The Search Engine Guru

12.29.2004

Google's 2004 Year End Zeitgeist

You can check it out in all it's glory right here.

12.28.2004

MSN Wiki Wiki

MSN has finally included a Wiki for their Beta search, which is expected to launch sometime in the first quarter of 2004.


Lycos Releases Top Searches of 2004

Here is the lycos article...

And for summary, here are the top ten search terms, with last years ranking in parenthesis.

1.Janet Jackson (-)
2. Paris Hilton (4)
3. Clay Aiken (24)
4. Britney Spears (2)
5. Nick Berg (-)
6. KaZaA (1)
7. Tattoos (-)
8. Pamela Anderson (9)
9. Michelle Vieth (-)
10. Poker (-)


Still waiting for the big dog, Google, to release it's top searches.


12.23.2004

Year In Review

Check out Peter Da Vanzo's search engine 'Year in Review' at searchengineblog.com.

Google search for 'search engines'

Google search: search engines.

Google ranks 6th on it's own site when searching for search engines. Don't you think they'd rank themselves number one? Then again, why would someone search for a search engine at a search engine? Danny Sullivan has more on the story at searchenginewatch.com, which coincidentally ranks number one, even though they aren't a search engine!

China to search engines: Hold the porn please.

Source: China Daily

China released a self-discipline pact for Chinese search engine providers to reject web porn Wednesday.

The new regulation, promulgated by the Internet Society of China (ISC), an industry group run by the Ministry of Information Industry, bars search engines from collecting, disseminating or linking to any websites with pornographic, illegal or inappropriate content.

Search engines must not provide services or set up any contacts with any of these illegal websites.

"The ISC should make sure that the self-discipline pact is well implemented to further crackdown Chinese web porn and promote a healthy environment on the Internet", said Cai Ming, deputy director of the State Council Information Office.

China has shut down 1,129 pornographic websites this year in response to public reports made over the official Reporting Center for Illegal and Harmful Information since June.






12.21.2004

This worm isn't Dennis Rodman

News.com reports that an online worm is using Google's search to propigate itself through PHP based online bulletin board systems.

The worm, known as Santy (think: Santy Clause) is using a vulnerability in the very popular PHPbb bulletin board system.

Read the full story here.

Debunking Search Engine Marketing Myths

By Paul J. Bruemmer

There are many preconceived notions about search engine marketing (SEM), and some are actually misconceptions that become established myths. The most popular myths are those about in-house optimization, submission software, traffic quality, and lead superiority -- not to mention the guaranteed top-positioning myth. Below are a dozen myths that can lead marketers astray if left unchallenged.

  1. In-House Optimization Is Cheaper
  2. Research indicates less than 1 percent of marketing budgets go to SEM, so it's no wonder many Web sites will be improperly optimized. Yet SEM pros get better rankings faster because they've mastered the complex, technical, ever-changing submission process that has such a steep learning curve. Outsourcing is cost-effective because the pros benefit from economies-of-scale after the initial outlay in personnel, technology, and process development. In-house SEM lacks such cost maximization.

  3. It's a One-Shot Deal With Submission Software
  4. Submission software promises the moon. But how can software get the same kind of results reputable vendors provide for a fraction of the cost? There's no way software can identify keywords automatically or optimize your content and HTML coding. All the engines have specific submission guidelines that change like clockwork. It's not one-size-fits-all, and no software program can customize and update to the degree required for maintaining top listings.

  5. SEM Leads Are Inferior to Traditional Media Leads
  6. This is the opposite of reality. SEM leads are the most qualified leads you can get because people searching for products and services on search engines are in "action" mode and ready to buy. Search engine traffic is qualified because users initiate the search with a purpose, making these leads targeted and more valuable than those from the "broadcast advertising" methods used by traditional media.

  7. SEM Traffic Isn't High Quality
  8. Ideally, it'd be nice to have an integrated marketing campaign with TV ads, direct mail, email, banner ads, and search engine marketing, but not everyone can afford this. When your marketing budget is limited, the place to start is with SEM. A properly optimized site can produce leads and sales within a short time period. Case studies have shown that search engine traffic is equal to or better than traffic from more expensive sources.

  9. Guaranteed Top Rankings or Your Money Back
  10. Money-back guarantees are worthless in search engine positioning because outcomes are always unpredictable and ever-changing. New submissions are always being added to databases, changing rankings continuously. Bottom line: technicians simply cannot control the search engines.

  11. You Need Listings in Thousands of Search Engines
  12. Submission software claiming to "Submit to 1,500 directories and search engines" will get you listed in many FFA (Free For All) engines. FFA listings are worthless and don't begin to compare to directories and engines like Yahoo! and Google. A likely result: Your name gets on email spam lists.

  13. Once You Achieve Good Rankings, You're All Set
  14. Search engine positioning requires trial and error, and success is ephemeral. Today's top listings will change tomorrow; sometimes, listings change on an hourly basis. Maintaining positioning requires constant monitoring and tweaking. It can't be guaranteed, and results aren't permanent once achieved.

  15. SEM Doesn't Give a Good ROI
  16. This is actually a falsehood. The ROI for SEM is excellent compared to other marketing methods, especially when compared to keyword banner buys. Marketing Sherpa case studies also illustrate this by comparing the results of banner ads, direct mail and SEM. With SEM, you get better conversion rates, lower cost-per-click, and lower acquisition costs.

  17. Professional SEM is Too Expensive
  18. SEM has proven cost-effective compared to banner ads, direct mail, email marketing, and print advertising. For instance, SEM deliverables are half the cost of keyword banner campaigns, and SEM provides specific measurable results.

  19. All SEM Services Are Alike
  20. Fact is services and pricing vary widely. SEM is striving for ethics and standards although there will always be a few questionable providers. Ask your provider to define services, pricing, contracts, and reporting. Verify the provider's experience and proficiency by interviewing past customers.

  21. You Can Save Money With Pay-Per-Click Engines
  22. You hear about buying PPC traffic and getting featured listings for free in the major search engines. This is partly true because of partnership deals, but your best results come from a well-integrated SEM campaign that includes optimized pages for both human-powered and crawler-based search engines and enhanced link popularity. A PPC campaign can be expensive without cost management and ROI verification. Lastly, some users avoid featured listings because they consider them tainted.

  23. A Buyers Guide to SEM Vendors Is Gospel
  24. It would be nice to depend on an SEM buyers guide, but the industry changes too rapidly for any guide to remain current and accurate, even with updates. While I'm proud of the rating Web-Ignite gets in a popular industry buyers guide, I would still recommend that you get referrals from people you know and interview prospective vendors in depth. Always trust your own judgment above someone else's opinion.


About.com and Price Grabber team up

About.com has chose Price Grabber to provide shopping results to it's search.

Check out the story here.

Indeed!

A new search engine has entered the mainstream, and it's a gem.

Indeed, is a search engine that soft launched last month and it's claim to fame is to search all of the jobs posted on the internet. From HotJobs, to monster, and careerbuilder; Indeed seems to cover them all quite well. Extra bonus points go to Indeed for using local search and doing it quite well.

This job specific search engine is worth keeping your eyes on.

12.20.2004

Google's Marketing Head Leaves

Credit: Danny Sullivan, searchenginewatch.com

Forget PageRank. If Google had a secret weapon (or two or three) to count toward its incredible successes, Cindy McCaffrey was a key part of the arsenal. And now, according to SiliconBeat, she's departing: McCaffrey leaving Google.

McCaffrey, vice president of corporate marketing at Google, helped create a marketing and PR team for the company to be envied -- and I speak as someone who has had to deal with numerous PR teams pitching search from companies large and small over the years.

Google's had PR stumbles, of course -- Gmail being one of the biggest to spring to mind. But the successes the company's enjoyed have far, far outweighed these.

I can remember interacting with Google when it was just Larry and Sergey and Craig, which is pretty far back to 1998. But it wasn't too long after that when Cindy arrived.

Now, as SiliconBeat rightly points out, she's the highest ranking Google exec to depart following the IPO. Good news for Cindy -- and good luck to her. As for Google, the marketing and PR team has an all new challenge -- how to spin that losing a top exec isn't a bad thing for Google.


You never could compete with Lloyd Braun!

Yahoo! has named former ABC executive Lloyd Braun as it's entertainment and media director. Seinfeld fans out there may remember Lloyd Braun as George Costanza's nemesis from his childhood days.

In actuality, Lloyd Braun is a real person that knew both Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld from their early days as stand-up comedians. The character from Seinfeld was based (loosely) on the real life Lloyd Braun.

Let's hope Lloyd does better at Yahoo! than he did selling computers in Frank Costanza's garage.

You're not giving away our waterpick!

Google Suggest Dissected

This blogger took the time dissect and rewrite the new Google Suggest tool for web developers to use. Kudos to him!

Also, it was discussed last week that Google would soon start indexing flash files and parsing the text... it's now official. The search world's progression into multimedia continues. For more evidence, check out Yahoo's video search tool.

Security Hole in Google Desktop

This NY Times article explains the security hole and the steps Google has taken to correct it. Desktop search was a big keyword at SES Chicago last week with all major search companies seemingly ready to compete with Google.

Jeeves, What Are The Top Searches of 2004?

AskJeeves has released the top searches for 2004. Check out the complete results, or if you're lazy, here is the top search for each category.

- 2004 Top News search: Iraq

- 2004 Top Celebrity search: Usher

- 2004 Top Movie search: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

- 2004 Top Picture search: Britney Spears

- 2004 Top Destination search: Hawaii

- 2004 Most Popular Thing to do on the Internet: Look up music lyrics

It'll be interesting to see Google's results when they release them next year.

Optimizing for MSN's Search

Check out Wayne Hubert's article on how to optimize your web site for MSN's Beta Web Search.