Introduction to Search Marketing

Dec 5, 2005 - 11:34 am 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2005

This is my first time attending this session, its always nice to go back to the basics every now and then. It seems as if Danny is having some technical difficulties. All dressed up in a nice dark suit with blue ties, I think. As you can see, I have this urge to type, so I am. The room seems to have about 300 people in it, total guess. One noticeable thing you see, is that the JupiterMedia logos are all replaced with IncisiveMedia. Now walks in the extra tech support to assist Danny. He swaps computers with Danny, presto, up comes the Web site. And then they swap computers back, and we are almost ready to go. Just 5 minutes after, not bad at all for the first session. :) The slide is live and it sports the old colors of the logo. Very few people in this audience have come to this conference before, a bunch have no idea what search marketing is, and even more need to know the basics.

He explains there are many ways to be listed on a search engine. it is not just about being number on on Google. There is Web search and vertical search. There is free versus paid. Understand, search engine PR. There is also search advertising. PR + Ads = Search marketing. He shows a Google free listing, also called editorial, natural or organic listings. Then he shows the paid listings, "Sponsored ads." He then shows local listings, the vertical creep of Google Local results, and he shows the Google Local maps and stuff. Danny explains that what is number one, is not always number one, because those results are pushed down with vertical results (news, local, etc.). Being number one is changing and will continue to do so. At some point, it may even be the vertical results showing up by default! Good news is a focus on web search - free and also paid. Major search engines all have free listings that come from crawling the Web. Search engine PR is about influencing the free listings. This is perfectly ok! While your efforts may help improve your free listings there is no guarantee. If you want guarantee, then buy sponsored ads. Search engines can and will list what they want. Dont depend on your free listings, make sure to balance paid and free. As with PR, know your message.... To do so, list your top ten phrases for your entire site. The phrases should be at least two words long. He shows the keyword research tools; wordtracker, overture keyword tool, Google AdWords, Country Specific Tools and other session on this topic. You can not anticipate what everyone is searching for. By having good content, and hopefully that content will contain other natural, popular terms. Hits for "less important" terms do add up. The "search tail" predates the "long tail". Danny also explains that you can think of your site as a pyramid, when it comes to search terms. Danny then explains the crawler, spider, bot. They jump from link to link and read pages found. Text of pages is stored in an index. When you search, they look for pages with matching text in the index. Other factors involved in ranking those pages; based on page content, title tag, design issues, link analysis, other off the page criteria (age of site, ctr, and the neighborhood). Crawlers should find your pages naturally, the more links, normally the better, you can use paid inclusion or simple submission. Submit your homepage and some internal pages (turnaround time, a few days to 2 months). You can use Google sitemaps, yahoo has bulk submit, and msn doesnt have it. Look at each page of your site, make sure the words on the page have what people search for. Graphics wont do it, you need content, real html content. You need pages rich in text. He copies and pastes the content from a nike page into a word document and he shows the text is very lacking. He shows how Google didn't pass the front page of a flash splash screen, even though good content was within the sub pages. He explains title tags, every page should have a unique title tag, use the most descriptive words for that page in the title, keep it short and attractive. Yahoo uses meta tags, Ask Jeeves unofficially supports it, beginners - danny said skip it. Meta description tag is supported, its a way to describe your pages, it should be about 200 - 250 characters. He explains that search engine do not always use your meta tags in the SERPs (sometimes content on page, sometimes dmoz, sometimes meta). He then goes into the meta robots tag, you can use it to block the search engines, if you want them to index you, do not use the tag. Best method is the robots.txt file. Both described at Meta revisit tag means nothing. Search engine prefer big, ugly pages, they do not like splash pages, frames and dynamic delivery (typically). Leverage links; more difficult for web site owners to manipulate links than their own pages. So link analysis is a great advance in relevancy for the engines. Major component of Google. Link quality; you want good links or number of links these days - also the context is also key (text around or in the link). He said, PageRank has nothing to do with how important a link is. Use the search engines, take the terms you want to be number one for and see what comes up - get links from them. Request links from these sites; Danny promoting these link request emails (oy :)). Danny said he loves to link out and he shows that most of the emails he gets are template driven, bad. He then goes through the process of finding pages to request links on. He explains PageRank on the Google Toolbar. It is a pure measure of link popularity. He explains its not the do all end all, search for books, amazon comes up but not for the search term cars. He explains how PR is funneled downwards based on the number of links on a page. Do all links on a page count? Guestbooks? links in the less clicked areas? Links within your own web site count less? This may be true. He also simply explained Ghost Page Rank. Golden Rules on Link Building. (1) Get links from pages that are read by your audience. (2) Buy links if visitors that come solely from the link itself will justify the cost. (3) Link to sites because you want your visitors to know about them. He then goes over the nofollow attribute; it gives some of the engines (yahoo, google, msn) a method of not counting that link.

Directory listings & Why bother. He explains human edited directories. Yahoo Directory, Google Directory (free). Directory listings can help crawlers. Detour traffic, is helpful (i personally bought at least one big thing via a human edited directory). He shows how Yahoo results do have category links linking to the Y! Directory. He explains how to submit to the directory, title, description, and go to the category you want to be listed. He then goes over search engine advertising. Search ads give you coverage (its guaranteed), search engines ads do give you good coverage. Good companies run PR & ad campaigns in "real word" and also should in the SE world. Paid placement listings are mostly sold via CPC. Success of ad depends on description of ad, landing page and quality of search network. He shows paid placement on Yahoo! that is based on CPC, on Google they use CPC x CTR/quality score.


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