David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Voodoo Love Doll at the laptop…

Mar 05, 2007 - filed under Flickr, social media, website updates Comments Off on Voodoo Love Doll at the laptop…
 

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…

More Social Bookmarking Websites Added to TheBookmarketer

Mar 05, 2007 - filed under bookmarking, marketing, social media, tagging, tags, website updates, Zaadz Comments Off on More Social Bookmarking Websites Added to TheBookmarketer
 

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:

Website Conversions – Free Advice from Google

Feb 27, 2007 - filed under Google, website conversion Comments Off on Website Conversions – Free Advice from Google
 

What does website conversion have to do with SEO?  Nothing…unless you want people to do something when they click on your listing.

Fortunately, Google is providing two new tools to help you.  The first is the AdWords Optimizer, which is meant for their PPC programs, but can help with any landing page.  For the moment, Optimizer is in an invitation-only beta phase.  (I’m number 500 gazillion on the waiting list).

In the meantime, Google is providing a demo video which is free for anyone to view.  The second half of the video talks about AdWords Optimizer, but the first half gives you some superb tips on conversions from the world’s biggest search engine.  Not bad for the price of reading this blog post.  Here’s where you can view the Website Optimizer Overview Demo video.

Wikipedia should be spanked!

Feb 26, 2007 - filed under linking, nofollow, SEO, Wikipedia Comments Off on Wikipedia should be spanked!
 

I must be feeling edgy today.  I just posted a message on a public forum saying Wikipedia should be spanked!

The post is over at Webdigity webmaster forums.  It is consistent with what I wrote a month ago about Wikipedia being the dead end on the Information Highway, although I don’t think I mentioned spanking that time.

More Google Sitemaps Heretics

Feb 25, 2007 - filed under Google, indexing, linking Comments Off on More Google Sitemaps Heretics
 

After posting a somewhat unorthodox position against using the KEI formula for keyword research yesterday, I find myself posting another heretical position today…but this time with full backing from several well-placed SEO experts.

Rand Fishkin (and who is more respected than he?) recently posted My Advice on Google Sitemaps – Verify, but Don’t Submit .  It’s a position similar to what I have also taken since Day One.  I responded to his post, quoting from one of the many other SEO experts who got there before I did (so I took some time off on a Sunday for a change!).

If you’re in too much of a rush to head over there, here is what I posted in response at Rand’s blog…

“I always tell clients that if their site is built correctly, they don’t need to submit a sitemap. I’ve also never submitted a sitemap for any of my own sites”

Sugarrae’s comments reflect my own.  Getting hundreds of extra pages listed is of little value anyway if they don’t a) carry enough weight to rank or b) provide sufficient link-juice to help other pages rank.

Like PageRank, SiteMaps is a gimmick.  If you find a use for it, so be it, but I haven’t found a use yet.

 

 

 

Business Ethics on the Internet

Feb 25, 2007 - filed under ethics, media relations, SEO, writing Comments Off on Business Ethics on the Internet
 

I was quoted last week in Maclean’s, Canada’s national newsmagazine (sort of an equivalent to Time or Newsweek) on a matter of ethics.

I get to see two very contrasting worlds of ethics on the Internet.  First, we run an SEO marketing service, which means that we spend a lot of time swimming in polluted waters.  Let’s face it, for every really good and honest SEO, there are several incompetent ones, and probably as many outright dishonest (unethical ones).

On the other hand, we run a freelance writing agency.  Writers tend to be a highly ethical group, sometimes overly so.  We’ve only had to ever sever our relationship with one writer who showed signs of being unethical.

So it might come as a surprise that we were commenting on ethical lapses related to writing.  The context was a cover story on cheating in universities in both Canada and the United States, and how the universities are pretty much ignoring this destructive wildfire sweeping their campuses.

And, of course, the Internet is fueling this fire, offering both anonymity and instant access to “information”.  And for every person seeking a ghostwritten term paper, there is some dishonest writer willing to write it.

Ethics is ethics.  Period.  Anonymity does not make something right.  The Internet does not make something right.  Notwithstanding that many things that are really matters of pour etiquette get labeled “unethical” on the Internet, there are all too many people willing to be evil to make a little extra money (What, me, use strong language?)

OK, I know you’ve been salivating to know what I had to say about ethics and writing in Maclean’s, so here’s the excerpt:

Running a freelance writer agency, I can tell you that the second most-frequent writing request, after books, is for school papers.  We have even been requested to write PhD entry essays.  We respond to all such queries by refusing to help a student cheat himself (or herself) out of an education.

 

KEI Formula Misleads for Keyword Competitiveness Research

Feb 23, 2007 - filed under clients, keywords, linking, rankings, SEO, stats 1 Comment
 

Many SEO specialists wonder why I don’t use Keyword Effectiveness Index, or KEI, to research the right keyword phrases to target.  On the surface, the KEI formula makes sense, and it struck me as so obvious when I first learned about it. 

To the best of my recollection, WordTracker invented KEI, and their original description of the formula was, “the KEI compares the Count result (number of times a keyword has appeared in our data) with the number of competing web pages to pinpoint exactly which keywords are most effective for your campaign.”  What better way to research keyword competitiveness?

At first a fan, I did eventually come to my senses.  This formula tracks how many websites are in a given database for a searched term.  But it is not the volume that counts; it’s the distribution.  Here’s an analogy… 

Which way would you prefer to cross a city on foot:

1. A small alleyway, with a thousand thugs lounging in cafes around the city.
2. An equally small alleyway, with a dozen bloodthirsty thugs in the alley bent on stopping you.

KEI would lead you down the equally small alley…the one with very few keyword phrase competitors, but all right in your way, fighting hard for their high search engine rankings.  Is that what you want?  Of course not.  Keyword popularity is not the selection criteria that matters.  The SEO game is not a democracy…at least not yet, but that’s another story.
I had a sort-of related question from a client today:

Say for instance the word “tennis” was hyperlinked all over the web on all different pages and sites yet the links could be linking to 100’s of different places. Doesn’t that make the word “tennis” more competitive because other sites are trying to use it to increase their chances in trying to get it to show up in the search engines?


On the surface, her proposal made eminent sense, but it’s not the total volume that counts, rather the distribution.  Here was my response to her:

That depends.  If There are a million links with the word “tennis” in them, pointing somewhat evenly to 100,000 sites, the most any one site might have pointing would be, just for example, 20 or 25 links with the word “tennis”. On the other hand, there might be only 500,000 links with the word “badminton” in them, pointing to 100,000 sites, but skewed toward a dozen sites that have been battling it out for top rankings, each with 2000 – 10,000 inbound links with the word “tennis”.  It’s not the volume that counts, but the distribution.

Look very carefully at the top 10 ranking websites for a given search term at your favorite search engine…and how well-optimized those sites are for the keyword, how many inbound links they have, what the quality of those links appears to be, etc.  Don’t rely on the KEI formula or any other web-wide aggregate figures for keyword selection.
  

Multilingual Social Bookmarking

Feb 21, 2007 - filed under bookmarking, marketing, multilingual SEO, social media Comments Off on Multilingual Social Bookmarking
 

I just stumbled upon Digg-Like Sites, a great little directory of social bookmarking websites in various languages.  I plan to do a Spanish and French version of my own social bookmarking script, TheBookmarketer, so this will be very helpful.  If you plan to do any multilingual online marketing, these can come in handy!

SEO for Reputation Management: Part III

Feb 19, 2007 - filed under blogging, clients, Google, marketing, MyBlogLog, MySpace, rankings, reputation, reputation management, SEO, social media, Squidoo, Zaadz 2 Comments
 

Yikes! It’s been two weeks since I posted SEO for Reputation Management: Part II.  So your patience has earned you a good post.

In SEO for Reputation Management: Part I, we made the strategic decisions of what Amanda wanted people toi see when they Search Google or Yahoo for her name.  In Part II, we took inventory of what is already on the Information Highway that she can use to that end.

Now it’s time to put together the plan. Time has slipped through my fingers, and Amanda (not her real name, remember?) has already begun implementing some of the plan.  At the end of this post, I’ll share with you her interim results.

I won’t go through all the details, but some of the major recommendations were…

1. Her blog was being used very, very sporadically.  More frequent posts, occasionally speaking in the third person, would help (I probably should mention that this is David Leonhardt’s blog in every post and put my name in the Blog Title above as Amanda does, but I never put together a reputation management plan for myself!).  In fact, I recommended a post about herself, something I should do one of these days, too. This should secure a second listing in Google’s top 10 for her blog.

2. She owns the domain of her name, but it points to her blog.  I recommended developing her domain to include certain content that would help her get double listings Google’s top 10 for her name.

3. I suggested ways to make her two blogger profiles work to her advantage.

4. I suggested ways to boost the rankings also of a few of the various places where she has articles right now (or then) on the Internet.

5. I suggested a few places where she could build a good reputation directly, that could also rank highly in the search engines or support the rankings of her other pages.  For instance, I pointed out my pages at MySpace, Zaadz, Squidoo, MyBlogLog and TagWorld.  I haven’t done near enough with any of these, mind you, but I will.  Honest.

6. I also recommended a multi-faceted linking campaign, geared to the various types of pages Amanda was trying to boost in the rankings.

SEO Reputation Management Plan Progress report.

On Google’s top 10 right now…

1.  Amanda’s Blogger profile.  She has another Blogger profile, but it has not been worked on yet and it is not ranking.

2. Her blog.  She has been doing more posts, but not yet what is needed for a second page to rank.  I have offered some additional details.

3. One of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

4. and 5. A new appearance by another offensive blogger, posted two years ago. How these two postings got up in the rankings is anybody’s guess, but it is likely the result of something that happened sitewide (as opposed to something related to these two specific posts).  As the linking campaign kicks in, the two offensive posts should sink.

6. Amanda’s MySpace profile.  More can be done to make this a double listing.  Possibly.

7. Amanda’s under construction and 99% unoptimized site on her own-name domain.  When the site is finished, there should be two pages from this domain in the top 10.

8. and 9. Two more of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

10. Amanda’s MySpace page. More can be done to make this a double listing.  Definitely.  I’ve made some additional suggestions.

So there you have it.  Some promising interim results.  One can do much to manage one’s reputation using sound, responsible SEO techniques.

 

 

 

 

This Blog Uses The DoFollow PlugIn

Feb 15, 2007 - filed under blogging, linking, nofollow, website updates, Wikipedia 4 Comments
 

I love Loren Baker’s post on 13 Reasons Why NoFollow Tags Suck.  It goes right in line with my thinking when I posted the comments about Wikipedia and the NoFollow attribute, and the experiment to test the NoFollow attribute, with no stop-the-presses-results

I have said this many times before…the World Wide Web (www) works when linking is encouraged.  The Only One Orphan (ooo) works when linking is discouraged. Thanks to Loren for showing me the DoFollow WordPress Plugin.  If you post a comment here, you can be sure there will be no NoFollow attribute on your link.  

UPDATE February 2009: We have switched to the No Follow Free plugin, which seems to work better with the Intense Debate Plugin.  We have set the threshold at 5 comments.  So if you have commented more than five times, the DoFollow kckjs in…and no, firing off five quick comments all at one does not count.  This is a fully moderated blog.

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