Sunday, February 27, 2005

Search Engine Strategies in New York 2005

I landed in NYC today from San Diego, CA and I have to say, it is freezing here...35 degrees? Had some good times at the Hilton lounge talking about industry drama, global SEO and oh yeah, finally had a good slice from Ray's Pizza. Left at the Hilton, next left, on your left. Hmm? 3 lefts I guess.
I will be posting everynight with some interesting info from the sessions I attend.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Small Business Approach to Integrated Search Engine Marketing

So it seems someone likes my writing and level of intuition. This is my first article written for Search Engine Guide and I will be featuring articles every quarter on this site. Everything from integration of PR and Natural Search to PPC: Why are we spending so much on unqualified leads to SEM: What is it?

Oh yeah thanks to all of my writing professors and English teachers back at good old Haddon Township High School in Westmont, NJ. I guess those grammar test and vocabulary quizzes finally paid off.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

SMA-UK Has Been Born

So when are you coming to the USA

The Search Marketing Association ­ UK is to be officially formed!

We gave ourselves 6 months to achieve the necessary level of interest required to properly form a registered Trade Association and, thanks to the applicants, have reached our target within 4 months!

At a meeting of the Steering Committee held on 15th February it was decided that we should formally proceed with the formation of SMA-UK as an official body.

Now we are officially forming, all Steering Committee members are standing down and elections to the SMA-UK Committee have to take place from the membership. So, I’m delighted to say this is my last message to you as Acting President of the association!

If you haven’t joined yet but keep meaning to do it, please do so soon. Your vote (and participation) is important.

The timetable for elections is as follows:

Nominations for being on the committee must be in by March 31st, 2005. Members can nominate individuals they would like to see on the committee or, of course, nominate themselves.

By April 18th candidates and their biographies plus balloting details will be published online.

On May 2nd the ballot will be closed. The vote will be by single transferable vote administered by the Electoral Reform Society who will give the results by May 9th. At the same time as the 8 committee members are announced a further ballot paper for the positions of President and Vice-President will be published from those committee members willing to go forward for these positions. This vote will be completed by 20th May and will be on a “first past the post” voting system with the person with the most votes becoming President and the runner-up Vice President.

The results will be announced at the meeting we plan to have at Search Engine Strategies in London at the beginning of June.

Prior to that meeting we will be:

  • Ensuring the website has the latest developments published!
  • Officially registering our trade association with the relevant authorities.
  • Getting quotations for hiring a professional (part-time initially) Director General familiar with the administration of trade associations for the new Committee to consider.
  • Continue discussions (which have already commenced) with the British Standards Institute (BSI) on defining professional standards which will be internationally recognised, to be applied to our industry subject to membership approval. The BSI have already provisionally agreed to attend our first meeting to get feedback from members on how (and if) we should proceed with defining standards.
  • Start development of the SMA-UK website to include information for both members and non-members on search marketing related resources and statistics relevant to the UK search marketing community and those interested in using the medium of search marketing. We would like to form a sub-group to assist in content development and, if you would be interested, then please join SMA-UK and help the development.
  • Ammon is also working on developing training and we will be announcing further working groups in different areas on the SMA-UK website which you may find of some interest. Similarly, if you would like to see concentration in a specific areas (affiliate marketing and PPC are areas that spring to mind) then members are able to put these ideas forward.

At last, our Association is being formed. Over the past few months SMA organisations modelled on our UK format have started development in Europe, North America, Latin America, Japan and Australasia!

We hope that we can continue to lead the way in showing how a truly representative organisation can benefit its members and the buying public who are now considering search marketing as an ever more important media buy.

With that over, I can formally start bowing out as Acting President. I look forward to handing over to someone the members have chosen, democratically, and sitting comfortably at the back of the room ­ out of the 'hot seat'!

Kind regards
Barry Lloyd

Acting President

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Top 10 Search Engines for 2004

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, here are the top 10 search destinations (US, home and work) 12 months later in December 2004:

Brand or Channel Unique Audience (000) Active Reach (%)
Google 67,123 44.85
Yahoo! Search 47,917 32.02
MSN Search 37,684 25.18
AOL Search 25,447 17.00
Ask Jeeves 11,674 7.80 11,513 7.69
Overture 5,726 3.83
Netscape Search 4,587 3.06
InfoSpace Web Search 4,280 2.86
Microsoft Search 4,273 2.86

If Yahoo News and Google News were classified as search destinations, a list of the top 10 search engines in December 2004 would have looked like this:

Brand or Channel Unique Audience (000) Active Reach (%)
Google 67,123 44.85
Yahoo! Search 47,917 32.02
MSN Search 37,684 25.18
AOL Search 25,447 17.00
Yahoo News 21,337 14.26
Ask Jeeves 11,674 7.80 11,513 7.69
Google News 6,431 4.30
Overture 5,726 3.83
Netscape Search 4,587 3.06

Monday, February 14, 2005

Popular Valentine's Day Searches

According to The Lycos 50, Valentine's Day searches increased 172 percent last week. Pay particular attention to No. 9. It looks like gifts for him made the list, but gifts for her did not.

Top Valentine's Day Searches

  • 1. Valentine's Day animated e-cards

  • 2. Valentine Lingerie

  • 3. V-Day Clip art

  • 4. Valentine's Day Flowers

  • 5. Valentine Star

  • 6. Valentine Chocolate

  • 7. Valentine Day Gift Basket

  • 8. Valentine's Day Wear

  • 9. Valentine gifts for him

  • 10. Valentine's Day Greetings

Friday, February 04, 2005

Online Advertising and Internet Marketing for under $100

Is setting up a profitable means of advertising possible for $100 or under? In the following post, we'll tell you hos to do it and succeed on your shoe-string marketing budget. And a great way to do it is to start right here, at our advertising-marketing targeted blog.

Useful Budget Online Marketing Methods and Strategies

  • PrWeb allows you to setup, optimize and distribute your very own custom press releases for a nominal $80. This allows you to be a "featured release" as well as have your release distributed to various media outlets like eMediaWire, Yahoo News, Google News and any site that may subscribe to PrWeb's RSS feeds.

  • Blog Marketing: You can either buy media placement on a topic specific blog that relates to your business or setup your own blog, creating a network for potential leads. Just don't buy ads on blogs about pink flowers if you are selling pipe-fitting supplies. Relevancy?

  • Monthly Newsletters

  • Viral Marketing

  • White Papers

  • Sweepstakes and Contests

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fathom Online: Search Engine Marketing Data Analysis, Keyword Prices

For example, he notes that keyword costs in the mortgage financing category have been building steadily since Fathom launched the index in September, rising 56 percent from $3.17 in September 2004 to $4.93 in January. McMahon says it is more than coincidence that this corresponds to news speculating that mortgage financing rates will soon spike.

"We are watching the 30-year fixed rate very closely," he says. "The implicit assumption is that if people are going to refinance, they're going to do it now, and that's why marketers are bidding up and up and up on mortgage keywords. We do know that external factors affect search conversion rates, which then in turn affect the costs people will pay for keywords."

McMahon says that after five months it's still too soon to determine whether there are normal cyclical or seasonal patterns to keyword demand, but speculates that the industry will likely see some spikes in some categories around key holidays coming up, including Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

Fathom Online Keyword Price Index (KPI)

09/04 10/04 11/04 12/04 01/05
Automotive $1.54 $1.39 $1.35 $1.39 $1.34
Retail $0.32 $0.48 $0.60 $0.48 $0.52
Consumer Services $0.54 $0.96 $1.27 $0.96 $1.29
Travel/Hospitality $0.64 $0.85 $0.90 $0.85 $0.88
Finance/Investing $1.76 $1.60 $1.70 $1.60 $1.73
Finance/Mortgage $3.17 $4.31 $4.74 $4.31 $4.93
Telecommunications/Broadband $1.89 $1.78 $1.59 $1.78 $1.67
Telecommunications/Wireless $1.09 $1.06 $1.09 $1.06 $0.79

Overall Average $1.37 $1.55 $1.66 $1.55 $1.64
Excerpt from:,1284,66485,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

No wonder there has been tremendous growth in the SEO industry. Google the term and you'll get more than 7 million results. One, Submit Express, guarantees a "top 10 placement based on your keywords."

Another, Search Engine Optimization, claims you will experience an increase in traffic of up to 6,000 percent, while Patrick Gavin promises to "market your website as if it is our own" with a "combination of both on-page optimization and a very well-implemented link-popularity campaign."

Of course, where there is money to be made, there is also the potential for the search engine equivalent of vote rigging. One company you won't encounter on Google is (also known as First Place), which was banned, along with its clients, for various shady practices, like allegedly creating "link farms," networks of sites that link to one another to increase popularity; concealing keywords in backgrounds; and leaving out search engine bait -- long lists of keywords and links that are added to a site for the express purpose of attracting search engine spiders. Some dissatisfied customers mulled a class-action suit, which has been dropped.

Oneupweb's Wehr says she has helped two former Traffic-Power clients, which she declined to name, who were banned from Google. "You have to be forensic detectives to clean up the mess Traffic-Power made," she said.

That required about 80 hours of work to track down all of the link farms, phony domain names, search engine spider "attraction pages" and other nefarious tactics she says the company used to cheat the system. At about $300 an hour, it was an expensive lesson for her clients, and in the end, it took six months before Google agreed to reinstate them.

"It's harder to do it our way," she said, "but the results last much longer."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Yahoo Is Looking For A SEO Manager


Received this today in my HotJobs alerts and thought somebody here might be interested:

Search Engine Marketing Manager

Yahoo! is looking for an experienced marketing professional to provide strategic leadership, tactical execution, and analytic support surrounding the development of a search engine marketing (SEM) program across Yahoo!'s Media, Entertainment, Information & Finance division. The person we seek will create, implement, track, analyze, and optimize keyword campaigns across multiple search engines while developing the company?s overall paid search strategy. As a key member of the marketing team, you will play a central role in driving customer acquisition, revenue growth, and profitability. The ideal candidate will have hands-on experience managing large scale search engine marketing campaigns.

-Lead efforts to drive profitable customer acquisition and increase the long-term effectiveness of search engine marketing
-Manage day-to-day relationship with multiple paid search engine partners
-Manage budgets, analyze keyword costs, and develop all business processes for maximizing return-on-investment (ROI)
-Test and optimize keyword bids, ad copy, and landing pages
-Conduct competitive research and make recommendations on keyword selection
-Maintain a database of keywords, categories, and campaigns
-Drive ongoing development of tools to support search marketing in cooperation with product management and engineering
-Employ advanced search marketing techniques such as contextual ads, geo-targeting, and day-parting
-Contribute to senior management communications concerning online marketing issues and initiatives
-Stay abreast of industry trends and best practices

-6-9 years experience in online marketing, direct marketing, consulting, strategic planning, or similar field; search engine marketing experience preferred
-Strategic mind and creative problem-solving skills
-Aptitude at analyzing large datasets in order to gain insights and drive business decisions
-Solid understanding of web analytics tools and MS Access preferred; advanced Excel skills required
-A passion for Yahoo! products and services
-Ability to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment
-Adept at project management and multi-tasking
-Strong communication and presentation skills
Ah, a refreshing link for the new month.

For all of you Google Diehards, we have this for you:
Google from the Onion