A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Archive for October, 2006

Is your e-commerce Hacker Safe?

Have you ever seen the “Hacker Safe” logo on an e-commerce site?

Today I got a phone call from ScanAlert, the company that handles offers the “Hacker Safe” service.  Basically, they scan your site every day and test it against “vulnerabilities”.  If they notice anything, they notify you and give you 72 hours to fix it.

As long as you keep your site safe against these vulnerabilities, they keep a logo on your site stating so.

The service costs about $179 per month with an additional $100 startup fee the first month.  Discounts apply if you pay a whole year in advance or if you are a Better Business Bureau member.  There are also discounts if you own a Monster Commerce site or Volusion site.  These discounts can get it down to as low as $999 per year.

Interestingly, she admitted that the true ROI is for sites that do about $10K to $15K profit per month.  In fact, they offer an online calculator to that effect.

If you have a high volume e-commerce site, it’s probably a good idea.

As I say in all my classes:

“Credibility is the currency of the Internet!”

Matt Cutts mentioned my client

The story starts like this…

About six months ago I attended PubCon at Boston.  There was a session (as always) for site reviews for search engine optimization.  This session is usually a big hit and the room was packed.  You can see the details of it here.  Matt Cutts (famous Google employee and blogger) was on the panel.  So was Tim Mayer (Director of Product Management at Yahoo) and Bruce Clay.

I put up my new client (Cherokee NC) just for fun.  In the conference, Matt specifically mentioned that he has family down this way.  He was therefore familiar with the Cherokee NC indians and wanted to know if this was the “official site” for them.  It is.  He then stated that “Google wants to rank this site”.  He recommended that we put more text and text links on the site, and not just flash all over the place.

Of course, I agreed. 

However, I am not the one designing the site.  These are comments I pass on to the agency building the site.  They take some of my advice and ignore (or forget) some advice.  I guess that’s the nature of being a consultant.

I have been working with the agency to enhance the site by adding text, adjusting title tags, and adding paid search.  They are quite fond of their graphics and flash on the site.

Getting back to the point…

A colleague of mine that is a Canadian Internet marketing consultant messaged me today to let me know that Matt Cutts mentioned my client’s site again on an Internet eMarketing Talk Show.   (He mentions Cherokee right around 6:30 into it.)

Unfortunately, he was not quoting us as a good example, but of a site that has almost all the navigation exclusively in flash.  He recommended in the show that sites offer “alternate navigation”, perhaps at the bottom of the page.

The good thing is that although this is something that I have spoken with the agency about before, I now have a little more ammunition.

Thanks Matt!

Free PPC Coupons and more…

If you have not gotten started in PPC yet and want some “free money”, please be sure to check out the free virtual trade show.

Link to eComXpo – The Virtual Trade Show for eCommerce Marketers

There are coupons in there for Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft AdCenter, and Ask PPC Marketing.  If you have not gotten started in any of these, you may want to start with one of these coupons.  Some are for $50 to $100.

Please note that some of them may not work very smoothly.  You may need to start a new account and go back after and notify customer service that you have a coupon.  I did this last time and it worked fine.

While I was in there, I noticed that there is going to be a free presentation about the new Yahoo Search Marketing platform at 2 PM EST on Wednesday. 

I also noticed that similar information is available at SEMPO. Click here and check out the presentation named September 26, 2006 – “Early Look at Yahoo! Search Marketing’s New Platform”

The only other presentations that interested me is the conversation Wednesday at noon regarding “The Long Tail” with Chris Anderson and a session on Google Analytics. 

Jason and I will probably watch both of those.  We both noticed the same presentations.

Internet Explorer 7.0 – Hold off for now?

There’s been quite a bit of talk on our local Google Group for Internet Marketers about the new IE 7.0.

It seems as if the new version is causing some problems.  Thankfully, we have not loaded it on our computers here at Hippo Internet Marketing.  As many are starting to complain.

Ty writes:

Don’t do it…………….
I just removed it, I DO NOT LIKE IT!!!  It made my screen and fonts
freak out, even after trying to adjust the settings.

Why can’t they just update the explorer functions instead of messign
with the computer settings!!

This is of course my opinion.

And Karen wrote:

I agree…I removed it also.  It slowed my computer way down and it
wasn’t as user-friendly as Mozilla.

Later, Ty noted that he was not able to work with Google AdWords after installing.  You can see Google’s response below…

Thank you for your email. I have spoken with our technical team about the issue that you are having and they have reported that users who have attempted to access the AdWords system using the beta version of Internet Explorer 7 have experienced some difficulties.

Please note that we will be waiting for an official launch for IE7 before any measures are taken to make everything compliant.

Our technical team has recommended that you attempt to utilize another browser when logging into your account as the problem seems to be centered on the browser you are attempting to use. They have recommended Firefox as a viable alternative. Additionally, you may need to try uninstalling the IE6 version you have and re-installing that version if possible.


Chris E.
The Google AdWords Team

Yikes!!  I think we will stay away for now.

Microsoft!  Get your act together!


Who gets PPC Money? Your Charity?

When you create a Pay Per Click ad and someone clicks on it, you pay.  But who gets the money?

Generally speaking, the search engine does.  In fact, Yahoo and Google make a tremendous amount of money on a regular basis.  For what?  As much as we do appreciate search engines, wouldn’t it be nice if some of that money could go to something more worthwhile?  Such as your school or favorite charity?

Given the above, I found an interesting article in Entrepreneur last night.  It talks about a new website called GoodSearch. 

Here’s how it works…

Instead of doing a search on Yahoo, you do a search on GoodSearch.  They show you the same Yahoo results.  If you click on a PPC link (which costs you nothing), Yahoo does not get ALL the money.  A portion of it goes to a charity you choose instead.

Nice idea.

The article says that they are registering 100 new nonprofits each day.  Do a search on Red Cross, Asheville High School, or Watchtower.  You can find most any charity or school.

If you do a lot of searching, especially on Yahoo, think of what this means.  Advertisers will pay.  Why not send at least some of that money over to a favorite charity instead.

I think I’ll replace my Yahoo toolbar with theirs.

Change the way you look at Google!


<–  Look at all the blank space around Google!

They do this on purpose, of course.  In fact, it is part of what made Google so popular early on.  They did one thing.  Search!

It made Google look like they were specialists at search.  Of course, to quite an extent, it is true.  Many still believe they are the best search engine and may be for some times.

Time to put the blank space to work for you!

If you have not done so already, you need to start using all that space to your advantage.  How?  I’ll tell you below.  But first…

Why you should use Google Personalized

  1. You can get cool things like weather and a calendar on your home page.
  2. Blogging is HOT!  There must be blogs out there that you would like to keep up on.  This is the easiest way how.
  3. You need the updates to this site.

How to get started
(Don’t worry, it’s easy.)

1.  Open Google.com and click on the button in the top right corner labeled “Personalized Home”.  See below.

Now you should see a screen such as the below.

2.  Now review the different sections.  Close the ones you don’t want and customize (or edit) the ones you want to keep.


3.  Once you have removed the content you no longer want, it’s time to get more content.  Click “Add More to this Page” in the top left corner.

You will see a list of all sorts of things you can add.

4.  We recommend that you eventually choose “Add by URL”.

5.  You can now enter any RSS fee you know of. 

To add this blog, enter:


Your Google Homepage is now customized!

You may want to use this new page as your home page.

YSM Now Accepting Invitations

How cool is this?  Right while I am building my new new blog, I get an email that Yahoo Search Marketing is now accepting invitations to the new sponsored search. 

Click here for the Yahoo! New Sponsored Search Early Invitation

Of course, I signed up immediately and am looking forward to seeing the new arrangement.  I’ll keep you updated on what to expect.

It looks as if they will be taking this in stages.  We’ve all been hoping that the new method for using YSM would not just be some new features, but a complete overhaul.  The fact that they are taking users over a few at a time leads me to believe this is the case.  (See the Upgrade Center they have created.)

Also, the changing of how bidding will work will change later.  They say:

There will be no change to the way ads are ranked through the remainder of 2006; they will continue to be ranked by bid as they are today. Early next year, we will change the way ads are ranked, taking ad quality into account as well as bid. More detailed information will be provided regarding this change before it occurs.

Pretty cool that the announcement hits at the very moment I am starting my blog.  Great timing, Yahoo!


The Map Lives!

Ever since I attenced PubCon in Boston back in April 2006, it has been obvious to me that I really needed to get back to blogging.

Our primary site, Hippo Internet Marketing, had a blog for many months back in 2004, but I eventually stopped posting to it because I was too busy.  Or maybe I just didn’t want to any more.  I forget.

But now that Hippo Internet Marketing is in the middle of re-branding ourselves, it has become obvious that we really need to get back to blogging.

This time it’s for real.  Let’s get started!!