Friday, August 31, 2007

Have A Link Laugh Or Two

Too much serious around here today so - hope something here makes you laugh while you pick up an idea, tip or new source.

[Men and their envy issues. Notice what was capitalized in that Title and what wasn't ;] Jokes aside, the series of copywriting tips is pretty solid.

Amen Terry, Amen.

Andy...friend...come back to the five and dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean. Love the lists, like your opinion more :)

When it's a search engine???

Yeah !! for everyone here. Change is a good thing and there's no lack of it right now in SEOLand. Some for the better like this and then some for the...well... not so good. But no downers here, cuz this is a happy day for my buds.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

When Does It Cease to Be Link Marketing And Become Link Spam?

This little blog gets a fair amount of traffic and its share of spammy comments. I turned comments off a while ago when my irritation surpassed the novelty factor but brought them back when I decided to be a good blogging neighbor and embrace posting, linking out and comments even though they could be a pain to manage.

I get the usual "great info, thanks for sharing" or "very useful post" type comments that are not only unimaginative, but also a dead giveaway you’ve been hit by drive-by blog spammers. They almost always come from off-topic sites which I just delete.

But lately I've been noticing a number of comments pop up on posts I made 18 to 24 months ago sitting on URL's with a bit of PageRank showing. Even though I know these comments are being strategically placed, they're so well written I can't help but be impressed. These aren't the moronic "very useful post" type comments you see brought in by the auto bots but thoughtful well written pieces of marketing prose. They're longer, detailed and use shared keyword phrases found in my blog posts and in the Title or content of the site the link points to! Someone's been thinking here.

And like their spammy cousins, these link drops are from businesses in unrelated industries sharing keywords. For example, someone recently submitted comments on a post I did in early 2006 titled Nascar Links . The guy left a well written paragraph which incorporated keyword terminology from my blog post plus a couple of his own. The link he left pointed to a strategically optimized site for Nascar products.

My post had nothing to do with Nascar, it just used terminology and people associated with the sport. I feel fairly certain this was a human generated link drop and not something done by an auto-bot given the tone and depth of the comment. Someone had to read the post and figure out a way to incorporate what I said with their keywords. Really, it was pretty slick. (I'm taking notes ;)

And while I thought the post was savvy from a SEO perspective, I reluctantly acknowledge the link drop wasn't made as a good blogging neighbor. It was a calculated move done to affect rank. If I had left the comment up there, could someone have reported me under the new snitch rules? After all, the link was purposely put in place to manipulate Page Rank.

So I wonder... for all those bloggers out there who have open comments on aged sites with Page Rank showing, are they unknowingly setting themselves up to be reported as a link scheme? Does the fact this tactic was done through blog comments make it less a marketing tactic than cold-calling for links from blogs and websites?

When does it cease being a marketing tactic and move into link spam?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I was poking around Google Images today and I came across this post:

It was done a while ago so I'm late to the dance (as usual) but it's pretty funny all the same especially if you think about some of the matches!

V-Names: Matches Made In Search Marketing Heaven

"It’s Valentine’s Day! A day for love, decadence, and… humor hooks? We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity “match maker” with our favorite names in
search...And all in good fun, too**..."

Here They Are : V-Names : Our Crazy Eight!

1. Rand Fishkin + Vanessa Fox = Vand Fishfox
2. Lee Odden + Debra Mastaler = Lebra Oddmaster
3. Darin Babin + Amanda Wattlington = Amarin Babwattle
4. Todd Malicoat + Rebecca Leib = Tribeca MaleLobe
5. Matt Cutts + Jill Whalen = Jatt Whalecutts
6. Danny Sulivan + Jane Copeland = Janny Dopeland
7. Bruce Clay + Shari Thurow = Artist Formerly Known as Brushy.
8. Jim Boykin + Jennifer Laycock = Jimmifer Boycock

Had to ping Jennifer and point out her new moniker. Not to be outdone, Jenn came up with a couple of her own:

Matt McGee + Lisa Barone = Misa McBone

Stoney deGeyter + Kalena Jordan = Kaloney DeJoyter

Mikkel deMib Svendsen + Liana Evans = Likkel de Evansden

Here's my lone entry: (not feeling particulary creative today)

Greg Boser + Wendy Perisall = Grendy Poser
THIS is why I never get around to updating my website.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No Ink Trail On These Newspaper Links

The hub-bub over buying links really started to gather steam about two years ago, that's when I seem to recall see/hearing the search engines go public with their dislike of the technique. It really heated up after someone suggested the advertisers on the O'Reilly network were spamming the engines and the Berkeley College newspaper was singled out as an example of advertising gone bad.

The whole situation soured me on using newspapers as a source to find links but I had a re-think the other day after I read a report from the Newspaper Assn. of America where over 59 million people or 37.3 percent of all active internet users visited an online newspaper site in the second quarter of this year.

The report went on to quote the NAA’s President as saying:

These (newspaper) sites continue to adapt to evolving consumer demands, frequently allowing user comments on articles and offering thought-provoking blogs to complement the journalistic excellence that makes newspapers a community's most trusted resource.

My linkey senses started tingling after I read the last part. With all those people visiting a "trusted source" I decided I needed to move past any issues I had with newspapers and go look for opportunities.

I couldn’t find a list of the online newspapers used in the report but did come across a slightly older study (Nov. 2006) done on the Top 100 Newspaper Web Sites. I pulled the top three papers and decided I'd try looking for links I didn't have to pay for. Here's some of what I found:

The New York Times.

· Offers a detailed media kit that explains the hows and why of advertising on their sites. Very helpful in figuring out which pages have high traffic counts.

· Of the papers I checked, The NY Times has the largest list of blogs and bloggers. They break them down by category making it easy to find and pitch them on articles and stories.

· Under Classifieds there's a directory to add your business to, no signs of pink links here.

The Washington Post.

· In addition to offering a media kit, The WP has a blog directory. Check out the blogroll under Network Members, I'm sure you'll recognize a couple of people.

· The City Guide offers local businesses the opportunity to add a listing. Links in both the blog directory and the City Guide are clean, all the pages checked were listed in both Yahoo and Google.

USA Today

· Has a so-so media kit and a couple of internal directories, but none show a meter of green.

· Check out the site map, it's detailed and lists columnists/bloggers by category for easy contact.

· Best feature on this site is the USAToday community.

As a member, you can participate ... by contributing your own comments and reviews throughout the entire site. Interact with our expert journalists...Connect with other readers...Create your own blog. Upload photos. Find and interact with people like you.

The community is free to join.

Having a topical blog on a site like USA Today makes sense, editors looking for sources, quotes and links tend to turn to people from their home site first since there's a bond of commonality established. If you want to become known for a certain something, this is a good way to do it.

I spent a total of about 20 mintues on the three sites to pull the information listed here. Some of it isn't a cut and dry submission opportunity but overall, the sites can be easily mined for free linking opportunity. / Digg