Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-02-28

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Robert Clough



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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Multiple Path Link Building
by Stoney deGeyter - In just about any form of marketing, when something works it gets repeated to death until the strategy is no longer effective. Online marketing, especially link building, is similar. While there is no replacing the concept of building a good site worthy of links and letting people know about it, there are actually numerous strategies available for attracting good links through solid marketing efforts.

Online PR and Marketing: Strategies for Internet Visibility
by Brian Cooper - Today, PR and marketing strategies continue to evolve as the Internet has taken its place alongside these traditional mediums and become a mainstream marketing channel. The Internet is still in its infancy though and the methods of online PR and related online marketing strategies continue to change.

Vertical Search on the Rise
by Jason Prescott - People have diverse search needs that can range from very specific purchase behavior to informational searching on topics such as health or leisure. The Internet audience is varied, ranging from GenYers flocking to MySpace to baby boomers seeking simple pleasures and the fountain of youth.

The Importance of Content Distribution for Search Marketing
by Lee Odden - Many search marketers promote the idea that the key to a successful link building campaign is to create content worth linking to. However, if you create great content and no one knows about it to send a link, then there's a lot lost on the effort. "Build it and they will come" is not the reality with search marketing.

Your Online Marketing Campaign: Article Publication as a Branding Strategy
by Brian Cooper - An online marketing campaign, like its traditional media counterparts, is a branding strategy meant to generate sales. Tthese campaigns have include such elements as corporate and promotional websites, pay-per-click and banner advertising, and email newsletters, but one strategy frequently overlooked by marketing executives is publishing bylined articles.

Sitemaps Improve Site Value
by Lisa Barone - It is your most important SEO goal and perhaps the one most vital in determining the success of your SEO campaign. However, many search engines have trouble finding links buried deep within the structure of your site. So how do you make sure your pages are easy for the search engines to find? With a sitemap.

Latest Innovations from Yahoo!
by Manoj Jasra - Usually Google is the search engine known for its innovative new products. Lately, I've noticed some interesting developments from Yahoo! which have started to peak my interest. Yahoo! has had a slow start to 2007 with their latest statement of revenue falling short of financial predictions.

Five Steps to Effective Keyword Research
by Lisa Barone - Keyword research is a vitally important aspect of your search engine optimization campaign. If your site is targeting the wrong keywords, the search engines and your customers may never find you, resulting in lost dollars and meaningless rankings.

Is Effective SEO Always Good SEO?
by Jennifer Laycock - One of the nice things about the search world over the last few years was that we were starting to see less focus on "get rankings quick" style methods and more focus on what some have dubbed "holistic" search marketing. The idea was to stop focusing on finding the holes in the algorithm that would help push your site to the top of the rankings quickly and to focus on building sites that will rank well in the long term and that will attract qualified visitors that will convert to buyers.

Online Shoppers Ask for More Detailed Copywriting
by Karon Thackston - Allurent, Inc. gave the following details from their Online Customer Experience Survey. A total of 82% of consumers who participated said having a frustrating online shopping experience would make them less likely to revisit a retailer's site. That's expected. The survey continued by saying if the experience improved, visitors would be open to buying more from the offending sites.

I Have Seen the Future (Thanks to Regular Coffee)
by Gord Hotchkiss - Right now the majority of our access probably happens in two places: at work or at home. Mobile access is generally limited to checking e-mails right now, and even that is a truncated experience where we're scanning subject lines to see if there's any fires we have to put out.

Serving the Client's Best Interest is Not Always in the Client's Best Interest!
by Stoney deGeyter - We are in business to serve our clients, not ourselves. But the more I thought about this the more I realized that this sentiment is not entirely true. While we want our purpose to be client-centric we realized that in order for us to properly server our clients we have to serve ourselves as well.

Paint By Numbers SEO- An Imitation of the Original Is Never as Good as the Original
by Scottie Claiborne - There MUST be a secret formula for SEO, right? After all, an algorithm is just a mathematical formula! There's got to be a "best" way to do it that will guarantee a top ranking. People who think they've found the answer are dismayed to plug in everything in perfect order... and still rank on page 12 for their favorite keyword.

The Inevitability of Personalized Search
by Gord Hotchkiss - Whether or not you have Search History enabled, you get personalized search turned on by default. This means that Google will subtly change your results, based on various "signals", like what you have on your personalized Google Homepage and what sites you've bookmarked as a Google favorite.

All About Title Tags
by Jill Whalen - The title tag has been - and probably will always be - one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings. In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your rankings. And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more clickthroughs.

The Google Grants Program: Click Here For Charity
by Todd Mintz - U.S. Organizations that have 501(c)(3) statuses are eligible for a Google Grant. Non-profits in 12 other countries are also eligible. Organizations that have a religious or political focus, or organizations lacking a website won't be considered. Grants are made for a minimum of three months...they can run longer at the discretion of Google, but the length of the grant isn't stated at the time of approval.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

Tired of Your Yahoo Title and Description Showing up in Searches?
Web site owners that have listings in the Yahoo Directory (remember when Yahoo was a directory instead of a search engine?) have long lamented the fact that Yahoo liked to pull the directory listing data when displaying a site in the algorithmic search results. Unfortunately, there wasn't much you could do about it, even if the title was outdated. Until now. Danny Sullivan covers the change in policy over at Search Engine Land.

Google and Yahoo Continue to Grow, MSN Struggles
The latest Nielsen/NetRatings data shows that both Google and Yahoo continue to grow their search audiences at a nice rate, while MSN, AOL and Ask continue to struggle. Of the more than 7 billion searches conducted online in February, Google managed to snag more than half while Yahoo gulped up more than a quarter. MSN, AOL and Ask.com all carried just single digit shares of the market though each did experience growth over the number of searches they ran in February of '06.

Multiple Path Link Building
In just about any form of marketing, when something works it gets repeated to death until the strategy is no longer effective. Online marketing, especially link building, is similar. While there is no replacing the concept of building a good site worthy of links and letting people know about it, there are actually numerous strategies available for attracting good links through solid marketing efforts. (skip tp "Multiple Path Link Building by Stoney deGeyter)

Online PR and Marketing: Strategies for Internet Visibility
Today, PR and marketing strategies continue to evolve as the Internet has taken its place alongside these traditional mediums and become a mainstream marketing channel. The Internet is still in its infancy though and the methods of online PR and related online marketing strategies continue to change. (skip to "Online PR and Marketing: Strategies for Internet Visibility" by Brian Cooper)

The Reality of Corporate Blogging
It doesn't happen super often, but today I found myself nodding my head in agreement with one of Rand's posts over at SEOmoz. The post outlines several reasons why big (or big minded) corporations have a hard time succeeding at blogging. Rand does a great job of laying out the challenges faced when launching a business blog and explaining why the big guys often miss the mark. It's a good read for any business owner (big or small) thinking about launching a corporate blog.

Free SEO Advice at Search Engine Journal
Loren Baker has put together a team of volunteers over at Search Engine Journal that will be offering up a bit of free advice to one lucky site owner each week on his blog. From link building to paid search advertising to conversion issues, Loren's team plans to pitch in some sage words on a variety of topics each week with the goal of helping a business owner and allowing others to learn from that advice as well.

Vertical Search on the Rise
People have diverse search needs that can range from very specific purchase behavior to informational searching on topics such as health or leisure. The Internet audience is varied, ranging from GenYers flocking to MySpace to baby boomers seeking simple pleasures and the fountain of youth. (skip to "Vertical Search on the Rise" by Jason Prescott)

The Importance of Content Distribution for Search Marketing
Many search marketers promote the idea that the key to a successful link building campaign is to create content worth linking to. However, if you create great content and no one knows about it to send a link, then there's a lot lost on the effort. "Build it and they will come" is not the reality with search marketing. (skip to "The Importance of Content Distribution for Search Marketing" by Lee Odden)

The Paperless Office is (Not) Here
According to comScore, 65% of Bank of America account holders use their online bill pay service. In fact, B of A is dominating the online bill pay market. According to the study, Wells Fargo has the next highest usage at 18% and then Chase and Wachovia at 13% each.

Want to Break into the SEM Field?
I've said it time and time again at conferences. There are great search marketers out there in the world that no one has ever heard of. They aren't speaking on conferences, but they are driving conversions. They aren't billing enough to afford to fly first class, but they're still booked solid. They may not blog or write many articles, but they get the job done and do it well. Some of them would like to break into the spotlight...if you're one of them, your chance is coming up next month.

Get a Preview of SEMpdx Presenters
I posted last week about the upcoming SearchFest '07 event in Portland, Oregon that's being sponosored by SEMpdx. In order to gear up for the event, the group has been posting some "mini-interviews" of some of the scheduled speakers on their blog. If you are planning on attending, it's a great way to familiarize yourself with the speakers that you might want to catch. If you're not attending, it's still an interesting chance to get some words of wisdom from some of the respected names in the industry.

Yahoo's Panama Update Leads to High Ad Click Thru Rates
Data released by the comScore network this morning shows that Yahoo's new Panama ranking model for it's paid search advertisements is resulting in higher click thru rates. So long as increased conversions are going along with those increased rates, the news is a good sign for both advertisers and Yahoo.

Your Online Marketing Campaign: Article Publication as a Branding Strategy
An online marketing campaign, like its traditional media counterparts, is a branding strategy meant to generate sales. Tthese campaigns have include such elements as corporate and promotional websites, pay-per-click and banner advertising, and email newsletters, but one strategy frequently overlooked by marketing executives is publishing bylined articles. (skip to "Your Online Marketing Campaign: Article Publication as a Branding Strategy" by Brian Cooper)

Sitemaps Improve Site Value
It is your most important SEO goal and perhaps the one most vital in determining the success of your SEO campaign. However, many search engines have trouble finding links buried deep within the structure of your site. So how do you make sure your pages are easy for the search engines to find? With a sitemap. (skip to "Sitemaps Improve Site Value" by Lisa Barone)

Is Effective SEO Always Good SEO?
One of the nice things about the search world over the last few years was that we were starting to see less focus on "get rankings quick" style methods and more focus on what some have dubbed "holistic" search marketing. The idea was to stop focusing on finding the holes in the algorithm that would help push your site to the top of the rankings quickly and to focus on building sites that will rank well in the long term and that will attract qualified visitors that will convert to buyers. (skip to "Is Effective SEO Always Good SEO?" by Jennifer Laycock)

Latest Innovations from Yahoo!
Usually Google is the search engine known for its innovative new products. Lately, I've noticed some interesting developments from Yahoo! which have started to peak my interest. Yahoo! has had a slow start to 2007 with their latest statement of revenue falling short of financial predictions. (skip to "Latest Innovations from Yahoo!" by Manoj Jasra)

Five Steps to Effective Keyword Research
Keyword research is a vitally important aspect of your search engine optimization campaign. If your site is targeting the wrong keywords, the search engines and your customers may never find you, resulting in lost dollars and meaningless rankings. (skip to "Five Steps to Effective Keyword Research" by Lisa Barone)

Free Web Analytics Class at ClickTracks
I've mentioned Occam's Razor blogger Avinash Kaushik in past blog posts as someone that you should be reading if you'd like to learn more about maximizing the effectiveness of your web analytics. The folks over at ClickTracks recognize his smarts as well and as such, have recruited him to teach a free webinar next week called "Unleash the Power of Web Analytics." To go along with the webinar, the ClickTracks team will also be turning on advanced reporting features in the free ClickTracks Appetizer program for a full week. In other words, here's your chance to check things out!

Online Shoppers Ask for More Detailed Copywriting
Allurent, Inc. gave the following details from their Online Customer Experience Survey. A total of 82% of consumers who participated said having a frustrating online shopping experience would make them less likely to revisit a retailer's site. That's expected. The survey continued by saying if the experience improved, visitors would be open to buying more from the offending sites. (skip to "Online Shoppers Ask for More Detailed Copywriting" by Karon Thackston)

I Have Seen the Future (Thanks to Regular Coffee)
Right now the majority of our access probably happens in two places: at work or at home. Mobile access is generally limited to checking e-mails right now, and even that is a truncated experience where we're scanning subject lines to see if there's any fires we have to put out. (skip to "I Have Seen the Future (Thanks to Regular Coffee)" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Serving the Client's Best Interest is Not Always in the Client's Best Interest!
We are in business to serve our clients, not ourselves. But the more I thought about this the more I realized that this sentiment is not entirely true. While we want our purpose to be client-centric we realized that in order for us to properly server our clients we have to serve ourselves as well. (skip to "Serving the Client's Best Interest is Not Always in the Client's Best Interest! by Stoney deGeyter)

When Good SEO's Go Elite
I think Rand had a bit too much of the secret SEO sauce. His post "What separates Search Marketing Novices from Experts" is, well, just downright ignorant. I think of Rand as a true SEO business man but I think this post shows a lack of understanding of SEO as a business.

SEMpdx Plans SearchFest '07 in Portland
West coast readers might might be interested to know that there's an all day search engine marketing event in Portland, Oregon next month. SEMpdx is sponsoring "SearchFest '07" on March 7th at the World Forestry Center in Portland.

Paint By Numbers SEO- An Imitation of the Original Is Never as Good as the Original
There MUST be a secret formula for SEO, right? After all, an algorithm is just a mathematical formula! There's got to be a "best" way to do it that will guarantee a top ranking. People who think they've found the answer are dismayed to plug in everything in perfect order... and still rank on page 12 for their favorite keyword. (skip to "Paint By Numbers SEO- An Imitation of the Original Is Never as Good as the Original" by Scottie Claiborne)

The Inevitability of Personalized Search
Whether or not you have Search History enabled, you get personalized search turned on by default. This means that Google will subtly change your results, based on various “signals”, like what you have on your personalized Google Homepage and what sites you’ve bookmarked as a Google favorite. (skip to "The Inevitability of Personalized Search" by Gord Hotckiss)

(Some)Things You Wanted to Know About CSS (But Were Afraid To Ask)
Matthew Inman has just posted an excellent CSS resource over at SEOmoz. For those of us who are not designers but are found frequently editing HTML and CSS, Inman's 15 CSS Properties You Probably Never Use (but perhaps should) is a great resource to be printed and filed away for frequent reference.

Some Good Advice for Stolen Content
One of the biggest frustrations of being an online writer is how often you see other people stealing your content or your feeds and repackaging them as their own. While you could spend all your time hunting down email addresses and sending C&D letters, you're likely going to have a hard time shutting folks down as often as they spring up. With that in mind, Brad Geddes has some good tips on how to optimize your own content so that if (when?) it is stolen, you'll at least reap some rewards.

Google AdWords Change is a'Comin
Andy Beal over at MarketingPilgrim has the scoop on some upcoming changes to the Google AdWords algorithm. The changes are expected to start showing up as early as tomorrow and are designed to give advertisers more information about the quality score of their own campaigns

All About Title Tags
The title tag has been - and probably will always be - one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings. In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your rankings. And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more clickthroughs. (skip to "All About Title Tags" by Jill Whalen)

The Google Grants Program: Click Here For Charity
U.S. Organizations that have 501(c)(3) statuses are eligible for a Google Grant. Non-profits in 12 other countries are also eligible. Organizations that have a religious or political focus, or organizations lacking a website won't be considered. Grants are made for a minimum of three months... they can run longer at the discretion of Google, but the length of the grant isn't stated at the time of approval. (skip to "The Google Grants Program: Click Here For Charity" by Todd Mintz)

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Search Engine Books & Services (Classifieds)

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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.)

But Is The Traffic Any Good?
Cre8asite Forums - "So what about Social Media? Is the traffic worth it? Does it actually have any direct benefit? Seems to me that most articles on the subject talk about indirect benefits. You know, links. I have rarely, if ever, seen a mention of the incredible revenue generation potential of Social media sites, and you would think it would make at least some noise if true."

Text Links or Directory Submissions
Search Engine Watch Forums - "...the relative value of directory links and purchased text links, each in terms of helping sites to better rank in search results."

Bidding On Trademarks - Good Or Bad?!
Search Engine Watch Forums - "A discussion about Bidding on trademark terms in Paid Search. If you already have the number one position organically, should you bother? What about bidding on competitors' trademarks?"

Relative Vs Absolute Links -- & Site Vs Page
High Rankings Forum - "Eventually, the SEs generally will figure it out, but it can take them awhile. So, you will often hear people recommending that you either set up your internal home page links to point to www.yourdomain.com or simply to '/', which basically accomplishes the same thing."

Adwords: How to Increase My Rank Or Positions Higher
High Rankings Forum - "Bidding to position is usually a huge mistake. I love when clients say, 'I need to be first for this keyword.' Well, maybe you do if ego is your motivator, but if you want to make money, you'll bid what they keyword is worth and not worry about position."

Client Training Once Website Is Finished
High Rankings Forum - "Once you create a site for a client ...how much time do you spend 'training' this client on uploading new content to the server (provided they do not utilize a CMS)? Do you teach them anything about how to add content to their pages? Do you give them any guidance as far as basic HTML, CSS, etc...? Or do you do these tasks for them?"

Is It "Copying" When You Copy Facts?
Cre8asite Forums - "If another website has a huge list of restaurants in the country and it's broken down by type of food - Chinese, Italian, Greek, etc., would it be copying if I only used the Greek restaurants on my site and take this info straight from this other website?"

New Matt Cutts Patent Application and Personal Search
Webmaster World - "This patent seems to describe how the removal of a web document by personal search users might eventually affect the more general search results."

Google AdWords Quality Score Update
Webmaster World - "There will be a quality score column in the AdWords interface which has been in beta testing for some advertisers to show how Google perceive the quality of a given keyword & ad combination. Also an update to the quality score algorithm which is concerned with predicting lower quality ads better, dropping rank and increasing the costs on those poor ads and making it easier / less costly to get a new high quality ad into the listings."

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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.)

Need Help Marketing Podcast
"...my challenge is getting word out about the podcast. I have about 50 subscribers, but would obviously like to grow that list."

Buying and Selling Domain Names
"...has anybody been successful with the buying and selling of domain names?"

Word Of Mouth Marketing
"Positive word of mouth is very possible for new business owners. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there. Not just in the traditional sense of 'networking' but by way of your generosity, both with your time and your expertise."

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