Google has launched a new feature to its AdWords program which aims to improve the relevancy of their AdWords product. The new role out will start out being tested on broad match ads which appear on Google.com. ...
New! Improved targeting for your ads.
Recent improvements to AdWords ad quality will help Google show the most relevant ads to the most targeted audience possible.
How is Ad Relevance Determined?
Our ad quality improvements will help us be more precise in identifying the most relevant ads for a particular query, which may mean more clicks for some ads and fewer clicks for others.
For example, an advertiser specializing in Alaskan cruises may have selected cruises (broad-matched) for their campaign. Previously, this keyword may have been disabled due to poor performance on more popular queries such as Hawaiian cruises. Instead of disabling all broad match variations of cruises, we will now show this ad for specific query variations that are more relevant to the ad, such as Alaskan cruises.
Which ads or keywords will be affected by these relevance changes?
Recent improvements to promote ad relevance within the AdWords system will apply to advertisers in all countries and all languages. While these changes will initially only affect broad-matched keywords for ads shown on Google.com, future improvements will include other keyword matching options and Google Network sites and products.
Overture is rolling out Local Match today. Local Match ads will appear in the same places on search engine results pages (SERPS) that their normal pay per click a (Precision Match) ads do.
Local Match will allow you to set a custom display radius around your business from .5 to 100 miles. When users within your chosen region click on your ad it brings up a map display of your business location. You must have a business location to participate in Overture's Local Match program.
With Local Match there is no monthly minimum spend and businesses are not required to have a website. The minimum cost per click is 10 cents, it costs $20 to open an account, and you do not need to be a client of Overture's other services to sign up with Local Match.
With the local business' signup data, including address, it will create a Yahoo-sponsored locator page with driving directions and other information to direct Web surfers offline. Yahoo, ESPN, MSN, and Infospace will be among the first companies to begin displaying the locally targeted ads in search results. source: News.com (Local Match will also appear on CitySearch...)
Geoff Stevens, general manager of local search at Overture, said the company would give distribution partners flexibility in how they implemented the listings. For example, Yahoo could pass along ZIP code information for searchers signed in as members, while another search partner could use IP targeting to determine location. Many will ask users to identify their location for local results, he said.
Google also offers advertisers the option of targeting within a mile radius, but the minimum distance is 20 miles. Stevens said Local Match’s half-mile radius option would provide more precise advertiser targeting and more relevant listings for searchers. ...
A Verizon study in late 2002 estimated that 63 percent of small businesses lack Web sites. To solve this problem, Overture asks each Local Match advertiser to fill out a short business questionnaire including hours of operation, address, credit cards accepted and a short description. The business information is presented to a searcher clicking on a listing, along with a map showing the business’s location.
The Kelsey Group has estimated that the local search market could reach $2.5 billion in 2008, depending on how successful Google and Yahoo are in deploying local search opportunities. The researcher thinks that 10 percent of all searches are for local commercial information.
One major problem facing its widespread adoption is the self-service ad model. Stevens said Overture would look to partner with yellow pages and newspaper publishers that already have sales forces, in addition to promotion through direct mail. source: DMnews
The recent update has lead to Google showing backlinks for many of the sites that had their PageRank blocked.
By not showing backlinks on sites with PageRank blocked Google made it very easy to know where buying links was effective and where it was a waste. If I were them I would show the sites I blocked as backlinks without parsing PageRank through. Why?
It makes it harder for people to know where there is value and where there is not. It makes it harder to manipulate the search index and drives down the value of link renting.
Sung to the Tune of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"
Take, me out of the sand box...
Place my site in the SERPs...
Buy me some PageRank and Anchor Text,
Get my site in the Google index!
Let me search, search, search for my keywords...
If I don't rank it's a shame
For it's one, two, three months you'll wait
Man, that sand box is lame!
Google is already synonymous with search. Now they want to help the next generation create a better product? or do they? or more exactly, who do they want to have the students create that better product with?
The time has come for Google to "give something back", Wayne Rosing, the company's vice-president of engineering, told students while on a recruiting drive in Melbourne last week.
"There have been a lot of conversations in the company in the past two months about (how) . . . it's time for us to give something back. So our technical director, Craig Silverstein, has started a project to look at all the Google code and start figuring out what parts of it we want to give back," Rosing said. - TheAge
Many people consider MicroSoft evil based on their business savy and their crush competition attitude. Google is smart enough in their marketing strategy that they can look like the good guy while crushing the competition.
Nutch is an open source search engine which companies like Yahoo! are helping to fund. It is easy to squash an open source movement before it picks up steam. If Google can squash that idea while looking like a good guy then that is a real good deal for Google.
The reason Google wants to give back part of their code are:
it can make Google seem somewhat open source and hopefully at least divide any open source movement in the search arena (before it grows big).
Google gets a bunch of possitive press for giving away something that costs them next nothing and will give them a ton of return.
how cheap is it to recruit people who have already been using your stuff? If Google search technology becomes part of the core ciriculum at many colleges then it is much easy for Google to hoard the next generation of search engine engineers.
I would say that Google is getting a bunch more than they are giving.
"We have been advised that as of September 30th 2004, Ask Jeeves will be no longer accepting new submissions to the Site Submit Paid Inclusion program. ...
Customers who currently have URLs in Ask Jeeves Site Submit managed by ineedhits.com will continue to receive the full benefits of their current subscription until such time as their subscription expires. This includes click thru reporting, regular refreshes and access to customer service."- source: SEW forums
"Ask Jeeves rolls out new search shortcuts and a site-preview tool today as it aims to offer itself as a credible search alternative to Yahoo and Google." - source: DM News.
Some people are building scalable predictive bid management software which is based on complex mathematical algorithms.
Former Yahoo executive Ellen Siminoff has re-emerged as CEO of Efficient Frontier, which produces a paid-search management service that was launched Friday. The service lets paid search advertisers predict the performance of their keyword purchases on paid search networks such as Google's AdWords and Yahoo's Overture Services subsidiary. source
The Efficient Frontier site states that they are the only scalable bid management solution, although I bet Kevin Lee would beg to differ.
Automated real time feedback and adjustment is what makes bid management software extremely valuable. This is one market where software price will not be the determining factor in who is ultimately crowned king... quality and breadth of the features will.
4 New AdSense Languages:
Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish
The free Google site search now also pays. When people click on ads in your site leve search or web search from your site Google splits the revenue with you.
I am curious to see if this will cause an increase in fraud since many sites which are not in expensive categories may have friends (or enemies) perform expensive fraudulent searches from their sites. This is a rather bold move by Google.
New Ad Format:
The new half banner is a 234x60 horizontal banner, available for text ad units.
You can now create up to 50 active channels for each of AdSense and WebSearch, for a total of 100 channels across your site.
Google AdSense Preview Tool:
The AdSense preview tool is an exciting new tool that's loaded with features. Use it to preview the ads that would appear on any web page, from a number of geographic regions. Test out color combinations. Click through to advertiser sites without generating invalid clicks, and easily add their URLs to your URL filter list.
Are Blogs Ready for Prime-Time? yes. Emarketer recently reported about a BlogAds survey of 17,159. They say that blog readers are inclined to click ads and buy stuff. Even if you did not participate in their survey you can still purchase my ebook to prove em right :)
Not really the kind you see on TV, more the ones that send you spam. I have been getting hammered no only by blog spam (than you #42) but also by people sending spam emails out trying to promote their products about search engine marketing.
Some of these clowns are sending article submission requests almost daily to my Depression Blog website.
The irony here is that if they desire to spam that website they could just make an entry, but they don't. They email me their garbage. And so they are clowns.
They use an automated bot to waste my time so I use feedback the search engines can read so people can see they are clowns. Below I listed today's winners of the clown awards!!!
One of our members asked for a study of keyword location
on a page. Is it more effective to have your keyword
mentioned in the top third, middle third or bottom third
of a page?
Here is the methodology I used to answer this question. I
gathered the results of the queries naturally performed
last month by myself and three associates using Yahoo and
Google. I then fetched the pages and divided the body
section into three equal parts for each page. I tallied
the results for the first 8 rankings on both Yahoo and
Google (keeping the results separate) and then converted
them into a percentage of the total results for each
Here are the graphs showing Google and Yahoo results:
(Note to webmasters/ezine editors: You are welcome to hot
link to these graphs or even copy them to your own site.
You are also welcome to remove this note.)
The X-axis shows the ranking (from #1 through #8) of the
search engine results in the study. The Y-axis shows the
percentage of domains that contained the keyword in the
top (red line), middle (blue line) and bottom (purple
line) thirds of the body section of the page.
It is interesting to note that pages containing the
keyword in the top and bottom third of the body section
ranked much better on Google. The top section had a
normalized correlation of +42 on a scale of -100 to +100.
The bottom third also showed a remarkable positive
correlation of +46 on the same scale. Having the keyword
in the middle third had no significant effect (no
correlation whatsoever... neither positive nor negative).
The Yahoo results were even more interesting. I generally
ignore any correlations between -35 and +35 as being
generally insignificant. On Yahoo, none of the three
sections showed any remarkable correlations. The scores
were a +17 for the top, -3 for the middle and -17 for the
bottom third of the body section. Does this mean that
Yahoo doesn't even look for the keyword in the body
Advice: Mention your keywords near the top and/or bottom
of a page for Google ranking.
Jon Ricerca is one of the leading researchers and authors
of the Search Engine Ranking Factor (SERF) reports at
SearchEngineGeek.com. For access to the other SERF
reports, please visit: http://www.SearchEngineGeek.com
Your product is fantastic your service excellent and
your customers will make huge savings - but no one is
It is a challenge familiar to many a business owner. One
sure-fire way to get your business noticed online at
minimal cost is to sit down and write about it - or
commission someone else to write about it for you.
Promotional or advertorial articles have traditionally
worked well to publicize businesses offline in magazines,
newspapers and circulars. Now, the Internet offers a
myriad of web-based opportunities in the form of
specialist news sites, portals, on-line newspapers, ezines
and newsletters - all of which require a source of fresh &
interesting content. But where should you begin?
What do your customers read?
You should first consider the types of material your
potential customers will read and where they will view or
download that material from. Perhaps they subscribe to
specific online trade circulars or newsletters published
by a site or magazine they subscribe to. Look to cover all
the options and where possible obtain subscription data so
you can determine if the target audience of a publication
matches with the audience for your product or service. You
will have little success if you target the wrong audience
who have little interest in what you are selling.
Making the content work for you
Developing the content for your article is obviously
critical to your success with this marketing method. It is
also important to realise that whilst some editors will
accept promotional material, others will not. You will
therefore need to think carefully about how your article
is constructed. One way to approach this is to have a few
different versions of the piece to hand ~ from one that
overtly promotes your product or service to one that does
so more subtly. You can then choose which version to
submit to the editor based on their preferences.
An effective publicity angle for those that do accept some
form of promotional advertising in an article is to
present your product or service as a solution to a
problem. To increase your chances of publication, look to
base it on topical events. For instance, if you are
selling anti-spam software you can base it around a piece
that discusses the implications of the latest laws against
spam. If you do not have the time to pen such advertising,
then an alternative is to have someone interview you about
a topic, and ask them to put the material together for you.
Advertising your business through promotional online
articles works wonders for businesses all around the
world. Make sure you don't miss out on this global
Scott F. Geld is the Director of Marketing for
MarketingBlaster.com, a company providing targeted traffic
and direct links starting at only $5. For more info: http://www.MarketingBlaster.com
I saw an extremely clean looking Yahoo! Search search results page today. It promted me to finally buy myself a copy of the super duper cool image capture software by the name of SnagIt.
Yahoo! has a much cleaner look and is finally clearly separating ads from organic search results.
If you click the read more link it will show you what my first image capture using SnagIt looks like.
SnagIt only costs $40 and is a hackers delight if you aim to download a bunch of pictures. SnagIt has the ability to set custom filters, let you download all the images from a site, set spidering depth level, and all kinds of cool jazz. I bet some people with porn sites love SnagIt.
Screenshot image capture software is super handy for keeping visual proof of all the crazy stuff the search engines do.
This is kind of a general business type tip too, but due to the logarithmic scale of information across the web it is extremely important to focus in on a niche vice adding features to increase profits from your website.
or view the skinny below. (by the way I still am rather fat...about to go for a jog)
The main reasons to focus on a niche are:
Many quality links are business partnerships: you make it hard for other businesses to link to you if you do everything.
Only one chance at really competitive phrases: you only have one home page if you have a huge site. Since most of your link popularity will point at the home page it makes it harder for inner pages to compete with smaller sites focused on that industry which have many direct inbound links with the link text of your subservices.
Focus your energies: it is far easier to acquire market leading valuable insights if you know one industry really well vice sorta knowing a little bit about everything.
You lose focus in the eyes of the consumer if you are broad: as you add services you confuse people as to what your site is for. Full service interactive media agency sounds great, but what does that really mean?
Of course they would like you to believe they will, but the whole reason spam is effective is because there are logical and legitimate reasons to use the same techniques "spammers" are using.
If they did have such incredible results that spam was not effective then spam would change to find an effective way.
The advancement of spam is an issue of economics. The reason link brokering has recently became huge is in spite of it's great costs it has recently became more effective and economic than many other types of spam.
Good luck MicroSoft... Article... and my opinions of it below
The company unveiled a research project at its Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View which uses statistical analysis to locate spam web pages.
I thought all search engines did this?
A spam web page is designed solely to fool search engines by linking keywords to web pages that the spammer wants to show up high in the search results.
There are many indirect types of spam too...
In a sample of one billion web pages, Microsoft claims that eight per cent are spam.
Sounds a bit low...
In one case, the Microsoft researchers claim to have found a webpage in Germany that would constantly create pages filled with pieces of text that were copied from random web pages, linked to a porn site.
This not only leads visitors away from the webpage from which the text was copied, but gives the spammer an indefinite source of keywords and key phrases to link to.
The researchers found the site after their analysis identified that German web pages on average were updated more often than those in other geographies.
Predictable Germans... actually why would MSN point out the location of the site?
Bruce Stone recently created the Wow Directory, which is one of those rare webmaster resources where it seems like they guy is doing what he is doing because he really has a passion for it and likes helping people out.
Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Contest winner for the first prize is the Merky Forums. Merky won a free mini ipod (and probably some SEO clients if he is smooth).
In a month we shall see if Merky is a player or a stayer :)
Many other people are now on to one of his secret tactics (spamming Wiki sandboxes) so we shall see if he can hold on. Popular blogger Anil Dashes recently joind the contest so the blog world may make a big splash in the later parts of this contest. The #2 ranking site so far is a blog by Phillip Lessen.
Keep up to date with the lastest contest facts at SearchGuild.
Everyone should be able to laugh every once in a while. The last couple days I have been running into a few sites, so I figured it would only be fair to share.
Cool site #1 http://www.checkpr.com/ - citation: being a knock off site of Prog / Proogle. either he is reselling the software, or someone else is selling the exact thing that is on his site.
Cool site #2 http://www.trafficpowersucks.com/ - citation: found this puppy in my server logs. apparently the site owner has a big thumbs down for the services traffic power provides. the owner of that site may actually be more blunt than I am!!!
Cool site #3 http://www.blogspam.org/ - citation: this guy took the movement of the blog spam comment fight and used it to gain link popularity into a fake front about him wanting to stop blog comment spam.
his site now has sponsors, services, links and advertising sections right on the home page. in these sections he has great worthy blog community type causes such as:
Canadian Pharmacies Canada Prescriptions
It is odd that his links are extremely similar to those left by prescription drug addicts who frequently forget their name and leave their favorite drugs in my blogs. On his site David describes himself as a "leader of an anti-spam movement."
Way to go David. If only we all had your convictions or inner strength!
Neotonic Software is a San Francisco-based start-up which specializes in e-mail customer support. Google have also hired David Jeske, co-founder of Neotonic and the former director of engineering for eGroups (which now exists as Yahoo! Groups). source: SE Journal
Some Automated Bots are off the mark. When I linked into my page about Traffic Power & Cold Call SEO Google decided to reject the ad because I did not state my affiliate status? Clearly this was the action of an automated bot or a person who did not look at the page...I know that sometimes they do review pages because one time on my other site they sent me an email about a page for speaking of the AdSense ads which "were off to the side." Clearly though this is not an affiliate ad...
Campaign: 'Campaign #16,' Ad Group: 'Traffic Power'
Cold Call SEO is Bad
Were you recently cold called by
someone selling SEO services?
Action taken: Suspended - Pending Revision
Issue(s): Identify Affiliate Status
The Link Appeal Tool has link appeal since I am linking to it. I think I used the word link to much...anyway here is the link.
This is another one of Will's cool free tools over at Webmaster Toolkit. It looks at the PageRank of a page as well as the number of outgoing links on that page to give you a guestimate of how much value that link would have to help you decide whether or not it is worth going after.
Search Engine Watch has opened their new SEO Forums. Only a few hundred posts so far.
With how intertwined that site is within the Internet.com network and how popular and powerful of a site SearchEngineWatch already is, it will be interesting to see how open they are able to keep it and how well they will be able to fight off spam.
Upon further glance they seem to have a triangle which allows you to flag moderators when a bad post occurs.
<2nd update>What effect will this new forum have on other SEO forums?
Google making a bigger splash into intranet search
With over 95% of their income comming from internet advertising some people are concerned that they will need to diversify their business model. Meet the new Google enterprise level search technology...
The new system is bigger, with more processing power and memory, allowing a single box to index up to 1.5 million documents and 300 queries per minute, fivefold increases over the earlier model, he said. The boxes cost between $32,000 and $175,000 each, depending on the configuration. ... In 2003, Google enterprise search accounted for $48 million, less than 5 percent of the company's sales, according to a securities filing. That's well behind longtime market player Verity, which racked up $121 million in sales last year. source: ZD Net.
The first blog is a lawyer blog and the second site listed is the New York Times, but if you scroll past them you can see some pretty cheap ads.
Gawker is one of the most famous blogs on the web (and it costs $400 / month or $150 / week). I am probably not going to be advertising on the Gawker website today, but currently someone is with a Texas Holdem website.
I am sure that link is probably cheap for someone in the gaming industry. Those affiliate checks online casinos send you can get fat. I had one page from when I first started learning about the web that got me a few grand without me actively promoting it...
If you used the right political message or were marketing an amazing idea the cheap entry price of advertising on Gawker could easily pay for itself tenfold.
Once you look at some of the slightly less popular blogs the price drops sharply. Advertising on one of the top NanoBot site is $60 / month.
Sometimes during the Google dance your PageRank will flop around as you get data from one server then the next. WebmasterBrain (Creator of Proogle Prog) recently created a PageRank lookup tool which shows the PageRank of your site across different Google Data Centers.
You also can view updated Google PageRank by changing your hostfile to query the the Google Data Center that got updated first, but this tool is way more convenient.
Some of the random Yahoo! Search result jazz I intermitently saw (and seen by Brad Fallon a few days ago) was perhaps part of the new testing going on for Yahoo!.
In the new tested look they bring back the directory tab, which may add a little more value to the annual $299 review fees they charge. With Yahoo!'s strong reliance on human editors in their search product it would make sense for them to put a little more weight on the Yahoo! Directory...maybe this is to be a step in that direction.