This Week In SEO – 4/6/07

Midweek I saw someone call it a slow news week for the world of search. Somehow I managed to collect as many if not more links than usual and even added a new category of links. Go figure. In non-related search news Major League Baseball officially got under way this week, which is a something worthy of a holiday to me. We also had some Aprils Fool’s jokes to start off the week some of which worked and some not so much.

As always there’s plenty of news to get to. Enjoy and good reading.

Social Media

Will social media affect the 2008 presidential elections? While it won’t count for anything, MySpace will be holding primaries a few weeks before the real primaries start. People do have a tendency to vote with their peers so this could be very interesting, even more so since large numbers of unregistered voters will be able to make their opinions known. The candidates all have their profiles and are building networks of friends. It’ll be interesting to see if the MySpace results affect the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries and the campaigns in general.

If you’re still unsure of the benefit of social media marketing Cameron Olthuis has a rundown on four different ways you can profit through social media. Moderator Skore has started an excellent thread on how to get started with Digg at the Cre8asite forums and Lee Odden makes the point that there’s a difference between general linkbait and baiting social media communities.

I still haven’t spend any time with Twitter, but fad or not it’s probably something to pay attention to. MG Siegler talks about some tools to help get your content on Twitter. Of course if you could only get on one social media front page it’s probably Digg. Muhammad has the story of the latest company trying to game Digg by buying and selling diggs. StumbleUpon has redesigned their home page adding features like most popular topics and now is as good a time as any to join. Closing out social media this week Chris Sherman interviews Garret Camp, founder and chief architect of StumbleUpon


Darren Rowse has some good advice on turning long posts into a series of posts to lead off the blogging links for this week. Lorelle VanFossen shares some ideas to improve your writing and Brian Clark has a four-step process to make your writing better. I know the world of search can seem like a very male dominated community, but there are a lot of very good women bloggers out there. Danny Sullivan gives a rundown of who some of them are.

Can you talk blogging without mentioning Technorati? Not this week. David Sifry’s reported on the state of the blogoshpere, though earlier in the week he reported on the state of Technorati itself. Robert Scoble asked which blog search was the best and Maki looked to answer the question by comparing Technorati and Google Blog Search. And finally Bill Slawski tells us about a Technorati patent detailing ways they might detect spam signals.

Online Business

Aaron Wall forced me to create a new category this week with some excellent posts on the aspects of your site you should invest in and how to evaluate different markets. If advertising forms a part of your business model or your marketing you’ll want to see what Marketing Experiments found out when they tested online ads. Search Engine Roundtable points to a couple of High Rankings threads and adds some further thoughts on the study. Last, but not least Yuri has some interesting thoughts on using a personal approach with your customers and clients to improve your relationship with them.

Link Building

Neil Patel takes us into link building with some some tips for getting links through interviews. Benjamin Pfeiffer then asks the question of whether or not to outsource your link development. He also links to the Webmasterworld thread where the question was initially raised. Link building is all about the quality and Eric Enge tells us how to get links from authority sites. When it comes to garnering links one thing to keep in mind is that you have more than one audience for your content. Michael Gray continues the discussion that Rand started on the ‘linkerati’ and was nice enough to include Rand’s whiteboard video in his post.

SEO Miscellany

I mentioned it a few days ago, but wanted to include the link again. I’m talking about version 2 of SEOmoz’s Search Engine Ranking Factors. If you only click one link on this page then this is the one you should click. Want to know why the search engines use all those factors? Aaron Wall gives a good look at the cat and mouse game search engines and marketers play. Do you have trouble deciding which keywords to target when optimizing your site? Cameron is back with a tip to use PPC, specifically Google AdWords, to help you determine which are the keywords you should target.

Search News

The biggest Google news this week was the deal with DISH network to begin serving Google ads. Google’s foray into print and radio hasn’t taken off as I’m sure they would have liked, but the deal with EchoStar gives Google a lot of credibility and a nice lead in to making headway with television advertising. As you would expect there was plenty of discussion and speculation on the deal.

In other Google news Chris Boggs discusses two Webmasterworld threads that wonder if having fresher content gives you a boost in the SERPs. Speaking of freshness AdSense ads are getting an improved look based on some recent tests. In addition to ads on the publisher network the top ads on search results will now sit on a yellow background instead of the blue one we’ve grown familiar with. Maps have been given an upgrade with the addition of the My Maps mashup and after two years Google has finally settled it’s copyright case with Agence France-Presse.

Yahoo began testing a new customized search engine called Alpha, which will search several Yahoo properties as well as allow users to add their own search services. It’s being compared to Google’s Co-op and OneBox and Ask’s Smart Answer. It’s probably too early to tell exactly what it will develop into and naturally Yahoo Alpha is currently in beta.

Bill Slawksi discussed some Yahoo patents in a couple of posts this week. The first is about tagging content with Yahoo’s Y!Q. There are a lot of different ideas with this patent and I like them all. It’s definitely worth a read and Bill’s made it easy to digest. The other post also involves tagging, but this time for podcasts and other media. Bill has pulled information from twelve new Yahoo patents for this one.

Yahoo also began blocking YPN ads outside of the US, most notably in India, to combat click fraud. On Tuesday they announced a Weather Report, which means changes in search results and yesterday gave fair warning that they were reducing the number of characters you can use in ad descriptions.

Last week I linked to some posts that told of MSN UK pre-filling search boxes with what appeared to be thinly disguised advertisements. Microsoft listened to complaints and after a little musing put an end to the experiment. I think they deserve some accolades for listening to their users. It wasn’t all about removing things, though. Live Maps added some new features and Greg Sterling has the coverage.

Ask makes it back to “This Week” this week. First with a patent mention about mapping user queries to answers in what strikes me a lot how Google is using search history in Personalized Search. The main difference is Ask will look across users instead of at one user specifically. Next are a couple of posts about Ask’s guerrilla marketing campaign to take some users away from Google. And last is some negative reaction to the campaign especially over Ask’s use of AdWords as part of its campaign in the UK.

Yahoo offered their weather report so I’ll close the week as I often do with one of my own. Once again Boulder is being hit with some not so nice weather. We’ve had freezing rain all day that may or may not turn into snow at some point. I know it’s not just Boulder though as I’ve heard several MLB games were canceled today due to weather. Looks like it’ll be a weekend inside for me, but it is still a weekend. Enjoy yours wherever you are and hopefully the weather is better in your part of the world.

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  1. Adam – The Jays look good after the first week of the season, but I think you have to wail till at least the end of April before seeing how the standings are shaping up.

    Thanks Yuri. I’ve been trying to make these posts a useful resource to save people some time having to read everything out there. There’s no substitution for keeping up with your own reading, but hopefully I can help save some time here and there. And did you notice I linked to one of your articles this week?

  2. We also played Tampa Bay. I’m not judging anything until we play some real teams. We looked good against Detroit, but let’s see what happens vs. New York and Boston (particularly the latter).

  3. True and you really have to wait till the end of April at least to see how the season is shaping up. Before you get more worried about the Red Sox than the Yankees see how they both look in a few weeks. I think the Yankees have stabilized their starting pitching this year. Still plenty of question marks, but it looks like one of the better rotations they’ve had for a few years. Of course that’s all on paper and in my own biased point of view being a Yankee fan.

    The Red Sox look good too though. Their staff could develop into one that scares me. I’m expecting it to be another close race. I get the feeling the Jays are still a bit away. They didn’t really improve much this offseason the way they did last year. They’re close, but I think there are still a few missing pieces.

    But who cares. It’s April and we’re talking baseball. It doesn’t get much better.

  4. Wow, there are a lot of links that you have put in your blog is truly useful for review purposes. Well, i think Red Sox have the upper hand to edge its competitors.

  5. Thanks and glad you find the links useful. I’ve been trying to collect as many as I can during the week and then posting them here. I usually start with about twice as many and cut them down to around 50 or so.

    I guess a Yankee fan like me can’t catch a break here. Everyone is rooting for the Red Sox or the Blue Jays. Anyone, but the Yankees apparently.

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