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Monday, 30th November 2009

Resource of the Week: Search Engine Land

Resource of the Week: Search Engine Land
By Adrian Janes, Contributing Editor, DocuTicker

Probably most information professionals have ‘gurus’ -- figures they deeply admire for their knowledge and ability to communicate it. In my personal pantheon, the very first such figure was Danny Sullivan, who used to produce the excellent Search Engine Watch.

He went on from this to begin Search Engine Land, which follows many of the same principles as the earlier site and newsletter. Although more clearly a commercial offering than Search Engine Watch (with several areas of the site fully open only to paying subscribers), there remains a large amount of very useful and timely free material. And whereas Search Engine Watch relied largely on Sullivan and a few other contributors (including Resource Shelf’s Gary Price), for Search Engine Land he has assembled both a core of editors and a much bigger team of guest writers, and therefore draws upon that much bigger a range of insight.

See all of these contributors on this page, with links to a list of each one's full text articles. This, along with their biographies, give a flavor of each writer’s expertise. (Another way to reach such a list is to click on the link “See more articles by” at the end of a piece.)

Apart from the possibility of subscribing to an RSS feed for their Search Engine Land contributions, most of these writers have further links to their own blogs or sites. Thus Search Engine Land can also be a pathway to experts in particular aspects of search.

This comprehensiveness in examining search is demonstrated by the Columns page. Each subject area here -- nineteen in all
(e.g. Multinational Search, Paid Search, Strictly Business, etc), plus a daily update of search news -- can be subscribed to via RSS. Coverage of such breadth and depth means that, although the search engine marketer is well catered to, there is equally much to interest librarians and other Internet searchers.

Apart from the Contributors page, the main area of the site which offers plenty of free content is News. News not only covers business dealings and controversies involving the world of search but also highlights new developments and tools, whether they are refinements to established search engines or newly-launched ones.

However it is also definitely worth looking at the more detailed discussions in:

In each case the full text of some recent sample articles are given (the Archives by Month part of the Members’ Library is especially fruitful), so checking back at these parts of the site on a regular basis can pay dividends. A consistent attention to making links to related stories adds to the value of any single piece.

Search Engine Land has something to offer for anyone who uses or works with Internet search engines -- whether it be news or more technical considerations, and with writing of clarity and quality.


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