This Week In SEO – 7/13/07

Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of This Week In SEO. I promise the following links are not unlucky and nothing bad will happen if you click on them. It’s just a day like any other. Just six days ago we had what’s supposed to be the luckiest day of the century (07/07/07) and here we are cursed with what some think is the unluckiest day of the year. Hopefully it’s not unlucky for you and you agree I collected some interesting links for your reading pleasure. If you’re superstitious just do what you can to make it through the day and relax. You have 11 more months before another Friday the 13th is upon us.

Social Media

Digg hates marketers and SEOs. So what are we all to do? We can learn to play the Digg game and market ourselves without appearing to be marketing ourselves or we can move on to Sphinn, Danny Sullivan’s new social site for search marketers. Perhaps the best part is Danny is encouraging you to submit your own content. You won’t be banned or looked upon as a spammer. You may not get a lot of votes, but you will be welcomed. From the current submissions I see a few of you have already started submitted. I’ll be joining you very soon.

Have you noticed the social site getting the most coverage recently is Facebook. According to comScore the site has grown 89% since last year. Should Google be worried? Is Facebook a bigger search engine than Google? Well no, but Facebook is growing and getting some good reviews and they’re adding new applications that are spreading virally. Apparently I’m missing out by having yet to play Scrabulous.

I’ve still never checked out Twitter. I just don’t feel the need to know what you’re doing every minute of the day. I may need to rethink things. Neil has some advice this week for how to drive traffic from Twitter to your site. Maybe it’s not so useless after all. On second thought…I still don’t really need to know what you’re doing every minute of the day. I would like to make the Reddit front page, though. How about you? Maki has a case study of one particular Reddit user who seems to have figured it all out very well.

Blogging

Have I ever told you how much I love WordPress? You’re hanging out on a WordPress blog right now. I’ve been advising people for awhile that if you need a simple CMS, WP will probably meet all your needs. Carrie Hill agrees. I linked to the first of her two part series on using WordPress to manage your site a few weeks ago and this week we have part 2. If you’re using WP like me you’ve probably turned on permalinks. What happens though when after a time you want to change your permalink structure or rearrange your blog categories? Maki gives us some advice on making a smooth transition. Dave Naylor recently moved his blog to a new server and has some advice as well. Dave also tells us about the plugin he uses to display code snippets. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a coding post, but this plugin will come in handy the next time I do. And just because I use WordPress doesn’t mean you have to. Good news for those of you on blogger. FeedBurner can now integrate your blog.

Yesterday I offered my opinion on why blog posts are just as good as articles, despite what one Mr. Jakob Neilsen thinks. Jakob did get one thing right and that’s how we should strive to give our readers as much quality as we can. Brian Clark coined the term value blogging a couple of weeks ago and Aaron Wall gives us his take about writing less while giving higher quality. Brian wants us all to be heroic when we write and tell hero stories. See mom, all those comics I read as a kid are going to pay off big time. Darren Rowse continues his What We Wish We Knew series and I’ve chosen his post on writing excellent content this week, but I’d encourage you to read the other posts in the series as well. And now that you know how to write better you need some new topics to write about. Aaron offers 11 sources you can use if you blog in a saturated market. Even if you’re market isn’t so crowded it’s still ok to get ideas from these sources.

Design And Development

Landing page design is an art unto itself. A sales focused landing page has it’s own specific requirements. Fortunately Roberta Rosenberg understands what goes into successful landing page creation and for her first makeover enter SEOmoz. Rand’s been wanting to increase subscribers for SEOmoz’s new premium content and he stepped up to Roberta’s scrutiny. Rand followed up with more landing page goodness. Not enough? Then how about five more factors to optimize those entry pages from Kevin Gold. But before we all start moving to single page mini sites Jordan McCollum points to a MarketingSherpa report that says consumers are taking 34 hours on average to go from click to conversion. Let’s remember to build the rest of the site too.

Say no to Flash if you want to show up in search results. Isn’t that the common wisdom? is it entirely true? Might search engines finally understand how to read Flash files? Maybe not completely, but there are some things you can do to help your Flash applications in search engines. Mark Berghausen, Eric Enge, and Lisa Barone share some thoughts. The best advice is still not to build your site as a 100% Flash application.

Some of you know I’ll be moving this blog to a new domain, hopefully before too long. Even though I know most of the things I should do, it’s still a little nerve wracking to think about. Aaron Wall helped put my mind at ease this week with a couple of case studies of sites he moved. The search engines generally responded better to the 301s than you might think, unless that search engine is MSN. Still be careful with your 301 redirects. Barry tells us it’s better not to chain one to the next. And since I gave him a few jabs last night why not close out the design and development news with Gord Hotchkiss’s interview of Jakob Neilsen. You may not agree with everything Jakob says, but he does make a lot of valid points about usability.

Link Building

The ever dazzlin Donna Fontenot has somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggested a few new acronyms when discussing links. It’s actually a good idea. No matter what you call them you still want them. The question as always is how do you get them. Maki, Brian Provost, and Eric Ward all advise looking to your competitors to find link opportunities. You’ll have to read their posts and then do some competitive intelligence, but each has some interesting ideas.

Loren Baker encourages us to leave comments on blogs (real comments, not the spammy kind) as a way to lead to more links. Alan Rabinowitz continues the series he began last week offering his thoughts on social media links, reciprocal links and .edu and .gov links. Rand dug into some queries and discovered if you want to rank for competitive terms you may need a few paid links even if Google would prefer you not get them. The Wikipedia nofollows it’s links. You may still want some, though, and Matt McGhee tells us why. The Wiki may nofollow, but many of the sites that scrape the Wiki don’t. Maybe the Wikipedia really is DMOZ 2.0.

SEO

Remember that SEO isn’t only about search engines. There are other ways to get targeted traffic. Lee Odden has three considerations when optimizing holistically. Maybe John Chow should have listened. He’s no longer ranking well for his name. But Pronet is? Aaron Pratt came across in an interesting conversation in Google Groups started by a site owner who’s site was banned by Google. Adam Lasnik later responded with an unexpected (and perhaps not quite so honest) reason for the ban. Dave Naylor picked up on Aaron’s post and added some thoughts.

Been optimizing your images? Maki has some very good tips if you haven’t been, but would like to. Don’t overlook image search as a viable way to bring traffic to your site. Phillip Lenssen discovered a not so white hat practice of hot linking to someone else’s images. Seems Google gets things backwards and shows the image on the site doing the hotlinking.

How do you tell if your site is banned by Yahoo? It used to be they’d only show your home page in Site Explorer. Could it be that if they show your page titles in lowercase it’s another sign? Dave Davis created a plugin I’m sure you’ll find useful. It allows you to search Google and see what the results might look like if you were in a different geographical location. Now you can see the same results your clients do (assuming they’ve turned off personalized search).

Business And Marketing

How you treat your customers says a lot about your business. I’m not quite sure what to make of Sprint’s recent decision to fire customers that were making too many support calls. My initial reaction was to think about switching wireless carriers, but on second thought the move makes a lot of sense. There’s no pleasing some people and now Sprint can put more resources into pleasing those of us who can be made happy. Earlier this year JetBlue enacted a Customer Bill of Rights in response to problems they had with flights being delayed. Looks like it’s paying off in a viral way. Hmm? So listening to what your customers want and giving it to them is a good idea. Who knew?

Trust is crucial to gaining customers online. Muhammed shows how Chipolte Mexican Grill combines online and offline transparency to differentiate itself from the competition and then shows how Digg has a bit of a transparency problem. Eric Enge looks at how displaying trusted logos like the HackeSafe improves conversions. You can’t always control what others say about you (ok, you can never control what they say), but if you build up a good reputation you might be able to counter negative press before it happens. Todd Malicoat gives is 10 ways to own ourselves online.

Less pages with fewer ads leading to more money? Sounds somewhat counter intuitive, but Aaron Wall explains why it might just be the thing to do. iPhone buzz aside, Apple does make some mistakes. Seth Godin tells us how a sloppy naming strategy could have cost them millions. What can you learn from a 13 year old entrepreneur? Quite a lot if you read David Wilkinson’s guest post on Shoemoney. David will teach you how to upsell and not leave money on the table.

Search Engine News

Yahoo and Microsoft will join Google in anomyzing user data, though they haven’t quite said when. It’s good to know that privacy concerns are being heard.

Both Yahoo and Google are taking more of an interest in social networking. Yahoo is planning Mosh and Google is working on Socialstream, both of which aim to be social portal sites

No, you’re a spammer. No you are. Mahalo takes round 1, though I don’t think Squidoo is really part of this fight other than taking accusations and losing pages in Google.

Google
Apparently Google is not happy giving us the results we want. Eric Schmidt’s goal is to eventually tell us what we should want. Eric wants Google to be able to answer questions like “What shall I do tomorrow?” And “What job shall I take?” So Is Google’s data grinder dangerous?.

Google’s newest acquisition is Postini, a global leader in on-demand communication, security, and compliance solutions. When it comes to Facebook, however, the rumors are starting, but Google seems to be waiting for Facebook to come to them. Should we start taking bets on when it will happen and how much the deal will be worth.

Google added maplets to My Maps. Maplets aim to help mashups with dynamic content and they’ll aid developers in creating the min-applications

What? Google’s in court again? They’re being investigated for what? Huh? Nah, couldn’t be. They don’t do any evil. I’m beginning to think I need to devote a special section for everything legal about Google.

AdSense is going mobile. At least in beta form at the moment. Bill has coverage of a new patent from Google about a visual mobile search system. Imagine taking a photo of a products bar code and getting a web page with info about that product on your phone. And that’s just a start. Give yourself some time with this one. There’s a lot to absorb, but it’s more than worth the read. How many people knew who Udi Manber was a couple of months ago? Show of hands please. How many know who he is now? I think this is the third (fourth?) interview with Udi I’ve linked to in the last few weeks.

Yahoo!
Yahoo may lag Google in search, but they do some things better. Only 7, though according to the Marc and Angel Blog. Loren Baker offer some additional thoughts in a follow up post. Flickr is one of those things Yahoo does better and the Yahoo property saw a 38% increase in traffic over the last month. Yahoo has helped it along, by adding images from Flickr in search results.

Yahoo added a suggest ahead feature to their search box. Nothing new in search at this point, but still a nice add.

What should you do if Yahoo bans your site? Easy, just buy your way back in. Something is not quite right there.

And Yahoo appears to be the first to finalize it’s advertising company acquisition.

MSN
Microsoft will be next to finalize their deal as the FTC cleared the AQuantive buyout. More good news for Microsoft is their market share has been growing according to Compete. Their live search club giveaway may have something to do with the recent growth. Microsoft may turn to the Wikipedia to understand which person or place a document refers to. Bill has the details. And a note that AdCenter will be undergoing scheduled maintenance all day Saturday.

Ask
Ask will be opening a new eco-friendly data center in Eastern Washington, which deserves a round of applause.

Once again the weekend is here. Hopefully you made it through the 13th without running into any black cats or breaking any mirrors. And I’m assuming you were able to manage to stay clear of walking under any ladders. Whew! That was close. However you made it through the day, I hope enjoy the weekend. More good weather here and another guest coming into town for me. Happy reading.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

One comment

  1. What consumer / mobile web user does not want the ability to interact with products everywhere we go?

    Why not in ‘one click’ or say the keyword, logo, trademark, slogan and be directed to the mobile web page to get further information?

    First, Why type?
    Second, Advertising with the greatest, PC search engine (Google), can be so much more than clicking banners and receiving unwanted usless information on your mobile device.

    Why not bill the brands to avoid click fraud. Give the web user and consumer the greatest tool to navigate the physical world?

    Qode

    Isn’t ‘one click navigation’ less time searching?

    How can Google do mobile better??????

    I would rather just ‘qode’ it.

    What happens if Microsoft sees this?

    It would be nice for Google to wake up to “one click.” Why did they purchase Double Click again???

    Maybe someone heard me

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