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In this issue:

FEATURE:
Site Design for the Visually Impaired

BACK TO BASICS:
Five Steps to Effective SEO Keyword Research

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

BACK TO BASICS: Five Steps to Effective SEO Keyword Research

There's no getting around it. Keyword research is a vitally important aspect of your search engine optimization campaign. If your site is targeting the wrong keywords, the search engines and your customers may never find you, resulting in lost dollars and meaningless rankings. By targeting the wrong keywords, you not only put valuable advertising dollars at risk, you are also throwing away all the time and energy you put into getting your site to rank for those terms to begin with. If you want to stay competitive, you can't afford to do that.



Hot Topics

The Mobile Web

FEATURE: Site Design for the Visually Impaired



If you've been in the search engine optimization business for any length of time you've heard the saying that, "search engines are blind, deaf and dumb," meaning that your web site should be designed so that the spiders can easily crawl through the site's pages and determine what the site is about. In other words, in order to be highly ranked organically, a web site needs to be crawlable and have excellent content; it does not need to look pretty.



October confirmed that the mobile web is a force that cannot be ignored. Piggybacking off the rise of broadband both internationally and in the States, users are becoming increasingly comfortable logging onto the Web via their favorite mobile devices. In suit, the search engines have launched better mobile search engines and have begun fitting their PPC programs for the smaller screens to meet consumer demand. Sites that don't comply will be left behind.

Here's what we saw this month:

  • Google released a significantly enhanced version of its Mobile search, even giving users the option to search for sites specifically designed for mobile phones. The new edition includes tutorials and mobile versions of popular apps like Google Maps, Google Image Search, Google News, your personalized homepage and more.
  • Yahoo! announced they were expanding their trial mobile PPC program into a full-scale beta launch, putting sponsored search results on mobile phones in the United States and the United Kingdom. The launch gives Yahoo! a chance to reclaim some of its lost PPC prominence, and was a huge boost to local search.
  • A week later, Microsoft announced that they would start offering pay per call services through a new partnership with Ingenio. Under the deal, Microsoft will only show Ingenio's advertisers for geo-targeted searches (one per search) conducted on Windows Live for mobile. When there are no relevant Ingenio advertisers, no ad will be shown.
  • Ask Mobile got a facelift as some of Ask's best features were reformatted for the smaller screen. Users can now access mobile-optimized Smart Answers, Zoom Related Searches and other unique Ask features. Ask's walking directions have never been more useful.
  • Though still reportedly in beta, Google PPC ads were spotted by several mobile phone users.
  • With the engines readying themselves for a coming mobile Web explosion, Bruce Clay, Inc. asked, is your site prepared? If you haven't yet formatted your sites for the mobile web, now is the time. Let the W3C's Mobile Web Initiative help.
Yahoo! Releases Panama Upgrade

Shortly after announcing disappointing third quarter results to investors, Yahoo! announced the early release of Panama - its much-hyped infrastructure upgrade to Y!SM. The new platform received a warm welcome from those invited to attend Yahoo!'s Influencer Event that took place that same week and earned a promising review from our PPC expert, Nick Guastella.

Panama includes significant improvements to the ad approval process, geo-targeting and its quality index, but lacks important features like day parting and decreases bid transparency. Yahoo! started migrating selected accounts over to the new system last week. They hope to have everyone migrated over by the beginning of next year.


Shuffles

AOL lost top AIM developer Justin Uberti to Google and announced they were laying off 1,400 call center works as they closed centers in New Mexico and Arizona.

M.J. Pizzella was hired to become Google's new senior business development manager at Google Enterprise, Google stole Yahoo India's CTO to lead their Bangalore research and development office.

Garrett French announced he was leaving MarketSmart Interactive and SearchEngineLowdown. Garrett can now be found blogging over at GarrettFrench.com.

UK radio exec Shaun Gregory joined The Telegraph as its new development director, Mark Chapman was made head of UK & Ireland sales for social site Bebo,

In merger and acquisition news:

  • Carphone Warehouse bought AOL UK for around $687 million
  • Yahoo! partnered with CBS News to put news clips in Yahoo News, acquired AdInteract, bought a 20 percent stake in Right Media, re-signed its deal with The Guardian, and of course, launched Panama.
  • Microsoft signed a video search deal with Blinkx and acquired Colloquis
  • YouTube signed distribution deals with Universal Music, Sony BMG and CBS
  • Google signed a video ad deal with Warner Music and Sony, before finally buying YouTube
  • UK newspaper The Sun launched the MySun community site, where uses can interact with popular sections of The Sun's website.
  • On the very last day of the month, JotSpot cofounder Joe Krause gleefully announced on Google's official blog that his company had been the most recent acquisition by the search engine.

Shindigs

eComXpo hit this month and proved it was still the best conference that you don't have to get dressed for. With more than 7,000 attendees, 450 exhibitors and more than 30 presentations, the virtual event was a major success.

Get ready for a series of expert conferences this month. Ad:Tech will start things off on Nov 6th. Bruce will be speaking at the Organic SEO - Fireside Chat with the Experts with Dana Todd, so be sure to catch that one if you're in town. Of course other Bruce Clay staff will be on hand to answer your questions at the booth and we'll once again throw Lisa to the wolves as she acts as your roving reporter. Make sure to say hi.

After Ad:Tech, there's the third annual Web 2.0 conference from November 7 to 9 in San Francisco, WebmasterWorld Pubcon will take over Vegas on the 14-17th, TechCrunch New York will take place November 16, and SES comes to Paris at the end of the month from the 28 to 29.

Something to keep in mind over the next few months: Jason Calacanis will be delivering the keynote during SES Chicago on December 5th, so make sure you hit that while you're enjoying your deep dish.

Our international readers will want to mark their calendars for the first-ever Bruce Clay Inc. Australia training class that will take place in Sydney from 12 February to 14 February. It's SEO down under. We'll also be at ad:Tech Sydney, taking place 7-8 February. Make time for both!


Attaboys

Google was King Attaboy this month. Over the course of October's thirty-one days, Google:

  • Launched their Literacy Project
  • Honored the 18 winners of the first-ever Google Hispanic College Fund Scholarship
  • Used NetPAC, their political action committee, to start handing out $1000 donations to Google-supported politicians
  • Launched the Google for Educators site with resources for K-12 educators.
  • Made the decision to install solar panels on the rooftops of Mountain View's Googleplex to conserve energy
  • Discovered they will soon account for 25 percent of all online ad revenue in 2006
  • Revealed jaw-dropping third quarter results

Meanwhile, eBay announced a 10 percent third quarter profit jump, SEMPO expanded their efforts and resources to help in-house search engine marketers trade information and ideas, and UK IT charity Computer Aid began work to provide schools in developing countries with 141 PCS, 32 laptops and 43 services to help educate students about AIDS.

A bit of internal congratulations: Our Sydney office opened for business this month, joining the Bruce Clay, Inc. International family. If you'd like to drop by and see how we do things Down Under, our office is based in the Sydney CBD. You can find directions on our Australia site. The Bruce Clay family now stretches from the US to South Africa to England and now to Australia. Where to next?


Word on the Wire

TechCrunch, the site first to break truthful rumors as of late, reported that Digg was in talks with various companies, including News Corp. in hopes of being bought. The asking price? Reportedly, $150 million dollars.

FORTUNE started rumors late in the month that Yahoo! was in the hunt to purchase Time Warner's AOL. Time Warner shot down the rumor saying "there are no active conversations between the two companies".



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.