SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending February 16th, 2011

Let the games begin! In this week’s latest and greatest web writing news, the gloves come off and it is on:  Google (seemingly) takes on black-hat SEO practices in a widely-publicized scandal while (actually) continuing to wage war on content farms, content marketing talks influence and smart branding strategy, and social media flexes its muscle with its growing role in business (and world affairs). It’s definitely not your daddy’s newspaper…catch this week’s picks:

The Latest Buzz:

The Dirty Little Secrets of Search was the headline of David Segal’s New York Times article exposing JC Penney’s black-hat SEO fail.  Then came the fallout:

The latest?  Retail Online Integration reports that both JC Penney and Google “have shrugged the whole thing off,” or at least the big G has minimized it. Hmmm.

Great analyses of the whole mess and lessons inherent are at WordStream.

Content Marketing:

So why do you need a content marketing strategy? Lee Odden of Top Rank explains the big picture very well.  He also shares his top five picks for online marketing blogs from the UK.

Valentine’s Day tributes:  elemental ways to attract prospects are posted at Content Marketing Institute, while Blue Focus Marketing features a smart read about what makes a brand irresistible.

Directly related to the subject of attracting readers, Conversation Marketing advises to write with personality and avoid being a literary prude.

And beyond attraction: Enchantment?  In this Hubspot interview, Guy Kawasaki talks about how any business can enchant their prospects with their brand.

Email marketers will want to note this article at Marketing Sherpa about growing your list using social media, citing a study of KFC’s success in using a Facebook email sign-up form.

Decision overload: Neuromarketing addresses the interesting topic of “choice fatigue” and why this is an important consideration for all marketers.

SEO & Search:

SEOmoz posts an interesting read about the next generation of SEO ranking signals, while SEO Book reflects on where search has been and how to spot where it may be going.

Dealing with “findability disaster” in the way of combating negative content is the subject of this post at Website Magazine.

Understanding user behavior via analytics is the subject of this Level 343 article.

Social Media Marketing:

Social networking and the media revolution in Egypt is the subject of this post at Famous Bloggers, while Social Media Examiner looks at how to create your own social networking community.

This post at Slate explores whether the valuations of social media companies like Twitter may be too high.

Mashable posts an insightful look into what stats actually drive Twitter’s trending topics.

Kristi Hines posts a Twitter marketing guide at Kiss Metrics, and  Twitter CEO Dick Costolo shares why there won’t be a Twitter-branded smart phone (at Mashable).

Unmarketing posts a provocative piece on how we are killing Facebook, and Hubspot discusses Facebook’s new fan pages design and its decision to kill its markup language (FBML) in favor of iFrames.

Finally, Jeff Esposito posts 23 impressive social media facts (complete with sources) to share with executives.

7 replies
  1. Derek Cromwell says:

    One of the things that stood out to me in this whole J.C. Penney issue was not with the big box retailer but with the NYTimes.

    Did anyone else notice the complete lack of an optimized title for the purposes of SEO? The subject of the piece – J.C. Penney – was in no way mentioned with other extremely common things we’d use to find the article. like “SEO”. Instead they opted for “search optimization and its dirty little secrets”.

    Granted, the Times is a major publication so they’ve got global reach and plenty of people to carry the story but if you did the quick search (that many people were likely doing) of “nytime seo jc penney” or something similar you couldn’t find this article.

    You were turning up other blog posts. The Times could have better positioned themselves with a much stronger title from an SEO standpoint to ensure that the traffic came to them first.

    This is one of those times where a properly optimized title would have likely provided more benefit than the marketing hook they used in the current title. Too many businesses make this mistake and unfortunately the smaller businesses that don’t have a network of followers like the Times wind up with their content getting lost – never to be discovered – all because of a title derp.

  2. Laura Crest says:

    Hi Derek! Yes, you are so right about title “derp” issues, especially for SMB’s! The sexy hook doesn’t serve as well as a well-optimized headline in so many cases, and as you’ve pointed out, this also applies to the “big boys” of online content publishing.

    Heather’s SEO Copywriting Certification course does address this, as distilled in this post from the previous year:

    Thank you Derek, for sharing your insight! :)

  3. Laura Crest says:

    Hi Derek! Thanks for your insight here. You’re absolutely right — the sexy headline is no substitute for a well-optimized one, no matter how big a player you may be in the content publishing world! :)

  4. Laura Crest says:

    Dave, you’re most welcome! Yes, your article was very helpful. I’m always scouting out great resources for our readers’ weekly roundup, and am happy to have found yours! Thank you for your comment and the “bookmark” :)


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