$5,000 Search Marketing Scholarship Contest

I’m delighted to announce the Marketing Pilgrim Search Engine Marketing Scholarship contest.

We’re asking you to submit an article on search engine optimization, PPC advertising or social media for a chance to win a grand prize package that includes a four-day pass to Search Engine Strategies in December.

You can view the press release here and read full details of the scholarship and contest rules here.

SEO Community Announcements

Two announcements that you should consider…

1. Eric Ward has just launched a new newsletter. THE WARD REPORT will be published monthly and include a “Trend Watch” and “What Works” columns, along with other articles and how-to content.

2. Jill Whalen has a two-day seminar and workshop coming-up on October 19th in Dallas. MarketingPilgrim readers can enter “PILGRIM” for a 25% discount!

Channel Sponsors

Fresher Query Stats at Google Webmaster Central

I’m pretty sure the “query stats” shown at Google Webmaster Central for MarketingPilgrim.com, haven’t changed in months, but that’s all about to change.

According to Google’s Vanessa Fox, they’re working on updating the stats more frequently.

If you’ve checked your site’s query stats lately, you may have noticed that they’re changing more often than they used to. This is because we recently changed how frequently we calculate them. Previously, we showed data that was averaged over a period of three weeks. Now, we show data that is averaged over a period of one week.

Top 5 Search Queries for Marketing Pilgrim?

1. imlive
2. pilgrim
3. energizer bunny
4. soft porn
5. andy beal

You sick, sick people! ;-)

Microsoft AdCenter Advertisers Want More

ClickZ looks at the favorable response to Microsoft’s AdCenter platform. They love the traffic, they just need more of it!

“We’re finding the traffic is very good traffic. It’s consistently performing in a way that allows us to increase our spend in search,” said David Hughes, CEO of The Search Agency. Hughes said that traffic is still not at the level of other search engines, but that his clients have seen as much as 400 percent growth in traffic on their campaigns since adCenter launched fully in May.

HP Makes Yahoo Default Search Engine in New Deal

Yahoo and HP just announced a new partnership that will see Yahoo Search as the default search engine on new HP computers.

The agreement requires HP to set up its desktop and notebook PCs in North America so Yahoo’s search engine appears in the toolbar of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7, the next version of the Web’s most widely used browser. Yahoo is hoping that the tool bar will generate more search requests, providing a springboard for more ad revenue.

Google Reader Updated

Google has made some significant upgrades to its Google Reader RSS aggregator platform. As TechCrunch explains

Changes include a whole new look and feel, folder navigation, unread item counts and the ability to mark items as read or unread. There’s a “river of news� view (click all feeds, view settings, sort by auto) and one click item sharing with friends. The new expanded view lets you scan down lots of items all at once.

Google Reader definitely has more of a Bloglines feel now and the interface is definetly a huge improvement. I may even be tempted to switch from Newsgator. ;-)

More from the Google Reader blog.

Overwhelmed by Search? Ask a Librarian

CNET explains why search engines will never likely replace the expertise and personal touch you get from consulting a librarian.

While the Web is good for offering quick results from a broad range of sources, which may or may not be trustworthy, librarians can help people get access to more authoritative information and go deeper with their research.

And no article on search and librarians would be complete, without a quote from my pal Gary Price…

“For some people, if the answer isn’t in the first few results it might as well not be there,” said Gary Price, founder and editor of the ResourceShelf blog and director of online resources at Ask.com. “No matter how smart and helpful search engines get, they’re never going to replace librarians.”