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January 3, 2008

Welcome Back Search Headlines

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Hey! We’re back from break. Huzzah! Come with me as I clean out my feed reader. I promise it’ll be fun. Or at least more fun than the work you’re putting off by reading this. Ready? Let’s go!

Ask Offers Voice-Activated Capabilities For Mobile Directions

Ask.com’s Patrick Crisp was kind enough to give me the heads up about Ask.com’s new voice-activated Click to Speak capabilities for Ask Mobile. Now, instead of trying to juggle texting, typing and not killing yourself, users can speak their desired location and receive directions without slamming into the car in front of them. Think of all the lawsuits and hours in the chiropractor you’ll be able to avoid. Huzzah!

The service is free and is easily accessed by visiting m.ask.com from your mobile device and clicking on the easy-to-find Directions option. I’m looking forward to trying this out later today. These voice-activated things always seem like a good, but then you end up shouting at a device that doesn’t quite seem to understand you, especially if you’re like me and getting out a fluent sentence is hard enough. You should have seen the chaos that occurred when we tried to teach my mother how to use her new Bluetooth headset. I’m still having nightmares where a woman tries to attack me all the while screaming "Call Lisa, Call Lisa!". My therapist assures me they’ll go away soon.

Are NoFollow Links Worth It?

Tamar started an interesting conversation over at Search Engine Roundtable asking if buying nofollow’d links are worth the investment. Depending on the site and the placement of the link, I think the answer is a definite yes. Links do a lot more than pass PageRank, they bring traffic to your site and they help you to establish authority. Would you pass down a prominent TechCrunch link simply because Michael Arrington was going to throw a nofollow on it? Of course not, because the traffic and branding that you’d get from that link is in itself a great gift. Who cares if Google isn’t going to count it? [In fact, if you're buying links that's pretty much the only thing you should consider. Assume Google will discount it and consider only the traffic and branding value. --Susan]

That’s how site owners should be consider the value of a link, whether they’re paying for it or not. Will this link help your target audience find you, yes or no?

If Your Competitors Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You?

Phoenix at Search Engine Roundtable opened our eyes to another interesting thread going on over at WebmasterWorld. This time the conversation centers on the infamous "My Competitor’s Are Doing It!" Syndrome.

I mentioned this in our post on Convincing Clients to Invest in Search Engine Optimization post, but typically when our clients start looking at us with big eyes wondering about the spammy behaviors of their competition, we try to bring the focus of the conversation back on the actual client. It doesn’t matter if your competitor is keyword stuffing their site to hell and somehow still ranking; those tricks aren’t going to last forever. When Google catches on, that site and its rankings will be gone for a very long time.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to know what your competitors are doing and which areas they’re exploring, but that’s not to say that you should mold your own search engine optimization campaigns after theirs, especially if they’re engaging in nefarious optimization behavior. Study your competitors to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Then go back to your own campaign and figure out what you need to be doing. What areas are they missing that you can capitalize on? It’s something we mentioned in our post on Competitive Search Engine Optimization.

As I’ve said before, there will always be sites and spammy webmasters trying to cheat the system. That doesn’t mean you or your client should join them.

Fun Finds

Facebook canceled Robert Scoble’s account after he broke their TOS. Scoble, FTW!

Donna Fontenot writes Some Days I Wish This Blog Were Private So I Could Share More. Isn’t that what locked Twitter feeds are for? ;)

BigMouthMedia shows that despite Google’s incessant whining and foot stomping, more and more people are using "google" as a verb. Sorry, guys.

Lee Odden had a great interview with SEMPO’s Terry Plank.





One response to “Welcome Back Search Headlines”

  1. geri writes:

    I gotta love the line… If you customer jumped off a bridge would you?



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