Natural Search Blog


SuperMedia + Dex One = SuperDex

I was recently speculating about a possible SuperMedia – Dex One merger which could be hinted-at by the two companies cross-distribution agreement. If the two companies do merge, what might be their combined product or company brand name? Here’s a portmanteau brandname logo I came up with:

SuperMedia + Dex One = SuperMedia + Dex One = SuperDex

Actually, I since discovered that “SuperDex” is the trademarked name of a chromatography product, so that potential brand name is in-use and not available!

Perhaps some other brand name could result from the theoretic union of yellow pages companies, like “SuperKnows” or “DexMedia”. Maybe even “DexPages” or “SuperOne”!

It would probably be ultimately least expensive to keep one dominant brand name — I think Superpages has more brand equity overall, so that’s what I would vote towards.

AT&T Acquires YP.com for $3.85 Million

Yellow Pages Dot ComAT&T has acquired YP.com for $3.85 Million. I distinctly recall back when AT&T previously bought YellowPages.com in for $100 million in 2004. Does this make sense?!?

Back in 2004, I laughed and laughed and laughed, and I told coworkers that it was a huge waste of money, because, I said, “they won’t be able to buy themselves into the top position for searches for ‘Yellow Pages’”. SuperPages.com long held that distinction under my SEO direction, and I knew that purchasing the term in a domain name alone would not depose all the work we’d done to rank tops for it. As time passed, however, yellowpages.com has indeed deposed the Superpages forerunner. (more…)

Yellow Pages Guerilla Ad Campaign

I was speaking at the Search Engine Strategies (“SES”) Conference in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, and was impressed by the YellowPages.ca booth in the exhibit hall:

YellowPages.ca booth at SES Toronto Conference

YellowPages.ca Search GraphI’ve seen other, equally-large booths for online yellow pages companies, but this one seemed particularly attention-getting and inviting. The glowing yellow desk and the simple design made the thing very friendly-looking, and the geek in me was drawn to the near-real-time search volume graph they had playing up on one screen. (more…)

Local Search Behemoth InfoSpace Cashed Out

Last year when InfoSpace decided to sell off Switchboard, other directories, and their mobile services, I wondered if they were just cashing out. Yesterday’s New York Times article, “Once an Internet Giant, InfoSpace Dismantles Itself“, would appear to verify that they did indeed cash out.

Infospace (more…)

Online Reputation Management Through Search at SMX West

I was interested to hear the presentations in the Reputation Monitoring & Management Through Search session at the SMX West Conference yesterday in Santa Clara, and the five presenters didn’t disappoint.

Andy Beal
(click to enlarge)

First up was Andy Beal, who I was particularly interested in hearing since this presentation came just after he announced his new online reputation management monitoring service, Trackur, and he also announced he’d have a number of free copies of his book at a booth in the exhibit hall later.

Additional speakers included Chris Bennett, Veronica “Niki” Fielding, David Wallace, and Jonathan Ashton. (more…)

Should you buy search ads for your brand keywords?

I confess, as a search engine optimizer, I used to think that buying ads for one’s own brand name was a complete waste of money. After all, all companies should rank in top slots for their own brand name(s), if they’re doing their SEO right, and if you’re ranking tops then people will be able to find you if they’re looking for you. As such, I thought that buying ads for your own name was just paying for clicks that should rightly come to you anyway.

But over time, I’ve heard other experts stating that their research shows that having ad presence for brands along with natural search ranking appears to enhance overall click through rates in a synergistic manner. And, with greater experience, I’ve seen a number of cases when companies really should be buying their own brand name keywords for ads!

I see that George Michie over at the Rimm-Kaufman Group criticized a recent Microsoft study claiming that some advertisers are wasting money by buying their own brands in paid search ads — and I think George was right to criticize this. Read on and I’ll elaborate…

(more…)

Build It Wrong & They Won’t Come: Coca-Cola’s Store

I just wrote an article comparing Coke’s and Pepsi’s homepage redirection, concluding that Pepsi actually does a better job, though both of them did ultimately nonoptimal setup for the purposes of search optimization. Clunky homepage redirection isn’t the only search marketing sin that Coca-Cola has done — their online product shopping catalog is very badly designed for SEO as well, and I’ll outline a number of reasons why.

Coca-Cola Store

In this article and in the redirection article, I’m criticising Coca-Cola’s technical design quite a bit, but I’m not trying to embarrass them — like any good American boy, I love Coca-Cola (particularly Coke Classic and Cherry Coke). In fact, this could ultimately benefit them, if they take my free assessment and use it as a guide for improving their site. I’m doing this because Coca-Cola is the top most-recognized brand worldwide, and the sorts of errors they’re making in their natural search channel are all too common in ecommerce sites. I chose Coca-Cola’s e-store because they make such a great example of the sorts of things that online marketers need to focus upon. If such a juggernaut of a company, with huge advertising and marketing budgets makes these sorts of mistakes, you could be making them, too.

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Coming Soon to NYC: The Googleheim Museum

[Source: SEO-AP] Due to budget cuts of the NEA and gross mismanagement by the Guggenheim Foundation board of directors, one of America’s top museums has been in danger of closing down in bankruptcy and selling off priceless artworks in order to repay debtors. However, Google [NYSE: GOOG] company has apparently made a unique sponsorship offer to the Solomon R. Guggenheim, and the deal is apparently set to initiate on June 1.

Secret image of Googleheim - Google internal documents
Source: Google internal documents outed earlier today on Natural Search Blog.

Information related to the deal was discovered by this reporter while browsing through 3D images of buildings created with Google Sketchup (while researching an article on Sketchup’s University Contest). Apparently, Google personnel had generated a new façade of the building in the application in order to use the images in a proposal to bail out the museum. Due to a temporary glitch, links to the confidential building diagrams showing a new exterior could be found for a short while in the application’s online data warehouse. These images showed a new logo reading “Googleheim�, apparently a cross between the well-known Google brand name and the Guggenheim name.

The proposed exterior showed the newly Google-ized logo broadly splashed across the museum, replacing the much smaller signature letters of the current museum name. Other information regarding the deal was leaked by a few unnamed sources within the company, and the deal was subsequently confirmed to by Google spokesperson, Erin Fors.

(more…)

Ultimate Local SEO Tactics

After I earlier wrote some Extreme Local Search Optimization Tactics, one of my SEO coworkers, Steven Spaulding, “out-extremed” me by joking that one could go even further by getting a custom city name made from beneficial keywords! For example, one could end up with a street address like:

257 Viagra Drive, Cialis, Texas

Map Illustration for Ultimate Local Search Optimization

(Ugh! I’m probably going to regret using those keywords in my blog posting!)

Until Steven joked about this, it just hadn’t occured to me to even consider using a city name for keyword optimization purposes. It’s undoubtedly far-fetched, but I began to wonder, is it within the realm of possibility? Actually, I think it is. So here’s this post – an addendum of sorts on my previous article. Here’s two more local search optimization strategies which are so extreme, so over-the-top, that I’ll label them “Ultimate Local Search Optimization Tactics”. Someone with enough money and desire might be able to pull one of these off!

So, read on if you’re morbidly curious, and don’t worry, Dave Naffziger, these are so extreme that they’re unlikely to cause you to lose any sleep!

(more…)

Pork Board Thwacks Mom to Safeguard their Money-Laundering Scheme

So, the blogosphere was full up last week with postings about Jennifer Laycock, the well-liked search marketer who put up a website to support a breastfeeding nonprofit group. I heard her speak on Linkbaiting last year at SES San Jose, and she was fantastic! I’d even spammed some of our staff at my company with a note mentioning that session.

Well, one of her fundraising methods is to sell t-shirts with humorous phrases on them referring to milk and breastfeeding, and the one bearing the slogan, “The Other White Milk” attracted the ire of the National Pork Board who own the trademark “The Other White Meat”. Laycock blogged about the National Pork Board‘s demands, and many other bloggers jumped to her defense in a small blogstorm.

Most folx mentioning this failed to mention what use the National Pork Board has put “The Other White Meat” slogan to: avoiding controls on how they spend money. Read on and I’ll elaborate. (more…)

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