Natural Search Blog

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…


7 Habits of Highly Effective PPC Advertisers

I just saw this great article on “Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Pay-Per-Click Advertisers” by John Ellis, who does search marketing for Gaylord Entertainment, and I thought it was worth highlighting.

Some of the tips include:

…and more. I think there’s some great stuff here – both for paid search newbies as well as veterans.

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Sneak Peek: Chasing The Long Tail of Natural Search

Phew – After 7 long months slogging away, we will finally officially release the long awaited white paper “Chasing the Long Tail of Natural Search” next week Monday (Aug 7th) at SES San Jose and the Etail Philadelphia show.

One is always a little cautious about postulating grand theories into the wide world. But after studying over 1 million unique unbranded keywords across 25 major retailer search programs, we couldn’t resist – referring to the concept we outline as “Page Yield Theory.” This is an underpinning notion that the “long tail” of unbranded search keyword traffic is inextricably linked to the website’s number of uniquely indexable site pages. To those of us who subscribe to the “every-page-should-sing-its-own-song” philosophy, that seems like an obvious statement.

Yet the challenge behind it, and the impetus for the research, arose from the fact that many (unoptimized) well-branded multichannel retailers have 10’s/100’s of thousands of unique and indexed website pages. However most of their natural search traffic (usually over 90%) comes from searches related to their own company name. How could such strong brands and massive websites produce such little traffic for generic terms, terms other than the company name?


Afraid of Click Fraud? Try Pay-For-Call

Back when the internet’s structure was created, it was set up with protocols focused upon linking distributed info together and making info easily accessible. Growth happened since then (understatement of the year), and people invented a lot of new systems on top of that existing structure which were never anticipated in the original internet design. Since the original system was built without these new paradigms in mind, all sorts of problems and weaknesses have arisen which were not addressed in those original architecture standards. Security, identity of users and site owners, traceability, authenticity — all these aspects have been cited as we have tried to control and limit things like spam, hacking, fraud, denial-of-service attacks, etc.

As online advertising evolved on the internet, and moved from a pay-for-impressions model to something closer to pay-for-performance models, the backbone internet architecture didn’t evolve in sync with it. So, all the attendant weaknesses or limitations are also impacting the online advertising industry.

So, where does that leave us with our PPC ads? Is there a solution for Click Fraud? Read on, and I’ll explain…

Drop your bids if your keyword is on this list

Anybody who’s bidding in Google AdWords on any of the words in this list of top-paying AdSense keywords better drop their bids or stop syndicating your ads on the AdSense network, or be prepared to pay for a bunch of worthless non-converting traffic. That’s because it’s about to become a feeding frenzy of bloggers and site owners on the AdSense network optimizing their content to get ads for these top-paying keywords to show up on their sites.

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Lycos in the Search Engine Optimization business?

I had a chuckle when I read this: “Lycos’ Site Side Optimization services” A small-time search engine is now a self-appointed search engine optimization specialist, and here’s the best bit:

Your optimized site is regularly submitted to the free submit at major search engines for indexing.
Regular submissions ensure your site is spidered often by the search engines which results in refreshed content and improved rankings.

Wait a minute here; sites with reasonable links pointing to them never need to submit, and certainly they never need to re-submit! Search engines in actuality don’t like you to resubmit sites they already know about. The majority of sites that “regularly submit” tend to be spam and porn. I can’t remember us submitting a single site to a major search engine in years. and we launch lots of sites all the time. Every one of these sites gets crawled by all the important search engines within days of us placing a link on our home page to the newly launched site.

There must be better ideas for making some money out there, Lycos!


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