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 www.SearchEngineWatch.com 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 dot.com 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.