Archives for April 2005

TrustRank May Cleanup Press Release Optimization Spam

Slashdot posts a link to an article on NewScientist.com regarding a Google patent that has garnered so much attention in the SEO world. The article describes how Google will use a variety of factors to determine the quality of news sources to rank news stories rather than the current method of date posted and keyword relevancy.

“The database will be built by continually monitoring the number of stories from all news sources, along with average story length, number with bylines, and number of the bureaux cited, along with how long they have been in business. Google’s database will also keep track of the number of staff a news source employs, the volume of internet traffic to its website and the number of countries accessing the site.”

Online Marketing Blog Nominations

I was reading a post of a great Small Business Marketing Blog called Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch. I noticed he had posted about Marketing Sherpa’s call for nominations on best marketing blogs. There’s even a category for “Best Blog on Online Marketing”.

He showed examples of his blog’s rankings for “Best Small Business Marketing Blog” on several top search engines. Pretty impressive.

Since there’s a category for “Best Blog on Online Marketing” I thought I would check our rankings for: “online marketing blog”. Below are rankings for Online Marketing Blog on the top search engines for “online marketing blog“.

  • Yahoo – #1
  • Google – #1
  • Ask Jeeves – #1
  • MSN – No love from MSN. In fact, you won’t find any blogspot.com blogs ranked at MSN.

GoogSpy – What are you bidding on?

GoogSpy is a new third party tool that lets you put in a companies name and return what Google Adwords they are targeting. This is great if you want to see what keywords your competitors are targeting. It can also tell you where a company ranks naturally in the top ten for certain keywords.

How does it work? According to the press release “GoogSpy.com is powered by Velocityscape’s flagship data extraction product, Web Scraper Plus+. It extracts 500,000 search results per day from Google and loads them into the GoogSpy.com database.”

Check it out now though, the logo looks very similar to Google and it’s functionality may raise red flags at Google. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google’s lawyers step in.

Findory Upgrades to a Tabbed Format

The Findory news and blog search/aggregation site has changed it’s home page layout to a tab format. Now you can switch between news and blogs pages by clicking on tabs at the top. The news/blog/web search option is now at the top right. General categories display on the right and selected posts appear in the main part of the page.

If you’re new to Findory, it’s a news and blog search site that personalizes the information displayed based on the searches you perform and the links “articles’ you click on. This is a welcome feature considering the large number of news and blog sites available. If you want to track a particular blog, like SEO Online Marketing Blog, you can bookmark the unique url. Findory offers RSS feeds for news and blog categories as well.

Google AdWords Site Targeting Enhancements

Significant changes to Google AdWords are in store in the next few weeks:

* Target users by site – pick which sites your ads appear on, allowing you to view who Google content partners are.
* New max CPM bidding option – The CPM ads will compete with traditional AdWords ads with a minimum CPM of $2.
* Additional ad formats – banner, leaderboard, inline rectangle, skyscraper, wide skyscraper.

SearchEngineWatch:
“What we’re expecting customers to do here is open themselves up to all of the types of opportunities at Google,” said Tim Armstrong, vice president of ad sales for Google. “This will be a way to keep the scale but use the feature to also target.

New News from Yahoo News Beta

The beta version of the new Yahoo News was made live today. I had previously posted on the Sneak Peek at the new Yahoo News a few weeks ago listing several of the upcoming features.

Yahoo News beta selects news from a smaller universe of media properties than Google News but does allow users to add their own news from any site or blog that offers RSS.

The new design allows you to quickly tab through different sources and the Y!Q feature has also been incorporated. The Y!Q feature highlights a particular term and places an icon next to it to let you know alternative sources of information regarding that word or phrase are available. Clicking on the the icon displays a Y!Q popup window with links to related search results.

Marketing Sherpa’s SEO & PPC Buyer’s Guide

Friday was the last day to complete the survey for consideration of inclusion in the 4th Marketing Sherpa Buyer’s Guide to search marketing firms. The newest version of the report has been named the “SEO & PPC Buyer’s Guide”. There were many more detailed questions asked this year plus there were two surveys instead of one. Options to take either the SEO or PPC or both were provided.

Competition for good Search Marketing firms is heating up and this guide could provide the additional information some companies may need for selecting a vendor.

I have asked for the availability date and cost for this newest edition and will post when Marketing Sherpa gets back to me.

Yahoo supports Wikipedia

“Yahoo Inc. is donating hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and resources to the nonprofit group behind Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation” – via ExtermeTech

The Yahoo blog posts a guest entry by Jimmy Wales president of the Wikimedia Foundation on Wikipedia and Yahoo! Google also provides support to Wikipedia by donating bandwidth and servers.

When searching Wikipedia, I was pleasantly surprised to see someone add this SEO blog to the Search Engine Optimization page. Cool.

Yahoo News offers custom RSS Feeds

Yahoo News now offers custom RSS feeds. If you use Yahoo News alerts now you can easily switch to custom RSS feeds and read them in My Yahoo! or any other RSS reader.

“Yahoo! News is now offering the following feeds in the RSS format. The feeds are free of charge to use for individuals and non-profit organizations for non-commercial use. Attribution (included in each feed) is required.”

The feeds are keyword-based and very easy to set up. Via makeyougohmm.com and Google BlogScoped.

Custom RSS feeds from search results are available via MSN Search. (look at the bottom left of your search results). You can also get them from a search on MSNBC Newsbot. MSN also has it’s own web based RSS Reader.

MSN Spaces Blog Service Officially Launched

The blogging service from Microsoft called MSN Spaces has come out of beta. Storage has been increased from 10 MB to 30 plus they’ve added more themes. 4.5 million Spaces accounts have been created so far.

More info on the launch of Spaces and Messenger 7.0 via [email protected]

Speaking of MSN, Rand has posted an excellent interview with the MSN Search team on his blog.

For the future, MSN Search team mentions: “Local, blogs, mobile, API?¢¬Ä¬ôs and RSS are all important next areas of development for us and anyone serious about Search.”

The inteview covers topics including:
– creation of MSN search
– community input
– search and hardware
– crawling
– corpus size
– competing against Google
– quality testing and spam
– working for MSN search
– the people behind MSN search
– non-search technologies
– future developments

Spoof Sites

Here are a few search engine related spoof sites you might like. There must be a more complete collection of these out there somewhere, if you know of one, feel free to comment.

UnderGoos – “Maximise your comfort and user experience with UnderGoos. Our staff aren’t shy, even Sergey’s been trying out both the mens and ladies ranges. Google has spotted a chance to bring our unique innovation to yet another underserved market.”

Sixf00! 660 – Parody of Yahoo! 360
“You need an invitation in order to use Sixfoo! 660, but you’re probably not special enough. Sign up for the feta waiting list, then cry from the corner of the playground while the kewl kids enjoy the the foursquare court. Why not round up all your 12-sided dices and go beg for a Gmail Account, sucky baby?”

Google AdSense & AdWords Updates

Google has updated AdSense to allow real time reporting. This should be very useful for high volume publishers. Unfortunately, this blog is not there – yet.

MediaPost notes with recent AdWords updates you will be able “to compare the conversion rates of ads in different channels, including Google’s search rival, Overture.” Now that’s pretty interesting and potentially very threatening to Overture and MSN’s new PPC program. It could really provide advertisers with a direct comparison of ad network performance.

SEOBook also notes the launch of Google AdWords Budget Optimizer. A way to further automate AdWords PPC bid management. He also posts some interesting comments on how useful such a tool would actually be. We’ll try it out and post comments in a month or so.