Archives for September 2006

Eric Ward Launches Link Building Newsletter

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The PG SEO (pre-Google) and master linker, Eric Ward has recently launched a new newsletter on link building called, The Ward Report.¬† I’ve seen the initial free-trial issue and it’s pretty good with topics including:

  • Linking Fact, Fiction and Your Inbound Link Profile (INLP)
  • Social Linking and Tagging
  • Linking for Search Rank
  • Linking and Publicity Opportunity Watch
  • RSS To The Rescue

It’s a paid subscription and well worth it. Subscribers will have access to discounted training, how-to Podcasts, video training modules and other resources as well.¬† You can sign up for the Ward Report here or request the trial version.

Monetizing with Feedvertising

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For the past week I’ve been beta-testing a new product from Patrick Gavin and Andy Hagans of Text Link Ads called Feedvertising. Other beta testers include Jim Boykin, Phillip Lessen, Brian Clark and several others. This is a service that allows you to monetize your RSS feeds with ads. Text Link Ads will sell the ads for you, or in my case, I just put in ads for some things I’m doing with Marketing Sherpa. You can do it either way or both.

Not only is Feedvertising a potential money maker, but it’s also a clever way to cross promote other areas of your blog, company web site or other web sites that you publish.

There’s a very good tutorial on Feedvertising over at Tubetorial or you can check out the Feedvertising site.

Where’s Wallop?

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The Microsoft Research Labs spinoff has launched their Flash based, social networking service, Wallop to compete with MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo 360, etc.

I reviewed Wallop in June of last year. At that time, I don’t know what the official plans are but I would not expect to see Wallop open up as more than a research project.

com.

So many social networking sites, so little time.

All Your Google Base Are Belong to Us

“Google to Jump Head-First into the Long Tail of Commerce”. Google Base will be incorporated more into regular Google search results in a move that will put it in direct competition with eBay. via Micropersuasion.

I’ve seen examples of Google Base within regular SERPs already with certain phrases such as, “search engine optimization services” where a “refine your search” box appears with drop down menus for skills and service type above the regular search results. Greg Niland mentioned seeing this earlier in the year, “Google Base Added to SERPs“.

I’ve heard that in the coming months, Google Base will appear much more often in natural search results and that the line between Google’s various services and the search engine will become more fluid.

Future of the Internet Part II

The Pew Internet and American Life research project has issued another report on the the future of the internet with predictions that by 2020:

  • Virtual reality will enhance worker productivity
  • Tech ‚Äúrefuseniks‚Äù will emerge as a cultural group, living “off the network”
  • People will continue to disclose personal information unknowingly, albeit for some personal benefit

There are other insights as well including the continued social inequalities and 46% agreed that the benefits of greater transparency of organizations and individuals would outweigh the privacy costs and 49% disagreed.

Here’s a video clip of Lee Rainie from Pew discussing the findings on the Lehrer NewsHour show.

Battelle on Cutts on Webspam

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John Battelle has posted an excellent interview with Google’s Matt Cutts on the subjects of webspam and human influences to search quality. Regarding “human contribitions” to search quality, for some reason, lately I’ve been wondering if Google will acquire or implement something like StumbleUpon?

In other Matt Cutts’ news, does he have an evil twin? via Barry at SEW

Business Wire to License PRWeb Platform

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David McInnis of PRWeb dropped me a quick note this a.m. about a new strategic partnership between PRWeb parent, Vocus Communications and Business Wire that includes the licensing of a private label version of PRWeb for use by Business Wire clients.

“Vocus will create and host for Business Wire a co-branded version of the PRWeb direct-to-consumer and SEO service. Business Wire members may disseminate press releases so they will be indexed by major search engines, distributed to thousands of news sites, including Google News and Yahoo News, and delivered through more than 20,000 RSS feeds that collectively reach tens of millions of consumers and thousands of journalists daily.”

Facebook Opens Up

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I received my “Join Facebook” email today and registered. You can join one of three networks: Regional, College or Work.

While several employees at our firm, TopRank have Facebook accounts and we may (or may not) have done some things with clients, this is the first time “playing around” with my own account. There’s quite a difference between Facebook and MySpace in terms of layout, customization options and functionality.

For more info from the source, check out this very interesting video interview by Bambi Francisco with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month after their little redesign fiasco. They discuss whether Facebook is hitting a ceiling, the deal with Microsoft and about opening up Facebook to regional networks.

Lameness in the SEO Biz

It’s all part of doing business in the industry, but I’ve been dealing with more and more parasites lately, so here’s my new definition:

  • Competing agencies that do not specialize in search marketing, but are too lazy to learn. They leech off of your information and good nature for their own betterment offering nothing in return and call it “co-opetition”.
  • Prospects that try every trick in the book to suck how-to information out of you in the name of “learning about the SEO process”.
  • Content spammers, copyright and trademark hacks who will take every last opportunity to rob you of your brand and content.

What do you do?

  • Be smarter about how you package information and be more conservative about setting expectations

Be Geek Cool and Lose the WWW

Something I’ve been noticing the past few months is an increasing number of web sites that do not use www. Either this is a trend that’s full force and I’ve missed it (busy with SEO clients) or it’s a trend picking up steam. Or maybe it’s a techie geek sort of thing as most of the sites I’ve noticed are a bit geeky. And they would take that designation as a compliment I think.

First I noticed Glen Stansberry’s excellent blog was shortened to just lifedev.net. Then Thomas aka TwisterMC’s new blog, bloggerdesign.com did the same thing.  And just today I noticed Greg Hartnett (greghartnett.com) of BOTW has just said no to the www. It’s not just these sites though, I’ve noticed many others too.

Meta Descriptions Are Almost As Important As Title Tags

It’s been said that meta keywords and description tags are dead. Where as I’d agree with the keywords tag, the descriptions tag I’m no longer convinced is dead. Actually, it’s quite important; especially for blogs.

If you use the site: command in Google, and look at Google’s descriptions (aka snippits) for a blog, you may notice some indexing issues. Usually one of two things happens. Either your blog description is generic and includes things like the date and categories, or your blog’s description is exactly the same. The second one will probably land a lot of your pages in the supplemental index.

If you check out Matt Cutt’s blog, you’ll notice that the descriptions start with the date followed by time, categories and then the first few words of his post.

Googlers Cutts, Fox and Camp in the Media

Some of our favorite Google people were in the media recently:

The Chicago Tribune did a huge piece on Google overall (hattip threadwatch) with a sidebar article “Meet Google’s Credibility Cop” on Matt Cutts.

I remember reading or hearing somewhere that Matt had worked for the NSA and this article mentions only that he interned with the Defense Department doing some programming.

The article opens up with language like, “hucksters, spammers and other charlatans” when making reference to manipulations to rank better on Google. Search marketing folks will know that means tactics that are to the extreme and not legit SEO, but I am not so sure everyday business Joe and Jane will see it that way. Actually, the article doesn’t mention search engine optimization at all.