Google Takes Top Prize At SMX Search Bowl

SMX Search Bowl

Last night was the first ever SMX Search Bowl. Basically, the Search Engine Land team created fifty questions that were asked to the various teams. The teams consisted of two players from Google, Yahoo,, Live Search, and the SEM All Star team. Danny displayed the questions on the screen and the first team to buzz in had a chance to answer the questions. If they answered correctly they scored points; if they answered incorrectly, they lost points.

Google won the contest by a landslide, but the All Star SEM Team did come back from a negative score, which would have been embarrassing. If you want more pictures and even a video of a small portion of the event, make sure to check out the Search Engine Roundtable.

Google’s team consisted of Matt Cutts and Paul Haahr, Senior Staff Software Engineer. Microsoft’s team was made up of Nathan Buggia, Lead Program Manager, and Derrick Wheeler, Senior SEO Architect for had Peter Linsley, Senior Product Mgr, Search Technology, and the beloved Gary Price, Director of Online Resources. The SEM team had Todd Friesen and Ian Lurie.

The event was fun and I believe the audience loved it. Next time, we need to allow the Search Engine Land staff be part of the SEM team, but other than that it was a blast.

Congrats to Google for winning!

Here are the questions Danny asked. As you can see, they are not that easy:

Questions are below. An asterisk indicates the correct answer.

In 1997, the webmaster of the Federation Of American Scientists was upset with with search engine for indexing only 10 percent of his pages?

  • Infoseek
  • AltaVista *
  • Lycos

What does the search button on Ask say?

  • Ask
  • Search *
  • Web Search

Google first got ads in what year?

  • 1998
  • 1999 *
  • 2000

The Sunday Times sent a legal request for which news search engine to stop crawling its content:

  • Excite NewsTracker
  • News Index *
  • Wired Newsbot

Which search engine first sold sponsored links?

  • GoTo
  • Open Text *
  • Excite

One of the first lawsuits over trademark terms in meta tags was filed in 1997 by:

  • Oppedahl & Larson *
  • Terri Welles
  • Playboy

In 1997, Northern Light debuted what way of grouping results into similar categories?

  • NLgroups
  • Category Clusters
  • Custom Search Folders *

What does the search button on Google say?

  • Search
  • Google Search *
  • I’m Feeling Lucky

The Open Directory Project was originally called

  • Dmoz
  • GnuHoo *
  • NewHoo

The FTC issued guidelines on how sponsored links should be labeled in what year?

  • 2001
  • 2002 *
  • 2003

What was the code name for Microsoft’s first search engine launched with Inktomi back in 1997?

  • Yukon *
  • Alaska
  • Shiloh

Which search engine means expert in Gaelic?

  • Lycos
  • Teoma *
  • Inktomi

The term "Googlebomb" was coined in what year?

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002 *

AdSense was originally a product name of what company?

  • AdSonar
  • Kaltix
  • Applied Semantics *

What does the search button on Live Search say?

  • Search *
  • Live Search
  • Web Search

It was the Google update that came before Florida

  • Eagle
  • Exeter
  • Esmeralda *

The predecessor to Google Webmaster Central, Google Sitemaps, launched when?

  • March 2005
  • June 2005 *
  • August 2005

Steve Kirsch founded

  • Lycos
  • Excite
  • Infoseek *

What did ICE from Excite stand for?

  • Intelligent Clustering Enhancement
  • Intelligent Concept Extraction *
  • Internal Connectivity Extraction

Which university is credited with creating early search tool ARCHIE?

  • McGill University *
  • Stanford University
  • University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What search engine is tied with Microsoft for 4% global search market share?

  • Ask
  • Baidu
  • Naver * (75% share in S. Korea)

What was the server name that hosted the original Yahoo?

  • akebono * (famous Sumo wrestler)
  • weboracle
  • jerryslist

Early search tool Veronica stands for:

  • Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives *
  • Virtually Everything Rounded-up Online In Computer Archives
  • Nothing

What color was Jeeves’ tie?

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Red *

What’s the most popular search engine in Russia?

  • Google
  • Yandex * (57% share)
  • RuSearch

When did Wired publish "GOOGLEMANIA!" as the cover story?

  • February 2004
  • March 2004 
  • June 2004

When did Google break the 1 billion page index barrier?

  • July 1999
  • June 2001 *
  • January 2002

Google’s first data center was designed by:

  • A rocket scientist
  • A nuclear physicist
  • A brain surgeon * (Jim Reese)

What was the first web crawler called?

  • WWWWanderer * (written by Matthew Gray, now a Google employee)
  • WWWWorm
  • JumpStation

What Google product did Ask report in their blog that they had a problem with?

  • Google News Search
  • A Pen *
  • Gmail

What search engine filed (twice) for an IPO, but failed to go public?

  • AltaVista *
  • Excite
  • InfoSeek

What search engine pioneered customized news alerts?

  • Excite *
  • Google
  • Northern Light

What animal did Google replace PageRank algorithms with?

  • Pigeons *
  • Platypus
  • Gopher

Which search engine was the first to go beyond mere links and include descriptions in search results?

  • InfoSeek
  • Excite
  • Lycos *

Clarissa is a search engine for which country?

  • Switzerland
  • Belgium *
  • France

What day did Yahoo launch its own crawler search engine?

  • Feburary 5, 2004
  • February 12, 2004
  • February 17, 2004 *

What famous SEO challenge was launched in 2004?

  • miserable failure
  • more than evil
  • nigritude ultramarine *

When did Google stop reporting index size on the home page?

  • Aug 2005
  • Sept 2005
  • Oct 2005

Which search engine name is based on a Lakota legend about a trickster spider?

  • Lycos
  • Inktomi *
  • Teoma

In 1995, Jerry Yang set the "Yahoo Priority Queue" as a way for marketers to get fast consideration of directory submissions. What word did you have to put after your email when submitting?

  • (Yahoo) *
  • (Jerry)
  • (Priority)

What does the search button on Yahoo say?

  • Search
  • Web Search
  • Yahoo Search *

What happened to Jeeves

  • Encased on carbonite *
  • Was blown up
  • Lost on safari

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | SEM Industry: Conferences


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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