March 2008: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

Below are Search Engine Land’s 10 most popular stories from March 2008:

Top 10 Most Popular Stories: March 2008

1) Open Letter To Google: Do The Right Thing, Divest Yourself Of Performics – At long last, Google owns DoubleClick. In doing so, the company has done something else that many people would have never believed possible. Become an SEO. That’s right – Google’s in the SEO business now, selling services through DoubleClick’s Performics to people who want to rank well on — um — Google. Conflict of interest? You bet.


2) White Spaces: Google’s Second Bite At The Wireless Apple – Now that the 700MHz auction is over and Verizon and AT&T are the winners of the largest spectrum blocks, Google is placing renewed emphasis on its shared bid for a piece of unlicensed TV "white spaces." We’ve written about the so-called "white space coalition" previously.


3) The Google Quality Raters Handbook – Brian Ussery has discovered a revised copy of the Google Quality Raters Guidelines, which he archived on his own site. The documents are used by Google Quality Raters to aid them in classifying queries, measuring relevancy, and rating the search results. To do so, the Quality Rater must understand how Google works and this document has a bunch of that. Let me pull out some of those details in easy to read bullet points.


4) Nine Essential Tactics For Reputation Management In Social Media – On Monday I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to a crowd of about 250 local search marketers at SEMpdx Searchfest in Portland. The audience reaction to my session, entitled "The Dark Side of Reputation Management," highlighting a stark reality out there in the corporate trenches. While nearly every hand in the room enthusiastically shot straight up when asked if they "believed their company should be leveraging social channels," fewer than 10 were actually engaged in social media marketing—let alone proactive reputation management.


5) Yahoo Takes A "Shine" To Women 25 To 54 – Perhaps the perfection of Yahoo’s vertical strategy is its new blog-inspired site Shine. It’s a broad mix of content from publisher partners such as Hearst Communications, Rodale, and Condé Nast. It also aggregates and links to third party content and is encouraging users to blog on the site. Unlike Yahoo content-specific sites like Food, Shine is a kind of meta-vertical and focuses on a key Internet audience: women aged 25 to 54.


6) Using Wikipedia To Reveal Web Traffic Data – Before investing time and effort in search rankings, and even before setting client expectations, it makes sense to gather whatever intelligence you can about the keywords you’d like to rank for. SEOs and webmasters have few reliable sources of information about the relationship between rankings and traffic. But Wikipedia’s traffic stats can help, offering some surprisingly detailed data. Have you been searching for Jesus? On Google, Wikipedia ranks first for that search. How much is that first place ranking worth? According to Wikipedia’s public traffic stats, about 14k page views on a typical day, and 19.3k on Christmas. The redirect Jesus Christ, which points to the same page, gets about 25% as much traffic, and Christ adds another 10%.


7) Is Microhoo A Done Deal? – Lately, a merger between Yahoo! and Microsoft is looking more and more probable. Not only have reports been flying around that Yahoo! and Microsoft are in negotiations, but Yahoo!’s SEC filing last week (Tuesday March 18 2008) has added significantly more fuel to the merger fire.


8) How To Improve Site Conversion, Minimize Google Ad Cost, And Reduce Your Carbon Footprint - With Google’s recent announcement about page load time influencing Quality Score, now is a good time to discuss site speed. Speed matters. People rate snappy, responsive sites as more usable, even when the user interface itself doesn’t change. If your architecture or design aren’t that great, your users will give your site more chances before abandoning if the site responds quickly. Google knows that speed supports usability. I’d suggest much of the credit for Google’s rise to industry dominance goes to their ongoing obsession on making search results blazingly fast. So, how does site speed relate to PPC?


9) 10 Tips For A More Effective Paid Search Campaign – Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re either running a cost-per-click (CPC) advertising campaign or are considering it. You probably know that CPC advertising involves selecting a set of keywords and writing an ad to appear when someone searches for that keyword in the major search engines. And you’re aware that CPC advertising requires you to set a cost that you are prepared to pay for a click. And you are probably familiar with the benefits of CPC advertising; namely, generating leads, driving sales, and creating brand awareness. But what you may not know yet are these ten tips that can increase the effectiveness of your CPC campaign, while also helping to keep your search engine marketing budget on track. These tips focus on Google AdWords, but many apply to CPC programs across the board.


10) A Small Business Marketing Success Story: Pink Cake Box – Ready for something different? Typically in this space each month, I write a "How To" or "Why To" article with ideas and tips for helping small businesses succeed online. I’d like to go in a different direction: profiles of small businesses that are succeeding online. I’m a big believer that learning from the successful examples of others is often the best way to grow a small business, and hopefully you’ll agree. Today, I’ll introduce you to a small business that’s baking up a storm via its web site, a blog, public relations, and social media.

To see all of our most popular stories over time, visit our Most Popular Stories page.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Most Popular Stories


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


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