• Deconstructing SEO Spam
    "Dear Website Owner: If I could get you five times the RELEVANT traffic at a substantially reduced cost, would you be interested?" It's a classic salutation from a search firm trying to snag business -- but it's also a tell-tale sign of SEO spam. Todd Mintz deconstructs his latest piece of unsolicited email in this article, taking shots at supposedly reputable SEO firms who blast poorly-targeted, misleading messages at Web site owners. The company didn't use his name, clearly had no clue that the site they were referencing was for personal use (with no marketing or e-commerce ...
  • Press Release SEO Tips Hot Off The Newswire
    Submitting a release to one of the top four newswire services isn't enough to gain Web traction for a new product or service anymore -- it's about getting online news services like Yahoo, Google and CNN to pick up the release, and helping bloggers and journalists "discover" it in the process. Lee Odden notes that SEO is key for getting these releases into the hands of the right people, and snags press release optimization tips from experts at each of the big four newswires. Sarah Skerik of PR Newswire advocates writing a pithy, descriptive headline that ...
  • What's In Your Search Snippet?
    A search snippet is the window of info that searchers see about a site in the SERP listings, from the title and URL string, to sitelinks (if you're lucky), or the exact location on Google Maps. Google's Matt Cutts recently posted a video detailing how much control Webmasters actually have over the info that appears in their search snippets, and Jason Lee Miller outlines the highlights with this post. The first piece of info is the title. Using Cutts' example of Starbucks, Miller points out that the coffee chain could have chosen to use "Starbucks Coffee" ...
  • Are You Ready For Search 3.0?
    Now that all four of the major search engines incorporate multimedia (or multi-vertical) content into their organic results, Danny Sullivan has deemed this new era of blended search, "Search 3.0" -- noting that it represents a time of great opportunity for the industry, and giving a detailed, illustrated account of how we made it this far. So what was Search 1.0? It was searches by Lycos and Webcrawler, with ranking algorithms that focused primarily on the location and frequency of the words on each page. Users were able to find info on the rapidly expanding Web more ...
  • An SEO Roadmap For Launching A New Site
    According to Mark Jackson, setting realistic goals and expectations should be the first step in crafting an SEO strategy for a new Web site. This means understanding (or getting a client to understand) that it takes time to craft quality content and time for that content to earn the search engines' trust. Jackson notes that keyword research should be the first step in the content creation process. After figuring out which words are most relevant, then the process of organizing the Web site around them can begin. He adds that there's a wealth of free or low-cost keyword ...
  • Would it Be Evil? 5 Ways Google Could Monetize Organic Search
    If roughly 70% (as reported by Google and other sources) of the clicks on Google's SERPs are on organic links, is it crazy to think that the search giant would seek to monetize those listings in some way? Not according to Jonathan Mendez. Though Google has kept a very strict wall between the two, observers could argue that AdWords technically subsidizes organic search. Mendez suggests that the giant could go farther by operating a paid inclusion model (either for just being indexed, for showing up in the results, or both). He also notes that Google could make ...
  • Tips For Better PPA AdWords Campaign
    Google launched a pay-per-action model for AdWords in March, but according to John Lee, the topic dropped off the industry radar after the initial buzz. While conversion-based pricing may be an excellent way to drive sales and supplement a client's existing PPC campaign, Lee notes that the lack of discussion in the blogosphere has made it tough to figure out how to fully leverage PPA. Lee's five tips for effective PPA campaign management stem from info from Google's help center and AdWords representatives, as well as his work over the past few months at Hanapin Marketing. ...
  • Google Coupons Get More Personal
    The stealthy local-coupons feature in Google Maps has gotten an upgrade. Mike Blumenthal reports that although it's still quite hard for users to find coupons during a routine local search (and just as difficult for business owners to submit them) those that do, now have the option to integrate coupons into their main search results. Google Coupons is now part of the Google Co-op, a service that lets users and businesses customize, share and improve search info. If users sign up for the feature as a Subscribed Link, coupons from local businesses will show up above both the ...
  • The 'Top' 12 Metasearch Engines In Review
    Metasearch engines have been around since the days of Webcrawler and AltaVista, but they haven't gained half as much traction as the core search engines. They barely (ever?) rank in comScore, Hitwise or Nielsen Online results, and aren't often the focus of a Webmaster's attention when it comes to SEO. But these engines still exist because their premise of saving searchers time by returning blended results and stripping out the duplicates is excellent. "DazzlinDonna" Fontenot's review of a dozen metasearch engines contains a screenshot and snippets of info from the "About" page of each one -- as well ...
  • Site Statistics: Active Vs. Passive
    It's not hard for Webmasters to get bogged down with the daily perusal of site statistics, but according to Ryan Caldwell, focusing on "active" statistics as opposed to "passive" ones can save time and trouble. Caldwell advocates monitoring your site's referral logs -- as knowing which blogs, forums and sites deliver the bulk of your traffic will shed light on which of your marketing efforts (from blog and discussion group commenting, to contextual ads) are having the greatest impact. He also notes that using programs like pMetrics to monitor site traffic in real time can reveal ...
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