Larry Kim's blog

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) Busted by Google SEO Web Spam Cops for Black Hat SEO and Link Farms

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article exposing the black hat SEO tactics of J.C. Penney, explaining how jcpenney.com was able to obtain #1 organic search rankings (unpaid or natural search listings) for virtually everything the retailer sold including searches for "bedding" or "dresses" or "Area Rugs," and enjoyed near-the-top first page rankings for searches like "skinny jeans," "home decor," "furniture," "comforter sets" etc.

The New York Times looked into JC Penney's link profile and uncovered a massive web of thousands of pages of blog spam and paid links linking to the J.C. Penney website, rich with relevant, descriptive anchor text designed to fool Google’s ranking algorithms. The New York Times presented their findings to Google. Googler Matt Cutts, head of SEO websp... > Read more

February 14, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 6

AdWords Releases Super-Sized Ad Text Headlines

Breaking News: Google has this week modified their ad headline format giving you yet another reason to care about Quality Score. The new ad headline may display twice as much information as before, combining both your headline and description line 1 fields, into one super-big headline (with its larger, bolder font) where it’s most likely to be noticed.

This change in ad text headline format only affects high Quality Score ads that appear above the search results on Google. Additionally, it will only super-size your ad text if each line appears to be a distinct sentence and ends in the proper punctuation. The headline and description line 1 will be separated by a hyphen. Now, some top placement ads will have even longer, more eye-catching headlines. Here's just one example of the lon... > Read more

February 09, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Free AdWords Coupons - Google Adwords Promotional Codes

WordStream's Special Promotion:Learn AdWordsAdWords CouponsCoupon Use TermsFree AdWords Spend Promotion! (Expires 12/15/2013)Hello! We are offering 20 more AdWords coupons to help your business find additional customers. Please find below 20 adwords promotional coupons worth $100 each - a total of $2,000 in AdWords vouchers!These AdWords vouchers are completely free and you can use them to:Gain competitive advantage: Win new clients by offering $100 free AdWords credit.

Build customer loyalty: Start new customers on AdWords with a risk-free trial.Get some free advertising for your business. But First, Check out Our Most Popular AdWords Articles!If you're starting an adwords account, be sure to check out some of our top free PPC training articles to ensure your google adwords promos are... > Read more

February 08, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 12

Microsoft Accuses Google of Feigned Outrage, Click Fraud, Copying Bing

In a response to Google's recent sting operation on Bing, Yusuf Mehdi, senior VP for Microsoft's Online Services Division, accused Google of "feigned outrage" and wrote in a blog post that "Google's 'experiment' was rigged to manipulate Bing search results through a type of attack also known as 'click fraud.

'" Eh? What Click Fraud? Recently, Google tweaked its search engine to return illogical results for made-up search terms like "mbzrxpgjys" or "hiybbprqag". The team of 20 or so engineers then went home at night and manually searched on those made-up words and all clicked on the false results using Internet Explorer, with Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar enabled. The Bing toolbar collects and leverages anonymous click-stream data in their SERP ranking algorithms, and within a few wee... > Read more

February 03, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 2

mbzrxpgjys - Bing Copies Google - The Bing Sting - But Who Cares

The newswires are today reporting that Google is accusing Bing of copying their results. In a ridiculously dorky plot, Google spent months developing a Bing sting operation. They created random words such as "mbzrxpgjys" or "hiybbprqag" that had no legitimate matches on Bing or Google searches.  Google then it created its own "honeypot page" (yes, they actually called it a honey pot page! lol) with Research in Motion at the top of the page.

Within a couple of weeks Research in Motion began appearing at the top of Bing searches for mbzrxpgjys. The following screenshot illustrates the search results for mbzrxpgjys on Bing and Google: Stefan Weitz, director of the Bing search engine at Microsoft, admitted in an interview that the company studies how certain users interact with Goog... > Read more

February 02, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 4

AdWords Changing Format of Display URL

In any given month, AdWords experiments with numerous subtle variations of the Google search results page, testing everything from font sizes and colors to layouts and spacing, as well as dozens of other variables. Recently, they found that by standardizing the look of the URLs on the page, it had a slight improvement on ad click-through rates.

As a result, they're changing the appearance of the display URLs of all ads that appear on Google and search partner sites. This is a global launch that affects all Google domains. Following the change, the domain portion of the display URL will always be shown in lowercase letters. The following illustration shows an example of how the ads will be displayed post-change. This change affects the domain portion of the display URL, including any subdo... > Read more

January 19, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

A Better Campaign from Day 1: The Latest Evolution of WordStream

In search engine marketing, as in so many areas of business, time really is money, and that means wasted time is wasted money. That's why it's so important to optimize your AdWords campaigns sooner rather than later, so you're not throwing away money on clicks that go nowhere. And going one better, if you can build a high-power PPC campaign starting on Day 1, you won't have to spend time fixing your mistakes.

We're committed to continuously evolving and improving our software, and we've devoted a lot of energy in the past few months to gathering feedback from clients and prospects, both on our software and their needs as busy search marketers. Today we're announcing a new release of WordStream for PPC that addresses many of the pain points we've heard from you. Along with some impressive n... > Read more

January 06, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 4

Internet Marketing Jobs - We're Hiring!

Out of work? Unhappy with your present gig? Interested in Internet Marketing? Why not start a career in online marketing? Consider applying for a Job at WordStream! We're on a mission to build the next generation of Internet Marketing Software solutions to simplify and improve customer success with PPC and SEO, and are currently hiring for the following search marketing jobs in sales, marketing and product development: We're hiring for the following positions and offer a competitive salary and benefits package: Director of Business Development: Become a significant revenue driver for WordStream by discovering new sales and partnership opportunties.

Director of Inside Sales: Have experience selling SaaS products and managing inside sales? Then come help us build and provide lead... > Read more

October 26, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 1

Check Out the New SEO Dojo Radio iPhone App

So the crew over at SEO Dojo are at it again and have created a sick, new iPhone app called SEO Dojo Radio.Here's the iPhone App Description:SEO and all forms of internet marketing are our topics. We discuss industry news, SEO techniques and interview the top names in the SEO Game!Here are a couple of screenshots of the SEO Dojo Radio App too:Now, I'm a huge fan of SEO Dojo Radio.

And how can you not be with kick ass guests such as Jill Whalen, Debra Mastaler, Garrett French and former WordStream Director of Marketing and Measured SEM consultant Tom Demers.So if you're a fan of SEO news and insights, you're definitely going to want to download the new SEO Dojo Radio iPhone App.You can download it here: SEO Dojo Radio iPhone App  Hit me up on Twitter: Follow @larrykim... > Read more

October 20, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Search Engine Marketing   |   Comments: 1

WordStream Readers: Get 15% Off BlueGlass FL!

The folks over at BlueGlass are hosting another stellar, star-studded must-attend event for "serious marketers," and they're offering an exclusive 15% discount to readers of this blog. BlueGlass FL 2010 is happening on November 2 and 3, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The conference will feature some of the top social media and search marketing industry experts, including Brian Clark from Copyblogger, Tamar Weinberg of Techipedia.com, Marty Weintraub of AimClear and Dennis Goedegebuure Director of SEO at eBay. Register for BlueGlass FL with the WordStream Discount Code! If you register with the exlusive discount code "ws15," you'll get 15% off. And there are no limitations on the number of sign-ups associated with this code so pass it along to your ... > Read more

October 14, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Announcing WordStream's New Quality Score Management Tools

Since WordStream launched, we’ve talked a lot about Quality Score and created a number of Quality Score resources: A Quality Score white paper A Quality Score toolkit including a handy Quality Score cheat-sheet, a webinar on the topic, and a meaty white paper. And an interview which we think serves as a pretty comprehensive guide to Quality Score (despite what some people may think about the veracity of some of the interview answers – hat tip to Aaron of SEO Book and PPC Blog PPC Training for the very insightful comments incidentally!) We believe campaign structure is a foundational element in building out profitable pay-per-click marketing campaigns, and we know that it’s a crucial component of Google’s ad auction.

And while many vendors focus on tool... > Read more

October 12, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 1

Announcing SocialTech 2010 (with $100 Discount for Our Readers)

The folks over at MarketingProfs have put together a great social media B2B tech conference called SocialTech 2010. SocialTech 2010 brings together the visionaries and experts who are using the power of social media to transform the way that B2B technology companies market their products and services.

At SocialTech 2010, you will: Learn how to energize your company’s B2B marketing and sales via social media from experts. Connect with your technology marketing and sales peers to network and share social media marketing tips. See the latest innovations in social media tools and services. The event is happening in-person in San Jose, CA, as well as online from "wherever you work" on October 26, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PT). Check out the SocialTech event website to get th... > Read more

October 05, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Announcing the FREE 10-Week Internet Marketing Course from StayonSearch

Wanted to let everyone know that Mark Thompson over at StayonSearch has created an exclusive10-Week Internet Marketing Course that you can get for FREE! This is a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of web marketing! According to Mark, the 10-Week Internet Marketing Course is "designed to teach you all the basics of Internet Marketing.

It covers a wide variety of topics to help drive traffic, build your brand and increase leads/sales. Every week you will be e-mailed a new module of this 10 week course that will teach you the fundamentals of Internet Marketing." What's in the Free Course? Here's what's included in the free course: Week 1 - Strategy: Understanding Your Goals and Setting Expectations Week 2 - Market Research & Analysis: Know Your Target Market Before Spending Mar... > Read more

September 14, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

The Pros and Cons of Link Begging

One way to get links pointing back to your website is by link begging—basically, asking someone to link to your site from theirs. People beg for links by sending an email, making a phone call, or messaging someone over a social networking site like Twitter or Facebook. Recently, I wrote in a blog post about link building myths that I believe link begging is a waste of time—it's just not scalable.

  However, some search marketers swear by link begging. Is it a workable strategy, or a bad idea? To help you make an educated decision about whether to engage in link begging, let's consider the practice's pros and cons.  Here are some of the pros of link begging: Link begging can, in fact, get you links. Link begging is a way of alerting people to your content. Especially if you'r... > Read more

September 14, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 1

SEO vs. PPC: When to Use Which Search Marketing Method for Maximum Profit

It's been said before, but it bears repeating: Traffic is the lifeblood of any online undertaking. The success of an online business greatly depends on the amount of traffic it can generate for its pages. This is an indubitable fact.What is subject to a lot of debate, however, is the matter of SEO vs.

PPC, two of the most powerful traffic generating approaches. SEO stands for search engine optimization. PPC stands for pay per click. Though their end goal is the same, they are different concepts that require different techniques and methodologies.Both are effective methods of garnering visitors for a website, but one method can work very well for certain circumstances, while with the other, you may encounter difficulties generating traffic in the same situation.To succeed with either method... > Read more

August 19, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Search Engine Marketing   |   Comments: 27

Five Myths About Link Building

  There's a reason that link building is often touted as being one of the top strategies for gaining exposure online: it works. Unlike many other online marketing strategies, link building is a consistently reliable way to draw targeted traffic to a website. Like anything else, though, plenty of myths about link building are swirling around out there.

In order to make the most out of your Internet marketing experience, you should educate yourself about the most common link building myths. By doing so, you can use link building to enjoy a more fruitful online marketing experience. Dispelling the Top Five Link Building Myths The Internet is awash in conflicting information about link building. Below, we highlight five of the most pervasive link building strategy myths, then cut th... > Read more

August 17, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 22

Recommended Resources: Megan Leap

This week's recommended resource is one of my favorite people in the Internet marketing sphere, Megan Leap. Megan is a fantastic marketer, blogger and world class sweetheart. When I first connected with Megan, she was working for Ion Interactive as the Online Marketing Manager and was a key contibutor to the Ion Interactive Blog, where she shared her insights on search, social media and conversion rate optimiztion tips and best practices.

Recently, she left Ion and is now managing the marketing activities over at MarketingProfs. She still blogs frequently and shares her deep knowledge of the online marketing space, so make sure you check out and bookmark her articles on the Marketing Professors Daily Fix Blog. Megan also has her own personal site, where she posts links to her guest article... > Read more

August 12, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Best Online Marketing Blogs   |   Comments: 0

Five Outdated SEO Tips: How Not to Optimize Your Website

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an important part of building a web business. While advertising and social networking are important parts of growing your online presence, the majority of people still come across new websites by using search engines. Search engine traffic is also far more likely to be looking for something to buy than social traffic is.

But SEO has changed quite a bit over the years. In the past it was easier to try to outsmart the search engines by using questionable tactics that filled the web with sites that were little more than spam, packed with repetitive keywords and useless to the visitor. Unfortunately, some of these tactics are still taught by people claiming to have knowledge in the field of SEO. It is important to avoid these pitfalls that in the best cas... > Read more

August 10, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 10

Congrats to Our First Facebook Sweepstakes Winner!

Like most of the world, I'm sure you've been on the edge of your seat since we launched our Facebook 6K Fans Sweepstakes (sorry, not allowed to use Facebook in the contest name...ya know, house rules and all...) because you've been dying to find out when we'd reach 1,000 "likes" on Facebook and who the first fan milestone winner will be.

Well, get ready to get excited, because the wait is over. Congratulations to Stacey Davis who wins a $100 Amazon.com gift card.To our other 999 fans who didn't win and think they've missed out on winning some cool prizes (for basically doing nothing, BTW, since this is THE easiest Facebook contest on the planet...yes, it's official, folks), turn that frown upside down because this sweepstakes ain't over yet, kids.That's right, there are still more pri... > Read more

July 12, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Content Optimization Strategy: Revamp Your Content to Capitalize on Missed Long Tail Keyword Opportunities

When it comes to content optimization, I'm a big fan of revisiting and reworking my existing content to take advantage of any traffic opportunities I may be missing out on. Now even though I perform keyword research before writing any blog post or landing page, I often always overlook keyword opportunities (both long tail and any closely-related keyword variations around my core term).

 And being a search marketer, one of my primary goals when writing is to rank. So I don't want to leave any keyword optimization opportunities on the table. That's why, after I've published content, I make it a point to go back and fine tune things, so I can extract every last ounce of SEO benefit.Now, the Web is saturated with articles on tools that aid you in conducting initial keyword research. But wh... > Read more

July 01, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 9

Link Assistant PowerSuite Now Available in French

Just wanted to drop a quick update from our pals over at Link Assistant, who have just announced that their awesome SEO PowerSuite is now available in French. Details about the new French version can be found on the Link Assistant blog: SEO PowerSuite is Now Multilingual The SEO PowerSuite French website can be found here: http://www.

seopowersuite.fr/ According to Ian Artimovich from Link Assistant, "the main point is that the software and the SEO reports it generates have been fully translated into French. So now French speaking webmasters and SEOs can optimize their sites with our software and SEO companies get a great opportunity to reach out to the French speaking markets. SEO PowerSuite is now available in four languages: English, German, Russian and Dutch." I'm a big fan of the tools... > Read more

June 23, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Announcing the World’s First Free Negative Keyword Tool - Find PPC Negative Keyword Lists for AdWords, Yahoo, MSN

Today at WordStream, we’ve released the world’s first Free Negative Keyword Tool for improving your click-through rates (CTR) and Quality Score, which in turn can significantly improve your return on investment across your entire PPC account. For a quick take on the new tool, you can:Read the official press releaseWatch a 2-minute video demoRead the FAQOr simply try it out yourself!In this post, I’d like to talk a little about how this new tool was designed and why I feel it's a valuable resource for anyone doing PPC marketing.

Why You Should Care about Negative Keyword ResearchIf you only had time for one keyword optimization task for an existing PPC account, I would suggest finding negative keywords – whenever I look at a client’s search query report, there are always tons of ju... > Read more

June 22, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 3

My Take on the Mayday Update: Strengthen Your Niches or Land in the Ditches

There have been some interesting theories and observations about the Google’s recent Mayday update and how Google has "…increased the emphasis on quality and is giving smaller sites a chance." The official word out of Google is that they’ve made an algorithmic shift to "looking for higher quality sites…for long tail queries.

" Since the Mayday Update was implemented, all Hell has broken loose across the Web, with many sites reporting a sudden loss in long tail traffic. But for every site that lost SERP share, another site was there to scoop it up. Lucky for us, WordStream was one of the sites to benefit from the update. Immediately following the Mayday rollout, our organic traffic spiked 50%. So, as you can imagine, we were thrilled to hear Mayday is here to stay and there won... > Read more

June 21, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 10

It's the Easiest Contest on the Planet! "Like" WordStream, Win Prizes!

In an effort to make everyone's life less "complicated" (and to help us hit 6K fans on Facebook...), we've created "the easiest contest on the planet."You don't have to invent anything, solve any riddles or dress up like a goofy robot to win a cool prize in our contest.All we'd like you to do is "like" WordStream on Facebook and "like" Search Engine Journal on Facebook (yes, we really neeeed to be "liked") and you're automatically entered to win.

See...told you it was easy.So come on...our goal is 6,000 Facebook fans. Help us reach it!So It's Like This: We Hit 6K Fans, SEJ Gets More Fans, You Can Win Cool Prizes...Everybody Wins!!!Like I said, to be eligible to win some kick ass prizes, all we'd like you to do is "like" WordStream on Facebook and "like" Search Engine Journal on Facebook.So... > Read more

June 16, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 4

Recommended SEO Resources: Shaun Anderson

Recommended SEM Resources is an ongoing series here at WordStream where we plug some of our favorite sources of search engine marketing wisdom. Now, many of these SEM resources aren't as widely recognized as say an Aaron Wall or a Rand Fishkin, but nonetheless we feel they are forces in the SEO or PPC marketing space and marketers you should be following.

This month's Recommended SEM Resource is Shaun Anderson. Shaun is the Director & Co-Founder of Hobo Web, an SEO Company in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Shaun self-reportedly possesses "an obsessive passion for on-site SEO, linkbuilding and web accessibility" and is well-known in the global SEO community. Shaun is a frequent contributor to Hobo Web SEO Blog, which is one of my favorite SEO blogs and a mainstay in my Google Reader. Hobo Web's... > Read more

April 29, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Best Online Marketing Blogs   |   Comments: 2

A Really Easy (and Powerful) Long-Tail Approach to On-Page SEO

WordStream today announced the release of WordStream Keyword Management for SEO, which has an important new feature: the WordStream SEO for Firefox Plug-in. This new plug-in provides seamless access to your keyword research data as you author or edit Web content in your CMS or blog. In this post, I'd like to talk a bit about the underlying design philosophy behind the product, and show how we've developed features that try to simplify various best practices for on-page SEO.

Target the Head When authoring content for SEO, it's critically important that you: Pick a specific, primary topic that is both popular and relevant to your business. Author content that specifically targets your selected topic, making your page more likely to show up in organic search results for those keywords. Word... > Read more

April 20, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 6

Recommended SEM Resources: Manoj Jasra

Recommended SEM Resources is an ongoing series here at WordStream where we plug some of our favorite sources of Web marketing wisdom. It's our version of the employee recommended movies section at Blockbuster, but for search marketing. This month's Recommended SEM Resource is Manoj Jasra. Manoj is a Web Analytics Analyst and President of Jasra, Inc, a Web analytics and SEO firm in Calgary, Alberta, and the Senior Search Marketing Strategist at Shaw Communications.

He's also a prolific blogger and frequent contributor to a number of SEM online publications. Manoj's personal blog is Web Analytics World, which focuses on search marketing, technology and Web analytics insights. Many of Manoj's posts on Web Analytics World advocate how important it is to incorporate analytics into your marketin... > Read more

April 08, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Best Online Marketing Blogs   |   Comments: 1

SES New York 2010

SES New York will be the first time WordStream's had an opportunity to exhibit at a Search Engine Strategies show, so hopefully you’ll stop by and say hello to us at Booth 125 if you’re attending. We’ll have lots of goodies like water bottles, desk paraphernalia and official WordStream couture, plus the chance to win an eMachines Netbook!  If you know you’re attending and would like to set up dedicated time to speak with us, don’t be shy.

We’ve even created a special offer for SES attendees to get two months of WordStream pay per click management software for free! We’ve attended our fair share of industry conferences and tradeshows, and we’ve put together some of our most valuable tips for any conference newbies: Dress warm because convention centers are notor... > Read more

March 18, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

How Link Bait Strategies Got Me on National TV

Last week I landed a spot in the most watched television broadcast on the planet. The International Olympic Committee estimated that 450 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the Women's Figure Skating Finals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – more than the population of the entire US – and I was in the TV coverage! How did I do it? By applying a variation of Ken's link baiting strategy! Goals of My Link Bait Campaign One of my more ridiculous objectives in life is to achieve TV fame.

Now unfortunately I don't have any acting talents, great looks, or anything else remarkable for that matter – so I figure my only hope to achieve my goal is to ride someone else's coat-tails to TV stardom. (Yes, I know, this is pretty sad). And I don't want to be a guest on some d... > Read more

March 03, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 5

Case Study: Scott Brown and Social Media

Regardless of which candidate you supported in the January 19 special election to fill the seat vacated by Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, there is one thing that should make Internet marketers proud: The first poll to correctly predict the election outcome was a social media poll published on Thursday, January 14.

Traditional polls were showing a close race, and before the Suffolk News 7 Poll, the Blue Mass Group/R2000 poll, the PPP Poll, PMJ/CrossTarget poll, or even the Rasmussen Poll – which all later showed Scott Brown pulling ahead – a social media poll published on our very own blog showed that Scott Brown held a significant edge over Martha Coakley in social media engagement metrics, including: A 10:1 advantage in Web traffic A 10:1 advantage in YouTube video viewership ... > Read more

January 22, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 1
 
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