The Mender

Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 17
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Advice and techniques for the marketing and promotion of your web site plus breaking Search Engine Optimization News and valuable resources for the serious on-line marketer.

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Welcome to "The Mender" Issue 17

WHAT'S NEW AT METAMEND

METAMEND INVITED TO JOIN TEAM CANADA TRADE MISSION TO U.S.

Metamend has been invited to participate as a member of the Team Canada Trade Delegation to the U.S. next month. The Team Canada West trade mission will be led by Prime Minister Jean Chretien, joined by the Western Provincial Premiers and Territorial Leaders and, includes a cross-section of Canadian industry and business leaders. The delegation will visit Dallas and Los Angeles, November 27th to 30th, 2001.

Two-way trade between Canada and the U.S. Southwest amounted to C $67 Billion in 2000, greater than the entire trading relationship with the European Union.

Participation in Team Canada West creates opportunities to network with American contacts and increase prospects for bilateral business cooperation in Canada's most important export market. We are truly honored to be representing Canadian Business. Read the full Press Release here.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY PARTNER - SUN COBALT
Sun Cobalt develops and markets server appliances, affordable Internet and intranet servers for non-technical users. The Cobalt Qube, CacheQube, and RaQ server appliance products deliver simple, scalable solutions at price points well below those of general-purpose servers. The Sun Cobalt Developer Network partnership allows Metamend to deliver Sun Cobalt RaQ servers easily to our partners. Welcome aboard SUN COBALT!

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NEW SITE ENHANCEMENT - SEASONAL/HOLIDAY KEYWORDS
There is still time to opt-in for our new SEASONAL/HOLIDAY PAGES feature. Let us customize your pages with optimum keywords for specific seasonal events and holidays, then submit your new holiday pages to the search engines. Start attracting online holiday shoppers to your site today! Click here to take advantage of this innovative website marketing tool.



ADMINISTRATOR'S CORNER - Changes at Yahoo!
By: Richard Zwicky

For as long as I can remember, people have complained about Yahoo! The complaints range from getting listed in the first place, to how they are displayed once they are indexed. Recently, Yahoo! changed three parts of its algorithms. This change is important, and strongly affects how your site will perform with regards to Yahoo traffic. The changes will affect how any site is listed within their directory listings, and also search engine, (Google), listings.

The biggest change is that Yahoo! has done away with displaying results alphabetically. Now results will display more like a search engine, using relevance based on a specific set of algorithmic factors as the measuring stick. What this means is keywords, and their proper placement and usage are more important than ever. Proper response seems to be weighted with an emphasis on keywords that are properly used in the title, description, URL, and possibly in the keywords tag. However, there is some debate as to whether the algorithm is also measuring textual content.

What this means is for the first time with Yahoo!, it matters where you put your keywords. It appears from our testing that having your keywords in your URL is being measured, it remains to be fully verified, but it appears that you can even gain some importance by using hyphens to separate keywords for better results. For example, theballoonshop.com would not list as well as the-balloon-shop.com, if all other factors in the meta data were equal.

What does this mean for you if you are a Metamend client? Well, except for your URL, which we do not control, we have already made any adaptations necessary to ensure your site is being properly seen, if it is listed on Yahoo! We do not submit to Yahoo!, but we do submit to Google, which powers the web search end of Yahoo! listings. If you are in the Yahoo! directory, and want to be, it is now a $299.00 USD fee. Until they made this change I argued that it was not worth it. Now however, because they are using relevance to give you results to your queries, it is starting to make sense.

We will be offering, starting as soon as December 1, the ability for you to automatically have your pay for inclusion submissions managed and processed by Metamend, and the proper submission handled by us, for a variety of the Pay for Inclusion engines. The pay for inclusion engines of note are AltaVista, LookSmart, Inktomi, Fast, and Yahoo!. We will keep you advised as we add any of these engines, and what the pricing will be. LookSmart and Yahoo! are one time fees. Inktomi, and FAST are annual fees. AltaVista right now is on a six month fee schedule.

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NEXT YEAR'S MARKETING BUDGET
By: Robert McCourty

Yes, believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about next year. November is upon us and Christmas just around the corner. There have been many changes in Search Engine Optimization and within the Search Engine Industry itself this past year. The one thing you can count on is more of the same for 2002. One of the biggest changes is the move toward pay-for-submission models most of the engines are adopting. Notice I didn't say pay-for-placement, or pay-for-click, which are entirely different situations.

Pay-for-submission means exactly what it says. Should you, (being the owner of a website) decide to do your own search engine submissions, you will soon be required to pay each time a URL is submitted for indexing. There may also be extra charges for additional pages and of course these fees may apply to many different engines, thus increasing your costs even more. Regardless of how many engines stay with a "free submission" policy, undoubtedly you'll want your site listed within at least some which require payment.

Prices currently range from a sky high (IMHO) $299.00 USD for a Yahoo Express submission, which incidentally, -does not- guarantee your submission will be accepted, down to a somewhat reasonable rate of 39.00 USD for the first URL from AltaVista for six months or Inktomi $30.00 for one year.

The range varies greatly and will become ever more volatile as the engines battle between themselves in an attempt to see which model works best, what price levels the market will bear, and who has figured out the best model to increase profit. There is much juggling still to come.

The exact total of how much extra you should be budgeting remains to be calculated. It also depends upon how many of these programs you wish to participate. Let's just say if you plan to be doing manual submissions to the search engines next year, (for yourself or on behalf your clients) it would be prudent to prepare for these unavoidable expenditures, by figuring out where they will be covered from within your general operating budget. I.E. How do you recover these costs and how will they affect your bottom line.

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WEBMASTER'S CORNER - Forest Through the Trees
By: Todd Hooge

One the most beneficial ways I've seen to grow your web site is through user feedback. When a new visitor sees your site for the first time, s/he will immediately start to categorize it - Human nature at it's best. If the visitor is not able to put your site into a category, you have either created something unbelievably bad, or unbelievably innovative - either of which can be helpful to you in the long run. Humans make judgments based on perspective and relativity. Einstein told us so, and he was right. Perspective is everything.

This is an ideal time to ask your visitors for their opinion. So ensure you have many avenues for them to interact and send feedback to you. For example, feedback forms do not have to be complicated - their name, email address, and a comments field are all you need to ascertain how they feel about your site and/or the information on it. Taking a quick poll is another way to ensure you have a good feel for what people are doing in your industry. Sending them a follow-up newsletter with this information allows you to share what you have learned, and also closes the circle - nudging the user to come back to your site and offer their opinion on other subjects.

An organic, interactive approach to building your site ensures that the people using your site are heard, and their opinions matter. Effective use of these opinions, as long as they are relevant to the mission of your web site, can lead to a kind of "word of mouth" following that traditional marketing often times overlooks, because it is too busy pushing information as opposed to pulling [not to mention - it's cheaper]. There needs to be a relevant, balanced interaction with your users for the organic approach to work.

When you've finished creating, coding and uploading your web site, it's all too easy to get a case of the "I can't see the forest through the trees" syndrome. So don't be afraid to ask people what they think of your work, because "constructive" criticism can often times lead you back to wide open pastures.



SEARCH ENGINE NEWS

New Yahoo Formula Requires Different Optimizing Strategies

About Face at About.com
About.com slashes staff and axes more than 300 topic 'Guide' sites from its service, with significant implications for webmasters and searchers alike.

Excite.com on the auction block *Link No Longer Valid

Google: New Look and New File Types

AT&T Wireless Gets Googled
The wireless arm of AT&T secures its latest in a string of content deals with Google. Gives users access to more than 1.6 billion search results over handheld devices.

Terra Lycos Reiterates Lowered Outlook *Link No Longer Valid
Don't expect a profit from Terra Lycos for at least a year, due to the downturn in advertising.

Goodbye GoTo; Hello Overture: GoTo gambles with new name *Link No Longer Valid

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NEW ENGINES AND DIRECTORIES

Mediwarp *Link No Longer Valid
The Mediwarp health search engine provides easy access to more than 500,000 health and medical related web pages, complemented by a huge directory of preselected web sites.

Daypop
Simple and fast, Daypop aims to let you search against over 4,000 newspaper and magazine web sites, as well as web logs. Like Google, pages are also cached, so you can view them in case the original page no longer exists or can't be reached. You can limit your search to a variety of date ranges.

Ixquick Metasearch
Metacrawler for 16 engines including some in the UK. Also allows searches for photos and MP3's.

PepeSearch
The PepeSearch index contains more than 625 million Web pages completely refreshed every 9 to 12 days.

Search Ezee Power Search Engine
SearchEzee offers a unified interface and search form for over 200 of the top search engines, meta search engines, directories and topical resources.

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SPIDER AND ROBOT RESOURCES

Search Engine Robots

All About Search Indexing Robots and Spiders

SpiderSpotting

The ABCi/IAB Master Industry List Of Spiders And Robots *Link No Longer Valid



METAMEND CLIENT OF THE MONTH

The Drum Beat Classifieds
Vacancies e-publication is circulated to 13,000 subscribers across 131 countries. To advertise your appointments see the web site or Contact:

Carey Hooge
Email: [email protected]


Metamend: Innovative web site optimization and marketing service which automatically corrects keywords and meta tags increasing web site relevance and popularity within search engines.


Want some free advertising for your web site? This space [              ] free to all Metamend clients. Just ask. We'll be happy to include you in a future issue. Let the promotion begin.

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Todd Hooge
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Metamend Automated Website Promotion
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