This Week In SEO – 8/10/07

It was harder than usual to cut out some links this week. I collected a lot and had to let some really good stories go. Some have been bookmarked at my profile and some I have plans to cover in a dedicated post next week. Even with the cuts there’s still plenty of great articles and news for you to read. Are you ready for This Week In SEO?

Social Media

Let’s start social media on a somewhat different note than usual. Kim Krause Berg is not a big fan of social media sites though I think she does try to like them. But for now here’s Kim to tells us why social media bugs her. It bugs me for many of the same reasons. Kim and I might simply be hanging out in the wrong places. Lisa Barone reminds us that we need to find like-minded people on the social scene. Rand made an interesting observation about how the long tail breaks down when it comes to social media sites and Clickalite shows us that success with one social site often leads to success with others.

Sphinn has been out about a month now and the questions are arising if the site can deliver traffic. Tamar and Jill Whalen posted some observations about the traffic Sphinn sent them, though I’m not sure there’s anything conclusive yet. Do you like Netscape? Do you spend time on the site or market through it? You might not be doing either for much longer. AOL is having second thoughts about the Digg clone. Netscape won’t be going away, but it might revert back to its classic portal roots.


Women still don’t get enough credit in this world, particularly in the world of technology and search. So how about a list of the top 20 PowerWomen in PR and Marketing with links to their blogs.

Does blogging sometimes take up too much of your day? It does mine. Darren has some ideas to plan out your posting schedule to both save you time and end up with higher quality posts. And check out the new ProBlogger design. It looks good Darren. One idea to help you in your posting schedule is to write things down for future use. Ryan Imel tells us how to collect those buckets and chunks of information. And Chris Garret shares some ways to expand your creativity when it comes to writing those posts.

Aaron Wall recently helped his mom optimize her blog. Among the changes he made were customizing the page titles. Yuri has put together an amazing resource for writing better page titles with links to some of the best articles written on the subject. You’ll want to bookmark Yuri’s post, perhaps in more than one place so you can find it quickly.

Do you use your blog to sell products? John Unger has put together a great resource of ecommerce solutions for bloggers. John’s resource may lean toward Typepad blogs, but no matter what your platform you should find something here. Lately I’ve been getting hit by a lot of referrer spam and it’s one of the more annoying types of spam there is. Michael Hampton tells us how to deal with and prevent referrer spam. Thanks Michael I was looking for exactly what your post provides.

Design And Development

Kevin Gold shares a story about his wife’s purchase of a car and DazzlinDonna shares a rant on usability. Both should make you think a little more about the details when it comes to providing a better experience for your customers. And that better experience will directly result in more sales.

301 redirects are an essential part of seo. Aaron discusses how to know if a 301 redirect counts and is doing what it’s supposed to. Rand shares his thoughts on 301ing some of your pages to combat keyword cannibalization. And Mozzer Jeff shows you why 301s are important and links to some resources for setting them up in today’s Whiteboard Friday video.

Leonid Shalimov has some interesting thoughts for monetizing 404 error pages, Shari Thurow tells us the right way to think about site maps, while Mark Jackson says they’re the gateway to optimization. and Jeremy Luebke talks about ModX as an seo content management solution.


Where on the SEO Learning Life-cycle are you? Aaron has written a post with a lot of clues to help you find your way from seo newbie the seasoned pragmatic seo. You’re sure to recognize yourself somewhere on the list and the post will give you some ideas on where to go next. This one deserves to be read.

Eric Lander has advice on building themed keyword relevance on your site through off page optimization and Lisa Barone tells us that keyword density does indeed matter. There’s no magic density number, but Lisa teaches us how to understand the keyword density curve.

Raj Dash has the news on the new Links Exchange Toolbar. Quite honestly the toolbar strikes me as spammy and I wonder how effective it ultimately will or should be. Still I thought it was of interest. Justilien Gaspard tells us how to reverse engineer your competitors link patterns so you can create more link equity for your own site.

Another week and another case of spamming Google Maps. And Joe Whyte outs some unethical techniques for generating .gov links.

The supplemental tag is no more, but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which pages of your site are and aren’t supplemental. It’s still important to know despite the Google spin. Mike Terry has some ideas for finding supplemental results. Michael Gray discovered how to get a #1 ranking by taking advantage of Google’s local search and Dave Naylor discovered how to control the snippets that appear below search results. Matt Cutts posted about how fast Google is now crawling the web and indexing pages, perhaps in part to deflect criticism about the disappearance of the supplemental tags and Bill found a patent that may help to explain why there is a supplemental index in the first place.

Business And Marketing

Behavioral Advertising has gained enough awareness that the Federal Trade Commission will be having a public forum on the topic in Washington DC in November. When it comes to behavioral targeting I can see where I’d like it and where I’d be concerned over the privacy implications. I see how it might be a marketer’s dream and how it might not be as effective as it first seems.

In a self-described rambling posts Aaron discusses how content and advertising are merging with more and more ads being branded as content. And speaking of branding it even works on the youngest among us. Kids prefer burgers that were wrapped in McDonalds packaging. Unbranded McDonalds burgers just didn’t taste quite as good to the kids.

Think you need more traffic to make more money? Nope. Wendy Piersall shares how she actually grew her profits while her traffic was shrinking. And Maki gives us some ideas for how we can make more without necessarily having to bring in more traffic to our sites.

South African winery Stormhoek has an interesting story about how they built a business and brand with viral marketing and crowdsourcing. Giving away the wine definitely helped. Kevin Gold explains conversion rates and discussion the different considerations you need to take into account when talking about conversions. Julie Mason weighs in on whether you should use ppc or non-ppc advertising. Shoemoney shares a story of how he profited by noticing market inequalities in an arbitrage play.

Search Engine News

Microsoft and Google saw setbacks in their plan offer wireless internet access. Intellisophic announced it will be making its software available for the open source search wikia project. This week saw the debut of new people search engine Spock. For me the site has been down most of time I’ve tried to access it. Maybe the debut should have waited awhile longer.

Google is trying to make Google News more social by adding comments, but with a twist. The comments will come from “people or organizations who were actual participants in the story.” Most reviews ave been negative and think Google doesn’t know what they’re getting into. Predictions of being overwhelmed by spam are the norm.

Universal search is here and little by little it’s becoming ever present in search results. Fathom SEO put together a video to help explain universal search. Bill is back with some patents about how Google might present results with timelines, fact maps and fact relevance and another on a possible fact database. Will any or all of these be the next step in universal search. Universal or not, Google sometimes gets it wrong. Danny Sullivan discovered it’s no longer family friendly to search for raccoons and Bill is wondering why a search for gun shops in Miami, Florida brings up results for the Girl Scouts. I knew there was a reason they were so successful selling cookies.

Google is changing the algorithm for determining the top ads to display in results. Maximum cost-per-click will replace the actual CPC. Michael Gray sees it as just another way for Google to raise prices on the ads. Good for them, but maybe not so much for us.

Google has always seen a big part of its success in the quality of talent they hire. Forbes has ideas for the other search companies to beat Google to some of that talent. No matter how talented their employees they aren’t perfect. Gmail was shown to be vulnerable to Phishing attacks. On the other side Google has starting emailing webmasters if they discover a site is infected with malware.

A U.S. congressional committee plans to investigate if Yahoo lied during testimony over its role in a human rights case in China that sent journalist Shi Tao to jail.

On a more positive note Yahoo will stream a web only presidential debate featuring all eight democratic hopefuls for the party nomination.

Yahoo is continuing to rollout search suggestions. I started seeing it this week in Firefox and think Yahoo has done well. The search and sports teams at Yahoo are also working together to bring Sports Shortcuts. They’re starting with baseball, which as you might guess works well for me.

Yahoo launched the new traffic quality center in order to fight click fraud and build a better a better publisher network.

MSN Live Search
Tony Wright likes Microsoft’s adCenter and thinks it could win the search battle. Bill discusses a series of patents revealing how Microsoft could make use of user feedback to help rank ads. And aQuantitive approves their sale to Microsoft for $6 billion.

MSN? Live Search? Which one is it. My server logs show traffic from both. Danny has screen shots of an MSN button added to Live Search. Maybe one day we’ll know what to call them. No matter what the name Mu tells us we need to pay attention as MSN/Live Search has been gaining search market share for a few months now. In more good news for Microsoft a federal district court judge set aside a jury’s $1.5 billion judgment against MS in a patent infringement lawsuit over digital music technology.

Is Ask getting ready to dump Google ads in favor of a partnership with Microsoft? Could be. Ask has joined forces with Dell in an effort to go green. And Jim Lanzone likes the challenge of taking on Google.

The heat has rolled back into Boulder. We’re looking at near triple digit temperatures all week. That may reduce me to staying inside and curling up against air conditioner. I’m already looking forward to fall and some cooler weather. I’ll still manage to get away from the computer and outside this weekend. Hopefully I won’t melt. I hope you enjoy the weekend wherever you may be. Happy reading.

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  1. I knew there was a reason they were so successful selling cookies.

    Thanks for the laugh. Still puzzled over that one, though the search result seems to have changed some – maybe someone at Google looked into that result. It definitely was unexpected.

  2. Happy to supply the link Glen. Your article is certainly worth reading. Thanks for doing the research.

    Glad I could make you laugh Bill. I thought it was an odd result when I saw your post. Most of the time you can at least have some kind of understanding when something unusual ranks, but the Girl Scouts ranking for gun shops made no sense whatsoever.

    Yuri’s compilation of resources is really good. I know I’ve read many of them already, but definitely not all of them. After seeing Yuri’s list I had the feeling of “Oh yeah, I’m surprised no one ever thought to compile a resource of title writing articles.”

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