Lee Odden

Business Blogs and Marketing

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

eMarketer has issued a new report on blogging for businesses: “The Business of Blogging

The report “looks at the implications of the blogging phenomenon for businesses, scans the corporate world’s blogging activity, and offers recommendations for business users.”

Interestingly, “just 4% of major US corporations have blogs available to the public ¬ó and even fewer produce active sites with the link and feedback features that most readers associate with true blogs.”

The rate of blog readership in general is not growing as fast as it was during the political race last year, but as a business communication tool, business blog creation and readership is definitely growing. Read Anita Campbell’s post, 10% of Small Business Marketing Plans Include Blogs where she describes a study by HP on small business owners.

TopRank Marketing Editor

RSS – A non-technical introduction

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing

There has been a lot of talk in the web world about RSS lately and there are lots of web sites that tell you what it is, however I’m going to try and explain it in an easy to understand way.

means “Really Simple Syndication” which is basically a way for a web site or blog to provide content in a standard format that you can subscribe to using a RSS reader. There are hundreds of RSS readers out there for Mac and PC. Some are based online, like Bloglines, others are programs you run from your computer. [Mac Readers] [PC Readers] [More Readers] Some free, some cost a little. I use Sage RSS reader as part of my web browser. It’s free and works on both Mac and PC.

Lee Odden

Google Acquires Dodgeball

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I’ll be honest, I had not heard of Dodgeball.com before and they offer the service here in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Google has acquired Dodgeball as of today. Basically, it’s a mobile social networking service using your text-messaging-enabled cell phone/pda/whatever.

Here’s a description of Dodgeball from New York Magazine:

“When Dodgeball users “check in” at a given locale by sending out a text message, it goes to all their preselected friends, as well as any friends of friends within a ten-block radius. A photo is sent along with the alert-which helps with identifying near strangers. Introductions are made, beer is poured, and then hookups can occur-casually, and in a low-pressure environment, all under the guise of knowing someone in common. It’s Friendster, except in real time and in the real world.”

Lee Odden

Google to integrate Gmail with Blogger?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

A recent article in InfoWorld references an interview with Blogger’s Biz Stone regarding enhancements to the Blogger service.

Updates may include:

  • Enterprise blogging
  • Create private groups
  • Image uploading directly to blogger.com
  • Integration with Gmail

The article also mentions efforts made to improve the performance of blogger as well as the recent moblogging enhancement.

There are a lot of enhancements I’d love to see in blogger. Fortunately, I’ve been able to use 3rd party tools to compensate including Haloscan for trackback, Bloglet for email subscriptions, Feedburner for an RSS feed and Hitslink for site visitor statistics. Another welcome improvement would be the ability to associated posts with one or more topical categories.

With enhancements like these, I would be a lot more inclined to recommend Blogger as a blogging platform.

Lee Odden

Zabasearch: Useful or Scary?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I just read an article on Wired about Zabasearch. It’s pretty much a comprehensive public records search engine that draws from over 29 thousand public databases.

One the one hand, it’s useful for those rare times when you have to recall where you’ve lived in the past 10 years or if you need to do a background check on a prospective employee.

On the other hand, it makes information easily available that you might not have wanted others to see. An example from the Wired article brought up scenarios involving stalkers and abusive domestic situations, etc.

Zabasearch does not maintain any of the data, they access it and display results through their search engine. If there are inaccuracies, they need to be corrected through the source, usually government records. There are many other people search services out there but Zabasearch seems to have a lot more data.

Lee Odden

Volunteer Your Skills: The Taproot Foundation

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

These folks are doing some great work for non-profits. Check them out:

The Taproot Foundation is a volunteer organization that builds teams of marketing and creative services professionals, human resources professionals, and information technology professionals to work on projects for local nonprofits. Taproot let’s you “give what you know” so that you can make the strongest impact on your local community while networking and growing professionally.

Taproot Foundation has new volunteer projects – called Service Grants – launching in the next several months in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. We are seeking experienced Web professionals to volunteer their skills on our upcoming Website volunteer projects Рcalled Service Grants. Talented Project Managers, Marketing Managers and Designers can apply with us to use their skills to help local nonprofits in the New York City and San Francisco Bay Area to develop websites to support their initiatives.

Lee Odden

Business Blog Marketing

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends posted recently about a recent survey conducted by HP. Some interesting findings include:

“Ten percent of small business owners in a recent study reported that they have included blogs in their marketing plans. And 16% plan to invest in blogs over the next 2 to 3 years.”

Which is pretty interesting considering less than half of all businesses have web sites. Additional comments from Anita on Blogs and SEO:

“SEO firms also figure in this mix. As the number of business blogs grows, it becomes harder to stand out. Search engine optimization (SEO) for blogs will become important just as it is for websites.”

TopRank Marketing Editor

Google is out to save you time.

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing

Google launched Google Web Accelerator today. It’s an add-on to Internet Explorer or Firefox on a PC and supposedly speeds up the rendering time of web pages. It even comes with a built in timer to tell you how much time you’ve saved over all. It shaves just seconds or even milliseconds off rendering time, but it adds up after a while.
How does Google Web Accelerator work? According to Google…

Google Web Accelerator uses various strategies to make your web pages load faster, including:

* Sending your page requests through Google machines dedicated to handling Google Web Accelerator traffic.
* Storing copies of frequently looked at pages to make them quickly accessible.
* Downloading only the updates if a web page has changed slightly since you last viewed it.
* Prefetching certain pages onto your computer in advance.
* Managing your Internet connection to reduce delays.
* Compressing data before sending it to your computer.

Lee Odden

SES Toronto

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Barry from Search Engine Roundtable is covering the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Toronto. Be sure to visit his SEO blog for posts about the sessions he’s attending.

So far he’s posted on the Organic Listings Forum and Cleaning Up Spam & Other Messes.

Update: Here’s a link to a summary of all the SES Toronto sessions Barry attended

Tags: SEO, SES, search engine optimization

Lee Odden

Google drops price for Urchin On Demand

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Urchin On Demand Price Drop – Price reduction from $495 to $199/mo.

Specific benefits of Urchin On Demand:

  • Better Intelligence: Urchin helps site owners and advertisers understand how visitors find, navigate and convert on their websites.
  • Higher Conversions: Urchin tracks visitors from all online sources including search engines, natural links, and any variety of paid advertising campaigns such as paid banners, keywords, emails, etc.
  • Actionable Data: The service provides many reports designed to help users visualize their data and take quick action including: Funnel Analysis, Website Overlays, GeoTargeting, Ecommerce Reporting, Campaign Comparisons, Keywords Suggestion Tools, etc. – via


Interestingly I had just traded emails last week with Barry from SERoundtable and Brett Crosby of Urchin about Urchin’s conversion tracking abilities. We’re looking forward to implementation, particularly with the new pricing model.

Lee Odden

Internet Marketing Channel at Lockergnome.com

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I’ve signed on to write for Lockergnome’s new Internet Marketing channel recently.

“Read this channel for the latest information on internet marketing strategies and processes, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, online public relations and blog marketing. Search engine industry news, resources and tactics will be posted daily from some of the top experts in the industry.”

There are just a few posts so far, but definitely check it out. My posts will concentrate on search engine marketing /optimization and blog marketing drawing on 7+ years of marketing on the Internet. There are other contributors that will cover the gamut of internet marketing strategies as well. Go ahead and subscribe to the Internet Marketing feed.

Lee Odden

Opportunity with Natural Search Marketing

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Several good articles have been posted recently on the pros and cons of PPC versus natural search engine optimization. One from SearchViews blog, “SEM vs. SEO: Strengths & Synergies” and another from Internet Retailer, “Search Engine Marketing: Paid Or Natural?” caught my attention. What emerges from these articles jivves with my own experience – a combined strategy yields the most impressive results.

However many companies and agencies rely almost exclusively on paid search or PPC. While there are pros and cons for SEO and SEM, and one might be more appropriate for some businesses than others, such a strategy is questionable. A disparity exists between budgets allocated for paid search marketing and consumer search behavior. Consider these facts:

  • In 2004 $4.087 billion was spent on search marketing
    • 81.8% went to paid placement (PPC, CPC) programs