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Weekly Newsletter - 2004-04-07
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Hi Everyone!

One of my two favorite SEO copywriters, Karon Thackston, is this week's sponsor. Karon's new report delivers more of what she is famous for - straight to the point information and tips on improving your site copy. The result - improved rankings and more visitors converting to customers.

Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough


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


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Search engines are "text machines." That means effective search engine copywriting is your long-term ace in the hole for high rankings. But when SEO copy sounds stiff or forced it drives visitors away costing you sales.

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Search Engine Marketing News

SEO's Relationship With Website Architecture
Source: Search Engine Guide - Search engine optimization for today's search engine robots requires that sites be well-designed and easy-to-navigate. To a great degree, organic search engine optimization is simply an extension of best practices in web page design.
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Top 500 Search Engine Keywords Of The Week
Source: Search Engine Guide - This week's list of the top 500 most frequently searched keywords.
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Closing the Last Mile Gap: Local Search
Source: - For consumers, local search will be a time saver, in the house and in the car. But for businesses, it will represent a shift in buying habits that may give the local storefront a chance to regain the ground it ceded to online stores.
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Inside the Searcher's Mind: It's a Jungle in Here!
Source: Search Engine Guide - We decided to try to peel back the shroud that covers common search behavior. We wanted to see just how people searched, and ask them what went through their minds during the search process.
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Froogle Optimization
Source: Search Engine Guide - I have started seeing listings from Froogle in the Google search results. How can I get my website listed in those Froogle listings?
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Geotargeted Search and E-Mail Indexing
Source: ClickZ - Location-based search will enormously affect established industries, such as the yellow pages, as well as contextual advertising and e-mail marketing. The potential is huge, but it raises many questions.
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Subtle PPC Differences Can Boost ROI
Source: ClickZ - If you know how to use to your advantage, seemingly small differences between Google and Overture's paid ad programs can make big improvements to your bottom line.
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Google to Take "Actuarial" Approach to Pricing AdSense Clicks?
Source: Traffick - Here's the really good part of the announcement... Google can mysteriously apply its actuarial tables to assign different values to different "classes" of publishers as a response to the rise of a parasitic class of site owners who are happy to collect AdSense revenues by (somehow) generating clicks on ads while offering little of true value, in the form of a receptive buying audience, to advertisers.
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Google PageRank, Meet Yahoo Web Rank!
Source: Search Engine Report - Yahoo has launched a system to show the Web Rank popularity of pages viewed by those using its toolbar. It's similar to the Google Toolbar's long-standing PageRank meter -- and brings with it some of the same potential problems.
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SEM Power Politics: PACs, Nonprofits, and 527s
Source: ClickZ - Smart non-commercial entities are taking advantage of negligible keyword competition.
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Search Engine Marketing Q&A
Source: Search Engine Guide - Last week's Q&A article was such a hit, I decided to do a similar one today...
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Review ClickTracks v5.0
Source: Search Engine Guide - In essence, it's a log file analyzer that visually displays how visitors interact with your site. Thanks to it's easy-to-use visitor tagging and tracking features, it's especially useful to those at the pro end of the SEM market, usability analysts and those who need to measure and track ROI.
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Paid Search Programs Finally Growing Up
Source: SearchDay - The search industry has come a long way since the days of running poorly targeted banner advertisements on search results pages. Enhanced keyword targeting capabilities and powerful new bidding and ROI analysis tools have raised the value of search as a promotional channel for online -- and increasingly offline -- merchants.
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Search Engine Books & Services (Classifieds)

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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.)

Google Quality of Pages and SERPS (Free reg. required)
Source: Webmaster World - "PageJacking is a serious (and growing) problem again. The big change has been that Yahoo's algo is more on the page focused than Google's or Ask Jeeves/Teoma. This has made it profitable for the page jackers to start spidering content again."

Broken Link Checker
Source: JimWorld - "Can someone give me some good recommendations on link checkers, both free online ones (if any) and software ones?"

Clicktracks Vs Webtrends
Source: High Rankings Forum - "Webtrends is very robust and can be an incredible tool, but you have to be a genius to set it up and then set up the automated reports. ...ClickTracks is an excellent marketing oriented stats solution. For evaluating marketing and usability trends, it is the best available. However, if you want technical stats, this won't do it for you. ...NetTracker is one of my favorites for getting technical and drill-down data from a website. It is a breeze to set up and the interface is naturally intuitive."

Linking to 'Expert' Documents?
Source: Best Practices Forums - "With PageRank (read 'The PageRank citation: bringing order to the web'), they do have a concept of 'PageRank sinks' which are dead ends on the web map, with no outlinks. More recently there has been discussion of 'hoarding PageRank.' It is very reasonable to suggest that Google doesn't like a site that doesn't link out at all."

Divining Relevance
Source: High Rankings Forum - "The nice thing about this exercise is that it gives you a more accurate way to judge relevance for a generic search term. It's not perfect (perfect is impossible in this case), but it's proven very useful."

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

Plusses and Minuses in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate programs offer greatly increased 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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