Does Google Use Whois for Sandbox?

SEW looks at whether Google might be using Whois information when determining the legitimacy of a particular web site. This would certainly give fuel to those who believe Google “sandboxes” newer domain names.

Strategic Commenting Can Build Blog Traffic

Amy Gahran offers an interesting guide to building blog traffic by implementing a strategic commenting campaign.

If your weblog currently doesn’t have much of an audience, then an easy way to build an audience is to constructively leverage audiences already fostered by more established bloggers in your field. This means being proactive about building new connections.

I’ve used this myself and know many others that have come to MP and been very vocal in my comments section – coincidently they usually have a new blog themselves. :-)

Not surprisingly, Amy’s post has attracted a lot of comments. ;-)

Channel Sponsors

Interested in a Search Marketing Career?

Mike Taylor, of Jobs In Search, has just uploaded audio of his interview with your’s truly. In the interview, I talk about the growth of Fortune Interactive, what we look for in a candidate and some advice for getting your resume noticed.

In-House Search Marketers Not Focused

DM News takes a look at a new study by JupiterResearch, that finds most in-house search marketers are distracted by other duties and likely not getting the best return.

…58 percent of search marketers also handle Web site design, 57 percent handle e-mail advertising, 49 percent are responsible for marketing communications and 44 percent are involved in market research…in addition, 26 percent of search professionals also handle IT functions.

Compare that to a search marketing agency such as Fortune Interactive, where we not only have dedicated search specialists, but also have people that focus on particular aspects of search marketing (such as copywriting or competitive analysis). With many companies’ in-house search marketers focusing on other things, it’s no wonder most still outsource the bulk of their SEM campaigns.

Yahoo Upgrades Search Marketing Product

ClickZ reports Yahoo will today announce a series of upgrades to its Yahoo Search Marketing platform.

Upgrades being rolled-out include:

…keyword grouping enhancements, IP-based mapping features to support geo-targeting, better scheduling capabilities, the expression of business goals such as cost-per-acquisition, and indirect conversion tracking.

Yahoo also plans to move to a quality-based ranking model, which we reported they were testing, and which they denied existed.

60 Million Blogging in China by Years End

Reuters is reporting a new study by Baidu.com which estimates a huge increase in the number of Chinese bloggers by the end of the year.

There are currently 16 million bloggers in China, with that number expected to reach 60 million (of the 110m internet users) by the end of this year.

They’re not just creating them, they’re actually keeping them updated too!

A recent report by the Internet Society of China showed nine percent of bloggers write every day, 29 percent write once to three times a week, while 35 percent write four to six times a week.

While China’s Communist Party has very strict laws on free speach, it will be interesting to see if they can keep up with this growth.

There’s Only One Way to Topple Google

Microsot CEO Steve Ballmer told Allison Linn, of The Associated Press, Microsoft can challenge Google.

“We are hardcore about having the best search offering ourselves, with our partners,” Ballmer said. “We’ll just keep at it and at it and at it, and I have confidence in our ability to build a loyal user base.”

Here’s the thing. Take a look at Yahoo, MSN and Ask – heck even AOL – and you’ll see they all have really cool tools, great networks and relevant search results. The problem? They don’t have the “Google” name.

I’ve said for months that Google has such a strong brand that people simply associate a great search experience with Google.com. It’s not the technology that will win the battle, it’s figuring out how to take the shine of Google’s brand.