Monday, November 27, 2006

The optimisation of Search Engine Land

Danny Sullivan is moving on from Search Engine Watch and to Search Engine Land. The last industry roundtable I went to had some people sniggering about the name - how long did it take him to think that one up? old hat?

I disagree. Sure, Search Engine Land is similar to Search Engine Watch and the Daily Cap is similar to the Daily Cast but let's take a step back and look what Danny's doing.

There are keywords in the domain; "search engine". They're not hyphenated but they're there. The holding page up on the site now (before December 11, when the site launches) makes it clear that the name of the site is "Search Engine Land" and not "SearchEngineLand". When people link to the site they're likely to do so ala Search Engine Land. There's a 310 redirect away from "" to "" too.

Danny has reason to echo "Search Engine Watch" too. There is a real incentive for him to remind us that Search Engine Watch was his. He couldn't call the new project, "The Real Search Engine Strategies" for fear of attack lawyers so "Search Engine Land" isn't too bad in that respect at all.

Let's look at what else is he doing.

The site is up now. It's not the real site but there is content on Thee is content about search engines at this address. Google has begun to assocaite search engine content with that domain name. This is exactly what you should do when launching a new domain name. Fear the "sandbox" syndrome and give your domain name the best start possible.

The site is up now. People are linking to the site. Search blogs and forums are linking to the site. Danny is already growing links. This blog post links to the new domain.

The link biating (or link breeding as I used to call it until Matt Cutts coined a better term) has started. He is running a competition to pick the logo. The logo is designed, people just get to vote on the trimmings but it doesn't matter - it encourages people to talk (link) about the site and to get involved. It's a good move.

Danny's Flickr account is being used to spread the word too. That link to Flickr shows that Rustybrick is helping to advertise the logo/competition too. Good score Danny.

The current Search Engine Land site is yucky. It does thrust a big RSS button at you now. Sign up now! A lot of people will press that button just to remind them that there will be something in this space later. Most of these people will never unsubscribe from the feed. Another good move.

Further down the page there's a host of Social Media buttons - Danny's starting has he means to go on - with a large reader base.

Search Engine Land will be one to watch. That's for sure. The challenge Danny faces is keeping the topic interesting to a wide group of people. Newbies who still want to know about "301" redirects have Webmasterworld. The middle ground is Search Engine Watch's forums (the news stories became adverts many months ago) but the "recycled issue rot" is taking hold there. Will Danny target Search Engine Land to the newbies, to the SME SEO firms, to the named individuals (that American guru thing) or is there a niche for the elite level of SEOers?