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In this issue:

INTERNATIONAL FOCUS:
The Search Engine Marketing Advantage

BACK TO BASICS:
Understanding Yahoo's Paid Inclusion Programs

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


BACK TO BASICS: Understanding Yahoo's Paid Inclusion Programs

How many Web site owners have ever wished there was an easy way to get into the major search engines? How many would love a way for their site to get spidered and indexed within just a few hours? Sounds like a dream, right? Well, not quite. It sounds more like paid inclusion. Is this the answer to all of your prayers? Maybe, maybe not.



Hot Topics
Yahoo Buzz Report

INTERNATIONAL FOCUS: The Search Engine Marketing Advantage


Search engine marketing consists primarily of search engine optimisation and pay-per-click search advertising strategies. These two online marketing methods should be used in tandem in order to leverage the particular advantages of each and maximise results, profits and your ultimate return on investment (ROI).



The past two weeks have been a virtual Yahoo frenzy. From an unflattering Wired Magazine article to speculation over what Yahoo's fourth quarter results would bring to new rumblings regarding Panama, Yahoo was all people could talk about.

The Yahoo Wired Article

The Yahoo buzz started on January 16 when a Wired article told the tale of How Yahoo Blew It, highlighting Yahoo's supposed failures over the years and laying the blame on Terry Semel. The article started off criticizing Yahoo for not buying Google for $5 billion in 2002, claiming they "fumbled, bungled and mishandled its execution at every step".

Just a few hours after the Wired article went live, Yahoo issued its own response, arguing that "negative press notwithstanding, Yahoo remains a leading force on the Internet." The industry's response, however, was somewhat more mixed.

  • SEOmoz's Rand Fishkin noted that the article did nothing more than harp on every one of Yahoo's mistakes, while praising Google for all of its accomplishments.
  • Search Engine Watch commented that Wired Writes Yahoo's Eulogy
  • The SEO Blog called Wired's Yahoo-assault "an excellent essay on [Yahoo!'s] trials and tribulations"
  • Rick Skrenta said even if Yahoo had bought Google in 2002, it may not have helped.
Yahoo Gets Its Report Card

Then, on January 23th, Yahoo released their 4th quarter financial results to an audience eager to pounce. Prior to Yahoo's posting, Forbes predicted the results would show that last year's fourth quarter was Yahoo!'s Quarter To Forget. However, somewhat surprisingly, Yahoo's financials showed an overall increase in revenue in 2006, with just a large drop in profits. Despite the drop, the results were labeled better than expected.

Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel was pleased with Yahoo's fourth quarter progress and expressed his confidence that Yahoo's "concentrated focus" on key priorities would allow them to extend their position in 2007.

Panama to be deployed in the United States February 5th.

Shortly after releasing their 4th quarter financials, Yahoo announced that Yahoo! Search Marketing would get its official United States re-launched on February 5th. And it seemed that the industry was listening and wondering if the Panama migration would save Yahoo. Search Engine Journal's Loren Baker even went digging into US Patent applications for answers.

Now or Never for Yahoo?

After a year that was filled with peanut butter manifestos, loud vocal criticism and frustrating delays with Panama, it's crunch time for Yahoo. We should have a pretty good idea of how successful Panama was for Yahoo by 2007's second quarter. If reviews aren't positive, Yahoo and Terry Semel could both be in trouble. This year Yahoo needs to prove that the worst is behind them.


Shuffles

Former Yahoo! employee Dan Cohen became the CEO of Web page start-up Pageflake, Peter Horan was appointed CEO of IAC Media & Advertising, Microsoft hired Donald Ferguson away from IBM, and Kieren McCarty was named General Manager, Public Participation of ICANN.

Meanwhile, Greg Linden revealed that after three years Findory would fade away into the sunset.

In non-people shufflings:

  • V7N entered the link buying business.
  • Sponsored Reviews.com merged with Paid Review Services.
  • AOL acquired TradeDoubler for $900 million and was then acquired by Napster.
  • Performancing Partners announced its plan to close.
  • Yahoo jumped into the world of online animation with Gotham Group.
  • The BBC is getting ready to launch a Second Life for kids.
  • Search Engine Strategies announced the re-launch of their site.
  • SEMPO founded the online SEMPO Institute to educate search marketers.

Shindigs

Next month the big shows will be taking place overseas. Ad:Tech Sydney kicks off 5-6 February, then it's the Bruce Clay, Australia - Pty. Ltd. SEOToolSet training course 12-14 February, and rounding it out will be SES London from 13-15 February. At the end of February, Bruce and the SEOToolSet training land in the UK. All classes still have space available.

If you're not able to join the jetsetters abroad, the Online Marketing Summit will be taking place in San Diego, CA February 22-24.


Attaboys

Microsoft launched two "click for the cause" sites to raise money for Team Seattle and the Ninemillion.org foundation. Users can conduct Live searches via teamseattle.live.com and http://click4thecause.live.com and Microsoft will donate a small amount on your behalf to Team Seattle and Ninemillion.org, respectively.

MySpace partnered with NCMEC to distribute Amber Alerts using special MySpace Alerts.

In attaboy stats, TechCrunch passed the 150,000 reader mark, while comScore revealed Google's share of U.S. searchers had surpassed 47 percent.

Kim Krause announced the winners of the first-ever Cre8asiteforums Educational Scholarship . Four hundred dollars each was awarded to five worthy search engine optimization and search marketing training programs, including Bruce Clay, Inc.'s SEOToolSet. Congrats to all the winners and a big thanks to Kim and the Cre8asite team for their commitment to SEO training and education!


Word on the Wire

The BBC is reportedly in talks with Google to partner on a lucrative video content deal, which would make some BBC content available through Google Video, and possibly YouTube.

There was talk also this month that Google will release an iPhone killer nicknamed Google Switch, that they're looking to acquire video game advertising firm AdScape Media, and that a virtual Google world may not be too far behind. One rumor we can clear up is that Google TV is definitely not true.

And no one is sure what's going on with Hitwise. Sold? Not sold? The jury is still out.



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.