Should Stronger Keywords Subsidize Weaker Keywords?

Some keywords perform great. Some keywords perform OK, and some keywords stink. Today I’d like to write about keyword portfolio economics, asking, "Does it ever make sense to use stronger keywords to subsidize weaker keywords?" My answer is "Yes—when done correctly." Efficiently bidding a large keyword portfolio is not simple. A well-built keyword portfolio includes many terms with low traffic. Bidding such long tail terms effectively requires sophisticated math. We won’t dive into the equations today (cheers from the bleachers), but instead consider the simplified problem [...]

AOL To Acquire Behavioral Targeting Ad Network Tacoda

AOL this morning announced that it would be acquiring Tacoda, a behavioral targeting (BT) ad network and technology provider (which works with many newspaper publishers). AOL owns the largest online ad network,, and will be integrating BT capabilities into that property as well as others across its network. BT is a form of personalization, which has new momentum throughout the Internet and, specifically, on Google and Yahoo. Deal terms were not disclosed. iMedia has a nice round-up of ad networks (not exhaustive) for those keeping score on who's left to buy. [...]

Search Illustrated: Google’s Organic Crawl

Google has two crawlers, each with a different function, to assure that it's index of the web is both deep and up to date. Today's Search Illustrated shows the function of each of these content discovery utilities: Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns. The firm is the creator of the ennect online marketing toolkit. The Search Illustrated column appears Tuesdays at Search Engine Land. [...]

YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate Airs On CNN

It's quite clear that then Internet and now online video have changed political marketing. Whether they have changed the nature of political discourse is another thing entirely. Indeed, people will be discussing whether last night's YouTube-CNN Democratic presidential debate was a watershed moment for American politics or simply a novel mechanism to deliver questions "from the audience." Yet the questions – although many were to be expected given the issues -- and the way they were presented were unique and, many will agree, refreshing. It's also the case that this debate and the related v [...]

SMX Local & Mobile Comes To Denver; Early-Bird Registration Expiring!

Search Engine Land's next Search Marketing Expo event is only about two months away -- SMX Local & Mobile, in Denver this October 1 & 2. As with our sold-out SMX Advanced show in June, this is a strictly limited capacity event! So sign-up now to ensure you can get in, plus register by August 15 to secure "early bird pricing" and save. Both local and mobile are among the hottest areas in search, and there's no wonder why. The represent fresh, new opportunities for search marketers. Changes we've covered on Search Engine Land such as Google Universal Search and Ask 3D also me [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, July 23, 2007

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Personalized AdWords: Google Ads You See Influenced By Previous SearchesPersonalized Google ads from Wiep clearly illustrates how Google is personalizing the ads on the search results based on your past search query. I covered at WebmasterWorld thread on this in the past, but the Wiep post has a clear example of this in action. Ben Murphy also shows examples... Of Permanent Value: Archiving The Web I love working for as Director of Online Infor [...]

Personalized AdWords: Google Ads You See Influenced By Previous Searches

Personalized Google ads from Wiep illustrates how Google is personalizing ads for people based on their previous search query. For example, you can do a search for weather forecast, then conduct a new search on holiday in spain, and then do another search on weather forecast and you should then see ads for weather reports in Spain. This type of personalization first started to be noticed back in April, as discussed in a WebmasterWorld. But that thread lacked actual examples, which the Wiep post provides, as does Ben Murphy in a separate post. What's Google doing to make this happen? Google [...]

Of Permanent Value: Archiving The Web

I love working for as Director of Online Information Resources and also compiling and editing ResourceShelf and DocuTicker. Yes, it's a busy life but I'm very fortunate to do what I love and even get paid for it. The challenge, as least as I see it, is writing on something of interest for Search Engine Land and not worrying about conflicts of interest with every sentence I write. Good news: I have found a topic that not only interests me but grows in significance for all of us as each day and each version of a web page passes: The importance of making web content more permanen [...]

Search On Search: New Column From Search Engine Land

Our newest Search Engine Land column, Search On Search, launches today. Search On Search is a column written by employees of search engines. Columnists are free to discuss technical details of how their search engine works or write opinion pieces that may or may not reflect the official position of their employer. The Search On Search column will appear periodically at Search Engine Land. In today's debut article,'s Director of Online Information Resources, Gary Price, talks about the increasing importance of archiving digital content. Price argues that not enough is currently bein [...]

Customer Surveys: A Powerful Link Building Tool

One of the most effective link building tools I use is a customer survey. Surveys are usually written from a customer service standpoint: companies want to know the opinions of the people who buy from them and crave feedback on how they're doing. Honorable intentions for sure but in today's link marketing, it's less about where customers stand and more about where they're going. In the past, I provided a general questionnaire to the company that contracted my linking services, then pulled demographic information from the site's web logs. Using web logs is still a viable tactic but I've [...]

Google Buys ImageAmerica, Mapping Feature War Continues

On Friday, the Google LatLong Blog announced the company had acquired ImageAmerica, "a company that builds high resolution cameras for the collection of aerial imagery." Google plans to use the capabilities in Google Maps and Earth. ImageAmerica provided some of the high-resolution post-Hurricane Katrina images (no longer available) in Google Earth. In May of last year, Microsoft acquired Vexcel. Among other things the company is the maker of an extremely high-resolution camera for orthogonal photography and 3-D mapping. Microsoft is using Vexcel's technology in both areas. Vexcel also broug [...]

Are Search Engines Biased?

Search Engines and Favoritism from Google Operating System has put together a quick study comparing the top results from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's search engines. The results showed that for 10 generic searches, the search engines (excluding Microsoft) tend to rank their own properties higher than their competitors. For example, "Google ranked its own sites as #1 in 7 cases out of 10 and Yahoo in 6 cases out of 10," said Ionut Alex Chitu. Ionut queried terms like mail, calendar, groups, toolbar, maps, desktop search, image search, video search, news search and search and plotted the res [...]

Vote For The Next New Google Webmaster Central Feature

Matt Cutts of Google has invited people to vote on the next possible Google Webmaster Central feature. The available features on the poll include: Tell Google the correct country or language for a site Show causes of 404 errors Show links on your site that are broken Tool to help move from one domain to a new domain More documentation and examples Diagnostic wizard for common site problems Tools for detecting or reporting duplicate content Score the crawlability or accessibility of pages More information about penalties or other scoring issues Ability to show/download all pages from a site [...]

Microsoft To Anonymize Log Data; Calls For Industry Standards Along With

First Google, then and now Microsoft have jumped onto the privacy protection train. Late yesterday, Microsoft announced that it was going to follow Google's lead and anonymize search log data after 18 months. In addition, it has partnered with Ask to call for an industry effort to develop privacy principles. There's a tinge of PR stunt in this, but if looking for a PR edge will get the search engines moving, I suppose that's a necessary evil. Below, a look at what Microsoft is doing, the industry call and lots of perspective (plus a timeline) on how we got here. From Microsof [...]

Local Shopping Site Krillion Expands Inventory

Krillion, a shopping engine that directs people to local stores, has launched its second category, televisions. The site went live in February of this year (with appliances), under the leadership of co-founder and CEO Joel Toledano, former Director of Business Development for Yahoo Search. While the Internet continues to rapidly expand its influence over consumer purchase behavior, the overwhelming majority of transactions are made in local stores. Sound like a contradiction? It's not. Two of the most historically bullish proponents of e-commerce, JupiterResearch and Forrester Research, hav [...]

Using Images For Local SEO

Google's recent deployment of Universal Search resulted in the inclusion of content drawn in from their other search verticals into the main web search results. As this integration trend continues, and as Google further expands upon the 200+ signals they use for ranking, it becomes increasingly important to diversify a site's presence on the web, and to work on ranking well in each of the various areas of vertical search. We might reasonably expect that "diversification of signal" could also help with ranking in each of the individual verticals as well. The lines are blurring and [...]

Microsoft Monday: Today’s Google Free Alternative

As part of our Google Free Mondays series this month, today is the day to try Microsoft's Windows Live. Wait, wasn't it Google Free Fridays this month? Yes, but I changed it to Mondays. And why do we hate Google so much we're telling people not to use it? We don't hate Google, silly. My past post explains the intent of the series more. The short scoop is that trying alternatives is good, because there might be something better out there or you might want to be reassured you're already making the correct choice. Below, a guide to Similar to the previous AOL search guide and [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, July 20, 2007

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Search in Pictures: Yahoo Hair, Google Beach & Extremists In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.... Yahoo Shortcuts For Sale?Scott Hendison found an interesting Yahoo Shortcut that appears Yahoo might be selling these shortcuts. A search on special k at Yahoo Search returns thi [...]

Search in Pictures: Yahoo Hair, Google Beach & Extremists

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. Things to do at the beach: Spotted in the Yahoo parking lot: This guy loves Yahoo a bit too much! Want to see the before and after of that haircut, go here. Talking about Yahoo extremists, this guy painted his car Yahoo! Again, watch the transformation and learn about the story behind this car over here. [...]

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Text Link Ads marketplace allows you to purchase static html ads that can drive targeted traffic while building link popularity which is a top factor in search engine rankings. TLA is offering new Advertisers $100 in free Text Link Ads. Stop by for more information. [...]

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