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ARTICLES ON SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION


Please note: because of my commitments to the websites associated with my books, I no longer have time to add new articles to this page. That should not stop you reading them. This is for two key reasons:

1 Because they are mainly about the basics of digital marketing, they still have relevance today, and

2 They represent the history of online marketing - if such a short period can be described as 'history'.

If you want to fully understand the subject well enough to earn a living in the discipline - or just pass an assignment - read them and learn.



Beyond Words on a Page and Linkage Data Mike Grehan comes from my neck of the woods - and he knows his stuff on search marketing. This article is excellent, as is the 'paper' he links to in this piece.

Recognized by industry experts as something of a seminal paper on search Inside the Mind of the Searcher is ageing a little now - but still well worth a read.

Indexing and Ranking: The Chicken or the Egg? More from Mike Grehan - I've included this one as in it he emphasises that search is more 'marketing' than 'technical'.

Kicking your Google addiction - how NOT to rely on Google paid search marketing Has the paid search bubble burst? Maybe not, but the pin might be closing fast.

Own Your Catchphrases in the Engines An example of not-so-integrated marketing.

Relevance Is Relative - Some Thoughts On Quality Score This seems to make [common] sense, I wonder if it will come to pass?

Condemned To Google Hell For the sad folk like me that have been reading about this for years, this article is rather old hat. However, if you're new to it [and most of my readers will be students, so they probably are] this is a good article that tells the story of being banished from Google.

Localization and SERP Relevancy This is a subject that is rarely addressed - but it is the reason I always search 'the web' rather than a specific country.

Ride has sex club name This one's a little light-hearted - and I've listed in this section for obvious reasons. However, there is a wider issue of having to give some thought to online marketing whenever consider naming a new product. Interestingly - it is usually the online adult industry websites that copy/imitate more respectable product/brand names to gain 'accidental' visitors to their sites - in this case it is the other way around.

A portrait of a perfect link builder I've included this article not so much for the advice it offers - which is interesting in its own right - but more to raise the issue that not only is SEO a full-time job, but if you are serious about SEO then even elements of it are a full-time job. Now obviously such an employee is not really feasible for the smaller business, but [a] they could pay a consultant to do it for a limited period, or [b] include it in the tasks of their web presence manager/team [if they even have one]. For the larger organization - my experience is that rarely is there a memeber of staff dedicated to SEO, never mind link building - if, indeed, they know what link building is. Ditto this sentiment for many aspects of Internet marketing.

Link Building For Life: Determining Lifetime Link Value reinforces the message that effective SEO isn't a one-off project you can forget about after the first effort is completed.

The Difference Between B2B and B2C SEO On the face of it this is about SEO - but it also supports my argument that in a B2B environment the objective of a website is to inform, not precipitate a transaction.

SEO has an always-changing set of benchmarks for practitioners, and what's worse, we never know what those benchmarks are. This article - Over-optimization Is Like Being a Little Bit Pregnant - comments on the ever-changing definition of search-engine spam.

I have included this article here as it relates to search engines advertising. It's a bit heavy going, but stick with it - this is [I think] a very important element of delivering local/relevant ads online - Geolocation: Core To The Local Space And Key To Click-Fraud Detection

I normally avoid all talk of 'black-hat' SEO in case anyone thinks I am promoting it. If you need to know the basic of what it is all about [but not how to do it], read this - Black Hat Cloaking Explained.

The end of any decade sees a whole raft of 'in the last 10 years ... ' type articles. Here's a good one from a respected practitioner on how SEO has changed from 2000 to 2010 - A Decade of 21st Century SEO.

This article - Best Practices for Search-Optimized Flash Development - is a bit on the advanced side, but it does address a very contentious issue in a balanced fashion [if you do read it ... I'm firmly in the naysayers' camp].

The title of How Google Cost Me $4 Million doesn't tell the whole story. Not only does this article show how buying links is punished by Google, but also the impact on a business which over-relies on the search engine. Furthermore, it tells how the organization expanded its online marketing in order to address that reliance.

If I am honest I don't like The Dirty Little Secrets of Search too much because it brings nothing new to the SEO table that folk in the business haven't known for some years. However, the 'revelations' in this New York Times article are both timely and well presented.

This article - Search Marketing & Web Page Download Speed - is really about website design, but as its title suggests, it includes an element of SEO also.

Although in this article - No, Junior, You Can't Be Our SEO Team Leader (Yet) - the scenario is SEO, it could just as easily be website development. Check Alan's musings to see my feelings on who should own the organization's web presence.

It has long been the case that ne'r-do-wells like to use innocent victims' sites for their own nefarious ends. Here is one such example - Google Loves Transparent Links & Hit Counter Spam - BTW, and I would always advise against 'hit counters' anyway. Soooo 1996 darling - and useless.

This is a basic SEO argument - Avoiding Clueless-Is As Clueless-Does SEO - but is so relevant that it is worth reading again.

The issue of paid links has been around for a while, this article - Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google - suggests the end is nigh.

These results are quite surprising, particularley as one of the objectives of the research was to study 'the impact of search in a category not typically one that would be identified with search marketing'. Not the full report, but this press release has plenty of interesting stuff - Search Marketing Vital for Brand Building

The long tail of search is often talked about - essentially it's about keywords that attract litle traffic, but can still generate sale. This article - Search Illustrated: B2B Long Tail SEO - explains it well with a nice picture.

This research paper - Spatial Variation in Search Engine Queries - from Yahoo and Cornell University provides a fascinating look at how a search query can be centered around a physical location.

This article - 2009 Google Flash SEO - is more advanced and includes some techie stuff, but I have included it because the subject is important.

I've included this article - Searching For Small Businesses, Coming Up Frustrated - for two reasons. (1) it is written by Danny Sullivan and you should take notice of anything he says about search engines, and (2) it is just the type of 'rant' that I have on a regular basis. I also tell organizations I will give them advice but never hear from them. See some of my own observations on when you're inside the bottle .... you can't read the label.

Here's one for all you get-rich-quick budding entrepreneurs [kidding - this article makes it sound easy]. What - The blog that sold for $15m actually does is show how valuable it can be if your website holds top spot on the SERPs for 'valuable' keywords.

On the face of it, this - Who Owns Link Building? - is about link building, and it raises some very valid points. However, I would suggest that its point is actually valid in most aspects of online marketing.

The question raised in the title of this article tells you what it is about - B2B SEO vs. B2C SEO: How Different Is It?.

Link quality is recognized as an essential element of the search engines' algorithms, and this article - Link Economics 101: A Prerequisite For Advanced SEO - says how the 'big boys' go about it. Note that at one point the writer mentions spending $20k per month on link development - which [a] suggests how important it is, and [b] indicates just how much some organizations spend on SEO.

The reason I like this article on link building is because I agree with it totally, see Link Building’s Glass Ceiling.

The issue of content farms has been around for a while. This article Content Farms: What Are They -- And Why Won't They Just Go Away? explains the concept, whilst the author of the rise and fall of content farms makes some good points about the validity of the content found on some websites. I agree with him wholeheartedly, and spend a lot of time telling my students they should be wary of relying on information they find on websites like content farms. Far better they use sites where the author carries some authority [like this one :) ].

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