Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-06-14

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Hi Everyone,

USA Today is running an article that touches on search marketing, blogs, social networks, etc. Jennifer Laycock and other search marketing folks were interviewed for the piece. Overall the article was good but Jennifer does offer a warning in her blog post about the article. It's worth a look.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Social Networks Replacing Portal Sites?
by Matt Bailey - The social network is not going away soon. In fact, it is splintering and growing in rapid fashion. As like minded people find each other, they begin their own sub communities and develop again. The Medusa-like growth of these networks is attributed to the ability of a group to form its own identity using the available tools for a social site.

Measuring Key Performance Indicators
by Jody Nimetz - In this article I will illustrate how to accurately measure key performance indicators by using a fictional company called Jasra Corp., identifying the company's needs, and then accurately measuring specific KPIs to help to solve its needs.

Preaching to the Converted
by Stoney deGeyter - One a customer has bought from you; there is a good chance he or she will buy from you again, provided that the experience was positive. If you don't do any follow up, there is a good chance that you’ll miss the boat the next time that customer needs your product.

American "Idol"izing Google Trends
by Gord Hotchkiss - I'm going to jump on a pop culture bandwagon, but I'm doing it to prove a point. Search trends reflect the interests of our society, and they can provide an invaluable way to gain intelligence about what's on the public's mind.

Blog Optimization
by Lee Odden - With blogs, there exist as many or more optimization opportunities to optimize as with a web site. While most blog software is more search engine friendly out of the box than many web sites, the opportunities for blog optimization are readily available.

Putting SEO on Your Dashboard
by Paul Bruemmer - Search marketing works because people pre-qualify themselves by typing search terms in a search box. What makes search so powerful is that you can get the right message to the right person at the right time as search engines attract people with a high level of interest in their search topic.

File Extensions
by Jill Whalen - If we convert some of our pages from XML format to ASPX format will that affect our rankings? In other words, do the crawlers prefer certain formats over others?

Being a Bigdaddy Jagger Meister
by Jim Hedger - About ten days ago, the light at the end of the intellectual tunnel became eminently visible and SEO discussion forums are abuzz with productive and proactive conversations regarding how to deal with a post-Bigdaddy Google environment.

Is There Really a Google Sandbox?
by Jennifer Laycock - Anyone that's spent some time in a search related discussion forum knows what a popular topic the sandbox is for debate and a great deal of the search community accepts the concept as fact. Guess what? They're wrong.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

More on Linking Your Way to the Top
USA Today is running an article right now titled "Website designers want searches to work for free" that offers up quite a wide range of ideas on how small businesses can take advantage of blogs, social networks and general link building to help improve both their search engine rankings and their sales. The article features commentary from industry folks like Matt Cutts, Greg Boser, Rand Fishkin and yours truly.

The Benefits of Being Small
Yesterday I made a blog post that talked about the sudden, growing influx of major businesses to the world of search engine marketing. While all those dollars flowing in to the mix could make it more difficult for small businesses to compete, some news out of another Jupiter Research report could be showing the benefits of being small when it comes to creative online marketing.

MySpace Seeks Search Partner
MediaPost Publications reports that MySpace is planning on soliciting bids from the big three search engines in order to form a partnership that would see either Google, Yahoo! or MSN powering the search results at the popular social networking site. MySpace is currently populated with contextual ads that are served up by one of Yahoo!'s partners. The deal could mean good things for whichever company wins the bid...

There Goes the Little Man?
One of my favorite country sounds is Alan Jackson's "Little Man." The song serves as a reminder of the small businesses that used to be the place to go for any and all of your needs...you remember, back before mega-stores and national chains came in and took over. I was browsing through Jupiter Research's latest report this past week and it held some scary numbers in terms of how quickly the "big boys" are heading into the search marketing realm.

Are You in Minnesota?
I'll refrain from making all of the Minnesota jokes that I'd like to make (especially since I'm from Ohio and know how it feels to live in a random midwestern state) and let you know that if you do happen to live in the land of a thousand lakes, you might want to check out the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association event taking place tomorrow night. It features popular PPC expert Andrew Goodman, author of "Winning Results With Google AdWords". Cost is $20 for members and $40 for non-members. You can register online.

Social Networks Replacing Portal Sites?
The social network is not going away soon. In fact, it is splintering and growing in rapid fashion. As like minded people find each other, they begin their own sub communities and develop again. The Medusa-like growth of these networks is attributed to the ability of a group to form its own identity using the available tools for a social site. (skip to "Social Networks Replacing Portal Sites?" by Matt Bailey)

Measuring Key Performance Indicators
In this article I will illustrate how to accurately measure key performance indicators by using a fictional company called Jasra Corp., identifying the company's needs, and then accurately measuring specific KPIs to help to solve its needs. (skip to "Measuring Key Performance Indicators" by Jody Nimetz)

Local Search for Small Businesses
Matt McGee, one of our regulars over at the Small Business Ideas forums, has put together a nice guide to local search engine marketing over at his Small Business SEM site. As Matt points out, small business owners that want to start shifting their advertising dollars from traditional yellow pages to search related online marketing often need a little bit of guidance to help them figure out where those dollars should go. That's why Matt has broken things down in order to give detailed data on the local search options at Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

Why I'll Never Be a Google VP
BusinessWeek has a profile of Google's Marissa Mayer this week. As one of the most public faces of Google, and THE most public female face at Google, Mayer holds the keys to the success of the company in terms of hiring and guiding employees of the technology giant. While Mayer holds many of the personality traits of tech super-stars, the interview also demonstrates two key reasons why I'll never be a Google VP. First, I need more than 5 hours of sleep a night, second, I like spending time with my husband and daughter. ;)

Preaching to the Converted
One a customer has bought from you; there is a good chance he or she will buy from you again, provided that the experience was positive. If you don't do any follow up, there is a good chance that you’ll miss the boat the next time that customer needs your product. (skip to "Preaching to the Converted" by Stoney deGeyter)

American "Idol"izing Google Trends
I'm going to jump on a pop culture bandwagon, but I'm doing it to prove a point. Search trends reflect the interests of our society, and they can provide an invaluable way to gain intelligence about what's on the public's mind. (skip to " American "Idol"izing Google Trends" by Gord Hotchkiss)

More Thoughts on the Long Tail
Cory Treffiletti has a good article over at MediaPost that talks about the implications of the long tail effect on marketers. (requires registration) The article points out the need for marketers to shift from a mentality that targets mass exposure on a broad scale to targeting individuals in a variety of niche interest groups.

Helpful Tips for Tracking Offline Conversions
Kevin Lee's ClickZ article last Friday did a great job of giving a reminder on just how important it is to try and tie offline conversions to online search marketing efforts. While much of the article was tailored toward large businesses and corporations, the tail end featured six great suggestions for tieing data together that almost any size business can try.

Net Neutrality Amendment Fails House Vote
I've written several blog posts in the last few weeks about the issue of net neutrality and how it could potentially impact both large and small online businesses. Unfortunately, an amendment to a telecommunications bill moving through the House this week was voted down today, striking a blow for many in the industry that had been lobbying for some type of protection from new fees being proposed by cable companies.

Microsoft Builds Book Search by Working With Publishers
Perhaps taking a cue from the flack Google has dealt with over their decision to index all the books of the world, Microsoft announced plans today to build up their own book search library by cooperating with publishers. Windows Live Book Search and the Windows Live Book Search Publisher Program will work together to enable Web searchers to find answers from authoritative, trusted book content."

CGM Numbers Powered by Broadband Growth
I've written in the past about online reputation management and the explosion of CGM (consumer generated media). New numbers out today from the Pew Internet & American Life Project tie the boom in CGM to the steady growth of broadband. No matter what's fueling it, the really important thing to remember is this: Every day it becomes more and more likely that someone is going to talk about your company or your product. What are you doing to track those comments?

Blog Optimization
With blogs, there exist as many or more optimization opportunities to optimize as with a web site. While most blog software is more search engine friendly out of the box than many web sites, the opportunities for blog optimization are readily available. (skip to "Blog Optimization" by Lee Odden)

Putting SEO on Your Dashboard
Search marketing works because people pre-qualify themselves by typing search terms in a search box. What makes search so powerful is that you can get the right message to the right person at the right time as search engines attract people with a high level of interest in their search topic. (skip to "Putting SEO on Your Dashboard" by Paul Bruemmer)

Is There Really a Google Sandbox?
Anyone that's spent some time in a search related discussion forum knows what a popular topic the sandbox is for debate and a great deal of the search community accepts the concept as fact. Guess what? They're wrong. (skip to "Is There Really a Google Sandbox?" by Jennifer Laycock)

Great Search Engine Optimization Refresher
Loren Baker has posted a great article over at Search Engine Journal that nicely sums up some of the fundamentals of organic search engine optimization. Put together by FeedForAll's Sharon Housley, the brief article nicely sums up topics like title tags, using CSS for your code, anchor text and the need for fresh, consistent content. It's a worthwhile read, even if just for a reminder that this search engine marketing stuff really isn't THAT complicated.

File Extensions
If we convert some of our pages from XML format to ASPX format will that affect our rankings? In other words, do the crawlers prefer certain formats over others? (skip to "File Extensions" by Jill Whalen)

Being a Bigdaddy Jagger Meister
About ten days ago, the light at the end of the intellectual tunnel became eminently visible and SEO discussion forums are abuzz with productive and proactive conversations regarding how to deal with a post-Bigdaddy Google environment. (skip to "Being a Bigdaddy Jagger Meister" by Jim Hedger)

More on Net Neutrality
I've written in the past about how important the upcoming Net Neutrality battle is going to be for both Internet users and small business owners. I've also featured guest articles on the topic. Now it seems that Google is also adding their thoughts to the mix. CEO Eric Schmidt has written a letter to congress and co-founder Sergey Brin actually headed to Washington to meet with some congressmen and senators. I'd encourage all small business owners that read this blog to take a few moments to find the contact info for their representative and to email or call them about this important issue.

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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.)

CMS and SEO - an unhappy relation
Webmaster World - "...is there any system anywhere that writes clean compact code with styles left to external style sheets and no funny scripting? I have been looking around, but found none."

Strategy for domains in multiple languages
Search Engine Watch Forums - "What's the best procedure for having website translated into different languages? Country specific domains or subfolders for different countries?"

Google GBuy, set for release 28th June
Webmaster World - "Consumers using GBuy, which is set for release on June 28, will be taken off the merchant's site to complete the payment."

Survival chances with AdWords - what's your conversion rate?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "... is a .3% conversion rate a tough hill to climb based on higher priced retail items? Or is that a very low goal and I should be able to achieve it even if my strategy isn't quite perfect?"

Is There Really a Google Sandbox?
Small Business Ideas Forum - "Anyone that's spent some time in a search related discussion forum knows what a popular topic the sandbox is for debate and a great deal of the search community accepts the concept as fact. Guess what? They're wrong."

Yahoo Altering Webmaster Content?
Webmaster World - "..Yahoo images...is now embedding a little known tag called security="restricted" on a frame which disables all javascript in IE, disabling any AdWords or banners..."

Google Browser Sync For FireFox
Webmaster World - "Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings; including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords; across your computers."

What Top 5 Skills Would You Study to Become a Better SEO?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "What skills would you put on your Matrix 'must have' list for your career path or becoming a better SEM/SEO?"

Google Goes to Congress to Block IAPs Charging for Faster Data
Webmaster World - "Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin worked the halls of Congress Tuesday, asking members including Republican Sen. John McCain to block Internet access providers from charging Web sites more to deliver data faster to consumers."

Brin Says Google Compromised Principles
Webmaster World - "Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin acknowledged Tuesday the dominant Internet company has compromised its principles by accommodating Chinese censorship demands. He said Google is wrestling to make the deal work before deciding whether to reverse course."

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

How Do I Prepare For A Newspaper Interview?
"I realize that they are looking for a story while I'm looking for exposure. I've been told I better be prepared but I'm not certain how to prepare. Any one care to share their experience or offer some pointers?"

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Are you obsessed with building links?

Read the latest link building research at Link Building Blog.

Authors Andy Hagans and Patrick Gavin share link popularity strategies, tactics, best practices and more. Visit and bookmark the Link Building Blog today!

 

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