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feels like a scene from Indiana Jones
who's worth your time in 2001

 11:45 pm on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

Guys/gals, I'm only skimming the top of the bad news out there in the newswires... just listing the big stuff. If you stay out there much, it begins to feel like the temple scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where the giant stone chases Harrison Ford out while the ceiling collapses.

The first and second quarters of 2001 are shaping up to make the dotcom failures of 2000 look like good times. I believe we're going to see Jeeves, GoTo, AV and others reduced to shadows of what they have been and sold off -unable to raise enough revenues to support themselves.

So, among the SE's and directories, who will be left standing with a viable business?



 1:28 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

>So, among the SE's and directories, who will be left standing with a viable business?

The one's that realise that Internet is a world-wide phenomenon and not local to the US.

SE's = Google, Fast and AV.

AV are rolling out a series of localised SE's which can be set up in a few day's at very low cost, that may be their saviour.

Fast's dB continues to improve, I think that their results have never been better.

Google is just...huge. They continue to go from strength to strength and have a very effective PR machine in place.

Directories = ODP and Yahoo.

ODP has never been more important, it is a great directory that will stand the test of time. I hope that whatever happens the ODP will always be there.

Google will buy Yahoo and move them away from the portal model.


 2:47 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

Here's the roll, have I missed anyone? Do we have a source of good financial information, i.e. burn rate, on any of them besides Jeeves and GoTo? I'll risk showing how little I know by trying to group them.

[reorganized based on discussion below]
strong, well-backed, or low overhead
* definitely survive 2001
- Fast
- Google
- HotBot
- LookSmart <some concerns, stock and management>
- Lycos <some concerns, stock and management>
- NBCi
- Yahoo

* moderately positive, should survive 2001
- Go/Infoseek
- Northern Light

* weak, burning out in 2001
- Direct Hit <subsidiary of Ask/Jeeves>
- GoTo
- Jeeves

???? unknown ????
- Altavista
- Excite/WC
- iWon

Anyone know anything that would cause any of these to be recategorized?

Edited by: rcjordan


 3:58 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

[bump] Working on the 2001 list on who's worth the time/money it takes to chase a listing. Serious observations, puh-leese! I'm particularly interested in quarterly reports and burn rates.


 4:20 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

I was browsing Excite the past couple days and it seems like they have jumped overboard on the affiliate links. So much that all it looks like is an affiliate site.

They must be struggling for some revenue if they jumped on the pop-up window bandwagon.

han solo

 4:40 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

Where are the excite pop ups? Or was there a press release saying they would be serving them soon? Can't seem to get them to load on my machine...

I think that all of the engines who actuall are in the strong list will survive, but will ink be there to serve the data? If you look at their recent loss for the 3rd quarter, how long can that last? I'm not sure.

I like your list, though. I'd agree on all of them.

Goto could be bought up by somebody else, how about google? Could you imagine, the best for shopping/advertising, combined with google for research. It would be huge!

Ask jeeves/directhit, I'm thinking they are going down in a big ball of fire. I never understood what was special about the service, and the questions you get answers for, you could use another engine and get as good/better results.

And the click tracking technology of direct hit isn't special to me, either. Seems that so many engines are tracking click throughs, and some of them, Excite in particular, are tracking things that, to my mind, should be tracked...although they are hiding it now, it's still visible in the same way the redirect script is on alltheweb.

Good thread, RCJ. Thanks for the list.

Han Solo


 4:54 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

>Where are the excite pop ups?

I can't give an exact location to visit to see them for they are pretty random. If you just start clicking around on their links you should have one pop up from Intel.


 6:38 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

I recall articles about 3 months ago that put Excite@home in the shakey financial group. Anybody got anything on them?

re Lycos -How's the telco deal working out for them? Is there still cash backing them? I vaguely remember they were in a moderately strong position to have the resources available to hang on.


 6:54 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

You mean with Telefonica's Terra Network?

I don't think it's looking too good.

Here's the latest news [news.excite.com]


 7:28 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

That's the kind of info we need, thanks! I've downgraded them, see above.


 8:58 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

"They briefly hit a low at 11.75 euros -- below the 11.80 euro IPO price at which it was sold to retail investors in November 1999."

Terra Lycos has a cash balance of approximately $3 billion, reaches nearly one out of every two Internet users in the U.S., holds the number one or two position in Canadian, Spanish/Portuguese speaking and Asian markets. They are backed by Telefonica.

Telefonica is Spainís largest company in terms of profits, assets, market capitalisation and employment and have over 62 million customers.

IMHO they need to be moved to strong, along with Hotbot who are also part of the group.


 9:15 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm easy. I'll work the tally board, we'll see how this works through.


 9:19 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

NF, what do those 'insider' .pdf reports of yours say about Excite/WC ??


 9:43 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

This article about LookSmart stocks was in one of my email newsletters, the source is from an Australian news magazine. Haven't seen anything like this about LookSmart previously:



 9:57 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

re Looksmart: At one time, Cox Media and Landmark Communications were heavy backers of LS, I believe they still are. These companies own everything from the Weather Channel to weather.com to cable to major newspapers. I've been peripherally involved in some of Landmark's web ventures and -though they can sometimes be fickle- they have very deep pockets. I'm going to leave Looksmart as strong for 2001, but make a <concerned> note.

I'm also moving Go/Infoseek and Northern Light into the 'should survive' group. Go; because Disney has shown a willingness to bankroll it in the past. Northern Light; mainly because I haven't heard any bad news.


 11:39 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

Glad to hear about LookSmart, it's a good directory. Hope AltaVista hangs in there.


 11:58 pm on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

Direct Hit = Jeeves so they are doomed.

Webcrawler are no longer adding sites so they are dead.

iwon, doomed due to crazy business model.



 12:05 am on Dec 23, 2000 (gmt 0)

Direct Hit has now been moved, the Jeeves burn rate will drag it down, too. Maybe the butler will sell it (but who has the cash in the above list? AOL?)

I know I've seen articles about iWon's business model being a lost cause, but do they have enough cash in the larder to go through the coming year?


 12:34 am on Dec 23, 2000 (gmt 0)

I think Hotbot will fade into a mirror of Lycos - much the same way webcrawler is now a simplified excite. This may happen soon, I got a notification that they are shutting down all the hotbot emails in February.

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