Lee Odden

Quiz your SEO and search industry knowledge

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Rand at SEOmoz has put together a pretty good search engine optimization quiz. Topics cover on-page optimization, link building, SEO industry and search technology with 32 questions overall.

Some questions are basic, some are a bit tricky. A few questions really have nothing to do with SEO per se, just whether or not you’ve picked up trivia from certain forums and blogs. Most of the questions are pretty good though.

If you’re in the SEO business, or work as a corporate SEO, I suggest you try out the SEO quiz.

There’s even a leader board showing who scored what. Of course, Danny Sullivan is at #1.

Currently my score is in the top ten as “toprank” which is proof those old test taking strategies learned at University can still pay off. 😉

Lee Odden

Vote – Marketing Sherpa Blog Awards

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I’m very pleased to mention that Online Marketing Blog was included in the “” category for MarketingSherpa’s 2nd Annual Reader’s Choice Blog Awards.

I hold in very high esteem as the single best resource for marketing case studies and practical marketing tips.

Please take a moment to in the Blogs on Online Marketing category.

Overall Categories:

General Marketing/Advertising blogs
Group Weblogs
Blogs on PR
B-to-b marketing blogs
Blogs on small business marketing
Blogs on online marketing
Blogs on niche marketing
Blogs on search marketing
Blogs in other languages

Some of my favorite blogs were also nominated. Please watch for them and vote:
AdRants
Seth Godin
Marketing VOX
PR Machine
B2B Lead Generation Blog
Duct Tape Marketing
Small Business Trends
Search Engine Lowdown
Search Engine Roundtable

Lee Odden

Don’t mess with the SEO

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

If you work in the SEO business long enough, it’s inevitable that one or more of your clients will get the bright idea to implement a site re-design or install a new CMS system which throws your previous search engine optimization efforts for a loop. There’s a good article from corporate SEO PJ Fusco on this at ClickZ called, the Law of Unintended Consequence.

Common, and AVOIDABLE issues we often see include:

  • Changing the url syntax of the site causing 404 not found errors when old page listings are clicked in search engine results
    • Solution: Plan to keep the same urls or implement 301 permanent redirects from the old pages to the new
  • Publishing a completely new design, sans any of the content optimization previously employed
Lee Odden

Does your business really need a blog?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

The truth is, not all businesses need to have a blog. Blogevangelists might have you believe otherwise, but there are always enthusiasts that make blanket endorsements for up and coming technologies.

The back and forth between blog pundits and critics reminds me of all the noise people used to make in the mid nineties about web sites. There were as many critics on the need for a web site then as there are about blogs now. Half of all SMBs still don’t have web sites today, but does anyone question the value of a web site?

Blogs are tools. People are keen to criticize things they don’t understand. Most people that blog don’t understand the potential uses of blogs and RSS, let alone blog critics.

Lee Odden

Google Fusion

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

During the Google Factory tour yesterday Marissa Mayer pitched a for the Google home page. A suggests the new portal looking, customization feature was developed as a way to assembled the various features of Google in one place: Gmail, news, weather, etc.

This initial version offers links to various Google services as well as RSS feeds from several major news sites (BBC, the New York Times, Slashdot, Wired). Some nice features include drag and drop editing and dynamic sizing.

Mayer commented, “We’ve seen that there were users who wanted more on their home page… and this is a way to give them more access to their information. I feel this is different my MyYahoo!. The fact that some people may say it looks like it’s aimed at MyYahoo! was not the reason.”

Lee Odden

Business Blogging on SEO

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Well I have to say this is pretty cool. Either Thursday or Friday this week the search engine optimization blog called, “Search Engine Smarts” for AllBusiness.com will go live. (thanks for that name idea Kristina)

I’ll be in very good company and I hope I can keep up my end of the bargain with useful, hands on and practical posts on search engine optimization.

AllBusiness.com has recently signed agreements to provide content resources for (a division of The NY Times) as well as entered into a deal with Yahoo! as the major content provider for the Yahoo! Small Business Center.

Another deal has been struck to provide content for SFGate.com the fourth most trafficked news site on the web.

Lee Odden

Enterprise Google Desktop Search

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Google is making a download available today of it’s desktop search tool for companies called: “

Google Desktop Search for the Enterprise has additional features including a series of installation, distribution, management, and security features that can be implemented according the specific needs of an organization.

Other features include the ability to index e-mail messages from IBM’s Lotus Notes and integration with Google Search Appliance and Google Mini.

“Google will compete against established players such as X1 Technologies and Autonomy. It will also compete against Microsoft, who this week announced its intention to develop an enterprise desktop search tool, which should be available in beta form by the end of the year.” via PCWorld.com

The consumer version of Google Desktop Search was launched about 8 months ago.

Lee Odden

Google Friends Newsletter Revived

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I just received an email from the long dormant Google Friends group.

“We didn’t plan on having such a long hiatus from this newsletter, and for that we apologize. Aside from other projects we’ve worked on lately, we’ve revamped this newsletter. Each month from now on you’ll see an insider’s roundup of Google tips, insights into our products, plus stuff that inspires us.”

This discussion group was previously hosted with but moved last year. Now it’s hosted with Google Groups (beta). If you want to keep up to date with happenings at Google you can subscribe to here.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Yahoo Does Tags

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing

Yahoo today posted in their blog about Tag Soup du Jour From YSDN. It’s a creation from the Yahoo! Search Developer Network (YSDN). What this shows you is how popular a tag is. The more it’s being used, the bigger the font size. It’s a quick overview of the most popular news stories on Yahoo News currently. Unfortunately it just grabs tags from Yahoo news at the moment, however these tag maps are popping up all over the internet. I was hoping that this was a creation as the main search engines have pretty much ignored tagging. I’m hoping that Yahoo or can create a better, more relevant, searching system with tags someday.

Lee Odden

SEO SEM Firm Client Retention

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Recent surveys of companies involved in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) by Jupiter Research imply there are changes in store for client/SEM agencyrelationships. Gary Stein posts a very good article pointing out reasons why – along with suggestions for agencies on what they can do.

I think this can apply to SEO firms and clients as well, although the timeframe for an appropriate implementation for a SEO project is much longer for SEM. Setting clear expectations at the outset of a client/agency relationship is key for productive engagements.

However, clients often change direction anyway. The most often cited reason for change in the Jupiter study was that the agencies were not proactive enough and cost.

Lee Odden

WWW 2005 Conference Search Papers

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Gary Price from Search Engine Watch posted a nice collection of search related papers from the WWW 2005 Conference in Japan. It’s not my belief that you need to read all of this to be great at SEO, but good information is priceless with algorithmic search. Gary had previously posted this collection of papers regarding search engine spam, or at least some theories about identification of it.

I am sure there will be some review and analysis within the search marketing community on some of these. I know I’ll be taking a look and posting here what I find useful for organic SEO. Of particular interest to me outside of implications for SEO, are news search papers. Here’s an interesting news search site created for testing and implementing improved news search methodology: ComeToMyHead

Lee Odden

MSN revives RSS aggregator and bookmarking tools

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

MSN blog posted an entry with links to the start.com/1 RSS aggregator and start.com/2 bookmarking tools. I first noticed these Online Marketing Blog/2005/03/msn-rss-aggregator-startcom.html”>earlier in the year and it was interesting to see what would come out of it. The urls have been dead for a while but are now back online.

As a web based RSS feed aggregator, start.com/1 actually works pretty well – allowing you to add individual RSS feeds or import an OPML file easily or you can click on the preselected feeds on the left that are organized according to tabbed categories along the top.

However, to “start” using it, you need to click the “show” link. I don’t know why that is, the options should display first.