Competitive SEO and AdWords advertising just got harder

November 18th, 2010 by Josh

With a recent announcement that some searches will result in up to 4 links to a single domain, Google has made it harder to gain traffic through competitive search engine marketing techniques. If Google determines that a domain is particularly authoritative for a search, as many as the top four search results could be for […]

SEO vs. SMO – hold your horses

October 28th, 2010 by Josh

A friend recently pointed me toward an article that says “SEO is Dead” because of the rise of Social Media Optimization, or SMO. The article is wrong, and here’s why: First, search traffic is still growing. People still use search to find products and services, background information, reviews, and competitive pricing. People may get ideas […]

SEO for local search: recovery vs. discovery

October 19th, 2010 by Josh

When optimizing for local searches, it’s important to recognize the difference between two distinct user segments. Bruce Clay defines these as “recovery” and “discovery.” When someone knows your business but needs contact or location information, they will be searching on brands and company names. E.g. “Bob’s Widgets Seattle”  The discovery group will search on unbranded […]

How Google Instant affects advertisers

September 8th, 2010 by Josh

Google announced today the rollout of Google Instant. Now search results are shown as you type instead of waiting for you to submit a full query. This forces us to rethink the concept of an impression and suggests some new directions in ad targeting. Google Instant changes both natural results and ads as what you […]

Microsoft adCenter extends negative keyword support

August 25th, 2010 by Josh

Microsoft adCenter has announced additional capacity for negative keywords. The new limits allow “1000’s” of keywords at the campaign and ad group levels, and the character limit at the keyword level increased as well. Negative keywords are critical for managing costs and achieving optimal ROI, and the extended capabilities offer more control. Now we just wish […]

Bing powering Yahoo search natural results

August 18th, 2010 by Josh

This week Microsoft sent emails to US advertisers stating that Bing is beginning to power Yahoo natural search results: This week, Bing will begin powering organic search results on Yahoo! Search for the English language in the United States and Canada. This only affects natural search, not paid results at this time. Microsoft is still […]

Submitting sitemaps to Bing

August 17th, 2010 by Josh

Submitting a sitemap to Bing is trivially easy. Simply go to, replacing “” with your website’s sitemap URL. Unfortunately this method provides no feedback about the success of processing your sitemap or if errors were encountered. The more advanced method is to utilize Bing Webmaster Tools. Adding your site enables you to see information […]

Beware clicks in AdWords

June 29th, 2010 by Josh

A sudden increase in spending in a client’s Google Display Network prompted some head scratching. Our clicks jumped, but our conversions didn’t budge. After some sleuthing, we isolated the source of the new clicks to be a single domain, This domain isn’t real; its a designation for ads embedded within mobile apps for iPhone […]

More reasons to avoid Flash

April 29th, 2010 by Josh

Over the years we’ve lamented the online popularity and over-reliance on Flash because of concerns relating to usability, navigability, indexability, measurability, portability, and so on. Now Steve Jobs has provided a litany of additional reasons that Flash is not supported by Apple products including the iPad, iPod, and iPhone. While some of our concerns make […]

Apple mobile advertising platform: iAd

April 8th, 2010 by Josh

Apple announced that iPhone OS 4 will include iAd, a mobile advertising program tightly integrated with the OS. Very little information is available at this time. To quote Apple: Apple’s new mobile advertising platform, combines the emotion of TV ads with the interactivity of web ads. When users click on mobile ads they are almost […]