The Search Engine Update – Number 238 – Feb. 21, 2007

Editor, Search Engine Watch
Copyright (c) 2007 Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC

In This Issue

+ Upcoming Search Engine Strategies Events
+ Editors’ Notes
+ Top Stories Since Our Last SE Update

+ Our Search Newsletters & Feeds
+ About The Newsletter


Upcoming Search Engine Strategies Events

Editors’ Notes

I’m writing this after returning from SES London, where the turnout of attendees was amazing. The conference sessions were overflowing at times and quality of information from the UK and European based speakers is top notch. Once again, I left London impacted by the significant verticalization in the UK market – the travel sector is incredibily competitive and issues surrounding affiliates and spam continue to plague travel service providers. The financial marketplace remains vibrant, despite its own challenges with legal restrictions. But in general, based on the number of headlines I’ve included below in the vertical & specialty section, I should no longer be surprised at the growth within these areas.

Two personalities that came up frequently in conversation were Jason Calcanis and Dave Pasternack, for their recent commentary on the SEO industry. At this point however, the saga seems to be over, as many luminaries in the search industry have simply dismissed their respective opinions as simple pleas for attention or links.

I sat in on the Search Advertising Forum, to find out what’s new in UK Paid Search. Perhaps luckily for the UK crowd, Yahoo’s Panama platform has yet to launch there, although it is expected during Q2. Meanwhile, the UK crowd gets a discount in bid minimums, down from 10p to 5p. For U.S. users, there are mixed reviews being reported in the SEW Forums, while there are still some bugs being worked out, several users agree that the ranking system overall is better. Meanwhile, Microsoft adCenter celebrated its six-month anniversary in the UK. Community manager Mel Carson shared some interesting insights, and shared a few things on the horizon for adCenter: an accreditation for SEM professionals within 6-12 months, and the planned integration of DeepMetrix Analtyics (code name: Project Gatineau) is underway.

Stay tuned over the next few days for some special reports from the show. We start off with Andrew Goodman’s highlights from the Keynote Conversation with Matt Cutts.

We’ve also welcomed two additional bloggers to our staff: Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting, and Grant Crowell of Grantastic Designs.

Be sure to join us for our next major US event, SES New York.

Since Our Last SE Update:

Below is a recap of major articles from our daily SearchDay newsletter and important Search Engine Watch Blog postings since the last newsletter. Want to receive these stories daily or via RSS/feed? See the Search Engine Watch Newsletters & Web Feeds page for sign-up instructions.

Organic Search

=== SearchDay: Feb. 1, 2007 ===

A Look at the Next Generation of Search? – Kevin Newcomb reports from the AlwaysOn Media conference in New York yesterday, to check out a “next-generation search” session and a panel on keyword advertising.

=== SearchDay: Feb. 7, 2007 ===

Think Like A Search Engineer – Eric Enge shares his thoughts on why understanding the way search engineers think can help you decide whether or not a new idea is worth trying. Knowing when you are taking risks, or making the decision to avoid them, can help scale your search engine marketing strategy to new heights.

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================

  • More Users to See Personalized Google Results
    Google has just increased the prominence of its personalization tools, including its personalized homepage and personalized search options. Beginning today, they will be turned on by default for all new users with a Google account, and some personalization options will be auto-enabled for users with existing accounts.
  • Yahoo Site Explorer Gets Updates
    Yahoo has updated its tool for webmasters that shares what Yahoo knows about your site in terms of indexed pages and links.
  • Plan Your SEO for the Long Haul
    Most SEO firms can be divided into two camps — short-term “algorithm chasers” or far-sighted SEO practitioners who build keyword-focused, search-friendly, user-friendly Web sites.
  • Jason Calacanis Hates SEOs, But Loves What SEOs Do
    The fundamental problem here is the definition of SEO. Calacanis extols the value of clean page design, great content, and solid Web design. Guess what? So does every reputable SEO firm.
  • What Personalization Means to SEOs
    Has the reliance on rankings held back search marketers and their clients from doing some more advanced marketing?
  • Google Clarifies Some Webmaster Guidelines
    Google has made some minor changes to its Webmaster guidelines, which appear to be aimed at clarifying policies rather than substantially changing them.
  • Diller Sings Praises of SEO
    Speaking at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York today, IAC’s Barry Diller grumbled about a lot of things, but not SEO.
  • The 301 Redirect Headache
    Moving Web pages that have been indexed by search engines to a new URL via a 301 permanent redirect can cause a headache that must be planned for.
  • Google Groups Becoming a Gold Mine for SEO Information
    Google Groups recently relaunched with a new look and feel. One of the most popular groups in the search engine optimization community is the Webmaster Help group.
  • AOL Turns Up Dial on FullView Marketing
    AOL began promoting its new FullView integrated search interface, which launched in October.
  • Beyond “Technical SEO”
    ‘Strategic SEO’ is not SEO at all, but competitive webmastering, which uses SEO tactics, says John Andrews.
  • More Sites Hitting Google’s Supplemental Index?
    Both Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans have posted tips to get a site out of Google’s supplemental index.
  • Google Revamps Sitelinks
    Google has made some changes to the way it assigns and shows Sitelinks, the list of pages included under the search results for certain sites that have a clear directory structure.

Paid Search

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================

  • Google Shares Tips on Addressing Click Quality Concerns
    Google Click Quality team member Julian puts a kinder, gentler face on the mystery team by sharing a bit about what his job entails, and talking about some of the more common advertiser concerns.
  • Yahoo Gives Tips To Improve Quality Score
    In advance of Monday’s implementation of its new ranking algorithm, Yahoo is sharing tips with advertisers to create ads that will work well in the new system.
  • KeywordDiscovery offers free search term suggestion tool
    Trellian follows Wordtracker’s lead in offering a free version of their popular keyword research tools to fill the gap left by a faltering free tool from Yahoo.
  • Affiliates and PPC
    Are affiliates the cause of high PPC search ad costs for merchants? Many merchants are taking steps to prevent affiliate arbitrage.
  • Miva Gets Vertical
    Miva has added a vertical offering to its pay-per-click ad network in the U.S. and U.K.
  • Google Refutes Click Fraud Numbers, Once Again
    In response to the latest click fraud report from Click Forensics, Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder has responded in a two-part post on his personal blog.
  • Wordtracker launches free keyword suggestion tool
    While Yahoo is experiencing problems with their free keyword tool, Wordtracker has seized the moment to release a free version of its popular tool.
  • Click Fraud Numbers Up, Content Networks Near 20%
    A Click Forensics report found 2006 click fraud numbers reached 14.2% overall and 19.2 for clicks from search engine content networks. High-spend terms (clicks of $2 or more) averaged 20.9% click fraud.
  • Yahoo Keyword Tool Not Dead Yet
    Earlier reports that Yahoo’s keyword research tool is being discontinued are not true, according to a Yahoo spokesperson. Apparently, issues with the Keyword Selector Tool being inaccessible are due to volume, and the tool is not in danger of disappearing.
  • Keyword Research Industry Still Lacks a Clear Choice
    Keyword phrase research is perhaps the most important part of any search engine marketing campaign. Unfortunately, the majority of the available services are lacking when it comes to bet-the-farm-on-it certainty of search numbers and predictions.
  • New Search Ad Management Tools Launched
    New search ad management platforms from ChannelAdvisor and iProspect launched this week.
  • Yahoo Ad Ranking System Now Live
    Today’s the day, as any search marketer not living under a rock for the past few months knows. Yahoo’s flipping the switch on its new ad ranking model, so that bid price is no longer the sole factor in determining ad positions.
  • FAST AdMomentum: Private-Label Contextual Advertising
    FAST launched a private-label contextual advertising platform for online media companies, retailers and telecommunications service providers, offering a way to monetize traffic to their sites.
  • to Provide WSJ PPC Advertising has inked a deal to become the exclusive provider of pay-per-click advertising for the Dow Jones’ Wall Street Journal Online search pages.
  • Google to Update Ad Quality Scoring
    In the next couple weeks, Google will implement a new algorithm for AdWords ad ranking, and provide advertisers with more visibility into that scoring process.
  • Google to Test CPC-based Site Targeting
    Google announced plans to begin running CPC-based ads using the site targeting feature.
  • Yahoo Outlines Keys to PPC Success: Test, Test, Test
    Michael Egan, senior director of content solutions, gives a run-down of the ad testing features available in Panama, and suggests that ad testing is a “must do.”

Linking Issues

=== SearchDay: Feb. 15, 2007 === An Old-Fashioned Success Story – A interview with the site’s founder, realizes that SEO success that a lot to do with the basics of marketing and PR – and how they can drive quality links to any site.

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================


Analytics & ROI

=== SearchDay: Feb. 14, 2007 ===

Data Mining: The Heart of Analysis – What do you do when the needle won’t move anymore — when you can’t invest another dollar in your paid search program without diminishing your returns? The answer lies in the data.

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================


Vertical & Specialty Search

=== SearchDay: Feb. 13, 2007 ===

Is Google News the Tail Wagging the News Search Dog? – Why does Google News get more press and blog mentions than other news search engines, when Yahoo News and AOL News have larger unique audiences? Greg Jarboe reports his findings.

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================


Social Media

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================

  • Facebook on the Rise
    Partnerships with Comcast and Jobster could help the social networking site take on MySpace.
  • Yahoo Launches Pipes, an RSS Remixing Tool
    Yahoo has unveiled a new data manipulation/mashup platform called Yahoo Pipes, “a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment.”
  • Lycos Jumps Into the Social Mix
    Lycos MIX, a new bookmarking tool, lets users pull video clips from a variety of different sources across the Web.
  • Will Splinter Communities Work?
    Web publishers are scrambling to provide their own outlets for user-generated content. This could be interesting to search marketers, especially if we’re able to reach bloggers or amateur video makers within more defined and splintered communities.
  • MSN Reporter — A Digg Competitor from MSN
    MSN Reporter, in beta since October 2006, has launched in the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.
  • Blogs & Social Media Drive Traffic and Search Rankings
    ClickInfluence’s Nick Wilson shares a primer from SES London on the steps companies should take to get involved in blogging and participate in social media.
  • Where the Influencers Roam
    While getting the most buzz, “YOU” are not the only influencer out there. In addition to what’s happening on social sites, there are many other places where the influencers roam.
  • Taggers Hitting the Mainstream
    There are enough people tagging now to (almost) call it mainstream.
  • Voices of the Few
    The “voices of the few” seem to be setting the social search agenda, or at least influencing what we find on social sites.


SEM for Small Businesses


In-House & Big Brand SEM

=== SearchDay: Feb. 6, 2007 ===

Super Bowl SEO: Who Had the Best Organic Gameplan? – Chris Boggs rates how big name advertisers muffed the SEM component of their Superbowl advertising campaigns.

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================

  • Super Bowl Ads – Where’s the URL?
    There have been some good reviews of this year’s always-anticipated Super Bowl ad crop, but the “URL visibility factor” did not rank so well.


SEM Industry Issues

=== SearchDay: Feb. 8, 2007 ===

Search Marketing Shows Strength in 2006 – SEMPO’s annual look at the State of Search Engine Marketing finds that search continues to grow, reaching $9.4 billion in North America in 2006.

=========================== From the SEW Blog: ===========================

Our Search Newsletters & Feeds

Get the latest news each day, throughout the day, alerts of new discussion threads from our Search Engine Watch Forums and more — we have a newsletter or feed that covers all of these. See our Search Engine Newsletters & Web Feeds for a full rundown on everything we offer, as well as special buttons to let you subscribe via news readers such as Rojo, My MSN, Bloglines, Feedster, Newsgator, Pluck and My Yahoo. Thanks to FeedBurner for providing our feed tracking and management services!

About The Search Engine Update

The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to Search Engine Watch members. Please note that long URLs may break into two lines in some mail readers. Cut and paste, should this occur.

How do I unsubscribe?
+ Follow the instructions at the very end of this e-mail.

How do I subscribe?
The Search Engine Update is only available to paid members of the Search Engine Watch Website. If you are not a member and somehow are receiving a copy of the newsletter, learn how to become a member.

How do I see past issues?
Visit the Search Engine Update Archives.

How do I change my address?
+ Send a message to

I need human help with my membership!
+ Send a message to DO NOT send messages regarding list management or membership issues directly to the authors.

I have feedback about an article!
+ I’d love to hear it. Use this form.

Related reading

Search engine results: The ten year evolution
Five ways PPC customer support can help SMBs
#GoogleDoBetter The latest on internal issues at Google and Alphabet
Google Sandbox Is it still affecting new sites in 2019