Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic May 7, 2001

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): Entered the room. (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): Good Morning Everyone ^_^

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): Not a whole lot more productive, unfortunately. (surprise, surprise)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): Hey everyone! Sorry I'm late!

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): Hi Sande

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): Mornin' Rob

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:03 AM): 'morning, Rob. If there are no first-timers and others don't mind, may I go first? - My question got swamped out last week.

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Entered the room. (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Hi Terri, I visited your Web site this morning!

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Greetings Rob! Hi everyone!

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Sure Frederick

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Hi Terri

Weber emperorsherbologist.ocm (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:04 AM): Last week Rob said: "SearchKing has a long way to go...there's no real brand coming through." Any basic ways to point them in the right direction? I feel if we sell it as another search engine, we won't make it any better than all the others are right now. We have to be something else in people's minds - something other than a search engine, No?

Weber emperorsherbologist.ocm (5/7/2001 9:05 AM): Hi Terri and Terry

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:05 AM): Hi Weber

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:05 AM): Frederick, what do you think is SearchKing's strongest feature? What sets it apart from the rest?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:06 AM): Of course! The question is what direction to take. I think it's pretty clear by now that being a huge clearing house for everything just isn't possible anymore

Weber emperorsherbologist.ocm (5/7/2001 9:06 AM): Sorry I missed the last marketing chat.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:06 AM): As I've often said -- and continue to rant -- the more you niche, the better you do.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:06 AM): Terry, SK thinks it's instant indexing

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:06 AM): Hi Sande, Hi Weber!

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:07 AM): so how does that benefit me, the end user? Most up to date results?

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:07 AM): The SearchKing niche is, I think, the portal program

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:07 AM): Plus, you have to remember that SearchKing --no matter how good it does -- is not out there actively paying to promote. At least not the way yahoo and the big boys are. So it has to out think its competition. (5/7/2001 9:07 AM): Hi Terri!

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:08 AM): My thought is - What can we be in the mind of the public, other than a search engine?

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:09 AM): IOW - what can we brand?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:09 AM): Yeah, from THEIR point of view, that's the niche. But not from the users' point of view. And we all know the lecture I'm going to give you on that!!!!

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:09 AM): How about a specialized search engine, Frederick? (5/7/2001 9:09 AM): I've never heard of SK till I began reading the transcripts here. Do they have a large usage?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:09 AM): Frederick, as long as SK tries to be all things to all people, there's little chance of them moving forward unless they can compete on the Yahoo level.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:09 AM): All the portals are specialized - SK is a family of specialized portals

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:10 AM): Let me put it to you this way -- what does SK think is its brand strategy -- and why?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:11 AM): Frederick, how is that different than (as one example)?

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:11 AM): And each specialized portal is privately owned and operated

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:11 AM): Rob, I don't believe they have a brand strategy - they don't 'get it'!

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:11 AM): I still haven't heard why I should switch my bookmark for search engines from Google to SK....

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:12 AM): Frederick, who are you trying to attract? The portal operator, or the end user, or both?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:12 AM): Frederick, I agree. And unfortunately, they're going to limp along until they either go broke or invest in one.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:12 AM): Both - you can't do one without the other for growth.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:13 AM): So what's the answer, Rob? How can I make them see it.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:13 AM): If there's anything that they (and we) can learn from the dot com meltdown is that only the very few early players were able to buy their way into a vacuum. Those days are long gone.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:14 AM): Frederick, the only way I have had real success with these types -- I kid you not -- is when someone sends them a copy of my book. That's no plug, but a real tactic. When they receive it, they get to read it with no pressure.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:14 AM): Then, since it comes from an OUTSIDE source, with no pressure, they have time to mull over the concepts and values and come to their own decisions.

Del (5/7/2001 9:15 AM): Ask them, "IF they can't identify who they are, what makes them think their audience can."

Del (5/7/2001 9:15 AM): :-)

Del (5/7/2001 9:15 AM): And then have them speak with Rob.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:15 AM): It's hard enough for people to admit they need help. Then they have to find someone who can help them. Then they have to change their behavior based on the recommendations. Not everyone can handle that....

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:16 AM): Del, they say they CAN identify who they are - but it's not something the public would be interested in!

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:16 AM): Also, Frederick, I spend a whole hour in my seminars (and tapes) JUST devoted to leadership. They've got to understand how to lead. It's a concept that doesn't come easily to most folks.

Del (5/7/2001 9:16 AM): If there's NO audience, NO target prospect, they're "selling" in a complete vacuum.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:17 AM): Hey, pal, it's the public that pays the bills -- they better understand it!

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:17 AM): At least with this helpful exchange I can direct them to these archives so they can see what others are about!

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:18 AM): Remember, Frederick, not everyone who needs help will ask for it or even accept it once it's offered. I've watched bigger names fall into the gutter because of that: Disney, for one, with

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:18 AM): Sande, did you have something you wanted to jump in with?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:19 AM): Or Cathy? (5/7/2001 9:19 AM): Thanks Rob, I'm new and just trying to get a feel for what the conversation is

Meehna (5/7/2001 9:20 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:20 AM): It's anything, Sande. If it happens to hit on branding, so much the better! (5/7/2001 9:21 AM): I still list several sites at but they're going Hollywood in September with their minimum bid of.05, this will make a Big difference to some of my smaller clients.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:21 AM): I understand why they did that, but I think it was a bonehead move.

Meehna (5/7/2001 9:22 AM): Frederick, mind if I contact you later to talk some Texas?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:22 AM): What they should have done is completely automate the lower bids instead of pissing off all the penny bidders.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:22 AM): Personally, I steer all my client away from them. I always thought it was a bogus model.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:23 AM): Meenha, Sure - e-mail =

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:24 AM): Another thing I don't understand is why ANYONE would bid for the #1 listing, when they list 10 at a time! If you pay for placement, you might as well bid for the #4 slot and pay a fraction of the top spot. (5/7/2001 9:24 AM): If you have an unusual search term i.e. Sumi-e you can rank #1 pretty high for pennies. The big plus I've found is this also ranks you high in Dogpile.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:25 AM): Could be. But I've found that for NOTHIN', I can get the first or second spot for "branding" on Google, which is powering a lot of other engines. (5/7/2001 9:26 AM): Well, that's why I just bought Rob's book :o)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:26 AM): I mean, is it just me, or doe everyone think that by buying your ranking you're changing the game from accurate information to a listing for the rich?

Del (5/7/2001 9:26 AM): Or pay the itsy-bitsy fee for Inktomi. (Which a lot of search engines use as well).

weber (5/7/2001 9:26 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:26 AM): Thanks Sande

Del (5/7/2001 9:27 AM): I think the only time I've used was to see where the word "branding" came up.

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:27 AM): I agree with you Rob - that's why I like Google and Open Directory

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:27 AM): I think paying for rank is defeating the object of a search service (5/7/2001 9:28 AM): Not at all, the Sumi-e society site for instance is listed in the MSN

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:28 AM): Yeah, I like, too. Although they can get a little nippy with their listings. (5/7/2001 9:28 AM): Sorry, MSN'S Encarta

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:29 AM): True, but once you get past that, they power the searches on a lot of sites! :)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:29 AM): There's a real conflict between the web's open, information sharing culture and paying for placement. I'm a believer in the latter and hope it wins out eventually. I personally think that pay-to-place is folly.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:29 AM): That having been said, I think that Yahoo's charging for business listings is justified.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:29 AM): Question: Why do you a all like the particular search engine that you use most?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:30 AM): Google: accurate results, usually in first two or three links

weber (5/7/2001 9:30 AM): I like Google because it seems to have the most relevant responses to my searches

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:30 AM): Google: because it's based on legitimate activity and Yahoo because it really is popular.

Del (5/7/2001 9:31 AM): Google: fast and easy searches with great results.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:31 AM): Yeah, the speed of Google is really nice.

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:32 AM): Google: also makes it super simple to use it with a button on my browser toolbar :) Yahoo is huge and can drive a lot of traffic to your site if you get listed

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:32 AM): I also like Google's caching ability -- it's nice to be able to view a page that isn't available anymore

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:32 AM): here's the thing about pay-to-play engines: most of them can't fill out their paid listings, so they have to stuff the rest of the results with non-paid listings anyway. So if only the top five pay, everyone else rides for free, usually as results powered by Google or such.

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:32 AM): Terri, I'm listed in Yahoo, Yahooligans and Google. I get far greater referrals from Google than Yahoo -- probably 10:1

Del (5/7/2001 9:34 AM): Terry: Pay the $20 for Inktomi. Definitely worth it.

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:34 AM): Terri, is Yahoo's search powered by Google now? Not the actual listings, but the web search?

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:34 AM): oops! Terry :)

Del (5/7/2001 9:35 AM): After inclusion in their database and dissemination to their partner sites, I can attribute a 22-28% increase in visitors.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:35 AM): Really Del? Through what URL?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:36 AM): I get referrals from other search engines, too, including Inktomi, Del. So far this month, here are the referrals from search engines from highest:;;;;;;;;;

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:37 AM): Inktomi is down the list, but there, as are a few others

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:37 AM): Okay, now wanna hear how branding plays into this?

Del (5/7/2001 9:37 AM): Rob: Non-traced counts. Merely a change from the previous activity at my site with no other external changes occurring.

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:37 AM): Yup! :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:37 AM): For my business, by far, the largest referring site? Wanna guess?

Del (5/7/2001 9:38 AM): If an Inktomi result pulls up in MSN, do you see the referral as Inktomi or MSN, Terry?

weber (5/7/2001 9:38 AM): Amazon?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:39 AM): I can tell it comes from Inktomi from some -- not sure if from all. Looksmart ones show Inktomi

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:39 AM): Nope

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:39 AM): dmoz?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:40 AM): #1: #2 (my old agency site) #3:

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:40 AM): And I get about 50,000 unique visitors a month, I believe. Which tells me that they originate their visit by typing in my URL directly.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:41 AM): THAT'S the argument for branding.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:41 AM): Never be at the mercy of someone else's link structure!

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:41 AM): Are you saying, Rob, that people are buying your service because they 'know' you already, not from searching the web?

Terri Robinson ( (5/7/2001 9:42 AM): wow - my #1 is - I didn't realize what that meant!

Del (5/7/2001 9:42 AM): Evangelism/Advocation is a powerful thing.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:42 AM): No, I'm saying that my lateral strategy is stronger than a vertical search strategy

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:42 AM): You said it, Del.

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 9:43 AM): Huh?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:43 AM): If I relied on simple search engines, I would have gone broke a long time ago. It's about branded community and spreading out laterally across the web through users and evangelists who mention you and your links.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:44 AM): Frederick, that's the only way to explain my book sales....because I don't advertise the book with paid media.

Del (5/7/2001 9:45 AM): Rob: While discussing branding and YOU to my wife, I told her about the FrankelBiz post where you commented about the unique candles you purchased for your wife. Because of that post, and ONLY because of that post, I went to the candle site.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:45 AM): Great! The only problem is that she's having technical glitches with it. But it really is a neat products line!

Del (5/7/2001 9:45 AM): I wonder how many others did the same.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:46 AM): Quite a few, Del, from what I hear.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:47 AM): The thing is, branding is seen by so many as a "long-term" discipline, but we're all in this for the long term, anyway. And it's the brand strategies that work the best!

weber (5/7/2001 9:47 AM): Rob, so you mean that when you look at your logs people are either coming from book marks, or typing in your URL, not that once they are on your site they keep going back to ?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:47 AM): I mean, we all have to be here next month, next year, anyway. You might as well sow the seeds today to reap them tomorrow....especially the way the web disseminates stuff for you.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:48 AM): Right, Weber.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:48 AM): I've also added an exit pop-up window to the site, so that I can get a better handle on the true number of unique visits.

weber (5/7/2001 9:49 AM): I looked at our logs and is the top referring site, but in further checking it is more of an intermediary point where they look at a page and then come back to the main page

weber (5/7/2001 9:50 AM): Does the exit pop up window piss of visitors?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:50 AM): That's not how my site is structured. (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:51 AM): No complaints so far, Weber. but I have noticed a spike in sales....I think that if you use them very sparingly they're okay.

weber (5/7/2001 9:51 AM): What page is the pop up window on?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:51 AM): I'll accept an exit window with a lot more grace than one that launches as soon as I enter a site. I won't even *look* at what it says -- just for the 'x' to close it

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:51 AM): I also added one to the front page of the Revenge of brand X site, as an update telling people the latest developments with the book, like if a new university has added it to their reading lists.

weber (5/7/2001 9:51 AM): I mean the URL

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:53 AM): my popup for my site is on the main site. It launches when you leave. The Revenge of Brand X window pops up when you arrive at the site -- the kind Terry hates!

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:53 AM): The greeting pop up works to keep reviewers interested.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:53 AM): I can handle pop ups, but I will leave a site if it comes up repeatedly or is annoying.

Del (5/7/2001 9:54 AM): Rob: From a branding perspective, is it better to attempt a purely business-esque website (factual, somewhat dry information) or sites that develop a relationship using prose which equates to one-on-one conversation (informative, not patronizing)?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:54 AM): I won't bother opening up that can of worms because it seems you either love 'em or hate 'em, but my opinion is that if that's important, incorporate it into your site. :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:54 AM): Del, if forced, I'll always go for the latter, done with a true business message and call to action. That depends, of course, on the brand personality.

Del (5/7/2001 9:54 AM): Pop-ups on entry work better if you can impose a 5 sec delay. Allows time for the website to load.

weber (5/7/2001 9:54 AM): I like it!

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:55 AM): Del, I agree with Rob. I'd much rather get a feel for the personality of a site than a cut-and-dried business tone.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:55 AM): The thing is that some brands really should be all-business and dry. Anything less might be misconstrued as flippant. Think about flying on a commercial jet. A friendly pilot is okay, but one that's too informal make me uneasy. (5/7/2001 9:55 AM): Entered the room. (5/7/2001 9:55 AM): better late than never :)

Del (5/7/2001 9:56 AM): That's the direction I'm headed. After looking through logs and re-reading communication from site users, I believe a "human experience" will work better at my site then, "This is how you need to proceed to buy my product". :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:56 AM): Thanks, Weber. I told you, it's just a little note. No big deal or hype.

weber (5/7/2001 9:56 AM): But it makes you wonder what you are missing.

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:56 AM): Rob, I'm not sure I agree. We have a commercial airline service here that cut all the frills to offer lower-priced tickets. They inject jokes and other tidbits throughout the flight, and most people I know love it.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:57 AM): It's a balance Del. You can dial it up and down.

weber (5/7/2001 9:57 AM): I think that is why it helps increase sales

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:57 AM): Whether Alaskan or TWA could pull it off, I'm not sure, but it works for this company

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:58 AM): Yeah, Terry, But authoritative humor and flippancy are two different things when it comes to inspiring white knucklers, especially,

weber (5/7/2001 9:58 AM): Rob, what happens when a customer goes to your cart? Or after they buy and then leave?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:58 AM): Yes, Weber. I think the way the pop up is presented makes a HUGE difference.

Terry ( (5/7/2001 9:58 AM): true

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Del (5/7/2001 9:58 AM): I think it was you who said something along the lines of, "Educate them [the consumer] about your brand and they'll evangelize it." (5/7/2001 9:59 AM): weber - I guess you'll just have to buy to find out. :)

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:59 AM): After they leave the site, the window pops up. yes, Del, that's my attitude.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 9:59 AM): The pop up is keyed to the index page of the site.

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 10:00 AM): And since all the site's links open up new windows, it's often the last window closed.

weber (5/7/2001 10:00 AM): Do you think something like that would work for each different product if you had a page per product?

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 10:00 AM): No, Weber. It would piss people off! Okay, time to get to work! I'll see you online!

Del (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Rob: You use interspersed comic elements in your discussions/audio tapes. Obviously it works for you. :-)

weber (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob. Terry when is the next chat?

Frederick ( (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob and everyone - another valuable session!

Terry ( (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Weber, I'd find that really annoying -- what if (

Del (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Terry: What's your schedule like for the day?

Terry ( (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Next Etailer chat is Thursday morning at 9 Pacific

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Yup, Del...I had one guy tell me they were the best tapes ever, because they didn't put him to sleep!

Terry ( (5/7/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob -- see you next Monday

RobFrankel ( (5/7/2001 10:02 AM): See you!

©2001, RobFrankel, Contact Us">Contact Us