Keyword Research Guide Worth a Look

I love to collect free PDF white papers, but I hardly ever read them. I made an exception for the recent release of “Keyword Research and Selection: The Definitive Guide to Gathering, Sorting and Organizing Your Keywords into a High-Performance SEO Campaign” by Stoney G. deGeyter (and Jason Green) of E-Marketing Performance and Pole Position Marketing.

“Keyword Research and Selection” is an excellent place to begin your keyword research. It offers good advice and best practices for keyword research. For example, “KRS” advises: “Don’t get locked into using the keyword phrase precisely as its most often searched, even if the stemmed variations show little search volume” (13).

Keyword Research and SelectionStoney and Jason address another attitude that I’ve encountered all too often: “Don’t promote terms on the basis of generating hits, instead promote terms on the basis of generating sales” (15). I know lots of legitimate SEOs (ie not crooks) who focus too much on high search volume keywords that will never convert.

The points I happen to disagree with in the text are pretty minor:

  • ”When researching competition it is good to type 2 or 3 keywords at a time into the search field as this will furnish a list of competitors that are specifically targeting a similar audience” (16). It might be a way to identify larger competitors, but it’s also important to identify who each keyword’s specific competitors are. There may not be overlap, even in highly similar keywords.
  • That aside, there isn’t enough on measuring the strength of competitor pages. If the top ten is dominated by Wikipedia, About.com, and other well-linked and vetted sites, cracking the first page is going to take a lot longer—and may or may not be worth it.
  • “We like to organize our phrases in groups of five targeting no more than fifteen keywords per page” (19). Stoney and Jason do advise the reader to write naturally; I’m just not sure how “natural” a page targeting 15 keywords, no matter how closely related they are, can sound.

Flight Awaits; A News Round-up to Keep You Out of Trouble

That just about does it for me, for today. Unless something big happens this afternoon, I’ll be busy preparing for my flight to London. Unless Jordan or Jeremy happen to have something up their sleeve, I’ll leave you with some interesting news that caught my attention today.

Free Keyword Research from Keyword Discovery & Wordtracker

In what appears to be a response to the slow death of the Overture Inventory Suggestion tool, both Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery have offered up free versions of their popular keyword research products.

Via SEW.

Google Bullied North Carolina Over Lenoir Project

According to the News & Observer, Google used its clout to bully North Carolina lawmakers into offering more incentives and keeping quiet about plans to build a server farm in Lenoir.

…the search engine behemoth demanded that lawmakers never speak its name, according to e-mail records…Records show that the company was often agitated by the legislative process. Google executives threatened to walk away from the negotiating table and asked Commerce Secretary Jim Fain to exercise his power over the bill writing process.

Using tactics right out of any negotiation handbook, Google used subtle threats to get what they wanted…

Retired Brit’s Prefer Web Surfing Over Gardening

A new poll conducted by insurance company AXA, reveals retirees in the UK spend an average of 6 hours a week online. The new addiction comes at the expense of more traditional pastimes…

Forty-one percent listed surfing the Internet among their favorite pastimes, slightly ahead of the second choices, gardening and home improvements (both 39 percent), and travel and walking (28 percent)…Their top Internet activity was e-mailing (84 percent) and looking for information (83 percent).

Booking vacations, online banking and reading news were also popular activities online.

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Digg Takes Away Power from Top Diggers

Kevin Rose has just announced that Digg is scrapping the Top Diggers list, believing the move will take away the perception that just a few hundred Diggers control the majority of the 5,000 submissions each day.

Some of our top users – the people that have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours finding and digging the best stuff – are being blamed by some outlets as leading efforts to manipulate Digg…After considerable internal debate and discussion with many of those who make up the Top Digger list, we’ve decided to remove the list beginning tomorrow.

While Rose suggests Digg will introduce new ways to connect it’s users, this might certainly alienate the very users that have helped grow Digg. Whenever you take away a level of status, or prestige, from your loyalist supporters, you risk them finding a new place to reside.