Cool People I saw at SES New York

Mar 4th

I enjoyed talking with Kevin Lee (of Did It) at lunch the first day. He is a real marketers marketer. It was great to listen to his love of paid inclusion and how it can squash untargeted affiliate marketing. He also seemed to like one of my blog ideas. His company also gave out rather large cookies...yum.

I went up and thanked Danny Sullivan (of SearchEngineWatch) for linking into my site toward the end of last year. He is a rather funny and one of the most approachable guys at the conference. I also got the free SEW t shirt :)

I sat next to Mike Grehan (who wrote one of the larger books on search engine technology) for a few sessions. He was rather mellow and interesting to talk to. I think there are few sources in the world with more info and less bs.

I met a reporter and one of the Overture reps at the Yahoo! party. I also ran into Andy Beal (of Search Engine Lowdown) there.

I also ate lunch is Greg Jarboe (of SEO-PR) and talked shop some with him. I am always interested in learning business models and techniques off of extremely successful business people. He (as a former editor) also came up with a good name for a doubious award I aim to create.

Greg also told me of the good old days when he paid for his Yahoo! Directory inclusion by sending them a pizza.

I ran into Anrew Goodman who said "in the flesh and blood" when I said who I was. Cool to see how many people know me by name.

I also met Debra Mastaler, Jill Whalen, Bryan Eisenberg, Eric Ward, Christine Churchill and a bunch of others...

Future of Search & Future of Search Engine Marketing

Mar 4th

Some good info about SEM, websites, and the future of search.

Nick Scevak of Jupiter Media recently showed a yummie pie graph which showed

  • 16% of businesses surveyed outsourced search engine marketing

  • 15% do not do search engine marketing
  • 69% do search engine marketing in house

This shows some amazing room for growth potential within the industry.
Nick also stated that his biggest fear with paid search is that we may have unrealistic expectations based on amazing performace and returns for early adoptors.

Cheryle Pingle of Range Online Media stated that a large portion of the current growth in search is due to the growth of the economy.

Michael Sack of Inceptor stated that of the term space the bulk of commerce comes from a few hundred thousand terms. He believes this year that large companies will begin to buy out markets to place them out of the reach of smaller businesses.

Geoff Ramsey of emarketer.com also had many yummie pie graphs. His graphs he showed at the SEMPO meeting showed that

  • from 2000 - 2003 the search marketing industry has increased about 10 fold

  • from 2002-2003 search engine marketing had a 145% year over year growth rate
  • 22% of US households have broadband
  • Yellow Pages currently make $14.3 billion annually, whereas paid search is currently only a 2.2 billion dollar industry.

Also at SEMPO Google announced that it is now supporting search engine marketing and sponsoring SEMPO as the rising complexity and competition in the industry is preventing many business owners from being able to functionally use the marketing systems.

Fredrick Marckini of iProspect quoted a stat from StatMarket which stated the average retail web site conversion rate is 1.8 - 2.0%

Greg Boser of WebGuerrilla also provided a few good link tips on the day. When buying links, 501 C organizations are a good place to look. He also stated that he has seen unlinked URLs in TXT files count as backlinks. Some other good link ideas offered by others include trade organizations, tools, and specialty directories.

Paid Ads vs Organic Search Results

Mar 2nd

Many people have asked what percentage of searches use ads vs non paid ads.

Total Search vs Commercial Search

Most search querries are not commercial in nature. To get an accurate indication of organic vs ad usage these non commercial searches are not counted. A recent Piper Jaffray report stated that 35% of search is commercial in nature.

Commercial Search Purchase Breakdown

Yesterday Niki Scevak of Jupiter Research stated yesterday that 5 out of 6 commercial search purchases originate from natural unpaid organic search results.

Overture Paid Inclusion
Yesterday at the SES New York conference Dan Boberg (of Overture) stated that Yahoo will be meshing its paid inclusion programs and branding them under the Overture name. He said we would be hearing more about it in the comming days and weeks.

Yesterday Overture also announced the release of Overture Site Match, which allows you to submit sites to Yahoo, AllTheWeb, and AltaVista for a $49 review fee and a category based cost per click of $0.15 or $0.30.

If your site already has great rankings for your primary keywords then there is absolutely no reason to join this program with your main pages.

Sloppy affiliate marketing has added tons of junk to search engine indexes. Overture (and Yahoo) firmly believe that using an incremental fee based inclusion program helps aid the relevance of their index. Affiliate marketing via search has essentially no cost. By introducing incremental cost to clicks, a search engine can improve the user experience. A site which is not properly targeted and smooth will not be hard to afford these fees.

Most affiliate marketers will not be able to afford these fees, and thus the index.

Got MILK Questions? Overture Site Match FAQs

Overture Daily Spending Limits

Starting in October, we're introducing "Budget smoothing", another new feature in which the Overture system makes adjustments to the frequency in which your listings are displayed based on the depletion of your specified budget amount. For example, if you have budgeted €100,00 a day, our system will display your listings just enough so that you receive clicks that will total approximately €100,00 for the day. The smoothing feature also regulates the display of your listings so that you receive clicks throughout the day, rather than burning through your budgeted amount in just a few hours.

From Overture Germany (not yet sure when the global rollout will occur. Will likely know soon...)

Overture Console Update
They now allow a daily spend budget, but I am told your account needs to be on autoreplenish to turn the feature on.
The new console shows what the ads will look like in their short and full versions and also makes some of the bid management stuff a bit quicker. You can update the max bid by category instead of doing it word by word. Overture's console is becoming a bunch more like Google's to where you can intuitively make many changes extremely quick. The additional combination of broad and phrase match makes the system quicker to use.

Pay Per...?
While still building their highly successful PPC model Overture also considers creating a flat rate pricing model.

Overture is also to place ads in RSS

Overture to Default to Broad Match Listings

Overture's new system will simply allow a choice between exact and broad matching. ...Overture advertisers were to be informed today about the change. ... An exact date for it hasn't been announced, but Overture says it will happen in the next few weeks.

Search Engine Watch has a good article explaining the new Overture broad match move. Basically the change makes gaining greater search volume easier, but more expensive.

time to go update my ebook, and about 20 pages of my websites...

Overture Search Optimizer

What is Overture Search Optimizer?

Search Optimizer users will be able to automate search campaigns based on those response metrics. It also lets marketers develop "watch lists" of keywords or campaigns and run campaigns only during certain times of the day. It will suggest potential keywords that could meet a marketer's business objectives. Marketers also can sort campaigns based on business objectives to see which are underperforming. source: DM News

Advantages of Overture Search Optimizer
Some of the advantages of the new tool are that it will allow you to:

  • Optimize campaigns based on business objectives such as cost-per-acquisition (CPA), cost per click (CPC), return on ad spend (ROAS) and others;

  • Automate keyword bidding based on performance-driven bid recommendations tied to their unique business objectives;
  • Sort campaigns by performance to quickly and intuitively determine which campaigns/keywords need additional optimization;
  • Manage thousands of keywords through features that allow them to develop "watch lists" of their most important campaigns or keywords, perform advanced searches of their performance data and quickly download large amounts of information to an outside application;
  • Define active time frames for their listings.

source: Press Release

Cost of Overture Search Optimizer
A tad bit on the expensive side... $249 - $1599, especially when compared with similar tools by companies like KeywordMax (thanks AussieWebmaster type guy).

iProspects Bid Management Tools
Jumping on the bid management press release bandwagon iProspect filed for a patent on their proprietary bid management tool.

SEO Softare = Eventual Commodity
Some of the advancements for bid management tools will command some value becuase they save money, but most of this software will eventually become a commodity though and I find the current prices to be absurdly high.

Google and third party bid management software vendors will continue to inovate and and lower costs. In about a year the competitive marketplace wil expect similar software to be included as part of the advertising system for free.

note: we merged a few short posts into this one.

  • 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!

Verizon SuperPages Pay Per Click Review

Many of the Yellow Pages type companies are learning that their content has value online.

On March the 1st SuperPages, Verizon's Internet Yellow Pages website, will launch a redesigned website which includes pay per click advertising. Duncan Parry previews the PPC product that will be on offer and asks James Palma, Directory of Strategy, how SuperPages aims to sell PPC advertising to local businesses. - from PayPerClickAnalysis.com article

  • Verison is planning on charging by category to help business save time.

  • The associated prices will weed out much of the advertising from the smaller unique competitors who are the ones that actually add the true value to the Verison SuperPages site.
  • A much better way to price it would be to sell as a hybrid. Offer the category listings, and also sell keyword listings in a Dutch auction. Assuming they could place the direct matches about their category listings, this would increase the quality of their product and allow them to sell more ad space.

Free Link Analysis Software Tool

Feb 17th

I will be the first to say that most SEO software is garbage. A complete waste of money. Most of what you want for SEO software is 100% free. This amazing find is no different.

Link Tree is a free web based link analysis software program which compares the links to other websites to your own. This is not a boring overly dressed up link tool (like what Marketleap offers), this tool is super duper cool. What does Link Tree Do?

Link tree looks for topical hubs which are not yet linking to your site.

How does Link Tree Work?

Enter the URLs of up to seven of your competitors and then your own URL at the bottom. Any page that links to at least two of your competitors which does not link to your site will display on the results.

What does that do for my site?

It shows you where some potential easy link opportunities are. If you have done a good job concentrating on creating quality content, then getting the links should be a snap.

Give Link Tree a try!

Creative ways to use Link Tree

  • If one of your competitors moves websites you can tell the people who were linking to them that the site is no longer there. You can also state that you have a wonderful resource they may want to link to. People are more likely to help you after you have helped them.

  • Find where link popularity is comming from if you have a couple competitors who are building bogus link popularity in kahoots. Perhaps you can also rent some quality inbound links to level the playing field.
  • Find quality resources you did not know about by viewing the pages that link to many resources in your field.
  • You can also set one of the test URLs to an extremely popular topical website, which will aid you in viewing the hub links which go into any one competitor at a time.
  • You can set one of the URLs to a really popular site. It will act as an overly generic catch all to make it easier to find hidden smaller hubs in your field. After you have completed your task you can then switch to another generic link to find more micro hubs.

I originally found Link Tree from Larry Chase.

I also use OptiLink, but if you can not afford the $224 fee then Link Tree is probably the best link software on the web.

Google Update Brandy

Feb 17th

Drinking Brandy Slows Down Response Time: So I am slow to get the "official" name of the last Google Update. It is Update Brandy, I thought it was Jason or Zorlax or something.

In this WMW thread Google Guy talks about semantics, SEO, & overoptimization.
(found on Search Engine Blog)

If we dig deeper into the Google Update Brandy thread we enjoy a great laugh. Read what MakeMeTop post, and then read the reply.

Free Prize Inside - Seth Godin

Feb 13th

OFF TOPIC General Internet Marketing

I got some sort of cold and I keep sneezing.

In case you do not know who Seth Godin is, he is an internet marketer and book author with a cult following. Godin's books are best known for emulating the very concepts they cover.

  • Unleashing the Ideavirus is the most downloaded ebook ever.

  • Purple Cow had a remarkable distribution chanel by coming in purple milk cartons.
  • It is no surprise then that his most upcomming book, titled Free Prize Inside is to include special packaging (most likely with a free prize inside).

Free Prize Inside is set to ship in 10 weeks and I have already ordered mine.

I have seen Seth when he came to Rhode Island and have also went to his office to hang out for the day. If you look closely in the picture in this branding article, those are my hands holing the Yorkie bar while I am standing next to Seth.

Seth is one of the best speakers and marketing thinkers I have met. Here is Seth's post about Free Prize Inside.

New Google Algorthim Update

Feb 11th

It appears Google has gone far beyond stemming with their current algorithm update. They seem to be looking for semantic intent of the query as well as the page, and then returning a result based upon it. The resulting pages frequently may not even have the query on the page.

(original discussion in HighRankings Forums) Many local sites from Florida to Austin to NYC have taken a beating by the recent Google algorithm updates (Florida and Austin.) Is it any wonder they named these recent Google algorithm updates after locations?

Google still have some things to work out with the new algorithm though, as many search results are still a wee bit funky. If the relevancy only drops on commercial searches that is not so bad in the eyes of Google since other products such as Froogle will help in this area. Perhaps semantics are the way to separate the white pages from the yellow pages!

FindWhat Acquires Espotting

Finally "FindWhat said shareholders of privately-held Espotting would get 7 million shares of FindWhat stock and about $20 million in cash. FindWhat said the total deal values Espotting at about $170 million based on last Friday's closing stock prices"
(from Rueters) Back in June FindWhat & Espotting crafted a deal of similar value. The problem with the old deal is that some of Espotting's books looked weak and FindWhat has seen its stock rise considerably. The original deal was 8.1 million shares of FindWhat and $27 million in cash.

On a side note, it looks as if someone will be buying $200 in beer at the next Pub Conference.

"FindWhat also reported fourth-quarter net income of $3.5 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $2.7 million, or 14 cents per share.

For 2004, the company offered guidance for revenue of $95 million, with net income of 60 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group, had expected revenue of $96.6 million and earnings per share of 63 cents."
(source News.com)

Major Web Directories

Feb 6th

This is a list of Major Web Directories and reviewed web guides. Web Directories
Business.com charges a $299 annual listing fee. Business.com is a purchase more for direct traffic than link popularity.
DMOZ - also known as the Open Directory Project - provides free listings, but it may take a while to get your site listed.
Gimpsy verb based directory which charges a one time $40 fee or also list your site free if you are willing to wait 21 days.
GoGuides one time $40 fee or provides free listings for editors.
JoeANT one time $40 fee or provides free listings for editors (it is quick and easy to become an editor.)
Lycos Directory European based directory.
Skaffe one time $40 fee or provides free listings to editors. Originally Built from GoGuides core data.
Uncover the Net - Newer directory which has more link popularity than all but a couple directories on this list. My friend Shawn has done a fantastic job promoting Uncover the Net. $39 fee. Highly recommended
Web Beacon one time $40 fee or provides free listings to editors. Originally Built from GoGuides core data.
Wow Directory - Bruce Stone's directory. Offers free inclusion, paid inclusion, and sponsorship opportunities. Highly recommended
Yahoo $299 annual fee or free for non commercial websites.

Reviewed Web Guides

About
BBC Webguide
Lirarians' Index of the Internet
WWW Virtual Library

More Directory Information

the directory archives is my ongoing project which is to be a directory of directories. I also like a number of smaller directories like Rubber Stamped, and recently wrote a more up to date post on directories.

Pages






    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.