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  FEATURE:
Building a Brand with Your Online Voice
BACK TO BASICS:
The Case for Page Speed Optimization
INTERNATIONAL:
The Value of SEO Training
THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, sound bytes, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.
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  FEATURE: Building a Brand with Your Online Voice
Author: Susan Esparza
 

Your Web site has a personality problem. It doesn't know who it is, who it wants to be, who it should be talking to. Your site doesn't have a voice. It's a barren wasteland of bland, boring and unimaginative copy. You might have a stellar SEO campaign. You might be bringing in traffic by the hundreds of thousands but though they arrive alive and kicking, it only takes a couple of seconds for your Web site to kill them in action.

The problem isn't page speed or even site design, necessarily. It's that your site doesn't have any hooks. You try to welcome everyone but succeed only in satisfying no one.

By adding a strong brand and a voice to your site, you'll be establishing yourself as more than just another bland stop on the Internet.

  BACK TO BASICS: The Case for Page Speed Optimization
Author: Virginia Nussey
 

Speed. The word conjures up images of action, readiness and power — all qualities most webmasters would love to attain on their sites. In the last year, Google has been at the forefront of an effort to speed up the Web. Webmasters and SEOs would do well to take notice.

Will page speed effect search engine rankings? As Google's senior developer programs engineer, Maile Ohye, explained at SMX West this month (paraphrased):

"As of today, performance is not a factor in organic ranking. If performance becomes a signal, we expect to notify webmasters. But, hint: Google is pushing the importance of speed."

So why should SEOs and businesses pay attention to page speed?

read more

  INTERNATIONAL: The Value of SEO Training
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.

Bruce Clay Australia has ramped up our SEO training schedule recently by adding one day SEO training courses to be held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The world-renowned 3 day SEO training given by the master himself, Bruce Clay has also just taken place in Sydney with the usual numerous plaudits, and we thought it would be a great time to share our thoughts on why SEO training has such tremendous value in today's business world.

read more

  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

After a hard-fought legal battle, the SEO community can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the efforts of a determined few.

In April of 2008, lawyer and SEOmoz COO Sarah Bird discovered that someone was attempting to register "SEO" as a trademark. On March 11, 2010, the application for trademark was officially terminated.

As Bird points out, if the trademark for "SEO" was successfully registered, the applicant would have essentially owned the term "SEO" as it relates to "marketing services in the field of computers." How successful he would have been when trying to protect his ownership in court is debatable, but it would have certainly put the entire SEO community on the defensive.

In the end, the battle was won by an impassioned opposition that included Rhea Drysdale, Jonathan Hochman, ArteWorks SEO, and SEOmoz. While some of the opposition filings fell through for various reasons, Drysdale's opposition - and the $17,000+ in legal fees she paid from her own pocket - pushed the victory through.

The SEO community showed its gratitude by donating $17,000 to Drysdale within hours of hearing the news. Drysdale plans to share the donations with Hochman, who personally spent nearly $10,000 in legal fees before his opposition was declared unsustained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

To Drysdale, Hochman, Bird and everyone who fought so hard to make sure SEOs everywhere would not become a victim of trademark tyranny, the SEO community thanks you. The question now is how can we prevent such a headache from happening in the future?

Although this attempt to trademark SEO has been blocked, there's currently nothing in place to stop another attempt from occurring. Should the SEO community enter a never-ending cycle of continuously defending against unjust trademark claims? Or is there something that can be done to officially place "SEO" in the public domain?

It is our understanding that one solution could be having the rightful trademark owner cede control to the public domain. We think we have the best claim to SEO, and we think you agree. Would you, member of the SEO community, support an attempt by us to put "SEO" in the public domain? We wouldn't even want to try without your support, but until "SEO" can be set free from such unjust trademark attempts, we fear we haven't seen the end of this yet.

 
  Shuffles

Regulators in the U.S. and European Union cleared Yahoo! and Microsoft to go ahead with their 10-year search partnership. Yahoo! will hand over it's search technology to Microsoft's search engine Bing, and Microsoft's ad platform adCenter will take over for Yahoo!'s ad center Panama. Organic search engine results will be the same for both engines, yet each will control its own user interface and any enhanced listings features.

Yahoo! also announced a partnership with Twitter that will allow the Internet services company to include real-time Twitter content on a variety of Yahoo! sites, including Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo! also plans to include more Twitter updates in search results, in line with moves made by Google and Bing.

Retail giant Wal-Mart acquired Vudu, an online movie service. Wal-Mart plans to use Vudu's technology to create Internet-ready home entertainment equipment to compete with the likes of Internet-connected TVs, video game consoles and Blu-ray players offered by Microsoft, Sony, Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster.

Online video viewing dropped 2.5 percent from December to January, according to comScore. However, online video views were up by nearly 120 percent year over year. Google sites remain the far-and-away leader of video share, with 39.5 percent of videos viewed.

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

March 3
(Listen Now)

SMX West with Guests:
Ian Lurie, Marshall Simmonds & Scott Garell

March 10
(Listen Now)

SMX West Recap

Training Opportunities

Search News

March 17
(Coming Soon)

100th Episode! Live with Bruce Clay

March 24
(Coming Soon)

BCI's SMN Webcast

Rhea Drysdale

SXSW News Recap

March 31
(Coming Soon)

SEO Nuggets from Matt Cutts

TBA

Mobile Marketing

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

Dr. Ralph Wilson of Web Marketing Today will present a webcast on the 10 most important things to know about SEO in 2010. Bruce Clay is sponsoring the webcast with Search Marketing Now and will be taking questions as well. The webcast happens live on March 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

San Francisco hosts ad:tech April 19-21. For the first time ever, the conference will hold a one-day SEO training class, bringing SEO awareness and education to the digital marketing event. Sign up soon to secure your spot.

SES New York takes place March 22-26 in New York City. Bruce Clay, Inc. will present a one-day SEO training class in partnership with the conference on March 22. Get a 20 percent discount on your conference pass with code 20BRU.

SES will also arrive in Toronto, Ontario June 9-11. The one-day SEO training class presented by Bruce clay, Inc. takes place June 9. Use code 20BCLAY at checkout for a great deal.

SMX Advanced occurs in Seattle June 8-9. Bruce Clay, Inc.'s one-day SEO training class will be held June 10. The last day to get the early-bird registration rate on the conference is March 21. Get an even steeper discount by using the code smx10bruceclay at checkout.

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 SEO 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:

  • May 3-5 in Long Island, New York
  • May 10-14 in Simi Valley, California

Bruce Clay Australia will present one-day SEO training in the following cities on the corresponding dates:

  • 7 April in Brisbane
  • 12 May in Melbourne
  • 9 June in Sydney

Social media conference Connect Now takes place 7 April in Sydney. Interactive media event Making It Personal will take place in Sydney on 8 April. SMX Sydney will take place 22-23 April.

 
  Attaboys

Google's announcement of Google Fiber has spurred a nationwide competition to become Google's guinea pig. Online videos, Facebook pages, petitions, and Twitter pushes have all been adopted as cities across the U.S. campaign to be chosen to test drive the ultra high-speed Internet connection that Google plans to trial run for up to 500,000 people.

Phishing scams on Twitter will be far less effective as Twitter has begun routing all links submitted to Twitter to a filter that detects and intercepts malicious links. Users will now notice links within direct messages and direct message notification e-mails from Twitter's own link shortener, twt.tl, which is redirecting links on the service.

Twitter has announced a framework for interacting with its microblogging service through partner sites, which the company is calling @anywhere. Once the service is rolled out, Twitter users will be able to sign-in and send Twitter updates from third-party sites. The initial participating sites include Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, and YouTube.

The Victorian Government has released 90 government databases to the public. The hope is that access to the databases will stimulate interaction, delivering relevant and distilled intelligence to users.

Google is accepting applications for the 2010 Google Australia and New Zealand Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship through 1 May. Applicants must be females enrolled at an Australian or New Zealand university, studying computer science or a closely related technical field. Scholarship recipients will receive $5,000 toward the 2011 academic year.

 
  Word on the Wire

Apple's App Store has been launched in 13 new countries, bringing the total number of countries to 90.

An analysis of YouTube video engagement found that the most popular categories of online videos are music, with 31 percent, and entertainment, with 15 percent. Low- and medium-authority blogs were most likely to link to music and entertainment videos, while high-authority blogs linked most to videos about news and politics.

Rumors about a Twitter ad platform suggest a platform similar to Google's search ads. Ads would be tied to searches, would contain ad copy of 140 characters or fewer, and would eventually work through a self-serve model.

Both Twitter and Facebook released an opt-in location-based feature that lets users to include their current locations within status updates.

AOL has announced its strategy to become the go-to destination for hyperlocal news. It plans to do this by expanding its Patch network of hyperlocal sites from 30 to hundreds by year end.

An Italian court has found three Google executives guilty of invasion of privacy after a video of bullying was posted to Google Video. The ruling in the case stood in contrast to case rulings in the U.S. that clears hosting providers of liability for content uploaded to a hosting site. Google has said it will appeal the convictions.

As part of a major reorganization, Yahoo! will integrate its mobile group across the company's product groups rather than standing as its own dedicated department. The move highlights the role of mobile as an access point for a variety of content and services.

Facebook was awarded a patent for implicit news feeds, or stories about the actions taken by a user's friends. Explicit news feeds, or stories reported by a user's friend such as the Twitter feed, are not included in Facebook's patent.

By Microsoft's own admission, a European Union antitrust investigation of Google was prompted by complaints filed by Microsoft companies. In a blog post, a Microsoft VP wrote that Google's conduct has included "retaliation, exclusivity and manipulation of search results to disadvantage rivals". Google's Matt Cutts responded with reasons why the company valued transparency in its search platform.

YouTube has expanded its auto-caption feature to all users and will include a "request processing" button for un-captioned videos. The feature was previously available only to select partners.

Networking equipment and management company Cisco has announced a new Carrier Routing System, CRS-3. While news of a new router system would not typically make news, Cisco had hyped its upcoming announcement as an Internet revolution, leaving most technology journalists less than impressed.

The WordPress publishing platform has turned on support of PubSubHubbub, or PuSH. The open-source PuSH protocol quickly pushes updates from publishers to subscribing services.

It appears that that a shut down of Google's search engine in China is imminent after unsuccessful talks between Google and the Chinese government over the country's Internet censorship rules.

 

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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