Overture - A Move to Flat Rate?

Thread Title: Yahoo!'s Overture Looks At Simpler Models to Court Advertisers Thread Url: http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3431001 Thread Description:

JERSEY CITY, NJ -- Overture is considering offering advertisers a flat-rate pricing model to make paid search simpler for small- and medium-sized businesses, according to Ted Meisel, president of Overture and SVP at Yahoo!

Im a PPC virgin, someone want to take a stab at what implications such a move would have?

Paying to Promote on Forums

Thread Title: Can I pay my way to a 100 posts??? Thread Url: http://forums.seochat.com/t15266/s.html Thread Description:

Most SEO pros frequent Threadwatch for the time saved on looking for interesting threads and methods to improve their site's popularity. Now suppose you're really (I mean really) busy, have a SEO-related site and you'd love to have a SEOChat signature to get ahead. What does it take to get a decent sig around there?

Are these forum sigs even worth the effort, let alone money? Of course, SC members have to obey the funny rule that they need a 90+ days membership and a record of 100+ posts before they are allowed a "live" signature. And whereas some members choose to avoid forums backlinks, some are either too fresh or not prolific enough to earn the right.

Shame there's no price suggestion for sigs in this thread, but it could be the same amount as any other "PR7 sitewide". Read how paying for a sig appears less and less attractive, and notice how some people are even worried about the quality quotient of their posts...

UK Online Gambling Laws to Relax

Thread Title: Tony Blair Reforms Casino Laws in UK Thread Url: http://www.onlinecasinoreports.com/news_show.asp?id=607 Thread Description:

Recent changes in British legislation that were initiated by Tony Blair are having a profound effect on the gambling industry. These new laws will have an impact as well on online casinos but right now they are directed at land based casino regulation. The impact could conceivably affect an online casino in the same way it affects a land based casino but taking into account that some of the regulations extend playing hours and opening times of land based casinos, these aspect will have no bearing on the online casinos since they are open 24 hours every day of the year.

Thanks Andy!

Google + Keyhole = Advanced Adwords Geo Targeting?

Thread Title: Why Google Bought Keyhole Thread Url: http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/11/why_google_boug.html Thread Description:

What if Google could overlay Claritas PRIZM segments against users IP addresses – and allow advertisers to adjust their bids up if certain households searched on specific terms? For example, if a search user was identified to be in the “Landed Gentry” segment, the advertiser may be more willing to pay more for this person’s attention

Thanks to Andy Beal

Drop Shippers Beware - Pros and Cons of the Drop Ship Game

Thread Title: Drop Shipping question Thread Url: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=4563 Thread Description:

Following on from the earlier Dropshippper List post, here's a thread over at Digitalpoint that's just too good to tack on as a comment to the previous.

Experienced dropship marketers talk about the pros and cons of what can be a very saturated market. This from lorien1973:

I drop ship a lot right now - I'm moving away from the model slowly but surely. If a product can be dropshipped - rest assured there are 10 million internet stores who are selling it. So you immediately throw yourself into a very big pond. Happily, 9.9 million of these stores are part time; so they aren't competition - but they keep their prices so low (Cuz they are only doing it for a little extra cash) that it can lower the overall value of the products you want to carry. Be wary of that.

Truth is; most distributors who make you carry inventory have a VERY low opening order ($300 bucks or so, and $100 minimum orders after that), so its not hard nor does it take a lot of space to get more unique products that you can mark up to your heart's desire or what the market will bear (or is it bare?). And if you ask nice, some of them will even dropship some of their products for you (after you have done your opening order) - especially the expensive ones that take up room or cash. If you go that route, you can also outsource your warehouse to fulfillment companies who will ship for you so you don't have to do that (and its not too expensive either).

Looking to Sell via Dropship? - The BIg Bad Dropshipper List

Thread Title: Lists of dropshippers Thread Url: http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=7510 Thread Description:

Whether you're an affiliate looking to up your game or a store owner looking to add extra products to your online offerings then you may have looked into dropship merchants. Finding lists for dropshippers can be a toughie right?

Linked above is a nice list from WPW member carbonize followed by various other contributions to the growing collection. Nice, thanks carbonize!

Confessions of a Search Marketer

Welcome to Confessions of Search Marketer - Nicks Blog I use the term search marketer in a rather loose sense of course as I niether work for clients (at least i dont solicit clients) nor use PPC of any kind (for the most part). I'd thought of several names for my new blog:

Confessions of a Search Moron Search Marketing Confessions Take Search and Shove it

but have semi settled on the of a search marketer as it's kind of generic with a small ring of humour to it that will allow me to pretty much dribble on about whatever I fancy. Follow the title link above for more...

Local Search and the Future of the Small SEM Shop

Thread Title: Local Search Marketing: A Huge Untapped Market Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2516 Thread Description:

Quite possibly, im becoming a bit of a Bob Massa groupie, I dont know, the stuff this guy writes just seems to strike a chord with me and this thread is no exception.

Chris Sherman posts about a searchday article which sparks some interesting predictions from massa on the future of the small SEM shop in the context of local search and changing business climates:

If you are reading this now with a cigarette hanging from your lips, Your'e 20 to 40 + pounds overweight, you're not sure if it's raining or not outside and you haven't eaten anything that was not cooked for you, came in a paper bag or prepared in a microwave in the last two weeks, if you are not comfortable with getting out of bed before noon, taking a shower and putting on some clean clothes appropriate for the business community, you may be in a position to watch some young whipper-snapper take your market share Being #1 based on your ISP's location in Google for search enigne marketing may get you the call, but the guy willing to show up or invite the prospect to an office, (I guess the bedroom could be an office if you mnde the bed, but I'd feel a little uncomfortable talking to you in your pajama bottoms while sitting on your bed), is the one who will be able to getting the real deals.

Spoooky!

mburgess also puts forth some theories/plans on how local search could be used to pre-test national campaigns. I tend to agree with the basic concept that this will change everything...

Affiliate Tracking Systems for Merchants

Thread Title: affiliate tracking system accounting for recurring sales Thread Url: http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=30997 Thread Description:

This thread is a mental self promo fest and that's no bad thing at all when the orignial poster, kidmercury is asking for recommendations on affiliate tracking systems. It'd be kinda lame if you didnt hear from the developers themselves right?

Well, MyAffiliateProgram.com and AllAffiliatePro.com are both in there giving their best pitches and provided you take that into account, it's an interesting read for anyone considering opening an aff. program.

Would be nice if a few customers of these programs turned up though, i'd love to hear a less biased account of both programs...

InfoSearch Media / Traffic Logic - Love 'em or Hate 'em?

Thread Title: Traffic Logic - What do you think of it? Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=1993 Thread Description:

I'll have to admit that my knowledge of Traffic Logic, part of InfoSearch Media is slim at best. They've certainly been tarred with a bad brush for their practices in various forums and blogs but is this just a case of people not understanding or agreeing with the business model?

Some outstandingly compelling arguments in favor of the group in the threadlink above has me looking at them in a slightly different light. Not necessarily a good light, in my experience there is rarely smoke without fire, but definately a different light.

Check out massa at msg9

In my experience, virtually every prospect calls you up telling you that what they want is to be in the top of the search engines. That is not true. That is not what they really want. What they really want is for me to make them money and they simply believe that they have to be in the top of the search engines to do that.

If you don't believe me just ask anyone who has ever had a client at #1 for the keyword the client said he wanted to be #1 for, only to have that client cancel. Why? The #1 placement did not make the client money. At least, not enough to make it worth the fee.

My question is, would you really spend your time trying to convince a prospect that he is mistaken and doesn't REALLY want your kind of services and explain where he is misguided? Or would you congratulate him on his being smart enough to have selected you to ask and then explain the features and benefits of your service? Is that deceptive?

Swiftly backed up by DaveN

Yahoo Wielding a Big Stick with C Block Bans

Thread Title: 11 sites suddenly disappeared.... Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2437 Thread Description:

This post in the above threadlink got me thinking about all the threads i've come across in recent weeks/months on Y! bannings. Seems there might be some truth in DaveN's thoughts on IP bans.

I thought it might be helpful to list a few of the more prominent threads in one place as they're spread fairly widely:

Speculation on Authority - Sandbox & Theming with Google Personalized Search

Thread Title: Themed by Google - Does Site-Flavoring provide a sandbox exit? Thread Url: http://forums.seochat.com/t17782/s.html Thread Description:

Im really not sure what to make of this, perhaps someone more techy can have a go at deciding if it's just a bit of fun or if there is truly somthing useful to be gained here. Threadwatch member randfish proposes an interesting theory on sandboxing, authority and theming using G personalized search. Go have a look for yourself, lots to see and do and interesting at the very least...

Essential Ingredients for a Successful Community

Thread Title: What are the common elements of successful forums Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum103/212.htm Thread Description:

This thread started by wmw member Webwork asks some thought provoking questions on the general subject of forum success. There are many, many questions, here are a few of them:

1. Is having a clearly defined purpose of the forum important? A vision. If the purpose is "for me to make money" what's the chance of that working?

2. Do most successful forums start with some preceding connection of a significant number of people? Say, readers of some informative person's opinions? (What was the groundwork for WebmasterWorld?)

The Search Landscape is About to Explode

Thread Title: Microsoft Prepares Massive Marketing Campaign for New Search Engine Thread Url: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041101-623a Thread Description:

Gary Price blogs about this NewMediaZero piece on M$'s pre-xmas launch and massive ad campaign for their new engine.

So, can Microshaft blow Google out of the water?

Added:: This HR Thread was the first I saw of this, I just forgot about it.. sorry bout that OldWelshGuy!

Syndication Marketing - The RSS/Atom Train is Building up Speed....

Thread Title: Questions of Google and RSS etc Thread Url: http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=30715 Thread Description:

The syndication bandwagon is gaining momentum among search marketers and engines alike, this WPW thread is an absolute cracker, im sure we're going to all be rather sick of RSS questions before too long but for now they're fresh, inovative and rather exciting for SEO/SEMs and hobby webmasters both.

dr-tourist asks some simple questions about search engines and syndication feeds. The man has a plan but, is unsure of some of the technical details. The posts that follow are great, full of links, advice, commentary and general discussion of the pros, cons, and implementation methods available for syndication marketing in general.

Here's a couple of quotes to whet your appetite:

flashfast:

I've never worried much about Yahoo rankings, concentrating on Google, but when I added an Add To My Yahoo (Yahoo accounts have RSS import options) button then Yahoo has become an unexpected source for a lot more visits.

I'd say RSS now accounts for most of my return visits - when I publish a new item, visits increase markedly. As a result I dished my newsletter subscription service for RSS, and most subscribers are even happier - they only want to know...WHAT IS NEW.

bfrench

Don't think for a moment that the PhD's at Google are not interested in semantic content (such as RSS) for the purpose of establishing relevance or meaning. In fact, XML formats are likely to become *more* important in the future as crawlers and indexers attempt to derive the meaning of Web content.

There's also a fair amount of negative opinion and a smidgeon of what im sure will become the next "build a great site" mantra from the whingers, i hope you'll forgive me giving this a very positive slant heheh! Im rather keen on this whole idea ;-) and have seen major benefits myself from Threadwatch.org's own feed

Calls to Action on Ecommerce Sites - What Works Best?

Thread Title: "Buy" or "Add to Cart" Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum22/2995.htm Thread Description:

Most of this webmasterworld thread appears to be pure preference and speculation with no evidence to back any of it up. Doesnt mean the opinions of the members aren't worth somthing though. The thread centers around what wording to use on a "buy button" - add to cart, add to basket, trolley, order now, etc etc..

pete_m make an observation that sticks out for me (as im English):

I've done some usability testing with this on customers that were fairly new to ecommerce. Although all users figured out what "Add to cart" meant, "Add to basket" was preferred. The word "basket" has immediate meaning to UK shoppers - the word "cart" is almost never used in the context of "real world" shopping in the UK.

Shopping Carts - Time to Take Another Look?

Thread Title: 3rd party shopping carts Thread Url: http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=27805 Thread Description:

These "recommend a cart" threads crop up from time to time on all boards, it's worth revisiting them every once in a while though if only to see what progress various carts have made and if opinions on said carts have changed any.

WPN member radiosale starts out with this:

Im using paypal as my shopping cart but I need to have an accurate shipping cost and would like to offer discounts from time to time. does anyone have an opinion on zonacart or ezcart? I would like a simple one that will be easy to convert my paypal shopping cart to an new one. I would like to keep paypal as my payment choice.

Trouble Contacting Google re Google Ad Automator?

Thread Title: Froogle Upgrades Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2445 Thread Description:

If you're having trouble reaching Google about Ad Automator it seems they're having some tech problems - see the thread linked above for SEW member FroogleRep's response or just email adautomator-signup@google.com

Usability 101 - Usable Websites = More Sales

Thread Title: What is usability? Thread Url: http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_whatisusability/index.html Thread Description:

Many thanks to Kim Krause at Cre8asite for this :)

As Threadwatch was recently offered (donated..) a usability study to help improve the system it's particular pertinent for me right now. The article linked above takes you through the whole shebang, an usability 101 if you will. I've only skimmed it a little but it looks like a cracker, thanks to the author Donna maurer!

Baking the Authority Site Cake

Thread Title: Ingedients of an authority site Thread Url: http://www.seozip.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=34 Thread Description:

This thread is a bit of a mixed bag, some newbie(ish) assumptions and some authoratitive comments. seobook is the star, offering some insightful thoughts on brand and reputation in the context of aquiring authority site status.

my accurate content might be complete rubish to the next guy. Its not really accurate content that matters so much as reputation & brand.

If people believe in you and you develop a strong reputation within your community then you will be given more leeway when you are wrong and more people will be willing to fully digest statements from your viewpoint.

Jakob Nielson is a perfect example of that. He makes usability statements and they instantly become gospil. It does not mean he is always correct or that his content accurately reflects the entire web around him.