Thursday, February 07, 2008

It's 2008 already! Fix your copyright tag!

Pet Peeve: Companies that have not updated the copyright tag on their websites. Drives me crazy. Not to mention that it makes your site look out of date and neglected :(

Examples of companies that need to change the 7 (or even, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) to an 8.

Coke, Longs Drugstores, Staples, Chrysler

[interesting to note that many of these sites are not search engine friendly]

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 7:55 PM     Permanent Link

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A New Search Engine Testing the Waters

The latest search engine company to tell me about their 'stealth' company is ManagedQ. It has a sexy, black background, no ads, and a great way of seeing search results in something other than plain text. It has a feature that highlights the words you searched on and allows you to search for another keyword/phrase within the results already found. And to help you do more with your search they bucket related links to your query into People, Places, and Things. It is all about images/screenshots so scrolling through the snapshots of the pages (which uses snap.com's technology (weren't they an old search engine?)) is extremely fast. Once you see a result/page that you would like to click on they display the page but buried in some sort of iFrame and I don't see a way to get out of their product and see the site on its own. Talk about trapped! They make heavy use of title and meta tags to display summaries of the pages. This is a good thing for sites that pay attention to those items. The results are Google results but the on-demand application (a buzz word usage I admit) is to be portable, a layer onto of any existing engine.

So where is the added value? Coming I hope. Meanwhile you can get the page snapshot display from SNAP directly (florists example) and add the screenshots to your Google search results display with the FireFox plug-in BetterSearch. Maybe SnapShots and ManagedQ are both Bill Gross companies? Hhhmmmm.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 11:54 AM     Permanent Link

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Forget the Tail - Focus on the Head for SEM

From the Pen of Amanda Evans - WebMama's Senior Search Consultant:

I was recently asked whether I thought the long tail really existed and I had to chuckle a little bit. You see, I’ve been lured in time and time again by this tantalizing idea - that there’s a missing pot of gold out there equal to the amount generated by my top terms and all I have to do is optimize for it. I’ve spent years trying to achieve this level of optimization – but no matter how efficient my campaigns have been, I’ve never seen a campaign where the sum of the sales of the tail terms equal the sum of the sales of a handful of head terms.

In the majority of campaigns, the top 10% of keywords make up 90-95% of revenue. And in many campaigns, the top 10 keywords (not 10%...just 10) make up 95% of the revenue. The next 3-4% is made up of the next handful and the last 1-2% is made up of tail terms. And so, over the years, I’ve had the good sense to realize that my efforts are best spent optimizing and policing the top 10% of head terms and continually testing other search marketing avenues.

Now don’t misunderstand – if someone types in “hot pink Tinkerbell tank tops” and I sell it, I want to be visible. But I don’t want to spend the majority of my time optimizing for a term that someone may or may not type in. That is precious time that takes my eye off the terms that make up 95% of my revenue.

Instead what I would offer is the following:

  • Spend a proportionate amount of time optimizing for the tail terms. If they make up 5% of your revenue, spend 5% of your time optimizing for them.
  • Rely on the technology created by engines to assist in long tail searches to do the heavy lifting– aka broad match & keyword insertion. (Make sure that any insertions d one are of the highest quality and make grammatical sense.)
  • Ensure that your web site has adequate content so that if someone searches for obscure content, the search engines will find it.
  • Never take your eye off the top terms which make up 95% of your revenue.
  • Keep an eye on the searches done on your site to ensure that a) your head terms aren’t changing and b) that you have the right content represented on your site.

Good luck & Happy Optimizing!
Amanda

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 8:20 AM     Permanent Link