Monday, 30 July 2007

Understanding Duplicate Penalties

Duplicate Penalties

Penalty in the search world means that search engines will punish a website for violations against the search engines terms of service. The punishment includes removal of the website from the search engine listings.

There is a ‘duplicate content penalty’ for content that is duplicated with little change on a single site. There is also a ‘mirror penalty’ for content that is more or less duplicating another single site.

Swings and Roundabouts

Should your content be reproduced on another site, you will not incur a penalty as Google look at a lot of other factors beyond just the content of the page, ie: links. however should that site have a higher page rank than your site, it is likely that link to the article on the other site, will be listed higher than our own website.

However by adding a link, you can increase your chances of receiving visits to your site by adding more entry points.

Targeted traffic

Allowing customers or people with a common interest to your proposition toplace blog feeds, or place your articles on their site, will increase the number of targeted visitors to your site. Also if the article is posted on a relevant to your proposition site, then the links from this will increase your search engine listing position.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Local Search coming to a neighbourhood near you

Your Local Search listing

An increased number of people now use local search engines to find businesses online.

Indicating that presence in a local search engine would be a positive move to increase your traffic and links to your site. Due to Google’s launch of Universal Search, which integrates vertical search networks into the results, there is an increasing need to build presence in local search.

Google Maps was launched in 2005 as a development off their local search service, which linked in with the Yellow pages listings.

It has recently been enhanced further as they now offer businesses with the opportunity to add more detailed information, such as: extra contact details, logos, images, business descriptions, payment mentions etc. You can also post promotions on the site which users can print out bring along to the shop (if you have one!).

The thought is that as local search marketing and the vertical networks grow in importance, and when mobile search services develop then the need to have placement in local listings will indeed increase.

Is this the end of the Yellow Pages?

Do you search locally? Hotel in Jersey, Flowers, Plants from Jersey, Cheap DVDs Jersey,
e-Marketing Agency Jersey. I am sure you do.

More and more people now turn to the internet to help with their local searches. As well as appearing in local search engines, forums, directories you should work at making your websites location friendly, so that it is responsive to search queries which have a location basis.
You can do this by letting people know where you are based within your content and title. Where possible you should also add your site to local directories, forums where people go to find your products.

Online submissions

The main local search engines with map technologies include:

Google Maps – Can add listings via local business centre

Yahoo Local! – Powered by Info Serve

MSN live search – will be made live with link from ThomsonDirectories / Thompson Local (see below)

You can also submit to:

Yellow Pages - £360 a year.

Info Serve - feeds Yahoo Local and City Visitor plus a range of local search engines

Thomson local - free, Live Search buy the data from Thompson Local and put on their site, there is no obligation on their part to add each and every listing ie: they are allowed to be selective. From submitting to Thompson Directories it takes 4 to 6 weeks for it then to be on Thompson Local, then around 2 months to appear on Live Search (who buy the data).

192 - costs start at £192 - this also provides free entry onto - however currently only UK focus (Not the Channel Islands)

UK Top local listings - Local directory - costs min £8.99

The most local one for Jersey I can find is a Directory site with a Jersey section here:

NB: At this present date Google Maps service currently cover United States, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, the UK, China, and Japan. Jersey is indeed a part of the UK, however not all of our 12 parishes yet are listed, however I have a nudger at Google, and have you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your letters to get Jersey firmly on the map. My quest here continues.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Word of Web Marketing – is the new Word of Mouth Marketing

The Word on the Web

Building networks, contacting people in a similar mind/social set is what social networks are all about. There are trends indicating that people are moving away from distracting media sources and embracing those which embrace user generated content.

The challenge for companies is to know how to strategically place your company in the social network arena for commercial gain.

As User Generated Content grows, we can predict that more people will aim to find out about the product creator before purchase. Q: How many people have you Googled? Before a meeting?

Upon finding you in a social network, the consumer feels that they have more direct contact, and if you set the tone right, builds familiarity and trust with your brand/s.

Along with the offer of customised features & page design, MySpace offers a multitude of ways to contact/attract your potential consumers via: groups, forums, messages, events, blogs, videos, and classified advertising

Your profile should focus on the most remarkable aspect of your brand/proposition. Make sure your story is a persuasive one, which will not only appeal to your target market but that will compel them to find out more and support you by buying your products.

Focus should be given to tone of page, images, message, and your profile header. You can send your viewers/friends Bulletins on your new offers, invite/encourage them to tell others about you by including something for your readers to pass on, funny videos, unique pictures etc. (Remember word of web)

Recent statistics from analysts at comScore Media Metrix found that the most dramatic growth in the use of social networking sites was occurring among 25- to 34-year-olds, and the number of users aged 35 and older had grown by 98 per cent between May 2006 and May 2007.

Due to the above we are in direct contact with the social media giants as we continue our personal quest to discover their full potential.

For more statisitcs on social networks see the links from this story at the Independent:

"The Big Question: What is the point of sites such as Facebook, and should you join up?"

Plus below articles:

AdAge: Would You Let These People Friend You?

Adweek: Facebook Spawns Ad Networks

Newsweek: Facebook Grows Up

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Search Timeline

History of search

1995 - AOL got people on the Internet

1999 - Yahoo Organised it

2003 - Google made it searchable

2007 - Facebook made it socialable

e-Scape Interactive envisage that the future of search will be focused around the power of the new social networks, with consumer decisions based on other peoples opinions/recommendations. We envisage that search engines of the future will display information based on: Personalisation (Vertical search & social book-marking) and intent (to buy/order/rent etc). It’s just a thought, and builds of the martini effect, anytime, anyplace, anywhere – by adding what do you want it for, what do you want to do with it. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on where you believe the future of search will be and what your ideal search engine would look like, so if you are passing by, feel free to comment:

Google / Facebook / MySpace / Someplace else ?

Writing articles is a great way to drive traffic to a website

Why article submission

As well as being a good source of PR, I heard on the grape/webvine that article submission is a quicker way to build links, in comparison to contacting directory editors submission times.

Article sites generally make the article live with the company link straight away, as they are keen to get fresh new content on their pages.

It makes sense.

Another advantage of article submission is having them republished in some other persons blog (in theory this should related to your proposition). This will help increase visitors to your site, create new links, which in turn will assist your placement in the natural search engine results pages.

You can stumble across a few issues with article submission as several of the article publishers don’t follow the same rules:
  • Some won’t add links (wasted effort for SEO, good for PR)
  • Some sites need HTML coding – although don’t state that (unfortunately sometimes find out after submission, when link is shown as not a live one)
  • Some offer article templates which are great for bulk submissions as you can copy and paste some sections ie: Category & Author.

Tips: Place article in Dream weaver the view source and copy and paste the code. or add the code yourself and place in own tags

ie:Bold anything you want in bold should go between 'b' tags
italic anything you want in italic should go between 'i' tags
and you can create a Href link to your site with name of choice. YourWebSite

More tags can be found here:

A lot of the article sites, state that you are free to republish the articles as long as the links to article site and the author/site stay with the article. I am currently collating a list of Article submission sites, and struggling to find those UK focused article submission sites, should you be reading this and have any links, happy to receive.

Tip: When writing articles – provide an introduction filled with unique keywords, and finish off the article with some keyword filled comments.

Interactive Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing

I aim to keep up to speed with the Interactive Mobile Marketing medium and its capabilities. Reviewing how mobile can engage customers:

Big players in UK include the below:

Response Mobile
Sponge – UK market leader in mobile marketing applications.
Dennis publishing - Head here focused on integration of the medium (Background in Multi Channel Business, Mobile, Digital, TV, Kiosks and Messenging)

Quest to get data on

Which handsets drive consumer service adoption?
What is the demo profile of users of video services?
Music services ? News and info services ?
What market trends in mobile will open up new business opportunities ?
Mobile = Interactivity, Content, Sales Promo (Get sample, brochure), Advertising (TXT/AD -118, MTV) Direct response, Customer service & CRM (Remind me of flight – Orange Wednesdays, Gym Membership, Tickets)

Managed services would include

Some companies charge a one of platform fee, others a by application fee. Expect to pay between £2K to £10K

Expect to pay between £500 - £1500 a month
Dedicated short codes will cost additional £1K

SMS – 6p outbound message
MMS – 30p per outbound message (less than 30kb)
WAP Push – 9p each.

Bespoke costs:
Creative copy, solution design, database creation and management, WAP site design and build, Project management

Tasks in setting up a mobile campaign

Setting up a keyword and short code combination

Creating or receiving a file of unique codes that appear on the product, Creating a validation process that will check such codes when receivd.

Creating a bounce-back message of messages and associating them with known incoming words (B this includes establishing misspellings and variants)

Database creation and profiling (inc: Capturing ongoing permission when appropriate)

Capacity planning (esp where volume ‘spikes’ are expected and/or known)

Testing (all known outcomes and timescales within Service Levels)

Performance monitoring

Close down and reporting

Vertical Networks

Targeted categories: Will search engines be focused on these in the future ?

If I think of any more will add below:

· Automotive
· Business & Finance
· Computers & Internet
· Conservation
· Eco Warriors
· Education
· Family
· Fashion & Apparel
· Films
· Food & Drink
· Gadgets & Games
· Gambling
· Gay & Lesbian
· Health & Fitness
· Hobbies
· Home Improvement
· Humour
· Kids & Teems
· Legal
· Marketing
· Men
· Mobile Communications
· Music
· Parenting
· Pets & Animals
· Politics & Government
· Recreation & Sports
· Relationships
· Self Help
· Travel & Leisure
· Web Development
· Women
· Work
· Writing & Reading

Get to grips with the Gartner Hype Cycle

The Hype Cycle (Gartner's 1995 model)

Basically, the hype cycle measures the buzz as well as the adoption rate.
It doesn't necessarily relate to the long-term utility - or success - of a phenomenon.
That is something that only time will tell.

For further information see:

WikiPedia link
Introduction to the 5 phrases to 'hype cycle'

5 phrases of the Hype Cycle taken from

1. "Technology Trigger"The first phase of a Hype Cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.

2. "Peak of Inflated Expectations"In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.

3. "Trough of Disillusionment"Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.

4. "Slope of Enlightenment"Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.

5. "Plateau of Productivity"A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Reviewing Success of a Blog

Blog Analytics

In reviewing strengths & opportunities of a clients non commercial Blog (links into e-Commerce site), I identified that review should not be on traffic alone, and should be based on several other factors these are listed below:

Don’t review apples with bananas!

Links to the client’s Blog have been optimised via increased appearance in Blog directories and answer engines. The directories have been seen to have an impact on the rise in traffic. One Blog page in particular drives the most traffic to the site, and I seek to find out where this traffic comes from (organic, links, paid search, rss feeds).

The fact that one Blog post (new or old) can have a big impact on traffic to site, bothers me. In that it becomes difficult to state X happened because of Y. Possibly it could be something on the news previous evening that spurred an interest in a particular field. Due to the above influx, it is important to also identify other factors when reviewing Blog performance. Factors which I propose for Blog review outlined below:

Influential inbound links

In the Blog world quality comes from influence. A small group of the right people (Martini effect), reading and linking to your Blog can have a huge impact on your influential stakes, by web users and search engine spiders alike. The challenge will be finding a way to break into these groups and using analytics identifying who they are. Blog & site review sites will be of benefit to promote your site to the right people, publish your status, as a Blog that is here to stay.

One link on an influential Blog (with lots of links off page & in) is better than 30 odd links on random Blogs that no one links to, especially if the links on the influential Blog are centred around propositions similar to your brands. It will also be of benefit to increase the amount of links from key social networking sites including Dig it, Del.ici.ous.

At this present time I am unsure as to whether RSS feeds will be listed in analytics tracking as an RSS feed or whether we will see a website which has the RSS feed embedded as a referrer. Finding out (will report back here).

On the clients Blog, we currently have the opportunity for people to social bookmark, however is everyone aware of how to use these tools ?

Will be proposing that we provide advice area on social bookmarking to help increase these links in.

Reviewing Blog position

I have highlighted to client that for the Blog to appear on the first page of natural search results focus needs to be given to products and core proposition. At the same time it should be noted that the Blog is there to act as a companion to the e-Commerce site, so we don’t appear to have timeshare tactics and more of ‘fruit & veg first in the supermarket’ approach. Is the blog appearing for brand related terms, if not need to build further.

Appearing highly in natural listings will:

Provide the Blog with a status that your Blog is indeed influential

With influence and ranking status more people will link to you, from you.

Allow you to exploit your status by providing readers ways to advertise your site (link criteria and logos).

Reviewing Blog brand name position

As well as having a product focus it is also beneficial if your Blog ranks highly for keywords associated with you brand. Reviewing position with regards to company name, your tag line, your personal name. This will indicate how much search engines notice your Blog in general.

Tone of the Blog

Showing the readers your passion for your proposition is of great benefit. You should be speaking to your customers in a way in which they can gain respect from you and your business.
Propose that where possible build on advice aspect (place links to Blog in answer engines) and provide your readers with more timely information ie: Event dates.

Reputation Management

Consider sponsorship – publish in Blog.

Consider who else could contribute to your Blog – another influencial blogger?

Create posts on topical discussions that relate to your brand

Add links to brand related associations & express interest in these
Increase useful content: To link from Answer Engines

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Social Network Marketing Trends listed July 07

Recent 2007 trends include:

Face book overtaking MySpace in share of UK Internet searches - (reported by Hitwise)

Growth of Podcasts

Uptake of photo sharing software

Google bought You Tube & now offer web-wide video search.

Microsoft are going to launch a service similar to You Tube

Yahoo’s ‘Flickr’ added multilingual capabilities

Rumour that Yahoo are keen to buy Bebo, the UK’s leading social network site (as the mo), which would increase their presense in the UK market.

You Tube launched nine new international sites

Google now offer web-wide video search on Google video

e-Marketing on the move: MSN recently launched mobile portal, Google mobile and Yahoo! One search.

WebTV / Apple TV / surf in the living room TV.

Search Statistics July 07

Stats from: e-Consultancy
Report title: UK Search Engine Marketing Report 2007

Respondents included: Agencies and companies from Retail: Financial Services; Travel; Publishing.

Interesting that 44% of responders to this survey don’t track paid search and about 64% don’t track SEO ROI either. Companies with over 1 million turn-over likely to outsource SEM – less than 1million majority conduct SEM in house (and with agency)

Search Engine usage: 87% Google – 45% Yahoo – 33% MSN – 11% Miva – 6% Ask. Google outperforms on other factors – however Yahoo & MSN score well for quality of visitor (even though low traffic).

Google's Radical Update May 16th 2007

Did you notice?

Have you ever noticed the boxes/links which appear above the Google Search box (where you enter your keyword), do you use them ? In general many people don’t, however for your reference these additional areas are known in the Web World as ‘vertical search engines’, where you can search a specialised area ie: Images, News, Maps, Product, Groups, Scholar, More>

Google noted their lack of use and made a radical decision on May 2007 to integrate all their vertical/specialist search results into our regular search results. This update was named by Google as ‘Universal Search’.

What does this mean to you?

Well if you search Google for ‘Simpsons movie’ or ‘Hotel in Jersey’ you will get the general idea, results in the main search result pages now show links to blog articles, news stories, image, video links, and where relevant local map information and book search links. It is providing users with more information and providing you with increased opportunities to increase your exposure online. Search is getting personal.

For your interest you may like to visit this search engine, which displays results in a vertical/specialised manner and with regards to search getting personal check out which only shows sites that have been book marked or voted by people on social bookmark sites Digg, Delicious, Reddit – thus as well as being relevant to query, they also deemed important by the searchers themselves.

Exciting times are ahead in the ever evolving world of search engine marketing.