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In this issue:

FEATURE:
Giving Mobile Marketing a Try

BACK TO BASICS:
What is Web Analytics?

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

FEATURE: Giving Mobile Marketing a Try
Mobile marketing can help you gather valuable data like cell phone numbers for consumers interested in your products or services. Once a customer opts in to receive an offer or an alert via text message, you can put their information in your database and use it later for loyalty marketing and customer retention. Additionally, mobile marketing can help generate buzz about your products or services. Your offers reach consumers while they are actively shopping or socializing. This is when they're more likely to make buying decisions rather than when they're at work.


BACK TO BASICS: What is Web Analytics?

You already measure the results of your PPC campaigns and you keep a close watch on how Google and the rest rank your pages. Then, along comes something called "Web analytics" and people figure you know all about it. You probably do - you just don't know how to put it into words. Here are a few that will help you explain it to others.


Hot Topics

It was a busy month for all of our favorite search engines. From new releases, re-releases, updates to their index and daytime courtroom battles, everyone was up to something big this September.

Google Heads Back Into The Courtroom

On September 27, Google stepped back into court to defend its proposed deal to purchase DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. There to make things difficult was Microsoft, arguing that if Google was allowed to acquire DoubleClick it would be a threat to competition, consumer privacy, and allow them to obtain "a dominant gateway position" in online advertising. Google, naturally, disagreed, contending that the deal would instead "fuel the creation of even more rich and diverse content on the Internet".

PaidContent was able to get their hands on a research paper created by AEI-Brookings Joint Center that found that a Google/DoubleClick merger would give Google too much control over the market and exceed the limit of power as set by the federal government. The New York Times declared Microsoft was taking aim at Google's ad supremacy, while Marketing Pilgrim blogger Jordan McCollum wrote that Microsoft was on the war path.

At the end of the day and after both Google and Microsoft plead their cause, the Senators decided that the transaction "warrants close examination". They don't have the power to block the deal themselves, but they'll make their fears known to antitrust regulators.

Yahoo's Fall Weather Report

On September 26, Aaron Wall helped start rumors of a possible Yahoo algorithm update when he blogged about some changes he had seen, including Yahoo botching part of a site-wide 301 redirect and more weight being given to domain names. With no official word from Yahoo, it was up to the search industry's bloggers to try and figure out what was going on.

Loren Baker jumped into the conversation, commenting that he, too, had seen sites with high authority domain names receiving boosts in rankings. He wondered whether it was an update or if the domains were ranking simply because of keywords. There were also reports at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums of members experiencing both ranking increases and suffering technical glitches.

Shortly after, Yahoo issued the official weather report confirming that the index update had taken place. It was the first one since the launch of Dynamic URL Rewriting in Site Explorer.

MSN Updates Live.com, MSN Video

Late in the month, Microsoft showed some life, releasing a brand new version of Live Search and a new and improved version of MSN Video.

The new search rollout was announced during MSN's Searchification event which took place September 25th. The rollout was called a "significant advancement to the core technology and consumer experience for the Live.com engine". It bettered the old version in several key areas, including a fourfold increase in index size, improvements in understanding query intent, algorithm enhancements, increased focus on query refinement, expanded Rich Answers and a new Web extraction model. The release garnered a large amount of attention from the blogosphere. Brandon LeBlanc commented that he loved the improvements, while Andy Beal thought Microsoft was still failing with its Live brand, and Wired was left totally disappointed.

Microsoft's other big release this month was the release of MSN Video. Marshall Kirkpatrick called it the video site of the future, while Bruce Clay's Lisa Barone commented that she was also impressed with the release.


Shuffles

Paul Davies accepted a new job this month and became the new Head of Marketing for Microsoft's Online Services, Erick Schonfeld started writing for TechCrunch, Marshall Kirkpatrick will join the Read/WriteWeb team, Kalena Jordan is now writing for SiteProNews, Ogilvy & Mather's Andy Berndt left to join Google, and Jessica Bowman was hired to be Yahoo's new In-House SEO Evangelist.

In leavings: Adam Bosworth bid farewell to Google, LookSmart CTO David Hill resigned from his position, Regional Vice President Stephen Taylor left Yahoo, Rob Kerry, aka Evil Green Money, joined Ayima Search Marketing and earned an Editor position at Sphinn, Matt Inman departed from SEOmoz and Ammon Johns resigned as a moderator of the Cre8asite Forums.

In corporate shufflings:

  • Google launched its long-rumored presentation application, the Google Shared Stuff bookmarklet application, and AdSense for Mobile.
  • Yahoo purchased email service Zimbra for $350 million, partnered with Elle for Fashion Week 2007, acquired ad network BlueLithium, and signed an exclusive ad deal with Bebo.
  • Microsoft released Windows Live Translator, redesigned Live.com and released a new version of MSN Video.
  • Ask.com added an embed map feature to AskCity and released Ask Coupons.
  • Danny Sullivan's social news site Sphinn left beta.
  • Greg Boser retired the Webguerrilla blog and launched a personal blog at GregBoser.com.
  • Splashpress Media purchased Loren Baker's Blog Search Engine.
  • Delicious redesigned its site and rebranded it from del.icio.us to Delicious.

Shindigs

Search marketers are in for a busy Fall conference season, with a large number of exciting events coming their way.

SMX Local & Mobile takes place in Denver on Oct. 1-2. If you can't make that, SEOmoz will be hosting their first-ever Training Seminar on Oct. 1. Those in town should make sure to stop by BusinessWire's SEO Luncheon also happening in Seattle on Oct. 3.

Facebook fans may be interested in San Jose's Graphing Social Patterns: The Business & Technology of Facebook event on Oct. 7-9.

From there, it's off to New York for SMX Social Media on October 16-17. If you're in New York, consider checking out the IM-NY Charity Event on the 15th. All proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Rounding out the month will be the 2007 PRSA International Conference taking place October 20-23 in Philadelphia, PA, the SES Training Expo in London on October 24th and SMX Stockholm 31 October-1 November.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, search marketers will want to mark their calendar for:

  • Ad:Tech New York happening November 5-8.
  • BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Las Vegas on November 8-9.
  • SMX London on 15-16 November.
  • SES Chicago on Dec. 3-7.
  • WebmasterWorld Pubcon in Las Vegas on Dec. 4-7.

Attaboys

Congratulations to Aaron Wall who got married this month. We wish you and your bride a lifetime of love and happiness!

CollegeScholarships.org announced its 2007 Blogging Scholarship competition, which will allow college student bloggers to battle it out for a $10,000 education scholarship.

Yahoo used this month's TechCrunch40 event to announce Yahoo Teachers, a clip to database style service designed to help teachers develop and share lesson plans.

The Federal Election Commission ruled that blogs now count as media for the purpose of US Electoral Law.

In industry birthdays, Marketing Pilgrim turned 2, Search Engine Tigers celebrated its first year of blogging, Google turned 9, Danny Sullivan turned 42-years-old, and our own Bruce Clay celebrated a birthday, as well! Congratulations to all!


Word on the Wire

Not surprisingly, Google was the king of industry rumor this month. There were speculations that they were building a new social networking project, considering buying Earthlink, launching an offline Gmail client, gearing up for Gmail 2.0, readying Google Coupons, relaunching JotSpot as Google Wiki, and that they were considering a takeover offer for Sirius.

There were also reports that Yahoo was looking to turn BuzzTracker into a Digg challenger and that Microsoft may purchase a 3-5 percent stake in Facebook.



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.