I’m sure everyone heard the news a few weeks ago that Microsoft made an offer to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. Here’s a quick recap. Soon after the announcement, Yahoo’s stock went up, then Yahoo declined Microsoft’s offer, saying that they would like to hold out for better suitors. Is Yahoo holding out for more money, or do they just not want to sell to Microsoft? Yahoo said they would decide by March 14, but time is ticking.
Other suitors have expressed interest during Yahoo’s delay, including Time Warner Inc.’s AOL and News Corp.’s MySpace.com. Yahoo claims that they are not delaying the Microsoft deal in hopes they will come to a deal with either AOL or MySpace, but that they are trying to elect board members to the Yahoo committee to decide on the impending deal. They could also be waiting for a better offer from Microsoft, which some analysts say will probably happen.
Another issue has arisen since the delay in the deal, the U.S. economy. There are concerns about how well the online advertising market will fare in this lackluster economy. The economic worries have contributed to a twenty-one percent decline in Internet search and advertising leader Google Inc.’s stock price since Microsoft pounced on Yahoo. An alliance with MySpace.com looked like Yahoo’s most likely escape route a couple weeks ago, but talks with AOL have recently heated up. Hopefully a conclusion to this deal will happen soon, but it does look probable to me that Microsoft will purchase Yahoo.
When it comes to Search Engine Marketing it is critical to ensure you are utilizing the most effective and targeted keywords to get the best return on your investment. Your keywords are the foundation to any cost per click campaign and should be chosen wisely. They should be updated and tweaked often and ultimately be paired with compelling ad copy and the most relevant destination URL.
So how do you know if your keywords are “up to par”? It is sometimes difficult to choose the best keywords when you are so close to the subject. In other words, you may think you know what searchers are typing into the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) to find your site, however you might be surprised to find that what you may think is being searched upon is not at all the case. This is where an analytics tool comes into the mix. It is imperative to have a tool which affords you the ability to determine the specific keywords that are driving your sales, conversions or the desired action item (such as a whitepaper download, catalog request, online form, etc.) to occur. Your keywords should never be chosen by intuition, but rather, you should rely on your analytics program to guide you to the most educated choices.
One word phrases tend to be costly and generic; research shows that the savvier the searcher, the longer the keyword phrase or tail will be. In fact, a recent article stated that the average searcher is now utilizing 4 words to run a query. This approach not only keeps keyword cost down, but also provides for a more targeted and qualified visitor. For example, someone searching for the one word phrase dentist is a lot less qualified that someone searching for Dentist in Santa Monica.
Improving the keywords in your campaigns will boost your traffic quality and as a result your sales and ROI.
If you haven’t heard already, Microsoft is out to buy Yahoo. And so here’s the low down. Microsoft Corp. has made a $44.6 billion bid to Yahoo.Inc. This is not the first time Microsoft has extended an offer, and it illustrates their resolve in having the two companies come together. What’s different this time, is that it looks like Yahoo is taking the bid into real consideration.
All I can say is that my head is reeling with all the possible implications. My main interest is with organic search and what impact on optimization efforts this merger will have.
On the one hand, it may make life a little easier. It’s one less search engine algorithm that you have optimize your site toward. This could allow you to streamline your SEO efforts. On the other hand, it could actually become more difficult to cover your bases among the search engines. Which in my opinion (and trust me it is just an opinion), seems to be the most likely. What happens many times is that your site will perform differently among the different engines. This is to be expected since they have different algorithms. But for the most part, since they have the biggest market share, many people focus most of their energy on optimizing for Google. If Microsoft and Yahoo combine, then there very well could be two major players with a more equal amount of market share — which will then beg the question: Who do you gear your SEO efforts toward?