fell to lower ranking
pages, and sites with merit and content were boosted forward. We looked at
this as a sort of "house cleaning" by both major engines. More details will
follow below.

Yahoo's change to using mostly Google results will probably cause a decrease
in Yahoo directory listing productivity: This raises the question of whether to
renew, or not to renew Yahoo directory listings. Please see the below

Just as we were writing this newsletter, in a major shocker to the Search
Engine Marketers, Yahoo announced that they are buying Inktomi. As you may know
Inktomi is a search provider to such search engines as HotBot and MSN. It is very
likely that Yahoo may change their main database to Inktomi sometime in 2003.
However keeping Google as an alternative is also very likely.

In other news, Overture announced renewal deal with MSN and AltaVista
revamped it's website. HotBot one of the major Inktomi sources also recently
redesigned their website to offer more searching options from other sources.

At this point we would like to take the opportunity and thank the many
clients that came to see us in person at the Internet World convention at the Javits
center in New York City in October. We were happy to answer questions and
present our services. You can see some pics from our booth at:

Feel free to forward this email to all your friends that have websites who
may benefit from this information.

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2- Yahoo Renews Google Deal and Buys Inktomi
In first week of October, Yahoo announced that it has renewed its
relationship to use Google's results as part of its search listings. In addition, Yahoo
made great advances to end its barrier between human-edited and crawler-based
search results.

Since its earliest beginning, Yahoo has used human editors to organize its
directory structure. Because of the nature of a directory system, Yahoo has
always been reliant on a spider-based default search mechanism to provide
search results when no directory match is present.

Historically, Yahoo has paid the third-party search providers for the
queries made through their system. Yahoo's first default partners in order were Open
Text, Alta Vista, Inktomi - and then Google. Google is the first engine to
ever win two contracts from Yahoo.

Google was paid $7.1 million by Yahoo for the search queries it handled
during 2001.

The new changes to the search results of Yahoo are that of a hybrid. Sites
are displayed based on relevancy and are a combination of both Yahoo directory
listings, along with Google search results.

Moreover, one of the subtle changes that was implemented earlier this month
is that Yahoo will be displaying four Overture paid listings at the top of the
page, rather than three. This will benefit PPC users by allowing one
additional money slot. Taken from a recent Yahoo press release:

"You may have noticed that the Yahoo! Search results
look a little different. As part of our ongoing efforts to
offer you the easiest and most rewarding
search experience, by default we now list results ranked by
relevancy that combine web page matches from both third
parties and the Yahoo! Directory.
Previously, by default we listed search results from the
Yahoo! Directory and third-party search engine providers
separately. Directory listings can still be viewed
separately by clicking on the "Directory Site Matches"
option in the navigation bar located below the search box.

Yahoo! Search returns comprehensive results that match the
words you entered. The results are divided into four main

- Inside Yahoo!: Relevant products and services from within
The Yahoo! network
- Directory Category Matches: Relevant categories in the
- Directory Sponsor Matches: Paid listings for commercial or
product-related searches
- Web Matches: Search results from third-party search engine
providers, combined with listings from the Yahoo! Directory

We are committed to offering consumers and businesses the
best possible search service on the Web. From time to time,
we enhance Yahoo! Search and the Yahoo! Directory to help
achieve our goal."

In a major shocker to all Search Engine Marketers, Yahoo announced on
December 23rd that it would be purchasing Inktomi, a major search engine database
provider to various search engines, including HotBot, MSN and LookSmart.

As you may remember month ago Yahoo was evaluating its options to renew with
Google or go back to Inktomi. They decided to stay with Google, but now that
they have bought Inktomi, things may change in a few months.

Inktomi, which has been performing purely and struggling to survive,
recently cut its workforce, eliminating 85 positions, leaving itself with 300
employees. Yahoo's news of purchasing Inktomi is very welcoming to those who believe
Google monopolizing the search results is not a good thing for searches on the

At this point we do not know how this change will affect the current Google
results in Yahoo. However, we expect to see some kind of change in about 3
months from now, when the Inktomi deal closes. It is possible that Google
results will remain alongside Inktomi. It is also possible that Inktomi
Express Paid Submission will be offered alongside Yahoo Paid Inclusion as a bundle.
We would like to remind our readers that as an Inktomi affiliate we are
offering Express Paid inclusions into Inktomi from our website at:

For related info, please see:
Yahoo to buy search-software maker Inktomi

Inktomi Announces Staff Reductions


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3- Yahoo's New Change: Is It Worth Renewing Annual Inclusion
An Editorial by Andrew Arenson

Let me start by saying that I am a Yahoo fan. As an optimizer, I have always
known that getting a great Yahoo directory listing for a client was the
surefire way to take a brand new website, hot off the assembly line, and generate
business for it within a few days. Clients loved it, I loved it - everybody
was happy.

I have stuck through think and thin; however now I am personally
reevaluating my Yahoo patronage.

Since the earliest days of the Internet, Yahoo has been the leading
contributor of qualified site traffic to the majority of commercial websites online.
However, with the recent changes - Yahoo's "unique" directory referrals are
virtually nonexistent.

The question that is inevitably being asked by webmasters, SEO companies and
business owners alike is will the $299 Business Express Directory listing be
worth it for new or renewing clients?

As it stands today, the answer is yes. The facts are pretty simple. The
search engines have been making the pilgrimage towards relevancy via link
popularity for years. Yahoo has long been one of the most credible sites in regards to
link popularity hence; Yahoo's link popularity does, and will continue to pack a

For many months now, I have personally noticed that sites that do not have a
Yahoo directory link, were not accepted into Google in a timely manner.
However, sites that were submitted and accepted into the Yahoo directory were almost
immediately found in the Google database. This is proof of the power of
Yahoo. While the Yahoo Directory might become obsolete, it will still be one of the
easiest and most powerful link popularity tools. Considering the time and
energy associated with generating incoming links to a website, depending on the
nature of a business, the $300 will most likely be money well spent - at least for
any mid-market or larger company.

One thing is for certain; Yahoo definitely stands to generate more revenue
by displaying Google pages over their own directory pages. In 2001, Google paid
Yahoo over seven million dollars for the right to display pages in their
default search position. Think about the payday in 2003 serving as Yahoo's primary

This simple fact makes us believe that a form of revenue-sharing deal with
Overture might not be far off. With the change, Yahoo is also displaying
four Overture listings at the top of the page - not three.
Let us not forget one thing, Yahoo - as well as most major search engines -
have implemented changes only to revert back to old ways shortly after. The last
major Yahoo change lasted just over 1 year. So, be prepared for anything.
Play it safe - keep the listing - just know that it has become more of a
long-term investment rather than a fast-acting advertisement.


4- Yahoo Changes Business Express Interface

Yahoo recently revamped their Business Express inclusion interface by
expanding information about their services as well as interactive account management
of listings. This is a good thing for several reasons. First, it enables the
client to have control over the annual renewal. Secondly, It opens communication
lines between Yahoo personnel and the client. The following is stated on yahoo's

"Business Express customers will have easy access to all
listings through our new online account management center.
The center offers the following services:

- Upgrade existing listings to sponsored listings
- Submit additional sites to the Yahoo! Directory
- Update your billing information
- Request changes to your listings
- View invoices

Coming from the perspective of a company that continually submits sites
through this system, we are excited at some of the new elements. As time goes on, we
will report about the system and hopeful new add-ons as they appear.


5- HotBot Redesigns Site and Search Options

On December 16, HotBot launched a new website offering search options from 4
sources: FAST, Google, Inktomi and Teoma. This is major change, since up to
this day HotBot was offering no options to pick the data source and all
results were coming from DirectHit (now part of Teoma) and Inktomi. The users are
now able to simply pick their data source before or after the initial search.
There are also some design changes to the website. The most noticeable is a very
trimmed down home page without any ads. It seems that everybody is following
in Google's footsteps. (See below story about AltaVista)

For more info see:



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6- AltaVista Revamps Website

AltaVista released a new streamlined version of their website on November
12th. They also unveiled a new logo. The new design is very trimmed down from the
previous version and again it resembles the design of Google, with no banner
ads on the main page,

For more info see:


7- Overture Signs Deal with MSN and CNN

On September 30, Overture announced that they have extended and expanded
their long-term global search distribution agreements with one of their key
affiliate partners, Microsoft Corp. In doing so, Overture will continue to provide
search results to end-users of the MSN Search Pane and MSN sites through December
2003 and December 2004, respectively, in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

These agreements have also been expanded to include two new markets, Germany
and France. MSN will conduct a test of Overture's search results in Japan on the
MSN Search Pane and MSN.com site following our Japanese market launch, which
will occur in the fourth quarter of this year.

On December 5th, Overture announced that it has signed a 3 year deal with
CNN, winning over Google. Overture will serve up the top five search results for
CNN.com, CNNSI.com and CNNMoney.com.

For more info see:

Overture Announces Expanded Global Search Relationship With MSN

CNN signs deal for Overture's search listings


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