HOME ORGANIC SEARCH SEO TIPS DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES SUBSCRIBE

SEARCH
 
FIND US
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
SUBSCRIBE
Subscribe to Marketing Jive
 Subscribe to our feed.
ADVERTISE
Marketing-Jive, formerly SEO-Space, was established in 2006 and since then we have noticed significant increases in both traffic and feed subscribers. If you want to promote your business to thousands of visitors who understand digital marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Sign up and start receiving qualified leads right now. Your ad will be visible on every unique page on our blog.
Glossary of SEO Terms
  • SEO Terms A-C
  • SEO Terms D-F
  • SEO Terms G-I
  • SEO Terms J-L
  • SEO Terms M-O
  • SEO Terms P-S
  • SEO Terms T-V
  • SEO Terms W-Z
  • Enquiro's Online Marketing Glossary
Search Engine Market Share (US)
Organic Search / SEO Tips
Latest Social Network Happenings
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
It's been a busy couple of weeks and I've had limited time to see what's going on in the world of social networks out there. It seems as though there is a new social network or new series of applications/features for social networks that pop up each and every day. So here (in random order) is a look at some recent happenings at some of the popular social networks out there.


has began beta testing a new version of their homepage. I like the new features. LinkedIn is also adding status updates with which users can broadcast their current activities to their connections and/or networks. TechCrunch has a great review of some of the new updates that you can expect to see on LinkedIn. If you are interested in adding me to your contacts on linkedin, visit my Linkedin page here.

Local review site Yelp, recently secured $15 million dollar round of financing led by DAG Ventures. Yelp continues to be in the news and looks like an interesting option for those who are looking for local search strategies.


The big project at Facebook these days is a redesign of Profiles. according to Facebook, "... As more and more information is available on Facebook—more photo albums, more applications, and more history—we've realized that profiles have become cluttered and harder to navigate as a result. We're trying to make profiles more simple and relevant, while still giving you control over your profile and how you express yourself. We want to invite you to keep up with our design and iteration on the new Facebook Profiles Preview Page."

MySpace continues to get the most traffic, although that could be changing soon according to this post on TechCrunch. MySpace hadrecently announced the launch of their developer platform on February 5th. http://developer.myspace.com

There's always lots going on with these guys. You can bet that moving into the second quarter of 2008 we'll see more applications and features released as the social networks continue to battle each other for online supremacy.

Labels:

posted by PlanetNim Caretaker @ Wednesday, February 27, 2008  
SMX West Day Two Sessions of Note
Well as SMX West swings into the second day of the conference, here are a few of the session that may be of interest to those attending.

Search 4.0 Track

The Personalized Search Revolution - The Search 3.0 revolution of blended search isn't even over, and we're talking Search 4.0 already? Yes, because Google isn't waiting around. Google Personalized Search changes the SEO game dramatically, since those using the service have individually tailored results -- and more and more are using it each day. This session looks at how personalized search works, what SEOs can still to do influence those results and what might happen with personalization at the other major search engines.

Moderator: Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land
Q&A Moderator: Fionn Downhill, CEO and President, Elixir Systems

Speakers:
Steven Marder, CEO and Co-founder, Eurekster
Phil McDonnell, Software Engineer, Google, Inc.
Cris Pierry, Senior Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Search

Landing Pages & Multivariate Testing - Even if you're not a fan of the animated superhero Wonder Twins, you'll know that two combined into one can sometimes make a stronger force. In this session, a look at what happens when you combine landing pages with multivariate testing tools -- tools that let you change various elements of the page dynamically to see which tests better with people.

Moderator: Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro
Q&A Moderator: John Marshall, CTO and Founder, Market Motive

Speakers:
Jonathan Mendez, Founder & CEO, RAMP Digital
Sandra Niehaus, Vice President User Experience & Creative Director, Closed Loop Marketing
Seth Rosenblatt, Vice President, Business Development & Marketing, Optimost Solutions, Interwoven

Q&A Speakers:
Robert Bergquist, CEO, Widemile
Jon Diorio, Group Product Marketing Manager, Google AdWords and Website Optimizer

SEO & Blogging - Blogging can help SEO in a variety of ways. Blog posts are "syndicated," meaning your content -- and your links -- spread across the web. There are also dedicated blog search engines with readers you might be missing, if you're not blogging. This session introduces you to blogging and the SEO advantages it offers.

Moderator: Vanessa Fox, Features Editor, Search Engine Land
Q&A Moderator: Chris Winfield, President and Co-Founder, 10e20

Speakers:
Andy Beal, Internet Marketing Consultant, MarketingPilgrim.com
Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Services
Aaron Wall, Author, SEO Book

and probably the one that I was most looking forward to:

Just Behave, A Look At Searcher Behavior - All this talk about making use of searcher behavior -- but how do searchers actually interact with search engines? Glad you asked! This session takes its name from Search Engine Land's "Just Behave" column and like that column looks at the latest research and studies to offer techniques and tips for search marketers to consider.

Moderator: Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro
Q&A Moderator: Gillian Muessig, President, SEOmoz

Speakers:
Michael Ferguson, Senior User Experience Analyst, Ask.com
Laura Granka, User Experience Research, Google
Ben Hanna, Vice President Marketing, Business.com

Of course later in the evening there is the Google Groove where you can network at the Googleplex. Sounds like a great day of sessions and networking opportunities.

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Wednesday, February 27, 2008  
Yahoo at SMX in Santa Clara
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Today marks the start of SMX West from Santa Clara. Checking out a few of the blogs I came across the sessions that members of the Yahoo family will be participating in. If you're at the show be sure to check out the following sessions:

Tuesday, February 26
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Decrypting Quality Scores
David Pann, Vice President, Marketplace Design and Matching

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Search 3.0 Track: The Blended Search Revolution
Sean Suchter, Vice President of Engineering, Yahoo! Search

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.
Search 3.0 Track: Video, Images & Blended Results
Deepali Tamhane, Senior Product Manager, Yahoo! Search

3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Search 3.0 Track: Local Search & Blended Results
Brian Gil, Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Local

3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
The Economics of Search
Michael Schwarz, Marketplace Designer, Yahoo! Research

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.
Search 3.0: Online Retail & Blended Results
Ken Kronquist, Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Shopping

7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
SMX Search Bowl
Sean Suchter, Vice President of Engineering, Yahoo! Search
Jan Pedersen, Chief Scientist Advertising and Search, Yahoo! Search


Wednesday, February 27
10:45 am - 12:00 p.m.
Marketing Track: Branding & Search
Edwin Wong, Senior Market Research Manager, Yahoo! Search Marketing

3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Search 4.0 Track: Search Ads & Behavioral Targeting
David Kopp, Senior Director Product Strategy for Category Solutions

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.
Paid Search Roundtable
Dmitri Krakovsky, Vice President of Products, Yahoo! Online Channel and Small Business Services

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.
SEO Track: Search Engineers Q&A
Sean Suchter, Vice President of Engineering, Yahoo! Search


Thursday, February 28
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Keynote: Generation Next: Search in the Coming Decade
Larry Heck, Vice President of Search and Advertising Sciences

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
SEO & Linking Track: Linking Q&A
Priyank Garg, Director Product Management, Yahoo! Search

Yahoo always has a great presence at these shows. It's a great opportunity to ask questions and meet the people behind the big purple machine.

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Tuesday, February 26, 2008  
Top 7 Search Stories - February 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008

Last month Microsoft topped our list of the top search stories for January. However just as we rolled into February, there was one story that everyone was talking about. There were some other stories that were newsworthy in February. With that, here's a look at our top search stories for February 2008.

#7. Yahoo Announced Video Updates - right around Valentine's Day, Yahoo announced that there had updated their video offering. One of the cool new features included a wider viewing experience as Yahoo Video supports a new 16:9 cinemastic player.

#6. ASK Improves Binoculars Feature - ASK announced that through their binoculars feature you can now review site data from compete.com. Now not only can you find information about the site you're previewing, giving you site download time, whether or not a site is Flash-based, and even how many pop-ups the site delivers, but you can check out some stats on people who are visiting your site.

#5. Google Announces Adsense for Video - launched in beta, viewers of YouTube and a number of other video sites (e.g. popular destinations like BobVila.com, eHow, MyDamnChannel, ExpertVillage, PinkBike, TheNewsRoom, and social video aggregators like Revver, blip.tv, and GodTube), video platform solution solutions like Brightcove, Yume, Tremor Media, and Eyespot Network, who have plugged Google ads into their platforms.

#4. Yahoo Leads in Customer Service Study- According to Keynote Customer Experience Rankings of search engines, "... Yahoo! is, indeed, achieving noticeable improvements in user experience and beginning to close the gap with Google in several key search experience drivers." This is not the first time that Yahoo has topped Google in customer satisfaction. We reported another survey last August where Yahoo again came out on top of a University of Michigan satisfaction survey.


#3. SMX West - This week Santa Clara is home to Search Marketing Expo West. This conference is expected to be a great one a looking at some of the sessions this could be one of the greatest search conferences ever. I am a little saddened that I had to cancel my trek to Santa Clara to attend SMX, but clients do come first. You can expect a lot of interesting topics to be discussed on where search is going. If you are going to be in attendance, you'll want to check out the Keynote on Thursday entitled: "Generation Next: Search in the Coming Decade" which features a distinguished panel of speakers an includes Co-Chair Chris Sherman and Enquiro's own Gord Hotchkiss as moderators. It should be a great conference. I'm definitely having remorse over canceling my trip. I was looking to converse with a number of people in the industry including members from the search engines (including members from my favorite engine ASK..... by the way how do I get one of those cool ASK laptop backpacks?)

If you're lucky to attend be sure to check out some of the fun events such as the Google Groove or other planned networking events.

#2. Microsoft Puts in a Bid to Buy Yahoo - to me this was a low thing to do by Microsoft. As Yahoo is going through a process of change and some restructuring, Microsoft comes in a tries to purchase Yahoo with a $44.6 billion offer. I've said it once and I'll say it again, $45 billion for the most visited destination on the Web is not a fair offer (contrary to what the folks at Microsoft think.) Microsoft is still very confident that a merger with Yahoo is imminent.


#1. Yahoo Tells Microsoft "Thanks but No Thanks" - In a letter to Yahoo shareholders, Jerry Yang stated that "... Microsoft's proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo." He's 100% correct. While the winds of change are sweeping through Yahoo, they are still the number two search property in North America and in many parts of the world. Microsoft really does not have any idea on how to succeed at the search game. They're desperate. They need to be more innovative when it comes to Search. This could just be what Yahoo needed to unify the team and prepare them to focus on improving their search product and obtaining market share from Google. 2008 will continue to be interesting for Yahoo.

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Monday, February 25, 2008  
comScore Releases January Search Engine Market Sahre Data: ASK is Up!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Yesterday, comScore released their search engine market share data for January. Pretty much status quo as Google. Yahoo and Microsoft occupy the top three positions. However, our personal favorite ASK.com gain slightly.

comScore Core Search Report*
January 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore qSearch 2.0





Core Search Entity

Search Queries (MM)


Dec-07

Jan-08

Percent Change

Jan-08 vs. Dec-07


Total Core Search

9,636

10,492

8.9%


Google Sites

5,629

6,139

9.1%


Yahoo! Sites

2,211

2,332

5.5%


Microsoft Sites

940

1,030

9.7%


AOL LLC**

442

514

16.5%


Ask Network

415

475

14.6%






Top 50 Web properties included:

comScore Expanded Search Query Report
January 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore qSearch 2.0





Expanded Search Entity

Search Queries (MM)


Dec-07

Jan-08

Percent Change

Jan-08 vs. Dec-07


Total Expanded Search

13,523

14,595

7.9%


Google Sites

7,165

7,735

8.0%


Google

5,651

6,181

9.4%


YouTube/All Other

1,514

1,554

2.6%


Yahoo! Sites

2,363

2,456

3.9%


Yahoo!

2,326

2,427

4.3%


All Other

37

29

-21.6%


Microsoft Sites

963

1,060

10.1%


MSN-Windows Live

927

1,024

10.5%


Microsoft/All Other

36

36

0.0%


AOL LLC

N/A

903

N/A


AOL

N/A

522

N/A


MapQuest/All Other

N/A

381

N/A


Ask Network

416

477

14.7%


Ask.com

238

286

20.2%


MyWebSearch.com/ All Other

178

191

7.3%


eBay

508

467

-8.1%


Fox Interactive Media

350

384

9.6%


MySpace

342

376

9.9%


All Other

8

8

0.0%


Craigslist.org

220

256

16.4%


Amazon Sites

215

167

-22.2%


Facebook.com

102

109

6.2%


Labels:

posted by Jody @ Friday, February 22, 2008  
Local Search: Organically Speaking
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Well continuing with our "Local Search" theme this week. I wanted to look at some tips for helping site owners gain a presence in the Local Search engines and related local web properties. As you know there are a ton of options when it comes to local search. Not only do you have the major search engines offering local search products including:
  • Yahoo Local
  • Google Local/Maps
  • City Search
  • Windows Live Local
  • Local.AOL
  • ASK City
You also have other properties such as:
  • SuperPages.com
  • YellowPage.com
  • Local.com
  • MapQuest
  • AOL Local Yellow Pages
  • Yelp
  • 411.com
Of course I could go on and on as there are numerous other local search resources available. So what can you do to get your site listed in these resources so that you appear in the natural listings of local search and so that when a user searches for "plumbers in Detroit" your site is found? Well organically speaking you have limited control over determining your placement in the local search results. In fact we have contacted Yahoo to find out more about organic strategies for being listed in the "organic results" in Yahoo. There response was, "..there is no real way to control your presence in the Yahoo Local results..." Enter GEO-targeting through paid placement. (that's another post for another time...)

However here are a few basic tips that you'll need to follow to at least be found in the local search results:
  1. Have A Physical Address - Guess what? Local search is designed for small to medium businesses that have one (or possibly more) physical locations. You need to have a physical address for your store, branch or office.

  2. Communicate Your Address on Your Website - you need to illustrate to the search engines and more importantly, your users as to where your business can be found. A great place to start is your Contact Us page. At the very minimum ensure that your have an updated, full address listing on your Contact Us page for your store, branch or office. If you have multiple locations, list them here as well. If you have a large number of branches, you may want to create a series of pages with your various branch information.

  3. Create Local / GEO Targeted Content on Your Site - ah yes another supporting reason why "Content is King". Things such as articles or state-wide statistics can be a great way to provide information to your various geographic targets. Feature testimonials about how someone in Boise used your product or service and was happy with the results. " Locally focused content" can also act as great link bait and improve the authority of your site in a specific geographic locale.

  4. Obtain Links from Other Sites Within the Same GEO Area - For relevancy purposes, try to obtain links to your local pages or local copy from sites that are in the same area. Try to obtain relevant links from local colleges or universities, local directories, local Chamber of Commerce sites etc.

  5. Check Your Listings - Chances are you may already be listed in some of the various local search properties. Perform a search for your company name and see what comes up. If a listing does come up, log in or set up an account to edit the listing. Try to include your site URL, a detailed description of your business (incorporate your main keywords where possible.), an image of your store/office location, hours of operation and any other pertinent information that users will find useful. If the local engine has various categories, ensure that your business is found in the most relevant categories.
While local search may not be effective for all businesses, you will want to make sure that your business has some sort of presence in the local search engines. Start with the basics, let the search engines know where your business can be found. Provide an attractive listing for users and map out a local search strategy that works for you.

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Thursday, February 21, 2008  
Local Search: Is it For You?
Monday, February 18, 2008
I'd like to pose a question to the masses out there, if you have a well established brand, do you need to optimize your site for local search?

The best answer that I can come up with is "It Depends". If you are Pepsi or Coke do you really need to establish a local search strategy? To me local search is useful and works best for small to medium sized businesses with one or possibly a couple of different locations. Local search can work for larger businesses as well, such as those that have branches throughout towns and cities within North America. Local search could prove beneficial for a franchise with multiple locations throughout the US or Canada... but local search is not necessarily for every business.

In the "old days" it was as almost every business had a listing in the Yellow Pages (I'm referring to the book, not yellowpages.com). Being listed in the Yellow Pages could cost a small fortune, and how great was the return? A couple of phone inquiries, a few sales perhaps? From a user's point of view however, the Yellow Pages were extremely convenient and made it easy to find a "dentist" or "electrician" or "restaurant" in your town or city. I'm not so sure that the same can be said with Local Search. Try finding a dentist in using Google Maps or Yahoo Local. Are you satisfied with the results that you receive? It probably depends on the query that you use, but personally speaking, quite often when I use local search I find a lot of "noise" or sites that are not relevant to my needs. Maybe that's why I don't use local search that often. I tend to go directly to a site, or use a long-tail search phrase in hopes of returning more relevant results. If for example I am looking for "hotels in Edmonton" I'll probably just type that query into ASK or Google and take my chances with the organic/natural search results. If I am looking for something like the "weather in Las Vegas", I'll simply go to ASK and type in "weather in Las Vegas." The reason is that I know that ASK has the most relevant result for this locally-appended query. But let's say that you moved to a new city or part of town and you are looking for a popular brand or store in your neighborhood. Are you going to use local search to find the nearest Wal-Mart or Home Depot? Probably not, you are just going to append your search with a Geo-modifier.

So do large brands need to optimize for local search? Well again it depends. People are familiar with large brands and chances are they will go directly to the site or will perform a search for that brand in a search engine.... they're probably not going to even think about using local search. If your site is well optimized and identifies your branch locations on your contact us page, chances are you have some presence in the "organic" listings of the local search sites. If you are a well known brand and have a number of bricks and mortar locations throughout North America, you'll want to be found when a searcher performs a local search. You simply want to be found. If you are a plumber in Detroit, you want to be found for "plumbers in Detroit", if you're a divorce lawyer in Beverly Hills, you want to be found for "divorce lawyers in Beverly Hills" or "divorce lawyer 90210". The fact is local search is more for traditional bricks and mortar businesses. It does not make a lot of sense for large brands such as Pepsi or Coke to focus their efforts on local search. People are aware of those brands. In this case local search does not provide a benefit to the user or to the brand.

While you should have at least one listing in the local search results of the various search engines, a detailed local search strategy is not necessarily required for every business. It works if your customers use local search, it's pointless if they don't. It works if you are a small to medium sized business, it's not as effective if you are a well established brand. Ask yourself why you should pursue local search. Is your site or business set up and optimized for local search? Does your site have what it takes to rank well in places such as Google Local/Maps or Super Pages? Is local search integral for your customers to find your site? Does your competition have a strong presence in local search? It seems like a no-brainer, but the truth is that local search is simply not for everyone.

Labels:

posted by PlanetNim Caretaker @ Monday, February 18, 2008  
Local Search: Defining Your Place in Local Markets
Sunday, February 17, 2008
It has been a while since we posted about local search or local search optimization. Local search is one area that many suggest might be the way of the future when it comes to search. Tie it in with mobile search and you can see the opportunity that advertisers will have in the near future. Starting today we are beginning a series of posts on local search and what it means for businesses who are looking to gain online visibility for their local businesses. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll examine what local search is, how you can get listed in local search engines and examine whether local search is for you.
So What Is Local Search?

Local search can mean different things to different advertisers. The fact of the matter is, that people who use local search tend to be further along in the buying funnel and are closer to making an actual purchase (either online or offline). Local search is simply the act of finding information for a business in a specific geographic locale. Whether a searcher is looking for a "plumber in Detroit", "pizza parlors in Chicago", or "hotels in Las Vegas", local search is how they are going to find what they are looking for. Whereas most used to look in the big book of the Yellow Pages, the Internet generation is now using local search to find businesses in their community.

Let's say that you are looking for a real estate agent. Chances are you are not going to perform a search for "real estate agents" in Google or Yahoo. (For the record, this query returns over 200 million results in Yahoo...) You are most likely going to append your search engine query with a geo-specific locator. Your query will probably look something more like "real estate agents in " for example: "real estate agents in Seattle". Users who are more comfortable online might actually perform their query modified with their area or zip code. As a result the results that you are served up with will be less competitive and more relevant. Ah relevancy. That is why people love local search.

Local search will always return results that are more relevant. Looking for a dentist? Of course you are going to perform a local search. Now let's clarify something.

To perform a local search does not necessarily mean that you will be using a local search engine
.

Depending on the user, many will simply use a GEO-modifier to their search query (a la "real estate agents in Seattle"). While they may be served up with local search results as part of the blended search results that the search engine displays, they did not go directly to the local search engine. Therefore, you need to be aware of the various scenarios that can happen with local search.

Scenario One: The user performs a Web search in a major search engine (Google, Yahoo, ASK etc) and appends their search with a GEO-qualifier.

Scenario Two: The user goes directly to a local search engine (Google Local, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, ASK City etc.) and performs a query specific to their local identifying a city, zip code, actual address or combination of the three.

Scenario Three: The user goes to a vertical local search engine such as Super Pages or Local.com and performs a search for a local business.

Depending on the searcher's user experience, there are other scenarios that come in to play:

Scenario Four: The searcher previously used a local search engine and bookmarked their query.

Scenario Five: The searcher previously used search either Web search or Local Search, found the business that they were looking for and bookmarked the site. After the initial use of local search, the user now goes directly to the site for that business.

The majority of the users will make use of scenarios one, two, or three depending on their comfort level and savvy of Search. The scenarios do point out something interesting. If a user has a successful Local Search experience initially, the need for Local Search is complete as they may not have need for Local Search (for that specific query) because chances are they may have bookmarked the destination site that satisfied their needs. This might be worth doing some research to determine how users interact with Local Search. A future research project and post perhaps? The fact of the matter is, while Local Search is becoming increasing popular for advertisers, Local Search may not work for everybody.

So now that we have discussed what Local Search is, our next piece will be on Defining Your Place in Local Markets through Local Search.

Labels: ,

posted by Jody @ Sunday, February 17, 2008  
Yahoo Video Updates
Friday, February 15, 2008
We have been mentioning a lot about video optimization recently. We even went to great lengths to compile a list of various video aggregator sites. Near the top of that list you will see Yahoo Video. Earlier today, Yahoo announced some great new changes to their Yahoo Video platform.

Some of the cool new features include:
  • Wider Viewing Experience - Yahoo! Video supports a 16:9 cinematastic player that’s far ahead of what most sites are offering.

    Yahoo Video
  • Added Content -Yahoo is including video found throughout Yahoo!, including music, movies, TV, news, sports, and a whole lot more. Of course they are still committed to featuring the best videos from all of the independent video creators that submit videos to Yahoo.

  • Upload Larger Files - This is pretty cool, Yahoo has raised the max file size to 150 megabytes, so you can upload longer, higher quality video.

  • More Video Sharing Options - With Yahoo Video, not only can you embed individual videos on your blog or site, you can create your own video experience with embeddable playlists.
These are but a few of the new updates to Yahoo Video. You can view the entire list of video changes over at the Yahoo Video Blog. With a number of great categories ranging from entertainment, food, How-To, Music, news and politics, sports, travel and more there is something for everybody on Yahoo Video.

More About Yahoo Video
Guidelines for Submitting to Yahoo Video
Yahoo Video Search

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Friday, February 15, 2008  
Jerry Yang's Letter to Yahoo Shareholders
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I was happy to see Yahoo reject Microsoft's offer a few days ago. In fact we predicted it. So it was with great interest that we read Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang's letter to Yahoo shareholders. Here it is in it's entirety:

Dear Stockholders,

On February 1, 2008, Microsoft made an unsolicited proposal to acquire your company. As much has been reported in the press recently, I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know why your Board of Directors, after a careful review by Yahoo!’s management along with our financial and legal advisors, believes that Microsoft’s proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo! and is not in the best interests of our stockholders.

Most importantly, I want you to know that your Board is continuously evaluating all of Yahoo!’s strategic options in the context of the rapidly evolving industry environment, and we remain committed to pursuing initiatives that maximize value for all our stockholders.

We have a unique combination of strengths

– Yahoo! is one of the most recognizable and admired brands in the world. We have over 500 million users (nearly 1 out of every 2 internet users worldwide). In the U.S., we are # 1 in many of the most used online services including personalized home pages, mail, news, music, shopping and travel. Because we have leadership positions in so many indispensable online services, users spend more time on Yahoo! sites than anywhere else online.

– Yahoo! is an attractive partner for marketers. Yahoo! is #1 in online display advertising, which represents 90% of the advertising inventory on the web, and we are also a leader in search marketing and a pioneer in the growing fields of mobile advertising and online video advertising. Through Yahoo!, advertisers can now connect with consumers on our owned sites as well as those of our growing network of partners including eBay, Comcast, AT&T, a consortium of over 600 newspapers, Forbes.com, Cars.com, WebMD and more.

– Yahoo! has the financial flexibility to execute our plans, thanks to our healthy cash balance, which exceeded $2 billion as of December 31, 2007, and our substantial operating cash flow, which we expect to grow double digits in 2009.

– Yahoo! has made important investments in our core computing infrastructure enabling us to dramatically increase the speed of our search engine updates even while handling vast and growing quantities of data.

– In addition, we have the added value of our substantial, unconsolidated investments in Japan and China. We have substantial positions in Yahoo! Japan, the leader in its market, and Alibaba, which is strongly positioned in China, a market with enormous growth potential.

These assets–our brand and its audience, our relationships with marketers, our financial strength, our technology, and our strategic investments–are the core of our value and our leadership position in the industry.

We have a huge market opportunity - and are uniquely positioned to capitalize on it

The global online advertising market is projected to grow from $45 billion in 2007 to $75 billion in 2010. And we are moving quickly to take advantage of what we see as a unique window of time in the growth - and evolution - of this market to build market share and to create value for stockholders.

We are executing our strategy - and making headway

We have taken significant but disciplined steps to refocus our business on our objectives to become the starting point for the most consumers and the must buy for the most advertisers and enhance Yahoo!’s long-term performance.

Starting Point Objective: Our goal is to grow visits to key Yahoo! starting points and properties, where users enter the Internet, by 15% per year over the next several years. We are the most visited site in the U.S., and we continue to grow - we experienced double-digit growth in U.S. users in 2007 on our Yahoo.com home page.

In addition to traditional starting points on the PC - including our home pages, mail, My Yahoo! and search, we are particularly excited about our growth prospects in mobile, the biggest emerging starting point in the world. Globally, there are twice as many users of mobile devices as users of personal computers, and mobile advertising is projected to grow substantially in the coming years. We have an important competitive edge as the number one mobile destination in the U.S., and we are building a superior mobile experience for Yahoo! users globally so we can further capitalize on this opportunity.

Must Buy Objective: We are working to make online advertising easier and more effective for marketers, opening up new ways for them to connect with consumers. We’ve successfully completed the global roll-out of our search marketing system, Panama, which improved the search experience for our users, boosted returns for our advertisers, and increased revenue for Yahoo!. Last year, we bought Right Media, an exchange that enables buyers and sellers of online advertising to come together. Another 2007 acquisition, Blue Lithium, brings us best-in-class performance marketing capabilities, complementing Yahoo!’s existing offerings for advertisers. We also integrated our search advertising and display advertising sales forces, creating a one-stop shop for all of advertisers’ online marketing needs. All of these - Panama, Right Media, Blue Lithium, and our combined sales efforts - complement and enhance Yahoo!’s existing capabilities and will make it easier for advertisers and online publishers to buy and sell advertising online.

We are also creating a unique and valuable network of premium websites to serve our advertisers. We are making it easier for our advertisers to provide interesting and relevant offers to our users by combining advertising space on Yahoo!’s owned sites with that from a growing group of premium partners including eBay, Comcast, AT&T, a consortium of over 600 newspapers and many others.

As we reach more users both on our own websites and on the sites of our premium partners, and better monetize the ad space on Yahoo!’s owned and operated sites, we are striving to increase the percentage of total online advertising demand we touch from an estimated 15% in 2007 to 20% over the next several years.

These key strategies will be enhanced by our adoption of new, more open technology platforms that will encourage the development of new applications and the involvement of third-party developers - and help enrich the user experience.

We have accomplished a great deal in a very short time - and we are focused on building this momentum

Today, Yahoo! is a faster-moving, better-organized, more nimble company than it was just a few months ago. We have redeployed our resources to drive Yahoo!’s key strategic priorities - taking important steps to streamline our organization and close down or scale back businesses that don’t support these critical growth initiatives. The fact is that we are well on our way to transforming the experiences of Yahoo!’s users, advertisers, publishers and developers - an important shift that is at the heart of our plan to create stockholder value.

I want you to know that the Yahoo! Board of Directors and management team remain committed to pursuing initiatives that maximize value for all our Yahoo! stockholders. This is a great company and we are moving quickly to make it even better.

Jerry Yang

Yahoo's response to Microsoft was as expected. Let's see if Yahoo can now turn the corner.

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Thursday, February 14, 2008  
Multi-National Marketing: Effective Strategies for Global Marketers
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I am live blogging about a Search Marketing Now webcast featuring Chris Sherman from Search Engine Land. The webcast is entitled, "Multi-National Marketing: Effective Strategies for Global Marketers". This is great stuff as there simply are not enough quality resources on this topic. I recently launched a new endeavor with Manoj Jasra from Web Analytics World to address global online marketing issues. The goal of GlobalThoughtz is to provide information about global marketing strategies will a focus on what's going around the Globe in online marketing.

Multi-National marketing is something that is not new, but in the online space, high level global strategies are something that many have found to be elusive. Running a successful global search marketing campaign involves more than just translating your sites, or dealing in multiple currencies. The webcast outlined best practices for running a successful global search marketing campaign.

Why Go Global?
  • there are a number of opportunities that are available for search marketers in the Global market.
  • Yahoo properties are the most visited properties in the World. You need to target Yahoo on a Global basis.
  • Baidu is the third most popular search engine based on comScore worldwide search share.
  • there are 760 million searchers in the online space
  • 75% of all searches are done outside North America
  • Google totally dominates North America and most of Europe
  • Yahoo is dominant in Asia
  • Baidu has a 61% market share in China (Google 20%)
  • Naver has a 74% market share in South Korea (Google 4%)
  • Yandex has a 57% market share in Russia (Google 23%)
Searcher Behavior
  • searcher behavior varies by country
  • multinational campaigns can be run in English depending on the goal. this is best for Global brands and products with the same name in all cultures.
  • people use different search terms, there are different eye tracking patterns, result scanning patterns (note Chris made reference to Enquiro's eye tracking study where we identified Google's Golden Triangle.)
Should you use a paid or SEO campaign when you go Global? For larger markets it is probably ok to do either or both if you have the resources. For the smaller markets, you'll want to consider each option individually. You need to identify the proper target markets for your business. Ask yourself if you have sales and logistics resources in a market? Do you have support resources that speak the language in these markets? Are you able to handle shipping, duties, and different currencies? Will you be able to rank in the various Global markets?

Process for Going Global
  1. Find Good Translators - they must know local idioms, they must be able to translate unique or technical terms for your product or service.

  2. Translate text, images and navigation

  3. Make sure SEO is involved from the beginning - this is done to help avoid costly mistakes when translating content and such.

  4. Optimize Translated Content - remember that English content that's optimized does not automatically become search engine friendly. The same can be said for your PPC ads and landing pages. It's a great idea to translate your keyword list first before any other content.
According to Hitwise, the Long-Tail varies. For example Romance language searchers (Spanish, Italians etc.) tend to use fewer, more common words. English, Dutch/German searchers tend to use more terms and less common terms. In the UK, nine keywords account for the majority of searches.

Duplicate Content - same language content on multiple servers in different countries may be subject to duplicate content penalties. This may or may not be a problem. Content translated into different languages and hosted in different countries is not duplicate content to search engines (as of February 2008)

Choosing the Right Domain

This boils down to your intent. If possible go for both.
  • dot-com or country specific domain?
  • IBM for example, has one global website with sub-domains for individual countries
  • Sony has local domains in all countries
  • When redirecting users to country specific site pages, make sure that the destination page is search engine friendly. Avoid things such as Flash and other items that prevent crawlers from accessing the content.
IP Address Considerations
  • Search engines do give more weight in country specific results to sites with the local IP addresses.
  • In some cases, you must have legal residence in the country that proves that you have some legal business presence in that country.
  • Google's Webmaster Tools allows you to specify country, Microsoft is working towards this as well.
Localized Links
  • Crucial for a multi-national campaigns. It's not enough to translate and set up a site in a different country.
  • You need to acquire local links from that country. Most of the links should come from local authority sites, not from the out-of country sites.
Multi-Country PPC
  • Translate both ads and landing pages
  • Can be very effective as Geotargeting can be very precise.
Global Brands in Multiple Countries
  • Trust your PR team or "offline experts".
  • Some cultures like and accept Global brands.. however others prefer homegrown/localized brands
  • Emphasize brand attributes in a culturally appropriate way. Don't neglect images.
Consider Smaller Markets
  • In Denmark, over 70% of people are online and use search.
  • Estonia, is very connected to the Internet. Nellie.ee is the most common search engine here.
  • 85% of the population in Iceland is connected to the Internet
Multi-national search marketing offers a number of opportunities, but it's not for everybody. Success requires deep localized knowledge of the markets. Your online campaigns need to be optimized and tailored for both language and culture.

Great information for going Global.

Labels: ,

posted by Jody @ Tuesday, February 12, 2008  
Using Eye Tracking for Website Design
At Enquiro, one thing that we have been doing for quite a while has been to use eye tracking to see how users interact with not only the search engine results pages but with individual sites. We have produced some of the leading white papers based on our eye tracking studies and offer website usability solutions using eye tracking.

I was forwarded a post on 23 Actionable Lessons from Eye Tracking. Not a bad post, while there was nothing really new, I thought that I would share some of the findings for folks who may not be aware of how eye tracking can be used as a powerful tool for website design.

When designing a site, many times designers overlook the obvious. Eye tracking research has shown that while interaction with websites can vary, there are some common items to consider. The following items are taken from the post mentioned above. While the findings may not be indicative of all sites and of all eye tracking studies, they do present an interesting topic of discussion.
  • Initial eye movement focuses on the upper left corner of the page. It shouldn’t be surprising that users look at webpages in this way, as most computer applications are designed with the top left hand side as the main focus. You can do your website a favor by keeping this format in mind when creating a design.

  • Readers ignore banners. Ads may be the bread and butter of your site, but studies have shown that readers largely ignore banner ads, often focusing for only a fraction of a second. -- We like to call this "banner blindness".

  • Type size influences viewing behavior. Want to change how people look at your page? Change the size of your font. Smaller fonts increase focused viewing behavior while larger fonts encourage scanning.

  • Shorter paragraphs perform better than long ones. Information on your page should be designed for the short attention span of most Internet users. EDITOR'S NOTE: This depends on the user and the stage of the research or buying funnel that they may be in. If they are early on in the research phrase they may be more prone to compile as much data as possible (providing that it is relevant to their interests.)

  • One-column formats perform better in eye-fixation than multi-column formats. Don’t overwhelm visitors to your site with too much information. Simpler really is better in some cases. -- Again this depends on the user. It states the obvious, as the less content there is to view, the higher/better the eye fixation will be. People can become easily distracted. The less distractions they have the better the experience they will receive.

  • Clean, clear faces in images attract more eye fixation. While they might look good with your design, abstract and artsy photos aren’t going to garner much reader attention.

  • Users spend a lot of time looking at buttons and menus. Because of this, you’ll want to put in some extra time making sure that yours are well-designed. After all, they not only draw a lot of eye fixation, they are one of the most important elements of your site.

  • Lists hold reader attention longer. One way you can break up the paragraphs in your content and keep users looking through your site is to make frequent use of a list format for your articles. Use numbers or bullet points to highlight important information within your content. It will make your site more scannable and easier for users to find the information that they’re looking for. -- It's all about user experience. Attention span for users may vary, but if you present your content in a nice clean manner, users will stick around longer. Site stickiness is something that most sites need to improve.

  • White space is good. While it might be tempting to put something in every corner of your page, it’s actually better to leave some of your site free of any text. Sites with too much going on tend to overwhelm users and they ignored a large part of the content.

  • Navigation tools work better when placed at the top of the page. Ideally, you don’t want readers to just look at the initial page they came to on your site, you want them to stick around and look at other interesting things as well. You can help send them in the right direction by making your navigation easy to find and use by placing it at the top of the page.
While we don't necessarily support all of the points mentioned in the post, there are some fundamental elements to consider when designing your site. If you would like to gain more information about using eye tracking to help out with a new design for your site, feel free to contact us and we'll discuss eye tracking options that can work for you.

Labels:

posted by Jody @ Tuesday, February 12, 2008  
Top B2B Blogs   
Invesp landing page optimization
About Me
Name: Jody
Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
About Me: SEO guy by day, family man 24/7.
Previous Posts
Marketing Jive Vault of Posts
Online Marketing Resources
  • Content Marketing & Website Analysis
  • Digital Marketing Services
  • Optimizing for Blended Search
  • Search Engine Guide
  • WebProNews Canada
  • Official Google Blog
  • Yahoo Search Blog
  • Search Engine Watch
  • 100% Organic
  • Global Thoughtz
  • B2B Marketing Blogs
  • Silicon Valley Gateway
  • Guy Kawasaki
  • Church of the Customer Blog
  • Marketo's Big List of B2B Blogs
Blogs We Like
Hockey Fanatic
JodyNimetz.com
Ask.com Blog
Comparison Engines
Matt Cutts

TechCrunch
Techdirt
VentureBeat
Yahoo Search Blog

Add to Technorati Favorites

Marketing Jive Home

|

Subscribe | | Advertise | Site Map

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!Add to BloglinesAdd to NetvibesAdd to Windows Live