Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Some New RSS Tools

Some New RSS Tools: "Robin Good points to some interesting new and semi-new RSS tools.
Here's a quick overview ...

RSS Mix allows you to take a number of RSS feeds and create a new joint output, featuring all of their combined content.

Pop2RSSThis is a tool I've been waiting for --- Pop2RSS automatically takes your POP3 e-mail account and converts new incoming messages in to an RSS content stream. I can think of a number of uses for this, ranging from creating a quick overview of your e-mail from many different accounts to using RSS to check your e-mail on the road, especially if you don't have webmail access."

I'm going to check both tools out today. Pop2RSS sounds more interesting to me, but I'm not sure how I'd use it. There's so much you can do with this stuff but I don't think that just because you can ...
you use it.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Search-Related Ads Rely on Poetry of Words, Numbers

Search-Related Ads Rely on Poetry of Words, Numbers: "When Kiesha Ramey tells people she works for Google Inc., they usually think she's a computer geek.

She's more like a commercial poet.

Ramey, 30, is part of Google's in-house advertising agency, a team called the Maximizers that helps clients navigate the complex world of search-related advertising.

Her mission is worthy of a haiku writer.

She crafts text ads to intrigue Web surfers because advertisers don't pay Google unless the ads are clicked on. She has only three short lines of 25, 35 and 35 characters each and a link to make her pitch.

'I've learned to speak in 95-character sentences,' she said."

I have a couple of AdWords accounts that I'm managing; the wording could be better. Some people I know
rotate the text a couple of times a week to increase clickthrough. I don't think 100% clickthrough is attainable on any large campaign, but some aim for that. 8-10% is proabably as good as you'll get, overall; but we can always try to push that percentage up.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Seth's Blog: Cookies you can feel good about

Seth's Blog: Cookies you can feel good about: "Cookies you can feel good about
Everything about the packaging is perfect. The matte finish. The old fashioned roll top. The colors and more.

The only problem is that these cookies are no healthier than most of the others on the shelf. The reason to buy them is that they make it easy to lie to yourself when you feed em to your kids.

My Comment: I just posted about Cookies that aren't harmful, from and internet perspective. Now here's some cookies (actual) that are just as
bad for you as the regular products from familar brands.

Is it only my supermarket that is now filled with stuff like this?"

Eric Peterson - Will somebody show me how cookies can be hacked?

Eric Peterson - Will somebody show me how cookies can be hacked?: "I was reading a particularly well-written piece about the cookie issue that I was interviewed and I came across this quote from Richard Stiennon, vice president of 'threat research' for Webroot, talking about his anti-spyware application:

'Now you can be a little more safe that your sexual preferences, your buying habits, your political stuff isn't being tracked by somebody who can ultimately use that information to foist stuff on you.' While the context is not 100% clear, whether Mr. Stiennon is talking about spyware or cookies, but this has come up before, the idea that cookies are easily used to determine the browsing habits (sexual preferences, buying habits, etc.) While I continue to hear rumor of this type of activity I am unable to find a single decent account of A) somebody's cookies being hacked and B) personal information (of any import) being gained."

This is an intresting post. Eric goes on to say "Given the type of activities that some people (not me) engage in on the Internet, activities that would be embarrassing or worse if discovered and reported, you'd think that if this were easy the so-called "cookie hackers" would have already published lists of people's browsing habits. Or perhaps, E! would have a nightly feature on "What's Paris Hilton browsing now!" ... you get the idea."

Sounds like there's alot of misconceptions around cookies and what they do and can be used for.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Yahoo! Mindset

Yahoo! Mindset: "A Yahoo! Research Labs demo that applies a new twist on search that uses machine learning technology to give you a choice: View Yahoo! Search results sorted according to whether they are more commercial or more informational (i.e., from academic, non-commercial, or research-oriented sources)."

I'm going to try out MindSet, Yahoo's new Beta Search Engine. OK, I just did that and it's cool. As I move the slider bar near the top, the search results change. I wonder what algo they are using to determine if the index pages are more buy cycle vs research. What could they possibly be using to decide that? More buy words in the copy?

Enterprise SEM: Its a small world after all ...

Enterprise SEM: Its a small world after all ...: "This week I have been at the IQPC Globalization conference in San Francisco. This was the 11th anniversary of this conference. I spoke at the first conference 11 years ago and there were about 15 attendees and 5 of them were fellow speakers. "

I'm looking forward to Bill Hunt and Mike Moran's new book on Enterprise SEM to be published in
July. Search and Globalization are becoming hot topics and now a lot
of large companies want to jump on board.

Bill said that he was "vindicated" that his predictions in 1994 that "the internet will be the gateway
to global business". Today such a statement seems obvious, though
it did not seem that way in 1994.

I wonder what Bill would say now about what is the next gateway..the next
next thing around the corner.

Friday, May 27, 2005

10 Google Engineers at WebmasterWorld's Conference

10 Google Engineers at WebmasterWorld's Conference: "Brett Tabke is doing an outstanding job driving up the buzz on the upcoming WebmasterWorld 2005 New Orleans Conference.
(1) He recently secured John Battelle to keynote the event.
(2) He named the most recent Google Update, Bourbon
(3) And now he secured ~10 Google Engineers to answer your questions, specific to Google.
In an unprecedented move, Google is sending a team of engineers to support WebmasterWorld�s World Search Conference, being held in June 21-24, 2005. Conference delegates can get involved in roundtable sessions with the Google engineers on specific subjects of interest. In addition, the event will feature an invitation-only cocktail party where conference delegates can meet the engineers on specific subjects of interest and relevance."

I was pretty impressed by the announcement. I was not planning on going to Webmasterworld in New Orleans but now I'm entertaining it seriously.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Eric Peterson - NetRatings sues Omniture and Coremetrics over JavaScript page tagging

Eric Peterson - NetRatings sues Omniture and Coremetrics over JavaScript page tagging: "Since I am still in information gathering mode over the announced lawsuit between Nielsen/NetRatings and Omniture and Coremetrics I encourge those clients who are concerned about how this litigation could play out to generate inquiry sessions to discuss offline. Needless to say, if Nielsen's claim to the origination and ownership of JavaScript page tagging holds up in court, several companies who are currently looking at the spectre of cookie blocking and deletion as a threat to their business will have bigger and uglier problems.
The patents in question are as follows:




Hmm.....I did not realize that a company could own "JavaScript page tagging".
Well, if this turns out to be as big a deal as Eric says it was, it will trun out
to be good as it will force the web analytic vendors to come up with
better solutions and a real, viable replacement for the cookie deletionproblem
that's so common now.

RSS Works: Hard RSS Metrics

RSS Works: Hard RSS Metrics: "Custom Reader were great enough to supply us with their latest data, based on 3,500 users of their brandable RSS reader and on the last [two weeks ago] 48 hours of their reader usage.
The most interesting piece of data is the 23% average CTR from feed to site within last 48 hours, which proves that RSS works in terms of getting readers from the outbout message to the site."

Interesting stats....need to take a closer look.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Paper's aim: building blog for success

Paper's aim: building blog for success: "Other newspapers are experimenting with some or many of the same elements � particularly reader blogs � but few if any appear as ambitious or committed as the paper here. The implication for the future is clear � the website, not the print edition, might someday drive the newsroom. Although Robinson downplays this big-picture aspect of his newspaper's plan, others do not.

'There's no question people are watching Greensboro,' said Jay Rosen, an associate professor of journalism at New York University and author of the journalism blog 'PressThink.' 'What they've succeeded in doing is developing a strategy for the next phase of the daily newspaper.'"

I'm coming up with a strategy for my clients that uses Blogs and RSS feeds to reinforce the message and increase traffic to their sites. I've been a subscriber to JupiterMedia's Analyst Blog for the last month and I'm always checking out interesting stories coming from the Analysts.

I think back to the NYT Press Release last month detailing the impact of RSS feeds on The New York Times , where NYT got 555 million PageViews in March 05; and......

"NYTimes.com's RSS feeds generated 5.9 million pageviews on the site in March, which represents a 342% increase year over year and a 39% increase from February's 4.3 million pageviews. The sections that were most popular among RSS feeds included: Washington and Business. The feeds have been available since February 2002 (www.nytimes.com/rss)"

Pretty impressive when you think about it.

Michael Gartenberg - Google bashing

Michael Gartenberg - Google bashing: "Has anyone noticed that Google bashing has become quite the rage? In many ways it surpasses the stuff the MSFT was subjected to in recent years in the sense that Google is getting taken to task for things it hasn't done, said it will do or given any indication it might someday do in the future. Apple bashing lately seems pretty popular too.
I wonder if the recent share price of either of these companies has anything to do with it?"

I've noticed it too; Google appears to have lost it's edge and the horse and buggy search engine
race has heated up.

SEO DotComicide: Google's Bourbon Hangover

SEO DotComicide: Google's Bourbon Hangover: "Funny thing happened when I did a regular search for Adsense on Google so I could check my channel tracking, I ended up in the data center, where I saw this:

When has a Google page ever been beaten by another site, let alone by someone that is redirecting to the regular Google Adsense page with a meta refresh."

Never had an issue like this before but it sounds interesting.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

New Local Search Technology Company Prepares for Launch

New Local Search Technology Company Prepares for Launch: " A new local search technology provider based in Denver that plans to fully launch by the end of 2005. One of the people behind the new company is Perry Evans, who was the founder of a company you might have heard of, MapQuest. (-:
To create Local Matters, Aptas is merging with Information Services Extended, a Florida-based information search and directory assistance company; and YP Solutions, a Louisiana firm that helps phone book publishers put their data on the Internet. Local Matters will sell its software and services to telecom carriers, Yellow Page publishers and others. The company, which employs more than 140, said it has lined up more than 40 companies in 18 countries. Aside from Dex Media and SBC Communications, other U.S. customers include Sprint and Yellow Pages publisher R.H. Donnelley.
I haven't used the Local Matters technology yet but another member of the SEW team, Chris Sherman, is quoted in the article saying that Local Matters is, 'taking local search to the next level.'"

I've done some work on Local Seach Optimization, namely with www.acisco.com and wrote a proposal for it on my website that anyone can download (I think I must of wrote the first local search optimization proposal because I could not find one last year, when I wrote it).

If a company can improve on what's alreadly out there (ie: ReachLocal seemed to have some pretty impressive offerings last year at SES and WebMasterWorld, where I came accross them).

But I also read the JupiterMedia study on the limitations on Local Search, and how people were mainly looking for a dentist, doctor, etc, and not using it overall. Tracking was an issue also, and that's always an issue. It's like tracking multi-channel conversions.

Seth's Blog: Telling a story with a picture

Seth's Blog: Telling a story with a picture: "The idea being sold is raw food, but the picture instantly tells a story that is far more effective than the words could ever be. Yes that's the same person, less than two years later."

Pretty cool! I think everything in Seth's blog is something I ought to read atleast

Seth's Blog: A letter from Kentucky

Seth's Blog: A letter from Kentucky: "The takeaway here is that if your target audience isn't listening, it's not their fault, it's yours. If one story isn't working, change what you do, not how loudly you yell (or whine). Nice work, Jeff."

I found this entry in Seth's blog pretty interesting and got me thinking. I think I'll go back and read it again.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Secret of Rankings

I have a couple of clients that run house plans sites and I'm doing their optimization, linking strategy and Blog/RSS feeds.

While doing the site analysis for my newest client, I went over the all of the top 10 sites in Google that are ranking for "house plans" and "home plans". And then I noticed something that was staring me in the face.

Every one of the first 6 sites ranking in Google had, essentially, their site map on the home page. In other words, if your a house plans site....you like to all your house plans off your home page. This tended to make the site more relevent in terms of internal linking (because the links went from the home page to a particular house plan lower level page and it upped the on-page factors. Many of the sites in the top 20, over all (probably more than half) used this strategy.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Syndicate Conference Wrap-up

The Syndicate Conference Wrap-up

I followed this conference, which took place in NYC, by subscribing to the blog associated with the event. Actually, I wanted to go but suspected
that there would be more fluff than substance. And sure enough, that's
what Rok Hrastnik, more or less, said, in post I link to above.

Most of the conferences I have gone to for the last 2 years - I haven't
really seen much change in what people were talking about, and in
many cases, the same presentations are given by the same speakers.

True, RSS and Blogs have been a much bigger part of the Search Engine
Strategies conferences than they were last year.

And Rok is right...where were the case studies, metrics analysis stuff..
the "real stuff" at this conference? What was at this conference were
people you'd want to meet and network with.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

NY Times Sees Blogs as Affiliates � MarketingVOX

NY Times Sees Blogs as Affiliates � MarketingVOX: "Once it institutes paid subscriptions for some of its most popular online content, the New York Times will likely turn to bloggers as affiliate marketers to help generate revenue, writes ClickZ, quoting The Times's senior VP of digital operations Martin Nisenholtz. The new NYTimes.com financial model will also consider a restructuring of site and content, including RSS feeds, to take advantage of the 'trend to unbundle from the container.'"

According to a report of yesterday's keynote from the Syndicate! confrerence:
Once it institutes paid subscriptions for some of its most popular online content, the New York Times will likely turn to bloggers as affiliate marketers to help generate revenue, writes ClickZ, quoting The Times's senior VP of digital operations Martin Nisenholtz. The new NYTimes.com financial model will also consider a restructuring of site and content, including RSS feeds, to take advantage of the "trend to unbundle from the container."

That's going to be interesting to see.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Proposition from an Indian ad-clicker - Tim Yang's Geek Blog

Proposition from an Indian ad-clicker - Tim Yang's Geek Blog


I have often thought that Local Search targeting would help with click fraud; making it harder for India's secret army of online ad clickers to see your ad.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

PageRank, Wrappers, Ranking News and More: Papers from the WWW 2005 Conference

PageRank, Wrappers, Ranking News and More: Papers from the WWW 2005 Conference

I want to read every one of these papers though I don't know if I'll ever get around to it. It takes alot of patience to read scientific papers, they tend to be pretty dry and obtuse.

Ebooksnbytes.com banned from Google

Strange things happen; a friend of mine got her site banned from Google (it's not in the index anymore) from something that, probably was a mistake, would not had her site banned a couple of years go. Ebooksnbytes.com used to be on the top for "ebooks" and related queries till a couple of months ago.
However, look at what happened when her site was entirely copied and shown as in frames at Authorsden.com:http://www.authorsden.com/externalsite.asp?authorID=10347&destURL=www.ebooksnbytes.com&msg
I suspect this was an innocent mistake...hopefully it was; else Eva has to send a Cease and Desist to AuthorsDen.com. A couple of years ago, maybe 3 or 4, doing this kind of thing was not that uncommon, it was a means to drive traffic to your sites. But the Search Engines caught on, at least, some of them, and are detecting these as duplicate content pages.
As the Search Engine's mature, more and more limitations are being brought forward. First it's the duplicate content issue and Doorway pages. Now it's also becoming an issue of server resources and being punished for causing search engines to use too much of their resources storing duplicate content. What ever it is, it's important to realize that nothing is for free; all these nice toys that search is coming up with to improve your searching experience can be a double edged sword. You can be punished for doing something innocent, that in the past, you would not have been punished for....and not even realize why.

Executing a query and being banned from Google

I've heard rumblings of new software that Google has developed to idetify and filter out automated queries. Last month there was a thread in Webmasterworld about just that. Today, while using a program that I got for free from Brad Callon, Top Optimizer Pro, the same thing happened to me. Only I could not query anything till I got rid of the all the cookies I accessed today I uninstalled the program and won't bother with it again.

My point: Automated checking programs that use alot of server resources are now being detected at Google; they may also feel that someone that runs that software is trying to game the system.

While SeoElite is great software, I never figured out where Top Optimizer Pro fit in. Why bother to have 2 programs from the same author that kinda proport to do the same thing? It just confused me and now I'm really turned off to Top Optimizer Pro and will never use it again.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Google Blog - Live

Google Blog - Live

The Google Blog has moved. I have to spend more time reading what the major search engines are saying about themselves. I know it's only what thay want you to know; it's probably good information to have anyway.

Friday, May 13, 2005

iMediaConnection: The Business of Blogging

iMediaConnection: The Business of Blogging

Interesting article. I went to a business conference 10 days ago about this at the Microsoft Business Center...it was called Business goes Blogging..

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Seth's Blog: Do you judge a book by its cover?

Seth's Blog: Do you judge a book by its cover?


Alot of Buzz for Brian and Jeffery Eisenberg's new book called "Call To Action". I'm hoping to get my copy in the next couple of days. I should have pre-ordered from Brian directly a couple of weeks ago - he was offering 3 copies for the price of one.

I've met Brian and Jeffery a together a couple of times, the last being at Search Engine Strategies Winter 05 Session at the Hilton in NYC. My first contact with Brian Eisenberg was in January 2003, when I went to a WebTrends user group in Manhattan that had just started up.

I wish I had the understanding of just how to apply Persuasion Architecture to the varies situations I find my self in with clients' sites. At SES, I saw Brian at three sessions, 2 were focused on Measuring Success (from a Web Analytics perspective) and the third was a keynote session on Converting your site visitors.

I spent a lot of energy getting traffic to my clients' sites. Brian would look at many of those sites as full of holes, where visitors just pour out. IF we just plugged the holes, we'd get more conversions. I'm going to read the book ....a couple of times...

The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster

The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster

Darth Vader has a blog...that's right..Darth Vader!

Well, maybe i can look at the "Ewok Cook-Out" or those "Blasted Contractors!". Interesting.

This is an example of Entertainment Marketing; similar in a way to how you'd generate buzz for a musician. In this case, it's a movie. I bet whom ever is writing the copy is having fun.

Using SeoElite to do Site Inclusion Checking

To get tis kind of information you need to use SeoElite, last option (indexing), details on. Anyone wanting to know more can contact me at now.seo@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My Article is Published in Search Engine Guide

Last year I wrote an article on Search Metrics that was published at the World Resource Center and got sydicated in a number of places through Robin Nobles' Distrbution network.

One of the places I did not see her article appear was Search Engine Guide; since that's a newsletter I get, I was hoping to see it there. Well, today, May 11th, 2005 it appear in Search Engine Guide http://www.searchengineguide.com/; here's the url of the article of Robin's that is a lead in to my search metrics paper: http://www.searchengineguide.com/aws/2005/0504_aws1.html

Now I am wondering when now.seo@gmail.com is going to get busy or when now.seo.com is going to show a ton of visitors. In fact, I haven't really worked on the site much this year and really should.

That's part of the irony of it...I'm helping other people get their rankings to improve, to come up with fresh content...and I don't fully do it for my own site. Guess I should pay my self a salary...then maybe I'd get paid for working on my own site.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Google's Artist Profile

Ever wonder about the artist who does the Google Logo? That's one aspect of thier brand that makes Google stand out. Here's an recent article http://www.jsonline.com/onwisconsin/arts/may05/324248.asp

For Mother's Day, here's what the Search Engines are doing today

I did not find any other major search engines doing something with their Logos.

Search Engine Relevency Testing

I found this post in Search Engine RoundTable about RustySearch:
This pie chart shows the "most relevant" search engine by averaging the scores of all the ratings. The search engine listed at the top, is the most relevant engine. The number to the right of the name in the legend is the average rating for that seach engine. We then plotted that data in the pie chart.


This link graph groups search engines by rating. The reason we plotted it on a graph like this is to show you that there is this U shaped curve that is consistent between all search engines when rated. In our opinion, it means that most people either feel the results are relevant or not relevant. Very few people feel that a search engine can be "somewhat" relevant.


Getting A Feed

I'm trying to set up my blog with an RSS feed. There are not as many options as I'd like on Blogger.

SEO INC dropped out of Google

SEOINC has been annoying in the way they bragg about getting first page listings .... more listings than anyone else. Well, they no longer show up in Google for Search Engine Optimization and related keywords.




I find this really interesting.

John Alexander's recap of SES Toronto

I've been going to the SES conferences in New York since last year; IBM paid the conference fees. I get alot of networking and useful information when I go SES and Webmasterworld, but I don't tend to take good notes. I found that I can't listen closely and write well at the same time....I do see some attendees using their laptops to write nice summary documents; I'm glad they do so I don't have to.

This time, John Alexander from Search Engine Workshops went to the Toronto conference and I think it's worth posting here> http://www.searchengineworkshops.com/articles/toronto-ses-review.html

Maybe I'll try brining my laptop next time.....maybe I'll try to write it all down and see if I can write and focus on the sessions...we'll see.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Creating A Map

While at the Travelcom conference last week http://www.travelcomexpo.com/default.asp in New York, I listened to a number of Online Marketing Experts talk about measuring conversions in thier Mult-Channel Marketing.

What struck me at the time was the need for a map (maybe a flowchart) of the entire process of how things are conveived and sold for each marketing channel. At some point, we can abstract and make it into a diagram that can be put into a PowerPoint Slide.

Once that work is done, you can start talking about a metric for each sales channel; you can even come up with a formula that equalizes accross all channels and has an overall score. Until we can map out the entire process....I don't think we can create the metrics well....and that's my point.

Comparing organic results for "home plans" in Google

One of my clients has a house plan site and thier rankings for "home plan" in Google dissipeared; it was at #27 last time i looked. Don't think we even had a chance to change anything. What is it now?

I used Google Rankings http://www.googlerankings.com/index.php but the program does not seem to be working. The rest of thier rankings don't seem to be affected. There's really not a regressive testing tool for SEO. When ranking change often it's not clear just what changed on the site that might have caused the change...or something that happened with the search engine. Sure, if you never update your site...it's always the search engine that caused the change (or other sites that just are optimizing and ranking higher than your site).