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Friday, December 23, 2005

Rumors Flying Microsoft and Yahoo to Merge

Microsoft looking to increase market share after losing out to Google in their AOL talks is rumored to be evaluating a purchase of Yahoo. Internet rumors and several phone calls already today from old Yahoo co-workers wondering if they are destined to work for the Redmond gang.

Microsoft appears to be planning a partnership or acquistion with another Tier 1 internet company. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have been seeking an acquistion that could help them level the search marketing playing field with Google.

Other sources speculate that Microsoft/MSN is seeking a large ISP such as: Comcast.

It would be easier on a technical basis, for MSN and Yahoo who already share pay per click revenues and technology to merge and join together than waiting years to increase their share of the lucrative search marketing landscape.

Wenda Millard meet Bill Gates and clean out your desk as MSN will be driving this new shared enterprise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Investor Carl Icahn Takes Steps to Block New AOL Google Deal

Investor Carl Icahn piped up earlier this week and issued a verbal warning to the Time Warner board of directors claiming that selling a piece of AOL to Google would be another "disastrous decision" for Time Waner.

The Time Warner board is on track to approve selling 5% of AOL to Google for $1 Billion in cash.

Icahn an outspkoen Time Warner shareholder wrote an open letter to the Time Warner board and also held a press conference claiming that selling 5% of AOL to Google is a mistake that limits AOL search and puts Google in the lucrative search marketing drivers seat at AOL for the next 5 years.

Icahn strongly labeled the deal as a "blatant breach of fiduciary duty" and to "enter into a 5 year keyword search results agreement with Google could prevent Time Warner from selling AOL outright to another party".

Icahn went onto to add "another transaction would be more beneficial for Time Warner shareholders".

The overly verbose Icahn, who only holds 3% of Time Warner stock claims he will attempt to start a proxy fight at the Time Warner shareholders meeting next year.

Time Warner's board yawned at Icahn's latest rant.

Icahn claiming to suddenly fully understand online marketing issues, including search marketing the internet's hottest industry of which Icahn has no experience to date, claims that fraud-laden eBay or old TV network pal Barry Diller's InterActive Corp. are better long-term matches for AOL than Google.

Wall street views Google's deal to purchase 5% of AOL from Time Warner as a very positive step for Time Warner and Google. The new Google deal could help AOL gain web traffic and search ad revenues, while also possibly preventing Microsoft's MSN from picking up AOL searchers.

Not one wall street analyst has acknowledged or even tried to comprehend Google's hidden motivation to purchase 5% of AOL and more importantly lock themselves in as the exclusive controller of AOL keyword search results. Google motivation is not entirely fueled by gaining search marketing share. Google's motivations also include two other important factors:

1) protect 100% of their search technology (code) from getting into Microsoft's hands.

2) Establish a 5% ownership in AOL, which puts Google in first position to purchase AOL outright for a song when all of AOL's current lawsuits are resolved. Google knows it could take AOL up to three years to escape all of their legal troubles.

Here's more on Google's 5% purchase of AOL from a search perspective:

Google is buying a 5 percent stake in Dulles, Va. based America Online for $1 billion as part of a far-reaching business and search advertising partnership that will link the two companies in many ways and will greatly enhance AOL's financial prospects, according to people familiar with the agreement.

The deal between Google and AOL is a setback for Microsoft Corp., which had sought to replace Google as the search engine on the AOL service and had been in talks with AOL's parent, Time Warner Corp, since January. Google is the leader in search, followed by Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft's MSN Search, which is a distant third.

Under the agreement, Google will remain the search engine on the AOL service with a revenue sharing from text-based ads provided by Google of about 80 percent to AOL and 20 percent to Google. In addition, AOL will get the exclusive right to sell other types of advertising, including banner ads, for the Google network. AOL will keep 20 percent of the proceeds from those ad sales; Google will get about 80 percent.

AOL is already the largest single source of ad revenue for Google, generating about 10 percent of Google's ad dollars, according to public filings. AOL's business strategy under its chief executive, Jonathan Miller, is to garner more of its revenue in the future from the rapidly-growing online keyword search advertising medium.

As part of the new agreement, AOL gains the right to sell Google-generated, text-based ads that appear on the AOL service. This change will enable AOL to sell all forms of online advertising itself to any company.

In addition, AOL's video service will get special promotion as part of Google's video offering. And AOL will have graphic ads that attract attention and appear alongside the text-based ads Google traditionally has displayed to the right of its free search results.

AOL will also be given a substantial fixed-dollar budget from Google to purchase advertising to promote the Internet service. Google's organic search results, based on math equations (algorithms used by bots or spiders) that rank sites according to content relevancy, will not be changed as a result of the new partnership.

Google's $1 billion investment in AOL will give the AOL service, which has more than 20 million subscribers and a network of websites that includes, Moviefone and Mapquest, an implied value of $20 billion. The five-year deal gives Time Warner the choice of maintaining its 95 percent ownership stake in AOL, or keeping majority ownership while spinning off a portion of AOL to shareholders as a way of boosting its stock price.

Time Warner has been under pressure from financier Carl Icahn to take steps to get the Time Warner stock price up. Icahn, who owns only 3% of Time Warner has been pushing TW management to do a large stock buyback, spin off the Time Warner cable division and increase cash flow and shareholder value.

The terms of Google's 5% purchase in AOL were reached last week in New York in the Time Warner office suites of CEO Richard Parsons, where he was joined by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and AOL's Jonathan Miller. The Time Warner board of directors will vote on the agreement next week. In the interim days, lawyers for both sides will hammer out the legal details. On Wall Street, as news began leaking of Google besting Microsoft on Friday, Google's stock price hit $429 a share. The company, the leader in Internet search and advertising will be able to protect their PPC revenues as anyone or any party who clicks Google sponsored links on AOL results in more PPC dollars for both AOL and Google.

Is the sponsored traffic and link activity generated on AOL audited?

Does a third party intervene to legitimize the click triaafic being produced on the AOL network of sites?

Publishers need to audit circulation via the Audit Bureau of Circulations and broadcasters also need to audit their audience counts with Nielsen TV and Arbitron radio ratings.

Is search engine PPC advertising activity audited by an established third party?

And very rarely do any of the national search marketing industry stories ever mention ORGANIC SEARCH RESULTS.

Trade magazines and national press publications fail to make an important distinction in that the organic search results are what keyword searchers prefer and that organic search results are clicked 6 and 7 to 1 over paid listings on search results pages.

Much like TIVO, DVDR and other popular commercial cancelling media devices searchers are seeking information and relevant content not advertising. Google understands this trend and search behavior and needs advertising distribution partners such as AOL to help carry out their sponsored advertising messages onto portals outside of

Google understands REACH, always has, and that is why they are trading in the $450 dollar a share range.

In the end, a proposed joint advertising arrangement between AOL and Microsoft's MSN network proved complex and not as lucrative as the long-term potential of the partnership with Google.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Acording to Search Insider...

70% of SEM Companies Outsourcing SEO Contracts Abroad.

This should be disturbing to any Credible SEO Firm.

Here at Peak Positions 100% of the work stays in house.

If we need to enlist a software engineer (rare) as a contractor on a project, we bring them in to our offices, put them up at a local hotel, and do the work together right here in our Traverse City, Michigan SEO labs. Nothing goes out, it's called Quality Control. Jack Roberts our Director wouldn't allow any third party to touch our SEO work.

I read him this passage below and he cringed mumbling..."more SEM Outsourcing Garbage?".

Here's a recap of the Search Insider SEO Outsource Piece:

Many SEM agencies today are outsourcing a lot of their SEO processes to companies abroad. They may not accept that, but I can tell you many SEM companies do outsource. Secondly, I do not see why it should be of any concern. I know the whole question of outsourcing has become a big political debate, but we both know that's how the business will operate in future. It's smart outsourcing that will win the day for any serious business entity.

Shouldn't be of any concern ?

Has the client been informed that their SEM vendor outsourced his/her website optimization to unknown third parties, working in unknown countries?

A couple of glaring issues concerned the rest of the crew in our IT dept.:

1) quality control (gone)
2) client communications (impossible)
3) legal issues with contract (breach)
4) confidentiality (gone)
5) Performance (would not expect too much)
6) Outsourcing the Kiss of Death for any SEM/SEO agency.

If you feel that your current, underperforming, and overbilling, SEM/SEO vendor is throwing your website out to the cheapest labor available in the world ....behind your back... and on your dime...

Call Peak Positions an American SEO company, based in America, providing 100% of our PROVEN MANUAL SEO services always done in-house by OUR VETERAN ORGANIC WEBSITE OPTIMIZERS.

Avoid the PPC hype, false position guarantees, deceptive global outsourcing and exorbitant SEM fees...

Outsource SEO with a proven and dedicated organic seo leader that conducts 100% of their SEO services, in house.

Friday, December 09, 2005

SES Chicago Promotes Pay Per Click vs. Organic SEO

Volumes of email in the last day or so from coworkers, consultants, and client attendees at the SES Strategies Show in Chicago. It seems that nearly every session led to the same conslusion: PPC via Google AdWords and Yahoo (Overture) is the most effective form of "optimizing".

It appears that little of the discussion at the 2005 SES Chicago show addressed technical issues or code parameters involved with optimizing sites, especially large dynamic sites with deep database content and problematic code, instead the theme of 2005 SES Chicago Show was: "Pay Per Click to the Rescue".

Some Gentle Reminders to the SES/SEM/PPC Road Show Promoters.

SEM or PPC is not organic optimization and will not drive traffic from the organic search results.

Organic Optimization involves technical processes that help secure and maintain top organic listings for websites.

Searchers prefer organic listings 6 to 1 vs. sponsorsed search ads.

PPC Click Fraud is escalating and is not an Organic SEO issue.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

AOL Making Headlines

After weeks of intense negotiations, Time Warner will not be selling their stake in America Online after all.

Instead, the publishing and media giant is sesking to enhance its revenue partnership with Google (GOOG stock considerations are involved), or establish a new equity relationship with Microsoft and walk away from Google altogether. The New York Times reports that Google's terms do not involve any kind of investment in AOL. Rather, Google would extend the 80 percent cut it currently gives AOL for the revenue generated by its search technology on AOL's pages, while possibly agreeing to drive traffic from its sites directly to The Google / Time Warner negotiations, rumored at one point to involve Comcast Corp., no longer include any third parties, instant messaging, or ad sales.

Time Warner negotiations with Microsoft (MSN), on the other hand, may include joint venture in ad sales and instant messaging, as well as a minority stake in AOL.

Time Warner was asking for apparently wanted $20 billion for AOL, but both Google and Microsoft have backed away from ownership at that price, not to mention potential litigation concerns.

The Wall Street Journal that AOL parent Time Warner is close to securing a partnership with Microsoft/MSN. The agreement would include a joint venture in advertising services, including MSN Internet search and online ad sales across and MSN. The MSN AdCenter, that is currently undergoing beta testing will be rolled out enterprise wide to carry the new online advertising platform.

The joint venture with MSN would end AOL's long-standing keyword search partnership with Google, which provides the Time Warner unit with search technology, advertising services, and huge revenues. Meanwhile, hedge fund investor Carl Icahn is preparing a proxy fight with the Time Warner board that he hopes will split legally plagued Time Warner into four distinct companies--of which AOL would be one. Icahn is said to be dissatisfied with mismanagement at AOL and wants to shake the foundations with new management teams and new seperate companies.

Also a split of AOL into four seperate companies could limit lawsuit settlements and legal ramifications for Time Warner caused by the large number of lawsuits involving AOL.

Speaking of AOL Lawsuits
AOL being Revisited By Familiar Lawsuit

It appears that AOL is in legal trouble once again, according to the Associated Press. A lawsuit filed in the St.Clair County Circuit Court in Illinois by 10 AOL customers in six states accuses the Time Warner unit of illegally creating secondary accounts for them without consent and then billing them illegally (as first reported months ago on this organic seo blog).

This new AOL lawsuit could potentially cover hundreds of thousands of AOL subscribers. The lawsuit claims that not only did AOL confuse and deceive these customers, but it also refused to give refunds to those who questioned the unwarranted fees. The suit is akin to more than a dozen other pending lawsuits filed in state and federal courts around the country. AOL flatly denies the charge, calling it a "rehash" of an old lawsuit that is no longer of any legal value.

Is it true that Microsoft is using their extensive world court legal experiences as leverage in their negotiations to partner/merge with AOL.
Concerns Over Google Sandbox?

Is your new site still not listed in Google?

Don't be spun around for months on end about an artificial problem that no longer exists.

Call Peak Positions and get your site picked up by Google in one week or less.

The Google Sandbox no longer exists.

Google dissolved their new site Sandbox months ago.

To read this hype, conjecture, and false babble concerning the long deceased Google Sandbox from SEO groups like many of the SES Strategies speakers and sponsors, Search Engine Watch contributors, The SEO RoundTable and SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) is insulting to many proven professionals in the organic SEO industry.

Here is one of the latest Google SandBox False Alarm Messages from Search Engine Watch:

For well over a year, there's been massive debate and speculation that Google puts all new sites into a "sandbox," preventing them from ranking well for anything until a set period of time has passed. Now we get more confirmation from Google that if there's not a sandbox, there's at least part of its algorithm that may make it seem that way for some sites -- plus thoughts on how trusted links may help sites escape those filters. This roundup for for Search Engine Watch members looks at some of the discussions and articles that have fueled this over the past few weeks.

Save your eyes the strain none of this Google SandBox hype is true.

This line was most amusing: "there's at least part of its algorithm that may make it seem that way for some sites" ...can someone explain to us and to the engineering staffs at the search engines how part of an algorithm can possibly discern longevity or make conjecture to the actual age of a website?

If you are clueless about the algorithms stop pondering and guessing its insulting.

Having "Google SandBox" issues? simply change your approach or SEO partners.

Call Peak Positions and we'll let you in on Google's little inside joke, "The Google SandBox": Dead and Buried Years Ago!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Bad Gossip Still Being Spread About a Google Sandbox

Search Engine Watch, The SEO RoundTable and SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) still publishing false and inaccurate opinions as to a Google Sandbox.

Some SEO consultants have supposedly received "confirmation from Google" about the existence of a "Sandbox", and that the goglebot algorithm is able to discern the longevity or age of a website.

We would like to know what trusted Google employee, staffer, or engineer gave "more confirmation" to such a ridiculous statement?

Can someone please explain to us and to many of our hard working cohorts on the Google engineering staff how a part of an algorithm can possibly discern website longevity or make conjecture calculations as to the actual age of any website if the spiders can no longer autonomously check a website's WHOIS records ?

Autonomous checking of website WHOIS records is no longer possible for the spiders and has not been for the last several years.

Those parties absolutely clueless about the Google search algorithms should stop pandering and guessing as to googlebot's pre-programmed parameters its insulting.

Having "Google SandBox" issues?

Contact Peak Positions and get your new site picked up by Google in one week or less.

We'll also let you in on Google's little inside SEO joke, "The Google SandBox": a mythical condition of ethical proportions that no longer exists.
Google Purchases New Corporate Jet and Decides to Live it Large!

Google has purchased the largest available corporate jet, complete with two bathrooms, a shower, large dining room, and internet access everywhere. In addition the Boeing 767 has two sitting areas, two state rooms, custom bathrooms, plasma screens, and toys, toys, toys.

Google's corporate jet is the largest for any technology company as Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt have decided to flex their muscle and have taken ownership of the biggest of big boy toys.

Google's new jet dwarfs that of: Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Larry Ellison, Scott McNeeley, Michael Dell and others.

The google guys will be "spidering the globe" in style in the coming months as they take their keyword search profit show on the road.

Are the pilots robots, using artificial intelligence?
Online eCommerce Sites Enjoy Record Week in First Full Week of 200 Holiday Shopping Season.Neilsen Net Ratings has Released online shopping statistics from the opening week of the 2005 holiday shopping season.

All indications are that the 2005 holiday season will set new all-time records for online shopping and internet orders.

We'll get to Neilsen numbers in a moment.

First let us reiterate the importance of using all points of off-line contact information on all of your online materials.

In other words, use all of your contact information on your ecommerce pages.
Telephone numbers, mailing addresses, hours of operation, primary email contacts all should easily found on your ecommerce pages.

Now more than ever users are placing phone calls into sellers operations prior to ordering online. For sevral very important reasons:

Make Sure Inventory is in stock
Delivery schedule
Shipping policies
Return policies

And most importantly, to verify that your company is real, accessible, and that a customer service representative is available by phone to work with new online orders/customers.

These early 2005 online shopping Holiday sales numbers are very strong yet also keep in mind they are not an accurate representation of the full impact that websites are making on total sales. These numbers are just the online order numbers, strictly those orders that were placed online, these numbers do not reflect the full volume of orders both online and offline that ecommerce websites are delivering.

Some recent studies suggest that at least 40% of total orders generated by websites are not credited to the website. Peak Positions recommends using specific 800#'s by media and using custom 800#'s on the pages or your website. Cost per call campaigns also available but in many cases can lead to customer confuasion and brand frustration.

Here are the numbers:

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, the Holiday eShopping Index saw a 29 percent increase from home on the day after Thanksgiving, garnering a unique audience of 17.2 million across more than 100 representative online retailers compared with 13.3 million on the same day last year. The Web has become a vital component in many Americans' holiday shopping preparations, concludes the report.

Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings, said "... while many shoppers headed out to the stores over the (Thanksgiving) weekend, the majority first turned to the Internet to check prices and product availability."

EBay was the top online retailer on the day after Thanksgiving, with 9.5 million unique visitors, followed by Amazon and Wal-Mart Stores, which drew 4.6 million and 3.4 million unique visitors, respectively. These same retailers led the top online shopping destinations last year on the same day and were joined this year by, Dell, and Network in the top 10.

Nielsen//NetRatings Top Online Shopping Destinations, November 25, 2005

Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday eShopping Index, November 2005

Online Shopping orders 11/18/05-11/25/05.
Top 10 - ecommerce sites by volume

1. eBay
2. Amazon
3. Wal-Mart Stores
4. Target
8. Dell (a Peak Positions Organic SEO Clent since 2001)
9. Network
10. Network

Now By Category
Nielsen//NetRatings Daily Overnight Analysis, November 2005

The fastest growing retail category on the day after Thanksgiving was toys/video games, with a 152 percent week-over-week growth. Consumer electronics followed close behind, and computer hardware/software rounded out the top three.

Top selling products:

Xbox 360
portable game consoles
flat-screen TV's
MP3 players

Top Growth Categories:

Toys/Video Games
Consumer Electronics
Computer Hardware/Software
Flowers and Gifts
Home and Garden
Shopping Comparison/Portals


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Google Closes Free Web Analytics Tool to New Users

Google has temporarily shut down the free Google Analytics tool for new website users as it has been unable to keep up with customer demand since Google began offering the free service to website owners last week. Google is asking interested Analytics users to supply their email address for notification once Google begins accepting new accounts again.

Demand for Google Analytics has been much higher than expected as Google AdWords Advertisers try to CURB CLICK FRAUD and protect search marketing budgets.

PPC click fraud is at an all time high and qualified click-thrus from sponsored search links are trending downward.

Google searchers now prefer the organic search results 6 to 1 vs AdWords sponsorsed links.

Website owners seeking to reduce pay per click fraud should turn to their own website server logs and begin analyzing search engine trafic patterns further. Comb your site logs and start spotting trends. The Google AdWords referring urls typically include google syndication in the string. Extract these website referrers and then look for trends of similar ip address ranges and suspect ppc click through activity levels. If IPs of a similar or identical range continue to target your sponsored advertising listings copy this website referrer information and send it into Google for investigation.

Control your search marketing budget by stopping click fraud.

Recent ComScore studies report that Nearly 20% (or 1 our of every 5) clicks to sponsored search listings is questionable and quite possibly fraudulent.

Become familiar with your server logs, spend time working with your website trafic logs at least once a week, analyze referring urls from search engines and increase your knowledge base of those parties and their IP address ranges that are begin delivered to your website from visiting your website. Learn to avoid PPC click fraud and maximize search marketing budgets.

Also take the time to learn how your website actually serves users and market the site accordingly by creating new relevant content pieces to further strengthen your site's most popular areas and also help reach out for more keyword qualified, in-market, organic site traffic, by targeting the most popular keyword search phrases that correspond and importing SEO best practices principals that help drive organic site optimization efforts.

Make sure to contact a proven organic SEO firm fully dedicated to organic optimization not any of the new self-marketed SEM/PPC hype machines who have ulterior motives deeply rooted in PPC campaign management.

Address organic search engine optimization, the most effective form of online advertising.


New Candida Resource now available

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Google Jagger Update Upsets Some 'Optimization Experts'

Google's Recent Algorithm Update Has Many SEO Companies Crying Foul.

Have you noticed all of the crying and pleading with Google by many self-hyped SEO companies lately?

It seems that Google's most recent algortihm update: "Jagger" has sent shock waves through the organic seo circles.

Here at Peak Positions we feel the pleading, begging, crying and moaning by these so called 'organic seo experts' is most telling.

Google's Jagger Update was necessary and the organic search results at Google are changing for the better, however, the Google's core algorithm has only been slightly modified.

Quality websites that are filled with content relevant pages and above board linking schemes have not been impacted negatively by Jagger as most continue to enjoy premium keyword positions on highly competitve keywords and search phrases that matter.

In most cases the websites that fell in google's results did not deserve any top Google positions that they might have briefly attained in the first place. Most of the sites that disappeared from Google's top 20 pages of organic search results or fell from the top 200 listings do not contain RELEVANT CONTENT, failed to serve users, and in many cases were involved in unethical linking techniques.

If you are considering outsourcing organic search engine optimization services for your website it pays to take note of any 'self professed seo guru companies' that are crying foul about this recent Google Jagger update.

The seo companies pleading with Google to return to their former organic search results have actually announced thier lack of ability to provide a long-term organic optimization solution that aligns client websites with the core googlebot algorithm secures and maintains top keyword positions and is not subject to fall off the map the next time Goggle updates their search results.

Quality organic search engine optimization equates to helping websites and search engines further serve users by delivering relevant content at all times versus manipulating the keyword search system with costly and short-term manipulative SEO techniques.

Claiming that Google algortihm updates are: "mood swings" or "unnecessary" or asking Google to justify why they updated or changed their organic search results in insulting to our industry.

To read SEMPO executive circle members crying and pleading with Google to justify their organic search results is a shame to proven performers in the organic SEO industry.

SEMPO the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization is filled with SEM companies that are committed to Pay Per Click sponsorsed search and offer very little skills, knowledge, or technical resources in terms of proven organic search engine optimization services.

Our recommendation is to avoid working with any SEO who cries foul, blames google, warns google to be careful, or begs for answers every time that Goole updates their organic search results. Find a proven organic seo company that helps make your site more content relevant, immune to any one algorithm update and helps your site maintain premium keyword positions for years to come.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New ECommerce Study Confirms Search Engines Are Most Influential Medium For Clothing Purchases

Pew Internet and JupiterResearch Released a New Internet Maketing Report and Both Firms Confirm Online and Off-Line Consumer Purchases are Both Being Impacted by Search Engine Exposure.

Ecommerce Site Owners Urged to Outsource For Organic Search Engine Optimization

Keyword Search Now Influences Offline Purchasing.

According to the study, 86% of consumers that purchased clothing offline reported that the search engines directly influenced their retail clothing store visit and offline clothing purchases.

Some of these offline clothing consumers also reported that they often purchase clothing online and spend nearly 40% more annually on clothing than apparel consumers that do not visit search engines.

Over the two month holiday gift shopping season last year, clothing gift keyword searchers spent nearly 40% more time in the store during their retail store visit than non-search visitors and "internots", and keyword searchers are likely to engage in several website activities once online such as requesting a catalog, locating a store coupon, analyzing sizes, colors, and product details, or submitting their email address and contact information in seeking a free or discounted gift coupon or other special cost-saving offers.

The Keyword search group were also more likely to make a purchase during a retail store visit than the "internots" that participated in the clothes shopping study.

Clothing customers that use Keyword Search converted with an offline clothing purchase more than 30% of the time.

A fascinating finding in the study confirms what our Peak Positions clients have been reporting for years that the keyword search customers use several multiple searches as the search results ofr one word searches are many times not related ot the searchers need even still clothing consumers use search engines at least twice daily throughout their buying cycle.

Many of the keyword searchers stated that they were uing search to locate a specific product, brand, new clothing style, 60% say they used the website to find a physical store address or a phone number to double check on the return status prior to purchase.

JupiterResearch went on to add that clothing stores, labels, products, and brands should outsource for organic search engine optimizaton as keyword searchers prefer the organic search reults 8 to 1 over the Pay Per Click sponsored search boxes.

Keyword searchers are not visiting their bookmarks, instead they are so comfortable with search engines, that they continue to dial up the search engines directly and search every time they think about clothing vs. entering sites from bookmarked links. (most of the study participants forgot that that they had previously book-marked the site.

This study further confirms the importance of being found early and often on the search engines, especially on your product name, brand name, company name, at all times.

The study further validates that any wbesite owner or webmaster should be addressing organic search engine optimization, the most effective form of online advertising.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Google Library Launches

Attention Copyright Holders Call Your Agent

Google Adds Library Texts to Search Database

Google announced earlier this week that they have completed the first expansion of the Google Print database of searchable books, adding the full text of more than 10,000 trademark protected works whose copyrights have expired, culled from the collections of four major research libraries.

The exclusive additions, from the university libraries at Michigan, Harvard and Stanford and from the New York Public Library, represent the first large group of materials to be made available online from these university libraries, which along with Oxford University contracted with Google last year to let the company scan and make searchable the contents of much or all designated copyright lapse collections.

The new material includes works of literature, governnment documents, biographies, and more. The entire text of many works can now be searched and read online through the Google Print site. Users can also save individual pages and cut and paste excerpts from the material. The ability to print is currently limited, however, to single pages at a time.

The newly available materials are part of a program that has brought Google under fire from many of the same publishers, under which publishers offer new books to Google to scan and allow searching, in the hope that Google users will be prompted to discover and buy the books.

But members of publishing trade groups representing authors and publishers have sued to stop Google from scanning copyrighted works in the library collections. Many of those works are out of print or otherwise inaccessible to most potential users.

Google temporarily stopped the scanning of copyrighted material this summer to allow publishers and authors to "opt out" of the program if their works were in those libraries. But both groups objected, saying that it is Google that must first obtain permission to copy materials. Google said this week that it would resume scanning copyrighted works as of Nov. 1.

This program launch further demonstrates Google core's mission to deliver relevant content to the world.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Federal Court Orders a Stay in Google vs. Microsoft Lawsuit

A federal judge ordered a tentative stay in Google Inc.'s suit against Microsoft Corp., according to a court Website, dealing a blow to Google's legal fight over its hiring of a former Microsoft executive.

The parties are scheduled to appear before Judge Ronald Whyte in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, on Friday in connection with the suit. That suit is separate from a related action Microsoft brought in Washington state accusing Google and Kai-Fu Lee of violating a noncompete agreement that Lee had signed with Microsoft.

Google has argued that California, a state that generally does not recognize noncompete clauses, is the proper jurisdiction for the legal dispute.

A Washington state judge ruled last month that Lee can begin helping Google set up operations in China, but placed tough restrictions on him, pending a trial scheduled for January. Whyte's tentative order did not specify how long the suit would be stayed.

Meanwhile Lee sits idle and cannot take over as Google's new China office director. Does Google already have posession or knowledge of proprietary Microsoft code?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Newspaper Losses Mount as Search Engine Optimization Gains Continue

Amanda Bennett the lead editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer found out that she had to cut 75 jobs in her newsroom - 15 percent of her staff - she became sick to her stomach. But after some reflection, she said, she realized that the depth of the editorial cuts would force the newspaper to reinvent itself, and this would be to its advantage.

"This is a chance to hold everything up to the light and say, 'What value does this give to the readers?' " she said, adding that she would rethink everything from the concept of local coverage to the formats for delivering the news.

"If we miss this opportunity to change ourselves from a newspaper into a news organization," she said, "shame on us."

Such rethinking is sweeping newsrooms across the country as the industry faces a wave of job cuts, among them 700 announced since May at The New York Times Company, including its business operations and the various media properties it owns, and 14 at The Hartford Courant. Most recently cuts have been announced at The Boston Globe (a division of the Times Company), The San Jose Mercury News, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Baltimore Sun and Newsday, and over the last few years The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have also moved to eliminate jobs.

Industrywide, ad revenue is flat, costs are up and circulation is eroding. At The Inquirer, circulation has dropped 30 percent over the last two decades.

Beyond the industry's economic woes, the future is clouded by the rapid expansion of the Internet and the popularity of the seach engines, leaving newspapers in an identity crisis as they try to come to grips with fundamental changes in the industry and society that are significantly curbing their growth.

Pessimism about the industry's ability to overcome these obstacles continues to drive down the price of newspaper stocks. Wall Street has revised its third-quarter earnings estimates downward for most newspaper companies. The turmoil is largely confined to big metropolitan dailies, not small papers where the advertising base is more stable.

At big papers, ad revenue has stalled for several reasons: a decline in local auto ads; the consolidation of department stores, especially the merger of Federated and May, and a march to the Internet by travel advertisers, hotels and car rental agencies. That exodus from print includes Hertz, which has not advertised in The New York Times for six months, a Times spokeswoman said. Movie ads are in a trough as box-office sales slump.

Goldman Sachs predicted recently that ad revenue for the newspaper industry would grow a quite modest 1.7 percent in the third quarter this year over the period a year ago, the industry's weakest performance in two years.

"No one's crystal ball on this was good," said Lauren Rich Fine, a publishing industry analyst at Merrill Lynch. "No one anticipated that Federated/May would take a stance this year and say, 'We're less dependent on newspapers.' That has caused some of the panic at newspapers, where they are saying, 'We better get in front of this.' "

Several longer-term worries are also undermining growth. One is the migration to high-speed Internet connections, or broadband. Two-thirds of United States households are expected to have these connections by 2010, double the portion today, according to Forrester Research.

Advertisers like the Ford Motor Company are already seeing how this trend affects buying patterns. Ford says that 80 percent of its customers now shop online, doing everything from their initial research to setting up test drives and getting quotes from dealers.

So the company has decided to move 30 percent of its estimated ad budget of $1 billion a year to nontraditional media, with 15 percent going to online. "With the explosion of broadband, it makes more sense for us to continue to increase our spend where we can find our customers," said Linda Perry-Lube, Ford car communications manager.

These trends are likely to accelerate. Over the next three years, advertisers are expected to devote 15 to 20 percent of their budgets to the Internet, up from 5 to 8 percent, according to David Verklin, chief executive of Carat Americas, a major media services firm. At the same time, newspapers are losing classified ads to Craigslist and eBay. And they are losing information-seekers to Google and Yahoo, which recycle news from media outlets and increasingly offer content of their own. As readers turn to these cyberbehemoths, advertisers follow.

While newspaper websites are attracting an increasing number of online ads, those ads are cheap and bring in only a fraction of the revenue that print ads do. And while some newspapers now have more readers on their Web sites than they have in print, most are reluctant to charge for their content online, depriving themselves of revenue from their most popular product. The New York Times recently started charging $50 a year for nonsubscribers to read its columnists online, but it has declined to discuss the early results.

Those are just some of the factors crimping the outlook for newspapers even as their costs are climbing.

"The basic newspaper, when you take out the Internet and all the other targeted publications that people are starting, is just not growing," said P. Anthony Ridder, chairman and chief executive of Knight Ridder, which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Newsprint costs are up significantly. Wages and health benefits are up. So you have the cost pressure on the one hand and the lack of revenue growth on the other. That's really the problem, and everyone is having essentially the same do we battle the search engines?"

Nonetheless, many top news executives say they are adapting to these new realities and positioning the industry for a promising future. Gannett newspaper corporation is beginning to address organic search engine optimization by outsourcing organic seo and drive exposure of their daily classified listings.
Google Opens Washington Office - Begins To Lobby for Changes to Trademark Laws

Google Goes Inside the Beltway
Business Week Article
With major Net and privacy issues looming, the search giant has hired its first full-time lobbyist. Some say it's about time

Call it a rite of passage: Google (GOOG ), the once-upstart search outfit with the sparse homepage and a motto championing "Democracy on the Web," has hired its first full-time lobbyist in Washington and plans to staff up more. Google has picked technology-law expert and Washington veteran Alan Davidson to help win friends and influence people on Capitol Hill.

"Our mission in Washington boils down to this: Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication, and innovation," Andrew McLaughlin, Google's senior policy counsel, wrote in an Oct. 6 company blog.

The move to beef up lobbying coincides with forays by the online giant Google into a host of new markets and services beyond basic Web search (see BW Online, 09/05/05, "Google's Grand Ambitions"). While many of its new ventures have wowed consumers, they've brought Google into conflict with old-media stalwarts and telecom behemoths alike. Print for Libraries, a plan to scan and index millions of the world's library books, has publishers fuming and prompted a group of authors and the Authors Guild to sue Google for alleged copyright infringement (see BW Online, 09/22/05, "For Google, Another Stormy Chapter").

"A GROWN-UP COMPANY." Google's push into other communications, including Internet-calling service Google Talk and a plan to provide Wi-Fi for San Francisco, threatens to tread on turf dominated by the biggest phone carriers, including Verizon Communications (VZ ) and SBC Communications (SBC ). Meanwhile, privacy advocates have raised concerns about how Google tracks and stores search data.

With an overhaul of landmark telecom legislation pending and legal battles brewing, Google needs to widen its influence in Washington while its developers dream up pie-in-the-sky projects in Silicon Valley. "The company is bleeding into so many new sectors and businesses that there are any number of government policies the company should be involved in," says Blair Levin, a managing director at Legg Mason and a former chief of staff at the Federal Communications Commission.

"It really shows they are becoming a grown-up company," says Fred von Lohmann, senior intellectual-property attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The Internet companies are belatedly realizing that they can't ignore Washington."

Davidson, who joined Google on May 31, is well-suited to wave the company flag in the nation's capital. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained computer scientist and graduate of Yale Law School, Davidson served for eight years as associate director of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a nonprofit think tank and initiative group that opposes government and industry control of the Internet, while advocating user privacy.

DANGEROUS FAULT LINES. Associates say Davidson is best known for his work on intellectual-property and Internet-privacy policy issues. He has argued against the mandatory inclusion of special content locks in digital-recording devices and testified before Congress for increased measures to protect personal privacy online.

A background in privacy is of particular importance, notes Levin. After all, Google's method for tracking and archiving user data fundamentally affects search, its core business. "When I think of what could go wrong with them, a privacy issue could be much more damaging than losing out on some universal service issue," says Levin. "It's important both from a consumer perspective and a policy perspective...that Google stay out in front of concerns of privacy."

Google's top priority will be "to create a free and open Internet," according to Davidson. "I've been very focused in my previous work on advocating for consumers and Internet users, and I find myself doing very much the same work for Google," Davidson says. He declined, however, to delve into specifics. But within this broad goal, Google says it will focus on three major categories: Copyrights and fair-use policy, intermediary liability, and "Net neutrality."

LIABILITY FOR BLOGGERS? Each is directly intertwined with one of Google's nascent businesses. With the Print for Libraries and Google Video projects, the company has said it plans to digitize both copyrighted books from libraries and video from television networks -- and make it all searchable. These efforts have come under fire from both the publishing and entertainment industries.

Intermediary liability has to do with ensuring that the government treats the company as a neutral provider of tools rather than holding it liable for all of the content held in its search results, or on the blogs created on the Google-owned Web-log-publishing tool "Blogger." "With Blogger, Google is becoming a pretty prominent Web publisher...presenting a whole new set of issues" says von Lohmann.

One of the most contentious regulatory battles may fall in the realm of telecommunications, and specifically "Net neutrality," the idea that an Internet service provider should cease efforts to hobble the performance of other sites and services in favor of their own.

BABY-BELL BATTLES. Moreover, while Google hasn't completely tipped its hand, recent activity points to a strong move toward providing consumers with data and voice service. Along with the bid for Wi-Fi in San Francisco, the company has helped fund Current Communications, a technology company that provides broadband Internet service over power lines. Also, Google last summer launched Google Talk, its free voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) service.

These moves could have Google running headlong into huge telecom players that would just as soon keep cities out of the business of providing city-wide Wi-Fi. Google's challenge: Continue to push back the Baby Bells on this issue. Also, Google has said it would oppose efforts by network operators to block their customers from reaching competing Web sites and services.

"Should they be able to speed up their own sites and services, while degrading those offered by competitors?" McLaughlin asks in the blog. "What's better: [a] Centralized control by network operators, or [b] free user choice on the decentralized, open, and astoundingly successful end-to-end Internet? (Hint: It's not [a].)"

"THEY'VE ARRIVED." Davidson and his associates will be able to outline such views when they weigh in on any overhaul of the Telecom Act, just now getting under way. The House Energy & Commerce Committee says it wants to introduce a bill later this month -- and is working on a second draft after having circulated a first one and received comments back.

The first version of the law contains language hinting the committee is on board with Google's view of the world. The Senate Commerce Committee is not as far along, though it's expected to start drafting a proposal soon.

Google's lobbying effort will only grow from here, says company spokesman Steve Langdon, as it plans to add more staff in Washington. Just a little over a year after its IPO, analysts hardly find this surprising. "It signals that Google's part of the mainstream now," says Scott Cleland, CEO of the Precursor Group. "It's a milestone that they've arrived in mainstream corporate America."

While Google may still like to cultivate the image of a light-on-its-feet, devil-may-care startup, it's beginning to act like the $80 billion industry heavyweight it really is.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Keyword Search Statistics - Search Stats By Search Engine

MSN Search increases slightly according to a new keyword search statistics report by (, the number one provider of on demand intelligence web analytics, today reported that MSN Search's global usage share has slightly increased and that Google's search site is still the number one search engine in the world.

MSN Search's global usage share has risen from 8.6 percent to 8.9 percent.

Google's global usage share has decreased 0.3 percent the last 8 months.

Yahoo's global usage share remained flat, as the second largest search engine on the internet had a global usage share of 21.2 percent.

The 4 largest keyword search engines on the web are:

1. Google 56.9%
2. Yahoo 21.2%
3. MSN Search 8.9%
4. AOL Search 3.2%

All numbers are an average of North American Keyword Search Activity in August and September of 2005.

The organic search results of all four search engines above are determined by a search engine spider and/or robot crawler using pre-programmed algorithms.

Contact Peak Positions Organic SEO consultants to discover the power of algorithm synchronization and database website optimization that allows corporate websites powered by dynamic databases to appeal to the leading algorithms and enjoy premium organic search engine placement.

Organic search results are favored by consumer searchers 6 to 1 and b2b searchers prefer the organic search results at a 7 to 1 clip.

Learn more about Organic Search Engine Optimization, the most effective form of online advertising at:


Key Organic Search Engine Optimization Facts:

Keyword search is the 2nd most popular online activity, rapidly approaching the popularity of email retrieval.

90% of all new, unique, website visitors are delivered by a major search engine and/or directory.

98% of all keyword search results are powered by the big (4) search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL. (see usage shares above).

Keyword search results on Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL are all determined by a search engine spider and/or robot crawler.

Recent internet marketing studies confirm that keyword searchers prefer the organic results at a 6 to 1 ratio vs. pay-per-click sponsored search advertising listings.

Discover the most powerful and effective form of advertising:
Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Marketing is projected to become (10x) more powerful and influential than traditional media outlets such as: network television, cable television, local television, network radio, satellite radio, local radio, national newspapers, local newspapers, magazines, billboards, direct mail, telemarketing and more.

An aside for consideration are the segments of Search Engine Optimization. Clarification is required in terms of paid search marketing, sponsored search advertising, pay per click, email marketing, and the foundation of any successful internet marketing campaign: Organic Search Engine Optimization.

Organic SEO in some circles is also referred to as Natural Search Engine Optimization or Natural SEO.

Learn more about search engine optimization at:


Monday, September 26, 2005

Organic Search Engine Optimization > Organic SEO > Industry Facts

Organic Search Engine Optimization Facts (Organic SEO) in some circles also referred to as Natural Search Engine Optimization (Natural SEO).


Key Organic Search Engine Optimization Facts:

- Keyword search is the 2nd most popular online activity, rapidly approaching the popularity of email retrieval.

- 90% of all new, unique, website visitors are delivered by a major search engine and/or directory.

- 98% of keyword search results are powered by the big (4) search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL.

- Keyword search results on: Google, Yahoo, MSN & AOL are determined by a search engine spider and/or robot crawler.

Recent internet marketing studies confirm that keyword searchers prefer the organic results at a 6 to 1 ratio vs. pay-per-click sponsored search advertising listings.

These Internet Marketing Facts make Organic Search Engine Optimization (Organic SEO) the most effective form of Online Advertising.
Microsoft President Resigns as more key MSN search engineers jump ship to Google.

Software giant Microsoft Corp. tweaked its organizational structure once again last week. The company president and chief operating officer Rick Belluzzo was forced to resign as more key Microsoft engineers fled to Google.

Belluzzo was unable to stop the flow of senior Microsoft engineers leaving for Googleplex. The fact that many of the engineers also took proprietary code with them to Google.

Microsoft is fighting many of the resignations trying to enforce non-compete clauses with federal lawsuits against he ex-employees and Google.

Microsoft has been in talks with America Online in recent months and Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were not pleased with the lingering AOL talks and that many of Microsoft's books were exposed in negotiations with AOL.

Micorsoft has always been very protective over its business processes to date and Belluzzo was not providing enough protection to critical company systems as negotiations with AOL took place.

Many in the industry feel this latest move is more evidence that Microsoft is waffling and has not clearly defined their company direction for the coming years.

How will Microsoft address keyword search the second most popular online activity? The new MSN search engine has not been popular with internet users is not meeting consumer demands. MSN has been unable to substantially increase their share of the $16 Billion dollar keyword search market in recent months.

The article below is a great summary of MSN's intention to shore up their keyword search weaknesses and begin to make more in-roads on Google's market share.

Bill Gates and MSN Focus on Google

Bill Gates and MSN Focus on Google
Clash of the Titans, The War for internet user share reaching new heights

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Don’t be fooled by all the speeches about global health and high school education. Bill Gates is still, first and foremost, about clobbering Microsoft Corp.’s competition. And his current obsession is Google Inc.
"Google is still, you know, perfect," he told the crowd of technology executives attending The Wall Street Journal’s third annual conference on "All Things Digital." "The bubble is still floating. They can do everything. You should buy their stock at any price."

The world’s richest man said those words with a wry irony that suggested ridicule of the Google craze, but also resentment. There may be hot air in Google’s highflying stock price ($260 Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market), but Gates clearly takes the company seriously. "We had a 10-year period like that," he said, equating Google’s current standing in the computer world to that of Microsoft from 1986 to 1996.

To underscore the point, Gates touted Microsoft’s new "Virtual Earth" project - a service starting this year that uses aerial photographs and satellite images to enhance local-area searches on the Web. The service looked surprisingly similar to Google’s "Keyhole," which was on display in the next room.

Gates also demonstrated how Microsoft will allow users to construct their own search home page - an almost identical service to the one Google announced last week. And he highlighted Microsoft’s new tool for searching files on your computer - also similar to a Google tool.

Gates’ fear is that the increasingly ubiquitous Google search will become everyone’s gateway into the digital world - a role he has always fought to preserve for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The search is an elegant starting point - after all, why go anywhere before you have indicated what you are looking for? And Google has proved it is also a lucrative one, enabling the company to match advertisers with the specific interests of customers. As a result, Microsoft is determined to get into the game. "If anything touches on search," Gates said, "we’re going to do it."

That is why the biggest laugh of the conference came when Gates and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt appeared together onstage for the Computer Bowl quiz game with T-shirts that read "Same Team." These guys are definitely not on the same team.

For his part, Schmidt finds Gates’ focus - and the media’s fascination - on the industry’s competitive dynamics to be more than a little annoying.

"Come on. This is crazy," he said to me, after I pushed him on the point. "Google is part of the information industry, and that industry is very large, and Google is a very small part of that industry." Moreover, he added, "it’s not a zero-sum game." True enough.

A veteran of both Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., Schmidt knows what it is like to be in the cross hairs of Gates’ competitive attention. "It’s the norm," he said, shrugging his shoulders. But it doesn’t mean he has to play the same game. "Google is not Microsoft, and I’m not Bill Gates."

Like John D. Rockefeller, Gates has taken his enormous wealth and turned it to good causes. Unlike Rockefeller, he isn’t giving up the chase. He is the nerd-turned-winner, still resentful of the cool guys in the class. When Apple Computer Inc.’s Steve Jobs spoke on Sunday evening, the audience’s questions were reverential softballs, even though his company’s business hangs on the ephemeral success of a tiny music player. When Gates spoke on Monday morning, as the unchallenged titan of the industry, every question asked of him had a decided edge.

Bill Gates may be curing diseases around the world. He may be tackling what he considers the most pressing public problem facing the United States. But for many people in this crowd, he was the same old Bill, seething with competitive intensity, copying ideas and smothering the competition.

Give Gates a few bonus points, though, for being a good sport. The oddest event at the D conference was a spoof of the quirky film "Napoleon Dynamite," in which the listless Napoleon - Jon Heder - teams up with the Fifty Billion Dollar Man to save his family’s business.

On screen, Gates looked about as uncomfortable as he did when testifying for his company’s antitrust trial. But he plays along - swiping Napoleon’s Tater Tots off his plate and donning a pair of Rollerblades to be pulled behind Napoleon’s bicycle. Perhaps he has mellowed a bit with age.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Breaking SEO News Report

IAC/InterActiveCorp founder Barry Diller is rumbling that he could be walking away from his purchase of the Ask Jeeves search engine.

After analyzing the accounting, financial records, shared PPC structure and traffic logs Mr. Diller feels he might be paying way too much for the 4th most popular search engine.

IAC/InterActiveCorp and Ask Jeeves are not officially commenting yet.

Only a couple weeks back Diller and IAC help press conferences to joyfully anounce a a $2 billion stock deal allowing IAC to acquire Ask Jeeves.

IAC/InterActiveCorp owns many popular web properties including: Expedia, CitySearch, Ticketmaster, eVite and and was looking to help increase Ask Jeeves’ share of the lucrative search engine market.

Mr. Diller and his team of accountants quickly began to realize however that the paid search partner agreements in place at Ask Jeeves only result in a small percentage of profit and limit the search engines revenue growth potential.

Mr. Diller had been researching the scope of the revenue share partnerships and has not found opportunities to convert the exisiting patnerships into IAC's favor.

Could IAC be moving away from ASK Jeeves in an effort to acquire AOL?
stay tuned...
Federal Investigation Begins on Print Circulation Numbers

Advertising Agencies and National Advertisers have requested a federal study of newspaper and magazine circulation nnumbers as audience reach and brand impact made with print advertising campaigns continues steep decline.

Major Advertisiers and Leading Agencies report that Online Advertising Programs and Search Engine Optimization are Far More Effective than Print and Magazines.

Time Inc. the nation's largest publisher of consumer magazines, has been subpoenaed by federal investigators to provide information about the magazine industry's circulation practices, the company confirmed earlier this week.

The disclosure comes at a time when advertisers and agencies are questioning the validity of audience circulation statements following a series of scandals and mis-statements among major newspapers, and several major magazines.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the probe by a federal prosecutor in New York is investigating the business practices of Inflight Newspapers & Magazines Inc., a third-party magazine distribution agent that is no longer in business, but whose practices have raised questions about how magazines treat magazines distributed for free to airlines and business travelers.

The report said publishers including Time Inc. routinely treats such 'Free Pass Along' distribution as "paid" circulation. This taints the paid circulation numbers that many print companies use to justify steep advertising fees.

Advertisers and their agencies are forced to pay print advertising rates based on audited circulation statements of publications. In recent years the audited numbers have been declining substantially, yet print advertising rates continue to escalate.

Advertisiers and their agencies are now reducing their "up-front" buying practices and shifting portions of their ad budgets into online advertising campaigns that have proven to be much more effective from all perspecitives.

A key component of online advertising is search engine optimization and more companies are beginning to address organic search engine optimization as the foundation of all corporate maketing efforts.

Organic search engine optimization offers 100% targeted reach with no waste as the keyword search phrase has qualified the new website visitors. Organic search engine optimization has lasting impact and benefits versus print that typically presents a 5 day conversion window.

Many senior execiutives are realizing that searching has replaced time spent reading and that most of their target consumers search daily and receive thier current news and information updates online versus interacting with the often dated and stale print publications. Aslo today's time-pressed target consumers lack the 'free time' that print publications require.

The federal courts now will investigate the audited circulation practices of the print industry in an effort to establish more accurate circulation numbers.

The next investigation is sure to lie with the broadcast industry as the inaccurate arbitron and neilsen radio and televsion ratings systems used to dictate quarterly television and radio advertising rate increases are sure to be called into question.

Related Media Buying Note:

The next time your media reps lay the ratings or audit circulation numbers in front of you demanding a market/ratings based Cost Per Point increase, ask for validation of the numbers, and in many cases your cost per point will decrease rapidly.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Authors Sue Google - Google Library Facing Copyright Heat

Google library faces federal lawsuit by US authors.

U.S. writers are suing Google Inc. in a federal court, alleging that the Web search leader's bid to digitize the book collections of major libraries infringes individual author's copyrights.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Google and its Google Print project, names as co-plaintiffs The Authors Guild and writers Herbert Mitgang, Betty Miles and Daniel Hoffman.

Hoffman was Poet Laureate of the United States in 1973-74. Mitgang is a historian, critic and former New York Times editorial writer. Miles is a children's book author.

The lawsuit seeks class action status, asks for damages and demands an injunction to halt further copyright infringements by Google.

This is the latest round in the battle between Google and major publishers that pit copyright holders' interests against Google's stated corporate mission of "organizing the world's information and making it more universally accessible and useful."

Google Print ( has exploded into the top ranks of U.S. Internet sites, rising to the 30th most visited site for the week ending September 17 from 90th a week earlier, according to data from Internet traffic researcher Hitwise Inc. Global data was not immediately available.

A Google spokesman said the company regretted that The Authors Guild had chosen to sue rather than continue discussions.

"Google Print directly benefits authors and publishers by increasing awareness of and sales of the books in the program," Google said in a statement. "Only small portions of the books are shown unless the content owner gives permission to show more."

A year ago Google began working with five of the world's libraries -- at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the New York Public Library -- to make large parts of their Library book collections searchable on the Web.

The action by the 86-year-old Authors Guild is part of a push by the organization to roll back efforts by Websites to make the contents of copyright protected books freely available online.

In a related case, the group has been seeking for a decade to force online publishers from New York Times Co. to to pay royalties to writers whose copyright protected stories appear in free online databases without their consent.

In August of 2005, Google said it planned to temporarily scale back plans to make the full text of copyrighted books available on its Internet site.

Google has said it will respect the wishes of copyright holders who have contacted the company and asked for their books to be withheld from the project. Meanwhile, Google says it was working with publishers and librarians to scan books in the public domain that are not covered by copyright.

Critics of the project said that Google's plan to allow copyright holders to opt out switched the burden of upholding copyright from infringers to copyright holders.

"This is a plain and brazen violation of copyright law," Nick Taylor, president of the 8,000-member New York-based Authors Guild, said in a statement on Tuesday. "

(Authors), not Google, have the exclusive rights to ... authorize such reproduction, distribution and display of their works," the complaint said.

"It is not the responsibility of copyright holders to protect their material, the burden of copyright protection lies with the infringing party and in this case the infringing party is Google."

"What gives Google the right to trespass on our membership's copyights and display this material in a free, online medium, without making any royalty payments."

"Also Google is reaping financial rewards by selling advertising sponsorships on pages filled with copyright protected materials. What give Goole the right to increase revenues at our memberships expense."

An attorney with Kohn Swift & Graf P.C., the plaintiffs' law firm based in Philadelphia, said the lawsuit had been filed on Tuesday in Manhattan.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

AOL to Replace Google with MSN Results ?

America Online the world's largest Internet Service Provider may replace Google with MSN in the coming days. Search Engine insiders report that AOL and MSN have had several high level meetings recently.

The first development of the metings has AOL turning to MSN to power AOL search results, ending AOL's search partnership with Google.

MSN is seeking to increase share of the total search market and this deal with AOL would allow MSN to increase their keyword search market share to approximately 20%.

MSN claims powering AOL search results will give them at least 20% of the $12 Billion dollar keyword search pie.


Microsoft Aims to Buy AOL

MSN would like to acquire AOL and has been analyzing AOL business and accounting records however, MSN sees potential legal and litigation issues on the near-term horizon at AOL.

MSN is moving towards a short-term, exclusive partnership with AOL, with a formal takeover in the works once legal and potential litigation is fully identified.

MSN/Microsoft wants to control legal issues and has enough of own their legal troubles at this time. Once AOL has fully shaken out of the failed AOL Time Warner merger and all potential lawsuits and costly accounting lawsuit nightmares are gauged, then at that time, MSN will make their move and pull in AOL.

Also AOL has been losing account holders at a record clip in recent months and MSN would like AOL to re-calculate their total numbers and modify acqusition fees downward and more accurately reflect the declining value of the America Oonline enterpirse.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Spiders Control Organic SEO

An Analysis of Search Engine Spiders and the role they play in Organic SEO.

Let's Examine the robot spiders (Artificial Intelligence Agents/Robot Crawlers) that determine the organic search engine results.

The major search engines are: Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL.

This set of search engines are known as the Big Four. The big four search engines of Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL together represent 98% of keyword search activity.

Three spider families control the organic search results on the Big Four search engines of: Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL.

Organic search results on Google are determined by the googlebot family of spiders with assistance from the Open Directory Project ( often identified in the Google results as the Google Directory.

Organic search results on AOL are also powered bt the googlebot spiders with slight assistance and support from the dated Netscape databases. This is often why AOL organic search results are not a 100% carbon copy of Google organic search results link for link.

Organic search results on Yahoo are determined by the Yahoo/Inktomi spider family.

The Yahoo spiders identify themselves on website server logs as:
Inktomi Archiver

also scan website server logs for additional Yahoo spider ips like this:
Fast Crawler v X
Fast Crawler v
UA Mozilla/4.0
UA Mozilla/4.05
UA Mozilla/5.0 Slurp/cat;
UA Mozilla/5.0
Yahoo! Slurp

For more information on Yahoo spiders visit:

Organic search results on MSN are determined by the MSNBot spider family.

Many additional spider families also contribute to the organic keyword search results and is always serves websites best to be crawled often by as many spiders as possible. The Alexa/Amazon ( spiders are very helpful for sites especially ecommerce or shopping portals.

Some other leading spiders that also provide ancillary support, influence, and play a small but key role in determining organic search results are:
Lycos, InfoSeek, Alta Vista, Excite, Northern Light, Fast, and more.

Spider Track has great information and lists of spiders that are important in terms of Organic SEO for more information visit:


Organic SEO + Spiders + Algorithms

The algorithms that are programmed to power the spiders or robot crawlers of the Big Four search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL) have many similarities (thay all value HTML elements) however, contrary to popular belief the Google, Yahoo, and MSN spider families all are programmed with unique algorithms that have many differences.

A common misconception is that for the most part, all of the organic search spiders work the same way. It is true that organic search engine spiders are seeking text content and value URLs for content relevancy but it is not accurate to assume that spiders assign keyword ranking positions in the organic search results to webpages based exclusively on the number of backlinks.

If Google, Yahoo, or MSN were to weight backlinks so heavily what would prevent non-relevant sites with thousands of FFA Links (FFA: Free For All Link Farms) from securing and maintaining top keyword rankings on every possible keyword query.

Links Themes and content relevant links that tie pages from two sites together aid in serving users by helping to wrap and support a content theme are far more valuable and actually what the organic spider algortihtms are programmed to favor.

Google still assigns PageRank, however Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have both recently stated that:

"PageRank is Dead"

In summary of their comments: "PageRank is broken" and Google is moving on.

As a public company Google has many more valuable (revenue-generating) programs on their plate to step backwards and make repairs to the non-revenue generating and outdated PageRank system.


The spiders that power organic search results receive algorithm updates often and require engineering management and human oversight. I will profile the algortihms, spiders, and the engineering teams that manage spider tasks in coming posts.


If Organic SEO is a goal contact the top ranking Organic SEO consulting firms and organic SEO consultants not SEM marketing companies that are sponsoring links and forced to pay for search advertising of their organic SEO services, but the seo consultants and organic seo companies that are ranking in top ORGANIC SEO keyword positions.

Remember that search engine spiders control Organic SEO and knowledge of all of these spiders and their algorithms is absolutly essential in organic search engine optimization.

Look for technology empowered companies that demonstrate their organic search engine optimization capabilities with organic SEO keyword ranking positions versus search marketing companies that are forced to pay for keyword exposure on keyword search phrases that best describe Organic SEO.

Also be wary of marketing-intensive search engine optimization companies that are not listed in top 20 organic keyword positions.

Many of these SEM advertising firms prefer to steer conversations away from algorithms and specific technology factors and instead continually encourage PPC activity; repeatedly inquiring about your PPC budget levels, exclusively promoting Pay Per Click search marketing as search engine optimization solutuons, despite the fact that keyword searchers prefer organic search results 7 to 1 vs. the sponsored links.

The most effective search engine optimization programs involve a mix of both Organic Search Engine Optimization (Organic SEO) and Pay Per Click Search Marketing (PPC SEM).

These most successful search engine optimization campaigns (organic SEO / PPC SEM) result in a majority of keyword targets driving new business leads, RFQ inquiries, and conversions through organic keyword positions that correspond directly with the content theme of the website.

If your website does not contain content that correlates with a target keyword set then use PPC search marketing for exposure on these keyword targets as new relevant content pieces are being developed by your marketing or public relations departments.

Dedicated content pieces are the key to long-term organic search engine optimization strength. Proven organic SEO consultants help companies with SEO copywriting and content development and also help companies technically optimize website foundations of all URLs cover to cover and these proven organic SEO consulting firms can be found in the top 20 organic keyword positions on: Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Focus on HTML code characterisitcs and spider indexing capabilities per url, establish a sound HTML foundation for your website and then apply content relevance. Websites with content-depth, technically sound URL code foundations, solid URL naming conventions, and strategically optimized dynamic databases are the sites that enjoy the best organic search engine placement.

More on Spiders and their role in Organic SEO in coming posts.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Vows to Kill Google

Here's the story as released by the Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to "kill" Internet search leader Google Inc. in an obscenity-laced tirade, and Google chased a prized Microsoft executive "like wolves," according to documents filed Friday in an increasingly bitter legal battle between MSN and Google.

The allegations, filed in a Washington state court, represent the latest salvos in a showdown triggered by Google's July hiring of former Microsoft executive Kai Fu-Lee to oversee a research and development center that Google plans to open in China. Lee joined Google the day after he resigned from Microsoft only to be removed by a federal judge. Lee is still sitting idle waiting for the court to determine his fate at Google.

The tug-of-war over Microsoft employee Lee - known for his work on computer recognition of language (semantic text matching by language) - has exposed the behind-the-scenes animosity that has been brewing between two of high-tech's best-known companies.

Steve Ballmer's threat last November was recounted in a sworn declaration by a former Microsoft engineer and current Google engineer, Mark Lucovsky, who said he met with Microsoft's chief executive 10 months ago to discuss his decision to leave Microsoft after six years.

After learning Lucovsky was leaving to take a job at Google, Ballmer picked up his chair and hurled it across his office, according to the declaration.

Ballmer then pejoratively berated Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Lucovsky recalled.

"I'm going to f------ bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again," the declaration quotes Ballmer. "I'm going to f------ kill Google."

Before joining Google, Eric Schmidt was a top executive at Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., a pair of tech companies that Microsoft has previously battled.

In a statement Friday, Ballmer described Lucovsky's recollection as a "gross exaggeration. Mark's decision to leave was disappointing and I urged him strongly to change his mind. But his characterization of that meeting is not accurate."

Microsoft is suing to prevent Lee from leading Google's China expansion, maintaining those duties would violate the terms of a noncompete agreement that he signed as part of his employment contract.

Mountain View-based Google has depicted Microsoft's lawsuit as a form of intimidation designed to thwart a fast-growing rival that has emerged as a formidable threat to the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker.

The Lucovsky declaration is just one piece of evidence that Google has filed in an attempt to prove that Microsoft is on a vendetta.

Microsoft won the first round in the case in late July when King County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez issued an order temporarily barring Lee from performing the duties that Google hired him to do.

Google and Microsoft are scheduled to face off in court Tuesday when Microsoft will ask Gonzalez to extend the order against Lee and Google until the case goes to trial in January.

As it tries to make its case, Microsoft is trying to demonstrate that Google wanted Lee largely because he knows intimate details about Microsoft's strategy for expanding in China and for the booming search engine market.

In its brief Friday, Microsoft alleged that Lee sent confidential documents about the company's China strategy to Google a month before he was hired, although Google insists all the material that Lee relayed to Google had been made public previously.

Microsoft also released an e-mail from Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's director of business development, in an attempt to prove the company wants Lee for other projects besides the new China center.

"I all but insist that we pull out all the stops and pursue him like wolves," Rosenberg wrote of Lee. "He is an all-star and will contribute in ways that go substantially beyond China."

Before resigning from Microsoft, Lee began to help Google plot its China strategy with a series of suggestions, including recommending possible sites for the new office, according to Microsoft's brief.

Microsoft alleged Lee's insights helped him win a Google contract worth more than $10 million - a package that Google itself described as "unprecedented" for the company.

Google paid Lee a $2.5 million signing bonus and promised a $1.5 million bonus after one year, plus a $250,000 salary and options on 10,000 shares of Google stock, according to court documents. If he stays for four years, Lee also will receive another 20,000 Google shares, currently worth $5.8 million.

Lee also demanded that Google pay all his legal fees if Microsoft sued, a request that was granted.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Google Falling Behind Baidu in China? Hogwash

The recent internet marketing press that Google has fallen behind in China is quite a boatload of garbage. Google is just fine in China.

Baidu is giving Away Free MP3's and Making Napster Look Tame.

Google will grow as China's business economy grows. The explosion in China is still months away and google's China revenues will increase in sync with this growth.

This story below is typical fare about Google possibly dropping the ball in China.

Our comments are wrapped within this less than acccurate viewpoint especially considering Baidu is promoting illegal file sharing music, video, and game downloads at this time.

A survey by a Chinese internet research firm (????) has found that Google is losing market share to its Chinese rival, search engine Baidu, which apparently boosted its user base in Beijing in the last six months by 10.8 percentage points and now accounts for 52 percent of China's keyword search marketplace.

Google's share of China's keyword search market has remained flat at 33 percent according to the Beijing-based China Internet Network Information Center.

The survey found that, combined, Google and Baidu held 80 percent of the market in Beijing and Shanghai, and 75 percent in Guangzhou. The three cities account for nearly 100% of Chinese internet use. ( with Illegal downloads readily available we expected higher market share gains for Baidu.)

Six months ago, Google held the largest market share in the three Chinese cities covered by the survey.

Baidu has a 43.9 percent market share in Shanghai, compared with 38.2 percent for Google. In Guangzhou, Google's market share was 28.7 percent, Baidu's was 48 percent. Yahoo, meanwhile held only a 3.7 percent market share overall (no mention of Yahoo's $1 billion dollar cash expenditure/purchase of Chinese market share by recently investing in China's ecommerce ebay twin)

Chinese rivals and Sina Corp. claiming a 4.6 percent and 4.0 percent respectively. Baidu's entertainment content, including MP3 downloads (ILLEGAL), is popular in China (Napster was quite a hit in the states a couple of years ago also), while Google is most frequently visited for enterprise products, business opportunities (is this not, where the real money in China lies?), transportation services and travel searches.

Google tends to attract high-end users who are well educated and have relatively high incomes (upwardly mobile and affluent is this a bad thing?); Baidu is favored by students (with less discretionary income seeking free, illegal, entertainment content), who account for a large part of China's search population, according to the report. Some 40-50 percent of Baidu users are students, the report said. (the report neglected to state that 90% of Baidu's activity is illegal file sharing downloads!).

China's Internet population hit 103 million by June, second only to the United States. Google owns 2.6 percent of Baidu (is this losing out? or is Google allowing a subsidary as much room as possible to grow market share while they ramp up their new China business enterprise office?. Also if google posted links to copyright and trademarked protected MP3 downloads on their site the feds would be roping off the Mountain View, California building within 24 hours).

The Baidu name ( in Chinese stands for: searching for one's dream while confronted with life's many obstacles. (yes, especially the cash register obstacles at the local music or video store).

Is baidu ( promoting illegal file sharing music downloads in their top nav?

(you be the judge...somebody email metallica...we just closed out on an illegal music download, and also a super nintendo rom wonder baidu is so popular with these chinese college students. Hey American college students get out of your confining university music portals and check baidu out...they give the old Napster a good name! Is Napster back in business in Shanghai?)

Many Silicon Valley insiders feel Baidu is only days away from being shut down.
MSN Seeking to Compete with Google Talk

MSN Buys Net-Phone Startup Company

Pay-per-Call Now On Deck for the New MSN adCenter.

MSN Seeking to Compete with Google Talk announced that it has purchased internet-calling startup company Teleo to expand the capabilities of MSN Messenger, just one week after Google launched Google Talk instant-messaging service, emphasizing its voice-chat ad delivery capabilities.

Microsoft's purchase of Teleo hinges on technology from Skype which can convert the computer into an ordinary telephone, a feature that MSN Messenger would like to begin testing by the close of 2005.

Microsoft also gains click-to-call dialing capabilities, raising the real possibility that MSN new adCenter service could very offer pay-per-call pricing, although management at Microsoft-MSN would not comment on their new pay per call ad platform. Super Pages from Verizon and financially reeling America Online have already launched beta version of cost per call advertising.

Pay Per Call = Anything for a Buck !

Cost Per Call what's next?

How long are consumers are going to put with managing a middle man on a direct dial phone call to a company? Is this good for corporate image or brand loyalty?

How about companies simply improving the qualtiy and delivery of content on their corporate websites. Quit grasping for straws and hone in on existing website resources. Improve the quality of your site and the positive results will follow.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Paid Search Marketing Press Release Misleads Search Advertisers

A recent paid search press release from SEM firm IProspect is quite misleading.
The piece trys to convey that PPC management is a most difficult task.

Here's the press release and some of our comments follow:

Paid Search: Who Really Is On First?
by Robert Murray

I WAS SPEAKING WITH SOMEONE the other day regarding managing a paid search campaign and I was shocked to hear him refer to managing a paid search campaign as "easy."

"Easy?" I said.

He replied, "How hard can it be? I go to the Google or Yahoo! Web site, create an account, plunk down a credit card, select 100 keywords or so and change bids when necessary."

I asked, "Really? And, how have your results been so far with this strategy?"

He responded, "We are getting some profitable conversions, just not as many as we would like."

It amazes me that there are people out there who still believe the myth that paid search is simple. It's not. In fact, it's downright complex -- and getting more so every day. If the rules aren't changing, the players are. If the players aren't changing, the playing field is. If the field isn't changing, the tools are. So who really is on First?

From keeping up with the major players and their rules, to accommodating expanding keyword volumes, to understanding the role of technology, paid search is a complex game with one constant: Things are changing all the time.

So what's a marketer to do to stay in the game? Here's what you need to consider:

Playing Field The playing field is ever-evolving. There are currently three major auction platforms (Google, Yahoo!, and AskJeeves(?...represents little more than 1% of search activity) with MSN (covered by Yahoo right now - down to 2 choices not 4) launching soon. While they are all keyword auctions at the core, each one has different nuances (and provides free tols to monitor their nuances). Understanding how your bid strategy must differ by auction platform is a key part of solving the ever-growing complexity of paid search.

Keyword Volume Expansion As keyword prices continue to rise, marketers are continually forced to expand their keyword set in search of cheaper conversions. (Yahoo has rolled to the broad-based keyword match so extending out to additional keyords on Yahoo is simply a larger spend for little return). The average paid search campaign is around 1,500 keywords and growing (any company active on 1,500 keywords or more had better make sure to assign multiple staff of budgets will be shredded in only a few months). As the number of keywords managed grows, the complexity of managing the overall ROI of the campaign grows as well. This has become too unruly to do manually. How will you know what price to bid on a particular keyword Monday afternoon when you are managing thousands of keywords with shifting bid landscapes? (follow the sponsor price trends for each keyword in your bid management tool).

Role of Technology Further still, there's the role of technology and its impact on the outcome of the campaign. The expanding playing field and growing keyword volumes necessitates technological intervention - manual management just won't cut it anymore. The right technology can provide you with a competitive advantage over others in the auction place; especially if your competitors are using inferior technology or worse -- doing it manually.

A Tool here. A Tool There. A Tool Everywhere.

As the popularity and growth of the paid search arena has expanded, so has the number of new firms entering the bid management space. It seems like every day someone is introducing a new bid management tool or making bold claims that they have developed a system like no other, when they have yet managed a single paid search campaign.

Final Score Clearly, the game of paid search is complex and changing daily. For marketers, understanding the components of paid search and the changes taking place is critical to staying in the game and remaining competitive in this arena.

Robert J. Murray is president of search engine marketing firm iProspect.


PPC difficult? this is the message from a PPC firm?
ROI unruly ?

PPC is absolutely money in the bank when done properly and the prospect interviewed in this piece is a perfect example of someone who is doing PPC right, improvements could always be made of course, but keeping PPC inside and working with the management tools provided only a little more will lead to improvements.

Identify the most difficult keywords that your site has the toughest time being found on in the organic results and advertise your site on these keywords in Pay Per Click.

How difficult of a task is that? You set up a custom advertising message for each of these keywords or sets, compile a couple of unique custom landing pages (as to not interfere with organic optimization efforts) set your budget and campaign parameters in the provided tools from Google and Yahoo and manage the account.

In this scnario, Do You need a custom PPC bid management tool needed? probably not.

Do you need an SEM vendor? probably not, especially if your needs lie with a small set of limited keyword targets.

Do you need to become an active PPC advertiser on hundreds of keywords?
in most cases, probably not, considering that for most mid-size and smaller companies a small set of keyword targets (many times no more than 20) are the most valuable and offer the highest conversion rates.

And if your prospective SEM vendor seems to be over complicating matters or possibly has mixed motivations in terms of targeting hundreds of keywords/phrases, or infers that PPC campaign management is a most difficult task, then forget outsourcing PPC and keep paid search efforts inside.

It's much young teen alone at the mall with the parents credit card the Abercrombie sales clerks will find plenty of outfits on sale tonight only...other people's money...its always fun and exciting spending other people's money.

Besides, with organic search engine optimization being the most effective form of online advertising and 7 out of 10 google searchers (78% of all keyword search activity) prefer the organic results, what company can afford the expensive keyword billboard that Pay Per Click many times becomes.

Most companies after reviewing their server log files are realizing that they can no longer afford to outsource PPC management and must assign internal staff to ensure that the company's best interests are being recognized.

Companies now also realize that organic search engine optimization is where a proven outside seo firm is needed. Outsource organic search to aquire the intricate technical skill sets involved and pull-in paid search management to control costs, increase conversions, and maximize marketing budgets.