Blogging and Podcasting Not Yet Reaching the Masses

According to a new Reuters story, “blogging” and “podcasting” are not yet common vocabulary for most people.

A survey of British taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers — often seen as barometers of popular trends — found that nearly 90 percent had no idea what a podcast is and more than 70 percent had never heard of blogging.

Should we be concerned? Depends on who your target audience is. For me, I’m not exactly trying to reach taxi drivers, pub landlords or hairdressers with my marketing.

Yahoo Tests Branding Tools for Search Marketers

ClickZ reports on a new initiative by Yahoo to encourage marketers to use search for branding.

The company has been quietly beta testing two new tools with 10 to 15 of Yahoo!’s top advertisers and agencies for the past two months. Buzz Index — not to be confused with the company’s existing consumer-facing tool of the same name — is a keyword discovery tool with attached demographic data, and Search Share of Voice is a metric analogous to the traditional marketing measurement. The tools are expected to be ready to be offered to a broader base of advertisers in the coming months.

A smart move to ensure the growth of paid search. Instead of search marketing being considered only for ecommerce situations, Yahoo can now tap into all the money being spent on branding and company awareness.

Oodle Brings Online Classifieds to Raleigh-Durham

Oodle continues to add new markets to their online classifieds search engine. Today they add my neck-of-the-woods, Raleigh.

Time to buy a “lovingly-used” golf club! ;-)

Search Engine Marketing Experts Andy Beal and Michael Marshall Launch Fortune Interactive LLC

Andy Beal is no longer associated with Fortune Interactive. View Andy’s consulting services.

It’s been more than two months since I left WebSourced, but today I can finally reveal my next venture. Fortune Interactive.

I’ve pasted the press release below and the News & Observer has additional details. Thanks to all my friends and peers for their support and encouragement. I know that you hate me again – now that I am a competitor once more. ;-)

Search Engine Marketing Experts Andy Beal and Michael Marshall Launch Fortune Interactive LLC

Search engine marketing agency utilizes proprietary artificial intelligence; makes customer satisfaction top priority

Agency SEO Kicks Butt of In-House SEO

Lee Odden points to the latest MarketingSherpa report on search marketing and highlights a compelling stat.

There’s some pretty compelling data regarding outsourcing your SEO as well. For SEO, overall site traffic lift six months after optimization was:

Agency optimized 110% increase
In-house optimized 38% increase

Direct Email Opened Less but More Efficient

The NYT reports on a new study by DoubleClick that suggests that commercial email recipients are becoming more selective.

…statistics in August showing that consumers were opening direct-marketing e-mail messages less often than last year, but were more likely to end up buying products if they clicked on the links in such messages. (The data, gathered from several billion messages, compared the second quarter of 2005 with the same period in 2004.)

Anyone know the net effect? Did the increased conversion rate balance out the decreased open-rate?

PubSub Launches New Tools

ClickZ has details on new services from PubSub.

PubSub is today expected to unleash a new site ranking tool, called LinkRanks, that measures the “strength, persistence, and vitality” of links pointing to and from a given Web site.

Additionally, PubSub has begun an effort to compile lists of influential Weblogs by category, which could be of use to media buyers and planners eager to buy advertising in blogs.