This Week In SEO – 7/6/07

Here in the U.S. it felt like two short weeks this week. The 4th of July holiday tossed a pseudo Sunday into the middle of things. News was slow only for the day though, so it wasn’t too hard to find pages to link to. I think I could have done a single post on Google news this week had I wanted. Instead it’s the usual assortment of characters and links for your enjoyment. And let’s all celebrate the release of reporter Alan Johnston from captivity. Alan we’re glad you’re back.

Now on with the show.

Social Media

Ross Dunn starts us off this week with a very good overview of what social media marketing is. The StepForth whitepaper is also available as a PDF and I’ll trust you can find the link at the bottom of the article. I think Flickr gets overlooked sometimes amidst the many social media sites out there. Barry Schwartz is a big fan of the photo sharing site and has some tips for building traffic through Flickr.

Last Week I dedicated a good deal of this space to links on Facebook and MySpace. This week Muhammed took a deeper looking at Facebook and concluded it’s not the most viable marketing platform. Cameron isn’t saying the same thing about MySpace, though. In fact he’s got some ideas on how to build an audience on the social networking site.

Chris Hemphill, one of the new writers at Pronet, has some ideas for improving Digg. I’m not sure about the suggestion for giving away prizes, but the other nine are all good. Of course Kevin Rose may not be listening at the moment while he’s working on Pownce. Sreejith sent me an invite last weekend which I quickly accepted, but I admit to not spending much time on the site since. Don’t worry if you didn’t get your Pownce invite or if you never make it to the front page of Digg. Darren Rowse has some numbers that seem to indicate StumbleUpon is a better source of traffic.


The world’s youngest blogger, one year old “little X” Rowse has a few things to say about his dad Darren. You have to hand it to the kid. He writes pretty well for someone who’s still learning the language. Happy Birthday “little X.” I can’t wait to see where you take your blogging over the next few years. You’ve written a great first post, but since you’re still new to the game you might want to read Kevin’s top 10 mistakes new bloggers make. Age of the blogger isn’t one of the interesting ways Blogscope might search blogs, but that’s ok. There’s a few other ways they might find you and Bill has a rundown.

Do you blog full time or is it something you do after a day working? Are there days where you just don’t think you can get a new post written? Jason developed an interesting point system to always keep his blogging momentum going. Go ahead and create your own point system, but do listen to Brian Clark and make sure you’re value blogging. I like metaphor and apparently so does Steve Remington. He’s come up with one describing blogs as roads and suggests your goal is to locate your blog at a buzy intersection. Chris Garret gathered up readers posts about branding and let us know which ones he liked best. Sadly my own recent post on inexpensive branding didn’t make the cut, but that faux pas aside Chris has still linked to some great posts.

If you’re using FeedBurner you may have already turned on stats Pro or MyBrand, which Google made free this week. You probably have a few Feedflares in your feed too, but did you know you can create custom flares to promote your own properties? Maki shows us how it’s done. And if you use WordPress like I do you’ll want to check out Shoemoney’s tip on closing a possible hole in your plugins directory.

Design And Development

Site and internal link architecture are often overlooked when it comes to their impact on seo. Jim Boykin teaches us how to stay out of the supplemental index and achieve higher ranking through internal linking. Aaron Wall has some additional ideas for improving internal link structure in a follow up post to Jim’s article. Design matters. Just ask the folks a SilverPop who published a report on landing pages. Roberta Rosenberg gives us her take.

Link Building

Do you hate link building? Maybe just a little. Even Eric Ward has a few things he doesn’t much care for when it comes to building links and I have to agree with him. There are some things you shouldn’t do when asking for a link. It’s not all bad, though. Barry has an easy tip for getting .edu links. Congrats to Patrick Altoft, who was able to build 10,000 links for Blogstorm in 3 weeks time. He’s well on his way to a million links.

Do you know how many links you have? Any idea how many sites love your content enough to link to it? If not, don’t worry. Sage Lewis tells us how to find out who loves you baby. Of course there’s a lot more to links than how many you have. It’s all about the quality don’t you know. Alan Rabinowitz looks at some ways of determining link quality. And once you know what to look for in a link Patrick Gavin has a few crafty outside the box tips for getting more links.


You probably know that most queries are in the long tail of search, but will you find most of your money in the short head of search? Whether in the head or tail, most queries are not commercial in nature. Bill tells us how we can still profit from informational and anti-commercial queries. Ever wonder about all the URL parameters Google uses? Joost de Valk compiled a nice list and put them all together in a PDF you can download.

You do know it’s not only about search engines don’t you? Maki started a series on traffic building tips, which includes an introduction to defensible traffic and details on 10 ways to get that traffic. Image search spam certainly isn’t defensible, but Loren Baker discovered it’s being done. Stephan Spencer shares a nice secret about grouped Google results. It might not be as hard as you think to knock your competitors off the first page or get yourself on the first page of results. And Lee Odden reminds us that SEO is an ongoing practice.

Business And Marketing

eBay made a lot of news this week. They’re getting into the online classified market ala Craig’s List, teaming up with Yahoo on a new toolbar, and working with Firefox on a new eBay Browser. A busy week week indeed and they didn’t even need to fight with Google.

Aaron Wall tells us why it won’t make a difference how good your content is if you don’t have subscribers. It’s all about brand and Aaron gives us another post on why it’s better to be in some niche markets than others. Building a brand is one thing, managing it is another. E-consultancy has ten hints for managing your brand. Do you allow your users to review your products? You might want to. Greg Howlett points to a NetShops study, which showed a 26% increase in sales after implementing user reviews. I think the methodology of NetShops should be questioned a little, but Greg also provides some additional data that might convince you to add some reviews to your site.

Search Engine News

Not everything in search has to be so serious right? Danny Sullivan proves that while wondering which movie frat house each search engine is most like. Fraternity life makes for a nice lead in to a Penn State study that showed they way people viewed a search brand also influenced their opinions of the search results. Tamar has a follow up to the study including links to further discussion. Since Google has branded itself as search do Yahoo and Microsoft have any chance of catching up? Can a semantic search engine like Hakia really be a Google killer? Maybe the way to beat Google has less to do with search quality and more to do with damaging their brand over issues like privacy.

A couple of Googlers found their personal brands called into question this week, though I wonder if both of these stories have more to do with the number of people who want to see Google taken down a peg. I wonder how big a deal either of these issues really is or how many people would have noticed if not for the coverage.

First it was Lauren Turner on the new Health Advertising blog. Lauren wrote a post last Friday encouraging the health care industry to advertise with Google. Lauren pushed them improve their brand through the ads after Michael Moore’s latest documentary, Sicko. Lauren followed up with a post stating the original post was her opinion and not Google’s. Matt Cutts offered some advice to new new corporate bloggers and a host of others chimed in to mostly criticize Lauren. Pushing ads the way she did probably wasn’t the brightest of ideas, but I say give her a break.

Later in the week it was Susan Wojcicki’s turn. First was the USA Today article, which claimed she said she created AdSense, followed by Valleywags assertion that she most definitely did not. Did Susan say what USA Today reported? Did the paper get it wrong? Does it matter? I’d rather know how to make more money publishing the ads.

Of course it wasn’t just Googlers that were being criticized. Google the company took a few blows as well. Thomas Claburn called into question Google’s battle against spam leading to a follow up by Matt Cutts. Last week’s Forbe’s article on negative seo was still being discussed and a new article from the Washington Post followed online reputation misfortunes.

Google continues to have problems with the EU. There’s Belgium and copyright issues and Germany and Gmail and one English company taking Google to court over libel concerns.

The news isn’t all bad for Google. They Acquired voice communications company GrandCentral and added a nice drag and drop feature to Maps that allows you to change driving directions while on the go. Commuters trying to avoid traffic or those who kind of know there’s a better route will love the new drag and drop.

Yahoo introduced SmartAds which aims to let advertisers compile ads on the spot based on user demographics. Now you can see what personalized search is really all about. Knowing who we are lets search engines deliver ads targeted more specifically to us. I think I remember saying something like that when I talked about the dangers of personalized search and the seo implications of personalization way back when.

The New York Times had a nice piece on Sunday about new Yahoo President Susan Decker. Will Yahoo begin taking more advantage of it’s social properties? Bill takes a look at Flickr and a new application called ZoneTag, which will tag images you upload with your phone by your location. Bill grabbed a host of Flickr tagging info for the post. And it appears Yahoo is using social media to grab market share abroad.

There wasn’t a lot of MSN news this week or maybe not much that interested me. adCenter now has a new click quality report giving advertisers the ability to improve naturally enough the quality of clicks they get.

Another weekend has arrived and as usual here in Boulder it’s sunny and hot. Very hot. Temperatures have been in the 90’s or close to it much of the last few days and I think it’s supposed to continue into the weekend. It kind of makes indoors with the AC a little more enticing, but I’m sure I’ll find my way outside to play in the sun too. Have a good weekend wherever you are and whatever you do. Happy reading.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. StumbleUpon has been a great source of traffic for the blog I write. I added it a few weeks ago, and referrals from that source have been steadily rising.

    I need to get a bit further into how the whole StumbleUpon thing works, but I can say, at least for me, being Stumbled Upon has help increase traffic to my blog.

  2. One of the things I’ve consistently noticed about StumbleUpon users is they tend to check out other pages of the site. I think it’s because while stumbling they’re in the exploring frame of mind so they’ll look beyond the page they land on.

    Spend some time to see what sites typically get thumbs up by other stumblers to get a feel for what they like. Then create content for them.

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