FeedBurner’s previously for-fee services are now free after its relatively recent acquisition by Google. This is great news for the blogging community which is probably why it is getting some serious publicity (#1 story on TechMeme).

So what is all this bruhaha all about? Two features, Total Stats PRO and MyBrand PRO have been opened up to the masses:

Total Stats PRO: this service used to cost about $5 per blog per month and provided stats on the posts that got the most interest along with information on uncommon uses, which feed readers are being used and live user reporting. The information is fairly valuable for people with heavily used blogs because, among other things it can provide insight into which blog postings appear to be getting the most interest; which might just spark you to write a follow up.

MyBrand PRO: FeedBurner feeds are normally located on feedburner.com. For example, our feed is at http://feeds.feedburner.com/search-engine-optimization-blog. With MyBrand Pro, however, you can configure the FeedBurner to use your own domain. Why is this useful? Some companies do not like the idea that their feed address is located on a domain they do not own. FeedBurner aptly calls it “the ultimate in feed-serving transparency.”

FeedBurner Rocks
If you haven’t made the move to use FeedBurner for your blog then maybe these new features will be enough to entice you. Even before these features were free I felt FeedBurner was a fantastic service because it made subscribing to StepForth’s SEO Blog simple for any online news reader. In addition, I like that FeedBurner automatically pings the major news websites for us whenever we post something new – one great way to promote our blog without much effort.

SEO Meet SMM (Social Media Marketing) was the most information-dense seminar that I attended at SMX Advanced, a multi-day conference geared for advanced web marketing professionals. As a result, it has taken a while to view my footage and pick out all of the best tips to share with you. The SEO Meet SMM seminar was paneled with an all-star cast of Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel and Cindy Krum. Between these three incredibly bright people, and my own experience and research I have put together this whitepaper on how to use social media marketing (SMM) to your advantage. I believe this is the most current (timely), accurate and cutting edge information available for those who want to start marketing in this field. Read more…

I have been hard at work writing a white paper that we will be releasing today on do it yourself social media marketing. As a result, my blogs have been rather infrequent – my apologies. Here, however, is a quick list of some of the articles that have piqued my interest over this past week and I expect you will find worthy of a read as well:

Lastly her is an interesting interview with Eric Peterson, web analytics guru. Note the background noise is a little annoying.

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

1000 Pizzas for Google

A company by the name of CambrianHouse got some free press by getting 1000 pizzas to Google employees on the Google campus – bypassing security. So it looks like CambrianHouse has set the bar on outrageous press stunts in the social media industry. Now… I wonder who will try to one-up them? I look forward to finding out. Check out this video, it is a bit long but a lot of fun.

In the first week of June Google launched a program called “Google Gears” that expands the already impressive capabilities of Google Reader (Google’s free news reader) to allow offline viewing. Here is a quote from Google’s related blog posting:

“Now, you can read these updates whether you’re on or offline. It’s easy to read today’s financial news from the New York Times on the train, or catch up on your favorite blog while on a plane 35,000 ft. above the Atlantic. Read more…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Google Streetview = Heeby Jeebies

I have long been a fan of Google Earth because I find it so thrilling to see the world from my desktop. It is especially cool that with a flick of my mouse I can zoom right in to my neighborhood. Unfortunately Google Earth’s resolution has been getting a bit too clear for comfort for some users.

The picture on the right is that of a cat called Monty, sitting on a perch in his window. This image was found by Monty’s owner by using a new zoom function on Google Earth called StreetView which allows a 360 degree, street-level view of an area. Needless to say this has Monty’s owner a little creeped out.

Here are some related articles that are likely to make your hair stand on end:

The details have yet to be released but on June 5th Google reportedly acquired PeakStream Inc.; a firm that appears to specialize in leveraging the power of software on next generation computers.

Google is tight-lipped about the actual size of its monolithic computer network but as you might imagine Google just can’t get enough computing power for its lofty aspirations. I did a little digging and it appears that PeakStream has had at least one pretty amazing breakthrough as of late which might have ‘peaked’ Google’s interest.

On June 7th the San Francisco Chronicle published an article about the growing privacy concerns related to the planned Google and DoubleClick merger. According to the article a coalition of privacy groups have requested that federal regulators prohibit the merged companies from compiling detailed dossiers about users’ online behavior.”

It would be a rare case for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to consider privacy implications when ruling on the merger (since they usually deal with fair trade concerns) but this precedent may be worthwhile due to the considerable personal dossiers expected to be combined by the two companies. Read more…

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

How Safe is Your Search?

Roughly 4 percent of all search results display links to potentially dangerous websites, according to a report published by McAfee’s SiteAdvisor, on Monday. The report notes that Yahoo results are the riskiest with AOL leading the pack as having the safest results.

Over the past year, both organic and sponsored links have seen an increase in safety, however, the biggest change is seen within sponsored listings. On average the number of risky links declined from 8.5% in May 2006, to 6.9% in May of this year. Organic results saw a drop from 3.1% down to 2.9%. Read more…

Google image searches can be further refined thanks to a hidden feature few knew about – until this week.

A blog post by Ionut Alex Chitu has shown that by adding a simple piece of code to the end of your Google image search, can be used to refine the results. Adding “&imgtype=face” to the end of the search URL string will refine the list of images with just those of faces.

Wired blogger Adario Strange posted today that he had taken this search to the next level by replacing the word “face” with “hands” during an image search for PBS television host “Charlie Rose”. Strange notes images of Roses hands appearing, however, I was unable to duplicate these results.

This kind of image and face recognition is in its infant stages and it will be interesting to see how far Google goes, and when they will in fact release this technology openly within image searches.

Its scary to think that perhaps some day, armed only with a photo of someone, a user may be able to use the uploaded image to do a name look up and background search. While the technology (at least as far as I know) is not advanced enough to do such a thing, it is certainly within the realm of possibility.