News From StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
Dear valued subscribers,
Welcome to StepForth’s weekly SEO update.
» If you wish more information then
please view our news
» View StepForth's latest search
engine optimization and search
engine placement services
» Images not loading? This could be
a result of your Outlook settings. View
the online version.
» StepForth now contributes articles
to both Search
Engine Guide and WebProNews
» Do you want to hear about the news
as it comes? The SEO Blog
is our daily events post.
of the Week: HOT Off the Press! The Search Engine Strategies Conference
Engine Strategies Conference is one of the largest and most
comprehensive search engine focused conventions of the year.
in different cities around the world, this spring's conference
is being held
at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in the middle of the
largest and most diverse city. I was fortunate enough to be
participate as a speaker at one of the site clinic sessions.
Organized by Jupiter Media, the publishers of Search
Watch, and sponsored by some of the major players in
marketing, (such as Google), the SES conferences form an
environment for SEOs, webmasters, business owners and the
search tools we
all depend on to get together and discuss dozens of different
facets of our
shared advertising industry. From known names such as Google,
and Kanoodle to new innovators such as the WorldWide
Broadcast Network , the spectrum of search firms is well
For me, this
has been like attending SEO School all over again. I
have lurked in as many SEO focused conference sessions as
in order to
brush up on my skills and meet other SEOs. Listening to
the people you the
people you generally read is interesting, much like meeting
a person face to
face when you've only spoken on the telephone. The general
message from each
session I've attended can be easily summed up in one of
Back to the Basics & Keep it Simple
While the technologies used in creating websites is advancing
technology search engines use to read those websites is advancing
a somewhat slower pace. Search engines can read and rank
a lot more than they
used to be able to, however, a design tool as commonly used
continues to elude search engine spiders. The vast majority
(myself included), have mentioned the obvious over and over… Keep
simple and the fundamentals of your SEO campaign should fall
Simple titles, tags, text and site mapping continue to be
the favored tools
of the SEO industry. Meanwhile, website designers and the
create products such as Content Management Systems and WYSIWYG
web-editors continue to push innovative boundaries in the
quest to build the
best tools. I was surprised to learn that other SEOs who
I have constantly
referred to as my gurus have the exact same ideas on working
issues as we do at StepForth. While workaround processes
exist for almost
every SEO challenge, often these workarounds are very complicated
drive costs higher as a campaign progresses. There is one
workaround each speaker (myself included) have suggested
time and time
again… the value of simple websites and keyword enriched
engines continue to love basic HTML text and well phrased
links with keyword
enriched anchor text. That constant has not changed since
the first days of
SEO and does not appear likely to change in the near future.
There was one MAJOR announcement made at SES Toronto. Last
mentioned that most spiders can not deal with FLASH based
yesterday’s Design for Search Engines seminar, Gregory
Markel from Infuse
Creative announced that Macromedia has created an internal
dedicated to creating an SEO friendly version of FLASH. While
this does not
necessarily mean a new version of FLASH will be forthcoming,
quite concerned when webmasters and SEOs avoid FLASH as it
is not search
engine friendly. Gregory’s announcement was confirmed
by SingingFish GM
Karen Howe who is also working with Macromedia to solve the
aspects of FLASH.
Another item that was confirmed at this conference is that
definitely spidering and recording information found in Adobe
documents at a level no other search tool currently meets.
On the site-clinic panel I was part of, made up of three professional
SEOs, each of
us was quietly amazed at the number of PDF documents we found
quick research on audience member’s websites.
The SES conference is not all technical and business orientated.
night, Google sponsored and hosted the highlight event of
the week, the
Google-Dance. The Google-Dance is basically a rave for the
SEO set. I
attended the first twenty minutes or so but, as I was presenting
the day today, I decided a rave was not the smartest place
to be on a night
when I knew I needed sleep. This morning, the Google-Dance
was the talk of
There is still a long afternoon and evening to go before
SES Toronto packs
up for the year. If you work in the search industry, or if
you are a
webmaster interested in learning a lot more about search,
recommend attending one of these conferences.
|Important ©Copyright Note: readers are welcome to republish the content from StepForth Weekly newsletters
but we do require credit in the format that follows: "Article by <author>, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc."
Player Updates: AOL’s Future
recently announced that America Online (one of the monster conglomerate’s many siblings) has just purchased
7.4 million preferred shares of Google at only $3 per share. This
amazing deal was a result of a stock warrant issued back in 2002
to AOL by Google; the warrant was a part of a contract between
the two companies which had Google paying to provide its algorithmic
and paid search results (sponsored links) on AOL. Not only did
that relationship turnout to be extremely lucrative with AOL generating
$200 million in revenue in 2003 alone, but Google’s IPO has
now opened the door to serious profit; something that AOL is hardly
acquainted with since TimeWarner and AOL merged.
With the sudden favorite now being AOL, any truth in the rumors
of TimeWarner’s sell-off of AOL is likely going to fall by
the wayside. All of a sudden the irony is becoming more apparent;
with Google’s and AOL’s competitor Yahoo! owning shares
in Google, it appears that Google is being considered the ultimate
safe bet by all their major competitors. Now all we need is for
AskJeeves make an investment in Google… interesting times
Building Tip: Google Counting Tracked Links?
Google and Tracked Links
When building reciprocal and one-way links to your site, one thing
to watch out for, and to avoid is trading with sites that have their
outbound links go through some form of tracking or redirect. Typically
these links, although they will not hurt you, have had very little
positive value… until recently.
In the past week we have come across a few examples where Google
has been counting links that they previously ignored. Links of
the form of http://www.site.com/search.php?ID=108 and http://www.site.com/id=227/*http://www.othersite.com have begun to pop into the back link checks.
So what does this mean for the average Webmaster? If Google is
able to keep track of all these once unnoticed links, it will open
many doors in terms of link building giving site owners additional
resources for seeking relevant and useful incoming links.
Check out your Competition
Today links are becoming a much more sought after commodity, and
webmasters are realizing the importance of reciprocal linking.
One of the best places to start when building links is to check
out your competition.
Do a search for your main target keyword and visit some of the
top ranking sites. Chances are they will have links or resources
pages where they have placed their reciprocal links. The large
majority of sites your find listed on these pages will offer reciprocal
linking, and this will give you a good head start on your campaign.
Your competition is number one for a reason, and a large part
of it is who they have linking to them. If you can achieve links
the same places as them, this is one big step towards appearing
in the top placements.
Not to Miss! Software Feature
|In the Client Spotlight
this Week: Ripple Rock - Campbell River
Ripple Rock Retreat is a magical, holistic spa retreat and B&B
on the waterfront just north of Campbell River on the east coast
of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. This special destination
is for everyone who cherishes beautiful natural surroundings, healthy
purposeful living, and “down to earth” hospitality.
Explore the local wilderness on one of their guided adventures
in the summer, or visit the local ski hill in the winter. At Ripple
Rock Retreat in Campbell River they are fortunate to witness Orcas
swimming past us here
Quick Tip: Pick Your Battles
Last week I discussed the tools and tactics one can use to
determine which keywords phrases are most searched relating
to your industry and promised to provide information this
week on weeding through the vast number of available keyword
phrases to choose the main phrase that you should target
to produce the highest possible Return On Investment.
If you missed last weeks article it is available on the
StepForth website at http://news.stepforth.com/2004-news/May05-04.html.
Once you have a set of possible keyword phrases you are
now left to determine which ones are the best possible match
for your promotions. There are a number of factors that have
to be considered when making this determination. A few of
the more important are:
1) How many searches are conducted for these phrases?
2) How targeted are the phrases?
3) How much competition will you be facing?
It’s easiest to go through this is if I were mimicking
picking the keywords for a client so that’s exactly
what we’ll do. Let’s say you’re a computer
repair technician in Los Angeles, California. If you ran
a search you would find that by far the phrase with the largest
number of searches was for the single keyword “computers” with
14,437 predicted searches per day across the major search
engines according to WordTracker. And if you feel like competing
with the likes of Apple, Dell, Gateway, Compaq and the such
and you have tens of thousands of dollars to invest in your
promotion you just might be able to rank on the first page
HOWEVER will you see some great return on investment from
this? Was this the best use of this much of your marketing
budget just to get some computer repair work in LA? Most
likely no, so the number of searches isn’t necessarily
the primary consideration. So let’s look for more targeted
If we focus more tightly on LA we will come up with the
computer repair los angeles – 162 predicted searches
computer consultant los angeles – 157 predicted searches
computer service los angeles – 151 predicted searches
computer consulting los angeles – 148 predicted searches
computer networking los angeles – 148 predicted searches
and a whole bunch of others
So how do we choose our primary phrase? The first thing
I would ask the client is what the like to do most. As all
these phrases are fairly close in their numbers of searches,
personal preference can play a fairly major role. Does the
client want to be a consultant? Do they want to just do repairs?
Do they specialize in networking computers?
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that they don’t
care at all and that they’re equally good at everything.
What I would then do is run searches for all the phrases.
I would go through the entire top 10 on one or more major
search engine and look at the PageRank and the number of
incoming links for the top position holders. The phrase with
the least competition would be my recommended targeted phrase.
That said, this is only the case when the numbers of searches
are roughly the same. If there was a greater discrepancy
in the number of searches for each phrase one would have
to take care to consider the resulting traffic you could
expect and compare that to the competition for the phrases
in determining the main targeted phrase.
If the client specialized in networking specifically and
it had the greatest competition we would also have to consider
how much greater the competition is for the phrase. If a
promotion might take a bit more effort (and thus cost) however
bring completely targeted traffic for exactly what you would
like to do and what’s going to convert best for you,
it is probably the phrase that will produce the greatest
ROI even though the promotion might be a little more costly
The choosing of keywords can be difficult and can take an
enormous amount of time. That said, it is what will determine
whether your search engine placement efforts will be a success.
It is the first stage of the process and definitely one worth
spending as much time as necessary to do right. Everything
you do after will be built on this first step and a misstep
here can cost time, money, and sometimes even your very business.
Net Reality: 18 Year Old Responsible for Sasser Worm
In Berlin Germany an 18 year old, (17 at the time)
confessed to creating the Sasser worm which caused mass chaos
around the globe, in an attempt to help out his mothers “PC
From the basement of his home in Waffensen, population 920,
in an attempt to increase business for his mother and stepfathers
business, Sven Jaschan wrote the crippling Sasser worm, which
caused damage to millions of computers worldwide.
Jaschan was released without bail, as not expected to flee,
on Friday after being detained and admitting to being the mastermind
behind the PC Crippling worm. He could face up to 5 years in
prison and repercussions of damage claims from victims of the
“Despite the damage to millions of computers, one leading
German newspaper said in a page one commentary on Monday there
was a strange sense of national pride that a German student had
outwitted the world's best computer experts.” - CNN
Visit the SEO BLOG Regularly for Daily SEO Tips & Updates
If you have any questions please
do not hesitate to call the StepForth staff:
Toll-Free: 1-877-385-5526 | Local: 385-1190
To unsubscribe from this weekly newsletter simply reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
and include "unsubscribe" as the subject