If SEO is your thing, Sphinn was a good place to be last week. Almost all of the most popular stories on our sister site had something to do with SEO.
At the top of the list is our “Discussion of the Week,” which asked what’s The Most Underrated SEO Tactic? That topic generated about two dozen comments and serves as a great list of SEO tips that you may have overlooked. The most oft-mentioned tactic seemed to be internal linking, which was mentioned in our favorite comment of the week from Sphinn member Annie Cushing of BlueGlass:
When I look up a site in OSE and see its top pages and then see how seldomly the site links to those pages, I get kind of excited. It’s such an easy win. There’s a reason those pages have page authority (provided you’re not gaming the system and just haven’t gotten caught yet). Find the pages other sites say are valuable and make sure you look for opportunities to link to them.
That was also our most popular story on both Twitter and Facebook, too, last week. Here’s a look at the full recap of what was hot on Sphinn over the past seven days.
- DOTW: The Most Underrated SEO Tactic? – Algorithm changes come and go, but the basics of SEO mostly stay the same year-in and year-out. In this week's "Discussion of the Week," we want to know what you think is the most underrated or under-appreciated SEO tactic. It could be something that you still find effective after so many years, or something new. It could be something that you're glad is effective, or something you wish didn't work. The floor is open.
- Do Directories Really Matter Anymore for Local Search Rankings in Google? – This is the result of a recent research analysis we conducted for Google Place Pages and factors that might "predict" rankings in map results on Google.com. It takes into account Google Place Pages information, along with citations (using Whitespark's Local Citation Finder Tool), anchor text (using OpenSiteExplorer) and city/vertical relevancy of the inbound linking URLs. One of the more interesting observations is that citations (focus on Name, Address & Phone) aren't really a conclusive predictor of map rankings. Exact-match anchor text, overall URL authority (e.g., quanlity inbound links) and links from URLs about the business city and industry…these appear to be the largest predictors of rankings. This all makes sense given the "blended" search results Google shows for local/regional searches.
- Why Fans Stop Liking & Following You on Facebook & Twitter – Good findings from an ExactTarget survey on why people aren't following brands on Facebook or Twitter any longer.
- How To Do An SEO Audit – Fairly deep 10 step guide to performing an SEO audit.
Most Tweeted (not already listed above)
- Excel Guide for SEO – Lessons for Aspiring Ninjas – An excellent guide to using Excel for SEO. Many methods applicable to competitive research and keyword analysis are discussed.
- How to Build Links with Infographics – It should be no surprise that infographics aquire links. Although they’ve quickly become a saturated tactic, they still work. In this post, readers will be walked through the writer's process of creating and launching a successful infographic.
- Which Social Sites Are Best for Which Marketing Outcomes? [INFOGRAPHIC] – Being effective at social media can be a difficult task, as everyone's goals are different. Are you building a brand, reaching customers, driving traffic, or looking for an SEO benefit. This chart can you get a better understanding of which sites might be the best match for you.
- SEO Remains A Viable Marketing Strategy For Anyone – SEO ain't dead, people!
- Microsoft Advertising adCenter Quality Score Coming Soon – What You Need to Know – An major adCenter change was just announced. – Beginning this spring, advertisers will be able to leverage a new adCenter Quality Score for optimizing campaigns in the Bing+Yahoo search marketplace…
Hot On Sphinn: March 7 to March 13, 2011
- Ask the SEOs Recap from SMX West – We’re down to the last session! If you’re still with us, I want to say thank you. I know it’s been a virtual fire hose the past few days, but we’re not done yet so hang in there! Up next is the coveted Ask the SEOs session with some of this industry’s greatest and most decorated veterans. Speaking we have Greg Boser, Bruce Clay, Vanessa Fox, Todd Friesen, Stephan Spencer, and Jill Whalen. You don’t need any banter from me. Let’s just do it!
- Critique a Web Page in Less Than 15 Seconds – The easiest and most objective way to evaluate your site is to do it within 15 seconds or less. You don’t have to stand upside down with socks on your hands while squinting through one eye to critique your site, here are some simple techniques to aid you in your own critique.
- Quick & Dirty Competitive Research for Keywords – The low down on how to get great competitive research data from free tools.
- Google's Matt Cutts Talks Down Keyword Domain Names – Aaron asks a very valid question: have you considered the direction Google is taking and adjusted your SEO and general online marketing strategy accordingly?
- 5 ways for Local Businesses to grow their Twitter Followers and Business – Nice concise piece about how businesses can effectively use Twitter to boost their local marketing efforts.
- The 5 Pillars Of International SEO Forensics – Great tips on how to analyze where your international website marketing efforts are breaking down.
- Google Bans Itself Again By Banning BeatThatQuote.com – Just after purchasing the domain beatthatquote.com Google has added a penalty to the domain.
- Fans aren’t just for Rockstars: A Framework for helping companies connect with their advocates and vice-versa – Great article from Mack Collier, who says "fans" shouldn't just be for rock stars — companies can turn their customers into fans, too. This offers a game plan for doing exactly that.
- When To Launch An Affiliate Program – From the article: "Affiliate marketing is not a way to start your sales, it's a way to enhance your existing sales. Too many would be merchants have a shiny new idea and a half completed ecommerce site when they stumble onto the idea of building an affiliate program."
- In-house SEO vs SEO Agency – Which is Better? – Some perspective on which route to take. Worth a read if you're in consideration mode.
- At Discovery, Pushing Back Against the 'Content Farm' – An interesting perspective on how one big media outlet is trying to take a different approach to farming.
- How Ratings Extensions Gave a Boost to CTR for Shop Bedding – Case study on how adding a Google AdWords Ratings Extension to a PPC campaign increased click-through-rates. - The recently introduced AdWords Ratings Extension has been very instrumental in boosting rankings, clickthrough rates, and Quality Scores for our campaigns. The Ratings Extension works as follows: When an advertising site has 30 or more positive reviews on a third party rating site, that ad will show with an additional line displaying 4 or 5 yellow stars that indicate the average of the site’s rating score.
- How To Build Social Media Awareness Into Your Website – Rather than require someone to retrofit a social media solution for your website, why not design it with social media awareness in mind?
- The Incredible, Remarkable, and Undeniable Power of Speed for SEO – I enjoyed this one because I have worked with both SMEs and large corps. One of the major advantages that the smaller companies often have is speed. They are more nimble and that can work to their advantage. All in all (another) great read from Glen
- Manipulating Google Suggest Results – An Alternative Theory – Seems Rishi has been playing with Google suggest. There are some sound theories and ideas here for sure. Good geeking all around.
- The Farmer/Panda Update: New Information From Google and The Latest from SMX West – At SMX West, the subject of the day was content farms. Vanessa Fox reports the current state of known facts, conclusions, as well as educated guesses and speculation based on Google's latest statements.
- A Clients Guide to Usability – Ensuring your website is usable is one of the biggest challenges you will face, however, due to its massive return on investment it is something that is very worthwhile doing. Usability can always be improved and, like many things related to your website, it is an ongoing process. Having a good understanding of usability will provide you with a loyal online customer base that keeps coming back and recommending you.
- Case Study: Impact of Code Cleanup on Site Traffic – An interesting look at what speed optimization, broken link maintenance and redirect clean-up can have on search traffic.
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.