China White

Shak lands and blogs. Should be a fun cultural journey, although in China it is unsafe to assume anything.

Timely Warnings...Blogging Can Get You Sued!

It pays to read the news

As Corporate America wades into the burgeoning world of Internet Web logs, companies are being warned they could face legal hazards when employees are let loose in the free-wheeling blogosphere.


But lawyers see possible legal pitfalls for companies looking to join the blogging phenomenon. What, for instance, would happen if someone at a publicly traded company unwittingly divulged confidential financial information or a trademark secret on one of these Web diaries?


"There's very, very little case law at this point," said Paul Arne, co-chairman of the technology group at law firm Morris Manning & Martin LLP.

Who said I wasn't cutting edge ;)

Important Bloggers Know All About Spam, Search, & Google...

Once again Jason Calcanis talks about that which he is clueless about.

Another funny for the bloggers, a person running a mortgage refinancing blog whines about Google talking with search spammers. Perhaps Google sees more value in the knowledge of the spammers than the content of mortgage refinance blogs? And really you got to hand it to the best search spammers, because most of them have a true interest in search.

I guess that bloggers think the approved spam business model is to follow the template:
[snippets of others content] * [expensive topic (even if you have no interest in the topic and limited knowledge about the topic) ] * [wrapped in AdSense] = $,$$$,$$$.$$.

Bloggers think that cutting Google in on their profits by selling ads through Google will make them untouchable, but at SES I was recently told by one exceptionally large AdSense earner (multi million dollars per yer) that they sorely and sadly discovered otherwise. A real shame, because I was looking for writers for my Viagra and Phentermine blogs for the network.

On a related note, Feedster recently created a list of 500 top blogs, which is no doubt a good link building technique (since most of the top blogs have a wide readership and goodl link popularity). Funny to see they are already adding erata to appease bloggers egos.

Matt Cutts Started a Blog

Google software engineer Matt Cutts recently started a blog. I thought I had the scoop since I just talked to him, but it looks like others have already mentioned it.

I think I am also going to be able to do an interview of Matt pretty soon :)

I usually get about 1 to 1.5 hours of email a day, so I can only imagine how much he gets. Cool to see he has comments enabled, but his blog would be a bad one to comment spam ;)

Weblogs Inc Hacked

Wonder how long it will take them to get their site back up. Or how much money Jason Calcanis will complain they lost.

They had a bunch of eggs in one basket with all those subdomains they were using.

Fuxz Ownz You!

The Posts that Never Get Published

I was about to make a joking post on my blog, but I spoke to a friend who helped me see past the short termism of my idea.

My friend said that many of the better voices in the SEO space

  • get a second opinion, and

  • write it then wait at least a few hours before submitting some controvercial type stuff

It is easy to post things that you will know will get links because they are controvercial, but as you do things like:

  • offend more people, or

  • throw out random semi correct link bait (see the title of this post - although the post title was hosed the conversation was dead on)

it becomes harder to build a sustainable business model & get referenced by the most important channels.

Many blogs work well because they are strongly filtered. Many do well because they are not. Many do well because they are highly opinionated. Many do well because they are not. If a site is an individually ran profit generating venture sometimes it is hard to strike balance, especially if the writer writes in a highly opinionated manner.

I would give away my ebook and create another business model if I didn't think that would lead to eventual marginalization (which at this point I think it could). In some hyper cometitive fields you need a variety of the following to compete:

  • the right friends;

  • a packet of money;
  • insaine amounts of knowledge;
  • incredible credibility;
  • a great voice;
  • the ability to scour, find, & sort new information

Not long ago I was bad off and knew nothing about the web, but thanks to friends like the one I spoke to tonight I am still doing well enough to get by as I establish better credibility and learn more about writing, filtering, and search.

Blogs, Attention Markets, & Link Building Opportunities

"Blogs will save democracy." - random blogger

While there are many blogs about blogging, and in general the concept is overhyped, blogs do present a solid marketing opportunity.

Gaining unrequested links usually takes a good bit of effort. You have to be one of the leading resources in your field, you have to provide something that others do not, you have to give others a reason to want to link to you. Some people try to buy their way in, but of course that eventually backfires.

With blogs you can just whinge on about whatever, and so long as it is usually on topic some people will read it. Sometimes the smallest things, like mentioning a 20 pound AdWords coupon can get you multiple free links from other regularly updated channels, and the attention of people who read those channels.

If you are looking for resources to cite you can use a tool to look at topical trackbacks (which also point links your way) and help get you noticed by some of the leaders of your community. Of course you can go too far and be labeled a spammer so you want to use some caution / restraint.

Some systems, like PubSub, also show you how citation data / linkage profiles change over time. If someone is linking at a competing channel then you can ask them to link to yours, or reference them, or make a useful comment on their site which is likely to get them to click through to your site.

Some bloggers also tag their content. Some have suggested using tagging systems for keyword research, but tagging is sloppy, narrow, and somewhat self reinforcing IMHO.

To me the real value of tagging is in linking opportunities and attention markets.

You can tag your content to work yourself into the tagged channels. Some people track certain terms, so you can almost guarantee they will read what you write if you tag it with the terms they track.

Of course, if tagging systems get too popular they will get heavily spammed. Technorati tags: , , , , , , etc etc etc

For link building you can find people who are tagging things that interest you, make a good personalized proposal, offering something they are interested in, and get the link :)

Stuntdubl has a list of social bookmarking tools here.

Managing SEO Risk via Dumb Affiliate Marketing

A while ago Christoph Cemper shot me an email about his post about ______.

Personal experience and a wide variety of friends have helped me conclude that most hosts are garbage, so a bad host in and of itself is not a big story. ________, on the other hand allegedly sent out an email offering affiliates a $100 bonus for knocking Cemper's site out of the top 10 rankings.

They could have contacted Christoph directly and tried to fix their problems, or they also could have reranked the search results a bit more discretely. What is even worse about how they sent out that email is that one of their affiliates posted it to the page which talks negatively about their service, which shows how they aim to slience it. Talk about not breeding trust in a service!

Christopher could also build a ton of links from almost anyone burned by a bad __________ hosting experiece by creating an image button and asking them to use it to link to his page about them.

Any time you use shady techiques to manipulate the search results (which most all SEOs - including me - are guilty of), and also use mass communication tools to do so (most smart SEOs do not do that unless they are creating crash and burn sites) you raise your risk profile and the chances that your technique will backfire.

Update: ServerPronto has been harrassing me with phone calls, likely about this post. After weeks of waking me up on the phone they still call and call. For doing that I think they are _________. I took their name out of this post, so hopefully that will be enough for them to leave me alone.

Link Hounds: New Blog Launched Just for You

Are you a Link Hound? I thought you were.

My buddies Andy Hagans and Patrick Gavin have decided to launch a link building blog, by the name of... Link Building Blog. It's in my feedreader on my daily must visits list.

MovableType Blogs, TypePad Hosting, Comment Redirects & Google Ignoring Robots.txt Files

What is up with Google indexing all the TypePad comment redirects. Clearly the robots.txt file says Google should not be indexing those.

Is ignoring the robots.txt file an accident, or a normal feature at Google?

I have a rather small blog, with about 1,000 posts on it. Google is showing 5,000 pages from my site in it's index. Some of my normal pages are already not being cached because Google is indexing my site less aggressivley due to seeing no unique content on the pages where THEY IGNORE THE ROBOTS.TXT PROTOCOL. Pretty evil shit, Google.

Now I need to figure out how to do some search engine friendly cloaking or somehow issue Googlebot 403 errors when it tries to spider those URLs. Way to suck Googlebot.

Perhaps this issue would have been noticed and addressed by a MovableType employee if they didn't have blind trust in search engines and think all SEOs are scum.

Many TypePad hosted sites & MovableType sites are being screwed / partially indexed due to this problem. MovableType owes it to their paid customers to ensure problems like these are not happening.