New MSN Search - Live Tomorrow - Thurs 11th Nov 2004

Thread Title: MSN Search to go Live Thursday, Nov 11th Thread Url: Thread Description:

The NY Times are reporting that the long anticipated MSN Search will go live tomorrow - Sure is a fast move! Nacho in the threadlink above says the techpreview is returning NULL for "no results found" - could this be another of the famous MS dodgy quick releases?

Microsoft - "We will Catch Up, We Will Surpass"

Thread Title: Microsoft CEO says to double ad revenue in 5 years Thread Url: Thread Description:

Andy Beal reports on the Reuters news above. Ballmer says that they will catch up and surpass Google and Yahoo.

Interesting times, interesting times...

Defensive SEO - Copyright KungFu & Name Trading Kick Ass Karate

Thread Title: How can you use SEO defensively? Thread Url: Thread Description:

This is a great thread, a real cracker! - No idea why the boys and girls at cre8 havn't sent it my way. Sheesh!

kajax101 is asking about a scenario in which a competitor company might take advantage of a common misspelling of his company name to leech traffic and customers. Black_Knight comes in with some good advice regarding legal recourse and defensive SEO.

The thread winds and turns and covers many of the things that can happen when a competitor decides to do the dirty on you and how you might combat some of those moves.

Here's one danger pointed out by BK:

Reviews can be optimised for your trademarks and such, under fair use. They really are talking about your product. Thus they can optimise extensively both on site and through third-party links, for your trademarks and company name etc.

Following on from that SEBasic gives some interesting commentary on how cloaking might be used. Great thread!

Content Sensitive Affiliate Programs & Adsense Alternatives

Thread Title: Interesting Adsense Alternative Thread Url: Thread Description:

See this thread also: Content Sensing Affiliate Programs

Digitalpoint members are compiling a neat little list of both context/content sensing affiliate programs and viable adsense alternatives. You do have to wade through the threads to get to the good stuff but it's quite worth while as the sites/programs are weighed and judged and scrutinized. Here's what they've listed so far..

The first one has the DP consensus of "cool concept, crap products", the second also is a cool idea, the program writes it's own affilate id into the first ad displayed on the page and makes no secret of it.

The last two I mentioned here - follow the link for a good discussion at wmw on those.

Handling Large Textual Content

Thread Title: Pages with a lot of Text Thread Url: Thread Description:

When you have to optimize a site that has pages consisting of thousands of words rather than hundreds, what do you do? - Split the pages up? - Leave them as is? - Place on page anchors to different sections of the whole page?

Tricky one eh?

This WPW thread offers some pretty good insight into a) what your options are, and b) the varying views of Search Marketers as to the most effective solution. My personal perference would be to keep the pages long but make good use of a 'page menu' with fragment links to the different 'sections' of the page and to use h tags to delimit the sections.

What say you?

One Nasty Thread With a Shining Light

Thread Title: Spamming For Dummies - Nick's post Thread Url: Thread Description:

This thread in general is terribly nasty and embarrassing to read. But our own Nick W has a wonderful, truly great post about keeping your forum a safe community for all.

I don't know how I missed it, but I never realized until that post, just how eloquent Nick was!

(I've linked only to Nick's post, as it really is the only worthwhile one in the thread!)


What Incentives Can You Offer to Forum Members for a Subscription Model?

Thread Title: Converting Free Forum Users to Paid Subscribers Thread Url: Thread Description:

WW Member lorenzinho2 asks about what a forum owner can offer to users as incentive for a paid subscription model. For high traffic, low CTR sites other options should certainly be explored, but what will make a member pony up the dough for a subscription. A few nice posts on what types of functionality, perks, and information might draw those wallets out of pockets.

An Experiment in Natural LInking vs SEO

As SEO's we think about links almost contantly. It's impossible to move on the seo fora and blog circuit without seeing a dozen or more posts or threads about something related to linking. As a natural result of operating in a link driven search landscape we may actually forget what a natural link looks like. Follow the link above for the full blog post.

The First RSS Ad Server Is Here....

Thread Title: Pheedo Debuts RSS/Atom Ad Server Thread Url: Thread Description:

Feed and blog ad firm Pheedo has launched an ad management tool that will let publishers insert paid ads into their RSS or Atom content feeds, and track the resulting activity.

The Web-based ad server, called SimpleAd Feed Management and Server, monitors feed activity to determine how often an ad should be inserted, according to Pheedo. It also serves ads tailored to the characteristics of each news reader, the company said

I just took a brief look at their website, looks pretty neat at first glance but I do wonder how I would feel to have my news and blog feeds interspersed with advertsing... i cant say the prospect fills me with joy.

Keyword Price Hikes - Large Increases in Some Sectors

Thread Title: Keyword Prices Rise, But Only In Some Categories Thread Url: Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan blogs that fathom online are reporting KW price hikes across selected sectors including retail, mortgage, travel and automotive.

Thanks to Gary Price for filling me in on who/what fathomonline are, im not a ppc guy ;-)

Carry FireFox on Your Keychain

Thread Title: Portable Firefox Thread Url: Thread Description:

Ever visited a client wishing you had your favorite browser and all your bookmarks handy? - check out portable FireFox from John Haller - I cant try it, as you need a usb mem device (like a keychain stick) and windows, but im betting it's cool :-)

Directory Links that Count - 301's - 302's - Jump Links Etc...

Thread Title: Getting Directory Links That Count Thread Url: Thread Description:

When picking directories to submit too, what do you look for in the way that they link to you? - meta refresh, 302, 301, static page link? - This discussion starts out simply and continues into a fairly technical diagnostic review of the various methods directories use for outbound links. More importantly, which ones will actually count. seobook, Anthoney Parsons & myself all having a lovely time at an as yet quiet new forum ;) - One that will growup to be a good resource im thinking...

Time Tracking & Billing Software for SEOs

Thread Title: Time Tracking and Billing Software Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nice discussion from the mods over at cr8 on billing and time tracking programs. Funny how it's only the mods and a few hardcore members that post over the weekend on many fora - guess that's why they mod, they dont take a break! heh..

Featured in the discussion are: BillQuick, MyOB and Quick Books.

Keyword Selection - an Art - Not a Science

Thread Title: Keyword Selection is an Art, Not a Science Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nice basic kw selection piece by Scottie Claiborne including links to kw tools and some comments on real life situations where targeting low volume kw's is appropriate.

Threadwatch Weekly Round Up - 1st - 7th Nov 2004

It's been a great week! The focus has been very much on forums and communities, with liberal doses of marketing/branding - linking and so on. One hightlight that stands out for me personally is the fact that linked to us! - thanks Peter!

Without further ado, here's the weeks best of the best forum and blog threads with news and mayhem posts largely filtered out. Follow the title link above for the full list.

Link Building Resources / Why Link Building is Evil

Thread Title: Link Building 101 Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nacho posts a good long list of link related threads and link building resources. Doug Heil quickly makes a guest appearance to remind all that:

excessive link building (is there such a thing) is evil; link building is destroying the web; & the sky is falling.

Google Bowing To US Political Pressure? Or....

Thread Title: Where is Lynndie? Where is Lynndie? Thread Url: Thread Description:

We dont generally do politics at Threadwatch but when politics start to affect Search, we'd be fool not to report it right?

Andy pointed this slashdot post out to me just a few minutes ago. It shows that Google have apparently tweaked their image search to not show photos of Abu Ghraib being tortured in prison. Now the G search just shows sanitized pics taken outside the prison. Go try the same search at other engines, apparently this has happened very recently though i have no exact date..

What does it mean to the search industry when the current biggest player appears to be bowing to a US administration over politically undesireable searches?

The other, more sinister theory What if, like Andy you beleive it's not government pressure at all but self imposed censorship? - We know big G take steps to erase certain forms of hate sites from their serps, but for me at least, when a major SE starts bowing and scraping to governments right after an IPO it spells trouble. Big trouble...

LInk Theming & The Hilltop Magic Pill

Thread Title: Anyone besides me not swallowed the "Hilltop" magic pill yet? Thread Url: Thread Description:

This thread over at webmasterworld is jam packed with conpiracy theories, wild speculation and misinformation. Im sure it's not quite what moderator bakedjake was looking for when he asked if it was only him who hadn't swallowed the hilltop magic pill

It's also full of some very well thought out theories on post florida google and some first hand experiences to corroborate those theories. Take this from Caveman:

Evidence of affiliation assessment is apparent to me, but with a caveat. We saw after Florida (when I believe Hilltop kicked in) that - in several commercial categories where we had multiple site entries with insufficient identity safeguards - we lost a bunch of those sites...meaning that their positions in the SERP's dropped dramatically. That was interesting. What was also interesting was that in most of those categories, our lead site maintained its overall position or even benefitted.

Of note, after taking care of items related to methods for determiniming affiliation, we saw most of the sites come back. And those that did not come back happened to use common templates to others that were again thriving. This seemed to reveal one of the roles that filters were playing in the weeding out process.

That's on page 2 at msg13

Some of the discussion is quite eye opening for me as i've not paid that much attention to any of it thus far, i just trundle along doing what i do and apart from (possibly) gettting a whack on a few sites that may have somthing to do with the discussion i've been pretty much ok.

Well worth a peek.

Forrester urges Companies to Monitor Blogs

Thread Title: Forrester report on corporate blogs Thread Url: Thread Description:

When And How Businesses Should Use Blogs

Although Weblogs (blogs) are currently used by only a small number of online consumers, they've garnered a great deal of corporate attention because their readers and writers are highly influential. Forrester believes that blogging will grow in importance, and at a minimum, companies should monitor blogs to learn what is being said about their products and services.

From Charlene Li's blog.

Russell Beattie also made some notable comments about blogs, content & communicontent today..

Seems everytime i hit bloglines someone is saying somthing about corporate blogs these days...

ROI - Paid vs Unpaid Traffic

Thread Title: Organic vs Paid Traffic ROI? Thread Url: Thread Description:

if someone clicks a google link for a given keyphrase, overall would you consider the conversion on PPC to be equal to Organic?

Paul_H provides some useful first hand observations in this thread:

One great thing about PPC ads is you can turn them on and off, and experiment. At first I thought by having an ad show for a word we are number for was just throwing money away, so i turned the ads off, profits dropped, turn them back on profits increase, repeated just to make sure.

Results could suggest a few things, 1. Our ad text appeals more to some people more than the description/title in the serps – can’t please everyone. 2. Some people will click on the ads first, so its either us or a competitor.

No major difference in conversions, if anything the PPC converts better as i make sure the ad is very relevant.

Good stuff from cre8..