has been a hectic month for the Internet marketing community. Since the second
week of May, many, many people started seeing problems with the Page Rank indicator
on the Google toolbar - many sites' link pages (sitemap pages) began showing very
low PageRank values or even a gray bar (no value) - some reported their pages
completely disappearing from Google. The only explanation, and one posted by "Googleguy"
(an employee of Google) in the Webmasterworld.com Google Forum recently, is that
Google is implementing some significant changes to the index that reportedly include
some new spam filters.
Apparently, what many people have been seeing throughout May at Google is an incomplete
index. If your pages are missing from Google they may just not be in this version
of the index yet. Links that have developed over the last few months may also
not be in the index at this time. Our
best advice is to not make any rash changes to your websites until this index
settles down and remains more consistent. On 17 June the 'Google dance' has started
again. So relax and read the articles that we have prepared for this issue of
our Dynamic Internet Marketing Newsletter. We hope you enjoy them!
Internet Marketing News Flash:
Espotting have signed a pan-European deal with US-based meta-search engine Mamma.com
- This is the first time Mamma have differentiated their European traffic, and
Espotting are geo-targeting their users to provide them with country specific
Update on Adbuyer placements -the Adbuyer units
are displayed on the right hand side of Lycos & Hotbot Search results pages.
On Lycos specifically, #1 and #2 bid positions have been upgraded to being listed
under the Overture "Sponsored Listings". For example, Overture is listed as 1,
2, 3, 4 under Sponsored Listings and positions #5 and 6 are now the top two Adbuyer
bids. Then on the right hand side of the page, Adbuyer bid positions 3, 4, 5 and
6 are displayed.
dismisses suit against Google - U.S. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange
denied a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by SearchKing, an Oklahoma
City-based Web hosting and advertising network that claimed Google unfairly removed
links to its site and those of its partners from the index, causing financial
losses. The judge dismissed the case on the grounds that Google's formula for
calculating the popularity of a Web page, or "PageRank," constitutes opinions
protected by the First Amendment.
Rise of the blogs - Web logs or "blogs", the popular form of personal journal
publishing, are growing up and are about to get a search engine of their own.
A blogs-only search tool was announced by Google's CEO Eric Schmidt at a telecommunications
conference earlier this month but the details are yet to be unveiled.
Portal Websites - SEO SPAM or Legitimate
Search Engine Placement Tactic?
of mini websites (also known as portals) as a search engine placement tool is
a hotly debated topic and one which is sure to bring up warnings of "spamming"
and raise a few eyebrows at the legitimacy. Portals have, for too long, been used
as an easy link-building tool offering nothing more than regurgitated information,
sometimes vaguely reworded, for the sole purpose of building links to some central
engines themselves have long been aware of this tactic and have made every effort
to hinder its usefulness. Looking for duplicate content, interlinking strategies,
and an assortment of other similar indicators, search engines have generally managed
to reduce the usefulness of portal websites as a link-building tactic to nothing.
portal websites been rendered useless? The answer, a resounding "no".
benefit to the actual visitor!
all website design, the best possible use of any tactic, including portals, is
to help your visitors. If you make your information easy to find and relevant
to what they are looking for, your visitors will stay longer, view more pages,
and perhaps even return. Portals are an excellent tool for consolidating information
into smaller, more manageable sources of information.
take for example a athletics information website. Being an excellent source of
information for sports around the world, this site has it all. Basketball, Soccer,
Hockey, Rugby, and on and on. The advantage for the website is that it has tons
of great information on all the major sports, the disadvantage ... it has TONS
of information on ALL the major sports. So what can one do to help the visitor
find the information that they are looking for?
here ... build portal websites. In the case of this athletic site it could be
done by either region or by sport. Let's say that you choose to build portal sites
by sport. What this would give the visitor is a much more specific site to navigate,
dedicated to their area of interest. Most certainly you should carefully link
this site to the other sports sites to ensure that a visitor with multiple athletic
interests can find all the information that they need but for the visitor only
searching out information on one sport they will land on pages with tons of information
on that sport dedicated to exactly what they are looking for.
people optimizing websites focus on the spiders and forget about the visitors.
The sites you are developing have to appeal to the visitors and provide them with
the information that they're looking for or all you'll get at the end of the day
is hosting bills and low conversion rates. Portal websites are a great tool for
this in that they enable you to create a series of information resources giving
full information on an area while structuring a network of information covering
a much larger topic.
more keywords too!
the visitor is of very significant importance when building a website or, as we
are discussing here, a network of sites - getting visitors to your site is of
primary significance too. As we all know, there's no point in creating a beautiful
website if no one's going to see it. Portal websites are a fantastic tool for
increasing your online visibility and search engine exposure for a wide variety
the most significant of these reasons is the increase in keywords that you can
target in a portal promotion. Rather than having one website with which to target
a broad range of keywords you now have many websites with which you can target
these same keywords (more effectively) and also add others. Rather than trying
to target "super bowl" and "hockey history" on the same site you now have the
opportunity to target them specifically on sites dedicated to the keywords for
the sport in question.
on one page it is much easier to target the two keyword phrases "hockey playoffs"
and "hockey scores" than "hockey playoffs" and "football rules". In the first
example you are using one keyword for two searches and thus, make the job much
easier that when you have two totally different keyword phrases. Targeting incompatible
keyword phrases (i.e. ones that aren't based on the same main keyword) makes it
harder to get the words in that you need to and still keep the content readable
to the visitor.
related advantage to portal sites is based on the weight that many search engines
give to home pages. For obvious reasons, some search engines put increased weight
on home pages. With a portal promotion you have as many home pages as you do websites
and thus, you have the advantage of increased weight being placed on pages directly
relating to the searches your visitors are finding you with and by which you want
them to find you. And when they get there they will find the exact information
that they are looking for.
ability to list multiple websites on directories, and to build far more links
to your network will also serve you well. With sites dedicated to specific areas
(sports in this example) you can then go to a directory and list you hockey portal
in it's category (Directory > Recreation > Sports > Hockey - in Yahoo!)
and then move on to list your soccer portal at Directory > Recreation >
Sports > Soccer. This gives you the ability to build far more links to your
websites overall and to focus your search engine placement tactics. What I mean
by focus is that you can determine (either through research or experience) which
sports are of the greatest interest to your visitors and focus on placement for
that sport. Rather than building links for one domain and relying on it to rank
for often-unrelated keyword phrases, you can decide that soccer and tennis (for
example) are the two sports whose visitors buy the most products from your site.
You can then go on a large link-building mission for your soccer and tennis portals
looking for links, not just sports-related, but soccer and tennis-related. This
makes your incoming links far more relevant and also enables you to ask for links
from sites that may not otherwise link to you. A site that reports scores on soccer
in Europe is more likely to link to your soccer portal than to a site about sports
in general. Or you can ask them for a link to both sites (your soccer portal and
your main site) and kill two birds with one stone.
the glory days of blatant link-farming are over, portal websites have never been
more relevant. The ability to target a much broader range of keywords, to attain
incoming links from a much larger base of websites, and to carefully link between
these portals can take your site from 50 visitors/day to 5000 if done properly.
of caution: you are going to see these websites that you've created and you're
going to want to maximize your link popularity - so what are you going to do.
Well for one thing, you're not going to link all of your sites to all of the others
with some link-farm footer at the bottom of every page. You're probably not going
to want to even link all of them to the others on a "Links Page". What you will
want to do is interlink them in an intelligent way. When there is a time when
you may want your visitors to go to another of your sites (going from one sport
to another), or where you may want them to have that choice, that's when to link
- not just because you want to add more links.
most issues in web design, keep it friendly and attractive for your visitors.
If you plan to implement a strategy just so it results in an increase in your
search engine placement, but does not enhance the experience for your human visitors,
then it's probably a strategy that either won't work or which will be penalized
down the road.
Ross Dunn is the CEO of StepForth
Placement Inc., a search engine marketing company founded in 1997 and based
in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. StepForth provides cutting-edge search
engine optimization services that provide highly successful, targeted results
for its clientele. Ross Dunn is a Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist
(CIMBS) with a background in web design and online marketing. His broad Internet
experience in combination with a talented staff has made StepForth a name synonymous
with top results.
The Wasted Half of Your Advertising Dollars
is an old saying in advertising that "I know half my advertising dollars are wasted
- I just don't know which half!" Well, on the Web, you do know, since you can
track how many site visitors come from which ads and also monitor which of them
actually purchase or subscribes to your site.
is a complete web traffic report tool that provides answers to important business
questions such as:
are my visitors and where are they coming from?
is the return on investment (ROI) of my advertising campaigns?
content, products or services do visitors prefer?
many recepients are opening and clicking on my emails and newsletters?
are my visitors getting frustrated and not finding the information they are looking
for on my site?
search engines and portals are referring the most visitors to my site?
keyword phrases are more effective to sell my products or services?
the conversion rate tracking tool you can know the performance of every single
dollar you spend on advertisement. Dynamic Sitestats E-Business is coupled with
a Campaign Management add-on which allows you to track any kind of advertising
campaigns including Pay Per Click search engines, Affiliate Programs, E-mail campaigns,
Banner campaigns etc.
and it is fairly easy
for more information and a 15 day free trial.
The Future of Search Engine Marketing
What does 2003
and beyond hold in the constantly changing world of search engine marketing? A
panel of industry experts looked into their crystal balls to provide some guidance
at the Engine Strategies conference in Boston, MA.
Marckini, CEO of iProspect emphasized that the focus of search engine marketing
should not only be on keywords, but on conversions. "When you increase your web
site's conversion rate, you improve the results obtained from all marketing sources
including search, banner ads, and direct e-mail," he said. Another major trend
Marckini sees is the verticalization of search, which was led by the consolidation
of search space.
Founder and President of Range Online Media, stated that more and more clients
are through with playing games and want to deal up front with the search engines
in their marketing plans. "More and more people are spending less time in front
of a television and more time online," she said. Kevin Lee, CEO of DidIt.com,
stated that contextual search is the future of search, and contextual search will
have an impact on search engine marketers. "The search for increased inventory
among the search vendors and distribution partners like Google and Overture means
we are going to see an increases in types of inventory being offered," he said.
and Pay-Per-Click Programs
"The paid inclusion
industry really started with Inktomi," said Dennis Buchheim, Director of Inktomi
Search Marketing Solutions. "It has proven to be an excellent business for us
and has provided a lot of great opportunities to marketers and has been a price-leader."
Buchheim believes that the core value of search engine marketing really has a
lot to do with content in both Inktomi's flat fee URL Submit and Pay-Per-Click
(PPC) trusted feed programs. Buchheim predicts that we will see tools every day:
more search engine automation, both on the bid management and paid inclusion,
more tools for submission, tracking, conversion/ROI tracking. "There is a lifetime
relationship being formed with the customer, and everybody needs to remember that
with the ROI process," he said. "The tools are getting better and better, and
becoming more significant."
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Strategic Alliances and Sales at Overture, said that the big trends he sees revolve
around how many customers he sees coming online. "Overture has doubled from 40,000
customers a year ago to 80,000 today," he said, "and that's just a segment of
the total market. We expect that trend to continue big-time going into 2003 and
beyond." Big-name brands are jumping online in a big way. As these clients get
online and start testing search to see the true marketing value, especially compared
to their other (traditional) online marketing vehicles, expect to see much more
of the share go to search engine marketing, he said.
U.S. Manager for AdWords Sales & Operations at Google, said that Google has
come a long way from 1996. "We are projecting 5-8 years from now that this market
will really expand - increased number of tools, increased levels of sophistication,
and so forth. There is a much bigger world out there that we can educate and open
up to all this space and have them be a large part of this growth." Fischer believes
that Google has only scratched the surface so far. "We have had $5-6 billion in
total online advertising spending this year," he said. "Direct marketing still
spends 8 times that amount. We must continually communicate the effectiveness
and advantages our [search] industry to direct marketers and ad agencies."
Thurow is the Marketing Director at Grantastic Designs, Inc. and the author of
the book Search Engine Visibility. She has been designing and promoting web sites
since 1995 for businesses in a wide range of fields.
the free trial of Dynamic
Keyword Bid Maximizer. The KeywordBid Maximizer is an ultimate bid management
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How Visible Is Your Website
on the WWW?
you built (or paid someone good money to build) a site on the World Wide Web,
but is it accomplishing your goals?
listed on search engines isn't too hard to do, most have a submission page and
software like Dynamic Submission automatically submits your website to all major
search engines and helps you with the manual and paid inclusions. But getting
a good ranking in response to a relevant query, that is an art.
in the major search engines is crucial to running a successful website and knowing
how you're currently positioned is a key step before taking action to improve
your rankings. You could determine this information yourself, by submitting dozens
of queries to dozens of engines, but it is laborious and time-consuming work.
It is far better to employ the available technology to automate the process.
WebRanking assists you in monitoring your site's ranking with major search engines.
It does emulate a manual search through each search engine working as like if
you were manually checking your keywords ranking position. With Dynamic WebRanking,
you or your clients can easily:
* Monitor all webpages in the world's major search engines,
* Keep track
of the top competitors' search engine rankings,
* Run advanced trend reports,
* Schedule customize and have reports delivered to your email address,
* generate relevant keywords with the build-in keyword builder
your website to achieve higher ranking with the built-in web site optimizer
* Export keywords and
ranking results to Text or Excel database
for more information or try our free
demo to find out in real time where you and your competitors rank on the world's
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