• Microsoft To Bolster Cashback For The Holidays
    Yi-Wyn Yen gets the inside scoop on Microsoft's plans to bolster its Cashback program to help ride the holiday shopping wave -- despite the fact that the rewards program hasn't really helped the software giant gain (or even hold on to) search market share. "On Wednesday, Microsoft plans to unveil a new rewards program to get more consumers searching on the company's Live Search engine," Yen says. Brad Goldberg, Microsoft's general manager for search, "hinted" that the company planned to offer even greater savings leading up to the holidays. "We look at traffic, different tactics, and ways of ...
  • Track (And Improve) Your Blog's Quality Content With DeliciousCount
    The latest WordPress plugin aims to help bloggers track the quality of their resource posts (or articles based on facts and research, as opposed to entertainment or sensational news) by analyzing their impact on social bookmarking site Delicious. "The plugin displays the number of Delicious saves of each post in a blog in a user friendly 'summarized' format," Quipp says. Users can sort results by date, post title or by number of Delicious save. According to Quipp, there are a number of benefits to using the plugin. For example, a company could track which posts garner the most ...
  • PopGist: A Spinout Of Yahoo BOSS
    Yahoo's BOSS open source search platform has been lauded by many in the industry as a tool that will help advance the progress of search, simply because it allows developers to tinker with algorithms (and their ensuing results) to create customized search experiences. One of the latest BOSS-inspired creations is PopGist, and Frederic Lardinois calls it one of the "more interesting" applications he's seen. "PopGist blends search results with Techmeme-like discussion sections that list related stories from other sites," Lardinois says. A search for Google Chrome, for example, will include reviews from major blogs, while a search for ...
  • Zvents Gets $24 Million
    Zvents has snagged a $24 million investment from a roster of telecom partners, including AT&T and Nokia. The local, events-based search engine plans to use the funds to grow its ad network (which lets local businesses and national chains promote their events through searchable listings) as well as upgrade the technology behind its search platform. Nokia Growth Partners, the investment arm of Nokia, and AT&T were both new investors, though previous investors NAVTEQ, Vantage Point Venture Partners and Red Rock Ventures also participated in the round.
  • Using Recon To Give Yourself A Unique Search Angle
    Carrie Hill explains how to use competitive reconnaissance to give yourself (or your client) a unique advantage when it comes to search, using a hypothetical example. "Let's pretend I live in Phoenix, it's mid-August, and my air conditioning breaks on a Friday afternoon," Hill says. "The news says it will be a record heat weekend and I need service right away." During her online search, she finds that the top-ranked company doesn't highlight its 24-hour service hotline, while another competitor's IYP listing has seemingly expired. Other AC companies err in featuring too many numbers to call in their ...
  • Google Testing Varying Description Snippet Lengths
    Jason Kincaid piggybacks on a Webmaster World discussion about Google testing varying sizes of description snippets in the SERPs. Users can select Small, which omits a summary entirely; Medium, which is the current default; and Long, which offers full paragraphs and is about four times longer than the default. "The changes affect more than just aesthetics," Kincaid says. "The Long setting apparently consists of both the standard meta summary as well as text pulled from the page itself, which could help users weed out sites with nice descriptions but little actual content."
  • Price Fixing? Google Already Does It
    One of the primary concerns that advertisers have voiced about the posed Google-Yahoo search deal is that Google will be able to "fix" bid prices for search terms across the board -- and users will have no real alternative for their paid search traffic. But Danny Sullivan argues that Big G has been fixing paid search prices for years. "How can that be, given that it's an auction model?" Sullivan says. "In an auction, the highest price wins. Since AdWords began, Google's never sold to the highest bidder." The winner is calculated through a mix of factors, including ...
  • Title Tags That Serve Both SEO And Marketing Types
    Ian Lurie serves up a bevy of title tag suggestions that will please both SEOs (that want keywords and the ensuing search engine visibility) and marketing types (that want the company name and the ensuing brand visibility). For example, you could put the "product name " and "company name" in the title tag. "If you're selling products and you know your customers search for the product names, put the product name first, then the company name," Lurie says. "Unless the product name is 125 characters long, in which case you have a whole other problem." You ...
  • The Case For Cleaning Up Your URLs
    Google recently posted an article urging Webmasters to not screw with (or screw up) their dynamic URLs, and while Dave McAnally says that some of the giant's reasoning makes sense, sometimes URLs just need to be retooled to reap the ultimate SEO rewards. The article said that Webmasters shouldn't attempt to make dynamic URLs look static for three reasons: the giant can effectively crawl dynamic URLs, some of the info in the original URL can help the engine's crawlers better understand (and index) the content, and most importantly, that site owners make mistakes when rewriting URLs and risk ...
  • Are Your Search Campaigns Unified?
    "Search marketing is not about careful keyword research, great implementation, or search path analysis--it is about tying all of these facets together into one campaign," says Peter Young. "Only by doing this will you see your online marketing campaigns perform to their maximum efficiencies." Young argues that each facet of a paid or organic search campaign needs to be connected to a central goal. You shouldn't use broad match extensively, for example, just to boost a PPC ad's coverage if the ensuing traffic will be low quality (and thus drive fewer conversions). He also says that ...
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