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SEOmoz Linkbait or Sales Pitch?
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Link Bait or Sales Pitch? Over at SEOmoz, Rand has posted "SEOmoz's 2006 Financial Statements". As I started reading the post, I wasn't sure what the purpose was in listing this data. Rand says that it complies with their belief "to be as open as possible" about everything they do. So while he labels these numbers as being estimates, what is the purpose of listing this financial data?
Rand is great at making successful use of link bait. He is well respected in the industry and really knows what he is talking about. He has quickly made a name for himself and for SEOmoz. So this leads me to ask why post something like this? Is it to drive traffic to the site/blog? Unlikely as I would imagine that they already get a respectable amount of traffic to the site. Is it to "plead" for additional business? Hmm an indirect sales pitch perhaps? Rand does state:
"We've got a fairly solid reputation, a big industry presence and a good deal of branding, but this has yet to be translated into solid earnings."
So as you go on reading the blog post, you come across the official announcement that SEOmoz "will be offering paid content and paid membership to their site in the next 30-40 days. With an intent is to make the SEOmoz website, which, to date hasn't produced any (direct) income (apart from ~$2,000 in ad revenue from when we used to run paid ads), into a revenue source for the company."
So was this post link bait or a sales pitch? Well obviously it is both. I'll do my part and provide a link to the post.
posted by Jody @ Saturday, December 30, 2006  
How Google Determines Year-End Zeitgeist Data
Ever wonder how Google comes up with their top search information for their year-end Zeitgeist data? Well Artem Boytsov, Software Engineer at Google has posted some insight on how Google arrives at this information. In the post, Artem goes on to say,

"... we looked for those searches that were very popular in 2006 but were not as popular in 2005 -- the explosive queries, the topics that everyone obsessed over..."
For the entire post, check out the official Google Blog. Check out Zeitgeist's list of Top Searches for 2006.
posted by Jody @ Saturday, December 30, 2006  
Wall Street Journal Slams Blogs and Bloggers
Friday, December 22, 2006
David Utter of WebProNews posted a great article about the Wall Street Journal taking issues with blogs and the numerous bloggers out there. Utter states:

"...Wall Street Journal assistant editorial features editor Joseph Rago probably crafted the best linkbait paragraph anyone has seen this year..." He later goes on to say "...Rago is standing on shifting sand inside an hourglass. He even goes so far as to decry the mainstream media as having "collapsed itself." That's not a very sturdy platform upon which to build an argument. Makes for tasty linkbait, though."

With a lead in like that I had to read the original post. Sheesh backlash in the blogosphere? What else is new?
posted by Jody @ Friday, December 22, 2006  
5 Things About Jody Nimetz
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Well I've been tagged... hmm is that like being bitten by a radioactive spider? Well not quite. It just means that another blogger has "tagged" me and am I obligated to disclose 5 things about myself and tag 5 other bloggers who haven't necessarily been tagged already. So here are five things that you may not know about Jody Nimetz.

1. I love the outdoors and the mountains. In particular I love climbing moutains and ridge walking. One of my favorites is Lightning Ridge near my hometown of Grande Cache, Alberta. Check it out:

2. My favorite food type is Mexican with Ukrainian being a close second.

3. I am a big Spiderman fan and have a highly valued collection of Amazing Spiderman comics. (I am always looking to add to my collection so if you have some issues that you would like to part with, feel free to .)

4. I've never seen the movie E.T.

5. I enjoy playing guitar and wish to record my own acoustic sounding CD some day.

Hmm who to tag now? I know that some of these folks may have already been tagged, but I'll tag Jason Lane, Barb Newman, Maizal Munif, Cory Bates and PlanetNim.

posted by Jody @ Thursday, December 21, 2006  
Top 7 Search Happenings December 2006
As mentioned last month SEO-Space is pleased to offer the Top 7 Search Happenings of the Month. This month the largest search related story involves the continuing shuffling of Yahoo staff as Tim Converse announced that he was leaving the search giant.

Top 7 Search Happenings - December 2006
Here are the rest of the top seven search happenings of December.
#7. Google announcing that they will offer domain name registration
#6. Yahoo! Answers celebrates their first anniversary
#5. Official launch of Search Engine Land
#4. Relaunch of Search Engine Position with new look
#3. ASK testing out new interface with ASK X
#2. SES Chicago 2006
#1. Yahoo! Restructing continues as Tim Converse leaves Yahoo!
posted by Jody @ Thursday, December 21, 2006  
ASK Testing New Interface - Search with ASK X
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
ASK.com is testing a new look dubbed ASK X, which I might add looks pretty cool. I love the reflection of the ASK logo. ASK has always been a personal favorite of mine. Prior to being ASK.com, I liked Ask Jeeves as I found that they had the most relevant results when I would perform a search query.

I attended SES San Jose in 2005 and one of the items that kept coming up from ASK's people was talk of revolutionalizing the Search Engine Results Page. Wow, could you imagine an entirely new look for a SERP? What would that mean for advertisers? Less sponsored ads? More sponsored ads? More video clips? Well for now the new ASK X SERP gives you three panes:

1. Search Interface - where you can narrow or expand your search
2. Search Results - as you would see in a normal search engine
3. ASK Vertical Results - database results from ASK such as images, dictionary, business listings and news.

I really like the new interface. It's sleek and most importantly relevant and useful. I performed a query for "lawyers" and was presented with an option to expand or narrow my search, actual search results for "lawyers", and related images, a definition of lawyers as well as current news.

I think that ASK is on the right track in terms of helping search users find what they are looking for. I often question how long it will be until the SERPs are presented in an entirely different manner. Google's simplistic SERP display is effective yet boring. ASK is taking the SERP to an entirely different level by offering more options to help define one's search. Could they be using semantic mapping to present an idea of what users may be searching for? Well maybe not, but it is definitely a positive step in providing users with the results that they are looking for. Kudos to the ASK team for this.

For a more detailed review of ASK X check out this post on Resource Shelf.

posted by Jody @ Tuesday, December 19, 2006  
Top Sports Jersey Queries in Google for 2006 - What About the Oilers?
Well as 2006 comes to a close we are starting to see a number of Top Ten lists and the like pop up. Here's one I came across that I though was interesting, Google's Top Sports Jersey's.

As I am a pretty big hockey fan (hey I am Canadian) I noticed that "Buffalo Sabres jersey" was number three on the list... not bad considering that it was a World Cup soccer year. Not mention of the Edmonton Oilers, whose alternate third jersey has been one of the top selling NHL jerseys for the past couple of years. The funny thing is that the fans have been more interested in the Sabres' vintage jersey and not the new one. For more of Google's top search queries for 2006 check out Google Zeitgeist.

1. world cup jerseys
2. zidane jersey
3. buffalo sabres jersey
4. ronaldinho jersey
5. italy jersey
6. brazil jersey
7. seahawks jersey
8. england jersey
9. usa soccer jersey
10. argentina jersey
posted by Jody @ Tuesday, December 19, 2006  
Wall Street Journal Reports Google's Earnings May Stall... Google Stock Drops -$17.50 per Share
Monday, December 18, 2006
Yet again analysts have predicted the obvious and yet again stocks of their target have nose dived. Based on reports by WSJ.com that Google's interest income "isn't likely to grow at the same rate as last year..." Google's share price dropped $17.50 on Monday representing a 3.64% decline. Google Inc. has seen some amazing fluctuations in its stock price over the past year. From a 52 week high of $513.00 to a low of $331.55, Google's stock price is always a topic for discussion.
The thing is Google continues to reinvent itself and while the Wall Street Journal reports that Google's earnings may stall, other such as Jim Cramer from Mad Money feel that the best numbers are still ahead. I am inclined to agree with the opinion of the later.
posted by Jody @ Monday, December 18, 2006  
Update on Woes of the Open Directory Project - DMOZ Dead?
Sunday, December 17, 2006

Have you tried submitting a site to DMOZ lately? Tried to become an editor? You probably haven't had much luck. ODP is broken. Does anyone care? Rumor has it that the issues with DMOZ are due to a server crash. ODP has not been able to recover since, as backups were not completed. Backups not completed? Are you serious? One of the oldest directories on the Web lacks redundancy and the ability to perform back ups? I find that hard to believe. Personally I think that they have been keeping the details of what happened private to avoid complete abandonment of ODP editors and users.

So what is the real reason for the decline of the Open Directory Product? Search Engine Land reports that maybe the best thing is for Google to purchase DMOZ and reshape the floundering directory. Are they (DMOZ) trying to market themselves in hopes of a sale? Well having a "broken" product that doesn't work doesn't seem like the best way to market ones self. Could it be that AOL just doesn't care? Check out this interesting post from one of ODP's founders, Rich Skrenta.

Will DMOZ resurface as a new improved product? Or is this truly the end of an era? We can only stay tuned to find out what happens. Any ODP editors out there care to share their thoughts?
posted by Jody @ Sunday, December 17, 2006  
TIME Person of the Year for 2006 is You and Me?

You have probably seen who TIME magazine has listed as their person of the year. Somewhat of a surprise when it was announced that You, the controller of the Information Age has been listed as the person of the year for 2006. I had predicted that it would be the YouTube guys and I wasn't that far off.

An intersting choice really as Lev Grossman comments:

"Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?

The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you."

I've finally made it. I, Jody Nimetz am Time Magazine's Person of the Year... and so are you.
posted by Jody @ Sunday, December 17, 2006  
Google Testing New Look for SERP Pages?
Friday, December 15, 2006
Manoj Jasra, a colleague of mine and I have noticed something different about the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). We have seen the links to the other Google properties (Google Images, Google News, Google Maps etc) appear on the left as opposed to being located in the normal real estate at the top of the page.

In addition. you can see that the information that used to be located at the top of the page (# of other competing web pages) is now located near the bottom of the page.

We tried changing the preferences and were still seeing the same thing. We then tested against various different Google data centers and were not able to replicate the same look on the SERP pages. The data center that gave us the above results was This change may be something that Google is considering but we have only seen this SERP layout on occassion. Google has not mentioned anything regarding changing the layout of their SERPs so there is the possibility that this may have been a glitch. Anyone else come across this?

posted by Jody @ Friday, December 15, 2006  
Top 26 Search Happenings 2006 Part Two #1-13
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Last week I posted the first part of the Top 26 Search Happenings of 2006. This week features the second and final installment. What is the top story in search for 2006? Let's check it out:


SES San Jose 2006



Link Baiting becomes more popular as a “white hat” technique for link building purposes.



Google holds its Annual Press Day and releases some new products including Google Trends



The Continued Importance of Measuring Proper KPIs



Yahoo Release details of “ Panama” their new Paid Advertising Platform



Google Refusing to Hand Over Search Data to Feds



Staff Turnover/Restructuring at Yahoo



Steve Berkowitz, former CEO of Ask jumps ship to Microsoft, later goes on to call ASK a “rowboat” and Microsoft a “Cruise Ship”



Duplicate Content Concerns



Google’s Purchase of YouTube for 1.65 billion



Google Rolling out Big Daddy Infrastructure



AOL Leaks User Search Data



Danny Sullivan Announcing that he is Leaving Search Engine Watch


There you have it, the top search related story of 2006, Danny Sullivan's Announcement that he is leaving Search Engine Watch. Can you believe that a search engine did not make the top headline? Well the news of Mr. Sullivan leaving Search Engine Watch sent shockwaves throughout the industry and will continue to have an impact on the search engine industry in 2007 and beyond.
posted by Jody @ Thursday, December 14, 2006  
Emerging Trends for B2B in 2007
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I recently wrote a piece about a webinar that I attended entitled "B2B Marketing Roundtable: Hot Trends for 2007". While the webinar was not the greatest in illustrating the "Hot Trends for B2B 2007", there were some interesting points raised.

Here's an excerpt:

The focus of the webinar was on five “trends” that are currently taking place with B2B marketers and their sales teams. B2B marketers face unique challenges but also deal with the same challenges any marketer may face including improving the efficiency of sales teams and converting leads to sales. The so called trends discussed in the webinar are really ways for improving the manner in which a B2B salesperson acquires and handles leads.

  1. Evaluate Your Customer Buying Cycle
  2. Field Marketing Balance
  3. Commit to Pipeline Contribution
  4. Focus on Demand Creation Tools
  5. Focus on Sales Productivity

For the complete article, please visit Enquiro.com

posted by Jody @ Wednesday, December 13, 2006  
Yahoo Update Almost Finished
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Tim Mayer of Yahoo! Search reports that another Yahoo Update is currently underway. The update started on Sunday evening and should wrap up by Wednesday morning. As always it would be a good idea to check your rankings to see if the update has affected your site(s). I've noticed some fluctuations in Yahoo for a few weeks now.

Apparently the restructuring at Yahoo hasn't affected their search algo.
posted by Jody @ Tuesday, December 12, 2006  
Tech News on On This Day
On this day in 1994 IBM said it would halt shipments of Pentium computers because of a flaw in the Pentium chip. An issue of Electrical Engineering Times announced the "floating point" bug in the Pentium chip, which could produce mathematical errors. Intel officials admitted they had known about the flaw for some time but thought it so unlikely to cause problems that they did not disclose the problem, creating an uproar among computer users.

Who knew?
posted by Jody @ Tuesday, December 12, 2006  
Yahoo Microsoft Merger in 2007 Poll
Monday, December 11, 2006
Looking forward to Search in 2007. What new changes can we expect from our favorite search engines? So to get the ball rolling here's our new poll on the possibility of a Yahoo-Microsoft merger.

View Poll
posted by Jody @ Monday, December 11, 2006  
New Look for Search Engine Position.com
The other day saw the release of a new look for one of our sister site's, Search Engine Position. On SEP, we've been posting articles on the search engine industry for years. The site offers great insight into the search engine industry and includes capsules on the main engines. The Google Capsule features Google at a glance and information on various Google products and Google related news stories.

Check it out as we will be continuing to add posts and information on search engine marketing and related industry news.
posted by Jody @ Monday, December 11, 2006  
Google's Vanessa Fox on Duplicate Content & Sitemaps
Thursday, December 07, 2006

At SES Chicago, WebProNews recently interviwed Google Webmasters Tools expert Vanessa Fox. In the interview Vanessa clarified a few issues about duplicate content, benefits of Sitemaps through Google Webmaster Tools as well as other hints for success.

Duplicate Content Filter

If you have duplicate content issues you will not be penanlized per se, but your pages may be filtered as Google only wants to index one version of the page. Remember, Google is concerned with relevancy.

will happen as Google wants to show the most relevant results. As a result, only one of the pages will show up. The key for webmasters and site owners is to identify which version of the page that you want found and indexed. You can do this through:
  • robots.txt
  • 301 redirects
  • submit Google sitemap identifying which page that you want crawled and indexed
  • you can not serve up session IDs
  • the best thing to do is to make your pages as UNIQUE as possible
Priority Number for Web Pages

  • setting a higher priority for important site pages (ie home page) does make a difference with Google but this is only relevant to your site in terms of identifying which of your site pages are the most important.

  • PR thorough Google Webmaster's tool is only available if you have verified a sitemap through Google Webmaster's tools. This PR is more updated and accurate but it doesn't get updated as often as the PR you would see through the toolbar.

Other Google Webmaster Tools News

- May be considering showing a more complete number of inlinks (ie backlinks to your site) through verified sites in Google Webmaster tools.

- Use attributes in the scripting for your XML sitemap (or feed) when submitting to Webmaster Tools. The last modified or change frequency may be the most important attributes to focus on. According to Fox you simply need to focus on one or the other and not necessarily both.

The video blog is just over 17 minutes long but it does contain some great information. Thanks to WebProNews and Vanessa Fox for the great interview.

posted by Jody @ Thursday, December 07, 2006  
SEM Planning and Execution Challenges
Yesterday I read a great article in the Search Insider by Rob Garner entitled "Solutions For Seven SEM Planning and Execution Challenges". In the piece, Garner outlines 7 items that can help businesses with search engine marketing planning and execution. The 7 items identified were:
  1. Integrating search as a business or technical requirement - This mean making search a major objective prior to the start of the project
  2. Building business cases - consideration for itemns such as how much search has played a role in the past, how much budget has been used for search, how much revenue is organic (natural) search currently driving through a site etc.
  3. Having a "search specialist" at the table - to educate
  4. Creative adversity - educating contributors about search principles, and establishing collective goals
  5. Search education - most successful enterprise search engine marketers are also good search educators
  6. For search engine marketers--establishing balance - realizing that all aspects of natural search performance can't be controlled and instead of trying to accomplish everything, setting realistic goals
  7. For search engine marketers--integrating search with tangible business goals - business goals should always drive search strategy
While the 7 steps are a great starting point there is one key element missing here, and that is to strive to understand your target. Learn about your customer. Not matter what form of marketing medium that you use whether it's search or a 30 second tv spot on the Superbowl broadcast, unless you understand your consumer your campaign will not be a total success. Study your target, continue to learn from them and adapt to meet their needs. Then you will truly begin to learn what real success is.

(For the record the average 30 second spot during the 2006 Superbowl cost 2.5 million, think of the better and longer-term return you can acheive if you dedicated 2.5 million to your search engine marketing campaign.)
posted by Jody @ Thursday, December 07, 2006  
Yahoo Restructuring
Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Well here's some big news from Yahoo as they have announced further restructuring in the company. The news comes after months of shuffling within the Yahoo world.

Yesterday's press release from Yahoo goes to great length to outline upcoming restructuring for the proverbial second place finisher in the world of search. The news had a minor impact on Yahoo share price but the reprucutions of the restructuring might not be felt for months or even years. The release goes on to state that Yahoo will focus on three main groups:
  • Audience Group - with focus on building the largest and most valuable audiences and relationships on and off the Yahoo! network
  • Advertiser & Publisher Group - focusing on leading the transformation of how advertisers connect with their target customers across the Internet, with the goal of driving more value for more advertisers and publishers than any other company.
  • Technology Group - headed by Chief Technology Officer Farzad Nazem. The focus of this group will involove an investment shift towards the development of high-impact, scalable, global platforms and infrastructures to help capture the most significant long-term growth opportunities

By changing the focus as such, Yahoo hopes to have the right people in the right place and to increase accountability and speed decision-making. Hmm so why this restructuring? Are they gearing up to provide stronger competition for Google? Or are they looking to position themselves in better standing for a possible merger (with Microsoft perhaps?). If you asked me last week ore even a couple of days ago I would have said that Yahoo is looking to build a stronger relationship with Microsoft or another partner. Now with this agressive restructuring I'm more inclined to think that Yahoo looks to break trail in un-yet tapped territory. Terry Semel, Yahoo! chairman and chief executive officer goes on to say "...We're putting the right people in the right places to execute our focused growth strategy." With Yahoo's interest and plan to acquire Bix.com, a social media contest site, you get the impression that social media and interaction is where Yahoo is targeting their growth towards.

Still it looks like there is a strong focus on Yahoo's purpose to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world's knowledge has been re-established. What does this mean for Yahoo? Even Googleboy himself, Matt Cutts is questioning whether this restructuring will distract Yahoo for a while. Is this move a good one for Yahoo? Former Merrill Lynch Internet analyst, Henry Blodget, seems to think so. Only time will tell.

Yahoo! and the Yahoo! logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc.

posted by Jody @ Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
Challenges of B2B Search Engine Marketing
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Quite often B2B search engine marketing involves more complex strategies and requires marketers to think of strategies with the end in mind. The B2B selling process is more complex and the potential consumers buying cycle can be long and drawn out. As a result, B2B marketers are presented with unique challenges and need to continually build relationships with their consumers.

Establishing a relationship with the potential consumer is key, but understanding that there are different people in the buying funnel with their own semantic maps is the real ticket for success. While its true that there may be different people in the buying cycle who search using the same key phrases, the intention of each may be different. Each will have their own set of pre-determined keywords that they will use to search for. As a result the importance of revisiting keyword baskets is crucial. The end result of course is obtaining qualified traffic and thus qualified leads.

Here are some other challenges faced by B2B marketers
  • Longer, more Complex Selling Cycles
  • Undetermined KPIs
  • Need for "traffic filtering" to ensure qualified traffic is turned into qualified leads
  • Understanding the Consumer's Buying Cycle
  • Measuring success at various intervals of the selling cycle
  • Ignoring secondary conversions and missing out on opportunities to intercept qualified traffic
  • Tracking leads through sales
  • Developing effective on-site conversions that lead to the bigger off-site conversions (ie. the sale)

The B2B marketplace is filled with "hyper-competition" and an ever-growing list of challenges. B2B marketers need to be proactive in tackling these challenges if they hope to have success with their search engine marketing campaigns.

posted by Jody @ Tuesday, December 05, 2006  
Top 26 Search Happenings of 2006 - Part One
Monday, December 04, 2006
As the year winds down, we often look back to reflect upon what we have experienced throughout the previous months. Here at SEO-Space we too reflect on the year that was search. 2006 was yet another year of change and more change with the search engines. As a result SEO-Space has compiled the Top 26 Search Engine (and Search Related) Happenings of 2006.
Of course with any list there is going to be some bias, so if you agree or disagree with our picks, and we may take them into consideration. (No promises though.) We begin with part one of the Top 26 Search Happenings of 2006.
# Topic Month

Google Launches Google Analytics Blog


The 10th Anniversary of Looksmart


Microsoft Release of Windows Live Search


Enquiro Releases Follow-up Eye Tracking Study on Yahoo & MSN


Yahoo Debuts New Look for Homepage


Disney Disses Search as Marketing Medium


The emergence of social networking as a marketing medium


Google, Yahoo, & Microsoft team up to provide Sitemap Protocol


Pubcon Las Vegas 2006


Myspace becomes the Most Popular Site in America


Microsoft rolling out adCenter


SES New York 2006


The Re-branding of Ask Jeeves to Ask


Coming Next Week: Top Search Happenings 2006 Part II. What will be the number one story in search for 2006? Find out next week.
posted by Jody @ Monday, December 04, 2006  
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Name: Jody
Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
About Me: SEO guy by day, family man 24/7.
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