Tag Archives: Search Marketing

Yahoo Search Marketing Tools: What’s at Risk & How to Avoid Surprises

When Yahoo and Microsoft announced their Search Alliance in July 2009, only the high level agreement details were available:

  • Microsoft will provide the development and management of search engine results technology (bing)
  • Microsoft will provide the search and content network ad platform (adCenter)
  • Microsoft will manage the relationship with self-service advertisers
  • Yahoo will manage the relationship with large accounts
  • Yahoo will provide their own user interface on top of the Bing results which will appear on Yahoo properties

Microsoft - Yahoo Search AllianceNow that US and EU regulators have approved the deal, search marketers need to assess which Yahoo tools they rely on – and need to be prepared with alternatives should these tools be discontinued.

During the SMX West 2010 session Microsoft + Yahoo: What’s It All Mean?, I looked at the agreement’s implications for three Yahoo tools search marketing professionals have come to know and love:

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Domain & URL Strategies for Multilingual & Multinational Sites

One problem search engines face when indexing and ranking a website’s content is to identify the target geographic and linguistic market a particular website page is trying to reach. The world wide web is indeed that, and the issue is particularly complicated for websites in languages which have a broad geographic reach such as English and Spanish.

Fortunately for site owners, there are clues search engines use to match website content with searcher location. By understanding these clues and user behavior, site owners can choose a domain and URL strategy which best fits their needs.

I discussed domain and URL strategies at the SMX West 2010 Search Marketing Expo conference. For the benefit of those who couldn’t attend, the slides and a rough transcript follow. I’d strongly recommend that you attend a future SMX conference in person – from search marketing tips to great networking (and fine food), you won’t regret it.

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And then there were two: Microsoft – Yahoo! Search Deal at SMX West 2010

With the approval of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal by EU regulators, search engine marketers will soon be working in a new landscape. In western Europe where Google dominates with about 90% of the market, it’s tempting to react to the deal with a big yawn.

Yet Yahoo! often has a bigger impact on our search marking than we might like to acknowledge. For many, Yahoo, through its Site Explorer and the Yahoo Search Boss / Site Explorer APIs , is a primary source of competitive backlink data. And who among us doesn’t perform a few searches in Yahoo to benchmark the quality of Google’s results?

Microsoft - Yahoo Search Alliance For paid search practitioners, the consolidation of three PPC / Keyword Advertising platforms down to two (Google & Bing) will certainly reduce operational and training costs. In some countries it will make the choice to expand beyond just Google much easier to justify. Yet Bing’s adCenter PPC service is currently limited to the US, Canada, the UK& France. What will happen to the other 30 countries served by Yahoo today?

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10 shadows hanging over Google: does Google have a dark side?

In a recent article on Microsoft’s bing, I felt it necessary to temper my enthusiasm for Microsoft’s commitment to web search by noting Microsoft’s decidedly checkered record as a good net citizen. What about Google?

It is almost too easy to write a glowing review of whatever new service Google unleashes. For example,

  • Google Maps Street View enables us to preview a new client’s street and building prior to a first visit – a boon in city environments
  • Google Translate has improved so significantly of late that it really is useful in providing rough draft translations of search marketing articles
  • Google Squared provides an innovative take on structuring search results for items with multiple attributes.

However while enthusing over Google’s services one might ask,

Does Google have an underlying dark side? If so, need anyone care?

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The human dimension of Search Marketing

I love the web. Despite being somewhere in Italy, I’m able to follow many professional conferences like SMX West through session write-ups posted online. After all, it isn’t always possible to attend conferences in person. Yet even when the post quality is high, there’s something missing, something that can’t be replicated virtually. Above all, its the human dimension, the networking experience. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend professional conferences (or you’re a bit shy!), you might think, “what’s he on about?“.

As I reflect on the various breakfast, lunch and cocktail chats I had at SMX West, I think about the breadth of interesting people I met.

There’s excitement in being around so many bright and curious people– digital novices to seasoned veterans, those who practice search marketing to those who know that understanding search is a key to their company’s (and their own) future.

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Google’s SearchWiki, Customized & Personalized Results

In the search engine optimization business there are several recurrent discussions with new client prospects. The most common one by far is around why conversion reports should be used for search metrics rather than traditional ranking reports. Jaws drop when people hear that two different Google users may see different search results for the same query made at the same moment in time. The reasons vary – searches made at google.com vs. google.it, data centers may not be synchronized, etc.

Two years ago, Google introduced Google Personalized Results. Google provides special results, just for me, based on my search history, as long as I am logged into a Google service. In November, Google added SearchWiki, a facility for a user to annotate and customize their search results.

In this SMX West 2009 session, two Google Engineers discuss Google Search personalization. Questions from the audience show a desire among SEO practitioners to arrive at a ranking baseline before personalization and localization is applied.

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SMX West 2009: Do you know the way to San José?

One sign that a profession has matured is in its ability to support a dedicated conference where professionals can hear and learn from presenters as well as interact with other practitioners (and potential clients & vendors).

Search Marketing has had its very own conference since Danny Sullivan started the Search Engine Strategies (SES) series 10 years ago. After growing the SES conference series for many years for the benefit of other owners, Danny started his own conference series, SMX: Search Marketing Expo, in 2007.

I’m happy to say that on February 10-12 I’ll be attending the three day SMX West 2009, in Santa Clara, California. I’m particularly looking forward to day 2′s Keynote Conversation with Google’s Vint Cerf. One of the advantages of the California edition of SMX is that it is easier to get key search engine employees to participate – they’re already right down the street. The sessions on Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics and Search & Reputation Management also look particularly promising.

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So many aspiring SEOs! – the SEO Quiz results are in

15 questions, 5 weeks and 5 books: almost 700 people took the 2008 SEO quiz challenge.

Note to the reader: this article was originally posted on our Italian blog on December 2nd. The quiz targeted an Italian audience; we’ve published this translation in order to allow a wider audience to follow search marketing developments in Italy.

Why a SEO quiz

The idea of the quiz came from reflections on the state of SEO knowledge and usage in Italy, observed from the perspective of a SEO practitioner.

Search engines, with Google in particular (question 1), are the gate keepers between us and the net. We use search engines not only to search for information that we imagine is out there somewhere, but also to navigate to a specific site, such as Fiat, or to perform a task, such as buy a ticket for a Tiziano Ferro concert (question 15).

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15 questions, 5 weeks, 5 free books: the SEO quiz is here

Note to the reader: this article was originally posted on our Italian blog on October 28th. The quiz targeted an Italian audience; we’ve published this translation in order to allow a wider audience to follow search marketing developments in Italy.

It seems that the summer fun is now over, but not so fast: it’s time to check, just for fun, your SEO knowledge! We’ve prepared 15 multiple choice questions on topics which appear frequently in SEO projects.

Only for a limited time

The quiz will be available for just 5 weeks, from 28 October to 1 December 2008. Once the quiz is over, the correct answers and the overall results will be published here. Participants will receive an e-mail with their results and a certificate of participation.

Five lucky participants will receive a free copy of Internet PR

Where there’s a quiz, there’s training. Marco Massarotto has lent us a hand, kindly offering 5 copies of his excellent book Internet PR.

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Search engine marketing acronyms: what are they talking about?

That Americans like acronyms is not really a surprise to those who have worked for an American company. Acronyms are extremely useful as a conversational shorthand especially when working with unwieldy terms like search engine optimization. SEO is just so much easier to roll off the tongue. The problem with acronyms is that it is very easy to lose the original meaning – a significant communication problem. In the world of search marketing, SEM is a good case in point.

The following search-marketing glossary highlights common acronyms often used by the search marketing community.

SEO
Search Engine Optimization. Indicates the activities undertaken to generate traffic, usually qualified, to a website through the “natural” results in a search engine. In Google, ~80% of user clicks are on the natural (also called organic) results.
PPC
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