Search Engine Milestones for February 2004

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month. Announcements without links to online versions were received via email.

Warning: The links and descriptions below are from official press releases, and may contain marketing hyperbole, claims or euphemisms not necessarily endorsed by Search Engine Watch.

February 3

Switchboard Launches New User Interface with Embedded Learning Algorithm

The site features several technology advancements, including an embedded learning algorithm that access Switchboards local business content. These improvements are designed to boost the quality and precision of local search results returned in response to users queries.

February 4

New Local Paid Search Platform at ePilot

ePilot Local Search delivers a turn-key solution to Internet and printed directory publishers and website owners.

See Also: An independent review of this platform and its features/benefits from the Kelsey Group.

February 9 Signs Amended Merger Agreement With Espotting

Under the proposed terms of the transaction, which was approved by the board of directors of each company, Espotting stockholders will receive 7.0 million shares of common stock and approximately $20.0 million in cash.

Intranets Take Second Place To Public Internet

A global survey by Moreover Technologies found that 57.8% of respondents admitted that the Internet was their primary information resource in their daily work routine whereas only 10.9% considered the Intranet to be their main source of information.

February 11

Local Search Now 25% of Internet Commercial Activity

Local commercial searchesthose seeking merchants “near my home or work” represent 25.1% of all searches being performed by online buyers, more than double the amount previously estimated by analysts.

February 12

Lycos has a new voice and writer behind The Lycos 50

Dean Tsouvalas, former television producer with ABC News , and on-air talent with the Fox Cable Network, will now be writing the Lycos 50.

February 17

Copernic introduces Copernic Meta 1.5

This new version lets users effortlessly capture the search functionality of any search engine, site search tool, or specialized database and make it readily accessible at any time via an easy-to-use toolbar.

Google Expands Access To More Than 6 Billion Items

Google’s collection of 6 billion items comprises 4.28 billion web pages, 880 million images, 845 million Usenet messages, and a growing collection of book-related information pages. Separately, Google announced six new ad formats for Google AdSense and the availability of the program in Dutch and Portuguese.

February 18

Yahoo Unveils New Search Engine

Starting today, the company will begin rolling out the new Yahoo Search Technology (YST) and expects to continue the process on a worldwide basis over the next several weeks. With the completion of the deployment, Yahoo Search Technology will power nearly half of all online searches in the U.S.

February 19

New Location Based Meta Tag Introduced

NAC Geographic Products (NACGEO) has introduced a new meta tag called NAC (Natural Area Code) tag (e.g.) adds location as a search variable that will enable Internet search engines to make accurate location based searches.

February 23

One in Three Americans Use a Search Engine According to Nielsen//NetRatings (PDF)

114.5 million or 39 percent of Americans used a search engine during January 2004. The 114.5 million unique users, representing 76 percent of the active online U.S. population, each spent nearly forty minutes using search engines during the month.

February 24

Findwhat.Com Announces Agreement To Acquire Comet Systems will acquire Comet Systems, Inc., a leading provider of connected desktop consumer software, for up to $33.5 million.

February 24

Google, Overture, and GO TOAST become sponsors of Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization

SEMPO is talking to other players in the world of search engine marketing about sponsorships to support the organization’s mission and provide the necessary funds for SEMPO to conduct primary research and develop education materials for the industry.

Google Releases Froogle Wireless Service

With the Froogle wireless service, currently available on Google Labs at, shoppers now have the power to make buying decisions, anywhere at any time.

February 25

IndustryBrains Introduces Paid Listings on RSS Feeds

IndustryBrains announced today it has expanded its business to include syndication of paid listings to publishers participating in RSS-driven content feeds.

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NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.


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