Black Hat: PPC Techniques. First time I have seen an article about Black Hat PPC. Good stuff Mikkel.
I do understand the reasons as they want to know what pages they send users to but why on earth does Google have to reset my hard earned high CTR if all I change is an added tracking parameter? In any case, I am not going to pay for it!
The simple solution is to set-up some kind of layer between you and them so the URL you use is actually not the one that shows the content.
Content, Content, Content:
A couple newerish (is that a word) products aim to help people grab or create loads of content. I have yet to use any of these.
Article Equalizer - pulls articles from various content sources. I think he also created traffic equalizer, rss equalizer, and many other equalizer products. Wonder if he will eventually release the ultimate equalier suite. ;)
Website Dating: My Density shows first and second degree relationships between websites.
The interface could be a bit cooler and smoother (perhaps if they used a bit of AJAX and ensured the text was easier to read on scroll overs if they are showing a ton of data in a small area), but it looks like a cool idea. more info about My Density and even more info here.
I saw this mentioned a while ago, but I think I forgot to link to it. Essentially it allows search results to be reformatted & reappear elsewhere. Robin Good has more about why he feels it is important.
I have recently seen a site under a month old rank for some rather short query sets.
New SEO / SEM Blogs:
maybe not new, but at least new to me. Got Ads? - seems to be more focused on the ad / ppc side of the search game. have not read it a ton yet but have seen John contribute many good posts on Andrew Goodman's SEM 2.0 Wolf Howl - should have mentioned and found this one a while ago as multiple friends have recommended it to me. his most recent post references Flatland, so it must be a cool blog :)
the conference I am at:
ended today. I could blog about a bunch of stuff but now find myself headed toward the closing party, which I suspect may give me more stuff to blog about.
Not a new concept to SEO or marketing here, but it is not talked about that often as compared to other linking techniques.
Instead of buying sitewide links it may be better to buy an advertising pages hosted on other sites. Link to that page from many pages on that same site (which in a sense is like pointing a sitewide link on that site at that advertising page). Link popularity flows more naturally within a domain than it does across domains.
Write the pre sell page using appropriate page title, header, and subheaders. From the pre sell page deep link to various locations on your site with descriptive anchor text.
If you make the pre sell page well and the site you are advertising on is strong enough it gives you another opportunity to rank well. In fact, if your market is exceptionally competitive the authority of the site you are advertising on may allow that page to rank even if your site is not strong enough to rank.
By placing pre sell pages you do not need to worry about getting dinged for having too many (or too high of a percentage) of sitewide links with similar anchor text.
Some people also link off to other authoritative sites on their pre sell pages to help cluster their site in with other related resources.
It is common in affiliate marketing for affiliates to host pages on their sites which warm up prospective clients prior to selling supplies on another site. If done correctly pre sell pages can have a positive effect on both conversion and SEO.
Buying Links to Ban a Competing Site:
Rumour has it that with the latest Google update a few people have started in on this practice...buying sitewide keyword rich links to help their competitors get blacklisted...surely SEO is going to get a bit more ugly here soon ;)
I do a good bit of directory submissions from time to time. I usually submit to about the same number of directories as that package except I do both free and paid directories. I do not mind paying for links because it means that the directory is more likely to have a functional business model and the links will not go away as quick.
Directory registration is exceptionally effective in MSN and Yahoo! right now.
other than having a different name what the hell does this software do that AdWords Analyzer does not? Wouldn't it have been better to release any additional AdWords related features as an upgrade to the AdWords Analyzer program?
Tim then brings up a remarkable new tagging system that Yahoo! is proposing and would like to see the other engines support. Itâ€™s a method to specify the separate content blocks of a page, so the search engines donâ€™t need to conduct block-level analysis in their algorithms. The tags look like this:
<div class=â€content-publicâ€>â€¦</div> - indicating the content is publicly created and not monitored by the site owner
<div class=â€content-navâ€>â€¦</div> - indicating that this is internal navigation content for the site
<div class=â€content-defaultâ€>â€¦</div> - indicating that this is the primary content area of the page
Tim notes that these tags can also be applied to link attributes.
Greg calls the sandbox, the â€œlitter boxâ€ and suggests that websites that stick out as being over-optimized will generally fall into the trap. He says that in order to bypass it, he simply builds a subdomain on an existing and well-ranking site, then 301 re-directs to the new URL. He warns against getting too granular for subdomains and says to try to use a general domain rather than a specifically themed site.
ROI Testing is a new bid management / ROI tracker tool in beta test created by MakeMeTop.
MSN and Yahoo! are fairly easy to manipulate right now, and Google can only throw out a limited amount of baby with the bathwater before their search results become irrelevant - causing them to lose market share.
Many of the people who are going after algorithmic exploits are focused on conversion. If a site has a 30-40% conversion rate there is no legitimate way a search engine can state that they filtered it out to provide a good user experience.
Yahoo! and MSN seem to understand that. Google seems a bit behind the curve on that concept though.
This year was my third SES conference. I think while eating lunch 2 of the 4 days people described my ebook and site to me without knowing I was me, which must mean I am getting a good bit of market saturation. :)
Many of the people who talked to me at past SES events either were SEOs or wanted to know how to hire one. Recently my inbox and at SES a much higher percent of my inqueries were people asking "how do I become an SEO?"
I have been a bit of a branding whore so it would seem that over time I would get more questions like that, but I think a ton of people have recently been entering the SEO market. The Google IPO and the like brought many new faces to the field.
Some companies are still out to lunch though. The last day of the conference I met a person who read my ebook and wanted to chat. He was the single employee webmaster / programmer / backend database / web marketer for a few nationwide stores which were doing over $5,000,000 a year in sales from one of the websites.
It would make sense that a person working on salary doing all that work may want to go it alone. If I were him I would.
The general things I think that can help people who want to jump into doing SEO are:
Start a site about something that interests you. Get involved in that community.
Your first site may totally suck. Mine did. and the second and third did too... the beauty of the web is that nothing is permanent and you rapidly learn from your mistakes.
Do not be afraid to be wrong or make a mistake.
Go after a niche. A large part of the reasons my first site sucked was because I was a bad writer and bad designer. An equally large reason my early sites sucked was because they were too broad in scope.
If you are unsure of how to niche out your idea look for feedback from blogs and forums and Google Groups. If you do create a large site you will be able to break out many of the ideas into their own smaller sites.
Build content on that site using a regular human voice. Try to build an audience by participating in other communities.
Within any channel or site limit the number of choices you give people to make it easy for them to do what you want them to. If you have another product idea or target audience you may want to set up another website to sell it.
Read a ton of literature about topics that interest you. If you know a ton about a topic it is far easier to crank out a ton of content about it.
Subscribe to RSS feeds of topical blogs.
Don't worry about keyword density. Write pages that are focused on usability and conversion. Use headings, subheadings, and the like to work the appropriate words into the content.
Use descriptive anchor text. Use many variations.
If you sell SEO services most people who want to buy SEO services want services which can not be done at the prices they are willing to pay unless you do things that will damage their brand. Stay away from bad customers. If you can create passive income streams they will pay you just as much as bad customers do while requiring far less work.
It is better to have a few strong partnerships than to spread yourself too thin working for a ton of customers. A good way to find some customers might be to talk to local merchants you know and trust and do profit share partnerships with them.
Price points target your audience. If you are the cheapest on the market you will find the people who can't afford good products or are not interested in fully committing. About 5 months ago I doubled the price of my ebook and get less refund requests and customers who are more serious and more friendly.
Once you understand how to do well within one social network on the web you can parallel that to other fields that may interest you.