Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-05-03

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Microsoft Going After Google
by Jim Hedger - For Microsoft, the month of May has come in like a triumphant lion. When you are used to being the king of the pride, nothing says success like taking big chunks of business from the competition and over the past few days, Microsoft has scored big gains in its fight against Google.

Toronto Searches Engine Strategies Conference: April 15-16th 2006
by Lisa Stewart - This was my first time going SES conference. I have been working as SEO professional for last 3 years and despite my best efforts I have always had a conflict and I was very excited to finally get to a conference.

The Search Engines Lost My Website…What Can I Do?
by Todd Mintz - Losing a test website in a laboratory environment isn't a big deal to an SEO...it is part of an ongoing educational process that insures clients receive the best possible results for their investment (since ethical SEO's NEVER use client sites for such experiments).

Mining Web Analytics to Measure SEO Success – Even Without Conversion Data
by Matt Williams - In a perfect scenario, online success is measured by conversions or the number of desired actions taken by visitors to a site – such as a sale, a contact us form, a newsletter sign-up, a white paper download, etc. However, many web analytic programs are not capable of measuring conversions.

Plenty of Potential for Small Business in Online Local Ads
by Jennifer Laycock - Search engines still face a daunting challenge when it comes to matching searchers up with local companies and small businesses. The problem, is how make advertising easy enough to entice the 23 million small businesses that could be advertising.

Schultz at Pubcon: Optimizing for ENORMOUS Clients
by Adam Schultz - MarketSmart Interactive's Adam Shultz reports on a session about optimizing web sites for large clients from the 2006 WebmasterWorld PubCon event.

We’re Jet Setters, But Where’s the Paparazzi?
by Gord Hotchkiss - My perception of reality is getting a little skewed. When you do too many industry shows in a row, you get a distorted sense of your own importance. In SEM circles, I’m fairly well known. But my accomplishments hold little weight with my wife, just in case you were wondering. The line "Do you know who I am?" usually lands with a decidedly flat thud whenever I try it.

Changing Servers and Also URLs
by Jill Whalen - As long as you're not changing domain names, then switching hosts should be of no consequence. There's really no benefit to having keywords in them, and there are lots of things that can go wrong in the redirection process.

Linking Campaigns Lead to Increased Online Visibility - Part 1
by Bill Hartzer - A proper linking campaign will not only increase your web site' s online visibility and traffic, it will allow the search engines to find your site and help your web site get indexed.

In Search of Better Organic Rankings
by Paul Bruemmer - Search engine technology is complex; therefore, the challenge is to simplify the parts that make up the whole. In my view, there are three primary parts to a search engine: the spider, the index and the search leg.

Search Engine Strategies Conference 2006
by Jim Hedger - Attending a Search Engine Strategies Conference has been likened to having an encyclopedia downloaded into your mind in two or three intense days of concentrated information sessions. For long term SEOs and SEMs, a SES conference is a chance to catch up with colleagues and exchange gossip, information and collegiate humour.

Killer SEO Strategy
by Jason Green - The current direction of search technology is towards the improvement of core search quality, this has resulted in a very positive shift within much of the search optimization industry; as practitioners must now place increased emphasis on providing quality web pages. In the end everyone wins, so long as this course is maintained.

Just How Important Are Top Rankings?
by Jennifer Laycock - While much has been said recently (by myself and others) about the over-emphasis placed on search engine rankings, it is still important to keep track of how placement impacts things like branding, searcher impressions and even overall search usage. That's why a recent study put together by iProspect caught my eye.

One Product, Three Customers, Three Different Ways To Write
by Karon Thackston - Before assuming that all members of your target audience are alike, take some time to do a little research. Conduct an informal survey, ask questions and talk with customers one on one.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

How Linkable Is Your Blog Post?
Phillip Lenssen has put together a nifty little quiz that aims to determine how likely it is that someone will link to your blog post. From usability issues like cross-browser compatibility and font size to topical issues like how well known you are and whether your cite your sources, the quiz seems to do a fairly good job of helping you gauge whether or not your post is link-worthy. Even better, the results page offers up tips and advice based on the way that you answered the questions.

Microsoft Going After Google
For Microsoft, the month of May has come in like a triumphant lion. When you are used to being the king of the pride, nothing says success like taking big chunks of business from the competition and over the past few days, Microsoft has scored big gains in its fight against Google. (skip to "Microsoft Going After Google" by Jim Hedger)

Toronto Searches Engine Strategies Conference: April 15-16th 2006
This was my first time going SES conference. I have been working as SEO professional for last 3 years and despite my best efforts I have always had a conflict and I was very excited to finally get to a conference. (skip to "Toronto Searches Engine Strategies Conference: April 15-16th 2006" by Lisa Stewart)

Microsoft and Yahoo! Teaming Up?
Unlikely. But according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, you shouldn't rule it out either. Despite both Microsoft and Yahoo!'s desire to catch up with Google on their own, the reality is that neither one has fared very well at that challenge over the past year. In fact, both Microsoft and Yahoo! have actually lost search market share since last year. Apparently, that has some folks within Microsoft pushing for a pairing.

Ahh...the Good Old Days...
While many search marketers have come out of traditional advertising backgrounds, some of us found our way to this industry after playing around in the early days of dot-com craziness. I worked for no less than half a dozen dot com start-ups myself, including one that allowed you to select your gas supplier online (oh yeah, big shock that it flopped.) If you remember the days of Flooz, free stuff galore and devices to let you "smell" a web site, then you'll enjoy an article over at the Wall Street Journal that talks about some of the biggest flops of the early days of the web.

Ask Tries to Gain Solid Foothold in Search
The FOX Network does pretty well for themselves, despite sitting on the outside as the number four network player. That's the line of thinking that the folks behind Ask.com are using when it comes to their long term plan for growth. In fact, according to data from comScore Networks, only Ask and Google have picked up market share over the past year. Yahoo, Microsoft Live and AOL have all slowly seen their shares decrease.

Microsoft Responds to Google's Criticism
Yesterday, I blogged about the issues that Google is having with Microsoft's upcoming IE7 release. It seems that I wasn't the only one that found Google's arguments to be a little on the whiny side. Scobelizer does a great job of linking to a round-up of other bloggers's comments on the issue...and there are plenty of them!

The Search Engines Lost My Website…What Can I Do?
Losing a test website in a laboratory environment isn't a big deal to an SEO...it is part of an ongoing educational process that insures clients receive the best possible results for their investment (since ethical SEO's NEVER use client sites for such experiments). (skip to "The Search Engines Lost My Website…What Can I Do?" by Todd Mintz)

Mining Web Analytics to Measure SEO Success – Even Without Conversion Data
In a perfect scenario, online success is measured by conversions or the number of desired actions taken by visitors to a site – such as a sale, a contact us form, a newsletter sign-up, a white paper download, etc. However, many web analytic programs are not capable of measuring conversions. (skip to "Mining Web Analytics to Measure SEO Success – Even Without Conversion Data" by Matt Williams)

Even More Insight from Dan Thies
Reader feedback on Lee Odden's interview with SEO trainer Dan Thies was pretty positive. That's led me to link to yet another recent interview with Dan that has him sharing even more of his great insight on keyword research, SEO coaching, the future of Google and quite a bit more. You can read the full interview at Stoney deGeyter's E-Marketing Performance Blog.

Microsoft's IE7 Search Box Raises Google's Ire
The New York Times reports today on the issues Google is taking with the latest version of Microsoft's popular Internet Explorer web browser. Microsoft's upcoming IE7 release has a built in search box that defaults to the MSN search engine. Google has stated that they have expressed concerns over the search box to both the U.S. Justice Department and to the European Commission. To be honest, I just don't see what all the fuss is about.

Google is Out, MSN Live is in for Alexa and A9
Word is spreading pretty quickly that MSN Live is now powering Amazon's Alexa and A9 sites. That's big news since Google used to serve up the results for both sites. With Google, MSN and Yahoo! all battling to build relationships with popular sites like AOL, eBay and Amazon, the move could prove to be a blow to Google and a boon to Microsoft.

Is the Yahoo Directory Going the Way of the Dodo?
Loren Baker over at Search Engine Journal has some screen shots of the the new front page layout being tested by Yahoo! The new design is quite streamlined and looks nice, but search veterans will quickly notice the absence of Yahoo!'s legacy...the Yahoo! Directory.

Plenty of Potential for Small Business in Online Local Ads
Search engines still face a daunting challenge when it comes to matching searchers up with local companies and small businesses. The problem, is how make advertising easy enough to entice the 23 million small businesses that could be advertising. (skip to "Plenty of Potential for Small Business in Online Local Ads" by Jennifer Laycock)

Schultz at Pubcon: Optimizing for ENORMOUS Clients
MarketSmart Interactive's Adam Shultz reports on a session about optimizing web sites for large clients from the 2006 WebmasterWorld PubCon event. (skip to "Schultz at Pubcon: Optimizing for ENORMOUS Clients" by Adam Schultz)

We’re Jet Setters, But Where’s the Paparazzi?
My perception of reality is getting a little skewed. When you do too many industry shows in a row, you get a distorted sense of your own importance. In SEM circles, I’m fairly well known. But my accomplishments hold little weight with my wife, just in case you were wondering. The line "Do you know who I am?" usually lands with a decidedly flat thud whenever I try it. (skip to "We’re Jet Setters, But Where’s the Paparazzi?" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Changing Servers and Also URLs
As long as you're not changing domain names, then switching hosts should be of no consequence. There's really no benefit to having keywords in them, and there are lots of things that can go wrong in the redirection process. (skip to "Changing Servers and Also URLs" by Jill Whalen)

Linking Campaigns Lead to Increased Online Visibility - Part 1
A proper linking campaign will not only increase your web site' s online visibility and traffic, it will allow the search engines to find your site and help your web site get indexed. (skip to "Linking Campaigns Lead to Increased Online Visibility - Part 1" by Bill Hartzer)

In Search of Better Organic Rankings
Search engine technology is complex; therefore, the challenge is to simplify the parts that make up the whole. In my view, there are three primary parts to a search engine: the spider, the index and the search leg. (skip to "In Search of Better Organic Rankings" by Paul Bruemmer)

Fundamentals of Optimizing Individual Web Pages
If you have a web site that is of any substance, you should make sure that each and every page is optimized to target various phrases that are relevant to your business. This gives your site greater visibility in the organic search results of engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask. It also gives you the ability to attract visitors for multiple combinations of search queries. I wrote a in-depth blog entry on this topic at SearchRank Blog.

Google Restructures AdWords System
The Google AdWords team has announced some changes to the way their broad match and phrase matching systems are working and there's a chance that it will affect your own AdWords campaign. The move is designed to help improve the relevancy of the ads that display for users, and tones down the impact of broad matching on some non-commercial phrases. That means that some advertisers will need to take the time to add more exact match phrases to their campaign to ensure that they're collecting the traffic that they want.

Just How Important Are Top Rankings?
While much has been said recently (by myself and others) about the over-emphasis placed on search engine rankings, it is still important to keep track of how placement impacts things like branding, searcher impressions and even overall search usage. That's why a recent study put together by iProspect caught my eye. (skip to "Just How Important Are Top Rankings?" by Jennifer Laycock)

Search Engine Strategies Conference 2006
Attending a Search Engine Strategies Conference has been likened to having an encyclopedia downloaded into your mind in two or three intense days of concentrated information sessions. For long term SEOs and SEMs, a SES conference is a chance to catch up with colleagues and exchange gossip, information and collegiate humour. (skip to "Search Engine Strategies Conference 2006" by Jim Hedger)

Killer SEO Strategy
The current direction of search technology is towards the improvement of core search quality, this has resulted in a very positive shift within much of the search optimization industry; as practitioners must now place increased emphasis on providing quality web pages. In the end everyone wins, so long as this course is maintained. (skip to "Killer SEO Strategy" by Jason Green)

Google Considering Notifying Webmasters of Some Penalties
Web site owners have been clamoring for years over the idea of being notified when their site is removed from the index. According to Matt Cutts, Google is not only starting to do this on a limited basis, they're actually planning on implementing this even more often in the future. I'll make note that Matt explains that the notifications are designed to go to web sites that are inadvertently doing things that might get them banned...not to notify all sites. After all, Google has no desire to let spammers know exactly how close to the line they can come. ;) You can get the full story on Google's plans at Matt's blog.

Google's Plans to Offer Free WiFi Face Criticism
"We don't want to use it and we don't want anyone else to be able to use it either!" According to an article over at e-Week, that's the sentiment being offered up by the ACLU and some other San Francisco based critics of Google and Earthlink's plans to offer free and low-cost WiFi to the San Francisco area. The critics claim that Google's plans will require "too much" from users of the free service and therefore, the city should think carefully before accepting the plan.

Judy's Book Helping Local Businesses with Online Reputation Management
Had an email this week from the team over at Judy's Book to let me know about a new online reputation management tool that they've added to their site. If you've not yet heard of this great site, Judy's Book was founded as a free online community designed to let people share their opinions, thoughts and reviews of local businesses. Their latest service addition is aimed directly at local businesses and is designed to not only help them respond to customer feedback, but also to let them know when that feedback shows up.

One Product, Three Customers, Three Different Ways To Write
Before assuming that all members of your target audience are alike, take some time to do a little research. Conduct an informal survey, ask questions and talk with customers one on one. (skip to "One Product, Three Customers, Three Different Ways To Write" by Karon Thackston)

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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 Objects To Microsoft's IE7 Search Default Plans
Search Engine Watch Forums - "...Google's complaining that IE7 shouldn't go with MSN Search by default. Google wants users to be giving a choice in picking a search provider -- something that plenty are noting doesn't happening in Firefox or Opera, where Google pays to be the default choice."

Daily Budget Effect AdWords Ad Position?
High Rankings Forum - "Does reducing your daily budget effect your ad position on google adwords? I've had my ad spot on the top spot for a few months now, however it was costing me too much so I reduced my daily budget to under the recommended amount."

Thoughts On New Click Fraud Index & Network?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "How much does skepticism overshadow the fundamental goal of gathering data to be used against clickfraud?"

Flattening Effect of Page Rank Iterations - explains the "sandbox"?
Webmaster World - "I have had my new sites rank well initially, then drop. Here is what I think is happening. The first observation about the Page Rank equation is that it can only be calculated after a statistically significant number of iterations."

Any Way to Unindex Older Non existent pages?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "The idea of giving away any potential PR or even links to your site is one I have a hard time doing. If they are not what the new site is about why not land them to a page that explains what changes have happened at the site - that way the people who have the inbound links can choose and the visitors can learn what has changed at the site without having to put the information on the homepage."

Google POPS off
Search Engine Watch Forums - "I agree that the ABUSIVE use of pops are destructive to the user experience, but when they are used with care they can be an effective way to increase conversions. Since Google is reviewing the ads well enough to determine if a pop is present, shouldnt they perhaps evaluate if the pop is being used in a legitimate way?"

Googles Treatment of Subpages
V7N Forum - "I don’t think big daddy is ready to take its training wheels off yet. It’s really wreaking havoc on one of my larger websites caching for example 3 million pages of search results. It’s going to take some time to get it stabilized I believe."

Babel Fish re-lanches as Yahoo! Babel Fish
Webmaster World - "If you don't know Babel Fish (who doesn't), it's a free translion tool for text and web pages for up to 38 language pairs, such as English => Korean, Dutch => French, and Greek => English. Theres some new features added that are worth mentioning."

With Googles New Big Daddy Index, Crawling is Changing
Webmaster World - "Matt Cutts confirmed at Boston PubCon that Google with radically change the process used to spider pages. Caching will be implimented on the spider and thus reducing the requests that Googlebot will be required to make of a page."

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

Biz proposal for JavaScript developers
"I'm expecting the project to involve people with different skill sets, including architecture definition and project management. My hope is to make it an open source project. Intellectual property wise, all parties should be able to benefit from getting a head-start of developing the applications, instead of trying to cash in from the protocol itself. So I think a GNU license is a good way to cover the IP issues."

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