Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-01-31

Hi Everyone,

At 11 years old, FreeLinks.com is one of the oldest sites in our network. In fact, Search Engine Guide was originally part of FreeLinks before it was split off into it's own site. Unfortunately FreeLinks has been largely dormant the last few years. That's all changing now that Chris Logan has taken on the role of editor of FreeLinks.

So, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce you to our oldest new site. :-) FreeLinks is the small business guide to finding, reviewing and discussing free website advertising venues to promote your business. Already there are 100+ free sources listed including everything from web directories to promoting podcasts

Chris did a post at our forum introducing FreeLinks which you can read here to get more details. Drop by to see what Chris is doing and to give him some feedback.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough



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Search Engine Marketing Articles

No Need to Fear Hiring a Search Marketer
by Jennifer Laycock - Are there shiesters in the search marketing world? Yep. Are their shiesters in EVERY businesses? Yep. Thus, you have to do what you'd do for any big project hire you're about to make. Research. Use common sense.

SEM's Seven Year Itch, Part Three
by Gord Hotchkiss - What we're not particularly good at is stepping back and looking at the big picture. The how's and why's of search, and most importantly, the who's. While this is true across the search space, it's most apparent with the organic optimizers. Virtually no one in the SEO world has given a hoot about messaging, user experience or intent. It's all about crawling your way to top spot.

Billable Rights of SEOs and Their Clients
by Stoney deGeyter - Ever wonder just what you as a client and your SEO firm as a service provider have the right to expect from each other? You're not the only one. As such, Stoney deGeyter has put together a comprehensive list of "billable rights" for both SEM providers and SEM clients.

3 Simple Rules for Creating an Effective USP
by Karon Thackston - Most business owners and managers don’t understand how to create a truly unique selling proposition (USP). There are specific criteria to consider in order to get your message across clearly and succinctly.

The 4 Most Underrated Pages on Your Web Site
by Matt McGee - In this article, I’ll introduce you to the four most underrated pages on -- or not on -- your web site. These are the pages you’ve likely underrated, not realizing their ability to accomplish those two important goals: acquiring traffic, and converting it to customers.

The Search Industry’s Most Influential Events of 2006
by Eric Lander - It's common to look back upon the past year and reflect upon all that has changed through twelve short months. For an industry as dynamic as that of search engine marketing -- that's certainly true. While I'm a few weeks late on my own schedule, I still wanted to share what I saw as the five most influential changes of 2006 for those in the SEM game.

Why Use Keyword Research Tools?
by Jill Whalen - What exactly are keyword research tools good for? They are great for finding the keyword phrases that people are actually searching for when they would be looking for your products or services at the search engines.

Stop Putting the Cart Before the Horse with Social Media
by Jennifer Laycock - As best I can figure it, the search marketing world has gotten so internally focused that they're losing the ability to look at things from the traditional business perspective. They're finding things that work (and work extraordinarily well) within the realm of their own businesses and they're having a hard time understanding why those same tactics aren't going to translate to success for most of the folks looking to them for advice.

Website Analysis: Will Search Engines Draw a Blank or Give You a Rank?
by Derek Fulford - One of the most common website analysis questions asked by search engine neophytes is, "Is my site optimized?", followed by, "How can I tell?" and, ultimately, "How can I tell if my competitor's site is optimized?".

The Most Common Reason for Dropped Rankings: Duplication
by Ross Dunn - Repeatedly my sales and consulting staff find themselves explaining that using duplicate content can and will negatively affect search engine rankings and it is heartbreaking to see clients having to rebuild rankings due to such a simple mistake. As a result, I felt it was time to write this article and hopefully dispel many misled website owners.

Put a Search Box in Your Site Design
by Danielle Sahiner - Searching is one of the top activities for Internet users. It drives profits for the search engines as well as the marketers listed on the search results pages. A site search box on your company web site can increase profitability; yet site search is not all that common.

Being Successful by Committing to Constant Growth
by Stoney deGeyter - Someone asked me my definition of success recently and I responded: Life, Health and Happiness. Life and health are easily determined, but happiness is pretty darn vague, and I deliberately answered that way. What makes me happy?

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

2006 Internet Growth Trends
According to recent press release by ComScore, overall internet usage increased 10% from Dec. '05 to '06. Also includes information on top web destinations and category growth trends.

Interview with BOTW's Greg Hartnett
Aviva Directories Blog's Jeff Behrendt has an interesting interview with Greg Hartnett, President of Best of the Web Directory. From how Greg got started with BOTW to talk about the company's guerilla marketing to frank talk about the state of online directories, the interview will give you some good insight into one of the most well-known and respected directories on the Internet.

Google Maps Merges More Closely with Google Search Results
Maybe you've noticed that search terms that are related to local businesses are now triggering a new, expanded OneBox result at Google. If so, then you won't be surprised to hear that Google has announced a closer integration of Google Maps and Google Local into the traditional search results. Matt McGee has the latest on the announcement over at Small Business SEM.

Great Primer on Local Search and Small Businesses
Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends Radio (and a moderator at our own Small Business Brief forums) has a great article in Inc. Magazine right now that spells out the various ways that small business owners can use and profit from local search marketing.

No Need to Fear Hiring a Search Marketer
Are there shiesters in the search marketing world? Yep. Are their shiesters in EVERY businesses? Yep. Thus, you have to do what you'd do for any big project hire you're about to make. Research. Use common sense. (skip to "No Need to Fear Hiring a Search Marketer" by Jennifer Laycock)

SEM's Seven Year Itch, Part Three
What we're not particularly good at is stepping back and looking at the big picture. The how's and why's of search, and most importantly, the who's. While this is true across the search space, it's most apparent with the organic optimizers. Virtually no one in the SEO world has given a hoot about messaging, user experience or intent. It's all about crawling your way to top spot. (skip to "SEM's Seven Year Itch, Part Three" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Billable Rights of SEOs and Their Clients
Ever wonder just what you as a client and your SEO firm as a service provider have the right to expect from each other? You're not the only one. As such, Stoney deGeyter has put together a comprehensive list of "billable rights" for both SEM providers and SEM clients. (skip to "Billable Rights of SEOs and Their Clients" by Stoney deGeyter)

The Googlebomb Conspiracy: The Truth is Out There (Somewhere)
It doesn't take much to get the SEO industry from driving straight to Kooksville with their conspiracy theories and predictions of doom and destruction. After Google blogged about their algorithm change to combat Googlebombing, some in the SEO community came up with the theory that this will allow people to Googlebomb other websites out of top positions. That's not going to happen.

Good Link Baiting Advice from Eric Ward
Sometimes it takes an old school internet marketer to take a new school idea and break it down into practical, applicable advice. That's what Eric Ward has done with his latest link bait article over at Search Engine Land. In "Are You Linkbaiting the Right Audience" Eric explains how it's just as important (perhaps more important) to properly target your link bait as it is to come up with creative link bait.

Got a Question About Google AdSense?
Share it with Shoemoney! Jeremy Shoemaker is taking reader questions about Google AdSense to ask an AdSense rep on Net Income, his Webmaster Radio show. You can submit your questions to Jeremy and then listen live to get the answers on Tuesday at 6pm EST.

Paid Search Partnerships A La Carte
One of the biggest complaints that I hear about paid search advertising programs is the inability to narrow your campaign down to only the best performers. Sure, Google AdWords (and many others) let you cherry pick sites from the content network, but when it comes to things like search networks, it's pretty much always an all or nothing deal. That just doesn't work well for most advertisers, especially those that take the time to track conversions and ROI by referring site.

3 Simple Rules for Creating an Effective USP
Most business owners and managers don't understand how to create a truly unique selling proposition (USP). There are specific criteria to consider in order to get your message across clearly and succinctly. (skip to "3 Simple Rules for Creating an Effective USP" by Karon Thackston)

The 4 Most Underrated Pages on Your Web Site
In this article, I'll introduce you to the four most underrated pages on -- or not on -- your web site. These are the pages you've likely underrated, not realizing their ability to accomplish those two important goals: acquiring traffic, and converting it to customers. (skip to "The 4 Most Underrated Pages on Your Web Site" by Matt McGee)

The Search Industry's Most Influential Events of 2006
It's common to look back upon the past year and reflect upon all that has changed through twelve short months. For an industry as dynamic as that of search engine marketing -- that's certainly true. While I'm a few weeks late on my own schedule, I still wanted to share what I saw as the five most influential changes of 2006 for those in the SEM game. (skip to "The Search Industry's Most Influential Events of 2006" by Eric Lander)

Why Use Keyword Research Tools?
What exactly are keyword research tools good for? They are great for finding the keyword phrases that people are actually searching for when they would be looking for your products or services at the search engines. (skip to "Why Use Keyword Research Tools?" by Jill Whalen)

Driving Traffic to a New Blog - Start Commenting!
A question that I often get when I teach about blogging is how to drive traffic to a brand new blog. Obviously search engines can come into play here, as can sending links to other bloggers asking them to consider linking to a post you've made. The reality though is that the best blogs are the ones that attract new readers naturally and the best way to do this is through active participation in the comment field of other blogs.

Is Googlebombing a Miserable Failure?
For years and years now, I've used the "miserable failure" example as a way to show the extreme power of link text in my small business linking seminars. It looks like my explanation of "Googlebombing" may be on it's way out...at least it will if Google's new plans work out.

Stop Putting the Cart Before the Horse with Social Media
As best I can figure it, the search marketing world has gotten so internally focused that they're losing the ability to look at things from the traditional business perspective. They're finding things that work (and work extraordinarily well) within the realm of their own businesses and they're having a hard time understanding why those same tactics aren't going to translate to success for most of the folks looking to them for advice. (skip to "Stop Putting the Cart Before the Horse with Social Media" by Jennifer Laycock)

Link Baiting Is Not Viral Marketing...So What Is It?
Link baiting and viral marketing often get intertwined. After all, both tend to produce lots of talk and links on the Internet. There's even a lot of overlap...link bait can go viral and a viral idea can serve as link bait. When it gets down to it though, they're simply not the same thing. One focuses on building your brand and driving new customers, the other focuses on, well...links. As such, the two processes need to be approached in different manners. That begs the question...just how do you go about link baiting? Todd Malicoat has a great post on this topic over at Stuntdbl right now.

Free Guide to Keyword Research
As much as we can say links or the title tag or whatever is the single most important thing in search engine marketing, the fact remains that none of those things matter unless you are targeting the right keywords. The problem is, many small businesses simply have no idea how to get started with this sometimes daunting task. Enter Stoney deGeyter with a 22 page comprehensive guide to keyword research.

Website Analysis: Will Search Engines Draw a Blank or Give You a Rank?
One of the most common website analysis questions asked by search engine neophytes is, "Is my site optimized?", followed by, "How can I tell?" and, ultimately, "How can I tell if my competitor's site is optimized?". (skip to "Website Analysis: Will Search Engines Draw a Blank or Give You a Rank? by Derek Fulford)

The Most Common Reason for Dropped Rankings: Duplication
Repeatedly my sales and consulting staff find themselves explaining that using duplicate content can and will negatively affect search engine rankings and it is heartbreaking to see clients having to rebuild rankings due to such a simple mistake. As a result, I felt it was time to write this article and hopefully dispel many misled website owners. (skip to "The Most Common Reason for Dropped Rankings: Duplication " by Ross Dunn)

A Lesson in "Undetectable" Spam
I like to think that the search marketing industry has progressed far enough that there aren't very many SEO shops out there still trying to hawk their "undetectable" spam ware as a marketing strategy. That said, every now and then something pops up as a service offering that people claim will help you rank better while promising that the search engines will never ever EVER find out. Uh huh. I don't buy it. Neither does Matt Cutts.

The Value of Pre-Qualifying PPC Visitors
Patricia Hurst has an excellent piece over at Search Engine Watch today that discusses the need to craft your paid search advertisements to "pre-qualify" your clicks. With the average cost PPC cost running about $2.77 for B2B and $1.36 for B2C phrases, companies are being forced to learn how to target the best clicks rather than the most clicks.

Social Media Backlash Continues
Sometimes it's good to know that you aren't the only dissenter in the crowd. While I've mentioned that Kim Krause Berg and Alice Seba aren't as enamored with social media marketing as some of the other names in the search industry, Matt Bailey has also joined the mix with an outstanding blog post on the topic. In it, he lays out the issues of traffic verses conversion and talks about the need for social media to further mature before being embraced as a mainstream marketing venue.

Put a Search Box in Your Site Design
Searching is one of the top activities for Internet users. It drives profits for the search engines as well as the marketers listed on the search results pages. A site search box on your company web site can increase profitability; yet site search is not all that common. (skip to "Put a Search Box in Your Site Design" by Danielle Sahiner)

Being Successful by Committing to Constant Growth
Someone asked me my definition of success recently and I responded: Life, Health and Happiness. Life and health are easily determined, but happiness is pretty darn vague, and I deliberately answered that way. What makes me happy? (skip to "Being Successful by Committing to Constant Growth" by Stoney deGeyter)

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Search Engine Books & Services (Classifieds)

How to get top 10 rankings on Google and Yahoo!
Internet Marketing experts and computer magazines recommend this tool.

Skaffe.com Directory: Show off your website Express Submit today.
Quality directories like Skaffe.com offer you strong search engine exposure.

Sporge Directory – from Skaffe.com
Under new management! All new with low submission prices.

WoW Directory
Powerful and affordable directory marketing services. Submit your website today!

New! Team Skaffe Directory from the editors of Skaffe.com
Up to 4 links for every submission. Free submission for non-commercial websites.

Free SEO Tools
Thinking of buying SEO software? Then try the best SEO tools free first!

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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 Local Results Adds Maps to OneBox for all SE
Webmaster World - "You now see this on every search for local information. In addition to contact information and map locations, Google also shows ratings and access to reviews on the search results page."

Trustrank = Reverse Pagerank?
High Rankings Forum - "It's my understanding that TrustRank is simply how trustworthy any given page is, based on how trustworthy the sites that link to it are, as well as a few other factors such as the age of the domain, etc."

New AdCenter Beta
Search Engine Watch Forums - "From what I understand the MSN content network will be just the MSN properties for the foreseeable future. I believe they intend on expanding the content network out slowly, introducing small sets of publishers over a longer period of time. I think the strategy is to avoid the issues that YSM and G have had with content so they will not just open up content to a million ad pubs of varying quality. Although this means less traffic now, I hope it results in a large quality content network in the future."

Wordtracker Uk Service To Be Launched
High Rankings Forum - "Just received an email from WordTracker detailing a new UK keyword service to be launched at the London SES 2007! Surely this is good news for UK SEOs?"

Using Ad Diagnostic Tool to Test Geographic Integrity
Search Engine Watch Forums - "Suppose you have an AdWords campaign and it's geo-targeted to a 50 mile radius of downtown Dallas. Then two different groups of searchers will see your ad..."

Google Banner Site-targeted Fraud
Webmaster World - "This months edition of 'as the click fraud churns'"

Stop Putting The Cart Before The Horse With Social Media
Small Business Ideas Forum - "As best I can figure it, the search marketing world has gotten so internally focused that they're losing the ability to look at things from the traditional business perspective. They're finding things that work (and work extraordinarily well) within the realm of their own businesses and they're having a hard time understanding why those same tactics aren't going to translate to success for most of the folks looking to them for advice."

Building Trust On Your Website
Cre8asite Forums - "How do you convince a total stranger, one you met online two seconds ago, to turn over their hard-earned $ to a total stranger (your website)?"

Webinars As A Way To Build Awareness
High Rankings Forum - "I'm thinking about putting on a webinar (a SEO 101 for newbies) for my local market -- specifically geared towards small businesses. The obvious end goal would be to get a client -- but quite frankly, if I did not get any new business that would be ok. I 'd enjoy the experience. Has anyone else done something like this?"

Google Ranking Mystery - Is There a Rhyme or Reason?
Webmaster World - "Can any of you explain what kind of logic Google is currently using to determine a site's ranking, or is it just a roll of the dice nowadays?"

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Recent Conversations In Our Small Business Forum
(If you like our search engine news, you'll love our small business news.)

Have You Found LinkedIn Helpful?
"I'd love to hear from others if they have had success using LinkedIn and any tips they can share."

Why Hackers Love Small Businesses
"Over at The Small Business Trends Radio web site, an episode recently featured a discussion regarding why hackers love small businesses. I found much of the information contained in the episode to be quite surprising. Security is important, especially for small business owners - and you are more of a target than you may think!"

Amount Of Money From An Ad In AdSense
"Well I get about 10 cents every time someone clicks an ad on my site, but I read in some threads that some people are getting up to $1 per click! What exactly determines the amount of money I get for each click?"

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