This Week In SEO – 8/24/07

Yesterday my brother David turned 40. Happy Birthday! Seems like as good a reason as any to dedicate This Week in SEO to him, even if he wouldn’t know an algorithm from hand edit. With so many seo bloggers at SES this week you’d think there would have been less posts than the last time we met. In truth there were less articles this week outside of SES coverage, but that only meant I had to cut out less links than usual. There’s still a good assortment of articles to point you to and there’s even more links to be found at my del.icio.us profile.

Social Media

The emergence of the WikiScanner has allowed everyone a peak at who’s editing what pages and it’s become apparent that corporate America has been spamming editing quite a few pages. David Chen tells us why these edits will backfire and hurt online reputation. Speaking of spam, Philipp Lenssen wonders is anyone besides him is seeing all the emails social networking sites send as spam. How many people really need to ask you to friend them. Jane has some good ideas on not being a spammer when it comes to making friends on social networking sites. She also has some other tips for making social media work better for you in today’s Whiteboard Friday video.

Facebook is working on a new advertising system to let marketers better target ads to users. Behavioral targeted will soon be arriving at a social network near you. You can still profit from Facebook before the new advertising system is fully in place. Jordan summarized a couple of articles on leveraging Facebook for your business. One way to profit from the site is by creating Facebook applications. Chris Pearson tells us why the apps are a gold mine. And Brian Clark uses observations about Facebook to teach us how to better sell affiliate products on our blogs.

StumbleUpon launched a new interface. I switched to it a couple of days ago and think it’s an improvement. Last week Darren Rowse shared how to successfully advertise on StumbleUpon. This week he has a follow up based on reader questions to the original post. Reddit often seems to take a backseat to Digg when it comes to social news, but the site can still be a great way to market your content. David Chen shows you why the Reddit New page is better than Digg’s Upcoming page and Maki exposes yet another Reddit scam.

Blogging

Last week Articulate launched their Rapid E-Learning blog. Brian shares the story of how they were able to gain 6,312 subscribers in one day. Yes, one day. Maybe some of their techniques could bring you and I a few more readers as well. If you ask Darren he’ll tell you taking a vacation is the best way to increase traffic. Ok maybe that part of his post was tongue-in-cheek. I’ll give you another hint. Darren’s traffic surge had a lot to do with moving from partial feeds to full feeds. And remember that not everyone reading your next post will be one of your long time readers. Darren tells us we need to tell new readers what our blog is all about from time to time.

No matter how much you enjoy blogging there will always be times when it’s the last thing on earth you want to do. Finding ideas can be difficult and there are days you feel like you’ve written everything there is to write about a particular subject. engtech and John Pozadrizes are here to help on those days with ideas on finding your muse and tips for brainstorming new blogging ideas. Elmore Leonard once said about writing “I try to leave out the parts people skip” and Darren expands on the quote in a short guest post

Chris Garrett wants us to get away from self-limiting thoughts and I completely agree. You can only go as far as you think you can go. Ryan Immel wants to know if your blog disappeared would anyone miss it? Ryan isn’t being self-limiting though. His post is designed to get you to make your blog remarkable and make it irreplaceable to your readers.

Design And Development

Darren is trying his hand again at a video post. This time stressing why first impressions are important. ProBlogger was recently redesigned as was John Chow’s site. Ben Cook looks at the before and after of both sites while sharing his thoughts on redesigning an established site.

Roberta is back with another landing page makeover. You’ll want to read her advice if you sell an ebook. You’ll want to read it even if you don’t. Yuri tells us how three little lines of code can boost your search traffic considerably. He’s talking about canonicalization and 301 redirects of course. And Aaron Wall has some thoughts on what makes for good internal navigation and what makes for spamvigation.

SEO

One of the most talked about sessions at SES San Jose this week was the session on paid links. Google doesn’t like paid links as you know by now, except of course when those links are pay per click. Aaron talks about the hypocrisy as well as how you can buy links under the radar and avoid the spammer label. DazzlinDonna knows why paid links are such a hot topic. They work. She also shares how one company is now starting to obfuscate it’s affiliate links, though she won’t say who.

Whether you buy links or not can you get them too fast? Can you be too agressive in your link building? Eric Ward has the answers. The not-so-secret secret is to build links naturally. Aaron tells us the best way to ensure a solid link profile is to get other people talking about you.

Mark Jackson raises the issue of different seo hats, sharing some of the tactics each hat might use. He also has advice on how to choose which hat wearing SEO will be best for your site and company. Adam on the other hand wants to make sure you know which SEOs never to hire. He offers seven signs you can easily spot.

Stephen Spencer follows up on his speaking about seo and blogs at SES with twelve seo mistakes most bloggers make. Uh oh. It looks like I’m guilty of a few of these myself and have some work to do. Can pay per click advertising help your organic seo? It can and Chris Paddock fills in the details. Bob Massa tells us a story about Aaron Wall and Google and how Aaron got Google to spam themselves. Ok there really isn’t any spaming going on as Bob is quick to admit, but there are some lessons to be learned about dominating a given SERP.

Business And Marketing

Jennifer Laycock knows she’s brand loyal. She’s also customer experience loyal, which she found out when experiencing the service at two different Panera Breads. One way to bring traffic and improve experience is to speak your customer’s language, not yours. Jay Cross wrote a pair of posts this week on how to talk to your customers. Perhaps the most important place to communicate with your customers is in your choice of domain names. Michael Jensen tells us how one business may be losing local customers because of the domain name they chose and the one they didn’t.

Should you blend your ads with your content or should you make them stand out? Jakob Neilsen’s most recent Alertbox on banner blindness indicates you better make your ads look like your content. Aaron agrees and has some ideas how you can blend ads and content without being labeled as unethical. Maki takes a different approach showing us how to get eyeballs back on those banners and reduce the blindness without having to deceptively blend then into your content. Can you profit buying and reselling someone else’s ad space. That’s the risk Ryan Stewart took to make some money.

To niche or not to niche that is the questions. Whether tis nobler in the mind…

So should you start your site by first identifying a profitable niche or can you still make money without niche marketing. Maki looked at both side of the issue first explaining why niche markets are so important and then detailing some key points of making money without a clearly defined niche.

Search Engine News

comScore hopes it will be able to measure search volumes and market share more accurately by expanding their gSearch product. Will SurfWax be one search engine to pick up market share in the future? Arun Radhakrishnan tells us why the meta engine is gaining traction. Arun also tells us about Accona the AI powered search engine, though investors are having misgivings about the startup.

Google
Shoemoney noticed Google Maps is now integrating user reviews on restaurants and Eric Enge fills us in on the new easy way to add a Google map to your site. No more scripts and APIs. It’s now as easy as copying and pasting some simple html into your page. Google Earth now shows real time traffic for your morning and evening commute and even more exciting (to me at least), Earth added a new service called Sky that will show real images of the sky and the stars.

Google admitted it made a mistake in the way they planned to end the Google video download to own/rent program. They listened to feedback to rectify customer complaints. It’s a good move by Google. They also added video to the results you’ll find in Google News. But the biggest video news is that YouTube will monetize with overlay ads.

The new maximum CPC algorithm for ranking ads went into effect this week. Average cost per click seems to be going up in early reports. In the future will you be the one determining which ads Google delivers in emails, blog and forum posts, and instant messengers? Will your friends appreciate the ads you send to them? Bill discusses a series of Google patent applications about how you might be the one controlling which ads end up in the emails you send.

Is the Gphone coming? Rediff seems to think it’s already here and we could see it in a matter of weeks. Late last week American Airlines sued Google over AdWords bids on it’s trademark. Maybe Google is fed up being the suee and is ready to be the suer. Phillip Lensen tells us of a cease and desist letter they sent to one of his readers for displaying their logo. And we’ll leave Google this week with a Dear Google letter from Jane Copland. Jane has some requests she’d like to see Google implement. Most of them I’d like to see implemented too, though Jane I’d prefer to see less of the Wikipedia as well as Digg in the results.

Yahoo!
Yahoo audio search now allows you to play samples of millions songs, while Yahoo search added new shortcuts for health, electronics, and the NFL. Football (American football) is just around the corner. On the PPC side David Pann, Vice President of Marketplace Design & Matching, announced at SES that soon you’ll be able to pay for your ads via PayPal, manage more ads through a new interface, and get email notification every 30 days on low quality ads.

Yahoo EU had a redesign of their home page and Yahoo is rumored to have purchased gaming specialist, Actionality.

Site Explorer added dynamic URL rewriting, providing site owners the ability to alert Yahoo of the dynamic properties of any URL they want Yahoo to ignore. Most are happy with the new ability to help prevent pages being seen as duplicate content, but Niraj Sanghiv sees it as Yahoo just getting webmasters to do work that the search engine should be doing on it’s own.

MSN/Live Search
Microsoft will make Content Ads Beta available to all U.S. customers next week as it attempts to grow it’s publisher network. Their long awaited Webmaster portal will be available publicly in late fall. For now some will get to preview the new tools in private beta testing. AdLab has an Ad text Writer demo among others and Microsoft is experimenting with Tafiti a search engine built on the Silverlight plug-in.

Steve Ballmer talked more about the rumored Microsoft takeover of Yahoo while being interviewed by Charlie Rose. It’s no rumor that Microsoft and Bebo are partnering to make Windows Live messaging service the de facto service for the social network. And a new suite of Windows Live services will be specifically designed for Nokia devices.

Ask
Media Post is reporting a positive user experience as 10% of searches using Ask 3D are refining queries through Search Suggestions

As always Friday couldn’t get here soon enough for me. It was a busy week here in Boulder and I’m looking forward to a couple of days off, which means I’ll only be working part of the day instead of all day. The weather looks promising, a little cooler, yet still nice and sunny so some of the weekend will no doubt be spent outside. Enjoy your weekend wherever you are and whatever you may do. Happy reading.

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