Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-02-22

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Hi Everyone,

We have a new addition to the Search Engine Guide/Small Business Brief family! Chris Logan is our new Director of Advertising Sales. I REALLY stink at sales so we're all very excited to have Chris taking over in this department. Chris will represent us at industry events starting with the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York at the end of the month. If you are going to the conference, be sure and track him down and say "Hi". Also, please drop in to our forum and give him a pat on the back. :-)

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Your FAQ Page - A Sales Tool? You Bet!
by Karon Thackston - By using some imagination and salesmanship, you can turn your FAQ page into a highly productive tool that not only gives visitors the information they need, but also encourages more sales!

New Tools for Press Release Marketing
by Lee Odden - For about 5 years, PRWeb has focused on becoming the leading direct to consumer press release distribution model on the web. The PRWeb services sends out approximately 1000 press releases per day. As part of their ongoing effort to bring more functionality to the service, a new Web 2.0 content manager has been hired and several new services have been implemented.

Business to Business Marketing on Search Engines – A Largely Untapped Marketing Tool
by Scott Buresh - Even those familiar with search engine optimization have common misconceptions about the value of SEO in business to business marketing. While e-commerce companies can and do benefit tremendously from SEO as a marketing tool, there are many factors in search engine optimization that actually favor B2B companies in terms of overall benefit from the channel.

Blogs and Barcodes – The Online Blurs into the Offline World
by Ross Dunn - A new technology has been slated to emerge within the next 2 years that will blur the lines between the web and the real world and make blogging and in-turn SEO even more of a necessity for retailers. The key to this new world will be the popular cell phone and the emergence of barcode search technology.

Interview with Andrew Goodman of Traffick and Page Zero Media
by Lee Odden - Andrew Goodman is known as the guy who "wrote the book" on Google AdWords or at least that's one of the ways I like to think of him. In this interview, Andrew explains how he tossed in the towel on his PhD to become, gasp, an internet marketer!

Psst, Try My Search Engine and I’ll Give You a Turkey!
by Gord Hotchkiss - The desperation shown by Yahoo! and MSN represents their admission of the importance of search in the new online ecosystem. I recently mentioned to someone that MSN has already conceded the first round of the search game to Google.

AOL Updates Video Search, Truveo Comes Into Play
by Jennifer Laycock - With the lines between traditional forms of entertainment and the Internet slowly blurring, the ability to make an early capture of the video search audience is likely to play a key role in the future success of any of the major engines.

Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 1 of 2
by Karon Thackston - Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the message we most want our customers to hear gets lost in a sea of superlatives. The marketer within us takes over and - before we know it - the core focus of the Web page, brochure or flyer becomes blurred.

Buying Text Links
by Jill Whalen - Your advertisements on other people's sites are none of the search engines' business and will not get your site banned or penalized. They will not hurt your site in any way. How you market your site is completely up to you, and you don't need to worry about the search engines if you decide to purchase text link ads.

Local Search to Continues to Show Promise for Small Businesses
by Jennifer Laycock - While online classified ads are expected to grow about 8% a year, pay-per-call is expected to grow more than 130% annually, reaching $3.7 billion in spending by 2010. That's up from just $57 million last year.

SEO is Location, Location, Location
by Stoney deGeyter - Achieving top search engine placement is the B&M (brick and mortar) equivalent of choosing your store's location. We've all heard it, when setting up your store, location is everything: location, location, location. Unlike B&Ms, however, websites can't just buy or rent their location on the organic search results.

Lycos Looking Forward, an Interview with COO Brian Kalinowski
by Jim Hedger - Last week, word of a restructuring phase at Lycos spread around the web based on a post on John Battelle’s blog and an article written by me. As it turns out, the information was correct but our assumptions were wrong. Lycos is not getting out of search, exactly, it is simply changing the way it approaches the search engine marketplace as consumer use of search engines evolves.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts


Your FAQ Page - A Sales Tool? You Bet!
By using some imagination and salesmanship, you can turn your FAQ page into a highly productive tool that not only gives visitors the information they need, but also encourages more sales! (skip to "Your FAQ Page - A Sales Tool? You Bet!" by Karon Thackston)


New Tools for Press Release Marketing
For about 5 years, PRWeb has focused on becoming the leading direct to consumer press release distribution model on the web. The PRWeb services sends out approximately 1000 press releases per day. As part of their ongoing effort to bring more functionality to the service, a new Web 2.0 content manager has been hired and several new services have been implemented. (skip to "New Tools for Press Release Marketing" by Lee Odden)


More Critique for Google
Google's golden days seem to be slowly slipping away as of late. Yet another critical article has popped up in the Houston Chronicle that takes issue with Google's policy of refusing to work with the U.S. Government while effectively bending over for Communist China.


Catch Jennifer on the Small Business Trends Podcast
I had the great pleasure today of being the featured guest on Anita Campbell's Small Business Trends show on the Voice America Network. The show's tailored toward a small business audience and Anita and I talked about everything from search marketing basics to link building to small seo budgets. We even chatted a bit about the 30 day project. Interested in hearing what we had to talk about? Download the full hour-long podcast of the program.


Are the Big Three Search Engines Vulnerable?
Ran across an overview of some research earlier today that aims to examine the prime weaknesses of the big three search engines and to consider how a newcomer might be able to take advantage of them. Outsell, Inc.'s latest hot topic report provides a comparison of the business and revenue models, customer usage trends, corporate culture, vulnerabilities and overall market position of MSN, Google and Yahoo.


Business to Business Marketing on Search Engines – A Largely Untapped Marketing Tool
Even those familiar with search engine optimization have common misconceptions about the value of SEO in business to business marketing. While e-commerce companies can and do benefit tremendously from SEO as a marketing tool, there are many factors in search engine optimization that actually favor B2B companies in terms of overall benefit from the channel. (skip to "Business to Business Marketing on Search Engines – A Largely Untapped Marketing Tool" by Scott Buresh)


Blogs and Barcodes – The Online Blurs into the Offline World
A new technology has been slated to emerge within the next 2 years that will blur the lines between the web and the real world and make blogging and in-turn SEO even more of a necessity for retailers. The key to this new world will be the popular cell phone and the emergence of barcode search technology. (skip to "Blogs and Barcodes – The Online Blurs into the Offline World" by Ross Dunn)


Welcome Aboard Chris!
We're a small little family here at Search Engine Guide...just Robert the Publisher and myself as editor, but we're also a growing family. As of this week, we're happy to officially welcome aboard Chris Logan (you know him in the forums as "Logan") as our Director of Advertising Sales. Chris will be representing Search Engine Guide at industry events as our sales rep and will be helping spread the word about the great (and affordable) advertising opportunities available to businesses of all sizes. If you have a minute, please stop by the forums to welcome him aboard.


Launch Date Out on MSN's Contextual Ad Program
The JenSense blog has the scoop on the new name and launch date of the upcoming MSN adCenter powered contextual ad program. Apparently, the program will be dubbed MSN ContentAds and is expected to launch in beta sometime later this year.


Blogger Protests Yahoo! Actions in China
In an interesting political move, one blogger has taken his fight against Yahoo! to his web site, sending any visitors that have been referred to his site by Yahoo! straight to a page protesting their actions in China. Originally, several sites have reported that the search result was actually redirecting to the Amnesty International web site and their position on Yahoo!, but right now, the redirect has been removed and the page content has been replaced with a message to readers.


The Danger of a Little Bit of Info
While surfing through my Google Alerts this morning, I was pleased to see USA Today giving some coverage to search engine optimization and search engine marketing in their small business "Ask an Expert" column. Unfortunately, the more I read, the sadder I got. The article was a key example of the type of half-understood information that gets spread around to small business owners causing confusion and generally leaving them no better off than they were before they read the article.


Interview with Andrew Goodman of Traffick and Page Zero Media
Andrew Goodman is known as the guy who "wrote the book" on Google AdWords or at least that's one of the ways I like to think of him. He's authored/edited Traffick.com since long before blogs became popular, speaks at numerous industry conferences and also has a successful SEM agency, Page Zero Media. In this interview, Andrew explains how he tossed in the towel on his PhD to become, gasp, an internet marketer! (skip to "Interview with Andrew Goodman of Traffick and Page Zero Media" by Lee Odden)


Psst, Try My Search Engine and I’ll Give You a Turkey!
The desperation shown by Yahoo! and MSN represents their admission of the importance of search in the new online ecosystem. I recently mentioned to someone that MSN has already conceded the first round of the search game to Google. (skip to "Psst, Try My Search Engine and I’ll Give You a Turkey!" by


AOL Updates Video Search, Truveo Comes Into Play
With the lines between traditional forms of entertainment and the Internet slowly blurring, the ability to make an early capture of the video search audience is likely to play a key role in the future success of any of the major engines. (skip to "AOL Updates Video Search, Truveo Comes Into Play" by Jennifer Laycock)


Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 1 of 2
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the message we most want our customers to hear gets lost in a sea of superlatives. The marketer within us takes over and - before we know it - the core focus of the Web page, brochure or flyer becomes blurred. (skip to "Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 1 of 2" by Karon Thackston)


Buying Text Links
Your advertisements on other people's sites are none of the search engines' business and will not get your site banned or penalized. They will not hurt your site in any way. How you market your site is completely up to you, and you don't need to worry about the search engines if you decide to purchase text link ads. (skip to "Buying Text Links" by Jill Whalen)


Double-Digit Growth Continues in Paid Search
Paid search ads continue to grow at a staggering pace according to Nielsen//NetRatings' AdRelevance unit with both Google and Yahoo reporting that they served significantly more sponsored search ads last month than they did in August. Google resorts a 14% increase, with their ads totally more than 41 billion listings. Yahoo served a little more than half that amount with a little over 23 billion ads. Yahoo's numbers represented a 21% increase though, showing significantly more growth than Google.


Google Takes the Road More Traveled
A little more than a year after their attempt to shake up the IPO world by selling shares through a Dutch auction designed to give the "little guy" just as much chance at buying in as the big investors have, Google seems to be giving in to traditional Wall Street tactics and shifting their attention toward the big money buyers.


Major Updates to MSN adCenter
MSN has announced this morning that based on feedback from a crop of beta testers, they have made some major updates to the interface that will reduce campaign setup to a four-step process. They've also updated the demographic information display to make it easier to quickly see what targeting will be most effective for a campaign.


Bloggers Continue to Befuddle Corporations
Search Engine Guide reader Vinod Chandnani sent me a link to an excellent article that ran in the Economist last week that talks about the trouble some companies have dealing with the way that bloggers are talking about their businesses. The article does a great job of outlining some of the common pitfalls of negative blog posts along with sharing some of the positive experiences that companies have had building relationships with bloggers.


Local Search to Continues to Show Promise for Small Businesses
While online classified ads are expected to grow about 8% a year, pay-per-call is expected to grow more than 130% annually, reaching $3.7 billion in spending by 2010. That's up from just $57 million last year. (skip to "Local Search to Continues to Show Promise for Small Businesses" by Jennifer Laycock)


Search Engine Shirt Contest
Loren Baker has come up with some great link bait in his search engine t-shirt contest posting over at Search Engine Journal. Loren is looking for readers to write in their suggestions for a unique search related shirt. He'll be giving away prizes to the winners, and of course some links to their site as well. Some of the better submissions so far include Get Your RSS Kicked! and "The contest got Loren a ton of links and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."


HBO Uses Google Maps to Promote the Sopranos
While I've written plenty of blog posts over the past year about the various mashups that people have put together using Google Maps, this week was the first time I saw it being used as part of a promotional tie-in for a major brand. AdAge had an article yesterday that talks about HBO's plans to create a Google Maps mashup that will help viewers recall past plot points on the hit drama The Sopranos.


SEO is Location, Location, Location
Achieving top search engine placement is the B&M (brick and mortar) equivalent of choosing your store's location. We've all heard it, when setting up your store, location is everything: location, location, location. Unlike B&Ms, however, websites can't just buy or rent their location on the organic search results. (skip to "SEO is Location, Location, Location" by Stoney deGeyter)


Lycos Looking Forward, an Interview with COO Brian Kalinowski
Last week, word of a restructuring phase at Lycos spread around the web based on a post on John Battelle’s blog and an article written by me. As it turns out, the information was correct but our assumptions were wrong. Lycos is not getting out of search, exactly, it is simply changing the way it approaches the search engine marketplace as consumer use of search engines evolves. (skip to "Lycos Looking Forward, an Interview with COO Brian Kalinowski" 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.)

Should We Avoid Within-Page Links?
Cre8asite Forums - "My biggest gripe with Dr. Neilsen's approach is that he makes pronouncements instead of suggestions. He proposes rules instead of guidelines. He ignores the concept of context, and pushes forth the proposition that every website should be like every other website, because that's what people are used to."

What's The Point of A Robots.txt File If Google Ignores It?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "The robots.txt file says keep out, but Google keeps coming in. What gives?"

The SEO Consultant Must Retain Copyright?
High Rankings Forum - "I think the SEO should retain copyright on everything possible until they have been fully paid, then release copyright to the client. This is mostly from a business point of view. But there are many exceptions. For example, if you are an employee, not a consultant, then the copyright is already owned by the employer."

Accessibility Advocates Accuse Engines of Shutting out the Blind
Webmaster World - "Now, an Internet petition is asking Google to provide an accessible alternative to the visual verification scheme that currently locks the blind and visually impaired out of participation in all the company's services."

In the Era Of Increasing Numbers of Bad Bots Is Robots.txt Irrelevant?
Webmaster World - "I just read through a number of posts in an attempt to understand what, if anything, can be done about bad bots. I found the proposals for white-listing interesting: Throttle all bot type activity except bots with benefits."

Official SES NYC 2006 Party & Events Schedule
Search Engine Watch Forums - "OK - Here it is. The thread that will updated information regarding parties, events and gatherings for the upcoming Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York City February 27 - March 2 2006."

Link Baiting Our Future?
High Rankings Forum - "Linkbait is the future of SEO. Create content that will get Dugg, get on del.icio.us/popular, get linked to by Boing Boing, Lifehacker, Slashdot, etc. and victory in the SERPs is yours (assuming you do it right)."

Marketing/Conversion Testing
High Rankings Forum - "A few recent threads have made me start to wonder why webmasters do not do more testing. Not specifically SEO (ranking) testing, but more importantly why more don't do more marketing/conversion testing? Though I would include both in the question. Is it because people simply don't know how to do this sort of A/B testing? Or is it because they don't know how to analyze the results?"

Search Engines - The New Battle Ground for Middle East Conflicts?
Webmaster World - "This is the 3rd time this week that politics and seo have seriously crossed paths. I find it fascinating that SEO would be used for such purely political purposes."

MSN Rolls out new search interface / algorithm
Search Engine Watch Forums - "MSN's ever changing search algorithms are frustrating some search marketers, but is the instability just a necessary means to find the right formula?"

WebSideStory Report Indicates AOL #1 in Conversions
Search Engine Watch Forums - "This report seems to confirm what many search marketers have long believed about sales referred from content based portals such as AOL, MSN and Yahoo. What's your experience?"

Best Competitive Analysis Tool
High Rankings Forum - "Person A sees site B doing X, so they copy. Competitor C sees the same thing, and copies. Eventually, this "thing" is everywhere, irrespective of whether or not it works. A better apporach is to test your own site. Having a plan, testing and reading advice is far better than copying the leader."

PageRank Queries
Webmaster World - "What do such figures as Rank_1:1:6 Rank_1:1:5 mean?"

Link Development vs. Traffic Development and Staying with the Times
Webmaster World - "The bar has been raised. You can fight it or meet it – the choice is up to you. There is more sophistication in the algorithms of today, there is more sophistication in the level of competition and there is more sophistication from our sites expected by visitors."

Google Buys Blog Analytics Firm MeasureMap
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Measure Map is meant to help bloggers understand how their sites are used. The tool's capabilities include tracking visitors and their activities, as well as tracing the origin of links to blogs from other sites."

Goodbye Jeeves
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Share your thoughts about Ask's decision to drop the butler from the branding. Is it a good thing? Or a bad branding decision."

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

Tips for Buying a New Computer
"As a computer consultant for small offices, I recommend that you buy a name brand (Dell, HP, IBM, Gateway). It'll have a warranty, some basic support, and you won't have to hunt around for drivers or troubleshoot issues on your own."

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