Archive for the ‘Sphinn Weekly’ Category

Sphinn Weekly – Week 2

Monday, July 21st, 2008

I’m trying out a slightly different format for this Sphinn Weekly, based on all of your public and private suggestions. Let me know what you think :)

15th July – How to track your outbound clicks with onclick in Google Analytics (Gab)
I was happy to see this post by Richard Baxter about click tracking in GA, which is extremely important for SEO as well as analytics and conversion optimisation. I work with many blue-chip companies who have appended variables and used tracking URLs on their website without realisation of the risks. Many analytics packages (which will remain nameless) require variables to be appended onto URLs. This often results in duplicate content issues and the dilution of authority. The implementation of analytics software may seem a trivial action, although the consequences of poorly implemented applications can result in serious SEO issues. The use of “onclick” tracking can avoid spider pollution as implementations such as Google Analytics onclick tracking does not result in the spider following them.
Direct Link: SEOGadget.co.uk
Hat Tip: Yoast.com

15th July – Domain Age: How Important Is It for SEO? (dsnyder)
The fact that Google is an ICANN registrar is a very important point when looking at their interest in domain age and authority. The fact that they have direct access and manipulation of the TLD zone files whilst still registering domain names through 3rd parties such as “Mark Monitor” speaks volumes. I would partly agree with Ann Smarty’s findings in saying that domain age may be a factor in deciding if a website is around for long term, although spam fighting factors such as registrant information and nameservers are much more important to Google.
Direct Link: Search Engine Journal

16th July – Using PPC Marketing Data To Invest Wisely In Domains (DaveDavis)
This post was a real diamond for me, and a great technique for anyone looking to invest in domain names. Why guess a domain’s value, when you can get on Google’s content network (such as Sedo), test a domain’s impressions/CTR and then purchase the domain based on your existing CTR and commission values. Excellent post Dave!
Direct Link: Red Fly Marketing

17th July – Online SEO Tools – the Ultimate Collection (patrickaltoft)
One of the fastest ever growing posts on Sphinn was this week’s round-up of SEO Tools by Ann Smarty. The post researches and compares her favourite tools for the mainstream tasks of an SEO. As a Sphinn Greatest Hit, this is well worth a read to either discover new tools or compare alternatives to those which you already use.
Direct Link: Search Engine Journal

17th July – Vanessa Fox: Search-Friendly Flash? (Harith)
Vanessa drills down into the real aspects of crawling Flash, after Google and Yahoo announced a partnership with Adobe – allowing them to crawl content in .swf files. The announcement resulted in many SEOs getting calls from their clients and managers, requesting confirmation that it’s now OK to re-create their website completely in Flash. Although some Flash elements can be aesthetically pleasing, the format will never replace simple mark-up based code such as HTML, and issues such as pagination remain unsolved. If you happen to be a Flash designer and are reading this, STEP AWAY FROM THE SWF EXPORT!
Direct Link: Vanessa Fox Nude

18th July – Google Continues To Test A Search Interface That Looks More Like Digg Every Day (hugoguzman)
A great insight from Michael Arrington from TechCrunch regarding Google’s dabblings with user participation and personalisation. It’s already thought that Google’s current click-tracking influences the position of natural results in some circumstances; just like with paid search listings. So Digg-style voting on search results is logically the next step. Hopefully this doesn’t result in complacency at Google, as many SEOs are already experimenting with organic search click-bots, and auto-voting would not be much harder to achieve.
Direct Link: TechCrunch

Sphinn Weekly – Week 1

Monday, July 14th, 2008

The inaugural Sphinn Weekly has arrived, rounding up the last 7 days in Sphinnworld (not the same as Discworld, for legal reasons). Here are the best submissions of the week, according to an evil green monkey :)

12 Tips on Creating Content for Social Media – 07/07/08 (MattMcGee)
I know that a lot of SEOs won’t like the first story of this round-up being an <insert number> Tips/Ways/Lessons post about Social Media, although this is one of the few posts of its nature that I’ve enjoyed. Sphinn Moderator, Matt McGee, gives some very useful tips to the social late-starters amongst us. Even if you have no interest in spamming posting on Digg, these tips easily apply to starting a blog and creating your own micro-community. How many times have you disagreed with something another blogger has written? Did you follow-up and post about it?

Google trying patent “FriendRank” (a.k.a. Network Node Ad Targeting) – 07/07/08 (hugoguzman)
Google has taken out a patent that makes use of existing networks of friends, fans and followers, by finding influencers in the group and getting them to host Google’s advertising. The methodology laid out seems similar to Ask’s method of identifying “Hub” sites, although on a much more granular level. The patent specifically mentions social networks as a target for finding influential people, with the prospect of financially rewarding popular member profiles that host their advertising (i.e. AdSense).

The End of Paid Links is Near – 08/07/08 (rjonesx)
A very interesting concept of how Google could target paid links more effectively has been posted over at theGoogleCache. Although just a scenario (the screenshot had me fooled for a while), the post states how Google could allow website owners (via Webmaster Tools) to state which links on their site are paid for without the advertiser knowing. This would allow the publisher to avoid paid links penalties, whilst Google could footprint and isolate link buyers more effectively. The post suggests informing Google of the CSS id’s wrapping the paid links, although HTML could also be specified using a WYSIWYG interface. Hopefully Mr. Cutts didn’t see that post ;)

Google’s Keyword Tool Now Showing Search Volume Numbers – 08/07/08 (Makakman)
Probably one of the biggest moves this year for all those interested in Search, Google is now releasing search volume numbers. In the past SEOs and PPC peeps had to rely on inaccurate and weighted numbers from 3rd party data collection companies. With other search engines barely registering in market share in many countries, Google’s volume numbers are as close as you can get to accurate traffic estimates. It will be interesting to see how the likes of HitWise, Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery react to this move, with their offering now reliant on keyword expansion, data analysis and search numbers for countries that Google has yet to conquer. Either way, a fantastic move by Google for advertisers and data junkies!

15 Internet Sites That Can Make or Break Your Brand – 08/07/08 (toddmintz)
Some websites hold the kind of power that can influence the minds of hundreds of thousands just in a single blog post, comment or review. These sites could make your brand the next big thing, or the laughing stock of the dub dub dub. Todd takes you through the top 15 sites to keep your eye on, and potentially market towards.

Reputation Crises Management: 8 SEO Triage Tips – 10/07/08 (northrock)
Following on from Todd’s submission for reputation building, Marty posts a very intelligent guide on what to do when it all goes wrong. Fixing a brand’s reputation needs a carefully thought out and rapid strategy, people don’t wait around before forming opinions. These 8 tips should put your brand or client on the right track.

Happy 1st Birthday, Sphinn! – 10/07/08 (MattMcGee)
Matt McGee gets in first with a Happy 1st Birthday message for Sphinn. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make Sphinn such a great community, whether you’re a moderator, Sphinn addict or super-hero bug fixing Sphinnmaster :D

The Ultimate Guide to the Google Search Parameters – 11/07/08 (annie7)
So you think you know how to search on Google? Peter Wailes publishes the ultimate guide for Google addicts, link builders and data crunchers alike in his YOUmoz post.  I know what you’re thinking, “I already know them all”… think again!

So what were your favourite stories from last week?

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