Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-03-01

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Hi Everyone,

This has nothing to do with marketing but you've got to check out the Shamu Cam. The Shamu Cam is located in SeaWorld San Diego and runs between 9am - 5:30pm Pacific Standard Time daily. Sometimes it takes a while for Shamu (a Killer Whale) to pass by the camera so be patient.

A big thanks to David Wallace from SearchRank for being our guest blogger this week while Jennifer is at the Search Engine Strategies conference. If you need search engine optimization work done, David's company is excellent and is affordable for small businesses.

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

The Internet As Beijing Sees It
by Joseph Pratt - Google.com was already available to Internet users in China, but the search engine launched Google.cn with the purpose of staying competitive in the market, as China already has some big search engines of their own, Baidu specifically. But there is a price to pay.

Home Page, Links, and AdSense
by Jill Whalen - I have added a title and the meta tags to the index page, and there seem to be a lot of keywords on the main page. Can I break them up and optimize each individual page with keywords, titles, and meta tags? Or do the search engines only look at the main page of our site?

Google Offers Up Page Creator Program
by Jennifer Laycock - Google Page Creator is available for free to anyone with a Gmail account, though new registrations are closed right now due to "heavy demand." The system works off of a "What You See is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) editor that will allow even those unfamiliar with HTML to create their own web sites.

Meeting Your Targeted Audience’s Wants and Needs
by Stoney deGeyter - While you don’t have to provide a perfect user experience for every individual who stumbles across your site (an impossible task anyway,) you always want to be sure to incorporate the elements that your audience wants and needs.

Bridging the Corporate Knowledge Gap – Conferencing with Execs
by Jim Hedger - There is a perpetual knowledge gap among corporate executives when it comes to IT, their corporate websites and search marketing. Without a doubt, they understand the “big picture” perfectly well. It is the little things, the numerous fine details of how the machine actually works that they often face problems with.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Is the Cost of Domain Names Going Up?
Everything else is going up - why not domain names as well? Verisign struck a deal Tuesday with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN for short that will allow them to raise their annual price for .com domain names.

MSN adCenter Offers Open Enrollment on March 6th
Just announced: MSN AdCenter is offering a brief open sign up period for potential advertisers to get an AdCenter pilot account without having to wait for a formal invite or the larger release in June. This will take place on March 6th and will only last for 3 hours.

SEO Cheatsheet by Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz has made available his "SEO Cheatsheet" for downloading. This is the same sheet he hands out to conference attendees of one of his sessions at Search Engine Strategies in New York. It is a simple list, definitley not as extensive as his "Search Engine Ranking Factors" article which to date contains about 103 factors/tips related to SEO, but can be helpful if you are just starting out in the filed of searche ngine optimization.

What Is the Deal With Duplicate Content?
This is a question that comes up in forums on almost a weekly basis - "Can duplicate content hurt me?" The answer in short is yes. So what are some scenarios where duplicate can exist and what can web site owners do to make sure duplicate content doesn't come back to haunt them?

Microsoft Gets Into Classified Ads
Microsoft is releasing its classified ads project once called "Fremont" but now called Windows Live Expo to U.S. users today. Microsoft expects to launch an open beta to users nationwide at expo.live.com this afternoon. They hope that their approach of tying classifieds to social networks allow the them to differentiate their product in an increasingly crowded market.

Find News Anytime, Anywhere With Google News Mobile
Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal reports today the addition of news to Google's mobile offerings, bringing the informational goodness of Google News to cell phones, train stations, and waiting rooms all over the country. You can access top headlines, browse through news categories, or search for exactly the stories you want — all in a phone-friendly format that's easy to read and navigate, all while you are on the go.

Matt Bailey Leaves The Karcher Group to Start New Venture
Matt Bailey has long been the search marketing face of The Karcher Group, well at least in my opinion. He is a regular conference speaker and could always be found at trade show boths holding those "pink brains" that have become a Karcher trademark. Now Matt has left the group and will be starting a new company called SiteLogic.

Marketers May Be Missing the Boat in Paid Search
40% of marketers are "missing the boat" by relying on only Google and Yahoo! for their paid search campaigns according to a recent study by JupiterResearch entitled: "Engine Selection Strategies: Campaign Expansion Demands Management Tools". Even though Ask and MSN now have their own paid search programs as well as the many vertical search programs that exist, a large number of marketers are slow to test the waters.

The US Government Calls Google's Bluff
Earlier this month, Google rejected the United States Department of Justice's request for search data. The DOJ had made similar requests to Yahoo, MSN and AOL, all of which complied but Google strongly rejected arguing that the disclosure of the information could give competitors insight into its user habits. In a latest move, the government has rejected Google's assertion that a government subpoena for search data threatens the privacy of Internet users.

The Next Best Thing to Actually Attending SES NY?
Most everyone I know is attending the Search Engine Strategies in New York this week, a very popular conference on search and search marketing. The last I heard, there will be over 5500 people attending making it one of the largest shows in its history. The conference runs for four days and includes sessions on just about every imaginable topic related to search and the search marketing industry.

First Jeeves (The Butler) Retires; Now Teoma
Last week the newly re-branded Ask sent its longtime mascot, Jeeves on retirement. That all played out with daily shots of Jeeves dreaming and planning his retirement and then finally riding off into the sunset on horseback. In a quieter move, Ask has also retired the search engine Teoma. As such, they have rolled the Teoma brand in to Ask, pointing the Teoma.com domain to http://search.ask.com.

Search Engine Strategies Keynote With Barry Diller
Barry Diller, Chairman and CEO, IAC/InterActiveCorp, is participating in the keynote this year at Search Engine Strategies in New York. As you may be aware, IAC/InterActiveCorp bought Ask Jeeves last year for $1.85 billion and has since worked to re-brand Ask Jeeves to Ask, sending the butler to retirement as well as bring out new features as well as those that were previously in development. IAC/InterActiveCorp also owns many well know media properties including HSN (Home Shopping Network), Ticketmaster, LendingTree and CitySearch to name a few.

AOL and My Brother-in-Law Agree: Curling Rocks
Despite my husband's suggestion that both curling and ladies figure skating would be more entertaining if you had them occur simultaneously on the same ice, AOL users seem to agree that curling is this Olympic's most searchable sport. That's right, according to searches conducted on the AOL network, the phrase "curling" is trumped only by "Olympics" and "Olympics on NBC" in terms of popularity.

Search as the Behavior of Choice
MediaPost Publications had an interesting article yesterday titled "Verklin: Search Crucial To Marketing" that talks about the shift toward search as a totally integrated component of marketing campaigns. David Verklin, CEO Carat Americas and chairman of Asia Pacific delivered a talk earlier this week at a Yahoo! sponsored event where he outlined the need for marketing and advertising firms to embrace search as part of their long-term strategies.

Loren Baker Visits Google Japan
Loren, over at Search Engine Journal, has an interesting blog post this week that talks about his trip to the Google Japan offices to talk about local search and mobile search initiatives. Pictures too.

The Internet As Beijing Sees It
Google.com was already available to Internet users in China, but the search engine launched Google.cn with the purpose of staying competitive in the market, as China already has some big search engines of their own, Baidu specifically. But there is a price to pay. (skip to "The Internet As Beijing Sees It" by Joseph Pratt)

Home Page, Links, and AdSense
I have added a title and the meta tags to the index page, and there seem to be a lot of keywords on the main page. Can I break them up and optimize each individual page with keywords, titles, and meta tags? Or do the search engines only look at the main page of our site? (skip to "Home Page, Links, and AdSenseM" by Jill Whalen)

MSN adCenter Kicks Into High Gear
Has a letter yesterday from the MSN adCenter team announcing that they are now ready to upgrade their service in order to include more search inventory. Just last week I talked about some of the updates that MSN was making to the adCenter interface. This week the word is traffic, lots and lots of traffic.

Yahoo! Search Marketing Puts Stop to Trademarked Bids
The word is out that as of next week, Yahoo! will no longer allow pay-per-click advertisers to bid on competitors' trademarked terms. Yahoo!'s long-standing policy has been to allow for such bids, so long as the ads landing page clearly outlined the differences between the company's own product and the trademarked term that they bid on.

Hear Jen Via Podcast
I mentioned earlier this week that I'd had the pleasure of being a guest on Anita Campbell's Small Business Trends radio program. She dropped me a note today to let me know that the podcast version of the show is up. So if you haven't had a chance to listen to it yet and you want to hear more about small businesses and search engine marketing, go snag the file and listen away!

Internet Users Continue to Be Uncomfortable with Records of Search
No surprises here...searchers aren't keen on the idea of search engines keeping not just tabs, but records of the searches that they conduct on those engines. The Washington Post has an article today that talks about Internet users concerns over both the Google/DOJ hearings and the overall idea of search engines keeping tabs on their searches.

Yahoo Answers Expands
Two months after launching the beta version of Yahoo Answers, Yahoo has announced the addition of quite a few new features to the service. In a post on the Yahoo blog yesterday, the team outlined some of those new Yahoo Answers features.

Google Offers Up Page Creator Program
Google Page Creator is available for free to anyone with a Gmail account, though new registrations are closed right now due to "heavy demand." The system works off of a "What You See is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) editor that will allow even those unfamiliar with HTML to create their own web sites. (skip to "Google Offers Up Page Creator Program" by Jennifer Laycock)

Partying with the Butler
While the upcoming Search Engine Strategies in New York is looking a little light on the party front, Ask.com is stepping up to the plate to host a bash that will double as a retirement party for their well-recognized butler, Jeeves. Apparently, they'll be giving us robot wars (think Battle Bots), vintage arcade games and some Jeeves related fun. If you're heading to NYC for the show, be sure to stop by.

Meeting Your Targeted Audience’s Wants and Needs
While you don’t have to provide a perfect user experience for every individual who stumbles across your site (an impossible task anyway,) you always want to be sure to incorporate the elements that your audience wants and needs. (skip to "Meeting Your Targeted Audience’s Wants and Needs" by Stoney deGeyter)

Bridging the Corporate Knowledge Gap – Conferencing with Execs
There is a perpetual knowledge gap among corporate executives when it comes to IT, their corporate websites and search marketing. Without a doubt, they understand the “big picture” perfectly well. It is the little things, the numerous fine details of how the machine actually works that they often face problems with. (skip to "Bridging the Corporate Knowledge Gap – Conferencing with Execs" by Jim Hedger)

Google Names Head of Philanthropic Arm
According to a newly issued Google press release, Dr. Larry Brilliant is the man that will be in charge of Google.org, the group that will oversee Google's new philanthropic efforts. Dr. Brilliant is a founder and director of The Seva Foundation, a Policy Advisory Council Member at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Kleiner-Perkin's Pandemic and Bio-Defense Fund.

Mashup Camp, Fun for Google Geeks
Apparently, even grown-ups can have fun at camp these days. Mashup Camp happened earlier this week in at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The event brings together 300 different programmers that are interested in taking programs like Yahoo Maps and Google Maps and mixing them up with their own code to create new functionality. Basically, Mashup Camp is the modern day computer camp for Google and Yahoo hackers. Interested? The next event hasn't been announced yet, but you can keep an eye out for it on the Mashup Camp web site.

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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 Offering Payment Option on GoogleBase
Webmaster World - "Google has added a feature to Google Base that allows merchants to handle payments through a user's Google account. The feature effectively turns Google into an e-commerce platform for retail operators."

Starting your AdSense Business Using Free Blogs
Webmaster World - "When I first started out with AdSense, I had little money to spare on web hosting, and I knew nothing about how to get a site ranked in the search engines or to generate traffic. It took a lot of work, reading, experimenting and failure before I discovered great ways to build my AdSense business."

Can poor usability increase conversions?
Cre8asite Forums - "What is your experience on the tipping point between increasing time on site and frustrating potential customers? What are good candidates for information that should not be too instantly available, or info that should always be a click away?"

Yahoo No Longer Allow Bidding On Trademarked Terms
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Interesting, and not unexpected. Trademark law is one of the 2 major sore points on any PPC system (click fraud being the other), and until the search engines, TM owners and courts figure out a commonly accepted group of guidlines it will continue to be. It's made worse in that there really isn't an international standard for how to handle conflicts of trademarks (which are local in nature) over the internet (which is international in nature)."

Wordtracker Vs Keyword Discovery
High Rankings Forum - "You can't use any keyword research tool as an absolute- none of them measure all actual searches done in the world. What they are excellent for is for benchmarking, relative popularity, and alternate phrases."

Teoma merged with Ask.com, now "self service" without Jeeves
Webmaster World - "The new Ask.com features a slick, do-it-yourself toolbox that helps users refine more types of searches with the first click of their computer mouse for maps, images, dictionaries, weather, local info or documents stored on their computers."

More evidence that links pages are dead
Webmaster World - "So we have done an experiment that I would like to share with you all."

Machiavellian SEO
High Rankings Forum - "I'm thinking about seeking to form a co-op of nine other sites ... that will help each other develop and promote content based on our mutual widget. These sites that complement each other (not compete) would be focused on the same keywords, and ideally fill the Google Top 10. Thus pushing my (our) direct competition down the list."

Yahoo and Google Alerts
WebProWorld - "If you don't use Y or G Alerts for following SEO news, then what keywords and industries do you use with Alerts?"

Google Releases Web Page Creator & Free Hosting Labs Beta
Search Engine Roundtable Forums - "Google Page Creator is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive web pages in just minutes."

MSN Seeks Questions For SES
Search Engine Watch Forums - "MSN is coming to next week's SES NY show and wants your advice on questions to address, ranging from the crawler to adCenter. Drop your wishlist here."

Photos Get Google in Trouble Over Copyright Law
Search Engine Watch Forums - "A photo site gets an injunction against Google showing its pictures in Google Images. An end to image search, or a slight bump that whill impact relatively few cases?"

Optimized Pageload Time Clearly Increases Revenue
Webmaster World - "... the effect was immediate once the domain had transferred. ctr and clicks went up. I've always kept the pages minimalist so as to provide faster loading times - especially the main index page. If the assumptions are correct, then it would appear that the load times are pretty crucial to if a visitor stays, and if they click or not!"

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

Key Employees Leaving
"Part of the current business development plan has been the recent hiring of a professional strategic planning firm to help guide us in our future growth. I realize many people may be resistant to change but changes that have occured recently have had no direct effect on at least 5 out of the six who have left."

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