Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-06-21

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Hi Everyone,

In one of her blog posts this week, Jennifer mentioned an article that that focused on:

"...the small business owners that keep this country running. From the mom whose four-year old helps her pack up the week's shipping orders to the dad that often finishes up the day's work with two toddlers on his lap, these are the people that Search Engine Guide is written for. Please take a moment to read it, pat yourself on the back, pat any other small business owner you know on the back, and then get back to work! :)"

You can find the article here: "Backbone of America - 2006"

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Google AdWords: Local Advertising
by Richard Ball - Search engine advertising is beneficial for local advertisers as well as national advertisers. Google's advertising system, AdWords, offers the option to target ads to searchers in a specific geographic region. Due to the method Google uses to identify the location of these searchers, though, it's imperative for local advertisers to run national ads as well.

Understanding Web Analytics
by Matt Bailey - Why are analytics so difficult? Almost every company I talk to wants to know which data table, which numbers, which analytics package will provide answers. The unifying question is "What should we be looking at?"

Google Testing Pay for Performance Ads
by Jennifer Laycock - What would happen if the largest online advertising network in the world decided to skip past issues like click fraud by integrating an affiliate style advertising program straight into their already popular network? Apparently, Google is ready to ask that question and everyone else is awaiting the answer.

Drive Business Success Through Delegation
by Stoney deGeyter - I have to admit, I admire many of the sole practitioners in the SEO industry. Frankly I don't understand how they do it; they perform the SEO, link building and copywriting while keeping up with current industry news and trends at the same time.

Ginger or Mary Ann? Yahoo! Answers.
by Todd Mintz - SEOs will need to understand how to optimally work with Yahoo! Answers as part of their overall search engine strategy. As more SEOs begin to participate in the process, hopefully they will contribute to raising the quality of answers currently given to people asking SEO questions.

Ask Us! We'll Give You the Answer...Eventually...
by Jennifer Laycock - There's been some buzzing so far this week about the premier of "Treasure Hunters," NBC's over-hyped version of The Amazing Race and the giant promotional tie-in with #4 search engine, Ask.com. I haven't watched the show, but apparently, Ask.com is pretty well integrated with contestants heading to the search engine to look up information, research clues and generally find the information that they need to get to the next step of the game.

Search and the C Level Ceiling
by Gord Hotchkiss - Search just hasn't broken into the spotlight at the top of the corporate ladder. Senior execs don't get search, they don't want to get search and they certainly don't want to move significant budget to search. As you move down the corporate ladder, the love affair with search gets more ardent.

Reverse Engineering Your Competitions' Keyword Strategy
by JP Sherman - Reverse engineering your competitions' keyword strategy requires nothing more than having a basic idea of what your defining keywords are. As a part of the discovery process, you might find out that adjustments to your keyword strategy are in order.

25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog
by Lee Odden - With so many blogs being created every day, its a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them, so here is a "short" list of tips for marketing and optimizing a blog.

Google Launches Ad Scheduling (Dayparting)
by Jennifer Laycock - It wasn't but a few weeks ago that I wrote about Google's plans to add dayparting to their AdWords management system. The system is now up and running and for small business owners that are able to track their conversion rates down to the day or time of day, this new Ad Scheduling system offers up a world of opportunity.

One Site or Three
by Jill Whalen - Would having three separate sites help in getting more targeted incoming link PR? Or is it better to vary the incoming links if I did one site with all three product lines? Am I over-thinking this? Should I just make one mall-type site?

Five Ways to Write Web Copy That Sells
by Karri Flatla - Most people loathe writing, cannot write, do not have time to write (well), or all of the above. Factor in things like SEO, usability, and the need to say a lot with a little, and you have a frustrated author with a shortage of clients. Fortunately, common sense rules on the Internet.

Organic SEO -- What Does it Really Mean?
by Scott Buresh - There is, with only a few exceptions, a common denominator in the websites that remain highly ranked throughout these algorithm shifts. They offer something of value to their visitors and are considered a resource for their industry.

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.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

ClickTracks Offers $1000 Discount for AdWords Clients
Did you qualify for the AdWords class action lawsuit? Chances are good that if you've done any reasonable amount of PPC advertising since 2002 then you do. If so, ClickTracks if offering up a $1000 discount toward the purchase of ClickTracks Pro, JDC or Agency edition. In other words, if you've been sitting around waiting for a reason to switch to ClickTracks, this is the time to do it. Add in the fact that ClickTracks recently released version 6.1 which is jam packed with some of the coolest features I've seen in a web analytics program (full review coming up soon) and you've got a tempting deal. Find out more at the ClickTracks web site.

Google Just Keeps Growing and Growing and Growing...
For the tenth month in a row, Google has posted market share gains in the search world. Sitting pretty at 44.1% of searches, Google maintains a healthy lead over Yahoo! (27.9%), MSN (12.9%) and Ask.com (5.3%). In fact, of those four engines, only Google showed year over year and month over month gains. Everyone else experienced at least a 2% point drop over last year's figures. Searchers are getting more active as well, with overall searches up 12% in a month, topping out at 7.4 billion searches. When it comes to toolbar usage, Google and Yahoo! continue to run a pretty tight race, racking up 49.1% and 46.2% respectively.

Google Just Keeps Growing and Growing and Growing...
For the tenth month in a row, Google has posted market share gains in the search world. Sitting pretty at 44.1% of searches, Google maintains a healthy lead over Yahoo! (27.9%), MSN (12.9%) and Ask.com (5.3%). In fact, of those four engines, only Google showed year over year and month over month gains. Everyone else experienced at least a 2% point drop over last year's figures. Searchers are getting more active as well, with overall searches up 12% in a month, topping out at 7.4 billion searches. When it comes to toolbar usage, Google and Yahoo! continue to run a pretty tight race, racking up 49.1% and 46.2% respectively.

Google AdWords: Local Advertising
Search engine advertising is beneficial for local advertisers as well as national advertisers. Google's advertising system, AdWords, offers the option to target ads to searchers in a specific geographic region. Due to the method Google uses to identify the location of these searchers, though, it's imperative for local advertisers to run national ads as well. (skip to "Google AdWords: Local Advertising" by Richard Ball)

Understanding Web Analytics
Why are analytics so difficult? Almost every company I talk to wants to know which data table, which numbers, which analytics package will provide answers. The unifying question is "What should we be looking at?" (skip to "Understanding Web Analytics" by Matt Bailey)

Google Testing Pay for Performance Ads
What would happen if the largest online advertising network in the world decided to skip past issues like click fraud by integrating an affiliate style advertising program straight into their already popular network? Apparently, Google is ready to ask that question and everyone else is awaiting the answer. (skip to "Google Testing Pay for Performance Ads" by Jennifer Laycock)

A Little Search Related Humor
It's always fun to see comparisons of our favorite search related sites to every day items, but this is the first time I've seen anyone compare them to remote controls. Phillip Lenssen has compiled a list of graphics that show what a search engine might look like if it was a remote control...My favorites? Wikipedia and AOL...

Ask Us! We'll Give You the Answer...Eventually...
There's been some buzzing so far this week about the premier of "Treasure Hunters," NBC's over-hyped version of The Amazing Race and the giant promotional tie-in with #4 search engine, Ask.com. I haven't watched the show, but apparently, Ask.com is pretty well integrated with contestants heading to the search engine to look up information, research clues and generally find the information that they need to get to the next step of the game. (skip to "Ask Us! We'll Give You the Answer...Eventually..." by Jennifer Laycock)

Drive Business Success Through Delegation
I have to admit, I admire many of the sole practitioners in the SEO industry. Frankly I don't understand how they do it; they perform the SEO, link building and copywriting while keeping up with current industry news and trends at the same time. (skip to "Drive Business Success Through Delegation" by Stoney deGeyter)

Ginger or Mary Ann? Yahoo! Answers.
SEOs will need to understand how to optimally work with Yahoo! Answers as part of their overall search engine strategy. As more SEOs begin to participate in the process, hopefully they will contribute to raising the quality of answers currently given to people asking SEO questions. (skip to "Ginger or Mary Ann? Yahoo! Answers." by Todd Mintz)

What Does Google Censor in China?
Everyone knows that Google has agreed to work with the Chinese government in order to censor search results on the Chinese version of the Google search engine. Many people have also seen some examples of this censorship at play, most prevalently with the example of Tiananmen Square. It sheds a whole other light on the subject when you take a look at the list that Phillip Lenssen has put together though. Phillip took the time to enter 10,000 "common" words from the English language and to log which ones returned censored results. Turns out that 901, or about 9% of the words that he searched were at least partially censored.

A Good Web Site Doesn't Mean an Ugly Web Site
One of the common misconceptions of search marketing is that search engine friendly design equals ugly design. That's not true...in fact, a good, clean, attractive design is an essential component to a quality site. Usability and SEO expert Kim Krause Berg points this out in her blog today and points to a great discussion taking place at the Cre8asite Forums that talks about how all areas of web site creation must work together for the greater good.

More on the Mentos and Diet Coke Search Frenzy
I blogged last week about the viral video of a Mentos and Diet Coke fountain that's buzzing its way around the net. Since then, I've found it interesting to read the responses from some of the representatives of each company. The Mentos folks are thrilled and are doing everything they can to harness the buzz and make it work for them, the Diet Coke folks on the other hand...well, they're just not sure the video fits with the type of image that they'd like to portray. (insert eye rolling here...)

Search and the C Level Ceiling
Search just hasn't broken into the spotlight at the top of the corporate ladder. Senior execs don't get search, they don't want to get search and they certainly don't want to move significant budget to search. As you move down the corporate ladder, the love affair with search gets more ardent. (skip to "Search and the C Level Ceiling" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Reverse Engineering Your Competitions' Keyword Strategy
Reverse engineering your competitions' keyword strategy requires nothing more than having a basic idea of what your defining keywords are. As a part of the discovery process, you might find out that adjustments to your keyword strategy are in order. (skip to "Reverse Engineering Your Competitions' Keyword Strategy by JP Sherman.)

The Reality of Life and a New Search Engine Guide Project
Seven months out from the end of the Lactivist project, I'm starting to get questions from friends and readers about what I might try in 2006 to top that project. Rest assured...I've got something up my sleeve and I think Search Engine Guide readers will really enjoy it. I just need a little bit longer to lay some foundations in the background and to get in touch with a few people. (Warning...if you're my friend and you're in the industry, you're likely going to get roped in to helping out here...) In the meantime, and with all those reader emails and stories at the top of my mind, I wanted to share a great link with you.

When the Offline Buzz Feeds Search
Last week, a friend forwarded me the URL of a video clip of two guys putting on a Bellagio-style fountain show by mixing Mentos and Diet Coke. Since then, it's turned into one of the most passed around viral videos of the year and has sparked so much interest that it's since been covered by quite a few news sources, blogs, web sites and water cooler commentators. (Take a glance if you haven't already seen it: Diet Coke and Mentos video) The question is, now that this video has made Diet Coke and Mentos a popular blog and search topic, what are the two companies doing to capitalize off of the interest spike?

25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog
With so many blogs being created every day, its a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them, so here is a "short" list of tips for marketing and optimizing a blog. (skip to "25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog" by Lee Odden)

Google Launches Ad Scheduling (Dayparting)
It wasn't but a few weeks ago that I wrote about Google's plans to add dayparting to their AdWords management system. The system is now up and running and for small business owners that are able to track their conversion rates down to the day or time of day, this new Ad Scheduling system offers up a world of opportunity. (skip to "Google Launches Ad Scheduling (Dayparting)" by Jennifer Laycock)

Here's a Bit of Irony for You...
Yahoo!, which earlier this year stopped allowing companies to buy pay-per-click ads triggered by trademarked terms owned by someone else is now being sued for doing the exact same thing through Google's AdWords system. The lawsuit is being brought forth by JP Enterprises, owner of dating site LoveCity.com on the grounds that Yahoo! and a few other vendors are running ads for their own dating services via AdWords when people type in search terms like "lovecity" or "lovecity.com." (To note, Yahoo's ads have vanished for all the keywords I've searched related to the site...True.com and a few adult sites are the only ones left advertising on those terms.)

One Site or Three
Would having three separate sites help in getting more targeted incoming link PR? Or is it better to vary the incoming links if I did one site with all three product lines? Am I over-thinking this? Should I just make one mall-type site? (skip to "One Site or Three" by Jill Whalen)

Five Ways to Write Web Copy That Sells
Most people loathe writing, cannot write, do not have time to write (well), or all of the above. Factor in things like SEO, usability, and the need to say a lot with a little, and you have a frustrated author with a shortage of clients. Fortunately, common sense rules on the Internet. (skip to "Five Ways to Write Web Copy That Sells" by Karri Flatla)

The Long Term Conversion Way of Thinking
Brian Clark has an excellent post over at the Performancing Blog that gives some suggestions on utilizing pay per click advertising for long-term gains. Clark makes some excellent points about the value of a repeat visitor as opposed to the value of an immediate sale and offers up quite a few suggested ways of building up both types of conversions.

Yahoo Expands Publisher's Network Help Center
Site owners that make use of the Yahoo Publisher's Network will be pleased to note some new additions to the YPN control panel. With much of the new content focused on guiding YPN partners through the ins and outs of the network via a brand new help center, there's been some speculation over whether this might signal an end to the beta stage of the Yahoo Publisher's Network.

Microsoft Delivering Hand-Crafted Search Results?
No, not personalized search...actual hand crafted search results put together by staffers at MSN while you conduct your search...live. At least that's what everyone is assuming based on an MSN job description titled "Hand crafted results. It's kind of hard not to suspect that this job posting is a prank (would any of the big three search engines REALLY be crazy enough to publicly admit that they do this?) but the reality is that if it's a real job listing...it really shows that Microsoft is having some big trouble coming up with a strong enough search algorithm to delivery quality listings.

Organic SEO -- What Does it Really Mean?
There is, with only a few exceptions, a common denominator in the websites that remain highly ranked throughout these algorithm shifts. They offer something of value to their visitors and are considered a resource for their industry. (skip to "Organic SEO -- What Does it Really Mean?" by Scott Buresh)

Snap Offers a "Big" Approach to Search
Ever wonder what it would be like to use a search engine that didn't assume you still had the eyes of a teenager? Apparently, the folks over at Snap did, because they've created Big.com, a search engine aimed at providing results in a font size that can be read by Internet users that remember that there were presidents prior to Ronald Reagan.

Getting Creative With Sales Letters
Rand Fishkin has a must read blog post today that features what he dubs "the best sales letter ever written." While not directly related to the idea of search engine marketing, it does show the staying power of creative content. I'm not sure how many sales this letter produced, but I'm pretty sure that it snagged a laugh or two. Besides, small business owners, perhaps more than anyone else, really tend to understand the need for a good laugh now and then.

Need Help with AdSense? Subscribe to Inside AdSense
The AdSense blog makes note this week that they now have an Inside AdSense email list that you can join so that rather than having to visit the AdSense blog for tips an ideas, you can simply have them emailed to you. Register online, but note that you'll need a Google Account to do so.

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)

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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.)

Will BlogRoll Links Weaken My PR?
V7N Forum - "Should I make the blog a whole separate website and link out to it? I would like to keep it internal with the site for branding, visitors browsing, etc."

Age Of Links
High Rankings Forum - "Search engines look at how long a link has been in place. Links that come and go don't count for much while links that stay in place longer the better. Basically, when the SEs find the link that would be considered day 1. If that link is still there on repeated crawls six months or a year later then that link has earned some trust points with the algorithm."

3 Week Old Site gets 4 Billion Pages Indexed by Google
Cre8asite Forums - "The fact that so many people are shocked and amazed at these is itself testament to how far the search engine algorithms have come."

Quality and Authority: Relevance Alone Is Not Enough
Webmaster World - "Does quality include the appearance of a site, or only the content? How about the organization of a site? Can a site be an authority if it's not government, educational, or from a big corporation? Is it possible for an authority to not be quality?"

Google AdWords Scheduling/Day Parting Now Live
Search Engine Watch Forums - "The long awaited day parting and ad scheduling feature is now live on Adwords."

Google testing Plus and Minus Sign to Expand/Contract Site Results
Webmaster World - "...some sites have a + sign next to the site title and if you click it a search box appears under the snippet and url of that site."

Marshall Simmonds, the NYTimes & Acceptable Cloaking
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Comments on this interesting SearchDay article that profiles the NY Times rise to SEO success."

What Are The 200 Signals Google Uses To Rank Pages?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Join the debate over the true number of ranking factors in the search engine algorithms."

Too Many Visitors Leaving From Home Page
High Rankings Forum - "I noticed that over 70% of visitors to my site are leaving from the home page. Also, a good portion of those are either typing in my URL directly or searching for my company name. Does anyone out there know of a tool that will help me figure out why so many visitors are leaving my site from the home page?"

Google's Personalised Search
High Rankings Forum - "...anyone using personalised search and are checking their search terms rankings look out for personalised rankings, you might need to put the bubbly back on ice."

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

Ads Don't Sell, People Do
"Small business owners CAN and Should be branding themselves as well as creating direct response from their ads (in the same ad mind you) other wise you're wasting a golden opportunity to have your ad dollar work for you long into the future."

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"I'm finally reading your book, and it is amazing. You have done a marvelous job of explaining SEM in general, SEO, keyword research, copywriting, linking -- damn, you're good."

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Yes, it's that good. Get your copy today.

 

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