Welcome Jeremy Luebke and Scott Woodard!

I told you to expect some fresh faces at Marketing Pilgrim. We’ve already announced Jordan will be adding her expertise to the blog – even Ben Wills is threatening to come out of retirement – and today we announced the addition of Jeremy Luebke and Scott Woodard as contributing bloggers.

Both Jeremy and Scott entered our SEM scholarship contest and both bring strong experience and writing talent. Jeremy has his own blog, so is not new to blogging and I’ve known Scott for years (we worked together at WebSourced).

Here’s a little about them…

Jeremy Luebke

Avoiding Google’s Duplicate Filter When Syndicating Your Blog

Rand pointed to Adam Lasnik’s – yep Dr. Google himself – guide to avoiding duplicate content filters at Google. I know some of you are thinking at this point, “duplicate content is Google’s problem, not mine”, but Adam has some great advice.

One suggestion that caught my eye…

If you syndicate your content on other sites, make sure they include a link back to the original article on each syndicated article. Even with that, note that we’ll always show the (unblocked) version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer.

Channel Sponsors

Pilgrim Partners Shout-out

Before we wind-down for Christmas, I wanted to take the opportunity to once again thank our fantastic Pilgrim Partners for the support of Marketing Pilgrim.

TextLinkBrokers – if you looking to buy links – for traffic or SEO – TextLinkBrokers has a vast network of link partners and great pricing.

Handy Recovery – if you’re like me, you’ve accidentally lost a file or two in your time. With Handy Recovery, you can recover files lost due to accidental deletion or a virus.

Safe search is ON

Following up on their May study, McAfee reports that search results have become safer on Google, Ask and AOL. Yahoo and MSN now return riskier results than they did in May.

How does McAfee define “risk”? They have three levels:

Red ratings are given to risky sites that fail one or more of McAfee’s tests for adware, spyware, viruses, exploits, spammy e- mail, excessive pop-ups or strong affiliations with other red rated sites. Green rated sites passed each of these tests. Yellow ratings are given to sites which pass McAfee’s safety tests but which still have nuisances warranting a user advisory.

Overall, “riskiness” declined 12%, with a 6% decline in sponsored search. McAfee considered 8% of sponsored results red or yellow, while only 3% of organic results are classified as red or yellow.

Getting Up Early to Game Digg

You have to get up pretty darn early, if you want to try and game Digg. Your best bet to get traffic from Digg is to simply create something that is “Digg-worthy”. Sending an email to the Top 30 Digg users and asking them to help promote your company, is just dumb. Unfortunately for one top digger, he fell for the pitch and ended up having his account suspended.

Here’s where Digger Karim “Supernova17″ Yergaliyev went wrong. He agreed to a request from a company that had emailed all of the Top 30 Diggers. Hello? Didn’t it occur to you that the other 29 would recognize realize that you were the one who gave in to temptation?

How to Own an SEO Firm

Andy has covered how to make your SEO company more profitable, but understanding the inner workings and personnel management of an SEO firm is also an important facet of owning an SEO firm. In light of the recent acquisitions of SEO companies, here are some tips on what to do after acquiring an independent SEO company.

  • SEO requires a certain amount of creativity, flexibility and uncertainty—pretty much anathema to the corporate world. But without these things, your company’s services will become outdated and stagnant.

  • SEO requires research and experimentation. Don’t expect to be able to devote 125% of your resources to slaving away solely for clients, unless your clients are willing to be guinea pigs as your SEOs try out new things—things that may or may not work.

Google AdSense Bans Images Next to Ads

I must admit, I’ve been tempted to experiment with adding images next to Google AdSense ads. I have seen other bloggers use them and heard them gush over how they can help increase click-thru-rates. Unfortunately, Google has just decided that they are not fair to the users (and the advertiser) and have banned images alongside AdSense.

We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn’t actually being offered. That’s not a good experience for users or advertisers.