The Web Authority
Tuesday, January 30
  Google Maps Are You In?
Google is making a big push to include local business at the top of specific geographical search queries. In fact you can read the full thread from the Google Search blog if you would like. The bottom line is that you can pick up free placement and additional search traffic by making sure that where your business is located, you have set up a free Google Maps listings.

Here's how you do it.
  1. Visit this link to set up a Google Maps account. This will allow you to add your business, add address information, hours and payment types. You will be allowed to link to your website.
  2. Verify your address. Google will do this by snail mail. To verify that you have a business in the location that you state. No way to cheat on this one.
  3. When you get the postcard to verify your address you will receive a PIN. Go back to the Google Local/Maps interface and enter your PIN.
  4. In the next update your local listing information will be included. Sometimes as long as four weeks to update the Maps index.
  5. Make sure to tie your new listing to your Google AdWords account. Get additional free exposure and excellent CTR rates by setting up a Google AdWords local text ad once you have your local listing verified on Google. You simply pay for clicks and this is a great extension for your AdWords program.

Why not take advantage of the opportunity to appear at the top of all organic listings by having a Google Maps free listing in place?

Monday, January 29
  Worried About Duplicate Content?
The search engines are getting smarter and it is the talk in webmaster forums all around - does duplicate content hurt your search engine page ranks? At least six months ago and maybe even before that, Google came right out and said don't put duplicate content on your site, we don't like it and it may even hurt you. There was a big push by most webmasters to address this issue head on. We went so far as to block robots from our text version HMTL pages in our robots.txt file.

Now the questions about duplicate content have surfaced again. Google has a new patent disclosure that was released about 6 weeks ago that addressed the indexing and rating of duplicate content and this has opened up the topic all over again.

One of the thorniest questions that we have been asked recently is on domain name masking and is this duplicate content. In this case we have one website which has set up in their hosting panel a new domain and masked the name so that all of the original content on the one site is now shown dynamically with a new domain name. The question is will Google frown on this. My take is that there is only one set of pages on the server and the new domain name is being created dynamically. I do not think that Google will call this duplicate content as there is only one set of pages for the spider to index. However would I recommend setting up more domains like this - no, would I recommend moving away from this tactic - yes, would I be worried about my site that is currently doing this - no, would I start to move away from the dynamic domain and just move to the use of one domain - yes. This is certainly a gray area and I would appreciate your take on what you think is the proper answer. Do you feel that this situation with domain masking is duplicate content?


Thursday, January 25
  Yahoo Updating Their Index
Just a heads up that I picked up from the Yahoo Search Blog. Yahoo Search is in the process of updating their index and started the update last night.

Keep an eye on your Yahoo figures. As Yahoo upgrades the technology behind their ad vehicle and institutes a Google-like quality scoring for ads, I would imagine that they are also quietly upgrading their search platform and algorithm. Any change will be a beneficial change!

Yahoo has a loyal market and a different personality of search user than Google's. Some sites will simply do better and resonate with Yahoo searchers than with Google searches, but as of late, the Yahoo search results on queries have been terrible. I for one welcome an upgrade of the Yahoo index and algorithm. There is so much new technology at Yahoo's fingertips that an upgrade across the board will do wonders for them.


Wednesday, January 24
  Quality Changes 2-5-07 For Yahoo
On 2-5-07 Yahoo Sponsored Search is implementing a "quality-score" like change for determining ad placement on the page. Yahoo had announced this pending change as it rolled out its new advertising interface and now the day is upon us.

For some advertisers this is terrible news. For other advertisers great news as now the bidding wars will cease. We have found that clicks on Yahoo are position sensitive. You will get more clicks if you are in the top three ads. Now that the way you get to the top has changed, this could impact significantly some accounts performance.

Personally I feel that all the changes that Yahoo has been making have been improving their quality, dependability, and instilling my confidence in their product. I welcome the change as a way to help Yahoo become a more viable alternative to Google Search and to Google AdWords.


Monday, January 22
  Google is Expanding to North Carolina
A $600 million computer server farm is scheduled to be built by Google in North Carolina. Google has quietly been expanding out of California and now even has an office in Washington DC. Now, it is expanding it techno-empire into the farm lands of North Carolina. The new server farm or data center will employ about 200 people.

Google currently has three large server centers that we know of. We use the various IP addresses for testing and so we'll be on the lookout for the IP address of this new center as well.

Just click the post title to read the full short article online.


Tuesday, January 16
  Google and Trademark Infringements
Google is clamping down. Now that ad landing pages and websites are spidered as part of the ad approval process and typically within two weeks of a new program launch, site owners are being notified about trademark infringements.

Not only are some site owners being sent cease and desist notices to remove any Google logos, but the associated AdWords programs are being turned off. As an account manager, and even a AdWords user, it is important to understand that Google really means business on this. You can be banned from Google AdWords for eternity - that's right - if you repeatedly do not take action or try to scam Google into thinking that you have.

The best course of action is immediate and prompt action to ameliorate the problem and get back on track with out the trademarked term, even though it may hamper your results. Google is holding all the cards if you take time to read the EULA for Google AdWords.


Thursday, January 11
  Google AdWords Radio Ads Are Coming!
Great news CBS and Google look like they are nearing closure on a deal that will help push the Google AdWords radio format ads out of beta. This is good news, but what does the typical small to medium size business owner do with this information? Well, they can get started on a professional creative to take advantage of the wave.

Just click our blog post title to go to one of our client's sites. This client produces professional Google AdWords radio advertisements to be loaded onto Google AdWords. Audio can be confusing and radio even more confusing to the novice, and that is why it is important to work with a pro like Ken Kohl.

So click in to his site and read the wealth of information that he has there on Google radio ads and then get the jump on your competition and get going with Google AdWords on the radio.


Tuesday, January 9
  Google Website Optimizer
Wow, this is really the tool for serious Google AdWords professionals! Google has invited us to test out the Website Optimizer, a professional grade tool for testing landing pages for Google AdWords performance.

What an excellent tool! Click our post title to sign up to receive an invitation when they have spots open. I just completed our test set up and I have to say that the tool is complicated but looks like it should really be a jewel in Google's toolbox for account management professionals.

A few tips, I found it confusing to add the scripts to the various includes for headers and footers that I have on my site. Even though I added the code, Google had trouble sensing it. I ended up just making an HTML page from my includes and put my content in there without a problem. Highly dynamic sites may be harder to set up if you are using several includes.

Take time to watch the movie first, I scrimped on this and will now watch the full video to see what I missed.

Don't do your work late at night. The implementation and set up took several hours and so it is best to do this when you are fresh not at the end of the day. The level of detail is intense to make the program work best and so take your time and think out what kind of testing you want to do first.

This tool will be a real resource for clients who really want to test landing pages for improved results.

This is what the Website Optimizer does. Allows you to create a page, tag special sections, then create dynamically inserted new sections - this makes up your test and Google will measure the activity and let you know what is working. Google serves up the dynamic content for you.

I was able to make one landing page with three different titles, two different content blocks, and two different images one male one female for our ghost blogging ad group.

Google has detailed reporting that will identify what is working best during your test period. It is all tied into Google Analytics and into the Google AdWords interface.

An excellent, top level, professionals tool that you will definitely want to check out.


  Search Engine Optimization Is Not For Everyone
Search engine optimization is not for every website. Although search engine optimization can really improve the organic search results for some websites, there are a couple of considerations when really search engine optimization should not be considered and maybe a full site redesign may be a better investment of money and time.

When not to do search engine optimization:
  1. If your site is created in Frontpage and the site layout becomes broken when new content is added
  2. Your site looks funny in browsers other than Internet Explorer
  3. You have a site designed totally in Flash
  4. Your website looks dated or non-professional

As search engine optimization is not inexpensive, in some cases the money that would have been spent on search engine optimization would be better spent on a new search engine friendly design with built-in optimization features.


Thursday, January 4
  Our January Newsletter is Out
I'm a wee bit late getting out this issue of our newsletter, but here it is. Just click the title of this post to view January's newsletter. In this issue I discuss how to get a contact form if you don't know how to do scripting, tips for using Internet Explorer 7, and the Louisiana Wave Studio a new website.

Click in to check it out!


  Domain Tasting
I had a client send me some information about Domain Tasting and wanted to share what I have found out about it.

Domain Tasting is where a firm usually involved in spamming or AdSense Arbitrage buys many domain names from a domain name registrar. They then set up Google AdWords programs pointing to these domain names and use them for five days. Before five days is up, the user then returns the domain names that have not generated income to the registrar for a full domain name refund.

I had never heard of this most likely because my firm is only involved in legitimate business dealings. I asked the staff at about this specifically. told me that yes the five day grace period does exist and is honored by ICANN. A domain can be refunded during that period. But told me that domain name refunds are done on an individual case by case basis. If a number of domains were returned for refund or refunds requested on a regular basis, the account would be red flagged. GoDaddy at that point may choose not to allow the refund for the domains purchased or may choose to close the account or not have future dealings with the person involved in Domain Tasting.

Yes it appears that Domain Tasting does exist, but this is a shady area and one that some people are clearly using to their advantage and by people of possible questionable business intent. It is clear that anyone who is involved in Domain Tasting is not using a main stream registrar and is using one who has questionable business policies.

One good thing for the legitimate business person is that if you spell your domain name wrong when you sign up or realize that you got the wrong ending like .bz instead of .biz, you can quickly get with your registrar and correct the problem.


Wednesday, January 3
  Google is Cracking Down on Duplicate Content
Google is getting smarter and smarter. If you click our blog post title, you can read their new patent disclosure that will allow Google to do a "sketch" to match similar content. Clearly Google is trying to weed out spam sites or scraper sites that parrot the same content over many websites on the Web.

Unique content will be valued in the Google index. Sites will no longer be able to pass off great content as their own and improve their search engine page rank as of result of it. Entrepreneurs who thought that they could widely sell their content on the Web to real estate agents, insurance agents, or other professionals may end up dinging the SERPs of their clients and not benefiting them.

It is a brave new "Google World" out there. Their patent disclosures are must reads for professional webmasters and serious web entrepreneurs.


Follow Web Diva, Nancy McCord, as she teaches you how to develop Web authority for search engines and to improve your Web visibility by positioning your company for strategic success.

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Location: Waldorf, MD, United States

I am the President of McCord Web Services LLC. My firm has been providing Internet services for over seven years.

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