David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for May, 2011

Italian food from a Chinese restaurant in Pakistan

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Most people do this when they get spam email:

Grrrrrr….!*$#@!+%$!*&

But sometimes, spam can be really funny.  Especially when it comes to pathetic target marketing (You know, like I really need my melons to be enhanced or my Brazilian to be waxed!).  In that same light, consider this ad I recently received:

 

 

 

Italian food from a Chinese restaurant in Pakistan…targeted to a Quebec-born Hungarian guy with a German name living in Ontario. Award-winning pizza?  Maybe.  Award-winning marketing?  I suspect that these guys would not recognize their target market even if they understood the concept.

Thanks for the laugh, guys.  I’ll have mine with green pepper and mushrooms.  Will you deliver in 30 minutes of less?

 


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Fame Trumps SEO in Battle of David Leonhardt Rankings

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

All those of you with common first and last names like John Smith or Jessica Jones or Bob Johnson will appreciate how hard it is to rank for your personal brand – your name. There must be hundreds of people active on the Internet who share your name.

And any reader with a name like Drew Barrymore or Larry Page… well, you know the chances you’ll ever rank well for your name.

But perhaps the worst off are those with common first and last names who also share their name with a huge celebrity. Think Dan Brown or George Harrison or Megan Fox.

David Leonhardt Posers

Well, this is a personal story. If you search “David Leonhardt” right now, you will see there are three of us with the exact same name with a presence on the Internet. (Guess who the two imposters are.)

When I first started on the Internet, the guy with the domain name ranked #1 – DavidLeonhardt.com ranked at the top for “David Leonhardt”. In fact, the David Leonhardt Jazz Group held several top-10 rankings, as he was in fact the original David Leonhardt active on the Internet.

As I grew increasingly active, some pages related to me started to rank in Google’s top ten for my name. Yay!

But another dude who writes for the New York Times was also getting active, so he also was breaking into the top 10 in a big way.

This New York Times David Leonhardt was in fact causing problems for me offline, too. A friend saw his by-line in the Toronto Star (I think it was) and the topic was even related to my happiness book, and a friend thought it was my article.

Even worse, my brother saw one of his articles in the Globe and Mail (I think it was) and again the topic was related to my happiness book. This time my brother thought it was my article.

And just over a month ago, this New York Times guy who shares my name (never asked my permission, mind you) goes and wins himself the Pulitzer Prize for “Commentary”. Thanks a lot!

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am all over on the Internet, commenting on blogs, active in social media, building links, networking – you don’t get more active than me.

And the winner is…

So let’s take a look at what Google thinks of all of us David Leonhardts. This is a snapshot at the time of writing…

1. New York Times writer
2. New York Times writer
3. New York Times writer
4. New York Times writer
5. New York Times writer
6. Me
7. Me
8. Jazz Group
9. Me
10. New York Times writer

What can we conclude by this case study?

We know that the domain name is important, as is anchor text – and surely the David Leonhardt Jazz Group has plenty of inbound links with “David Leonhardt” in the link text. (I did not check, but I do know he owns a number of other name-related domains specifically for wedding performances, etc.)

We also know that activity, inbound links, social media signals – all the stuff that I am doing just naturally every day (with a bit of SEO-savvy thrown in) are also important.

But it appears fame trumps SEO. New York Times David has six out of ten positions, including the top five. I am holding my own, sort of, perhaps down just a bit from my peak a couple years ago (I think I had as many as five spots at one point, including the third place ranking). And the once dominant Jazz Group David risks being pushed off the top 10 completely.

The lesson: If you want top rankings, get famous. Do things that win you real acclaim out in the real world, and Google will reward you on the Internet for your renown.

 


This post was featured in Book Marketing Blog Carnival – May 25, 2011.

 


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SEO Shotgun or SEO Rifle?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Or both?

For a huge website (ecommerce, directory, etc.) with many variations of the same product or service, whether by location or by brand, the effort to work individually on each one would be monumental.  For that reason, we often focus on:

a)   The home page, which is naturally where a fair number of links will have to go.

b)   A selection of the most important interior pages (such as those cities which might yield the best ROI) with a purposeful effort to help them rank better for relevant searches.

Some of the activities we do will help just those pages; some will help the entire site.  To understand this better, it helps to understand what types of ranking signals the search engines look for.  They include hundreds of specific signals, but most of them can be grouped as follows:

On-page relevance to a specific search query.

The changes we will make to the template(s) will bring benefits across the site to every page they apply.  In other words, even if we identify 10 city-specific pages on which to focus, every city-specific page will benefit.  If we add text or other elements on a page-by page basis, only the pages we work on will benefit.

Off-page relevance to a specific query.

Links that we obtain to 10 city-specific pages will often (but not always) confer relevancy.  The extent to which this occurs will depend on the content of the page that is linking, the anchor text of the link itself, and a number of other factors.  This relevancy is specific only to the page being linked to.  For instance, a link to the Chicago page of the website confers no relevancy to the London page.

Off-page importance/popularity.

Inbound links to a page also convey “importance” or “popularity”.  They represent a “vote” for the page in the eyes of the search engines.  That importance or that vote is specific to the page that is being linked to.  But, Google’s PageRank algorithm also spread the link-love to other pages that are directly linked. 

For instance, let us assume the Chicago page links directly to other Illinois city-specific pages, such as Rock Island, but not to any Florida city-specific pages.  If we obtain 20 links to the Chicago page, that will greatly boost the popularity of the Chicago page.  It will also boost the popularity of the Rock Island page, but not the Miami page (at least, not noticeably). 

This is why internal linking patterns for a big site like this are so important.

Domain credibility/authority/popularity

This is the exciting part.  Every quality link we build into the domain, strengthens the credibility/authority/popularity of the entire domain.  Every day the domain ages, strengthens the entire domain.  Every time a high-authority site links into the domain, every time there is a social media mention, every time the domain is renewed for a longer period of time…the entire domain – every page – benefits.

So the efforts we make for a few specific pages can benefit them all to some degree.  For a highly competitive sub-niche, that might not be enough.  For a smaller, less-competitive niche, the page might rank well without any direct attention to it.

 


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Dimbler for Content Promotion

Friday, May 6th, 2011

If you are not using Dimbler to promote your content, you should be. This is a simple, scrappy little tool that will help you promote your blog posts, articles, videos – whatever content you create, through…

  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg

The concept is very easy to grasp. It’s based on the age-old principle of “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” It is even easier to use, with a simple two-step process.

  1. Post your request.
  2. Respond to your friends’ request.

Setting up Dimbler

Before you can use Dimbler, you do need to sign up for a free account. That’s as simple as it is anywhere.

And you will need to have some friends. I suggest that you click on the “Recent” tab and add those people who you see have recently been active. In most cases, they will friend you back. You can see anybody’s stats quite easily; for example, here are mine: http://dimbler.com/user/amabaie

You might also invite friends who already support your submissions sometimes. Why bother if you already support each other? Well, with one posting you can have several friends give you a boost in four social sites, rather than having to send several Twitter Direct Messages (for example) for just one of those social sites.

Using Dimbler

Once you are set up, you are ready to go. The posting form at the “Submit” tab is simple, as you see here in this screenshot:

The fields are all pretty self-explanatory. You don’t need to fill them all in. If you want help only with Digg and Twitter, you don’t need to fill in the StumbleUpon field, for example. A number of people don’t ask for FaceBook likes.

Once you have made your request, go to the “Following” tab to see what your friends have posted. You just click on each link to support them

Drawbacks of Dimbler

Are there any drawbacks to this tool? Not really, but there are a couple weaknesses .

The first is that too few people are using it. The value of Dimbler is that it saves time: One posting leads to several people supporting. If you have ten active friends, it is more useful than if you have five. Twenty is better than ten.

At the time of writing, I have 26 friends, but only a handful are active.

The other weakness is that some people post Tweet requests that don’t include a URL or an RT account. If they don’t include a URL, what’s the point? And if they don’t include an RT account, am I really willing to tweet their content as if it was mine? This has been less of an issue of late; I think the Example: RT @twitterusername Article Title – http://su.pr/1234 you see in the form above was added and cut down on malformed tweet requests.  Or it might be that those people doing it wrong were not getting results and just left.

In summary, Dimbler is a very handy tool for promoting your website’s content across a the top four social sharing platforms. If you decide to join, please feel free to friend me at http://dimbler.com/user/amabaie and we will share some great content together.

 


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