Search marketing is the cornerstone of many business' online strategies so the value of a skilled search pro is obvious, right? According to Todd Mintz, explaining just how valuable his search knowledge and experience was to the agency he worked for wasn't that simple (and not because he was trying to be modest!) A search professional's need to constantly focus on things at a granular level may actually thwart his or her ability to give "big-picture" answers to the "value-proposition" question. So Mintz rounded up eight seasoned, articulate vets to offer their take on the value of a search pro ...
Having an integrated PPC and natural search optimization plan seems like common sense, but according to Brian Kaminski, many B2B companies fail to execute such plans effectively -- costing them valuable traffic, clicks and conversions. The process involves dedicated staff, communication and realistic goal-setting, not just blending spreadsheets and picking keywords -- and Kaminski's piece outlines a game plan that any company can use to get on the path to success.
Podanza is a podcast search engine that recently slipped into beta mode. The service is now accepting submissions for inclusion into its index (via a Web form) and also apparently has an option to feature "sponsored" podcasts. Pandia gives details on the engine's user interface and says that the service delivers "a very pleasant user experience"- with the one caveat that the directory doesn't have enough depth yet.
Google's AdSense is a relatively easy-to-use, self-serve online advertising platform, and a popular way for publishers to monetize their content. While the ads, clicks and dollars seem to flow freely for some publishers, others don't even get the chance -- because the search giant doesn't let them into the program. In this official Google blog, the AdSense Publisher Support team outlines a number of reasons why a Webmaster's application may not be approved -- including some far-too-obvious ones, like no valid address on the application form.
CNET's Stephan Spencer frames his piece as a "back to work" refresher --much like how the first few days of class for back-to-school kids are spent reviewing the basics. But even though SEO practitioners don't get summers off (except the lucky ones!) it's always good to keep some search best practices top of mind. Spencer's top ten include making sure that the pages within a site don't compete with each other for rankings because of duplicate content, and the importance of properly implementing 301 redirects.
With kids younger than three learning how to use computers (or handheld "computer-like" playthings), the question of which search engines are appropriate for children is a valid one. While parental controls can help moms and dads block certain Web sites, if you're a marketer with kid-friendly products, it's important that these parents (and their kids) can find you via search. Matt Bailey's piece lists 10 sites (the majority of which are search engines) that help kids answer homework questions, navigate the Web, or just search for cool things. Though the focus is not on advertising, getting listed with these engines ...
Weeks after Google's Shuman Ghosemajumder was open and frank (well, as open and frank as a Google exec can be) with Business Week about how the search giant handles click fraud, Tom Cuthbert, CEO of Click Forensics (the search giant's biggest critic), fired back with this Forbes interview. Cuthbert details the methodology behind his company's click fraud calculation methods, explains why some Webmasters don't even supply Google with all of their own analytic data, and dismisses the idea that Click Forensics has anything to do with "fictitious clicks."
Microsoft has planned to roll out its newly upgraded Live Search interface (and algorithm!) at next week's Searchification event, but the blogosphere has been buzzing with sneak peeks and screenshots from searchers lucky enough to get a trial view. This post includes side-by-side comparisons of Live Search and Live Search 2.0 screens, highlighting Microsoft's integration of images and video in the search results, as well as other changes like the inclusion of user reviews and ratings from MSN Shopping.
Search has lead the way in online advertising partly because of its relatively short learning curve, and also because it's readily quantifiable. But sometimes sticking to a specific search marketing budget actually limits a Web site's potential. In this piece, Steve Haar (director of keyword advertising at Leapfrog Online) gives examples of when moving beyond a search budget can actually increase ROI and drive innovation and conversions.
Now that more advertisers are including consumer reviews and recommendations on their own sites -- and given the increased popularity of community review sites like CitySearch and TripAdvisor) -- some firms have decided to try to boost their brand's image by writing their own fake reviews. Problem is that sites like eBay and Amazon have conditioned confident online shoppers to sniff out (and often publicly lambaste) phonies. This piece lists some common "fake review" mistakes and, half tongue-in-cheek, offers advice for companies attempting to fudge recommendations in their own favor.