Archives for April 2006

Link Building for Blogs

As blogs continue to mature as marketing tools, there are an increasing number of “blog optimization” articles and posts appearing. However, many of these resources underestimate the importance of inbound links.

To think that researching and placing keywords in the “right places” alone with improve a blog’s traffic is only part of the story. Blogs are simply web sites/content management systems with some special features. Getting web sites to rank well and to engage more traffic involves a large number of variables and the same goes for blogs. The difference is that there are unique linking opportunities with blogs that are not common with web sites. These include:

  • Trackbacks
  • Comments
  • Social book marks
  • Tagging
  • Blogrolls
  • Guest writing on other blogs
  • Blog, RSS directories

Pubcon Photos

Aaron Wall took some cool photos at the Boston Pubcon.

Here’s one with me and Mr. Ploppy aka Stuntdubl aka Todd Malicoat:

Lee Odden Todd Malicoat

Yeah, I remember back in the day when I was skinny too. I was not, however, anywhere near as smart as this young man.

Here’s one with, “I’m makin a million from blog seo” Bill Hartzer

Lee Odden Bill Hartzer

I’ve got a strange look on my face after hearing about some of Bill’s SEO projects. “Wow” is the word.

OK, this is the LAST time I will post on the Boston Pubcon. But you know, Vegas is coming up pretty soon!

Google Promotes Firefox on Homepage

FirefoxGoogle

Google has started promoting Firefox on its homepage. If you are running IE, head over to Google.com and you should see an ad that says “Firefox with Google Toolbar: tabbed browsing, safer surfing” with an image of the Google toolbar in Firefox under that.

According to the Firefox team. “Firefox is the first third party product to be featured on Google‚Äôs homepage.”

The bond between Google and Firefox seems to be getting stronger. This can only mean great things for the browser on all platforms in the future.

So, what does Google do with toolbar data?

-Thomas

ClickTracks Appetizer – Free Stats

ClickTracks Appetizer

ClickTracks has jumped on board with free stats. ClickTracks Appetizer gives you several of the popular ClickTracks features. Just enough to make you want to buy more, or so they think.

Included is all the general stats information like top keywords and referrers plus a few popular features.

Visitor Labeling – Through a simple mechanism known as visitor labeling, you can color-code visitors from a PPC campaign; visitors who found each page through a certain keyword; visitors who spent a very long or very short time on a page; and much more.

Visual Interface – See where visitors go, how long they stay and from which page they exit. This is superimposed over your site so you can see exactly where people are going.

Matt Cutts on Toolbar Data

At last week’s WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Boston, I had the opportunity to talk to Matt Cutts from Google a few times and when I posted my recollection of comments about Google and user or toolbar data for rankings he wanted to clarify. That presented an opportunity for a mini interview about Google’s position on toolbar data.

I started out by posing a few specific questions:

1. Does Google currently use toolbar data for rankings?
2. What do you see as the pros and cons of using such data for rankings?
3. Can you describe any scenario where information from a downloaded application from Google might be used in some way for ranking web pages?
4. If Google does not employ toolbar or other user data for rankings and another search engine does, could that provide the other search engine an advantage?

WebmasterWorld Boston 2006 Pubcon Wrapup

Boston Pubcon 2006
This year’s Pubcon in Boston was held at the Elephant in the Castle, a good sized Boston bar/pub. Starting out in the lower level, the WebmasterWorld crowd eventually took over the main bar as well. If forgot my conference badge but Brett Tabke was in the doorway greeting conference goers and giving out (lots of) drink tickets so getting in was no problem.

There was plenty of networking with a little food/drink here and there. I think I need to upgrade to a phone with a better camera or just start bringing a camera to conferences so I can take more/better quality photos.

Pubcon Boston Day 2

Lots of great sessions on Wednesday here at WebmasterWorld Boston Pubcon. Unfortunatley, I was only able to attend two of them (one as a speaker) due to a teleconference I did with Bulldog Reporter.

I thought the Public Relations panel in the morning went well. Robin, Lawrence and David all made strong presentations. What I liked best about the session and this is corroborated by feedback I received from attendees, was the diversity of perspectives offered.

Lawrence Coburn offered a small company’s inside perspective of what he called “dumb luck PR” and how to take advantage of that and snowball it. Very cool story actually. Television personality and CNN maven 🙂 Robin Liss shared her perspective on getting TV coverage. David McInnis gave a rundown on press release optimization and some of the new features available at PRWeb. My presentation covered the notion of applying search engine optimization principles to blog and press release optimization.

YPN Party – Boston Pubcon

Yahoo threw an invite party at “Saint” in Boston last night and it proved to be a good time. It was a good thing they were letting in “guests” of people on the list or I think there would have been only half as many people there. Good for you Yahoo in doing this as Microsoft has really shot itself in the foot at SES conferences by being uber strict with their “invite only” events.

LOTS of great conversations at this party. Thomas and I got there around 7pm and it was a nice, cozy little event with an open bar, (extended to 10pm) and a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres. Many familiar faces too: Todd Malicoat, the super cool guys from BOTW.org, Mike McDonald of iEntry and Jeremy Zawodny, my co-presenters for this morning’s PR session Robin Liss and Lawrence Coburn, Brandy and Daron Babin, Roger aka Martinibuster and many others I cannot remember right now because I’m supposed to be practicing my presentation. 🙂

Malcolm Gladwell – Pubcon Boston Keynote

Pubcon Boston Keynote Malcolm Gladwell, Author “Tipping Point” and “Blink”.

Due to the odd room layout and audio situation, I had difficulty hearing everything Malcolm had to say – even in the front row. My bad for sitting where I did, but it was a great presentation all the same. Certainly one that has motivated me to finish “The Tipping Point” and to start on “Blink”. Indeed it was another good keynote speaker choice by Brett Tabke.

Gladwell took the stage and has that same funky ‘fro you see in his photos. He recently launched his blog if you want an ongoing dose of his perspective.

Through story after story, he related the concepts of “connectors” and “mavens” as well as the notion of “tipping point” and how people let the perception that you always need a big solution to solve big problems.

Blogs RSS, Podcasts – Pubcon Boston

This session covered Blogs, RSS and Podcasts with moderation duties performed by Anne Kennedy of Beyond Ink.
First up is Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit. “The Art of the Feed”.

The “elegance” in RSS is in the distribution possibilities: Desktop reader, email addon, web browser and mobile devices.

The art of RSS is evident in blogs, sites, pdc, vblogs, rss search engines and web 2.0 applications. (press releases via PRWeb)

Build your RSS feeds right the first time. Considerations:
– What do you want to feed? (content sources)
– How many feeds?
– How much content is needed to keep the feed fresh?
– How much content should you include in each feed entry?
– What kind of content will the feed include? test, audio or video?
– How will you ping the feeds at first and then on each update?
– How to measure performance?

Happy Birthday Danny Sullivan

I just got into Boston for the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference and as I am trying (in vain) to catch up on a few things, I saw Danny’s post today over at Search Engine Watch blog about having written for 10 years about search engines. Wow.

Maybe “Anniversary” is a better word than “Birthday”, but you get the point.
As usual, Danny’s post is VERY thorough, detailing how he started out all the way to a list of thanks to the people who helped him make Search Engine Watch what it is today.

After reading that post, I thought: how in the world will I ever be able to come up with interesting interview questions for Danny?¬† He’s the most transparent search engine expert on the web! There’s Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Watch blog, the Search Casts, the conferences, articles, newsletters, a personal blog and he drops in on forums and discussion threads too.

State of the Blogosphere

Dave Sifry has posted his quarterly State of the Blogosphere with these results including the observation that technology product launches attract a significant amount of interest:

  • Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour

Here are previous reports: February 2006, July 2005, March 2005, October 2004.

Still think blogs are a “passing phase”? Blog marketing is no place for a “herd mentality”, but it’s nothing to procrastinate over either.