Thursday, August 30, 2007

Live Search Webmaster Portal Beta

I was just invited to the Live Search Webmaster Portal Beta! I am a huge fan of Google's Webmaster Tools and Yahoo's Site Explorer. I have been patiently waiting for MSN's program since they announced their acceptance of the Sitemap Protocol November of 2006.

I am also looking forward to some of the innovation they may add to their Webmaster Portal. MSN (Live Search) has been very innovative with some of their search product releases so far. The bar may be continually raised from friendly competition among the major Search Engines.

Once the program is launched, I will chronicle some of my discoveries. This will also be added to any Search Engine Marketing Classes that I may be teaching.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One of the First TV Commercials for Search Engine Optimization?

I have been waiting for this day for 7 years. I always expected to see a sleazy infomercial telling the public how to make millions from Search Engines. I am not saying that informercial does not exist, I just have not seen it yet. Tonight I noticed a Yellow Book Commerical that grabbed my attention.

First the commercial said, "Looking to Advertise in the Yellow Book?". The answer was clear?

Second it mentioned you could also advertising on their Internet version,

Then the shocker came... "Looking to Advertise on the Major Search Engines?". You can do that through Yellow Book too!

I used my DVR to rewind and watch the commercial over and over again. I have seen advertise. I have seen Microsoft Adcenter advertise. But this was the first time I have seen a solution for advertising on the Major Search Engines on TV!

I visited I did not readily find the information about advertising on Google, Yahoo, and MSN. It is a shame that their marketing message is not unified between TV and their Web site. Hopefully, enough people will put "How does my ad appear on Search Engines?" in their lead form for them to update the site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby Joey

Happy Birthday Baby Joey!

It was one year ago on August 24th that this bundle of joy entered my life. It has been an amazing year. Each day has gotten better. I remember when it was exciting for him to open his eyes. Then it was sitting up. Then rolling over. Then crawling. Now we have walking! Soon enough it will be his first Web site and Search Traffic! I may start to optimize for "Baby Joey" and see what I can accomplish.

His first birthday party was awesome! Char Hut catered it - I highly recommend them. It was great quality food at very reasonable prices (hot sauce for the burgers and the onion rings are not to be missed). Doris' Italian Market also made special sausage stuffed with peppers and onions that my Dad prepared for everyone.

Our first trip to Disney World is next week. I used to always complain when my friends took infants there. I thought it was a waste of money. Now that I see the way he looks at things, I can't wait. I hope to see the magic of Disney once again - through his eyes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Google's Ad Placement Formula - Big Payoff

I noticed the email last week about Google's new ad placement formula. In its simpliest terms: A new threshhold will be considered for moving ads to the top of the page. It will include the max cpc as part of the algorithm, but not charge anymore.

The net of this is that if everyone goes and increases their max CPC bids to try and get to the top of the page, then everyone pays more because all of the bids increase. I am normally a huge fan of whatever Google does, but this change stinks. All it does is give a theoretical reason for advertisers to spend even more with less return (if the click cost increases) right before the holiday season.

MediaPost picked up an article that explains why this is good for Google's stock. At $500+ per share, the stock is fine. Google does give back in many other ways - free Google Analytics, free Google Checkout. This change only has the opportunity to raise the keyword bids without any added value.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

GoToMyPC's Content Development Strategy

I just received an email newsletter from GoToMyPC. I have been a big fan of their product long before Citrix purchased it.

Citrix does a fantastic job of continually updating the remote pc login service and even worked out some of the bugs that Vista was causing. I have a long history with Citrix that includes an old certification on my wall for Metaframe. (That’s another story)

When I read their latest newsletter I noticed a call to “Send Us Your GoToMyPC Story”. When it comes to natural search, I am always devising brilliant (ok... they are not always spectacular, but they do work!) content development strategies. This is certainly one that I would have recommended. User generated content is not only one of the keys of Web 2.0, it makes for amazing unique keyword rich content. Plus it puts the work of generating the content on their client base's shoulders. What could be better? How many ways can Citrix writers talk about their product? This strategy can not only work as positive testimonials, but could also help increase the range of keywords that GoToMyPC ranks for. Thus it can increase their "long tail" of search.

I will even help promote it. They say in the newsletter the stories may be used in future newsletters. For it to be really useful, it should all be added to the Web site.

Submit your GoToMyPC story to:
(Include lots of keywords and a good keyword anchor text link to your Web site)

Friday, August 3, 2007

SEO Class NY a Raving Success!

I just got back from the second SEO Class. It was held at the Affinia Hotel in Manhattan. This was a two day intensive training for advanced Search Engine Marketing techniques.

Below are very brief take aways from some of the sessions.

Brett Tabke did an amazing presentation on Video optimization. Search Engines are able to scan the frames for text and review the audio for content. Video is prominently showing up in Google Universal results. Do a search for "Google webmaster tools" in Google and you will see a thumbnail for a video by Matt Cutts.

Todd Malicoat did a few great presentations on link building and SEM tools. A very cool take away was his classification of 12 types of links: authority, directory, run of site, one way inbound, .edu, media sites, press releases, article bio, rss, comment and profile, presell pages, and reciprocal.

Greg Niland covered research & testing. Multivariate testing is a complex topic. With his guidance and training, it becomes a much easier proposition. He also did a great session on brand management and protection. This is a hot topic! Nothing bothers a CEO more than negative information showing up on the first page when doing a search for their company name. Greg laid out strategies to effectively combat that problem.

Michael Grey was the workhorse of the bunch. He covered the most topics and gave the attendees a ton of great take aways. His topics included blogging, content generation, brand protection, social media marketing, and technical issues.

Brad Geddes is the king of Google Adwords (among many other things). He frequently teaches advanced PPC seminars directly for Google. When he talks about PPC everyone listens! Besides great information about PPC strategies, he gave away a great Google Base Tip - Add custom fields to your database, Google loves new information.

I covered advanced content generation and Webmaster Tools. Never delete any content that exists on your Web site. Archive everything! Old content can drive traffic and validate the Web site's age. If your site is not registered with Google Webmaster Tools, do it today. Google provides a wealth of information about their crawling of your site for free.

Overall the training was a great success. The most interesting feedback was about some of the intangibles of the 2 days. Workshops were available during the regular sessions for one on one time with the experts and live reviews of the attendee's Web sites. We (The SEO Trainers) had three meals with the SEO Class attendees and two cocktail hours. This interaction time with access to our wealth of knowledge and experiences in Search was probably the greatest asset for the class.

The next SEO Class / Pubcon event will be in Los Angeles in November. Stay tuned for more information or send me an email to get on our mailing list.