Throw Your External Metrics Data Out the Window

Rand Fishkin has put together a whole bunch of analytical data from some of the top search bloggers. He asked a couple dozen SEM bloggers to share their visitor data and then compared it with external services such as Alexa and Hitwise.

The conclusion?

Based on the evidence we’ve gathered here, it’s safe to say that no external metric, traffic prediction service or ranking system available on the web today provides any accuracy when compared with real numbers.

If you want to learn more about where the top search bloggers get their traffic, check out the study.

PS. I had to turn down the offer to participate as when I left FI, I had to start a new Google Analytics account and didn’t have enough data. :-(

Google Announces Website Optimizer for Landing-Page Testing

Right about now, Google’s Brett Crosby is revealing a new tool at the Emetrics Summit in Washington, D.C. Called Website Optimizer, it is designed to help AdWords advertisers test different landing pages in order to determine which one drives the highest number of conversions.

Multi-variable testing for landing pages is something that has become more popular over the last couple of years, as advertisers look to tweak different aspects of their campaigns – looking for that edge.

According to Google…

The beta launch of Website Optimizer is a limited release that is offered to AdWords advertisers on a sign-up and acceptance basis. Website Optimizer is fully integrated with Google AdWords and is free to AdWords advertisers…It is a self-service tool that enables non-technical users to set-up and run multivariate landing page experiments. Website Optimizer uses Google Analytics technology for tracking and reporting which landing page variation had the highest conversions.

Channel Sponsors

Yahoo Launches Panama Interface

As you read this, Yahoo is announcing the launch of their long-awaited Panama interface for search marketing, replacing the system that has been in place since the acquisition of Overture.

The full roll-out of the Panama’s ranking algorithm will not launch until the first quarter of 2007, but Yahoo Search Marketing advertisers can choose to migrate to the new interface over the coming months, in anticipation of the full launch. Migration will be via invite, but advertisers can also request a faster switch. They’ll get a chance to preview the new interface before switching, but those deciding to switch will find the migration in not reversible.


New YSM Interface – click to enlarge

Need Help with Blogger to WordPress Import

I don’t normally ask you for help, but I figured you may be able to assist me with problem.

I’m trying to transfer a blog from Blogger to WordPress but I’m having problems with matching the truncation Blogger uses for the post page names. Blogger removes stop-words and also has a different character length to WordPress.

If anyone knows of a plugin or has written a script that can handle this, please contact me – consulting AT marketingpilgrim.

Thanks!

Instant PPC Success for the Hometown Hero

By Ryan Bell

Google AdWords is the heart of many marketing campaigns. Ebooks, legal advice, Amazon products, electronics and ringtones have all been tremendously influenced by AdWords advertising.

But what about Ma & Pa’s Oak Furniture from Montreal? Or Joe investor’s real estate company from Phoenix? Sure, they could benefit from national exposure, but homegrown clients are their bread and butter. Can they benefit from PPC exposure?

At a recent PPC conference in Chicago, I was shocked to discover that many folks would answer ‘No’ to this question. I was especially surprised when these answers came from the marketing directors of firms like Ma & Pa’s, and Joe Investor’s.

SEM Scholarship Week 1 Winner Announced

Week 1 of our SEM Scholarship contest has concluded and we have our first finalist.

Congratulations to Nick Urbani who wins the first round with his entry – “The SEO Article You Shouldn’t Read“. Nick’s entry carried the most unique views of all our entries in week 1, with a total of 385 unique views to his page (note: only unique views of the actual entry page counted towards this number).

Nick wins a copy of “Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day” and “Please Ring Bell for Service” and qualifies as one of four finalists, who will face our expert panel of judges, to determine who will win the $5,000 grand prize package.

Week 2 entries are now published
and we’re accepting entries for Week 3, so get your creative hats on and submit your article!

Submit Your Entry for Week 3 of the SEM Scholarship Contest

While you may have missed out on your chance to enter week 2 of our Search Engine Marketing Scholarship contest, today marks the start of week 3.

We expect week 3 to be a quiet week – with many procrastinators waiting until the final week (week 4) to submit their entry – so this could be a great opportunity for anyone looking to enter the $5,000 prize contest.

Please be sure to read all the rules and you have until 6pm Saturday October 21st to get your entry in.

Good luck!