Why not dedicate This Week In SEO to someone in the industry who’s given quite a lot to the community and whose posts are often featured here. A few days ago Aaron Wall took off to get married (or to have a real ceremony as I think Aaron already tied the knot) and have a month+ long honeymoon. He may or may not be posting again until he returns in late October. Congrats Aaron. The SEO community will miss you, but we’re also happy for you and we’ll be awaiting your return. Now on with the show.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism released a report that compared the news agenda of mainstream media sites with that of user news sites Digg, Reddit, and Del.icio.us. Findings such as their use of different sources and different focus won’t necessarily come as a surprise, but it’s an interesting comparison nonetheless. Last week Netscape announced they would be changing their home page from user news to mainstream portal and moving the user driven content to a new site. This week they announced the new site will be at propeller.com.
No surprise that Facebook is rising while MySpace is falling. Mu shares some of the details of the Compete report and also tells us the reason is the applications. Speaking of apps, Jane looked at what makes some successful and perhaps even earning them millions one day. If you’re considering developing Facebook apps you might want to read this post. Danny takes another look at the recent changes in the accessibility of Facebook personal profiles in search results and Manoj offers tips for growing a successful Facebook Group.
- Facebook Rises, MySpace Falters
- Make Your Millions with Facebook Applications
- 4 Questions & Answers You Should Know About Facebook’s Public Search Listings
- Leveraging Facebook Groups
When marketing to social media should you focus on a few popular sites or scatter your marketing across many? I agree with Vandelay you can only effectively market well to a few. The question is where should you focus your attention. Aaron at Ajax Ninja has 7 reasons why niche media sites are your better bet, but if you still want to focus on Digg, Sujan Patel has 6 simple steps you can follow straight to the front page. And while you may or may not trust the Wikipedia’s content, Wiki admin, Durova has tips on using images to get the Wikipedia to drive traffic to your site.
- Social Media Marketing: Focus or Scatter?
- 7 Reasons Why Niche Social Media Outlets are Better Than Digg
- Demand Your Presence on Digg With 6 Simple Steps
- An Untapped SEO Opportunity: Image Link Love From Wikipedia
Is there a downside to social media marketing? How about when the marketing crosses over into spam territory? Even if you don’t see it as spam is it possible the search engines will see it that way. Aaron shows us that sometimes your successful social media campaign can be to successful.
Darren asked Aaron questions about his beginnings in seo and for some tips to optimize your blog. The result is a two part interview.
- Learn How to Get Your Blog Ranking High in Search Engines – An Interview with Aaron Wall
- More SEO Tips from Aaron Wall
Chris Garret has been offering link building opportunities lately by requesting and then linking to reader’s posts. The theme of this weeks roundup is community building and participation and Chris shares his own thoughts in addition to those of his readers. Jennifer Laycock says the best way to connect with bloggers is to talk to them. She shares an example of a company that did just that. Darren tells us that one way to build relationships with bloggers is to keep track of what they’re writing and connecting when you can offer assistance. And if you want to connect with bloggers you might want to know who some of the more influential ones are. Leo Babuta shares who he thinks are the linkerati and why they’re influential.
- Making the Most of Web Community Building and Participation – Tips Roundup
- Make One Blogger Happy and You’ll Often Make a LOT of Bloggers Happy
- Building Readership by Monitoring What Other Bloggers are Writing
- NxE’s Fifty Most Influential Bloggers
Lorelle shares some great resource for creating and customizing WordPress themes as well as advice for how to protect your blog from spammers and hackers. Ever wonder what you could do with the space at the bottom of your feed? Stephen Ward gives 7 practical examples of how to make use of the space. And Michael has some ideas on how you can spruce up your comment field by adding effects and styling your own comments differently so they stand out from the rest.
- Kubrick and K2 WordPress Themes: Collection of Theme Tips
- Protecting Your WordPress Blog
- Add a Footer to Your RSS Feed: 7 Practical Examples
- Adding Effects to the Comment Field
- Style Author Comments Differently
Design And Development
Which comes first? Usability or SEO? (Didn’t we just ask this last week?) Kim Krause Berg reminds us that neither comes first, rather both work together. Your website needs to work in harmony. Is site speed important? I think so and so does Aaron Shear. Eric Enge also agrees, and if it’s not enough to give your users a better experience, both Aaron and Eric mention the possibility of your pages ranking better if they load quicker. Ready to learn how to make your pages load faster? Then read Stoney deGeyter ‘s 5 simple steps for reducing download times.
- Usability and SEO – Red Light, Green Light
- Should You Worry About Site Speed?
- Surfers, Crawlers Find Bloated Pages Hard to Digest
- Losing Wait: 5 Simple Steps to Reducing Web Page Download Times
- The Usability of Closing Firefox Tabs
What do people see when they get a 404 error page on your site? Is it the boring default or have you created a custom 404 page? Darren and Rebecca both discuss ideas for making your 404 pages more useful and more creative. What does Google think about duplicate content? The Webmaster Central blog offered thoughts on why it should be important to you and offered advice on how you can reduce duplicate content and help search engines better understand your site.
- Create a Custom 404 Error Page for Your Blog
- Get Creative With Your 404 Error Pages
- Google, duplicate content caused by URL parameters, and you
To pay or not to pay? Isn’t that the question? More thoughts on buying links this week. Chris Garrett thinks it depends and wants to know where you stand on the issue. Jennifer Laycock thinks Google’s crusade is idiocy. Dan Thies would welcome the FTC as overlords discussing what they might do and showing why Google won’t win this battle. And Sage Lewis thinks he has a solution to make everyone happy. All it will take is “I Google,” the cyborg search engine.
- Where Do You Stand on the Paid Links Issue?
- The Idiocy of Google’s Paid Link Crusade
- I, For One, Welcome Our New SEO Overlords
- “I, Google” Addresses “Evil Paid Links” Debate
So should you use nofollow on paid links to please Google? How would your advertisers feel about it if you go that route? And let’s not forget nofollow isn’t all about identifying paid links. Dan Thies continues his discussion on using them to redirect the flow of link juice with some practical examples of dynamic linking. Dan you’re convincing me more and more each week that this is a good idea. To help with all the linking confusion Lee Odden tries to make sense of the big picture and Patrick
Adams Sexton wants us to imagine a universe without links. Well, not exactly, but Patrick explains why you can still get traffic even you don’t have billions upon billions of links
- Hiding The NoFollow from Advertisers on Ad Links
- Dynamic Linking & Nofollow – Practical Examples, Diagrams, + FAQs
- Making Sense of Linking and Site Promotion
- Hitchhikers Guide to Linkless SEO
Mark Jackson thinks today’s search marketing requires long-tail search optimization. Hamlet Batista offers a different view and suggests we go after the most competitive keyword phrases, but Jennifer reminds him and us why he’s missing the point and why you need to aim low when you’re first starting out with seo.
- Why you should target the most competitive keywords
- Five Reasons to Aim Low When You’re Just Learning SEO
- Reach Today’s Search Users With Long-Tail Optimization
- A Beginner’s SEO Toolbox
Ben Cook tells us how images can gain us a few thousand extra visitors each month simply by paying attention to details. Do you offer PDFs on your site? Did you know you can optimize your PDFs to help them rank better? Galen DeYoung has 11 tips for you to do just that. And Kevin Newcomb looks at a Marchex report on local search and tries to simplify things to make local search concepts more accessible.
- Quick and Easy Way to Get Thousands of Extra Visitors a Month
- Eleven Tips For Optimizing PDFs For Search Engines
- The Local Search Landscape
Search Engines and SEOs don’t always get along. John Andrews explains why in an analogy using card counters and Vegas casinos. Maybe now we can understand why Google wants to keep information away from us and why they took away some useful webmaster tools. The sometimes contentious relationship doesn’t prevent people from spamming and it doesn’t prevent them from getting away with it either. Loren Baker shows a troubling example of a company that used AdWords to direct traffic to its free hit counter and allowed them to direct those links wherever they wanted. Smart, but spammy. I guess it’s ok to buy links if it’s Google that you’re paying.
- SEOS : The Card Counters of the Internet
- 7 Useful Webmaster Tools Google Stole From You
- Google Loves Transparent Links & Hit Counter Spam
Eli was back this week with a monster post on how to build your SEO empire. You may not always like the ethics behind Eli’s posts, but you will always learn something from them. Eli your posts have been missed by at least one person and I’m looking forward to part 2.
Business And Marketing
Imagine you’ve been working to build your business for a few years and then suddenly you were forced to give up your name? Could you survive. You could if your brand is strong enough. Shoemoney tells us about bodog.com having to become newbodog.com and not missing a beat. If anything they’re doing better since the change. Last week he brought us part one and this week Stoney is bringing us part two of his article on small business branding. Philpp Lenssen contrasts karma and image. Each plays a role in the brand of your business.
- Bodog – Power Of Brand Recognition and User Aquisition.
- The Power Of Branding For Small Business, Part Two
- Karma vs Image
Apple fanboy Matt McGhee decided to look at Apple the company and see what their marketing can teach small business. And speaking of Apple, Seth Godin tells us how a recent decision that will cost them $20 million was money well spent. Yes, you should be treating different customers differently.
Aaron Wall added video to a couple of posts this week. The first one telling is why publishers need to move away from books and instead become interactive media artists. In the battle for attention, art will win out. The second encourages us to look forward and ride the new wave of vertical markets. Small static sites are becoming a thing of the past. Ahmed Bilal wants everyone to stop bashing Google. Not because he feels the need to defend them, but rather because it’s never a good strategy to get all your traffic from one source that will always come with some risk of going away..
- Death of the Book: Publishers Will Become Interactive Media Artists
- Ride New Verticals or Go Against the Trends of the Web
- Will The Google Bashers Please Shut Up?
If you only had $100 how would you promote your new blog. Jeremy says it’s all about your rss subscribers. He shows us how to determine the value of each new subscriber so we can determine how best to spend that c-note. Patrick has 3 ways you can get both money and traffic from Google Gadgets and Maki searched the writings of Markus Frind to discover how the Plenty of Fish AdSense millionaire made those millions.
- How Make Money On A Site With A Small Budget
- 3 Ways to Get Money and Traffic from Google Gadgets
- Learn From an Adsense Millionaire: Notes on Markus Frind and PlentyofFish.com
Search Engine News
A few weeks ago Gord Hotchkiss interviewed some big industry names on how the search interface might look in 2010. Part 2 looks at mobile search and search advertising.
Google will soon start displaying AdWords ads through mobile search. The good news for advertisers is they won’t have to pay for the clicks until at least sometime in November. It wouldn’t surprise me, though if they adopt a similar policy as they did when they extended the freebies and were willing to lose money to promote Google Checkout.
- Google Mobile to Start Running AdWords
- Google Intros Search Ads on Google Mobile Search
- Google Mobile AdWords Goes Widespread : Free Clicks for One Month
Andrew Goodman looked at Google’s contextual ads and discusses that while the ads are showing their age everything will still be ok for Google. Bill discusses research papers on how Google might extract facts from web pages to use in a variety of ways, such as search results and Q&A services.
- State of the Contextual Nation: Why New Google Won’t Be Like New Coke
- The Wisdom of Search Crowds: Google Research on Datamining Queries
What would you do if you were Google? David Naylor let everyone know what he would do. If you were making decisions at Google I would hope you could prevent things like the recent timeout for Googlebot. That simple timeout might just have some far reaching consequences in a butterfly effect as Donna Fontenot points out. Maybe you’d be responsible for making things better. Matt Cutts talks about the improved data search that’s now part of Google’s advanced search options. Or perhaps you’d get to be like Sep Kamvar and be responsible for iGoogle and personalized search.
- What I would do if I was Google
- DNS/URL timeout for Googlebot crawler
- The Google Butterfly Effect – A Search Engine Chaos Theory
- Useful Google feature: better date search
- Organizing The World’s Push Content: The iGoogle Ecosystem
It didn’t take long for the rankings to change in Google News once they started hosting content by the Associated Press. Philipp Lenssen has the news on the leaked video that shows what Google may be planning for Reader. By backing Google Apps tech consultancy, Capgemini, struck a small blow to Microsoft Office. But I thought Apps wasn’t competing with Office. Google is everywhere and now they’re pushing their way further into the solar system. They’ll be sponsoring a $30 million competition for the private sector to make an unmanned lunar landing and send images back to Google.
- Newsknife finds dramatic changes in Google News ratings
- Leaked Google Video Discusses Google Reader, Social Efforts
- Capgemini Backs Google’s Software Push
- Google sponsors moon landing prize
Googlebombing has always been more of a practical joke, until now that is. A young Polish man may be serving time in jail for getting president Lech Kacynski’s site to rank for a word he’d prefer not to rank for. And Google themselves might be breaking the law in Canada with some of the images that end up in Street View.
- Polish Man Allegedly Arrested for Googlebombing
- Google street pics could be illegal in Canada, privacy commissioner says
The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo remains on a cautious course despite investors growing impatience. Perhaps they should have been more cautious with new acquisition Right Media. The new company brokered banner ads that appeared on MySpace and Photobucket and unfortunately also included a trojan back door. Perhaps Yahoo should have hired some of the developers from Hack Days. Yahoo MapMixer is the newest product to emerge from the open forum for developers. Maybe they could get those developers to take a look at how easy it is to get a listing removed in Yahoo Local too.
- Yahoo’s Cautious Course
- Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users
- Yahoo to Launch HackDays’ MapMixer
- Yahoo Local Now Features “User Denigrated Content”
One strategy for Yahoo is to build their social properties more. This week they worked out a deal to serve ads to Bebo joining Google and MSN who have similar deals with MySpace and Digg. Loren Baker points us to some Yahoo trademarks, which seem to indicate that Yahoo is working on some social networking and telecommunications services. Yahoo acquired news aggregator Buzz Tracker leaving some to wonder why they didn’t go after Techmeme. And Bill looked at some videos of Yahoo Chief Data Officer, Usama Fayyad that discuss how data mining could lead to more effective advertising on Yahoo and social media in general.
- Yahoo wins exclusive ad deal for Bebo UK, Ireland
- Yahoo Files for New Social Networking & Telecommunications Trademarks
- Yahoo Makes Tiny Acquisition: BuzzTracker
- Yahoo’s Usama Fayyad on Datamining, More Effective Advertising on Yahoo, and Social Media
Microsoft upgraded the adCenter interface to positive reviews. They offered their take on the Capgemini Google deal saying it’s good for competition (but, Google isn’t competing, remember). Google may be the top brand, but Microsoft still comes out on top for time spent on a given domain. Get ready. In less than two weeks, on September 26th, Live Search is going 2.0. And Bill discusses a Microsoft patent for relating some queries to specific and timed events.
- Microsoft adCenter Offers Appealing Upgrade
- Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal
- Microsoft Dominates Domain Ratings, Google Tops Brand Ratings
- Microsoft Live Search 2.0 get its public day in the sun on September 26
- Using Search Results People Click Upon to Understand Events Tied to Queries
Eric Enge interviewed Ask’s Gary Price about the topic of mobile search and Ask joined Google in offering embedded maps through Ask City.
It’s feeling much more fall like as the week becomes the weekend here in Boulder. A good weekend for football and a reminder that the baseball playoffs aren’t too far away. I’ll be watching both as I try to sneak in a few hours of work. I hope you have a good weekend wherever and whatever. Happy reading.