Archives for January 2007

Interview with MyBlogLog CEO Scott Rafer

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MyBlogLog has been taking the blogosphere by storm the past few months, even before the acquisition by Yahoo. However, MyBlogLog is not a recent phenomena, it started out as a blog statistics service by Eric Marcoullier and Todd Sampson in March of 2005.

I’m a fan of MyBlogLog (TopRank Community) and despite some of the infrastructure issues related to their increased popularity, am very optimistic about what the resources brought on by Yahoo will do for the community.

In order to find out more about MyBlogLog, I contacted CEO Scott Rafer through the MyBlogLog messaging tool and he surprised me not only with a quick reply, but a yes to answering a few questions. I was rather impressed and appreciative of this considering how busy he is right now.

Shoemoney Interviews Brian Axe of Google AdSense

On Jeremy’s show tonight over at WebmasterRadio.FM, “Net Income”, he and Andrea interview Brian Axe, AdSense Product Manager. It’s a great show that starts out with quite a few clarifications of Google AdSense changes in terms of service ranging from not displaying images next to ads to the review and reinclusion process. Too many for me to list here, so be sure to listen to the full podcast.

A few notes from Jeremey:

  • Google is not against arbitrageurs but rather respect it as a business model.
  • Confirmation that not only is YouTube doing revenue sharing but it will be apart of AdSense.
  • Leaves the door open that they have plans for Blogger video blogging with AdSense revenue sharing through YouTube.
  • Explains smart pricing and how it works.

No Blog? Missed Opportunity

Yesterday one of our account managers emailed me about a very nice hit (mention in an article) for a media relations client (way to go Bill!) in a prominent technology publication. This pub has an online version and the topic was pretty provocative.

I did a quick search on Google blog search and noticed a significant number of blogs buzzing about this topic. It would be a great opportunity for the client to participate in those threads of dialogue and present their unique perspective. Doing so with a blog post to link back to offering more details would be a great way to connect with a community that cares deeply about the topic. Except one thing. The client doesn’t have a blog.

Pet Peeve: Login to Comment

Unhappy ChatOne of my pet peeves with blogs is when they require you to login to comment. Why should I have to login? What do I get out of it?

Some blogs do have a lot of visitors and use logins to control un-wanted comments. In this case, I can see logging-in as a way to control quality. However most blogs don’t get thousands of visitors an hour and have no need to require a login.

Lets not get this confused with spam. If you are getting lots of spam, get a spam plugin.

Even worse are those blogs that say ‘You must be logged in to comment’ but you can’t login because you haven’t registered and you can’t register because they never activated that feature on the blog. Then they wonder why they never get comments on their blog.

Blog Credibility and Ads

When the first iteration of this blog went live, there was no intention of doing anything but documenting resources and sharing information. For a short time, we ran some Google AdSense ads and then participated in the beta of the Yahoo Publisher Network for a while. We even had a few image ads.

But ads just didn’t seem right so with the exception of very small sponsor text ads for the RSS feed, there is no advertising on this blog. I suppose one could argue the whole thing is an ad, but not in an explicit way.

Google Adds Wikipedia to OneBox Results

Steve Rubel reports today that Wikipedia entries now appear in Google OneBox results. Just add “info” or “information” to your query and the first results will be from Wikipedia if there’s a match. Will an entry in Wikipedia be what a DMOZ entry used to be? Perhaps in more ways than one.

For a great resource on how to take advantage of marketing opportunities via Google OneBox, I recommend reading Brian Mark’s blog, The OneBoxer.

TopRank Weekly Recap 012707

Here is a list of the week’s blog posts on Online Marketing Blog focusing on SEO, blogging and business of search marketing.

SEMPO Board of Directors Nominees (Lee) – Voting begins Feb 6.

Search Marketing Blogs Update 012607 (Lee) – 18 new search marketing blogs added this week. We’re now at 350 and Todd Malicoat added a new CSE.

Friday Search News 012507 (Lee) – Googlebombs, Interviews with Bruce Clay and Marissa Meyer of Google.

Content vs Links (Lee) – This debate is missing the most critical concept: distribution.

The Lowdown on Web Designers and SEO (Lee) – Why your web designer didn’t make your site search engine friendly.

Recommendations for Collaboration Software (Lee) – Looking for tips on cross platform hosted email and calendar software.

SEMPO Board of Directors Nominees

SEMPO has announced the list of nominees for the 2007 board of directors.

Content vs Links

There’s a long standing debate in the search marketing industry about links versus content. Which is better?

On the one hand there’s the perspective that if you create great content, people will link to you naturally. That’s true, but it’s a bit misleading.

On the other hand there are those that say links are the answer. You can get pages to rank well based purely on links. Again, that’s entirely possible, but such a statement does not give you all the facts.

When I read or hear people ask whether links or content are better, I liken such a question to asking, “What’s better, air or water?”. Links and content are both necessary for competitive search marketing efforts. Emphasizing one over the other depends on the situation. Excelling at both is the ideal.

Subscribe to Categories in WordPress

Category FeedsOne nice feature in WordPress is the ability to have a feed for each category. It’s all built in and up-and-running in all WordPress blogs as we speak. It’s just not promoted.

To get separate feeds for each category, just load the category page and add /feed/ at the end of the URL. That is if they have permalinks turned on.

If you want to add the feeds to your template for easy access for your users, you can just replace the category code in your template with:

WP pre 2.1 –
wp_list_cats(‘sort_column=name&optioncount=0&feed=RSS’);

WP 2.1 –
wp_list_categories(‘sort_column=name&optioncount=0&feed=RSS’);

Now, instead of it saying Category(14) it says Category(RSS) and RSS will link to the feed

Recommendations for Collaboration Software

Part of our team members at TopRank get to work from home and the rest in our office on Lake Minnetonka. We’re researching upgraded collaborative email and calendaring solutions such as hosted MS Exchange and Zimbra, but everything we’ve looked at doesn’t seem to quite fit the bill.

I am curious if any of our readers have suggestions for a cost effective, hosted email and calendaring solution that is not platform dependent in any way. Or better yet, can remotely sync calendar and email on multiple client side platforms – we have Macs and PCs). Secure document sharing is nice too, but we already have that with another provider.

Blogging in Different Languages

World - FlagsThere are millions of people around the world that speak languages other than English, yet most blogs I see offer up only English posts. The thought of posting in other languages doesn’t work well with many bloggers as they only know a few languages at most and the time it would take to re-post each post isn’t something we all have the time to do. So what about automatic translation?

Having a plugin to automatically translate your blog into Spanish, Chinese or other languages would be a great way to help gain exposure and readers from other parts of the world. Not only that, but it may also help increase the authority level of your blog.

In doing a bit of research, here are four plugins to help you automatically translate your WordPress blog.