Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-03-21

Hi Everyone,

I'm loving all the free webinars going on and I have two more for you to check out. Jennifer Laycock (our editor) is participating in both of them.

First up is the Microsoft Small Business Summit running this week. Jennifer will be covering the topic "Get a Higher Profile on the Web." Registration is free and, in addition to Jennifer's presention, there are number of other webinar topics to choose from.

Next week Jennifer will team up with Matt Bailey for the free social media webinar sponsored by ClickTracks. Register for "Social Media: Should You Digg It?" to find out if social media marketing produces conversions or just fleeting spikes in traffic.

Check out Jennifer's blog posts below for more details.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough



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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Meta Tag Includes
by Jill Whalen - I am trying to develop a way in which to use an include to allow me to place the Meta data in a separate file and then use the include to place in the head tag. I have tried this using an HTML file with the Meta tags in the file but Google does not seem to be able to pick this up on the site map verify stage.

Does your SEO Only Know SEO?
by Stoney deGeyter - The SEO industry has changed significantly in the last few years. Gone are they days when SEO focused exclusively on top search engine rankings. Today's SEOs, or at least any worth paying more than one dollar to, are focusing on many other aspects that were once traditionally left to more marketing minded people.

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Optimization
by Lisa Barone - As an average Web user, you don't have to be a fan of social media optimization. However, as a site owner, you do need to know that it exists and be aware of the effects and potential benefits it could have on your site.

Jimbo Wales and People Powered Search: A Long Shot
by Gord Hotchkiss - Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, is placing a fairly large bet that people can trump technology in the search engine game. He's putting $4 million (of other people?s money) plus an undisclosed "large amount" from Amazon on the line, betting that he can steal 5% of the total search market away from Google with his new project, Wikia.

SEO With Google Webmaster Central
by Susan Esparanza - With the release of Webmaster Central from beta, Google has made a strong statement that serious Web site owners need to be concerned with, and aware of, a range of data regarding their sites. Crawl errors, backlinks and page load times are all available for a webmaster to study and parse through in order to refine and integrate with their search engine optimization strategy.

How to Reduce the Pain of Switching Domains
by Ross Dunn - Transferring traffic and popularity to a new domain is a painstaking process that no one on the web appears to be immune to, or so Topix.net has realized. Topix.net is a leading news aggregation resource that has been in the news lately because they are planning to move their site from Topix.net to Topix.com after purchasing the .com for a cool million from a Canadian animation company.

Why Links Matter - Part 2
by Jennifer Laycock - In part one of the series, I explored the idea of links as the threads of the web, helping both search engines and humans find their way from one site to another. In part two I'll explain why search engines look to links as part of their attempt to replicate human judgement so that they can determine the content of the web site or web page.

Using the Internet to Bridge Marketing and Sales
by Scott Orth - One of the biggest problems faced by businesses today is the inefficient collaboration between marketing and sales teams. So when it comes to Search Engine Marketing – who owns it?

The Impact of Personalization on SEO
by Claudia Bruemmer - Personalization of search has been a growing topic of interest for a while, but has stayed under the radar for most people until now. With Google's widespread integration of personalization into standard search results, search marketers' attention has finally been firmly riveted on the issue.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts

ClickTracks Sponsors Free Social Media Seminar
Matt Bailey of Site Logic Marketing and I will be teaming up early next week to present this month's free ClickTracks seminar. The webinar, titled "Social Media: Should You Digg It?" will include Matt and I taking a common sense approach to social media marketing. We'll explore what social marketing entails, explain when and why it might work for your business and will dig into the log files of some sites that have experienced social media hits. Yep, we'll even delve into the great pork fiasco.

Microsoft's Free Small Business Summit
If you haven't already signed up, don't forget that Microsoft's Small Business Summit is running all this week. In fact, you can catch me speaking tomorrow at 2pm (EST) on the topic "Get a Higher Profile on the Web." Registration is free and you can attend a wide range of webinar sessions throughout the week.

Meta Tag Includes
I am trying to develop a way in which to use an include to allow me to place the Meta data in a separate file and then use the include to place in the head tag. I have tried this using an HTML file with the Meta tags in the file but Google does not seem to be able to pick this up on the site map verify stage. (skip to "Meta Tag Includes" by Jill Whalen)

Does your SEO Only Know SEO?
The SEO industry has changed significantly in the last few years. Gone are they days when SEO focused exclusively on top search engine rankings. Today's SEOs, or at least any worth paying more than one dollar to, are focusing on many other aspects that were once traditionally left to more marketing minded people. (skip to "Does your SEO Only Know SEO? by Stoney deGeyter)

Don't Miss eComXpo's Spring Event
The Spring 2007 eComXpo starts tomorrow and runs through Wednesday. It's free to attend the live keynotes and panels, though you'll need to pay $49 to register for eComXpo University where you can pick up the shows to watch at your leisure. You can also work your way through the online trade show where you'll have the chance to review information from exhibitors and to run live chats with their representatives.

The Politicos Enter the Online Marketing Realm
Last summer I wrote an article called "The Politicos Still Don't Get It" that talked about how many political consultants and campaign managers just did not grasp the full potential of marketing their candidates online. It looks like the 2008 Presidential candidates and their advisors are finally starting to understand the need to have good online reach.

Is Viral for Everyone?
There's an interesting article over at MediaPost today in which Laurie Peterson writes about the advertising industry's perspective about online viral marketing. Peterson explores whether or not agencies believe that every site is capable of marketing virally or whether viral marketing is simply a fad that will pass in time. The results might surprise you.

AdWords Site Targeting with CPC
Brad Geddes reports that Google is going to start allowing some AdWords advertisers to bid on site targeting campaigns on a cost per click basis. Previously, Google required companies to bid for site targeted campaigns on a CPM (cost per thousand visitors) basis which was great for branding, but not so great for companies that rely on direct conversions for measuring the success of their paid search campaigns.

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Optimization
As an average Web user, you don't have to be a fan of social media optimization. However, as a site owner, you do need to know that it exists and be aware of the effects and potential benefits it could have on your site. (skip to "The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Optimization" by Lisa Barone)

Jimbo Wales and People Powered Search: A Long Shot
Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, is placing a fairly large bet that people can trump technology in the search engine game. He's putting $4 million (of other people?s money) plus an undisclosed "large amount" from Amazon on the line, betting that he can steal 5% of the total search market away from Google with his new project, Wikia. (skip to "Jimbo Wales and People Powered Search: A Long Shot" by Gord Hotchkiss)

Backlink Anchor Text at Google
According to Google's Webmaster Central blog, Google has added anchor text to the back link information that's available about your site using the Google Webmaster Tools. This is a feature that webmasters have been asking for for quite some time and site owners that make use of Google's Webmaster Tools will likely welcome it with open arms.

Cool ABC Search Bling
Just a few weeks ago as I was packing to head out of town for a few days I had a knock on my door. Turns out, it was Mr. UPS man and he had a package for me. Now I get deliveries pretty often, but when an unexpected one shows up, it makes my day. (I love surprises.) So imagine my glee when I realized that just as I was hunting for something to pack my clothes in, I got a perfect weekend trip sized travel bag from our friends at ABC Search.

SEO With Google Webmaster Central
With the release of Webmaster Central from beta, Google has made a strong statement that serious Web site owners need to be concerned with, and aware of, a range of data regarding their sites. Crawl errors, backlinks and page load times are all available for a webmaster to study and parse through in order to refine and integrate with their search engine optimization strategy. (skip to "SEO With Google Webmaster Central" by Susan Esparanza)

How to Reduce the Pain of Switching Domains
Transferring traffic and popularity to a new domain is a painstaking process that no one on the web appears to be immune to, or so Topix.net has realized. Topix.net is a leading news aggregation resource that has been in the news lately because they are planning to move their site from Topix.net to Topix.com after purchasing the .com for a cool million from a Canadian animation company. (skip to "How to Reduce the Pain of Switching Domains" by Ross Dunn)

Why Links Matter - Part 2
In part one of the series, I explored the idea of links as the threads of the web, helping both search engines and humans find their way from one site to another. In part two I'll explain why search engines look to links as part of their attempt to replicate human judgement so that they can determine the content of the web site or web page. (skip to "Why Links Matter - Part 2" by Jennifer Laycock)

The Skinny on Duplicate Content
One of the most misunderstood issues in the search engine optimization world is duplicate content. From what it is to what impact it will have on your rankings to whether or not it will get your site penalized, small business owners tend to find themselves going in circles as they try to figure it all out. That's why Jill Whalen has put together a great article titled "The Duplicate Content Penalty Myth."

When LinkBait Goes too Far
The problem with the link bait mind set is that it so closely focuses on gaining links rather than on marketing your web site. That means that common sense and courtesy sometimes fall by the way side as the marketers mind swims in the potential of oodles of inbound links. Such is the "dilemma" being faced by the searcher marketer that promotes the rehab clinic Britney Spears checked into.

Using the Internet to Bridge Marketing and Sales
One of the biggest problems faced by businesses today is the inefficient collaboration between marketing and sales teams. So when it comes to Search Engine Marketing – who owns it? (skip to "Using the Internet to Bridge Marketing and Sales" by Scott Orth)

The Impact of Personalization on SEO
Personalization of search has been a growing topic of interest for a while, but has stayed under the radar for most people until now. With Google's widespread integration of personalization into standard search results, search marketers' attention has finally been firmly riveted on the issue. (skip to "The Impact of Personalization on SEO" by Claudia Bruemmer)

Don't Hide All Your Easter Eggs All In One Place
Right now Google is the 900 pound basket delivering a sizeable chunk of traffic (eggs?) to businesses on the web. That's fine and all but what happens when you lose your Google rankings for a day, month, year?

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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.)

How to Write Copy for Google Adwords
Digital Point Forums - "My CTR for my Google AdWords are really abysmal. I get plenty of page impressions, but no clicks. I have looked closely at relevancy of my keywords, and I don't think that is the problem. I think my problem is writing the ad itself, making someone want to click."

Google Introduces Pay Per Action beta
Webmaster World - "Pay-per-action advertising is a new pricing model that allows you to pay only for completed actions that you define, such as a lead, a sale, or a pageview, after a user has clicked on your ad on a publisher's site. You'll define an action, set up conversion tracking, and create ads that publishers in the Google content network can then choose to place in new ad units on their site."

I Am A Bot Bigot
Cre8asite Forums - "...they 'borrow' others hard work and bandwidth, without asking, to make a buck. I read IncrediBILL's blog to not feel so alone in detesting the scraper bot based economic system that is a growing part of Web 2.0."

Facebook's Value To Advertisers
Cre8asite Forums - "Advertising on Facebook is a challenge, but if you have a product that you know appeals to the college market (and yes, regardless of it being open to all, it's still primarily a social site for the younger demographic), then you will do better and people will click on these links. It is all about "writing for your readers" -- or in this case, advertising with the right goals in mind with the right audience in mind and knowing exactly what they want."

3 out of 4 Google Blogger URLS Are Spam - So Says Microsoft
Webmaster World - "Three out of every four unique Blogspot.com URLs that appeared in the top 50 results for commercial queries were spam..."

Traffic Dropped Off A Cliff. Why Is This Happening...
High Rankings Forum - "...if any visitors had something like Norton's Anti-virus/Firewall installed they will also come through as No Referrer. By default this and a few other software applications send a blank referrer, even if they've clicked through from a Google SERP page, a forum or wherever."

Webmaster Tools Now Shows Backlink Anchor Phrases
Webmaster World - "For a good while we could see the individual words used in backlink anchor text that points to our site. But now, Vanessa Fox reports this feature has been upgraded to show us complete phrases, and not just individual words. Nice move Google - thanks!"

Moving From A .net To A .com Url
Cre8asite Forums - "What happens when you switch your site from a .net to a .com, creating a 301 redirect from the .net to the .com? How do the search engines feel about 301 redirects? Is there a penalty associated with it? Is there any negative effect in the search engines to doing this? I know a very popular site that ranks very highly now, but I'm afraid after the switch that they may lose some of their search traffic."

Optimizing for a Specific Geographic Location
High Rankings Forum - "The way I typically approach keyword research for local phrases is to use what is shown in the various tools for the more generic version. On the belief that as a general rule if Generic Phrase A gets more traffic than Generic Phrase B does, as a general rule the local version of Phrase A should also get more traffic. This doesn't always prove to be 100% accurate due to local idioisms, but it'll usually get you in the ballpark."

Benefits Of Regularly Updating Home Page
High Rankings Forum - "How much benefit, in search engine terms, can regular updating of a home page's content actually achieve? On a weekly basis I rewrite the text on my homepage, I tell myself it keeping the page fresh for my visitors, but the truth is if I’m honest its purely for the benefit of search engines."

Google AdWords: CPM to CPC Site Targetting Now Available
Webmaster World - "Just got my invitation and turned a campaign to cpc from cpm. Really easy to change over, I think this is going to be really handy."

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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.)

I Mailed Out 5000 Cards This Week - How Long Till First Sale?
"I know, I am being very impatient. Still, to sooth my nerves could others share the success of their postcard campaigns? In my case I purchased a highly targeted list, created full color 4/4 5" x 8" cards featuring a limited time discount offer and mailed them out to my list this week."

Spam Coming Through My Contact Form
"I guess this is more of an annoyance then anything, but does anyone have any suggestions of something I can do to stop this...?"

Can You Trust A Blogger's Advice?
"Trusting bloggers is like trusting anyone else in the world--trust has to be earned. I know a lot of people are up in arms about paid per blog posting, but if there's a stipulation in the contract that says the review must be 100% honest, even if it's negative, and if the blogger makes it aware at the end of that post, not in a button/link that he/she was paid to review the product. I don't see the harm in it."

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