Creative Director Alex Campbell was the first of The Search Agents' personnel to spot a new category for advertisements in the sponsored links on Google: "related to," ads that are somehow associated with the user's query, or could also be based on recent search activity, according to Alec Green. Campbell is in the U.K., so Green (in the U.S.) also checked out a query and found similar results. Green says he contacted his Google rep and hopes "to get more information on these new features in the coming days."
Internet success stories rarely get any sexier than that of Johns Wu, writes Aaron Wall in the intro to the interview with the 20-something multimillionaire who created Bankaholic.com and sold it to BankRate for a reported $14.9 million. In the interview, Wall finds out what led a guy like Wu from the study of neuroscience to SEO.
Getting started with SEO or need a refresher? Danny Dover introduces "The Beginners Guide To SEO," a free step-by-step instruction book for everything from learning how search engines operate to measuring and tracking success.
Brian Carter tells us about a free white paper that runs down 52 Facebook advertising tips and best practices. He wrote the piece, combining his own experience creating and optimizing Facebook ads for himself and clients, with a survey of the existing available literature.
Larry Kim tells us about 13 online PPC marketing courses you can take to either brush up on skills or advance your knowledge. The programs offer a comprehensive overview of paid search advertising. Some offer certificates, too. Among the courses being offered from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, you will find others from SEMPO and, yes, even Search Engine College. Kim provides a description for each.
Dave McAnally reminds us high rankings on competitive keyword terms should become a goal for successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns, but it doesn't mean the tactic will generate clicks, deliver engagement, or produce sales. He gives us 10 ways you can screw up your SEO campaigns, along with tips on how to fix the mistakes.
Has your home been robbed lately by the personal information found through the back door of online search engines and social networks? Hope not. Dave Harry provides a warning for anyone using Google, Foursquare, Twitter and other social platforms. He calls it, for example, "Google Dorking," a practice that refers to using Google, and related social media operators, to find information that people shouldn't leave open to search engines. Along with several screen shots to demonstrate his point, Harry tells us how he discovered it and how to protect yourself.
Joe Hall presents an interesting parallel between Lady Gaga and SEO professionals. He points to the importance of knowing the fundamentals, whether it's music or search engine optimization. And even if you don't get the similarities, check out the video he found where Stefani Germanotta rocks the piano before she became known as Lady Gaga.
Julie Batten gives us a few dos and don'ts for any successful search campaign. Here's an example for paid search: Do consider starting with one search vendor before rolling out the campaign to others. Wait until it gets underway. Don't forget to set a daily budget because you don't want to spend your entire budget in one week.
Peter Da Vanzo explains that to win at search marketing, marketers need to outcompete the competition through analytics and competitive analysis. For starters, he serves up tips on getting ranked higher in terms for overall business performance, and where to look for new keyword streams that competitors have missed and may never think about.