Archives for January 2006

Google Toolbar 4 for SEO

Aaron posts a great rundown on Google Toolbar 4 for Internet Explorer and what it means for search engine optimization.

He offers some cool SEO buttons that you can add to the toolbar as well as these interesting observations:

“If you have not yet started a Google account (or a few of them) it may be worth creating some such that you can leverage them down the road. Older Google accounts with longer search histories may be trusted to weight the end search results more than new accounts (similarly to how Google typically trusts old domains more than new ones).”

“Get busy tagging your sites and friends sites if you have not done so yet. Don’t forget to tag some legit authority sites to also keep your search profile looking somewhat legitimate and trustworthy.”

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:
Interactive marketing association changes leadership for 2006

(MINNEAPOLIS) – The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association ( 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.

PR Works for SEO

There’s an interesting thread at Performancing about SEO and PR, as in public relations, not page rank that offers different viewpoints on how search engine optimization and public relations work together and as stand alone tactics. Search engine optimization and public relations are not mutually exclusive tactics as is alluded to in the thread.

This is a particularly interesting concept as I am involved with both a PR agency and a SEO firm. There is crossover on the vast majority of client projects and we perform cross training to leverage that. For example, this week our SEO and blog marketer extraordinaire Thomas will be providing instruction on RSS and tagging to several of our public relations superstars. That knowledge will help us serve our PR clients with improved visibility wherever journalists are researching topics.

Just Say No to Discount SEO

You know you’re in blog trouble when you start your posts with, “It’s been too long since my last post….” Hey, we’re busy as hell and we’re hiring: SEO Specialist, SEO Copywriter, Linking Specialist, Admin. More about all that on the TopRank site.

Now on to this malarkey about discount search engine optimization:

Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to give prospective search marketing clients “good deals” for a variety of reasons. Early on in your business, there are some compelling reasons to do so, but my advice? Don’t. Here’s some classics along with my feeble replies:

“We want to see what you can do with organic SEO for a month or two, and if we see results we’ll pay more.”

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.

Interview with Aaron Wall of SEOBook and Threadwatch

Spotlight on Search Interview with Aaron Wall of and Threadwatch

One of the most visible SEO pundits on the web is unquestionably, Aaron Wall. Aaron is a very unique individual in the SEO world since he is exceptionally knowledgable and networked but until recently, has not overtly offered search engine optimization consulting services.

Aaron is one of those people who has been great about sharing and exchanging good information about SEO tactics with those fortunate enough to be on his IM list. But he does not limit his advice giving to a personal network. He’s written a very popular book on SEO, plus you’ll see him at many SES and Pubcon conferences as well as on industry forums, discussion threads and blogs handing out excellent advice that other SEOs charge big bucks for.

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.