Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

, August 12, 2008 Subscribe | Back Issues | Reply to Editor | MediaPost Home

Is There An SEO Bubble? Is It Going To Pop?
Conversation Marketing
"I just realized we're in an SEO bubble," says Ian Lurie. "There's been an explosion of SEO consultants, companies, books, conferences, etc. Everyone's cashing in." While Lurie acknowledges that he's not the first blogger/pundit to make this argument, he does try to move the discussion forward by forecasting the possible ways that the search bubble might pop.

First, there's the idea of a "slow meltdown" in which more companies move SEO in-house and search tactics and techniques become common knowledge. "The bigger agencies will either adapt and learn to work with many smaller accounts or die," Lurie says.

There's also the "sudden extinction," or the demise of the entire SEO market brought on by an economic crisis so severe that corporate marketing budgets all but disappear. Lurie also suggests that the bubble will shake out as the industry comes of age--bankrupting the bandwagon-jumpers and unethical firms, but allowing honest, value-producing search agencies and consultants to flourish.

"I'm not wrong on this one," Lurie says, of the last prediction. "In spite of some spectacular examples of ripoff artists making it big, they're getting caught, too. The industry is slowly, painfully coming of age." - Read the whole story...

Using Google Trends For Competitive Analysis
Occam's Razor
Avinaush Kaushik outlines a few ways that Webmasters can use Google Trends for competitive analysis, starting with gauging how much of a competitor's traffic is home-grown versus international. For example, a peek at the traffic for WebTrends (webtrends.com) shows a downward slope in terms of U.S. traffic year-over-year. But when the settings are shifted to All Regions, the downward trend has lessened--reflecting a stronger market overall.

Further breakdown of the data shows that while the majority of WebTrends' traffic is U.S.-based, the site has seen a strong surge of visitors from India. "The thing to do is correlate this with other pieces of data you have," Kaushik says. "For example I notice that India has actually become #2 referrer on my blog as well, so it is interesting that WebTrends is seeing the same, well, trend. So it seems to be inline with expectations."

You can also take search terms data from Google Trends to see which keywords your competitor's visitors are using. "This is getting to know a few different things, mostly around the 'persona' and 'preferences' of the kinds of Visitors who go to a site," he says. "The bigger the site the most interesting this data is (especially when there are more keywords filled out in the Also Searched For part above)." - Read the whole story...

Google's Search Share Tops 70%
Hitwise Intelligence
Heather Donohue blogs about Hitwise's latest monthly search market share report--noting that not much has changed. Google is still in the top spot, followed by Yahoo, Live Search and Ask. So where's the news? Well, Google's share of search has hit a new milestone--just slightly over 70% (70.77%, to be exact). Donohue attributes Google's sustained growth to a number of factors, including increased traffic and better searcher retention.

"Looking back over the past 13 months, in addition to the growing share of searches, traffic to Google has continued to increase," she says. "The market share of visits to Google in July increased 25% over July 2007 and has grown each month since January in 2008. Retention of this increased traffic is also coming into play as Google has maintained a consistent returning visitor rate (visitors who have visited the website within a 30 day period) of 95% each month since October 2007 (when Hitwise began tracking this metric)." - Read the whole story...

SEO Report Card: Littlepixiegifts.com.au
Practical eCommerce
Jeff Meundel trains a search pro's eye on the Web site of Little Pixie Gifts, a baby-oriented gift retailer, and finds that when it comes to SEO, "Little Pixie has big SEO potential." He gives the site an overall score of B-.

Muendel says that the site scores points for its correct usage of a sitemap on the homepage--as well as the minimalistic design of said sitemap. "Littlepixiegifts.com.au not only has a link to their sitemap, but it also has an ideal sitemap design," he says. "Major categories and subcategories are listed logistically with textual links, but it doesn't go deeper than that level, the point at which a sitemap can start to get spammy."

Meanwhile, the site also scores above average marks for its depth of secondary page content, title tags and keyword density. Still, Muendel says Little Pixie Gifts could benefit from more focused attention in all three areas.

The areas where the site scores poorly (in the D and F range) are inbound links, indexation and URL structure. "If Little Pixie Gifts has an SEO weak point, it is in the URLs," Muendel says. "As search engines spider the URL addresses along with title tags and page content, each URL should reflect the keyword theme of the page. Instead, Little Pixie Gifts has URLs like http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au/cart.php?target=category&category_id=62. While such a URL doesn't necessarily hurt things from a search engine perspective, it certainly doesn't help." - Read the whole story...

Tapping Site Search To Glean Consumer Insights
Unoffficial Google Analytics Blog
Sites that make use of a site search tool have a definite advantage when it comes to consumer insights, since, as Caitlin Minteer notes, "you can gain valuable insights into what your visitor is thinking, by actually having them tell you!" And Minteer outlines a number of ways to dig into site search data as provided by a tool like Google's Custom Search Engine.

For example, paying attention to the page where visitors start their site search (i.e., the start page) can shed light on pages that are confusing, don't contain enough relevant info, or even have a poor or broken navigational structure. "You may need to provide more direction to these areas of the site to help your visitors find what they need," she says. - Read the whole story...

Merchant Circle's Ready-Made Web sites
- Read the whole story...

Rankings Aren't The Only Stat, But They're Still Important
Search Engine Guide

Search Insider - Around the Net for Tuesday, August 12, 2008


You are receiving this newsletter at brian.bobo@gmail.com as part of your membership with MediaPost.
If this issue was forwarded to you and you would like to begin receiving a copy of your own, please visit our site - www.mediapost.com - and become a complimentary member.
For advertising opportunities see our online media kit.
If you'd rather not receive this newsletter in the future click here.
email powered by eROIWe welcome and appreciate forwarding of our newsletters in their entirety or in part with proper attribution.
(c) 2008 MediaPost Communications, 1140 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001

No comments:

Blog Archive