The Search Light Newsletter
The Search Light Newsletter
  Guiding your site to the top of the search engines...

15 Oct 2002 - Vol 2 Issue#10  

In this issue...

The Search Engine Soap Opera

Google Wins Yahoo! Deal and Makes History

Google Launches Algorithm-Based News Service

Web Rank Small Business Special

Inktomi Slashes Workforce by 20 Percent

New Zealand Govt. Wins Biz Domain

Yahoo Increases Revenues by 50 Percent

The Search Engine Soap Opera

By Kalena Jordan of Web Rank Ltd

The history of search engines is a bit like the plot of a soap opera. You know - Bo finds Hope, Bo loses Hope, Bo finds Hope again only to discover it's actually Hope's long lost evil twin Princess Gina and so on.
Just like the TV soaps, the search industry has a strange and illogical history. We started with a particular cast of search engines, new ones soon rose up and tried to usurp market share from the originals, some engines jumped into bed with each other, some of the well known characters died or were killed off by the newcomers, "good" engines decide to turn "evil" in the grab for market share, new industry darlings were born and so on.

Those of us who have been watching this particular soap opera for the past few years are quite addicted to all the plot twists and turns. The thing is, search engines seem to have finally come full circle. Most started up originally with a simple premise: to provide a useful service to persons surfing the Internet; a way to search the millions of web sites and find specific, relevant information, 24 hours a day.
However once a few key players became heavily trafficked, search engines became viable advertising vehicles, attracting mega bucks from companies willing to pay them for the privilege of displaying banner ads to the significant number of eyeballs viewing their sites on a daily basis. Soon everyone wanted in on the act. New search engines developed overnight, driven mainly by profiteers, hungry for their piece of the Dot Com boom. The "Who's Got the Biggest Index" game began and the searching public began to demand more relevancy and fresher results. Under pressure from over- inflated company valuations, the Dot Com bubble soon burst and everyone was left covered with the sticky mess of financial accountability.

Meanwhile, savvy webmasters had begun to study how search engines worked in order to understand how to structure their web site code to improve their ranking for target search queries. A whole new industry developed from this activity: search engine optimization. Webmasters who didn't have the time or inclination to learn search engine optimization techniques simply paid others who did. Popular directories such as Yahoo! and LookSmart took advantage of consumer demand for listings by introducing the first paid submission services. Industry players took note of the developments and introduced commercial search engines where web site owners could simply pay their way to the top of the rankings rather than rely on ranking algorithms - voila! - the first pay per click search engines were born.
It wasn't long before smaller search engines and directories followed the lead set by the larger directories and introduced services to assist webmasters to ensure a place for their sites in the search listings - either via a third party partnership with pay per click search engines, or by introducing a new guaranteed indexing service which became widely referred to as Paid Inclusion. Soon it seemed everyone was partnering with everyone else in order to get their cut of the deals being done. Some search engines were cannibalized by others or bought out by inexperienced companies and sacrificed at the altar of mis- management. Search veterans left cash poor by the dot com bust, or unable to cope with the competition, fell by the wayside.
At this point, you could say that the search industry was almost exclusively driven by profit and share price. At many of the majors, the needs of the searcher were temporarily replaced by (or mistaken for) the needs of the shareholders.


   Greetings Readers!

Well it's been a few weeks since our last issue. Since that time we have shifted our Web Rank Ltd head office from Australia to New Zealand and have been busy with many new clients, some of whom found us in Google as a result of the last Update. I am pleased to say that we now service clients in seven different countries, adding France to our list just this week.
But enough about us! This issue of The Search Light is dominated by industry news about Yahoo! and Google. Both major players are enjoying profitability in a challenging market, while poor old Inktomi is suffering.

You'll enjoy this month's feature article too. It demonstrates how developments in the search industry over the past few years can be compared to a plot line from the TV soaps.
Enjoy this issue and remember to visit our daily Search Engine News Blog for the latest industry news and gossip.
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...

  • Google Wins Yahoo! Deal and Makes History
   The fat lady has finally sung. Ending many months of uncertainty and rumor, this week Yahoo announced the renewal of their contract with Google for the provision of third party crawler-based listings as part of their search results. 

Full Story...

  • Google Launches Algorithm-Based News Service
  •    One of the more interesting developments that occurred during our blog hiatus was the BETA launching of the Google News Service. Compiled from over 4,000 sources worldwide, Google News appears to offer the most relevant, up-to-date news available online.

    Full Story...

  • Web Rank Small Business Special
  •    Not achieving the ranking you want in the search listings? Need step-by-step help to make your site more search engine friendly? Got a small budget?

    Sounds like you need our Search Engine Compatibility Report. For a limited time, Web Rank is offering SECR's for less than half price at just USD 99. That's right - $99!

    Tell Me More...

  • Inktomi Slashes Workforce by 20 Percent
  •    Financial woes continue to plague Inktomi, with the announcement this week they intend to slash their workforce by 20 percent by the end of the year. 

    Full Story...

  • New Zealand Govt. Wins Biz Domain
  •    The New Zealand Government has successfully fought for and won the domain by utilizing the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) disputes process after missing out in the initial ballot. Buoyed by their success, the NZ Government is planning to go after and possibly the .net and .org versions as well. If successful, this case could have serious ramifications and set a legal precedent for global domain disputes.

    Full Story...

  • Yahoo Increases Revenues by 50 Percent
  •    According to their third quarter financial results, Yahoo revenues jumped by 50 percent in the past 12 months, up from $166.1 million to $248.8 million. This is impressive, given the demise of tech stocks and the lack lustre market in general. It's clear that user satisfaction and the excellent example set down by Google have had a dramatic impact on Yahoo!'s development strategy.

    Full Story (and more search engine news)

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