Archives for February 2007

Moderate More Spam

Recently the blogs I monitor have been getting hit with a lot of spam that Akismet doesn’t seem to catch. Here is an example:

Author: used auto detroit

Comment: used auto detroit

Info about used auto detroit.

The good news is I’ve come up with a simple solution. Just go into your blogs admin, click on options and then on discussion. In the comments moderation area, add /strong to the list. Next time one of these comments make it through, they’ll be held for moderation instead of going live.

Notice, I didn’t say that this was a fix. You could add /strong to the comment blacklist area but you may filter out good comments too. Seeing as strong tags are OK to use in WordPress comments, a real visitor could use it. Plus, some blogs tell users that they can use basic formatting. That’s why we throw it into moderation and not just throw it away.

The Power of Social Media, Blogs and Online PR

When you attend conferences, read blogs or popular search marketing sites you’ll find plenty of subject matter experts in search marketing tactics ranging from search engine optimization to pay per click to local marketing and social media. It’s great to get those specific perspectives, but I get a lot of feedback from businesses that appreciate a more holistic approach to marketing online.

Recently, I was able to do an interview on the online radio show, Online Marketing with RSS Ray talking about an overall  approach to using social media, blogs and online public relations.

Below are links to the audio segments from the interview. All of the tactics discussed provide benefits for search engine optimization as well.

Search Marketing Blogs Update 021607

This week’s list of search engine marketing blogs is a lot slimmer due to a lot less time spent blogging and reading blogs this week. Google decided to give our SEO agency web site a BIG bump in rankings and the ensuing barrage of inquiries has kept us rather busy.

  • Blog – Group Blog from
  • Finding the Sweet Spot – Scott Clark, a web marketer from Kentucky blogs about a variet of personal and professional interests including SEO.
  • B2B SEO Blog – Galen De Young blogs about search marketing from a business to business SEO perspective.
  • MoreVisibility SEM Blog – The team at MoreVisibility cover industry news & events, online advertising, CPC, analytics and updates on the Search Engines.

Minneapolis High Rankings Seminar

If you’re one of the bazillion people that get Jill Whalen’s High Rankings Advisor newsletter, then you already know, but in case you don’t, here’s the scoop in the upcoming High Rankings Seminar coming to Minneapolis next month:

Since there hasn’t been a “how to” SEO/SEM seminar in Minneapolis anytime recently, we wanted to make sure everyone in the Twin Cities web development and marketing community had the chance to hear about and sign up for the High Rankings Seminar.  So Jill has agreed to extend the early bird discount ($200 off) for registrations placed by February 22nd.

We’ve reached out and connected with a variety of local organizations to promote the event including:  MIMA, local AMA, local DMA, IABC, MHTA, JJ Hill Library, NAWBO and several others with a great response.

Where is above the fold?

NewspaperI’ve recently acquired some email campaign tasks and one item I’m always hearing is to get something ‘above the fold’.

Now, I know what above the fold is. It’s the space that the visitors sees on the screen without having to scroll down. Really it’s a term from the newspaper industry where the fold of the newspaper cuts off stories. Those on top get more exposure and those on the bottom of the page.

But now that we are in the web world, it’s not the same. There are many different screen sizes, internet browsers, toolbars and the term ‘above the fold’ just doesn’t seem to fit.

So my question to you is, where is ‘above the fold’ on a computer screen and has it been standardized? Should I assume that 1024×768 is a good size? But then again, how does that work when it comes to emails?

Wednesday Search Industry Links 021407

Guide to link buying – Search Engine Journal

Is Google the dog wagging the search news tail? – Search Day – Search Engine Watch

17 most common PPC mistakes web marketers make – Igor M. at SEOMoz

30 tips for creating blog traffic – Daily blog tips

Complete guide to online video – Read/WriteWeb via Andy

How Social Media Impacts Search Engine Marketing

Today I’m doing an online radio interview over at RSS Ray on social media and search engine optimization. Our discussion will cover fundamentals of social media and how businesses, small and large, might use such tactics as part of their online marketing mix. We’ll also discuss blog marketing and press release optimization.

The kind of social media optimization and marketing that gets the most play these days is hitting the home page of digg or getting tons of traffic from Stumbleupon,, reddit, etc. Many of the SMO/SMM campaigns we run achieve these kinds of results, but it’s not the end goal. If you’re familiar with the services we provide at TopRank, you’ll know we take a holistic approach to search marketing and view things like social media on a longer term basis.

Search Engine Marketing Specialist

Our search marketing agency, TopRank is hiring for a Search Engine Marketing Specialist position. We’re looking for someone with 2-3 years experience, particularly with paid search (creative, bid management, analytics, account management). The position is on-site at our office on Lake Minnetonka in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

I’ll be posting a more in depth job description and requirements on the TopRank site later this week, but if there are super talented, super smart, local search marketers in the Twin Cities looking for a huge growth opportunity, email me your resume: seo at toprankresults dot com.

Reader Poll: Blogger’s Block

reader poll

Blogs are great marketing tools, but if you’re running or working in a successful business it can be tough to find the time. Hence, this week’s reader poll:

What do you do when you can't think of something or you're not motivated to blog?

  • Just don't blog (51%, 46 Votes)
  • Repost news of the day with your commentary (21%, 19 Votes)
  • Avoid the situation by scheduling content in advance (pre-write posts) (13%, 12 Votes)
  • Run a poll about how to deal with blogger's block (10%, 9 Votes)
  • Ask a co-worker to write a post (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Repost links to popular posts (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 90

Blog Backup Day – Lets Backup Everything

Blog Backup DayIt’s the 13th again and that means it’s time to backup your blog. But this time around, lets take it one step further and backup all the files also.

Recently I came across a blog that was not accessible. Getting a copy of the database files was one thing, but there were other files to consider. Things like custom pages, templates, plugins and the WordPress files in general.

Usually I’d skip these as getting the WordPress install is as easy as going to the WordPress site and any plugins can be re-downloaded. However, getting the right version of everything is the trick. I’ve run across a few plugins that work better at version 1.7 than they do at 1.8 for example. I know that plugin versions can also modify how they tie into the database in different versions. If you just assume that you can re-download the files elsewhere, you may run into more issues than you bargained for.

Updated to WordPress 2.1 with minor injuries.

I did it, I took the jump to WordPress 2.1 here at BloggerDesign and it wasn’t quite as slick as I had hoped. I have done the upgrade on a few other blogs with no issues, but for some reason this one freaked out a bit.

I think it all surrounds the fact that I didn’t deactivate my plugins. You know they say to do that, but I forgot. Guess what, they mean it. When I went to run the update script, it wouldn’t do its thing. And I couldn’t deactivate the plugins as I already had the files updated on the server. To get around it, I renamed the plugin folder and then it worked great.

TopRank News, Interviews and Upcoming Speaking Events

Todd And (Andrlik) published a list of 150 marketing blogs and I’m happy to note that Online Marketing Blog is ranked at #5 between Brian Clark’s most excellent Copyblogger and Church of the Customer’s Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. With Seth Godin at #2 and Steve Rubel’s Micropersuasion at #17 I’m pretty amazed. This is a dynamic list and you can read about the ranking criteria here.

A few people did interviews with me that were published this week. One with Michael Gray as part of his awesome collection of local search marketing interviews, “Local Search Tips, Tricks and Secrets“.

The other interview was with a UK search marketing agency blog, ViperChill where I talked about everything from getting into the search biz, starting a blog about scotch and tips for people starting out in the search marketing business that want to get noticed by the industry.