Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-08-15

Hi Everyone,

More SES goodness to announce this week. Li Evans will be hosting the Women's Luncheon at SES San Jose on Monday August 20th from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. You do need to RSVP so jump to Li's blog post for all the details.

I also wanted to congratulate Kalena Jordan (one of our contributing authors) on the successful growth of her Search Engine College education programs. They announced their student enrollments are now extending to 30 countries. I remember when Kalena first began discussing her ideas about creating the Search Engine College so it's really exciting to see her program having such a global impact. Congratulations Kalena!

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

The Impact of Social Media on Search Rankings
by Susan Esparza - Over the past few years, the Internet has increasingly become a participatory social network where user-generated content is just as important as traditional advertising messages. This means your articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other comments on the Web are now critical sources of information about your company, your products and services. This phenomenon has given consumers a voice and weakened the power formerly held by advertising media.

You're Not Listening to Your Audience: The Flaw in Your Website Design
by Erin Walker - What would you say if I told you that your website design is costing you sales, prospects, and brand visibility? If you are a savvy marketer - and I'm sure that you are - you would want to address the problem immediately; after all, your company's website should be helping you make money, not lose it.

Danny Sullivan & The Formation of a Local SEM Organization
by Todd Mintz - The purpose of my writing this article is to attempt to show others the value of what we've accomplished and hopefully encourage like-minded SEMs in other communities to form their own local organizations. Dallas / Fort Worth, New York, and New England are the only regions that I know about that seem to be doing what we're doing in Portland.

Is Wikipedia Corrupt?
by Ross Dunn - My previous article about using Wikipedia ethically was based on an excellent article published at Search Engine Land called "SEO Tips & Tactics from a Wikipedia Insider" written by a Wikipedia Administrator with the pseudonym Durova. Since my posting I received a few comments on the posting that were obviously from people who felt very strongly that Wikipedia, and in particular Durova, had serious issues with ethics.

Competitive SEO Evaluations: Individual Keyword Phrase Analysis
by Fernando Chavez - Generally speaking, the more optimized content you have on your site targeting a specific keyword, the more likely it is that you will be viewed as relevant by the search engines for that keyword. Similarly, the more inbound links you have going into your site, the more likely it is that your site will rank well.

Know Where Your Ad Spend is Going - Know Your Clicks
by Jim Hedger - PPC Assurance gathers data telling you when and how visitors arrive at a landing page or website from any given ad in a PPC campaign. Offering a granular examination of all paid-click referral traffic, PPC Assurance finds and reports irregularities in your click stream or any deviance from the parameters set at the start or during the paid advertising campaign.

Why Do Sphinners Love SEO Nerds but Hate Pregnancy
by Jill Whalen - If you've been anywhere in the SEM/SEO-sphere over the past month, you've probably heard of Danny Sullivan's latest venture, the social news/community site "Sphinn." It's sort of a Digg clone, but specifically for search marketing topics.

 

Search Engine Guide Blog Posts
Jennifer_Laycock Stoney_G_deGeyter Diane_Aull Debra_Mastaler Paul_Jahn Manoj Jasra Liana Evans
Featuring: Jennifer Laycock, Stoney deGeyter, Diane Aull, Debra Mastaler, Paul Jahn, Manoj Jasra and Liana Evans

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.

The Impact of Social Media on Search Rankings
by Jennifer Laycock - Over the past few years, the Internet has increasingly become a participatory social network where user-generated content is just as important as traditional advertising messages. This means your articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other comments on the Web are now critical sources of information about your company, your products and services. This phenomenon has given consumers a voice and weakened the power formerly held by advertising media. (skip to "The Impact of Social Media on Search Rankings" by Susan Esparza)

You're Not Listening to Your Audience: The Flaw in Your Website Design
by Jennifer Laycock - What would you say if I told you that your website design is costing you sales, prospects, and brand visibility? If you are a savvy marketer - and I'm sure that you are - you would want to address the problem immediately; after all, your company's website should be helping you make money, not lose it. (skip to "You're Not Listening to Your Audience: The Flaw in Your Website Design" by Erin Walker)

The Big List of Web 2.0 Applications
by Jennifer Laycock - Getting into social media as a way to engage your customers and learn more about them? Heard of del.icio.us and Stumble Upon? What about Simpy, Tagtooga and Dogear? Maybe you've played with Feedblitz but have never heard of Blogburst or Blip. Think Dodgeball was a game you played in school? Perhaps you'd plan to swim in a Pooln? Or maybe Fotogopo sounds like nothing more than a tongue twister.

Implementing Analytics: Don't Forget the Small Stuff
by Manoj Jasra - The web analytics implementation process can often be a long and grueling process which includes numerous resources and environments. When you're trying to focus on items such as accurately trying to integrate with a CMS or ecommerce solutions, forgetting the little things can often occur. Here are a few items worth double checking before you declare the implementation 100% complete...

Head to Head on Blended Search
by Jennifer Laycock - Ask and Google have both been blending up search results from each of their vertical engines for a little while now. As of this past week, Yahoo is joining the fray. With blended search results thought to be the next frontier in terms of serving users the content they desire, the question may shift from who has the best algorithm to who has the best blended search interface. Lisa Barone over at the Bruce Clay blog puts the three systems to the test.

Writing for Readers, Skimmers and (Yes) Non-Readers Too!
by Stoney G deGeyter - There is a lot that goes into developing good content for websites, and there are a lot of schools of thought into how to develop text that is "just right" for search engines and customers alike. We've heard all the arguments about content before. "People don't read, they just look at the pretty pictures." "Lots of text is needed for SEO." "Not everybody skims text, some like to read word for word." "Not everybody reads word for word, some like to skim and scan." On the surface these appear to be quite contradictory points, but they are not. In fact, each is valid in its own way, but none of them negate the reasons for writing good content for each page of your website.

Hiring a Search Marketer Doesn't Have to be Scary
by Jennifer Laycock - While many small businesses spend time trying to learn how to optimize their own web sites, others choose the faster (but more expensive) route of hiring it out. The problem is, most small businesses know at least one person who has been burned by a bad SEO. Like lawyers and used car salesmen, the SEO field has attracted its share of shysters and that makes businesses a little worried about how to find someone who is both skilled and trustworthy. Greg Howlett offers up some good advice at Marketing Pilgrim about picking a search engine optimization specialist or firm to work with.

Becoming A Media Darling
by Debra Mastaler - A couple weeks ago I talked about surveys and how to use the information they provide in your link building efforts. I didn't really think too much about reversing the concept until this popped up in my Blog lines...

Landing Pages, Landing Pages, Landing Pages!
by Jennifer Laycock - The thing about fundamentals is that we need to remind people of them over and over again. When it comes to paid search advertising, "use landing pages" is about as fundamental as it gets. Still, many small businesses (and large ones too!) forget this basic requirement of a good paid search advertising campaign. Pole Position Marketing's Diana Adams reminds readers of this today at the E-Marketing Performance blog.

Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know About Geolocation
by Jennifer Laycock - If you've dabbled in local search marketing, you've probably run across the phrase geolocation once or twice. You may have a general idea of what it means (pairing IP address with physical location) but remain a little fuzzy on exactly how it works or even whether it works. You're not alone. That's why Chris Silver Smith has put together a great little article that explains all about geolocation over at Search Engine Land.

Working Keyword Rich Copy into Product Pages
by Jennifer Laycock - When I speak with small business owners that run e-commerce sites about the need to have "enough copy" on each page, many of them respond by telling me there just isn't enough information about a product to create any amount of content. I can understand how it might seem that way, especially if you are taking catalog content and shifting it to the web. Nonetheless, it's absolutely essential that these types of companies learn to look beyond "product specs" as their source of online content.

Danny Sullivan & The Formation of a Local SEM Organization
by Jennifer Laycock - The purpose of my writing this article is to attempt to show others the value of what we've accomplished and hopefully encourage like-minded SEMs in other communities to form their own local organizations. Dallas / Fort Worth, New York, and New England are the only regions that I know about that seem to be doing what we're doing in Portland. (skip to "Danny Sullivan & The Formation of a Local SEM Organization" by Todd Mintz)

Is Wikipedia Corrupt?
by Jennifer Laycock - My previous article about using Wikipedia ethically was based on an excellent article published at Search Engine Land called "SEO Tips & Tactics from a Wikipedia Insider" written by a Wikipedia Administrator with the pseudonym Durova. Since my posting I received a few comments on the posting that were obviously from people who felt very strongly that Wikipedia, and in particular Durova, had serious issues with ethics. (skip to "Is Wikipedia Corrupt?" by Ross Dunn)

Competitive SEO Evaluations: Individual Keyword Phrase Analysis
by Jennifer Laycock - Generally speaking, the more optimized content you have on your site targeting a specific keyword, the more likely it is that you will be viewed as relevant by the search engines for that keyword. Similarly, the more inbound links you have going into your site, the more likely it is that your site will rank well. (skip to "Competitive SEO Evaluations: Individual Keyword Phrase Analysis" by Fernando Chavez)

When Everything Competes for Attention, Nothing Wins
by Jennifer Laycock - There's an article today in the New York Times about how brands are working on new packaging designed to catch consumers eyes as they wander through the grocery aisles. The basic idea is that people are ignoring advertising. They get their news via feed readers, they digitally record their favorite TV shows and they surf the web with banner blindness. That's making it harder and harder for companies to get their messages across. It's also causing them to look for new ways to compete for your attention.

Google Changing Up PPC Ranking Rules
by Jennifer Laycock - Google AdWords customers likely already realize that Google looks at several factors in order to determine where an ad ranks or what an advertiser pays for their position. Currently, Google looks at things like ad relevancy, landing page quality and your click thru rate in order to decide how much your ad will cost you. In the next week or so, they'll be shifting things around a little bit, taking your maximum CPC bid into consideration as well. Search Engine Land's Barry Schwartz lays it all out.

How a User Becomes a Customer Evangelist (or a Loud-Mouthed Detractor)
by Jennifer Laycock - This past Wednesday I taught an eight hour course called "Search Engine Marketing Bootcamp." We really should have dubbed it "Online Marketing Bootcamp" since the afternoon focused on things like social media and viral marketing. We spent a lot of time talking about the need to spend time engaging your audience and your customers and how essential it is to build relationships. There was a lot of focus on using social media to identify brand evangelists and then leveraging that into a viral marketing campaign.

Underscores and Dashes are NOT Yet the Same
by Jennifer Laycock - You may have heard or read the buzz about Google reading underscores the same way they read dashes generated by a recent CNet column. (That would mean an underscore would be read as a space when Google spiders a URL.) Before you get too excited, you need to know that Matt has included an update on this news at his blog spelling things out a little more clearly.

Learn Social Bookmarking in About 3 Minutes
by Jennifer Laycock - If you're still trying to figure out this trendy new thing called social bookmarking, you aren't alone. I've heard more than one person ask why they would want to use a social bookmarking site when they could simply bookmark web pages within their own web browser. There are several answers to this question, only one of which is "saving and organizing the pages you like best."

Is Moving Worth the Hassle?
by Diane Aull - Are you considering changing your file names, or even registering a whole new domain, in an effort to get "keyword-rich" URLs? Before you migrate to these new web page addresses, let's take a quick look at some of the considerations you should keep in mind before making a move.

Know Where Your Ad Spend is Going - Know Your Clicks
by Jennifer Laycock - PPC Assurance gathers data telling you when and how visitors arrive at a landing page or website from any given ad in a PPC campaign. Offering a granular examination of all paid-click referral traffic, PPC Assurance finds and reports irregularities in your click stream or any deviance from the parameters set at the start or during the paid advertising campaign. (skip to "Know Where Your Ad Spend is Going - Know Your Clicks" by Jim Hedger)

Why Do Sphinners Love SEO Nerds but Hate Pregnancy
by Jennifer Laycock - If you've been anywhere in the SEM/SEO-sphere over the past month, you've probably heard of Danny Sullivan's latest venture, the social news/community site "Sphinn." It's sort of a Digg clone, but specifically for search marketing topics. (skip to "Why Do Sphinners Love SEO Nerds but Hate Pregnancy" by Jill Whalen)

Hot Comments In Our Weekly Newsletter?
by Robert - I thought I'd try something new in the current issue of our weekly newsletter and highlight a couple of blog comments from our readers. If you are a weekly newsletter reader, please use the comment form in this post to let us know if this is something we should continue to include in the newsletter.

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Readers Respond...

In response to Searching Online, Buying Offline?, Aaron from Prime Advertising & Design Blog wrote:

I just did a training with our online sales staff about this topic. I read a few reports that found 20% - 30% of all brick and mortar retail sales started online. Other industries are higher as over 80% of real estate purchases/searches start online. It’s all about research, gathering other opinions and comparison.

I personally research just about anything over $50 online, from product to dining to travel. I probably spent about 40 hours online researching and comparing my plasma TV purchase last year … I probably could have published my findings into a small book.


In response to Is Wikipedia Corrupt?, DL wrote:

Thank God someone is finally paying attention to what is really wrong with Wikipedia: the internal operations system. There is nothing to prevent administrators on Wikipedia from badmouthing businesses and persons with near complete impunity, due to Section 230 protection afforded the Wikimedia Foundation...

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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.)

Why Usability Is A Path To Failure
Cre8asite Forums - "If usability is such a base level thing that everyone knows, how come so any people get it wrong? How come so many people have trouble using a site?"

Is It Worth The Time To Move Header Code to the Bottom?
High Rankings Forum - "Is it worth anyone's time to redo a website that's in css to have the header and nav etc be in the bottom of the code and have it render at the top? So that the first thing in the view source is pretty much the content."

Google to Change AdWords Ranking Algorithm
Search Engine Watch Forums - "I just got notice that Google plans to change the promotion algorithm - whereby certain ads are "promoted" to the top slots above the organic listings. They plan to use maxCPC instead of actual CPC in the ranking calculations. Rollout is over the next few weeks. This should be interesting to watch. Has anyone seen any changes yet?"

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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.)

Can I Change Domain Name Registrars?
"I have registered a domain name, but I'm not satisfied with my registrar. Can I change registrars after registering a domain name?"

Keyword Rich or Brandable Domain Name?
"I have a problem with catchy and brandable... They take time... more time, and money. ...When it comes to marketing on the Internet, branding isn't as important (IMHO) as the experts make it out to be."

Parse .html Pages for Php Code
"I need to know if I'm opening up a can of worms . I know how to make changes to .htaccess file to get server to handle .html pages with php code. I know static .html page will load faster but having php capabilities gives me the ability to add cool features without having to go in and rename the page from page.html to page.php Other than the slight speed issue and probably a bit more load on the server, are there other issues I should worry about?"

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