March 2008: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories
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"
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
Popular Stories page.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
Get the best search news, tips and resources, delivered each day.