Archives for September 2007

Yahoo Mash Beta – New Social Networking Platform

I’ve updated my Yahoo mash profile page a bit over the weekend and with the help of a few friends. Note: if you have some mischievous friends, you may want to turn off their ability to edit or “mash” your profile page or it might start sporting another company’s logo as your background image, as was the case on my profile for a few hours on Saturday.

Mash is very easy to use with drag and drop modules ala Facebook but with the unique feature of allowing others to add and/or modify modules or even visual settings, depending on the sharing settings. You get a short URL, mash.yahoo.com/leeodden is mine, for example, but you need to be logged in to Yahoo and have a mash account to see the content.

BIGLIST Search Marketing Blogs Update 091407

SEO Blogs

Not many additions this week, but we did do a bit of housecleaning. Fifty blogs were removed due to non-activity.

Also, our diligent maintainer of the BIGLIST was kind (too kind in my opinion) to note previously removed blogs which have now started posting regularly again. These are on probation but will be added back in for now. Otherwise, if you’ve been dropped, you’ll need to email us to be added back. Welcome to the BIGLIST people!

SEO Blogs:

  • White – UK based agency blogging observations on the major search engines as well as topics related to search engine optimization, social media and PPC.
  • martinibuster.net – Roger Montii is back with his hard won wisdom of link building and SEO.

Reader Poll: Can SES, SMX and Pubcon Coexist?

SES New York Audience

A lot has changed in the search marketing conference industry in the past year. The biggest news being the addition of Kevin Ryan to oversee Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies along with the departure of Danny Sullivan from SES to start his own venture, Third Door Media and the Search Marketing Expo or SMX series of conferences.

Additional news includes the success of new conferences like MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit, programmed by David Berkowitz as well as the reduction in conference dates for Brett Tabke’s WebmasterWorld’s Pubcon down to one (albeit, temporarily) in Las Vegas. With the number of new and niche conferences popping up it begs the question as to whether the market demand can support so many events?

reader poll

WordPress Click Tracking – Who’s Clicking Where?

Have you ever wondered where people were clicking at your blog? Now you can track every click with the Click Tracking WordPress plugin.

It’s designed to recored every click, no matter where it is on your website. Links, images, forms or just random spots.

I tested the plugin on two different blog and have gotten the same results; nice click tracking but how accurate are the results? It seems that clicks are recored all over the place a not centralized on any specific area. There are small hot spots, but not necessarily on top of a button or link. So, to have a hotspot without an action makes me wonder how accurate it really is.

Click Tracking

Making Sense of Linking and Site Promotion

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The OG’s of link building like Eric Ward are full of reasons why acquiring inbound links without consideration of direct effect from search engines is a sustainable and worthwhile marketing tactic. The ongoing SEO services many search marketers offer is often short sighted with a narrow emphasis placed on link acquisition and not on the broader importance of ongoing web site promotion through multiple channels.

Historical thoughts on linking
Link building is indeed a tactic with direct benefits via rankings traffic from search engines and direct traffic from high profile sites. However, outright link building is only a slice in the overall online marketing mix that makes up a productive web site marketing program. In the early days of marketing web sites, building links from directory submissions and programs such as web site reviews and web awards sites sent significant amounts of traffic. Then came Google.

Windows Live Webmaster Portal Beta

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Earlier this year I participated in an online focus group where questions were asked about various webmaster and SEO tools. The session was run by a third party and I was able to get them to admit it was for Microsoft. Tonight, like many others that showed interest, I received an invite to register from Nathan Buggia, Sr. Product Manager of the Live Search Webmaster Tools Team.

Similar to Google’s Webmaster Tools (Vanessa Fox interview here) and Yahoo’s Site Explorer tools (Tim Mayer interview here), the services included in this Beta of Microsoft’s Windows Live Webmaster Portal appear to be split up into three categories:

Troubleshooting

  • Site crawling
  • Site Indexing
  • Robots.txt
  • Sitemaps

Sitemaps

  • Creation
  • Submission (upload, autodiscovery)
  • Ping

25 Ways Marketing Agencies Market Themselves

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With so much uncertainty due to inflated promises, bad press and a fast changing industry, what “signals” of credibility do companies look for in trusted internet marketing partners and resources? Our gift to you today is an annotated list of 25. In one way or another, TopRank is involved with all of the following marketing and PR tactics either for ourselves or for our marketing and public relations clients.

But I’m also curious what Online Marketing Blog Readers have to say on this topic. Let’s have a little vote shall we? After the list there is a poll so you can vote for your favorite.

BIGLIST SEM SEO Blogs Update 080707

SEO Blogs

This week proved there’s no rest for the weary TopRank SEO blog search team, scouring the web for new blogs to add to the BIGLIST of search marketing blogs.

  • SEO Snafu -Markus writes a blog about some of his favorite topics including:  SEO, social media, social bookmarking, marketing, Web 2.0, blogging, & of course, making money online.
  • Rhea Drysdale – A newer blog where you can read all about SEO ramblings and personal entries from monkeygirl herself.  I should note that the rumor about Rhea guilting me to list her blog in the BIGLIST is just not 100% true. 🙂

Have you validated your feed lately?

When is the last time you stopped to think about the health of your feed? Maybe it’s time to head over to the Feed Validator and ensure it’s in peek performance.

While checking a sites feed the other day I ran across a validation error. It seems that Firefox’s built in feed reader couldn’t render the feed. Google Reader got around the issue, but I wasn’t sure about other readers. One way or another, the feed was in need of a fix.

Feed Error

A quick run though the Feed Validator and it spit out the problem; a blank line before the XML declaration.

Feed Error Fix

The nice thing about the Feed Validator tool is that it gives you helpful hits on what to look into. It said:

User Generated Content for SEO

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At SES San Jose, I spoke on a panel with Matt McGee and Andrew Goodman about user generated content with SEO benefits. During the conference and after, the topic of UGC has continued to stay top of mind and therefore, I have this post to share, which discusses the trends towards information consumption involving user generated content (UGC) and why it may be a good fit in the search marketing mix.

In the world of natural search optimization, content is King but there’s a price to pay for the ongoing creation of useful, relevant content. Passionate customers and communities are increasingly tapped by web site owners for their content creation benefits but it’s still new territory for most marketers as to what works best. Is it forums, reviews, blogs or social media?

Local SEO with Event Promotion

Editor’s Note: This week we welcome the first of a series of guest posts from client side marketers about search marketing. Paul O’Brien gets things started with a post focusing on how optimizing for local search engines is about more than directory listings and geographic modifiers. Event based local search marketing provides an additional boost in reaching target audiences. Companies like Paul’s current employer, Zvents, provides a platform for this kind of event promotion as well as a local search destination.

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Countless SEO guides provide the most important considerations: title tags, keywords, straightforward navigation, and structured content but local optimization requires several unique considerations:

  1. Directory listings are often alphabetical so write titles with the first letter earliest in the alphabet
  2. Your address is as important as the name of your business

Evaluating Client Search Marketing Readiness

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Experienced client side and agency search marketers know that today’s SMB and enterprise SEO projects involve much more than single event “SEO triage” and link building. A quick look at the topics on the top search marketing forums, newsletters, conferences, blogs and even print magazines shows an increasing variety of strategies ranging from marketing with social media to SEO and usability to leveraging user generated content.

As companies look for the right online marketing resources to help navigate the ever changing and increasingly complex world of search marketing, what variables, channels and outcomes should be considered?

In order for companies to realize the maximum benefit from a search marketing initiative, there must be a certain level of understanding about how various online marketing channels work. One of the most effective ways our SEO firm has found to assess current understanding and to introduce important concepts is through a discovery process including questions.