Google PageRank Update for New Year

Thursday, 31 December 2009

As anticipated Google has updated it's PageRank score. SEO Sydney Blog has not changed but I have seen many of my websites increase, which is always quite rewarding.

Hopefully your website has seen it PageRank increase.

Also Happy New Year to everyone

Best of 2009 on SEO Sydney Blog

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

2009 is almost over and it is now time to review this year, rich in changes and innovation.

In 2009, SEO Sydney Blog has been proud to welcome two regular contributors Ronan Mahon and Shai Roitman from Xpand. Ronan and Shai have brought a wealth of experience as well as great job offers.
Going forward we are looking at more contributors, so if you are inspired, feel free to contact us.

During this year, we have also released the second edition of Australia's first and unique SEO/SEM Salary Survey. Started in 2008 with the objective to bring more visibility on Australian SEO SEM market, the 2009 edition has help to fill the gap in the market.

Over the year, we have written 55 posts covering topics related to SEO, SEM, Web Analytics. Amongst all the 55 posts of 2009, the most popular posts reflect some of the biggest change in the market:

- Facebook Australia Users Statistics. With the rise of social media in Australia, there is now a real need to have a better visibility to use them correctly.

- The Online Advertising Spending in Australia post has confirmed the double figure increase in online advertising spending.

- One of the main highlight of 2009, was the Global Financial Crisis. The online industry has not been spared and unfortunately jobs have been cut.

We are also glad to have noticed an increase in readers interaction. The creation of the SEO Sydney Blog community on Ning has helped and overall the number of comments has increased compared to the previous year, which is great. The most commented articles included the trends in the SEO job industry, Google Real-Time Search and Google PageRank Update

Overall we would like to thank our loyal readers, who are making all this a reality. Thanks again for your support in 2009 and we hope to see you in 2010 for another exciting year. Happy New Year!

Google Real-Time Search - Is this the end of the Google Model?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

On the 7th December, Google has announced the launch of real time search in the search engine results pages.

The real time search concept

The concept behind real-time search is to deliver content, which is the freshest and most relevant to a search engine query.
With the increasing amount of content being put online every single minute and the short life of a piece of content, it is imperative for search engines to reflect this trend in their search results pages. In that sense, real time search is a radical move from the intial search engines model, where relevancy is not the main criteria anymore.

How real- time search is a challenge for Google

Over the last 10 years, Google has built its search engine around the concept of relevancy, where relevancy is gained over time and reputation. Old authoritative domains with solid links and content dominate search engine rankings.

Nowadays, freshness and recency needs to be integrated in the equation, which is a radical change to the initial concept of the Google algorithm. Content not only needs to be relevant but it needs to be recent and reflect user's intentions at the instant T.

Google and Real Time Search

Being pressured by the integration of Bing with Facebook and Twitter in October 2009, Google had to respond to remain in the game.
As a result Google has integrated news results and twitter results in its search engine results pages, with plans to integrate Facebook and MySpace in the near future.

While Google integrated freshness and recency by displaying Twitter results in its search engine rankings, it seems to have forgotten its core concept of relevancy.

In Google search results, Twitter updates are only displayed based on time rather than relvancy. As mentioned by Rand Fishkin and Danny Sullivan, the Google real time search results are similar to the old days of Infoseek. While relvance is still there, you do not need to be highly relevant to get top results, you just need to be quick.

Google's integration of real time search is therefore a little bit rushed and not fully inline with the giant's search model. To properly integrate real time search within their search engine results, Google still needs to review their algorithm to integrate both freshness and relevancy in the equation.

This is a major challenge for the Google model and algorithm and this will have to be addressed in the coming months...

Search Engine Optimisation & Internet Marketing Positions

We are a leading internet marketing company looking for talented individuals with experience and aptitude in the below core areas:

* Search Engine Optimisation (Advanced)
* Website Development (Intermediate)

Additional skills in any of the below areas are also welcomed:

* Paid Search
* Media Buying and Selling
* Copywriting
* Creative

You will become a part of a thriving enterprise and benefit from the experience of working with some of Australia’s leading internet minds. The benefits are great for the current individuals who are performing strongly. The benefits could be great for you also, with an exponential remuneration package on offer. Experienced candidates with a background in marketing websites and businesses on the client side are particularly welcomed.

Our offices are based in Sydney. We operate a network of websites and are looking to expand the reach of these businesses. You will be quickly promoted into a position of autonomy and power after a test period where you will prove you have what it takes to be an internet marketer.

We have a strong base of capital and established proven formulas for success. Our business has a strict criteria for adding new staff, so please only apply if you believe you are an A player.

Apply to OnlineMarketingGuns [at] HiveEmpire [dot] com with a cover letter stating why you believe you were born to be an internet marketer.

Looking for Guest Bloggers

Thursday, 10 December 2009

It is a bit early for new year resolutions, but for 2010 we would like to open up the doors and get more people to contribute to SEO Sydney Blog.

Because there are a lot of talents out there and diversity brings better information, we are keen to hear what you have to say and we will be happy to publish your masterpiece on the blog.

If you want to express your opinion on any SEO, SEM or Web Analytics topic, feel free to send us your post. We will review it and publish it if appropriate. You will be rewarded with a mention and a link.

So express yourself and send us a post: alban (at) seosydneyblog (dot) com

For obvious reasons, we will only accept unique and insightful content related to online marketing.

Group Search Director | SEM Strategist

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Group Search Director

A fantastic opportunity for an executive level group search director has just been created. The role is perfect for a leading search marketing strategist (SEM focus). This is the perfect opportunity to lead a team of search experts and grow a leading search business.

About the Role:

This Search Agency is based in Sydney CBD. Everyone who works there is a true digital consultant and search expert. You will be surrounded by talented staff and be given the opportunity to grow and learn. In this role you will be expected to drive search strategy as well as the business strategy. You will also be a doer and not just a talker. You will be ready and prepared to implement change. You should be a focused individual who is prepared to deliver a 90 day pland and a long terms strategic plan. Experience in a general management position will be highly beneficial.

This is a crucial role in the business; you will drive client strategy and business strategy. As group search director you will be expected to look after the following activities

Managing a team of 4 search directors
Drive SEM strategy
Strategically manage clients
Lead and motivate the team
Grow the business on a strategic level
Grow the business through effective up sell and cross sell
Manage the most important client accounts
Strategise with existing accounts and account managers
Business Plan
General Manager Activities:
Shape the business e.g. team structure
Promote Staff, (People management experience is a must)
Manage budgets and other company issues


Your role will eventually grow into a more senior position. There will be opportunities to exceed base salary through the effective management of clients. You will have an impact on the company strategy and direction. This is the perfect opportunity to take you career to the next level.


Ronan Mahon on 02 9346 5232 or apply now.

SEM - PPC | Search Expert

Search Engine Marketing: SEM - PPC

A fantastic opportunity for an experienced SEM analyst to join a growing and thriving business. You will be responsible for the effective deliver of PPC campaigns. This is a great way to kick start your career in search and grow to be a SEM expert.

About the Role:

This Search Agency is based in Sydney CBD. Everyone who works there is a true digital consultant and search expert. You will be surrounded by talented staff and be given the opportunity to grow and learn.

This is a crucial role on the SEM team. You will be expected to deliver on SEM campaigns

Driving SEM campaign
Analysing campaigns with Google and other in house analytic tools
Optimising campaigns to achieve top search results
Key word research
Writing copy,
Client reporting
Campaign monitoring


You will get the opportunity to work with a great team in and organisation that treats staff like family. You will grow and learn from talented staff around you. Friday is fun day and the fridge is stocked with beer and food to get you ready for the weekend. If you work hard you will be nicely rewarded.


Ronan Mahon on 02 9346 5232 or apply now.

Search Engine Usage and Trends in Australia - Statistics & Figures 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

I have just come back from the Search Engine Room conference and heard a lot of good things!

All presentations were interesting, but I particularly liked Alan Long's outline of the latest search engine trends in Australia. All the data is from Hitwise, one of the world's largest online data provider. The post below will list some of the key findings for 2009.

Australian Online Usage: Social Media are taking over Search Engines.

In 2009, Australian have spent more and more time on social media websites.The category has grown by 25% compared to 2008. Search engines are still the most visited sites with 12.8% of all site visited, followed by social media with 11.8%, Portal & frontpage with 5.1% and email services with 5.1%

The use of search engines is still growing (+8.6%), but social media are planned to take over especially during the Christmas season.

Australia is one of the nation that use search engines most. US comes ar 10%, UK 12.6% and New Zealand 12.2%.

Search Engines Market Shares in Australia

With no surprise, Google is still dominating the search landscape with over 87.1 % of market share. Bing has grown to 4.7% from 4.1% compared to 2008, while Yahoo remains stable with around 2.3%.

It is interesting to notice that some search engines in Chinese language made it to the top 20 with Baidu at 0.41% and Google China at 0.19%. This trends is also meant to grow next year.

Search Engine Users' Behaviours

User behaviours have slightly changed in 2009. The most significant change is the rise of brand related searches. 14.22% of searches are brand related. Compared to 2006 (8.75%), branded searches have increased by 62.5 %.

Most of the top 20 searches in Google are brand names or brand related phrases.
The most popular brands are social media, followed by online based brands (ebay, seek, hotmail). Only few traditional brands are making it to the top 20 ( ANZ, BOM).

Search engine users have also refined their way of searching. Long tail keyowrds are getting more and more popular.

- 1 word searches: 18.6% have decreased by 5.3% compared to 2008
- 2 words searches: 28.6% have also decreased compared to 2008
- 3 words searches: 24.2% have increased
- 4 words searches: 14.3 % have increased too
- 5 words searches: 14.3 % have increased by 2.2 % compared to 2008

Interestingly Bing is still heavily relying on 1 to 2 words search terms rather than Google tends to generate longer phrases.

One of the most amazing fact is the contribution of paid search against the traffic to all websites in Australia. According to Hitwise's data, paid search contributed to only 4.8% of website traffic. Such figure strongly re-inforce the need to focus on SEO, which should generate most of your traffic.

Latest Search Jobs in Sydney - October 2009

Monday, 26 October 2009

Search is still in high demand. As the market picks up Sydney is again becoming candidate poor with search candidates securing new employment. Big brand search agencies are again calling for quality search engine marketing and optimisation staff. Here are three new SEO and SEM jobs that need to be filled this side of the New Year.

1. SEO/SEM Account Manager: OTE $120K

This is a strategic marketing role, where you will help you clients build a search strategy to sell their products and services. You will not be hands on with the operations side of search but will work closely with the search experts to help your clients achieve their results. This is a big brand search company and you will be working with top tier clients. Ideally you will have agency experience working in the digital space with big brand clients.

2. SEO Specialist: $70-80k

In this role you will be looking after Tier 1 clients. You will help them build their search strategy and grow their business. In this role you will look after all aspects of onsite optimisation and work with a team of specialists to build links and write content for your clients. This is a new position bases in North Sydney. There is a great team to work with and you will get the chance to strategise with major clients.

3. SEM Specialist: 60K

This is an excellent opportunity to join a great search team. You will be looking after big clients and you will be hands on with the campaigns. This is a really social location based in the heart of the Sydney CBD. If you love SEM then this is the role for you.

If you are interested in any of these jobs, contact Ronan on 02 93465232 –

Basic Landing Page Optimisation with Omniture SiteCatalyst

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Measuring the effectiveness of landing pages is crucial to improve the success of your online marketing campaigns. As part of the landing page optimisation process, you want to try as many landing page creatives as possible, identify the ones, which generate the most conversions and then use them and optimise them further.
One of the main requirement of landing page optimisation, is to be able to measure, which landing page performs the best.

Omniture provides an out-of-the-box tool for multi-variate landing page optimisation called Test and Target, however if you have a limited budget and relatively simple requirements in terms of testing, it might be easier and more cost-effective to configure SiteCatalyst for basic landing page optimisation rather than investing in Test and Target.

Configure SiteCatalyst for Landing Page Testing

One of the main advantage of SiteCatalyst, is the extensive number of custom variables that can be set for specific tracking needs. In this case we will use a custom conversion variable (eVar) to "tag" each landing page individually and then compare them across metrics.

Let's say you have three different offers (A,B,C) which have a specific landing page (LP-A, LP-B and LP-C). Obviously, you want to measure, which one converts the best. For this purpose we will use eVarX, which will be populated with the landing page name.

1: The first step is to define and configure an eVarX using the SiteCatalyst Admin Console (Make sure this eVar is not already used for something else). The type should be set as "text string". Allocation and expiration are up to you.

2:To work, the eVar needs to be called and populated each time someone is looking at your landing page. In other words, every time one of your landing page is loaded, the specific eVar should be called in the Omniture tracking code (bottom of the page)and populated with the name of your landing page.

If you use static pages, it is quite easy and you just need to add the following code within the Omniture Javascript Tag:

For example:
Landing Page A: s.eVarX="LP-A"
Landing Page B: s.eVarX="LP-B"
Landing Page C: s.eVarX="LP-C"

If you use dynamic pages or a CMS, you might need to consult your developer to set up a code, which will call this eVar with the right value everytime the page is loaded.

3: You'r done! You just need to wait for some traffic to arrive and then see the results in your SiteCatalyst report ( Custom Conversion > Custom Conversion X > Evar Name). In this Report, you can then add relevant metrics and then compare the effectiveness of your landing pages.

This basic landing page testing method is very easy and effective if you have a limited number of static landing pages and need to test them on ad-hoc basis, however for a large amount of landing pages or for on-going testing, this method can be quite work intensive and not as effective as advanced landing page optimisation tools.

Search Engine Room Conference 2009 Sydney, November 18th

Saturday, 17 October 2009

This year's edition of Search Engine Room, one of Australia's leading search conference, will take place in Sydney on November 18th. The theme for 2009 is "Traffic: Get it, Keep it, Use it".

I had a quick look at the program and found some pretty interesting sessions. The opening keynote with Justin Baird from Google will discuss the recent changes in search including personalisation, localisation and portability. Hopefully the session will focus on Rich Snippets. The morning presentation on SEO and website migration should also be quite valuable.

For more practical information, the conference will feature 3 cases studies, which will present the online strategy and efforts of leading Australian websites including Get Price and Woolworth.

The event costs $549 for one day ( Sorry just missed the Early Bird, which finished on October 16th)

View Through Conversion Metric in Google Adwords

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

On September 30th, Google announced the introduction of a new converison metric in Google Adwords. The new metric is called View Through Conversion and aims at offering more visibility on the performance of banner ads in the Google Content Network.

Why this metric

Ads in the Google content network usually do not perform as well as ads in the search network (some exceptions might exist) or more exactly, they do not perform in the same way.

Ads in the search network targets users searching for products or information. In this scenario, the user is the instigator; he "asks" for some sort of information and expect "answers". If your ad is relevant to the user query, he is more than likely to click on it and if your product or information matches what he is looking for, he is more than likely to purchase or convert.

Ads in the content network or more generally display ads are a bit different. In this case the user is "browsing" and not actively looking for specific information. The banner ads or text ads are here to entice him to click. As the user intent is not the same , the click-through and direct conversions are usually lower than in the search network.
However, banner ads offer more opportunities for brand exposure (branding) than search. You will be able to display your brand in a better way (image/flash) and in locations where you are more than likely to reach your target audience.

Even if it does not translate into a direct conversion, branding (banner being displayed) can result in a user searching for your brand in Google or even go to your website later on and buy your product. These indirect conversions will not be recorded under display ads or content network in your analytics report even if branding has probably contributed.
The View Through Conversion metric actually fills this gap and allows you to measure the number of conversions, which resulted from a banner being displayed.

How to use the View Through conversion metric

The main purpose of the metric is to measure the "indirect' impact of banner ads. If someone has viewed one of your banners and not clicked, but has converted in a 30 day period (whatever medium is used for the conversion), your banner will be attributed a view through converison. You can then measure the impact of each banner and optimise them accordingly.
While not perfect (the results still need to be interpreted with caution), this metric offers a good way to measure your ROI and justify your banner display spending.

Adobe acquired Omniture

Thursday, 1 October 2009

On September 15th, Adobe Systems acquired Omniture Inc for approximately $1.8 billion dollars. Under the new agreement, Omniture will become a business unit of Adobe with the following mission:

Revolutionise the way the word engages with ideas and information. By combining Adobe's content creation tools and ubiquitous clients with Omniture's Web Analytics measurement and optimisation technologies, Adobe will be well positioned to deliver solutions that can transform the future of engaging experiences and e-commerce across all digital content, platforms and devices

While not completely anticipated, this move was not totally unexpected as Omniture has shown many signs:

Over the last two years, Omniture has demonstrated a very agressive external growth strategy, with the acquisition of 5 web analytics companies (Visual Sciences, TouchClarity, Instadia, Offermatic, Mercado). All these acquisitions re-inforced Omniture's market shares in the web analytics market and contributed to expand the Omniture Suite of products.
Omniture has also invested on business development all over the world in order to build a strong portfolio of Fortune 500 companies.

Strategically, this partnership makes quite a lot of sense for Adobe and hopefully will help creating more bridges between the Flash technology and e-commerce as well as improve the way Flash can be measured and tracked.

Performance Marketing Specialist - Position Available

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Reporting to the Marketing Director the role of Performance Marketing Specialist focuses developing and optimising critical performance based marketing channels for

This role requires an analytical approach to online marketing. Appliances Online invests heavily in acquisition based online marketing tactics that require constant development and optimisation. It is the responsibility of the Performance Marketing Specialist to assist in implementing strategies and manage these at a tactical day-to-day level.

It is expected that this person is acutely aware of all products and promotions that Appliances Online are offering and is pro-active in ensuring that our presence in the acquisition based marketing channels is optimal.

Objective – KPI’s

The overall objective of this role is to help maximise the ROI from our acquisition-marketing budget.

KPI’s will be specific to each channel dependent on the applicable strategy at the time and will vary as a result. This can be discussed and agreed upon as part of the review process.

Specific Areas of Responsibility

* Paid Search Marketing
* Affiliate Marketing
* Shopping Site Partners
* Campaign and Promotional Website Content Development
* Website Analytics
* Liaising with various 3rd Party Marketing partners as part of specific campaign and promotional activity

Training and Ongoing Personal Development

* 3rd party training will be provided where required
* Attendance at regular & relevant local events is supported
* Training in specific technology will also be considered

Please submit your resume at alban at

Get a new career...

The market is picking up again and I currently have four excellent search roles.

Role One:
Who here has used Google's Conversion Optimisation? Well then get in touch, my client has just won a ton of work and looking to bring someone on to carry it out and then build a team below them as they continue to grow this offering. Massive opportunity!!!

Role Two, Three & Four:
Enjoy being hands on? Work with large clients to implement SEO strategies for them on an onhoing basis!!! More info only a phone call away.

All paying very well; if you are keen to chat about the above or about the market in general; I can be found:

Phone: 03 8637 7316

Global Search Market Statistics - 113 Billion Searches per Month

Thursday, 3 September 2009

comScore has recently released the results of a study measuring the global volume of search per month. In July 2009, 113.685 Billion searches were conducted worldwide. Compared to July 2008 (80.554 billion) the volume of searches has increased by 41%.

Global Search Engines Market Shares

As expected Google has recorded the largest volume of searches (48.666 Billion), which represents 67.5% of the global search market and a 58% increase compared to July 2008. Yahoo comes second with 8.689 billion searches (7.8% market share), followed by Baidu, the Chinese search engine with 7.413 billion searches (7% market shares).
Microsoft comes fourth with 2.349 billion searches (2%) and Facebook tenth with 0.743 billion searches (0.65% market share).

The biggest increase came from Yandex, the Russian search engine (94% increase in volume) followed by Google (58%) and Microsoft (41%). Yahoo has only recorded a 2% increase compared to July 2008, whereas AOL has seen a 11% drop.

Search Market Shares per Continent

Worldwide, Europe generates the highest volume of searches 36.446 billion (32.1%) followed by Asia Pacific 35.001 billion (30.8%) and North America 25.095 billion searches (22.1%).

More detailed information is available on comScore

Using Google Website Optimizer?

Monday, 31 August 2009

Hey Guys, quick one, I was just wondering if there’s any decent SEO or Analytical people out there at the moment looking for FT work?

A client of mine is looking for two more people:

- Snr SEO - Working with some of the largest SEO Accounts in the country - hands on.

- SEO Consultant; working with conversion optimiser; experience with Google Website Optimizer mandatory

Get in touch with me via email or call me on 03 8637 7316 to discuss.

Both roles based in Melbourne, if you are looking in Sydney get in touch with Ronan from our Sydney office on 02 9346 5232

Google Adwords Ad Format Test : New Opportunities for Online Retailers

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Over the last couple of months, Google has been testing different Adwords ads format for shopping related queries. The beta test is only visible to a small number of U.S users, but some the screen shots I have seen on Search Engine Land look very interesting and promising for online retailers:

Google Adwords New Ads format
Google Ads Format Testing
top right corner new ads

These new formats could definitely has an impact on Google Adwords ROI by driving more targeted traffic.
The new formats would also offer plenty of opportunities for e-commerce sites to display their products at the SERPs level and potentially reduce unprofitable clicks.

Facebook Australia: User Statistics & Demographics

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A recent MarketingSherpa survey has shown that 48% of marketers are planning on increasing their social media budgets in the next year.
2010 is the year for social media networks. The buzz comes from everywhere, marketers, advertisers and agencies want to have their share of the social media networks and make money out of it.
Before doing so, it is mandatory to understand social networks hence a quick post about Facebook's statistics.

Australian Facebook Statistics

In December 2007, we dedicated a post on the social media trends in Australia, which showed the rise of Facebook as a major contenter.

Looking at the latest figures, Facebook grew by 32% over 08/09 and is the most engaged social network in Australia. According to, over 6.4 Million Australian use Facebook, which represent a huge 38.48% of the Australian online population and 2.46% of the global audience (261,807,120 users)

In the world the Australian Facebook population ranks #8.

Top 10 Facebook User Population

1. United States 79,983,760
2. United Kingdom 19,592,800
3. Turkey 12,451,320
4. Canada 12,111,720
5. France 11,657,180
6. Italy 10,652,960
7. Indonesia 8,175,600
8. Australia 6,439,980
9. Spain 6,284,120
10. Colombia 5,970,040 - Aug 09

Australian Facebook Demographics

In terms of demographics, the Australian Facebook population is made of 55.6% of female and 44% of Male.
In terms age, Facebook remains a generation Y social network. The biggest segment is the 25-34 years old with 29.3% followed by the 18-24 with 28.8%.
The 35 years + segment currently accounts for 30.4% of the Australian Facebook population and is according to Nielsen Online, the fastest growing segment.

Australian Facebook User Statistics and Demographics - Aug 09

Check out the Facebook User Statistics for New Zealand

Launching the SEO Sydney Blog Social Network

Monday, 17 August 2009

Due to an increasing demand for more virtual social interactions and the strong desire to build a stronger SEO community in Sydney and more widely in Australia, we have created the SEO Sydney Blog social network on Ning.

The SEO Sydney Blog social network uses the Ning platform, which offers some interesting features including member profiles, member-to-member communication, forums, events and more.

The idea is to improve interactions between our readers and our content as well as between members. Using the SEO Sydney Blog social network, you will be able to share useful information on SEO, the latest events and even start discussions on SEO related topics.
You will also be able to connect and communicate with other Australian SEO Professionals, which should be good for networking.

At the moment, there is not much content on the SEO Sydney Blog social network, but we hope you will join and share your opinions. If you want to join it is 100% free.


Where to Find Freelance SEO Work

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

As a freelancer, the most exciting, and sometimes stressful part of your time is to secure your next job. While networking and word-of-mouth referral is still the best bet for long-term contracts, it is also quite handy to be able to expand your network and apply for additional jobs when your are not as busy.

Over the years I have joined a couple of freelance networks, which have helped meeting both ends. However do not be too excited as the competition is often quite intense. On most jobs, you are competing with people in Asia or India, who only charges a few dollars per hours, so it can be hard to get a job.
Also some of these "freelancer's platform" often require to pass a test and/or install a particular software on your computer.

1: ODesk

ODesk is an online team marketplace. It basically links freelancer with people or business looking at outsourcing some of their online/development activities. The service is really popular. Odesk offer quite a lot of jobs. The average rate is US$10.36 per hour and the average job size is around US$5,000. Odesk also charge a percentage of the total job and require to pass a test and use their specific client application. Learn more

2. ELance

ELance is pretty much the same as Odesk, maybe slightly bigger looking at the figures from their site. Elance has delivered over US$200 Million of work. Elance requires to create a profile and pass a test. In the same way as Odesk, Elance charge a percentage fee between 4 and 6%. Learn more

3. IFreelance
IFreelance is much smaller than Odesk and ELance, but still offers great opportunities. While the website is less accessible and harder to navigate, spending a bit of time might end up with great opportunities. Learn more

4. Lime Exchange
Lime Exchange is a business of Lime Labs, who previously created the peer-to-peer solution LimeWire. LimeExchange charge a membership fee if you want to bid on projects. Free for 3 bids or $14.99/month for unlimited bids. Learn more

5. PeoplePerHour
PeoplePerHour is another online marketplace. Over the years I have noticed that quite a lot of SEO work is posted on this site rather than pure dev work. Learn more

I have never tried ozLance, but it is basically the Australian version of the online marketplace. The site offers local projects which could be easier to secure. Learn more

Search Jobs Sydney

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Search, Search and more Search

Well people, it seems that you are in high demand. I have a few roles I need to fill asap. These roles are all based in Sydney and are looking to hire immediately.

  1. SEO – SENIOR SEARCH ANALYST – This is a hands on SEO role, 5 years plus search is required and a healthy pay packet to boot.
  2. SEM – CAMPAIGN MANAGER – This is a hands on SEM role, involving multiple campaigns, small and large budgets. There is some client facing work involved but mostly managing campaigns.
  3. SEO – SEM – SALES MANAGER – This is a hands on sales role, selling search solutions for one of the big search brands. A top role with great opportunities to earn big bucks.
  4. SEO TRAFFIC SPECIALIST – This is a client side role for one of the biggest brands in Australia. You will need to have 3 year plus experience and be hands on with search. A proven track record in driving traffic to sites.

If you are interested in these opportunities please contact Ronan Mahon on 02 9346 5232 or email me on

Live SEO Roles in Melbourne

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I hope all is well. It was good to see the results of the SEO Survey! What jumped out at me was that average salaries and experience have increased… however there seems to still be some individuals being paid less than their skills are worth.

I currently have two live roles working for two completely different clients.

One role is live with a well established search business and start date will be in the next four weeks while the other role is with a start-up which has an all star director line up from some of the major publishers.

The first role will see you working with a large and one of the most switched-on teams of organic and paid search specialists being hands-on in end to end SEO projects; whether this role is contract or perm is still undecided but previously contractors have had the opportunity to go permanent at the end of their tenure as this company continues to win new business and tries to manage this demand.

The second role is client side; I’m looking for someone who can manage a team both locally and remotely, set up templates, liaise with clients and just be the person that anything SEO can be resolved with. Start date is likely to be end of August / start of September

With both roles Im looking for passionate search consultants. If these roles do not suit you but you are interested in being represented in the market now or in the future, feel free to get in touch as at Xpand we prefer to be proactive with client and candidate needs.

You can find me in the following locations:


Phone: 03 8637 7316



After Bush, French President Sarkozy got Google Bombed

Monday, 27 July 2009

Recently French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been Google Bombed. If you type "Trou du cul du web" (translated: Arsehole of the Web) on, the official website of Nicolas Sarkozy comes up:

The act of Google Bombing aims at raising the ranking of one page by creating a large amount of links with a specific anchor text (often for political reason). The practice is not new. Back in 2005, George Bush got bombed and ranked first for the phrase "Miserable Failure".

According to the French media, Sarkozy's Google Bombing is the result of a webmaster coalition, which created a relatively important number of links with the anchor text "trou du cul du web" pointing to the offical Sarokozy's website (
This time, Google has been quick to release comments explaining that the incident does not reflect the company opinion and is the result of an algorithm abuse.

In January 2007 Google defused the embarrasing Bush bomb thanks to a change in their algorithms , which aimed at returning commentary, discussions and articles about Googlebombs rather than the "victim" website.
Looking at Sarkozy's case, it seems like they still have a bit of work to do.

2009 SEO and SEM Salary Survey - Australia & New Zealand - The Results

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Since April 2009 we have been running the second Australian and New Zealand SEO SEM Salary survey. We have finally collected enough responses, analysed the data and created a presentation to display the results.

The document displayed below outlines the key findings of the survey and is available for download here. You will notice that the analysis is quite basic, but we are planning on releasing a more advanced report (including correlations) in a couple of weeks.

Also I would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey. Your support is greatly appreciated and I hope you will enjoy the results

Facebook Customised URL - A wise SEO move

Friday, 3 July 2009

After allowing search engines to index over 30 Million profiles in September 2007,Facebook has made an other interesting move in terms of SEO.

Since June 13th, Facebook offers you to customise your Facebook profile URL with your username rather than the less than user/search engine friendly profile ID (see below)

This new feature will definitely improve the rankings of user profiles and will therefore make it easier for online users searching for people to find what they are looking for.
For Facebook, it is a strategic move to attract more traffic from search engines and to compete more effectively against Google Profiles, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media.

Google PageRank Update - June 2009

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Most of you probably already know, but Google has performed its latest PageRank update on June 25th. This update seems a little early based on previous predictions.

The last two updates actually occured with an exact 3 month interval. The June update is a few days early (but who cares...)

SEO Sydney Blog has remained stable with a PR of 3.

Employment Trends in SEO – Where is the industry heading in Oz.....

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

I have finally succumbed – got all my courage together and ready to put my opinions out there for you all to judge....

Over the past three years I have noticed a number of changes within the search industry – SEO is really starting to get noticed – Last year it was all about PPC, but now I have noticed some subtle but interesting shifts...

Firstly in Asia we are predominantly recruiting SEO candidates who have experience managing large PPC campaigns and this trend has been happening for some time now.

I believe that the reason for this is due to PPC being the quickest way to generate traffic and is therefore the initial strategy undertaken when launching any campaign however it seems that over time as a SEO strategy is implemented and run, PPC then becomes less valuable and SEO becomes the more beneficial strategy used to drive traffic to a site.

Also on a side note the other reason maybe that the search market in Asia is a lot more mature, competitive and established and this sees some PPC campaigns specifically with large organisations set up some time ago running their course and needing only slight tweaks, reporting, analysis and set up for minor campaigns being the only other requirements. I am already seeing this with a number of large publishers whom Xpand work with here in Australia.

Finally, web sites are valuing SEO as a long term strategy as rankings remain long after a campaign ends and because studies have shown that SEO is viewed as more credible than PPC.

However don’t get me wrong, I love PPC and value what it allows businesses to achieve in a short space of time and for various marketing campaigns they are running.

But what does this mean for you?

I highly suggest that you continue working if you are not already with PPC and get qualified but at the same time continue to focus on getting involved with as many large SEO projects as possible where you are dealing with a number of internal stakeholders as this is what clients of mine are specifically looking for.... I’ll elaborate next time...

If you would like to connect or have any questions feel free to find me at the following locations:




Australian & New Zealand SEO/SEM Industry Survey - Need more Respondents

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Back in April 09, we launched the second Australian and New Zealand SEO/SEM Industry survey. The purpose is to gather information on how the industry evolves and provide guidelines for job seekers and recruiters on salaries.

To date, we have collected the answers of 40 respondents, which is good. For more relevancy, we would like to get a little more respondents! So if you have not taken the survey or know people that might be interested, please feel free to forward the link:

As soon as we have enough answers, we will release the results for free.

Search Jobs - Sydney and Melbourne - SEO and SEM

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Search Jobs Ahoy.

Hi all, hope you are looking for a new challenge because we have some Sydney and Melbourne based roles to get your teeth stuck into.

For more details please give Shai or I a call. All contact details are below.

Search Roles Sydney:
Contact: Ronan Mahon
Agency: Xpand –
Phone: 02 9346 5232

1. Senior Search Candidate:

  • Ideally you will have been a developer with a great technical knowledge and then moved into search
  • SEO and SEM knowledge and hands on experience
  • 3-5 years in search, either client side or agency side
  • Knowledge of front end and back end development
  • Previous experience in managing a suite of sites
  • Examples of successful rankings
  • Turning rankings into leads and sales
  • Excellent pay
  • Excess of $100k

2. Mid weight Search Candidate:

  • This role is purely SEO
  • Working client side
  • Experience working with online retail is beneficial
  • On page Optimisation
  • Off Page Optimisation
  • Social Media Optimisation
  • Link Building
  • Blogging
  • Content Optimisation
  • This role is perfect for someone who is working agency side and would like to move client side
3. SEM, PPC Specialist – Agency:
  • Looking for Juniors, Mids and Seniors
  • Experience Agency side is highly desirable
  • Track record of achieving results and ranks
  • If you are a search engine marketing specialist I don’t need to explain it, just hit me up and lets see about a new role.

Search Roles Melbourne

Contact: Shai Roitman
Agency: Xpand –
Phone: 03 8637 7316

4. SEO Analyst – 6 Month Contract

  • 6 Month Contract
  • SEO Analyst
  • A big project
  • 3 Years hands-on experience to join
  • Flexible working week and competitive salary

Online Retailer Exhibition & Conference - Sydney 2009

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The inaugural Online Retailer Exhibition and Conference will take place in Sydney on the 18th and 19th of August 2009.
The conference organised by Marc Harvey from National Media, is the only event in Australasia exclusively focused on internet retailing and e-commerce. According to their website, over 550 online and multi-channel retailers have already registered. The figures set some high expectations for a new event!

One of the great thing about the online retailer conference is that you can get a Free Pass for the exposition, which allows access to exhibitors stands and keynote presentations.
The program of the conference also looks pretty exciting with topics covering a large range of activities from web analytics, to user experience and shipping.

If you are interested, early bird price will finish on 31st July 2009. You can get the full pass from $995 (rather than $1195) and half-day access pass from $395 (rather than $595)

ABA Web Audit Service - Towards Standard Online Audience Measurement Metrics

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

After an industry wide collaboration between ABA (Audit Bureaux of Australia), the MFA (Media Federation of Australia), the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) of Australia, the AANA (Australian Association of National Advertisers)and Nielsen Online, the Audit Bureaux of Australia has official released yesterday their new Web Audit Service.

What is the Web Audit Service

The web audit service is a hugh milestone in the Australian media landscape as well as in the web analytics industry. Partnering with Nielsen Online, the ABA aims at setting up a new online audience measurement standard (as they did with print), which will provide reliable, comparable and independently verified web audience metrics.

Basically the idea to set up a standard web measurement system (Nielsen Online) as the reference for accurate and reliable data for web traffic. If you have a website or work with websites, you have probably noticed the strong discrepancies between web analytics systems. Each system collect data in different ways and often use different metrics, which leads to a real confusion for advertisers.

By selecting one web measurement partner, the ABA expect to standardize the web data collection and metrics, which allows reliable and accurate comparisons.

What does the Web Audit Service offer

The web audit service will provide (to its members) audited web reports on 5 key metrics:

- Unique Browsers (unique visitors)
- Page Impressions
- Sessions
- Frequency
- Duration

The ABA will also audit the placement of web measurement tags on publishers websites as well as monitor how the data is collected by Nielsen Online.

Each member will be able to access the comparative data from Nielsen Online (Market Intelligence)

The Benefits & implications

The web audit service will have strong implications on how the online advertising industry works.

The new service will allow small publishers to be able to compete on the same ground as large publishers. Agencies and Media buyers will be able to access reliable data on the long tail of websites. Advertisers will have more visibility on their online advertising spending. As a results it is expected to open the online advertising industry to a larger audience.

Small publishers should be the biggest winners as they will be able to market themselves in a more effective way to agencies and large advertisers.

The Challenges

Nielsen Online and the ABA have made sure that the service is affordable (from $95 /month for publishers with 0 to 150,000 impressions), however the success of the service and concept will strongly depend on the adoption by small publishers.

While modest, the monthly fee could deter smaller publishers, who can access web measurement data through Google Analytics. I believe the fee could be one of the major drawback to the general adoption of the standard.

A partly free/partly paid service could have been a better option.

SEO Flash Games

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

In a day of hard work optimising websites, it is good to take a moment, relax and recharge your batteries. Spending 5 mins playing a good online game can do the trick (or make you even more stressed out).

I did a search the other day and found 3 SEO Games worth playing:

Game 1
The name is not really original, but the game is quite fun. It is a Mario Bros-like game, where you need to collect things and destroy enemies ( PDAs and Router) by jumping on them.
Click here to play this game

Game 2
This one is the most creative and fun. Your mission is to win the spam war by fighting different characters including Mr Redirect, Cloaking Monster, Link Farmer and Hidden Text Kid. The referee for the matches is Matt Cutts!
Click Here to play this game

Game 3

This game is not too related to SEO, but is quite addictive. It is basically the flash version of the Wire Buzzer game.
Click here to play this game


Find a Search Job within your Network

Thursday, 21 May 2009

“Seek and you shall find” is the slogan used by the popular job board attracting thousands of candidates each year and helping them to find employment. However in today’s complex economy you should be thinking “Network and you shall Work”.

Although many organizations and agencies are still looking for good search candidates, there have not been quite so many advertised job listings. So if the jobs are not posted live each day, how do you find them?

Networking is the key to finding any job, it is how I, as a recruiter, find the live opportunities for candidates and it is how candidates should be finding out of where the opportunities lie. Asking friends and colleagues is the first port of call, joining groups and associations is next, actually meeting people who have similar interests face to face and then you will start to find out where the real avenues to success are.

So how will knowing Shai, Alban or I benefit you?

Well when I have a live role to fill my first port of call is always my network, so if you are not in my network it will make it hard for me to let me know where the opportunities lie.
If you are in my network and an opportunity comes up I can keep you up to speed, even if it is not something I am working on as a recruiter.
If you are an organization looking for good search people, then there is a good chance I can locate you someone, who I already know to be successful and can add value to your business.

So if you are a candidate looking for a role please send your cv to

If you are working in search and want to be kept in the loop hit me up on linked in and join my network

Or if you would like to have a chat in person as a job seeker or an employer give me a shout on 02 9346 5232

Currently I am looking for a very Senior Search Candidate with a Technical Background who has moved into search in the past few years. Please send your resume to

Thanks again to Alban at SEO BLOG SYDNEY for partnering with Xpand to help all those working in the search industry Australia.

SEO Sydney Blog Welcomes New Contributors

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Over the past 2 years, we have noticed a large interest for information on employment and recruitment in the SEO/SEM industry such as tips to find a SEO/SEM job, salary surveys and job offers.

We have developed the Australian SEO SEM Salary Survey as well as a job board, but we have decided to move to the next step by teaming up with Shai Roitman and Ronan Mahon, two recruitment experts from Xpand, one of Australasia's leading digital media recruitment agencies.

Shai is a senior account manager specialising in digital, media and marketing recruitment. Based in Melbourne, Shai is a passionate consultant with over 3 years experience in the industry. More on Shai Roitman

Ronan Mahon is based in Sydney. He is a digital, media and marketing account manager with Xpand. Ronan has extensive experience in the advertising, entertainment and digital media industry. More on Ronan Mahon

Shai and Ronan will start posting next week with fresh SEO/SEM jobs offers, tips and plenty of information to help you find a great job (if you are a job seeker) or a brilliant candidate (if you are a recruiter).

Please give these guys a warm welcome!

Google New Search Features - Rich Snippets, Search Options & more

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Google has launched enhancements in its search engine results pages. The new features have been introduced to reflect some of the trends in search engine user behaviour as well as improving the search relevancy and experience.

Search Options & Spell-Check Features

You have probably noticed the "did you mean" in red when typing a misspell word. Google has actually released two more aggressive features. According to Matt Cutts, the internal name code are spellmeleon and chameleon. Chameleon makes mid-pages suggestions when Google 'think' the user is looking for a more specific search. Spellmeleon is going even further by displaying results of a 'corrected' search query before the results of the original search query (see below).

Spellmeleon search feature

Another very interesting feature especially for the user, is the search option. Many websites already have such feature; it allows categorizing the search results based on a set of criteria such as type, date, price etc. Google has finally implemented the same thing on their SERPs! To access the options, we need to click on the Option link in the blue retangle at the top of the page. Once you have clicked, you should be able to sort content by type (video, review, forum) by date and more.

Google search options

Rich Snippets

One of the most exciting new feature is the use of rich snippets. Traditionally Google listings or snippets only displayed the page title, the meta description and the URL. Then Google introduced SiteLink, SearchWiki. On Tuesday, Google announced the release of rich snippets.
With rich snippets, Google will provide more information on your website directly in the SERPs so that users will know what to expect when clicking on your site. At the moment, Google only support information on Business, People and Reviews.

rich snippets

The rich snippets will be rolled out slowly starting with 'trusted websites' (LinkedIn and Yep), but over time more and more websites would be able to display rich snippets.

To display Rich Snippets, Google rely on microformats and RDFs, that any website owner can add to their code. This will involve a bit of work, but it could be worth it as Google estimate the rich-snippets should increase the click-through rate.

For more detailed information on the technical side of rich snippets, read the Google Webmaster blog post

Affili@Syd 2009 Conference

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

I attended the Affili@Syd 2009 conference yesterday (13th May 2009) at the Menzies. Organised by Viva9, Affili@Syd is the first conference focusing on performance online marketing and more specially on affiliate marketing in Australia.

For a premiere, the event was great. The room was packed with a good crowd of publishers, advertisers, agencies and affiliate marketers, the speakers including Jay Berkowitz , Lee Hopkins and Laurel Papworth delivered some pretty interesting stuff and the after drinks were lots of fun.

All sessions were really interesting, but I particularly liked the Willie Pang presentation on the new trends in search. I found it quite refreshing as he talked about search as a component of the marketing arsenal and how it need to be integrated with other channels to generate more results.
The Power Affiliate Panel including Craig Seitman, Roland Bleyer, Greg Simon and Tim Burrowes was also a highlight. These guys gave some really interesting insights on their work as affiliate marketers and their approach of ROI.

Another good thing worth mentioning is the event was well priced! $435 for a full day event with international speakers, is really good!

For more info on the event click here

Digital Media Job Board

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

In these tough times, it always good to rely on good resources to find a job or find employees. I recently came across an interesting one called Digital Media Jobs. It is a niche online job board specialising on digital media jobs in the Australian industry.

The site is open to both job seekers and employers with an interesting concept. As a job seeker, you can reply to job offers and post your resume online for employers to contact you directly. Employers have similar abilities; they can crawl the resume database to contact potential candidates and post jobs.

Digital Media Jobs was launched not long ago but has already managed to attract prestigious employers such as Fairfax Digital, NineMSN and Yahoo7.

If you are looking for job or employee, have a look at it.

Google Adwords Stimulus Offer

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Following Kevin Rudd's tax bonus, Google Australia has released its own "stimulus package" aimed at helping Australian small businesses driving more sales online.

The offer consists in a free $75 credits on any new Google Adwords account created. If you are an existing advertiser, the offer does not apply but you are eligible to a Special Master Class seminar to improve the performance of your campaign.

Even if Google's stimulus might be more targeted at increasing their customer base and generating good PR than a genuine act of charity toward Australian businesses ( read ITNews), it is still an interesting offer that many businesses will appreciate.

BTW: Yahoo Search Marketing is constantly offering a $50 credit on new account sign-up

Google Adwords New Interface (Beta)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

In November last year, the Google Adwords team started testing a beta version of a new Google Adwords interface. The beta version was available to a few advertisers, but it has now been released to a wider audience including advertisers in the UK and Australia.

If you are an Adwords advertiser, you probably have received an email from Google or noticed a link at the top right hand corner of your account offering you to switch to the new interface.

According to Google, the new interface allows easier analysis, quicker editing and broader insights.

At first sight, I was surprised to see a strong resemblance with the Yahoo Search Marketing Panama platform, but I quickly started to enjoy it.

new google adwords interface (beta)

The new interface offers similar design features than Adwords Editor, which are quite pleasant. It allows to see all your ad groups data at once, which eliminates a lot of clicks and save quite a lot of time. Additional tabs and drop down menus have been added, which helps faster and more effective navigation. I also really liked the changes with negative keywords, which appear under a different section.

SEO SEM Business Development Manager Role - Sydney

Monday, 20 April 2009

This organisation is renowned as market leaders in the Search industry and are looking for people who are as passionate about SEM & SEO as they are, and who enjoy working with a team of people who understand that work should be fun!

We're looking for a driven Business Development Manager with a strong interest in digital media, online marketing & SEM & SEO.

You will be the Search guru for your target clients - presenting them with exciting and innovative ideas for online campaigns.


Proactively identify and pursue revenue-generating opportunities with both advertising agencies and direct clients
Develop relationships and help produce effective & innovative campaigns
Keep up to date with global/local online marketing Search trends & technologies
Work as part of a collaborative team and have fun!
Knowledge and experience:

The online media industry (Online marketing, Media, Search)
Demonstrated sales ability with a focus on business development
Demonstrated commitment to quality of client service.
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Demonstrated negotiation skills.

To apply for this opportunity please contact Brioney @ Xpand on (02) 9346 5205 or click here to send an email.

SEO Consultant Role - Sydney

Monday, 13 April 2009

This is your opportunity to join one of the most strategic, consultative Search agencies in Australia!! If you are part of the Search explosion then this is the company you want to be working for. Work on high profile websites and take ownership for their SEO strategy.


* Ensure high ranking through natural search on all search engines
* Develop and implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategy across the portfolio of sites to ensure priority ranking
* Provide clients with benchmarks, reports and analysis on traffic targets against business objectives for all online
marketing activities SEO, internal and external online advertising
* Provide input on new SEO / SEM strategies
* Report on traffic and business metrics
* Work on forecasting targets (impressions, clicks and UBs)
* Be a Search Innovator!!


* Demonstrated experience in SEO / SEM
* Strong analytical skills
* Client presentation / Proposal experience

To apply for this opportunity please contact Brioney @ Xpand on (02) 9346 5205 or click here to send an email

2009 SEO SEM Salary Survey Australia and New Zealand

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Last year, SEO Sydney Blog conducted a survey on the SEO SEM Salary in Australia and New Zealand. The survey was relatively successful and the results have generated a lot of positive feedback from SEO SEM professionals, recruitment agencies and recruiters.

In 2008 the Australian and New Zealand search industry has grown at a double digit rate. Agencies have expanded, more companies have integrated search in their marketing or IT departments and all this had an impact on the SEO SEM job market and salary.

To measure the differences between 2008 and 2009 we have decided to re-conduct the SEO SEM salary survey.
The survey is open to SEO and SEM professionals working in Australia and New Zealand and will run for 2 months. The survey is short (10 questions) and will only take you 5 mins to complete.
At the beginning of June, we will release and publish the results on SEO Sydney Blog.

If you are working in SEO or SEM, please feel free to take the survey and forward it to your friends or colleagues. Thanks for your support!


Google PageRank Update - April 2009

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

It has been 3 months since the latest Google PageRank update announced by Matt Cutts on December 31st. By the look of it, Google is running its latest update of the green bar.

Today, I have noticed some of my clients'PageRank going up, which is a great news. No PageRank drop so far. At the moment SEO Sydney Blog is stable at 3 but things could change over the next couple of days.

One interesting thing I have noticed over the last year, the updates are taking place at regular intervals (every 3 months). Couple of years before, the updates were a bit more unpredictable.

Based on the last year updates, it is highly likely that the next one will occur on July 1st 2009!

Digital Communications Specialist

Monday, 30 March 2009

Blog. Tweet. Link.
6 month contract: Sydney

The world of Search Engine Optimisation is constantly evolving, but a person with your passion for SEO has no trouble keeping your finger on the pulse. In fact, it’s the new technologies and challenges that get you to your computer every morning.

As an SEO and production professional you are not only well-versed in the most successful optimisation techniques, but you can also tell the difference between best practice methodologies and dubious fads. In partnership with our SEO Specialist and external vendor you will work towards delivering and implementing tangible SEO results for our four retail websites, with a focus on content, site architecture and social media.

Your experience in digital content and production will equip you for working with our busy, innovative team. With your self assured approach, you will shine under pressure, meeting challenges head on in order to thrust our business into the spotlight. This is your chance to make your mark with a high-profile project for a major brand. Don’t miss it.

Interested? Call Richard Pickford on (02) 9292 8708 for more information. Or if you're already convinced, visit to apply.

SMX Sydney - Search Marketing Expo April 2009

Friday, 27 March 2009

This time of the year is packed with great conferences. Next week is SMX Sydney (Search Marketing Expo) taking place at Luna Park on the 2 and 3rd April.

I do not have tickets for this year conference, but I went to last year's edition and to be honest it was great. SMX Sydney is probably the only event in Australia, which bring renowned international speakers. This year's edition gathers Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz, Bruce Clay from Bruce Clay and some other "famous" industry experts.

The 2009 Agenda looks interesting as well. Even if topics are quite balanced, it seems that this year edition is more focused on SEO.
It is also great to see that more and more advanced sessions are included in the program. For example the first day has sessions focusing on specific topics such as 301.

In terms of cost it is a bit steep, but it is a quality event. The 2-day pass costs $1595,00 and a 1-day pass costs $595.00. I know it is short notice, but I think you can still register here.

CeBIT Australia - Sydney May 2009

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The annual CeBIT exhibition is approaching. It will take place at the Convention Center in Sydney over 3 days on the 12, 13 and 14th of May 2009.

CeBIT is arguably one of the biggest technology exhibition, which covers the full spectrum of business technology. CeBIT also offers conferences on a large range of topics.
For the online marketing and SEO enthusiasts, the CeBIT Web Forward 2 days conference seems to be quite interesting. It gathers leading experts, who will discuss the different ways to get a greater number of potential online customers including SEO, Social Networking and Email Marketing.

If you are interested you can register online and benefit from a $200 Early bird discount. The cost for Web Forward is $795 + GST for 2 days or $495 + GST for 1 day.

SEO/SEM Jobs in Sydney - March 2009

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The G.F.C (Global Financial Crisis) seems to settle and expand on the Australian soil.
After poor months in December and January, the IT/Technology job market has reached it's lowest level since 2000. According to the Australian IT the technology job sector has slumped by 16.78%.
This trend is mostly due to the lack of investment in new projects and the outsourcing of IT departments. The Internet/Graphics/Multimedia has seen a drop of 3.8%, which is not too bad considering the current situation.

Judging by the amount of work I have and the number of jobs in the main employment websites, I would say that the SEO/SEM/Online Marketing sector is less impacted than the rest of the internet sector.

Here a some of the best job offers I have found:

SEO Business Analyst Working in-house for Glotel. 3 Years hands-on experience required. Flexible working hours and apparently great salary ( up to $125,000) More information

Senior Internet Marketing Consultant: Working for search agency First Rate. 3 years SEO/SEM experience required. CBD Location. Salary $55,000 to $65,000. More Information

Online Marketing Professional: All-rounder role working in-house for an online gift voucher store in the adventure industry. Darlinghurst Location. Great Salary package $70,000 to $95,000. More Information

Search Expert: Working for a media agency. 70% SEM, 30% SEO. CBD Based, 2-4 years experience required. Up to $80,000 based on experience. More Information

Junior SEO Specialist:Working for an agency in Sydney CBD. Minimum 18 months SEO experience. $60,000 package. More Information

AdTech Sydney - 10-11 March 2009

Monday, 9 March 2009

It is very short notice, but AdTech is taking place in Sydney in the next couple of days (10th & 11th March).
AdTech is one of the leading digital marketing event. This year, you can access the exhibition hall as well as some of the seminars for free. Some of these free seminars include a presentation from Viva9 (Commission Monster) about performance marketing, a training program from Yahoo Search Marketing.

It is now too late to register online for these seminars, but you might be lucky and be able to register at the door (Sydney Convention Center) tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Australia's Online Advertising Spending in 2008

Thursday, 12 February 2009

IAB Australia (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has just released the Online Advertising Expenditure report for the last quarter of 2008 and the figures are still growing.

Fourth Quarter up by over 2%

Even if the growth is not as strong as in the previous quarter or the previous year, the global economic slow-down has not yet shaken the Australian online advertising industry too badly. Q4 is the largest fourth-quarter recorded with $462 millions. In comparison to Q3, Q4's figures are 2.4% higher and 22% higher than the fourth quarter in 2007.

In the fourth quarter, both General Display and Search & Directories has achieved growth compared to Q3 (repectively 4% and 6%), while Classified advertsing has recorded a 5% decrease. Search & Directories account for 48.5% ($224 millions) of the total advertising spending, whereas Display represents 28.1% ($130 millions) and Classifieds 23.4% ($108 millions).

2008 Online Advertising Expenditure up by 27.1%

Online advertising expenditure in Australia for 2008 totalled $1,710.25 millions, which is 27.1% higher than the year before (+ $364.25 millions). The 2008 increase has been driven by a very strong increase in Search & Directories (30%) and strong increases in both Display (27%) and Classifieds (23%).

In 2008 Search & Directories accounted for 48.5% of the total online advertising spending ($806.5 millions), Display 27% ($464.5 millions) and Classifieds 26% ($439.25 millions.

For more detailed information on these figures, I would strongly recommend to download the IAB/PWC report

If you are interested in the online advertising spending predictions for 2009, please read this post

Australian NetGuide Website Awards

Monday, 9 February 2009

netguide web awards The annual Australian NetGuide Web Awards closes on Friday 13th February, so it is your last chance to cast your vote for your favourite Australian website.

Since 2005 the NetGuide Web Awards has aimed at promoting the quality of Australian websites. The 2008 edition started in November with the nomination of thousands of websites in 18 categories by the readers of NetGuide. Then a panel of judges selected five finalists in each category.
As part of the People Choice Awards you can vote for your favourite website across all categories.

You can cast your vote by clicking here. The form where you vote is pretty confusing. They have ordered the websites by category, but in reality you can only vote for one website.

Global Recession Impact on the Internet Job Market

Thursday, 5 February 2009

If you have been in a cave for the last 8 months and just got out (you probably should have stayed), you have noticed that the global economy is in recession. It is a reality; the acronyms GFC or GEC are more popular than PPC and social medias are invaded with articles on how to survive the recession.

On a different note, the global recession has also hit the internet job market. Even if the industry seems to be stronger than others, the global technology sector has joined all other industries. Whether it is called a "recession plan", "preventive measures" or "restructuring", many internet companies (even profitable ones) have announced jobs cuts worldwide:

- Google (Search Engine - Advertising Network): Officialy .100 recruiters, + 10,000 contractors.

- Yahoo (Search Engine - Advertising Network): 10% of the workforce (1,520 jobs).

- Digg(Social Media): 7 jobs out of 75 employees

- HI5(Social Network): 10 to 15% of the 110 employees

- eBay(Shopping/Classified0:1000 Jobs (10% of the workforce)

- AdBrite(Advertising Network): 40% of the workforce

- Pandora(Internet Radio):20 jobs

- SearchMe(Search Engine): 20% of the workforce

- TicketMaster(Shopping): 35% of the workforce (around 1000 jobs.

- LinkedIn(Social Network): 10% of the workforce (36 jobs)

- Akamai(Technology): 7% of the workforce (110 jobs)

- BuzzNet (Social Network): 15 jobs

you can find the full list here

While affected, it seems that Australia is not doing too bad. In many cases, Australian employees have not been laid off, which is a positive sign.

The Hidden Costs of SEO - Part 1: Implementation Costs

Friday, 30 January 2009

Search Engine Optimization is with no doubt one of the most, if not the most, cost effective way of attracting qualified traffic and generating sales to your website. Basically once you have optimized your website and you rank high in the SERPS, you get free traffic. Obviously it makes sense to every website owners, who have made SEO a strong priority.

As most of the SEO costs occurs at the beginning, many website owners consider SEO as a one-off cost or investment rather than an on-going cost (like SEM). However they do not realise some of the underlying costs associated with SEO. In some cases, these costs can be high and therefore need to be understood if you want to measure the real value of SEO

A standard SEO proposal usually includes a keyword research, a review of the website and some recommendations on how to optimize the website for the selected keywords. Once your agency or consultant has performed these activities, he sends you the documentation for your developer to implement.
Now, that is when the cost of your SEO project can hit the roof. For example, your SEO specialist might have recommended some changes that will require a lot of development work, or will simply take time. If your developer is pricey, the implementation of your SEO recommendations can be more expensive than the SEO work itself.

Not long ago at a party I met a website owner, who hired a SEO consultant. The SEO guy who did his job providing recommendations. When that person sent the document to his developer, it came back with a long and expensive quote, which more than doubled the initial cost.
I had a look at the SEO proposal. While it was good, it was not customized to the website CMS and therefore required new modules to be developed. After having a chat with the developer, we found an alternative way to achieve the same results without having to develop anything. Our collaboration reduced significantly the cost of implementation.

The implementation will generate additional costs unless you do the work yourself. However there are always way to minimise these costs. It is important to make sure that your SEO consultant understand that and work with your developer to understand how the website work and how to make the most of it without spending huge amount on development.
As a tips, I would advise to give your developer's details to your SEO consultant and encourage them to work together. This will facilitate the implementation as well as save you money.