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.

Channel Sponsors

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.

Google Acquires Swiss Internet Mapping Company

Not all Google acquisitions have a $1.65B price tag – in fact very few do. Google has gone back to snapping-up small interesting technology companies, with the acquisition of Endoxon, an internet mapping solutions company (actually, they only acquired 3 of the company’s 6 business units).

The Endoxon team has demonstrated passion and innovation in online mapping and has developed compelling technology that will enhance our Google geo products worldwide. We’re also excited about having a dedicated team in Europe that can bring a distinctively European focus to our Maps products in those markets.

It must be hard for a small company to resist the lure of being part of Google, yet allowed to continue operating in Europe. Google’s becoming the new internet incubator!

The “Long Copy” format: can it work for you?

The new SEO Book sales letter has been live for a little while now. (I’d love to know how it’s doing so far!) Although I think pretty much all Internet marketing sales letters are eerily remniscent of Kevin Trudeau infomercials, this is a definite improvement.

Brian Clark at Copyblogger, who rewrote the page for Aaron, unveiled the letter with an explanation on why the copy is so long (emphasis added):

  • This is not a John Grisham paperback. It is specialized and continually-updated SEO knowledge with a $79 price tag. Most people desire and require a lot of information before they will make this type of purchase.