Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-05-31

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Have a great week!

Jennifer Laycock



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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Small Businesses and the "Wow" Factor
by Matt McGee - First impressions are important for everyone doing business online, but maybe more so for small businesses that don't have the benefit of name recognition and consumer trust. That desire to make a good first impression, though, often leads the small business owner down the wrong path. They decide their home page needs some pizzazz, or a "Wow! factor", as I've often had it described to me.

Link Bait is the New Reciprocal Link
by Stoney deGeyter - Link bait and reciprocal linking programs have quite a bit in common. Without disparaging anyone who engages in link baiting strategies I do believe that many forms of link baiting are just a dressed up version of reciprocal links without the reciprocation.

10 Reminders for Usability Web Design To Make Site Visitors Adore You
by Kim Krause Berg - No matter how hard you try, there is always something wrong with your website. There is always a critic. I have a friend outside the USA who thankfully alerts me of my 404 error pages, which I appreciate, even though I told him over the weekend he was making me scream at my own inability to be perfect.

Meta Keywords and Descriptions
by Jill Whalen - My understanding is, if you have Meta tags with keywords and descriptions, this should also be reflected in your actual page content. But what if you have an ecommerce site and a homepage that displays mostly products and very short descriptions, and a menu with category names, etc.? In other words, not so much space for text "blocks."

Eternal Sunshine of the Domainer Mind
by Todd Mintz - I've focused some of my affiliate marketing efforts in the area of "lifestyle pharmaceuticals" and birth control pills aren't really too far outside of that focus. I also consider myself a "domainer-in-training" and I'm making a conscious effort to vet every article that I read for a possible domain name purchase.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts
Jennifer_Laycock Stoney_G_deGeyter Diane_Aull Debra_Mastaler
Featuring: Jennifer Laycock, Stoney deGeyter, Diane Aull and Debra Mastaler

Small Businesses and the "Wow" Factor
by Jennifer Laycock - First impressions are important for everyone doing business online, but maybe more so for small businesses that don't have the benefit of name recognition and consumer trust. That desire to make a good first impression, though, often leads the small business owner down the wrong path. They decide their home page needs some pizzazz, or a "Wow! factor", as I've often had it described to me. (skip to "Small Businesses and the "Wow" Factor" by Matt McGee)

Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should
by Jennifer Laycock - Andy Beal asks us whether Twitter is Good or Evil today. I can't say that I much care either way...I'm not sure blip blogging (oh, I like that term...) really has any intentions for the world other than to give us yet another way to make sure we're plugged in twenty-four seven. Thus, my question about Twitter is more along the lines of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Then again, I feel that way about a lot of over-hyped things...

It Slices, It Dices, It Does Every Task in the Kitchen in 10 Seconds or Less!
by Jennifer Laycock - I can't tell you how many times I've sat in a site clinic or a potential client meeting and listened to an ecommerce site owner try to get me to understand why they can't add any more content to their product pages. After all, how much can you say about a blender? It has five speeds, it comes in white and black and yes, it will crush ice into teeny, tiny smithereens. Besides, they tell me, why would they want to clutter up their product pages with something as useless as "more text?" It simply can't be done! Ahh...but it can be done and Katie Cummings does a great job today of pointing out why.

SEO Basics: When to Call for Help
by Jennifer Laycock - I've had quite a few emails this week from companies that are looking to get into the search engine marketing (specifically search optimization) game and most of them are making a common, but sometimes major mistake. They're waiting until their sites are built or their redesigns are complete before seeking out search engine optimization advice. Not good. While this is old news to most that have been around the industry for awhile, it's a business changing piece of advice for the companies that view search marketing as "just another form of marketing."

Google Experimental Search
by Stoney G deGeyter - Google recently added "Experimental Search" to their list of Google labs options. I spent some time playing around with it and found it quite interesting, to say the least.

Top 500 Search Engine Keywords Of The Week
by Robert - Jump directly to this week's list of the top 500 most frequently searched keywords.

Search Engines Playing 20 Questions
by Jennifer Laycock - I keep harping on it over and over (and OVER) again, but the truth is that search engines really do want to judge your site the same way that a human being would. It's fairly easy to point out examples of how this has worked in the past (specifically with the maturation of link analysis) but sometimes it's tough to make guesses about what direction things will go in the future. After all, there are eleventy billion ways that a human judges a site right now that a search engine can't. Well, Matt McGee has pointed out one possible option that could bring search engines more in line with the Pinocchio Effect in regards to local search.

Googling for Baby Names? Old. News.
by Jennifer Laycock - David Berkowitz writes a Search Insider column today that covers some old news. The idea of running a Google search before you name your baby. I mean sure, it's "new" news if you're the Boston Globe or the Wall Street Journal but surely I'm not the only person that did that very thing years ago before naming my own children?

Tons of Internet Marketing Tips
by Jennifer Laycock - That Wendy Piersall, always coming up with great ideas and great content for the small business owner and work at home types. She did it again this week, putting together a fantastic group project style post that offers up 26 Internet Marketing How To's for Every Level of Experience. From social media to free tools to search engines to press releases, Wendy's post offers up a plethora of marketing tips and is well worth the four cups of coffee that you'll drink while working your way through it.

Searching in Seattle - Citysearch Style
by Paul Jahn - This time, I'm searching for information. Citysearch has a newer facelift so it's time to put them to the test. It's been awhile since I've visited friends in Seattle and am planning to go there sometime this year, preferably during Bumbershoot.

Link Bait is the New Reciprocal Link
by Jennifer Laycock - Link bait and reciprocal linking programs have quite a bit in common. Without disparaging anyone who engages in link baiting strategies I do believe that many forms of link baiting are just a dressed up version of reciprocal links without the reciprocation. (skip to "Link Bait is the New Reciprocal Link" by Stoney deGeyter)

10 Reminders for Usability Web Design To Make Site Visitors Adore You
by Jennifer Laycock - No matter how hard you try, there is always something wrong with your website. There is always a critic. I have a friend outside the USA who thankfully alerts me of my 404 error pages, which I appreciate, even though I told him over the weekend he was making me scream at my own inability to be perfect. (skip to "10 Reminders for Usability Web Design To Make Site Visitors Adore You" by Kim Krause Berg)

Am I the Only One That Thinks Google is Getting Creepy?
by Jennifer Laycock - Ok, I'm all for building a better search engine. I think that there's amazing potential to personalization in search, though I don't see anyone really doing it as well as I'd like yet. I even think there's room for search engines to continue improving their ability to find and deliver the type of answers we're looking for. That said, I find it more than a little creepy that Google CEO Eric Schmidt wants Google to be able to tell me which job I should take.

Meta Keywords and Descriptions
by Jennifer Laycock - My understanding is, if you have Meta tags with keywords and descriptions, this should also be reflected in your actual page content. But what if you have an ecommerce site and a homepage that displays mostly products and very short descriptions, and a menu with category names, etc.? In other words, not so much space for text "blocks." (skip to "Meta Keywords and Descriptions" by Jill Whalen)

Eternal Sunshine of the Domainer Mind
by Jennifer Laycock - I've focused some of my affiliate marketing efforts in the area of "lifestyle pharmaceuticals" and birth control pills aren't really too far outside of that focus. I also consider myself a "domainer-in-training" and I'm making a conscious effort to vet every article that I read for a possible domain name purchase. (skip to "Eternal Sunshine of the Domainer Mind" by Todd Mintz)

What if You Lost Your Domain?
by Jennifer Laycock - Stop and think about it for a minute. What would happen to you, to your business, if you had to start from scratch with a new domain? All the link building, all the brand building, all of your credibility down the drain as you try to reinvent yourself. Sounds pretty terrifying, doesn't it? Well, chances are good that if you are a small business and you have hired a company to build your web site, you may be risking that very thing.

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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.)

Starting New Directory: A Member's Personal Experience
Webmaster World - "A cautionary tale of the rise and fall of a directory development project."

Can You Influence the Google Results Just by Clicking?
Search Engine Watch Forums - "If a large number of people did a search for a specific key phrase and kept clicking on a result that appeared in page 4, for a certain period of time, could it cause the site to move up in the Google results?"

How Can SEO Benefit My Company and My Clients
Cre8asite Forums - "I feel like I'm missing something somewhere though because I still don't have numbers. I have the 'if we do this and this we can increase our profits/leads/viewers' but not the 'by 67%' or whatever. I don't have pie charts and graphs and I'm not sure how to find or even go about creating that information. Can anyone offer any help?"

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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.)

Custom Stamps: Anyone Tried?
"The Postal Service began permitting consumers to design their own stamps in 2004, and added businesses to the mix in May 2006. Though the vast majority of personalized stamps are ordered by individuals children and dogs generally rank at the top of the list some companies are catching on."

Giving Up Creative Control?
"Does anyone have any good resources or just advice on how to train my mindset away from controlling everything about my business to simply being concerned with an overall standard of quality?"

Audit Of Doom!?
"While I have done nothing illegal, I am being audited and due to the bad state of my books, they are getting more and more unhappy with me and my business. I am seriously considering bringing in a tax lawyer and/or a chartered accountant to bring me out of this mess, but that is going to set me back a lot of money, which I have little of. I thought of fixing the books myself and getting an accountant to sign off on them, but I don't think I can do it. Any suggestions?"

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