I bet you have been aching to know the top Bing searches for 2009. Well, drum roll please. Michael Jackson hit Bing's No.1 spot for searches. Twitter followed at No. 2. Danielle Tiedt also writes the Bing team saw many users relying on the search engine for quick access to favorite sites like Facebook, MSN, YouTube and Craigslist. The group also noticed many more complex searches this year, such as product-related queries where people used Bing to help decide which MP3 player to buy, or travel searches that helped them find the best vacation deals.
Ron Jones steps through ways to measure success, from clearly stating the defined goal, to benchmarking. Most of what he suggests seems obvious, but when you're wrapped up in the project and your job is on the line, sometimes it's easy to forget the minutiae. So, make a list. And when measuring success, Jones suggests the SMART goal approach: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Kevin Gibbons takes a look at Web journalism after the BBC announced it would start optimizing headlines in an effort to gain greater visibility in search engines. He believes SEO is misunderstood by professional writers. So, he explains how headlines can hook more than humans, and that SEO is not the enemy of good writing. Among the advice he serves up: use lots of keywords in introductions; consider keywords without curtailing quality; and, write for the audience.
Say bye-bye to search engine optimization in search engine results pages, and hello to exploiting personalized search for SEO, according to Marty Weintraub. Serving up a a little insight to optimize for micro-demographics, he writes that this idea can not only neutralize, but also exploit "personalized search to the SEO's benefit, one user at a time." But Weintraub is convinced that Google, or any other engine, "will ever defeat this tactic." So he suggests ways to exploit this guerrilla tactic, and the solution to optimizing SERPs, which are customized based on an individual person's affinities.
Microsoft and Yahoo were notified that Australian and Canadian authorities have separately concluded reviews on the partnership and have no objections to the proposed search agreement, writes Tim Lohman. The ACCC and the Canadian Competition Bureau are the first regulators to approve the deal, which gives Microsoft an exclusive license to power Yahoo's search engine for 10 years. The hope is that Microsoft and Yahoo will achieve the necessary scale to compete with Google and give advertisers other options to reach consumers.
Google has been developing and testing a variety of new ad formats. Susan Wojcicki tells us that some include visual elements, while others include more links. The idea is to help you quickly find a specific page in an advertiser's Web site. For example, if you're researching airfare to visit relatives during the holidays, it saves time to go directly to Priceline's page about booking flights, rather than the general homepage or rental car page, she writes.
Using a recent post by Aaron Wall as a jumping-off point, Drew Hubbard explains why SEOs should pay more attention to paid search campaigns. He explains the problem, including the fact that Google continues to integrate more advertising and local and universal results into its SERPs. This pushes organic results right down to the bottom of the page.
Google refuses to remove a racist photo-shopped image of Michelle Obama made to look like a monkey, according to Gawker. The image was hosted on an obscure "malware-spewing blogs that seem to have no point except to contain phrases like 'Jennifer Lopez Sex Tape Free Cadillac Adam Lambert Boyfriend' in order to lure unsuspecting searchers." Rather than take down the image, Google apologized and put up an ad above the search results that directs searchers to a page explaining why it wouldn't take down the photo.
Digital marketing can become a relatively low-cost measurement tool that provides near-instant feedback on whether or not a campaign works, writes Dan Friedman. Friedman provides a few testing ideas marketers may want to try. For example, try testing display ads through Display Ad Builder. Or test rich-media and video ads by incorporating text, images and logo into a design template. This allows you to test a creative message and learn what works before investing in creative support.
Kevin Gibbons tells us to review SEO strategies often, and provides insight on what to review, and explains why frequency really matters. He writes that it doesn't matter how well the SEO strategy works, it's always worth taking time to reevaluate identify the processes that you can improve. As a marketer, your returns might be impressive, your strategy masterful, but in these times of tightened budgets, it will give you the confidence that every penny spent is worth it, he writes.