Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-09-20

Hi Everyone,

I'm a big fan of online apps and our new web designer introduced me to a project collaboration service called Basecamp. It's a wonderful time saver when it comes to tracking either personal or group projects and there is no charge to use it if you only have one active project going at a time. Anyway, not search related but a very cool service worth checking out.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Boost Your Local Search Presence
by Jennifer Laycock - With small brick and mortar businesses starting to see the value in shifting some of their massive yellow page budgets over to online marketing, local search has become a hot topic. Unfortunately, many small businesses find themselves confused in terms of how to target those local visitors when they move their searches online. Ironically, this often leads them right back to the yellow pages...the online yellow pages. While there's something to be said for maintaining a presence there, it's important that these businesses learn how to better target the growing usage of the local search tools on popular search engines.

Google Grows Stronger by 7%
by Manoj Jasra - Hitwise announced today that Google accounted for 63.98 percent of all US searches in the four weeks ending September 1, 2007. Yahoo! Search, MSN Search and each received 22.87, 7.98 and 3.41 percent respectively. The remaining 48 search engines...

Adapting to the Influence of a Social Media Internet
by Kimberly Krause Berg - I love to study human behavior and the Internet. Social web behavior takes the cake. It's a marketers' never-ending party. Reputation management is something big business can no longer hope to control without also understanding Internet media

Google Gadget Ads Launches in Beta
by Jennifer Laycock - Andy Beal reports that Google Gadget Ads have launched in Beta to select advertisers through the Google Content network. The new ads will be available on a CPM or CPC basis and will run through Google's auction model. According to the information page for Google Gadget Ads, the new system aims to give advertisers new ways to engage the audience of their content networks. I've taken a look at some of them, and I see some interesting potential.

Lessons From Blockbuster: Don't Hide All Your Good Sales Material
by Stoney G deGeyter - In the last of my four part series about lessons learned from Blockbuster's Total Access program, I'll explore the need to make sure you're giving site visitors enough information to make the sale.

Content is Dead. Community is King Now.
by Stoney G deGeyter - I can hardly bring myself to say the old cliche about content being... well, you know. I think it's one of the original cliche's in the SEO industry. And as redundant as it has become, for whatever reason we keep...

Controlling Damage on Wikipedia
by Debra Mastaler - Marketing Sherpa recently released the second half of its two-part series on how to get your company listed on Wikipedia. This special report focuses on damage control and what you can do when incorrect information is added about your company....

Blogs With Deep Roots - A Great Potential Use Of The Blogging Medium
by Miriam Ellis - The text-based Internet seems to confirm that we will never again attain the vast capacity for memory retention reputed to our ancestors. Taken to an extreme, the Internet can tell you what your own name is if you ever chance to forget it. Yet, there is the very positive side of the Internet acting as an unprecedented repository for the memories and knowledge of generations of mankind.

Search Engines are PEOPLE!
by Jennifer Laycock - Most of you read that headline and either thought "I really don't want to hear about Mahalo again" or "No they're not! They're algorithms!!" Well I'm with you on the first one, but you couldn't be more wrong on the second. Algorithms are programmed by the people, for the people and umm...of the people. In other words, every day that passes us by, search engines do a better and better job of replicating human judgement about the quality and authority of web pages. So why do some companies still think you can automate the process?

How to Optimize for Yahoo!
by Ross Dunn - Algorithmically Yahoo is Google's much younger sibling. I say this because many of the requirements for a successful ranking mirror Google's requirement about 4 years ago and they sum up to one distinct fact; optimize your content boldly on Yahoo and you will be rewarded.

All I Need To Know About Link Building I Learned From Dr. Spock
by Diane Aull - By the way, that's Dr. Spock, the baby expert, not Mr. Spock, the Star Trek Vulcan. See, it occurred to me recently that our websites are often very much like our children. (I know I've sometimes referred to my sites as "my babies".) The issues we face with our children and our "web babies" are often more pretty similar -- and so are the solutions. So what's the best way to deal with an unpopularity problem?

Revisited: The Art of SEO
by Jill Whalen - As much as Google *pretends* to like SEOs by inviting us to parties at the Googleplex and posting on SEO forums, the bottom line is that they don't like us -- or rather, they don't like what we do. Google wants to find the best, most relevant sites for the search query at hand all by themselves. Perhaps someday they will actually be able to do that, but for now, they still need our help, whether they like it or not.

The Value of Social Media is Often in Listening
by Jennifer Laycock - Companies have been rushing to embrace social media in droves over the last year. While it's great to see companies embracing Web 2.0, I worry sometimes about the number of companies rushing in to talk rather than listen. After all, one of the greatest benefits of social media is having the ability to find out what your customers are talking about. Bill Balderaz points this out today over at The Buzz Saw.

Social Bookmarking: Skip Digg and Go Niche
by Jennifer Laycock - Aaron over at AjaxNinja has a great post this week exploring why niche social media sites are better than Digg when it comes to driving traffic and conversions to most web sites. While I've never been much of a Digg fan myself, (it's like news for the angry ADHD techie) I see true value in niche, topical social bookmarking sites. The trick is, finding the audience that best fits your content.

Interview with Search Engine Guide's Diane Aull
by Jennifer Laycock - Ok, so she's not "our" Diane Aull as much as she's Acroprint and Nine Yards' Diane Aull, but she is a regular writer and forum moderator here. Liana Evans has an entertaining (and information packed) interview with Diane over at Search Marketing Gurus this week as part of her Women of Internet Marketing Wednesday series.

Lessons From Blockbuster: Total Access Takes Another Minor Misstep
by Stoney G deGeyter - Blockbuster provides a perfect real-world example of a company struggling to get it right. Sometimes they get the DVD in the tray and sometimes they don't. (That analogy sounded better in my head!)

If At First You Don't Convert, Try, Try Again
by Jennifer Laycock - Earlier this week in my article about aiming for less competitive phrases in the early days of your SEO attempts, I mentioned the fact that most searchers conduct several queries and visit several sites before making a purchase. This action mimics offline sales patterns as well. Research has shown over and over again that it takes multiple exposures to a product before a consumer is ready to buy. Yesterday, Patrick Schaber over at The Lonely Marketer drew a simple, but pointed analogy on this concept.


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
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Readers Respond...

In response to Content is Dead. Community is King Now., Matt McGee from Small Business SEM wrote:

"You should've mentioned that you're only talking about e-commerce in this article. Try telling Darren Rowse that content is dead. Dude is making a mint because of content. Dude has grown a community because of content.

'But it's not about content for the sake of content, but content for the sake of community. Which means community rules.'

Actually, with regard to the user reviews and ratings you mentioned, I would argue the reverse: It's about community for the sake of content. Retailers allow reviews on their sites not because they expect a community of shoppers to visit every day to read the latest reviews and discuss their products with one another, but because it's a great way to get free, often high-quality, and usually keyword-rich content. To bring it in the industry, look at SEOmoz: Would the community exist without the content? Never. Content rules. :-)

In response to The Idiocy of Google's Paid Link Crusade, Rob Watts from Yack Yack SEO wrote:

"I think Google is sort of stuck in some kind of anti seo trench. Fighting these evil webspammers must have a drip drip effect. "Silence might sometimes be the better policy. "The thing that gets me with Google is that they like to open up this huge aspect of fear and uncertainty by saying if you do this on your site, then we might not like it and hurt you in return. We then get into this crazy adversarial thing and debate that often degenerates into a tittle tattle round of name calling and stuff like that. "The cat can't be put back into the bag, but at times it would be a whole lot better if Google just said a whole lot less. Let people do what they like and let users vote with their feet. "If Google want to restrict the power of tactic a or b, then let them do so, if they want to remove asite out of their index then again that is their choice, its their index, they really don't have to keep on shouting the odds and bullying everyone into their world view. "Of course to say that opens up bigger questions around monopilasation and restriction of trade, but thats a topic for another day perhaps!"

And, in response to another comment from The Idiocy of Google's Paid Link Crusade, Doug Heil from ihelpyou - Small Business Center wrote:

"Your comparison does not hold any water.. sorry. You claim that Google is in it for the money.. well duh? Of course that is true. Isn't your website in it for the money as well, and are not buying that text link for the money? Of course you are.

"This debate is truly silly. I wonder why NO ONE out there said one word to Google or Matt Cutts when you clearly stated TWO years ago in his blog that Google is seeking out "paid links" and will NOT give them value when they find them? So where was this SEO industry two years ago, huh? I could have told ALL of you 4 years ago about all of this,... and did so many, many times then, and have done so since then.

"I feel the industry is about 3 steps behind. :-)"

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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.)

The Value of Links from Blogs and Social Sites
WebmasterWorld - "I've been reading many, many posts about getting link value by posting on blogs or social networking sites. However, when I look at the source code for such sites, I see the links with rel=nofollow attributes. So, where's the value?"

Do I Have Too Much Content?
High Rankings Forums - "Is it possible to have too much content? Should I trim down some of my indexed pages, and focus more on our most popular products? Would this give them more relevance in the eyes of Google?"

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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.)

Video, PC Gaming And CRM Small Business
"Paul Johnston, President and CEO of Entellium, was a recent guest on The Small Business Trends Radio Show. Paul's interview was full of insights regarding the attributes of success and the parallels between gamers and sales reps. It was really insightful to hear of their findings with regards to the research they've conducted to develop their new small business software."

Blogs With Deep Roots - A Great Potential Use Of The Blogging Medium
"The text-based Internet seems to confirm that we will never again attain the vast capacity for memory retention reputed to our ancestors. Taken to an extreme, the Internet can tell you what your own name is if you ever chance to forget it. Yet, there is the very positive side of the Internet acting as an unprecedented repository for the memories and knowledge of generations of mankind."

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