This Week In SEO – 9/28/07

Danny Sullivan turned 42 this week, the same age as me I might add, and Google turned 9. Matt provides Google’s horoscope for the coming months based on their September 27th birth date. Any other week either would be enough for this post’s dedication. But not this weekend. This Week In SEO takes its name from the popular Mel Allen show “This Week In Baseball,” and given this is the last weekend of the regular season, baseball gets the dedication. In particular the National League where 15 games over the next three days will determine the October fate of 7 teams.

As always there’s plenty to get to and more at my profile. Now on with the show.

Social Media

This first post is from last week, but since I discovered it this week and thought it would be of interest we’ll pretend it was published a few days later. Tim Nash did some extensive testing and performed the math to speculate about what he thinks might be the StumbleUpon algorithm. Bill Hartzer has a tip for increasing the visibility of pages you link to from your StumbleUpon blog. The tip? Claim your SU blog through Technorati. Bill tells you how. Skellie gives us a great overview of StumbleUpon complete with ideas for using SU to build your blog.

New York Attorney General, Andrew M. Cuomo announced that his office is investigating Facebook over complaints about sexual predators on the site. Cuomo’s office has been running some undercover tests recently and found Facebook none too cooperative in responding to complaints about predators. Lisa Barone wanted to see just how private her Facebook profile is to find that it isn’t all that private. Danny Sullivan followed up to show that Lisa was right and your ‘private’ Facebook profile may be very accessible through a blog search. The good news for Facebook is the site’s new IM client that should be going into beta today.

Last week Digg added more social networking features and this week Neil tells us what the changes mean for SEO. Michael Gray doesn’t like the new Digg and apparently his friends will no longer be responding to the viagra spam they get.


Donna Fontenot raised an interesting question about the responsibilities seo bloggers have to their audience. While Donna framed the question specifically for SEOs the philosophical issue applies to most any industry. Are you a blogger without a blog? Maybe you have a blog, but would like to increase your income by blogging for others. Chris Garrett will tell you how to get your first freelance gig. You’d probably agree that comments add value to a blog. I’m also guessing you’d like to get more of them. I’ve shared my ideas on how you can increase comments on your blog and this week Ben Cook offers 5 ways you can attract more comments as well. For those times when one of your posts goes popular on one of the social media sites how do you get that influx of new traffic to come back. Sujan Patel says it’s easy and has 10 ways you can make sure readers come back for more.

How much time do you spend blogging? Too much? Leo Babauta says the answer to gaining back some of your time is to practice minimalist blogging and stick to focusing on the essentials. Stephen Ward suggests you can improve your workflow by using blog editing software. Stephen reviews several free and paid programs you can use. Myself, I use the Scribefire extension for Firefox. engtech takes the idea of saving time in a new direction with tips for how to set up a blog maintenance start page.

In the end none of your blog promotion will work if you can’t write well. Laura offers us six easy ways to hook your reader with your headline. Brian has 10 tips to make your writing more persuasive. And Skellie has 10 tips for better writing in general.

Design And Development

You may not always agree with Jakob Nielsen. I know I don’t. But you can’t deny his influence on website usability. Eric Enge interviewed Jakob on a variety of usability topics. What usability mistakes bug you most? Lisa tells us of 7 mistakes that bug her and asks all to please stop doing them. One of my pet peeves is slow loading sites. John Pozadzides wants faster sites too and he tells us about three easy things you can do to speed up your WordPress blog

When you run a site called Pro Blog Design you naturally write a lot about how to design better blogs. Michael Martin wrote a series on blog design this week discussing what he considers to be the four aspects of good design, achieve site goals, achieve user goals, branding and remembrance, and distinction and the first impression. I liked the series and have included all posts below. And for good measure here’s Michaels’ guest post at ProBlogger on using categories and tags more effectively.

Paul Robb shares how he won the SEOmoz landing page contest in the first of a two part article. I’m eagerly awaiting part 2 Paul. I’m always excited to see another of Roberta’s landing page makeover clinics. The series is one of my favorite reads and I look forward to the next one as soon as I finish reading the current one. You keep writing them Roberta and I’ll keep linking to them. B2B landing pages are typically about lead generation as opposed to direct sales. Jon Miller shares 10 tips for creating lead generation landing pages.

Link Building

Honeymooning Aaron Wall seems to post nearly as often as the working Aaron Wall. That’s ok since we’re the ones who profit. Aaron posted some great ideas for researching link generating content. Dee Barizo has even more suggestions for writing content that will attract links. Rae Hofman shares a story to show that Google can’t ever find out that some links are paid. Jim Boykin alleviates some Google FUD when he tells us that you won’t be banned for selling links.


Rand simplified SEO reducing 90% of the equation to 4 factors. Read this post for a grounding in what’s really important. And if that’s not enough Rand followed up with a post on how internal linking practices can reinforce keyword themes on your site. Speaking of keywords Matt McGhee points us to Yahoo Buzzlog, calling it the most underrated keyword tool when it comes to generating content.

Stoney deGeyter throws a new challenger into the succession for SEO king. The new king Stoney says is community. He wrote two articles for Search Engine Guide this week making his case. Jennifer Laycock added an article on the subject to reinforce and expand on Stoney’s points.

Pat Doyle talks about using images to build more traffic for your site with some essential tips to help your images rank better. Aaron think what you call yourself is important. Directories are out and social bookmarking sites are in, but how different in concept are they really. The way you classify your services does make a difference. Is the DMOZ trying to become more relevant again? Do you care? In an effort to be more transparent and gain trust the DMOZ blog was launched and Loren Baker has a variety of ideas for AOL to reinvent the directory.

Business And Marketing

Maki shows you how to make ‘free’ work for your business. He offers advice on bringing in traffic looking for something free and then gradually pulling those visitors towards a paid model. Trust is one of the most important factors in doing business online. Skellie shows us how to establish trust with visitors. Last week Wendy Piersall discussed advertising and this week she’s discussing affiliate marketing. If you’re looking to monetize your blog this is a series you should be following. Already know about affiliate marketing? Looking to take it to another level? Paul shares how he made a lot of quick money by exploiting a hole in Facebook. You may question the ethics, but you won’t question the results.

Yuri offers a case study on how he improved conversions 126% in just a few hours work making changes to a landing page and improving an AdWords campaign. There’s a reason why people suggest doing the basics. They work. Want to know everything Aaron Wall knows about marketing? Now you can, sort of. Aaron created a mind map dump that might prove to be the online marketer’s checklist. Sometimes you can capitalize on someone else’s success. David Chen tells you how to profit when someone else creates a hit. And Ben Cook wrestles Sun Tzu’s Art of War to the ground and shows us how to do battle in the online eWar.

Search Engine News

How does a search engine determine the importance of a website or web page. Bill looks at a Microsoft patent and a Google patent to show what factors search engines might use to determine importance scores.

Google is looking to make more inroads into social media. They’ll be releasing a new set of APIs in November to allow developers to leverage data from properties like Okrut, iGoogle, Gmail, and Google Talk. More properties are planned to be included over time. Google may also have plans to develop a social networking system around Google Earth.

Garett Rogers reported on a possible new version of Gmail including new features that may be in the queue. And Philipp Lenssen reports on a security flaw in the current Gmail based on an XSS exploit.

Mobile social network Zingku was Google’s latest acquisition. The U.S. senate is still deciding the fate of their proposed acquisition of DoubleClick. Since Congress was looking at Google, Bill decided to turn the tables and see how Congress makes use of Google. Maybe Congress should be looking at what Google suggest thinks of Israel. Barry noticed suggest considers Israel to be a terrorist state.

Do you use Webmaster Central? Eric Lander offers a comprehensive guide to understanding and getting the most out of Google’s Webmaster Tools. Barry shows an example of how Google can be slow to update the cache of a site. Adam Lasnik started a Google Groups thread asking what you would like to know more about. Good for Adam. Google added video results to Alerts and Google Books received a redesign.

And closing out the week in Google, Bill discusses the idea of multi-tiered indexing and multi-staged query processing in a couple of Google patents and a white paper that cover ranking results and applied semantics.

Have you noticed any change in your Yahoo rankings yet? I’m still seeing a little more traffic, though the increase seems to low too be statistically significant. Algorithm update or not, one of the better things Yahoo has done recently is put together a candidate mashup, which is an online debate of Democratic candidates as interviewed by Charlie Ross and Bill Maher. You get to choose the question and which candidates you want to answer. Yahoo is testing results with search assist and Bill talks about a patent detailing how Yahoo might filter some URLs from being crawled.

MSN/Live Search
After a few slow weeks of news Microsoft made waves this week with Searchification Day. The big news from the day was Microsoft’s release of the new Live Search. It looks good based on the screen shots I’ve seen, but we’ll have to wait and see if the results have improved. Also coming out of the event is Microsoft’s new shopping search.

Microsoft purchased a 5% stake in Facebook jumping in before Yahoo could make a deal. And the company is looking to prevent Google’s DoubleClick acquisition while they make use of their own acquisition aQuantive to challenge Google’s ad supremacy.

Ask will be launching it’s new sponsored listing platform next week and AskCity will now be providing coupons after a partnership with IAC’s sister company Entertainment Publication Inc.

The weekend games are already starting, which is where my attention will be focused for the next few days. Nice weather in Boulder I think, but somehow I think I’m going to miss most of it while I’m glued to the last weekend of the baseball season and a typical Sunday of football. I imagine I’ll squeeze in a little time for work and maybe just maybe I’ll find my way outside for a bit. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are and whatever you decide to do. Happy reading.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. Thanks for mentioning my article about images. I am honored to be in such illustrious company – you have a lot of fantastic links here! I have a lot to read this morning, thanks to you :)

  2. No need to be modest Pat. Your article was a good one and deserving of being included with the others here. I hope I don’t keep you reading all weekend. I know there are a lot of links here. Hopefully the organization helps you find the articles you’re more interested in reading.

    I haven’t spend a lot of time optimizing images here, though I think I get the basics in. I have a couple of clients who do use a lot of images and already gain a good amount of traffic from image searches. I’d like to learn more so I can increase the traffic they get to their images.

  3. I found you via Google Alerts – thanks for nice post. I actually didn’t know that Google’s B-Day was Sept 27th – it’s only 5 days after my twin boys 1st birth-day. Very cool.

    I have bookmarked your site.

    Best, Jon

  4. Thanks Jon. I appreciate being bookmarked. I think Google has two birthdays actually. I forget the other date, but it was a few weeks ago. On Thursday, though they changed their logo to reflect their day.

    Thanks Michael. I’m glad you enjoy these weekly roudup posts. You’re welcome for the links. Your posts are certainly deserving. I’ve been a subscriber for awhile and my only problem in linking to your posts is trying to figure out which ones not to link to. I usually have most of your posts listed in the first draft of these posts and I like all of them.

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