Archive for December, 2007

Elfed Up SEO Gurus Go Caroling

December 21st, 2007 by Joe Griffin

Spread a little holiday cheer with your favorite SEO Masterminds.

Aaron Wall, Joe Griffin, Matt Cutts and Neil Patel:
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1671884698

Brett Tabke, Rand Fishkin, Jim Boykin, and Danny Sullivan:
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1670476736

Jim Boykin (again), Jeremy Shoemaker, Barry Schwartz, amd Michael Gray :
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1670750601

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
The Submitawebsite Team

Link Growth: The Sleeping Giant

December 18th, 2007 by Joe Griffin

There’s an old saying out there that “content is king”, and I agree that good content is the primary foundation for every website. Everyone who’s in the know understands that link popularity is far and away the primary driver of top search engine rankings.

After all, link popularity acts much like a “search engine credit score.” When you first start out, you can have the best looking website in the world, with incredible content and an amazing business model, but until you’ve established some trust, tenure, and responsibility, you simply won’t get any “credit” with the search engines. You’ve probably also heard about the very cliche “Google Sandbox.” Google representatives themselves have admitted the synergies behind the Google Sandbox theory, and the actual algorithmic logic that runs the Google search results.

The Google Sandbox however isn’t necessarily something that Google is intentionally inflicting upon new websites (Yahoo! has a similar policy). Understanding that Google and Yahoo! live and die on the relevancy of their search results, we must conclude that serving up websites with no established credibility, no tenure online, and zero trust would be a really bad idea.

So, I guess the question really becomes, “What is the best way to establish credibility with Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, and how can this be done in the fastest way possible?”

The answer to this question is simple and complex all at the same time. Essentially, building new inbound links to your website establishes credibility. The problem is that building these links properly needs to be addressed early on — having a strong game plan is crucial for obtaining optimal results.

The three components of link building are:

  1. Link Quality
  2. Link Growth
  3. Link Volume

The industry has adopted link quality and link volume as the primary ingredients for link building juice. The only problem is that link growth is still rarely addressed, and long term link growth strategies are scarcely mentioned in tight SEO circles, even among the most experienced.

Well, what do we know about link growth? Let’s recap:

  1. Link growth is not a new concept.

    In May 2005, Google made public the contents of their United States Patent Application. Just search “May 2005 google patent” in Google to read up. Basically, this patent paints a picture that Google may be looking at a lot more than meets the eye. The patent discusses how they may be recording the date on which new inbound links are gained, the frequency with which new links are gained, the total number of days new links are maintained, and much more.

  2. Link growth can act as a “sandbox” expeditor.

    As previously mentioned, link growth is kind of like a natural credibility builder. Imagine link popularity like a high school popularity contest. If you can create new friends every single day, than you can exponentially better your reputation in a very short period of time.
  3. Link growth is more powerful than fresh content.

    People always talk about fresh content. Fresh content!?! Forget fresh content! A monkey can update an HTML page. Fresh content is great, but at the end of the day it plays a small role in the rankings process. Link growth cannibalized fresh content a long time ago. To be safe you should employ both strategies, but if you’ve got time on your hands invest it into getting new links first and foremost – assuming you’ve got at least decent content!

  4. Link growth types matter.

    There are a number of different classifications of link types. Links from bloggers can be classified as “social media links,” while links from newspapers and online publications can be classified as “news links and article links.” Links from top industry websites can be classified as “authority vertical links.” Each link type is important, and each link type should be expanded upon all the time.

  5. Link growth consistency – the primary driver of rankings in the future?

    Link growth consistency is one of the tell-tail signs of top performing sites. Why do Amazon, Google, and eBay all have millions of backlinks? They built them feverishly day in and day out naturally over many years. This link growth consistency will forever mark them as the titans within their respective categories. Every category on the Internet is different, and making sure that you are building the best links all the time is the secret sauce to Search. Start now, as this will continue to be one of the primary drivers for top rankings over the next several years.

With all that said, I challenge the person who said “content is king.” If content is king, than link growth is god. Without link growth, you can take your content and flush it down the toilet. Don’t know how to get links? Consult an expert!

Google Knol – Douple Dips the Chip

December 18th, 2007 by Adrienne Embery-Good

The newly unveiled Google “Knol” (derived from knowledge) tool is certainly a hot button topic. Industry experts, bloggers and everyone in between have been responding rapid fire since the soft announcement on December 13, 2007. Google created Knol, an unofficial hybrid of Wikipedia and Squidoo, to encourage authoritative authorship on the web. Users will create pages that provide a thorough overview of a topic. Ads may also be implemented. Google emphasizes the author will add to the significance of an article. For more information click here.

Knol pages will rank organically and feed Google’s AdSense model. This issue is complicated by the fact the only ad structure supported by Knol is, you guessed it, AdSense. It seems as if this double dipping may lead to Google dominated SERP’s.

So the real question is; does this present a conflict of interest? Examples of similar instances are readily available such as Microsoft packaging Internet Explorer as the default web browser or Apple packaging Safari. In the instance of Knol, Google is “providing” an ad service for the tool. The difference? At this time there is no alternative ad platform. Knol users wishing to include an ad in their page will share revenue. Result? Google will have an even more captive audience.

As it stands now, Knol is in test-mode and we have yet to see the final version. In light of this, the implementation of AdSense as the only supported ad model is still not finalized. However, this glimpse behind the curtain has fueled skepticism of Google’s practices in relationship to their ranking system. Only time will tell, but I would keep an eye on Google around the chips and dip.

Think Again About Content

December 12th, 2007 by Patrick Knauer

With all the hubbub about links that’s been written in the SEO world lately, I thought it would be a good idea to give some attention to that other critical element of SEO . . . content.

Take a step back and try to figure out what’s going on with links you might realize that content is soon to be a very important element. Currently, Google has given a lot of weight to link popularity – more so than content. But we may be much closer to evening the scales. Google’s working hard to define what a quality link is. As they try to find ways to refine their ability to index and qualify links it’s not a leap to assume that they will soon re-evaluate how to identify quality content. After all, it’s much easier to index and qualify good content rather than try to make sense of the world wide web’s link network.

Having a website with good content is more than just important for search engines. Internet users (read customers) use and return to websites that are informative and helpful. Good content helps conversion rates. Informative text can reduce the need for a customer to pick up the phone and call customer service. Bottom line – content is good for a business.

And with a few changes to Google’s algorithm, content could soon be very good business.

Stop Building Links?

December 7th, 2007 by Joe Griffin

In the Search world it’s all about innovation, and staying on top of the latest trends. Over the past few years the search engines have become much more vocal, and have clearly voiced to the webmaster and business community that artificially inflating your backlinks is a no-no.

They’ve also publicly announced the crutch of their algorithms, and we all know that link popularity and trust is the driving force of rankings in every category on the Internet.

Google/Yahoo would have you do nothing to get your website better rankigns. Basically, they want you to ignore the natural search listings and only worry about the Paid search listings.

Aaron Wall from SEOBook has a great viewpoint on the subject which I agree with wholeheartedly. To throw in the towel and let your competitors walk all over you for fear of getting penalized is simply not a good strategy – this is what Aaron has to say.

Search Engine Watch interview with Alex Vega

December 3rd, 2007 by Alex Vega

About 2 weeks ago, I read an article that talked about the shortage of “qualified” search engine marketing talent due to the lack of internships, mentorship and training programs at the university level. That article struck a personal cord with me so much that I commented in a brief email agreeing with the need for professionals in the search marketing industry to take responsibility in training new and upcoming talent.

To my surprise, the writer, Matt Spiegel wrote me back, thanked me and asked if I would expand on my thoughts regarding this important issue for a follow up article on Search Engine Watch. Without hesitation I shared how I overcame personal and professional obstacles to eventually land a position as a Search Advertising Manager at Submitawebsite.

My success as a person and professional is due to personal and marketplace mentors starting in my mid-to late-20s. Today, I continue to receive and give mentorship to others and firmly believe people in the advertising/marketing industry will begin to do the same as a result of reading my story.

Alex Vega
PPC Specialist