David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for September, 2007

Not just on the Net

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Much has been made of how careful one has to be when dealing with people on the Internet.  After all, you never know who you really are dealing with.  So imagine everyone’s surprise when we found out what was happening in the real world just a few cubicles away from a family member.

The Internet might add another layer of anonymity, but rotten people on the Net are still what they always were – rotten people.

 


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Google still tops

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Who is the biggest search engine in the market?  That’s the one thing everyone agrees on: Google.  But beyond that, there are some significant differences in the data.  For instance, Nielson says that Google accounts for 54% of US searches, whereas Hitwise says they account for 64%.  That’s a big difference, although part of it might be explained byNielson separating out Google-based AOL’s marketshare at almost 6%. 

 Hitwise also gives a 3-point edge to Yahoo

The really big difference, however, is with MSN.  According to Hitwise, it has fallen by a third since last year to just under 8% of the market.  However, Nielson gives MSN a 13% market share.  In either case, the questions raised in 2006 of whether a rising Ask would surpass a falling MSN in 2007 seem to be laid to rest, as MSN commands over double the marketshare of Ask in both ratings.

What does this mean for you and your SEO plans?  Google is still where the big traffic lies.  Yahoo no longer commands close to a third of the marketshare – more like one fifth.  Don’t ignore MSN.

 


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Cheery Contract

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Second post today, but I can’t resist.  We have just signed another client for our freelance ghostwriting services, and this is what the client had to say when the ink was dry:

 I have to say in all my years of business I’ve never seen a contract quite so cheery!

Well, what do you expect from The Happy Guy Marketing.  Indeed, the contract is to protect everybody, not threaten them.  (Personally, I think it was the company logo – that 3-D smiley face – that made the contract seem so cheery.)

But this is a good time to discuss branding.  People react very differently to our branding.  Some think that “Happy Guy” is too light and fluffy…not ready for the big time.  Others find it refreshing.  In a business (SEO) where clients often come after having had a bad experience with a previous SEO, a name like The Happy Guy Marketing tells them right away that we are easy to deal with.  And generally, if you don’t make me eat Brussels sprouts, we are!

 


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SEO Software – just say NO!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Over at my favorite SEO forum, High Rankings, somebody asked for recommendations about SEO software.  The consensus response was, “Yes, don’t do it.”

But that response deserves a little more explanation, some of which was also posted at the forum.  There are two reasons why SEO software should be avoided.

Avoid SEO software for link-building.  What doe Google and company look for in links?  They are looking for recommendations.  They seek a sign that a web page is considered a good reference on a certain topic.  They are looking for natural links, not contrived ones meant to alter their results. 

What does automation do?  It creates patterns – patterns that are not natural, but contrived. What is the one strength that computers have that mere mortals like you and me and Paulina Rubio do not have?  The ability to sort through almost infinite data in almost no time at all and recognize patterns. Using SEO software is like posting a neon sign that reads, “Yoohoo! We’re trying to mess with your results.”

Think your SEO software can fool the Google algorithm?  Hmmm.

Avoid SEO software, because this is a sport.  I know a lot of web folks are techies who are used to the scientific principle that if you take certain steps, you will get certain results.  Repeat the same steps, get the same results.  SEO is not like this.  If a thousand people all repeat the same steps, there will not be 1000 websites in Google’s top 10 for “Paulina Rubio lyrics”.  There will still be just 10 results.

In any competition, the goal is not to duplicate what everybody else is doing.  The goal is to do more than everyone else.  To do better than everyone else.  And, if possible, to do what nobody else though of. It’s OK to study the competition.  It’s OK to study others who are not competitors.  It’s OK to take the best of what each of them is doing, but then you have to go out and do the very best you can.  No me-too software program will do that for you.

All that being said, I do use some software for SEO purposes. 

I use Internet Explorer to view websites (Yes, IE is software.)

I use Roboform to prefill forms for directory and article submissions.  But note that I manually edit important things like “title” and “description”.  Roboform just saves me from having to misspell my own name hundreds of times a day.

I use Keyword Discovery to help research the best search terms for my clients (It’s a web-based application, but it counts as software).

And of course, I use Word to compose articles and news releases, to edit source code and to do plenty of additional tasks.

And let’s not forget WordPress, which I use to blog about SEO.  :-)

So software, yes.  Software to automate SEO, no.

 


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I’ve blogged about you!

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Check out my MySpace blog today at http://blog.myspace.com/happiness_book .  I’ve blogged about YOU.  ;-)

 


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Blog traffic explosions

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Once upon a time, everyone wanted to get into the New York Times.  Today, popular blogs carry the same weight.  They can send a ton of traffic to a website they link to.

Then, with all those readers, some will also blog about the topic, sending a second wave of traffic.  And the permanent links at all these blogs help send more Google and Yahoo traffic for months to come.  Assuming the traffic converts, mentions in http://www.boingboing.net or http://www.perezhilton.com/  can result in overwhelming success. 

Imagine a 4,891% increase in traffic from one Sunday to the next!  That’s what happened not long ago when one of my clients got blogged by a top blogger (I wish I could take the credit, but this happened totally organically, which means that all the efforts of both my client and me to publicize his site opened the door indirectly, and the blogger found the information we have been publicizing ).

Remember how we always hear that content is king…then spend all day begging, buying or bartering links?  Well, it’s a lot easier to get links if you have something free and worthwhile – good content. 

Think of the Internet as a trade fair.  Ever notice how even a non-starter can hook participants into the sales process by offering a free, unique-looking give-away?So spend a little time at http://www.boingboing.net and ask yourself,, “What could I post on my site that would be worthy of a mention here?”  When it comes to content, if it’s good enough for Boing Boing, it will be good enough for anybody.

 


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Great SEO tools blog

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Every now and then there is another SEO blog worthy of mention here.  One such is Oliver Tani’s blog, which in 2007 posts has often focused on handy, free SEO tools like keyword research tools, backlinks analyzer, etc.  Just thought I would mention it.

 


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