Nick Garner

Search Optimisation : SEO | Online PR | Social Media

Links for 26 May 08

May 26th, 2008 · No Comments

A Simple Marketing Lesson From The “Lingo Kid”
The kid knows how to sell!

“Both videos together offer one of the most simple marketing lessons that you can imagine … that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, just that you speak the right language.”

The SEO Playbook – Welcome to the Rabbit Hole Alice
Stunt dubl does a mega post on all things seo and content focused. He is very good on linkbait / Social media content and this post digs right into the subject.

Google was a links-driven search engine
10-12,000 human reviewers working for google must make a difference. This post digs into the obvious arguements about why googlers are shaping the internet.

My Definition Of SEO and How The Death Will Play Out
Following on from the idea that things are changing for the SEO world, Shoemoney puts together a cohesive argument as to why SEO in its traditional sense is dying. In essence you can’t really game Google like you used to, so to get seen you have to align yourself towards online PR to succeed.

Yes Shoemoney SEO Does Have a Future
In response Greywolf has argued that the market for SEO’ers is buoyant (whicih is very true) and that for as long as site designers and corporates ignore the core mechanics of a well constructed promotional site, which aligns itself with being indexed efficiently by search engines, there will always be a demand for SEO.
Of course they are both right – from thier respective standpoints. Shoemoney has just not factored in the incapability of so many in the web building industry and his standpoint is that of gaming, not fixing.

OECD stats on broadband penetration

Useful stuff for some marketing work im doing. I’m doing a big international pust and extent of broadband access s a good ndicator as to market opportunity in these respective countries.

The future trends in blogging – problogger gives us his take
The main trends:
* Multiple Author Blogs
* Multi-Topic Blogs
* Blogs Converging with Other Types of Sites
* Portal-Like Design
* Indirect Monetization

In other words there is a convergence between traditional online newspapers being more personality driven and more aligned to the ‘i have an opinion’ culture of the internet.

Semantic SEO: Your Website is a Goldmine with On-Site SEO 2.0
Semantic web is something you will hear more and more about in the forthcoming years. In essence its the comprehension of text as opposed to simply the identification of text patterns.
Right now Google use something called ‘keyword ontology’ (read the gorank article for more understanding) but its problem is that fundamentally its just a way to look at patterns of words and their relative placement i.e. keywords ‘seo’ usually go with ‘google’, therefore when google look at the relevance of a page for a search like ‘seo’ they will give a greater weighting to a page about ‘seo’ and ‘google’ than for ‘seo’ and ‘bird watching’

A semantic search engine however, looks at the meaning of phrases. I would love to give you a fuller explanation, but i don’t really understand the full mechanisms behind this…but i will in time. Suffice to say, its where the internet is going and in the end you will be able to explore the internet with an ‘understanding’ guide who knows what YOU mean when you say ‘stuff on blogs and seo’ i.e. articles on ‘how to rank on google using blogs’. exciting stuff.

The SEO Guide to Information Architecture
Superb article on how to structure a site for SEO. I will be using this to explain how it should really be done !

See a webpage like a SEO
Dave Naylor give us a nice post to follow on from the seo guide above. There is also a link to the tool use mentions in the article.

What is a #1 Google Ranking Worth?
If I were to go on a blog starvation diet – the only blog I would keep is Aaron Wall’ SEO Book. And thi article demonstrates why. It is a comprehensive analysis of all the factors you would need to build a comprehensive business case as to what ranking for a given phrase is worth to your business.

5 Tools for Keyword Brainstorming

But how to brainstorm for new unique keywords in your and neighboring niches? Recently there appeared a number of useful tools that can help you find more key terms to focus on:

The 25 Most Popular Pages on Facebook
One of my projects is to understand what makes a facebook application or a facebook’er popular. know understanding these mechanisms will allow me to build better content sites and of course get into the facebook ring with intent. So I guess by understanding the common traits between these 25 on th list is a good start. Th bit I’ve picked up on is how each of these groups orbit around a strong sense of self image/tribal identity i.e. i’m a petrol head – ‘top gear’ or ‘im a lad’ – Chris moyles.

What???s the ROI on SEO? (Hint: SEO Experts Are Underpaid, Opportunity Abounds !)
Yes I know im underpaid compared to other sectors, but its because what I do is extremely speculative. When a mature business puts together a financial plan, it generally up weights channels where more money will equal more return. ROI is not that critically important since there is loads of budget, so more money = more overall numbers. The problem with SEO of course is that its not linear. i.e. you cant say this spend = that return, simply because there are too many factors you cannot put down onto a spreadsheet. Oh well – more life in penury.

34 Incredibly Strong Calls To Action To Make Your Visitors Click, Phone Or Buy
I love this kind of thing, especially because good calls to action do work. How about :
# See examples of our widget work with widget lovers.
# Buy this widget and start saving tomorrow.
# Contact us today for a free report on widget management.

111 of the Most Important Spinns on Sphinn

The importance of Sphinn can???t be stressed enough. Knowing how to successfully use Sphinn, whats going on in the Sphinn community and whats the hottest Sphinn news is can be the difference between success and failure in the internet marketing community today. To ensure that my colleagues are in the know I compiled the most important articles as judged by Sphinn about Sphinn.

Social proof: The key to success
I agree. Its another version of ‘my friend says…’ and when you can use this effectively, you will convert into $$$.

How to Get in Google News (And Receive 8,000 visitors for One Article)

Yes, don’t forget to put your site onto the news aggregators…

Why Consumer Data Isn???t Telling You What You Need
The catch with consumer intent i that you can’t turn it into simple analytical footprints. All you can do is look at users in aggregate and somehow make some sense of it. So often it is non-sense and conversion rates remain unoptimised. This is where the psychology of user intent becomes so important. And that is a whole treatise in iteself.

The 3 Philosophies of Word of Mouth Marketing
I love viral / word of mouth of marketing,but understanding the complexities of this area is like trying to understand the specifics of a whole eco system. I have found that its more about applying certain ingredients in good measure and letting the reaction take place. I think its why so few businesses really understand and use this powerful mechanism.

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Links for 25 May 08

May 25th, 2008 · No Comments

What do you know?
“Three years ago, I published this list, which was very much a riff, not a carefully planned manifesto. It has held up pretty well.”

Mozilla Stealth Data Project Could Be Just What The Internet Needs

Why word of mouth doesn’t happen

The Writing Process: Creating An Outline
“Outlining an article is one of the most productive things you can do to improve your workflow while blogging. Creating the outline for this article required only about two minutes to complete, and it will have saved me at least 15 minutes worth of editing time in the end on a typical article like this.”

SEO Plugins for WordPress Part II
“Ever since my initial SEO plugins for wordpress post almost two years ago, I get asked for an updated list a few times a month. Well since we???re up to wordpress 2.5 I thought the time has come. I???ll also put some of my other favorite plugins at the end, they either enhance wordpress features or just make things easier.”

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Links for 23 May 08

May 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Know Your Playing Field: The Real Top 100 Domains
An exceptional SEO Moz article covering the big trendsthat govern the top 100 sites in terms of traffic on the internet.

Official Google: Introduction to Google Search Quality
There seems to be a little bit of glasnost going on here in Google. has written a post giving a small look into how Google works when it comes to its search work. Apart from the sheer scale of things, it is the frequency in which they are amending the algo that is so remarkable. Like the link above, its well worth a read.

→ No CommentsTags: Linky Goodness

SEO linky goodness 23 04 2008

April 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

These links are stuff I come across as I cruse the internet looking or knowledge!


Bridging the Designer-User Gap (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)
“If you thought it’s easy to get to Google, think again. In our current round of usability research, only 76% of users who expressed a desire to run a Google search were successful. In other words, 1/4 of users who wanted to use Google couldn’t do so. (Instead, they either completely failed to get to any search engine or ended up running their query on a different search engine ??? usually whatever type-in field happened to be at hand.) “
The point? Never over estimate intelligence!

Study Says Get In Top 5 Not Top 10 & Search Engines May Need To Highlight Official Sites:
Get into the top 5 or you’re in the wilderness

Public Relations: The Other Important PR In Link Development
Yes for those of you who in the link building business, who have been hiding under a rock… its about PR these days (mixed in with good SEO) and link begging doesn’t work anymore. So this article goes into some basic ideas on PR’ing your link building

The ultimate open source SEO tool
Its good – perhaps not ultimate. I’ve asked my SEO crew to check it out and they didn’t go crazy. However for me the interesting bit is how they leverage the Yahoo API. I wantto initiate a project where we use the API to do help usget related pages ‘from a search engine perspective’

Microsoft Discovers You Are Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon
If you have read ’6 degrees of separation’ then you will be into the whole social interconnectivity thing on the internet. In essence, the world is a small place and sites like linked in, facebook, bebo and so on demonstrate this well. Its use? probably in hiring well connected online PR guys to dig into their networks to get links !

15 Free Social Media White Papers and Ebooks
Some good stuff here. I just go around in circles on this stuff. I don’t know how to make money out of it.The core issue is the lack of commercial intent with the vast majority of this traffic. I guess the relevant part for me is keeing in touch with the cultural shift this has initiated. Its all a little like cluretrain V2 playing out

12 Reputations Every Company Should Monitor Online
Reputation management is a growing tide on the internet. If you’re in a sector where online matters, then keeping your ear to the internet wire make sense. The problen with reputation management online is that there are very few filters between an idiot with a grudge and a well informed opinion. its easy for the idiot to make noise in the right place and BANG – you have a problem. And I haven’t touched on negative PR using SEO!

Study: 80-Percent Of Searches Are Informational, 10% Are Navigational
What does this mean commercially? well 80% of the time users are building a background picture of you. 10% of the time they want to transact once they are confidant about you. (the other 10% is where they know where they are going i.e. looking for a regularly visited site/brand search)

This is why a strategy I employ for my lovely employers works soooooo well. have a really good informational site, where there is no pressure to ‘CLICK HERE NOW, JOIN NOW, FREE MONEY NOW’ – you read, understand we care about what we do and when you’re ready, join and we will give you some free money. It works beautifully and this article endorses this principle.

Psychographically Targeted Web Advertising – ClickZ
Whats ‘psychographic’? (from wikipedia) psycho graphic variables are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. They are also called IAO variables (for Interests, Attitudes, and Opinions). They can be contrasted with demographic variables (such as age and gender), and behavioral variables (such as usage rate or loyalty).
I’m sure youve heard about demographic targeting? i.e. pick a social group and assume certain behavioral tendencies. its a nice idea for broadcast media, however for online its really difficult to do demographic targeting. hence this behavioral stuff. By building pathways around user behaviours, you are morelikly to get better conversion rates. Its a huge subject which I won’t get into here, but suffice to say this article gives a small insight into it.

Yahoo’s Quality Score Change Effective Next Week
So Yahoo are stepping in line with Google on PPC quality scoring on ads. Nice idea but I always wonder how you define the ‘quality’ in the scoring. I hate this subjectivity.

Your turn: Readers choose their 10 favorite Windows programs | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report |
Some old classics like winrar!

11 Tips For Recognizing A Bad SEO Firm | WebProNews
I get asked a lot about microsites…i.e. building them up and getting them to rank. For some reason the idea that they can work persists. So this article just goes through some of the idiocy people actually believe.

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SEO linky goodness 19 04 2008

April 19th, 2008 · No Comments


Six Explosive Organic & Paid Link Building Tips
I agree – they are good. Written by a pro in the game, these tips are useful. I particularly like the nofollow comment!
Another day and another interesting post from Rand. some good pointers on what really counts when it comes to anchor text
Yup DaveN keeping the internet clean! He picked up on a campaign by Dell I happen to have been following. I kind of figured it there would be tears in the end – an there were !

Does blogging pay? it seems so for a few. I hang out with a couple of big’ish bloggers and they are always moaning about how they can monetize their sites. Usually they default to advertising, which is ok, but inherently does not align well with users about 99.4% of the time. (the click through rate on an ad is about 0.06% typically) I’ve been trying to persuade them to look carefully at affiliate marketing, since in thory it pays better ten ads.

Logo Can Make You ‘Think Different’
evil laugh – HA HA HA HA HA
I’ve always felt that subliminal advertising was very powerful and shrouded in misinformation, so its great to see a useful report on the subject. Does it work? yes but not in the way you think.

YouTube Insight: View Your YouTube Video Statistics
More stats to help you feel like you know whats going on.

Link Buying Replaced With Bartering

As this article points out, when you otlaw something and there is a desire to carry on the practice (alcoloh prohibition in the 30′s) all sorts of unforseen things happen. In this case Google’s PR assault on link buying as caused all sorts of interesting activities to emerge, amongst them is impersonating google ad sense ads !
The root of this is that if the liks are placed in the right part of a page (not in header / footer / sidebar) and in ‘context’ then the ‘Algo’ cant see them – so tis down to human judgement, hence this trick with adsense. Personally, I think there are better ways of doing linkbuilding.

18 Or Older To Use Google?
What do gambling porn and horror movies have in common with google? you guessed it – you have to be 18 and over. or in other words to use google, you have to be of an age where you can enter into a legally binding contract!

Hackers and Spammers, How will the industry survive
I have had the pleasure of dealing personally with DaveN and I found him charming and knowledgeable. However i do feel his skills at gaming the engines are becoming less and less effective as the engines get more capable at dealing with spammers. Still he has done well out of it and I hope he continues with his successes in this arena.

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Affiliate Black Hat vs White Hat

March 25th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Affiliate Black Hat vs White Hat. I see my old acquaintance Jason Duke has been sharing his thoughts on ‘black hat’ SEO for affilaites (Jason is very good at this stuff by the way). I have said for a while now, that Google sees affilaite income as theirs. (Get rid of affiliates and merchants have to advertise with Google) Hence the war on affilaites where they are atttacking thin affiliate sites which have not a lot of content to offer…. for now.

The assertion is that 80% of traffic to bingo, casino and poker sites are from blackhat efforts. I guess the 1st quesiton is what do you call black hat? Is that any deviation from the Google webmaster guidelines? If so, then thats a reasonable figure. But all things are relative as you would see if you read this real blackhat hard core approach to getting ranked. This level of activity probably gets about 30% bingo, casino, poker sites ranked for secondary terms.
What are secondary terms? In these areas (casino, poker bingo) there are very few keywords that make money, in other words they have a very short tail. So once you’re outsitde of (forinstance) casino, online casino, casino UK, then you are in the secondary and 3rd level keywords where spammers rule, but where the pickings are not great. The lack of economic incentive means a restriction in spammers efforts.

And since Google treat different verticles differently, it means they will probably hand pick those top sites for casino, poker and bingo. I believe the reason they do this, is to prevent a spam arms war which would go on to contaminate large chunks of the internet.

The reality is that black hat works, but not like it used to. The cleaver money is on building love of a site and being clever at optimising it efficiently. I know, since I’m lucky enough to be responsible for one of the great new affilaite success stories… and no I haven’t spammed, I’ve just helped things along. ;-) ??

Link: Affiliates4u article

→ 2 CommentsTags: Black Hat