Lee Odden

Yahoo! IE Toolbar Detects RSS Feeds

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Yahoo! Search blog has posted that the Yahoo! Toolbar for IE will now detect RSS and Atom feeds just like the Firefox version does.

To make this work, you need to have the v5.6 of the Yahoo! toolbar installed. Then you need to make sure the My Yahoo option is selected under your personal options and that you’re logged in to Yahoo.

Once that’s all done visit a site that has the proper autodiscovery tag for a RSS or Atom feed in place, a blue button will appear in your toolbar. Click on that to add the feed to your My Yahoo! reader.

I appreciate the added feature, but I enjoy the freedom of adding feeds without logging in myself – as in Firefox + Sage.

Lee Odden

MSN RSS Aggregator start.com

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

MSN News Reader
MSN RSS Aggregator

I was being interviewed for an article on RSS marketing yesterday afternoon when our discussion turned to why Microsoft doesn’t offer a (RSS) news aggregator? We agreed that Microsoft seems behind on the search front lately. Microsoft is experiencing bad search karma lately with SES NYC and their marketing program.

Well, here’s a positive turn: This morning I discovered they ARE working on a RSS aggregator via SiliconBeat and Scoble. Here’s the announcement.

I’ve been trying it out and it seems to work pretty well. The site offers Web, News and Images search with pre-defined categories including: Business, Entertainment, Health, News, Science & Tech and Sports. Plus you can add your own content/feeds.

Lee Odden

Better than Personalized Google News

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

There’s been a bit of coverage on personalized Google news today, and it seems to work well. You can rearrange sections of content and customize based on keywords.

MSNBC Newsbot offers some degree of news personalization for local information and stocks.

Topix.net is another good news source but does not offer page or content personalization outside of entering your zip code for local news.

Yahoo News offers no personalization but does offer RSS feeds.

What I think is even better than these news services in regards to personalization is Findory.com. You can search news, blogs or the web. What’s unique is that the site filters content displayed according to the links you click on. Here’s an explanation from the site on how it works:

Lee Odden

Google clustering

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

CNET News points out comments made by Google’s Peter Norvig from the recent Semantic Technology Conference.

New initiatives at creating more relevant search results include: “adding new clustering capabilities for search results, providing suggestions for related searches, personalizing listings, and returning factual answers to specific questions”.

It would be great to actually see an implementation of how Google would cluster results.

This was also mentioned at SearchEngineLowdown.

Lee Odden

Audio Interview: Online PR, Blog & RSS Marketing

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Please indulge a bit of self promotion. MarketingStudies.net recently published an interview I did with Rok Hrastnik covering topics including SEO, online PR, blog and RSS marketing:

“Exclusive Search Engine Optimization Strategies & RSS: Interview with Lee Odden, TopRank”

Take a listen if you dare.

Incidentally, MarketingStudies.net is an excellent site covering many topics regarding content publishing and marketing. They also offer a comprehensive e-book on RSS marketing worth checking out. It covers everything from creation to promotion to measurement of a RSS marketing initiative.

Lee Odden

Internet news, blogs and RSS marketing

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Search Engine Journal reports that 28% of American adults use news aggregation services such as those offered by AOL, Yahoo News and Google News. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports newspaper influence dropped from 60% to 39% (1996 to 2004).

Explanations for this trend include increasing overall internet usage including RSS readers, blogs and vertical news sites.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project also reports blog readership increased 58 percent in 2004 and that approximately six million Americans read news via RSS news aggregators, a trend that is expected to continue.

Yahoo News and MSN Search now both offer RSS feeds for their search results. Ah, Google?

The Search Engine Strategies conference last week had 1 session on search engine public relations and 3 sessions related to blogs and RSS. A definite trend.

Lee Odden

SES NYC post mortem

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

I am finally back in Minneapolis from the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York. It was a really good show with some great sessions and search engine industry networking.

I was able to finally meet several SEO pros in person like Bruce Clay (thanks for letting me ask you so many questions Bruce) he was exceptionally helpful both in conversation and in the sessions he presented at. Also Andy Beal who writes the searchenginelowdown.com blog was also great to speak with. I have to say, I’ve never heard a person speak with alternate British and Southern accents before.

There are many other SEOs and bloggers I was able to finally meet or re-connect with as well including Andy Atkins-Kruger of WebCertain, who as always, is a great mind on all things search.

TopRank Marketing Editor

How Google Works. Physically.

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing

CNet has a great article on how Google works. Not the search algorithms but the actual hardware and software they run. Google keeps costs down by buying relatively cheap machines and writing their own software. “The company wrote its own file system, called Google File System, which is optimized for handling large, 64 megabyte blocks of data.”

They also plan for failures. They know that at least one machine a day will go down and their system was designed to take it in stride. Their data is stored in three different places to limit any type of failures and they have a “master” machine that can locate any of the copies when needed.

Lee Odden

Autolink Paranoia

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Traffick reports on the over-hype of Google Autolink and I agree. Autolink is just a tool. You have to turn it on to make it work. If you don’t like it, turn it off. That’s from the user perspective.

From a web site owner’s perspective, I can understand some concern, but no where near what some bloggers are ranting about. If you really don’t like it as a site owner, add the Autolink blocking JavaScript. I think that’s reasonable.

If you don’t want Google to index all or part of your site you have to add a noindex meta tag and/or modify your robots.txt tag don’t you?

Lee Odden

A Blog Publishing Story

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

My pop was showing me how he has been documenting the history of Holdingford, the small central Minnesota town he lives in (think Lake Wobegon) scanning in town council meeting minutes since 1897, documenting businesses that existed, city council members and city officials in a spreadsheet and also interviewing “old timers” recording the audio on his Mac and scanning in photos. It’s a pretty ambitious project, even for a small town.

My dad has always been very progressive regarding computers and Internet so we talked about how he could publish all this information he’s collecting.

A web site is logical, but with all the effort he’s going through, it seems the process would be as interesting as the outcome.

Lee Odden

Will RSS Overtake Email?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Here’s a recent release we helped with from MarketingStudies.net: “RSS Marketing May Overtake E–mail as Top Info Delivery Tool – RSS News Feeds Provide Effective Two Way Communication”

Rok Hrastnik, author of the new RSS marketing e-book, Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS, is warning marketers that email may no longer be an effective form of delivering information to customers.

According to DoubleClick, only 34.3% of all e-mail messages are ever opened. AOL currently blocks 75% of the 2 billion e-mail messages received daily and sends another 4% ‚ 7% to the bulk folder.

Email marketing is dead,” said Chris Pirillo, a keynote speaker at the Blog Business Summit. Conversion rates are decreasing, blacklists continue to grow, and we have to pay for white-listing services.‚

Lee Odden

MSN taking a beating?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Interesting posts regarding Microsoft/MSN recently:

Dvorak says Microsoft’s marketing sucks – from Scobleizer (and he agrees). Put the ad money into making a better product like Amazon and Google have.

MSN Search – Flop with Search Community – from Threadwatch. NickW stirs things up.

Does the New MSN Search Hold Up? – from Google Blogscoped (OK, this was from last week, but it seems to fit) Search comparison between MSN, Google and Yahoo.

I was very optimistic about the new MSN search, hopeful really, that something new would come out and provide a worthy alternative to the current dominance in search engines. Not because I don’t like Google and Yahoo search, I use Google many, many times a day and Yahoo.com is my homepage. It just seems that at the moment, MSN search isn’t doing the WOW thing (accurate search results) as much as I thought it would.