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Weekly Newsletter - 2003-12-17
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Hi Everyone!

Seeing that next week is Christmas, I'm planning on sending the newsletter out a day early on Tuesday of next week.

Hopefully all of you e-tailers have been experiencing a steady flow of shoppers in these days leading up to Christmas. Just yesterday, I found a couple of last minute bargains that I picked up for my brother in law. No muss, no fuss. Just place the order and let UPS deliver it to my door. Plus, I got these essential items (games) at a price even lower than Walmart was offering. Not bad!

Have a great week!

Robert Clough


Search Engine Marketing News

Newbie SEO Questions
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-16
I opened my store through Yahoo but just found out that they don't do anything to get the store listed on anything except Yahoo Shopping. So, I'm on my own. I did a search engine readiness check on my store yesterday and scored in the fair range. The areas where I was poor, I don't know how to fix -- maybe you could help?

Google's Florida Update: One Month Later
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-15
As we mentioned in the last column, we expected this latest update to be a work in progress. Google confirmed this at the SES show. I pointed out a few instances where the relevancy of results were suffering badly from the broad exclusion of commercial sites. I expected Google to tweak the algorithm to allow for some of these sites to come back in. That seems to be exactly what is happening. Changes seem to be happening almost daily. On the more competitive searches, the new rankings do seem to be catching a lot of the previous spam.

Google Enhances Froogle, Offers New Ad and Search Features
Source: SearchDay 2003-12-15
Google has beefed up its Froogle shopping search engine, introduced two new 'quick links' for searchers, and has added new features to its AdWords program.

Connecting Offline Sales to SEM: A Case Study
Source: ClickZ 2003-12-15
Think someone's spending crazy amounts on a keyword? Maybe she's driving sales offline.

Track Spider Activity on Your Site
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-12
Have you ever wondered how far down into your site the search engine spiders are going? Are the pay inclusion spiders coming at regular intervals like they’re supposed to? If you’re interested in tracking spider visits to your site, Robot Manager Pro is a "must have" software program for you. It’s fast and easy to use, and it provides key information about how the spiders are crawling your Web site.

Tracking for Decisions in SEM
Source: ClickZ 2003-12-12
Your mission is to make sure the very best decisions are made with the data you have. Don't confuse data availability with data validity and actionability. Make informed, intelligent decisions based on valid data, and you'll have a great campaign.

Keyword Analysis and Ranking: The Value of Brainstorming
Source: Search Engine Guide 2003-12-10
Brainstorming is all about thinking outside the box. The more effort you make to interact with new people inside and outside of your industry, the better job you'll do breaking down the barriers to creative thinking, and the better set of keywords you'll have for your web site.

Shopping Engine Bidding Gets Smarter
Source: 2003-12-10
The Smart Bidding System lets merchants set the maximum bid they're willing to pay for a certain ranking; it then automatically ups the bid in one cent increments, so that a merchant never pays more than a penny more than the next highest bidder.

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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.)

Large Companies Using PPC [Pay Per Click]
Cre8asite Forums
"...I have noticed a lot of large companies getting into pay per click advertising. Wal-Mart, HP, Sears, Macys to name a few, that along with the price comparison shops has changed my bidding strategy, how will it affect your bidding campaign in the new year?"

Adsense As PFI [Pay for Inclusion]? Work With Me Here...
High Rankings Forum
"Google discovers URLs in lots of ways, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the Adsense bot effectively auto-submits a URL to the main Google index. But that doesn't (and shouldn't, IMO [in my opinion]) mean that URL will be indexed any quicker or ranked any better. I've been thinking this for a few weeks, but I will say it publicly today... IMO Adsense has the possibility to be the biggest PR disaster, the biggest can of worms that Google could possibly open, ever!"

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