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MarketSmart Interactive Closes Doors

It’s a sad day for all of us who helped grow KeywordRanking/WebSourced – now MarketSmart Interactive – as I’ve heard the company closed the doors on its Morrisville offices at exactly 2:30pm today.

Since I left the company in July of 2005, the company has been on a steady decline, seemingly laying off employees each month and steadily losing clients. It’s been sad to watch the events unfold from the sidelines, but even outside observers saw the writing on the wall. Maybe now the company has finally closed the doors, I’ll write up an obituary for what was once a great search marketing firm.

In the meantime, there’s going to be a lot of talented SEMs looking for work. A reliable source tells me that the parent company, Think Partnership, kept on just six employees and offered no severance to those fired (despite many having worked there for 5+ years).

Google Gives Gov’t Top Spot

Has anyone else seen this before:
Google SERP for flu symptoms

I actually checked a similar ‘symptom’ keyword for a potential client last night and noticed this change today. Here’s a close up of the change:

Google SERP for flu symptoms close up

Notice the result just under the paid listings: the NIH or National Institutes of Health. If the .gov didn’t give it away, this is an institution of the US government. I’m not sure how NIH got in above the one box type refinements Google’s had on SERPs for a while now–conspiracy theories welcome.

Google to Index the Stars

And no, I don’t mean Paris Hilton et al.

Google announced today that they’ve joined forces with the 19 universities, labs and other foundations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project.

The huge telescope, to be located in Chile, will scan the night sky for distant activity including supernovae and asteroids. Google will be providing the infrastructure and database for organizing, storing and making available in real time the vast amounts of information (30 terabytes, they say) generated by the heavens each night.

Google’s VP of engineering, William Coughran, explains Google’s interest in the project:

Google’s mission is to take the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The data from LSST will be an important part of the world’s information, and by being involved in the project we hope to make it easier for that data to become accessible and useful.

The Only List of Search Marketing Blogs You’ll Ever Need

If you’re too lazy to compile your own list of the best search marketing blogs out there, never fear. Lee Odden has compiled a list of over 250 blogs and is even kind enough to provide the OPML file.

Should keep you out of trouble for a while.

Optimizing Your Job Application to Google

The New York Times takes a topic first covered by the Wall Street Journal back in October and asks us to suspend reality and believe it’s the first time it’s been discussed.

Ok, so that rant aside, if you did miss the WSJ version, you may wish to check out the NYT’s look at how Google is automating its hiring process using complex interview questions and algorithms.

The questions range from the age when applicants first got excited about computers to whether they have ever tutored or ever established a nonprofit organization. The answers are fed into a series of formulas created by Google’s mathematicians that calculate a score — from zero to 100 — meant to predict how well a person will fit into its chaotic and competitive culture.

SoloSEO.com Offering $75 Payout on New Affiliate Program

Seeing as SoloSEO is already a client, I’ll have to check to see if Michael Jensen will let me join his newly announced affiliate program, but if he does, it could be a sweet deal.

SoloSEO’s affiliate program is a great option for anyone with a tech blog and the payouts appear to be very attractive.

Here’s what they’re offering

Pay-Per-Sale with Recurring Commission
$15 (USD) for all sales you deliver
$5 each month thereafter, up to 12 months, for active subscribers
$75 possible payout for each sale!
Sign-Up Bonus of $25

Up to $75 for each sale and $25 just for signing-up?  How can anyone resist? Go on, you know you want to. ;-)

Welcome New Advertiser – ABCSearch

As we kick off the New Year, we add a new sponsor to Marketing Pilgrim. Welcome ABCSearch.

ABC Search is a pay-per-click search network that connects thousands of advertisers with millions of consumers and offers a number of benefits including…

  • Geo-Targeting
  • Bulk Upload System
  • No Sign-Up Fee
  • Bids begin at $.05
  • Max Bidding Feature
  • Detailed Keyword Trends
  • Strict Click Fraud Protection
  • 2.5 Billion Monthly Searches
  • Listing Approval within 24 hours

ABCSearch is also offering Marketing Pilgrim readers up to $100 in free traffic!