Tag Archives: SEM

Yahoo Web Analytics (ex IndexTools) soon in no man’s land?

When Yahoo announced their effective exit from the search engine business last July, the main points seemed clear:

  • Microsoft will provide the development and management of search engine results technology
  • Microsoft will provide the search and content network ad platform
  • Microsoft will manage the relationship with all but an elite group of advertisers
  • Yahoo will provide their own user interface on top of Microsoft’s Bing data

The Bing-Yahoo agreement, should it receive the necessary anti-trust approvals, may have a wider impact on web marketers (as a side note, I believe the agreement is a bad thing as it reduces competition in this strategic market). Consider the uncertainty surrounding just two of the web marketing tools currently provided by Yahoo:

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What’s New With Social Media Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing is part of a bigger web ecosystem. At SMX West 2009, three habitués of the social media scene shared tips on successfully promoting a website using social media.

Moderator: Sara Holoubek, Consultant, Columnist and SEMPO Board of Directors

Speakers:

reddit

Brent Csutoras describes the user-generated news site reddit. When logged in, the front page is dashboard of reddits. You can create your own social media site using a CNAME sub domain name and the Reddit platform. (Add a CNAME record aliasing your domain to rhs.reddit.com. Enter this new domain, e.g. social.antezeta.com, in the domain field when you create a new reddit. – Sean)

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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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In-house SEO: SEO Reporting & Scorecarding for Management

One of the nice things about web marketing is the wealth of data available to use in decision making processes. Web marketing data also helps in getting and maintaining management support for SEO activities.

This SMX West session focusing on in-house SEO considered what data to present to management, when to present it and how to best present it. The line-up is an all star cast – two in house SEO practitioners at companies, that among other things, own search engines. As if that wasn’t enough, we also have John Marshall, founder and former CEO of Clicktracks. Rounding up the line-up is Jessica Bowman, a SEO consultant specializing in setting up and guiding in-house SEO programs.

Moderator: Jessica Bowman, Founder, SEOinhouse.com

Speakers:

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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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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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Funny business searching for Milan-Rome flights in Google – AdSense Arbitrage at work.

The traditional August break in Italy is a wonderful time to work on projects which linger on the back burner during the rest of the year. Last August led to the release of a free keyword selection guide (in Italian); this year’s focus is a Course on using the AdWords PPC paid search marketing program.

While capturing some updated screen shots for the PPC Course, I came across an interesting example of a search marketing phenomena known as PPC or AdSense arbitrage.

Search for Milan – Rome Flights

Consider this search for Milan – Rome Flights: Search in Google for Flights between Milan and Rome
Figure 1: Search in Google for Flights between Milan and Rome

Travel is one of the most highly competitive business sectors on the web. It shouldn’t then be a great surprise that we have 3 sponsored results (with the beige background) above the organic results in addition to the standard sponsored results on the right. The results at the top appear when there is a high chance of the ad being very profitable for Google – the maximum bid is high, as is the historic click-through rate.

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Psst: Your Competition is ignoring Internet Search Marketing, are you?

The inside scoop on how you can get a competitive advantage by including organic search engine visibility in your marketing mix.

One of the primary goals of traditional advertising is to create demand for a product or service. An advertisement awakens latent demand by bringing attention to the product or service, or strives to create demand by informing us of a need or problem we weren’t yet aware of having.

By advertising in a mix of traditional media (television, radio, cinema, billboards, magazines and newspapers), companies aim to increase their sales. The process is rather hit or miss: a return on investment (ROI) only occurs when a person, sufficiently motivated, passes through a shop’s checkout or orders a service. This ROI is notoriously hard to measure. John Wanamaker summed it up best when he wryly noted,

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half1.

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Search marketing is different: how to gain a competitive advantage by insuring a successful SEO project

In a related article, I consider how Internet search marketing remains a niche focus for a few early adopters despite laser-like targeting and measurement abilities. As a relatively new media, search engine mechanics and user interaction with search engines remains a bit of a black box for many marketing professionals. In the following discussion, I aim to outline the process of a typical search marketing project.

The first consideration for a company is to identify an internal resource who will be responsible for search marketing initiatives. This person has a solid understanding of the company’s business goals and marketing strategies. They also tend embrace technology as a business enabler and ideally are already involved with the company’s web presence.

Selection of an external search marketing partner usually follows, unless the organization decides to recruit resources to manage search marketing in-house. The usual vendor selection criteria come in to play: reputation, experience, value for money, etc.

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