Archive for August, 2007

Providing a SEM Company Access Information

At the beginning of a SEM campaign most internet advertising companies, including Agilis Marketing, will ask for FTP access, along with other website information, in order to perform the work required to achieve top search rankings. For instance, our company kindly requests the following information to best service our clients.

  1. FTP access to the website that includes the following:
    1. Username
    2. Password
    3. IP Address

Agilis Marketing asks for these details so that we are able to complete the on-page modifications needed to obtain higher search positions.

  1. An email address (i.e.  marketing@domain.com) along with details on how to access this account.

This information allows our company to effectively acquire SEO friendly links from external websites.

Typically these are the only access details needed.

Of course, accommodations are always made for companies with more stringent security measures or complex access procedures. This may include downloading and using a specialized VPN client or other company specific requirements.

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SEO Elite – Internet Advertisers Be Careful!

The SEO Elite website is full of positive reviews about its software, claiming quick and easy website promotion through the use of its automated program. SEO Elite professes their software can assist websites in obtaining top search engine results for less than $200. No matter the product or service a site markets, or whether advertising to an international or local audience, the company claims its software can achieve top search results for its users.

This is a simple sale to many marketers since the cost of the product is only a fraction of the investment associated hiring a professional SEO company. Why not give SEO Elite a shot? With all this hype and praise why should internet advertisers be cautious when using this or any such program?

For starters it is a strict violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines. The use of SEO Elite, or any other automated program with grand claims of improving a website’s search rankings is prohibited by these rules and could even result in Google completely removing a site from its index. See for yourself, by going to Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other major search engine and type in “Google Webmaster Guidelines”. After clicking on the first result, read the information carefully. Notice that one of the guidelines specifically states that webmasters should avoid using automated programs. Well, this includes SEO Elite.

Still, as a smart marketer, it can be hard to ignore all the accolades surrounding SEO Elite. There are countless websites that praise this software as a means to help with an international, national, or local campaign regardless of the competitiveness of the keyword space. Keep in mind the biases behind many of these articles and web pages (including this one). SEO Elite has an affiliate program that rewards and encourages webmasters to persuade individuals or companies to purchase their software. In fact, SEO Elite pays webmasters a 50 percent commission on each referral that results in a sale. That is an enormous commission and the primary reason why there are numerous sites promoting the software.

I caution all advertisers to be careful. While the idea of top search results with little effort and investment is nice, rarely is it possible. There are reasons why professional search engine marketing companies exist and why companies use them. Similarly, those who choose to promote sites internally spend countless hours working hard to achieve top rankings.

Please help spread the word about SEO Elite and other automated programs by sharing this article with a friend or letting others know about it. My goal is for this page to show up in the Top 10 search results when individuals type “SEO Elite” into the popular search engines. By doing so, those researching the software can learn about the program from a site that is not promoting it.

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PageRank, Links, and SEM

PageRank (PR) is a term that is tossed around frequently but fully often misunderstood. There is much more involved to calculating a website’s PageRank than the number of links pointing to it. Furthermore, there is much more to International SEM than Google’s PR number.

PageRank is Google’s method of calculating the authority of a particular webpage. Simply because a website has a PR of 7 does not mean it will show up highly in the search engine results pages for any particular phrase, but rather it indicates that there are other authoritative links pointing to the site.

Notice the use of the word “authoritative”. It is oftentimes much better for a website to have a few links coming from pages with a high PR than hundreds from web pages with a small PageRank. PR is calculated on an exponential basis. A rank of 3 is ten times better than a 2, and a rank of 4 is ten times better than one 3, etc.

A little known secret is that all this and much more detail is available free at the United States Patent and Trademark Office Website. Simply conduct a patent search using Google as the assignee and anyone can view the patent pertaining to PageRank and other factors that impact a site’s search engine’s positions.

Obtaining a link from a site with a high PR, does not itself, ensure improving in the gaining a higher position in the SERPS. Relevance is critical here. A link that comes from a site highly relevant to the topic one is marketing may prove extraordinarily valuable.

Take for example a website that sells gift baskets, all else equal, a link coming from a page about cell phone ring tones will be much less valuable than one coming from a page that has information on gift baskets. It is important to keep the relevancy factor in mind when determining the value of a link from any particular website.

Google has a trust ranking systems as well. Even if a page has a high PR a link from it may prove to be virtually worthless.

Remember PageRank is only one of the pieces in a complex puzzle. When all these pieces are fitted together properly, an effective international search engine marketing campaign is the result.

Still, it is important to know about as many pieces of the puzzle as possible. I urge all readers to take the time to perform the research necessary to create an effective links campaign. Read the Google patents and make certain a site is relevant before trying to obtain a link. Keep in mind that this post contains but a few of the many linking considerations to take into account when promoting a website.

Future posts will contain information on a few of the pitfalls and tricks to watch out for when working on a links campaign. For instance, the PageRank displayed in the Google toolbar is not always the actual PR of a site. Webmasters can also employ a variety of other tactics that may prevent a search engine from spidering a link. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest SEM news and strategies. Readers are always welcome to ask me questions about this article or SEM. Please simply ask for Brent in the comments’ section of the contact form.

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100 Free Backlinks – Calling All SEO Experts

I am putting out a call to all experts in the SEO and SEM industries across the globe. If you help companies on a daily basis with search engine marketing then please use our contact form to request authoring privileges. As an extra incentive I will gather 100 quality backlinks for anyone accepted into the program and after contributing three posts. I want this to be beneficial and well worth the time. Additional incentives will be provided to those who continually contribute.

I am looking for a variety of specialists in the industry. Since this blog focuses on international internet promotion, SEO experts from outside the U.S. will receive first consideration. Specifically, I am interested in talking with professional from India, the United Kingdom, Thailand, and France. However, experts from the United States that consistently assist companies abroad are welcome to participate. Also, anyone with hands on search engine marketing experience is welcome to apply.

This blog will become the source people turn to when looking for the latest trends and information on international search engine marketing. Although new, I am already starting to heavily promote the blog and it is reflective in our analytics data. BOTW, natural search engine optimization, and other referral sources are delivering an increasing higher number of new visitors to the blog on a daily basis.

All blog posts must contain 250 words or more, be completely original, and topically relevant. Spots are limited and authoring privileges are granted on first come first serve basis, so long as the individual requesting posting rights has sufficient expertise and writing ability. Please include links to sample writings when submitting your information. I sincerely thank all applicants who have an interest in contributing to the international search engine marketing blog for applying. All the best and I look forward to the possibility of working together to create a truly unique and authoritative information source on the internet. Please click here as a first step to becoming a contributing author at our international SEM blog.

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International Companies Turn to United States for SEO

Agilis Marketing conducted a research study that polled over 300 United States SEO companies and discovered that an increasing number of international firms are turning to U.S. internet advertisers for assistance when promoting a website and its products or services. The study tabulated data from companies across the country and in part included the following questions:

1) How many international prospects are received on a monthly basis?

2) One, three, and five years ago how many international prospects did your company receive?

3) How many of these prospects turned into sales?

4) As a percentage of all prospects, is there in a larger number of international firms seeking SEO assistance compared to one, three, and five years ago?

5) As a percentage of all your clients, is there in an increase in foreign corporations as compared to one, three, and five years ago?

The results of the study showed a 23 percent rise in the number of companies overseas turning to United States’ businesses for assistance. However, the number of international companies that decided to perform business with a U.S. SEO firm increased only 9 percent.

* Margin of error for the extrapolated data based upon the sample size is approximately +/- 3 percent.

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The Value of Directory Links at Vilesilencer

The top search experts know that links are a measure of popularity and that not all links are created equal. It can be relatively simple for a person to spot a paid link and discredit it, but much more complicated for Google’s algorithms to pick up on one.

I must give credit to Google for discounting many paid links that do exist. Furthermore, I have faith that Google, Yahoo, MSN, and all the other search engines will discover additional ways at detecting paid links versus links that a webmaster or site owner adds because they are truly of value to a page’s topic. With all this in mind why do local national and international search engine marketers continue to pay for links that are destined to become worthless? For starters, the smart ones don’t, they skip these links entirely. As for everyone else, lack of knowledge is the only reasonable conclusion that I can form. Let’s take a look at a specific example that contains a mixture of free and paid directory links.

Info.vilesilencer.com has a listing of directories that are “search engine friendly” and encourage these same directories to place the logo below back to their directory list.

International Search Engine Marketing Directory Listings Logo

I seriously question the SEO friendliness of these links. It is only a matter of time before Google realizes these directories for exactly what they are; an artificial way to build link popularity. Since they are all networked to each other it would not be difficult for Google to massively remove them and adjust its algorithm accordingly. My best advice is to stay clear of all the directories on this list. Adding a site to these directories might help it temporarily and may never hurt it permanently; I sincerely doubt these listings will improve a website’s search engine positions in the long term.

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Select a Professional SEM Firm or DIY

Oftentimes I am questioned about the benefits of hiring a professional SEM company versus starting a do it yourself (DIY) campaign. I receive this same question from local, national, and international prospects. One of the better analogies I can give is related to the medical field. If a loved one had a heart problem and needed a blood transfusion or operation then who is best equipped to handle the work? Unless you’ve spent years training as a doctor or surgeon, chances are you are not the best person for the job. Although we are not talking about health issues, the same is true with search marketing. It is impossible to gain, within a few months time, the same level of experience as a SEM consultant with a decade of experience.

Certainly, it helps to become knowledgeable of the techniques involved in search engine marketing. However, the reality is that a DIY marketer cannot expect to achieve top search rankings anymore than a layman could operate on a loved one with a heart problem.

There are websites that truly help the novice marketer. Search Engine Watch and Matt Cutt’s Blog are two such websites. However there are not any niche websites that offer insights into international search engine marketing (I hope to change that). Rather, most other websites offer invaluable information, wasting time that someone could spend effectively promoting a website.

The flipside of websites created to help people, is a blooming cottage industry of sites that preys upon individuals and business owners. These sites target those who believe it is possible for a novice web marketer to successfully promote a website without any professional assistance. Perform a quick search on Google for “SEO” or “internet promotion” and sure enough websites will appear that sell cheap marketing packages for $100 to $500. Oftentimes, these sites promise top search rankings for anyone willing to pay their small fees. The reality of the situation is that lighting money on fire is a better move. While most of these service provide little benefit, some of them can hurt a site’s search rankings via automated submissions and other techniques used.

I cannot stress enough the importance of using common sense when promoting a business and its website. Be smart, perform research, and go from there. Most people would not randomly select a heart surgeon, take the same precautions when selecting a search engine marketing company or in the alternative, if you decide to market a site on your own, do so carefully and armed with as much knowledge as possible.

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International Marketing Trends

Conglomerates and other large overseas companies are turning to Unites States based SEM firms in hoards. This is one reason international search engine marketing discussions will continue to draw an ever growing audience.

When looking to advertise to an American demographic it helps to have U.S. based companies assist with the marketing initiatives. The same holds true of a Unites States firm looking to advertise to India, UK, or another international market. Each country has its own culture and a wise marketer does not overlook that fact.

These cultural dissimilarities also apply to the way people look for products and services on the internet. Different search engines are popular in different nations. To add further complication, the algorithms and methods employed by international search engines often differ. It is crucial to realize this and adjust promotional campaigns accordingly.

Unfortunately, to their own peril, many companies try to use in-house domestic teams to market to an international audience, rather than outsourcing the work. The results are oftentimes disastrous. Misunderstandings can result in wasted advertising dollars with no results or worse a damaged brand reputation and associated negative press. The key takeaway is to realize when outside help is required. A larger number of companies that promote websites abroad are reaching this realization.

This trend is unlikely to change. As businesses learn more from their mistakes and those of others, an increasing number are turning to companies that are located in their customers’ geographical demographic. While this article, site, and blog relate more specifically to the international marketing via websites, a company should consider the same principles regardless of the marketing medium.

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