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Google Writes Guide For Bloggers

Best practices for bloggersBy Kevin Muldoon

Google has recently added a new page to their Best Practices area specifically for bloggers.

The guide gives bloggers some basic Search Engine Optimisation tips like linking to internal pages within your blog and adding a sitemap to your blog. However it also gives advice on a lot of non-SEO issues like promotion and encourages bloggers to ‘Write well and often‘.

Here is a quick summary of what Google suggests bloggers should do :

Create great content

  • Write well and often
  • Follow the webmaster guidelines
  • Categorize your posts
  • Make sure users (and crawlers) can easily find your blog
  • If necessary, limit comment spam
  • Check our tips for affiliate sites

Make sure readers and crawlers can find your content

Google Understands User Behavior

Google is renowned for its intuitive user interface—but a lot of work goes in to making sure that Google understands exactly how its users interact with its pages, as evidenced in a blog post yesterday. And Google doesn’t just look at the user data they get from clicks or surveys—they use actual field studies.

Are actual field tests, observing users “in the wild,” necessary? Google’s Search Quality Uber Tech Lead, Daniel Russell, explains why:

people are masters of saying one thing and doing another, particularly when it comes to nearly automatic behavior. We find that searchers often turn so quickly to Google that they don’t really think too much about what they’re actually searching for.

Online Ad CPM Rates for Q3? I have Good News & Bad News

According to a new report from the Rubicon Project, online ad rates dropped 11% between Q2 and Q3. Now, before you head for liquor cabinet, you might want to take a look at the individual rates for each vertical. Some saw drops of almost 20% while others gained by over 35%!

You can download the full report here.

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Social Network Advertising: Annoying or Effective?

Social network advertising is not only not annoying but surprisingly effective in some segments, according to the results of a new survey by Razorfish. In FEED: the Razorfish Consumer Experience Report 2008, Razorfish surveyed “connected consumers”—1006 people with broadband access who spent at least $200 online in the past year, used a community site such as MySpace and consumed or made some type of digital media including videos and music.

And of those people, 76% didn’t mind seeing ads when they logged in to social media sites including Facebook and MySpace. This percentage is surprisingly large, perhaps so much so that this response is what prompted Razorfish to conclude:

Content, in our view, will become advertising.

Well, I suppose that’s a better outlook than advertising will become content.

Yahoo Gains Search Share; Google & Microsoft Suck

Some good news for Yahoo! It’s share of US searches in September reached 20.2%–up from 19.6% in August.

Bad news for Google. It’s share dropped a massive 0.1% from 63% to just 62.9%–that should freak out the Wall Street boys.

The good news for everyone? The data comes from comScore, which means that it probably has a treasure chest of excuses ready–in the event this all just one big rounding error.

PS. Please don’t panic about the Google drop, it has been known to happen before. ;-)

PPS. If you care about Microsoft, you can check out whether it gained or lost, here.

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Study Confirms I Can Get 50% of You to Do My Bidding!

I know a few things about you.

  • 50% of you will have your buying decision influenced by what we say at Marketing Pilgrim.
  • That increases to 56% if making a decision related to marketing products or services.
  • 25% of you trust our advertisers, simply because you trust us.
  • 38% of you will discover a new blog to read from among those we link to.

No, I’m not a psychic. I’m not even a Mentalist. Heck, I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! I did, however, read a new study from BuzzLogic and JupiterResearch on the influence of blogs.

The study reveals a lot about the influence your favorite blog plays in many of the decisions you make.

Word of Mouth, Online Reviews Most Influential in Purchase Decisions

UPDATE: The full PDF of the study is available (link via RWW).

A new study by Rubicon Consulting states that word of mouth and online reviews are the most influential factors in consumer purchasing decisions. According to the study, the Internet is also important in providing customer support. The survey also looked at consumer’s use and perceptions of different websites and categories of websites:

  • The Web is the #2 resource for customer support information, after user manuals. It ranks ahead of calling the manufacturer or asking a dealer.
  • Website categories that get the most daily usage are search, social communities like MySpace and Facebook, general news websites like CNN.com and NYTimes.com, and online banking.
  • The websites that Americans value most are (in order), Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Facebook.