This Week In SEO – 6/22/07

My apologies for a slower than usual posting week. As I mentioned last Friday I had family in town this week and only worked part time. I skipped a couple of posts in order to spend more time collecting stories for today. This week sees the debut of a new category for design and development. I’ve gotten away from posting about both over the last few months and would like to bring back more posts related to design and development issues. Now on with the show.

Social Media

To really succeed with social media you need to have remarkable content. All the schemes in the world won’t make a difference if your content is garbage. So is your content worthy? Neil tells you how to answer that question. You know how to add Digg buttons to your site. What about your feeds? Muhammed shows us two ways to add social media engagement to our feeds. Mashable points out that Digg finally added fully threaded comments, though somehow I don’t expect to see more intelligent conversations. I’m guessing this will just make it easier for the community to flame each other. And Muhammed talks about how the same content can make it to the front page more than once.

Combine Digg and Wikipedia and what do you get? Apparently you get Thoof, which aims to be a cross between the two sites. Users will still vote on submissions, but they will also be able to edit and update the content. Sounds interesting, but I really hate the name. YouTube released a mobile version of their site. It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice step in the right direction. When it comes to social networks which one is the largest. Aaron Wall’s answer might surprise you, but he’s absolutely right. Google wins hands down.


How do you launch a blog? Brian Clarke has a blueprint you can follow. The advice is good even if your blog is past the launch phase. Darren Rowse continued the conversation with his own goals when launching a new blog. One of those goals should be to build subscribers to your feed. Maki tells us why that is and then Darren is back to add a couple more things to the list. Once your convinced of the importance of building your rss subscribers, you can learn some techniques for how from Trent Hamm who went from 0 to 12,000 subscribers in seven months. I’m impressed. How about you? One very important aspect to being read and gaining readers is to be unique. Chris Garret shows you how you can determine what is unique about you so you can be more memorable.

Design And Development

I thought it time I added design and development as a category here and why not start with an interview with Steve Krug. Loren Baker takes on the topic of writing valid code and it’s connection to seo and in the end concludes there are benefits to validation. I’m not sure how important validation is for seo, but I do think coding is one of the more important seo skills. Chris Boggs discusses the use of Flash, it’s history and possible solutions when it comes to search engine optimization. How about some practical code? willCode4Beer gives us some that allows your visitors to hover over a blockquote on your site and get back a popup to display more info about the quote as well as a link to the original site.

If you run any kind of online store you’ve probably had to decide what ecommerce solution you would use. Shannon Watters looks at some of the factors you should consider and Bill adds some very important search engine considerations. Successful ecommerce goes far beyond your choice in shopping cart applications. Mike Baxter talks about some key issues and problem areas associated with your checkout process. Not enough tips from Mike? Have a look at a Webmasterworld thread where members give their top 100 ecommerce tips.


Universal and Personalized search are changing the way seo is done. Following up on Mike Grehan’s latest ‘seo is dead’ proclamation, Andy Hagans tells us why Universal Search should scare us. Brian Provost tells us to stop worrying about trying to rank for specific phrases and focus instead on building the trust and authority of your domain. One way to build authority is to become popular. Alan Rabinowitz looks at 5 types of popularity that affect search rankings. Last week I linked to a YOUmoz article offering proof that Google was using behavioral data in rankings. This week we get an alternate perspective again from YOUmoz.

Eric Ward draws a portrait of the perfect link builder and Raj Dash followed up and listed some of the traits he think go into making a full-time link builder. Matt filled in for Rand in last week’s Whiteboard Friday with some quick and dirty tips for building links into a site. You might not want to use them all, but the video will certainly generate some new ideas.

Matt McGhee closes out the seo talk this week with a list of 20 fatal mistakes to avoid when doing seo.

Business And Marketing

The New York Times had people talking over the weekend with an article about how online sales are losing steam and making dire predictions of online commerce. Here’s a link to that article (You may need a subscription) along with some posts discussing the article.

Andy Hagan’s decided to tell us all how Aaron Wall became successful. Your own path to success may well be different, but you could do worse than following Aaron’s path. While we’re on the subject of Aaron how about a couple of his posts from the week. First, how Google is moving away from direct and targeted marketing and more toward pushing brands. Next, and on a related theme, why you should working to build high quality content on fewer projects than pumping out bulk content on many sites. As Google moves towards branded ads so should you work to brand your sites.

Opportunity is always around us. The hard part is being prepared for it and recognizing it when it’s in front of you. Jennifer Laycock walks us through an example of a business that capitalized on an opportunity that presented itself. Getting people to your site is only one part of the equation. PPC expert, Andrew Goodman has a very informative post about testing your home page for conversions. He walks us through the details of some testing he’s doing now, such as multi-variate testing with Google’s Website Optimizer. You know who’s really good at closing the deal? Strippers. WiseCamel tells us how they do it and how we can apply the same techniques to our own business. And while you may not want to date a stripper (or maybe you do) dating provides a good analogy for B2B marketing. Patricia Hursch explains.

Search Engine News

Most of the privacy focus on search engines has fallen on Google, but the European Union will now be looking at all search engines in it’s investigations of search engine data retention policies. It will be interesting to see how their findings compare to the recent Privacy International report.

Google seems to be taking the privacy concerns about them seriously. They’ve started a new public policy blog to go along with all their other blogs. “How many blogs do they have?” you ask. Good question and Andrey Milyan has a list.

Are you tired of big companies acting like little kids? Google and eBay continued their boxing match and Jordan outlines the blow-by-blow to date, including eBay’s experiment to pull it’s AdWords ads. And if you go to an eBay event you better not wear anything with a Google logo or you may be escorted out of the building. Don’t Google and eBay have better things to do.

Google Maps is going social with the addition of user generated reviews and ratings.

Google found the last piece of the puzzle it needed to be able to offer an online alternative to Office when it acquired Zenter for online slide presentations.

And Udi Manber is here to remind us just how hard a problem search is to solve. I know we all like to moan about some of the poor results search gives us, but I’ve always been impressed by their ability to even come close.

For a change the big news in search this week was out of Yahoo. 0.2% of stockholders really can make a difference it seems as Terry Semel stepped down while Jerry Yang and Susan Decker stepped up.

Before anyone could really digest the news of the Semel departure rumors were flying that Yahoo would acquire MySpace for a 25% stake in Yahoo’s stock. This sounds like a much better deal for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp than it does for Yahoo. The latest rumor has Yahoo merging with eBay.

So What Should Yahoo! Do?

Looks like Google may have won a round in it’s battle with Microsoft. At least it seems that way on the surface with Microsoft agreeing to change the way Vista handles search. Of course in agreeing to make changes by the end of the year Microsoft will have given itself a full year to get people used to their search application without any competition.

MSN mobile has a new look and new features and Microsoft enhanced Virtual Earth in the U.K. Bill points us to a study and paper showing how Microsoft might take searchers a few steps further along the search query path based on user behavior, browsing, and search history. And it looks like there may be an update going on at

Ask appears to have taken another step back with it’s latest advertising campaign. Why does Ask try to offend the very people who could help market it the most? Ask, you have a pretty good search engine with the best interface, and lots of people would like to see you gain marketshare. Please rethink your advertising before it’s too late.

This week went by very fast for me with a couple of trips to Coors Field where I had to endure a sweep of the Yankees by the Rockies. If you’ve never been to Coors Field it’s one of the more beautiful stadiums around so even with the sweep the games were enjoyable. And I do like the Rockies. Just not so much this week. I’ll be playing in an all day softball tournament tomorrow. At least three games and maybe more if the team does well. I’ll probably be ready to collapse tomorrow night and I’m looking forward to a day of R&R on Sunday. I hope you have a good weekend whatever you do and happy reading.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. Thanks Maki. I’m glad you like the collection and the commentary. I hadn’t really thought about it being like reading the news to someone, but it works for me. I really enjoyed your post about the reasons for building a subscriber base, as well as generally enjoying your blog as a whole. I completely agree about looking at it long term, though I admit sometimes it’s hard to be patient.

  2. Thanks for the mention, Steven.

    Great collection of posts and I do appreciate the commentary you’ve added to them. It’s sorta like listening to the news being read out to you. :)


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