Googling Beyond the Grave

If you’ve ever done basic genealogy online, you know that Google can be used to find the dead. But did you know that Google can find the “un”dead? (No, I don’t mean zombies.)

In March 2002, John Darwin went missing during a canoing trip “within sight of his home.” He never returned and the following year, he was officially declared dead.

Until an unidentified woman googled him. Suspicious of the whole story, she found him alive and well in Argentina Panama City, in a photograph dated 2006. With his wife.

As it turned out, John Darwin didn’t die on a canoe trip. But he did allow his family, friends and government to think he was dead. “Years later,” says his wife, Anne, he contacted his wife to let her know he was alive. She moved to Panama six weeks ago.

12% of this Year’s Best SEO Posts are from 2005-2006

2007 was a good year for SEO blogs. But perhaps it wasn’t our best year ever. In a classic and pretty well executed piece of linkbait, Evan Carmichael has listed the 50 top SEO posts of 2007. We’re happy to have made the top 10 with our 26 Free Buzz Monitoring Tools. To his credit, the list is a pretty good summary of the year in review, and pretty balanced throughout the year.

However, six of the 50 top blog posts of the year are from . . . other years. The dates on these posts aren’t secreted away or somewhere in CSS-hidden text. For many of them, they’re even above the fold.

PR Leap Introduces Social Media Press Releases

I’m already a fan of using keyword-optimized press releases as part of your online marketing. It’s often a low cost way to get backlinks to your site adn build your search engine presence. Yes, some industries are less effective and they have fallen in importance, but SEO press releases can still be a very cost-effective strategy to getting search engine rankings.

I’ve long recommended PRLeap (and Clickpress) as an SEO press release distribution option for small businesses. It’s ideal for small budgets or for times you don’t need or want a lot of extra features. You just want a link.

Hitwise Features Help Search Marketers

Hitwise has some new features for marketers through their Search Intelligenceâ„¢ product. The information is geared towards helping companies improve and plan their search engine marketing strategies.

Marketers can now see which of their competitor’s keywords are successful in driving traffic. The keyword analysis covers both paid and organic search terms. They also report on the fastest moving keywords or trends weekly to as to keep current on what customers are searching for.

The most valuable feature here is that the data is separated into paid vs. organic keywords. In general organic SEO takes longer but then they are permanent links that can build over time. I help companies with SEO blogs and many are hoping for a quick benefit. The money keeps going out but the results are slow to show up (though they do show up). Interestingly enough, education also plays into this (based on research I’ve seen). If you’re targeting a higher educated customer they’re more likely to be more savvy and skip the ads.

Photos from PubCon Las Vegas – Day Two

Alrighty then. I’ve added photos to Flickr from day two of PubCon. Here are a sample.

Someone can't park! Neil Patel - The Princess PubCon Exhibit Hall Shoemoney is a star!

Linky Goodness, December 5

Zuckerberg on Beacon: “We’ve Made a Lot of Mistakes”

For the first time in over a year, there’s a serious enough issue with Facebook that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was compelled to write on the company blog (normally handled by lesser underlings developers and directors).

You get ten guesses what the issue was. And if you didn’t guess “Project Beacon,” you’re in big trouble. We’ve been covering this one for a while: announced almost a month ago, within weeks they were facing an FTC complaint threat and outraged users which lead to drastic changes.

And now they’ve done themselves one better: Facebook has apologized. Actually, Mark Zuckerberg did the apologizing, saying: