Thursday, September 11, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Reviewing AdCenter's Ad Intelligence Keyword Tool
PPC Hero
Microsoft may be late to the game with its Ad Intelligence keyword research tool, but according to Joe Kerschbaum, it may have been worth the wait. "I know there [are] a number of keyword tools out there but MSN adCenter Ad Intelligence is quickly becoming my favorite because of the quality of the results; the breadth of data for each keyword; and it's [sic] relatively easy-to-use interface within Excel (2003 & 2007)," he says.

His review focuses on the keyword generation portion of the tool (called Keyword Wizard), which lets you build an extensive list from a seed of just a few keywords. Ad Intelligence can then suggest alternatives based on advertiser bidding behavior, terms that fit in the same category, or phrases that actually contain the chosen word within them. You can also tweak the relevance of the ensuing suggestions (straying as far from your original choice or exploring wider targets as you see fit).

Where Ad Intelligence really excels is in the details, as the tool provides insights on the suggested keywords' possible monthly traffic and monetization (in terms of projected CPCs, CTRs and impressions). "The adCenter folks have done a good job pulling together a useful keyword tool that is quite robust," he says. - Read the whole story...

MapQuest's New Local Search 'Dashboard'
AOL's MapQuest has launched a local search "dashboard" of sorts, which Greg Sterling thinks can be a game-changer--as it could eventually become a one-stop shop of links, videos and ads for local businesses.

Users can plug various widgets onto their own personal MapQuest start page, including local news, weather and videos. The content comes from both AOL and third-party services like Topix, and the Web giant is encouraging anyone who's interested to create a module or widget. "This quickly becomes a distribution platform or way to drive traffic to local publisher sites," Sterling says. "There's no reason why, for example, Yelp, Loladex, Krillion, Praized,, Loopt or anyone in local couldn't or wouldn't tap into MapQuest's traffic. In a way then, this is like [a] Facebook platform for local (except there's no development required here)." - Read the whole story...

Talking Local At SEMpdx
Todd Mintz live-blogged David Mihm's local search presentation at this month's SEMpdx Hot Seat. Mihm rattled off some stats illustrating the importance of local search, including the fact that 500 million unique visitors use Google for local search queries per month, while about 100 million use Yahoo.

Mihm said that 40% of all queries have a local intent. Searchers use city and state names or zip codes about 5% of the time, and informal terms like neighborhoods 2% of the time. He also highlighted tactics like hyper-local blogging (which can generate a ton of relevant, high-quality links) and using Twitter to connect with other tech-savvy local businesses. - Read the whole story...

The Pros And Cons Of URL Shorteners
Email marketers and Twitter users may be the most versed in the virtues of URL shorteners like TinyURL, and LinkBee, but Jane Copeland uncovers a slew of alternatives in this post, and explains why they're useful to the SEO community at large.

As the "granddaddy" of URL shorteners, TinyURL has a bit of an advantage. But while it may be one of the easiest tools to use, Copeland notes that there's no tracking (i.e. you can't tell who, where or when someone clicked on your link) and that some people may have acquired TinyURL blindness. On the other hand, a newcomer LinkBee is simple enough to use, and allows people to monetize their links with ads--but may turn off people who just wanted to get to the content that was promised.

Then there's SnipURL (also called Snurl or Snipr). It offers "customization combined with safety," Copeland says. You can make your destination URL less guessable by appending it with a unique code, you get tons of data--including stats on unique clicks--and the most popular links from the past month. The only caveat is that it contributes to the tons of data SEOs already have to wade through. "I sometimes wonder whether it's really healthy for SEO types, who are usually quite data-happy, to be allowed access to more RSS feeds and spreadsheets," she says. - Read the whole story...

Crib Notes For The Google AdWords Exam
Richard Fergie shares the top 10 resources he used to help study for the AdWords exam in one week (which he passed). First up is the AdWords Learning Center, which provides details straight from the horse's (er ... engine's) mouth. The center offers text-based and multimedia lessons, and breaks down the content into short chunks that can be digested in about 15 minutes.

He also cites Aaron Wall's SEO Book--especially the Pay Per Click 101 video--as a source, as well as Hanapin Marketing's PPC Hero blog. Fergie suggests listening to Webmaster Radio's PPC-Rockstars podcast and checking out's and RedFly Marketing's extensive Quality Score insights.

Lastly, he managed to get in some "hands on" time during the week. "I've been quite lucky in that I've been able to play around with SEOptimise's own PPC campaign," Fergie says. "Messing around like this is a great way of learning, so if you do get the chance to even just look at someone else's already running account, I'd jump on it." - Read the whole story...

Yahoo Makes Mobile Push In Australia
Sydney Morning Herald
- Read the whole story...

Drafting Search Coverage From Third-Party Sites
Search Engine Land
- Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Thursday, September 11, 2008


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