Great post by Aaron Wall over at digitalbookworld.

It is very rare that someone gives out detailed sales and revenue numbers about their online business. When I see these types of posts I bookmark them or even save them to my hard drive (they have a tendency to disappear.)

SEOBook’s forum is definitely one of the few webmaster boards around which I would describe as healthy.

Posted in SEO.

The hot topic of the week is Jeremy Shoemaker, aka Shoemoney, being extorted by a Dmoz editor.

dmoz

Newbie note: DMOZ, also known as the Open Directory Project, is a moderated directory of web sites. Due to its weight with Google and other search engines, being listed is considered very valuable.

Shawn Collins decided to look into the situation and was pointed to a DigitalPoint post Jeremy made way back in 2005 — “if anyone seriously does know a dmoz editor pm me ill pay there lame corruption fee to get in the dmoz… I dont like it but I want to be listed.” Another blogger (who hit the front page of Digg) had his Dmoz editor account banned after posting a note questioning Shoemoney’s removal.

Most Dmoz editors are web site owners, or promoters, themselves. Shawn Collins said that he applied for his Dmoz editor account after having trouble getting a site listed. This is a conflict of interest to Dmoz’s integrity. Editors are blocking the competition as well as collecting cash in exchange for listing sites. The system is broken and has been justly exploited.

What can be done? Easy. Add transparency.

Just like Wikipedia, all edits must be made public. Additions, deletions, times, dates, and ip addresses. Real names and faces must be assigned to the editors. Whether an identity is real or fake, the reputation behind that identity takes time to build up. This minimizes corruption. Directory categories need to be open to all editors.

Does Dmoz even matter anymore? Between millions of blogs, Wikipedia, Digg, and forums, is there not enough timely social media to far outweigh a single directory? Perhaps, yes. However, Dmoz still remains a valuable internet property. Just like real estate, without maintenance and renovation it can fall into slums.

Posted in SEO.

This article just showed up on the front page of Digg. It is from the New York Times and has a rarely seen inside look at Google’s search ranking unit also known as “search quality.”

I have long abandoned reading the endless forum discussions and blogs about search engine optimization. (Besides simply not having the time, focusing on advertising and promotion has proven to be far more profitable.)

Sick of Matt Cutts? This article refers to some of the real Google puppetmasters including Amit Singhal and Udi Manber. If you want to know who they are, read the article.

Mr. Singhal has developed a far more elaborate system for ranking pages, which involves more than 200 types of information, or what Google calls “signals.” PageRank is but one signal. Some signals are on Web pages — like words, links, images and so on. Some are drawn from the history of how pages have changed over time. Some signals are data patterns uncovered in the trillions of searches that Google has handled over the years.”

Posted in SEO.

May be I have a short memory, but it seems like this April Fool’s Day we had an unusually high number of pranks, fake news, and hackings.

Google had quite a few of them, Google Paper — free supported by “red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica” and Google TiSP, free wireless broadband service that is installed by flushing a cord down your toilet.

For many April Fools day is just a time for gags. For marketers and publishers, however, hoax marketing is becoming an increasingly attractive way of pulling in backlinks. Last April, Quadzilla saidHoax Marketing is one logical evolotionary growth path that will prove to be extremely profitable.”

Continue reading

Posted in SEO.

This is definately one you don’t want to miss — Quadzilla who runs the SEOBlackhat.com blog and private forum will be on Shoemoney’s Webmasterradio.fm “Net Income” show today at 6pm eastern. You can listen live from their home page.

Contrary to the name “blackhat”, Quadzilla understands and practices a whole lot more than search engine spamming. As an active member of his forum and someone whose participated in past projects I can tell you this is one smart guy who really “gets it.” I suggest every one listens to this episode and take notes — and if you miss it, check it out when it becomes available in the Webmaster Radio archive (usually by the following day, Wednesday.)

Search engine optimization is in a perpetual state of hyper-evolution. This means those that stick ahead of the pack recieve a disproportionately large piece of the pie. Pay close attention to, and read between the lines, of the experts and you can end up in front.

Posted in SEO.

Have you ever been uncertain if you should use a search engine optimization technique or not?

I recently looked back at some of the first sites I built and noticed an unsuprising trend. The sites I had built using strictly “white hat” SEO techniques were doing great. The sites I had built using greyer SEO techniques weren’t looking to good.

This was hardly a suprise. In an attempt to gain short term traffic & revenue I had traded off the long term success of the site. Does this mean we should stick strictly wiith “what hat” SEO techniques? Perhaps not.

The darker arts of SEO have their benefits, the most obvious being speed. Collected data can give you an accurate picture of the most rankable, and profitable, keywords.. Forget the manipulated Overture suggestion tool, your own stats tell the true picture.

For your next project you could create two parallel sites. Use one as a testing bed and data collector — the other treat as a baby, avoiding all questionable links and SEO techniques.

To be safe, avoid interlinking the two sites. To really, really be safe, use different domain whois info and host each site on a seperate account (with different c-class IP addresses.)

I am sure some of you are interested in which “grey/black hat” techniques you could use, here are some ideas. I don’t know how effective it still is, but one thing I have used is the Digitalpoint co-op ad network. Preferably you should not actually place the links on the domain you want to drive backlinks to. To quickly locate potential keywords you can use a fake content generator like RSSGM. Want more? Check out Quadzilla’s $100-a-month SEO Blackhat Forum.

Long term, using black and grey SEO strategies on your most prized sites is just dumb. High quality backlinks and viral link baiting are the new “blackhat.” And thats the way Google wants it.

Posted in SEO.

In case you don’t happen to read Shoemoney’s blog, he has announced they are giving away one free ticket to their exclusive Elite Retreat conference.

Its a small first time event hosted by Jeremy Schoemaker (aka Shoemoney), Aaron Wall (of SEOBook), Dave Taylor, and Lee Dodd.

Unlike a lot of bogus internet marketing conferences, these guys are very qualified experts. I hope that they will share some of the success stories that will come out of this event. I’d be willing to wager there will be more than a few of them.

Posted in SEO.

There has been some buzz today about Google’s recent update of their Adwords algorithm. The rumours are that this has been done to squeeze the profit margins out of PPC and affiliate arbitragers.

Thinking back to some of Google’s past algorithm shakeups I wonder if it has really helped them. Radical shakeups have made internet-reliant businesses intently aware of search engine optimization. Is it really better to have an entire industry obsessed with gaming the system rather than a handful of “elite” fighting over gambling and prescription drugs?

Its no secret that Google is working hard to recruit the best and smartest candidates as employees. Is that good enough? Will they create a “god” algorithm or will this be a cat and mouse game for the next two decades?

I am happy with the cat and mouse game. Continual shakeups mean new opportunities. It also means that those who are well-diversified have nothing to worry about.

Lately I have been getting a lot of comments on older posts — mostly for my interview with Markus Frind. If you want to give yourself backlinks through comments, here are a few suggestions.

1) I don’t like trackbacks from splogs syndicating my RSS feed (and if you republish anymore than a small excerpt you’ve recieved a C&D.)

2) I don’t like it when people make things up to give themselves backlinks.

3) If you are going to leave a really short comment either don’t include your backlink or make the anchor text your name.

I worked really hard to get this blog to have the link authority it has today. Put in just a little effort and you can benefit. If you want to be lazy then comment spam the blog of someone who doesn’t do this full time or professionally.

Partially related, Quadzilla has made an excellent post at SEO Blackhat that is worth a read for all search engine optimizers.

Posted in SEO.

Quadzilla from SEOBlackhat has made a great post on estimated traffic based on search engine: Google – Yahoo – MSN – and everything else; and placement in the SERP. He also followed it up with a free expected click by rank tool.

These calculations are accomplished through the “accidently” released AOL data, Hitwise, and Overture keyword tool. While not 100% accurate this is possibly the closest to accurate data seen outside of the big engines. Obviously the clickthrough rates will vary by the copy relevance, but here are overall average clickthrough numbers extracted from the AOL data:

Ranking Number 1 receives 42.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 2 receives 11.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 3 receives 8.5 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 4 receives 6.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 5 receives 4.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 6 receives 4.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 7 receives 3.4 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 8 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 9 receives 2.8 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 10 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.

You can see more tables at SEOBlackhat.