Archives for February 2005

Autolink Paranoia

Traffick reports on the over-hype of Google Autolink and I agree. Autolink is just a tool. You have to turn it on to make it work. If you don’t like it, turn it off. That’s from the user perspective.

From a web site owner’s perspective, I can understand some concern, but no where near what some bloggers are ranting about. If you really don’t like it as a site owner, add the Autolink blocking JavaScript. I think that’s reasonable.

If you don’t want Google to index all or part of your site you have to add a noindex meta tag and/or modify your robots.txt tag don’t you?

A Blog Publishing Story

My pop was showing me how he has been documenting the history of Holdingford, the small central Minnesota town he lives in (think Lake Wobegon) scanning in town council meeting minutes since 1897, documenting businesses that existed, city council members and city officials in a spreadsheet and also interviewing “old timers” recording the audio on his Mac and scanning in photos. It’s a pretty ambitious project, even for a small town.

My dad has always been very progressive regarding computers and Internet so we talked about how he could publish all this information he’s collecting.

A web site is logical, but with all the effort he’s going through, it seems the process would be as interesting as the outcome.

Will RSS Overtake Email?

Here’s a recent release we helped with from MarketingStudies.net: “RSS Marketing May Overtake E–mail as Top Info Delivery Tool – RSS News Feeds Provide Effective Two Way Communication”

Rok Hrastnik, author of the new RSS marketing e-book, Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS, is warning marketers that email may no longer be an effective form of delivering information to customers.

According to DoubleClick, only 34.3% of all e-mail messages are ever opened. AOL currently blocks 75% of the 2 billion e-mail messages received daily and sends another 4% ‚ 7% to the bulk folder.

Email marketing is dead,” said Chris Pirillo, a keynote speaker at the Blog Business Summit. Conversion rates are decreasing, blacklists continue to grow, and we have to pay for white-listing services.‚

MSN taking a beating?

Interesting posts regarding Microsoft/MSN recently:

Dvorak says Microsoft’s marketing sucks – from Scobleizer (and he agrees). Put the ad money into making a better product like Amazon and Google have.

MSN Search – Flop with Search Community – from Threadwatch. NickW stirs things up.

Does the New MSN Search Hold Up? – from Google Blogscoped (OK, this was from last week, but it seems to fit) Search comparison between MSN, Google and Yahoo.

I was very optimistic about the new MSN search, hopeful really, that something new would come out and provide a worthy alternative to the current dominance in search engines. Not because I don’t like Google and Yahoo search, I use Google many, many times a day and Yahoo.com is my homepage. It just seems that at the moment, MSN search isn’t doing the WOW thing (accurate search results) as much as I thought it would.

Top corporation web sites ‘invisible’ to search engines

vnunet.com reports that the majority of the top 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are “invisible” to search engines. The article is based on research conducted by The Search Works.

A similar study is made each year in the U.S. by OneUpWeb on the Fortune 100.

Improvements have been made since previous year’s reports in both cases, but many large corporations still apply search engine optimization as a tactica on the departmental level. Companies that implement an overall SEO strategy across all web properties can realize tremendous results.

With an increasing number of “SEO rockstars” getting hired by companies, corporate SEO is on the rise.

Tags: SEO, FTSE, Fortune, Search Engine Optimization, SEO Blog

RSS Marketing, Online PR & SEO

I just finished being interviewed by Rok Hrastnik of MarketingStudies.net, author of the RSS Marketing eBook (yes that’s an affiliate link). I’ll post the audio link when it goes online.

We had an interesting discussion about integrating online public relations, search engine marketing and blog/RSS marketing.

Optimizing a press release and distributing via online newswire services can gain excellent visibility within News search engines. The release can get indexed in the major search engines as well: Google, Yahoo, MSN. Each time the release is picked up by another web site, it also creates a link back to your site.

Many press release promotion services will stop there but more visibility opportunities exist by using RSS feed promotion. Your blog should be submitted to all the major blog search engines and RSS directories.

RSS Feed Creation Tools

Steve Rubel posts about RapidFeeds, a tool to create, publish and syndicate your own RSS feeds. What’s particularly useful is the tracking options.

The IceRocket search engine has a very similar RSS creation tool called RSS Builder but without tracking.

RSS creation tools offer promising applications for sites that want to promote newsletters, press releases, etc via RSS but do not want to do so through a blog. Although, I think it makes more sense to use a blog for that type of promotion so your content can get picked up by search engines as well as RSS directories and news aggregators.

Tags: RSS, feed, blog, blogging, marketing, SEO blog

Blog Search Engine

InsideGoogle posits, “Yahoo Developing Blog Search Engine?” based on the appearance of a crawler, “Yahoo-NewsCrawler Test” that appears to be indexing RSS feeds.

It makes sense that a major search engine would create a new blog search engine, or at least separate out RSS/Blog content from regular search. Online Marketing Blog/2005/02/google-blog-search.html”>Thomas speculated last week that Google might be doing this and base it on tags.

Several threads regarding why Google should buy Technorati have popped up as well. Competition for the search audience is hot and acquisition would be the fastest way to deploy new technologies. I’ve been using Technorati a lot the past 6 months or so and it’s addicting.

Ask Jeeves has stated that it will be developing a “world class blog search” in conjunction with bloglines and it’s Teoma search technology.

Become.com Beta Shopping Engine

I’m trying out Become.com, a new shopping research search engine that avoids ecommerce sites in favor of informational web sites. The site is designed to help you locate difficult to find information. Search results display much like any other search engine (plus Google Ads on the right side) but what’s pretty cool is the list of suggestions at the bottom of the search results.

From the site: “We find buying guides, articles, forums, reviews, specs and information from across the web to help you buy the right product.”

Become.com was founded by Michael Yang, founder of mySimon.com and Yeogirl Yun, founder of the Wisenut search engine.

Heads up from MarketingShift

Search Marketing Articles

Here are several recent search engine marketing articles that are worthy of posting:

“What if I were to tell you the majority of online purchases from search advertising happen after a searcher has conducted at least 12 nonconverting searches?” – Nonconverting Keywords and the Search Continuum – ClickZ

Current link popularity algorithms may be faulty in that they consider each page on the World Wide Web as a single node. However, different “blocks” on a page often have different semantics; for instance, a block on the left side of the page might contain a general navigational menu or text link advertisements, whereas the block on the right side of the page might contain an informational article or links to other Web sites about a certain topic. When VIsion-based Page Segmentation (VIPS) is applied, these blocks can be separated by a computer with a vision-based program. Each block can then be considered as the fundamental unit of analysis, rather than the entire page. When a link is scored in terms of its block, the link’s contextual relevance can be interpreted more intelligently by search engines. – Link Building in Light of VIsion-based Page Segmentation – ISEDB.com

Test drive of new Google Maps

Google recently launched a beta version of Google Maps:

Google Maps is an online service that allows users in the U.S. to find location information, navigate through maps, and get directions quickly and easily.”

Includes features for viewing maps, local search within the displayed map area and driving directions. For example, I entered in my city/state and Google Maps quickly showed a map of the area. Then I searched on “hardware store” and the map was redrawn with icons and a list of locations to the right. Each results shows options for the web address, additional matches and directions to or from the location.

What’s really cool about Google Maps is that they’re dragable. You can use your mouse to literally move the map to see areas outside of the viewable window without having to do another search.

Blog and Search Marketing

A few tidbits regarding the trend of blog, RSS and search marketing:

News that Ask buys Bloglines. This news has gained quite a bit of coverage in the blogosphere, but very little in traditional news (yet). Formal announcement is to occur today or Tuesday.

I first read about Bloglines being purchased by Ask Jeeves on John Battelle’s Searchblog over the w/e but did not have time to post. One must have a real life outside the online world.

Excellent observations on RSS, Blogs and search from Traffick on Bloglines and the Future of Blogs, RSS and Search. “The “Ask-iquisition” of Bloglines will accelerate search engine interest in blogs and RSS. More big deals like this will follow.”