Press Releases: Spam Alley

Feb 24th

From Dan Thies new blog

The online PR thing is automated and all these press releases end up archived somewhere, with link popularity passed on indefinitely (maybe). But it's only a matter of time before the PR wire turns into total spam, isn't it? I can see it now, we'll see days with press release titles like:

Why would an SEO Company create an arbitrary press release to inform the world of his clients keywords.

Would you want your SEO company to use your niche keywords as an excuse to promote themselves?

Maybe tucked away on their sites, in a testimonial or corner somewhere, with a link to your site, but not something you should be reading Fresh off the news wire!!! hehehe

Press releases are an easy way to dominate news search results, and I have even had some rank well in regular Google search results (part of the reason they can rank well is because some of the PR sites have a solid base authority level).

I sometimes use PRWeb to submit them.

A Few New SEO Blogs

Feb 24th

Some of these might not be exactly new, but just new to me, but hey may as well list them...

Key Words - new blog on SitePoint by Dan Thies
SEO Shed - newish SEO blog. I think it is done by Sebastian from SEW forums.
SMART Keywords Blog - newish SEO blog. I think it is done by AussieWebmaster who is a moderator at SEW forums.

Hopefully I will have time to update the big list of SEO Blogs soon. I think the list is getting up near 5 pages. There are a bunch of us.

Creating Multiple Similar Pages: Is it Search Engine Spam?

Feb 21st

Answering a question from SEW Forums

Q: My question is, with this # of links to the same form is it better to save the form with different file extensions or to have all links all going to the same form?

A: I think a large part of the potential problem is intent, which may not be clear and easy for robots and editors alike to be able to understand. If you do go the multi page route you do not necissarily need to optimize those pages ... just get enough link popularity into your site and those pages should rank well. Plus you can pull that data from a database right? [added: ensure you create content which clearly conveys its purpose]

I think another thing you need to look at is the user of your site. If they land on those contact forms or whatever, do those pages provide enough info to actually convert?

Many well known SEOs recommend creating various pages for slightly difference audience and query types, but you want to keep the end user in mind.

If the search engines did not exist people would still

  • create similar documents targeted at different personality types and different motivators / personal triggers

  • create similar documents with different marketing strategies to target different consumer bases
  • create similar documents in different languages or with slang to target different people

The myth of the single ideal searcher or web user is just that: a myth

Deep Links?

Feb 21st

Some SEOs I have spoke with have seen sites that had many deep links do exceptionally well in this past Google update. One of them recommended having at least a 2 to 1 ratio of deep links to links pointing at the root URL. This of course makes the SEO process far more expensive, but should make the results far more stable than just building links to your home page would.

Do you build many deep links?
Have you noticed a similar pattern with the sites doing well in this Google update?
Do you have any tips for maximizing your deep link ratio?

Site Wide Links?

Feb 20th

Jarrod Hunt recently stated

My observations show that those with a low percentage of unique backlinks when compared to the total # of backlinks are doing very poorly in these updates.

Many SEO experts I have been talking with prefer to host a presell page on the other site which is linked to from every page on that site. They then make that page sematically related to their site and link that page to various related pages on their site. Some people are also even throw a few other links to authority sites on those pages.

I believe at Chicago SES Jon Glick stated that each site only gives 1 vote. Algorithms such as Google's Hilltop also deweight nepotistic links. If search engines only want to count 1 vote per site or related site owner why not make that vote as strong as it can possibly be?

Do you still get many sitewide links? What is your prefered method to build links?

AdSense Premium, Blog Spamming Your Own Blog

AdSense Premium Publishers:
can boost CTR by 500% when compared to regular AdSense publishers. Looks like I need to make about a million posts, get a few hundred thousand links, throw AdSense ads on my site, and then give it a try real quick...

Overture : Only for the Big Guys?
Not so. One of my friends told me that he was recently cold called by an Overture ad rep interested in placing ads on his somewhat new site.

Placing Porn in Your Own Comments:
Not that long ago I saw a blog rank for a rather gross porn related term (was trying to gross a friend out) and I got to thinking, now that there is the rel=nofollow you really could get away with just saying that you were too lazy to moderate your old comments and re engineer old pages to rank well for many many many many adult terms (I accidentally rank for some by accidentally using occasional foul language).

How could search engines know the difference between a blogger who is lazy with comment deletion and one who is intentionally marketing that way? When blogs naturally rank for random things it could be really easy to make good bank with a false blog set up cleanly using the NoFollow comment effect.

A Third of Shoppers:
often shop the web and buy at the store

Metcalfe’s Law:
eBay took a beating in the stock market recently due to slower growth. After a ton of brokerage firms downgraded eBay Legg Mason gave them an upgrade.

More Networking Questions:
FCC chairman Powell resigned...wonder who's next? and how that will effect the web? It is amazing how many people in the administration have resigned. Surely a sign that something isn't right.

Anti-Corporate Search Engine Optimization Tips

Jan 20th

Protecting Your Listings:
Many companies and people make a name for themselves but do not adequately protect their own name or site name in the search results.

No matter how powerful your name is if you do not create multiple sites with good inbound linkage data you will likely end up with sites or pages that help destroy your brand listing near the top of search results.

Apparently Search Engine Roundtable has a client experiencing these problems.
Anyone Can Cause Major Effects:
The beauty of the guerilla warfare in-the-search-results marketing ideas are:

  • if you can get your dissent seen others will likely have the same experiences.

  • You can easily encourage others to make similar sites (or create content on your site) and target other similar words.
  • Using a couple days and a couple hundred dollars you can create a site which ends up costing some company hundreds of thousands of dollars to dislodge.

Make Your Corporate Dissent Stick Out:

  • build a viral linking campaign into your site

  • search for other dissenters and contact them. encourage linkage.
  • place BlogAds and other similar advertisements on sites which are owned by vocal people who you know will be outraged by and spread the topic of your site.
  • leave comments and trackbacks on blogs which heavily support the company you dislike. if they care enough they may rant about you and give you additional linkage data.
  • publish using a blogging system and integrate your site into the blog community by making lots of comments on related blog posts and registering your site at many of the blog directories.
  • publishing your content as a blog also can allow others to quickly create you content for you while they are thinking about that topic.
  • always remind people to "link to us"
  • make sure that even if their name is not in your domain name (which you may not want it to be for legal reasons - check the laws where you live!!!) that it looks as though part of your official name contains the name of the company you do not like. this helps to encourage linkage data which overlaps with their name.
  • use fact and research on your site...if it is just a rant site it will not be as effective. people are more moved by emotion than by just numbers though. combine those facts with displaying raw human emotional pain and suffering for maximum effect. (get pictures and stories on your site. Pretend that you are Michael Moore and you are in Flint Michigan).
  • get listed at many directories under categories such as Allegedly Unethical Firms. if it is a single complaint then list in the single complaint category.
  • if you can convince enough other people to also make sites on the same topic then that company can get their own DMOZ category which may rank well based upon the power of the DMOZ directory.
  • make your site as SEO friendly as possible. If you have a site which is taking a major corporation to task feel free to email me and I will see if I can give you a free copy of my ebook.

Effective Anti-Corporate Marketing:
If it is readily apparent that you are biased or if you insult the intelligence of the readers odds are that the site will not have a ton of effect on consumers. If you are just trying to annoy the corporation then it may worth it to make the copy extra spicey, of course check your local laws and whatnot :)

Corporate Responses:
Companies may want to sue you, but then again they will probably not want to throw media weight / plublicity toward your site. Odds are that they will need to invest money into making many unique corporate sites and building the link popularity for them.

As they build sites they have to build up all of them or leverage their link popularity well to avoid your site from showing up.

Free PPC Stats, SEO Friendly Affiliate Systems, Search Referral Tracking, Content Ideas

Jan 20th

Free PPC Stats:
ThreadWatch offers up a free list of PPC terms and their prices.

What Does Bill Gates think of Free Market Data?
He loves it!!! He was found hanging out over at SearchEngineBlog.

SEO Friendly Affiliate Systems:
Another article (with pictures) similar to the one I linked to before which explains the problems with SEO friendly affiliate programs.

Name that Referrer:
Black Knight posts about the lowering quality of referral data.

Creating Content?
ways to come up with content creation ideas.

Google Hilltop Algorithm

Why Page Theme is Usually More Important than PageRank:
In the Hilltop white paper they talk about how they can use expert documents to help compute relevancy. An expert document is a non affiliated page which links to many related resources. If page A is related to page B and page B is related to page C then a connection between A & C are assumed.

Additionally Hilltop states that it strongly considers page title and page headings in relevancy scores (in fact these elements can be considered more important than link text).

The benefit of Hilltop over raw PageRank (Google) is that it is topic sensitive - and is thus generally harder to manipulate than buying some random high power off topic link would be. The benefits of Hilltop over topic distillation (Teoma) are that Hilltop is quicker & cheaper to calculate, and that it tends to have more broad coverage.

When Hilltop does not have enough expert sites the feature can be turned off. It is believed that Google is using Hilltop to help sort the relevancy for some of their search results today.

Jon Kleinberg, Title Attribute Test, Making Friends

Home Page of the Day:
Jon Kleinberg - he worked on lots of the underlying theory that created the hubs and authority ranking system which eventually led to Teoma.

He has all kinds of cool PDFs on his site such as Maximizing the Spread of Influence through a Social Network - cool stuff. If I were better at math and network theory stuff his home page would be a virtual candy store.

Interesting & Awaiting Results:
fathom is conducting a link title attribute test

Undersold ad space
Anna Kournikova on advertising...er, advertising on Anna Kournikova

Illigitimate ad space:
Bush Administration Invents 'News' and Pays Journalist

Hosed Ad Space:
Kraft WHITE American Cheese - AdWords ad targeting problems :(

Really, I am not a Slimeball Ads:
Ken Lay starts advertising on AdWords. Interesting what the other AdWords ads say about him too.

Meta "ingnore this part of the page" tag:
I can't really see it coming anytime soon, but some want to push the idea.

MSN Beta to ramp up testing:
MSN Beta to ramp up testing

Developing a Directory?
The Don'ts of Directory Development offers tips to help you get your directory off the ground.

ESearch Online E Search Online ApexSearch Apex Search (look out):
another SEO firm out of Vegas that is allegedly cold calling people.

I did not find any legitimate backlinks into the apexesearch site. The only one I found in Google was from a forum solicitation by a guy by the name of Sincity

Sincity would like to offer you...

In that forum post it states:

real results refferences provided in business since 1996 no cusomer complaints EVER!!!!

and yet its registration details state

Registered through: GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: APEXESEARCH.COM
Created on: 20-Apr-04

Domain Name: E-SEARCHONLINE.COM
Created on: 22-Dec-04

I did not see any meaningful company information on their company information page either http://www.apexesearch.com/info.htm. Some people are wondering if this firm has anything to do with Traffic Power. If any SEO calls you up out of the blue trying to tell you that you MUST buy something TODAY then odds are they are NOT worth buying from. Cold calls = crap. Traffic

How Not to Make Friends:
Promote your services in others forums while trashing their business model in your own forum.

How can a person wanting to set up an automated link network say that people should not be able to buy links by PageRank?

How Not to Make Friends...Part 2:
For a while the name of the SEO firm that wanted RustyBrick to link to them was posted in this rant thread.

One time some guy with a big mouth emailed me about how great his firm was and felt that for that reason he felt he deserved a link from my site. I also had a hunch that when another well known firm told me to add them to my SEO forums page that they were spamming me. Not too long ago I got an email from an express link building firm which used "stuff" as the the email title. I wonder how many people use these same shoddy techniques to "promote" (or otherwise destroy the brand of) their clients sites?

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