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:: Internet Advertising Competition Awards

The Web Marketing Association is now accepting entries for the 2006 Internet Advertising Competition Awards. The IAC Awards are the first and only industry-based advertising award competition dedicated exclusively to online advertising.

Awards will be presented within each of the industry categories and advertising formats such as online ad, rich media online ad , email message, online newsletter campaign, microsite/landing page, integrated ad campaign and of course ads the client didn't choose. All will be judged on creativity, innovation, impact, design, copywriting, and use of the medium.

The Competition Web site is located at and the deadline for entry is January 31, 2006.

:: Axandra Tackles the Sticky Google Analytics Issue

Should you use Google Analytics or should you stay away from it?

Why is Google Analytics free? Does Google have to give money away? Of course not. Google will find ways to monetize this service. There is no such thing as free lunch. Everything, even what is seemingly free, must be paid for by somebody in some way.

Google already knows a lot of things about you. If you also use their new tracking service, you will tell Google how much you earn, when you earn it, which products you sell, how often you sell them, how much you spend for ads on other sites and you will reveal much more information about your online business.

Ask yourself if you want Google to know that much about you and your company. Do you really want to share your revenue information with a company that also wants your advertising dollars? Do you want to share your revenue information with any other company at all?

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:: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is live. Google purchased Urchin, a web analysis company, back in March. Looks like they managed to bust that $199 a month service fee down to nothing. That's right, the tools are free! Sprinkle the JavaScript tracking code across your pages, then get access to a full suite of analytical tools: track adwords ROI, track keywords from any search tool, track incoming links from anything...

The real question is what will Google do with the aggregate tracking information from their "free" service.

:: Create Web Buttons

Located a source to create free glassy web buttons. Other web design resources and free online button generators.

:: Understanding Web Directories

Web directories are an important component to search engine positioning. Directories come in all shapes and sizes, some are generic, while others are highly specialized. Directories, are defined as categorized topics or collections of information organized into a tree like structure where categories are used to define each groups association.

Large directories like Yahoo tend to have general themes and may charge for listings. While smaller niche directories like offer free listings and profit from advertising revenue or pay per click models like Google AdSense.

Understanding Web Directories

:: Develop Quality Content and Rule the Web

The age old question keeps coming up, how do you retain website visitors, how do you make visitors return to your website? The answer should come as no surprise, fresh content. Content is truly king, the fresher the content the better the site. What many webmasters fail to realize is that there is an endless supply of content on the web that is freely available to webmasters.

Not only can public domain material be freely used and syndicated on websites, but a number of content publishers provide content in exchange for a link back to their websites. A variety of contents related to the website theme that is integrated into the website will attract the interest of both search engines and web surfers. The key to taking advantage of free content is integrating or including content that is directly related to the theme of the website.

Content is King

:: Great SEO Newsletter

The Axandra search engine optimization newsletter gets straight to the heart of Google's recent Jagger algorithm update.

:: Inside Track On Press Release Optimization

A lot of press releases seem to be written by budding poets or ex-ad copywriters trying to be clever with the reader. This does not always bode well for keyword based ranking in algorithmic news and search engines.

On the other hand, press release spam is on the rise and many releases are being distributed with a bare minimum, if at all, editorial review. Both gimmicky and keyword stuffed press releases reduce the credibility of the wire service and the chances of your news being taken seriously.

So, what to do? Write a plain jane release that does not stand out, or stuff that sucker like a turkey with keywords galore? A talented writer should be able to incorporate keywords into a press release as well as satisfy any creative requirements for a compelling read. This is the "art" of press release optimization and also of web page optimization.

Press Release Optimization

:: Jagger 3 is Visible

Google's latest algorithm update known as Jagger is now complete

According to Matt Cutts Jagger 3 is now visible on . It has been reported that there will be minor tweaks but the major updates are complete.

Things worth noting (personal observations) take them with a grain of salt:

1. Aged domains are performing well.
2. Domains with keywords in them are performing decent.
3. Google's sandbox is still in effect.

:: Small search engines find profitable niches

While Google, Yahoo and other major internet companies try to dominate mass-market search, smaller competitors are carving profitable niches in sectors their larger contemporaries are ignoring.

Convera, which has provided high-end search services for government agencies and businesses, on Tuesday launches Excalibur, a white-label vertical search product aimed initially at markets such as media and publishing, health and life sciences and financial services.

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