Survival in wild we(b)st - The Evolving business of SEO
Yesterday i pointed out an entry on Search Engine Journal by Jim Hedger. Today young Jimmy boy returns with some pretty well thought out and compelling theories on what the future holds for SEO/SEM as we currently know it.
It's kind of funny as he uses the "wild west" analogy to look at SEO's past as well as future. Pretty good read, thanks Jim!
Ethical Standards and The Search Engine Marketing Industry
We covered this silly ethics thread a couple of days ago, sometimes a thread needs revisting though. Bob Massa (yeah yeah, that Bob Massa..) is a businessman and salesman. He tells me he has never built a website, though he has had many built for him.
This sets him somewhat apart from many in our close little world, where you need no business skills, no talent and indeed no brain to set up an seo company. Whereas his take on the whole 'ethics' debate is certainly not unique, it is a minority view by all accounts. It's one I happen to share however.
wmw admin WebGuerrilla aka Greg Boser of WebGuerrilla.com makes a great post in response to a fairly typical complaint about poor results in Google. I cant do it justice with a description so here's a fair sized chunk of it for you..
The Google PR department is probably going to print this thread and hang it on
the wall as a testimonial to the effectiveness of their spam control brain
The only reason you thought they were able to automatically prevent that type
of content from showing up is because they've spent a lot of time and money
telling you that they can.
The reality is that the majority of spammers in the U.S. that end up getting
dumped from the database are removed because of some type of human
intervention, not some new, high-tech automated spam terminating cyborg that
Since the U.S. market generates the most traffic, the humans that are in
charge of keeping everything looking nice and clean, tend to focus their time
and effort on the most high-profile areas of search activity.
So nice to see someone who carries so much respect within the seo world state the obvious in a way that's hard to argue against. So many seo's are so in love with big G they think them infallible...
A question about buying web sites..
<a href="http://www.v7n.com/forums/">V7N</a> member <em>wildguy</em> asks the question:
<blockquote>When I think of buying a web site, I always think "Ebay." But, there must be other places out there. I prefer an open market rather than going through a broker.
Can any of you folks think of additional places where sites are bought and sold on the open market?</blockquote>
A nice list of places to buy websites and web businesses follows with a useful list at <a href="http://www.v7n.com/forums/showpost.php?p=157703&postcount=5">msg5</a> from <em>Rivux</em>.
I wasn't aware that wmw member buckworks was a copywriting expert on the quite, but this post really got me thinking a little on how we somtimes forget that not everyone speaks English as a first language regardless of what countries your sites target:
We English speakers often use the word "not" or its contractions in ways which
don't actually intend negation. We often stick it into a sentence for emphasis
or rhythm, rather than because we actually mean "NOT". And people respond to
us as if they didn?t hear the ?not?.
Who owns a post?
Interesting topic as i've yet to develop much more than a rough set of guidelines here at Threadwatch.org
Let's say a person (Joe) has been a member of a forum for several years and has made hundred's of posts. Many of the posts contain links and information that Joe no longer has on his computer but knew he could find with a quick search on the forum.
Test a Linux setup: free & without touching your current
Not much info for SEO but interesting Linux resources in this thread nonetheless. With more web developers and SEO's thinking about switching from Windows to Linux, for security concerns this is a good thread to read.
"For example, if the user want's to look for the keyword 'shoes', there will be three ways to search: Find all products that have the keyword shoes, find all suppliers that make shoes or find any open auctions that are offering shoes.
I also have to factor in that there might be more selectors in the future. Not many but 1 more, maybe 2.
So now my question is, what do you think would be most usable for my site visitors to select a search method? Tabs, Radio Buttons, a dropdown list?"
Advertising on WebmasterWorld.com
Question: What do you do if you want to break a 5yr tradtion of no advertising and you're afraid/unsure of member reaction?
Answer: Pose as a new member and bring the matter up on the board of course!
The WebmasterWorld Community Forum has been on pre-mod for at least a year as far as I can recall. Call me an old cynic, but I just cant think of any good reason why you would want to open a possible debate on advertising policies unless you actually wanted to discuss them.
Hawkgirl has been the driving force behind much of the ROI orientated projects at WMW over the last couple of years including the controversial paid supporters only home page threads. Looks to me like she might be making some further headway...
Deleted Thread - link goes to Threadwatch.org
The inffamous Traffic Logic were slammed by a WebmasterWorld newbie for alledgedly burning his site.
The thread has been deleted. But an anonymous source at wmw emailed Threadwatch.org the story. Here it is:
A year or so ago I got a call from a very aggressive TrafficLogic salesman. I
had just launched my site and was still a bit naive. The pitch: give us
US$2500 and we'll build a stand-alone informational site devoted soley to you,
designed to rank and send traffic your way for a chosen list of keywords: an
'All About Widgets' site which then recommends a link on each page to only one
widget company--yours. There were no fees charged to build the site; the
entire $2500 was an advance payment toward clickthroughs at only US$0.05 per.
The site worked. In fact it was pretty super. They provided excellent, highly
detailed tracking reports, and sent a real decent amount of quality traffic my
But then things started dramatically changing:
--They built sites for all my competitors, optimized for the exact same
keyword phrases, something I had specifically asked about in the beginning,
and which their hustling salesman adamantly assured me would not happen.
--They set up AdSense on the site. All ad revenue goes to TrafficLogic (of
course) and the ads do nothing except highlight all my worst competitors at
the top of every page. I complained; they removed the ads.
But then they've put them back again.
--The final straw: that stand-alone site devoted only to my business has now
been converted and merged into a visual mess known as ArticleInsider, a
conglomeration of all their clients onto one big, awful site. Visits and
clickthroughs have been reduced 60 to 75 percent. In other words, I now get
25-40 percent of the former traffic.
Yuck. I've paid to create a monster which possibly sends more traffic to my
competition than to me.
Despite G saying that they will not develop Gbrowser there is much debate going on over at cre8 as to whether this is just a pile of horse shit.
Maybe it is.
If it is, then member brandboerge raises a very good point:
Depending on the user agreement, they could report more data from each page. They would have enough data to implement statistical algorithms that could make it possible to distinguish between cloaking and ip-delivery for "honest reasons". And if the browser itself were faster than Internet Explorer, they could spend some milliseconds for uploading and comparing pages (not images though) without the user noticing.
How Many Words in an Article?
Very interesting read for anyone writing their own articles. Interesting perspectives and opinions on both Articles/copy for search engines and for users. This from Jill Whalen
IMO, a 400 word articles doesn't generally say much. But on the other hand a 1000 word article can often be edited down to be more focused. I find around 750 words is a good amount for an article, but that's just my personal preference. It also has nothing to do with the search engines, as I don't write articles for search engines, I write them for people!
Thread points out useful SEO / webmaster forums and blogs. Members also hint at problems facing particular forums. In post #30 Littleman quotes MrMackin and cuts to the chase about what usually ends a good forum:
>I know how egos can destroy a community
That's the joke isn't it. A forum gets good and therefore popular because a group of people build it up. And then the site owner allows the forums success to inflate his ego. Then the ego destroys the forum.
I am not saying the pattern has to go that way, but I think the only way to avoid it is for the site owner(s) to realize that the forum's content providers (i.e. it's user base) is what gives it its value.
There is the alternative business model though:
Corral a group of smart and dedicated contributors, have them build up the place for a couple of years then start charging admission tax here and there, Eventually the forum will die, but meanwhile you have successfully cashed in on other people's work.
Watching Forum Threads
Hmmmm.. i'll have to be having words with young mr seobook for leaking the story early ;-) - Nice write up by Rusty Brick aka. Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table - big mouth himself (only joshing Aaron!) at SEOBook.com and Danny Sullivan also wrote about it over at the SEW Blog.
Thanks everyone for the support, hope to see you all submitting your favorite threads!