David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

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Archive for March, 2007

BegForPost :: Why pay per post when you can beg?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

This is a totally new, humorous and deadly serious Internet marketing concept: BegForPost :: Why pay per post when you can beg? It’s a marketplace for those who want blog exposure and those interested in giving blog exposure.  It is being reported in places like TechCrunch as an alternative to “the ethically questionable PayPerPost service that allows advertisers to pay bloggers to write about their products”.  (That’s a debate for another day.)

One of the toughest problems when promoting one’s website to bloggers is finding the right ones…not just those who might be interested because they are in your niche, but those who actually are interested because they want to receive your PR material.  Those adventuresome website marketers who take on that challenge waste a lot of time sending emails and filling in comments forms to bloggers who have no interest, who in turn waste a lot of time reading and deleting unwanted messages.

BegForPost is a start, but it needs something more.  It needs a way for bloggers to search for webmasters who are interested in getting exposure on a topic (for guest blogs, joint ventures, free samples, etc.)  It needs a way for webmasters to search for bloggers in their niche who are interested in listening.

I just took BegForPost for a spin.  I had no way to know which blog to target, so I looked at whom others were targeting, picked one, and begged for a post on behalf of a client.  My begging is at this point in the hands of a moderator.  But how do I know if the target blogger wants to hear from my client.   

This is a cool idea, but it needs a little more sophistication before it is likely to be genuinely useful.  However, I will report back if my test drive ends up bearing fruit.  If not, I might try again with another client. 

 

 

 


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Google’s In-text Ads

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

We have word now that Google is planning to sell ads mid-paragraph on websites.  AdWords currently appear only in separate sections of a web page. 

The first reaction to this has been negative.  Although I say this cautiously, the development makes sense. 

We all know that Google’s organic listings value an inbound link within a paragraph on a content page more than a directory style listing. 

Why? 

Think, think… 

Because in the middle of a paragraph sounds so much more real.  It just looks like somebody is really referencing or recommending that link in that very context, as opposed to just one of many links on a list that might be more or less relevant to something or other. 

The same holds true for advertising.  An in-text ad link says that this product is relevant to what the reader is reading.  It’s being where your customer is, which is always a good thing. 

Of course, one must ask whether the customer likes this.  If you ask him, he will say “no”.  But he persists in reading “free” web pages that somebody takes the time to post, so his actions say that he does.  Every now and then, a subscriber to my “free” Daily Dose of Happiness ezine complains about the ads.  If that subscriber was paying a buck a month, he would have every right to complain.  I wonder if he cheerfully goes about his job, refusing his pay check every two weeks.  I think not. 

Google’s idea to put ads in the text, labeled as Google Ads in the pop-up bubble, seems to me to be a good move.  It certainly will not look as awful and ugly as the current Google ads marring more websites than I can count.  

But I am not 100% sold on this view.  Maybe there is a good reason to oppose this.  Let me know what you think.  

 

 

 

 

 


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Google’s In-text Ads

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

We have word now that Google is planning to sell ads mid-paragraph on websites.  AdWords currently appear only in separate sections of a web page. 

The first reaction to this has been negative.  Although I say this cautiously, the development makes sense. 

We all know that Google’s organic listings value an inbound link within a paragraph on a content page more than a directory style listing. 

Why? 

Think, think… 

Because in the middle of a paragraph sounds so much more real.  It just looks like somebody is really referencing or recommending that link in that very context, as opposed to just one of many links on a list that might be more or less relevant to something or other. 

The same holds true for advertising.  An in-text ad link says that this product is relevant to what the reader is reading.  It’s being where your customer is, which is always a good thing. 

Of course, one must ask whether the customer likes this.  If you ask him, he will say “no”.  But he persists in reading “free” web pages that somebody takes the time to post, so his actions say that he does.  Every now and then, a subscriber to my “free” Daily Dose of Happiness ezine complains about the ads.  If that subscriber was paying a buck a month, he would have every right to complain.  I wonder if he cheerfully goes about his job, refusing his pay check every two weeks.  I think not. 

Google’s idea to put ads in the text, labeled as Google Ads in the pop-up bubble, seems to me to be a good move.  It certainly will not look as awful and ugly as the current Google ads marring more websites than I can count.  

But I am not 100% sold on this view.  Maybe there is a good reason to oppose this.  Let me know what you think.  

 

 

 

 

 


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Submit your URL to deep link directories

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

I have read much debate over which directories and what types of directories are worth submitting your website URL to.  I have to admit that I often disagreee with the views espoused in many of these discussions.

Today I want to speak up in favor of that rare bird, the deep link directory.  A deep-link directory is one that allows links directly into pages of interest within your website.  Very few directories allow this; most insist on submitting your home page and your home page only.  This cripples people from posting links to the pages of most interest, which are often inside the website, or from linking to various topics within a website with a broader coverage. 

From an SEO perspective, you don’t want all your inbound links pointing to your home page…unless, of course, you are trying to send a message to the search engines, such as, “Look how shallow my website is.  See?  Nothing there worth linking to but the home page.  There’s nothing inside that anybody would want to link to, no siree.  Don’t even bothering indexing all those useless pages.”

So when I got involved in creating directories, they all offered a link to the home page URL plus up to three deep links.  Here are links to four free deep link directories where you can submit your website:

Submit travel websites with deep links

Submit webmaster websites with deep links

Submit real estate websites with deep links

Submit all sorts of websites with deep links

Since options are limited for free-submit deep link directories, here are four of my favorite paid deep link directories.  None of these have recurring fees, and they are all reasonably priced.   

Bloggeries (just for blogs).

Octopedia (our page there)

Abilogic

Webtopia (the Canada page)

World Site Index

 


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Social Networks Can Drive Traffic

Friday, March 9th, 2007

For anyone who missed my post on how one of my websites is now getting more traffic from MySpace than from Google, it’s not just me!  Check out this post from Heather Hopkins of Hitwise UK.

She reports excellent growth in traffic from MySapce and Bebo in this case study.

 


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A brand-new SEO scam

Friday, March 9th, 2007

This SEO scam is so new that it hasn’t even begun yet, at least not to my knowledge.  I don’t want to give SEO scammers ideas, but I am 100% certain that this is coming and that there will be many, many, many (did I mention “many”?) unsuspecting webmasters who will fall for it, so let’s for once get the warnings about the scam out there before it begins. 

Google’s new personalized search has already begun, and within months it will start to skew Google’s rankings in two ways.  

First, data Google gathers about how people are searching will certainly start to be factored into the general algorithm.  This means that on-page relevancy and inbound links will have to share the stage with such factors as click-through rates, click-back rates (back to Google from the site), length of visit, number of pages viewed, repeat visits, etc.  In other words, Google will be better able to measure “good” content from trash.  

A whole industry will sprout up to help webmasters take advantage of this, much of it black hat (like click fraud, perhaps?), some white hat, mostly to create more “sticky” content, improve click-through rates and encourage people to “vote” in some way for the site. On the white hat side, TheBookmarketer can help you move ahead right away, as I reported in this post on how to use social bookmarking to a website’s advantage

Second, the data it collects from each individual will be used to present more personalized results to that individual.  Exactly how this will work remains to be seen, as there are many ways that Google has hinted it can factor the information into a person’s individual results.  But one thing is for certain…as soon as SEO scammers get a sense of some of the factors that affect personalized results, the scamming will begin.  Here is exactly what the scammers will do:  

1. The scammer will tell the website owner to sign up for a Google account.  

2. The scammer will tell the webmaster to “visit your website every day” or “visit at least ten pages of your site in succession every day” or “Google bookmark your website” or “do the following ten searches and click on your site from the rankings every day”.  The precise instructions will depend on the factors that most influence personal search.  

3. The scammer will promise that the website owner will see his site move up in the rankings.  And he will see it move up in the rankings.  But only on his computer using his personalized search.  Even if his website shows up as #1 for “broken glass”, none of the broken-glass-buying market might even see his site in their results. 

This scam won’t fool everybody.  It is most likely to work on the little guy, who operates from one computer and would not think to compare results.  It might not work forever, but what scammer will stick around to argue the finer points once he’s sucked the money out of an unsuspecting website owner’s pockets? 

Google will surely take steps to reduce this in order to protect the integrity of its results (remember the searcher is whom Google must please), but like every game of locks and lock-pickers, there will be plenty of scams flying under Google’s radar or keeping one step ahead. 

The best protection a webmaster has against this sort of scam is to include mention of it in passing in every article posted on the Internet about personal search.  Hopefully not too many webmasters will miss it before hiring an SEO scammer.  And that’s why today I am outing the scammers before they even start!

 


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Links are about more than just search engines

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

I just took a look at the referral stats from one of my websites, and for the first time ever (did I mention “ever“?) Google is not the top referrer.  MySpace.com is sending more traffic than all of the Googles.  In fact, one-thrid of the top-30 referrers are from various MySpace pages.

I also notice that StumpleUpon is featuring in the website’s top-30 referrers.  Once you get in good with the “Stumblers”, it can be an excellent source of interested traffic. 

 


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Voodoo Love Doll at the laptop…

Monday, March 5th, 2007

You know you’ve made it when somebody publishes your photo on Flickr.  Well, nobody’s published mine yet, but somebody did publish my website’s photo.  OK, so that somebody was me, but it is part of a humorous series of photos, so I though I would share it here: Voodoo Love Doll at the laptop…

 


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More Social Bookmarking Websites Added to TheBookmarketer

Monday, March 5th, 2007

The Bookmarketer free bookmarketing power tool

Not long after the offical launch of TheBookmarketer, we have already added some new social bookmarking sites. 

You will note that we have added Zaadz, Kaboodle, Jumpup, i89 and Searchles.  I can’t be certain, but for most of these we might be the only multi-site bookmarking service to offer them as an option. 

There will be more updates later, and soon I will provide some webmaster tips on social bookmarking propotion – the white hat way.

Just for the record, here are our pages at these websites:

 


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