Yahoo – Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:02:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Online Marketing News: Pinterest’s Sneaky Tactics, Keeping Leaders Honest, 100 Million Videos Watched Per Day http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/02/online-marketing-news-feb102012/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/02/online-marketing-news-feb102012/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 13:51:40 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13310 How Social Media Keeps Leaders Honest David Jones of Havas and Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore recently sat down to talk about the responsibilities of the leaders of today to respond to social media, and how it holds them accountable. “Google Clarifies: No, Ads Shouldn’t Help Rankings & No, SEO Isn’t Bad”  Recent comments made by [...]

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How Social Media Keeps Leaders Honest

David Jones of Havas and Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore recently sat down to talk about the responsibilities of the leaders of today to respond to social media, and how it holds them accountable.

“Google Clarifies: No, Ads Shouldn’t Help Rankings & No, SEO Isn’t Bad”  Recent comments made by a new Google employee have some SEO’s up in arms.  Apparently his comments included “SEO isn’t good for users” and “It’s a bug that you could rank highly in Google without buying ads.”  Curious to know what else he has to say and what reaction this has caused within the online community?  Via Search Engine Land.

“100 Million Americans Watch Online Video Per Day.  Up 43% Since 2010- comScore”  According to comScore Americans streamed 43.5 billion videos in December 2011 alone.  This is an increase of 44% over the previous year.  With this astronomical jump in online views, is television in trouble?  Via TechCrunch.

The Next Big Social Network Is You”  Many companies are trying to address the now common social network exhaustion.  Between the constantly shifting policy changes and programming updates many users are getting tired.  This opinion piece shares that in the near future it will be less about your number of followers and more about a smaller group of well-connected individuals.  What do you think?  Via Information Week.

“5 Essential Spreadsheets for Social Media Analytics”  If you are involved in social media, and are a small business this post provides some useful tools for measuring your data.  Want to know the best part?  They’re free, customizable, and easy to use.  Via Mashable.

“Brand Storytelling Lessons You Can Steal from Hollywood”  Innovation, a term we seem to hear quite frequently these days.  As a content marketer innovation is especially important because not only must you attract customers, you must veer them away from your competition.  Paying close attention to Hollywood entertainment and the way that promotion is done in that industry is a great means for discovering new ideas.  Via Content Marketing Institute.

TopRank Team News

Alexis Hall – Report: National Marketers Love Local, Fail At Basic Tactics
This post discusses survey results from late 2011 which revealed that although many marketers have the perception they are highly invested in local advertising, survey results show they are failing when it comes to basic tactics, like management of local directory listings.  Those seemingly small tactics can have a big impact on local results, so if marketers are really invested in their online local presence, they must be diligent when it comes to education on all types of tactics.  Via Search Engine Land.

Ken Horst – Pinterest is quietly generating revenue by modifying user submitted pins
It appears as though Pinterest has found a way to monetize their site, even at this early beta stage.  Most people would say that’s a good thing however the way they are making money has some people crying foul.

Pinterest is using a service called SkimLinks to add an affiliate link wherever there is a link to a product page that has an affiliate program.  It’s not the idea that people are concerned about, it’s the fact that Pinterest is doing this without providing any disclosure to its users.  Via LLsocial.

Brian Larson – Bing Now A Full Point Ahead of Yahoo In Search Share-comScore
According to comScore, Bing is now a full point ahead of Yahoo! in search share. While Google’s search results are highly flavored by Google+, Bing receives streams of information from Facebook and Twitter. With Yahoo! In Bing’s rear view mirror, is Google next?  Via Search Engine Land.

Time to Weigh In:  What do you think of Pinterest’s money making tactics?  Smart move or too far?  With so many American’s consuming video on a daily basis, are you including video in your 2012 online marketing strategy?


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10 Easy Local SEO & Online Marketing Tips http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/05/local-search-tips/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/05/local-search-tips/#comments Thu, 20 May 2010 11:45:46 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=10150 There are currently 29.6 million small businesses in the U.S. (SCORE). 63% of consumers and small business owners use the Internet to find information about local companies and 82% use search engines (Webvisible & Nielsen).  That means there’s a lot of opportunity for local SEO. Recently I attended GetListed.org’s Local University in Minneapolis which focused [...]

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Google Places Pin There are currently 29.6 million small businesses in the U.S. (SCORE). 63% of consumers and small business owners use the Internet to find information about local companies and 82% use search engines (Webvisible & Nielsen).  That means there’s a lot of opportunity for local SEO.

Recently I attended GetListed.org’s Local University in Minneapolis which focused on how to optimize web sites for local search.  Out of all the good information that came out of the event, here are 10 easy things you can do today to optimize sites and content to attract local customers.

1. Claim your profile.
It’s as simple as logging into Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local and walking through the verification steps which include a phone call or post card to verify your address.

2. Upload Pictures.
The local sites listing services like to provide their users with pictures of your business. To help ensure that they see some good pictures, upload your own. They don’t have to be professional photos, but they will represent your business so make sure they are decent.

3. Control information across the internet.
A big part of local search optimization and marketing involves obtaining information from other sites. Local listing aggregation services search the internet far and wide to find pictures, reviews and any information they can on your company. Submit your info to services like LocalezeinfoUSA.

The downside here is that if something is incorrect on another site, it could find its way back into your local listing. If that happens, you have to go back to the source and ask them to fix the issue and then wait while the fix makes its way into local sites.

4. Ask for reviews.
Most local sites, except for Yelp, are fine with you telling your customers to review you. So do it. On your contact form thank you page, on invoices, on email communications, make a point to say “Hey we’d love it if you gave our business a review on Google/Bing/Yahoo Local.” These reviews, good or bad, make your business more creditable to future customers.

5. Bad reviews are good.
No company is perfect, so when users see all positive reviews, something looks wrong and they may actually choose a different company. Bad reviews are a part of any business and a few bad reviews can make the good reviews that much better. Obviously, you don’t want to encourage bad reviews.

6. Add local phone number.
On your website, be sure to publish your local phone number in text vs within an image or not at all. 800 numbers may be nice, but on their own they don’t give any kind of location indication.

7. Have a full physical mailing address on all pages of your website.
Your address is important and it should be on all pages of your website to re-enforce your geographic location.

8. Think like the searcher/customer.
What would your customers put in a search box to find you and buy your products?

Lets say you own an outdoor sporting good store; like hunting, camping, hiking and fishing. If a searcher puts put ‘shoes’ into a search box, they probably aren’t a good match as it’s such a generic term. If they put ‘running shoes’ you’re still not a match as your sporting goods store doesn’t focuses on running. If they put in ‘hiking shoes’ then you want to target them.

Business owners often get caught up in popular keywords or keywords that will drive a lot of traffic and forget to focus on less popular keywords that have a higher probability of making sales.

Remember to think like the customer.

9. Multiple locations need multiple landing pages.
Local sites don’t like a business having more than one local listing, but if the business has two locations, than that’s OK. However, you should ensure that each location links back to a page on your website that is all about that location and what it has to offer. Sending both local listings back to the same page, or homepage, isn’t ideal.

10. Treat Customers ‘Righter’
Everyone knows that they need to treat the customer right, but with social media, review sites and the ability for good, or bad, news to spread like wildfire, you need to treat your customers really good or “righter”. This includes online and offline customer service.

Local search takes into account information business owners put in their local profile, information it finds on other sites and information on the business’ website. Even what happens offline can be taken into consideration as customers may bring back those experiences in the form of online reviews.

Local search is it’s own unique entity as no one can control everything that appears on their local listing, but business owners can take steps to ensure that what gets listed is a good representation of the company. For more information, here is a list of local SEO blogs that we’ve reviewed in the past for TopRank’s BIGLIST with many, many more tips.


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Google is Skynet. Search Suggest Opinions http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/04/search-suggest-opinions/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/04/search-suggest-opinions/#comments Wed, 21 Apr 2010 11:45:59 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=9701 To know what the world is searching for must be amazing. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are in that position but they’re not exactly sharing those insights. Well, except if you do a little guess work and leverage their keyword research or keyword suggest tools. For example, the suggest-as-you-type features that all the [...]

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To know what the world is searching for must be amazing. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are in that position but they’re not exactly sharing those insights. Well, except if you do a little guess work and leverage their keyword research or keyword suggest tools. For example, the suggest-as-you-type features that all the major search engines now offer can provide some interesting insight “on the fly” into what people are searching for.

For quick keyword research, Aaron Wall has a Google Suggest tool for keyword suggestions that adds more options and insight.

There’s some entertainment value to this as well. Start typing in “my girlfriend” or “my boyfriend” and you’ll see what I mean. Along those lines, let’s see some examples for each major search engine using the syntax, “Google is “:

Google is ...

And what about Yahoo?

Yahoo is ...

Or Bing?

Bing is ...

So, we have “Google is Skynet”, “Yahoo is better than Google” and “Bing is not Google”.   It’s amusing and insightful at the same time. As the clear market dominator, Google queries offer a peek into searchers’ perception of Google as a powerful force that can incite polarizing opinions.  Yahoo as a long standing second in the market brings about more functional phrases and just one indication of passion for the brand. While Bing shows some negativity, the good news is that they are inciting reactions from people. Better to make friends and enemies than for no one to notice you at all.

By the way, Google recently announced the addition of localized search suggest and spelling correction to the suggest features that searchers might find handy.


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Search Engines Bringing Back Variables In URLs – At Your Expense http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/01/search-engines-url-variables/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/01/search-engines-url-variables/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2010 20:21:49 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=8387 Did you realize that search engines have gone full circle on URLs in variables? It used to be considered something to avoid, now search engines are saying variables in URLs are good, as long as you use the canonical meta tag. Google is pushing them with FeedBurner and if webmasters aren’t careful, they could fall [...]

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Duplicate ContentDid you realize that search engines have gone full circle on URLs in variables? It used to be considered something to avoid, now search engines are saying variables in URLs are good, as long as you use the canonical meta tag. Google is pushing them with FeedBurner and if webmasters aren’t careful, they could fall victim to a new onslaught of duplicate content issues.

One of the biggest issues with SEO is duplicate content. If search engines can’t tell which version of a document is the original or canonical version, then there can be consequences involving less than ideal search visibility. For example, the following URLs might all point to the same web page, creating the illusion that they are copies of the same thing. But in reality, it’s just one web page.

www.domainname.com
domainname.com
www.domainname.com/index.html
www.domainname.com/index.html?referid=somesitethatyouareadvertisingon

Content management systems, e-commerce stores, and dynamic sites in general, used to be big on adding variables to URLs as a way to construct search queries on content or to track visitors. Then along came advice from the search engines that said they see each URL as a unique if it has different variables. That little improvement caused a duplicate content mess.

So over the past few years, web site owners and marketers have been hard at work cleaning up their URLs, removing variables and trying to make duplicate content a thing of the past.

Then Google came out with a canonical meta tag that could be used to help fix duplicate content issues. The advice was to simply add a canonical meta tag to any page and every version of that page will be considered one. No longer will there be duplicate versions and no longer will variables be a problem in creating the illusion of different copies of the same page.

The good news here is that Yahoo, Bing, and Ask also jumped on board to support the canonical meta tag.

What we didn’t realize was Google had a hidden agenda. (In my opinion) For a few months after the canonical meta tag came out, Google FeedBurner started populating every feed that runs though their service with additional variables in the URL. These variables are then used to better track FeedBurner clicks in Google Analytics.

So now, Google is pushing out URLs with multiple variables creating duplicate content issues for anyone who isn’t using the canonical meta tag. Additionally, if you use TwitterFeed to auto post content from FeedBurner to Twitter, or even copy the URL from a feed and share it, you’re also spreading the problem.

Google then came out with a URL builder tool that allowed you to track custom campaigns in Google Analytics by customizing your URLs with additional tracking variables. This extends the potential duplicate content issue even further.

So what doess this all mean for web site owners and marketers? It means that if you’re not paying attention, duplicate content could be causing you problems with increasing frequency. Do you know if your site has canonical meta tags? It should. Do you know if your FeedBurner feed is going out with additional tracking variables? It probably is.

A Solution: What needs to happen is the canonical meta tag should become a standard meta tag in web development. It should be added to all web pages as a safety measure. It doesn’t harm anything, unless implemented improperly, so ask your developers to code it into all pages.

As for variables in the URL, they’re still not good when it comes to SEO and avoiding duplicate content issues. Short and sweet is the best way to create URLs, but on that off chance that you need to track affiliates, want to track visits to a page from a specific online or offline campaign, or for whatever reason can’t avoid variables in the URL, then they are OK as long as you use the canonical meta tag.

Like it or not, the canonical meta tag is the only way to ensure that your site doesn’t fall victim to duplicate content issues. If you stop and think about it, it is an easy solution to a big problem. And once a site has canonical meta tags on their site, using the URL builder or variables in general to track URLs can be pretty handy. Webmasters just need to remember that a variable or two may be ok for some campaigns, but we don’t want to go back to long and ugly URLs because the longer the URL, the more difficult they’ll be for search engines, and users, to interact with.


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It’s a Deal: Q&A from Microsoft Yahoo! Call http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/07/qa-microsoft-yahoo-deal/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/07/qa-microsoft-yahoo-deal/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2009 13:53:18 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=5920 Amid all the speculation this week, it’s official that Microsoft and Yahoo! have made a deal:  “Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.” Microsoft-Yahoo Deal History on Dipity. The Search Marketing Industry news sites have covered this completely and a [...]

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microsoft yahoo

Amid all the speculation this week, it’s official that Microsoft and Yahoo! have made a deal:  “Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.”

The Search Marketing Industry news sites have covered this completely and a joint web site has been setup my Microsoft Yahoo. I also took a little time to listen in on the investor relations conference call with Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Carol Bartz of Yahoo! and live tweeted some of the Q and A:

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: Why no display ad component to the deal? Bartz: To keep the deal straightforward as possible

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: Why no up-front fee to Yahoo? Bartz: Big cash payment up front doesn’t help Yahoo ongoing operating costs

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: What impact on jobs? Bartz: Many Yahoos w/be asked to work @ Microsoft, work elsewhere @ Yahoo, some redundancy

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: How much does deal affect areas where MSFT & YHOO compete? Ballmer: Innovate & need privacy disclosures

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: What does it mean for MSFT to license Yahoo search? Why not all Bing? Ballmer: We can benefit from Yahoo search tech

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: Examples of innovation from deal? Ballmer: UI, algos for search relevance, scale provides feedback loop to innovate

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: Why is this deal better than last year’s? Bartz: Current deal is longer term, more of a partnership, skin in game

MSFT YAHOO conf call Q: Why is this deal better than last year’s? Ballmer: This deal is not better, it’s different.

Last MSFT YAHOO conf call Q from @dannysullivan: What happens to Yahoo news, directory, paid inclusion, Delicious? Bartz: Decide on paid inclusion later. Ballmer: Yahoo has full flexibility & how that pans out is up to Yahoo

Danny Sullivan live blogged the call with a lot more detail.

Other coverage of the Microsoft Yahoo deal:


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SES San Jose: Semantic Search: How will it change our lives? http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/08/semantic-search/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/08/semantic-search/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2008 01:32:57 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=2741 Where is search headed?  We’ve heard of semantic search for a few years now, but what’s going on with it?  Each major search engine is taking the next steps but some are closer than others.   Actually, what we are beginning to see is semantic and universal search merging together.  Yahoo, Ask, Powerset and Hakia [...]

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Where is search headed?  We’ve heard of semantic search for a few years now, but what’s going on with it?  Each major search engine is taking the next steps but some are closer than others.  

Actually, what we are beginning to see is semantic and universal search merging together.  Yahoo, Ask, Powerset and Hakia showed screenshots that included images, videos, ratings and other media.  Are universal and semantic search the same?  Possibly. 

Yahoo Semantic Search Results Enhanced Ask Semantic Search Results Enhanced
– Sorry for the bad pictures. I haven’t got down the art of taking pictures of PowerPoint slides.

Yahoo may actually be leading semantic search, as compared to Google, MSN and Ask, as they are empowering users to incorporate data via microformats, rdf and SearchMonkey applications.  You can go into Yahoo today and additional sites such as Facebook and LinkdIn are already integrated into people searches.  Other applications can be added based on the users preference.  Yahoo has seen up to a 15% increase in clicks with the additional information integrated. But is that semantic?  Adding in additional information doesn’t necessarily mean the search engine understood my query.

Powerset and Hakia are new a search engines that is trying to get away from simple keyword & link relevance and analyze content to become semantic search engines.  Unlike the major engines, they don’t have to worry about current users and pre-defined expectations.  They may actually have a head start because of this.

During the session Kevin Ryan made a great point.  For years searchers have been using one, two or three word searches to get results, but semantic search is best when searchers ask a question.  So how do we get users to forget what they know about searching and advance their queries?

Ask actually may have a hand up on this as we were all use to asking Jeeves a question.  Maybe it’s time for Jeeves to be revived??

Semantic Search Panel

The goal of semantic search is to give users what they want without having to re-do their search.  It’s about search engines becoming more understanding and a system for giving users what they want the first time they ask.

Check out all of TopRank’s coverage of SES San Jose and sessanjose08 Photos.


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Small Business Guide to Optimizing Universal Search http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/10/optimizing-universal-search/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/10/optimizing-universal-search/#comments Thu, 11 Oct 2007 11:00:25 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/10/optimizing-universal-search/ The buzz in the search marketing media and increasingly, the business press, on the importance of unified or universal search is gaining momentum and is unavoidable. Small and medium sized business web site owners and webmasters are now presented with the challenge of making sense out of the recent rash of search engine interface and [...]

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SMB Universal Search Engine Optimization
The buzz in the search marketing media and increasingly, the business press, on the importance of unified or universal search is gaining momentum and is unavoidable. Small and medium sized business web site owners and webmasters are now presented with the challenge of making sense out of the recent rash of search engine interface and functional improvements and how to adjust their online marketing efforts accordingly. Many are not sure what to do. Hopefully this short guide will shed light on the fundamentals and give some basic direction on next steps.

Early this summer Google rolled out one of the most significant changes to its search engine ever called Universal search. This update was followed a week or so later by Ask.com announcing Ask 3D. After a leak and then a more official announcement late September, Microsoft Live officially announced the 2.0 version of it’s search engine to include universal search features and Now Yahoo and has followed suit with their version of Unified search, being called the “new Yahoo! search“. What does all this mean for most businesses marketing online?

What is Universal Search?
First, I should explain what Google Universal, Ask 3D, Live Search and the new Yahoo! Search are, and how they’re different from the way search engines have traditionally retrieved and displayed search results. As an overview, the latest and greatest versions of the popular search engines include more than the text based web pages in the search results that we’ve all been used to the past 10+ years.

These “upgraded” search features from the major search engines now also find and bring back results in varying media formats including: images, news, local listings, video, blog posts, products and more depending on the particular search engine. But let’s break it down a bit further.

Ask and You Shall Receive
Ask 3D means bringing in three dimensions of search into one set of search results, i.e. the three columns in the search results page. For example, if you search for “Shrek 3“, on the left are additional suggested search terms and related searches to other movies. In the middle are paid listings with regular text based results below. On the right are search results from images, video, Wikipedia and other sources depending on the query.

Ask.com 3D
click for large view

One of the big challenges in making search a positive experience for users is to deliver the right answers according to the searcher’s intent. Searching more content sources than just web pages allows the search engine to deliver extra sets of relevant content that people may be looking for rather than making them sort through the typical web page results to find the content they’re looking for or worse, have to perform yet another search on another specific type of search engine.

Ask 3D is unique compared to Google Universal, Live Search and the new Yahoo! search because it most distinctly separates the different data sources on the page.

Google’s New Universe
Google Universal blends Images, Maps, Books, Video, and News into the standard search results page. If we use the “Shrek 3” query again as an example, you’ll see listings from YouTube mixed in with the web pages including a preview image and the option to watch the movie trailer right within the search results. Normally, you’d have to click and visit another web page to do that.

Google Universal
click for large view

So rather than having to perform unique queries on Google, Google News, Google Images, etc individually, Google Universal searches all of those databases and returns the best matches in one set of search results. Findings reported in a recent study by Enquiro show that searchers are more engaged with content throughout the unified search results page rather than just the top 3 listings.

That makes sense because if you search for something and see a video thumbnail in the middle of the search results page, it will draw your attention – provided the title and description text are relevant of course.

Microsoft Search is A-Live!
The new Live Search promises better relevance, speed and look/feel enhancements as well as enhanced search results for queries related to “high interest” categories like: Health, Entertainment, Shopping, Celeberaties, Local, and Video. When a search is performed, like our favorite “shrek 3“, you’ll see video thumbnails displayed near the top of the standard search results with related searches suggested on the right. One neat, and surprising to me, was that the video clips play when you put your cursor over them. No clicking necessary.

Microsoft Live Search
click for large view

It’s A New Yahoo
With the new Yahoo! search, the same unified search characteristics apply. Yahoo searches it’s various databases or indexes of content and brings them back into one set of search results as you can see in this “shrek 3” example search. One interesting feature is that when you search for something location/event oriented, you get a set of results at the top of the page sorted by category, date and most popular. That information comes from Yahoo site, Upcoming.org. The other more notable feature of Yahoo’s new search is the “search assist” feature that suggest phrases as you type.

Yahoo Search
click for large view

While each version of “unified search” is slightly different, they all share the same characteristics of bringing back content from multiple data sources with the intention of providing a better user experience.

Why do these changes with the search engines matter to search marketers and web site owners?

First, it creates an online marketing challenge. A web site might have enjoyed certain positions on key terms within a search engine only now to find that their ranked web pages have been pushed down by video, image or local search results.

To address the situation, web site owners are faced with the proposition of making the effort to optimize their video, image, blog, local, news and product content. That’s easier said than done, because in most cases, small businesses have but a smattering of those content types at their disposal. If you don’t have the content format, you certainly can’t optimize for it. Even if you did, optimizing video for example, is a different thing than optimizing for news search.

The business of optimizing content for search engines just got a lot more complex.

With Challenges Come Opportunities
Many businesses won’t even notice why their search visibility has changed until it’s far into the game. Some will resort to beefing up their paid search campaigns, which you’d think might be an objective for the search engines, and some will roll up their sleeves and tackle the opportunity head on. With unified search results, there exist additional, high profile exposure opportunities where none of that type previously existed. The way for smart marketers to approach these opportunities is with a holistic perspective.

Optimizing holistically starts with an inventory of a company’s digital assets. Text, images, audio and video are all considered along with the incorporation of keyword messaging across company communications. Matching digital assets with channels of distribution provides marketers with even more opportunity to reach customers since each channel (blogging, email, media relations, social networking, forums, etc) can drive traffic independently as well as improve standard search visibility.

If a small business is not in the habit of creating content in multiple formats, then it will mean change. In fact, substantial changes may be necessary with content creation, approval and publishing processes along with the need for ongoing education. The key is to identify those content creation processes that are already occurring that could be altered or leveraged for the purpose of publishing more media content online. Process changes will still be necessary, but if a business can use some of what they’re already doing with other marketing promotions to improve their search visibility in a world of universal search, it will save effort, money and enable results more quickly.

Optimizing for Universal Search in Action
An example might be a situation where a new product is being released. In such a situation, many small businesses will post a new product page with a photo on the web site and email their list of industry publications and local reporters the announcement. They might even post a press release.

To take advantage of such a situation where unified search results can be leveraged might include the same process of updating the company web site with the product content. Such an effort would also include creating content in additional media formats, such as shooting a short video with an engineer or product manager explaining some of the features/benefits of the product. Just about all digital cameras can take a few minutes of video. The video can be edited with free video editing software like Windows Movie Maker to add credits or even add background music.

Promoting a Good Image
To leverage image search, the image file names could use keywords relevant to the product. Alt text used in the coding of the web page describing the image could do the same as well as a short text caption beneath the image. The image(s) can be submitted to image sharing web sites like Flickr.com with relevant keywords in the image category, title, description and tags. The description of the product on the image sharing site can include a link back to the product web page on the company web site.

Associating relevant keywords with the image will help media or image search engines understand what the image is, and subsequently categorize and rank it. The link from the image description on the image sharing site can send both visitors and search engines to the product page.

Video is the New Rock Star of Search
The product page on the company web site can also include the short video to give visitors another way in which to learn about the product. Embedding the video in the product web page also gives search engines another media format to index and display in unified search results. Submitting the product video to video sharing web sites such as YouTube.com with a relevant, keyword-rich description will make it even easier for the video to appear in video search and unified search results.

To take it a step further, you could upload screen captures of the video to image sharing sites and link back to the video from the description. The image and video could also be packaged with the press release to provide the media more interesting and engaging ways to learn about the new product. Submitting the press release via wire services can also leverage new search visibility. There are many more steps possible in promoting such content ranging from social bookmarking to blogger relations to the creation of viral linking campaigns, but this is a start, a foundation.

Making Universal Search Easier is Hard Work
The overall idea is to create, optimize and promote the kinds of media formats (text, images and video in this example) that both customers and search engines will respond to. Making it easy for search engines to find your text, images and video means it will be easier for those representations of your product to show up in unified search results.

It may sound like a lot of work but this is the reality of the new search. Optimizing relevant media formats to meet the information channel and format consumption preferences of customers is what will allow small businesses to continue competing against the “big guys” on the web.

The upside is that a substantial increase in media types being indexed by the new search engines all linking to a company web site will provide the kind of advantage standard search engine optimization no longer offers. In other words, optimizing for the different media types provides a competitive advantage.

The Work Will Never End But the Benefits Are Long Term
As long as there are search engines, there will be some kind of optimization for improving search engine visibility. What small business marketers need to consider are all the digital assets they have to work with and enable content creation, optimization and promotion processes to give both search engines and customers the information they’re looking for in the formats they’ll respond to.


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Yahoo Mash Beta – New Social Networking Platform http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/09/yahoo-mash-beta-new-social-networking-platform/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/09/yahoo-mash-beta-new-social-networking-platform/#comments Sat, 15 Sep 2007 04:50:41 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/09/yahoo-mash-beta-new-social-networking-platform/ I’ve updated my Yahoo mash profile page a bit over the weekend and with the help of a few friends. Note: if you have some mischievous friends, you may want to turn off their ability to edit or “mash” your profile page or it might start sporting another company’s logo as your background image, as [...]

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I’ve updated my Yahoo mash profile page a bit over the weekend and with the help of a few friends. Note: if you have some mischievous friends, you may want to turn off their ability to edit or “mash” your profile page or it might start sporting another company’s logo as your background image, as was the case on my profile for a few hours on Saturday.

Mash is very easy to use with drag and drop modules ala Facebook but with the unique feature of allowing others to add and/or modify modules or even visual settings, depending on the sharing settings. You get a short URL, mash.yahoo.com/leeodden is mine, for example, but you need to be logged in to Yahoo and have a mash account to see the content.

I’ve seen a few ads and initially, I thought they were rather large, but they do flow well with the rest of the page regardless of your visual or layout settings. As people build out more and more modules, not unlike what’s happening at Facebook, there should be more productive networking tools like group management and calendar related features. Yahoo’s other social networking project, Y360 pretty much tanked, so there will need to be more than just “fun” applications, especially with the huge head start MySpace and Facebook have. One ace in the hole for Yahoo is it’s huge list of registered users.

After the flurry of the initial launch, many eyes will be watching to see how Yahoo mash pans out. Thanks to Michael Brito for the invite.

yahoo mash

Here’s a screen shot of my new Yahoo mash beta account. By the time someone reads this there will be a LOT more “friends” listed.

More later as it’s late night on Friday and I need sleep. In the meantime, Techcrunch has a write up.


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Search Bash 2007 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/search-bash-2007/ Thu, 23 Aug 2007 15:26:14 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/search-bash-2007/ WebmasterRadio.FM and their sponsors did not disappoint with the right of passage for new SES San Jose attendees known as “Search Bash“. Hula hoops, Jersey Girls, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Sumo wrestling, go go girls and an open bar all night. Tell me that’s not a formula for an evening you’ll likely not [...]

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Live Band at Search Bash

WebmasterRadio.FM and their sponsors did not disappoint with the right of passage for new SES San Jose attendees known as “Search Bash“. Hula hoops, Jersey Girls, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Sumo wrestling, go go girls and an open bar all night. Tell me that’s not a formula for an evening you’ll likely not remember but really wish you could!

And now for a few photos:

Brandy and Daron Babin
Brandy and Daron Babin

Vivid Nightclub in San Jose
Vivid Nightclub

Pretty SEO
Chris and Danielle Winfield

Yeah, that guy right there.
Ken Jurina and Mike McDonald

Can't wait to share these photos with my boss!
Sumo Search Bash Style

Dave and Dave
Dave Naylor and David Brown

Dax and Tim Mayer Watch Sumo Fun
Tim Mayer from Yahoo laughing about the ass he’s about to kick

One Two Three: Sumo!
Daron Babin instigating more sumo fun

Microsoft warms to TopRank
Mel Carson (Microsoft) Lee and Natala Menezes (Microsoft)

Danny Sullivan spotted in public
Danny Sullivan and Greg Boser

It's like Hollywood except in San Jose
Melanie Mitchell (AOL), Dave Roth (Yahoo), Laura Lippay (Yahoo) and Lee Odden (TopRank)


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Yahoo Book Party – Mona Elesseily http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/yahoo-book-party-mona-elesseily/ Thu, 23 Aug 2007 14:59:08 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/yahoo-book-party-mona-elesseily/ After a long day of sessions on day three of Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, some attendees mosied on over to the Yahoo Panama Book party for Mona Elesseily of Page Zero. It was great to see the support for her new report, “Mastering Panama – A special report on Yahoo!’s new search marketing [...]

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Yahoo Book Party

After a long day of sessions on day three of Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, some attendees mosied on over to the Yahoo Panama Book party for Mona Elesseily of Page Zero. It was great to see the support for her new report, “Mastering Panama – A special report on Yahoo!’s new search marketing platform”.

Yahoo Book Party

Yahoo Book Party

While I haven’t had a chance to do a full review of the book since last night, I have paged through it and it appears to be pretty comprehensive and very easy to read with plenty of ordered lists, “Action Items” and “Helpful Hints”. You can get your copy here.


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SES Video Tim Mayer of Yahoo Interview http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/ses-video-tim-mayer-of-yahoo-interview/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/ses-video-tim-mayer-of-yahoo-interview/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2007 23:47:26 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/ses-video-tim-mayer-of-yahoo-interview/ Going through proper channels, I was able to coordinate a short video interview with Tim Mayer of Yahoo. I’m a bit of a Yahoo fan and it was great being able to chat with Tim for a few minutes before we recorded on the various questions other speakers suggested. In this video, Tim answers a [...]

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Tim Mayer Yahoo

Going through proper channels, I was able to coordinate a short video interview with Tim Mayer of Yahoo. I’m a bit of a Yahoo fan and it was great being able to chat with Tim for a few minutes before we recorded on the various questions other speakers suggested.

In this video, Tim answers a few questions including:

  • What’s in store for Yahoo’s version of Universal search?
  • From Mike Grehan: “Why does my spam work so much better in Yahoo than it does in Google?”
  • From Stephan Spencer: “If another Yahoo web property was found to have violated Yahoo’s guidelines, what would you do?” ie, “What if you caught another Yahoo web site spamming, would you ban them?”
  • What’s you favorite thing about search marketing conferences?

[youtube]ucxd3NNS5kg[/youtube]

Thanks to Tim for being such a great sport!


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9 Wishes For a Better Yahoo http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/yahoo-wishes/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/yahoo-wishes/#comments Thu, 02 Aug 2007 16:05:40 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/08/yahoo-wishes/ Editors Note:  As part of our continued effort at diversifying contributors to Online Marketing Blog and providing a public communication platform for our merry band of search marketing enthusiasts, here is a post from Blog SEO and Designer, Thomas McMahon: Yahoo is by many accounts, the grandfather of search. They’ve been around a long time [...]

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Editors Note:  As part of our continued effort at diversifying contributors to Online Marketing Blog and providing a public communication platform for our merry band of search marketing enthusiasts, here is a post from Blog SEO and Designer, Thomas McMahon:

Yahoo Logo

Yahoo is by many accounts, the grandfather of search. They’ve been around a long time and have quite a few popular services to offer but continue to trail behind Google in many areas. I’m a fan of Yahoo and think there are a few things that could make Yahoo better. Here are a few of the improvements I’d like to see Yahoo implement to make them a better search engine:

  1. Less Graphical Ads – A huge turn off is all the big banner ads, especially in the email portion. I can handle text ads, and even some well made non-animated graphical ads, but I’m tired of the mortgage ads and the annoying Flash ads.
  2. Single Sign-on – If I log into Yahoo Mail, why can’t I go to Flickr and be logged in too?
  3. iCalendar – It’d be great to see Yahoo Calendar play well with others. The iCalendar format is open source and works with many desktop online applications. Make it even better by allowing users to publish/sync iCalendar feeds to Yahoo’s calendar and I bet you’d get some Google Calendar users.
  4. Spam Filtering – What I’d like to see done with Yahoo Mail is a spam filter that learns from the users as whole. If 1000 other Yahoo users mark a message as spam, my version is probably spam too. I get so much spam that doesn’t get caught that it’s ridiculous.
  5. Flickr – Now that Yahoo owns Flickr, they need to remove the upload limit. I hit my 200 photos and am not allowed to upload more without paying. So I switched to a different service instead. I’d gladly come back though.
  6. Yahoo Messenger – The Windows IM client is so chalked full of ads and other features that it’s no fun to use. The Mac version though has no ads and nothing but chat. It’s so much nicer.
  7. Site Explorer – While the Yahoo Site Explorer is a good start, it’d be great to get actual stats or information other than just pages and links. I hate to say it, but more like Google Webmaster Central. Also, I’d be nice to be able to download all my links. The export option is nice, but one can only get 50 links at a time. If you have 5,000 links, that’s going to take forever.
  8. LAUNCHcast – Way back in the day, I use to really enjoy listening to music on Launch. However, now when I try to listen, it tells me I need Mac OS 8.5 or 9 (not OS X) and Netscape 4.5 (not 6+) and Windows Media Player 7+. I can deal with the Windows Media requirement, but the other two? Are you kidding me? It’s also not available in Firefox on Windows.
  9. MyYahoo Widgets – It’d be sweet to have Yahoo Widget Engine widgets on my MyYahoo page. I need some sort of added functionality as it currently seems like I can only get Yahoo modules or RSS feeds. I do have to say though that the MyYahoo makeover that’s coming does look really nice. Now, about the functionality.

Yahoo is a great company, but these are just a few things that could make it even better for users of it’s services. What are your Yahoo wishes?


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Yahoo Panama Recent Upgrades http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/06/yahoo-panama-recent-upgrades/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/06/yahoo-panama-recent-upgrades/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2007 22:00:36 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/06/yahoo-panama-recent-upgrades/ Yahoo Panama is on the upgrade path today with several new features to help advertisers streamline account management: Move/copy keywords: You can now move and copy keywords from one ad group to another without doing the copy/paste/delete thing. On the Ad Group page under the “Campaigns” tab, you’ll now see a “Move” button which will [...]

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Yahoo Panama is on the upgrade path today with several new features to help advertisers streamline account management:

Move/copy keywords: You can now move and copy keywords from one ad group to another without doing the copy/paste/delete thing. On the Ad Group page under the “Campaigns” tab, you’ll now see a “Move” button which will allow you to move or copy keywords from one ad group to another ad group.” Note that there is still a 1000 keyword limit per ad group.

Streamline keyword selector tool: Yahoo now provides an estimate of the monthly searches on each keyword suggested. This provides more detailed information on the traffic that this keyword may be able to generate. As before, you can select the keywords you wish to add by clicking the box next to the suggestions and clicking “Add Keywords.”

Ad writing help guide: When creating ads, you’ll be able to preview ads that appear in search results for your selected keywords.

Panama is catching up to Google AdWords in features pretty quickly. What has your experience with Panama been so far?


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Yahoo Search Marketing Launches Quality Based Pricing http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/06/yahoo-search-marketing-launches-quality-based-pricing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/06/yahoo-search-marketing-launches-quality-based-pricing/#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2007 01:17:15 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/06/yahoo-search-marketing-launches-quality-based-pricing/ Earlier today Yahoo Search Marketing announced they will now provide free, open access to the “Panama” search marketing application program interfaces (APIs) through the launch of the Commercial API Program. Commercial clients (big agencies) will also be offered optional fee-based, value-added services that come in three flavors: basic, advanced and elite. Yahoo’s been busy today, [...]

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Earlier today Yahoo Search Marketing announced they will now provide free, open access to the “Panama” search marketing application program interfaces (APIs) through the launch of the Commercial API Program. Commercial clients (big agencies) will also be offered optional fee-based, value-added services that come in three flavors: basic, advanced and elite.

Yahoo’s been busy today, because this evening I got the heads up Y!SM is rolling out quality based pricing across it’s paid search and contextual advertising networks.

Here’s the lowdown on quality based pricing from Yahoo:

“Essentially, it assesses the quality of a publisher’s traffic based upon the publisher’s ability to deliver more interested, high-value potential customers to Yahoo!’s advertisers. A few of the factors considered by quality-based pricing include publisher conversion rates, traffic source and implementation type. Depending on the quality of a given publisher’s traffic, the cost of an advertiser’s click can be automatically discounted by a certain percentage.”

Basically it’s a trickle down theory where Yahoo hopes the increased ROI and savings will motivate advertisers to experiment with their savings and reinvest in Yahoo Search Marketing campaigns.

More info on the new pricing model over at the Y!SM Blog.


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Yahoo Contest Giving $25k Away in Advertising http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/yahoo-contest-giving-25k-away-in-advertising/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/yahoo-contest-giving-25k-away-in-advertising/#comments Thu, 10 May 2007 21:04:51 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/yahoo-contest-giving-25k-away-in-advertising/ Normally we don’t really cover a lot of industry news here at Online Marketing Blog.  We leave that to the experts at Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Marketing Pilgrim. However, when a search engine reaches out with a particularly interesting message, we can make exceptions. For example, the new “Ultimate [...]

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Normally we don’t really cover a lot of industry news here at Online Marketing Blog.  We leave that to the experts at Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Marketing Pilgrim. However, when a search engine reaches out with a particularly interesting message, we can make exceptions.

For example, the new “Ultimate Connection” contest from Yahoo Search Marketing which involves Ivanka Trump. I had to read that twice and thought it an interesting choice of celebrity.    Whenever I hear about search marketing contests involving essays, I always think of Marketing Pilgrim’s Scholarship, but such methods of promotion have been around a lot longer than SEO blogs.

More details can be found on the YSM blog, but here are the prizes for the three lucky winners from the five finalists who are to write a 500 word essay on what each entrant’s business needs to be successful:

  • An “Ultimate Connection” power lunch in New York City with the up-and-coming entrepreneur winners and top-ranking marketing stars
  • A $25,000 budget from Yahoo! Search Marketing to use toward a keyword ad campaign
  • Mentoring from a legendary marketing expert throughout the year
  • Access to a Yahoo! Search Marketing expert throughout the year
  • A website makeover, courtesy of Yahoo! Small Business and Web site development firm FastPivot.

Personally, I’d be happy with the $25k in ad spend. That would be a good return on the investment in time to write a 500 word essay.  For that, it should be a no-brainer to enter this contest.   I suspect if you are running an online store using Yahoo Store as the platform, it would be a REALLY good idea to enter this contest.


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The Future of Search Engine Innovation http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/the-future-of-search-engine-innovation/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/the-future-of-search-engine-innovation/#comments Tue, 08 May 2007 21:23:49 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/the-future-of-search-engine-innovation/ From the conference session handbook: The Future of Search Engine Innovation – As search engines evolve, so must the methods of the marketers. We’re seeing the emergence of smart mashups, of visual search engines and personalized search. What does the future hold for search marketers and advertisers as they struggle to match speed of improvement [...]

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Ravi Raj Ron Belanger
From the conference session handbook: The Future of Search Engine Innovation – As search engines evolve, so must the methods of the marketers. We’re seeing the emergence of smart mashups, of visual search engines and personalized search. What does the future hold for search marketers and advertisers as they struggle to match speed of improvement being set by the engines themselves?

This session was moderated by David Berkowitz of 360i and included: Ron Belanger of Yahoo!, Paul Martino of Aggregate Knowledge, Chase Norlin of Pixsy filling in for Dr. Barney Pell of Powerset, and Ravi Raj from Kosmix.

First up is Ron Belanger who basically sums up three areas of focus for Yahoo in terms of search engine innovation. They include:
1. Getting search to mobile

2. Social search – revealing a whole new set of search results.

3. Better understanding user intent – Yahoo Mindset is a beta test of understanding user intent. The tool includes a slider for research mode or shopping mode and skews the search results accordingly.

Rather than deliver billions and billions of pages, Yahoo is working to deliver the one to three pages users are really looking for.

Next up is Ravi Raj of Kosmix. What’s interesting and different about Kosmix is that they’ve built indexes according to vertical markets which currently include: Health, Video Games, Finance, Travel, Politics and Autos. Kosmix will also mashup content from several sources in the search results.

Now we have Paul Martino of Aggregate Knowledge, which is a discovery or recommendation based search service. Paul asks,”What is discovery?” In the real world, it’s observing behaviors of other people. Discovery can be bigger than search. Search requires you to know what you’re looking for.

Discovery is navigation without keywords. Connections are provided by knowing about other people’s behaviors (user generated editorial) and/or you own preferences. It can be personalization, collaborative filtering, people who bought this bought that – any of those things. Discovery presents other things of interest.

Rounding things up is Chase Norlin with an introduction of his company, Pixsy which is a service that aggregates thumbnails of images and videos along with their meta data. The Pixsy search service along with thumbnails are syndicated by a variety of publishers. Image search is the fastest growing type of consmer search vertical.

Now for moderator questions:

David Berkowitz: Is this all about taking market share from Google?

Paul Martino: You can compete with Google on something in their backyard or fight the battle on something Google doesn’t do very well. Example, if you wanted to unseat Microsoft in the past, you didn’t create another OS, you beat them through search.

Chase Norlin – The only way to beat Google is to go around them. Technology has become a commodity and it’s business model innovation that provides companies the opportunity to compete.

Ron Belanger: Companies are pursuing more and more of a variety of solutions. Yahoo is focused on delivering best user experience and second, how can they monetize that traffic.

David Berkowitz: The biggest Yahoo innovation has been Panama, is there anything else coming regarding search?

Ron Belanger: Social search and Yahoo answers influencing or integrated with search results pages.

David Berkowitz: What has wowed you regarding search?

Ravi Raj – The web has been text and is becoming more visual. For example, AOL search has full view showing text, media and social media.

Ron Belanger: Trying to make mobile search better.

Paul Martino: Snap is an example. How can we make the interface more natural? Flickr is is a search and a discovery engine.

David Berkowitz: Innovation has been the role of technology to do some of the work of searching. In the case of Flickr, there’s a lot of work the user does to make Flickr a useful search tool.

Paul Martino: Learned that people are motivated to be the star on social networking.

Audience Questions:

Audience: Mindset changes natural results, do paid ads change?
Ron Belanger: It’s in beta, so no.

Lee Odden: Where is there more opportunity for innovation in search engines, with natural results or with ads?

Paul Martino – As creative becomes the content, the work SEO or marketing agencies are about creating content.

Ravi Raj: There is no dichotomy as indicated in the question. The job is to deliver the best results whether it’s content or advertising.

Gord Hotchkiss: The active users, those that want recognition. Is that scalabe with social search?

Ron Belanger: Cites a study where 40% of the internet the population will express their opinion. Not all social inquiries are equal. Use technologies that enable mass reach but include filters to reduce irrelevant information.

Paul Martino: Cites a Microsoft application, Netscan. Note: It looks like MS killed this as of March 31, 2007.

Ravi Raj: There are givers and takers with the social web with 1% are contributing, 99% are consuming.


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Yahoo! Testing Search Results Interface http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/yahoo-testing-search-results-interface/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/yahoo-testing-search-results-interface/#comments Fri, 04 May 2007 23:20:39 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/05/yahoo-testing-search-results-interface/ As Karl Ribas found recently, Yahoo is testing some new search results page today. Funny thing is, I don’t use Yahoo standard search all that much but I couldn’t find what I was looking for on Google. (Note: the query in the screenshot is not what I was looking for) Click for larger version As [...]

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As Karl Ribas found recently, Yahoo is testing some new search results page today. Funny thing is, I don’t use Yahoo standard search all that much but I couldn’t find what I was looking for on Google. (Note: the query in the screenshot is not what I was looking for)

New Yahoo Search Interface
Click for larger version

As Barry has also noted over at Search Engine Land, blue doesn’t really seem like “Yahoo”, it seems more like another company. It’s purple (my favorite color) that I think of when I think Yahoo.


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SES New York Day 3 Videos http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/04/ses-new-york-day-3-videos/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/04/ses-new-york-day-3-videos/#comments Fri, 13 Apr 2007 12:14:24 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/04/ses-new-york-day-3-videos/ I was able to do just two video interviews before my camera got dropped in a glass of water. I’ll have to explain that in another post. [googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5655668133485217314&hl=en[/googlevideo] Here’s Michael Gray, aka graywolf, just before our session with Todd Mailicoat and Neil Patel on “Social Bookmark Strategies” where he talks about tips for conference goers. [...]

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I was able to do just two video interviews before my camera got dropped in a glass of water. I’ll have to explain that in another post.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5655668133485217314&hl=en[/googlevideo]

Here’s Michael Gray, aka graywolf, just before our session with Todd Mailicoat and Neil Patel on “Social Bookmark Strategies” where he talks about tips for conference goers. Coverage of that session can be found at The Lisa, Search Engine Roundtable, Small Business SEM and CenterNetworks.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4176575133923097250&hl=en[/googlevideo]

I also caught up with Mona Elesseily from Page Zero where she talks about Yahoo Panama pros and cons. Also two new Panama enhancements: Quality based bidding and being able to opt out of Yahoo’s content network.


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Search Engines Support Sitemaps Autodiscovery http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/04/search-engines-support-sitemaps-autodiscovery/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/04/search-engines-support-sitemaps-autodiscovery/#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2007 15:38:47 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/04/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 [...]

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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“.


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Yahoo Adds Quality Index to Search Marketing Ads http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/01/yahoo-adds-quality-index-to-search-marketing-ads/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/01/yahoo-adds-quality-index-to-search-marketing-ads/#comments Tue, 23 Jan 2007 23:45:41 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/01/yahoo-adds-quality-index-to-search-marketing-ads/ Yahoo! has announced that on Feb 5th, they will be introducing a quality score to the Yahoo Search Marketing ad system, “Panama”. To date, placement of ads on Yahoo and their network have been based on bid price alone. From the press release: “The quality of an ad will be determined by its historical performance [...]

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Yahoo! has announced that on Feb 5th, they will be introducing a quality score to the Yahoo Search Marketing ad system, “Panama”. To date, placement of ads on Yahoo and their network have been based on bid price alone. From the press release:

“The quality of an ad will be determined by its historical performance in the new system and its expected performance relative to other ads displayed at the same time. Ads of higher quality will generally receive better placement on the results page.”

Advertisers will be able to see the “quality index” for their ads within Panama along with an estimated average position and estimated forecast of clicks for their ad campaigns, based on budget allocation and ad quality.

Google AdWords also offers a quality score that measures quality and relevance of ads to determine the minimum cost per click and is based on clickthrough rate, relevance of ad text, keyword, and landing page.

Adding a measure of quality to Yahoo’s Panama search advertising system brings the hopes of an improved user experience, better quality sales/leads for advertisers and an improved overall marketplace according to Tim Cadogan, Yahoo!‚Äôs vice president, search marketing.

Panama was a big jump for Yahoo and I think the continued rollout of enhancements as well as attention to customer service will tell the tale as to how successful the transition and system performance will be for advertisers.


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