Archives for January 2006

Google is Dead

In this month’s Business 2.0, “2006 Smart List” issue, Google was bestowed “The Smartest Company of the Year” honors. In the ensuing article four scenarios on the possible future of Google were outlined. Three were optimistic and the fourth was doomsday for Google by 2020.

The cause? Hold on to your seat, because this is damn hilarious ….. SEO.

Yes, Rand, you’re given credit – it’s all your fault. And Microsoft.

From the absurd article:

“The once-mighty search engine falls prey to privacy intrusion, optimizers, and Microsoft.”

This article was good humor. The demise contributed by search engine optimization is credited to the focus on Google optimization by so many SEOs, that MSN’s search engine is ignored and that Google search results fill with pron and irrelevant sites. MSN search in the meantime, takes this time to develop without notice by SEOs.

Interview with Heather Lloyd-Martin of SuccessWorks

Spotlight on Search Interview with Heather Lloyd-Martin of SuccessWorks

A lot of buzz in the SEO community lately has been focused on the value of creating compelling content as if it’s a new idea. Writing web site copy that satisfies both search engines and users is nothing new to Heather Lloyd-Martin. She’s been an active proponent since the late nineties.

I first came across Heather’s copywriting wisdom a long time ago when explaining the Internet to potential clients was still common and the idea of Internet marketing and optimizing web sites for better search engine rankings was gaining popularity. Since then, Heather has been a very influential force in educating search marketers on the value of copywriting for the web, for SEO and most importantly, for conversions.

RSS and Blog Marketing Tools

A few recent blogging tools I’ve been testing that are worth sharing include Feed Digest and blogbeat. A little info on each and how they can help with marketing your blog:

Feed Digest grew out of the RSS Digest project from Developer/Entreprenuer, Peter Cooper. RSS Digest makes it easy to syndicate RSS feeds from other blogs to your site or blog using JavaScript.

Feed Digest on the other hand, offers many more features including the ability to mix multiple feeds (up to 5 for free). Another plus over it’s predessor are the output options which include HTML, JavaScript, WAP or PHP, or an altogether new feed. Upcoming features include RSS to Email (ala FeedBlitz) and feed stats (think Feedburner).

Here’s an example of a SEO News feed using 5 SEO Blogs I read daily.

MIMA Announces New Board of Directors

One of the organizations I am involved with is MIMA, the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. It’s been a great experience working with so many talented individuals. There really is an abundance of interactive marketing talent here in the Twin Cities.

Over the past few years MIMA has grown tremendously and this year the size of the board of directors has nearly doubled. Below is a press release:
MIMA ANNOUNCES BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Interactive marketing association changes leadership for 2006

(MINNEAPOLIS) – The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA.org) welcomes 15 local interactive professionals to its board of directors.

The new board welcomes Kristina Halvorson as its new president. Halvorson has been on the MIMA board of directors since 2002 and is the founder and president of Brain Traffic. MIMA’s outgoing president is Bret Busse, the CIO of Evantage Consulting, who began his term in 2004.

Google Roundup

A few things on Google today that I decided to roundup all in one post:

Possible new Google interface. Anyone else seeing this? Via PC World

David Utter from WPN posts about an offline Google AdWords Editor application that is in beta, “invite only” mode.

“AdWords Editor is Google’s free, downloadable account management application for your computer. Now you can download your AdWords account to your computer, make your changes, then upload your revised campaigns”

Localizing blog points out an interesting TV commercial (notice the reflection in the TV) for Pontiac where at the end, the viewer is invited to search for Pontiac on Google. Business Week has a great article on Google advertising which includes a quote from GM’s head of sales/marketing, Mark LaNeve:

What’s The Best Kind of Link Bait?

Of all the emerging concepts related to search engine optimization and marketing online, there are several memes that I’m particularly interested in that seem to be building steam lately. In particular is the notion of link bait.

The practice of link baiting is as old as the hills, it just hasn’t been called that until recently. As the effectiveness of former link building tactics decreases, tactics like link baiting have become more popular.

Aaron mentioned the idea of link bait in a post last October. NickW has been successful at creating link bait blog posts. Rand posted about the success of using link bait to drive, ah links, and traffic and also posited whether to offer link baiting as an SEO service. Matt Cutts drops in with some of his comments about link bait as well. Interestingly, the same day Bill Hartzer had a good article on link bait published at Search Engine Guide.

RSS Feeds and Online PR

Online PR is new territory for most marketers, even traditional public relations practitioners.

I recently had a Q/A with an offline PR agency specialist that I thought would be interesting to post here.

What are the most popular news feeds to subscribe to?

The beauty of RSS is that there are so many niche, quality sources. However, the most popular feeds overall may not be the best for any one individual. In other words, it depends on the interests of the user.

If a journalist is using an aggregator, which news feeds does it draw from?

Whichever feeds they’ve subscribed to. For perspective, your question is sort of like saying: “If a person is using an email program, who will they get emails from?” Most feed aggregators offer pre-selected feeds, but you can also add feeds.

Five things to consider when changing websites.

Every year or so, companies decide to go and update their website. Not just a few pages, but usually the entire design and structure. This can be a big factor in search engine optimization and whether it’s positive or negative depends on how you do it.

There are lots of things everyone has to keep in mind when changing websites. Most things need to be thought of before hand, not after, and any issues should be addressed before a new site goes live.

Here are five things to keep in mind.

• URLs
URLs are very important. Not only are search engines referring you traffic, but what about links from other peoples‚Äô sites, bookmarks, press releases or social bookmarking sites? You could have hundreds of links out there and you don’t want to forget about them or else your visitors may be coming to a ‘Page Not Found’ error instead of an information page.

Dynamic URL Optimization

Recently I fielded a question about making dynamic urls more search engine friendly. A specific site example was not given, so my response was not as detailed as I would have liked, but I thought a post of some recommendations here might be helpful. Feel free to comment on anything else that should be considered to make dynamic urls easier to crawl.

Simple is best for crawlable urls. Although, Google and Yahoo are much better at crawling complicated urls now than they were a year ago. As a general rule, avoid including session id information in the url and if you do need to include parameters, limit it to 2 and limit the number of characters per parameter to 10 or less. Your solution might involve some of the following:

Jim Boykin Blog on Fire

Not “really” on fire, but lots of great info on Jim Boykin’s blog lately. I also like the polls that he runs in the sidebar.

A few great recent posts:

SEO PowWow Next Week – Jan 18th. (I wish I could go!)

Software vs. Manual Link Building and Management (look in the comments)

What does Google know about your domain names? by Nick Wilsdon

Interview with Todd Malicoat aka Stuntdubl of We Build Pages

Spotlight on Search Interview with Todd Malicoat (Stuntdubl)

I was planning to post this interview with Todd next Monday, but as usual, Todd has done a super job and providing insight into all things important about SEO. I first met Todd via email almost a year ago by commenting on a post at his blog. Since then we’ve met in person several times at Pubcon and SES conferences.

One of the great things about the SEO industry is the networking and opportunity to meet and collaborate with some of the smartest people you’ll find anywhere. Todd is certainly one of those people. He is highly regarded by many of the most prominent and talented SEOs in the industry. I’m happy to get 10 min of his time via IM once in a while, so getting him to answer 11 detailed questions on SEO is very much appreciated. Once you read the interview below, you’ll see why.

Google Pack – A User Data Bonanza

I noticed this morning a link on Google’s home page to Google Pack, a collection of “essentials to make your PC just work.”

Google Pack includes:

  • Google Earth
  • Google Desktop
  • Picasa Photo organizer
  • Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
  • Google Pack Screensaver
  • Google Talk

Additional Software:

  • Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar
  • Ad-Aware SE Personal
  • Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition
  • Adobe Reader 7
  • RealPlayer
  • Trillian Instant Messenger
  • Gallery Player

Google Pack also comes with an updater program that will keep all the software in the Google Pack current and it works with the programs you already have installed.

Google blog has says Google Pack is: