Best of Search Marketing Blogs June 2007

As editor of Online Marketing Blog’s weekly updated BIGLIST of over 350 blogs about search marketing, the challenge to write a short list of the “best” blogs on search engine marketing has been a formidable one.  In the search marketing industry, a select number of blogs seem to get the majority of attention while many other high quality blogs do not.  We’ve decided to mix it up a bit and provide a list of blogs you’ve undoubtedly heard about and a few you likely haven’t. Together, they provide a variety of perspectives, insight and expertise on the topic of search engine marketing.

John Battelle’s Searchblog
http://battellemedia.com/

John Battelle, co-founder of Wired Magazine, author of “The Search”, and currently founder and chairman of Federated Media, is the author of what is arguably the most popular blog on the internet covering search engines and search marketing.

With over 80,000 RSS subscribers, John covers Google in depth along with Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com. He also offers a peppering of interviews, insights on up and coming search technologies and online media.  Keen on social media, Searchblog contains an interesting Digg style social news resource called SearchMob that allows readers to submit stories, comment and vote.

What I like about Searchblog is the benefit readers get from John’s deep contacts in the search engine industry. The insights, interviews and inside information he’s able to provide simply cannot be found elsewhere. He’s also continually refining Searchblog through interesting applications like the search referral widget that suggests blog post content based on the search query used to find the blog.

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

Google’s favorite spam fighter has also served as an informal liaison between the webmaster community and Google over the past few years. While the blog is his own and not a company blog, Matt has made great progress spreading the Google word and also dispelling common myths though informational posts and videos.

At search engine conferences, Matt is popular enough to have clusters of geeky fans affectionately named “Cuttlets” that swarm around him after presentations and whenever he stops moving long enough for them to aggregate. The blog is no different.

One of the strongest indications of a blog’s impact and influence on readers is the number of comments. Matt Cutts’ blog is likely one of the most active blogs in the comments section with much of the “good stuff” coming from the posting and answering of questions.

Search Engine Land
http://searchengineland.com

Danny Sullivan has taken the search marketing world by storm (again) after starting a new group of companies including a blog, Search Engine Land. Attracting some of the top writing and reporting talent in the industry including Chris Sherman and Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land covers all aspects of search marketing from SEO to Paid Search to Social Media.

In fact, Search Engine Land is made up of several sub-category “Lands” that make it easy to find articles and news posts according to specific areas of interest.  In the tradition established with his previous blog, there is a daily and a monthly recap of important stories in the search marketing industry as well as topic specific columns from many of the industry’s top search marketing practitioners.

There’s a lot to like about this well connected blog from the range and depth of content to the actual blog design. It’s incredibly easy to find archived posts on certain topics, which can be a challenge for a blog that produces as much content as Search Engine Land.

Search Engine Watch Blog
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/

Managed by Kevin Newcomb, the Search Engine Watch blog provides commentary on search marketing industry news, posts by Search Engine Watch correspondents and a daily roundup of links to industry news headlines.   The blog also provides summaries of articles by Search Engine Watch subject matter experts on topics ranging from natural search optimization, to pay per click to big and small business search marketing.

One of the things I like best about the Search Engine Watch Blog is a different set of perspectives on industry news and link roundups. There are no comments allowed by readers, so the only way to interact is by starting or commenting on a related forum post.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Search Engine Watch has built up a significant amount of momentum over the years and with staff changes as well as the recent addition of Kevin Ryan as VP Global Content for Search Engine Watch, it will be interesting to see what form the blog takes.

Search Engine Roundtable
http://www.seroundtable.com/

Don’t have time to sift through hundreds of forum posts to find the next SEO nugget? Don’t worry because Barry Schwartz and his team of bloggers are covering the industry inside and out like no one else.  Search Engine Roundtable excels by monitoring search marketing industry forums and summarizing the best information and also by blogging search engine marketing conferences with 3 and sometimes 5 or 6 people covering an event.  Whatever story is being written about, you can be sure there will be thorough coverage of it and a link to the relevant forum discussion threads.

Search Engine Roundtable is a highly respected blog with links from all the major search engines as well as numerous awards including “best blog” from Marketing Sherpa and Search Engine Journal. Not only does SER cover the forums but it has its own forum as well.

Bruce Clay Blog
http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/

If there ever was a reason to see the business and branding benefit of starting a company blog, then look no further than the Bruce Clay Blog.  While the Bruce Clay name was already well known industry wide, the blog has been instrumental in elevating the Bruce Clay brand to new levels.  The success of the blog is directly tied to the talented writing by Lisa Barone and editor Susan Esparza.

These two partners in crime not only cover industry news and events with flair and insight, but they do it with a sense of humor.  The interesting thing is that the humor is often specific to being involved in the search marketing industry and these two are obviously “in the know”.  If you’re lucky enough to have a “The Lisa” t-shirt, you’ll know what I mean.

The blog navigation includes recent posts and archives, but we’d love to see tagging at the post level and categories. It would make things much easier to find and with this blog, because there’s an abundance of high quality content to be found.

SEOBook
http://www.seobook.com

Aaron Wall made his way into the search marketing world through his blog and the book, the SEO Book that is. Since his blog and book have gained popularity, Aaron has been quoted in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, Business Week, Time Magazine and many others.

It has been impressive to see the progression in the past few years in Aaron’s writing style and perspectives reflected in the blog posts at seobook.com.   Aaron provides a deeper and more philosophical view of the search engine marketplace than you’ll find on most blogs and tends to focus on methods of monetizing search over SEO consulting issues.

Aaron has also invested significant resources into the development of some very useful tools including his keyword research tool, back link analyzer and certainly, the SEO for Firefox tool.

Search Engine Journal
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/

Loren Baker is the editor in chief of this popular search marketing industry news blog which also has a number of regular contributors including Greg Sterling, Jessica Bowman and several others.  Search Engine Journal is well connected with the public relations team at each of the major search engines which serves as an indication of the quality writing and blog editorial.

One unique feature of Search Engine Journal is the popular search marketing blog contest which invites nominations and votes to determine favorite blogs in a variety of categories within the search marketing industry.

The design of this blog is first rate and as with other news blogs, SEJ publishes numerous posts each day. It would be helpful to have a chronological archive, tags and more categories to use in finding past blog posts though.  Overall the SEJ blog is a great resource for staying current with industry news.

Pronet Advertising
http://www.pronetadvertising.com

Need to know something about marketing with social media? Then Pronet Advertising is the place.  Started by Neil Patel and Cameron Olthuis with recent posting dominated by Muhammed Saleem, the Pronet Advertising blog isn’t about advertising at all. It’s about marketing with social media tactics using platforms and communities such as Digg, Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia.

The posts are frequent and very much focused on practical insights gained from running social media marketing campaigns for clients. Taking their own medicine, the site has had stories hit the home and popular pages of numerous social news sites.  Neil and Cameron also host an online radio show called Rush Hour about, you guessed it, social media marketing.

For fun, the Pronet blog also offers an interesting game called Search Engine Smackdown that pits slightly animated search engine founders against each other by quizzing you on search engine trivia. Watch out for that flying butterfly, it’s deadly.

Biznology Blog
http://www.mikemoran.com/biznology/blog/

Mike Moran is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Product Manager of IBM’s OmniFind search software who has several search related patents to his name.   He knows search engine marketing like few others and has to be one of the hardest working people in the industry.  A popular speaker at numerous industry events, he is also the co-author of the best seller, “Search Engine Marketing Inc”, an excellent book about search marketing for large organizations. Additionally, Mike contributes to several print publications, does frequent interviews and contributes to other blogs besides his own including the DMA Search Engine Marketing Council blog.

The Biznology blog provides priceless insights into all aspects of search engine marketing as well as a few entries on industry news with Mike’s personal opinions added to the mix. With some blogs, it’s hard to find the nuggets of useful information in between the hype and theory. Biznology is clearly the result of practical, in-house search marketing experience with organic optimization, paid search, web analytics and on-site search.

Search Engine Guide Blog
http://www.searchengineguide.com/searchenginenews.html

Jennifer Laycock does the editorial honors at Search Engine Guide providing small and medium sized companies’ useful commentary about the search marketing industry.

What I like about Search Engine Guide’s blog is the combination of articles and industry news.  The blog points to the many informative Search Engine Guide articles written by an array of well known search marketing experts. The SEG blog also drills down into specific topics of interest.  Posts range from recaps of industry conferences to insights about recent changes with a popular search engine.

After each post there is an invitation to discuss the topics in the Small Business Ideas forums, which are quite active and provide the reader an opportunity to create a dialogue with other like-minded search marketers.  There’s an abundance of news blogs about the search engine marketing industry and what makes one stand out over others, like Search Engine Guide blog, is the value offered in the commentary.

SEO by the SEA
http://www.seobythesea.com/

If you’re going to do SEO, why not by the sea? That’s exactly what Bill Slawski tells us in the name of his “SEO by the SEA” blog.   Bill is well known as an adept search marketer providing insight into an array of topics ranging from local search marketing tactics to deciphering the latest patents filed by the major search engines.

Besides making sense of patent applications, the SEO by the SEA blog offers one of the most comprehensive blogrolls you’ll find anywhere including English, French, Italian and Spanish blogs as well as forums and links to resources in audio and video formats.

The organization and layout of SEO by the SEA also makes it very easy to find posts by topic or by date which is refreshing, because with all that great content, it would be a shame to hide it.

Search Marketing Gurus
http://www.searchmarketinggurus.com/

The notion of link bait gained momentum last year and the creative folks at Search Marketing Gurus took it offline with a promotion called “hat bait”, taking photos of search marketers wearing silly hats and having blog readers vote on their favorite. It was this kind of “practice what you preach” effort that put Search Marketing Gurus on the radar.

Search Marketing Gurus is a group blog edited by Liana (Li) Evans on topics ranging from industry news to social media and analytics. Li has done a particularly impressive job of drawing attention to the many talented women in the search marketing industry through a series of “Women in Internet Marketing” interviews and provides an impressive list of blogs written by women in the industry.

There’s an abundance of content and photos from conferences with a good array of categories. It would however, be useful to have a chronological archive to find stories older than the past week.