Natural Search Blog


LinkedIn, But NoFollow Link Love

We all knew it was only a matter of time, but still secretly hoped that the honeymoon would last forever. It does appear that LinkedIn has started nofollowing public profile links…but with a strange twist.

I’ve been so heads down in client audits that I didn’t discover this until, ironically, doing another audit for another client. However, I also don’t recall seeing many blog headlines in my Netvibes, so perhaps this one has rather floated under the radar a bit. Even a quick scan in Google doesn’t turn up much beyond this post, ‘Linkedin adds rel=”Nofollow” to profile links‘ over at Kingpin SEO, which dates this change around early-mid November. Based on my recent audit schedule, would make this about right.

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Social Media Costs … More Than Just ROI Calculations

Social media costs. Yes it does. One way or another, there is a cost that is (or should be) associated with social media efforts. Determining and measuring that cost isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but if you took the time to determine your Social Media Marketing Goals and established metrics for Social Media Measurement, then you are well on your way to understanding the financial (and resource) impact of social media.

Why are social media costs so challenging to measure? Social media is about more than just ROI. Unlike areas of a business that have very specific and direct cost and revenue associations, social media costs are a combination of your goals, metrics, direct costs and time; of which, many of these may actually be soft measurements. (more…)

Social Media Measurement

Measuring social media will help you better understand what works, which social media venues perform for you, and provides an important metric to factor into cost analysis. Once you have pulled together your social media marketing goals, you need to lay down how you are going to measure the impact of your social media marketing efforts.

Social media measurement presents some interesting challenges compared to the more typical site or page metrics. The most direct measures, such as traffic and conversion on your website, are only part of the picture. By the very nature though, much of your social media efforts will take place off your website. But let’s make it easy and start internally before we move to the more challenging external measurements.

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Link Building Through Social Media – Is It That Difficult?

The post today deals with link building using social media. Most SEO practitioners love to use social media to build backlinks to a site. It is a powerful method and can gain numerous inbound links in a short period of time.

For this, the content has to be of high quality along the lines of linkbait and capable of going viral. It gets picked up by various social media properties and earns lot of link love. Yet, there are people who complain that they are not having success in using this technique. One of the major reasons for failure is the inability to build relationships.

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Social Media Marketing Goals

As more and more companies have adopted SEO practices in optimizing their websites, though there is still plenty of room for improvement, it’s no surprise that they have begun turning more attention to social media marketing (SMM). Of course, with all the attention these new venues have gained and become more mainstream, this only makes sense.

However, this has also lead more into jumping in head first without using their heads. Perhaps this is due to the added pressures of a challenging economy or feeling behind the curve. While social media isn’t exactly new, there is plenty of curve left, and using a challenging economy as a catalyst to jump onboard and sinking precious resources into something that you don’t understand or have any idea how to measure is extremely short-sighted.
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Measuring Link Bait

Last week, Stephan Spencer talked about The Social Media Underground over at Search Engine Land. While the broad brush strokes of the article were across social media, the technique of link baiting however was very much at the center. Of course there are endless ways to paint on the link bait canvas, but in many cases, there will be an element of social media involved, which may also mean time and/or money.

Link bait can be a powerful tool, especially when used in conjunction with a powerful social media network. Like many things however, it generally comes at a cost. Even if there aren’t any direct costs, such as engaging writers or paying for services directly, there will at least be direct time if you or your company creates the link bait yourself, and potentially in-kind costs, such as helping to return the favor or similar for someone else within your social media network.

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Speaking at Dallas WordCamp 2009

Wordcamp Dallas 2009I’m speaking at this year’s WordCamp in Dallas again later this week.

WordCamp is a mini-convention for WordPress and blogging enthusiasts. Some of the content is WordPress-centric, but other content is applicable to bloggers in general, such as how to promote your blog and other stuff.

I’ll be speaking on how to use social image sharing services for promotion. Social media sites such as Flickr allow people to publish and share their photos with many other people, and the site is well-constructed in terms of search engine optimization, so posting images there helps get media distributed all over. Using Flickr can help one gain more attention, inbound links, and overall search rankings.

I’ve spoken on using Flickr for promotion and optimization before, and I’ve written on details of image optimization here a number of times.

I’d further recommend blogging to everyone – I first started blogging here on the Natural Search Blog as a guest, after Stephan Spencer invited me, and it eventually changed my overall career path. Be sure to check out Stephan’s articles on blog optimization, btw, since he’s pretty much the top authority out there on the subject.

There’s still a few seats left for Dallas WordCamp – sign up before they’re all gone!

Harnessing The Power of Social Media In Business

Social media is an exciting medium offering tonnes of opportunities to you, as a business owner, to engage the masses in your marketing efforts and get great results for your efforts.

It is a double edged sword and if done right, you will glow on the winner’s podium with a great name for your product/service/company in the online space reaping rich inbound links to your site from a multitude of powerful and trusted domains. Done wrong, you could end up a social pariah in cyberspace with a bad reputation and poor record of integrity attached to your name and company’s product/service.

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Amazon Acquires Social Media Book Site Shelfari

Amazon has acquired Shelfari, a site where people can share their reading lists, review books, and find books to read. Others have noted that Shelfari sports a cool user interface, but I note that there are quite a few book list sharing sites out there like it, such as LibraryThing, aNobii, and GoodReads.

Shelfari's Engaging User Interface

I’m not sure that the UI alone is really enough to differentiate Shelfari from the pack, particularly if Amazon over-commercializes it. I think if it tries to push book sales too much, it might easily disaffect the usership and they could easily swing over to one of the handful of competitors. (more…)

Web 2.0 Conference: SEO 101 Workshop

Web 2.0 Expo New York 2008I’ll be delivering a brief course on the basics of SEO at the Web 2.0 Expo conference in New York, September 16th. The Web 2.0 Expo is co-produced by TechWeb and O’Reilly Media.

My course on “SEO 101” is a not-to-be missed session for any search marketer who wishes to learn the basics of “organic” or “natural” search engine optimization (a.k.a. “SEO”). While basic SEO principles are really very simple to incorporate in web site design, most companies fail to exploit them when building out their web pages and internet applications — losing out on traffic and marketshare. Adjusting a site to include just a few of the basics can increase traffic and associated sales significantly.

I’ll be speaking along with the legendary Neil Patel, who is renowned as a social media marketing guru. Neil will be covering the basics of social media optimization, or “SMO”.

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