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Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Measuring Success as an SEO

“How do I know if my SEO campaign has been successful?”

I was asked this deceptively simple question the other day. I wasn’t able to give the fullest response but considering the circumstances, I gave it a great effort.

It’s mid-spring in Victoria and the golf courses are playable again so I joined a friend and a few of his acquaintances for a short round on Saturday. By the time we had gotten to the third tee-box, talk had turned to Google and eventually search engine marketing in general. That tends to happen around me for some reason. Read more…

On Thursday March 2, Google held its second annual investor analyst day at its Mountain View California headquarters. In sharp contrast to last year’s event, which saw the keynote presentation delivered by Head Cafeteria Chef, Charlie Ayers, Google executives appeared to be taking the day much more seriously. This year, the investor focused session was hosted by George Reyes, Google’s Chief Financial Officer.

The Analysts day was timely. Last week saw Google stock falling quickly, down about 20% from its highest point this year, after Reyes commented on slowing revenue growth in the search advertising sector. As CEO Eric Schmidt took the podium to dispel any notions that Google was hitting a slump, Google share prices started to rise, closing at $376.45 (up 3.2% over the day). Read more…

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Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Google Spin Saves Stocks Today

On Tuesday morning, Google’s CFO George Reyes, suggested the extraordinary revenue growth Google has seen over the past three years might slow. He didn’t say stop, or even drop precipitously; he said the word, slow.

“Clearly our growth rates are slowing. We see that each and every quarter,” he told an investor conference in New York. “We are going to have to find new ways to monetize the business.” Read more…

About ten years ago my brother and I ventured to the Edge of the World. It is located a few hundred kilometers (120mi) northwest of Thunder Bay Ontario. The Edge of the World is a high cliff near the hundredth meridian, the place where the expansive flatlands, the prairies are said to begin. It marks the point where the Canadian Shield gives way to the endless grasslands and presents a vista that stretches as far as the eye can see. Read more…

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Florida's Effect on SEO Spam

A few years ago, in the days before the introduction of Google’s Florida Update, SEO was a quasi-Masonic vocation practiced by an expanding order of techno-monks who acted openly but held secret the minute details of their trade. As search engines and SEO techniques evolved, that old order was already dying, long before the discovery of Florida in November 2003.

I was reminded of the olden days yesterday when fielding a question over at one of the SEO Forums I spend time in. One of the new members wrote in asking about the correct range of Keyword Densities for the various search engines. That got me thinking about many of the lesser known tricks of the trade that have been used by search engine optimizers over the years and how some of these “tricks” have incorporated themselves into our SEO practice while others have been roundly rejected by SEO practitioners. Read more…

What is Social Networking and how will it affect online marketing in the coming years? That’s a question a number of people have been thinking about since the dawn of the commercial ‘net. In the earliest days, online social networks formed between users of bulletin board services (BBS). People met each other by joining the board with planned, in-person gatherings taking over entire cafes. That was a time so geeky it seems quaint in remembrance. Today’s social networks are enormous, robust and sophisticated. The medium is a lot of things but these days, there’s nothing geeky about it. Read more…

For years, the major search engines have been building membership lists by offering a diverse range of services to registered users. Yahoo and MSN, for instance, have offered email accounts to registered users for several years. The major search engines are working to brand user experiences on as many levels as possible and claim memberships as indicators of user loyalty.

The membership race heated up dramatically over the past two years with the introduction of Google’s wide array of membership driven services. Read more…

The room was excellent, providing seating for about 50 people per session. The chalkboard and flip charts were fully stocked with fresh chalk, clean brushes and brand-new Sharpie markers. There were three thermoses of organic coffee, which never seemed to empty, no matter how many cups were consumed. The overhead projector and the A/B/C switch (attached to the three laptops used by the presenters) were wired and the movie screen behind the podium automatically raised and lowered at the push of a button. Sizing up the situation at half past seven o’clock in the morning, Bruno, Frank and I smiled, each knowing something interesting was going to happen in just a few short hours. Read more…

In a few hours I will be boarding a small, single prop sea plane (likely a DeHavilland DHC3 Otter) for a short hop across the Georgia Strait into downtown Vancouver. There, I will be met by Frank Klassen and Bruno Hoffman, co-founders of Vancouver based Search Engine Business World, a conference and planning organization formed to educate Canadian businesses about search engine marketing.

Tomorrow, I will be speaking at the downtown campus of Simon Fraser University addressing topics ranging from a brief history of search to the latest tools and trends in search marketing. I am not certain if registration is still available but if you find yourself in Vancouver tomorrow morning and are in the mood for some informative fun, SFU Downtown is the place to be.

While in Vancouver, I have some spare time tonight and tomorrow afternoon. If any StepForth client or reader is interested in having a coffee, please feel free to call our office (1-877-385-5526) or email jimhedger@stepforth.com to arrange a time.

The banner across the top of the site reads, “In a World of Conflict, the Truth Must Survive”. Below the banner, we see a twenty-two year old image of a dead man, minutes before he met his fate. The image, captured by Israeli photographer Alex Levac in 1984, shows a Palestinian hijacker being led away by Israeli Defense Forces. Minutes after the shot was taken, the hijacker was dead. The official story issued by Israeli authorities said the hijacker was already dead when the IDF found him. The story illustrates the importance of war correspondence in an environment where the greatest casualty is almost always the truth. Read more…

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