This Week In SEO – 3/16/07

It’s Friday and that means another installment of “This Week In SEO.” Some of you may know why I specifically chose “This Week In SEO” as a name for these link posts, but I’m guessing most of you may not. The title fits naturally enough as the links are all from the week since the last post and with a few exceptions here and there will all be about something SEO related. But there’s a little more to it. I’m a very big baseball fan and grew up watching the Mel Allen show weekend mornings called “This Week In Baseball.” The reference to the show was an obvious choice for me. And now on to the links and the articles from this week in seo.

Social Media

Muhammad gets us started this week with an article about Explode!, which lets you connect to friends regardless of which social network they belong to. 2006 saw the rise of social networks. Expect 2007 to see some big growth in vertical social networks and Chad Stoller has some advice on finding the best networks for your site. Speaking of vertical social networks how about one for us SEOs. We all know Digg hates us, but so what. Carsten Cumbrowski tells us about BUMPZee, the social community for social marketers.

If you still need convincing that social media is becoming an indispensable part of SEO, Cameron Olthuis has a few ideas on how social media marketing can help SEO and Enid Burns cites a JupiterResearch report to show more marketers are making use of social media. And if you weren’t sure which social network site is still the biggest, Loren Baker reminds us it’s MySpace hands down.


Remember all the stories about corporate blogging last week. Jordan McCollum finished up this week when she asked what do you look for in a blog? Darren Rowse finds inspiration in the golden arches for growing up with your readers as your blog evolves. Muhammad makes an important point about making yourself transparent on your blog in not forgetting to include a bio page and revealing more about yourself. Darren is back with a post asking readers which blogging tools they use. You’ll want to read through the long list of comments to find some of the tools others are using. Finally Andy Beal highlights an interview Dan Rather gave in which he gives his stamp to blogging. Andy then talks about the gray area between journalism and blogging, which he thinks is the best to blog in. I do too.

Link Building

If you’re like me you’re always looking for ideas on how to get more links. There was a lot of good advice on the subject this week. Neil Patel starts with a tip on making your design attract links. Sticking with the design theme Cameron suggests creating WordPress themes and giving them away to get some good links.

Loren Baker offers some advice on directories and then points us to for some local networking. If you think links and Eric Ward doesn’t come to mind then you haven’t been paying attention. Eric had some odds and ends style tips over at Search Engine Land this week.

The last two posts are my favorite link building posts for the week. Rand has an interesting post complete with graphs about how search engines might be tracking trends in both content and link growth as a way to measure a site’s footprint. And perhaps the best post on link building all week comes from Sugarrae’s group interview. Pay attention to this one.


I found a few good articles on copywriting this week. Tom Chandler shows us that Yahoo’s hot jobs cites copywriters as one of the hottest professions for 2007. Given the importance of content when it comes to SEO I think that will continue. Michael Fortin has advice on targeting your perfect customer in your copy, since your customer is the most important part of your copy. It’s hard to talk about copywriting without mentioning Brian Clark and CopyBlogger. Brian’s been a little quiet over the last couple of weeks, but he closed out the week rewriting some real headlines along with his rationale for the rewrite. Great stuff if you want to improve your headlines and titles. Brian should also be adding more on the subject over the weekend so check in on CopyBlogger.

Personalized, Mobile, & Local Search

Early in the week Irish Wonder found an interesting new feature when using personalized search. Bill Slawski has a couple of interesting posts citing patents as always on how search engines can track us through personalization and offer recommendations and more targeted ads. Bill’s not the only one who can look at patents though. Mad4 Mobile Phones takes a look at a Google patent on predicting what you want to search for based on your location and the time of day among other things.

Finally Greg Sterling tells us how Microsoft is accelerating mobile search with its acquisition of Tellme as well as answering the question ‘how much is local search really worth?’

Search Engine News

You’d naturally expect most of the search engine news to be about Google and this week is no exception. Early in the week saw Matt Cutts talking about search results from other search engines showing up in Google results and asking webmasters to noindex these pages. I’ve included a couple of follow up pieces to Matt’s post from Barry Schwartz and Danny Sullivan.

Next on the Google watch were some articles on how Google is testing video ads for TV.

Google and video should make you think of YouTube and the big news this week with YouTube is that Google is being sued by Viacom over copyright violations. Copyright infringement has been a time bomb waiting to happen since before Google purchased YouTube last summer. You may need to sign up for the last link at the New York Times.

Closing out the Google news are three articles on different subjects. First is the loss Google took in promoting Google Checkout last year. Next is some news regarding the placement of AdSense ads on ‘thank you’ and 404 error pages. Last, but not least is the change in the way Google Webmaster tools now shows complete anchor text instead of just single keywords in the anchor text. Another nice new feature from the Webmaster Central team.

The Yahoo! news is focused on Panama with two articles about the quality score. One explaining how the algorithm works and one asking if it’s possible to get a perfect score. The third article this week is a nice tip to export your AdWords campaign and import them into Panama. Sure to be a very useful tip for anyone looking to quickly build campaigns in Panama.

The adCenter blog has an article about upgrading to Content Ads, the new contextual advertising offering from Microsoft. And then we have two articles about a Steven Ballmer interview which mocks Google, accusing them of growing too fast and comparing Google today to what Microsoft was in the 80’s and 90’s.

Ask may currently be behind the big three search engines, but it seems to be slowly and surely gaining market share. First this week is an article by Danny Sullivan about Ask guerrilla marketing campaign against Google in the United Kingdom. They don’t specifically name Google in their ads, but it’s clear who they mean. Danny posts again with more info about the campaign with comments from Ask CEO Jim Lanzone about how the campaign is meant to be all in good fun. Finally is an interview with Gary Price the director of online information resources at Ask as given by Eric Enge.

That wraps up another week of “This Week In SEO.” I hope you have a good weekend. Enjoy reading some of the articles above, but remember to get outside too since it is the weekend after all.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. Thanks Bill. I’m glad you’re liking the look back. I always notice a few people checking out the post since I link to theirs, but you’ve been the first every week. I’m wondering if I just time it right for you each week or if you’re like me and online almost all the time.

    I’m going to try to guess you’re team. You’re in one of those areas though where it could be a couple. I’m going to guess you’re a Phillies fan, but you might also be a fan of the Orioles or Nationals given where you live. Then again you really could be a fan of any team. If you are a Phillies or an O’s fan I was at the last Series game they played in 1983. Saw the O’s clinch in game 5 at the Vet. Only World Series game I’ve been to.

    I’m originally a New Yorker with a long family tradition of rooting for one team, which should tell you which team that is.

    I have heard about the weather out East. A friend of mine in Boston is probably out plowing right at this very moment and I saw there have been more canceled flights at JFK. Here in Boulder we’re finally getting some nice weather after a long winter so I think I might be able to get out on the bike this weekend and get some exercise for a change .

  2. Big fan of This Week in Baseball, here. I’m really enjoying your weekly looks back, and thankful that you’ve been including some posts from me.

    This isn’t shaping up to be a good weekend to be outdoors on the east coast. :(

  3. I’m online most of the time. :)

    My little league playing days were spent in Cincinnati, and the sons of some of the Reds were in the same league as me. The manager’s daugher was in the same grade, and classes, as my sister. I’ve tried to follow them since, and the Web makes it easier. (If you’ve been following along with spring training news, you’ve probably seen the Josh Hamilton story unfolding. The Cincinnati Reds blogs have been referring to him as Roy Hobbs. Be something incredible if he were to have a good year.)

    I’m exactly halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia, and have been to a few Phillies games (they play the Reds). People were dancing in the streets of town during that world series game you mention. I’ve been meaning to catch an Orioles game, and I’ve vowed to do that sometime this year.

    No biking out here this weekend.

  4. I had a feeling it was that being online most of the time thing.

    You picked a good team to root for. If I’m not mistaken the Reds were the first professional baseball team, though they were the Red Stocking back then. Which manager was it? I haven’t been following all the spring training news, but I have heard mention of Josh Hamilton. I saw a story on him last summer on ESPN. I think he was with the Devil Rays organization had all the talent in the world and then got hooked on drugs. I think the story came out just after he’d cleaned himself up and applied for reinstatement. It’s a pretty amazing story.

    The Series in 1983 was my freshmen year of college and I was going to Drexel University in Philadelphia. We were in the dorm watching the NLCS and it was clear by the 5th inning that the Plillies were going to win. A bunch of us took the subway down to the Vet and waited a couple of hours for the tickets to go on sale. We sat way out in right field and if you can believe it the tickets only cost $25 at the time.

    My grandfather grew up watching Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and later Joe Dimaggio. He passed his love of the Yankees on to his three daughters who grew up watching Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford and they pass the tradition on to me back in the mid 70’s.

    All the baseball stats come in handy for looking through web analytics don’t they?

    I’d like to tell you I feel sympathy for the bad weather, but we had so much more snow this winter than usual for here that I’m just enjoying the nice weather. It’s not unusual for us to get a big storm in Boulder as late as early May so I’m still expecting to wake up to a few feet of snow one of the next few weeks.

  5. The Reds do have a pretty long history, and I was pretty young and impressionable back when we would go see the Big Red Machine – Bench, Morgan, Rose, Foster, Perez. Sparky Anderson was the manager. About six months after we moved away from Cincinnati, my sister called our old phone number on a whim, and Sparky’s daughter picked up the phone. I was pretty tempted to call Sparky and ask him about the team.

    The Washington Post has a great writeup on Josh Hamilton – New Life at the Plate. It’s long, but a great story.

    I was at the University of Delaware during the ’83 series – the exact halfway point between Philadelphia and Baltimore. There were a lot of reporters hanging around to see which way the sentiment of the fans swayed, and hundreds of folks littering mainstreet after the last game of the series celebrating.

    We lived in New Jersey after moving from Cincinnati, and there was always a ball game on, between the Mets, the Phillies, and the Yankees. One of the best ball games I’ve ever seen live was a Yankees – Whitesox game, with a final score of around 11-9, and six or seven lead changes. The Yankees lived up to the Bronx Bombers nickname in that game. I seem to recall that it was Lou Piniella who won the game with a home run.

    Baseball can definitely turn you into a stat-head.

  6. The Big Red Machine was about the time I started getting into baseball. At the time I didn’t like them since they were usually the enemy. I remember the fight Pete Rose and Bud Harrelson got into at second base in the 73 playoffs. I was an impressionable kid then watching the game surrounded by Mets fans so Pete Rose wasn’t the good guy that day. What a great team though. It took a few years, but I was able to appreciate them much more from a distance. One of the best teams ever in the game.

    Thanks for the link. I just finished the article. I remember a lot of it from the ESPN story. I think they interviewed his grandmother or at least covered it since I remember that part clearly. What’s amazing is after all he’s gone through he’s still only 25. He can still get the 15 years in the majors like he originally wanted.

    That must have been interesting being at the mdway point in 83. I lived in Connecticut for a time and where I was you’d get a mix of Yankee and Red Sox fans. The good part for me was getting local tv from both New York and Boston so I could get more games.

    I don’t remember that specific game between the Yankees and White Sox, but I’ve see my share like them.

    I’m definitely a stat-head. My friends and I taught each other about the game by looking at the back of baseball cards. Someone would lay down a half dozen or so random cards and ask the other to place them in the order of career doubles. After awhile you just knew what the career stats were for just about every player in the game.

  7. Bleh. Reds, Phils, Orioles. If it doesn’t have Vernon Wells or Roy Halladay (the 2007 Cy Young Award winner…book it!), it’s not a real team.


    As far as Hamilton goes, he’s a great spring training story but for some reason, I’ve got the bad feeling it won’t have a happy ending. He’s got that Steve Howe vibe happening. Just a hunch.

  8. Adam, you’re still waiting for the return of Joe Carter. I’m seeing another 3rd place finish for your team north of the border. I’ll grant you Vernon Wells is probably the best outfielder in the AL East and I’ll give you Roy Halladay as a great pitcher. I need to see him healthy for a full year again before anointing him with the Cy Young trophy though. Of course I do hope his turn in the rotation never comes up when the Yankees are playing the Jays.

    I can understand thinking that of Josh Hamilton, but everything I’ve seen makes me think he’s different than Steve Howe. Hamilton seems like he was a naive kid who had never really been on his own. He found himself injured and bored and with a lot of money on his hands. He also fell into the wrong crowd. I can’t write the story for him, but he does seem different than many before him.

  9. The Google “warning” against allowing your own search results to be indexed is fascinating. That’s got to be one of the most irritating things in the digital world, to do a search and get a useless page with links to search results with your term, having nothing to do with it. I’ll be glad to see that crap gone. On the other hand, not all of this is spam.

    Is having a web site like driving a car, where the risks to the public ( or some other reason ) are so great that you shouldn’t be allowed do it until you’ve been trained and licensed? Or is it more like dating, where you put your best foot forward, and if you do a bad job, the punishment is failure instead of law?

  10. Forrest what are you doing bringing up seo right in the middle of a perfectly good conversation about baseball. What? This blog is about seo and not baseball? Ok you have me there.

    One thing about the search results not showing up in Google is I see that as Google’s responsibility and not mine. Think of the average user who adds a search script to their site, but isn’t an SEO and perhaps doesn’t know about adding noindex to a page. I agree it’s annoying to see a search results page within a search results page, but to me it’s still Google’s problem. They shouldn’t be relying on webmasters to take care of the problem If they do then I want Google to take care of my ranking problem.

    I think your dating metaphor is a better one. There really isn’t any public risk to poor search results. In fact all search engines could disappear tomorrow and the web will still survive quite well. For all we know in 20 years there will be a better way to find websites and web pages anyway.

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