Archives for January 2007

Friday Search News 012507

Google bombs GoogleBombs

Dave Temple interviews Bruce Clay

Gord Hotchkiss interviews Marissa Meyer at Search Engine Land

SEO Consultants offers URI Valet service which allows you to check the “quality” of a page based on a number of technical factors

Eric T. Peterson is doing a free web analytics webinar in conjunction with the American Marketing Association and Aquent.

Personalization of search and its implications for SEO

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 2.1 –

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

The Lowdown on Web Designers and SEO

“Why Shouldn’t I Have My Web Designer Do Our SEO?”

This is a question we often hear from companies that are playing devil’s advocate during a site redesign that also needs optimization for better visibility on search engines. It’s sort of a, “As long as you’re under the hood, can you fix that other thing” perspective. Since the site design and code are being reworked, why not sprinkle some keywords in there?

This is a logical attitude for business or site owners who think of search engine optimization as purely a technical discipline. Too often this perspective is fostered by people in the web design and interactive industry who consume outdated information about SEO.

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.

Yahoo Adds Quality Index to Search Marketing Ads

Yahoo! has announced that on Feb 5th, they will be introducing a quality score to the Yahoo Search Marketing ad system, “Panama”. To date, placement of ads on Yahoo and their network have been based on bid price alone. From the press release:

“The quality of an ad will be determined by its historical performance in the new system and its expected performance relative to other ads displayed at the same time. Ads of higher quality will generally receive better placement on the results page.”

Advertisers will be able to see the “quality index” for their ads within Panama along with an estimated average position and estimated forecast of clicks for their ad campaigns, based on budget allocation and ad quality.

Gain Client Support for Successful Search Marketing

One of the most critical early achievements for a successful search marketing project is to gain company-wide support on the client side. Without buy-in from the team members that live and breathe the client’s industry, a successful campaign will be difficult.

In our experience, it’s the client staff that interact with customers that have the best idea of what those customers want. They know the pains and issues faced; they understand the solution that the customer is looking for.

A successful search marketing program taps into the needs of the customer. This is how to grab their attention. Without understanding those needs, engaging them can be problematic.

SEO Secrets for Better Public Relations

This Thursday I’ll be doing an audio conference as part of Bulldog Reporter’s PR University on search engine optimization and public relations. I did one of these in the Spring of 2006 and it went pretty well. I know a lot of practical, hands-on information was given out for the past conference. Attendees ranged from top 10 public relations firms in the U.S. to boutique shops and in-house PR professionals.

The panel this Thursday is very similar as last year and consists of:

  • Sally Falkow from Expansion Plus
  • Jamie O‚ÄôDonnell, SEO PR
  • Lee Odden, TopRank
  • Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire

Good SEO Humor

I really had to think twice about posting this, since the best thing would be to ignore it as noise. But then I realized, it’s so off-base, so “out there” it must be an attempt at humor!

DM News, in an apparent attempt to milk the antagonizing insights from Dave Pasternack, published a Q/A with him today on the reactions to his SEO rocket science articles. Here’s one golden nugget of humor from the interview:

“…. if the web team consistently follows the rules when putting up new content, then no “fixing” or “tweaking” is necessary. Plus if the content is great, with some marketing, it will get inbound links just as Larry [Paige] and Sergey [Brin] at Google calculated.”

Lessons Learned About Blogging

We’ve been blogging here at Online Marketing Blog for just over three years, learning ins and outs along the way. Here are a few of the lessons learned in that time:

  • Blogging has been the single most effective marketing initiative for our search marketing agency second only to providing top service to clients who then refer us to other companies. In fact our top sources of new business are:
    1. Referrals
    2. Blog
    3. Articles
    4. Web site
    5. Conferences
  • Blogs can serve as a very effective platform for connecting online social networks and offline interactions.
  • One of the most effective ways at getting into the media is to become the media in your industry via a blog.

WordPress 2.1 Plugin Testing

Wordpress 2.1 BadgeWordPress 2.1 has been released and one of the biggest changes has to do with plugins. Reading 10 Things You should Know About WordPress 2.1 they said “many plugins will no longer work in 2.1“!

Ok, that freaked me out a little. I like to stay up to date, but I can’t live without some of my plugins.

The good news is that there is a plugin compatibility page where they are trying to list all the plugins that work, or don’t work, with WordPress 2.1. The biggest red flag I saw was Ultimate Tag Warrior. Give it a few days though and it’ll be ready to go.