Search Engine Marketing News - 2005-09-07

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Hi Everybody!

With all the devastation we've seen caused by Hurricane Katrina, I wanted to take just a moment to provide you with some positive news.

I lived in New Orleans as a boy and have so many wonderful memories. In fact, I'll never forget my first grade teacher because she would not allow us to fan ourselves during class because it was "distracting." There was no air conditioning, and it was hot, but I learned a lot and had fun. :-) New Orleans was also one of my parents absolute favorite places in the world because of the people, the food, and the history. Seeing it wiped out now is difficult to grasp. And, we can't forget the people in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida that are suffering as well.

I live in Houston now and people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina are arriving by the tens of thousands. Keep 'em coming, because one thing we do well here is help others. The media has covered how we've opened the Astrodome and Reliant stadium to help our neighbors. But, massive work is also being done on an individual and neighborhood basis to support those in need. For example, a church in our neighborhood has 90 families from Louisiana living there. Linda went to volunteer and she found there has been such a turn out that there is a waiting list for volunteers! She is number 67 on the waiting list for clothes washing duties. That is fantastic! Another church where a friend goes is housing 200 families. Our church is very small and doesn't have showers so we are sending our funds to support the churches and families that can house people. Money, food, clothes, toys and every day necessities are being raised. Plans are being put into place for the long term support as well. Months from now people will still be in need and we plan to be there for them. Additionally, our schools are helping out. The grade school where my kids go is sponsoring incoming kids by providing free school supplies and shirts with the school logo. Already, there are two new kids in my daughter's class. For her, it's two more kids to play with. I'll bet many of the people that are displaced will grow to love our town and will become permanent residents. :-) (Yes, I'm proud to live here.) For the animal lovers in the audience, you'll be glad to know that there are adoption drives going on to find homes for many of the pets that were rescued.

I could go on and on providing examples of all that is being done here to help but I also want to point out that cities across the U.S. are opening their homes and hearts to the hurricane victims. Not only that, other countries are helping. For those of you living in those countries, you have no idea how much that means to all of us. Thank you.

So, why am I going on and on about all of this. Well, because it matters and I hope people will be motivated to donate in some way. Also, I want to remind everyone that there are good people left in the world. In every town in every country there are still good people who will reach out to help, regardless of who you are, what you look like, or where you come from.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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    September 27, 2005
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    Search Engine Marketing Articles

    How to Profit From Your Free Reprint Articles
    by Kalena Jordan - I came across a very clever tactic by an article author the other day that had a unique way of hooking the reader and possibly profiting from them.

    Your Site Map: Spider Food or Just A Light Snack?
    by Karon Thackston - Descriptive site maps work well in attracting and satisfying spiders because they include naturally occurring keywords. They also place keywords in the vicinity of a link that points to the associated page.

    BidHero Brings Bid Management to the Masses
    by Jennifer Laycock - I had a chance to chat with John Marshall earlier this week to take a guided tour of BidHero and to ask some questions about how the program will benefit the often over-looked small business market.

    Does an Over-Optimization Penalty Exist?
    by Bill Hartzer - If you have questions about whether or not the Over-Optimization Penalty (OOP) exists or not, then you obviously haven't pushed the limits enough with your own website optimization or organic SEO efforts to have experienced the joys of running into the OOP (Over-Optimization Penalty).

    Pay for Performance Pricing Models for Search Engine Optimization
    by Stoney deGeyter - Personally, I would not price SEO services based on performance unless I was given 100% control over the client's website, something very few clients are willing to hand over, and rightfully so.

    Online Course for Understanding SEO
    by Jill Whalen - Could you recommend some online courses that would be a good starting ground for understanding search engines' likes and dislikes along with some marketing information?

    School Kids Search Too
    by Jim Hedger - As far as my brother’s kids are concerned, there is no other search tool worth using except for Google. They say their friends feel the same way.

    Back to Basics in SEO
    by Shawn Campbell - I am actually excited about any algorithm change, because it means that the search engines should actually get better.


    Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

    New study shows companies STILL don't get SEM...
    I've written time and time again about the need to get past things like rankings and traffic in order to look at what really matters in a search campaign. Namely...sales and profits. A new study released this morning shows that most businesses still don't get it.

    Pay-Per-Call Wins Converts...
    Pay-per-call has been on the scene for a little while now and testimonials are starting to trickle out from companies that weren't big fans of pay-per-click marketing or organic search campaigns, but that have had great luck with pay-per-call.

    Andy Beal is Back...
    If you're anything like me, you looked forward to reading the latest insight (or rant) from search industry expert Andy Beal. While Garrett French has been doing an excellent job of staying on top of things at Andy's old blog home, it's nice to see Andy getting back in the swing of things.

    A New Idea for Article Distribution
    Giving away reprint rights for articles is nothing new in the world of online marketing, but every now and then, someone comes up with a slight twist on an old trick that makes even seasoned marketers smile with a knowing nod. (Skip to "How to Profit From Your Free Reprint Articles" by Kalena Jordan.)

    Feed Hungry Spiders with Site Maps
    Site maps are an important part of any good usability or search engine marketing plan. The problem with site maps is that most site owners really don't know how to go about setting them up. (Skip to "Your Site Map: Spider Food or Just A Light Snack?" by Karon Thackston.)

    Google and MSN - Round Something or Other...
    In the battle that never ends, Google and MSN are at it again. This time, the battle is being waged in court over the departure of Dr. Kai-Fu Lee from MSN for Google.

    Before and After Shots of New Orleans on Google Earth
    For those seeking even more information about the current state of New Orleans, Google has updated their satellite map images to show The Big Easy from space before the hurricane and after the hurricane.

    RSS Readers and Hacking Google Earth
    Two more goodies from Chris Sherman's SearchDay. Choosing an RSS Reader guides you through the task of finding an RSS reader that best serves your needs. Hacking Google Earth shows you how to go beyond just having fun with Google's satellite imagery. - a case study comparing AdSense & YPN
    Jennifer Slegg (Jenstar) ran a case study, which is posted at JenSense, to see how YPN stacks up against AdSense. The bottom line is the earnings were basically the same.

    Spyware Changes Google Results
    There is a new spyware program out there that has one-two punch. First it secretly alters your search results on Google and then tries to drop unwanted programs on your computer by luring you to a bogus eBay link. Can you say, "Yuk?" I cannot remember how many times I have had to fix the kids' computer at home because of these nasty little programs.

    ClickTracks Does it Again!
    Regular readers of Search Engine Guide know from past reviews that I'm a pretty big fan of the team over at ClickTracks. Apart from providing some of the best customer service around, they've also managed to consistently put out affordable, easy-to-use software that lets the small business market compete with larger companies. (Skip straight to "BidHero Brings Bid Management to the Masses" by Jennifer Laycock)

    Earn Dollars with Yahoo!'s New Marketing Alliances Program
    Sounds like an ad but really it isn't. Yahoo! Search Marketing announced earlier this month the expansion of its partner programs to reach smaller search marketers and web professionals who manage or refer clients to Yahoo!. This enhanced offering provides a variety of options for businesses that want to earn cash commissions for referring clients to Yahoo! Search Marketing.

    How hard are you trying to optimize?
    If you've never experienced an over-optimization penalty, some people think that you haven't been trying hard enough. There's a big difference between spamming the search engines and pushing the line to find out where it breaks. (Skip to "Does an Over-Optimization Penalty Exist?" by Bill Hartzer)

    Matt Cutts Talks About Text Links and PageRank
    In a blog entry yesterday, Matt Cutts talks about paid text links and their affect on PageRank. This following the recent debate over O'Reilly Media's right to sell text link ads on its web properties , Matt gives us some Google insight on how they view paid text links.

    Is Pay for Performance SEM Realistic?
    There's a movement from some within the search marketing industry to push for performance based search engine marketing services. While this type of model can be a great choice, it has lots of hurdles that need to be overcome first. (Skip straight to: "Pay for Performance Pricing Models for Search Engine Optimization" by Stoney deGeyter.)

    Learning SEO...You Have Options
    Whether they are looking for a career change and want to explore search marketing, or they are trying to learn enough to do some promoting of their own business, it's fairly common for people to seek out ways to learn more about search marketing and how to do it. The good news is, there are plenty of great ways to learn. (Skip straight to "Online Course for Understanding SEO" by Jill Whalen.)

    Out of the Mouths of Babes
    As summer comes to a close and millions of kids head back to school, its important to remember that the way they search for information has been dramatically transformed by the onset of the search engine age. The question is, what can search engines and search marketers learn from these students? (Skip to "School Kids Search Too" by Jim Hedger.)

    Searching for News of Hurricane Katrina
    With so much news, but so little organization coming out of the Gulf coast right now, it can be tough to find the news and information that you're looking for in regards to Hurricane Katrina.

    Getting Back to Basics...
    The same way that a golfer or a pro baseball player needs to occasionally remind themselves about the fundamentals of their techniques, webmasters occasionally need a good reminder about the fundamentals they should focus on when optimizing their web sites. (skip to "Back to Basics in SEO" by Shawn Campbell.)

    Chris Pirillo Interviews Jill Whalen
    Jill Whalen was interviewed for the Chris Pirillo show while she was in San Jose for the Search Engine Strategies Conference.

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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.)

    Adsense Additions Create Opportunities
    AdSense Chat Forum - "One of the great things about Adsense is that it changes all the time. Google is always introducing new tools and tinkering with its policies. That’s why it doesn’t matter how well you’ve set up your traffic sources or how impressive your CTR is right now, you always have to check the Adsense site and stay up to date with what’s happening."

    Microsoft's Ballmer Vowed To "kill Google"
    High Rankings Forum - "If Microsoft want to devlop MSN to take on Google and win I say good luck to them as it is we the consumer that are going to benefit."

    Selling A Product And Using Adsense On A Site
    High Rankings Forum - "I want to put adsense on all my article pages. My question is, will this lower my conversion rate for my products I am trying to sell on my site because people are leaving my web site? Has anybody experimented with this on their site?"

    Is the Word "Resources" a Bad Word?
    Virtual Promote Forums - "I've also seen certain types of pages that contain a lot of links be removed completely from the Google index. There are certain types of pages that Google just won't index. As far as 'resources' goes, I don't think there's anything that you can call it that's 'safer.' It's the concept and the content on that page, not what you call it."

    Do Redirected Links Count?
    High Rankings Forum - "Do redirected links count towards link popularity. For instance, does an href to something like redirect.php?url= count towards the link popularity of"

    Keyword Density Suggestions?
    High Rankings Forum - "Does anyone have suggestions as to an optimal keyword density target that Google will not consider spam?"

    French Loans To Back European Rival To US Search Players
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "Chirac backs eurocentric search engine from the Daily Telegraph covers how a new multimedia search engine is to get a 2 billion euro loan as part of an effort to challenge the mostly US-based search engine industry. What do you think? Is it needed?"

    Google Goes Into Print Ads
    Search Engine Watch Forums - "Google introduces a new CPR ad model, cost per read, as ads go into the print world. OK, it's not like that -- but some buying ads through Google are now getting offline placement in technology magazines."

    Viewer Screen Resolution
    High Rankings Forum - "Is there any reliable source of data out there that would give me information on users' screen resolution preference? ...Is viewer screen resolution a factor for anyone when designing a site?"

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

    Bulk Vending Machines
    "I was just wondering if anyone out there has done business in the bulk candy area... you know candy machines etc. If so can you fill me in on them, or any scams etc. that you are aware of?"

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