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Blogging Those Tweets? Get Rid of the Nofollows

A regular habit I have is to blog My Ten Favorite Tweets for each week. These are my own tweets, and they mostly contain links to interesting things during the past seven days. One thing I’ve always liked is that I can give “link credit” to the sites that I include in these weekly posts. This blog has a pretty respectable Google pagerank, so it can help other sites posting good content.

But alas, I have come to learn something. Twitter inserts the “nofollow” attribute in any links included in tweets. What is a “nofollow”? From Wikipedia:

An HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.

When you paste a tweet from Twitter to your blog, the links include the “nofollow” attribute inserted by Twitter.  See below:

On FriendFeed, I asked some SEO-knowledgeable folks about this “nofollow” attribute I’ve been pasting in to my blog posts. AJ Kohn and Jimminy confirmed that because that “nofollow” is in there, the search engines aren’t giving link credit.

So the great content doesn’t get the credit in search engines it deserves. Now I need to go back and remove those pesky “nofollow” attributes.

Keep this mind if you paste tweets into your blog posts.

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Use Your Company Blog to Catch Search Term Typos

If your company or product name can be misspelled, this is for you.

At Spigit, a prospective customer related this to us recently. A few months ago, they had heard of Spigit in one of the usual ways – reading, word of mouth, etc. At some point, they decided to learn more. It probably went something like this…

“What was that innovation software company again? Oh yeah, SPIGOT.”

Notice the typo there. Or maybe Spigit is better termed the typo.

Anyway, first they tried http://www.spigot.com. But that leads to someone sitting on that domain for quite a while. Confused, they did the next logical thing. They searched on variations of SPIGOT:

  • spigot software
  • spigot idea management
  • spigot innovation management
  • spigot gumbo

Unable to find Spigit, they moved on with their life. Until last week, when the prospect was talking with one of our customers, who mentioned SPIGIT. Ding! The prospect remembered their interest, got the right spelling and we are talking, several months later.

Obviously, this presents something of a problem. How to catch those people actually searching for SPIGIT, but typing SPIGOT? We do maintain Google AdWords covering this. But what about in the search results themselves?

At first blush, two options are apparent. One, use the word SPIGOT on our website. But that would be confusing to visitors. It would look like we don’t know how to spell our own company name, or maintain a typo-infested website. Two, take advantage of those meta tag keywords, adding SPIGOT to them. But Google recently confirmed that those meta tag keywords have no effect on search results. None.

But there was one other way to do it. Why not take advantage of our search engine-indexed blog? Publish a blog post specifically designed to include the misspelled company name, along with additional relevant search terms. That way, there will at least be something in the search results for people honestly trying to find your company.

So I wrote this post, Spigot Innovation and Idea Management Software Platform

The post is intended to let searchers know why it exists, and redirect them to the website home page:

Spigot blog post

I’m no SEO expert – honest, check my Twitter bio! But I figure this may help get the attention of those using SPIGOT to find SPIGIT.

Another use for the company blog.

What Are the Top-Ranked Search Keywords for Your Blog?

Just going through the blog stats after a week off. I noticed my blog post about Facebook’s new newsfeed getting a lot of hits via search.

Just for the heck of it, I figured I’d list some of the search terms that rank my blog pretty highly in Google search results (note my rankings are as of 3 pm on August 10, 2008; the rankings seem to fluctuate a fair amount):

1. “Farewell email“: My blog post How to Write a Farewell Email to Your Co-Workers usually ranks in the top 5, and often is #1.

2. “Pay By Touch“: Two blog posts make it into the top 5 results: Pay By Touch & the Peanut Butter Manifesto, Farewell, Pay By Touch, Farewell.

3. “Facebook slow“: The post Facebook’s New Newsfeed: Slow. Over-engineered. I Like It. has climbed to #5 in the search results for this term.

4. “Should I buy an iPhone“: Shockingly, Should I Buy the Apple 3G iPhone of the Nokia N95? comes in at #7 in response to that search term.

5. “Blog aggregators“: Coming in at #4 for that search term is Explosion of the Blog Aggregators…How to Keep Up.

That’s not a complete list, I’m sure. But some that I’m currently seeing in terms of traffic.

As an aside, compare the search terms where my blog ranks highly to my tag cloud:

There’s something of a disconnect, as you’ll notice lots of FriendFeed, Twitter, blog and social media posts. Those posts don’t receive quite the same search engine positioning. But they are very popular topics written about by many others.

Me? I’ve just happened to land a few hits for less popular blogging topics. And the iPhone search engine ranking probably resulted from a fortuitous link from MacSurfer.com, which gave it good link juice.

How about your blog? What are your blog’s top search terms?

Weekly Recap 062008: Baby I’m-a Want You

Babies sure can take a long time to arrive, can’t they? I don’t want to see an update from Louis until at least an hour after their birth, even longer…first things first…

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Benjamin Golub, creator of RSSmeme, received an email from an irate blogger this week…a couple of her posts had been shared via Google Reader, and ended up on RSSmeme. She wanted them taken down…

I was surprised, as I had only seen links and partial feeds for blogs on RSSmeme…turns out, there was a full feed option…

RSSmeme does run Google ads, but Benjamin’s not getting rich off them…they offset the server costs…

Still, it did set up an issue where the full content of a blog was accessible on a different site, and the site was earning money on the content via ads…

Duncan Riley came out pretty strong in favor of the blogger…partial feeds are fine, as the reader must visit the actual blog to read the whole thing…but full feeds crossed the line…I find myself agreeing with Duncan on this one…

The cool thing about RSSmeme is that it indicates how popular an item was by the number of shares…it also tells you who did the sharing…so if someone’s interested in the full blog post based on (i) its subject; (ii) the number of Reader shares; and (iii) who did the sharing, they will click the link to read the post on the actual blog…full feeds on RSSmeme aren’t needed…

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TechCrunch posts are published under two separate users on FriendFeed, Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld…but the action always seems to be around Arrington’s user ID…

Looking at the past ten TechCrunch posts, Arrington’s FriendFeed has 22 Likes and Comments, Schonfeld has 2…

Why such a disparity?…Arrington is the public face of TechCrunch, so people will gravitate toward his feed even if he hasn’t written the post…Arrington follows 1,329 people on FriendFeed, Schonfeld follows 79…Arrington’s FriendFeed handle is techcrunch while Schonfeld’s is erick…so if you looking for the TechCrunch feed on FriendFeed, you’re naturally going to find Arrington first…

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Finally applied the FriendFeed Block function to a user…it wasn’t that he was hassling me, but he has a tendency to spam FriendFeed entries with unrelated things and links…he added one right after I posted a comment on one entry, which disrupted the vibe of the entry…so I finally pulled the trigger…

I actually feel bad about doing it…

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With the recent post about nudity on FriendFeed, the search term nudity is starting to show up a regular referral to my blog…not quite was I was looking for, but traffic is traffic…

Which makes me wonder what kind of search term hits Ginger Makela will get for her recent post Now That I’ve Got Your Attention with BOOBS, a Word from Our Sponsor…Ginger did ad sales for Google, so she knows a thing or two about SEO

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I did experience a few users unsubscribing from me on FriendFeed the past week or so…you write about nudity, gay marriage and Like Flickr pix with nudity, that will happen…

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Some couples on FriendFeed that I enjoy…Lindsay Donaghe and Tad DonagheThomas Hawk and Mrs Hawk

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And thanks go out to Steven Hodson for putting this humble little blog up on pedestal…if you’re not subscribing to his blog WinExtra, you should…click here to add it to your reader…

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22weekly+recap+062008%22&public=1

Did You Notice a Change in Your Google PageRank?

Something changed the past few days in the Google PageRank of this blog. Posts that were getting a predictable average number of hits each weekday are suddenly zooming up in terms of views. I don’t know what my PageRank was before (being a blogger n00bie and all), but it’s a 5 now. Perhaps a new round of the Google dance?

I’m not alone in seeing this. Here are a few others who have noticed the change recently:

Frederic of the Last Podcast tweeted:

just noticed that my pagerank must have increased from 4 to 5 in the last few days – nice 🙂

Mark O’Neill of Better Than Therapy wrote:

I got a pleasant surprise today when I noticed that my Google pagerank has been increased by one. I am now a 6 which is nice.

And on Search Engine Land, Barry Schwartz noted:

Over the past few days, many webmasters and SEOs have been noticing an update to the PageRank score found in the Google Toolbar. Usually PageRank updates aren’t that noteworthy, but it seems something is different about this PageRank update.

I’m no expert on search engine optimization, but it is interesting to hear Barry say that something is different about this PageRank update. Click here for a post on Court’s Internet Marketing School discussing the PageRank changes, along with a ton of reader comments.

One Example: Farewell Email Post

I have a post on this blog that’s been up for nearly two months now. How to Write a Farewell Email to Your Co-Workers provides a humorous look at that ritual of leaving companies, the farewell email. Given that people tend to leave on Fridays, the page views of this post follow a predictable path, increasing each day to a weekly high on Friday.

This Wednesday’s views were the highest ever for a single day, and we’re not even at Friday yet. The chart below shows the daily views for the post, with the Wednesdays highlighted by arrows.

I normally wouldn’t note the increase in views, as it risks coming across as some sort of bragging. But the magnitude of the change is pretty significant. And here’s why it’s happening. The post has now risen to the #2 position in a Google search on ‘farewell email’. It wasn’t that way before. I’d check on how the post ranked periodically, and it tended to be around the 10th or 12th result. So a jump of 8 or 10 places in search results is worth 3 times the hits. Now I see the SEO industry in a whole new light!

Of course, this blog isn’t about ad revenue. And the blog’s heavy Web 2.0 content may not appeal to the search engine visitors. But, I decided to add a message for my farewell email visitors:

Welcome to the blog. I know you’re here for tips on writing farewell emails. If you’re at all interested in Web 2.0, I invite you to look around the blog a bit. Use the tag cloud below, or the recent posts on the left-hand side to find info. Also, let’s connect on Twitter and FriendFeed: twitter.com/bhc
friendfeed.com/bhc3

From an advertising perspective, there’s a mismatch between the farewell email post and most of the blog’s other content. So I’m not ‘targeting’ the right audience. But if any of those visitors decide to stick around, I hope they get enjoy the blog.

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/e/a8133912-d2e9-f680-6592-a66e08abb717