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Weekly Newsletter - 2003-12-10
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Hi Everyone!

The latest Google update is still THE hot topic, and it's likely to continue to be so. "What should we do?" is a common question. The long-term answer is keep building great sites that your visitors will love and other site owners will want to link to. For the short-term, unless you've been using methods the search engines would frown upon, don't rush to change the way you've built your site. Google isn't done making changes.

As I said last week, now is the time to create a plan to diversify the sources of traffic for your site. Don't depend on traffic from the free listings in search engines. As many have experienced, it can disappear without notice.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough


Search Engine Marketing News

They're Searching So Why Aren't They Buying?
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-09
There seems to be a common myth regarding site visitors and the buying process these days. I've heard this statement more than a few times over the last several months: "My visitors find me when they use search engines. They type in the exact keyphrases I'm listed under. So when they get to my site why aren't they buying?" The simple answer is that they aren't ready to buy yet.

Online ad sales up in third quarter
Source: 2003-12-09
Sales from online advertising hit an estimated $1.75 billion in the third quarter, the fourth consecutive period of gains for the industry. Much of the upturn has been attributed to search-engine-related marketing strategies.

Search Engine Marketing Has Just Grown Up
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-08
The free ride is officially over. From now on, you can't just create a site by the book, trade a few links with friendly competitors and expect to be found in Google for phrases that are relevant to millions of other sites. If you want to beat those other sites, you're gonna have to work your butt off. You're gonna have to live and breathe your Web site.

What Happened To My Site On Google?
Source: SearchDay 2003-12-07
The outcry from webmasters about Google's recent ranking algorithm change has been unprecedented. In this article, Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan takes a Q&A-style approach to examine many of the issues and questions that have arisen from the change.

Google Dance Case Studies
Source: SearchDay 2003-12-07
Real life stories of how sites were impacted by the recent Google ranking changes, with an analysis of factors that may be in play.

Search Engine Spam
Source: ClickZ 2003-12-08
If a search engine representative discovers you're deliberately trying to trick the search engines into giving a page higher relevance than it deserves, the individual page, even the entire site, can be penalized.

Google: New Algos or "SEO Filter"?
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-05
The "SEO Filter" discussion seems to be the theory that holds water, or rather, has the fewest leaks. However, there are anomalies within the results that don't point to a single theory being totally true. My belief is that we are seeing newly acquired technology and PageRank modifications in play.

Trademarks and SEM
Source: ClickZ 2003-12-05
Issues trademark holders may have with search engines and how to resolve them.

Buzzwords vs Effective SEO Keywords
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-04
Don't let business jargon get in the way of getting your message across to your audience. Yes, buzzwords may sound cutting edge, but the bottom line is, traffic and sales are what you really want to show for your hard work.

Florida Fever: The Google Update Uproar
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-04
The most dramatic impact will be the devastation of the affiliate industry. Just 3 short weeks ago I listened to 4 major Internet marketers say they didn't bother with organic SEO because their affiliate partners did it for them. Those days are over. If Google was targeting anyone with Florida, it was affiliate sites.

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Discussion Threads of the Week
(Links to search engine forum discussion threads that deal with search engine marketing topics. Each listing provides the topic, the source, and a brief snippet from the discussion.)

Froogle New Super Affiliate? (Free registration required to view)
Webmaster World
"I welcome any targeted affiliate traffic I can get, and would from Froogle as well. No risk, unlike all the PPC places. Pure rev share is hard to turn away. I've never found a reason to do so."

Froogle Links At Top Of Google Web SERPs (Free registration required to view)
Webmaster World
"Well, to add to the Google madness, I've just spotted Froogle product links being inserted into the top of search results."

Domain Name Dilemma?
Cre8asite Forums
"Optimising is all about trying to maximise potential and minimise problems. An optimal domain name solution is the one with the least problems, and this is to have all of the variants you can get."

Google Is Stemming Now
Cre8asite Forums
"... yes, it is a pretty fundamental change. It could be quite an annoying one for those who've carefully practiced 'niche SEO' - finding the search term variants that were less competitive."

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