Archives for December 2006

digg Spam Policy Roundup

I wasn’t sure about posting about getting the nix from digg earlier this week, but apparently it was on many people’s minds. The response has been pretty amazing. Note, it was a blog domain name, not a user account that was added to the digg banned submission list.

Here’s a list of blogs/sites that have been talking about digg’s spam and editorial policies this week.

Vote – 2006 Search Blog Awards

Vote TopRank BlogThe list is out and now it’s time to start the voting for the 2006 Search Blog Awards. Presented without commercials by Search Engine Journal.

Categories range from SEO Blog of the Year to Best Link Building Blog and even the Best Social Media Optimization Blog.

Speaking of which, if you don’t know who to vote for in the Best Social Media Optimization Blog category, The TopRank Blog is a pretty good choice. I contribute over there from time to time so maybe I’m bias.

Do check out the list though, even if it’s to research some other blogs that you should be reading. There are quite a few good ones on the list and lots that I probably should be reading too.

Small Business Public Relations

Earlier this week Matt McGee of Small Business SEM blog did an interview with me about public relations for small businesses. Matt has had a lot of marketing experience so he asked some great questions that I think businesses small and large will benefit from.

Here are a few sample questions:

Are press releases better for traditional publicity purposes or for SEO purposes — or can the same release do both? How?

The same release can be used as an introduction to a publicity opportunity, but there is no substitute for human contact. Press release distribution alone rarely achieves media coverage. Contacting the media with a reference to a press release and unique story ideas can improve your chances of media coverage significantly. While a large percentage of journalists research press releases online, many continue to rely on press releases via email as a method of getting new story ideas.

Pre Holiday Search Blogs Roundup

A bit of a short week this week and I’ve come across a nice collection of search marketing blogs as well as one very good journalist blog. Enjoy!

Optimize and Prophesize – SEM goodness from Jonathan Mendez. I bet as many times as I’ve greeted Jonathan with “hey man” and “what’s up guy?”, he probably thought I didn’t know his name. 🙂

SEO Theory – Michael Martinez. How in the world did it take me this long to find Michael’s blog? Michael (used to write) for SEOmoz, but there’s plenty of good SEO advice here too.

WebmasterRadio.FM – Daron and Brandy have launched a blog. I’d love to see more posts and please, clean up that Cold Fusion crap in the url.

Vote for your favorite search blogs

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Loren Baker over at Search Engine Journal has published the final lists of nominees for the 2006 Search Blog Awards. You can preview the lists at Search Engine Journal and you can vote here. (Hopefully for TopRank!)
Categories include:

SEO Blog of the Year
Search News Blog
Best Search Marketing / Contextual Ad Blog
Best Link Building Blog
Best Search Agency Resource Blog
Best Search Engine Blogger of 2006
Best Social Media Optimization Blog
Best Black Hat SEO Blogs
Best Local Search Blog
Best Affiliate Marketing Blog
Best Web 2.0 Blog

*BONUS* Best Search Engine Marketing Community / Forum
*BONUS 2* What’s your favorite Search Podcast?

Every year these things run there’s more and more competition. I have to say, there are some really, really excellent blogs in these lists. Competition is fierce in the SEO category and some of the categories are no brainers.

The hypocrisy of digg and spam

More aggressive SMO marketers often talk about being careful not to get user accounts banned on digg. But what about the domain name? Banning user accounts has to do with the actions of the user. That is, behaviors and actions the user can control.

However, a domain name brings into other considerations. For example, whether or not influential members of the digg community like or don’t like a certain site or topic, regardless of what the mass of digg users respond to in the form of story submissions and votes. The site or blog owner has little control over whether other people submit stories and/or vote on them, bury them or report them as spam. Even if they’re not.

New Blogger accounts now live with lots of goodies.

Blogger Logo BlocksBlogger beta is now Blogger new and Blogger is now Blogger old. Confused yet?

Basically all the new features that were in the Blogger beta have been launched and everyone is encouraged to switch over. They aren’t forcing you just yet, but they will be eventually.

So what do you get with the new Blogger?

First off, drag and drop template designing. This is far superior to the old way where you just got the HTML source. It makes it much easier to add, remove or edit items on your blog.

Second, you can now set permissions on your blog. That way only those you allow access to can see it. Great for group blogs that you don’t want public.

10 things to keep in mind when changing a site design.

When you create a new site design, you should always remember a few key points. If you don’t, not only is it bad for search engines, but also visitors.

  1. Consider keeping the same file naming structure so that it will be easier for spiders to re-crawl the new site and peoples bookmarks don’t return 404 error pages.
  2. 301 Redirect all old or changed URLs to the new corresponding page.
  3. Create 404 error pages so that when errors occur, visitors get a nice message with the site’s look and feel.
  4. Look for broken links that may have come up as the site architecture changes a bit.
  5. Create a site map for your visitors so if they feel lost, they have a listing of all the pages on the site.

Jake Baillie to Leave TrueLocal

jake-baillie.jpg
Photo thanks to webmoxy
Internet marketing guru Jake Baillie has announced that he will be leaving TrueLocal to start a new internet fund and small business incubator:

I’m both pleased and saddened to announce my departure from TrueLocal to you. Last week the opportunity to do something that I’ve always wanted to do was presented to me Рmanage a small internet fund that incubates and provides funding to seed-stage new media and technology companies.

On January 1, myself and several employees from TrueLocal will be forming STN Labs, which will do exactly that.

As managing director, my role will be to evaluate, fund, and help these small and inventive companies become self-sufficient. We’re starting out with a stable of existing investments which will be announced shortly, and beginning in April, we will evaluate new opportunities. We’re looking to take on several entrepreneurs in residence in the short-term, as well as providing investments to companies in the 50K-500K range.

TopRank Moves to the Lake

TopRank Office View
Front door view

I am very happy to say that thanks to the hard work of my partner, Susan Misukanis, TopRank now has a new address on beautiful Lake Minnetonka, just west of Minneapolis. We’ve been looking for a new office space for nearly a year to accommodate our growth and unique style and finally found it on Shoreline Drive in Spring Park.

TopRank Office
Lake view from inside

Speaking of growth, I’d like to welcome William Arnovich, public relations specialist and Mike Yanke, assistant account manager to the Misukanis Odden – TopRank team!

TopRank Office
Under construction

The build out should be finished this week so we can start moving in between the holidays. Because so much is still under construction, I am only posting a few photos.

Chain Letter 2.0 : Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

Chain Letters 2.0I think that chain letters are now going web 2.0! I’ve been tagged and I have to write up a post, then ask others to do the same. So here it goes, five things you don’t know about me.

1. I’m not a huge gamer, but we have a Mac, PC, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Xbox and a Playstation 2. Now only if I could find a Wii. My favorite games include Mario (almost any one), Mario Kart, Karaoke Revolution, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Bejeweled and Mario Party. I’m not a big fan of the realistic shooter games or the RPG games though and I’ve never connected to anyone online.

2. I’ve always wanted to go skydiving. I’d probably be scared out of my mind and someone might have to push me out of the plane, but it’d be a heck of a lot of fun.

The Lame PPC and SEO Debate

In yesterday’s interview with Andy Beal, I made reference to comments in a DM News article that cited SEO as on the way out and that SEO is “simple”, positioning PPC as “better” etc. Andy’s response, which I think was not entirely without a sense of humor, invited an interesting response from Richard Ball.

You don’t have to look far to find commentary about PPC vs SEO, some good humor and lively debate.

In a recent article on ClickZ, “Think Organic, Act Paid” Kevin Lee, whom I know and respect as a marketer, talks about how he thinks PPC results will eventually become more relevant than organic results. (Good luck with that) He also makes this interesting comment, “SEO spammers don’t care if they manage to get a high position for keywords and keywords phrases that are less than perfectly relevant…”. I was actually surprised to see the only reference made about SEOs was in combination with the word “spammer”. His position is pretty clear.