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Congratulations to my friend Joost de Valk and his new business ally Brian Gardner of StudioPress Development. The two WordPress gurus have joined forces to build WordPress themes with SEO essentials built right in.

Why is this News? I know from experience working with WordPress sites there is a lot of optimization that can be built in from the get-go if the proper template is used which saves time and money so this news is very good news for the web marketing community and WordPress users alike.

If you would like to learn more about optimizing your WordPress website check out this interview I did with Joost de Valk on SEO 101 on about WordPress search engine optimization.

 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…

According to the FCC has approved a proposal by Google to utilize unused television airwaves for wireless internet access. Approved by a vote of 5-0 yesterday, this will ultimately allow for free Wi-Fi web access, especially in rural areas.

Any devices built to access the free wireless web will be required to utilize anti-interference technology, and makers of such devices will need to obtain FCC certification for each product. Read more…

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Google Separates Search Stats

Good news for users of Google Adwords. Last week Google added the option to allow AdWords users to view separate statistics for Google search and the Google Search Partner Network (such as and Prior to this, performance data was only listed for both networks combined.

I spent some time reading through various forum threads on this topic and I got the impression that I would be turning off the display for the search partner network; a lot of folks seem to be skeptical about the relative value of advertising on the partner network. Read more…

Pause Button Pressed on Yahoogle

As the time for implementation of the Google/Yahoo agreement drew near, there was little doubt that some sort of action by the US Dept. of Justice would surface. It remains to be seen what direction the DOJ will go, but there is obviously something happening behind the scenes.

On Friday, both search engine giants announced a delay in moving this initiative forward. This move seems contrary to the previous position of Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt, which indicated that the deal would proceed as planned. Read more…

Friday, September 26th, 2008

$28.7 Million to Improve Digg

dig logoFunding to the tune of $28.7 Million, led by Highland Capital Partners, will be used over at Digg to incorporate a number of changes, Jay Adelson announced in the official Digg blog Wednesday.

Changes will include improvements in infrastructure, new feature development, international expansion, and hiring new employees to make the whole thing happen. New features will include personalizing the “Digg Experience” and incorporating a number of user suggestions from over the years.

Adelson notes that nearly half of their 30 million monthly users are from outside of the US, so making adjustments for localized tastes and languages are on the forefront for their growth strategy for 2009.

He also notes that they will be hiring, so if you are a techie in need of a job, you may want to take a look at their jobs page!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Yahoo Opens Doors in Grenoble France

Yahoo has opened up another location, this time with a research center in Grenoble France. This follows shortly after news that Yahoo may also be opening up a location in La Vista Nebraska creating at least 50 news jobs.

Layoff notices for more than 1000 employees were also handed out near the start of the year, and Yahoo’s shares have just hit a 52 week low – interesting that they are expanding in all this turmoil.

Regardless, it looks like the new facility will employee 220 engineers and be Yahoo’s biggest center in France. The French minister of economy is offering sizable tax credits for research based operations, which helps to explain the choice of location.

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Yahoo Hires Former Microsoft Exec

In an effort to help out Yahoo with its revenue problems, Yahoo has hired Joanne Bradford, a former Microsoft Corp. Executive.

Yahoo announced the recent hire in a press release Tuesday. Bradford was Microsoft’s head of their Media Network and resigned back in March after a 7 year stint with the software giant. She then joined Spot Runner Inc as their Executive Vice President of National Advertising Services before being swept up by Yahoo. Read more…

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Microsoft Acquires Ciao

The Ciao shopping and price comparison sites, operating in seven European countries and languages, will now be the property of Microsoft. This follows the deal reached between the software giant and Greenfield Online, operator of Ciao, for $486 Million.

Ciao allows users to create lists of their favorite items, rate products, and provide feedback. Microsoft plans to incorporate Ciao into its Live Search portal in Europe. Read more…

Last week’s Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose was awesome! The content was exceptional – a cut above previous conferences – and the parties were a blast. To drive all of this home I invite you to check out the photos from the conference that I posted a few minutes ago.

A number of the photos include the following SEOs that you may know: John Carcutt, Darrell Long, Matt McGee, Andy Beal, Lisa Barone, Loren Baker, Leif Nissen, David Snyder, Jeff Quipp, Jennifer Osborne, Jeremiah Andrick, Daron Babin, Chris Boggs.

There are more photos to come too but for now enjoy!

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.