TopRank Online Marketing

Lee Odden

Interview with MyBlogLog CEO Scott Rafer

Lee Odden on Jan 31st, 2007     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Blogging News, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking, Yahoo

mbl-scott-rafer.gif

MyBlogLog has been taking the blogosphere by storm the past few months, even before the acquisition by Yahoo. However, MyBlogLog is not a recent phenomena, it started out as a blog statistics service by Eric Marcoullier and Todd Sampson in March of 2005.

I’m a fan of MyBlogLog (TopRank Community) and despite some of the infrastructure issues related to their increased popularity, am very optimistic about what the resources brought on by Yahoo will do for the community.

In order to find out more about MyBlogLog, I contacted CEO Scott Rafer through the MyBlogLog messaging tool and he surprised me not only with a quick reply, but a yes to answering a few questions. I was rather impressed and appreciative of this considering how busy he is right now. Most people active in the blogging world will know Scott Rafer’s name from having previously worked with Feedster.

Lee Odden

Yahoo Adds Quality Index to Search Marketing Ads

Lee Odden on Jan 23rd, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, Yahoo

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.

Lee Odden

Search Marketing News 011607

Lee Odden on Jan 15th, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

Yahoo Takes Down Panama Geo-Targeting

Online Marketing Blog ranked #5 in top 150 Marketing Blogs – Todd And Power 150

Google Image Optimization – Chris Pearson

SEO Blogs get hacked – Search Engine Land

Optimizing Flash – Jonathan Hochman

Findory to fade away – Greg Linden

DMOZ taking submissions again – Search Engine Roundtable

Lee Odden

Yahoo Panama – Interview with John Slade of Yahoo!

Lee Odden on Dec 17th, 2006     Interviews, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, Spotlight on Search, Yahoo

Spotlight on Search: Interview with John Slade of Yahoo!

John Slade
There has been quite a bit of buzz on the paid search marketing front with the launch of the new Yahoo! Search Advertising platform aka “Panama”. At the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, Yahoo! announced the launch during a sponsored lunch. Dan Zarrella did a good a review of that session here.

Our YSM account recently went through the upgrade and we’re going through the process of getting familiar with all the new platform features. After talking to my contact at Yahoo PR as well as Mona Elesseily from Page Zero who has written a book about the Yahoo Search Marketing program, I thought it would be good to get some insight directly from Yahoo for Online Marketing Blog readers. John Slade, Senior Director of Yahoo Global Product Management was kind enough to field a few questions for me.

Lee Odden

Yahoo and Google Copying Each Other

Lee Odden on Dec 12th, 2006     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Yahoo

For some good humor, check out the following posts by Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo and Matt Cutts from Google. Jeremey points out a striking similarity between the Yahoo and Google MSIE splash pages. Google has changed the splash page to something else by now.

Matt responds in that very politically correct and polite way that Matt does and then he points out how Yahoo has been copying Google’s PPC ad layouts.

I’ve seen other examples of this sort of thing shared with me by a search engine employee and I guess it’s bound to happen. They watch each other so closely and there are so many teams involved that stuff like this can slip by. Although, the ad formats and colors are pretty hard to miss. :)

TopRank Online Marketing

Some SES Chicago Swag

TopRank Online Marketing on Dec 7th, 2006     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

Checking out the expo hall, there are always a few great deals and lots of free iPods to sign up for. I skipped most of the iPods this year as I was a afraid of all the follow-up emails and/or sales calls.

However, here is some good swag that I did pick up.

SES Chicago Swag
Click the image for layover descriptions.

  • Google color changing orb.
  • Unica Keychane game.
  • Lycos fish stress ball & document clip.
  • Netconcepts climbing hook and compass.
  • Yellowpages highlighter with built in Post-It flags
  • Network Solutions multi-color lightup pen.
  • Ask pen that writes very nice and has a nice design.
  • Bruce Clay Tangle toy.
  • WebTrends magnets.
  • Yahoo magnetic toy in tin.
  • Truelocal rocket toy.
  • DoubleClick electronic die.
Lee Odden

SES Chicago SEO Videos – Gord Hotchkiss

Lee Odden on Dec 7th, 2006     Google, Interviews, Marketing Industry News, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines, Video Interviews, Yahoo

In the tradition established this summer at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, there are more video interviews here in Chicago with interesting people that work in the search marketing industry. I’ve been shooting short videos with my trusty Sony Cybershot which you can see below.

First up is Gord Hotchkiss from Enquiro who discusses a few details of their most recent eyetracking report which compares Google, Yahoo and MSN search results. Online Marketing Blog did a short review of this report in November.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5322867270797653502

You can find out more about Enquiro here and Gord writes a handy blog over at Out of my Gord.

Lee Odden

Mainstream Pubs Invite User Content

Lee Odden on Dec 5th, 2006     Online Marketing, Online PR, Social Media, Video Interviews, Yahoo

Lately I’ve noticed a few mainstream web publications making concerted efforts to solicit user generated content. Enabling consumers to submit news gives media access to millions of potential stories they might otherwise not know about, or not have a scoop on. I know our local (and likely national) public radio station has been soliciting user generated content and news stories for at least a year and so do some TV stations. Also, Topix.net allows users to interact with news stories on their forums which, according to Topix.net founder Rich Skrenta, has enabled a big boost in traffic.

Most recently I noticed that Yahoo News has launched You Witness News that allows you to upload photos and video for potential use in Yahoo News stories. According to comScore, Yahoo News is the #1 online news source, so marketers should take notice of such an opportunity.

Lee Odden

Yahoo Changes Bidding Information and Grandfathered Bids

Lee Odden on Nov 29th, 2006     Online Marketing, Yahoo

Yahoo Search Marketing sent out an email today announcing changes. Some of the manage bids information will be removed and replaced with “Estimated Average Position” and “Bid Range for Top Positions”.

Here are the details from the email:

In early December 2006, some of the information on the Manage Bids page will no longer be available. We will be removing the “Top 5 Max Bids,” “Position” and “Your Cost” columns from the current account interface. The View Bids tool will also be removed.

These columns will be replaced with two new columns of data:

  • Estimated Average Position
    This displays an estimate of the average position your listing may achieve, based on your bid and the current bids of other advertisers.
Lee Odden

Las Vegas Pubcon Yahoo Party

Lee Odden on Nov 16th, 2006     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Pubcon, Yahoo

Yahoo Party at Pubcon
Wow, what a party! Yahoo had a very private, invite-only party last night at the Palms Towers in the Playboy suite.

Pubcon Jolina and Karen at Yahoo Party
Thank you to Yahoo PR for letting me bring Karen and Jolina from the TopRank team. This was their first conference and Karen’s fist time in Las Vegas. There were only 100 or so people invited to this party from a conference of several thousand, so it made quite an impression.

The Playboy Suite was quite a place. Here are a few photos:
Projection Pool Playboy Suite

Pubcon Daron Babin telling tall tales

Pubcon The band at the Yahoo Party

Pubcon Bartender at Yahoo Party

Pubcon Yahoo Party

Pubcon Hanging out in the Pool

I’ve got to run to do my next presentation but will post more photos later or you can check my Flickr page. Nice job on the party Yahoo!

Lee Odden

Search Engines Agree on XML Sitemap Standard

Lee Odden on Nov 16th, 2006     Blogging

GYM: Google Yahoo MSNIn great news, Google, Yahoo and MSN have agreed upon a XML sitemap standard.

What’s this mean to you? Well, you just need to create one XML sitemap and you can submit it to all three engines. I’ve been doing that for a while and didn’t seem to have any problem but now it’s official.

Why should you create an XML sitemap? An XML sitemap outlines all the URLs on a site so that search engines can find them all easily. Much like a normal sitemap, it just lists all the pages however, an XML sitemap is optimized for search engines, not for people. By giving search engines a list of URLs on your site, you are increasing the number of pages they know about and can refer traffic to.

Lee Odden

New Google, Yahoo, MSN Eye Tracking Report

Lee Odden on Nov 8th, 2006     Google, Marketing Industry News, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, Search Engines, SEO, Yahoo

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

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