This Week In SEO – 3/30/07

You might have noticed I have an affinity towards Vincent Van Gogh. The Yellow House was him home in Arles and also served as the subject of paintings and drawings. I’ve also borrowed Vincent’s last name to become vangogh in forums and other social media sites. On March 30th, 1853 Vincent was born and so let’s celebrate his birthday by dedicating today’s edition of This Week In SEO to him. If Vincent were alive today he’d be very, very old and probably not reading this. But we’ll wish him a happy birthday anyway. Happy Birthday Vincent. And now on with the show.

Social Media

Matt McGee kicks off the social media links this week with some advice on how small businesses can take advantage of social media with only a moderate investment in time and money. A Barron’s study showed MySpace is now generating over $30 million a month in advertising (yes $30 million, and yes per month) and Loren Baker took a look at the use of AdSense in generating part of that monthly sum.

Digg
Daniel Tynski is working on a series of posts for YOUmoz that will form a comprehensive guide to Digg and part 2 made its debut this week. Here’s a link to part 1, Anatomy of a Super Digg, in case you missed it. Muhammad offers up some tips to writing title tags for Digg and also points out a little known way to network through the site. MG Siegler has some ideas to make the comments on Digg more useful and Cameron tells us what brands are the most popular with diggers.

Blogging

Do you question that blogs can be a great tool for marketing? Then read MSNBC’s article to find out why you should be blogging. And if you still think people won’t read all the words you write think again. Poynter released an eye-tracking study that showed people are reading deeper online than they are offline, contrary to popular opinion.

I’ve always recommending hosting your own blog, but many people have been using Blogger to save the cost of hosting. If you’re one of them then you might want to listen to MG Siegler when he tells you how to give your Blogspot blog more credibility. And when you’re ready to move from Blogger to WordPress, Jordan McCollum (aka MamaBlogga) has the ultimate guide to help you migrate your blog.

Comment spam sucks, but since you’re going to get it you might as well learn something from it. Aaron Wall tells us how. Brian Clark shows how to make your blog remarkable with a Zen approach and then shows how to add a conversational tone to your writing. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how you could get free seo advice from SEO Clinic. The clinic’s second review arrived this week and it was a blog they reviewed. While much is focused on the one specific blog in the review, there’s still a lot of good advice to profit any blog.

Link Building

Transitioning from blogging to link building, Darren Rowse discusses how he’s generated links to ProBlogger over the years and Jennifer Laycock teaches how to use blog search engines to find sites that might link to you. Eric Ward thinks custom search engines offer an opportunity to get links and Eric Enge thinks reciprocal linking can still be a component of of your linking strategy as long as you do it right. And if you still need more ways to build links Brandon Hopkins has 66 ideas for you.

SEO Miscellany

Back to calling this space seo miscellany this week. Don’t worry I’ll settle on the category title one of these days.

It’s not good enough to build a brand and gain visibility online. You need to protect your reputation or you might be letting others control what associations are made with your company. Lee Odden has written the basics for this important part of marketing. Of course not everyone is taking the advice. 97th Floor points out that searching for the brands of Fortune 100 companies shows 29 of them allowing the results to be less than flattering.

Barry Schwartz pointed out a thread on Digital Point with optimization tips for images to pick up long tail search traffic. Barry also pointed out a Cre8asite thread with some tips on local search as well as a link someone posted in answer that leads to a guide on getting listed with local search engines and other local sites. Bill Slawski took an unscientific, albeit informative, look at how well local search engines could direct you to restaurants in different US cities. Since he’s an avid baseball fan Bill decided to use major league baseball as an example in discussing 302 redirects. Just a couple more days till the season starts for real Bill.

One more thread from Barry Schwartz about how Google might me giving more weight to site factors instead of page factors, though this time will give Barry the link. Skitzzo exposes the myth of guaranteed rankings on the SEO Refugee blog and Michael Gray writing for Search Engine Land has tips for writing headlines. Don’t expect an actual list with this one and I’m not really sure there are even 12 points. The title might make more sense after you read the article and the article is worth reading if you want to write better titles and headings.

Search News

Video search technology is improving and one of the new players to the game is a natural. TV Guide has been helping us decide what to watch for years and now they’ll be helping us online as well. They won’t be pointing out the best YouTube videos, instead TV Guide will be focusing on programming from major media.

Google
Pay-per-action is still dominating the Google news. Bill Slawski has a quick look at a patent about letting advertisers set the price of clicks, impressions, and actions. Shoemoney assures affiliate companies they have nothing to worry about with the new pay-per-action system. Greg Gershman takes a look at the opportunities PPA offers bloggers and Barry Schwartz adds a look at PPA from the publisher side.

Of course there’s more to Google than their new pay-per-action advertising model. Andy Beal has a reminder for Paypal that they should pay attention to Google Checkout and shows some screenshots of the new audio ads system. Greg Sterling and Danny Sullivan talk Google and mobile search to close out Google news.

Yahoo!
Yahoo may be #2 when it comes to online search, but they want to change that when it comes to mobile search. They released oneSearch for mobile and this week launched a mobile publisher network. In fact Google, now playing catch-up in the mobile arena, expanded features of their own mobile search, possibly as a result of the Yahoo announcement.

The mobile publishing network was the big Yahoo news, but it wasn’t the only news. Panama continues to get good reports and Yahoo simplified it’s SiteBuilder tool. Yahoo also announced they’re mail service will now come with unlimited storage and opened up mail web services to developers. Don’t look now, but Yahoo seems to be doing some good stuff lately, though I’d rather see them work on the speed of the mail system than worry about more storage.

MSN
The news wasn’t all rosy for MSN this week as Business Week wondered if stumbles in search could lead to a loss of more for Microsoft. Eric Enge has a follow up piece on MSN’s loss of market share and Kevin Newcomb says not to count Microsoft out just yet. In the UK MSN is pre-filling the search box with keywords in what may be a form of advertising. And midweek the MSN blog announced they had turned off some advanced query syntax so no more link: searches on MSN for now. It does sound like they’re planning on bringing it back before too long in a system more like Google’s Webmaster Tools or Yahoo’s Site Explorer. Let’s cut them some slack till we see what they come up with.

Another weekend is here. For those not familiar with Boulder we got some snow yesterday and may be in for a little more tomorrow. March and April are the snowiest months around here. It’s just as likely to be warm and sunny and I’m hoping it is since I’d like to get out on the bike if I can. Enjoy your weekend everyone, wherever you may be and whatever the weather may bring to you this weekend.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

2 comments

  1. Interesting links, as always, Steve.

    It’s good news about Google going in to beta with their PPA AdWords. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will effect both publishers and advertisers.

  2. Thanks Matt. I’m curious to see how it works too. I signed up for the program, but assume it will be awhile before I’m accepted. It does have the potential to reduce or even eliminate click fraud and I’m also interested in seeing how the program eventually develops.

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