Does search marketing really matter? (SEM 101)

I have a good friend who creates websites for personal users and small non-profits. When I told him about my new project, blogging about search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), he wondered aloud, “Who in the world cares about that stuff? What does it matter? There are only so many Amazons in the world, anyway.” I was initially surprised by his reaction. But his comments got me thinking – what is the...
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Search Engine Marketing 101, a new blog series

As a VP candidate once famously said, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m Rick DeJarnette, and I’ve been with the Live Search Webmaster Center team since fall, 2008, learning the ropes, helping with writing and editing work on both the tools Help system and the blog. I have a long and advanced technical writing background, focused on both IT Pro and end user topics. I’ve been involved with web technologies since the mid...
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MSNBot complaint escalation path

The Live Search development team is busy making significant improvement to the quality and depth of our search index, and these changes often affect how our crawler, MSNBot, collects data. As we test new algorithms, we invite webmasters to contact us to give us feedback on these changes, especially if you have any concerns. Live Search always encourages webmasters to use our product support escalation paths to help identify and resolve issues as...
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Getting out of the penalty box

Life can be cruel. You work hard to create new and compelling content for your site. You’ve studied legitimate SEO techniques. Everything is going well and your site is getting decent page rank scores across the board. Then it hits. A search engine penalty comes out of nowhere and knocks your site out of the index. Talk about a bad day. To be honest, most webmasters who get penalized know why it happened. They’ve used a myriad of...
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Clarifying turnaround times for content URL removals

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post addressing the often-asked question of how to remove a URL from the Live Search index. Since then, we’ve received many questions about the process and wanted to provide more details about the turn-around time for processing these requests.. The reason for removal can affect the time needed to do the work. We strive to process each removal request within 48 hours of acceptance. However, some requests require...
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Going international: considerations for your global website

One of the best parts of publishing online is that, on the Web, anyone can have a world-wide reach. But while being global is made easy on the Internet, ensuring that the content you produce will be found by the right audience can be a real challenge. Search engines can have trouble understanding geotargeting because of a few technical limitations. These include: Search engines may not be crawling your site from the location of your customers...
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Partnering to help solve duplicate content issues

One of the most common challenges search engines run into when indexing a website is identifying and consolidating duplicate pages. Duplicates can occur when any given webpage has multiple URLs that point to it. For example: URL Description http://mysite.com A webmaster may consider this their authoritative or canonical URL for their homepage. http://www.mysite.com However, you can add ‘www’ to most websites and still get the...
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Optimizing your very large site for search — Part 4

Everyone knows great content is fundamental to the success of your site. It is the reason people are looking for your site and it is why they will stay. In the previous three posts from this series, we have discussed how large sites need to expose fewer URLs, how you can help search engines crawl more efficiently, and how not to unintentionally hide your content from crawlers.
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On the road to Santa Clara

We’re excited to be headed to SMX West and participating in a number of panels and other events next week. We’ll be there to talk about all the usual searchy things you love and we will have plenty of folks (Nathan as well as a few new faces) on hand to help you with your Webmaster Center or search-related questions. If you have a specific question about your site, or you just want to meet the people who work on Live Search, be sure to...
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Optimizing your very large site for Search — Part 3

Working with large sites often means being a part of a large organization, which brings its own set of challenges. Many stakeholders with different agendas or needs influence how sites are structured. Within larger organizations, there are long to-do lists and a lack of understanding of the impact certain designs or architecture choices can have on the ability of the search engine to index the site. In our past two articles on large site...
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