This Week In SEO – 8/3/07

Will Barry tie and then pass Hank? Will A-Rod join the 500 home run club. Will Tom Glavine finally get his 300th win? All could happy this weekend if the cosmos align. What do these questions have to do with SEO, business, marketing, and the world of search? Nothing of course, but the links below all do. As always there’s plenty of news to cover and plenty of interesting articles on the other side of the links. On with the This Week In SEO show.

Social Media

Facebook is growing and you might be wondering how to market yourself through the site. Maki has a very good overview of of how to marketing yourself on the social network with links to articles and other resources. Neil discusses Facebook apps, specifically how to create viral Facebook applications.

Ranking for seemingly everything isn’t enough for Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. His company Wikia purchased distributed crawler Grubb with plans to make it open source. This should be good news if you ever wanted to develop your own search engine.

How do you know if your social media campaign is successful? Michael Brito takes a look at the metrics you want to consider. Michael discusses some of the standard metrics and then considers some metrics specific to social media. Not everyone cares for social media, though. Adam tells us why he thinks spam may ruin most social media sites if the sites aren’t more active in preventing manipulation. Adam may not care much for sites like StumbleUpon, but Mu thinks StumbleUpon doesn’t get enough appreciation for its ability to send traffic.

Something tells me most of you do like social media and want to know more about how to do well marketing through social sites. Mark Cook offers advice on better ranking through Digg, Matt has an example of Flickr SEO in action, and Kevin Palmer tells us how to use MySpace to build an audience for your blog.


When I first began blogging I came across Darren Rowse’s excellent series 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. Darren started the 2007 version of the series this week and it’s something you’re going to want to follow if you want to improve your blog. Think stealing content is bad? Sure it is, but it might be ok to steal someone’s ideas. Brian Clark tells us how and it’s really not stealing, more like finding new uses for existing ideas. List posts can get tiring, but there’s no denying they work. Mu tells us the 7 things we need to know to write effective lists.

Content is king, but who wants to rule over an empty kingdom. You need to build links into your blog for your content to work its magic. The easiest way might be to find blogs that DoFollow and comment on them. Mark Cook created a PDF listing 160 DoFollow blogs. Rand thinks the key to links is emotions. He offers a rundown of different kinds of emotional appeal and what kinds of links you might expect to get using them. Plus you get to see what Rand what the moody Rand might look like. Links are great so remember not to be ungrateful when you get them. Darren tells us how to say thanks.

FeedBurner has some new ways to advertise or rather pubvertise your blog and Mu shows why you may not be making money with your blog.

Design And Development

Kim Krause Berg talks about usability in combination with SEO. It’s what the people want after all. One very common question people ask is who to use as a web host. Jimmy Atkinson has put together a list of 14 hosting options for hardcore developers. Last week Google announced that they would start treating underscores as word separators. Barry decided to contact the other major search engines for confirmation that they all treat underscores the same way. Having someone steal your design or content sucks. It happens to all of us sooner or later. It happened to a friend of Aaron’s recently, but Aaron’s issue is more with some big sites that let it happen.

What happens when your site architecture leads to a dead end page? How will search engines treated those dangling nodes? Bill discusses an IBM patent that attempts to improve on the PageRank algorithm specifically when it comes to those dead end pages known as dangling nodes. And good news for anyone who likes clean code. Dan Chow recently hinted that clean code might help you get more pages spidered and indexed by Google.

Keywords And Link Building

Aaron Wall spent some time this week giving out advice on keyword research. First was a follow up to his article for WordTracker about turning content into keyword lists and today it’s advice on how to estimate the length and value of the long tail in your market. Eric Ward tells you what not do when requesting a link and DazzlinDonna shares her favorite way for attracting links and traffic.


Do you like interviews with SEOs? I hope so since I have two for you. First is Aaron’s interview of Danny Sullivan, which includes Danny’s thoughts on the best donut in the world. Donuts…arrgh. Next is Matt Webb’s interview of Matt McGhee. No donut favorites here, bit still 10 good questions and answers from Matt and Matt.

Both DaveN and Aaron are seeing a lot of spammy results in Google. It looks like people are figuring out ways to spam Google over their reliance on authority. The cat and mouse game continues. These are a couple of short posts, but both worth a look. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how it might be possible to steal customers through Google Maps. It seems there might be some large scale abuse of Google Maps going on.

Richard Burckhardt wrote a two part series on SEO 101. The first covers on-page optimization and the second deals with off-page optimization. Shari Thurow had a few seo epiphanies this week and Bill wants us to make better use of every day pages like “Contact’ and “About Us.”

Search results are undergoing a major change and seo will have to change with it. Personalization and universal search do set a different landscape over search. Aaron Chronister has 8 ways you can optimize for personalized search and Eric Lander has tips for enhancing your local listings in Google.

Business And Marketing

Choosing the right keyword phrases and finding appropriate sites for linking are tactics. In order for them to work best they need to fit into your overall marketing strategy. Jody Nimetz has 7 keys to thinking strategically about your search marketing. And once you have a strategy in place you need to get your message out to the right audience. Why? Because that’s where the customers are. Just because you do business online doesn’t mean you should stop marketing offline. One place where your customers might be looking is the newspaper.

What can marine iguanas teach us about marketing? That it’s easier to be successful when there’s less competition. Seth Godin fills in the details. Most of us have competition, though, and all the traffic in the world won’t matter if you don’t differentiate your business from the others in your industry. Khalid has 5 techniques to set an ecommerce site apart.

Quadzilla responded to a couple of emails this week. First up is his advice for new entrepreneurs and where best to start. Next up is why having only one revenue stream is like having a single point of failure. Brad Isaac tells us how we can avoid that single failure point and how to generate multiple streams of income and Andy Hagans has 5 ways to make money that don’t involve Google. It takes time to turn a profit, but sometimes you need to know when your business model isn’t working and when it’s time to quit. Maki shares ideas on how you can identify when it’s time to terminate a project.

Search Engine News

AOL is rebranding itself yet again and soon we’ll be referring to TMZ as the 5th search engine. Bill Hartzer has the news. Alan Rimm-Kaufman has the half year report card on the big three engines when it comes to PPC and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google and Microsoft among others would like to see changes in copyright law.

Speaking of copyright, Google has plans to launch a system to help prevent copyrighted videos from appearing on YouTube.

Google is looking to make more inroads into the mobile space. Last week Google made requests of the FCC in preparation for a possible bid on wireless airwaves. This week the FCC agreed to some, though not all of Google’s requests.

Now that the FCC has made its decision rumors of a Google Phone are back. Google appears to be courting wireless carriers to offer customized Google products on handsets including its search engine, email, and a new mobile web browser. A gphone might have a similar impact to the recently released iPhone.

Behavioral targeting is the next logical step in online advertising, especially now that Google has personalized search, but apparently Google is somewhat leery. It might be due to privacy concerns or that Google doesn’t quite think it will be as effective as some expect. Something tells me behavioral targeting will find its way into Google advertising once they figure out how to make it work, though perhaps with a different name

One suggestion from a Google Webmaster Central blog post was not to cross-link sites that aren’t on related topics. Is this really such a bad strategy and should you avoid the practice? You should probably be wary at least. And Gmail appears to have been hacked. DaveN thought it funny at first until he realized his gmail account was tied to his AdWords account.

Webmaster World members have some thoughts on the latest Yahoo weather report and Sujan Patel tells us that paid inclusion at Yahoo may be a thing of the past.

Yahoo and comScore released a study this week reaffirming that pre-shopping online leads to more sales offline. Seems like a good reason for brick and mortar businesses to make sure they have an online presence.

Thomas McMahon has a wish list for a better Yahoo, The New York Times thinks Yahoo should invest in a social network, specifically Facebook, and Bill covers a Yahoo patent that discusses tagging suggestions as a way to combat spam. Perhaps Yahoo’s social media properties can help their search engine.

MSN Live Search
Live Search added new image search features last weekend. Must have been a slow week for Microsoft.

Ask CEO Jim Lanzone shared his story with the New York Times. I guess Jim thought a career in search was more interesting than a career in law.

Q2 earnings were down for Ask’s parent company IAC.

Reports are in that Ask may have recently completed a search update. There are also questions as to why they still serve ads from Google now that they have their own sponsored listings service. And how about ending the Ask news and the week with an article from Ask senior user experience analyst (say that 10 times fast), Michael Ferguson. Michael talks about Ask3D and Universal search from Google and the opportunities both offer search marketers.

Another Friday has arrived and another weekend is quickly approaching. Mixed weather here. The skies can’t seem to decide if they want to be sunny or gray and the clouds are teasing rain, but not really delivering. I’m hoping the weather stays nice through tomorrow since I have plans to spend the morning visiting garage sales. I hope you have a good weekend wherever you are and happy reading.

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