Thursday, May 26, 2005

2005 MarketingSherpa Readers' Choice Awards

All Blogs were nominated by our readers and qualified by the rules (must have been written regularly since Jan 2, 2005; must be on the topic of marketing, PR, or ads). Voting ends Wednesday, June 8th, 2005.

I just wanted to thank everyone who has been reading my rants and posts. It has been totally worth the experience updating this frequently and keeping abreast of all the search engine marketing news and developments in 2005. So below is the link to vote if you haven't yet. Keep on reading and coming back because there is a ton happening in the search engine world, as as most of you know "Bourbon" is the annual hurricane.

Thanks BJ!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My Yahoo Leads Personalized Web Pages Race

Roughly 26 million people visited My Yahoo in April, representing 22 percent of the 115 million visitors to Yahoo websites. Just under 10 million people visited My MSN during the same month, representing 10 percent of MSN's overall visitors.

Source: Comscore Networks

Where do Consumers Begin Shopping Searches?

Shopping Searches Begin with Search Engines

Image shown from Yahoo Search Marketing

Mobile Marketing Association Releases Best Practices

MARKETERS SHOULD CLEARLY COMMUNICATE TO consumers how to opt-in or out of receiving mobile messages--and the costs of receiving alerts, ads, or subscription services, according to a set of best practices guidelines released Tuesday by the Mobile Marketing Association. For premium services, which require the user to pay an extra fee in addition to their standard SMS rates, the guidelines require the marketer to state the price, and ask users if they are sure they want the services. The guidelines also touch on unsolicited messages, saying that approval from the subscriber must be explicitly obtained, and approval must be given for each specific program--information promoting other programs cannot be sent because a customer opted-in for a different program. --Shankar Gupta

Links  Bluetooth SIG (Relevant given that Bluetooth is increasingly used within mobile gaming/entertainment)  World Wide Web Consortium - has direct control of the XHTML standard upon which WAP is based. W3C also controls the SMIL standard which is a key component for MMS

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Online Ad Budgets Stolen from Traditional

According to a new five-year forecast from Forrester Research, online marketing and advertising will represent 8 percent of total advertising spending in 2010, rivaling ad spending on cable/satellite TV and radio. In addition, almost half of marketers plan to decrease spending in traditional advertising channels like magazines, direct mail, and newspapers to fund an increase in online ad spending in 2005.

Forrester Research Principal Analyst, Charlene Li, says "When at-work Internet use is taken into consideration, online consumers spend more than one-third of their time online, roughly the same amount of time they spend watching TV. Yet marketers spend only 4 percent of ad budgets online versus 25 percent on TV."

Key data points from the report, including data from an online survey of 99 leading marketers and four forecasts, show that:

Total US online advertising and marketing spending will reach $14.7 billion in 2005, a 23 percent increase over 2004.

Search engine marketing will grow by 33 percent in 2005, reaching $11.6 billion by 2010.

Display advertising, including traditional banners and sponsorships, will grow at the average rate of 11% a year to $8 billion by 2010.

64% of respondents are interested in advertising on blogs, 57% through RSS, and 52% on mobile devices, including phones and PDAs.

78% of survey respondents said that they think search engine marketing will be more effective over the next three years.

53% of respondents said TV advertising would become less effective over the next three years.

Only 8% of respondents believe that product placement will become less effective over the next three years.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Urchin Web Analytics Software Price Just Got Affordable

GOOGLE TUESDAY CUT THE PRICE of Urchin, its recently acquired analytics tool, to $199 per month--a drop of about 60 percent from the original $495 per month fee.

Urchin, which the search giant acquired in March, produces analytics software that allows companies to track Web users online and determine what keywords or links brought users to their sites. The analytics tool, dubbed "Urchin On Demand," also offers information such as geo-targeting reports, analyses of users' progression through a site, and e-commerce reports.

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Guide to Natural Linking Structure

Okay so I haven't posted in awhile, but travelling a lot now for all of the AVP events throughout the country is taking a toll on my blogging. Here is a brief article featuring some tips and tactics from Marketing Sherpa and Eric Ward, the linking building guru.

OVERALL KEYPOINT :: Search engines are looking for a natural linking structure!

Search engines factor links into ranking sites, so they look not only at the number of links, but also the quality of links, to help decide if they are a fair assessment of a site's quality.

Mistake #1. Links on pages search engines don't see

For example, search spiders often can't see pages such as:
*Password protected or registration-required pages.
*Dynamically generated pages (often featuring long URLs including characters such as ?).
*Pages buried so deep within a site that the URL again is very long (more than 60 characters) and/or contains a lot of forward slashes indicating levels of depth.

Mistake #2. Planting links on link farms
Avoid at all costs, will not benefit you

Mistake #3. Loading up with reciprocal links
There's nothing wrong with reciprocating links, if the site linking to you is appropriate for your content. But the search engines may not take much notice.

Mistake #4. Buying links
Search engines will generally disregard paid links. But it is a good tactic for placing links on sites that will refer qualified visitors like business directories, vertical directories, blogs, resource portals, etc.

Mistake #5. Emailing form letters
These letters expressing, "I've visited your site and would like to exchange links… " Personalize all link requests, explain the benefit of linking back to you.

Three tactics that work for gaining link popularity

Tactic #1. Make the most of your current links. You want to make sure they all include text in the link, not just a graphic. The anchor text (clickable link text) should include potential keywords that people might search for in finding your site and support your SEO efforts.
First take an inventory of every link you have coming in from:
*Trade association and online magazine directories
*Divisions and related sites your organization owns
*Vendors boasting that you're a client
*Staffers' blogs
*White papers posted on 3rd party site

Tactic #2. Get listed on Hub sites
Links from hub or authority sites -- sites that exist in order to help browsers find information on a particular topic -- are given credence by the search engines. You can also find these sources by typing in a search term + links, addURL, links.html, etc. Also, check out When you type in your keywords, you'll see a section on the right titled "Resources: link collections from experts and enthusiasts". Sites requiring reciprocal links are not hubs.

Tactic #3. Approach niche sites individually
Rather than sending a form email letter requesting a link, review each site carefully to figure out who might be in charge of links and how you can appeal to them. How do you find them? Again, search popular search engines to find out what sites come up for your desired keywords. Detailed, multi-word keywords are the best. Plus check out who links to your competitors by again using search engines in conjunction with directory sites such as and