Archives for January 2005

Google AdWords – Enhancements in Store?

I just took a Google Advertising Professionals survey and there were some interesting questions that suggest some enhancements may be in store:

Potential Google Advertising Professionals Program Enhancements:

  • Ability to have Google bill your clients directly and pass on a service fee to you for managing their AdWords accounts
  • A means to verify whether or not someone is a Qualified Google Advertising Professional
  • A Microsoft Windows-based tool for more easily uploading and downloading AdWords campaigns
  • Technical support by phone for a fee
  • Ability to add your company’s logo into reports within My Client Center
  • Directory listing of all Google Advertising Professionals on Google.com
  • Ability to be a tester for new AdWords features and functionality before public release

Potential Tools Offered by Google to Help Sell AdWords:

Google Employee Blog Disabled

An ex-Microsoft employee who now works for Google started a blog which has interestingly been removed from the Google index.

From various sources including SEO Roundtable

An interesting post from one of the blog posts that was removed includes a comment after attending the Google sales conference:

“so after the interesting financials, the products team gave presentations reviewing product performance in 2004 and giving sneak peeks of the products we’ll unveil in 2005. if you guys thought gmail and google groups were cool, you ain’t seen nothing yet! ”

Full content of the blog can still be viewed at bloglines.com

More on Folksonomy

As a follow up to the post on Nick’s excellent post on Folksonomies, here are some additional notes on sites that use tags to organize information.

Tagsurf – In the tagging spirit of Flickr and Del.icio.us, Tagsurf is an online message board which uses tags to help organize subjects instead of threads or channels. Currently in “Alpha” but seems to be picking up steam. Definitely worth checking out.

Furl – I list this one because Technorati tag search results are now pulling tag data from Del.icio.us and Furl. Furl allows you to archive web pages and provides up to 5 gigabytes of storage. Your collections of archived pages can be private or public and you can “share” ie promote, your archived pages via email or RSS feed. And, uh, it’s part of Looksmart.

Search engine users confused yet confident

The results of a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life project conducted by telephone among a sample of 2,200 adults was published. While many searchers appear confident about their ability to find information, a suprising number can’t tell the difference between paid and unpaid search results.

Commentary from Wired:

“…only 38 percent of web searchers even know of the distinction, [between paid and unbiased links] and of those, not even half –47 percent — say they can always tell which are paid. That comes out to only 18 percent of all web searchers knowing when a link is paid.”

Additional key findings outlined on SearchEngineWatch:

Diversify your search marketing portfolio

Now that MSN has dropped Yahoo in favor of it’s own search engine and AOL has made major changes to it’s search engine, there’s no doubt competition for search is heating up again. While Google still sends the vast majority of referring search engine traffic to most sites, make note of these recent search engine changes as there are an increasing number of opportunities to diversify your search marketing portfolio.

To get an idea of where search results data comes from with each search engine, take a look at these search engine relationship charts:

Bruce Clay – Pretty much started the whole search engine relationship charting thing
Search This – Search engine decoder
SearchEngineWatch – A tabular version with no Flash, but effective

Blog Marketing Tips

Here are a few quick tips we’ve used to rank #1 on Google for targeted terms as well as increase the number of unique visitors to this blog 300% in the past month. However, execution and timing are key.

1. Be sure your blog template is optimized for search engines like you would a web site

2. Submit the blog everywhere you would submit a web site: search engines, directories, linking, etc

3. Submit the blog to blog and RSS search engines, directories and news aggregators

4. Use Technorati tags in your blog posts and bookmark your posts in del.icio.us and even flickr your product images – folksonomies are your future

5. Ping your blog posts to all major blog/RSS aggregators with each post – automate this if you can

The well covered issue of comment spam & nofollow

Google, Yahoo, MSN, several major blog software services are supporting the implementation of a nofollow link attribute in an effort to quell comment spam. Of course this relies on the owner of the blog or web site to actually implement the tag properly or at all, in order for it to be effective. As far as blogs go, I would expect the 80/20 rule probably applies in that the smaller percentage of blogs recieve the majority of traffic. Those bloggers are most likely to be very savvy to the comment spam issue because of their visibility and involvment. They’re most likely to start using such a tag. But it will take a long time without mass acceptance which appears to be happening.

Clustering Search

Search Engine Blog mentions a Microsoft project, MSRA SRC Toolbar which you can install to provide clustered search results. The tool is very much in “beta” as far as it’s functionality. You can only search MSN, MSN Beta or MSN News. Results are clustered in the left window and web pages in the right. Clustered results can be exanded to sub categories.

In comparison, Clusty from Vivisimo is far more refined. There was a good article on Clusty recently in BusinessWeek Online, “Building a Smarter Search Engine” If you want to get clustered search results from MSN, the MSRA SRC Toolbar is an interesting find.

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Google Facts

Some interesting Google facts from a BayCHI lecture at PARC given by Marissa Mayer (Product Manager for Google) as posted by Alan Williamson.
“A very well attended (standing room only session), Marissa took us through a presentation geared around the user experience at Google and the efforts/lengths they go to.”

Some interesting facts came out:

1. The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. Infact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.

Apple Spotlight desktop search

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be more desktop search releases, ZDNet UK News reports that at Macworld Steve Jobs gets bold and describes Apple’s new built-in search functionality “Spotlight” as better than Google and Microsoft. Obviously he hasn’t used Yahoo desktop search because it’s been working fantastically for me. Much faster and easier to use than Google or Blinkx so far. I have not tried MSN desktop search yet.

SEO Blog

Recently I had this SEO blog redesigned by Thomas, our resident design-savvy SEO guy. Feedback regarding layout and content would be much appreciated. We want to make sure this blog is providing the kind of information you want regarding search engine news, site optimization, search marketing and online PR.

I’ll even throw out an incentive: I have 10 Gmail accounts to give away to the first 10 feedback comments. Please use a good email address otherwise I won’t be able to send out the Gmail invite.

Search Marketing Drama: SMA-NA & SEMPO

Recently Threadwatch announced the forming of SMA-NA as an alternative to SEMPO. Recent posts on Threadwatch and SEOBook provide some lively commentary regarding an exchange between Ian McAnerin and Barbara Coll.

I joined SEMPO as an individual member shortly after it was formed thinking it would force me to become more involved with the industry. I had spent the first few years entirely focused on growing our business. I can’t say whether there has been any direct benefit to our firm but I cannot say there has not either. There appear to be a good number of people in SEMPO doing their best to further the search marketing industry. I have no doubt there are a few others who are in it purely for personal gain. But that’s expected to some degree, isn’t it? It’s not right but it happens.