Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-10-11

Hi Everyone,

With all the Google nofollow fireworks , we thought we'd do something fun... like remake our Small Business Brief news site!

For the last 3 years we've been providing a daily roundup of the best small business articles and it was time for some improvements. Namely, giving our readers the opportunity to get involved. Now, in addition to all the goodies we find, you will be able to submit items, vote on them and share your comments about each. You can even submit your own business articles, blog posts, videos or podcasts. We don't care who does the submitting because the readers will decide if they like the item and how much exposure it should get.

And in the spirit of keeping business fun, when you submit or vote on an item, we call it Fetching. Have you found a great blog post? Then Fetch It! Yeah, it may be a little hokey but it works well with our theme and we don't want things to get too stuffy. :-)

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

How to Optimize for Ask
by Ross Dunn - Ask has some incredible and unique features that I believe will slowly but surely steal search share from its more popular brethren. Consequently, it seems appropriate to provide some tips on how to optimize for Ask without sacrificing rankings on the other search engines.

4 Strategic Lessons to Avoid an Ill-Advised SEO Campaign
by Stoney G deGeyter - I recently made a mistake. I took on a client without first having fully vetted them and their prospects for success. Several months later, with a more accurate picture of the situation, things are not looking so bright....

Part Three - NoFollow is for Blog Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings
by Jennifer Laycock - In the first article in this series I outlined the history of the nofollow tag. In the second article, I took a look at some of the complex issues in the "are paid links ok or are they evil?" argument. Today I'll explore the options Google has in dealing with this problem and will explain why I think they're taking the wrong route.

Google is the Most Popular Search Engine in the World
by Jennifer Laycock - According to new numbers from a global search survey conducted by comScore, Google is the most popular search engine in the world. In fact, Google handles roughly 60% of world wide search. (37 billion) That number is even higher than the 50% of searches it handles here in the United States. The study looked at global numbers for other engines as well and listed Yahoo (8.5 billion), Baidu (3.3 billion), Microsoft (2.2 billion) and NHN (2 billion) as rounding out the top five.

NoFollow is for Blog Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings - Part Two
by Jennifer Laycock - In the first article in this series I outlined the history of the nofollow tag and it's progression from spam fighting tactic to the new "necessity" if you'd like to stay in Google's good graces. In this article, I'll take a look at whether or not Google's new policies will be enforced across the board or why the fact that they "warned us" doesn't matter in the slightest.

How Easy Could This Be? UnSubscribe Me!
by Stoney G deGeyter - Last month I posted about Barnes & Nobles tedious process for unsubscribing from their email newsletters. It was so complex that I honestly couldn't even figure out why I was receiving emails to begin with. By all appearances I was...

20 Ways to NAVIGATE to Higher Conversions
by Stoney G deGeyter - A site's navigation structure is extremely important in providing a rich, friendly user experience. Well designed and implemented navigation assists in the process of helping visitors identify sections and pages of the website that interest them and then in moving them in that direction. If you're able to implement a solidly developed navigation system on your site you'll also be providing strong visual cues to the depth of content you have available. This alone can be an immediate first-impression indicator of trust.

Building Relationships Works for the Media Too!
by Jennifer Laycock - More than a year ago I started pushing the idea that link building is relationship building. It's since become a cornerstone of my small business marketing advice. After all, small business has almost always been about networking and word of mouth marketing. It only makes sense to carry those concepts over to the web. Unfortunately, many small businesses limit their relationship building to business associates and social networking communities. Duct Tape Marketing's John Jantsch explained over the weekend why relationship building should also extend to the media.

Spend Your Money on Intent, Not Traffic
by Jennifer Laycock - Anyone who has played around in the paid search realm for any length of time quickly learns that paying for traffic is a great way to go broke. It's a far better idea to focus on paying for targeted traffic by getting in front of the folks who not only have an interest in what you have to offer, but have actually gone looking for it. That's the point John Marshall makes today in a post called "Never, Ever Pay for Traffic" at Market Motive.

Michael Gray on Link Baiting, Digg and the Paid Search Debate
by Jennifer Laycock - If you aren't already reading Graywolf's SEO Blog, you need to add it to your feed reader. One of the smartest (and most quotable) folks in the search marketing industry, Michael Gray has been offering up a ton of excellent insight lately. In fact, there's a great interview with Michael covering a range of advanced linking strategies over at Link Juicy right now.

NoFollow is for Blog Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings - Part One
by Jennifer Laycock - My daughter has a shirt that read "it seemed like a good idea at the time." I sort of wish they made it in larger sizes. I can't help but think it'd be a nice Christmas gift for the team at Google. After all, I'm hard pressed to believe that phrase hasn't popped into the conversation at least once or twice in the last year as their engineers sit around debating their algorithm and the impact of paid links.

Green is the New Black (We Said Go Niche, Right?)
by Jennifer Laycock - With everyone jumping on the bandwagon of niche marketing, finding the topics folks are most interested in BEFORE the rest of the world knows it is key. Matt McGee over at Small Business SEM points out what many social media marketers are already learning. Green (environmentally friendly) is the new black.

Imitation: it may be sincere, but it isn't always smart
by Diane Aull - It's true, you can learn a lot about web marketing and merchandising by looking at what the “big boys” do. But it might not be such a good idea to simply imitate everything they do......

A Round-up of SEO Copywriting Resources
by Jennifer Laycock - Michelle, one of the new bloggers over at E-Marketing Performance blog, has put together a great little collection of SEO copywriting resources. She lists eight books and nine copywriting blogs that every aspiring online copywriter should take the time to check out. Not a copywriter? That's ok, you should still check out the list. Anyone that's involved in the online marketing world needs to have a solid understanding of how to communicate with Internet users.

Nearly Twice as Many Consumers Trust Online Reviews over Search Ads
by Jennifer Laycock - Marketing is a tricky game. Walking the line between selling your product and maintaining the trust and respect of your audience can be tough. That's part of why word of mouth and viral marketing are so attractive. When it comes to common forms of online marketing, it's interesting to note that for the money companies being poured into paid search advertising may be better spent elsewhere.

You! With the Link! Quit Being so Darn Stingy!
by Jennifer Laycock - I honestly thought the internet was moving past this, but I guess I'm wrong. Wendy Piersall blogs this week about web site owners who refuse to link out to any site with a low Google PageRank. Apart from the silliness of trying to hoard your link power for yourself, Wendy points out that a site's current PageRank isn't reflective of it's future PageRank. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

SEMPO Releases In House SEM Salary Survey
by Manoj Jasra - The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO),, today announced it is launching its first ever salary survey of in-house search engine marketing professionals. The survey is open to all in-house SEM professionals whether or not they are currently SEMPO...

Reciprocal Links Are (Still) Not Dead
by Stoney G deGeyter - A while back there was quite a bit of scare mongering going around the SEO industry about how reciprocal links were dead. I had a potential client once tell me that so-and-so-big-name-in-the-SEO-industry told them that reciprocal links were dead. I've said this before and I'll say it here again. There is nothing wrong with reciprocal links.

Excellent Round-up of Social Bookmarking Lists
by Jennifer Laycock - Yesterday, I linked to a post by Chris Winfield that offered up some advice on finding the best social bookmarking and social news sites for your small business. In the comments, a reader asked where they could find a list of social media sites. As it turns out, there's a great post over at Cornwall SEO that includes more than a dozen social media lists, ordered by how recently they were updated.


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

In response to Green is the New Black (We Said Go Niche, Right?), Chris Henneghan from Schubert Communications wrote:

"You make a good point in cautioning marketers to avoid blogging and social networking if (1) their news is not legitimate or (2) they have not put serious effort into niche pitches and how to present them. I would add to that it often works better if the marketers themselves don't craft that messaging. We often advise clients (all business-to-business niche marketers) to write their own - with or without spelling and grammar mistakes. Readers/viewers can tell the difference between true industry thought leaders and "marketing speak".

"Our role as their PR council is to feed them opportunities in line with their area of expertise to make it easy for them to participate. We also feed them ideas for potential topics to help them come up with new blog postings. I feel that the best way to avoid "massive flaming" is for marketers to follow the same practices."

In response to NoFollow is for Blog Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings - Part One, Kirk Biglione from Oxford Media Works wrote:

"Thank you! I spent most of this morning ranting about this very issue (as I suspect many others have)."

"While SEO-types seem to be focused on Google's claim that paid links have an adverse impact on SERPs, non-SEO types might be inclined to think that Google is using its position as the dominant search engine to eliminate competition for advertising dollars."

"Face it, the money advertisers spend on text link ads isn't being spent on AdWords. And the organic search rankings gained from those text link ads also takes potential revenue away from AdWords."

"Google is essentially telling everyone who would advertise on the web that the only ads that are acceptable are the ones that are bought from Google -- anything else could incur a penalty. I'm not a lawyer, but this sure sounds a lot like the sort of business practice that got Microsoft into trouble not so long ago. It's only a matter of time before someone makes an anti-trust complaint against Google."

On the same topic... Although Google doesn't seem to have many supporters of the nofollow viewpoint showing up to comment, they do have Doug Heil from ihelpyou in their camp. Doug writes:

"I don't get the hysteria at all. The IHY forums discussed this exact thing about 2 years ago when the nofollow tag came out. We stated then what Google is finally doing right now. So what? Trying to trick Google into thinking your site deserves better positions because you can buy links is crazy thinking. It's the same thing as trying to trick google by showing googlebot different content than a browser would see. No difference. Both are search engine spam.

"If you want to sell links, and someone wants to buy links off your site, either use javascript for the link or use the nofollow tag. After all; aren't you buying and selling because of the referrals and advertising money you get? You certainly don't buy and sell links because of Google, right?

"The SEO industry has had their collective heads in the sand for a few years now on this issue. It's pretty easy on our end; abide by the Google guidelines, or don't. It's up to you just like any search engine spam you want to implement. At the same time, Google can do as they please as well. There is nothing new about this issue as it made perfect sense two years ago, and it makes perfect sense today as well.

"Where have you all been anyway?"

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Video Recap of Weekly News

Sage Lewis

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