Web News Hits – April 14, 2008 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

Search Engine Land points out that Google now fills out forms and crawls the results — potentially opening up material on the so-called “invisible web.”

Speaking from the experience of a company that has been bringing visibility to the deep web for years, webmasters should not rely on this service alone. Even if Google does start filling in forms, the results will not be optimized.

Ad Age asks: “Does Your Company Need A Chief Blogger?

“It’s a question marketers are still grappling with years after the first waves of corporate blogging flooded the web. But for better or worse, it seems corporate blogging — and the title of chief blogger — is beginning to hit its stride. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marriott and Kodak all have recently recruited chief bloggers, with or without the actual title, to tell their stories and engage consumers.”

PPC Hero asks: “Are You Selling Your Keyword Research Short Because You Have A Poor Research Strategy?”

Somebody at the Search Engine Watch forums has spotted that AdWords Ads are now live on Yahoo…

Here’s a useful post from Copyblogger: “Five Lessons From Newspapers to Boost Your Blog’s Circulation”

Seth Godin explains the difference between “Catchers and Throwers” in the online marketing world

…and Logic + Emotion presents “The Top 10 Made Up Words Of Web 3.0”:

“2. Viruseful.
Viral marketing initiatives that are actually useful.
“Not only did Shave Everywhere make me laugh—I was able to configure and purchase my new electric razor online”

Web News Hits – April 11, 2008 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

It’s a small business blogging success story, told by Search Engine Land:

“Meet John W. Tuggle, a guitarist living in Athens, Georgia. John has been playing guitar for 17 years, and giving private lessons for 14 years. Like many music instructors, John put his knowledge into a “how to” book and built a web site to sell it. That was about two years ago. After 18 months of struggles (he thinks he sold five books), John was ready to give up teaching; he was going to play gigs and be a studio engineer.”

And Tuggle uses HitTail to help him write his blog posts:

“Obviously blog posts can become tiresome, because it’s not just a blog post. If all I had to do was write a guitar lesson or story that would be easy. But first I check HitTail and look at the suggestions and what I need help in ranking for. Then I determine what keywords I need to focus on and figure out what I can write about that will interest people, while at the same time help me to get searched or improve rankings. It’s a double edged sword. You want to get some good rankings out of the post, but at the same time you have to write good content for people.”

Ars Technica examines “Why People Read Blogs”:

“The rise of blogging clearly represents a significant social phenomenon, but studying it poses a challenge in part because defining a blog is not a simple thing. There have been a number of attempts to do so at the technical level, where the presence of material organized by time stamp or the existence of RSS feeds have been suggested as defining features. A group at the University of California-Irvine, however, decided to approach the question from the perspective of human-computer interactions, where the humans involved were blog readers. Mixing in a dose of literary theory provided some interesting insights into how readers view and define blogs.”

Search Engine Guide discusses “6 Quick and Easy Accessibility Issues That Make Your Visitors Happy” to accomodate users who access websites through nontraditional means.

Mashable provides a roundup of the latest Yahoo/Microsoft/AOL/Google news — and explains that when “The Big Four Fight Everyone Else Wins”

Search Engine Journal takes a look at six books on SEO that you might find useful…

ProBlogger advises you how to go “From 10000 to 0 Emails In An Inbox In 24 Hours”:

“Over the weekend I decided to get serious about my email situation. I’d been sitting on an inbox with close to 10,000 items in it for months and was feeling more and more stressed by the day.

“I posted on Twitter that I needed to do something about it and then decided to take action. Within 24 hours I had an inbox with no items in it (well momentarily) and have been able to maintain that ever since (OK, so it’s only three days, but it’s been a very busy three days).”

And Search Engine Land reports on a study that indicated that the overwhelming majority of searches are informational in nature:

“A Penn State research study showed that about 80-percent of searches are informational in nature, whereas 10-percent are navigational and another 10-percent are transactional.

The researchers reviewed over 1.5 million queries from hundreds of thousands of search engines users to prove the “the 80/20 rule that 80 percent of the cases can be achieved with these clear-cut methods,” said IST assistant professor Jim Jansen.”

Web News Hits – April 7, 2008 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

Facebook will be launching their new chat service, ReadWriteWeb reports

The New York Times reports on Yahoo’s new ad system:

“Yahoo said the system, called AMP and still months away from being ready, would greatly simplify the task of selling online ads, allowing Yahoo’s publishing partners, for instance, to place ads on their own sites as well as on Yahoo and on the sites of other publishers in the company’s growing network.”

Meanwhile, Ars Technica has some quibbles with NYT’s recent “blogging yourself to death” article…

…and Marketing Pilgrim also responds to the New York Times article, explaining “Why I’m A Tortoise In a World Of Blogging Hares.”

Search Engine Land reports on a study that finds blended search resulting in more clicks for news, images, and video:

“Among the various content types now showing up in blended search, “news” results were found to be the most clicked form of vertical content. The study’s overall findings reinforce a point increasingly being made: marketers need to broaden and optimize their various content types to be found in blended search results.”

Pro Blogger teaches you “How To Target The Right Social Media Sites”

Finally, the SERPzone provides “14 Little-Known Sources of PPC Traffic”

Web News Hits – April 4 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

Should you blog for business or pleasure? Copyblogger attempts to answer the question.

Business Wire reports how Craigslist’s income in 2008 could be as high as $100 million:

“Craigslist, the free-classifieds Web site that has become a global phenomenon, is expected to generate $81 million in revenue in 2008 and could easily top $100 million with a few simple changes that might improve the service, a new report shows.

The report from Classified Intelligence, the leading consultants in the classified advertising field, estimated growth of 47 percent over $55 million in revenue for Craigslist in 2007.”

Google is testing middle of page one box results
. Search Engine Land wonders,

“So, I am not sure why Google is testing this implementation? Maybe it is because they are finding the universal search user interface is confusing the searcher?”

Problogger presents an excellent post on “A Strategy For Building Niche Focused Blog Networks”

Search Engine Watch continues their look at the evolution and future of social search:

“The social graph has brought new meaning to social search and marketing. Your contacts and friends are certainly one source of search relevance and subject authority, but are they the best source?”

Online Media Daily
reports on the big plans underway for MySpace Music.

More “couch potatoes” are parked in front of their PC than TV, Ars Technica reports. An interesting tidbit:

“Shorter clips, however, are still the most popular things to watch online. Five times as many viewers watch clips of shows as those who watch full episodes, said the report, with 75 percent of the clip content originating from broadcast or cable TV content.”

Finally, Lifehacker looks at the “Five Best Instant Messengers” from a variety of applications and services, from web-based chat to desktop clients.

Web News Hits – April 3 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

Breaking News
The New York Times reports that 300 are set to go at Doubleclick…

…and Matt Cutts talks about Google spinning off the search marketing side of Performics:

Personally, we think it was the right move for Google & applaud their actions.

Search Engine Land suggests how to make your content “submit worthy”:

“In order to be successful on social media news and bookmarking sites, you have to think like a typical power user. Start by understanding some fundamental truths about the users of these sites.”

Small Business SEM helpfully explains how to add a business to MSN/Live Local Search

Ad Age advises that to reach shoppers, retailers need to think beyond the print circular…and go digital

The U.S. trails the rest of the world in social media growth? Online Media Daily reports on the results of a two-year Universal McCann study:

The U.S. trails emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Russia in the adoption of activities including blogging, social networking and video-sharing. China, for instance, has already surpassed the U.S. in the number of people starting their own blogs, at 43 million compared to 26.4 million.”

And Copyblogger gives you the scoop on “How To Create A Rock-Solid Tagline That Truly Works”

Web News Hits – April 2, 2008 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

Search Engine Watch has a round-up of some of the funnier April Fool’s day Internet pranks.

Amazon.com now allows you to shop via text message, Mashable reports (will this make those impulse buys more irresistible?).

Ad Age explains “Why ’08 Isn’t Mobile’s Year”:

“Each year since about 2000 — and maybe even before — has been wrongly touted as the year of mobile marketing. And this year won’t be it either, despite the we’re-not-kidding-this-time rhetoric being spouted by mobile-marketing boosters converging for telecom’s big powwow in Las Vegas this week. Here are five reasons why — and five fixes that could make 2009 the year the channel becomes really, truly, we’re-not-joking meaningful.”

ReadWriteWeb has an overview of four services that allow users to conduct polls on Twitter.

Why Blog? The New York Times Provides A Compelling Reason: A Book Deal!

The Blog Herald establishes the “Blog SEO Basics”

Want to connect with friends old and new on your iPhone or Blackberry? The Social Media Trader lists a whopping 38 social networking sites for your mobile phone.

Web News Hits – April 1, 2008 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 Links

April Fools started a day early with this post:

Michael Arrington: “Why We’re Suing Facebook For $25 Million in Statutory Damages”

“My own personal brand has risen over the years as well to the point where I believe I can say without hubris that I am a very important person. Forbes recently named me No. 2 on their list of web celebrities, for example, and Business Week says I’m one of the 25 most influential people on the web. I’ve also appeared in numerous JibJab videos.”

Then the festivities continued over at Marketing Pilgrim, where they provided “exclusive” coverage of the “GWatch”:

“The Google USB Search Watch (Model #8002RPA10; estimated retail $89) will bring Google’s popular search engine technology to a wristwatch. Apparently users will be able to use a modified Google API to view search results on your wrist.”

Back to your regularly scheduled news…

Has anyone else seen the icons Yahoo has placed next to their sponsored results? It’s like banners meets search. A whole new way of doing SEM?

Search Engine Journal takes a look at YouTube video analytics and provides a video (naturally) tutorial on the subject

PPC Hero helpfully provides five tips to increase last minute conversions, traffic and sales

Hamlet Batista shares tips on chasing links and letting links chase you

Blog Oh! Blog ponders the future of Facebook:

“Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple years you have heard of the social monster known only as Facebook. It is coming more apparent that Facebook is clearly the social site of the future but with its incredible growth the site and company is still in its infancy and has yet to seen any major challenges. With these factors in mind it does make some of us wonder, what is the future of Facebook?”

…and the SEO Chicks take a tongue-in-cheek look at “The Seven Deadly Sins Of SEO”!

“Recently, the Catholic church decided to update the 7 deadly sins with a new set to reflect it’s new socially conscious agenda. Sweeping away the obvious historical issues we could raise here, I thought it would be fun to look at what these might be in SEO/M”

Web News Hits – March 31, 2008 – Your Daily Source Of Web 2.0 Links

Hello and welcome to HitTail’s “Web News Hits” where we provide you with a selection of some of the most interesting posts on Web 2.0 and online marketing. Topics of interest to “Web News Hits” include:

* Blogging
* Optimizing your site for search engines using targeted keywords (search engine optimization or “SEO”)
* Social media like Facebook, Digg, Wikipedia, and YouTube
* Content management
* eCommerce systems
* General online news and views

I hope you will join us every day for this new feature. And if you have any suggestions for articles and posts we might have missed — let us know!

Search Engine Land’s Jill Whalen explains her four reasons why “We Don’t Need SEO Standards”

Yahoo has launched a new online magazine for women: Shine. Is the launch of Shine an attempt — among other cool features and services that have cropped up as of late — by the company to boost their value in the wake of the Microsoft takeover bid?

Conversation Marketing provides a list of the “49 Things You Are Doing That You Probably Shouldn’t” in Internet Marketing

Here’s an interesting post from BlogStorm: “Linkbait In Difficult Industries.” The reader who inspired the post asks:

“For example, SEO for a funeral directors? Or kitchen fitters? I can think of a few funny videos that would go great on a funeral site, but I don’t think the client would find them suitable!”

Wikipedia celebrates over 10 million articles!

Mike Jones at Search Engine Watch explains the role of branding in social media marketing:

“Many brands are wary of exposing themselves on social media sites, but as anyone who’s been involved in social media for more than five minutes knows, they’re too late. Their brands are already exposed, and the community is talking about them, whether they choose to get involved or not. Rather than trying to avoid the conversation, brand marketers need to create a strategy to engage online influencers and social media users who have the power to make or break their brand.”

Facebook in China? David Snyder, guest-blogging for Marketing Pilgrim, has a report.

Check out the 96 Women Bloggers to watch for!

PR, SEO, and Blogging

We’ve been seeing a lot of traffic coming from Steve Rubel’s blog post on Friday. I’m flattered that Steve mentioned a recent entry on how blogs can quickly see benefits from SEO. We all know that blogs are often used to position companies as industry leaders and spokespeople as authoritative. That’s something our parent company, Connors Communications, knows something about considering its 20+ year history in public relations. And yet obviously times are changing — which is why we developed HitTail.

Google says that one of the best ways to drive traffic (and therefore get your message out) is by having something worthwhile to say. HitTail helps bloggers gain respect by providing suggested writing topics that interest their audience and are beneficial to readers as well as search engines.

What is the point of blogging if no one finds your blog? You might as well keep a private journal. Blogs may gain some readers from word of mouth and viral marketing, but you can bet that the most successful ones have been learning something from the keywords that people use to find them.

I’m sure that Steve and others in PR are beginning to recognize that the importance of ranking well in search results is just as valuable, or even moreso, than appearing in news articles due to the fragmentation of media.

When even the New York Times writes their headlines with Search in mind, you have to compete with SEO if you want to be heard on similar topics. Or you can hunt for treasure in the long tail with HitTail.

Beyond SEO – Search As Research

I don’t think enough has been written about the benefits of keyword research beyond simply one’s search optimization plan.

For instance, what about using one’s keyword research as a window into the buying preferences of your targeted consumers? Might not such numbers determine not just what keywords to target in the future, but the entire approach to your product as well?

I’ll use the long tail results provided and highlighted by the HitTail service as an example. Say you are in the business of making chocolates. A relatively good portion of the long tail results you have received through HitTail involve variations of the phrase, “chocolate covered strawberries.”

Well heck – maybe moving your business into specifically manufacturing chocolate-covered strawberries would be a good idea! These long tail results are giving you more than tips on good SEO – they are giving you market research.

Take another example that this interesting article on the subject from Media Post proposed – movies. Say you gather from analyzing search query volume that one movie has significantly more “buzz” than another. This might be helpful to project not only what film might do better at the box office, but where one’s marketing budget might be better spent. Or you get a bunch of long tail results like “Movie X Horrible” and “Movie X Bomb.” Maybe the long tail is trying to tell you something important about “Movie X.”

I think there are so many applications to SEO research and services like HitTail that we just don’t know about – yet. It might be advantageous to explore these options on our own and take advantage of them before the general marketing community does.