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In this issue:

FEATURE:
Search Engine Optimisation-friendly Design
in a Web 2.0 World

BACK TO BASICS:
The Impact of Social Media on Search Rankings

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

The idea of incorporating viral and nontraditional marketing techniques into existing Internet marketing campaign isn't a new one, but we are seeing it used more often. With consumers being pulled every which way, marketers are looking towards viral marketing techniques to help them break through the clutter and reach audiences in new and innovative ways.

FEATURE: Search Engine Optimisation-friendly Design in a Web 2.0 World
When UK-based search marketers, site owners and webmasters attended Bruce Clay's SEO Training class in London, one of the aspects most stressed by Bruce was the importance of removing all the indexing barriers that may exist on your site. In order to achieve your search engine optimisation goals, your site must be accessible so that the engines are able to spider your site in it's entirety. Just as important, however, is making sure it's accessible to users.


BACK TO BASICS: The Impact of Social Media on Search Rankings

Over the past few years, the Internet has increasingly become a participatory social network where user-generated content is just as important as traditional advertising messages. This means your articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other comments on the Web are now critical sources of information about your company, your products and services. This phenomenon has given consumers a voice and weakened the power formerly held by advertising media. Optimizing social media, therefore, becomes increasingly important to a Web site's success and its visibility in search engines.


Hot Topics

Viral is Not Your Father's Marketing Campaign

Barack Obama is using it, so is Timberland, IKEA, Burger King, truth®, Court TV, and a myriad of other major brand names. British rock group Mesh 29 used it to sell nearly 4,000 copies of their single without a record contract, and someone put a $600 iPhone in a blender. Viral is everywhere.

Whether you want to admit it or not, yesterday's marketing campaigns are having a harder time competing in today's environment. With more noise in the market than ever before, marketing consultants are turning to alternative sources to make a splash.

Earlier this month, Michael Gray spoke about How to Make YouTube Work For Your Company, highlighting a recent Disney contest that utilized YouTube. At the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog, Lisa Barone offered insight into how colleges across the country are revamping their course catalogs to breed smarter, savvier marketers. We even turned to The Simpsons this month for inspiration in branding and word of mouth advertising.

Facebook Focused

Facebook has quickly become everyone's darling. John Battelle asked Why Facebook? Why now? The Wall Street Journal estimates the site to be worth $8 million, TechTrader says $6 billion, while a blunt 24/7 Wall St. says it's worth $0.

The "now" of things doesn't matter and the true value of Facebook lies in advertiser's ability to leverage it. Robert Scoble argued that Facebook's advertising platform doesn't work because it's not tied to people, Luke from Reach Students blog thinks it's a matter of low clickthroughs, while people like David McClure and Lisa Barone believed the way to market on Facebook was for Internet marketers to develop applications. Loren Feldman thinks we all need to step off the Facebook bandwagon.

Embrace All Forms of Internet Marketing

With viral getting so much attention, it's important to reinforce that, though you want to experiment, you can't forget about trusted forms of advertising, like search engine optimization and paid online advertising. You wouldn't want to gamble your company's future on the unstable ground found at sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.


Shuffles

It was a relatively quiet few weeks in terms of people shufflings. Robert Scoble announced he would be writing for FastCompany.com, former AOL marketing exec Chamath Palihapitiya joined Facebook as Vice President of Product Marketing and Operations, James Bilefield was appointed CEO of London-based Openads, and Google Reader-developer Jason Shellen bid farewell to Google.

Media search engine Technorati announced that Adam Hertz, Liz Dunn and Tantek Celik would all be leaving. It was announced that Dorion Carroll will step in to replace Adam as Vice President of Engineering.

In mergers, launches and acquisitions:

  • The newest industry news aggregator Sphinn.com launched in beta this week.
  • Google confirmed its acquisition of FeedBurner, bought GrandCentral and spent $625 million for Internet security company Postini
  • Yahoo launched its SmartAds, joined forces with eBay to create "eBay Toolbar" and partnered with Wayport to launch a wi-fi portal for the hospitality industry.
  • Ask.com purchased a new eco-friendly data center in Eastern Washington State.
  • AOL launched myAOL, relaunched its video portal and partnered with Fidelity.
  • Skype partnered with Jingle to deliver Skype a free 411 service.

In redesign news, both Google Blogoscoped and CNN updated their sites.


Shindigs

Affiliate Summit took over Miami July 8-10. You can access full speaker presentations over at the Affiliate Summit Web site. Following Affiliate Summit, was Bruce Clay's South African SEO training, which took place in Sandton, South Africa last week. We hope South African search marketers were able to make the trip. If not, keep your eyes on the Bruce Clay Africa Web site for training updates.

Looking ahead to the rest of the month, Bruce Clay will hold SEOToolSet training here in the States July 16-19, WordCamp comes to San Francisco July 21-22, you can catch the next Web Analytics Association Base Camp July 23-24, SES Travel will take over Seattle July 26-27, and finally, the month will end with Ad:Tech Chicago July 31-Aug 1.

Savvy search marketers will also want to mark their calendars for:

  • Bruce Clay's Australian SEO training hits Sydney 6-8 August.
  • SES Training Boston enters Beantown August 8.
  • The 2007 Internet Marketing Conference is scheduled for August 16 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • SES San Jose opens August 20-23.

Attaboys

ComScore released its numbers for May-June and found Google increased its market share to an impressive 62 percent. Many are projecting that Google will account for 90 percent of all searches over the next decade.

More surprising than Google's gain, was the news that Microsoft seemed to be inching closer to overtaking Yahoo, reporting a 10 percent gain to Yahoo's 16 percent decline.

Intel announced they would be joining the One Laptop per Child initiative to bring technology into the developing world.

Andy Beal reported that The Second Chance Trees Reforestation Project is using Second Life as its platform to teach users about the planet's endangered rainforests and the dangers of deforestation. For every tree you buy and plant in Second Life, a real tree will planted somewhere in the real world.
Word on the Wire

SiliconBeat reported that Facebook is on its way to an IPO, while MarketingVox says Google and FB have started a 'low key mating dance' (which WebProNews says is false), and the Internet Outsider is reporting it's Microsoft who's courting Facebook for a reported $6 billion. This month everyone wanted a piece of the social networking site.

Yahoo is allegedly working on a new social initiative named Mosh to replace Yahoo's 360, while Google is rumored to be adding interoperability between Google Docs and Encyclopedia Britannica.



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.