Linking Food For Thought

This week, I'm stepping away from my usual article format and instead, address several linking related questions and comments I haven't seen discussed as much across the link building blog/twitter/feed o-sphere. I welcome your feedback, comments, opinions and answers. People will tell you that one of the better ways to spot link targets is to study the links of competing sites that rank above you. Fair enough. While technically accurate, why is there an assumption those sites will link to your site too? And why so little discussion of how this "xerox approach to link building" is in the cli [...]

Duplicate Content: The Biggest Challenge To Successful International SEO

Duplication is the bane of projects eeeking international seo success. It catches them first, invisibly creeping up and throwing their results to the wind. Why does this happen to so many – what is it that tempts them into the duplication trap? And do modern methods work?

Like Ballmer, Bill Gates Dings Google On China

Bill Gates doesn't get the fuss everyone's making over Google's recent threat to stop censoring search results in China. "They've done nothing and gotten a lot of credit for it," Gates said Monday during a visit at The New York Times. "What point are they making?" Mr. Gates asked. "Now, if Google ever chooses to pull out of the United States, then I'd give them credit." Gates' comments come just days after current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was also critical of Google's stance. Both Gates and Ballmer pointed out that many countries have questionable laws and policies. Lest Serge [...]

SPONSOR MESSAGE: Bing Toolbox – Small effort, big reward

Now you don't have to put in a lot of effort to get a huge reward. With the new BingTM Toolbox, everything you need is in one place, so you can optimize site performance, increase traffic, and improve the user experience - all with one comprehensive set of tools. Learn more in the Bing Toolbox.. [...]

No Feed, No Problem – Google Reader Now Tracks (Mostly) Any Website Change

The Google Reader blog announced you can now track changes to any web page, even the ones without RSS feeds. How does this come in handy? Well, let's say you want to track when Google changes their webmaster guidelines. All you do is copy the URL into Google Reader and click on "create a feed." Google Reader will then periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page. Here is a picture: After you click "create a feed" Google will label the item as "a Google-created feed." This can come in handy for [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 25, 2010

From Search Engine Land: Playing Games With Customers: Is Foursquare The Future Of Local Search?Congratulations! You are now the Mayor of Search Engine Land! If that sounds familiar you are one of the growing number of people using/playing Foursquare, a mobile app that uses the location of your mobile device to encourage users to “check in” wherever they might be in exchange for points and recognition like becoming the [...] Five Quick Tips For Success On Google’s Content NetworkAccording to Google’s recent quarterly earnings report, the company earns about 34 [...]

Playing Games With Customers: Is Foursquare The Future Of Local Search?

Congratulations! You are now the Mayor of Search Engine Land! If that sounds familiar you are one of the growing number of people using/playing Foursquare, a mobile app that uses the location of your mobile device to encourage users to "check in" wherever they might be in exchange for points and recognition like becoming the Mayor of McDonald's, or wherever else you might happen to be. Yelp recently launched a similar feature and GoWalla provides its own spin on this conceit. So more people are checking out checking in. You might wonder, what does all this have to do with local search? [...]

Five Quick Tips For Success On Google’s Content Network

According to Google's recent quarterly earnings report, the company earns about 34% of its revenue from AdSense, placing contextual ads on its content network partner websites. This proportion has stayed steady year over year. It certainly reflects overall growth, but some might be surprised at how conservative the pace is. One of the reasons for this is that Google has continued to implement measures for quality control in the network. This overall improvement in the offering available to advertisers is made up of four pillars: Continued proactive click fraud filtering Smart pri [...]

One Week to Save on SMX West – Register Now!

The Early Bird Rate for Search Marketing Expo – SMX West expires Saturday, January 30th. Save up to $350 on your All Access ticket by registering now! Here’s why: More than 150 of the world’s most knowledgeable speakers will present at SMX West. They’re selected based on ability AND willingness to share the tactics and strategies that made them successful. See who's speaking in addition to featured keynote Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. With 50+ sessions and multiple tracks, you’ll find exceptional content you need to become a more effective, innovative and inspired internet m [...]

Twitter Testing Local Trends

Lisa Barone has screen captures of Twitter testing a localized version of Twitter Trends. Twitter Trends shows you what Tweet topics are currently hot and trending on Twitter. The local trends version does all that but breaks it out by region, country and city. Here is one of the pictures from @LisaBarone: You can see more pictures at OutSpoken Media and TechCrunch. Postscript: A day or so later, Twitter officially launched local trends to everyone. [...]

Science Fiction Writer Le Guin Launches Petition Against Google Book Settlement As Opt-Out Deadline Looms

Renowned science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin has launched a petition to "exempt" the US (US authors) from the terms of the Google Book Search Settlement. The text of the petition says that "Ireland, India, South Africa, and New Zealand (countries with active publication in English) protested the settlement and have been exempted from it." Exempting the US would essentially render the settlement meaningless. The scope of the revised settlement has been narrowed to include only the US, UK, Australia and Canada and exclude other countries. There is a January 28 deadline (Th [...]

Dress Up Ask Jeeves In The UK

Ask UK ( has a new game where you can dress up the lovable Jeeves character. Just search for [want to dress up jeeves] at Ask UK and you will be presented the opportunity to place khakis on the famous butler. You can dress up Jeeves at reported "Gieves and Hawkes together with Ben Sherman have supplied virtual outfits that allow users to transform butler Jeeves from his usual smart two-piece suit." The Flash dressup wizard was created by Framestore and Moonshine and offers 100,000 different outfit combinations. Here is a video o [...]

Factery Labs’ New Fact Engine: Just What Real-Time Search Needs

Not a month goes by without someone launching a new real-time search engine; but after trying out most of them, there are few I use on a regular basis. Factery Labs is about to change that with today's launch of its real-time fact engine at 1:00 pm ET. Where other real-time search engines focus on hot tweets, popular links, and the like, Factery Labs skips all that and surfaces the facts behind the day's trending news. (image provided by Factery Labs) On the screenshot above (you can click for a larger version on Flickr), Factery Labs is showing hot topics like "california storms" an [...]

Enterprise SEM: Q&A With Zappos’ Darrin Shamo, the online retailer with legendary customer service, has been on a meteoric rise during the last few years. After achieving revenues of over $1 billion in 2008, Zappos was acquired by one of the biggest players on the web in late 2009: Behind Zappos's amazing customer service and great brand, lies a sophisticated marketing department led by some of the best in the business. One of those people is Darrin Shamo, the Zappos in-house lead for all search marketing initiatives. I'm lucky to work with Darrin and the rest of the Zappos team through AudetteMedia in my role as [...]

Some SEO Advice For Bill Gates

What do you get for Bill Gates, the richest person in the world? How about a little free SEO advice for his new blog? It could use some. Bill, I went looking for your blog today on Google. Sorry, like many people, I have a habit of using that search engine first. What did I find for bill gates blog? Good, you're there in the top 10 results, listed fourth. And your official page at Microsoft shows at number one. But your blog could be so much better. Look at all those fake parody blogs! One of them is out ranking you. Some simply seem real because they have titles that actually say "B [...]

Satellite Images Of Haiti Earthquake From Google & Bing Maps

Both Google Maps and Bing Maps offer ways to see the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti. Below, a look at how to see before and after images, taken by satellite. Plus, several 360-degree ground level videos you can view. 360-Degree On-The-Ground Video Immersive Media has released a number of 360-degree view videos of someone actually walking in the disaster area. You can move the video around and get a true on-the-ground view. Here's one of them (sorry that it starts auto-playing -- I can't find a way to prevent this): Bing Maps Over at Bing Maps, the best thing is t [...]

Ballmer Critical Of Google’s China Decision

At a conference in Houston on Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke critically of Google's recent decision to stop censoring its search results in China. Paraphrasing some of Ballmer's statements, Forbes says Ballmer called it an "irrational business decision" on Google's part. Ballmer suggested that Google's decision to no longer filter out internet searches objectionable to the Chinese government was an irrational business decision. After all, Ballmer said, the U.S. imports oil from Saudi Arabia despite the censorship that goes on in that country. "The U.S. is the most extreme wh [...]

Google Founders To Sell 10 Million Shares Over Five Years

According to an SEC filing late this afternoon, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin "each intend to sell approximately 5 million shares" -- over a period of five years. This is not a reaction to any particular development in the market or perception of the outlook for Google; rather this is part of a plan to diversify their portfolios over time. According to the filing: These pre-arranged stock trading plans were adopted in order to allow Larry and Sergey to sell a portion of their Google stock over time as part of their respective long-term strategies for individual asset diversi [...]

The Pitfalls Of Budget-Constrained Bidding

The downsides to overbidding on keywords are both plain and painful: low-quality traffic at a high cost-per-click (CPC) and a limited budget quickly blown away with little to show for it. But bidding too little, or just not properly accounting for budget constraints, also has consequences, some subtle and some more obvious. Here we will consider some lessons that will help you to avoid the pitfalls of budget-constrained bidding.

SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 22, 2010

From Search Engine Land: Google Adds More Answers & Info To Search ResultsGoogle has announced a pair of changes to its search results pages that make its search results pages more informational and give searchers information they’re looking for without having to click away from [...] comScore: US Has Most Searches; China Slowest Growth; Google Tops Worldwide In 2009Which countries generate the most searches? comScore has just published a look at this, and the US once again is ranked tops. China maintained its second place position but showed the lowest growth of any [...]

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