Monday, April 25, 2005

Yahoo Travel Submit

Yahoo has announced their new Travel Submit service. This is a pay per click (PPC) travel advertising services that Yahoo says will provide you: "Detailed listings of your travel offers and deals featured in highly relevant areas across Yahoo! Travel, giving you access to a vast audience of motivated travelers and targeted leads."

"Your offers will be displayed in Yahoo!'s popular travel research and planning areas, including:
  • Yahoo! Travel Deals, a new marketplace featured prominently on Yahoo! Travel
  • Yahoo! Travel Guides, destination and category-specific pages highlighting travel information, resources, ratings, and reviews for over 20,000 destinations and more than 100,000 hotel properties."

The cost per click is set by Yahoo and ranges from 20 cents/click for destinations to 57 cents/click for cruises, vacation packages and vacation rentals. However, it pays to sign up early because clicks are free through June 15, 2005.

The order in which the ads will be sure is based on "matching the consumer's search criteria with the location, category, listing date, availability, and any other offer features you specify in your feed."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Yahoo Local

Similar to the Google Local directory I described yesterday, Yahoo also has a local business directory. With Yahoo, however, you have several options.

Visit Yahoo Local

As with Google Local you can set up a free business listing. The process is similar to Google's except that Yahoo does not mail a confirmation to you. They will review your submission and either reject or approve it within three business days.

In addition to the business listing, Yahoo Local also includes a free five page web site. By answering a series of questions Yahoo will automatically create a web site for your business. The only significant drawback I saw is that there were only two options for graphics, and neither image was suitable for a business such as auto repair, pizza restaurant or most local stores. If you want a greater selection of templates and images, you'll need to sign up for the Yahoo Local Enhanced service.

In addition to the free listings, Yahoo offers "Enhanced" listing for $9.95/month. This provides you with more room for descriptive text in your business listing and greater options for building a web site. Of course, the Yahoo websites are limited in their design because they are based on templates, and the generic nature of the templates is reflected in the way the web site looks. However, $9.95/month isn't a bad price for a web site, if it shows up in the search results. Yahoo local free web sites have just been introduced, so they have not been around long enough for us to see whether searchers--in particular searchers on Google and MSN--will find them.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Google Local

It's starting to look like the Yellow Pages are an advertising media of the past. Local search on the internet is becoming the way people find local businesses and services. But the problem has been that most local businesses do not have web sites, And most of those who do have web sites, have sites that do not show up well in local searches.

The problem search engines faced was how to get the information they need to present comprehensive, useful, local search results. The answer? Google local.

Even if your business does not have a web site, you can set up a listing in the Google Local directory, free. Now people can find you on the internet, even if you don't have a web site.

Go to Google Local For Businesses

Once you provide Google Local with information about your business, they will mail a confirmation letter (that's postal mail, not email) to your business address. This allows them to ensure you have entered information for a real business that exists, and to control spamming.

By the way, Google is spidering the web and adding local businesses on its own. If you have a web site your business may already have been added. If so, you'll be given the opportunity to correct and update the information for your business, instead of creating a listing from scratch.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Keyword Density

Chasing after on optimal keyword density (KD), as some search engine optimizers do, never made sense. Forcing keywords into the text of a web page results in text that does not effectively deliver the message to the reader. What's the point of getting people to your web page, if that page does not support the objectives of your web site?

A recent article by Dr. E. Garcia shows that search engines do not use keyword density as part of their ranking calculations.

The Keyword Density of Non-Sense

While it is important to include relevant keywords in your text, trying to obtain on optimal keyword density accomplishes nothing. Instead concentrate on writing compelling text, that delivers your message in a concise and clear manner.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Marketleap Link Popularity Check

MarketLeap provides a tool that automates checking search engines for links to your web site(s). You can check your web site, along with any three other sites, giving you a side-by-side comparison of your link status vs. some of your competitors.

Link Popularity Check

The MarketLeap Link Popularity tool simultaneously checks for backlinks in MSN, Google Yahoo and Hotbot. It reports exactly what each search engine reports, so it is dependent on the accuracy of the search engine’s link count. It also provides links at the bottom of the report page allowing you to quickly check your link popularity in DMOZ, Excite, Iwon, Lycos, Overture and WiseNut.

Two reports are available:

The Industry Benchmark Report divides the web sites you selected into one of six categories, based on the number of incoming links each has. In addition to the four sites you specified, this report also shows the link popularity results for 34 sites other web sites, allowing you to get a feel for your web site’s comparative link popularity.

The Tend/History Report shows the current, minimum, maximum, and average link popularity for each of the four web sites you designated. It also graphs the trend over time, shows number of sample points and gives the time period over which the sampling occurred. Each time you request a link popularity report from MarketLeap, a data point is established. These data points are saved by MarketLeap and used to produce the trend report.

MarketLeap lists some of the benefits of their Link Popularity tool as:

• Get a count of the number of pages each search engine reports as containing a link to you, including the links on your web sites.

• Check out the sites that are linking to you to find out why, and where they are linking to your web site. This will help you understand who is finding your web site valuable, and what parts of it are considered valuable.

• At the same time you get a report on your link popularity, you can also see how your competitors are doing. If they are performing well, take a look at the sites linking to them so you can discover ways to improve your link popularity.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Measure Google Rankings

This tool provides a quick way to check the Google search result ranking of your web site, or a competitor’s web site, for any keyword or phrase.

Google Rankings

Enter the keyword you want to check and the URL of the web site, and the Google Ranking tool will give you the current ranking of the web site for that keyword. You may also get the ranking for multiple keywords for a single web site, or multiple web sites for a single keyword or phrase. There is even an option in which the Google Ranking tool will automatically find the most frequently used words on a page, and then get the Google ranking for each of those words.

This is a handy tool for establishing benchmarks, and tracking improvements in a web site’s Google ranking as you work to improve the web site.