Search Engine Marketing News - 2005-08-24

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Hi Everybody!

2ndSite, this week's sponsor, provides a very cool web- based invoicing service that is extremely affordable. They've advertised before and I took a brief look at their service, but that was it. This time, Michael McDerment from 2ndSite sent a sample invoice to me so I would understand how easy paying the invoice and using the service in general would be. Good move because, wow, it is neat.

I told him to send one to Jennifer to see if she thought it was any good. She's always one-upping me on cool stuff she sends to me, so I thought her response was funny .... look at the ad because they included it.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

Have questions or comments? Drop by our forum.

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Upcoming Seminars and Conferences

Search Engine Marketing Made Simple - Presented by Search Engine Guide and The Karcher Group. The seminar is priced for small businesses ($99 Early Registration), so you'll have plenty of funds left for your plane tickets. :-) Check Jennifer's blog post for further information on the benefits of attending. Seating is limited to don't wait so register.

PowerHouse Linking - Presented by Scottie Claiborne. At this seminar you'll learn to create and execute targeted link building campaigns from linking experts Eric Ward and Debra Mastaler. I don't need to tell you how important link building is to your online success. But, in case you don't know Eric and Debra...

Eric is as old school as it gets - his service started in 1994 and he is the guy who did the original link building campaign for That worked out pretty well. :-)

Debra is the "professor of link building" who always amazes me with the creative ideas she comes up with. I have her to thank for many link building ideas I've learned from her over the years at various forums.

Hat's off to Scottie for being able to line up these two heavy hitters.


Search Engine Marketing Articles

Google Launches Google Talk
by Jennifer Laycock - In a move that likely marks the company's first foray into online communication tools, Google launched its new Google Talk tool just after midnight last night.

The Upside of Copyright Infringement
by Debra O'Neil-Mastaler - I've noticed an alarming trend of what I call "copyright dj vu". I keep reading the same text on different sites over and the point where I quit reading the content because I know what's coming.

SEO 101 - Basic Optimization Techniques
by Jim Hedger - Believe it or not, basic SEO is all about common sense and simplicity. The purpose of search engine optimization is to make a website as search engine friendly as possible. Its really not that difficult.

Reputation Management, Are You Doing It?
by Jennifer Laycock - As the world shifts more and more focus toward online research, the importance of knowing what other people are saying about your company increases exponentially.

A New Keyword Advertising Model: An Interview with Mel Strocen of Jayde Online
by Scott Buresh - The Independent Search Engine and Directory Network (ISEDN), founded in June 2005, is an alliance of approximately 48 niche search engines and directories.

True Paid Inclusion Programs are a "Thing of the Past" . . . Or Are They?
by Robin Nobles - The paid inclusion programs of the past certainly didnt come with pay-per-click fees attached, but some of them do now. Yes, the visibility can be impressive, but the programs come with definite disadvantages.

Google Updates Desktop Search
by Jennifer Laycock - Google unveiled version two of its desktop search software this morning. Google Desktop 2 featured an updated look and a suite of new tools designed to improve a users' overall search experience.

The First SEO Republic Forumed
by Jim Hedger - Like thousands of other SEO practitioners, I have been quietly monitoring a raging debate that has crossed several SEO/SEM related forums over the past week.

Murthy vs the Goliaths: The Power of Search at Work
by Gord Hotchkiss - As search marketers, we often assume that the whole world knows about the power of search. Sometimes we forget that a large part of the world is still waking up to the new reality of online marketing.

Pay Per Call A Report Card
by Paul Bruemmer - The Pay Per Call advertising model lets advertisers bid for phone call leads rather than clicks, at the rate of $2.00 and up, depending on category selection. It allows SEM firms and agencies to diversify their existing offerings, capturing revenue from new audiences.

RSS Feeds - a Website Owner's Friend in Disguise
by Bill Hartzer - Whether you use RSS to publish your own feed or you use someone else's feed on your website, both provide great benefits to website owners-and definitely will continue in the future to be used more and more.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: Part 2
by Stoney DeGeyter - In the second part of this series, Ill look beyond the details of getting your site ready to optimize and will dive in to the actual work that takes place before your site goes live.

Yahoo! Local Gets an Overhaul
by Jennifer Laycock - Drawing traffic from a local search site like Yahoo! Local isn't just going to be about buying the right directory listing or bidding on the right PPC term. It's going to be about making your customers happy enough that they want to tell other people about you.

More SEO Ramblings from Jill
by Jill Whalen - How often do we hear about "proprietary technology" when it comes to SEO? And how many use scare tactics in order to keep those monthly checks rolling in? Those are not smart, long-term client relationship techniques!

Size Less Important Than User Utility
by Jim Hedger - The frustration with the major search engines felt by serious search marketers is real. Our clients dont care about size and neither does their money. They care about being relevant.

Avoiding Search Engine Penalties or Getting Out From Under Them
by David Wallace - There are times when a web site has indeed come under some kind of penalty or has been completely removed from a search index for one reason or another. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid such penalties as well as ways to redeem yourself if you have experienced this misfortune.

Froogle Mobile Might Shake Up Your Business
by Jennifer Laycock - Those innovative engineers over at Google are at it again. This time they are bringing the power of Froogle to the palm of your hand. Froogle Mobile launched yesterday and is now available on phones that support WML (WAP 1.2). How does this launch impact you?


Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

All This Talk About Google Talk
Just a few hours ago I was blogging about all the speculation around Google's new communication tool. Just after midnight, the speculation ended and Google Talk was introduced to the world. (Skip to "Google Launches Google Talk" by Jennifer Laycock)

New Yahoo! Indexing Tools
Am I the only one that thinks it's a little crazy that folks are getting excited about submitting to search engines again?

A Search Engine Marketing Primer
Search engine marketing isn't difficult, it just takes time, a little ingenuity and a LOT of experimenting. Figuring out where to start can be tough though, which is why a good search engine marketing primer can be a blessing to a small business owner. (or, skip straight to "SEO 101 - Basic Optimization Techniques" by Jim Hedger)

An Interview with an SEM Insider
While the search engine marketing industry has been working on sites for nearly a decade, it's only been in the past few years that the marketing world and businesses as a whole have started to gain interest in it. Sometimes its nice to get a little bit of insight from someone on the inside.

Getting Links in the Weirdest Places
There are two things that it's easy for any webmaster to obsess over: finding new ways to get links and making sure that no one is plagiarizing the content that they've worked so hard to build. You wouldn't think these two things are related, but some link experts thing otherwise. (Skip straight to "The Upside of Copyright Infringement" by Debra O'Neil-Mastaler)

Google Updates AdSense Policies
Jensense noted that Google has updated their Terms of Service once again for AdSense publishers. You know, that's all that legal jargon that you may have glazed over when you agreed to run Google ads on your site. Of course many people in general don't take the time to read terms of service or licensing agreements but if you are earning any type of a healthy income running AdSense on your site(s), then you better pay attention to what Google's TOS has to say.

Do You Forget to Invoice Too?
One of the most difficult parts of the job when it comes to small search marketing shops (or any small business really...) is remembering to send your monthly invoices. Robert passed along a link to me earlier today to point out a great service that helps make this problem go away.

Ego Surfing is About More Than Your Ego...
If we haven't done it ourselves, we know someone that's done it. That's right, typing in your own name, or the name of a date, a new friend, or a potential employer into a search engine to see what pops up. It's not a new idea. What is a new idea, in the small business world, is the idea of searching for your own company just to see what other people are saying about you. That's where online reputation management comes into play. (Skip to "Reputation Management, Are you Doing It?", by Jennifer Laycock)

Search Engine Disclosure Gets Another Look
It's only been a year since they did their first evaluation, but they're already back with more. The Consumer Reports WebWatch team has released another study that examines how the major search engines disclose paid search advertising to their users.

ISEDN Aims to Offer Affordable Keyword Advertising
A new network of search engines and directories is aiming to create an affordable alternative to the traditional pay-per-click options offered by the major players. Dubbed ISEDN, the Independent Search Engine and Directory Network was launched just a few months ago. (or, skip to "A New Keyword Advertising Model: An Interview with Mel Strocen of Jayde Online" by Scott Buresh.)

Google to Release VoIP and IM?
Is it not enough to dominate search? Is Google also looking to get in on the action of how people communicate with each other? Possibly, if you believe the rumors running around the Web. The Los Angeles Times has an article today that claims to have confirmation from "inside sources."

Paid Inclusion Then and Now
Long, long ago in an industry far away, there was a world with no pay-per-click fees. A world where you could guarantee that your pages would be respidered every day or two simply by paying a small fee. While most of us are fairly happy with the way things are now, there were a few good things about the way they were then. (Skip straight to "True Paid Inclusion Programs are a "Thing of the Past"...Or Are They" by Robin Nobles.)

Putting Google to Work for You
While many a techie has dreamed of working at Google, not many people give a thought to the idea of putting the Google team to work for them. Yes, I know that you can already do this by using the Google search engine, but their usefulness goes far beyond their web site. (Skip straight to "Google Updates Desktop Search" by Jennifer Laycock.)

ClickZ Launches Blog
Looks like Robert and I aren't the only ones having a tough time making editorial decisions on what news to cover. The folks over at ClickZ have launched their own blog, and they've done it for pretty much the exact same reasons that we have.

Is Search Still the Great Equalizer?
One of the beautiful things about search engine marketing, and the Internet as a whole, is that it can help level the playing field between corporate behemoth and mom and pop shop. (Skip straight to "Murthy vs the Goliaths: The Power of Search at Work" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Google dances its way to some nice publicity...
While the Google Dance has been going on for four years now, the 2005 event has managed to generate some great publicity for Google. From a bay of video games to a 15 foot beer stein, Google threw another bash to be remembered.

And the hat debate continues...
The white hat, black hat debate continues to rage on in forums around the Web, seemingly with no end in sight. Is there a way to put this argument to rest, or is the industry forever doomed to be polarized by one extreme or the other? (Skip straight to "The First SEO Republic Forumed" by Jim Hedger.)

Great Link Building Article
Everyone knows that when it comes to search engine marketing, links are important. What most people still have a hard time grasping though is the idea that not all links are created equal. Ideas like reciprocal linking, inbound linking, anchor text and authority sites can leave small business owners scratching their heads.

Search Engine Market Share Update
July 2005 search engine market shares: Google - 36.5%, Yahoo! - 30.5%, MSN - 15.5% by ZDNet's ZDNet Research -- You've seen the HitWise data on search engine market shares in July 2005, now ComScore Networks presented its findings. For July 2005 searches Google led with 36.5% share, Yahoo! was second with 30.5%. MSN was third with 15.5%, AOL had 9.9%, Ask had 6.1%, InfoSpace accounted for 0.9%.

RSS Feeds are a Hot Topic
RSS feeds have a huge buzz factor right now in the search engine marketing world. Heck, they have a huge buzz factor in the world in general. It's no surprise, they are handy, fairly easy to create, and can be a powerful traffic driver. Many small business owners find the idea of setting up an RSS feed to be a bit daunting. They shouldn't. (Skip straight to Bill Hartzer's article: RSS Feeds - a Website Owner's Friend in Disguise )

Why I Don't Drink...Late Night SES Conversations...
Anyone that has hung out with me at a search marketing conference knows that I don't drink. No, I'm not a recovering alcoholic, no I don't think it's morally reprehensible. I just don't drink. Sometimes...there are advantages to that.

Google Adds More AdWords Real Estate
Apparently Google also read the eye tracking study that's been getting so much press lately. It seems that they've decided to add a third PPC listing above the organic search results for certain types of keyword phrases.

Pay Per Call is a Hot Topic...
Apparently I'm not the only one that walked away from last week's Search Engine Strategies thinking that pay-per-call might be about to come into its own. Search Engine Guide guest writer has a great wrap-up of what's going on in the pay-per-call world in today's article: Pay Per Call A Report Card

It Can't be Said Enough...Be Patient
Sometimes I feel like there's this mantra of SEM being repeated over and over again throughout forums, conferences and client meetings: "be patient, these things take time." Nonetheless, there's always someone out there that just doesn't get it and wants to know why they can't be number one for search term X by the end of the day. (Skip straight to Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: Part 2 by Stoney DeGeyter.)

MIVA Gears up for UK Pay-Per-Call
On September 13th, MIVA will be launching their new MIVA Pay-Per-Call ad service in the UK market. Advertisers can begin signing up and readying their accounts now, but will have to wait for the launch date to start running their campaigns.

AdSense Team Shares Insight Through Blog
You could call it peer pressure, you could call it a desire to stay one step ahead of the competition, whatever you call it, the Google AdSense team has decided to start their own blog to share some insights into their world. Claiming to offer "a look inside Google AdSense," the new blog should see the addition of a few new posts a week and aims to offer up some tips and suggestions for improving the AdSense on your site.

AdWords Changes are Live
Depending on the types of keyword phrases that you bid on, the new changes to the AdWords system may be making you jump for you, or they may be making you dig deeper into your wallet. Either way, things aren't going to stay the same and you need to start thinking about how the new system will impact your PPC ads.

Local Search Gets Kicked Up a Notch
One of the great things to happen in the search world recently is the increased focus on local search. Companies like A9 and Judy's Book are breaking new ground when it comes to building better localized search content. Not to be left behind, Yahoo! has rolled out some updates of its own. (Skip straight to Yahoo! Local Gets an Overhaul by Jennifer Laycock)

Are We Marketers or Teachers? Or Both?
It can be frustrating sometimes to talk to companies that are considering hiring a search engine marketer. That said, it can also be frustrating talking to other search engine marketers about the way I like to do business. From the looks of things, I'm not the only one who feels this way. (Or jump straight to More SEO Ramblings from Jill Whalen)

YPN or AdSense?
With the recent beta launch of Yahoo!'s contextual advertising program for small publishers, there's been a lot of buzz lately over which will end up being the better system: YPN or AdSense?

Still Talking About Size...
Yep, that's right. People are STILL talking about size and whether or not it matters. While you may have thought that that was an issue settled ages ago, apparently Yahoo!'s claim last week struck some nerves and managed to set the whole industry buzzing. (Jump straight to Size Less Important Than User Utility by Jim Hedger.)

Another SEM Conference? You Betcha!
I know, I know, we just wrapped up the granddaddy of search engine marketing conferences in San Jose last week. There's no doubt that Search Engine Strategies is one of the best conferences going on in the world today. That said, it's expensive, and it can be a bit overwhelming for folks just learning about search engine marketing.

Google vs. Geico Could Impact Your Trademark
Industry watchers continue to keep an eye this week on the court case involving Google AdWords and an accusation from Geico that Google's practices diluted the Geico trademark. While the final outcome of the court case remains the be seen, the decision could have a lasting impact on the ability of small businesses to enforce their trademarks.

Keeping Your Site in a Search Engine's Good Graces
Although more and more small businesses are starting to understand the basics of search engine marketing, there are still plenty of folks worried about pushing the line too far and getting penalized. Even worse, there's still enough bad advice floating around the Web that some site owners don't even know they're doing something wrong.

Froogle Mobile Launches - What's it to You?
Most people know that Google has a handy shopping search engine named Froogle. What some folks may not know is that yesterday, Froogle launched a new feature that could have a strong impact on the way that people shop at brick and mortar stores.

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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 Talk Instant Messaging
Webmaster World - "It seems to me that Google are battling for desktop space here. The internet is getting ever closer to the desktop, and the dekstop is where you need your ads."

Google Launches Enhanced Desktop Software
Webmaster World - "Google Inc. unveils a computer and Web search tool on Monday using self-updating navigation and personal information software that puts it in more direct competition with Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL."

MSN Search Toolbar Anyone?
Cre8asite Forums - "We've heard enough debate about installing/not installing the Google Toolbar. What about the MSN one. Has anyone given it a go. How did you find it?"

Strategies for Taking Advantage of New AdWords System
Webmaster World - "With every new AdWords change, there are always new strategies that evolve to take advantage of the system changes. This thread is specifically for strategies for the new min cpc system..."

Registering Domains To Avoid The Sandbox
High Rankings Forum - " company is considering purchasing a number of generic domain names (about 50!)eg. 'ourbusiness1', 'ourbusiness2', etc. The idea is that we then put up a simple holding page so that when we get a new client they can have one of these domains."

Yahoo Local Beta Goes Live with Community Feature
Webmaster World - "I was suspicious and slightly bored by the concept, but when I looked at it, I found it... impressive. It's taking the concept of your local independent weekly, and organizing all the local info into an easily scanned dashboard."

Any Way to Manipulate Alexa Rankings?
Webmaster World - "Above 5k is pretty accurate and I can't see someone manipulating it. (trust me - kick can - I've tried every trick known to trip it). Wouldn't it be nice if MSN, AOL, or Google released their own traffic figures from their caches and toolbars..."

AdWords Smart Keyword Evaluation Is Live
Search Engine Watch Forums - "True, they are a for-profit company, with a really complicated rate card. But it's their site, and their technology. They are a publisher that has the right to set prices on ads, as with many similar media businesses over the past century. Empire, schmempire. And the major broadcast networks (etc.) aren't empires?"

Details On New Yahoo Paid Listings System
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Sometime next year, Yahoo will launch a new paid listings system allowing for multiple creatives, ranking based on CPCxCTR and other changes."

Optimizing For Typos
High Rankings Forum - " do you optmize the page for typos without using the typo ... does it make sense ?"

New Google Layout - Dividing Up the Organic Top 10
High Rankings Forum - "To lay it out the way they have now, with the 'Did You Mean' type of hint, makes a lot of sense. If nothing else I my first impression is that it will cause some folks to be a bit more specific with their next search."

Avoiding Search Engine Penalties or Getting Out From Under Them
Small Business Ideas Forum - "...even if you follow all of the rules laid out in the article and in the various guidelines, there are still instances where your site will disappear from the index, and you will be pulling your hair out trying to figure it out. Was a complaint filed? Is there a bug in the system? Did a flag get placed in our database entries? An 'oops' moment?"

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

Google AdSense Optimization
"Turns out the hacker used a simple, common password that was in use by the tech support guys at my hosting company."

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