Archive | September, 2012

The 4 Keys To Unlock Your Blog?s Earning Power

29 Sep

Is your blog earning more money than you can spend? If yes, that?s the internet lifestyle we?re talking about. Look at the life of John Chow, you?d see he?s truly living what he preaches. He makes a living off his […]

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JohnChowDotCom/~3/tSSdvQe6_A4/

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Google Copyright Transparency Report

27 Sep

Google timed a nice Friday evening release to update of their policy toward copyright infringement.

Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.

Wow. Sounds like trouble. Surely that means that YouTube’s rankings are about to get torched.

Oh, nope. One quick exemption for the video king:

This data presents information specified in requests we received from copyright owners through our web form to remove search results that link to allegedly infringing content. It is a partial historical record that includes more than 95% of the volume of copyright removal requests that we have received for Search since July 2011. It does not include:

  • requests submitted by means other than our web form, such as fax or written letter
  • requests for products other than Google Search (e.g, requests directed at YouTube or Blogger)
  • requests sent to Google Search for content appearing in other Google products (e.g., requests for Search, but specifying YouTube or Blogger URLs).

Google does not state where the thresholds will be set & grants blanket immunity for themselves, yet they (illegitimately) emphasize that they are being transparent.

Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law. So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won?t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner. And we?ll continue to provide “counter-notice” tools so that those who believe their content has been wrongly removed can get it reinstated. We?ll also continue to be transparent about copyright removals.

YouTube vs Sites Cleaner Than YouTube

Courts have ruled that embedding a YouTube video is not copyright infringement. The EFF has mentioned that embedding a video is simply a link.

And yet, a UK student faces up to 10 years in jail in the US for founding a crowdsourced site which links to sites that allow you to watch TV online.

Kim DotCom suffered a militant raid on his house & had his assets frozen for running MegaUpload, which was a tiny spec of dirt compared to the size of YouTube.

On the copyright front YouTube was rotten from the start:

  • “In a July 19, 2005 e-mail to YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen wrote: ‘jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We?re going to have a tough time defending the fact that we?re not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn?t put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it.'”
  • “Chen twice wrote that 80 percent of user traffic depended on pirated videos. He opposed removing infringing videos on the ground that ‘if you remove the potential copyright infringements… site traffic and virality will drop to maybe 20 percent of what it is.’ Karim proposed they ‘just remove the obviously copyright infringing stuff.’ But Chen again insisted that even if they removed only such obviously infringing clips, site traffic would drop at least 80 percent. (‘if [we] remove all that content[,] we go from 100,000 views a day down to about 20,000 views or maybe even lower’).”
  • “In response to YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley?s August 9, 2005 e-mail, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen stated: ‘but we should just keep that stuff on the site. I really don?t see what will happen. what? someone from cnn sees it? he happens to be someone with power? he happens to want to take it down right away. he get in touch with cnn legal. 2 weeks later, we get a cease & desist letter. we take the video down.'”
  • “A true smoking gun is a memorandum personally distributed by founder Karim to YouTube?s entire board of directors at a March 22, 2006 board meeting. Its words are pointed, powerful, and unambiguous. Karim told the YouTube board point-blank:
    ‘As of today episodes and clips of the following well-known shows can still be found: Family Guy, South Park, MTV Cribs, Daily Show, Reno 911, Dave Chapelle. This content is an easy target for critics who claim that copyrighted content is entirely responsible for YouTube?s popularity. Although YouTube is not legally required to monitor content (as we have explained in the press) and complies with DMCA takedown requests, we would benefit from preemptively removing content that is blatantly illegal and likely to attract criticism.'”
  • “A month later, [YouTube manager Maryrose] Dunton told another senior YouTube employee in an instant message that ‘the truth of the matter is probably 75-80 percent of our views come from copyrighted material.’ She agreed with the other employee that YouTube has some ‘good original content’ but ‘it?s just such a small percentage.'”
  • “In a September 1, 2005 email to YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and all YouTube employees, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim stated, ‘well, we SHOULD take down any: 1) movies 2) TV shows. we should KEEP: 1) news clips 2) comedy clips (Conan, Leno, etc) 3) music videos. In the future, I?d also reject these last three but not yet.'”

Broader Copyright Questions

There still are a lot of murky questions in Google’s “transparency.”

  • If a person embeds an image from Imgur, ImageShack, TinyPic, PhotoBucket or elsewhere & the page that has a hotlink gets a DMCA how does that count?
  • If a brand is large enough does it take many DMCAs to get hit?
  • Is there any analysis of the underlying business model of the site? What happens to document storage sites like DocStoc & Scribd, or even image sites like Pinterest?
  • What happens to sites that link at penalized sites too frequently?
  • What happens to ad networks that frequently fund such copyright violations?

HUGE Impact on the Web

Has anyone registered DMCASEO.com & DMCA-SEO.com yet? 😉

In terms of impact on the web for publishers, this change is every bit as big as Florida, Panda & Penguin. It may not seem so at first (as it will take time for market participants to consider the uses) but this is a huge deal. Consider some of the following scenarios…

  • You try to create something like YouTube for another form of content (Pinterest?) and it gets hit as spam for following Google’s lead.
  • You offer a free blogging platform that competes with Blogspot, but it gets hit as spam for following Google’s lead.
  • You decide to create a project like Google’s book scanning project & you get hit as spam for following Google’s lead.
  • You run an ad network & start growing quickly. As you grow some sketchier publishers enter your ad network. Like Google AdSense, a large portion of your ad network is filled with sites that have copyright violations on them. Suddenly working with your ad network gets people hit as spam because your business model is too similar to Google’s.
  • You create a new social network & are struggling to compete with Google’s preferential ranking & hard coded placements of their own network. You make your network more open to encourage growth & you get hit as spam.
  • If You are Amazon or eBay you can afford premium featured content to pull up your other listings. But if you can’t afford their cost structure & hire freelance writers or work with outsourced workers to create some of your content & they use some copyright work without you knowing. But does Amazon now have to vigilantly review their reviews for plagiarism?
  • A competitor licenses some of their content as Creative Commons for years & doesn’t mind wide use of it. Then you use it & one day they see you as a competitive threat and remove their Creative Commons license & bulk DMCA you. Or you have a lifetime syndication deal with a company, they later change the policy & claim that your documents are forged.
  • Getty images presumes you didn’t license an image that you did & files a DMCA. At some point there is no purpose in targeting the webmaster or host…just go direct to Google knowing that you can create the equivalent of a “patent trolling” styled business model where you create a business model where it is cheaper for people to pay to have the issue resolved the quick way before they lodge a formal complaint. Some organizations might even have a subscription service set up where you pre-pay for immunity.
  • A former employee who wrote content for you claims you used it without permission. Or that same former employee used pirated images & longish quotes from other sources that they didn’t disclose to you that they now highlight via DMCA.
  • You license data from a source & they do a mid-contract change leveraging the small print & have a bot lined up to send 40,000 DMCAs against you if you do not agree to the higher pricepoint.
  • Google is considering making an investment in your site & you want too much money. As an edge case near the threshold of this copyright limit you know you have immunity if you join the borg, but lack it if you don’t work with them.
  • Big media players that play in the gray area will be fine, but smaller sites that try a similar model will be sunk by DMCAs and/or legal fees.
  • Your leading competitor realizes that your blog publishes comments by default with editorial review (and that even later has lax review) and then they file DMCA reports against you. Or they could just grab chunks of content from Google’s leaderboard of complainers and post them into your web forum, knowing that those companies will file a DMCA report against you.
  • A site has some content public & some behind a paywall. With a page partially indexed, how does Google respond to DMCA requests when the alleged infraction is behind a registration wall or paywall?
  • A competitor (inspired by Google no doubt) hires off shore “contractors” to copy your site & then file DMCA reports against you in bulk. How long until people start uploading their own content to file their own DMCAs against certain sites with user generated content?
  • Even if your site is 100% legal, a combination of ignorance & crowd-driven vigilante justice can still take you down.
  • Any site that offers interactive features & has user generated content is at risk of being labeled as spam unless they have tight editorial control over user generated content. And at the same time, Google can enter vertical after vertical with scrape & displace garbage knowing that they don’t have those editorial costs due to their self-granted blanket immunity.
  • If you do not register your sites with Google & counter claims (even bogus ones) then you are seen as being a spammer. And if you register with Google then when they don’t like something one site does they can hit other sites all at the same time. No point going to the host or registrar, go direct to Google & start building up negative karma.

Why did Google feel the need to grant themselves blanket immunity from the policy?

That question was largely missing among the fanboi blogs & journalists who were encouraged by Google’s “transparency.”

24 Karat Pyrite On Sale for Only $100 an Ounce

If YouTube is going to win big, then that’s a great place to invest, right?

Maybe not.

Some venture capitalists are investing in YouTube channels, but that is a fool’s game.

  • Google is also investing in select channels (like Machinima). It is quite hard to outperform Google in returns while investing into a platform that they control & thus have better data on than you ever could.
  • As YouTube’s dominance increases (and it will now that competing platforms with a similar business model will be smeared as spam), you can count on them offering premium partners crappier revenue share deals in years to come. They will offer nice deals to Warner Bros. & such, but the independent smaller players will get cut out of the ecosystem in much the same way as they did in Google’s organic search results.
  • Google, prince of transparency (for everyone but Google), requires that premium publishers *not* disclose the terms of their deals: “The Partner Program forbids participants to reveal specifics about their ad-share revenue. Rates can vary depending on the size and demographics of the partner?s audience and an array of other metrics.”

Note that I don’t claim YouTube is a bad host for your own content, but that I am skeptical in applying the VC model to it with a belief that you can out-invest Google on their own site; particularly when they own the dominant platform, control the non-public revenue share rates, invest in competing channels & can offer free promotion + higher rates to anyone they invest into in order to dominate the category.

And the issue isn’t just video either. The same dynamic can apply to just about any other infrastructural layer. For instance, Google could buy out a torrent site (say like uTorrent) and have that site gain immediately immunity for being part of the borg, while other sites that compete now absorb both greater editorial filtering costs & greater risks that destroy their ROI.

As Google continues to lock down search, you can expect more smart publishers to hedge investments in search and YouTube with investments in proprietary non-search applications that Google can’t take away.

The Devil is in the Details

“We are optimistic that Google?s actions will help steer consumers to the myriad legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online, and away from the rogue cyberlockers, peer-to-peer sites, and other outlaw enterprises that steal the hard work of creators across the globe. We will be watching this development closely ? the devil is always in the details ? and look forward to Google taking further steps to ensure that its services favor legitimate businesses and creators, not thieves.” – Michael O?Leary, Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and External Affairs of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.

The concerned with Google pitching themselves as the preeminent authority on copyright is they have consistently played both sides of the fence.

When Google was competing against YouTube, this was how they viewed copyright internally.

Business Objectives Drive “Relevancy” Signals

Google is a big player in business online and off. They can sell private data exclusively & their online profits are so huge that they are now buying auto loan bonds.

Now that Google wants to sell premium content they (sort of) respect copyright (& are willing to hold the rest of the web to a higher standard than themselves to create this impression).

I have long believed that relevancy signals were often politically driven & that internal business development goals often lead or create various signals. Certainly that was obvious when Google+ was hardcoded in the search results. It was equally true when Knol outranked the original content sources. Google frequently pretends to be (belligerently) unaware of externalities, but when the issues impact their own business they gain an elevated sense of importance.

And these business objectives not only influence the relevancy algorithms, but also the editorial guidelines.

And even while Google is rolling out this “copyright violators are spammers” algorithm (which they are exempt from) they still chug on with their ebook offering:

They posted several of my 41 books up as free downloads (some were missing a few pages at most a single chapter) It took several e-mails from me pointing out that they were infringing copyright before they took them down. During the time my books were free on Google my sales of e-books fell dramatically. ” – K C Watkins

When Google started scanning books an internal document stated: ?[we want web searchers interested in book content to come to Google not Amazon? … or, as put another way, in that same document, ?[e]verything else is secondary ? but make money.?

Categories: 

Source: http://www.seobook.com/copyright-spam

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Predicting Keyword Volume Before Data is in Adwords

25 Sep

Posted by randfish

Howdy Mozzers!

Being able to get in front of trending keywords can be a valuable but difficult task. Not only does the world of keywords move quickly, the Search Engines are doing their part to change things up so we don't get too comfortable. 

In this week's Whiteboard Friday, we'll be talking about predicting keyword volume – before the data is even in AdWords! We'll show you how to use the resources at your disposal to perform predictive keyword research. This is an advanced technique, so you'll want to make sure you have the basics down.

As always, leave any thoughts, questions, declarations of love, or candy in the comments below!

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Video Transcription

"Howdy SEOmoz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're going to talk a little bit about keyword research, but predictive keyword research, keyword research that you can do before data even appears inside AdWords or Bing, wherever you are pulling your keyword data from.

It's a big challenging project. It's hard to do. It's hard to execute on. It's certainly what I'd call more of an advanced SEO technique. So, if you haven't got the basics set yet, I'd do those before tackling this. But it can be extremely powerful for two big reasons. Number one, trending keyword volume, keyword volume that happens in big spikes around events or around news items or around topic matter, is very exciting and interesting because it can produce a lot of volume, and it can turn what has been a content marketing strategy into a thought leadership strategy. And second, your competitors don't know about it. They don't know that these things are coming out. Now if you are, you know, political news or in headline type of news areas, yeah, everybody is writing about the same stories. Those things make headlines and they're sort of follow-up. So there's always going to be lots of competition. But in lots of business areas, especially local areas or industry niche areas, there's a lot of news that only gets covered briefly, doesn't get covered particularly well from a keyword targeting standpoint, and therefore you can do it very powerfully and very well.

Let me show you the process here. I'll start with an example actually. SEOmoz, years ago, I think it was 2006, 2005 maybe even, probably '06six, and Danny Sullivan on Search Engine Land started writing about social media marketing. I saw this article from him. He was talking about it, about how, with the emergence of Twitter and with Facebook opening up to not just college students, and MySpace was still popular at the time, Digg was still popular at the time, Reddit was still growing in popularity, StumbleUpon was popular. Twitter I think had just started emerging or was just about to emerge. And so he wrote about this topic of social media marketing, and I thought, "Wow. Yeah, that's a really interesting one. I think social media marketing is going to be big." So we're going to do two things. We're going to write a guide to social media marketing, and before I even do that, I am going to write a blog post about social media marketing.

There's no search volume for it at the time. You know, if you went into Google AdWords at the time and you typed in "social media marketing,"
you're not going to see more than, say, 30 to 50 searches a month. It's just not a popular topic yet, but it's about to become one. What happened is I wrote this blog post, and that actually made it to number two in the search results for social media marketing for a long time in Google search results, which sent over the course of a few years – now it was both this article and the larger article that we eventually wrote – that was 20,000 plus visits to the SEOmoz site over about 2 or 3 years.

That's a lot of traffic. That's a lot of new people to capture. And, of course, since we are trying to make tools for SEOs and social media marketers, a little more social media marketers since last November when we released some of that in the Followerwonk acquisition and all that kind of stuff, now we can sort of say, "Wow. You know, this is a great channel for us. This has been a really valuable keyword. I'm really glad we got that thought leadership out there early, before it was even in the keyword tools."

Now, here's the process that you can use to do this repeatedly. So step 1, you've got to be on top of things. You have to be on top of what's happening in your industry, and I suggest three sources, these are unique sources. First off is news, so you could go to, for example, Google news or set up a news alert or those kinds of things. Or if you're in the technology industry, it might be Techmeme. If you're in a specific blogging field, maybe you're going to the Alltop section for that. You want to follow some social sources, who are the leading folks usually on Twitter and Facebook, Google+ can also be useful for this, and seeing what they're talking about and writing about, what's interesting to them.

And then, probably the best one that you can do here is verify that there's actually interest and questions around this by checking out Q&A sites. So, if I see that someone is talking about . . . I'll give a good example. There's a trend to start using the word "growth hacker" to describe marketers in Silicon Valley. So Silicon Valley has historically not particularly liked marketers, and so now they're embracing marketing and the practice of getting actual customers on their startups by calling it growth hacking. That's what they have chosen to call it. That's fine. Now, news sources are writing about this only a tiny bit. Social sources are talking about this a little bit more, and you can see plenty of activity on Q&A sites in the technology field, like on Quora, like on Formspring.

So what does this indicate to you? Well, it says to me, "Hey. This means there's an opportunity there." If I can rank well for growth hacker, get into these things, especially if I could do this, say, six or nine months ago, when the term first started becoming popular, that could be a lead to a lot of great traffic, especially if I'm, for example, let's say like many of you probably, an SEO consultant or an SEO agency or an in-house SEO who's trying to get well known in thought leadership on the topic of growth hacker, maybe to get new customers, maybe to help your reputation internally, those kinds of things.

Step two, once you've identified these things, is you need to make a decision. Are you going longtail, or are you going fat head? Are you going to write about growth hacker plus X and Y and Z and all these other keywords that you think might be attached to them? What about growth hacker for e-commerce sites? What about growth hacker for social communities? What about growth hacking for news sites or for mobile apps? Those things will probably all be in there, or you could go after and write the fat head, which is just going to be growth hacking and growth hacker.

Then you need to obviously create the content, and we talk about that in a lot of other Whiteboard Fridays and a lot of other blog posts on SEOmoz. So I'll skim over that. But it has to do two things. It's got to be relevant, hyper relevant to both the topic and the audience, both of these, simultaneously. The reason being that getting rankings for the topic is of no use to you unless you are also attracting and creating a reason for the audience to care about you and your brand and want to come back, take action, subscribe to you, follow you, maybe even take a free trial of whatever you've got, call you up, etc. So, attractive to the topic, attractive to the audience.

And in step three, you're going to obviously publish and promote the content itself. Check that off, and then you're going to need to make this a repeatable process, that turns into something you do consistently for SEO to get traffic. You've got to analyze the successes and the failures, meaning what worked, what didn't work. What was over here in the news sources, and it's like, , oh, that didn't really turn into something. Was that because there wasn't a lot of Q&A volume afterwards? Or maybe we did see a lot of Q&A volume, but there weren't any people talking about it on the social network. Whatever the trends and the patterns are that work well for you, you've got to identify those so that you can repeat the things that work again and again.

If you use this as part of your content marketing process, as part of a blog or of articles you issue or of guides you do, white papers, research, videos, whatever kind of content you're producing, this can lead to the same type of thing that we saw, which is taking over search results before anybody knows that it's going to become a popularly searched term. This is a wonderful way to jumpstart your keyword targeting, jumpstart your content marketing.

All right everyone, hope you have enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday, and we will see you again next time. Take care."

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Reinforcing the Obvious

21 Sep

Search is more complex than it’s ever been. There are many factors which contribute to this increased complexity and where more complexity exists, specific advice is harder to find (and rightfully so BTW).

By specific advice I mean stuff that actually works a majority of the time rather than pie in the sky theories which largely consist of Google talking points.

You can find this kind of stuff from people who are not actively engaged in day to day SEO, or haven’t been for quite some time. When you hear someone backing up their theories solely on the basis of “I talked to so and so” or “I see X, Y, Z” then you should take caution in clinging to that advice.

Surely there are conversations between SEO practitioners where information is shared and trends are spotted but usually it is a result of (at least) a two sided conversation between 2 people who are engaged in the actual practice.

I mean, would you want a dentist trying to fill a cavity who actually hasn’t done it for years (or ever) but had someone tell them how to do it 🙂 ? In almost any profession there is no substitute for experience.

Barriers to Entry

There is a huge barrier to entry to SEO but there is no barrier to entry for folks who want to dispense advice publicly and it makes cutting through the rubbish quite difficult.

The other issue for information seekers is that as any revenue generating model, like SEO, becomes more complex people tend to not share the specific advice which happens to be working for them because if they did it would take away the one remaining, unique tool one has in their arsenal (actual data).

In terms of complexity, the issues facing SEO now tend to be:

  • Faster, Far-Reaching, Less Forgiving (you might need to start over) algorithims
  • Google’s continued domination of search marketshare
  • Double speak from search engines, lack of clarity or purpose in their “transparent” communications
  • The increased cost, indirect and direct, of bad advice
  • Google forcing its way into commercial markets
  • A swath of tools which are marketed to be THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO SUCCEED, when in reality most of them are simply also-ran’s or essentially half-baked solutions to markets that have already been solved. Time-sucks are dangerous

I’ve seen quotes like “well years ago I told you social signals would blah blah links” or other beauties like the whole railing against exact match domains over the years.

You do SEO to generate revenue for a particular business in some way, shape, or form.. Having different types of sites that generate revenue in different ways (tools, AdSense, PPC, ad sales, affiliate marketing, and so on) is a great business model.

If you had followed the kind of advice I mocked above, then you left and continue to leave a lot of revenue, data, and experience on the table. This is what I mean by dangerous advice. Mocked in the sense that forgoing years of revenue for what might happen in the future (maybe it is happening a tad now). But again, no need to pick one or the other. Do both!

The truth is many of the age-old underlying tips and techniques are still the cornerstones of successful SEO campaigns, despite all the talk of brands, links, social signals, domain names, content, and all the rest.

By cornerstones I mean things like:

  • Market/Keyword Selection
  • Technical Expertise
  • Link Building and PR

The Matt Cutts Decoder Ring

There is nothing else that shows the desire of bloggers and/or industry people to find some magical way to differentiate themselves than an an update from Matt Cutts. When Matt Cutts says something you can rest assured blog posts and tweets will be flying about, trying to “read between the lines” to find that “ah-ha!” statement which is then bantered about as some type of holy grail.

People please, Matt Cutts is an extremely smart guy who is unbelievably good at PR. Matt generally offers some good talking points which are safe, practical, but are just not a reality with respect to ranking in quite a few competitive markets or outranking sites doing more “creative” things than you would be.

For example, this video in 2010 talks about the relationship between great content and great links. You can skip to around the 1:24 mark where he mentions “bugging people by sending out spam emails asking for links” :

Then he proceeds to talk about how great content naturally attracts links. No, it doesn’t. There is an element of marketing involved, you have to “bug” people to showcase your “great” content otherwise you’ll be rocking pages 7-10 in the SERPs forever.

This was the mantra for awhile; “Create great content and links will come naturally”. This is a pipe dream *unless* you have a built in readership. Getting to that point is a solid goal indeed, but for many new sites or projects it is simply not the case. For people trying to get to that level of built-in branding this kind of advice is poor at best.

More recently, in what I thought was a really solid interview overall, Matt was interviewed by Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting (a sharp guy) and the fallout from this interview was infographics possibly being devalued at some point. Platitudes aside, it’s likely true but as with most things it comes down to variables.

In the me-first nature of the web, really thin posts starting popping up (presumably as…GASP..linkbait) about infographics being devalued at some point and what this means for the future of SEO. When, if you just read the interview, you’d understand exactly what he was saying.

The obviously shifty stuff will probably get dinged (infographics about kittens pointing to a pet site, later to have its embed code changed to point to a Payday Loans site) but a reasonable person would understand that infographics do have value when done correctly for lead generation, brand buzz, branded links, social signals, and so on.

What it boils down to is the argument between content and links, and there really is no argument. Arguments tend to get created.

Since 2008…

This site, specifically Aaron in this post, has been talking about mixing up your business model as an SEO and viewing SEO as part of a holistic approach since 2008. It’s always been a good idea to get your business outside of just rankings in a search engine as part of your business model.

One cannot ignore what has been obvious for the past 4 years…which is this:

  • You can rank not great content with links
  • You cannot rank great content without links (putting aside sites with built in readership)

If you ignored that for 4 years then you left a lot, a lot, a lot of revenue & data on the table and if you continue to ignore the power of links for ranking inside of the largest search engine, which provides super-targeted traffic, then you continue to leave revenue on the table.

Maybe that is a business model folks would rather not pursue, that’s cool, but giving people the idea that you have to spend lots of money/time on design, interactivity, promotion, content creation, and so on to rank in search engines, in lieu of links is flat out wrong and dishonest when it applies to SEO.

Link juice matters, anchor text matters, and content matters (to a lesser extent because content is subjective) to search engine rankings; fact not opinion. On the flip side, you can absolutely create great content furthers your business or your client’s business even more. Do both, if you have the budget, and you’ll be in a great spot.

What is the Answer?

The answer is both. As online marketers, and as marketers in general as online/offline continue to merge, it’s important to maximize what works now and what you believe will work in the future when it comes to generating revenue for yourself and/or your clients. It’s important up to the point where you want to fork off your business model into one or the other or a mix of both.

Let me give you a recent example:

Over the years I’ve learned and continue to learn some really cool, effective stuff from Wil Reynolds (CEO of SEER Interactive). I encourage you to follow him on Twitter if you do not already. I wasn’t at MozCon but I was browsing through some of his slides and this is where I think some context needs to be added.

One of the first slides I viewed:

Links are a conduit to conversions and many of these other metrics mentioned in his slides when we view it in the context of SEO. Links help ranking, ranking brings traffic, traffic can be worked with to achieve success via the same metrics he is stating there.

Maybe he made those points, I don’t know, but I do know that the person going through these slides looking for information from a respected source would get the same idea I did most likely and the idea is somewhat off.

The next couple of slides go through owning a conversion and he uses two of our favorite sites 😀

Here the search is for SeoMoz vs SeoBook with a couple pieces of content from the SeoMoz.Org:

Fair points but let’s look at some things that both links and product/content helped with:

Now let’s circle back, since we are talking about SEO here, search volume for these comparative searches:

So what you can see here is that you have keywords that are way down the tail, likely towards the end of a buying process, and while they are valuable they are dwarfed by the volume of big money keywords. If you win those big ones, very few searchers will bother searching that far down (evidenced by the volume disparity).

This is my point, some link practices are crappy and harmful but links matter, link juice matters. How you acquire said links and PR is a separate discussion and certainly great products and great marketing will help, but so do links.

In the grand scheme of things, no, ranking for a term here and a term there is not evidence of anything other than success with that approach for that goal. Who knows, maybe rankings will change but for now and for a long time this ranking and associated rankings have been quite beneficial to the growth of this site.

The obviousness that I’m trying to reinforce is that it’s not one or the other, for many sites and for many clients both practices are needed for long term success and for maximizing success. However, to throw out the benefits of links and link juice (and the algorithmic trust/authority they create) in the face of other metrics that links will help you get to is just wrong IMHO. Well, it’s not even IMHO, the evidence is in the SERPs.

As mentioned above, it’s been said for a long time here that thinking outside just rankings is a good idea (for years) and that SEO as part of a more holistic marketing approach is a solid move. Part of SEO, the ranking side of it anyway, involves links and their juice. You can utilize both methods together, to provide a powerful approach to SEO, rather than excluding one over the other (especially when the excluded approach still works very well).

Source: http://www.seobook.com/reinforcing-obvious

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Having a blast at BlueGlass LA

19 Sep

I’m currently sitting in the conference room for BlueGlass LA, listening to Marty Weintraub and finishing my presentation I’ll be giving this afternoon. Which leads me to the point of this post as I’m going to try and prove a point, therefore the following video is not really meant for you to watch but for…

Having a blast at BlueGlass LA is a post by on Yoast – Tweaking Websites.A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don’t want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/joostdevalk/~3/r_uYdP0kJkU/

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An Unhealthy Trend: Social Media Becoming the Bully?s Playground

17 Sep

This is an opinion piece (for adults),  if you don’t agree with these opinions that is cool with me 🙂 I love social media. I think it is a fantastic way to interact and learn. However, I am seeing a pattern that is disturbing and unhealthy. When children are growing up, the most important part […]


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SearchEngineJournal/~3/pfDESzFckd4/

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With Every Action We Take

13 Sep

By now, most of us realize that most everything we say or do online is anything but private. As business owners this can be critical to the success of our businesses. With every action we take and every comment we make, we have to consider how it would look, not just to our friends and …

Source: http://blog.v7n.com/2012/03/26/with-every-action-we-take/

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