Archives for April 2007

Five Blunders with Social News and Bookmarking

Listen. Can you hear it? All the buzz about social media marketing? What you might not know is that with all that sound there’s an awful lot of noise. That difficulty manifests itself in the form of basic misconceptions, blunders and flat out mistakes when trying to participate and market with social news and bookmarking sites.

Here are a few common and basic social media news and bookmarking mistakes to watch out for:

1. Submitting press releases to social news sites. This is social media suicide, but there are marketers and PR practitioners out there endorsing the submission of press releases to social news as if it’s the same thing as submitting press releases to news search engines. It’s not the same thing at all.

Search Insider Summit


In two weeks I’ll be in Florida for my first ever Search Insider Summit conference. This is an event held by MediaPost and chaired by David Berkowitz from 360i, who has been a regular contributor to the Search Insider email newsletter and blog for the past year or more. He also publishes a fine blog at Inside the Marketer’s Studio.

David and I have been fellow bloggers of the Chicago ad:tech conference the past few years and he has amazing writing talents as well as a very firm grasp of what’s new, hot and most of all, important in the search and online marketing world.

We’re Changing our Blog Host

We’re changing hosts for Online Marketing Blog this weekend.

I never thought we’d need a dedicated server for a blog, but this blog will be moving over to a dedicated Dell Poweredge server with our new host VISI, who has been good to work with so far. In fact, they’ve gone way out of their way in terms of providing expedited set up since our our current host, Pair Networks, informed us yesterday they’re shutting our site down today. Yep, just like that.

Since we paid Pair a year in advance, this seemed a tad bit unreasonable (I’m holding back, trust me) so I made a plea to wait until Monday, which they agreed to.

Search Marketing Blogs Update 042707

The weeks are going by too quickly and the launch of some of the new RSS mashups will take longer than I thought. Despite that, we have several new search marketing blogs to add to our very large list this week.

  • SMOblog – Sociologist Mark Blair writes about social media optimization.
  • Searchnomics – A blog from Silicon Valley’s WebGuild about the business and economics of search marketing with a particular emphasis on Google.
  • Bootmoney – Affiliate marketing parody blog ala Shoemoney.
  • In Search of Stuff – Scottie Claiborne and Michael Motherwell offer truly valuable insight such as a poll on Bratwurst.

If you know of any other good humor SEO blogs, please mention in the comments.

Mine Internal Blog Search Data

Now that you are searching everything on your blog, it’d be a good idea to know what others are searhing for. If you are running WordPress, this is easy enough to do with the Search Meter plugin.

Search Meter’s job is to capture anything put into the search box. This information is then displayed on the admin side of WordPress. It also comes with the functionality to output it on the public side of your blog if you’d like to.

Search Meter Results

Knowing what your visitors are searching for is important as it’s a clue to how they are using the site. You may find out that everyone is searching for information on a certain topic. If it’s not something you post on often, it may be a good idea to post on it more often. Or maybe you’ve created a tutorial or plugin that isn’t easily accessible from your main navigation. If everyone’s searching for it, it’d be a good idea to modify your navigation so it was easier to find.

What Makes an Ideal SEO Client?


Believe it or not, there are a few things we do to avoid new project inquiries. But truth be told, I love talking to people about SEO. It’s really interesting to me, learning about the kinds of situations companies are in, their marketing goals and how they’re going about growing their business (or business unit) online. Search marketing is like solving puzzles in a way, except with the SEO industry, the picture on the puzzle changes every so often. 🙂

There are all kinds of companies that we get to talk to ranging from large corporations with official buyers of search marketing services to virtual ecommerce companies and also businesses that have been doing search marketing in-house or with another consultant for a few years and need to take it to the next level. With as many different companies there are even more different perspectives about search marketing.

Pubcon Las Vegas and SES Chicago

During SES New York I heard that this year’s Pubcon Conference will be held the same week as the Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference. This wasn’t by choice, as neither conference will benefit from happening at the same time. I believe it had to do with how the Las Vegas Convention Center situation worked with Pubcon and things happened that required the Pubcon event to be moved to a different date than originally intended.

SES Chicago is 12/3-6 and PubCon Las Vegas runs 12/4-7.  This is a really tough call because Pubcon only happens once a year and SES Chicago is in our back yard. However, I do plan on having TopRank staff at both events

Search Everything – Leave No WordPress Page Un-Checked

Search WordPressBy default, WordPress is setup to search every post. What they don’t tell you is that doesn’t include pages. However, with the Search Everything plugin, you can search pages, posts and more.

No only will Search Everything allow you to include pages in your WordPress search, but also comments, drafts, attachments and custom meta fields. You get to choose what extra fields you want to include which is good as I have no idea why you’d want to include drafts or un-approved comments.

This is really handy for those that use WordPress as their website content management system. I’ve used WordPress not as a blogging platform, but as an easy content management source. Some sites have more pages than posts and searching proves problematic.

Reader Poll: Best Search Marketing Magazines

reader poll

There have been a variety of print publications that have covered some aspects of marketing online ranging from interactive to search marketing for several years now. However, there’s recently been an increase in dedicated columns as well as magazines solely focused on the search marketing industry.

Below is a list of publications and links in case you haven’t heard of them. I suspect this might be the case since so many readers of Online Marketing Blog are progressive, tech savvy, RSS consuming machines. 🙂

Search Marketing Blogs by RSS Subscribers

I noticed today that Self Made Minds is working on a list of the top 100 blogs that use Feedburner to host their RSS feeds. I noticed quite a few search marketing related blogs in there and found it pretty interesting. John Battelle is kicking search engine ass with nearly 68,000 RSS subscribers. Here are a few that I was able to pull out from the original list and a few others I looked up.

John Battelle’s Search Blog

Matt Cutts

Search Engine Watch


Search Engine Land

Search Engine Roundtable


Search Engine Guide

Online Marketing Blog

Marketing Pilgrim

Graywolf’s SEO Blog

SEO Scoop

SEO Clueless Web Developers: Evil or Cash Cow?


I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the web site optimization business has experienced that unfortunate situation with a client where those responsible for creating the web site have done those nasty things that seem to make the site as un-search engine friendly as possible. While it’s not intentional, it can seem awfully ignorant to search engine optimization consultants brought in after the fact to “fix” things.

Common issues include:

  • URLs that are difficult or impossible for search engine spiders to crawl
  • Hard coding the same title tag on all pages, not allowing tags to be edited or no title tag at all
  • Putting most of the content behind a login and not offering “teaser” content
  • Not allowing direct editing of on-page text content

Optimized Post Slugs For Users and Search Engines

Post Slug BoxPost slugs are one item that is commonly overlooked when setting up and writing to a blog. Either they are forgotten about all together, or they aren’t customized for usability sake. Optimized post slugs are not just for search engines, but people too.

The first thing we will talk about is search engines. Post slugs can also be referred to as permalinks. They are basically the URL that makes up the individual post page.

By default, WordPress automatically uses IDs and not words. Here is an example: Now it’s short and simple, but gives no indication of what the page is. What we want to do is turn on custom permalinks.