Weekly SEO news: 7 March 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the plans of Google, Yahoo and MSN Search.

In the news: A study finds out that Google and Yahoo are equally relevant, MSN opens its AdCenter 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. Facts of the week: What search engines plan for the future

At the recent Wharton Technology Conference in Philadelphia representatives from Google, Yahoo and MSN Search discussed the future of search technologies.

The big search engine companies have different ideas on how search engines will change over the next few years.

MSN Search wants to focus on the user interface

Saleel Sathe, the representative of MSN Search, claimed that the user interfaces of search engines required significant changes:

"Search engines have shot themselves in the foot by providing a search box, where users provide relatively little information [...]

The average search query is 2.3 words... but if you asked a librarian for information you would not just give them 2.3 words -- you would give them the opportunity to give you the rich detailed answer you want."

Google thinks that technology is more important

Google's representative Matthew Glotzbach argued that the computers should be able to find out what people want:

"In the distant future we will not be able to get you to take more action, because we will get close enough with what you give us. A lot of emphasis will continue on doing that in the background — getting the technology to figure out [what you want] [...]

Larry Page [the co-founder] of Google often says, 'the perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want'."

Yahoo bets on social search technologies

Yahoo's Bradley Horowitz proposed that existing web search should be replaced with social search:

"What we think is the next major breakthrough is social search. It basically democratizes the notion of relevance and lets ordinary users decide what's important for themselves and other users."

Each method has its own problems

MSN's approach might be difficult because people are probably not willing to work more to get information. Most searchers want quick results.

Yahoo's social search approach requires the participation of web surfers. The problem is that many people might not be interested to participate and other people might abuse the system to promote their own sites.

Google faces the problem that is is difficult to find out what a web surfer actually wants when he provides only limited information. This problem could be mastered by saving the search history of web surfers etc. but that leads to other (privacy) problems.

These are interesting times for search. Only time will tell what impact future changes will have on your business. Until then, you should try to get best results with the current search engine situation.
2. Search engine news of the week

Google and Yahoo – a tie!

"Three American search engines were chosen for this study, Google, Yahoo and MSN [...] Google and Yahoo tied for first place, with a rating of 2.3, but the most striking result is undoubtedly the extremely low level of user satisfaction. None of the search engines even passed (2.5 out of 5) and some of the grades were extremely low. [...]

Secondly, there is nothing in this study to explain why web surfers greatly prefer the Google search engine, since overall the performance of Google and Yahoo is more or less equivalent, and ahead of their competitors. We must therefore suppose that the reasons go beyond the criteria of relevance of results."

MSN Search looks to use 'network effects'

"As search continues to grow in scope and complexity [...], search engines will need to make explicit use of network effects between users to help return relevant results from the 'tail.'

The tail of niche information continues to grow and one way to improve the search experience, especially of those niche queries, is to leverage a network or community."

Microsoft opens AdCenter briefly for U.S. advertisers

"Microsoft invites advertisers to enroll in the U.S. pilot of AdCenter, an automated system for advertising on MSN Search. [...]

The Redmond, Wash., company offered a three-hour window [...] for advertisers to join the beta program launched last year in the United States following testing in France and Singapore. Microsoft in the U.S. sign up charged a $5 one-time fee."

Search engine newslets

  • Trexy.com is a new search engine that tries to combine personal search and social search.
  • Yahoo! shuts out branded keywords.
  • Caboodle Networks launches open source semantic search engine.
  • Which color combination is the real Google combination?
  • It seems that Google is testing a new interface for the main page.
  • Vulnerability in Gmail allows hackers to run code.
  • New patents for Google and Yahoo.
  • First pictures of Google calendar?
  • Ask.com has an improved maps feature.
  • New patent suggests Google's watching your mouse.
3. Articles of the week

More on Google’s move into traditional media

"Google plans to serve the long tail of traditional media in the same way it acquired a $115-billion-or-so market cap: by plugging in tiny advertisers."

Microsoft backtracks on timetable to beat Google

"After a top exec in Europe weighs in with a bold prediction, Microsoft tries to bring the rhetoric down a notch. The software giant will compete against the online search engine, but it isn't making any precise predictions."

Click fraud gets smarter

    "'Internet ad-traffic scams could be ripping off as much as $1 billion annually. Are Web companies like Google doing enough to foil them?"

Google users: I can quit anytime

    "As Google's lead grows, competing engines are pursuing creative approaches to attract users, launching site makeovers, specialized search features and prize giveaways. But in order for innovations to cut into Google's dominance, say industry observers, searchers first must be made aware of them."

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

4. Preview of the next ARELIS version - part 5

We're currently working on a new ARELIS version. The new ARELIS version will have many new features and many improvements.

We think that it will be the best and most complete link exchange, link popularity and off-site web promotion solution. In the next few weeks, we'll show a preview of some of the new ARELIS features in this newsletter.

Part 5: Limit the number of links on your link pages - fully customizable

The new ARELIS version will allow you to limit the number of links per links page. Although the theory hasn't been officially confirmed yet, some webmasters believe that a web page should not have more than 50 outgoing links.

The new ARELIS version allows you to specify the number of links on a page. You can choose 10, 20, 30 or any other number of links par page:

Easily split your link pages

In addition, you can specify the look of the "previous - next" links at the bottom of the pages. Just like any other aspect of your link page design, ARELIS allows you to 100% customize these navigation elements.

You can use images, numbers, text and whatever you want. This is another great feature that makes sure that only your pages look like your pages. Only with ARELIS you have total control over the complete HTML source and the design of your link pages. As mentioned in a previous issue of this newsletter, your link pages won't look like link pages at all.

It's a free update for registered users

The features above are only one of many new features that will be available in the new ARELIS version. The new ARELIS version is planned for this quarter. We'll announce its official release in this newsletter.

Although the new version will have many more features than the current ARELIS version, it will be a free update for registered users of the current ARELIS version.

If you haven't tested the current ARELIS version yet, you should do so now.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

5. Recommended resources
UK magazine Computer Buyer about IBP

"Internet Business Promoter has a range of powerful tools to help your web site get noticed. The Top 10 Optimizer is a hugely valuable tool.

If you've ever tried to enter your company's web site on more than one search engine you'll know how time consuming it can be. Save hours of needless hassle with this program."
Computer Buyer, March 2006

" IBP has been a minor investment that has paid off in a large way"

"I just wanted to take the time to thank you for a great product!

I was very frustrated with trying to keep up with the constant changes of search engine algorithms. It was literally impossible for me to figure out why certain sites were rating higher than me. As a result I became frustrated and decided not to focus on search engine optimization anymore.

Recently I happen on an article on search engine optimization tools and was very fortunate to stumble upon a great review on the Internet Business Promoter.

Finally a tool that would dissect the top websites and tell me exactly what I need to change. This was a God send! I decided to give it a try and to my surprise there were so many elements on my website that were pulling me down.

I made the edits and to my surprise within a week or two I started ranking in the top 30 for items I never ranked for. And recently ranked top 10 for some other keywords related to my site.

IBP has been a minor investment that has paid off in a large way within the first few weeks of using it. It's helped take the guesswork out of the top ranking sites and has helped my site be among them. Thanks for creating such a great tool. Keep up the good work."
Eddy Salomon
Work At Home Jobs & More: WorkAtHomeCareers.com

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

6. Previous articles

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com