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SES San Jose Reviews: Technical and Information Giants
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Well keeping with our promise of delivering our reviews of sessions from SES San Jose, one of the events that we were looking forward to was the Orion Panel from Day 2 featuring some of the industries leading technical and information giants. The panel consisted of key innovators, movers and shakers discussing how the past will shape the future and what we can expect with Search in upcoming months and years.

The panel was very impressive and featured the likes of:
  • Matt Cutts - Software Engineer and Google Guru
  • Danny Sullivan - Editor-in-Chief - Search Engine Land
  • Tim Westergren - Founder of Pandora
  • Robert Scoble - Managing Director, FastCompany.TV and technology evangelist
  • Kirsten Mangers - CEO WebVisible
  • Rich LeFurgy - General Partner - Archer Advisors

I was impressed with a number of panelists most notably Kirsten, Tim, Matt and Robert. I felt that Danny Sullivan was a little quiet although he was asked at the outset if there is a "Google-killer" out there. His matter of fact response was that there is no Google-killer out there. "Microsoft has tried unsuccessfully for five years. If they can't do it, who can?" He did mention something that I have often stated that if there is a Google killer, it will be an external source such as the government or some governing presence. Mike Grehan the co-moderator added the fact that competition is great. "Why do you have to be a Google killer?" Robert Scoble added that Microsoft needs similar usage (as Google) to study the result set like Google does.

Matt Cutts, the representative from Google, threw out the fact that Google likes to build expertise themselves and that they have had to scale things up. Google really likes to experiement and that they have more people working on search then ever before. There was a comment from one of the panelists as to how do you rotate the sites on the fringe into the top results? (i.e. the sites outside the top 10, 20, 30 or top 100). Cutts responded with the idea that the search engines need new ways to get relevant results to the top.

Kirsten commented about local search and how local is 18-20 months behind national marketing campaigns. She made the comment that local is all about extended reach and distribution an that there is a long way to hit the reach for local.

Robert Scoble made an interesting point that there is a misunderstanding by people to use tools and that we're going to see a lot of backfilling and education to gain an understanding of the online tools out there.

From here Matt Cutts mentioned that in terms of the future, think about mobile phones vs. PCs. There is clearly an opportunity with mobile and local search. Rich LeFurgy added that Nokia sells millions of hand sets a day and owns 40% of the market. Could they be a Google killer? Matt Cutts responded with the thought of open source technologies that will become available. Scoble added that a better question than who is a Google-killer is who is going to get earlier into understanding the buying behaviour?

The discussion kept leading back to local search. Tim mentioned that in his industry that local is the "mother-load" with re: to royalties for Internet Radio. Danny Sullivan added that in terms of advertising mediums, only the Yellow Pages can compare to Search. Search n ever ends. Matt Cutts added that there is more opportunity with discovery and search.

The next topic of dicsussion was on how there will be a transition from marketers when it comes to budget allocation. Tim stated that the next big thing is finding ways to accomodate money from big brand advertisers. Scoble added that agencies will be looking for places to put their money online. Think mobile and social networking trends. He talked about an emerging technology that can be used to search photographs being used anywhere on the Web.

Kirsten added a few more thoughts about some of the trends we are starting to see:

  • we are seeing declining usage in traditional media
  • distribution points of users
  • integrators and complimentors
  • increase in mobile usage and spending
  • hyper-local search activity

Matt Cutts added that we will be seeing more in terms of mobile, cloud based storage (using tools such as Google Apps.). He mentioned that it is cheaper than ever to become a startup and that there are so many different application and that we haven't even scrateched the surface with applications.

Danny Sullivan said that there will be a real need to understand the discovery process and how people search for information.

Overall not bad. The speakers were all respected in their fields and it was interesting to hear their take on where search and the online world is going. Loved Robert Scoble, the man is just full of energy and knowledge. He's like a kid in a candy store.

We'll be posting a couple more reviews of some of the sessions that we attended at SES San Jose in the next week. Stay tuned!

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, August 31, 2008   0 comments
Interview with Enquisite President Richard Zwicky and VP of Marketing Dan Robbins from SES SJ
Thursday, August 28, 2008
As mentioned we had the pleasure of attending SES San Jose last week and we were fortunate enough to talk to a number of great folks from the industry including Enquisite President, Richard Zwicky and Enquisite's VP of Marketing Dan Robbins.

Jody (SEO-Space): Hi Guys. Congratulations on a successful SES Awards the first annual SES Awards. (Enquisite won the category for Technology Platform Search Marketers Can't Live Without.) Any thoughts on that? That's pretty cool...

Richard:
Yeah it's nice to win at the first SES awards and to win in the category we won in...

Dan: I think that you're being modest. I think that it really validates all of the hard work that we've been doing. Working on a solution that really focuses on search and not trying to be the end all be all for every type of solution for all issues that search marketers face.

Jody: Now you guys attend a lot of these shows. Richard you speak at a lot of these shows, what makes SES San Jose so special? What's unique about this show? What do you like about this particular show? I know that the engines are here and we're in their backyard, but what do you look for out of this show?

Richard: Each of the shows have their own flavor. The New York shows tend to have a lot of the New York agencies in attendance. This one tends to have more SEOs from around the country and around the world. It's here in the base of the Silicon Valley, it's close to the engines.

Jody: You mentioned the shows in the East, do you find that the same people are attending those shows that attend SES San Jose?

Richard: SES NY, I find a lot more people from the agencies and a lot more of the New York based large corporations. Here you get a lot more of the practitioners. You used to get a lot of the large organizations sending people to this show, but it's not as obvious when they're in attendance.

Dan: New York also attracts a lot of the European people because it's a shorter distance for them to attend.

Jody: You've recently launched an updated version of your search analytics platform. Can you talk a little more about that?

Richard: Yeah on Friday. We've actually done a lot of updates in he last month and a half. From how we collect data to what we can add in the reporting and probably the biggest update was how we can now segment out the actions and conversions within the reporting. So it's not just about how did I acquire the customer, but which customer that I acquired actually resulted in an action, which is a non-monetary interaction on the website or a conversion that signifies revenue.

It's important to know the overlap between the action and the conversion because if we're tracking that type of information we can make better educated decisions about what tactic to take with your search marketing program. Of course with our existing layers of segmentation where you can look at your visitors based on where they are located, down to the ZIP code level. Then tie that information back to which phrases were actually driving the conversions, what segments are driving traffic as a whole which search engines did that work with.

You can break it down to page level where now you can scientifically optimize pages for types of visitors and types of traffic helping them convert better. Now you can set up a segment in 30 seconds and you can go back and look at the segment to see how it has changed over time. This is incredibly powerful because marketers can often get lost in data but the reality is we all want to take action and if the information that is presented is not action oriented, we're going to get lost in the data. The faster you can take action, the more you can earn for you and your customer. We're looking to simplify that process.

Dan: The solution is built only to focus on things that you can do to optimize for search rather than looking at all of this other data that can really mire you down and prevent you from effectively optimizing for search. Not only to be getting the data, but getting it quickly.
Jody: For those that are not familiar with search analytics per se, what are the differences between search analytics and web analytics?

Richard: Web analytics is inwards looking at what users do once they arrive on a website. Search analytics, address the questions why did the searcher come to my website, what do I need to do to attract more customers and get them to convert. It's all about what matters to you and that is conversions. What we've built is a tool that allows you to address what matters to you. Our application gives you the answers to go further. Search analytics because it is not inward focused is all about what matters.

Dan: With search analytics you can get a very clear picture of intent.

Jody: Yes user intent... that's huge, that is something that we know a lot about at Enquiro with a lot of our research focusing on trying to understand user intent as it pertains to search.

Jody: In terms of your solution offering are there any applications that can be applied specifically to the business-to-business (B2B) space? We know that in B2B there are longer sales cycles and such are there any features that can assist the B2B marketer?

Richard: There are a lot of features built into the application that are really applicable to the B2B space. In the B2B community we seen marketers take it to the extreme when they know that they have a finite number of customers such as government agencies. They know that government agencies are located in certain towns and municipalities. With our application, you can segment out different municipalities and people within those municipalities and then look at who's coming from that municipality or community and when they arrive on your site you can understand what questions they are looking for information about and approach that customer and turn them into a warm lead from a cold lead because as you start that conversation with them you know what they are interested in. This can be done as opposed to taking the steps to discover what they are interested by using the analytics and data to see what they are interested sooner in the process.

Dan: With our conversion and action tracking you can also see that they came in and filled out a form or news letter subscription, then later they converted into an actual sale. You're able to determine the conversion as to which lead or visitor session actually gets attributed to the ROI. This information can them be dispersed across many entry points and determine which eyeball or click actually gets/makes the conversion.

Jody: this is fantastic stuff! Thanks guys, you guys have a booth here at SES San Jose which we'll be checking out a bit later. (For attendees of SES SJ you know that they were giving away those cool little foam long-tail dogs.)

Great interview with the guys from Enquisite. Thanks to Jean Sexton for arranging the meeting.

About Enquisite - http://www.enquisite.com/

Enquisite, Inc. is a developer and provider of the next generation of search analytics solutions. Founded in 2006, Enquisite offers search marketers unparalleled insights into search page rankings and visitor behavior from both organic and pay-per-click search listings. Enquisite Pro is a search engine referral analysis suite that provides in-depth information about website visitors referred by search engines. Used by search engine optimization and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing specialists, Enquisite Pro delivers a wide array of search referral data with metrics ranging from a "big picture" overview to extremely granular information about local search markets. The company has offices in San Francisco, CA, and Victoria, British Columbia.

Editors Note: I wanted to podcast the interview, however the quality of the interview did not really do it justice. I may include some sound-bytes at a later date.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 28, 2008   0 comments
Interview with ABC Search President and CEO, Dan Yomtobian
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Last week at SES San Jose, I had the good fortune to learn more about ABC Search and conducted an interview with President an CEO of ABC Search, Dan Yomtobian. The company just launched a new social search engine, Scour.com, which provides cash incentives for users to search and give ratings/feedback on search relevance. With a rapidly growing user group, we awarded our first $25 payment to a user this week and have some tremendous feedback on the site’s success.

Here is part of my interview with Dan.

SEO-Space: What are your expectations as an exhibitor for SES San Jose '08?

Dan: There are a few elements we expect from being an exhibitor at any show:

* Generate new business
* Catch-up and discuss expansion with existing business
* Generate awareness of new products and services
* Further brand the name of the company.

We are confident all of this can be achieved.

SEO-Space: What kind of impact does exhibiting and attending shows like SES San Jose have for ABC Search?

Dan: The internet is faceless, It's important to have a physical presence so that the company can present itself as legitimate resource for growing one's e-business. This show gives the marketplace an opportunity to meet, place a face to the emails, and discuss future goals together. This is the way business started and has been the cornerstone to great success. Additionally, these shows are an excellent place to learn about what is emerging in our space.

SEO-Space: You've recently launched a new social search engine scour.com. Can you tell me more about that initiative? http://www.scour.com/

Dan: Scour is a social search engine that has been welcomed with open arms by users. Searchers needs are growing more sophisticated and we are confident that scour will provide them with a unique search experience. The goal of ABCSearch acquiring Scour was to create a fresh channel of organic traffic that we are able to police and offer exclusively to ABCSearch advertisers. Our current user base is already over 250k users and growing daily. We are confident that Scour will turn out to be the next search engine the users are looking for as well as offer ABCSearch advertisers a unique base of users.

SEO-Space: Cool... What was the thought process of paying users to search?

Dan: Habits aren't easy to break, plus it is about time for users to start being rewarded for contributing to a network. We thought this was a perfect solution to both thoughts. So far the feedback has been more than favorable.

SEO-Space: What can we expect from ABC Search in the second half of 2008 and into 2009?

Dan: ABCSearch will focus on building out our offering to advertisers as a premium source of traffic through our premium traffic channels and Scour. We are working on quite a few features that will help advertisers and partners build their e-business which is what we are here to do.

Great stuff from Dan Yamtobian over at ABC Search. Look for more interviews from SES later this week.

About Dan Yomtobian

Dan started ABCSearch in 2001. He has driven ABCSearch to become a world leader in online cost-per-click advertising. Under his leadership, ABCSearch, a network of niche-specific directories, has grown to 5 billion searches a month. His charismatic ability to attract new partnerships and strategic alliances continues to expand the network.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 26, 2008   0 comments
Where was ASK at SES San Jose? or ASK TV Search
So I am/was/am a big fan of ASK. While I was at SES San Jose last week I was curious as to the absence of ASK. It just seemed that their presence at the show was limited at best. I was able to attend a great session that features Erik Collier of ASK, the man who is responsible for the fantastic ASK 3-D experience and the great results page from ASK.

So while hearing Erik speak at SES was a highlight, I was still disappointed with ASK's turnout at SES. Even their booth at the Exhibit hall was lame. Getting back to Erik, one of the cool things that he did mention was Ask.com’s newest application of semantic search technology, searchable TV listings (which he stated "is still a work in progress, by the way...") ASK describes the ASK TV listings as follows:

Our Ask TV listings uses our patent-pending technology DADS (Direct Answers from Databases) to answer queries and questions from structured data feeds and databases. DADS provides highly accurate answers to queries which are relevant to a given topic. Instead of using traditional keyword search algorithms, our technology can deliver much deeper, more precise search results based on understanding of a query meaning rather than syntactical text matching.

Ask TV answers queries ranging from "when is sports on tv this weekend" or "horror movies tonight" to "lindsay lohan on tv". Covering nearly 10,000 distinct stations and over 100,000 shows, our information is updated daily -- and it can be personalized and customized to any location and cable provider in the USA.

This is pretty cool. The Semantic Web is coming, the Semantic Web is coming!!!

Check out Erik's full post over at the ASK Blog.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 26, 2008   0 comments
Measuring Online Success: Website Success Measures
Monday, August 25, 2008
The gang over at SEOptimise had a great blog post on 33 Website Success Metrics Instead of Rankings, Google Page Rank and Traffic. Measuring the success of your online campaigns is critical if you are to continue to improve in your industry and remain competitive. Depending on the type of site you have there are various key performance indicators that you could and should be measuring.

The post break out 33 metrics by four categories:
  • Business Metrics
  • Usability Metrics
  • SEO Metrics
  • Social Media Metrics
The metrics listed include:
  1. ROI
  2. Sales
  3. Leads
  4. Conversions
  5. Subscribers
  6. Returning visitors
  7. Page Views per Visit
  8. Time on Page
  9. Time on Site
  10. Bounce Rate
  11. Form Abandonment Rate
  12. Next Pages
  13. Links Clicked (upstream/downstream)
  14. Eye Tracking
  15. Internal Searches
  16. Number of Backlinks
  17. Quality of Backlinks (IBL Quality)
  18. Google Cache Date
  19. Google bot Visit Frequency
  20. Last time Google bot visited
  21. Pages Indexed
  22. Alexa Rank - not recommended
  23. Compete Rank - only US data
  24. Bookmarks of delicious
  25. Bookmarks on other social bookmarking sites
  26. Social News Submissions
  27. # of Tweets on Twitter
  28. Niche social site votes
  29. Number of thumbs up on stumbleupon
  30. StumbleUpon reviews feedback
  31. Technorati Blog Mentions
  32. Google Blog Search Links
While there are a number of beneficial metrics here, it really comes down to measuring ROI and the return that you are getting back from your site based on what you spent to run and optimize your site. For a more detailed breakdown of the metrics from SEOptimize, click here.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 25, 2008   0 comments
AdGooroo News from San Jose
Last week at SES San Jose, AdGooroo released two news items:

• The unveiling of SEM Insight’s Top Competitor Keyword Report:
This patent pending technology allows users to run reports against their keyword tracking lists that provide competitors’ ad copy from the most effective ads being served against each of their keywords. The full release is available below

• New book from AdGooroo Founder Rich Stokes "Mastering Search Advertising – How the Top 3% of Search Advertisers Dominate Google AdWords" has already earned some rave reviews. Rich had some copies of the book at the AdGooroo booth.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


AdGooroo Adds “Top Ad Copy Report” to SEM Insight™


Search advertisers can now mine their keywords for the most effective ad copy in any industry


SAN JOSE, Calif., AUGUST 19, 2008 AdGooroo (www.adgooroo.com), a leading provider of online marketing competitive intelligence and keyword tools, today introduced SEM Insight’s Top Ad Copy Report, a report that search advertisers can use to obtain examples of the industry’s most effective search advertisements, including those of competitors. The new reporting function selects ads positioned to perform exceptionally well based on a patent-pending screening process developed by the AdGooroo research team.

The Top Ad Copy Report compares the effectiveness of online ads served in response to specific keyword searches, determining relevance based on various factors including coverage (percentage of time an ad appears for a given keyword) and position (relative high or low position on the search results page). Armed with this analysis of advertising effectiveness, advertisers can employ copywriting techniques that have proven successful in generating attention and response for specific sets of keywords.

“For the first time ever, advertisers have a reliable tool to help them discover the most powerful online ad copy,” said AdGooroo Founder and Chief Gooroo Rich Stokes. “With the Top Ad Copy Report, SEM Insight users can see what’s working and what’s not in any given space. The report is easy to use and automatically finds the best ad copy in the keywords any particular user has chosen to track.”

Stokes said the scarcity of comprehensive research on PPC ad copy effectiveness spurred AdGooroo’s creation of the Top Ad Copy Report. The reporting tool was designed to achieve the dual objectives of identifying the most effective ads being displayed on Google and helping advertisers apply successful copywriting tactics.

The Top Ad Copy Report uses a database containing most of the world’s online ad copy, and applies a methodology based on coverage, position and the duration of an ad’s online lifecycle to find the most effective ads appearing in response to specific keyword searches.

To learn more about AdGooroo, SEM Insight or the Top Ad Copy Report, visit www.adgooroo.com.


About AdGooroo

AdGooroo provides online marketers and agencies actionable, on demand competitive intelligence tools that proactively monitor an industry’s advertising landscape to help them build a long-term competitive advantage. Based in Chicago, AdGooroo provides competitive intelligence to search engine marketers through its tool suite, including AdGooroo Express, SEM Insight and Trademark Insight. AdGooroo tools leverage access and automation to provide advertisers with lists of competitors’ top keywords, ad copy, campaign statistics and more. Top agencies and brand advertisers leverage AdGooroo competitive intelligence tools. For more information, visit AdGooroo.com.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 25, 2008   0 comments
SES San Jose Session: Measuring Success in a 2.0 World
Saturday, August 23, 2008
In our attempt to cover some of the sessions conducted this past week at SES San Jose, here is another one that I attended and was somewhat impressed with. The session was called, Measuring Success in a 2.0 World and featured a stellar group of speakers. The panel explored some cutting edge techniques to measure success and touched on what metrics and stats we should really care about and ways to be more strategically focused. This really was a super panel of analytics experts.

The session started out with Avinash Kaushik, author, blogger and analytics evangelist from Google. This man is the man to talk to about web analytics. He is a wonderful speaker and a tremendous authority on the subject. Avinash began by posing the question, "Why is 2.0 such as challenge?" The main reason? Well 2.0 is unique and different. He mentioned that content creation, distribution and the content consumption process is broken. Currently it's unlimited and that presents a problem and makes it difficult to manage.

Avainash discussed three tips to consider when measuring in the 2.0 world.
  1. Multiplicity - in addition to fundamental metrics such as traffic data, be sure to measure comments, analytics and use other tools to track content. Learn how to use many different tools. He used the analogy that you cannot build a house with one single tool.

  2. Unique Measures for a Unique World - here he talked about measuring things such as feed subscribers and using tools such as Feedburner to help measure metrics such as this.

  3. Unique Data Collection - use other mechanisms to track content including using things such as event logging and event tracking for insight into things such as video consumption and the like.
Jim Sterene, Chairman of the Web Analytics Association was up next and discussed the fact that there is simply too much information out there. He stated that we need to measure what people are thinking and what they are getting out of their online experience. Benchmarking will continue to become more important. He touched on search metrics and measuring rankings and how people respond to different keywords. He touched on measuring organic SEO and PPC to help determine what phrases we should be bidding on in the future. He stated that we need to understand which keyword are bringing us profit as in business, it's all about profitability.

Matt Bailey from SiteLogic was up next. He had a great presentation illustrated by the fact that he is obviously a fan of the original Star Trek. He began by talking about measuring success in 1.0 through mundane reporting and value justification. He suggests that we all need to get out of the Web 1.0 Analytics rat-race and need to get rid of the pragmatic charts and graphs. In order to get out of these 1.0 measurements he suggests that we need to ask logical questions such as the how? the why? and the what if? We need to search for answers. He touched on what he calls the 3 C's of Analytics:
  • Context - why the user came to the website and what were they looking for?
  • Comparison
  • Contacts (although in my notes I had written "contracts")
Matt mentioned the need to "segment the segment" as he used a Star Trek example to illustrate. He pulled out a stat that in the original Star Trek series, that the red shirts died 79% of the time (apparently 49 of the deaths on the original series were by trekkies in wearing the red shirts). Of this 79% he broke this down further (segmenting the segment) to communicate that the red shirt casualty rate broken down something like this:

Red Shirt Casualty Rate by Activity
• On-board “incidents” 42.5%
• Beaming down to the planet 57.5%

Furthermore, Death Rate for Red Shirts:
Beaming Down 57.5%
In Fights 42.5%
Kirk + women 16%

It was a great way to illustrate how to segment the segment. Matt then went on to mention that you need to tell a story to compare and contrast information about your website. In fact you should:
  1. ASK Questions
  2. Take Action
He then shared a fantastic quote from Neil Postman...

"Question-asking is the most significant tool human beings have."

Marshall Sponder was the final speaker and he discussed social networks and how we need to take people's input and measure the conversation.

From here we got into the Q&A, where a member of the audience asked:

Should we continue to measure page views or are they dead? Avinash responded with the thought that page views are still relevant and will remain relevant for a while. However we need to look into new metrics and segment to understand the customer experience.

Overall it was a great session. After the session I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard Zwicky CEO of Enquisite. Stayed tuned for that interview to be posted in upcoming weeks.

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posted by Jody @ Saturday, August 23, 2008   0 comments
SEO-Space Featured in Best of 2008 Post for SEO Guidance
Friday, August 22, 2008
We've been featured in a post about the Best of SEO 2008 (thus far). Visit http://www.frenzyblogging.com/2008/08/01/best-of-2008-so-far-seo-guidance-part-2 to see more of the top posts from 2008 thus far. We appreciate the mention.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, August 22, 2008   0 comments
SES SJ Session: How to Speak Geek: Working Collaboratively with Your IT Department...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Great panel for this session with Sage Lewis, Chris Smith, Greg Boser and Matt Bailey. I was a little surprised to see the sparse attendance, but then again Search Bash took place yesterday evening. Matt Bailey was up first and is always entertaining.

Matt started out by discussing how marketers can identify some architectural issues starting by looking at the robots.txt file. Some IT or technical personnel can easily "screw up" the robots.txt because it is a very simple text file. One of the first things marketers should look at is the robots.txt file. The second thing to take note of is the homepage redirect. Make sure that there are permanent 301 redirects redirecting variations of the homepage to the true homepage.... i.e. http://www.yoursite.com. This will ensure that your true homepage is getting all of the link love and not having to share it with other versions of the page. Matt mentioned that he used is Webbug to evaluate the redirects. The third item Matt discussed was inconsistent linking, followed by duplicate content. The best tip that SEO-Space can give here is to always, always, always ensure that you have one final destination page. Redirect and/or utilize the no index all other versions. Avoid duplicates. Also avoid use of what Matt referred to as "crappy URLs". It's just common sense to have logical URLs. Brand your URLs with a favicon. Matt touched on diluted content. Having too much content on one page can work against you. The seventh item that Matt mentioned was about unclear instructions. Make it simple for the user to find the information that they are looking for. Messaging is a marketing problem not an IT problem.

Matt discussed communicating and educating the user as to what things such as RSS buttons are so that the user knows what to do with them and why they should click on them. These are all fundamental site issues that need to be communicated to the design and IT teams to ensure the search engines friendliness of your site.

Next up was Chris who began by discussing how you get in touch with your "Geek" site and how to work with IT departments. Some of the tips that he discussed included:
  1. Begin with an SEO Health Diagnosis - browse your site like a search engine spider would. Chris had a good tip to use server side redirects rather than javascript/meta refresh. He mentioned a cool tool called http://www.web-sniffer.com to check for redirects. Get in the "know" about some of the technical issues with your site.

  2. Befriend your IT Colleagues - collaborate with the IT team, give credit to IT when credit is due, follow standard IT processes. Build that relationship and work with the IT team, not against them.

  3. Get your Company to Recognize SEO - make a business case as to the benefits of SEO and why your company needs to do SEO. This will help IT open up and be more understanding of your needs.

  4. Consider Outsoucing some IT Needs - current IT team still not cooperating? Then go to someone else who will assist your needs
Greg Boser mentioned his thoughts on how marketers and IT departments. He stated that he requires IT to be present at meetings from the start. He offered the tip of educating the IT team from a high level. Here's what we need to do, here's how and here's why. This helps everybody get on the same page.

Sage Lewis compared this to how he and his wife are different.... the same can be said with marketers and IT teams. As marketers, you need to empathize with the IT team as they often need their ego stroked. They need praise as well. Try to communicate the way the IT team will communicate.

The question posed was to where somebody who is not technical can gain an initial understanding of technical issues. Matt mentioned SEMPO and his company Marketing Motive. The best thing that you could do is pose questions to the IT Manager or IT person who has the knowledge to answer your questions. You really need to know things such as client side vs. server side terms just so you can speak the geek language. Greg stated that its helpful to find someone with code experience.

An audience question was in regards to developing a new website from scratch. What is the best platform to go with? PHP, Java? etc. Boser suggested php or open source platforms that can be easy to build on. Stay away from Microsoft due to the bugs and iterations the MS platforms undergo.

Greg made the excellent comment that it is almost always better to use Open Source or existing systems (ie CMS) than building one from scratch. You are just asking for "long-term" trouble whenever you create proprietary CMS systems for your website. Of course there are exceptions, but chances are there is some existing technology that should do the trick for you.

Great comments from the panel in the Q&A.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 21, 2008   0 comments
The most entertaining booth at SES San Jose
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tradeshows are usually pretty boring, and internet tradeshows are even more so.

The SEOspace Award for Most Entertaining SES Display goes to Unica for having a magician at their booth. The best part of it is his pitch at the end.


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posted by Chris Davies @ Wednesday, August 20, 2008   0 comments
Matt Cutts on Big Sites and Black Hats
I just got out of the sesssion called "Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO". We knew it'd be entertaining, and then we saw Matt Cutts outside. He got kind of roasted last year, and this was going to be a room of the entire black-grey-white spectrum. I was a little surprised when he came and sat down beside myself (Chris), Jody and Bill Barnes.

One of the best bits was when the discussion turned to big brands who do black or grey-hat SEO tactics, but don't seem to get penalized for it and Matt weighed in. I was sitting right beside him, and happened to get it on video.




Good anwser, and the rest of the discusssion was ok. Entertaining session though.

I think it's good to talk about black hat SEO stuff....what about you folks?

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posted by Chris Davies @ Wednesday, August 20, 2008   1 comments
SES Session: Duplicate Content and Multiple Sites
An interesting session about a popular topic. Duplicate content simply cause the search results to be worse than hey should be if there were only a single source of the content made available. Speakers included:
  • Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Creative Director, deMib.com
  • Benu Aggarwal, Founder & President, Milestone Internet Marketing
The first speaker suggested using the search engines to find duplicate content (look for duplicate titles and descriptions). For blogs, use Google blog search and alerts to see if there are any instances of duplicate content out there. You could also use services such as Copy Scape to see if anyone is copying your content.

As you know you should 301 redirect any duplicate content to the main source so that the search engines are only presented with one authoritative version of the content. Use robots.txt to ensure that duplicate content (print versions) is not going to be indexed in the search engines. Avoid URLs with session IDs.

Up next was Mikkel Svendsen who discussed technical issues with duplicate content. He discussed common issues such as sub-domains, multiple domains, sessions IDs, canonicalization, http vs. https etc. He stated the obvious that if you have multiple domains that you need to 301 redirect the duplicate content to your main domain or the content that you want indexed and ranked. He mentioned that test domains can be an issue when they get indexed as they are often not blocked from the engines. They should be password protected.

He pointed out that the engines are pretty good at dealing with www and non-www versions of the site. The issue arises from the linking issue as both versions are sharing the links and you should use a 301 permanent redirect to redirect non-www to the www version. Also mentioned was to watch out for server load balancing as this can confuse the user. With regards to http and https, you should use absolute links so that you have proper navigation, redirect all https to http. With session IDs, multiple variations of the page could get indexed (there was an example of the same page indexed in Yahoo over 200,000 times.) As a result Yahoo may penalize the site. For bloggers, ensure that you customize your permalinks structure. Mikkel mentioned duplicate concerns with breadcrumb navigation. If breadcrumb navigation is reflected in your URLs you may have a problem. Pages should only have one version! Plain and simple.

Benu was up next and discussed similar issues with multiple domains. She touched on ways that you can make your content unique:
  • have unique titles
  • have unique meta data
  • have unique SEO elements on your pages
  • simply have original content on your sites
The session was a popular one with it being pretty full. It was hard to judge the experience in the audience with regards to duplicate content but it did provide an indication that duplicate content is still a concern for many. At the end of the day, the best tip that we at SEO-Space can give you is to ensure that you have one final destination URL. Ensure that your pages have unique titles, meta data and copy on your pages.

There was some good information communicated in the session for site owners. The session was a great refresher and it was great to see that the practices that we use are practices that we should be using to ensure that our content will be effectively crawled, indexed and ranked by the search engines.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, August 20, 2008   0 comments
SEO Through Blogs and Feeds
The first session of the day, which was surprisingly full. The session started out with Amanda Wattlington, describing blogs and what you need to decide before you set up your blog:
  • sub-domain vs. sub folder
  • which platform?
How do you optimize your blog? Well you should consider optimizing and customizing the CMS, do the same with your RSS feeds, conduct and apply keyword tagging. She presented other tips such as having optimized heading tags, adding robots.txt, favicons and sitemaps. Plan for blidgets (blog widgets). Wordpress for example has a number of beneficial plugins that can be useful.

When optimizing your feeds, determine how many are appropriate, increase the feed from 10 to 20 if you have frequent posts, decide how you are going to handle your multimedia content. Also manage your feed through things such as Feedburner. Use the title in the feed. Keep your description to 500 characters to 500 or less. Offer an html version of your feed. Add your logo and images for branding.

Socialize your blog well with buttons, notify other bloggers and join the conversation to promote your blog. Become a link hub and make it a real resource. Amanda said "Keep the Mojo going". Plan for the continuity. It's a lot of work to maintain a blog, but the results can be worth it. continue to post original material often. Edit the comments. Strive to get the most out of your blog that you can.

Up next was Lee Odden from TopRank Online Marketing. He started out with some interesting stats from Technorati. He stated that blogs can add great content and can be effective marketing tools for your site and for your business. Lee showed us a couple of case studies where blogs were highly successful in creating an informal communications platform to present issues that were important to the target market. The use of blogs helped the site owner get involved with their target market's community.

Blogging has helped Lee's team develop thought leadership and increase their visibility in the online space. Through blogging, media coverage for Lee's company has been featured in Profit, Fortune, B to B and others to name just a few. Some great case studies to show just how effective blogging has been for three different companies. Takeaways from Lee's presentation:
  • Goals for your blog should drive content.
  • Try to automate SEO as much as possible.
  • Socialize
  • Measure
  • Refine and Repeat
Next up was Chris Boggs touched on keeping links live and including the right words. He started out with the fact that you should try to host your blog on your own domain. Some initial tips included, fixing any broken links and keeping your links live. He mentioned that you should take the time to keep your links live and up to date. PR Web is a great resource where apparently the links will remain as optimized to other news site such as Yahoo News or others. Other tips that Chris mentioned included: trying for the brand site if liking to a press release. Keep track of links in archived articles, fix your broken links, be proactive with comments.

The final speaker was Daron Babin, CEO of Webmaster Radio. Daron discussed Podcast and Audio Search. Daron started out by saying that he hates blogs and open source. He stated that you should take a risk, build something on your own and see what happens. He was quite entertaining as he enlightening the crowd with his "black-hat" techniques from way back when. Daron discussed the importance of optimizing your feeds. Be Feedburner "whores". Choose the content that you add to Feedburner fields very carefully. Mefeedia is a great resource for optimizing feeds. Article promotions are another great way to promote your content through feeds. Be smart with your optimization. Focus on your keywords. Automation is key so that you can easily optimize your content. Take the time to customize your feeds. Again mentioned was Feedburner as a good tool to measure the effectiveness of your feeds. Use your auto discovery tag to help improve the trust rank over time. Some interesting and questionable tips which apparently work for optimizing your feeds.

It was a pretty cool session with some great beginning tips for user and site owners who are looking to get into blogging and feed optimization.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, August 20, 2008   0 comments
SES Session: Igniting Viral Campaigns
Monday, August 18, 2008
The second session of the day. I was not sure what to expect with this one. I was looking forward to hearing Jennifer Laycock from Search Engine Guide speak on this subject and was not disappointed.

The session started with Chris Winfield from 10e20 where he discussed the basics of social media. He stated that social media is basically a giant online conversation. He discussed a number of components of social media including:
  1. Blogs and microblogs. Highly consumable format for social media users.
  2. Social Networking is another component.
  3. Online Video – a great way for your message to spread
  4. Forums and Groups – some of the most powerful areas where your message could spread. Mentioned a cool site to check out: http://rankings.big-boards.com
  5. Social News and Bookmarking
He mentioned the type of content that tends to go viral. This type of content includes:
  • Lists
  • How To's
  • Surveys
  • Something that is very comprehensive and acts as a strong resource
  • Something with a strong opinion
  • Best Of's
  • Tools/Calculators
  • Video
  • Widgets
Some viral marketing tips Chris mentioned included:
  1. Have clear goals/objectives
  2. Promote Great Content
  3. Contribute to Communities
  4. Make the sites work together (think YouTube + StumbleUpon for example)
Fionn Downhill of Elixir was also a featured speaker and she started out by discussing Nielsen stats that 78% of respondents stated that they trust recommendations from consumers. She touched on an interesting myth that Web 2.0 and viral marketing costs a fortune. The fact is that using Web 2.0 takes time and a strategic plan and does not have to cost a lot of money. Downhill listed a number of elements of a viral campaign which included items such as:
  • Giving away products and services for free
  • make it easy for people to share your information
  • viral marketing exploits common motivators and behaviors
  • work to utilize existing communication networks (she mentioned newswire services such as PR Web as an example)
  • Take advantage of others' resources
  • there is a strong need for Great quality Content
She also mentioned a few ways as to how to enable viral marketing through news alerts, syndicating your content, RSS feeds, and conversion trigger links such as "Add this to your site". Use sites such as tubemogul to distribute your video to multiple aggregators. Most important of all, have a plan for your viral marketing efforts.

Finally, Jennifer Laycock was up next. She is a savvy veteran who really came to the table with three things to remember on viral marketing:
  1. Understand your customer (go where they go, frequent their online space and learn their habits.)
  2. Be remarkable (do something different). We agree entirely.
  3. Be persistent - keep at it
Great stuff. Overall not a bad session, but it did have it's lulls.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 18, 2008   0 comments
Customers Reporting Big Returns Using Omniture SearchCenter

Latest news from Omniture as received from their official press release.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fortune 500 Companies, Interactive Agencies and Search Marketers Rely on Omniture to Manage Their Advertising Spend and Increase the Yield From Search Marketing Campaigns

Omniture, Inc., a leading provider of online business optimization software, today detailed the company's continued momentum in search marketing with customers, interactive agency partners, and products that are resulting in increased ROI for search marketers. During the last 12 months, Omniture has seen a 63 percent increase in ad spend under management through Omniture SearchCenter and manages these search campaigns for more than 500 leading brands across the media, retail, finance, travel, real estate, automotive, and high tech industries.

A well-known Omniture sports entertainment customer realized a triple digit return on ad spend for paid key words within the first two weeks of implementing Omniture SearchCenter. "Last month we achieved a 621% return on ad spend with SearchCenter, while this month we are hovering above 800%," said the organization's manager of Web analytics and digital research. "SearchCenter allows us to see what keywords drive the most traffic, but more importantly, which keywords lead to purchases on our commerce site. We can now look at our keyword spending, evaluate traffic and conversion associated with each term, and drop any keywords that aren't driving revenue to our bottom line."

Omniture SearchCenter manages advertising spend and integrates search campaign data across all of the major search engines including Baidu, Google, Miva, MSN, Yahoo! and many others. In addition, customers that integrate Omniture SiteCatalyst Web analytics data with Omniture SearchCenter are able to better understand the influences that shape the results of their search marketing campaigns. For example, search marketers can understand the level of customer engagement and the Web site content that influenced customer conversion after a search marketing campaign led a visitor to the site.

"Using SiteCatalyst and SearchCenter has been an important part of driving all aspects of our online success," said the organization's manager of Web analytics and digital research. "Over the past year, we have boosted our search traffic by 30%, our page views by 55% and revenue by 80%."

According to JupiterResearch, search marketing is one of the fastest growing components of the online marketing budget and paid search spending will rise from $8.9 billion in 2007 to $18.5 billion in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent (JupiterResearch, US Paid Search Forecast 2007 - 2012). In addition, JupiterResearch says that "adoption of both bid management and Web analytics tools is crucial for marketers to measure campaigns and develop new, improved strategies based on data."

"Companies are looking for an edge as they navigate search marketing and seek to optimize the outcome of their campaigns," said Gail Ennis, senior vice president of marketing at Omniture. "Point search management solutions are not enough -- while they might showcase the success of getting visitors to a site, they do not spell out what happens after they arrive. Customers appreciate the holistic view that Omniture provides by integrating Web analytics data with their search marketing -- allowing marketers to better understand the path customers take to a site as well as the steps to conversion."

About Omniture

Omniture, Inc. is a leading provider of online business optimization software, enabling customers to manage and enhance online, offline and multi-channel business initiatives. Omniture's software, which it hosts and delivers to its customers as an on-demand subscription service and on-premise solution, enables customers to capture, store and analyze information generated by their Web sites and other sources and to gain critical business insights into the performance and efficiency of marketing and sales initiatives and other business processes.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 18, 2008   0 comments
Good Morning San Jose!
Hello from San Jose! I'm Chris, one of Jody's teammates at Enquiro and we're both going to be blogging this week from Search Engine Strategies 2008.

I'm primarily interested in the organic side of the search marketing solution set, with a healthy dash of Web 2.0/Social Media.

Sessions I'm interested in this week? Generally Jody and I will be attending the same sessions, so you'll get to see two slightly contrasting opinions. (I'll also be trying to twitter as we go.

  • Universal Search. This may already be a little old-school, but I'm always interested to see what's coming up next and how other people are looking at it. I do keep seeing changes in site links, suggested searches, video, image and shopping links in interesting combinations.
  • Viral Campaigns: Any session viral, link or social media related has the potential to be well entertaining.
  • Measuring Success in Web 2.0: This should hopefully be informative. Measuring Web 2.0 stuff is often like herding cats.
  • Advanced B2B Marketing: Jody and I are B2B guys, so it's interesting to hear what else is out there....and the word 'advanced' is always a little subjective. Might be great, might be a wash out.
  • Wednesday's Searcher Behavior Research Update: Bill Barnes is speaking, and it's always good to hear folks from our office out on the road.
  • Black Hat, White Hat: This, I hope, will have the most entertaining show of the week. When you start mixing black and white hat folks, things can heat up quickly.

Beyond that, it's my first SES, so I'm just looking forward to meeting people, hearing the speakers and enjoying San Jose.

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posted by Chris Davies @ Monday, August 18, 2008   0 comments
SES San Jose: Universal and Blended Search
The first session of the event that we attended was on Universal Search. Also known as blended sarch, Universal Search was introduced by Google in late Spring/Early Summer of 2007. Universal Search presents an opportunity for users to see you in many different forms. Technically you could now dominate the first page of results.

The panel featured:
Johanna Wright - Director of Product Management - Google
Cris Pierry - Senior Director o Product Management - Yahoo! Search
Erik Collier - VP, Product Management - ASK.com
Todd Schwartz - Group Manager, Live Search
Shashi Seth - Chief Revenue Officer - Cooliris

The session started out with Johanna. She started out discussing what exactly Universal Search is. It's Google's responsibility to give the user the data that they want. The best answers for the users. Google works on the premise to keep it fast, keep it simplae and above all keep it relevant. She used the local search example of the Original Joe's restaurant just up the street from the Convention center. She illustrated examples included images and video. She stated that in Google 20 - 25% of the queries that have not seen before. I assume pertaining to Universal search queries. There is a lot more support for queries in different languages.

Google decides what to show only after they collect all of the data. How they do they rank apples to organges? Well many type of signals are involved. For News for example, how recent did the news story/result break? There is a lot of deep complex understaning that goes into how Google ranks a universal result. There was not a lot of specifics presented here. Johanna did mention that they continue to update how they look at which results to serve up. A tip that she did give is to create high quality blogs to help with Universal Search.When deciding to serve up three local results vs. a result, Google bases this on the information that they have. the solution? More rich content.

Cris was up next. He started by showing how the search engine results pages have changed with blended search. Yahoo example used for for the query "Beijing olympics 2008". He showed other examples as to how Yahoo included photos and video into the search results. With video, users have he ability to play the video right from the result. This a pretty cool feature that Yahoo has incorporated into their blended results. He mentioned that blended search is important because it helps boost comprehensiveness and relevance that Yahoo can provide to the user. He touched on "Search Monkey" where site owners can open the results page and differentiate the result for the user. Yahoo appears to be sincere with their Blended Search efforts, they truly want to provide the user with the most relevant information. Cris mentioned that you can provide relevant plug-ins triggered on every page. Help the users get the right information at the right time. Serve up rich data so that the users can get more done faster.

The third speaker was Todd Swartz from Microsoft. He demoed how Live Search is trying to incorporate blened results into their search results. He used an example from the olympics where the Live Search SERP returned a medal count from MSNBC at the top of the results. It was apparent to me that Microsoft is still behind when it comes to blended search. He used travel and shopping examples where the blended search results were not necessarily innovative and showed images with the results. It was not until you dug deeper that you were returned with a better blended result. Todd did comment that for SEO you should pay attention to user reviews and ratings. This is obviously one of the key factors used by Microsoft when determining which result to present in their SERPs. Again Todd mentioned that Microsoft is detemined to serve up the best results for the user.

Erik was up next, which was exciting for me because I am a fan of the ASK SERP. I think that they really did a great job with their blended search results. Erik started to update us on the ASK 3-D experience. He discussed the blending in with the blue links. They are blending in TV results associated with movies and famous people. Try a search for "What is on TV tonight?" ASK is experiementing with placement of the search box. They blend organic results, Smart Answers, Images, Video, News, blogs. ASK probably blends more different types of results than any other major search engine. They use clustering to help determine which types of results they serve up. When there is breaking news, ASK determines which results should be ranking. Should they serve up all news results? It is difficult of when to show images or video. They A/B test to determine this. Erik suggested that there are times when you don't need to show blue links at all.

Blue links are easy because they cause the user to link them. Images do not necessarily require the user to click on them. ASK use user activity, time on page, cohort analysis (testing new content), online surveys. The future of ASK 3-D should present:

a slow death of the blue link
unique informaiton will be shown in addition to just page title and description (think ratings, social network shortcuts)
sponosred listings may slow down the progress of ASK 3-D

ASK does a much better job of revferene queries. ASK likes to show enhanced content more than the other engines. ASK shows a lot of partnered content.

Shasi was the final speaker. He showed some stats and that much has changed since the launch of Netscape. Screen resolutions have changed. It's pretty high across the world. We may not be taking of that. 70% of the monitors in the world are 17" or larger. We are not taking advantage of this. He posed the question, Why are we still searching and browsing like this? Shasi made an interesdting statement of the future of search where you have panels or walls of content that are blended together where you can quickly scroll through this content very fast. He likended this experience to walking through a mall and entering stores that pique your interest. He mentioned that this experience is going to be how blended and universal search will change in the future. Great presentation by Shasi.

I like the topic of the session as we are expecting Blended Search to become even more prevelant in the future. We are already seeing more video results, image results and news results mixed in within the traditional Search Results of the engines. The common theme communicated by the engines is that blended search is all about improving the relevancy of the results for the user.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 18, 2008   0 comments
Monday Morning at SES San Jose
Well we have arrived in San Jose and are gearing up for one of the premier seacrh conferences of the year. The sessions do not get under way until 9:45 this morning so the Enquiro team is spending some time getting situated.

Look for posts throughout the conference as we will be live blogging from various sessions. Enjoy!

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 18, 2008   0 comments
Enquiro Ligers Finish the Season with a Tough Loss
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Well the Enquiro Ligers finished the 2008 softball season with a 20-12 loss. There was a tough inning where the Ligers surrendered a season worst 14 runs in one inning. Despite some late inning heroics from Ligers left-fielder, Jody Nimetz, who hit an inside-the-park grandslam home run, the Ligers were unable to complete the comeback. Nimetz stated "... you know I felt good, I wasn't happy with my previous at bat and knowing that this might be my last at bat of the season, I wanted to do something special." Rightfielder Jason Lane had a great tournament with some timely base hits. Tracy Nimetz and Julie Stork also had great games with some solid hits and nice plays in the field. Firstbase, Bill Barnes also had a solid game. It was only Bill's fourth game all year as he missed most of the season with an ankle injury.

It was a tough year for the Ligers as they only managed a handful of wins. The Ligers were missing a couple of key players including Ryan Wood, Doug Moore and Andrew Spoeth who were unable to attend the final playoff game. Chris Davies also missed the playoffs due to some volunteer efforts. First year Liger, Chris Pinkerton, the Ligers starting pitcher had a great season and was the only Liger to hit homeruns out of the park earlier in the year. Special thanks to Denise Barnes for score keeping and thanks to all who came out to cheer on the Enquiro Ligers.

The tournament was played in temperatures that surpassed 102 degrees. Many of the Ligers were hydrating as well as they could between games as there was no lack of beverages. Four of the Ligers are off to San Jose where they will attend SES San Jose. Three of them including myself have to catch a 6:00 am flight to Seattle. With that, congratulations to the Enquiro Ligers who completed their second season earlier tonight in the Kelowna Recreational Softball League.

The Enquiro Ligers are:

Chris Pinkerton - Pitcher
Bill Barnes - First Base
Julie Stork - Second Base
Ryan Wood - Shortstop, Center Field
Doug Moore - First Base, Pitcher
Tracy Nimetz - First Base, Rover, Third Base
Dave Stork - Right Field
Jason Lane - Right Field
Steve Herrington - Center Field, Shortstop
Jody Nimetz - Left Field
Chris Davies - Right Field
Robin Valiant - Catcher
Denise Barnes - Catcher, Scorekeeper
Kyle Grant - Alternate Sub.
Amanda Lock - Rover
Andrew Spoeth - Right Field, Center Field
Manoj Jasra (first half of season) - Center Field

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posted by PlanetNim Caretaker @ Saturday, August 16, 2008   0 comments
Off to San Jose
Friday, August 15, 2008
Well this weekend it's off to San Jose. Next week is Search Engine Strategies San Jose and as a result many will be making their way to the largest city in the Bay area. I must say that I love San Jose, it's a great city.

I thought being from Canada, maybe I should dig up some interesting facts about the city. Well did you know that.....
  • San Jose was founded in 1777
  • San Jose is California's third largest city with a population of 975,000 (give or take)
  • San Jose is is home to the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world (with more than 6,600 tech companies calling San Jose home)
  • The largest private employer as of 2005 was Cisco Systems which employed over 16, 000 people
  • San Jose is a very cultural and ethnic diverse city with residents that speak in more than 56 different languages
  • San Jose has the number one median household income in the United States
  • San Jose is dubbed the Safest Big City in America
  • San Jose was once known as the "prune capital of the world"
  • The San Jose Sharks NHL hockey club played their first ever home game at the Cow Palace
  • The estimated median house/condo value in San Jose in 2005 was $625,400
  • Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with mortgages in 2005: $3,951
  • The average household size in San Jose is 3.2 people
Source of San Jose facts include:
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/about.html
Office of Economic Development, City of San Jose (2005)
http://www.city-data.com/city/San-Jose-California.html

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posted by Jody @ Friday, August 15, 2008   0 comments
Webinar: The Social Graph: The Key to Search Marketing's Future?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"The social graph" is garnering a lot of attention these days, including a vigorous debate between search marketers who believe leveraging social networks is the next big thing, and traditional search marketers who dismiss social search as the latest fad. The social graph describes how people connect online. It's basically a map of how users are connected on the Web.

Understand that social search is technology that uses input from humans to influence algorithmic search results whereas social media marketing is a type of search marketing that influences others to promote websites leading to better search rankings.

Algorithmic search is really social in nature. Think about how the search engines collect data from users based on their interaction online. Reports suggest that algorithmic search has started to plateau as innovation is becoming more difficult.

There is a trend in user generated content on the Web. Hence the popularity of social networks. When we look at Social Media Marketing, we see that it has become popular because it's more of a marketing skill as opposed to a technical skill. It's more accessible and easier to do.

The webcast explored:

* The types of social media sites that appeal to search marketers. There are personalized verticals such as the Google Custom Search Engine, human/algorithmic hybrids such as Mahalo and social Q&A sites such as Yahoo Answers and Answerbag. popular social media sites include social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, harvesting sites such as DIGG, Newsvine and what Chris referred to as "water coolers" the Facebooks and the Twitters et al.

* With social search there are some issues to be concerned with including tagging issues and spam. People tend to be lazy and there is a lack of controlled vocabulary when it comes to tagging.

* With regards to social media, popularity can quickly fade. 10% of social media users are the power users who dominate the influence which is not always of quality. There appears to be more people writing than people reading. Too much fluff out there?

* What works best? Chris suggested that a combination of algorithmic (organic) search and people mediated search may be the best way to go. Increased personalization and user control over result filtering is on the radar. In the future, social search will work best for non-text content (videos, music, photo)

* LinkedIn Answers is a high quality social network that can provide a link within an answer.

I posed the question as to whether social search works in the B2B space. I would agree with the response from Chris when he stated that social media marketing and social search probably does not work as well for B2B as it does for B2C. The B2B market tends to be more conservative. The buying process is longer and more drawn out, with purchase prices tending to be higher and the purchase decision taking longer to be completed. Social media marketing may become more important in the future for the B2B arena, but right now it is almost a non-factor.

Is social search the way of the future? Well no, but it is something that you will want to be as a part of your online strategy. Social Search and social media marketing offer unique opportunities for search marketers and site owners.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 14, 2008   0 comments
Twitter Brand Index
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Ok so I signed up for a Twitter account months and months ago. At that time I didn't really see much point in using Twitter. As a result I neglected to update my status. Recently there appears to have been a huge interest in Twitter.

So just what exactly is Twitter? Well twitter is a social networking and microblogging service utilizing instant messaging, SMS or a web interface. According to twitter FAQ's,
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own.
It's simple enough isn't it? You have 140 characters to tell the world what you are doing. It doesn't get easier than that. So here are a couple of questions that I had?

How often should you update what you are doing on twitter?
What is the best way to get people to follow you on twitter?
Is the only true benefit to having followers on twitter the simple fact that you are letting them know what you are currently doing?

But wait.... here is something that I thought was cool about twitter. The Twitter Brand Index. The Twitter brand Index was something that Chris Davies pointed out to me. It's a great place to check out folks and companies that are on twitter. You can find companies and people and events through a number of different categories including things such as media, finance and banking, healthcare, and executives and politicians (from Guy Kawasaki / Alltop.com http://twitter.com/guykawasaki to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) http://twitter.com/BarackObama or Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) http://twitter.com/schwarzenegger)

The Twitter Brand Index is pretty cool. Thanks Chris, good find.

You can even add a twitter badge to your blog. Twitter is just another way for you to get in touch folks that you might be interested in. If you are interested in SEO-Space feel free to follow us on twitter. http://twitter.com/seo_space

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, August 13, 2008   0 comments
Keyword Strategy in 2008: Focusing on Head, Torso and Longtail Keywords
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
You know 2008 has been an amazing year when it comes to keyword research. The search engines have started to open up a little with regards to providing some insight into keyword search volumes and as a result there have been a couple of great tools that can be used for conducting keyword research.
  • Microsoft has been beta testing their Ad Intelligence tool that communicates search volume based on MSN/Live Search data. I've used the tool, it's not bad, but again this is Microsoft data not Google.
  • Google added a new layer to Google Trends where they introduced normalized search volume numbers
  • Google made updates to their keyword tool
  • Yahoo finally killed off the Overture keyword suggestion tool.
Improved tools and more accurate search volume counts should lead to better keyword research and it has, but there is still a strategy that is required for keyword selection in 2008. Over the past 12-18 months you've probably heard of the phrase long-tail, long-tail of search or long-tail keywords, well this is but one component of your keyword research that should make up your keyword strategy for your online campaigns.

Let's talk about the "keyword body" that make up an effective keyword strategy. This "body of keywords" consists of three parts; the head, the torso and the long-tail. Here's a little explanation of each component.

Head Phrases - these are more common key phrases that are more general in nature that may be used by searchers earlier on in their search experience. Due to the fact that these phrases are more general in nature you can expect to see a lot of single words that make up the head component of keyword strategy. As it relates to search, "head" words tend to have higher search volumes, are extremely competitive and have a lower conversion rate. An example of a head type word that a searcher might query in a search engine is "electrical".

Torso Phrases - torso phrases tend to be a little more specific and as a result are less competitive while still having a decent amount of search volume happening. Torso phrases tend to be better converting than head words as the searcher has refined their search looking for a more specific set of information. An example of a torso phrase that a user might type into a search engine is "electrical conduit", while it is not as general as "electrical" it is more refined and identifies a sub-topic of the head word "electrical".

Long-Tail Phrases - long-tail refers to phrases that are not nearly as common, are more specific and as a result have less search volume. The phrase "long-tail was coined by Chris Anderson in late 2004 to describe businesses that sell a large variety of unique items in small quantities. Long-tail has also been referred to as the 80/20 rule where "for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes...". When it comes to keyword research, long-tail keywords are those that tend to be very specific, consisting of 3-5+ words, are less competitive in the search results and tend to be higher converting. Using our example from above, an example of a long-tail phrase that a user might search for is "2 inch EMT electrical conduit". You
can see how the long-tail phrases are more specific as the user gets close to making a more informed decision about their original topic of search.

In 2008, performing keyword research is more than just trying to optimize or bid on keywords that have high search volumes.
  • It's more about optimizing for the right keyword at the right time.
  • It's understanding that there is a need to optimize or bid on head, torso and long-tail phrases combined.
  • It's determining when it's best to use a sponsored campaign to augment an organic one.
  • It's understanding which phrases you target marketing are searching for as they prepare to make a purchase
  • It's understanding that there is more to keyword strategy than simply bidding on keywords or optimizing keywords.
Keyword strategy in 2008 should mean looking at head, torso and long-tail keywords and seeing what is right for you and what is right for the searchers who are looking for your website and your products or services that you offer.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 12, 2008   2 comments
Meeting at SES San Jose
While I have had numerous requests for meetings next week at SES SJ, my calendar has quickly filled up. I will make every effort to at least come by and say hello to those that have made requests. I have posted my tentative session list that I will most likely be attending which can be found here.

Search Engine Strategies San Jose is one of the few shows that I actually attend, so time management is key for me while I am down there. This year there are some new sessions that look to be very well attended and highly informative. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 12, 2008   0 comments
SES San Jose Schwag Contest
Monday, August 11, 2008
Hi Everybody! I thought that I would do something kind of fun as SES San Jose approaches next week. We all love schwag right? I love it too, I love bringing cool little schwag items home for my daughter. So this year as I will be at SES San Jose yet again, I have a friendly competition.

I am looking for the coolest piece of schwag. Your job, should you accept it, is to find the coolest piece of schwag at SES San Jose and find me, Jody Nimetz at the show. In exchange for your piece of schwag (yes I will be keeping it), you will receive a keyword rich text link from the homepage of my blog SEO-Space to your website (or blog) for six months. That's right a keyword rich text link from a PR 4 - PR 5 page (depending on what you are seeing on your Google Toolbar... I currently see a PR 5 on my homepage) to your website or blog. If that's not enough, your site or blog will be featured in a fun little post announcing you as the winner here on SEO-Space.

Sounds like a fair trade off to me. All you have to do is bring me a cool piece of schwag. The first two pieces of cool schwag (as deemed cool by myself and my colleagues at SES) will be declared the winners. Here are couple of hints for what we consider "cool schwag".
  • A unique piece of schwag that is not easily obtained is cool (you know I have been after an ASK laptop backpack for a while now).
  • Something with one of the major search engines logo (Google, Yahoo, ASK or Microsoft) could be considered cool
  • Something that is not used as a writing tool could be cool
  • Backpacks are cool!
  • Something that a ten year old would have fun with is cool...
Well that's all there is to it. Have fun and enjoy SES San Jose 2008!

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posted by Jody @ Monday, August 11, 2008   0 comments
My Agenda for SES San Jose 2008: Where You'll Find Enquiro
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Well next weekend I'm off to San Jose for Search Engine Strategies SJ 2008. It promises to be a busy time with client meetings and some interviews and conversations planned with a number of analytics and search engine companies in the San Jose area.

Here is my tentative agenda for SES San Jose.

Monday, August 18th

9:45 - 11:00 Universal & Blended Search
11:15 - 12:30 Igniting Viral Campaigns or The Next Wave For Online Video
1:30 - 2:30
Orion Keynote Panel - How Much Search is Enough?
2:45 - 4:00 Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO)
4:30 - 5:30
Opening Keynote Presentation: Lee Siegel

Tuesday, August 19th

9:00 - 10:00 Morning Keynote: Satya Nadella
11:00 - 12: 15 Measuring Success in a 2.0 World or Global Search for the B2B SEM
1:30 - 2:30 Orion Keynote Panel: Technical & Information Giants

A special note, that Enquiro is one of the three finalists for the Best Business-to-Business Search Marketing Campaign SES Award which will be announced:
Tuesday, Aug 19, 1:30pm - Orion Panel
Best Social Media Marketing Campaign
Best Business-to-Business Search Marketing Campaign
Best Multi-National Search Marketing Campaign

Best Business-to-Business Search Marketing Campaign Finalists are:
Microsoft Small Business Center (iProspect)
SEO-PR
Enquiro Search Solutions, Inc.

2:45 - 3:45 5 Things No One Will Tell You About SEM or
7 Proven Ways to get Your Website on Page 1 Organically & then Convert
4:00 - 5:15 Advanced B2B Marketing
5:15 - 6: 30 Networking Cocktail Reception
7:00 - 12:00 Google Dance

Wednesday August 20th

9:00 - 10:00 Keynote Roundtable: Why Does Search Get the Credit for Everything
10:30 - 11:45
SEO Through Blogs & Feeds or Social Media Marketing: What is it and What is it Good For?
1:00 - 2:15
Searcher Behavior Research Update (which will feature Enquiro's own Bill Barnes as one of the presenters) or Successful Tactics for Social Media Optimization (SMO)
2:45 - 4:00
Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues
4:15 - 5:00
Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO or Facebook, Feeds and Micro-Blogging
7:15 - 11:00 Search Bash

Thursday August 21st

9:00 - 10:00
Morning Keynote: Dan Heath Author of Made to Stick
10:15 - 11:15
How to Speak Geek: Working Collaboratively With Your IT Department to Get Stuff Done or Special Kelsey Group Presentation: Local 2.0: The Evolution of Local Search
11:30 - 12: 30
Creating a Cohesive Search Strategy Across Multiple Business Units
1:30 - 2:30
The Best Kept Secrets to Search
2:45 - 3:45
In House SEO: Lessons Learned & Victories Won or Search Advertising Tools

Look for us at any of these sessions and drop by to say hello. Of course this schedule is subject to change, but we'll definitely be lurking around the conference center.

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, August 10, 2008   0 comments
SEO Tool Tips: Using Live Search Webmaster Center
Thursday, August 07, 2008
When Microsoft announced their Live Search Webmaster Center months back, we thought finally a tool that would provide similar benefit to Webmasters and site owners similar to what Google Webmaster Tools does. Boy were we wrong. Aside from ripping off the name, the Live Search Webmaster Center tool nowhere near what Google Webmaster Tools is.

Well 11 months later, Microsoft has finally updated their Live Search Webmaster Center offering. They recently added some features reminiscent of both Yahoo Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools. Here is a look at some of the new features.

Live Search Webmaster Center Updated

As a reminder, you can view the updated data in Live Search Webmaster Center providing that you have set it up and verified your site. You will need a Microsoft login such as your hotmail account. Once logged in, you will see a page similar to this:



The new information is found within seven tabs as follows:

Summary
  • This tells you when MSNbot last crawled the site
  • How many pages that you have indexed in MSN/Live Search
  • Top five pages (based on what appears to be a proprietary Page Score” and when these pages were last crawled.

Profile
  • Shows where your current xml sitemap is located www.yoursite.com/LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml for example.
  • Provides the verification options (either an XML file that you have added to the site or a meta tag that you have added for verification purposes.)
  • You can also submit an email address for a Live Search rep to contact you if MSN/Live Search encounter issues with your site. This was a pretty cool feature, although I would like to see a response from a Live Search representative if something was wrong with my site. I wonder how detailed that it would be?
Crawl Issues
  • Use this information to find out about any issues Live Search discovered while crawling and indexing your site. This information can help you track down missing or bad links, find pages blocked from our index by your robots.txt file, identify URLs that may be too long, and isolate page with content-types that are not supported by Live Search. Currently your options are File not Found (404 Error), Blocked by REP, Long Dynamic URLs and Unsupported content type.
  • You can download all results. What I didn’t like about this feature is that Live Search Webmaster Center does not allow you to scroll through more than the first 20 results (although you can download all of the results.)
  • When looking at the results for Unsupported Content Type, Live Search states:
    Live Search maintains a defined list of content-type that we will accept into our index, while all other content-types are ignored. Examples of supported content-types are: text/html, text/xml, and application/powerpoint. We recommend you use this report to find a list of all pages on their site that either does not define a content type in the HTTP header, or defines a content-type not currently supported, and either define a content type, or consider including it in your robots exclusion protocol (REP) policy
Backlinks
  • Use this tool to find out which web pages (including your own) are linking to your site. This information can help you identify who is talking about your site, useful information for learning more about your potential audience or customer base.
  • Similar to Yahoo Site Explorer, you can use the filter to exclude results from a domain or show only results from a single domain. You can also specify a domain (live.com), a sub-domain (webmaster.live.com), or a top-level domain (.com).
  • You can download a maximum of 1000 results.
Outbound Links
  • Use this information to get data about web pages your site is linking to. This lets you see where users are going when they leave your site. This is a great tool for monitoring your inbound links and internal linking that you are currently doing on your site.
  • Use the filter to exclude results from a domain or show only results from a single domain. You can also specify a domain (live.com), a sub-domain (webmaster.live.com), or a top-level domain (.com).
Keywords
  • Use this tool to see how your site performs in search results for searches using specific keywords
  • We performed a query for a number of keywords and were returned with results that didn’t really mean that much.
Sitemaps
  • You can use sitemaps "tab"to give Live Search a list of URLs to index for your site. Other than that, there is no real value with this tab.
While this is an improvement over what was offered through Live Search Webmaster Center before, there is nothing earth shattering or innovative here. It would have been cool to see some sort of trending data (pertaining to search volume perhaps?) but Microsoft has really duplicated efforts from Yahoo Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools except, Live Search Webmaster Center is not as useful. It is a step in the right direction however. Here's hoping that the next update offers some unique value.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 07, 2008   1 comments
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