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SEOToolSet® Training Comes to You

We're very pleased to present Bruce Clay, Inc.'s famous SEO training course with new East Coast style. That's right, we will now be holding our SEOToolSet Training in New York! All of Bruce Clay, Inc.'s normal SEO goodness, now with tastier bagels!

Going to SES New York? Stick around an extra day and participate in the SEO workshop. This is a one-day seminar built off the SEOToolSet Training course and is a perfect supplement to four days of search engine marketing sessions. Small business owners will find this course especially helpful.

If you need an extra incentive to attend SES, we have a priority code for you to use. You can save 20% on any conference pass or free expo pass! (pdf)

And as always, there is Bruce Clay, Inc.'s SoCal search engine optimization training sessions. You can also register for the standard SEOToolSet Training here in sunny Southern California. Our next class takes place May 11-13 for the Standard class, and May 14-15 for the Advanced, so make sure you sign up soon as space is limited.

FEATURE: 10 Engaging Ways to Incorporate Engagement Objects™

Engagement Objects are applications like video, audio files, pictures, maps, charts, macros or polls that you can stick on your Web site in order to actively "engage" your user. For a quick way to get an idea of ways to engage your users, take any Google vertical search and determine what they're indexing. That content is an Engagement Object. It's something you put on your page in addition to the rest of your content. Like a tasty garnish to your main course. They're important not just because of the advent of blended search which brings more visitors to you because of the images or videos on your site, but also because they enhance the user experience, and thus ups your chances of a conversion.

BACK TO BASICS: Press Release Basics for SEO Success

Press releases are an important tool in any marketer's belt. With a press release you can proactively manage your own news -- generate buzz, squelch rumors, set the record straight and just generally increase public awareness about your company. For a Web site, press releases can do all that plus attract new visitors, increase traffic and even generate backlinks to the site. You may be surprised, though, by how important SEO know-how is to creating an effective press release.

Never done it before? Don't worry. Distributing a press release is not only effective, but also it's pretty easy and not too costly these days, thanks to the Internet.

Hot Topics

In the last month Google has rolled out several changes which affect the way advertisers and SEOs approach their online marketing campaigns. February's algorithm update/change was characterized by the rankings boost given to established brands. In March, Google introduced interest-based advertising in beta testing with selected AdSense partners and on YouTube. Considered together, Google is quickly moving its search and ad models toward new frontiers of relevance.

The Vince Algorithm Change

Aaron Wall was one of the first Internet marketers to draw attention to effects of a recent change to the Google ranking algorithm. His data showed that a number of brands suddenly began ranking prominently in search results across a variety of keywords. The search engine optimization community picked up on the shift, categorizing it as everything from brand bias to an attempt to appease content producers. Google's de facto SEO liaison Matt Cutts responded in a video saying that the intended effect of the ranking change was to reward trust, authority, reputation, PageRank and quality.

Interest-Based Advertising

On the ad front, Google began testing behavioral targeting in ads. Interest-based ads take into account Web history to deliver advertising that is in line with a user's relevant interest categories. Google touted interest-based ads as a benefit to both users and advertisers, while privacy advocates voiced concerns over consumer privacy. A new tool called the Ads Preferences Manager allows users to modify the interest categories associated with their browser. The search engine also provides a cookie-based opt out but is still experimenting with ways to make the solution more permanent.

What It Means

Both changes can be seen as actions aimed at improving search results and ad relevance to the benefit of all parties involved. Through interest-based ads, advertisers will be able to granularly target ads to match user interests. The Vince update is obviously an advantage for large brands, but small businesses can take advantage of the change by focusing on trust factors and unique, quality content.


Some high level individuals shuffled about this month. Google's senior vice president and president of American operations Tim Armstrong was named chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner. At Yahoo, CFO Blake Jorgensen is awaiting a replacement. And popular tech evangelist and blogger Robert Scoble will no longer be involved in video production at FastCompany following the exit of a long-time sponsor.

In shifts of users, shares, and industry standing, the number of active Facebook users reached 175 million. The local online ad market seems to be at a standstill in the midst of the recession; however, the domain name industry continues to see growth. Microsoft's search share in the U.S. is at a 12-month low. Meanwhile, Apple and Google may replace two poor performers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Sound Bytes

If you like what you 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 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.

March 4
(Listen Now)

SEMJ & Sean Golliher

Will Martin-Gill

March 11
(Listen Now)

SEOToolSet Training

Christopher Hart

SEM Ethics & Certification

March 18
(Coming Soon)

Canonical Tag

Vanessa Fox

Canonical Tag Best Use

March 25
(Coming Soon)

Live From SES New York - Guests 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.


The next Search Engine Strategies conference, SES New York, lands in New York City March 23-27. Bruce Clay, Inc. is offering a special one-day Search Engine Optimization Training course in conjunction with SES New York on Friday, March 27.

Two analytics conferences are taking place at the end of the month. EMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit is going on in Toronto, Ontario, March 29-April 1. SMX Search Analytics will be held March 31-April 1 in Toronto as well.

IM Spring Break is coming up April 2-4 in Deerfield Beach, FL. You can also watch Pamela Lund and CK Chung's video log as they roadtrip from coast to coast!

Also in Florida, Forrester's Marketing Forum 2009 will take place in Orlando April 23-24.

The MarketingProfs Business-to-Business Forum happens June 8-9 in Boston. Need something budget friendly? MarketingProfs is also offering a free online conference Digital Marketing World Spring 2009 on April 1.

SEOToolSet Training courses are scheduled around the country. Next up:

  • March 16-20 (standard and advanced) in Simi Valley, CA
  • April 28-30 (standard) in Long Island, NY
  • May 11-15 (standard and advanced) in Simi Valley, CA


Joining the big three search engines' quest to clean up duplicate content, now supports the canonical link element. In a boon to mobile marketing, an AdMob report shows that growth of WiFi mobile access continues to rise in the U.S.

Yahoo began testing its Rich Ads in Search program which includes videos, images, deep links and ZIP code forms in search ads. Advertisers also reported a decrease in minimum bids for some keywords on Yahoo.

Online advertising network YouData launched a network for non-profit and charity fund-raising. On Facebook, consistently precise ad targeting continues to stand out among other social media alternatives.

In an effort to protect site owners, Google offered ways to prevent hacking attempts as well as ways to recognize security breaches on a site. Microsoft joined forces with Girl Scouts of the USA to create an online resource where girls can ask experts for advice on Internet safety issues like cyber-bullying, predators and social networks.

The Yahoo-Newspaper consortium reported gains for both the search engine and its media partners. And while the success of Skittles's home page experiment with social media is up for debate, the candy brand scored points this month for embracing the word-of-mouth marketing and visibility offered through social networks.

Word on the Wire

A study reported by the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising cast doubt on the reported number of clicks search ads receive. A more devious form of info manipulation was again alleged against local business review site Yelp. The power of reviews to drive sales was illustrated by a survey which showed a majority of reluctant consumers can be swayed online.

An antitrust suit was filed against Google by niche search competitor In other Google news, a Google Analytics skills qualification program was launched, and the AdWords platform no longer allows multiple display URLs within an ad group.

Facebook was in the news after changing its terms of service and then rescinding the changes before asking for input from users. A Facebook director also chimed in on why the company's bid to purchase Twitter failed.

A helpful hacker demonstrated weaknesses in Web encryption by showing how security systems can be mimicked to trick users into revealing sensitive information. Publishers, bloggers and the news media continue to grapple with fair use and copyright issues on the Web.

Live Search has added a map and local business listings, similar to Google Onebox and Yahoo Shortcuts, to relevant search results. A report circulated that Yahoo Web Analytics is superior to Google Analytics, but unfortunately the Yahoo product is only available to a small test group. And Twitter search results are now available on Google through a Greasemonkey script for Firefox.

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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