Weekly SEO news: 29 July 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the new search engine that has been started by former Google employees. Could this be the next Google killer? How will this affect Google and your rankings?

In the news: current click-fraud numbers, Google's Wikipedia rival Knol is open to everyone, information about PageRank and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. A new search engine from Ex-Googlers challenges Google

A new search engine with the name Cuil.com launched yesterday. Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge and it is pronounced "cool". Could Cuil be the new Google killer that so many companies tried to build?

What's special about Cuil?

During the past few years, many search engines have tried to be the next Google. None of them has succeeded. The difference between these companies and Cuil is the team that stand behind the project:

  • Anna Patterson: worked on Google's search index
  • Russell Power: worked on Google's search index
  • Louis Monier: founder of the AltaVista search engine
  • Tom Costello: worked on IBM's WebFountain project.

The team behind Cuil knows search very well and they have worked behind the scenes at Google and other major search providers.

Why does Cuil think that it's better than Google?

Cuil has four major claims with which it wants to distinguish itself from Google:

1. Cuil claims to have the biggest index

Cuil claims that its index is bigger than Google's and that this is necessary if you want to return relevant results for topics that aren't very popular.

2. Cuil thinks that popularity is not as important as Google says

If Cuil's concept of indexing succeeds, PageRank and linking might be a thing of the past. Cuil thinks that popularity is useful but not for very complex searches.

According to their website, Cuil tries to analyze the content of web pages and to put it into a greater context.

3. Cuil uses a new results page format

CuilInstead of a long list, Cuil returns the results in three columns and it adds images to the search results when possible.

Cuil also offers roll-over definitions and offers ideas to refine your search.

4. Cuil does not collect user data

In contrast to other search engines, Cuil does not log any personally identifiable information. IP addresses, names or cookies are not stored.

That means that user data cannot be turned over to others. AOL published private user information in August 2006 and Google currently has to turn over massive amounts of user data to Viacom.

Are the results really better than Google's?

In our test searches, Cuil returned quite good results. Whether they are better or worse than Google's results probably depends on the query and the needs of the searcher.

Cuil seems to understand the different meaning of words. For example, if you search for "tiger" then Cuil will return results for the animation, the operating system with that name, the golf player and companies with that word in the name on the first result page.

It's hard to tell whether Cuil will be a Google killer or not. There's more to it than simply having a large index and good search results. If that was enough, Yahoo would have a much bigger market share.

Google already did a blog post in reaction to Cuil so the new search engine seems to be something that Google gives a lot of attention.

Cuil is already supported by IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. If you want to want to get a deeper insight on how Cuil ranks web pages, just analyze your website with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. Of course, IBP's Top 10 Optimizer also works with Google and it will tell you what you have to do to optimize your pages for Google's ranking algorithm.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Industry click fraud rate holds at 16.2 percent

"The overall industry average click fraud rate was 16.2 percent for Q2 2008. That's down slightly from the 16.3 percent rate reported for Q1 2008 and up from the 15.8 percent click fraud rate reported for Q2 2007.

The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 27.6 percent."

Google Knol is open to everyone

Google Market ShareGoogle's Wikipedia rival Knol is now open to the general public: "The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good."

How accurate is the Google keyword tool's volume estimates?

"There was a fair amount of fuss made about Google’s decision to include ‘real’ numerical volume data in the keyword tool update [...] This disparity between the accuracy of the average impressions and the June impressions suggests to me that Google has manipulated the results."

Editor's note: Among other keyword suggestion tools, you can access Google's keyword tool in IBP's keyword manager.

Microsoft tries to one-up Google PageRank

Rank"A big part of Google's rise to search engine leadership was an algorithm called PageRank [...] Microsoft researchers and academic collaborators, though, detailed an idea this week it calls BrowseRank that seeks to bring more of a human touch to that assessment."

New Google toolbar PageRanks coming

"I wanted to let you know that new toolbar PageRank values should become visible over the next few days. I'm expecting that also in the next few days that we'll be expiring some older penalties on websites."

Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo integrates news into the regular search results.
  • Italy is to file charges against Google executives.
  • Google's Begun growing very fast.
  • Ballmer's catch-22 problem with search ads.
  • AdSense farms get a free pass from Google.
  • How the colorblind see Google.
  • What’s Google News worth? $100 million.
  • The Better Business Bureau rates Google as Unsatisfactory.
  • Google walks away from Digg deal.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

3. Success stories

"Many thanks IBP."

"I have had a website for over 4 years and was lost somewhere on page 357 or there abouts. My AdWords were costing me more than the profit I was making.

Using IBP I changed my website address and arranged my site as advised. Within 4 weeks I appeared on page 1 and began moving up to position 1 with related search words. It's absolutely amazing to see my site at the top of a search. Many Thanks IBP. "
Barrie Cavanagh, www.mogosmojodiecastmodels.com.au

iBusinessPromoter is now available in version 10.2

The new version has an improved keyword manager (now with search numbers from Google) and an improved link builder. You can download it here.

Share your success story with us

Let us know how IBP has helped you to improve your website and we might publish your success story with a link to your website in this newsletter. The more detailed your story is, the better.

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4. Previous articles

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