free search engine optimization newsletter higher ranking high search engine ranking free newsletter
free search engine newsletter search engine placement positioning newsletter

The Search Light Newsletter - Vol. 2 Issue #4




                THE SEARCH LIGHT

          Guiding your web site to the

            top of the search engines...



21 April 2002                        Vol. 2 Issue # 4       

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
    =>  Feature Article  – LOOKs Can Be Deceiving
    =>  Industry News   – Google Becomes Most Used Search  
Search Engine Strategies Sydney Update
Looksmart’s New PPC Model
Google Slapped With Overture Lawsuit
Looksmart AU Does Deal With Yahoo AU 
Court Orders Site to Drop Competitor References
Yahoo Resets User Accounts to Receive Spam
    =>  Search Engine FAQ's – Should You Use a Company Name in the Title 
    =>  Site Spotlight – Obligation Free SEO Quotation
=>  Subscribe / Unsubscribe information


Dear Readers,


This month’s feature article WAS going to be a review of
WebPosition Gold’s version 2 BETA software, as well as
an exclusive interview with FirstPlace Software President
and WebPosition Gold creator, Brent Winters.


However certain pressing issues developed this month with
Looksmart, which made me change my mind. Because I feel
so strongly about these issues, I’ve decided to focus on them
this month and hold over my software review and interview
until next month.


A full overview of the new Looksmart model is included in our
news section, while the feature article this month reveals my
frank opinion of the changes. Suffice to say, Looksmart have
lost my faith, my support and now my business.

Read on if you dare!

Kalena J



Trying to manage a Pay Per Click campaign at
Overture? Don’t have time to check and update
your bids regularly? Ever find you’re over bidding?

In an independent review by Web Rank,
performed as the best bid management software
for managing Overture campaigns. BidRank uses
its automated bidding ability to control your bids,
aiming for your target rank but always within your
set bid maximum. With its revolutionary “Gap Surfing”
technology, BidRank closes costly bid gaps,
ensuring your bid is always the most cost effective.


Click Here to get your BidRank FREE TRIAL:
Mention Coupon Code WR 007 to obtain a 5% discount!


LOOKs Can Be Deceiving         
                     by Kalena Jordan

You may have heard that Looksmart Ltd have made some changes to their business model lately. In fact, Looksmart have made the profit-driven decision to move from a Paid Submission based directory to a Pay Per Click based directory.


The first warning shot was fired on April 3rd, with an email to existing Looksmart customers announcing the impending launch of Small Business Listings:


“Based on feedback from customers like you, we’ve merged and enhanced the
benefits of our ‘Submit’ and ‘Site Promote’ products into one product called
Small Business Listings.”


Hmm… we thought, smells like pay per click. Discussion boards and forums
worldwide were rife with rumours, complaints and concerns. Feedback? What
feedback? Nobody put their hand up to say they had asked for a PPC model.


Next came machine gun fire in the form of an email sent to existing Looksmart
customers on April 12th:


“LookSmart has launched Small Business Listings, our first pay-per-click
product for small businesses. This new, improved product replaces both
Submit and Site Promote… Your account has already been updated and
is ready for you to log in. We've waived the $49 per listing set-up fee. We'll
give you $300 in free clicks per listing. Each month for the next 20 months
you'll receive a $15 credit per listing in your account – starting today.”


I should take a moment to point out that currently, these changes apply to only, not regional directory versions. Meanwhile, new customers were asked to pay a $49 “set-up” fee and an initial account deposit of at least $150 towards future clicks. Existing Express Submit customers who paid the $199 or $299 one-time submission fee discovered they were only entitled to a maximum of 100 clicks per month instead of the unlimited number of clicks they were receiving under the old model. Ouch. What’s more, Looksmart demanded that these customers log-in and “activate” their accounts by July 11th (by entering their credit card details) in order to receive their “free” clicks.


All types of conflicting assumptions and questions began appearing on the
forums and discussion boards. “What happens if I don’t activate my account?”,
“Will existing listings stay the same if you do nothing?”, “Will my site be
dropped if I don’t activate”, “What happens to my Looksmart listings on
MSN?”. So confusing and misleading was the announcement from
Looksmart that some people thought they were getting a huge bargain
while others believed they were getting ripped off big time. To make
matters worse, the Terms of Service and FAQ’s for the new Small
Business Listings on the Looksmart site seemed to show conflicting
information that changed each day we looked.


But it took a couple of days for the true deception to sink in. Once people
began to log in and activate their accounts, it wasn’t long before they
started receiving “Listing Traffic Interruption” emails from Looksmart
announcing their sites
had already received the 100 “free” clicks allocated

as part of the new deal and would consequently receive no more traffic
for that month, unless they increased their monthly budget (in other words,
agree to pay $0.15 per click for all additional visitors that month). One of my
colleagues received this email within 8 hours of activating his account,
which meant that he was previously receiving more than 300 clicks per
DAY, let alone the oh so generous 100 clicks per month that Looksmart
were offering him as part of the new deal. He worked out that he would
need to add an additional $1,300 to his account each month, just to
maintain the level of traffic Looksmart were providing him under the
old system! Upgrade? I think not!


Here are some interesting tid-bits I’ve discovered about the new model:


-          Unlike regular Pay Per Click models such as,
Looksmart are not giving customers control over their bid amounts
and also providing no way to regularly update their listing description
without paying $49 each time for the privilege.

-          Sites previously receiving an unlimited number of clicks per year
via the old system are now restricted to 1,200 clicks per year, unless
they fork over more money.


-          The new system has a $15 per month minimum spend requirement.
This means that if a listing fails to generate $15 worth of click
revenue for LookSmart in a particular month, the site will still be
billed for that entire amount

-          Wording used in Looksmart’s announcement emails seems to
deliberately mislead customers into believing their directory listings
are going to disappear if they do nothing. The fact is that the listings
may or may not be removed – depending on how “essential” the site
is deemed to be by Looksmart Editors.

-          Sites previously ranking well via their existing listings will, in all
likelihood, lose these rankings whether they activate their PPC
account or not, because preference will now be given to those
who buy “relevancy keywords” as part of their listing.

-          By their own admission, Looksmart is unlikely to delist big brand
sites, even if they refuse to pay for the new scheme, because they
are “critical to relevance”.

-          Looksmart claim the new program creates a lower cost of entry
for small business whereas the start up costs actually come in
at $50 more than the old Basic Submit model used by those with
smaller budgets, not to mention the additional click costs.

-          Apparently, LookSmart have been trying to force companies whose
sites were included in the directory for free to convert to their paid
programs. Looksmart’s attitude to these sites is “having a free ride
doesn’t help the business model” and if they don’t convert, they
are likely to be removed.

-          Under the old submission programs, a single web site could submit
up to five different URLs. The new program institutes a one URL
per site limit, dramatically reducing the ability to target and direct
traffic to the most relevant areas of your site.

-          Many people who have activated their accounts and already received
notification that their “free” clicks are used up are checking their logs
and finding discrepancies between the number of clicks Looksmart
say they have provided and the number of actual clicks to their site.

-          Looksmart had the audacity to call this new model an “upgrade”
for existing clients, when in fact it reduces the value of their listing

-          According to industry leader Danny Sullivan, in the past few days,
LookSmart has been automatically migrating accounts to the new
system regardless of whether customers give their permission by
manually “activating”.

Being an SEO, I have multiple Looksmart accounts for my own sites and
those of my clients. I’ve already received six “Listing Traffic Interruption”
emails. But I won’t be giving them another cent. Why? Because Looksmart
no longer offers me or my clients value for money, for one thing. But more
importantly, the deceptive nature of their announcement and their decision
to force existing customers to roll-over into the new system instead of
“grandfathering” their listings demonstrates to me a complete lack of
understanding of their own market.


To put profits before customers might bring some short-term shareholder
joy, but it will also guarantee a growing exodus of disappointed clients and
users as they find more cost-effective and relevant search alternatives. In
my book that’s search engine suicide.


Search engines and directories have done some pretty shifty things over
the years, but never before have I seen such arrogance or disdain for
customers as Looksmart have shown in the past two weeks. A post at the
Web Master World search engine forums sums it up nicely:


“L$ is like the mob and they just busted my kneecaps…”


In fact this whole episode reeks of desperation, profiteering and deception
on such a grand scale, you have to wonder if they are in serious financial
muck. Whatever their motivations, it looks like they’ve already pressed the
self-destruct button.



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:


Google Becomes Most Used Search Engine

Dutch software company this week released a study
that revealed Google has a global usage share of 46.5%, making
it the largest search engine in the world, in terms of usage. Runners
up were
Yahoo! at 20.6%, MSN Search at 7.8%, AltaVista at 6.4%,
and Terra Lycos at 4.6%. Thanks to for this heads-up.



Search Engine Strategies Sydney Update

Preparations are well under way for the Search Engine Strategies Sydney
Conference, taking place at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour on June
11 & 12. Keynote speakers include founder of Search Engine Watch,
Danny Sullivan, as well as search engine optimisation specialists, search
technology experts and representative from all the major international
and regional search engines.


The conference will have a special focus on the Australian and New
Zealand search market and issues particularly relevant to our region.
I’ll be speaking at a couple of sessions, including Designing Search
Engine Friendly Sites
and Successful Site Architecture, so if you do
attend, make sure you say hello!


Whether you are completely new to search engine promotion or an
experienced marketer wanting the latest search engine industry news,
you’ll find this conference extremely valuable. A full agenda is now
online at the URL below and if you book now you can take advantage
of early bird savings.





Looksmart’s New PPC Model

Looksmart have taken the recent and highly controversial step of transforming themselves from a Paid Directory model to a Pay For Performance model, removing their Express Submit directory submission service in the process.


You now must pay a set up fee and pay again when visitors click on your listing, rather than pay for once for a site review when submitting your site. The "relevancy keywords", title and description chosen during the set up of your listing now determine when your site appears for searches. There is no free submission option to Looksmart and the only way to get your site into their directory is to either pay for their Small Business Listings or submit your site via the Zeal directory (for non-profit sites only). 


Important: Existing Looksmart Express Submit customers have had their sites automatically transferred to Small Business Listings. This means that although existing customers paid a "One Time Review Fee" of $199 or $299 for a site review & listing with no set expiry period, they are now only entitled to $300 worth of free clicks at the maximum rate of 100 clicks per month (meaning, unless you pay more money, your site will be only be listed in Looksmart for the next 20 months). 


For those new to Looksmart, Small Business Listings set up involves:


1) Create Your Listing for a Set Up Fee of USD 49 which includes:

- site description & title
- "relevancy keywords"
- directory category


2) Set Your Monthly Budget:

- set your maximum monthly budget
- set your maximum click rates for each URL
- your account is debited USD 0.15 per click thru
- minimum USD 150 account deposit


3) Account Management


- traffic reporting
- automatic monthly account refills (from your nominated credit card)
- adjust your budget
- update description, title and relevancy keywords
- bids monitored automatically
If you’ve read this month’s feature article, you’ll know how we feel about the new model and why we believe it offers no value to our customers. If you want to try Looksmart’s new service and outsource the management of it, feel free, but you’ll need to use a different firm to Web Rank, as we are no longer recommending or managing any Looksmart products.




Google Slapped With Overture Lawsuit

Overture slapped Google with a lawsuit this month, claiming their search
patents had been infringed upon. The patents apply to Overture’s account
management tools and bid for ranking system.


What’s strange about this lawsuit is that the Google AdWords Select pay
per click model operates in very different way to Overture’s patented model.
Google results are ranked by the amount of click-thus, rather than by bid
amount and their account management system is nothing like Overture’s.
It seems doubtful that Overture will come out of this lawsuit with anything
but egg on their faces. Thanks to Search Engine Watch for this newsbyte.





Looksmart AU Does Deal With Yahoo AU

On the 4th of April, LookSmart Australia announced they had done a deal with
Yahoo! Australia & NZ to serve up "pay-for-position" search results to Yahoo!
The program, called Yahoo! Sponsor Matches, allows Looksmart
Australia to promote its top three paid search listings on
until at least March 2003.

The Sponsor Matches will appear above Yahoo’s own unpaid listings when
specific keywords are typed in to the Yahoo! search box
. Companies pay
LookSmart per click thru and LookSmart pays Yahoo an undisclosed amount
of that revenue. Interestingly, this deal was announced before's new Pay Per Click model was revealed later in the month.

Given the fact that Looksmart Australia will NOT be utilising the new broad PPC model and will instead stick with Paid Submissions (albeit at an increased price), one wonders if they have come up against some type of regional legal barrier to introducing their highly controversial PPC rollover here? Certainly consumer protection laws operate very differently in Australia compared to the U.S. Perhaps the Yahoo deal is Looksmart’s only legal avenue of getting into the PPC arena Down Under? Of course, this is all speculation and only time will tell. If any sharp legal minds out there have the answers, do email me!

More : 

Court Orders Site to Drop Competitor References

A California business has been ordered by a Federal US court to reduce the
number of references to their competitor in their web site. John Harris, a tax
expert located in Charleston, Southern California, was annoyed to find that
searches for his own company name saw his competitor site come up
higher in search engine results.

Investigation revealed some 75 references to Mr Harris’s site from his
competitor Steve Kassel’s site. In the past,
courts have ordered alleged
trademark infringers to remove words from site META tags, but
according to
J.K. Harris’s lawyer,
the injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Claudia
Wilken may be “the first to hobble the search performance of a Web site's
primary content”. Thanks to Search Engine Guide for this newsbyte.

More :

Yahoo Resets User Accounts to Receive Spam

In a move that has outraged consumers, Yahoo has changed their privacy
policy and reset the preferences of their customer’s email accounts to
receive unsolicited mail from their partner companies. In order to NOT
receive the un-requested mail, users must now manually log in and
switch their preference back to “no spam”.

More :



         *-----------------HOT TIP------------------*

            Finding it hard to be removed from
            mailing lists? Getting harassed by
            someone on your email? Tired of
            getting junk email from unknown
            sources? Why not bounce back
            their email so it looks like your
            address has been closed down?

            New MailWasher software does
            all this and is free to download:

         *-----------------HOT TIP------------------*

 Should You Use a Company Name in the Title Tag?


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


From: Angela Clark  


I loved your article on common SEO mistakes. It was
really helpful, and succinct in nature. In the article you
stated that having your company name in the title would 
use up valuable space that could be used for relevant
keywords more efficient in SEO. Although I can see a
point here isn't also true that a company name is an
important part of the title tag in the use of "branding"
and also for recognition, if a user bookmarks that page?


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


Hi Angela


Thanks for your feedback on my article! To answer your
question, yes a company name can be a good source of
branding for a site title tag.


But if the user never finds the site in the first place, they'll
have nothing to bookmark anyway! They'll be more likely
to find the site if keywords are used in the title and that's
the most important thing. Also, keep in mind that many
visitors will change the site’s title in their bookmarks or
favourite’s list anyway – using their own form of referencing.


But if the company name is relatively small or the major
keywords are covered within the first 60 characters, then by
all means include the company name at the end of the title
tag. Just don’t sacrifice valuable keyword real estate to do so.


Hope this helps!


Please submit your FAQ



SITE SPOTLIGHT: Obligation Free SEO Quotation


Does your site need help to rank high in the search engines?
Not sure if your site is search engine compatible? Like more
traffic but don’t think you can afford search engine optimization?

Why not request an obligation free SEO quotation? We have
packages starting at USD99 and can prepare a tailored quote
to optimize YOUR site for higher rankings in the search engines.

Our services have been known to increase site traffic by 650%!

To request your obligation-free SEO quote, simply click here:




Last month we discussed several important topics including:

- Interview With Edward Lewis, Creator of The SEO Consultants Directory
- Google Challenges Overture With PPC Advertising                                
- Search Engine Strategies Conference Heading For Sydney
- Web Position Launches WPG v2.0 BETA
- HotBot Removes Free Add URL Option
- Article Criticizing SEO Buyer’s Guide Makes Waves
- Making Frames-Based Sites Spider Friendly


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



No part of this newsletter may be copied without permission from
Web Rank, the copyright owners 2002.  You may forward this
newsletter, as long as it's kept in its entirety.


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.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of Web
In providing this information, we make every effort to ensure it is
correct and up to date. However, because of the widespread nature of
our information sources, no guarantee is given for the accuracy of
content throughout this publication. Web Rank disclaim all liability in
the event of inaccuracies found.



Web Rank Ltd, Search Engine Ranking Specialists
Visit our web sites :,     



Send Page To a Friend

Web Rank Ltd
Click Here for Contact Details
Web Rank © All material copyright 2000-2003. Disclaimer

Last Updated: December 19, 2010

Valid HTML 4.01Valid CSSMade with Cascading Style Sheets