Internet Marketing Search Engine

Since I will never have time to read all of Lee's 256 Must Read Blogs (which leaves me with 330 in my reader), I figured to put all this knowledge to best use all the sites should go into a custom search engine.

Creating the CSE would have only involved a quick Perl script on the OPML file but thanks to Feedburner, it's not that easy.  So anyhow incase anyone wants it, here is the file listing every site included .

Here is the link to the actual search engine page or you can make use of a search box like the one below.


If your site is included, you better get out your tinfoil hat. I'd be willing to bet being added to a frequently used CSE is another signal the Borg is using

Is it Time to Believe in LinkedIn

Today I was cruising through Guy Kawasaki's Blog and found Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn. Besides doing an excellent job of writing an effective blog post and headline, Guy points out early in the post that:

"All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees."

Now if you are in sales or just generally want to advance your career you can't ignore the potential that exists in finding out who you know that knows someone who can help you.

I have been a LinkedIn member for a couple of years now.  You could probably call it an aspiration of mine to make better use of the system but I never seem to get it into my daily routine. Today when I logged in to the site and was prompted with the updates to my network I noticed this graphic.

LinkedIn Network Stats

My region is the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area yet apparently my own region represents less than 3% of my network.  I don't get out to any of the top areas in my network very often (or ever) so I imagine these stats are representative of where LinkedIn is seeing the greatest growth. 

Another interesting item was that the headline for Guys article was displayed in a DoubleClick banner ad immediately when I logged into the site.   It seems Guy is doing an excellent job promoting his work also.

Linked In Answers

Stomping on the grave of Google Answers . There seems to be a lot of activity in the answer category by other Internet powerhouses and Web 2.0 shops.  Included in this is the new LinkedIn answers section.

Below is a screenshot from the new section.  As you can see from the first question there are a lot of great answers to be found :-)  

LinkedIn Answers

Also jumping on the answer bandwagon is Amazon with Askville

330 Blogs in My Reader

I have been debating for days on what to do with Lee Odden's Must Read Search Marketing Blogs.  Having over 100 blogs in Google Reader already (most of which I can't get to on a regular basis) I couldn't imagine dumping another 250 into my to-do list.

Well the curiosity got to me and I had to import them.  After dups where removed I have 330 blogs in my reader now!  It would be a lot better if the OPML files allowed for tagging.  It'll take me months to actually go through all these blogs and tag them accordingly in my reader. :-(

Online Spending Tops $100B in 2006

Data released by comScore Networks reveals what we all knew would happen.  Online spending increased another 24% in 2006 to total more than $100B spent in eCommerce.  2006 Also saw a holiday season increase in spending of 26%.  Does anyone still know people who are hesitant to purchase online?  Based on these numbers their can't be many people left.  More information is available at ClickZ

Easy Long-tail of Search Traffic : Misspelling SEO

Last month I accidentally typed the letter 'i' twice when writing ZoomInfo on the 'About ' section of the blog so it appeared as ZoomIinfo.  Through the analytics I discovered quickly that I was ranking for this misspelling and quickly corrected the spelling on the site.  However, before I could get it changed I had already had 15 visitors from Google due to the misspelling.  It gets better, those 15 visitors ended up with an average of 4 pageviews each!  Oddly enough due to the misspelling it seems those visitors still found something they were looking for on the site.  Long live the long-tail-of-search.

Interactive Marketing Success

Andy Beal recently blogged on "Five Secret Strategies to Add $1 Million in Revenue to your Interactive Marketing Agency in 2007"  Others followed suite including Rand at SEOmoz and Eric at Ramblings about SEO

Since I had such an extraordinary ride this year in Web Development and Interactive Marketing, I figure I'll through in my 1/2 cent worth.

1. Keep one foot on the ground.  Its very easy in this industry to get caught up in the latest news and trends, then try an communicate your passion to a client and their eyes quickly gloss over.  The biggest key in this industry is being able to understand the technology and new trends that are required while still being able to communicate effective business reasons for their use.  Sometimes you have to turn off the podcasts, step away from the blogroll, get out in the world and communicate with business people who aren't buried in technology all day.

2. And I have to second Rand's 5th item "Eliminate Costs Ruthlessly."  I have reduced our fixed operating costs by 80% over the past 12 months.  Reducing fixed costs allows us to more effectively pursue projects which are a good fit for our skills and not worry so much about cash flow issues.  For small firms starting out, this is extremely important.  I wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize.

3.  Have great support staff and fully utilize their abilities.  This is straight out of one of Trump's books (can't remember which one) and relates strongly to EMyth.  You need to have people in place to handle busy work so you can concentrate on your real skills — whether they are selling, customer service, linkbaiting, etc. 

Google Analytics with AJAX

With the simplicity of Javascript style analytics packages such as Google Analytics compared to the traditional log file parsers, comes the concern that some data (page views) may be overlooked.  One legitimate concern is for browsers with Javascript turned off (which could really be less than 0.05% of all users).  But another concern is for the case where a site removes traditional form posts and replaces them with elegant AJAX calls.  By using the urchinTracker a site can accurately track all sorts of non-pageview events.  Over at Google Support there is a great example of how urchinTracker can be used specifically for tracking AJAX calls.

Google Map Results

Now my wife will attest that I am not the most observant person so this may have happened a couple of days ago I just didn't notice.  But today I have been seeing a Google map link included in the search results for some businesses — such as the listing below.

 
googlemapresults.jpg

Just another reason to make sure your business is included in the Google Maps (Local) database.

Freedom From Exchange

I switched over from Outlook + Exchange a couple of weeks ago to GMail for email.  However I still found myself opening Outlook every time I had a schedule an meeting.  Well today that's all changing.  I dumped my whole calendar from Exchange to a csv and imported into Google Calendar – seamless.  I am loading all my past emails right now with Gmail Loader GML – again seamless (except for the date thing).  I have project milestones fed into GoogleCalendar from BaseCamp and by next month I should have salesforce.com contacts and events syncing with Google also.  Man I love integration.