• Google Tools Getting Personal
    Last week Google unveiled personalized search in GoogleWiki. This week Aaron Goldman explores ways to use the tool's features. Using GoogleWiki as a springboard, he also presents the good, the bad and the ugly, speculating a bit on what crowd-sourced SERPs might look like. Imagine toggling between custom SERPs based on your past history/preferences and SERPs based on results selected by others. Goldman hypothesizes about a slider bar that allows you to refine results based on various group preferences, like Facebook friends, people 25-54, or all women, for example. He also looks at other filters that might add ...
  • Finessing Local Search
    More than 30% of people looking for small local businesses find them through search engines, while 19% use Internet directories, 11% comb through local search sites like Google Local, and a mere 1% use social media sites, according to Janet Meiners Thaeler, citing comScore stats. Thaeler suggests that neighborhood businesses build an SEO-supported site and offers advice on how to survive. "Focus on local markets that you service where there is less competition," she writes. Also, make sure consumers can easily find on your Web site the details that people seek such as business name, phone number, address, hours ...
  • Metrics To Collect Before SEO Begins
    Identify the site, develop process and players, categorize and segment your site, assess historical progress, and leverage data for SEO improvements. These guidelines from Rand Fishkin will you help develop benchmarking metrics before you begin an SEO campaigns. Fishkin serves up examples for each metric he identifies. For example, before conducting accurate analysis of your search engine traffic, know how much search traffic you're pulling in and the sections of content that drive value, he writes. Fishkin lays out his personal approach and suggests segmenting search traffic in the Web analytics program by restricting URL matches. View the ...
  • Optimizing PPC/SEO Campaigns
    PPC advertising and SEO drive shoppers to digital stores, but if clicks slow, so does business. Google Insights, a free tool that details search data, can help online retailers improve PPC advertising and optimize sites, according to Armando Roggio. He doesn't believe it is the cure-all to boost campaigns, but could provide the needed insight to drive sales higher, especially during tough economic times. Roggio steps through the process of setting up a Google Insights account and demonstrates how to promote products or find new markets to sell goods. He serves up advice on using the tool, how ...
  • Fixing 5 Big PPC Mistakes
    Not testing, not having conversion tracking to measure results, running too many tests for your budget, not padding tests to reduce the risk of losing performance: these are some of the big mistakes people make in PPC testing, according to Brain Carter. Carter, who elaborates on each of the five big PPC mistakes, believes that no matter how long your site and ads have been up and running, testing helps improve performance. So, take time to discover what works. Remove what doesn't. Learn from the processes. Bullets help to clarify the points.
  • Law Firms Jump Into Hot SEO Water
    A blogger named Oilman posted an article accusing FindLaw.com of violating Google's Webmaster guidelines. The post revealed FindLaw.com's SEM Advantage program, which was essentially an agreement to sell links for the sole purpose of improving search results. Google didn't like it, according to Oilman, stating that the practice is a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Scenarios similar to this one are getting law firms in hot water with search engines, as many look toward the Web and SEO strategies to compete for clients, according to Conrad Saam. "Some involve trying to trick the search engine," Saam adds. ...
  • Eric Peterson Talks Up Analytics
    Scroll down to the middle of this post to find the Q&A with analytics guru Eric Peterson. Josh Dreller encapsulates the week's news from search engines Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, but also shares excerpts from his interview with Peterson. The topic includes mastering pre-click and post-click conversion attributes. Microsoft calls it "engagement mapping." That's where analytics determines the weight of each click that consumers take to reach the desired end result, whether it's making a purchase, signing up for an email newsletter, or downloading a white paper. Peterson talks about analytic tools that a search marketer might find ...
  • What If Yahoo Abandons Search?
    Jordan McCollum asks: "What if" Yahoo abandons search? She taps into blogs written by ClickZ's Zachary Rodgers and Forrester Research's David Carr, fueling it with a post on ValleyWag from a tipster who tells Owen Thomas about Yahoo's vice president of search, Sean Suchter, joining Microsoft before it happened. Indeed, the Redmond, Wash., company did confirm late last week that Suchter made the switch from Yahoo to join Microsoft as the GM of the Silicon Valley Search Technology Center, working on Live Search. No need to buy Yahoo now. The poaching came as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told ...
  • SEO Simplifies Web Site Performance
    Combine quality content, link popularity and link reputation to improve Web site performance and search engine rankings, according to Jon Rognerud. He defines all three terms and suggests if one leg in the "three-legged SEO stool" is not 100% functional, the entire operation could collapse. Rognerud believes that new visitors to your Web site should understand within three to five seconds what they should do and how to find content. Following these tips will go a long way toward solving many of your SEO problems, but make sure to stay informed about changes at search engines. Adding a ...
  • Debunking 5 SEO Myths
    Optimization is underhanded; SEO is influenced by PPC; sites must be submitted to engines -- Kevin Gibbons debunks each of these and two other SEO myths. Gibbons, though clearly annoyed, takes a lighthearted approach. On the optimization is underhanded myth, he writes: "It is very frustrating-like meeting a runner who thinks that exercising, eating well and training is somehow an underhand way of winning a race," he writes. Hopefully, he adds, this list will provide fodder for SEO experts confronted by clients who still believe such myths.
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