• Think Like A Search Engine To Gain Success
    Want to know what the search engines "think" of your Web site? Matt McGee lists a set of tools you can use to find out. First up is to use the various Webmaster guidelines each of the engines provide. "At minimum, you should connect your site with Google's Webmaster Central and Yahoo's Site Explorer," he says. "MSN also recently launched its own Webmaster Center, and you should consider connecting your site there, too." Then, McGee says to use the "site:" parameter in a search for your particular domain. The results will offer stats about the percentage of the site that ...
  • When Good AdWords Campaigns Go Bad
    Jeremy Mayes outlines the many ways that competitors can use an AdWords campaign to hijack your brand, and create a negative experience for potential consumers in the process. While bidding on competitor's terms is allowed, deliberately trying to confuse consumers isn't. Still, the onus on calling attention to these kinds of ads and proving that a competitor is being malicious falls squarely on the affected business owner. Competitors can set up ads touting the wrong price info for a particular product -- ultimately leaving them confused or angry when they get to the real landing page and see the ...
  • 10 Questions To Ask Your Clients
    Dev Basu explains that "identifying a client's existing inventoriable assets" is one of the tenets of being a good agency, whether you're a search-specific firm or part of a bigger shop. "Expert SEOs can often spot such 'client assets' or 'useful inventory,' but that process can be optimized by simply asking the client the right questions," he says. For example, find out if a client has a list of unused domains. You can then start redirecting them to the main URL. Also, ask if they're promoting their URL through offline channels, as you can then start estimating where some ...
  • Steer Clear Of These Olympic-Sized PPC Terms
    It may be too early to start thinking about ad campaigns tied to the 2012 London Olympics, but as Andy Beal notes, U.K.-based marketers ought to start thinking of out-of-the-box keywords -- as the most obvious terms are officially off limits. According to the Olympics Act of 2006, only marketers that have purchased licenses with the Games' authorities can use keywords and key phrases like "2012 Games," and "London Summer Games" in their print, TV or online ads. Anyone else caught using those terms faces a £20,000 (roughly $36,800) fine. "This, according to Out-Law.com, is too severe and many ...
  • Out Of Blog Post Ideas? Try These
    Helping clients come up with SEO-friendly blog posts can be a chore, even for the most inventive search marketer, so Tad Chef serves up more than 50 suggestions. "Some of these ideas are the bomb and will bring you publicity and popularity," Chef says. "While others focus on highlighting your expertise or are part of a social networking strategy." Post suggestions include checking your search engine referrers and writing posts for those keywords that currently have no matching content or asking a question on Twitter and summarizing all the answers in blog form. Chef also says to try reviewing ...
  • SEO Certainly Isn't A Quick Fix
    While business owners may think that search will be a "quick fix" for reaching their target while they cut back on other types of ad spending, Jill Whalen cautions that SEO, in particular, is much more of a long term play. "While SEO is almost always a good idea, if you're counting on it to save a failing business, you may want to rethink things," she says. "The customers you receive from search engines should not be what your entire marketing plan consists of." Getting good results with SEO is not fast or easy, especially if a Web site wasn't ...
  • 'See' Your Search History With These Firefox Plug-ins
    Ann Smarty reviews a trio of Firefox apps that allow you to visualize your search history, making it easier to go back to interesting sites you've perused during your day -- even if you can't remember the name or URL. WebMynd, for example, gives you thumbnails of the pages you've visited in either grid or reel format. You can turn the tracking off and on at will. ThumbStrips goes one better, letting you see and search through your thumbnails, as well as insert comments about various pages for later reference. sLast up is Timelope. The new tool is the only ...
  • Exalead Upgrades Image Search Features
    "If it hadn't been for the fact that Google, Yahoo and Live Search return far more image hits, I would say that Exalead has the best image search engine around right now." So says that Pandia Search News team. That's a big claim, but they back it up by detailing the engine's recently upgraded image search capabilities. Image results are presented as thumbnails, with all relevant info (resolution, source, etc.) displayed beneath. "If you let your cursor hover above the images, Exalead will show some very relevant links," the team says. You can also save images with one click, and ...
  • Avoiding (And Recovering From) An AdWords Smackdown
    What's an AdWords smackdown, otherwise known as the "Google Slap"? It's when the minimum bids for various keywords in your account increase dramatically, often as a result of landing page or ad copy changes. Mike Reining outlines some of the most common offenses that can incite a Google Slap, as well as some solutions for recovering from one. The top reason for incurring a penalty is that the content of the landing page isn't relevant to the keyword you're bidding on. "This is a huge no-no which will hurt your Quality Score and you will most likely get slapped by ...
  • Emerging Searcher Trends
    Christopher Hosford talks about connecting search trends and user behaviors with Chitika's Tess Rudd. "One of the most cutting-edge methods is targeting people based not only on keywords but also the content sites they visit, and placing ads right there," Rudd says. When asked about the value of such targeting, Rudd says that advertisers can use it to extend the effectiveness of any given search campaign. "It's true that search engine marketing campaigns can drive highly targeted, intent-driven search traffic and produce measurable ROI, but search can be made to work harder," she says. "Search behavior marketing extends the visibility ...
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