SearchCap: The Day In Search, December 18, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Do Social Media Links Translate In Organic Rankings?
    Most clients I work with understand the importance of link building and the effect it has on organic rankings and traffic. However, many clients, for a variety of reasons, aren’t willing to consider social media as link building tactic. They feel that it’s not worth the time investment, and the quantity and quality of links don’t result in ranking changes or increased traffic. For this article I’ll detail the impact social media stories had for particular sites. I’ll also offer some tips on how you can improve and maximize these link building efforts to boost your rankings. To minimize any “fresh” ranking anomalies, I selected URLs that were over six months old. To make it more realistic and competitive, I chose a commercial category: automobiles. To discount domain trust, I omitted well known brand domains such as Forbes.com, Motortrend.com, CarandDriver.com and others. I also eliminated top tier auto blogs such as AutoBlog.com from Weblogs Inc/AOL and Jalopnik.com from Gawker Media for the same reason. I also chose stories with less than 500 digg votes, since this is something that is possible without needing to be a top tier or a breaking news publisher. I selected four URLs, looked at the original title, Digg title, number of backlinks and rank across all three engines for a variety of likely keywords and combinations.
  • Segmenting Search Respondents With 2-Step Landing Pages
    My earlier article, A Completely Different Kind of Landing Page Optimization, discussed the rationale for delivering segment-specific landing pages to different niche audiences in your search marketing. Instead of having a one-size-fits-all landing page that you try to continually optimize ad nauseum with different variations of content (headline, body copy, image), segment optimization focuses on building separate pages for each distinct group in your audience. Having segment-specific landing pages is straightforward when you can identify segment-specific keywords. But what if you can’t unambiguously determine the segment from the keyword?
  • A Small Business Year-End Marketing Checklist
    2009 is almost here, and I hope small business owners have already been thinking long and hard about their plan of attack for the new year. Those who have are ahead of the game. If you haven’t given the new year much thought, start now. Successful online marketing is about developing the right combination of strategies (thinking) and tactics (doing). In this column, I’m going to focus on a short list of the latter — quick things you can do now to help set the stage for a successful 2009. Since the holidays are upon us, and you’re probably busier than normal, I’ll do my best to keep it short, simple, and sweet.
  • Matt Cutts Of Google Talks About 2009 With SEM Synergy
    Virginia Nussey of BruceClay.com has interviewed Matt Cutts of Google. The interview asks Matt several questions, including what to expect in 2009 from Google in terms of search, cloud computing and the role of an SEO. Oh, and of course, Matt talks about spam, saying international spam has a long way to go at Google and they will be working hard on that in 2009. Plus, there is an increase in hacked sites in 2008, and in 2009, Google will do more to help the webmaster become more aware of these issues. To listen to the …
  • Online Video Tactics For Small Businesses
    Online video has been explored as marketing tool by large companies, and as a buzz-builder for content producers of all sizes. But what about small businesses: can they jump into the fray and get noticed by video audiences? The short answer is yes. Let’s look at some formats and how they can fit into your small business marketing plans.
  • Jeff Weiner (Ex-Yahoo) Lands At LinkedIn
    TechCrunch is reporting that former Yahoo Network chief Jeff Weiner is taking on the role of interim President at LinkedIn. Weiner left Yahoo this summer and took an executive role at venture capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. He was one of Yahoo’s top executives, overseeing all of the company’s consumer-facing products. Just last week, LinkedIn added Dipchand “Deep” Nishar from Google. Weiner’s addition at LinkedIn is one of a couple management changes. TechCrunch says founder Reid Hoffman is retaking the CEO job, and current CEO Dan Nye will leave next month.
  • Ask.com Plays The Google AdWords Arbitrage Game
    Ah, Ask.com. Since I wrote their obituary in March, not much has got me thinking they’ll make a comeback. Sure, there was the gimmick of kind of bringing back Jeeves himself. But the spate of “hotels.ask.com” ads I see them running on Google makes me think they’re dropping further from being a search engine and more into a search arbitrage play.

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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