Submit Express Newsletter #59
January 30, 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2- Search Engine Review 2002
3- The Top Searches of 2002
4- Google Launches Shopping Search Engine Froogle
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First of all, we would like to announce that we have added some incredible
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Meta Tag and Keyword Analyzer will give you ranking advice by checking your
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show your keyword density, Page Load Time and Page Size. The tool can be
Page Snooper allows you to check on the source code of your website or your
competitors website. This is a good tool for seeing exactly how search
engines would index your page. For example, sites using redirection may not
be indexed correctly. The tool can be found at:
Second, we would like to present you with this special issue of Submit
Express Newsletter, which provides a summary of major search engine changes
in 2002. 2002 was a historical time for the maturity and evolution of the
search engines. Partnerships and consolidations were the name of the game in
2002 as search engines produced a profit and demonstrated that making money
over the Internet is not just a myth.
We are also publishing a short article on most searched terms of 2002 as
well as an article about the new Shopping Search Engine by Google called
Feel free to forward this link to all your friends that have websites
who may benefit from this information.
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2- Search Engine Review 2002
On May 30th, 2002, Overture announced that it extended a pact with AltaVista
to include its Canadian sites. The deal is a one-year agreement that will
allow Overture to distribute its sponsored listings in the "Products and
Services" section of the North American versions of AltaVista. The pact
extends the companies' relationship, which began in Nov. 2000. AltaVista and
Overture also announced agreements to serve users of AltaVista's German and
UK-based Internet search sites. This announcement comes on the heels of
Overture's three-year contract extension with Yahoo last month. More info
can be found at:
On November 12th 2002, AltaVista released a new streamlined version of their
website. More info can be found at:
In September 2002, China blocked AltaVista search engine, in an effort to
eliminate pornography and "unhealthy material" from reaching Chinese
citizens online. See more info at:
>>>>> Ask Jeeves / Teoma <<<<<
In March 20002, Ask Jeeves the parent of Teoma announced that they would be
providing a paid inclusion program. Since Ask Jeeves now uses Teoma data,
the paid inclusion program will list you in both search engines. The paid
inclusion is $30.00 for the first URL and $18.00 for any URL thereafter. To
In mid-2002, Teoma in an effort to gain prominence launched its own custom
tool bar offering searching capabilities and online dictionary among other
things. For more on this tool see our July 2002 newsletter:
July 18, 2002 - In another battle for the Pay-per-click market share between
Overture and Google, Google won a major partnership with Ask Jeeves,
replacing Overture. This was a very strange partnership, since Google and
Ask Jeeves could be seen as big rivals, especially since Ask Jeeves owns
Teoma, which is comparable to Google in functionality and reputation as
one of the better search engines.
Overture CEO Ted Meisel downplayed the deal, stating: "We are still
winning more deals than we are losing and I think we are winning all
the right ones."
More on this story can be found below:
Other Ask Jeeves news:
Ask Jeeves Introduces Comparative Shopping Service in Partnership with
Ask Jeeves seeks to solve search query
>>>>> Google <<<<<
The biggest search engine story of 2002 was Google, as they became the most
important place to be listed on. Google, which was already the favorite
engine of many, made major distribution deals with AOL, Netscape, Ask Jeeves
and became a more prominent player in Yahoo search results.
Google's immense popularity stems from the unprecedented relevancy of its
search results and this made it the prime reason for winning over
partnerships to other competitors such as Inktomi.
The primary component of Google's ranking algorithm continues to be its
proprietary link popularity technology, and we must agree that this
technology works incredibly well. Google's results are unparalleled, and we
believe that in 2003 Google will continue to solidify its dominance of the
top-tier search engine industry.
In November 2002, Yahoo decided to make a major algorithm change and use
Google as its primary source of search results. This change may have had a
negative effect for some and positive effect for others. After this change,
one question remained: Is It Worth Buying or Renewing Annual Inclusion in
Yahoo for $299. We examined this question in our last issue. Please see more
For more on Google/AOL Deal read our May 2002 Newsletter:
In February of 2002, Google launched a pay-per-click advertising program
called AdWords. By now, you have probably seen the colored ad text boxes on
the right side of the search results. Ads in this section can be bought for
as low as 5 cents per click. For more info or to sign up visit:
Here is some more Google news from 2002:
Ask Jeeves and Google Sign $100 Million Three-Year Deal
Google finds itself in patent suit April 9, 2002
Google challenges Yahoo! as top search engine- May 1, 2002
>>>>> LookSmart <<<<<
On April 9th 2002, Looksmart publicly announced to the world that they had,
as of that day, made the transformation from human edited directory, to
a pay-per-click search engine. With absolutely no notice, Looksmart
changed from their standard $149/$299 one-time paid inclusion fee to
a new program based on a $49 setup and standardized click through
rates of 15 cents per click. This upset many website owners and search
engine marketers. Some even decided to completely give up promotion via
LookSmart. Past LookSmart advertisers were given 100 clicks a month for the
next 20 months, but this did not even seem to be a great value as it comes
up to only $15 a month.
Now that some time has passed and we have tested this new system, we can
tell you that if you can afford to pay 15 cents a click and still make
profit, then this program is definitely worth a look. You can sign up from:
LookSmart allows submission of 10 keywords with a new listing and rankings
of the sites are based on these keywords, site title and description.
Unlike, Overture and other CPC search engines, you cannot pay more to be
However, LookSmart does provide a sponsorship program for larger sites with
over 1000 URL's and using this program, you will be listed higher in the
first 2-3 sponsorship spots, but you may also be paying as much as $2.00 a
For more on this story read our May 2002 Newsletter:
In March 2002, LookSmart announced that they are buying search engine
Wisenut. However,we still have not seen the results from Wisenut being
integrated in LookSmart results. We expect that LookSmart will replace
Inktomi as its secondary search result provider. You can submit your site to
Wisenut using our free submission tool:
>>>>> Lycos / HotBot / FAST <<<<<
For those that are not aware TerraLycos owns both Lycos and HotBot and is
part owner of Fast Search (wwa.Alltheweb.com). Therefore, we are combining the
news on these three search engines.
In 2002 Lycos, who also owns HotBot, formally announced the launch of its
new CPC ad auction. This program is very comparable to other ad-bid programs
such as Google's AdWords. Lycos is offering the inclusion of this new
program at introductory prices. The prices are $50 to open the account, and
minimum bids start at .05 cents per click. The sign up process is very
simple and easy to navigate. Ads will be displayed along the right margin on
both Lycos and HotBot. The program contains the following management
amenities: Complete bid control, Ad creation tips and tools, Access to
frequently change ads, Keyword suggestion tool as well as proprietary
account management tools. We intend on supporting this program as we are
fans of Lycos, however, only time will tell if this program has value for
In December 2002 HotBot re-launched a new slimed down version of their site
offering 4 data choices for searching: Fast Search, Inktomi, Google and
Teoma. For the press release see:
For those that are unaware, Lycos uses data from Fast Search
(www.AllTheWeb.com). You can submit to Fast Search and Lycos using our free
In February 2002, Lycos launched a paid inclusion program in conjunction
with Fast. This program had already been running on Fast website for couple
of months. The program will get you listed in FAST database, which is used
by Lycos. For more info please see our March 2002 issue:
>>>>> Overture <<<<<
On June 26th 2002, Overture launched a new tool for bidding called Auto
Bidding. This new method is designed to save advertisers money, by
automatically lowering the gap between your bid to a penny above the
competitor bidding right below you. However, it could also cost you more in
the long run if you are not careful in managing your bids and you set your
maximum bid too high. For more on this story see our July 2002 issue:
2002 was a busy year for Overture. They renewed two major distribution deals
with AltaVista and Yahoo. The Yahoo deal is to last 3 years. However, they
lost their AOL distribution deal to Google, which includes search engines at
AOL Search and Netscape search.
See details below:
Netscape Goes Google
Overture and Alta Vista Extend Agreement
Overture Solidifies Three-Year Yahoo Partnership
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3- The Top Searches of 2002
Every year a few search engines publish their most searched keywords.
Spider-Man and Shakira are the top climbers at Google. Dragonball and Kazaa
the most popular at Lycos. PlayStation 2 and Britney Spears are highest
climbers at Yahoo. Song Lyrics and Dictionary highest searched on Ask
Jeeves. See more at links below.
2002 Year-End Google Zeitgeist
Yahoo! 2002 Buzz Leaders
Lycos Top 50
Ask Jeeves Reveals Top Searches for 2002
WordTracker - A tool that displays the most Searched Keywords:
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4- Google Launches Shopping Search Engine Froogle
By Dan Thies
Google has recently introduced a "beta" version of their "Froogle" online
shopping search engine. Unlike their well-known search service, Froogle
attempts to provide a searchable index of online merchandise catalogs.
In this short article, I'll describe what Froogle offers searchers, how
online merchants can participate, and offer a few simple tips to make the
most of this new search engine.
What Froogle Offers Searchers
Froogle offers searchers three major features - a directory of products by
category, a searchable index of online products, and the ability to narrow
searches by price range. Froogle attempts to display a price and product
description for each item listed.
If you haven't taken a look at Froogle yet, you can see how it looks at
http://www.froogle.com or the original address, froogle.google.com.
At the moment, the search results are not sorted by price, so it's likely
that Google's famous "PageRank" system is responsible for determining which
sites end up on the top at Froogle, at least for now. However, searchers can
input a price range to narrow down their search.
How To Get Your Catalog Into Froogle
Google has already been actively searching the web, including many online
product catalogs, to build the Froogle database. For many online merchants,
there's a good chance that Froogle already has some products listed.
However, letting Froogle search your site is not the only way, nor the best
way, to participate. Google also allows merchants to provide a "data feed"
listing their products, descriptions, pricing, and URLs. In a moment, we'll
discuss why this is important to you.
Google has been kind enough to provide instructions on getting your online
store listed in the Froogle index, on their "Information For Merchants"
page: http://froogle.google.com/froogle/merchants.html - at this time,
Froogle is only open to merchants doing business in US dollars who take
online orders and ship products to US customers.
How To Profit From Froogle Search
Because Froogle appears to favor the "big box" online retailers, it may at
first appear that there isn't much advantage in participating. However, my
experience with earlier price-shopping portals like MySimon has given me a
little insight into winning strategies that even the "little guy" can win
Tip 1: Control The Content
If you spend just a little time surfing around Froogle, you'll see very
quickly that some products have clear and enticing descriptions, while
others seem to be random snippets from the product page. Those with clear
descriptions are from the sites that have taken the time to give Froogle a
data feed. It's not enough to show up in the search, if the searcher doesn't
click through to your site.
It appears that Froogle allows merchants to make their product descriptions
into miniature sales pitches. At the moment, Froogle is just a beta test,
but if it becomes a popular service, it might be well worth engaging the
services of a professional copywriter to create your product descriptions.
If your online store isn't converting traffic into customers as fast as
you'd like, maybe it's time to do that anyway.
Tip 2: Leverage The Price
Since you're providing Froogle with a data feed, you can set the price
that's displayed on Froogle. While you can't offer Froogle's visitors a
discount on everything, it makes sense to offer special discount prices (and
special product URLs) for Froogle visitors within major product categories.
For example, there is a category on Froogle for "DVD Players." By offering a
loss-leader discount on a low-end DVD player, you will bring more visitors
to your site when they search that category by price.
It's a relatively simple matter to drill down into the Froogle catalog, to
find the names of the major categories your products will fall into. You'll
also want to consider any common keyword searches that might occur, such as
brand names, etc. How many folks shopping for electric guitar strings are
going to type in "guitar strings," and how many will type in "Gibson
strings?" Make sure your product titles and descriptions include brand
names, if those brands have any value in your marketplace.
How To Make The Most Of Every Froogle Referral
Doing a good job of building your data feed, with effective product names
and descriptions, will certainly bring you more traffic. Once you get them
to your store, there are three things you *must* do: close the sale, follow
up on the sale, and provide a reason for that visitor to start their
shopping excursion at your store next time, instead of with Froogle. This is
doubly true if you decide to offer substantial discounts, or even loss-
leaders, to bring visitors to your website.
1. Upsell and Cross-Sell!
If your shopping cart software doesn't let you suggest guitar strings to
someone who's getting ready to buy a guitar, it might be time to shop for a
new cart. If you can't show the person who's about to buy that $49 loss-
leader DVD player why the $99 player is worth the extra money, you're
throwing profits down the drain.
2. Get Permission To Keep Selling!
When someone makes a purchase from you, capture their email address and ask
for permission to send them further special offers. Amazon probably brings
in more business by follow-up email than they do from any other source. A
personal email from a customer service representative will dramatically
reduce returns, and increase the number of customers who buy again. The
bigger the sale price, the more important this personal touch will become.
3. Offer Sticky Services And Content!
If you sell 20 kinds of DVD players, try providing reviews of them all, and
side-by-side comparisons. This type of information will bring people back to
your website when it's time to upgrade. The more useful and impartial the
information, the better. There are plenty of ways you can enhance your
website to make it a better shopping destination.
Is It Worth The Effort?
Remeber, right now, Froogle is just a "beta test." Google might expand it,
or they might shut it down, at any time. The fact that Froogle takes no
commission, and charges merchants nothing, should be a strong incentive for
merchants to participate. Beyond that, I have learned not to underestimate
the Google team - a few years ago Google itself was just a research project,
and now they control 2/3rds of all searches on the web.
Hopefully, this article has given you a few ideas about how to compete on
Froogle, and other price-shopping portals. I welcome your feedback (you can
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org), and I'd love to hear anything new
you've discovered about Google, Froogle, or any other search engine.
I wish you success...
Dan Thies is the author of "Search Engine Optimization Fast Start," a step-
by-step beginner's guide to search engine positioning for webmasters and
small business - available now at http://www.cannedbooks.com.
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