Weekly SEO news: 18 March 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the new rules in Google's AdWords system. If your AdWords ads are getting more expensive while the results get worse, you should read this article.

In the news: Google announces its new Ad Manager, Wikipedia reveals traffic data, Google's Eric Schmidt thinks that the Microsoft/Yahoo deal could break the Internet and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Are your AdWords results getting worse?

If you find that your per click prices are going through the roof while your conversions are going down you should check your AdWords strategy.

In addition to the keywords that you choose for your campaign, your landing pages are a very important factor. The landing pages that you use with your pay per click ads greatly influence both your conversions and the per click prices.

The following two strategies are often a quick fix for underperforming AdWords campaigns:

1. Optimize your landing pages for your visitors

Attracting customers to your website through Google AdWords is one thing. It is a completely different thing to persuade visitors to your website to fulfill the goal of your landing page, e.g. to buy your product.

Google AdWords cost you money as soon as a potential customer clicks on your AdWords ad. It makes no difference whether your destination URL is up or not, or whether the potential customer leaves your website prematurely because it loads too slowly.

If you want conversions, your landing page must have a clearly defined goal. It must guide the visitor and it must contain a clear call to action. Your website visitors must be able to see within seconds what's in for them when they visit your website.

2. Optimize your landing pages for Google's spider

Google uses the Quality Score to determine the position and the cost of an ad. If possible, include the text of the AdWords ad and the most important keywords on your landing page.

It often helps to optimize the landing page for the keywords with the highest click through rate (CTR). A web page that can get high rankings in the organic search results will also get a high Quality Score for that keyword.

Google's Quality Score also includes other factors. Actually, Google uses four different Quality Scores to determine when and how ads are displayed.

Using tightly themed ad groups with related landing pages is the first step to get better results with Google AdWords.

Further information on how to find the best keywords for PPC, how to save weak campaigns, how to write successful ads, how to write successful landing pages, how to improve the Quality Score, an explanation of Google's different Quality Scores, information on which websites will always get a poor Quality Score and more can be found in our AdWords eBook.

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2. Search engine news of the week
Check Wikipedia traffic statistics

Wikipedia now enables you to check the traffic of Wikipedia pages. That allows you to get an idea of how many visitors you'd get if your website was #1 on Google.

For example, the Wikipedia page for "Asia" is the first result on Google for the keyword "asia". According to the traffic check the Asia page gets about 6,500 visitors per day.

Searchme: a new visual search engine

"Sequoia Capital, which has been a key investor of search giant Google (GOOG), as well as Yahoo, will unveil its latest investment in search, a visual search engine called: Searchme.

Searchme does look good, resembling a mashup of Google with Apple's popular Cover Flow three-dimensional graphical user interface used on its iTunes service, with a little of Ask.com’s categories thrown in."

Google to unveil a new ad service for web publishers

"Google Inc. plans to announce a new service that Web publishers can use to manage their online ad sales and serve up ads each time a consumer pulls up a Web page."

Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo acquires Israeli Foxytunes.

  • Vivisimo raises $4 million for Enterprise Search.
  • Google makes DoubleClick employees apply to keep their jobs.
  • Imagine there's a MicroHoo (it’s easy if you try).
  • Yahoo to move European headquarters to Switzerland.
  • AOL acquires social network Bebo.
  • Guilty until proven innocent.
  • Google Sky is now available for web browsers.
3. Articles of the week
Eric Schmidt: MicroHoo deal could 'break' the Internet

"In what has to be one of the weirdest Q&As we've read in a long time, Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells Portfolio's Russ Mitchell that a Microsoft-Yahoo deal could 'break the internet.' Was he kidding? Apparently not."

Related: Microsoft, Yahoo execs finally meet, Yahoo showing signs of life, albeit too late

Google Ad Manager: It’s bigger than it looks

"Google Ad Manager is one critical piece in creating the open network of networks where any site can take any ad and any marketer can advertise on any site. When that day arrives, we all become atoms that can attract to one molecule or another, no longer locked into one network."

Related: OpenX vs Google Ad Manager, Google’s Trojan Horse: let the free ad serving begin

The price of coddling Google - how Yahoo lost its way

"Almost eight years ago, Yahoo decided to lend a little start-up a helping hand, featuring its search technology on the Yahoo home page and giving it money at a critical juncture. [...]

The start-up was Google, and Yahoo's generosity helped launch the most formidable competitor it had ever encountered."

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4. Miscellaneous

"iBusinessPromoter is a fantastic tool."

"iBusinessPromoter is a fantastic tool for any business owner looking to get a leg up on the competition in the search engine wars. [...]

There is also a 30 day money back guarantee so if you are not fully satisfied you won’t be out of pocket. I definitely recommend checking it out!"
Evan Carmichael, Review on the YoungEntrepreneur.com Blog

"IBP has taken my business services to a entire different level."

"WOW, that is all I have to say. I am so impressed with the complete package of software that came with iBusinessPromoter and how easy it is to use.

Really it has taken my business services to a entire different level. The PDF reports are worth the cost of the software themselves. I look forward to all the new products that come available from Axandra."
Wade Wicklund, PerazimMedia.com

"The new version is perfect."

"IBP was very helpful when we optimized our website. The new version is perfect."
Carsten Scholz, www.GoFinance24.de

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5. Tell us what you think about IBP 10 and win a $100 Amazon coupon

We're looking for feedback to IBP version 10. Tell us how IBP has helped to improve your online business.

The names of all participants will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Amazon coupon. Thank you for helping us make IBP the best SEO tool!

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6. Previous articles

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