MSN BETA - What the algo looks like at the moment
Okay, so there are a ton of threads thoughout the search marketing boards that are talking about MSN Beta - I've resisted temptation to post something here for a while as i personally feel that it really doesnt matter very much right at this point. However, it's probably time that we opened it up and got some opinions from TW boys and girls..
The threadlink above is to an seo-guy post where there are a number of reasonable sounding opinions on MSN Beta and how to rank in it.
Here's two of them:
I have pages that I haven't touched since writing them ranking #1 for ULTRA competitive terms using oldschool SEO
kw in title
kw in desc
kw in meta kw
H1 with keyword
first paragraph kw bolded and sprinkled throughout as whole and pieces if long.
H2 with kw
paragraph again contains kw
throughout the rest of the page let the kw occur naturally in your writing, dont overstuff
last P make sure it is as strong as the first for the kw phrase
Links to other pages on your site with kw as part of anchor
It simply a 10 month old Google copy with no filters....
they'd better do better than that - if they wanna be taken seriously....
So, some questions for Threadwatchers:
What actually matters when optimizing for MSN Beta?
Does ranking in the beta actually matter at all?
What do you think of MSN Beta so far....?
'Podcast' your world
If you browse the serious tech blogs at all, you'll have noticed the word podcasting coming up time and time again. We're ever so slightly behind the curve here at Threadwatch but are catching up rapidy, and with this in mind, i thought it might be time for a little primer.
The article threadlinked above is a great introduction to the tech and technique. You will have to put your marketers hat on to understand why it's important to Threadwatch but im confident you'll see the point :)
We have talked about it a little here in: podvertisng makes it's debut and Heineken are podcasting so do check them out to. In the first, we've got some great basic info from Threadwatchers. Of particular help are the links supplied by Brad, thanks mate!
So, before you go and read, let me give you my brief take on it to hopefully get you on at least passing terms with the notion:
Podcasting is pre-recording media (audio and soon video) and distributing it via RSS or other syndication.
It's mostly the domain of amateur radio at present though big corps and media outlets have been dipping their toes, the BBC included.
It could very well do for radio and video what blogs are doing for print journalism now.
Advertising is already happening, and will almost certainly grow to be big business
Just like blogs, any muppet can do it.
Which i why im reading up on it and thinking of doing a dailey podcast for TW :)
This snippet from the article:
It's a boon for audiences, too, because podcasting is the audio equivalent of TiVo. Once a listener logs onto an individual podcaster's website and signs up as a subscriber, each new program will automatically download to his digital player. That frees people to listen to shows on their schedule rather than the broadcaster's.
First (as far as i know) to jump onto the podvertising podium is Heineken Music with an interview with Thirst Resident DJ Daniele Davoli. (whatever that is..)
From this post at ad rants:
A podcast is a lo-fi MP3 file created on a computer (or with any audio - video will soon follow - recording device for that matter) that can be subscribed to using RSS and easily and automatically transferred to your iPod or any other MP3 device.
If you sell anything aimed at the young, hi-tech concious consumer you should be checking out the podcast: It will be a biggie..
An OldTimer's Perspective
This thread is shaping up to be a nice thread with the Wise Old Timers of SEO giving advice to the 'newbies' of SEO. I think, however, you don't need to be a newbie to get some great advice from this thread.
Search has been something that I immersed myself into and it affected me on so many levels it would be hard to touch on (as this has been the longest post I've written in a year or so). To say that how I work in this space is a bit different than it was in '96, is true indeed yet my passion for it remains the same.
Women Online Have New Tech Attitude, According to Survey
Intel have just released findings from a study commisioned from Harris Interactive on american adult womens attitudes to technology.
From the above threadlinked press release:
A new, tech-savvy woman has emerged and Intel calls her "Tif," short for Technology Involved Female. She spans generations and backgrounds, from the young women who have grown up with technology, to women who have been exposed to technology at work, to motivated self-learners. Tif is closing the technology gender gap, with women at the youngest end of the spectrum actually surpassing men in their intent to purchase a laptop. Half of young women say their next computer will be a laptop as compared to 43 percent of men their same age
and some quick figures for you:
58% of women feel as lost as men do (56%) if they dont check email once a day
62% are enthusiastic about learning new features on their PC's (men 66%)
Women lead the way with wireless adoption - 39% vs 29% feel it's important
Women are less tolerant of poor experiences - they want it to work, and work now.
The survey concludes that women still lag behind men in some areas including confidence in their decision to purchase computers. "According to the survey, men are more likely than women to be confident in their technology purchases," said David Krane, senior vice president of Public Policy and Public Relations Research at Harris Interactive. "It makes sense for companies, such as Intel, to focus on women as a key audience and to create programs that educate them about technology."
Im certain there will be some opinions on this one, Elizabeth Albrycht was less than impressed.
Welcome Messages Get Highest Open Rates of All Email Campaigns: How to Improve Yours
Unsurprisingly, research shows that the most read email of any new newsletter sign up is the welcome mail. Mktg Sherpa have some pretty nice tips on improving yours. Here's the short version, check out the threadlink above for the full shebang...
For corporates - 20 words of personalized welcome & copy of last letter
For long sales cycles - break the welcome up over several emails - keep it personal and include one educational facet of the overal picture in each
For repeat biz, like hotel bookings - Pre & Post sale warm fuzzy emails
There's a ton more detail at the article itself so if you run email news letters or anything similar check it out, it's pretty good.
A great tool by google :)
Suggests searches as you type!
Great find! From the FAQ
As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.
and TW member Wit posted this just about the same time (a fraction earlier i think..)
The Google boys and girls seem to have come up with a search enhancement - again (?). As soon as you start typing search terms, a list of options - together with their "total number of hits" - appears.
This is of course a useful tool for internet searchers AND a quick one for people looking for popular (??) keywords to optimise for.
Fascinating without a doubt, here it is directly: Google Suggest Option
Thanks to Seochat's new sunnymonkey for spotting that.
New entrant Syndicate IQ heightens the need for RSS measurement
A new site launched this week with the goal of managing, measuring and monetizing your syndicated feeds.
Forresters Charlene Li takes a look at Syndicate IQ in the threadlink above as does John Battelle in this post
The system is able to accurately track the dailey circulation of an article by inserting a unique identifier in the feed url and tracking IP and browser type. Like Pheedo and RSSAds SyndicateIQ will be launching an ad network shortly.
From their monetization page:
Syndicate IQ leverages the unique characteristics of syndication while enabling the sophisticated targeting, customization, and optimization found in other marketing solutions such as ad serving and email delivery services. Our Trigon Engine allows content publishers to monetize syndicated content intelligently while deepening their relationships with their subscribers and growing their subscriber base.
That would seem to me to be a great next step for the monetization of feeds and the standardization of useful metrics for publishers - will be watching with interest for more from them...
Coming Soon: Desktop In Your Pocket
VC Kevin Laws is speculating on the next step for desktop search in the threadlink above. His point is this: Wouldn't it be cool, not to mention logical if you were able to use your mobile device to search your home PC?
Imagine: You could search for a file from wherever you are, download it, work with it and return it. When you think about it in terms of business use it has ample room to become the next killer app in Search and mobile...
What do you think? I reckon that would be a killer move for whoever gets there first...
Long Live the Mobile
Caught this a moment ago, makes for interesting thought regarding mobile marketing in the future:
There are 1.5Bn mobile subscribers worldwide
That's 25% of the world with a mobile
Developing countries account for 56% of that.
There are 1.18Bn landline subscribers - notice mobile has overtaken that.
There are Only 700M net connections
Nick is keen on mobile, despite not having one :)
Yahoo set to launch desktop search tool
The FT are reporting the imminent launch of Yahoo's Desktop Search based on the X1 desktop software. No firm date has been announced, "early next year" is the best you'll get for the moment.
From the FT story:
Jeff Weiner, head of search at Yahoo, described the desktop software as "the next natural evolution of search".
But he also cast the software as part of a broader strategy that would let users tap into Yahoo's wider array of internet services. The first test version of the software would be available over the web early in the new year, he added.
Searching for Google -- Shhhhh, it's a secret
Google have apparently shelled out $300M on a new datacenter in a Georgia industrial park. About 100 employees in a non descript unmarked building with no windows - pffft! 007 eat your heart out hah!
This from the CRM Knowledgebase threadlink above:
Almost without notice, the Internet search company has tiptoed about 100 employees and a significant investment into a windowless building in a Douglas County industrial park near Six Flags Over Georgia.
There's no sign on the building, no logo on the locked glass door, nothing to indicate that an Internet icon has come to town.
A note taped to the door points visitors to a buzzer, which prompts a polite, but firm, female voice to shoo you away. The voice can't --- or won't --- confirm you've found Google, or even if you're in the right place.
It's all very mysterious.
So why the big hush hush? Sheesh, google are news, if sergey farts it hits the homepage of every major industry site on the net - did they think they'd be able to keep 100 people and all the people they know quiet for long?
Online Ad Networks Back in Vogue
DMNews has a piece related to the launch of AdMarketplace yesterday in the threadlink above.
The question now, with this new player in town and the many other networks out there, is: Is the contectual ad space crowded enough for us to start seeing casualties?
Forbes ditched intelliTXT recently and i cant say i hear much about smaller networks like Quigo or ContextWeb. Tacoda's behavioral network seems interesting though and you cant go a week without hearing something from Kanoodle, which at this point just leaves Chitika. And we've not heard a peep from the "network of networks" since it's launch
The titans of context: Overture and Adsense may well fight their own battles but it seems likely there is room for both, possibly even Kanoodle, but what of the smaller networks mentioned above? Some questions on contextual search for Threadwatchers:
Will the smaller networks find a place alongside the big boys?
Are we likely to see more enter the context arena in 2005?
Do any of you give a f*** as long as adsense still pays?
Meta Tag Lawsuit Filed In Florida
Trademark Infringement Claims Now Extend to Meta Tags
According to Out-Law, using trademarked terms in your meta tags, could get you in trouble.
A biopharmaceutical firm that distributes plasma derivatives has sued a rival, alleging that Health Coalition Inc. used the trade marked name “BDI Blood Diagnostics” as a meta tag in its web site source code, according to a report by Law.com.
This, alleges Blood Diagnostics Inc., is a breach of its trade mark rights.
SELowdown point out this post threadlinked above at motley fool.
They're talking about Accoona specifically:
Even if you offered me $70 billion, I am not sure I could effectively break into the search engine business. To me, Accoona's late entry is a sign that the teams headed for the playoffs have been named and the competition will now begin in earnest. But maybe I'm wrong. As Rick Aristotle Munarriz pointed out, maybe it's just starting to boom. Either way, there's some tough competition down the road from the big guys in the search engine business.
So we have MSN, Google and Yahoo! making up the big 3 players with Jeeves coming up from the rear (i cant help it, im english) and a whole gaggle of specialist SE's that seem to only make a hit with Search folks.
Could the game sustain another player of is that it?