Archives for April 2007

Links Links Links!

Oh we love the links and then some here at TopRank. Today, old school online marketer Larry Chase published a few more link building tips and resources in his most recent Web Digest for Marketers newsletter. I’ve added a few of my own comments:

  • Widget Linking – The RSS Buttons and Social Bookmark tools that TopRank’s Thomas McMahon created serve as excellent widget linking examples. Widgets were hot back in the late nineties when Angelfire and Geocities were the rage in personal web sites. What’s old has become new again.
  • Content Keyword Tagging – Using tags with social bookmarking, ala del.icio.us, can be a very effective way to organize resources on the web. Tags do not offer the same kind of structure as category based organization, but that’s what makes them so useful. Also, many of the social bookmark services such as Furl.net create a copy and crawlable links when you save a bookmark.

Search Marketing Blogs Update 042007

Last week’s search engine marketing blogs update suffered a little skipperoo as it was the last day of SES New York and a travel day. I’ve decide to spend more time writing about each blog so readers get more of an idea about what to expect. Let me know if that’s a good idea or not. 🙂

Some interesting entries this week though and definitely worth checking out – maybe worth adding to your blogroll!

  • Vanessa Fox Nude – Gets your attention doesn’t it? This self titled Googler’s blog is about a number of things and yes, SEO topics slip in often enough to be included in our fine list and no, there are no nude pictures. It’s nice to see another webmaster-famous Googler blogging, not that we’re bored with Matt Cutts or anything. Vanessa writes with mixture of humor and just a touch of geek, which is perfect for the SEO loving crowd. Read the inspiration for the blog title from Dave Naylor.

Look at Todd’s Big Bad SEO Playbook

Todd Malicoat has done it again and posted one hell of a resource for search marketers. Take a look at “The SEO Playbook – Welcome to the Rabbit Hole Alice“. Just click through and learn. 🙂

Another Blog Meme: Magazines

Andy Beal has put up a blog meme on his personal blog (I should have one of those but maybe not) about magazines being a window into knowing about a person.

I do subscribe to a few print magazines, but for the most part it’s because there are so many neighborhood kids selling subscriptions for school fundraisers that we get so many. For the most part, I like to get my info online. But it’s nice to have something in print once in a while, especially as Vanessa Fox says, for when you fly. Here’s a list of the magazines stacked up in the royal reading room as of this morning:

  • Forbes
  • Wired
  • Fast Company
  • Business 2.0
  • Smithsonian
  • Discover
  • Endless Vacation
  • Stratos

Google Categories

Google is always testing tweaks to their search results but today I noticed a very interesting feature that I think is called Google Categories. Below is a screen grab of SERPs for “dvd players”. “motorola cell phones” also triggered these results but things like “lawn care” and “art museums” did not. It’s obviously product focused.

Google Categories

Notice the bold headings on categories of search results including: Comparison Shopping, Reviews, Stores, References and Others. There’s also a link to turn this feature off at the top right, “Turn OFF Categories for these results”. There are other categories including Forums, News and Manufacturers.

With each category, there is a “more” operator for specific categories including more:stores, more:product_references, more:forums, more:blogs, more:news, more:manufacturers.

Reader Poll: Most Important Skills for SEO

reader poll

TopRank is hiring for various SEO positions like mad right now and in the process of revising job descriptions to reflect changes in client needs and the industry, it became clear that, yet again, some skills have become far more important than others.

An example would be the importance of HTML and on-page optimization skills was very high in the early days of SEO, whereas link building and viral marketing/creative have become increasingly important.

Core characteristics for a successful search marketing career like being smart as a hell and an insatiable need to continuously learn new things will never change, but as you know, when an ordered list comes across my desk, it’s time for a reader poll!

Google Reader Extreme Makeover

One of my favorite designers (that I only know about due to his blog) is Jon Hicks and he’s just released an amazing Google Reader theme.

Google Reader Makeover

The theme cleans up Googles interface so that it makes a better use of the space and polishes it up quite a bit. Jon has re-worked Bloglines in the past and was hoping he’d re-work Google Reader eventually. I tried to create a custom theme for Google Reader once, but gave up a short time later. My CSS skills are good, but Jon’s are amazing.

The Google Reader theme is Mac like (which is one reason why I really like it) and very professional looking. A great makeover!

You can download the files and the install instructions from hicksdesign and have a fancy looking Google Reader in no time.

3 Blog Mistakes You Can Avoid

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As part of a blog optimization panel I participated in during a recent conference in Australia, I decided to forgo the bulleted list of blog plugins and recommendations that you typically see on such sessions in favor of something more personal.

The presentation focused on 3 of the biggest mistakes we’ve made with Online Marketing Blog in the past 3 years, why we made them (and why others do too), what we learned, what you can do to avoid them and the expected outcomes.

This format was well received, so I thought I’d share them here.

Mistake Number One: Goals.

Does Ultimate Tag Warrior & WordPress 2.1 Work Well Together?

I’m tossing this question out to all visitors to see if I can get a bit of concrete information. Ultimate Tag Warrior’s compatibility with WordPress 2.1 is still in question to me. I’ve got a few blogs that I’m waiting on upgrading as UTW is an important plugin and I’m not willing to chance it. I don’t see any documentation that all the bugs have been worked out, but then again I may have missed it.

Does anyone know if Ultimate Tag Warrior & WordPress 2.1 work well together? Are you using them together with no issues?  Let me know.

ClickZ Web Metrics and Email Marketing Events

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Big conferences like Search Engine Strategies NYC are great when you can get your boss to splurge for a week away, but if you can’t, (shame on you) then ClickZ Events might be a consideration.

Next up on the ClickZ schedule is, “Web Metrics: an online marketer’s best friend, or worst enemy?” at the Hilton, NYC May 2nd. This event includes sessions from the likes of Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg “Turning Data into Dollars”, Heidi Cohen “Competitive Intelligence” and Jim Nail who along with Shane Atchison is presenting “How to Measure Blogs, Buzz, & Brands”. Sounds like a pretty good program to me. There’s an early bird discount for that one if you register before April 20th.

Does your blog kick ass?

Webaward LogoLast year I was given the honor of becoming a judge for the annual WebAward competition. This year, I’ll again get to juge outstanding sites from 96 different industries. Ok, so I don’t judge one in each industry, but I’ll get to see a wide range of different sites.

The WebAward competition judges sites on six different categories including design, ease of use, copywriting, interactivity, use of technology, innovation and content. You’re blog doesn’t need all of these, but the more you do have, the better your score will probably be.

The 2007 call for entries is open and one of the newer categories is blogs. If you think your blog stands out from the competition, go ahead and enter it. Judging will happen later this year as we pick the best of the best.

SES New York Day 3 Videos

I was able to do just two video interviews before my camera got dropped in a glass of water. I’ll have to explain that in another post.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5655668133485217314&hl=en[/googlevideo]

Here’s Michael Gray, aka graywolf, just before our session with Todd Mailicoat and Neil Patel on “Social Bookmark Strategies” where he talks about tips for conference goers. Coverage of that session can be found at The Lisa, Search Engine Roundtable, Small Business SEM and CenterNetworks.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4176575133923097250&hl=en[/googlevideo]

I also caught up with Mona Elesseily from Page Zero where she talks about Yahoo Panama pros and cons. Also two new Panama enhancements: Quality based bidding and being able to opt out of Yahoo’s content network.