At some point, most people have had some sort of encounter with internet scams, viruses, spyware or other security problems. Hackers and scam artists are a pervasive reality in today’s world and making assumptions about security is unwise. A pay per click account makes an attractive target to a technically savvy criminal and gaining access to someone’s account allows them to promote their schemes at someone else’s expense.

Originally trained in Network Security, I have always taken such precautions very seriously and now even more so, since a recent fraudulent act affected one of our client’s accounts.

Early this summer I arrived at the office on a Monday morning and proceeded to check my weekend mail. Two emails caught my attention right away. The first from AdWords, informing us that the client’s credit card was declined and the second, from the client asking ” What is the campaign “Qwasde” – Campaign #1″? Read more…

June 30th 2008 was a day that Flash developers had been waiting for a long time; Google and Adobe had finally announced that Flash .swf files could be crawled by Google! In fact, the extensive news release from the Adobe Developer Center also stated that Yahoo would be incorporating similar technology in short order. When I read this news and the consequential articles from the web marketing community it became very clear that this update was a great step but far from the fix that some Flash developers are likely to pitch to their clients. As a result, I wanted to add my voice to the buzz on this topic and share with you my thoughts on how to optimize a site using Flash while considering the current updates. Read more…

Marketing Sherpa is a company I have nothing but respect for due to their years of offering outstanding marketing handbooks and case studies.

Recently they updated one guide that just plain begged to be advertised – because it has the information that can increase your online conversions as much as 55%. The best part is this isn’t any fluff… everything they say is backed up with hard proof based on case studies and test after test.

If you have a website that could use improved conversions (who doesn’t ) check out the revised 2008 Landing Page Handbook without worrying about paying for something that won’t work for you because they have a full money-back guarantee so if you don’t like it send it back and get your money back. I wish everything could be that simple. Read more…

SEO QUESTION:

“I have a number of websites used to market XYZ Travel. The main site features all products and a number of specialist / boutique websites feature duplicates of these products. Is this an acceptable practice or am I being penalized by Google? How can this be overcome?

“I accept that creative write-ups can be rewritten if essential but fact is fact – what can I do about factual data i.e. room numbers, types, facilities, amenities, address, rates, name etc?” Read more…

Users running a PPC Campaign in the Google AdWords platform are given the choice of displaying ads on the Google Search Network and/or on the Content Network. I have never been a big fan of advertising on Content Networks, as I find the automated matching process to be less than ideal. I can generally browse the net and quickly find ads that are irrelevant to the sites they are displayed on. This can give one a healthy dose of skepticism.

While advertising on Content doesn’t generally cost a great deal, we have never seen much in the way of results. By and large we do Search Network only, however recently I have had to re-assess that view. Read more…

Over the course of a day we tend to run into situations where some basic and occasionally not so basic tips and tricks need to be applied to a website. Here are three that come to mind at the moment and might just help you improve your web marketing results. Read more…

Marketing Sherpa is my favorite site for catching up on the latest case studies on user behavior online; followed by another excellent publication called Alertbox. Marketing Sherpa’s latest article does us all a service by illustrating how important it can be to have more transparent pricing for prospects visiting your website.

First ask yourself the question that Marketing Sherpa asked its respondents:

“Can you recall a technology/business purchase where a vendor got the sale (or the inside track) because they were more open than other vendors?”

The response (see the larger image):

A chart showing results from a Marketing Sherpa case study on open pricing models Read more…

In follow-up to my most recent posting I just completed my article on How to Simply Create Your Own Mobile Website and it is now posted exclusively at my favourite search engine resource; Search Engine Guide.

Here is the introductory paragraph for a little taster:

“Mobile web browsing is gaining popularity and acceptance thanks to the extensive proliferation of iPhones and other mobile appliances with surf-friendly interfaces. As a result it is becoming more and more important to offer a mobile-friendly alternative to your current website. The reality is, however, that many website owners seem to have no inclination to spend money on a medium that (as far as they know) is unproven and could generate zero income. Fortunately there is a way for every website owner to create an alternative to their website and not only is it exceedingly simple but it is FREE. Now no one has an excuse to ignore this growing medium!”

Continue reading

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

In the past I have written articles about the growing importance of creating a mobile website. I am currently in the process of creating yet another article with an update on the basic methods of creating a mobile website based on StepForth’s own work so that hopefully more people will take the time to do so. During my writing I came up with some burning questions:

  1. Once I have a website how do I ensure mobile users find it? The obvious answer was a redirection of some sort but what kind?
  2. Is there a simple answer to the most popular programming languages online? Read more…

Over the past few weeks I have received a few questions regarding my 3 part series on How to Optimize for Google. This post will answer a few of the questions I have received.


Do hyperlinked images count as back links? Which scores higher, text or image links?

Yes, Google does count hyperlinked images, however, to get the most out of imaged based links it is best to have relevant, preferably keyword-rich, alt text tagged onto the image.

As far as which scores higher, for the most part they are equal, assuming that the image has the appropriate alt text. In some cases a text based link may actually pass on a little more value if it is located within a highly relevant paragraph as an in-line link. Read more…