Why Sculpting PageRank Is Not For Everyone

PageRank (PR) sculpting has popped onto the radar of most online marketers over the last few months and it has become a controversial topic. Like with so many new techniques in the online marketing world, some talented internet marketers are touting the value and success that they are having by using the nofollow tag to sculpt their PageRank, by directing as much link value to their most important pages as possible.

Adam Audette has written a well conceived article outlining why online marketers need to step back and think carefully about whether or not trying this new technique is the right thing to do. I think the majority of the points Adam makes are extremely valid, especially the point that if a marketer feels the need to use this technique excessively then there are probably much larger underlying problems, especially with the sites architecture.

Optimizing for Indented Listings

The devil is in the details and sometimes it is easy to overlook opportunity even when it is staring you right in the face. Thankfully not everyone misses the obvious opportunities to take advantage of the hard work they have already done.

Andy Beard has an excellent nearly step-by-step explanation as well as links to a video, from Stomper Net made by Andy Jenkins, showing how to take an existing Google listing and work to get an indented listing to go along with it.

In short here is what Andy says to do and it is so simple as to be comical when you really think about it but it is amazing how many people don’t take the time to do this or even know how.

Abandoning the SEO of Today for the SEO of Tomorrow

Within the mass confusion that can erupt when there is a blog controversy, occasionally a thoughtful post will emerge. Last week ShoeMoney wrote about the Death of SEO and here on this blog Greg Howlett supported that theory, while I spoke up to disagree with those opinions. Others have also been discussing the topic and Joost de Valk, has chimed in as well, after reading a blog post from one of his colleagues entitled Reactionary vs. Visionary SEO.

Joost has taken a step back and looked critically at the situation and determined that decision making is what really is separating the internet marketers from one another. No one disagrees that SEO is evolving, whether what we see as today’s SEO will be around in the same format two years from now is still open for debate, but Joost makes the case that internet marketers who are following the wave of change are really pressed to decide when is it appropriate to adopt change?

Branding Won’t Replace SEO It Will Enhance It

Greg makes my point for me at the end of his post: How Branding Will Replace SEO.

Also, since many customer conversations take place online, your inbound link profile will improve as will your traffic and conversion rate. And by the way, so will your SEO.

I’d like to start out by focusing on why I disagree with Greg, but I also want to point out why I also approve conceptually with what Greg is saying.

First it is very rare to start a business thru the customer acquisition channel of branding. To brand you generally need an audience and that means some sort of acquisition channel be it SEO, PPC, Affiliate, or Other. So saying branding is going to replace SEO is extremely implausible. Branding can become an acquisition channel once a business has an audience, usually of customers, without that audience there is no one to introduce the brand to.

The Accuracy of Web Analytics

When it comes to marketing everyone is out to compose the most compelling message possible and then measure an audience’s reaction to that message. The question then becomes are measuring the tools that web marketers use reliable? I think the general consensus is that many of the tools that rely on JavaScript are less reliable than marketers would like them to be.

Stone Temple Consulting has performed a quality test showing that where one locates the JavaScript that our analytics tools rely on matters. The two things that the test showed were one that page load time matters and two that the amount traffic to a server can adversely affect page load time. They had to take both of these concepts into account when performing their test.

Your Ad Profile: What Sites Think They Know About You

Have you ever wondered what information advertisers are collecting about you? More often than not the individual advertising that you are seeing when you visit your favorite website is based on an advertising profile that has been built up over time based on your individual online behaviors.

CNET is reporting that Jeff Weiner, Executive Vice President of Yahoo’s Network Division, can already imagine a day in the not too distant future where when you see an advertisement on Yahoo, there would be an icon that would allow you to view your ad profile so you can understand why that particular advertisement was delivered to you.

The icon would lead you to a page containing all of the information Yahoo was using to build your ad profile and provide you with the opportunity to correct any misinterpretations on your ad profile or potentially even turn off the profiling all together.

Facebook the Walled Garden, Twitter Anything But

I was working on writing a comment for the latest blog post by AJ Vaynerchuk at ShoeMoney.com but it turned out that the comment morphed into something more, so I thought bringing some attention to the post as well as my thoughts on it might be a good thing.

AJ selected the names of fifty prominent internet marketing veterans and compared where Twitter and Facebook ranked respectively for their names on Google. The results were unexpected.

Twitter completely dominates the rankings in Google. Twitter was also indexed for 100% of the names, while Facebook was only indexed for 72% of the names. It is unclear whether or not the author verified that the all of the individuals who failed to show listings from Facebook actually have Facebook accounts.