WikiSeek Offers New Wikipedia Search Engine

I had planned on publishing an in-depth review of the new Wikipedia-based search engine, WikiSeek, but it wasn’t supposed to launch until tomorrow and now TechCrunch has decided not to wait on their coverage.

So, I’ll let you read their post, while I go over to the corner of the room and sulk. :-(

WikiSeek is a search engine that has indexed only Wikipedia sites, plus sites that are linked to from Wikipedia. It serves two purposes. First, it is a much better Wikipedia search engine than the one on Wikipedia (and has been built with Wikipedia’s assistance and permission). Second, the fact that it also indexes sites that are linked to from Wikipedia means that, presumably, it will return only very high quality results and very little spam. It won’t show every relevant result to a query, but it will certainly give a good overview of a subject without all the mess.

New Tools Help You Get the Most Out of MyBlogLog

By now you’ll know of the great search marketing tools you can get when you sign up for SoloSEO (disc). They’ve just announced a set of free tools that will help you get the most out of the MyBlogLog community.

“The Missing MyBlogLog Tools” include:

Compare Blog Visitors

Compare Your Contacts

Compare Community Members

There’s a few more and each are worthy of MyBlogLog providing themselves. In fact, SoloSEO, tongue-in-cheek asks for a kick-back…

If Yahoo/MyBlogLog is reading this, these tools would be great to implement as a part MyBlogLog. All we ask is for 1% of your acquisition price or a free trip to Yahoo headquarters.

Speaking of MyBlogLog. Don’t forget, if you join our MyBlogLog community, you’ll be entered to win a Zune MP3 player! :-)

Channel Sponsors

Oodle Launches Index to Track Pricing Data for Online Classifieds

Oodle will today announce the launch of the Oodle Index, a real-time pricing guide for online classified listings. When Oodle launched back in April of 2005, their goal was to consolidate the widely scattered classifieds space and provide users with a central location for searching and shopping for online classifieds. Almost two years later, Oodle has collected data from hundreds of millions of online listings and has launched the Oodle Index as a means to help shoppers better understand pricing trends and find those hidden classifieds bargains.

I had a chance to speak to Oodle CEO and founder, Craig Donato, earlier this week and he walked me through the various features the Oodle Index will offer at launch. Hoping to become the “Kelly Blue Book of Classifieds”, the Oodle Index will be integrated with Oodle’s search results and utilized by clicking the “Pricing” link. Users will have access to some neat interactive charts which will show pricing and inventory trends, tailored to their geographic location.

By clicking on the pricing charts, users will be able to instantly view listings available in a specific price range and get real time data on availability. For example, searching for a 2004 Honda Accord, with less than 30,000 miles on the clock, shows 281 listings in the New York area, with an average price of $18,205. Using the Oodle Index charts, users making this search will see that for an average of just $300 more, they can peruse more than 180 Accords built in 2005. It’s this type of transparency in the online classifieds space that Oodle is hoping to bring with the Oodle Index.

“Pricing in classifieds is very inefficient,” says Craig Donato. “Our vision is to be the shopping tool for classifieds.” Indeed, Oodle has access to a multitude of data points, including demographics of buyers – even able to understand car buying preferences of Republicans in California compared to Democrats in New England.

The Oodle Index is available in all geographic areas served by Oodle and will initially provide pricing data for cars, real estate and apartment rentals.

Interview with Megite.com’s Matthew Chen

Over at Search Engine Journal, Loren has an interview with the co-founder of Megite, a real-time news aggregation service.

I’m not overly familiar with them – they’re a mixture of Digg, Google News and Techmeme – but it appears they’re not that familiar with us either – just 69 referrals in the past six weeks – so we’ll call it quits. ;-)

Add PollDaddy Polls to MySpace With Upgrade

I just received word from PollDaddy HQ that they’ve added a new Flash version of their sweet-looking polls, which should allow users of MySpace, Bebo and Blogger (among others) to publish their own polls. And it looks just like this…

 

Increasing Your Marketing Agency’s Revenues by Saying "No" to Clients

[The following is part of the continuing series of advice for marketing agencies. Andy Beal offers various business coaching services]

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve read the title of this article and you think Andy Beal must have lost his mind. How in the world can you increase the size of your marketing firm by actually saying “no” to a client? Isn’t that counter-productive, you’re asking? Surely you need to find ways to say “yes” to your clients, so you can get their business and grow your agency. Well, spare me ten minutes of your time, and I’ll show you why saying “no” to a client is often good for business.

Not All “Yeses” are Created Equal

In the past seven years of growing search marketing firms, I’ve said “yes” to clients more often than I can remember. When you’re growing a business — especially if cash-flow is tight — agreeing to the requests, or demands, of a client appears to be the only way you’ll ever get to the “big bucks”. While early in my career, I made the mistake of saying yes too many times, over the past couple of years, I’ve learned that saying “no” is more lucrative.

Saying “No” to Prospective Clients

How excited do you get when you’re negotiating that final contract with a prospective client and you’re accountant is willing you on to get the business in the door and on the books? Just like animals can smell fear, prospective clients can smell your desperation to get their business.

Unless you’ve done a phenomenal job of building the value of your agency’s services, its expertise, and benefits to the prospective client, the chances are high that you’ll be asked for a discount or some additional services for free before the client signs. Argh! You’re so close, you’ve made the investment in trying to win this account — your time on the phone, the pretty proposal, the face-to-face meetings — and if you’ll just reduce the price of the campaign from $5,000 a month to $3,500 a month, the client will sign today. What to do?

Well, here’s what most agencies do. They cave in. They say “yes” to the discount, or say “yes” to the extra workload, at the same fee. What they didn’t do, and what will surely come back to haunt them, is they didn’t say “no”.

Now, I’m not advocating being rude or arrogant at this stage. There’s the right way and the wrong way to say no, but you shouldn’t necessarily say yes either. You see, by simply agreeing to the clients demands, you’ve handicapped your business in two ways:

  • You’ve reduced the perceived value of your service. By dropping your fee from $5,000 to $3,500 a month, you’ve planted the seed in the client’s mind that your original price was inflated — perhaps they’ll think you were trying to gouge them.
  • You’ve established to the client that everything else is negotiable. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve reduced the price of a campaign and then found that client to be the most demanding and the most difficult to work with. Everything becomes negotiable from that point on — deliverable schedules, reports, results — the client now knows you’re likely inflating everything from pricing to timelines and will be on the lookout for opportunities to get more from you.

Hopefully, the above is resonating with you thus far. But, you’re probably asking, “How do I say no without losing the deal?” Let’s take a look.

SponsoredReviews Launching Paid Blogger Review Service

360 Enterprises, Inc. – the parent of our sponsor Text Link Brokers – is getting ready to launch SponsoredReviews, a marketplace where bloggers can charge a fee for a review and advertisers can search a database of publishers.

It appears they’ve sat back and watched the reaction to both PayPerPost.com and ReviewMe.com and taken the best parts of each service. I’m particularly glad to see they’ll be selective in which bloggers can join the service and will require full disclosure.

What might help set them apart is a lower transaction fee than others and allowing bloggers to negotiate pricing with advertisers.

I’m still on the fence on whether I approve of directly buying reviews from bloggers. I’ll probably stay there for a while – after all, some could suggest that I’m covering this story because TLB is a sponsor, even though they didn’t actually pay me for this post.