SEO Forums

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.

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:

  • (retired) - 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. In the past I moderated 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 / (retired) - 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 was launched. 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. DevShed later sold SEO Chat to Jim Boykin, who drastically reduced the on-site ads to improve user experience.
  • 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 moved to post at the Search Engine Watch Forums, though it too eventually closed. Jim Boykin eventually acquired Wemaster World.

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 :)

  • 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."
  • - 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Xeoweb SEO Foro - Spanish SEO forums.

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, 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.

SEO Blogs and Search Engine Blogs

This is a list of most of the SEO Blogs and Search Engine Blogs on the internet. If you know of an SEO Blog or Search Engine Blog I am missing from this list, just add it as a comment and I will include it on this list.

Currently my list of SEO Blogs is only in English due to my lack of fluidity (is that a word) in other languages.

  • 10e20 - Chris Winfield 's SEO blog, focusing on SEO, blogging, and social media.

  • About Websearch - has had a couple popular editors in their WebSearch position. Recently it seems as though they have not been putting out as much cool info though.
  • Andy Beal - personal blog of the writer of Marketing Pilgrim.
  • Anthony Parsons - SEO blog from an Aussie.
  • Ask Jeeves Blog - official blog from Ask Jeeves.
  • John Battelle's SearchBlog - a well rounded view of the evolution and impact of search and technology. John Battelle eat sleeps and breathes search.
  • Bazac Blog - Daniel Bazac is a fan of serch who writes his commentary on the subject. He has had a few of his articles syndicated on many websites. A couple of these blogs were found via his list of blogs here.
  • BeSpacific Search Engine Category - covers web search in general. More focused on the technology vice optimization side of it.
  • Tim Bray has a blog which covers many fields including an extremely opinionated view of search. He is one of the people who truely seems to understand the web.
  • Burdon of Truth - Art Saturn has an interesting blog which covers the history and DNA of search.
  • BPWrap - Barry Welford covers current Internet Marketing issues usually from a different perspective.
  • ChrisG - Swell chap from Leeds UK who knows SEO marketing ASP PHP etc.
  • Tim Converse - Tim works at Yahoo!. His blog is cool.
  • Corrupt DMOZ Editor - fun blog about DMOZ corruption.
  • Creative Confusion - Craig Wilson reviews some of the SEO techniques he is currently using as well as other news within the SEO and web development landscape. Craig's blog has a good amount of UK focus.
  • ChriSEO - is not so much a classic blog, as it is a source for random fun articles about the search field. Chris Ridings is one of the most knowledgeable SEO's in the industry, and owner of SearchGuild. He does not update ChriSEO too often, but it is always fun when he does.
  • Clicksharp Marketing - small business interactive marketing blog by Paul Burani.
  • Cr8PC is a usability and search engine marketing blog by Kim of cre8site forums.
  • DGs Desk - weblog covering search, SEO, and marketing.
  • Daily Rundown - Sid Yadav is a web professional who updates his blog more than a couple times a day. His blog includes classical up-to-date info on Search Engines, Internet, Marketing, Companies, His Life and basically anything "techy".
  • David Naylor - blog offering various tips and tricks. DaveN is a rather advanced agressive creative type SEO.
  • Disgust - SEO and webmaster blog.
  • DocuTicker - Gary Price's blog about interesting research, reports, whitepapers and whatnot.
  • Duct Tape Marketing - John Jantsch's blog. Real world small business marketing tips, tactics, and resources from a 20 year marketing pro.
  • Everything Else - Brad Talmir's random stuff blog. He runs many niche directories.
  • Brad Fallon - author of the search engine stomper program.
  • Google's Official Blog - yup, they got one.
  • Google Blogscope - Philipp Lenssen's blog about search and the web.
  • Google Fan - created by Rob of
  • Google Guy Says - old blog which in the past archived posts made by GoogleGuy at WebmasterWorld forums.
  • Hobo SEO - A great blog about SEO. Also check out the interview they did with me about keyword research.
  • Inlogical Bearer - Canadian SEO & search engine blog.
  • Internet Marketing Blog - John Scott's blog about internet marketing, with his own fun and sometimes slightly offensive twists to it.
  • Internet News Gwen Harris writes an opinionated blog discussing search engines and other large internet interests.

  • James Trotta's blog - discusses his personal experiences with SEO.
  • JenSense - blog about Google AdSense and contextual advertising.
  • Jill Whalen Exposed - typically only uses her blog for occassional search engine optimization tests. Jill is a well known "white hat" SEO.
  • Jon Payne - A friend who has been in SEO about as long as me who recently started up his own SEO blog.
  • Key Words - Dan Theis's blog on SitePoint.
  • Marketing Pilgrim - Andy Beal's blog about search, blogging, and public relations.
  • Marketing Wonk - probably the best marketing blog on the web. Collaborative effort.
  • McAnerin's Manic Meanderings - Ian McAnerin's personal blog. He is involved with SMA NA.
  • Alan Meckler - CEO of JupiterMedia.
  • Micro Persuasion - Steve Rubel's blog about blogging, technology, and PR.
  • MSN Search Blog - official blog from MSN Search.
  • Nielson Tech Blog - Christian Nielson is a smaller, independant search engine marketer who believes strongly that search engine optimization provides a far greater ROI than paid search. His words are those of a man looking out for the small guy.
  • Niki Scevak - blog by a JupiterMedia analyst.
  • ODP Weblog - blog maintained by an ODP editor to help other editors (and regular web junkies like me) keep up with the latest happenings with the ODP.
  • Pandia Blog Per and Susanne Koch have ran a long time search engine marketing hotspot. They give their coverage of most of the major search engine news here.
  • Pebody's Cre8tive Flow - collaborative blog from members of the Cre8asite forums.
  • Phil Bradley - blog which covers many of the interesting aspects of online research.
  • PR Weaver - SEO and search engine information weblog.
  • Precommerce Blog - Craig Danuloff's blog on search and the internet. He takes a lengthy gander at some of ironic details and provides commentary which makes you wonder & sometimes explains why they exist.
  • Research Buzz - search blog about every interesting angle of search. Not really an SEO, but a true fan of search. Tara Calishain has co authored multiple books about search engines.
  • Resource Shelf - Gary Price's in depth look at the different faces of information retrieval.
  • Reverse Direct Marketing - David Berkowitz's search engine marketing blog.
  • Rob Frankel - what appears to be a personal rant blog by my favorite branding expert.

  • Robin Good's Sharewood Tidings is a great resource for any type of online researcher. Three thumbs up :)
  • Search Engine Genie Blog - SEO blog by the SEO Genie team.
  • SE Roundtable is a colaborative effort led by Barry Schwartz which has a representitive from most of the major SEO forums.
  • - blog from the company owning the #1 SEO related domain name
  • SEO Radio - blog with weekly radio shows with various SEO experts.
  • InfoThought is Seth Finkelstein's blog covering internet censorship, which is frequently a topic closely related to search engines.
  • SEO2Go is the blog from SearchEngineWriting by SEO veteran Detlev Johnson and copywriter Heather Lloyd-Martin. This blog seems to link to some fairly useful articles.
  • SEO Book - amazing SEO blog which also covers many other aspects of search engines and internet marketing. What a wonderful site. Oh wait, Aaron Wall is me and perhaps this review is a bit biased. ;)
  • SEO Dev - blog by SE Basic.
  • SEO Scoop - Donna Fontenot's SEO Blog. She is a moderator at SEO Chat.
  • SEO Shed - Sebastian (from SEW forums) blog.
  • Sage Rock Sage Lewis provides more of a corporate look at search engines as they apply within the overal internet marketing field.
  • Scoreboard Media - this guy kicks ass.
  • Search Engine Blog - Peter Da Vanzo has to be one of the funniest search engine marketers in the world. He provides extremely witty commentary.
  • Search Engine Genie - SEO and webmaster related weblog.
  • Search Engine Journal is a colaborative effort blog by about a half dozen search engine marketers. It is led by Lauren Baker at Web Advantage.
  • Search Engine Lowdown - KeywordRankings blog on search. Wrote by Garret French and crew.
  • Search Engine News Blog - Kalena Jordan is one of the original search engine blog writers. Her blog checks takes a good look at search daily.
  • Search etc - Eric Edelstein's new blog about search and internet marketing.
  • Search Engine Visiblity Report is edited by Merrick Lozano, who keeps a business like look and feel to his blog. Many of his posts are loger than the average blog. More of a comentary versus short and punchy type of blog.
  • Search Engine Land - Danny Sullivan's new blog about search.
  • Search Engine Watch Blog - Blog on the popular site launched by Danny Sullivan.
  • SearchGuild Blog is a blog kept by Chris Ridings and many other SearchGuild moderators.
  • Serge Thibodeau is the owner of RankforSales. He reports the news as it is, but does not seem to add much flair to it or offer real helpful in depth tips.
  • Smart Keywords Blog - AussieWebmaster's blog.
  • Gary Stein - blog by JupiterMedia analyst.
  • Step Fourth Blog - Jim Hedger offers his daily search engine comentary. His blog does have some original SEO content that goes with its search focus.
  • Strategic Marketing Montreal - Barry Welford's blog.
  • StuntDubl - Todd Malicoat's SEO and internet marketing blog. Has a cool design and Todd is a swell chap. He gave me a cool white hat that I turned beige, but it is still cool to wear 5 - 6 days a week.
  • Text Link Brokers - newer community driven blog from one of the top text link brokers on the market.
  • The Caveman - A friend and business partner blogging about SEO.
  • ThreadWatch - Community driven blog which looks at some of the seedier and more interesting threads in various search related forums and blogs.
  • Top 25 Web - software programming, SEO, and perl coding blog.
  • TopRank Online Marketing Blog - Lee Odden's marketing blog where he points to many of the major search news stories.
  • Traffick - Andrew Goodman is the moderator of the Isearch discussion list. His blog is generally more concerned with pay per click angle, and the major effects of search and portal changes on the web as a whole.
  • Tropical SEO - new blog by a brilliant SEO named Andy Hagans.
  • Tyler Dewitt - newer SEO blog.
  • WebSage is currently a rather plain looking newer blog which tends to cover a couple of the more interesting aspects of how search interacts with society in the big picture.
  • Yahoo! Search Blog - official blog about Yahoo! Search.
  • Jeremy Zawodny is a current Yahoo! employee who occasionally posts a coment or two on Yahoo! Search and web search in general. The main focus of his blog is his own life, Linux, Perl, Open Source...

Increase Your Alexa Rank

Free tips to help you increase your Alexa Rank for your website.

  1. Download the Alexa toolbar and surf your own site.

  2. Have a few friends download the Alexa Toolbar and surf your site.
  3. Shift the focus of your site toward a more webmaster like theme.
  4. Participate in many webmaster forums which allow you to place your site in your signature.
  5. Write articles about webmaster topics and distribute them around the web.
  6. Optimize pages of your site for Alexa and related phrases.
  7. Buy ads on search engines to increase your traffic. Your Alexa traffic rankings will increase.
  8. Write an article with tips on how to increase your Alexa rankings.
  9. Advertise that article on the world's largest network.
  10. Join an autosurf network which exchanges Alexa credits. <--- this actually exists and they sell off some of the credits. The problem is that those are credits. They are not real visitors. They are not what you need.

    Direct Hit failed as a search engine because it based a large portion of its algorithm on web traffic. Alexa ranking is highly inaccurate and easy to manipulate.

    It is the quality and quantitiy of traffic to your site and how you convert those visitors that determines whether or not you will be a success. If you need help obtaining targeted traffic read my eBook. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

SEO Book Testimonials

These are a few of the testimonials people have left for the SEO Book.

"Your ebook - I am floored. It is awesome. I had no idea 1. you are such an incredible writer, 2 .you organize the topics in concise clear way for even the most uninitiated web design person, (like me). In my opinion it would make an awesome book, and make YOU quite famous in the web circle."

"Thanks Aaron. I always learn so much from you and your website."

"I read your book! AMAZING! I found it to be very informative and
a pleasure to read! You suggested that it might be boring...Hell, NO! Terrific."

"Thank you for putting all your hard earned knowledge together for the rest of us. I really appreciate it and shall use it as my reference manual from now on."

"Excellent! You've done some homework. A ton of good info and it was refreshing to see that your info relates to the entire search engine industry and is not heavily weighted toward Google. Everyone should take a look at this. Newbies should definitely look at this. I'll revisit this several times I'm sure."

"Just reading two pages has made it worth sending the donation. I can see that I've got a lot of reading to do....Thanks for indulging me!"

CLICK HERE If you would like to learn more about the SEO Book.

Google Update Austin, Google Update Florida

As I type this I wonder if a portion of Google's continual change is to help it garner continual press coverage...just a thought.

I wrote an article about Google Update Austin which talks about how it is somewhat similar to Google Update Florida, and some of the things you can do to improve your rankings.

Here also is a quick Google Update Austin rundown from WebProNews. Of course I am evil and do not agree with all of it, but it was interesting stuff.

Where to Submit Internet or Marketing Articles Free

Articles as links The fundamental base of the internet is not the page, but the link. A great way to accumulate links is to write articles and submit them to places interested in quality articles. Where do I submit articles in my field? Some places will accept articles automatically and some require editorial approval. If you know your industry well you should know some places that accept articles. I know within the search engine field I can submit articles to sites like Lil Engine, ISEDB, SearchGuild, and a variety of others.

Where do I submit general articles? There are also sites which take general articles such as Idea Marketers, Buzzle, Ebooks n Bytes, Article Central. The list goes on and on.

How do articles give me links? When you write articles for free you are typically given a by-line or author bio which you can link to your website.

How long should my articles be? Typically it is a good idea to review the editorial guidelines of websites before submitting articles. Most sites like articles around 600 to 900 words since the internet is a quick medium. Some sites like articles up to 1500 to 2000 words so they can split up the content to show more ads. Reading a few articles from the site should give you an idea what they are looking for.

Article resource location tips: A good tip to finding more might be to search for the name of a search engine copywriter. Karon Thackton is found on over 1,000 documents!

In addition to searching out people in your field you may want to use some of the Yahoo Announcement Groups and other article resources. Feel free to submit article resource locations in the comments :)

Submiting articles to Ezines is not something I generally do. I find that if you write an ok article and submit it to a few of these places people will just pick you up. You want to be careful about seeming spamy when trying to submit articles to ezines. A few good Ezine lists would be Ezine Universe, Topica, the Ezine Directory

Additional article resources from Jeremy Gossman are listed below.

Yahoo Announcement Groups

Eventually if you do a good enough job with your articles people who syndicate your artilces will have those same articles syndicated from there! Here is another small list of Ezine directories.

<update>here are a few more sites you can submit articles to:

Here is another free XLS articles checksheet which shows over 70 sites where you can submit articles. Thanks Zoran

[update: here is more article submission locations]


The search for "Google Sells Christmas" will show you that about 40 web pages reference my second article. Before I wrote those articles my site was not popular, now it kinda is.

You can also look at content provider networks in DMOZ or the Yahoo! Directory.

Also a while ago somebody spammed me trying to promote "marketing blaster" and "search engine geek." If people publish articles that were sent to them via spam then odds are they will likely want to publish your articles too, so you may want to search for a few variations of those names such as "marketing blaster" or "marketingblaster."

Increase Alexa Rankings

1.) Download the Alexa toolbar and surf your own site.
2.) Have a few friends download the Alexa Toolbar and surf your site.
3.) Shift the focus of your site toward a more webmaster like theme.
4.) Participate in many webmaster forums which allow you to place your site in your signature.
5.) Write articles about webmaster topics and distribute them around the web.
6.) Optimize pages of your site for Alexa and related phrases.
7.) Buy ads on search engines to increase your traffic. Your Alexa traffic rankings will increase.
8.) Write an article with tips on how to increase your Alexa rankings.
9.) Advertise that article on the world's largest network.
10.) Join an autosurf network which exchanges Alexa credits. <--- this actually exists and they sell off some of the credits. The problem is that those are credits. They are not real visitors. They are not what you need.

Direct Hit failed as a search engine because it based a large portion of its algorithm on web traffic. Alexa ranking is highly inaccurate and easy to manipulate.

It is the quality and quantitiy of traffic to your site and how you convert those visitors that determines whether or not you will be a success. If you need help obtaining targeted traffic read my eBook. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

SearchGuild & Personal Biases

Every news source you read should be questioned.

News is often provided with manipulative goals. One of the greatest advantages I have over most other SEO news site or SEO websites is my own lack of affiliation or property.

Since I do not need to make a ton of money to support myself, I usually recommend people do not buy most things. If you know what you are doing it does not cost much to do a good job at SEO. The learning process can be somewhat expensive, but after you gain the knowledge it does not go away.

The real reason for this post is that I am now the Inktomi moderator over at SearchGuild. When I provide future information about SEO I will probably be biased saying that SearchGuild is the best SEO forums.

Last year (long before I was a moderator at SearchGuild) I reviewed some of the SEO forums, and stated that SearchGuild was one of my favorites.

These are some of the things I stated I liked about SearchGuild last year in my article.

  • Chris and crew frequently come up with their own compelling theories on the whats and whys of search engine news

  • it is independent of large firms and corporate America
  • lots of technical know how (for example Chris made a bot to surf DMOZ listed sites to make a data resource)
  • has an extremely friendly feel about it
  • not much misinformation floating around

    One thing I did not include on that list is that there is no hard sale at SearchGuild. People try to answer your questions without sounding overly witty or super self promotional.

    I view SearchGuild as the open source equivalent to SEO and am glad to be affiliated with it. What do you think?

Online Branding through the Eyes of a Schmuck

Stay Cool "Don't be a Schmuck" - Rob Frankel.

Read On Just finished reading "The Revenge of Brand X," an awesome book on branding.

Right on, (or is that write on)...My article "Online Branding by a Schmuck"

Cheesy my incorrect use of bolding

Dreaming - wish I was more like SearchEngineBlog, he does the bold thing right.

Latent Semantic Indexing

(GEEK STUFF) One of the largest problems many search engines run into is that after they get to a few hundred million documents their algorithms and hardware hit a wall.

For those companies that can afford the investment to get past this point they still run into the problem that each additional resource makes their job a bit harder.

One of the major ways around this problem is to take advantage of the natural patterns in human language. Using Latent Semantic Indexing allows indexing search results based on the pairing of like words within documents.

Many complex searches may lack exact matches in the results as well. Being able to find near matches will allow search engines to provide more comprehensive results.

Its hard to get computers to understand anything human, but the process of latent semantic indexing delivers conceptual results while being entirely mathematically driven.

There are two main ways to do this, single variable decomposition and multi dimentional scaling.

Some of the steps of the single variable decomposition process are to:

  • create a database of all words in relevant documents
  • remove common stop words
  • stemming
  • remove words appearing in all results
  • remove words only appearing in one result
  • create a database of relavent keywords
  • weight the pages based on the frequency of keyword distribution
  • increasing the relevance of terms which appear in a small number of pages (as they are more likely to be on topic than words that appear in most all documents)
  • normalize the page to remove the pagelength as a factor
  • create relevancy vectors for the keywords

The single variable decomposition process is not scalable enough to work on large scale search engines though as it requires too much processor time. Multi dimentional scaling allows us to take snapshots of the topicology of different documents. "Instead of deriving the best possible projection through matrix decomposition, the MDS algorithm starts with a random arrangement of data, and then incrementally moves it around, calculating a stress function after each perturbation to see if the projection has grown more or less accurate. The algorithm keeps nudging the data points until it can no longer find lower values for the stress function."

This does not provide exact results, but only a rough approximation. When combined with other factors this approximation improves scalability and quality of search.

Good Reading on latent semantic indexing

This technology is so amazing that it may eventually help lead to a cure for cancer. Already the technology is being refined for cognitive improvements and test grading!