Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-07-20

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Hi Everyone,

Great quote:

"The biggest challenge with my business is being a one woman show. ...I am VP of shipping ops, Manager of inventory control, Director of marketing, Head of production, Senior Sales associate, Queen of web site development and She-Ra princess of power."

- Carrie D. Mader
Small business owner and focus of Jennifer's latest Real Small Business, Real Big Ideas article.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

 

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Getting the Most From Your Search Engine Traffic
by Jennifer Horowitz - Imagine, rather than guessing at what to tweak on your site to improve results you can take our analysis and suggested changes and use that as a guide to improving your traffic and conversions. We can add content for the phrase that converts higher, and drive more traffic from that phrase. We can also use that information to guide us in creating marketing material.

Marketing Your SEO Business
by Jill Whalen - I have some ideas of how to go about marketing this option, but would love to hear how you market to get new clients. After scanning my local phone book to determine companies that a) spend money on expensive display ads and b) list a website, I've checked out the mentioned websites and have collected a group of potential customers. But now what?

Are You Measuring Visitor Engagement and Behavior?
by Manoj Jasra - When visitors arrive on your website, what are they doing? Is it what you want or expect them to do; or are they aimlessly wandering around and not finding what they came in looking? Are your potential customers abandoning your site just seconds after their arrival? If you are puzzled because you don't know what visitors are doing, or why, then how can you ever create a decent strategy to offer your visitors a better experience on your website?

A Market Conversation Strategy Guide for SMBs: Driving Search Presence through Industry Participation - Part Two
by Garrett French - Part two of this article continues to provide a thorough market conversation strategy outline for the enterprising DIY marketer, with an emphasis – at the end – on search engine presence.

Mining for Keyword Gold!
by Stoney deGeyter - Much has been written on the topic of keyword research by other SEOs. Without trying to restate anything that has already been written, (at least by me) let me present a few ideas that can help you identify all of the possible keyword phrases that you could benefit from.

A Market Conversation Strategy Guide for SMBs: Driving Search Presence through Industry Participation - Part One
by Garrett French - This article provides a thorough market conversation strategy outline for the enterprising DIY marketer, with an emphasis – at the end – on search engine presence.

Real Small Business, Real Big Ideas - The Carrie D. Mader Project Part 1
by Jennifer Laycock - Through hundreds of emails with Search Engine Guide readers, I can see that there are plenty of businesses out there ready and willing to invest the money that it takes to improve their online marketing. The problem that most of them have is that they simply don't know how to get started. That's where Search Engine Guide comes in. Once again, it's time for us to share the ups and downs, the good decisions and the bad, and the every day realities that come with promoting a business online.

Spotlight on Search Interview with Laura Lippay
by Lee Odden - Today we have a very nice interview with Laura Lippay, SEO Program Manager for Yahoo Media Group. Dispensing excellent advice to newbies and old timers alike, Laura has gone from circus performer extraordinaire to Flash-superstar-wannabe to a dream gig as an in-house SEO for Yahoo.

Dear Google Search History
by Gord Hotchkiss - Sometime ago, I signed up for a Google Analytics account for my blog and at the time, I somehow activated Google’s Personal Search History function. Because I have a laptop, and tend to use the same computer at work and at home, I was unknowingly capturing a pretty complete snapshot of all my search activity. Just a few days ago, I realized I was still logged in. Today, I took a look back at 2 months of search activity.

How to Win Links and Influence People - Part 2
by Jennifer Laycock - Viral marketing is one of the most difficult, yet cost effective methods of marketing available to the modern small business owner. However, as with many forms of online marketing, it's sometimes necessary to take a step back and realize that common sense is one of the most powerful weapons in your creative arsenal.

Segmenting Your Media to Improve Results
by Paul Bruemmer - Your site visitors place different values on price, volume, technical features, complexity, risk/reward, brand name, options, status quo, social trends and benefits. Therefore, the manner in which a visitor perceives your offer is critical, especially when the introduction to your business is via your Web site.

Ad-tracking URLs
by Jill Whalen - I wanted to use a special URL in one of our ads so we could track its effectiveness. I asked our web guy if he could make a redirect and add the name of the ad to the end of our URL like this: www.oursite.com/ad1 -- but it would go to our home page.

Seeing Red - Search Engine RedZee™ Reviewed
by Ross Dunn - RedZee™ is a Meta Search Engine that opened its doors officially in July 2005. Now open just over a year it was recently brought to my attention that this search engine with a darn cute mascot along with some decent design concepts also have some significant caveats that I believe my valued readers and clientele should be made well aware of.

How to Win Links and Influence People - Part 1
by Jennifer Laycock - While there's no argument about the value of building quality links to your web site in order to help increase both traffic and search engine rankings, there is often some confusion about the best way to go about doing that link building. What would happen if small business owners started to think about link building in another way?

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

The Power of the Minority
A few concepts have been bumping around lately, and it revolves around the power of the 1%, as referred to at The Church of the Customer. Many times we focus on the big groups, and overlook the individuals that can affect more consumers that we could ever reach. Third party endorsements are big, and they have become bigger with this louder voice that people now have substantial power through social media tools.

Getting the Most From Your Search Engine Traffic
Imagine, rather than guessing at what to tweak on your site to improve results you can take our analysis and suggested changes and use that as a guide to improving your traffic and conversions. We can add content for the phrase that converts higher, and drive more traffic from that phrase. We can also use that information to guide us in creating marketing material. (skip to "Getting the Most From Your Search Engine Traffic" by Jennifer Horowitz)

Marketing Your SEO Business
I have some ideas of how to go about marketing this option, but would love to hear how you market to get new clients. After scanning my local phone book to determine companies that a) spend money on expensive display ads and b) list a website, I've checked out the mentioned websites and have collected a group of potential customers. But now what? (skip to "Marketing Your SEO Business" by Jill Whalen)

A Market Conversation Strategy Guide for SMBs: Driving Search Presence through Industry Participation - Part Two
Part two of this article continues to provide a thorough market conversation strategy outline for the enterprising DIY marketer, with an emphasis – at the end – on search engine presence. (skip to "A Market Conversation Strategy Guide for SMBs: Driving Search Presence through Industry Participation - Part Two" by Garrett French)

Optevi Takes Customized Search to a New Level
(Disclaimer: I've been doing some consulting/advising for this company.) There's an interesting search company out there called Optevi that's working on bringing customized search to a new level. The site works through the use of "bundles" that are basically a collection of pre-selected sites for the search results to be drawn from. Now many of you are out there saying "yeah? so, sounds like Rolly-o." It's true that it sounds like Rolly-o, but Optevi is looking to take things a step further. Whereas Rolly-o allows users to create a long list of sites to search, Optevi breaks those lists down into four categories with different weight being put on each one.

Are You Measuring Visitor Engagement and Behavior?
When visitors arrive on your website, what are they doing? Is it what you want or expect them to do; or are they aimlessly wandering around and not finding what they came in looking? Are your potential customers abandoning your site just seconds after their arrival? If you are puzzled because you don't know what visitors are doing, or why, then how can you ever create a decent strategy to offer your visitors a better experience on your website? (skip to "Are You Measuring Visitor Engagement and Behavior?" by Manoj Jasra)

You've Seen His Work, You Probably Like it, But You Don't Know His Name
It's Dennis Hwang and he's been doodling Google's "special" logos since he signed on as an intern back in 2000. CNN.com has a fun article today that talks a little bit about Hwang's work. Readers may be surprised to learn that Hwang's "real job" at Google is to oversee all of Google's webmasters. The logo designing duties actually take up less than 20% of his time. So how does one end up giving Google's home page the only dose of "personality" that it ever really sees?

Mining for Keyword Gold!
Much has been written on the topic of keyword research by other SEOs. Without trying to restate anything that has already been written, (at least by me) let me present a few ideas that can help you identify all of the possible keyword phrases that you could benefit from. (skip to "Mining for Keyword Gold!" by Stoney deGeyter)

A Market Conversation Strategy Guide for SMBs: Driving Search Presence through Industry Participation - Part One
This article provides a thorough market conversation strategy outline for the enterprising DIY marketer, with an emphasis – at the end – on search engine presence. (skip to "A Market Conversation Strategy Guide for SMBs: Driving Search Presence through Industry Participation - Part One" by Garrett French)

Ten Great Ideas for Driving Traffic and Interest
Rand often has some good and useful information about link baiting and his latest post is no exception. In "10 Remarkably Effective Strategies for Driving Traffic," he not only lists ten excellent online marketing techniques, but outlines the tools, process, results and examples to go with them. Rand's list moves from standard techniques like blogging and online tool creation to slightly more difficult options like "creating controversy" and "offering something incredible." It's a fairly lengthy read, but it's worth it, especially if you're looking for a few new ideas to spark your next marketing launch.

How much for a Google Fridge?
Apparently, about $180. Barry points to an eBay listing that offers up a rare piece of Google bling...the elusive Google mini-fridge. Not to be confused with mere mortal fridges, this one can operate as either a cooler or a heater. It's got the AdWords insignia on it, so more than likely it's one of the newer and rarer gifts that gets sent out to high-roller AdWords advertisers. The auction has ended, but the closing bid price should give you a hint about what future Google fridges might go for...you know...just in case you were dying to have one of your very own.

Google and Yahoo! Continue to Climb, MSN Falls...
The latest comScore numbers have been released and it turns out that both Google and Yahoo! have grown by half a percentage share since last month. MSN on the other hand slid down 0.3% while Ask fell 0.2%. Overall search numbers were in decline, dropping 6% from May's numbers. Nonetheless, June's 6.4 billion searches still represented a nearly 30% increase over this time last year. Google and Yahoo! continue to run neck and neck in the toolbar race, holding on to 49.6% and 46.1% respectively.

Real Small Business, Real Big Ideas - The Carrie D. Mader Project Part 1
Through hundreds of emails with Search Engine Guide readers, I can see that there are plenty of businesses out there ready and willing to invest the money that it takes to improve their online marketing. The problem that most of them have is that they simply don't know how to get started. That's where Search Engine Guide comes in. Once again, it's time for us to share the ups and downs, the good decisions and the bad, and the every day realities that come with promoting a business online. (skip to "Real Small Business, Real Big Ideas - The Carrie D. Mader Project Part 1" by Jennifer Laycock)

Spotlight on Search Interview with Laura Lippay
Today we have a very nice interview with Laura Lippay, SEO Program Manager for Yahoo Media Group. Dispensing excellent advice to newbies and old timers alike, Laura has gone from circus performer extraordinaire to Flash-superstar-wannabe to a dream gig as an in-house SEO for Yahoo. (skip to "Spotlight on Search Interview with Laura Lippay" by Lee Odden)

Dear Google Search History
Sometime ago, I signed up for a Google Analytics account for my blog and at the time, I somehow activated Google’s Personal Search History function. Because I have a laptop, and tend to use the same computer at work and at home, I was unknowingly capturing a pretty complete snapshot of all my search activity. Just a few days ago, I realized I was still logged in. Today, I took a look back at 2 months of search activity. (skip to "Dear Google Search History" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Yahoo Gives Consumer Generated Viral Content a Try
Not sure if this is a good idea or not, but time will tell. USA Today reports that Yahoo! is launching a new viral marketing campaign that asks site visitors to create a 12 second video clip promoting the site's new look. There are no prizes involved, Yahoo! is hoping that sheer love of product (and perhaps the 5 seconds of fame that will come with producing a popular video) will be enough to spark creativity. So why might this not be a good idea?

Google Ads Maps Onebox
One of the things I always liked about Google's search results was that entering a business name and city usually resulted in quick and easy access to both a phone number and a map to the business's location. Now it appears that Google has decided to go a step further. I noticed today that Google is showing the mini-map right alongside the basic business information right there in the Onebox area of the search results.

How to Win Links and Influence People - Part 2
Viral marketing is one of the most difficult, yet cost effective methods of marketing available to the modern small business owner. However, as with many forms of online marketing, it's sometimes necessary to take a step back and realize that common sense is one of the most powerful weapons in your creative arsenal. (skip to "How to Win Links and Influence People - Part 2" by Jennifer Laycock)

Google Finally Gets it, DMOZ Descriptions Suck
For all the frustrated webmasters that have long lamented the fact that outdated and inaccurate DMOZ descriptions pop up with their search results on Google, there's finally a solution. Google has announced that they will honor a new meta tag designed to tell Googlebot that you'd rather not have your DMOZ description used as the text snippet for your site.

Ad-tracking URLs
I wanted to use a special URL in one of our ads so we could track its effectiveness. I asked our web guy if he could make a redirect and add the name of the ad to the end of our URL like this: www.oursite.com/ad1 -- but it would go to our home page. (skip to "Ad-tracking URLs" by Jill Whalen)

Seeing Red - Search Engine RedZee™ Reviewed
RedZee™ is a Meta Search Engine that opened its doors officially in July 2005. Now open just over a year it was recently brought to my attention that this search engine with a darn cute mascot along with some decent design concepts also have some significant caveats that I believe my valued readers and clientele should be made well aware of. (skip to "Seeing Red - Search Engine RedZee™ Reviewed" by Ross Dunn)

Could Google's New Quality Score Impact You?
I wrote earlier this week about the news that Google was instituting some new landing page calculations in the "Quality Score" that it uses to figure out how much AdWords advertisers will need to pay for their listings. The announcement has generated quite a bit of buzz in the industry and not all of it is positive. Kevin Ryan makes some good points today in his ClickZ column about how Google's changes could impact the average marketer.

Google Wins Court Battle Against KinderStart...for Now...
News is out that KinderStart, the company that filed suit against Google after its PageRank fell to zero and it's search engine traffic dropped by some 70%, has lost the first round of its court battle against Google. KinderStart's suit claimed that Google had "defamed" KinderStart by assigning them a zero page rank and that Google had "suppressed" their right to free speech by lowering KinderStart's rankings. While the company has until September 29th to file an amended court case, it seems likely that KinderStart will fail at that point as well.

Segmenting Your Media to Improve Results
Your site visitors place different values on price, volume, technical features, complexity, risk/reward, brand name, options, status quo, social trends and benefits. Therefore, the manner in which a visitor perceives your offer is critical, especially when the introduction to your business is via your Web site. (skip to "Segmenting Your Media to Improve Results" by Paul Bruemmer)

The Sandbox Doesn't Exist, but a Trustbox Might...
It's only been about a month since I wrote an article explaining in simple terms just why the Google Sandbox doesn't exist. Obviously I'd love to think that a few little words from little old me could convince an entire world, but we all know that's not gonna happen. So, the sandbox debate continues to power on. With that in mind, I thought I'd link to a very interesting read over at Todd Malicoat's blog that I'd missed up until today. Basically, Todd explains why it's Trustrank and a Trustbox rather than a Sandbox that account for the challenges faced by some web site owners.

When You Compare Apples to Orange Jello...
This morning, I noticed quite a few provocative article titles showing up in my Google alerts and my RSS feeds. The article headlines all made the claim that a new report showed podcasts to be more popular than blogs. Obviously, that statement caught my attention as blogs are becoming pretty mainstream and podcasting is still just picking up speed. That's when I actually took the time to read an article and found out that the findings from this study were doing more than just a little bit of stretching to reach their conclusion.

How to Win Links and Influence People - Part 1
While there's no argument about the value of building quality links to your web site in order to help increase both traffic and search engine rankings, there is often some confusion about the best way to go about doing that link building. What would happen if small business owners started to think about link building in another way? (skip to "How to Win Links and Influence People - Part 1" by Jennifer Laycock)

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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.)

Look Ma, I Got PR!
Site Reference Forum - "So, are you ready to let go of 'The Little Green Bar?' Or will further counseling be required?"

Yahoo Panama Release Delayed
Webmaster World - "The company also announced during a conference call with analysts that long-awaited improvements to its search technology, which were expected to be rolled out at the end of the summer, will now be delayed until the fourth quarter. The stock nosedived after hours on the news."

Users Rating Adwords Ads
Webmaster World - "...a little line of text below the url of the ad I clicked said 'Was this link useful? Yes or No'"

How Do You Handle Content Thieves?
Cre8asite Forums - "That's really a matter of personal taste and of how much effort and resource you are willing to spend in pursuit of a resolution of some kind."

Code to Prevent Search Engines from Seeing
V7N Forum - "Does anyone know if there is any code you can wrap around something so that the search engines don't see it? I want to put a frame on one of my pages but i don't want the search engines to see the frame."

Microsoft: MSN - Strider Search Defender
Webmaster World - "Researchers at Microsoft have developed a tool to scrub search engines of major Web sites that pollute search results and ultimately help clean the Web of spam."

Google Maps + Reviews In Main Search Results
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Members discuss the new features behind Google maps and local businesses showing in general search results."

Google: Semantic Web Must Overcome Incompetence
Webmaster World - "Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a vision of a Web where machines as well as people can read content, but Google sees plenty of hurdles."

Yahoo! Search Update, July 14, 2006
Search Engine Watch Forums - "How did your site(s) fare in the most recent Yahoo! index update? Tim Mayer joins the conversation."

Measuring Keyword Competition
Search Engine Watch Forums - "How do you accurately and effectively measure keyword competition?"

NOODP! No ODP Titles!
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Don't want Google to show your old, outdated and possibly incorrect Open Directory title? Then use this handy snippet of code in your meta tags!"

Buying Brand Name Keywords On Adwords
High Rankings Forum - "I know you're not supposed to buy other people's brand names on AdWords, like Nike or Walmart etc, but what about something like product names?"

Analytics Analysis For Search Marketers
Small Business Ideas Forum - "How do you specifically go about the task of testing two home/landing page designs simultaneously using Google analytics or Clicktracks? I hear the term A/B testing and multivariant testing being tossed around. Can someone give a remedial definition/procedure?"

Google: More 301 Woes About www And No-www
Webmaster World - "After nearly a year of waiting for Google to follow and correct the non-www via a 301 redirect, the only result I had seen was that ALL my pages disappeared from the index."

Open Letter to Google Regarding Changes to The Ad Words Program
Webmaster World - "The smart thing would have been to come to the community months ago and said hey we are thinking about some major changes, these are how these changes are going to affect you, and here is what you can do to bring your landing pages up to snuff. That way your business partners would not be left holding the bag when they are hit with overnight radical price increases, and are forced to seek immediate answers from your employees who have also been left in the dark, and have no useful information to provide your customers."

Google Webmaster Guidelines: Do as I say and not as I do?
V7N Forum - "...the only reason you won't find AdSense search on my site is because it doesn't validate. After spending the time getting my own code to validate and listing it as a benefit of having me develop a site for someone it didn't seem right to throw in some code that doesn't validate."

Is sIFR Safe?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "I don't think the search engines would frown on this, as technically, you're not cloaking. You're instead showing search engines text in HTML format and visitors the same text in nice, pretty Flash format. You could certainly abuse it easily, but if used as intended, it should be perfectly fine."

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

Is The Ebay Customer Always Right?
"It has been my experience that some ebayers are just plain lazy. They do not take the time to view the photos and read a lengthy description and they just get caught up in a bidding frenzy that results in disappointment."

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