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Search provider Ask Jeeves announced today its plans to acquire Interactive Search Holdings, one of the largest privately owned online media and search companies, in a $343 million deal that is part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its grasp on the steadily growing search market.

Last December, comScore Media Metrix reported that Interactive Search Holdings was the ninth most visited United States property on the Internet. The company was launched in 1999 and is commonly known as “the Excite Network.”

Ask Jeeves will double in size with this acquisition, which includes web properties such as the search engine Excite.com and iWon, among others. This news comes after the announcement that Ask Jeeves will drop its paid inclusion program.

“The acquisition of Interactive Search Holdings will be an important step in Ask Jeeves’ growth strategy,” said Ask Jeeves CEO Steve Berkowitz. “This acquisition will enable us to combine Ask Jeeves’ proven strengths in user experience, search technology and brand development with Interactive Search Holdings’ strengths in distribution and direct marketing. By leveraging these two complementary approaches to search, we expect to accelerate Ask Jeeves’ market share gains in 2004 and beyond.”

As searchers become more sophisticated, the search engines are forced to evolve to keep up with the changing times.

During a session at WebmasterWorld’s Publishers Conference VI, Tim Mayer from Yahoo! Search explained how Yahoo! has improved its abstracts, the presentation of its results pages, and how it has developed a new algorithm designed specifically to focus on longer query searches using more terms. Read more…

This is actually last week’s news but last week was busier than expected so it did not make it to the BLOG.

Yahoo is currently drawing results from Inktomi and filtering those results through its own algorithm. As of April 15, Yahoo will be drawing from its own paid-inclusion search database.

Yahoo has not released details regarding costs and coverage but we expect to hear some numbers sooner than later.

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…

This article will cover the following:

System Upgrades

Change in Editors’ Area

Division of Ownership

Seeking New Search Partners

New Submission Specialist Program

Our Future Plans

– System Upgrades –

Over the past several months, GoGuides.Org has been undergoing some changes. One of the most notable changes is in the scripts that make the directory run. We are still in the process of writing and upgrading that code. Over the next couple of weeks, the foundation for the entire system will be put firmly in place. Expect a dramatic increase in system speed for both searching the directory and browsing topics once these final building blocks are put in place. Read more…

It looks as if Google has stabilized, for now at least. After four months of intense updating and incensed advertisers, the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) finally appear worthy of Google’s reputation. Last week StepForth predicted a major change at Google which happened over the weekend, resulting in the best results we’ve seen in months. Read more…

Yahoo unleashed the biggest surprise of the year today with the formal introduction of their own search engine. While the vast majority of search engine analysts were expecting Yahoo to simply adopt results from the powerful Inktomi database, Yahoo has been quietly and apparently quite effectively developing their own spider, database and ranking algorithms. Last month, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel announced that Yahoo would be moving away from results licensed from Google’s database by the end of this quarter. Read more…

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Thursday, February 12th, 2004

Lycos No Longer A Search Engine!

By Rebecca LiebInternet News.Com

In two dramatic announcements this week, Lycos U.S. said it will shed its portal strategy to become a vast social network; the company also inked a 5-year deal with 24/7 Real Media to outsource display ad sales, ad serving and analytics for its Internet properties.

“This is totally an untapped space. We’ll enter the market already in the leadership position because of where we’ve been,” said Mark Stoever, executive vice president of Terra Lycos, U.S., of the company’s new direction.

He stressed the new business model capitalizes on the company’s experience in online publishing, dating and search. “Lycos will be the first to bring together the entire spectrum of ways people connect online,” he noted.

Lycos says the revenue potential for its new model lies in subscriptions and contextually targeted ads. Google provides contextual ads for Lycos through a deal with its parent, Terra Lycos (Quote, Chart).

The company plans to relaunch its homepage in two weeks as a “hub for personal connections.” That’s step one in a phased rollout with a corresponding national advertising campaign. Lycos search will emphasize enabling users to navigate between various professional, personal, family, business and affinity sites.

Beginning today, more than a dozen Web sites, including MSN, ESPN, Lycos and iVillage, will run full-motion video commercials from Pepsi, AT&T, Honda, Vonage and Warner Brothers, in a six-week test that some analysts and online executives say could herald the start of a new era of Internet advertising. While the ads will allow viewers to close the window displaying the 30-second spots, Internet commercials may well herald a new era in online advertising. Chances are, online-video advertisements will be treated the same way folks treat TV commercials. At least geeks will have more time to eat properly from now on.

We all know just how sadly irrelevant the results can be at Google. The reason for this is that Google has difficulty distinguishing the intended relevance of a search. As a result, search results often include results from web sites that may only include the words searched without actually proving relevant to your needs. Read more…