Hot On Sphinn: Journalism & SEO, Analytics For Social Media, Google Instant Reactions & More

SEO continues to have an increased impact on journalists, as news writers and editors are being encouraged to learn SEO tactics and incorporate them into headlines and articles published online. But it’s not always a comfortable marriage. That’s one of the topics that reached the Sphinn home page a couple times over the past week. Other interesting topics included early reaction to Google Instant and its impact on SEO, how to gain social media insights from Google Analytics, and much, much more. (Emphasized because Sphinn switched from community voting to a purely editorial model during the week and there’s a lot more content being published now.)

Here’s this week’s recap of hot stories on our sister site, Sphinn.

Hot On Sphinn: September 20 to September 26, 2010

  • The Never-Ending List of New Content Inspiration – Taylor Pratt writes, "Whether you are using content to expand your site as a means of ranking for new keywords, or you're exchanging content for inbound links from other websites, you're going to run into the same problem: what should you write about?"
  • 6 Ways to Tackle the Promo Code Problem – Love this article from Linda Bustos addressing the design/usability challenges of offering promo/coupon code discounts while also minimizing their impact on the checkout experience and on your bottom line.
  • Transcript: Stephen Colbert Interviews Google’s Eric Schmidt On The Colbert Report – Video & transcript of Stephen Colbert interviewing Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt. Colbert got in some expected digs, jokingly asks when the computer algorithm will take over and touches on some serious issues, such as how much Google remembers.
  • Explanation of the Twitter 'URL Injection' Attack – Once again a major website has come under scrutiny the past few days as a result of a basic measure being put in place to prevent a hack.Twitter experienced a URL injection attack bringing the service's stability and potential security of personal data into question.Read Miles Carter's explanation of the attack in greater detail here.
  • How Facebook fixed the site: they turned it off and on again. Literally – An unusual database problem at the giant social networking site could only be cured by taking the sort of action you normally take with a misbehaving PC
  • Social Voting Sites Dying & Struggling – It’s been a rough week for Propeller and Digg.  Propeller announced the site is shutting down on October 1st while a report from Hitwise annouced Digg is showingg dramatic losses in traffic from U.S. and U.K. Internet users. So where is everyone going??  Reddit?  Maybe not….
  • Why Journalists Need To Stop Resenting SEO – Lisa Barone: "The Web and SEO have changed journalism. It’s made it increasingly important that your content is findable by the people who want to find it. You can drag your feet and try to ignore that OR you can embrace it. Because being a journalist who is fluent in SEO is only going to make you better. It’s only going to bring you more traffic, more attention, and further connect you with the people you’re writing about. As a journalist, isn’t that what you’re after anyway?"
  • Making the Most Out of Google Places – Are you taking full advantage of your local business listing?  This guide gives you tips on how you can maximize your listings visibility in the Google local business results.
  • Best Practices for Designing Usable Websites for Kids – If you’re designing a website for young children, it’s important to note the differences between the way kids use the Internet and the way teens and adults do. Kids are much less forgiving in a lot of ways than adults, and will more quickly abandon a site that doesn’t meet their needs and expectations.
  • SEO In The Newsroom – From the Journalists Perspective – Even if an organization has a good SEO strategy, it still needs to be communicated effectively to the newsroom, so journalists don’t feel like they’ve been turned from trained professionals into slaves to Google Trends.A look at how some journalists at newspapers like the Washington Post feel SEO has taken driving seat in the newsroom.
  • Word-of-mouth still largely an offline phenomenon: study – Ask a brand marketer about word-of-mouth marketing and chances are he or she will talk to you about the internet. After all, with the advent of social media, consumers are most likely going to talk to their friends, family members and associates about your brand online, right?
  • Could Yahoo Launch a Smarter Instant Search? – Bill Slawski unpacks the Yahoo search patent that was granted earlier this year that's very similar to Google's Instant Search feature. Yahoo's version is a bit more restrained, as shown on the screenshots Bill includes, and he wonders if it's smarter than Google's, too. Interesting read.
  • Scumbag Alert: Domain Registry of America – Man, am I sick of getting spam snail mail from this place. I’ve been meaning to blog about this dishonest organization for quite awhile, so here’s my long overdue scam alert for the Domain Registry of America.
  • How To Fix The Facebook Like Button Bug – A serious flaw in the XFBML implementation of Facebook's Like button could damage your search engine rankings, play havoc with your website analytics and user experience. This post explains how the bug operates and suggests simple steps to resolve it.
  • I Sphinn SERPD, and I SERPD Sphinn – SERPD and Sphinn both get my vote, and here's why.
  • 15 Small Business Lessons from Richard Branson – Ann Handley sums up Richard Branson's keynote from a recent marketing conference where he spoke about big companies vs. small, branding, seeing things through your customer's eyes, social media and more. Lots of great lessons from one who knows what he's doing!
  • You’re Free to Go Home – John Andrews uses the sport of racquetball to make points concerning the "sport" of SEO.
  • The One Mistake Many CEOs Make About SEO – Surely all SEOs have had this conversation at some point in their careers! From the article, “…I said I wanted to rank for *this* keyword in particular. Why didn’t you include it on the list? You’re our SEO person and I’m telling you that we really need to rank for that one.”
  • The Ultimate Guide to Link Valuation – In depth look and steps to take when analyzing link value. From the article: How do you know whether or not to pursue a link? Is it the size of the dog in the fight or the size of the fight in the dog? It’s neither – it’s an assortment of varying factors that can help determine whether or not this site, now, can help your website shoot up the search engine rankings. To help you determine whether or not a page is worth its weight in acquisition effort, I’ve developed a flow chart to take you through the process I use to value a link.
  • How To Coax Social Media Insights From Google Analytics – Brian Massey: "For most of us, analytics software behaves like idiot savants: they can surprise us with amazing feats of calculation, but totally miss the social cues that the rest of us take for granted. So, it’s no wonder that analytics packages struggle to tell us how we are doing socially. As a follow-on to my column last month on measuring social media, I’d like to show you how I got Google Analytics to tell me how I was doing socially."
  • Aggregators: The Good VS. The Looters – Anyone who publishes a content has had to deal with being scraped, repurposed, and remixed. While it's easy to say all scraping is bad. there several beneficial ones, who benefit the users, and the site owners by aggregating topical traffic, and sending users onto the source.At the other end of the spectrum are re-bloggers who take source material distill it down to "soundbyte" style easily scan-able content, that in some cases get more traffic than the more in depth source material. There are lessons to be learned from looking at both the good and the bad sides of aggregators.
  • Dear Google…Stop Making Me Look Like a Fool! – Jill Whalen writes, "Anyway, Google, just let me know when you find an algorithm that really does reward the good stuff and not the bad. In the meantime, I'll keep telling people to make their websites be the best that they can be for their users so that there might be a few less horrible websites showing up at the top of your search results.But when they ask me whether my way works better than spamming you, I'll have to tell them the truth."
  • The SEO's Handbook – Resources For 1st Time SEOs – A nice, simply list of top blogs, news sites, forums, conferences and tools about SEO.
  • Jimmy Fallon’s Twitter Hashtag Game — Learn Social Media By Example – Why stick to the old methods of advertising TV shows when you could use social media to do the rough work for you? I am sure someone at thought about this and came up with the following plan: Integrate Twitter in a TV show and get the word out through buzzing tweeps!
  • Twitter To Provide Free, Real Time Analytics – How are your tweets doing on Twitter? To help you understand more, Twitter says it will be releasing new Twitter analytic tools later this year — apparently to everyone — and for free.
  • Google Instant: What Are Your Findings & Thoughts? – We've had Google Instant for about two weeks now. Some predicted huge changes would come in the wake of it. Some predicted it was no big thing. What are your thoughts. Any impacts you've noticed? Life as usual?
  • People Spend More Than Half Their Day Consuming Media – An interesting study showing some facts about media consumption:smartphone owners spend 30 minutes more a day on interacting with media compared to non-smartphone owners.Watching television live still commands 78 percent of the total hours viewed.Almost a quarter of TV viewing today occurs through a mixture of DVR, VOD, and online video
  • Introducing Sphinn 3.0 – All of us at Sphinn are happy to unwrap Sphinn 3.0 today. You'll notice some new graphics here and there, some tweaks, and a variety of what 'minor' changes. The bigger changes are: 1) Voting is gone, and 2) Discussions have returned.
  • Sunrise, Florida, Reemerges From Google Maps’ Bermuda Triangle – The city of Sunrise, Florida, is back on the map. On Google Maps. It mysteriously vanished more than a month ago, making it impossible to find anything in Sunrise via a Google search. Some local businesses have reported significant declines in online sales. The city’s mayor, after contacting Google and failing to get a call back, sent a letter to CEO Eric Schmidt last week. National and local media picked up the story this week.
  • 4 Valuable Link Building Services (Zemanta, MyBlogGuest, EightfoldLogic & Whitespark) – 4 interesting major new link building services, as well as some long-standing options that some SEOs may not have discovered – selected by Rand Fishkin.

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. The stories appear in reverse chronological order — i.e., the most recent “hot” stories are at the top.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | 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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