Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-02-15

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Hi Everyone,

If you are interested in local search, and you should be, The Kelsey Group’s local search conference will appeal to you. Their ad below is cool and all, but what really appeals to me is this snippet about a session called "The New ‘Purchase Funnel’: Online Shopping, Offline Conversions:"

"...the Internet is having a growing influence over offline consumer behavior. What is the precise nature of this new purchase funnel? Where do consumers start, and where do they typically end up online before buying offline? Is paid search truly a direct response medium? What categories of sites are the most effective sources of offline conversions? Will we see more search/shopping engines add local inventory information this year? These and other relevant questions will be explored in depth."

The opportunity to establish a major foothold via local search in your area is out there.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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  • Chaired by local search expert and Kelsey Group Analyst, Greg Sterling
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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Google Posts the Truth About Traffic Power
by Jim Hedger - Having already made a bad reputation for itself by hiring a legion of phone solicitors to cold-call small businesses, Traffic Power had accumulated a fairly large client list. This weekend, the story took another twist when Matt Cutts, Google’s chief search engineer, posted definite confirmation of the penalty on his blog.

A Little Q&A With Google
by Jennifer Laycock - Brin, Page and Schmidt, the trio that runs Google, are the cover boys of this week's Time Magazine. The article includes some interesting insight. For example, the decision not to run ads on Google's image search results because the estimated $80 million that it would produce in revenue each year isn't "worth it."

Spotlight on Search - Interview with Eric Ward
by Lee Odden - Linking is important for more reasons than building PageRank though. Links from high profile sites can drive significant amounts of traffic AND attract inbound links as well. In that field there's one person that stands out as the prominent "old school SEO" authority on link building and that is Eric Ward.

The Search Experience has a De Facto Standard (for Now)
by Gord Hotchkiss - Google's interface has become the de facto standard for search. Even now, all three of the major properties have very similar search results layouts, with only slight variations to distinguish them. It's in those variations, the nuances of design and layout, where the differences in the user experience can be found.

Interview with Barry Schwartz (RustyBrick) of Search Engine Roundtable
by Lee Odden - Today's interview is with Barry Schwartz, who runs a web application development business called RustyBrick, edits and writes the Search Engine Roundtable blog, serves as moderator on numerous forums, provides editorial coverage and speaks at Search Marketing conferences AND is now running a new forum.

Target your Ad Copy for Better Results
by Bill Hartzer - In search (especially through PPC ads), we have the luxury of picking the keywords we're found for—the more targeted the keywords the cheaper they are. If you use targeted keywords you should make sure you're also using targeted ad copy--it will cost less and increase your conversion rate.

Doctor, Heal Thyself – StepForth Site Redesign
by Jim Hedger - The use of eye-catching graphics is good to engage the interest of the observer however, a web document is really only as good as its content. In website marketing, all content should be viewed as a call to action. The goal of commercial websites is to convert visitors into participants of one form or another.

The Danger of Effective Viral Marketing
by Jennifer Laycock - Before you take on a new search marketing campaign, or a new viral marketing or link building campaign, consider the implications. Are you ready for the influx in traffic, in visitors, in sales?

Choosing an SEO Company
by Jill Whalen - At the very least, any professional SEO company should be doing extensive keyword research, making site architecture recommendations, making copy recommendations, and creating Title tags.

Mainstreaming Means Mergers and Acquisitions says AdMedia Partners Study
by Jim Hedger - A study released yesterday by Madison Ave. based AdMedia Partners suggests that advertiser interest, coupled with the changes in the way consumers perceive and receive advertising makes many search marketing firms tasty targets for acquisition or likely candidates for mergers.

Giving Up Google Maps
by Jennifer Laycock - I never thought it would come to this. As fascinated as I've been with Google Maps and their fantastic satellite views, I've found a new love. Windows Live Local, the beta version of Microsoft's own aerial photo maps is powered by Virtual Earth and smashes Google to tiny bits when it comes to impact and imagery.

Cleaning Up the Messes – Reviving a Site Banned for Spamming
by Jim Hedger - For the past few days, the search marketing world has been abuzz with the news BMW’s German language site was banned by Google for using a form of cloaking.

SEO Accounts for Only 11% of SEM Spending
by Stoney deGeyter - Optimization is a long-term process that requires patience for results to be achieved, and continuous maintenance to stay "on top". PPC simply requires more money to stay on top.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

MSN's ContentAds To Launch in 2006
Jennifer Slegg at JenSense reports today that Microsoft has disclosed the long awaited name of their new contextual ad program, ContentAds, as well as a much narrower timeline for the program to launch. She found this information on the upcoming Mix06 conference web site within the session information.

Google Continues to Take Heat Over China Stance
The Times Online features an article today about Microsoft, Yahoo!, Cisco Systems and Google taking the stand before the House of Representatives human rights subcommittee to talk about corporate responsibility and the need to do business abroad. Google and Yahoo! faced some harsh criticism for their actions in China. Google, for launching a heavily filtered version of their search engine to appease government officials and Yahoo! for sharing information that has led to the arrest and jailing of two Chinese dissidents.

Carcasherdotcom SEOContest Update
On a whim today I went out to check and see how the Lactivist carcasherdotcom seocontest for charity page was doing in one of the latest SEO contests and noticed that it's moving up the rankings quite nicely. The site is still ranking #1 on MSN and has crept up to #3 on Yahoo and #15 on Google. Right now that keeps the site on track to win the $100 monthly prize for MSN and puts it within reach of the $200 Yahoo prize.

Wait, Wasn't that Yahoo!'s Idea?
Apparently Microsoft didn't take much heed to the criticism heaped on Yahoo! for their consideration of offering up prizes or payment for searchers that tried out their service, because MSN Search announced this morning that they would be giving way $1 million in prizes to those willing to sample MSN Search.

Hyphenated Domains and Long Registration Periods
Does it help my Google ranking to register my domain name for years in advance? The guy at the hosting company insisted it's true, but a car salesman will also say you need the anti-rust coating for only an extra $1,000. (skip to "Hyphenated Domains and Long Registration Periods" by Jill Whalen)

Google In Court Again Over Trademark Disputes
In the latest of suits involving trademark issues with AdWords, Check 'n Go has sued Google in federal court in Ohio, stating that the search engine permits other payday lenders to purchase ads that appear when the trademarked phrase "check n go" is typed in. In their suit, they have asked a federal court to halt the practice.

Google Posts the Truth About Traffic Power
Having already made a bad reputation for itself by hiring a legion of phone solicitors to cold-call small businesses, Traffic Power had accumulated a fairly large client list. This weekend, the story took another twist when Matt Cutts, Google’s chief search engineer, posted definite confirmation of the penalty on his blog. (skip to "Google Posts the Truth About Traffic Power" by Jim Hedger)

A Little Q&A With Google
Brin, Page and Schmidt, the trio that runs Google, are the cover boys of this week's Time Magazine. The article includes some interesting insight. For example, the decision not to run ads on Google's image search results because the estimated $80 million that it would produce in revenue each year isn't "worth it." (skip to "A Little Q&A With Google" by Jennifer Laycock)

Spotlight on Search - Interview with Eric Ward
Linking is important for more reasons than building PageRank though. Links from high profile sites can drive significant amounts of traffic AND attract inbound links as well. In that field there's one person that stands out as the prominent "old school SEO" authority on link building and that is Eric Ward. (skip to "Spotlight on Search - Interview with Eric Ward" by Lee Odden)

Matt Cutts on Traffic Power
While it's now been a year or so since the great Traffic Power debacle, the SEO firm that ended up getting many of its client sites dropped from Google for violating the Google Webmaster guidelines is back in the news this week.

Search and the Big Apple? Worth Checking Out
Looking for a way to round out the last few weeks of winter while pounding your brain full of more search marketing information than you ever dreamed existed? Then it's worth checking out the schedule for the upcoming Search Engine Strategies event in NYC. Running from February 27th to March 2nd at the Hilton New York, the show is hosted by Danny Sullivan and will feature tons of of best and brightest from the search world sharing tips and insight on the future of search marketing.

The Search Experience has a De Facto Standard (for Now)
Google's interface has become the de facto standard for search. Even now, all three of the major properties have very similar search results layouts, with only slight variations to distinguish them. It's in those variations, the nuances of design and layout, where the differences in the user experience can be found. (skip to "The Search Experience has a De Facto Standard (for Now)" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Thanks for the Backup Seth...
For years I've been droning on and on in articles and conferences about the idea of earning links, earning traffic and earning customers with hard work and great content. Apparently I'm not the only one pushing this idea, but just in case you think I'm full of it, maybe there's a chance that you'll listen when Seth says it.

An Explanation of AdRank
For AdSense publishers that are curious about how Google decides what ads to show on your site and when, the official AdSense Blog has posted a pretty good overview of just how the whole thing works. It's a quick and easy read that sheds a little bit of light on what the system is thinking when putting ads in place on AdSense publisher's sites.

Google Expands Auctions to Print Ads
There's been a lot of buzz this week about the news that Google will be putting their AdWords auction system to use allowing advertisers to bid on print ads in popular magazines. Advertisers can choose from several different magazines including popular options like Entrepreneur, Martha Stewart Living and Car and Driver before selecting their ad size and then placing their bid in a blind auction style system.

Interview with Barry Schwartz (RustyBrick) of Search Engine Roundtable
Today's interview is with Barry Schwartz, who runs a web application development business called RustyBrick, edits and writes the Search Engine Roundtable blog, serves as moderator on numerous forums, provides editorial coverage and speaks at Search Marketing conferences AND is now running a new forum. (skip to "Interview with Barry Schwartz (RustyBrick) of Search Engine Roundtable" by Lee Odden)

Target your Ad Copy for Better Results
In search (especially through PPC ads), we have the luxury of picking the keywords we're found for—the more targeted the keywords the cheaper they are. If you use targeted keywords you should make sure you're also using targeted ad copy--it will cost less and increase your conversion rate. (skip to "Target your Ad Copy for Better Results" by Bill Hartzer)

Doctor, Heal Thyself – StepForth Site Redesign
The use of eye-catching graphics is good to engage the interest of the observer however, a web document is really only as good as its content. In website marketing, all content should be viewed as a call to action. The goal of commercial websites is to convert visitors into participants of one form or another. (skip to "Doctor, Heal Thyself – StepForth Site Redesign" by Jim Hedger)

GBuy Set to Compete with PayPal
In yet another move designed to tie more of the money flowing across the Internet to its own servers, word is that Google now plans to go head to head with PayPal with a new offering dubbed GBuy. GBuy will replace the concept of Google Wallet and will be used to store and process credit card payments when Google users shop on third party sites. The idea is to keep private financial data in one location, rather than sending it out to multiple companies. Google also plans to use GBuy as a way to promote existing advertisers.

The Danger of Effective Viral Marketing
Before you take on a new search marketing campaign, or a new viral marketing or link building campaign, consider the implications. Are you ready for the influx in traffic, in visitors, in sales? (skip to "The Danger of Effective Viral Marketing" by Jennifer Laycock)

Bird's Eye Tourist Offers Another Way to Travel the World
Yesterday, I wrote an article about the aerial photography mapping option offered on Windows Live Local and compared a few shots side by side to show what you see with Google verses what you can see with the Microsoft version. I had an email this morning from Steve Lombardi, the program manager for Virtual Earth (which powers Windows Live Local) pointing me toward a great little site called Bird's Eye Tourist that's looking to do for Windows Live Local what Google Sightseeing has done for Google Maps.

Choosing an SEO Company
At the very least, any professional SEO company should be doing extensive keyword research, making site architecture recommendations, making copy recommendations, and creating Title tags. If a company seems to mention *only* Meta tags and submitting your site to search engines, but not the things that I previously mentioned, then you'd be throwing away your money if you use them. (skip to "Choosing an SEO Company" by Jill Whalen)

Mainstreaming Means Mergers and Acquisitions says AdMedia Partners Study
A study released yesterday by Madison Ave. based AdMedia Partners suggests that advertiser interest, coupled with the changes in the way consumers perceive and receive advertising makes many search marketing firms tasty targets for acquisition or likely candidates for mergers. (skip to "Mainstreaming Means Mergers and Acquisitions says AdMedia Partners Study" by Jim Hedger)

Giving Up Google Maps
I never thought it would come to this. As fascinated as I've been with Google Maps and their fantastic satellite views, I've found a new love. Windows Live Local, the beta version of Microsoft's own aerial photo maps is powered by Virtual Earth and smashes Google to tiny bits when it comes to impact and imagery. (skip to "Giving Up Google Maps" by Jennifer Laycock)

Cleaning Up the Messes – Reviving a Site Banned for Spamming
For the past few days, the search marketing world has been abuzz with the news BMW’s German language site was banned by Google for using a form of cloaking. (skip to "Cleaning Up the Messes – Reviving a Site Banned for Spamming" by Jim Hedger)

SEO Accounts for Only 11% of SEM Spending
Optimization is a long-term process that requires patience for results to be achieved, and continuous maintenance to stay "on top". PPC simply requires more money to stay on top. (skip to "SEO Accounts for Only 11% of SEM Spending" by Stoney deGeyter)

When You Don't Need SEM
Rand Fishkin over at SEOMoz has a great article titled "How to Avoid Needing an SEO" that talks about...well...how to know when you don't need to hire a search engine marketing consultant to be successful online.

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Search Engine Books & Services (Classifieds)

Free comprehensive search engine optimization ebook
Covers all important SEO topics, includes checklists, gets quick results.

Skaffe.com Directory: Show off your website Express Submit today.
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WoW Directory
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WoW Yellow Pages
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List your products in Froogle, Shopzilla, Shopping.com and more!
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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.)

Domainers Making Millions
Webmaster World - "If AdSense is about delivering targeted traffic to advertisers, then type-in traffic represents the ultimate in targeting. If you were a merchant selling Green Widgets, wouldn't you jump at the chance to monetize traffic from the GreenWidgets.com domain? Of course you would!"

Good year / bad year: SEMPO - SMA UK
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Have these SEO organisations had a good year, a bad year or an indifferent year?"

Does Google Hire Spammers?
Search Engine Roundtable Forums - "Having dome some consulting with search engines, I can tell you that those types of offers have been made. But the problem the engines face is they aren't willing to pay the kind of money it would take to get a prominent dark lord to come to their side."

BMW Debacle Good for SEO?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "CEO's read the headline news and I am sure this story has many of them making some inquiries to ensure their company is immune to the same fate."

How to Check Local AdWords in Another State?
Search Engine Watch Forums - " Perhaps I have missed it, and there is a preview tool avaliable, but how can I check this occasionally?"

Deep Link Ratio, What is Yours ?
Cre8asite Forums - "I have some very competitive keywords where the search performance is middling but in general, particularly with Google, the website performs extremely well. I don't do particularly well with Yahoo! or MSN. Does this DLR concept work better for them perhaps?"

My Daily AdWords Budget Runs Out
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Daily budgets in AdWords are supposed to spread your ads out over the course of an entire day, but various factors can cause ads to cut out sooner. A look at why plus some solutions."

Google Publication Ads
Search Engine Roundtable Forums - "I decided to see what the normal advertising rate was for one of the publications... Now, I don't know about you, but I can't afford those prices. Do you think the bids would have to be comparable to those rates in order to win?"

New Specialist Search Engine: Kosmix
Webmaster World - "... it's not bad. I just think they have an identity problem. Early articles profiled them as a health search engine, recent articles lean more towards a search engine with niche channels. - So which is it?"

Search Engine friendly DHTML
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Got some advice to offer on doing drop down menus in DHTML but still getting search engines inside your 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.)

How important is the Headline - REALLY?!
"I'm seeing a lot of focus on the headline of the landing page. I'm having a hard time swallowing that it is really as important as people make it out to be. Can someone show me with some data (even anecdotal evidence) that the headline is really important?"

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Free comprehensive search engine optimization ebook
Covers all important SEO topics, includes checklists, gets quick results.

Skaffe.com Directory: Show off your website Express Submit today.
Quality directories like Skaffe.com offer you strong search engine exposure.

Sporge Directory – from Skaffe.com
Under new management! All new with low submission prices.

WoW Directory
Powerful and affordable directory marketing services. Submit your website today!

WoW Yellow Pages
Local and regional business directory. Quality GEO targeted website advertising you can afford.

Need to learn SEO?
Read the latest SEO news and learn SEO from the #1 ranked book.

List your products in Froogle, Shopzilla, Shopping.com and more!
Our MegaFeeder software makes it easy. Free version available.