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LookSmart has signed a deal with Microsoft for MSN to display LookSmart search results at times. The recent agreement, which LookSmart announced yesterday, leaves it up to MSN to decide when to use the listings.
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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 Excite.com and iWon.com. 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…

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.”

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…

Just so y’all know, MSN is currently displaying results drawn from the Looksmart database. Looksmart is still supplying results for MSN to use whenever they need to tweak with Inktomi’s feed.

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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.

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

MSN/Yahoo Shift to Inktomi

For a short time last week, both MSN and Yahoo were displaying results drawn from Inktomi. MSN continues to use results directly from the Inktomi database but it appears that Yahoo has reverted back to results from Google, for the time being. Last Thursday (Jan. 15), MSN dropped results from LookSmart and went pure Inktomi. Yahoo, on the other hand, has announced that by the end of March, they too will have switched over completely from Google to Inktomi generated results. In the meantime, Yahoo seems to be experimenting with results from Inktomi by bleeding them in at different times and in different locations.

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

Smaller, (2nd Tier) PPC Search Tools

Everyone knows about PPC Advertising on Google and Overture. But what about the smaller second tier engines like FindWhat, Kanoodle, GoClick, or any of the other dozens out there? Is it worth your time and money to bother with any of these small fish? Read more…

The Christmas/New Year holiday season is a great time to break bad habits picked up over the years. One habit I will be trying to shake this season is the habit of defaulting to Google each time I do a search. For me, it is a terrible but very real habit to automatically move to the address bar and type www.google.com when I need instant information. With the growing number of off-base results we’ve seen at Google over the past few months, I constantly wonder why I fall creature to such a habit, especially as I know there are better options out there. Read more…

Search is the gateway and guidepost to the Internet. Over the past five years, the business of search has changed from a model resembling a friendly but very well built lemonade stand to the current state of monolithic but often dysfunctional empires built by and around today’s big three (MSN, Google and Yahoo). With tens of billions of dollars at stake, competition between the big three has turned into an all-out business war, the casualties of which are jobs, cool technologies, and ultimately, the current wild-west atmosphere of the Internet. When the dust settles, finding what you are looking for may be a bit more difficult and expensive. There will likely be a major decrease in search options by this time next year and what does exist will likely cost you, unless you are interested in finding information that has been pre-paid for by the supplier (advertiser) as opposed to the consumer (searcher). Google is likely to retain non-paid listings as a priority but that may change if Google issues public shares through a widely expected spring-time IPO. That, however, is then and this is now. Today’s battle takes place between engineers at Overture and Google, with Overture landing a solid upper-cut in the form of Local Search proficiency. Read more…

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