Lee Odden

Are we doing something right?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Took a look at our main site server logs and noticed this interesting list of visitors over the past few weeks:

citicorp.com
hilton.com
bankofamerica.com
intuit.com
fedex.com
kingston.net
lucent.com
norwest.com
nutrisystem.com
ford.com
disney.com
ballyfitness.com
mmm.com

Now the question is, how many of these companies contacted us? Answer, one. But that’s not my point for the list. It’s to show that major brands do indeed click on organic search engine listings when researching online marketing vendors. Each of these companies found our TopRank site through a search on Google or Yahoo using variations of: search engine marketing firms, search engine optimization firms, online marketing firms, etc.

Lee Odden

Online Marketing News, Articles

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Google Dance. This is sort of old info for those of us in the SEO industry by now, but it’s not a bad take on Googles updates in the past few months. From Media Daily News.

Sullivan: No One Will Win Search War – Great interview with Danny Sullivan and I agree: increased competition within the search engine space leads to better search performance for users and spreads traffic opportunities for companies. It used to be that a web site could gain excellent amounts of organic listing traffic from any of 5 or 6 top search engines. In the past year or more, it’s been all about Google. If Google makes an update that does not favor a particular site any longer, the vast majority of traffic is lost. With multiple primary sources of organic listing traffic, any one engine is not as critical to a site’s success. From ClickZ News

Lee Odden

Online Marketing News and Articles

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Yahoo! to charge companies to ensure search index placement – Site Match, the commercial paid inclusion component of the new program, will be available on a subscription or full-service basis directly from Overture and other resellers.

eWeek’s Take on Google Relevance Snippet: “Google’s reliance on link popularity may have finally hit a wall. Past a certain point, link counting rewards “optimized” sites rather than lesser-known sites that may contain exactly what you need.”

Practical Guide to Basic SEO – Not a bad rundown of tactics, shameless plug included. From iMedia Connection.

From WebProWorld:
Two ways to get your site listed in Yahoo! (both require a Yahoo membership):

Lee Odden

Internet Marketing News and Articles

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Everything you ever wanted to know about Google – From Wired Magazine. Ah, they left this out though: United States Patent 6,678,681

Here’s a decent article on what you should know about Web Analytics – From iMedia Connection

SEMPO Gain New Sponsors: Google, Overture, and GO TOAST – This is a great thing, to see more major search properties acknowledging SEMPO. SEMPO’s charger is to increase awareness and promote the value of search engine marketing services.

Why Yahoo Discontinuing Google Results May Cost You Even More Money – You can pay to be included in Inktomi and for now, show up in Yahoo default search results. This article by Mike Grehan, explains how Yahoo will discontinue automatic inclusion for Inktomi paid inclusion in exchange for another index, which will need to be paid for separately. i.e. – you’ll have to pay Yahoo and Inktomi separately.

Lee Odden

Nielsen NetRatings Search Engine Ranking

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Snippet: “Search engines continue to be the primary tool people use to navigate the Web,” said Jason Levin,
analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. “With the big search players having recently updated their search
capabilities, Internet users should expect to find even better search results from the major search engines
in the near future.”

The release reported search engine rankings according to Unique Audience and Active Reach.
1. Google – 39.4%
2. Yahoo – 30.4%
3. MSN – 29.6%
4. AOL – 15.5%
5. Ask Jeeves – 8.5%

These are the search properties that account for the vast majority of all search engine use. Not ranking well on these engines means lost opportunity. The most important reason users gave for using search engines was “can find relevant information”. Which is interesting given all the changes Google has been making to improve it’s results and Yahoo’s decision to rely on Inktomi rather than Google for default results.

Lee Odden

LookSmart Looking Bad – Inktomi Looking Good

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

The loss of MSN as a major client really hit LookSmart hard. It’s a familiar scenario – remember what happened with RealNames? They say they’re restructuring, but how will LookSmart ever make up for losing such a huge client? Article from Media Daily News

New results on MSN search will come from Inktomi, which is now owned by Yahoo. Inktomi will also power the default search results on Yahoo since the relationship with Google is terminating. If a website is not ranking well with Inktomi sourced search engines, then any traffic from Yahoo and MSN will pretty much disappear.

It’s important to diversify sources of online traffic more now than ever. After Google shook things up a bit last December and in January this year, many web marketers have re-evaluated their obsession with Google, and started to look more seriously at other avenues of traffic. I have no doubt Overture and Google AdWords PPC revenues are up.

Lee Odden

Google, Tuples and DIPRE – Oh My

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Google: A recent patent filed by Sergey Brin for their search technology “invention” that describes some of the inner workings of how Google ranks pages. After reading this you’ll either: a) get very excited b) fall asleep

If you’re interested in that, you’ll also like the classic “The Anatomy of a Search Engine. I’m sure there are a few out there that would like to see a digested version of this information that provides specific web development and copywriting guidelines. For the most part, it’s still true that a site with robust, quality content that is well-linked will do nicely on Google.

Lee Odden

Study Shows Online Search Queries Becoming More Complex

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

According to a study conducted by OneStat, two- and three-word searches are the norm for Web searchers. Nearly 33 percent of a sample of 2 million Web searchers monitored in the past two months used
two-word queries and 26 percent used three-word queries.

Another thing I would like to add here is that, in my opinion and based on experiences with our clients and our own online marketing, more specific search phrases tend to convert at a much higher rate than broad search phrases. Queries on general terms typically yield clicks on most first page results as the searcher is “kicking tires” for web sites that contain the desired information. With a more specific query, the likelihood of conversion is greater because the intent is to find a very specific item. When a search results matches the search term exactly, the searcher drills down into a specific site to conclude the search.

Lee Odden

Friendster No Friend to Google – Answers with Orkut.com

Lee Odden     Online Marketing


Article from News.com
– Google made it’s entry into the social networking marketing live yesterday. Officially, Google says Orkut is not part of it’s product lineup – the site indicates it is “in affiliation with Google”.

Interesting move by Google, but is it a strategic initiative, or just a pet project by Orkut Buyukkokten, the Google engineer who developed the app? Anything new that Google comes out with prior to the IPO is going to look like a bit of beefing up, I think.

To join Orkut, you must be invited, you cannot sign-up on the site, which is interesting. “orkut is a trusted community. In order to join, you need to receive an invitation”. I’m not going to hold be breath for that. That may be an intentional effort to make the service exclusive. Google news started out much the same way so I gues we’ll see.

Lee Odden

Yahoo vs Google

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Press Release from Business Wire

Yahoo recently announced that it’s formed Yahoo! Research Labs, a team of scientists that will investigate and develop future Internet technologies. The team is led by chief scientists from Yahoo and recently purchased PPC firm, Overture.

If you’re not familiar, Google Labs has been around for quite a while. Cool tools like voice search and Google deskbar as well as features like Google News have come out of the Google Labs initiative.

With Yahoo discontinuing to use Google search results soon, Yahoo is clearly positioning itself to edge in more aggressively on the market share it once had from Google. With Inktomi soon to replace default search results on Yahoo, businesses that rely on traffic from Yahoo will do well to ensure their rankings are also prominent within Inktomi. Otherwise, when the changeover happens, traffic from Yahoo may all but disappear.

Lee Odden

Top 10 Marketing Tends for 2004

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Starting with “Tech marketing rebound”, this article from BtoB lists 10 marketing trends to watch for in 2004 based on comments by top marketing, agency and industry execs interviewed by BtoB.

Additional comments:
“Search will continue to be big,” said Greg Stuart, president-CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Keyword search made up 31% of total online ad revenue in the first six months of the year, and Stuart said it will keep growing. “Search has not peaked, and it‚Äôs not going to level off any time soon” he said. “Most people are making profits on first customer contacts with search.”

Link to Article

Lee Odden

AD:TECH Survey Results

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Heavy Internet Marketers Reveal What’s Working What’s Not, & 2004 Budgets

Article: From MarketingSherpa.com

At the time of this post, the link above will reveal the entire article, but after a week or so, I believe it’s placed in a pay-to-view situation (nominal fee).

One of the comments I found interesting was, “We expect SEO spending to continue strong in 2004…” Companies that are tired of spending money on PPC like a water faucet will increasingly look to reputable SEO firms for guidance. That is not to say PPC is going away, or has matured, or anything like that. As marketing organizations within companies are increasingly held accountable, the drive towards finding cost effective tactics will simply increase.