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Currently the most important spidering search engine by far, Google is dominating the search engine market. See the unofficial Google Directory for more info, tools, optimisation tips and more. It claims to be the World's most comprehensive search engine having indexed over 3 billion Web pages.

Friday

Internet advertising to reach $9.4 billion in 2004

Internet advertising to reach $9.4 billion in 2004
Dow Jones will buy MarketWatch, owner of the financial news site CBS MarketWatch, for $519 million.

That deal is being billed as a way for the publisher of The Wall Street Journal to expand its online audience and capitalize on a revived Internet ad market.

Executives at Dow Jones are not the only ones taking notice.

The Internet is now the nation's fastest-growing advertising medium, with sales expected to reach a record $9.4 billion this year -- up 16 percent from the bubble days. What's more, Internet research firm eMarketer expects companies will nearly double their annual Web ad spending by 2008.

Another sign of revival Monday: the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers said Internet ad spending jumped 35 percent to a record $2.4 billion in the third quarter from a year earlier, and were up 2 percent from the second quarter.

The ad revival is driving revenue spikes at some top news sites, including CNET, The New York Times Digital, and Knight Ridder Digital.

But strong ad sales overall are masking a challenge that many Web sites operators face: while demand is up, so too is the total supply of ad space available. That means ad rates aren't rising nearly as fast.

"There's more inventory in general," said Denise Garcia, a principal analyst with GartnerG2. "There is still more supply than there is demand for online advertising."

It's the paradox of the Internet's second act. While everyone reaped the benefits of skyrocketing rates during the late 1990s boom, this time around a handful of ad-driven sites are going gangbusters, with no available ad space.

Everybody else, however, is saddled with too much inventory. Companies like ValueClick (up $0.45 to $11.94, Research) and privately-held Blue Lithium, which specialize in aggregating sites' excess supply and selling it off cheap in exchange for a commission, are going strong.

"At a macro level I guess you could say that spending is going up," said Gary Stein, a senior analyst with Jupiter Research. But he estimates that about half of ad dollars spent online are going to four sites: Google, Yahoo!, MSN (owned by Microsoft (up $0.42 to $27.31, Research)) and AOL (which, along with CNN/Money, is a Time Warner (down $0.11 to $17.29, Research) property). From there, he said, "it starts to fragment pretty quickly."

Yahoo! (down $0.36 to $37.44, Research) and Google (up $3.18 to $185.18, Research) are on a tear because they dominate paid search advertising, which is by far the hottest form of online advertising. A IAB-PricewaterhouseCoopers survey shows that search advertising comprises about 40 percent of the total online ad market, up from nearly 30 percent a year ago.

The beauty of paid search is that the ads that appear are directly related to the keywords a consumer uses to conduct a Web search. A sponsor pays only if and when a user clicks onto the company ad that appears along with Web search results.

So, for instance, a mortgage lender will bid to have its ad appear next to a search of "mortgage rates." The assumption is that someone who's looking for a new house might be interested in finding out about loans.

Last month a bank paid on average $4.31, or 36 percent more than in September, for each mortgage-related search that ended in a click, according to Fathom Online, a San Francisco research firm that began tracking paid search rates in August. Fathom says prices for keywords jumped 14 percent last month, from September.

Web site operators that don't sell paid search advertising are discovering too that they can charge more if they can deliver the customer the marketer wants to reach.

Jason Vogelpohl is the vice president of advertising at TradingMarkets.com, a subscription-based information site for active day traders that draws advertising from financial services companies. If an advertiser wants to sell itself to, say, Canadian investors, Vogelpohl said he can command top dollar if he can produce them.

"The more you can tell advertisers about your demographic, the more money they will spend," said Vogelpohl.

The problem for Web sites that don't have the benefit of detailed subscriber lists is that they still don't know the faces behind the clicks.

To change that, some online publishers are embracing technology that tries to profile users based on all the pages they visit on a single site.

The idea is to help Web sites sell ads at higher rates on less-popular pages by, for instance, showing auto makers that site users head not only to the automotive section but also to information on the weather or general news.

But behavioral targeting technology is still in its infancy, said Garcia of GartnerG2. "It will be awhile before that really starts to take off," she said.

Source: CNNfn.com

Anacubis: Google-Enabled Visual Search - Free tool that translates Google search results into graphic displays of relationships between sites.
Boogle - Interface with the added benefit of daily quotes and scenic images.
DentedReality: XooMLe - Allows access to the API via a REST-like interface, with results returned in XML.
elgooG - Provides a ‘mirror' version of Google.
Fagan Finder: Google Ultimate Interface - An all-in-one interface combining all of the Google tools with all of their options on one page.
Floogle - Uses the Web API to allow users to search through Google's entire database with results displayed in a Flash interface.
FroogleFeeder - Froogle data feed generator tool. Includes articles, news & free custom advice to merchants.
Geoff's GoogleDuel - Takes two search terms and shows which one is the most popular according to Google. Implementation using PHP with source code available.
Geographic Search - This software, that won the 2002 Google Programming Contest, allows Google users to find web pages that are located within a specific geographic locale. Source code is distributed under the GNU GPL.
GooFresh - Interface for restricting searches to sites added recently to the Google index.
Google Alert - Tracks a web search automatically using Google search engine.
Google API Proximity Search - Perl script uses the Google API to search Google for two search terms that appear within a certain distance from each other on a page. Includes source code.
Google API Relation Browsing Outliner - Perl script that searches Google for pages that are either related to or linked to a given URL. Then, the same operations can be performed on the results. With source code.
Google API Search Tool - Free standalone tool to search Google. Requires a license key.
Google API Web Search by Host - Perl script that uses the API to search Google for a query string, and returns a list of the web hosts found in the set of results. Users can then expand any of these hosts and display only the results from that host. With source.
Google Backlink Checker - Checks the hyperlink text and alt tags of the backlinks pointing to a website. Also provides a report on the number of unique domains and unique IP addresses in the backlinks. From webconfs.com.
Google Count - A Web based Google search engine positioning and ranking reporting tool. Google Count uses the Google Web API and complies under the Google TOC.
Google Dance Machine - Facilitates searching of all Google servers simultaneously. Includes additional options for German speakers. Requires frames.
Google Dance Tool - Updates backlinks of Yahoo, CNN and BBC ever 60 minutes to check for the start of the dance, plus enables simultaneous searching on google data centers around the world. An alert mailing list is also available.
Google Dance Tool - Designed to help webmasters determine when Google is spidering the internet. Offers Google Web API help as well.
Google Dance Tool - Checks Google servers to determine if there is an update in progress.
Google Fight - Compare the number of results for two competing keywords.
Google Index - Java program which uses the API to produce dynamic indices of two example sites. Includes documentation, downloadable source and binary.
Google Poetry - Enter a query and it returns the titles of results into poetry.
Google Relatedness - Calculates how related two given words are by using the API. Requires the Mozilla browser.
Google SearchTool - Floating toolbar for Windows allowing you to conduct searches with Google. Includes an FAQ, screenshots and system requirements.
Google Tool - Search www?www2?www3 or the five google datacenters simultaneously. Can be used to check if the dance has begun.
Google Tool - Facilitates searching of all four Google servers (www www1 www2 and www3) simultaneously. Requires frames.
Googlebar - Created to be used with Netscape 6?Mozilla, this unofficial software emulates many features of the Google Toolbar. Screenshots, downloads, and wishlist.
Google.com Search Engine Monitor Query Tool - Tool for comparing results of the different Google servers, based on query phrase and sought URL position.
Googlert - An experimental service which performs regular Google searches and sends an email alert whenever new results appear.
GoogleTrax - PERL Script which allows tracking of the Googlebot.
Googleware - Web application that enables users to specify multiple queries, and be notified by e-mail when new results are found.
Googlism - Finds Google's ‘opinion' of a given topic.
Googolator - Displays 5 search results from Google via AOL Instant Messenger.
GooRoo Search - Accepts search queries in English, provides Russian translations, and allows users to search for the term at Google.
Interconnected: Googlematic - Enables searching of Google via AIM or MSN Messenger. Displays the top five results for a given query.
Joogle - Interface which translates users' search queries into Japanese and then enables searching for these terms with Google.
Mangle Random Link Generator - Displays a random web site from Google's archive. Powered by the Web API.
OnFocus.com: Google Smackdown - Takes two words or phrases as input, queries Google via its API, and receives the estimated total results for each word or phrase to show which one is most popular.
Page Rank Calculator - Webmaster tool for calculating the PR of a web site. Includes description of how PageRank works and related links.
PageRank Calculator - Online graphic PR calculator.
Random Google Bounce - Selects a random page from the Google database and displays it in a frame.
Random Google Image Finder - Generates random search queries for Google's Image Search. Users can specify the type of filtering they want.
Random Google Page - Uses a given amount of terms to select a ‘random' page from the index.
Random Google Search Thing - Generates random search queries for a user-defined number of search terms. The PHP source code is available.
Random Web Search - Generates random words, then allows searching for them on Google.
RooDolF - Uses the API to return Google results in RDF format. The schema is available.
Stadtaus: Google Dance Tool PHP Script - A PHP script to compare the results of the three Google servers www, www2 and www3 at a glance. The tool can be downloaded and used without charge or registration.
TouchGraph GoogleBrowser - Java application that uses the Web API to produce graphs of related pages by running "similar-to" queries on Google.
YIMGoogle - Java-based bot on Yahoo IM that searches Google for a given search term and returns the first five results.