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Weekly Newsletter - 2004-02-25
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Hi Everyone!

There is no shortage of articles and forum threads for you this week! Yahoo's move to their new search engine is obviously a hot topic as everyone is starting to analize how to do well in the post-Google era at Yahoo.

So, let me get out of the way and let you get to the good stuff.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough


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Search Engine Marketing News

Search Engine Strategy: Links or Content?
Source: Search Engine Guide - A debate is raging in the search engine optimization community, about whether content or linking is the best path to top rankings. In this article, I lay out the claims of both sides, reaching the conclusion that neither strategy is sufficient by itself. The number of people who truly believe you can do one without the other is small - they just happen to be extremely vocal.
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The Future of SEO
Source: Search Engine Guide - SEOs will need to take usability and conversions into consideration when coming up with your search engine marketing campaigns in the future, if they're not already doing this. Therefore, I see there being a much brighter future for those SEOs who are able to make the transition.
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Copywriting Makeover: It's Not About YOU, It's About THEM
Source: Search Engine Guide - Take some time now to look back over your copy. Is it company focused? If so, learning to write specifically for your customers can turn your sales around almost immediately.
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Put Your Web Pages on a Diet
Source: Search Engine Guide - Experienced SEOs know that you can boost your rankings by moving your page content as close to the start of your HTML code as possible. Search engines consider words near the start of your HTML code to be more prominent, and therefore more important, than words buried deep inside the file.
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Verizon adding Web-search ads to
Source: Yahoo! Finance - Verizon Communications next week will relaunch its site to give advertisers the option of signing up for lucrative Web-search ad campaigns, the No. 1 U.S. telephone company said on Tuesday.
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Local Search Growing, but Small Biz Advertisers Cautious
Source: SearchDay - Local search is a hot topic, but both search providers and small business owners face significant challenges before location based finding services gain broad acceptance.
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Mike Grehan Web Conference
Source: Press Release - Get to the top the organic way - that's the key message international Search Engine Marketing expert Mike Grehan will share in a global web conference on Thursday March 25.
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Sell the Information-Gatherers
Source: ClickZ - It's important to concentrate on keywords and provide an easy way for people to "pick" your information as they go through the searching and buying decision process. Providing downloadable sell sheets and presentations (in the form of PDFs or PowerPoint files), one-page printable overviews or product descriptions, and "e-mail to a friend" functionality is vital. You want your products and services to be easy to pick as people go through the search process. Merely getting them to show up isn't enough.
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Yahoo! goes 'pay for exclusion!'
Source: netimperative - Yahoo! has let slip that it will soon exclude Inktomi paid inclusion URLs from its main results. Quite simply, if you've subscribed your URLs to the Inktomi index, then you'll be found in Yahoo! searches until 15th April. After that - YOU get dumped and have to pay to get back into Yahoo! You WILL still be found over at MSN and HotBot where Inktomi results are still primary though.
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Using Paid Inclusion to Get to the Next Level, Part 2
Source: ClickZ - Understanding (multi) keyword targeting, XML feeds, and the differences between paid inclusion and crawler-based search engines.
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A Marketers Guide to Search Engine Marketing and Staying Alive in 2004 - Part One
Source: Marketleap - In 2003, search engine marketing accounted for 2% of the US advertising and marketing spend, the same amount as all billboard and outdoor advertising. 2004 promises to take search engine marketing beyond the signs dotting the roads and highways.
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Keyword Research Revisited, Part 1: Log Files
Source: ClickZ - How to use log file data to optimize paid and organic search.
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Paid Search Still Strong; Banners and E-Mail Beefing Up
Source: ClickZ - Paid search's wild ride isn't over, according to a Jupiter Research report predicting that the sector will drive growth of online advertising to $14.8 billion by 2008, helped along by banner ads and e-mail marketing.
Read or Post Comments About This Article

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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.)

Breadcrumb Navigation Study
Source: High Rankings Forum - "Without being expressly told of the advantages of navigating with just the breadcrumbs, they didn't really figure it out. It took a bit of training to get people to see how easy they are to use."

Confused - Listed Good In Ink/Yahoo But Now...
Source: JimWorld - "Why are we doing so poorly in the new Yahoo! if we did so well in Yahoo! and Inktomi before yesterday?"

Percentage of Clicks from Top 3
Source: Best Practices Forums - "The CTR for organic listings has very different curves depending on the type of search. We've been gathering stats for a while, but the results are scattered all over, so we're working on a model that looks at..."

Who Links to my Site?
Source: Best Practices Forums - "Is it possible to establish what sites link into mine? I seem to remember there is a way of getting this from Google, but I'm not sure."

Overuse of Keywords
Source: Cre8asite Forums - "It is incredibly easy to write 250 words or more that are specific to a product, and more importantly, you'll get better sales from doing so. Anything I can't immediately see from a picture (including scale, materials, how hard-wearing, textures, etc, etc) that I'd see instantly if the product were actually physically in front of me have to be explained in words."

Lots of Clicks But NO Conversions (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "Relevency is your friend. Bring people to EXACTLY what they clicked on."

Yahoo Renames Spider (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "Yahoo! will be modifying its web-indexing robot (crawler) user-agent to reflect our company name. This is the crawler we use to build a searchable index for the Yahoo! search services. To ensure consistency and minimal disruption, we will continue to maintain the "Slurp" name within our web crawler user agent and continue to support "Slurp" as part of any robots.txt files that references this."

The Switch Is Official (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "Hmmm. I take it the doom-prophets who have for years been saying that the day Yahoo drops Google they will be finished are now possibly reconsidering their positions!"

Yahoo Recommends Keywords META and Image ALT Text (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "I'm intrigued by the items in there that suggest webmasters use the Keywords META tag (maybe it's not dead after all?) and by the suggestion that image ALT text is being crawled for 'search purposes'."

Yahoo Versus Google On Redirect Handling (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "Yahink doesn't resolve 301 redirects as it should. Tim (YahooGuy) confirmed a few days ago that they are aware of the problem and already have a solution - he said, it just takes a while to recrawl affected pages."

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From the Small Business Brief...
(If you like our search engine news, you'll love our small business news.)

Happiness Pays
PaeTec Communications is fiercely dedicated to two things: worker contentment and inexorable growth. The company's relentlessly focused CEO takes personal responsibility for both.

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Search Engine Conferences & Workshops

Webmaster World's PubConference VI
February 26-28
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center - Orlando, FL

Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo
March 1 - 4
Hilton New York - New York, NY

Mike Grehan Web Conference
March 25
60 minute web conference broadcast on Thursday, 25/03/04 at 11.00 a.m. EST / 16.00 GMT. Includes 15 minute live Q&A session.

Search Engine Workshops
March 29 - April 2
Orlando, Florida, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Beginners, Advanced, and Comprehensive Workshops available.

Drilling Down on Local Search
March 30-31
Santa Clara, California

Search Engine Workshops
April 19 - 23
London, UK: Location to be Announced - Beginners, Advanced, and Comprehensive Workshops available.

Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo
April 20 - 21
Tokyo, Japan

Search Engine Workshops
May 17 - 21
Vancouver, B.C., Canada, at the Plaza 500 Hotel - Beginners, Advanced, and Comprehensive Workshops available.