SEO Services For Serious ROI. Blog Posts For Serious SEOs.

Facebook Political Ads – Facebook’s Dumb Ad Blocking Algo

It’s election season here in Israel, and many politicians whose views I oppose are showing me Facebook ads.


Win Prizes From SEOmoz, Conversion Conference & More – The Advanced SEO Blogging Contest

Want to win amazing prizes like a 1 Year Memberships to SEOmoz or a full Conversion Conference pass?

To Win, Share The Most Creative SEO Tactic You Can Think Of!

How To Enter The Contest

Email with your new tactic/idea (ideally with accompanying case study). Use the subject line CONTEST ENTRY (all caps please – makes it easy for me to pick through email and find entries).

Include links to all photos, videos, audio etc. and say where the content is meant to go in your post. Ex.: “Insert Youtube video: link—– here.”

To Win The Contest

You need to have your entry be a finalist (judged on non-bounced visitors), and then have the judges pick your entry to win.

Contest Prizes

First Place Grand Prize:

1 Full Ticket To A Conversion Conference – value: $1,995
1 Year of SEOmoz Pro membership – value: $1,188
1 Year of MixRank Professional – value: $1164
1 Year of CognitiveSEO Starter plan – value: $588
125 Credits at Feng-GUI’s predictive heatmapping tool – value: $250
1 Year of Website-Monitoring availability checking service for up to 5 URLs – value: $240

Second Place:

1 Single-Day Ticket To A Conversion Conference – value: $1,195
6 Months of SEOmoz Pro membership – value: $594
6 Months of MixRank Professional – value: $582
1 Year of Website-Monitoring service for up to 3 domains – value: $170
50 Credits at Feng-GUI – value: $100

Third Place:
1 Single-Day Ticket To A Conversion Conference – value: $1,195
3 Months of MixRank Professional – value: $291
1 Year of Website-Monitoring service for 1 domain – value: $72
25 Credits at Feng-GUI – value: $50

Finalist prizes:

1. Every finalist entry (includes grand prize, second and third) will be printed in The Advanced SEO Book’s second edition and included in the ebook version as well.
2. Every finalist (includes grand prize winners, second and third) will get mailed a copy of The Advanced SEO Book (second edition) and emailed an ebook copy (first and second editions).

Entrance prizes:

30% Discount at Website Monitoring
20% Lifetime discount at CognitiveSEO

How We’ll Determine The Contest Winners

1. Your entries are judged on two factors: the unique visitors your post attracts AND judges’ subjective opinions.

2. The top 10 entries (by unique, non-bounced visitors) will be the finalists. I (Gab Goldenberg, the contest organizer) will have veto power over posts judged to have manipulated their way into the top 10, so don’t bother with tricks or spam.

Unique non-bounced visitors are based upon Google Analytics numbers. The formula is Unique Visitors x (100% – Bounce Rate).

3. The judges and myself will review the top 10 entries and pick the winners.

Contest Rules

1. There are no minimum word counts. Cover all the details necessary for others to be able to implement your tactic, and leave it at that.

2. You’re encouraged to include pictures, but they must be royalty-free and you must have the legal right to use them.

In fact, your entire entry can be just an image (ex.: infographic, flow chart etc).

3. You can’t enter someone else’s work as your own.

4. You can’t enter previously published work.

5. Embedding content is fine, so long as it’s legal.

6. If you do a video or audio entry, please provide either a summary or transscription for ease of reference/usability. This is to your benefit as it will strongly increase your chances of winning since more people will enjoy and share your content.

7. The contest will publish entries from Monday, MixRank competitive ad tool logoober 8th, 2012 to Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, but submissions can be made from today (Sept 10). The traffic will be counted based on the whole period. For entries submitted in the last 7 days of the contest, the traffic will be calculated from the day the entry is published + 6 days (i.e. a 7 day period). Thus the traffic counting period will end at the latest November 13th (November 7th + 6 days).

Following this period, judges will pick the winners from the top-traffic getting posts.

I’ll go on to share some tips on winning the contest below, but first some thanks to our sponsors:


Conversion Conference - It's all about the conversion
Conversion Conference teaches attendees the latest techniques in A/B and multivariate testing, website data analysis, landing page design and layout, usability and optimization for mobile, tablets and paid search campaigns.

It’s lead by the author of the book, Landing Page Optimization, Tim Ash. Speaking personally, I’ve learnt a lot from Tim and can say definitely that this is a high-value show.

SEOmoz created Linkscape and Open Site Explorer, the SEO world’s first non-Yahoo powered link index and research tools.

They offer much more of course, including their advice via pro members’ Q&A, SEO app, social media monitoring, keyword difficulty/trifecta tool, FollowerWonk, rank tracking and still more beyond that!

Cognitive SEO

Cognitive SEO is a new SEO toolset that automates something many of us do manually – link analysis and classification (guest post, blog comment etc), besides for other link tools.

Their data is sourced from SEOmoz, Majestic, AHrefs and more – so it’s extremely high quality.

Feng-GUI offer designers, advertisers and creatives, a tool that uses a scientific algorithm to predict what people will most look at. This helps you find out if you have visual clutter or visual clarity, as well as what the dominant graphic elements are.

They report results in heatmap and gaze-plot format, which helps with visual hierarchy and conversion rate optimization. I personally have an account and find it quite useful. See the #1 tip for homepage design, for an example of the reports. logo Website-Monitoring by SiteImpulse constantly checks websites’ availability and validates their functions.

Each outage is reported instantly with email and SMS alerts and recorded in database for future analysis.

MixRank competitive ad tool logo MixRank offers a competitive intelligence tool for online display ads, so online marketers can find the most relevant traffic sources in their industry. SEOs can monitor what publishers your competitors are paying for clicks on and snap up that traffic for free by contacting the webmaster directly for link building.

Don’t forget that you can also plug these sites into free keyword tools to uncover new keyword ideas (based on those sites’ content) that will generate additional, relevant traffic.

Tips To Win The Contest

Content Suggestions:

+ Surprise people!

Challenge a common assumption or the “accepted” way of doing things. Can you even do the complete opposite?

+ Integrate more than one discipline.

Ex.: How can you use email to make search visitors convert higher? This post on integrating Facebook demographics into keyword research was extremely popular, partly for this reason and partly because it surprised people by showing that Facebook data could be useful for SEO.

+ Make it easy to implement.

Sharing a tactic as opposed to just an idea? The above Facebook + keyword research tactic was creative – but inaccessible for many. If your tactic requires custom-code, can you offer a standard script people can just download or copy? If it requires some particular server-side doodling, can you shoot a video showing how it’s done, step-by-step? Have you provided simple step-by-step instructions?

+ Appeal to different learning styles with audio / visual.

Some people learn best by reading, while others learn by watching or listening. If you can speak to more learning styles, then you can get more visitors.

+ Write 10 titles, then pick the best.

Have some friends rate them and give you feedback on which to use. Avoid “clever” titles since you’re probably the only one who’ll get it – speaking from my own experience as one who’s made this mistake several times.

Promotion Suggestions: Don’t just publish, promote!

+ Ask friends on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to read the entry and share the post and/or vote it up at or other relevant sites. Don’t make them feel obligated – acknowledge that they have their integrity and say that they should only promote it if they like it.

+ Write a blog post sharing the link to your entry and encourage your readers to go read it, and share it themselves.

+ Got an email list? Offer a teaser with a link to read the full thing.

+ Consider some ads:

Stumbleupon Ads start at 10 cents, and getting stumbleUpon thumbs up from paid visits will generate additional free visits. Similarly, Twitter ads start around 50 cents a click but can get retweets especially from influential Tweeters.

Terms & Conditions

1. All entrants give Gabriel Goldenberg the right to publish their entry in part or in its entirety online, in book and ebook format. This includes images and any screen captures of video. The right is transferrable.

2. The contest is open to people age 18+.

3. I reserve the right not to publish any entry for any reason whatsoever, or to delete any entry for any reason whatsoever. This is unlikely to happen if you use your judgment and follow the rules and guidelines.

4. The entry must not have been previously published elsewhere online or offline.

5. I reserve the right to change the rules as necessary, at my sole discretion. (I can’t predict if the prizes will incent misbehaviour, so I have to include this to allow me to remedy the situation if there’s a problem).

The above rules, terms etc were heavily inspired by JobMob’s guidelines. Thanks Jacob!

Aleyda Solis On Spanish SEO, Networking Tools & International SEO Project Management

Aleyda Solis, Spanish SEO ConsultantGab: Aleyda Solis is one of the savviest SEO experts in Spain and even in international SEO, which fact is obvious from her role managing an SEO team in the highly competitive field of Forex, or Foreign Exchange trading. We recently chatted over email about her

In addition, she runs a SEO consultancy called Orainti, and is prominent in the search space, writing at State of Search and her SEO blog; co-organizing the SEO+You meetup in Madrid; speaking at SEO conferences and tweeting SEO news and resources SEO blog.

I’m from Montreal Quebec, where a large percentage of people only speak French, and this slows the transfer of technology there. To what extent is that an international problem? Do Spaniards also lag behind the English-speaking world in technology?

Yes, in general that is an international problem and that happens for the Spanish speaking world too.

I think it’s always like that in technology: new products and services are usually launched first for the US market in English and later for the rest of the world.

You can also see that with online marketing and SEO related news, for example, Google updates are almost always launched first in English for the US and the latest information is usually in English.

At the end of the day this makes that for SEO it is fundamental to speak English in order to be updated in our field.

Who are the top Spanish-language bloggers you read?

Most of the blogs I read are in English –because of what we talked before-, nonetheless in Spanish I highly enjoy blogs like:

And of course the posts shared by Spanish SEO colleagues and friends, such as Lakil (, SEOcom (, Lino (, Jose Llinares (, Iñaki (, Fernando Muñoz (, Jose Moreno (, MJ Cachon ( and Christian (

Share some social media networking secrets. What do you do for successful outreach?

1. Identify and connect

Who do I share interests with? Who can I learn from? Who and where are the leaders of my sector? Connect with them!

A great tool for this is

2. Observe and Listen

Learn from what is shared. Take a look of what is successful within your audience. Analyze and understand its behavior. A useful tool to do it is

3. Interact nicely and create value

Be honest, provide relevant feedback in a nice way. Share useful information to your audience according to what you have identified.

You’re speaking soon at SEOmoz’s MozCon. What’s the topic of your presentation and what will people take away from it?

My presentation at MozCon will be about Successful SEO Project Management, where I will be sharing best practices and tools to effectively managing SEO projects.

I have had the chance to wear many hats in very different scenarios as SEO that have given me the chance to learn the importance of good project management.

First as an SEO specialist, then as Head of the SEO department in an Online Marketing agency, later as an In-House SEO and now I’m a mix, of an Independent SEO consultant with my own company and also a Global SEO manager working remotely for an online company.

At the moment I work with people who are in Moscow, Madrid, Berlin, Podgorica and New York parallely so an effective management and workflow for the SEO process is fundamental to make things happen as initially defined.

Unfortunately I’ve seen SEO processes fail not due to he lack of SEO capacity or understanding but because of aspects that are more related to the coordination of a multidisciplinary, multidepartment project.

My goal is that after the presentation even highly experienced SEOs that will be attending to MozCon can have a much more specific criteria and roadmaps to follow when facing diverse SEO project scenarios that can be sometimes complex to manage.

What advice would you give to beginning, Spanish-focused SEOs?

Keep updated
Twitter is a great platform not only to interact with more experienced SEO specialists you can learn from but also an excellent way to keep updated with the latest SEO news and identify new SEO resources to use.

Develop your own tests
If you don’t apply what you read or think might work you will never develop a real advantage over your competitors. Besides validating what is shared you also need to create your own hypotheses and check if they work. Like this you will also gain experience, which is very important if someone is starting.

Connect with others

Attend to local SEO events. For example you can attend for free in Madrid to SEO+You)  -an event that I organize with other SEO colleagues-, there’s also another great event called Evento SEO and in Barcelona there’s Clinic SEO. ??You also have local SEO conferences, like Congreso SEO Profesional , where you will have the opportunity to learn from and network with experienced SEO specialists.

Identify your USP

There are already a lot of SEOs out there, so what can you offer that they don’t? What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? Usually you can find this when you have already developed a bit of experience, see what are you the best at and what you love the most in SEO. Maybe it’s link-building or technical SEO, the important thing is to identify it and make the most out of it to provide a unique value to your clients and have an advantage over your competitors.

Have fun

If you’ve started doing SEO because you’ve been told is great but you’re not enjoying it really… you should ask yourself if this is really what you want. Remember: you should always love what you do and have fun!


Chris Dyson On The Business of SEO Consulting: Learning, Prospecting, Partnering, Client Expectations and more!

Chris DysonI recently sat down with Chris Dyson over email and we got to chat about a topic many SEOs regularly ask about: how do you run an SEO consulting business?? Of course, our interview ranged wider and addressed topics such as, but even those essentially are tangents of our main discussion.

Jason Acidre Reveals 10 Unique SEO Tips From CounterStrike & Offline Networking

Jason Acidre@ Jason Acidre is the Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, a Philippine-based Inbound Marketing Consulting Agency. He’s also the author of Kaiserthesage, an SEO blog, and has been the marketing strategist for Affilorama affiliate training for the past 2 years. [I gave him nicer anchor text; he didn't ask for it, for you haters out there.]

You’ve built an impressive amount of comments on your posts [ed: 20+ average] in just under 2 years of blogging. What 3 things have you done that have most encouraged this community of commenters to build around your blog? (more…)

BookCrossing – Marketing Insights From A Unique Online/Offline Community is a unique book giving community where people label their books, give them to other members to read and then those members pass them on further to others. In 11 years it’s grown to over 1M members, with 9M books in circulation.


How BookCrossing Works
How BookCrossing Works: Label your books, share them with others, and follow its travel worldwide!

Heather Mehra PedersenIn this unique interview, Co-Founder & Director of Finance Heather Mehra-Pedersen shares what has helped grow their community, motivate their members and ultimately build the business. (more…)

Four New Web & Productivity Social Networks For SMBs

Here’s a look at 4 new platforms and why you should consider getting social on these networks.



How I’m Bulk Creating 200+ Ads With High CTR In Facebook Campaigns

facebook ad
This is the process I’m following to create ad campaigns on Facebook promoting my advanced SEO book.

If you like this, get a free chapter from my book on advanced SEO! Or get my latest posts by email or RSS!


SEO godfather in black hatImages – Royalty free stock ex SXC, plus my own headshots – faces draw eyes so it’s worth starting with those to get a high CTR and low CPC.
Social Ads Manager (SAM) by Brighter Option – bulk ad creation, upload, powerful tracking built in, save targeted interests for reuse, great support by skype and email, cost is % of spend
Pixlr & MS Paint – Cropping, adjusting image brightness and contrast to shout louder, adding text and certain effects. Free! YAAY.
FBAdsToolbox – To add standard effects like image borders in different colors and certain neat image effects like scroll buttons, video play buttons etc. Very affordable at $58/year (save $60+) or $12/mo. (more…)

Twit Cleaner – Really Useful Tool To Unfollow Dead, Useless, Bot Accounts

I love Twit Cleaner!

34-40% Never Use Social Media – Oxford

For all the people saying that you just need the social media to be a marketing success – 4/10 people are 100% inaccessible to you.

Measuring Use of Social Networking Sites.

Typically, these are older people, like those who still want to print the materials on your site and ask to be mailed brochures.

Like this? Get my latest posts by email or RSS to keep up with the latest news and tactics.

Quick Link & Relationship Building Time Savers

It’s no secret that editorial links are typically relationship driven, but who has time to build relationships? That’s why we talk at each other in ephemeral tweets that last 140 characters … if you had that kind of lasting power in your relations with your wife, a divorce would not be long in coming! (more…)

What’s The ROI On Social Media?

Social media generates ROI in the form of networking benefits.


Tools I Want

I’ve been digging into online marketing tools and to my chagrin, most want an annual fee (or one time payment usually roughly equivalent). It’s the rise of SAAS…

Email: (more…)

MJ Taylor On Community, Building A Client List And SEO

M.-J. Taylor is a moderator on V7N’s forums and has been working in SEO since 1997. She’s recently launched a SEO & social blog and offers services via her site Cyber-Key , focused on the web design and SEO in the Florida Keys.

How did you get involved with V7N?

I was a moderator on WebProWorld and kept hearing about V7N from other members. I checked it out. It wasn’t the most learned forum I’d ever visited, but it was the friendliest. I was made to feel welcome and a “part of.” And I felt I was needed, as well as wanted. (more…)

Who’s The Best Social Media Agency / Company In Canada?

A friendly business acquaintance of mine, Jean-Julien of Sid Lee, asked this question recently on Quora. I thought I’d answer here for the benefit of my readers.

The question is kind of futile, in my view. It’s the same way many marketing award shows are only aimed at promoting themselves (they charge thousands per submission…). Just as those award shows don’t really pinpoint the best in the country, it would be impossible to answer this question accurately without doing a comprehensive rating… and none of these answers (award shows, surveys, etc) are ever really comprehensive. (more…)

3 Cheap Tools to Attack the Panda Update Head-On

This is a guest post by Brian Patterson, a partner at SEO consulting firm Go Fish Digital.

The Google Panda Update hit many webmasters like a freight train, leaving a long line of quality websites as collateral damage.  While the Panda update did have the noble cause of weakening the grip that content farms had on the SERPs, many high-quality, content-rich websites were cleaned from Google in one fail swoop.  To address the outrage found across the blogosphere, Google has provided a list of questions to ask yourself if you want your rankings to return.

From the list of questions Google provided, I’d like to propose 3 cheap solutions that could help get you back in Google’s favor.

1.  Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?

I think it is a little ridiculous of Google to even consider this as something to base rankings on, but I won’t get very far arguing with them (I’ll leave that to Aaron Wall).

The question is, what could we possibly do to have Google think the answer for this is ‘yes’ for our website?   Remember, they are doing this via algorithm, so it’d be pretty hard for them to analyze our design or look for other superficial indicators of trust.

However, there are ‘tangible’ items that they can check for to indicate trust, and  what makes the most sense to me is for Google to check for the ‘Verisign Verified’ seal.  It’d be pretty easy for Google to look for this, and if it is there, the website gets the box checked on this question.  At ~$19/month, its a minimal investment if your website was previously making a great deal of money but took a big Panda hit.

Verisign verification image

2.  Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?

This question does have merit, but I really doubt Google’s sophistication to check for deep stylistic and grammar errors. While the built-in Microsoft Word grammar check is ok and probably on par with what Google would be able to do (my speculation), Apple’s built in grammar check is atrocious.

Rather than rely on these built-in tools, my preference of late has become a very comprehensive ‘cloud’ grammar check tool called Grammarly.  This tool grades the grammar of an article, performs comprehensive content reviews, and offers rich suggestions for improving the quality of an article.  At around $10/month, it is well worth the investment and I’m pretty confident it’s much more comprehensive in reviewing content than Google could ever be (because grammar isn’t the space Google operates in full-time).


3.  Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

The recent ranking correlation data gathered and analyzed by SEOmoz is nothing short of shocking. Of all of the metrics they track, Facebook Shares (not ‘Likes’) have the highest correlation to rankings.  Google’s question on ‘sharing’ here, plus this corellation data, leads me to believe that Facebook and other social shares could be a critical signal in the Panda algorithm.  There are hundreds of tools to help in this space, but I’d like to point out a few of my favorites… and the best part is, these are free!

  • ShareThis – Put this button at the end of your article.  It’ll give people an opportunity to easily share your content across a number of social and bookmarking sites.
  • –  Facebook is making it more difficult to do ‘sharing’ and instead favors their ‘Like’ button.  Sharing on Facebook means that it can show up in another users ‘Top News’, whereas just ‘Liking’ a piece of content will not show up in one of your friend’s ‘Top News’. This handy little widget does all of the work for you to get ‘Share’ on your site.

In addition to these two tools, increasing your overall engagement in social media will ensure that your content constantly stays in people’s various social streams.

So there you have it, 3 tools that can help you beat the Panda update.  Matt Cutts has indicated that the Panda algorithm is not run daily, so it could take some time to bounce back after implementing all of the various changes being suggested.

This is one of the most sweeping updates Google has performed, and sites caught in the cross-fire can expect numerous tweaks and adjustments by Google as time goes by. By focusing on what Google is saying publicly about the update, we can attempt to make educated guesses on how to satisfy the various pieces of the algorithm.

Learn more about Brian Patterson and his ORM work here.

Sphinnterview With David Wallace

This interview with David Wallace of SEM Firm SearchRank was part of a series of interviews I ran with prominent members of Sphinn. Note that these were carried out a couple of years ago, and thus are partly dated – but also interesting to see what still holds true and what predictions have come true.

See the full list of previous interviews at the end of this post, for more interviews. David Wallace

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

(more…) Review – Should You Join A PPC Coaching Community?

Earlier in 2010 I had the good fortune to be offered a free review membership at in exchange for a review. With the necessary disclosure given, here’s my take on PPC Blog. (more…)

Sphinnterview With Tad Chef

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place. Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry, Bob Gladstein, Bill Hartzer and Wiep Knol.

Tad ChefTadeusz Szewcyk, aka Tad Chef for short, does German SEO and writes the longstanding and successful SEO 2.0 blog.

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

A name and reputation in the global SEO industry. Ability to discuss virtually with industry leaders. Being bookmarked, stumbled and mixxed by people who notice me on Sphinn. Getting authority, topical links. Ego massage.

2) Share 3 – 5 key elements of your success with Sphinn.

Avatar, networking with other Sphinn users on many different platforms, catchy titles, being provocative without harming people, voting for others.

3) What other social networks do you participate in? Can you share your usernames there, and what type of content you’d consider sharing with the other members of those sites as well what you wouldn’t pass on?

StumbleUpon – onreact-com, Mixx –, Pownce, Blogcatalog

4) What features (besides those announced, like “Mark as spam/Bury”) would you like to see on Sphinn?

Submissions and votes per URL view, report shady SEO directly to Matt Cutts, Sphinn member of the day Entrecard like rotation on Search Engine Land.

5) Are you a socialist or a medium? [A weak attempt at playing on 'social media' that no one I asked this of understood. = bad joke]


6) Define the term: “Sphinn doctor.” [Ditto, except Tad got this hehe.]
I don’t like postmodern puns. Done them when postmodernism was en vogue and I wanted to be a linguist 15 years ago.

7) Besides only submitting their own stuff or only sphinning their own stuff, what are some common mistakes people make with social media?

Focusing on quantity not quality. Focusing on traffic not people. Focusing on traffic not reputation. Being too much about business.

8 ) Tell us a minimum 3 non-Sphinn items about yourself that people could use to catch your eye on Sphinn (i.e. to Sphinnbait you).

Art, design, politics.

9) Which of Cialdini’s 6 principles do you feel most important to gaining influence and why? Can you share some anecdotes?

Reciprocation, liking, authority: I had a really tough time on Sphinn to get noticed, none of my first 20 posts went hot.

Only after getting linked, stumbled and being voted for by me people started noticing me. Then they liked me so much I was submitted and voted up on Sphinn with everything, even stuff that was mediocre.

Now this phase is over but I already gained the authority to make people read my stuff at least. So if my submission rocks it will still get hot.

10) What is the future of social media?

Social media will go mainstream for real while the audiences will get scattered around many interconnected platforms.

[Ed: Astonishingly accurate prediction!]

For more awesome interviews, add my rss feed to your reader or get my latest posts by email!

Sphinnterview With Bill Hartzer

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place. Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry, Bob Gladstein and Wiep Knol.

Bill HartzerBill Hartzer is an expert SEO who also engages in corporate B2B website marketing.

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

As an online marketer, it’s important to have a presence in the industry. (more…)

Sphinnterview With Wiep Knol

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place, as well as Twitter not being mentioned). Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Bob Gladstein, Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry.

Wiep Knol Wiep runs the popular Link Building Blog aka, and co-founded which you’ll agree is pretty self-explanatory. (It’s part of the inspiration for me to get off my ass and do something with …)

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

Sphinn turned out to be not only a great networking tool, but also the perfect place to find outstanding SEO related info. (more…)

Sphinnterview With Bob Gladstein

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place. Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry.

Bob GladsteinBob Gladstein is the chief boss man (my words) at Raise My Rank, which offers SEO services in Somerville, MA. To thank him for his kindness with this interview, I’ve hotlinked the picture on his about page. ;D

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

Scratchpad: Social Media Analytics, WP Plugins & Google’s Display Ad Strategy

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…)

Interview W/ Pat Altoft On Sphinn

Patrick Altoft directs search for Branded3, a Leeds-based full service digital agency. He also runs the popular Blogstorm SEO blog and is a pretty interesting guy to chat to overall! Hit him up if you’re looking for search services in the UK! Patrickt Altoft

Interview W/ Sebastian, of Sebastian’s Pamphlets, on Sphinn

Sebastian is the technical genius and SEO behind Sebastian’s Pamphlets. This warm fellow’s well-known avatar is rather ironic – a crab! Sebastian the crab (more…)

Social Media ROI Metrics Depend On The Online Community

While measuring relationships should be the paradigm for social media analytics tools, relationship building is just an intermediate step for any marketing campaign. Ultimately, marketing needs to drive financial metrics found on balance sheets or income statements.

But the ROI you can derive from social media isn’t uniform across communities. (more…)

Sphinn Interview Series: David ‘theGypsy’ Harry

A long, long time ago… almost 2 years to the month… I asked a bunch of cool Sphinners I was getting to know for their advice and insights on that great search marketing network we know as Sphinn. For various reasons, I never published those interviews – until now! (SEOptimise reminded me.) In light of Twitter and Facebook‘s exponential growth in the past 2 years, the changes in the link graph this has engendered, and related developments, these answers are pretty interesting.

Dave runs the seo training center known as the Dojo. He’s got some remarkable testimonials, not least of which because of who is giving them. I recognized 4-5 names.

David Harry

“Well sheee-it there monsieur Gabs, not sure what use this will be but I said I would give ‘er a go and I shall…. Right away I just wanted to say that while I appreciate your kind words and invitation to get social, I spend as much time playing the devil’s advocate in the world of Social Media Marketing as I do supporting it. I am certainly not a social media darling ( almost a Social Media Ninja though….)

Without further ado… let’s get into it;

What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn ?

Well, I suppose the real benefits have been;

1. Making new friends
2. Padding my address book
3. Maxing out my reader
4. Some increased visibility
5. And of course access to learning something new every day :) (more…)

My First SMX Advanced Conference

This is a guest post by Troy Redington. Find him on Twitter @TroyRedington, and his wife, an architect and photographer, at Johwey!

As the solo in-house SEO for Fatwallet, it is important that I keep up with the constant changes of the industry. My two staple conferences have been SESNY and Pubcon Vegas. Last spring I was toying with the idea of attending Pubcon South instead of SES when Danny Sullivan told me to skip both and go to SMX Advanced. I decided to go to New York. Big mistake. SES sucked, and the SMX Advanced conference was blessed with the nofollow pagerank evaporation announcement. (more…)

How BuzzStream Made Itself Waaaay More Valuable

I was reading this post by Ann Smarty on SalesForce’s brilliant WP plugin, and it reminded of recent news from BuzzStream. BuzzStream are like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but for link prospects. And they just added Twitter functionality.

Any link builder worth his salt knows that the best links are about repeatability.
And relationships are a big part of making links repeatable.
Twitter builds relationships.
Ergo, Twitter makes repeatable links possible.

It used to be the case that you had to copy-paste or do manual data entry if you were building relationships for clients on Twitter and using BuzzStream as your link prospect manager.
Now you can just synchronize Twitter and BuzzStream and your efforts will be pulled in directly.


Longtime readers will recall that human resource managers should be measuring social media for your company. This also ties in to using Twitter as a community, which imho is more efficient than seeing it as a broadcast platform.

If you like this post on tools/social/link building, check out my advanced SEO book and get a free chapter.

How Facebook Built A Competitive Advantage While Blocking Google

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…)

Is The Trend Towards Content-Communities Commodifying Them?

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…)

Twitter Grayhat Tip: Fake It Till You Make It

As my friend Mike Gray pointed out at SMX Advanced, RTing is a great way to get people’s attention and build a relationship with them. The difficulty is getting people’s attention when they write a really popular post that gets RTed 100+ times.

So here’s the greyhat solution. (more…)

What’s Your Twitter Reach? Find Out With This Formula

Twitter Meta Moo! too far?Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License (Image by Josh Russell) What’s your real Twitter reach? People keep mistakenly promoting the tactic of getting tens of thousands of followers on Twitter by following everyone else, for the sake of having massive influence with any single tweet. But if everyone followed everyone else – the logical conclusion of this tactic – then the tactic dies. Because the attention given to any one tweet would be so tiny as to be meaningless.

Your Twitter stream would amount to a blur of tweets. In that case, no one would have very much broadcasting influence, even though everyone has millions of followers.

So I came up with some simple math to calculate your true Twitter broadcasting reach / influence. (more…)

Social & Information Retrieval Scratchpad

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…)

Use Human Resources To Measure Social Media Marketing

Aha! I finally realized why measuring relationships is the best way to measure social media results! Two words: Opportunity Cost. (more…)

My Year In Review, Scratchpad Style

Here’s what I’ve experienced and learned in the past year. Feel free to skim, but as with my scratchpad first discussing submarine crawling, what you read here today may be industry-changing search news in 6 months… (more…)

Facebook Needs Subscribe to Comments App!

I can’t be the only one who comments on a photo and wants to see what responses, if any, the comment gets. And with Facebook expanding commenting to anything that can show up in the news feed, such as status updates, shared video/audio/image content, this app is even more important. This could easily be a top 10 app. The question is just how would you monetize it? Make it a branding move for your blog platform, maybe?

Footnote: This would help those users with naked pics of themselves on Facebook

When Pirates Share Their Booty, SEOs Rejoice

The Pirate Bay – the world’s largest peer-to-peer site, which focuses on torrent technology – lets you view what people are searching for (Not Safe For Work (NSFW)) as well as its tag cloud (NSFW), which I presume is what people are sharing, in the most literal sense.

At the risk of stating what may be obvious to most SEOs, when pirates share their booty, keyword research is a lot easier. (more…)

Social Media Analytics Via The FriendFeed API

I’ve written before about what I see as the correct paradigm for measuring social media success: the strength of the relationships you’ve built. I’ve been aware of FriendFeed for a while, but I wasn’t aware what it was precisely. And more importantly, I didn’t know that it had an API.

I’m aware of both now. So FYI: you can create a basic social media analytics software/platform. (more…)

What Can I Do For You, Commentators?

The video with my thoughts and questions is after the jump. Please give me some feedback on this – what can I do for you guys? (more…)

Am I A Shy Communicator?

Angelo Racoma wrote an excellent piece at Performancing on how the web affects our social skills in the offline world. His point is that it makes us shy to meet people face to face and kind of lazy about actually communicating with folks. I tried posting the following comment, but it didn’t work…

“I’ll bet that’s why there are so many web-oriented conferences! BlogWorld Expo, Web 2.0, SMX series, SES Series, WebmasterWorld Pubcon, AdTech, Affiliates4U, Traffic, TechCrunch 40, … People want to connect with their friends for real!

“I’ve been on both sides of this (more…)

Why I Removed You As A StumbleUpon-Friend

1) You “send” me stuff too frequently. That little red number indicating things friends have shared on SU feels compelling – and if you’re compelling me to pay attention too frequently, it feels abusive and/or needy. Go away.

2) You send me a) junk or b) untargeted non-junk or worst of all c) untargeted junk. Fortunately for you, I’m going to keep it simple so it’s easy to understand: I’ll remove you in all of the above situations. Clear, huh?

Friends don’t annoy friends.

Social Platforms vs. Communities – Know The Difference or Fail

Have you been poked yet? Facebook t shirtTwitter is a platform (with etiquette, but still a platform). It is home to a number of broad and niche communities. Ditto Facebook. They both provide users with a set of tools and things they can do.

Digg is both a platform and a community, but Pligg (more…)

40+ Metric F***Tons Of Awesome Resources

While I’m usually not the one to swear on a professional blog, there are exceptional occasions where it’s appropriate, and this is one of them. I’m waaaaaay overdue for a links post, and there are so many quality ones here, that I had to use my affiliate friend‘s expression. (more…)

Measure Distribution to Project Content-Focused Link Building

My Network and DistributionAaron Wall claimed, in Strategic Content Based Link Building, that you could gain $10,000 worth of links with two days of work. That’s a lot of hyperbole, which goes back to how I didn’t make 3K in a week. My 3K post and my criticism in the comments on Aaron’s post is at the heart of this post’s idea: (more…)

CrowdSurfing On a TourBus in Israel – My Pro Partying Association Bona Fides

When you and a busload of friends have had several long hours of championship partying in the club where you gave 110%, and you’re still so pumped for overtime that you go over the top for the win – you’re a Hall of Fame member of the Pro Partying Association. (more…)

Handy Dandy Resources: Diamonds in the Rough Posts and Tools

Big ideas and food for thought:

30+ Weird, Educational and Stupid Search Screenshots

One of my favourite things to do when browsing the web is take screenshots of interesting things I notice, particularly in the SERPs, but also on other sites. It’s an easier way of taking notes and learning from others. Featured below are some sites you know, like DoshDosh, Treatment Search, Sphinn and others.

There’s also the genuinely stupid, some much more intelligent Sphinn spammers who’ve carefully observed what tips us off to spam, and more. In the interest of load times, I’ve linked to some pictures rather than post them here. Enjoy! (more…)

30 Lovely Resources and Helpful Links

You’re likely to see some of these in future posts here and aroud the various lovely places that take my stories. So check out as many of them as you have time for, cuz there are some real sweet ones in here.

Diorex doesn’t blog anymore, so Smaxor republished some of his classics. (more…)

No, I Won’t Vote For You. Yes, I Know You Voted For My Last Post.

I’m in a crap situation, and I need to learn to say no. First, because saying yes is eating into my own time and second because I’m embarassed to admit that I voted for friends’ submissions that were average and not really deserving of votes. (more…)

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