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In this issue:

FEATURE:
SEO Goes To School

BACK TO BASICS:
Siloing Revisited

THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.

FEATURE: SEO Goes To School

Although in internet years it's old enough to have been born with the dinosaurs, search engine optimization is a young industry still going through its growing pains. The truth is, 10 years ago "search engine optimization" did not exist. Danny Sullivan was just getting started in the industry, as was Bruce Clay. At the time, no one even called it SEO. But times have changed. Recently people have woken up to the fact that the industry is growing up and part of growing up means going to school. Now that the SEO industry is out of its infancy, there's a natural and growing interest in training courses that offer knowledge transfer and basic guidelines for entering the field.


BACK TO BASICS: Siloing Revisited

While the concept of siloing (also known as theming) has been widely adopted into SEO jargon, it's clear that the technique itself is not widely understood. It is for this reason that we chose to revisit the concept of siloing after first addressing it in our SEO Newsletter last spring. In its simplest terms, siloing is a site architecture technique used to split the focus of a site into multiple themes. The goal behind siloing is to create a site that ranks well for both its common and more-targeted keywords.



Hot Topics

Know your craft

Perhaps it was because everyone was still setting down and processing what they had learned during SES San Jose, but September brought an increased focus in the idea of knowing and perfecting the SEO craft. Where SEO training once consisted solely of a taxing trial and error system, as the industry matures, more and more SEO professionals are realizing the potential behind full-fledged SEO training.

This month it was hard not to notice the increase in offers for SEO/ SEM training classes circulating the web. A few of the most interesting (and most credible) offers included:

Google-instructed SEO training

Eyebrows were raised earlier this month when Lee Odden discovered that Google was offering a seminar called "Optimizing Your Websites for Google Search". To make the offer even more appealing, the class was a mere $30 and hailed Adam Lasnik, MiniMatt himself, as the instructor.

Predictably, SEOs were quite excited over the idea of training under Adam's wing and perhaps learning some Google secrets. Adam asked SEO professionals NOT to attend his seminar, as it was intended to address the needs of governmental agencies and employees, not for the truly search minded.

Learn by apprenticeship

One of the most interesting training offers came from Ammon Johns when he announced that him and partner Lee Colbran had launched their own SEO training program. The SEO Intern Training Programme is a two-tier internship opportunity where SEO newbies can earn work experience by working on real SEO projects.

Ammon's program comes in two levels, a complete 2-week SEO Internship Training course with full accommodations and a free SEO Intern Scholarship option where attendees pay for their knowledge in sweat.

It remains to be seen what level of experience will attend the internship program, but mixing book learning with hands-on experience could turn out to be a very powerful combination, especially for those looking to land their first SEO job.

DMA Certification Course

The Direct Marketing Association announced that they would be offering a SEM certification program beginning at October's DMA conference in San Francisco. What's most interesting about this certificate is that it was said to be brought in part by Yahoo!, MSN and Google, and driven by DMA's Search Engine Marketing Council. Based on that, you can't help but wonder what role the engines will play in this program and what passing will entail, and mean, for the lucky certificate-holder.

Real Training for a Growing Industry

With SEM being touted as the fastest growing direct marketing channel, it's clear our young industry is growing up. And with growth comes the need for advanced and credible training. Seasoned SEO professionals have realized this need and answered it by offering to coach SEOs next generation. For more on the development of SEO training, be sure to read this month's feature article entitled SEO Goes To School.


Shuffles

September saw several high-profile shuffles: Yahoo! hired former Knight Ridder senior vice president Hilary Schneider to oversee several Yahoo verticals; Ted Leonsis, president of AOL's audience business, announced he would step down after 13 years with the company; Kate Burns, former Google UK managing director, joined AdLink; Microsoft exec Doug Burgum announced he would step down, leaving Microsoft exec, Satya Nadella to take his place; YouTube recently hired away Yahoo's Treasurer, Gideon Yu and Ask.com appointed Eric Heymann as director of global content acquisition.

Meanwhile, in corporate shufflings:

  • Incisive Media was acquired by Apax for $375 million
  • Intel announced it would be cutting its work force by 10 percent (10,500 positions)
  • US yellow pages publisher RH Donnelley acquired local SEO/SEM firm LocalLaunch
  • Ask.com revealed its plans to open a new Research & Development center in Hamburg, Germany
  • Yahoo! launched its very popular Answers service in the United Kingdom and acquired Jumpcut
  • Google partnered with Intuit to make local business salivate and employed 1,000 workers with the opening of its Ann Arbor office.

Shindigs

September was a relatively quite month in the search sphere as many were still recuperating from August's SES San Jose.

Some of the Bruce Clay, Inc. staff was lucky enough to experience Search Bash Jamaica and brought back conference stories, advanced SEO knowledge and curious tans. Then, at the end of the month, all eyes were pointed toward Ad:Tech London and the OMMA Expo that took place in New York.

Events to look forward to in October:

  • The DMA '06 conference will take place Oct 14-Oct19.
  • eMetric Summit will take place in Washington, DC from October 16 to 18.
  • Ad:Tech China kicks off in Shanghai from Oct 18 to 19.
  • SES Multimedia will hit Los Angeles, CA on October 23.
  • Marketing Sherpa B-to-B Demand Generation Summit will take place in Boston, MA from Oct 23 to 24.
  • eComXpo will take place live from your computer screen on October 24.

Oh, and don't forget Halloween on October 31st. The engines and nutty search folk are sure to pay homage.


Attaboys

Congrats to Andy Beal who announced (officially) a full line-up of consulting services this month (which the SEOmoz gang were only too happy to take him up on) and celebrated MarketingPilgrim's very first birthday.

The search sphere banded together this month to form SEMpdx, an organization that hopes to inform and educate the Portland, Oregon community on the benefits of SEM.

Happy 8th birthday to Google! Our maturing engine caught a lot of headlines with the news they had formed their own political action committee called Google NetPac to empower like-minded politicians. Google also announced their partnership with the United Negro College Fund to create the UNCF/Google Scholarship Program and their interest in creating simpler, more electrical efficient personal computers.

Nine Microsoft employees were honored by the FBI for their "Exceptional Service In The Public Interest" for their role in handling 2005's Mytob/Zotob computer worm.

Finally, big congratulations to Om Malik who headed out on his own and launched the WebWorkerDaily blog to address the issues and concerns that come with being part of today's virtual work force.


Word on the Wire

According to TechCrunch, eBay may be getting ready to say goodbye to the Chinese market after suffering a huge drop in market share and facing new regulations that will limit foreign ownership of companies operating online payment systems (i.e. eBay). Shanghai Daily is already reporting that eBay has agreed to sell its China division and its PayPal service to Tom.com.

Rumor also has it that Yahoo! is in talks to purchase Facebook for a reported $1 billion, that Google and Apple will pair up for forthcoming iTV, and that Yahoo! and Viacom could be getting ready to merge.



If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles above or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.