Archives for April 2005

Marketing Sherpa’s SEO & PPC Buyer’s Guide

Friday was the last day to complete the survey for consideration of inclusion in the 4th Marketing Sherpa Buyer’s Guide to search marketing firms. The newest version of the report has been named the “SEO & PPC Buyer’s Guide”. There were many more detailed questions asked this year plus there were two surveys instead of one. Options to take either the SEO or PPC or both were provided.

Competition for good Search Marketing firms is heating up and this guide could provide the additional information some companies may need for selecting a vendor.

I have asked for the availability date and cost for this newest edition and will post when Marketing Sherpa gets back to me.

Yahoo supports Wikipedia

“Yahoo Inc. is donating hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and resources to the nonprofit group behind Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation” – via ExtermeTech

The Yahoo blog posts a guest entry by Jimmy Wales president of the Wikimedia Foundation on Wikipedia and Yahoo! Google also provides support to Wikipedia by donating bandwidth and servers.

When searching Wikipedia, I was pleasantly surprised to see someone add this SEO blog to the Search Engine Optimization page. Cool.

Yahoo News offers custom RSS Feeds

Yahoo News now offers custom RSS feeds. If you use Yahoo News alerts now you can easily switch to custom RSS feeds and read them in My Yahoo! or any other RSS reader.

“Yahoo! News is now offering the following feeds in the RSS format. The feeds are free of charge to use for individuals and non-profit organizations for non-commercial use. Attribution (included in each feed) is required.”

The feeds are keyword-based and very easy to set up. Via makeyougohmm.com and Google BlogScoped.

Custom RSS feeds from search results are available via MSN Search. (look at the bottom left of your search results). You can also get them from a search on MSNBC Newsbot. MSN also has it’s own web based RSS Reader.

Search Spam

SearchEngineWatch points to a research paper, Web Spam Taxonomy, by Zolta Gyongyi and Hector Garcia-Molina from the Stanford Database Group that will be presented at the WWW2005 Conference next month.

Unfortunately, this paper gives blanket definitions of spam to most SEO activities and offers, at times, a misguided understanding of what most SEOs do for clients.

“The activity of some SEOs benefits the whole web community, as they help authors create well-structured, high-quality pages. However, most SEOs engage in practices that we call spamming.”

Is that all they think SEO’s can do legitimately? “Create well-structured, high quality pages”? Interestingly enough, some of the techniques in this paper could serve as sort of a black hat seo cookbook. If nothing else, it’s a very interesting read.

MSN Spaces Blog Service Officially Launched

The blogging service from Microsoft called MSN Spaces has come out of beta. Storage has been increased from 10 MB to 30 plus they’ve added more themes. 4.5 million Spaces accounts have been created so far.

More info on the launch of Spaces and Messenger 7.0 via [email protected]

Speaking of MSN, Rand has posted an excellent interview with the MSN Search team on his blog.

For the future, MSN Search team mentions: “Local, blogs, mobile, API?¢¬Ä¬ôs and RSS are all important next areas of development for us and anyone serious about Search.”

The inteview covers topics including:
– creation of MSN search
– community input
– search and hardware
– crawling
– corpus size
– competing against Google
– quality testing and spam
– working for MSN search
– the people behind MSN search
– non-search technologies
– future developments

Spoof Sites

Here are a few search engine related spoof sites you might like. There must be a more complete collection of these out there somewhere, if you know of one, feel free to comment.

UnderGoos – “Maximise your comfort and user experience with UnderGoos. Our staff aren’t shy, even Sergey’s been trying out both the mens and ladies ranges. Google has spotted a chance to bring our unique innovation to yet another underserved market.”

Sixf00! 660 – Parody of Yahoo! 360
“You need an invitation in order to use Sixfoo! 660, but you’re probably not special enough. Sign up for the feta waiting list, then cry from the corner of the playground while the kewl kids enjoy the the foursquare court. Why not round up all your 12-sided dices and go beg for a Gmail Account, sucky baby?”

Google AdSense & AdWords Updates

Google has updated AdSense to allow real time reporting. This should be very useful for high volume publishers. Unfortunately, this blog is not there – yet.

MediaPost notes with recent AdWords updates you will be able “to compare the conversion rates of ads in different channels, including Google’s search rival, Overture.” Now that’s pretty interesting and potentially very threatening to Overture and MSN’s new PPC program. It could really provide advertisers with a direct comparison of ad network performance.

SEOBook also notes the launch of Google AdWords Budget Optimizer. A way to further automate AdWords PPC bid management. He also posts some interesting comments on how useful such a tool would actually be. We’ll try it out and post comments in a month or so.

Submit to Google Video

“We’re going to start taking video submissions from people” in the next few days, Page told a crowd at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association show here. Later, in response to a reporter’s question, he called the move an “experiment in video blogging.” From CNET News

Google Video allows you to search the closed-captioned text of a selected number of regional programs. Search results show still-shots captured at various intervals with text excerpts.

It will be interesting to see what Google will do with submitted videos and who they’ll take them from.

Other video search tools I’ve used include Yahoo Video and Blinkx TV search which both differ from Google Video in that they show links to full videos rather than still shots.

Sneak Peek at New Yahoo News

Mark Glaser of the Online Journalism Review reports on his visit to Yahoo to sit in on a production meeting related to the redesign of Yahoo News which is due to launch in public beta later this month. (screenshot)

New features include:

  • “Toggle” feature lets you see news headlines from a particular news source at a glance.
  • “My Sources” tab on each section lets you see your RSS headlines — and you can add feeds to the page.
  • Tabbed navigation on top of each page, with more weight and space given to the top story package.
  • Y!Q technology embedded into key words in stories brings pop-up box with links to relevant Yahoo and Web pages. (this is cool)

Google fuels more SEO speculations with patent

Starting with this thread at WebmasterWorld by msgraph, on a particular Google patent there’s been some lively discussion on explanations of Google Sandbox, as well as specific efforts by Google to thwart common SEO practices to manipulate search results. It remains to be seen how much of it has been implemented by Google, but appears to make some interesting connections and also fuels new speculations.

Some interesting excerpts on linking: