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The Changing Face of Local Search

I remember the first ad buy I ever made. The year was 1996 and I was purchasing a 3”x2” ad in the independent newspaper the Houston Press. I had never bought an ad before and the experience was exciting knowing that my ad would be read by thousands of people who just might purchase the services of my employer, a local ISP in Houston. Now you might ask why I wasn’t buying ads for that campaign online. Well, the answer is simple. That’s not where the local customers were. Oh how times have changed.

The Evolution

Google’s Panda 2.2 Is Live and It’s Hungry!

Aren’t pandas supposed to be cuddly and cute? My youngest daughter has a stuffed one and she looks so cute holding it and hugging it.

Well, in the world of SEO the panda are mean and angry and it likes to feast on what comes from content farms (which means their diet is pretty terrible).

According to Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land the latest version of Google’s Panda update is in the wild so SEO’s can tighten their seat belts to see if this ride is as scary as the other Panda versions.

Google has given us confirmation that they have ran an update to the Panda filter recently.

How to Launch a Successful Web-based Promotion

This post was produced by our SEO Channel Sponsor SEOmoz. Be sure to check out their 30 day free trial of the SEOmoz tool set.

You know what I love about performance marketing? The way it builds on itself. It’s a pretty stable beast if managed correctly. You set things in motion, you give them some time and some love and they grow. They grow into these well optimized, highly efficient, and (hopefully) lucrative marketing channels that earn you all sorts of good things like more money, more customers, better brand sentiment, so on and so forth.

Performance marketing is a predictable science most of the time. Then enter “web-based promotions.” Talk about throwing a wrench in things. They are anything but predictable. More commonly, they involve things like difficult tracking challenges, missed launch dates, social media chaos, and let’s not forget the scariest possibility – utter failure.

Bing, Google and Yahoo Collaborate on a Single Search Language

If you think about it, search engines are pretty smart. They can look at a block of text on your website and make a decision about whether you’re discussing the Stanley Cup playoffs or your grandmother’s chili. But as smart as they are, they can’t always pick up on the nuisances of a page and that’s where Schema.org comes in.

Google, Bing and Yahoo! have all announced their participation in the program and that’s gotta be some kind of landmark, right? Like Mr. Macy and Mr. Gimble shaking hands with Santa Claus? The idea is to develop a singular markup language for microdata sets that will allow all search engines to pick up on like bits of information across a variety of webpages.

5 Free Tools to Measure Online Brand Awareness

This post comes from our SEO Channel Sponsor SEOmoz.

The concept of brand awareness has changed a lot in the past 10 years. Who knows your brand, what do they think, are they loyal and who are they? For many marketers, this is valuable stuff. But, before the days of the direct attribution provided by online marketing, companies had to rely on brand awareness studies to help understand the efficacy of their marketing efforts.

SEOmozMarketing Pilgrim’s SEO Channel is sponsored by SEOmoz, the leading provider of SEO tools and resources. Take a 30-day free trial, and see why over 10,000 marketers currently use SEOmoz PRO

In-House SEO: An Interview With Gordon Magee of Drs. Foster and Smith

You may be asking yourself, who in the world are Drs. Foster and Smith (DFS)? Well, that may be unless you are a pet owner. You see, Drs. Foster and Smith currently ranks #115 on the Internet Retailer 500. That list includes names like Amazon, Staples, Apple, Netflix and about 495 others who top the online commerce world. If there is anything you need for your pet, it’s likely you can find it on the site.

DFS has reported in the past total revenues between online and catalog sales of $250M annually with $155M of that coming online. As part of our desire to bring you information about the world of search from many perspectives, I was afforded the pleasure of interviewing Gordon Magee who heads up the online efforts for this very large and successful site.

What’s Working for SEO in 2011: A Review from London SMX

Gareth Davies of GSINC Ltd covered SMX London last week and filed this report.

With the latest Google Panda update, and the issues some webmasters have faced as a result of the update, attendees at this year’s SMX LONDON were looking for answers to what’s working for SEO in 2011.

The panel consisted of Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Christine Churchill and Max Thomas.

SMX London panel

SEO Has Evolved:

First up was Mikkel deMib Svendsen. Mikkel began by reminding attendees that when it comes to SEO, things are very different in 2011 to what has gone before.

In the 1990’s SEO was relatively easy…simple algorithms meant that SEO was mainly about on-page factors and search engines had very few (if any) people dedicated to fighting Spam. Today the search engine algorithms are very complex, and there are huge teams dedicated to fighting Spam.