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January 2008: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories
Search Engine Land’s 10 most popular
stories from January 2008:
1) 20 Awesome Images
Found In Google Maps – The introduction of satellite images into map
search interfaces has excited both virtual sightseers and local app developers.
Further innovations like Google’s Street View have caused consternation from
privacy advocates while further pumping up the buzz about online mapping. In
2008, we can expect further innovations that stretch the envelope while dynamic
map interfaces solidify as basic table-stakes for all local sites. In gearing up
for this year in local search, I thought I’d give you a pure entertainment
piece—here’s a guide to the top coolest things to see in Google Maps.
2) Google Lego Logo:
Google Offers Lego 50th Birthday Wishes – Google has a special logo up
on the Google home page today. The Google logo is made up of legos, to celebrate
Lego’s 50 year birthday. Google’s culture has always had a special place for
Lego. Google’s first servers were "modded" up with Legos. The Google founders
have admitted to having a special "fondness" towards Legos, and we all know that
computer geeks can’t get enough of their legos. Google has Lego art in their
offices. Lego fans have built Google logos in Lego, and so have Googlers
3) 10 Simple Steps To
Social Media Success In 2008 – It’s no secret that social media should
be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. Creating viral content
and promoting it is only a fraction of the equation. You must also strengthen
your online footprint and become part of the network. Trying to figure out where
to start can be daunting. Follow these ten simple steps and you will be well on
your way to being more connected, more plugged in, and more efficient in 2008.
4) Real Time US
Presidential Primary Results In Google Maps – Political and news junkies
take note: Google mapped the results of yesterday’s New Hampshire U.S.
presidential primary by candidate and county for both parties. There are also
videos from YouTube of candidate victory or concession speeches. According to
the Google LatLong blog, the results were presented last night in real time. You
can also see the same results in Google Earth (screenshots below).
5) Google’s User
Experience Expert, Kevin Fox, Joins New Start-up Company – Kevin Fox,
Google’s user experience designer responsible for helping design Gmail, Google
Calendar, and Google Reader 2.0, has announced he is leaving Google to join a
"very small start-up." Today is his last day at Google, after being with Google
for over four years. Kevin did not say the name of the new company he will be
working for. He did, however, express his love for Google:
6) There’s No Such
Thing As A Worthless Link – With certain linking strategies under fire
and others frowned on by the search engines, I thought I’d focus on what links
do count and share how and where I find them. The short answer to the question
"what works" is: they all do. All the link building tactics we’re fond of
jeering at still work; reciprocal links, using article directories, adding your
site to a bazillion general directories, and yes, even paid links. But they
don’t tend to work for long or provide the algorithmic insulation you need to
weather the update storms. For that you need authority or "quality" links.
7) Think You’re
Successfully Flying Under Google’s Radar? Think Again. – Have you been
trying to "fly under the radar," engaging in activities outside of Google’s
guidelines but subtly so as not to get caught? More and more SEOs are moving
into this dangerous territory as the guidelines continue to broaden (prime
examples of which being the expanded definition of doorway pages and the
addition of link buying to the list of no-nos). Buying links in "stealth" mode
still works, as many SEOs will attest. But what if Google is archiving your
efforts for future review, to uncover what it can’t right now due to current
limitations? Do you really want to be profiled retroactively as a spammer?
8) 15 Fundamental
Truths About Social Media Marketing – In September 2007, I was offered
the role of ‘Social Media Manager’ at a company in Cape Town, South Africa,
which I took without much hesitation. I knew my job would focus on the ‘general’
projects such as proposals, running campaigns, and devising social strategies
for clients who had something they wanted to generate a buzz about online.
Little did I know I would be training up the other team members completely from
scratch on the subject, but I can confidently say it was the most enjoyable part
of the job. Here are 15 of the most important things about social media
marketing I taught to those completely new to the approach.
9) Google Universal
Search: 2008 Edition – It’s just over a half-year since Google launched
Universal Search, its method of blending results from its own various
topically-focused or "vertical" search engines. Since that time, the system has
evolved. In particular, Google Universal Search now fills more than just 10
spots on the page, while shopping and blog search results are among new
resources being included. Below, a look at these and related changes.
10) Spying On Your
Paid Search Competitors – Last time around, I wrote about paid search
planning and some cool tools to help you understand your customers and your
target market (here). This time, I’ll take a look at the competitive landscape
and understanding competitors in general—and show you some excellent tools that
can help you gain better insight into their specific strategies and tactics.
To see all of our most popular stories over time, visit our
Popular Stories page.