Archives for December 2007

Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook

Getting to First Base
[Note from Lee: Is that chicken wearing a garter belt?]

Beginning with a blog post on creative blogger pitches, Darren and Julie caught TopRank’s attention with Lee Odden’s name showcased on a flirty pink envelope. Watching Lee dig through the mail looking for his pink envelope only intrigued me more, and I knew I had to read this guide to social media – not only for review purposes, but to enjoy the romantic innuendos and maybe even pick up on a few dating tips for future reference. 🙂

Immediately, the tongue-in-cheek section titles such as “A Social Media Love-In”, “Size Matters” and “I Totally Digg You” grab your attention in this social media guide offered by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo. This humor mixed in with an exciting field like social media made for an enjoyable read as I learned how to initiate the first date and get to first base; well, in the social media world anyway.

Voting Begins – Search Marketing Blog Awards


Loren Baker’s Search Engine Journal has recently taken nominations for best search marketing blogs in a variety of categories. I am happy to say TopRank’s blog, aka “Online Marketing Blog” has been nominated in 4 of the 19 categories.

Thank you to friends and readers of Online Marketing Blog for nominating us! You can now vote for TopRank’s blog (5 for best!) in the following categories:

  • Best Search Conference Coverage – Category #16
    As an official media sponsor for blog coverage of: SES, ClickZ, SMX, Pubcon, SIS and eMetrics plus 14 search, PR and marketing conferences blogged in 2007, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog is against exceptionally tough competition but we hope the work our team has put into providing coverage of sessions, photos, videos, after conference parties and interviews was helpful enough to rate a 5. 🙂

BIGLIST SEO Blogs Update 122807

SEO Blogs

It’s here. It’s finally here. The last BIGLIST seo blog reviews post of 2007. In all, we’ve reviewed over 700 SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing blogs with only 400 or remaining. Who made this final BIGLIST post of the year? Read on:

  • Digerati Marketing – UK based Mark Cook uses a blog as his company website and writes about all aspects of marketing online ranging from viral marketing to search engine optimisation (yeah, with an “s”) and some white/black hat for good measure.
  • Stomper Blog – A new blog from Andy Jenkins and the team at StomperNet starts with a bang using entertaining and clever SEO tips on video packaged as “Going Natural 2.0”. It’s a straightforward strategy, albeit very nicely packaged, of giving away content as part of their efforts to promote Stomper Scrutinizer software.

Top Online Marketing Blog Posts 2007

A lot of work can go into producing and promoting a popular blog. While we’ve made some progress in terms of raising the visibility of TopRank and have made a tremendous number of connections, I think we’re really only “half way there” as far as where we could be. Using blogs as a marketing and PR tool is a process of planning, execution, measurement and refinement like any other tactic. We’ll continue that trend with new features and design in 2008.

In the past when we’ve posted the most popular blog posts for the year, it was based purely on the number of visits. This time, we’re taking into account a mix of metrics including: visits, inbound links, comments and social bookmarks from services like and StumbleUpon.

TopRank Tips: Conference Live Blogging


Anyone that reads Online Marketing Blog from time to time knows we do a bit of conference blogging. In fact, during 2007 OMB covered 14 conferences involving nearly 100 blog posts, over 1500 photos and 20 videos. Besides the conference sessions and after hours coverage, we also typically conduct interviews before the events, as well as video interviews during conferences.

The efforts of the TopRank blogging team have enabled Online Marketing Blog to become the first blog to secure an official media sponsorship for just about all major search marketing conferences including: Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, WebmasterWorld Pubcon, MediaPost Search Insider Summit and eMetrics Summit. OMB is also ranked by Advertising Age as one of the top marketing blogs on the web.

AdAge Power 150 and Bloglines Reporting Issue

Readers of Online Marketing Blog may have noticed the “ranking” for our blog reported by the AdAge Power 150 widget has dropped from #12 to #43 or so the past week. I just wanted to assure new readers this is not because of any change in subscribers, links or traffic but due to Bloglines not reporting any of our subscribers.

Even though the Bloglines metric reported by AdAge is zero (we actually have over 1300 subscribers) OMB still ranks in the top 50 on the AdAge Power 150 with a score of 61. Add to that the 13 we’d normally get for the number of Bloglines subscribers and the score for Online Marketing Blog hits 74, which ranks us somewhere between #9 and #13 as there are several others with the same score.

Happy Holidays from TopRank!


BIGLIST Search Marketing Blogs 122107

SEO Blogs

After a lackluster entry last week, at least as far as blogs to be added, we’re back on track with SEO and SEM blogs for the BIGLIST.

  • Seer Interactive SEO blog – Wil Reynolds at Philadelphia based Seer Interactive blogs the gamut of SEO/SEM and internet marketing subjects.
  • Billy’s Blog – Billy works at Widemile in Seattle and blogs a lot on the topic of landing page optimization, a/b testing and multivariate testing.
  • Raven SEO Tools Blog – Jon Henshaw and Lee Smith-Bryan of Nashville based Sitening blog mostly about SEO tactics along with the ususal fare of search industry topics and commentary.
  • Linkworth Blog – Need to know your way around text link ads, paid blog reviews and the like? This blog might be for you.

Search Engine Optimization for Small Business

Recently I did a podcast for , recently acquired by Dun & Bradstreet, along with their Marketing Director, David Saries. The audience for is small businesses, so the questions were flavored toward the perspectives many do it yourself or hands on web site owners and online business owners have.

The podcast discusses a variety of topics ranging from a definition of SEO to common SEO mistakes. We also discuss emerging online marketing channels and whether small businesses can “do SEO in-house” or not. You can listen to the full podcast here: “The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization”

Most companies are aware there are things they can do to improve their visibility on search engines. Some may have even heard the term, “search engine optimization” (SEO). But how many really know what that means?

Frozen Sunrise Lake Minnetonka

The great thing about winter in Minnesota when you’re in a computer/indoors intensive profession, is that there aren’t as many distractions to go outside. Compared to all the snow and ice, back link analysis and code optimization seems pretty appealing.

I’m not sure how many of our readers are in warm climates, but I thought I’d share a few chilly Minnesota photos from today:

Frozen Morning on Lake Minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka on the way into the office in the am. I really shouldn’t be taking pictures and driving at the same time. 🙂

Ice Houses on Lake Minnetonka
The two ice fishing houses on the lake outside our office. Besides the satellite TV, they’re probably outfitted with an easy chair, refrigerator, card table, hot plate and wireless internet. Oh, and probably a small fishing rod – you never can tell.

A Story of US Bank Visa Losing Yet Another Customer

[Start Rant]

Anyone in the search biz who knows me, knows I’m a pretty easy going person and sometimes even rational. 🙂 My experience with usbank Visa both in the past and today trying to buy a product online and later a domain name transfer gave me a good taste of the unreasonable way seemingly reasonable companies are serving customers. And making it difficult to stay on as customers.

First, I attempted to purchase a product I was planning to use as a prize for a contest at our office. I should have just had Amie take care of this stuff, but I thought it would only take a few seconds like most of the monthly online purchases I make. However, in this case, the online merchant checkout screen said there was a problem with the usbank Visa.

Google DoubleClick Deal Good to Go

At the SIS conference last week there were a number of DoubleClick employees in attendance. In fact, I sat next to Cam Blazer during dinner one night and any speculation or questions about Google and the acquisition approval from the FTC had to be answered with a “We’ll have to see” sort of answer.

Well, now the Google DoubleClick deal is official and the news is lighting up the web.

I for one, would love to get a few questions answered, like “How does it work for a search engine to own an agency that provides PPC and SEO services like DoubleClick Performics?”