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In this issue:

FEATURE:
2008: The Year in Preview

BACK TO BASICS:
Site Relevancy and Keyword Usage

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

FEATURE: 2008: The Year in Preview
We have an official saying when it comes to yearly predictions and it goes like this: 2008 will not be like the year before it. The only thing that is certain is that it will be significantly different from 2007. I predict that we are going to see a much slower growth in Internet marketing due to what is expected to be a recession year. We all see it coming, and it will seriously impact consumers and businesses, thus slowing the spend on broad online marketing activities. This upcoming recession will be the biggest news of 2008 and will encourage serious growth in the number of online consumers in the coming year. Companies that can get online early and support international audiences will have an advantage, especially those that have developed SEO to displace PPC expenditures. Comparative price shopping and saving time and gas will be the rule and not the exception.


BACK TO BASICS: Site Relevancy and Keyword Usage

Are the keywords you want to rank for actually being used on pages of your site? If not, you are not alone. Failure to use the keywords on pages of your site is a common search engine optimization mistake. Likewise, using keywords you want to rank for in Meta tags but then not using them anywhere in the body content of Web pages is another common misstep on the road to getting ranked.


Hot Topics

The last time we checked in with the search industry we were looking back at the year that was, highlighting the stories and ideas that were all the rage in 2007. As the year came to a close, it was time to say goodbye to 2007 and focus on the year ahead.

Looking Back…

As 2007 came to a close, everyone stopped to take notice and revaluate the past 12 months. ClickZ appealed to search marketers with a 2007 PPC Search Retrospective, TechCrunch looked at The Year in Launches (2007 Edition), the Google adCenter blog got nostalgic with A Look Back At 2007, and popular blogs like Shoemoney, Search Engine Land and SEOmoz ended the year transparently sharing their stats.

We saw countless blog posts and awards events pop up to pay homage to those who have made an impact in our industry over the past year. Loren Baker and Search Engine Journal announced the winners of its 2007 Search Blog Awards contest, Matt McGee launched the SEMMYS to honor individual posts and authors, SEO 2.0 compiled 7 Must Read End of Year Lists for Internet Power Users, and social media expert Tamar Weinberg created a timeless resource with her Best Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2007.

Wondering What's to Come

When 2008 finally hit, it was time to stop looking back and start looking forward. And that's exactly what the best minds in our industry did, penning articles that highlighted what they believed would be the biggest, the most over-hyped, the most challenging and the most exciting things to come in 2008.

Our own Bruce Clay issued his predictions for the next year in this installment's feature article 2008: The Year In Preview. Bruce discussed what's next to come in the areas of social marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click, local search and paid links. Many of Bruce's predictions are based in his belief that a recession is upon us; a thought echoed by WebProNews who stated Let the Bubble Whispers Begin.

Chris Winfield tried to get search marketers on the right track outlining 10 Simple Steps To Social Media Success in 2008, while SEM Hints identified The Biggest SEM Challenges for 2008, Dave Feldman wrote 5 Ways to Make 2008 Pay Off Big, and Conversation Marketing was all about helping search marketers identify and avoid the hype with 11 Internet Marketing Trends to Ignore for 2008.

Meanwhile, over at Search Engine Land, Brad Geddes shared some New Year's Resolutions For Your PPC Campaign encouraging search marketers to revamp their paid search to make note of new goals, keyword priorities and business objectives. And if that wasn't enough for you, ClickZ issued its Local Search's 2008 Outlook and Apogee reached out to readers with Twelve Predictions for Search Marketing in 2008.

Deciding Where You'll Spend Your Time

But that's just what the pundits say. What are the everyday SEOs worried about? Lee Odden polled his readers on what they thought would be the big stories in search marketing for the upcoming year. They responded User Data, Mobile Explosion, and Death of SEO.

Early in January, after reading countless year recap and predictions, Lisa Barone offered her two cents encouraging everyone to stop talking about what it is they were planning to do in 2008 and start doing it. It's good to have goals but in order to turn those goals into achievements, search marketers must iron out a plan and decide why this year is going to be different from the previous one. If you haven't started yet, there's no time like the present.

Special Offer
Bruce Clay Announces Give, Get, Go!

Bruce Clay Inc. will once again be holding its SEO Charity Contest offering one lucky reader the chance to attend Search Engine Strategies New York (March 17-20) and our SEOToolSet and Advanced Certification Courses (April 7-11) at no cost on the condition that they use the knowledge they gain to help a non-profit in their area reach their goals.

That's right. You pair up with a local non-profit organization that you think could benefit from an organic search engine optimization campaign, write to tell us how you think you could help them, and we'll put you in the running to win more than $5,000 worth of SEO training opportunities.

All submissions are due in to Lisa Barone by February 11th and we'll be announcing our winner on February 15th. For full contest details, requirements and deadlines, please refer to the Give, Get, & Go To SES NY 2008 post on the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog.


Shuffles

In human shufflings, Greg Linden revealed he'll be joining MSN Live Labs, former Google Reader Product Manager Jason Shellen logged on at LiveJournal, Brandon Holley headed to Yahoo, and Sarah Perez became the newest poster at ReadWriteWeb.

In leavings, Jim Lanzone shocked many by stepping down as the CEO of Ask.com, Tony Hung signed off as Editor of Blog Herald, Yahoo's Chief Performance Expert Steve Souder left for Google, and User Experience expert Kevin Fox said goodbye to Google, as did Nathan Stoll and David Hirsch.

In corporate launches, mergers and acquisitions:

  • Google paired up with Panasonic to launch television sets powered with Google applications; began offering flight tracking; and added video sitemaps.
  • Yahoo joined forces with America Movil, one of the largest wireless carriers in Latin America; launched a new political dashboard; released Go 3.0 for mobile; and closed down Yahoo Picks.
  • Microsoft announced it would pay $1.23 billion for Fast Search; signed an ad deal with Viacom; and launched the MSN adCenter Affiliate Program.
  • Wikia Search launched with an alpha version.
  • LookSmart paid $280,000 to acquire Edgeio.
  • Jim Boykin launched a series of SEO training videos called Internet Marketing Ninjas.
  • Cre8asiteforums launched a non-profit forum named NonProfits on the Web.

In redesigns, ReadWriteWeb, HighRankings, the BBC, and All Things Digital all revamped their sites.


Shindigs

There are plenty of great search events to look forward to in this new year. Kicking things off will be SES Paris on January 15-16, followed by Bruce Clay's SEO training on February 5-7, SphinnCon Israel on February 5, Search Engine Bootcamp in Brisbane, Australia on February 14, SES London on February 19-21, and SMX Santa Clara on February 26-28.

Search Marketers will also want to mark their calendars for the PPC Summit happening in Boston on March 3-4, SEMpdx's SearchFest taking place March 10, and SES New York also on March 17-20.

Australian SEOs will want to pack their bags: ad:tech Sydney arrives on 12-13 March, and Bruce Clay's Australian SEO Training Course takes place on 17-20 March.


Attaboys

Yahoo was named the best Web sites in the UK in late December, while Google hit a new high, now accounting for 66 percent of US searches.

The online display ad market is expected to hit $8.6 billion this year, with Yahoo dominating the space.

Twitter showed what a powerful communication tool it has become when it played an active part in helping to find a missing Connecticut girl.

Blogging turned 10 (maybe), Robert Scoble celebrated 7 years of successful blogging on December 16, 2007, and SEMPO celebrated its first birthday.

Lastly, congratulations to Jeremy Zawodny and his beautiful bride who were recently married in Zanzibar.


Word on the Wire

Venture Beat heard from a reliable source that Digg was hoping to sell itself for $300 million or more.

BigMouthMedia reported that Google may join forces with Japanese mobile carrier DoCoMo to put Google email and applications on customers' mobile headsets.

According to The New York Times, Plaxo is for sale and seeking as much as $100 million.

Sad news for the folks over at CNET. Michael Arrington says there are some major shakeups in store for the company and more than 2,500 employees may end up losing their jobs.


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.