SearchKing or Savvy Salesman?

Thread Title: SearchKing: No longer a search engine/portal network? Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2611&page=1&pp=20 Thread Description:

Bob Massa is the owner of SearchKing. He wanted to create a collection of human reviewed data which gave him access to a ton of valuable data and put him at the center of a huge ad network. He sold the network idea to many webmasters who use SearchKing to power their portals.

SearchKing was penalized by Google (I believe for selling PageRank). Recent hosting at SearchKing has been less than stellar and there has been no easy or responsive communication channel between disgruntaled portal owners and SearchKing. Some people probably made good money from the SearchKing idea. Others gave a ton to help build that network, and feel that in one way or another they got burned.

from the thread Lots0:

I agree that Bob is very eloquent in his written responses and I can say from personal experience that he is just as well spoken, at least over the phone. But whenever I speak to Bob I never forget one thing, he is first and foremost (by his own admission) a salesman.

Later in the same post...

I tell friends, NOT to do business SearchKing. I tell them this based on my personal experience and the experience of others that I have personal knowledge of...

Whenever SearchKing comes out into the light, it always reminds me of a very important tip for any beginner; If you are building a directory or opt-in mailing lists of any kind, anywhere, keep control of your own data. Do not let your hard earned data become “part of a network” because once your data joins a “network” all of that data you laboriously collected is no longer under your control and is in fact no longer just “your data”, the data also belongs to the “network” and is controlled by whoever controls the “network”, maybe that is why some “networks” offer free stuff like hosting and software...

Later Bob talks about building SearchKing and what he sees going forward...including:

The big idea

Search Marketing Scams - Cashing in on Ignorance

Over the last week i've happened across three different search marketing scams. Two of them are disturbingly similar - so similar in fact that one would be forgiven for thinking they were written by the same person.

Is this the start of a Search Scam Gold Rush? I think perhaps it is. As Google and others begin to reach out to agencies and the hitherto little touched areas of search results come under increasing public notice it seems that some unwholesome search marketers are looking to cash in on ignorance. Follow the title link above for the full post.

Gizmodo goes to Virtual Reality blogging

Thread Title: they're still on the waiting list for the chip implant Thread Url: http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/gizmodo-vr-blogging-025535.php Thread Description:

Hey! Aren't those official WmW t-shirts?

Search Wars - The BBC tests the SE's

Thread Title: Search wars - which is the best? Thread Url: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4003193.stm Thread Description:

Via http://www.searchguild.com/tpage16869-0.html

"As Microsoft enters the internet search engine market, users find themselves overwhelmed with options. We compare the big players on five key areas."

Rumour: Google About to Advertise Froogle for Xmas?

Thread Title: Google to advertise Froogle? Thread Url: http://barnako.typepad.com/barnakocom/2004/11/google_to_adver.html Thread Description:

Frank Banarko of MarketWatch is talking about Google spending a "boat load of money" on advertsing. The Search war seems to be scaling up nicely doesnt it?

Meanwhile, rumblings in the radio business report Google is about to spend a boatload of money on advertising. Has Google ever advertised before?

And what will it promote? Well, it's the holidays, right? AOL has rolled out a new standalone shopping service, In-Store.com. Microsoft's MSN Shopping is promoting discounts all month. What's Google got? Froogle.com. My two cents are on Google trying to get a piece of holiday shopping.

Contextual Ads: Chitika Launches an Aggregated Contextual Network

Thread Title: Contextual Ad Company Pools Its Advertisers Thread Url: http://www.mediapost.com/dtls_dsp_news.cfm?newsID=278476 Thread Description:

There's a new kid in contextual town, goes by the name of Chitika.... Essentially this startup is pooling advertisers from various networks into a commission junction style deal - Publishers (that would be you and i...) can sign up and show ads from a couple of different networks with just the one account. If it takes off and the current talks with other big players goes well then it could well be a winner. These quotes from the MediaPost threadlink above via this MarketingVOX post:

A new contextual advertising company is pooling the advertisers from its various ad network distribution partners into a single sales channel, giving publishers access to more than 500,000 paid listings

Chitika President and CEO Venkat Kolluri said that, while the companies Quigo and Kanoodle have similar services, "their reach is restricted by the advertising partners in their network."

Sounds pretty smart to me, what do ya reckon?

MSN vs Google - Fun & Games in Search Begin

Thread Title: The Return Of More Evil Than Satan Thread Url: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041111-154433 Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan reports at the SEW Blog that a search for more evil than satan at MSN brings up Google as numero uno ;)

A return favor for what came up on Google for that phrase in 1999? (MS of course..) Is this the beginnings of a fun "tit for tat" game or just a bit of random silliness?

Whatever it is, it made me smile, thanks danny!

Weighted LInks Rank - An Improvement on the PageRank Algorithm?

Thread Title: The WLR Algorithm Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2704 Thread Description:

SEW member orion presents an algorithm discussed at the 2004 W3C Conference. I found the post very hard to understand not being a mathmatician or an algo geek but randfish responded and put some of it into more everyday terms.

I still dont see how this is any better than PR particularly, but for the algo eggheads it's good stuff by the looks of it...

Press Release & Articles Submission LIsts

Thread Title: Online Article and Press Release Submissions List of sites Thread Url: http://www.webworkshop.net/seoforum/viewtopic.php?t=3905 Thread Description:

Web Workshop member spidermonkey posts a nice list of links to pr release and article submisison sites, followed closely by a link to another list by Nicky_uk - personally i'd sooner put articles on my own website but this seems to be a bit of a craze at the moment so have fun with the list!

Is MSN Trying To Hijack Google's Results?

Thread Title: Microsoft Crawling Google Results For New Search Engine? Thread Url: http://webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=31604 Thread Description:

Is Mircosoft trying to use Google's search results to populate their own index?

Microsoft very well could be screen scraping Google (or maybe even using their API, LOL) and crawling the urls it finds. It makes sense from a business case but I wonder if there are any legal issues there.

So now you're saying, so what, big deal. But this really is a big deal. It's a big deal not only because the urls this visitor was making requests to don't exist any longer but because the only place these urls can be found is in Google’s search results using site:www.sitename.com. A similar query on MSN Search doesn't show the urls at all, even on the beta version of their new Microsoft search engine. But then within just hours of the visitors exit from the site the new same search at Microsoft's new search engine shows all of the urls in question being fully indexed within its results.

The Hush Hush Secrets of Successful Directories

Thread Title: What's your secret plan for global (directory) domination? Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum17/2265.htm Thread Description:

Webwork over at WW is a fantastic poster who never seems to shock and amaze me with his level of wit, intelligence, and humor. There's a couple pretty worthless posts in here, but you'll soon see which ones to ignore, and which one are worth a good close read.

With directories still being a very strong business model for garnering and monetizing natural traffic, this post has some good inspirational suggestions. Makes me really wish I had the skill/money/time to create about a dozen directories. There are so many options for creating revenue from a fairly established directory that this should be one of the things exceptional SEO/webmasters do for quite some time.

White Hat Scam? - Moron of the Week!

Thread Title: Search Engine Optimization Expert Offers First “White Hat” Software Tool Thread Url: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/11/emw176580.htm Thread Description:

Credit to Andy for spotting this...

Okay, this has to be the funniest thing i've seen in ages... First, read this jokers press release linked above, then check out his "metawebs" webiste at: www*metawebs.com

Sorry, im not linking to this clown.

From his press release:

Nathan Anderson is a search engine optimization expert who is a long time advocate of ethical techniques. On November 1, 2004 he introduced MetaWebs, the first major software tool specifically designed to aid in ethical SEO.

and from the metawebs website:

"...All Made Possible By Using A Brand New Search Engine Optimizing Software Platform (Available to Only 400 , 300 , 260 More People!) That Dynamically Generates Fresh Website Pages Not Once, Not Twice, But Each and Every Time Someone Visits Your Web Page - Pages That Are Linked To Each Other Optimally (Not Simply Grabbed Off The Internet and Stitched Together Willy Nilly!) Using Statistically Validated Data For What Works With The Search Engines To Catapult You To The Top!

If you dont visit the site, that last quote is in enormous red font.. There's tons of this frothing at the mouth badly written rubish, here's just a bit more:

MetaWebs will automatically create a multiple-page website that has pages linked together in a way that dramatically improves the rankings of each page for your chosen keywords.

There’s absolutely nothing else like MetaWebs. It’s the most sophisticated page-generation software ever conceived

Is this guy a conman? Is he just a huckster out for a quick buck? - In my opinion he ought to be flogged senseless with knotted rope for publishing such crap and targeting unsuspecting business owners with it.

What say you?

Content Providers - Subscription Best Practices

Thread Title: Subscription Best Practices Thread Url: http://www.paidcontent.org/contentnext/ned_desmond/subscription_best_pr.php Thread Description:

Ned Desmond, exec and chief of Time Interactive offers some tips for content providers on implementing and succeeding with subscriptions:

-- Provide instant gratification and keep the offer cheap. If someone sees something they want to read, make sure that they can zip through a subscription order form in no time and pay just a few bucks to buy a short-term, continuous service subscription on a credit card. Doesn't work in all circumstances but it's powerful when it does. Once they sign up, take them back to what they were looking at that got them to sign up. Instant gratification is good.

Simple but good stuff...

Author/Designer Tools of the Trade

Thread Title: Dream weaver or any thing else? Thread Url: http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=17562 Thread Description:

Whether you touch code or not you at least use some kind of text editor in your work right? This cre8 thread covers all manner of programs from WYSIWYG editors like DreamWeaver to hardcore text editors such as Vim

Some great discussion on the various pros and cons of the tools avaiable from the cre8 boys and girls...

In Search of a Business Model for Bloggers

Thread Title: Betting on Tools that Power Blogs Thread Url: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/nov2004/nf20041111_5342_db035.htm Thread Description:

Olga Kharif of BusinessWeek compares the blogging business model search with the early days of the commercial net and how, like then, picks and shovels are doing far better than anything else right now as VC's plough big cash into enablers and information culling.

The independent-minded blogging community may be chagrined to see, however, that the most obvious money in blogging is in the software that helps big companies establish and manage corporate blogs, as well as software that culls data from the ever-growing blogosphere. It's much like the early days of e-commerce. While e-tailers were spending and spending to build their Web sites, e-commerce software makers were raking in the cash. To use an analogy to California's gold rush: It wasn't the miners who got rich, it was the people who sold the picks and shovels.

That's certainly where venture capitalists are putting their money. "Anybody in the industry who says people haven't figured out how to make money on blogging are being ridiculous," says Brad Feld, a managing director at Technorati investor Mobius Venture Capital in Superior, Colo

Story via PaidContent

beta.search.msn.com - How it Compares to Y! and G

Thread Title: MSN Search Debuts Thread Url: http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/11/msn_search_debu.html Thread Description:

Forresters Charlene Li takes us through some unscientific sampling of MSN's search beta. The results to me look exactly the same as search.msn.com but then I've given up on trying to guess what's going on over at MSN at the moment ;-)

Charlene on the Near Me local search results:

+ Local search: The “Near Me” button allows a user to find Web pages near a specified location. MSN has started geo-coding Web pages when there’s information. The problem is there are many pages without any geocoding information – for example, a business may have its address only on the “Contact Us” page. Poor content means that the results were also less than relevant – I’ll stick with more localized services like yellow pages and to some degree, Yahoo! Local for now. But I expect that MSN could apply some intelligence that if a page has geocoding information associated with it, that the location could be associated with the other pages on that site as well.

More coverage here:

John Battelle of Battellemedia.com Andy Beal at Searchenginelowdown.com

Beer Bad - Wine Good :: Funny Adwords Rules for Bids

Thread Title: Google are drink fascists? Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2666 Thread Description:

Wail over at SEW asks why one can bid on wine ads at Google, but not spirits or beer? Ian tries to find a legal reason, but comes up blank!

Then they have some fun seeing what other crazy things you can and can't bid on:

"bank robbery" is bad but "shoplifting" is ok :)

Push & Pull SEO - How to Draw Customers into a Bricks n Mortar Biz

Thread Title: Restaurant Promotion Thread Url: http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10700 Thread Description:

Hyperperformance asks:

My question is that I would like to know of any suggestions or successful promotion campaigns that we can use here in taking advantage of a push/pull scenario. You know, push them to the "new" site with a promo that pushes them back to the resaurants?

He's getting some great advice from the HRF members! I especially like Scottie's idea for wine tasting nights. I just hope this restaurant is close to me so I can join in on the fun! ;)

Online Travel Spend To Rocket over Next 4yrs

Thread Title: U.S. Online Travel Market to Soar Thread Url: http://www.clickz.com/stats/sectors/travel/article.php/3433881 Thread Description:

Jupiter are reporting a 20% rise in online travel spend by year end over 2003 and that it's set to continue through 2009. Profitable though im sure it is, online travel would be the last place i'd want to play johnny come lately: When thinking of how competitive the affiliate market is for travel the word outgunned springs to mind ;)

Are Link Algo's Destroying the Web?

Thread Title: Are Links Hurting Search Relevance? Thread Url: http://webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=31464 Thread Description:

Discussion concerning how the link craze may have damaged content relevancy on the internet, especially conerning search engine results.