Archives for December 2006

The hypocrisy of digg and spam

More aggressive SMO marketers often talk about being careful not to get user accounts banned on digg. But what about the domain name? Banning user accounts has to do with the actions of the user. That is, behaviors and actions the user can control.

However, a domain name brings into other considerations. For example, whether or not influential members of the digg community like or don’t like a certain site or topic, regardless of what the mass of digg users respond to in the form of story submissions and votes. The site or blog owner has little control over whether other people submit stories and/or vote on them, bury them or report them as spam. Even if they’re not.

New Blogger accounts now live with lots of goodies.

Blogger Logo BlocksBlogger beta is now Blogger new and Blogger is now Blogger old. Confused yet?

Basically all the new features that were in the Blogger beta have been launched and everyone is encouraged to switch over. They aren’t forcing you just yet, but they will be eventually.

So what do you get with the new Blogger?

First off, drag and drop template designing. This is far superior to the old way where you just got the HTML source. It makes it much easier to add, remove or edit items on your blog.

Second, you can now set permissions on your blog. That way only those you allow access to can see it. Great for group blogs that you don’t want public.

10 things to keep in mind when changing a site design.

When you create a new site design, you should always remember a few key points. If you don’t, not only is it bad for search engines, but also visitors.

  1. Consider keeping the same file naming structure so that it will be easier for spiders to re-crawl the new site and peoples bookmarks don’t return 404 error pages.
  2. 301 Redirect all old or changed URLs to the new corresponding page.
  3. Create 404 error pages so that when errors occur, visitors get a nice message with the site’s look and feel.
  4. Look for broken links that may have come up as the site architecture changes a bit.
  5. Create a site map for your visitors so if they feel lost, they have a listing of all the pages on the site.

Jake Baillie to Leave TrueLocal

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Photo thanks to webmoxy
Internet marketing guru Jake Baillie has announced that he will be leaving TrueLocal to start a new internet fund and small business incubator:

I’m both pleased and saddened to announce my departure from TrueLocal to you. Last week the opportunity to do something that I’ve always wanted to do was presented to me Рmanage a small internet fund that incubates and provides funding to seed-stage new media and technology companies.

On January 1, myself and several employees from TrueLocal will be forming STN Labs, which will do exactly that.

As managing director, my role will be to evaluate, fund, and help these small and inventive companies become self-sufficient. We’re starting out with a stable of existing investments which will be announced shortly, and beginning in April, we will evaluate new opportunities. We’re looking to take on several entrepreneurs in residence in the short-term, as well as providing investments to companies in the 50K-500K range.

TopRank Moves to the Lake

TopRank Office View
Front door view

I am very happy to say that thanks to the hard work of my partner, Susan Misukanis, TopRank now has a new address on beautiful Lake Minnetonka, just west of Minneapolis. We’ve been looking for a new office space for nearly a year to accommodate our growth and unique style and finally found it on Shoreline Drive in Spring Park.

TopRank Office
Lake view from inside

Speaking of growth, I’d like to welcome William Arnovich, public relations specialist and Mike Yanke, assistant account manager to the Misukanis Odden – TopRank team!

TopRank Office
Under construction

The build out should be finished this week so we can start moving in between the holidays. Because so much is still under construction, I am only posting a few photos.

Chain Letter 2.0 : Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

Chain Letters 2.0I think that chain letters are now going web 2.0! I’ve been tagged and I have to write up a post, then ask others to do the same. So here it goes, five things you don’t know about me.

1. I’m not a huge gamer, but we have a Mac, PC, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Xbox and a Playstation 2. Now only if I could find a Wii. My favorite games include Mario (almost any one), Mario Kart, Karaoke Revolution, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Bejeweled and Mario Party. I’m not a big fan of the realistic shooter games or the RPG games though and I’ve never connected to anyone online.

2. I’ve always wanted to go skydiving. I’d probably be scared out of my mind and someone might have to push me out of the plane, but it’d be a heck of a lot of fun.

Interview with Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim

Spotlight on Search: Interview with Andy Beal

andy-beal.jpg I’ve known Andy Beal via blogging and search marketing conferences for a while now and had the privilege of speaking with him on a SEO Blogger and Reporter panel at the last WebmasterWorld Pubcon in Las Vegas.

While I had great respect for Andy’s accomplishments at building search marketing companies and developing top notch blogs, his performance during the panel was genuinely impressive. His grasp of the big picture and business aspects of search marketing were/are very insightful. My public relations firm has even hired Andy for some consulting on reputation management and I am happy to recommend him.

Yahoo Panama – Interview with John Slade of Yahoo!

Spotlight on Search: Interview with John Slade of Yahoo!

John Slade
There has been quite a bit of buzz on the paid search marketing front with the launch of the new Yahoo! Search Advertising platform aka “Panama”. At the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, Yahoo! announced the launch during a sponsored lunch. Dan Zarrella did a good a review of that session here.

Our YSM account recently went through the upgrade and we’re going through the process of getting familiar with all the new platform features. After talking to my contact at Yahoo PR as well as Mona Elesseily from Page Zero who has written a book about the Yahoo Search Marketing program, I thought it would be good to get some insight directly from Yahoo for Online Marketing Blog readers. John Slade, Senior Director of Yahoo Global Product Management was kind enough to field a few questions for me.

Blog Tag and Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

You may have noticed some tagging going on around the blogosphere today. Not the SMO kind of tagging but the “tag you’re it” kind of tagging. Marshall Sponder over at Web Metrics Guru got me yesterday, but I just noticed this afternoon.

Jeff Pulver started things off with this Holiday version of Blog Tag and this is the way it works: Once you’re tagged by another blogger, you write five things most people don’t know about you and then “tag” five other bloggers.

If you’re a regular reader to this blog, you’ll know I’m not one for many (if any) “cat posts” so it will be pretty easy for me to hit on a few things most people don’t know about me.

9rules Network

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I just noticed that Online Marketing Blog was included in the 9rules Network. So far there have been three, 24-hour submission rounds with hundreds of blogs trying to get in, but only a few make it, like Neil and Cameron’s Pronet Advertising Blog. In fact, although I’d met Neil at conferences before, I didn’t discover his blog until I found it on 9rules along with another favorite, Experience Curve.

Inclusion criteria are here, but basically include: passion for the subject, quantity and quality of writing, topics and design.

The benefits of being part of 9rules include the exposure on the site, in the communities and featured sections as well as participation with a private member forum. After looking at this blog’s server log for the past few hours, I can already see some nice traffic benefits.

Optimizing and Distributing Feeds with Feedburner

While at SES in Chicago, I got to hear Rick Klau of Feedburner talk a few times. While listening to him, I realized that Feedburner’s services are well worth the free account; not to mention the paid account.

Feedburner is a feed management service. It takes your blog generated feed and works with it to ensure maximum compatibility with all feed readers. It also help make sure that your podcast, images and video are all correctly embedded and then makes your feed user friendly by adding CSS and subscription buttons to your feed’s page.

Feedburner

Not only that, but you can put in your Amazon ID to ensure your Amazon links make you money, you can also tie your Flickr images into your feed, get click through counts, see how many subscribers you have, see how people are using your feed and that’s just a few features of the free account.

Getting Your Web Site Noticed

When the Yahoo Publisher Network blog editor Michael Mattis asked me to write an short marketing article for small businesses I knew exactly what to write about. As much as anyone, I am a proponent of new and interesting online marketing strategies like using social media for marketing, but I am also a firm believer in tried and true tactics, such as promoting one’s site offline.

After going through the routine hoops with Yahoo, the article has published on the YPN blog today, “Signal to Noise”. The article covers the basics as well as a few new, low cost tactics including:

  • Market offline, as well as online
  • Announce your site
  • Market with a blog
  • Optimize content and links
  • Keep your content fresh