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In this issue:

FEATURE:
Bruce Clay Announces SEO Charity Contest Winners

BACK TO BASICS:
Ajax in a Nutshell

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

FEATURE: Bruce Clay Announces SEO Charity Contest Winners

Bruce Clay Inc. celebrated the start of May by launching the first-ever Bruce Clay SEO Charity Contest. We challenged search marketers and wanna-be search marketers to donate their time to help a non-profit increase their visibility through a well-structured organic search engine optimization campaign. In return for their pledge to spend at least three months working with the non-profit of their choosing, the selected search marketer would receive a free pass to next month's debut Search Marketing Expo conference in Seattle, as well as a free pass to Bruce Clay's SEO training course and the Advanced Certification Course. Over the past two weeks we've received some great entries highlighting an amazing set of worthy non-profit organizations. Today, we announce the winners.



BACK TO BASICS: Ajax in a Nutshell


Ajax, what is it, is it cool, and if it is, should you use it? If you haven't heard of it by name yet, you've probably already used it in one form or another. Google Maps, The Wall Street Journal Online, and Flickr, just to name a few Web sites, all use it. So what is Ajax and what does it do? Designing a web site using Ajax involves several phases. You must create three pages -- XHTML, CSS and JavaScript. This may make the development of the site a little longer, but in the end it can be worth it if your visitor's interaction with your site is enhanced. Ajax technology allows the actions on the page to be taken care of client-side, not server-side. This makes for less waiting and less frustration for the site visitor.



Hot Topics

Give Back, Get Training

Bruce Clay, Inc. was able to combine two of its passions this month in order to create an incredible training and education opportunity for two lucky winners.

On May 2, Susan Esparza announced the first-ever Bruce Clay SEO Contest geared towards helping non-profits while promoting search marketing education. We challenged search marketers to pair up with a local non-profit and donate free optimization and consulting services for at least three months. In return, the good-hearted search marketer would receive a chance to attend next month's Search Marketing Expo in Seattle, plus a free pass to our SEO training and Advanced Certification course.

All together it's almost $4,000 in prizes, plus the chance to earn some face time with the industry's top SEOs and to support a good cause.

Spreading the Word

Though we only gave applicants two weeks to contact a non-profit and prepare a detailed site analysis, we were pleasantly surprised with the number, scope and quality of the entries we received. Search marketers were excited about being given the opportunity to help a worthy cause, and the incentive we provided made the deal that much sweeter.

The contest received a great amount of support from popular bloggers in the search marketing community like Andy Beal, Michael Gray, Danny Sullivan, Chris Winfield, Matt McGee, and Jennifer Laycock. Soon after, news of the contest extended beyond the search world, hitting non-profit-based blogs like NonProfitTips and FaithfulWeb.

At the end of two weeks, we received an impressive number of entries promising support to non-profits in all areas. We heard from search marketers who wanted to help charities such as Enterprise Corp, the Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation, Echoing Green, Open Education Resources, New Hampshire Made, and others. Even with so many worthy causes represented, there could only be one grand prize winner.

Decision Time

By the time the contest came to a close there were a number of excellent candidates to choose from. All of the applicants showed a considerable level of search marketing knowledge, as well as an intense desire to increase their knowledge in order to make a difference for a cause they believed in.

As we announced in this month's Feature Article, Keri Morgret was named the contest champion and earned herself the fabulous prize package detailed above for her promised commitment to helping Open Education Resources. A runner-up prize consisting of a free pass to our SEO training and Advanced Certification course was awarded to Cavan Moon who was acting on behalf of the Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation.

We have confidence that both Keri and Cavan will be able to put their search smarts to use and help their respective charities improve the quality of their Web sites. Just as exciting for us, as a result of the success of this contest, we'll be offering similar opportunities to encourage search education and community involvement throughout the year. Your next chance will come later this summer as we offer up a ticket to attend Search Engine Strategies San Jose.


Shuffles

It was a slow month for individual shuffles. Tom Wilde was named CEO of PodZinger, Yahoo executive Lorna Borenstein was named president of Move, Inc, and Andrew Braccia resigned as Vice President of Yahoo Search, while Johan Kinnander resigned from Google Sweden.

In launches and acquisitions:

  • Microsoft bought European mobile ad platform company ScreenTonic, acquired an equity stake in CareerBuilder.com and launched a desktop search.
  • Yahoo launched a poker site in the UK.
  • Google launched a new version of Google Analytics and the Official Google Australia Blog.
  • iProspect launched in Norway and Denmark.
  • Telegraph Media launched a blogging community.
  • MySpace acquired Photobucket and partnered with SimplyHired to launch MySpace Jobs UK.
  • Reuters acquired text analytics firm ClearForest.
  • Nielsen acquired the rest of BuzzMetrics.

In rebrands and redesigns: WebSideStory rebranded as Visual Science, Google rebranded its personalization services iGoogle, and Copyblogger and Yahoo Video both underwent redesigns.


Shindigs

Australian bloggers will want to make it to Darren Rowse's Melbourne Meetup on May 23.

June will feature a wide array of search events, including:

  • The inaugural SMX Advanced show will hit Seattle on June 4 & 5. Several members of the Bruce Clay gang will be in attendance, and we'll be sending Lisa Barone and Susan Esparza into the trenches to liveblog the entire conference.
  • SES Toronto takes place June 12 to 13. With Seth Godin delivering the keynote, this is one not to miss.
  • SES Latino opens up June 18-19 in Miami, FL.
  • OMMA Video and OMMA Mobile will be going on in New York City on June 28 and June 29, respectively.

UK and Europe based SEOs, don't forget that June also brings the SEO Toolset training to London. There's still time to sign up for our three day course featuring both the regular training as well as our Advanced Certification. For more details on our London SEO Training, visit the Bruce Clay, UK Training home page.

Search engine marketers in South Africa and Australia can look forward to their own training classes in July and August respectively. Check out their pages for details or click on the banner links on the side.


Attaboys

Congratulations to Keri Morgret who was named the first-ever winner of Bruce Clay's SEO Charity Contest. Keri will receive a free pass to SMX, as well as a free pass to Bruce's SEOToolSet training and Advanced Certification course in return for her commitment to help her selected non-profit implement an organic search engine optimization campaign. Calvan Moon was named runner-up and will receive a free pass to our SEOToolSet and Advanced training programs, as well.

Everyone at Bruce Clay, Inc. wishes Gary and Lisa Price lots of love and congratulations on their recent wedding. It was a good month for search weddings, Sergey Brin jetted off to the Bahamas to wed Anne Wojcicki in a super-secret ceremony.

Yahoo announced the "Ultimate Connection" contest that asks entrants to write two 500-word essays for a chance to win an incredible prize package, including $25,000 towards a Yahoo! Search Marketing campaign.

YouTube stepped up and elevated popular contributors to content partners, giving them the opportunity to monetize the videos they create.

Ask.com won the Webby award for the Best Mobile Site.

Hitwise revealed that social media site Digg.com saw a 203 percent increase in traffic year over year.


Word on the Wire

The rumor mill was in overdrive over the past two weeks. We heard Microsoft was looking at 24/7 Real Media to combat Google's DoubleClick purchase, Google was eyeing Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal (Eric Schmidt has since denied this) and SimplyHired, Microsoft and Yahoo were in talks to pair up in the fight against Google, and that Motorola was getting ready to announce a competitor to the iPhone.

Other rumors that wouldn't die included Jason Calacanis working on a Google killer, more rumors of an eBay/StumbleUpon pairing, and that Kevin Rose is working on a new instant messaging start-up.



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