Submit Express Newsletter


Submit Express Newsletter #56
July 19, 2002


1- News Summary: Google, Overture and Lycos News
2- New Overture Bidding System Unveiled
3- Teoma Launches Toolbar
4- Ask Jeeves partners With Google
5- FTC Asks Search Engines to Distinguish Paid Listings


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1- Intro

This issue is going out a little later than intended, due to our
very busy schedules.

June was a good month in the world of search engine optimization
as Google began and completed a large indexing crawl towards the
end of the month. As it stands today, the crawl is complete and
countless thousands of companies around the world are breathing a
sigh of relief. However, it appears that many sites were also
skipped. Google has stated that some sites may have been down
while they indexed and therefore they were not included. This is
as a result of making their indexing faster than usual and only
visiting many pages one time, rather than several times in the

Some of the biggest news in SEO is that Overture unveiled a new Auto
Bidding tool that enables companies to have greater control over their
PPC bidding range. We have compiled an introductory overview of this
new program below and although the information we have written is
mildly dry we will continue to push it to its limits and will report
on pros and cons of the program as we find them.

Lycos, in conjunction with FAST, has recently made back-end changes to
enhance the relevancy and of its searches. Essentially, Lycos is
utilizing the 2.1 billion page FAST search index. FAST has stated that
they are refreshing their index every 9 to 11 days which translated to
better Lycos and FAST search results for all! Additionally, Lycos is
now including PDF pages in their search results.

In other news, Ask Jeeves partners with Google and FTC Asks Search
Engines to Distinguish Paid Listings. See full stories below.

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

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2- New Overture Bidding System Unveiled

On June 26th Overture launched a new way of managing your bids. This
new method is called Auto Bidding.
One of the visible changes due to Auto Bidding is the way the Overture
listings appear. Instead of Cost to Advertiser, the listings now show
Max Bid. The max bid is not always the actual bid price that an
advertiser pays. You can still use the traditional method, which is now
called Fixed Bid, however you will not be able to determine who uses
Fixed or Auto Bidding.
Auto Bidding will allow you to save money in most cases. For example,
if you set your Max Bid to $0.45 and the next highest listing has a Max
Bid of $0.40, you only pay $0.41 per click -- saving you $0.04 for
every click. When other advertisers change their bids, Auto Bidding
will change your bid price for you automatically up to the Max Bid
amount you have selected and give you the best position available.
As we see it, this will help business save money and better control
their positioning with less overall management of listings.
On the other side of the coin, this program will eventually and
inevitably create more competition and drive prices up. Due to the
automated nature of this system, we believe this new program will pit
advertisers against one another in a slightly different way that the
prior "fixed" bidding process as companies will never really know
exactly how much money their competitors are paying for click thrus.
This program evidently launched with a bang as the first 48 hours after
the launch of the program, the Direct Traffic Center was moving at a
snails pace however the program seems to running smoothly now.
The Auto Bidding Tutorial provides a simple and thorough overview of
the new process. You can access it through the following page:


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3- Teoma Launches Toolbar

Teoma in an effort to gain prominence has launched its own custom tool
bar. While strikingly similar to the Google toolbar, the tool offers
some great functions and like Teoma, we highly recommend people
download and experiment with it.

The Teoma toolbar features include: access of the Teoma search engine
without being on their homepage, an online dictionary, keyword
highlight functions, and the option to email web pages to friends with
a simple click. Note: we really like the dictionary function, which is
provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary online.

The Teoma toolbar can be downloaded from:


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4- Ask Jeeves partners With Google

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.

The Google ads will start appearing on the Ask Jeeves and Teoma sites
starting September 3rd in the sponsored sections. The deal with Google
will result in higher revenue for Ask Jeeves, almost double from what
Ask Jeeves would have made if they had stayed with Overture. Although,
the specifics of how the revenue will be divided by the companies has
not been disclosed, the companies have stated that most of the share
will go to Ask Jeeves.

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:

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5- FTC Asks Search Engines to Distinguish Paid Listings

The Federal Trade Commission has recommended that search engines
displaying paid search results to make their paid listings
distinguishable or they could potentially face legal action.

FTC's action was in response to a complaint filed a year ago by
consumer advocacy group Commercial Alert. The complaint specifically
named AltaVista, AOL Search, Direct Hit, iWon, LookSmart, SN Search and

The FTC has been contacting major search engines and asking them for
"clear and conspicuous" disclosure of paid placement in search results.

AltaVista has already made the change from "Products and Services" to
"Sponsored Matches" after receiving a letter from FTC.

AOL and Netscape may not need to make any changes as they made this
change recently when they replaced Overture sponsored results with
those provided by Google. The term "Partner Search Results" was
replaced by the term "Sponsored Links."

A few months ago, Lycos also changed its labels to "Sponsored Search
Listings," in response to both the Commercial Alert complaint and to
independent focus group testing.

In April, a study by Consumer Reports publisher Consumers Union, found
that 60 percent of U.S. Internet users were unaware that some search
engines accepted paid advertising in their search results. 80 percent
of the respondents said that it was important for a search engine to
disclose such paid listings.

For more on this story, see below:

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