Pay Per Click is Broken?

Some recent articles ("Google's House of Cards" "A Perfect Storm for Pay Per Click") have been saying that the ROI for paid advertising is going away. It has been. It was not very competitive a few years ago, but now with over 150,000 people in the market you need to be more effective to extract profits from a campaign.

I honestly think many of the articles are suggested / written by people who want to make their own jobs easier and make more money while doing it. Some articles may even be written to scare away competition or drive leads to firms who provide the services.

In the past a sloppy website with low conversion rates was ok because there was little competition. Now some areas are requiring a smooth ad, which is well targeted, that leads to a smooth site, which has great usability, and is customer centric. In essence the shakeup of the organic listings and the rising costs of pay per click ads are forcing websites (and the internet as a whole) to be more functional.

There are few mediums which have feedback as rapid as AdWords does. Pay per click is here to stay. Those who know how to use it will make a ton of money.

How to Make Dynamic URLs Static

Jan 15th

Many of these tips originate from members of the I search discussion list (which is an amazing resource well worth the money).

This guy has an datebase ASP website and makes his dynamic content look static to the search engines using a custom 404 error pag build.

Additional ideas are a server side filter softwarehttp://www.smalig.com/url_rewrite-en.htm and URL rewriting software http://www.opcode.co.uk/components/rewrite.asp.

Here is the Apache Mod Rewrite page for you Apache people...

General tips to make a dynamic site get spidered
1.) Do not force feed the spider a cookie
2.) Use 3 or less variables
3.) Have each query string 10 or less digets
4.) Create a sitemap which links to many of the main database locations.
5.) Build up link popularity from a few quality inbound links. The PageRank (or link popularity in search engines other than Google) will make the spider more inclined to spider deep through your site.

ChriSEO's 'Glass Ceiling'

In any medium there will be free rides as new adopters take advantage of knowledge not share by their competitors. While there is always a new technology which creates new markets, this quick read does a good job of explaining why off the page optimization is more effective than on the page optimization. Chris Ridings explains "The Glass Ceiling."

Update: above link to chriseo.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=62&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0 delinked, as the site is owned by a domainer and is a page full of ppc ads

  • 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
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Our customers love us!

The SEO Book

Jan 11th
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Google AdWords Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Just another tip on improving conversion rates with Google AdWords. When search words appear in a Google ad they are bolded. A good way to improve click through rate (and thus lower price per click) is to place keywords in the ad.

Sometimes it may not be practical to create 100 different ads and 100 different groupings. If you have similar terms which can use the same creative description, but you would like to have the title dynamically match searched keywords you can.

The syntaxt for Google AdWords Dynamic Keyword Insertion is {keyword: }

When you create the AdWords creative place {keyword: } in the first line and then fill out the rest of the creative like normal. Automatically your title will match the search terms which will improve click through rates. Please note that Google does not want this feature used on search terms which are mis spelled or otherwise break their ad policies.

When you use {keyword: } make sure you place a keyword after it so that search terms which may be too long or are not processed correctly still have an ad to show. I know this because I had one of my Google AdWords ads disapproved for not doing this. For me I would probably use something like {keyword:SEO Book}.

Some people will want to try this with a huge catalog of products and will lose money in the process. When products are widely varying you want to send the person to the specific page for that product so you must specify that as well.

This technique is likely to be most profitable to those who use it on smaller niche specific areas...the whole thing that makes Google so appealing is that you can customize every aspect of your ad and track every cent spent from begining to end.

Dynamic keyword insertion capitalization:
{keyword:} will make the title small
{KeyWord:} will capitalize all the words in the Google AdWords ad title.

Google To Go Public in April

Jan 6th

Bloomburg announced that Google is to go public in April at a value of $12 Billion. The company is expected to raise as much as $4 Billion by selling 1/3 of the company. The Wall Street Journal said that Yahoo! is to dump Google in the comming months, possibly as early as the first quarter.

Yahoo Using Inktomi

Jan 3rd
posted in

Many people have claimed to have seen this on a limited basis, but I have been seeing Ink on Google for a while today. I was first tipped off by my friend at Just Paper Roses.com. I have asked some other people and the switch appears to be only be seen by some.

People in the past have been happy with Google search (Google is one of the top brands in the world right now). With Yahoo branding the hell out of Yahoo search they want people to think Yahoo search. They do not want people thinking Inktomi or Google. It really would not make sense for them to announce a change. With Google's recent massive algorithm shift and upcomming IPO this would be a good time to switch search results.

Again, only some people are seeing the shift, but today is the first time I have. Time for me to tweak a few pages :)

Inktomi relies more heavily on page criteria vice links. The problem with really optimizing a page up for Inktomi is that one might trip the believed over optimization filter of Google. To give you an example of how easy it is to optimize for Inktomi take a look at this search for "website copywriters." Somewhere in the top few pages you will see my Website Copywriters on Search Marketing Info page which is rather short and has low link popularity.

There are a few techniques I would recommend:

1.) optimize the pages each for different terms by search engine. If one sold 5 HTP, they could optimize Inktomi for 5 HTP, and they could optimize the same page for 5 Hydroxytryptophan on Google. This should help you pick up traffic in the short term while you

2.) build a solid linking campaign which will eventually lift you in both engines for the desired terms

Some people may recommend making pages in two different versions (one for each engine), on a rare occasion I may try this. I do not recommend building an entire site this way though as it will make updating confusing. The end goal should be to generally have a strong enough link network that you can do well on both engines.

The SEO Vent

Dec 30th

Often times people come up to SEOs with rehashed boring old ideas they view as exciting and original. I will not usually work for a share of future profits and I will not build your online Canadian pharmacy website for you...

read The SEO Vent

The Strugles of a Directory

Dec 30th

Here is another one of my articles. This one talks about the strugles that face directories today. Directories even as large in scale as the virtual library get rebuilt with newer and smaller sub directories.

My article also announces the launching of my new site Directory Archives .com

Search at MSN vs Yahoo vs Google

Why must people who know absolutely nothing about search write articles about search engines? A recent Zacks article by Steve Harmon states "In my opinion Google has replaced Yahoo (YHOO already. More people use a search box than want to use a `directory` style hierarchy that Yahoo built."

Where has this guy been? Has he not seen Yahoo branding its search product? Their directory is more of a novelty now. When you go to Yahoo its Yahoo Search they are pushing, not the Yahoo directory.

Also has this guy failed to notice Yahoo gobbling up 3 of the 5 biggest crawler based search engines and the number one pay per click engine?

Google may be ahead, but it is certainly not because of Yahoo promoting its directory.

Later he asks "Remember Netscape?" - building a competitive search engine for the entire world knowledge database is most likely a tad bit harder than building a browser.

Then he states "Best bet is for Yahoo and Google to merge and take on Microsoft before Microsoft`s next version of Windows -- nicknamed Longhorn -- debuts with search and other features built in everywhere."

It does not matter if they make search accessible everywhere...it is the quality of the search the led people to Google. If nothing else, pushing MSN search on people will cause more negative press from people critical of MSN.

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