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Top 20 Search Engine Stories First Half of 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Can you believe that 2009 is half over? Where does the time go? We though that it would be fun to compile some of the most memorable search stories for the first half of 2009. There has been a lot movement in the Search industry (as there always is), so it was difficult to narrow it down to just 20.

We factored in the "top newsmaker" stories as well as stories that we thought would have the largest impact on where Search is going.

Top 20 Search Engine Stores: First Half of 2009

#20. Google Penalizes Google Japan for Buying Links - still trying to artificially build your link inventory? In February of this year, Matt Cutts from Google reported that Google had penalized Google Japan for purchasing links. This is interesting as Google is still trying to work to address this issue. We think that is why we are seeing some of the recent tweaks to their algorithm in that we may be in for a major Google update similar to the Florida update of November 2003.

#19. The Obama Effect on Search - January 2009 - with the inauguration of Barack Obama, various web properties experience traffic spikes as the world goes online to learn more about the 44th President of the United States.

#18. Mobile is Coming! Mobile is coming! - In February, Yahoo announced that they were reorganizing and rebranding their mobile offering with the release of Yahoo Mobile. Yahoo, realizing the popularity of smartphones is looking to capitalize on things such as mobile widgets, a new mobile website and applications. http://searchengineland.com/yahoo-reorganizes-rebrands-mobile-offerings-as-yahoo-mobile-16598. ComScore has released reports that there are 63 million mobile users in the US with 35% online via their phones daily.

#17. Even the Search Engines are on Twitter - Twitter is all of the rage. In February, Search Engine Land posted about notable employees of the major search engines that are on Twitter.

#16. ASK Brings Back Jeeves in the UK - April 2009 - Ask tries to reinvent their brand by bringing back their retired butler Jeeves for their UK market. http://searchengineland.com/welcome-back-jeeves-17737

#15. Google AdWords Updates URL Policy - February 2009. Google announced the policy change regarding multiple display URL domains per ad group. According to Google, "... This will not only provide a better user experience for your potential customers, but will also allow you to better organize and track the various domains within your AdWords account."

#14. SEMPO Release State of the Search Engine Marketing Survey - April 2009 - There were some interesting findings from the SEMPO report including that 40% of advertiser respondents reported that they are actively promoting their brand on social media. SEMPO Releases State of Search Market 2008 Survey Results

#13. Microsoft Looks to Spend $100 Million to gain Market Share - in early April, reports started to come out that Microsoft would be spending $100 million to try and gain market share in the Search industry.

#12. Yahoo Releases Yahoo Web Analytics - April 2009. A couple years after Google released Google Analytics, Yahoo followed it up by making Yahoo Analytics available to search and display advertisers. Yahoo announced the release in late April. http://web.analytics.yahoo.com

#11. YouTube is now the second largest Search Engine - March 2009. Being communicated at SES NY in March, it was announced that You Tube is now the second largest search engine behind Google. This does in fact make sense with over 15 hours of video being submitted to You Tube every hour.

#10. Even the Search Engines fall prey to the Recession - various reports suggest that Yahoo. Microsoft and yes even Google will be having layoffs proving that the explosive growth experienced by these companies is slowing down as the economy and the recession impact the Search industry as well.

#9. Wolfram Alpha Search Engine Gains Momentum - April 2009 - an interesting and innovative approach to search with the Wolfram Alpha Search Engine. The goal of the project is to take any information that can be computed and combine and package it so that people can access this knowledge from a single source or search

#8. Google Updates Algorithm: Places more weight on brands - March 2009. Google who, in the previous year, claimed to make over 415 changes to their algorithm updated their algorithm one more time as they placed some emphasis on brands for given search queries. Call it relevancy (if you can call the brands relevant) but realistically if you do a search for say "car insurance" you do expect to see the Geico's and Progressive's of the world.

#7. Google holds their second annual Searchology Event – May 12. Google conducts their second ever Searchology day where they discussed Universal Search, new navigation and talked about Google Search Options. A full recap is available here.

#6. The increasing popularity of Twitter - March 2009 - I'm not sure if you can say that Twitter is the flavor of the week. Twitter is popular. The microblogging service continues to gain in popularity and now even Oprah and Perez Hilton are on Twitter. It's gone mainstream. As a result it is only a matter of time until we see a flood of advertising on Twitter. 140 characters... brilliant, who would have thought this would become the phenomenon that it has? http://twitter.com/marketing_jive

#5. The major search engines release the canonical tag for addressing duplicate content concerns - February 2009. This is a big story from a Webmaster and SEO point of view as the canonical tag is a great way to identify canonical tags and communicate which pages you want to be the authority for the Search engines, thereby directing them to your canonical URLs and not duplicate versions.

#4. Yahoo Announces Carol Bartz as New CEO - January 2009. In mid January, Yahoo announced the replacement for Jerry Yang as former Executive Chairman of Autodesk Carol Bartz was announced as the new CEO for Yahoo (YHOO). Since then there have been a few moments of improvement, but overall it has been pretty quiet from the Yahoo camp.

#3. Michael Jackson's Death breaks on Twitter, cripples Google News and Freezes Wikipedia - June 25, 2009. When the news broke that the King of Pop has passed away, the Internet was buzzing with people trying to confirm the story. There was so much traffic that Google News was returning an "404 error type page" for 25 minutes thinking that the story was part of an automated attack. On Wikipedia, after an explosion of edits to Jackson's Wikipedia article, editors take the step of locking it down in "protective status". Yahoo reported that its Yahoo News property set an all-time record for traffic, registering 16.4 million unique visitors. That beats out election day, where site saw 15.1 million visitors. Complete timeline of events following the death of Michael Jackson.

#2. The world welcomes Microsoft Bing - June 3, 2009 saw the full release of Microsoft's latest attempt at Search with Bing. Ridiculed by some and tried out by many, the verdict is still out on Bing. Reports suggest that Bing has captured some initial market share in the Search industry but whether this will be permanent only time will tell. New features include a list of related searches ("Explorer pane") which is not really new in the world of Search, but new for Microsoft. Bing is dubbed "the search engine that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions." You can take a tour of Bing here.

#1. Apple Releases iPhone 3Gs - June 2009 - while this is not Search specific, it does have a direct impact on Search. Simply put, it’s a phone, an iPod, and an Internet device in one. It gives you access to thousands of applications. And it’s built on technology that’s years ahead of its time. The iPhone phenomenon is just starting. With over 60,000 apps and with over 40,000 iPods and iPhones sold, the way people search for information and when they search for information has changed greatly with smartphones such as Apple's iPhone. Now you can pretty much search anywhere, anytime with a phone.

Wow, we continue to see a number of changes in the Search industry. We do expect some interesting happenings to finish out the year including some major index updates from Google and Yahoo. We can expect that the second half of 2009 will be as busy as the first half.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, June 30, 2009  
Image Optimization Reminders
Image optimization is not that difficult yet many fail to implement common best practices for optimizing the images on their web properties. With the search engine results pages (SERPs) moving away from traditional text results to more dynamic results pages such as the case with Google Universal Search and blended search, the importance of optimizing things such as video and image becomes increasingly important. As the engines continue to improve image results, simply uploading an image will not get you listed in image search results or in the main results.

Places where image search results appear, and can be indexable into general search engines' contextual results, include:
  1. Major search engines - either within contextual search results or vertical image search (Google, Yahoo, ASK, Windows Live Search)
  2. Photo sharing sites (Flickr, Webshots)
  3. Social image sharing sites (MySpace, Facebook)
Image Size

The following guidelines should be considered when optimizing the images on your site.

  • Limit the number of images to a reasonable number that you have on site pages. Having a large number of images on your pages can reduce page and site load time.
  • Combine, refine, and optimize your graphics.
  • Replace graphic rollovers with CSS rollovers to speed display and minimize HTTP requests.
  • As a general rule of thumb, try to keep your total size of images per page to less than 30K (30,000 bytes)

Optimizing Images

People are visual and need to see images if they are going to purchase something. Optimizing your images for search engines becomes a necessity if you are to intercept these people. Here are some image optimization tips:

  • Optimize Images for Size – as mentioned above, consider the size of the images that you use on your site pages.
  • Use Quality Images - make necessary resolution adjustments between your full size images and your thumbnails. Good quality images will entice more clicks from users. Use quality pictures.
  • Use Original Photos – just as search engines prefer unique content, they also prefer unique images. Brand them with your logo, trademark or URL.
  • Use Consistent Image Formatting – Save photos as JPG files, and other graphic image types as GIFs as search engines will interpret a GIF as a standard graphic image with 256 colors and JPGs as photos.
  • Optimize Image File Names - be sure to incorporate keywords into the file name of your images that accurately reflect what the image consists of. The image name will appear beneath the graphic image in search results. It helps to communicate to searchers that they are viewing the desired graphic image.
  • Tagging Images – Where possible, you should always tag your images. Take advantage of the many special contextual tags for social sites with image search. Not only are image names given more weight than regular search results, but you can also add special tags such as captions, comments, location, and themes. Try to put labels and captions on key graphic images.
  • Describe Your Images with “Alt” Text – use alt tags to accurately describe images utilizing important keywords in the alt text. Alt text shows up in Google Image search results. Proper syntax looks something like: alt="Keyword Rich Image Description"
  • Optimize Page Content with the image. Optimizing the page the image appears on is just as important (probably more important) as optimizing the image itself. It’s fair to say that optimizing the actual page for contextual search improves graphic images search.
    Did You Know? The engines look at the text surrounding a graphic image to determine relevancy. Text within the anchor tag and next to anchor text will have a strong influence on image-search rankings.
  • Organize File Structure/Hierarchy – It is important to create an image folder on your web server space that's accessible to the search engines.
  • Factor in Usability - usability is very important in image search optimization and should always be considered when creating an uploading your images. Just because you show up at the top of image search results, does not mean that people will click on the link to the image and go to your site. Image optimization needs to accurately reflect the image.
  • Re-Upload your Images – be sure to revisit your images from time to time and consider re-uploading them so that the search engines can crawl them again. “Image freshness” can provide a hint for the search engines and might affect relevancy of your image search results.
  • Create an Image Sitemap on your site – create a separate sitemap page that is specific to your main images that you wish to optimize. The image sitemap would consist of links to the actual images and would contain alt tags for each image. This would help the search engines find your main images and should help with Universal Search rankings.
Common Image Optimization Mistakes

Below are some of the most common errors that are encountered on a regular basis as they pertain to image search optimization.

Copying Existing Photos – Prior to uploading an image that you may have acquired, be sure that you have the right to use them. Copyright laws will restrict usage in a number of cases.

Limiting Access to Image Files via robots.txt - Do not use your robots.txt to exclude your graphic images directory or limit search engine access to graphic-image files.

Avoid Javascript Links – avoid putting a 'click to see larger image' inside of a JavaScript link. When you do that, you are limiting search engines' access to that image file.

Avoid Burying You Image Folder within your site’s hierarchy – if you have an images folder you’ll want to ensure that it is accessible to the search engines. Just as with page content, if you images folder is buried 4 or 5 levels deep, the engines may not treat these images as authoritative and thus not rank your images as high as they could in the image search and universal results.

Image optimization will not only help you with the image vertical search results, but if optimized correctly can help improve visibility in the main search results of the major search engines. Image optimization should be a key component on your blended search strategy as it creates yet another interception point for your brand and your target audience.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, June 30, 2009  
Search Behavior: Inside the Mind of the Searcher 5 Years Later
Monday, June 29, 2009
It has been a little over five years since we at Enquiro, released our first white paper, Inside the Mind of the Searcher. The paper has been recognized as ground breaking research by many industry experts, including Danny Sullivan Search Engine Land and Anne Holland, founder of MarketingSherpa. The 30 page report discovered some startling findings about the way consumers search.

Some of the items that we concluded from our research was that it became clear that searchers have mentally divided the search engine results page into distinct sections, and many searchers will skip some of these sections completely. In general, organic listings are more likely to be seen by a greater percentage of users than sponsored listings. It also emerged that many Google users have become preconditioned to visually ignore sponsored listings on the page. While this may have changed slightly in the past five years as searchers become more savvy, these habits still hold true for many. In fact, when looking at the search results page, most users look for a number of specific items, at least one of which must be present to capture a click through. These items include the key phrase in the title or description, product information and trusted brand names and vendors. This appears to hold true for both digital natives and digital immigrants.

Download Inside the Mind of the Searcher

Organic vs. Paid

One of the things that I remember most about this white paper was the fact that in observing how users interacted with the search results pages, we noticed distinct trends. Almost 80% initially skipped over all sponsored listings and went straight to the top organic results. In most cases, their eyes never came back to the sponsored listings. We also found that the search process was a circular one, not necessarily a linear process. A typical search is a circular and complex process, with multiple interactions with sites and search engine results pages.

I happen to specialize in Organic Search. So in essence my job is to help my clients gain visibility in the natural (organic) listings of the search results pages. Over the years, I have been very successful with this. I can appreciate that organic results still generate the majority of clicks. In 2009, five years after our original study, industry folks predict that 70-75% of clicks are organic with 20-25% being sponsored. Yet we still see the majority of search budgets being given to sponsored, which I can also appreciate as organic and sponsored do in fact need to work together for ultimate online success. However, it is worth mentioning the fact that the need for organic search should not be overlooked. The companies that "get it" know and understand this, and they continue to realize the importance of SEO/organic search. They also understand the importance of social marketing and the need to continue to reinvent their brands.

Inside the Mind of the Searcher 2009

In the five years since the release if "Inside the Mind of the Searcher", we have seen some tremendous shifts in online marketing and in marketing in general. We have also seen some changes with the Search Engines and with the results they return. In 2004, there was no Universal or Blended Search. There were no images or videos or blogs or news articles being mixed in with the 10 blue links that we were accustomed to seeing. Sounds like we need to again delve deep into the mind of the searcher and see how they have changed with their digital habits in 2009 and going into the next decade. It will be interesting to see how searchers:
  • Interact with a Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft (Bing) SERP now vs. in 2004
  • Respond to blended results - Are there preferences for news results over videos?
  • Do males and females react differently to Blended Search?
  • How do keyword queries change along the buying funnel?
  • How has social impacted the mind of the searcher?
  • How has the interaction between organic and sponsored listing on a SERP changed?
Capturing the Click

In our original paper we discussed what captured the click. Relevancy is the key here and still holds true today. SEO 101 is important as optimized titles and descriptions were identified as top items that helped entice users to click a given result over another.

If searchers were looking for a site to make a purchase from, the importance of what appeared in the title and listing text changed a little. (Listed in order of importance):
  • The exact query in the Title and Description
  • Offer product information: features, comparisons, reviews and prices
  • Trusted brand names and vendors
  • Promises of added value: discounts, free shipping, etc
  • Ability to buy online
  • Trusted URL’s
Maybe some things just never change, but it sounds to me like we need to perform some updated research and examine the mind of the Searcher five years later. I can see it now, Inside the Mind of the Searcher 2010. Oh and for the record, Enquiro was using Zappos examples (see page 25 of the white paper) even back in 2004 before it was fashionable to do so.


posted by Jody @ Monday, June 29, 2009  
NHL Draft: Business or Pleasure?
Friday, June 26, 2009
In just over an hour, the 30 NHL teams will congregate in Montreal to build their future. The annual NHL entry draft is taking place and for the first time in a couple of seasons there are some great stories developing.
  • will the Canucks be able to retain the Sedins?
  • will the Senators trade sniper Dany Heatley?
  • who will go first over all? Tavares or Hedmen?
  • will Tampa Bay trade their second overall pick?
  • will Brian Burke say something smart?
This is a big day for a lot of kids. It is also a big day for the owners of the 30 NHL teams. Drafting a superstar player can pay off huge for a team from a business perspective. Some of you might have forgotten just how bad off the Pittsburgh Penguins were a couple of years ago as they were almost purchased by Jim Basillie and potentially moved to Canada. All of a sudden they go on and draft Sidney Crosby and win the 2009 Stanley Cup.

Crosby is one of the NHL's most marketable players and as a result is a bit of a cash cow for the NHL and the Penguins. So while the the NHL draft is fun for the youngsters being drafted with the fame and fortune, draft day can be a huge deal for the team owners from a business perspective. There are millions to be made as professional sports has become quite the business. It will be interesting to see who the big winners are at this year's draft.


posted by Jody @ Friday, June 26, 2009  
Michael Jasckon Dead?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Reports are starting to come in that the king of pop Michael Jackson has suffered a fatal heart attack. This on the day that Farah Fawcett passed on. According to CNN:
Entertainer Michael Jackson is in a coma after being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest, sources briefed on the situation told CNN.
Whoa, are these reports true? Wikipedia has already updated their Michael Jackson page:

Does Google give preferential treatment to Wikipedia? You be the judge. Within 90 minutes of the announcements of the status of Michael Jackson, a search for "Michael Jackson" in Google returned the following result. Notice that the Wikipedia description is already updated with the birth and death date of Michael Jackson. Google crawled and re-indexed the Wikipedia listing that quickly...


posted by Jody @ Thursday, June 25, 2009  
The Rise of the Digital Native: Live Blogging Enquiro Webinar
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We are just getting ready to begin our webinar on The Rise of the Digital Native. You can still register here. As a reminder, panelists are:
  • Gord Hotchkiss - President and CEO, Enquiro
  • Ben Hanna - VP Marketing, Business.com
  • Mark McMaster - Senior Planner of Technology/B2B Markets, Google
  • Chris Golec - Founder and CEO, Demandbase
With some special guests:
  • Danny Sullivan - Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land
  • Rand Fishkin - CEO and founder of SEOmoz.org
After an intro from Enquiro's Bill Barnes, Gord started out with his thoughts on the rise and concept of digital natives and digital immigrants. He discussed how the brain is made up of neurons and synapses and how the synapes get stronger as they fire. The ones that we don't use actually get pruned away. Over time, the brains capabilities increase in certain areas and decrease in others. We basically allocate our resourcves where they are going to do the most good... this can be referred to as learning. He discussed how our brains become plastic. There are two periods when the brain undergoes massive transformation: at the age of two and in the teenage years.Gord went on to discuss how we adopt technology. He noted that the adoption rate between TV and the Internet is actually pretty close. It's safe to say however, that the rapid shift in technology that we are experiencing and adoption of this technology is different with digital natives and digital immigrants. 1960 was the first generation that grew up with TV. TV has had a dramatic effect on social activity of society... we're spending less time with each other.

Danny and Rand started out by discussing the type of technology that they grew up with. From LPs, cassettes and CDs to early video game consoles and betamax. Danny talked about how his kids are growing up with the Internet. He started out by commenting on how nothing seemed amazing to them citing an example of a disposable camera where his kids assumed that they would be able to see the photographs instantly and had no concept of a traditional camera (as opposed to the digital cameras that we all have today).

Gord added that everyone should check out this Everything's Amazing video clip on YouTube about how this generation does not find anything amazing.

Rand added his thoughts suggesting that technology is amazing so there are some digital natives that do find technology interesting and at times remarkable. The Microsoft Surface demo was another example that he mentioned.

Gord asked Rand and Danny about social networks and about the different level of engagement with digital natives vs. digital immigrants. Danny noted that there is a second wave of users on Facebook who are still getting used to it (Facebook and social networking in general) in some ways.

Gord posed the question as to whether we are going to lose some of our face to face communication skills as a result of the digital native and popularity on digital social networking. Danny replied that the personal connection may be going away. He noted that there appears to be a loss of common sense with some. Rand added that the breadth of connections are different now. It is very easy to connect with people. However he referred to this as "shallow connections". With digital natives he mentioned something that is fascinating is the degree at which it is ok to put everything out there (in social network and in the digital space) about yourself. Could there be a security risk or is this something that is more prevalent with digital immigrants vs. digital natives?

Gord then went on to discuss what the rise of the digital natives means for B2B. Enquiro's research looked at the hours spent weekly

Ben Hanna from Business.com discussed the fact that digital natives are spending much more time with social networking, micro-blogging etc. Their contrast is much bigger on the professional side. When marketing to digital natives, you cannot use traditional marketing tactics. You need to pay attention to things such as Twitter and blogging to intercept this audience. You need to participate in these environments to nurture these relationships as these channels are changing. We're starting to see certain adoptions of social media in B2B where it has not been seen before.

Chris Golec from Demandbase talked about the idea of simplicity of the user experience. From a B2B implications perspective, the tools need to be made easier to use so that they can be easily adopted. Today people expect immediate results and benefits when they use a product, whether it is a free trial or demo. Google, Twitter and a number of new technologies provide these immediate results and immediate benefit.

Do we need to have a marketing strategy for digital immigrants and digital natives? It depends on your target audience. If you have a broader audience, you might have to create a more encompassing strategy to intercept both digital natives and digital immigrants.

Other channels are rising up and channels such as newspapers are losing the battle. However, with the Web becoming an increasingly popular channel this brings up the issues of finding accurate information online.

There was mention of how teachers tend to be digital immigrants and how the students are digital natives. The same teaching approaches will not work anymore. The same may hold true for business in the future.

I posed the question as to whether digital natives are less brand loyal. If so how will we market to them in the future? Ben Hanna replied that this will become increasingly difficult. It may depend on the channel or channels being used until the brands can figure out having a broad presence out there.

Chris added that the natives will be relying on social networks to find their information. Gord added that brands may be becoming relevant in a different way. The ways we build these brands will become different. The marketer needs to understand this shift in brand landscape. The customer is now starting to own the brand. Marketers need to participate in this conversation. Rand mentioned that digital immigrant is thinking what did consumer reports say about this brand, a digital native will say what is being said about this brand on Twitter? The split makes brands more responsible to their consumers and their users and how the brands are perceived. Danny summarized that he is inclined to write a blog post as opposed to Yelp perhaps implying that a digital native may go directly to Yelp. Brands are important and will continue to be important. The fact is that the trust of these brands has to be there. Brands need to be extended in ways that you might not of thought of or leveraged before.

Great topic, with some great insight . White papers and webinars from this series are available at: www.enquiro.com/b2bresearch

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, June 24, 2009  
Enquiro Webinar Reminder: The Rise of Digital of the Native
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Just a reminder that tomorrow Enquiro is featuring a webinar on"The Rise of the Digital Native". You can register here.

Gord Hotchkiss - President and CEO, Enquiro
Ben Hanna - VP Marketing, Business.com
Mark McMaster - Senior Planner of Technology/B2B Markets, Google
Chris Golec - Founder and CEO, Demandbase

Special Guests:
Danny Sullivan - Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land
Rand Fishkin - CEO and founder of SEOmoz.org

Attend the webinar and you could win a 15 minute Search Marketing audit and a Mapping the BuyerSphere white paper package!


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, June 23, 2009  
Enquiro Ligers Come Up Short in Division Finals
Monday, June 22, 2009
Well the Enquiro Ligers Spring Softball Season wrapped up over the weekend with a playoffs tournament. The Ligers were seeded third in their division resulting in a bye to Saturday afternoon's quarter final game where the Ligers won by default over the "Batty Nurses" as the nurses did not have a enough players to field a complete team. A situation that would come back to somewhat haunt the Ligers later in the tournament.

The Ligers were jokingly referring to themselves as a "playoff team" throughout the season as they struggled at times. This proved to be correct as the Ligers saved their best efforts for the playoffs. In the semi final famed vs. Fortis BC, the Ligers played tight defensively as they destroyed Fortis 16-3. The 12 run mercy rule came into effect as Ligers pitcher, Chris Pinkerton smashed a towering shot driving in enough runs for the mercy rule to come into play after five innings. Ligers shortstop Ian Everdell had a whale of a game with a number of amazing plays in the field and some timely hits. Definitely the Ligers strongest performance of the season prompting Ligers left fielder Jody Nimetz to reiterate, "... see I told you we were a playoff team..."

The Ligers were in the division finals surprising many including some of the Ligers themselves. As game time approached the Ligers opponents The Connectors were a couple of players short. According to League rules, any team that fields a player not on their roster shall be removed from the game with the win going to the other team. It is a common practice by many teams to stack their rosters with additional players prior to playoffs. The Connectors managed to "pick up" Ligers' pitcher Chris Pinkerton's nephew (who by the the way is a mere 6'7" and young, athletic machine). Liger's manager Tracy Nimetz called The Connectors on it prompting one of The Connectors female players to "complain" to the umpire re: a rule that they said they knew nothing about. For the record, each team received a copy of the rules prior to the tournament start. The umpire's response was a bit shocking in that he said you guys decide and I will abide by your decision. The Connectors made some comments such as "this isn't the big leagues, for you to win on a technicality.." Well not sure if not having a proper roster set is a "technicality". Did I mention that the umpire happened to be "hanging out" with The Connectors before the game? As it stood, the Enquiro Ligers were division champs. However never one to back down to a challenge, the Ligers decided to play out the game... even as the Connectors fielded a makeshift lineup. While the Ligers had an additional player for the tournament, at the start of the season, the Ligers set their roster to include additonal players who may not have played many games throughout the year. The difference is that they were legitimate players listed on the roster, not added prior to the championship game. The Ligers did submit a finalized roster prior to playoffs.

Over recent years we have seen a number of players "enahnce their performance" in the big leagues by using performance enhancing drugs or equipment. Now even in fun beer leagues we see the same injustice as team fail to comply with league rules. No matter, the Ligers were determined to win the championship even if they had to climb a mountain to do it.

As the game started, the Ligers being to top seeded team fielded the following lineup:

Kate Gardam - Catcher
Chris Pinkerton - Pitcher
Doug Moore - First Base
Julie Stork - Second Base
Amanda Lock - Third Base
Ian Everdell - Shortstop
Chris Davies - Right Field
Dave Stork - Center Field
Joelle (Robyn) Potenteau - Rover
Jody Nimetz - Left Field
Steve Herrington - Shortstop
Jason Lane - Right Field
Tracy Nimetz - Manager/Scorekeeper

The game started out as a defensive battle with the Ligers leading 1-0 after one inning. The Ligers were very sharp defensively as they held The Connectors to limited hits. However the Connectors were also tight defensively as the Ligers were unable to get anything happening with the bats and as they have so many times in the season were stranding a number of runners on the bases. Mid-way through the contest The Connectors began connecting. The game was tied 3-3 and The Connectors were coming on strong. With runners on the bags, the Connectors shortstop came up to bat and cranked a deep shot between center and left field. Leaving it all on the field, Ligers left fielder Jody Nimetz ran hard and made an astounding catch, diving as he robbed The Connectors of two possibly three runs. The catch prompted Connectors shortstop to mention to Nimetz, ".. you know I've been playing ball for 25+ years and you might see one of those catches every 10 or 15 years. Great catch!..." Nimetz just gave him a wink and a smile and said, "I can sigh the ball for you if you like..."

The Ligers were still having trouble generating runs, but did go up 4-3 in the fourth inning. Ligers pitcher Chris Pinkerton was in a slight slump going 0-3 with his his first three at bats. Ironically he hit some nice fly balls to left field where they were caught by, yup you guessed it, Brandon, Chris' nephew that The Connectors had picked up for this game. The Ligers bats then started to come to life as Dougie Moore, Kate Gardam, Jason Lane and Julie Stork had some great base hits to generate some runners and a couple of extra runs.

Going into the final inning the Ligers were up by three runs. All was looking well. The Ligers had last bat and simply needed to hold The Connectors. The tough part was that The Connectors were coming up to the strong part of the batting order. The first couple of batters had a couple of hits that should have been routine outs, yet the Ligers infield had a couple of overthrows and missed opportunities. Then a couple of hits were made to the outfield where Ligers rover Joelle Potenteau, who is normally steady handed, bobbled a couple causing the base runners to reach extra bases. Like a few times before in the regular season, the Ligers quickly began to implode. When all was said in done the Ligers gave up 7 runs in the top of the seventh as they now trailed The Connectors by four runs. What made this worse was the playoff rules state that there is a 5 run inning max with the exception of the seventh inning which is an open or unlimited inning. The Connectors used this to their advantage as they got seven runs on the Ligers

With last bats you could see the Ligers, who had tried so hard, just did not have enough left in the tank and were unable to generate any additional runs losing in the division finals. While the Ligers saved their best ball of the season for the playoffs, the came up just short on winning their first division title. This could be great momentum for the Ligers summer season which begins July 6th. You could argue that the Ligers are Division Champs, but regardless the Enquiro Ligers performed admirably and can hold their heads up high.

Great job by the Ligers.


posted by Jody @ Monday, June 22, 2009  
Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants: A Couple of More Buzzwords for You
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Over the past couple of years, we have continued to produce a list of the latest marketing buzzwords that are being used. A couple of buzzwords that were not on our most recent list include digital natives and digital immigrants. I must admit that typically I am not a fan of buzzwords, but I happen to really like these two.

Now I do not consider myself an expert on digital natives or digital immigrants, but I have experience in dealing with them each and every day. In fact I would consider myself at times both a digital native and a digital immigrant. Is that possible? Well technically not really. I do not consider myself to be a tech geek and I'm not that old, but I probably fall in the digital immigrant category. Let's take a look at the definition of each.

Digital Natives - those people that have grown up with digital technologies including home computers, the Internet, MP3s and mobile phones. Typically these people are 27 years of age or less and have pretty much always been exposed to these digital technologies vs...

Digital Immigrants - those people that grew up before the digital age where items such as home computers, the Internet and mobile phones were either non-existent or not as widely available. The general rule of thumb is that these people are 28 years of age or older. They are those people who adapt with these digital technologies.

In an article called "On the Horizon" from 2001, author Marc Prensky is acknowledged to have coined the terms digital native and digital immigrant. I think that there should potentially be a third grouping here as there are a number of people who are a little of both, perhaps a Digital Intermediate.

Digital Intermediate - those people who grew up prior to the digital age but adopted digital technology as a teenager or young adult. Typically those people who are 28-40 years of age or were born in between 1970-1980.

Alas another potential buzzword to add to your repertoire. Technology has changed and shaped us greatly in the past 10-15 years. Innovation is swift. Can you think about life before Google or before iTunes? In high school, I remember listening to my favorite bands on cassettes and CD's. A few years later, MP3s were in fashion and then came iTunes. It all happened so quickly. If you think about it though, children in elementary school and into junior high probably have no idea about music cassettes and many probably do not listen to CD's. Parents are equipping their homes and baby rooms with iPod/iPhone docking stations. We are in the digital age.

The whole digital native things is amazing to watch unfold. Kids and younger people today socialize quite differently than you or I may have in the past. They're on Twitter or other social networks, they text and they do almost everything digitally. They're quick to adopt new technologies and frankly come to expect them. You wonder why brand loyalty is on a decline? Well you might want to start with understanding the uprising of the digital native.

Here's a simple example of the difference between digita natives and digital immigrants. I had downloaded the iPhone fluid application for my iPhone a while back. Then just the other day, my 11 year old daughter snaps a picture of us and sets this picture of us as the background of the iPhone fluid application. I had no idea that you could do that. She comes along snaps a pic and sets it to the background image. She is a digital native. I am a digital immigrant or perhaps a digital intermediate. I appreciate her "digital native abilities". It really is entertaining to watch how digital natives interact as compared to digital immigrants.

I remember seeing the Van Halen video for "Right Now" back in the early '90's (pre-YouTube). The video, won the band a number of awards, if you remember, the video was composed of a variety of screen montages with related "deep one-liners" describing the clip. For example a picture of a bear eating a fish in a lake with the caption "Right Now... it's business as usual in the woods", or a picture of a condom with the caption "Right Now... nothing is more expensive than regret..". There were some very powerful messages within the video. It was a powerful video. Digital Natives are this kind of powerful. Digital natives will take the digital era to the next level and in a quicker manner than we've ever experienced before.

Van Halen - Right Now

By the way, regardless of whether you are a digital native or digital immigrant, right now, time is having it's way with you.

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posted by Jody @ Saturday, June 20, 2009  
B2B Webinar: The Rise of the Digital Native Presented by Enquiro
Friday, June 19, 2009
Join us at Enquiro for our latest webinar on the "Rise of the Digital Native". Register now for the webinar which takes place on Wednesday, June 24th at 2:00 pm PST. As this concludes our current B2B Expert Series of Webinars for our Spring 2009 sessions, we're pulling out all of the stops with a couple of special guests. (See below for more). In case you missed our previous webinar, check out our webinar on the BuyerSphere and building digital assets.

Have you ever learned a second language as an adult? If so, you realize how hard it is to achieve fluency in it. Yet children seem to become fluent in languages effortlessly. Today, digital proficiency is just like another language. Some of us learned it as adults (Digital Immigrants), and some of us grew up with it (Digital Natives)

In our research, together with that of others, we learned that native fluency in the language of online, referred to as being a Digital Native, can significantly alter online behavior. Digital Immigrants are those that adopted technology as adults. The divide between these two generations can affect everything from how email is used to how social connections are built and maintained. It also affects how they use online resources as B2B buyers. We’ll look at the differences we discovered today, and look forward to what it might mean for B2B buying in the future.

Gord Hotchkiss - President and CEO, Enquiro
Ben Hanna - VP Marketing, Business.com
Mark McMaster - Senior Planner of Technology/B2B Markets, Google
Chris Golec - Founder and CEO, Demandbase

Special Guests:
Danny Sullivan - Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land
Rand Fishkin - CEO and founder of SEOmoz.org

We recommend this webinar to:

C-level executives (CMO, CEO), VPs of Online Marketing, etc., as well as online marketing practitioners (in-house) and agencies.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, June 19, 2009  
Google's Best Practices for Product Search
Thursday, June 18, 2009
If you have ever done a search in Google for a certain device or perhaps a certain product, you have no doubt experienced blended search results as part of the results that were returned for you. Chances are you were served up with images, news results, video results and most likely shopping results. Yes shopping results are a type of blended search result and Google has recently shared some additional information about best practices for products search.

Benefits of Product Search
  • free submissions
  • unbiased rankings if you are not using other Google products (such as Adwords etc.)
  • great for users who are conducting research on various products that they may be in the market for
  • product search appear in the blended results known as universal search results in Google (Quite often they appear in prime real estate of the SERP)
On the product search product pages, users can access information such as product description, pricing, aggregate reviews and seller ratings. Again this provides great information for users who are looking to gain information and make a more informed purchase decision.

Product search is based on Google Base (an XML database if you will) with a list of items and attributes. In order to get your products into Google Base, there are four methods to choose from:
  1. Manual Submission - submitting each item individually. So this is good if you only have a couple of items to submit
  2. Feeds - which can be a tab-delimited text file or xml.
  3. Store Connector - if you have an existing store on Yahoo or eBay
  4. Google Base API - where you can upload, update and delete items
Google Product Search Best Practices
  • ensure that you have an accurate representation of the products submitted
  • submit as many recommended attributes as possible (this does not mean higher ranking however)
  • Gain a positive reputation - we know that this is important in YouTube for videos, but gaining positive reviews and such can go a long way in building trust with the community and ultimately may have an impact on if you show up in the universal search results
  • include UPC with your listing
  • include Manufacturer Product Code with your listing
  • include the brand
  • include the conditions
  • ensure that you include a high quality description
  • include a quality image
  • The feeds topicality or relevance to the results is the item that will have the largest impact on ranking. The more accurate and descriptive that you can make your feed, the better off you will be in terms of ranking.
  • Adding custom attributes will not boost rankings by itself.
  • Submit timely and accurate information
  • Listings do expire after 30 days
  • Google recommends submitting as often as possible

Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google has a great video describing these items and more.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, June 18, 2009  
Google Continues to Tweak Algorithms Specific to Link Computation
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
For any of you who were in attendance at SES New York in March, you may remember Bruce Clay mentioning that in the past year Google performed over 415 changes to their algorithm. They are constantly refining their ranking algorithms. Over the past 5 or 6 months (and probably longer), they have been making additional tweaks to the various link components of their algorithms with some fairly complex link computations resulting in changes to the effects of what is referred to as page rank sculpting.

Google's Matt Cutts recently discussed PageRank and the idea of page rank sculpting. As he declared:
Even when I joined the company in 2000, Google was doing more sophisticated link computation than you would observe from the classic PageRank papers. If you believe that Google stopped innovating in link analysis, that’s a flawed assumption. Although we still refer to it as PageRank, Google’s ability to compute reputation based on links has advanced considerably over the years.
In addition, Matt's post touched on some interesting concepts:
  • PageRank or link attrition, where it could be estimated that 10-15% of the PageRank disappears before it can be passed to an outgoing link
  • The Nofollow tag - a method to annotate a link to tell search engines "I can't or don't want to vouch for this link." In Google, NoFollow links don't pass PageRank and don't pass anchor text. Matt Cutts says that Nofollow links definitely don't pass PageRank and Nofollow links don't help sites rank higher in Google's search results.
  • Google changed how they count NoFollow links - due in part to site owners who were trying to manipulate this technique (you know who you are)
  • Google still recommends building your link inventory naturally - if this is the case shouldn't Google reward sites that do this more than the the sites that try to manipulate and artificially inflate their link inventories (think page rank sculpting and link buying).
  • Google is not an advocate of PageRank Sculpting
  • Site Architecture is still important - create a website architecture that helps make your site usable and crawlable for visitors and the search engines. This is key, (large brands and ecommerce sites, take note)
  • Identify your most important content and promote it as such - consider letting Google and the other major engines know which pages are more important than your other pages (relevant to each other) by setting the priority of your pages in your XML sitemap feeds.
  • User forums and user generated content is key content and should be promoted
  • Google is aware of "power SEOs"
Bill Hartzer also identified some other interesting points related to Matt's post:
  • Google changed other, larger aspects of how they look at links. They did it a while back and not too many people noticed.
  • A better, more effective form of PageRank Sculpting is choosing which things to link to from your home page.
  • There are some cases where you might consider adding the NoFollow tag, like to pages that change often or require a login. Still, you might consider adding those URLs to the robots.txt file rather than adding a NoFollow tag to the links.
I agree with Bill's post especially when it comes to the importance of interlinking your site pages. You really need to develop a strategy for an effective interlinking strategy and promoting your site's important content (content will always be king). While it may take longer, producing unique and informative content can still garner a number of quality links to your site's content. Patience is a virtue. The manipulation of link juice is so boring. I don't want to say it's cheating, but really it's an artificial solution that provides "artificial results". Everybody (i.e. power - SEOs) say that they're not concerned about rankings yet they try to utilize techniques to try and quickly improve their "rankings" in the major engines. The fact of the matter is, by creating a site that is sound from an architecture point of view, and that adds fresh, informative content that will entice links will do well in the online space. This content can be in different forms including blog posts, videos, images, press releases and yes even old fashioned HTML pages. As a user of Search, so long as the content is relevant to my query and is not a piece of "manipulated" content within the results (because, believe me I know the difference) I am satisfied. Ultimately at the end of the day that is what Google, Yahoo, ASK and other search engines are trying to do... provide the most relevant content to searchers who use their search engine.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, June 16, 2009  
Marketing Jive: Top 5 Tunes of the Week
Marketing Jive Top 5 Tunes of the WeekLast week, Papa Roach occupied our top spot of our very first Top 5 Tunes of the Week. Here is a look at our favorite songs for the week ending June 14, 2009.

Marketing Jive Top 5 Tunes of the Week

#5. If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback

#4. Feel Good Drag - Anberlin

#3. Lifeline - Papa Roach

#2. Know Your Enemy - Green Day

#1. Oh Yeah - Chickenfoot

Chickenfoot is the new number one. We love the album. In fact we will go on record as saying that this is the best rock record to come out in years. We'll have a full review of the album later this week. For now visit their MySpace page via the link above to check out some sound bytes.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, June 16, 2009  
A Couple of Recent Updates from Yahoo
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Just in case you missed these updates from Yahoo last week, Yahoo announced their support for the Common Tag. Common tag is an open tagging format developed to make content more connected, discoverable and engaging. Unlike free-text tags, Common Tags are references to unique, well-defined concepts, complete with metadata and their own URLs. With Common Tag, site owners can more easily create topic hubs, cross-promote their content, and enrich their pages with free data, images and widgets.


Yahoo also announced (in conjunction with Google and Microsoft) that they have updated the xsd files with the XML schemas for Sitemap or Siteindex files. The updated xsd files allow better extensibility of the Sitemaps protocol. In addition, the protocol will now allow 50,000 Sitemaps per Siteindex, up from the previous limit of 1000 Sitemaps. The file size limit will stay at 10MB.



posted by PlanetNim Caretaker @ Sunday, June 14, 2009  
2009 Stanley Cup Champion to be Decided Tonight
Friday, June 12, 2009
Well after 82 regular season games and four rounds of playoffs the greatest trophy in all of sports will be handed out tonight. The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Hockeytown to meet the Detroit Red Wings. You have to give the edge to the Wings as the game is in their home rink and the home team has won each time out. The Red Wings are 12-7 all-time in Game 7s, while the Pens are 6-4 in this situation.

For anyone who has played hockey as a kid you dream about this moment. Playing in game seven for the Stanley Cup. How many times have I played this out in my head when playing at the rink as a kid, or even on the streets playing road hockey with my buddies (some of whom have gone on to play in the NHL). How can you not be excited???

I'm an Edmonton Oilers fan... a BIG Oilers fan. I have been since I was 5 years old. I'm still dealing with the Oilers game seven loss three years ago to Carolina in the Stanley Cup Finals. Sheesh, so close but so far... but that's what makes the Stanley Cup so great. Very few get the chance to hoist the thirty-five pound cup. It takes so much effort to get there. Frankly I do not care if Detroit or Pittsburgh win. If Detroit wins they will be the first team to win back to back cups since they did it back in 97 and 98. Should the Wings win, it will be their fifth cup in twelve years. This almost warrants talk about a dynasty.

Then you have the young Penguins a dynamic team with great superstars. I'm not a fan of Sidney Crosby, but he will at some point win a Stanley Cup. That may just happen tonight. Should the Penguins win the Cup I will be happy for a couple of ex-Edmonton Oilers in Bill Guerin an Mathieu Garon who was traded to the Penguins earlier this season. I really liked Garon and thought that he got the short end of the straw in Edmonton. Perhaps one reason why Craig MacTavish was "let go" as coach of the Oilers (don't even get me started on that...)

It should be a good game. I almost have a feeling that the Penguins are going to take it, and I want to say they will win 4-2, but I have to go with the Red Wings. So I'm picking Detroit with a score of 3-2.

All-Time Stanley Cup Winners

2008-09 - Detroit Red Wings

2007-08 - Detroit Red Wings

2006-07 - Anaheim Ducks

2005-06 - Carolina Hurricanes (beat the Oilers in game #7)

2003-04 - Tampa Bay Lightning

2002-03 - New Jersey Devils

2001-02 - Detroit Red Wings

2000-01 - Colorado Avalanche

1999-2000 - New Jersey Devils

1998-99 - Dallas Stars

1997-98 - Detroit Red Wings

1996-97 - Detroit Red Wings

1995-96 - Colorado Avalanche

1994-95 - New Jersey Devils

1993-94 - New York Rangers

1992-93 - Montreal Canadiens

1991-92 - Pittsburgh Penguins

1990-91 - Pittsburgh Penguins

1989-90 - Edmonton Oilers

1988-89 - Calgary Flames

1987-88 - Edmonton Oilers

1986-87 - Edmonton Oilers

1985-86 - Montreal Canadiens

1984-85 - Edmonton Oilers

1983-84 - Edmonton Oilers

1982-83 - New York Islanders (beat the Oilers)

1981-82 - New York Islanders

1980-81 - New York Islanders

1979-80 - New York Islanders

1978-79 - Montreal Canadiens

1977-78 - Montreal Canadiens

1976-77 - Montreal Canadiens

1975-76 - Montreal Canadiens

1974-75 - Philadelphia Flyers

1973-74 - Philadelphia Flyers

1972-73 - Montreal Canadiens

1971-72 - Boston Bruins

1970-71 - Montreal Canadiens

1969-70 - Boston Bruins

1968-69 - Montreal Canadiens

1967-68 - Montreal Canadiens

1966-67 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1965-66 - Montreal Canadiens

1964-65 - Montreal Canadiens

1963-64 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1962-63 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1961-62 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1960-61 - Chicago Blackhawks

1959-60 - Montreal Canadiens

1958-59 - Montreal Canadiens

1957-58 - Montreal Canadiens

1956-57 - Montreal Canadiens

1955-56 - Montreal Canadiens

1954-55 - Detroit Red Wings

1953-54 - Detroit Red Wings

1952-53 - Montreal Canadiens

1951-52 - Detroit Red Wings

1950-51 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1949-50 - Detroit Red Wings

1948-49 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1947-48 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1946-47 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1945-46 - Montreal Canadiens

1944-45 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1943-44 - Montreal Canadiens

1942-43 - Detroit Red Wings

1941-42 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1940-41 - Boston Bruins

1939-40 - New York Rangers

1938-39 - Boston Bruins

1937-38 - Chicago Black Hawks

1936-37 - Detroit Red Wings

1935-36 - Detroit Red Wings

1934-35 - Montreal Maroons

1933-34 - Chicago Black Hawks

1932-33 - New York Rangers

1931-32 - Toronto Maple Leafs

1930-31 - Montreal Canadiens

1929-30 - Montreal Canadiens

1928-29 - Boston Bruins

1927-28 - New York Rangers

1926-27 - Ottawa Senators

1925-26 - Montreal Maroons

1924-25 - Victoria Cougars

1923-24 - Montreal Canadiens

1922-23 - Ottawa Senators

1921-22 - Toronto St. Pats

1920-21 - Ottawa Senators

1919-20 - Ottawa Senators

1918-19 - No decision

1917-18 - Toronto Arenas

1916-17 - Seattle Metropolitians

1915-16 - Montreal Canadiens

1914-15 - Vancouver Millionaires

1913-14 - Toronto Blueshirts

1912-23 - Quebec Bulldogs

1911-12 - Quebec Bulldogs

1910-11 - Ottawa Senators

1909-10 - Montreal Wanderers

1908-09 - Ottawa Senators

1907-08 - Montreal Wanderers

1906-07 - Montreal Wanderers

1906-07 - Kenora Thistles

1905-06 - Montreal Wanderers

1905-06 - Ottawa Senators

1904-05 - Ottawa Senators

1903-04 - Ottawa Senators

1902-03 - Ottawa Senators

1902-03 - Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA)

1901-02 - Montreal AAA

1901-02 - Winnipeg Victoria

1900-01 - Winnipeg Victoria

1899-1900 - Montreal Shamrocks

1898-99 - Montreal Shamrocks

1897-98 - Montreal Victorias

1896-97 - Montreal Victorias

1895-96 - Winnipeg Victorias

1895-96 - Montreal Victorias

1894-95 - Montreal Victorias

1893-94 - Montreal AAA

1892-93 - Montreal AAA

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posted by Jody @ Friday, June 12, 2009  
Building Digital Assets: Latest Enquiro Webinar on The BuyerSphere
Earlier this week, we at Enquiro conducted our latest webinar of our B2B Expert Series entitled: The BuyerSphere: Business Building Digital Assets. If you missed it, you missed a good one. The main focus of the webinar was about maximizing your online touchpoints where we discussed:
  • your digital portifolio and how to leverage it
  • scan patterns on websites
  • intent clustering
  • supporting the sale
  • navigating the Doer/Buyer Risk Gap
  • leveraging email communication
  • building lifetime value from clients
Panelists included:

Gord Hotchkiss - President and CEO, Enquiro
Mark McMaster - Senior Planner of Technology/B2B Markets, Google
Matthias Blume - Chief Analytics Officer, Covario

Now more than ever, the importance of building your digital portfolio rings true. With the online world and ever changing technology, there are many touchpoints that can be leveraged to interact with your prospects and target audience throught their buying cycle. From blogs to mobile and social media, at the core of your very online existence is your website.

The webinar also discovered the difference intent makes when people search and visit a web properety. When they are looking for information and are conducting general research, they tend to scan pages all over the place, as opposed to when they are conducting a more focused search where they scan less areas of the page honing in on navigation and copoy thta speakes directly to them. If you do not provide this navigation or copy, you're bound to lose them.

Quite often when people are looking for information online and visit a website, they are looking to do one of three things:
  • order
  • compare prices
  • obtain additional product information
Yet it is important to remember that there are two types of searchers in the BuyerSphere, the "Doer" and the "Buyer" each with their own intent when going online. There is also different forms of risk with each type of searcher and there is a wider risk gap during the "hand off" from the doer to the buyer.

The Doer
  • needs definition - product evaluation
  • budget check
  • solution visualization - differentiated value
  • benefit analysis - ease of adoption/gains in productivity
The Buyer

The buyer on the other hand goes online to:
  • perform a vendor check - vendor reliability
  • gain social proof - past experience in the industry
  • find detailed pricing - pricing terms
  • obtain info about things such as contract terms - payment terms
This is where intent clustering becomes important. With intent clustering you need to:
  • have intuitive geadlines
  • provide relevant graphics
  • utilize descriptive headings
  • incorporate short bits of text
  • use bullet lists for persuasive elements
The Webinar discussed the importance of supporting the Entire complex sale.

Notice that as the searcher gets closer to the purchase phase, that the importance of 'About Us" information on your web properties becomes more important?

The fact of the matter is that when it comes to long term importance, having an effective Web presence is fourth on the list behind value, service and reliability but ahead of preferred vendor, industry leader and legacy. Building your digital assets is a must for continued success in your industry. Being a late adopter and failure to build your digital portfolio can mean playing catch up to your competition and a struggle in regaining market share in your industry.

For more information on this webinar, check out: The BuyerSphere: Building Digital Assets

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posted by Jody @ Friday, June 12, 2009  
The iPhone Phenomenon
Monday, June 08, 2009
I must start out and say that June 2009 has been an amazing month for technology. Lots of Google news, Microsoft Bing news, and a new iPhone is launched. I have to admit that I jumped on the Apple bandwagon (how can you not?) when I purchase an iPhone a few months ago. This technology is so amazing to me. The world is at my fingertips. Although I work in the Search industry I would not necessary classify me as a techie. I am more of a digital immigrant.

However, Apple's innovation with their iPhone is quickly changing that. I love my iPhone and frankly I rarely use it as a phone. In the months that I have had my iPhone, it has allowed me to:
  • navigate the streets of New York
  • order pizza from a local pizza place
  • add notes about a meeting
  • create my own personalized ringtones
  • play table hockey
  • check hockey scores from the Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • download the new Chickenfoot CD
  • take pictures of my family
  • set an alarm to wake me up while in Chicago
  • listen to my favorite songs via my personalized playlists
  • check movie listings
  • entertain my friend's children
  • play solitaire
  • enjoy a game of pac-man
  • monitor my caloric intake
  • check my email
  • update my Facebook status
  • text message teammates from my softball team
  • perform some math
  • bowl
  • find out the name to a song on the radio and from TV commercials
  • check out the weather forecast in Las Vegas, New York, Kelowna, Vancouver, Grande Cache, Chicago and Seattle
  • bid on items from eBay
  • research baby names
  • plan my agendas
The list goes on an on. As you can see I rarely use my iPhone as a phone. There is just so much you can do with it. As little as ten years ago I never thought that I would own a phone that allows me to do what I can do with the iPhone. This is truly a remarkable product, and as we all know remarkable products can be few a far between.

Earlier today Apple (AAPL) announced the launch of the new iPhone 3GS. The launch, although speculated, was a lot sooner than anticiapted no doubt to take some of the air out of Palm's and Google's Android technologies. The iPhone is changing the way we live. It is just that revolutionary not to mention popular. Don't believe me? Check these stats out:
  • In April, Apple hit its 1 billionth app download
  • There are over 50,000 applications available in the App Store (for the record, Palm has 18 apps)
  • 40 million iPhones and ipod touches have been sold
The reason for this? Popularity. Some of the new features that are pretty cool include:
  • The new “Find My iPhone” feature where if you lose your iPhone anywhere and have a MobileMe account, you can find exactly where your iPhone is on a map on the web. I know three or four people who could have used this in the past month.
  • the ability to ping your iPhone remotely, which puts out an alert noise to show where it is
  • the ability to send a remote wipe command, to delete everything on the phone if your iPhone is stolen
More from TechCrunch

The iPhone Phenomenon

With the launch of the iPhone 3GS, storage sizes have doubles, the battery life is longer and the downloads times are faster. The development of the iPhone is a bit of a phenomenon and truly is an extraordinary event. We all know how innovative Apple is, but they have had issues with their price points with regards to the iPhone as the folks at TechCrunch point out.

However there is more than the novelty of just owning an iPhone. It's about being able to quickly access and share information. Having an iPhone allows users to connect in a manner that previously was unheard of from anywhere, anyplace at anytime. You can bet that the conversations taking at place at WWDC 09, will continue to revolutionize and grow the development of the iPhone. Inviting developers to bring their code and concepts to iPhone labs just speaks to the innovation and phenomenon that is Apple.

I'm not a tech-geek, but the iPhone makes me want to be one. When I was younger I seemed to fear technology and the change that was born from it. Now I love it and cannot wait to see what is coming around the corner. If Apple can win me over, they can win anyone over.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, June 08, 2009  
Google Makes a Few Changes and Again Page Rank Sculpting Becomes the Buzzword of the Week
I was at a B2B Summit last week in Chicago and missed out on some of the fireworks that has transpired in the world of SEO. In case you missed it, last week, Google announced that they have changed the rules on nofollow. According to Google's Matt Cutts, "... Google will no longer allow webmasters to build up link juice and funnel it to certain pages. If nofollow is used on links, the other pages wont get a PR boost " instead they'll just receive the same PR value they would have, if all the links were followed..."

This is big news. Perhaps not for those who have not leveraged page rank sculpting as of yet, but for many who have used this advanced SEO tactic, news of the Google announcement has caused a bit of a ripple. While page rank sculpting is not new, many have been employing it since 2007, it has again has become an online marketing buzzword during the past week or so. Many industry folk are still trying to figure out the ramifications.

Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land had a great post on the whole thing:
Google Loses “Backwards Compatibility” On Paid Link Blocking & PageRank Sculpting

Within the post there are a number of links to great resources on Page Rank and Page Rank Sculpting including:
  • Sculpting Your PageRank For Maximum SEO Impact - http://searchengineland.com/sculpting-your-pagerank-for-maximum-seo-impact-12982
  • What Is Google PageRank? A Guide For Searchers & Webmasters - http://searchengineland.com/what-is-google-pagerank-a-guide-for-searchers-webmasters-11068
  • Appropriate Uses of nofollow Tag - Google Groups

Additional Resources
  • Nofollow Makes News at SMX Advanced
  • Nofollow Management Changes & PageRank Sculpting
  • http://www.seomoz.org/blog/questions-answers-with-googles-spam-guru
  • Wikipedia's entry for "nofollow"

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posted by Jody @ Monday, June 08, 2009  
New Feature: Marketing Jive Top 5 Music Pics
Well this week, we thought that we would add a new feature to Marketing Jive. I'm a big rock n roll fan, so we thought that we would feature our own weekly music chart illustrating five songs that we think are pretty cool. For the most part the music charts will consist of rock songs but you may see some other songs enter the list from other music genres including country and pop.

Without further adieu, here is a look at our inaugural top 5 tracks.

Marketing Jive: Top 5 Tunes of the Week

#5. Feel Good Drag - Anberlin

#4. If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback

#3. Know Your Enemy - Green Day

#2. Oh Yeah - Chickenfoot

#1. Lifeline - Papa Roach

There you have it, Papa Roach occupies the first ever Marketing Jive Top 5 Tunes of the Week, for the week ending June 7th, 2009. We suspect that Chickenfoot may soon take over the top spot with their self-titled album to drop tomorrow.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, June 08, 2009  
Search Conferences Need to Step it Up
Thursday, June 04, 2009
With SMX Advanced wrapping up in Seattle earlier this week, many online marketers and Webmasters are going back to their companies with some new tips and tricks thinking that they're going to apply these new found tips and tricks and take the Internet by storm. Well I've been to more than a few of these type of conferences over the years and I have to tell you that I'm still not sure they are worth your hard earned dollars to attend them. Sure there are some interesting things that come out of the odd session, but I think that if these conferences are going to charge a couple of thousand dollars to attend they better provide value.

I feel even more strongly about this after attending a fantastic two day Summit put on by a client (who shall remain nameless). The client is in the B2B space and they organized a Search Summit that featured a number of great speakers who all talked strategy and who all "get it". Never before have I seen about 100-120 people get together with such intense focus and cohesiveness for the greater good of one company. From their C-Suite to the various department managers, to members from the Search Engines themselves, this Search Summit in two days accomplished more than most Search conferences cannot accomplish in 4-5 days.

The sessions were highly informative and engaging, the discussions in the hallway, at lunch, in the lecture hall and even in the restrooms were tremendous. This company gets it. They are a leader in their industry and with the vision to conduct summits such as the one I attended this week will continue to be leaders in their industry.

Frankly while I thought that SES NY in March was better than previous conferences, I still feel these shows have a long ways to go. My time is valuable. When I attend a conferernce or symposium I expect to learn and engage with intelligent professionals. For me it's not about the parties (although networking functions can be great...) it's about the conversations. It is about the high level strategy and the big picture. It is about being able to contribute to the success of my clients.

I haven't had a chance to get the lowdown from SMX Advanced, but I know that there was no other place that I wanted to be than the Search Summit for our client that we attended in Chicago this week. Very well done.


posted by Jody @ Thursday, June 04, 2009  
The Importance of Timely SEO Implementation
Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It is interesting to see how different culture place different importance on timliness. Ever notice how somethings can fall by the wasteside and still be ok? Yet other things if not acted upon quickly can really snowball in a hurry.... With online marketin this is really no different. Especially when it comes to SEO. One thing that always comes up with clients is the importance of timely SEO implementation of recommendations. This is something that I feel strongly about because in order to see success from your organic search campaigns, you really need to make sure that all recommendations and bet practices are implemented in a timely fashion. This is one of the things that we listed on a recent post of the top things that make search marketers scratch their head.

In order to understand the importance of timely SEO implementation, we should first define timeliness.

Timeliness - the process of making something happen within a suitable period of time.

That's it, no more no less. Being able to make something happen within a certain time period. With SEO, timeliness is critical for optimal success. Failure to act promptly can determine the strong from the also rans. In the world of Search this can mean the difference between gaining visibility and intercepting your target audience or not being found in the organic results and relying on sponsored ads (and increased expense) to try and engage your prospects. Timely implementation is a must for ultimate SEO success. It's better to act and fail than to not act at all.

Why Timely Implementation is Important for SEO

There are a number of reasons as to why timely implementation is important for organic search and SEO.

  1. SEO Results Take Time - with SEO, the search engine algorithms consist of hundreds of different factors. Leveraging best practices and cutting edge organic search strategies and tactics and making sure that your site is search engine friendly goes a long way. The thing is just because you optimize a page of content, you're not going to necessarily obtain visibility. There is an entire sequence of events that should be followed for SEO success. This includes having proper URL structure, optimized titles and meta descriptions, optimized page copy, quality link inventories and so on and so on.
  2. Timely Implementation can actually free up time - Timely implementation can end up saving you time in the long run. Time that can be used later when other pressing issues arise. That is providing that the implementation was done correctly.
  3. Without timely implementation other recommendations may get delayed - with SEO, quite often one thing leads to another and more often than not failure to implement can cause delay in further, additional recommendations from coming to fruition. As a result it will take longer for your to see results.
  4. Failure to implement in a timely manner increases risk - for those of you who have read the findings from our (Enquiro) recent comprehensive study on B2B buying that illustrates a difference in vantage points between buyers and their drive to eliminate risk, and vendors who assume a rational buying process you know that risk is dependant on a number of factors. Download Mapping the Buyersphere. Failure to implement recommendations or fundamenal SEO issues is one of the factors that increases risk.
  5. Lack of speed with your implementation can assist your competition - why would you want to do this? SEO results take time, the longer you delay or procrastinate the easier it is for your competition to distance themselves from you and gain market share. Think of a 100 metre dash. The slower you are out of the starting blocks, the more you have to catch up. Why run the 100 metres in 10 seconds when you have potential to run it in 9.5?

I just scratched the surface on this topic, but if there was one takeaway, it is the realization that timely implementation of best practices and recommendations is critical for optimal SEO success. It is no secret that SEO results take time, however if you are on top of you game and have the ability to implement in a timely manner, you will experience more success with your online marketing campaigns. Work to support your I.T. teams and online marketing teams so that implementation does not have to drag on. Make a little progress each day and remember that speed beats perfection.


posted by Jody @ Wednesday, June 03, 2009  
Marketing Jive in Chicago
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Well I'm hanging out in Chicago on the eve of some client meetings. Great city Chicago... very green. I am attending a client conference with some speakers from Google and some analytics providers. Should be some interesting information being conveyed.

I hope to have some pictures tomorrow. Stay tuned as Marketing Jives continues the adventures in Chicago for the remainder of the week.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, June 02, 2009  
Microsoft Bing: What Happened to Kumo?
Monday, June 01, 2009
So Windows Live Search is evolving. Please welcome Microsoft Bing, the latest in Microsoft's Search offering. http://www.bing.com/.

According to reports from the Bing community, Bing was created based on the understanding of Searchers and their needs. As a result the Bing (preview) was launched to address three apparent trends in Search:
  1. Information Overload - ok I can appreciate that. There remains a lot of duplicate content and fluff out there and depending on my query I do expect to find timely and relevant results to help me find the information that I am looking for. Does this mean that Bing has less pages in their Index than say Google or Yahoo?

  2. Search Failure - according to Microsoft the "back" button is one of the most popular clicks in Search. Well we know that is true for Microsoft's past attempt at search engines. Relevancy is not something that has been closely associated with Microsoft's search products in the past. Based in Microsoft's data, Analysis of search usage data across all search engines (using their toolbar logs) shows that only about half of searches are successful on the first query and click.

  3. Complex Tasks and Decision Making - people are turning to search engines not only for information, but to help them complete complex tasks and make decisions. Engagement is no longer with a web page, people are looking for video, financial data, timely news and are looking for information that will help them complete an action.
According to the Bing team, they are looking to:
  • Deliver the best results
  • organize the search experience
  • simplify common tasks and help users make informed decisions
Initial reports indicate that folks like Bing, but are still waiting to see some great innovation.

Using Bing, we tried a search for a few terms including:

Las Vegas
Marketing Jive
car insurance
Enquiro Research
b2b search engine marketing
2009 stanley cup finals

Overall the results were not that bad. It will be interesting to see how searchers react to Bing.

Resources on Bing

User Needs, Features and the Science behind Bing - Bing Blog
Bing is here!
Microsoft Bing: Much better than expected | Webware - CNET
Bing Virtual Presskit
Out of the starting gates, Microsoft's Bing is off to an early start‎
Early reviews of Microsoft's Bing search engine - Seattle Times
Microsoft's Bing is live - Business Week
10 Things To Learn About Microsoft Bing - IT ProPortal.com
Thoughts On Microsoft's Bing - SearchNewz
Microsoft’s New Try At Search Is Live - Google Blogoscoped
Microsoft’s New Bing Search Engine Now Live In “Preview” - Search Engine Land
Go Bing Yourself, Right Now - TechCrunch

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posted by Jody @ Monday, June 01, 2009  
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Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
About Me: SEO guy by day, family man 24/7.
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