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According to WebProNews, Facebook and Microsoft are extending their relationship, which will be a big boost to Bing’s search share. Or Facebook’s search share. However you want to slice it.

This is obviously good news for Bing since Facebook is one of the Web’s most trafficked websites – more so even than Bing itself. To get the exclusive on the search feature of Facebook should do wonders for the search engine’s search share. But what will it do for website owners?

I think it could mean that search engine optimization for Bing will become even more important. It’s already important though not quite as important as SEO for Google. But I can see that this relationship with Facebook could make it just as important to optimize for Bing as for Google. That is especially true if Facebook manages to overtake Google as the No. 1 most trafficked website online.

But here’s the catch: Optimizing your web pages for Bing won’t be any different than optimizing them for Bing right now. It will just be more important.

Are you in control of your search engine marketing campaigns? If not then who is?

The key to getting ahead and staying ahead in search engine marketing is to know the game. If you are not staying on top of changes in the industry – and they happen every day – and adjusting your marketing based on the direction of the search engines then you are not really in control of your marketing. You can be in control or the search engines can be in control, but not both.

Of course, you could give control of your marketing to someone else entirely and hope things go well. But it needs to be someone you trust. Is there a search engine marketing company you trust well enough to run everything without question? If you do hire a company to run your marketing campaigns, make sure you hire a company who is knowledgeable of the latest search engine marketing tactics and is good at communicating with you. They’ve got to keep you informed.

There is more than one way to manage your online reputation. When it comes to content promotion, you don’t necessarily have to stick with creating new content. Of course, you should, but you can also promote your old content and continue to boost your reputation.

Old content is like a jewel lodged between the wall and and old piece of furniture. It may be stuck in a bad place, but it’s still a good thing.

Take an old piece of content you’ve created and that had a nice shelf life. Let’s say it received some initial popularity then over time faded away. However, every now and then you get a new link to it and some new traffic based on other people who find it in the search engines or who find it through an old link pointing to it. Can you use it?

Yes, I think so. There are two ways to take this old content and re-promote it for increased reputation.

  1. You can write a new blog post and link to the old content so that your current readers discover a gem from the past. This will bring new attention to the old content and might even get it some new links.
  2. Share the old content on your social media sites and create a new Twitter link for it. New social media traffic could get some new links for that old content and resurface it if it has lost any search rank.

Online reputation management is not a static game. You can manage your reputation just as well with old content as with new.

If you have a new website that you are trying to promote and believe that a targeted SEO or social media campaign is going to help you reach your desired ROI sooner then you are in for a disappointment. It’s not search engine optimization and social media campaigns don’t have value. They do. But they usually take a while before the value starts to show.

With an SEO campaign, it really depends on the competitive playing field. But if the competition is average then you are likely to wait a year before a hard-hitting SEO campaign really starts to pay off. You might get some results within that first year, but it takes a while before you achieve respectable rankings for competitive keywords. In some industries that one year becomes two or three.

With social media, it might not take that long or it might take longer. There are a lot of variable factors that can influence the success of your marketing campaigns. One of those is your choice of social media platforms. If you show up at the wrong place then you’ll find the wrong party. Plain and simple.

With PPC you have a lot more control over the outcome than you do with social media and you can achieve much quicker results than you can with SEO. The biggest problem for many advertisers is budget. But if you can get a handle on that, running a PPC campaign right out of the starting gate should get you a quicker ROI. Are you in a hurry?

Internet marketing is ever changing. If you’ll remember that then you should do well. And be prepared to adjust fire based on the latest trends.

In 1995, if you were doing anything online then you had your business listed in Yahoo!s directory. If you didn’t, you might not have got found.

In 1997, you spent your time tweaking your meta tags and working to get listed in the major search engines of the time. HINT: Google wasn’t around then. So you were likely trying to get your site listed in Alta Vista and a few other search engines that aren’t around any more.

In 1999, you were working hard to get links back to your site. Google was up and coming and heavily biased toward websites with lots of inbound links and strong anchor text.

In 2003, you were heavily focused on keyword-rich content to go with those inbound links.

In 2005, it was social bookmarking.

In 2007, viral marketing was the big shot.

Now, in 2010, if you are a web savvy Internet marketer then you know that you’ve got to be doing video marketing to be going anywhere. And probably have a presence on either Twitter, Facebook or both.

See how the Web has changed? It’s always changing. No one can predict what will be the top Internet marketing strategy in 2012, but you can bet one thing – it won’t be the same thing that it is today.

Keep this in mind. Internet marketing changes. You must change with it.

No Internet marketing campaign is complete without keyword research. Google has a great keyword research tool for anyone just starting out on their journey and who hasn’t built their website. If you’re just getting started on the planning of your site then the Google AdWords External Keyword Research Tool is the right tool for you.

What I like about this tool is you can search for keywords by descriptive phrase or by associating your research with a website. If your website is already built and you want to see if there are any keywords you may not be targeting then you can check the Website content box and generate your list of keywords specifically for a website you own.

Otherwise, you can enter your keywords and phrases, check the synonym box and filter for words you don’t want to use. When you click the “Get keyword ideas” box, the keyword research tool will generate your list of keywords based on what you enter in the words and phrases box above. Then you can play around with the data by measuring the keywords and phrases against each other in three columns:

  • Advertiser competition
  • Local search volume
  • Global monthly search volume

This tool is useful if you are running AdWords campaigns or if you are just conducting initial keyword research. I highly recommend it as a free tool.

One way to spy on the competition to see how they handle customer service and to check pricing is to pose as a customer. Many companies do not disclose prices publicly. And if you are in an industry that typically keeps prices under wraps so that businesses can sell directly to consumers using consultative practices and hide their pricing models until it’s time to close, you can always have someone pose as a customer for your competition.

This is a highly risky endeavor. If the competition believes that you are spying on them in this manner then there might be repercussions. But if you do it right then it’s possible to get the information you are looking for.

Of course, there is the concern of expenses. If your competition’s services are expensive then it could you just to gather information. Some businesses, however, are willing to hire secret shoppers to spy on the competition and let the shopper keep anything that is purchased for personal use.

We don’t necessarily recommend this strategy for your business, but if spying on the competition is a necessity then keep in mind that someone can pose as a customer and gather the data.

Now that the Web has migrated into a fully social platform, modern web design necessitates that webmasters include some social aspect into their websites. Invite people to participate in what you are doing at your website and to become a part of the content production process. There are a number of ways you can do this. Here are some ideas:

  • Start a blog – This is the most basic social media application and if you want to make your website more social, this is a good place to start.
  • Create a forum – Forums are old school, but they are still valuable places to connect. They are difficult to manage, however. Nevertheless, if you can get people to participate, a forum is a good social tool.
  • Open a chat room – This is another throwback to the earlier Web days, but a chat room is a good addition to any website.
  • Google Friend Connect – Google’s own do-it-yourself social platform. It has its weaknesses, but it’s strength is ubiquity. This is social web on the go.
  • Facebook Connect – Where Google Friend Connect is social across multiple websites in unrelated niches, Facebook Connect is proprietary and makes your website an extension of your Facebook experience. This is truly a social app you should not ignore.
  • Twitter Widget – Share with your site visitors what you are talking about on Twitter.
  • Amazon Wish List – Amazon actually has several widget you can incorporate into your website. The Net’s largest book store can be a part of your website.
  • Any Ol’ API – Take any social app with an API and add it to your site. You’ll need some development experience or a developer at your disposal. Turn your site into what you want it to be – a social center of its own.

Today’s web design incorporates elements of the social web. If your website isn’t social then you’re behind the times.