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Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Yahoo Search Marketing Handbook

Mona Elesseily has nearly five years experience crafting Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) campaigns for her clients but over the last 16-months, she has been absolutely immersed. As the Yahoo! (Overture) PPC expert working at Canadian paid search advertising firm Page Zero Media, Mona has enjoyed a unique opportunity to learn, explore and understand the inner workings of Yahoo’s premier PPC program. In the autumn of 2004, she was “challenged” by her employer, Andrew Goodman, to write a book explaining the intricacies of establishing and managing a successful YSM PPC campaign.

The result of her work is the Yahoo Search Marketing Handbook, a 102-page manual that starts with the basics, outlines potential pitfalls and gradually guides the reader towards establishing and maintaining winning YSM PPC campaigns. Read more…

Two emerging initiatives aim to create and present certification designations for search engine optimization specialists. Oddly enough, both are from Southern Ontario, Canada both are being initiated by long term players in the online marketing world, and neither has sanction from any official bodies, other than their own boards of directors.

If the situation sounds confusing and ad-hoc, that’s because it is. There is no official governing board for search engine optimization practitioners. In other words, SEO is not a profession by any extent of the word. It is a practice. There is no regulation, other than the vocal self-policing that happens within the industry and no bureau of complaints and compliance, other than the search engines themselves. Read more…

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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

Microsoft Going After Google

“This is hypercompetition, make no mistake,” Bill Gates, November 2005.

Gates is worried about Google and has been for a while. For years, observers have watched Microsoft, imagining the frantic pacing behind closed office doors in the executive suites, waiting for something major to happen. There have been articles about the rearrangement of furniture around the board table and the flinging of furniture across Steve Ballmer’s office but, for the most part, very little of substance has been written about Microsoft’s plans to deal with Google. That’s because, until recently, the moves Microsoft has made have appeared to be either cosmetic and internal, or clumsily executed and easily thwarted. This week, work that’s been happening in the background is showing fruit. Read more…

I am a SEO. As a search engine optimization specialist, I have spent the better part of the last decade studying search engines to get a better understanding of how they work in order act as a guiding consultant for paying clients. My clients, or more appropriately, my firm’s clients, are interested in having their web documents found on the first page of search results across all the major search engines. After spending years traveling trenches full of fiber, my colleagues and I have gotten very, very good at getting those first page placements. If only SEO was really so simple. Read more…

It has been an interesting day in the IT world. Opening the month of May a couple of interesting stories involving the rivalry between Google and Microsoft are playing through the news today.

The first story demonstrates an Amazon migration from Google based results to those gleaned by the new MSN Search engine, Windows Live. First noted by Aaron Wall over at Threadwatch, A9 and Alexa have both replaced Google’s results for Windows Live. Read more…

A group of Canadian recording artists is calling for an end to the RIAA and SOCAN lawsuits against music fans who share digital files. Calling themselves the Canadian Music Creators Coalition (CMCC), many of Canada’s best known musicians have signed on to the petition with more expected to endorse the CMCC’s public statement.

“Until now, a group of multinational record labels has done most of the talking about what Canadian artists need out of copyright. Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies, but let’s be clear: lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders, and seldom speak for Canadian artists. Legislative proposals that would facilitate lawsuits against our fans or increase the labels’ control over the enjoyment of music are made not in our names, but on behalf of the labels’ foreign parent companies.”

The coalition includes The Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavinge, Sarah McLachlan, Sum41, Sloan, and many others.

Attending a Search Engine Strategies Conference has been likened to having an encyclopedia downloaded into your mind in two or three intense days of concentrated information sessions. For long term SEOs and SEMs, a SES conference is a chance to catch up with colleagues and exchange gossip, information and collegiate humour.

Traveling across the continent to get to the conference can be tiring. My parents live in Toronto so I am fortunate enough to have a place to stay complete with home cooked meals and the security of sleeping in a familiar bed. Given the tenor of the conference and the exhaustion of jet-lag, staying at my parents’ place is more than helpful. Read more…

It is sometime close to eight fifteen in the morning when our sales manager, Bill, unlocks the door, fires up his computer, and begins brewing the first of several pots of coffee the staff will soon consume. As the coffee machine sputters and burbles, Bill scans his emails, listens to phone messages and begins his daily hotlist to-dos for clients and resellers. As we work in the Pacific Time zone, communication with the rest of North America is an early morning priority. The East Coast tends to take lunch around the same time those of us out west are ingesting our first cups of java. Read more…

Online gambling is illegal in the United States and has been for years. Though it is against the law to place a bet online, US Government regulators have been unable to prevent sportsbooks, online casinos and for-profit poker rooms from opening, advertising and profiting.

Increased enforcement of anti-gambling laws is expected to grow to include targeting revenues generated by all casino and gambling advertising, including participation in affiliate programs. Read more…

StepForth’s methods of providing search engine optimization services for Google rankings have evolved significantly over the past year. Since the release of Google’s March 30, 2005 patent application, “Information retrieval based on historical data“, our SEO and research departments have made site usability and understanding user behaviours a priority.

After reading, analysing and writing about information found in the patent application, we correctly predicted user behaviours were becoming critical factors in Google’s estimation of the relevancy or importance of documents in its index. Read more…

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