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October 15, 2007

Weekend Update: SEO Underground

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Hi friends. I broke my knee this weekend, but enough about me, let’s get to some great news finds, shall we?

The World Before Blogs…

First, something deep for you to ponder.


What if all SEOs went underground?

Over at SEO Scoop, Donna asks: “If SEO bloggers and SEO forums disappeared (or went into deep privacy mode), would that be a good thing or a bad thing?”

Personally, I think it would be a very bad thing. While I understand that, after all the infighting and name calling lately, the idea of going underground and “hiding” is somewhat appealing, however, I really think it would do more harm than good.

The search marketing and search engine optimization industries have been strengthened by the number of intelligent voices participating in the conversation. We’ve all learned more, and therefore contributed more, as a result of how willing search marketers are to jump into the conversation and help one another out. We’ve caused the search engines to stay on their toes “or else”. Sure, sometimes there’s fighting and secret spilling, but as a whole, I think everyone benefits when search marketers are willing to share information and help educate those just starting out. It’s kind of what makes us unique. I’d hate for us to lose that.

And as Donna points out in her post, even if the current lot of search engine optimization bloggers decided to take their ball and go home, all it would do is leave room for new, perhaps less experienced search marketers to take their place. If the experts leave, it’s not going to stop the flow of information, it’s just going to spread the flow of inaccurate information. That doesn’t serve anyone.

The New York Times Stuffs Reader Comments In Your Face

Oh, dear. Did I just say that? What I meant to say was that The New York Times has officially put reader comments on the front page. Um, huzzah? Right. [Didn’t the NYT learn from USA Today’s mistake? –Susan] They must not read our blog.

The Silicon Valley Insider gave the NYT a “hats off” for the recent addition, but as you can probably deduce, I’m not such a fan.

Here’s my problem: The NYT has a very specific audience. Typically fairly educated people who are coming to the site to get facts they can trust. They want the news, international and domestic; they’re not coming for social commentary or public debate. But when you put comments on the front page, that’s what they’re getting. You’re devaluing the stories themselves and turning the front page of your respected news site into the office water cooler.

If you want to allow users to insert their comments on news stories, then that’s your decision. But let those comments reside on an individual story page. Don’t go broadcasting them on your news site’s home page.

The fact is reader comments don’t belong on the front page of the NYT site just like they wouldn’t publish the Letters to the Editor section on the front page of their newspaper. It’s about respecting why people are on your site and giving them what they’re looking for. Are your readers curious to know that Al Gore won a Nobel Piece Prize? Sure. Are they interested to know that “William” thinks it’s nothing more than a “left wing triumph”? Definitely not.

Have You Read Your SEO Newsletter Today?

It’s our favorite time of the month! The time when we insert a shameless plug for all of you to scurry over to your inboxes and check out the latest edition of the SEO Newsletter. Look excited!

This time around we’ll get you updated on how our SEO contest winner is doing, issue the next installment in our siloing series, and of course, keep you up-to-date on all the dirt happening in the search sphere.

Fun Finds

In case you’re like me and wake up in a cold sweat every night because you miss the awesomeness that is Ze Frank, here’s a quick Ze fix. First, some highlights from his recent panel at the Forrester Consumer forum, and second, a

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

. Life just isn’t the same without Ze. Sigh.

Vanessa Fox discovered that her Twitter account comes with default Scoble. It’s just too scary for words.

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