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October 26, 2006

Catching up on the industry

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Good morning and happy Thursday. Don’t worry, the fact that Lisa isn’t posting has nothing to do with her attempted coup on Tuesday (unless the universe is taking revenge on her for it. In any case, it’s not my fault.) She’s out sick which means that you get me today.

We’re going to take this easy today because it’s almost Friday and I’m only almost better. Let’s get caught up together, okay?

In the Yahoo world:

All the devotees of Google’s Inside Adwords blog will no doubt be just as interested in Yahoo’s newest blog, the Yahoo Search Marketing official blog. The folks at YSM blog promise connection and communication. Welcome to the official blogosphere, guys. We’re absolutely going to be watching every single thing that you do.

Barry reports that Yahoo is heeding the pleas of webmasters and will be adding support for a “No Yahoo Directory” tag. Tim Mayer asked the folks over at WebmasterWorld for their opinion on how the tag should be implemented, as “a different tag or should the NOODP tag apply to both YDIR and ODP?”

My first impulse is to ask for just one tag. It’s cleaner and if you can’t write a better title and description for your own site than either directory, you probably won’t know about the exclusion tag anyway.

However, a quick look over the WMW thread shows me that I’m in the minority. Most people like the idea of several different tags opting out of all sorts of directories (some people even threw in a NOBOTW request.)

Stop the madness, people! One tag is all you need. You either want to write your own description and title or you don’t.

In the Google world:

Just in case you forgot, Google is a search engine and not a verb. Now can we stop pretending that it’s news every time Google protects their trademark? Thanks.

Let’s talk about this instead, $50 in clicks for Adwords! While eComXpo (the only conference you can attend in your pajamas) is going on, Google is offering a coupon for setting up a new account with Adwords.

Microsoft is doing the same thing so be sure to get them both. Then you can compare what kind of traffic they bring you!

(Hat-tip, SER.)

In the Search Engine Optimization World:

SEO is just a one-time fix? Well, in that case I’m going home!

Chances are you’ve already read this article but I’m a little behind so forgive me. Besides, I could use a giggle today. I’m not going to spend a lot of time trying to defend SEO either. I hardly think the industry needs me as a champion. Instead I’ll point out something else about the article.

He’s right.

Mr. Pasternack notes:

…SEO isn’t rocket science, and just about every marketer who invests a bit of time, research, and elbow grease can realize its benefits without paying a fortune to an SEO firm.

He’s absolutely correct. We’ve said the same ourselves. Search engine optimization isn’t complicated and it’s not something that you can’t do yourself. It’s simple. It’s not easy but it’s pretty simple. In fact, we even offer training courses in how to do SEO and I would bet that if you asked our past students they would say that they’re pretty sure that they have the knowledge now to go out and optimize their own web sites.

But wait, if you’ve read this blog at all, you know that we require our clients to attend our training course. Why would we do that if at the end of it they could conceivably go out and do it themselves? How completely stupid are we?

(Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical.)

The truth is that you hire an SEO firm for the same reason you hire a gardener. Sure you can do it yourself, do all the weeding and the hedge clipping and watering the lawn and …other things involved in having a yard (I live in an apartment, my greenery is limited to a single dying orchid). But you have a business to run and presumably a life to lead and chances are that you have as much interest in learning about how to care for your rhododendrons as you have in doing your own brain surgery. So you hire a professional to take care of your yard for you, he keeps it looking good and you can focus on going about your business. ‘Nuff said!

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