December 2009 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog
In 2009, the scientific community treated search and social media marketers to what seemed like a never-ending supply of meaty and game-changing research projects, covering everything from information retrieval, to personalized search, to integrated SERP analysis, to studying user behavior on social networks.
I decided to compile and share a list of my favorite Search and Social Media Marketing Research Projects of 2009. Hopefully, these research papers will inform and inspire your marketing efforts going into 2010.By the way, if after reading all the papers on this list you find that you're jonesing for more, here are two great resources for marketers to find research papers on social media marketing and search engine marketing:Google ScholarYahoo ResearchVideo LecturesSo fire up your neu... > Read more
So despite claims of ditching the little green pixel bar, Google has once again updated their Tool Bar PageRank (TBPR) about an hour ago, at 8 p.m. on December 30, 2009. I noticed the change immediately when I was doing a little WordStream brand searching and saw in the SERPs that we'd jumped from a PR5 to a robust PR6.
The change literally took place before my eyes. One minute we were PR5, then next search: BOOM! PR6. Totally geeky, I know, but my heart skipped a beat. The actual SEO for Firefox Toolbar has yet to update though. It's still reading PR5, but I'm sure that will change by tomorrow. I'm also seeing changes across many of my sites, all for the better, which is a nice way to kick off 2010. By my count, this is the sixth and final update for 2009, with the last PageRank update oc... > Read more
Since we launched the WordStream blog earlier this year, what follows is not merely a list of our top posts of the year. These are our greatest hits of all time. (Cue Kanye joke, for nostalgic value – it's so 2009.) So pour yourself a glass of champagne and revisit our top 10 most popular and best loved blog posts ever: SEO Title Tag Formulas: How to Create High-Performance Title Tags – We all know how important good titles are for SEO.
This post – apparently our most useful post ever! – outlines a systematic strategy for creating strong title tags. Find the Unfindable: 12 Ways to Find Anyone's Personal Email Address – Ken appealed to the stalker in all of you with these tips and tricks for tracking down personal contact info. Top SEO College Websites 2009 &... > Read more
My childhood memories of the days after Christmas are bleak and dark: the incredible letdown of all that anticipation, the pressure to actually use the new toys and wear the new clothes as opposed to simply gazing upon them in a shining pile of potentiality. The day after Christmas was no less depressing this year; I spent most of it at the airport in El Paso, waiting in an unmoving line to rebook my flight which was delayed by 8+ hours.
(Note to self: Never, ever book a connecting flight through O'Hare in December. Note to United: Damn you, United!) But late December does bring some good things—like a little light through the windows when I wake up in the morning (though, as my boyfriend is fond of reminding/tormenting me, "As the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to stre... > Read more
The following is a guest post by Evan Saks, founder and president of Lungfish Communications. PPC advertisers looking for the best value in search would be well-advised to follow these three steps: search, serch, and seacrh again! One of the wonders of Google is its automatic spelling correction.
Search for the term “Ipod” and Google will return results including text ads from Target, Bose, MacMall, Amazon, AOL, Overstock, and others. Apple gets top position, but it’s a crowded field with plenty of others clamoring for attention. Now search for “ipdo” and Apple’s sponsored link will appear in the first position. And also in the last position. Because it’s all alone, with no other competitive ads. Apple is presumably paying a miniscule... > Read more
With Christmas just a few days away, I wanted to take a break from my hectic holiday shopping schedule (ah, who am I kidding...my wife does all the Christmas shopping, even for herself) to see which toy companies have killer SEO'd websites as part of our ongoing series, Top SEO Websites. So I made this "top toy keywords" list and I've checked it twice.
I'm gonna' find out whose SEO is naughty and whose is nice. Okay, okay, cheesy Xmas parody aside, there are definitely some surprises on this list of Top SEO Toy Websites, which includes one very popular toy company that really Scrooged on the optimization this year and deserve a big, honking lump of coal in their stockings. Wondering who it is? Read on and find out. Top SEO Toy Websites: SERP Analysis Process My process for deter... > Read more
Yesterday I talked about using the Free Keyword Grouper to plot out a structure for a new website. Today I'd like to show you how to use our other new tool, the Free Keyword Niche Finder, to quickly set up a PPC campaign. We believe that a high Quality Score is the key to an effective, cost-efficient pay-per-click campaign, and that a well-organized campaign structure is the key to securing high Quality Scores.
Here's how the new tool can help you get there. First, just enter a keyword. The Free Keyword Niche Finder is a keyword suggestion tool and keyword grouping tool in one. Just enter a keyword, and you'll get back extensive, relevant suggestions, but instead of a scattered list, the results are organized into related groupings. Let's use the perfume store example again: Similar to th... > Read more
When you're launching a new website (or doing a site redesign) it's vital to take SEO into account. From square one, you should do everything you can to make sure that the people interested in what you offer will be able to find you. And most people will be looking via search engines. There's an endless list of things you can do to optimize a website for search engines, but at a basic level, SEO-friendly site design is user-friendly site design.
It's important to create a site that: Is logically structured Incorporates keyword research to ensure relevance to your audience Is easily navigable from both the home page and deep pages You can actually use our new Free Keyword Grouper to start planning out the structure—or information architecture—of your new website. Here's how: S... > Read more
Well well well, if it isn't Friday once again. Since next Friday is Christmas, and the following is New Year's Day, this is my last Friday roundup of the year (and decade!). And I'd like to use it to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped us spread the word about our new free tools, the Keyword Niche Finder and the Free Keyword Grouper.
Here's a roundup of all the coverage around the Web: On Search Engine People, Terry Van Horne talks about getting back to the "roots of SEO" with keyword research, calling the Keyword Niche Finder "simply one of the best tools I've seen for quite some time." Ann Smarty reviewed the tools on Search Engine Journal: "WordStream, a must-have keyword management tool for PPC marketers we reviewed earlier, has just launched two really nice... > Read more
We just posted a new guide on WordStream.com - The Definitive Guide to Keyword Organization: Build a Foundation for Search Marketing Success. This guide walks you through the benefits and process for organizing your keywords for both pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO).
Here are a few of the topics from the Keyword Organization guide: Keyword organization can be applied across all of your internet marketing channels and provide a roadmap to PPC campaign and website structures. Improve Quality Score and lower your PPC costs. Gain insights into ongoing content creation and information architecture changes for SEO. Learn how to organize your keywords and utilize free tools from WordStream in that process. Happy reading and good luck cleaning up you... > Read more
Today WordStream has launched two new, powerful, patented, and totally FREE keyword suggestion tools. The Free Keyword Niche Finder – To use this tool, just enter a keyword and get back structured pockets of keyword suggestions ready to use in paid and organic search marketing campaigns.
The Free Keyword Grouper – Drop in a list of keywords or analytic data and this tool segments your keywords into tightly related semantic groupings. I'd like to talk a little about why we created these tools and why I believe that the future of keyword research for both pay-per-click marketing and search engine optimization will involve thinking of keywords in terms of niches, rather than individual keywords. What Is a Keyword Niche? A keyword niche (or keyword grouping), as oppo... > Read more
It was another big week at the Googleplex. (This opener is starting to feel like the Friday roundup equivalent of "Once upon a time.") The "search giant" made about a jillion announcements—I think Google has decided to mimic Bing's ever-changing homepage image by adding a new feature every day. (Ooh, fade-in buttons! But why!) Some of these announcements had real implications for search marketers—particularly integration of real-time search and the launch of "universal personalized search," which means, in effect, there's no "real" ranking, no official SERP; like Google's homepage of late, it's always different.
(Of course, one could argue that with geo and time data incorporated it was always different anyway …) The search community is divided on the significance of personalized sea... > Read more
A lot of people have been writing interesting stuff and trying to get a feel for what's going on with Google's new real time search feature. It seems that Google is using two key factors in determing what does (and doesn't) get a real-time SERP box: Query Type - This is standard operating procedure for blended search.
Google looks at query type in determining when and how aggresively to integrate things like news, video, etc. Twitter Activity - This is the interesting piece, for me: it looks like Google is monitoring (via API or possibly by crawling) the activity of certain terms across Twitter, and integrating twitter results based on the amount of activity they see on Twitter. My methods for arriving at this conclusion are far from scientific, but it makes sense and I'll explain why I t... > Read more
Okay, so I've been running my share of real time SERP testing recently to get an idea how this may or may not impact SEO. As expected, others in search have been doing much the same with some very funny (yet scary) results. But nothing concerned me more than what I found last night. I was doing a branded query for WordStream to see what if anything was being integrated into our real time search results and here's what I find: So the WordStream home page was pushed out of the first position for our branded query in favor of some random RTs from Twitter that are totally unrelated to the WordStream brand.
I was pretty ticked when I saw this. The reputation management implications are huge if this is what Google has in store for brands. I mean, it's one thing to integrate real time resu... > Read more
To be an effective and successful SEO, it's imperative that you're always testing, testing, testing. Why? Well, for starters, the variables that comprise and dictate the SERPs are totally out of our control. How do you know what truly works unless you test? Another reason is that's it's very unlikely you'll ever run into a search engineer from Google at a bar who's so hammered that he reveals Google's ranking algo to you.
But to be more specific, continuous testing is valuable and necessary because: Algorithms are constantly being updated, so what worked yesterday may not work today Without evidence or cold hard facts, you're operating blindly Every test you conduct adds to your knowledge base There's a lot of misinformation and SEO myths, so you can't believe in and rely on everything yo... > Read more
Ari Ozick, a friend of WordStream and a great contributor to the SEO Book forums, is launching a new SEO guide soon: The Contrarian Guide to E-Commerce SEO. We got a sneak peak at the guide and it's got a ton of advanced information for "e-commerce site owners and marketing managers who want the nitty gritty on SEO, and have the resources to drive their SEO efforts.
" You can sign up now on Ari's site to get on the waiting list for the guide. We'll do a more in-depth review when it becomes publicly available. ... > Read more
The following is a guest post by John Lewis, one of WordStream's client services representatives. John helps customers overcome challenges and hone PPC performance. Pay-per-click marketing is a continual process and there are always ways to expand your presence and improve performance. The following are five ways you can explore different PPC opportunities even after you have thoroughly segmented your keywords into an effective structure: 1.
Advertise on the content network: A good form of spreading your brand name to a relevant audience. Select verticals of websites that are related to your product to reach out to the most qualified audience. A study conducted by Forrester indicates that display advertising in the content network increases brand awareness and results in higher click-thro... > Read more
Nominations are up for Invesp's top 100 online marketers of the year, and Larry Kim is among the nominees! Larry is WordStream's founder and VP of product development; he's a believer in the power of search as a marketing tool and has always played a big role in our Web marketing efforts. He's in the company of many great marketers and friends of WordStream, including Aaron Wall, Ann Smarty, David Szetela, Debra Mastaler, Eric Enge, Manoj Jasra, and Michael Gray.
But we hope you'll vote for Larry! Voting is open until midnight on December 13. ... > Read more
It's something you hear over and over again from SEOs: Anchor text matters. Chris Brogan relayed this familiar advice this week in a post on decisions we make as bloggers: By the way, HOW you link to something matters. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it Chris’s blog, then you’re telling Google that people searching for “Chris’s blog” might want chrisbrogan.
com. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it social media resources or social media strategy or whatever (frankly, I’ve never known what to bother ranking for in search results), then you are telling Google that people searching for social media whatever might want to find my blog. So in choosing the words for the link text, you’re also making decisions. Aside: It took me FOREVER to find where I'd read this a... > Read more
Okay. I admit it. I'm a big ole' search geek. My life pretty much revolves around search. I mainly read search marketing blogs, have a SEO consulting biz on the side, and work full time for WordStream, where I'm surrounded by other search marketers all day, and we sell search marketing tools to members of the search marketing industry.
So my search geekiness should come as no surprise. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to create a list and share some of the truly nerdy search stuff I’ve done that makes me an uber geek. Plus, this should help anyone who's on the fence, wondering if they are or aren't a search geek too. Because if you've ever done any of these things, then well... You Know You’re a Search Geek if... You're impressed by domain names When we moved into our new office last ... > Read more
This is a guest post by Terry Van Horne. Terry is the founder of SeoPros and a 15-year veteran of Web development, currently working out of his consulting and development firm International Website Builders. Terry's interests are primarily the socialization of search and analysis of social Web traffic and applications like Twitter.
There is a faction in the industry pushing SEOs toward developing websites with the main emphasis being search engine rankings. Sorry, last I looked search engines don't buy things—people do! Your target audience has been lost when you focus primarily on search engines. It seems to me, especially where links are concerned, SEOs have become search-engine-centric. I was discussing a great site I'd found with some SEOs. One piped up and said, "Site is us... > Read more