With nine new editors helping to find and publish great Internet marketing stories, Sphinn saw one of its busiest weeks ever last week. Close to 50 articles were published to the home page and many of those saw a lot of comment, Twitter, and Facebook activity.
The most commenting activity surrounded our Discussion Of The Week, which asked What Makes a Great Client?. Click the link to read an excellent list of traits from more than a dozen online marketers. But, for the best comment of the week, I’m picking Sphinn member David Ogletree of OgletreeSEO.com, who said this during a discussion on the idea that all “white hat” links are (also) paid for:
The problem is that there is no way for Google to know intention. This is the reason that Google will never be able to stop good spammers is that they can create links that look just like they were acquired by legitimate means. Google cannot detect why a link was put up.
You can join that conversation in Every white hat link you obtain for clients is paid for on Sphinn.
An article about Google indexing its own Google Translate results was the most-tweeted story of the week, while our announcement of th nine new editors was the most liked/shared article on Facebook. Here’s a look at all of last week’s Sphinn activity.
- DOTW: What Makes a Great Client? – We've probably all had good clients and bad ones, clients we love working with and others that we didn't. Let's talk about the good ones. In this week's "Discussion of the Week," share the trait or traits that make a client great to work with.
- Welcome to Sphinn’s (Nine) New Editors! – Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Sphinn's new editors — all nine of them! We're thrilled to have them on board and helping us publish the best Internet marketing content and discussions possible on our home page.
- Every white hat link you obtain for clients is paid for – Michael Martinez argues that links obtained by SEOs that would not have otherwise seen the light of day are paid for – period. A refreshing take on the othewise tired "paid links" debate.
- Fight Spam harder with the help from Google: You might be able to Blacklist Domains soon! – Google is considering to give users the rights to fight own battle aganist spam. Answering the question on Hacker News Discussion Matt confirmed Google is also thinking that way.
- 95 percent of link building is not a secret – Lyndon Antcliff does a great job of debunking the idea that link building is some sort of black magic shrowded in secrecy.Newsflash: The strategies and tactics that work out there for the taking (via blog posts, Twitter, conferences, etc) so success is mostly about hard work.
- A Lesson From the Indexing of Google Translate: Blocking Search Results From Search Results – Vanessa Fox reports how Google Translate spamming Google's Web search was caught red-handed, and educated Google on how to solve such issues. Meanwhile Matt Cutts promised to tweak Google's robots.txt.
- Search Optimization is Critical for Marketing to College Students – Yes, college students are extremely comfortable with web technology. They know the online world very well. So, when they want information about any organization, they turn to search rather than a company-built fan page.
- How To Attract 55 Million Eyes In Just 4 Hours – Amidst all the current discussions of content farms, spinning content, outsourcing site content creation, etc. I was pleased to come across this post from Lisa Barone demonstrating that the old school method still works – "Create stuff people like. Lots of it." And to "…get off your butt to actually create it."
- How to recognize Twitter bots: 6 signals to look out for – Bas van den Beld lists six easy to spot patterns of typical bot behavior.
- Matt Cutts Announcement: Algorithm change launched – The friendly Google Engineer has announced a tweak to the algo that is intended to combat content mills that scrape original content and present it as their own.
Hot On Sphinn: January 24 to January 30, 2011
- Starting A New SEO Business In 2011? – More than a dozen search professionals delve into the complications of starting an SEO business in this convoluted and highly demanding marketing industry.
- Spam 3.0, The Evolution of Search and the Future of SEO – Does Google support Spam 3.0, and by the way what is Spam 3.0? For an answer digest this excellent essay about the evolution of so-called WebSpam and the future of SEO by Aaron Bradley.
- Google On Comment Spamming For Links – Not earth shaking, BUT I have seen too much chatter about social links passing PR, that this needs to be highlighted; "Links that use the rel=nofollow microformat do not pass PageRank and are not used in our ranking algorithms. " – m'kay? Move along. Nothing to see here.
- SEO Not Working For You? Here’s Why – Lisa Barone provides some great insights into why an SEO campaign might not be "working", not the least of which is the fact that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
- This Week in Content Farms – A wild week that started with Matt Cutts statements about content farms and ended with a massively successfully Demand Media IPO. Making sense of a critical week in content farming.
- Does Your Local Mobile Search Strategy Suck? – The title along had me clicking… but Andrew does go on to give some great insights into one of the more active areas of SEO for 2011 (local). Enjoyable read and worth adding to the collection (and discussing).
- Google SEO Correlation Analysis – Aaron Wall offers up his point of view on correlation analysis as it relates to SEO for Google. And as always, he drops in some great links for the sake of context and insight.
- 7 Ways Video & Rich Media Sites Can Improve Their SEO – We know that local is big (for SEO) this year, but another area of importance is having an universal search strategy. If you're not already into video; get on it. This post from Richard is a good place to start…. even if you're already doing video, give it a read.
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy – The Approach Nobody Wants to Hear – Hugo Guzman correctly points out that a social media presence must be slowly cultivated and can't be turned on like water from a faucet.
- Google Will Drop Real Estate Search & Listings From Maps – Google has just made a surprising announcement: Google Maps will drop its real estate listings search option on February 10th. It seems impossible to think that Google would give up completely on real estate search — it’s too important of an activity in that industry, with the National Association of Realtors reporting in recent years that about 85% of all home buyers begin their search online. What does the future hold for Google and real estate search?
- Competitive Intelligence: Using KOB Analysis for Planning SEO Campaigns – How does keyword opposition to benefit analysis find you opportunity?
- How To Sell Yourself As A Client – Julie Joyce writes this fantastic post regarding what types of clients she (and most of the SEO world) best works with. one hint: If you want to hire her make sure you don't make fun of her accent!
- Is Google Offers a Threat to Groupon? Um, yeah! – Andrew Goodman analyzes the information leaked from the Googleplex so far, concluding: "GroupOn and the other first movers will face severe pressure on the arrogant revenue shares they’ve demanded from businesses in return for access to their deal-happy customer lists. Google, and others, will undercut them. (This is one of Google’s primary segment-entry tactics. It kept AdSense ad revenue shares high for publishers, which made it hard for similar display ad networks to woo publishers; it undercut Paypal rates with Google Checkout.) This makes GroupOn’s business — and the whole deals sector — less profitable in a hurry."
- Using Page Level Google Analytics Custom Variables to report on SEO traffic by page type – Patrick Altoft offers up a great little tip on how to dig deeper into your Google Analytics SEO data.
- SEO, the Semantic Web and Information Discovery – Aaron Bradley's excellent article explains Tim Berners-Lee's definition “a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines” for SEOs.
- 30 Ways to Use Social Media for Business People – This article has some great information for businesses new to the social media game. The list can help any business get started.
- 5 Things Businesses Should Know About SEO Agencies – Bruce Clay, Inc.'s SEO manager, Nasim Jafarzadeh, discusses the reasons why businesses may want to consider partnering with an SEO agency, even if they already have experienced in-house Internet marketers.
- How to Build an Effective Footer – Footers are one of the most often underused, misused and abused areas of a website. In this post, I’ll be taking a look at footers and passing on some tips to help you get more out of them.
- PPC as an SEO Research Tool – Ways to use PPC to better your SEO efforts and focus on the profit potential of keywords, not simply the traffic potential.
- Yandex Keeps On Beating Google In Russia – Yandex is a relatively small business compared to Google and yet they seem to be hanging onto — and even strengthening — their top spot in Russia. What are they doing to achieve this and what could other search engines learn from their efforts — and success?
- Please Track Me and Personalize My Ads – Louis Gray looks into Web browser "Do Not Track" plug-ins and concludes that those in general will produce a worse surfing experience, with surfers suffering from more blatant irrelevant, obtrusive, and interruptive ads. His plea: "So instead of embracing these ad blockers and cookie strippers, let's find a way to make the quality of the ads more personal, more relevant, and simply better overall. Please."
- Optimizing Your Long-Tail Content Strategy Even In Overcrowded Niches – This guide by Ross Hudgens is "about the long tail. The sweet, syrupy long tail. Not your Daddy’s long tail – your extended family’s long tail." It tells you how to produce copy that actually ranks for long tail searches in competitive niches, in layman's terms.
- How To Build Agile SEO Tools Using Google Spreadsheets – Some great Google spreadsheet tips from Tom Critchlow that will be able to assist you in various SEO tasks.
- A Quick Way to Find Interesting & Influential Twitter Users – Matt McGee describes how he identifies an industry's most influential twitter users. There are several sites and directories that claim to offer an easy way to find those users. But none of those sites/tools alone is adequate to really find who you should find and connect with.
- Nifty Tools To Improve Your Online Marketing Campaign – This commented list of valuable tools for all kind of Internet marketing purposes by Joost de Valk is worth a bookmark. Most probably Yoast uses something pretty elegant and smart that you didn't stumble across, yet.
- 4 Link Building Phenomena Dissected by 3 Phenomenal Link Builders – 3 of the most prominent link builders in our industry ( Debra Mastaler, Julie Joyce, and Melanie Nathan) provide their opnions on the burning link questions you've had in the back of your mind but were afraid to ask.
- How I Uncovered Criminal Activity During an SEO Audit – Alan Bleiweiss reminds us that sometimes thorough examination of a website will uncover the darndest things.
- SEO for Corporate Blogs: Where to Use Keywords – Lee gives the lowdown on SEO for corporate blogs.
- Small Business Blogging Content Strategies – One of the challenges facing someone when they first decide to start a blog is figuring out what to write about, whom to write for, and how to incoporate blogging into their daily routine. This is true for businesses that to decide to add a blog to their website as well.
- Facebook Starts Selling Likes – Marketers can pay for these ads on a cost-per-action basis, meaning they pay for "likes" as some advertisers pay for clicks. Though clearly marked with the words "sponsored story," the like-ad — which will includes a user's name, just like the news feed — is not optional for Facebook users. These actions can appear in ads even if they take place off Facebook, on a marketer's own website. The product itself is broken into four possible buys for advertisers — page likes and check-ins, and actions Facebook is calling "application play" and "page posts."
- 10 Tips for Optimizing Your Website’s Speed – Web page speed and performance is very important to the user experience. If your site is too slow, you’ll not only be losing visitors, but also potential customers. Search engines like Google factor a website’s speed into account in search rankings, so when optimizing your site’s speed, you should take everything into consideration.
- Facebook: Where Have All The Fans Gone? – I started looking at the stats of other pages, where seasonal drop was certainly not involved, I saw similar increases. What’s more interesting, all the fans in unrelated fields started to unsubscribe on the same day.
- The Endless Hassles Of Reporting A Closed Business To Google Places – A humorous exercise in futility over at the SEO Igloo Blog leads to what looks like serious design flaws –or oversights at least– in Google's local search machine: "What system and safeguards have Google put in Places to make sure that they know when a business closes so that a) they aren’t misdirecting the public and b) they are reducing the incidence of merging closed businesses with new tenants?"
- Discussion of Google's New Focus On Fixing the Low Quality Content Problem – The folks at WebmasterWorld dissect Matt Cutt's latest Google Blog post regarding webspam.
- Data & Collection Methodology For Page Level Search Engine Indexation Research – An excellent step by step tutorial from Richard Baxter on checking indexation depth of a Web site through Google cache queries (a procedure not exactly adhering Google's TOS) in comparision to data compiled from other sources.
- Are "False Positives" Proof Directory Submissions Still Work? – Shaun Anderson shares a finding that seems to prove that even submissions to Web directories that went awfully wrong have enough impact to outrank the Wikipedia on "keyword stuffing". Bottom line is, even if directory submissions aren't exactly the holy grail of link building, they don't hurt your SEO efforts much, provided you don't generate an overdose of directory links, and may still be worth your time.
- How journalists are using Facebook, Twitter to write mini serial narratives – While newspapers have moved away, to some extent, from multi-part serial narratives, there are signs of mini-serialization everywhere: in the cartoon strips and panels that let us visit our favorite characters each morning; in the racehorse coverage of local and national elections; in recurring news stories about Chilean miners trapped in a mine, or a British Petroleum well polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.