I put $2000 US into a paypal account of mine, and Paypal is listing that as being worth 6653.79 Israel New Shekels (ILS). That’s an exchange rate of 1 USD for 3.32689 ILS. (6653.79 / 2000 = 3.32689) (more…)
Why not put a news feed of your company’s latest press releases on the homepage? (more…)
With my book set to come out hopefully in the next few weeks, I’m on the fence as to where I want to go next career-wise. I’d love to hear your advice and suggestions. (more…)
Want to guest post on SEO ROI? So long as you can write something out of the box that is an idea, tactic or case study, I’m glad to have your guest post here.
First, read these guidelines.
Links? Sure you can link to your site and/or your clients’ site in the body of the post as well as in the author bio, and you can choose the anchor text.
How many times can you link out? It’s proportional to how good your post is. The higher the quality, the greater the number of links. As a general point, I’m fine with 2-3 links.
Minimum length: No minimum. Just keep it original. Content under 200 words is fine too, so long as it’s fresh and not rehash.
Can you guest post under your own name? Sure, you can use your own name. I’m not looking for ghost writers.
Some examples of previous posts with out of the box thinking:
Skip Display Ad Retargeting – Retarget For Free With Email:
3 Cheap Web Robots / Scrapers: A review and introduction of some tools that are little known yet highly valuable to SEOs, by Jeffrey Russo of Boston. I was very, very pleased to get this post as its quite original and geared towards my intermediate to advanced audience. How often do people in SEO discuss scrapers?
Usability problems in the wedding business was another great, original post that was specific enough to be original and useful.
Got something original to share? Most of the time I’ll approve so long as you’re not rehashing common knowledge.
While reading this recent commentary on Google’s progressive rollouts of algorithms worldwide, I picked up on Aaron’s mention that some sites competing in languages with less content are less likely to get whacked.
“In most foreign markets Google is not likely to be as aggressive with this type of algorithm as they are in the United States (because foreign ad markets are less liquid and there is less of a critical mass of content in some foreign markets), but I would be willing to bet that Google will be pretty aggressive with it in the UK when it rolls out.” [Emphasis mine.]
How do you figure out what those languages are? (more…)
Today, Twitter suggested I follow Bill Gates. It’s the best suggestion I’ve received in a while on who to follow from amongst the advanced SEO community. How is Bill Gates part of the advanced SEO community you ask?
As I explain and detail in my book on advanced SEO, a key requirement of advanced SEO is the willingness to learn from everyone and to think laterally.
Bill does that exceedingly well, as he shares in the following post. He visited a Coca-Cola distribution center in Kenya and drew lessons for preventive health care. Read the post on his foundation’s site.
Update: The article and insights are actually written by Melinda Gates, as pointed out to me by Trish Thomson. I just saw it tweeted by Bill, and assumed it was his item. So yeah, Melinda Gates would be a great SEO!
I recently failed to find things when searching by name. I tried looking up a foreign song by its name, and a restaurant by its name, address and city (all in one query). Both those searches failed.
The IM scene here in Israel is growing and is ripe for a monthly meetup for schmoozing and having fun with your peers. That was most evident this Sunday at SphinnCon, which was very well-attended and featured some pretty impressive presentations from the likes of Barry Schwartz of Rustybrick Web Dev and Adir Regev of Go Internet Marketing in particular.
This is a guest post by Jeffrey Russo, a Boston-area SEO at a boutique search agency. Jeff is particularly interested in the intersection of search and social, and regularly covers SEO related topics on his personal blog at jeffreyrusso.com.
This post exemplifies the creative and critical thinking I discuss in depth in my book…
One of my favorite things about SEO is that I regularly get to sit down and dig into a massive data set, searching for the non-intuitive insights that have the power to truly move the needle.
But as much as I enjoy uncovering an obscure keyword space or a fantastic link opportunity from deep within an Excel file, the slow and painful process of actually collecting the data to work with can get in the way of doing this kind of detailed analysis. (more…)
Beautiful as in, a beautiful mind.
1. & 2. The good gents at Ontolo do it again. Their tools keep expanding, and one of their latest is based on co-citation analysis of phone numbers. Based on that initial idea, they’ve developped the first local citation finder. Genius!
In fact, he seems to be running one right now, as you can see from this remarkable snippet screenshot (his current listing in Google).
Also check out his cool snippet optimizer tool!
I have a problem with the ‘AIDA’ formula we as marketers use.
AIDA stands for ‘Attention, Interest, Desire, Action’ and is a rough summary of the buying process/marketing process. Unfortunately, it’s too vague of an instruction set for marketers, and vague instructions lead to screw-ups in carrying them out.
So I’m changing AIDA to QPBC. It’s less catchy, but a hell of a lot more practical as far as instructions go. It’s clearer.
QPBC stands for Question, Problem, Benefit, Call. (more…)
Geocities – good for swiping content (Black Hats) and for getting links by telling people Geocities is gone but you’ve got similar material on your site.
Charities already raise a lot of money by word of mouth marketing, with friends being friends and so forth…
Is it plausible that online, charities might use affiliate programs to bring in more money?
On the one hand, I can see lots of people jumping at the opportunity, and more money at least in the short term.
On the other hand, I can see a cynicism arising as soon as donors find out that some people promoting a charity are getting kickbacks.
And then they may carry that cynicism over to their [non-affiliate] friends who promoted that charity to them…
In short, I can see a lot of social havoc if charities do these the wrong way…
But I can also imagine some nice revenues if charities do it the right way, selecting affiliates with impersonal sites such as news corporations.
You can then assume that’s an ad like the rest of it…
Can charities use affiliate marketing?
Those of you familiar with my scratchpad articles know that this is informal, braindump writing.
Yes, the formatting and grammar sucks and it’s in note form.
But the substance will kick your ass across the Channel, Matilda. (more…)
Hey there boys and girls – want to get into multiple niches really fast? Are those niches just slightly different from one another, being a “base keyword” + modifier combination? Know that if you just duplicate the copy from one “base keyword” + modifier A page to a page targeting “base keyword” + modifer B, the newer page will probably get filtered as a duplicate or low value page? (more…)
A: When you rank for coupon terms plus your brand. A guest post by yours truly at my friend Dean Chew’s site, Chewie.co.uk .
Some other recent guest posts of mine: (more…)
Just saw this piece via the ever-industrious Bill Slawski: Google’s Acquisition of MetaWeb & its Named Entities technology.
Jake was a quick-witted entrepreneur oozing with creativity.
He made decent money working for others at the agency that employed him. Somewhere along the way, Jake decided that he should come up with his own product.
So he did. Jake spent all his free time for the better part of a summer in quiet isolation. While he kept up his day job, as soon as the clock struck 5:00 everyday, the fire in Jake’s seat at his desk burned him right out the door to his hatchback.
Reading the curiosity-arousing article on SEL, “The Phone, Calling,” I noticed that the use and presence of call tracking numbers, toll-free numbers and other non-main-line phone numbers could cause trouble for search engines.
“First, these numbers throw a monkey wrench in business identification. Second, they could expire, inadvertently creating a dead-end for a consumer. Publishers today struggle with how to accurately identify an actual business when many phone numbers are involved.”
The easiest solution, imho, is (more…)
In response to Google’s efforts to block access to Latma’s We Con The World parody, which is another proof of Google’s political bias and unreliability, I am going to go a month without Google search. I look forward to seeing how this works, and will report back. If you want to make a widget to this effect, or do the same, please feel free, and do let me know. (more…)
There are a number of services of questionable ethics around, offering students to research and write full term papers for them. This is at the university level. For anyone familiar with the kind of work that goes into this, I would suggest that these sources can also be valuable sources for premium quality content. The type to linkbait professors, and (more…)
To my friends, acquaintances and readers: I’ve got a sweet link opportunity for you that combines charity with trusted educational links.
Together with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s student union (the “Aguda”) and the Office of Student Activities of the Rothberg International School, we’re organizing an anti-smoking programme. The idea is to give away -free – nicotine gum to students who want to quit, to help them kick the habit.
We’ll be setting up stalls where students can come ask for a pack of the gum, and invite them to give us their names/emails for follow up to see how they’re doing a little later. Permission marketing rather than interruption marketing, to avoid giving away gum to students not really determined to quit.
If you want to contribute to buying these gums for students, send me an email at gab@seor.. for details. I’m taking payments for this through Paypal, as well as contributing $1000 myself. We’ve also got people matching donations dollar for dollar, so that if you give $10, you’re helping us get $20 total.
For the links, any donation over $100 gets you a link on the aguda’s old, trusted site and another one on the program’s site. We may get a third link n Rothberg’s site, but it’s unclear for now.
I’m not sure whether we can give optimum anchor text, but I’ll do my best to arrange it. For the record, Matt Cutts approves of charity-donation links.
Again, to send money and get links, email gab at this domain (seor..).
I’m currently working on an Advanced SEO Book. It will open with a number of principles that distinguish the thinking of advanced SEOs, and continue with a large variety of advanced tactics and ideas that illustrate this understanding. The following extract addresses the key question of people’s motivations. This applies equally to each side in a debate.
“What does the person comparison-reviewing these products want? To help, or to leverage their site into higher affiliate commissions?”
These questions illustrate the normal human instinct to use the argument that we think will be most appealing to the other side, or the argument that will make us look the most noble. We might tell a roommate that we did their laundry because we had some extra space [e.g. implying we’re nice guys] and not mention the fact that we’re hoping to have them OK a friend sleeping over on the couch next week.
Ask yourself why a person is arguing the way they are and not in some other way. Some useful questions in this regard are:
- Would it be respectable if they had some other motivation than what they’re presenting?
- Is this argument aimed at appealing to a wider variety of people than some other claims that advance a narrower interest?
- Who benefits from this? What are the consequences of accepting their argument, and how can people benefit from it?
For example, Google may claim that one of their goals is providing a better user experience.
It’s well-known that humans rely on brands as a short-cut to decision-making. What’s less well-known is that one measure Google uses for the effectiveness of their search results are the speed with which people click through. So by placing brands in the organic results, Google encourages brand-based decision shortcuts.
[Ed: I wrote this before Google made the brand shortcuts idea explicit, so it's funny re-reading this now in light of how things have developed.]
What effect does that have when brands are showing up in ad slots? It’s plausible that the net effect is a greater CTR for brand advertisers, who end up depending more on AdWords traffic and a lot bigger budgets to PPC as a result.
Of course, this is just theorizing about Google’s motivations. I’m not saying I have some inside memo as proof for this. Rather, I’m just demonstrating the application of these questions and the kinds of insights you might derive from such critical thinking.
The Paid Links Example
Perhaps a more obvious and well known example in the realm of search marketing is the battle between Google and paid links. Google has repeatedly put out statements to the effect that they catch paid links and penalize one or both of the parties to the transaction.
To which many SEOs retorted that Google was just trying to fight a competing business model to their own, which is also selling links. For a long time I didn’t find that a convincing argument, because the phrasing was awkward.
Then one day Jordan Glogau explained it to me in these terms. Google sells traffic from the sponsored listings, and text link sellers really sell traffic from the organic listings. That clarified Google’s motives in the war on paid links where I’m concerned.
If you liked this excerpt, get another free chapter by email.
The situation: Your competitors have inbound links that are broken because of typos, changes in URL structures etc.
The common link building commentary: Most SEOs who’ve been around the link building block will tell you that it’s an opportunity to ‘build links’ for free – to pick low hanging fruit. Just drop the site owner a little email and voila – good as new. More juice for you! (more…)
I’ve just been reading some of SEOmoz’s Pro member tips and seeing their suggestions to use affiliate URLs that use hashtags, also referred to as the pound sign, number sign or hash mark.* For example, site.com/#aff123 . (more…)
An increasingly popular question in attribution management and in advertising measurement is what effect ads – that were viewed but not clicked on – have. These ads are known in the lingo as ‘View-Thrus’ or ‘View-Throughs.’ The related question people usually have is what percentage of credit to give view-thrus for conversions that came via multiple touchpoints (e.g. the customer saw and/or clicked several ads, before buying).
I’ve come up with an idea for an experiment to measure the effect of such “view-thru” ads on conversion, as well as on acquisition costs. (An acquisition cost is the cost-per-action of acquiring the lead/customer.) (more…)
Yesterday, I described what I saw as a trend towards content communities becoming commodified. We ended on the question – how do you build a competitive advantage in such a case? (more…)
Ads are increasingly being bought to promote content, rather than to create brand awareness or sell directly. What’s interesting to me about this is that it’s a trend growing in parallel with a trend amongst large, SEO-driven sites towards building blog-focused communities. (more…)
Competitive intelligence provides entertainment, an inside-track on industry trend-spotting, and the potential to develop tangential business opportunities before others, or at least catch up quickly. I gluttonously consume information, and thought I’d share some parts of my diet with other competitive intelligence collectors with hearty appetites. (more…)
Let’s face it – you’re only worth as much as it costs to replace you. Most businesses are going through budget cuts and lay-offs, or have at some point in the last two years, which makes it more important than ever to prove your value to your company or client.
They could hire another SEO for your salary… but they can’t hire another SEO; and a merchandising analyst; and a marketplace analyst; and a PR firm; and a blogger; and a customer service rep for your salary. Yet, a good SEO will be ALL of these things! (more…)
Are competitors mining your backlinks with tools like Yahoo! Site Explorer, Linkscape and Majestic SEO? Just because they can check your backlinks out, doesn’t mean you should make life easy by giving good data to their link building tools.
So here’s how to dirty the data that competitors see when using backlink checking tools or hub finders.
If you could find out what competitors’ conversion rates are and you can estimate the traffic value to your competition? Surely the PPC pros could use that conversion data…
Well, it turns out you can get a pretty good idea about competitors’ conversion rates. (more…)
After my previous great experiences going to you for advice, I thought I’d ask how I should go about creating my “Best Of” page? In particular, I’m interested in 2 things:
1) What posts belong there?
2) How should I highlight the page? I used to have a best of page in my main navigation, but it got very few clicks. I’d like to perhaps try a different approach – what would you guys suggest?
Here’s what I’ve been reading for the past few months. Most of these are excellent, and I encourage you guys to get your own copy. (more…)
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… And Based On That Projected ROI, Get Management Buy-In, Set Priorities and Spend Time Wisely.
Does the legal team or your boss absolutely insist on having a splash page? Here’s a tip to SEO the homepage in the search engines despite the splash. It’s untested as of yet, but I feel it’s good enough to be worth a try.
Are you ready?
by One Good Bumblebee
From the Seattle Times today (read in print version) comes a story headlined: “Google Says It Will Challenge Amazon On Electronic Books.” Loyal readers of mine would have known this was coming 7 months ago. Here are a few choice excerpts from my old post: (more…)
By observing patterns in visitor intent and demographics, conversion optimization and redesigns can be planned more intelligently. The patterns you identify can be used to create personas. Through my use of 4Q visitor surveys, I’ve learned the top reasons people visit SEO ROI Services and developed corresponding personas.
What’s a persona? (more…)
Normally, a 404 Not Found error is shown to visitors when they try to visit a non-existent page. But what about when there is a page there, only it doesn’t have what they want – what do you do then? One solution is to offer them a link to the right page, duh! Sounds simple, but it can actually be a bit tricky. Another is to update the page and answer people’s question. (more…)
1. You need social proof? “As Seen In [the following media]” is a popular and well-trusted form of social proof. So next time you run a campaign, why not hit up Google News for inspiration, plus the internal search functions of major news networks and trade publications? (more…)
by jalb If you’re using captchas to protect your forms, or other forms of logic, you’re probably finding that you’re still getting spammed despite the captcha.
Well, here is a new idea for you to beat those captcha cracka bots, and some ways to implement it. (more…)
Officially, SEO best practices say you can’t use those beautiful branded fonts in those pictures-of-text for your headings. And conversion best practices say that you may not always want to use keywords in the headings – just use whatever converts best. So wrapping an image with keyword-rich text in h1 tags is not the solution.
So how do you make the web designers and brand managers and conversion experts and SEO pros play nice and get along?
a – Have them talk it out and come to a compromise.
b – Go with a majority vote.
c – Have the SEO throw raging fire and brimstone until they comply.
More seriously, here’s a neat little workaround. (more…)