Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-03-15

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Hi Everyone,

Linda has some of the pictures from her trip to the New York Search Engine Strategies conference up. Be sure and check out this picture. It was taken on a boat so I need to straighten it out a bit but it is an amazing picture.

If you haven't been to our forum lately, be sure and drop in because it's really growing and drawing a large audience of small business folks. We'd love to see you there. :-)

Have a super week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Enough Talk About Search Bubbles!
by Gord Hotchkiss - There was also a lot of press last week about Google's share price eroding because their CFO George Reyes said he expected slowing growth in the next quarter. So what's the deal? Is search growing, or isn't it?

How to Setup a PPC Campaign for an "Established" Website
by Todd Mintz - As I discovered recently, creating a PPC campaign for a mature website can differ greatly from a typical PPC campaign setup.

Considering a Career Change? Get in Before the Boom Subsides
by Jennifer Laycock - So my question becomes...is the industry spoiled? Is the fact that an experienced SEM scoffs at a salary that's not equal to those paid out by top law firms, or earned by experienced surgeons a sign that something is wrong?

To Market to Market: Why Content is King
by Karri Flatla - Your website's content is a microcosm of all things marketing. Your content should be the heart and soul of your web-based business unit, even if that unit is part of a larger offline framework.

Interview with Aaron Wall of SEOBook and Threadwatch
by Lee Odden - One of the most visible SEO pundits on the web is unquestionably, Aaron Wall. Aaron is a very unique individual in the SEO world since he is exceptionally knowledgable and networked but until recently, has not overtly offered search engine optimization consulting services.

Google’s Growing Online Office
by Jim Hedger - The acquisition of Upstartle, combined with other current and pending Google services poses a serious challenge to Microsoft’s desktop oriented products. Google is clearly building a suite of branded, browser-based applications that contains several daily use products designed to capture users from Microsoft Office.

Translating Web Sites – Considerations for Multilingual Online Businesses
by Bill Hartzer - When you set up a web site and domain name, you are setting up a business—and by establishing a presence in the country using that country's native tongue is much more powerful than simply adding a few web pages to your existing web site.

AdWords Offers Demographic Selections
by Jennifer Laycock - AdWords' demographic option is designed to let advertisers select specific sites to advertise on based on the demographics of that site. Advertisers will be able to specify a preference in up to three categories.

Ask.com: The Dark Horse in Search?
by Gord Hotchkiss - Barry Diller likes long shots. He’s built a career betting on the long shot. Fresh from killing off his venerable butler, Jeeves, Diller showcased the new Ask.com at the New York Search Engine Strategies show. In a keynote conversation with Danny Sullivan that opened the show, Diller made it clear that’s he’s in this for the long haul.

Jim Lanzone on the Death of the Butler and the Future of Search
by Garrett French - I had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Lanzone, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Ask.com, via email. He's stoked about Ask's recent overhaul and offered a glimpse into their direction as well as the internal structure at Ask driving innovation.

Writing to a Certain Keyword Density
by Jill Whalen - Write great, professional marketing copy while keeping your keyword phrases in mind. If they stick out like a sore thumb, all you've done is written spammy, keyword-stuffed content, and who wants their company associated with that?

Measuring Success as an SEO
by Jim Hedger - Success in search marketing is a very subjective thing. To put it in a simple sentence, success equates to meeting one’s goals. What those goals are, and how they help you or your business achieve a greater objective is another matter.

Online Reputation Management for a New Generation
by Jennifer Laycock - Most adults are now well aware that anything they say or write online can come back to haunt them, but most of the school-age population isn't quite as familiar with the idea of "consequences for your actions," especially in the realm of the online world.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Good Advice on Link and Possible Penalties
Aaron Wall has an excellent blog post today that talks about links and the ability of a competitor to harm your ranking by pointing links toward your site. Rest assured, even Aaron says that while this is technically possible, it's extremely rare. He also points out that there are quite a few things you can do to protect yourself against this type of activity. It's a worthwhile read and sheds some light on some linking issues that a lot of small business owners are often a little fuzzy about.

Enough Talk About Search Bubbles!
There was also a lot of press last week about Google's share price eroding because their CFO George Reyes said he expected slowing growth in the next quarter. So what's the deal? Is search growing, or isn't it? (skip to "Enough Talk About Search Bubbles!" by Gord Hotchkiss)

How to Setup a PPC Campaign for an "Established" Website
As I discovered recently, creating a PPC campaign for a mature website can differ greatly from a typical PPC campaign setup. (skip to "How to Setup a PPC Campaign for an "Established" Website" by Todd Mintz)

What's Your Yahoo! Look Like?
Apparently, it might not look the same as mine does. According to Internet News, Yahoo! is doing some limited testing of a new front page design that puts more emphasis on its search features. The new search interface will show up for a small sub-set of users and Yahoo! plans to make adjustments to the design based on feedback from beta testers before launching a new design to the overall public.

Both DOJ and Google Claim Victory in Court
The word is out that California U.S. District Judge James Ware will be ordering Google to serve up some of the data being demanded by the DOJ, but not all of it. Judge Ware basically ruled that while Google did have to give up some data to the government, the government's original request was "overreaching" and would be an "invasion of privacy." That has both sides claiming victory in a court battle that stands to set a strong precedent for the future of privacy issues when it comes to search. CBC news has the full story.

Considering a Career Change? Get in Before the Boom Subsides
So my question becomes...is the industry spoiled? Is the fact that an experienced SEM scoffs at a salary that's not equal to those paid out by top law firms, or earned by experienced surgeons a sign that something is wrong? (skip to "Considering a Career Change? Get in Before the Boom Subsides" by Jennifer Laycock)

And the Winner Is? Paid Search
For the first time in the three year history of the survey, MarketingSherpa reports that paid search advertising now tops even house email lists as the best marketing performer. 52% of marketers reported that their best results came from paid search campaigns, while only 47% claimed that house e-mail lists did. The use of both rented email lists and behavioral targeting was down this year, though overall budgets are up. Among the tactics expected to be popular in 2006...RSS feeds, blogs and video ads.

Well, We Couldn't Keep the Riches Forever
One of the beautiful things about search engine marketing and the Internet was that whole "level the playing field" factor that gave small businesses the ability to break in and carve out nice niches for themselves. While small businesses still have the ability to make decisions quickly and to take on search marketing campaigns with minimal interference from corporate managers and lawyers, it's likely a good idea for any small business that's still putting SEM off to get cracking. According to The New York Times, the big boys are coming, and they plan on coming soon.

How Many Links Are Too Many Links?
It's a common question these days...with talk of the sandbox still popular in forums and site owners reeling from stories of sites that have been penalized for link aquisition, everyone wants to know just how quickly they can "safely" build links. While I always stand by the "earn links" line of thinking (because you won't get penalized for earning links quickly), Debra mastaler has a great blog post that gives a little bit of insight on the issue. It's worth reading, even if it is titled "Nascar Linking.

TV Fans Hacking Together Their Own Google Maps Mashups
Last month, I blogged about HBO's decision to use a Google Maps Hack to promote the return of the Sopranos for their final season. Apparently, television fans had similar ideas because lately I've been reading about more and more fan sites that are popping up with customized Google Maps Mashups for their own favorite television series.

Danny's Love Hate Relationship with Google
One of the pitfalls of covering the search industry is the fact that you sometimes find yourself writing about the same company day after day after day after week after month. The plus side of this is that you can get to know products and services really well, the downside is that you get to know products and services really well. Playing off of this, Danny Sullivan has put together the top 25 things that he hates about Google and the top 25 things he loves about Google.

To Market to Market: Why Content is King
Your website's content is a microcosm of all things marketing. Your content should be the heart and soul of your web-based business unit, even if that unit is part of a larger offline framework. (skip to "To Market to Market: Why Content is King" by Karri Flatla)

Interview with Aaron Wall of SEOBook and Threadwatch
One of the most visible SEO pundits on the web is unquestionably, Aaron Wall. Aaron is a very unique individual in the SEO world since he is exceptionally knowledgable and networked but until recently, has not overtly offered search engine optimization consulting services. (skip to "Interview with Aaron Wall of SEOBook and Threadwatch" by Aaron Wall)

CafePress Serves up Contextual-Style Ads
I've been playing around today with the new contextual-style ad offering called TopicAds from CafePress. Regular Search Engine Guide readers will remember that my 30 Day Marketing Experiment focused on my use of CafePress to launch a new small business. I'd had pretty good luck with their affiliate program simply by relying on standard banners and ad units, but when I read about the new contextual-style offerings at the JenSense blog, I figured I'd better give them a test run.

MIVA Offers Day Parting
This is my bad for not making note of it sooner, but apparently MIVA is now including simplistic management offers for day parting for pay per click advertisers. I wrote an article not too long ago that made mention of the fact that Microsoft Outlook's calendar feature could be used as a sort of poor man's version of day parting since only MSN offered any type of integrated day parting tools. Turns out, I was wrong. (shh...don't tell Robert or my husband!)

New Jersey Teen Exploits Google News "Backdoor"
One of the beautiful things for small business owners about Google News is the fact that several free press release services are picked up by the news engine, giving small businesses with limited funds a way to get their news stories in front of readers. The downside of the system has been pointed out this week though, when a New Jersey teen exploited the system in order to play a practical joke on some friends. As with many practical jokes, things quickly snowballed out of control.

Google’s Growing Online Office
The acquisition of Upstartle, combined with other current and pending Google services poses a serious challenge to Microsoft’s desktop oriented products. Google is clearly building a suite of branded, browser-based applications that contains several daily use products designed to capture users from Microsoft Office. (skip to "Google's Growing Online Office" by Jim Hedger)

Translating Web Sites – Considerations for Multilingual Online Businesses
When you set up a web site and domain name, you are setting up a business—and by establishing a presence in the country using that country's native tongue is much more powerful than simply adding a few web pages to your existing web site. (skip to "Translating Web Sites – Considerations for Multilingual Online Businesses" by Bill Hartzer)

Andy Beal Offers up Easy Guide to Online Reputation Management
Over the past year or so, I've written quite a few articles and blog posts about the importance of online reputation management. Small Businesses are especially vulnerable to bad press online because they rarely have the time or the money to hire public relations firms that can help them properly respond when criticism does pop up. Even more importantly, small businesses rarely have the resources or the know-how to track what people are saying about them anyway, rendering a response moot.

Google and the Department of Justice Head to Court
It's already been about two months since Google and the Department of justice went head to head on the issue of a search engine's right to refuse to share its search records with the government. Basically, the DOJ requested records from the major search engines to help build a case to support the Child Online Protection Act and Google has refused on the grounds that the data would constitute an invasion of privacy for their users and could result in the sharing of Google's proprietary search technologies. The case was supposed to head to court late last month, but Google and the DOJ will finally see their day in court tomorrow.

AdWords Offers Demographic Selections
AdWords' demographic option is designed to let advertisers select specific sites to advertise on based on the demographics of that site. Advertisers will be able to specify a preference in up to three categories. Google will then examine it's database of content partners and will return a list of sites that it feels are most likely to deliver the types of visitors that the advertiser is looking for. (skip to "AdWords Offers Demographic Selections" by Jennifer Laycock)

Are You Relying on Gmail for Your Small Biz?
Gmail has grown to be a fairly popular email system, especially for small business owners and folks that want access to good Webmail that can be accessed anywhere. When it was launched, with a full gig of storage space, it was also touted as a great place to store giant files in order to keep your desktop less cluttered. What many seem to be missing though, is the fact that just because something is run by someone as big as Google, doesn't mean that there might not be problems.

Pay Per Click Strategies Explained a Little Fuzzy
There's an article over at ClickZ today that attempts to explain the concepts of "drafting" and "hijacking" when it comes to pay per click advertising, but that leaves a pretty fuzzy impression over what the author believes constitutes hijacking. I've written before about how easy it is for small business owners and those new to search marketing to read and article and get confused about what the author is trying to say, so I thought this would be a good one to delve a little more deeply into.

Ask.com: The Dark Horse in Search?
Barry Diller likes long shots. He’s built a career betting on the long shot. Fresh from killing off his venerable butler, Jeeves, Diller showcased the new Ask.com at the New York Search Engine Strategies show. In a keynote conversation with Danny Sullivan that opened the show, Diller made it clear that’s he’s in this for the long haul. (skip to "Ask.com: The Dark Horse in Search?" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Jim Lanzone on the Death of the Butler and the Future of Search
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Lanzone, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Ask.com, via email. He's stoked about Ask's recent overhaul and offered a glimpse into their direction as well as the internal structure at Ask driving innovation. (skip to "Jim Lanzone on the Death of the Butler and the Future of Search" by Garrett French)

Google: Changing Business or a Business in Need of Change?
There's an article over at Business Week today that talks about some of the problems Google is having dealing with investors and Wall Street. The article throws some heavy criticism at the company over the way that it relates to investors, citing issues like Google's preference for announcing news on its blog rather than via a press release and it's recent click fraud settlement that came on the heels of its claim that click fraud wasn't a problem.

Writing to a Certain Keyword Density
Write great, professional marketing copy while keeping your keyword phrases in mind. If they stick out like a sore thumb, all you've done is written spammy, keyword-stuffed content, and who wants their company associated with that? (skip to "Writing to a Certain Keyword Density" by Jill Whalen)

Measuring Success as an SEO
Success in search marketing is a very subjective thing. To put it in a simple sentence, success equates to meeting one’s goals. What those goals are, and how they help you or your business achieve a greater objective is another matter. (skip to "Measuring Success as an SEO" by Jim Hedger)

Online Reputation Management for a New Generation
Most adults are now well aware that anything they say or write online can come back to haunt them, but most of the school-age population isn't quite as familiar with the idea of "consequences for your actions," especially in the realm of the online world. (skip to "Online Reputation Management for a New Generation" by Jennifer Laycock)

Second Chance to Listen in on SES NYC
Detlev pointed out in today's Search Return digest that those who were unable to attend the Search Engine Strategies show still have a chance to get a taste of what some of the sessions sounded like, thanks to Webmaster Radio. I'd heard that Webmaster Radio was going to provide a feed on the keynote talk with Barry Diller, but it turns out that they're also offering up audio of the Link Building Strategies, SEO Now and the Future and the Evening Forum with Danny Sullivan.

MSN AdCenter Not Playing Well with Firefox
Danny had a good post over at Search Engine Watch earlier this week that talks about some of the problems Firefox users are facing when trying to use MSN's adCenter interface or conversion tracking. I'd noticed that Firefox users couldn't manage their accounts with Firefox when I signed up for my beta account a few months ago, but I didn't think much of it other than to be briefly annoyed. After all, quite a few companies and online applications are still behind the game when it comes to being Firefox compatible. That's why I have IE installed on my system as a backup. But Danny's post shares a problem that's a bit more interesting, and that creates cause for concern.

Search Engines Getting Smarter
On the heels of my own article about the Pinocchio Effect and search algorithms, Barry Schwartz writes a great blog post over at Search Engine Watch that talks about the current problems with search engine copy writing and outlines some of the ways in which search engine copy writing techniques will likely change down the road. Barry points out the obvious problems with scraped content and plagiarized articles and adds to my own point that copy writing is quickly becoming more about the message of the text than the keyword density. It's a good read and worth taking a few minutes to check out.

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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.)

Be Aware of these Cold Callin' Slick Talkin' SEO BSers
High Rankings Forum - "Nasty business - I just want to make sure everyone is aware of their tactics. (they seem to have a lot of clients - ugh - that they probably stole in this very manner after their sites were well ranked.)"

Kudos To Yahoo's Click Fraud Department For Refund
Search Engine Watch Forums - "All they need to say is they are refunding unwanted clicks on a "good will basis" in certain situations. They needn't admit that every case is click fraud, since that may not be provable and may be a damning admission to make."

Why Such High Page Rank?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "As for Google's reluctance to report backlinks, Danny, myself and several others here at Search Engine Watch took them to task and managed to convince them to at least stop lying about it. But they didn't fix it - now they just admit it's broken..."

Is Cross-Device Compatibility Possible?
Cre8asite Forums - "I was hoping that it would be easy to ensure that my web pages could be viewed whatever device the visitor was using. I'm beginning to wonder whether that's an impossible dream."

Demographics Added to AdWords
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Finally, Google chasing after MSN. Interesting turn of events."

To Sell Aged Sites or Not
v7n Forum - "I am thinking of selling the ones I don't bother with so they're not always there in the back of my mind yelling 'update me!' On the other hand, I've been told to never sell my sites, older domains have value..."

Microsoft's Windows Live Search Opens; Bye-Bye MSN Search?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Microsoft has gained a second search site today, Windows Live Search, as the focus for consumers begins to shift away from MSN."

Google buys Writely.com
Webmaster World - "...how about 'don't use MS Word, but use our online service, where you can save, and access it from anywhere.' This is very important to the future..."

It's Illegal And Unethical And They Know It!
High Rankings Forum - "There is a huge wave of sites, companies, services and SEOs who all dedicate themselves to steeling (and, yes, that's exactly what it is) the actual original content of authors and also the content of spidered web pages. This stolen content is then recycled into supposed "original content" that is reused on other sites."

Click Fraud Issue Growing
High Rankings Forum - "One thing for sure is that the search engines are not going to look for you, they will do the easy ones, i.e. multiple clicks from same IP, and just hope you think that that is enough and you don't mind too much being ripped off for the rest."

Google Near $90m Settlement In Net's First Click Fraud Suit
Webmaster World - "Too bad they agreed to settle. I would be interersted in knowing what safeguards are actually in place to prevent click fraud and how effective they are, along with any technical solutions which could be enforced upon companies running PPC advertising to prevent fraud. This info. could have come out in court proceedings. The settlement is an easy out to not have to divulge the vulnerabilities in online PPC advertising."

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

Someone Stole My Site
"...how to find out who is stealing your material and what to do about it."

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