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Dr. Ralph F. Wilson is editor of Web Marketing Today and is widely recognized as an authority on Internet marketingI met up with Ralph Wilson at the Search Engine Strategies San Jose conference a couple of weeks ago and had a great time as always doing interviews. Ralph Wilson’s Web Marketing Today is one of the oldest (since 1995) most respected web marketing resources in the world and as one of Ralph’s hand-picked writers for SEO I feel very privileged to work with him.

In the following interview, Ralph and I discuss the advantages of blogging for building valuable links and reputation online.

Note: we had some trouble with the recording device so you might notice Ralph looking sternly at his camera occasionally… that was to make sure it was still recording :-) We had to re-record parts of this interview about 4 times.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

We are proud to announce that StepForth is once again rated one of the best blogs on the net by the BIGLIST of Search Marketing Blogs. Created and managed by respected web marketer Lee Odden of TopRank the BIGLIST is a comprehensive list of the best marketing blogs online – at least it is now that we are on it ;-)

All joking aside the StepForth team is proud to be recognized for their writing efforts in the search marketing space and plan to continue delivering the best work we can – or not at all. And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t stress that the StepForth SEO News Blog is comprised of articles from more than just myself – our team rocks!

Here is the entry as it is shown on the BIGLIST:

StepForth SEO News Blog – (Welcome back!) Since 2003 the StepForth blog has covered a range of search marketing industry news and sets a great standard for SEM blog writing. Kudos to Ross Dunn for a great job.

If you haven’t subscribed to our blog feed yet or our weekly SEO newsletter then just check out the links below to see what all the hoopla is about!

The evolution of the internet is anything but dull. It is a precarious world that is subject to the influence of both devious and altruistic actions. Just like any human society, there is chaos and there is order. Yet, what makes the cyberworld so unique is the opportunity for people to come together that may never have done so by traditional networks. Through communication on different websites and blogs, individuals can discover new ways to make mischief or find assistance in solving crimes. Read more…

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Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Google on Duplicate Content

It is now a widely known fact that duplicate content is bad (with some exceptions such as BLOGS where it is expected). Yesterday on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Maile Ohye posted some important notes on duplicate content directed at those who use multiple URL parameters on their site.

Essentially, variables placed in a URL for the purposes of tracking will result in duplicate content. This tracking can be in the form of affiliate ID’s, session ID’s, or any other form of tracking you may be implementing.

While the article does not address if there are possible penalties due to these duplicate URL’s it does point out that these longer URL’s can offset branding efforts and decrease the chance of your listing being selected by the searcher.

So how can you help search engines to understand your site? By removing any unnecessary URL parameters and submitting an XML sitemap with the clean version of each of URL will help, but your best bet is to permanently clean it up through the use of cookies. By 301 redirecting any inbound affiliate ID or tracking encoded links to the short clean URL and storing those affiliate and tracking variables in a cookie you can ensure that only one version of each URL is accessible on your site.

Duplicate content can come in many forms. Ross Dunn has published some articles which cover other aspects of duplicate content:

Most Common Reason for Dropped Rankings
What Determines Duplicate Content SPAM?
Does Article Syndication Amount to a Duplicate Content Penalty

Read/WriteWeb, one of my favorite blogs, just posted an interesting article on a new site called Wikirage; a site that shows what topics are the most trendy (popular) at Wikipedia.

How Does Wikirage Work?
Wikipedia’s detailed traffic statistics are not available to the public so Craig Wood, the creator of Wikirage cleverly leveraged the editing statistics that are open to the public to create his statistics. As a result, Wikirage creates its popularity index by identifying the top 100 pages within Wikipedia that have received the most updates; a relatively accurate indication of the topics that are driving current trends.

Other Great Trend Resources

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating 10 Years of Web Marketing Excellence
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Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Tips for Optimizing Blogs and Feeds

I caught an interesting seminar today called “SEO Through Blogs and Feeds” with Stephen Spencer, Rick Klau, Doug Hay and Greg Jarboe on the panel. The following are my point by point notes that stood out as noteworthy. Some of these tips are mirrored in my 3 part tutorial on blogging called Blogs 101 but as always some great new tips popped up. Read more…

On July 11th, Google’s Blogger announced a deceptively minor update that allowed users to reference a 3rd party feed for their blog. For veteran Blogger users the importance of this update may be obvious but for others let me explain.

Then: Blogger only had its own feed type which meant that users of Feedburner or other 3rd party feed trackers had to include two feeds on their blog – one being their 3rd party service and the other being the Google service. The result was that some visitors who subscribed to their blog could have subscribed to the Google feed rather than the preferred 3rd party feed. This meant the actual subscriber base for a blog would be inaccurate (lower than it actually is) because the 3rd party feed is the feed being measured. Read more…

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Friday, July 6th, 2007

How Much is Your Blog Worth?

Well I have no idea how this algorithm based on Technorati’s API is but according to this nifty widget created by Dane Carlson, StepForth’s SEO Blog is currently worth $83,551 buckaroos. Hmm, now if we could just get that kind of money from our blog :-)


My blog is worth $83,551.92.
How much is your blog worth?

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.

Blogs 101 is a resource to provide our clients and readers with a clear concept of what a blog is, why a blog might be a positive addition to their website or marketing campaign, and how to implement, optimize and promote a blog. In Part 1 of this series I discussed the basics of a blog and some of the necessary steps to take before starting one. In Part 2, I explained blog feeds and how to optimize a blog. Now in Part 3, I will explain social media marketing and outline a selection of strategies for socially marketing your blog. Read more…

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