This Week In SEO – 10/19/07

Mid week I had planned on dedicating today’s post to Dell customer and technical support for repairing an ill computer faster than expected, but I changed my mind today and will continue with the baseball dedications and specifically dedicate today’s This Week In SEO post to Joe Torre, sadly the now ex manager of the New York Yankees. Never has there been a manager who handled himself with such class, dignity, and honesty as Torre and the franchise has taken a step back today. New York will miss you Joe and most of us think you were treated with less respect than you deserved.

You probably know what comes next. My del.icio.us profile where you can find links to more great content than couldn’t find its way here. Now on with the show.

Social Media

Marketers have a new social networking site to join by the name of Gooruze. The site aims to be a combination forum, blog, and social bookmarking site for marketers to share information and advice. The list of founders is impressive and as an added incentive signing up automatically enters you for a chance to win $10,000 in AdWords spending. I’ll let two of the founders, Andy Beal and Matt McGhee tell you more.

A few weeks ago the NY State Attorney General’s office investigated Facebook about sexual predators. This week the site and the state reached an accord, though perhaps a little longer than it should have taken. Facebook has taken on MySpace and is apparently winning. Now they have their sights set on LinkedIn. Is Facebook getting so big they’re becoming a threat to Google? Rae Hoffman has updated her Facebook guide, which is something a neophyte Facebook user like myself can really use. Who knew you only had a few minutes to change your picture before others might start laughing at you.

MySpace is trying to fight back against the migration to Facebook. They’ve opened their platform to external developers (good move) and are partnering with Skype to offer a voice function on their IM client. As Jay Cross points out, however, the statistics are currently showing that adding the voice functions might not make a big difference to either MySpace or Skype.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s Wikipedia entry was cleaned up this week after it was revealed to have been changed by IP addresses running on state owned computers. Spamming Wikipedia can damage your brand, but might it also be damaging to your rankings. It looks as though both Google and Yahoo may be penalizing domains that appear on the Wikipedia spammer blacklist.

Blogging

Whether you’re new to blogging or have been at it awhile sometimes you still feel like a beginner. Chris Garrett has 10 steps for beginning bloggers including why you should be a blog reader if you want to be a better blog writer. One thing to consider with a new or existing blog is what will your focus be. Lorelle tells you why focus is important. Skellie started an excellent series on a three month growth plan for your blog. You don’t need to take the time frame literally, but you should listen to the advice.

Kelby Carr has ideas on creating content hubs and since this post and the others like it are a form of content hub I can’t really argue against the advice. Ben shares his experiences with interview posts. How they’ve helped him and why he finds it easy to link to your post interviewing him.

Where do blogging ideas come from? One way to stimulate ideas and creativity is mind mapping. Raj runs through the mind mapping process. Free writing is a great exercise to improve your writing, but Sara Christensen says why not make the exercise count for something more? Why not turn your free writing into an actual post?

Lukas looked at wordplay as a way to add a little humor particularly in your post title. He discussed three specific types of wordplay and why using them may pay off when writing for social media. Chris Bennett talks about the inverted pyramid style of journalistic writing as a further way to get your posts to the front page of social news voting sites. You’ll need a little more than inverted pyramid writing though, to gain legal shield from U.S. courts.

Design And Development

Ajax and Flash apps can add a lot to a page or site and both are synonymous with having a web 2.0 site. Stephen Spencer says that all those web 2.0 apps aren’t always search engine friendly even if they are user friendly. How you structure your site’s content plays a large role in the optimization of your site. Joost talks about how to organize your content for better seo.

Are visitors abandoning your shopping cart prior to purchase? Janet Meiners has 10 tips to get them to stick around long enough to get their credit cards out. Do you require users to login to access information or make a purchase? Stoney offers 14 tips for increasing the usability of logins.

I’m a PHP guy and know next to nothing about the Windows side of scripting languages. Good thing I have some friends that do know. Adam tells us how to configure ASP error messages on your Windows Vista machine. Michael gives us another design review, this time for Blogging Bits. Once again see what the design gets right and what it could improve. Michael also discusses ideas to keep your readers attention on your article once they’ve started reading.

Link Building

Who better to start the links about link building than Eric Ward who offers a cornucopia of news. Of course part of that news deals with Google’s stance on paid links. Eric Lander tells us why paid links aren’t going anywhere and Jen finished what to me was the best series of posts in the latest round of the debate. Sites that have recently seen their PageRank go down are wondering if the cause was link selling. Aaron discussed PageRank, link selling, and some reasons why your traffic may go down even when no penalty has been applied to your site.

Michelle Montoya has put together a resource for anyone new to link building and linkbaiting, including links to further resources. Maki says the best way to improve your chances of getting a link is first getting to know the person who’ll give you that link. He suggests creating a list of prospects. Quadzilla points to a Digital Point thread suggesting that there’s still plenty of value in reciprocal links if you don’t go overboard. Justilien is back with part 2 of his series on determining the value of a link and Christian Mezei shows how some good content and a well placed and well written blog comment can lead to links.

SMX: Social Media New York

New York was home to SMX for part of the week with live blogging of the conference from many sources. I’d really like to tell you I handpicked the best posts from the week of coverage, but the truth is I simply grabbed a few at random through the week. Ok. they’re all pretty good, though I did collect them somewhat randomly and a few will link through to other coverage. And you know all this conference stuff is going mainstream when Forbes covers the event.

SEO

An issue I’ve seen come up a few times lately is the responsibility of the SEO and the client in regards to a client’s site. Stoney tackles the issue from each side with ideas for both SEOs and clients. SEO and responsibility (or more correctly a lack of responsibility) is a good time to mention Jason Calcanis. Jason is at it again, bashing seo yet one more time and Michael Gray decided to give Jason a lesson on how to optimize Mahalo. I hesitated linking to Michael’s post since I think the attention only encourages Jason’s continued seo ignorance talk, but Michael’s post is a good one with lessons for most sites. But please can we all stop linking to JC.

There are many channels you can use to market your business. Shannon looks at both traditional and expanded search marketing channels to give you an idea of all the different places you can leverage. One of those channels is local search and Chris Silver Smith discusses the hCard microformat as a way to improve your local search ranking. Don’t worry microformats are a lot easier to understand than the name might imply. Content is king, but relevance is queen and David knows who really runs the kingdom. He talks about how to leverage relevance when it comes to seo. And Michael Jensen tells us how to find and capitalize on long tail keywords.

Business And Marketing

Marketing is changing. The New York Times looked at some alternative forms of marketing such as the way Nike is promoting its brand by helping a runner get in better shape and reporting on his progress. Radiohead is certainly going a different route in the way they’re marketing their latest album. Seth Godin shows why it’s essential that they do and Brian Clark calls the way the band is connecting with fans brilliant marketing.

Michael Brito is embracing conversational marketing. Whether you like it or not your customers are going to talk about your business and what they say about you is more important than what you say about you. Getting involved in the conversation already taking place is increasingly more important and Michael will tell you why. Many people mistakenly think of viral marketing as word of mouth marketing. They share some characteristics, but Seth Godin explains why they’re not the same. And once you understand the differences let Skellie tell you why viral content is the new king.

When starting a new site should you monetize right away? Should you launch with affiliate links or wait till you have an audience. Aaron answered the question by saying it’s probably best to wait and along the way offers useful tips for making your affiliate site successful. Brian Clark made big news this week with the release of a new report on how to make money in front of the launch of the Teaching Sells site. You need to register to get the ebook, but there’s a lot of thought provoking ideas about who will and won’t be making money online in the coming years. And Chris Garret started a series on making money online. I’ve only linked to the first post to save some space, but the entire series is deserving of a read.

Search Engine News

The last few months have brought a lot of discussion of the online role in the coming presidential election. I’m of the opinion that it will be the next time around before the online world has a major influence. To me, this election is calling attention to the candidates and the next one will call attention to the public on the importance of online channels. Greg Jarobe provides a wealth of statistics to prove me wrong and show why 2008 may be the year search does influence how we vote. Kevin Ryan has his own statistics to show the real impact of blended search. Is blended search working?

Google
Google pushed subscriber counts to Google Reader so now when you’re deciding whether or not to subscribe you can see how many others before you have already decided to do the same. The counts will only be for subscriptions through Reader itself and may not be as accurate as you might first think.

Has Google’s algorithm changed? Vanessa Fox has noticed some changes in Google SERPs lately she think are tied to Universal Search. Google is trying to fix mistyped URLs by offering suggestions for what they think you might have meant. Webmaster Tools added a few things including the ability to gain some control over the sitelinks that show for your site. Google Docs has gone mobile and now you can create your own maps in Google Maps and show the world how well you know your neighborhood.

In patent news Bill discusses how Google may build profiles on sites through site search and rank pages based on searcher’s behavior on a given site. Bill’s post also discusses a second patent to group profiles in an effort to maintain individual privacy. In another post he looked at the rumored Gphone and how Google might use targeted ads in exchange for free cell phone service.

Google’s announced Q3 2007 results came with a 57% increase in revenue over Q3 2006. So how is Google doing it given how little they spend on advertising? Perhaps it’s partner agreements like the one that may occur with Random House to allow for book scanning. And lawsuit or not Viacom could still end up working with Google according to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. And then there are the publishing partners. Is it possible that Google’s been paying publishers 77% of it’s AdSense earnings?

Yahoo!
Yahoo announced it’s own Q3 2007 earnings to a 12% increase over the same quarter in 2006. Could Yahoo search being gaining momentum? Where does Yahoo go next? Jerry Yang blogged about their future direction, but Aaron has some advice for them and it’s not to display bogus stats to webmasters like Google does.

Some of the good vibes about Yahoo in recent days may have to do with new partnership deals to serve advertising to sites WebMD, Forbes, Cars.com, and Ziff Davis.

MSN/Live Search
Microsoft released new services this week including new maps, and local and mobile upgrades including Live Search 411, which allows you to search from your phone just by speaking.

A warm front has reached Boulder and looks to make for a nice weekend. I’ll be spending some time updating the way I backup things here at TheVanPlex (can a lone worker with a few networked computers be considered a plex?) Once again I want to thank Dell for their friendly, helpful, and quick support. You might not be seeing this post had they not made repairs as fast as they did and my laptop’s monitor is displyaing everything much crisper than it did when it was brand new. Nice job Dell. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are and whatever you do and happy reading.

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