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Universal Search: Google's Ranking of Images
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Ever wonder why or how Google ranks images in their universal search results or within their image results? A common question asked by webmasters is why is it that Google sometimes indexes a portion of your images but not all of them?

Google take on this can be found in response to a question posed to the Google Webmaster help team a while back.
The first thing I would check in this situation is to make sure that hosted
images are discoverable, crawlable, indexable, and not being blocked by
SafeSearch. To do this, go to images.google.com/ and do an image site
search i.e. [site:picasa.com]. To check if images might be blocked by
SafeSearch, click the link below the search box to toggle your SafeSearch
settings. Fortunately images are appearing in image search results without
any SafeSearch issues which also means that Google is able to properly access
and index content from that website. Check out how to make Google friendly
sites here:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=40349

So we now know Google can properly reach and index images from the
site, but why aren't all the images also included in image search? We have
to remember that image rankings and inclusions come from many factors beyond alt text and title tags. Image rankings also consider the ranking of the parent or linking page, meaning that if the parent or linking page does not provide enough information or rank well, then Google may not have enough confidence to serve those images as results to our users.

As recommendations for appearing in image search results, I highly
suggest that everyone follow Jim's example in following best practices with
using proper and meaningful alt text, titles, and useful file naming. You
also want to consider how unique and compelling the content is beyond the image itself, with the context and information surrounding it. Be very, very
patient as changes do often take some time, meanwhile continue to provide
relevant content for your users and things should eventually work
out.
http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-Indexing/browse_thread/thread/e37227930654391e?pli=1

Morale of the story, surround your images with relevant text. Include keywords in alt text, and filenames. Image optimization is not overly difficult, but it can take time for your images to appear within image results and within blended/universal results of Google.

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, August 30, 2009  
The Amazing Internet
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This is awesome! There is a new revolution... the Internet, courtesy of CBC.



Not sure what year this is from, but it is pretty entertaining.

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posted by Jody @ Saturday, August 29, 2009  
A Cleaner Tweeting Experience with Buzzom Desktop
Friday, August 28, 2009
Twitter is one social media portal which has created a buzz in the client application. Many people are using client application to tweets and reply to the people. There are many applications which are available but they are rarely targeting the main issue of the twitter, which is spam account and unnecessary tweets. Everyone who is in twitter for business purpose needs to grow their network but growth invites lot of spam accounts. How do you deal with them and make a targeted tweeting through twitter?

In this race, we have a new twitter client named Buzzom Desktop. Buzzom has already marked its entry in the social media by its web service buzzom.com which allows people to follow, unfollow, reciprocate, search people via tweets and bio, and lock relationship. Buzzom Desktop is a way towards cleaner twitter experience, besides just grouping the users, it lets you apply filter to your tweets in a way no other application has done.

There is some interesting features in Buzzom Desktop which makes it unique than other twitter application. You can view your tweets according to similar bio in the user’s profile and according to their location. This has a added bonus to way you can listen to people if you are in a business. Further, if you are annoyed with certain tweets than you can send the user to the hidden list and block his/her tweets without needing to block them. You can unhide them too.

For example, if I need to view the tweets from all the people who are web designer that I am following, then I simply search for the keyword.


Here, is a screen shot from the application. You can see that it has filtered through all my tweets and given to me only relevant tweets from people who have ‘web designer and css’ in their Bio. This is very important way to view tweets; it solved most of the problem of Spam account in my network.

On the right side of the tweets, you can RT, DM, Reply, Sent the user to group and Hide the account. This way you make your filtering conditions cleaner.

The next feature is very interesting, we all know that there are brand media and celebrities in the network whose tweets is mixed with the general tweets. In Buzzom Desktop, we provide totally different channel to view their tweets and you don’t even have to follow them.

Buzzom Desktop has pre-grouped list whose tweets you can view all the time. This provides a much better experience than before.

These are only few features that make it different and better than others. It has more functionality built in it. It uses its own "link shortner" which in future will provide a gateway towards better twitter analytics. If you have any photos or videos to share online, you have to create account, upload and share the link, well buzzom desktop lets you do that all in one drag and drop. There are more interesting features that you can explore on your own. Further, because it’s a product from the same team who built the buzzom.com, in near future we may find the most loved features on buzzom.com in the desktop.

More about Buzzom

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posted by Jody @ Friday, August 28, 2009  
Search Engine Rankings Factors: Research from SEOmoz
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Whew, it's been a busy couple of weeks so I have not had much time to post. I did want to take this time to let everyone know that Rand Fishkin and the team over at SEOmoz have released their 2009 report on the top search engine ranking factors based on a research survey/interviews that they have completed with some folks from the Search industry.

Participants were asked to apply the ranking factors to Google’s search engine. Here is a look at some of the findings. It's a pretty extensive list and while we do not necessarily with all of the findings, we do concur with most.

Top 5 Ranking Factors
  1. Anchor Text from External Links - this is one of the three components of improving your Inbound Linking (IBL) Quality Score. (With the other key elements being keyword in the title tag of the linking site and keywords in the copy of the page linking.) As Andy Beal states: "Keyword use in external link anchor text is one of the top SEO factors overall. I’ve seen sites rank for competitive keywords—without even mentioning the keyword on-page—simply because of external link text."

  2. Keyword Use in Title Tag - a key factor in communicating to the engines as to what the page is about. While not a meta tag per se, the title tag serves the same purpose of "providing information about information". Keywords in the title tag helps the engines determine the relevancy of a page.

  3. Raw Link Popularity - quantity/quality of external links. Keeping in mind that it is quality over quantity that will have the most impact.

  4. Diversity of Linking Domains - links from many unique root domains; not having links from the same couple of domains but receiving links from various related resources thereby helping improve the relevancy of your page being linked to.

  5. Keyword Use in Root Domain- this has especially been noticeable in the past 12-18 months as we have seen keyword-rich (not keyword-spammed) domains jump up in organic/algorithmic results.

Overall Ranking Algorithm


http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors

Top 10 On-Page Ranking Factors (Keyword Related)
  1. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag
  2. Keyword Use as the First Word(s) of the Title Tag
  3. Keyword Use in the Root Domain Name (e.g. keyword.com)
  4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the H1 Headline Tag
  5. Keyword Use in Internal Link Anchor Text on the Page
  6. Keyword Use in External Link Anchor Text on the Page
  7. Keyword Use in the First 50-100 Words in HTML on the Page
  8. Keyword Use as the First Word(s) in the H1 Tag
  9. Keyword Use in the Page Name URL (e.g. seomoz.org/folder/keyword.html)
  10. Keyword Use in the Page Folder URL (e.g. seomoz.org/keyword/page.html)

Top 5 On-Page Ranking Factors (Non-Keyword Related)
  1. Existence of Substantive, Unique Content on the Page
  2. Recency (freshness) of Page Creation
  3. Use of Links on the Page that Point to Other URLs on this Domain (interlinking)
  4. Historical Content Changes (how often the page content has been updated)
  5. Use of External-Pointing Links on the Page

Top 5 Page Specific Link Popularity Factors
  1. Keyword-Focused Anchor Text from External Links
  2. External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)
  3. Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)
  4. Page-Specific TrustRank (whether the individual page has earned links from trusted sources)
  5. Iterative Algorithm-Based, Global Link Popularity (PageRank)

Top 5 Site-Wide (non-link based) Ranking Factors
  1. Site Architecture of the Domain (whether intelligent, useful hierarchies are employed)
  2. Use of External Links to Reputable, Trustworthy Sites/Pages
  3. Length of Domain Registration
  4. Domain Registration History (how long it’s been registered to the same party, number of times renewed, etc.)
  5. Server/Hosting Uptime

Top 5 Usage Data Ranking Factors
  1. Historical Click-Through Rate from Search Results to the Exact Page/URL
  2. Historical Click-Through Rate from Search Results to Pages on this Domain
  3. Search Queries for the Domain Name or Associated Brand
  4. Use of Query Refinement Post-Click on a Search Result
  5. Average “Time on Page” Duration

Top 5 Negative Ranking Factors
  1. Cloaking with Malicious/Manipulative Intent
  2. Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers aka Buying Links
  3. Links from the Page to Web Spam Sites/Pages
  4. Cloaking by User Agent
  5. Frequent Server Downtime & Site Inaccessibility

Top 5 GEO-Targeting Factors
  1. Country Code TLD of the Root Domain (e.g. .co.uk, .de, .fr, .com.au, etc.)
  2. Language of the Content Used on the Site
  3. Links from Other Domains Targeted to the Country/Region
  4. Geographic Location of the Host IP Address of the Domain
  5. Geo-Targeting Preference Set Inside Google Webmaster Tool
For more details on each of the criteria visit:
http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors#ranking-factors

About the survey


Every two years, SEOmoz surveys top SEO experts in the field worldwide on their opinions of the algorithmic elements that comprise search engine rankings. This year features contributors from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, the Ukraine, the Dominican Republic and many more.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 25, 2009  
Google Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary of Going Public
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Can you believe that it has been five years since Google's IPO? I remember the day well and thought that $85/share was a pretty decent deal. Since then, Google's all-time high of $747.24 reached on 11/7/07 and it's all-time low of $95.96 was experienced on 8/19/04.

CNBC.com has some great coverage on the history of Google's five years since going public:

Google's 5-yr Anniversary, By the Numbers
Google at Five: Happy IPO Birthday

Congratulations Google. Here's to another five years.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 20, 2009  
Why Blended Search is Important to Google Caffeine
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
With Google's recent announcement about their infrastructure update which they are calling "Caffeine", the need for timely and useful content becomes even more important. One of the reasons why Google is upgrading their "infrastructure" is to be able to provide richer, more relevant results quicker. This is something that Google has been working on for a while even prior to their launch of Universal Search a few years back.

In the Spring of 2007, Google announced their Universal Search features where they began showing rich media and different types of results within the typical 10 blue links that users were accustomed to seeing on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These Universal (or blended) results included items such as:
  • Image Results
  • Video Results
  • News Results
  • Book Result
Since then, we have continued to see other types of blended results appear in Google's results including everything from local search results to shopping results. The reason for this is that Google is trying to return the most relevant result to the user. Factor in timeliness and you have an even more relevant experience for the searcher.

Enter Real-Time Search

There has been a lot of discussion as of late about real-time search. With the emergence of Twitter as an online force to be reckoned with, the ability to acquire information in real time is extremely appealing to the online world. Especially with the rise of the digital native. That is those people who are 27 years old or less and have grown up with the Internet and in the digital age. Digital natives want timely and useful information. They are Twitterers and are active bloggers with Facebook accounts et al. They spend a lot of time online in one manner or another.

Part of the appeal of Twitter is the fact that information can be exchanged pretty much in real time. With 140 characters, Twitter asked the world "what are you doing?" and the world responded, and they responded immediately. Real-time search is future of search. Why then would Facebook go out and acquire FriendFeed? The answer is for their real-time search functionality. With Facebook improving their Search to become more Twitter-like, Google needed to announce an upgrade to their search functionality as well.

Google is working to update their infrastructure to provide quicker, more relevant results. This is where blended search comes in. How often have to done a search in Google to find a couple of news results featured in the prime organic space of the SERP? Or, depending on the nature of your query, your results are returned with shopping results or a recent video. News results appear in the prime real estate of the page because Google has determined that these results are the most relevant based on that particular search query. Blended search results are important for this reason. Searchers are no longer looking for (or expecting) to find ten blue links. They want information that is accurate and in real-time.

The accuracy is another story, but it is no secret that engines such as ASK and Yahoo have been working on semantic search for a while now. The Search Engines, Google included, are working to understand what the user's intent is when they perform a search query. In the near future, the engines will be able to predict and perhaps determine every possible way that a user came to arrive at their query. From there, the engines will provide results beyond ten blue links (i.e. blended results) that factor in location and intent.

Blended Search is not just important to Google Caffeine. Blended search is important to the transformation of search and to the semantic nature of searchers. ASK Jeeves was way ahead of their time when they instructed users to enter a question and their search engine provided an answer or at least pointed them in the direction of the answer to the question. Question and answer technology and clustering technology such as that from Teoma (ASK) will continue to evolve, just as Google is evolving with their infrastructure.

For online marketers the need to optimize your content for blended search is a no- brainer. It is not just about creating a web page anymore. It is about providing a richer, social experience. Blended search does this and will continue to do so in the immediate future.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, August 19, 2009  
Understanding Google Caffeine
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Over the past week or so, you have no doubt heard of Google's "infrastructure" update dubbed Google Caffeine which can be accessed via www2.sandbox.google.com. While this is not an algorithm update per se, Google Caffeine is more of a step by step type of update for the search engine's infrastructure.

Part of the reason for this update is the need for Google to improve how they crawl, index and place pages in their Index. Google has always stated that they are continually looking to improve the search results that they serve to users. Part of doing this means faster indexing and returning results quicker, perhaps eventually in a more real-time aspect. With other players such as Facebook and Twitter returning somewhat real-time search results, Google does need to improve the timeliness of the results they display. If you think about it, they took some initial steps with this with Universal Search when they began to display things such as news results, blog results and shopping results within the main results of their Index.

Internet Speed is Taking Over

Internet speed is fast and online users such as the millions of digital natives out there are requiring Internet speed to find he information they are looking for, to communicate with their online peers and to simply examine everything that is important to them in cyber space. Google realizes this and as a result knows that they cannot simply return their traditional SERP. In order to remain the world's number one search engine, Google understands the need to improve their web search by size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and ultimately relevancy.

So what will Google Caffeine mean for you as a user? Well keeping in mind that the chnages will be rolled out over a period of what is most likely months, you may in fact not see a whole lot of difference. If you want to compare the two algorithms from Google, there are tools such as http://www.sembience.com/labs/google-caffeine-ranking where you can compare rankings to see what the Index will look like.

Here's a look at the difference between the results when we performed a search for "car insurance".

Current Algorithm a.k.a. "Google Decaf"


Google Caffeine


At the end of the day, Google's infrastructure change is designed to improve the web experience for the user. This next-generation architecture will be focused on offering real-time search results. Depending on the nature of the query, this will mean seeing more Universal (blended) search results. It is no coincidence tht news results appear in the prime organic real estate of a Google Search Results Page (SERP) as news results tend to be timely pieces of information.

There have been examples of times when users have gone to other "search" resources such as Twitter as opposed to Google to find the information they are looking for. Consider the example of the breaking news on June 25th when reports were coming in about Michael Jackson suffering a fatal heart attack. While users were flocking online to confirm reports, Twitter was a common destination for many. Google in fact could not handle the query volume and actually experienced some down time. The fact is people were able to find the information they were looking for on Twitter, Wikipedia and things such as blogs that they did not necessarily need Google to take them there.

Blended Search and real time search are closely related. Look for Google to marry these two closer together in upcoming weeks and months. Google Caffeine is the start of something good for Searchers. The question is how soon will users notice drastic changes in the results? The answer is probably not for a while.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 18, 2009  
Twitter: What’s In It For My Business?
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Who would have thought that sharing your thoughts in 140 characters would become an Internet darling for users and businesses alike? Twitter was launched to the public in August 2006 but only gained popularity in 2008 hitting mainstream with everyone from athletes to Hollywood’s mainstream. The most attractive feature of Twitter? It’s simplicity. Anyone and everyone with an Internet connection can participate in the Twittersphere.

With the popularity of social networks such as MySpace (www.myspace.com) and Facebook (www.facebook.com), it is easy to see that people are looking to connect online. From friends and co-workers to industry colleagues and online celebrities, Twitter allows you to connect with the world in real-time. It is this ability to connect via “Internet speed” that is attractive to many businesses that have started tapping into Twitter as a means of connecting with their staff and their customers. The impact and immediacy that Twitter can bring to your business is something that businesses have never had the luxury of leveraging in the past. As Twitter itself states,

“…By accepting messages from sms, web, mobile web, instant message, or from third party API projects, Twitter makes it easy for folks to stay connected…”

Businesses can now reach their audiences in a manner never before available. Twitter has allowed businesses to:
  1. Announce timely promotions
  2. Address public relations mishaps
  3. Inform their audience about company events
  4. Learn about their competition
  5. Interact with their audience
There is a lot of “noise” on the Internet, but Twitter allows the user to control this “noise” somewhat by permitting users to tell the world what they are doing. Through the use of shortening URLs, users can communicate relevant information to their followers who have the option of further conveying this information by “re-tweeting” the original post or “tweet” as it is known in the world of Twitter.

From a users perspective, they are very much in control of whose updates they receive, when they receive them, and on what device. There are hundreds if not thousands of Twitter tools that can make using Twitter even more easy than it already is. For businesses, the best thing about Twitter is that it is free! Yes this very powerful communication tool is free, well at least as of mid-2009 it is. Twitter has experienced explosive growth and it is only a matter of time before the micro-blogging phenomenon becomes monetized. You can probably expect to start seeing ads in between tweets as Twitter look to capitalize on it’s soaring popularity. Considering the fact that reports suggest that at one time or another, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all attempted to acquire a stake in Twitter, it does not appear that Twitter is going away anytime soon.

Businesses can use Twitter to re-energize their brand and reach their audience in a while new manner as not only is tweeting hip and popular, but it’s also cost effective and immediate.

What does the future for Twitter hold?

If you visit the “About Twitter” section of the site, the apparent plan is to build Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.

Look for more businesses to tap into Twitter to reach their consumers and audience. We have all heard of some of the more popular Twitter success stories from Zappos (www.zappos.com) to Comcast (www.comcast.com) but there are a number of brands that have great success using Twitter in the past. Case in point, here are a few more examples:
  • JetBlue (http://twitter.com/jetblue) offers flight information and travel updates as part of their customer service
  • Starbucks (http://twitter.com/mystarbucksidea) presents new offers and participates in the discuss about these new offers via Twitter
  • Google (http://twitter.com/GOOGLE) uses Twitter to communicate updates and new releases.
While there are examples of a number of large brands that are currently leveraging Twitter, there is another list of big brands that are not yet tapping into the micro-blogging service. Look for this to change, as these brands cannot afford to be ignoring Twitter. Twitter is viral and is real-time. This is a very powerful combination when it comes to communicating with your consumers. Businesses have never experienced Internet speed until recently. Internet speed is fast, unlike anything marketers have ever seen before. Twitter is the first online tool that allows both businesses and their consumers to drive with this Internet speed, making Twitter the place to be until something else comes along that is faster and easier to use. Frankly I do not see anything on the immediate horizon.

Visit Jody on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/Marketing_Jive

Twitter is based in San Francisco, California.
Official Twitter Blog: http://blog.twitter.com

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, August 16, 2009  
12 Questions B2B Marketers are Asking (or Should be Asking)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

- blogging from SES San Jose, 2009 -

At a conference like SES, you’ll find search agencies, representatives from the search engines, consultants, bloggers, ... and marketers. The marketers will fall into dozens of categories, by industry, company size, etc., and B2C and/or B2B. I’ve spent a great deal of time with B2B marketers over the last couple of years at trade shows like this one, as well as in sales calls, webinars and client meetings. These are some of the questions you will hear them asking in San Jose. They will come up in sessions, in the coffee line-ups, and yes, maybe even occasionally at the #SearchBash.

It often starts with the standard challenges tied to Search, like increased visibility, traffic, lead quality, and brand management. But a lot of it goes beyond search:

1. Am I getting everything I can out of our analytics software? The answer I hear most of the time is a convincing: NO.

2. Is Search working in tandem with other online channels? If I outsource SEO and PPC, will they work with our web developers, ad agency, PR, etc.? Also, can a search agency understand my vertical industry well enough?

3. Is my paid Search cannibalizing traffic that would otherwise be coming from SEO?

4. Do we have an accurate model of our customer's buying process? This question is often followed by, "it depends", or even silence. How does the buying funnel model apply?

5. How much of our marketing/sales cycle can be handled online? Is it siloed off from our face-to-face meetings with prospects?

6. Marketing automation software - how much can it do? How does it tie in to our sales CRM? Lead nurturing: how much can be automated? What are we supposed to nurture leads with?

7. How do I measure engagement over a long sales cycle and multiple buyers at the same time?

8. Reporting: how do I attribute a sales opportunity to the proper marketing campaign(s)? Who gets credit for the sales lead?

9. Social media: is it relevant to my buyers, really? Can't we just start our own social network? Who in the company should be managing the Twitter account? The Facebook profile? Should our YouTube videos be professionally done? How do buyer demographics affect the way they buy from us? Do digital natives operate differently than digital immigrants?

10. What about tools like PPC bid management software? At what point can we afford to make the investment, and will it be more effective?

11. If only our whole marketing team really got search... How can we get everybody on the same page?

12. Is a thought leadership strategy effective? How can we get started? I think this is especially relevant for service-based B2B companies seeking to establish their brand. There are several examples of companies that have built a fabulous reputation and wide visibility this way without spending a ton of money on advertising.

These questions don't have quick answers, and each one is worthy of an in-depth panel discussion in itself. But if you're at SES today, you might want to check out one of the following four sessions on the B2B and verticals track, including Gord Hotchkiss' panel called The BuyerSphere Project, Understanding B2B Buying Behavior.


Originally posted at www.marketingfinger.com.

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posted by Andrew Spoeth @ Wednesday, August 12, 2009  
Search Landscape is Changing: Here Comes Real-Time Search
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Well there has been a lot of search activity as of late and some very interesting developments. With the popularity of micro-blogging (see Twitter) and the ability to obtain information real time, internet speed is quickly changing the way we search. Real-time search is a hot topic out there right now and we are starting to see some of the big players roll out real-time search capabilities.

On Twitter you can send information to the online world through 140 characters with one click. This information can quickly be read, absorbed and re-tweeted. (By the way did anyone happen to see the Teen Choice Awards yesterday where the gave away the award for "Choice Twit" - Ellen DeGeneres won for her tweet on why not to tweet about garbanzo beans... anyways I digress...). The fact is that Twitter helps communicate information is real-time (or very close to it).

Now Facebook is looking to improve search by offering real-time search capabilities. The announcement of Facebook's real-time search comes following their big announcement about the acquisition of FriendFeed, which comes with its own real-time search engine. Perhaps to compete directly with Twitter? Here's a look at some of the discussion about Facebook's new improved search from the Facebook blog.
http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=115469877130

Then earlier today, Google announces their Caffeine project, where the focus is on improving the
speed, accuracy, size, and comprehensiveness of Google search. Over at the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google mentions that there are three things that you need to do to build a great web search engine with the third item being:

"... to rank and return the most relevant pages for users' queries as quickly as possible." Sounds good to me. So what does this mean for real-time search? Well perhaps nothing right now, but the changes being made in Google's infrastructure are a step in the right direction in terms of returning quicker, more accurate results.

Early reviews of Google caffeine seem positive.

Want to check it out for yourself? Try visiting: www2.sandbox.google.com

Google's Matt Cutts has added some additional thoughts on Google Caffeine. According to Cutts,
The Caffeine update isn’t about making some UI changes here or there. Currently, even power users won’t notice much of a difference at all. This update is primarily under the hood: we’re rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure. But some of the search results do change, so we wanted to open up a preview so that power searchers and web developers could give us feedback.
Ex-Googler, Vanessa Fox points out:
we can guess that this new infrastructure may include ways of crawling the web more comprehensively, determining reputation and authority (possibly beyond the link graph and what’s typically thought of as PageRank), and returning more relevant results more quickly, although Google’s Matt Cutts told me that the changes are “primarily in how we index”.
Thje Google Caffeine infrastructure appears to be testing the placement of Universal (aka blended search) search results. Although with a lot of the searches that we tried, the results were pretty much the same. We tried some queries for:

Las Vegas
New York Pizza
Chickenfoot
Barack Obama
Canadian Housing Prices

So before all of you go out and try to figure out how to optimize your web sites, I would suggest addressing the fundamental site issues such as clean URL structure, relevant content, unique title and meta tags and proper interlinking etc, etc are still key. Or as Vanessa Fox states, "foundational elements of having a crawlable infrastructure and compelling content remain."

Looking forward to some real-time searcing in the near future.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 11, 2009  
The SES San Jose Survival Guide (Top Ten Things To Do Before Going)
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Originally posted at www.marketingfinger.com

As I write this, thousands of us search marketing folks around the globe are packing our bags and getting ready to swoop into San Jose, California for the largest search engine strategies conference of the year, known by the industry simply as SES San Jose. Our company has been a part of these conferences for some time, but each show is a mixture of old and new. And for many of you who may be attending SES San Jose for the first time, here is something for you to bookmark and read in the airport:

My SES San Jose Survival Guide

1. Follow the SES San Jose hashtag #sessj on Twitter. You will find a lot of great people there. And if the hashtag isn't enough, here are two Twitter accounts you'll want to follow right away: @matt_mcgowan and @SESConf.

2. Become a fan of the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo Facebook page. They currently have 503 fans and counting.

3. Join the SES LinkedIn group: over 8,500 members and counting.

4. Subscribe to the SES YouTube Channel. You'll find over 300 videos which have been posted over the past couple of years.

5. Flip through the July 2009 edition of the SES Magazine. There will undoubtedly a lot of these to be found at the conference itself, but you may not have known that they also have an online version.

6. A closer look at the SES San Jose conference agenda. I won't reveal my favorites in this post, but take a look at these buzz words, courtesy of wordle.net:
wordle-ses-500

7. Watch SES San Jose social media metrics on socialmention.com.

8. Check out the Search Engine Strategies blog.

9. For more official PR material, take a look at the SES press room.

and, last but not least...

10. Don't forget to pack good walking shoes, a generous stack of your business cards, and an RSVP to the WebmasterRadio.FM Search Bash Tuesday night.

Have I forgotten anything? Please let me know by leaving a comment below!

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posted by Andrew Spoeth @ Sunday, August 09, 2009  
Gearing Up for SES San Jose 2009
Just a reminder that SES San Jose is happening this week down in the Silicon Valley. If you are in the area, be sure to take in the conference and learn about the latest in Search Engine marketing including trends and new developments. Enquiro's own Andrew Spoeth will be covering the event for Marketing Jive and Enquiro, so stay tuned to post from Andrew as he takes in this year's conference.

As always, it looks like there will be some interesting keynotes at SES San Jose.

The keynote speaker for day one of the event is Clay Shirky author of Here Comes Everybody. Clay's book is about how organizations and industries are being upended by open networks, collaboration, and user appropriation of content production and dissemination. Ever heard of the saying the customer is always right? Well the consumer is control, learn about what Clay has to say about this changing shift in business.

Day two keynote speaker is Nicholas Fox Business Product Management Director, AdWords, Google. Nicholas is responsible for the development and improvement of the algorithms that determine the display, ranking, and pricing of AdWords ads on Google and its partners.

Day three features, Charlene Li, Co-Author of Groundswell, a book about on social technologies, interactive media, and marketing.

http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sanjose/

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, August 09, 2009  
Top 5 GI Joe The Rise of Cobra Toys from Toys R Us
Friday, August 07, 2009
GI Joe The Rise of Cobra ToysThese days, even Hollywood works as hard as ever on marketing their stars, their projects and their movies. Merchandise sales are big business. Just think of the millions that the Star Wars franchise has brought in over the years. Or in recent years, movies like Spiderman and Transformers have done well in merchandise sales. In fact, filmsite.org states that the first 5 Star Wars movies grossed over $3.4 billion worldwide at the box office, compared to $9 billion from merchandise sales.

With the launch of the new GI movie, The Rise of Cobra, today, we thought we would do a fun post and come up with our list of the top five GI Joe The Rise of Cobra toys. With the success of recent films such as the Spiderman series and Transformers, GI Joe the Rise of Cobra could potentially do very well, if not in ticket sales at least in toy merchandise sales. Toys stores across the nation are now stocking GI Joe toys galore. In fact, the G.I. JOE: The Rise of COBRA toys have been deployed and are now available in special, dedicated boutiques in Toys"R"Us stores across the country.

Toys R Us and their family of sites carry a number of GI Joe toys, from games, action figures, backpacks and more. For the GI Joe fan in your family, we present:

Top 5 GI Joe The Rise of Cobra Toys

  1. GI Joe Boys BMX Bicycle - how cool is that? A GI Joe bike for your little GI Joe soldier. Recommended for five to seven year olds, this GI Joe bike boasts such features as a heavy-duty steel frame, rear coaster and hand brakes for sure stopping, pneumatic 16" knobby tires for extra traction, a padded seat for maximum comfort, and a fully enclosed chain guard for safety.

  2. G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Pit Mobile Headquarters Playset - let's be honest, the coolest toys are the action figures. As a kid the coolest toys to have were the playsets as they seemed to be rare and hard to find in stores. This GI Joe Rise of Cobra playset includes electronic "power up" sounds and battle alert phrases, a working missile launcher with interchangeable cannons and includes exclusive General Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy™ GI Joe action figure

  3. GI Joe Rise of Cobra for Nintendo Wii Video Game - According to one user review, GI Joe Rise of the Cobra video game for Nintendo Wii is "The best game ever, great adventure plot and awesome game play."

  4. GI Joe Duke Body Blister Kid's Costume and Mask - nothing like getting dressed up as your favorite hero or villain and partaking in your own GI Joe adventure. Great for Halloween, your kids can own a Rise oif the Cobra costume with the G.I. Joe Duke Body Blister Suit and Mask. This GI Joe Costume includes a jumpsuit and mask. Size 7-8

  5. GI Joe Action Figure Collector Pack - available on etoys.com, this G.I. Joe 3.75" action figure collector pack includes Storm Shadow, Baroness, Cobra Commander, Zartan & Cobra Viper! Based on the cartoon and leading into the Rise of Cobra toyline.
Additional GI Joe toys at Toys R Us. Speaking of GI Joe toys, toys.com has a cool promotion where you can get $10 off of your $50 GI Joe toy or GI Joe game purchase when you purchase between August 2 and August 8th.

As a collector or fan of GI Joe toys, you might want to check out Toys R Us or your local toy store to get your favorite toy now before they are sold out. It will be interesting to see how merchandise sales for GO Joe toys go. Will they enjoy success as other cartoon and comic book characters have in recent years?

If you are going to the movie tonight, check out the trailer below. Yo Joe!

The official GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra trailer


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posted by Jody @ Friday, August 07, 2009  
SES San Jose 2009 Must Attend Sessions
If you are going to be attending SES San Jose 2009 next week and are wondering where your time will be best spent, you have come to the right place. Whether you are a first time attendee or have been to SES SJ on multiple occasions we would like to point you in the direction of some of the sessions that you cannot afford to miss.

7 SES SJ 2009 Sessions You Don't Want to Miss
Day One: Tuesday, August 11th

The Next Wave for Online Video

According to comScore, YouTube is now the #2 search destination in the world. While the good old organic results pages still attract tens of thousands of experts probing the latest algorithmic quirks and optimization techniques, video search remains relatively uncharted waters. Panelists discuss the importance of optimizing for video search, and probe into tactics like keyword research, copywriting, reputation enhancement, and sponsorships and special programs.

Moderator:
Andrew Goodman, SES Advisory Board & Principal, Page Zero Media

Speakers:
  • Gregory Markel, Founder/President, Infuse Creative, LLC
  • Erin Bouchier, Business Lead, Google / YouTube Advertising
  • David Burch, Director of Marketing, TubeMogul
  • Mark Robertson, Founder, ReelSEO

This is always an interesting topic and the highly energetic Greg Markel always shares a number of key video optimization tips.

How to Turn Your Web Analytics into a Money Making Machine

You tagged your website with analytics. You may even login to check your stats or get them emailed to you. What does it all mean? How do you find anything useful in the endless amounts of data provided? How do you turn those reports into insight and action? Join web analytics godfather, Jim Sterne, Avinash Kaushik, author of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day, and conversion and continuous improvement guru, Bryan Eisenberg for this fast paced session where each panelist will provide you with 3 solid tips to make money from your web analytics and answer questions about everything your wanted to know about web analytics but were afraid to ask.

* Moderator:
Mike Grehan, SES Advisory Board Co-Chair

Speakers:
  • Bryan Eisenberg, SES Advisory Board & Co-Founder, Future Now, Inc.
  • Avinash Kaushik, Author, Blogger, Analytics Evangelist, Google
  • Jim Sterne, Chairman, Web Analytics Association

With an all-star speaking panel like this, how can you afford to miss this session?

Don't Call it a Comeback: Semantic Technology and Search

Remember when Web 2.0 was supposed to be about "the semantic Web"? Social media hijacked Web 2.0, but heavyweights in the Semantic world have been quietly advancing the reality of true semantic technology and they're already claiming the Web 3.0 tag. With applications from better contextual ads, to personalized news, to government spying, is Semantic next year's technology darling? Bring your thinking cap; it's going to get geeky in here.

* Moderator:
Dana Todd, CMO, Newsforce

* Speakers:
  • Lane Soelberg, Founder & CEO, COOP Ventures
  • Paul Edmondson, Co-Founder and CEO, YieldBuild
  • Nova Spivack, Founder and CEO, Radar Networks/Twine

* Q&A Speaker:
  • Dr. Tomasz Imielinski, EVP, Technology, Ask.com
  • Othar Hansson, Software Engineer, Google
  • Kevin Haas, Senior Engineering Manager, Yahoo!
  • Mark Johnson, Program Manager, Bing

This session is bound to feature great discussion with members of the search engines in attendance.

Day Two: Wednesday, August 12th
The BuyerSphere Project: Understanding B2B Buyer Patterns

A major B2B research initiative, conducted by Enquiro with input from Google, Business.com, Covario, Marketo and DemandBase, showed that most marketers aren't effectively leveraging online assets to their best potential. Among other things, the notion of a strictly followed, traditional buying funnel is simply not accurate in many instances, risk dictates buying behavior, search is incredibly important as an integrator across online and offline channels and face-to-face persuasion is still necessary in many high risk, complex purchases.

The BuyerSphere project looks at how online strategies became artificially separated from traditional best practices, how they can be more effectively integrated and the part search plays as a major influencer. This panel will review the research from over 100 face-to-face interviews, hundreds of eye tracking sessions and over 3,000 survey responses in total. The project represents a major step forward in understanding B2B buyer patterns and the part online marketing can play in influencing them.

* Moderator:
Gord Hotchkiss, President & CEO, Enquiro

Speakers:
  • Mark McMaster, Senior Planner of B2B and Technology Markets, Google
  • Ben Hanna, VP Marketing, Business.com
  • Susan Scarth, VP Marketing, Demandbase
  • Jon Miller, VP Marketing, Marketo
  • Dr. Matthias Blume, Chief Analytics Officer, Covario
For all of you B2B marketers, you will not want to miss this session. We've already talked about this session on The BuyerSphere Project. You will enjoy this session. You wanted an advanced session? you got it.
Social Media: White Hat vs. Black Hat

Black hat techniques have long been criticized in search marketing: "Black hat" practices are now cropping up in social media. This panel takes a hard look at the right and wrong ways to go to market with a social media based marketing component, and how to spot early signs that you may be heading for trouble.

* Moderator:
Dave Evans, VP, Digital Voodoo

* Speakers:
  • Beth Harte, Community Manager , MarketingProfs
  • Lee Odden, SES Advisory Board & CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
  • Dave Snyder, Co-Founder, Search & Social
  • Chris Bennett, President & Founder, 97th Floor
These sessions are always fun. It's always interesting to see what the black-hat folks are up to.

Day Three: Thursday, August 13th

Morning Keynote: How to Prepare for the Future of Search

* Keynote Speaker:
Charlene Li, Co-Author, Groundswell, Founder, Altimeter Group

This is an interesting topic from well respected thought leader on emerging technologies Charlene Li.

Advanced SEO Roundtable: What is it Really? And Where is it Going?

It's been said that you stand a better chance of getting two SEOs to share a toothbrush than to agree on a common definition. If that's so, what really qualifies someone as an advanced SEO expert and how should "the next level" of SEO be defined? Don't miss what is sure to be a spirited debate as we try to separate "the art" from "the science" and figure out what actually constitutes an Advanced SEO.

Moderator:

* Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite

Speakers:
  • Matthew Bailey, SES Advisory Board & President, Site Logic Marketing
  • Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
  • Mike Grehan, SES Advisory Board Co-Chair ,
  • Todd Friesen, VP Search, Position Technologies
  • Todd Malicoat, Independent Search Engine Marketing Consultant, stuntdubl
Some interesting veteran speakers with this session including the highly entertaining and knowledgeable Matt Bailey. Bruce Clay tends to always share some great insights as well. Should definitely be a good one to attend.

SES San Jose, on paper, looks to be a great conference as the SES Advisory Board have worked hard to listen to past attendee feedback and reinvent their session topics and speakers. For all those attending enjoy.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, August 07, 2009  
BuyerSphere Project Unveiled at Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Next week marks one of my favorite search related conferences of the year with Search Engine Strategies (SES) San Jose taking place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Now in its 11th year, SES SJ will be packed with 70+ sessions covering PPC management, keyword research, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization and usability.

Enquiro will be leading a session on "The BuyerSphere Project" on August 12th.

The BuyerSphere Project: Understanding B2B Buyer Patterns
Join Gord Hotchkiss and panelists at SES San Jose August 12th (4:00 – 5:15pm, B2B Track).

A major B2B research initiative, conducted by Enquiro with input from Google, Business.com, Covario, Marketo and DemandBase, showed that most marketers aren't effectively leveraging online assets to their best potential. Among other things, the notion of a strictly followed, traditional buying funnel is simply not accurate in many instances, risk dictates buying behavior, search is incredibly important as an integrator across online and offline channels and face-to-face persuasion is still necessary in many high risk, complex purchases.

Meet and Greet

Conference attendees can also drop by the Business.com booth (#515) at SES San Jose on Wednesday, August 12 at 10:30am for a chance to meet Gord Hotchkiss, Ben Hanna and other panelists from the B2B BuyerSphere series. We will also be handing out copies of a brand new book based on the research, a compilation of the papers titled The BuyerSphere Project.

The session on the BuyerSphere Project features some great insight into understanding B2B buying patterns. The BuyerSphere project looks at how online strategies became artificially separated from traditional best practices, how they can be more effectively integrated and the part search plays as a major influencer. This panel will review the research from over 100 face-to-face interviews, hundreds of eye tracking sessions and over 3,000 survey responses in total. The project represents a major step forward in understanding B2B buyer patterns and the part online marketing can play in influencing them.

As a sneak peek check out:
Mapping the BuyerSphere Webinar from Enquiro
Building Digital Assets: Latest Enquiro Webinar on The BuyerSphere
The Rise of the Digital Native: Live Blogging Enquiro Webinar

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 06, 2009  
800th Post!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Well it's taken nearly 34 months, but Marketing Jive (formerly SEO-Space) has reached our 8ooth post. Earlier this year we celebrated our 700th post recounting some of our favorite posts from the first 700. Since then lots has happened: We've enjoyed bringing you 800 posts and look forward to our next 800.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, August 05, 2009  
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