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Old 03-25-2006   #1
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Full Coverage Recap - SEW Live! in Seattle, WA

I'm pleased to announce that we are confirmed & going ahead with our 3rd seminar and networking event for Search Engine Watch readers and those in the Seattle SEM community.

Join us Friday, May 19th, for a special Search Engine Watch Live! event in Seattle, at the Hotel Monaco. This informal, half-day event includes several informative seminars, as well as the opportunity for attendees to meet several members of the SearchEngineWatch community in person, network with local peers, discuss the hottest topics and latest news in the search industry.

I'll be hosting the event as usual, and Danny Sullivan will be in attendance again as well.

Confirmed Speakers so far:

MSN AdCenter
Jennifer Slegg
Rand Fishkin
Heather Lloyd Martin
Joseph Morin

Registration will probably begin at 12pm noon, sessions to start at 12:30 and go through 5pm.

More details to follow.

the agenda and registration info is now up here:

Register early, we're expecting to sell out given the limited space.

Last edited by Joseph Morin : 03-29-2006 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Added me ;)
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Old 04-26-2006   #2
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Excellent news!

I think it was about 18 months ago that I asked if SEW would ever do an event in Seattle or Portland, and nobody gave it much hope at the time.

So ... VERY glad to see this is happening. I'm all signed up and looking forward to it.

Who else (other than the named speakers) is planning to be there?

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Old 05-22-2006   #3
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Stay tuned for some recaps! but all in all, the event was a success!

Some comments posted here:
SEOmoz - SEW LIVE Seattle Wrapup
MSN Adcenter Blog

Last edited by dannysullivan : 05-23-2006 at 08:45 AM. Reason: fixed bad adcenter URL
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Old 05-25-2006   #4
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SEW LIVE Seattle Session 1 Notes pt.1

I believe this is the first time we’ve had a gathering of search marketers in the Emerald City. I honestly thought we’d get 70-80 folks for the event but am pleasantly surprised to see over 200 people with few available chairs and many folks standing in the back of the room.

The panelist are a mix of some local folks and a few veteran SEW presenters. There were 2 main sessions then a general Q&A period where again I was encouraged to hear the high quality of questions coming from the audience. Those in the audience were not newbie’s, but clearly have some experience under their belt. On to the notes of the day (broken out into seperate posts because of their length).

Up Close & Personal with MSN Ad Center, Google, Adwords & Yahoo! Pay Per Click Marketing tools

Moderator: Elizabeth Osmeloski – Managing Editor, SEW

Jed Nahum – Dir of Product Management, MSN AdCenter
Brian Burdick – Group Program Manager, MSN AdCenter
Lexa Pope - Adwords Director, NA, Google
Jennifer Slegg –

Kelli West – Yahoo NW Regional Account Rep – she’s available to take questions but didn’t go through the requisite PR training to be an official spokesperson for Yahoo. Bummer as she certainly would have added additional value and interest to the group.
Elizabeth started off by asking if folks in the audience are using PPC, almost all raised their hands, with only 2 folks not yet engaged in it. However very few using MSN AdCenter.

Jed Nahum did a brief introduction then introduced Brian Burdick, head engineer for AdCenter

They launched May 4th and now have 10,000 advertisers. Contextual ads will commence testing on MSN this summer.

Brian Burdick
Design Goals
1. MSFT wanted to build a platform that was holistic and would extend into other platforms.
2. Allow advertisers to use the knowledge to other mediums and platforms.
a-Provide a lot of detail on demographics and other reporting areas
b-Basically what he was positioning was that MSN has a plethora of information that others do not and advertisers can use this data for both their other search platforms and other marketing areas.
3. Provide deep access via API’s (BidBoost)
a-Examples: day parting, target demographics, and now can price bids separately

Brian stated conversion rates change over the day – peak traffic doesn’t correspond to high conversions. Not only target the day parts but control the pricing. Their service reduces the complexity of bid pricing. You can now control it by day and hour.

Jed Nahum
He stated there are 3 tenants in a successful campaign:
1. Learn
a-Via keyword research who is searching for your products, including age and gender
2. Connecting
a-Connect via rich targeting
b-Bid boosts
3. Refine your campaign

What did they learn in their pilot program?
• You should target your creative toward your target audience – and the audience may not be who you thought.
o Kitchen appliances - men aren’t thought to search for such, but 84% of traffic are men for Viking kitchen appliance.
o Diapers
- Over 60% of searchers are men but aren’t looking to buy pampers!
o Hip-hop (what he referred to as rap)
- Surprisingly 60-90% were female 18-35
o Honeymoon
- 50% searchers are men, however
- More women search for packages
o Wine tours
- 80% searchers are female

Case Study
Home Décor Products
• The AdCenter data allowed them to segment their b2b campaign from their b2c campaigns more effectively
• Customer quote - Customer acquisition cost was only 3%, out performing any other search program.

Last edited by dmelick : 05-26-2006 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 05-25-2006   #5
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SEW Live Seattle Session 1 Notes pt. 2

Lexa Pope from Google is next. She will review enhancements of their AdWords program. She mentioned whether the purchase is made online or offline, a significant amount of search is online.

Google rank ads via a combination of the Historical click through rate and the quality of landing page. How can you drive value from the program? Group keywords and create relevant ad texts and manage how you will categorize your keyphrases - Broad match, Phrase match, or Exact match. Also using the updated keyword tool search for more competitive terms, think about the seasonality of keywords and their search volume

Also use site targeting tool to pick your demographics, actual urls, and related targets.. You can also schedule ads when you want to increase your conversions (Eventually will be able to pick time zone).

How do you turn shoppers into buyers? Insure an easy to use, good offer, and have relevant content. Utilize Google Analytics where you can analyze the traffic and click thru info easily. (It sounded like they are using this type of landing page analysis to determine the positioning of an ad).

Reviewed AdWords usability tool. You can view all keywords to manage them, as well as drop into a spreadsheet for further analysis. They are about to launch:
o Advanced search
o Interface support for multiple languages
o Copy/paste function
o Export whole campaign

Lastly mentioned the Adwords API, which basically allows you to automate anything you can do off the Adwords web site.

Jen Slegg (jenstar)
Comparing Google AdSense and Yahoo! Publisher Network (which she considererd the 2 big players in contextual search advertising), with MSN coming soon.

Thought Google and Yahoo! ad units are similar. Their differences?
Google provides International solution, a larger amount of choices (CPM Ads, Ad Links Referrals). Also has more competition for higher paying ads, which can be an advantage for Y! which can provide a higher click through because of fewer ads.

Y! doesn’t provide smart pricing (although they provide tiers), Y! provides PSA’s, and any publisher can use RRS in Y!, where as Google is full. Little know about MSN as of yet though mentioned on the conference website, she suggested they will only be coming out with a US only beta.

Which one will work best for you? Give them both a try to understand what will make you the most money. And test, test, test!! Then revisit it every 6 months. Also suggested using a combo of tools to find the best choice for each site:
• AdSense/YPN channels
• AdSense tracker (some work with YPN)
o several of them on the market.
• Ad rotating script

And suggested official tools from the engines:
• Custom channels are her primary tool
o Required for multiple ad units
• URL channels
o Can be confusing when dealing with directory levels
• AdSense Preview tool
o Shows what ads will show up
o Also use it for Geo targeting

She also has a Google Analytics hack for tracking Adsense and YPN

Also suggested getting CRT color data on a title, description, URL, border and background level and also downloading .cxv data and plugging it into excel to allow you to examine it more closely.

For rotating ads she suggested PHPAdsNew is a tool of choice for ad testing ( Allows you to geotarget and also perform effective A/B testing.

Final thoughts
-Compare each of the 2 programs for your needs. Figure out which one will make you the most cash. And then revisit them 2 every 6 months.

Last edited by dmelick : 05-25-2006 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 05-25-2006   #6
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SEW Live Seattle Session 1 Q&A notes

Session 1 Q/A
– What % of visitors do you have registered in the system?
• He can’t answer it directly from the advice of his lawyers. But stated it was high.
How is it obtained? Registration opt-in data (no personal data). How reliable is it? MSN of course believes it is very reliable, as much or more so than other advertising.

Audience has concerns on the accuracy of the data. Jed states he is very confident in the data. Same audience member was a part of the beta program and voice concerned on their customer service. Jed stated they are trying to improve their processes. He asked the audience member if they are still advertising on MSN, ‘not any more’!

Google responded that they can’t also share data but a bit behind the game to what MSN is doing. Yahoo responded that they have over 400M unique and 200M registered and the data is gathered from that registered group. Again can’t share the data.

Why can’t Google share concrete impression data? She doesn’t know why they can’t.
Question on Google Trends – response was it requires a certain level of volume to show any data. Danny confirmed that.

To MSN – Can they track data via time zones? Brian responded there isn’t a report that has ad time to end user time. Will take that feedback back.

Elizabeth asked if folks would like to see Google impression numbers. Everyone raised their hands.

What are all 3 companies doing to address click fraud?
Google -they have advanced technology filters to deal with it. Doesn’t believe it is a material problem in their advertiser base. But realizes it is a top issue on advertisers.
MSN response – Also concerned but as Google they don’t believe it is a major issue for their advertisers. Brian stated they’ve built some tools to protect advertisers. They have a blackhat group of folks who continually test it.
Yahoo – Similar response as MSN. Technology is addressing it and has a staff continually looking at it.

-one suggestion from an audience member was to provide a unique identifier from the publisher so the advertiser could view where the clicks are coming from. (got a positive response from the audience).
-Jen stated there is a pub ID, although in a long url
-couldn’t it be added to the engines as an automated solution?

How does Google determine ad rank when including the page quality?
It is a combination of the relevance of ad text to search term and the quality of landing page. Really about how unique and relevant is the content to the ad listed. Is it a good user experience?

AdSense question – what is the target audience for Y! and Adsense?
Jen stated the engines are trying to keep advertisers happy and are always looking for quality sites.

Why can’t you can’t opt out of the Google search network.
The domain park Jen isn’t a fan of. There is a tool that allows you to disallow your ads showing. Audience member says the tool doesn’t work. She thinks you can opt out of just search partners.

In to the addition of the dayparting, is there a volatility of the bids?
MSN – Maybe a slight increase, but they don’t think it would be significant.
Google – different categories may heat up, but it probably won’t be a big issue.

MSN question – via the purchase of Deep Metrix, are they going to provide free analytics. – No plans to announce (yet).

To MSN – Are AdCenter ads going to be displayed on MSN shopping? --MSN response was AdCenter will be the platform for all advertising.

Are you going to do anything different with Contextual Ads? MSNs response - sorry, can’t answer in front of our competitors!

Can we auto download the data from Adcenter?
-Currently have an API for a small set of customers and are looking to deploy it in the near future.

Last edited by dmelick : 05-25-2006 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-25-2006   #7
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SEW Live Seattle Session 2 notes

Cameron Ferroni – CTO MarchEx
-Vertical and Local Search
Rand Fishkin-SEOmoz
-Blogging and Linking
Heather Lloyd-Martin-SuccessWorks
-Organic Search and Conversion
Joe Morin- Boost Search Marketing
-In-House SEM & Hiring SEM Managers
Amanda Teal-Google Site Maps
Vanessa Fox – Google Site Maps

Rand – Blogging, Marketing & SEO
Growth of the blogspher – 60x growth over 3 years, doubles every 6 months. Provides a personal voice and direct feedback that is very effective to pass on your idea and services.

You can use a hosted solution to get started. Very friendly urls, very easily crawlable, auto-optimizes, a GREAT way to develop links – direct and through syndication.

Blogs can create a human voice within your corporation. Can be more powerful because of the way you speak to folks. They also provide great permanent link growth and traffic over time. Quoted Matt Cutts comment that creating a great site that will drive WOM through the bloggsphere will drive value in the engines.

Mentioned Techcrunch as an example of success. Unknown 18 months ago. Blogging drove his exposure.

How to create a successful blog? Mentioned Jeremy Zawodny who they hired to better understand the blog opportunity. Suggests finding a passionate blogger who writes in a real voice. Target fun topics.

Leverage your network to launch your blog. Link with competitors, launch with 3-6 posts. Don’t be overly defensive, don’t be afraid to be negative. And recognize other bloggers
Likes the Disney re-Imagineering blog ( which was launched after Eisner left. Thinks this blog was very inspirational internally and outside. Seattle’s the Stranger also has a good one ( And be wary of fake blogs – Mazda, McD’s, and Coke has them.

Heather Lloyd-Martin
From Bellingham, WA (as is Ryan Stiles, Randy Bachman, and Hilary Swank!)

Focus on copy for effective SEO. Titles are really important for first impressions. Make them unique and reflect the content on your page.

Think about the Google snippit – place your benefit statement near your keyphrase, Google will grab it.

Always mange your online reputation (Reputation Management) – Check your search results to verify the right information is displayed.

Think beyond just the click. You need to create compelling content to drive relevant visitors. Get beyond the EasyBake Oven idea – it is more than just popping your content into your site. You want to persuade them to click then convert.

1. Make your landing page relevant to the relevant search.
a. Realize that your home page can often not do it all.
b. Product specific pages will drive higher conversions.
2. Include clear benefits easy to read on the landing page.
a. Used Treo as an example of a good site to drive conversions.
b. Folks “pogo sticking” purchase less and have a less favorable experience.
3. Give them a reason to take action fast.
a. Easy hyperlinks
b. Do NOT require registrations to access a site
i. Ala British Airways
c. Talk your customers language
i. Build a relationship
ii. Encourage them to learn more

Cam Ferroni
Local Search
Think about where to take your customers. There are a ton of verticals, but things folks shop for are local. He believes a move toward local is happing now. 80% growth over the next 2 years, local ads will grow the highest (70% of market growth over next 4-5 years). Why? New technologies by search vendors. Local vendors are realizing the value of online search. Stated most folks are interested in the ease of use of Yellow pages, want that format online. (thought the representation in the audience (low YP use) was opposite from the general consumer base).

Shopping Search
Multiple shopping engines and sites do not provide any consistency and standards. The local retailer does not have the capacity to engage the shopping sites until there are clearer standards. Thinks local shopping is the key to the larger shopping opportunity. Most folks want to touch and feel a larger amount of purchases than are what being purchased today. Most consumers aren’t savvy enough to utilize search shopping today.

Amanda and Vanessa
Google site maps
( – a way to provide all the information on your site. They (Google) will review the sitemap and inform site owners any issues they see.

Current features:
• Index stats
o Links, caches, etc.
o Include any violations on your site
• When the last time the bot visited your home page
o Including any crawling problems
• Top queries pages come up for
o Clicked results and only viewed
• Crawl stats
o Common words Google thinks your site has
o Words folks who link to your site think are common.
• Robots.txt analysis tool
o Allows you to analyze what is being blocked or not blocked
o Robots.txt only downloaded from your site 1 per day
• Re-inclusion request
• Report spam
• To access all your site information requires site verification that you own the site.
• Their blog:

Joe Morin – Bringing SEM inhouse and hiring issues
Asked how may are inhouse SEO/SEM – about 1/3 – and most are corporate

What are the biggest problems in finding SEO/SEM talent?
First, the average tenure is only 11 months on agency side, 1 year 10 months on corporate side. Biggest frustrations are not being allowed to work on their own projects or work on the side. Everyone does it whether their firm knows it or not. Also there is a lack of management knowledge – and therefore support. And is it an IT function, or marketing? Then there is a lack of control where too many folks touch the site. Lastly they are wearing too many hats, have too many job functions.

Why is it hard to find talent?
Many of the talent can do it themselves, don’t like corporate bureaucracy, want to manage our own time, and it is a very tight community.

Where to find talent?
Forums, conferences, and now recruiters are starting to specialize on SEO.

How to retain them?
Allow folks to have flexibility on their offsite work as well as work on their own time. Also provide incentives (conversions, page views), and lastly give them the ability to attend conferences and keep abreast of the issues in the industry.

Google site maps

• Any concerns or issues using it that can affect your site or rankings? No.
• Why isn’t Google showing the links? No direct answer why, suggested you use Yahoo Site Explorer.
• They are going to up the limit the number of urls to 500
• Suggest using XML but will accept RSS and text.
• Site Map will currently pick up all duplicate content
• Site Map will use multiple data points to examine the last time your site has been updated.

Last edited by dmelick : 05-25-2006 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 05-25-2006   #8
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SEW Live Seattle Q&A Session w/Danny notes

Q&A Session
Danny Sullivan
Rand Fiskin -
Greg Boser –
Todd Friesen– Range Online Media
Joe Morin - Boost Search Marketing
Heather Lloyd-Martin - SuccessWorks
Jen Slegg -

Social Search
His week - Tuesday and Google, Wed at Yahoo, discussed social search. Neither he nor they know where it is headed.

First there was the text, then links, now there is a vertical. By limiting the data allows the engines to be more selective on the topics and provide a better user experience. The engines are looking at the social search. Google released Google Co-op last week. Search topics are one area where one tags pages but feels it is a bit difficult to get a handle on. They also have a tool that allows folks to subscribe to links that will show the results on the top of the results page. Feels this is a wonderful opportunity now for others to get listed.

Yahoo is much clearer with what they are doing. MyWeb. This service can provide a much more personalized results page, but can also push the more organic content down farther in the page. Yahoo Answers – it is the 3rd most popular information site. The new Wikipedia. A growing social community that will influence search use.

WordTracker question– what source are they using and is the data significant when examining smaller search terms?

Rand – Relatively speaking the information of value is for which term is searched more often. Don’t get caught up on the actual numbers. ( ) will give you the top ten from Wordtracker and Overture together.

Heather - – a tool that provides all the different term folks are looking for. Greg felt it was of value for the long tail terms.

Folks are using hidden div layers in flash sites and it is working without any consequence. Should we all do it?
-Todd stated why not do it? If you’re not in the engine anyway don’t worry about it.
Greg – His viewpoint is you won’t be penalized unless someone turns you in. So have 2 sites, one that follows the rules and one that pushes the limits.

PPC – Should we continue to do it in-house or outsource it?
Todd – run the math. Can you get the expertise in-house for less than what you are spending on an agency?
Greg – And don’t forget to include the cost of the tools

Which ppc tools do you recommend to use for bid management.
Rand – Andy Beal has a good one (
Todd – Thinks the vast majority of value is the people doing it manually than any of the tools they have in-house. Feels Atlas is fairly complicated and expensive.
Jen – Go to SES San Jose to get 1 one 1 demos.

We run multiple destination web sites. Duplicate content even though the destinations are different. Any way to get around it without penalizing the good ranking sites?
Rand – put a “noindex” tag on the pages you don’t care as much for.
Greg – do a conditional 301 for search engine bots only. That way the link values continue to get passed on.

What is your position on advertising on competitor terms?
Rand – Risks – losing out to branding, potential legal issue.
Greg – You can figure out legitimate ways – ppc and organic – to do it. Use blogs.

Position using an API to test positions
Greg – Never use an API!
Rand – when using an API the results aren’t accurate.
Todd – You aren’t supposed to use an API to test your service, so you’ll be breaking your terms of service.

Do link farms work?
-all folks said not on your important sites!

How do I get indexed in news search?
-it is an editorial decision.

What do you do to gather your information?
Todd – Blogs, Danny’s, Threadwatch,
Rand – go to Danny’s blog ( and on the left hand side he has a list of blogs he suggests.
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Old 05-25-2006   #9
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awesome dmelick thanks for the great coverage!!!
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