Last week Microsoft announced a few updates to adCenter that anyone doing pay-per-click advertising should take a look at. Here is a quick summary created with snippets from the announcement:

    A snapshot from Microsoft showing the changes to AdCenter this Spring.

  • Better Targeting Options
    “Now you can apply customer targeting and incremental bids for your entire campaign with new campaign-level targeting, and then further refine targeting at the ad group level.”
  • Greater Bidding Flexibility
    ” Now you can set default keyword bids for your ad groups, and use nondefault bids to override the default when you prefer”
  • Improved Keyword Research Tool
    You can now: “use new filters to refine your list of suggested keywords … view performance and demographic data by keyword …  add selected keywords to your negative keyword list … bid on keywords and review estimated performance data … review keywords and bids and add them to an ad group”

Here is the link to the detailed posting at Microsoft. In addition, here are links to the other updates Microsoft has applied this Spring to adCenter: Account Management Updates, adCenter Desktop, Content Ads (US Only).

Today the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) released version 1.0 of the guidelines for measuring click fraud. The guidelines were created with the aid of Yahoo, Microsoft and Google in order to ensure that all major search engines would back the finalized guidelines. Here is a key snippet from the document’s Scope and Applicability section: Read more…

According to the latest figures over at Hitwise, Google’s market share is inching closer to the 73% mark, that’s up 0.35% since last month, and up nearly 5% compared to April of 2008. Read more…

My 3 part series on how to optimize for google (part 1, part 2, part 3) were recently published over at SiteProNews, and I have been seeing a number of people commenting and asking questions. Here is a post to address all the comments thus far.


A question begins here Do you think the keyword density formula will change soon? Read more…

On May 1st I wrote about the close of GeoCities and how all accounts with GeoCities will soon be deleted permanently. I wanted to take the time to discuss the importance of having your website hosted on your own domain, and also to give those currently using GeoCities a few ideas on how to move forward.

Over the years I have spoken with a handful of people looking to optimize and improve their search rankings for their GeoCities-hosted website. These are not people who simply had a personal site with photos of their families and furry pets, but people with actual tangible businesses being run through this free hosting platform. Read more…

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Friday, May 1st, 2009

Yahoo to Close Geocities

If you need another reason to always host your websites at your own top level domain (TLD) the recent announcement of Yahoo permanently closing GeoCities should be enough to convince you.

At the end of 2009, GeoCities will cease to exist, and if you don’t move your site, it will be permanently deleted. Yahoo is urging existing users to sign up for their paid hosting of $5.98/month. This closing is a reminder that no free hosting is guaranteed forever. The only way to ensure that your website address will always be safe is to own and host it on your own domain. Read more…

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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Top Posts on Search

Here are the top posts on Search from the old StepForth SEO Blog.


Ins and Outs of Local Search

‘Submission to local search based engines is becoming more and more important for any sites servicing a local or specific geographic audience.’

Google Latitude Adds More Social to Mobile

‘See where your friends are right now.’ Read more…

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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Ins and Outs of Local Search

Local SearchAs the population with internet access explodes, and more and more people are using search engines to find what they need, the usage of local search also continues to rise. For any sites servicing a local or specific geographic audience, submission to local search based engines is becoming more and more important.

Read more…

For years now, Google and Yahoo have been making a significant portion of their income on the paid sponsored ads to the right of the search listings, and that is about to expand. Google has recently discovered a loop-hole in anti-trust legislation which will allow for the ultimate sale of organic rankings – the catch – they must partner with Yahoo.

Current laws do not allow for paid sponsorship of unlabeled organic listings; however Google has found a way around this – by spidering and indexing paid listings at competing site Yahoo, and including them within their own search results. Read more…

 newssift logoA new search engine, Newssift beta was recently launched by the Financial Times Group in an attempt to attract business users to search. It allows users to build incredibly specific queries to help return very specific and relevant results. Newssift also tend to focus on business oriented sources, including magazines, blogs, newspapers and other credible sources to help maintain higher quality results.

The site will be supported financially by the sale of ad space down the right hand side of the search results. Currently these ads are not contextually driven based on a user’s search, but plans for the change are in the works for a future release. Read more…

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