Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Search Marketing Channel is sponsored by ClickZ Live Chicago. Register to attend today!

Linking to Partners is Not Selling Links

Since when is listing a company on a web page who is part of a true partnership program, paid or not, considered selling links? Since never, that’s when. But some people like to make a stink about anything they can find.

Conversion Rater blogged about Google linking to companies who are part of a paid partnership program that Google has. They titled the article “Google Selling PR7 Links For $10,000!“. An obvious piece of bait to say the least.

A blog posting some link bait doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is Google’s reaction. Matt Cutts put in a work order in response to the blog post and within hours, the page containing the links is PR0 and no longer passes rank.

Only Hire SEOs Who Rank?

Once again, today we see the ‘classic advice’ that the #1 thing to look for in an SEO agency is one who ranks, this time from Dave Davies of Beanstalk Inc. It’s been done before, but let’s just see what’s on the “search engine optimization” SERP today.

Hm… Wikipedia entry, Google Webmaster Help Center, and four sites offering search engine submission services. What’s left? Bruce Clay, SEO Chat, High Rankings and a site I’ve never heard of, but I think they do more than just search engine submission. I think.

Yeah, that ought to cover the SEO industry. ;)

On the plus side, Dave does indicate that the title and header tags are a good place to find keywords that the site is targeting. (Other people offering this advice often say ‘make sure your SEO ranks’ without telling you how to figure out what phrases he’s targeting.)

More NC Job Openings from Google

Although still roiled in tax break controversy, Google’s North Carolina data center is looking for more employees in Operations and IT.

In addition to its previous listings for Data Center Facilities Technician and Manager, the Lenoir, NC, data center is looking for:

I have only one question: why didn’t they think of using the Marketing Pilgrim Internet marketing job board?

Wiki Search Engine (née “WikiaSari”) to Launch by Year’s End

A quick refresher: WikiSeek is a search engine designed to search Wikipedia and sites that Wikipedia links to. Wikia is a for-profit company started by Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales. WikiaSari is the name of the software behind a Wikia search engine project, named in a naming contest in 2004.

Although the wiki search engine has frequently been called “WikiaSari,” Wikia does not plan on using that name. The support site is called “Search Wikia,” but that won’t be the name of the search engine, either. Still with me?

Not to be confused with WikiSeek, the also-much-publicized NotWikiaSari wiki-inspired search engine should launch by the end of the year, according to Jimbo Wales. Wales made the statement from a Wiki Camp in India. (And no, that’s not where exiled Wikipedians go, it’s an unstructured, wiki-inspired gathering for Wikipedians.)

AdWords: Improvements All Around

Okay, Andy, I’ll concede that Yahoo’s headed in the right direction with Panama. The folks at Google are either running scared or showing off: Google’s been cranking out improvements for advertisers pretty fast lately.

First they started sharing the Quality Score and then planning to update the Quality Score algorithm already this month. Now, they’ve released AdWords Editor 3.0 and announced they’ll be displaying the URLs of sites where your ads are running on the content network.

It looks like AdWords Editor 3.0 is a real improvement, adding useful features (and not just bells and whistles). eWhisper and SERoundtable each have feature breakdowns. The consensus: upgrade.

Jennifer Slegg (jensense), Queen of Search, writes today about Google’s announcement that they’ll make it possible/easier to see the URLs that are displaying your ads on the content network. She sums it up well:

Can Yahoo Catch Google?

I was asked by Business Week to provide an opinion piece on Yahoo’s new search marketing platform.

As an opinion piece, I was asked to pick one side and provide supporting evidence to back up my stance. As I’ve already stated how impressed I am with Panama, I went with the positive.

I hope you’ll enjoy it and feel free to leave your counter-point here or at the article.

UPDATE: comScore just released data that shows Panama is helping Yahoo. I wish I’d known, so I could have included in the article.

ComScore also found that Yahoo’s search ads are gaining ground as a percentage of total clicks. Prior to the Panama launch, ads held 10.1 percent of clicks, which increased to 10.6 percent of total click volume in the week ending February 11 and 11.1 percent in the week ending February

New SEM Scholarship Contest Coming in March

I wanted to give you advance notice that we’ll be running a new Search Engine Marketing Scholarship contest at the end of March. I’ve listened to a lot of feedback, and addressed two common suggestions:

  1. The next contest will be judged over a longer timeframe. This will allow entrants to apply many SEM talents, such as link building, and will ensure the winner wasn’t necessarily the one who managed to get a spike of traffic in a few days.
  2. You asked for advance notice, so here it is. Sometime mid-March, I’ll make the official call for entries. I’ll give a two week entry period, so you’ll have plenty of time to digest any rule changes or formulate your strategy. With this post, regular readers are getting even further advance notice. ;-)