Search Engine Marketing News

Weekly Newsletter - 2005-05-04

Hi Everyone,

Tons of articles this week so I'll skip opening remarks so we can get right to it.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

Have questions or comments? Drop by our forum.


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Search Engine Marketing News

Online not the place for the Road less Travelled
By Gord Hotchkiss - Search Engine Guide - As search marketers, we need to spend more time understanding the territory that our target consumers travel through. All too often, we try to stake our claim to online territory, never knowing if our customer might even come that way.

The Importance of an SEO Site Review
By Paul Bruemmer - Search Engine Guide - All search engine spiders must first be able to digest your content before they can post your high-ranking results. That's why a technical site review is the first step in Search Engine Optimization.

TrustRank May Cleanup Press Release Optimization Spam
By Lee Odden - Online Marketing Blog - Unfortunately, several "Free" newswire services accept a large amount of SEO spam as press releases. If those services do not improve their editorial reviews, (or add them) then Google's efforts will likely have a notable effect on their distribution on Google News. It remains to be seen whether TrustRank will really improve relevancy and user experience for Google News search, but we'll be watching.

Top 500 Search Engine Keywords Of The Week
By Wordtracker - Search Engine Guide - This week's list of the top 500 most frequently searched keywords.

Google Sandbox & the Problems with Link Analysis Software
By Aaron Wall - SEO - As search algorithms advance basic link analysis tools, at least for Google, are starting to become what keyword density tools are: a waste of time.

Search is Over (Part 2 of 2)
By Kevin M. Ryan - iMedia - In the conclusion to a two-part column, Search Editor Kevin Ryan describes the targeting wars raging on the anti-search content battlefield.

Google offers small businesses search marketing through Thomson
By Daniel Farey-Jones - Revolution - Thomson Directories is to sell Google's AdWords targeted pay-per-click text ads service to UK small and medium-sized businesses. The alliance means that Thomson's 500-strong sales force will offer Google AdWords as an integral part of its online directory and search engine marketing offerings.

Feeds: A New Channel for Search Marketing
By Shari Thurow - SearchDay - Savvy search marketers are taking advantage of an increasingly popular technology to attract traffic: RSS feeds that get picked up virtually instantaneously as they are published by specialized webfeed search engines.

Linking's Holy Grail: The Passively-Obtained Backlink
By Eric Ward - Search Engine Guide - The search engines love passive links like this. Why? Because they can trust them.

The Secret Sauce in Web Site Marketing
By Scottie Claiborne - Search Engine Guide - The truth is that many websites just need more descriptive copy. The professional that most people think they can do without - the copywriter- is the one who can have the biggest impact on the success of your site.

How to Hire a Professional SEM - Part 4
By Jennifer Laycock - Search Engine Guide - Once you've selected a few SEM firms to consider, you'll need to decide if you want to work with an individual consultant, an SEM-only firm, or a marketing or web design firm that also offers SEO services.

Search Advertising and Conversion Lag Times
By Fredrick Marckini - ClickZ - Many products have conversion lag times. Yet overanxious marketers correct their course too quickly and leave money on the table.

Think Bigger than That?
By Andrew Goodman - Traffick - Google has evidently done some serious thinking, not just about how they can extend or improve content targeting or come up with a fairer pricing model, but about how they can squeeze significant additional cash out of their existing content network. Like maybe twice as much in 2006 as they make in 2005.

Online ad sellers think local
By Stefanie Olsen - - Ads for mom-and-pop businesses could bring in billions of dollars for Net companies. But can they get the little guy to switch from print?

The Road-Map for Search Marketing Success
By Bill Hartzer - Search Engine Guide - The "Search Engine Marketing Kit" allows you to learn best-practice strategies to maximize traffic, discover keyword strategies you won't find anywhere else, and find out the best ways to optimize pages and build links.

How to Hire a Professional SEM - Part 3
By Jennifer Laycock - Search Engine Guide - The easiest way to find someone that knows what they are doing and how to work well with others to accomplish those tasks is to ask around.

Contextual Advertising Takes A Huge Leap Forward
By Dan Thies - SitePoint - Google's ingenious model for selecting ads to display (maximizing revenue per impression) allows them to perform the 'apples to oranges' comparison with ease, and allow advertisers to bid on the same inventory in whichever terms they find more comfortable.

Five Best Practices for PPC Search
By Kevin Lee - ClickZ - As search engine marketers, we feel we're blazing a trail into a completely new kind of marketing. To some extent, that's true. Yet we can learn from our offline counterparts. Some best practices used by direct marketers and offline brand marketers can be adapted to search engine marketing (SEM).

Yahoo! Search Marketing to Test Graphical Ads
By Pamela Parker - ClickZ - Implementation of such a feature would allow advertisers to incorporate more visual, brand-oriented imagery into their contextual ads, and perhaps let them craft messages designed to reach people earlier in the purchase cycle.

Search Engine Marketing FAQ - Robots.txt and Domain Names
By Jill Whalen - Search Engine Guide - Jill Whalen continues answering frequently asked questions about search engine marketing by tackling the idea of robots.txt files and new domains.

But Is it Search?
By Andrew Goodman - Traffick - One thing is for sure. Big chains like Target will get this local search thing figured out to a 'T'. If you're smaller than them, you're courting big trouble if you wait two or three years to get up to speed.

Google Turns Attention to RSS
By Kevin Newcomb - ClickZ - The search giant started testing a version of its contextual ads that would help advertisers tap into new inventory on RSS or Atom feeds, and potentially help publishers monetize content distributed through that channel.

Yahoo offers up 10 million free ads in contest
By Dawn Kawamoto - - Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Yahoo unveiled a contest for small-business owners on Thursday, offering 10 million free ads on the Yahoo network to the winning entrepreneur who "thinks big."

Worthless Shady Criminals: A Defense Of SEO
By Danny Sullivan - SearchDay - SEO has developed a bad reputation, despite having a lot to offer. In this article, a look at why we've arrived at this sorry state of affairs and how everyone needs to reassess the need for search engine optimization.

Optimize for "Returning Customer" Keywords
By Tansy O’Bryant and Mark Schurtman - After collecting a year of data, Colleen’s SEO firm noticed that repeat customers usually returned to her site not by typing the URL into the address bar or book marking but by searching on the name of her website. Colleen optimized the name of her website for a select set of pages on her site that she would most want her returning customers to see. By using this strategy Colleen created “membership” without having to develop private log in/password driven components to her site.

Search Engine Marketing Q&A with Mike Grehan, Heather Lloyd-Martin, Andy Beal and Ben Wills
Garrett French - MarketerToday - I had the pleasure today of attending the lunch time Q&A session with some of KeywordRanking's vast search engine marketing talent, where Andy Beal encouraged his coworkers to give the AD:TECH audience the nuts and bolts of search engine marketing. Between Mike Grehan, Heather Lloyd-Martin, Andy Beal and Ben Wills they were able to answer, completely, every question the audience posed.

Kanoodle Click Fraud Case Study
fantomNews - What this example does show, however, is how fast wrong conclusions ("fraudulent PPC provider") can hit the Net, creating yet another PR nightmare for the engines concerned.

Innovative, Free, New Advertising Network – Link Vault Makes Its Debut
Kimberly Krause Berg - cre8pc - A Link Vault member sets aside space on their web site for a certain allotment of outbound links or advertisements to other Link Vault member sites. In return, member sites link back to your site. The value here is not only getting those much needed links (which are viewed by some search engines as a vote of confidence), but more importantly, the link relationship is determined by category.

When Corporate Politics and SEO Collide
By P.J. Fusco - ClickZ - Nothing quells a political corporate storm like success. In a large corporate environment, there's always another political squall brewing. Be patient, communicative, and accessible. Then, ride the storm out knowing the spirit of your SEO project can be dampened, but not drowned, by corporate politics.

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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.)

Methods and Technologies Discussed at SEM (Boston)
Search Engine Watch Forums - "...highlights from the 11th Search Engine Meeting that took place in Boston, USA, April 24-25, 2006. This is where commercial search engine developers, academics and corporate professionals learn from each other."

SEO Browser - Lynx on Steroids
High Rankings Forum - "This will actually help me a lot in what I've got to explain to a group of execs next week. Showing exactly what the spiders sees is the best thing I can do."

AskJeeves Will Drop Ads by 31%
Cre8asite Forums - "On one hand you have those who sit in the R&D department, knocking out creative solutions to better answer your questions. These guys understand the power of their search technology (Teoma) and (IMO) are as frustrated as you are (probably more) that these Google Ads come up above the pure organic results."

Factors Affecting Link Pricing
Cre8asite Forums - "I was hoping to solicit advice from people on what factors you feel are important when considering renting or buying a link from a website. ...I'm hoping to develop a tool that can automatically measure as much of this as possible and return a range of pricing that would be fair."

Scary Exit Rates!
Cre8asite Forums - " e-commerce sites have high product detail exit rates? I thought my solution was to make it more user friendly, but perhaps the customers are just not finding what they want?"

Yahoo To Test Banner Ads
Webmaster World - "A Yahoo Inc. spokeswoman confirmed this week that the company's search-marketing division, formerly known as Overture Services, plans to start testing graphical banner ads displayed based on their relevancy to a Web page's content in the next few weeks."

SEO & The Zen Factor
High Rankings Forum - "Well in my case the time I would spend analyzing those specific factors (to a degree) is time lost because I do better when I don't dwell on certain factors. I'm not saying it's a good idea to not research, to not have a base of knowledge regarding the search engines, or to not stay current with the trends, but there comes a point when you just know what to do (enough to get top placement at least) and anything else is counter productive for me."

Yay! Even Danny's Sick Of Seo Spammers!
High Rankings Forum - "It's more than just a black hat/white hat sort of thing. This industry has players that even give the black hats a bad name: People who are completely incompetent at any SEO technique, white or black hat, whose principal objective is to trick the clients out of as much money as possible. They don't even bother trying to trick the search engines."

Where does the Description come from?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "As we all know, along with the title, the description that a search engine uses for your site in a SERP can have a significant impact on whether or not someone chooses to click on your link. Apparently, the rules have changed recently."

Changes in Google AdWords Ad Rankings Formula
Webmaster World - "The difference is that now, the CTR of the ad copy itself is factored in, instead of it being solely the CTR of the keyword."

Google FeedSense
Cre8asite Forums - "If bloggers are purposely offering only snippets in the hopes of earning more revenue from their blogs, than I am all for ads on feeds as long as they provide the complete posts and not just summaries in their feeds. But, please, not image ads!"

Comparison Strategies - Links, PPC, Advertising, Buying Link
Cre8asite Forums - "Many of you use different link and advertising campaigns to get the word out about your web site (s). How do you determine the right course of action? Does budget play a part in the decision, or ease of use, or the relationship between sites (such as linking to subject related sites.)?"

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

How can I save my rankings on MSN ?
"...what bothers me the most is that the sites are successful in almost all search engines, except for the new MSN. Besides, these sites used to get on MSN top 10# or pretty decent rankings prior to the new MSN search algorithm."

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