This Week In SEO – 6/8/07

With so many at SMX this week posting was down. I still have about the same amount of links here, but it was easier for me to narrow down the list. I’m wondering, though if the amount of links works for everyone. Are there too many links? Too few? Is the porridge just right? Are there some topics here you don’t read and some not covered you would like to see? Let me know what you’d like to see here each week and I’ll do what I can to make it happen. Now on to the weekly roundup of the SEO community.

Social Media

Sex, sex, sex. Now that I’ve got your attention it’s time to read Muhammed’s post about the porn industry’s use of social media. Muhammed also gives us a look at social poster, a service to help you submit content to multiple social sites at once, and the newest version of the Netscape browser, which is a social browser built on Mozilla technologies. Jon Miller wants to know why B2B marketing doesn’t get the social media love. Is there an inherent bias against B2B by social media?

Mashable reported that Kevin Rose has plans to expand Digg with the addition of images, product reviews (huh?), and more diverse categories. Muhammed shares his views on making everything diggable. While Kevin Rose may see expansion as the future of Digg, Andy Hagans thinks they’ve peaked and points to 5 signs to prove his case. Did you make it out to SMX this week? Even if you didn’t you can still learn from the conference. Rand interviewed Neil Patel and you can watch the video. Neil talks about where Digg has been, where it’s going, and gives everyone a few tips along the way to help build your Digg account and get to the front page easier.

Blogging

Last week in a follow up to a post on CopyBlogger I asked what makes your blog remarkable?. Quadzilla followed up on both posts with some advice on how to get links to your remarkable content. A couple days later he shared two requests for links he received. Brian brought things full circle showing how a couple of companies in the the seemingly unremarkable beer industry marketed themselves very well by being remarkable. One way to get people talking about you is to provide valuable content. Chris Garret wants to know if your blog is truly valuable.

Chris, this time writing on his own blog, thinks we’d be better off not trying to please everyone. He’s sooner have us focusing on a smaller more targeted audience. Darren Rowse answers a reader question and shares his thoughts on building your personal brand through your blog. And what’s a blog if no one can read it? Nate Whitehill offers 5 tips to make your blog posts more readable. These are actually the second set of 5 tips Nate has on the subject and you can find a link to the first 5 in Nate’s post.

I’ve written posts on web developer extensions for Firefox and seo extensions for Firefox, but not one for extensions specific to help you blog. Fortunately Lifehack has it covered with a list of 17 plugins you can use. My favorite is Scribefire (formerly Performancing), which I use to write every post here. One of the advantages of having a very big audience is that you can ask them a question and get a lot of great answers. Darren wanted to know about the biggest traffic day his readers experienced and the readers didn’t disappoint. Over 150 comments sharing stories and also some good tips you might use to gain a spike in traffic.

SEO Miscellany

Some parts of seo can be tedious. Aaron Wall started an interesting discussion at Threadwatch asking if seo can be automated. How about one more post from Muhammed? This time on CopyBlogger talking about how to write headlines for three different audiences. If you type usedrugs are you looking for used rugs or do you want to use drugs? Bill discusses a Google patent on text segmentation. Phillip Stelter and Eric Ward both have some advice on seo in the new world of Universal Search. And Carsten Cumbrowski did some tests after the discovery that Google is now bolding synonyms in sponsored search results.

Quite a few people in the community were at SMX this week. I’m generally not a big fan of conference coverage, but I thought the articles from SMX were a little better than recent coverage of other events. Search Engine Land has day one and day two recaps with links to their coverage. Two of the specific articles I liked from the week are Rhea Drysdale’s article on the duplicate content session and Tamar Weinberg’s article on the You&A with Matt Cutts. And Rand has another video interview to share this time with Michael Gray.

Business And Marketing

Eric Enge interviewed Anil Kamath with the discussion focusing on portfolio based bid management in PPC campaigns. And what’s a pay per click ad without a landing page? Roberta Rosenberg has 10 tips for improving landing page conversions. These tips will work for more than just book sales. Some PPC ads aren’t to be trusted. Bill takes a look at what Google might do to handle fraudulent AdWords advertising.

New York Magazine presented 20 case studies of New York business models and Chris Garret shares a few thoughts on the series.

Some businesses are still hesitant about moving online. Bill wants to see that change and gives us 11 steps to develop web literacy. I guess Andy Hagans is a Star Trek fan. He uses the borg as a metaphor for building a profitable business through a variety of channels. One channel you might use to market your business is widget development. Antony Bruno thinks widgets are on the cusp of changing the face of internet advertising so now might be the time to get started creating yours. How well do you price your products and services? Before you answer give Seth Godin’s post a read and see which hump your pricing resides in.

It’s not always easy to calculate ROI. Kevin Newcomb discusses an iProspect study showing more search marketers are able to measure ROI than they could a couple of years ago. Chris Boggs has some ideas on how we can predict ROI for proposed seo campaigns to better determine if it’s worth the effort. And sticking with the series of Search Engine Watch posts, Sage Lewis urges us to go viral with advice on how to do just that.

Search Engine News

Will another search engine be able to take a significant market share away from Google? It may or may not surprise you to know that Google isn’t the dominant search engine everywhere in the world. Rand in his first Whiteboard Friday since getting back from China talked about some major engines around the world. One search engine many think could challenge Google is Baidu. Reports early in the week had Baidu expanding to Europe. Today Baidu said it has no plans to expand into Europe. Time will tell.

Google
Google’s acquisition of FeedBurner was still making news this week. Many were scared by the new message they received from Google when logging into FeedBurner. It turned out to be a case of legalese clouding communication, but Shoemoney had both the message and the reply that cleared things up. Mark Jackson discussed some possible implication of of the acquisition and wondered if Google would decide to incorporate subscriber counts into the algorithm.

Google announced a strategic alliance with Salesforce, allowing Salesforce.com to be a distribution channel for AdWords in 43 countries. Janet Driscoll Miller sees it as win-win for everyone.

Google updated the embedded YouTube video player with new features including access to related videos. Garret Rogers speculate that we’ll soon see sponsored videos among the results, which could be the big money maker YouTube is currently lacking. Loren Baker has a follow up complete with a working video where you can see the related results. Just click ‘menu’ in the lower right. And thanks Loren for finding a video of Hear My Train Comin’, one of my favorite songs of all time. I was unaware a video of it existed.

In other Google news AdSense updated its program policy to require that publishers comply with the spirit of the page quality guidelines AdWords users are held to. The battle against MFA sites continues. AdWords announced they completed testing and were rolling out audio ads. Google called for an increased cap on H-1B visas so they could hire more foreign born employees. And Bill Tancer has some stats showing that so far it’s Google Maps and YouTube that are seeing an increase in traffic from Universal Search.

Yahoo!
Yahoo opened up Panama to developers through a new commercial API program and rolled out a new pricing model based on traffic quality. There were some questions Yahoo might be using the new pricing model as a way to increase bids on ads, but Yahoo responded saying there’s no conspiracy and this is all about helping provide a better ROI to advertisers.

Apparently the future is not search at Yahoo. Are they finally conceding to Google? They’re looking into acquiring Facebook which will add a social network to some of Yahoo’s other social properties. It would fit with the new mission statement Yahoo announced a few weeks ago, to connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge.

Ask
On Tuesday I tested and reviewed Ask’s new interface, but I certainly wasn’t the only one. If you haven’t seen it yet watch the exclusive video demo at Marketing Pilgrim. One problem with the new interface is video search results aren’t particularly relevant to your query, but Blinkx will soon be powering those results so expect them to improve. I’ll let Bill close out the week with a look at an Ask patent detailing technologies they may one day use to become more like a concierge. Umm…I thought the algorithm killed Jeeves.

We made it through another week and hopefully it was a good one for you. Mine was pretty good outside of a few fires I had to put out yesterday. Nothing serious, but it left me looking forward to the weekend a little more than usual. Looks like I’ll have good weather for mine, which is really quite usual here. Would you believe it if I told you we average over 300 days a year of blue skies and sunshine and generally warm weather here in Boulder? I hope you get some of the same over the weekend wherever you are. Enjoy the articles and happy reading.

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8 comments

  1. Hi Steven,

    You’re definitely at the point where you have the most comprehensive weekly roundup of SEO news that I’ve seen (and I read a lot of blogs), and I’m at the point of knowing that I can come here on a Friday and find out whether I missed something important. So Kudos for that, and a double hi-five for good measure.

    I also like how you’re breaking everything down into different categories, as well as how you fashion the recaps of the links that you present.

    The ask patent I wrote about I don’t think is in effect yet, but I could possibly see it happening within the next year or two. It’s a nice innovation, and something that none of the other search engines have been discussing in any way.

    Blue skies sound good. I’m listening to the rumbling of thundar right now. Might be a good weekend to settle in, and read a lot of links. :)

  2. Thanks Bill,

    My bad on the Ask patent. I had read it early in the week and saw you mentioned it as something they might implement in the future and then completely forgot today. Chalk it up to being lazy at the end of the day on a Friday. I edited the post to correct things.

    You know when I started these Friday roundup posts part of the rationale was thinking I could be lazy all day on a Friday and link to a few posts quick. It didn’t turn out that way. I appreciate the complements and I do hope I’ve created a resource people can come to to catch up on things they might have missed or simply to save some time reading during the week.

    I thought breaking down the categories would make it easier for people to find stories they found interesting. I figure if people scan the post and the Titles for the posts linked to they could get a good feel for what’s going on and then pick and choose the stories they want to know more about. I keep thinking of new categories to add, but the links add up really fast. I usually collect about twice as many as I end up with here each week and I think including them all would be too much. I guess I end up with about 60 links each week, which is still quite a lot to go through.

    I used to live back east. Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island. I remember one summer every day off I had it rained. Maybe not every day off, but I bet it was about 90% of them. We do get some storms hanging over town here, but for the most part the weather is great. I did play softball on Wednesday night though, in 50+ mph wind gusts. Dust swirls were everywhere and at times it stung.

  3. Broken link removed. I once broke all the comments on a ProBlogger post, by accidentally typing in some heading tags. I was trying to use the heading tags as an example and didn’t realize they’d work. Somehow I left an open h3 and you can guess what everything looked like after me.

    I could see Jeeves coming back in some way too and it would make sense if they launched the technologies in the patent while bringing back Jeeves. I didn’t think people had anything against Jeeves. He was certainly more well liked than Clippy.

    I’m glad the categories and the commentary between helps. I know I’ve eun across some pages where the links are simply listed and it can be hard to find the few you want. Whenever I’ve seen someone categorize things it’s always helped me a lot.

    That rain was just one summer. Long Island gets it’s share of bad weather, but it also gets it’s share of good weather too. That summer I was working in a Borders bookstore and my days off changed every week. I was just very unlucky and kept catching the rain on all my days off.

  4. Umm…I thought the algorithm killed Jeeves.

    It had me go back and read the announcement that Jeeves was retiring. I could see launching this with him coming out of retirement – it sort of fits.

    The categories really do help, and your comments and editorializing between links really helps to put them in perspective.

    The rain isn’t quite that bad in Delaware, but I suspect that our weather patterns aren’t much different from what you experienced.

  5. I tend to agree with Bill. It’s to the point where I don’t have to read anything else (which I like because I don’t have the time to wade through the bullshit) and just come here every Saturday morning to find all the good stuff.

    There are a few too many links for me personally, but on the other hand you need to cover everything and I’m sure there are others who want to know some of the things I couldn’t care less about.

    The only thing I’d do is put the Miscellany category last. If it’s stuff that doesn’t fit, leave it until the end, and put all the big G/Yahoo!/MSN news first. That’s ’bout all I got to say ’bout that.

    Good schtuff.

  6. Adam. I guess these posts help save time for people. Seems like a good enough reason to continue. I do think about having less links here and every week I try, but it still ends up being the same amount. I think a few less would work fine, but I hope breaking them up helps not to make them too overwhelming.

    There are a few other categories I’ve been thinking about adding, though. I thought links on design and development would be appropriate. I’ve also thought of doing away with the Search Engine News section since I think most of what’s covered there is easy to find as it’s usually covered in many different places.

    The Miscellany isn’t really miscellaneous. It’s just that most weeks I’ll break out a specific aspect of seo (link building most of the time) and then calling the section just SEO didn’t make sense to me. I do see your point, though and I’ll see if there’s a better solution.

    Glad you like. These posts take a lot longer to put together than I originally thought and I’ve been tempted to drop the post, but the feedback has been good and I think people genuinely find them useful. I do want to make this a useful place for people to stop by and will instead look for a way that I can still put the post together, but do it a little quicker.

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