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This shirt has a bit of mystery to it. It’s today’s Free Shirt Friday. The Page of Fame gives the 15 minutes of fame to the stars of the internet. If you would like to see your company on free shirt Friday, please click here for details!
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On Monday 24th November, White welcomed over 100 delegates with exclusive access to the prestigious Ashmolean Museum for its annual White Exchange conference. ‘Turning Data into Strategy’ was the focus of the day and attracted representatives from both client and agency side from a wealth of London and Oxfordshire-based businesses. The day kicked off with […]


The post WHITE EXCHANGE 2014 WELCOMES DELEGATES TO THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM OXFORD appeared first on

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l="nofollow" href="http://white.net">White.net.

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One wonders how Yahoo Search revenues keep growing even as Yahoo's search marketshare is in perpetual decline.


Then one looks at a Yahoo SERP and quickly understands what is going on.


Here's a Yahoo SERP test I saw this morning



I sometimes play a "spot the difference" game with my wife. She's far better at it than I am, but even to a blind man like me there are about a half-dozen enhancements to the above search results to juice ad clicks. Some of them are hard t

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o notice unless you interact with the page, but here's a few of them I noticed...



 
Yahoo Ads
Yahoo Organic Results
Placement
top of the page
below the ads
Background color
none / totally blended
none
Ad label
small gray text to right of advertiser URL
n/a
Sitelinks
often 5 or 6
usually none, unless branded query
Extensions
star ratings, etc.
typically none
Keyword bolding
on for title, description, URL & sitelinks
off
Underlines
ad title & sitelinks, URL on scroll over
off
Click target
entire background of ad area is clickable
only the listing title is clickable

 


What is even more telling about how Yahoo disadvantages the organic result set is when one of their verticals is included in the result set they include the bolding which is missing from other listings. Some of their organic result sets are crazy with the amount of vertical inclusions. On a single result set I've seen separate "organic" inclusions for


  • Yahoo News
  • stories on Yahoo
  • Yahoo Answers

They also have other inclusions like shopping search, local search, image search, Yahoo screen, video search, Tumblr and more.


Here are a couple examples.


This one includes an extended paid affiliate listing with SeatGeek & Tumblr.



This one includes rich formatting on Instructibles and Yahoo Answers.



This one includes product search blended into the middle of the organic result set.



Categories: yahoo
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The social media platform has made its Places Discovery more useful as a local search and discovery tool.
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If you haven’t yet put together your holiday ad copy for paid search, or are still working on those final touches, here are seven strategies to keep in mind.
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World Travel Market (WTM) is one of the leading international events for the travel industry, which this year saw more than 50,000 professionals walk through the doors of ExCel London. As an agency that hosts a wealth of travel companies in its client portfolio, it goes without saying that we were amongst those that descended […]


The post White.net attends World Travel Market 2014 appeared first on White.net.

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In the last post, we looked at how SEO has always been changing, but one thing remains constant - the quest for information.


Given people will always be on a quest for information, and given there is no shortage of information, but there is limited time, then there will always be a marketing imperative to get your information seen either ahead of the competition, or in places where the competition haven’t yet targeted.

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Channels


My take on SEO is broad because I’m concerned with the marketing potential of the search process, rather than just the behaviour of the Google search engine. We know the term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s never been particularly accurate, and less so now, because what most people are really talking about is not SEO, but GO.


Google Optimization.


Still, the term SEO has stuck. The search channel used to have many faces, including Alta Vista, Inktomi, Ask, Looksmart, MSN, Yahoo, Google and the rest, hence the label SEO. Now, it’s pretty much reduced down to one. Google. Okay, there’s BingHoo, but really, it’s Google, 24/7.


We used to optimize for multiple search engines because we had to be everywhere the visitor was, and the search engines had different demographics. There was a time when Google was the choice of the tech savvy web user. These days, “search” means “Google”. You and your grandmother use it.


But people don’t spend most of their time on Google.


Search Beyond Google


The techniques for SEO are widely discussed, dissected, debated, ridiculed, encouraged and we’ve heard all of them, many times over. And that’s just GO.


The audience we are trying to connect with, meanwhile, is on a quest for information. On their quest for information, they will use many channels.


So, who is Google’s biggest search competitor? Bing? Yahoo?


Eric Schmidt thinks it’s Amazon:


Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo," he said during a visit to a Native Instruments, software and hardware company in Berlin. "But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon. People don't think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon….Schmidt noted that people are looking for a different kind of answers on Amazon's site through the slew of reviews and product pages, but it's still about getting information


An important point. For the user, it’s all about “getting information”. In SEO, verticals are often overlooked.


Client Selection & Getting Seen In The Right Places


I'm going to digress a little....how do you select clients, or areas to target?


I like to start from the audience side of the equation. Who are the intended audience, what does that audience really need, and where, on the web, are they? I then determine if it’s possible/plausible to position well for this intended audience within a given budget.


There is much debate amongst SEOs about what happens inside the Google black box, but we all have access to Google’s actual output in the form of search results. To determine the level of competition, examine the search results. Go through the top ten or twenty results for a few relevant keywords and see which sites Google favors, and try to work out why.


Once you look through the results and analyze the competition, you’ll get a good feel for what Google likes to see in that specific sector. Are the search results heavy on long-form information? Mostly commercial entities? Are sites large and established? New and up and coming? Do the top sites promote visitor engagement? Who links to them and why? Is there a lot news mixed in? Does it favor recency? Are Google pulling results from industry verticals?


It’s important to do this analysis for each project, rather than rely on prescriptive methods. Why? Because Google treats sectors differently. What works for “travel” SEO may not work for “casino” SEO because Google may be running different algorithms.


Once you weed out the wild speculation about algorithms, SEO discussion can contain much truth. People convey their direct experience and will sometimes outline the steps they took to achieve a result. However, often specific techniques aren't universally applicable due to Google treating topic areas differently. So spend a fair bit of time on competitive analysis. Look closely at the specific results set you’re targeting to discover what is really working for that sector, out in the wild.


It’s at this point where you’ll start to see cross-overs between search and content placement.


The Role Of Verticals


You could try and rank for term X, and you could feature on a site that is already ranked for X. Perhaps Google is showing a directory page or some industry publication. Can you appear on that directory page or write an article for this industry publication? What does it take to get linked to by any of these top ten or twenty sites?


Once search visitors find that industry vertical, what is their likely next step? Do they sign up for a regular email? Can you get placement on those emails? Can you get an article well placed in some evergreen section on their site? Can you advertise on their site? Figure out how visitors would engage with that site and try to insert yourself, with grace and dignity, into that conversation.


Users may by-pass Google altogether and go straight to verticals. If they like video then YouTube is the obvious answer. A few years ago when Google was pushing advertisers to run video ads they pitched YouTube as the #2 global search engine. What does it take to rank in YouTube in your chosen vertical? Create videos that will be found in YouTube search results, which may also appear on Google’s main search results.


With 200,000 videos uploaded per day, more than 600 years required to view all those videos, more than 100 million videos watched daily, and more than 300 million existing accounts, if you think YouTube might not be an effective distribution channel to reach prospective customers, think again.


There's a branding parallel here too. If the field of SEO is too crowded, you can brand yourself as the expert in video SEO.


There’s also the ubiquitous Facebook.


Facebook, unlike the super-secret Google, has shared their algorithm for ranking content on Facebook and filtering what appears in the news feed. The algorithm consists of three components…..


If you’re selling stuff, then are you on Amazon? Many people go directly to Amazon to begin product searches, information gathering and comparisons. Are you well placed on Amazon? What does it take to be placed well on Amazon? What are people saying? What are their complaints? What do they like? What language do they use?


In 2009, nearly a quarter of shoppers started research for an online purchase on a search engine like Google and 18 percent started on Amazon, according to a Forrester Research study. By last year, almost a third started on Amazon and just 13 percent on a search engine. Product searches on Amazon have grown 73 percent over the last year while searches on Google Shopping have been flat, according to comScore


All fairly obvious, but may help you think about channels and verticals more, rather than just Google. The appropriate verticals and channels will be different for each market sector, of course. And they change over time as consumer tastes & behaviors change. At some point each of these were new: blogging, Friendster, MySpace, Digg, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.


This approach will also help us gain a deeper understanding of the audience and their needs - particularly the language people use, the questions they ask, and the types of things that interest them most - which can then be fed back into your search strategy. Emulate whatever works in these verticals. Look to create a unique, deep collection of insights about your chosen keyword area. This will in turn lead to strategic advantage, as your competition is unlikely to find such specific information pre-packaged.


This could also be characterised as “content marketing”, which it is, although I like to think of it all as “getting in front of the visitors quest for information”. Wherever the visitors are, that’s where you go, and then figure out how to position well in that space.


Categories: marketing
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A lot of websites are creating scholarships so that they can ask colleges and universities to link to them. Should these links be considered unnatural?
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In one 30-day period, we had a bit of a shakeup with three pieces of news that have the potential to change our industry: SEMPO called for an SEO Code of Ethics, Microsoft laid off Duane Forrester, and Matt Cutts extended his leave from Google.
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This is the October ShoeMoney Recap.  As always if you want to skip my normal F.R.A.T (f#ck reading all that) then just scroll to the bottom to see the posts from October. If you have been following along you know that I have had a lot of changes since July.  I Moved out of my...     Read More ->
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