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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


December 12, 2006

More On Click Fraud

I just stumbled on a very good article by Donna Bogatin on the ZDnet site I felt was timely and definitely worth sharing. In the article she rebutes claims made by Google that the click fraud rate sites in the single digits at roughly 2%. She quotes Google point-man Shuman Ghosemajumder and his definition of a fraudulant click:

According to Google, its advertisers are charged for “valid clicks,” but not for “invalid clicks.” A straightforward analysis of Google’s accounting for clicks, therefore, ought to start with definitions: What is the definition of a “valid click” and what is the definition of an “invalid click.”

Clarity is difficult to come by, however, as Google often publicly defines the two terms simply in relation to each other.

I asked Google for the definition of an “invalid click.” Google’s base response: “Any click Google doesn’t charge for.” A “valid click,” in Google’s view, therefore, is one that Google charges for.

Hmmmmmmmm. This reminds me more of a conversation with my kids than a real justification. In my world it goes something like this:

Me – OK bud, time to clean your room.
Kid – But I don’t want to clean my room.
Me – Well you have to.
Kid – But why? It’s my room.
Me – Because it’s a mess and I don’t want to look at it.
Kid – Then don’t go in there. You don’t have to.
Me – Alright how’s this: because I said so.

Not the most intelligent arguement I can make but sometime your kids catch you off guard. I don’t have to feel so bad about my lack of brilliant counter-point as I’m dealing with cleaning a room, Google is dealing with billions of dollars of advertising revenue.

You can read Donna’s full article here.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:23 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

Click Fraud, Google, Botnets, Jim Hedger & Webmaster Radio @ SES

For any of our blog readers who also listen to our weekly segment on Webmaster Radio to keep informed on the latest goings-on in the search engine world you’ll know that Jim Hedger has been promising a big story for the past couple weeks. Well it’s finally out there and as promised, he doesn’t disappoint.

Allegations of Click Fraud, inadvertent terrorist funding and more add smatterings of a Hollywood drama to the tech world in what could well be one of the biggest stories since Google was first developed. Even Matt Cutts (Google engineer and quality control guru) is in on the action with multiple blog posts attacking the claims).

An interview with Clarence Briggs of AIT sparked the investigation that has been going on for weeks and involves many independent and involved personalities.

As I’m closely tied to Jim as a co-host of the weekly radio show I’m going to keep my personal impressions aside and simply provide some important links for your viewing/reading. These are links to the original interviews, press conference at SES Chicago as well as some posts on the issue. For anyone involved in PPC or the search engine world this is important news. I also need to mention that the story has only been released as part one (as noted on the Webmaster Radio site). There is more coming and as it becomes available we at Beanstalk will be sure to keep you informed.

The press conference (link removed) – The press conference at SES Chicago where this all was brought to light.
The interview – The interview with Clarence Briggs that sparked the investigation.
Matt Cutts‘ initial response – Matt Cutts responds to the allegations. I notice he’s been numbering his posts on it so there’s surely more to come.
Matt Cutts‘ second response – Matt posts again on the topic 13 minutes later.
Article by Kevin Newcomb – An article on the subject on ClickZ.com.
A post by Jim Hedger – Jim Hedger describes the story and how it’s being taken by the press, SEO’s and public.

Keep watching, we’ll be posting more as soon as new information becomes available.

SEO news blog post by @ 2:27 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

Click Fraud, Google, Botnets, Jim Hedger & Webmaster Radio @ SES

For any of our blog readers who also listen to our weekly segment on Webmaster Radio to keep informed on the latest goings-on in the search engine world you’ll know that Jim Hedger has been promising a big story for the past couple weeks. Well it’s finally out there and as promised, he doesn’t disappoint.

Allegations of Click Fraud, inadvertent terrorist funding and more add smatterings of a Hollywood drama to the tech world in what could well be one of the biggest stories since Google was first developed. Even Matt Cutts (Google engineer and quality control guru) is in on the action with multiple blog posts attacking the claims).

An interview with Clarence Briggs of AIT sparked the investigation that has been going on for weeks and involves many independent and involved personalities.

As I’m closely tied to Jim as a co-host of the weekly radio show I’m going to keep my personal impressions aside and simply provide some important links for your viewing/reading. These are links to the original interviews, press conference at SES Chicago as well as some posts on the issue. For anyone involved in PPC or the search engine world this is important news. I also need to mention that the story has only been released as part one (as noted on the Webmaster Radio site). There is more coming and as it becomes available we at Beanstalk will be sure to keep you informed.

The press conference (link removed) – The press conference at SES Chicago where this all was brought to light.
The interview – The interview with Clarence Briggs that sparked the investigation.
Matt Cutts‘ initial response – Matt Cutts responds to the allegations. I notice he’s been numbering his posts on it so there’s surely more to come.
Matt Cutts‘ second response – Matt posts again on the topic 13 minutes later.
Article by Kevin Newcomb – An article on the subject on ClickZ.com.
A post by Jim Hedger – Jim Hedger describes the story and how it’s being taken by the press, SEO’s and public.

Keep watching, we’ll be posting more as soon as new information becomes available.

SEO news blog post by @ 2:27 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

December 8, 2006

Very Good SEO Video Series

I’ve just discovered a great video series by Gareth Davies (gotta love that last name and no, there’s no relation ;)

There are 6 videos in the series that range from 60 seconds to 5 minutes and cover a lost of the SEO basics. Garether does a good job of giving his viewers an understanding of the basics without using geek-speak or getting technical (at least, any more technical than necessary). The topics covered include:

  • Title tags
  • The site command
  • Google’s allintitle command
  • The tilde command
  • Google’s cache
  • Google’s allinanchor command

For most SEO’s there won’t be anything new here for those of you who are just getting your feet wet these videos provide some useful information that’s easy to understand and is explained with examples (always nice :)

You can watch the videos on Garreth’s site at http://www.gsinc.co.uk/video/seo-videos.html.

This is also a good time to remind our readers about link baiting. It’s becoming an increasingly important part of a solid link building strategy so be sure to read Andy Hagan’s article on the subject.

SEO news blog post by @ 2:18 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

December 1, 2006

A Lesson From A Victoria, BC Painter

For those who visit our blog regularly you’ll have to pardon the lack of posts over the last few days. As I’ve been moving houses there has been a LOT tieing up any available waking hours I’ve had (and many of the hours I *should* have been sleeping as well). But from all this a learned a very valuable lesson and the lesson came from a painter I hired here in beautiful Victoria, BC.

As we were renting our house and had decided that we just didn’t like “eggshell white” my wife and I decided it was best to paint it. 5 rooms and 2 halls were painted (we weren’t overly concerned with the bathroom and kitchen). Well, it was time to move out and the property manager decided that it had to be put back to it’s original color. This is where the fun began.

We started painting about a week before the final moveout day (delaying so we could have the majority of furniture out prior). A snowstorm (a rarity in Victoria, BC) set us back by two days and it wasn’t until Tuesday that we realized that we only had one room completed and 3 others with a coat or two of primer. And so we called up a professional painter (maybe we could have gotten the painting done but there was no way we’d get the cleaning done too – Note: I have two boys aged 7 and 9 ;). He got done solo in those 2 days more than my wife and I could have gotten done in 3 or 4 and it was certainly done to a much higher quality.

So what did I learn? That I am NOT the exception to the rule. People inquire about SEO and sometimes even ask why someone would hire a company like Beanstalk when all the information is available on the ‘net somewhere. Here’s what I discovered through the past week:

  • Professionals have experience and work better/faster
  • Professionals know what’s right and what’s wrong when they see it
  • Professionals know which tools to use, and
  • Professionals allow me to do what I do best while they do what they do best

If I had called up the painter a week earlier and simply had them do the entire job and had I called up professional cleaners to do their job I would have been left with numerous hours to do, well, what I do best and had the hours spent painting and cleaning been spent working and marketing I would have made far more than I had to pay out. It’s not just a matter of the cost, it’s a matter of the time. I may have to pay a painter $x per hour but one has to keep in mind, a professional can do in 1 day what would take me 4 or 5 to accomplish. Unless they’re charging 5 times what I would make in that time – it’s worth hiring people who will just do it right.

As it turns out the painter was excellent. His card is still buried somewhere among the boxes still waiting to be unpacked (I will post his info when I uncover it for anyone in Victoria, BC who may be in need of such services). I can’t use a better testimonial than this – in our new house we will once again be painting and doing some light renovations. We will this time begin by bringing in a professional – fortunately we already know someone who can get the job done right. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 6:49 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

November 24, 2006

Searching Like A Pro

The latest article by Beanstalk’s Dave Davies (me) was published today. The article, titled, “Searching Like A Pro: Tips On Searching From An SEO” covers many ways to speed up and streamline the way you search to find more relevant results, faster.

Covering such areas as the cached pages, quotation marks and a number of specialized search functions it is sure to help make your online experience more enjoyable.

This article was inspired by odd statistics and a conversation with my father in which I realized that no matter how intelligent many people are, without 6+ years of experience and thousands upon thousands of queries run over that time, most people aren’t making use of the resources that are out there to help them find the best information in the least amount of time.

You can read the article in about 5 minutes and it may well save you countless hours of frustration. You can view the article on the Beanstalk site here.

SEO news blog post by @ 5:45 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

November 23, 2006

Freeze On Clients Extended

Just as a head’s up to all potential clients of Beanstalk, we have had to extend our freeze on accepting new clients until February 2007 as a number of people have asked to be put on a “wait list” which of course we we’re happy to do.

For this reason and our dedication to insuring all our contractual obligations are met (especially our guarantee of course) our time will be monopolized through to February 2007. If you would like information on alternative SEO’s that we can recommend or would like to be put on a waiting list for February please don’t hesitate to contact us.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:57 am

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

November 16, 2006

Well it’s been a bit since the last post over here on the Beanstalk SEO News Blog. I apologize for this as there’s been a few notable events. Unfortunatley one such event is that I’m currently in the process of moving and much of the “non-client time” I’ve had had been dedicated to carrying furniture and then rearranging it to get it into “the perfect spot”.

As announced, last week was the fourth installment of your truly on Webmaster Radio. I was in a bit of a tizzy right before the show and forgot to tape it. Fortunately they do and put it in the archives so you can listen to the show on the Webmaster Radio site here (you’ll also be able to listen to any past episodes you may have missed).

On the air we discussed a number of issues and I had the pleasure of interviewing both Jaime and Chris Cummings from Lycos. Jaime Riehle is the Senior Product Manager for Web Publishing and Chris is the Product Manager for the new Lycos Cinema. Chris and I chatted for most of out interview time covering Lycos Cinema, how it works, how it’s funded and where it’s heading. When Chris and I had the chance to chat we discussed the direction Lycos is heading in, the arrangement with Ask.com and he managed to nicely evade my question regarding whether Lycos will also be providing some results/services to Ask.com. ;)

After the interview I had a chance to chat with Jim more on his experiences at PubCon in Vegas, Google, Yahoo, and MSN all agreeing to a Sitemaps XML standard and a few other notables. I’ll be sure to let you know when the full program is available to listen to on Webmaster Radio.

Until then, keep watching the Beanstalk blog. The house is getting settled and it’s back to business as usual. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 6:09 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

November 9, 2006

Net Neutrality Gets A Win

On my daily journey through some top webmaster resources I stumbled upon an article feature over at WebProNews on net neutrality. It’s odd that I didn’t think to cover this in a previous post as I did touch on it on Webmaster Radio last week. The issue at hand was the neutrality of the Internet which, while the Republicans held Congress the fate of the democracy of the Internet and the way it functions was being threatened. Republican Senator Ted Stevens lead the charge though, as WebPro author Jason Miller so delicately reminded us, he has no real understanding of the way the Internet function referring to it as,”a series of tubes.” And as Jon Stewart would point out, “that’s OK, he’s only the one in charge of regulating it.” (See the video below if you’re up for a chuckle)

The issue at hand is the placing of control over the Internet and how all those 1′s and 0′s are handled into the hands of the major telco’s such as AT&T.; What this would effectively do is allow them to charge for preferential treatment to those who could pay for it giving enormous advantages to major corporations and reducing those who can’t afford to pay the extra to settle for slower access to their websites from visitors. Hosting companies should fear this as should small companies that couldn’t afford to pay the extra fees (and we all know how “fair” telco’s are when they hold monopolies right?)

There is still a chance that the bill could be pushed through in the time it takes for the Democrats to takeover in the Congress and Senate however this may be difficult as any opposing Republicans (and there were some) are more likely to vote with their conscience rather than tow the party line.

While I try keep away from politics in the blog (though I love it as a hobby) I’m truly grateful that the Internet just might maintain its democratic structure. We might not always like what we find there but when we do, it’s almost worth the 300 spam emails we had to weed through to find it ;)

The article by Jason Miller on the issue is definitely worth a read and can be found here. You can also find a number of interesting information on the subject through Google News here.

SEO news blog post by @ 6:39 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

Rand Fishkin Needs New Shoes

Today we’ll be doing our fourth installment of The Alternative of Webmaster Radio. In this segment I’m going to be bringing up a very important which is that Rand Fishkin’s trademark yellow shoes have been discontinued.

For those of you who don’t know Rand, he’s the CEO of SEOMoz and an alround great guy. I’m interviewing him for the next generation of SitePoint’s SEM Kit.

Rand Fishkin's yellow Pumas.If anyone out there knows how to get their hand on a pair (or two or ten) of the yellow Puma’s that are his trademark (image to right) please contact us. There is a reward. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 4:31 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

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