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In this issue:

Improve Business with Local Search

SEO Competitive Research, Part 2

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

FEATURE: Improve Business with Local Search
If there is any local aspect to your business - that is, if your business serves customers in any specific geographic area(s) - you should strongly consider making the effort to get into Local Search. Google, Yahoo! and MSN all position applicable Local Search results at the top of the regular, web search results when a city/state or zip code is part of the search.

You, too, could have this enviable placement in the search results by using Local Search.

BACK TO BASICS: SEO Competitive Research, Part 2

The second in our series on SEO competitive research. Step one: create a website with high sales conversion with minimal effort. The secret to spending less time on your SEO campaign is by getting a better understanding of your website's true competitors. This is achieved by changing the focus of your SEO campaign away from dominating the competition towards improving the product and service sales. Sound alluring? Learn to channel your company's desire for website greatness towards high profitability through competitive research.

Hot Topics

Identity Crisis

This month, shake-ups, new ventures and misspoken remarks left everyone scratching their head. Just what was going on with the search engines?

Google: Good or Evil

A month so mixed for the GOOG that it spawned a new How Evil is Google page charting the relative evil on any given day, Google couldn't seem to decide if they were still on the side of the angels.

  • Good: Bought a share in AOL but promised No Flying Doodads Ever

  • Good: Google News is finally out of Beta

  • Good: Google Analytics is sending out invitations again.

  • Evil: Even though they're sending out invitations again, they still are having trouble managing the server load.

  • Evil: Google Video's initial efforts were pathetic. Perhaps not actually evil, just very disappointing.

  • Evil: and the sliding scale of evil.

Yahoo: First is the worst, second's the best

  • What was Yahoo! exec Susan Decker thinking when she said "It's not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share."

  • Yahoo! tried to clarify on their Yahoo! Search blog but the damage was done.


Besides Google and AOL, that match made in web heaven, Google picked up dMarc Broadcasting, an automated radio advertising platform.

They also opened, in what promises to be the controversy of 2005, They gave their reasoning for the decision on their blog.

Sprechen sie deutsch? Ask Deutschland opened this month, bringing the butler to Germany. Also new from Ask this month, an improved image search.


CES brought lots of excitement to the search engine world with keynotes from Bill Gates, Terry Semel and Larry Page, each presenting something exciting and new.

Next month it's off to the Big Apple for Search Engine Strategies. Keynoting this conference is IAC big cheese, Barry Diller. Bruce Clay, Inc will be there and if you want to go too, be sure to grab a 20% off coupon. We'll see you there!


4Q earnings reported this month and once again it's a good time to be in search. Though Yahoo! missed their estimates, they still increased revenue 36 percent to $1.068 billion.

Google also missed their expected revenues but still managed a healthy $372.2 million.

Word on the Wire

Google didn't release a PC this month despite speculation that they would but the lackluster Google Video and Google Pack are still leaving people straining for a bigger, better Google release.

Digg this. Yahoo!, that wily purchaser of Web 2.0 companies, is reportedly interested in buying the mega-popular It's all bunk according to Digg's founder.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles above or if you would like to suggest topics for future articles, please email us at SEOToolSet.

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