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|FEATURE: SEO Contest Winner: The Elisha Foundation - 90 Day Update
I can't begin
this report without expressing my thanks and appreciation to Bruce Clay,
Robert, Virginia, Lisa and the rest of the Bruce Clay team for
everything they have meant to us at Strider during the launch phase of
our company, and for providing this opportunity to promote the vital
work of The Elisha Foundation. You guys at BC rock – and it can't be
The announcement of our win in the Give, Get, Go SEO contest came exactly 11 days after our incorporation for Strider was filed. This was my big step from freelance SEO to running a real business. The team was assembled, things were lined up, optimism was high – and then it became real when Lisa published the list of winners on February 15th. At the time, we were each working from home while we searched for office space. We didn't have a Web site yet. I had barely started training my team in the concepts of search engine optimization... but we were going to SES NY!
In real estate, there is a well-known saying -- "Location, location, location." The same thing holds true with online real estate. Where you can be found often determines the level of your online marketing success. For a small business, local search is often a prime location for traffic. With consumers flocking to the search engines to solve every problem, a local business can profit immensely by simply showing up. Learning how to appear in the general search engines, the search verticals, and the local only engines is the first step to creating a local search engine optimization plan that's everywhere you want to be.
Fact: Search engine optimization training is crucial to the success of your Web site. The more you know, the less likely you are to fall victim to the hype of the day and rampant misinformation. It was a lesson we saw in full effect over the past two weeks.Training Helps You Show Up Prepared
Early this month, Adobe announced that they were working with the search engines to help them finally learn to read Flash files. The initial reaction from the search community was rejoicing - finally Flash was search-engine-friendly. Designers could stray away from the HTML standard and create sites that acted like a moving picture. Or could they?
Lisa Barone was among the most vocal in warning against that idea, advising Don't Build Your Entire Site In Flash. Best practice search engine optimization still means creating an accessible HTML Web site. Despite the advancements of the search engine technology, sites comprised entirely in Flash still present a poor user experience. Bruce Clay himself hit the blog to expand on Lisa's point with Bruce's Guide to Appropriate Use of Flash. If you haven't read it, it's worth a read.
Educating yourself about SEO has never been more important. As the search community publicly wonders what is advanced SEO, as SEO theories get debunked and with questionable advice being shared, it's important to remember that you can't always believe the free information being made available in the blogosphere and in forums. This is when investing in a real SEO training becomes so important.What Kind Of SEO Services Do You Need?
The more you know about search engine optimization, the more informed your decisions will be regarding your own campaign. Over at Lee Odden's Online Marketing Blog he posed the question Should Companies Hire Multiple Search Marketing Firms? If you don't understand how the SEO process works, you may assume that two heads are better than one. However, as Bruce Clay's Lisa Barone argued, hiring more than one SEO firm would only decentralize and defocus your SEO efforts. It's far more effective to spend the time researching which firm best aligns with your needs and to place your trust in them.
There was also some debate this month regarding whether SEO consulting still brings value, with the overall consensus being that, yes, it does.The Power of Good Training
When the embargo was lifted for the much talked about Give It Up session at SMX Advanced and less-than-white hat secrets were made public, it was clear that today's search conferences could be strengthened if SEO training was offered at the events. And it looks like it will be.
Following SES San Jose there will be a one-day SEO training program for attendees looking to attend real workshops and chat with SEO experts. And announced just last week: Bruce Clay, Inc. will be holding its own two-day SEO training class as an extension of SMX East in New York City. The training course will be a condensed version of our Standard SEO Training class and will give attendees an unparalleled opportunity to take what they've learned, validate it, and put it to use. It seems in this day and age, search conferences and SEO training go hand in hand.
Programming Note: Effective today, the SEO Newsletter will return to its monthly publishing schedule and will be published on or near the 15th of each month. By adopting the monthly publishing date, it will allow us to maintain the integrity and authority of the newsletter, while accommodating heavier travel schedules and increasing internal demands. You'll still receive the same great SEO news and educational articles, just in a thicker, more comprehensive format.
In signing ons: Matt McGee accepted the position of Director of Strategic Search with KeyRelevance and former Googler Kate Burns joined Bebo Europe as its new Vice President and Managing Director.
In leavings, Kent Goldman resigned as Yahoo's Director of Corporate Development, Mark Berghausen left Google Webmaster Central to pursue a legal career, Charlene Li left Forrester, Bill Slawski stepped down as an Administrator on the Cre8asite Forums, Jason Calacanis quit blogging, and Fake Steve Jobs said he, too, was sailing away into the sunset.
In corporate mergers, acquisitions and launches:
- Google launched virtual world Lively, gave its Affiliate Network an interface upgrade, and finally added a Privacy link to its home page.
- Yahoo was busy this month as it redesigned My Yahoo, rejected another Microsoft acquisition offer, unveiled BOSS to let users build their own search service, showed their Olympic spirit, killed off Overture's keyword suggestion tool, and teamed up with Click Forensics.
- Microsoft launched Hosted Exchange Deals to compete against Google Apps and purchased semantic search engine Powerset.
- Ask.com signed a search deal with Photobucket, while killing its mapping technology.
- Sphinn released an official blog.
- Digg launched a recommendation engine to help users discover new content.
- CBS closed its CNET acquisition.
- Printed publication Search Engine Marketing Journal announced it will launch next month at SES San Jose. SEMJ will be dedicated to the advancement of search marketing through peer-reviewed articles. We're proud to announce that Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza have been chosen to aid the team as Associate Editors for SEO.
- Twitter bought Summize to help stabilize the micro-blogging platform.
Bruce Clay's SEO Training kicked off in Simi Valley this week and will run through the 18th. Following that will be tomorrow's Social Media Bootcamp, Austin's SEM for SMB on July 16-17, BlogHer in San Francisco on July 18-20, SEO Class in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 23-24, and of course, SMX Local and Mobile comes to San Francisco on July 24-25.
As we mentioned last month, keep an eye out for Bruce Clay's Lisa Barone if you're making the trip to BlogHer later this week. We won't be providing liveblogging coverage this time around, but you'll still be able to catch her around the session rooms.
Andy Beal will be hosting an online reputation management workshop on August 7 at the Sigma Xi Center in North Carolina, and you'll want to clear your calendar for Search Engine Strategies San Jose on August 18-22. The official SES San Jose party list is now live in the Search Engine Watch forums.
Looking ahead a bit, BlogWorldExpo hits the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sept. 19 - 21 and registration for SMX East in NYC is officially open!
Programming Notes: Guestblogging Week on the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog will kick off August 4th and run through the 8th. We'll be giving Lisa Barone a week off and inviting some of our favorite female SEO faces to share their knowledge and expertise with Bruce Clay's readers. Be sure to check it out.
The Bruce Clay, Inc. UK SEO Training class is set to take place September 9-11. These are the confirmed dates, so if you're hoping to attend, make sure to reserve your seat today.
Here at home, Bruce Clay was named one of the Most Dependable SEM Firms in the US by Goldmine Research. You can read more about the honor in the Aug. 1st edition of INC magazine.
Google signed an agreement with Brazil to help them fight child pornography on Google's social networking site Orkut.
To promote the use of Live Search, Microsoft's Australian partner ninemsn has launched a "search secret contest" where users can win prizes simply for using the search engine.
Andy Beal announced the winner of the 3rd Annual SEM Scholarship Contest. Congratulations to Linda Bustos who walked away with more than $10,000 in search prices after taking 11 of the 16 judges' votes.
And happy 1st birthday to SEO's social news site Sphinn.
Word on the Wire
ReadWriteWeb tried to guess where Google was headed next by comparing its product offerings to HitWise's Top 20 categories. They also wondered if Google was about to create an exclusive animated Internet series.
Over on FriendFeed the conversation was about whether Microsoft was interested in buying Mahalo, on Search Engine Journal there were more rumors concerning Yahoo's next move, Greg Sterling continued the Microsoft/Yahoo chatter, while Robert Scoble wondered if Microsoft was trying to enter the photography market.