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Climbing the Beanstalk
August 30, 2005

Welcome to the August 30, 2005 edition of "Climbing The Beanstalk", the bi-weekly newsletter on search engines and search engine positioning from Beanstalk. The past couple weeks have provided for some interesting changes in the search engine world. Yahoo! and MSN announced plans to launch their advertising systems to compete with Google AdWords and AdSense programs, but don't think that left Google behind ...

Jack's House

Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization has had to put a hold on accepting new clients from August 18th until September 5th in order to meet and exceed our obligations to our existing clients. This hold does not affect consulting services or our resellers.

Climbing The Beanstalk, our bi-weekly SEO newsletter will be changing delivery dates and will be sent out on the last Monday of every month. At the same time, the format will undergo a significant change as well in order to provide easier access to relevant, SEO-related information. We appologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. You will find the new format, sections and information to be, if anything, even more valuable than what you have come to expect from our newsletter.

For those of you who look to our newsletter to keep updated on the latest goings-on in the SEO world, we would invite you to view and bookmark our SEO news blog. Updated often, you will find out the important news from the SEO world just moments after week do.

Beanstalk has also recently partnered with search engine ExactSeek. ExactSeek provides a very good value through their paid listings for Beanstalk and some of our clients. Essentially with this system a user pays a flat fee ($12 or less) for a specific phrase and the user will then appear in the Featured Listings on ExactSeek and over 50 other engines and directories for a year. A very good value and on a cost-per-click basis the ROI is excellent. You can find out more details on their program at http://store.exactseek.com/beanstalk.html.

The Giants :

The Top Three ...

Google News - The biggest news from Google is still yet to occur. Based on current spidering patterns and shifts in rankings among specific sectors Google appears to be testing their newest algorithm. Traditionally this type of testing comes before a fairly major algorithm change. For those of you following best practices of SEO you shouldn't have much to worry about however the following are the predicted areas that will be affected assuming that there are not many changes between their testing and the applying of the new algo accross the board:

  1. CSS will be further analyzed to detect methods of abuse.
  2. Relevancy and history of incoming links will become more important.
  3. Optimal keyword densities will undergo a shift. It is difficult to say exactly what the optimal value will be as there appears to be a difference between sectors.

In other Google-news, on August 18th Google announced that they were going public with over 14 million shares. We'll be watching closely how this goes. Generally, when an innovative company based on great ideas suddenly is faced with shareholder obligations something has to give ... hopefully it won't be the "don't be evil" motto.

Yahoo! - Yahoo! has announce the beta testing of Yahoo! Publisher. Yahoo! Publisher will allow webmasters to display adds from the Yahoo! network in exchange for a percentage of the click cost. This move challenges Google's AdSense program, the core of their revenue stream. We expect that Yahoo! will offer a more generous percentage to webmasters and website owners in order to negatively impact Google's revenue stream.

And of course there was the Yahoo! announcement that they now have a larger index than Google with over 20.8 billion pages in their index. This was of course countered by Google and yet neither have made any efforts to have these number verified.

As Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch pointed out, perhaps the contest should be over relevant results, not the number of them. Good point Danny.

MSN News - MSN has announced that this fall they will be launching MSN Keywords, their own PPC system. MSN currently gets their paid listings from Overture (owned by Yahoo!).

Useful Tools

We highly recommend checking our these great SEO tools. If you're a do-it-yourselfer they will save you countless hours and headaches:

  1. PR Prowler - We mention PR Prowler again as it'll be going on sale for the month of September from TopNet Solutions. This fantastic link building tool will be on sale from it's regular $97 to $47. Heck, that's less than we bought it for. :) You can read Beanstalk's review of this software at /resources/recommended/pr-prowler.htm.
  2. CodeMonitor - A handy little tool that just came onto our radar here at Beanstalk is CodeMonitor. If you're a webmaster, SEO or business owner who needs or wants to know when changes are being made to your site you can simply subscribe to this free service and receive an email weekly if changes have been made. A great funtion is the ability to drop in code that will tell the monitor to ignore certain areas that change frequently (such at the Beanstalk blog snippit in the right-hand navigation of our homepage) so you will only receive alerts if key areas have been changed.
  3. Who Powers Whom - Ever wonder where search engines are getting their results from? Where does MSN draw their paid results? Where does AOL get their listings from? The Who Powers Whom chart on Doug Heils' iHelpYou site can give you the answers.

Resources Of Interest

We're always surfing and always on the lookout for useful information on top of the testing and analyzing we do on our own. Below you will find links to some of the more useful information we have found recently including forum posts and articles.

Ecommerce & SEO
An article by Dave Davies of Beanstalk on ecommerce shopping carts, their shortcomings, and the solutions to rank them highly in the natural listings.

Competiton Analysis
A two-part series on how to analyze your competition so that you can then take their place at the top of the rankings. This article includes everything from onsite factors such as keyword density and titles to offsite factors such as link popularity, PageRank and anchor text.

Googleguy's Blog
Matt Cutts, rumored to be the infamous Googleguy of the WebMasterWorld forums, has started an SEO blog. Even if he's not Googleguy he is a software engineer for Google making him someone to pay attention to in the SEO realm. :)

SEO 101 - Basic Optimization Techniques
This article by vetran SEO Jim Hedger covers some of the basics of SEO. While it won't reavel much to the seasoned optimizer it's definitely valuable for those just coming to grips with the ins-and-outs of natural rankings. That said, it can be a good reminder for those of us who've spent years in the industry that the basics can be valuable as well.

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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