Search Engine Marketing News - 2005-09-21

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Hi Everybody!

Just in case you are curious, our new rate card is up. How very exciting! OK, you can stop rolling your eyes now. But, it is good news for anyone that has contacted us just to find that all the ads spots were sold out. We've worked hard to come up with options that are affordable and effective in getting your business noticed. You can view the new rate card here.

Next Tuesday is our Search Engine Marketing Made Simple seminar. In addition to our editor Jennifer Laycock, Linda from our sister site will be there. Be sure and say hi to both of them.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

Have questions or comments? Drop by our forum.

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Our Upcoming Seminar

Search Engine Marketing Made Simple - Presented by Search Engine Guide and The Karcher Group.
September 27, 2005
$149 Early Registration - (Seating is limited)
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The Business Technology Center
1275 Kinnear Rd.
Columbus, OH 43212
Contact Collyn with Questions: 330.493.6141
Check Jennifer's blog post for further information on the benefits of attending.


Search Engine Marketing Articles

The Best Keyword Research Secrets Are REVEALED by Wordtracker! - Part 1
by John Alexander - My real vote of confidence is not just within the Wordtracker system itself, but it’s also in the expertise of the guys behind the scenes who work very hard to keep the data of high value.

There's Something to Learn from Googlebombing
by Jennifer Laycock - While the concept of Googlebombing has been around for quite some time, many of those that are new to the industry, or that are trying to get a grasp on it before hiring a professional search marketer are still trying to wrap their head around the idea.

If I Had $4 Billion - Part 2
by Gord Hotchkiss - If you were Google, you had access to $4 billion in cash, and you were taking on Microsoft on their home turf, what would you do?

Behemoth Battleground – AOL being sought by Google and Microsoft?
by Jim Hedger - This summer, Google and Microsoft have been waging multiple battles across several fields from the courting of business in China to the courtrooms of King County. This week, a new battleground may be opening, this time in the Manhattan offices of Time Warner, the owner of AOL.

Want Branding With That?
by Paul Bruemmer - Search traffic is golden because it doesn’t interrupt consumer behavior. Users are actively seeking information and want to be driven to its source.

What's All This Talk About AOL and MSN?
by Jennifer Laycock - If you've visited any of the popular technology news sites, or discussion forums in the last day or two, you've likely heard the rumblings about a possible AOL/MSN or Google/AOL or even Yahoo!/AOL pairing that may be in the works.

Leverage the News for Search Engine Success
by Bill Hartzer - No matter what industry you’re in, at some time or another there’s going to be news that will impact your business or industry. If your website is ranked well for terms related to that news item, you’ll get valuable traffic to your website, which frequently will mean more sales.

Home Page Redesign Issues
by Jill Whalen - Other sites often link to home pages as a recommended resource. This tells the search engines that this site (and more specifically the home page of this site) is extremely worthwhile.

Vint Cerf talks Google
by Jim Hedger - Over the years, the Internet has become far more than Cert and his partner Kahn could have imagined. Just over a decade after it was opened for commercial use, the Internet is now the primary means of global communications and data transfer.

Why Online Marketing Matters
by Stoney deGeyter - Marketing your website online can literally add thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars into your business bank account.

Google Blog Search Debuts in Beta
by Jennifer Laycock - Google's new Blog Search isn't limited to blogs published through Google-owned Blogger. Instead, it works to index all blog content that is published via RSS or Atom feeds.

That Don't Impress Me Much: Even Pretty Web Sites Have Abandonment Issues
by Kim Krause Berg - Your web design mission is to meet needs, answer questions, and point the way to productive activity such as purchases or registration.

Searching for a Career – Eight Skills for Entry into SEM
by Jim Hedger - One of the most compelling reasons to cultivate a career in the search industry is that it provides a front row view of the immense economic and intellectual forces that are rapidly changing the ways the world works.


Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Google WiFi Rumors Swirling Again
Always looking for something to speculate on, bloggers are once again buzzing with talk about a potential Google WiFi launch. The talk was sparked by a FAQ that appears at the subdomain and explains a bit about Google's secure WiFi options.

Keyword Research Can't be Ignored
Keyword research may be the one area of search engine marketing that you absolutely have to do correctly if you stand any chance of driving new buyers to your web site. After all, no amount of rankings or traffic will send you customers if they come to your site for the wrong phrases. (Skip to "The Best Keyword Research Secrets Are REVEALED by Wordtracker! - Part 1" by John Alexander)

Doing What Small Businesses Do Best...
Adaptability. It's a required personality trait for anyone that wants to run a small business. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, small business owners from the Gulf Coast were faced with a serious test of their adaptability. Thanks in part to the generosity of companies like The Karcher Group, one small business is getting their feet back on the ground.

Googlebombing is in the news again...
Googlebombing has been back in the news this last week or two. Apparently, Google has used the AdWords system to post an explanation of why certain search results appear to have been tampered with by pranksters. (Skip to "There's Something to Learn from Googlebombing" by Jennifer Laycock)

Danny Sullivan sticks his "big fat neck" out...
The search engine marketing industry has long been a battlefront between those who wish to push the envelope and those who hold to more conservative methods. There have been numerous attempts to lay down a set of "best practice" guidelines over the years, but most of them have failed miserably amid name calling and finger pointing.

Matt Cutts on Google Re-inclusion Requests
What is a re-inclusion request? It involves the process of removing a penalty imposed on a site usually for violating Google's guidelines. Sometimes a site is penalized so that it will not rank well for search queries related to the site. There are other times when a site is removed completely from Google's index. Matt Cutts gives some practical advice on how to go about requesting re-inclusion after your site has experienced a penalty.

Latest comScore Data Shows Yahoo! on Top
The latest round of data available from comScore Media Metrix shows that Yahoo! is still in the lead when it comes to total Internet users. The data also shows that AOL and MSN are still ahead of Google in terms of overall traffic and media reach.

That's a lot of bean bag chairs...
As the race against Yahoo! and Microsoft continues, the folks at Google are doing a little brainstorming to figure out where to spend their next $4 billion. Chances are good that they're not going to spend it all on Segway scooters and bean bag chairs... (Skip to "If I Had $4 Billion - Part 2" by Gord Hotchkiss)

It's not the method, it's the message...
Two weeks ago, I had a chance to talk with a group of small business owners about pay-per-click advertising. One of the points that I tried to get across to them was that pay-per-click problems are almost always a failure of the message, not a failure of the method.

The AOL / MSN / Google Triangle
We all know that Google and MSN are on the way to being locked into a war that goes far beyond simply being the best search engine. Google and MSN are each aiming at being the company that completely dominates the Internet. (Skip to "Behemoth Battleground – AOL being sought by Google and Microsoft?" by Jim Hedger)

The Size Debate Broken Down...
While for the most part, industry observers agree that the size wars going on between Google and Yahoo! are a bit on the silly side, there are a few things worthwhile to take away from the debate. Smart guy Mike Grehan has a worth-while post over at ClickZ that asks: "Is a Bigger Search Index Better for Relevancy?"

Staying on Top of the News Can Pay Off
I and others have long promoted building unique content as a way to gain incoming links and to have more opportunities to optimize for keyword phrases. That said, there are other search marketing benefits to staying on top of your respective industries. (Skip to "Leverage the News for Search Engine Success" by Bill Hartzer)

Yahoo! Introduces Instant Search
Like to play "guess what I'm thinking" games? Yahoo!'s hoping that you do, and that you might want to play it every time you conduct a search at their site. Yesterday, the popular search engine introduced a new feature dubbed "Instant Search" that provides a quick pop-up box with a suggested link as users type their search term into the query box.

MSOL? AON? AmericaSoft? Maybe...
There's been a lot of talk in the last two days about a rumor that Microsoft may be in talks with Time Warner about purchasing a stake in American Online. (Skip to: "What's All This Talk About AOL and MSN?" by Jennifer Laycock)

SEM Conference in Orange County
As I've mentioned the past month or so, Matt Bailey and I are getting ready to serve up a full day's worth of teaching on search engine marketing here in our home state of Ohio. Unfortunately, Ohio's a long flight for all those folks on the west coast.

Give a Man a Fish...
There's an old saying that says "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life." Using search engine marketing to increase your sales can work the same way, if you understand the value of branding. (Skip to "Want Branding with That?" by Paul Bruemmer)

Why CSS Can Help You Rank Better...
While many web site owners already know that Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can be a handy way to build a search engine friendly site, a lot of site owners are still putting off taking the time to learn how to use them. They shouldn't.

Think it Through Before Redesigning...
Before you start working on your next redesign, stop and give some thought to what you plan to change. Far too often, small businesses think they'll tackle search marketing after they get the redesign out of the way. Unfortunately, that may be a good way to ensure that you have to redesign AGAIN. (Skip to "Home Page Redesign Issues" by Jill Whalen)

Ask Jeeves Changes Up Shopping Search
Long recognized as the "natural language" search engine, the good folks over at Ask Jeeves announced on their blog this morning that works to integrate their "Smart Answers" technology with shopping search.

Google's New Chief Internet Evangelist Talks...
A lot has been made over the past week or so about Google's hiring of Vint Cerf, the man given much of the credit for making the Internet possible. Two recent interviews with Cerf shed some light on where he sees the Web going... (Skip to "Vint Cerf talks Google" by Jim Hedger)

Google Sends "Dear John" Letters...
Late last week, speculation started about whether or not a near "Dear John" letter from the Google team was legitimate, or some type of prank. This week, it's been confirmed...Google is now sending out notice to webmaster when their site has been removed from the index due to a penalty.

Why You Have to Market Online
Chances are pretty high that if you are a Search Engine Guide reader, you already understand the importance of online marketing and the impact that it can have on your bottom line. However, if you are one of the rare few that hasn't yet taken your business online, you need to give it some serious consideration. (Skip to "Why Online Marketing Matters" by Stoney deGeyter)

An Inside Look at the World of Search...
If you've ever wanted to learn a little more about how it was that Google rose to be king of search, or how Yahoo! shifted from life as a directory to life as a portal and on to life as a search engine, a new book will do an excellent job of serving as your guide.

Search Marketing is Worthless...if Your Traffic Bails
Over and over again I've pushed the idea that even the best search engine marketing will do nothing for your business if your site can't keep and convert the traffic that it sends you. Abandonment issues are something that every small business owner should be concerned about. (Skip to " That Don't Impress Me Much: Even Pretty Web Sites Have Abandonment Issues"by Kim Krause Berg)

Even More New Search Options...
Not to be left behind by search powerhouse Google, AOL announced today that it will be adding podcast search to its site this fall. The move is part of an expanded postcast offering by the popular portal site that will be available at:

Why You Should Care About Google's Blog Search Launch
Google has launched plenty of different search options over the years. From local search to Google answers to Froogle, it's nothing new for Google to announce that they've found a way to create search access to yet another block of information. That said, it might be tempting for many to let the launch of Google's new blog search fall by the wayside. Here's why they shouldn't... (Skip to "Google Blog Search Debuts in Beta" by Jennifer Laycock)

Dayparting? Make Sure You've Got Your Timing Right
While search engine marketers have long understood that site visitors are more likely to convert to buyers during certain periods of the day, a new study has been released that shows their timing may have been off by just a bit.

Looking to Break into the Search Marketing Field?
There's good news! Search marketing is growing like crazy and motivated self-starters can often break into the field and build successful careers for themselves even without a college degree. The key is to be aware of some basic skills that lay the groundwork for a good search marketer. (Skip to " Searching for a Career – Eight Skills for Entry into SEM" by Jim Hedger)

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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.)

SEO Gurus Full Of Crap?
High Rankings Forum - "The more the 'SEO gurus' rave about something, the less likely it is to be true."

Google WiFi - Secure Access Software (Beta)
Webmaster World - "Google Secure Access is a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a more secure WiFi connection."

Could Google Bid for AOL?
Webmaster World - "Google could try to bid for America Online to preempt a Microsoft takeover and protect the $380 million in revenue Google gets from its biggest partner, according to an analyst."

Can We Agree Automated Comment & Link Posting Is A Bad Thing?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "When even black hats get sick of trackback and comment spam, is it possible the search marketing industry could agree that using automation to get links this way is wrong-bad-uncool or whatever? That's the question -- come have your say."

Reports Indicate Google is Working on PayPal Alternative
Webmaster World - "...when they say they're not going to compete with eBay.. They're really saying that they're going to go beyond what eBay is doing..."

Virtual Promote Forums - "We just had an SEO trainer come in and he said that he wasn't aware of any particular sites that were done in xhtml and were also successful in seo. But xhtml evangelists claim that xhtml should be much better for seo since you can dispose of all the tables and a lot of other junk from your code. Does anyone have any idea how well the crawlers treat xhtml pages?"

Google to Speak to Dallas Texas SEM Group
Virtual Promote Forums - "Search Engine Marketers, advertisers and anyone else interested in attending are invited to attend. Dietze will present “The Search Economy,” outlining best practice advertising and marketing strategies for 2005 and 2006. Dietze also promises a new product snapshot from Google."

Yahoo! Instant Search
Search Engine Watch - "Yahoo's new service makes answers appear below the search box when you type. What do you think of it?"

Is Someone Defrauding Your AdSense Account?
Adsense Chat - "If you see in your logs that your site received a stream of clicks in a short time - and from the same IP address - don't wait for Google to get in touch. (Their letter won't be pleasant). Drop them a line right away, telling them that you've spotted some suspicious clicks on your site and ask them to investigate."

SEM 50 Stock Index (Wall Street: Nasdaq, NYSE, AMEX, etc.)
Search Engine Watch Forums - "I was trying to come up with an index of 50 stocks to start tracking that: are the search engines themselves, are very involved with the search engine technology, are very involved in search engine marketing industry, or companies that believe so much in SEO/SEM that are RE-building their businesses around it (example:"

Should Search Engines Ban Expired Domain Names?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "When a domain name isn't renewed by its owner, should search engines automatically ban a domain name from its index? I don't think so. Here's why..."

Google Blog Search Launched
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Top line thoughts -- it's not spam free. I wish it were 'full text' blog search to better represent the blog world. It's got a short memory, not going back past March 2005. But the backlink info looks good, certainly better than you'll get on Google itself. That part sort of makes me sad. Web site owners can't get full backlinks on Google, but own a blog, and we're happy to roll the world out for you."

Submitting To Crawlers
High Rankings Forum - "Actually, there is one type of 'submitting urls to crawlers' that I think might be valid..."

Buying a Competitor and Now? Redirect?
High Rankings Forum - "We have bought a competitor of us which have very good search engine rankings. Now we wonder what the best thing is to do? Make a redirect to our website? ... Google indexed more than 400 pages from the website. Do we have to make 400 redirects?"

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

Press Releases
"The key here is to remember two things. #1 - You are NOT writing to end users; you are writing to journalists and reporters. #2 - This is NOT an advertisement; it's a short (only about 400 words or so) fact-based page that answers the reporter's question of 'Why would my readers/visitors care about what you're saying?'"

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