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In this issue:

FEATURE:
Making Sense of Web Metrics

BACK TO BASICS:
Building Inbound Links for Web Sites

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

FEATURE: Making Sense of Web Metrics
Many Web marketers talk about Web site statistics in terms of click-throughs, unique visitors and page views, but have little understanding of their value in terms of profits and the bottom line. Thinking in terms of these metrics per se may have nothing to do with actually increasing sales. It's surprising how little marketers know about using Web Analytics to gauge Web site success.


BACK TO BASICS: Building Inbound Links for Web Sites

If you don't know where to start and how inbound links work, building inbound links for your Web site can be the most difficult thing you have ever done . We will be discussing several key topics that can benefit your Web site by increasing the quality of inbound links and improving the PageRank of your site . These topics revolve around correctly optimizing your inbound links, avoid spamming the search engines, creating a system for getting inbound links and staying on top of earning inbound links. This is not a task for the meek, but requires innovative creativity, dedication and time to meet your goals of ranking in the top 10 for all search engines.


Hot Topics
Monitoring Privacy Online

The issue of Internet privacy is always at the forefront of search marketers mind, but over the past few weeks it was pushed even further into the limelight. Users and marketers alike were issued a strong reminder that not every search engine handles privacy concerns the same way, and that sometimes it is the users themselves who are compromising their privacy.

Which Engine Values Your Privacy The Most?

On Monday, CNET released the results of an informal study they conducted that quizzed representatives from AOL, Ask.com, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo on how their engine handles privacy concerns. After analyzing their answers to 8 privacy-related questions, CNET broke down the privacy policies of each engine and ultimately ruled that Ask.com was the engine taking the biggest steps to ensure your privacy.

The blogosphere's reaction to the CNET survey was mixed. Some praised the findings, while others like Danny Sullivan and Lisa Barone thought it was far too early to deem anyone the winner in search privacy, especially since the features Ask.com was being lauded for have yet to be released. When it comes to search engines and privacy, the battle isn't over; it's just beginning.

Search Engine, M.D.

On the heels of CNET's post was an article out of the New York Times that highlighted Google's and Microsoft's health information ventures. Unlike the Health Smart Answer recently released by Ask.com, Google and Microsoft are looking to bring personal health records online so that they can house them on their servers in order to make them accessible and reportedly, to sell more ads. After getting a glimpse of some the early Google Health screenshots, not everyone was in support of such a platform.

Jordan McCollum from Marketing Pilgrim commented that she didn't trust users to correctly input their own medical information; PaidContent saw this as another way to sell ads; and Lisa Barone expressed concern over handing over her medical records to a search engine, no matter how iron-clad their privacy policy appeared to be.

Protecting Your Own Privacy

Just a few days ago, IT security firm Sophos released the results of its Facebook ID Probe, which attempted to determine how many users would give out highly personal information to someone they didn't know. Based on the study, more than 40 percent of social network users are more than willing to hand over such information.

When the results were released, the folks at Elixir Systems asked if Facebook users are too trusting, while Andy Beal reminded us that social networking is not a popularity contest and that giving strangers personal information could be dangerous.

When it comes to privacy on the Internet, users can't just leave it up to the search engines to worry about it for them; users must be vigilant about protecting their own privacy as well.


Shuffles

Andrew Goodman was appointed the Chairman and Host of the 2008 and 2009 Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expos in Toronto. Congratulations to Andrew!

Who got hired: About.com founder Bill Day signed on as Marchex's Chief Media Officer, John Bryan and Gain Morgan joined Blinkx, and former Yahoo Chief Operating Officer Dan Rosensweig joined Quadrangle.

In leavings: Cameron Olthuis left ACS, LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick resigned from Six Apart and is rumored to be heading to Google, while LookSmart CEO David Hill announced he would also be stepping down and will be replaced by Edward F. West.

In corporate mergers and acquisitions:

  • Yahoo! Search Marketing released its new Traffic Quality Center tool.
  • Microsoft launched online storage solution Windows Live SkyDrive and paired up with NASA to offer users 3D Space Shuttle images.
  • AOL launched mobile search.
  • Hearst acquired social site Kaboodle.
  • MySpace partnered with The Onion, bringing additional audio and video content, articles, blogs and news pieces to their site.
  • NBC partnered with DoubleClick for its new online ad campaigns.
  • Marchex acquired VoiceStar, a company that provides pay-per-phone and call tracking services.
  • MTV launched myMTV, Japan's first-ever mobile entertainment social networking service.

In redesign news, there's a new look over a Yahoo! Local. Additionally, new media blog 901am, ProBlogger and Kalena Jordan's Search Light Newsletter all underwent redesigns.


Shindigs

Australia SEO Training was a major success, taking over Sydney last week. If you weren't able to attend this time around, keep your eyes glued to the Bruce Clay Australia's Training page to see when Bruce Clay's search engine optimization training will be in your neighborhood next.

You can also read about Bruce's visit to Search Engine Bootcamp, courtesy of Marketing Pilgrim contributor Jason West.

Next week search marketers will be packing their bags and heading to California for Search Engine Strategies San Jose where the show will run Aug. 20-23. You can catch both Bruce Clay and Mike Grehan speaking at several search sessions and Lisa Barone will once again be providing Bruce Clay blog readers with full session coverage.

Looking beyond the summer:

  • UK search marketers will want to clear their schedules for the UK SEO meet-up taking place Manchester on 14-15 September at the Britannia Hotel.
  • SMX Local and Mobile will take place in Denver, Colorado on September 19-20.
  • SMX Social Media hits New York City on October 16 -17 and will feature keynotes by del.icio.us founder Joshua Schachter and StumbleUpon founder Garrett Camp.
  • If you missed it last week, Search Engine Bootcamp will head back to Australia on October 5th.

Attaboys

Congratulations to Yahoo executive Dr. Usama Fayyad who was awarded the 2007 Innovation Award by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). An honor well deserved. Yahoo also earned the honor of beating out Google and its other search competitors in a user satisfaction survey.

Ask.com became Dell's first corporate customer for its Plant a Tree for Me Program, which hopes to offset carbon emissions by planting thousands of new trees.

Stephan Spencer introduced us to his 16-year-old daughter Chloe who is using AdSense to turn a profit on her Neopets-related Web site. The savvy teenage is making between $700-$900 by putting in just a few hours a month.

Kalena Jordan announced that Search Engine College has now enrolled students in 30 different countries. And in birthdays, the Google AdWords Help Forum turned two.


Word on the Wire

WebProNews reported that Forbes may be on track to acquire social bookmarking site Clipmarks and that Palo Alto may soon become home to a new Facebookplex.

Mashable broke the news that the Freakonomics Blog had been acquired by the New York Times, but after some more investigation, Andy Beal found the blog had not been acquired; it was merely a long term partnership.

The New York Post announced that competitor the New York Times was gearing up to take down the pay gate and make premium TimesSelect content available free of charge, while the Wall Street Journal speculated that Google was quietly courting mobile carriers about a possible Google Phone.


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.