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Guy Kawasaki Talks Innovation in Kelowna
Friday, March 30, 2007
As mentioned the other day, Guy Kawasaki was the keynote speaker at the OSTEC 2007 Silicon Vineyard Innovation Awards here in Kelowna. The man is brilliant... that is really all I have to say. Even though he was in pain due to "an upper body injury" suffered from a hockey game last week, he was a real trooper and gave an amazing speech. (If he was this good when he is not feeling well, I wonder what he's like when he's 100%?). I was amazed by his knowledge of hockey and love for Canada. He started his speech with a comparison to Mark Messier saying that "Messier wouldn't let a little pain stop him from doing his job on the ice..." Guy went on to present his bio in the next few minutes and then jumped into his discussion about innovation illustrating key points from his "The Art of the Start" book.

He is a very entertaining speaker. He's dynamic, funny and most of all passionate. He really is an inspiration. I would suggest that you pick up his latest book "The Art of the Start". Guy illustrated 10 key points for innovative companies to consider. Amongst these points were items such as:
  1. Make Meaning - don't start a venture to just make money. Make meaning, create something that makes the world a better place.
  2. Make Mantra - forget about mission statements as they tend to be wordy, long and boring. One of the examples that Guy mentioned that illustrates a good mantra was "Authentic athletic performance" by Nike ("Just Do It" is their tagline).
  3. Get Going - don't focus on creating a business plan, or a Powerpoint presentation, simply implement. You should always be selling and not strategizing about selling. Think big, find "partners" to share your passion, don't worry what everyone thinks. Guy referred to this as "polarizing people".
  4. Find a niche and dominate it.
Guy I want to thank you for a great keynote. You were every bit entertaining and inspirational as I had hoped and more!! You exude confidence and positivity. Thanks for coming to Kelowna. We hope that you'll visit us again. You are turly an inspiration... so much so that I am writing this post at 1:15 am in the morning... I have to get up in six hours and finish packing and move into my new home. Sheesh it's going to be a fun day of moving tomorrow.

I want to thank Enquiro for co-sponsoring Guy's keynote. Thanks to Manoj Jasra for the pics. I'll leave you with a great quote from "The Art of the Start"

"Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength." - Hasidic saying

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posted by Jody @ Friday, March 30, 2007   3 comments
The Future of SEO
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Manoj Jasra has a great post on his blog on the future of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In the post he describes factors that he feels will become less important (things such as page size and meta tags) and items that will become necessity (website messaging for personalization of search, knowing your competition and widgets just to name a few.)

Of the five items that Manoj says that will not matter, the only one that I would disagree with is meta tags. While they may not be as important as they were in the past, the search engines still need some idea of what a webpage is about. A well optimized and accurate title tag does just that. It makes it easy for the engines to determine the authoritativeness of that specific page. Sure rankings in the engines won't matter, but relevancy will always matter. To what degree and to whom that is another story. Which leads me to the ideas of personalized search.

Personalized search is huge! "Nuff said. As a user of search, the number one thing for me is relevancy. What's relevant to me may not be relevant to you and the same can be said about the reverse as well. That's why personalized search results based on factors (that include my past query history) will be so much better. Relevancy. Other items that Manoj mentioned will become more important include:
  • Competitive landscape
  • Rich Media
  • Usability
  • Widgets
One thing that I would like to add is the proper identification of KPIs as they relate to your online goals. Part of your SEM strategy should be identification and measurement of your key performance indicators. We are already seeing evidence of all of these items from the list above.

In the past, SEM was used to drive traffic through a set of universal search results to your site. So what happens when you remove one section of this equation? (ie. universal search results) Well you can still generate traffic to your site, but then what? Search engine marketing will not mean applying tactics to simply generate traffic, it will mean providing solutions for usability issues to help the visitor once they arrive on your site, SEM will mean understanding the competitive landscape and using widgets to provide the best user experience possible. After all the customer (B2C) and the consumer/partner (B2B) are in control. It is the consumer who decides the best option for their needs.

For Manoj's full post check out Web Analytics World.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 29, 2007   0 comments
and You Thought Losing Your Keys Was Bad....
Larry Greenemeier over at InformationWeek wrote an interesting column about data theft. You thought losing your keys was bad... well Greenemeier reports that the parent company of TJ Maxx, TJX Co. announced on Wednesday that in its ongoing investigation of a customer data breach by announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that more than 45 million credit and debit card numbers have been stolen from its IT systems. Are you kidding me? 45 million identities? Apparently TJX still has no idea of the extent of the damage caused by the data breach. Well that's comforting. As expected a number of lawsuits have arisen and you can be sure there will be more to come. 45 million identities, I still cannot get past that number. Anyone heard of encryption?

Just how serious is this? Well the report goes on to state:
"The effects of the stolen TJX data, not to mention the underground cyber criminal economy that trades in customer data, are already being felt. TJX, General Dynamics Corp., IBM, and the various law enforcement entities investigating the cyber attack still don't know who took the customer information, but it's clear where some of that information ended up. Data stolen from TJX recently surfaced at Wal-Mart stores in Florida, where it's been used to help thieves steal about $8 million in merchandise from Wal-Mart stores. The thieves used the stolen TJX customer data to create dummy credit cards for purchasing Wal-Mart and Sam's Club gift cards, and then used those to hit stores in 50 of the Florida's 67 counties. "

and you thought losing your keys was bad.

For the full story visit InformationWeek.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 29, 2007   1 comments
Guy Kawasaki In Kelowna This Thursday
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
It is exciting to see that the man himself, Mr. Guy Kawasaki, will be in Kelowna this Thursday, March 29th speaking at the OSTEC 2007 Silicon Vineyard Innovation Awards. Guy who was a key factor behind the success of the Macintosh computer; is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist; and an eight-time author will be the guest speaker at this year’s awards. OSTEC is the Okanagan Science & Technology Council.

From what I have heard, Guy is an energetic and entertaining speaker. He has been successful in everything that he has done and is apparently an all around down to earth person. Currently, Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures. If you haven't read his latest book, The Art of the Start, it is a must read for anyone who has entrepreneurial aspirations. He also has a great blog which he dubs "A practical blog for impractical people."

It's great to see Guy come up to Kelowna as he is often quite busy with any number of ventures that he is involved in. Not to mention all of Guy Kawasaki's speaking engagements that he participates in. It should be a great evening. For those able to attend, there may be a few tickets left but they are going fast. Here are some of the specifics.

Guest Speaker Sponsor: QHR Technologies Inc. & Enquiro Search Solutions

Audio Visual Sponsor: RCI Capital Group Inc.

5:00 pm Registration/Reception
6:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Guest Speaker
8:15 pm Awards Ceremony

Location: Coast Capri Hotel 1171 Harvey Ave Kelowna, BC
Date: March 29, 2007
Time: 5:00:00 PM - 9:15:00 PM

I expect to have a follow up post later in the week after attending the Banquet on Thursday.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, March 27, 2007   0 comments
The Dangers of Blogging: The Kathy Sierra Story
Until today I was not familiar with Kathy Sierra. For those that do not know her, she is a programming instructor and game developer and has been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Java instructors how to introduce new Java technologies and developing certification exams.

I came across a post that described that she had received death threats from some bloggers. At first I thought this was just a warped attempt at some poor choice for link bait. However as I read a few of the posts, I could see the seriousness of the subject matter. According to Wikipedia, just the other day, "In March 2007, Kathy Sierra abruptly cancelled her appearance at the O'Reilly ETech conference in San Diego, after receiving graphic and sexual messages that made her afraid to leave her house. In a blog post (Warning the blog post contains graphic material that is not suitable for all viewers.) at Creating Passionate Users, she stated that the harassment started with some blog comments posted four weeks earlier. Then she came across some other comments and photographs which indicated to her a pattern of intimidation."

I mention Kathy's story, because of the importance of ethical behavior in the online world. Just because you have a blog does not make it all right for you to attack another person. We have enough violence in the world. Why add to it? Sharing your personal opinions about dissatisfaction with a brand or a product is one thing... personal attacks on a human being or fellow blogger is another.

Business is competitive, we all know that. Vying for traffic amongst all of the blogs out there is also competitive. The blogosphere is filled with a lot of great stuff and a lot of spam. Personally I look for the good stuff. Spam bores me. Misleading link bait bores me. The fact that a few bloggers can affect someone in such a negative manner (as has happened to Kathy Sierra) just shows how powerful blogging can be. However the power of blogging shouldn't be used to personally attack someone. Blogging can be just as powerful when used in a positive manner. For you fans of Spiderman, you know that his motto is that "With great power comes great responsibility". The same can be said for all of the bloggers out there.

Kathy Sierra's Creating Passionate Users Blog

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, March 27, 2007   3 comments
The End of the Yahoo Directory?
Monday, March 26, 2007
Search Engine Roundtable has reported that Yahoo has removed the Directory links from the organic search results. Of course you would have only seen the Yahoo Directory link if the site had a listing in the Yahoo Directory. The piece goes on to state that this could be an early indication that Yahoo is considering the Yahoo Directory entirely.

Yahoo defines it's directory as "Subject-based directory listing web sites in a wide range of topics, from arts, entertainment, and society and culture, to science, education, and health." It is one of the oldest directories in the online universe. I cannot see Yahoo turfing the fairly popular directory for one simple reason. Money.

Users pay $299 US per year to be listed in the Yahoo Directory. While I'm not sure on the exact number of submissions and renewals each year, you can bet that Yahoo pulls in a nice chunk of change just from their Yahoo Directory submissions. So the question becomes, what does the future hold for the once mighty Yahoo Directory? Well here's some wacky ideas:

  • Merge with the Open Directory Project and provide users with the Ultimate Directory
  • Auction the Yahoo Directory off to the highest bidder (hmm the Google Directory?)
  • Lower the cost for Yahoo directory submissions (this will probably only open the door for spam listings)
  • Retire the Yahoo Directory and focus on search
  • Place the Yahoo Directory on hold indefinitely until they figure what to do with it

Well I'm not sure what exactly the future holds for the Yahoo Directory, you can bet that Yahoo will look for ways to further monetize their services.

For more on the Yahoo Directory visit Yahoo Directory Help.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, March 26, 2007   1 comments
Widget Marketing Update - 35 Widget Resources
Sunday, March 25, 2007
A while back we discussed the emerging importance of widget marketing. Widget marketing continues to be a hot topic so we thought that there's no better time to provide a list of updated widget resources.

Here's a list of 35 Widget Resources that you may want to check out.

  • Answer Tips Widget from Answers.com
  • Auction Ad Widgets
  • Blue Organizer
  • Business Week Widget
  • Clearspring Widgets
  • Criteo Widgets
  • Flying Seeds (Timothy Post)
  • Google Gadgets
  • Labpixies Gadgets
  • Mashable
  • Musestorm
  • Netvibes Widgets
  • Opera Widgets
  • Rate It All
  • Reuters Widget
  • Rollyo
  • Show Yourself
  • Spring Widgets
  • Snipperoo
  • Sticki Widgets
  • SplashCast
  • Tagworld Widgets
  • Typepad Widget Gallery
  • WebAsyst
  • Widget Blog
  • Widgetbox
  • Widget Gallery
  • Widgetoko
  • Widgets Lab
  • Widgify
  • Widgipedia
  • WidSets
  • Wordpress Widgets
  • Yahoo Widgets
  • Zoho Polls

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, March 25, 2007   2 comments
SEO-Space - Top 7 Search Related Happenings March 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
As has become tradition here at SEO-Space, the third week of the month marks the release of the Top 7 Search Happenings of the month. We strive to make this not your ordinary list as we like to include search happenings of the month that you may or may not havebeen aware about. Last month's top stories included Google pushing towards the personalization of search. This month Google has dominated a number of the listings as March has been another busy month for the search giant. Here are the top 7 Search Related Happenings of the month for March 2007.

#7. MySpace gets set to launch MySpace News
#6. Michael Moritz announcing that he is leaving Google Board of Directors
#5. Google Acquires Adscape - Adscape Media is a small in-game advertising company based in San Francisco California. Google feels that in-game advertising is an area where they believe they can add a lot of value to users, advertisers and publishers.
#4. Matt Cutts talks Personalization of Search with Gord Hotchkiss - Personalization of search is a hot topic and it will continue to get hotter. Gord's interview with Matt Cutts is a great read. Are you ready for the personalization of search?
#3. Yahoo Sets Targets on Google - Yahoo looks to get back on track and improve their search offerings. Do they have a hope aganist Google?
#2. Microsoft goes on the attack against Google over copyright infringement - here we go again Microsoft vs. Google. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could just co-exist peacefully? Copyright infringement is no laughing matter, but can't Microsoft spend their time in a more proactive manner?
#1. Google Releases Actual Click Fraud Data - we told you Google was dominating the charts this month. For the first time, Google has released some hard numbers regarding click fraud. Are they what you expected?

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posted by Jody @ Friday, March 23, 2007   0 comments
Google Webmaster Tools: The Importance of Verifying Your Site
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Google has recently taken Google Webmaster Central out of beta. This shows just how important webmasters are to Google. Google has even gone so far to enable comments on the Google Webmasters Central blog. At this time, I believe that this is the only Google blog property to do so. So along with the release from beta, we see just how important Google Webmaster Tools can be for webmasters.

Using Google Webmaster Tools is an easy process. The benefits of setting up Google Webmaster Tools are many including access to a wide variety of key data about your site. Herein lies the importance of why you should verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools. Once verified you are presented with a more complete and powerful set of diagnostic tools. For B2B marketers and webmasters this means items such as crawl errors, backlink inventories and page load times are all available for you to study and review in order to integrate as part of your search engine optimization strategy.

In November, SEO-Space reported on consistent sitemap protocol from Google, Yahoo and MSN. The importance of sitemaps as it releates to Google Webmaster Tools as stated by the search engines is defined as follows:

"
... a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site." Google goes on to state that "A Sitemap provides an additional view into your site (just as your home page and HTML site map do). This program does not replace our normal methods of crawling the web."

The engines want to work with webmasters as they want to index and find content that is useful and of benefit to the end user. The end goal here is to be able to provide the most relevant results possible.

Here are seven reasons as to why you should verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools.
  1. Using the webmaster tools can help you identify problem areas such as 404 pages that redirect and return 200 status ok pages (which confuse the spiders)
  2. Once verified, the data presented can help you diagnose site problems and facilitate the spidering and indexing of your site.
  3. Google provides a snapshot of site analysis and query information so you can determine how Google is viewing your site as an authority based on a theme
  4. Google Webmaster Tools can help B2B search marketers and webmasters with your search engine optimization campaign by providing a central location for data that may be affecting your site's performance in Google.
  5. Newly added feature of displaying link data can help you examine your external link inventories while providing the most popular anchor text that sites are using to link to your site.
  6. Liking data can provide insight into the internal linking structure of your site. If you have internal pages that are not being crawled and are not inheriting Page Rank you can determine how these pages are interlinked on your site.
  7. Google Webmaster Tools provides a more accurate snapshot of backlinks to your site although Google still maintains that this is only a snapshot of the links to your site.
By removing Google Webmaster Tools out of beta, Google has made it clear that they want webmasters to pay attention to these metrics. Verifying your site in Google Webmaster Tools can give you a more complete analysis of issues that may be affecting your site's status in Google. For more information, tips, tricks and Google Webmaster Tools developments, check out the Official Google Webmaster Central blog.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, March 21, 2007   0 comments
B2B Resource of the Week: B2B Survey by Enquiro
The B2B resource of the week happens to be a B2B research survey from Enquiro. B2B research is something that all B2B marketers can benefit from. At Enquiro, we would like to learn more about how Business to Business Buying Decisions are made.

We would like to ask you to please take 25 minutes to complete this survey by clicking here: http://enquiroresearch.com/Research-Pre-Survey.html.

Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, March 21, 2007   0 comments
37 Things To Keep in Mind When Writing Web Content
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In the search engine industry, one phrase that we have all heard time and time again is that Content is King! If you want to rank well in the search engines you have to create content... content should be informative and useful etc etc. Yet I often come across websites and blogs that do a terrible job with their content development.

I understand that blogs originally started out as basically personal online diaries, and that many blogs consist of slang and industry related jargon. However when I come across a blog that is supposed to be a professional resource, I expect the content to be well written and useful and updated regularly. It doesn’t matter what type of site that you have, it doesn’t matter if your site is B2C or B2B, writing effective web content is not something you just do and push out into the online universe. Content development should be well thought out with consideration of who the intended audience is. With that in mind, here are 37 things to keep in mind when writing web content.

1. Keep it Simple – don’t try to impress with 5 syllable words
2. Make use of bullets and subtitles
3. Don’t be Wordy – don’t get fancy, or use wordy intros. This can be an indicator that you have no idea of what you're talking about.
4. People like lists
5. White space is cool.
6. Be coherent – keep it tight and together.
7. Copy of about 400-600 words is ideal for SEO and the long tail of search.
8. Take a stand – don’t sit on the fence
9. Title – Subject – Support - your subject and support material should tie into closely with your title.
10. Titles should be catchy and informative – clickable, and clear.
11. Do not use misleading titles – linkbait or not, don’t lie to the audience
12. Lead in sentences (first sentence or paragraph) should get to the point. Tell the reader what the article is about first thing.
13. More stuff less fluff - Information is better than fluff every time.
14. Make your content somewhat unique - establish a unique perception towards the topic that you are creating content on.
15. Sans serif fonts are easier and faster to read on computer screens.
16. Link to related resources
17. Regularly update your content
18. Don’t write content for the sake of writing content
19. Content should be easy to print.
20. Plagiarism is not cool
21. Avoid the sales pitch with informative content
22. Know who your audience is
23. Write content that your readers will understand not content that is full of industry jargon
24. Pictures should be specific and informative, not generic or ad-like
25. Photos should be relevant to content.
26. People in pictures should look friendly and down-to-earth.
27. Images should be sized properly.
28. Always check your spelling.
29. See point # 5
30. Grammar IS important. Unless you don't want your site considered as being professional.
31. Online press releases should be even tighter and more professional than Web copy.
32. Each page of web content should focus on a single topic (don’t try to over optimize)
33. Like a good songwriter, create content that will stand the test of time. A good song is a good song. A good web page of content should remain a good page of content.
34. Don’t place advertising in the middle of your content (unless you want the reader to never return to your site)
35. Avoid ambiguity (leave that for the government and lawyers)
36. Be careful with using humor – some people are easily offended
37. Make your content informative

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, March 20, 2007   4 comments
Vanessa Fox Reports: Google Update Links Feature in Webmater Tools
Friday, March 16, 2007
Search Engine Watch is reporting that Google has updated capabilities in its Webmaster Tools to show full phrases being used in anchor text, instead of just keywords within the anchor text of links to a site.

The benefit of this feature is that you can see what anchor text is being used to link to your site, which in turn provides some insight into what people think of your site, and why they are linking to it. The anchor text also affects Google's ranking algorithm as a key IBL (Inbound Linking) factor.

The report is available to verified webmasters who have logged into Google's Webmaster Tools, under the "Statistics" tab, in the "Page Analysis" section. The list of top 100 anchor text phrases can be viewed as a table or downloaded as a csv file.

The official post from Google's Vanessa Fox can be found here.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, March 16, 2007   1 comments
Long Tail Proves that Content is Still King
Thursday, March 15, 2007
A few weeks ago Jason Lee Miller over at WebProNews wrote a great piece on writing content for the Long Tail effect entitled "Grabbing That Long Tail With Great Content". This is a pretty good read as it illustrates some key points for those trying to write and add content to their sites. Adding content to your site, providing the content is useful and somewhat unique, is never a bad thing.

Miller's post included some key points from Jennifer Slegg of JenSense.com who provided a useful guide for creating quality content that will help the maximizing on the enduring long tail of search, which in turn, can produce more traffic in the long run. Some of the key points include:

Unique Content

1. Takes care of duplicate content concerns
2. Creates exclusivity at your website
3. Is a source of organic (free) search engine traffic

But Free Content…

1. Often comes from free article databases and is published in thousands of other places
2. Often has required author links linking to low quality, or very spammy sites
3. Often have ulterior motives to sell products, services, or ebooks

Other key takeaways mentioned include asking questions such as:

What search terms lead visitors to my site?
Referring keywords highlight words that may not be specifically targeted on your site. "If 'dialiang from UK to Canada' is a referral," but was only mentioned briefly, write a new article focusing on that specifically. Link to original article.

What are your visitors asking?
Write articles based on the most common questions asked via email or phone support.

The key here is the first question "What search terms lead visitors to my site?" I cannot emphasize how important this fact is. Do not assume that your target market use the same terminology as you. Chances are they may use an entirely different lingo. Depending on the Geo location of your target market they may use entirely different terminology... car insurance vs. auto insurance?

Content development is not always easy, but it will always be important, and not just important from a search engine's point of view but from your user's point of view as well.

Read all of Jason's piece on "Grabbing That Long Tail With Great Content". It provides a great indication that Long Tail proves that Content is Still King.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 15, 2007   0 comments
Cisco to Purchase WebEx Communications for $3.2 Billion
Bloomberg is reporting that Cisco is set to purchase WebEx Communications for $3.2 Billion. Wow that is a lot of money to pay for a teleconferencing service. WebEx Communications Inc., the largest provider of Internet teleconferencing services. Cisco Systems Inc, the world's biggest maker of computer-networking equipment, is making the move in an attempt to counter Microsoft's expansion in the teleconfereincing market. Microsoft bought WebEx rival PlaceWare Inc. in 2003.

The Bloomberg report goes on to state that "Cisco will add WebEx's services to products for making phone calls, sending messages and holding meetings over the Internet, allowing for integrated communication."

The move gives Cisco increased access to a market that is growing faster than its traditional business of routers and the like. The addition adds to Cisco's inventory of the video-conferencing resources as last year they released TelePresenece, a Web-based system that transmits life-sized images to remote conference rooms. Cisco Chief Development Officer Charles Giancarlo has said that the TelePresence product may be he quickest Cisco product to reach $1 billion in annual sales. All appears to be well in the Cisco world. I wonder what Microsft's next move will be?

Related Resources:

Bloomberg on Cisco to Buy WebEx Communications for $3.2 Billion
Cisco Podcasts of Announcement
Cisco Website
WebEx Website

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 15, 2007   0 comments
B2B Resource of the Week: Rain Today's What's Working in Lead Generation?
Here's a new feature from SEO-Space. The B2B resource of the week. While SEO-Space would like to be the one stop shop for all of your B2B online marketing needs, there are simply too many great resources out there that you should be made aware of.

Enter SEO-Space's B2B Resource of the Week.

For week one, the inaugral SEO-Space Resource of the Week goes to:

Rain Today's: What's Working in Lead Generation?
  • the report contains over 200 pages of data and analysis on how to generate more leads for your B2B services
  • the report contains sections on Industry-by-Industry results
  • various charts and graphs to illustrate key points
  • the reports answers a number of questions including "What would your peers and competitors be doing if they had an extra $100,000 to spend on their marketing and sales efforts?" and "What do "good" and "excellent" lead generation companies do that others do not?"
View the complete table of contents for What's Working in Lead Generation?

Related Resources for What's Working in Lead Generation.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 15, 2007   0 comments
Can You Say MySpace News?
Monday, March 12, 2007
Here's an interesting piece of news... Fox Interactive Media, who recently acquired MySpace, is set to launch a news service early in the second quarter. Can you say MySpace News? Rumors persist that MySpace is set to launch MySpace News.

According to reports, MySpace News will rely on both algorithms and user ratings... and boy does MySpace have users as the following stats indicate:
  • It is the largest online social networking portal on the web
  • It has 61 + million registered users with 21+ million unique visitors (media metrix)

  • According to page view data, MySpace is the second largest destination on the web (some reports indicate that MySpace now generates the largest number of page views by any website.)

  • The gender demographic on MySpace is split 50.2% male, 49.8% female

  • The primary age demo is 16-34

  • The site attracts 220,000 new registrants daily

    The following MySpace stats are from the Nov. of 2005:

  • 150,000 new users a day during the first half of November, up from about 100,000 a day last summer
  • 24.2 million unique users in October, up 12% from 21.6 million in September
  • 11.6 billion page views in October (up from 9-billion in September), displacing eBay as the fourth-busiest site on the net
  • More page views than any Internet destination except Yahoo, and AOL (recently passed MSN).
  • Twice the page views as Google which logged 6.6 billion in October.
Terry Heaton's PoMo Blog reported that "MySpace News takes News to a whole new level by dynamically aggregating real-time news and blogs from top sites around the Web" and "Creates focused, topical news pages that users can interact and engage with throughout their day."

Personally I think that MySpace News has the potential to be the leading online source of news out there. This presents a great opportunity for MySpace to share all of the content that they have amassed from users. I could see MySpace News quickly becoming the online news leader for items such as the latest celebrity gossip, entertainment news, and sporting news. (MySpace reaches more men online than ESPN.com.)

It will be interesting to see if MySpace News becomes the online authority for up to the minute news clips and news information. The potential of MySpace and MySpace News is huge. We'll have to wait and see just how far they go.

Fox Interactive Media (FIM) oversees the Internet business operations of media giant News Corporation, including fox.com, foxnews.com, and foxsports.com.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, March 12, 2007   0 comments
Google Phones? What's Next Google Gas?
Friday, March 09, 2007
Google Phones? Man the mighty hand of Google is into everything. Loren Baker over at Search Engine Journal reports that Google filed for a new patent part of which includes predicting phone calls and actions based upon time and location. How lazy are we getting? Allowing Google the information to plan my immediate future? Uh no thanks, I'm not sure that I'm ok with that. Don't get me wrong I like Google but seriously, Google Phones anticipating what my next move is just doesn't sit well with me.

Here how it would work: Let's say a few friends and I were going to a hockey game and after the game we wanted to grab a bite to eat. Google Phones could predict my location and provide me with a list of restaurants in the area. Ok but Google doesn't know that two of my friends are vegetarians and that another is in the mood for sushi. Where is the relevance in the results? I don't see any benefit as I am most likely familiar with the area and have a general idea of the restaurants that are in the vicinity. The a few hours later Google Phones would tell me where the nearest movie theaters are or casinos or bars.... but what if I just want to go home? Google predicting what I want before I decide what I want? Nah not for me.

Google Phones knowing what I want before I search? Why would I want my phone interrupting me every couple of hours to see if I needed something? It's so impersonal. There is something to be said for spontaneity. I just don't see the relevance unless I define what it is that I want.

For more on the patent for Google Phones visit Mad4MobilePhones.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, March 09, 2007   0 comments
2007 Forbes Billionaire List - The Rich Get Richer...
Thursday, March 08, 2007
The rich get richer. Forbes has released its latest billionaire report. Did you know that they are reporting that there are 946 billionaires, 178 of which who are first timers to the exclusive club. That is a crazy statistic. Of the world's population of 6,581,077,053 there are only 946 billionaires - that really is a pretty exclusive group.

So who topped the list? Well Mr. Gates (although I still think that the Sultan of Brunei is worth more than 54 billion). Here's a peek at the top 20 Billionaires in the world:
  1. William Gates III
  2. Warren Buffet
  3. Carlos Slim Helu
  4. Ingvar Kamprad
  5. Lakshmi Mittal
  6. Sheldon Adelson
  7. Bernard Arnault
  8. Amancio Ortega
  9. Li Ka-shing
  10. David Thomson
  11. Larry Ellison
  12. Liliane Bettencourt
  13. Prince Alwaleed
  14. Mukesh Ambani
  15. Karl Albrecht
  16. Roman Abramovich
  17. Stefan Persson
  18. Anil Ambani
  19. Paul Allen
  20. Theo Albrecht
The youngest billionaire is German Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis, who is just 23. Estimated worth is 2 billion.

The Google Guys (Larry & Sergey) with a combined age of 67 are worth an estimated 16.6 billion.

The oldest billionaire is John Simplot at 98 years of age. I bet you didn't know that this guy was a high school drop out. (makes me wonder why I spent all of that money on my education...heh heh).

There were a number of Canadian billionaires on the list including:

(featuring: Rank/ Name / Age/ Net Worth - in billions/Residence)
10 David Thomson & family Canada 49 22.0 Canada
93 Galen Weston & family Canada 66 7.9 Canada
129 James, Arthur & John Irving Canada NA 5.8 Canada
165 Edward Rogers Canada 73 4.9 Canada
188 Bernard (Barry) Sherman Canada 65 4.4 Canada
204 Jeffrey Skoll Canada 42 4.2 United States
214 Paul Desmarais Canada 80 4.0 Canada
230 Jim Pattison Canada 78 3.8 Canada
314 Robert Miller Canada 61 2.9 Canada
349 Wallace McCain Canada 77 2.6 Canada
390 Charles Bronfman Canada 75 2.4 Canada
538 Stephen Jarislowsky Canada 81 1.9 Canada
538 Daryl Katz Canada 45 1.9 Canada
557 Emanuele (Lino) Saputo Canada 70 1.8 Canada
557 Alexander Shnaider Canada 38 1.8 Canada
583 Mike Lazaridis Canada 46 1.7 Canada
618 Michael Lee-Chin Canada 56 1.6 Canada
618 James Balsillie Canada 46 1.6 Canada
618 Jean Coutu Canada 79 1.6 Canada
664 Guy Laliberte Canada 47 1.5 Canada
717 Clayton Riddell Canada 69 1.4 Canada
717 David Cheriton Canada 55 1.4 United States
754 N Murray Edwards Canada 47 1.3 Canada

There are a lot of interesting names on the list. Carlos Slim Helu (# 3 on the list) for example from Mexico was the largest gainer, increasing his worth by 19 billion over the past year thanks to the performance of his wireless telephone company, America Movil.

It's interesting to see that the wealth appears to be changing hands in Europe. The Forbes report goes on to mention that "In Europe, Russia's mostly young, self-made tycoons are catching up to Germany's often-aging heirs and heiresses. Russia now has 53 billionaires (2 shy of Germany's total), but they are worth $282 billion ($37 billion more than Germany's richest). After a 20-year reign, Japan is no longer Asia's top spot for billionaires: India has 36, worth a total of $191 billion..."

Visit the complete list of billionaires from Forbes.com.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 08, 2007   0 comments
5 Reasons Why Yahoo Will Gain Market Share from Google
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
As the Google world turns so does that of the competition. For months now Google has been dominating the search engine market with Yahoo being a distant runner up. Recent reports state that Google maintains a 47.3% market share in the US. Yahoo is second with 28.5%. However the gap between the two search giants may begin to close and here's why:

  1. Google is in danger of becoming complacent - while they are widely considered as being an innovative company, there is only so many companies they can purchase and only so many partnerships that they can form.
  2. Yahoo spent 2006 "house cleaning" in preparation for a focused drive towards a better search product. Starting with the release of "Panama", Yahoo has taken babysteps to improve their search offering. Early indications suggest that they are having modest success and will continue to do so.
  3. Natural Progression of the "Product Lifecycle" - The "product" being Google and as we all know that in time all products fall to planned obsolescence... all products become somewhat obsolete.
  4. The other search players have been underachieving - Yahoo, Microsoft and ASK can expect to see better days. This may be the most difficult for Microsoft as the ego of this corporation has prevented the company from finding the success that Google has enjoyed.
  5. It's time for a new player to step up - Google came from out of nowhere and rose to stardom fairly quickly. It's not impossible for a new upstart to do the same.

While Yahoo may never overtake Google as the number one search engine, they will provide stiffer competition for Google. In 2005 Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel promised "important upgrades" in search advertiser platforms offered by Yahoo. We are seeing the result now with "Panama". With a number of social networking offerings, Yahoo may be starting to make the move from the outhouse to the penthouse.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, March 06, 2007   2 comments
Microsoft vs. Google and the winner is...
As we all know Microsoft is playing catch up to Google in the search business. Earlier today Microsoft went on the attack against Google over copyright infringement. Microsoft's top lawyer, Tom Rubin stated that "Google appears to be trying wherever possible to skirt copyright law`s boundaries..." and that Microsoft is working "to collaborate with copyright holders in developing technologies while Google, in contrast, was guilty of a "unilateralist approach" by scanning books "by the truckload" without the permission of writers or publishers.

Is it me or does it sound like Microsoft is whining a little too much? I mean I understand the seriousness of the whole copyright infringement issue, but why go on the attack? Is this an act of desperation? The winner of this battle between Google and Microsoft may just be... you guessed it Yahoo.

Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land has provided some great insight with his post on the battle between the search giants.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, March 06, 2007   0 comments
SES New York Just Over a Month Away
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Just a reminder for folks that Search Engine Strategies New York will be taking place in just over a month's time. SES NY is one of the premier search industry conferences and has been labelled as a "must attend" by conference organizers. According to the official SES site, SES NY will feature a ton of new content and developments that those involved in search marketing will need in order to stay on top of the latest happenings in search. There has been a lot going on in the world of search since the last SES conference.

The Search Engine Strategies conference is considered the leading global conference & expo series about search engine advertising, site optimization and online marketing issues. The 4-day conference will deliver 75 sessions and will feature some of the industry's most prolific personnel. SES NY 2007 celebrates it's 8th Anniversary and promises to be yet another top notch offering for those looking to discuss and learn more about search marketing.

Of the 75 sessions being presented, expect the following to be standing-room only.
  • Big SEO - featuring a presentation by Bill Hunt, CEO, Global Strategies International
  • Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues
  • Putting Search Into The Marketing Mix
  • B2B Tactics- featuring speakers such as Patricia Hursh, President, SmartSearch Marketing, Karen Breen Vogel, CEO, ClearGauge and Paul Slack, CEO, WebDex
  • Link Baiting & Viral Search Success

These are but a sample of some of the great sessions that I would treat as "must attends". The fact is there are a lot of great sessions to attend. The one issue that I have when attending SES shows is that quite often there are multiple "must-attend" sessions that take place at the same time and it is impossible to attend both simultaneously. Not sure of a solution to this, but maybe in upcoming conferences they will figure somthing out.

For more on the scheduled sessions click on any of the following:

  • SES NY Day One
  • SES NY Day Two
  • SES NY Day Three
  • SES NY Day Four

I didn't see any sessions scheduled pertaining to the Personalization of Search, but I'm sure this too will happen in future SES Conferences.

For those attending SES NY, enjoy the conference, it's sure to be a good one.

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posted by Jody @ Saturday, March 03, 2007   0 comments
Microsoft Trying to Murder Organic SEO?
Thursday, March 01, 2007
In case you missed it, Microsoft has been granted a new patent that will remove duplicate search engine results (ie. organic results). Actually the first three components of the patent claim explain the patent a bit more.


"1. A method for removing duplicate URLs from a plurality of listed URLs, said method comprising: determining a display URL for each of a plurality of listed URLs; and determining if any subset comprising at least two listed URLs from among the plurality of listed URLs have the same display URL and, if so, eliminating at least one listed URL from among the subset of listed URLs having the same display URL, wherein specific listed URLs from among the subset of listed URLs having the same display URL are selected for elimination based on a selection rule, wherein the selection rule for the elimination of specific listed URLs from among the subset of listed URLs having the same display URL is for lesser paying listed URLs to be eliminated. Translation: this means removing duplicate URLs

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the plurality of listed URLs are the results of a search engine query. Translation: when there are multiple results for the same URL based on a single search query.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the plurality of listed URLs are derived from a compilation of search engine query results." Related queries with duplicate URLs
As Bill Slawski points out, in essence the patent explores the idea of "...filtering organic results when there's more than one URL pointing to the same page (i.e., http://www.example.com, http://www.example.com/home.html) on a search results page. It adds the possibility of removing a Web search listing from a search results page when there's also a paid listing pointing to the same page."

This doesn't make sense. Enquiro research has shown that most search users tend to click on the top organic results the majority of time. So let me get this straight, if by chance you have a sponsored result and a top organic result, Microsoft is thinking about removing the organic result. Hmm yeah this will help improve relevancy. You remove the top organic listing, the one that most users will click on. Yep that's one way to improve the user experience. (I'm rolling my eyes as I type this...) This sounds absurd to me. In my opinion, in terms of providing relevant results, Microsoft is a distant fourth behind ASK, Google and Yahoo.

If implemented, Microsoft’s would filter out your organic listing if you also appeared in their Sponsored Listings. By removing the organic results, Microsoft does not improve the user experience or improve the relevancy of the results. How can you have a listing that has been paid for (ie a sponsored result) be the most relevant result? Would it not be possible for eBay for example to bid on any key phrase and be listed in the top sponsored position for this particular key phrase? This doesn't mean that this is the most relevant result out there, and further, if the site listed in the number three sponsored position happened to be the most relevant but has had it's organic result removed, users may not find the most relevant result (based on the fact that they may ignore the side sponsored listings). The organic listing is the one that is ranking based on quality and relevancy, not the PPC listing which “ranks” solely because the advertiser paid the right price to be placed there.

Is it not true that organic and sponsored listings are supposed to be separate and that they are not supposed to affect each other? (Although I have seen evidence of this not being true, where paid listings have cannibalized organic listings.) It should be noted that Microsoft has not stated whether they will implement this patent, but it does raise some eyebrows.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 01, 2007   1 comments
Click Fraud is Not an Excuse for a Failing Online Marketing Campaign
Here’s some food for thought: Click Fraud is not an excuse for a failing online marketing campaign - why do marketers use it as one and what should they really be paying attention to?

Marketing folk tend to be very creative. Search marketers for the most part are creative as well. (The argument that search marketing is Art vs. Science can be discussed another time.) Quite often marketers can be creative with their excuses as to why a campaign may have failed when it was supposed to be the next big thing. Creative excuses very rarely “fly” with management however. For online search marketers one of the most common excuses that I have heard search marketers use for a failing online marketing campaign is click fraud. “Click fraud is synthetically forcing our sponsored budget up… as a result our return is not where it should be.” Are you serious? Click fraud being the reason why your campaign is failing? In addition, there are those people who report on the fact that click fraud is going to be the downfall of search marketing. They just don’t get it. They don’t understand the business of search.

Why Worry About Click Fraud when there are Bigger Fish to Fry?

While the importance of click fraud as an issue should not go away, those who blame their failing campaigns on click fraud need to look at the big picture. Especially in light of the fact that Google has announced with hard numbers, for the first time, about how much of Google's traffic could actually be considered fraudulent. With the bottom line for advertisers being such as small amount at .02%, click fraud is extremely overrated. Based on these numbers, click fraud represents a small percentage of fraudulent traffic. In my opinion, to blame click fraud as to why your campaign is failing is ludicrous. Instead of paying attention to click fraud and using it as an excuse, search marketers should be paying attention to the things that truly matter.

Forget click fraud, there are a number of other issues where search marketers should be shifting their focus on. Here are ten factors that search marketers should be paying attention to instead of worrying about click fraud:

1. The conversion rates of your landing page(s) – riddle me this, if you can bump your conversion rates by .5%, you’ve just made 25 times more impact on your overall campaign performance. This seems better than continuing to fret about click fraud on Google.
2. Inaccurate conversion tracking – tracking the wrong numbers can cause you grief and over-inflate potential leads and conversion numbers
3. Poor conversion paths – not generating enough leads? Rather than worrying about click fraud, identifying and addressing poor conversion paths is time well spent.
4. Shopping cart errors – ensuring that people can actually convert on your site is key for a successful online marketing campaign.
5. Limited calls to action – not having enough calls to action can have a direct impact on the leads (or lack thereof) that you receive via your site.
6. Wrong types of calls to action - wrong types of calls to action will also impact your conversion rates.
7. Poor user experience – getting traffic to your site is one thing, knowing what to do with them when they arrive on your site is another. (and you want to worry about click fraud?)
8. Identifying, defining and monitoring proper metrics and key performance indicators – why worry about click fraud when you have not even identified the proper metrics to measure your site’s success?
9. Establishing proper budget allocation for search marketing campaigns – obtaining budget for your online marketing campaign seems more important than click fraud to me.
10. Having a well-balanced campaign that include both sponsored and organic components – don’t focus solely on your sponsored campaign as an effective online marketing campaign should include an organic component as well. Click fraud is not an issue when it comes to organic search marketing.

The way I see it, looking at click fraud should be the least of your worries. Online marketers need to understand that it is people that make purchase decisions, not algorithms or computers. The above list presents a number of areas where search marketers and advertisers should focus their efforts on to succeed in the online marketplace. Instead of worrying about click fraud so much, why not focus your efforts on any of the above items and look at the big picture? I’m pretty sure that by understanding the “big picture” proper focus can be placed on the items that can have a positive impact on your return on investment.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 01, 2007   2 comments
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