The Mender

Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 20
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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 20


AOL Switches To Inktomi
Source: Search Engine Watch
AOL Search is now apparently using Inktomi results for its main listings, relegating the Open Directory's presence to having category-only links appearing at the bottom of the page. The switch happened last week.

It's a big blow for the AOL-owned Open Directory, given that AOL Search was the largest distribution partner it had. The Open Directory continues to provide the main results at Netscape Search, and it is also the data used for the Google Directory. Thanks to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Watch for this "Scoop."

Search engines sued over pay-for-placement
Source: CNN
Mark Nutritionals Inc., filed suit against AltaVista Co.,, and Overture Services Inc. alleging that their policy of letting advertisers pay to appear in top-ranked search results violated federal and state trademark and fair-competition laws.

LookSmart Searches For Happier Times Despite Loss

New look site for SearchEngineSpy
Source: Worldannounce, the UK search engine and directory guide, has launched a new look site. The site now boasts a greater range of information for anyone interested in the UK search engine market.

Worldannounce Network Previews Publisher Announcement Distribution Program
PADP is a web-based service targeted at any business or website owner where they want to achieve high visibility of their announcement across the Internet.

Google Will Not Do Popup Ads
If you get a pop-up advertisement when searching on Google, don't blame them. Challenges Overture Patent; Seeks Declaration That Overture Patent is Invalid and Unenforceable *Link No Longer Valid
Source: Cnet

Pacific Access and LookSmart Join Forces for 5 Year Yellow Pages(R) OnLine Deal *Link No Longer Valid
Source: Cnet

Yahoo to unveil new paid search service for Special Documents *Link No Longer Valid
Source: Cnet
The service, called Yahoo Premium Document Search, is being offered in partnership with Divine Inc, a Chicago company which on Tuesday acquired the Northern Light search engine.


FAST - ALLTHEWEB is a great engine. Among other things they power Lycos. Their requirements for optimization are simple and straightforward. Stick with the basics and work on developing really good first paragraph content. Use a clean, simple site design, clear, non-repetitive meta tags, and straightforward links to and from your site. The better the content, the more FAST has to work with, if everything else is properly laid out and optimized. FAST will look at meta descriptions; if none, it will examine the first 250 characters. Their results are accurate, they work heavily to remove spam sites from their index. They use quality control effectively.


V.I.P Technologies is a division of V.I.P Group, incorporated in 1989, in Vancouver, B.C., their client base is focused in the Pacific Northwest and the U.K. Specializing in Web Design for e-commerce and e-business, their mission is Quality, Service and Price through functional, and effective design, coupled with quick delivery. As a leadingInternet solutions and support provider, they recognize that long-term success is directly related to creating and sustaining strategic partnerships with companies whose technology enhances and complements their own.


NEW HOSTING PARTNER - Entirety Communications
Entirety is a full service Internet company, providing web hosting, e-commerce solutions, website development and connectivity to customers in British Columbia and beyond.

Entirety also proudly hosts Travel BC. An extensive travel information portal for vacation and destination planning.


NEW HOSTING PARTNER - Lifeisonebig Systems Corporation is a web site design and hosting company with a difference! Their complete suite of online services is dedicated to maximizing the effectiveness of your web site on the Internet. Welcome aboard!


NEW OPPORTUNITY - Trade Mission to Russia and Germany
Metamend will send a representative to participate in the upcoming Team Canada Trade Mission to Russia and Germany, February 13-21, 2002. The trade mission will be led by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrtien and will visit Moscow, Berlin and Munich. The Prime Minister will be joined by provincial premiers, territorial leaders and business executives from across the country. The Canadian business delegation is drawn from several priority sectors, including agriculture and agri-food, construction, educational technologies and services, energy, environmental industries and technologies, health and financial services, information and communication technologies, and transportation. We are honoured to once again be participating as a member of Team Canada.

ADMINISTRATOR'S CORNER - True Value of Reciprocal Links
by Richard Zwicky

This month, I would like to discuss Reciprocal Links, and other measurement tools used by Google as part of their ranking algorithm. It's an area that is greatly misunderstood, and one people are always asking me about when I am public speaking.

When indexing web sites Google uses reciprocal links to and from a page as part of its weighting scale. This process is also known as the "PageRank" algorithm. Today, most major search engines use some variation of a link popularity theme as part of their overall measurement algorithms. Here's how it works.

The number of relevant and also reciprocal links pointing to and from your site, are counted by the search engine. The more "qualified" the links, the more popular and worthy your site is deemed to be. The most important thing to remember is the popularity and relevance of a link scores higher than the sheer number of random links. Link farms - where your url is added to a list, without a title, or description, don't count for much, if at all. Links where the site owner has taken the time to add not just your link, but also some descriptive information about your site usually add more weight to the link count. Sites with properly constructed links to and from the site, tend to rank higher.

A common misconception is that links are all that Google looks at in its measurement process. Google's search technology also indexes and ranks websites by the content found on each page, and in the key terms used in the page's title, keyword, and description tags. Overall, the Googlebot looks at over two dozen items - alt tags, comment tags, metatags, content - text on the site, and of course, the aforementioned relevant links. It even looks at links to pages within your site, to help establish the focus of your site.

Stay away from cloaking, redirects, small text, overuse of key terms and repetition of key terms "mp3 mp3 mp3 mp3", and invisible text. Present your data cleanly and thoroughly. The engines are looking at more and more forms of data, but they are standardizing formats for how they look at them.


MARKETING - Marketing Yourself to Local Media
by Robert McCourty

Sometimes the best way to market your website is by getting yourself on a local TV or Radio program. Most cities and towns have a TV or Radio station with a mandate to feature items of local interest. They are often looking for story content to fill these shows. It may be a talk show or evening news broadcasts or even a local business spotlight feature, but they all need stories and guests for those programs. Why not you? Get in touch with your local TV reporters and Radio personalities and invite them to tour your business. Tell them you are available for interviews and provide them with an "angle" they can use to get your story out to the general public. Did you just sign a big contract or win an award? Is your business new to the community? What makes your business unique? The more work you do for the Media, I.E. planting the seeds of an idea into their heads - The better chance you'll have of being featured.

When approaching the Media, focus on your business goods and services not on your website. They are interested in you what you have to say but are not interested in your website marketing efforts. It's almost a given that you have a website but the Media does not want to concentrate on this fact. Extolling the virtues of your new site design will not help convince them to put you on the air. They want stories which keep the audience watching and listening. Give them something to use without even mentioning your site. It's a strange way to market I know, but once you make it onto the show, you'll have the perfect opportunity to plug your website where it counts - In front of thousands of new people.


TECH TIPS - Speed vs Redundancy
by Jonathan Schlackl

If you operate a web server then you are likely always looking for ways to improve its performance and reduce the risk of data loss in the case of hardware failure. Usually that means upgrading things like CPUs and/or RAM - However, you might look at upgrading/changing your current hard drive situation.A great solution which can provide speed and redundancy is a "Redundant Array of Independent Disks" or "RAID". Essentially, a RAID setup can provide you with faster, more reliable access to your data which will cut down on bottle necks for CPU-intensive requests such as database queries and basic file/data crunching. There are several types of RAIDs that you can setup. The one you choose depends upon what you want it to provide.

If speed is all you're after, then RAID 0 is a good choice. In RAID 0 there are 2 drives. All data is "split" into 2 chunks and each chunk is written to a separate drive. When the data is read back, the CPU only has to process half as much data as it would with a single drive, hence read/write times are much quicker than before. On the other hand, if you are simply looking for some protection against hardware failure you might consider RAID 1 - simple drive mirroring. In this scenario, both hard drives in the array are written to simultaneously so if one dies, the other is instantly available. The data here is not split into 2 chunks as in RAID 0 so there is no speed advantage to RAID 1. In fact, it will likely decrease your speed slightly.

Finally, if you want a system that offers both speed and redundancy, you should look at RAID 5. The inner workings of RAID 5 are quite complex, however it provides essentially the "best of both worlds". In RAID 5 you have a minimum of 3 drives in your array. Data is not only split into chunks for writing, but a separate piece of data is created and stored which allows any missing data to be re-created! What this means is should one of your hard drives fail you can simply replace it with a new one and the RAID configuration will reconstruct the data that was on that drive before it failed! So, not only do you get speed increases due to smaller data sizes on read/write operations you also get the utmost in redundancy in the case of hardware failure.


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