Welcoming the Wisdom of Webmaster World

I had the pleasure of spending three days last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center attending “PubCon” or the Webmaster World conference. PubCon or Webmaster WorldThere’s a lot of information that I intend to share on this blog, but, for openers, I would like to make a bottom line observation:

Great Content is Now King
The old axiom that “Content is King” seems to be maturing and I would update it by saying that “Great Content is King.” At Webmaster World, there are all kinds of discussions of all kinds of search engine optimization tactics from “duplicate content” (content from other places that may appear on more than one page of a given website) to paid links, and other kinds of artificial as well as authentic link acquisition strategies.

What became apparent to me this year is that Google and the other search engines are now working more intensely than ever to differentiate between “authentic authority” and “artificial authority.” Authority being the term for those sites that earn strong positions on SERPs (search engine results pages) by merit of the number of links from other sites pointing to them.

While some “artificial” link acquisition strategies may still work, I think that, based on what I learned at Webmaster World, it needs to be said that, long term, it is going to be only the links earned “the old fashioned way”–specifically from great content that merits authentic links from real people who appreciate that content–which will be recognized by the search engines with valuable results page positions. I believe this trend is now more substantial than before and is irreversible.

So if you are working on search engine optimization and organic search engine marketing, the most important strategy is now (and perhaps has been for a some time and will continue to be for the foreseeable future) the creation of not just content, but great (meaningful and relevant) content that will earn meaningful links based on that content’s own merit.

Coming soon:
More posts inspired by Webmaster World including the young publisher who is making major moves on some of the established publishers in the video market via the web, a major entrepreneur who is raising big bucks and buying huge volumes of web traffic, great free search engine marketing tools and much more.

Search Engine Ranking Factors Clearly Illuminated


For those of us who work (either for ourselves or for clients) is pursuit of organic or natural search engine rankings for targeted keyword phrases, there is a slew of information out there about both the on-page and off-page factors that contribute to these rankings (as I explain in my internet marketing ebook: “EBiz Express: What Every Business Should Know About Internet Marketing“).

I’m writing not only to make this shameless plug, but also to share a new resource that I just found that aggregates the opinions of an impressive selection of experts in order to indicate which of the various factors carry the most weight (according to these experts). As something of an expert myself, I found this interactive page to be informative and useful. Thus, I recommend to you:

SEOmoz’s Google Search Engine Ranking Factors V2

Enjoy.

WSJ Mossberg: Thumbs Up on Yahoo Mail

I use Yahoo Mail as a secondary address email address and I like the redesigned interface of Yahoo Mail’s latest version. I’m even considering getting Yahoo Mail Plus for $20/year in order to get POP access via Yahoo Mail. I’m having issues with MS Entourage… Anyone know about getting an Entourage address book into Yahoo Mail?

Anyway, I was encouraged by this video and web review by one of the most authoritative tech reviewers in the world, Walt Mossberg of the Walt Street Journal:

In fact, I found his Personal Technology pages on the AllThingsDigital website to be quite excellent… a fun and useful resource… Although I totally disagee with him about Apple’s iWork products (Pages, Keynote & Numbers). I love these programs and get things done with them not only with more style, but with more ease. I would never use Word or MS Office unless I have to.

MSN Makes Progress Toward Becoming #2 Search Engine

I’m frequently asked about how much each of the big three search engines (Google, Yahoo & MSN) contribute in terms of traffic. Google of course dominates, but as this chart shows MSN has recently made progress toward overtaking Yahoo as #2. This has caused TechCrunch to ask:

Could Microsoft Knock Off Yahoo To Become Google’s Biggest Competitor?

NYTimes Gets Peek Inside Google’s Search Systems

Perhaps amongst the most closely guarded secrets in the entire tech industry are the algorithms or formulas that include “signals” and “classifiers” that determine a website’s position on Google’s SERP’s (search engine results pages).

This Sunday’s New York Times offered one of the clearest behind-the-scenes visits with those who make things happen at the Googleplex that I’ve seen including interviews and fly-on-the-wall perspectives on meetings with some of Google search’s main players (two are shown here). The article is insightful and clear; and it provides, within reasonable limits, a nice overview of how Google’s search engine works, an introduction to the team that manages its impressive set of variables, the awesome scope of Google’s whole search techno-universe, and more.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and related fields. (A membership in the NYTimes site may be required to view this article.)

Great Basic Search Marketing Tips

Here are some very important pointers that are also some of the most common mistakes made by websites who want to be found by the search engines, and especially for those who want their websites to rank well for targeted keyword phrases. (This is also known as search engine optimization, SEO or SEM.)

http://seoclass.com/blog/7-homework-items-to-complete-before-any-seo-class/

(FYI, my e-book on internet marketing for small business is coming “real soon”)

BTW, heads up for NonProfits… The organization who created the tips linked above, SEOClass.com is offering its workshop FREE for nonprofits only, this month only.

Optimizing Search Marketing: Great Keyword Insights

KeywordDiscovery.com Keyword Research ToolI’m still amazed at how many people have not yet discovered that effective, results-producing search engine marketing (and PPC, pay-per-click search engine advertising) begins with keyword research. It’s really BIG TIME IMPORTANT!

And, while my favorite keyword research tool is Trellian Keyword Discovery, a friend and fellow search engine marketer forwarded me the following link which is packed with excellent insights regarding strategies for effective keyword research.

Local Search Continues Expansion with Enhancements to Yahoo Local & Live.com

As I’ve said earlier, local search is increasingly the optimum marketing medium for local businesses (from auto repair to therapists). Clearly, the big search engines agree as they continue to enhance their localized search services. The latest enhancements come from Yahoo and Microsoft’s Live.com; who are, of course, trying to keep up with Google. A good overview of these latest local search features is here.

Google’s Schmidt Shares

Thanks to Tim O’Reilly for pointing out the LA Times interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt (site registration required). More than any truly large company, I think Google is defining innovation in the 21st Century, and Schmidt seems to be a real straight-shooting, thoughtful individual. Worthy of respect and attention (beyond the hype.)

Get Links to Improve Search Engine Rankings

As most e-marketers know, getting good links TO your web site is now a critical component of achieving web traffic generating search engine positions for the strategic keywords that you (hopefully) have indentified for the benefit of your business or organization.

Today, I’m recommending Marketing Sherpa as one of my favorite “must read” email newsletters on e-marketing; and, in particular, an article on the do’s and don’ts of link acquisition, and interview with link expert Eric Ward titled How to (Really) Gain Link Popularity: 5 Mistakes & 3 Proven Tactics. (Note this article is only free til May 6th.)

Note: One of the most useful links sited is http://www.incominglinks.com which offers almost 600 niche topic directories from whom you may be able to get valuable links as well as some good how-to instructions. Good luck!

For more about ComBridges’ web site promotion strategies, please click here.