Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

Changes Afoot

Moments ago our PPC Expert, Scott Van Achte caught a quick preview of the latest Google rankings; it appears there is a serious Google Dance happening at this very moment. We noticed drastic differences in backlinks (link popularity) and placements. In our case, our links popped from 220 to over 750 in mere moments but then they were back to 220 a few minutes later.

It is clear that Google is updating their datacenters so brace yourself for a new round of havoc… lets hope this one is spam-free.

About one month ago we noticed that a healthy chunk of our traffic was coming from a search engine in China called In this case the actual site was and the search engine had honed in on Jim Hedger’s mp3 recorded interview with the BBC regarding Google’s possible IPO. Since StepForth primarily promotes english-oriented search engines, this was the first time we had ever seen So we decided to do a little digging on this search engine. Now according to an article from Reuters found on ZDNet, Baidu is among a host of Chinese search engines that are looking to make a dent in the search engine industry! In fact, the CEO of an up and coming search property bought by Yahoo! in November (anyone left out there?) said that his job is to “kick Google’s ass.” Read more…

Friday, March 12th, 2004

AskJeeves Gets Some Muscle

Further to my AskJeeves Exclusive posted last week there have been some significant changes in the AskJeeves empire. For one thing it doubled in size on March 5th as it bought Interactive Search Holdings, a privately held company in Irvington N.Y. with over $100 million in annual revenues and 200 employees for between $362 million US. Interactive currently owns a family of popular web sites including and As of this purchase, Ask owns the “12th-busiest group of Web sites in January, attracting a total of 23.8 million unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix, a research firm. Read more…

Right now AskJeeves has a search engine that, in my opinion, is truly impressive. The natural language processing and wealth of quality information in their database has become so good that searching by query actually provides relevant results 90% of the time! This is a vast improvement over the original natural language system that Ask had in place just a year ago. When asked what made AskJeeves so different from its competitors, Jim answered decisively that it was Ask’s search technology that put it in a category all of its own. Why the technology? Read more…

It appears that Yahoo!’s bold and less than brilliant foray into ” Looksmart-like ” paid inclusion may have been the final nudge that AskJeeves needed to shut down their paid inclusion program, Index Express (not Index Connect which is Inktomi). This significant shift of AskJeeves away from their 18 month-old paid inclusion program appears to be a timely distancing from the pending storm coming to Yahoo! after it announced its new Site Match system. Read more…

It seems that the Ask empire has been quietly innovating while the search engine world focused on the ever public battle between the top 3 search properties. Recently Ask launched “Smart Search” which VP Jim Lanzone noted as “more of an ideology than a brand name”. Read more…

Since December 2003, StepForth has been using Clicktracks to analyze the statistics associated with some of our client web sites and the results have been very revealing. We are extremely impressed with the results provided by this software which is why were glad to hear that the smaller company Clicktracks tied with statistics giant WebTrends as the Best Marketing and Analysis Product available. The award was handed out by the prestigious website and has been added to the long list of amazing awards that Clicktracks has won since its inception. Read more…

StepForth's WebProNews Profile The following is an interview I had with Garrett French, Editor of The article is focused on the nuances of the Inktomi Database. Enjoy!

You can find this article at the following WebProNews Forum URL: (at the bottom of the page) Read more…

The duplicated article was pulled from, however, Google remembers:

The Google Cached Copy – Live Version

Now since this cache is not likely to stick around either, here is a downloadable version of the Google Cache in PDF format – Archive Version

Garry Grant, CEO of SEO Inc. replied to Lee Roberts, The Web Doctor when he asked about using StepForth’s copyrighted content (see Jan 8th, 11:18 AM Post for background info):

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have no clue who is copying from who but this was written by our PR firm. I am going to remove the info as there is no way to confirm or deny what transpired.

Do you find it as odd as we do that a PR Firm is writing the articles under Garry Grant’s name? Or even more odd that the PR Firm is taking content from StepForth’s newsletter or web site?

I don’t know about you but I believe in writing my articles myself.

Oh and again, if you have any doubt as to who wrote this article click here to see a search for what the world other than SEO Inc. thinks.

What do you think? Tell us at