• Testing Second- and Third-Tier PPC Engines
    It may seem like AdWords, YSM, or adCenter are the only options available for PPC campaigns, but so-called second- and third-tier engines like LookSmart, Marchex's Enhance Interactive and Kanoodle do exist, and some search marketers leverage them for additional traffic and results. Vertical PPC engines can also serve to drive highly targeted clicks that the bigger engines may miss. But many of these engines have poorer (or nonexistent) traffic quality controls and minimal distribution -- creating more campaign management work than they're worth. Gordon Choi offers advice for using these alternative engines as a supplemental paid ...
  • MSN AdCenter Editorial Upgrades
    The newest batch of adCenter upgrades centers on editorial changes like instant feedback on newly created ads and a quick view of the status of keywords (i.e., whether they're "new," "active," or whether they've been disapproved). AdCenter now also offers in-line suggestions for correcting editing errors before the ads are submitted. For campaign management, there's a new daily budget option, as well as the ability to directly import campaigns from the Google AdWords editor. AdCenter reports are now more easy to access and navigate (with a drag and drop feature).
  • The Quaero Project: EU Commissioned Search Research
    Under the umbrella of the CHORUS project (a consortium for companies and research institutions seeking to develop new communications and info technology), a French team has been working on plans for a multimedia search engine called Quaero. Led by search technologists Pieter van der Linden and Henri Gouraurd, the team behind Quaero has set to develop technology that can find, manipulate and process multilingual multimedia content -- and better allow its users to do things with said content. Van der Linden and Gourard recently gave a presentation on the progress of Quaero, outlining the 6 application-specific ...
  • YellowPages.com Unveils AT&T Mobile Search Apps
    YellowPages.com has crafted new downloadable mobile search applications for roughly two dozen AT&T devices. The apps allow users to save their preferred listings and locations, get GPS-enabled maps and driving directions, and also offer the "click to call" feature for listings. While the service is reportedly available for the iPhone, those users must still head over to the YellowPages.com Web site -- as Apple's technology currently doesn't allow third-party software on the device (unless it's been hacked). YellowPages.com is a subsidiary of AT&T, hence the service provider's exclusivity in this arrangement. But handset manufacturers like ...
  • Real Estate Search Engine Gets Ad Targeting Tech
    The Zillow real estate search engine has launched HomeDirect, a new ad service that will deliver geo-, demo- and contextually targeted ads alongside individual home listings. With HomeDirect, Zillow is aiming to snag a larger group of advertisers --including cable, telecom and automotive brands -- in addition to the home improvement and realtor verticals that would naturally be well-served by the service.
  • Amazon: The Model Of SEO-Savvy Online Retail
    Amazon is one of the online retailing greats -- growing from its humble beginnings in 1995 as a book reseller, to a juggernaut that sells electronics, groceries and now challenges Apple for the sale of MP3s. But Amazon is also the perfect example of a company leveraging the "content is king" SEO mantra for stellar benefits. Matt McGee notes that all this tagged, indexed content is what makes Amazon rank so highly for search terms like "apple macbook white" --and argues that the company is the "SEO-smartest retailer online." While many search marketers may not have clients with ...
  • MSN Improves Local Search
    Erick Schonfeld notes that increased competition in the mapping space has spurred the online giants to launch a number of innovative map-based tools. In the past few months Yahoo, Google and even MapQuest have upgraded their map personalization and visualization features -- and now Microsoft has stepped up to the plate with changes to its Live Search Maps. Live Search Maps driving directions are more intuitive, giving users the option of skipping info on the first few turns (and allowing them to start from the closest major highway, for example), as well as landmarks to know when ...
  • Scoring A First-Page Ranking Sans Links
    While the task of improving (or creating) search rankings for a site with absolutely no inbound links may not come often, it's a challenge that some search pros will have to face. This post lists four tips for getting the engines to pay attention to a linkless, small-business site -- and possibly even score a spot on the first page of results for specific keywords. Of course, there's no guarantee that the site will be ranked highly (or at all) - but by going after highly targeted (albeit obscure) keyword phrases, making sure that specific pages turn up ...
  • Beyond Google: Who Will Lead Search's 3rd Generation?
    David Freedman chronicles a bit of the history of search in this piece that uncovers the "global effort" to find a better way to search for information on the Web -- noting that as users seek to get their information from more refined sources, Google's search domination seems vulnerable. His POV stems partly from the idea that while innovative, Google is only the 2nd generation of search engines (a step up from precursors like AltaVista that only searched by keyword) and that its method of ranking by links and keywords (among other "opaque" factors) stands the chance of ...
  • Is It Worth Being Accredited By The Engines?
    Yahoo, Microsoft and Google all offer search certification programs for Webmasters, and the benefits of becoming accredited by one or all of the engines extend to both search practitioners and their agencies. Brad Geddes outlines the process it takes to get certified by the big three, noting the preliminary qualification factors, the tutorials and learning materials -- as well as each tests' perceived difficulty.
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