Archive for the ‘Sphinn Weekly’ Category

Sphinn Weekly – Week 13

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

22nd December – Search Engine Land’s New Look and Introduction to Premium Memberships (saadkamal)
Sphinn’s sister site, Search Engine Land, has undergone a facelift for the new year. As well as updating the website’s look and feel, the new site also moves over to a WordPress based platform and a re-worked navigational structure. The biggest news comes in the form of a Members Only section, featuring premium content including news archives, How-To articles and videos.
Direct Link: Search Engine Land

23rd December – Twitter Has Made Dell $1 Million In Revenue (graywolf)
Sphinn moderator, Michael Gray, points out a post on VentureBeat that highlights a claim made by computer giant Dell, that Twitter resulted in $1 million in revenue over the past 18 months. Dell operates an alert service for its Home Outlet Store, allowing people to follow them on Twitter and get instant notifications on heavily discounted products. Twitter has been swamped with auto-notification accounts, set-up by blog owners and online retailers to try and capture the interests of an instant gratification society.
Direct Link: VentureBeat

24th December – 8 Ways Clients Can Help Their PPC Agency Succeed (saadkamal)
Brian Carter explains why outsourcing PPC management to an agency isn’t a one-sided process. Keeping the agency informed about seasonal trends, new product launches and issues with certain product lines can significantly effect the ROI achieved from any campaign. Ultimately communication, collaboration and competitiveness are key (oh dear, those “3 Cs to success” sound like bullshit bingo).
Direct Link: Search Engine Journal

26th December – How to Massively Increase RSS Subscribers: One Method You’ve Never Used (ViperChill)
A short and sweet post by Glen Allsopp explains how he managed to achieve a 10% visitor to RSS subscriber rate on his blog. Targeting visitors from high profile sites (such as Digg and StumbleUpon) that are most likely new visitors, Glen showed a banner to them which gave a call to action and pointed out the method for subscribing to his blog. A handy tip (and some code) for people looking to increase their blog readership base.
Direct Link: PluginHQ

30th December – Only display SphinnIt on an SEO post (kevgibbo)
Richard Baxter helps out fellow Sphinn members who want to use the popular wp-sphinnit plugin for WordPress, but don’t want it to appear next to off-topic posts. Personal posts are often submitted to Sphinn without the blog owner’s knowledge by their readers who are trying to be helpful. This sometimes reflects badly upon the blog in the eyes of other Sphinn members who see the off-topic post pop up in the What’s New section. A very handy tip.
Direct Link: SEOgadget

A slow week due to the Christmas holidays, with no big news stories from the search engines being released.

Sphinn Weekly – Week 11

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Apologies for the pause in our weekly updates, but we’re now back on track for the run-up to Christmas. In case you missed them, here are the highlights from last week’s search news.

1st December – Google Launches a Sweet Competitive Research & Keyword Research Tool (mwilton13)
Aaron Wall blogs about the launch of a new Google Keyword tool with some very cool new features. The Search-based Keyword Tool is similar to the existing keyword tool found within AdWords accounts, allowing the advertiser to enter a URL or set of keywords and expand out a list of (mostly) relevant and related keywords. This tool offers extra data however (especially if logged into a Google Account attached to AdWords), including search numbers and both the organic and paid search share for your website on each term. Filters such as max/min search volumes, bid prices and competition, as well as negative keywords are given. One element missing appears to be Geographic targeting and non-US data, which was made available on Google’s last keyword tool. I gather that this element will be added once the tool comes out of BETA. Well worth a look for some extra data insight, plus none of those pesky CAPTCHAs to worry about 😉
Direct Link: SEO Book

2nd December – Link Building Strategies: 69 Solid Tactics For 2009 (BrianChappell)
Weip Knol published an extremely popular article on Tuesday, offering tried and tested link development techniques and strategies. Although I personally question some of the recommendations, the article is certainly a mind-jogger and a source of ideas. Whilst most of us talk about buying links in the SEO community these days, there are certainly more creative ways to build link popularity – especially useful for sites on a tight budget.
Direct Link: Wiep (pronounced Veep – sorry for getting it wrong at SMX London, Wiep 🙂 )

2nd December – Making Geotargeted Content Findable For the Right Searchers (MattMcGee)
Vanessa Fox writes a fantastically detailed and comprehensive guide to optimising geo-specific content for search engines and users. It follows a very well-received session at SMX London which Vanessa moderated this year, covering the topics brought up and expanding upon them. If you work on international sites or are interested in capturing a new non-domestic audience, this post will give you all you need to know.
Direct Link: Nine By Blue

3rd December – Where the SEO jobs are (TimDineen)
In the current economic climate, redundancies are occurring everywhere. SEO from my experience is continuing to boom, with recruiters calling me every day and industry publications filled with job vacancies. This blog post studies 1,000 recent job advertisements and plots the demand by US states. Conclusion – If you’re in Arizona and looking for a job, move! If you’re living in New Jersey and job hunting, enjoy the train into NYC 🙂
Direct Link: Exposure Online

3rd December – It’s time to raise the Sphinn bar (Sugarrae)
In a debate that featured the most ever comments on Sphinn, former Sphinn moderator Rae Hoffman argues that it takes too little to reach Sphinn’s frontpage. Rae feels that requiring more votes (Sphinns) would reduce the affect of people begging for Sphinns over social networks and Instant Messenger. As I mentioned in the post comments, we do regularly review the number of Sphinns needed to reach our homepage, and try to keep it to a number that keeps the page fresh but doesn’t circulate stories too fast for casual users to see.
Hat Tip: Sugarrae

3rd December – Beginners Guide to Sphinn (streko)
As a Guest Author on ProBlogger, Deanna deBara offers a very well balanced and helpful guide to people visiting Sphinn for the first time. The post includes information on navigating the site, submitting articles, taking part in the community and making the most of your time on our site. Thanks for the great guide Deanna!
Direct Link: Pro Blogger

3rd December – Flickr Axing Business Use of Photos for SEO (UtahSEOpro)
Richard Burckhardt reveals that Flickr are now cracking down on the use of their site for commercial means. Sessions at conferences such as SMX and SES have covered the use of Flickr as a source of traffic, using their authority domain to rank your photos and advertise your site. Richard posts an email response from Yahoo after a commercial account was shut down, which stated that the commercial use had violated their Terms of Service.
Direct Link: Search Engine Journal

4th December – Google Was Three Hours Away From Being Charged As A Monopolist (graywolf)
TechCrunch sources claimed that Google was just hours from being named as a monopoly by the US Department of Justice. The DoJ already views the world’s largest search engine as a “near-monopoly” and has stated on numerous occasions that it will not hesitate in taking action if the situation worsens. Does this only leave Yahoo with Microsoft as a suitable ad partner or buyer?
Direct Link: TechCrunch

6th December – New Media & Old Media Are Not So Different After All (Michelle)
Toaster-loving Michelle from the Sphinn admin team Sphunn an article featured in UK’s Guardian newspaper and online last Saturday. Aida Edemariam examines how search engines affect today’s society and the part that SEO has to play in attracting online traffic and fame. The double-page feature in one of Britain’s biggest newspapers featured our very own Editor-at-Large, Danny Sullivan.
Direct Link:

Sphinn Weekly – Week 10

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

15th September – BOTW In Talks To Purchase DMOZ Directory From AOL (steaprok)
Jeremy Schoemaker broke the news that popular web directory, Best of the Web, is in discussions with AOL to buy DMOZ (the Open Directory Project). AOL acquired DMOZ during its takeover of Netscape, and the directory’s data (now Open Source) has been used to varying extents by most of the major search engines and portals including Google. DMOZ inclusion has been like Mecca to SEOs since the late 90’s, with the links seen as extremely authoritative and great trust builders. The directory has been overshadowed by outages, poor maintenance and reports of editorial bribery over recent years; which the site’s new owners have done little to address. Best of The Web already boasts a successful and growing directory of its own, with paid and regulated editorial staff. The purchase of DMOZ would give BOTW a substantial traffic boost and another valuable asset to offer to its existing client base.
Direct Link: Shoemoney

16th September – How To Create Effective Local Business Landing Pages (dailymoolah)
With the increasing usage of mobile internet devices (e.g. iPhone, Mobile Broadband) and broadband take-up in rural areas, local search is more important than ever. Dev Basu looks at how to maximise the exposure that your business receives through this medium, ensuring that your site or contact details are above those of your competitors.
Direct Link: Dev Basu

16th September – 5 Ways to Improve Tracking Phone Sales From PPC Traffic (boydy)
Phone numbers are still a vital requirement for many e-commerce and service-based websites, a fact that can drive your conversion optimiser crazy. Travel sites are notorious for converting many of their online leads over the phone, with complicated insurance packages and awkward travel dates forcing the customer to call. Some companies prefer or even require customers to pick up the phone, sometimes not giving the option of online completion. So how do you track the effectiveness of PPC campaigns when customers swap the mouse for the telephone? Ian Cowley looks at 5 solutions to help you match-up phone orders with search generated traffic.
Direct Link: Setfire Media

16th September – Information Architecture Is Crucial To Good SEO (UtahSEOpro)
Eric Enge gets back to basics with his discussion on Information Architecture and its important role in SEO. He looks at situations that can hamper crawling and makes an example of how Amazon uses its IA to help with the indexing of pages within its site.
Direct Link: Search Engine Land

18th September – Google Maps announces Quality Guidelines & Reinclusion Option (mbeijk)
Google Maps/Local started looking like the wild west days of the web, with simple little tricks helping marketers push their clients to the top of the results. Google is fighting back now though, with strict policies and penalties to kick businesses into line. One such policy tackles old-school style keyword stuffing of business names, which does actually make a significant impact on local listings. I’ve set-up a working example of this for [seo in london], setting our company name as “SEO” (don’t try this at home kids). If you think that you may be living outside the local rules currently, I’d advise taking a quick look at this to make sure Google doesn’t give you a beating.
Direct Link:

18th September – Live Results Becoming More Relevant Than Google? (martinbowling)
Dave Snyder asks whether results are able to challenge Google on relevance, using a generic car query for his example. I personally haven’t run a human query on Live for many months, mostly because Google hasn’t really screw up when I’m looking for things. Mel Carson challenged me on my prejudices towards Live in Ireland many months ago, and my only reasoning for not using it was relevance and spam. I’ve joked during a few conference presentations that Google could use Live results as its spam filter, they really used to be that bad. Maybe it’s time to try Live for a week though?
Direct Link: Snydey Sense

Sphinn Weekly – Week 9

Monday, September 8th, 2008

2nd September – Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project (ciaran)
The biggest news last week was Google’s announcement and launch of it’s new browser “Chrome”. First impressions seem to be that web page load times are much faster than IE and Firefox, although lacking the add-on community which has made Mozilla’s browser so popular amongst the techie community. Chrome could potentially gain a substantial market share very rapidly if Google used their existing partnerships and influence. Google Pack for instance is heavily promoted across their AdWords network with infinite spend budgets, so I’m sure we’ll see similar marketing take place for Chrome soon (and possibly see Chrome replace Firefox in the Pack). Google is a major contributor to the Mozilla Foundation who develop the world’s 2nd most popular web browser, which will most likely continue in order to benefit from Firefox’s existing market share. Mozilla recently agreed to extend their partnership which sees Google as the default search engine and homepage until 2011, although the future is uncertain with Yahoo or (less likely) Microsoft possibly challenging Google for this source of searchers when the agreement comes up for renewal again. Chrome ensures that Google retains full control and gives them new avenues to track and analyse user behaviour.
Direct Link: Blogoscoped

2nd September – How To Build Links To Linkbaits That Don’t Go Viral (jasongreen)
This post by Andy Boyd looks at what to do when your linkbait isn’t the instant success that you thought it would be, including how to rescue campaigns before they die and what you can do even after they’ve been buried in the graveyard of Digg.
Direct Link: Set Fire Media

2nd September – Google cedes Belgium to Germany (ciaran)
In a humorous twist to Google’s Chrome browser launch, The Register spotted that one of their tutorials features a “revised” map of Europe. For a company that prides itself on being international and globally aware, it’s worrying that they are unable to recognise the sovereignty of countries. Surely a company of Google’s size has hundreds of compliance officers and legal specialists to spot issues such as a cartoonist’s inability to draw a map?
Direct Link: The Register

2nd September – The Last Website Checklist You’ll Ever Need (TCSM)
In a very impressive SEO checklist, Stoney deGeyter outlines all the things to tick off when launching a new site or auditing an existing website. There is still a lot of debate regarding some of the points recommended, although it still forms a excellent resource for those starting out in SEO or managing their own commerce site.
Direct Link: Search Engine Guide

3rd September – Searching With Google Chrome & Omnibox (UtahSEOpro)
Danny Sullivan looks at the Omnibox search functionality on Google’s new chrome browser, showing how it may change user behaviour. With the address bar and search box combined, Chrome allows you to perform site specific searches by entering a domain following by the search query. Will a more mainstream user base actually ever use this though?
Direct Link: Search Engine Land

3rd September – Did Twitter Lay Down for Google? (DavidWallace)
Rae Hoffman questions the reasons behind Twitter’s decision to nofollow profile links after a tip-off about a loophole found by Dave Naylor. The Twitter founders immediately nofollowed all outbound links after Google Engineer, Matt Cutts, told them of Dave’s discovery. This was most probably done hastily in fear of Google’s wrath, although Rae asks why this should be done in the first place – as Twitter already kills spammy accounts and users are the ones adding valuable content and promoting both Twitter and their profiles.
Direct Link: Rae Hoffman

4th September – Online Reputation Management Via SMO (rickgalan)
David Snyder publishes his well-received presentation from SES San Jose, where he talks about reputation management using Social Media. This can be used to repair brand search results which may not be favourable, by pushing the negative results onto the 2nd or 3rd page.
Direct Link: Snydey Sense

Sphinn Weekly – Week 8

Monday, September 1st, 2008

26th August – Why SEO copywriting is so damn important (Paige119)
Heather Lloyd-Martin gives a gentle reminder of why web copy is still so important, and we’re not talking about the keywords. No matter how much traffic you send to a website, most sites only earn money if the visitor converts in some form – and copy that sucks does not help. I admit to using rather poor, one cent per word, copy on many of my affiliate sites, although then go back and improve it once the pages start to rank. On a brand site, there’s no excuse for bad copy and it’s well worth multi-variate testing alternative copy via a PPC campaign to see what converts best.
Direct Link: SEO Copywriting

26th August – How to Get Google to Index Your Site Deeper (SiteMost)
Partial indexing of a site is a common occurrence for mammoth websites, especially when they have poorly constructed site architecture. Ann Smarty shows you how to identify whether your site is getting fully indexed and ways to help improve this.
Direct Link: Search Engine Journal

26th August – How Google Suggest Changes SEO (mdjensen)
It’s quite possible that search engine users may change the way that they search, after news that Google Suggest will be implemented on the Google homepage. Suggest is already used by millions of people via toolbars and the Firefox search box, although will soon be opened up to everyone. Michael D Jensen thinks that this will alter searcher behaviour, perhaps reducing the number of long tail searches, as users will more likely select one of the suggestions given by Google in the drop-down list. It also makes it even more important for your sites to rank for the terms suggested when typing in a core term. This is not always possible however, with 3 out of 10 suggestions being brand names on a search like [poker].
Direct Link: Solo SEO

26th August – Social Media Marketing ROI- Metrics and Analysis (DavidWallace)
One of the things that SEO and Social Media Marketing share is a difficulty in answering the inevitable client question “What will be the ROI?”. When Muhammad Saleem heard a recent conference panel draw a blank on this question, he wanted to outline how “value” at least could be determined. His post outlines metrics that can be used to prove and show this value, as an important part of the marketing mix.
Direct Link: Search Engine Land

27th August – AJAX and Non-JavaScript Experiences for SEO friendly websites (planetc1)
AJAX can result in SEOs literally pulling their hair out, with it often being implemented so badly that page content consists of nothing more than a few words in the navigation bar. This does not mean that all AJAX is bad though, and Tony Adam shows the difference between good implementation and the bad. If PayPal can get it right, I’m sure that the rest of us can! 😉
Direct Link: Tony Adam

27th August – Google Suggest(s), A New Reputation Management Nightmare (tonyadam)
Google Suggest has certainly caused a stir in the community, although not just for the way that it could change searcher behaviour. Martin Bowling shows how search suggestions could become a reputation management nightmare, with the most outlandish and controversial gossip being suggested under the names of well known figures. Google could get into hot waters with some of the suggestions being associated with names, possibly even effecting the way that someone may vote. What would you think if Google suggested that Obama was an “antichrist” or recommended that you read about John Edwards’ “Love Child”?
Direct Link: Martin Bowling

28th August – Get More Calls on Yahoo! Local (steveespinosa)
Lastly, Stephen Espinosa gives some advice on how to increase your Yahoo! Local call rate by 1.8 times by making some simple changes. A short but sweet post that may be handy to those of you experimenting with Local.
Direct Link: Stephen Espinosa

Sphinn Weekly – Week 7

Monday, August 25th, 2008

It’s been a quiet week on Sphinn due to several conferences taking place, here’s what people were talking about outside of the conference scene.

18th August – Why No One Links to Your Best Posts (And What to Do About It) (ViperChill)
Copyblogger looks at how the best articles aren’t always the most popular and how to make sure that your voice is heard. It’s an unfortunate fact that in most cases – no matter how good your articles are, only a loyal and connected readership can really help them to explode. Hopefully Sphinn can act as a catalyst to this, with previously unknown bloggers being found through the site.
Direct Link: copyblogger

18th August – Link Building for Business-to-business companies (Wiep)
B2B marketing can require a slightly different approach to SEO than a B2C campaign, although shouldn’t be considered any harder to manage. In fact as Erik-Jan points out in his article, there are many ways that companies can exploit their B2B position, such as using both suppliers and existing clients as potential link sources. Erik offers some great tips for people working in this area of marketing or working with a client in such a position.
Direct Link: Yoast

20th August – BBC Starts Linking From News Articles (Badly) (ciaran)
BBC is the British mecca of links, a PR8 authority super-hub that draws envy and desire from webmasters. The fact that the corporation is ad-free and extremely wary of remaining neutral makes a link that much harder to get. Former employees of BBC have stated that some of their online news editors have simply Googled the story subject and picked the top organic listing to link to in the past. Ciaran Norris also notes that they’re now attempting in-line linking within stories rather than their usual sidebar links, although have online again failed to get it right.
Direct Link: altogether digital

20th August – Examining Backlink Profiles in Domain & Ranking Evaluation (Guillaume)
Buying established websites and building their value is big business, although how much is the website really worth? Guillaume looks at how a website with a seemingly impressive backlink profile can actually be a worthless web or third-party controlled links. Building micro-sites for the purpose of supplying links to your main site can be a very effective technique for affiliates, although will those links continue after the site is sold? What if the links are owned by the site’s former SEO company? This post offers some sound advice for domainers and website resellers .
Direct Link: NVI Solutions

23rd August – SEOmoz Expert Seminar 2008 Recap (PixelBella)
Brian Carter gives the first review of the primordial SEOmoz Expert Seminar in Seattle. Apparently those sneaky kids at the mozplex have asked the not-a-conference seminar attendees not to blog the content, I’m not sure if it’s a permanent or time limited media blackout though. Brian gives a good overview of the event though, and it sounds like the seminar was a tremendous success. Maybe something to stick in your diaries for next year!
Direct Link: Brian Carter

Sphinn Weekly – Week 6

Monday, August 18th, 2008

11th August – Get Better Returns on Your Conference Investment (NickWilsdon)
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the value of Internet Marketing conferences, large and small. With economic slow-down effecting some people, they’re now thinking harder about the value which comes with attending conferences. Lee Odden tackles the subject of getting ROI out of events with the help of conference organisers and long-time attendees.
Direct Link: iMedia Connection

11th August – An End To Ranking Reports Is An End to Analysis (ViperChill)
A few people have commented on Sphinn that they do not monitor search engine rankings and that both SEOs and clients shouldn’t. This standpoint has perplexed me, as I prefer to see as much data as possible in order to judge how well a site is performing. In competitive industries, dropping from 1st to 3rd position on Google for a single search term can lose a company tens of thousands of dollars a day. Without knowing when the drop happened and on which datacentres, how are you supposed to analyse why it happened? Stoney deGeyter looks at the arguments for and against ranking analysis.
Direct Link: Search Engine Guide

12th August – How Much Might Your Website Be Worth? (ViperChill)
As an SEO I often think only about the long-term profitability of a website, although it’s not the only way to make good money online. A whole industry has evolved around the buying and selling of websites, adding value to a site with good content or traffic. If you’re like me, you’ve probably got websites stashed all over the place, only remembering that you own them when your domain renewal notice lands in your Inbox. So how much are your hobby sites, information portals and one-page-wonders worth? Ann Smarty offers a simple guide to how you can estimate a website’s value.
Direct Link: Search Engine Journal

13th August – How to Deal with the Problem Child in Your Adwords Campaign (ciaran)
A post on YOUmoz discusses a problem that many people face with the PPC campaigns. We’re talking about the Goliath keyword which generates massive traffic with a great CTR, although sometimes it just doesn’t meet your CPA targets. HannahS runs through how she optimises the big keywords in her accounts, through Ad Group isolation and increasing target relevance.
Direct Link: YOUmoz

14th August – Does PDF metadata have any significant effect on ranking in Google search results? (infatex)
Benj Arriola conducts research into PDF optimisation and how Google uses file Meta Data and embedded information in order to establish relevance, references and possibly rank. It’s great to see people still doing this much research into ranking factors and studying how search engines evolve in their ability to process and understand information outside of the basic web page. Well worth a read.
Direct Link: BusinessOnLine

Sphinn Weekly – Week 5

Monday, August 11th, 2008

4th August – Reddit & Digg Launch Mobile Versions (BrentCsutoras)
Both Reddit and Digg now have mobile versions of their site, in-line with the vastly increasing demand for mobile internet. Although both sites would work well on your brand spanking new iPhone 3G, the problem I see is that the Digg and Reddit model relies on users clicking out of the sites to view the 3rd party content. With the majority of other sites not providing a mobile alternative and some embedding functionality such as Flash, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to read the linked content properly. I’m sure that regular social media fans are enjoying their new found freedom away from the bedroom computer, although content owners and publishers such as BBC and CNN still have the edge when it comes to mobile information.
Direct Link: Brent Csutoras

4th August – The Huge Collection of Google Analytics Tips (kevgibbo)
Ann Smarty provides some helpful tips for getting the most out of Google Analytics. A lot of Urchin’s functionality seems to have been lost post-Google acquisition, although a lot of cool data recording and analysis techniques can still be achieved with some insider knowledge. To dig even deeper into GA, I highly recommend Brian Clifton’s book “Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics”.
Direct Link: SearchEngineJournal

4th August – How to use URL Search to get thousands of visitors (tomcritchlow)
You’d be surprised how many people type domain names and URLs into search engines, often because the search engine is their homepage or they’re not sure if they’ve spelt it correctly. Patrick shares how his blog managed to generate traffic by ranking for the URL of a popular UK Government car tax registration/renewal page. If the real page is down or if your search listing appears more genuine, easy traffic could be gained.
Direct Link: BlogStorm

5th August – Examining a Search Ranking Fluctuation (vangogh)
XMCP list a number of factors that Google most likely considers when ranking a page/site or detecting spam.
Direct Link: SlightlyShadySEO

6th August – Find Customers and Backlinks by Adding Your Site to Coupon Directories (philbutler)
Coupon Directories are a great way to draw in new customers who scour the web for bargain and special offers. Ann mentions that the coupon listings can also help fill your brand name search results with positive reviews and also help towards link development. The post also gives a list of popular coupon directories.
Direct Link: SearchEngineJournal

6th August – Google Insights for Search Launches (MattMcGee)
Barry blogs about the launch of Google Insights, yet another data analysis tool launched by Google last week. Google Insights allows users to compare and filter regional and seasonal trends, helping advertisers plan their campaigns around past and new data. Check out the SEL post for an example of Insights in action.
Direct Link: SearchEngineLand

7th August – What 36,389,567 Searches Can Tell You About Google (TCSM)
Post of the week award (well, not really an award) goes to Pete, who explains how he estimates the clickthrough rate of each position in a search results page. The data comes from our old friend, the leaked AOL data, that everyone got excited about many years ago during SES San Jose.
Direct Link: TCSM

8th August – Top Website Usability Mistakes – 10 Costly Assumptions (DaveDavis)
Website owners and internet marketers often find it hard to take a step back from their site and look at it as a first time visitor might. Unfortunately in list format, the advice is simplistic although this shouldn’t neglect from the fact that the factors covered are often overlooked.
Direct Link: PalmerWebMarketing

Sphinn Weekly – Week 4

Monday, August 4th, 2008

26th July – Microsoft tries to one-up Google PageRank (soulfood)
Cnet covered news on a research study carried out in Asia, highlighting Microsoft’s BrowseRank method of ranking the most important and popular websites for a search term. BrowseRank assigns web pages priority based on traffic and how long visitors stay on the site. Search Marketers are already testing the effect of clickthrough rates on organic search results in Google, to see what effect the popularity of a site has on its rankings. Although studies may find BrowseRank to be a worth competitor to the well-known PageRank method, a real would study would most likely show a completely different picture. If you don’t like the idea of buying links, imagine a world where buying access to thousands of compromised PCs in order to increase BrowseRank became common place.
Direct Link: Cnet

29th July – New Search Engine Cuil Launches But Something is Amiss (gyutae)
Another “Google Killer” was launched under the name of Cuil – who said that all the good domains were taken? The biggest reasons why this new start-up has been given so much attention is that the company was started by former Googlers and their claimed index size is larger than their former employer’s. With reports of slow loading times and large inaccuracies in the result sets, Cuil has suffered a number of teething difficulties. The biggest test is yet to come though, and I’d be impressed if they reached anywhere near 1% market penetration (that’s my “the internet will never work” statement ;)).
Direct Link: SearchRank

29th July – The Mother of All SMX Local/Mobile Recaps (MattMcGee)
David Mihm offers a round-up of July’s SMX Local & Mobile conference in San Francisco, for those like myself who were unable to attend. The post summarises some highlights from the many sessions, including data on local search patterns and how to geo-target in organic search results. Lots of juicy info from this growing conference and segment of our industry.
Direct Link: David Mihm

30th July – Comprehensive Look at Digg’s Recommendation Engine (UtahSEOpro)
In a very comprehensive article on SearchEngineLand, Muhammad Saleem gives insight into how Digg’s new Recommendation Engine works. Including video clips from Digg’s founder, the article clears up misconceptions and interprets what the impletentation means to the internet marketing industry.
Direct Link: SearchEngineLand

30th July – Why Reputation Management Matters for Small Businesses (MattMcGee)
Sphinn moderator Matt McGee explores how Reputation Management is important even to SMEs, including an interview with industry old-timer Andy Beal. As customer reviews are becoming more wide-spread on the net, it’s important that even family owned restaurants and small product manufacturers keep an eye on what people are saying about their brand and react accordingly.
Direct Link:
Small Business SEM

31st July – Sell your #12 Google Ranking to Dragons Den for £255,000! (kevgibbo)
People outside of the UK may not be familiar with the TV series Dragons Den, although the story is interesting on its own merits. In the show, millionaire investors listen to business pitches and decide which products they’d like to invest in. In last week’s show, a failing pitch from a diamond website was seemingly turned around by the mention of the site’s Google rankings. It was interesting to see how traditional entrepreneurs recognised the value in strong organic search rankings for competitive terms. The discussion on Sphinn was joined by the diamond website’s owner, who gave further insight into how the show was edited and his previous issues with incompetant SEO agencies.
Direct Link: SEOptimise

31st July – How To Get New Web Sites To Rank Quickly (kevgibbo)
Aaron Wall’s guest post at SEL looks at different approaches to gaining relevant traffic without necessarily hitting the biggest target terms. Targeting less popular terms can result in faster revenue generation and creating information based sites can attract natural links much more easily.
Direct Link: SearchEngineLand

Sphinn Weekly – Week 3

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Ignoring the ego-fest that ensued last week, some solid posts also made their way to the front page. These are the ones that I feel were important to read.

21st July – Ultimate Guide to Search Marketing (UtahSEOpro)
Josh Dreller continues his “In The Trenches” column as Search Engine Land with more great information on the latest PPC/CPA landscape at the big 3 engines. Dreller’s article covers the basics of campaign optimisation, along with some excellent tips when faced with a variety of campaign situations. It also looks at the constant dilemma of when and whether you should use keyword broad matching on paid search campaigns.
Direct Link: SearchEngineLand

22nd July – The Holy Grail of SEO (ronsansone)
All SEOs have to face the dreaded question, “How much traffic/revenue will I get from SEO?” and everyone has different ways of approaching the question. Not only are accurate (or even near-accurate) search numbers needed for the targeted keywords, the SERP clickthrough rate of each keyword (dependant on ranking) needs to be estimated. Another approach is to use the data of existing clients, although another data source is still required in order to form a benchmark.
Direct Link: SearchEngineWatch

22nd July – FireFox for SEOs: Working with Several FireFox Profiles (DoshDosh)
A great tip from Ann Smarty showing you how to create multiple profiles in Firefox, each with their own plug-ins, bookmarks and settings. This can be extremely helpful for SEOs, who can separate the tools and sites they use for Link Building, testing and private surfing. Some people may not want to give certain companies their toolbar data all of the time, others may have multiple Digg (but not Sphinn :evil:) profiles.
Direct Link: SearchEngineJournal

22nd July – Spam detection using historical factors (vangogh)
Google is looking at you and everything that you do, even if you consider yourself to be a “White Hat” SEO. Dave “theGypsy” takes a look at some of the data that Google is collecting about your sites and how it could be used to identify them as breaching Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Direct Link: Huo Mah

22nd July – Visual Comparison of Search Results: A Censorship Case Study (billslawski)
Bill Slawski points Sphinn members over to a research study from Indiana University, where a tool was made to compare search results between countries. The tool was created to test how search engines may be censoring search results in specific regions of the world. There are of course many other reasons for differences in the results sets, including but not limited to country-specific search behaviour where the search engines adapt results to reflect the way that people in that country interact with the engines.
Direct Link: Indiana University
Hat Tip: Bill Slawski

23rd July – Google In Final Negotiations To Acquire Digg For “Around $200 Million” (DoshDosh)
The big story of the week was Google’s talks with social news site Digg, with a rumoured price tag in the region of $200m. It was later announced that negotiations failed after Google supposedly had issues with technical aspects of the mammoth site.
Direct Link: TechCrunch

24th July – Knol Does Indeed Give Pages A Google Ranking Advantage (northrock)
Google’s Wikipedia, “Knol”, was launched with a fanfare by its creators, with assurances that articles hosted on the new information source would not get unfair ranking or benefit from Google’s domain authority. This post by Danny Sullivan found that 33% of the 30 terms he checked were ranking competitively. It’s far from dominating the search results like Wikipedia so far, although will certainly be a target for many marketers.
Direct Link: SearchEngineLand

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