This Week In SEO – 3/9/07

Every week I’ve been more and more amazed at how many links I collect in order to bring you this post. If I’ve counted correctly I’ve gathered 45 links here. That’s after dropping about 25 additional links in an effort not to be too overwhelming. Is it a good amount of links? Would less work better? Would more be fine?

This week I’ve grouped links into four popular topics, Social Media, Blogging, Personalized and Local Search, and general Search Engine News. Any topics you’d particularly like to see covered or should I continue to group them as I have been?

Social Media

Many people still question whether social media sites are nothing more than a fad. They may need to rethink that. This week mainstream media went social as USA Today debuted a new design complete with a user voting system on stories. Users can now also contribute photographs and reviews among other things. Reaction to the change was somewhat mixed, but it’s likely other mainstream sites will follow USA Today in adding more web 2.0 social features.

Already a major social media player MySpace is taking it up a notch with MySpace News. Launching early in the next quarter the news aggregator will be both algorithm and user rating based. It’s naturally being considered as competition to Digg, though the truth in that remains to be seen as it may prove to be something other than a Digg clone. Bear in mind that Fox Interactive owns MySpace.

StumbleUpon and Digg
As always there’s news about how to play the social media game and this week focused a little more on StumbleUpon. First Muhammad tells us what not to submit to SU, then Neil implores us to get more friends and take advantage of the built in features of StumbleUpon to get our content in front of those friends. Next Maki from Dosh Dosh has written a comprehensive guide to StumbleUpon including links to other SU resources. Of course what would social media be without something from Digg. Barry Schwartz provides that something with information on the down side of getting dugg.


Rand started the blogging conversation with a post on why corporate blogs fail and then Jordan McColluum followed throughout the week with posts on how and why corporate blogs could succeed.

The week wasn’t all about corporate blogging, though. Darren asked if charging for your content could work as a business model for a blog and Rand advised us not to blog in oversaturated markets. Amanda Watlington talks about a study on blog readership along with a link to the full report.

Last week when I asked if there was an optimal post length for blogs I referred to an informal survey at ProBlogger where the comments cited both too many and too few posts as a reason for unsubscribing. Darren followed up and this week asked how many posts were too many or too few. He’s also got some good advice about how to balance the beginner and advanced posts on your blog.

Personalized and Local Search

Personalized Search
I’m still a little mixed in my view of personalized search. As an SEO I like it since it will lead to more emphasis on creating better sites and ultimately make spam seo more difficult. As an end user I’m still not convinced personalized search will offer me a better experience. My own feelings aside here are a couple of articles about link building when it comes to personalized search along with some pros and cons of personalized search from an end user perspective

Local Search
Talk of local search seems to be picking up weekly and while still not mainstream it is increasingly becoming a space for small businesses to compete. Greg Sterling begins the links with a local site out of Boston called CitySqaures and then Barry Schwartz and Greg talk about some new features for Google Local Business Center. Last night I discussed how AskCity is shaping local search.

Last but far from least in local search this week, Bill Slawski has gone through a collection of Google patents to create the Google Local Search Glossary. It’s truly an impressive work from Bill. You can read the full version on his SEO By The Sea site or catch the pocket version at Search Engine Land. Even if you opt for the pocket version do yourself a favor and bookmark the unabridged version of the glossary.

Search Engine News

Link Update
Both Yahoo and Google appeared to update link counts this week and Barry Schwartz was on top of both updates. Barry was posting on the Google update all week and I’ve left you with the last of the posts, which includes links to the earlier posts from the week if you want to follow the story as it progressed.

Yahoo! Go, Yahoo’s mobile search will now come preloaded on HTC Windows mobile phones stepping up search on mobile platforms a bit. Kevin Newcomb tells us the word is positive on Panama, which is causing Yahoo’s market share to rise again slightly. Yahoo! added social networking features to Yahoo! Answers and is also going more web 2.0 with a new version of the MyYahoo personalized homepage. I briefly gave the new portal a test drive last night and it looks to be an improvement on the current MyYahoo homepage.

MSN Live Search
Christopher Payne, corporate vice president for Microsoft Live Search, leaving the company sparked Danny Sullivan to write a history of search at Microsoft, which he followed with some corrections after hearing from former Microsoft search chief Bill Bliss. Both are an interesting read of what Redmond has done with search, mistakes they’ve made along the way, and where they are now.

Attacking the Engines
If you can’t beat them attack them seems to be the new strategy for search engines. Last week it was Yahoo! criticizing Google’s user interface. This week Microsoft is attacking Google over copyright infringement. It wasn’t just the search leader that was under fire though. Ask CEO Jim Lanzone was on number two Yahoo! calling their paid inclusion hypocritical. I guess we can’t all just be friends.

And so we come to the end of another week. This marks the 4th episode of ‘This Week in SEO” and I’m curious what you think. Do you find the coverage of the week’s events useful? What do you think about the general topics for the stories? I’ve mostly let the topics form as I collect links, but they do tend to fall into a handful of similar categories. Are there specific categories of articles you’d like me to look for? I’d be happy to hear what you think so far of ‘This Week In SEO” in general as well as any suggestions you have for making it a more useful resource. Thanks.

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  1. I’m kind of torn on the whole personalized SEO issue myself, but if and only if personalized search results are used in aggregate to generate non-personalized search results.

    Some interesting stuff in that regard over at SEO Buzzbox (big up yaself, Aaron Pratt…and big up yaself for taking down a spammer, too.)

  2. I’m still riding the fence on personalized search too. There are some things about it that I can see helping the majority of searchers and some I think will actually make searching for new things harder to do. From the seo side it doesn’t bother me at all. It seems like it will only help push the idea of building quality sites as the way to succeed.

    My big issue with it is if it’s used too much we may all start to see an ever shrinking corner of the web as we get inundated with sites we visit more often. I search to find new sites not the ones I’m already familiar with and know how to navigate. At the moment Google is only using personalized results 1 in 5 searches I think and at most 2 personalized results will replace others in the top 10 results and never the #1 result. That’s fine with me.

    One thing I feel certain about is that personalization in search is here to stay. Google is betting on it and I’m guessing the other engines will follow before too long if they haven’t already started.

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