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  FEATURE:
2010: The State of the Australian Search Market
BACK TO BASICS:
Web Analytics: Framework 2.0 & SEO Resources
THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, sound bytes, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.
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  FEATURE: The State of the Australian Search Market
Author: Marc Elison, Bruce Clay Australia
 

In order to better serve subscribers around the world, the Bruce Clay, Inc. SEOToolSet Newsletter has partnered with Bruce Clay Australia to feature news and events from the fast-growing Internet marketing industry in Australia. Be sure to look for this international news and content, which will be identified with an icon of the Australian flag.

Australia has always had a healthy obsession for a few things that make this country great. Things like your favourite sports team, a great day at the beach and a backyard BBQ, are topics that can consume a large amount of time and conversation. There is one oddity that continues to boggle my mind, which is the focus on PPC when it comes to online marketing spend with lower regard for other search activities, like SEO for example. Even now with more and more knowledge emerging it seems that PPC still has the advantage on SEO in Australia by a large margin.

  BACK TO BASICS: Web Analytics: Framework 2.0 & SEO Resources
Author: Virginia Nussey
 

For search engine optimization, Web analytics is the backdrop of all initiatives. Web analytics is the collection, analysis and reporting of Web usage data. As such, Web analytics is the means of gauging SEO success. It is for this reason that Web analytics takes its place in the SEO Hierarchy of Needs as the required backdrop of all SEO efforts.

As the SEO Hierarchy of Needs series comes to a close, we have reached the final installment: analytics and Web intelligence. Much has been said about the science and practice of Web analytics, and here you'll find three notable resources that are useful in the daily on-site work of an SEO.

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

Bruce Clay, Inc. partnered with Wiley Publishing, Inc. to produce the all-in-one desk reference guide for SEO. 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.

Already have the book? Leave a review or drop us a line! We'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts, comments, questions or critiques.

  Hot Topics

Google Gmail was enhanced with additional social features last week with the launch of Google Buzz. The new product integrates popular social features into the familiar Gmail platform, such as following and followers, status updates, public and private network sharing, mobile-based geo-check in, and integration with services including Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, Google Reader and Google Chat.

Google Makes a Social Media Power Play

Immediately following the announcement, media and analyst began comparing Google Buzz to existing social services like Twitter and Facebook. During the concluding question-and-answer portion of the Google announcement event, one questioner wondered how much of Buzz was in reaction to Facebook, a dominant force in the social space. In response, Google co-founder Sergey Brin spoke about the evolution of the Web, avoiding a reference to Facebook specifically.

Days later, news broke that Google had acquired Aardvark, a service that seeks to answer users' questions by routing them to self-proclaimed subject experts. Many industry insiders expect Aardvark technology to be integrated into Buzz to help differentiate the platform from networks like Facebook and Twitter.

The acquisition was further evidence that Google intends to take over a share of the online social marketplace. Wrote one analyst in an interview with PC World: "Every time someone learns something or answers a question directly from a connection on a social site, it represents to Google the loss of a potential search. And that means the loss of the chance to display more ads (and) generate more revenue."

Google's Social Etiquette Misses the Mark

That Google wants to get a foothold in social networking is no surprise. However, the proposition has proven harder than might be expected of a technology company with resources like Google's.

Less than a week since the February 9 announcement, Google has addressed a bevy of complaints and confusion surrounding Buzz. In response to feedback and privacy concerns, the service no longer automatically follows contacts, won't automatically connect to other Google services and lets users disable Buzz more easily.

Looking at the larger picture, Buzz is just the latest in the company's attempts to launch a social win. Last year the company announced an experimental new social platform, Google Wave. Wave combines features of e-mail, instant messaging, content sharing, wiki-style collaboration, and real-time updates, but left many wondering what the use-case is for a platform that tries to be everything. Buzz seems to be a leaner version of Wave, implanted into an already well-adopted and familiar setting.

Google may have struggled to define its social strategy in the past, and early setbacks of Buzz, like the flurry of privacy concerns, call into question whether or not Buzz can be the social success Google has been hoping for. Still, millions of users have already given Buzz a try, and obviously a player like Google can't be ignored. Whether or not the buzz around Buzz will fizzle out remains to be seen.

 
  Shuffles

There was lots of movement in the last month, both within organizations and among Internet users' behavior.

Internet services company AOL has appointed former Googler Jeff Reynar as head of technology for engineering and products. AOL also acquired video platform StudioNow, in a deal estimated at $36.5 million.

CEO of the troubled social network MySpace, Owen Van Natta, has stepped down after less than 10 months on the job.

Technology company Microsoft and social network Facebook ended their advertising agreement as Facebook decided to stop displaying banner ads across the network. A look at Microsoft's fourth quarter earnings shows disappointing results for its online services division, which includes search engine Bing. Microsoft's online services reported a five percent year-over-year drop. Its online ad revenue saw a two percent decrease year over year. Internet services company Yahoo! also released its better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings.

Yahoo! saw an overall revenue decline of four percent year over year as well as a four percent increase in ad revenue from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. Yahoo! welcomed a new senior vice president for its search products team, Shashi Seth. The company sold its HotJobs property to job listing site Monster for $225 million. In another deal inked in the last month, Yahoo! and news agency the Associated Press came to a licensing agreement which allows the AP's content to be published on Yahoo! properties.

According to a report by Internet marketing research and analysis company Econsultancy and digital marketing company ExactTarget, 70 percent of companies plan to increase their social media marketing budgets, half of companies plan to increase mobile marketing budgets, and nearly half of companies plan to increase marketing budgets overall in 2010.

Similarly, the Society of Digital Agencies reports that more than 80 percent of brand executives expect a rise in the number of digital projects in the coming year. Digital marketing intelligence firm comScore reported that the search market saw year over year growth of 46 percent worldwide in 2009. The U.S. saw significant growth, with 22 percent year over year, while China grew by 13 percent year over year.

Other notable markets include the Russian Federation at 92 percent, France at 61 percent, and Japan at 48 percent year over year. Google maintained its position as the top search property in the world, with 66.8 percent of the global search market. As for fourth quarter earnings, Google reported a fourth quarter year-over-year revenue growth of 17 percent.

According to a report from Web intelligence and analytics firm Experian Hitwise, from December to January Bing's search market share increased by five percent and Ask's search share rose four percent, while Google's share dropped one percent and Yahoo's share decreased by two percent. Web site monitoring service Pingdom released a report of e-mail statistics that shows the number of e-mail users grew by 100 million in 2009, and e-mail spam increased by 24 percent and accounted for 81 percent of all e-mails.

According to a report on online advertising click fraud rates, attempted click fraud in the fourth quarter of 2009 jumped to 25.7 percent from 18.6 percent in the third quarter. The jump is attributed to fraudsters attempting to take advantage of boosted holiday ad spend. An annual survey of consumer trust shows that in the U.S., trust in all industries, except for banks, increased. The findings made a direct connection between trust and transparency and a company's reputation.

HIRING! Bruce Clay, Inc. is looking for great employees to work in our California and New York offices.

Open positions in California:

  • SEO Analyst
  • Client Liaison
  • Sr. IT Manager
  • HR Hiring Recruiter
  • Content Writer
  • Sales Executive
  • Sr. SEM Analyst
  • Web Developer
  • Web Analytics Analyst

Open position in New York:

  • Sales Executive

All employees must work at the respective office locations. Please send resumes to employment@bruceclay.com.

 
  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.

Air Date

Segment One

Segment Two

Segment Three

February 3
(Listen Now)

Company Blog Tips

Lisa Barone

Signs of SEO Authority

February 10
(Listen Now)

SEO Research & Testing

Chris Sherman

SEO Training Considerations

February 17
(Coming Soon)

Keyword Research Factors

Des Odell

SEO Factors & Trends Report

February 24
(Coming Soon)

Social Influence & Lifetime Customer Value

TBA

Is Google Buzz a Buzz Kill?

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

The educational conference Online Marketing Summit takes place February 22-25 in San Diego, California. SMX West comes to Santa Clara, California March 2-5. Bruce Clay, Inc. will present a one-day SEO Training Course in partnership with the conference on March 5. Use discount code smx10bruceclay when registering for 10 percent off. SES New York takes place March 22-26 in New York City. Bruce Clay, Inc. will present a one-day SEO Training Course in partnership with the conference on March 22. Get a 20 percent discount on your conference pass with code 20BRU. Throughout March, the Social Business Summit will take a world tour, stopping March 11 in Austin, Texas, March 18 in London, UK, and March 25 in Sydney, Australia. Web and technology conference SXSW Interactive will take place in Austin, Texas March 12-16. The first official Twitter developer conference, Chirp, hits San Francisco April 14-15. Forrester's Marketing Forum on adaptive marketing will be held in Los Angeles April 22-23. Search & Social Spring Summit takes place May 3-4 in Tampa, Florida. Internet marketing conference Search Exchange occurs May 17-19 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

There are a number of upcoming opportunities to attend SEOToolSet­ training and certification courses in the United States and Australia.

In the U.S., upcoming SEOToolSet standard and advanced training and certification dates are as follows:

  • March 15-19 in Simi Valley, California
  • April 12-16 in Simi Valley, California
  • May 3-5 in Long Island, New York
  • May 10-14 in Simi Valley, California

A number of one-day standard SEOToolSet courses will be held in Australia in the coming months:

  • 17 February in Sydney, Australia
  • 7 April in Brisbane, Australia
  • 12 May in Melbourne, Australia
  • 9 June in Sydney, Australia

A three-day standard and advanced SEOToolSet certification course will take place in Sydney 10-12 March.

Classes for both the one-day and three-day SEO training courses in Australia are limited, so book your seats now!

The Google AdWords Seminars for Success event will take place in Sydney 18-19 February. The Media 2010: The Annual Forecast for Digital Media Professionals event comes to Sydney on 19 February. The Media140 Perth event will be held in Perth on 25 February, focusing on branding and marketing on the real-time Web.

The Google Website Optimizer Seminars for Success will take place in Melbourne on 1 March and Sydney on 25 March. ad:tech Sydney occurs 16-17 March. The Focusing your Social Media Efforts - the ‘Hub and Spoke’ Approach event will take place in Sydney on 24 March.

 
  Attaboys

The winners of the annual SEMMY Awards have been announced. The SEMMYs honor the best search engine marketing blog posts of the year. Congratulations to the winners! Kudos to search industry leader Danny Sullivan for being named a Web Celeb 25 Thought Leader by Forbes and for getting Microsoft chairman Bill Gates to heed his SEO advice. An advertising industry coalition has proposed an icon that would act as a universal, standard identifier of behaviorally targeted ads and Web sites running those ads. In pace with evolving mobile and social technology, the U.S. White House has released a free iPhone application that gives users access to content, including live streaming video of events. Bing Maps is no longer in beta and is sporting some new features. Bing Maps is now faster, has a new user interface, and has easier-to-use map legends. The application has also been updated with Streetside Photos geo-tagged from Flickr and upcoming integration with the World Wide Telescope view of space. Yahoo! has released new tools for search advertisers. Advertisers are now able to control the network distribution of their ads across Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! partner sites. Also available is the ability to import search ad campaigns from Google AdWords to Yahoo! Search Marketing formats. Google AdWords now allows advertisers to target mobile devices and mobile carriers. Also, AdWords ads that link to mobile app downloads will only be served on devices that are compatible with those apps. Google has increased the number of Sitemaps a site can have from 1,000 to 50,000. The search engine also has begun displaying breadcrumbs within search results. Google Maps has introduced Street View trikes to Australia. Google has said these trikes will gather images of off-the-beaten track and pedestrian-only locations across the country. This means better images for Australia and less fossil fuel burnt in the process. Awesome.

The Australian Government has decided to go ahead with its controversial Internet filter. In protest, the Great Australian Internet Blackout was organised. The event called on protesters to voluntarily block their Australian Web sites and profiles to demonstrate the effect of imposed online censorship. According to the organisation's official Twitter feed, the action resulting in 500+ verified participating sites, 296,000+ unique visitors to the campaign site and 438,000+ views of the blackout info popup. Great work guys.

Take up of 3G mobile and wireless broadband in Australia rose 162 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This means that Internet penetration is growing more quickly in Australia than previously thought, with almost 80 percent of Australian homes now accessing the Internet.

 
  Word on the Wire

The New York Times announced it would begin charging some frequent visitors to its Web site. Newspapers have struggled to retain a readership moving to online sources. From the Times' own coverage: the news "drew ample reaction from media analysts and consumers, ranging from enthusiastic to withering."

According to a report, 44 percent of Google News readers scan headlines without clicking through to the story. The report about news readers' behavior was published by Internet research and analytics firm Outsell and predicts a continued decrease in newspaper readership.

Heating up the movie distribution wars, video site YouTube will begin renting movies. In a kickoff of its new offering, YouTube partnered with Sundance Film Festival, making five of the festival's films available for rent. YouTube also released an experimental version of a player that supports HTML5.

Twitter COO Dick Costolo has dispelled rumors of the company making an initial public offering in 2010. Instead the company plans to expand its money-making opportunities, a strategy supported by Twitter's hiring of former Pixar CFO Ali Rowghani.

An anonymous source cited by CNBC asserts that there is evidence of a deal between Apple and Bing to make the search engine the iPhone's default search engine. The source also alleges that Apple receives a payment every time an iPhone user clicks on a Google search ad, and that Microsoft is willing to hand over a larger payment if Bing is made the default engine.

Google Gmail has previously targeted ads shown to users by analyzing the potential relevance of the e-mail currently being read. In a recent update, if a relevant ad can't be found for the current e-mail, a user's previous Gmail usage will be analyzed for targeting relevance.

Extending its reach of Internet services into the ISP realm, Google announced it would offer ultrahigh-speed Internet. The move is meant to challenge the U.S.'s current Internet providers, a system over which the company has long expressed dissatisfaction.

Google Social Search has moved out of opt-in beta and is now a live search feature for all signed-in users. Social Search accesses a signed-in user's social circle via Gmail, Google Reader, Twitter, and other social applications, in order to serve search results, including images.

Some members of the SEO community expressed disapproval over news that Google branches in Spain, India and now the Nordic peninsula are offering a limited number of site clinics. That the offering represented a conflict of interest was a concern for some search engine optimizers. In contrast, some see the news as nothing different than what Google representatives have done at U.S. search conferences for years— providing a learning opportunity by sharing findings and recommendations.

According to Google's head of Web spam, Matt Cutts, the factor of page speed will not be weighed more heavily than factors of relevance, a point that clarified his earlier statements on the subject.

As part of a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin reported plans to sell five million of their own shares in the company over a five-year period in order to diversify their investment portfolios.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking ISPs to record customers' online activities and to retain those records for two years. The FBI and law enforcement agencies say the records will be a valuable resource in combating digitally based crimes.

 

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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