Friday, September 1st, 2006

Adwords API Will Now Cost Money

Google has announced that it will be charging a pay per usage fee of $0.25 per thousand queries of its Adwords API.

To those business owners that didn’t have a clue what I just said here is the scoop. First of all, this really does not ‘directly’ have anything to do with you, but it may affect you indirectly. You see Google’s Adwords API allows advertising agencies with inhouse PPC management software to directly interface with Google’s Adwords system to conduct searches so that they can keep up to date on the status of their client’s campaigns. Up untill October 1st, 2006 it was completely free to use this interface but that has now changed since Google is now charging $0.25 per thousand uses. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but for agencies that have hundreds of clients this will add up to a great deal of money over time. And as we all know, the more money it costs a vendor, the more it will ultimately cost you, the consumer.

In short, I expect that ad agencies who specialize in Adwords promotions will be passing on some significant new costs to their clientele. Fortunately, StepForth is not in the position to be disturbed by this shakeup because we do not use such software. As a result, our clients will not experience any negative effects in their StepForth-managed ppc campaigns.

If you would like more information here is Google’s ratesheet.

When I sit down with new clients and discuss the status of their new or existing site they are often shocked when I am forced to inform them that their site is not search engine friendly. Encountered with a blank but slightly shaken look I then explain that this means their site has a particular problem that is hindering search engine rankings. Often this is represented by an inflexible design, overuse of advanced web technologies, or simply a weak navigation scheme. As a result, if they were to continue with the site as it stands they are unlikely to attain competitive search engine rankings. Read more…

Danny Sullivan, the best known and respected SEO in the world announced today that as of December 1st, 2006 he will leaving the home that he originally created

Why is Danny Leaving? The reasons for his departure are eloquently described on his blog in Danny’s straight forward and professional manner, which I highly recommend reading. The short version is that he and Incisive Media, the new owners of SearchEngineWatch (as of 2005) , were not able to come to an agreement on the terms of his contract renewal. Read more…

Google launched a free packaged business solution for enterprises today (Sunday, August 27th) including online chat, email, calendars, and hosting. Called “Gmail for Your Domain” (a ghastly name that is only slightly better referred to as “Google Apps” within the actual admin area) this application package will allow a business owner or administrator to create a separate account per employee. Read more…

Sorry for the belated posting all but I realized that, although I had intended to, I never did post that Google Analytics has now opened its doors to all. You can sign up your site and enjoy free website analytics from friendly ol’Google here: sign up for Google Analytics.

Please note that I strongly recommend using ClickTracks versus Google Analytics. My experience with ClickTracks has been far more favorable and I believe that the statistics provided are more accurate. Indeed, keep in mind that if you go with Google there is a certain lack of transparency regarding what they do with the statistical data collected from your website. Anyway, that is my two bits but I wanted you all to know about this news if you hadn’t heard about it already.

Cheers, Ross

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Some Buzz on Google's New Patent

There is a low buzz in the SEO world about a new Google patent titled: “System and method for supporting editorial opinion in the ranking of search results”. You can find the actual Google patent here. As far as patents go this seems to be an odd one; there are a wide variety of interpretations of this patent and from what I can tell they all have some merit.

I don’t personally have much to say about this patent now because the simple fact is that I have to give it a more thorough read. I can tell you, however, that reviewing new patents is not a priority for me because they are only *possible* indications of future updates; too much ‘if’ for me to consider it a concern. At any rate I do consider it a bit of a hobby to keep up on what the latest and greatest minds of search engine companies are coming up with and maybe you do to. Read more…

This March an online word processing startup called Writely was purchased and merged into Google. This fledgling company had one of those great ideas that Google seems to have a hard time passing up; online interactivity and document interaction. To quote Jen Mazzon, one of the creators and a part of the new Google Writely Team, “everyone told us it was crazy to try and give people a way to access their documents from anywhere — not to mention share documents instantly, or collaborate online within their browsers. But that’s exactly what we did.” (source URL). Read more…

Now located on the right side of every page of The SEO Blog, StepForth has provided you with easy access to all of the latest and greatest SEO news! This is all thanks to a new search tool called Rollyo.

Rollyo is a new search tool that allows you to create your own “searchroll”. A searchroll is essentially your own customized list of sites that you want to search. In other words, using Rollyo you can create a search option where your query is restricted to the sites you want to read.

“Search Other SEO News Resources Here”
I have to admit, I customized the Rollyo search code a bit. I changed the default search provided by Rollyo to allow users to search the “Top SEO News” immediately. This search was customized by myself to search some of the most popular SEO blogs and SEO news sites such as Matt Cutts, the Official Google Blog, The Official Yahoo Blog, Jeremy Zawodny’s Blog, and much more.

By providing this tool I hope that my users will find even more value in visiting The SEO Blog regularly. Additionally you can create your own Rollyo account and add my custom search “Top SEO News” to your own searchroll. I will be updating this “Top SEO News” searchroll fairly regularly with other timely news sites.

I hope you enjoy it and find your customized Rollyo experience effective. I must add, however, that Rollyo runs on the Yahoo! API. As a result, the search engine results that you ultimately see are totally up to Yahoo!

Webmaster tools are becoming a hot topic in the major search engines these days. It is becoming increasingly obvious to search engine companies that they need to begin listening to webmasters and provide more tools to ensure future brand integrity. It is about time! I have been waiting for the search engines to wise up and over the past couple of years both Google and Yahoo have begun to prominently feature such tools. This article is devoted to Yahoo’s Site Explorer tool and how you can harness it to help you improve your search engine rankings and improve your odds for online success.

THEN: September 29th, 2004
Yahoo! officially launched Yahoo Site Explorer (see release). This new tool was designed to promote feedback between webmasters and Yahoo search staff. Ever since Yahoo! launched and became the powerhouse it is today it has had a rather bleak reputation for responding to customer search inquiries and ranking or directory complaints; this is another great step they took to change public opinion. Read more…

Google provided a little insight into their plans for the spidering of images across the web. Over the next few years they are going to be focusing on facial, geographical and other forms of recognition within images. The plan is to improve the capabilities of their free Picasa tool but you can bet that this will spread into Google Images. What does this mean to you?

Just imagine if you could search for all pictures taken in a backwater location in your home town… say your favorite lake. Some day Google may have the ability to show you all pictures that appear to match those surroundings; I doubt it will be even 80% accurate but it is still a huge step.

You may also be able to search for pictures of your buddy ‘Bruce’ by letting Google analyze a photo of Bruce that you have on hand. Then, after some whirls and clicks, Google would provide you with additional photos of Bruce found online. Okay I may be reaching a bit here with how this might work but I honestly believe this is in our future.

With Google you can pretty much let your imagination run wild. After all, Google is the perfect example of a company with unlimited financial and intellectual resources so the sky is the limit.

Here is the original announcement.

P.S. Hmm, image SEO just might be taken to an all new level.