This Week In SEO – 5/25/07

Friday seems to get here faster every week. Yeah, I know that’s not really possible, but the older I get the faster the days feel like they fly by. I’ve got the usual assortment of links and depending on where you live an extra day for you to read them. I’m going to mix in a little work over the holiday weekend, but I promise not too much. Happy reading.

Social Media

Do you think marketing your products on social media sites won’t work? Think again. comScore’s recent survey showed that 41% of 18-34 year olds are receptive to ads on social media sites. Not surprisingly the percentage drops as the population gets older and people still pay more attention to ads on TV. I’d expect that 41% to keep increasing in the coming years.

eMom, Wendy Piersall, has a very good rundown on some of the top social media sites, including what results you can expect and tips for succeeding. Making the front page is only half the equation, though. What happens when all those visitors from the social scene arrive at your site. Neil has an interesting post over at SEL about tweaking landing pages to appeal to social media visitors. After all do you need to tell visitors from Digg to digg your site? And if they’re not going to click on your ads anyway why show the ads to them.

Facebook made news late in the week by partnering with 65 companies who will build applications for the site. Sites like Microsoft, Amazon, Photobucket, and Slide will be able to add functionality to Facebook and for now keep any profits generated for themselves. It’ll be interesting to see if Facebook opens up the application development to the rest of us or if this will remain something only for known entities.

Should Digg be more transparent about who’s burying stories? I think so, as does MG who pointed to this petition in an effort to get Digg to open up. tom6a, in a post promoted to the SEOmoz blog, teaches us how to get traffic from comments on Digg even if you can’t get your own content to the front page. Christian Mezei calls attention to users getting banned from Digg because they were digging too often and too fast. Loren also has a take on the too often too fast bans. This could alienate diggers, but at least Digg is urging them to actually read posts before making a judgment on them.


Technorati got a face lift this week including a new look and new approach to displaying search results. Reviews were mostly positive, with the occasional mixed reaction here and there.

I came across a few good posts with ideas to improve your blog. Mathew Haughey starts us off with tips on running a successful community followed by John Wesley’s lessons learned on the way to success. Darren has a follow up with commentary and some lessons of his own. And finally Mani Karthik offers advice on making your blog sticky.

Link Building

Our first link building link is from late last week, but it was a slow week for link building on my feedreader. Jennifer Slegg discusses how to choose anchor text and also how to keep it looking natural. Debra O. Mastalar talks about starting your link building efforts by getting foundational links. Proving that Bill isn’t the only one in the industry looking at patents, Jake Lowrey learned some link building strategies from a Google patent. And Sage Lewis talks about making your link bait more baitable.

SEO Miscellany

Last week Google debuted Universal Search and this week the articles started on what the change means for search marketers.

I agree with Aaron Wall when he says information architecture is underrated. and I’ve talked in the past about using keyword themes in site architecture to reinforce your keywords. Glossaries about your subject can be great for your users, Barry points to a few of his own links and a Cre8asite thread so you can make them search friendly as well. Robin Nobles has an interesting post on the search benefits of user generated content.

It can be easy sometimes to get caught up in the miscellany of seo and forget the whole idea is generate profit for your business. Chris Boggs wrote about the difficulty of measuring ROI when it comes to SEO and also has some ideas on how we can better estimate the return. Patrick Sexton interviewed some marketing heavyweights and asked them how they would promote a site if they only had a few hundred dollars to spend. We also learn that Patrick is apparently the best looking man in the SEO community. Is it true though, if you declare that yourself?

As always Bill’s found some patents and provided informative coverage of them. Two of my favorites from the week are on using web traffic data and refining queries with category synonyms. Some of you may know I’m a big fan of Seth Godin and I’m certainly not alone. Chris Sherman interviewed Seth for Search Engine Land this week.

Business and Marketing

Shoemoney offered a series this week called tips for success (TFS). Here’s the third post in the series on knowing your goals for your site. The first TFS post was on having a good team and Neil, using AuctionAds as an example talks about why marketers need programmers.

Lee Odden has some tips on using site announcements, awards, and widgets to market your website and e-consultancy has five reasons email marketing is good for your business. Marketing Experiments looked at landing pages and found that having one clear objective is better than trying to have multiple objectives on your page.

Warner Brother’s has started a viral marketing campaign for Dark Night and Muhammed has been following the campaign. While Warner’s campaign might not work for every business I think a lot can be learned from seeing an example of viral marketing that so far seems to be working.

Search Engine News

The Register reported on Nielsen/NetRatings data and as you’d expect more searches are performed on Google than anywhere else. Nearly 3.8 billion Google searches were conducted in April. Just under 1.5 billion searches were done at Yahoo! and 612 million searches were done at MSN’s Live Search. Last week Fair Isaac’s report of 10%-15% clicks being click fraud made news. This week Fair Isaac backed off the numbers saying they were preliminary and based on a small smaple size that wasn’t statistically significant.

Rumor has it is the new company on Google’s radar and the two might be forming an alliance. The European Union is probing Google over privacy concerns about how they store search data.

Google did start a new blog this week in an effort to fight online security and Google Trends will now show the day’s hot topics that are being searched.

One of the biggest stories from Google this week actually began late last Friday when rumors of Google acquiring FeedBurner began to spread. Michael Arrington confirmed the deal on Wednesday along with the $100 Million price tag. Why does that price seem low to me? Maybe it’s just all the bigger deals that have happened recently.

Another big Google story started with a WebmasterWorld thread and a post on Jensense detailing emails that had been sent to some AdSense publishers. The emails were to inform them their accounts would be shut down on June 1st. Most of the publishers who received the email had MFA sites and many were engaged in click arbitrage leading to a lot of speculation about which was the main offense. I thought Shoemoney’s video on just the facts had the right perspective and I see this as more of a made for AdSense thing and sending low conversion clicks to advertisers.

Google news never really ends, but I’ll leave you with an Eric Schmidt interview on the future of search personalization and a post by Janet Driscoll Miller who’s wondering what exactly is Google’s business plan.

Barry Schwartz reported about a Yahoo weather report as Tuesday turned into Wednesday. The update was expected to bring minor changes and is to be finished later tonight. Aaron Wall observed there were very few forums posts about the weather report and wondered aloud if no one cares about Yahoo Search anymore.

Like Google, Yahoo has been involved with its own acquisitions recently. The latest rumor has then looking to buy the social network Bebo. Also like Google Yahoo has it’s own hot trends. Only it’s their Buzz Index and it’s been around for years. After hiring a new CFO this week Yahoo shares fell. Is morale falling with it? European advertisers will soon be able to use the new Panama advertising system, which might be either good news or bad news depending on point of view.

I’ll let Bill segue us into MSN with a Yahoo patent on dual Trustrank and how Yahoo might rerank search results for individuals based on their search profiles.

Completing the segue is Bill’s look at the MSN UserRank patent which considers user behavior in ranking pages much like the Yahoo patent above and a previous patent from Ask. The Microsoft/Yahoo deal is off as most predicted it would be. Naturally Microsoft made it known they never needed Yahoo to compete in the first place. They might not need Yahoo, but they do need something.

Microsoft is developing it’s own social networking site, Wallop and Muhammed gave it a spin after an invite and generally liked what he found. I don’t have an invite at the moment, but from the screen shots the interface looks very nice.

Ask seemed to be on everyone’s mind this week. Jordan links to a variety of blogs speculating about what’s ahead for Ask and Kevin Newcomb offers more links while asking what Ask should do. Jordan was back with a link to an interview with Ask CEO Jim Lanzone who apparently says “it isn’t about beating Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo!” Huh?

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. marking the unofficial start of summer. Two days ago it was in the low 50’s here in Boulder, but the weather is unofficially cooperating with the holiday weekend. I’ll be enjoying the next three days with at least one customary bbq, though I’m not looking forward to the trip to the supermarket. Hopefully I can get there early enough tomorrow and beat the rush.

Enjoy the weekend everyone whether it’s a holiday or not in your part of the world.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. Now Pat, how did I know that would be your answer to the question. I liked the interviews as you can tell. I thought the answers everyone gave were interesting and useful and also showed some insight into each of their thinking about how they approach a site and what they think most valuable.

    Glad you liked the roundup.

  2. Thanks for all of this extremely valuable links to even more deeper reads. Just when I think I have a handle of some good sites I now have to add yours to keep me up to date on good resources to continue my quest online.

    Thanks for all the time you put into the post like this one.

  3. Jason I’d be happy with $100 million too. Still so many of the other deals recently have been for more that I was surprised this deal wasn’t bigger.

    Thanks Success. I’m glad you like the links. It’s a lot to read I know, but hopefully I’ve organized it in a way that makes it easier to read what you want. It does take time to put together. More than I originally thought it would to write a post linking to others. But I do learn a lot reading the articles myself.

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