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November 29, 2007

SEO Expectations, Choose Your Own SERP and Blogger Burnout

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Search Engine Optimization Expectations

Over at ClickZ, Steve Haar did a great job outlining some necessary SEO expectations and commitments that search marketers can use to help explain the SEO process to higher ups. His list includes things like gearing up for the long haul, being patient, setting clear objectives, keeping all team members in the loop and setting realistic expectations. All very, very good stuff.

For me, the biggest thing you need to explain to the executives and those writing the checks is that search engine optimization is not a one-time thing. And if you’ve taken a look at our SEO methodology, you know that there’s no way that it ever could be. SEO doesn’t just end after the first round of edits and content creation. There will always be testing and tweaking and polishing that needs to be done. In order to see long-lasting benefits from search engine optimization, you must continue to add relevant, keyword-rich content, to seek expert links and to monitor to competition and what they’re doing. That’s what you need to explain to the big shots.

Choose Your Own SERP Page

Today’s why-are-we-so-excited-about-this story came when it was reported that Google was running a new closed experiment that allowed users to directly influence their search engine results page by adding, moving, and removing search results. Sounds fancy, eh?

Let Google explain:

This experiment lets you influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results. When you search for the same keywords again, you’ll continue to see those changes. If you later want to revert your changes, you can undo any modifications you’ve made. Note that this is an experimental feature and may be available for only a few weeks.

Currently, Google will only store modifications per user and they’ll have no impact on the general search results. Or at least that’s what they claim. You have to think that regardless of how long this experiment stays live, that Google will be taking a look at how sites get voted and tweak their algorithm accordingly. It wouldn’t make sense for them not to. This whole thing is actually very reminiscent of the experiment Mike Grehan reported on over the summer where Google was allowing people to add URLs to their individuals SERPs.

What I find interesting is that Google seems to be allowing users to create their own keyword-specific bookmarks. I mean, what’s the difference between storing URLs on a SERP page or just keep them in a folder. Google’s gone from organizing the Web’s information for you to making you do the work yourself.

Formulating Ideas and Combating Blogger Burnout

There’s been some really great posts lately dealing with the issues that bloggers face every day, things like coming up with blogworthy ideas, finding a blogging schedule and combating that all too familiar burnout feeling. This morning, Donna even asked her audience, would you care if I only posted now and then?

No, I wouldn’t care. We hear a lot about how bloggers should post every day or at least three or four times a week in order to maintain consistency and keep readers coming back. You want to remain in their top of mind to increase branding, bring in links and do lots of other things that are good for search engine optimization. But, as Jennifer Laycock mentions, RSS has somewhat changed that concept, even if just a little bit.

Before RSS, blog readers connected with their favorite writers by physically visiting their site and reading what they had to say. If you didn’t update for a week, there was little reason for users to keep coming back. But with RSS, once you’re in someone’s feed reader, you can talk to them whenever you have something to say. And I think that’s gone a long way to changing how people blog. You don’t have to be the person in their ear all the time, as long as when you do speak up you’re providing something that they can’t get anywhere else. Of course, you can make the argument that if you never post, people will unsubscribe from your blog feed, but look at Todd Malicoat. He updates his blog every other full moon. Have you unsubscribed from his blog? Probably not. You know why? Because Todd is awesome.

Fun Finds

Vandelay Website Design had a great post about the 21 Factors that Influence the First Impression of Your Website’s visitors. Great, informative post, horribly wordy title.  We’ve actually touched on many of the issues they bring up, including logo and typography issues.

Eric Lander gave me the warm and fuzzies with his post Appreciating Family From 40,000 feet. Eric is my favorite SEO-loving Red Sox fan that I’ve never met. :)

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One response to “SEO Expectations, Choose Your Own SERP and Blogger Burnout”

  1. Jill writes:

    Eric is my favorite SEO-loving Red Sox fan that I’ve never met. :)

    Can I be your second favorite? ;) (I know we’ve seen each other from afar, but can’t say that we’ve formally met yet.)



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