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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Top SEO blog posts of 2008!

These are my top blog posts of 2008. I’ve included posts on different subjects to keep it varied and interesting! Have a browse and take in the big SEO stories of 2008. Well the ones I’ve found interesting are here, if you have seen any *really* good ones, add a link in the comments!

SEO Jobs
Richard Baxter’s complete guide to getting a job in SEO is aimed at beginners but some of the information and links will be useful to even the more experienced of SEO’s. It is the most recent and most comprehensive guide on getting an SEO job I’ve seen and beats most of the generic advice you find on recruitment sites. Get a job in SEO!

Conspiracy theories
Consistently good blog with affiliate and black hat advice. I always like looking at the affiliate marketing blogs as they always seem to have good technical tips. This article outlines the incredible breadth of information Google gathers from users. While this is quite a frightening prospect, you can see why Google is such a profitable company, being able to target very specific demographics with relevant adverts is great for marketers and the end user. The high valuation of social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo and Myspace is mostly down to the huge amount of information they can collect legitimately. Google has its fingers in so many more pies than social networking though, and this is why it will always know a scary amount of information about you, the user!

Usability blog post
This great post from SEOmoz, simply points out that links should look like links. While this might seem like stating the obvious, links have changed appearance a lot with Flash and CSS.Take a look at a hard-line usability website, and you’ll find a site that seemingly, has not been redesigned since 1995. The site makes use of very normal looking links and has always stuck to the blue/purple coloured link system. I’d probably want to run a few multivariate tests to check that any radical colour combinations work for your particular site. Find out how to make a link look like a link!

Affiliate blog post
While this post is from 2006 I only found it earlier this year. It struck me as a quite a good idea, use your business/personal blog as a way to organise an online poker event and include affiliate links to your poker site of choice. This helps network with your visitors and other blog friends while earning you a bit of cash too. Seems like a no-brainer!

WTF 1!
Probably one of the most entertaining SEO videos I’ve seen all year, no offence to SEOmoz who also post SEO videos, but this is far funnier than whiteboard Friday!

Content is king
This post is an attempt to find out an actual figure to measure duplicate content. Google always stated it "wanted to reward good behaviour rather than penalise bad".
For this reason Google will never release info on their duplicate content guidelines, they don't want us to design content to a minimum specification, they want content to be as good, and as useful as possible. Imagine if there was no quality control, spam would reign and no one would use the Internet because all they would find would be shoddy content. At least they try to reward great content!

WTF 2!
One of my favourite posts this year from The Register. It describes the inner workings of a new high tech search engine, its employees and why, without considerable amounts of Strawberries and Muffins, the new search engine would fail in its quest to dominate the “quantum porn” search niche. Find out more about this new fangled search engine!

Merry Xmas and have a Happy New Year!
I hope you all continue to read my blog, have a great Christmas and a happy new year, whether you are an SEO, Webmaster or Web designer, have a great 2009!I have some great new posts on the way, so add me to your RSS reader!

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Google Search Wiki

This collaborative search tool is designed to allow users logged into Google to feedback to Google on the results they see. They have the option to Promote, Remove or Comment on a result. This tool is not new and first appeared in November 2005 (I think) before vanishing again.

It went live most recently on the afternoon of Thursday 20th November 2008 and is still active now. Users logged in to Google can then customise their results to match their needs. Though the changes made by users will only affect the users when logged in, long term Google will probably use the feedback to alter natural search results for users that are not logged in (normal search results). In the past Google has used real people to ensure quality search results pages (Google filtered out many thin affiliate sites using human testing) and Search Wiki gives Google another testing source, the logged in user. As well as a source of free testing, it is not anonymous. A Google account will have credit card details, search history, email and more juicy data that Google can use to assign a user profile. Google could then decide that users located in Europe might like video results displayed in their SERPs, and American users might like more Blog results and so on. This is a great post about Google's Data Empire.

While conspiracy theorists can continue being in awe of the huge amounts of data Google collects, there is one burning question posed by Search Wiki...

Is this the future of personalised search? If so, where does that leave SEO? How do you optimise for a personalised search?

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