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October 26, 2006

Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog Goes Live

By Li Evans

Yahoosearchmarketingblog Steve Mitgang of Yahoo!'s Ad Products and Platforms division made the first official post in Yahoo!'s new Search Marketing Blog last evening.

This is a nice "add on" to the launch of Panama and will help Yahoo! to engage their customers, along with creating a community and keeping it informed on updates, bug, issues and accomplishments with the new Yahoo! Advertising platform.

Kudos to Yahoo! Search Advertising for engaging their client base, I think they just might be surprised at the customer evangelists they'll create.

Yahoo! Will Support a No Yahoo! Directory Tag

By Li Evans

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Round Table is reporting that Tim Mayer has stated they will be working on developing support for a "No Yahoo Directory" tag.  Whether its a separate meta tag webmasters can insert into the code, or it is just integrated with the "NOODP" tag, hasn't been determined yet.

There's a discussion going on right now over at Webmaster World.

October 25, 2006

Google Bombing Makes Front Page of MSNBC

By Li Evans

Googlebombing It's not everyday that three internet marketing areas/practices converge.  It's also not everyday that attempting to "Google Bomb" your competition makes the front page of MSNBC.com.  However, those two facts noted, take note that this year's political season is anything but normal.  With the Republicans running scared and the Democrats rubbing their hands in utter glee as each foible is uncovered and hashed out in the headlines, this latest tidbit of front page news can make a search marketer wonder how this will end up affecting our industry AFTER the 2006 election.

Republicansdemocrats So what three areas of Internet Marketing are affected here?  Search (Natural to be exact), Blogging and Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) have all converged at a crossroads all spearheaded by political bloggers (both right and left, liberal and conservative, republican and democrat - pick your poison, they pretty much are all synonmous).  Just what are they planning?  Remember "Miserable Failure" Google Bombing?  Well think of something like this for other candidates.

Googlebombunderway So how are the three areas converging?  Well politcal bloggers (Blogosphere) are all trying to have their opposing candidate appear in search results (Search Marketing) for links to negative stories.  This is being spread by other bloggers of like mind (Word of Mouth Marketing), as well as opposing bloggers attempting to "fight fire with fire", thus it's even got the attention of mainstream news.

To search marketing professionals, Google bombing is nothing new.  In fact Wikipedia even has a definition of "Google Bomb":

"A Google bomb or Googlewash is Internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to influence the ranking (called PageRank) of a given page in results returned by the Google search engine, often with humorous or political intentions. Because of the way that Google's algorithm works, a page will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page use consistent anchor text. A Google bomb is created if a large number of sites link to the page in this manner."

Knowing how the search engines work, and being in the industry as long as I have, I wonder truly, how effective this is going to be with less than 2 weeks to go until election day?  I really don't see how this tactic is going to affect the search results in time for people searching for information on candidates for the election.  People are searching for information NOW, not on the day of the election - which, by any slim chance MIGHT appear in two weeks (if they are good and have a bit of luck).

Miserablefailureresults The "Miserable Failure" Google Bomb worked because it was over time that these "negative" links were acquired (BTW, Jimmy Carter also comes up as #2 for the term show right along with "W").  We're talking months and months, not two weeks.  Unfortunately for these bloggers, they are going to find the affects of their efforts won't work until well AFTER November 7th.  That's the problem here - they don't understand the "tools" that they are trying to utilize.  Had they  really understood the nature of search marketing and started this around primary season - they could have more of a chance to affect search results as they are hoping to now.

searchmob | digg

Google Revises Webmaster Guidelines

By Li Evans

Googlewebmastercentral Google's Vanessa Fox of the Webmaster Central team just announced a slight change in the webmaster guidelines.

The old guidelines stated:

"Don't use "&id=" as a parameter in your URLs, as we don't include these pages in our index."

Vanessa now notes:

"However, we've recently removed that technical guideline, and now index URLs that contain that parameter. So if your site uses a dynamic structure that generates it, don't worry about rewriting it -- we'll accept it just fine as is. "

If you are a search marketing professional dealing with natural search optimization, be sure to check out the entire post - she points out a bit more.  If you didn't know it, the search engines tend to have issues with dynamic URLs that contain numerous parameters in their URL strings.

Understanding Ask.com's Sponsored Listings for Large Clients

By Li Evans

Asksalesreps Among the attendees at last night's PhIMA event, were two very personable Ask.com Sponsored Listing reps.  To clarify they are part of IAC Advertising Solutions, which focus on the Ask.com product.  When I got to Lucky Strikes, my colleague Greg Meyers was already chatting with Michael Wesner, Director of Easter Sales Search Marketing, when introduced I got the "oh you wrote the blog post" smile and a handshake.  Michael proceeded to apologize for the difficulties we encountered with Ask.com's sponsored listings program and ensured us we were now on their radar and were going to help us going forward.

I also got to meet our direct sales rep, the very delightful Lindsay Klein.  She's now our contact within IAC Advertising that is going to help us to better manage our PPC campaigns across the Ask properties.

I had a great conversation with Michael, where the issue of how difficult it seems to be to work with a larger account on the Ask.com engine.  It's not as easy as Google, Yahoo or MSN's programs although their program page leaves one to believe it is.  If you are managing a smaller account - less than $5k a month spend - its easy as enter your credit card and go (just like the other three), but when you cross that $5k a month threshold, that's where things step into another realm.

My colleague (Greg Meyers) and I explained to Michael how we felt that Ask was making it so difficult to spend money with them.  Greg in fact posted in detail of what a pain it was dealing with the process.  Michael was great in listening to us, and then explaining why the process works the way it does. 

Ask.com doesn't have near the inventory that Google does, and the IAC Advertising team wants to ensure that proper expectations can be met and actually set.  That made my eyes go wide.  In my past experience, Google does that to an extent with larger clients, forget about that with Yahoo and MSN is still trying to get a handle on this whole large client thing with their paid search. 

I think IAC Advertising is definitely going in the right direction, once you understand WHY they take the approach they do.  The whole issue is obtaining that understanding - if they could set that expectation somewhere on their Advertising/Sponsored Listings section, it would make the process so much more understandable - right now, most advertisers are going to be scratching their heads.  I hope Michael will take the observations/experiences to the folks out in California because I'm sure we're not the only ones who are confused.

Thank you Michael & Lindsay for stepping up and helping us out in understanding IAC Advertising's process with dealing with larger clients!

PhIMA Event at Lucky Strikes

By Li Evans

Phimalogo Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Philadelphia Interactive Marketing Association's (PhIMA) networking event in center city Philly at Lucky Strikes bowling alley.  It was a great time where my colleagues from Commerce360 and I got to meet and mingle with some great industry people in the Philadelphia area.  The president of Commerce360, Craig Danuloff took some great pictures and has a bit more information about the event at the Commerce360 blog.

I have a few pictures of our fellow bowlers and people we got to chat with while we were mingling.  We even got to talk to representatives from Ask.com, which will be covered in a follow up post shortly.

October 24, 2006

Yahoo! Launches Support for NOODP

By Li Evans

Yahoosearchblog As announced by Tim Mayer of Yahoo on Barry Schwartz's Search Pulse program, Yahoo announced tonight it was finally implementing the NOODP tag

According to the posting out on the Yahoo! Search Blog they will will recognize the following META tags on web pages:

META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP"

or 

META NAME="Slurp" CONTENT="NOODP"

Now if we could only get Yahoo! to accept/implement a NOYAHOODIRECTORY tag - life would be grand in the Search World. :)

Help Reunite an iPod with It's Owner

By Li Evans

Lostipod David Berlind over at CNet has an interesting request, let the blogosphere help reunite a lost iPod with its owner.

He thinks the owner lives somewhere in the Northeast (New England probably) and takes great care of it.  Apparently they left it on a flight he was on and he discovered it.  He is also trying to call Apple to try and reunite it with its owner.

So if you know anyone who fits the bill - contact David. :)

John Battelle's Keynote Speech at DMA - Search Is A Conversation With Technology

By Li Evans

Dmaconference The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) held their annual conference and exhibition this year in San Francisco from October 14-19.  The 19th was their "post conference day", so on the last day of the conference they had a very interesting keynote speaker listed.

Not being a DMA member, I didn't attend.  I did however, get to hear John Battelle's keynote speech.  The wonders of technology - WebmasterRadio.fm brought it to me in my little ol' iPod to listen to on the drive up to my parents' place (Frackville, PA if you are wondering!).  To be honest, I really wasn't expecting to come away with much from listening to John's speech, since I had downloaded a few other podcasts from the event and wasn't too impressed with what some of the people had to say.

From the start John had me hooked in, listening intently.  In fact I try to keep a tablet and pen with me when I have podcasts going, in case someone says something or makes a point I want to make sure I remember.  I was writing quotes and little reminders (in very bad hand writing because I was driving), I came away with so much from that speech.

I've said before that WebmasterRadio.fm is a tool no Search Professional should be without, listening to John's speech just reinforced that.  He explained our industry - Search - in such a way that ANYONE can get it.  Everyone in that audience must've had light bulbs popping on after that speech.  From explaining where search came from through his own experiences to looking at possibilities of the future for the Search Industry, John covered it all in a very down to earth and understandable way.

So, if you haven't heard it already, go out to iTunes and and download it for free, or check out the archived version on WebmasterRadio.fm.  You'll become enlightened about why "Search is a Conversation with Technology."

searchmob | digg

October 23, 2006

Danny Sullivan's Next Year in the Search Industry

By Li Evans

Searchenginestrategies Hear that collective sigh of relief?  That's all the Search Marketers being thankful that Incisive Media finally worked out a deal that keeps Danny Sullivan involved with SES for the upcoming year. 

Danny states that he'll be chairing SES New York, co-chair SES San Jose and actively involved in SES Chicago in 2007.  He won't be on SearchEngineWatch after October 31, 2006, that is solid.

Meerly speculation on my part - Alan Meckler, CEO of Jupiter Media, recently wrote about Jupitermedia launching a new website called JupiterWeb and will be launching tradeshows by the same name.  Jupitermedia sold off the SES series to Incisive Media in 2005.  It really makes one stop and think about all these little wheels spinning in the industry, especially looking at the new owners of Incisive taking the company private.  Then stop and ponder that Danny is one of the featured keynote speakers at Brett Tabke's Webmaster World's Pubcon event in Las Vegas, it's no wonder why so many Search Marketers are wondering what was going to happen next.

searchmob | digg

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