This Week In SEO – 11/16/07

I can think of no better group to devote This Week In SEO to than turkeys everywhere. This post marks the end of the work week for me and the beginning of a much awaited vacation in New York to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. The week around Thanksgiving is an annual visit for me and the kinfolk and this year will be no different. I’m looking forward to visiting some museums, spending time with people I hardly get to see, and the general energy of New York. I’m also looking forward to a little time away from the usual routine to recharge. I’m sure I’ll be popping in and out of my usual haunts, but for a few days I may be a little scarce.

This Week In SEO will be skipping next week to recover from a dinner that will be more than one should eat, but check in on my and StumbleUpon profiles for more links till we meet again. Now on with the show.

Social Media

If you think your site is too small for Digg and StumbleUpon you might want to read David Wallace’s article on how small business can benefit from social sites, which includes among other things how branding opportunities through social media. You may also want to think in terms of niche social media sites. Andy Hagans updated his popular list of niche social sites with 5 new additions. Some have argued that social bookmarking sites have little seo value, because the links are nofollowed. If you’re one of them then have a look at Loren Baker’s list of bookmarking sites that don’t add a nofollow to your link.

A common strategy for social media success is to build a strong profile. Mani Karthik has ideas for becoming a top stumbler in under a week. The time frame might be a bit of an exaggeration and the post may be a little too focused on the numbers, but it’s still generally good advice for building a solid profile. Do you thank people who stumble your posts? Caroline Middlebrook does and it’s led to more StumbleUpon success. And what can a lot of stumbles mean for your site. Nathania shares a recent success story.

The Wall Street Journal has added Digg buttons to the site. I smell the influence of Rupert Murdock. Many have analyzed Digg’s top users, but not so many have analyzed Digg’s top articles. Khalid decided to fill that gap and took a look at the articles that go popular to help you craft an article that goes popular too. And Lee Odden has gather tips from readers and added his own advice to guide you in using Twitter as a tool for marketing and PR.


The design and formatting of your blog posts has a lot to do with whether or not they get read. Images will make the most impact and Darren had a go with a video post to show you how to use images to improve your posts. Imagery is strong in Skellie’s painterly post. She tells you why creating posts with a painter’s mindset will lead to a better blog. Are your headlines strong or do they waffle? Sean D’Souza will let you know how you can tell and even better he’ll help you write stronger headlines.

Blogging with authority leads to more readers, more blogging jobs, more links, more of a lot of things you likely want. But what does it mean to be an authority blogger. Chris Garrett defines authority as a combination of three factors. One of those factors is the blogger’s personality. Joel Falconer thinks design and voice are the two things that most shape your personality perception.

Maybe all those thank yous are paying off for Caroline. She doubled her rss subscribers in a week. See how she managed the impressive feat. Need more? Manoj has 11 tips for you to increase subscribers. Now that you’ve boosted your FeedBurner count how do you get your subscribers to actually read your posts? Steven Snell looked at his own habits to give you an idea of how to make sure your subscribers are also readers. And now that they’re reading Skellie will tell you how to turn your readers into fans that will sing your praises and promote your blog for you.

Design And Development

I thought we all got into blogging so we could ditch the suits and work in our pajamas? Mani has tips for looking professional. Your blog that is. Maybe it’s time to dump a few of those widgets and gadgets, but you can still work in your pajamas. Michael recently spend some time giving out advice on blog design and along the way found mistakes a lot of blogs make. Is your blog guilty of any of them? One way to add some style to your blog is through the comment area. Chris Pearson shares thoughts on improving this often neglected part of your blog.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every web app you wrote worked perfectly out of the box? Like there’s any chance of that happening. Matt Cutts says one way to test your programs is through fuzz testing. Now you have an excuse for why you’re pounding on the keyboard like a caffeine-crazed monkey. Last year some changes to my robots.txt file helped pull this blog out of the supplemental index. Khalid reviewed how to create a robots.txt file. Want to use more images on your site, but don’t know where to get them? Loren points you to 10 places to find some. And Stoney runs through 4 things that can leave your visitors dissatisfied. Fix these problems and make your users happy.

Link Building And PageRank

Are people stull buying and selling links? Barry’s poll and the thread he points to would indicate they still are. Of course we all know by now that Google wishes otherwise. Wendy Piersall isn’t happy about that at all and thinks Google may be unfairly targeting mommy bloggers. Tim reviewed TNX text link ads. Is TNX a better way to buy and sell text links? Eric Enge stayed out of the controversy and offered his understanding of what makes one link a paid link and another an editorial link. And on the flip side Loren has 10 ways to earn revenue without selling links.

Buying links isn’t the only way to get them, of course. Loren has 10 ways to build links without forking over your wallet. Miles Price has 17 ideas of his own for building links. Ahmed Bilal has yet 12 more link building tactics he expects to be popular in the coming year. Linkbait will make most lists of how to build links, but what does Google think of linkbait? Matt McGhee has the answer. Even if Google is fine with linkbaiting there are some potential pitfalls. Aaron Wall looks at a few and wonders if linkbait might turn into the new reciprocal links page.


A lot of seo is in the details and it’s easy to get lost in those details sometimes. Stoney says that while the details are important focusing on them is only effective to a point. He offers advice on when to pull back and see the big picture. Quadzilla simplifies it all and offers us his seo theory of everything. A SitePoint thread discusses high level seo strategy. And Aaron looked at the seo market in the U.S.

Michael Gray is impressed with the way Google’s sitelinks can adapt to different queries. Rand discussed how you can dominate a keyword and in the process brand yourself for the phrase if you can manage to join the sitelink party. Authority for a phrase is likely one of the factors Google uses in deciding to display sitelinks. Can registering your domain longer than a year help? Not when it comes to ranking says Jennifer Laycock.

What seo data do you track? Rand is an admitted stats junkie and he asked readers if they were too. Rand covers the signals he follows and readers did the same. Dave and Bill think in the near future there are going to be a different set of metrics you’ll want to track and they’ll revolve around the end user. See why Dave and Bill think personalized search is the future as they cover the patents.

As an SEO you avoid Flash at all costs, but do you have to? Barry tells us how to optimize when you have to use Flash. David Mihm was lazy with one of his sites. Turns out that laziness was a good thing and taught him the importance of using a flatter architecture when building a site. Tamar points to a Google Groups thread indicating it’s ok to use css layers to hide content depending on your motive. And Simon reviews duplicate content on multiple domains.

Business And Marketing

Define yourself however you want, but if you run a blog or a site in general you are a marketer. Skellie shows you what you can learn from other marketers, particularly when it comes to going viral. And while you’re in a learning frame of mind let Matt tell you what the search industry can teach you about running a small business. Mark Hayward says that the key to generating income with your blog is branding and I completely agree. If you don’t believe Mark or me then let Chris convince you and show you how branding changes the rules of the game in your favor.

Do you want to earn 6 figures a year. Darren does and he shares all the different income streams he uses to make all that money. At the other extreme Patric Herber shows you how to turn a quick profit in just 24 hours.

You have a general marketing strategy and a social media marketing strategy. You have a strategy when it comes to search engine optimization. But do you have a strategy for developing content. Maki says you should and gives advice on how to create the right content strategy for you. When it comes to persuasive writing there’s no better teacher than Yogi Berra. Dean Ruck translates some well known Yogisms into solid business writing advice.

Search Engine News

Yahoo and Google are continuing to push into social media and both are integrating more of their properties. The New York Times looked at the two engines and how both are planning on turning email into a social network. AOL acquired question and answer service Yedda showing it’s not just the big two that can play in the social space.

Northeastern University sued Google over a database patent. The European Union opened a four month review of Google’s plans to acquire DoubleClick. On the other hand the senate might one day require government websites to be more searchable. Will it become law that the government needs to seo their sites?

Google released the SDK for Android and also offered a $10 million mobile development challenge. Now is probably a good time to download the SDK and start programming. Pat tells us that in the near future inline gadgets will no longer be supported by the Google Gadget API. Technically Firefox is not a Google product, but the two are clearly tied in many ways. The New York Times wants to know if those ties and the money Google gives to support the browser will ultimately spoil Firefox. Should we all switch over to Flock?

Content exclusion comes to AdWords making it easier to prevent your ad from showing on certain categories and pages in the content network. And when it comes to the content network Google redefined the clickable area of AdSense ads. No longer will a click on the background of an add result in a few cents for advertisers. Now it will take a click directly on the add title or URL

GoDaddy and Webmaster Tools teamed up to make it easier for those hosting with GoDaddy to get data from Google’s tools. This should help make more site owners aware of the valuable data.

Personalization isn’t just about search results. Dave covers another patent about how Google might personalize an ezine for you. Get the content you specifically want complete with ads personalized just for you.

Yahoo expanded its mobile reach with new partnerships with mobile operations in Asia as well as delivering compelling products and services for mobile users. Yahoo advanced its open source computing program by launching supercomputing cluster M45.

Bill discusses the ways Yahoo might determine which ads we’d be more interested in seeing in a look at behavioral targeting. Tamar points to a thread showing that Yahoo Search Marketing cares about its customers.

Yahoo finally settled the suit over jailed Chinese dissidents.

MSN/Live Search
How about getting to know some of the people who work for Microsoft? Eric Enge interviewed Ramez Naam, Rand interviewed Eytan Seidman, and Mel Carson shares a personal tale of getting involved at the beginning of adCenter’s deployment.

Who let Dave Naylor into the building? Dave tells us of his day and about product reviews. How might Microsoft organize their index? Bill looks at a recently granted patent covering how static ranking factors might influence whether a document is in the main index or in an extended index.

Live Search is now offering webmaster tools of its own. Find out where you stand when it comes to your Domain Rank and that other Rank. But come on Microsoft can we only access webmaster tools with a hotmail email address?

Are you tired of seeing the referrer spam Microsoft Live keeps sending. I know I am. I’m tired of seeing hundreds of supposed visits from Live Search that never happen. Microsoft claims it’s a test to improve search results and if you block their spiders you may no longer find your pages among those results for anything. I’m not the only one tired of seeing it as several people are claiming the referral spam is hurting income from AdSense and asking for Microsoft to give us more information about what’s really going on.

Last week I mentioned that IAC is splitting into several new divisions. Now Barry Diller is ready to buy AOL. Is Time Warner ready to sell?

I’m not entirely sure what the weather will bring to Boulder this weekend, but for a change I’ll be more focused on the chilly weather in New York. Tomorrow morning I begin the journey east and an overdue vacation. My apologies for a slower than usual week of blogging as I finsihed up the few projects that needed finishing this week. I’ll be turning the blog over to some guest posters for the next couple of weeks, but don’t be surprised if I drop in to say hi a time or two. I hope you have a good weekend and a good holiday wherever you are and whatever you do. Happy reading.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. Thanks David. I’ve thought about sharing the process before. I’m not sure it would fit with the usual roundup post since it would make a long post even longer, but maybe it’s time I dedicate a post to talking about how I put this together. I’ll see if I can add a little something to make it useful beyond the creating of the post.

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