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In this issue:

FEATURE:
The Introvert's Guide to Conference Networking

BACK TO BASICS:
The Big Three Webmaster Tools Roundup

THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, sound bytes, shindigs, attaboys
and word on the wire.

FEATURE: The Introvert's Guide to Conference Networking
Conference networking is one of the most compelling reasons for professionals to attend events in their niche. However, for introverts, the only difference between conferences and your horrifying experience as a 13-year-old in P.E. is that you wasted a considerable amount of money to feel tortured and uncomfortable.

Allowing yourself to fall into the Introvert Trap during conference time will hurt not only your personal brand, but the brand of your company as well. It's time to take back control. When it's conference time, introverts must put on their game faces and learn the tricks to making connections with ease.


BACK TO BASICS: The Big Three Webmaster Tools Roundup

Search engine optimization professionals are part artist, part scientist. An artist’s inventiveness comes into play when finessing modifications and creatively addressing site visibility. The scientist’s skill is required to perform tests, analyze stats and manage technical aspects. Like any scientist, for an SEO to do her job effectively, she needs to be armed with a powerful arsenal of tools. Fortunately for SEOs, there are a number of tools at their disposal, including those provided by the three major search engines.

This overview of the webmaster tools offered by Google, Yahoo and Live Search describes the diagnostic, statistic gathering and submission tools available to webmasters and SEOs who sign up for accounts and verify their site control. It’s worth noting that all three sets of tools allow the data to be downloaded into spreadsheet applications.


Hot Topics
The Battle for Authenticity in Social Media

Consumers turn to social media for information about the products and brands they're interested in. It allows for powerful word of mouth and viral success that marketers couldn't get otherwise. As a result, search marketers have become very aggressive with their efforts to leverage social media sites to help their clients get links and to increase their search engine rankings. Sometimes they end up throwing ethics to the wind in the process.

Proving You Are Who You Say You Are

The issue of fake avatars in social media has been front and center since June's Search Marketing Expo Advanced when using fake avatars to push your brand was discussed during the controversial Give It Up session. Over the past few weeks, it's been brought back into the spotlight with Michael Gray recently arguing that fake avatars are no different than a politician setting up a Twitter account.

Lisa Barone from Bruce Clay was quick to disagree in her post entitled The Use of Fake Avatars In Social Media. Lisa argued that the difference between a manufactured social media profile and a brand ambassador is that brand ambassadors provide a lot of value to a social community. They give members someone to interact with, reach out to, and support. Fake avatars don't. That sentiment was echoed in Li Evan's post I'm a Social Media Goody 2 Shoes... And Proud Of It!

Being Genuine, To Yourself and Your Company

Even when you're talking to a real person and not a fake avatar, it can be difficult to maintain authentic relationships online. Corporate bloggers feel the pressure to maintain authentic blogging and represent their brands while not losing themselves. Social media enthusiasts struggle to build Social Media Relationships Without a Face and put the "social" back in online interactions. And we're all struggling to remind ourselves that just because we can't see the people we're interacting with online, doesn't mean we shouldn't be respectful of their feelings.

That sentiment was also expressed by Donna Fontenot when commenting on the viciousness that had found its way into the SEO blogosphere and social media outlets this summer. Donna vowed to no longer take part and urged other search marketers to do the same.

Focusing on the Connections That Matter

The social sites themselves are now joining the fight to promote authentic social relationships, with both Twitter and Pownce recently implementing limits for how many people users can follow.

It's clear there's a battle in social media right now as aggressive marketers attempt to forge as many relationships as possible to get the most reward. But like with all things, it's often quality and not quantity that matter. Social media is about community and participation, the more time spent communicating and providing value to other social media members, the more your knowledge and personal social credibility increase. But that participation has to be real. Fake avatars aren't going to cut it.

Programming Note: The SEO Newsletter continues its monthly publishing schedule and will be published on or near the 15th of each month. By adopting the monthly publishing date, it will allow us to maintain the integrity and authority of the newsletter, while accommodating heavier travel schedules and increasing internal demands. You'll still receive the same great SEO news and educational articles, just in a thicker, more comprehensive format.


Shuffles

Internally, Bruce Clay, Inc. welcomed search expert Scott Polk to its team as a Senior SEO Analyst.

Bill Baker was named Chief Technology Officer of social media monitoring company Visible Technologies, Mozilla's VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer joined Facebook, Twitter architect Blaine Cook joined Yahoo as a rails developer, Michael Adair left Google to join Glam Media, and Marshall Kirkpatrick took a position as VP Content Developer for ReadWriteWeb.

In a surprise move, Kevin Johnson left Microsoft. Richard Kimber left Google to join Friendster, Yahoo's Adam Hyder left to join Jobvite, Chad Dickerson left Yahoo for Etsy and Ryan Block stepped down from Engadget.

In corporate mergers, launches and acquisitions:

  • Google paid $140 million for Russian contextual ad platform Begun.
  • Microsoft released BrowseRank, began testing the self-service ContentAds, and launched an impressive update to its Microsoft Live Search Webmaster Center.
  • AOL launched its new photo gallery Pixcetera, as well as new versions of social news site Propeller and AOL Video.
  • The IAC began monetizing Bloglines.
  • Respected industry email list LED Digest went from daily to weekly.
  • Apple finally joined the blogosphere with its "news" page MobileMeStatus.
  • PodTech was bought for a mere $500,000.
  • LinkedIn and the New York Times announced a content partnership.

Sound Bytes

If you like what you read in the SEO Newsletter, there's more where that came from. Check out SEM Synergy every Wednesday at 3:00 pm Eastern and Noon Pacific on WebmasterRadio.fm. Bruce Clay and the other hosts discuss industry news, SEO tactics and marketing trends, while expert guests share their insights on methods, best practices and upcoming events. Check out the show schedule below for a look at recent shows and upcoming topics.

August 6
(Listen now)

News

Scott Polk

Different Types of Training

August 13
(Listen now)

Black Hat, White Hat

Kevin Ryan

SES San Jose Preview

August 20
Live from SES!

Chris Winfield

Cindy Krum

David Snyder

August 27

SES San Jose Recap

Guest TBA

Bot Herding

Got something to say? Contact the SEM Synergy team and share your thoughts, comments and questions. You might even hear your question answered on the show.


Shindigs

If you're in the San Francisco area, WordCamp will take place this weekend and boasts an impressive list of speakers.

Search Engine Strategies San Jose is getting ready to take over the city on August 18-22. Bruce will be speaking on the Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO panel. You can also find Bruce Clay Writers Lisa Barone, Susan Esparza and Virginia Nussey on hand to provide full liveblogging coverage and tune into a live-from-the-floor edition of SEM Synergy.

If you are going to SES San Jose, you'll want to make room for the IMNY Charity Party being held on Monday, August 18. All proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The Children's Hospital of Denver. Also happening during SES San Jose is the 2008 Google Dance and the Bruce Clay-sponsored Search Bash. You can find the full list of official SES San Jose events in the Search Engine Watch forums.

Next month, Search Camp Philly will debut on September 6-7, BlogWorldExpo lands in the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 19-21 and The PPC Summit will be held in Los Angeles on September 25-26.

Hitting in October will be SMX East in New York City on October 6-8 and ScarySEO in Florida on October 24-25.

If you're going to SMX East, be sure to stick around for SEOToolSet training on the East Coast happening on October 9-10. Registration is open for both SMX and Bruce Clay's East Coast SMX training on the SMX Web site.

Programming Note: Bruce Clay's UK SEO training class previously scheduled for 9-11 September has been canceled. Details for a 2009 training date are currently being worked out. Watch the blog and the SEO Newsletter for updates.


Attaboys

Google calmed search marketers' fears by selling off Performics, the search division of DoubleClick, to Publicis Groupe this month. We also saw Google announce the ten grand prize winners for the first ever Google Highly Open Participation Contest. Congrats to everyone involved.

After months of public battles, Yahoo and Icahn finally resolved their dispute, which also gave Icahn a seat on the current Yahoo board.

Yahoo opened up the Yahoo Accessibility Lab to help Yahoo employees understand what it's like to surf the Web as a disabled Web surfer.

TechCrunch revealed that Facebook has become both the fastest growing and largest social network in the world.

Finally congrats to search blogger Jordan McCollum who welcomed new baby Rebecca into her family, as well as to the High Rankings Forum and the Cre8asite Forums which turned five and six, respectively.


Word on the Wire

Peter Kafka shares the rumor that more cuts are on the way from Yahoo, while there were lots of rumors that Time Warner was getting ready to split AOL and sell it within a few weeks and that Google was in final negotiations to buy Digg.

eWeek's Eric Jackson predicted that Microsoft will make another Yahoo acquisition offer next year once Yahoo cuts more of its staff.

A thread broke out on WebmasterWorld suggesting that Google is getting ready to start indexing audio files as text, while another asked if Ask.com had stopped crawling the Web.



If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles above or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.

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