Search Engine Marketing News - 2005-11-30

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Hi Everyone,

It's good to be back after taking some time off. Jennifer kept busy even over the holiday working on her small business challenge. Drop by the forum and read this thread to see where the project currently stands.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

New World Wide Web Emerging – Meet the New Network
by Jim Hedger - The distribution power of four of the five largest search engines and the business model proposed by Brightcove can be seen as an experiment in marketing and content-distribution. The TV networks have recognized they need to work with the Internet and to do so they need to work with the Web’s core information providers, the major search engines.

Targeting Your Article Marketing Campaign to Your Site's Key Conversion Pages
by Garrett French - Article marketing is at its strongest when you combine knowledge of the keywords people use to find your site, the pages that are most important to your site's conversions, and content that serves your prospects and your industry.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 12 - Google Bypasses MSN, CafePress Gives the Site a Boost and Offers of Help From Readers Pour In
by Jennifer Laycock - Day twelve saw the start of a sudden rush of traffic from a few solid links, gave me a true appreciation for just how generous Search Engine Guide readers can be and showed just how powerful Google rankings can be. If I was learning anything from this experience it was the importance of creating a business that sparks people's interest.

Matt Cutts: Celebrity Google Engineer
by Gord Hotchkiss - On behalf of the webmasters and SEO's of the world, I do have to thank Matt. For a man who literally holds the power of online life and death for many webmasters, Matt's just a really nice guy.

Common Sense Algorithm Chasing
by Stoney deGeyter - The best SEOs are those that utilize what I will call common-sense algorithm chasing. They have a thorough knowledge of SEO that will make sense to the visitor as well as knowing and understanding where search engine algorithms are and where they are headed as well.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 11 - Google Shares the Love, DNS Issues Resolve and CafePress Lets Me Down
by Jennifer Laycock - Day eleven was a happy day. Google rankings kicked in, making it clear that Jagger was still a fan of CafePress sites and that you can work around the sandbox if you make use of someone else's domain.

Are Keywords Destroying the Flow of Your SEO Copy?
by Karon Thackston - Is the flow of your current copy destroyed by keywords? Are you scaring off both the engines and your visitors? One quick check can help you decide.

Google’s Jagger Update Completing Cycles
by Jim Hedger - So, what exactly happened during the Jagger Update and what might it mean to your website? Quite a bit as it turns out.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 10 - Search Engine Marketing Goes to Work and Affiliate Sales Pay Off
by Jennifer Laycock - Day ten was finally the day that I got to put some of my own experience to work on the site. After more than a week of trudging through things like graphics, style sheets and actually running a business, I finally had access to a keyword research tool.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 9 - Keyword Research, Chitika Mini Malls and Writing Content
After the craziness that was day eight, day nine seemed a bit more tame than some of my previous days on the project. That said, I still managed to accomplish quite a bit including writing new site content, adding Chitika MiniMalls ads and figuring out a new way to promote the site.

Google and Yahoo Going VC
by Jim Hedger - Google has established a fund to provide development monies to emerging companies before the VC crowd comes along with larger sums and results orientated directives.

Pay-per-Call to Enhance Local Search
by Paul Bruemmer - Since consumers use the Internet as their primary access point for local information, advertisers can now combine web and phone for incoming leads. Pay-per-call is ideal for the local entrepreneur who relies on the phone for customer conversions.

Changes Blur the Scenery Along the Digital Divide
by Jim Hedger - Search marketing has expanded from the humble but mysterious artful science days to be a more professional, precise and predictable service. With so much change on the horizon, it is often a good idea to scope the scenery to see how it is being affected.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 8 - Viral Marketing Works, A New Site is Born and Sales Pick Up
by Jennifer Laycock - Day eight was all about progress. Between viral marketing, PR opportunities, site designs and new products, it turned out to be the best day of the project thus far.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 7 - MSN Plays Nice, Hosting is Confusing and an Interesting Email Shows Up...
by Jennifer Laycock - Day seven wasn't one of my more productive days, but I did get to do a little bit of looking into my hosting options, found that traffic was starting to get a little stronger and received a very interesting email.

All Marketers are Thieves
by Stoney deGeyter - I think it's also true that all marketers are thieves. A few weeks back Chevy started an "Employee Discount" marketing campaign where us average Joes can get a car for the same price as Chevy employees. Guess what, it worked!

Google Analytics :: Branding and Packaging Results
by Jim Hedger - Google will be receiving a wealth of consumer and marketing information from sites using the software, information that will be incorporated into Google's understanding of how users travel through sites found in its index. That kind of information is worth its weight in Google shares.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 6 - New Products, a Lesson or Two on AdSense and Investing Back in the Biz
by Jennifer Laycock - Day six was a Sunday, which meant I didn't have but a couple of hours to put toward the site. Those few hours went toward new product development, another blog post and tons of time spent trying to get AdSense to work properly.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Words of Warning About Reciprocal Linking
One of the search marketing myths that just won't seem to die is that idea that going out and getting a bazillion reciprocal links with every Tom, Dick and Larry that has a web site is going to propel your company to the top of the search results. In fact, link building is up there with pay-per-click when it comes to search marketing tactics that people claim don't work. As with pay-per-click, nine times out of ten when a company claims that link building doesn't work, it's because they're just not doing it right.

The Incredible Shrinking Forum...
Years ago there was this fairly lame movie that starred Lily Tomlin as an unfortunately soul that started to shrink into nothingness as the result of a chemical accident. Well, as a result of the chemical accident that some suspect altered Brett Tabke's brain, you can now follow along as Todd (Oilman) Friessen tracks WebmasterWorld's disappearance from the search engines.

Keyword Prices on the Rise for Holiday Shopping
Separate studies from the teams at DoubleClick and SEMphonic show that the cost of pay-per-click advertising campaigns is once again on the rise for the holiday season. Click prices are up significantly over the past few months with popular gift categories like electronics, entertainment and apparel experiencing steady increases.

New World Wide Web Emerging – Meet the New Network
The distribution power of four of the five largest search engines and the business model proposed by Brightcove can be seen as an experiment in marketing and content-distribution. The TV networks have recognized they need to work with the Internet and to do so they need to work with the Web’s core information providers, the major search engines. (skip to "New World Wide Web Emerging – Meet the New Network" by Jim Hedger)

Targeting Your Article Marketing Campaign to Your Site's Key Conversion Pages
Article marketing is at its strongest when you combine knowledge of the keywords people use to find your site, the pages that are most important to your site's conversions, and content that serves your prospects and your industry. (skip to "Targeting Your Article Marketing Campaign to Your Site's Key Conversion Pages" by Garrett French)

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 12 - Google Bypasses MSN, CafePress Gives the Site a Boost and Offers of Help From Readers Pour In
Day twelve saw the start of a sudden rush of traffic from a few solid links, gave me a true appreciation for just how generous Search Engine Guide readers can be and showed just how powerful Google rankings are. If I was learning anything from this experience it was the importance of creating a business that sparks people's interest. If I'd started up a business that sold something common like books or scrapbooking equipment, people likely wouldn't have paid much attention other than to say that the experiment was interesting. It's the uniqueness of the product line that has sparked such an interest and such interaction with readers. That's a powerful lesson to learn for people looking to start up a new business online. (skip to "Day 12 - Google Bypasses MSN, CafePress Gives the Site a Boost and Offers of Help From Readers Pour In" by Jennifer Laycock)

Webmaster World Removes Themselves From the Search Engines
In an industry obsessed with search engine optimization and marketing, it seems like a crazy idea. Purposely block all spiders from visiting your site and allow your listings to drop out of engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN. But that's just what is being done by Webmaster World owner Brett Tabke.

TiVo to Offer Searchable Ads
I always thought that the purpose of digital video recording services like TiVo was to let users skip through ads...but apparently TiVo thinks otherwise. Danny Sullivan has some insight today on plans for TiVo to offer searchable commercial advertising as part of their digital video recording service.

Google Begins Testing Pay-Per-Call Ads
Eagle eyed searchers may have begun to notice small phone icons popping up next to search results on Google. That's because Google is now testing click-to-call offerings that will allow advertisers to bid on how much they are willing to pay for every phone call that Google delivers rather than paying for every click. This is good news for small business owners that don't have the time or money to build and market a web site.

Matt Cutts: Celebrity Google Engineer
On behalf of the webmasters and SEO's of the world, I do have to thank Matt. For a man who literally holds the power of online life and death for many webmasters, Matt's just a really nice guy. (skip to "Matt Cutts: Celebrity Google Engineer" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Common Sense Algorithm Chasing
The best SEOs are those that utilize what I will call common-sense algorithm chasing. They have a thorough knowledge of SEO that will make sense to the visitor as well as knowing and understanding where search engine algorithms are and where they are headed as well. (skip to "Common Sense Algorithm Chasing" by Stoney deGeyter)

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 11 - Google Shares the Love, DNS Issues Resolve and CafePress Lets Me Down
Day eleven was a happy day. Google rankings kicked in, making it clear that Jagger was still a fan of CafePress sites and that you can work around the sandbox if you make use of someone else's domain. I also finally figured out what was going on with the DNS issues that were holding up the launch of www.thelactivist.com and ran into the first real reason to be unhappy with the CafePress system. (skip to Day 11 - Google Shares the Love, DNS Issues Resolve and CafePress Lets Me Down by Jennifer Laycock)

Google Goes Flexible on PPC Bidding
Last week while many of us were focusing on how much gravy to pour over our turkey, Google was delivering bidding controls that AdWords advertisers have been clamoring for for quite some time. After several years of being forced into the same cost-per-click bid for both search and contextual ad placements, Google is updating their system to allow for more control over bid prices.

Does MSN Have the Upper Hand for Pay Per Click?
With MSN's adCenter system up and running for many U.S. advertisers, there's been a lot of speculation over whether or not Microsoft will finally be able to give Google a true run for their money in the world of search.

Understanding Local Pay-Per-Click
With a growing move toward local search by consumers looking to purchase products or services in their areas, businesses that are trying to sell their wares in a local market need to make sure that they are not only embracing, but also understanding the local search market. Running the same pay-per-click ads in a local search environment that you do in your regular campaigns is a sure sign that companies do NOT understand local search.

Are Keywords Destroying the Flow of Your SEO Copy?
When a Web site is created with the intent of having it ranked highly, one thing often happens. The focus gets placed solely on the optimization and is taken almost completely away from the visitor. This leaves your site in a dangerous state of unbalance. (skip to "Are Keywords Destroying the Flow of Your SEO Copy?" by Karon Thackston)

Google’s Jagger Update Completing Cycles
Jagger was a different sort of algorithm update for Google. Its infamous predecessors, Florida and Hilltop were generally limited shifts in the values Google assigned domains based on content and links. After the immediate punch of previous updates, the search engine results pages (SERPs) would generally return to a stable and predictable state. SERPS generated by Jagger are expected to constantly update themselves with a greater degree of flux and change. (skip to "Google’s Jagger Update Completing Cycles" by Jim Hedger)

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 10 - Search Engine Marketing Goes to Work and Affiliate Sales Pay Off
Day ten was finally the day that I got to put some of my own experience to work on the site. After more than a week of trudging through things like graphics, style sheets and actually running a business, I finally had access to a keyword research tool. That meant that I could focus day ten on finding out what people were actually searching for and doing some fine tuning to the site to make sure that I was there in the search results for them to find. (skip to "Day 10 - Search Engine Marketing Goes to Work and Affiliate Sales Pay Off" by Jennifer Laycock)

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 9 - Keyword Research, Chitika Mini Malls and Writing Content
After the craziness that was day eight, day nine seemed a bit tamer. I still got plenty done, from integrating Chitika Mini Malls into the Blogger site to writing new content for the soon to be live Lactivist web site. I also answered plenty of email from helpful folks who picked up on my no Wordtracker mention in day eight and spent some time adding my domain name to the majority of the products in The Lactivist store. (skip to "Day 9 - Keyword Research, Chitika Mini Malls and Writing Content" by Jennifer Laycock)

Search Marketers are in High Demand
It's a good industry to be in these days... Search engine marketing is growing at such a staggering rate that marketers with any amount of experience at all can almost take their pick of jobs in a market that is wide open. Kevin Lee talks about the issue in today's ClickZ article: How to Cope With SEM Staffing Shortages, Part 1.

Terducken and Pumpkin Soup on the Menu
AOL Search put out a list this week of the top Thanksgiving related recipes being searched for this past week. Since I'm always pestering Robert with descriptions of temptingly tasty food, I thought it might be fun to see what the rest of the country is preparing for their own turkcey day feast.

Online Holiday Sales Expected to Hit $19 Billion
comScore estimates online holiday sales for non-travel purchases to rack up more than $19 billion in sales during the last two months of the year. That figure would mean a 24% growth over this time last year. Not bad at all.

Google and Yahoo Going VC
Google has established a fund to provide development monies to emerging companies before the VC crowd comes along with larger sums and results orientated directives. (skip to "Google and Yahoo Going VC" by Jim Hedger)

Pay-per-Call to Enhance Local Search
Since consumers use the Internet as their primary access point for local information, advertisers can now combine web and phone for incoming leads. Pay-per-call is ideal for the local entrepreneur who relies on the phone for customer conversions. (skip to "Pay-per-Call to Enhance Local Search " by Paul Bruemmer)

Changes Blur the Scenery Along the Digital Divide
Search marketing has expanded from the humble but mysterious artful science days to be a more professional, precise and predictable service. With so much change on the horizon, it is often a good idea to scope the scenery to see how it is being affected. (skip to "Changes Blur the Scenery Along the Digital Divide" by Jim Hedger)

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 8 - Viral Marketing Works, A New Site is Born and Sales Pick Up
Day eight was all about progress. Viral marketing finally started to spread into the non-business world, two PR opportunities started to move forward, I got a complete site design put together for the new domain, selected a host, added several new products and had my first day of multiple sales. Overall, it turned out to be the best day of the project thus far. (skip to "Day 8 - Viral Marketing Works, A New Site is Born and Sales Pick Up" by Jennifer Laycock)

Google Launches Google Base
After plenty of time for online speculation and buzz to build in the blog world, Google unveiled its new database project as a beta. Google Base went live late last night and will allow users to upload pretty much any information that they want. From recipes to classified listings to white papers, pretty much anything is fair game on Google Base. Google also says that some items from Google Base will be included in the search indexes on Froogle, Google Local and even Google itself.

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 7 - MSN Plays Nice, Hosting is Confusing and an Interesting Email Shows Up...
Day seven wasn't one of my more productive days, mostly because I had to spend about three hours of it driving to home to my parent's house so that they could watch my daughter for me while I put on the "Search Engine Marketing Made Simple" seminar with The Karcher Group in Cleveland. That said, I did get to do a little bit of looking into my hosting options, found that traffic was starting to get a little stronger and received a very interesting email. (skip to "Day 7 - MSN Plays Nice, Hosting is Confusing and an Interesting Email Shows Up..." by Jennifer Laycock)

All Marketers are Thieves
I think it's also true that all marketers are thieves. A few weeks back Chevy started an "Employee Discount" marketing campaign where us average Joes can get a car for the same price as Chevy employees. Guess what, it worked! (skip to "All Marketers are Thieves" by Stoney deGeyter)

Google Analytics :: Branding and Packaging Results
Google will be receiving a wealth of consumer and marketing information from sites using the software, information that will be incorporated into Google's understanding of how users travel through sites found in its index. That kind of information is worth its weight in Google shares. (skip to "Google Analytics :: Branding and Packaging Results" 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 Myths
Cre8asite Forums - "...a suggestion was made that we explore some SEO myths. I've come up with a list to start us off, and would be happy to discuss these in more detail."

Reliabilty of PayPal?
Webmaster World - "Only when they first started and were ripped off for millions by frausters did some innocent people get involved. After that, the frausters themselves took to posting bogus stuff everywhere."

Niche Sites And Adsense Resources
High Rankings Forum - "When I look at a market my initial goal is for the site to make only $1,000 per month in profit. That's not much. And I've found that when you break it down to this level most people say: Yeah, I can do that!"

Getting Yahoo To Stop Indexing PHP Session IDs
Search Engine Forums - "If the site does not use any session IDs at all, then the easiest way is for the script to self-test the URL of the page that is being served, as it is being served, and to add this tag in the head section if there is a session ID included in the URL..."

Removed Low Performing Channels, Now What?
Webmaster World - "Based upon all the recent discussion regarding Smart Pricing and lower-performing sites/channels, I removed adsense from all of my very, very low performing channels. ...After I make a change of this proportion, how long should I wait to decide whether it's "worth it" for me?"

Google Print Becomes Google Books
Webmaster World - "When we launched Google Print, our goal was to make it easier for users to discover books. Now that we're starting to achieve that, we think a more descriptive name will help clarify what our users can do with it: namely, search the full text of books to find ones that interest them and learn where to buy or borrow them."

Urchin Now Google Analytics, Now Free
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Google has now re-branded Urchin to Google Analytics presenting users with better ways to 'understand and influence visitor behavior and generate a higher ROI on marketing initiatives'."

Google Help with Advertising Creatives
Cre8asite Forums - "This patent application seems to be all over the media the last few days. If you've seen reference to something called the Google Automat, this is the patent applcation that describes it."

Do I Really Have To Wait 9-12 Months
High Rankings Forum - "This doesn't affect Yahoo, MSN or Ask Jeeves so you can still gain traffic from them. As for Google, start an AdGroup campaign in the meantime and at least you can gleam some traffic from the 20% or so amount of searchers that click on paid listings until your site begins to position better in the organic results."

Is SEO Getting More Gray?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "So what do you think? White hat winning? Black hat winning? More gray? Note I'm trying not to start a big ethics debate but rather a sense of where things are going."

A Positive Step Forward In Link Strategies: Part Deux!
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Over the past several weeks we've implemented a new evolution of this linking strategy, which has performed quite well in our initial testing."

Reciprocal Sitewide Links
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Their website has 5000 pages. Although it looks like a great way to boost link popularity, I think it may be looked upon unfavourably by google as it is too many links too quick. Does anyone have any idea about the issues related to this?"

Google Base Opens To Submissions
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Google Base, Google's super database that anyone can submit to, has gone live."

Google Sitemaps - Updated
Webmaster World - "There are new 'query stats' that show top Google search queries that return pages from a site. It also shows the top search queries that drove users to click on a site. Crawl errors: Will now show, for example, specific HTTP errors Googlebot runs into when crawling a page."

Who You Gonna Ask?
Search Engine Forums - "Good from a search standpoint, but traffic is key. Will they buy it? No signs yet. I don't think they will gain market share thru better search, unless it is mind numbing better ... and I don't see that on the horizon."

Huge Recommended Daily AdWords Budget - No Impressions
Virtual Promote Forums - "I posted this because it is one of a number of issues that isn't obvious at all when you run into it - even if you do PPC for a living. A new advertiser has virtually no way to know what is going on when they first see this scenario."

What You Need to Know Re: Holiday Season Traffic
Search Engine Forums - "...do be aware that bids tend to go up during the holiday season so maximizing your sales may require higher spending levels than other times of the year."

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

Link Building Ideas
"I find link building to be the most time consuming task that I have to undertake, and probably the most boring task too. Here are a few ideas to build links without too much effort."

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