Quick & Easy SEO Tips to Improve Your Website Ranking

Google recently posted quick and easy tips for the holiday rush and, after reading back over it, I quickly realized, these tips aren't just for the holiday season nor should they be recommendations limited to Google search.

As a result, I have compiled a list of quick and simple tips for websites to increase traffic - whether it's to make the sale online or to increase foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar location, your web presence is a critical part of your business plan. The tips below are fast, free, and can make a big difference in your organic SEO! Best of all, they were inspired by Google:)

Verify that your site is indexed (and is returned in search results)
Check your snippet content and page titles with the site: command [site:example.com] -- do they look accurate and descriptive for users? Ideally, each title and snippet should be unique in order to reflect that each URL contains unique content. If anything is missing or you want more details, you can also use the Content Analysis tool in Google's Webmaster Tools. There you can see which URLs on your site show duplicate titles or meta descriptions.

Label your images accurately
Don't miss out on potential customers with poor or missing alt text. Good 'alt' text and descriptive filenames help search engines better understand images, make sure you change non-descriptive file names [001.jpg] to something more accurate [NintendoWii.jpg]. Image Search has the potential to send significant search traffic, so you should take advantage of it.

Know what the search engines know (about your site)
Check for crawl errors and learn the top queries that bring traffic to your site through Webmaster Tools. You can use Google's diagnostics checklist or MSN's crawl issues tool to aid in this process.

Have a plan for expiring and temporary pages
Make sure to serve accurate HTTP status codes. If you no longer sell a product, serve a 404. If you have changed a product page to a new URL, serve a 301 to redirect the old page to the new one. Keeping your site up-to-date can help bring more targeted traffic your way and provide an overall more useful visitor experience.

Increase foot traffic too
If your website directs customers to a brick-and-mortar location, make sure you claim and double check your business listing in Google Local, Local.com, MSN's Local Listing and Yahoo Local.

Usability 101
Test the usability of your checkout process with various browswers and ensure the coding is valid. Ask yourself if a user can get from product page to checkout without assistance. Is your checkout button easy to find?

Tell the search engines where to find all of your web pages
If you upload new products faster than the search engines crawl your site, make sure to submit a sitemap and include 'last modification' and change frequency' information. A Sitemap can point searchbots to your new or hard-to-find content. Both Google's webmaster tools, MSN webmaster central and Yahoo!'s Site Explorer allow for sitemap submissions. You can read a quick question and answer on Google sitemaps for more details. Additionally, be sure to utilize robots.txt to funnel the search bots to content you want crawled and content that should not be indexed.

So, that's all for now. I know there are many, many more tips but these should help capture some low hanging fruit. Have your own tips? Feel free to add them in the comments section!

Be sure to check out PPC For Hire's SEO Basics series on Title Tags, Meta Description, Hx tags and Link Building.

SEMPO Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

The Monday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Cyber Monday (which I blogged about in my Holiday Retail Strategies) I had the pleasure of joining the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) Chairwoman Dana Todd and about 25 other fellow New York SEMPO members to help ring the opening bell for NASDAQ. Included below is footage of the NASDAQ studio in New York’s Times Square, as well as exclusive interviews with Dana and SEMPO spokesman Greg Jarboe courtesy of Max Kalehoff of Clickable. You can see the back of my head for about 2/10 of a second in the beginning of the video:) LOL

How To Increase Your Website Ranking in Yahoo SERPS

During day 2 of SES Chicago, Sharad Verma, Senior Product Manager of Yahoo! Search Technology, broke down how Yahoo utilizes link building to determine your website's ranking, crawling & indexing in the Yahoo SERP. All of these relate to Inbound Links (IBL) to your site.

1) No Links to your site = NO Existence, Yahoo will Never find your site
2) Few Links to your site = Minor discovery, NO index
3) Some Links to your site = Crawl of your site, NO index
4) Some More Links to your site = Crawl of your site, Index of your site, NO Ranking in the SERP
5) Enough Links to your site = Ranking in the Top 10 of the Yahoo! SERP
6) LOTS of Links to your site – Helps you rank for the keywords and keywords found in the anchor text of your IBL in the Yahoo! SERP.

Now, I know the question everyone is asking themselves, but Sharad never got into the actual number of links that correspond with the above, however if you are an SEO or actively build links you can fully understand the value in the above items. The most important takeaway? There is no question of doubt if this is fact or fiction as the information came directly out of Sharad Verma with Yahoo! himself.
So, now that you know links are important, you can get started here, with my top 35 website directories and Emarketing Newsletter's strongest website directories.

Keyword Research Flowchart

I recently posted a useful SEO Flowchart that Aaron Wall over at SEO Book had put together. While folks found the SEO flowchart useful, it was more of a 'high level' look at the SEO process. The guys over at SEO Book have now put together a VERY useful keword research flowchart that digs down into the deepest of detail. You can see the chart below - and feel free to stop by the SEO Book site for a larger image and PDF download.

Top 35 Web Directories List

Over at the Search Engine People Blog I found a great list of the top 25 website directories. I thought this list was a perfect supplement to my previous post on the top 8 dofollow link tools. As a result, I added another 10 directories for a grand total of 35!

Now, there are a lot of great directories that aren’t on this list because they are either too expensive, such as Best of the Web and the Yahoo! Directory, or they just take way too long to get approved, ie. DMOZ, Illumirate.

1.) Family Friendly Sites

2.) Incrawler

3.) Kahuki

4.) Greenstalk

5.) Rakcha

6.) Joeant

7.) Splash Directory

8.) Goguides

9.) Enquira

10.) ALS Links

11.) Clush

12.) Octopedia

13.) Info Listings

14.) Skaffe

15.) Global Weblinks

16.) Links 2 Go

17.) Dmoz Zilla

18.) Gimpsy

19.) Global Link Networks

20.) Business Directory

21.) Zorg Directory

22.) TWD

23.) Data Spear

24.) World Site Index

25.) Most Popular Sites

26.) The Librarian's Index

27.) Premier Business Directory

28.) The Ally Directory

29.) Zyas Directory

30.) 2YI Directory

31.) Romow Directory

32.) Lobo Links Directory

33.) Authority Directory

34.) Aviva Directory

35.) Dir Journal Directory

Related Posts:

SEO Flowchart

Perhaps a bit is lost in simplification, but I think Aaron Wall's SEO flowchart does a great job of conveying a lot of information in a limited space...as well as providing a good laugh! Check out the "Cry / Snitch on Competitors" LOL

How To Piss Off An SEO

I just found this hillarious post from a fellow NY SEO - Alhan Keser: 10 Ways to Piss off an SEO.

Here are a couple of my favorites - mainly because they have happened to me:

1.) Forget to place a robots.txt file on the dev server.

It’s great that Google is already picking up pages and that our dev server is ranking for “cute puppy clothing”. Ever heard of duplicate content? Have fun writing out those 301 redirects. If you are not going to secure the dev server with a client login, then at least have the decency to place a robots.txt file that disallows bots from indexing a site before its in its final resting place.

8.) Link to the /index.php page from all pages on a website.
You cannot imagine the joy that I feel seeing high PR given to the /index.php page. It makes me proud to know that both versions of our home page are doing great.
Why the need to link to this page? Just link back to “/” and everything will be okay.

10.) Use H1, H2, H3, or H4 tags in navigational menu links.
I love seeing the same H1 tags used across an entire site. It really gives it that consistency that I look for. Unless you want to say “the most important thing on this page is in fact on another page,” then don’t do this. Please use Hx tags the way they were originally meant to be used: to designate priority. Also, while you’re at it, please do not use "b" or "strong" tags on links either.

Definitely a good read! Check it out!

Optimization Tips That Will Give Your SEO Rankings a Boost for the Holidays

With the Christmas holiday peaking around the corner, it still isn’t too late to tweak and optimize a dedicated holiday search marketing campaign. A few weeks ago I wrote about holiday retail PPC strategies as well as holiday ecommerce pay per click strategies. Today I wanted to focus on link building and local search optimization.

Link Building & Organic SEO - Ideally, you should well on your way to building links for the holiday season. While low level link building such as blog commenting and directory submissions provide good passive SEO, more active efforts such include:

  • Paid links - Directly bought, or through sponsorships and partners.

  • Widgets & Quizzes- Incorporate pop culture and symbols of the holiday season in to build links.
  • Good Ol’ Link bait - Get viral, and spread the season’s cheer over social networks such as facebook and twitter.

Local Search Optimization - Don’t ignore local search for online shopping queries and conversions. Some tips to follow include:
  • Change titles to reflect holiday shopping keywords such as New York Toy Store Christmas Gifts.
  • Ask for reviews in all holiday email campaigns with links to appropriate local business citation sources, in both the US and Canada.
  • Ask staff, family, and friends to leave reviews on Google Local and on other sources with context to Christmas and Christmas gifts.
  • Use Google Coupons to stand out from the rest of the listings. Especially in today's tough economic times, coupons can go a long way!
  • Complete all fields in the local business centre that many businesses leave blank: store hours, methods of payment, links, contact details etc.
  • Buy P.O Box addresses in cities or areas represented by your business, but where you do not have a physical location.
  • Insert keywords in your business name for core products and/or services. This can boost conversions
  • Also very important, be sure to select the correct local category listing
  • Last but not least, don't forget to optimize for zip codes - a trend I've noticed lately has been an increase in 'search term' + 'zipcode'

Have any additional tips? Feel free to add them in the comment section!

Cool Search Tip

So, I just learned this cool search tip. If you want to see what Google has indexed from your website domain (or a competitor domain for that matter) during, for example, the past five days? Just point your brower to http://www.google.com/search? q=site:yourdomain.com&as_qdr=d5 .

Simply change the “yourdomain.com” to your actual website domain name and alter the “=d5? to be whichever number of days you are looking to query (d5, d10, etc.). Or, change the “d” to “w” for weeks or “y” for years.

Got any other useful tips? Please share them in the comments!

DOs & DONTs For Holiday Ecommerce & PPC

The holiday season is almost upon us. It’s time to start looking over the inventory, keywords, and offers to make sure you’re ready for Cyber Monday. If you aren't familiar with terms like 'Cyber Monday' you should catch up on my previous post Holiday Retail Paid Search Strategies.

So, search engine land put together some great tips on what NOT to do as well as a few things to concentrate on when putting together Holiday strategies for pay per click marketing as well as website useability. A few of the highlights are below:


Forget to add a recommended gift buying section

We’re all short on time. I never know what to buy my Mom or Dad much less for the office Christmas party gift exchange. Offer a recommended buying section. While you should examine your products in determining how to section them out, here are some common categories:

Under $50
Under $100
Nephew (or young boy

And the chart could easily keep going. Hint* Check out your competitors!

Always use the negative keyword ‘free’ in your pay per click campaign

‘Free’ is one of the most commonly used negative keywords. However, if you use it, you will not show up for highly desirable searches like ‘last minute Christmas gifts with free shipping’ or ‘free delivery Sony plasma TV’.

Make shoppers register before buying

This is a personal pet peeve and one of the first recommendations I typically make for improving the ecommerce conversion funnel. Forcing someone to register before checking out adds a barrier to conversion. Do not require shoppers to register, confirm an email address, or do any action other than inputting their credit card and shipping address.

Give up too early

Last year, as the days grew closer to Christmas, the online spending grew as well. According to comScore, last year there was $430 million spent on black Friday, $610 million on Cyber Monday, and an amazing $660 million spent on Green Monday.


Show delivery dates and shipping options

One of the fastest ways to lose a repeat customer is for your shipment to reach someone on December 26th. Reinforce delivery date options throughout your site. “If you order by today, we guarantee your package will arrive by December 21st”. In your shopping cart, make sure you call out the delivery options and the arrival date for the product.

Offer gift wrapping AND gift receipts

This is a quick way to add a few dollars to each checkout. You should also allow the buyer to choose not to have the receipt included in the package in case it’s being delivered to another address. Don’t forget, some people will want the receipt included so that the item can easily be exchanged (especially in the case of clothes).

Offer gift cards

This vertical has continued to grow each year as gift cards become more and more popular. Offering gift cards is a great way to have the undecided audience buy from your store. You should also allow someone who buys a gift card to receive either an email certificate (for those who are shopping on the 24th) or a physical card which they can put inside a nice envelope.

So, what DOs and DONTs do you abide by for the holidays? Please share in the comment section!

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Stepping Down

So, it is official. Yahoo! stock holders and board memebers alike are jumping for joy as Jerry Yang has confirmed he will step down as Yahoo's CEO once a 'suitable' replacement is found.

Jerry Yang will be working with Chairman Roy Bostock and with the independent directors to find a successor for the CEO role.
You can read his company wide letter notifying Yahoo! employees of his departure.

To: all yahoos Fr: Jerry Subject: update

yahoos -
i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.

i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.

last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.

despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.

all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.

thank you, jerry

So, what are your thoughts? Will the Microsoft/Yahoo talks start round 3? or was it 4? or wait, was it up to 5 now?

Top 75 Twitter Tools, Apps & Plugins

So, I have been a member of twitter for some time now. I used it intermittently primarily to see what the experts in the Internet Marketing field did during their day to day lives. It wasn't until I downloaded TweetDeck that being a full-fledged 'Twit' took hold.

I quickly realized that there are tons of tools and Twitter specific websites that many probably don't know about. Like me, these tools or websites could potentially make other's tweeting efforts much easier. With that in mind, I've come up with the following list. I know there are many more so please feel free to add your favorites in the comments and I will be sure to update the list!

Top Twitter Tools

Twootball - Where Twitter meets the NFL Football. Want to make a post about the Jets? Just add #jets to your tweet and your message will appear immediately on the Jets homepage!

Friend or Follow - FriendOrFollow.com helps you manage your Twitter contacts by showing who you're following that's not following you back, and who's following you that you're not following back.

Twitscoop - Want to know what's hot on twitter? Use Twitscoop to stay on top of Twitters hot topics or discussions. The results are displayed in a tag cloud.

Twinfluence - Measures the combined influence of twitterers and their followers, with a few social network statistics thrown in as bonus. What is your influence? Just put in your Twitter user name to find out.

Twitpic - TwitPic lets you share photos easily on Twitter by posting pictures to TwitPic from your phone, TwitPic's API, or through the website itself.

Tweetdeck - TweetDeck is an Adobe Air desktop application that is currently in public beta. It is a personal favorite because it separates the large amounts of data into manageable columns - Group messages, Direct messages, Replies, etc.

Quitter - Sends you a short e-mail when someone stops following you on Twitter.

Twitter Grader - Twitter Grader gives you a grade based on the power of your Twitter profile. Not only that, based on your description the tool suggests 'like-minded' Twits to follow on Twitter. (I scored a 96.6 out of 100)

Web Design Experts on Twitter - Looking to connect with web designers? Thomson Chemmanoor has done a lot of the legwork for you! His web designer Twitter list will give you a chance to follow some very talented web designers

Twithire - Review job openings or post an open position for programming or design specifically. There is also an 'other' category that includes all jobs under the sun.

Tweet Later - As the name might suggest, you can schedule future posts to keep your Twitter stream ticking over with new tweets even when you're not in front of your computer. Or, use it as your personal reminder system. It's best feature in my opinion is the ability to send automated thank you notes to new followers, and automatically follow new followers,
if you choose to do so.

Twhirl - twhirl is a desktop client for Twitter that acts much like an instant messaging client. It connects to multiple accounts: Twitter, laconi.ca, Friendfeed and seesmic. It also allows for cross-posting twitter updates to Pownce and Jaiku

Tweetburner - Allows for both shortening URLs but also provides analytic data on the links your share via Twitter and Friendfeed.

Tweeterized - Provides dynamic Twitter signature images that you can use on forums, websites, myspace profiles and more. The dynamic images display your profile image, last update as well as how long ago you did the update.

Hellotxt - HelloTxt lets you to update your status and read your friends' status across all main
microblogging and social networks all at once.. there are too many supported networks to list. Pretty cool service!

Twerp Scan - A helpful tool to analyze your followers and helps keep an eye on your growing list of friends and followers.

Twitter Karma - A Flash application that fetches your friends and followers from Twitter, then displays them for you, letting you quickly paginate through them. You can sort the list alphabetically either ascending or descending by Twitter ID. You can filter the list in several ways: only friends or only followers, all friends or all followers, and mutual friends.

Twubble - Twubble simply helps you find more friends by analyzing your friends graph and picking out twits you might like to follow.

Twittervision - A real-time geographic visualization of posts to Twitter. Keep in mind, you profile must have a location and an image defined to appear on the public feed.

Twittermeter - Twitter meter let's you query an index of all the words that have been sent to twitter's public timeline since 11/6/2007. The data then plots the number of times that word was used over time.

GroupTweet - This cool service allows grouptweet piggy-backs on the Twitter service via the Twitter API. All you need to do is set up a group!

TweetStats - Pulls together cool graphs based on your Twitter posting habits. Includes graphs for Tweets per hour, Tweets per month, Tweet timeline and reply statistics.

Twittervision - See where in the world people are submitting tweets from, real time.

TwitThis - Allow visitors to your site to easily share a page or post via Twitter.

MoniTwitter - Receive important updates about your site via Twitter.

TwitterNotes - Share private or public notes via Twitter.

RSS2Twitter - Share any RSS feed on Twitter, and have new RSS items automatically be tweeted.

TwitterBuzz - Find out what is being most linked to on Twitter.

Twitterholic - Shows the top users and accounts on Twitter.

iTweet - A mobile Twitter site designed for the iPhone.

iTwit - Mobile version of Twitter made for the iPhone.

Tweeter - Twitter on your mobile phone while avoiding text message charges.

Jargong - Browse Flickr, do some social networking, but most importantly, check and publish tweets.

WildSets - Extensve Twitter app for mobile phones.

TwitterBerry - Twitter built for various BlackBerry devices. Update and view timelines with ease.

jTwitter - View timelines, enter updates, and more, all on your mobile phone.

TreoTwit - Easily check and update your Twitter right from your Treo.

TwitBin - Send and view tweets right within Firefox.

TwittyTunes - A FoxyTunes addon that posts what you’re currently listening to Twitter.

Shareaholic - Share links and webpages via Twitter right within Firefox.

Search Plugin - Tweet right from the Firefox search box.

Tweetbar - Put Twitter on your Firefox sidebar.

Twippera - Twitter widget for Opera that can send and view tweets.

TwitterFox - Compact Firefox extension that can publish and view tweets.

Twitterverse - Search through archived public timelines and tweets.

Twittersearch - Search Twitter and tweets by word.

Terraminds - Search for specific users or tweets.

TwitDir - Allows user to search for users by name, location, or username.

Tweetr - Submit tweets, upload files, urltea built in, delete messages.

Spaz - Cross-platform client built with AIR.

Tweeter - Java based client with customizable UI.

Twinja - AIR based client which allows you to follow users on the fly.

Triqqr - Submit tweets directly to Twitter and view user profiles.

Pwytter - Cross platform Python Twitter client with Asian character support.

Teletwitter - Experimental open source client.

TwitBox - View and submit tweets, see replies and direct messages, delete your own tweets, and multiple account support.

Twitterlicious - Update Twitter status, easily check replies and direct messages.

Twitteroo - Client with rurl URL shortening, clickable links and tweets, customization, and both public and friend timelines.

Chirrup - Twitter client with extensive Japanese language support.

TwittIt - Extremely compact and simple app for submitting tweets.

MadTwitter - A reincarnation of Twitterrific, except on Windows.

Tweetwheel - A cool tool that, in graphical form, shows which of your friends know each other.

Twitt(url)y - Twitturly is a service for tracking what URLs people are talking about as they talk about them on Twitter.

Twitter CLI - Post tweets via the command line.

What’s Up? - Gadget that allows you to see latest tweets from your friends.

Twadget - Simple gadget that lets you view and submit tweets right from Vista’s Sidebar.

KipFolio Widget - Simple Twitter widget for KipFolio.

Twitter-Sync for Yahoo - Syncs Twitter status with Yahoo Messenger status.

TwitterYM - Simple Yahoo Messenger status updater.

Twessenger - Updates Live Messenger status to reflect latest tweet.

Twit4Live - Set status message as latest tweet, send tweets from within Live Messenger, and send tweets to contacts.

Twitterment: Search Twitter using keywords, and compare the buzz between different words.

Where.com’s GPS Twitter: Adds your current GPS-based location to your Twitter feeds from your mobile phone.

Twitter Tool: Give your WordPress blog the Twitter treatment.

Twitterphone - Send messages to Twitter by speaking your message.

Got any others I may have missed?? Add them below!

Google Analytics: Tracking 3rd Party PPC

If any of you have utilized your Google analytics account to track PPC programs outside of Google Adwords you have no doubt run into a tracking issue or two. Here is a quick run-down of how to get your URLs tagged appropriately in order to track accurately:

Data from Google AdWords is automatically included in your Analytics reports (assuming you have AdWords and Analytics linked). For your 3rd party PPC campaigns, the “how” is pretty simple. First, go to Google’s URL Builder tool, and enter the destination URL from your ad texts (i.e. landing page). From here you can enter the five parameters that will become your URL tag.

  • utm_source: This is the name of the search engine or the source of traffic (i.e. Yahoo, MSN, email newsletter, blue banner ad).
  • utm_medium: This is how you tell Analytics what type of traffic your source is (i.e. cpc, email, banner).
  • utm_term: This is where you detail keywords! This can be manually entered or dynamically generated with Yahoo’s {OVKEY} or MSN’s {QueryString} parameters.
  • utm_content: Consider this the ad variation or ad group. You choose how detailed you want to get. Typically, I designate this as the ad group for my PPC campaigns.
  • utm_campaign: If the name isn’t obvious enough – this is where you designate the name of your campaigns!

Once the tool gives you the fully tagged URL, all you need to do is copy and paste that URL into your ad texts. Google Analytics will do the rest of the work for you and begin giving you keyword level data for all of your PPC campaigns!

Have any additional tips? Please feel free to add in the comments!

MSN adCenter New Updates: Pause Ads & Keywords

I just got an e-mail full of new features now available in adCenter. In addition, the new adCenter interface has gone through a light design update - what are your thoughts on the new re-branding?

Regardless, here are a few quick notes included in the e-mail:
  • Pause the delivery of your ads and keywords. Now you have more control and flexibility as you manage your campaigns.
  • Receive better help with disapproved ads and keywords. Get easier-to-find information about the reasons for the disapproval and how to update the ads and keywords for resubmission.
  • Create multiple users for your account. You’ll find new options for easily creating multiple account users and assigning user permissions.
To get step by step instructions on the new features you can also visit the what's new with adCenter website.

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Holiday Retail PPC Strategies

So, this post will be short and sweet. With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to point a couple key dates that every pay per click marketer should be focused on. Shift budget, changed ad copy, expand keywords, etc but make sure your accounts are 'live' and online all 24 hours during these huge retail days!

2008 Expected Busiest Shopping Days of Holiday Season:
  1. Black Friday: 11/21/2008
  2. Cyber Monday: 11/24/2008
  3. Green Monday: 12/08/2008

Here are a couple additional trends to focus on for the holiday season:

  1. All Mondays during the month of December tend to generate more revenue than other days during the week.
  2. On average, the first and second week in December are the highest revenue generating days online.

One final note .. make sure you are calling out your promotions, competitive price points, etc in your ad copy and reinforcing it on your landing pages! Here's to big holiday retail sales!

PPC Terminology & Glossary for Pay Per Click Marketing

I have been in the Internet Marketing industry for 5+ years and moved up the 'ranks' from a pay per click specialist, to a search account manager to search engine marketing manager. One thing I realized, however, is that as I interacted with clients more and more via conference calls, in person presentations and e-mail, the conversations were filled with industry language that some PPC beginners may not understand - much less a small business owner. I ran across a number of these industry definitions at PPC Hero's Blog and thought it was great information to share! If you have any more to add please leave a comment and I'll update to the list!

1. Adwords Editor - A software application by Google to make account changes without posting live until you’re ready. Adwords editor is free and allows you to add new campaigns/ad groups/keywords or to make bid changes and more.

2. Application Program Interface (API) - The Google Adwords program allows developers to use applications that interact directly with the AdWords server. With these applications, advertisers can more efficiently manage large AdWords accounts.

3. Assist - When a keyword helps another keyword convert into a sale/lead. Assists currently only occur in Yahoo!.

4. Bounce Rate - Percent of people who enter your site but leave without visiting any other page.

5. Clicks - A click is registered when someone clicks on your pay-per-click ad.

6. Click-Through rate (CTR) - A way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. A CTR is determined by dividing the number of users who clicked on an ad by the number of times the ad was delivered (impressions).

7. Content network - The content network is available on all three of the major search engines and it allows advertisers to display their ads on other websites, blogs and email programs that have partnered with Google.

8. Conversion - When a user/customer completes a sale, a form, submits and email or downloads a whitepaper, etc. A conversion is essentially the same as a lead.

9. Cost-per-Click (CPC) - The amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on its advertisement that brings one visitor to its website.

10. Cost-per-lead (CPL) - The amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other internet publishers for a lead generated on its advertisement.

11. Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) - Pricing means advertisers pay their maximum bid amount for every one thousand impressions received.

12. Google Checkout - Google Checkout is a service that makes buying and selling across the web fast, convenient, and secure. When you utilize Google Checkout an icon will be displayed within your pay-per-click ad and this can build trust with users and increase your click-through rate.

13. Impressions - Number of people who see your PPC ad.

14. Keyword - a word or phrase that PPC advertisers use to display their ads in the sponsored search results.

15. Lead - When a user/customer completes a sale, a form, submits and email or downloads a whitepaper, etc. A lead is typically what every advertiser is trying to increase.

16. Longtail Keywords - A specific keyword phrase that consists of 2 or more words. Most advertisers use long-tail keywords to target the customer at or near their buying stage.

17. Match types - Match types allow an advertiser to control when their ad shows for a particular search query that may or may not contain a keyword listed in their ad group. There are three different match types, Broad, Phrase and Exact; these occur in Google and MSN. However Yahoo! has Standard and Advanced Match.

18. MSN Adcenter Desktop - A software application by MSN to make account changes without posting live until you’re ready.

19. My Client Center (MCC) - A powerful tool for handling multiple AdWords accounts. MCC is ideal for large advertisers with more than one account.'

20. Negative keywords - Advertisers add negative keywords to their account so their ads do not display when a customer types in a search query containing that keyword. Negative keywords help you qualify the clicks to your site more effectively.

21. Pay-Per- Click (PPC) - A method of advertising where the advertiser pays for each click he receives on the search engines.

22. Placement targeting - Placement targeting lets AdWords advertisers choose individual spots in the Google content network where they’d like to see their ads displayed.

23. Quality Score - A ranking system that Google uses based off relevancy to determine bid price.

24. Quality Index - A ranking system that Yahoo uses based off relevancy to determine bid price.

25. Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) - Ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of advertising (PPC) money invested.

26. Return on Investment (ROI) - Ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

27. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - The method of increasing organic (free) rankings on various search engines.

28. Search query - A basic search query is a keyword or a keyword phrase a user enters when searching on any search engine.

29. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)- The results a user sees in the search engines after typing in a search query. The results would consist of a series of Organic ads as well as Paid or sponsored search ads.

30. Website Optimizer - Website Optimizer allows you to test changes in the website content of your pages in order to determine what will be most effective in getting conversions.

Search Engine Rap Battles

So, I've posted a blog post or two in the past with pay per click raps or SEO raps, but I came across these last week and thought I would share. If you are familiar with the 'underground' rap battles featured in the movie 8-mile, imagine that type of setting only you have search engines battling it out for the top spot. 

These search engine rap battles are pretty entertaining!

PPC Quick Fixes: PayPer Click & Low Ad Position

Pay Per Click Advertising and Low Ad Position

Let’s face it: you can write the most amazing ads and your landing page can be wonderful and marvelous, but if your ad isn’t getting noticed, then the rest doesn’t matter. A sure-fire way to gain more attention is by increasing your ad position. Here are some quick fixes to get you ranked higher:

  1. Raise your bids! Again, that may seem rudimentary, but let’s just get that out of the way. You need to keep your CPC and ROI in mind. Don’t raise your bids beyond your comfort level, but could a slightly higher ad position increase your clicks, and conversions? It might pay off!
  2. AdWords has a very handy tool to help regulate your ad position: Position Preference. This tool does exactly what it’s name says; you can choose your preferred position. This is helpful when determining your “sweet spot”: the ad position where you get the right amount of clicks and conversions.

SEO Training Options Online

SEO Training Courses and Book Reviews Below

As you start looking around for a training course for SEO you need to ask yourself what style of training suits you best. If online SEO training is something that appeals to you, there are many options available.

One of the main benefits of online training is you can learn at your own pace. You also don't have to worry about travel costs or what to wear to class. In some of the in-person, instructor-led courses, travel costs alone can be a significant expense.

On the other hand, online courses do not provide the classroom style that provides an instructor to ask questions, clarify principles, or share personal experiences. If in-person learning is your preference, then tune in to my next column, when I'll take a look at those options.

Online SEO Training Courses

SEMPO Institute
A great place to get a gain an education about search marketing is the SEMPO Institute. One of the mandates of the organization is education. Last year, SEMPO embarked on developing a distance learning program for both beginners and practitioners of search. It originally came from the need for more educational resources to be available for its members.

Today the SEMPO Institute is available to members and non-members worldwide. Although if you are considering taking the course, you should know that there are discounts up to 30 percent for SEMPO members. Current pricing is $399 for the "Insiders Guide to Search Marketing" course on SEO and PPC fundamentals, and $1399 each for the Advanced SEO and Advanced PPC courses.

Recently Jeffrey Pruitt, SEMPO's president, and Fionn Downhill, chair of the SEMPO Institute, were interviewed on Online Marketing with RSS Ray. These two segments, Part 1 and Part 2, provide more insight into SEMPO and the SEMPO Institute. They even bring in a recent "graduate" of the institute to share his views on the course.

Search Engine College
Search Engine College, run by Kalena Jordan, is another great place for online training. There are several courses to choose from: you can take an individual course or a full program they call "Certified Pathways." Their Certified PPC Marketer Pathway is $695, as is their Certified Search Engine Optimizer Pathway. The Certified Search Engine Marketer Pathway, combining SEO and PPC, is $1,195.

On their site, they offer a sample course and a sneak peak into the online classroom structure. For those looking for expansion in specific areas of SEO, they also offer specific classes in Keyword Research, Linkbuilding, Copywriting, and other areas.

Online Web Training from Search Engine Workshops
Online SEO Training from Search Engine Workshops approaches the training process from the same angle as the previous two sources mentioned, with a $149 Beginner SEO Course and $179 Advanced SEO course. However, they also add a new dimension by offering – for about $100 more for each module – 32 weeks of access to an instructor to help you through the course. Search Engine Workshops also holds yearly refresher courses, both online and in an in-person workshop format at locations all over the country.

GNC Web Creations
GNC Web Creations is a web design, graphics, and SEO company based out of Mississippi that takes SEO Training into a new methodology by building it into Yahoo Groups. By signing up for the private group, you will receive emails through the group that will guide you through the basics of SEO. This is also the first offering we've covered that is completely free. That's right: free. As in no cost is involved. If this is linkbait, it's very good linkbait. They also offer eBooks on SEO and other topics at a modest price.

Computer Geek Books
Computer Geek Books offers a highly interactive, six week (12 lesson) SEO course delivered online. This offering goes for $250 and is very much in the same tradition as the first few classes we've discussed.

5 SEO Tips From Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts Shares 5 SEO Tips with USA Today

USA Today recently asked Google's Matt Cutts for tips to help sites rank in their search engine. Cutts offered up 5 tips plus a word of advice in implementing the tips. Here they are:

  1. Spotlight your search term on the page. If you want to be found for your keyword, make sure that term is on the page you want to rank. The term should be at the top as well as peppered throughout your copy.
  2. Fill in your "tags." The two most important tags are Title and Description becuase that is what is displayed in the search results.
  3. Get other websites to "link" back to you. This is one of the most important of the 100 factors Google considers when determining search engine rankings.
  4. Create a blog and post often. This can help you get links and generate new content.
  5. Register for free tools. Cutts recommends using the tools at google.com/webmaster, as well as creating a text-based sitemap www.xml-sitemaps.com, and adding your business to Google's Local Business center (google.com/local/add)

And that word of advice? Don't overdo it. In other words, don't stuff your pages full of keywords in order to 'cheat' your website into better rankings.

What do you think of Cutts' advice? Leave a comment!

New and Improved AdSense for Search

Improved Adsense for Search
So, I think most people know my abhorrence for the Content network. I have not had much success with it in the past and the ROI, typically, is sub-par. That being said, I know there have been improvements in the targeting, purging of click fraud, etc. since I made my last attempt at achieving Adsense 'nirvana'. That being said, I received and interesting e-mail from the Adsense Team the other day. It started out with:
We noticed that you're not currently using AdSense for search, which means you may be missing out on revenue from your pages.
Ah, yes. Google trying to convince me to spend more of my hard earned dollars! What a surprise. But the 'new features' line caught my eye so I read on:

• Site Search: We've heard that many publishers are concerned about users leaving their sites through Websearch, and so now you can choose to provide just site search. You can also host the search results on your own pages so that your users can find the information they're looking for without leaving your site.
• Improved indexing of your pages: We've recently improved our indexing technology so that you can provide a more enhanced Site Search experience for your users. AdSense for search will now index even more pages of your site, as long as we’re able to crawl them, so that your users will see more results from your site in your AdSense for search results.
• Vertical Search: You can also allow your users to search across multiple sites you select - this could be a network of sites that you own or other related sites that you think your users might find useful. If you write book reviews on your blog, for example, you can use vertical search to specify a list of online bookstores for users to search through.
• Refining searches with keywords: You can tailor your search results and ads to the content of your site, since search terms can have different meanings in different contexts. Let's say you manage a site about yoga - you can enter keywords such as 'yoga,' 'exercise,' and 'meditation' so that when a user searches for 'mat,' the search results and ads will be more related to yoga mats and less to commercial floor mats. (You can see an example of this in our video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEwxC9hrxM4 .) In our experiments, we've found that this tuning has led to an increase in earnings for publishers.
• Selecting ad location: Now, you can decide where to place your
ads on search results pages -- whether it's at the top, bottom, or right side of each page. We recommend placing ads at the top and right side of the page, as we've found this monetizes the best for publishers.

So, I am intrigued - this blows away the content network options of even a year ago! Anyone out there have any thoughts, experience, case studies, numbers, etc? Should I dive back into the content network?

PS. If you'd like to learn more about the new features available for AdSense for search, visit www.google.com/adsense/afs

Adobe Says, Flash Now SEO Friendly

I wrote a post back in January "Google can Read Flash" discussing some comments made my Matt Cutts which 'hint' at the fact Google was working with Adobe to make Flash files SEO or Search Engine friendly. Here is a quick excerpt:

In a recent interview with Stephan Spencer, Matt Cutts admits that Google is using Adobe Systems' Search Engine SDK technology to 'read' flash website content.

That fairly definite confirmation of how Google reads text within Flash files makes it possible to create Flash .swf files with some level of search engine optimization.

With the launch of a Flash-reading tool from Adobe, marketers can factor Flash into their SEO efforts, instead of compensating for the presence of Flash with extra text.

Marketing Vox released a story today discussing the development of a product that interprets Flash applications for web crawlers, making it possible to index that data for searchers. Adobe, the creators of Flash technology, released the product to Google and Yahoo.

Text and links from Flash apps will now appear in search engine results for users querying relevant keywords or phrases, just like ordinary HTML content, Adobe wrote.

Flash software is used to build interactive banners, applications, games or eye-catching graphics on a site. Google is already utilizing the Flash-indexing service; Yahoo "has some work to do," according to Adobe's VP of marketing Michele Turner.

For more information, read the SWF file format specification on Adobe

PPC Basics in 10 Minutes

One of my new favorite blog posts is SEOMoz's white board Fridays - think UPS whiteboard commercial only instead of experts talking about shipping, you have experts talking about SEO and PPC. I found Scott Willoughby's White Board on PPC Basics to be highly informative and thought I would share it as well. Enjoy!

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday-PPC Basics with Tom Critchlow from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Firefox 3 Download Day 2008

The official date for the launch of Firefox 3 is June 17, 2008. By pledging to Download Firefox 3 on Jun 17th you can join the cause and be part of a Guinness World Record.

Download Day - English

If you are looking for Firefox plugins to aid in your SEO efforts, check out the top 25 SEO Plugins for Firefox.

PPC Ad Copy Competition: Myanmar Cyclone Donation

Distilled wanted to do something to mark and bring attention to the launch of their new suite of PPC tools. But, they are bringing attention to their new venture by doing a bit of good - helping out with the Myanmar (Burma) cyclone appeal by catering to one of their strengths: PPC advertising!

So what does all this mean? A PPC ad copy writing competition of course! Based on the Myanmar Cyclone tragedy, whoever writes the best PPC ad for charity wins!

Here are the rules:

1. You write a blog post about the competition and include your competing ad(s) in the copy of the blog post - then link to it in Distilled's comments so they know of your desire to enter the competition. The purpose of your post is to spread the word about the Myanmar (Burma) cyclone appeal.

2. Ads must follow the Google Ads format: 25 characters headline (1st line), 35 characters 2nd line, 35 characters 3rd line.

3. Up to three ads may be submitted. However, make sure you rank your submissions as the ads may be limited depending on the number of entries.

4. The landing page you’ll be sending traffic to is http://www.worldvision.org.uk/.

5. They will be purchasing just one keyphrase: ‘Myanmar cyclone appeal’

6. Distilled will put all the ad entries into a PPC campaign with the Myanmar (Burma) cyclone donation page on World Vision as the landing page - deadline is Friday 13th June.

7. Distilled is also fronting the budget to run the PPC campaign for a limited time. The longer the campaign is run the better as it will lead to more donations (and more statistical significance for those competing!). So if anyone is interested in contributing to the PPC budget please get in touch.

8. The ad that performs the best and drives the most amount of traffic wins.

So, all that said, here are my entries from first to last:

{KeyWord:Myanmar Cyclone Aid}
Help Volunteers Rebuild Lives in
Myanmar with Just $25. Donate Today

Myanmar Cyclone Aid
2.4 Million Homeless and Hungry.
Help Cyclone Victims. Donate Today!

Myanmar Cyclone Aid
Their lives were changed in seconds
Help Provide Lifes Essentials

Let me know what you think of the ad copy! (Oh, and keep your fingers crossed we raise a large amount of funds for this terrible tragedy!)

Scam: Domain Listing Services Corp

I received a startling letter in the mail the other day. I register most of my domains via www.GoDaddy.com simply because I get a lot of discounts due to the number of domains I register. Regardless, I can only assume this company whores the 'whois' information from new domain purchases and then sends out a letter advertising their horrific services! If you received a letter that looks like this, BEWARE:

Directly from the letter:
Domain name submission with 8 key words/ phrases to 25 MAJOR search engines, quarterly search engine submissions

Directly from their website:
We submit your website 4 times a year to over 25 search engines and business directories like these below...
Google Yahoo MSN AltaVista Excite
About Overture Netscape Lycos HotBot
Quickseek Scrub The Web Search Hippo Alexa Web Search Metadata Search Spider
Search It Super Snooper Ultraseek Info Probe whatUseek Network

Before we go any further....THIS IS NOT A GOOD DEAL! NOT FOR $75!! NOT EVER!!
What are the issues with this? First off, when you submit your website to a search engine you don't get to pick 'key words / phrases'. You simply submit your URL (www.example.com).

Second, search engines have evolved tremendously since the 'early days' and the need to submit your website to search engines is no longer needed. Rather, gather a few links from some authority websites soon after you launch your new website and allow Google and Yahoo to find your website naturally by doing what they do best - following links to find new content.

Thirdly, and based on my second point, continually submitting your website to search engines (for instance the 'quarterly submissions' advertised above) IS SPAM and will only result in getting your website banned completely from the major search engines.

I was so bothered by the fact that this company, Domain Listing Services Corp, is making God knows how much money off of uneducated people I decided to do some digging.

  • Here is a great post from Danifer Web Services.

  • Here is another from HyperSensory.com which notes that DLSCorp.net also operates as ilscorp - Internet Listing Service Corp. - yes, another scam!

  • Yet another from Les Jones Blog (take the time to read through the comments! It is well worth it!)

  • Rip-Off Report: Domain Listing Service Corp - says it all!

  • Please feel free to contact the following organizations with your complaints:


    Better Business Bureau

    ZoneEdit - Their DNS host
    http://www.zoneedit.com or mail support@zoneedit.com

    WaveRiderHosting - their hosting company

    All PPC Search Engines Not Created Equal

    There was an interesting post in the Microsoft adCenter blog recently regarding the varying tactics needed to run successful paid search campaigns in differing search engines. After reading through the article I quickly realized something! I've been approaching adCenter all wrong! Here is what I read when it hit me:
    Some advertisers optimize their pay per click campaigns for other engines and then export them with little change to adCenter. This may save time, but it doesn’t always optimize for the distinctly different character of Microsoft’s traffic. In other words, you may be leaving a pile of money on the table.
    Lets face it! Google and Yahoo capture 85-90% of all search traffic while MSN gathers up the remaining 10-15%. In like manner, I had been dividing my campaign's ad spend in like manner - 85-90% between Google and Yahoo and throwing 10-15% at adCenter.

    Where the problem lies in this is that despite the varying differences in traffic percentages, there is always room for improvement. Not to mention that in a few cases, adCenter carries with it a significantly higher conversion rate. This blog post in particular focused on bidding strategies in relation to the long tail of keywords which is typical for an Adwords or YSM paid search campaign. To counter-act the lower traffic level in MSN's adCenter, concentrate on a select few keywords that are closer to the head.

    Here are a few additional reasons to NOT copy and past your Adwords campaign to other paid search vendors:
    • Character Limits: This directly applies to Yahoo!, where your headline is allowed 40 characters. AdWords and adCenter only allow 25. You should do your best to maximize the space given to you in Yahoo!. Just think of the extra keywords you can fit in that space!
    • Keyword Bids: Beyond merely making bid decisions based on the long tail of keywords, you should make those decisions based on the search engine you’re working in. The bid you have set in AdWords is based on Google’s traffic and competitive landscape. Those factors are altogether different when dealing with Microsoft and Yahoo!. All three of these search engines offer their own unique bid forecasting tools for a reason. In a perfectly optimized world, a single keyword will have a different bid in each account.
    • DKI, Keyword Insertion, Dynamic Text: Each of the search engines takes a slightly different approach to DKI. While Google and Yahoo!’s systems are nearly identical, there are vast differences when Microsoft is thrown into the mix. In adCenter, you can dynamically insert the keyword, but also have the ability to set multiple parameters per keyword which can be inserted into your ad texts automatically. Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of these tools is important and can directly benefit your CTR!
    • Match Types and Negative Keywords: When you copy and paste your campaigns from one search engine to another, you will likely erase your negative keyword lists. And your match types will be eradicated when copying into Yahoo! (no exact, phrase or broad matching!). Negative keywords and match types are such a vital part of the PPC arsenal and should not be forgotten. Take the time to research the right negative keywords and match types for each search engine and implement them accordingly.

    Yahoo Search Marketing Pricing Change Webinar

    Last month, I blogged about Yahoo increasing minimum bids. Basically, they are moving their bid model more and more in line with the way Google prices a click. In Yahoo's case, a minimum bid can be either above or below .10 cents depending on the quality and value of the specific term.

    If your account has been affected by this new pricing model, you probably recieved an e-mail at some point that looked like this:
    Subject line: Alert Notification: Keywords Pending Inactivation

    Dear Advertiser

    Minimum bid requirements have increased for [account name].
    Some of your active Sponsored Search keywords will soon become inactive.
    Review bids now.
    So, if you are still unclear about how your minimum bids are set for Yahoo's Sponsored Search, a free webinar for advertisers will be held on Thursday, May 29, to help you understand the change.

    The webinar will:

    • Walk you through the changes associated with the pricing update
    • Provide an overview of new account features and functionality
    • Share best practices for keyword and ad quality management
    • Present sample scenarios of how your account might be affected
    • Offer best practices for working with minimum bids

    To register:

    Click here to go to the webinar registration pages. First-time webinar registrants will need to create a password of between 4 and 32 characters. If you are unable to attend either webinar, an archive of the webinar will be available in Yahoo's Help Center.

    PPC Ad Copy Calls To Action

    In an ever competitive paid search market place, enticing viewers to take action (ie. fill out a lead generation form, purchase a product, view a page, etc.) is becoming increasingly difficult. What's worse, is many folks lose site of the first step in that process - actually getting a user to click on the PPC ad!

    Ian Cowley put together a fantastic list of 34 strong calls to action to strongly motivate people to do something - click on your ad, pick up the phone or purchase a product. I think many of them translate perfectly to the paid search marketplace.

    Here are a couple of my favorites:

    6. Feed your widget for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
    11. Relax. Reserving an exclusive widget is just a click away.
    19. Find out how we’ve helped other businesses retain widgets.
    27. Call today and find out what the widget man doesn’t want you to know.
    30. Does your widget misbehave?
    31. How can a new widget pay for itself in six months?

    Yahoo Search Marketing Interface Updates

    With all of the hoopla surrounding a potential buyout of Yahoo, it is nice to finally hear that Yahoo is still 'paying attention' to its search marketing platform. Yahoo recently announced a number of updates and enhancements to their interface that primarly makes things easy to see at a glance - ie. which campaigns, ad groups and keywords are offline—and why. Here is a quick rundown of things you might notice during your next login session:
    • All names of objects (campaign, ad group, keyword, etc.) that are offline are displayed with red text for easy recognition.
    • The "Top Campaigns" and “Watched Campaigns” tables on the Dashboard page now include a “Status” column to help you identify if and why any campaigns are offline.
    • Minor updates to the "Campaigns" page have been made, including a new “Status” column, the ability to filter by “Status” when using the Advanced Search function, and replacing the “Campaign On/Off” button with individual “Pause” and “Unpause” buttons.
    • We made minor tweaks to the Ads table on an Ad Group page, including adding a “Status” column, and replacing the “Campaign On/Off” button with individual “Pause” and “Unpause” buttons.
    • New status settings have been added on the Search page, under the Campaigns tab.
    • The addition of the “Status” column to the Ad Group, Ad and Keyword Search screens under the Campaigns tab.
    • The ability to export (using the “Download” button) account information has been added to account-level Ad Group and Keyword pages, under the Campaigns tab

    Google Launches Friend Connect

    Google has just launched Google Friend Connect, a service that allows site owners to integrate social applications into their pages by simply cutting & pasting a block of code.

    The service is pretty big news for bloggers and really anybody who has a fair amount of traffic and wants to make their site more social. From an SEO viewpoint, should Google begin to include this type of information in search results, this is a must have integration into your blog or website!

    Yahoo Closing Search Marketing Ambassador Program

    So, I'm a little late on this news, but thought it was worth mentioning considering the tumultuous ride Yahoo has endured the past few weeks and months. From acquisition rumors to a 'partnership' with Google to releasing their own analytics tool Yahoo seemed to be making a hard fought effort to make an immediate improvement on their products and offerings. But, now The Search Engine Roundtable reports that it seems to be no longer possible to sign up for the Ambassador Program.

    I am, myself, a Yahoo Ambassador and enjoy the opportunity to make a little bit of income every time I set up a client so this is somewhat troubling. Why close down the program unless there is a big curtain drawing in the near future?

    Here is an anonymous tip we got from a Search Engine Land reader:
    Yahoo! is eliminating the Ambassador cert. for all the small businesses and limiting it too bigger agencies and resellers. So they are just pushing out the little players, pretty much trying to make it more prestigious like the Google Reseller Program. You will have to go through Biz Dev people to get an Ambassador Cert.

    Keep Your Adwords Account Safe & Secure

    There have recently been an increased number of phishing attempts targeted at Google Adwords advertisers. I received an e-mail from Google regarding the issue and thought I would pass along the tips to those folks who may have not received it or may have overlooked it.

    There are reports of phishing attempts that falsely appear to be from adwords-noreply@google.com. These fraudulent emails ask users to update their billing information, take action on a disapproved ad, edit their account, or accept new AdWords terms and conditions. Please remember that Google's AdWords team will never send an unsolicited message asking for your password or other sensitive information by email or through a link.

    Here are a few additional tips on how to avoid phishing attempts:

    - Don't reply to or click on links in emails that ask for personal, financial, or account information.
    - Check the message headers. The From: address and the Return-path should reference the same source.
    - Instead of clicking the links in emails, go to the websites directly by typing the web address into your browser, cut and paste or use bookmarks.
    - If on a secure page, look for "https" at the begging of the URL and the padlock icon in the browser.
    - Keep your computer's antivirus, spyware, browser, and security patches up to date and regularly run system scans.
    - Review your accounts regularly and check for unauthorized activity.
    - Use a browser that has a phishing filter (Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera).

    Google Analytics For Blooger In Beta

    Google Analytics for Blogger
    Personally, I am a big fan of Google Analytics and have written a few posts in the past on tips and tricks. I was excited, to read the official Google Analytics Blog announcing the new Google Analytics for Blogger reporting interface. Currently available only in private beta, this product is a collaboration of several teams and marks the transition of Measure Map customers to a new Google Analytics interface designed specifically for Blogger users.

    Per Google representative, Jeff Veen:
    We'll be refining the new interface throughout the year before we release it to the general public as an optional reporting interface in both Blogger and Google Analytics accounts. In the meantime, you can always use Google Analytics to track your blog.
    Stay tuned!:)

    Yahoo To Display Ads in PDF Documents Online

    I received an e-mail from my friends at Yahoo Search Marketing ... they will be launching a beta program and wanted my input via an online survey. So what's the beta program? Well, read for yourself:

    Yahoo PDF E-mail
    Once you get into the meat of the survey, there is some additional information, however:

    Ads for Adobe PDF provides a powerful new channel to communicate their messages to a highly engaged and targeted audience. In addition, Ads for Adobe PDF provides advertisers a means to track the performance of ads placed in PDF content, just as they can today with ads placed in Web sites.

    These ads come from advertisers participating in Yahoo! Content Match. Content Match is a pay-per-click campaign tactic that displays your ads alongside relevant websites, and now PDFs as well.

    Now, for those of you who know me or even follow this blog, most of you can probably guess the thoughts that came to mind. I'm about as far from a fan of the content network as one could be -primarily because they bring a lot of window-shopping clicks and un-targeted, non-coverting clicks. I found myself wondering...many PDFs are composed of images or are created completely un-optimized! How can Yahoo (or Google or MSN for that matter) determine which ads to show based on that type of page? Are we heading down a 'content network road' that is progressively about making money over quality?

    What are your thoughts? Even better...have any of you had success using the content network?