Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What SEO copywriting is and isn't

One of my favorite copywriters Karen Thackston writes an article on SEO copywriting. If you are unsure on how to edit you web site in a way that both provides valuable content to you site visitor, gets them to take action, and also gets good ranking in Google this Article will steer you in the right direction

A Great Article on the Future of Search Marketing

Search engine marketing is constantly evolving. The algorithms, techniques, tactics, and strategies of search engine marketing are constantly changing.

Through into the mix things like blogs, RSS, shopping search engines, book search engines and you get a search marketing industry and skill far more comprehensive than two or three years ago. A great article I just read that covers the future of search marketing was written by Jim Hedger.

Read his article Click Here Now

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Review of Marketing Rampage with Blogs and RSS

Marketing Rampage with Blogs and RSS written by Brandon Hong
Review by Kamau Austin

Are blogs and RSS indispensable for your web publishing going forward? If blogs and RSS feeds live up to the marketing hype Brandon Hong has created a must have multimedia publication.

After extensive observation and testing (with information gleaned from Brandon’s multimedia ebook) I am now finally convinced blogs and RSS feeds are real deal web marketing tools. Blogs and their distribution channels RSS feeds could be the fastest and easiest way to "win the search engine lottery"!

Therefore, Brandon Hong a former Physics teacher by way of Singapore, may have developed one of the most important digital publications this year.

His multimedia ebook engages more of our senses for learning a pretty technical subject. Hong cuts through the hype and clutter with his demonstrative screen capture informed digital publication.

In short Brandon makes plain the confusing insights of geeks speaking and serving alphabet soup on this insider subject. Although a blogger for over 2 years until now I have been totally mystified by how to get RSS feeds set up for my blogs.

You have no doubt heard about the phenomenal growth and popularity of blogs and RSS feeds. Blogs are web publishing systems which give us an easy way to create web pages in real time. RSS feeds are a way to share the headlines of your blog with others without them having to visit your website or blog.

RSS feeds can then expose your headlines far beyond the borders of your web blog and tantalize others to visit your blog now and often.

Blogs are the perfect way to create lots of written content online. Blogs imminently will host audio and video content delivered within its XML format called Podcasting.

Blogs started out as digital diaries by Internet reality types. In this regard blog posts are usually date stamped and archived in chronological order -- all automatically.

Think of original blogs as the Internet version of reality TV where you reveal to both friends and strangers a slice of your life.

Despite its some what voyeuristic beginnings, today the automated building of a blog website with plenty of deep content has captured the imagination of web marketers and eCommerce types. This is because of the ability of the blog to draw plenty of search engine driven Internet traffic.

Search engines love plenty of useful and constantly updated website content. Blogs build content in profusion. Blogs gives journalists and Internet publishers the ability to publish at "the speed of thought."

While blogs give us the ability to publish with speed and power, RSS feeds help us distribute the content of our blogs widely across cyberspace. Other websites and major web portals like MSN and Yahoo! can feature and showcase our blog headlines to millions of potential readers and subscribers.

The ability to attract the search engine spiders and blog pinging services with fresh content makes blogs and RSS feeds an efficient media combination for power web marketing. This is why Hong’s book has a timely title "Marketing Rampage with Blogs and RSS".

Brandon’s multimedia ebook is only 68 pages in length but boasts at least 42 screen capture videos where he guides you effortlessly into the secrets of blog and RSS explanation - setup - and success. Plus he gives you bonus videos and blog templates when you obtain his info-product.

If Mr. Hong solely had written a book with this information it would easily been 300 pages and you probably wouldn’t understand the as subject matter as well.

Kudos to Brandon for deciding to explain this confusing subject matter in such an easily digestible way. If you are a busy Internet business person like myself you want to understand information quick and easily without taking months to understand a new technology.

I have read many articles on blogs and RSS feeds but most totally confuse me. Much of the information seems to be written by techie types that cloud the subject with so much jargon you can get totally demoralized trying to decipher their inside code words.

Within minutes of viewing Hong’s screen capture videos you should be well on your way to becoming a blog and RSS expert. Brandon covers all the bases in explaining what blogs and RSS feeds are and easy ways to get them going for free!

Most Importantly he shows you how to get around all the competing RSS and XML formats (which can totally confuse you) and which free services are best to publish your blogs and RSS feeds. Investing in his multimedia ebook is a small price to pay to get all this information and save yourself time and a headache in the process.

After seeing his lessons and listening to the audio I can now put together a blog and RSS feed in less than 30 minutes and begin having it listed on MSN and Yahoo! Mind you these are free listings. Plus blogs and RSS feeds have helped increase my Internet traffic by over 20% beyond my traditional search engine traffic.

If you finally want to understand and grow your business with blog and RSS search engine driven traffic download this valuable ebook now. To find out more about Marketing Rampage with Blogs and RSS feeds visit: Marketing Rampage with Blogs and RSS

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Independent Search Engine & Directory Membership Climbs To 108

Independent search engine & directory network gains international representation with member signups from more than 16 countries.

Winnipeg, MB , November 15, 2005 -- The Independent Search Engine & Directory Network( founded by in late June, 2005 continues to sign up new members at the impressive rate of 5 to 6 members per week, surpassing the 100 member mark just several months after its founding.

The organization whose stated purpose is to bring affordable and fraud free advertising to the online search world has adopted ExactSeek's hybrid pay-for-inclusion model and is marketing the fixed, flat-fee program to the web community, targeting advertisers who have become disillusioned with click fraud and escalating pay-per-click costs.

"In October, our best guesstimate was that the ISEDN would have at least 100 members by year end," said Mel Strocen, CEO of Jayde Online, Inc., ExactSeek's parent company. "Obviously, we're delighted that interest and signups have exceeded our expectations and even more pleased that the ISEDN is evolving as a true, world-wide entity with representation from Australia, Israel, France, Singapore, Switzerland, Russia, Armenia, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines, Germany, Pakistan, South Africa, India, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA. Our current projection is that membership will top 140 by the end of 2005 and continue to grow rapidly during the first quarter of the new year. By necessity, this "fast" growth has made member integration and the creation of a governing executive committee the primary focus for the ISEDN, but we expect this to change in the new year with the focus shifting to raising public awareness of the ISEDN and promoting it as a viable alternative to the major search engines."

Strocen went on to say that the ISEDN was an emerging giant in the search industry and would be difficult for the public, the media and competitors to ignore as its size and search reach grew.

ABOUT EXACTSEEK & THE ISEDN is part of the Jayde Online Network which includes | | | and Jayde Online Inc. has been Internet-focused from its inception in 1998 and primarily involved in the publication of email newsletters and the development of niche and general search engines.

The ISEDN was established in June, 2005 and is an outgrowth of ExactSeek's featured listing paid inclusion program which offers affordable, non-PPC search advertising to the online community. More information on the ISEDN, its mission statement and future plans can be found at

Mel Strocen
Jayde Online, Inc.
Exact Seek

Monday, November 14, 2005

Demystifying Blogs and RSS

As reported last week Blogs and RSS Feeds aren't just tools that let you express yourself or position yourself as an opinionated personality in your market niche. Blogs and RSS help you position yourself as an aide and guide to search engine traffic.

Blogs and RSS help you build wider and deeper content to win the search engine lottery. They give you the ability to have more tickets in the search engines and take up more shelf space like Coke and Pepsi take up all the shelf space in your local supermarket.

However Blogs and RSS Feeds are some of the hardest things to understand because usually the information offered up on marketing with these content management and distribution tools is written by geeks serving up alphabet soup.

In my next blog I will discuss a fast way to get around this clutter and become an expert blogger and RSS maven in an Internet minute.

A good multimedia ebook to get on the subject is Brandon Hong's : Marketing Rampage with RSS

Monday, November 07, 2005

Great SEO Article by Sumantra Roy

Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to get traffic to your site. If you are new to the concept of search engine optimization the following article will be helpful.

Top 10 Search Engine Positioning Mistakes By Sumantra Roy - November 03, 2005

When it comes to search engine optimization, there are certain common mistakes that I see people making over and over again. Here's a list of the 10 most common mistakes that I see people making. By avoiding these mistakes, you can avoid a lot of anguish and frustration in the long run.

1) Optimizing your site for the wrong keywords

The first step in any search engine optimization campaign is to choose the keywords for which you should optimize your site.

If you initially choose the wrong keywords, all the time and effort that you devote in trying to get your site a high ranking will go down the drain.

Read the Rest of the Article Here

For a full revelation on search engine optimization you may want to read my book Always On Top of the Search Engines

RSS and Blogging Having Major Impact On Early Adapters Traffic

As you may know if you follow this blog I am doing a lot of research on blogging and RSS traffic generation. It looks by my preliminary studies that RSS and blogging could increase the traffic of even a highly ranked website by 20% or more. This proves that Blogging and RSS can increase your site traffic quite a deal.

I hope to write an article on my finding very soon within the next week or two so stay posted.

Interesting Reading On How the Internet is Revolutionizing Business

Revolution 2.1 by Jim Hedger

The second Internet revolution has clearly started to take shape. Remember the massive changes forecast by hundreds of tech-writers, including myself, for the past two years? While slower in coming than expected, the last critical stage for their mass adoption of these changes, their introduction, appears to have begun. Welcome to Revolution 2.1.

Revolution, according to one definition offered by Princeton University’s WordNet is, “a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving.”

Revolutions come in stages, generally brewing for long periods before overwhelming the traditional order with the weight of massive social adoption of new ideas, tools and methods. They almost always stem from increased social or technical knowledge and require the support of a prosperous middle-class majority to fully succeed.

In this case, that majority is the Internet users themselves. The search engines are providing the tools forged by in-house and third party software developers whose creativity formed the framework for the coming changes. Underpinning the revolution is the virtually universal access to broadband, high-speed connectivity in North America and most of Western Europe, Oceania and Asia.

Read More On The Internet Revolution 2.1

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Google Bombing and Google Bowling, New Terms You Should Know

Two new terms Internet marketers should know being bandied about recently are Google bombing and Google Bowling.

Google bombing is the practice of totally optimizing a website off the page using anchor (or link text). As you may know Google puts a lot of ranking evaluation of your site by giving you credit from the links of other sites linking to your site.

This is sometimes called link popularity, backward, or backlinks. More importantly Google looks at the keywords in the link text describing your site to determine how relevant your site is to web surfers using those keywords.

In matter of fact you can get a lot of high ranking for a website without the keywords appearing on the web page itself because the keywords would actually be in the link text of sites linking to your site.

The practice of optimizing links pointing to a site to help it to rank better with link text is known as Google bombing.

Google Bowling

Google bowling is the new sinister practice of submitting your competitors to directories, link farms, and penalized sites to get them banned or dropped by Google. This is a weakness in Google's system that needs to be addressed.

In theory Google is only supposed to penalize or ban your site for linking schemes and bad neighborhoods that you link to and not sites that link to you. You can't really control who links to you.

However some sites claim that that they have been penalized by their competitors having sites Google frowns upon linking to them. If this is the case this is something website owners should press Google on to address and reverse.

It is a scary notion that your competitors can get your site banned with Google Bowling. Let's work to get Google to reverse this present oversight on their part.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Should SEO go Underground?

More and more Google is using filters, penalties, and outright banning to contain SEO efforts. More recently it was reported Google was looking to hire search engine marketing firms. This may be an attempt learn SEO strategies and tactics.

Any new strategy that SEO's use to get better rankings in Google, of course it counters -- to neutralize it. The result has hindered the success of even so called "whitehat" SEOs.

More and Google is treating SEO as a form of search engine spam and hacking. Google has the advantage over SEOs because it handles its actions in private.

When SEOs complain about Google dropping them in the results SEO pundits like Dan Thies ask questions like "does Google owe you the right to make a living?" Jill Whalen promotes protecting the integrity of search engines.

The more interesting question and position to me is: should SEOs even care about anything else but good results for their clients via providing good content for their customers? In order to do this should the SEO community seriously consider going underground?

Do you think SEOs should become a secret society to safe guard their strategies and tactics? I think it may have to since any time SEOs get a hand up with Google's algorithm, that becomes popular knowledge, Google -- shuts it down.

What do you think? Join our newsletter and let me know.

Raise Your Website Traffic with RSS - Blogs and YAHOO! Part 2. to be released this week

I understand that there is a lot of interest in seeing the second installment of Raise your Website Traffic with RSS - Blogs and Yahoo! I will work hard on having it ready this week. Thank everyone for the overwhelming response to this article.

I also wanted to thank major sites like Site Pro News and Content Desk for carrying the article. I am doing a lot of research on how RSS and Blogs can help you in your quest to win the search engine lottery. So please stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Raise Your Website Traffic with RSS - Blogs and YAHOO! Part 1.

It is the trend du jour. They are the subject of pundit press, guru glare, and is ready for mainstream adoption. RSS feeds and their communication kin the blog -- are bandied about as the next big thing.

Everywhere you look there are articles and ebooks touting the electronic affinity and high value of these two forms of media creation and distribution. However can these two forms of digital media drive more traffic to your site, or -- are they just hype?

Blogs are short for web logs and are like daily dairies on the web. Blogs started out as ways for Internet reality types to share their lives with other people on the web, without having to learn very complicated web design applications like Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage.

While on the other hand RSS feeds are the natural extension of Blogs. RSS without getting into all the arguments over the name (for the purpose of this article) stands for Really Simple Syndication.

RSS feeds can take your blog postings and syndicate a preview of your blog headlines all over the Internet. Therefore in theory RSS feeds can drive traffic to your blogs and websites similar to how search engines have become major marketing channels.

If your blogs headlines are syndicated on major high traffic websites, RSS directories and Internet Portals it could be another major source of traffic to your website. But how effective is blog marketing to the average Internet marketer who doesn’t have a major personal brand name like John Reese, Yanik Silver, or Dr. Ken Evoy?

This question is reflected in the concerns of bottom-line focused Stephanie McIntyre, president of eSales Unlimited, an eBay Power Seller, auction trainer and coach. Stephanie has generated over $200,000 in profitable sales on eBay and has low tolerance for marketing hype.

"I am not convinced that blogging can really drive traffic or profitable sales states Ms. McIntyre. Internet Gurus like James Maduk haven’t convinced me that I can really make money with a blog."

She isn’t alone in her skepticism. Many online business people are confused why all this hype is being created about blogs and RSS feeds. Many wonder if they can really deliver in their potential to drive more traffic and sales to business orientated Internet websites.

In short, can blogs and RSS boost really boost our website traffic? I put the technology to the test in the last four weeks to get some definite answers.

I found blogs are having some major income impact on the bottom-line of some companies and business people.

Despite many reservations by some Netpreneurs blogs and RSS feeds have been boosting the bottom-lines of some marketers. Willie Crawford, a well known Internet marketer generates over $1000 dollars a day from mostly blog generated Adsense™ revenue. Blogging for Crawford has become yet another profitable part of his business.

Weblogs Inc., a publisher of almost 100 targeted niche blogs is noted as being on its way to generating 1 million dollars in Adsense™ revenue! This had to be a compelling reason for AOL to recently buy Weblogs Inc., for a whopping 25 million.

Still another very successful Internet business person I spoke with (who doesn’t what to be identified) uses blogs as a form of buzz advertising resulting in $50,000 in indirect eCommerce sales when properly timed. This business person does close to 17 million dollars in online sales.

I also have been having good success saving time and money by publishing quickly with blogs. My blogs generated good income for me however I wanted to see if the distribution of my blog headline via RSS feeds would bring in any new revenues.

One of the promotional ways blogs and RSS are purported to increase your online traffic is the strategy of increasing your website’s traffic with what I call horizontal SEO. Horizontal SEO is called "winning the search engine lottery" by Internet sales star John Reese.

Most SEO firms and web marketers focus solely on high rankings for popular keywords (Vertical SEO) . In contrast a more comprehensive search engine driven Internet marketing campaign would scale more horizontally or deeper with more rich keyword informed content pages.

In other words a horizontal SEO campaign would be like playing the lottery. Your odds of winning the lottery are greater if you have more tickets.

According to Reese "search engines algorithms change from day to day. Therefore your ranking will go up or down. But if you have more and more tickets in the SEO lottery you have a better chance of winning."

Blogs and RSS feeds give you the ability to create and distribute a lot of web information (content) on the fly that’s distributed throughout the Internet at myriad media outlets. Blogs and RSS feeds drive more traffic to your site by helping you win the SEO lottery with horizontal SEO.

Blogs and RSS can be the easiest and most efficient way to win the SEO lottery. They do this by creating lots of targeted niche content on your and other partner sites that carry your feeds.

In the last 4 weeks I launched a website with a blog component without optimizing it in the traditional vertical SEO fashion. It doesn’t appear on top of any search engine results worth mentioning. I wanted to see if the blog powered by RSS feed would drive significant traffic to my site.

The results are amazing! I been totally blown away by the research. Check out why I have become a big believer in blogging and RSS in part 2 of this article. Visit: Search Engine Plan to stay informed on the latest blogging, RSS, and SEO developments.

Monday, October 24, 2005

1 Billion Monthly Local Searches -- How to Tap into This Astonishing Market Revealed

Search Engines Becomes the Preferred Way to Find Local Businesses! by Kamau Austin

Do you have a website that fails to generate decent traffic? Have you failed to make search engine marketing a part of your promotion of your business because you have a local business, or feel the Internet is not where your customer's will find you?

Recent reports in Emarketer daily, one of the top Internet business resources, reveal over 50% of the country are now online. More importantly twice as many people search online for local businesses than use their Yellow Pages to find businesses in their area.

You could be losing at least 20 - 50% of your potential market and customers by not having an Internet marketing plan with a strong search engine component.

- Local Search Becoming More Important!

For those business owners who once felt that the Internet wasn't necessary for their local business, you should especially take note.

Now is the time to learn to tap into the promotional power of the Internet for your local business.

Since consumers increasingly are searching online for local businesses, how will your businesses take advantage of this fundamental shift in customer behavior? The Internet has affected almost every facet of business and has driven the creation of new business models while forcing the evolution of others, writes Click4Talk's Dave Landa.

Landa goes on to state traditional printed yellow pages and local commerce are being drawn headlong into the Internet vortex. The surge in online local searches by consumers relative to traditional printed phone book searches has prompted tremendous business focus in this space.

Local search has become such a strong business Google has even gotten into the act.

- Google Outsourced the Selling of Local Search

It is a very important development that Google has outsourced the selling of local search PPC programs to Bell South last year. Bell South has a large sales force that can sell search advertising face-2-face to local businesspeople and merchants.

In other words Internet search will become a significant marketing strategy for local business. This is significant because 20% of searches online are for local information. This is a huge amount of monthly searches.

- 20% of Internet Searches are for local Information means approximately close to One Billion Searches a Month are being queried via the Top Search Engines -- for local searches. This One Billion local searches will create new local business models and propel visionary tech savvy local businesses.

In other words, if you once thought your local business didn't need to be on the Internet, it is time to get a new reality check.

To bring home the importance of this grand Internet marketing shift on how it will impact your local sales, consider a recent experience with me and my wife. We listed a real estate property in two of our major local papers (The New York Times and The Star Ledger of NY and NJ respectively). The response was slow.

Later we ran a targeted local Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign with Google and received more than 10 times the amount of leads from both The New York Times and the Star Ledger!!!

Local focused and targeted PPC advertising with Google had out performed Two major northeastern newspapers with established real estate sections by an amazing margin. By the way, the collective circulation of the New York Times and NJ Star Ledger was 5.5 million people for the Sunday Editions.

This rise in the search engines and major portal to find local business has come at a price to local newspapers, major newspapers, and the local yellow pages. With twice as many people preferring to use the search engines to find local business than the yellow pages, this obviously has shaken-up print media.

To further illustrate this point recently the parent company of the New York Times purchased the popular Internet portal!

Your competitors will soon be introduced to the importance of local search via sales consultants from Bell South and other advertising rep firms. Don't get caught sleeping -- on move to local search!

My business has grown 3-fold in the last year because I made a focused decision to grow my business in my local area using the search engines. I know of some business associates that have created lucrative local directory type web businesses rather than putting their emphasis on general Internet Traffic.

If you are looking to increase your sales and profits maybe looking at the short view and local niches in your are is the quickest way to get there.

Kamau Austin is publisher of and runs He is author of Always On Top "How to Get the Highest Search Engine ranking for your website. See more about his eBiz strategies at Always On Top

Friday, October 21, 2005

Free SEO Tools

Search Engine Guide has a great article on free SEO Tools. I use some paid and some free SEO tools. Many Free Tools are better or as good as the paid ones professional SEOs use.

But before you visit the Search Engine Guide Article I have three great SEO software apps and resources I would like to recommend.

If you are new to search engine marketing and optimization you may consider reading my book on search engine marketing strategy called: Always On Top

- Three Other Free Tools I would suggest are: Good Keywords the Latest Version 2.0

- Wordtracker and Google's collaboration to find viable Niche markets Nichebot

- Adsense forecast and keyword cross reference tools brought to you by Digital Point Solutions you can check out these tools at: SEO Tools

I search engine marketing you have to have the understanding and tactics of search engine marketing and also then strategy. Read more of this insightful search engine article at: Bill Hartzer

Jakob Nielsen Writes Enlightening Article On Weblog Usability

Dr. Jakob Nielsen:

I a very resourceful although somewhat academic expert on designing web sites for ease of use by site visitors. This field is some times called Usability.

The insights behind usability are informed by the fact that you will sell less software or build an online following if they cannot use your digital application or media. Many times Dr. Nielsen is over the top in his analysis in my opinion but he really makes some very good points in his article on Weblog or Blog Usability.

He gives the Top Ten Design Mistakes of bloggers in their design of their blogs. If you are a blogger take a few minutes to read this article because he makes some very good points.

See Jakob Nielson Article

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Leading SEO Expert Aaron Matthew Wall, Author of SEO Book - Sued over Blogging Free Speech Issue

One of my favorite sources to read on current SEO developments is leading search engine marketer Aaron Matthew Wall. He has recently been commenting on a law suit from a company called Traffic Power.

Quite frankly I don't know all the issues involved, but I know young Mr. Wall (only 25) to be a straight shooter on what works and doesn't work in SEO work. People like Aaron are becoming personal brands online because of blogging.

This legal action is some what setting a standard on legal rights and actions brought against bloggers. The right of a blogger to express their opinions about businesses has caught the attention of the Wall Street journal (obviously not owned by Aaron Wall).

I am a reader of SEO Book and have emailed Aaron Wall on occasion. I even have a review of his book on my site.

From Aaron's blog I knew this was brewing for some time. Aaron will praise useful services and also tell others when something is a scam.

As a blogger it is hard to tell where to draw the line. There are so many rip-off traffic companies out there you feel obligated to tell your subscribers.

I don't know all the issues in the Traffic Power law suit, however I think a person should be able to express their opinion about their business experiences and outlook online.

I see sites advertising and have even experienced some services telling you they will run your ad and get you millions of impressions. Then you discover their Alexa ranking is 3,500,000 and they are putting your ad in rotation with 16 other advertisers.

It would take them forever -- and they still couldn't get you a million impressions! They are just rip-offs and when you let others know to avoid these traffic fraud type companies they get mad and want to sue.

I am doing a lot of testing of different ways to drive lots of targeted traffic to my sites, but 60% of the companies I try are total rip-offs. Many of them I suspect generate traffic bots and not actual people.

When we blog our readers expect us to have a personality and give them the inside scoop and our opinion on things. Legal action like this will really make our jobs more challenging to say the least.

Not only are companies trying to sue bloggers for their commentary, but also for feed back left by blog users. Believe it or not Mr. Wall is also being sued just for his remarks but also for remarks some of his blog readers left on his blog!

I think Aaron is courageous in taking a stand for the ability to express his opinion, and the right of his blog users to also state theirs. He is helping to keep the Internet as a media of free speech.

I wish Aaron Wall well in his decision to not take his personal or critical commentary down on Traffic Power. He shouldn't have to feel afraid to state his opinion on web marketing matters, even when some companies don't approve of their reviews. These companies would do better improving their product and put less time into suing and other forms of intimidation. You can read more about Aaron Wall at: SEO Book

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Earth to Google -- Or is it just me?

Some people who read my blogs and articles on a regular basis may think Google is the company I love to hate. Not really, I just want them to step off their high holy horse of Internet Iconomy.

I know Iconomy is not a word, but what better term to describe a major established Internet brand shot full of hubris. Google has many times been found to be one of the worlds strongest corporate brands by marketers who do this type of research.

But Google is more than a major brand it is an Internet Icon that has become synonymous with search.

Furthermore they have a bounty of capital and even more intellectual capital. I guess for such a company a little hubris is to be expected.

However, at some point they have to come back to earth with their product Google Earth. Recently in India and also other so called "3rd world countries" are asking that Google Earth not show high resolution satellite photographed images of their capitals.

Governments abroad are asking for privacy because they are afraid terrorists will get their hands on these aerial photos and plan attacks. This is of course a reasonable fear the foreign governments face. It is reported that Google has backed away from providing photos of the US capital and government buildings.

This on the heals of Google providing autolink features to add links to webmasters pages and image search which enables web searchers to ripoff webmasters copyrighted art files. Is it me -- or is Google totally out of control?

Can you imagine a stalker or criminal watching your house and observing your movements from a remote location for days in order to attack or rob you? Earth to Google -- not just governments, but we regular people need some privacy too!

The big companies and governments may be able to negotiate privacy from Google's peering eyes, but the rest of us seem like an after thought to Google's grand scheme of domination of the digital ether.

Google as the search engine of all human knowledge and information seems to be the end, but their means to achieve this goal is threatening.

A prominent technologist once said "privacy is dead... get over it."

But if you erode privacy isn't freedom ultimately also at risk?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Top Ten Steps to Springboard Your eBusiness -- Part 2.

Search engines, eBay, ezines, affiliate marketing, viral marketing, blogs, and now RSS feeds are heavily promoted by net gurus. However, how do you get a handle on where to begin in your ecommerce marketing?

In Part 1 of this article I suggested avoiding information overload in your initial efforts with Internet marketing. Furthermore to avoid information overload I advise ten essential steps in spring boarding your eBusiness to unstoppable success in this 2-part article.

These ten steps seek to simplify the core essential strategies and tasks new Internet marketers should do to jump-start their businesses before taking on more advanced tactics.

Too many advanced Internet marketing concepts can be confusing for new Internet marketers. Even experienced Internet marketers can lose their way if they are unfocused with too many advanced techniques in e-marketing.

You won't be off track if you keep it simple, and focus on these core basics when you first start out in web marketing.

If you missed the first 5 steps you can see them at the Search Engine Plan Blog at...

These last 5 steps will further you along the road to selling online in record time.

6. Test Your Website's Sales and Subscriber Conversion Rates with Google's Adwords.

Buy Google Adwords and test your sales and email subscription conversion rates while you optimize your site. This way you will know in ten minutes if your site is setup to convert site visitors into subscribers and eventually customers.

Once your conversion rates for subscribers (10% or more) and customers (at least .5%) are at a promising level you can decide to invest or focus on search engine optimization. It takes more work to obtain top high rankings in organic listings of search engines.

Therefore you should test your sites sales and subscriber conversions first with Google Adwords, then you can determine if it is worth investing in long term SEO.

7. Put Up a Preliminary Website ASAP

Don't wait for the perfect web site before you upload your site to the Internet. Put up a preliminary website first with some basic information and start promoting.

Buy or trade links with established websites already in Google's database. This will get your site indexed quickly.

On the other hand you could post provocative or informative comments on a popular blog, which allows you to link back to your site. The links from established sites or blogs will help Google and Yahoo to send their spiders to find and index your site.

Your goal is to get listed with a preliminary site of (5-10 pages) to get the clock ticking in your favor. This is because Google has delay filters AKA Google Sandbox on new sites for about 3 to 6 months.

Therefore, you want a jump-start to eventually obtain a higher ranking. This strategy will get the clock ticking ASAP in your favor with a timelier high ranking.

Focus on this preliminary strategy to get you in the search engines much quicker than waiting two to six months to perfect your website.

8. Optimize for the Search Engines in Your Planning Phases

One of the biggest mistakes new website owners make is paying for or developing razzle-dazzle websites few people will ever find. This is because too many web designers focus on creating visually stunning sites.

However these visually stunning and animated sites are usually incompatible with search engine's algorithms and their indexing.

Others make the mistake of designing and then attempting to optimize their sites. Actually your site should be optimized in the design phase.

If you design with SEO in mind you will avoid having to redesign your website to rank well in the search engines.

Have your site optimized in your planning stages and you should start to see search engine traffic in three to six months.

9. Maintain Your Optimization with an Ongoing Link Campaign

Get a good link campaign going with other related sites. Make sure you use your keywords in your link or anchor text (very important).

Maintaining an ongoing link campaign is necessary to keep your search engine rankings high. Moreover, it can also have a viral and traffic generating impact.

Modern search engines still measure link popularity and reputation as important parts of their algorithms. Link popularity focuses on the number and quality of your incoming links.

Link reputation is essentially what other sites indicate about your site in the anchor (AKA link text) and surrounding link content.

10. Master Content Marketing

Write some articles on topics of interest in your industry. Have them distributed in article directories in categories related to your industry (this you can start now). Your articles will create links to your site.

Articles do 4 things: 1. Brand you as an expert; 2. increase your traffic and visibility; 3. help with your link popularity for higher search engine rankings; and 4. leverage your promotional efforts with other web masters looking for good content (working the magic of viral marketing).

Before you become engaged in the more advanced marketing strategies like RSS, affiliate marketing, application development, or joint ventures make sure you have these more basic top ten essential steps in place. These Top Ten Steps will certainly spring board your ebusiness and help you in your efforts to Sell Online in Record Time!

Kamau Austin helps businesses develop search engine friendly sites as sales tools to build their business. He is publisher or and the author of "Always On Top" How to get the highest search engine ranking for your website -- every time! Pick up his book at Always On Top!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Top Ten Steps to Springboarding Your eBusiness -- Part 1.

By Kamau Austin

If you are new to Internet marketing, or even a seasoned web pro, the correct promotional usage of applications like RSS, blogs, viral marketing, and ezines, can be confusing. Often web gurus and pundits overwhelm new website owners with too many advanced Internet marketing concepts.

New website owners are constantly bombarded with a lot of information overload, and are unsure exactly how to get their Internet businesses off the ground.

Even seasoned pros may need to be reminded of some steps they may have overlooked, or forgotten in helping them establish their online presence.

Are you confused about what essential eCommerce elements should be in place to launch your online business? Are you unsure of the most effective marketing mix for your website?

Usually the following basic ten steps are essential for spring boarding your Internet businesses to eventual online success.

These ten steps are especially important for those new to Internet marketing.

1. Topical Research

The first thing you should do is search engine keyword research, forum and group observation, and eBay discovery. You are looking to see if there is enough interest online in the business you are launching.

Use and the (now Yahoo! Search Marketing) suggestion tools to find if people are searching for or buying the products and services you will provide.

Examine Yahoo! groups and forums like, to see if there are significant numbers of people interested in what you will be offering. When you visit these groups pay special attention to the problems people face.

Remember you will have a better chance for a viable business if you look to solve people's problems. See if you can create products and services to solve problems like the ones you observed in the forums.

Discover if your item sells on eBay. You want to sign up and do an advanced search on eBay to see how many sales closed on items or services related to yours.

Most importantly you want to note related items sold on eBay and at what price.

Make sure there are other businesses making money in the market niche or sector in which your business will operate to make a profit. The best way to do this is to see if similar businesses are advertising on a consistent basis.

Advertising is very expensive, especially Pay-Per-Click advertising. Therefore observe whether other businesses are buying advertising in your business sector.

If they buy advertising over a significant amount of time, be assured that they are making enough money to reinvest into advertising. If there are a lot of long-term advertisers on the search engines related to your business sector, you more than likely are entering a viable Internet market.

2. Brush Up On Your Web Site Copywriting

Take some copywriting courses online and learn to sell the benefits and later features of your service. A good place to do this is or .

Despite the move to broadband services by many net users, there are still bandwidth constants for audio and video online. Therefore what you write on your site will primarily compel your website users to buy your products or services.

If you overlook the power of compelling sales copy on your website you will diffuse the impact of your online sales message. In short your business will suffer from a lack of sales.

3. Familiarize Yourself with HTML

Go to a community college or adult training program and learn HTML. It is very easy, and only takes a few evenings to learn. You don't have to become an expert. Just learn the basics.

You will have a hard time optimizing your site for the search engines without knowing basic HTML.

By learning the basics of HTML you understand how it relates to putting your keywords into things like Title, Meta and Heading Tags. Also you will better understand concepts like placing your keywords into your anchor text.

Another reason it is a good idea to learn HTML is to install a Popup script. You want a script the popup blockers cannot stop.

You will need to know HTML to create a form on your site, or install a popup window that the popup blockers can't stop.

4. Create No Stop Popups to Capture eMail Addresses

Although popups are controversial they work! Unless you are a copywriting genius and can create irresistible squeeze pages, use classy and unstoppable popups.

Popups are usually up to ten times more effective than traditional forms on web pages!

Plus they are more bearable with a cookie to show them only once a session on your website. You must of course have a valuable offer with your ezine to get your site visitors to share their email addresses.

Most Internet marketers would agree, to be successful in developing an Internet business you have to develop a responsive email list. Your ability to sell and profit online is in direct relation to the responsiveness of your list.

In most cases you will have to learn to sell people on joining your ezine or email list, before you learn to sell other products and services on your website.

For example when I take my summer vacation and stop publishing my ezine -- sales on my sites almost completely dies!

Despite email filters and declining open rates, ezines are still effective tools for the soft sell.

Just join an email service with good relations with the ISPs and make sure people double opt-in to receive your message. You still should be able to generate profits from your list if you follow these guidelines.

5. Create an Autoresponder Course or Evergreen eZine.

Most people don't usually buy the first time they visit your site. On average it takes 6 to 8 communications before a potential customer buys from you.

Therefore I suggest setting up an autoresponder course or evergreen ezine to capture email addresses. The ultimate goal of the autoresponder course is to cultivate customers over time with useful information related to your expertise or products.

Develop an informative course on the topic or subject of your business. On the other hand you could have an evergreen ezine. Both courses and ezines could be delivered via autoresponders.

Evergreen ezines (short for electronic magazines) are created in advance and emailed to your subscribers automatically on a regular basis via an autoresponder.

The reason I suggest evergreen ezines over traditional ezines is you avoid struggling to develop an ezine manually on a regular basis. Writing a regular ezine even bi-weekly can be a daunting task to say the least.

If you are not good at writing I would get a college student to do it for you.

You could also get a freelance writer to write it for you. It would only cost you a hundred dollars or less from or to get someone to write it for you.

The autoresponder course or evergreen ezine will literally put your Internet profits on automatic pilot. This is because it will constantly give you top of mind awareness with your customers.

Your autoresponder course or evergreen ezine can also be monetized and work well as info teasers. They could lead back to your website featuring your products, affiliate programs, and Adsense™ Ads.

In part 2 of our article you will learn five even more powerful ways to springboard your business to unstoppable eCommerce success. Until then learn to focus on these first five basic steps of eCommerce development, and you're on your way to -- selling online in record time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blog and Boost Your Search Engine and RSS Traffic

by Kamau Austin

One of the more recent secrets people are using to get their web sites in the search engines, the last couple of years, is with Blogs. Blogs are short for web logs and are like daily dairies on the web.

Blogs started out as ways for Internet reality types to share their lives with other people on the web, without having to learn very complicated web design applications like Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage.

Dreamweaver, the standard professional web design program takes a least 6 months to master. While FrontPage on the other hand looks a lot like Microsoft Word, and therefore can be used a bit more quickly by people just starting out.

Blogs are much easier to use than any web design software. They can be used to change web content from a browser, email, and even simple desk top software. Blogs are web pages created with automated software that date stamps all changes to content.

One of the secrets the web marketers use to get their new websites into the major search engines like (Google - Yahoo! and MSN) is called blog and ping. So many Internet fortunes are being built on this simple technique.

If you want your new website to be indexed (or included in the search engine database) you shouldn't submit it to the search engines -- instead you should blog and ping.

There is a new feature with Google and Yahoo! known as sitemaps, which will also get your site indexed, but most of us will do fine with learning first to blog and ping.

Blogs index and file your web pages automatically according to the way you specify in advance.

Google loves blogs and has its own web based application called Blogger. You can set up a Blogger account for free at

You should use Blogs for your business to give updates to your customers and supporters every few days on your company's news or inside information. You can also reflect on industry trends with your business blog.

What's nice about blogs if you want to get your site in the search engines or keep the search engines up to date with your latest optimization or content efforts. You can post your new website or page to your blog page and link to that page.

The search engines will visit the blog page more frequently and index your new pages or web sites some times in a day or two. Also make sure when you post a new blog in you set up your account to ping (or notify) the other major blog directories that your blog has been updated.

Or if you want to get your new site into Google go to a high ranked blog listed in Google. If the Blog allows comments give a good comment on the blog. Then link back to the page you want indexed in the Blog.

Make sure you give a worth while or useful comment or it will be consider blog spam by the website administrators. Sometimes blog publishers disable the comment feature for this reason, therefore it is important to have your own blogs especially if you have more than one site.

This will get the Google spider to index your new sites or web pages within a few days and consider your site for its database given the criteria of its algorithm.

If you are looking for a fast, inexpensive and efficient way to build a lot of content on your site, which the search engines will pick up, go to Blogger and open up a free blogging account and join the blogosphere.

- The Love Affair between the Search Engines, Blogs and RSS

I have been extolling the SEO benefits of Blogs since almost two years ago. Although blogs and search engines don't seem to enjoy the free for all love affair they once had, the search engines and blogs seem to still be married "for better or for worst".

The romance and infatuation phase between search engines and blogs has waned because of blog spam. However search engines dare not divorce blogs because they tend to cook up regularly updated content.

Blogs are also search engine friendly in design. As publishers we love blogs because it is an easy way for us to update our sites with new content.

Many top marketers are extolling about the power of blogs and their natural extension RSS feeds. Almost every successful Internet Marketers today is using some variation of blogs and RSS feeds.

Everywhere you go the web gurus are talking about the great upside potential of blogs and RSS. RSS for the purpose of discussing this issue stands for Really Simple Syndication.

RSS is presently being used by Internet marketers to share their blog headlines with websites and desktops all over the world. Think of RSS as giving you the ability to blog without boundaries.

People on other websites and with downloadable RSS newsreader software can read your newest blog posts without visiting your site. Sites that value your expertise will in a viral fashion feature your RSS feeds and help generate traffic to your site.

This allows you to leverage traffic from other peoples sites who feature your blog. Moreover, your subscribers who read your RSS headlines on their desktop software will avoid email filters.

Before you explore or upgrade to RSS marketing experiment with desktop newsreaders like Tristana or News Gator. If you prefer to read RSS from your browser download and install Mozilla's FireFox Browser.

RSS feeds will be the next phase in Internet marketing following the search engines, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and joint ventures.

By having people subscribe to your blog's RSS feeds, or having them syndicated on other people's websites you will be getting a running start on the explosion in blog and RSS marketing once Internet Explorer integrates RSS into its browser.

To find out more about SEO, Blogs, RSS, and eBay visit Our Main Site: Search Engine Plan

Thursday, September 01, 2005

How Does Aaron Wall's SEO Book Stackup?

Is Aaron's SEO Book the "Only Current SEO book on the Planet?"

Aaron Matthew Wall shows great aplomb and brilliance in his search engine marketing book entitled simply "SEO Book". I had not heard much of Aaron until I happened to stumble on to his book in my searching. The only reason I really took notice was because he had some great testimonials from leading SEO's and Internet marketers in the field. I am glad that I have found out about Mr. Wall, and will make his SEO book a part of my regular reading. See the Rest of the: Aaron Wall's SEO Book Review

Good Keywords has an Upgrade!

One of my favorite SEO tools Good Keywords just got an upgrade. Many SEO's have used Good Keywords for years.

This software is probably the the most useful FREE SEO software around. Good Keywords retrieves information from the Yahoo Marketing (former Overture) Keyword Suggestion Tool.

The new version lets you get more topical variant search information by double clicking the returned keyword phrases from the Suggestion Tool.

In other words you click on the returned keywords from the Yahoo (Overture) Suggestion Tool and you get more close variations to the keywords originally listed.

The other tools like the Link Popularity Checker and the Alexa ranking tools are working again (they seemed to stop working in the older software). Plus the software has a new interface.

Pick up a copy of version 2 at:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Rap On the Reese Report - My Review of the John Reese Membership Site

The Rap on the Reese Report by Kamau Austin

After 8 months in Publication does the Highly Heralded Reese Report Live Up to its Hype?

Internet Marketer Extraordinaire

John Reese

Disclosure: Please note there is presently no affiliate program for the Reese Report. The purpose of this review is a balanced critique of this membership service.

If you have been marketing online for the last couple of years you probably have heard of John Reese. Reese is easily considered one of the top Internet Information marketers today. John Reese had been doing business online before its commercial usage. Reese reveals he "had his share of hits and misses online". As the story goes in his early forays into eCommerce he lost a lot of money. Finally he seemed to get an epiphany that he should stop being so creative and start following in the footsteps of people and businesses that were already successful.

Today John claims when people ask him what he does he tells them "I sell what people are buying"! These of course are the insights of the quintessential marketer. Click Here to See More of the Reese Report Review

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Adsense is Stupid When...

There are times Google's heralded ad affiliate program isn't in your long term business interest. Oh no I said it!

Adsense isn't the unstoppable revenue engine for every eBusiness. Before I am taken out and flogged by the eCommerce pundits -- please let me explain what I mean in my defense.

I make revenues from Adsense at a very high click-through rate. I experience high click-through rates with Adsense without resorting to questionable tactics like tricking site users with photos (the Adsense trick and tip dujour).

So my perspective is from one who has made decent income from Adsense to fund aspects of his business like advertising - seminars - and outsourcing to his virtual assistants. Yes, Adsense is a legitimate and significant revenue source. However evaluate Adsense with some type of balance.

By now you may have heard about people like Joel Comm's six figure income with Adsense, or Jason Calacanis of Weblogs being on his way to generating 1 million dollars in Adsense revenue. Google's Ad revenue sharing affiliate program for publishers certainly seems to be an eSales Nirvana for many webmasters.

But there are obvious and not so obvious times not to use Adsense ads on your sites. Let's list - examine - and explain them below.

~~~~> 1. On Sales or Mini-sites

This is a no-brainer. If you are trying to sell a particular product that is important to your bottomline, you don't want Adsense ads distracting your customers from either joining your email list, or hindering your site's online sales process.

However I do see hybrid sites that are mini-sites or full scale eCommerce sites, with Adsense at the bottom of their pages. This might not be so bad since only 1% - 15% of your site visitors will either buy from you or fill out a form.

The thinking with this approach is you might as well make money from disinterested parties using up your server's bandwidth.

~~~~~> 2. SEO Business Sites

If your livelihood depends on search engine optimization or marketing for a living you might want to think twice about displaying Adsense Ads on your site. I can tell you this from personal experience. I once was on top of MSN for search engine marketing in my local area. I concentrated on my local area because I found people felt more comfortable hiring an eCommerce consultant locally.

One day my site fails totally out of the MSN index. After intense study I noticed that I obviously had a filter on my site from MSN.

I analyzed all the top ranking sites in MSN and noticed the only difference between me and the other top ranking sites was I had Google Adsense ads on my site. Someone at MSN felt that my Adsense ads, and perhaps to a less extent, my book on SEO, was getting a free ride in the MSN search engine database.

In fact I noticed that there were no sites with Adsense ads for at least the first 3 pages. Plus the sites with Adsense were only using 1 ad unit at the bottom of the home page (there were very few of them in the top 5 pages).

I knew it was strange to not have Adsense ads on the top Internet marketing sites. This prompted me to scan other industries where I noticed the same trend.

Many of the leading SEO gurus have sites that have been banned from the top listings by the search engines. It seems the more visible you become, the more of a target your sites are to the search engine auditors.

Some of my sites are still on the top of MSN with Adsense ads but that doesn't mean they won't also be targets in the future.

Let's face the facts. MSN and Yahoo! have competing ad networks to Google's, and this competitive situation is rife for a potential backlash against SEO sites with Adsense ads.

Many SEOs will point to exceptions to this position. However you have been warned!

Think about it, how long will MSN and Yahoo! sit back and watch SEO driven websites use their search indexes to fund Google? Did you know SEO in MSN and Yahoo(!) --- is much easier to obtain.

Therefore optimized sites are creating an ad sales wealth transfer from MSN and Yahoo into the pockets of Google! It won't be long before Yahoo! and MSN begin to devalue ranking on Adsense sites in their databases -- if not outright ban them.

If you are in the search engine business stay search engine neutral, or create multiple sites for different search engines.

~~~~~> 3. When Adsense Becomes Your Only Business Model.

When you become so myopic in your thinking that you build a business solely on Adsense revenue -- think again my friend. Why build a business solely on the largess of Google?

I don't know if your realize it or not, but the sites making the real big Adsense money usually have a following that doesn't depend on the search engines. Internet mavens like Chris Pirillo or Joel Comm have been on the Internet a while and have followings for their websites. Therefore they can consistently make six figures with Adsense.

These content powerhouses are an asset to Google and not the other way around. But do you think Google is going to sit back and watch just anybody make big bucks off of their top rankings?

If you do a search on most keywords you will notice many of the top ranking sites are news sites, .gov sites, or .org sites these days. The only exception is in industries where these sites don't really exist like eCommerce industries (clothing, shopping, etc.).

No doubt in most industries you will notice a conspicuous scarity of Adsense sites in the top rankings. In other words don't bet your future fortunes on Adsense.

An IPO for most of us based on projections of Adsense revenue isn't in the future for the average eBusiness. Think of Google Adsense as supplemental income. Building a business solely on Adsense revenue isn't just silly it's just plain stupid.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Myth # 10 About Search Engine Marketing - Keyword Density is Crucial to Top Search Engine Rankings

While it is true that keyword research is the cornerstone search engine optimization, many people incorrectly put too much focus on keyword density. Keyword density is the percentage that your keywords appear on your pages in ratio to the other words on your site.

Keywords of course are the search terms that your prospects enter into a search box on Google, Ask Jeeves, Yahoo! or other search engines to find products or services in your related industry or business sector.

You have to know how your Internet prospects are searching in order to better optimize your website for search engine driven Internet traffic. Once you know how your prospects query or search the search engines, you can place these search terms on your web pages strategically in a way that helps the search engines find and rank your site.

However, search engines are becoming better at keyword stemming (finding words close to the search terms people use to return relevant results). Plus because search engines know webmasters can use tactics to inflate keyword density, therefore they put more credence on what other sites infer about your site.

In short the SEs put more weight on what's known as "off the page factors" like link popularity, link reputation, VIPS, and PageRank to rank your site. It isn't just what you indicate on your site that tells the search engines about the relevancy about your site, but what other sites in your industry say about your site.

Ultimately your site has to have a good number of links from other related high quality sites in order obtain a top ranking on the search engines. Unless of course you are in a business with little search engine competition or marketing savvy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Top Search Engines Show You the Money.

Do Search Engines Drive Internet and Offline sales?

According to a recent article by Jason Miller, a reporter for Web Pro News "MSN searchers were 48% more likely to buy online than the average Internet user. His info was based on a report from the month of June by comScore Networks, Inc. The report also indicated that "Google users 42% more likely" to buy than the average Internet users.

On the flip side of this good news was the lackluster ecommerce involvement of AOL users who were only 3% more likely to make a purchase than the average Internet user. This is significant to know because search engine users have been traditional thought of as better potential customers than other types of Internet traffic. Search engine users are proactively looking for information with specifically targeted search terms, and therefore are considered by many marketers as direct response driven targeted prospects.

One theory is the reason MSN searchers may be more likely to buy is that the majority of them are women (who many times make more buying decisions for their families), while the majority of Google users are men at 51%.

This theory doesn't really hold up because AOL subscribers are 52% women but who tend "NOT" to make many more purchases than the average Internet user. Perhaps MSN users are slightly more upscale than Google, Yahoo! or AOL users.

The comScore study also reiterated what a lot of recent studies have shown by other sources the more sophisticated and complex search terms are the more likely the searchers using those terms are to making an online purchase.

Another interesting revelation in this article is that many searchers (85%) made their purchases offline 5 to 12 weeks after the initial search session. Only 15% made a purchase during the first search session (which by the way is very high because most websites have a initial conversion rate of .5 - 1%).

It is because of these facts that search engine marketing is debated as a direct marketing tool because their usage may precede a purchase by as much as 60 to 90 days. According to the comScore study most searches (70%) started out as generic generalized terms and then became more specific. Only about 20% of the search terms started out as brand names like Sony, HP, or Dell.

It must be mentioned here however that closer to the buying circle more brand names are used in searches.

A deeper look at the comScore study also showed that "search played a role in roughly half of all online purchases."

The comScore study was commissioned by DoubleClick because comScore had a panel of 1.5 million U.S. Internet consumers.

In is also interesting to note (in a different study) that According to Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence service, search engines contributed greatly to the record traffic to shopping and classified sites last Dec. 11th, 2004 of (9.73 percent). In other words search engines drove about 10% of Holiday sales. The specific traffic drivers were Google (4.26 percent), Yahoo! (2.24 percent) and MSN 0.54.

According to the Hitwise research Google seems to drive retail traffic of books, sports, fitness and music. Hitwise further reveals "Yahoo! search is stronger in sending its shopping referrals to: ... video and games, automotive, and classifieds". MSN sends a higher share of its shopping referrals to Apparel & Accessories, House & Garden, and Appliances & Electronics".

This definitely shows that search engine marketing is an important part of the marketing mix of most companies especially in the retail industry. Search Engine (SEs) may take a few months to manifest themselves, but SEs without a doubt drive sales down the info superhighway showing us the money along the way.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Top 7 Reasons Your Site should have a Search Engine Marketing Strategy.

The Top 7 Reasons Your Site should have a Search Engine Marketing Strategy.

1. 47% of Internet Traffic is driven from the Search Engines.

2. 91% of Internet Sales are first researched on Search Engines.

3. Search Engine Traffic is the Best Free Way to Position your business for target ideal sales leads and customers.

4. Search Engine Traffic is more Targeted and Receptive to Your Products and Services. This is the case because unlike tradtional advertising search engine traffic is initiated by the customer.

5. 20% of Search Engine queries are for local traffic. Twice as many people use search engines to find local businesses as do use the local yellow pages.

6. Search Engines are the cornerstone of any Internet marketing campaign (I don't know any successful Internet marketer that doesn't have a search engine marketing component to their marketing).

7. Search Engine traffic can be inexpensive or free but naturally monetized with strategies like Google Adsense, Link Brokering, and Traditional Advertising.

Myth # 9 About Search Engine Marketing You need a Directory Listing from Yahoo!

There are many misconceptions about a directory listing with Yahoo! First you should know that an Internet directory is different than a search engine because human editors decide what goes into a directory.

On the other hand search engines update and rank sites primarily in a computerized fashion. Search engines first send out programs called bots to retrieve site information by following links of sites presently in their databases. Then SEs use an algorithm or system to determine rank of the sites in their databases. Finally search engines deliver relevant information to its end users searching for information.

The lines are getting somewhat blurred however.

Originally Yahoo! started out as the first commercial Internet directory with sites submitting for the review to human editors. Obviously human editors alone could not categorize the web in an economical fashion, given its scale and growth rate.

Enter the search engine which could automate this process. However, search engines require a large infrastructure to operate. Therefore, it is costly to run a search engine. Overture pioneered the model to monetize search engines with PPC advertising.

Google adapted this proven revenue strategy and the rest is the lore of business history. Google has built a multibillion dollar business that is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Yahoo! which was formerly an Internet directory and web portal (which purchased its SE results from Google) of course sees money pouring into Goggle's coffers and wants a piece of the action.

Yahoo! buys the assets and technology of a lot of search engine companies like Alta Vista, and AlltheWeb and develops its own search engine. Now Yahoo! does have a search engine but don't confuse it with the Yahoo Directory which still exists.

It also should be stated that Google also uses human editors if a site flags an audit for questionable SEO behavior.

Now back to the issue of a Yahoo! Directory listings. When Google developed its linking evaluation system PageRank. It gave preference to established or major site and directory listings. In short a link is not a link in Google's equation. A link from a major human edited directory like Yahoo! was worth more than probably 50-100 links from the average site(and therefore worth its weight in gold).

However, if you are in many industries you can have a top listing without paying to be in Yahoo! I have plenty of sites with top rankings that are not in Yahoo! (the Directory).

However If you are in a very SEO savvy competitive industry a Yahoo! directory listing may be the way to go.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Virtual Real Estate Causes an Explosion in "Do or Die" Domain Names!

Virtual Real Estate (VRE) a name coined by successful Internet Marketer John Reese is causing an explosion in "Do or Die" Domain Names. Virtual Real estate refers to websites designed to make advertising revenue largely with Google Adsense ads and Yahoo!'s recent intro publisher ad networks (although Reese suggests selling other digital assets like ebooks, audio and video products).

3 years ago many websites just weren't worth the time to publish because they generated no income for their developers. However, because of Google Adsense ads many sites have become more solvent.

Google's publisher ad network Adsense has been responsible for a steep increase in Google's sales and profits. Yahoo! and Google were recently reported to be catching up to the ad revenues of traditional advertising powerhouses NBC, ABC, and CBS (source Advertising Age magazine April 05).

NBC, ABC, and CBS have combined revenues of about 13.5 Billion dollars. Google and Yahoo!'s combined sales presently reach about 6.5 Billion dollars and are growing fast. A lot of their success is due to the expansion of their advertising inventory or reach beyond traditional search via their publishers advertising networks like Adsense.

Google is rumored to see a lot of its future success with Adsense publishers, and its ad network as becoming more important than its search engine advertising real estate. This seems to be the case despite nagging problems like click fraud and less sales conversion rates for advertisers in ratio between search prospects and Adsense driven ad network prospects.

Adsense runs by allowing webmasters and Internet publishers to insert code by Google into their web pages, and in turn receive content related ads on their websites. While most publishers only receive nominal income from the program Google is making hundreds of millions (if not billions of dollars) from the ad network of hundreds of thousands of site owners.

With some tweaking some publishers like Joel Comm are purportedly making hundreds of thousands of dollars in Adsense Revenue. Comm has written an excellent book on increasing your Adsense revenue that I can personally vouch for See Joel Comm's Adsense Book Here

One popular blogger Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc network even reported being on his way to generating a million dollars in Adsense Ads! Read an Interview of and See Some of His Insights Click Here

These lucrative stakes have generated a countless number of domain names being registered by a tidal wave of publishers -- looking for gold in them Adsense hills. According to an article on there are over 250,000 domain names being registered a week. If the domains can generate over $7 or $8 dollars (the cost of their registration) in the few days grace period they are keep by the publishers. However if they fail to do so they are discarded. Therefore these domains are referred to as "Do or Die" Domains.

Here is another article explaining the challenges of Adsense ads USA on Adsense Ads and Spam

Many marketers may be again largely be running after a get rich quick scheme with these tactics. Remember you need a viable business and marketing strategy to build a long time business.

It won't be long before the search engine develop algorithms to marginalize VRE sites with only duplicate content or without unique and outstanding content. Tread on this new ad gold rush and wild frontier of Internet riches with a view to moderation and focus on strategies for your long term business growth.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Google's Delay Filters May Hinder its Relevancy

I received an email today about one of the first major forces in Black Business John H. Johnson. John H. Johnson was the founder of Ebony and Jet magazines and he died today at 87 years of age.

Johnson is probably the first Black to build a business valued at a Billion dollars! He was an inspiration to me and countless others. I remember reading his inspiring book "Against the Odds"!

When I heard of his passing I immediately went to Google to see if I could find out more information on his life and demise. I scanned for 3 pages until I realized that this was breaking news, and Google had a delay filter on new web pages and links.

I then did a search on Yahoo! and found some articles on Mr. Johnson's recent passing on the first page of its SERPs. This makes Yahoo! a more relevant search engine for breaking news. Google may be hurting its position for relevant news and information with the usage of time based filters. You can read more on: Mr. John H. Johnson's Life Click Here

Myth # 8 About Search Engine Marketing - If I am a Celebrity I don't Need SEO work.

While it is true that if you are a major media celebrity people will go to the web and type your name as a to find you, there are literary tens of millions of searches on the search engines for major media celebrities. Any smart marketer or SEO could optimize fan or eCommerce sites around celebrities and clean up selling products - services - or advertising using a celebrity name.

For example take a major pop celebrity like Britney Spears. Presently she gets over 2,698,874 searches a month just on the Overture network alone.

Britney easily gets over 3.5 million searches online every month. Internet marketers could easily create sites selling posters, CDs, Reviews, Books, advertising and make lots of money around Ms. Spears.

In other words a whole Internet economy could be built on her name. Ms. Spears would get little of these profits, unless she got a team of web designers, developers, and SEO's to build and maintain an optimized site for her.

By developing a organically optimized site she could get the most web visibility and financial opportunity based on the celebrity of her name.

In other words the more visibility a celebrity gets from traditional media, the more they should be using a SEO driven website as a sales channel to leverage the financial prowess of their personal brand.

Google Increasing the Length of Characters in Text Link Ads

I always thought it was a little challenging to write text ads for Google effectively with their limits. Well now Google has increased the character length of ads in its network.

I understand that you will have to write two ads that will alternate (a long version and short version). However anything that gives advertisers more options and space to get their marketing messages out is a good thing.

You can read more about Google's new longer ad formats by: Click Here

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Myth # 7 about Search Engine Marketing "Guaranteed Results".

One of the fastest ways to tell if a SEO company is legit or just hype is to determine if they give a guarantee. The use of a guarantee is essential in a sales message on the web, direct mail and marketing these days.

Despite the fact that a guarantee is desirable in any business transaction, SEO is more of an art than science. Search engine optimizers don't control the search engines and therefore cannot guarantee results.

While there are SEOs like myself who have a 100% track record with getting their clients on top of the search engines result pages (SERPs), the search engines are changing their algorithms all the time. In the past there have been major algorithm shifts that periodically have dropped my search engine rankings far beyond the top search results.

In cases like these I had to work hard to reestablish my high rankings.

Ideally your SEO company will position you within the top ten or twenty sites in the SERPs for specific keywords or search terms but -- there are no guarantees. Given the unstable nature of organic search engine rankings a legit search engine firm should tell you this information upfront. They may be able to guarantee that they will work on your website until it obtains a top ranking for your targeted keyword, but beware companies telling you they can guarantee your top rankings especially cheaply for $49.95.

The bottomline is SEO is time consuming work and can't be done quickly or easily. Neither can SEO work promise a 100% guarantee.

If you want guaranteed listings go with the paid advertising listings, but still there is no guarantee that you can out bid your competition.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Search Engine Marketing the Internet's Classic Battle Between Street Smarts and Book Smarts

As more webmasters learn the advantages of search engine marketing, the search engines (SEs) will respond to discern which are the true sites deserving of top organic rankings. Despite what some Internet Gurus claim, ironically search engines will not always pick the best sites for their audience. This is because although Internet searchers are their target audience, their customers ironically are really Internet advertisers -- that pay the bills.

Google, MSN and Yahoo are publically traded companies with responsibilities to their shareholders to make a profit. In this regard it is in their interest to have a large pool of advertisers buying space on their digital properties. It really isn't in the SE's interest to have organic search engine optimization (SEO) elevating the fortunes of websites for free. The major SEs would rather eCommerce sites become advertisers in their grand scheme of things.

This constant struggle for top rankings online has caused a continuous and contentious classic battle between street smarts and book smarts online.

Because of the Internet's growing popularity, business without borders, low barrier to entry, and gold rush hype the world's smartest marketers are dueling with the worlds top techies over control of the Internet economy or eCom-nomy valued at close to a trillion dollars!

With billions of people in the future online all over the world -- the stakes couldn't be higher. Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs) use inside information and downright common sense to reverse engineer the algorithms of the search engines.

While on the other hand the search engines employ the worlds top Ph.D and top programmers to keep SEOs from topping out their results and providing adequate and helpful listings to Internet searchers. For instance it is obvious to SEO's that Google is giving a good amount of preference to news, .gov and .org sites.

Despite the fact that these sites are authority sites at first glance, many government and nonprofit sites are not as up to date on their information as commercial sites. Have you ever tried to read some of the information on government sites about marketing and the Internet? These sites many times are just not as up to date in their information as one might need.

Increasingly search engines are penalizing optimized sites for their proactive marketing with a host of delay filters and penalties. If you want to learn how to optimize your site and avoid penalties recently there were two excellent articles on: Google penalties and Yahoo! and MSN penalties

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Does Google Filter Sites for Good Grammar and Spelling?

Recently a Grammar and English expert wrote an article in which he opined how he noticed top ranking sites consistently seem to have well written content as a feature in common. He elaborated that top ranking sites seem to have few spelling and grammatical errors. Then he suggested many SEO obsessions like PageRank, and Keyword density just didn't hold up as priorities in SEO.

I concur with him on his most salient points like Google doesn't obviously pay much attention to PageRank anymore and Keyword density isn't as much of a concern either. His most important espoused point is a truism in my humble opinion, in that good grammar and spelling is important to the professionalism of a site.

Misspelled words and bad grammar is a good indication that you don't give attention to detail in your business. Many potential customers will also shy away from a site replete with spelling errors and terrible grammar. I don't know if Google has a spelling and grammar filter, perhaps they should - and this writer has given them a good idea to go along with their current crop of filters.

I certainly think, in the very least, you should run your written content through a spell and grammar checker as if Google has this filter already in place. It is the least you can do for your site visitors.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Myth #6 About Search Engine Marketing - The Point of Search Engine Marketing is MORE Traffic.

While many online marketers are obsessed with getting more and more search engine traffic and optimizing for keywords with countless searches the point of search engine marketing is getting more TARGETED traffic.

I know of some sites with 1/2 million site visitors a month but couldn't become profitable. This proves the point that site visitors "in and of themselves" won't necessarily translate into more sales. The point of your search engine research should be to find qualified web searchers who can eventually support your business financially.

Some times longer more specific keyword phrases will actually yield the leads you need in online surfers more than the highly competitive words with countless searches.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Is Google Beginning to Devalue Directory Linking?

Directory linking has been a mainstay of link campaigns for a while. Especially since reciprocal linking is not as effective as it once was. This is why one way linking from Internet directories has gained a lot in popularity over the last couple of years. Now Google is beginning to take away PageRank from DMOZ categories for Internet directories.

I you have a website that uses a lot of directory links for search engine optimization and you noticed your site has lost ground in the last few weeks this may be why. I will look more into this development and get back to you on this latest algorithm change.

Does the Amount of Years Your Domain is Registered Affect Your Site's Search Engine Ranking?

It seems that in Google's latest patent filing it noted that domains that registered for a longer period of time are more likely to be serious business sites and not SEO spam sites. This is one of the reasons they became a domain name registrar.

They obviously feel that sites that register for 5 - 10 years are more serious about their publishing than sites that register for one year. Many people who create spammy doorway pages only register for a year or less "according to some experts". I only register my domains yearly because I feel why tie up money for ten years for a domain. I have a number of domains and this would be relatively expensive.

It really just seems like another way for Google to move more well capitalized sites to the top of their directory results. A good article to read on this subject can be :Read Here

Friday, July 22, 2005

Myth # 5 About Search Engine Marketing - Top Rankings will Translate into Higher Sales.

While it is true that more traffic generated to your website exposes your ebusiness to more leads or potential customers it does not guarantee more sales. Your site has to be able to convert site visitors into customers. Usually the sales process starts out first seeing if you can convince a percentage of site visitors to opt-in to a quality free offer that you make available to them.

If you can't first sell them a free quality product in exchange for their email, you more than likely can't sell them something they spend their money on. However, a site with more search engine visitors will give you the ability to try and test more sales conversion strategies in a shorter amount of time.

Search engine traffic is important to a business but you have to tweak and test ways to turn those site visitors into customers and long term clients.

A Great Article About Google PageRank

There is forever the debate in SEO circles about how important Google PageRank is to search engine rankings. I know from personal experience optimizing sites that Google PageRank is getting less and less important to site rankings.

One of the greatest articles that I read on PageRank is written by Bill Hartzer for Search Engine Guide. You can read this very enlightening article on PageRank by Click Here

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Myth # 4 About Search Engine Marketing - Using Automated Software to List Your Site to Thousands of Search Engines.

We all have seen the email spam and constant bombardment of ads telling us to submit our site to thousands of search engines and sites and drive a truckload of traffic to our sites. This myth is a truckload of crap!

These submission programs are totally worthless. You should submit you site by hand to the major Internet directories, and the search engines will find your site (if you get links from sites already in their database index).

If you buy into these programs you will only get links from primarily Free For All sites (FFA) which bring no traffic and the links are largely ignored by the major search engines. You have been warned!!!

Scaper Sites and the Fight for Virtual Real Estate

As noted by leading Internet Marketer John Reese, websites have become digital assets in a way not achieved before because of Google Adsense. Reese has therefore started calling websites "virtual real estate". Virtual real estate are digital assets and similar to "real" estate because they generate residual income 24/7.

Many marketers small and great are littering the Internet with Adsense generating sites totally created automatically. Many are creating directory type sites with the primary purpose of making money with Google Adsense. They use software like "Directory Generator" to go to your site and take basic information about your site to create Internet directories like "Hub Sites" that rank well in the search engines.

Since they take information from other sites to create a bogus directory they are known as "scaper sites". These sites enable a person with no interest in a particular subject to build directory like sites in days to rank well in the search engines. Of course on the top of these sites they display Google Adsense ads. I understand Google will be trying to derank these types of sites in the future as another form of SEO spam.

The sites seem to be causing problems for publishers with a passion for a topic problems in two ways: 1. They are getting high rankings and causing more legit publishers to lose Adsense money; 2. They are littering the Internet with useless duplicate content.

Furthermore, since Google seems to be deranking sites with too many outgoing links in relationship to other content( to try to get a handle on the situation), it is hurting publishers that sell links or link more liberally. In any event I can't wait for the scaper sites to be neutralized by the search engines. If scaper sites are beginning to bite into your profits may be you should consider reporting them to Google as spam.

Once again we have people who don't want to really work, screwing things up for the rest of us who want to create good content.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Myth # 3 About Search Engine Marketing - SEO Work Should be Done after Your Site is Designed.

This myth can't be further from the Truth. Search engine consultants should be brought in before the site is designed. This is because web designers and web developers can unwittingly design or develop sites that are not search engine friendly.

When this happens you will have to pay again to have your site redesigned or modified to be more search engine friendly. Things like Flash Splash Pages and Databased sites can cause problems for the major search engines to index.

Most importantly search engine consultants can come in to do research to tell you if you have a viable market online. Word to the wise, don't invest in a site until you have a search engine consultant confer with you and with your design and development team.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Myth # 2 about Search Engine Marketing -- MetaTags will raise your rankings!

Believe it or not I still talk to developers and web designers that feel that Metatags help you optimize your website for search engine rankings. Since Metatags were abused by so many web business people the search engines treat them very passe.

The modern leading search engines put little credence on Metatags. However they are still important for your inhouse or third party search tools like Atomz to give a search function on your site. More importantly they are important for advertising programs like Google Adsense to feed contextual ads to your site. I noticed that I get more targeted ads from Google with my Metatags filled out. Also I read from a reliable source that Yahoo (the Internet's second largest search engine) still uses the description attribute in the Metatags.

So don't abandon Metatags fill them out.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Myth # 1 about Search Engine Marketing: Google Does No Harm.

I am going to try to put together a blog that includes 99 myths about search engine marketing. The first myth is Google is run like some open source company only interested in making the web easier to use. If you fall for this one I have the Brooklyn Bridge I would like to sell you.

Wake up guys! Google is a publicly traded corporation with an obligation to make a profit for its shareholders. It is interested in selling advertising and less in relevant results. Google knows that very few people look beyond the first two or three pages of its results any way. Therefore it only has to provide good results for 15 - 30 positions for any search term. It seems to be favoring a diverse result base for these coverts positions sprinkled with some ecommerce, government, and nonprofit websites (although not necessarily in this order). Actually you have to use the sponsored results many times to find viable products and services in any category.

This strategy works best for Google's bottomline whether it delivers the best results in its search queries or not. I have decided not to be nice and think Google is my friend if I create great content. Google is a gatekeeper plain and simple and the sooner you learn to use her or get around her the better.

Is Page Rank Stinking Up the Web Again?

Again every search engine marketer is trying to steal the spotlight of notoriety with Google PageRank Analysis again. Google is just changed (or raised the bar again).

Why all the mumbo jumbo again when PageRank is primarily bait and switch SEO snake oil by Google any way. In my opinion the best strategy now is to not be so obvious in your optimization and get links from various sources in various ways.

Don't just rely on directory links, reciprocal links, article links or PR listings. But use them all -- because Google can't filter everything.

This discussion is such a waste of time.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Virtual Real Estate and SEO work Hand and Hand!

I have been an original member of John Reese's membership site "The Reese Report". Some of you may be familiar with how John Reese was able to use joint ventures and advanced Internet marketing to achieve 1 million dollars in sales in 1 day. He made Internet history because 2 years ago John Reese was virtually unheard of in Internet marketing circles. Now any serious Internet marketer would be aware of his insights to some extent. John Reese has introduced the concept of virtual real estate.

Virtual real estate builds on the fact that your web site's traffic can be monetized with its natural themes like Google Adsense and with topical affiliate programs. One thing that becomes quite apparent is that in order to turn your website into valuable virtual real estate you will have to know a great deal about search engines. This is indeed a fact because search engines drive the lionshare of traffic to most websites that have any popularity and you need to know how to do search engine research to find out what virtual real estate would be worth building. If you would like to find out more about search engine optimization and monetizing your website go to: Always On Top

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Business Coach Helps Entrepreneurs Grow Their Sales with FREE Spring Tune-Up

on Tuesday, May 24th at 8pm EST.

Andrew Morrison

(New York, NY) Households all over the country are undergoing their annual rite of spring cleaning. It's time to open the windows, put away winter clothes and reduce the clutter. A New York based business coach helps his clients conduct a 'spring-time' cleaning within their business. Small business is a major driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for over 75% of all new jobs, and comprising over 50% of the private work sector.

'A change in season is an excellent time for business owners to take a hard look at what works and what doesn't work. The mission of the organization should be reexamined, goals realigned and new growth strategies explored,' said Andrew Morrison, the president of Small Business Camp.

To help, Small Business Camp is launching a FREE seminar-by-phone entitled, 'How to Tune-Up Your Business for Spring.' From the comfort of your home, you can dial-in and hear proven strategies that can build any business in 90 days. During this call the participants will learn:

- How to spot new growth opportunities

- Where to find the time, talent and capital to expand their business

- The latest marketing trends and how they can build your profits

- Discover and fix the things that are not working

- Develop a mental diet that keeps you taking continuous action

Date: Tuesday, May 24th

Time: 8pm - 9pm EST

Send an e-mail to: for the dial-in information. The call is recorded for commercial purposes without compensation to the participants.

Tonja Oates, CEO of The TMO Group accounting firm said, 'Andrew is more than a coach, he is a life strategist. I have benefited greatly from his coaching services and I am a happier and more confident person. My sales revenues have increased tremendously and I am optimistic about reaching income levels that I once thought were unattainable.'

As the founder of Small Business Camp, an entrepreneurial training and marketing services firm, Morrison is known for his unprecedented intensive two-day business strategy session which offers new business owners hands-on computer instruction, one-on-one coaching and proven internet marketing tools.

Your participation on this call allows you to save $200 off the next Small Business Camp training program. For more information please visit or contact 914-633-0725.

Date: Tuesday, May 24th

Time: 8pm - 9pm EST. Space is limited.

Send an e-mail to for the dial-in information.

About the Instructor:
Andrew Morrison is the award winning founder of a multi-million dollar firm which provided innovative direct marketing services to Fortune 500 companies. As the mastermind of Small Business Camp, Morrison has crafted a revolutionary training system which delivers a two-day program allowing participants to begin with an idea, and leave with a marketing plan, public relations strategy, money-making website, direct mail campaign and 90 days of subsequent coaching. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Crain's Magazine 40 Under 40 Advertising Age. He has been a guest ON the Oprah Winfrey Show, and was the recipient of the prestigious Young Direct Marketer of the Year Award. He is the author of '21 Questions That Can Build Your Business in 90 Days.'