Natural Search Blog


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!

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Blog SEO Tip: Hop On A Media Feeding Frenzy

For bloggers wishing to improve their traffic, hopping onto a media feeding frenzy can give a nice burst in traffic which can translate into increases in longterm traffic.

Media Feeding Frenzy Traffic Graph

A media feeding frenzy is when a subject or thing that’s happened suddenly becomes a top headliner story for journalists. News organizations have a well-developed radar for which stories of the day are going to be the most interesting for their audience, and they avidly push to provide articles quickly to satisfy the public’s sudden thirst. As more journalists glom onto the subject, it suddenly seems that everyone is reporting on some variation of the same subject, and this is a media feeding frenzy.

Bloggers can hop onto these feeding frenzies, and ride the wave of traffic associated with them. (more…)

Technorati Authority Number Now Decides Blog Rankings

On Friday, I noticed that Technorati instituted a new change in how they report info about blogs they track. Previously, they displayed the total number of inlinks from the total number of blogs linking to a blog. For example, they’d state “__ blogs link here” and “X links from Y blogs”. They now only state the total number of blogs that link to a blog, and they’re calling that measure the “Technorati Authority” number.

Technorati

Technorati only counts the total number of blogs which link to another blog for the Authority number, not the total number of links – which is good, since various blog features like categorization pages, preview snippets, and other pagination and navigation schemes common to blogs can cause a link from a single posting to reappear multiple times from a blog’s site.

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BlogMaps – Geographic Pinpoint Maps for Blogs

A few days ago, I noticed a BlogMap in the righthand column of Robert Scoble’s blog – I don’t see it there now, so perhaps he was just experimenting with it. But, the Blogmap immediately appealed to me as a cool mashup concept, and a nice enhancement for locally-oriented blogs.

If you operate a blog that’s about a specific geographic location, I think addition of a Blog Map to your layout could be a great feature. The BlogMap shows a small map image which has your blog pinpointed on it, and a link to all the other local blogs in your area.

If you use this, I suggest you be careful about using your home address for the map pinpoint, since this could introduce negative factors, personal security-wise. Instead, use a nearby address, or use your work address.

It took me about one minute to set up this BlogMap for Natural Search Blog:

If you operate a blog that is about your local area, I also suggest using the hCard Microformat in your site design in order to best optimize for local search engines, though blog search engines likely haven’t set up special algorithms for locality specification yet. I previously blogged about how to use microformats to optimize for local search.

Another option BlogMaps offers is to just display a button that displays the number of Bloggers nearby, hyperlinked to a list of them – something you could use if your were concerned about displaying your location. They also offer a button for “your local opml”.

The Blogmap interface is very elegantly done – simple, and easy-to-use. No surprise that this was developed by one of the primary Microsoft Virtual Earth developers, Chandu Thota. Chandu just recently left Microsoft, and I’d bet they’ll miss him.

One suggestion to Chandu: it’d be really cool if you offered the option for bloggers to display the larger map that pinpoints all the top bloggers in your mapped area. I know he may’ve avoided doing this because of the cost of the maps that would need to be delivered. The way around this might be to offer this add-on service for users who wish to pay a subscription fee.

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Attending SES Chicago 06

I’ll be attending the Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2006 conference next week, and I’ll be speaking on the panel on Images & Search Engines, for anyone interested.

My part of the presentation will be on “Optimizing Through Image Sharing Sites”. I’ve written here previously about optimizing images for both image search and web search, but some of the material in next week’s presentation will be completely new, and hopefully worthwhile for anyone looking for new organic traffic opportunities to exploit. I’ve been sweating to complete some of the research for this for the past few weeks, and I think the resultant info will be pretty cool!

I’m planning to drop a handful of my bizcards off at the Superpages.com booth in the exhibit hall, for anyone interested in contacting me while at the conference. I understand that our booth will also be sharing space with our compatriots from Inceptor (a company we acquired earlier this year). I’ll be interested in seeing how this hybridized booth thing works out, along with any new Idearc branding that might start showing up on it.

Mike Sack from Inceptor will also be speaking later the same day as myself, on the panel for Converting Visitors Into Buyers.

Finally, I should also mention that Stephan Spencer, who graciously invited me to guest blog on here many months ago, will also be speaking that same day on the panel for Blog & Feed Search SEO. I’ve heard Stephan speak on this subject previously, along with Rick Klau from FeedBurner, and I found it very interesting/worthwhile.

Want to optimize? Don’t use Trackback Submitter

For a number of weeks now, we’ve seen a real spike in comment spam submitted to NaturalSearchBlog. We have a nice, heuristic-based module that keeps this out, and we moderate comments. I normally review the filtered comments, and they’re usually just tons of crappy spamlinks for sex, drugs, and gambling. Today I found a number of bona-fide comments that got aggressively filtered out with the deluge of spam, so I resurrected those and approved them. If you’ve commented here recently, we apologize for the delay in approving the comments — but they just got sucked in with the bulk of crap.

One of the 5,000-plus spam comments was from a vile company called “Trackback Submitter”. I knew what this was, of course, but I went to their site anyway in order to see what they say about themselves, and found unsurprisingly that they LIE, LIE, and LIE! If you’re a webmaster wanting to build traffic, avoid this software or you could damage yourself. Read on and I’ll explain…

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New WordPress Plugin for SEO

I’ve just released “SEO Title Tag”, a plugin for WordPress. As the name implies, it allows you to optimize your WordPress site’s title tags in ways not supported by the default WordPress installation. For example:

Get the plugin now: SEO Title Tag WordPress Plugin

I’d love your feedback, as this is my first WordPress plugin.

Enjoy!

Blog Optimization

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