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Weekly Newsletter - 2004-03-10
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Hi Everyone!

I'm late getting this out today, so let's jump straight to it...

Have a great week!

Robert Clough


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Search Engine Marketing News

Flying Blind? Search Marketing Metrics
Source: Search Engine Guide - Deciding on the right metrics is not an easy task to take on. It requires a fundamental understanding of your own goals and strategies, your customer's needs and behavior and the values and advantages that sets you apart from the competition. But if you're making a significant investment in your website and marketing that website, without metrics not only are you flying blind, you're also throwing money out the window.
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Measuring Search Engine Success
Source: SearchDay - Whether you're optimizing web pages for top rankings or purchasing paid placement links, it's crucial to measure the performance of your efforts. A new generation of powerful search engine analytics software makes the job a snap.
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Did Yahoo!'s Rising Storm Finalize a Shift in AskJeeves Colors?
Source: Search Engine Guide - It appears that Yahoo!'s bold and less than brilliant foray into "Looksmart-like" paid inclusion may have been the final nudge that AskJeeves needed to shut down their paid inclusion program, Index Express. This significant shift of AskJeeves away from their 18 month-old paid inclusion program appears to be a timely distancing from the pending storm coming to Yahoo! after it announced its new Site Match system.
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Diary of a Google Gazumpee
Source: Search Engine Guide - Back in November, when the Google Dance began, Barry Lloyd of MakeMeTop wrote an article entitled "Been Gazumped by Google?" GAZUMPED! What a wonderfully descriptive term. In fact, it succinctly describes what happened to us when our website went from #1 to oblivion a few months ago.
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Legal Clause Limits SEM Campaigns Before They Start
Source: ClickZ - Many of our large clients insist we add a specific clause to our services agreement. It requires we not mention them on our Web site, in marketing materials, or in public presentations. In short, we may not benefit from any association with their brand. We call it the "do not utter our name" clause.
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PPC for SME: Small But Growing
Source: ClickZ - Most small- and medium-sized businesses haven't yet fully recognized the value of pay-per-click, but interested prospects can swell the ranks over the next year.
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Keywords Revisited, Part 3: Paid Research Tools
Source: ClickZ - Go beyond keyword research into competitive intelligence.
Read or Post Comments About This Article Inc. Announces New Tools Including Geo-Targeting
Source: Press Release - Mamma announced today the upgrade of Mamma Media Solutions' pay-per-click client account management system. The system underwent a general design overhaul and new features were launched to all advertisers, namely, additional reporting features, on the hour statistics, and geo-targeting.
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Open Letter to Tim Armstrong, VP of Advertising, Google
Source: Traffick - Yesterday, at a session at SES, you reportedly claimed that Google has been studying conversion rates on contextual ads for over a year, that they are "about the same" as search ads, and that you have no plans to change the bidding process to allow advertisers to bid separately on the content targeting. With all due respect, your research is wrong, but more to the point, your principle is wrong.
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Google PageRank Lunacy
Source: SearchDay - The quest by some to improve their Google PageRank score seems to have reached the point of sheer madness. Even common decency may be abandoned in futile attempts by desperate (or simply less educated) online marketers and others who will seemingly stop at nothing to try and gain links in hopes of seeing more green in their Google toolbar.
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Ask Jeeves Explains Dropping Paid Inclusion
Source: ClickZ - The company introduced its paid inclusion services in June 2002, but says it's since come to the conclusion it's virtually impossible to merge structured data, such as that in XML feeds, with the unstructured data that comes from crawling the Web.
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A Marketers Guide to Search Engine Marketing and Staying Alive in 2004 - Part Two
Source: Marketleap - This issue we focus the light more closely on the biggest search engines you need to know about, their position in the market and how you can use the knowledge you have for each of them.
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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.)

So What Does SEMPO Mean To You?
Source: Cre8asite Forums - "I want SEMPO to succeed. With those already associated with it, I truly believe it will. However, I too haven't yet heard more than vague ideas of direction (possibly the focus problem of our diverse trade?), and am yet to be told exactly why it makes sense for me personally to give a largish sum of cash to a group that haven't so much as asked me what I'd like from the group in return, as yet."

More Answers to Members Question from Yahoo! (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "the program may not be valuable to everyone. We understand this Ė not everyone wants or needs the value-added service that Site Match offers. And thatís OK, because itís likely that we already have your web pages in the regular crawl, and if we donít yet, then we are working on getting them in over time. Discovering and indexing all of the content on the internet for free is a cornerstone of our mission to provide the highest quality search experience on the internet."

Can Search Spiders Follow PPC Links?
Source: High Rankings Forum - "This is why it may be wise to create landing pages specifically for your PPC ads and then closely monitor traffic. If you see referrers from search engines and you know that the page is not internally linked within your site structure, then you can be pretty sure that spider has caused you a per click charge."

Yahoo! Search Launches Free AddURL (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "As promised at the Webmasterworld Publishers Conference the free ADDURL has been launched on the Yahoo! site."

1x1 Transparent Gif - Will Tracking Bad Bots Hurt Seo Rank?
Source: High Rankings Forum - "I was given the advice to create a 1x1 transparent gif and link it to a page in order to track bots that ignored my robots.txt deny list. The purpose was to find the bots that were not adhering to the standards and see if I wanted to exclude them from crawling. I then read that doing this is considered a "no-no" and would cause my site to be dropped by SE's. Can anyone confirm the accuracy of this information?"

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

Background-check kit hits retail shelves
The new check-in-a-box, containing a CD-ROM that allows users to tap ChoicePoint's online databases, gives small business owners access to an essential tool previously available mostly to big companies, say ChoicePoint and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is selling the product in 41 of its Sam's Club membership warehouses in 26 cities.

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Search Engine Conferences & Workshops

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.