Search Engine Marketing News - 2007-11-01

Hi Everyone,

Life is too short to be serious all the time.

Have a great week!

Robert Clough

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Search Engine Marketing Articles

Composing the Perfect Letter of Surrender
by rclough - Matt McGee made a post on Sphinn asking us, and other publishers, to be open with our decision making process and to share what we planned to do regarding Google's nofollow stance. I think Matt had a good idea and being open with our decisions may help other publishers. So I've decided to publish some of our IM conversations to provide insight into where we stand.

Fighting Back Against Bad Pitches
by jlaycock - It's no secret that blogs and social media sites are a great way to get coverage of your web site or your products and services. In fact, teaching small businesses how to approach and pitch bloggers is one of the things I most enjoy writing about. The archives here are full of suggestions and blog posts pointing out the right way to approach people and the wrong way to approach people. That's why I thought it was worth mentioning Wired Editor Chris Anderson's controversial post outing bad PR pitchers.

Four Tips to Maximize Your Spend on the Google Content Network
by jlaycock - If you've been thinking about giving the Google Content Network another try, you aren't alone. John Ellis is testing things as well and offers up some helpful tips on maximizing your ad spend on the content network.

A Step by Step Plan on How to Market Your Site on Facebook
by dmastaler - If you've heard about Facebook and understand it can help grow your business but aren't sure how to get started, read on. This article is a step-b-step outline on how to market yourself on Facebook.

Nobody Want's Your Stinking Content... So Give Them a Community!
by sgdegeyter - On the web it is impossible to have a conversation without content. That is why content will never truly be dead. Every word written, every blog post, article, instant message, forum post, etc/ (the list goes on and on) is done via content. But content, outside of community, is not a conversation, it's merely a one-way communication. To paraphrase an old philosophical riddle, if someone communicates and no one is around to hear (or read) it, is he really saying anything at all?

Is Your Blog Riddled With Errors?
by jlaycock - The shift from static web site content to sites powered by blogs has been a blessing and a curse to many businesses. All that fresh content does wonderful things for rankings, repeat traffic and link generation. On the other hand, giving people who aren't trained writers access to post on your company blog can spell disaster in terms of punctuation and grammatical errors. It's with this problem in mind that Daniel Scocco writes an excellent post outlining bloggers' most common punctuation errors.

Still Intimidated by Online Marketing?
by jlaycock - Something I hear now and then from small business owners and small business in-house marketers is that they aren't afraid of marketing. They're just afraid of internet marketing. After all, most people have a general understanding of how things like the yellow pages and newspaper spots work. Even if they don't run good campaigns, they probably can't end up doing a lot of damage. To them, the internet moves at lightening speed and a bad campaign can turn into a true disaster. While these are valid concerns, they shouldn't be enough to scare you off.

Protecting Your Space in the Google Results
by jlaycock - One of the most common questions small businesses have when dealing with online reputation management is "how do I make bad results go away?" The bad news is you usually can't. The good news is you can often push them far enough down the search results they don't get looked at. That's why it's essential to capture as many of the top listings on your own as possible. Andy Beal over at Marketing Pilgrim offers up a great post today with information about protecting your brand and your name in Google.

Important Steps In 2008 Paid Search Planning
by pschaber - It's only late October - what could we possible be doing thinking about paid search for next year? Well, paid search isn't all about tweaking ad copy and keyword research. Paid search is also a component of your marketing plan that needs to align itself with your overall marketing goals. Now is the time to start that process.

7 Ways to Make Your Home Page a Home Run for Usability
by sgdegeyter - Your home page is the single most crucial page of your site. This is the page that will be the primary entry point for a majority of your visitors. It is also the page that sets the stage for the rest of the site giving visitors a birds-eye view of who you are, what you're about, what you can do for them, what you offer, and how they get the information needed.

adCenter Upgrade Offers New Features
by jlaycock - Microsoft's adCenter announced several new features over the weekend giving advertisers more control over their campaigns. Changes were made on the editorial side, to the campaign management interface and to reporting options. All of the changes are designed to give advertisers even more control over where and how they spend their ad dollars.

Ramblings of a Directory Groupie & Some Directory Freebies
by dmastaler - Using directories in your link building efforts is still a viable option from several standpoints. Here's my thoughts on the subject plus a roster of the directories we use and a list of discount promotion codes. Get some links, save some money. Cool.

4 Lessons in Online Reputation Management from a Small Town Grocer
by jlaycock - It's funny how once you get in the mind set of online marketing, you find examples in the least likely places. A few weeks ago while visiting my small hometown in Northeast Ohio I was surprised to find a great example of reputation management from a small company. While the example takes place offline, the four steps they took to manage their reputation could easily (and inexpensively) be reproduced online by any small business.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Twitter
by jlaycock - Up until last week, I had never had much use for Twitter. To me, it was just another inane example of people sharing far more than anyone wants to know about them. Then I stumbled across a fantastic use of Twitter and started having second thoughts. I still can't see the sense in letting the world know who is hanging out in your hotel room, but I am thinking there could be some unique applications for it.

Hey Vanessa: My Thoughts About Zillow
by tmintz - Zillow should create a much more meaningful process that will have a greater likelihood of matching buyer and seller. Put together a serious app where a motivated seller can let folks know that they would consider selling their home and in much the same manner that Priceline uses to get people to make near-market offers for hotel rooms and airline tickets, attempt to guide the seller into naming a realistic price. Then, buyers can register their requirements and the system can attempt to make meaningful matches between buyers & sellers.

A Little Ditty on the Google Fiasco
by jlaycock - No matter how hard I try, I couldn't get the first two lines of this song out of my head this past week. Figuring it was easier to give in than to fight it (how ironic) I had to sit down long enough to finish it off. Guess this will date me as a child of the eighties.

Search Engine Guide Publisher Responds to PageRank Drop
by rclough - Jill Whalen's article, Google's Paid-link Smack in the Face, presents a "get things back on the right track" opportunity for me because of the things she said about Search Engine Guide. Opinion or not, when someone with Jill's stature makes incorrect negative comments that portray our site and advertisers in a poor light, it's important to respond in order to sort opinion from fact.

25 Ways to DESIGN Your Way to Higher Conversions
by sgdegeyter - During the design phase of building a website all too often we find that the end result is really nothing more than what somebody decided "looked good". In some cases it's a combination (or compromise) of what a handful of individuals have determined to be "good enough". What many fail to realize is that web design and visitor usability go hand in hand.

Why You Need Custom 404 Pages
by sheseltine - One time, when working with an in-house IT manager I was told that his site didn't need 404 error pages because no-one should reach them. I politely explained to him that 404 error pages are needed precisely because people and search engine spiders will reach them, regardless of how well he'd developed the site.

Entering a Zvents Event
by pjahn - A couple nights ago I posted a random question on Facebook and noticed that Paul O'Brien from Zvents joined the "Local Search Central" group. I haven't had a chance to use Zvents yet, but then thought of a quick trip coming up.


Search Engine Guide Blog Posts
Jennifer Laycock Stoney de Geyter Diane Aull Debra Mastaler Paul Jahn Manoj Jasra Liana Evans David Wallace Patrick Schaber Sage Lewis
Featuring: Jennifer Laycock, Stoney deGeyter, Diane Aull, Debra Mastaler, Paul Jahn, Manoj Jasra, Liana Evans, David Wallace, Patrick Schaber and Sage Lewis
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Readers Respond...

In response to Nobody Want's Your Stinking Content... So Give Them a Community! , Tim from unknown wrote:

"Good points. We all know human nature balks (in the beginning) at anything new and maybe that's why some resist Mr deGeyter's 'heavy revy', but i think it makes perfect sense. Blogs, RSS feeds and the like are the somewhat new kids on the block so community/conversation naturally seems to be in line."

In response to Still Intimidated by Online Marketing?, Matthew from eMarketing In-a-Box wrote:

"...the truth is that you need a lot of hard work and invest in internet marketing to make some cash - so, Interent marketing has one thing in common with offline marketing - both cost money"

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Video Recap of Weekly News

Sage Lewis

Sage's Video Update - Wednesday, October 31 2007
by slewis - In this week's video news, Sage discusses Googley goodness, the upgrade in storage capacity for Gmail, Webmaster Central updates, AdSense revenue share numbers, Microsoft voice search, Live Mobile and The Office gets their Social Media groove on.

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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.)

Weekly Wrap of the Hottest Small Business Threads
Chris Logan shares the buzz from our small business forum.

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