Search Engine Marketing News - 2006-09-27

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Hi Everyone,

We're having a 4th Quarter advertising blowout!

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Four Tips On Writing A Web Site Home Page
by Nick Usborne - Over the last few months I have written quite a bit about writing landing pages and offer pages. But I haven't said much about the challenges writers face when writing a home page. Home pages can be tricky, simply because your page not only has its own job to do, but also has to support a group of second level pages.

How Much Information Should SEO's Reveal To Their Clients?
by David Wallace - There are some of those in the field of SEO that refuse to disclose their methods and processes to clients. Should SEOs keep their procedures and strategies secret from clients? Should their clients sit patiently by, waiting for the end results and not be concerned about the process that gets them there?

Signs You Need to Switch SEO Providers - Part 1: They Stop Talking to You
by Andy Beal - When you start working with a search engine marketing firm, most will be forthcoming with their strategy and tactics for improving your natural search engine listings. But what should you do, if the firm stops providing you with a clear outline of the steps they are taking on your behalf?

Blog Ads Expand Search Inventory
by Bruce Clay - Blog advertising differs from other types of online advertising. It requires ads that are honest and connect with the audience. The best ads are entertaining, informative and edgy. The usual attention grabbers won't work.

Are Search Engine Spiders Infringing on Copyright? Belgium Speaks Out
by Ross Dunn - Last Friday (Sept 15th) a Belgium court dealt a stunning blow against Google and its Google News search service. The court is now forbidding the popular search engine from indexing Belgian newspaper content without paying each newspaper for the use of their content.

What Happens When the Whole World becomes Searchable?
by Gord Hotchkiss - The fact is, the whole world is becoming digitized and indexable. It's not a new trend, it's been making inroads for the last two and a half decades, but there seems to be a tipping point of convergence that's rapidly approaching. And Google is doing its level best to digitize every book ever written. So the print world is well on the way.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Four Tips On Writing A Web Site Home Page
Over the last few months I have written quite a bit about writing landing pages and offer pages. But I haven't said much about the challenges writers face when writing a home page. Home pages can be tricky, simply because your page not only has its own job to do, but also has to support a group of second level pages. (skip to "Four Tips On Writing A Web Site Home Page" by Nick Usborne)

How Much Information Should SEO's Reveal To Their Clients?
There are some of those in the field of SEO that refuse to disclose their methods and processes to clients. Should SEOs keep their procedures and strategies secret from clients? Should their clients sit patiently by, waiting for the end results and not be concerned about the process that gets them there? (skip to "How Much Information Should SEO's Reveal To Their Clients?" by David Wallace)

Be Wary of Google Partner Sites for AdWords
There's been a lot of talk about click fraud again in the last week or two, including some major articles in some mainstream media sources. While most of it rehashed many of the same old issues that we've been hearing about for years (how much click fraud is there and what can we do about it?) one post that showed up late last week at the Marketing Shift blog is worth reading...especially if you are a small business owner operating your AdWords campaigns on a limited budget.

Class Action Suit Filed Over AOL's Privacy Snafu
Danny Sullivan has an excellent blog post today that talks about the latest problems to plague AOL after they released member search records to the public last month. The class action suit has been filed on behalf of the 658,000 individuals whose search term history was included in the report and asks for anywhere from $1000 - $4000 in damages per person.

Signs You Need to Switch SEO Providers - Part 1: They Stop Talking to You
When you start working with a search engine marketing firm, most will be forthcoming with their strategy and tactics for improving your natural search engine listings. But what should you do, if the firm stops providing you with a clear outline of the steps they are taking on your behalf? (skip to "Signs You Need to Switch SEO Providers - Part 1: They Stop Talking to You" by Andy Beal)

Blog Ads Expand Search Inventory
Blog advertising differs from other types of online advertising. It requires ads that are honest and connect with the audience. The best ads are entertaining, informative and edgy. The usual attention grabbers won't work. (skip to "Blog Ads Expand Search Inventory" by Bruce Clay)

Become a Beta Tester for Google
As if the simple "cool factor" wasn't enough to make most people want to get in early on any type of Google beta test, the company has now decided that they're willing to pay people for taking the time to use Google products and to report back on their "user experience." According to the Google User Experience Research FAQ page, Google will be paying $75 an hour to users willing to spend time with a Google researcher answering questions about various Google products.

Study Shows that Organic Conversions Match Paid Search Conversions
Kevin Newcomb over at ClickZ reports this week on a new study from WebSiteStory that features some interesting findings in regards to search marketing and conversion rates. According to the study, both paid search advertisements and organic listings have a median conversion rate of around 3.5%. Those numbers were based on more than 57 million search engine visits to twenty different B2C web sites during the first three quarters of the year.

DMA to Offer Search Engine Marketing Certification
We knew it was coming eventually, but no one knew who would be the first to pull it off. What's that? Well, a search engine marketing "certification" of course! Apparently the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has decided to launch a new "DMA Certification Program in Search Engine Marketing" at their upcoming October conference. The certification will be offered on two levels and will require the completion of DMA approved courses and testing.

Are Search Engine Spiders Infringing on Copyright? Belgium Speaks Out
Last Friday (Sept 15th) a Belgium court dealt a stunning blow against Google and its Google News search service. The court is now forbidding the popular search engine from indexing Belgian newspaper content without paying each newspaper for the use of their content. (skip to "Are Search Engine Spiders Infringing on Copyright? Belgium Speaks Out" by Ross Dunn)

What Happens When the Whole World becomes Searchable?
The fact is, the whole world is becoming digitized and indexable. It's not a new trend, it's been making inroads for the last two and a half decades, but there seems to be a tipping point of convergence that's rapidly approaching. And Google is doing its level best to digitize every book ever written. So the print world is well on the way. (skip to "What Happens When the Whole World becomes Searchable?" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Google Offers New AdSense Size
According to the AdSense Blog, Google has added a new 200x200 size ad format that is being dubbed the "small square." The new format will support text, video and image ads and could be a handy addition to the layout on some publishers' sites. Google has also done an overhaul to the channels page to help makes management easier. More information on the new channel interface is available in the Help Center and the new ad unit size should show up shortly.

A Little SEO Humor
My friend Matt McGee has put together a fun blog post called "Top 21 Signs You Need a Break from SEO" over at his Small Business SEM blog. Anyone in the industry will get a chuckle out of it, and even those that are simply of the do-it-yourself variety will still find quite a bit to laugh at.

$500K to Solve What Now?
For the "okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay then" files... CNet News reports that a Paris, France based organization known as the World Association of Newspapers has budgeted some half a million dollars in order to examine ways to "protect" their online content from being indexed and "re-published" by Google. Apparently the group of publishers is upset that Google is pulling snippets of their articles and using them to link to the full story, similar to the AFP lawsuit last year. With that in mind, the WAN has decided to hire out consultants to create something they've dubbed "Automated Content Access Protocol." But let's think about this a bit further...

Relying on Word of Mouth Marketing
Andy Beal points to a WOMMA study that looks at the most common forms of marketing practices used by companies in an Inc. 500 survey. The study shows that 82% of businesses rely on word of mouth marketing to help spread the word about their companies. That's followed up by e-mail marketing (58%), keyword based advertising (51%), print magazines (50%) and direct mail (46%). Banner ads, newspapers, television and billboards round out the top 9 options.

Still Confused by RSS? Honest, it's Really Simple!
Still Confused by RSS? Honest, it's Really Simple!Though RSS is taking off as one of the biggest things to hit web publishing since the blog itself, many small business owners are still a bit confused as to what RSS actually is and how it works. That's why I think there's so much value in a post made by Stephanie Quilao over at the "Back in skinny jeans" blog. Using what she calls the "Oprah definition," Stephanie does a great job of breaking RSS down into something even your mom could understand.

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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.)

Signs You Need to Switch SEO Providers - They Stop Talking to You
Small Business Ideas Forum - "This is something that clients are willing to pay for and I have actually discovered that the more you reveal (and document), the more value they place on your services. Keep them in the dark and they will question the value."

Parent Company of Search Engine Watch Sold
Webmaster World - "The first shoe was Alan Meckler's, and the second is Danny Sullivan's. I guess it makes sense now why Danny wanted out while the getting out was good and possible. It also makes good sense why Incisive couldn't offer any stake while selling the company."

Google: Upgrade For Search Engine Due For Holiday Season
Webmaster World - "Google plans to extend the product search capabilities on its main Google.com search engine in the fourth quarter, in time for the holiday shopping season. A Google official shared the news with attendees of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PESA) Summit in San Francisco this week, according to people at the conference."

Report: Yahoo in Talks to Acquire Facebook
Webmaster World - "If the deal is completed, Yahoo could pay up to $1 billion for the Web site, according to a Wall Street Journal report..."

Scrape Prevention vs. SEO-friendly
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Excellent advice from Bill Atchison on protecting your site from content scrapers as part of your SEO strategy."

Yahoo Reports Slowing Ad Sales
Webmaster World - "Yahoo Inc. warned Tuesday that slowing ad growth will depress its third-quarter results, marking the Internet company's latest letdown."

Search Engines Can't Read 301's
High Rankings Forum - "Just because MSN may have maintained the cache of an old page they knew about doesn't mean they're not correctly following the 301 properly. There are lots of times that it'll take a good amount of time for the redirected pages to be flushed out of the cache, but that alone doesn't tell you much. Besides, if the 301 is properly constructed there's nothing for them to see at the old location."

AJAX vs. iFrames
Search Engine Watch Forums - "I know that frames are a big no-no when it comes to SEO. However, how does AJAX differ from an iFrame. If I wanted to have a section of my page refresh with new content on click, but not reload the whole page, or go to an outside web site, is AJAX a good solution?"

Google Mobile Ads
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Did you miss this announcement too? AdWordsRep & SEW moderators jump in with more information about Google Mobile Ads."

Will Google Penalize for Linking to Non Related Sites?
V7N Forum - "I swap links with any website as long as I feel my type of customer visits those sites and if it will bring me business. Am I wrong for thinking this way? Will google penalize me in the rankings for some of these non related 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.)

Airplane Marketing Idea
"I was thinking about targeting all the advertising potential on commercial airlines. The idea is to get companies to pay have their product marketed on an airplane. There is advertising potential from the in flight napkins and cups to seat back inserts with advertisements. Is it possible for something like this to be done?"

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