Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Google, Yahoo! & MSN Join Forces on New SEO Tag

Yahoo! Search Blog » Blog Archive » Fighting Duplication: Adding more arrows to your quiver: "Avoiding duplicates in the search engine index has consistently been a key concern we’ve heard from webmasters and site owners. Over the last few years, we have made significant strides in finding duplicates in our crawler and index algorithmically and provided webmasters with better tools for controlling these. Today we are announcing our support for a new HTML tag, the tag, which helps reduce duplicates by documenting the preferred URL form to access each page.

When you use the tag, you can indicate the canonical URL form for crawlers to use for each page of content, no matter how it was retrieved. This puts the preferred URL form with the content so that it is always available to the crawler, no matter which session id, link parameter, sort parameter, parameter order, or other source of variance is present in the URL form used to access the page.

To do this, specify a tag in the specify a < ...link > tag in the < head> section of your page content:

< link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/products” />

The above tag indicates to the crawler that the URL it is present on should be represented canonically as http://www.example.com/products. This would eliminate the following duplicates:

http://www.example.com/products?trackingid=feed
http://www.example.com/products?sessionid=hgjkeor2
http://www.example.com/products?printable=yes&trackingid;=footer


Search Engine Marketing Blog by ineedhits: Google, Yahoo! & MSN Join Forces on New SEO Tag: "Its rare to see the three big search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN) working together on a SEO standard, but at the SMX conference this week, they announced unanimous support for a new tag to address canonicalization issues.

For those of you unfamiliar with canonicalization, here's wikipedia's definition as a quick intro:

'canonicalization ... is a process for converting data that has more than one possible representation into a 'standard' canonical representation.'
Let's look at a quick example:"

Labels:

Google

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mark Johnston

First day of my holidays so I will take a break from my usual format and to keep things simple will just say follow Mark Johnstonstop at a winner...he has roughly a 50% strike rate over the past few days.

Today's runners
- Holberg (UAE) 14:40 Newbury
- Roman Republic (FR) 15:50 Newbury
- Love Empire (USA) 18:50 Great Leighs
- Neuchatel (GER) 20:20 Great Leighs
- Tartan Gigha (IRE) 20:50 Great Leighs
- Fitzroy Crossing (USA) 21:20 Great Leighs

Good luck

Google

NetGuide - Popular searches have hidden traps

I think Google is unfairly singled out in this article:
NetGuide - Popular searches have hidden traps: "Written by Duncan Campbell
Wednesday, 08 October 2008
Internet criminals are using search engine optimisation tactics to promote links to free hosted blog sites in an attempt to dupe unsuspecting visitors into infecting themselves with malware and fake anti-virus products, say experts from Marshal’s TRACE threat team...

When an Internet user then makes a search using those popular terms they get multiple links to these hosted blog sites in their search results. If the user then clicks on the link, thinking it is relevant to their desired search, they are taken to a blog site with an apparent embedded video player. If the user clicks on the video player, they are prompted to load a ‘codec’ which surreptitiously loads malware, including fake anti-virus software which promises to clean non-existent viruses from the computer in return for their credit card details.

“Now the criminals are trying new methods of promoting their malicious Web pages that aren’t dependent on spam. Our advice is to not blindly trust results from Google searches, and be wary of these kinds of links to hosted blog sites. Also, if you are unfortunate enough to be infected by one of these fake anti-virus products, do not provide any credit card information or payment of any kind. Use a legitimate and reputable anti-virus solution from a name brand vendor,” said Hay."

Google

Friday, August 17, 2007

Search Engine Optimization Tips

Free Search Engine Ranking Tips quite a good primer on metatags for newbies to SEO..are there still any? ...even if the site on the whole is keyword stuffed - for adwords clicks methinks. lol

Labels: , ,

Google

Thursday, July 12, 2007

SEO just got harder

..and that means more opportunities for SEO professionals!

So this is probably a good time to get my search engine optimisation blog up to date.

Stoney deGeyter at
Search Engine Guide
reckons that Google's new universal search alters fundamentally the concept of "top search engine rankings". The new search includes far more than just good old static pages which makes first page ranking much more harder to achieve, but this also means there are now more ways in which to achieve a first page ranking.

Over at the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog Vanessa Fox outlines how webmasters can take advantage of universal search.

She describes Google universal search as "blending results from more than just the web in order to provide the most relevant and useful results possible. In addition to web pages, for instance, the search results may include video, news, images, maps, and books. Over time, we'll continue to enhance this blending so that searchers can get the exact information they need right from the search results."

So as user centric as ever but well worth checking out the tips for optimising your content for:

Google News results

News Archive results

Image results - esp re opt-in to enhanced Image search in webmaster tools, which will enable us to gather additional metadata about your images using our Image Labeler. This helps us return your images for the most relevant queries. Also ensure that you are fully taking advantage of the images on your site.

Local results

Video results

Search engine Guide newsletter July 2007 also has more articles, forums and blog posts about universal search.

Labels:

Google

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Yahoo re-spidering the web

Site Pro News
"Yahoo! have announced a global search update which will begin to re-index the web and result in immediate ranking changes amongst search results. The search update is taking place so Yahoo! can implement a new meta tag, allowing webmasters to decide how their page is shown in search results.The 'NOYDIR' meta tag is the latest to be supported by Yahoo! and will be used to inform the Yahoo! search spider not to show Yahoo! directory titles and descriptions in search results. If your website is included in the Yahoo! directory and you would prefer to have your natural page title and description shown, simply add the following to your HTML code:

< meta name= "ROBOTS" content="NOYDIR" > "

Labels:

Google

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

All Hands on Deck! Search Marketing is Crossing the Chasm

The future for search marketing looks bright...

All Hands on Deck! Search Marketing is Crossing the Chasm: "Search marketing is starting to show the early signs of a marketing channel that's ready to make the leap from early adopters to mainstream markets....In the past 3 years, search marketing has solidified its grip on the early adopter market, growing both in terms of number of advertisers and revenue by over 200%, but the total product solution that's required to attract a low trust pragmatist market is still being assembled....

Google still rules the roost, so they have the all important pole position going into the tornado. The trick will be to see if they can hold onto it. Remember, pragmatists love turnkey solutions. Is Google's assembling of auction based media buying opportunities the solution they're looking for?"

Google

Search Engine Marketing and the K.I.S.S Theory

I do not usually like acronyms but this is really one of favourites, 2nd after GIGO....so if your business model is gigo ignore the following...

Search Engine Marketing and the K.I.S.S Theory: "KISS acronym as it pertains to search engine marketing.

Keep your target market in mind
Improve your online presence with sound SEM strategies
Study your online competition
Set proper metrics"

Google

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Matt Cutts: Link baitimg and SEO » SEO Advice: linkbait and linkbaiting

The next big thing in SEO....er sounds a bit like have a unique & useful product ....

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO » SEO Advice: linkbait and linkbaiting: "Linkbaiting sounds like a bad thing, but especially if it’s interesting information or fun, it doesn’t have to have negative connotations. I hereby claim that content can be both white-hat and yet still be wonderful “bait” for links (e.g. Danny’s spam email analysis). And generating information or ideas that people talk about is a surefire way to generate links. Personally, I’d lean toward producing interesting data or having a creative idea rather than spouting really controversial ideas 100% of the time. If everything you ever say is controversial, it can be entertaining, but it’s harder to maintain credibility over the long haul. "

Andy Hagans - Linkbaiting Service: "I am now offering a link baiting service on a limited basis.
The cost is $4,995 USD"

Google

Monday, May 22, 2006

Search Engine & Directory Network: ISEDN.ORG

Huge lst of minor search engines and directoriesThe Independent Search Engine & Directory Network

Google

Help, site banned by Google - what to do...

Help, my site has been banned by Google: Article describes the "ultimate search engine marketing nightmare: Your site has been removed from Google's index and your traffic is falling" and goes through What to do if Google removes your search engine listings. It details possible causes - including the infamous issue of redirects on which we have a fair bit of experience...

Google

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Spotlight on Search Interview with Dan Thies of SEO Research Labs

Spotlight on Search Interview with Dan Thies of SEO Research Labs: interview with Dan Thies - AKA the keyword guy - covers "how he started out, his take on keyword research tools, common misconceptions about search engine optimization, search engines and SEO training..

keyword strategy was the most important part of search engine marketing, just as targeting is really the most important factor in any kind of marketing. This seemed like an obvious point to me, but nobody was really dealing with it in any kind of disciplined way. So I started writing about it, and talking about it, and people again responded.

In fact, the response was amazing. A lot of the folks who had bought my book were asking for help with keyword research, so I took a small sampling of my customer list, and emailed 300 people with an offer to do keyword research reports for something like $129.95. Well, 120 click-throughs and about 30 orders came in the same day, and I realized that there was going to be quite a lot of demand for it, if we could do it well....I found out that the "real market" was web designers, agencies, SEM consultants, and others who wanted to outsource their keyword discovery work.

Which makes sense – most of these folks are bringing on a few clients a month, and that means they only did keyword research occasionally....

The hard part of growing this part of my business is skepticism. If we tripled the price, people would be more willing to believe that real human beings are doing the work...

With either SEO or PPC, keyword discovery is just the first step. You have to take the search terms, all the little "modifier" words that come along with them, and weave them together into a broader search profile.

For SEO, this means mapping search terms to URLs, working search terms and modifiers into the copy, and building internal links to support all that. For PPC, this means coming up with a list of search terms, matching strategies (broad/phrase/exact), and mapping these to ad creatives and landing pages...

Doing PPC gives you a huge advantage over those who don't, because you can find out which search terms work, what offers people respond to, and do so quickly. What you learn from PPC can be applied to copywriting, SEO strategy, etc

list 3 or 4 of the most common misperceptions

that people think they need to pay for links strikes me as sheer madness...For example, in a shopping site, do the product pages within a category link to and support each other? If they don't do this, you're missing a huge opportunity for SEO and conversion, but go look at any shopping site.

people just not understanding how search engines work. Not understanding what they are capable of. Not understanding the logic behind it. A lot of goofy theories arise from this.

The Search Engine Marketing Kit you've written has become an valuable resource for many search marketers. It's particularly useful for anyone that wants to start their own SEO/SEM consulting business.

Resources: Matt Cutts might post something useful, Rand Fishkin might post some interesting links, Aaron Wall might hit me with some news that I didn't have....

Search Engine Guide and SEW are the two that kind of stand out, in terms of collecting all the stuff together so you don't have to dig too much."

Google

Yahoo! Search blog: Yahoo! Search Index Update

Trafficc to my Gambling site from Yahoo is now level with that from Google - before it was maybe 1/3rd max...Yahoo! Search blog: Weather Report: Yahoo! Search Index Update: "Yahoo! Search Index Update
We rolled out an index update last night. As usual, you may see some changes in ranking as well as some shuffling of the pages that are included in the index. Those who follow these weather updates may have noticed that they are occurring more frequently; this is the result of improvements to the indexing system"

Google

Friday, April 14, 2006

Google buys in classified ads expert

Will we soon see improvments to Google base as Google tries to capture the online small ads market?

MediaPost Publications - Google Hires Classified Ventures Vet - 04/14/2006: "GOOGLE HAS TAPPED SAM SEBASTIAN to head Google Local. Sebastian previously worked at Classified Ventures, where he served as senior vice president for sales and marketing at HomeGain"

Google

Yahoo- new "single button search" local vs non local

MediaPost Publications - Yahoo, Helio Target Teen Mobile Market - 04/14/2006: "YAHOO AND THE TEEN-TARGETED MOBILE provider Helio announced a partnership on Thursday to co-market mobile Internet services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the number of Helio users who download Yahoo services to their phones will factor into the equation, a Yahoo spokesman said...

Yahoo is also giving users of Helio phones first crack at its new "single button search" technology, which attempts to differentiate between local search queries and non-local queries. So, for example, if a Helio user searches for "baba ganoush," Yahoo's system should know to return a list of nearby Middle Eastern restaurants. If users search for "Britney Spears," however, Yahoo should recognize the query as geographically neutral....

Notably, the partnership indirectly allies Yahoo with MySpace, because the social networking site recently announced plans to also co-market mobile services with Helio. Thus, any of MySpace's over 70 million members who opt for a Helio/MySpace phone will be corralled into searching the Yahoo.

Yahoo is aggressively preparing its mobile battle plan, having earlier this year established relationships with AT&T;, Cingular, Nokia, and Motorola, among other companies. And just last week, Yahoo said it was expanding its relationship with BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion"

Google

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Why you still need Meta Tags:

Although Google may or may not use the tags when compliling the words for your sites search result listing Yahoo & MSN most certainly do use them, especially the description tag - if this answers the searchers needs then more click throughs should come your way. So, do not abandon metatags but do use them wisely to try to optimise the appearance of your site in the search engine results.

SiteProNews: The Importance of Meta Tags: Providing the Human Touch: "site's description in MSN starts off with the first sentence of the description tag. Yahoo operates in a very similar fashion. Many of the results on the SERPs of both search engines will use the content from the meta-tags heavily (as long as the pages have meta-tags at all).

Google is less predictable with regard to the use of meta-tags. Google often uses the title tag to determine the clickable link on it's results pages, but only occasionally uses the description tag content in the page summary that it displays....

The point that I'm driving at is that although the search engines probably have devalued the SEO value of the meta-tag to a great extent, that doesn't mean that it isn't important.

When people search for keywords in your industry it isn't enough to be #1 on the list of results. You still need to convince those humans to click on your link. The way to do that is to design the most effective page description that can possibly appear in the SERPs....Yahoo uses the first 25-30 words of your Meta Description tag in the site description it displays on your SERPs; MSN uses the first 15 or so.

Write out a 30-word description of each page of your website that is broken up into two parts. The first 15 words need to get across what the page is about - this is all the MSN searchers will see. The second 15 words should support the first - this will be visible to Yahoo searchers...

If you don't put meta-tags on your website's pages, then Yahoo and MSN (with a combined market share of around 45%) will just guess at what to put in the description of your website. They will pull phrases out of context (much the way Google does) from your site and slap them in there.."

Google

SiteProNews: The A to Z Guide to Getting Website Traffic - Part 1

Pretty sound article outlining 26 search optimisation techniques to build solid traffic from organic search - as long as you ignore some glaring contradictions ...The article announces in the first paragraph that submission to search engines is no longer necessary then in just the third paragraph - C) Avoid the Sandbox - states "Make sure it gets crawled by Google and Yahoo (either submit it or link to it from another site)".. I reckon submitting a Google sitemap is essential given their huge share of the search market.

SiteProNews: The A to Z Guide to Getting Website Traffic - Part 1: " new 26-step plan that meets the current needs of webmasters in 2006. Some of the old ones still apply (writing new content everyday, for example), and some don't (submitting to the search engines is no longer necessary), and we're here to tell you which is which! As you probably already know, bringing in traffic is not easy - it takes hard work, determination and lots of elbow grease. So if you're ready, roll up your sleeves and follow these 26 simple steps, and within just one year you will generate enough traffic to keep you busy for a long, long time!"

I particularly appreciate this paragraph
"Site Design
Use the "Keep It Simple" principle. Employ an external CSS file, clean up any Java Scripts by referring to them off the page in an external file, don't use frames, use flash the way you would an image, and no matter what, do not create a flash site. Do not offer a busy site with lots of bells and whistles to your visitors. Keep things nice and simple. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for and they'll have no reason to look anywhere else."

Google

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tasty spam example....

Diamond Taxi & Minibus Firm Newquay Cornwall (Airport Transfers) similar to some other sites which keyword stuff the page below the fold....url broken by me for obvious reasons...

Google

Monday, April 10, 2006

This Boring Headline Is Written for Google - New York Times

This Boring Headline Is Written for Google - New York Times: "How far can a news organization go without undercutting its editorial judgment concerning the presentation, tone and content of news?

So far, the news media are gingerly stepping into the field of 'search engine optimization.' It is a booming business, estimated at $1.25 billion in revenue worldwide last year, and projected to more than double this year...

News organizations, by contrast, have moved cautiously. Mostly, they are making titles and headlines easier for search engines to find and fathom. About a year ago, The Sacramento Bee changed online section titles. "Real Estate" became "Homes," "Scene" turned into "Lifestyle," and dining information found in newsprint under "Taste," is online under "Taste/Food."

Some news sites offer two headlines. One headline, often on the first Web page, is clever, meant to attract human readers. Then, one click to a second Web page, a more quotidian, factual headline appears with the article itself. The popular BBC News Web site does this routinely on longer articles.

"The search engine has to get a straightforward, factual headline, so it can understand it," Mr. Newman said. With a little programming sleight-of-hand, the search engine can be steered first to the straightforward, somewhat duller headline, according to some search optimizers...

Whether search engines will influence journalism below the headline is uncertain. The natural-language processing algorithms, search experts say, scan the title, headline and at least the first hundred words or so of news articles.

Journalists, they say, would be wise to do a little keyword research to determine the two or three most-searched words that relate to their subject — and then include them in the first few sentences. "That's not something they teach in journalism schools," said Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch, an online newsletter. "But in the future, they should.""

Google

Saturday, April 01, 2006

- IT Week

SEO is far more than offering "to list a customer�s web site on the top few hundred search engines every month" but I agree that it is an invaluable service if carried out correctly...the survey quoted shows the sixe of the market for optimising existing sites for better search results - half of all small business websites! Captured by the web hosting market - IT Week: "The variety of basic web offerings is huge and differs in complexity and price. Some are cheap at about �100 a year, while others boast more features as standard, and can range from �20 to �50 per month...

There are a number of simple add-on services related directly to the web site that can be easily sold on top. These include statistics monitoring, visitor tracking, additional database support and search engine optimisation. The latter lets you offer to list a customer�s web site on the top few hundred search engines every month. But it is one that many SMEs miss out on when they first set up a web site.

According to a survey by Fasthosts earlier this year, almost half of all SMEs do not submit their web sites to search engines, which can mean they are rarely found online. In addition, two-thirds of surfers admitted that they rarely look beyond two pages of search engine results, indicating that being online alone does not mean people will actually know you are there.

Michael says: �Search engine optimisation is a simple service to sell, and it is an important one. In 2006, no business can afford to be invisible online, yet many SMEs are. If you are not listed on Google, your web site might as well not be online.�

Google

Thursday, March 30, 2006

LocalLead.com

The Kelsey Group Blog: "There are maybe eight firms out there enabling Yellow Pages, Web hosts, verticals and newspapers to sell simplified search distribution to local businesses. One firm, which is doing well under the radar, is Kevin Dufficy's LocalLead.com. Dufficy was in on all this early but hasn't taken any VC money (but is now looking for angels), hasn't made any high-profile announcements and has kept things quiet as he plugs along � tortoise style � selling directly to local businesses. "

Only the home page and quick tour are accessible today....Local Lead: Search Engine Marketing for Small & Local Businesses

Google

Local Search Disappoints

Don't throw away the yellow pages phone book just yet...a new research report from Kelsey Group and Constat rates user satisfaction for various media sources which provide local shopping information. Compared tp 2005 local search neither gained nor lost with 39% of those surveyed rating them higly, still second after national newspapers - local rags came joint bottom:

The Kelsey Group - About Us - Press Releases: "New Research by The Kelsey Group and ConStat Indicates 70% of U.S. Households Now Use the Internet When Shopping Locally for Products and Services
Findings also suggest the Internet is poised to surpass newspapers as a local shopping information resource. " "Local search is making strides but it's still not satisfying the majority of consumers, and neither are other sources of local information, whether they're on- or off-line...

Of all of the sources for local shopping information,
newspapers satisfied the most respondents (45 percent)
Internet search engines came in second, with 39 percent of respondents rating them highly
Online shopping sites (16 percent)
Internet Yellow Pages (15 percent) provided significantly lower satisfaction
Worst were local newspapers' Web sites (11 percent) and online message boards (5 percent).
Neal Polachek, SVP of research and consulting at the Kelsey Group states:

"that consumers' exposure to new sources for local information, such as local search from Yahoo! and Google; social sites like Judy's Book and Insider Pages; and directory-assistance replacements like 1-800-FREE411, might be frustrating consumers as much as helping them.

"Sometimes fewer options are easier," he said, noting that each category of player has strengths and weaknesses, but no one service meets all of consumers' needs. "I think we're going though that process in trying to understand where they're going to find the information they need, when they need it, and I don't think it's completely figured out yet."

That's part of the reason, Polachek reckons, that consumers haven't tossed out their print Yellow Pages books yet."

Related research;
The Kelsey Group TKR - Document Display: "Global Yellow Pages, Local Search and Classifieds Forecast, 2005-2010
Charles Laughlin, Neal Polachek , 2/24/2006 summary of the key findings from this White paper

The definition of local search has changed with this years forecast. Local search now comprises Internet Yellow Pages, local commercial search and wireless directories."

Google

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Duplicate content penalty - how to avoid being banned

Two observations from a current project:

On multiple domains 301 redirects are a must - anything else would most likely trigger the spam detectors.
You don't want new links pointing to the redirected ones as this would appear most unnatural and possibly flag them as doorway spam. Having multiple domains parked and pointing to your main site using 301's is the only way to go.

A roundtable with Matt Cutts states "The same content should never be accessible from different URL’s…ever!

More broadly "Presenters at the SES 2006 New York session, Duplicate Content Issues, discussed the dangers of duplicate content. It comes in many forms, like multiple domains for the same homepage content; multiple links to several domains for one site; and "doorway" pages, according to Anne Kennedy, managing partner at Beyond Ink. "

The same conference review provides this list:
Jake Baillie, TrueLocal's president, described the top six duplicate content mistakes:

Circular navigation - having different paths through a site should be avoided. Publishers should define a consistent way of addressing page content no matter what navigation path a user takes through a site.

Printer friendly pages - if these are html pages, robots.txt should be used to block search engines from indexing them.

Inconsistent linking - calling directory pages in an inconsistent manner, like /directory and /directory/, should be avoided.

Product-only pages - it is not good for a site to have product pages and SKU pages; they should be consolidated if possible.

Transparent serving domains - use 301 redirection instead of DNS aliasing to get users to a canonical site from multiple domains.

Bad cloaking - Don't use cloaking scripts you didn't write. Make sure your cloaking script is returning separate content for each URL being cloaked."

All sound advise...

Google

Monday, March 27, 2006

Search Engine Optimization Consulting - Jill Whalen, SEO Expert

Jill Whalen offers personalised website audits for $5000
Search Engine Optimization Consulting - Jill Whalen, SEO Expert: "custom-written report that will address the issues unique to your Website:
Custom Search Engine Optimization Audit and Review
Complete SEO Copywriting Analysis
Keyword Research
Current Search Engine Rankings
Full Website Usability Analysis
Please note that our report provide specific advice obtained through Jill and her team's extensive knowledge of SEO; however, we are not experts at figuring out why your site might be banned or penalized. If that is what you're looking for, you probably should seek out a different SEO consulting company.
The fee for this in-depth site audit starts at $5000"

Google

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Zeal...to close?

Say Goodnight Zeal...: "After long being known as the 'free' way into the once-popular Looksmart directory, Zeal will be closing its doors next Tues" various rumours around this news, that it maybe a hoax or that they are working on Furl, a social bookmarking site....

Google

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

10 Creative Traffic Building Ideas

10 Creative Traffic Building Ideas: "In the end, it's not all about traffic, it's about giving the user something they think is of value. You could drive thousands of new people to your site, but if you don't give them a reason to stay, was it really worth it? "

Google

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Search Marketing: What's the Problem?


Googles share of the online search marketing market continues to rise and rise but a new report predicts that problems surrounding trust and click fraud in particular may curb growth prospects.



Search Marketing: What's the Problem?: "The media spotlight that shines so brightly on Google may be blinding many observers to problems that lie ahead for search marketing."

The Emarketer report Search Marketing: Players and Problems: "Key questions the 'Search Marketing: Players and Problems' report answers:

Why is Google so dominant among search engines (and will that continue)?

Are more individuals searching online (and how can marketers reach them)?

How should users' shopping behaviors affect search marketers?

Is click fraud as big a problem as some reports make it out to be?

When is privacy a legitimate concern for search engines and marketers?"

Google

Major Marketers Avoid MySpace

Myspace shunned by big biz as too dodgy...MediaPost Publications - Major Marketers Avoid MySpace - 03/21/2006: "SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE MYSPACE HAS grown to 60 million members, adding 8 million to million new members in the last few months alone, and now accounts for around 12.5 percent of all online display ads.

But major brand marketers continue to shun the site."

They do concede that "MySpace held some promise for advertisers, especially corporate-created pages. "There are areas where the content is generated by MySpace, and is totally sanitized and quite safe"

This speaks volumes about the mindset of big biz and tells us where any anarcho-punk edgy buzz worthy set up has the chance to find their niche and mate with that uncontrollable public so feared by the sanitizers.

Google

Nasty Little SEO Scam

New SEO Scam; SEOs Warning Google Will Ban Site: "New SEO Scam; SEOs Warning Google Will Ban Site"

Rusty brick warns website owners about a particularly nasty sales technique which hopes to scare you into using their SEO services by saying your site is going to be banned fronm Google unless you pay them to put it right for you. If you decline their offer you may get an email stating ""I make sure to report you to Google for link farming. I'm sorry. Your website will be banned and you will not be able to be found on Google not even with your company name."


Read the full story & sales patter at Cold Callin' Slick Talkin' -> High Rankings� Search Engine Optimization Forum the latest post states how such techniques should be dealt with "This isn't an SEO company. It's Internet fraud, possibly criminal. You can find the site by Googling some of the long text phrases that Leann has provided. They should be reported to the FTC"

search google with "PRICE QUOTE & Free Professional Website Analysis" to find the site

Google

Matt Cutts gets stuck into "SEO" software

Researching the sandbox for an upcoming site launch and although this is not directly relevent it makes amusing reading, Matt certainly cuts through the crap but does he sometimes protest too loudly?

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO � $79 SEO software?

Google

Saturday, March 18, 2006

MediaPost Publications - When Time Is On Your Side: The Power of SEO - 03/17/2006

Excellent article outlining an ethical organic search engine optimisation campaign. It states that "SEO strategies generally include the enhancement of a site's architecture, copy, and structure to ensure that search engine spiders are more likely to see and select your site's pages for search requests."

MediaPost Publications - When Time Is On Your Side: The Power of SEO - 03/17/2006: "ALTHOUGH PAID INCLUSION PROGRAMS AND paid search campaigns provide the most immediate marketing results, SEO strategies generally provide the most cost-efficient and the most consistent traffic. So, when you have only a modest marketing budget to work with, start by optimizing your site through smart SEO strategies."

"SEO Strategies: A successful SEO project usually requires changing site infrastructure, content, and linking strategies. Some of the strategies we implemented to optimize the visibility of our websites across all major search engines included:

Keyword research: we learned what keywords are most often used to access our sites and what content people most often search for within the framework of our sites.

Tag Authoring: we created a process the ensure that the most appropriate keywords and phrases were included in all meta tags, alt tags and title tags.

Content Enhancement

The results?
"We started seeing small results immediately and, after a year of focused efforts, we are now reaping larger rewards

SEO Results: In 2005, our monthly average search traffic from the top five search engines on all sites increased by 27 percent from our benchmark measure. And, combined across all properties, search engine rankings improved 43 percent for the targeted keywords. And, perhaps most importantly, first-page rankings increased 48 percent."

Google

Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 2 of 2

Copywriting Makeover: The Value of Being Crystal Clear: Part 2 of 2 Results from home page rewrite for visitors and search engine traffic....
"52% increase in unique visitors to the site
22% increase in overall sign-ups
86% increase in paid subscribers
Steady increase in phone traffic "

Google

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

SEOcial Networking � Search Marketing and Social Networks

SEOcial Networking Search Marketing and Social Networks: "Ever since Friendster established itself as the dominant �circle of friends� networking tool in 2003, younger Internet users have trended towards accessing the Internet primarily as a social space, as opposed to a purely informative space. This trend has been gaining momentum for a while but in the past year, a bulk of new users has accelerated adoption of the medium to the point where the most popular network, MySpace sees more traffic in a day than Google does.
Something about a statement that ends with, �� more traffic in a day than Google does.� makes a search marketer�s eyebrows rise...."


The classic way of viewing search engine marketing has users accessing the Internet using a number of unique applications they are comfortable with. Some use IE, some use Firefox. Some use Google while others use Yahoo. This group primarily accesses information by seeking it out from scratch. They search, and, if we have done our jobs properly, they find what we want them to. They connect, our clients do some business and we hope that visitor keeps coming back. The web, for many of its users is an intricate and never ending series of one-way streets. You can always get there; find what you need and leave, returning only when necessary.

Another way of viewing the web has users accessing the net through a social portal offering search and recommendation options. People who like each other (in the offline world) tend to like or do the same things. They tend to have similar interests that somehow draw them together. Now that they know each other, they begin to inform each other...

As a search marketing application, the basic concept of social networking is simple. There are multiple points of connections between almost anyone on Earth. Working from that basic truism, virtually anything imaginable is possible to find, share, enjoy, and track, providing a cross-reference can be found. With social network applications, user choices and preferences are saved, stored, shared and used to build rapidly growing chains of endorsements.

As those cross-references are established, the profile of a person, company or service provider, along with its traditional website increases in recognition and reputation. Think about how links affect rankings at Google but on a different, more chaotic sort of scale...Even as a new and highly dynamic wave of web users is introducing Wiki communties, Wikipedia, MySpace and other participation driven applications, organic search results as supplied by Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask and the rest will continue to be integrated into those applications. At the same time, user-popularity is becoming an important factor in the ranking algorithms of the major search engines. Google for example, uses bookmarks, personal references and repeat visits as a gauge of relevance and importance.

With the exception of our experimentation and research, StepForth’s services are primarily targeted towards the web as a one-way street. While we preach the gospel of blogging and RSS, and our SEO techniques, consultation and recommendations have been moving rapidly to encompass usability and accessibility principles, the opportunity and necessity to embrace social networking on behalf of our clients has not previously arisen.

Then again, we had not previously read statements that ended with, “… more traffic in a day than Google does.”

Google

When and Why You Should Secure Multiple Domains

Topical article re domain names....When and Why You Should Secure Multiple Domains: "When and Why You Should Secure Multiple Domains
By Stoney deGeyter..

There are many different reasons for purchasing multiple domain names, and each reason has its own set of benefits and uses. Buying multiple domain names is a great strategy that can be used to capture additional type-in traffic, secure other branding avenues you may wish to pursue, or simply to prevent your competitors from securing them...

Hyphenated Versions

I mentioned above that you should not purchase a hyphenated URL for your main site. For marketing purposes, however, there are sometimes legitimate reasons to do so. My business owns PolePositionMarketing.com and Pole-Position-Marketing.com. I purchased the hyphenated version simply to prevent a competitor from securing it and stealing my branding. I also have the option of using the hyphenated versions for other marketing efforts, but I don't recommend doing so unless you are fully aware of the potential ramifications.

Use Proper Redirects

When setting up multiple domains such as those mentioned above, it's important that you set up each one properly. Setting up domains improperly can lead to duplicate site/content penalties on the search engines which will ultimately be bad for business....Many websites employ on-page JavaScript or meta refresh redirects, or even worse, framed pages pulling in the main site. These methods are effective from the user standpoint but not from the search engine standpoint. The 301 redirect is generally the safest method of redirecting users....

When redirecting multiple URLs there is a neat little trick that saves hosting fees that you'll want to use.

Take one of the redirecting URLs and host it on the cheap. This is the URL that will be set up with the 301 redirect to your main URL.
Take all your other URLs and park them to point to the URL above.
With this method, you pay for only one additional hosting account ($5 at the most) and all your URLs will automatically flip the visitor and the search engines to your main URL.

In marketing, every little bit can help. Even if a redirected domain name only results in one additional sale every few months, it may not be long until that one sale is a significant one."




"

Google

Search Use Grows 39%

MediaPost Publications - Search Use Grows 39% - 03/06/2006: "WEB USERS CONDUCTED A RECORD 5.7 billion searches in January, marking a 39 percent increase from last January's 4.1 billion, according to new data from Nielsen//NetRatings. Search activity in January also increased by about 12 percent from December, when users conducted about 5.1 billion search queries.

Search giant Google accounted for 48 percent of all searches--up from 47 percent last year--while Yahoo captured 22 percent, an increase from last year's 21 percent. MSN garnered 11 percent of search activity, marking a slight decline from last year's 13 percent.

AOL Search was the fourth most popular engine--with 368 million searches, or 6.5 percent--while My Way Search, powered by IAC/Interactive's Ask, garnered 155 million searches, or almost 3 percent. The company's Ask Jeeves brand--which last week was renamed Ask--drew 131 million searches, or around 2 percent."

Google

Biggest search optimisation mistakes 2006

What's the biggest mistake paid search marketers are making today? How about the biggest SEO mistake? Will Pay Per Call really take off? Is click fraud over-hyped?
MarketingSherpa.com : Practical News & Case Studies on Internet Advertising, Marketing & PR: "Search marketing is changing so rapidly that it all feels a bit bewildering.
MSN to launch its new AdCenter... Rumors of a Google algorithm 'earthquake'... Yahoo!'s search team plotting changes to recapture more of the paid ad market. AskJeeves dumped Jeeves.etc etc

Keeping up with all of this is a full-time job. Thing is, you already have a full-time job. Plus, the news-of-the-day that's breathlessly reported in the press often doesn't truly impact your SEM tactics in a meaningful way.
MarketingSherpa asked 12 top search marketers seven basic questions about factors that really will affect many search campaigns in 2006...

Most common or biggest mistakes re paid search marketers strong

"Driving to landing pages that are not customized to search, AND the key-word or category searched on is the most common mistake...
Many search marketers invest money and time in Google only..
Not tracking well enough to take full advantage of paid search...
Lose sight of ROI

The biggest search engine optimization (SEO) mistakes

(Note: SEO is all the tactics from site design to copywriting that you use to get higher rankings in the "organic" listing on engines. Although you may pay consultants for SEO help, you don't pay the search engines a dime.)

often see that what the SEO team wants to have implemented is either denied or only partly implemented because technology invented or purchased by IT staff will not easily accommodate the needed SEO changes, and instead of supporting the SEO effort the information technology (web design) team will fight the changes.... many IT departments simply do not want to change their systems because they do not understand the importance of SEO. Until the entire web team is taught to 'think search engine' and every member gets it, SEO will always be a battle, and most often a very frustrating losing battle.

Trying to optimize for too many terms and not focusing on the top volume and highest converting phrases.

By not being involved at the strategic level they suggest optimization tactics that do not respect the branding and positioning of the company they are working for. This leads to search results that are embarrassing or misleading...

Participating in inappropriate and often damaging linking scams in hopes of improving their search rankings, and ending up banned from an engine completely. Second biggest mistake: Outsourcing to a firm that does the same. They can walk away from the damage done, you can't."

"The most common mistakes we see are: not planning for the traffic drops associated with major site re-designs by increasing paid search and/or re-launching during slower traffic times; not having solid analytics in place to understand the business outcomes and not just traffic arriving at your site from organic search; and looking at search as its own initiative rather than a part of your online marketing mix."

what's the best competitive tactic to improving search ROI for 2006 for clients who have expanded their keywords as far really as it's worth going?
"A keyword list is a living entity. It should be constantly refined according to seasonality and be consistent with trends in market and human search behavior.

Using press releases to get search engine traction -- this appears to be the hot trend of 2006"

There are techniques in using appropriate keywords and link architecture in press releases that work, but the best practical advice I can offer is make sure you have something newsworthy before issuing a press release.

"We've actually seen this as a successful strategy since 2004, but now it seems like everyone's getting on the bandwagon

Pay Per Call -- is this going to get enough traction to be a major segment in 2006? Who should be testing it, and who should not?
"May not have enough revenues in 2006 to be 'major,' but it will gain further momentum.

Linking strategies -- getting hot again for SEO (shades of 1996), got a practical tip or stuff to avoid on this front?

"Please please, please know the pros and cons of any tactic you decide to try. The engines are actively looking to identify linking tactics driven by SEO motives. The best strategies for one site are not the best strategies for every site. Holistic Linking will become much more vital."
-- Eric Ward, President, EricWard.com

"Too many clients are obsessed with the number of links pointing to their sites. Focus instead on the quality, relevance of content and anchor text of the links. A small number of big wins will beat a large number of insignificant and irrelevant links every time."
Fredrick Marckini, CEO iProspect

Are you alarmed by any trends in Search Marketing Industry these days?

ever-present click fraud issue
the speed at which innovation is happening. Every day, there are new developments with local search, mobile search, video search, increased targeting, personalization, and emerging technologies.
With too many organizations, the search team witnesses a spike in search referrals and only later learns that an off-line marketing campaign hit. Organizations must integrate their efforts and keep the search firm in the loop if they want to win in the new digital marketplace."

Google

Biggest search optimisation mistakes 2006

What's the biggest mistake paid search marketers are making today? How about the biggest SEO mistake? Will Pay Per Call really take off? Is click fraud over-hyped?
MarketingSherpa.com : Practical News & Case Studies on Internet Advertising, Marketing & PR: "Search marketing is changing so rapidly that it all feels a bit bewildering.
MSN to launch its new AdCenter... Rumors of a Google algorithm 'earthquake'... Yahoo!'s search team plotting changes to recapture more of the paid ad market. AskJeeves dumped Jeeves.etc etc

Keeping up with all of this is a full-time job. Thing is, you already have a full-time job. Plus, the news-of-the-day that's breathlessly reported in the press often doesn't truly impact your SEM tactics in a meaningful way.
MarketingSherpa asked 12 top search marketers seven basic questions about factors that really will affect many search campaigns in 2006...

Most common or biggest mistakes re paid search marketers strong>
"Driving to landing pages that are not customized to search, AND the key-word or category searched on is the most common mistake...
Many search marketers invest money and time in Google only..
Not tracking well enough to take full advantage of paid search...
Lose sight of ROI

The biggest search engine optimization (SEO) mistakes

(Note: SEO is all the tactics from site design to copywriting that you use to get higher rankings in the "organic" listing on engines. Although you may pay consultants for SEO help, you don't pay the search engines a dime.)

often see that what the SEO team wants to have implemented is either denied or only partly implemented because technology invented or purchased by IT staff will not easily accommodate the needed SEO changes, and instead of supporting the SEO effort the information technology (web design) team will fight the changes.... many IT departments simply do not want to change their systems because they do not understand the importance of SEO. Until the entire web team is taught to 'think search engine' and every member gets it, SEO will always be a battle, and most often a very frustrating losing battle.

Trying to optimize for too many terms and not focusing on the top volume and highest converting phrases.

By not being involved at the strategic level they suggest optimization tactics that do not respect the branding and positioning of the company they are working for. This leads to search results that are embarrassing or misleading...

Participating in inappropriate and often damaging linking scams in hopes of improving their search rankings, and ending up banned from an engine completely. Second biggest mistake: Outsourcing to a firm that does the same. They can walk away from the damage done, you can't."

"The most common mistakes we see are: not planning for the traffic drops associated with major site re-designs by increasing paid search and/or re-launching during slower traffic times; not having solid analytics in place to understand the business outcomes and not just traffic arriving at your site from organic search; and looking at search as its own initiative rather than a part of your online marketing mix."

what's the best competitive tactic to improving search ROI for 2006 for clients who have expanded their keywords as far really as it's worth going?
"A keyword list is a living entity. It should be constantly refined according to seasonality and be consistent with trends in market and human search behavior.

Using press releases to get search engine traction -- this appears to be the hot trend of 2006"

There are techniques in using appropriate keywords and link architecture in press releases that work, but the best practical advice I can offer is make sure you have something newsworthy before issuing a press release.

"We've actually seen this as a successful strategy since 2004, but now it seems like everyone's getting on the bandwagon

Pay Per Call -- is this going to get enough traction to be a major segment in 2006? Who should be testing it, and who should not?
"May not have enough revenues in 2006 to be 'major,' but it will gain further momentum.

Linking strategies -- getting hot again for SEO (shades of 1996), got a practical tip or stuff to avoid on this front?

"Please please, please know the pros and cons of any tactic you decide to try. The engines are actively looking to identify linking tactics driven by SEO motives. The best strategies for one site are not the best strategies for every site. Holistic Linking will become much more vital."
-- Eric Ward, President, EricWard.com

"Too many clients are obsessed with the number of links pointing to their sites. Focus instead on the quality, relevance of content and anchor text of the links. A small number of big wins will beat a large number of insignificant and irrelevant links every time."
Fredrick Marckini, CEO iProspect

Are you alarmed by any trends in Search Marketing Industry these days?

ever-present click fraud issue
the speed at which innovation is happening. Every day, there are new developments with local search, mobile search, video search, increased targeting, personalization, and emerging technologies.
With too many organizations, the search team witnesses a spike in search referrals and only later learns that an off-line marketing campaign hit. Organizations must integrate their efforts and keep the search firm in the loop if they want to win in the new digital marketplace."

Google

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

DMNews.com | News | Article

DMNews.com | News | Article: "How to Build a Search Engine-Friendly Web Site " Search engine optimisation should be part of the Web development process from day one.
More common is the experience of Kent Lewis, a seasoned search engine marketing professional who writes:

"Rarely am I brought in at the ideal time: during the planning phases of a site design or redesign. This oversight typically means higher costs and delays in the development process...

SEO comes into play at all the following levels:
site planning and specification: planning phase usually determines site objectives, functionality and content - code) should be clean and content should be keyword-relevant. For example, Flash, frames and JavaScript are not inherently search friendly and should be used judiciously. Content should consist of HTML text containing keywords relevant to each pages’ theme

site architecture: Ideally, the Web site will have at least one set of HTML-based navigation that can be easily “read” and followed by search engine spiders. From a content perspective, the architecture should include a site map and custom 404-error page

Wireframes to illustrate task flow and information architecture, basic page layout and contents

Design comps: design refinements, including layout, colors and imagery - HTML text for page headers instead of text graphics, impact of keyword density, proximity and relevance on each page

Beta testing; review the site on a page-by-page basis and provide specific recommendations on ALT, META and title tags. In addition, they should review the copy to ensure it is properly optimized

Launch and maintenance.

Google

How to Almost Live on Blogging

Wired News: How to Almost Live on Blogging: "author of two books on Google, operator of a blog called Googleplex and longtime user of Google's keyword advertising program, Davis is among the more hard-core followers of the popular search site.

In his new book, Google Advertising Tools, Davis addresses the company's keyword advertising program, concentrating on how bloggers can manipulate it to their benefit.

In a recent interview with Wired News, Davis shared some tips for aspiring online publishers.

Wired News: Can a blogger realistically expect to make a living from blogging?

Harold Davis: There are people who make a living blogging, but if you're going to do it on your own, you darn well better have a ton of traffic. There are 10 million lonely bloggers and people probably only read a few thousand. If you're going to make serious money off this, it's a serious time commitment.

WN: What amount of time and money are we talking about?

Davis: Well, I spend an hour or two a day, but I have a lot of content already from the books I write.

As for money, people who are really in the business of making a living off content pages say they average about $10 a page per year. That would be a pretty good average. Usually, it's not enough to make a living on, but it's a good supplement.

WN: What do you need to start a profitable blog?

Davis: You should have at least 100 pages of high-quality content in the can. Blogs are good because they keep content fresh, but that's just a small part of it. Good reference material really draws traffic. On a photography site I run, for example, one piece I wrote on how to convert raw digital photos draws more traffic than 99 percent of my other photo pages."

In a related article about Jason Calacanis -- the founder of Weblogs, who subscribes to the theory that more blogs would validate the medium and attract even more ad dollars for everyone.

Wired News: Can Bloggers Strike It Rich?: "Calacanis employs 120 bloggers and publishes 90 blogs -- including Engadget (which covers consumer electronics) and Blog Maverick, typed by billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban -- with his writers making anywhere from $200 to $3,000 a month. (One presumes Cuban doesn't do it for the money.) On average, Weblog salaries are about a quarter to half what a mid-level editorial job would pay, without the daily office commute.
'Not to mention (bloggers) get to write about the topic they are most passionate about,' said Calacanis, who claims to be on track to collect more than $1 million in Google AdSense payments over the next year. 'So, for our folks, it is like they are making money off their hobby. Think a scuba diver or video-game player making $500 to $1,500 a month writing about scuba diving or video games.'..

What do you have to do to earn $500? Publish 125 entries a month, monitor comments, respond to readers and delete offensive comments -- all for about $4 a post. At least, according to a contract leaked to the internet last month...

..Whether you are Calacanis, Denton or Hauslaib, to create a profitable blog requires much more than a keyboard, an internet connection and too much caffeine. You need a talented writer entertaining enough to hold an audience, a consistent publishing schedule, content worth linking to by other bloggers and worthy of press coverage, marketing savvy to sell advertising or enlist third-party networks and, as a culmination of all of this, plenty of traffic..."

How much does Denton pay his bloggers? "The amount floating around the internet is $2,500 a month per blogger plus traffic bonuses, courtesy of a talk Lockhart Steele, Gawker Media managing editor, gave at New York University last spring."

Or go for voluntary contributions instead of advertising to montise your blog......Wired News: Quit Your Job to Blog, Blog, Blog: "Quit Your Job to Blog, Blog, Blog...Ali doesn't believe voluntary contributions will ever come close to surpassing ads as a revenue stream for bloggers as a whole. He estimates that as much as 80 percent of the blogging world's revenues will probably come from advertising. This, he notes, isn't too different from the business model of the modern media industry, which is primarily supported by advertising"

Google

Search - Linking - Eric Ward

Spotlight on Search - Interview with Eric Ward "Optimizing content without implementing a linking campaign is like trying to drive a car without wheels."

"What are the biggest differences in site announcement and promotion now compared to 5 years ago? What advice would you give to new search marketers that are looking for reliable and long term link building strategies?

The amount of noise you have to get past to get your message heard is insane. Spam, fake blogs, link farms, you name it. This has caused people to just try and be louder than everyone else, when in reality they need to take the exact opposite approach. Focus on your content and verticality. The web is self organizing. It's a marketers dream. 3000 people all with the exact same interest in some little known subject all end up finding each other through tools like Yahoo Groups or blogs, etc. The key is understanding - and respecting- the medium. Few marketers respect the medium properly...

Please describe your ideal client.

For me it's about the content. Can I help the content get known or not? I don't care if it's a FORTUNE 500 company or a mom and pop site. If the content is about a specific topic and well done, then it deserves to be known and linked. If the content is crap, even if it's produced by a large corporation, then why bother? It's not me that gets the links for the content; it's the content itself that earns the link. I'm just a conduit....

What are some of the resources you rely on for information on SEO/SEM? Best practices, news, industry information.

I read and scan hundreds of online pubs. Subscribe to everything I can find. I'm really a sponge for it because I still like it so much. SearchEngineWatch.com is indispensable. But there are lesser known pubs with awesome info, like WDFM.com"

Google

Search - Linking - Eric Ward

Spotlight on Search - Interview with Eric Ward "Optimizing content without implementing a linking campaign is like trying to drive a car without wheels."

"What are the biggest differences in site announcement and promotion now compared to 5 years ago? What advice would you give to new search marketers that are looking for reliable and long term link building strategies?

The amount of noise you have to get past to get your message heard is insane. Spam, fake blogs, link farms, you name it. This has caused people to just try and be louder than everyone else, when in reality they need to take the exact opposite approach. Focus on your content and verticality. The web is self organizing. It's a marketers dream. 3000 people all with the exact same interest in some little known subject all end up finding each other through tools like Yahoo Groups or blogs, etc. The key is understanding - and respecting- the medium. Few marketers respect the medium properly...

Please describe your ideal client.

For me it's about the content. Can I help the content get known or not? I don't care if it's a FORTUNE 500 company or a mom and pop site. If the content is about a specific topic and well done, then it deserves to be known and linked. If the content is crap, even if it's produced by a large corporation, then why bother? It's not me that gets the links for the content; it's the content itself that earns the link. I'm just a conduit....

What are some of the resources you rely on for information on SEO/SEM? Best practices, news, industry information.

I read and scan hundreds of online pubs. Subscribe to everything I can find. I'm really a sponge for it because I still like it so much. SearchEngineWatch.com is indispensable. But there are lesser known pubs with awesome info, like WDFM.com"

Google

Traffic Power update - officially banned from Google

Matt Cutts on Traffic Power: "the great Traffic Power debacle, the SEO firm that ended up getting many of its client sites dropped from Google for violating the Google Webmaster guidelines is back in the news this week.

Part of what has kept Traffic Power on the radar is their ongoing legal battle against popular search marketing blogger Aaron Wall. Traffic Power's lawsuit is partly based on their claim that Aaron improperly stated that both Traffic Power and client sites had been banned from Google. Interestingly enough, Google's king of web spam, Matt Cutts, has seen fit to point out in his official capacity that Traffic Power HAS actually been banned from Google, thus making Aaron's claims 100% accurate. "

Google

Friday, February 03, 2006

Search Engine Contact Details List

Search Engine Contact List -> High Rankings� Search Engine Optimization Forum: Lists the different ways to contact the search engines for different things all in one place....has blogs, submit, webmaster info, spam report urls etc for

Ask/Teoma
Google
Yahoo
MSN

Google

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Real Cost of SEO: It�s not Budget, It�s Believers!

Some familiar ground covered re the problems in converting others to the benefits of organic search optimisation....

The Real Cost of SEO: It�s not Budget, It�s Believers!:
"If organic optimization is so effective, why isn't it a more common strategy?" Great question. Unfortunately, the answer isn't an easy one.

Requirements:

One: Corporate Understanding

The problem with organic optimization is that it can't be owned by any one department in a larger organization. While a sponsored campaign can be launched by a single department, or individual for that matter, with no impact on any other department, organic optimization needs buy in throughout an organization...we generally see the best optimization on sites where C-level executives are close to the front lines, believers in optimization, and can give a single go ahead that will open the required doors for organic optimization to happen. The bigger the organization, the more unlikely it is that this will happen.

Two: A Friendly IT Department
Three: No Sacred Cows
Four: Champions with Perseverance and Thick Skins


If you still need convincing re the payoff from organic SEO he states the following:

- What's good for a search engine is good for humans. The changes that make your site easier to index are almost always changes your visitors will appreciate as well. More content, less unnecessary Flash, standard navigation options and cleaner code will bring you in line with long standing usability guidelines.

- Organic traffic is not dependant on budget. This traffic base goes on, day after day, whether you're topping up your AdWords account or not.

- Organic optimization gets less painful the longer you go. Once you make the commitment, the painful part can be over relatively soon, but you'll be reaping the benefits for years to come.

- You'll reach a whole new market segment. People tend to look at organic listings when they're in the research phase, higher in the buying funnel. This gives you the chance to intercept them earlier and build a relationship that can last a long time.

Ends with "a painful real world example to prove my point. We had the CEO of a company bring us on to help with organic optimization. But rather than pave the way for success, he threw us to the lions and quickly exited the scene. We identified the issues keeping them from higher visibility on the search engines, outlined our recommendations and handed them over to the IT team for implementation. And there they sat, and sat, and sat. Meanwhile, the IT team pursued their own agenda, spinning their wheels on minutia while ignoring the fundamental issues that had already been identified. Our frustration level rose, as did the CEO's, who was wondering why he wasn't going anywhere. Guess who the internal IT team pointed the finger at? Eventually, we and the client parted ways. We couldn't win, and the client was getting no value from recommendations that no one would follow.
We usually monitor activity for a period of time following the termination of a contract. Eventually, this client did get around to doing one or two of the things we recommended. These were relatively easy fixes, but the results were dramatic. The result: a 448% increase in visibility in the organic listings. Of course, at this point, no one will remember who made the original recommendation. All they'll remember is that they only saw improvement after they got rid of their SEO company."

Google

Sunday, January 29, 2006

� How to rename or move files without loosing your search engine ranking: the 301 redirect

� How to rename or move files without loosing your search engine ranking: the 301 redirect: "How to rename or move files without loosing your search engine ranking: the 301 redirect
On page redirection techniques, what works and what to avoid"

Not recommended solution 1: Duplicate content.
Not recommended solution 2: Custom error message.
Not recommended solution 3: An HTML Meta redirect.


The recommended redirect strategy - 301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is the most efficient, visitor friendly, robot (spider, crawler) friendly and search engine friendly solution around for web sites that are hosted on servers running Apache. If you are not sure, check with your hosting provider.

The code “301″ is interpreted as “moved permanently”. After the code, the URL of the missing or renamed page is noted, followed by a space, then followed by the new location or file name.

First of all, you’ll need to find the .htaccess file in the root directory of where all your web pages are stored. If there is no .htaccess file there, you can create one with Notepad or a similar application.

Make sure when you name the file that you remember to put the “.” at the beginning of the file name. This file has no tail extension.

If there is a .htaccess file already in existence with lines of code present, be very careful not to change any existing line unless you are familiar with the functions of the file.

Scroll down past all the existing code, leave a line space, then create a new line that follows this example:

redirect 301 /folder/page1.htm http://www.you.com/folder/custom_usb_drives.htm

It’s as easy as that. Save the file, upload it back into your web and test it out by typing in the old address to the page you’ve changed. You should be instantly and seamlessly transported to the new location.

Notes: Be sure not to add “http://www” to the first part of the statement - just put the path from the top level of your site to the page. Also ensure that you leave a single space between these elements:

redirect 301 (the instruction that the page has moved)
/folder/page1.htm (the original folder path and file name)
http://www.you.com/folder/custom_usb_drives.htm (new path and file name)
The same format applies not only to renamed files, but also to files moved to a different location.

How the search engines treat the 301

The 301 redirect is the safest way to preserve your rankings.

On the next indexing (crawling, spidering), the search engine robot will obey the rule indicated in your .htaccess file and index the new page name every time a link or its internal database tries to access the old page.

In the next update (again, this could take months), the old file name and path will be dropped and replaced with the new one.

Sometimes you may see alternating old/new file names during the transition period, along with some possible fluctuations in rankings as things settle. Don’t panic, this is normal.

Microsoft IIS servers
If you have access to the server, do this: In internet services manager, right click on the file or folder you wish to redirect. Select the radio titled “a redirection to a URL”. Enter the redirection page, check “The exact url entered above” and the “A permanent redirection for this resource”. Click “Apply”.

Google

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Redefining the Search Scenery

Redefining the Search Scenery: "Google dominates today�s versions of search and both Yahoo and MSN are prepared to admit it. In short, the recent past and the persistent present belong to Google. For its formal rivals, the only place to look is the future. Time is accelerated, often to the point of pointlessness in the tech world and that future is already functioning online. It is just waiting mass user adoption...

Google’s dominance of today’s version of search is absolute, a big problem for Yahoo and MSN even as they look forward to an expanded search environment. Search is the primary way to access information on the web and in order to stay in business, Google’s rivals need to segment the concepts of search and find ways to excel in specific areas while Google overshadows general search."

Hedger concludes "Yahoo is thinking outside the box by inviting users to create their own media environments in order to facilitate distribution of pay-per-use content (TV, music, movies) and pay-per-click advertising.

MSN is again looking inside the box with its newly revised focus on Vista. It hopes to erase the lines between the user, their computing device and the Internet by integrating search and search related products into commonly used software packages.

Google will continue being Google. As long as it continues to build on its membership driven services and produce better than adequate search results, the general public is likely to continue using it more than any other search engine."

Google

Securing a Marketing-Rich Domain Name

Securing a Marketing-Rich Domain Name: "The most obvious thing to do is to get your business name as your URL, however if you're late getting into the game you may find that your business name is already taken by another similarly named business or by a domain name squatter, or possibly a future competitor. Purchasing a business name domain name isn't always the right way to go, and when left without that option, a keyword domain name might work just as well, if not better...

The best possible domain name is one that is both a keyword domain and your business name such as outdoorsportinggoods.com."

Google

Yahoo! DOES Want to Rule Search

Yahoo square up to Google

Take Two: Yahoo! DOES Want to Rule Search: "a Yahoo! exec that said the company was fine with playing second fiddle to search king Google. Today, Yahoo! is backpeddling from that statement and trying to make it clear that they are in this game to win and that they do intend to build a project good enough to topple Google from their throne.

In a blog post titled 'Are you kidding?!' two Yahoo! VPs made it clear that Yahoo! is all about catching up and passing Google when it comes to the search wars...

The execs concluded: "This commitment to being the best should be crystal clear from our investments in talented people, research, innovation and new products. Believe it or not, we are still in the early days of search. As all of us at Yahoo! agree, we're in it for the long haul, and we're in it to win."

Google

Sunday, January 15, 2006

ROI key not ranking

How the Search Marketing Industry Shot Itself in the Foot: "the search marketing industry finds itself facing a challenge. They need to educate businesses to help them toss out the old 'top ten rankings' philosophy in exchange for the more realistic and sustainable 'positive return on investment' philosophy. Otherwise, the entire industry runs the risk of imploding sometime in the next several years.
This isn't a new idea, many within the industry have been championing it for quite some time. Nonetheless, it still falls far behind 'I want top rankings' as the reason companies want to hire search marketing firms. In fact, the biggest challenge many search marketers face these days is not talking clients into hiring them, but explaining that the true value of search marketing lies in customer acquisition, not ranking and traffic acquisition...

Concepts like the power of the keyword long tail are helping businesses realize that some of the best customers often come from phrases that they never even dreamed of optimizing for. The time is coming where the inability to gain top ten rankings for a keyword phrase won't be associated with a lack of search marketing skill. Search marketers and the companies that hire them will start focusing on the number of customers that a campaign produces. Ranking reports will be but a distant memory.

That's why the industry as a whole needs to start working on their presentation of search marketing. We need to go into client meetings talking about overall strategies that will help drive quality traffic from links on both search engine results and on other web sites. We need to talk about achieving a positive return on investment. We need to talk about the skill required to create sites that are both search engine friendly and customer friendly. We need to stop talking about rankings.

The companies that are already embracing these changes are finding it much easier to sell and to sustain accounts with happy clients. The companies that are still focusing on rankings are going to find their customer bases slowly shifting over to those living by the new SEM philosophy. The industry did shoot itself in the collective foot by setting up expectations based on rankings, but a positive ROI can act as a powerful remedy to help get things moving again."

Google

Linking Trends For 2006 Article Distribution

View topic - Linking Trends For 2006 :: WebProWorld: "predictions for 2006 so no one can ask who thought of it first :)

Link Pyramids
This will be the new world of link exchange directories until the major search engines catch on and figure out a way to stop them. One site joins the program and places a page on their site containing a link to the first site to join. Then another site joins and places a page on their site that has links to the two sites. Then a third and a fourth...so on..

Content Directories
This will be the temporary solution to Google's new found love of in content links. Advertisers and Exchanges will start placing directories containing whole pages of content written by the link providers for publishers and/or other members to place on their sites

Article Directories
Boy that phrase Content Is King is really getting pounded into people's brains. Lets face facts: article directories are exploding all over the net. The problem you ask? There's not a single GOOD article submitter

Google Will Surprise Us
Google will develop a set of algorithms that look at each individual pages on a site. If that page contains over a certain ratio of outbound links to content(pages that are inherantly link exchange pages) the page's ability to give “votes” will be greatly devalued with certain exceptions for authority sites like DMOZ of course

Celebrity Blogs
Com'n...admit I'm right. Small brained, big egoed celebs mesh with technology to allow themselves the power to express to the world what they think about stupid sh*t"

Article Distribution Service - Article Submission Service: "The Free Article Distribution Service
Article Submission / Article Distribution the easy way."

Google

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Link Building Blog - on link marketing by syndicating articles

Link Building Blog - Patrick Gavin and Andy Hagans on link marketing: "advantages of this link building method, by syndicating articles you get:
1) Free, permanent links from many domains and IPs
2) Links from pages with your keywords contained in the content (and sometimes in the title, too)
3) Deep links (from your resource box)
4) Keyword rich links (from your resource box)....

"The best places to syndicate articles are topically-related sites which accept submissions. Many times however your niche is so small that such sites do not exist, and at that point you have to turn to general article sites to get the article reprinted.

There are a lot of them out there, but my favorite one is EzineArticles.com."

Google

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

100 Search Engines in 100 Days - Internet Search Engine Table of Contents

100 Search Engines in 100 Days - Internet Search Engine Table of Contents: "100 Search Engines in 100 Days - Table of Contents Profiles of Internet Search Engines - More Internet Search Engine Information and Profiles "

Google
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.