Random Tidbits...

Aug 4th

Google IPO
May occur as soon at Tuesday.

New Search Engine in China
China's Sohu.com unleashes sogou.com which means "search dog"

Search.com Launches new Features
Thumbnail screenshots, custom colors, specialty searches, & customizable category searches - more info

Thumbs Down SEMPO
They are still failing to address Mike Grehan's questions despite many opportunities too. Perhaps there could be something better. Maybe there could be an organization with the same mission statement that SEMPO has which ACTUALLY AIMS TO DO WHAT THERE MISSION STATEMENT IS.

Many people have called SEMPO a marketing scam. SEMPO blatently ignores feedback and has no clue about how to pull their own name out of the mud. Not defending yourself when dozens of your peers question your intent with hundreds of forum post is an admission of guilt in my book.

I see absolutely no value in joining or supporting the SEMPO organization.

Yahoo! Renting Links?
Yahoo! has been renting links from the Internet.com network. Generally most people view the Internet.Commerce partner links as links from PageRank more than ads (since those links are rarely relevant to the page content and rarely get clicked on).

Some people think it is a big deal that they are perhaps buying links for PageRank, but I think the bigger problem at hand is that they also edit their own search results. It becomes a sticky situation if they edit their results and rent links which manipulate them.

When I glanced the links into this page were using "cellular phones" as the link text and yet Yahoo! is using "cell phones" in the page title. Somebody needs to teach them SEO...

[update] if you look at sites like gas buddy you will see that they totally are buying links to manipulate search results...almost pro style. keyword rich anchor text, keyword rich file names, keywords in the page copy, etd. [/update]

In Other News Down Under
Sensis has new competition? Yahoo! says no, but for some reason Yahoo! just created an Australian local search directory and put a new snazzy local search tab on the au.Yahoo.com home page.

Google IPO - Bid on Google Shares

Jul 31st

Google share price to go for $108 to $135. Brin and Page each plan to sell enough stock to likely have over $100,000,000 in cash each.

Google has set up their IPO page where you can acquire a bidder ID number.

https://www.ipo.google.com/

Ask Jeeves also just signed on with Google through 2007.

Domain IP C Class Checking Tool

Jul 22nd

Webmaster Toolkit whipped up another quick tool. His C class IP checker lets you check if two domains are on the same IP block.

It is believed that domains which are hosted on the same C block may not get as much credit for linking to one another as sites on various independ IP C block addresses.

{update: it worked when I first tried it, but one person just reported that they had a problem with it. I let Will know so hopefully it will be good to go soon.}

Whois Source is another good place to check the IP address of your websites.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!

How do Google AdWords Appear on the Top Spot?

Jul 20th

Many people are perplexed at how to get ads to list in the top spot of Google AdWords. So the question was asked:

Q: what are the conditions that cause AdWords to appear above the regular search results instead of off to the side?

A:I've just stopped by here for a few minutes between other tasks, but I'll give you some headlines. Ads which go to the (one or two) tops spots must:

* be reviewed and approved, and
* meet an additional performance bar that focuses on relevancy - rather than what you're paying

A few nuances:

Ads on the right are positioned by virtue of two factors, measured equally. These factors are Maximum CPC and CTR. Max CPC x CTR = your rank number. And it is your rank number as compared to your competitors rank numbers that determines position.

Ads going to the top, however, weigh CTR (which is a measure of the relevance of your ads to users) more heavily than CPC. And rather than Maximum CPC, it is the actual CPC that matters.

source: SEW Forums

Understanding User Goals in Web Search

Jul 19th

Daniel E Ross and Danny Levinson (of Yahoo!) recently created a whitepaper titled Understanding User Goals in Web Search, which aimed to figure out "why are people searching?"

The underlying relevance-ranking algorithms that determine which results are presented to a user might differ depending on the search goal. For example, queries that express a need for advice might rely more on usage- or connectivity-based relevance factors, while those involving open-ended research might weight traditional information retrieval measures (such as term frequency) more highly.

They broke the searches down into three broad groups (and subgroups of these groups).

  • Resource - be entertained or interacting. not just finding info on the page - free online video games, pornography

  • Informational - read or learn something - lists, advice, locate
  • Navigational - going to a single topical hub - Amazon, Ebay

These findings came from 3 sets of approximately 500 AltaVista searches each.
The study found a few interesting things about web search:

  • Nearly 40% of searches in each of their search sessions were non informational.

  • A large percent of informational searches were aiming to locate a product or service vice find information about it.
  • "Just over 35% of all queries appear to have the kind of general research goals (questions, undirected requests for information, and advice-seeking) for what traditional information retrieval systems were designed."
  • Navigational searches were much less common than expected (~13% of total search. Incidentally 62% of searches were informational and 25% were for resources.

They stated the lack of distribution of AltaVista and its reputation for having powerful search capabilities might have thrown their research off and they hoped to eventually be testing Yahoo! results.

Originally found on Cre8tive Flow blog.

Pay Per Click Clickthrough Rate SEO Stats

At the NYC SES conference JupiterMedia stated that 5 out of 6 commercial purchases which originate from search originate from the free (or organic) side.

Recently Atlas DMT released a PDF report titled The Atlas Rank Report: How Search Engine Rank Impacts Traffic which showed how the clickthrough rates breakdown within pay per click ads.
(thanks to Danny)

Google AdWords PPC Clickthrough Rates

Overture PPC Clickthrough Rates

Overtures ad clickthroughs seem to drop significantly as you move down each position through their rankings, and their open bidding system means the bid prices are more likely to be near one another.

Google's customer delivery seems to drop a big amount from position 1 to 2 and then drops off slowly the rest of the way through. Positions 4 through 6 seem rather close to one another.

The fact that Google hides the bid price and the prices drop down significantly by position means that there is perhaps a wider range of ad positions that can provide a decent ROI on Google than on Overture.

In the future Atlas DMT intends to do conversion rate measurements (which are usually a bit higher as you move to lower ad positions) which will help give a better idea of profit potential by position, but there are many factors outside of bid position that can help determine the click through rate and profitability of your account.

Eventually more search engine marketing measurements will become more sophisticated, ignoring ROI and measuring profit elasticity.

I wonder how long it will be until some of the best PPC bid management software becomes a true comodity.

Pay Per Click Secrets Report - Free PPC Ebook Download

Jul 12th

I reformatted my ebook and have recopied the pay per click section of The SEO Book so people can see a representitive sample of my ebook before they purchase it.

Until I released this there really were not any good free PPC guides (at least that I knew of) since people usually make more money trying to get you to sign up for second tier search engines than they do off just giving you honest info...but you didn't hear that from me :)

Google AdWords.Overture.

The SEO Book is currently 128 pages and the pay per click report is 22 pages.

The free PPC report requires Adobe Reader to view.

Download the Adobe Reader

Download the Pay Per Click Secrets Report

I have recently reformatted my ebook to include a few more goodies such as a Directory XLS checksheet, a quick start checklist, and a quick reference guide to all the SEO tools I use.

The Secret to Effective SEO

Jul 9th

Recently (maybe about three weeks ago) I began working on a brand new site idea for a client. Within two days his site was built (my designer is really fast and awesome). Within a week it was ranking well in Google for a fairly competitive commercial phrase with a respectible search volume (thousands of searches per day).

What did I do?

I picked a keyword rich site name and registered the site with a ton of directories.

There were some other forces at hand that I am not at liberty to discuss, but the primary driving force behind his rankings is about a few dozen directory links.

John Scott and I have been talking a bunch recently about the power of LINKS FROM UNIQUE IP ADDRESSES and he posted a good example recently in the V7N forums.

Obviously I have a ton more tips inside my SEO Book, but the condensed version is:

  • buy a keyword rich domain name
  • list it in a ton of directories using those keywords
  • write articles and figure out other ways to get links into your site

There are a ton of other things to consider, but for most industries the web is so non competitive that just the above few steps can go a long way.

Are External Links More Important than Internal Links (for SEO)?

I know most people reading this already know the answer, but I just came across a quick example, so hopefully some people asking this question at a search engine will find this.

Recently I posted a post called "The Daniel Brandt Toolbar" and around a half dozen or so sites linked to me.

Almost every page in this site links to the "Buy Now" page so that when people search for SEO Book they see the home page first and then the "Buy Now" page listed second.

(As of writing this) when you search Google for "SEO Book" you now see my home page first and the "Daniel Brandt Toolbar" page second. It will change in a few days, but this does a good job to show how external links are often more powerful SEO tool than internal links are.

Give it about a few more days for the posts linking into the Daniel Brandt Toolbar to fall into the archives of other blogs and my "Buy Now" page will list again at #2.

Daniel Brandt's Web Spammer Toolbar

Jul 8th

<Update> In a fit of irony, Daniel Brandt (Mr screen scraper himself) blocked his tool from this site.
Since the tool is broken because Daniel Brandt's childish behaviour I can only offer you a link to more information about Daniel Brandt.
</Update>

For those who want the good data without letting people know who they are. Get Google PageRank, Yahoo! Backlinks, & Alexa traffic rating while remaining a secret squirrel.

Enter a URL:


  


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Seth Godin Hates SEO

Jul 5th

Recently on his blog Seth Godin had a post titled The problem with search engine optimization.

In this post he stated why he thought SEO was not a good idea and why he strugled with the concept of SEO. He stated that he thought PPC was a way better idea than organic SEO. He also stated that top organic results were nothing more than luck.

If you glance at Seth's success you will see that it comes from links (and other word of mouth type marketing) and not PPC ads, which makes it even more confusing to think that he would think ads are way better than SEO (which often consists of finding and creating natural citations).

I think he is completely wrong, and thus I wrote SEO vs PPC: Seth is Completely Wrong!

They also have a good post going on over at Cre8asite on the topic.
hat tip Kim

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