Free Link Analysis Software Tool

Feb 17th

I will be the first to say that most SEO software is garbage. A complete waste of money. Most of what you want for SEO software is 100% free. This amazing find is no different.

Link Tree is a free web based link analysis software program which compares the links to other websites to your own. This is not a boring overly dressed up link tool (like what Marketleap offers), this tool is super duper cool. What does Link Tree Do?

Link tree looks for topical hubs which are not yet linking to your site.

How does Link Tree Work?

Enter the URLs of up to seven of your competitors and then your own URL at the bottom. Any page that links to at least two of your competitors which does not link to your site will display on the results.

What does that do for my site?

It shows you where some potential easy link opportunities are. If you have done a good job concentrating on creating quality content, then getting the links should be a snap.

Give Link Tree a try!

Creative ways to use Link Tree

  • If one of your competitors moves websites you can tell the people who were linking to them that the site is no longer there. You can also state that you have a wonderful resource they may want to link to. People are more likely to help you after you have helped them.

  • Find where link popularity is comming from if you have a couple competitors who are building bogus link popularity in kahoots. Perhaps you can also rent some quality inbound links to level the playing field.
  • Find quality resources you did not know about by viewing the pages that link to many resources in your field.
  • You can also set one of the test URLs to an extremely popular topical website, which will aid you in viewing the hub links which go into any one competitor at a time.
  • You can set one of the URLs to a really popular site. It will act as an overly generic catch all to make it easier to find hidden smaller hubs in your field. After you have completed your task you can then switch to another generic link to find more micro hubs.

I originally found Link Tree from Larry Chase.

I also use OptiLink, but if you can not afford the $224 fee then Link Tree is probably the best link software on the web.

Google Update Brandy

Feb 17th

Drinking Brandy Slows Down Response Time: So I am slow to get the "official" name of the last Google Update. It is Update Brandy, I thought it was Jason or Zorlax or something.

In this WMW thread Google Guy talks about semantics, SEO, & overoptimization.
(found on Search Engine Blog)

If we dig deeper into the Google Update Brandy thread we enjoy a great laugh. Read what MakeMeTop post, and then read the reply.

Free Prize Inside - Seth Godin

Feb 13th

OFF TOPIC General Internet Marketing

I got some sort of cold and I keep sneezing.

In case you do not know who Seth Godin is, he is an internet marketer and book author with a cult following. Godin's books are best known for emulating the very concepts they cover.

  • Unleashing the Ideavirus is the most downloaded ebook ever.

  • Purple Cow had a remarkable distribution chanel by coming in purple milk cartons.
  • It is no surprise then that his most upcomming book, titled Free Prize Inside is to include special packaging (most likely with a free prize inside).

Free Prize Inside is set to ship in 10 weeks and I have already ordered mine.

I have seen Seth when he came to Rhode Island and have also went to his office to hang out for the day. If you look closely in the picture in this branding article, those are my hands holing the Yorkie bar while I am standing next to Seth.

Seth is one of the best speakers and marketing thinkers I have met. Here is Seth's post about Free Prize Inside.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!

New Google Algorthim Update

Feb 11th

It appears Google has gone far beyond stemming with their current algorithm update. They seem to be looking for semantic intent of the query as well as the page, and then returning a result based upon it. The resulting pages frequently may not even have the query on the page.

(original discussion in HighRankings Forums) Many local sites from Florida to Austin to NYC have taken a beating by the recent Google algorithm updates (Florida and Austin.) Is it any wonder they named these recent Google algorithm updates after locations?

Google still have some things to work out with the new algorithm though, as many search results are still a wee bit funky. If the relevancy only drops on commercial searches that is not so bad in the eyes of Google since other products such as Froogle will help in this area. Perhaps semantics are the way to separate the white pages from the yellow pages!

FindWhat Acquires Espotting

Finally "FindWhat said shareholders of privately-held Espotting would get 7 million shares of FindWhat stock and about $20 million in cash. FindWhat said the total deal values Espotting at about $170 million based on last Friday's closing stock prices"
(from Rueters) Back in June FindWhat & Espotting crafted a deal of similar value. The problem with the old deal is that some of Espotting's books looked weak and FindWhat has seen its stock rise considerably. The original deal was 8.1 million shares of FindWhat and $27 million in cash.

On a side note, it looks as if someone will be buying $200 in beer at the next Pub Conference.

"FindWhat also reported fourth-quarter net income of $3.5 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $2.7 million, or 14 cents per share.

For 2004, the company offered guidance for revenue of $95 million, with net income of 60 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group, had expected revenue of $96.6 million and earnings per share of 63 cents."
(source News.com)

Major Web Directories

Feb 6th

This is a list of Major Web Directories and reviewed web guides. Web Directories
Business.com charges a $299 annual listing fee. Business.com is a purchase more for direct traffic than link popularity.
DMOZ - also known as the Open Directory Project - provides free listings, but it may take a while to get your site listed.
Gimpsy verb based directory which charges a one time $40 fee or also list your site free if you are willing to wait 21 days.
GoGuides one time $40 fee or provides free listings for editors.
JoeANT one time $40 fee or provides free listings for editors (it is quick and easy to become an editor.)
Lycos Directory European based directory.
Skaffe one time $40 fee or provides free listings to editors. Originally Built from GoGuides core data.
Uncover the Net - Newer directory which has more link popularity than all but a couple directories on this list. My friend Shawn has done a fantastic job promoting Uncover the Net. $39 fee. Highly recommended
Web Beacon one time $40 fee or provides free listings to editors. Originally Built from GoGuides core data.
Wow Directory - Bruce Stone's directory. Offers free inclusion, paid inclusion, and sponsorship opportunities. Highly recommended
Yahoo $299 annual fee or free for non commercial websites.

Reviewed Web Guides

About
BBC Webguide
Lirarians' Index of the Internet
WWW Virtual Library

More Directory Information

the directory archives is my ongoing project which is to be a directory of directories. I also like a number of smaller directories like Rubber Stamped, and recently wrote a more up to date post on directories.

Pay Per Click Search Engines

List of major world wide pay per click search engines. Pay Per Click

I recommend starting out using the pay per click search engines with the greatest distribution first as they have faster feedback loops, higher traffic quality, and greater distribution.

Google AdWords (1) - powers Google, Ask Jeeves, AOL, IWON, Earthlink and many other sites

Overture (2) appears on Yahoo, MSN InfoSpace, AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and many other sites. Owned by Yahoo.

---------

Pay per click search engines usually drive most of their traffic based on their partner network. Pay per click ads are mixed in with meta search engines and usually exist at the top of search results on major search engines. (personal rankings)
Enhance Interactive (6)
Espotting (European) powers many European portals which are not powered by Overture or AdWords
Findology - smaller PPC which allows you to select which partners your ads will appear on and lets you target your ads geographically. Primarily focused on lead generation, retail, and adult traffic markets. (8)
FindWhat (3)
Google AdWords (1) - powers Google, Ask Jeeves, AOL, IWON, Earthlink and many other sites
Kanoodle (5) - Kanoodle has some really cool features and a good contextual advertising program (especially for financial type websites).
LookSmart - while actually being a directory, LookSmart has a decent sized distribution network. I have been told many complaints about their poor customer service though and when I tried their engine their traffic quality was crap. Recommend avoiding (4)
Overture (2) appears on Yahoo, MSN InfoSpace, AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and many other sites. Owned by Yahoo.
Search123 (7)

Major World Wide Search Engines

This is a list of the major world wide search engines. Major World Wide Search Engines

(Personal rankings) appear next to each search engine.
AllTheWeb - powers Lycos. Database created from Yahoo! Slurp spider. (4)
AltaVista - on its last leg. Database created from Yahoo! Slurp spider. (5)
InfoSpace - meta search engine which also powers many other meta search engines (6)
Google - powers AOL, Google...(1)
Teoma - powers Ask Jeeves (3)
Yahoo! - powers Yahoo! (2)

SEO Authority Websites

Feb 6th

When people talk about hubs and authorities, these are some of the most authoritative sites in the SEO industry. Search Engine Watch - considered the bible of search engine information. Danny Sullivan keeps up with all angles of search. He provides an excellent free newsletter (SearchDay) and also hosts Search Engine Strategies.

Search Engine Guide - probably considered the #2 site in search, Robert Cloude collects articles from various authors which provide an in depth review of what is going on in the search world.

Pandia - a bit more of an old school website, Pandia still provides many quality articles about SEO and the search engine industry.

Search Marketing Info - this is my article and general information website. While not as powerful as the above sites yet, I look to keep improving throughout the next couple years to increase the usability and quality of my content to where the site is equal parts beef and cake.

Black Hat SEO - nobody has made a worst practice SEO guide until I created this evil being. It will probably never garner amazing support, but the site is fun and I have been told it has helped many webmasters.

SEO Forums

Feb 6th

This is a somewhat comprehensive list of SEO forums. If you know of any SEO forums that are missing from this list, feel free to add them in the comments and I may eventually get around to adding them to the list.

Update:
Due to popular demand and numerous customer requests we added an exclusive private SEO community forum to our online SEO training program.

Forum Meta Information:
There are a ton of SEO forums and it is hard to keep up with all of the information that is put out in all of them. Fortunately there are a bunch of bloggers like me who try to point out some of the good stuff in them. ThreadWatch is a bit of a hybrid, sorta like a blog and a forum. It is ran by DaveN, many other friends, and I.

ThreadWatch also sports a good number of gossip column type entries that makes each visit enjoyable. ThreadWatch was created to help the mid to high level SEO professional. ... on with the list of forums.

Top Rated SEO Forums:

  • SearchGuild - Chris Ridings SEO Forums. Very open and layback...good community feel to it, though activity has been a bit slow over the summer...I moderate at SearchGuild.

  • V7N Web Dev Community - John Scott's SEO forum...John is known to challenge some of the "norms" and put out info that sometimes goes against the grain. I moderate at V7N.
  • Search Engine Watch Forums - newer SEO forums where many long time / old school SEOs hang out. Lots of breaking news breaks at SEW forums.
  • Digital Point - a newcomer on the forum scene, Digital Point has quickly grown to be the most active forum by combining a fairly hands off social policy with innovative forum features and cool SEO tools.
  • SEO Guy Forums - newer SEO forum which has taken off well. SEO Guy is a longtime member of SEO Chat. When he made his own forums many of SEO Chat's best members went with him. I moderate at the SEO Guy SEO forums.

What I consider to be a top rated SEO forum is one where:

  • it is ok to express various opinions (if you find an SEO technique effective it is ok to discuss it even if search engines do not particularly like that technique); &

  • there is a high signal to noise ratio.

Largest SEO Forums:

  • Digital Point - a newcomer on the forum scene, Digital Point has quickly grown to be the most active forum by combining a fairly hands off social policy with innovative forum features and cool SEO tools.

  • Jimworld - Webmaster Forums. The late Jim Wilson created what I think was the first popular SEO / webmaster forum. From what I know the forum seems well past its brighter days.
  • SitePoint Forums - webmaster coding forums. Many of the other forums have been primarily driven by the marketing angle. SitePoint places more focus on coding and site development than most of the other large forums.
  • SEO Chat - It was originally started by Darrin Ward around the same time as SearchGuild. Darrin sold SEO Chat to the owner of the DevShed network. SEO Chat has a ton of ads on it and is advertised heavily on networks like O'Reilly.

    The link rentals mean their posts come up well in search results and also that they parse a good amount of link popularity out in post sig links. The heavy on site advertising (some pages have huge ads and even have sponsored text links for buying prescription drugs on them) coupled with the large # of "me too" type posts that their link popularity has makes SEO Chat appear unappealing to many experienced SEOs.

  • Webmaster World - Webmaster Forums. Currently this is perhaps the largest SEO / Webmaster forum (although Digital Point might be getting more daily posts). It was created by Bret Tabke and a few other webmasters with the goal of beating out Jimworld. They appear successful in that goal, but now Webmaster World has strict posting guidelines and over time lost many of its best members. Many of the best old timers from Webmaster World now post at the Search Engine Watch Forums.

The volume of information in large SEO forums is immense...hence the fact I classify them as large ;-)

Large SEO forums tend to eventually lose some of their community feel. They are hard to scale without losing that community feel, and when that community feel goes away the forums become too hard to moderate as the signal to noise ratio makes them too hard to keep up with. Digital Point has done an amazing job of scaling out a forum that still has a good sense of community to it.

The Big SEO Forum List:

  • Abakus Forums - SEO forums - smaller, but they have a larger German version too. Webby moderates at a good number of various SEO forums. Swell chap :)

  • Anthony Parsons SEO Forum - Ran by ... Anthony Parsons. It is still rather quiet as I do not think he has promoted his forum much, but Anthony makes many thoughtful posts at many other SEO forums.
  • AOSEP - newer smallish SEO forum started by some Searchguild moderators.
  • Band of Gonzo's Webmasters Forums - A few of the lead posters at WebProWorld created their own SEO forums. Dodger tends to dig up a good number of interesting news pieces.
  • Buscador Espa�ol - Small Spanish SEO forums.
  • Cre8asite Forums - usability / design / webmaster forums - mid sized. Guys Like Peter D, Black Knight, and bragadocchio post many enlightening posts with lots of experience in business and marketing.
  • Digital Point Forums - Shawn Hogan's mid sized SEO forum. Shawn is a programmer by trade and has created some of the coolest free SEO tools available. His forums tend to be rather liberal and many people who are kicked out of other SEO forums learn now to behave before they get kicked out of his (I do not think I have ever seen him ban anyone). He seems like a rather swell chap.
  • Dirson Google Foro - Spanish forums about Google.
  • Foro Buscadores - Spanish seo forums.
  • Forums Abondance - French webmaster forums.
  • Geeks on Steroids - Newer SEO & webmaster discussion forums.
  • Highrankings SEO Forums - Jill Whalen's mid sized SEO forums. Jill is branded as "the SEO copywriter." Her forum is geared primarily at people new to SEO, but there are also a variety of more experienced SEOs there too. Her forum tends to be rather conservative or "white hat."
  • HTML.it - Italian webmaster forums.
  • IhelpYou Forums - Doug Heil's mid sized SEO forums. Doug is a self appointed crusader against search engine spam. He is quick to judge and his opinion is strongly reflected in his forums. Above when I wrote about the gossip column posts at ThreadWatch the one about Doug Heil's SPAM comes to mind.
  • Jimworld - large webmaster forums. A bit past its prime in my opinion. A larger and older forum on the forum scene which I rarely visit.
  • LilEngine Forums - smaller SEO forums. There is not much activity at LilEngine. When I first started moderating there many people did tons of link drops, but I have been trying to delete them out as best I can.
  • Ozzu - mid sized webmaster forums. I do not post at their forum frequently enough to adequately review it, except to say that it has a decent signal to noise ratio and a cool looking design :)
  • Resource Zone - Webmaster forums for public interfacing with the DMOZ (Open Directory Project) editors. Lots of major webmaster conflicts occur there. Some of the editors are great, but some are also judgemental and mean. Often frustrated webmasters directly accessing these editors means you get to see the best and worst the editors have to offer.
  • Search Engine Watch Forums - newer SEO forums where many long time SEOs hang out. One of my favorite SEO forums.
  • SEO Blackhat Forums - paid forum discussing aggressive SEO techniques.
  • SEO Chat large SEO forums. The signal there is kinda drowned out by tons link drops and some of the top SEOs are driven away by the massive amounts of advertising on that forum.
  • SEO-Forums.com - James Mann's small new SEO forums. I have not visited it enough to give it any sort of review...I can only state that it is kinda small and somewhat new.
  • SEO Guy Forums - newer SEO forum which has taken off well. SEO Guy is a longtime member of SEO Chat. When he made his own forums many of SEO Chat's best members went with him.
  • SEO Debat - Danish SEO forums.
  • SEO Place - Derek Chew's newer SEO forum. Derek also runs Organic Rankings.
  • SEO Refugee - independent SEO forum which sprung up after SEO Chat imploded.
  • SEO Town - Darrin Ward's new small SEO forum. After his 1 year non competing clause with SEO Chat lapsed he made the site, but it has not really picked up much steam.
  • SEO Talk - Newer small SEO forum from the people of Webmaster Talk.
  • SEO Zip - Nandini Maheshwari's newer SEO forums. I help her moderate there.
  • SearchGuild - Chris Riding's mid sized SEO Forums. One of my favorite forums. Great signal to noise ratio and great sense of community.
  • Search This Forums - small webmaster forums.
  • SitePoint Forums - large webmaster coding forums. Site is primarily focused on coding and web development instead of marketing.
  • Spider Food Forums - J.K. Bowman's SEO forums.
    Suchmaschinen Community - German SEO forums.

  • Syndk8 - black hat SEO forums.
  • Top25Web - Anthony Ettinger's small SEO forums. He is a programmer by trade, and I believe the Top25Web forums are primarily geared toward those new to SEO.
  • V7N Web Dev Community - mid sized webmaster forums - John Scott's SEO forums. John has a tendancy to be blunt, but he means well. I post there frequently. :)

  • Web Inspect Forums - smaller, newer forums
  • Webmaster World - large webmaster forums. Strict posting policies. Search Engine Watch forums has recently cut into their userbase.
  • Web Pro World - mid sized webmaster forums. An SEO forum aimed at people new to the SEO scene.
  • Webmaster Homepage - German webmaster forums.
  • Webmaster Talk - webmaster forums focused around coding, creating, hosting, and promoting sites.
  • Xeoweb SEO Foro - Spanish SEO forums.

Newsgroups:
Google Groups: Google Support
Google Groups: Search Engines

While the Newsgroups do have good stuff in them, they also lack moderation and that can lead to lots of misinformation. A newer Newsgroup powered by Google Groups 2 and moderated by Andrew Goodman is located here.

Andrew writes for Traffick.com, is consider as one of the leading gurus on Google AdWords, and he was the moderator of the I-Search list before the I-lists went away. His newsgroup has many higger level posts from sophisticated and experienced marketers.

LED Digest, one of the original email only discussion lists, also discusses SEO and other internet marketing and webmaster related issues.

Old SEO Forums Article
Here is a review of SEO forums I did near the end of 2003. Please note that some of its info may be slightly outdated, as things have changed and I have learned a good bit more in the past year. The information on this page is WAY MORE up to date than the info in that article.

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