The business of Search covers a wide area: web search, mobile search, video search etc - you'll find that and all the techniques, and intricacies associated with it here.

MSN Beta & Search Optimization

Thread Title: MSN BETA - What the algo looks like at the moment Thread Url: Thread Description:

Okay, so there are a ton of threads thoughout the search marketing boards that are talking about MSN Beta - I've resisted temptation to post something here for a while as i personally feel that it really doesnt matter very much right at this point. However, it's probably time that we opened it up and got some opinions from TW boys and girls..

The threadlink above is to an seo-guy post where there are a number of reasonable sounding opinions on MSN Beta and how to rank in it.

Here's two of them:


I have pages that I haven't touched since writing them ranking #1 for ULTRA competitive terms using oldschool SEO

kw in title kw in desc kw in meta kw

H1 with keyword first paragraph kw bolded and sprinkled throughout as whole and pieces if long.

H2 with kw paragraph again contains kw

throughout the rest of the page let the kw occur naturally in your writing, dont overstuff

last P make sure it is as strong as the first for the kw phrase

Links to other pages on your site with kw as part of anchor

and clasione

It simply a 10 month old Google copy with no filters....

they'd better do better than that - if they wanna be taken seriously....

So, some questions for Threadwatchers:

What actually matters when optimizing for MSN Beta? Does ranking in the beta actually matter at all? What do you think of MSN Beta so far....?

DaveN Has a Blog - Gentleman, start your bots....

Thread Title: DaveN Thread Url: Thread Description:

Dave Naylor, a notorious blog spammer, search marketer, fat bloke and all round diamond geezer has a blog!

Presuming he can find time away from the wine to actually post coherently (not the norm) it'll be a fantasitic read!

Dave is a TW member, a good mate and a nice bloke. Go visit his blog and say something rude :)

Google Suggest - New Beta Tool from Google

Thread Title: Google Suggest Thread Url: Thread Description:

A great tool by google :)

Suggests searches as you type!

Nick W Great find! From the FAQ

As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.

and TW member Wit posted this just about the same time (a fraction earlier i think..)

The Google boys and girls seem to have come up with a search enhancement - again (?). As soon as you start typing search terms, a list of options - together with their "total number of hits" - appears.

This is of course a useful tool for internet searchers AND a quick one for people looking for popular (??) keywords to optimise for.

Fascinating without a doubt, here it is directly: Google Suggest Option

Thanks to Seochat's new sunnymonkey for spotting that.

Is Mobile Desktop Search the Next Step?

Thread Title: Coming Soon: Desktop In Your Pocket Thread Url: Thread Description:

VC Kevin Laws is speculating on the next step for desktop search in the threadlink above. His point is this: Wouldn't it be cool, not to mention logical if you were able to use your mobile device to search your home PC?

Imagine: You could search for a file from wherever you are, download it, work with it and return it. When you think about it in terms of business use it has ample room to become the next killer app in Search and mobile...

What do you think? I reckon that would be a killer move for whoever gets there first...

Google Books in Main Results

Thread Title: Book Results Found within Web Search Thread Url: Thread Description:

Do a search for dietary suppliments and see for yourself at the top. As far as im aware, barry, who spotted this in the threadlink above, is right on the money. This is does appear to be new.

I cant find anything else though a TW'er tells me she got something for a physics related query yesterday..

What do you guys make of it?

Googles $300M Secret

Thread Title: Searching for Google -- Shhhhh, it's a secret Thread Url: Thread Description:

Google have apparently shelled out $300M on a new datacenter in a Georgia industrial park. About 100 employees in a non descript unmarked building with no windows - pffft! 007 eat your heart out hah!

This from the CRM Knowledgebase threadlink above:

Almost without notice, the Internet search company has tiptoed about 100 employees and a significant investment into a windowless building in a Douglas County industrial park near Six Flags Over Georgia.

There's no sign on the building, no logo on the locked glass door, nothing to indicate that an Internet icon has come to town.

A note taped to the door points visitors to a buzzer, which prompts a polite, but firm, female voice to shoo you away. The voice can't --- or won't --- confirm you've found Google, or even if you're in the right place.

It's all very mysterious.

So why the big hush hush? Sheesh, google are news, if sergey farts it hits the homepage of every major industry site on the net - did they think they'd be able to keep 100 people and all the people they know quiet for long?

You gotta love it... link via IG via SEWB

The old chestnut of targetted words in URL debate again

Thread Title: Keyword in URL experiment Thread Url: Thread Description:

Olivier Duffez over at WebProNews talks about an experiment with keywords in the URL.

They took a nonsense word, which none of the test engines had any results for and set about running an experiment.

- To create webpages with the "word" in the URL (directories and file names) - To avoid the word in the body text and head text of these pages - To link to these new pages without using the word in the anchor text

The results showed that having the keyword in the URL is important.

Personally I just wished that all the markets I work and want to work in had zero results to start with and feel this has little relevance to the industry as a whole. It is but one small branch on a very large tree called the "Search Engine Algo" and all those branches interact with each other to produce the SERPs.

Very interesting though and definately worth a read if your industry has little or no competition :D

Is There Room for a Fourth Player in Search?

Thread Title: Yet Another Search Engine Thread Url: Thread Description:

SELowdown point out this post threadlinked above at motley fool.

They're talking about Accoona specifically:

Even if you offered me $70 billion, I am not sure I could effectively break into the search engine business. To me, Accoona's late entry is a sign that the teams headed for the playoffs have been named and the competition will now begin in earnest. But maybe I'm wrong. As Rick Aristotle Munarriz pointed out, maybe it's just starting to boom. Either way, there's some tough competition down the road from the big guys in the search engine business.

So we have MSN, Google and Yahoo! making up the big 3 players with Jeeves coming up from the rear (i cant help it, im english) and a whole gaggle of specialist SE's that seem to only make a hit with Search folks.

Could the game sustain another player of is that it?

Manipulating Yahoo Local & The Quality Control Nightmare

Thread Title: User Reviews and Local Search Optimization Thread Url: Thread Description:

Chicago, recenlty appointed moderator of WMW's new Local Searh Forum has a fantastic discussion going with some of the boards heavy hitters on how to manipulate Yahoo! Local with "user ratings".

Users can order their results by user reviews and so both automated, dodgy tactics and clever legit strategies for exploiting this are disussed in detail. Stars of the show are Chicago, eWhisper and tedster. This from Chicago:

When is the last time you checked your business or your client's business reviews? When is the last time you submitted a review? How about your competitors (scary)?

and this from tedster:

Using Amazon's review system, the best way we found to get good, natural reviews was to ask our happy customers to post one. In some cases, we offered a perk of some kind, especially for those listmaniacs who took the time to put together a list. This worked very nicely and created natural positive reviews - avoiding the stilted sound that people who have a business involvement with a product tend to use.

So I would imagine the same would apply to a pizza parlor, a general contractor, a real estate agent - anyone who already has happy campers in their corner and uses local search. And of course, if you don't make customers happy (or don't know if you do) then that would be step number one for the business anyway.

A very nice read, thanks Chicago!

Some questions this raises for me:

Will we see bots developed to manipulate this feature? How will Yahoo maintain a level of quality control? Is it as important as it might first appear?

Good stuff from the wmw boys and girls...

It's Search Spock, but not as we know it...

Thread Title: Will search be different on mobile? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Peter Davanzo points out an article submitted by a searchengineblog reader that hits the nail right on the head for me. Mobile search will change everything.. - See the full article threadlinked above.

The author, Scott Schaffer points out that at some point in the not to distant future, mobile net activity will surpass the regular PC net we know now. And more to the point, the throat will be ripped out of online advertising as PPC advertisers struggle to adapt to a very different set of stats for net usage and a mobile consumer landscape with a very different model for information retrieval.

He goes on to hypothesis about scanning barcodes to get information rather than laboriously typing in phrases into a search engine and how who holds a trademark will count far more than who has the highest ranking on Google.

It's a damn good read, and although there is still infinate room for the mobile web to shape itself in any manner of direction I think he paints a plausible picture. Go have a look and tell me what you think...

Search Loyalty - What Factors Influence the battle over Search?

Thread Title: The battle for search loyalty drives innovation Thread Url: Thread Description:

Forresters Charlene Li shares some snippets from a consumer survey conducted on US households. Some of the data is unsurprising but it does make for interesting reading.

Google continues to lead as the site consumers use most frequently to search the Internet, while Yahoo! lost share from 2003. MSN gained substantial share as the default home page for online consumers. + Among Google's loyal searchers, many were likely to have MSN and Yahoo! as their default home pages, opening up the possibility that these portals will regain search loyalty. MSN has a slight lead in the percent of consumers who use its toolbar. Almost half of all toolbar users also use another toolbar. Google tops the list in terms of search effectives (as ranked by their own loyal searchers) but overall quality remains poor, leading consumers to use multiple search engines.

I find it very difficult to break the Google habbit (and there's mostly no reason why i should) but I have in recent months been turning to Yahoo! a significant proportion of the time.

I cant seem to take Clusty seriously, no matter what good things i hear :)

007 Search Company Enters Commercial Space in 2005

Thread Title: Convera Plans to Enter Web Search Marketplace Thread Url: Thread Description:

Convera, a company with US government agency ties, including the FBI plans to enter the commercial search fray next year as pointed out by Gary in the SEW blog post threadlinked above. The source of this info comes from this Washington Post artcle and they may very well be something to look out for in 2005.

The Wayback Machine And The Google Sandbox Theory

Thread Title: The "Ledfish Sandbox Theory" Thread Url: Thread Description:

Ledfish brings up some interesting connections between Google's alleged "Sandbox" and The Wayback Machine. More theory to chew on.

Yahoo Local adds PFI and Basic Listing Tools

Thread Title: Yahoo Bolsters Local Search Business Listings Thread Url: Thread Description:

Thursdays searchday article at SEW looks at Yahoo Local's quiet roll out of paid inclusion, enhanced listings and tools for businesses to alter some of the infomation in their free basic listings.

Chris Sherman has the scoop and it boils down to this:

Limited editing on basic listings (free) Up to 5 listings in the Y! local directory Enhanced listings which add additional info like: tagline, descriptions, promo links, photos (up to 10) etc The enhanced listings cost $10 a month and are straight up listings, no ppc involved

You can see an example of a local listing here

Pretty neat huh?

Chris has all the details, check out his write up...

Keyword Selection by Mathematical Formula?

Thread Title: The Ten Commandments of Keyword selection Thread Url: Thread Description:

Good foundational article regarding keyword selection. The pearl I think is the formula that is used to calculate the worth of certain keywords. It would be interesting to know if anyone else has developed a similar formula.

Nick W: The formula is on page 2

Is Content and Usability Spamming?

Thread Title: Confessions of a White Hat Content Spammer Thread Url: Thread Description:

This thread is in its early days still. Marcia at SEW,

made a quality decision at that time to ignore Google and whatever the latest thing was that they or any other search engine had up their sleeve, and instead dug into search engine research papers

which is an interesting approach in the context of spamming.

Useability, customer needs and content; spam?

A Keyword Stock Market

Thread Title: Market Simulation for Keywords Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jupiter analyst Gary Stein points to Media Mammon's new Keyword Stock Simulation - grab the details from Gary's post threadlinked above and get the XML here.

Search Year In Review

Thread Title: Search Year In Review Thread Url: Thread Description:

The year in review according to Matt Hicks at Eweek pointing out all the major events of 2004 and what is expected in 2005.

Mike Grehan on Quality vs Quantity in Search Marketing

Thread Title: Search marketing: Cart? Horse? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Mike Grehans article threadlinked above looks at the way search marketers can spin the results they achieve for clients over the actual benefit to the clients bottom line.

He argues that often, SEM's sell clients on taking their small amount of indexed pages on a dynamic site and fixing it so the the site becomes spider friendly. As a result of the fix, the client soon has thousands of pages indexed, but is that actually worth having?

Mike argues that having thousands of pages indexed does a company no good unless those pages rank and that as a measurement of ROI on hiring a search firm, it's a poor one.

It's well worth a read, and certainly worthy of discussion. He has made some obvious ommisions though:

What about the value of internal linking? About the thousands of unique phrases such pages can rank for - even if they are not money terms they often have value in less immediate areas.

From the article:

Some may say: Well if you have thousands and thousands of items in a search engine index, you have thousands more chances of being found. However, if conducting a search at Google, for instance, doesn't bring back one page in the top 20 right now, what makes the other thousands you've just fed in stand any more of a chance?

Which is damn good point right? It's a good read, go check it out and then air your opinion...

If Search Engines Started Inserting Affiliate Links...

Thread Title: Affiliate Links in Search Engine Results Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jeremy Z at Yahoo! has some thoughts on feedster's rayg's suggestion that search engines put affiliate links in their results:

Here's a reality check: If a search engine just started dropping those codes in their results, they'd be crucified. Crucified by the technical press, the SEOs, and a bunch of bloggers. Imagine the conspiracy theories!

Definately go read the rest of Jeremy's post, threadlinked above, it's quite funny :)

The question of disclosure and seperation of "editorial" from advertising is raised in the context of search results also which has been a bit of a thorny issue of late. Certainly food for thought, as we've debated aff. links and SERPS for years now..

Do you think they could get away with it under the right conditions?