remarket

remarket blog closed

This blog is closed. I am posting exclusively to TechTransform and the Of Interest blog.

I've left the previous blog entries up for archival purposes.

thanks for your interest,

Riggs Eckelberry

Why you should care about RSS

What RSS really does

Debbie Weil has a great post about how RSS works on a website or blog and what it can do for you as a content strategy

If you are not tech savvy and you want to get some more insight into why RSS should be on your strategy this year, this is a good start.

Read more


Website Interface Loyalty

…visitors will return to websites to which they have no loyalty simply because they're familiar with the interface. As soon as someone directs the individual to a competitor's website and the individual determines the competitor's website is less painful to navigate, they're gone. Knowing visitor loyalty -- and knowing how far that loyalty can be pushed before disloyalty sets in -- tells you how much and how well visitors think of your brand. Disloyalty is abandonment of a site; forget what you've heard about shopping carts.

Contrary to popular wisdom, you don't want a site to be sticky; you want visitors to be persistent. Persistence means visitors will stay on a site until they've achieved some goal of their own. You don't want visitors to be loyal to your brand; you want them to trust that the brand isn't going to be painful to them.

Any experience that increases both pleasure (the visitor got to know you because they wanted to) and has a favorable outcome (the visitor's goal was achieved) will be repeated….visitor loyalty -- hence interface loyalty -- resulted in brand loyalty increasing at a similar rate.

 

Interface loyalty has a demonstrable effect on transactions, as stated by Reichheld's Loyalty Effect -- which demonstrates that companies turn over their client base every five years, and the way to combat this is through loyalty management -- a 5 percent increase in retention rate leads to 75 percent increase in customer profitability rate. Visitors who have a pleasurable experience and a favorable outcome will repeat that experience.

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/5440.asp

 

 


Larry Chases's top 10 ad tips

Below are my top 10 tips for getting good results from an ad in Web Digest For Marketers, and in many other marketing publications for that matter.

1. Focus, Focus, Focus: Be absolutely single-minded in the intent of your ad. When advertisers try to make a hybrid branding/direct response ad, response rates usually suffer.

2. Make Just One Offer: An ad in Web Digest has 65 words. If it were to go much longer the reader is apt to skip it. The shortness forces brevity. It also forces every single word to work hard and have a reason for being in the ad.

3. Skip the Hyperbole: Face it, you dislike overblown, hype-heavy ads as much as anybody and maybe more so. It's a good bet that if you don't like the language yourself, your target audience isn't going to like it either.

4. Use Facts: That's why readers read trade newsletters. Even if readers aren't ready to buy your service right then, they'll get a factoid from you they'll remember when they are ready to buy or step into the buying cycle.

5. It's the Offer, Stupid: Before writing copy, think about an offer that will stop readers cold in their tracks. A great offer that's poorly written will draw better than a finely worded ad that offers bupkiss (nothing).

6. WIFM: "What's In It For Me?" is what all readers, listeners, viewers, or any consumers of media look for. They don't typically care about how many awards you've won, unless those facts support a claim or benefit that you're making elsewhere in the ad.

7. Details Please: Give readers exact details about what they can expect if they take the action your ad encourages. Be very specific. The more specific, the more believable and enticing.

8. PDFs, Webinars and Trial Offers: Readers of Web Digest For Marketers love instant gratification, which is why pdf downloads full of solid, high-value information work so well and some of the most popular offerings. Webinars and trial offers can work if people see an obvious advantage and especially if they are already familiar with the firm making the offer.

9. Context Helps a Lot: An issue on SEO will pull very well for firms selling SEO products and services. When buying ads in my publication (or anyone else's, for that matter) ask not only about the run dates, but about what the editorial calendar is for that particular issue.

10. Plan Ahead: Plan what your offer will be months in advance so you have time to prepare the loss-leader pdf or Webinar. This will also give you time to formulate your offer and ad copy. Doing this at the last minute will hurt your results.

11. Bonus Tip: Ask an outsider what he or she thinks of your offer. Honest, frank feedback with no spin is hard to come by, but it is one of the most valuable components of an advertising campaign. To any advertiser in WDFM that wants it, I give them my no-holds-barred opinion of their offer and copy.

Excerpted from Larry Chase’s Web Digest for Marketers, 2005

Subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here.

 


Google Presentation

Of some interest.
http://www.research.ibm.com/haifa/Workshops/searchandcollaboration2004/papers/haifa.pdf
Reported by Aaron Wall
From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 28
http://www.search-marketing.info


Overture launches automated bid management tools

“I am told the prices are a tad bit expensive compared to some of the competing third party bid management products.”

http://www.content.overture.com/d/USm/ac/pr/so.jhtml

 

Aaron Wall

From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 27

http://www.search-marketing.info

 


advanced link analysis tool

Rusty Brick's Google advanced link analysis tool

http://www.rustybrick.com/link_analysis.php

provides all kinds of useful info about Google backlinks.

 

Aaron Wall

From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 26

http://www.search-marketing.info

 

Yahoo! Search Rankings

http://www.yahoosearchrankings.com/

New tool makes it easy to look up your rank on Yahoo! quickly for any keyword you chose.

Aaron Wall

From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 26

http://www.search-marketing.info

 


Updates on RSS

This RSS thing is exploding. Traffic via RSS feeds is doubling monthly. So what is it? and how does it become a socialization engine?

Dave Winer (one of the pioneers in weblogging) has started a site devoted to the community of people who create and use RSS - to explain RSS to non-technical personal. He starts off by building a definition that shows how a single format can explode into an entire community builder:

RSS is...
1. A format.
2. Content management tools that generate feeds in the format.
3. Aggregators and readers that subscribe to the feeds.
4. Search engines and utilities that crunch the information and ideas.
5. Services from technology companies like Microsoft and Apple.
6. Authoritative publications like the BBC, The New York Times, CNET, InfoWorld, PC World, Time, Wired, Salon, Yahoo, Reuters -- that distribute news and opinion in RSS.
7. Many thousands of weblogs covering virtually every aspect of life on this planet.
8. A vast and growing community of thinkers, writers, educators, public servants, and technologists.

The revolution of RSS is what people are doing with it, what it enables, the way it works for people who use technology, the freedom it offers, and the way it makes timely information, that used to be expensive and for the select-few so inexpensive and broadly available.

RSS is the next thing in Internet and knowledge management. It's big. A lot bigger than a format.

This is the inaugural post for a new website devoted to the community of people who create and use RSS. It's just a beginning.

Let's have fun!

Then Robert Scoble talks about how RSS is becoming a community socialization tool:
It also does something even more crazy than that, though. It builds community. In a way that opening a Web forum or joining a newsgroup never has. Why is that? Because people love being noticed. Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati, told me once that getting a link is like receiving a gift. It's a social gesture.

We live in a world where communications is divided along the lines of asynchronous and synchronous activities. RSS is rapidly becoming the engine driving personalized asynchronous communications; look for VoIP services to become the engine driving enhanced personalized synchronous communications.

Welcome to Aleksika Keywords

Aleksika Keywords is a search engine optimization and online advertising tool features statistical information on keywords, including number of clicks per day and number of ads.

To enter a query, just type in words and hit the 'enter' key.

An important part of search engine optimization and advertising is to identify relevant keywords. Aleksika Keywords contains more than 400,000,000 keywords that people have typed in search engines.

Aleksika Keywords is updated every day with keywords that people enter in Alltheweb, Altavista, Dogpile, Galaxy, InfoSpace, Lycos, Metacrawler, MSN, Search.com, Yahoo and the search refinement tool Aleksika Explorer.

Each keyword is followed by detailed statistic information:
Statistics
Keyword
Type
Search Engine Optimization Statistics
Advertising Statistics
Keyword History Statistics

Read more       

What are others saying?

 


Outstanding Newsletter/Blog

I’ve been looking for a great blog design that also “pushes out” well as a newsletter. This latest from MarketingVox (see attached) is the best example yet. Its only flaw is that it doesn’t forward nicely, which is a key requirement.

 

It was designed in Movable Type by design4results. Movable Type (with its readymade version TypePad) really is the king of professional blogware.


Weblogging and Corporate Marketing Communications -- Trying to find its role

Robert Scoble is not only an industry veteran; two recent developments have defined his role in the rapidly emerging blogging world:
1. He recently joined the Microsoft development team for Longhorn.
2. He has become probably one of the most respected Microsoft employee bloggers. Why? Because he has figured out the fine line of building credibility with a (potentially skeptical) external audience while maintaining internal respect amongst his corporate peers at Microsoft. Yet he does not hold back on initiatiing discussion of controversial issues.

These days he is encouraging debate on the role of "employee bloggers" within the overall Microsoft corporate communications activity (note I did NOT say "strategy") where there is the potential for "free thinkers" to embarrass the company. (Having participated in an employee cc:Mail bulletin board for free thinkers a decade ago, that potential is real.) So he is seeking a Bloggers Best Practices code.

In this discussion is reference to a Corporate Weblog Manifesto he authored a year ago. Employee weblogs can be a powerful force in demonstrating the human side of what are seemingly corporate monoliths. If you want to study how Microsoft works and how to work with Microsoft The Scobilizer makes an excellent reference piece.

Weblogging is here to stay. Just as ten years ago the corporate world had to figure out a role for the Internet as a enterprise communications medium, today the world needs to figure out the role of blogging within the enterprise marketing environment.
Why Google Shows Fewer Incoming Links than Other Search Engines

"I have more links to my site that that!" you exclaim. "Why isn't Google showing them?"

In the past year, Google seems to display substantially fewer incoming links to sites than do other search engines such as AllTheWeb.com. I wondered why and asked linking specialist Leslie Rohde, developer of OptiLink Link Reputation Analyzer. Here's his answer:

"The additional links are almost always there, but Google is only showing the higher PageRank results. When you use the syntax with Google "link:domain.com" (without the quotation marks) Google filters the search results so that similar results and lower PageRank results are removed. But the other links are still in the index and do still count towards PageRank. Google has more results -- generally, far more -- than it shows us."

You can find out whether a page with links to your site is listed in Google's index by viewing the page and seeing if it has a PageRank showing in the Google toolbar. If it has a page rank, it is in the Google index.

The syntax to see all the pages in your site listed in the Google index is "site:domain.com" (without the quotation marks). Other Google "operators" can help you find interesting things about your and others' sites.

Excerpted from Web Marketing Today, 04/21/2004

You may subscribe to this newsletter online.

Why case studies matter to the media

One of the most effective ways you can get publicity for your business is to be prepared to share case studies that demonstrate how your product or service makes a difference to your clients. Reporters love "proof" that the story you're telling about your company is true. What better way than to have satisfied clients speak on your behalf?

Don't wait until a reporter asks you for a reference. Do this instead:

1. Build a database of potential media references. Before you need them, contact your best clients and ask them if they would be willing to do an interview with a reporter, should the situation arise. Assure them that you won't give out their name and number without a "heads up" notice first, but you want to keep their contact information handy in case a reporter asks for it.

2. Seek diversity in your references. Make it a point to include in your media reference database a variety of clients. Consider size, geography, type of product or service used, length of time they have had a relationship with you, and their industry type. This will allow you to offer a reporter a reference that will be particularly meaningful to the reporter's specific magazine, newspaper, etc.

3. Be specific about what you want from your references. Don't just ask, "Will you be a media reference for us?" Instead, tell the client what specific messages you would like them to relay and ask if they feel comfortable, even enthusiastic, about offering that message.

By the way, if you need to "sell" the client on the notion of being a media reference, consider this: they benefit from being included in a story because it showcases their leadership in proactively solving a problem. Offer to help them get their key messages across as well so that the story is a win-win for you both. If your reference is used in a story, make sure you send a thank-you note and perhaps even a token gift. If it's a particularly positive story, offer to purchase reprints for your client.

By Marilynn Mobley

Marian Mobley is "head nut" at Acorn PR Consulting Inc. and the author of "The Scoop on Media Interviews: How to be a Respected Resource Reporters and Producers Love."
From Showstopper PR Tips Newsletter - To subscribe, click here

 


Black Hat SEO : SEO Book.com

Black Hat SEO : SEO Book.com: "Black Hat SEO
So I made a directory of bad SEO services (Black Hat SEO.com) and tools. It sat dormant for a great length of time. I told a few people about it and it did relatively nothing.
Out of nowhere I looked today and saw that I have been serving thousands and thousands of page views on that site...almost exceeding bandwidth limits in a few days. "
Making Collaboration Appropriate

We incorporate collaboration into our business activities at TechTransform in various ways: email, QuickBase for asynchronous information sharing and archiving, WebArrow for synchronous desktop sharing. Rafe Needleman makes some excellent points that are reinforced by our experience:
  • effective collaboration requires a high degree of spontaneity -- make it easy to access and to work into the participant's workflow.

  • make the collaboration technology appear transparent - it needs be a concierge, not an inhibitor to smooth information exchange

  • presence is an important element; the list of your commonly accessed colleagues needs to be readily available (as in instant messaging interfaces) along with some indication of the participant's status

  • personal relevance - the participants need to see something "in it" for themselves. We are too driven to focus on our personal goals established to contribute to business success to be diverted by irrelevant discussion.


  • All Take, No Give: Why Collaboration Fails.pdf

    If You Wire It They Will Come

    The New York Times reported yesterday the new after-school destination of choice for the 18-and-under set is the public library. In 1996, 28 percent of libraries offered public Web access. Now, 95 percent of libraries are wired. And they're teeming with the consumers of tomorrow.
    Consumers Becoming Marketing-Resistant

    Consumers Becoming Marketing-Resistant: "Are consumers reaching the marketing saturation point? Could be, according to findings from Yankelovich Partners, Inc. that reveal a growing resistance and negativity toward advertising. The firm's study indicates 65 percent feel constantly bombarded with too many marketing messages, and 61 percent feel the volume is out of control. "

    Google launches truly local ads

    You can now target AdWords at the town level or within a radius of a location.
    http://www.seobook.com/archives/000286.shtml
    From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 15
    http://www.search-marketing.info

    Pay Per Call

    FindWhat to release "Pay Per Call" model. although this pricing model sure is asking for a lot from a tiny little ad in a sea of free information.
    From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 14

    One nation under Internet Protocol

    The title says it all: One nation under Internet Protocol A framework for viewing future communications directions. Thanks to Alec again for bringing this to my attention. More reasons for declining music CD sales.... with the implications for personalized entertainment alternatives available with the highspeed access contemplated in this commentary there will be even less time to listen to CD's.

    One Nation under IP.pdf

    How in the Hell do I get repeat Visitors?

    Create fresh content which keeps them wanting to come back, or send them places they will really enjoy.

    Fresh Content
    Using a blog, news feeds, and writing regular articles will provide your site with unique content that others may never have. Most businesses would do better off if they knew their business field a little better. That is a big reason for my SEO blog (http://www.search-marketing.info/newsletter/index.htm - Recommended), I look around to see what others are doing and read the news constantly.

    It keeps me up to date while taking an extremely small amount of maintenance time to keep that site updated. I need to keep up with what is going on anyway, so why not put the interesting stuff down in digital ink?

    Divergent Paths
    There are really a couple main ways to attack the search engine marketing idea and reverse broadcast networks.
    1. Pay Per Click
    If you are extremely intent on making sales and that is your primary goal then you need to create a smooth site with great usability that drives people toward the targeted action.

    If you do it good enough and can write and target good ads then you should be able to beat most of your competition using pay per click.
    The targeting takes a good deal of time. Writing effective ads take a good deal of time. Neither will be anywhere near as effective as they could be if the site still has major problems or lacks focus.

    2. Organic SEO
    Link Renting: There are ways to manipulate search results. Currently buying links is another popular alternative to the pay per click market. It is a really hard tactic for search engines to compete with. Some essential resources are selling links to completely unrelated sites. I have seen almost instant results from some of my link buys.
    More Long Term Approach - send your traffic away.
    Sending Your Traffic Away
    The best internet resources are not well known for just their content, but also for the content they refer others to. You have a limited knowledge base. You have a limited number of things you can think, do, say, or write in any given time period. Others can help solve your problems of limitation though.
    Hyperlinks smoothly allow readers to "chose their own destiny." When I first created this site I was somewhat greedy and wanted to "keep my traffic." As long as you have this approach you are selling yourself short. You are ignoring the vast pools of work others have already done for you free.
    People will end up finding good information if they look long enough. I know I am not an expert on everything. I would prefer to have people associate good information from other sites with my site, vice findinging it through search or from another website.
    People have called me up and stated that they were amazed by that interesting Vaneveer Bush paper I linked to on my site. When I link to papers that were at the fundament root of a hyperlink society it builds credibility. I specifically am talking about a call that I got just this week. Only in passing he mentioned that article, but I wonder how many others have taken the leap of faith to talk to some guy because something I pointed to on someone else's website.
    The web is just a sea of information and the traffic I get is never my traffic to keep.
    Eventually I will go through this site and link out to hundreds, if not thousands, of additional resources. For me to try to "keep my knowledge" or keep my secrets only goes against everything that makes the web great. AND IT PROBABLY HURTS SALES TOO!
    Google changed pricing structure of AdSense / AdWords

    Now the pricing on contextual ads is based on the likelihood that the pages and terms which triggered the ad will lead to a conversion. This is not exactly what they were looking for, but many marketers were complaining about AdSense ads producing poorly vs the results from search ads. http://www.seobook.com/archives/000265.shtml

    From ABOVE the FOLD Vol. 2 issue 13
    Recommended SEM newsletter: http://www.search-marketing.info
     
    Some Interesting Statistics

    • Only 14 percent of people believe information passed to them by government and advertising.
    • Ninety percent of people believe information passed to them by friends and family.
    • Eighty percent of all consumer decisions are influenced by word-of mouth marketing. (Dichter)
    • Eighty-nine percent of consumers now recommend products or services they like to others. (Henley Centre)
    • Word-of-mouth is nine times as effective as advertising in converting unfavorable or neutral predispositions into positive attitudes. (Day)
    • Word-of-mouth is four times as effective as personal selling in influencing consumers to switch brands. (Lazarfeld)
    Source: Grad Conn, iMedia Brand Summit, February 2004.

     


    SoftwareCEO: Recommended Newsletter

    "SoftwareCEO is the software industry's "Page One," with weekly tips and tactics from best-practices software firms, plus discussion forums, news, links, and online seminars. Site Members also have access to file downloads, proprietary research,and thousands of dollars in exclusive Buyers' Club discounts."
     
    Highly recommended. Add this RSS feed to your reader: http://www.softwareceo.com/rss.xml
    Google -- increasing search engine market share but whither goes Google?

    First you dominate .... Google’s Search Referral Market Share Reaches an All-Time High, According to WebSideStory.



    Then you grow the Empire .... A perspective on Google's overall direction: Welcome To The Google Desktop?.

    And this perspective on Google's future referenced in my acquaintance Alec Saunders' blog. Alec knows something about managing market dominating products; he spent nine years in Product Management at Microsoft, including some time as Product Manager for MS Internet Explorer at the time of the Windows 95 launch.

    Warning! Is all this hype building on an already saturated market for any future prospective IPO?

    Google's 2004 Market Share.WebSideStory.0404.pdf

    Google Desktop.2004-04-06.pdf
    For Online Marketers, Keyword Search Is Key

    Are you marketing online? Is your product catalog online?

    Keyword search is the Website feature rated most valuable among online marketers, according to Chicago-based E-tailing Group's Third Annual Merchant Survey. Of the more than 300 executives surveyed, 91 percent said that keyword search was a somewhat to very valuable site feature.

    Other features highly valued by the participants included seasonal promotions (94%), upsells/cross-sells on product pages (78%), and gift centers/suggestions (69%). Less popular were deferred billing (15%), gift registries (17%), and reminder services (27%).

    Among other findings, 84% of the executives said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the ROI generated by their e-commerce businesses. This satisfaction is despite the fact that average rate of online cart abandonment exceeds 40%. Forty-seven percent did not know their shopping-cart abandonment rate, while 19% did not know what percentage of their site visitors converted to buyers.

    From Showstopper PR Tips Newsletter - To subscribe, click here

    Technology migration into a venerable platform

    Cutting edge technology incorporated into a cutting edge platform... Victorinox has announced it will offer a Swiss Army knife with a USB memory key included. Classic example of using a familiar user interface to transparently (almost) incorporate new features and benefits.

    Swiss Army Knife & USB.NYT.010404.pdf

    Trends in Internet Activities

    The Dispatching of a time-honored Courier

    "History, by the way, from Charlemagne to Hitler, shows that government edicts in favor of standardized typefaces are often one of the first steps in creating an empire: Is there something that the State Department isn't telling us?" An interesting retrospective on the Courier font coming out of a recent State Department edict replacing the very familiar Courier New 12, whose origins are tied to the development of IBM Selectric typewriters, with Times Roman 14 as the official font for all State Department documents.

    Change of Font.StateDept.pdf

    Organic Listing Search Engine SEO Tips

    ...What are organic listings anyway, where did this name come from? As pay per click became more relevant and started to find its way on most of the major search results page it became clear that paid listings were here to stay. The listings which are not paid are called organic listings, On most major search engines a common search will return advertisements as well as organic listings. As internet advertising began to split and ideals about how to market became less clear, the name for returning in the normal search engine results was tagged organic listing.

    If people thought their searches returned nothing but a bunch of advertisements, they would stop searching. For that reason these organic listings are pure, or at least the search engines want us to believe they are pure. Google has been praised heavily for returning what many have deemed the most relevant search results while keeping their revenue stream clearly isolated from the organic listing results.

    There are many stages to achieving organic listings.

    1. your site should contain something you are an expert on
    2. a good site plan should be thought out before you begin marketing
    3. see how to do it right, scope out the competition
    4. you should decide what keywords you want to use prior to making your site (and before each page), and include them in your meta tags and file names when possible
    5. your site should be easy to navigate and search engine friendly
    6. each page should have a specific focus which is strongly and thoroughly maintained throughout
    7. submit your site to the directories
    8. search for spam in your keywords and report spam results do not duplicate the spam techniques (reporting spam is not necissary, but it helps search engines out)
    9. build a linking campaign
    10. repeat what steps you feel necessary until you achieve top rankings. this is an ongoing process.
    http://www.seobook.com/: a new chapter every day..

    Is Microsoft Marketing going generic?

    While at Microsoft a few years ago Alec Saunders was involved in the launch of DOS 6 and Windows 95 as well as some ancillary products. Today he writes from the perspective of an ex-employee working outside Microsoft. Have a look at his perspective on why WinXP upgrades are not happening as successfully as the results from earlier O/S launches.

    The popcorn-popper process

    There are four key elements in the popcorn-popper process.
    1. Leverage the commodity value of your product or service. Find ways to propagate that virally (no paying for leverage!) (See the Panda case study reported on below.)
    2. Become valuable as an information source concerning the issues in your field. Great example is the case study here.
    3. Develop and operate the "popcorn popper" sales funnel to segment and develop reach among your leads. The segmentation part is particularly important so you handle each type of customer most efficiently.
    4. Implement your channel (distribution, partnerships).
    Through all this process I would work on product marketing (branding, packaging, naming, tactical positioning) to respond to specific opportunities.
    FUD Marketing: it's really effective to develop an effective FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) factor to get the attention of your prospects. This is especially true in IT, which operates on the principle of risk management.
    Riggs
     
     
    Marketing Expertise Site Publishes Panda Case Study 
    Marketing Sherpa selects campaign story for yearly compilation
    Marina Del Rey, 3 March 2004: A major know-how site has honored Riggs Eckelberry's Panda case study in its 2004 roundup.
    The respected Marketing Sherpa, publisher of practical know-how and case studies published weekly to an audience of 147,000 marketing, advertising and PR pros, selected the Panda study for its yearbook, "Marketing Wisdom for 2004 - 99 Marketers Share Real-Life Tips". This complimentary publication can be downloaded at the Marketing Sherpa site or here.
    The Panda story is Case Study #4, Part I, "Real-Life Campaign Stories".
    Lorem Ipsum Generator - using 16th century technology today...

    Every wonder the history behind the "Lorem Ipsum......" that you always see as a place holder when laying out print media. With the Lorem Ipsum Generator you can not only learn about the background that takes you back to its origins with 16th century typesetters but also experience an engine for generating such text for your next marketing communications project where you want to focus on the layout without the distraction of content.

    You've gotta have a hook: owning the issue

    As we always say, it's not enough to promote, you have to own the issue and give people useful info about it.

    This week's tip is contributed by Bruce Freeman, president of ProLine Communications, a marketing and public relations firm. Freeman is also an adjunct professor of marketing and public relations at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, and he hosts the "Be Your Own Boss" segment of New Jersey Business on News12 New Jersey.

    There are other press opportunities out there besides product reviews.

    We recently initiated a web site at Aladdin Systems called www.spamcontroversy.com. The site monitors spam laws and legislation across the USA. We promoted it at ShowStoppers COMDEX and CES by handing out information cards.

    It is a worthwhile service to editors and consumers -- and it brings visitors to the Aladdin Systems web site, resulting in increased press and business for its new product, SpamCatcher.

    From This week's ShowStoppers PR Tips: Subscribe/Unsubscribe


    Pew Report on Content Creation Online

    What is Pew? From their website Mission statement: "The Pew Internet & American Life Project will create and fund original, academic-quality research that explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source for timely information on the Internet's growth and societal impact, through research that is scrupulously impartial. "

    At the end of February, 2004 they released these statistics covering online content creation during the spring of 2003. Their summary:

    44% of Internet users have created content for the online world through building or posting to Web sites, creating blogs, and sharing files

    In a national phone survey between March 12 and May 20, 2003, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that more than 53 million American adults have used the Internet to publish their thoughts, respond to others, post pictures, share files and otherwise contribute to the explosion of content available online. Some 44% of the nation?s adult Internet users (those 18 and over) have done at least one of the following:

  • 21% of Internet users say they have posted photographs to Web sites.
  • 20% say they have allowed others to download music or video files from their computers.
  • 17% have posted written material on Web sites.
  • 13% maintain their own Web sites.
  • 10% have posted comments to an online newsgroup. A small fraction of them have posted files to a newsgroup such as video, audio, or photo files.
  • 8% have contributed material to Web sites run by their businesses.
  • 7% have contributed material to Web sites run by organizations to which they belong such as church or professional groups.
  • 7% have Web cams running on their computers that allow other Internet users to see live pictures of them and their surroundings.
  • 6% have posted artwork on Web sites.
  • 5% have contributed audio files to Web sites.
  • 4% have contributed material to Web sites created for their families.
  • 3% have contributed video files to Web sites.
  • 2% maintain Web diaries or Web blogs, according to respondents to this phone survey.

    In other phone surveys prior to this one, and one more recently fielded in early 2004, we have heard that between 2% and 7% of adult Internet users have created diaries or blogs. In this survey we found that 11% of Internet users have read the blogs or diaries of other Internet users. About a third of these blog visitors have posted material to the blog.

    Most of those who do contribute material are not constantly updating or freshening content. Rather, they occasionally add to the material they have posted, created, or shared. For instance, more than two thirds of those who have their own Web sites add new content only every few weeks or less often than that. There is a similar story related to the small proportion of Americans who have blogs.

    The most eager and productive content creators break into three distinct groups:

  • Power creators are the Internet users who are most enthusiastic about content-creating activities. They are young ? their average age is 25 ? and they are more likely than other kinds of creators do things like use instant messaging, play games, and download music. And they are the most likely group to be blogging.

  • Older creators have an average age of 58 and are experienced Internet users. They are highly educated, like sharing pictures, and are the most likely of the creator groups to have built their own Web sites. They are also the most likely to have used the Internet for genealogical research.

  • Content omnivores are among the heaviest overall users of the Internet. Most are employed. Most log on frequently and spend considerable time online doing a variety of activities. They are likely to have broadband connections at home. The average age of this group is 40.

    From an original post by Jim Courtney to the TechTransform BusinessBlog.

  • Microsoft Chats With Investors On The Server Market

    Last Friday (2/27) Microsoft’s General Manager of Platform Strategy Martin Taylor hosted a call with investors to discuss the company’s server segment. The call largely focused on the company’s server strategy and to dispel some myths on Open Source, more specifically Linux. Mr. Taylor differentiated the server and the desktop markets. On the server side, he estimates that Microsoft’s market share to be approximately 55%, while the remainder of the market is evenly split among Novell, UNIX and Linux. Microsoft believes that growth in Linux is coming from a few different areas: Unix migration; on Edge server networks, high-performance computing grid types of environments, and in Web hosting environments. On the desktop, Microsoft estimates that Linux penetration is approximately 1.5%, and much of the share gains are at the cost of Unix workstations. Although the Linux operating system is available to users at no cost, he shed a little light on total cost of ownership (TCO) between the two platforms. A study that the company conducted with independent IT research vendor Giga revealed the TCO of a Windows “stack” had a 22 – 25% cost advantage over a comparable Linux “stack”. In terms of reliability and security, Mr. Taylor indicated that Linux is not necessarily a more secure platform. Without going into specifics, he indicated that Linux has its fair share of vulnerabilities and may have issues with patch distribution. The company is placing meaningful effort to educate customers in order to put Linux on an even playing field. (BR)

    Marketing Renaissance ROI Calculator

    Looking for some direct marketing insight? At this site you will find selected resources on how to improve your direct mail and email marketing ROI. Created by DM industry consultant Susan Allocco, the site features classic direct marketing how-to tutorials by industry legends like Robert Bly and Stevan Roberts, President of Edith Roman Associates. You'll also find a step-by-step guide to creating a marketing strategy. Once that is in place, you'll be able to profit from the site's no-cost Marketing ROI Calculator. It enables you to manipulate the numbers associated with prospecting, response, conversion rate and revenue to estimate your return on investment on any marketing campaign.

    Marketing Renaissance - Direct Response Marketing Solutions That Sell
    Web Digest Sales Lead Generation - Special Focus Issue.htm

    A Microsoft Blog following the evolution of MBF, their approach to SOA

    With the acquisition of Great Plains and Navision, along with development of their own CRM solution, Microsoft has set up a team to address the issue of providing a SOA (Services Oriented Architecture) platform that overcomes the limitations associated with the proprietary platforms of these and other "enterprise" software applications such as SAP. Their lead architect is articulating his thoughts through a blog .

    "This blog will talk about this gigantic impending shift. I work on an effort within the Developer Division to build a toolset and accompanying service oriented framework which supports robust business domain modeling integrated into Visual Studio. The code name of this effort is the Microsoft Business Framework (MBF)."

    Neuro Search Engine Technology?

    ""On the more exciting front, you can imagine your brain being augmented by Google. For example you think about something and your cell phone could whisper the answer into your ear," he said. " (He = Larry Page, Cofounder of Google). Click here for more info.
    File: Google and IPO.28-02-04.pdf

    Good search engine optimization advice

    In the February 18 issue of Web Pro News, Robin Nobles does a great job here of diagnosing a web site owner's problems getting MSN listings. (In the same issue, she reports on how to get unbanned from Google.)

    Riggs

    "Just the Meat Please"

    Lynda Partner, CEO of GotMarketing, reports on an interesting survey in the company's Splash newsletter (Feb 2003):
    We asked people how they preferred to receive newsletters and other emails, and 55% picked HTML and 45% picked Text. Given that well over 90% of email readers can view HTML, it was surprising to me that almost half the people would prefer to receive Text. "Text is just so boring" I think to myself. Why would anyone prefer it to HTML?

    The most popular reason for choosing Text over HTML was an interesting one. People were clearly expressing a desire for email layouts that focused on the message and often saw HTML emails as containing elements that distract from the content - the content being the reason they signed up for the email in the first place. This is reinforced by their view that ads are more intrusive in HTML emails. Consider the implications of people switching formats to avoid your ads - yikes!

    Most choices for Text echo the theme of "just the meat please". People want to get to the part of the email they are interested in quickly and easily, without distractions - and they may not be reading it from the comfort of their desk.
    Interesting data.

    R

    More About Google

    Scott Anderson of Shadow Marketing responds to this article:
    Dave is right, but there are some insights that he should have included that would have made this a more useful article. Yes, Google is on record as saying that inbound link quality has become one of the (if not the) primary relevancy criteria. And yes, as goes Google, so goes the rest of searchenginedom.

    But he could have also said that Google places high link quality ratings to listings on the OTHER human directory - the Open Directory Project. Everyone keeps thinking Yahoo, Yahoo, but the ODP is a sleeping giant...now made much more important by the very points he raised in his article. And they don't charge inclusion fees (of course, their editors may take 3-4 months to review your submission, but so did Yahoo's).

    He should have also said that it's not just any links, but SOLELY TEXT LINKS. Graphical links are (for some incredibly stupid reason) invisible to the search engine spiders. Sooner or later the SEs will wake up to this...why they haven't is beyond me.

    Then he should have said that it's not just where the text links are pointing from, but what what the text links use. So a link that says www.techtransform.com has WAY less relevancy value than a link that says "high tech turnaround artist" or "technology company transformation" or whatever it is you're up to these days. (In addition, the more links are on the page pointing to yours, the less relevancy each of those links has, so just getting onto someone's Links page is good, but not as good as you'd think.)

    Also, many people lose sight of what exactly is getting indexed by Google and all the others. The key is to "optimize" individual pages. Sites don't get ranked, pages do. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) people get this, but many do-it-yourselfers forget about it. So unless your entire site is focused on a single idea (say, leaf blowers) it's critical to construct optimized search phrase landing pages...screw the homepage.

    And not to get too long-winded (oops, too late), but it's interesting to note that the Web has ALWAYS been about links. The last few years everyone seemed to get "search engine myopia". All the attention was on "defeating" the SE's ranking algorithms. Wrong wrong wrong.

    Thanks to the big brains at Google, the focus is finally coming back to keel: good inbound links from good sites drive good traffic and high relevancy rankings. That's not an SEO statement, it's a web statement. Build links for their own sake and the search engines will reward you for it.

    There are some fabulous new tools to help do this incredibly tedious work, too. But my fingers are too tired to elucidate....

    Soo.. tell us about those tools Scott!

    R
    Now That Google Dominates...

    Now that Yahoo has renewed with Google, "the potential exists for about 70-80% of all web searches coming from a direct or indirect result of a Google listing."
    That's the message from search engine veteran Dave Kelly, published in Jim Daniels' article of 8 November.

    Dave goes on to say:
    Need I stress any further how important it is to get a great listing in Google? I cannot emphasize enough that how important it is to do well in Google.

    OK, so here is what I recommend to you to help your Google rankings.

    For starters, I would ask if you have to free Google toolbar installed into Internet Explorer browser? If not you can download it free at http://toolbar.google.com/ - it shows you your current page rank (PR).

    Jim, your site has a PR of 6 and 240 links pointing to the site. A PR of six is very good but the only way you are going to get a higher page rank is to get other PR 6 and above sites linking to you. At this point with your current high page rank you want to be very careful whom you link to. You do not want to add any outgoing links on your site to sites of lesser quality than yours. In my opinion, Google tends to penalize for this.

    The key right now in my opinion is not to go out and secure as many links as possible, Google is far more concerned with the quality of links that point to your site... and what the linkable text in those links say.

    For example, if I had a link on my site to your main page which is geared towards internet marketing, the way to ask the other site to display the link would be by using the words internet marketing in the linkable text. This is one thing Google looks for. And they make a direct correlation to the info on your page, especially the title tag...

    The problem most folks have is obtaining those great links. There are lots of ways to do it, you just have to use your imagination. One technique you might consider is checking customers' URLs when they order. If any customers have high page rank you could offer them some type of discount on your products if they agree to put a link to your site. There are a lot of high PR sites and some of the site owners don't even know. Links from a few good sites would likely offset any lost income many times over.

    In closing... be sure to tell your subscribers that if they are looking to gain search engine traffic, get into Google! And before they pay a SE specialist big bucks for better ranking in any search engine, try the simple and effective strategies I share at my Search Engine GoldMine site.

    Great advice from Dave, brought to you (again) by Jim Daniels.

    Full Article here.

    R

    Excerpted from ""A Conversation with a Search Engine Expert" by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing - published in The BizWeb eGazette issue of November 8, 2002.
    Visit Jim at http://www.bizweb2000.com and http://www.make-a-living-online.com.

    Do-Or-Die Website Tips

    Someone calls you to pitch a product or venture. Now tell me you're not instantly browsing their website to see what they're about while they're still on the phone!

    The truth is that there is nothing more important than your website. Period.

    In that spirit, here are some basic, basic tips from marketer Jim Daniels. Does your website apply these?

    #1: Impress your unique and positive image in your visitors' minds immediately, by showing off an "attractive" home page.
    And no, you do not need fancy graphics, java and the like. Just make sure your home page is a place that YOU would be impressed by. You do this with a professional logo, a crisp, fresh look and simple navigation links.

    #2: Get right to the point and give your visitors an irresistible reason to stay past that minute...
    When someone comes to your site it needs to be glaringly obvious how the site can help them.

    #3: Get visitors onto your opt-in list(s) so that you can form a lasting relationship with them...
    ...no, you don't have to publish a full newsletter, but offer something!

    The best method I've used is an exit pop-up window that gives something of value in exchange for their contact information.
    I use the service at http://www.webbusinesswizard.com to save their name and email address. It handles everything automatically for me and even follows up with them at regularly scheduled intervals.
    And one last tip on this... don't ask a million questions in your sign-up form. Ask for their first name and email address only. If you scare them away, they may never be back.

    Thanks Jim!

    R

    Excerpted from "A One-Minute Web Marketing Plan" by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing - published in The BizWeb eGazette issue of October 25, 2002.
    Visit Jim at http://www.bizweb2000.com and http://www.make-a-living-online.com.

    RentQuick: Just A Great Selling Website

    Great case study from MarketingSherpa - the RentQuick site incorporates instant messaging effectively, but does other things wonderfully. well worth reading and checking off against YOUR site efforts.

    As reported in MarketingSherpaWeekly this week: "if you have a yen for a David vs. Goliath story -- as in Web entrepreneur trounces big public companies -- you'll like this one… " Check out the case study.

    About website instant messaging, this newsletter also reports: "Two weeks ago Forbes reported that an online shopper who uses the "Live Chat" feature on LandsEnd.com is 20% more likely to make a purchase than a customer who does not." Veeery inteeeestinggg...

    (By the way, you DON'T want to be popping up uninvited to chat with your website visitors. Read the case study to find out why.)

    R

    PS: MarketingSherpa also has a daily gossip blog: http://sherpablog.blogspot.com

    Handspring Presentation

    Jim Courtney posts:
    Yesterday morning I attended Donna Dubinsky's presentation on HandSpring at Comdex Canada. It answered several of the questions you and I had when we discussed their new TREO last December.

    1. They are definitely going after the RIM Blackberry space. They only do GSM/GPRS at the moment; she had hers working on the new Rogers AT&T Wireless GSM/GPRS network here (and said it was the first time she could really test the browsing experience). As a result they can do the "always on" thing -- one of Blackberry's key selling features. She is also really taken with how easy it is to get her e-mail via the TREO using this network.

    2. Their focus is on making the converged device very user friendly; to that end she showed several examples.

    3. They have decided to go after the wireless communications space and be number 1 there rather than being number 2 in the handheld organizer space -- thus, the decline and fall of the Visor (or at least it is replaced by the TREO 90.

    4. They will get into the 1xRRTx/CDMA space via a setup with Sprint -- that will be the TREO 300 when announced this fall.

    5. The one thing that RIM really gets much better is working with the enterprise market. With a 14,000 enterprise customer lead and applications being developed continuously, the HandSpring has a huge barrier to overcome to penetrate this market.

    6. HandSpring has cash of $100MM with a burn rate of $10-$15MM per quarter vs RIM's >$600MM with a smaller burn rate.

    7. She certainly has a dynamism and personality that gets people interested; she was also very realistic in many of her assessments of the market and its potential.

    Jim

    Thanks Jim but...I heard at a recent show that Microsoft projects 20 million smartphones in the coming year - I think that spells a tidal wave of adoption of MS smartphones.

    It's color, it's windows.


    R
    Internet Phone Plans

    eMarketer reports that 31 percent of wireless handset owners in the US are planning to upgrade their handset within the coming year. Roughly half of these would like access to the internet from their phone.

    (Thanks to NUA Surveys for pointing to this article.)

    R

    Is Email Going Away?

    Junk e-mail increased a whopping 450 per cent last month compared with June a year ago. And the number of mass e-mailings has risen eightfold in just a year and a half.

    Yes, spam is booming, but I didn't have to tell you that. The question is: will it kill off email? (more)

    R

    Another PPC Success Story

    Colleague Jim Courtney reports:
    I attended a launch event for a supplier of emergency hardware services... they get 50% of their revenues via web marketing and, in particular, keywords on Overture and Google. The rest comes from being known at the tech support level in media hardware organizations.
    Pay Per Click is the killer marketing app of 2002!

    Riggs

    How To Sell Online Subscriptions - Really

    MarketingSherpaWeekly's May 22 issue tells this story:
    Early last Tuesday morning Neil Budde, Publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online stepped up to a podium to give what he thought would be a fairly standard speech.... Out of the blue, a member of the audience interrupted Budde with a quick question... And for the rest of the day, the audience grilled him and his nine fellow speakers -- all Internet subscription site publishers and marketers -- relentlessly.
    The full report is outstanding. Here's just one excerpt:
    ...How do you get potential subscribers to get so excited that they pay despite their own laziness, despite the million other things going on in their lives, and despite the free and paid competition?

    There appear to be two routes to content success (beyond relentless quality, quality, quality, quality.) These are:
    a. Unique content that only works online -- for example RealNetworks NASCAR channel allows you to choose to listen to your favorite driver's audio feed during the race. This is impossible in traditional broadcast where you have no choice about which voice you'll hear during the race.

    b. Content with a strong voice and personality -- Smith said, "People are dying for leadership." Formal news reporting and balanced, professional features journalism may work well in other mediums, but in online what counts is a unique personality that both feels "expert" but also that people respond to on a visceral level. (Well, gee that makes your editorial hiring easier huh?)
    Read the whole report.

    Riggs
    AOL Dumps Overture

    In an informative article in its July print issue on what really goes on with search engines, PCWorld.com reports: "at the time of this writing, AOL announced it would not renew its contract with Overture. It will start to display ads purchased through Google this summer."
    The review gives Google top marks for quality and editorial integrity. It likes few metasearch engines - with the exception of Ixquick. It criticizes MSN and AOL for confusing and biased search results:
    When you run a search for "travel" on AOL, four of the first ten results that AOL delivers are affiliated with AOL--the number one recommended site is AOL Travel. AOL ranks Expedia, Microsoft's travel site, at number 14. Plug the same keyword into MSN's search field and you'll find no mention of any AOL travel sites within the first 50 results. But Expedia appears in the top spot in two categories, Featured Sites and Sponsored Sites (go to PC World's Analysis for more details). Expedia is the second-most-visited travel site on the Web, and AOL Travel is number seven, according to recent statistics from the research firm Jupiter Media Metrix.
    Scroll down to "Search Gems: Sites for Special Searches"; this section offers 21 specialized search sites - for example, MagPortal, which lets you "search through a huge archive for specific magazine articles, or browse topics like "small business" or "recruiting." "

    Thanks to Verrecchia Group's Mitch Joel for passing this to me.

    Riggs

    Positioning Redux

    Great article from Ford Kanzler at Marketing Profs called "The Positioning Statement: Why To Have One Before You Start Communicating". Here's a critical excerpt:
    A well-crafted positioning statement defines your company's direction. It answers seven essential questions:
  • who you are

  • what business you're in

  • for whom (what people do you serve)

  • what's needed by the market you serve

  • against whom do you compete

  • what's different about your business

  • what unique benefit is derived from your product or services?
  • Thanks Ford!

    Riggs

    A Secondary Click Market?

    It may not go anywhere, but this is an interesting website-to-website click exchange model. Check out ClicksBroker's site.

    From their May 21 press release, passed to me by Mitch Joel at Verrecchia Group:
    ...At ClicksBroker, buyers or sellers of clicks (visitor traffic) can meet and buy or sell directly from each other after they test their compatibility. The biggest obstacle in creating a marketplace for clicks before was that the quality of visitor traffic and links click-through ratio (compatibility parameters) could not be predicted in advance.

    ClicksBroker solves the problem of compatibility by enabling websites to test the quality of their interaction before deciding to buy or sell from each other. Once a user registers, ClicksBroker will suggest the best matches for his website and then perform trial processes with these buyers or sellers (automatically changing link messages). After the trials, where the parameters of relationship (compatibility) are recorded, there is a bidding process where clicks (visitor traffic) will be bought or sold for the market price.
    Riggs

    Pay Per Click Update

    In his current issue, Dr, Ralph Wilson updates his "5-cent" strategy. He warns of new policies on Overture and discusses positive changes on Google AdWords Select.

    Riggs

    10% off ClickPatrol PPC bid manager

    Scott Anderson adds:
    Brent Winters is president of MarketPosition, the makers of WebPosition Gold (the #1 selling SEO tool). He's a major player. In this newsletter (worth subscribing to) he touts ClickPatrol as the best PPC bid management tool & is offering a 10% discount. I haven't used CP yet (having paid good money for another product that I've yet to unwrap). The critical factor: is it Overture-approved. CP says they are.

    For what it's worth..

    Scott
    Actually Scott, this is worth a lot. A 10% discount adds up on a monthly subscription program...

    Riggs

    Marketing Automation

    More from Scott Anderson:
    Had an incredibly interesting meeting yesterday with one of the leading makers of marketing automation software (MarketFirst). This stuff is amazing. I can't believe how many calories & dollars are wasted conducting marketing any other way. The new generation of marketers better focus 200% on strategic fundamentals (& human nature!) because a lot of functional specialties will be increasingly superfluous.

    Scott
    (Riggs)

    Pay Per Click Success

    Scott Anderson at Shadow Marketing came back with this comment about my praises for Dr. Ralph Wilson in his Pay Per Click (PPC) article:
    Agreed. We make extensive use of Overture to drive trial downloads at Company X (which makes software for collaborative meeting scheduling). We buy 13 phrases that revolve around four primary themes. I used WordTracker to discover what seems to be a universal truth -- the phrases used by companies to describe themselves are seldom (if ever) the ones used by prospects searching the web. WordTracker is fabulous in some ways but their arithmetic is fundamentally flawed (though the SEO [Search Engine Optimization - Ed.]community seems oddly silent on that). So I amend their findings with Overture's own keyword research tool plus some analysis of my own devise to more properly score the qualified lead traffic potential for each phrase. It's tedious but very eye-opening.

    The money themes for Company X turned out to be a mix of the sort-of-obvious and not-so-obvious: calendar software, scheduling software, time management and palm software (Company X syncs with palms; a minor feature but hugely searched upon).

    In the first 2 months of the campaign they got 7155 visitors at an average cost of $1.13 per visitor. Trial download conversions vary quite a bit by phrase (from 1.9% to 7.1%), but it averages out to 3.5%. So their cost per download is under $33. These leads are still in the pipeline, being nurtured by inside sales. If they close 10%, the cost per sale is only $330 and their average initial order value is over $2500. They haven't yet determined lifetime value.

    So Overture works great...MUCH better than Google's AdWords Select PPC program (by 2 orders of magnitude!). We'll soon be expanding into Europe with Overture UK and eSpotting, Britain's pan-European answer to Overture. We also analyzed performance by ad position. Obviously being in the top 3 is crucial since those results are syndicated all over hell and gone. But we found that the #1 spot is more than twice as effective as #2, which is more than twice as effective as #3. That spread surprised me. So we bid for the #1 spot constantly, even if it means we exhaust our monthly budget cap.

    Has marketing gotten interesting or what?

    Scott
    (Riggs)

    The Truth About Search Engine Optimization

    Scott Anderson of Shadow Marketing wrote a great piece on Search Engine Optimization, just below.

    To this, I thought I'd add what Dr. Ralph Wilson has to say, in an article on Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies:
    Don't discount the value of search engine positioning for the most "expensive" and competitive search terms. If you use WebPosition Gold software diligently, you can achieve high rankings in the regular search engines. I've done it. But maintaining your position requires careful long-term monitoring. Since effective search engine positioning is so time-intensive, I recommend that businesses -- even small businesses -- outsource this task to firms that specialize in this arcane art and science.

    Search engine positioning will bring you lots of traffic, but it may not be too targeted (since you can't control the text of the "ad") and it can take months to build. PPC strategies, on the other hand, can bring lots of traffic almost immediately, and, if you've done your homework, for a reasonable cost per click. Use both approaches.

    And I just LOVE Dr. Wilson's 5-cent Overture strategy! Check it out in this article.

    Riggs

    Search Engine Optimization Goes The Next Level

    Effie-award winner Scott Anderson of Shadow Marketing has become a real Search Engine Optimization hawk. Here, he briefs Jay Bower of CrossBow Group, who wanted to know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms. (I had also mentioned Good Key Words as a software solution.)

    I haven't yet tried goodkeywords (downloading now), but if Danny Sullivan (mega SEO guru) gives it a nod, then I'm sure it's quite helpful.

    But there are key points to keep in mind with regard to SEO:

    Ranking highly (in the top 10 search results) for carefully chosen search phrases is by far the least expensive way to attract pretty well qualified traffic to a site. But it's a long-term, multi-faceted and reasonably time-consuming endeavor, but well worth it.

    Properly done, key phrase research determines not only the popularity of a phrase among searchers, but also the popularity of that phrase among websites trying to attract the searchers. It's the ratio of those numbers that really indicates the likelihood of getting into the top 10 results. But that's just the beginning.

    You then need to apply that learning to the content hierarchy of your site (a practice called 'building theme pyramids' in the SEO biz). The headlines, copy and graphical elements need to be constructed with an understanding of how to appeal to both human visitors and search engine robots. Bearing in mind that the constructs that appeal most to search engine A will likely hurt your relevancy ranking in search engine B (more choices to make). By the way, the keyword metatag has now become superfluous...the spiders don't even look at it anymore.

    Then, of course, you have search engines constantly revamping their indexing and relevancy scoring technology. So it's not a one-time shot, but an on-going monitoring and enhancement effort. Frankly, it's a pain in the ass!

    A good SEO consultant likes that sort of thing, though (a concept I believe we should let pass without comment, Riggs). But it's critical to link up with one that does NOT spam the spiders. Yes, "spamdexing" has become the bane of the industry. SEO guys who use the silly hack tricks that worked in 1999 will get your site blacklisted. MOST of the software solutions have automated spamdexing. NEVER use a product that automatically resubmits your pages. NEVER use a service that guarantees results.

    Doing it right requires someone who loves the minutia AND rabidly subscribes to all the professional SEO newsletters. So expect to pay a few grand for a proper job. The key upfront is to know how much each visitor is worth so you can determine a breakeven on the SEO investment.

    Whew. Sorry for the spew, but once you scratch the surface of this topic it gets hairy fast.

    Scott
    Thanks Scott!

    Riggs

    Business More Popular Than Sex On Search Engines

    After the boom and the crash, here's a landmark event: according to a recent study, people are now spending less time on the Web looking for pornography and more time searching for business information!

    Information Week, April 2, 2002 (excerpted):
    In 1997, entertainment or recreation queries dominated the engine, accounting for 19.9% of all searches. By 2001, those queries had fallen to seventh place, at 6.6%. The second most common type of search in 1997 was sex and pornography, at 16.8% of all searches; in 2001, that category had sunk to fifth place at only 8.5% of all queries--many of which were related to human sexuality rather than pornography.

    Meanwhile, more business-oriented terms climbed the ranks. Commerce, travel, employment, or economy queries only amounted to 13.3% of the pool in 1997, making it the third most common type of search, but surged to first place by 2001, representing 24.7% of all queries.
    Thanks to Liam Leahy for forwarding this. He suggests this additional reading:
    The Self-Organizing Web
    Yahoo's Not Just For Consumers Anymore
    Riggs

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