Lee Odden

Topic Maps & Clustering

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Wired ran an interesting article recently about how the U.S. Government is using topic maps to provide context for words that have multiple meanings. This would help infer meaning in examples like: Mustang car or Mustang horse?

This is the challenge for search engines as well. Clustering tools like those offered by Vivisimo’s Clusty search engine appear to be quite effective, but not widely adopted. A search on “Mustang” clusters groups of search results according to topics like “Parts”, “Horse” and a town in Oklahoma. This is a lot more helpful than a similar search on Google which displays mostly car web sites in the first page of results.

Lee Odden

Link Building

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

There area a few web design sites I’ve visited recently looking for resources and to see how they link to other web sites. Many web designer web sites do not link out at all. Some are very organized about it. The following link is an example of what one web design firm asks other web sites to use for the link back:

1# Blue Gecko Web Design in New York
is a full service web design firm, specializing in custom graphic interface design, content management solutions, and online multimedia including audio, video & animation. Get your Free Quote today!

That’s a little more than what some sites feel comfortable with.  Most web designers are content with a simple link:
Web Design

Lee Odden

Online Marketing for Results

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Marketers Focus on Measurable Results – “Marketing Challenges 2004” survey conducted by Forrester Consulting by Unica Corp., a developer of enterprise marketing management software indicated 43% of respondents said they would increase spending on the Internet. – From BtoB Online

Microsoft Buys Lookout’s Search Tool – from iMedia Connection

Google Toolbar Adds “Browse by Name” Feature. Similar to the RealNames feature from way back, you can enter a phrase in your url or address bar and if Google deems there is an exact match, that site is delivered. If not, regular search results appear.

Google Acquires Picasa . Initially, Google partnered with Picase to improve photo publishing on Google’s Blogger.com service.

Yahoo Acquires Web Startup Oddpost – Oddpost provides a web-based email and news aggregation with no ads. At least until now.

Lee Odden

Optimized Press Releases

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I noticed a few articles recently about keyword optimized press releases. It’s good to see the concept starting to attract a broader audience. News sites like Yahoo News and Google News have more readers than CNN and BBC, and in order to find a particular story or release, you have to search for it. So while there’s a broad audience, the viewers of a particular story or release have pulled themselves to it via search – and that qualifies them a bit as a prospect in terms of the marketing value. That’s the beauty of search marketing – visitors pull themselves to your message rather than the message being pushed out to them.

Lee Odden

Online Marketing News

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Small and Medium Businesses Rely on Online Research for Technology Purchasing Decisions “59 percent use search engines on a daily basis.” – From MediaDailyNews. Based on research sponsored by Yahoo! and Grey Global Group and conducted by IDC.

Here’s another report supporting the notion that technology marketers needs to emphasis their online marketing component – especially search. I’m continuously amazed at how many technology solutions companies do not effectively market themselves via search engines. The market is there, searching products and solutions every day.

Too many rely on their web designers/developers to perform site optimization when most do not have the necessary skills or time to keep up on the constant changes in the search industry. It takes time and effort to get the basics down and more time and effort to stay on top of what’s current – both from a strategic and tactical perspective.

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

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

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.