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Intro by Mike Grehan - March 2005

It's a bit of "my buddies" type issue this time around (I know that's the case 99.9% of the time - but I do get around you know). Each of the contributors to this issue happens to be a personal friend. And I can guarantee it's a real eyebrow raising edition!

Keyword density analysis (KDA). Yes, if you've been involved in search engine optimisation circles for long enough, you've heard the phrase before. In fact maybe you even bought a keyword density analyser? Well here comes the rub: a keyword density analyser is about as useful at giving you information on actual "term weights" as reading tealeaves.

This issue of e-marketing-news brings an exclusive article from my dear friend, Dr. Edel Garcia, which blows the myth of keyword density analysis into space. And it will likely change the way you do optimisation, forever.

Not only that, you've heard about "black hat" and "white hat" techniques in search engine optimisation - but have you ever considered "black hat" PPC? In another exclusive, Danish search engine marketing superstar and buddy of mine, Mikkel deMib Svendsen, takes a look at a rather more devious side to PPC advertising.

And what about the frequently tedious side of link building? It certainly can be a chore. Fear not, overworked and underpaid associate editor, Christine Churchill, has been taking LinkExplore for a test drive. This labour saving software has been developed by my friend, industry veteran and innovator, Sumantra Roy. It's a must read for serious link building specialists.

At the search engine strategies conference in New York in February, I had lunch with my dear friend, Dr. Edel Garcia, otherwise known as Orion from Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch forums.

Dr. Garcia is a classically trained information retrieval scientist and his posts at the forum are scintillating, to say the least. In fact, as I pointed out in the search engine algorithms and research session at the conference, one thread he started has now had more than 48,000 views.

We've talked about a lot of the myths which pervade in the search engine marketing industry, but on this particular occasion we were discussing what the search engine optimisation community has called "keyword density analysis."

In the second edition of my book, I placed a lot of emphasis on trying to explain the vector space model and how a search engine creates an inverted index and then applies a term weight pair. This is calculated (classically) by taking the term frequency of a document and multiplying it by the inverse document frequency. Basically, in order to apply the term weight, you really need access to the entire corpus.

So, when I hear claims by search engine marketers that they have proprietary tools which download thousands of pages and analyse them i.e. as in keyword density analysis... Thousands isn't good enough I'm afraid and you're probably looking at the wrong things.

The exclusive article in this issue by Dr. Garcia is a very enlightening and de-bunking read. Written in an easy to understand manner, you don't need to be a scientist to get grasp of the very valid points he makes against keyword density analysis as it has been applied to search engine optimisation. Read it here...

I hang with my buddy Mikkel deMib Svendsen at most of the conferences. He has a wicked sense of humour and props the bar up with me from time-to-time.

In Chicago we had dinner and he talked about the "dark side" of PPC advertising. It was fascinating, funny and a little dangerous at times as he explained it.

Get it from the horse's mouth, as we delve inside the mind of the man behind those wildly colourful designer suits! Read it here...

Regular readers may be aware that my buddy and associate editor Christine, is an SEO tools geek. Forget the clients and the family (but not the horses :-)

She dumped them all this week to play with LinkExplore, the labour saving device used by many professionals in the industry to get one step ahead of the competition. Read it here...

Only one other item to touch on in this issue and that is…

Is it true you sold your consultancy to the world's largest search engine marketing company, Mike?

Yes, I did. Smart Interactive Ltd., is now a wholly owned European division of WebSourced, Inc.


And that means I'm working very closely with my great pal and fellow Brit, Andy Beal.

So, why did you do it, Mike? Let's just say that, the new Ferrari I'm picking up at the weekend and the mansion on the small island off Scotland, next door to Sir Paul McCartney, had a little influence… ;-)

That's it, enjoy an excellent read. I'm off to back up the 9,000 tracks on my iPod from the back-up drive I bought which came with a warning that I should back-up my, er… back-up. Yeah, go figure.



High Rankings Search Engine Marketing
Two-day Seminar 31 March - 1 April in Seattle

Everything You Need To Know for a Successful SEM Campaign!

Jill Whalen, Christine Churchill, Debra Mastaler, Scottie Claiborne, Dan Thies, Karon Thackston and Matt Bailey will cover Search Engine Marketing from start-to-finish.

Learn SEO basics, link building, PPC, keyword research, writing for your target audience and the search engines, plus how to measure traffic & conversions and cleaning up spam. Includes one day of hands on workshops.

Quick Bits:

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© Mike Grehan & Christine Churchill

Editor: Mike Grehan. Search engine marketing consultant, speaker and author. http://www.search-engine-book.co.uk

Associate Editor: Christine Churchill. KeyRelevance.com

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Editor: Mike Grehan.
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