search engine marketing-general

Holiday Season Marketing

money_bow_0.jpgBrace yourselves. With the current state of the economy, we are about to have the weakest holiday season in twenty years. According to Fitch Ratings, retail sales were negative in the “back to school” period for the first time since 2001, and expect it to continue for the remainder of 2008. This unfortunate trend will yield an expanding consumer base that looks more to spending what cash they have, rather than running up their credit cards.

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NO SALESMEN WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF THIS POST

iphone-keyboard-typing_0.jpgIf you don’t know already, I’m a gadget guy. My wife would tell you that I would build a robot to put my pants on for me every morning if there was room in our closet. I even bought the first Blackberry available in my town, grabbing it out of the salesman’s unsuspecting hands, and sprinting like a running back to the cash register ready to leap to a miraculous game-winning technological touchdown.

Read this article: NO SALESMEN WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF THIS POST

Google owns nearly 80% of ad space

It's all over the Internet right now that Google has almost 80% of Search Advertising in the US. This may not look good for them now that they are attempting to look less like the monopoly that Yahoo is making them out to be. But for those looking to advertise online, this goes to prove that Google is the place to do it. The other ad carriers do have something to offer but until we have at least a 50/50 split between Google and Yahoo, like in Japan, then most of your eggs should be in the Google basket.

Read this article: Google owns nearly 80% of ad space

Site moving to a New Domain Name? Follow these steps!

It happens from time to time. There is some kind of need in marketing or an organization expands, contracts, or is acquired. But if your old domain is doing fairly well in the search engines and attracting a lot of traffic then you should proceed carefully to preserve the value of the domain. Follow these steps:

  1. Point single 301 redirects for each page on the old site to the proper URL on the new site.
  2. Change all the links on the old site so that they point to the proper place on the new site rather than pointing to re-directed pages
  3. Review your top 200-300 domains sending traffic to your site and contact them about changing their links
  4. Use Yahoo! Site Explorer to find out who else is linking to you and contact them about changing their links.
  5. Both the old site and the new site should be verified and have sitemaps submitted at Google's Webmaster Central
  6. Post to the Google Groups Webmaster Central forum explaining the move, why you're doing it, and how they can mitigate the losses such a move will entail in your rankings.
  7. Engage in a link-building campaign - your goal is to get as many new inbound links as possible to increase the visibility of the new site.
  8. Monitor your Webmaster Central account for crawl errors and to see if Google's doing well with your 301's



Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet. But, with persistence and time you should be able to regain your old positions.

Read this article: Site moving to a New Domain Name? Follow these steps!

Protect your Domain from Hijackers & Hackers

Recently a company here in Austin posted a frantic email to a newsgroup that I belong to:

The domain name for my soon to be launched startup has been hijacked. Godaddy, the registrar, says that my contact info on the domain (which DID NOT expire) was incorrect so they sent email to the wrong contact info and since it didn't get answered, they gave my domain to someone else who is hiding their contact info.

This kind of thing happens all the time! Your domain name is your identity online. If you've invested in online marketing and then you lose your domain, your investment is washed down the drain. Take these steps to protect your domain:

  1. Lock your domain. Most domain registrars will let you "lock" your domain against transfers. This means that no one can transfer the domain to another registrar which is one of the top ways that domains get hijacked. You can always "unlock" it to make a transfer later if you need to. It's not foolproof but it's simple and effective.

  2. Use anonymous registration. To register a domain you must provide administrative contact information. By making this private you can reduce the risk of hijackers using this information to pull off a hijack.

  3. Trademark your domain name. If you do get hijacked but you own the trademark for your domain then you will have a much easier time getting it back.

  4. Set up an alternative email address. If you do get hijacked you will lose your email address for awhile. Make sure that at least one of the contacts on your domain registration uses an alternate email address (like gmail or yahoo). That way, you can still respond to inquiries about the domain.

  5. Don't rely on an email from your registrar to remind you to renew your domain. It is YOUR responsibility to keep your domain name registered and up to date! Set a reminder in your calendar a couple of months in advance of the expiration date. And, if it's a mission-critical domain name, go ahead and renew for the maximum allowed time - usually 10 years. That's a lot of peace-of-mind for less than $100.



While you can't completely protect yourself, these tactics will at least make it harder for someone to do you harm and easier to get your domain back if they do.

Read this article: Protect your Domain from Hijackers & Hackers

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