21 Search Engine Terms Every Web Marketer Should Know Part 1
1. Search Engine - Is a database of web sites that is ranked according to the computerized criteria that the programmers decide upon called an algorithm. Various search engines determine ranking on their own different factors of importance or relevancy. For the last few years the Google search engine was the most popular search engine supplying the search results for Yahoo and to a lesser extent MSN and AOL. This all changed recently after Yahoo purchased different search engine companies and developed its own search engine. Soon MSN will enter this market with its own search engine algorithm.
Searchers input keyword queries into search boxes and are given results from the databases of the search engines in accordance with the ranking algorithm from whatever search engine they are using.
In other words, search engines index sites it feels will be of value to its customers, which are Internet surfers searching for information.
The most important concept to grasp with a search engine, is that it uses an automated computerized system to find and rank the sites within its database of web sites.
2. Internet Directory - An Internet directory is a large listing of categorized web sites - however the concept that should be understood with the Internet directories, is that they actually have editors that decide what goes into the directory. Remember an Internet directory is decided and managed by human editors, while in contrast, a search engine is ranked by a computerized algorithm or system. Directories are important to get links from because, they will raise your rankings in the Google algorithm (which is based on PageRank? or links from other sites to a great extent).
3. SEO - Search Engine Optimization From the Tao of Search Engine Promotion represents the Ying or Female Principle in that it is more fluid and receptive to the algorithms of the search engines, which of course you - do not control. SEO promotion is using known conventions and in some cases deconstructing the algorithms of the developers of the search engines and working with them. In other words it is like Judo where you use the momentum and power of the search engines to build your business. You will have to be constantly vigilant, in order to try to stay abreast of the latest developments in SEO promotion.
4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising with the search engines is bidding for particular keyword phrases or search terms used most frequently by Internet users related to information on certain niches and sectors. Overture was the first great pay-per-click advertising sales channel for the search engines. It presently represents Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Alta Vista, Hot Bot, and related partners allowing advertisers to bid on particular keywords. Google presently runs its own PPC Search Engine advertising branch called Google's Adwords Select. Since PPC advertising is so expensive use it in moderation by setting daily and monthly budgets (otherwise for high volume searched keywords you could go broke).
After setting budgets, which you do in the Overture and Google advertising interfaces, use PPC to test your conversion rates for subscribers, sales, etc., and constantly monitor it and fine-tune it. You want to increase your conversation rates. This is critical because as we alluded to the expense of PPC in earlier in this article the typical major ad agency or corporate brand only spends $5 - $15 dollars to reach a thousand people (CPM). Although they may go higher for a responsive direct mail lists like $100 or $150 to reach a thousand people. In PPC advertising small business are usually paying at least 35 cents on the dollar (for any word with any real competition) to reach a thousand people or $350 dollars. I have seen and experienced people paying $2.50 a click or $2250 dollars to reach a thousand people.
The true expense of PPC is never discussed by experts in that industry. Any small business using PPC should have an outstanding product ready for prime time, to see any return in investment. Alternately, they should only use it for limited testing or to get a product quickly to market on-line. Given the expense of PPC some small business people might be better off buying classified direct response advertising in a niche publication or obtaining ad space in ezines.
Another point to discuss in PPC is how the major companies hurt their advertisers (stab them in the back) by using pop-up blockers, which hurts the advertisers ability to collect email addresses on the front end, and with spam filters block even legitimate marketers ability to reach opt-in subscribers on the back end. Google is more of a front end pop-up blocker, AOL is more of an email blocker, while Yahoo is both. There are better ways to stop email and web site spam. What is important is that small business, if it is not careful with PPC could be paying AOL, Google, and Yahoo/Overture to put them out of business.
6. Search Terms (AKA Keywords or Keyword Phrases) - Search terms and more specifically keyword phrases are words searchers put in a search box to find information on a particular product, service, or item. Keywords and Keyword phrases have different tiers. For instance the top tier keyword 'business' probably receives 500,000 searches a month. But it is so general that it would not be a good keyword for which to optimize your site. However, the second tier Keyword phrase 'small business' would have less searches, but it is more of a targeted search. The third tier keyword phrases are even more targeted and would be ideal for persons to optimize their sites for although there are less monthly searches for them.