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June 13, 2008

The Big Questions Surrounding the Yahoo-Google Deal

In case you haven't heard the news Yahoo will begin showing Google's Adwords ads in the next few months pending a Justice Department review. This all happened on the same day that Microsoft and Yahoo officially broke off talks about Microsoft buying Yahoo.

The big questions are:

1. What does this do for Yahoo?
The ads on Google have more competitive bids. Yahoo will receive a percentage of what Google receives from these clicks. This will actually bring more money to Yahoo than their own ads by themselves. This will also probably give Yahoo a jump-start to their bidding competitions. It remains to be seen whether the Google ads compete with the Yahoo ads on a level playing field.

2. What does this do for Google?
This will not actually improve Google's statistics for search volume. Still, it's just one more piece of real estate for Google to expand their ad network to. It also provides a way for Google to boost its click revenue.

3. What does this mean for the search industry?
Google is growing in dominance. Yahoo is being given a brief reprieve from their long slow fall from grace. Microsoft is left at the altar wondering what could have been.

June 04, 2008

5 Reasons You Lost the Deal

Your sales person has brought a potential client into the office, your team has made the stellar pitch, and the energy between everyone was electric. In the end the $20,000 a month deal went to another agency. After going through the usual check-list of reasons in your head try going through this additional list.

  1. Techie-Talk – Most search marketers that I know don’t have a marketing background. Most of them have a tech background which drove them to search. If they can’t speak money to a client the deal is probably going to be hard to get past that business’s marketing department.

  2. Condescension – Trying to prove to a potential client that you know your stuff by throwing out all the industry jargon can come off like a call to a tech-support guru. The caller walks away feeling insulted.

  3. Confusing Data – Clients only care about click-through-rate if that means more money for their company. This is like the number one issue. If they can’t understand the data then it is worthless information.

  4. Reputation – It is too easy to mislead a company, and the corporations are catching onto this fact. They are acting more and more like the sales process is an interview. They are searching the web for the name of the agencies they are talking to. Poor placement on the search engines or negative links look like your company doesn’t know what it is doing. Talk the talk. Walk the walk.

  5. Employees – This is the same as the last note, except that it applies to the employees. Any person the potential client might meet is game for being searched. Who really cares if one of your people has posts about their drunken exploits on their MySpace page? Your clients do. It smacks of a lack of professionalism.

Just because you’re in the industry doesn’t mean you can fool clients. It is just too competitive out there. Make sure your clients see the best side of you, and you will be rewarded.

June 03, 2008

SEO Seminar in Dallas - SEO Fast Start Live With Dan Thies

Dan Thies, a Dallas area SEO known as the "keyword guru" and author of the SEO Fast Start e-book is holding a seminar, SEO Fast Start Live in Dallas on June 25 & 26 at the Crowne Plaza in Addison. Dan is recognized in the industry as an SEO expert and has been practicing and teaching search engine optimization for over 10 years.

SEO Fast Start is a free e-book offering step by step instructions for a process-driven method of SEO including planning, measuring, & improving your ROI. Dan will be expanding on many of the topics in his book during the live Dallas seminar.
"During this intensive 2-day training, we will discuss how SEO and PPC fit into the larger picture of your business… how to develop better strategies, tactics, and processes to maximize your return on investment from search engine marketing."
The agenda includes:
  • Understanding Your Brand
  • Keyword Strategy
  • Content Development / Copywriting
  • Link Building
  • Google AdWords - PPC
  • Social Media
It's not often that a good SEO conference comes through Dallas so if you're looking to learn about or expand your knowledge of SEO and have an opportunity to network with some of the brightest SEOs in Dallas, don't miss this event. You have until tomorrow June 4 to sign up for SEO Fast Start Live with the early bird discount for $97.

We'll be there!

June 02, 2008

Viewzi Search Engine - Dallas Men Create "Google Killer"?

While I was watching prime time tv last week a CBS 11 News teaser caught my attention with the headline "Dallas Web Designers Ready To Compete With Google".

Now I don't really watch the local news much and although my boyfriend was a bit dismayed at the fact that we'd be missing part of The Daily Show with John Stewart, I knew I had to stay tuned for this story.

These Dallas men along with several from California and Hawaii created a new search engine, Viewzi. Now Viewzi isn't exactly just like other search engines. Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN are all text based search engines. These basically show the results for web pages as text with the title, description and URL. Viewzi is much more interactive.

With Viewzi there are several options for viewing your search results. There's the Simple Text View which shows combined results from Google and Yahoo in a familiar text listing format. There's special viewing options for video, images, mp3s and Amazon books results. The Weather View is also particularly handy but not so much for it to be a daily destination for me.

There's a Everyday Shopping view which shows results from Amazon, Ebay, Target and Walmart. This could be handy depending on what you're looking for as it shows images of the actual products.

Viewzi Shopping View

The two views I found most useful, yet not so much that I'd actually use them regularly are Web Screenshot View and 4 Sources View. In the Web Screenshot View you get Yahoo search results with a nice screenshot of the website. However, there's only one result on screen at a time and you have to scroll through one by one. In addition, the screenshots seem to take some time to load (note they are still in beta, so this may be temporary slowness). As a Search Engine Optimization specialist, this is not great news unless you already have a 1st place ranking in Yahoo. If not you have to hope the Viewzi users like to scroll a few pages.

Viewzi Web View

Next up is the 4 Sources View. This one is my favorite for playing around with so far. This view provides the 8 top results for Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN all on the same page. It also shows a screenshot all of the results, unfortunately the screenshots load somewhat slowly here as well.

The 4 Sources View results can be customized to show whichever engines you are interested in. You can choose to view Google results only, or Google and Yahoo only. This feature is helpful in comparing results in the top search engines all in one place, which is handy. I like searching in this view, it's fun. But I'm not sure that it'd be that useful if I were a regular searcher and not a curious SEO. First of all it's not very intuitive, I can just picture my mom and dad trying to figure out how to use this. Secondly the ordering of the results from the 4 engines seems so random. Why is Yahoo sometimes on top, MSN other times and some spaces have results stacked up from 3 engines and others with only one? What's it all mean?

Viewzi 4 Sources View

All in all the Viewzi team did an incredible job designing the site. I love the look and feel with all of the graphics, image navigation and web site screenshots. I just don't see this as anything that Google will worry about. People use search engines to get to the information they are searching for fast. They don't want to scroll through large screenshots or mess around with reordering the 4 big search engines while searching in another. I think of Viewzi as more of a fun "alternative" search engine and not a "Google Killer". I just seriously doubt that Average Joe Surfer will be migrating to Viewzi and adding "Viewzi this" and "Viewzi that" to the internet vocabulary anytime soon.

Viewzi's public launch is scheduled for June 9th. If you'd like to try out Viewzi now check out the CBS 11 news story "Dallas Web Designers Ready To Compete With Google" for a referral code.