Jennifer Slegg – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Mon, 16 Jan 2012 08:48:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 When Should You Outsource Your Pay-Per-Click Campaigns? /when-should-you-outsource-your-pay-per-click-campaigns-13148 Wed, 16 Jan 2008 19:02:11 +0000 http:/beta/when-should-you-outsource-your-pay-per-click-campaigns-13148.php If you are a one-person show, you have to balance everything for your site — from writing content, doing backend and technical work, research, promotions, advertising, and just about everything else that goes along with being a self-employed webmaster. Managing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns is just one of the many things that falls under the […]

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If you are a one-person show, you have to balance everything for your site — from writing content, doing backend and technical work, research, promotions, advertising, and just about everything else that goes along with being a self-employed webmaster. Managing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns is just one of the many things that falls under the webmaster umbrella. Even small companies doing everything themselves often do not have anyone devoted solely to handling the company’s pay-per-click account.

Unfortunately, when webmasters are not able to devote the amount of time to their PPC campaigns as is really needed, overspending or loss of conversions will occur.


If you are a webmaster, consider the following things and decide whether it might be time to outsource your pay-per-click campaigns or reassure yourself that you are handling them just fine yourself.

When was the last time you checked your campaigns?
If you are running campaigns with small budgets, this isn’t a huge issue. But ideally you should be checking in on your main campaigns at least once a week, so you can adjust bids if any new advertisers are bidding on the keywords or if others have dropped out. Gone are the days when you could set your campaigns then let them run for a year with no adjustments.

How competitive are your keywords?
Are you the only bidder on your most important keywords? Or are there dozens of other advertisers all vying for the top positions? If you are the only bidder, you usually don’t need to actively manage those campaigns, but you do need to notice fairly quickly when new advertisers come on the scene and react to their bids and positioning. And if you need to keep a competitive spot in paid search for your best keywords, you will need to do a lot more daily hand holding in your PPC accounts in order to ensure that your positioning is maintained.

Are you being impacted by quality scores?
Have you been hit with an infamous $5 or $10 per click minimum? Are you are being impacted by quality scores and/or have poor landing page quality and haven’t been able to overcome the situation? Or are your quality scores high and impact has been minimal to your bottom line?

Are you tracking incoming clicks?
If you have a visitor landing on your homepage via pay-per-click from Google AdWords, do you know exactly what keyword sent that visitor? Or do you just merely know it was Google that sent it? You should be using dynamic keyword insertion for all your campaigns so that you know what keywords sent traffic to your site, how often, and can spot trends related to keyword searches.

How are your conversions?
If you are doing PPC, you should know exactly which keywords, not just which campaigns, are converting better than others, which is why tracking those incoming keywords is so important. Without knowing the specific incoming keywords, you can’t determine conversions on a keyword by keyword basis. And yes, conversion rate, not click-through rate (CTR), is your most important PPC metric because keywords with the highest click-through rate could actually be the ones that convert the worst. Some keywords will perform wonderfully for you while seemingly similar keywords will be nothing more than a money pit for your PPC budget, and even the most seasoned PPC expert can be surprised at which keywords for individual sites convert the best and which convert the least.

Which PPC engines work for you?
Speaking of conversions, you should also know which engines convert better or worse for you amongst the big three. Is Google the highest budget spend and the best converting? Or is Microsoft the best converting even though it has the lowest ad spend? Knowing which PPC source has the best converting traffic for your particular site can help you adjust where your ad spend is going to ensure the best conversions and highest profit margin.

Keeping up with the new features
Did you know that the AdWords Conversion Optimizer just came out of beta and they dropped the requirements for advertisers to use it? Or that Yahoo! is testing images next to sponsored listings, apparently without those advertisers being in the know? Or that Microsoft adCenter just released a keyword tool? If you are active in the online community and have a lot of sites in your RSS reader, you can keep relatively up to date on what is new and what issues are of concern for advertisers. But these kinds of things can impact some campaigns, especially ones regarding quality scores, outages, and other problems.

Houston, we have a problem
If your pay-per-click account ran into problems, do you have someone you can contact personally at each of the major pay-per-click companies you are using? When you have an account rep, you can get answers to questions quickly and get problems resolved much faster than going the “contact us” route. However, unless you have a large ad spend, these contacts can be hard to come by.

New advertising formats
Yahoo! and Google often test new styles of advertising or ad units for advertisers. Unfortunately, they often test them out with a select group of advertisers or have some sort of learning curve in order to provide the ad formats required. Do you want to experiment with video ads? Or get into a beta that is only open to a select group of advertisers? If this is something you want, you will need to know how to create new ad formats or have someone who can do them, as well as being able to get into any betas as needed. Your own AdWords contacts are your best bet for getting into any betas.

What is your comfort level on click fraud issues?
Would you notice if one AdSense publisher began sending a large amount of non-converting traffic? Or would you be oblivious to it until you received a mysterious email from Google or Yahoo! that some of your ad money had been refunded to your account? What about the (usually harder to detect) issue of a competitor clicking on your ads? There are many third-party solutions to the click fraud issue, but sometimes it takes detailed analysis along with a healthy dose of intuition that something isn’t quite right to spot cases of click fraud.

Where is your time better spent?
From a bottom line perspective, is it more profitable for you to spend the time creating new products, writing new content, or networking than it is for you to manage your PPC campaigns? It is worth considering the fact that just because you know how to do the PPC end of things doesn’t mean that it is best for you to do it yourself when you can be bringing in more revenue in other ways.

These factors are all things worth considering when looking at outsourcing your PPC campaigns and deciding whether you should continue managing them yourself. If it is something you are considering, Christine Churchill of Key Relevance is presenting a free webcast Thursday, January 17th, at Search Engine Land’s sister-site Search Marketing Now, to talk over many of these issues, including what to consider and how to select a PPC management company or application, and the pros and cons of each.

Jennifer Slegg is a search marketing consultant & contextual advertising expert, as well as a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She writes about all things contextual advertising related on her blog JenSense.com and writes about pay per click, content, blogging and SEO at JenniferSlegg.com

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Google AdWords To Show Advertisers Exactly Where Their Contextual Ads Are Displayed /google-adwords-to-show-advertisers-exactly-where-their-contextual-ads-are-displayed-10606 /google-adwords-to-show-advertisers-exactly-where-their-contextual-ads-are-displayed-10606#comments Mon, 26 Feb 2007 13:33:49 +0000 http:/beta/google-adwords-to-show-advertisers-exactly-where-their-contextual-ads-are-displayed-10606.php If you are an advertiser running Google AdWords on the content network, the only way to know where those ads are being run is to dig through raw logs and extract the content site URLs from the massively long AdWords referral strings. But in an article in the New York Times about competitor Quigo, Kim […]

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If you are an advertiser running Google AdWords on the content network, the only way to know where those ads are being run is to dig through raw logs and extract the content site URLs from the massively long AdWords referral strings. But in an article in the New York Times about competitor Quigo, Kim Malone from Google has revealed that they will be listing all URLs where advertiser’s ads are appearing.

In the next few months, Google’s advertiser reports will begin listing the sites where each ad runs, Ms. Malone said.

I think this transparency is a good thing and could encourage more advertisers to opt-in to the content network if they are able to easily determine (and thus block if needed) the websites their ads are being displayed on.

For more details and analysis, please see JenSense.

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Google AdWords Quality Score Algorithm Live /google-adwords-quality-score-algorithm-live-10577 /google-adwords-quality-score-algorithm-live-10577#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2007 03:32:55 +0000 http:/beta/google-adwords-quality-score-algorithm-live-10577.php Google AdWords has begun to roll out the quality score column in advertiser accounts in AdWords last week. Now, Google has announced that the new quality score algorithm has been pushed to the Google servers. In the next few days, these changes will be complete and sponsored ads in the Google results will change – […]

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Google AdWords has begun to roll out the quality score column in advertiser accounts in AdWords last week. Now, Google has announced that the new quality score algorithm has been pushed to the Google servers. In the next few days, these changes will be complete and sponsored ads in the Google results will change – how much they will change is still currently unknown.


It is now important for you to track your quality score, so if you do not see it available yet within your AdWords control panel, keep checking back. You will need to customize your columns in order to view the quality score status.

You will see three indicators in your quality score column: Great; OK; or Poor. This will allow you to see how your ads are being impacted by quality score and give you an idea of whether you should improve them or not.

Google also has more details on the changes in their Inside AdWords blog.

Postscript Barry: Just to be clear, last week, Google released the quality score column to all advertisers in anticipation of the launch of a new quality score algorithm that will affect advertisers minimum bids and rankings in the sponsored search results.

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New Usability Changes For Microsoft adCenter Beta /new-usability-changes-for-microsoft-adcenter-beta-10573 /new-usability-changes-for-microsoft-adcenter-beta-10573#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2007 19:48:39 +0000 http:/beta/new-usability-changes-for-microsoft-adcenter-beta-10573.php If you are an adCenter beta user, they have made some new changes to the account interface this past weekend. Most of the changes are from a usability standpoint, such as better navigation between campaigns and ad groups, the ability to import third party campaigns and remove poor performing keywords right on the keyword performance […]

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If you are an adCenter beta user, they have made some new changes to the account interface this past weekend. Most of the changes are from a usability standpoint, such as better navigation between campaigns and ad groups, the ability to import third party campaigns and remove poor performing keywords right on the keyword performance page.

Microsoft has made a webinar of the changes here.

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Google AdSense Makes Changes to Publisher Referral Program /google-adsense-makes-changes-to-publisher-referral-program-10419 Fri, 02 Feb 2007 12:46:31 +0000 http:/beta/google-adsense-makes-changes-to-publisher-referral-program-10419.php Google AdSense has made some new changes to their referral program, with one of the changes resulting in publishers earning significantly more money than under the previous program. Now publishers can earn up to $255 for referring a new publisher to AdSense, up from the previous $100. They have also removed the Picasa referrals for […]

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Google AdSense has made some new changes to their referral program, with one of the changes resulting in publishers earning significantly more money than under the previous program. Now publishers can earn up to $255 for referring a new publisher to AdSense, up from the previous $100. They have also removed the Picasa referrals for publishers to promote, and instead rolling it into the Google Pack referral program.


First off, the AdSense referral program will now allow a publisher to earn an initial $5 when they refer a new publisher to AdSense and that person earns his or her first $5. Then, if that publisher earns the first $100, the referring publisher will earn an additional $250. Formerly, publishers earned $100 when their referred publishers earned their first $100. So now publishers can earn significantly more with this one. More on the AdSense referral changes here.

For Picasa, the program has now been combined with Google Pack. However, no word as of yet if the commission for referring new Google Pack installs will increase to $3 from the current $2 to take into account that publishers previously referring someone to both Picasa and Google Pack would have earned $3 too. More on the Picasa change here.

When I initially heard about the changes from Google a couple of weeks ago, I thought the AdSense change was a good move for publishers, as I suspect both the AdSense & AdWords referral products were the two performing best for the majority of publishers. And I suspected that Picasa likely only performed well on sites that were photography based because in all my travels on websites, I have only seen it used a handful of times since it launched. I had hoped that with Picasa being rolled into Google Pack it would open the way for a new referral product for publishers to promote, but it would appear that is not the case, at least not yet.

None of the support documents have been updated yet, although it is likely that the Google AdSense blog will also make an announcement on the new changes.

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YouTube to Begin Revenue Sharing for Video Providers /youtube-to-begin-revenue-sharing-for-video-providers-10373 Sun, 28 Jan 2007 17:01:43 +0000 http:/beta/youtube-to-begin-revenue-sharing-for-video-providers-10373.php The BBC is reporting that they are in talks with Google to begin revenue sharing advertising revenue when their videos are shown on YouTube. Few details are known yet, but rollout of the new revenue providing model could begin as quickly as within the next couple of months. And this move could give original video […]

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The BBC is reporting that they are in talks with Google to begin revenue sharing advertising revenue when their videos are shown on YouTube. Few details are known yet, but rollout of the new revenue providing model could begin as quickly as within the next couple of months. And this move could give original video creators the ability to earn revenue each time their videos are watched on YouTube.


One option the team is considering is showing extremely short video ads before the video requested begins playing. And by short, they mean a mere three seconds, instead of the industry standard of 15 to 30 seconds. YouTube viewers would be much more tolerant of three seconds if they decide to go with this model.

You can read the full BBC article here as well as more commentary and analysis at JenSense.

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Google AdSense Updates Program Policies & Competitive Ads Policy /google-adsense-updates-program-policies-competitive-ads-policy-10290 /google-adsense-updates-program-policies-competitive-ads-policy-10290#comments Thu, 18 Jan 2007 00:36:41 +0000 http:/beta/google-adsense-updates-program-policies-competitive-ads-policy-10290.php Google AdSense updated their program policies today. While most of it was simply clarifying or officially making changes to policies (such as images next to ad units) they also made one major change to publishers who also use ad networks or in-house advertising with ad units that resemble AdSense ad units, or those who do […]

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Google AdSense updated their program policies today. While most of it was simply clarifying or officially making changes to policies (such as images next to ad units) they also made one major change to publishers who also use ad networks or in-house advertising with ad units that resemble AdSense ad units, or those who do ad rotation with AdSense and another ad network such as the Yahoo Publisher Network. And this could result in some unhappy webmasters who will need to make changes to their sites running AdSense as a result.


First off, AdSense added some basic policy changes, including the use of images next to ad units as well as increasing the number of referral ad units that a publisher can place on a site. If you want to get the lowdown on all the changes and their significance, I did a complete analysis on JenSense.

More significant is the change they made to the Competitive Ads & Services section of the policies. Now, running anything in an ad unit that resembles the AdSense ad unit appearing anywhere on the same site is against the terms. This means those publishers running AdSense in rotation with Yahoo Publisher Network, for example, using the same color palette for both would now be in violation of the policies. And even non-contextually targeted ads that are in an ad unit like AdSense would not be allowed.

The other major change is that this policy applies to the entire site, not just the page and actual page view that the ad is appearing on. This change could affect a significant number of publishers, especially those who do A/B testing (like myself) as well as those who have anything else anywhere on the site that resembles AdSense. I did a much more detailed analysis on this issue here.

Because Google is such a dominating force in contextual advertising, not to mention their sheer market share of publishers, they can pull off this change. However, I definitely expect to hear some griping from publishers as they make changes to their sites to be within compliance.

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25 Tips To Optimize Your Blog For Readers & Search Engines /25-tips-to-optimize-your-blog-for-readers-search-engines-10226 /25-tips-to-optimize-your-blog-for-readers-search-engines-10226#comments Tue, 09 Jan 2007 18:16:17 +0000 http:/beta/25-tips-to-optimize-your-blog-for-readers-search-engines-10226.php Everyone and their dog (yes, there are a few dogs out there with their own blogs) have started up a blog these days, but many people just aren’t taking the steps needed to optimize their blogs for both readers and search engines. While blogs can be business related (another blog about mesothelioma anyone?) they can […]

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Everyone and their dog (yes, there are a few dogs out there with their own blogs) have started up a blog these days, but many people just aren’t taking the steps needed to optimize their blogs for both readers and search engines. While blogs can be business related (another blog about mesothelioma anyone?) they can also be personal where you talk about the great ham sandwich you had for lunch today or the crappy service you had at that trendy restaurant last night.

But whether your blog is business or personal, you should ensure that you are optimizing your blog for both your readers (after all, you want to keep those readers coming back) and the search engines. Unfortunately, optimization is an important step that far too many blogs seem to be skipping over, even those that have a broad appeal to surfers and have the potential to be monetizable.

However, optimizing a blog is a bit different than your standard website search engine optimization (SEO), particularly because most blogs run off standard blog platforms, or worse, run as a hosted blog on someone else’s domain name. And there are design issues that can be unique to blogs which can impact your rankings.

Let’s face it, when you commission a styling’ new blog template, most blog designers focus on making your blog look the way you want it to. But unfortunately for bloggers, not very many of those great blog designers are also SEOs by trade, meaning that the blog design you use could actually be hurting your search engine rankings. While you may have a great design that looks wonderful to readers, new readers might not find you if your blog isn’t ranking well organically in the search engines.

Also, when you optimize your blog for the user experience, you make it easy for users to return and engage in your blog without dealing with any of the hassles that can cause them to abandon other sites or blog entries. Repeat visitors are the cream of your blog, so by following these tips you have given them the tools they need to return as well as the user experience that makes them want to come back.

Fortunately, if you are on the case to make your blog rank well while not hindering your visitor’s experience on your site, there are definitely things you can check – and fix – to prevent any indexing issues from occurring, and ensuring your blog a happy and healthy existence in the search engines.

So here is advice on how you can optimize that blog of yours for both users and search engines without alienating one or the other.

1) Dump The Default Template – Looks Count!
I cringe when I see a blog using the “out of the box” WordPress or MovableType template. Hire a designer to create a unique look for your blog, or at the very least, take advantage of some of the free templates available and customize it a bit with a unique logo or a slight color upgrade.

2) Just Say No To Bad Color Schemes
While a hot pink with lime green color scheme might be your favorite, consider what your readers will be expecting. That color scheme might work perfectly on a teenage gossip site, but would look extremely out of place as the corporate blog for a men’s suit company. Likewise, gamers would think nothing of a black background on an Xbox 360 blog, but it would look horrendous on a parenting or pregnancy site. So while you should experiment with colors to find a good mix for your blog, keep in mind user experience and their expectations.

3) RSS Me!
Make sure you have RSS available. Many hosted blogging solutions don’t have RSS automatically available, so you will need to add it. And when you do add it, ensure you have those RSS links in an obvious spot. Don’t tuck them away at the very bottom of your index page after your most recent 20 entries, or hide them on a separate “About Us” page. Place all those handy subscribe links in your sidebar, which is exactly where people will look for them. If you use Feedburner currently, have a look at their new MyBrand option which allows you to host your own feeds for a seamless user experience.

4) Offer RSS & Feed Subscription Buttons
Yes, when people want to subscribe to a blog, they will often look for that orange RSS logo as well as the logos of the standard aggregators such as Bloglines. So it is worth the time to add the most popular ones to your blog so visitors can easily do their one-click subscriptions to your feed without it require much effort on their part. If you make it hard to subscribe, most just won’t bother. FeedButton offers a service that allows you to offer multiple RSS aggregator and feed reader buttons with a single expanding rollover button.

5) Offer Posts Via Email
Some people just don’t get RSS. So cater to them by offering them an option to get your blog posts by email instead. The most popular service to do this automatically is FeedBlitz, although there are also many other tools available to do this.

6) Decide On Full Or Partial Feeds
Do you offer full feeds or partial feeds? This is a personal preference, and is often dependent on what market space you are blogging in. One option is to offer two feeds, one being an ad-supported full feed, with an RSS ad included, and the other being an ad-free snippet copy of the feed, where readers won’t see ads but will have to actually view your blog in order to read your full entry. But this will often come down to personal preference, and the preferences of your readers.

7) Write Compelling Snippets/Descriptions
If you do use snippets for your RSS feed, be sure to make them compelling or leave readers with a cliffhanger to encourage them to click and read the full entry. This will get you many more readers to your entries than just using the default option of including the first X number of words in the blog post as the snippet. Use your excerpts to generate interest and clicks.

8) Pay Attention to How You Write.
One of my favorite bloggers has the unfortunate habit of writing detailed long entries… without a single paragraph break and with the double whammy of also writing with a font size smaller than usual. If I look up for a moment, it is hard to find my place again in her 1000 word entries. As a result, I don’t read it as often as I would like to, simply because reading it is such a painful experience.

9) Spelling Counts
Spelling is also worth mentioning. Add one of the many spell checkers to your internet browser and run a quick spell check before you publish your entry. Every word doesn’t have to be perfect, and I am certainly guilty myself of letting on occasional typo slip through unnoticed. But I also get annoyed when I am reading typo after typo after typo in an entry. And yes, if it happens enough, I will unsubscribe out of sheer frustration.

10) Fontography Counts
Make the font easy to read. Some bloggers think it is cool to have their handwriting turned into a customized font, or use a trendy font that would be better suited to a scrapbook layout. But not everyone has those wild and weird fonts installed, which means that those people will see a standard font such as Times New Roman, and it can really kill the look of your blog. So instead design the text of your blog entries to use a standard font in a standard size.

11) Don’t Forget Navigation
Is this blog part of a larger site, such as a corporate blog on a site for a major company? Don’t just link to the main page of the blog. Syndicate your recent headlines in the sidebar to encourage visitors on the main site to check out the blog too.

12) How Fast is Your Host?
Another one of my favorite blogs has such a slow response time when I click from the snippet in my RSS to the full blog entry that I only actually end up waiting around for it to load about 10% of the time. Don’t lose readers because your hosting company thinks 30 seconds is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to load up a page.

13) Avoid Widget Overload!
Yes, there are definitely some cool widgets you can add to your blog, such as MyBlogLog or a Flickr photo box tied to your photo gallery. But be aware that having a large number of javascripts can slow down your site. So don’t sacrifice timely loading time for nice-but-not-all-that-necessary widgets.

14) Have Descriptive Titles
Some blog software actually makes your entry titles seem pretty repetitious in the search engine result pages, and can result in a lower click through than you might have had otherwise with highly optimized titles. If your title’s say something like “Jason’s Tech Industry Rants & Ramblings Blog >> New Xbox 360 title announced for April release” you should change it to “New Xbox 360 title announced for April release”. Unless you are well known as an authority blog in that market, the blog name is simply wasting crucial space at the beginning of the title tag and causing the rest of the entry title to end up getting truncated in the search results. And make sure your titles actually enhance the entry and don’t leave the reader wondering what on earth the blog entry could be about. Ensuring you have great titles when you have a small readership and are depending on search engines to send you readers is one of the first steps you should take to optimize your blog.

15) Look at your Cascading Style Sheets.
Most blogs use a tremendous amount of CSS to create that custom look. And while most of the “out of the box” designs that come standard with the installed template include all CSS in an external file, there definitely are some blog designers who will put their CSS on the individual template pages rather than placing it all in an external CSS file. And when you don’t place CSS in an external file, it can clutter up your pages and result in the most important part of the page – the entry text – being much further down in the HTML code when it has to go after the masses of CSS coding lines.

16) Post Often
The more frequently you post, the more likely Googlebot and other bots will stop by on a more regular basis. If you only post once in a blue moon, expect that it might take a while for Google to stop by and see that you actually have updated again. Google loves updated fresh sites, so it make sense to feed the bot what it wants.

17) Spread the Link Love
If you are blogging about a story, link up the original story as well as other’s commentary on the same topic. When you do so, you will often make those bloggers aware of your blog’s existence (if they weren’t already) when people click from your blog to theirs. And it also increases the odds that they will either link to you on that story or on something you blog about in the future.

18) Be Aware of Your Anchor Text
When you link to someone’s blog entry, or even a previous blog entry on your own site, make sure you link well. This means instead of linking to someone’s blog entry with the anchor text “click here”, you link to them using anchor text related to the blog entry, such as “Jason’s scoop on the new Widget Xbox 360 game”.

19) Create Unique Stories
Bloggers love to link to other bloggers. When you write original blog entries, rather than just rehashing something someone else has already said, you increase the odds that someone will find yours interesting enough to link to and talk about. And a reader of that blogger’s blog might read the entry and decide to write something about what you said as well, meaning yet another link as well. And if you are fortunate, it will go viral, meaning suddenly it seems like every blogger in your market space is talking about what you wrote. Rinse and repeat as often as possible for maximum exposure and link juice.

20) Use a Related Posts Plugin
Not only does this make sense to keep readers around for other articles on your site that are related to your current post, but it also allows you to deeplink from a current page on your blog to older entries. Often, older entries get buried several pages deep on an archive page, and this allows you to showcase entries written months or years previously and give those “oldies but goodies” an extra little kick in the search engines. There are several related post plugins available depending on which blog platform you use.

21) Ping Other Sites
When you add a new blog entry, you might want to ping site such as Technorati and FeedBurner to let them know you have a brand new blog entry on your site. You can also now ping Google’s Blog Search as well for faster indexing in their blog search engine at blogsearch.google.com. Automatic pinging is an option in the control panel of most blog platforms including WordPress and MovableType. And Ping-o-Matic offers a service that allows you to quickly pick and chose what to ping.

22) Buy Your Own Domain Name
Don’t always think your free blog hosting company will be around forever. What will you do if you build up a loyal readership then one day you discover yourblogname.examplebloghost.com no longer works because examplebloghost.com has gone out of business? You want to make sure the search engines have a URL they will always find your blog at, rather than have to worry about them re-indexing your previously well-ranked blog on am entirely new domain… that is if you are lucky enough to get your blog posts from your free hosting company. Both Google’s Blogger & WordPress allow you to use their hosted blog service while displaying it on your own domain instead of their own branded one.

NOTE: See also our related story, Stay Master Of Your Feed Domain.

23) Manage Your Trackback & Comment Spam
You don’t want Google or Yahoo to find masses of spammy links on your site to all manner of less-than-quality sites submitted to your blog by a blog spammer. Use one of the many tools on the market for your blog platform to manage both comment and trackback spam.

24) Use a Good URL Structure
Don’t use “permalinks” such as www.yourblogsite.com/?p=123 . Instead, use www.yourblogsite.com/2007/01/01/blog_entry_title_here. Most blogging platforms allow you to change from the standard numbered permalinks to this style of search engine friendly ones. And just in case the blog platform you use has funky dynamic URLs for each entry, you will want to ensure that the bots can crawl them easily or use a mod rewrite to create a good structure such as in the example.

25) Use Great Categories
When you write a post, place it in 1 to 3 different categories related to the post. For example, and article on the television show Grey’s Anatomy could go under “Grey’s Anatomy” and “ABC”. Avoid the temptation to add it to ten different categories though, such as including “drama,” “hospital,” “interns” and “Seattle” because that is just overkill. But if you wrote something great on Grey’s Anatomy, you have made it easy for your reader to find all your posts on Grey’s Anatomy because they simply have to click on the category link at the top or bottom of the entry.

While some bloggers insist that search engine rankings will come naturally to those who wait, who really wants to wait for Google? A blogger can run into several unique challenges when it comes to optimizing for search engines, and it makes sense to get the jump on it now than simply hoping that if you write it, the bots will come. It is far easier to ensure you have a well optimized blog now than trying to figure out what the issue is 6 months down the road when only your blog’s index page is found in Google!

Does anyone else have tips they would have put in their own top 25 list of blog optimization tips? I had some that didn’t make the cut for the top list, but am interested to hear what others feel are the most important tips.

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Advertisers Cutting Google AdWords Spending With Surge of Keyword Prices /advertisers-cutting-google-adwords-spending-with-surge-of-keyword-prices-10215 /advertisers-cutting-google-adwords-spending-with-surge-of-keyword-prices-10215#comments Mon, 08 Jan 2007 19:41:01 +0000 http:/beta/advertisers-cutting-google-adwords-spending-with-surge-of-keyword-prices-10215.php Most Google AdWords advertisers have been facing the problem of rising pay per click prices. But while in the past many advertisers have gone with the increased prices as the cost of doing business on AdWords, recently more advertisers have decided to significantly cut their AdWords spending because many of the keyword prices have resulted […]

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Most Google AdWords advertisers have been facing the problem of rising pay per click prices. But while in the past many advertisers have gone with the increased prices as the cost of doing business on AdWords, recently more advertisers have decided to significantly cut their AdWords spending because many of the keyword prices have resulted in advertisers being priced out of profitability.

Marketwatch recently spoke with six advertisers who all spent between $4 million and $10 million in 2006 who plan to spend less in 2007.

Shmuel Gniwisch of Ice.com saw his ads only convert once per every 300 visitors who clicked on the jewelry website during November and December, with an ad spend of $750,000 over those two months. And not surprisingly, he too plans to cut his ad spend significantly.

So just how much has the cost of doing business on AdWords gone up in the past year? Dan Sackrowitz of Bare Necessities says his keyword prices have gone up 40-60% in 2006, with his overall Google AdWords budget rocketing up 50%. Jack Keifer from BabyAge.com saw his search ad spend double. However, he has worked more on converting those clicks into sales so he plans on spending a comparible amount this year on AdWords.

You can read the full article here.

There is definitely a trend that seasoned advertisers have noticed where new advertisers jump in with huge ad budgets or huge spends per click, which greatly impacts the amount an advertisers needs to spend in order to compete and get one of the top placements for the search term. And simply the fact that there are significantly higher numbers of advertisers bidding on keywords which drives the prices up for all advertisers.

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Microsoft’s Live.com Advertises On Google /microsofts-livecom-advertises-on-google-10193 /microsofts-livecom-advertises-on-google-10193#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2007 01:38:33 +0000 http:/beta/microsofts-livecom-advertises-on-google-10193.php It is always amusing when one of the big search engines advertisers on one of the other ones. Both Google and Yahoo advertise through each other’s PPC programs. And now it looks like Microsoft has jumped into it as well, by advertising Live.com through Google AdWords, according to Google Blogoscoped. However, the same search on […]

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It is always amusing when one of the big search engines advertisers on one of the other ones. Both Google and Yahoo advertise through each other’s PPC programs. And now it looks like Microsoft has jumped into it as well, by advertising Live.com through Google AdWords, according to Google Blogoscoped.

However, the same search on Yahoo doesn’t show the same Live.com ad, so they are obviously being selective about where they spend their advertising dollars!

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