I could have sworn we should have been here yesterday. Isn’t it 28 days in February? What’s that? Leap year? Oh yeah the extra day we get every few years. 29 days may still a shorter month, but there was no shortage of links This Month In SEO. Football ended as the month began and baseball is starting as the month heads out. Spring is almost here, but spring training has begun. Still it’s only fitting to dedicate this post to all the people who are born on this day and have to figure out when to celebrate their birthday the next three years. Happy birthday to all the leap babies of the world. This post is dedicated to you.
Plenty of good stuff this month as always and as usual you can find more at my del.icio.us profile and my StumbleUpon profile. I’m also known to post a link or two at Twitter so feel free to follow along. Now on with the show.
“Suicide is painless. It brings on many changes; and I can take or leave it if I please.” If you didn’t sing the previous line you didn’t see the movie M*A*S*H, but that’s ok since we’re talking social media and and the point is you need a social media marketing plan or else you could be DOA. You do want your content to be bookmarked and attract links don’t you? Then again is social media all we want it to be? Is the truth about social sites inconvenient to our plans for monetization? What exactly is the value of social media marketing anyway?
- How to Commit Social Media Suicide
- 9 Tips for Planning a Social Media Marketing Campaign
- How to Get More Bookmarks and Better Links
- The Inconvenient Truth About Social Media Marketing
- The Value of Social Media Marketing
Some of the value is in the networking opportunities. Services like Twitter allow you to connect with people in ways you may not find elsewhere. I admit I was slow to adopt Twitter, but now I’m beyond sold. So is Jennifer Laycock. Jen gave us a 5 part series on why she embraced Twitter. Don’t be a Twit. Most Tweeple will notice Twitter going down once in awhile. Sure it’s annoying, but is it inevitable? Maybe, unless you want the service to use a proxy. Proxy or no the service is working far more often than not and Kevin Dugan has 10 tips to help you get the most out of Twitter.
- Part Five: From Twits to Tweeple, Why I Embraced Twitter and You Should Too
- Twitter-proxy: Any Interest?
- Top 10 Twitter Hacks
StumbleUpon is the hot site to drive traffic, assuming your content is deserving. Skellie shares some ideas on creating incendiary content that will turn up the heat at StumbleUpon. If I only knew then what I know now. That thought must have gone through Ciaran’s mind while offering 10 simple SU tips. StumbleUpon isn’t the only site to send visitors and links your way. Matt has some great ideas for getting both traffic and links, if your willing to part with a few photos and answer a few questions. Have a question for Kevin Rose? Ben offers a recap of Digg’s first town hall complete with videos and time tags so you skip ahead to the more interesting parts.
- How to Write Posts That Set StumbleUpon on Fire
- 10 Simple Tips to StumbleUpon Success (That I Wish Someone Had Told Me About)
- Using Photos to Build Inbound Links
- A Guide to Social Marketing on Yahoo! Answers
- Digg’s 20 Questions: a Town Hall Recap
Having a loyal audience opens up a lot of doors. So how do you score more subscribers? Adam Singer has 8 tips to help. Once your audience grows large enough it’ll promote your blog for you. Like a butterfly your blog will break out of its cocoon and begin a second stage of life where it can glide on the wings of your readers. But don’t erect barriers in the path of your butterfly. An unexamined life is not worth blogging or something like that. Do I detect our second series of the month? Is a pattern forming?
- 8 Essential Tips To Score Subscribers
- The Butterfly Growth Model
- The 5 Barriers to Success Series — Part 5: Blogging Without Examination
Promote your blog all you want, but it’s success will still come down to the quality of your content. But what is good content? Maki gives us a working definition and Chris Garrett promotes the idea of having authority or flagship content to get readers coming back. Creating all that great content isn’t easy and it requires plenty of new ideas. Let Tibu Puiu show you where to find ideas for your freshly squeezed content. As great as your content is a little push in the form of a great headline never hurts. Quadzilla needed something to do while waiting for a plane so why not look through some airport magazines to find 54 headline templates that work.
- What is Good Content? A Working Definition and Some General Principles
- Diggbait, Linkbait, Flagship Content and Authority
- Finding New, Freshly Squeezed Content For Your Blog
- 54 Proven Headlines Templates That Sell
Your wonderful content and smart marketing has led to more readers. Now what? Perhaps selling advertising is your thing. How do you find private advertisers? Daniel knows. James Mowery would like to help advertisers find you and shares his advice in a guide to creating your own ‘Advertise Here’ page.
- How do You Find Private Advertisers for Your Blog?
- The Blogger’s Guide To Building Your Own ‘Advertise Here’ Page
Your business will only scale so much. And you’ll scale even less as an individual. Chris Brogan tells us how he managed to scale his skillset. One way to help yourself scale is to make use of the resources of others. Amanda Fazani put together more than 40 such resources so you can get more done. You may find you can get more done by recording your posts instead of writing them. If you’re ready for video blogging Michael Martine shows you how to get started in 5 easy steps.
Design And Development
Speaking of videos not everyone is going to hear them. The 35 million people in the U.S. who are deaf or hard of hearing won’t. They can still enjoy your videos, though. Stephen Hopson tells you how to add subtitles. Wish something other than your most recent posts was on the home page of your blog? If you use WordPress it’s simple to set up. No matter how you structure your blog or site you don’t always want search engines to access every page. Rand shows how to control access through cookies and session IDs. And even with the pages you do want spiders to see you don’t always need them coming back and hogging your bandwidth. Sebastian tells you how to let spiders know if your dynamic pages have been modified.
- How to Make Your Video Posts More Accessible to an Untapped Market of Millions
- Using a WordPress Page as your home page
- Controlling Search Engine Access with Cookies & Session IDs
- Save bandwidth costs: Dynamic pages can support If-Modified-Since too
There are many different things to learn as a web designer and whatever your current skills they can always be improved. It’s never too late to step up your skills. Choosing colors is one I can use work on. If you’re like me maybe seeing 25 beautifully colored websites will give you an idea of how to use different colors together. 25 sites not enough? How about 100 css galleries filled with stunning design? I visit several of these when I’m looking for inspiration and now have many more to look through. Of course to get the whole right you need to get the parts right. Michael recently changed the sidebar on his blog and shares his thought process for the changes. Michael it looks great.
- Stepping Up Your Skills: Areas for Continual Improvement as a Web Designer
- 25 Beautifully Colorful Websites
- Inspiration Overload: 100 CSS Galleries You Need to Check Out
- Sidebar Redesign: My Thought Process
What would This Month In SEO be without one of Roberta’s landing page makeovers. We’ll find out next month since this I think will be the last makeover. I’m looking forward to the new series Roberta. Eric Enge also knows a thing or two about landing pages. This month he teaches how to execute tests to discover the better design. The eagle has landed, but did it buy? Smashing Magazine looks at shopping carts and presents some examples and good practices.
- Copywriting Maven’s Landing Page Makeover Clinic #11: RealEstateClientReferrals.com
- Landing Page Optimization for SEM: Design and Execute
- Shopping Carts Gallery: Examples and Good Practices
Shopping carts aren’t the only applications suffering from poor design. Jakob Nielsen discussed applications in general and presents his top 10 design mistakes. Philipp Lenssen looked at how designs are often presented to clients. Sometimes the more effective tool doesn’t make for the best presentation. How do you know when you’ve got it right? Carsten Cumbrowski has 50 questions you can answer to evaluate the quality of your site.
- Top-10 Application-Design Mistakes
- The Presentation Paradox
- 50 Questions to Evaluate the Quality of Your Website
Links aren’t all about the external. Your internal linking is important too. Aaron has ideas on how to determine if your internal linking is effective. Nofollow has become the latest greatest tool in shaping your internal link flow. Rand tells us sculpting with nofollow worked rather well on SEOmoz. Umm…Rand…did you mean siloing? Lisa wants to know. All the nofollow talk has led some to wonder if using the attribute will set off a red flag and mark you as an seo. Still there are situations where you should use nofollow. As search engines get better at dissecting the parts of a page will some of these issues eventually go away. Bill looks at ways Google might determine ‘boilerplate’ code.
- How to Determine the Effectiveness of Your Internal Link Structure
- NoFollow: An SEO Red Flag?
- Five Situations Where You SHOULD Use NoFollow for Linking
- Google Omits Needless Words (On Your Pages?)
- Sculpting with Nofollow Works Pretty Darn Well
- Hey Rand, Do You Mean Siloing?
Where do your incoming links come from? If you’re willing to put in the time you might get some from social media. Is the line between seo and social media marketing blurring? Are your linkbaiting efforts focused on your niche? Ryan Caldwell shares his experience of a successful linkbait with proof that targeting multiple niches brings more links. Do you buy links? Eric Enge doesn’t and tells you why.
- The Evaporating Yellow Line between SEO & Social Media
- Linkbaiting Outside Your Niche
- I Don’t Buy Links
The best links are the ones your competition can’t get. If we’re all analyzing the same metrics though, our links may end up being similar. It’s time to start looking at some unconventional link attributes. Finding link sources takes time. Why not automate things a little and organizes your sources better? You might not be able to automate the entire process, but there are plenty of tools you can use at steps along the way. But don’t let all those tools make your decisions for you or else you might end up with link building and development mistakes.
- Tapping into Unconventional Link Attributes
- Organizing Your Link Sources for More Effective Promotion
- What Time Is It? It’s Link Tool Time
- Link Building and Development Mistakes – Treetrunks and Houses on Stilts
- Analyzing Your Competitor’s Backlinking Strategies
It’s easy to get lost in the details of seo and just as easy while lost to lose site of the big picture. Stoney gave us a series on strategic seo planning. Here’s part 3, which also brings us to 3 series so far this month. I sense a trend. One part of forming a plan is understanding the competitive landscape. Analyzing your competition will reveal how long it will take to rank and how much work you might need to get there.
- How to Uncover the Fundamental Information Necessary To Plan A Strategically Successful SEO Campaing, Part III
- SEO Step Two of Ten: Competitor Analysis
- How Long Does it Take to Rank in Google? How Many Hours do I Have to Work Each Day?
Before you can rank for something you need to know what that something is. Brian Clark created a comprehensive guide to keyword research in 5 parts giving us series #4 for the month. Brian Terry discovered a simple way to get more keywords with less effort and Jennifer Slegg wants to know if we’re covering all the angles in our research. One angle Jennifer didn’t mention is using social media buzz to mine new keywords. Search engines are getting smarter when it comes to keywords too. Bill covers a Yahoo patent on phrase-based indexing detailing ways Yahoo might better understand phrases in documents.
- Keyword Research for Bloggers: A Comprehensive Guide
- Less Effort, More Keywords and Better SEO
- How many angles are you looking at keyword research from?
- Social Media Buzz Pocket Mining: The New Keyword Research
- Yahoo Phrase Based Indexing in a Nutshell
SEO is made up of many disciplines and Hamlet Batista says security should be one of them. Understand why you must learn internet security by reading his post. Shoemoney sees a lot of confusion in posts about cloaking, masking, and redirection. What’s a good Shoemoney to do? Write a post defining each and showing how they’re used. Sugarrae goes one better giving us everything we could want to know about canonicalization (C14N)
- The Unsuspecting Recruit: Why every SEO MUST learn Internet security
- Guide to Link Cloaking, Masking, and Url Redirection
- Be a Normalizer – a C14N Exterminator
How many search engines can you name? Now how many are you hoping will rank your pages well? Esteban Panzera has 11 tips for appearing in Google Definitions and Tamar shows us how to find out when Google first discovered one of our pages. Kurt Krejny is out to stop weeds, the kind that suck the life out of your Google garden that is. Will Google ever stop being associated with PageRank? Why should they be? Andy Beard says it’s the primary Google search ranking factor.
Whatever you think of PR it’s always good to remember that search engine algorithms evolve. What works today might not tomorrow. If you’ve forgotten let Rand remind you. And in the end keep in mind that no two sites are alike. Different sites mean different tactics. Treat each as an individual.
- 11 Tips for Appearing at Google Definitions
- Find Out The Date Google First Found Your Page
- 10 Traffic-Stealing Weeds That Suck the Life Out of Your Google Garden and How to Yank Them
- PageRank Is The Primary Google Search Ranking Factor
- How to Track the Evolution of Search Engine Algorithms & Why It’s Important to Do So
- Treating Each Site As an Individual
All week long I felt out of the loop on Twitter. So many of my tweeps were at SMX this week while I was home working. If like me, you missed the conference, no worries. Barry covered all the SMX coverage for Search Engine Land.
Business And Marketing
With spring training underway the Super Bowl may feel like a time long ago, but it’s only been a few weeks since the big game. (Go Giants!) Do you remember the commercials? Yeah, me either, but how did they score with social media? Julie Kent provides a review of the big game ads. The internet makes it easy to copy most anything. More copies means less value per copy until they become free. It’s not the end of business online, though. It just means you need to be better than free. I’m guessing you prefer to make money. If so Daniel has 28 ways you can monetize your site.
- How Did Super Bowl Advertisers Score on Search & Social Media?
- Better Than Free
- 28 Ways to Make Money with Your Website
Do you have a reputation? If you’ve ever done anything in public you do. How do you manage your rep? Tamar and Lee Odden have advice for monitoring and managing how others see you and Lee adds a little public relations for good measure and good seo.
- Manage Your Online Reputation
- Online Reputation Management for Individuals
- SEO Tips for Public Relations
One of the best roads to success is to become the authority and have your brand be the first people think about when thinking of your niche. Maki offers 8 content development tactics to become the authority in your niche. By their very nature a niche is less competitive than the larger industry, some more so than others. Skellie walks us through surviving an under-served niche. Crowded niche or empty niche you still need good copy to sell. Simon Townley will hypnotize you with his. With the rising cost of clicks and increased user awareness about ads, one way you can please users and cut costs is to feature your own best content more and sell ads to yourself.
- How to Become an Authority in Your Niche: Eight Content Development Tactics
- Surviving and Thriving in an Under-served Niche
- Don’t get robbed blind on the internet: 8 tell-tale signs of hypnotic sales copy
- Do You Have Remarkable Featured Content?
I leave you with an interview to close out the month’s business section. Chris Garrett interviewed Rae Hoffman on a variety of topics and we all get to sit in, listen, and learn a lot about how to be successful.
Search Engine News
The news of the proposed takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft has quieted down a little bit since the beginning of the month, but this is one story that will be hanging around until it’s resolved one way or the other. And any resolution will only lead to a host of other stories of what’s next for each company. Here are a selection of stories, mostly from the first half of February and mostly from Search Engine Land.
- Microsoft + Yahoo: Recapping Reactions
- Google Objects To Microsoft & Yahoo Wedding; Microsoft Responds — Irony All Around
- Yahoo! Addresses The Troops (And So Does Microsoft)
- Microhoo At One Week 1: Decision Nears? Yahoo Brand To Survive?
- Not So Crazy: Yahoo May Partner With AOL To Escape Microsoft
- Official: Yahoo Says No To Microsoft
- Microsoft Responds To Rejection: Will Take “All Necessary Steps” To Consummate “Full & Fair” Proposal
- News Corporation A Potential Partner For Yahoo In Avoiding Microsoft, Google Interest ‘Wanes’
- Yahoo Letter Explains Why They Told Microsoft “No No No”
We made it through another month even with the extra day. I’m tired. How about you? We’re moving into spring, which for Boulder could mean anything from 70 degree days to several feet of snow falling. The weekend is supposed to be the former so I’ll see about spending some time outside. As always there’s some work to be done. I’m getting close to moving this site to a new domain with a new design and if I can knock off a few hours of that work on a Sunday it’s that much sooner till the move. And sadly I still need to work on my taxes. I’ve been putting them off this year so I’ll see about making a dent in the forms. Have a good weekend wherever you are and whatever you do. Hopefully you’ve gotten taxes out of the way and can just enjoy. Happy reading.