Update to SEO for Firefox

While I was off on vacation apparently there was a childnodes error on Yahoo! SERPs with SEO for Firefox. An SEO Book reader nicknamed nastyw fixed the error and a programmer friend of mind recently updated the code. We also added phrase and exact match to the broad match values for the Google traffic estimator link at the top of the SERPs.

Buy Old Trusted DMOZ Listed Domains & Sites for $8

Justin Laing recently emailed me to let me know about his SEO sitefinder tool, which uses the ODP and the Internet Archive to find DMOZ listed websites that have not been updated in a while.

Domain Tools also allows you to find expiring domains that will be up at auction soon. You can view their top picks or use the right rail filters on that page to search for DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory listed domains.

Free tools such as DropScout allow you to find expiring high PageRank domains.

You can also look at TDNam for expiring domains, and either use software to filter through those OR sort the results by bids and prices. Some of the domains with many bidders are pure play domainers, but others are old trustworthy sites in need of a good loving owner.

Free Mind Mapping Software

Mind mapping software is useful for mapping out complex subject matters in a visual presentation. Free Mind is a free tool to help you create mind maps that can be formatted as HTML, AJAX, or PDF.

Yahoo Keyword Suggestion Tool Blunder

Yahoo / Overture had the default status as THE keyword tool for about a decade. They lost that last year when Google started opening up their data a bit more. Now Microsoft is getting into the game offering more useful tools and more data. How does Yahoo respond? They stop supporting their keyword tool. No results, no 301 redirect, no rebrand, no description of why it is broke, no anything. Since my keyword tool is powered by their keyword tool I am getting 10 to 20 emails a day. How many people are not emailing? How much more traffic is Yahoo getting than I am? Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of shareholder value are wasted each day with that move.

The best spot to market yourself is on your own site. As long as Yahoo continues to undermine their own assets without regard or thought their marketplace will remain inefficient, and each day they will continue to lose marketshare. They paid $350 million for Zimbra, but what are the odds of them not screwing that up? They have too many half done projects that do not gel together.

Quintura's Seo Book Search Cloud

Quintura recently made a search page for Seo Book. Their search service is likely going to be more useful for large publishers with millions of pages than it is on a personal blog, but give it a try and see what you think.

Their cloudlike visual search service is a great tool for finding related keyword modifiers used in competing sites, but I don't think we will see such technology front and center at the mainstream search engines anytime soon due to future advertising regulation which will make it harder to integrate ads and make search results more profitable than the current Google format is. Though I would love to see their technology integrated against social bookmarking sites and personal search history data.

Sponsored Content Hosting & Renting Subdomains

Ads becoming content is not only true from a thin affiliate site perspective, but also on larger more traditional ad buys. Selling content hosting is going mainstream. About.com has been selling custom branded sponsored content for about a year. This WSJ page hawking Accenture is a PageRank 4, and this BizJournals lead generation page is also an indication of where sponsored content hosting is heading. How long will it be before you can log on to the WSJ ad platform and just buy a topic and upload a page?

A few months back Threadwatch had a post about Yahoo selling subdomains. Yesterday I stumbled across an AdSense ad for a company selling subdomains that they forward to other sites. I don't believe it is smart to build a big site on someone else's domain, but if you wanted to fling up a bunch of spam or create a single targeted ad page that goes after a competitive phrase why not leech of their authority and let them assume the risks?

There are no search engine guidelines on hosting advertisements for third parties because it is not an idea Google wants people thinking about or talking publicly about, and they can't edit out WSJ.com if they will want the WSJ to spread their public relations messages and business interests.

Google Gadgets for Link Research & Keyword Research

A while back I created a Google Gadget for keyword research and competitive analysis. I also just created a Google Gadget for link analysis.

With a click of a mouse you can add either of these to you iGoogle homepage. In addition, you can install them into any webpage by inserting a small JavaScript code. Visit the SEO Book Google Gadgets page to check them out. Please comment with any feedback you have on improving these.

I also am inserting them in this post so you can see what they look like in a web page

SEO Book Keyword Research & Competitive Analysis Google Gadget

SEO Book Link Research Google Gadget

SEO Tool Roundup

I recently came across a number of new and useful SEO tools. Some of them were emailed to me and others were from browsing around the web. Below is a roundup post citing some of them. Here is a free tool to search for DMOZ categories that are being actively maintained. Now someone just needs to cross reference that by the DMOZ extortion prices.

I recently installed the Xinu competitive research tool on my tools subdomain.

On DaveN's blog Rob recently mentioned many cool greasemonkey SEO scripts.

Tips on how to use a free open-source spam generator. (I have not tested this).

TrustMeter Wordpress plugin - shows where your pages rank for their page titles.

Joost also recently created a meta tag plugin for Wordpress.

oyoy.eu - lists a whole bunch of free SEO tools.

Google Supplemental Results & Rankings vs Internal Link Weight

Over at Seo4fun, Halfdeck created some free tools to estimate your internal PageRank flow based on your internal linkage data and how you link out to other sites. He offers a free PHP script and a Java version. He also went into great detail to explain how to use his free Javascript version, offering better documentation than many paid tools.

Look at how you flow PageRank internally and compare that to your stats.

  • Is most of your traffic to category level pages, or are you flowing enough PageRank down to help the lower level pages get indexed and rank?
  • Which pages are getting the most traffic or making the most money. Does your link structure line up with that? If not, where can you add a few links to help further boost those earnings?
  • What low value pages are linked to way too much? Does it make sense to remove those links or use nofollow to prevent passing authority to them?

    I installed the PHP version here if you want to try it out.

    Half might add a PageRank scraping tool to the Java version. If he does that, grabs page titles, and grabs internal anchor text, then his tool would likely be superior to OptiSpider, which currently sells for $129.

  • Mint: Keep Your Analytics / Website Traffic Stats Private for Only $30

    Many of the large web players offer or will soon offer analytics products for free. If you use them they may eventually charge you for the service, or they may keep them free but look for other ways to charge you, and use your own statistics against your best interests, by doing one or more of the following

    • using your site to help categorize keywords that competitors should bid on (and do SEO for)

    • compare your direct traffic to search traffic and flag your site for review to potentially reduce your search traffic if it is outside the normal range for your given industry
    • compare your traffic from their engine to traffic streams from other known clean sources (such as competing engines) and flag your site for review if it falls outside of a certain range
    • compare your keyword cost and conversion rate relative to other words and reprice accordingly

    The General Competitive Trend:

    One day you are the top ranked lyrics site making good money pitching ringtones. A few months later the search results are cluttered with YouTube videos, show a Google music vertical result at the top, and sites like Yahoo Music start offering lyrics. Income is down 60% and the trend has just begun.

    Are Your Stats a Commodity?

    As more of the ad networks become automated and leverage CPA based targeting, advertisers are going to have a better idea of where there is value. Google and your large competitors have access to enough data to capture the large trends, but what happens on the micro-level is what is most relevant to you, and, if your site is not as strong as competing sites, keeping that data private (or, at least as best you can given new affordable competitive analysis services) is required if you want to maintain and grow your business.

    How do Ad Networks Increase Profit Margins?

    Saying that a search engine may use your data to make them more money is more logical than it is cynical, especially if they are offering the product for free. Some of the smaller search / ad networks, like Shopping.com, have already repriced entire categories of keywords based on advertiser conversion data from free tools. Google has already used my name and brand as the AdLink text for competing offers. And who hasn't been hit by an AdWords quality score?

    Independent Free Services Have Costs Too

    Even free services like StatCounter and SiteMeter are not free due to one or more of the following reasons

    • they usually require a sitewide outbound link

    • sharing some of your stats with everyone
    • selling your stats to a third party
    • limiting your feature set or account size and then charging you to keep all the data they built up about your site over months or years

    Think of how much you spent building your brand, your link equity, and your traffic stream. Is it worth giving someone all that data and a sitewide link for something you can get for a one time $30 fee?

    Mint is Soooooooo Much Better...

    Shawn Inman's Mint (available at HaveaMint.com for $30) is a server based web analytics tool that you can buy licenses to for $30 per site. It tracks traffic trends, referrals, and search trends. In addition it has many extensible peppers which allow you to track things such as

    • browser type

    • country origin
    • internal searches
    • outbound clicks
    • watching specific pages
    • hottest and coldest page trends

    How to Leverage Your Stats

    • Look for the pages that rank for a wide array of keywords and use the format from those to model your other pages against

    • Point more link equity at your best performing pages.
    • If you have a deep section that has little link equity and little to no traffic try promoting it in the site's navigational scheme. If traffic picks up and conversions increase keep promoting that section.

    What if I Want to Share My Stats?

    If you have an authoritative site and make your money from selling ads you may want to make your stats public, which Mint allows you to do with one click. Doing so does not require you to hassle with logging into multiple Google accounts or having to worry about compromising your other features at sites like Google.

    What Does Mint Look Like?

    I set my stats here to public, but I may change it to private at some point.

    Is This a Paid Ad?

    Nope. I just recently bought Mint, and thought it rocks, so I wanted to post about it.