Archives for January 2008

Bridging the Gap: Old and New SEO @ SMX West

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As part of our media sponsorship of the SMX series of conferences, I’ve been picked as the TopRank blogger to visit the Bay Area next month for SMX West – Feb 26-28, 2008 in Santa Clara, CA.

Looking at the agenda for the 3 day conference, one can tell that there are big shifts taking place in the search industry, specifically the transition from ‘old SEO’ (i.e. the optimize and wait approach) to ‘new SEO’ (i.e. optimize, then promote promote promote approach). Validating this transition, many session titles include topics such as ‘Search 3.0’, ‘Search 4.0’ and the ‘Blended Search Revolution’.

Co-chaired by industry legends Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, SMX West will be full of SEO industry leaders providing attendees with ideas about how to bridge the gap between the banks of the old and the opportunities of the new.

Social Media Marketing Tips

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Not too long ago I queried a number of online marketing and public relations peers ranging from Aaron Wall, Matt McGee and Neil Patel to Todd Defren, Triss Hussey and Peter Himler about sharing a few of their social media marketing tips. Out of that informal survey in combination with community specific solicitations came posts about marketing with MyBlogLog and Twitter.

However, there are many more social media communities and channels besides MBL and Twitter that I received tips on and from very reputable sources which you’ll find below. Enjoy!

Todd Defren from SHIFT Communications shared two of his own posts from a series on social media: Tips on using Twitter for finding and developing relationships and another post on using Del.icio.us for PR “edgework” or direct interactions with consumers.

The Fox, Social Whirl, Cutts Smackdown, UGV, B2B and PRSA Webinar

Sometimes a Monday blog post deserves a good collection of links:

  • The Fox on viral link building and listening to your audience
  • Smackdown on Matt Cutts re: spanking SEO blogs
  • Jeff Jarvis @TheGuardian and the social whirl driving the development of search
  • eMarketer says B2B’s are buzzing over Marketing 2.0
  • Vox on Video: Measuring engagement of user generated video
  • SEO Lowdown on the LED: “You’re doing the SEM industry a dis-service by characterizing the level or complexity of SEO work according to the size of a company.”
  • Grehan Clickz’s the SEO and Public Relations connection. Mike, what took you so long? 🙂
  • Speaking of PR and Search, be sure to check out Himler, Bradfield, Miele and Odden @PRSA Webinar on PR and Social Media Feb 26

Have it Your Way at SMX West

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One of the (if not THE) fastest growing conferences over the past year has been Search Marketing Expo. A real world compliment to the successful Search Engine Land blog, the Sphinn community and Search Marketing Now webinars, the SMX shows have brought both a familiar (Danny and crew) and unique flavor to the search marketing conference circuit.

SMX West is coming up fast on February 26-28, 2008 in Santa Clara, CA and offers:

  • 50 different sessions
  • 13 different tracks
  • 3 different ways to attend (All Access, Networking or Exhibits-Only)
  • 1 big satisfaction guarantee. If you register now, you’ll save $200.

There appears to be something for everyone with the 3 different show attendance options and a variety of topical and level of expertise tracks ranging from SEO Bootcamp to SEO 3.0 and 4.0.

FORE! A Golfer’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

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[SEO and social media marketing TopRank team member Jeff Nolan has stepped up to the plate, or in this case, onto the green and submitted the following post about marketing within social media communities using golf as a metaphor. Enjoy!]

Many regular readers of Online Marketing Blog are well aware of our location amidst the cold and frozen land of Minnesota. This gets me thinking about many hobbies this time of year, most notably how I wish there were boats on the lake across from the office rather than ice houses, and that instead of building links daily, I was hitting the links daily.

Yes, you guessed it, there is no place I would rather be right now than on a golf course, which has led me to compare the disturbingly similar synergies between golf and social media.

Reader Poll: Is Facebook Losing it’s Luster?

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A recent report from Hitwise cited Facebook as having grown by 51% yet MySpace is still King of the online social networking world with 76% of US social network traffic. According to Nielsen Online, MySpace attracted 60.1 million visitors in December 2007 compared to 22.6 million visitors for Facebook.

While that growth news is all fine a good, from a personal observation standpoint, I’ve noticed I’m not logging into Facebook much anymore. Many of the updates I get are irrelevant to my interests as more and more people try to boost their friend counts and I mistakenly (in hindsight) accept those requests.

I posted a question to Twitter about not using Facebook lately and several others acknowledged the same trend which leads us to a Reader Poll question:

20 Analytics Tools For Blogs

There are a lot of data points that can be meaningful for tracking blog effectiveness. That is, tracking what happens when visitors arrive at and engage with your blog content. It really comes down to the purpose of your blog. Metrics for a blog that’s focused on making a web site more search engine friendly by adding crawlable content and attracting links is quite different than a blog that’s meant to build thought leadership or brand credibility.

Many of the metrics tools used for blogs are also used for basic web site analytics. That makes sense because many blog initiatives do not have the same kind of budget as web site marketing programs do. Therefore, the analytics employed tend to be low(er) or no cost.

SEMMYS – What Were the Best Social and Viral Marketing Blog Posts of 2007?

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Matt McGee recently reached out to a number of industry bloggers to be involved with a blog content award he’s calling “The SEMMYs“. Even though the SEJ SEM Blog Awards just happened, I thought I could at least be a judge – Matt being a good guy and all. If you read Small Business SEM, you’ll know that Matt picks the best blog posts of the week or so on a regular basis. He’s taken all of those posts from 2007 and categorized them to be voted on. This includes a few good posts from OMB like”Evaluating Client Search Marketing Readiness” in the SEO category.

New Media and Blogging for Influence with Journalists

In a recent study by Omnicom Group’s Brodeur and Marketwire about how journalists use blogs, it was found that blogs are a regular source for journalists for improving the speed of reporting news as well as guiding tone, but not for improving quality:

  • Over three quarters of reporters see blogs as helpful in giving them story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue
  • Nearly 70 percent of all reporters check a blog list on a regular basis
  • One in four reporters (27.7%) have their own blogs
  • About one in five (16.3%) have their own social networking page
  • Almost half of reporters (47.5%) say they are “lurkers”
  • Over half said that blogs were having a significant impact on the “tone” (61.8%) and “editorial direction” (51.1%) of news reporting

Optimize your blog by updating or removing plugins.

PluginsBlog are just like any computer in the fact that they are only as good, and secure, as the software on them. Keeping your blog software up to date is important, but so is keeping your plugins and third party code updated.

Updating your blog’s plugins can give your blog a few advantages:

  • Additional features if the plugin is a major update.
  • Security fixes.
  • Optimized plugin code that runs faster and more efficient.
  • Better compatibility with the blog software or other plugins.
  • Better compatibility with third party sites if it’s part of another service.

Social Bookmarking Submission Tools

TopRank started using social bookmarking as an active/passive content promotion method several years ago. In fact, here is a podcast interview I did with Rok Hrastnik in March 2005 discussing SEO, tagging and bookmarking. We’ve also been fairly successful at promoting a social bookmarking tool for blogs over the past 18 months or so, gathering 50,000+ links.

Leveraging the social behaviors and technology of social news and bookmarking sites can be very effective as an active content promotion strategy.

For web sites with abundant content, adding such bookmark invitations to web pages and other media can form a productive passive bookmarking strategy by leveraging the volume of traffic and points of contact. The momentum of thousands of web pages on the web, each with an invitation to save and share, can drive traffic and links 24/7.

Fun Friday Online Marketing Links

It’s Friday and the end of the Holiday bump that seems to make things move slowly. There’s lots to look forward to in 2008 and while getting an early start today checking rmail, feeds, Twitter, Facebook, etc the following links stood out:

Success with social media is very much centered on building profiles and one online marketing channel where profiles have been important long before social media became the latest online marketing poster child is forums. Danielle Winfield brings a nicely illustrated post on this topic, Ins ands Outs of Forum Marketing.

Do you want a peek at some of the tools one of the smartest SEO / social media marketers uses? Then check out this very nice list of Firefox Extensions from Michael Gray.