Search Engine Marketing News - 2005-08-31

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Hi Everybody!

Please consider making a donation to help the people and pets who are vicitims of Hurricane Katrina. Follow this link for a list of charities.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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    Search Engine Marketing Made Simple - Presented by Search Engine Guide and The Karcher Group.
    September 27, 2005
    $99 Early Registration - (Seating is limited)
    9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    The Business Technology Center
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    Contact Collyn with Questions: 330.493.6141
    Check Jennifer's blog post for further information on the benefits of attending.


    Search Engine Marketing Articles

    How Important is ALT Text In Search Engine Optimization?
    by Robin Nobles - For years, search engine optimizers have included their important keyword phrases in ALT text for images, feeling confident that many of the search engines considered the ALT text when determining relevancy. The big question is, has this changed?

    What Affiliate Marketers Want
    by Todd Mintz - Seasoned, experienced affiliate marketers will generate revenue for whichever programs they are promoting. If they are treated well by a merchant, they will exert more effort on that partner’s behalf, increasing their bottom line sales. An affiliate manager’s ability to develop, maintain, and enhance relationships with these top performers can have a tremendous impact on company revenue.

    Expanding on Usability
    by Jim Hedger - Usability is often confused accessibility (making a site fully accessible to people with physical disabilities) however accessibility is a critical element in site usability.

    Do You Have a Bad SEO Company, or Are You Just a Bad Client?
    by Stoney deGeyter - There have been a number of blog and forum posts and articles recently about what to do if you’re with a bad SEO company. All good advice, but sometimes it's not the SEO that's bad, its the client.

    Competitor Intelligence Helps Protect and Elevate Your Brand
    by Paul Bruemmer - SEO competitor intelligence research can give you a competitive edge in achieving your business goals. It can boost your listings ahead of the competition in the SERPs (search engine results pages), and it also works to protect your brand.

    Testimonials - Friend or Foe?
    by Diane Aull - When done right, testimonials can be a strong ally in establishing the credibility of your website. When done wrong, they can actually do more harm than good.

    A Few Questions with iKarma CEO Paul Williams
    by Jennifer Laycock - As a follow-up to an article that I wrote earlier this week about online reputation management, I decided to sit down with Outlook and have a conversation with Paul Williams, the CEO of a new reputation management community known as iKarma.


    Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

    Optimize the ALT Attribute...for Users...Not Engines
    For years I've harped on people to keep their paws off the ALT attribute when they are looking for places to put their keywords. While it's fine and dandy to include keyword rich text when appropriate, it's far too tempting for some people to go overboard. A new study shows why the temptation doesn't even need to exist anymore... (skip straigh to: "How Important is ALT Text In Search Engine Optimization?" by Robin Nobles.)

    Running an Affiliate Program? Do it Right!
    Affiliate marketing has been a powerful force on the Internet for about two seconds less than e-commerce has. Many a company has successfully used affiliate programs to drive traffic and increase sales. That said, many a company has also run into affiliate related problems. You can avoid these problems though, with a little bit of planning. (skip straight to "What Affiliate Marketers Want" by Todd Mintz.)

    Traffic Power Gets Schooled
    Today class, professor Sullivan will walk you step by step through the allegations Traffic Power has made against Aaron Wall of SEO Book and he will provide links to sites you may not be familiar with. For example, professor Sullivan points out...

    Still Befuddled by RSS? Don't Sweat It...
    If you still haven't fully grasped what RSS is, how it can benefit your company, and ways it can improve your information gathering, you are not alone.

    New Search Features for Yahoo! Mail
    Yahoo! Mail moves up a notch on the nifty scale with the release of improved search capabilities that will help you better manage your mail.

    The Battle Between Google & Microsoft Over Kai-Fu Lee Rages On
    In the continuing saga over Google hiring Kai-Fu Lee to head up a new China research center, Google has asked a federal judge in California to rule that Lee's contract with Microsoft is unenforceable and that the researcher should be allowed to join Google unfettered by the terms of his employment deal.

    Is Your Business Keeping Up With the Jones?
    While I don't tend to worry about what my neighbors are doing when it comes to the latest car or the latest gadget, I do keep an eye on my business competitors. You should to, and part of what you are watching should be their search marketing presence. (Skip to "Competitor Intelligence Helps Protect and Elevate Your Brand" by Paul Bruemmer)

    Usability, the New "It" Thing...
    Usability may be a buzz word these days, and it may be the new "it" thing, but that doesn't mean that it's a trend that is going to come and go and leave you with nothing to worry about. (Skip straight to "Expanding on Usability" by Jim Hedger)

    Blogging Continues To Grow While Companies Eye Possible Legal Pitfalls
    More and more corporate blogs are making their way onto the Internet while lawyers are warning companies of the possible legal hazards that could occur when employees are let loose in the free-wheeling blogosphere. Sun Microsystems, Microsoft and General Motors are just a few examples of some large companies that have officially sanctioned corporate blogs...

    Google vs. Everyone Else?
    "Its lips are sealed, but its moves rattle everyone from Microsoft to eBay." A look beyond the typical "Google vs. Microsoft" debate to speculate on possible Google vs. Motorola, Google vs. Verizon, and Google vs. eBay wars as well.

    Yahoo! & SBC Team Up To Make Music Together for DSL Users
    Red Herring reports on a Wednesday announcement that Yahoo and SBC Communications are teaming up to offer an unlimited "all-you-can-eat" music download service for a flat rate to SBC’s DSL customers. This comes one day after Verizon entered a similar partnership.

    Microsoft Responds to Google Talk
    While all the talk about "Google Talk" has been going on, Microsoft has quietly updated its own IM client. In a report by Sean Michael Kerner, Microsoft launched MSN Messenger 7.5 yesterday which is an incremental update to version 7.0 rolled out at the beginning of April.

    AOL News Joins the Big League of News Search Engines
    It has been interesting to watch American Online (AOL) work to reinvent themselves over the course of this year. Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR reported today that recent Nielsen//NetRatings show that AOL News has a unique audience of 16.5 million. Greg goes on to say that while the unique audience of AOL News is about 29% smaller than Yahoo News, it is 2.4 times larger than Google News and almost 6.8 times larger than

    Yahoo Ad System Crashes, Angering Advertisers in the Process
    It appears that after a scheduled weekend upgrade to Yahoo! Search Marketing's (formerly known as Overture) ad system, it has experienced nothing but problems since. According to MarketingVOX's report, "the system first slowed to a crawl, and then went belly up on Monday, preventing marketers from making changes to their campaigns, accessing their accounts and, in many cases, even having their ads run at all."

    Is It Appropriate for a Site to Monetize its Page Rank as Well as its Page Impressions?
    That was a recent question asked by Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc, in response to Phil Ringnalda's comments claiming search engine spam by advertisers on O'Reilly sites. Phil had complained that the O'Reilly sites were selling links to search engine spammers.

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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.)

    The Future of Search
    Cre8asite Forums - "...maybe these specialized searches are a little like using the right tool for the job when you have a very specific type of search to perform, and you just aren't satisfied with the results from a Google or Yahoo!"

    Paying For Links
    High Rankings Forum - " what point does paid advertising --that is out of control of course-- actually start to hurt the linking site's reputation in their own field? Or should they be able to get away with it, simply by the search engine devaluing selected outgoing links, but leaving everything else untouched?"

    GoogleNet - Rumors of a Parallel Internet Surface
    Webmaster World - "Google's secret fiber-optic underground network - it literally titillates the imaginative senses with latent possibilities."

    Which Stats Package Is Right for You?
    Webmaster World - "An overview of the entire field of tracking and logging analysis packages -- what types of website statistics products are out there, and who does each one serve best."

    Google Funnies
    Cre8asite Forums - "I'm not sure that I have the words to describe this adequately: GooglePark: 'Scoble goes to google'."

    Traffic Power Files Suit Against SEO Book
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "Note to TP: feel free to sue me for my honestly held opinion. I'll see you in court. Part of my evidence will be supplying the court (and anyone else in the courtroom) with the basis for my honestly held opinion, which would include every single slimy thing you've ever done that was leaked on the net and I know about - could take weeks."

    Length Of Title Tags...
    High Rankings Forum - "By putting my company name in title tag along with the keywords I am targeting, doesn't that lower the relevancy of my tag? Wouldn't it be ranked lower than one without the company name?"

    How Best to Localise on AdWords?
    Cre8asite Forums - "Can anyone offer thoughts and advice on how to get local traffic using adwords? Adwords gives you the option to localise so that the adverts are only shown in a certain country... BUT is this a good idea?"

    Seo Charging Ongoing Fees ... $200, $400, $1,500
    High Rankings Forum - "Now ... there has to be a logical explanation to this. The less they charge, the worse links they are getting for you in an ongoing maintenance?"

    Filter Your Traffic for Fun and Profit
    Webmaster World - "We see a great many questions about how to increase earnings posted here. One simple, and very effective answer is to filter your traffic."

    Are SEO Forums Ruining the SEO/SEM Industry Image?
    Cre8asite Forums - "Has the industry tanked or is this just what being an SEO/SEM is all about?"

    NYT On Google As The New Microsoft
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain is an interesting revisit to an old theme that seems to be picking up speed -- Google as the new Microsoft. Think they are growing too dominant in everything? Think even if they are, they'll be the 'nice' version of Microsoft?"

    New Google Desktop Search 2 With Widgets Sidebar
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "Google's latest desktop search release comes with a new sidebar that shows news headines, RSS feeds, a scratch pad, photos. First step toward Google Office 2006 or a Google OS?"

    Yahoo! Lands Multi-Year Viacom Distribution Deal
    Webmaster World - "That represents a lot of potential income, and a good part of what's in that deal seems to target users within a certain demographic."

    Where Did They Go And Why?
    High Rankings Forum - "When I see that a directory is an ODP clone, of course I don't submit to it, but if they seeded the directory with ODP data and then started adding new material on their own, I've never considered that a problem."

    Deciphering Matt Cutts
    High Rankings Forum - "For some (important) sites... if they find a URL with something that looks like a session ID variable, they might try fetching the URL without that variable, to see if they get the same content, and can safely surf the site without that variable."

    Code Without Messing Up Impressions?
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "What some people do for dev work is place an image the same size as the ad unit as a placeholder, then swap out the placeholder for the AdSense code at the end."

    O'Reilly In Off-Topic Link Selling Debate
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "The problem with search engines is that they are topic and page-centric, but marketers are audience-centric. At the end of the day, it's the audience that truly matters."

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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 to Handle Delivery Dispute
    "I have a customer that claims she did not receive a shipment. The Delivery Tracking confirmation from USPS shows the date and time the package was delivered. She wants another package sent. ...What would you do? I am not at a point where I can just give inventory away."

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