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The Return of Lycos?

     
1:17 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I know that Lycos has disappeared from everyone's consciousnes for quite some time, but I understand that Lycos has recently relaunched their search engine.

In my site, Lycos has creeped up in my top 10 sources of traffic, starting May 6.

What's fascinating for me is the level of engagement of the traffic that Lycos brings -- if my Google Analytics is showing correct data.

Google's visitors peruse only an average of 2 pages per visit, but Lycos' visitors read an average of 17 pages. Time on site is also double, and bounce rate is incredibly low at 4%. Makes me do a double take each time.

Plus, the visitors it brings to my site are mostly new visitors (96%), which I also like

Has anyone see a surge of visitors from Lycos as well around May 6? Or is it just my site that Lycos finally discovered?
8:00 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Holy smokes. There's a name I haven't heard in donkey's years :) Do they piggyback on someone else's robot?
9:16 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Interesting. I find a mix of fascinating sites I hadn't seen before (good), and off-topic sites with an obvious keyword relationship that the machine misunderstands (bad), plus a smattering of the usual sites, with an emphasis on keyword-in-domain.

Also, the search depth is very shallow. Some phrases only have 3 pages of results, others Lycos accused me of making up words (no results). Then I clicked image search for the same phrase and they had lots of results.

Looks like they're owned by an Indian company now, and have switched to their own results this year from piggy backing on Yahoo last year.
1:29 am on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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99% of the Lycos traffic to my site comes from the US. Traffic comes from only 8 keywords, and the bulk of the traffic comes from only 3 keywords -- but the traffic is sizable enough that it's now my 4th biggest search traffic source after G, Yahoo and Bing.
3:15 am on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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:: detour to check first-hand ::

Oh, nice. They do g### Preview one better by including a thumbnail (via thumbshots dot com and/or dot net) next to every result, so it's glaringly visible if you don't let the thumbbot in. I'm pretty sure I once locked it out. And in fact a targeted search brings up one of my pages, with page title where the thumbnail would be. But I'm ### if I can remember what the robot is called. And prolonged poring over the thumbs site leaves me none the wiser.

switched to their own results this year from piggy backing on Yahoo last year.

Wasn't yahoo itself using bing's results? Well, except for --ugh-- Yahoo! Slurp which is not getting back in my door no matter how often it picks up robots.txt.
8:54 am on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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hmm... Their Japanese SERPs aren't bad. Are you sure they're using their own? I get no traffic from them.
1:02 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Not certain. In an interview in December with their CEO:

Currently, Lycosí search engine is provided via a deal with Yahoo. However, 2013 will see a change, says Balazy.

ďIn the coming year you will see us introduce a new proprietary search product. I donít want to say too much about it as itís still in the planning stage but we have a vision to merge the notion of a search-type activity with a curated content experience.Ē


Since my results look quite different than Y! and are limited (curated?) it seemed the switch had happened, but perhaps not.
6:29 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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the traffic is sizable enough that it's now my 4th biggest search traffic source after G, Yahoo and Bing.
Being fourth behind those three is easy and, since Bing is a bottom dweller, saying one is behind Bing is no carrot.
Google's visitors peruse only an average of 2 pages per visit, but Lycos' visitors read an average of 17 pages.

There's a lot to question here. Since more people use Google, does Lycos draw a crowd that is also interested in the content of your site?
7:47 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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For facebook pages their image bot is only getting the login page, not the profile picture, LOL.
8:04 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There's a lot to question here. Since more people use Google, does Lycos draw a crowd that is also interested in the content of your site?

Personally..I'd rather they were interested in the subject of my site..those interested in the content are usually scrapers, pinners or other parasites..
8:11 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting thread. The sets of results that I'm seeing actually aren't too bad at all.. and I got one referral from Lycos.com yesterday!
8:47 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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They using BING results..
9:09 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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their image bot is only getting the login page, not the profile picture

Imagebot or third-party thumbnailbot?
12:20 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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their frontpage only withstands a first look. on the second, i see an amateurish font face on my screen and on the second search an error message on a standard query:

There were no results for your search query

That's really strange... we thought everything was already on the internet?

Here are some suggestions to help your search...

1. Check your spelling. Maybe you accidently invented a new word?
2. Try using fewer keywords, or general terms.
3. If you still can't find what you're looking for, then hats off to you! Maybe you should create a website about that subject at Tripod.com. You could become the leading source of information for that topic!

still a lot to be done obviously :) on refresh, sometimes the query worked by the way. good brand but till now: complete fail.
3:13 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would presume content of the site would also include the subject but being big fish in a small pond (Lycos) doesn't matter much.
4:00 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Most of these guys are using Thumbshots ..

Anyhow .. I've seen a bit of movement from some of the other guys too over the past months.

Mostly Meta Searches tho .. Mamma, Dogpile and such. I don't have Yandex, Google, or Yahoo blocked tho so it makes sense that I get some traffic .. Small, but still noticeable nonetheless, since I haven't seen anything from these guys in years.

Back in the day, my logs were full of referrals from the likes of Overture, Alltheweb, Alta Vista, Excite, HotBot, Infoseek .. Yahoo and Alta Vista were the real heavy hitters for me tho' .. Lycos was about 4th on the list for traffic.

I think that starting to see traffic from some of these other guys might be a signal .. of sorts ..

I'm not a big G basher by any stretch, but I can't help but feeling that G's results have been "off" for so long now that people might be checking out other search venues in order to really find what they want.

We can look at ads all day long, or, we can search .. and this is why we might be seeing some referrals from the other guys ..

I've been sort of going over to Ixquick lately it seems .. and I can see others doing the same with some of the others.

as an aside: .. I just went to Lycos, and they are using Thumbshots for the screenshots by the listings .. I don't know what the Thumbshots UA is now, but a few years ago they were just using the Internet Explorer UA

... and if it matters at all, I see that Mamma (the mother of all search engines) is doing a revamp too .. who knows .. maybe 2013 is the year for alternative search.
8:53 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Interesting results, they seem to not be either from Google or Bing, perhaps a slight blend. Results on some sites and how they stack up for my main product line seem relevant and on target.

Nice to see the old dog is back. Excite next?
1:18 am on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I used that "HTML Gear" guestbook of Tripod-Lycos' from 2001-12 until they retired it in Apr. 2012. It worked good, was dependable, and there was only one ad (theirs) on it.

People had pretty much stopped signing my guestbook anyway (I guess everyone who wanted to already had after 10 years) so I just got rid of a guestbook altogether.
7:52 pm on May 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Nice to see the old dog is back. Excite next?


It is nice to see the search engine world becoming more diverse. More than anything, I'd like to see additional players with different search algos and new advanced search features. Old dogs will new to learn new tricks if they want some market share back.
5:56 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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we need some form of plugin which we could use on our website prompting people to use a certain search engine in a pop-up - if we all did that we might yet have a say.
8:56 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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LYCOS traffic = SPAM?

Facts:
1. The traffic does NOT convert almost ever.
2. The number of page views per Lycos visitor is absurdly high, and the time spent on each page is a mere few seconds, which is also out of line with the rest of the site traffic.

To me the traffic looks fake.

I would say, block the referrer.

Can anyone else confirm?
9:40 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I agree with #2 -- as I previously said, the numbers make me do a double take. But I do share your numbers:

- pages per visit is 769% higher than average
- average visit duration is higher than average, but nothing out of the ordinary
- bounce rate is 95% below my norm
- about 98% are new visits

But Lycos converts for my advertising-based website. Looking at Adsense metrics by Source, Lycos gives me:

- 18% higher Adsense CTR than average
- 319% higher Adsense eCPM than average
- 5th biggest source of Adsense revenue for the site

For me, I won't call Lycos traffic as spam. True, there are eye-popping metrics, but the traffic adds to my bottomline.

[edited by: alika at 9:41 pm (utc) on May 28, 2013]

10:03 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So, traffic from Lycos started to splike for me beginning of May, however:

10,000 visitors --> 1 conversion

(normal conversion rate on site from search is quite good actually).

Something seriously wrong here
10:37 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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we need some form of plugin which we could use on our website prompting people to use a certain search engine in a pop-up - if we all did that we might yet have a say.

So..write a script..
That says if they arrive from search engine X

triggers a pop up ( or equivalent )

which says ..

You suggest that they try search engine Y..

see how you do..and what the "return after bounce rate" is ...could be interesting / enlightening..
4:11 pm on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What about good old-fashioned banner ads saying "Search for us on [whomever you like]?"
4:35 pm on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My site went from a few dozen Lycos visitors per month up to 10,000 a month, yet 0 sales from them. This looks like really sophisticated bet/botnet traffic, so people that are getting clicks to ads on their site might be counted as fraudulent.

Can anyone else confirm that they have new sales or real user registrations from Lycos traffic (compared to other engines)
7:29 pm on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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(second) question for those getting lycos traffic: Does the availability-or-otherwise of a thumbnail seem to make any difference? This may be a premature question, considering the up-in-the-air nature of even Google Preview (good, bad or mediocre).
6:27 am on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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good old-fashioned banner ads saying "Search for us on [whomever you like]?


I've been doing this for a while now .. I list 4 different alt search engines .. ironic that Lycos isn't one of the suggestions tho' .. and neither are Bing or Google ..
3:38 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have this really tiny website with practically no traffic and like the posters above I saw that it started to get traffic from Lycos. Either the traffic is fake or Google Analytics is not capturing the information right because I still cannot see how the traffic is coming. I might see 100 visitors from Lycos but only 20 from keywords. Could Lycos be sending me traffic without a keyword? I don't know what to do with Lycos boost because this website does not get much traffic from Google or Yahoo.
5:32 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Could Lycos be sending me traffic without a keyword?


All visits Lycos sends me comes from a keyword. I'm only getting traffic for 10 keywords, the bulk of which comes from 3 keywords. But they do add up to the total visits GA tells me Lycos sends.
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