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In this issue:

FEATURE:
What You Need to Know from SES San Jose

BACK TO BASICS:
Holiday PPC Campaign Planning

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


FEATURE: What You Need to Know from SES San Jose

Last week wrapped up Search Engine Strategies in San Jose. For one week, search marketers of all stripes and experience mingled and shared information, seeking to better their business and hone their craft. If you couldn't make it, or you just want a refresher, we've pulled together all the things that you need to know from SES San Jose.

The overall theme of the conference was summarized neatly by Greg Jarboe in his panel. To be successful online, SEOs need to focus on something more fundamental than the technology du jour. They have to focus on the people using the technology. By focusing on people, you avoid tunnel vision and can consider options beyond just ranking and conversions. When people are making buying decisions, it's about how people feel, not logic. Establish a relationship and understand that you are establishing a relationship, even if the transaction seems very simple and of the moment.


BACK TO BASICS: Holiday PPC Campaign Planning

It's August and we'll soon be trading sun-kissed summer days for the sparkling holiday season. Gift giving and round-the-clock Frank Sinatra tunes are still off on the horizon, but there's no time left to put off holiday PPC campaign planning. In fact, as far as a holiday Internet marketing campaign is concerned, SEMs can take a tip from Santa. Start making that list, and checking it twice!


Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies Now Available

SEO For DummiesBruce Clay, Inc. partnered with For Dummies Publications to produce the all-in-one desk reference guide for SEO. The Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza is now available for $39.95 from major booksellers and comes with a free $25 AdWords coupon. The all-in-one desk reference is intended for those wanting to do search engine optimization themselves, providing many tips and hints necessary to optimize and operate in today's online market. But it is also a useful tool for any professional SEO out there needing any extra help. The Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies is currently available on Amazon.com, Borders.com and BarnesandNoble.com, so be sure to grab a copy today.


Hot Topics
Google Caffeine in Developer Preview

The search world got a jolt when last week Google launched a preview of its "next-generation architecture for Google's web search." According to the announcement on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, the new underlying infrastructure will be undetected by most users, but power searchers and developers are likely to notice a difference. To preview the system, do a search at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/.

New Features

Search speed, indexing speed, index size, the number of results returned, and accuracy of results are targeted for improvement through Google Caffeine. One tester claimed to observe result serving speed had improved by 200 percent for some queries. The faster indexing speed may be an attempt to better compete in the real-time search space. And perhaps the most important change to Google's search product is the attempt at improved relevancy. Comparing SERPs from the two engines mainly results in a reshuffling of the top 10 results.

Open to Feedback

Central to the announcement is Google's hope to receive feedback. After performing a search on Caffeine, you see a link at the bottom of the SERP that reads: "Dissatisfied? Help us improve." Users can submit comments on the resulting form regarding differences between the current and new search engines, as well as comments about whether or not specific sites or types of sites should be ranking better or worse.


Shuffles

July saw some surprising corporate moves. Amazon bought Zappos for $800 million. IBM acquired SPSS, arguably the leading predictive analytics and data mining provider. And AOL restructured itself a bit by creating AOL Advertising (formerly called Platform-A) and AOL Media (which absorbed MediaGlow), and completely eliminating its People Networks brand.

Speaking of AOL, Time Warner bought Google's five percent stake in AOL for $283 million.

Microsoft sold its digital shop Razorfish to Publicis Groupe, an ad holding company that plans to retain the current branding while extending Razorfish's global reach.

Facebook purchased rival social network FriendFeed for about $50 million.

IAC, the parent company of Ask.com and Citysearch, had a 9.5 percent drop in Q2 revenues for its media and advertising division.

In people moves, Doug Cook, formerly of Yahoo!, was named Twitter's new director of search.

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple's board due to increasing conflicts of interest between the two companies.

Mike Grehan was named vice president and global content director for Search Engine Watch, ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies.


Sound Bytes

If you like what you've read in the SEO Newsletter, there's more Internet marketing expertise where that came from. Check out SEM Synergy every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern and Noon Pacific on WebmasterRadio.fm.

Bruce Clay and the other hosts discuss industry news, SEO tactics and marketing trends, while expert guests share their insights on methods, best practices and upcoming events. Check out the show schedule below for a look at recent shows and upcoming topics.

August 5
(Listen Now)

SES Preview

Gina Poole

SES Social Media & Video Forum

August 12
(Live from SES)

Mark Knowles & Wendy Roe, Pixelsilk

Reid Wakefield, Century Interactive

Jamie Smith, Engine Ready

August 19
(Caffeine Recap)

SES Review

Aaron Landerkin

Google Caffeine

August 26
(Coming Soon)

TBA

TBA

TBA

Got something to say? Contact the SEM Synergy team and share your thoughts, comments and questions. You might even hear your question answered on the show.


Shindigs

Ad:tech Chicago takes place September 1-2, and in partnership with SEMPO will include a search marketing track to cover the latest search trends and best practices. Bruce Clay will present two search sessions, an SEO workshop immediately followed by an hour of search Q&A. We're going sans-booth this time, but Bruce will be there, so you can catch him in person.

Alterian's Engaging Times Summit will focus on "how engagement is transforming marketing" in Chicago August 25-26. Also in Chicago, Marketing Profs is sponsoring a Digital Marketing Mixer on October 21-22. Marketing Profs will also host a free virtual conference September 16 titled Digital Marketing World.

Forrester's Consumer Forum 2009 comes to Chicago later this fall, October 27-28. Breaking with the Windy City theme, there's a brand new event being held in Birmingham, Alabama this year: Social South, or "SoSo" for short. This is Deep South's Social Media Conference, and it happens August 21-22.

The next Search Marketing Expo, SMX East, occurs October 5-7 in New York City. To cap it off, SMX has once again partnered with Bruce Clay to offer a one-day SEO Training class on October 8.

Full SEOToolSet Training courses being offered this fall include:

  • September 14-18 (standard and advanced) in Simi Valley, CA
  • October 20-22 (standard) in Long Island, NY
  • October 26-28 (standard and advanced) in Milan, Italy
  • November 16-20 (standard and advanced) in Simi Valley, CA

Attaboys

The first ever criminal arrest of an alleged domain thief occurred at the end of July.

A survey of digital media and marketing professionals showed that more than 84 percent of marketers and more than 68 percent of publishers were satisfied with or enthusiastic about the performance of digital apps. An increase in spending on apps next year was expected by almost 65 percent of respondents.

Popular photo uploading and sharing site Flickr has launched a new layout for search results. Users can filter photos by size on the search results page, as well as find out additional information through an info icon on each image.

The popular social application Causes has seen a hit on platforms like Facebook and MySpace, and will now try its luck on Twitter. The TwitCause account will tweet about weekly causes, and the number of retweets is shown in real-time on the site.

Social microblogging site Twitter published a guide for businesses called Twitter 101, offering basic terminology, common community guidelines, and, perhaps to greatest effect, brand case studies.

Microsoft's search engine, Bing, released its guide to common search marketing errors that can severely harm a site's ability to rank well in search engine results.

The 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge - in which teams of students compete across the globe to design, implement and report on an online marketing campaign - concluded with the top prize going to a group from Deakin University in Australia.

Late last month, Yahoo! revealed a new home page design that promotes sites outside the Yahoo! media family, and announced improved profit expectations in the second quarter, following months of deep cost-cutting measures.


Word on the Wire

Apple removed two third-party Google Voice applications from the App Store, instigating an FCC investigation into Apple's application approval process and AT&T's possible involvement in blocking the competitive voice apps.

Another federal agency, the FTC, is seeking to limit the advertiser practice of behavioral targeting and, in turn, address related consumer privacy concerns.

Twitter has announced that the service will soon launch its first phase of Project Retweet, a program aimed at formalizing the practice of retweeting.

The latest in a series of sites hoping to leverage real-time search data, AOL has added a section of popular real-time topics to the news section of the home page.

In another episode of publishers struggling on the Internet, News Corporation Ltd. announced its intentions to charge for content on its news Web sites. Digital publisher WebMediaBrands is looking to sell its Internet.com division of sites.

This month it was revealed that Google Analytics data can be skewed if the system is set to track the behavior of Googlebot. A filter can be applied to exclude Googlebot from being represented in data reporting.

Yahoo! and Microsoft announced they have agreed on terms of a search partnership. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Yahoo! will license its search technology to Microsoft, and Microsoft will power search on Yahoo!'s network of sites. The deal will take effect pending federal regulatory approval.



If you have any questions or comments on any of the above Internet marketing news items or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.

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