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Archive for March, 2007


Lee Odden

Search Marketing Blogs Update 033007

Lee Odden on Mar 30th, 2007     Blogging, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

Due to the Australia distraction :) we skipped last week’s update of the search marketing blogs list. We’re still holding a few blogs in queue to accumulate more content for those that might be wondering. Thanks to Amie Krone for helping out this week!

  • SLI Systems – Dr. Shaun Ryan comments on the search industry from a site search vendor’s perspective.
  • FishSEO – Scott Fish keeps you up-to-date on the latest SEO news and techniques.
Lee Odden

RSS Buttons for Your Blog

Lee Odden on Mar 30th, 2007     Blog Marketing, Blog Optimization, Blogging, Online Marketing, RSS

rss.jpg

When reviewing search marketing blogs each week for inclusion in our big list, one of the most consistent problems we see is that blog owners don’t make it easy to subscribe. Either there is no icon for the RSS feed or it’s hidden way below the fold.

Something as easy as adding a prominient RSS button near the top of the blog template with the word “Subscribe” near it can increase the number of return visitors substantially. We’ve done this ourselves and we’re now just under 6,000 subscribers.

A study by Yahoo and Ipsos Insight supports the need to display RSS subscription options as blog readers were found to be far more likely to subscribe to a blog if they say a familiar graphic for their favorite RSS reader, whether it was Bloglines, MyYahoo or Google Reader. One solution is to use our free RSS button tool which has been used by over 50,000 blogs so far.

Lee Odden

5 Places to Find WordPress Plugins

Lee Odden on Mar 29th, 2007     Blogging

Following up on my last post/rant on the official WordPress Plugin directory, I thought I’d share a few places to find WordPress plugins.

  • Wp-Plugins.net – The biggest and best listing if you ask me.
  • LearningWordpress.com – This one is newer and looks pretty nice so far.
  • WordPress.com – The official directory. Fewer plugins, but it’s growing.
  • A Google or Yahoo search always works well too as there are many that are not listed in the directories above.
  • Internal searches on blogging sites like ProBlogger.net or BloggingPro.com can also uncover some new and interesting plugins.

Where do you go when you want to find new or useful blog plugins?

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Top Non Search Engine Marketing Channels

Lee Odden on Mar 29th, 2007     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

reader poll

Marketing online is a mixed bag. While search marketing is high impact and high value, it’s not the only game in town.

In this week’s poll, I’ve assembled a variety, but not comprehensive, list of web site marketing channels that are alternatives to standard search engine marketing. Some are true, stand alone channels. Some offer the benefit of direct traffic as well as a positive effect for natural search engine rankings.

Name your top non-standard search engine online marketing channel

  • Email (20%, 16 Votes)
  • RSS (17%, 14 Votes)
  • Social News (Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit) (10%, 8 Votes)
  • Social Networks (9%, 7 Votes)
  • Offline Advertising or Promotion (9%, 7 Votes)
  • Web Site Links (free) (7%, 6 Votes)
  • Online Advertising (not PPC) (6%, 5 Votes)

Lee Odden

Extra Notes on SES New York and Discount Code

Lee Odden on Mar 28th, 2007     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, TopRank Agency News

Last week I posted a well received rundown of five reasons you should attend the upcoming Search Engine Strategies conference in New York, April 10-13. A few additional items regarding TopRank’s involvement were not included and I’ve been getting a little chiding from our “gratuitous self promotion” department about that.

First, Online Marketing Blog has been named an official media sponsor for Search Engine Strategies conferences as well as the ClickZ events. This might not be news for the likes of WebProNews, BtoB, TARGET Marketing, Search Marketing Standard, Entrepreneur.com or Jupiter Research who are the other media sponsors, but it’s certainly big news for TopRank because it’s the first time a blog has been included as a media sponsor.

Also, readers of our blog can get a 10% discount by using this code “10TRR” when registering.

Lee Odden

Marketing Pilgrim SEM Scholarship Round 2

Lee Odden on Mar 28th, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, SEO

The past 2 weeks have been nuts so I’m a bit behind on a few announcements that I’ve been meaning to draw attention to. For example, Andy Beal’s announcement of the second Marketing Pilgrim SEM Scholarship for Spring 2007.

Scholarship prizes worth more than $10,000 will be awarded. This is a great opportunity for budding or even experienced search marketers to show their stuff and win services, consulting and prizes that could serve as a huge boost in their search marketing career. I know TopRank will be watching very closely as we are hiring for 3 positions now and possibly 2 more in Q3.

Lee Odden

Getting Screwed by Your Hosting Company

Lee Odden on Mar 28th, 2007     Blogging, Online Marketing

Yesterday I received an email from our new blog host. It reads:

This message is in regards to your (hosting company name) account “toprank”, which
resides on the server xxxx.hostingcompany.com.

Due to problems it was causing on the server, we were forced to disable the
following script located in your account:

/usr/www/users/toprank/tools/rss-buttons

For future reference, please take a look at our script usage policies:URL 1
URL 2

Please write to urgent@hostingcompany.com for information about having the script
reenabled.

If you have any questions about this script, please contact our friendly
support specialists at support@hostingcompany.com or xxx-xxx-xxxx (option 2).

Sincerely,
The Hosting Company Support Team

Lee Odden

Basics of Online Reputation Management

Lee Odden on Mar 27th, 2007     Online Marketing, Online PR, Reputation Management

As much time and effort that marketers put into improving visibility within search results, not all search engine ranking pages (SERPs) are good. Increasing numbers of companies are experiencing the sharp edge of the sword from disgruntled employees or customers taking advantage of the amazingly simplistic process of publishing content to the web.

You may recall such situations as “Dell Hell” or Googlebombing “miserable failure” for examples.

Because these references occur within the search results, many companies percieve search engine reputation management as a SEO problem. But displacing negative search results only treats the symptoms of the problem. It’s not a cure.

While other companies see tarnished brand issues as more of a public relations issue, it’s important to understand that sometimes it’s the PR firm that is at the root of the problem. Look no further than the Edelman and Walmarting across America situation for an example of that.

Lee Odden

First Thoughts: WordPress Official Plugins Directory

Lee Odden on Mar 27th, 2007     Blogging

When I first read last week that WordPress had launched an official plugins directory I was excited. There are lots of good plugins out there that are not in any sort of searchable database other than a search engine. However, the WordPress plugin directory isn’t living up to my excitations yet.

The directory holds less than 150 plugins out of the thousands out there. What is there seems to be organized well and has a nice star rating scale, installation information, screenshots, a FAQ and even download stats for the plugin.

I then tried to add the FB StandardStats plugin and that’s where my excitement died.

TopRank Online Marketing

10 Spam Stopping Techniques For Your Blog

TopRank Online Marketing on Mar 23rd, 2007     Blogging, Online Marketing

Stopping SpamSpam is one of those features that comes with a blog and stopping it isn’t quite as easy as it should be. Here are a few ideas to help you out.

  1. Install Akismet – This has to be one of the best plugins. The downside is they’d like you pay if you get a ton of spam. After all, it is the nice thing to do. For the average user though, it’s free.
  2. Install Spam Karma – Excellent plugin that can stop a flood of spam comments. It works great and it’s completely free.
  3. Install a captcha. It can be as easy as 2+2=? or it could be one of those letter puzzles. Personally I prefer the math ones as long as it’s not something like “What’s 28×5″. Keep it simple as I think 2+8 works just as good.
Lee Odden

Stupid Blogs Anyways

Lee Odden on Mar 23rd, 2007     Blogging

Justin Shattuck has a great post about the things blogs do that he finds annoying. It’s a good read and he points out a lot of good items.

  1. Link love, it makes sense
  2. Make your content accessible
  3. Wow, thats alot of ads
  4. Echos are getting old
  5. Admins, stop being lazy
  6. I know who I am
  7. Stop filling forms out for me
  8. Direct linking is stealing
  9. Snap sucks!
  10. So many images, dumb.

When trying to come up with the things that annoy me about blogs I kept coming across the same things. To many ads, to much spam and that echo chamber.

Lee Odden

5 Reasons to Attend Search Engine Strategies NYC

Lee Odden on Mar 22nd, 2007     Marketing Industry News, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

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The eighth SES New York conference is coming up pretty quickly and as one of the last “Danny” programmed events, it should be a great one. I’ve been blogging SES shows for several years now and have advanced both knowledge and industry contacts tremendously by doing so. Barry, Chris and Ben have also done a bang up job in the past with triple and sometimes quadruple coverage of the event.

Whether you are an old hand SEO and online marketer or a noob, large conferences like Search Engine Strategies offer a number of excellent benefits. Here are my top five:

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