This Week In SEO – 5/4/07

Through the miracle that is time and delayed publishing it should be Friday when this post first arrives in your reader, but it’s still Thursday for me as I’m writing it. Ok maybe not a miracle. I have family coming in for the weekend and so will be taking Friday off. I still wanted to get these links to everyone so I’m writing this a day early. Sorry that I won’t be able to include any articles from Friday, but I’ll get them in next week.

There’s plenty to get to as always so on with the show.

Social Media

The Digg revolt was the biggest social media story this week, but it certainly wasn’t the only story. Cameron Olthuis started the week by suggesting that the early comments on a piece you submit to social media sites can set the tone on how well your submission does. Jane wasn’t so sure.

Lee pointed out some common blunders people make when it comes to social media sites. MG Siegler reviewed some recent upgrades to the micro-blogging tool Tumbler. Muhammed raised an interesting question when looking at the tag clouds of some presidential candidates. When was the last time you checked out your own tag clouds to discover what they say about you?

The user revolt wasn’t the only thing going on at Digg this week. Tamar closes out social media this week with a digest of other Digg stories.

Blogging

On Monday Darren Rowse brought up the issue of the Technorati 100 and pointed out how it was being manipulated. Darren also pointed out that it probably didn’t matter if it was since the benefits of being in the top 100 are only so much. Jordan picked up the story and then Darren was back on Tuesday explaining why he wrote the original post and later to bring the news that the top 100 list was no longer being displayed at Technorati.

Modern Life asked what’s wrong with your blog and offered some good tips on how to make it right. One tip they didn’t mention was the idea of a blog series. I tried my hand at a series with my SEO Basics Tutorial and thought it worked well. Glen Stansberry has some advice on writing your entire series in one sitting.

Speaking of blog series, Brian Clark started one today on blogging metaphorically. Brian will be taking a look at how the use of metaphor can greatly improve your writing. You’ll also learn how Lee Iacocca saved Chrysler by using a metaphor before Congress. Earlier in the week Brian also had some great advice on how to use contrast in your writing to become more persuasive. You have to love any post that tells you that coconuts kill 150 people a year even if it’s not quite true.

Link Building

Loren Baker went to the source to find out how search engines treat the nofollow attribute. I still think Googlebot may follow links a little more than Google claims it does.

Of course the paid link debate continues. Is it just me or is the issue is being a little overblown? Michael Gray pointed out the absurdity of trying to discover which links are paid in a tongue-in-cheek meme. Danny Sullivan followed up asking if we could spot the paid link. Eric Ward talked about the coming link apocalypse likely inspired by the discussion of paid links.

Are .edu links really worth more than other links? Probably in some respects and Tamar covers a Cre8asite thread that talks about how to get them. Rand took a look at internal link patterns and teaches us how to get our most linked to pages to pass some of that juice where we really want it to go. One way to learn how to become a better link builder is to understand what not to do. Nell’s got some advice on some things to avoid.

And finally Bill looks at a new patent involving some old processes. It doesn’t look like Google adopted any of the processes over the years, but knowing how they can potentially group search results reveals some interesting things and just because they may not be doing some things today doesn’t mean they won’t tomorrow.

SEO Miscellany

People have found a new villain to blame for poorly ranking pages and it’s called the supplemental index. A Forbes article on getting stuck in Google’s supplemental index evoked a response from Matt Cutts. I believe everything Matt says about the supplemental index with one exception. If you have pages marked supplemental don’t expect them to rank for much of anything.

Are you tired of seeing Wikipedia pages in search results? Many see Google’s love affair with the Wikipedia as a reason Google should dial back the trust and authority knob. Michael Gray took a look at just how well the Wikipedia ranks. Another discussion is how the Wikipedia is dealing with nofollow links. Is it really that different from the way other sites deal in paid links? Michael Arrington and Loren Baker both look to answer the question.

Design and development issues can play a large role in your seo efforts. Daniel from Daily Blog Tips has 43 design mistakes you should avoid. And Chris Pearson has some good advice on semantic markup once you’re ready to code. The post is geared towards WordPress, but the advice is good even if you’re not using the blog software. Tamar called attention to an interesting questions. Could changing domain registrars somehow affect your ranking?

This post from Eli might be my favorite this week. Please accept my apologies Eli if I’ve called you a gray or black hat in the past. I assume it’s ok to use the color blue to describe your advanced seo tactics. If you follow Eli’s story of the white hat and the black hat you’re sure to learn a few things above and beyond the usual seo you see each day. You’ll learn it from most of Eli’s other posts as well.

Business and Marketing

Aaron Wall suggests looking at earnings per page when you’re thinking of purchasing a site. The ideas are worth reading even if you’re not buying or selling. Aaron also gives some reasons why giving away content is both good and necessary. Cameron offered some reasons why mini-sites might be the way to go in some situations and for the second time this week we have a mozzer offering a counterpoint to one of Cameron’s posts. This time it’s Rebecca who reminds us of the reasons not to use mini-sites.

I know you hate the term web 2.0. You’re sick of hearing it and maybe even cringe whenever you see it. If that’s you then my apologies, but web 3.0 is already being discussed. David Siegel attempts to define what version 3.0 of the web will be like.

Search Engine News

Last Week the Click Quality Council offered guidelines for PPC improvements. This week both Google and Yahoo responded to the guidelines

The recent acquisitions of digital ad companies led to Business Week to take a look at The Promise of Online Display Ads.

Google
Larry and Sergey had a good start to their week when they came out #1 on the Top 100 Most Influential People in IT. Of course some still wonder if Google is too powerful or if they’re getting too personal. Right or wrong Google is finding itself at the heart of privacy concerns.

Google stepped up personalized search and rebranded the personal home page as iGoogle. I wonder what Apple thinks of the new name. Google is releasing new themes for the home page and introduced Gadget Maker. There are still mixed feelings about search personalization and it has led at least one person to speculate that if not handled right personalization could possibly lead to the downfall of Google.

I can’t say I expect to see Google fall any time soon, but even if there is something wrong with it Carsten Cumbrowski has some answers to fix things web 2.0 style. Here’s part 1 of a four part series. You’ll find links to the other pages inside.

Google isn’t taking the Viacom lawsuit over copyright infringement laying down. They claimed the suit is a threat to how the internet works. Danny has a nice roundup of Google’s response to the lawsuit. While one lawsuit is heating up another appears to be cooling down. Belgian newspapers are back in Google search results. The issue isn’t completely resolved, but it does seem to be heading in the right direction for Google.

Yahoo!
Not to be outdone by the Google/DoubleClick deal Yahoo announced an agreement to acquire Rights Media. I guess search engines and ad networks go together.

Rights Media wasn’t the only deal struck by Yahoo!. They’ll be providing display and video advertising on the Comcast website.

Perhaps the news most of interest to SEOs is that Yahoo! will now support the new robots-nocontent tag to prevent indexing of specific parts of your page. When you add class=”robots-nocontent” to an html element it will alert Yahoo that you don’t want that element indexed. This sounds very good on the surface, but probably opens up a new set of spam tactics.

MSN
Microsoft updated its TOS mainly to allow it to using matching criteria other than keywords when displaying ads. Microsoft will now be adding advertisers to their content network without advertiser consent. As you would imagine advertisers aren’t exactly happy about the news.

Google is getting DoubleClick, Yahoo is getting Rights Media. Microsoft wants to play too and they will if they acquire 24/7 Real Media.

Ask
The algorithm killed Jeeves, found Jesus, is banned in China, and hails from New Jersey. Is this really supposed to get us all to switch from Google to Ask. Good search engine, lousy marketing.

Short week for me, but still a full compliment of links. If things go according to plan I’ve just gotten back from a visit to the Denver Mint (I wonder if I can take home some of the money. Probably not.) and perhaps a museum. A drive into the mountains is on tap for tomorrow, before a relaxing at home Sunday. Happy reading and enjoy the weekend.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

5 comments

  1. I was joking with a friend about how popular the term “web 2.0″ is, especially with people who really don’t understand the evolution of the web, and wondering how long it would be until version 3 showed up. ( And whether we’d have to keep the silly dot oh? )

    So I was interested in the “Defining Web 3.0″ post. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish it. Under “Web 2.0″ the first item is the Starbanes-Oxley ( aka SOX ) legislation regarding corporate governance. I got the idea our correspondent doesn’t understand SOX; it doesn’t make it impossible for anyone outside a small oligarchy to launch a corporation. And it really doesn’t have much at all to do with the web, at least the way I see the world. The history of early photography is a little questionable, but the future presented is just absurd. The idea that almost no one will have a camera because they can be photographed in front of any monument by a crowd of “opportunistic” photographers makes great science fiction. But how do you get all those baby pictures in your living room?

    I really like the idea of a “semantic web,” which is what’s offered. I think it will be a while off still, but eventually if enough sites are coded properly, or at least predictably, machines will be able to do a lot more for us. Yahoo Pipes tries to do what we’re talking about, although I haven’t heard anything about it since it’s launch. Search engines will read Wikipedia to gain background knowledge and give you much better answers to your queries. I’m not sure if I’d call that the third evolution of the web; it will coexist with sites that don’t even use CSS. But it will certainly make things more interesting!

  2. We’re a long way away from “Web 3.0″. In order for the web to be smart, the people building the software for the web have to be smart. And let’s face it, most people aren’t.

  3. I agree there’s a lot in the web 3.0 article that it’s hard to see realistically happening any time soon, but I fo think the basic premise is a good one. And many technological breakthroughs were first conceived as a piece of fiction. Going to the moon, robots, computers all made their debut in a work of fiction and were thought to be impossible. So while some things in the smart web are hard to see you never know.

    I like the idea of standards, which will make it easier for one application to communicate with another and quite a few of those standards already exist. It will just take us to start coding to those standards better. It is easy to see how once a few applications become smarter in how they communicate with each other they will gain a definite marketing edge and more applications will follow.

    Adam you may be right that we need more smart people to pull this all off. But keep in mind it only takes a few really smart people to lead the way and make it easy for the rest of us who aren’t quite as smart.

  4. Thanks for the links Sumitra. They make for interesting reading. There are some interesting concepts about what web 3.0 might be and while I’m sure many will dislike the use of 3.0 to define the concepts they’re still interesting nonetheless.

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