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May 10, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: How Many Links is Enough?

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Last month, I started SEO work for a client.  The client has a website in a pretty popular niche.  As I worked on the site, it surprised me how powerful SEO is especially the activity of link building. Since the client is in a popular niche, I thought it would be hard to get them a front page ranking.  See one of the maxims in SEO is popular niches are very competitive.  And the more competitive a niche is, the harder it is to attain a top 10 ranking.

The client was only a couple spots from the front page but I still thought it would take at least 2-3 months to get a front page ranking. However, after just one month and a couple of links, they now have not one but two front page rankings for popular two word search terms. This surprised me because it didn’t take much effort. read more

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May 6, 2009

Glenda Watson Hyatt: Is Your Blog Disabled?

Glenda Watson Hyatt presenting web accessibility at SOBCon09At the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) this weekend in Chicago, the famous Left Thumb Blogger, of the Do It Myself Blog rocked the attendees world with her powerful How POUR is Your Blog presentation, reminding us that if our blogs don’t meet web standards for accessibility, it could be disabled.

Glenda’s powerful presentation wasn’t the typical dry stuff of web accessibility. Dry? Boring? That’s not possible with Glenda around. She has a wicked sense of humor and used it in her PowerPoint presentation, accompanied by her voice program, Kate, which read her presentation out loud. I’ve never laughed so hard over such a serious subject as web accessibility.

Glenda has cerebral palsy. It restricts her movement and speech but it doesn’t impact her intelligence, though many have labeled her otherwise in the past. In her book, I’ll Do It Myself, she shared the trials and tribulations as well as the challenges of being a highly intellectual woman trapped in a body that just can’t keep up. I highlighted Glenda in How WordPress Changes Lives, showcasing how WordPress changed her life by giving her a voice that connects with people around the world through her blog.

One of the great points she made was on how to justify using ALT attributes in your blog images: read more

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April 16, 2009

What Changes Your Mind About Leaving a Blog Comment? Some Criteria

In my article, “What Changes Your Mind About Leaving a Blog Comment,” I talked about some of the issues around debating where and when to leave a blog comment on a blog that hosts information or opinions you don’t support, or is filled with blog clutter, a clue that something isn’t right. About how your comment may be seen to support the blog, and impact your reputation by association.

As I wrote that post, I looked back over all the WTF Blog Clutter articles in the series and realized that many of these issues are ones that impact my willingness to comment on a blog. Sure, they impact my ability to even read the blog, let alone return and tell others, but they also impact my willingness to endorse a blog with a comment.

I started thinking about all the blatant, subjective, and even unconscious reasons that prevent me from leaving a comment on a blog. Here are some of my self-discoveries, most of them associated with various aspects of blog clutter. I’m sure you have more you can add, but these are big clues that this is a blog that doesn’t deserve my participation. read more

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March 10, 2009

Most Linked In The Blogosphere According To Technorati

Technorati have been analyzing what we’re linking to, and not surprisingly it is mostly blogs. 61% of the links in fact, according to the State of the Blogosphere study. 46% is, however, “non-blog web content” to use the words of Jen McLean. That’s interesting of course, and Technorati are kind enough to supply us with the most linked list over the last 30 days. read more

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December 29, 2008

Is “Deep Linking” in Trouble?

Linking directly to individual pages on a Web site instead of the home page, also known as “Deep Linking”, is a staple of blogging and the Internet in general. It is used as a means to reference sources, forward interesting articles and, generally, get information out there on the Web.

Without deep linking, social news would likely not exist, many Web 2.0 services (such as Delicious) would have to close and even Google would have to drastically change the way it operates. The Web would, almost overnight, become a much more difficult to use and less efficient place.

However, a recent lawsuit filed by GateHouse media has asked new questions about deep linking and its possible legal implications.

Though the lawsuit is clearly misguided in some ways, including the claim that the site loses advertising over deep linking, it is worth taking a quick moment to look at some of the potential legal hazards that come with deep linking and how to avoid them. read more

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December 16, 2008

Exploring Social Media: Promoting Your Link Backs to You

Exploring Social Media article series badgeYesterday in Exploring Social Media: The Power of the Link Needs Content, I introduced the most powerful social media tool in the world, the link, and explained that unless you have make the link direct people to valuable and useful content, you are shooting blanks. The link makes a lot of noise with nothing to show for it.

The impact of linking to yourself is magnified in value. When you email or publish a link to something you wrote, recommending it, you are telling the world:

  • I know that which I write about.
  • I am an expert in the subject.
  • I have the experience to back up what I’m writing.
  • This is the best I can do.

Do your links qualify?

When you contact a blogger or anyone to encourage them to link to you, do you keep these things in mind? Are you offering your best work? Does your blog or social media tool show the world you are an expert in this?

If you have the proof behind your link, then maybe your failure is in the presentation of that link, especially when directed towards bloggers, the most capable of spreading the word far and wide about you and your blog. read more

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December 15, 2008

Exploring Social Media: The Power of the Link Needs Content

Exploring Social Media article series badgeIn The Power of the Link and Don’t Guest Blog Until You Have Content, I talk about two very important subjects that apply to our ongoing discussion and Exploring Social Media Series.

First, a link is a door people open to your world, be it a world within your blog, social media tools and services, or a recommendation to visit another world, one you hope your fans will enjoy so much, they will return to your world with joy, eager for more and telling the world about what you have to offer.

Second, if you link without anything worth linking to, without anything positive to offer people, without anything worth recommending, without anything worth returning to, you have lost the power in social influence within the modern online world.

If you link to yourself, then these two characteristics are magnified. You are offering people a gateway into your world, one they expect is worth linking to, deserving of attention, exciting, and worth telling others about.

The link is the most powerful social media tool of all. read more

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December 8, 2008

Exploring Social Media: Shortening Those Links

Exploring Social Media article series badgeAs I continue to explore social media and social media tools, I find myself relying more and more on URL short aliases like those produced by TinyURL. Long URL addresses are shrunk down to 8-14 characters. We’re growing more and more dependent upon information reduced to 140 characters in a world still ruled by the power of the link, and desperately seeking a way to squeeze down a long URL into as few characters as possible is a growing and competitive web app industry.

The need to reduce the URL on social media networks is similar to the need to compress down file sizes for transfer and backups in the earliest days of computers. WinZip, PKZIP, WinRAR, StuffIt, and others allowed us to shrink down a file to fit onto a small floppy disk, and continue to allow us backup, share, and transport large files in tiny boxes. It took a while, but soon Microsoft and Apple realized that file compression was essential and today, their operating systems include file compression.

Just as we needed to shrink our files, we now have to shrink our links. While not currently integrated into software and web apps, the day is coming when URL short aliases are coming to a web app near you. Right now, you have to settle for third-party integration. read more

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December 1, 2008

Don’t Be Afraid to Link Out

Bloggers are generally not afraid to link out, but the web overall suffers from some sort of delusion that if you link someone else, your reader will leave you forever. That’s not the case, in fact, if you can send your readers to a page or service that they really use and enjoy, you’ll be remembered as the source of this, and that’s great goodwill and an incentive to return to your blog or site in the future.

Performancing’s got 9 reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid to link out. Hear hear.

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October 4, 2008

Sarah Palin Blogs: 10 You Must Follow

It’s been about four weeks since we first covered U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee  Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor who vaulted from relative obscurity into international prominence overnight when her nomination took America by surprise a little more than two months before the November 4 elections.

Since then, the blogosphere and mainstream media have continued to buzz about Palin more than Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president; more than Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate; and even more than John McCain, the GOP pick for prez. read more

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