I tried to be a little more discriminating while collecting links this week, but I think I still ended up with the usual amount. There’s lots of good reading here as always to help you grow your blog and market your site. And of course a bit of search engine news in case you missed the major stories. Enjoy.
One of the decisions you need to make when it comes to social media is which communities to immerse yourself in. Not all are created equal and not all are right for your subject. A few weeks ago Andy Hagans started a list of niche social media sites that send traffic. This week he added eight more sites to the list.
Darren Rowse asked ProBlogger readers which social media sites they interacted with and added his own thoughts about some bookmarking and networking sites. Readers shared their experiences of what social sites work best for them. Pablo Palatnik has some advice on building your brand through Yahoo! Answers.
- 8 More New-ish Social Media Sites (That Actually Send Traffic)
- Social Bookmarking and Networking – How Involved Are You?
- Yahoo Answers : Brand & Link Building via Social Media
One of the rumors last month was that eBay was buying StumbleUpon. It’s no longer a rumor as eBay announced the acquisition on Wednesday.
- eBay Acquires StumbleUpon
- eBay’s StumbleUpon Acquisition: Confirmed at $75 Million
- eBay Acquires StumbleUpon for $75 Million
But what you really want to know is how to make the front page of Digg, right? Matt offers observations and tips in last week’s SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday video. Muhammed carried some of Matt’s observations to his post today on some common misconceptions about Digg. And if after all the advice you still can’t make the front page don’t worry. Instead create your own Digg through coRank.
- Whiteboard Friday: “Digg-Dugg”
- 3 Common Misconceptions Regarding Digg
- How-To Make Your Own coRanked Digg
The health of a blog is in the number of subscribers it has. Yesterday Darren discussed if it was a good idea to reveal those numbers by displaying the FeedBurner feed counter. Today Darren posted the results of a question he asked readers about which feed reader they use. It probably won’t surprise you that Google Reader is the most popular. While we’re on the subject of feeds here’s Eric Enge’s interview with Rick Klau, Vice President of Publisher Services at FeedBurner.
- RSS Feed Counters – Should You Reveal Your Numbers?
- Which Feed Reader is Best? – ProBlogger Readers Have their Say
- Rick Klau and Eric Enge talk RSS feeds
You’d probably like to know if you can make a living through blogging. Michael Gray says it most definitely is possible and lays out a game plan for how. Chris Garret tells us that over the long haul the best way to profit from your blog is by making it an authority on your topic. I think they’d both agree that networking and connecting with other bloggers in your industry is important to your blog’s success. In fact Chris wrote a post this week on connecting with bloggers and targeting their audiences. Maki also offers tips for networking with bloggers in your niche.
- Can You Make a Living Blogging
- Why Authority Blogs Are the Hardest But Most Worthwhile
- Finding and Connecting With Bloggers and Targeting Blog Audiences
- Networking within your Blog Niche: 7 Essential Tips for Bloggers
Ready for some quick tips to improve your blog? Aaron Brazell has a lits of plugins to help make our blogs sticky through intelligent design. Stephen Ward follows up on some Brian Clark advice about starting your posts with a quote. I tried it myself recently. And Leo Babuta has tips for writing sexy headlines to attract subscribers, other bloggers, and social media communities.
- Intelligent Design and Stickiness
- Hook Your Readers With a Good Quote
- The Sexy Art of Writing Headlines that Kill
Raj Dash put together what he calls a lens to some great articles on appealing to the linkerati for links. I think I’ve linked to most of the articles at one point or another, but it’s always good to have them in one place. Besides Raj adds some of his own insights to the post. Smashing Magazine makes it clear that linkbaiting is not evil and gives us the golden rules. Muhammed talks about satisfying the vocal minority in a post that really isn’t about link building, but I think the advice extends very well to gathering links. And Justilien Gaspard wants us to avoid low-quality links and link networks.
What do you do when you have a large enterprise site with an inaccurate distribution of ‘link juice’ or simply not enough ‘link juice’ to go around. Rand has some ideas to deal with the situation.
- Alternate Link Building Strategies: The Linkerati Effect
- Golden Rules of Linkbaiting
- Satisfying the Vocal Minority – Why it Matters
- Avoiding Low-Quality Links and Link Networks
- Link & Ranking Strategies for Enterprise Sites
I’m sure I don’t need to convince you that researching keywords is an essential part of optimizing your site. Carsten Cumbrowski has news about an update to the Keyword Discovery database, which will affect the keyword counts the tool shows. KD isn’t the only keyword research tool of course and Alan Rabinowitz has an overview of several tools you can use to build your keyword lists. Bill has some great advice for gathering keywords by using mindmaping techniques to start a list of targeted audiences and the tasks they might want to perform.
- Trellian Keyword Database Change
- Guide to Keyword Researching Tools
- Mindmapping Audiences and Tasks for Category and Keyword Development
Analytics are vital to understanding how people are getting to your site and what they’re doing once they get there. Hamlet Batista wrote a follow up piece to Rand’s article on enterprise sites with some ways to mine your server logs to understand which pages on your site are getting links and which pages aren’t. He’s also promised a follow up to his own article with more details and some of the code he uses. Manoj Jasra lets us know why web analytics are so important with a sarcastic post that lists 21 reasons why you don’t need analytics.
Eric Enge updates the results of a study he did that looks at latency in search rankings. Brian Clark announced the winners of the CopyBlogger contest on creating the best landing page. Bill takes a look at user intent in search queries. Shoemoney continues his Tips for Success series and looked at some external tools he uses when auditing a site. Amanda Watlington says that now is the time to start looking at seo in the mobile arena.
- A Look at Latency In Search Engine Ranking
- And the Winners of the Copyblogger Copywriting Contest Are…
- User Intent and Characteristics of Search Queries
- External Site Auditing Tools – TFS 7
- Search to Go: Meeting the Needs of the Mobile User
Business And Marketing
DazzlinDonna decided to answer the questions Patrick Sexton asked interviewees last week and has some good advice for everyone on marketing a site on a shoestring budget. Aaron Wall looked at how spam is evolving which makes it difficult to distinguish from real information. He also has some great tips to save time and money during every part of the design and development process. Andy Hagans offers some encouraging words letting us know we’re better than we think we are. And Muhammed looks at the Marlboro man as an example of how we can capitalize on popular trends when marketing ourselves.
- Shoestring site marketing
- As Spam Evolves…
- Efficent Web Design & Development: Hacks to Save Time & Money
- You Are Better Than You Think
- The Marlboro Man – Tapping in to Popular Culture and Trends
Search Engine News
With Google dominating the market why would anyone want to try to launch a new search engine? Don Dodge looked at the numbers and came to the conclusion that just 1% of the market is worth over $1 billion. That’s a lot of incentive to grab a piece of the pie. Emre Sokullu ran the same numbers and came to a slightly different conclusion.
Google made their acquisition of FeedBurner official today, though we’ve all know about the deal since last week. The deal among other recent events is stoking the fires when it comes to fearing Google. The European Union is questioning Google’s policy regarding the data they collect. But Eric Schmidt is here to tell us that the net is a force for democracy even if he did forget to mention what Google’s role in the process is.
- Adding more flare
- Everyone Fears Google (Again) & Will The Last Googler To Leave Turn The Lights Out?
- European Union Questions Google’s Data Retention Policy
- Net a ‘Force for Democracy’ says Google’s Schmidt
Have you seen the new street views you can get with Google Maps. Pretty cool huh? Or is it creepy? Cool? Creepy? I can’t make up my mind. It is cool to look at a map and get an image of what the street really looks like, but it does feel rather big brotherish. Combine it with Google’s new ability to recognize faces in images and imagine it was the government instead of Google and it gets scary. Maybe if Google could find a way to remove the people from the images it wouldn’t feel like an invasion of privacy. I don’t think there’s anything illegal here, but still don’t we all have moments where we have to be in a public place, but would prefer the whole world not seeing us?
- Google Maps takes it to the streets
- Mapping Maps: Google Street View, Microsoft Expands 3D Views, & MapQuest Adds API
- Google Mapping Announcements Revisited
- Google Street View Raises Privacy Questions: Amusing To Some, Upsetting To Others
- Google the Peeping-Tom?
- New: Google Image Search Categories
Nah, Google’s not looking to compete with Microsoft Office Software. Google Apps are completely different. Google Docs & Spreadsheets have nothing to do with Word and Excel. “Our products are meant to be used online.” Not anymore. With the release of Google Gears you’ll be able to use your browser to work offline with the suite of office tools. “I swear we’re not competing with Microsoft.”
- Inside the Gears of Google
- ‘Google Gears’ vies to be de facto tech for offline Web apps
- Interview about Google Gears
- A Look at Google Gears Working with Google Reader
- Gear Up for Google Apps Offline
- What To Make Of Google Gears
Google still runs a search engine and Bill took a look at a patent for the Plus Box feature you see with some search results. Carsten took a look at some concerns people have with how much content Google is showing in the Plus Box and whether it should qualify as ‘fair use’ or copyright infringement.
In a move unusual for any of the major search engines Yahoo has begun experimenting with non-Yahoo links on their home page. The hope is to make Yahoo more relevant to users of the portal. If you’ve played with Yahoo Pipes at all you can probably see how useful they can be. Raj Dash wants to know why you don’t see Pipes mentioned much. I was actually wondering that myself earlier in the week, though I think in has something to do with the lack of recognition for the developer of any given pipe.
Panama is now available in Europe.
And the Yahoo Publisher Network will now offer the option of payment through PayPal. In addition to another payment option it also means publishers who earn less than $100 a month won’t have to wait until they do. The minimum with PayPal will be $50.
- Yahoo! Publisher Network Adds PayPal Payment Option
- Yahoo Publisher Network Offering PayPal Payments
Shoemoney talked to Microsoft about PPC. Download the show or read the summary on Shoe’s site for some interesting questions about adCenter, CTR, and arbitrage among others. Microsoft added copyright books to their Live Book Search. There’s no infringement going on, though. The books included have all been agreed to by publishers. When Microsoft asked the FTC to investigate Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick they probably didn’t see it working against them. Andy Beal wonders if maybe it will come back to haunt Microsoft.
- Talking PPC With Microsoft Adcenter
- Microsoft Adds In-Copyright Books & New Features To Live Search Books
- Google Faces FTC Investigation, Did Microsoft Shoot Itself in the Foot?
So is Ask’s ‘The Algorithm’ campaign working for you? Most say it isn’t. Have a look at the second link below to Threadwatch and scroll down a little to find John Andrew’s suggestions for how Ask could be marketing their search engine. Maybe someone at Ask should hire John.
It feels a bit anti-climactic at the moment, but I’ve got another Yankees/Red Sox series to watch this weekend. By the end of the weekend I’ll either be conceding the season or hoping it’s the start of good things to come for the Yankees. I don’t think Boston fans are or should be worried, but even with a 13 1/2 game lead it should still have a playoff like atmosphere. This is a rivalry that goes back near 90 years after all.
Enjoy the weekend everyone and happy reading.
If you liked this post, consider buying my book Design Fundamentals