Lee Odden

Search Engines Support Sitemaps Autodiscovery

The good people at Ask.com pinged me this morning that Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live Search and Ask.com announced support of autodiscovery for Sitemaps today.

WebProNews published an announcement about the search engines Google and Yahoo agreeing to work on a common sitemaps standard and the launch of sitemaps.org at the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas last year.

The new open-format autodiscovery allows webmasters to specify the location of their sitemaps within their robots.txt file, eliminating the need to submit sitemaps to each search engine separately. The updated Sitemap protocol has benefits for site publishers, the search engines as well as searchers. Ask.com is also supporting manual submissions of sitemaps via a ping url.

Find more coverage on this over at Search Engine Land, “Search Engines Unite on Sitemaps“.

Lee Odden

Microsoft Webmaster Tools

Last week I agreed with Barry’s speculation in the comments at Search Engine Land that Microsoft is developing their own set of webmaster tools. After a conversation today, I have an even stronger reason to believe this is so. I cannot disclose the source, but it is credible.

While there are an array of AdCenter tools, Microsoft is also working on additional software to be of assistance to webmasters for use with natural search results ala Google Webmaster Central and/or Yahoo Site Explorer. Unfortunately I do not have a time frame or a specific description of what the tools will be, but I do know Microsoft is putting quite a bit of effort into their development.

Lee Odden

New Google, Yahoo, MSN Eye Tracking Report

enquiro-eyetracking1106.gif
Manoj over at Web Analytics World blog has announced the release of a new eyetracking study by Enquiro that takes an in-depth look at interactions with Google, Yahoo! and MSN using eye tracking methodology. Many search marketers are familiar with Enquiro’s original eye tracking report on Google. (pdf)

The new Google/Yahoo/MSN whitepaper covers:

  • How We Scan a Listing
  • Semantic Mapping
  • Information Scent
  • Thin Slicing
  • Banner Blindness
  • Growth of Navigational Search
  • Impact of Bolded Search Queries and Icons
  • Perceived Relevancy
  • Golden Section Theory
  • Portal Entry Success
  • Interactions with Top Sponsored
  • Interactions with Side Sponsored
  • Interactions with Top Organic
  • Interactions with Bottom Organic
  • Interactions with Vertical Results
Lee Odden

SES San Jose Exhibit Hall Photos

I have to say, when I walked into the exhibit hall this am for a quick look, I was impressed! Lots of space and lots of exhibitors. Incisive Media has done a bang up job. Here are a few candids:

SES San Jose
Google Booth

SES San Jose
Yahoo Booth

SES San Jose
Microsoft adCenter Booth

SES San Jose
Ask.com Booth

SES San Jose
Daron Babin and Greg Hartnet

SES San Jose
SEMPO Booth

SES San Jose
Mick Jolly and David McInnis of PRWeb

SES San Jose
Fionn Downhill and a co-worker from Elixr Systems

SES San Jose
Giving away a car?

SES San Jose
An animated Rand Fishkin

Lee Odden

Search Engine Relevancy

Aaron Wall has posted an excellent article on search engine relevancy over at SEOBook.com explaining his perception of the different relevancy criteria used by Google, Yahoo and MSN. Aaron offers both a short version and long version. Yahoo is great, but can still be manipulated. Google is best at determining relevancy. MSN is still new and currently easiest to manipulate. Ask is good, but their small market share does not necessarily warrant specific attention from a SEO perspective.

This is a great resource offering some very useful tips and insights for those that are grappling with understanding how search engines determine what’s relevant. This article is not just for newbies though. Aaron pays attention to concepts like the importance of site age, editorial and social factors that you don’t see in other articles of this sort and that are increasingly important.

Lee Odden

Paid Search Can Be A Bitch

Yes dear friends, I’ve said it. Paid search can be a pain in the rear. But no worries, search engine marketing guru Andrew Goodman of Traffick and Page Zero Media promises to shed some light on the subject in conjunction with a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) seminar next week.

Goodman’s presentation, “IT’S NOT JUST YOU: PAY-PER-CLICK CAN BE A REAL BEAST” will cover examples of Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing challenges, SEM relations, click fraud, CPOs vs. market share growth, data privacy, auctions and more.

Lee Odden

Search News for Thursday

ClickTracks offering a $1000 credit towards ClickTracks Pro, JDC or Agency edition for Google Class Action Lawsuit Members

MSN AdCenter tools – excellent rundown by Aaron Wall

A new and improved Yahoo Video launches

WebAward competition entry deadline is extended

ClickZ.com Hosts First ClickZ Online Video Advertising Forum

3rd Annual Web Analytics Forum, June 26-28, 2006 – Register

Lee Odden

Windows Live Search to Replace MSN Search

Microsoft’s Live.com is getting major upgrades (very slow right now) via Scobelizer and more details including RSS feed search over at Read/Write Web.

According to seattlepi.com:

“Although still in test form, Windows Live Search signals the future direction of the company‚Äôs efforts in the market. It‚Äôs slated to eventually replace the MSN Search service that debuted last year, when Microsoft set out on its own in a bid to make up ground in the search business.”

CNET News.com had an interview with Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of MSN information services who says Microsoft has closed the gap with Yahoo and is “within a couple of points of Google.” That’s a pretty bold claim which reminds me of an old adage, “Don’t tell me, show me.”

Lee Odden

Friday Roundup Links

John Scott Interview. Talks about V7N SEO contest, being in the Wall Street Journal and Fun Uses of Coco Nuts in Japan – Search Engine Journal

Matt Cutts at SES NYC – One of the sessions he’s participating on includes Robert Scoble and Jeremy Zawodny, “Pundits on Search”. I will be speaking at Pubcon in Boston with those two in a session about Blogging. Should be fun.

Todd Malicoat on WebmasterRadio.fm – Todd and Greg Niland talk links and more. Todd is a linkMASTER and an all around great guy. This is a must-listen podcast.

Finding outsourced SEO help – WebmasterWorld

MSN Search updates search home page and search results. And as much as I am not a fan of MSN Search and rarely ever use it, I LIKE the new new MSN Search. Incidentally, Jensense has the scoop on ContentAds, the name of MSN’s new contextual ad program.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Five things to consider when changing websites.

TopRank Marketing Editor     Google, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, SEO, Yahoo

Every year or so, companies decide to go and update their website. Not just a few pages, but usually the entire design and structure. This can be a big factor in search engine optimization and whether it’s positive or negative depends on how you do it.

There are lots of things everyone has to keep in mind when changing websites. Most things need to be thought of before hand, not after, and any issues should be addressed before a new site goes live.

Here are five things to keep in mind.

• URLs
URLs are very important. Not only are search engines referring you traffic, but what about links from other peoples‚Äô sites, bookmarks, press releases or social bookmarking sites? You could have hundreds of links out there and you don’t want to forget about them or else your visitors may be coming to a ‘Page Not Found’ error instead of an information page.

Lee Odden

Search Engine Thanksgiving

Here’s a very happy online marketing Thanksgiving to you. Here are a few logos from search engines:

Google Thanksgiving

Yahoo Thanksgiving

I guess MSN Search isn’t in the Thanksgiving spirit, or they just don’t get into the seasonal logo changes.

Happy Thanksgiving to Online Marketing Blog readers!

Lee Odden

Lee Odden

Pubcon X Keynote: Robert X. Cringley

The first session at Pubcon 10 started out with a keynote presentation from Robert Cringley.

Robert Cringley has been on the internet since 1977. He was a war correspondent in ’77 in Beiruit and had enough and went back to CA and started working for Steve Jobs. Apple offered him stock but he regretably, took cash. Cringley taught at Stanford University. Came back to Apple for work on Apple Lisa user interface.

Claim to fame: He invented the trashcan icon, which he created as an experience he had when writing a book. He accidentally deleted 8000 lines of text – 96,000 words. So he was resolved to create the trashcan functionality and make delete a two step process. Shared other anecdotes regarding trashcan.