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The Search Light Newsletter - Vol. 1 Issue #6


                THE SEARCH LIGHT

Guiding your web site to the

            top of the search engines...


17 December 2001                        Vol 1 Issue # 6       

Editor : Kalena Jordan, CEO, Web Rank Ltd


 Welcome to the "THE SEARCH LIGHT".

 You are receiving this monthly newsletter because you
 are one of our clients, you've subscribed, requested
 a free ranking report or quotation via our site, sent us
 an FAQ or someone has forwarded it to you.
 UNSUBSCRIBE instructions are at the end of this
 newsletter. (Replying to this email WILL NOT unsubscribe you).

 If you like this newsletter, please forward a copy of it to any
 friend or colleague who is responsible for a web site and
 would like to improve their ranking in the search engines.


    =>  Editor’s Message
    =>  Sponsorship Notice – Web Rank 20% Off Christmas Sale!
    =>  Feature Article – Search Engine Predictions for 2002
    =>  Industry News – Yahoo! & Overture Ignore All but US & Canada
Looksmart’s New Small Biz Options
                                  Excite – Wanted Dead or Alive?
                                  – AltaVista To Refresh Country Indices                             
    =>  Search Engine FAQ's – How Often to Resubmit?
    =>  Site Spotlight – Australian & NZ Search Engines
=>  Subscribe / Unsubscribe information


Hi readers!

It’s a real sign of the times when you give your husband a domain name
for Christmas. Even more so when he asks for one! Yep, we really are part
of the cyber-generation: working longer hours, forging our own businesses,
tackling global online markets and spending less time with loved ones.

But Christmas is the time to stop, relax, take time out from your PC and spend
it with those you love (and don’t even think about taking that laptop on holidays!)
This is also the time of year to take stock, reassess your goals and take pride in
what you’ve accomplished in 2001.

Maybe you’ve built a web site, perhaps you’ve spent months promoting it,
maybe you’ve even taught yourself how to optimize it for search engines.
Whatever your situation, I sincerely hope the information we’ve provided
in The Search Light over the past six months has assisted you in some way.

If there is any topic you’d like to see covered in future editions, if you want to
send us feedback or if you have a search engine success story or horror story
to share, please email me at the address below, I’d love to hear from you!

That’s it from us this year. We’ll be back In January with our first edition for 2002.
In the meantime, this month’s feature article makes some predictions on how we
see things in the search engine industry developing next year.

On behalf of Web Rank staff, I’d like to wish you and your families all the best for
a memorable Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

Kalena J


Need help to get your site to the top of the search engines?
Don’t have time to optimize your own site? Fear that your
site may not be technically compatible with search engines?

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Search Engine Predictions for 2002
            by Kalena Jordan

Never try to predict the unpredictable. That’s advice I have been given
and advice I am going to completely ignore this month, by attempting to
predict the movements of the volatile search engine industry over the
next 12 months.  Here they are, my personal predictions for 2002:

1.       Increase in Pay For Performance (PFP) Options – when you consider
that a year ago there were only a couple of search engines offering PFP
options, you realize how important PFP has now become (by PFP I mean
Pay-Per-Click options, paid inclusion, sponsored listings and keyword buys).
All the most important search engines now offer some type of PFP option and
every SEO campaign should have some PFP components for best results.

I see this trend increasing, with the major engines and directories expanding on
the range of PFP options they provide, whether in-house (such as Looksmart’s
new LookListings range for small business), or outsourced (such as Yahoo’s
recent partnering with Overture). I also see more traditional SEO’s embracing PFP
for the first time in 2002, as they realize the benefits and results achievable for
their clients and stop fretting over the perceived loss of “purity” of search results.

2.       Increase in Paid Submissions – Looking back to November 2000, Looksmart was
the only one of the major engines and directories to demand payment to consider
a site for submission to their index. Yahoo introduced submission fees for commercial
sites a month later. Both directories hiked up their price to USD 299 during this year,
setting a new standard for the industry and justifying the value of their service via
market share (Yahoo) and the formation of new partnerships with other search
players (Looksmart).

I would hope that Paid Submission fees remain static for 2002, at least for Yahoo
and Looksmart. However I believe we’ll see other engines and directories introduce
a fee for submission to their commercial categories. I think Google could be the first
of these.

3.       Crackdown on Spammers – In their quest for relevant results, Google recently introduced
the Report a Spammer page, ( as well
as a beta page rating tool within their latest Toolbar (
that enables people to rate the quality of sites they find in Google’s index. As well as
enabling people to vote for sites they find providing quality content, this rating tool gives
people the opportunity to report sites using unacceptable spamdexing methods to try and
obtain a high search ranking.

With engines like Google leading the way in the crackdown on search engine spammers,
other engines should follow suit in 2002. As a result, there should be far less spammers
and more relevant results across the search engines by this time next year.

4.       Growth of the SEO Industry - Nothing too Nostradamus about this one. With the importance
of search engines finally sinking in, the need for quality SEO services is booming in the
U.S. and the U.K. I predict this solid demand will continue in 2002, especially in newly
developing markets such as Australia/New Zealand and Europe.

5.       Death of Two Majors – In any industry, there are always winners and losers. I think 2002
will signal the demise for at least two of the major search engines and directories, especially
given relevancy and freshness of results are so important to the market at the moment. If you’ve
been following this newsletter over the past 6 months, you can probably guess which ones I
predict have a foot in the grave already!

6.       One or More Major Partnerships – To survive in an industry as volatile as theirs, search engines
often need to partner with others. I see some major rivals combining in 2002, just to stay alive.
I also see some more major partnerships between online and offline firms, particularly between
search engines, communications and media corporations such as the recent joint venture between
Telecom New Zealand, AOL and Australia’s Seven Network (

7.       Move away from In-House to Outsourced Services – Optimizing for search engines now involves
a lot more than just traditional site optimization. It involves PPC or PFP campaign management,
site copywriting, keyword research, marketing and industry consultation. As search engine
optimization becomes even more complex and time consuming in 2002, more businesses will
realize SEO is a full-time job and not something their marketing or IT staff can do “on the side”.
To get results, they will have to either hire a SEO specialist in-house OR (more cost-effectively)
outsource their requirements from a professional SEO that has the economies-of-scale in place
to get the job done quickly and effectively.

8.       SEO industry Shake-Up – With the growth of PFP & PPC, search engine specialists will have
to keep their skills sharpened constantly in 2002 and keep up with industry developments to
ensure they remain competitive. With consumer watchdogs keeping a close eye (see here:, developing industry standards
and ethics, as well as the crackdown on spammers sure to continue, the SEO industry is sure
to experience a major shake-up next year, with only the most successful and ethical SEO’s
left still standing.

9.       New Technologies – Finally, just like in previous years (think 67 character domains, Ezula,
Zeus, MS Smart Tags), I’m sure there will be some significant technological developments in
2002 that will impact the search engine industry and make us all head for the forums and chat
rooms in a panic. But that’s the beauty of this industry – they don’t call it cutting edge for nothing!


The above article may be re-published as long as the following paragraph
and URL link are included at the end of the article:

Kalena Jordan, CEO of Web Rank Ltd, was among the first
search engine optimization experts in Australasia and is
well known and respected in her field. For more of her tips
on search engine ranking and online marketing, please visit:


Yahoo! & Overture Ignore All But U.S. and Canada

Last month we reported on Overture’s new deal with Yahoo! to provide paid
listings at the top and bottom of Yahoo! search results. But word in the search
engine forums was that some viewers couldn’t see the sponsored matches.

After the initial confusion died down, it was realised that these new Overture
listings were only appearing at and only to those persons visiting
the site from the US and Canada. This has angered some users because this
information should have been revealed up front. Instead, the announcement
from Overture merely stated:

Users who conduct searches at will see search results that
include Overture's top three search listings at the top of the page in a section
called "Sponsor Matches." Users will also see two Overture listings at the
bottom of the page in a section called "More Sponsor Matches."

The fact that “Users” only refers to U.S. and Canadian users is left out. To
some, this is misleading. To others, this borders on false advertising. Why?

Well, imagine you are an Australian SEO who sells services to companies
worldwide. You receive a targeted email from Overture announcing this new
service and sign up immediately, knowing that a large percentage of your
target market worldwide uses You carry on your business thinking
that your new Overture listings are being shown around the world. UNTIL,
you go to check on your own listings via Yahoo and can’t find them. In a
panic you ask your clients in New Zealand if they can see your ad. No luck.
So you ask your U.K. client to try. Same story. You eventually find out what’s
happening. Sure your Overture ad is being shown to U.S. & Canadian users,
but they represent only 10% of your market. You pull your ad in disgust.

This is just one scenario. What about SEO companies worldwide who have
signed up for the service on behalf of their clients? These companies cannot
even see how their client’s ads look on Yahoo, so how can their measure
their effectiveness properly?

It remains to be seen if this situation will change, but we sure hope future
“advertising opportunities” at Yahoo! are more clarified and less hyped.



Looksmart’s New Small Biz Options

It seems as though Looksmart is trying to capture a larger share of the small business
market with the recent introduction of their “LookListings for Small Business”.

As well as the usual Express Submit and Update options, Looksmart have included a
new “Site Promote” product that enables small business owners to have their web
sites listed at the top of Looksmart’s search results for USD 29.95 per month, with no
minimum contract required.

These “featured listings” are similar to Google’s AdWords program, in that searches
for particular keywords or phrases trigger what web sites appear at the top of regular
search listings. Unlike AdWords though, the featured listings are bought on a monthly
basis (rather than a per click basis) and only cover up to 200 clicks per month.

The program allows web site owners to choose up to 10 keywords they would like their
site to appear on and these can be updated at any time via an account interface.
Looksmart staff determine the relevancy of listings and have ultimate editorial control
over which listings appear for which searches.
LookSmart also makes no guarantees
regarding how frequently your site will appear.



Excite – Wanted Dead or Alive?

Recently, gossip was circulating that search portal was about to be shut down,
following the collapse of former owners @Home and the general loss of eyeballs over
the past 12 months. Certainly, many of the search engine newsletters (including this one!)
were reporting Excite’s imminent demise, particularly after it was recently revealed that
the Excite search database was to be phased out in favour of Overture search listings,
backed up by an Inktomi feed.

However, a visit to the portal today reveals that these reports may have been premature.
Many of Excite’s recently canned features are back and there is a large banner on the
site claiming “A New Beginning”, with a welcome message from “the new Excite team”.

While there are no clues on the site as to the identity of this new team, (we hear through
the grapevine that it was bought by search company InfoSpace), it does say they were
able to purchase Excite because they received backing from two of the country's largest
investment firms. They also reveal they had to manually rebuild the site from the ground
up, because they were not given access to the code that ran the former site.

The team’s self-proclaimed mission is “To restore Excite to its former glory”. While their
dedication is admirable, it may just prove to be a mission impossible.  

More :


AltaVista To Refresh Country Indices

AltaVista has rolled out their Express Inclusion service to each of their indexes worldwide.
AltaVista operates more then 20 country sites, each of which has its own index. Site owners
can now add their URLs to any of these country indices, as long as the URLs are relevant to
the countries selected. This move indicates that AltaVista will finally be updating their various
country indexes for the first time in many, many months.

 What isn’t clear is whether other country domains already submitted to the main AltaVista
index via Express Inclusion will remain in that index. Or whether existing listings in country
indexes will disappear in favour of those who now pay to be indexed. It’s also not clear
whether your country domain submissions end up in the main AV index. If they did and if
AltaVista keeps their indexes fresh, it would be a real bargain.

 Pricing for a 6 Month Subscription is as follows:                        

                                    First Country Index         Each Additional Country Index

URL 1                           USD 20                         USD 15
URL’s 2-10                    USD 15                         USD 10
URL’s 11-500                 USD 10                         USD 5



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            Concerned about link popularity?
            Find out how many other sites
            link to yours from MSN, AltaVista,
            Lycos and HotBot using this free
            link popularity checker:


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 SEARCH ENGINE FAQ'S : How Often to Resubmit?

Web Rank answers your search engine questions.
Please submit your FAQ's

From: Sarah Brennan

I’m the Webmistress for my company and I’m slowly
learning about how to optimize our web site. But I’m
confused about how often to resubmit our URL to the
search engines. Is monthly enough, or do I need to
submit weekly to the more important ones?


~~~~~~~~~~ Kalena's Response ~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Sarah

Many webmasters make the mistake of over submitting
their site to search engines. Truth is, most crawler-based
engines will find your site on their own by crawling other
web sites that link to yours.

When you first launch your site you should invest some
time into carefully submitting to the Paid Directories such
as Yahoo and Looksmart, as well as the all-important
Open Directory Project. Your listing in these directories
will automatically boost your link popularity on other engines.

Most crawler-based engines will eventually find your site
after this, but if you want to speed things up, you can submit
your main URL (not all your pages) to the major engines:  

There is usually no need to submit more than once,
because most search engines will automatically re-index
your site when they refresh their own indexes. If you find
your site is still not listed after the usual indexing times:
you can try resubmitting your URL again.



Please submit your FAQ


SITE SPOTLIGHT: Australian & NZ Search Engines

Ever wanted to know the most popular Australian
and New Zealand search engines and directories?

We’ve put together a comprehensive list for you
on our web site. Click here for details:  


Last month we discussed several important topics including:

- How to Target Your Niche Markets
Lycos Re-Launch Reverses Damage
- Hasta La AltaVista, Baby!
- Yahoo! Bows To PPC Pressure
- Fast: The Next Google?                                

If you missed these or other key topics, you can find back
issues of The Search Light at:  


The information presented in The Search Light has been compiled from
various sources for the benefit of our clients. You should not rely on
the information contained within this newsletter as detailed advice.
No part of this newsletter may be copied without permission from
Web Rank Ltd, the copyright owners 2001.  You may forward this
newsletter, as long as it's kept in its entirety.



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