July 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo Strike a Search Deal

Microsoft Yahoo DealIn the last 48 hours the web has been buzzing with the news of a Microsoft-Yahoo search deal that could potentially change the landscape of search forever. Although not final and more importantly, not approved by the regulatory commission, the deal would essentially make Microsoft’s search technology, Bing, the engine that powers all Yahoo search. There are other stipulations to the deal and a lot of technical specifics, but both companies feel they benefited from the deal and are looking forward to implementing the change as early as the beginning part of 2010. Google, however, might have something to say about the deal, as this essentially removes a search competitor from the market and makes it a two-horse race in the very lucrative game of search.

Here’s the basics of the deal and some links to more information:

The main component of the agreement involves search technology. Both Microsoft and Yahoo currently have their own search technology, or engine, that powers both the organic or natural search results and the paid or sponsored listings. Google of course has these technolgies as well. The deal gives Microsoft exclusive rights to Yahoo’s technology and puts Microsoft’s Bing as the driving engine behind all Yahoo search results. You’ll still be able to search on Yahoo just like before, but all the results will say “Powered by Bing”. Microsoft gets this technology for at least 10 years and is paying Yahoo for it.

Yes, this means Yahoo is giving up on search. Their CEO, Carol Bartz, would like us to think that Yahoo will do better if it can concentrate on its online properties like mail, news, sports, etc. It’s expensive to run search and Yahoo is now going to lease it from Microsoft so they don’t have to. With this deal, they’ll be two main choices in engines. Google, who has about a 70% market share, and Bing, which will power Bing, and all Yahoo search properties, with about a 30% market share. Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, is considered a genius for pulling off a deal that eliminates a search competitor at a very low cost.
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iePlexus Web Design and Development

iePlexus Web Design & DevelopmentWe didn’t start iePlexus as a web design and development firm. In fact, we had little intention of doing any serious website building beyond what our marketing programs called for when the company began. Web 2.0 Marketing and Social Media Advertising has always been our concentration, and its definitely where we feel we can serve our customers best. However, web design and development has always been an important part of an effective marketing program, and naturally some of our clients have come to us to help them with their web presence along with their exposure. Like a strong foundation, good design and development can enable a website to reach maximum potential. Even the most effective of marketing campaigns can sputter and cease if you don’t have a site that looks great, makes conversions, and is search and social media friendly.

With that being said, we’ve been doing web design and development as an a la cart service for clients since we rebuilt our own site back in early 2008. It makes sense that our customers who are really serious about their business and want the greatest potential to succeed would want a comprehensive, professional web presence from reputable, capable company, and that’s exactly what we offer. We can provide every service necessary to facilitate all aspects of an online business, and we’re proud of our work. Obviously, we will always specialize in marketing and continue to advance our Web 2.0 programs as the most important service offering, but along with that we want clients to know we have the tools, skills and experience to handle all facets of an online business.
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Custom Jersey Site Successfully Teams Up with iePlexus

onthefieldTransitioning from the retail market to the online market can be a difficult endeavor, and no one is more aware of those difficulties than Lane James. The proprietor and owner of OnTheField.com, James has been in the sports jersey business since 1993. In that year, he opened a physical location across from the then-standing Kingdome.

“We had our difficulties with teams going up and down, winning and losing, but once we moved to the Kingdome location, we started seeing growth,” said James. “Then we could turn to making our name a national or worldwide brand. We had wonderful IT people that helped us establish an online presence, and we started selling licensed sportswear through our website.”

Recognizing the inherent importance of a niche market, James made the decision to specialize in sports jerseys related to Major League Baseball, the National Football League, Major League Soccer, and many other sports-related organizations.

“The key factor in our business is customization,” said James. “Just select the specific jersey and tell us the name and number of your favorite player — or yourself — and we’ll ship that jersey to you with this custom information.”
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Facebook Passes 250 Million Users

facebook-logo1Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and Founder of Facebook, announced about a week ago that the social networking site now has over 250 million users. Just a few months ago, back in April of 2009, Facebook passed 200 million users. The growth of the site is pretty phenomenal and reinforces the fact that Facebook is the #1 social networking site in the world, although in the U.S. MySpace still holds a slight advantage. In the global market however, Facebook is more than twice the size of MySpace and continues to dominate in every category.

To give you an idea of Facebook’s adoption, the U.S. has a population of just over 300 million, and the world has about 6.7 billion people. That means in the U.S., with over 75 million users, 1 in 4 people have a Facebook page, with about half of those logging in each day. Worldwide, Facebook reaches about 4% of the popluation. You can see more Facebook statistics here.

One of the most interesting things about the growth of Facebook was not the fact that it had so many global users, but instead that those aged 35 and up were the fastest growing population of users and responsible for fueling much of the recent gains. That means the older population is embracing Facebook as a networking tool for business beyond simple social connections, which is definitely not the case for MySpace.
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“I Look Forward To A Positive Relationship With iePlexus”

Client TestimonialThe iePlexus blog has taken our web site, www.emergencyanddisastersupplies.com from 7 keywords in the top 5, back in October of 2008, to 28 keywords in the top 5, now in June of 09. Content really is king. We thought we were doing well with posting our content on various article directories, but the iePlexus blog has helped us make even more good content available, out on the web, to our customers and potential customers.

Thanks,

Eric
www.emergencyanddisastersupplies.com
www.emergencysuppliesblog.com

Thank you, for your efforts and proactive support. I hope that the support that you have shown afforded me is an example of what I can expect fromm the rest of the iePlexus team. I look forward to a positive relationship with iePlexus, and trust the experience will
result in making COFFEE 2 TEA a success.

Kind regards,

Brian

I would like to thank you for your on going services. Everyone has been so nice, knowledgeable, friendly and all that good stuff that helps to make the overwhelming task of building your 1st website, plausible. Everyone has been most helpful.

Thanks again,

Jan

*NOTE: Please do not contact any clients without prior written authorization from iePlexus. Thank you.

“I Am So Pleased With iePlexus”

Client TestimonialWow I am very humbled by all of everyone’s hard work and commitment at iePlexus. Looking forward to buying every one a cup of “your choice” beverage in the near future to say a proper thanks.
Thank You.

Always in Health and Happiness;
Best Regards,

Roy

Thank you for emailing me about my recent blog. I look forward to speaking with you soon. I am so pleased with iePlexus. All of you

are wonderful to work with. You communicate regularly and your care for the customers really shows.

Thank you,

Tonya

*NOTE: Please do not contact any clients without prior written authorization from iePlexus. Thank you.

Blogs and Search Engine Optimization

Ten Tips For Optimizing Your Blog For Search Engines

It’s not breaking news that blogs are great for search engines. Since blogs became popular and were documented in the main stream media, back around early 2004, the merits of their marketing reach and search engine prowess has been well-covered by the search and marketing industry. It’s almost as if blogs were specifically designed to appeal to search engines, in that they fulfill so many specific criteria search engines look for when determining ranking. Fresh, content-based websites with clean architecture, simple navigation and keyword-rich page titles are like honey to a bear, search engines are naturally attracted to them and once they get sticky, they keep coming back.

But getting your blog to really communicate well with the engines isn’t something that comes built in; there are some essential steps that you need to take in order to make it easy for engines to discover your site and subsequently, rank it higher. Follow these ten tips to optimizing your blog for search engines, and you’ll be well on your way.
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“iePlexus Has Done A Great Job For Us!”

Client TestimonialDear Shane,

As you know, our Stores Online site Affordable Dog Houses And Beds went live the first part of January, 2009, and we have had very little activity and no orders. We had been told by Stores Online, numerous marketing companies and friends who have websites that it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to get any activity, so we were a little discouraged, to say the least.

When you contacted my husband and I, we were a little skeptical about what iePlexus could do for us. We had been contacted by several marketing companies and wondered about the activity a Press Release would bring us, and if we should bother to take the time to write Blogs. We were still spending so much time on researching our product line and building the site. But, after several of your phone calls, we decided to give you a shot. After all, nothing else was working for us and you finally wore me down! We signed up with iePlexus on May 1st, and right away you and your team went to work.

Well Shane, I just wanted to let you know, Saturday, June 20th we received our first order on our website, for over $300.00! Bruce and I are really excited! We realize that you and your team at iePlexus have done a great job for us, and in less than 2 month! Also, we are getting first page ranking for several of our products, and others are moving up. Obviously your marketing strategy works!

What was also great is that your team spent a lot of time teaching and training me. I had never written a blog post, but after working with Donald and Eric, I feel very comfortable, and actually enjoy writing about our Pet Products. Bryce designed the blog site that is not only beautiful, (if blogs can be beautiful), but also complimented our website, he is an artistic genius. Ryan wrote an incredible press release that perfectly captured our business philosophy.

Shane, a big “Thank You” to you. And please let everyone know that it has been a pleasure working with them; Donald, Eric, Ryan, Bryce, and the team behind the scenes. We look forward to a long relationship with everyone at iePlexus.

Best Regards,
Dawn & Bruce
*NOTE: Please do not contact any clients without prior written authorization from iePlexus. Thank you.

Internet Saves Baseball in New York

empty-yankees-stadiumIn a time of general economic crisis, the Yankee organization has revealed that they are particularly out of touch with their target demographic. This disconnect was made evident by revealing stadium seats that go for an astronomical asking price. To that end, some of the luxury seats go for as much as $2500 a game, and the more “reasonable” seats were advertised as $1000 a game. For many club houses, that would constitute the price for season tickets. Even for a club as popular as the Yankees, there was an inevitable fan backlash to follow in the form of poor ticket sales.

Having to put their tail directly between their legs, team manager Hal Steinbrenner announced that those luxury seats would be reduced in price by almost half, making the seats $1250 and $650 respectively. While it’s a move in the right direction, it still reveals a general lack of understanding as to the demands of the average baseball fan.

Luckily for Yankees fan, Major League Baseball has partnered with Cablevision and YES, the Yankees cable network. This partnership means that Yankee games can now be watched online for a flat registration fee of $49.95 for the remainder of the season or $19.95 for any given 30-day period. This service will officially launch on July 8, 2009.

While the stadium will still be conspicuously empty due to unrealistic ticket prices, at least the Yankees can console themselves with thoughts that all those fans are at home, watching the game on their laptops.
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Redefining Advertising through Social Media

social_mediaAdvertising is undoubtedly one of the primary ways that companies reach out to their customers, but the introduction of social media and online marketing has muddied these once-clear waters. After all, advertising used to be the representation of your company in the most positive light possible. It used to be gimmicks, catch phrases, and limited time promotions.

But with social media, the question becomes whether it’s even beneficial for companies to directly advertise through these venues. Essentially, people believe one of two things about social media advertising. On one side of the debate, people believe it’s beneficial for companies to present themselves through any available channels. And on the other side of this debate, people believe that social media venues are there primarily for people to be sociable. That is to say, they don’t want to be inundated with advertisements and promotions.

The people who take this latter position feel that coming into these new venues with advertisements blazing can actually harm a company image. They feel it alienates these companies from this core demographic, because the companies are simply not playing by the “social media rules.”
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