Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Search Engine Optimization Method for Yahoo Algorithm

The following method has been noted as working to better position your website in's an SEO formula. Let's try it out on "Urchin web analytics"

Urchin web analytics

Urchin web analytics is cool.

Urchin web analytics software

Urchin web analytics can help you target potential leads.

Urchin web analytics is the most widely trusted commercial web analytics product in the world

Urchin web analytics

Urchin web analytics software

Urchin web analytics

Urchin web analytics is fun.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Search Engine Users Getting Smarter

Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that only one in six users of Internet search engines knows the difference between organic search results and paid search ads.

A report out today from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that only one in six users of Internet search engines knows the difference between organic search results and paid search ads. While sponsored links (those paid for by advertisers) and search results are usually labeled as such, the fact that many Internet users don't know the difference between the two is a bit troubling. In fact, the report finds that Web searchers are incredibly naïve.

The Pew report finds that only 38 percent of Web searchers can tell the difference between relevant search findings and ads, and of those, 47 percent say they can always tell which links are paid. The report finds that 45 percent of Web searchers would stop using search engines if they thought the providers weren't being clear about results that are sponsored, (paid for by advertisers that seek top billing). Still, 92 percent of people who use search engines reported confidence about their searching abilities; over half (52 percent) were "very confident."

Here are a few findings from the Pew report:

• Eighty-four percent of Internet users have used search engines; 87 percent of searchers report successful search experiences; 68 percent of users say search engines offer a fair and unbiased source of information. The Pew report finds that most consumers can easily tell the difference between regular TV programming and infomercials and magazine editorial versus advertorial, but that little more than a third of search engine users can decipher the difference between paid or sponsored search results and unpaid or "organic" results.
• Thirty-eight percent of searchers are aware of the distinction between paid and unpaid results; 62 percent are not.
• Seventy percent of searchers are satisfied with the concept of paid or sponsored results Savvier searchers are more skeptical.
• Sixty-five percent of those with six or more years of online experience say search engines are a fair and unbiased source of information; 73 percent of others who have been online five years or less say so.
• Sixty-four percent of those who use search engines at least daily, say they're a fair and unbiased source of information.
• Sixty-three percent of those who use more than three search engines say they're a fair and unbiased source of information.

Now, for some gender differences, with regard to search:

• Men search more frequently than women and have a higher opinion of themselves as searchers than women do, despite being no more successful in finding what they're looking for!
• Eighty-eight percent of men who are Internet users have used search engines versus 79 percent of women.
• Forty percent of online men search at least daily and 28 percent search several times a day versus 27 percent of women who search daily and 16 percent who search several times a day. (The Minute would be in that 16 percent camp).
• Fifty-four percent of online men say they're very confident in their search abilities, while 40 percent of women say they're very confident.
• Forty-three percent of men have heard of the distinction between paid and unpaid results, while only 32 percent of women have heard of the difference.

And finally, search is popular among those under 30; some 89 percent of Internet users under 30 have used search engines versus 85 percent among those 30 to 49. Pew says that 108 million Americans, or 84 percent of adult Internet users, have used search engines. On an average day, about 68 million people or about 53 percent of Web users, will go online and more than half of them (more than 38 million) will use a search engine.

The Pew study was conducted over the phone from May 14 to June 17 and involved 2,200 adults, including 1,399 Internet users.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Writing for Overture PPC Ads

With Overture, writing the perfect ad is slightly different than with AdWords. Overture only allows you to create one ad per keyword, so this takes away the option of trying out various ads and going with the winner, however, the basis for creating your initial ad remains virtually the same.

PPC writing in terms of Click Throughs and Branding:

Click Through Writing Mindset --
Do not include any words not directly related to the keyword in your title. The additional words you want to add to this type of keyword title are those that will entice people to click on your ad. This could be a call to action or related to the keywords which makes the pay per click listing seem more appealing.

Several search engines highlight the keywords searched for on the results page, so inputting the exact keywords in your description will lead to a higher CTR rate. For some keywords, Overture uses keyword matching. This means that the keyword "travel packages Mexico" and "Mexico travel packages" are the same keyword. Since either search will show your keyword, you cannot always input the keyword into your description exactly as they were searched for. In these cases, go with the most naturally read. In the above, it would be Mexico travel packages. This type of description is not about branding, that is achieved with the title. Every word you use should be about inducing people to click on your ad.

Brand Writing Mindset --
If your main concern is branding, then you want to include your company name in the title.

Descriptions get read by many people who never click on an ad or reach your site on their first exposure to your company name. However, if your company name is seen over and over again, people will start to remember and associate it with an ideal that it has a lot of internet visibility, and will be more likely to visit you in the future.

You can also end up focusing on both. It really comes down to what keywords in what ad group or category are you writing for? The psychology of search behavior is what makes SEM so successful, in that not only can you behaviorally target your customers, but you can measure the effectiveness of your writing as well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Natural Language in TITLE tags

Is it useful to use natural language in TITLE tags or the bullet point method for scanning purposes?

I started this post over at SearchEngineWatch, here is brief comment and the link if you would like to follow:
I guess this answer to this is purely based on the context of its use and the constraints of a client's site. In many cases I believe that centering one page around a keyword is strategic, but there are many cases where a client's page focuses on so many items, which is necessary to support the end goal, that the bullet point method for scanning can be useful as well.
I am very interested in search behavior and intent that guiding it to a conversion can be done via different methods.

I guess I'm trying to expand upon the simplicity of just saying, well use natural language in your TITLE and based the whole page on one keyphrase. Well okay, I agree with that depending on the goal it supports, but is this the only method? I've had a lot of success optimizing pages for 3-4 keywords that result in conversions.

Maybe its the behavior of the SEM, how aggressive will you go to achieve conversion? Is it this grey area...

Natural Language in TITLE tag

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Search for _#_

So today I was doing a search for "_*_" after the whole Asian unicode discussion and noticed the influx of music related organic listings. Why? I have no idea. Here is the code


What is the point of setting up a plain text navigation footer without using the anchor text? Is there some black hat SEO I am obviously missing out on? Hmm...

Monday, January 10, 2005

SMA-NA - Search Marketing Association North America to Launch

From SE Roundtable - New organization focusing on Search Engine Marketers in US, Canada and Mexico is in the works.

The battle has begun I guess. I wonder how SEMPO is taking the news. I'm glad I didn't join SEMPO just yet. It's a modern day Civil War for SEM.