Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-03-22

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Hi Everyone,

Public radio's Marketplace program wants to hear from you for a new segment of their programming about entrepreneurship. They contacted us and asked if we would help get the word out and I think this is a great opportunity for our readers. Go here to answer some quick questions about your business:

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/entrepreneurshipquery/

Who knows, maybe we'll be listening to you talking about your business on the radio one day. Cool, huh? :-)

Have a super week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Three Pillars for Better Search Engine Rankings
by Lee Odden - In the search engine marketing/optimization community there are abundant resources and articles on how to improve rankings. So much in fact, it can be confusing as to which tactics are current and valid.

The Effects of Combining Paid and Organic Search
by Garrett French - One thing that prospects have asked about recently is the effects of combining paid and organic search. Greg Jarboe gave a presentaion in 2003 in which he mentioned the "second opinion effect." He saw a 3 times conversion increase for a site with top rankings in paid and organic.

Entitlement Mentality on the Web
by Jennifer Laycock - It happens every now and then, in a forum, on a blog, and sometimes, even in court. What happens? Some web site owned by someone with an entitlement mentality experiences a drop in rankings and suddenly rambles on and on about the evils of Google and how Google has destroyed their business.

The Goods on Google – A Few Facts From Their SEC Filing
by Jim Hedger - Now that Google stock circulates on the open market, US law requires them to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As a result of these reports, Google is no longer able to hold a wealth of information about it or its business as secrets.

The Bold and the Beta: Two Approaches to Search Innovation
by Gord Hotchkiss - When you’re penetrating a mainstream market, every day you can hold an advantage over the competition is significant. The longer something remains in beta before it becomes a significant advantage to your main user base, the longer your competition has to even the playing field.

Google Serves Up "Starter Edition" of AdWords
by Jennifer Laycock - I've heard time and time again from small business owners that pay per click marketing is simply too confusing, too expensive and too difficult for them to dive in to. Starter Edition is based off this premise.

Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 2 of 2
by Karon Thackston - In Part 1 of this series, you were introduced to Provider Watch, a company whose site copy was a bit confusing. While they had a wonderful understanding of their target audience and they had absolutely made an emotional connection, the copy lacked a push toward action on the visitor's part.

Establishing Web Credibility - Part 2
by Stoney deGeyter - Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear.

Google Is a Spammer
by Jill Whalen - Recently I learned Google has tons of different domains that all point to their Google home page. I thought this was considered spamming? If this is not spamming, would the same technique work for our site?

Complexity Compels Changes for SEO Firms
by Jim Hedger - There are now three general types or groupings of SEO practitioner. The first group is in decline; the second in transition, and the third is just starting to find its stride.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

New Study Continues to Confirm Importance of Tracking Offline Conversions
I've written before about the need to come up with a unique way to track the conversions that ultimately end up happening offline, despite starting with an online search query. A new study released today by comScore Networks highlights this need by releasing the latest round of supporting data. The study, titled "The Role of Search in Consumer Buying" found that a quarter of searchers end up purchasing an item directly related to their query, but that only 37% of those buyers ultimately make that purchase online. That leaves 63%, or nearly two thirds of conversions happening in an offline environment where it can be difficult to trace them back to a search marketing campaign.

Cost Per Click Up More Than 25% Last Year
According to a study conducted by MarketingSherpa and released in eMarketer's "Search Marketing: Players and Problems" report, the overall cost per click (CPC) rose from an average of $1.29 in 2004 to $1.61 (a 24.8% increase) in 2005 on Google AdWords. Yahoo! experienced a similar jump with its average CPC rising from $1.03 to $1.34 (a 30.1% increase) in that same time span. The interesting thing to note is that the average CPC on a shopping search engine grew at a much faster pace than it did on traditional search engines. In 2004, the average CPC on a shopping search engine was $1.87. That number jumped to $2.56 (a 36.9% increase) in 2005.

AdWords Offers up Trending Tool
Seasonal campaigners of the world rejoice! Google's latest tool addition to their AdWords management center is a nifty new "global traffic trends" tool that allows you to track changes in search volume over a 12 month period. Want to find out when the interest spike in summer vacation rentals starts up? Want to know just how far into the winter months people are still looking for snow shovels? Here's your chance!

Three Pillars for Better Search Engine Rankings
In the search engine marketing/optimization community there are abundant resources and articles on how to improve rankings. So much in fact, it can be confusing as to which tactics are current and valid. (skip to "Three Pillars for Better Search Engine Rankings" by Lee Odden)

The Effects of Combining Paid and Organic Search
One thing that prospects have asked about recently is the effects of combining paid and organic search. Greg Jarboe gave a presentaion in 2003 in which he mentioned the "second opinion effect." He saw a 3 times conversion increase for a site with top rankings in paid and organic. (skip to "The Effects of Combining Paid and Organic Search" by Garrett French)

Entitlement Mentality on the Web
It happens every now and then, in a forum, on a blog, and sometimes, even in court. What happens? Some web site owned by someone with an entitlement mentality experiences a drop in rankings and suddenly rambles on and on about the evils of Google and how Google has destroyed their business. (skip to "Entitlement Mentality on the Web" by Jennifer Laycock)

Google Claims Victory Over DOJ
In a statement posted on their corporate blog, Google has claimed victory in their court battle against the Department of Justice. The case was brought forth by the government in an attempt to force Google to hand over large quantities of data regarding search queries and the web sites that are in Google's index.

The Goods on Google – A Few Facts From Their SEC Filing
Now that Google stock circulates on the open market, US law requires them to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As a result of these reports, Google is no longer able to hold a wealth of information about it or its business as secrets. (skip to "The Goods on Google – A Few Facts From Their SEC Filing" by Jim Hedger)

The Bold and the Beta: Two Approaches to Search Innovation
When you’re penetrating a mainstream market, every day you can hold an advantage over the competition is significant. The longer something remains in beta before it becomes a significant advantage to your main user base, the longer your competition has to even the playing field. (skip to "The Bold and the Beta: Two Approaches to Search Innovation" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Apparently Porn CAN Sneak Into Random Searches
It seems sort of ironic on the heels of the Google v the DOJ court case, but just this morning I had an email from search engine marketing expert Bill Hartzer asking me if I'd taken a look at the Yahoo! search results for the phrase "website marketing." I hadn't, so I did. It turns out, that this search is a great example of the fact that every now and then, "adult content" does find its way into generic search results.

Google Serves Up "Starter Edition" of AdWords
I've heard time and time again from small business owners that pay per click marketing is simply too confusing, too expensive and too difficult for them to dive in to. While they are right to be cautious, most fail to realize that they don't have to take advantage of every single offering in the AdWords program when they first sign-up. Starter Edition is based off this premise. (skip to "Google Serves Up "Starter Edition" of AdWords" by Jennifer Laycock)

Google Looking for Seminar Speakers
Jennifer Slegg reports that Google is hiring speakers to teach day long seminars on Google AdWords. Google is apparently sending out invites to its pool of Google Advertising Professionals for AdWords. Those that receive an invite are encouraged to submit a resume, a video and an application form in order to secure one of the paid spots. Those that are selected as speakers will apparently also be given access to contacts within the AdWords teams and to inside information about coming AdWords features.

ClickFraud and the Google Settlement Explained
Kevin Lee does an excellent job of explaining a bit more about click fraud and the Google settlement in today's ClickZ column. Lee gives some insight on which advertisers might be eligible to collect from the settlement, why they may or may not want to collect on it and what the likelyhood is that their campaigns were heavily hit by fraudulent clicks.

Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 2 of 2
In Part 1 of this series, you were introduced to Provider Watch, a company whose site copy was a bit confusing. While they had a wonderful understanding of their target audience and they had absolutely made an emotional connection, the copy lacked a push toward action on the visitor's part. (skip to "Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 2 of 2" by Karon Thackston)

Establishing Web Credibility - Part 2
Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear. (skip to "Establishing Web Credibility - Part 2" by Stoney deGeyter)

Looking to Learn More About Local Search?
There's a great series over at ClickZ on local search targeting that's being written by Phil Stelter. Stelter explains the general idea behind local search marketing and then proceeds to focus on the local search capabilities of MSN, Yahoo! and Google. Each article also includes interviews with the big three engines that shed a little more light on how to best use them for your local search marketing.

Google Is a Spammer
Recently I learned Google has tons of different domains that all point to their Google home page. I thought this was considered spamming? If this is not spamming, would the same technique work for our site? (skip to "Google Is a Spammer" by Jill Whalen)

Complexity Compels Changes for SEO Firms
There are now three general types or groupings of SEO practitioner. The first group is in decline; the second in transition, and the third is just starting to find its stride. (skip to "Complexity Compels Changes for SEO Firms" by Jim Hedger)

Google Base to Become European Marketplace?
The Financial Times ran an article yesterday that talked about Google's plans to use Google Base to launch an online marketplace in Europe. The article suggests that Google Base would allow small businesses that don't otherwise have the resources for e-commerce sites to offer up their products and services online. The offering could echo other major e-commerce marketplaces like those offered by Amazon, eBay and Yahoo.

Having Trouble Finding an SEM Firm?
While those of us in the industry hear fairly often from business owners that are having a hard time finding a qualified SEM firm to work with, we also tend to hear some stories from each other about the SEM client that no one wants to work with. Benjamin Pfeiffer of Rank Smart Search Marketing has an excellent article on his site that talks about this phenomenon.

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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.)

Determining the Size of the Keyword Tail
Cre8asite Forums - "Let's say I was launching a site targeting the chiropractic industry. How would one go about determining, on the keyword research side, how big (or small) the "tail" of the search terms in that industry are?"

Zeal To Shut Down On March 28
High Rankings Forum - "Being one of the Original Zealots prior to the Looksmart purchase I hate to see it go, but it’s a tough business in a very competitive environment. That’s the second directory I devoted a lot of time to that’s gone under; Go.com being the first."

Scammers Drop Your Google Rank Using Your Content!
High Rankings Forum - "Just because that's the only thing you can see happening, doesn't mean that's the cause. You're completely mixing up cause and effect."

finance.google.com (BETA)
Webmaster World - "I only search from Google, but was always sent to Yahoo's Finance section for news and quotes as Google used to direct all stock symbol queries there... but, no more. I like it."

Google Sued by KinderStart for Penalizing Site
Search Engine Watch Forums - "The popular child development and parenting site KinderStart is suing Google over penalizing their site and dropping hundreds to thousands of rankings."

Entitlement Mentality on the Web
Small Business Ideas Forum - "Some web site owned by someone with an entitlement mentality experiences a drop in rankings and suddenly rambles on and on about the evils of Google and how Google has destroyed their business."

Conflict Of Interest, Prospect and client in same industry
High Rankings Forum - "I just received a referral to optimize a gentleman's website. Unfortunately his practice is in the same industry and same town as one of my current clients. I'm unsure I should meet with and/or work with this new prospect for fear of conflicting interests. Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you do? How did you handle it?"

Google wins battle in Usenet archive case
Webmaster World - "In a legal win for Google, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a writer who claimed the search giant infringed on his copyright by archiving a Usenet posting of his and providing excerpts from his Web site in search results."

How I Made a Million in 3 Months.
Webmaster World - "Lots of hard work, and a billion+ pageviews :) I am without a doubt the top individual adsense publisher in terms of pageviews. Me talking about how I did it won't help you, but here is what i found you need to be successful in adsense."

Google Considers European Retail Push
Webmaster World - "Google is attempting a significant push into the European retail industry with plans to launch a service aimed at giving traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers a base from which to market and sell their goods online."

What Do You Hate About Google?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Danny's also posted the 25 things he hates about Google. Disagree with his picks? Got your own gripes? Add them here."

What Do You Love About Google
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Danny's posted a 25 things he loves about Google article. Contribute your own Google loves."

Googlebot Called Me On My Timpani Live Help
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Moderator Chris Boggs has an issue with GoogleBot's rudeness - engaging LIVE Chat while spidering and not answering! But it prompted some interesting responses from members here."

Using Link Farms as a Weapon?
Cre8asite Forums - "I've seen the results of a test, however, that showed it was virtually impossible to 'bowl' out a strong, trusted site from the SERPs. It's the newbies that you can kill with nasty link tactics."

What Is A "Poison Keyword?"
v7n Forum - "The analyzers give me a warning saying something like, Warning Poision keyword: Your page has the word 'forum' and this is a poison keyword."

Is a Site's Age a Factor?
Search Engine Forums - "Does anybody know whether or not a website's age plays a role in it's ranking? Like a few bonus points for seniority and surviving?"

SEM Salaries - What People Are Paying
Search Engine Watch Forums - "ClickZ columnist PJ Fusco puts out an SEM pay scale she's assembled, sparking discussion if maybe salaries are actually higher or lower, especially based on country."

Alexa Now Showing Other Sites Owned By Listed Domain
Webmaster World - "Alexa is now displaying other sites owned by the same person/company in the left column. While this is a nice feature for examing the competition, I'm not particularly happy about the competition learning my network of sites."

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

Mentor in Affliate Business
"...I have no idea how to start and I really would appreciate it if I got a mentor who will guide and direct me as to how I should start, which are the best affliate sites, how to market the products etc..."

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BigClique.com Sponsored Search PPC Partner Program

Content Sites, Search Engines, Directories & Portals Needed!

Monetize your sites traffic. Add PPC search listing ads targeted to your site visitors. Get paid for every click, high keyword bids guarantees you a high income potential for your traffic.

If you have a Content Site, Search Engine etc... this is the partner program for you. They can structure partnerships to your individual needs as they know all sites are different. Payment to partners is Net30 either by Wire, Check or PayPal.

They have easy code implementation which makes adding the code into your site a breeze and takes no longer than 5 minutes!

Learn more and sign up today!

 

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