Search Blogger and Reporter Forum

Nov 15, 2006 • 4:06 pm | comments (1) by twitter | Filed Under WebmasterWorld 2006 Las Vegas

Search Blogger and Reporter Forum

Todd Friesen (aka Oilman) is moderator. This is an open forum format (more difficult to cover but I’ll try my best.” This is certainly an all-star panel, from the moderator on-down. Speakers are Lee Oden with TopRank Online Marketing; Rand Fishkin SEOMoz, Andy Beal from Marketing Pilgrim; Barry Schwartz from we all love him so much, Michael McDonald from WebProNews, and last guy Aaron Wall who wrote SEOBook.

Q: Wants to know if an online magazine writes an article about you, will the link always be valuable and crawlable. Andy: will have a lot to do with where the link ends up. If it is publicly accessible it will rank well. Has seen value lost when post drops off home page. Rand: suggests linking to it yourself by submitting to Digg,, etc. That way it gets a bunch of links from other sources that stay indexed. Lee also recommends using FURL which will archive. Aaron: Wikipedia page also would work. Michael recommends having a section on your site. Barry also says keep writing more articles and the links will stay fresh since they are newer?

Q: How to leverage social tools to get more “traditional links” back to site, especially if not so “interesting” industry? Rand: if you have a site and you know that you want to leverage Link Baiting, Web 2.0, consider that this is an different audience. They are like a news media, but obsessed with other thing. For example: Top ten ways to blow the 10 grand your parents gave you for college” may be a good article for the student loan industry. Andy: think of what their interests are, again, student loans people may have particular interest. Aaron: look for ways to accumulate the links. Barry suggests creating n a way to let them talk to each other in a community setting. Todd: where are the people “hanging out?” Maybe the Second Life areas would be something cool to do…”it is a real world, in sort of a weird way (laughs) where you can setup a virtual store.” Michael, also what kind of information can you offer in a very accessible manner?

Q: is it true that the “influencers” on DIGG have more to do with an article doing well? Resounding yes. Rand, half of them are good, the other half get “buried” due to the networks of influential friends. Is there a way to pay these people? Possibly. Todd would advocate this, but would say you could perhaps get a list of proxies and start say a few hundred DIGG accounts. Aaron actually kind of spammed an article on the homepage which was removed, but made it back through a more distributed network. Todd: certainly not a bad thing to DIGG your own stuff, but be careful. Says Rand is quite talented at “Self-digging.”

Q: About duplicate issues/other sites ranking for your content. Missed a couple responses, but Michael says that they (WebProNews) try to ensure that the links are there when they syndicate content. Barry says that sometimes when he covers the same topic at both SEW and SER, he makes sure to write different versions. Rand: try not to water down the quality and voice of the authors, because that is not a blog. A blog is supposed to be a personal conversation with a connection.

Q: About categorizing or highlighting content. Barry: Google blog does that with their multiple blogs and pushes interesting topics to the main blog. Michael: if you have lots of bloggers, you should have a page that covers whoever will be blogging that particular day and they are usually easy to categorize. For example they have a great writer about airplanes whose content wouldn’t be appropriate for the WebProNews property.

Q: About using Wordpress or trying to do something yourself. There are advantages and disadvantages. Barry talks about splogs and how they can be the right thing for some people.

Q: I asked a question regarding an article that keeps showing up in my Yahoo! News RSS daily feed for “internet marketing.” (it appears about once a week on average it seems) The title is “Podcasting: Revolutionizing the way we live and work.” They had not heard about it and laughed at me and I am crying inside right now. ;) Really though do a search and you will see this article was picked up a lot (I got 650 results for the title in quotes without the colon after Podcasting). Hopefully, this actual session coverage will crack the front page soon, but I am still curious as to how this particular article seems to be continuously “making the rounds” and getting picked up time after time. ****Please comment if you have an idea…

Q: About how to link to articles when it may be archived eventually. Barry always sues the article name to link to it so people can search if the link is no longer working. Andy Beal often searches for the article name. He says many of his readers do not complain about old links being no longer active.

Q: Corporate blogging: do you think the number of comments on the blog is an appropriate way to measure success of the blog? Rand: what it boils down to is the executive level willing to allow this, even though there may be relatively negative things said about the company or leaders. If not ready for this, you can simple turn of comments. Barry: if you let them comment on your blog about something, you can always go back in six months and delete it and they’ll “never know” (laughs). Rand says that you can leverage other discussion occurring to comment about your own blog to bring people. Release things never released before and talk about things that people do not usually hear about and people will come more. Andy compares Rand’s blog which draws more comments since the topics encourage that while his blog is more matter-of-fact and news style that doesn’t encourage commenting. Michael doesn’t feel #of comments can be used as a measure of success or failure. Barry talks about how Moderators are important in Forums in generating discussion – if they act like “they know it all,” there may be less commenting. He heard of forums that got rid of “best moderators” and their traffic went up dramatically since more discussion occurred. Rand likes to end posts with questions like “what do you guys think about this,” which leads to comments. Todd reminds that the comments will always be based on the content of the post, like others have said. He recommends zeroing in on your target and goal in order to get the results you want.

Q: about some bad publicity through Wikipedia. Rand says this is why you always write the Wikipedia article first. This is a reputation management topic as Todd reminds. Andy says this comes down to managing search results and try to push them down. Aaron has used sub domains to help push others down. Recommends making a corporate page at Squidoo as another way to get to those 8 or 9. Barry nicely asks Aaron to talk about the Traffic Power situation (nice Barry), since it relates to it. Aaron agrees that you can fight if needed, but you may not get much money out of it, as in his case. Rand talks about being contacted for reputation management. First question is always “did this really happen/was it true?” He wonders if it is acceptable to “suppress” real news and how many would take that work. He feels this is the morally right thing to do. Now if it isn’t true, I would imagine Rand would work for them. (Personally, I would take the money, because someone else would…) Todd also mentions that money is a great motivator, and sometimes $500 will work very well towards taking a blog post down. Aaron says you can always offer people that have written good things about you in the past. Todd also says that there are “poison links,” that can make things very bad for someone, but wouldn’t want to talk about that because it is clearly unethical.

Q: What Wordpress plug-ins can you guys not live without. Rand likes threaded comments, which made a big difference in participation. Todd uses the “Akismet” comment spam plug-in. Andy mentions the “Hello Dolly” one. Barry uses movable Type. Andy has actually posted all the ones he uses at

Q: how would you try to go into MySpace without a “web 2.0” type product? Todd says that he thinks that about half of all the MySpace pages are not even real, and that in fact there is someone in the audience that probably owns most of them (laughs). Andy and Rand says that if you research the industry, you may find that some already exist, or something similar.

Q: Who is the next big thing? Rand, maybe Facebook? There are some in China that do very well. You may see a portal network. Andy thinks that you may see it starting to get more fragmented because there becomes too much to control. People may feel the need to belong to a more vertical community. allows you to create your own community, and he thinks you may see more of that happening. Michael thinks you may see ways created to connect people across the different communities.

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