Friday, June 22, 2007

Yahoo try again to define SMO

After the poor schmoes incident I couldn't but help notice that Yahoo had had posted another possible definition of social media optimisation again.

Social Media Optimization
Social media optimization refers to making a web site or blog more adaptable to social media. It involves adding compelling, dynamic and fresh content on a regular basis—stuff like tip sheets, how-to’s, white papers, podcasts or videos can be especially sticky, can get more links to and help drive better ranking among search engines and specialty sites such as Technorati or Blogpulse. Other examples of SMO include the implementation of links to social media web sites to make tagging, sharing book marks (, Add to MyYahoo!), and voting for content (Digg, Reddit, Netscape) by visitors easier.

This quote is taken from Yahoo's YPN publisher blog. I'm sure more people will be happy with this write up.

Yahoo's post is also a good example of SMO. It's using the blog space to try and build bridges. It's about encouraging conversation and being around to reply.

LinkedSEO at LinkedIn

I was just updating my linkedin account (which I rarely find time to do - but should do more often) and was distracted by the "LinkedSEO" group. It's an invite only group for, you guessed it, SEO.

One of the features I like best about the web site is the ability to drill down to a geographic location (American city or country) and see who's the most linked in. Here's the top 15 connected SEOs in the United Kingdom. I know some of them!

1David Deutsch500+11Online Marketing Professional ( Kingdom
2Giotto De Filippi []500+10Search Engine OptimizationUnited Kingdom
3David Rosam500+4Search Engine Optimized Copywriting, Online Strategy and Pay Per Click specialistUnited Kingdom
4Mike Nott500+4Head of Search Marketing at PartyGaming PlcUnited Kingdom
5Francesco Maugeri500+1Sem, seo and digital marketing specialistUnited Kingdom
6Rob Kerry3243evilgreenmonkey - SEO Consultant & Search Marketing ExpertUnited Kingdom
7Gilles Bourdin2031COO and partner at NetBooster Search MarketingUnited Kingdom
8James Sandoval1883Technology & Analytics Director, Neo@Ogilvy (London)United Kingdom
9Jason Hall1620Director, Search Engine Marketing at Shopzilla.comUnited Kingdom
10Aurelia Noel1568Senior Manager, Strategic MarketingUnited Kingdom
11Alex Horstmann1257Senior User Interface Engineer at Tideway Systems LtdUnited Kingdom
12Rob Collyer1205Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Specialist, Web Developer & ProgrammerUnited Kingdom
13Matt Peskett1195Managing Director - Firetop LimitedUnited Kingdom
14Andrew Girdwood1170Head of Search at bigmouthmediaUnited Kingdom
15Jeremy Sulzmann1092Content & SEO Lead - Social Media at AOL EuropeUnited Kingdom

Well done to David. If you're called David you've a 2/5 chance of being in the top 5 :)

On a more serious note it's good to see Rob Kerry/ evilgreenmoney from SEW's forums listed so high - shows that the voice of the forums is planted firmly in the middle of the SEO community.

The full list is here on LinkedSEO and if you know me at all then my profile is public too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Alden DeSoto and team are gods! Gods among men! *worship*


The Google Analytics blog brings some delightful news.

It is now possible to cross-segment by network location again. This means I can dig up the stats on my iCrossing post or Google Payment Limited post and see which agencies and search engine staff looked at them.

Oh; there are other new bits too;

  • Hourly Reporting
  • Clickable URLs
  • Increased number of data rows per page
  • Bounce Rate increase/decrease
  • AdWords Integration
Google also now recognises that is a search engine. They're going to struggle on that one. It's going to be hard to scale. Who decides when a site is popular enough and searchy enough to be counted as a search engine by Urchin?

Monday, June 11, 2007

RSS updates, LiveJournal and Google

Google 0wns my LiveJournal friends page right now. They do so unfairly. Google hasn't posted a whole wave of new blog posts (sadly). Nevertheless, all but one of the posts on my friends page is from Google. The graphic on the left is a shot of my friends page summary.

LiveJournal has decided that old posts are new. This is an easy trap to fall into in Blogger - just add a label to an old post and it'll get a new timestamp and you'll find it in people's RSS readers. Sometimes webmasters tweak things so that the whole RSS feed updates (or seems to be updated; republished for example) and the whole whack of 'recent' entries get re-posted.

I like LiveJournal. Okay. It's not cool. I was on LiveJournal went MySpace wasn't coo l and Facebook was for kids - so it's been around for a while

I really like LiveJournal's "friends" function. My friends page is an collection of the most recent posts from my friends (as marked in the LiveJournal network) and as you can see I've Google as a friend. Or rather; you can also add RSS feeds to your friends page.

Recently, both Vanessa Fox (naked) and Adam Lasnik (clothed) have posted about their wish for a social network that lets you filter friends/interest appropriately. Okay; this may be a clue for us.... but let's come back to LiveJournal for a moment. LiveJournal lets you set up filters on your friends page. I've my friends tagged as "people" and Google tagged as "newsfeeds". My default friends page shows both - but I can filter out "newsfeeds" if I just want to see what actual people are doing.

I could (but haven't) also create different levels of friend filters - so I could stay up to date with what close friends are doing but tune down the twitter scribblings of a less well known associate. Better still; these contacts can't see my internal friend filters and so they'll never know.

LiveJournal was bought by SixApart (Movable Type) a few years ago and now uses "nofollow" on the friends page (to stop spamming). I do think they are a "buy" for a search engine or large company looking to move into the social space. However, LiveJournal is very large and hard to earn revenue from (though a good internal search engine would be great!) and I'm sure this is one of the obstacles in any further acquisition.

Update: Techcrunch as some reasons to as to why Google may have republishing feeds and battling with RSS.

Google's VP sells shares on the same day he's given them

This isn't really news - it's just that very few Google watchers keep an eye on the stock trading.

Forbes is reporting that Google VP Jonathan J. Rosenberg was given 314 shares on Thursday. He sold them then and there for between $515.81 and $525.30.

Google, in other words, gave him at least $161964.34. Which isn't too bad!

There are all sorts of insider trading safe guards in play here. He will have done the paperwork in advance.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

iCrossing - not buying any more natural search agencies

I was lucky enough to go to a mini-conference on Mergers and Acquisitions of Digital Agencies this evening which was hosted by Results International.

Results International are the company which helped broker the Spannerworks and iCrossing deal. It was insightful to see how they calculated the worth of a digital agency. I'll have to try and reserve engineer around the amounts rumoured for the Spannerworks deal.

Don Scales from iCrossing was one of the key speakers (alongside Google, Profero and i-Level). He had some interesting comments. He said outright that iCrossing would not be buying another Natural Search company.

One of the key alignments in the Spannerworks deal was that Herzog got on well with Arjo of Spannerworks.

Scales stressed the importance of Analytics. I expect iCrossing will make one or two more acquisitions this year. Probably in Europe. If they're not going to be Natural Search then perhaps in data mining, analytics or perhaps even ad server technology.

Feedburner and Google's Mobile RSS Reader

I was at Netimperative's search roundtable this afternoon where the topic was; "Do you believe the buzz about bid optimization - can it really get you bigger returns? How can you tell if you have the best?"

It was good to meet up with Jon Beeston from Efficient Frontier. He's one of those people who firmly believe the future is in portfolio management rather than bid management. As that's what Efficient Frontier offers, I'm not surprised!

It was a wide ranging discussion and we went badly off topic at times (Nabaztag's and World of Warcraft) but I must admit I did like the look of interest on some of the participants faces when I speculated about Feedburner and Google's Mobile RSS Reader.

We were talking about the future of mobile. Will it really take off this year?

After email, the function of my (beloved) BlackBerry (I'm with Vanessa on this one!) is Google's RSS Reader on mobile friendly. I'll skim through the RSS headlines, star, read or mark as read. It's the best way to keep up with the fast moving world of search.

I speculated that since Google knows all about the RSS I subscribe to and so many of them are powered by Feedburner they'd be easily able to insert mobile targeted RSS ads. They'd know I was on a mobile and could even point the ads to a BlackBerry friendly page. The ad itself would be short - but so's an AdWord creative.

I suppose if we want to get clever (and if BlackBerry get GPS) then we could even splice in local ads - but I'd rather have topic targeted ads.

Thank you JotSpot!

I posted this week to as for an update from JotSpot. In a move which makes me look like an influential blogger; JotSpot has supplied an update.

That's a nice coincidence of timing!

It's a pretty short update. Eight months after being bought by Google - they're still merging platforms.

Hmm. Big task! I think this illustrates just how complicated the technology merger is and suggests to me that JotSpot really is going into the core of Google's Application technology. I'm one of the people who speculate that JotSpot will be the "glue" which holds offerings like PicasaWeb and Google Docs together.

It may also be the case that the JotSpot team all moved to Mountain View and Google was kind enough not to rush them.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Come on Jotspot! Come on Google!

Come on JotSpot!

You closed your doors on the 31st of October 2006. It's now June 2007. That's more than half a year.

*frustrated noises*

Don't Dodgeball on me! I want access. I'm tired of installing mediawiki in spare corners of friend's webservers. I just want a clean, effective wiki - without adverts - for myself and friends. I hold on to the hope that Jotspot will be the wiki for me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Google Payment Limited

On Internet Money Day I wrote about Google Checkout coming to the UK and how they would have had to set up a UK based company for the required FSA regulations.

As it happens our senior Finance Vertical Strategist, Chris Cathcart, happened read the post. He's furnished me with information that only finance savvy people can seem to produce! I believe Chris paid a whopping £1 for this information.

So, who runs Google Payment Limited?

There are six or seven directors of Google Payment Limited. The "or 7th" is Taylor Wessing Secretaries Limited.

The company was incorporated back on the 11th of August 2006 - far before Checkout launched in the UK. The headquarters are in Belgrave House - that's Google's main building in the UK (and where a lot of the mobile development goes on).

I actually have the home addresses of the Directors of Google Payment Limited. I'm not going to blog them though. I think that would be unethical.