Ken Lyons's blog
We're seeing a Google Toolbar PageRank update that happened about 20 minutes ago (July 29, 2009). Many of our top level pages have jumped in rank as a result of this latest update. Also, our take is Google has started to update Toolbar PR more and more frequently. By my count, this is the fourth update in 2009.
Note that in all of 2008, there were a total of five PR updates. So if this latest TBPR update is confirmed, Google is clearly updating more frequently and we should reach seven or eight updates by year's end. For reference, Google PageRank is a link analysis algorithm (named after Larry Page, co-founder of Google), which Google uses to assign a numerical weighting to measure the authority, value or importance of a webpage. Nobody outside of Google knows the actual PageRank of a doc... > Read more
Photo courtesy of House of Sims Article Submission Table of Contents: Best Practices Top Websites Managing Article Submissions Salvaging Article Links Article submission and syndicate services are an effective way to build anchor text links to your deeper pages. Building deep links can be one of the most difficult parts of SEO, especially for product pages.
The effectiveness of article submission for inbound link building and ranking is often debated in the SEO community, but I’ve seen plenty of instances of ranking changes that I can attribute directly to syndicated article submission links. But as with everything in SEO, it's best to test the theory yourself. One of the other benefits of article submission is the articles themselves can rank on the first page on Google, often for mi... > Read more
A friend emailed me recently, writing to say he’d “hooked up” with an SEO agency that got him a first page listing on Google. My immediate reaction was he’d been scammed. I say this because the friend’s local business website is brand new: no links, no authority, no legitimate ranking signals and no chance of ranking organically for his target keywords.
With this in mind, I know there are really only two ways for my friend's site to appear on page one of Google: Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) Google Local Listing Now, there’s nothing wrong with paid search. It’s a legitimate marketing channel and delivers qualified traffic and leads when done right. And if the friend were running a pay-per-click campaign with a qualified pay-per-click agency, I’d wish him the best. But m... > Read more
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Gab Goldenberg of SEO ROI. Gab is a 22-year old SEO consultant and law student from Montreal, Canada, and is fast becoming a thought leader in search marketing. Read on for more about Gab. On your site, you write that Jim Boykin offered you a job in 2008.
Can you tell us what the job was and why you turned it down? Jim didn't have a specific position in mind, to my knowledge. He wrote me saying, "I'm a fan of your writings and I'd like to explore the possibility of having you join the We Build Pages team." Pretty sweet compliment to my ears, considering Jim's always been someone I looked up to in search marketing as a leader and generally savvy guy! Anyways, we couldn't work together because Jim needed me to relocate to upstate NY fo... > Read more
Anybody else notice this yet? Looks like Google has just added site links to trusted domain listings that fall further down in the SERPs. I discovered the algorithmic update this morning when looking at the WordTracker home page listing. Note that this WordTracker lisiting is #8 in the rankings, on page one for the query "keyword research tools.
" Now, we've been seeing site links for trusted domains that rank number one in the SERPs for some time now. But adding site links to listings that fall deeper down the page is clearly a new feature. I interpret this as another example of the big Google move to more brand promotion in the SERPs. By incorporating this new trust signal, Google is clearly placing much more emphasis on and rewarding trusted, authoritative brands, and attempting to "so... > Read more
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing search behavior expert Jim Jansen. Jansen is an assistant professor at the College of Information Science and Technology at Penn State, and an expert on Web searching, sponsored search and personalization for information searching. He's authored more than 150 publications in the area of information technology and systems.
The interview with Jim Jansen covers topics like his recent research on click behavior, his ideas on how Google and other engines can improve user experience, as well as his current Twitter research.Read on for more. In your study on click behavior with integrated paid and organic search results, you cite “negative bias” and “distrust” as the reasons searchers click on sponsored ads (like Google sponsored links) less tha... > Read more
At WordStream, we're all pretty avid blog readers. We read a variety of search marketing blogs and subscribe to dozens of different RSS feeds. So I thought it would be interesting to ask everyone at WordStream for a list of their favorite SEO, PPC, Internet marketing and social media blogs, and put together a master compilation of our 50 favorites.
Think of this list as the “recommended” section from the staff at your local Blockbuster. Actually, are there even any Blockbusters left? Anyway, here’s the extensive list I’ve compiled of our 50 favorite search marketing blogs. It's a good mix of industry standards and hopefully some little known, but great blogs you haven't heard of yet that you can add to your own Google reader feed. Internet Marketing & General Marketing Blogs D... > Read more
In This Post Why Keep an SEO Log? What's in My SEO Log? Keyword 100 Link Profiler SEO Sandbox Do You Keep an SEO Log? As an SEO, I like to keep pretty detailed records of all my search optimization efforts. I document everything I do and each action I take for optimization and note it in a series of spreadsheets I call my "SEO Log.
" There are a number of reasons why I keep an SEO Log, which I'll discuss in detail. Plus, I'll talk about the three documents I consider critical to my SEO Logging, and describe the components of each. My goal in writing about this information is to share some of the methods I use for recording my optimization research and analysis efforts, which I hope may be interesting or helpful to other SEOs or anyone looking to become a SEO. Why Keep an S... > Read more
Hey, All. I thought I'd take this opportunity to update everyone on a number of opportunities to hear our founder and VP of Product Development, Larry Kim, speak. Larry Kim LIVE! Larry was a featured guest on Bruce Clay's SEM Synergy last week. Larry was interviewed by @VirginiaNussey on the subject of Inbound Marketing.
For anyone who missed it, you can catch the interview in full here: SEM Synergy interview with Larry Kim on Inbound Marketing SEM Synergy airs on Webmaster Radio every Wednesday at 3 p.m. (EDT), and the show always books great guests while offering commentary from search marketing legend Bruce Clay and his team on the latest goings on in the world of search. Boston SEO Meetup Also, if you're in the Boston area, come check out Boston SEO Meetup event in Arlington, startin... > Read more
In This Post Benefits of Creating a Keyword Map Chart Before You Start How to Create a Structured Keyword Map Next Step Keyword Mapping You've Got Your Keywords Mapped Behold! the power of Keyword Mapping In a previous post I talked about the importance of keyword mapping for aggressive linking. But keyword mapping is also critical for SEO.
If you’re building a new website or taking on a new SEO project, it’s imperative that you clearly map out a highly organized and structured keyword map. Let’s explore why keyword mapping is so important. Benefits of Creating a Keyword Map One of the most daunting challenges of SEO can be trying to manage a site with hundreds (or even thousands) of web pages and trying to determine which keywords to associate with which pages. The way to solve ... > Read more
I see a lot written about Twitter tips and how Twitter is great for public relations, like branding, building relationships and trust, awareness, etc. And the fact of the matter is it's true: Twitter is a great platform for external communications efforts. But I’ve also discovered that Twitter is a great tool for internal PR, and can be used to communicate and promote positive, in-house relations.
And given the tough economic climate we’re in, I bet everyone at your office could use a morale boost. Internal Public Relations is Often Ignored Before I talk about using Twitter for internal messaging, I first want to take a quick look at internal PR in general, and at what I see as a lack of attention on internal communications. Internal PR often fails to match the intensity of external ef... > Read more
It’s the Holy Grail of link building: deep links from authority websites. And link builders far and wide know that getting these links is difficult. The belief espoused by most SEOs is that if you create remarkable content people will naturally link to it, which is both true and untrue. If you've got a blog and you're publishing topical, informational or solutions pages, then having great content is a natural link magnet.
But what if you're publishing content around product pages on an e-commerce site? Forget about it. No matter how good the content, product pages simply don't attract external links. Heck, I could author this great page about window shades, with in-depth, insightful content and beautiful photos of my product. Trouble is, there's nothing notable or link-worthy about wind... > Read more
Most articles about link building focus on quality, quantity and relevance of links, and they generally draw the same conclusion: that value and relevancy trump volume. But rarely do I see link builders discuss link diversity for creating a "natural" link portfolio. Certainly, link quality and quantity (to a lesser degree) play a big role in keyword rankings, but so too do the variety of links in your portfolio.
Link diversity impacts a number of different factors related to your site: Sphere of influence – more links from a range of websites signals more trust and authority Traffic mix – links from a variety of sites create new, different traffic opportunities for your site Broader visibility - more links across a range of sites exposes your brand to a wider audience Authenticity - ... > Read more
I read a blog recently about "bad keywords." The blogger concluded that some keywords are just no good for search. His advice to readers was to purge your poorly performing PPC campaign of all these nasty keywords and banish them forever because they'll never work, never convert, never love you back no matter what you do.
They're the equivalent of keyword delinquents, rotten to the core. The idea that some keywords (or words for that matter) are intrinsically bad is ridiculous. And frankly, the post sounded like a cop out, one big "not my fault." The blogger blamed the keywords for everything wrong in his life and never once acknowledged that it could be his technique that's flawed. The fact of the matter is, a keyword is only "bad" in a relative sense. Now I'... > Read more
Brand Query Management is about seeking to influence and control the first page search results for brand-related queries (a search for your company, product or service). A company's brand is one of its most valuable assets. So brand query management is a means of both enhancing and protecting that asset.
Why is Brand Query Management Important? When searchers run brand queries, it's important that your brand has a strong presence in the SERPs. Having a strong brand query provides the following benefits: Protecting what you've built - the more results you control, the less opportunity there is for potential brand vultures. Perceived value - a strong brand query demonstrates perceived value to a customer, which enhances your brand franchise and brand equity. Brand consistency – an acr... > Read more
Launching a New Website? Query Analysis Can Make the Difference Between Thriving or Diving in the SERPs
One of the best ways to conduct keyword research is to explore your website’s data files. By looking at the search queries your visitors used to find your website, you discover new, proven keywords to optimize for. But what if you're a brand new website with no search data and you want to target a new query space? How do you find the right keywords to build your list around? For new websites, conducting a Competitive Query Analysis is very effective for researching keywords.
Running queries for keywords you're thinking of targeting gives you a very good idea how competitive a particular query space is among marketers. You also find out how high the interest level is for a particular query among searchers. With the results of your query research, you can chart a more informed keyword ... > Read more