Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-01-18

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Hi Everyone,

Now that Jennifer's "Zero Cash, A Little Talent and 30 Days" series is completed we've compiled it into an ebook in PDF format. There is no charge for it so please feel free to download it and share it with whomever you'd like.

Of course, while I'm on the topic I have to remind you of our other ebook, The Small Business Guide to Search Engine Marketing. It's the perfect ebook for small business folks wanting to leverage the power of search engines to bring in more customers.

I mentioned in the last newsletter before Christmas that I'd be playing Rome Total War over my vacation. It turns out I'm not the only gamer. David from SEO Gold sent a link to a cool mod for the game for me to check out. Thanks for that David! Now I just have to get my game back from my neighbor. :-)

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Are Directory Links Devalued?
by Bruce Stone - With directories content, natural linking and quality content is king. This cannot be achieved quickly or easily. A good directory takes years to develop.

Wink's Michael Tanne Discusses the Future of Tagging
by Andy Beal - Wink is a search engine that lets you find the results that others think are most relevant. It combines results from all the most popular tagging sites and then adds Google to fill any gaps.

15 Shades of SEO Spam
by Jim Hedger - Search engine optimization spam continues to be a problem for the SEO industry as it tries to move past the perceptions of mainstream advertisers.

v7ndotcom elursrebmem ... come again?
by Jennifer Laycock - Years after Nigratude Ultramarine made news, v7ndotcom elursrebmem is storming the net with a slew of new pages by SEMs entering a new contest. This difference this time is that there are two competing factions aiming to attract contest entrants.

Why Can't SEOs and Web Designers Just Get Along Already?
by David Wallace - Should all-Flash sites be used in the commercial web? Are there certain sites that can get away with this and what do sites that need search engine traffic do to utilize Flash but at the same time making sure they are search engine friendly? Inspired by an interesting thread started last week at Search Engine Watch Forums, David Wallace further explores the ongoing battle between web designers and SEO professionals.

WPG and Google's API Key
by Jill Whalen - We have WebPosition Gold and I can't remember if it was you that said we need to get a Google API key to use the program. I was wondering why and how it works.

The Year of the Goog
by Jim Hedger - For search engine marketers, 2005 was a tumultuous year full of contradictions. Search marketing became more challenging, even as the search engines became better at finding and sorting data.

Men and Women and Search
by Gord Hotchkiss - Men and women have very distinct reasons for going online. Men tend to retrieve information. For woman, the internet is first and foremost a communication vehicle, with email usage a prime reason.

Top Rankings Guarantees Debunked (Again)
by Stoney deGeyter - Each week I get calls from prospective clients looking for some kind of guarantee for our services. Sure, we can provide a guarantee that gives us enough wiggle room to be useless, but I would rather work with a company that is a bit more forthright in their business practices.

How the Search Marketing Industry Shot Itself in the Foot
by Jennifer Laycock - While top five or even top ten rankings could be achieved by skilled SEMs for almost any keyword phrase, the day is coming when the industry will grow to levels that make phrases so competitive that even the most skilled search marketers will have difficulty attaining top rankings.

Are You Making Too Much of Your Money From Search Engines?
by Jennifer Laycock - There are two problems that tend to happen when companies first start exploring search engine marketing. The first is that they get caught up in pay-per-click adversities and ignore organic search. The second is that they start relying on free search engine traffic and use that as an excuse to cut their budget for other forms of marketing.

Absolute Versus Relative Linking
by Bill Hartzer - There's not actually any search engine rankings boost per se when you use absolute versus relative links. However, when you use absolute links you make sure the search engines know which "version" of your site to index.

Dropped off the Face of Google
by Jill Whalen - I have recently dropped off the face of Google for all my main keyword phrases. I was in the top 10 before Google changed my description snippet for my homepage.

Boost Traffic to Your Web Site with Fresh Content
by Greg Smithers - Writing your own content is probably the best way to guarantee that your content is original and not replicated on other websites. It is also what search engines love.

Searching for Realistic Expectations – Consumer Electronics Show Letdowns
by Jim Hedger - Last week, commentators were speculating Google was going to announce the development of a low-cost personal computer that directly threatened more than a few of Microsoft's near monopolies.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Google Rank Checker on the Way?
Teddie Cowell over at the Search Engine War blog has a blog post that points to the Google API developers page as "proof" that a Google endorsed rank checker may be on the horizon. While no one in the industry doubts that rank checking is on the way out, this is still an intersting find.

Study States the Obvious About PPC
The San Jose Business Journal ran an article yesterday about a new study that shows many businesses are paying too much money to maintain a top ranking on the pay-per-click search enignes. Pardon me for saying it, but "duh".

Study States the Obvious About PPC
The San Jose Business Journal ran an article yesterday about a new study that shows many businesses are paying too much money to maintain a top ranking on the pay-per-click search engines. Pardon me for saying it, but "duh".

Wink's Michael Tanne Discusses the Future of Tagging
Wink is a search engine that lets you find the results that others think are most relevant. It combines results from all the most popular tagging sites and then adds Google to fill any gaps. (skip to "Wink's Michael Tanne Discusses the Future of Tagging" by Andy Beal)

15 Shades of SEO Spam
Search engine optimization spam continues to be a problem for the SEO industry under-ethical techniques are used, trust (the basis of all business) is abused and the efforts of the SEO/SEM industry are called into question. (skip to "15 Shades of SEO Spam" by Jim Hedger)

NYTimes Reports on AdSense Revenue Share
JenSense picked up a quote from the NYTimes over the weekend that quotes an actual figure that Google supposedly pays as revenue share to AdSense advertisers.

v7ndotcom elursrebmem ... come again?
Years after Nigratude Ultramarine made news, v7ndotcom elursrebmem is storming the net with a slew of new pages by SEMs entering a new contest. This difference this time is that there are two competing factions aiming to attract contest entrants. (skip to "v7ndotcom elursrebmem ... come again?" by Jennifer Laycock)

Yahoo! Shortens Ads This Week
A few weeks ago I blogged about Yahoo!'s announcement that they would be shortening the ad limits of their pay-per-click listings some time this month. The new ads will be limited to 70 characters rather than the old 190 characters. Most Yahoo! partners (MSN, CNN, ESPN, etc...) will still display the full text, but you'll want to make sure that you've rewritten your ads so that they still make sense on the Yahoo! engine.

Ego Surfing with a Little Fun
I've written in the past about the value of ego surfing as a way to stay on top of what people are saying about you, your products and your company. It's always a good idea to run regular checks on phrases related to your business so that you can quickly address unhappy (or satisfied) customers. Gary Price over at Search Engine Watch points to an interesting new site called egoSurf today that puts a slightly different spin on the topic.

WPG and Google's API Key
We have WebPosition Gold and I can't remember if it was you that said we need to get a Google API key to use the program. I was wondering why and how it works. (skip to "WPG and Google's API Key" by Jill Whalen)

Why Can't SEOs and Web Designers Just Get Along Already?
Should all-Flash sites be used in the commercial web? Are there certain sites that can get away with this and what do sites that need search engine traffic do to utilize Flash but at the same time making sure they are search engine friendly? Inspired by an interesting thread started last week at Search Engine Watch Forums, David Wallace further explores the ongoing battle between web designers and SEO professionals. (skip to "Can't We All Just Get Along? - The Battle Between SEOs and Web Designers " by David Wallace)

Affordable Online Marketing Seminar
Regular Search Engine Guide readers know that I've now joined up with Matt Bailey and the great group over at the Karcher Group for several affordable search engine marketing seminars. In fact, I've had a chance to meet quite a few Search Engine Guide readers at those seminars. While we've had a lot of fun at the shows our attendees keep telling us that something is missing.

The Year of the Goog
For search engine marketers, 2005 was a tumultuous year full of contradictions. Search marketing became more challenging, even as the search engines became better at finding and sorting data. (skip to "The Year of the Goog" by Jim Hedger)

Men and Women and Search
Men and women have very distinct reasons for going online. Men tend to retrieve information. For woman, the internet is first and foremost a communication vehicle, with email usage a prime reason. (skip to "Men and Women and Search" by Gord Hotchkiss)

How the Search Marketing Industry Shot Itself in the Foot
While top five or even top ten rankings could be achieved by skilled SEMs for almost any keyword phrase, the day is coming when the industry will grow to levels that make phrases so competitive that even the most skilled search marketers will have difficulty attaining top rankings. (skip to "How the Search Marketing Industry Shot Itself in the Foot" by Jennifer Laycock)

MSN to Drop Yahoo! Within Six Months
Microsoft announced yesterday that they would be replacing Yahoo!'s paid search advertisements with ads managed through MSN's new adCenter sometime in the next six months. adCenter is currently being beta tested by about 2,000 U.S. advertisers and is expected to go into wide launch early this summer.

Business Week Focuses on the Search Marketing Numbers
There's an interesting article over at Business Week today that tries to boil search engine advertising down to a hard line number-crunching skill that removes all need for creativity. It makes some valid points and does a great job of driving home the message that analytics are essential to the success of a search marketing campaign, but it really misses the boat when it comes to the big picture.

Are Directory Links Devalued?
In the past year directories have been springing up at an astronomical rate. Many to make a quick buck off the back link frenzy. Don’t expect a link from the majority of these directories to have any value. (skip to "Are Directory Links Devalued?" by Bruce Stone)

Top Rankings Guarantees Debunked (Again)
Each week I get calls from prospective clients looking for some kind of guarantee for our services. Sure, we can provide a guarantee that gives us enough wiggle room to be useless, but I would rather work with a company that is a bit more forthright in their business practices. (skip to "Top Rankings Guarantees Debunked (Again)" by Stoney deGeyter)

Google Seeks Click-to-call Patent
ClickZ is reporting that Google is looking to file a patent on the technology behind a mobile click-to-call option. Click-to-call is expected to continue to grow as small businesses take advantage of search related direct advertising without the hassle of trying to convert visitors to a web site.

Are You Making Too Much of Your Money From Search Engines?
There are two problems that tend to happen when companies first start exploring search engine marketing. The first is that they get caught up in pay-per-click adversities and ignore organic search. The second is that they start relying on free search engine traffic and use that as an excuse to cut their budget for other forms of marketing. (skip to "Are You Making Too Much of Your Money From Search Engines?" by Jennifer Laycock)

Google Launches Cell Phone Friendly Search
Frustrated by the fact that your cell phone is web-enabled but most sites aren't cell-enabled? Google's looking to solve that, at least on some level. Google announced earlier today that it had added a cell-phone friendly version of it's popular search engine.

Google Ads Sponsored Ads to Google Maps
David Galbraith posts today that he's spotted Google testing a new use of paid search listings on some areas of Google Maps. He also notes that the ads aren't simply geographically targeted, they are also contextual: search for hotels and you'll get hotel ads.

Absolute Versus Relative Linking
There's not actually any search engine rankings boost per se when you use absolute versus relative links. However, when you use absolute links you make sure the search engines know which "version" of your site to index. (skip to "Absolute Versus Relative Linking" by Bill Hartzer)

Dropped off the Face of Google
I have recently dropped off the face of Google for all my main keyword phrases. I was in the top 10 before Google changed my description snippet for my homepage. (skip to "Dropped off the Face of Google" by Jill Whalen)

Google Analytics Opening the Doors Again...Sort of
In one of the best examples of bad launch planning ever, Google Analytics was forced to close its doors to new users shortly after announcing free web stats for everyone last fall. Google will be checking IDs at the door though...only those who receive email invites will be able to register for new accounts.

AOL Adds Truveo to the Mix
American Online announced yesterday that they would be aquiring Truveo, a video search engine. With Yahoo!, Google and Amazon.com all putting an emphasis on video search in the last few months, it's no surprise that AOL is looking to boost their own technology.

Boost Traffic to Your Web Site with Fresh Content
Writing your own content is probably the best way to guarantee that your content is original and not replicated on other websites. It is also what search engines love. (skip to "Boost Traffic to Your Web Site with Fresh Content " by Greg Smithers)

Searching for Realistic Expectations – Consumer Electronics Show Letdowns
Last week, commentators were speculating Google was going to announce the development of a low-cost personal computer that directly threatened more than a few of Microsoft's near monopolies. (skip to "Searching for Realistic Expectations – Consumer Electronics Show Letdowns" 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.)

Google Web Accelerator Beta
High Rankings Forum - "No one should be using that software. It hammers Web servers and uses up bandwidth and resources needlessly, not to mention clouding our server logs with unreal fetches that no living human ever looks at. ...You are NOT doing anyone any favors by using that service."

Most Common Search Engine Un-Friendly Mistakes You See
Small Business Ideas Forum - "I have put in a lot of hours as a link builder and time and time again I will see a fantastic site that with just a tiny bit of tweaking would give there site a big boost with bots , indexing , etc."

What To Do When Clients Just Don't Get It?
Search Engine Roundtable Forums - "They still want to understand about SEO and how it works. And they never get it. Now what? Fire them? They are still paying. They are just frustrating."

What is Wrong with Yahoo Search?
Webmaster World - "What bugs you about Yahoo Search and how would you suggest that it be fixed?"

Are Sponsored Results in Google Maps / Local a Good Thing?
Search Engine Roundtable Forums - "In general, I like the idea of paid results shown in blue (just so they don't use them on my mashups). Paid results are more likely to be relevant because the advertiser must have something of interest or he / she would not be paying."

New Google Devaluation & Delisting of Pages
Cre8asite Forums - "Although I've run up against many Google penalties in the past, I'm seeing some odd new trends that I would love additional insight and input on."

Repeatable, Undeniable AdSense Trend
Webmaster World - "When I look at an EPC graph for my site from the time I started with AS to today, it looks normal... ups and downs. The magic happens when I make a graph with both clicks by day and epc. My EPC is right in synch with my Clicks per day... the higher my clicks go - the lower EPC goes... time and time again."

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

Web Designers vs. SEO Professionals
"What's the big deal anyway? What are the potential problems that "all-Flash" sites can impose? I mean Flash allows for so many benefits - animation, functionality, sizing, aesthetics, not to mention how Flash graphics are typically smaller in file size then their gif and jpeg counterparts. What could possibly be wrong with that?"

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