9.26.2005

Blog for Press Releases

In this time of not enough time, we all want to get our information out there as quickly as possible. Some of us have known that the major search engines were using blogs from press releases but not many other businesses are doing this. Loren Baker has some interesting points on her recent post. The main idea to take from this is that using a blog for press releases is a very powerful way to get your news out there. It is very easy to write the press release on the blog and then email whoever you want with the link. Not only will this get you news out but a few of online publishers may link to your blog.

I think it is important to note though that if your not a big company you should use the blog for more than press releases or you will never get anyone to read your thoughts. Strike a balance between having a conversation with people and telling people something. Most people come to blogs to take part in a conversation so limit the press releases, unless that is the only point of your blog.

9.23.2005

SEO Basics...Part 2

White VS. Black



I mentioned in this post that there are different ways to get up to the top of the listings. Basically these are separated out into two categories, white hat and black hat. Before going to far into it though it is important to note that the tactics of both or good strategies to get you to the top of the listings. Black does not necessarily mean that the strategies are bad. It just means that the way a black hat tactic is performed is frowned on by those in the SEO community who value doing things the right way, not to mention Google. So with that said on to examples of white and black.

White Hat


White hat tactics are ones in which you do not hurt others or trick a search engine to achieve your goal of getting to the top of the SERPs. The foundation of this is good site optimization and using natural link building (we'll come back to both of these in more detail later). Basically what Google want to see is a site that builds it reputation and links over time in a natural progression. Buying links can be one part of this but it must be done wisely and over time.

Black Hat


The way to think of this is to think of Wyatt Earp. He did his job, got his goals accomplished, but did it in a way that was questionable and frowned upon by some. That is black hat. Spam is a great example of this. Most people think of spam as the email you get in your box about little blue pills. While this is true there are other types of spam. One example of this is buying links from link farms that have pages solely to have hundreds of links on them without a rhyme or reason to what links are on the page. This tactic is not an honest way to get up the SERPs and will hurt you (usually) in the end.

What this all means


Basically what this all means is that you need to be careful when promoting you site. If you are not sure how get some help from experts who really know how to do it right. Research who you use. The company I work for has had to work hard to fix what other SEO's have broken, in some cases this means completely creating new sites with new URL's. I won't mention the company by name but Arron has. This company uses techniques that in the long wrong can get you banned from Google.

Well now I feel important!

I have to say that three days into blogging I did not expect to have Arron Wall of Seobook show up on my blog and post a comment. Well I assume it was Aaron becasue of what he said about my post on his new Myriad Search even though it was listed as anonymous.

">However, one must assume that the top results in each search engine are authority sites for that search term. I'm not convinced this is necessarily true.

That is the whole point of combining them and allowing searchers to adjust the weight of each engine...it lets you redefine the authority weightings offered from the regular search services. It is by no means perfect, but it is just another way to find information. I am also debating adding Alexa weighting and / or a few other things to the display.

thanks for the mention :)"

First I hope Aaron does not take offense to anything I said. I like the new Myriad search and any refinements will make it better of course. I think that it is another good tool to add to any SEO tool bag. I agree with his assertion that about the top placed listings not necessarily being authority sites.

Oh and no problem for the mention.

9.20.2005

Linking away on a blog

One of the main ideas when using a blog to raise you "rank" in search engines is to link away from the blog to other sites, even competitors. Now you may ask yourself, "If I want to keep people on my site, why would I make it easier for them to leave." Well the answer is a bit complex but lets just remember that leaving the site is a back button away for almost any user. So providing a link is not going to chase them away, even if it is to a competitors page. The link shows a couple things to users and search engines.

First the link shows the user that you have done your own research and you are inviting them to look at that research. This will allow a customer to trust you a bit more than they already did. This brings me to my second point, this "trust" is also used by Google. If you link to another site or blog that is talking about the same thing you are Google sees your site as an authority on what you are talking about. This makes Google trust you more and raises you up on the free SERP's.

So remember, linking away from your static web pages to a competitor is not always a great idea, but if you are blogging it is a great way to get a higher page rank, which should help your main page if you set up the blog right.

Stuntdbl nails it again

Just a quick post. Stuntdbl has a great post about who to listen to in SEO. The basics of it is that you should surround yourslef with people who know what they are talking about. I know the company I work for has certainly done that. We have people versed in all areas of internet marketing. No matter where you go or who you hire to do your SEO if you are not doing it yourself, make sure they know what ther are talking about.

Authority Finder

I like the new too that Aaron Wall released recently in beta called Myriad Search. Basically what this does is crawls the top 10 to 50 sites in each of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask Jeeves). Myriad then rates each site by points, depending on where it was in the listings on each SE (search engine). A top placement gets the most points and it works down from there. It takes the points from each SE and adds them and (correct me if I am wrong Aaron)then lists them by the most points to the lowest. While this is not the greatest way to find authority sites, it certainly can shorten you search time by narrowing them down. If you want to read what Aaron said about the release please go here.

SEO Basics

SEO

I have noticed a trend in SEO to speak our own language and not make it understandable by anyone outside of our industry. So I will start a short series on the basics of SEO and then move on to the much more complicated thing. I will try not sound pedantic and most bloggers in the SEO community may look at me witha little bit of contempt, but for the general masses out there I think this will be helpful.

SEO?

First SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization or Optimizer. Google some great links to what others define SEO as here. My basic definition is designing or making changes to a website with the goal of increasing your placement in the SERPs.

SERPs?

SERPs stand for Search Engine Response Pages. This is the links that are returned when you do a search for a term or word in one of the Search Engines, like Google. So the goal of optimization is to get your webpage to the top of the SERPs. There are a number of ways to do this but to do it right and get to the top in Google takes some hard work. Typically Google only likes White Hat techniques, and will punish Black Hats with removal from their SERPs.

Tomorrow: What is White and Black hats anyway?



9.15.2005

Pure Unadaulterated Evil - Comment Spam

Anyone who knows blogs knows that comment spam can just ruin your day. I hate it and anyone who is trying to run a good blog hates it. Jason Cain went into it in detail here. I'm about as nervous about letting the world know about it as Brad Fallon is. He explains wisely why he is nervous about it too.

On my other blogs close moderation is the only way to get rid of it. Plug-Ins and other tools can help but as soon as someone makes a tool for it someone else finds a way around it. Monitor them yourself, if possible, and get rid of comment spam fast. Of course if you have a huge blog it can take forever...

Blogs...by Google

Google is now in Beta with its blog search. We knew this was coming a while back when they aquired Pyra Labs (who by the way made blogger). Chris Sherman wrote a great article on it here. What this could mean for us in SEO is still up in the air but it has some interesting possibilties. If Google still indexes blogs inboth the main SERPs pages and the blog SERPs blogs could end up being worth more than they are now. However, the one benefit to seperating them would be that blogs end up in their own place which can move a website up a few notches in the SERPs. We will have to see if google changes the algo because of this move. Poor technorati, they just can't get a break.

By the way check out what the Google guy is saying about it here