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Weekly Newsletter - 2004-03-24
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Hi Everyone!

If you are looking for topical search engines and directories to submit your site to, the Internet Search Engines directory is being cleaned up and expanded. Slowly but surely, the outdated listings are being removed and new resources are being added. In no time it should be back to its former glory.

Thanks to Patrick Gavin for sponsoring the newsletter this week. As we all know, having quality links pointing to your site is essential for ranking well in the search engines. Patrick has a personalized service that handles all the hard work of improving your link popularity. This leads to improved rankings and frees up your time so you can serve your customers.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

P.S.- If you've sent an email lately and didn't hear back from me, try again. My spam-bustin' filters do have a tendency to produce false-positives at times. But, it is a necessary inconvenience as I keep my inbox under control.


Thanks to our sponsors for keeping this a free newsletter...

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Search Engine Marketing News

Been Banned by Yahoo!?
Source: Search Engine Guide - It is interesting to watch the varied reactions to the new Yahoo! search. As a spectator I can sit back and take it all in and form my own opinions. I can then apply my ideas to my clients and watch them succeed. One such topic of interest of late is Yahoo!'s policy on spam in the index.
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Copywriting Makeover: Know Where Your Customers Are In The Buying Process, Part 1 of 2
Source: Search Engine Guide - Something most people neglect is giving due attention to the buying process as a whole and where your target audience is within that process. Understanding this can oftentimes, make or break the success of your copy.
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Overture Site Match - Yahoo Paid-inclusion - PPC
Source: Search Engine Guide - It will be interesting to see where this whole paid-inclusion/PPC brave new world takes us. Is it a sign of things to come? Is this kind of change inevitable as search engine marketing grows up? It may very well be. If so, it's our job to go with the flow and figure out how to best deal with it.
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Top Rankings for Competitive Keywords
Source: Search Engine Guide - The keywords ideal for my real estate site seems to be highly competitive and difficult to rank with. What options do I have?
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Affiliate Programs: Moneymakers or Brandbusters?
Source: SearchDay - Search engine affiliate programs offer the promise of greatly increasing your online exposure and sales, but be careful: They can also displace your firm in search engine results and dilute your brand image.
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Kanoodle Uses Click Rate for Ranking Content Listings
Source: - Called ClickFactor, the ranking tool takes into account both the amount an advertiser bid for the listing and its click-through rate to determine the most relevant listing. A listing's ClickFactor is a score of 1 to 100 of how that listing performs relative to listings in the same category.
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Search conferences - the new rock & roll?
Source: netimperative - Search columnist Mike Grehan says increasingly well-attended - and lubricated - search conferences are helping to forge some unlikely friendships.
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Inclusion and Its Discontents
Source: ClickZ - Yahoo's new Site Match program put the company on the brink. How the company can convince marketers, and consumers, it's doing the right thing.
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Backwards SEM
Source: ClickZ - Online marketers are so busy fiddling with PPC search advertising campaigns, they've lost sight of their bigger problem: Web sites with low conversion rates.
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Yahoo's New Paid Inclusion
Source: ClickZ - Get out your wallets -- inclusion is a privilege, not a right.
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MSN to shake up search ads
Source: - Microsoft's Web portal plans to label its paid-search listings more clearly and to showcase ads sold by its own staff rather than by Yahoo-owned partner Overture.
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Kanoodle Joins Contextual Advertising Fray
Source: SearchDay - What makes Kanoodle's ContextTarget program unique is that advertisers can choose where they want their ads to appear by selecting specific categories. Currently, Overture and AdSense do not allow that level of control.
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Yahoo's New Content Acquisition Program
Source: ClickZ - Yahoo! keeps the changes coming. What's the deal for marketers?
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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.)

Yahoo Web Rank, See your Web rank on yahoo Beta tool bar
Source: High Rankings Forum - "Helps Yahoo! to discover new public sites faster and incorporate those sites into the Yahoo! Search index resulting in more comprehensive search results."

Recommended Analytics Tool
Source: High Rankings Forum - "Because our secure pages (checkout pages where credit card info is taken) are hosting on a different server from the rest of our site we cannot track abandonment between the initial shopping cart and final checkout confirmation. Furthermore our site is not converting particularly well, and we don't get great data about conversion from particular sources. I need help figuring out where our issues are."

Search Engines and AdSense
Source: JimWorld - "Can anyone tell me how does the presence of advertisements that are served up remotely by a third party affect search engine rankings? Can the spiders 'see' such ads?"

Geo-Targeting Content - SEO Implications?
Source: Best Practices - "Put a link to the localised sites, don't use IP delivery unless there is a legal or other reason other than [search engine] strategy for doing a redirect. Many companies have localised sites - it's when you start to try and direct that traffic that you are taking on risk. Besides the user may have a reason for not going to the localised site, in that case you may be blocking them from what they want with your redirect strategy."

Why would anyone bid $5.00 per click (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - " I noticed a large gap between the first and second position in some of the Overture bids that I am at a loss to explain. Example: Top bid: $5.00 Second bid: $1.01 Third bid: $0.85 and so on. Is it just that the guy setting up the $5.00 campaign is a bit lazy at management?"

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

Chat Gets Pushy
Rackspace Managed Hosting has embedded a proactive live chat into its Web site. The scenario works like this: After roaming the Web site for about 30 seconds, a user is greeted with a live, pop-up chat window that includes a thumbnail picture of a salesperson and a header announcing a "Live Conversation with Jay." "Hello," Jay might type next. "Can I help you with some managed hosting solutions today?" Morris Miller, Rackspace's co-chairman, says that in the past six months, nearly 50% of new customers have originated from the chat feature.

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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.