The Mender

Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 22
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Advice and techniques for the promotion of your web site plus Search Engine Optimization News and valuable resources for the serious on-line marketer.

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Welcome to "The Mender" Issue 22

SEARCH ENGINE NEWS
  • LookSmart Changing To Cost-Per-Click Basis

  • FindArticles
    FindArticles.com is a vast archive of published articles you can search for free. (so far) Constantly updated, it contains articles dating back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals.

  • Verisign Domain Server Hacked
    Domain name registrar Verisign, formerly Network Solutions, was left red faced after a large number of customer domains were vandalized in a mass defacement.

  • AllSearchEngines
    A metasearch engine that offers results from six UK- focused search engines. Overture UK, Yahoo UK, Mirago UK, AltaVista UK and MSN UK.

  • Overture sues Google over search patent
    Overture Services has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, saying the rival search service overstepped its bounds with its ad-placement tools.

  • Tasty New Search Engine


HIGHLIGHTED ENGINE OF THE MONTH

FAST/All THE WEB
Fast Search & Transfer ASA (FAST) powers the "information-on-demand" economy by enabling people to get the information they want, wherever and whenever they want it. FAST offers a powerful platform of search and filter technologies, including the world's most comprehensive and freshest search engine and high-capacity real-time filter engines. FAST's solutions unlock the ever-expanding volume of information on the Internet and wireless Web, as well as on corporate Intranets, servers and databases.



WHAT'S NEW AT METAMEND

NEW CHANNEL PARTNER - KFKI Systems
KFKI Systems Inc. is a global company with operations in the United States, Germany, the U.K. and Central Europe. With interests in a variety of industries, including High Tech, KFKI is a leader in e-commerce technology. They deal with industry's top payment processors, merchants, Internet hosts, IT firms, and fulfillment companies. Offering complete custom development for leading e-commerce platforms including Miva, Intershop, WebSphere, and ColdFusion, they work with the market by facilitating the channels that service online merchants easily and quickly integrate their services and deliver complete e-business solutions including applications for fulfillment, CRM, payment processing and other business services.

NEW HOSTING PARTNER - Serrahost
Serrahost based in San Diego California, is a recognized leader in web hosting solutions for Ecommerce clients. Serrahost provides a complete array of hosting and Ecommerce services to customers, including Domain name registration, Web design, Shopping Cart and payment transaction services. Web site owners throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe count on Serrahost's high speed servers to keep their online businesses up and running. Welcome aboard Serrahost.

NEW SEO SERVICE - Inktomi Search Submit
Metamend is pleased to announce we now offer Inktomi Express Inclusion Services as a client option. This new service ensures your site will be spidered and results distributed throughout the entire network of Inktomi partners, including: AOL, iWon, MSN and HotBot. Search Submit includes your most valuable content in the Inktomi index and keeps the content fresh with 48-hour updates for a one-year subscription period.

We have pre-tested this service to ensure it's accuracy before offering it to our clients and have been impressed as to the quickness with which our test pages were both spidered and began to show up in the Search Engines. There is a one time yearly charge (from Inktomi) of $39.00 USD for one URL submission. We think this a bargain. Opt in via your Metamend Client administration area and select this option or give us a call. We of course, do the rest of the work for you. Stay tuned for more express services coming soon.

NEW SEO TECHNOLOGY - Site Map Tool
Here at Metamend we're constantly developing new ways to give our Client's an edge when it comes to Search Engine positioning. We are very pleased to introduce our latest innovation. A Site Map Tool. Metamend's technology can now scan through your entire site (just like a search engine)and then generate a fully indexable HTML page which includes -ALL- the internal links on your website. Thus the term "site map."

This page is then formatted properly, tagged, and submitted to the search engines along with your other optimized pages during your monthly Mend. Of course, all this is done automatically for you by Metamend.

The site map page provides two very important functions. First, it will ensure visiting search engine robots and spiders find a complete set of your site's links to follow. Second, the engines will have a much easier time indexing your entire website, not just your home page, extending your chances of being found by a greater variety of keywords and phrases. Pretty cool!

This innovation will replace doorway pages entirely and is 100% search engine compatible. In other words, no website will be penalized by the engines by having a site map page. On the contrary, it actually helps them do their job properly. Websites with a site map page will enhance and increase their visibility in the Engines. The price for the new Site Map Tool, is an extremely reasonable three dollars per month.

Most Metamend clients who have opted in for doorway pages as part of their existing monthly package of services have been contacted and informed of this change in service. They will automatically receive the new site map page as a replacement for those doorways and will either have other select pages within their sites optimized or be given free months of service to make up for any shortfall in existing costs. A smooth transition.

Existing clients who have not selected additional doorway pages in the past are strongly encouraged to log into their administration areas and select the new site map option. New Metamend clients will be presented with the new Site Map option upon sign-up.

We trust you will enjoy the benefits our latest SEO innovation will bring to your online marketing efforts. We shall continue to develop cutting-edge SEO tools for our Clients. That's why we're here. Thank you for your continued support.



ADMINISTRATOR'S CORNER - It's The End of the Internet as We Know It (and I feel fine)
by: Richard Zwicky

With apologies to R.E.M., I could not resist the title. We're now two years removed from "The Crash." The day when the blush came off all those dot-com's which had no revenue strategy, but had great ideas for things no one wanted to buy.

We're also two years removed from people running content based sites and being able to charge huge advertising rates based on the unsophisticated measuring stick of 'eyeballs,' I.E. How many people saw your page, not how many people arrived there looking for the subject matter you were presenting.

Executives in the online advertising field and companies which run heavy content driven sites are still trying to figure out how to make money online. They are fighting an uphill battle, one that may never be won, simply because people expect information for free. Companies have no clue as to how they can open readers wallets without scaring off their audiences.

How many content based sites will ever make money? Good question. News sites like MSNBC, CNN, ABCNEWS are all free. Lots of ads, true, but still free to the end user. Others like BusinessWeek Online is for those who subscribe for the magazine. You need to be a subscriber to get their online exclusives. However, at some point, expect to start paying for additional "premium" content, at most of your favorite news sites.

Some services will follow the model used in the adult industry - pay to view, or pay for a monthly pass for unlimited access to all content. CNN.com, recently announced it would begin charging for all video clips on its site. I'm sure all the other major media outlets will follow suit. Soon, for news junkies who want streaming video, a Real Networks SuperPass will become their equivalent of their monthly magazine subscription. This service collects video news clips from several sources, lets you see each of them an unlimited number of times, and costs $9.95 per month. It's like having a clipping service on your desktop. I think people will pay for this type of enhanced service...for a while. The question then becomes will this business model work, in the long term?

ABCNEWS used to charge for their ESPN detailed content - As soon as they did, their readership went down and thus so did the amount they could charge for ad space. Now almost everything is free again.

Online content resources are quickly moving to mirror the rest of the media. The more popular the program, the more ad revenue it can generate. Premium products, analysis stories, marketing demographics and the like will cost us, but this is not a new concept. It only seems new to the Online world.

So far one tenet still remains. Basic, written textual content will remain free. There will always be more than enough free information on the net for 99% of the population on 99% of subjects. So, even though your favorite news source on the net may start charging you for your news soon, fear not! It will be free again... as soon as they start losing visitors and more money.

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MARKETING - Springing Into Action
by: Robert McCourty

In most areas of the globe the Winter doldrums are quickly falling behind us and we look enthusiastically toward the promise of warmer weather, new buds on the trees and a chance to feel the sun again. Spring has often emoted strong emotional responses from people. It commands a feeling of renewal. A psychological lift toward new beginnings and a sense of approaching life with a new freshness. These feelings are generally widespread throughout the population and there are marketers out there who know all too well how powerful these feelings can effect sales.

The fashion industry is an excellent example. Suddenly, brightly colored dresses with nature patterns begin "Springing" (sic) up on the racks. Hardware stores start rolling out the BBQ's and the garden tools. We all see this happening and as consumers happily subject ourselves to this predictable changes in seasonal marketing trends year after year.

The interesting part however, is the suppliers of these items to the stores, may have begun the marketing process years in advance. The person in charge of buying inventory for the store also made those selections months, if not years in advance of this Spring season. The manufacturers had to order raw materials and predict sales and inventory even earlier. The Flyers and Catalogues had to be photographed months ago in time for printing and distribution.

When you stop to think about it, it's really quite amazing how many decisions have been made and how much work has been done prior to the season. The entire sales and marketing process has taken place well in advance, so you, as a consumer, can simply walk into the store and be presented with the latest offerings.

I mention this process because online marketing must also take some of these aspects into consideration. Do you still have Winter inventory on your site? Are you selling something that can capitalize on the Seasonal change. Flowers? Gift Baskets. Women or Children's
apparel? This could be your season. Do you offer a Spring Special? Impulse buying tends to surge during seasonal changes. People buy
more cars, houses and other big ticket items during these times. Think about how you can capitalize on this shift in buying patterns.
Rewording your descriptions to reflect positiveness can help. Presenting your items and your pages using seasonal colors is a good idea. Think how bright Easter colors are and design accordingly. Something as simple as a bright background pattern can work in your
favor.

By preparing well in advance and adapting your site to reflect seasonal and psychological changes in consumer buying patterns you give your website the chance to look current and evoke the responses you want from your visitors. It's time to Spring into action. It'll be Summer before you know it.

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WEBMASTER'S CORNER - Cosmetic Surgery
by: Todd Hooge

If you are a website developer and you've been around longer than 12 months, you've undoubtedly experienced the dreaded redesign. This strange phenomenon usually happens when the majority of people in your organization reach a kind of boredom flash point. Shields up! They're coming for you...

Rule #1 - Don't panic! Think of revamping your website as a facelift. You keep all the core components - you are just [hopefully] enhancing the appearance.

Rule #2 - Coordinate effectively. All the back end stuff and most of the textual content won't be altered, and if it does, it's someone else's job anyway. You will just need to ensure it is coordinated properly with the the new design. Schedule as many meetings as required to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Rule #3 - Design. Shut your door, put on your headphones and go for it. Consider putting a note on your office door that says "Do not disturb. Deep thought in process." If you just have a divider, call in sick and work from home. When you are ready, present the new design and hope for sign-off. [If unsuccessful, return to Rule #1]

Rule #4 - Convert. Cut or slice your design into HTML. Try to use SSI (server side includes) wherever possible. This will make your life much easier down the road. Incorporate your existing back end tools and content wherever possible.

Rule #5 - Implementation. Now that you have a successful design, you are ready to replace the existing site with the new one. Work closely with your back end programmers and content people to ensure a smooth transition. A good trick is to develop in a test area on the web server, and when ready, rename your test area to replace the existing one.

Rule #6 Test! Go through everything at least 3 times front-to-back. Ask your development team to look for any potential issues.

Congratulations! You have given your site a brand new look and feel, hopefully without having to rebuild your tools or revamp textual content. The key to success with a redesign is consistent focus on the job at hand. Try not to get distracted with too many new tools
and/or content - save that for another project...



METAMEND CLIENT OF THE MONTH

Your Loan America* Link No Longer Valid
Need financial services? New Hope Financial can help obtain a mortgage, purchase or refinance - whether good credit or bad credit, little income or great income - all while offering their clients some of the most competitive mortgage rates and closing costs in the marketplace. There is also convenient on-line application and easy pre-qualification, as well as an amortization calculator. The mortgage loan calculator can calculate monthly payments, tell you how much you can afford, and even tell you how quickly your loan will be paid off and how much you will save by increasing your monthly payments. Better Business Bureau approved.


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.

Contact us via our Feedback Form.


Or, contact:
Todd Hooge
Director of Operations
Metamend Automated Website Promotion
Toll Free: 1-877-307-2701