Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Dipping Your Toe Into Spanish-Language SEM
"Advertisers that aren't buying non-English keywords, writing search ad creative in other languages and optimizing landing pages for non-English speakers are missing out on huge revenue opportunities." So says Alicia Morga, CEO of Consorte Media, an interactive ad firm that targets the Hispanic market.

Morga serves up a primer for running a Spanish-language search campaign, starting with the keyword selection process. "First, identify your top keywords in English, and then, find the equivalent in Spanish," she says. And make sure you run your choices by a native speaker who will be able to tell you if your literal translations have the right connotation.

The same goes for ad copy. "Make sure the Spanish used in the text ad is accurate, contextually and culturally relevant (checked by a native speaker), and conveys a relevant promotional message," Morga says. And don't forget the call to action.

And while you don't have to translate your entire site to connect with the Spanish-speaking customer, developing landing pages in their language can go a long way toward increasing conversions. Lastly, test and retest your Spanish campaigns, just as you would your English ones. - Read the whole story...

Adobe Makes Flash Files More Searchable
Search Engine Land
If you want your site to rank well, don't use Flash! That's been the mantra of many an SEO, but Adobe has been working diligently to eradicate that stigma. And the Web design and tech firm has moved closer to having search-friendly Flash, announcing that the Googlebot can now "read" Flash files and extract text and links.

So while the images and animation within Flash files are still non-crawlable, text files like the words-on buttons and URLs will be. Adobe is providing both Google and Yahoo with a special Flash player that will enable them to "introspect and navigate through a live SWF application as if they were virtual users," though Google is currently the only engine with immediate implementation plans. Yahoo brass said that the Flash-player integration was on the radar, but gave no timeline (and since they have far bigger concerns, who can blame them?) while Adobe said it plans to work with Microsoft's Live Search on an alternative solution.

"Can SEOs now remove the 'review Flash implementation' line from their checklists? Probably not," says Vanessa Fox. The new system can't pull any meta data from the Flash files, for example, nor can it interact with Flash files that are served via JavaScript. "However, it should be easier for SEOs to work with Flash-based sites going forward." - Read the whole story...

On Second Thought, Maybe You Don't Need Two Search Firms
TopRank Blog
Last week, ConsumerBase CEO Larry Organ made the case for hiring two search firms (or having two separate search teams, at the least) in a Chief Marketer article . And Lee Odden offers up a rebuttal of sorts with this post, which details the problems inherent with having two separate companies working on SEO.
  First off, is the confusion that can come from having multiple heads making changes to the Web site. "With many web sites, it's enough of a challenge to get all the client side stakeholders on board with the changes in content processes and attention to keywords and links," Odden says. "Having two agencies coordinate which parts of the web site they would be responsible for would add to what is often already a challenging situation."

Meanwhile, the extra time it would take for the two firms to collaborate and make sure they weren't stepping on each other's toes would cost more money. So while the practice of having two teams to handle paid search might have some merit, Odden aims to prove that such a strategy isn't the best for a client's organic search needs.     - Read the whole story...

The Case For Agencies Using Search To Promote Themselves
Joshua Stylman takes Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) Chairman Steve Harty to task in this post, for Harty's recent comments pooh-poohing an agency's use of search marketing to promote itself.

"We're not convinced that the people we are marketing to are using that as a channel..." Harty said. "We have a more targeted strategy than, 'We're open for business.' Search is kind of indiscriminate in a way."

Stylman uses BBH's presence (or lack thereof) in the SERPs to illustrate why agencies actually do need to establish a strong paid and organic search practice for themselves.

"While BBH may not be using search to draw in new clients you can bet that prospective clients, employees and strategic partners are using search to get a sense of how it would be to work with their potential new agency, its chairman, or their creative team," he says. "I would bet that one of the first things someone does after getting a business card from someone at BBH is to look for them and their company on Google. The results are lackluster--a potential client might wonder whether the results of a marketing campaign developed by BBH will be any better." - Read the whole story...

Search in 2008: A Recap
We're already in the latter half of 2008--and it seems like yesterday that the pundits were making predictions as to what the search landscape would be like by now. But Jody Nimetz offers a recap of what actually happened in search over the past six months, starting with the retooling of Ask.

"Ask began the year by replacing their CEO, and hiring marketing man Jim Safka," Nimetz says. By spring, there were reports that the engine was shopping its Teoma search technology to a bigger player (namely Google), and though they never came to fruition, Ask did eventually throw in the towel (sort of).

"By March, the hammer had fallen as Ask announced that they were tired of competing with Google to try and gain market share in the search industry," Nimetz says. "Jim Safka communicated that based on research that they had done on their target demographic that ASK.com would begin targeting women specifically housewives in the 25-40 age range."

Meanwhile, Google continued to chug along, pumping out improvements for Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, launching Google Health and eventually Ad Planner. Still, there was a hiccup when comScore reported that the search giant was experiencing little to no growth in paid clicks.

And of course, the Microhoo saga that began February continues to play out as we cruise through the summer. One can only wonder what will become of Live Search (and cashback) and Yahoo (or what remains of it) come winter. - Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Tuesday, July 1, 2008


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