Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-09-27

Hi Everyone,

It's time to start planning for the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago this year. As always, they've lined up loads of great speakers but the one that stands our for me is Seth Godin who will be providing a keynote presentation. In case you aren't familiar with Seth Godin's work, you can check out his blog where he includes a list of his books in the lower left column. If his keynote is anywhere near as good as his books, it will be a fantastic presentation.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Choose Your Blogs Wisely
by Manoj Jasra - So you just started a new job in the "Insert Category Here" industry and are instantly expected to get up to speed so you can begin helping your team with billable work. You've heard that blogs are a great resource...

Can't Get the (Great) Content Without the Community
by Jennifer Laycock - Stoney has offered up a few articles here in the past week that aim to remind folks of the importance of community when it comes to building and establishing solid content. He took a lot of heat for the first one from the industry. Mostly, from folks who felt you couldn't have community without content. I've been thinking this concept over for the last week and I've got to say, I agree with Stoney.

5 Tips for Seasonal Search Marketing Success
by Jennifer Laycock - The Yahoo Search Marketing team has a post up this week reminding site owners that online holiday shopping increases pretty much every year. In fact, more than 80% of shoppers bought at least one thing online last holiday season. With the holiday sales cycle already gearing up, it's a good idea to start fine tuning your site and campaigns to drive more business. While most of the five tips Yahoo has to offer are a recap of the fundamentals of good online marketing, they're still worth reading and putting into action.

Search Engines and PDFs
by Jill Whalen - The search engines do indeed index and rank PDF documents these days. Basically, what they do is convert them into HTML and then index the information just like any other web page.

Content or Community, The Red Pill or the Blue?
by Stoney G deGeyter - In my last article I declared that content was dead and community was the new king online. The title of that post was a bit of an overstatement which wasn't backed up by the rest of the article. (It was...

Ask SEMpdx: What is the SEO Value Proposition?
by Todd Mintz - I've always believed the SEO value proposition to be so clear and obvious that if a person couldn't intuitively "get it" themselves, nothing I could tell them would help them understand. I asked my fellow SEMpdx members to successfully answer the question that I could never answer very well.

To Score a Link, Offer Something of Value
by Jennifer Laycock - Despite years and years of writing and blogging about the need to offer something of value in return for a link, people still don't get it. In the past week, my inbox has been absolutely slammed with link exchange requests and link schemes. Not a single one of the has offered me anything in return, not even good content. They all just want me to link to them. On the other hand, Stoney deGeyter scored himself a link to his online marketing blog by getting creative.

Is Universal Search a Small Business's Ticket to Google Success?
by Jennifer Laycock - There's been a lot of talk lately about what the shift toward blended and universal search means for small business owners. On the one hand, those increased opportunities to snag listings allow one company to snag even more real estate on the first page. On the other hand, those increased opportunities to snag listings allow one company to snag even more real estate on the first page. It's all good if you're the company scoring more listings, it's not so good if your competitor does it and pushes you off the front page.

It's What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 2 of 2
by Karon Thackston - by Karon Thackston - In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to Announce It!, an online candy-bar-wrapper manufacturer that was seeking professional help with their search engine copywriting. The primary problems were that the copy did not convey a sense of excitement or answer all the questions customers might have.

Sometimes Motivation Has to be Felt
by Stoney G deGeyter - Motivation is a funny thing. You can try to encourage people by telling them the benefits of this, that or the other, but sometimes it's just not enough. You've got to make them "feel" it. If you craft your message right, you can do just that using words only.

Search Engines for Kids
by Matt Bailey - I am constantly on a quest to find safe ways for my children to enjoy the internet, but not find all of the crud that is out there. I've found resources that have let me feel more confident about their browsing, but nothing is a substitute for parental involvement.

It's What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 1 of 2
by Karon Thackston - The old cliché is wrong. All our lives we've heard, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." That may occasionally be true, but for the most part it's what you say AND how you say it.

Hide and Speak: Recovering from a Social Media Disaster
by Jennifer Laycock - The challenge left to me at the end of part six of this series was how to gracefully recover from a social media attack that left Bento Yum (and me) reeling. Standing up and walking back in the door when you feel like you've been tossed out on your rear can be difficult, but it's all part of community life on the Internet.


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 or Community, The Red Pill or the Blue?, Annie from Adsense Annie wrote:

"Well, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, especially in the web world. On any big site where visitor interaction is allowed (forum, blog, review site), your community is creating your content for you.

"The thing to remember with managing a community is that it takes a lot of time (to delete spam, enforce rules, etc.) and the more successful you are in building that community, the more time it takes to manage. So you have to have that time to sink into that (or be able to hire someone to handle it for you). Some kinds of communities are decent at self-policing (wikipedia), but if it was my business site (and therefore my online image), I wouldn't count on that."

Also in response to Content or Community, The Red Pill or the Blue?, Halfdeck from Half’s SEO Notebook wrote:

"Stoney, how about we conduct an experiment where you guys on searchengineguide increase your daily uniques by not publishing any new articles for 7 days?

"Of course community is important. But I still don't see the point of separating the cheeze with the beef sauce - they're both parts of the same cheeseburger.

"We have a bunch of 'myths' in SEO: 'SEO is dead', 'domain authority is everything', 'PageRank doesn't matter', 'content is king', 'targeted traffic is king; ranking means crap' etc, etc, etc.

"I don't see anything useful I can take away from any of those generalizations.

"One thing about communities that's great is that community-generated traffic/content is scalable, while content generated by one person or even a group of persons is not scalable.

"So if you are looking for a scalable business model, community driven website is the way to go."

In response to Is Universal Search a Small Business's Ticket to Google Success?, Michael Dorausch from Chiropractic Blogs wrote:

"I have a local business in Los Angeles that's attracted new clients from as far as New York thanks to some totally amateur videos I've posted early last year.

"Time to get some more videos uploaded. Thanks for the reminder Jennifer!"

Although we've devoted a lot of space to responses to this article already, I couldn't resist including this response to The Idiocy of Google's Paid Link Crusade from Terry Van Horne at

"... I think this whole hullabaloo is absurd! Unlike all other methods that have been developed to manipulate PR paid links were around before the algo was developed. So, IMO, it is a legit argument to say that this is a mess of their own making and therefore theirs to clean up. Should SE's expect publishers to bastardize their HTML with non compliant attributes in the href in order to sweep up the mess they created? I have yet to see anywhere that Google has made any attempt to get the attribute added to the spec. One bonus to that would be that it would be controlled by a 3rd party who are less likely to add even more draconian uses for it. When have the SE's done any of this in any way that could be deemed successful. One need look no further than the Robots.txt protocol and NoIndex tags to see where this could end up.

"When it is spec compliant, then, I think we should consider using it, til then I say we all give them the one finger salute! Google will find, in fact it's already happening, that this attribute will be exploited also, so it's easy to see a time and place when Google will come back to the well with another likely lamer fix!

"Google loves paid links, so long as they are the ones doing the selling or getting an end. That, IMO, is the crux of the matter! I agree that publishers shouldn't feel they are owed but when these attributes are a must, and they start a snitch campaign that can be described only as a witchhunt you'll see a lot of publishers and charities loose the income which supports their efforts. What will their alternative be? Likely a SE's publisher program. IMO, one could also argue that this is a possible other benefit to SE's enforcing this abomination.

"I haven't seen any other mentions about this being non compliant but there's likely a good chance that I'm the only guy left in the industry who doesn't think Google wrote the spec.

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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.)

MSN Searchification
WebmasterWorld - "Apparently there are some very big changes afoot and MSN may come out a 'player' after everything is said and done with?"

Facebook - Is It Really As Addictive As The Media Makes Out?
Cre8asite Forums - "I have a Facebook page, (my niece persuaded me to do it). But, apart from finding a load of Cre8asite folks there, (after I downloaded my email address into the Facebook system to see who matched), I actually find it a bit of chore to go there etc etc. I'm sure it's a great business social networking tool, and for the average punter, (who has no other internet activities to occupy their online time), I'm sure it's a great bundle of fun. Is anyone here a Facebook addict? Do you log onto it whilst at work, and/or has your workplace banned the access to Facebook?"

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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.)

Is It Bad To Reuse Website Content For Our Newsletter?
"Why not put the content in your newsletter first, and then add it to the website after your subscribers have had a chance to benefit from it? That way your subscribers will feel special for getting exclusive content before it's available for everyone else."

Business Cards: Style Or Function?
"Is it better to have an incredibly memorable business card, even at the expense of inconveniencing the person you give it to? Or should standard "form" always win out over creative style?"

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