Hot At Sphinn: Social Signals Improving Search Results, Twitter Trending Topics, Periodic Table Of SEO & More

sphinn-logoThe combination of search and social seemed to dominate last week’s activity on our sister site, Sphinn. Several active discussions and popular Twitter/Facebook stories were about various search, social and SEO topics.

The most active discussion thread was our “Discussion of the Week,” which asked Discussion: Have Social Signals Made Search Results Better or Worse? Our favorite comment came from Sphinn member David Harry of, who said (in part):

I believe there are great ops here for SEOs and it does add to the search experience without cluttering the results too much. It is yet another step in Google getting closer to PURE personalization. One of the main issues with it (and behavioural data in general) is potential spam. In a pure personalized enviro, this is next to impossible.

Be sure to see the Sphinn discussion for the rest of that comment, and/or to add your own thoughts.

Here’s a look at all of last week’s popular stories on Sphinn.

Most Comments

  • Discussion: Have Social Signals Made Search Results Better or Worse? – Google is making its +1 button available today to all website owners with the promise of improving Google's search results via recommendations from friends. Google, Bing and even Blekko are all increasingly relying on social signals to impact search results and the search experience. In our "Discussion of the Week," we want to know: Do you think search results are better today because of these social signals? What are the pros and cons of this increasing emphasis on social activity on search results? Do you want social signals to have more or less of an influence on search results? The floor is open!
  • 2011 Local SEO Best Practices for Ranking in Google Places – David Mihm’s 2011 version of local SEO best practices has launched today!  Absolutely fantastic information on all things local!
  • Does Email Reputation Cause Penalties in Google Search Results? – According to Jake Ludington, having a large number of inactive email newsletter subscribers got him penalized in the SERPS. [Debunked by Matt Cutts in the comments]
  • Query classification; understanding user intent – A great piece from Dave Harry. It's useful for any SEO that's interested in understanding how keywords translate into types of user intent.
  • 7 Powerful Trigger Words You Can Use In Your Blogging Headline to Get More Eye Balls Attention! – If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you’ll know how I feel about great copywriting – it isn’t just important, but essential to your success. The problem with copywriting though is that if you don’t start with a headline, then the rest doesn’t matter -

Most Tweeted (not already listed above)

Most Liked/Shared (not already listed above)

Hot On Sphinn: May 30 to June 5, 2011

  • Introducing Search engines come together for a richer web – Today we’re announcing, a new initiative from Google, Bing and Yahoo! to create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages. aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages to help search engines better understand their websites.
  • An Optimizer’s Guide To Facebook Ads Performance Reports – Facebook Ads, “Advertising Performance Reports” are the primary analytics marketers use to optimize FB Ads campaigns and create reports. Over the last few weeks, and through the May 25th UI update, our aimClear team thoroughly researched available optimization metrics,  what they mean, where they appear, and at what access points they are editable live in various screens.
  • Twitter Blog: Introducing the Follow Button – Twitter rolls out a handy follow button.
  • The Top 10 Things Eric Schmidt Revealed At D9 – Danny Sullivan highlights a number of interesting revelations that came out of Eric Schmidt interviews at the D9 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The most interesting tidbit is that Google aims to deliver more direct answers, admitting that Bing does a better job.
  • Free Competitive Research on Domains – Very comprehensive review on different free tools that can be used to evaluate domains.
  • In Social Media, Your Return Represents Your Investment – Brian Solis offers an interesting take on social media. I particularly appreciate the graph that shows the relationship between the difficulty level of particular social media tactics vs. the return that they can deliver.
  • New Communication Ad Extensions for Google AdWords – A great post on the new Google AdWords Communication Ad Extensions.
  • How to Write A High Converting Sales Page – If you're getting by writing your own sales copy and web pages, here's a checklist of 10 copywriting basics that every piece of sales copy should contain, especially if the goal of the site is to make sales or drive leads.
  • I’d Like To Have An Argument Please – Is relevance an objective truth or a subjective bias? Get a digest version of the deep thinking being done on reasoning, search and human computer information retrieval.
  • Should You Buy PPC Ads for Your Brand Keywords? – “I rank organically for my brand terms. Why would I pay for ads on them?” How many times have you heard this? Or said it? Advertising on brand terms seems to be an ongoing discussion that still hasn’t been settled. So, I’m going to try to settle it now.
  • 3 Effective Ways To Jumpstart Your Link Building – Here are a handful of the more foundational yet highly effective tactics anyone can use to jump-start linking efforts.
  • Why SEO Link Building Strategies Look More Pathetic Than Ever – Michael Martinez: "From now on, if you’re going to write a 'link building' article for anyone’s Website, start every title with 'How I Obtained a Link For ….'. Give the editors at Sphinn and Search Engine Land something decent to promote because, frankly, the link building articles they have been promoting lately just absolutely suc something awful. Save us from the regurgitated link building advice articles and roundups." Ok, point taken.
  • Interview with Julie Joyce – The Link Specialist – Julie gives terrific insights into link-building, SEO, and a whole bunch more.

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Features: General | Sphinn


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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