• Google's Automatic Matching: The Real Story?
    This week Google invited a select group of AdWords advertisers to participate in beta testing of a feature called Automatic Matching, which takes campaign budget surplus and uses it to serve ads for queries that the marketer may have missed out on. The giant will crawl each advertiser's Web site for keywords and analyze their overall campaigns to find new, relevant queries "that our system has determined will benefit you and likely lead to a conversion on your site," said the official notice. Not so fast, says Mike Koper. "If relevance is the name of the game then ...
  • The Makings Of A Yahoo/Yelp Love Connection
    In the midst of SMX West excitement and Yahoo's announcement that it was opening parts of its search platform to developers, Matt McGee noticed that the Web giant gave local search and review service Yelp major exposure on its official blog post about Open Search. "People/webmasters everywhere read the Yahoo search blog, right? And that listing looks nice--it shows off the great content Yelp offers about this one local business," McGee says. "So, how'd they land that gig as the poster child of Yahoo's new Open Search platform?" McGee did some digging and found that the ...
  • Google Gadgets In Organic Search Results
    The latest media type to get included on a Google SERP via Universal Search are widgets (or Gadgets, as the giant calls them)--and Patrick Sexton illustrates how Gadgets in search results look and feel. The first example is a Gadget that shows the three latest posts from Search Engine Land, and Sexton explains the rationale that goes into creating that kind of widget--including how to brand it but not make it appear too dissimilar from the links around it. At the moment, only users that are taking part in Google's Subscribed Links (customized search) will see ...
  • Tracking Search-Driven Phone Orders
    Shimon Sandler offers some tips for linking phone orders to search campaigns, ranging from simple (using a pay-per-call provider) to more involved (setting up a database of unique promo codes tied to specific keywords). You can create a unique landing page for each product that features a different phone number for each of the engines, or add a promo/reference code to each product page and train your phone sales reps to ask for and record this code for every order. Sandler says that you can also put a printable coupon on each landing page that consumers ...
  • RSS Promotion Tips
    RSS feeds are only as good as the number of subscribers they have, so to gain more exposure for your pre-packaged bits of content, Andy MacDonald suggests registering with as many feed directories (and blog directories, if applicable) as possible. Make sure you include a link to your feed on your Web site, preferably with the universally known orange RSS button, and write up a short description so that users know exactly what content they're getting with the feed. Enabling auto-discovery of your feed can also go a long way toward increasing subscriptions. Try including ...
  • SMX West Day Three: The Keynote Summary
  • One More Reason Why Google's Down But Not Out
  • Makes No Sense: Google Stock Pummeled By Iffy Third-Party Data
    Google's stock has been hammered in the past few days, and while David Rodnitsky thinks that the giant's share price had climbed to unnatural heights in recent months, the comScore-induced pounding it's taken this week simply makes no sense. The crux of his argument is that comScore's data is iffy at best. "So the fact that alleged stock experts and the overall market in general is using this data to cut billions of dollars of market valuation off Google (or any other Internet stock, for that matter) is concerning," Rodnitsky says. "It basically shows that the general public ...
  • Sitemaps Play Nice Across All Engines Now
    The Sitemaps protocol has been upgraded to allow Webmasters to use one Sitemap (a file that contains URL info and meta-data for all the pages on a Web site) to support multiple sites on different hosts--and submit all the data on a single platform. Before, Sitemaps had been required to be on the same host and path as the URLs they contained--now, they can exist where the site owner chooses to host them, making them much easier to manage. Webmasters will need to add a line to their robots.txt file to direct crawlers to the differently-hosted sitemap--but that's about it. ...
  • Sizing Up Your Competitors' Link-Building Strategies
    Ann Smarty offers a quick, comprehensive guide for analyzing your competitors' link-building efforts. It starts with sizing up the niche-specific links they've aggregated using the "linkdomain:site.com [keyword]" parameter on Yahoo. There are also browser plugins and other tools that can provide that data. After niche-specific links, Smarty says to go after your competitors' deep links--appending the previous search parameter with filters, or using tools to find the most authoritative resources that are linking to the inner pages of their Web site. Finally, you should explore the targeted anchor text that others use to identify their links ...
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