Elisa Gabbert Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog

Bing's Marketing Strategy Includes Comment Spam?

Lately we’ve been getting the occasional spam comment (according to my spam comment taxonomy, they’re mostly of the “full-on-ass-kissing” variety) that looks like a typical spam comment in almost every way:It expresses some irrelevant but positive sentiment like “Thanks, this post was really helpful to me, keep it up”It’s attributed to a normal-sounding name like “Carrie” or “Dave” (much more effective than something like “Cheap Canadian SEO” which will always get you flagged)The name links back to the spammer’s siteThe difference is, instead of linking to a deep page on some spammy domain I’ve never heard of (you know, something like memphis-internet-marketing.

biz/link-building-services), they link to the Bing homepage. Yes, http://www.bing.com/. (There’s y... > Read more

October 25, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 20

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4

This is the fourth in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3This week’s interview is with David Semprun.

David is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Priority Pass, the world’s largest airport VIP lounge access program. Follow him on Twitter at @semprund or visit his website, davidsemprun.com.Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agen... > Read more

October 25, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

SSL Encrypted Search: Google Deals Low Blow to SEOs

Google made a pretty big announcement this week that is pissing a lot of people off – a lot of SEOs, that is. Namely, Google announced it will no longer reveal organic keyword referrals (search queries) for searches conducted while users are logged in. According to the Google Webmaster Blog:What is the impact of this change for webmasters? Today, a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.

google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query. (Technically speaking, the user’s browser passes this information via the HTTP referrer field.) However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com.“For sites which have been added and verified in Webmaster Tools,” the post s... > Read more

October 21, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 7

Facebook Wall of Shame: Facebook's Failures, Criticisms and Missteps [Infographic]

A while back, we released The Google Graveyard, an infographic detailing Google's various flops and failures in the product department, including Google Wave and Google X.Now, following up on the release of Facebook's iPad app last week (which most people have been less than impressed with), we've created a new infographic walking through some of Facebook's criticisms, missteps and failures since its inception in 2004.

Facebook boasts approximately 800 million active users worldwide and an estimated $4.27 billion in estimated annual revenue – but you don’t approach the 1-billion-users mark without making a few mistakes along the way, right? Facebook’s errors in judgment have included:A slew of privacy snafus: Facebook repeatedly faces criticism for its user-unfriendly privacy policy a... > Read more

October 17, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 8

Google Doesn't Get Platforms. What Doesn't Your Company Get?

 In an all-too-keen instance of corporate irony, a Google employee this week sent what was meant to be an internal “memo” to his coworkers – right on up to Larry and Sergey – through Google+, and made the post 100% public by mistake. Whoops! At least when you accidentally “reply all,” your message is confined to the people in the original email list, right?The engineer, Steve Yegge, has since deleted the post, but Danny Sullivan reproduces most if not all of the memo in a post on Search Engine Land.

(The whole thing is interesting and I encourage you to read it.) The message, framed as a “family intervention,” is intended as a wake-up call for the powers that be at Google, alerting them that they’re missing something big: namely, they don’t get platforms:That one l... > Read more

October 14, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

Are Ads Really Just Answers? Google's Billion-Dollar Idea

The official Google blog published a post earlier this week with the title “Ads Are Just Answers” – and I couldn’t help mentally inserting the addendum, “…that make us billions, suckers!” Let’s not forget that Google makes upwards of 97% of its revenue from advertising – that’s over $32 billion in advertising revenues annually.

Sponsored placement in the search results may be a billion-dollar idea, but it wasn’t actually Google’s idea. The credit goes to Bill Gross of Idealab, who got the idea from the Yellow Pages. Supposedly, Google tried and failed to buy the idea, so they copied it, launching AdWords in 2000 (Gross took legal action).People turn to search engines because they want answers. And according to Google, AdWords ads are just another way for people to ge... > Read more

October 07, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 7

Best of the Month: WordStream's September Highlights

 As you read this, I’m probably on my way to the DC area, leaving the virtually perfect Denver weather for the East Coast blahs. Ah well, maybe I'll spy some foliage. (I still think it's weird that New Englanders call it "leaf peeping!" It makes it sound so dirty.)Before you get your weekend started, check out the top 10 most popular blog posts we published this month.

Ultimate Guide to PPC Metrics: 17 Experts on the Top 3 Must-Check PPC Metrics – This group interview is packed with awesome insights into what metrics actually matter when it comes to analyzing PPC results – and which ones are pretty much worthless. Even if you don’t want to read the whole thing, be sure to skip to the bottom and see the three most popular answers.3 Ways to Scale Linkbuilding with Google Docs –... > Read more

September 29, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

5 Great Marketing Case Studies from Around the Web

One of my favorite types of blog post is the marketing case study – a personalized story of success or failure (or otherwise interesting or unexpected results). As blog posts go, it’s not as easy to churn out as a “top 5” post (ahem), but you can learn so much more from them. It’s often easier to take something actionable away from specific examples and real stories than vague abstractions, so a well-written case study is a great way to get attention and links.

As an added benefit, a case study is always unique, whereas standard tip posts are often just reproducing information you can find elsewhere on the web.If you haven’t considered writing this type of content before, I encourage you to give it a shot! Think about a specific strategy you implemented recently that reall... > Read more

September 29, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 2

New! An Expert's Guide to Controlling PPC Costs with Negative Keywords

Last week, 17 PPC experts (and a few more who chimed in via the comments) told us the metrics they pay the most attention to when analyzing their campaign performance in AdWords. The #1 most common answer was click-through rate (CTR). Cost per conversion was another big one.There are many ways to improve your click-through rates, including refining your keyword research and writing more compelling ads.

We're also big advocates of using negative keywords to improve CTR by reducing impressions and clicks from search queries that are irrelevant to your products or just unlikely to convert. By eliminating those non-converting clicks, advertisers can save an enormous amount of wasted budget (often up to 30%!). So using negative keywords effectively doesn't just raise CTR, it lowers costs and im... > Read more

September 28, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Netflix Spins Off Qwikster, Flips Off Customers

There are two kinds of news: the kind of news that everyone gets excited about and the kind of news that everyone complains about. (Well, I guess there’s a third kind, the kind that nobody care about, but leaving that aside...) The webby world got some news of the former type this week, and that was the news that Netflix is splitting into two separate brands: one for the snail-mail DVD rentals that put the company on the map, and one for streaming services, the direction that movie rentals are going in.

The streaming-only service will continue to operate under the “Netflix” name, while the old-school DVD business will be branded as “Qwikster.”This news came straight from the horse’s mouth (that horse being Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO), framed as an apology for not... > Read more

September 23, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Link Building Experts Interview Series: A Q&A with BuzzStream CEO Paul May

Paul May is the CEO and co-founder of BuzzStream, a provider of link building management software. Paul has spent most of the last fifteen years either starting or working on early-stage startups. BuzzStream also offers a variety of free link building tools for small businesses, SEOs and Internet marketers.

Follow and connect with Paul on Twitter: @PaulMay.BuzzStream is often thought of as a link building tool, but you actually have products for PR and social media as well. How much overlap are you finding between the three disciplines?It’s funny, because Rae Hoffman-Dolan wrote a post a few years ago where she talked about the skills to look for when hiring a link builder, and I remember thinking when I read it that she might as well have been writing a job spec... > Read more

September 21, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 1

Ultimate Guide to PPC Metrics: 17 Experts on the Top 3 Must-Check PPC Metrics

Overwhelmed by all the PPC metrics available in your AdWords account? Information is good, but information overload is paralyzing, so it’s crucial to strip away the excess and overkill – and focus on the AdWords metrics that really provide valuable insight into your PPC performance. So what are they? Which PPC metrics work the hardest and speak the loudest?We asked seventeen paid search marketing experts two questions:#1: If you could only check three Pay Per Click metrics in your PPC account, which three PPC metrics would you choose? In other words, which three PPC metrics do you think provide the most complete picture of your performance?#2 (Bonus Question): What PPC metric do you think is bogus/overrated/a waste of time?Read on to find out what three PPC metrics these AdWords e... > Read more

September 20, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 18

One Step Closer to Infinite Scroll: Google Keeps Us All on Page 1

Do you love the scroll wheel on your mouse and the down arrow key on your keyboard and like to exercise them as much as possible? I know I do! What I hate doing is finding the tiny arrow or “2” link at the bottom of a web page with my cursor – if there’s a “View all” link in the vicinity, I almost always click that instead.

Apparently, I’m not the only one – in response to user experience studies, Google is trying to get us all on the same page: Page 1, that is! Here are a couple of the ways this is playing out.Google Say, Pagination Bad!Yesterday, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog featured a post proclaiming that “User testing has taught us that searchers much prefer the view-all, single-page version of content over a component page containing only a portion of the same i... > Read more

September 16, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 7

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3

This is the third in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2Today’s interview is with Rick Archer.

Rick is the founder of Search Summit, an independent search consultancy based in Iowa. You can reach Rich at rick@searchsummit.com.Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agency or an Advertiser?I’ve been using AdWords for about 10 years. I also work with adCenter, and I used to play with smaller ne... > Read more

September 13, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies ... Or, You Know, Don't

A couple of posts that caught my eye this week focused on a sticky little problem at the heart of all marketing and advertising: honesty, or lack thereof. These posts raise the question, is it possible to market a product without crossing any ethical lines?Is It Ever OK to Lie? (Like, Say, for Mad Links?)Jill Whalen wrote a post this week called “Deceptive Marketing: A Necessary Evil for Search Marketers?” From the title, I expected this to be about truth in advertising – in other words, does marketing copy always stretch the truth? Instead, Jill was writing about link building and the little white lies we sometimes tell in order to score a link.

She tells a story about a link building technique she read about several years ago. The marketer, Melanie Nathan, recommended finding broken... > Read more

September 09, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 5

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2

This is the second in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to get AdWords help and find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1Today’s interview is with Stefan van Vliet, co-owner of Dutch agency Compass Online Marketing.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agency or an Advertiser? What is your primary goal for AdWords marketing?I have been working as an SEO consultant for a small Dutch web marketing agency for some years. Last February I launched a webstore, Feestkleding 365, selling fancy dress clo... > Read more

September 06, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Please Don’t Bait the Geeks

Gizmodo is largely a gadget blog. For the most part, they leave the gossip-based page-view baiting to sister site Gawker. However, this week, Gizmodo published a story that has nothing to do with gadgets and little if anything to do with technology, unless you consider online dating a cutting-edge technology.

The story, “My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player,” has racked up hundreds of thousands of page views and thousands of comments – probably hundreds of links to boot. So: successful linkbait, or craphat journalism? You be the judge! Here’s the gist of the story, which seems to have been edited by the author since its original posting: Alyssa Bereznak claims to have created an OKCupid profile after coming home drunk one night (... > Read more

September 02, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4

August Blog Highlights: WordStream's Best of the Month

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: August is the Sunday of summer. Although it’s technically still summer until September 22, the end of August pretty much feels like the end of it all – time to trade in late-afternoon cocktails in the sun for hours of homework. (Sorry, the Sunday blues make me forget how old I am.

) Before we all officially go back to school, let’s take a second look (or a first, if you missed them the first time around) at our blog’s top 10 most popular posts of the month: Announcing the AdWords Performance Grader: Find Out How You’re Doing on AdWords and How to Improve for Free – This post introduces our newest free tool. Have you tried it out yet? How does your AdWords performance measure up? Google AdWords E... > Read more

August 31, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1

This is the first in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance.Our first respondent is Marko Kvesic from Zagreb, Croatia.

Follow Marko on Twitter.Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an agency or an advertiser? What is your primary goal for AdWords marketing?I'm the Online Marketing Manager at GoTraffic Online Marketing Agency. I have a master's degree in traffic science and I'm a Google AdWords Qualified Individual. I've been using AdWords for more than eight months. Since I work at an agency and I'm managing my clients' accounts, my primary goal is to ... > Read more

August 30, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 16

EARTHQUAKE! Rare Tremors in Northeast Shake Up Twitter

So, I just moved into a new apartment in Denver. This weekend my other half and I went to the new IKEA out here and bought a bunch of bookshelves. He started building them on Monday and by Tuesday we were erecting them and loading them up with books. I noticed some extra parts he hadn’t used, and he said they were brackets to attach the shelves to the wall at the top.

“I don’t think we need to do that,” he said. “The shelves aren’t going to topple over.” “Yeah,” I conceded, “they’re probably for people who live in earthquake zones.” I.e., not us. About ten minutes later I saw this tweet in my stream from Trada's Elaine Ellis: Yikes! Apparently on Monday night a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit about nine miles from Trinid... > Read more

August 26, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0
 
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