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LinkedIn Raises Another $13m, What Are They Planning?

Michael Arrington has news that business social network LinkedIn has secured another $12.8 million in financing.

LinkedIn has seen great growth, with $10 million in revenue in 2006 – impressive for any social network – and the successful launch of LinkedIn Answers. So, the question is, with that type of success, what do they need the money for?

Clearly they have plans to roll-out new features but would they need $13m for that? Maybe they’re looking to make an acquisition, which is what my money would be on.

Mashable Gets New Look

I always thought Mashable had a fresh, clean look to it. Pete Cashmore’s decided it needs more of a Web 3.0 feel and has launched a new design.

The new look is great and clearly Pete’s looking to provide more bang-for-the-buck to his advertisers, by adding eight 125×125 slots – which is becoming the norm these days. I am however, curious about why he pushed some navigation and contact info to the footer, and left about 150px wide of space in the left sidebar.

Overall, very nice. And, btw, the content is equally impressive. If you want to keep up with the social networking space, add Mashable to your list of feeds.

Watching Whether Companies DoTheRightThing.com

I’ve noticed a new referrer in my Google Analytics stats, over the past few days. DoTheRightThing.com has been sending some decent visitor numbers to the Yahoo story we ran a couple of weeks back.

I headed over to the site to see who they are and discovered a digg-like community that rates companies positively or negatively based upon their actions.

The company was founded in 2006 by Ryan Mickle and Rod Ebrahimi and it appears their goal is to provide a platform of accountability for big businesses.

GoDaddy, Wal-Mart and Starbucks are among the current companies under the social microscope. Companies tracking sentiment analysis of their online reputation would be wise to add this site to the list.

Viral Contest Campaign Case Study

I’m a huge fan of case studies. I find it inspiring to hear success stories. Sverre Sjøthun of SEOBomb has posted about his most recent viral campaign success for Crestock.com.

Sverre coordinated a photoshop contest with some very high profile judges and the results were amazing.

Crestock.com got 200,000 unique users from the contest, went on Digg, doubled their average daily traffic after the contest, got over 5000 new customers and increased their organic search engine traffic by 1258% – in one month!

With so much talk about linkbait and social media marketing lately, we tend to forget there has always been that traffic magnet for the web, viral campaigns. They are separate but the same. Most viral campaigns are linkbait but very few pieces of linkbait can be considered viral campaigns.

Campaign to Reduce Wikipedia’s PageRank to Zero

Stop Wikipedia's NOFOLLOW! When news spread that Wikipedia was going to add the “NOFOLLOW” attribute to all external links, in an effort to reduce spam, I suggested that the issue could be resolved if everyone linking to Wikipedia, added a NOFOLLOW and effectively reduce the value of a Wikipedia link. That would take care of the issue in the same blinkered way that Wikipedia deemed appropriate.

That sentiment appeared to resonate with a few other bloggers, so I’ve decided to turn it more into a campaign. Until Wikipedia realizes that its popularity (and link value) has only come about because hundreds of thousands of lowly webmasters linked to the site without using the NOFOLLOW tag, I plan to include NOFOLLOW on any future links to Wikipedia and will display the above logo on my site as a battle-cry to rally others.

Wikipedia Links No Longer Passing PageRank

SEJ reports that Wikipedia has gone ahead and added the NOFOLLOW attribute to all external links, effectively dismissing any link-juice value from Wikipedia links.

While marketers may still benefit from the actual link traffic, this marks the end of receiving any PageRank value from the highly-respected resource.

So, in response, any future links to Wikipedia from us, will include a NOFOLLOW. Maybe if we all take that approach, Wikipedia will lose its PageRank and won’t have to worry about link-spam any longer. ;-)

Join the “NOFOLLOW me to Wikipedia” campaign!

Linkbaiting in 2007

I don’t know who’s smarter, Nick Wilson for writing this excellent post on linkbaiting tactics for 2007, or Danny Sullivan for persuading him to publish this post (which is blatant linkbait itself) on Search Engine Land. Regardless, it’s a great read.

Linkbait, as we know it, can be summed up using just one of Nick’s paragraphs…

Good linkbait is remarkable. There are many components to good linkbait, and infinite strategies and hooks, but at the end of the day, it boils down to this one thing. Your content needs to be amazing. If you can hit that sweet spot for your audience then the links will roll in, and in, and in, and in.

And what’s the future of linkbaiting? Nick suggests the NYT may have it right, with their article on widgets.