Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

, September 17, 2008 Subscribe | Back Issues | Reply to Editor | MediaPost Home

Google Starts Getting Serious With Business Listings
Understanding Google Maps & Yahoo Local Search
Tons of local businesses have sought to cultivate their online traffic through a Google Maps listing, and have been met with buggy spam filtering and relatively nonexistent live support from Google. The giant has taken one of its first steps toward combating the subpar merchant experience by laying out a set of "quality guidelines" for being included in Maps, as well as an automated form to fill out for getting reincluded (if a listing gets pulled).

The guidelines include making sure that the business' online listing matches its real world contact info, providing users with the most direct contact info (i.e., the local office number as opposed to the 800-number), as well as not putting descriptive info or keywords into the place where the company name should be.

"The guidelines are a first real indication of Google's standards for defining a real business listing from a spammy one," Mike Blumenthal says. - Read the whole story...

Big G Still Mismatching Old News With New Dates
GraywolfÂ's SEO Blog
Google dismissed the United Airlines-archived news fiasco as a fluke, but Michael Gray serves up more recent examples of the search giant indexing and displaying old news articles with current dates.

First up is a New York Times post about investment firm HRJ suffering from the subprime mortgage crisis. The article is from August 2007, but it turns up during a search with a date of Sept. 14, 2008. "What if I'm in the financial market and as part of my job I have to monitor HRJ Capital, and I go to Google News and search for them," Gray says. "I get the story that was originally published on August 24, 2007 but that Google thinks was published on September 14th 2008. Do you see how assigning the wrong date to old news could cause a problem?"

He follows with another Times article, this one from October 2007. It turns up in the search results with a date of Sept. 4, 2008. - Read the whole story...

Prepping For the Holiday Search Season
adCenter Community
As the golden rays of summer fade away, the best-prepped search marketers aren't thinking about Halloween or even Thanksgiving ads -- they've got their holiday-themed campaigns ready. Tina Kelleher offers some quick tips for setting up (and maintaining) successful PPC campaigns for the holidays.

First, craft entirely new campaigns that you can pause when the holidays are over. This way you avoid the time spent tweaking existing campaigns to fit a Christmas or Hanukkah mold. You'll also be better prepared for next year's winter rush.

Kelleher also suggests beefing up your budgets in preparation for aggressive bidding. "The Holiday Season is infamous for gobbling up your advertising dollars quicker than any other time of year -- you don't want to check in on your campaigns and find that they went into budget pause either early in the day for campaigns set to divide across the month, or else near the end of the month for those set to spend until depleted," she says. - Read the whole story...

Dissecting America's Clicks With Bill Tancer
Bill Tancer has just released "Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why it Matters," a new tome diving into some of the overarching search trends he's observed while serving as general manager of global research at Hitwise.

One of the most provocative trends Tancer touches on is almost anything but -- more Americans are logging on to check their social media profiles than to watch porn. "As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased," Tancer said, particularly with users aged 18-24. "My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don't have time to look at adult sites." - Read the whole story...

The Case Against The Meta Keywords Tag
Natural Search Blog
There has been a sustained debate about the merits of the meta keywords tag, and Chris Silver Smith argues that the tags aren't even worth the effort it takes to create them in this post. In fact, in some cases, he says a poorly optimized meta keywords tag could actually get a site penalized.

Smith's reasoning stems from an extensive post by Danny Sullivan that found that Yahoo and Ask are the only two engines that factor the tags into the ranking process -- albeit as a last resort. "If they can't find content matching a keyword search through other, preferable signals such as visible page body text, they might only then fall back on meta keyword content," he says. "In this case, if you already have the terms in the visible text of the page, it's just not necessary to have it in the Meta Keywords tag - your page likely won't rank any better than it already does."

Google and Live Search, on the other hand, don't use the meta keywords tag to determine favorable rankings at all. But Google may actually be crawling the tags to help assess whether a page has been over-optimized by spammers, and that's where a well-meaning Webmaster could wind up in trouble. "Pages with unrelated words in the meta keyword content or which are stuffed too much might be singled out for lower quality scores or penalizations," he says. - Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Wednesday, September 17, 2008


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