This Week In SEO – 11/2/07

No more baseball. With all the recent baseball dedications I’m at a loss for a dedication. Google for their $700+ stock price? Nah, How about I devote today’s This Week In SEO post to you. Sound ok? My way of saying thanks for coming by and checking out the links and making your way through one very long resource post week after week. In honor of you feel free to leave comments about what you like and dislike about these roundup posts. I’m always listening, but in honor of you I’ll listen a little more this week.

As always there’s more at my profile and just for kicks there’s even a little more at my StumbleUpon profile. Two profiles for the price of none. You can’t beat that. Now on with the show.

Social Media

Is social media part of your marketing strategy? If not why? Maki has some great arguments why you should be learning and mastering social media marketing. If this doesn’t convince you I’m not sure what will. For those of you already trying your hand at social media marketing Chris Garret shares the secret for success. Sure your content is important, but in the end it’s a popularity contest. MarketingSherpa would like to see you do well on Facebook. They have tips for creating a better profile and extending your network to build your brand. Let’s not forget that social media sites are more than marketing vehicles for you. They’re also useful for end users. Michael Gray shows how StumbleUpon is making better recommendations than the search engines.

Are you microblogging yet? Skellie tells you how microblogging can help you develop the skills to make you a better blogger. That seems like a good reason to me so maybe it’s time to join Twitter. But where to begin? Caroline Middlebrook has put together the big juicy Twitter guide to get you and me started.

I know. I know. You want to make the front page of Digg. Chris has ideas for tuning your content specifically for diggers. Laura Milligan has put together a collection of resources and turned them into a Digg toolbox. Tools, scripts, and tutorials to help you make better use of the site. But please whatever you do stop spamming Rebecca. Send out one shout if you must, but then leave her alone.


The biggest news in social media this week was OpenSocial. Google is announcing a new set of APIs to allow developers to build widgets and gadgets and apps (oh my!) across the social graph. Develop an app for LinkedIn and have it automatically work on MySpace. Great news for developers. Bad news for Facebook, which seems to be the one social network that’s not allowed to play with the others.


Maybe you blog just for the fun of it. Chances are you’d like to make some money from your efforts. If so then you need to treat your blog like a business and develop a content strategy for achieving your goals. Ben and Maki both offer advice on the big picture to help you make money through your blog. Brian Clark discusses five stages of reader awareness to show you how to indirectly sell through your blog. Darren knows that part of building your blog is about getting other bloggers to help you out. I’m sure Darren gets a lot of requests and this week he offers advice on the best way to pitch to bloggers.

Recently many bloggers have been arguing against quantity posting in favor of quality posting. Lisa talked about why you shouldn’t just phone it in and tells you to blog like the person you are and not some robotic cyborg. Skellie discusses the issue in terms of value blogging. Offer posts that help your readers become better at what they do. If you do feel the need to blog every thought you have you can sign up with a microblogging site like Twitter or Tumblr or maybe it’s time to add a sideblog to your blog. A sideblog is a mini blog that sits in your sidebar and Michael has the details of why you might want to incorporate a sideblog and why you might not want to incorporate one.

We all make mistakes including errors in punctuation and grammar. Daniel walks through six common errors so we can avoid them in the future. How important is proper grammar?. Isn’t the important thing to communicate effectively? Isn’t that what grammar is designed to do in the first place. Skellie wants to know if you’re writing with clarity and she has some ideas on how you can structure your posts to ensure people are understanding what you’re trying to tell them.

Grokdotcom put together the ultimate cheat sheet for copywriting with links to resources for nearly every type of copywriting you might do. There’s so much good stuff here that Michelle decided to let you know why all these different aspects of copywriting are important.

Design And Development

Skellie knows that our attention is consistently taxed and we only have so much to give. She also knows the key question your site must answer if you want to keep that attention. Is there a best way to present content regardless of the topic? Skellie also has some ideas on how to create the beautiful post. Michael knows you want people reading your content. His readers think it’s the most important aspect of design. Not one to argue with his audience Michael decided to give them and you 30 ways to improve the readability of your content.

If you visited here last week you surely noticed this site wasn’t behaving all that well. Hardware failures on the server turned last weekend into a lost couple of days. Chris Winfield tells you why need to keep it up. Your hosting that is. Kevin Muldoon has advice on reducing the load on your server that WordPress creates. And if you have to take your server offline for any length of time you may want to return a 503 error. Barry points to a Google Group thread discussing the issue.

Shari Thurow thinks ‘search usability’ is mostly misunderstood and she set out this week to correct that. Dr. Pete recently changed domains and was admittedly a bit nervous. Fortunately he recorded his experience and turned it into an experiment in 301 redirects. Site structure plays an important role in optimization. Justilien says it also influences link building. One way to help readers and spiders find your content is through a site map. Stoney has nine tips for how to build yours.

Paid Links

And you thought people were going to stop talking about Google’s latest reaction to paid links. Yeah, neither did I and I expect they’ll keep talking. A few things I know for certain about the issue. Google doesn’t want you buying and selling links that manipulate their algorithm. They’ve sent out warnings and will likely do more. And no matter what any of us thinks they aren’t going to change their minds. Once again here’s some of the chatter about the issue.


Should you follow Google’s guidelines? You should definitely know them. Wendy Piersall decided to find out if the guidelines really mattered. She looked at four general rules of the guidelines and compared them to the rules sites apparently followed in the results. So I ask again. Should you follow Google’s guidelines? Eric Enge noticed that old time spam tactics might still work, though he’d advise not to use them. And Shoemoney shows that sometimes the goal isn’t to spam Google, but rather to use Google to spam others.

Maybe what we all need is a return to the basics of seo. Lee Odden reviews the basics, walking those wanting to do their own seo through a list of things to consider. Aaron Wall published quite a few seo videos this week. I couldn’t decide which ones I liked most (they’re all good) so instead of trying to choose I’ll just send you to Aaron’s video page where you can find out where you can get them all. And Stoney runs through 10 useless worries we sometimes get caught up in and why we need to stop worrying about them.

Yuri looked at the words we use on our sites. He has advice for which words to use, where they should be used, and how often you should use them. Donna reviewed five heatmap solutions you can use to analyze your site. I’ve only recently looked at heatmap data, but it’s interesting stuff and can reveal a lot of things about how people are using your site. And with all the hubbub (how many of you used the word hubbub this week, huh? How many?) over link buying Debra Mastaler asks is it time to change your linking attitude.

Business And Marketing

You shouldn’t aspire to be a commodity. Aaron discusses the theory of selling commodity services and explains why you’re better off adding value. Learn how he increased the worth of two domains in less than two months by investing in both himself and the sites. One way to increase the value of a domain is simply to buy a good one and wait. Seth did some thinking about domains this week to discover why some domains are worth as much as they are. I think it’s safe to say we’re all familiar with the domain. Matt says they’re the seo-smartest retailer online. Of course not all businesses understand how to operate online. Michael Gray shares a story to show why some retailers are just not getting it.

Are offline media relations dead? Jennifer Mattern doesn’t think so. Andy Beal probably agrees, but he’s also someone who makes good use of social media. Andy has some good tips to manage your online reputation and avoid a Google reputation nightmare. And Jennifer Laycock offers four lessons in reputation management through a story about a small town grocer.

There’s no denying that marketing plays off human psychology. Dave went all the way back to an Aristotle quote and looked at seven aspects of human nature from a marketing perspective. Making anonymous visitors real is one of the ideas behind developing personas. A Cre8asite thread discusses personas in a way that’s approachable even if the last sentence was the first time you encountered the term. Personas can help you increase conversions. So can testing. Eric Enge talks about split and multivariate testing in another easily approachable post on a complex topic. Jon Miller has advice on lead management for those times when conversions aren’t enough.

Search Engine News

Natural language search engine Hakia is going social by adding a way to meet others searching for the same things you are. One of the difficulties that face search engines is how to determine what a user really wants. Search quality is often dependent on the intention of the query and two users typing the same query could easily be looking for different results. Steve Haar compared results across engines to understand which one might be better based on what you’re looking for. I was surprised to learn that Google showed more product related results for a Trek mountain bike search, while Yahoo and Live produced more informational results.

Gmail will be rolling out changes over the next few weeks to allow for more interaction between components. The tighter integration might be part of Google’s Maka-Maka effort to build a social layer across all of it’s applications. Some of the details about Maka-Maka in regards to Google Reader came out in a leaked Google video. Pat has a rundown on Google Gadgets on Blogger and Bill covered ranking factors for Google Earth Videos and other objects.

Did Google remove the negative keyword tool or did they relocate it? Many thought the tool gone, but it looks like they just relocated it in the interface.

Google owns a lot. But do they own the whole world? Of course they don’t. In fact Shoemoney says a big part of their success is that they don’t own the products that make them the most money. It’s one of the reasons Shoe doesn’t think we’ll ever see a Gphone, but perhaps we’ll see a Google funded OS on a phone. It’s more their style. One of the products Google doesn’t own, but is allied closely with is Firefox. Does that create a conflict of interest? And if it does will the Opera browser be next?

You can now tell Google what geographic location to associate with your site. Town Hall might be a little too specific, but Google has been sending speakers to FTC town hall meetings on behavioral advertising and privacy. While not solely related to Google, privacy advocates are calling for a ‘Do Not Track’ Registry similar to the current ‘Do Not Call’ registry in principle. In spite of concerns Google cleared another hurdle in the proposed acquisition of DoubleClick.

Yahoo stock continues to climb while Yahoo executives continue to leave the company.

Perhaps due to all the hubbub (that’s twice now) about Google’s battle over link buying the news about the most recent Yahoo algorithm update has gone largely unnoticed. I’ve seen a slight increase in Yahoo traffic recently and a slightly larger increase in Yahoo usage in my browser. Bill discussed an interesting Yahoo patent about using the anchor text pointing to pages in one set of search results to uncover sets of related query terms. And while the ability to block domains within Yahoo Search Marketing is generally seen as a good thing, some are thinking it’s only encouraging Yahoo to be lazy in who they accept as publishers for displaying ads.

MSN/Live Search
adCenter was upgraded last weekend to include new editorial, campaign management, and reporting features. The beta for project Gastineau Web Analytics launched. I signed up, but am still waiting for the invite. And if you haven’t checked out Live Maps yet, now may be the time. The Live Search blog has 10 reasons why you’ll love the new Live Search Maps.

IAC reported 3rd quarter earnings with seeing some very large growth. Ask is also working with Dell to design custom servers around specific application needs in part to reduce power consumption.

As hard as it is for me to believe the weekend will contain no baseball for the first time in over six months. What’s a seamhead like me to do? Watch football of course and maybe combine some light work with some heavy relaxation. The weekend looks to be nice and crisp. Very fall like, which works well since that’s the current season. After last weekend’s server crash I’m mostly looking forward to a quiet weekend with no problems. I hope you enjoy the weekend wherever you are and whatever you do. Happy reading.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. The $700+ share price is insane. It’s keeping pace with gold lately … can anyone say bubble? I mean they’re fairly popular outside the webmaster market; gmail is a great service, they’ve got free online competitors to all of Office … but the share price is hugely overvalued. I used to work for a company that would split every time their share price hit $100 to give investors the sense they weren’t a dangerous bubble waiting to pop.

  2. I wonder how high the price will go? A few weeks ago (when the stock hit $600) there were some jokes about the stock price hitting $2,000. Maybe that’s not so unrealistic. You wonder why they don’t split, but there is a certain something to seeing your stock price so high.

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