Conferences & Consuming Media: Too Much?

Mar 7th

So right now I am up at 8 am on a Monday from the night before. I came back from SES NYC Thursday night and just got done catching up with my 100 or so blogs and half dozen or so forums I track.

While looking through blogs I noticed that I just missed the Online Social Networks conference.

Last night I just bought my ticket and Friday I will be flying out to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest interactive festival. While surfing further I noticed an overlap with O'reilly Emerging Technology conference.

From April 11-12 there is the Search Engine Meeting

From April 25-27 there is Ad Tech

From May 27th - 29th there is ThreadWatch. While there you may want to stay by for SES London on June 1st & 2nd.

From June 21th-24th there is WebmasteWorld

From June 23-25 there is Gnomedex

From August 2nd-5th there is SES San Jose

I was joking with a friend and we figured that there were about 30 conferences you should go to each year, and it seems like soon that will be the reality.

I think some people have traded in their regular jobs to be traveling salesmen / lead generation / speakers at various conferences. I can't see myself ever trying to be too much of a salesman (or a public speaker), but the conferences sure are fun and there are a ton of them.

Someone should write an ebook about working (or optimizing the output from) the conference scene ;)

What conferences do you like?

ACCOONA Search Engine Review

Mar 7th

ACCOONA gave away a car at the NYC SES show and since then I have seen multiple forum owners complain about them spamming their forums.

Even if they were not the ones doing it, the complete lack of participation in those conversations is a bad thing for their search engine.

Not to mention that the ads are in the left rail and when I clicked an organic search result link in the right rail it went through Overture. At least I had a good laugh when I saw clicking on a link to my other site sent me to this one and cost me 50 cents.

Whether or not you actively participate in communities if you are above radar people will find a way to create hate threads about you. People tend to look much more credible when they show up than when they ignore them.

You gotta wonder if the $30,000 they spent on the car and booth would have been better spent actively participating in their marketplace. Tim Mayer and Matt Cutts do.

Sleazy Lying Long Nosed Marketing Scum (and other observations)

Mar 7th

Free Market Research Data

Mar 4th

The first person who responded to my free Google AdWords coupon post stated that they are currently ranking well but if their rankings ever drop then they can use the $100 AdWords coupon.

Why would anyone want to wait to collect free market research data? If you don't participate then you don't know if you are missing out on profits.

The longer you wait the more competitive the marketplace gets. The sooner you test the quicker you may be able to create another profit stream.

[added: they replied that they were near full capacity. when that problem occurs it is sometimes a sign to start charging more :) ]

More market research data from SES:

  • Keyword Discovery - has a free trial and paid subscription service.

  • New SERP EyeTracking Study. I believe Gord Hotchkiss also stated that in most engines 70% of traffic goes to organic listings and 30% goes to paid listings. In Google he said the split is closer to 85 / 15.
  • Shop.org research showed an average online retail conversion rate of 1.8%
  • Eric Ward offers link strategy consultations
  • Performics 2004 PPC Click Through Rate data:
    • #1 ~ 3.5%

    • #2 to #4 ~ 1.5%
    • #5 on down ~ 0.75%
  • HitWise "bath tub" searches
    • Google 48%

    • Yahoo! 34%
    • MSN 11%
  • HitWise userbase skew
    • Google - male, higher income

    • Yahoo! - younger, lower income
    • MSN - female, older
  • HitWise share of US search market
    • Google 55.5% (grew 24% in 2004)

    • Yahoo! 31%
    • MSN 7% (grew 10% in last year. grew 13% in last 4 months)
    • Ask Jeeves 4%
  • Nielson Netratings January 05 share of search market stats (excluding searches which lead to internal pages)
    • Google 47%

    • Yahoo! 21%
    • MSN 13%
    • AOL 5%
    • other 14%
    • Google has 29.7 million searchers which only use Google
    • Yahoo! has 13.7 million searchers which only use Yahoo!
    • MSN has 12.2 million searchers which only use MSN
    • G + Y overlap 18.3 million
    • G + M overlap 13.2 million
    • Y + M overlap 5.1 million
    • 9.7 million use all three
    • 3% of searches are local, though Google says more people use local search than Froogle
  • JupiterResearch
    • domestic average CPC to go from 36 cents in 2004 to 40 cents in 2005 up to 47 cents by 2009

    • domestic paid search expected to grow about 600 million a year from now to the end of the decade (from 3.2 billion this year to 5.5 billion in 2009)
    • local search is expected to grow slower than other forms of search marketing

Ethical? Spam

Feb 19th

Search Before the Purchase Report, Link Development, Webmaster Communities, Integration

Feb 15th

DoubleClick ‘Search Before The Purchase’ Report:
sounds like a report with an intended outcome, eh? report finds half of all purchases are preceded by a relevant search. (found on SEW blog)

  • Many buyers complete their relevant search activity well in advance of purchase

  • The majority of pre-purchase search activity (both searches and clicks) involves generic terms
  • Branded terms dominate search activity closer to the purchase

Link Development:
a thread on the topic...
Google and the Golden Ratio

Communities:
what the hell happened to them?

Intigration:
horizontal is better than vertical - why it is better for most to be the keyword expert or the link broker or the AdWords guru than it is to be all things related to search. (found from A VC)

Global Consciousness Project:
sounds really cool.

Yahoo! Firefox Toolbar, Google Investor Day, & Cold Calling

Yahoo! FireFox Toolbar:
released, reviewed by Danny Sullivan.

Wonder when Google will do the same, they are likely missing out on some amazingly valuable data by not having an official one.

Newsburst:
Cnet creates an online aggregator that will compete with Bloglines & Rojo

Brand Pyramid:
Good post about building products and services at various price points. Also, Rob Frankle on how CEOs screw up branding.

Google Investor Day:
was yesterday. slides and audio if your into that sort of stuff. some of the sides:

  • 60: their revenue was split nearly 50 / 50 between Google.com and their partner network.

  • 72: the top 20 markets have a 17.6% web penetration.
  • 73: shows 66% of revenue was domestic.

This guy thinks they will be worth a trillion dollars in 20 years.

In 20 years nobody will remember his prediction, but Battelle gave him a link yesterday and I gave him one today. Random arbitrary predictions are a good way to gain free links ;)

Atomz:
site search provider gets snarfed up by WebSideStory. More people should use the word snarf.

Google's Search Results are Crap?
Danny says people should not be so quick to discout the opinions of SEOs.

Hiring:
Ammon Johns is hiring.

Cold Calling:
is evil. Nick W has some tips on how to cold call. My personal goal when people cold call me is to ensure I drastically increase the likelihood they will have a bad day, and to hopefully lead to eventual attrition at their work place.

Google Offers Free Cross Platform Tracking System, Anil Dash Rants about SEOs

Jan 22nd

Google Tracking Cross Platforms:
Google offers up a free cross platform tracking system. You can track banner impressions, email campaigns, and other pay per click search accounts all from inside the Google AdWords system. Why do that?

  • by being first to market with a free tool they lock in mind share and build a user base

  • they get the valuable market data of knowing how their system competes with other ad systems...thus allowing them to further learn from other systems and make systems such as smart pricing as smart as they can be.
  • it further positions their product line as the default starting point for online marketing.
  • saves their advertisers money so they have more money to spend.
  • also build good karma points with many new marketers

Google understands that they more information they have the more they are worth, and that it does not hurt them to be branded as the one stop shop for targeted advertisements. You got to hand it to Google for making freely available something which others charge for. I have not yet tried it, but soon may :) link with more information requires login

Anil Dash: Voice of the Bloggers:
He rants about the Link Condom site going into the typical SEOs are scumbags speech, but Danny Sullivan drops in for a guest visit and sets him straight.

Go Danny!!!

Adding Worthless Services for Free Marketing...

Jan 17th

I have been getting links for a few friends recently and have noticed some pretty solid links pointing at some pretty shoddy / worthless SEO services (such as free automated Search Engine Submission services).

Many of these links are from well themed .edu pages that have not been updated for years. Some of these less than stellar services are being clustered with the like of authoritative search sites such as SearchEngineWatch and major search engines.

A few options:

  1. Write more compelling posts which hopefully naturally gain more links.

  2. Edit my content a bit better and stop using words like "fuck" so that more links come naturally.
  3. Make more friends. Friends don't let friends go unlinked.
  4. Contact some of the .edu sites and remind them that submission services are past their time and remind them that they can get current info for free by reading my ebook if they would like a copy.
  5. Sponsor or donate to other sites.
  6. Test a blog spamming script <-- joking as that would suck when people tested them back and that would be like 1,000,000 negative karma points ;)
  7. Create some free cool tools to help build natural linkage data...of course many of these tools would likely need to infringe on various search engines TOS, and thus could get my site banned from search results.
  8. Write lots of press releases until one sticks. :)
  9. Make a rant post on my blog about these links. This would be a complete waste unless it also brought on other ideas of value.
  10. Create and market my own useless white label meta search service or start a directory. Require linkage for inclusion.
  11. Ask other bloggers (where is NickW) to link to this post using "free search engine submission" as the link text. Google Bombs rock!!!
  12. Create a white label anonymously registered automated free search engine submission service which requires and checks for a link back to that site before "submitting" the other sites. Advertise that site on AdWords heavily until it picks up linkage data and then advertise this site on that one.

While this post will probably not be enlightening for most people reading this blog it is a reminder to those new to SEO that there are many many ways to skin a cat, or a dog, or a fish, etc.

Google Hilltop Algorithm

Why Page Theme is Usually More Important than PageRank:
In the Hilltop white paper they talk about how they can use expert documents to help compute relevancy. An expert document is a non affiliated page which links to many related resources. If page A is related to page B and page B is related to page C then a connection between A & C are assumed.

Additionally Hilltop states that it strongly considers page title and page headings in relevancy scores (in fact these elements can be considered more important than link text).

The benefit of Hilltop over raw PageRank (Google) is that it is topic sensitive - and is thus generally harder to manipulate than buying some random high power off topic link would be. The benefits of Hilltop over topic distillation (Teoma) are that Hilltop is quicker & cheaper to calculate, and that it tends to have more broad coverage.

When Hilltop does not have enough expert sites the feature can be turned off. It is believed that Google is using Hilltop to help sort the relevancy for some of their search results today.

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