Problems with the Google Search Suggest Tool:
If this tool ever made default it would help users search with longer queries (and thus more targeted searches), but it would artifically condense traffic patterns...thus making top keywords more expensive and static on both the free and advertising side of Google. The drop in ad supply would cause prices to shot up and encourage lots of click fraud. The other obvious problem with the Google search suggestion tool is that it suggests Eric Rice is a child molester, which is obviously uncool for Eric...
Snitch Squad: Google to hire remote quality raters. A while ago I was naive enough to think that spam reporting was generally worthwhile, but usually it has no effect and if it does then you are working for another company free of charge.
Google stands behind the branding / marketing angle of letting the democratic nature of the web determine relevancy, but just like all other engines they hand edit at least some search results. At least 9 time out of 10 people reporting spam would be far better off focusing thier time on making their own sites better instead of worrying about competitors.
Make content, socially interact, buy / rent / trade links...there are lots of things you can do to make progress. Even if you tell on someone today odds are that another site will replace them tommorow. Just make a kick ass site and get the links required for a search engine to understand that your site kicks ass.
What Links are Important?
Everyday someone has a "the sky is falling" post about how smart search algorithms are and how some links do not count at all. Recently WebmasterWorld hosted one about BlueFind. SearchEngineWatch hosted another thread where the author was determined to speak his own outcome when he started the thread. My good buddy Lots0 shot him down in post 25:
I just watched a page climb to page one for a VERY VERY competitive keyword, using ONLY guest book links with keywords in the anchor text... And No I am not going to give you the URL in a public forum, unless you want to send me about $25,000 first (expected first quarter earnings for this page). ...
I donï¿½t know why some people want to give google more credit than they are due. I have seen many many people come on a forum like this and make all these statements about what google does or does not do, usually most all of these statement are FALSE.
My own opinion, I think some people want google to be some super all knowing, all powerful search engine and that this super search engine should be able to do all, even if at this time most of the things that some of these people think google does are technically impossible.
Also this idea that everyone that works at google is smarter than the rest of us, I find insulting. I have been pitting my wits against the ï¿½google super search engineï¿½ and their ï¿½super brainedï¿½ employees for years... and winning (as have most of the folks around here).
WebmasterWorld has a good thread about building a linking tool. Also I recently got to try out Total Optimizer Pro, but left for Vegas and have been playing vacation too much. I will hopefully have more time to review it soon, but I am starting to think that much of the best link building software will probably be custom developed software.
It took me about 15 minutes to write a Google API app with PHP to fish these out of the SERPs, using a very small list of seed terms (<20 words). I stopped it after a while, but it's like shooting fish in a barrel to find these "unfootprintable" pages. It will get even easier as these sites get indexed, because it increases the odds of a "hit" when searching for them.
Free PageRank Tool: yet another one. DaveN says you should run it through a proxy.
Article Submission Spreadsheet:
Recently a guy named Zoran read my ebook and is trying to rank well for stuff like Search
Engine Positioning Firm. He submitted articles to a bunch of sites and created a free XLS articles checksheet which shows over 70 sites where you can submit articles. Thanks Zoran :)
Obligatory SEO Motivational Poster (Funny?): Many SEOs spend too much time at the computer (well at least I do). Thus I designed and framed a wonderful deluxe collectible limited edition motivational poster...which reminds me to do stuff like exercise and see the sun.
Feel free to use it if you need some motivation :-)
Deep Link Ratio:
When links develop naturally interior pages of a site acquire numerous links. Sites which have a ton of deep links usually have a broad range of refering websites and good traffic. This free deep link tool queries Yahoo! to look at the percentage of backlinks which are deep links.
(link from Tara via Danny)
Gary Stein talks about the keyword untitled (and gives my ebook a good review...thanks for that Gary).
I think something like Untitled Document or Untitled Page would be a cool name for an SEO firm.
I was on another marketing show recently. I feel weird being listed on sites with guys like Bob Bly or Jack Trout...I still have a ton of learning I need to do...luckily for me guys like those write awesome books I can read.
How to: Automate Reciprocal Link Exchanges
I am not normally a fan of automating link exchange contact emails, but Doug Heil (also known as Ihelpyouservices) points out a "refreshing" link exchange request email that did a good job of fooling him. Arelis is one of the more popular reciprocal link exchange software programs.
$30 is not a ton to spend for individualized report so I did not expect to get a ton out of the report. I would say if you are new to the web it might be well worth spending $30 on the report. They really only need to find one thing wrong or teach you one good tip to make the report worth its price. One thing I would recommend to improve the report is to give 1 to 10 type scores for each element of the report versus yes or no results.
Branded Search ROI
Google exec David Scacco spoke at the ChannelAdvisor summit. Among Andy Beal's notes of his speech were the following #s
28% of Google searches are for a "product name", 9% are for a "brand name" and 5% are searches for a "company name". "Brand" keywords also have a 8x higher ROI than generic keywords
Google Adwords and the Lost Art of Copywriting
Tens of thousands of businesses, large and small, use Google Adwords and Overture Match (from Yahoo!) to advertise their products and services on the Internet. ... There are many variables, but SEM professionals have focused heavily on the importance of "keywords" – to the extent that entire sub-industries have sprung up to show clients how to create lists of keywords! What has been overlooked, in our estimation, is the good old art of copywriting itself – how you write the ad. ... After all, an ad is an ad whether it appears in a newspaper, a magazine, or on Google or Overture. You've got space for a short headline and a brief description – briefer on Google than Overture, but at least Google doesn't truncate your listing, as Overture does. Given how little space you get to work with, and the fact that you have no visual opportunity, it is crucial to create compelling, snappy ads. Unfortunately, the vast majority are nothing of the sort. Most of them look like badly written classified ads – and that's the main reason most of them will deliver poor click through rates and disappointing results. source: BusinessKnowledgeSource.com
Frequently direct ads that are focused on the customers needs and wants use easy to understand language and are the best performing ads. Many classified ads are tested over and over again...against the rain, the day of the week, the season, etc. and they continue to reappear because they provide exactly what the consumer wants. Most flashy magazine or TV type ads are not tested anywhere near as deeply...if they were, more of them would become the boring ads that speak directly to the consumer.
What is 3 Way Linking?
Some webmasters own multiple sites and try to build up one of their specific sites by offering link exchanges from their other sites. In doing this they add a link to you on their other site and get you to link to the main site they are trying to build up.
What Benefits Exist in 3 Way Linking?
Citation analysis works well in academic environments but kinda falls a part in a commercially driven direct marketing environment (which is what the web is).
Many search algorithms may be able to detect link trading as an artificial means of boosting the popularity of both sites and discount the value of these links.
By doing a three way link from sites hosted on different servers a webmaster can build link popularity without the search engine being able to detect the link trading as easily.
The Problem with 3 Way Link Exchanges
Most people engaging in 3 way link exchanges are doing it with the express intent to manipulate search results. This typically means they are trying to make automated bots think their ideas are better than they are, and are willing to do deceptive things to do it.
There are legitimate reasons to do three way links, but most of the three way link partnerships I have been offered are not worth touching with a 10 ft pole.
The real problem is that if their two sites are not connected and they are primarily working to benefit the link popularity of their main site then it does not really hurt them if the site linking to you gets banned. If those sites get banned then they parse no link popularity to you.
In doing this webmasters can agressively market their high margin websites while keeping them somewhat shielded from the dangerous effects of their aggressive promotion.
In fact many marketers might set up 20 or 30 or more secondary sites to echange links with.
An Example 3 Way Link Technique
Some people will set up a bunk directory and ask for you to link back to one of their partner sites. In doing this they get links that would cost them thousands of dollars a month for making an investment which is sometimes less than $100.
They do not mind linking out to somewhat crapy sites because they are getting tons of free marketing for 5 - 10 minutes worth of work each day. I have recently seen more and more directories partnering up to promote more and more sleezy high margin pharmacy and debt type websites.
3 Way Linking: Moral of the Story
If you are trading links with a debt reduction site on your personal hobby site to list in a directory of some sort it is not a fair trade.
Many other sites will be suspicious of you and not want to trade links with you if you have shady off topic links on your site.
If people you do not know want you to trade three way links you should do a bit of investigating before just saying yes.