As posted at Yodel Anecdotal, Yahoo has developed and launched a new website targeted at women. Unveiled on Monday, Yahoo! Shine “features the best writers and bloggers in women’s publishing”. It helps “connect like-minded women, share stories, and more”.

Shines editorial team features editors from Lucky, Jane, and the Wall Street Journal. They created Shine to appeal to a large demographic of women and give them a “smart, dynamic place for women to gather, get info, and connect with each other”. Read more…

The evolution of the internet is anything but dull. It is a precarious world that is subject to the influence of both devious and altruistic actions. Just like any human society, there is chaos and there is order. Yet, what makes the cyberworld so unique is the opportunity for people to come together that may never have done so by traditional networks. Through communication on different websites and blogs, individuals can discover new ways to make mischief or find assistance in solving crimes. Read more…

Search engine marketing budget - to cut or not to cut?Recession, recession, recession… I don’t know about you but I have had my fill of this doomsday word! It seems to me the panic caused by this word simply increases the chances of a recession occurring. Recessions, however, have a silver lining because they provide business owners with the opportunity to look long and hard at their expenses and this can provide valuable insight in strengthening the business long after a recession recedes. Some cut backs may become obvious such as eliminating frivolous office expenses and are a wise move but should business owners cut back on their web marketing? Lets look at the circumstances within web marketing where cutbacks may or may not make sense.

When You Should or Should Not Cut Back on Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization Campaigns
So what is unnecessary marketing? Logic dictates that any marketing that is not profitable is not worth keeping. That said, how certain are you that a particular form of marketing is not profitable? Perhaps the following questions and notes will help you decide Read more…

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Friday, March 28th, 2008

YouTube Introduces Insight

Have you ever wondered exactly when and where viewers watch your YouTube videos? YouTube Insight, a new tool has been created by Google’s engineering team in Zurich, to allow users to dive deeper into the statistics behind their posted videos.

Guardian.co.uk reported on the new addition Thursday morning.

“We know a lot of data about video consumption and we want to give some of that back,” Jacobi said. “A lot of bands use the site, and YouTube Insight is a very easy way to work out where in the world your fans are. That’s very important for planning, marketing and touring, and helps tailor their product.” Read more…

AOL Time Warner had acquired Bebo, one of the largest social networks outside of North America. Bebo is huge in both the U.K. and New Zealand. It’s the third biggest social network in the U.S. after MySpace and Facebook and for AOL it “positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers.” With 4.1 billion supposed to be spent on social network advertising by 2011 it’s understandable why the major players want to secure a spot on these sites.

Myspace mobile has been officially launched and people using this social network can use this site to connect with one another on the go.

Mobile phone search is reaching large proportions and search engine’s are well aware of this trend and are finding new ways of speeding up this process. This article has a good rundown of “a Google search plug-in that puts a search box on the “home screen” of the phone and reduces the time it takes to get there (to Google) and get results.”

Searches on question and answer web sites have risen by almost 1000% compared with use on these sites two years ago. “The popularity of user-generated media has helped to establish a category for social knowledge.” Helping on Q & A sites is also a web marketing strategy where sharing your knowledge of a particular subject can bring traffic and awareness to you because of your good answers.

Over the past couple years it has been impossible to avoid the buzz about images and their increasing role in search; such as universal search which is becoming commonplace among the major search engines. But universal search is only the most prevalent news and only the baby-steps of a new format of search that is about to take over the Internet. Do I have your interest piqued? I will now lay the foundation of my statement to hopefully get you as excited as I am about this unstoppable search evolution.

Evidence 1) Photosynth
If you have any technology mavens as friends it is likely you saw this incredible video presented by Microsoft at the TED conference last year discussing Photosynth. To quote Microsoft Lab’s Photosynth home page this software

takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next. In our collections, you can access gigabytes of photos in seconds, view a scene from nearly any angle, find similar photos with a single click, and zoom in to make the smallest detail as big as your monitor.” Read more…

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Monday, March 10th, 2008

Welcome to the World Emma!

With great joy the staff at StepForth want to welcome into this world Emma Marnie Van Achte, the newborn daughter of Scott Van Achte; our Senior SEO at StepForth and friend.

Emma was born March 03, 2008, 5:54pm, at 7lbs, 8oz

Congratulations Scott and Lyndsay! You have an absolutely gorgeous baby girl and we can’t wait to meet her and spoil her silly :-)

Here are more pictures of Scott and Lyndsay’s long awaited day.

Lots of love from your
StepForth family.

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Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Today's Social Media Linkforth

When building a new site you want to create a powerful and respected reputation on the web. A company or individual can do this by having a great homepage (lots of great content and a blog), finding the appropriate communities to share their expertise, creating publicity, and building their brands image (expanding community).

A structured social media campaign can provide lots of traffic to your site. Social media can be indexed in organic listings and provide links to your site. The important point brought out in this article is to not just make a few attempts at social media but to keep on trying. A business should be encouraged to consistently provide new content to social sites because its a great way for their content to be promoted.

Social media ideally helps to find the best (current, peer reviewed) information available on the web. To be seen as “highly important information” people must be able to find it, want to link to it, and it should be so good that people want to share it with people who have similar interests. The best way to do this is to provide informed, engaging, and unique content.

More and more people who grew up with the web are using it as a trusted space to find unbiased news. Surveys have shown that people are becoming frustrated with traditional news sources because they lack quality and are out of touch with today’s generation.

Youtube will be allowing live video this year. That means that people can broadcast themselves and what they are up to 24/7 and promote it to an already large user base. It should make for some interesting content and provide an exciting new venue for people to interact.

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Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Today's Social Media Linkforth

Yahoo Search is aiming to show more useful information on its results page. Yahoo state’s it will eventually “enable 3rd parties to build and present the next generation of search results”. This includes bringing data found within a website like ratings and other useful information into it’s Yahoo search results page. Instead of just a website’s URL and abstract on its results page Yahoo will include “ratings, images, deep links, and all kinds of other useful data”. Although this is still in the works the plan is to let websites “regain some control over how their content is presented without allowing them to actually muck with search result ordering.”

Great Q & A from people working with social media (Lee Odden, Shana Albert, Neil Patel, Jane Copland). Topics include good sites to promote content, attracting links, social media as a marketing strategy, and an insiders guide to Social Media.

Google Maps is now including a “refine by user rating and neighborhood system” to its search results of local services (hotels, restaurants). So whether you are downtown or uptown you can find more specific and user rated search results.

Yahoo is changing its minimum bid for PPC. Depending on what keywords you are targeting your minimum bid can now be under the previous .10 cent minimum. Although this will not affect any competitive keywords it will likely help to lower costs of targeting smaller niche markets.

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Sunday, February 24th, 2008

YouTube Offline

It appears that YouTube is having some serious problems because it has been unreachable for over an hour now. I checked with a fellow Twitterer and there is no question this is a widespread outtage.

What I find the most odd… Is there isn’t even a error page provided by Google which is highly irregular and does not bode well.

I hope you are all having a great weekend. Tomorrow I am off to Santa Clara for SMX West… I hope to see some of you there. If you want to hookup drop me a note: Ross at StepForth and that dot com thing.