If you stop, you’ll die

Lemme get my meta on for a second.

As I mentioned yesterday, Ming visually remixed some art and a quote I wrote.

So tonight, I’ll return the flavor, working off his Finding Nemo riff here’s what I’ve got:

oh and Ming? just FYI. For SEO purposes, I’d recommend making your post titles the link that goes to the rest of the post.

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Social Media Optimization Traffic Sources

I wrote this as support material for a speech being given by our VP. Its a list of non-SEO or PPC methods of building traffic (with an emphasis on blogs and social media)

  1. Social Networking Sites (Myspace, Friendster)
    You can setup profiles for your website or yourself and use in-network messaging and bulletin systems to promote your site.
  2. Digg
    Writing digg-friendly content, like lists and howtos, and optimize your tags to gain traffic from digg users.
  3. Delicious
    Bookmark yoursite, with optimized keyword tags and others will see your link.
  4. Wikipedia
    Write an article about your site, company, self or niche and include a link back to your site. Or just add your (useful) link to an existing article.
  5. Link Baiting Bloggers
    Specific types of content are known to attract links from bloggers.
  6. Forums
    Find industry specific forums and message boards and become a helpful member, suggesting your site wherever appropriate and including a link in your signature.
  7. Mailing Lists
    Join niche email lists and become a respected member, again suggesting your site where appropriate.
  8. Comments on other sites
    Respond to relevant posts on other people’s blogs and specify your site as your “homepage” for a link back.
  9. Tackbacks on other sites
    Respond to another blogger via your blog, and send a trackback and you’ll likely get a link back.
  10. Youtube
    Make a viral video and post it to youtube (optimize your entry) and include your URL in the video.
  11. Article Syndication
    Write useful content and offer to allow other webmasters to publish it on their site with a link back to yours.
  12. Give awards
    Give away a handful of awards to related (but non-competative) sites in your niche. They’ll link back.
  13. Get awards
    Find industry web awards and nominate yourself. If you win you’ll get links and traffic.
  14. Affiliates
    Start an affiliate program and allow others to do your promotional work for you in exchange for a commission.
  15. Link Exchanges
    Find webmasters who have one or more sites in your niche, and offer to exchange links (with keyword anchor text).
  16. Traffic/Banner Exchange Networks
    Join a banner exchange network and serve other site’s banners on your site, while they show yours on theirs’.
  17. Press Releases
    Do something newsworthy and publish a press release, make sure it is keyword optimized as news sites often rank very highly.
  18. Link Directories
    Find general and niche link directories and submit your site. Better yet: volunteer to be an editor for your category.
  19. Joint-venture/cross-promotion
    Find a related website and develop a partnership project, like awards, contests or giveaways.
  20. Craigslist
    Post an ad for your business and optimize the content for your keywords, craigslist ranks very well in search engines.
  21. Podcast
    Make a podcast and get it listed in podcast directories.
  22. Type in domain traffic
    Buy a good domain name that people actually type into their browsers (ie: widgets.com).
  23. Write a column
    Find an online or offline industry publication and offer to write a regular feature for them in exchange for a link back.
  24. Technorati
    Optimize the keyword tags on your blog and make sure you rank well for high traffic searches at Technorati.
  25. Flickr
    Take pictures of your product, post them to flickr, optimize your tags and include your URL.
  26. Buy or Rent Email Lists
    Send out huge blast emails to relevant opt-in lists.
  27. Build an email list
    Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter and email them regularly to encourage repeat traffic.

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Optimizing Blog Post Titles For SEO

Cool post from Blog Business World:

How to feed your healthy dog
Dog food: Selection and feeding

Note that the first title style is straight forward. The second title places a keyword phrase at the important front end, and expands on the topic after a colon. Both title styles are effective for blog SEO. I suggest you try using both styles on your blog. Note that this post uses the keyword phrase colon phrase format.

Personally I’d go with the second title as it contains an actual keyword phrase (wordtracker says “dog food” gets 700+ searches a day).

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Listen Before You Talk

Just had a meeting with a client who is getting into blogging as a method of promotion for his site. One of the best customers I’ve worked with in this niche. He understands that since he doesn’t have a lot of money to throw at buying traffic, he’s going to need to put time and effort in, and he’s not afraid of the work.

Once he got familiar with the technical features of his blog, we started getting him into the conversation of blogging, linkbaiting, trackbacks, comments, that kind of thing. He’s taking to it quite well, with a lot of energy.

Although the last few clients we’ve introduced to blogging have raised an interesting point in my mind: The first step to becoming a blogger is to read blogs. Its very easy to start teaching a small business owner how to make a post and send a trackback, but its putting the wagon before the horse to do all this without getting them settled into a feedreader first, and in hindsight, getting the budding blogger to subscribe to and regularly read blogs in their niche is probably the most important step. This is how they get context, and a real grasp on how this whole blogging thing works.

And of course, the most important aspect of blogging for small business bloggers to leverage is the conversation, and you wouldn’t just walk into a crowded room and start shouting. First, you listen and see what everybody is talking about.

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Blog Optimization Checklist

In working on the seo for bloggers book and dealing with blogging clients, I’ve come up with a handful of things you (or your blog software) should definitely do if you want to rank well in the search engines.
These are the absolute necessities of blog optimzation.

  1. Automatically send and receive trackbacks
  2. Automatically ping blog services when new post is made
  3. Maintain a blogroll
  4. Single-post page title tags contain the post’s title
  5. Permalink URLs contain the post title
  6. The post title is the link to the permalink page
  7. Post titles are wrapped in heading tags
  8. Create multiple paths for spiders through your archives (monthly, related posts, most popular, etc)
  9. Use categories and make them keyword-rich
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Pat Buchanan Bemoans The Long Tail of Culture

I was reading Time magazine on the train (I accidentally subscribed) and I came across this gem in an interview with Pat Buchanan

You liken the immigrant wave to the Visigoths who sacked Rome. Is that fair?

I’m predicting that America will no longer be one nation but more like the Roman Empire–a conglomerate of races and cultures held together by a regime. The country I grew up in was culturally united, even if it was racially divided. We spoke the same language, had the same faith, laughed at the same comedians. We were one nationality. We’re ceasing to be that when you have hundreds of thousands of people who want to retain their own culture, their own language, their own loyalty. What do we have in common that makes us fellow Americans? Is it simply citizenship? Or is it blood, soil, history and heroes?

Whatever else we may think of his xenophobic politics, he’s very clearly proclaiming the traditionalists’ slander of the long tail. Perhaps this is a bit overly dramatic, but I feel some Dylan is in order here:

Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

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The Manuscript

I’ve got this packet of printed out chapters from the book.
And they’re cover’d in small ink scribbles (my handwriting), ready for me to decypher and make digital.
I gotta say, I think this is where it gets a tad tedious.

Wish me luck.

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Harmonic Series And Niche Search Volume Estimation

Building on my post from last night, I went to work trying to figure out a formula to estimate the total number of searches in a niche based on the number of searches for its most popular term. Applying the rules of power law curves means that I should be able to get a pretty good estimate fairly easily.

In practice, developing this formula was not easy however. As I mentioned yesterday, power laws are generally a series of values that look like this:
and so on. This is known as a harmonic series because “the wavelengths of the overtones of a vibrating string are proportional to 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4…” (from wikipedia). Math is crazy like that.

If the top term in your list has 100 searches and you want to find the total number of searches in the Wordtracker accessible niche (keywords that have at least 2 searches per day), you’ll need to find the sum of a range of numbers: 100/1, 100/2, 100/3 all the way down to 100/(100/2), a harmonic series. If you graph the sum of the range for every number from 10 to 4000. You get a very slight curve, like this:

I’ve plotted it against a linear trend line (in black) to demonstrate that this is in fact a curve, and so there is no simple slope to solve we can use to solve our problem.

I did a little research and it turns out that the sum of a harmonic series increase in very nearly the same way as a log normal curve (the formula is actually ln(n)+.5772156649, which uses Euler’s constant). Using this knowledge I was able to come up a formula.

Where Y is the number of searches for the most popular keyword in the list and X is the total number of searches in the niche:

What this means is that if you have a niche where the most popular term has 1200 searches, you should expect to have around 600 total keywords in your list and about 8370 total searches per day.

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