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Climbing the Beanstalk
December 14, 2004

Welcome to the December 14, 2004 edition of "Climbing The Beanstalk", the bi-weekly newsletter on search engines and search engine positioning from Beanstalk. In this edition we will discuss the most recent development in the battle between Google and MSN for search dominance, the recent articles published by Beanstalk staff as well as some special tips on link building not included in our most recent article (Hey, we like to save a few special tips for our loyal newsletter subscribers).

If you have any questions regarding any of the areas covered in this newsletter please don't hesitate to contact us.

Here it comes! Here it comes! Darn - Not yet.

There comes a time in a person's life when they have to come to terms with who they are. Monday the 13th was that day for me. Last week I read a press release from Microsoft announcing a teleconference this Monday morning. The anticipation over the weekend was high. MSN was going to be announcing the official launch of their new search engine. I've obviously been tracking our client's results on the MSN beta site and they're doing very well.

And then Monday morning came around. I woke up before my alarm clock and had hours to wait before the teleconference. I ransacked the MSN beta engine doing some final searches to insure everything would be all-good in the world of my clients and the results were even better than they had been previously.

And then the conference started. The VP was introduced and the announcement came: MSN had developed a new toolbar and was putting it out in Beta at http://beta.toolbar.msn.com/. I was incredibly disappointed and that's when I had to admit myself ... somewhere along the way I had become a geek (and a disappointed geek at that).

Nonetheless the still-to-come announcement that the MSN search engine is going live will be enormous news for the search engine world and at least signs that we won't have too long to wait were present in Monday's conference. The new toolbar includes a desktop search function (borrowing a feature from Google's Desktop Search). The biggest thing from my perspective was the fact that the toolbar search function does not give results based on the current MSN listings but rather on the beta search from http://beta.search.msn.com/. That they're choosing to pull results from their own engine as opposed to the results they're presenting currently on msn.com gives a clear indication that the launch of the new engine is coming up sooner rather than later.

With everything that's going on over at Microsoft these days one would expect Google to be worried however they're definitely holding their own in the product development and announcements category. Launching targeted engines such as Google Scholar which allows people to search only scholarly literature (a great tool for those students and researchers who are aware of it's presence) Google is sticking pretty much announcement-to-announcement with MSN.

Will this hurt the launch of the new MSN search engine? Perhaps. My guess would be that it will only hurt MSN in the short term and really only in the eyes of Google investors. Whether MSN grows to be "the king" or not remains to be seen however I'd put my dollar on it taking a big chunk of Google marketshare over the next couple years.

If you haven't guessed, this means learn the new algorithm and get ready to optimize for MSN. It already holds a large marketshare that promises to increase. It holds the potential to generate significant revenue and it's best not to realize that after all your competition have.

Recent Search Engine Positioning Articles

Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization has recently had two of it's articles picked up by WebProNews, ISEDB, and an assortment of other SEO resource sites. These are recommended reading for anyone interested in attaining high rankings.

Website Submissions
With services offering to help you get more traffic and higher search engine positioning by submitting your website to "18 Bazillion Search Engines For Just $19.95 Per Month!" and other such claims, there has grown much confusion around website submissions. In this article we will clear up many of the misconceptions around submitting your website and may even save you "Just $19.95 Per Month!" in the process ... <more>

Link Building
Link building: it's pretty much understood that this is a critical component when you're trying to attain top search engine positioning however the confusion enters when it's time to decide exactly what you should do ... <more>

Anchor's Away!

Step eight of the ten step series currently being published by Beanstalk is on link building. We believe that our loyal subscribers deserve just a little bit more than the average surfer as so we held a bit back just for you. What we held back is the portion on anchor text. This is one of the most important aspect of your link building campaign.

Everyone seems to know that it's a good idea to use your keywords in the links to your site but there's a heck of a lot more to know than that. If you are working on link building then be sure to follow these rules to maximizing the effect of your efforts.

Rule 1 - Keep the link text to a minimum. I've seen anchor text that's 10 and sometimes even 20 words long. This diversifies your keyword focus so much you won't do as well for any one of them. Focus your energies on a single phrase (or perhaps two at most provided they are related). An example of two related phrases would be "search engine positioning" and "guaranteed search engine positioning".

Rule 2 - Mix up your link text. Some people send the same link information to everyone. It's a better idea to at least mix up a couple words. Instead of using "search engine positioning" every time I would add the words beanstalk or guaranteed or services (to fit other keyword targets). Using the same phrase every time will get picked up as over-optimizing. If you think about it, naturally occurring links are not phrased exactly the same every time and neither should the links you request.

Rule 3 - Use solid descriptions and make sure to use the targeted phrase in it. Not a required but a handy tactic is to include your url (i.e. www.beanstalk-inc.com) in the description. It won't count as a link but you can then run searches for your url and you will find all the links you've set up. It also makes it easier to find out which sites have removed their links to your site, etc.

If you follow these rules in addition to those outlined in the link building article referenced above you will do well in your link building efforts.

Thank You

Thank you very much for subscribing to "Climbing The Beanstalk", the bi-weekly search engine positioning newsletter. If you have any questions about the areas covered or if there are any areas of search engine positioning that you would like to see covered in future articles/newsletter please don't hesitate to contact us. We want to write what you want to know.

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