SEO Editing vs. Copywriting for SEO

Should you create original SEO content? Or, should you optimize an existing page (in other words, add keyphrases without rewriting the copy?).

Freelance and in-house writers ask this question all the time. I receive emails saying, “My boss (or client) wants me to add keyphrases to this existing page. The problem is, the page isn’t very good. Will the keyphrases help? Or is better to rewrite it?”

That’s an excellent question that I address in the video  — or, you can read the modified transcript, below.

SEO copywriting and SEO editing — what’s the difference?

First, let’s go over the differences between SEO copywriting and keyphrase editing.

Keyphrase editing is also known as “on-page optimization,” “optimizing the text,” or “SEO copyediting.” The technique is to add keywords — either derived from the writer’s keyphrase research or received from an SEO — to existing text.

When a page is optimized (or edited,) the content is not rewritten. The writer may edit the page Title and meta description, but for the most part, she’s working with the existing content.

SEO copywriting usually refers to creating original content. The writer still conducts keyphrase research (or receives the keyphrases from an SEO.) However, rather than editing the existing content, she would write brand-new content and include the keyphrases (along with synonyms and related words.)

So you see, SEO copywriting and keyphrase editing are very different: one is working with existing text, and the other is throwing away the existing text and starting fresh.

Should you optimize your site? Or rewrite your pages?

So, when is a better strategy to edit existing pages rather than rewrite them?

It’s best to optimize a page (keyphase editing) when:

  • You (and your readers) already love the content
  • The page isn’t crucial to the sales process
  • The bounce rate isn’t too high

If you have content on your site you (and your readers) already love and it’s performing well, but it wasn’t written with keyphrases the first time around, the page may be a good candidate for keyphrase editing.

It’s also OK to edit the page when it isn’t crucial to the sales process. For example, I’ve worked with companies that have edited old blog posts and saw a great bump in search positions as a result. Editing FAQ pages and articles can offer the same benefit.

Finally, optimizing the page is OK when the time on page (or bounce rate) isn’t too high. You know that people are sticking around and reading the page once they’ve landed on it, so adding in some strategic keyphrases here and there is typically fine for that page.

An SEO content editor or an SEO copywriter usually handles the keyphrase editing. He may be someone you employ in-house, or a freelancer.

There are also certain times when it’s better to write original content, such as:

  • When the page is crucial to the sales process
  • When the page is a duplicate
  • When page conversions or time on page is low

If a page is crucial to the sales process, or is somehow intended to make money — like the home page, and subcategory pages such as products and services — it’s better to rewrite it.

You also want to rewrite the page if it’s a duplicate. This is common with  local landing pages, where two (or more) pages may be basically the same (outside of the city name.)

Also, when you know that the page isn’t working — you’re not getting conversions, the time on page is low, and people are bouncing out quickly —  rewrite it. Readers are telling you they don’t like the page by leaving as soon as they can.

Sure, you can edit the keyphrases into a poorly performing page and sure, hypothetically that page might position a little better, but it won’t help boost conversions.

Either a freelancer or an experienced in-house SEO copywriter can rewrite your pages. Also, an SEO content strategist could do the keyphrase research for you, as well as dovetail her research with the rest of your SEO plan.

Make sense? There’s clearly a difference between when you would write original content and when you can work with the existing content — and it’s smart to know those differences before you proceed.

(Editors note: I originally wrote this post in 2011. A lot has changed since then, so I updated the video and the transcript. I hope you enjoyed the post!)

Love learning about SEO copywriting? Subscribe to my newsletter, where I share my tastiest actionable tips and insider secrets!

Scalable Content Generation Strategy: The Online Marketer’s Formula for Success

When you are a large company or an agency, generating large volumes of good content can be quite a challenge. It can get expensive pretty quickly.  It is also time-consuming.

And in the end, high quality content is not a guarantee of explosive attention and viral sharing.

In order for your content generation to be sustainable, it needs to be scalable. The formula for success is using fewer resources to generate more high quality content.

In addition, your content needs to provide an excellent user experience and convey a consistent brand message, in compliance with brand standards.

Yes, I know, it is easier said than done!

The only way you can sustain content generation without breaking the bank is by making your content strategy scalable.

Planning Your Content Strategy

Planning your content strategy can be broken down into three foundational steps: defining your target audience, doing a content audit and regular inventory, and setting your content marketing goals.

1. Audience.  You will be using your content to speak to the customers you are trying to reach.  Of course, it makes sense to learn about these people to determine what is important to them.  Why would they listen to you?

Once you know what they want and what message they respond to, you will be able to craft your brand message more effectively.

There are many ways to collect information about your website visitors.  You can run surveys, look at feedback and contact email, or talk to customer support. You can follow your tribe on social media. You can interview your most typical clients.

Once you know who your audience is, look at your website analytics. If you can, segment the data to fit your audience profile better. Trace their routes on your website and make note of what they are doing with your content.

Find out which content they like and share. Learn which content prompts them to take action and become your customer. And finally, which content does not affect them whatsoever.

Note what type of content they prefer – text, video, audio, etc. You will also notice if your audience likes to comment or they prefer sharing.

2. Content audit and inventory.  It is important to do a content inventory regularly.  Audit your content to avoid duplication and ensure accuracy and freshness.

You can combine the audit with your audience review.  The analysis will show if your content corresponds with the interests of your visitors.

When reviewing your site, mark the pages that need to be updated or expanded.  These should be popular pages that your visitors share and comment on.  Review the comments and note ideas for new pages or blog posts.

Some of the content can be re-purposed, some needs to be deleted.  Mark the pages accordingly.

3. Set goals. You know what your audience wants. You know what you have to offer.  It is time to define your content marketing goals.

Revise your business objectives and align them with your content strategy.  Use your business and branding goals to guide your marketing.

At this step, you need to craft your brand message:

  • What are you trying to communicate to your audience?
  • What is your tone?
  • What do you expect your audience to do once they receive your message?
  • Why would they care about what you have to say?
  • What is the benefit for them to know that you exist?

If you have answers to these questions, you are ready for the next step – implementation.

Implement Your Content Strategy

The only way to achieve scalable content generation is to have good processes in place.

 – You can start with a content schedule. Define tools and technology you will need to build work flows, help with the planning, approval, optimization, and distribution of your content.

 – Now you are ready for resources.  Train them. Assign specific roles for each person. Your staff needs to be held accountable for the results and, therefore, they need to own their part of the process. Outsourcing content generation is also an option.  With clear goals and processes, outsourcing can be very successful.

 – Create a process for generating a content pipeline. It should start with ideas. Then you can take each idea and cover different angles for a series of (un)related posts.

  • Take one idea and create content in multiple formats – video, audio, text, infographic, white paper, etc.
  • Use one idea, same content, but different delivery channels: blog, social media, email, press release, conference presentation, advertising, interview, etc.

 – Define types of content that match your goals.  Consider options like how to’s, tutorials, guides, checklists, or glossaries. These are usually very popular types of content.

 – Determine how much of each type of content you need. Create a process for generating each type of content.

 – Remember that content you needed to update? Go for it. Re-purpose those other pages. Put the deadlines on the content calendar.

Measure Results

The only way to determine success is to measure your results. Here are some things to consider:

 – Determine how you will measure success. Go back to your goals and objectives, review your content strategy, and set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets.

 – Define reports and their frequency. Who is your audience for the reports?  What are the next actions for them based on the data you are reporting?

 – What you measure will show you how you are doing.  Base your metrics on data that matters to achieving your goals. A high bounce rate on a blog post might be okay, if the time-on-page is high enough.  But a high bounce rate on a conversion page means that your message missed the mark.

Final Thoughts

Remember the formula to a scalable content generation strategy?

Fewer resources generating more high quality content make a scalable strategy.  Good processes will ensure that few resources are used. They will also streamline the very process of content generation.

As a result, you will receive large quantities of different types of content. Applying audience knowledge to your company message will solidify the quality.

About the Author ~ Lyena Solomon

Lyena is the localization director at Service Now. She has extensive experience in SEO, analytics, website usability and navigation. You can connect with Lyena on Twitter.

Women Who Rock SEO: The Second Wave

Following up on last week’s post featuring the first generation of SEO Women who made the profession great, today we focus on the second wave of women who have joined in the work of building and shaping the SEO and search industry (and rocking it!)

So meet this second generation of fantastic women championing SEO and search, these movers-and-shakers who continue to make the industry great with their dedication to its highest standards, as well as their leadership, mentorship, and professional contributions that go far and beyond mere content.

As with the first wave of SEO women, they too have much to share and teach you. Get to know them and follow them on Twitter.

Jennifer Evans Cario

Jennifer Cario

Past founder and President of SugarSpun Marketing, Inc., Jennifer has been submerged in SEO since 2001. Her impressive client list includes Verizon, American Greetings, the State of South Dakota, and Highlights for Children. Jennifer serves as an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University Mini-MBA program, and since 2004 she has been Editor-in-Chief and joint owner of Search Engine Guide. She has authored two books, including the free e-book  Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and Thirty Days, in which she shares her experience in starting an online business from scratch. Follow Jennifer @JenniferCario.

Donna Fontenot

Donna Fontenot Cavalier

Donna Fontenot (That’s FONT-KNOW) is an e-Business coach, HubSpot-certified inbound marketing consultant, Web developer, and SEO diva. Her motto is, “You’ll never shine if you don’t grow.” Donna’s vast work experience includes gigs as a ColdFusion Web developer and I.T. department head. Her blog, Making a Living Online, combines her technical background with her inspiring vision for success, and is geared toward home-based entrepreneurs. Follow Donna @DonnaFontenot.

Kalena Jordan

Kalena Jordan

Owner and Editor of ASK Kalena, Kalena specializes in everything search engine, and her blog offerings have recently expanded to include PPC analytics, social media and product launches on Google.  As the Co-Founder and Director of Studies at Search Engine College, an online training institution, Kalena tutors SEO and PPC courses and is the main contact for students. Her LinkedIn profile list her specialties as “Bionic, fibulous conglomeration of random search algorithms resulting in superior ascensionic ranking and visitation abilities. In other words, search is my life.” Follow Kalena @kalena.

Anne F. Kennedy

Anne F. Kennedy

With over 35 years in marketing and public relations, plus 10 years in SEO and search marketing, Anne is currently International Search Strategist with Beyond Ink. An accomplished speaker, her recent appearances include SMX Sydney Australia, SES Toronto, and RIMC in Iceland. She’s also a CEO coach and founder of Outlines Venture Group. Follow Anne @AnneKennedy.

Dana Lookadoo

Dana Lookadoo

We lost Dana a few years ago, but she still deserves a shout-out for everything she’s done for the industry.  Dana was the owner of Yo! Yo! SEO and used to call herself a “search geek who prefers people over search engines but optimizes for both.” Her specialty was in coupling audience engagement and social media with SEO. Donna began a career in computing/PC training in 1984, then moved into website development and online marketing. As a business trainer, Donna developed classes for Sun Microsystems Open Gateway Programs, Monterey Institute of International Studies, U.C. Santa Cruz Extension, and WallMart’s MEM Technology Conference Series.

Elisabeth Osmeloski

Elisabeth Osmeloski

As the past Executive Features Editor of Search Engine Land, Elisabeth managed all the editorial content and daily articles from industry experts. A veteran in the search engine marketing industry, Elisabeth has worked as an SEO consultant and search marketing analyst since 1999. Last year she became Founding Board Member and President at SLC Utah Professional Search Marketing Association. Follow Elisabeth @elisabethos.

Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker

As Executive Features Editor of Third Door Media’s Marketing Land, Pamela is an accomplished journalist, editor, and writer. In her diverse background, Pamela has worked for ClickZ, and covers media, marketing, advertising, and technology. Aside from her editing duties at Marketing Land, Pamela writes at her personal blog, The River, and has covered such diverse topics as The Future of Display and How Mad Men and Women Get Introduced to the Digital Ad Age in Google Trade at Marketing Land’s sister site, Search Engine Land. Follow Pamela @pamelaparker.

Gabriella Sannino

Gabriella Sannino

As CEO of Level343, an organic SEO and copy-writing company based in San Francisco, Gabriella operates on the core belief that “conversation is the new currency.”  She is fluent in five languages, and as an international content strategist, she handles everything under the SEO and SEM umbrella from content development to usability testing and data analysis. The Level343 blog covers a wide range of topics including How to Create Content Without Bombarding Your Readers to Buyer Psychology and The Effects of Influence. She states, “Great writers are everywhere but SEO is all about creativity and strong knowledge of search engine marketing.” Follow Gabriella @SEOcopy.

Catherine (Cat) Seda

Catherine Seda

Catherine is a 20-year internet marketing veteran and the author of How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders and Search Engine Advertising. Presently, she is the digital content strategist for Moonlight Bridal, and an internet marketing consultant, speaker & writer. Catherine wrote the “Net Sales” column for Entrepreneur Magazine and has contributed to eBay magazine, Leader Magazine, and Yahoo! Small Business Insights. Catherine served as Dean of Internet Marketing at LA College International, and is a sought-after speaker on the conference circuit. Connect with Catherine at LinkedIn.

Lyena Solomon

Lyena Solomon

Director of Service Now, Lyena began her career as a webmaster in 1995, then transitioned into web development and consulting.  Lyena specializes in helping small to medium sized businesses with analytics, social media, and web development. In 2011, she was voted by Level 343 as one of the Top SEO Women. Highly educated, she is fluent in Russian and holds Masters Degrees from Vladimir Pedagogical University and Illinois State University. Follow lyena @lyena.

Diane Vigil

Diane Vigil

As owner of the DianV. Web Design Studio, Diane oversees offices in Austin and Los Angeles. She discovered the web in 1996, and within months she was, “…convinced that I could do it because I’d seen <b> tags [and thought] how hard can it be?” She quickly fell in love with designing websites and started her Web design studio in 1997. Known around the Web as “DianeV”, she was an early moderator and administrator at VirtualPromote/JimWorld, a popular discussion forum for web designers and Internet promotion industries. Her diversified site design portfolio includes music, arts, internet marketing, business, and more, with her client list including the (late) singer Davy Jones, Cal Earth Institute, and KLR Motorcycle Parts. Follow Diane @dianevigil.

Our gratitude to all the women who rock the SEO world, both the first and second wave – and those who have yet to make their splash! :)

The lists of women honored here and in last week’s tribute were not intended to be exhaustive, by any means. Do you know a fantastic woman in SEO you’d like to add? We’d love it if you would tell us in the comments below, and it’d be great if you could include a link to her website or social profile! Thanks!

Photo thanks to Mike Baird

3 Ways SEO Can Ruin Content

Do you think keyphrase usage destroys well-written content?

Well, you’re right. Up to a point.

Way back in 2011, Lee Odden wrote “Content Strategy and the Dirty Lie About SEO.” At the end of the post, he posed the question – the question that’s been debated ever since “writing for search engines” started:

Do you think SEO ruins content?

My first reaction was, “Of course not. Good SEO writing is good writing — period.”

I still feel the same way.

But…the haters have a point.

Six years later, there’s still a bunch of SEO writing B.S. floating around:

  • Focus on one keyphrase per page, and repeat it at least X times.
  • Focus on X keyword density (why won’t keyword density die?)
  • Include a keyword every X words.
  • Exact-match your keyphrase at least X times in your copy.

Maybe you believe some of this B.S., too (it’s OK. This is a judgement-free zone.)

This B.S. is why some SEO copy is horrible.  Is it any wonder why some folks think SEO ruins everything?

So, here’s the real deal:

Yes, SEO can completely decimate content — if you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s how:

When the content is written/optimized by someone who has no idea what they’re doing

Most keyphrase-stuffed content I read comes from folks operating on incorrect information.

They do what their clients tell them (for instance, focus on one keyphrase per page) without knowing it’s wrong. These writers don’t know there’s a better way, so they keep doing the same (incorrect) things. Over and over and over.

The result is stuffed, stilted-sounding content that has no conversion flow. The page doesn’t position. The page doesn’t convert. It’s sad.


Sadly, many writers think ALL SEO writing is poorly-written content. So, here’s a news flash:

Folks, if you ever think, “This post sounds bad. I had to work hard to add all those keyphrases,” you’re doing it wrong.

When the content is written “for Google,” without readers in mind

Raise your hand if you’ve been asked to write “1,000 words for Google.”

Yeah, me too.

SEO writing isn't "writing for Google"

Sadly, some folks believe that following a strict writing formula will help them magically position. These folks don’t care about the content’s readability. They only care about the keyphrase usage.

They may even come right out and say, “I don’t care if anyone reads this. I just want the page to position.”


This magical SEO copywriting formula may include things like:

  • Specific word counts because “all posts should be X words for Google.”
  • Exact matching a nonsensical long-tail keyphrase multiple times (for instance, [portland relocation real estate oregon].
  • Bolding or italicizing words that shouldn’t be bolded or italicized.
  • Repeating all keyphrases X times in the first paragraph.

If you find yourself following a weird writing formula that makes the content read like gibberish, know it’s not true SEO writing. What’s more, following a writing formula won’t help you position. The best bet is to learn the right way to do things and throw those useless old rules out the window.

Don’t believe me? Check out Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines and see how Google defines low-quality content.

When the Titles are filled with keyphrases, with no conversion focus

This is a pet peeve of mine.

Get rid of Title pipes

I’ve discussed before how overly-optimized Titles are an inefficient branding method. The search results page is your first conversion opportunity. A Title that’s chock-full of keyphrases isn’t as persuasive as one that’s benefit-rich:

Which listing would get YOUR click?

GEICO’s “you could save $500+” is a fantastic benefit statement, and blow’s Progressive’s keyword-focused Title out of the water. Esurance is a runner-up since they include the benefit “fast” — but the Title could still be better.

Need more “good” and “bad” Title examples? Here’s a great post from Search Engine Watch.

SEO doesn’t ruin content. It’s “stupid” SEO that messes things up

Smart SEO doesn’t ruin good content. It enhances it – making it easier to be found in search engines and shared via social media. If you’ve mastered the art of online writing for both engines and people, you have a very valuable skill set.

On the flip side, yes, stupid SEO will ruin content. And your conversions, too. As my father used to say, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” – and repeating a keyword incessantly will not suddenly transform the page into “quality content.”

It reminds me of what some folks say about sales copy being too “sales-y.” There’s a way to include a call-to-action that gently leads someone to the next action step. And there’s a (wrong) way to do it that beats them over the head with hyped language, bold and italics (Hmm. now that I think about it, what IS it about bolded and italicized text?).

What do you think? Is SEO the death of good writing?

SEO Copywriting Overwhelm? What to Focus on First

Greetings! Today’s video post answers the common reader question: “What should I focus on first in an SEO copywriting campaign?” This question is asked ever more frequently, by businesses both large and small, because there are so many SEO copywriting and content marketing opportunities out there that it can be overwhelming.

Back in the day, SEO copywriters were primarily concerned with creating websites and producing content for those sites. Now, there’s that plus social media venues like Facebook and Twitter, blogs, perhaps e-books and white papers, all vying for your attention. While all these opportunities are great, the typical content marketer can get completely overwhelmed by all the competing options and lose her momentum because she has no idea where to start first.

Tune in as Heather suggests solid ways to find your focus and get the SEO copywriting and content marketing ball rolling again:

You can figure out ideas for a starting point for your SEO copywriting campaign based on:

1. Analytics

If you don’t have any kind of website analytics installed on your site (such as Google Analytics, which is free), then it is strongly recommended that you do so. Analytics helps you make informed decisions about your website and related marketing content – anything else is only an educated guess. Analytics allows you to drill down into your data so you can figure out exactly what is going on.

2. Site Goals

What are your website goals? What do you want to be when you grow up with your site? After creating your website, it’s easy to want to move on to the next big thing, such as starting a Twitter campaign, when really – considering where your business is at right now – it may not be the best thing to focus on first. It may be a smarter and more cost-effective move to start with smaller, readily do-able things which many companies have realized great gains from…

A sampling of low-hanging fruit tasks includes:

  • Conduct keyphrase research/revise your current research: While this especially applies to new sites, if you haven’t revisited your analytics for awhile this may be the time to do so.  You may well find that some keyphrases that worked when you started out are no longer performing.
  • Train your staff in the latest Web SEO writing techniques: This particularly applies to those of you stuck in the “I need to produce content but don’t have the budget” track. It can prove very cost-effective to have a staff member involved with your content marketing trained in SEO copywriting best practices.
  • Determine what content is working and write more of it.
  • Repurpose existing content (e.g., turn a blog into tweets).
  • Poll your customers/readers and ask what they’d like to see.
  • Guest blog: this is a great way to get exposure to other markets.
  • Get outside help: We all sometimes suffer from being so close to our work that we don’t see content opportunities. There’s no shame in having someone on the “outside” review your content with a fresh perspective.

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending January 19th, 2011

Cultivating your competitive edge is the theme of this week’s latest and greatest web writing news.  It’s a proverbial jungle out there, and advice on how to successfully pen and market your way through it — from content and social media marketing to SEO and search – dominates the buzz.  Get your competitive edge starting with this week’s selections:

Content Marketing:

2011 is going to be the year of the tablet, from the Kindle to the iPad to smart phones, according to this Seth Godin post that looks at the evolution of internet marketing.

Copyblogger posts its latest weekly wrap, including an exceptional piece about creating exceptional content.

Great article at iMedia Connection about building the buzz to boost your brand, and a second smart read at Harvard Business Review discuses the new calculus of competition.

This Neuroscience Marketing post reviews the book, The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do, by Eduardo Porter.

And speaking of things print, Content Marketing Institute announced the launch of its Chief Content Officer magazine, available in both print and digital.

SEO & Search:

An SEO checklist for social media marketers is posted at SEOmoz, as well as more traditional SEO fare such as exploring the challenge of doing SEO for sites and products with no search demand.

Ross Dawson discusses the kinds of context that will define contextual search on his blog, and Lisa Barone addresses dumb SEO mistakes at Outspoken Media.

Speaking of Google antics, did you receive a negative review on Google Maps?  Looks like you may be stuck with it, according to this post by Barry Schwartz.

Search Engine Journal posts a how-to on maximizing your existing content for link-building purposes, and Search News Central discusses how to perform a competitive link analysis.

Social Media Marketing:

More competition: Blog World recommends doing a competitive analysis to improve your blog, while Social Media Examiner discusses how to gain competitive insight via social media.

SME has announced the 2011 winners of its Top 10 Social Media Blogs competition.

In the meantime, Problogger released its list of the 40 bloggers to watch in 2011.

eMarketer predicts that social network advertising in the U.S. will explode this year, driven  by Facebook.  Meanwhile, Mashable reports that StumbleUpon recently set a new record of 27.5 million stumbles in one day.

This Click Z column by Liana Evans shares tips for optimizing and integrating your social media across channels.

Jon Rognerud recommends 20 tools to help measure social media user engagement and track ROI at his blog, and Sexy Social Media discusses social media trustbait (think social media’s version of linkbait) as the future.

Finally, a fun SEOmoz post by Dan Zarella addresses the different makeup of Twitter vs. Facebook users.  The blog title is precious.

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending June 6th, 2012

Ah, it’s summertime, but the livin’ isn’t so easy…at least not if you’ve been whacked by the Penguin update. In this week’s latest and greatest Web-writing news, SEO & search pro’s wrestle with the Penguin update, while content marketers talk blogging and strategy, and social media marketers discuss everything under the summer sun. Pour yourself a glass of lemonade and enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

Pamela Vaughan shares “How to Write Stellar How-To Posts for Your Business Blog” at HubSpot.

Lee Odden posts “A Recipe for Better Blogging: Optimize & Socialize” at Top Rank.

Melissa Fach shares Heather Lloyd-Martin’s video post on how to create an editorial calendar to support your content marketing strategy at Search Engine Journal.

An exceptional how-to on “Developing Copywriting Content Strategies Like a Pro” is at Level 343.

Arnie Kuenn posts “Content Marketing and SEO: A Marriage Made in Mountain View” at Vertical Measures.

For those content marketers doing Pinterest, Franseca StaAna posts “Five Must-Have Pinterest Tools for Content Marketers” at MarketingProfs.

Marketing Sherpa’s Research Chart of the week asks “Does your organization keep track of the right KPIs?” via Meghan Lockwood.

Roger Dooley posts “Buy Buttons and Neuro-Nudges” at Neuromarketing.

Seth Godin revisits his earlier work, “The Dip,” at his blog.

Level 343 speaks to the undeniable reality of digital marketing with “This Just In: Digital Marketing. That Is All.”

SEO & Search

Matt McGee live-blogs from SMX Advanced (Seattle), reporting the keynote exchange between Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts with “Matt Cutts On Penalties Vs. Algorithm Changes, A Disavow-This-Link Tool & More” at Search Engine Land.

Julie Joyce discusses how many webmasters, hurt by the Penguin, are now forced to rebuild their links from scratch (and how to do it) with “Link Building From Scratch” at Search Engine Watch.

Oh, the irony! Eric Ward discusses “The Unintended Consequences Of Link Removal” in reaction to Google’s Penguin update at Search Engine Land.

Eric Enge discusses “2 Quick Ways to Perform Bad Link Archaeology” in light of Google’s Penguin update, at Search Engine Watch.

Mike Huber posts “How To Get Back On Track After the Penguin Update” at Vertical Measures.

Rick DeJarnette posts “The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup” at Search Engine Land.

Avinash Kaushik posts “Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis,” at Occam’s Razor.

Aaron Wall interviews Brett Tabke, “one of the most well know names in the SEO vertical” (think Webmaster World and the PubCon conference) about recent search changes and where online publishing is heading, at SEO Book.

Dr. Pete Meyers discusses personal responsibility in the SEO equation with “Don’t Like Snake Oil? Stop Buying It!” at SEOmoz.

Neil Patel posts “25 Awesome Free Google Tools for Marketers” at KISSmetrics.

Corey Eridon shares “6 SEO Tools to Analyze Your Site Like Google Does” at HubSpot.

Social Media Marketing

Lee Odden posts “35 Smart Social Media Business & Consumer Insights from Brian Solis” at Top Rank.

Ashley Zeckman reports from Blog World NY on Unmarketing Author’s Scott Straten’s presentation on “Common & Deadly Social Media Sins,” at Top Rank.

Lisa Galarneau shares “10 Social Media Secrets from the Social Scientist” at Jeff Bullas’s blog.

Andy Crestodina explains why “Nice Blogs Finish Last” at Convince & Convert.

Erin Nelson post “4 Examples of Stellar B2B Social Media Marketing Content” at Content Marketing Institute.

So how can businesses increase “word of mouth” recommendations? By Corey Eridon at HubSpot.

Jeff Bullas posts “What 3 Types of Facebook Marketing Apps Drive the Most Viral Sharing?” at his blog.

Gabe Donnini posts “Making Sense Of Key Pinterest Metrics And Analytics Tools” at Marketing Land.

Brian Solis speaks to the 5th pillar of marketing at his blog, with “The 5th P of Marketing is People: Engagement begins within” at his blog site.

photo thanks to Rochelle, just rochelle (Rochelle Hartman)

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending May 9th, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: This week’s latest and greatest web writing news is about adaptation, whether it’s to changes in content, SEO/search or social media marketing. Google’s string of 52+ updates keep SEO & search pro’s dancing, content marketers take a hard look at their websites, and social media marketers respond to all the new developments in their field with a plethora of how-to’s.

So let’s turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes, shall we? Enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

Jason Amunwa pens “Help Your Website Sell More: 11 Overlooked Page Elements That Drive Online Sales” at KISSmetrics.

Beth Fox discusses how to make your content pop with five bullet point basics at Content Marketing Institute.

Pamela Vaughan posts “20 Simple Ways to Boost Blog Subscribers” at HubSpot.

Are you insane? It may help: Neil Patel discusses “How to Become a Blogging Superstar” at SEOmoz.

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly Marketing Research Chart shows the results of its survey  of 1500+ marketers that answered: “What are the most valuable inbound lead sources?”

SEO & Search

Eric Ward debates the definition of “unnatural” links and lists 15 of the most obvious examples with (his self-described link-bait title) “Can There Really Be 85 Types Of Unnatural Links?” at Search Engine Land

Aaron Wall presents a reality check on negative SEO with “Ha! Bullets Can’t Hurt ME” at SEOBook.

Jenny Halasz continues her “Keyword Seed Method” series of how-to’s for beginners with “Time To Reap What You’ve Sown From Keyword Seeds” at Search Engine Land.

The source of the SEO industry’s “reputation problem” – “Google Perhaps” – is brilliantly explored by Aaron Wall at SEOBook.

Social Media Marketing

Cindy King’s weekly wrap of social media marketing news at Social Media Examiner features Google’s new set of social reports designed to “help you measure the impact of your social marketing initiatives and evaluate the effect social media has on your goals and commerce activities.”

Jason Falls posts “Why Forums May Be the Most Powerful Social Media Channel for Brands” at Entrepreneur.

Google v. Facebook, the mobile version: Greg Sterling cites comScore data in discussing the relative time spent on mobile channels with “Most Mobile Time Spent In Apps: Google Has Top Reach, Facebook Has Highest Engagement,” at Marketing Land.

Lee Odden discusses search and social optimization with “Is Your Optimization Meaningful or Mechanical?” at Top Rank.

Citing Bitly data, Danny Sullivan discusses optimum times for social sharing with “For Social Success, Post to Twitter & Facebook In Early Afternoons, Tumblr in Evenings” at Marketing Land.

Michael King (“iPullRank”) pens a detailed how-to on maintaining your social shares after a site migration, at Search Engine Watch

photo thanks to Thuany Gabriela

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending May 30th, 2012

In the classic words of Steve Martin: let’s get small! In this week’s latest and greatest Web writing news, small business owners are given much attention by both content and SEO/search marketers, Google once again slips in an update over a holiday weekend, and the social media community discusses Facebook and the state of their industry. Get ready to get small with this week’s web gems…

Content Marketing

Neil Patel shares eight “marketing twists” to make your small business stand out at QuickSprout.

“5 of the Most Important Content & Social Media Tips For A Successful Business Blog” are shared by Lee Odden at Top Rank.

Contently posts an article by Kylie Jane Wakefield on the critical importance of images for your content, with “Your Content Is Sunk Without Good Photos.”

Seth Godin discusses the art of B2B sales with “A hierarchy of business to business needs.”

Heidi Cohen posts “Three Content Super Powers that Will Transform Your Social Media, Search, and Sales” at Content Marketing Institute.

SEO & Search

Jonathan Allen discusses “why small businesses are completely at a loss as to what constitutes ‘ethical’ SEO” with “SEO, Why You Are Doing it Wrong” at Search Engine Watch.

While the rest of us (in the U.S.) were giving it a break over the holiday weekend, Google pushed out what it claims to be their first Penguin algorithm update, reports Matt McGee at Search Engine Land.

Gabriella Sannino posts the delightful and most relevant “Penguin, Penguin, Who’s Got the Penguin? Let’s Throw a Link At It…” at Level 343.

Alan Bleiweiss posts “Another Black Hat Company Caught Selling Links” with a surprise (?) ending at Search Engine Journal.

Ian Lurie exemplifies how his company does SEO proposals (admittedly forgoing his usual sarcasm) at Portent.

The new “Lead SEO” at SEOmoz, Ruth Burr, describes “how [she] rolls” with her introductory post, “SEO Isn’t Magic – So Stop Doing SEO Tricks.”

Social Media Marketing

Pamela Vaughan posts “Facebook Study Shows Brand Related Posts Drive Highest Engagement” at HubSpot.

Matt McGee reports on’s overhaul and social networking ambitions at Marketing Land.

Brian Solis posts “From Co-creation to Collaboration: 5 pillars for business success.”

Jeff Bullas posts a video interview with Brian Solis on “The State of Social Media in 2012,” conducted by Maria Petrescu of

photo thanks to Me-Liss-A

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending April 25th, 2012

Are you a big brand? Good news! Possibly over-optimized? Dubious linking profile? Negative SEO? Not so good news. This week’s Web-writing news is dominated by Google’s favors, penalties and apparent chinks in its armor within the SEO and search industry, while social media marketers weigh the relative strengths of vying platforms and content marketers talk lead generation and conversions. All of these web gems await you in this latest and greatest edition of the SEO content marketing roundup! Enjoy…

Content Marketing

In part 2 of her Wednesday video Q & A series, Kaila Strong continues her lead generation theme by answering “How Can You Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads?” at Vertical Measures.

Jeff Slipko posts “Top 10 Affiliate Tips for Using Content to Increase Revenue Streams” at Search Engine Watch.

Ky Harlin posts an interesting read on “How time of day affects content performance” at iMedia Connection.

Boring products to promote? Lee Odden speaks to this with “Marketing Boring Products is not a ‘Boring’ Problem, It’s a ‘Knowing Your Customers’ Problem’,” at Top Rank.

With his usual acuity, Seth Godin discusses “Selling to people who haven’t bought yet” at his blog.

Content Marketing Institute and Brandpoint conducted a (relatively small) survey on “Digital Content Marketing,” posting a video plus key take-aways at the CMI blog site.

So “How to Fuel the Content Marketing Engine”?  Mike Lieberman addresses this subject smartly at Talent Zoo.

In part 2 of her series on the (B2B) marketing downturn, Liz Smyth talks “…content, content, content” at Marketo.

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart illustrates the “key attributes that organizations seek in marketers.”

Wayne Barker discusses “7 Characteristics of Compelling Calls to Action” at Search Engine People.

Jess Walker illustrates good website designs with examples that incorporate functionality with content and good looks with a “Good Design Roundup” at Portent.

SEO & Search

Pamela Parker delves into the details of Google’s “Brand Activate” initiative with “Google To Back Branding Measurement Standards With ‘Brand Activate’” at Marketing Land.

So why do big brands get all the breaks? Dr. Pete explores Google’s obvious favoritism of big brands at SEOmoz.

By the way, Matt Cutts presents an 8-minute video on how Google search works, embedded on HubSpot via a post by Pamela Vaughan (and also embedded with the YouTube transcription via a post by Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land). Cute!

David Harry posts “Negative SEO: Looking for Answers from Google” at Search Engine Watch, in which he summarizes the conundrum of regular site owners who may be (obliviously) harmed by malicious linking, then penalized by Google for it.

In a similar thread, with “Google’s Unnatural Links Message: The Shot Heard round the SEO World?” Eric Enge reports on Google’s linking inquisition, sending its dreaded “unnatural links” message to site-owners around the world (1 million thus far) as it shuts them out of search. Also at Search Engine Watch.

So what else should you be wary of? Oh yes, Google’s “over-optimization” penalty. SEOmoz’s “Whiteboard Friday” presentation is on “6 Changes Every SEO Should Make Before the Over Optimization Penalty Hits.”

But wait! There’s more! Distinguished Engineer and Google Spam Combatant Matt Cutts has announced that “web spam” will not be tolerated, either in the form of funky linking or keyword stuffing, with “Another step to reward high-quality sites” at Google’s Webmaster Central blog.

And speculating on the fallout of Google’s “webspam” initiative is Shaun Anderson, with “Google Just Dropped The Nuke On A Lot Of Webspam”  at Hobo.

“Bing’s Search Plus Your World?” Bill Slawski reports that Bing promises its users Facebook-based social results provided they’re signed into Facebook, at SEO by the Sea.

Who knew? At Search Engine Watch: Conductor’s Nathan Safran reports on a Searchlight study which indicates that SEO pro’s still rank anchor text as the most important of all ranking factors, and that internal anchor text “can significantly impact search visibility.”

Avinash Kaushik again blows the mind with his latest post, “You Are What You Measure, So Choose Your KPIs (Incentives) Wisely!” at Occam’s Razor.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook Timeline [for business] Image Changes headlines Social Media Examiner’s

Meanwhile, Lee Odden addresses “The Fallacy of Influence” at Top Rank.

Jeff Bullas posts “10 Top Trends in Social Media” via slideshare, sharing the top two in writing, at his blog.

Nicholas Carlson reports that Pinterest’s “bubble has burst” and that the upstart social media platform is now “actually losing users” at Business Insider.

Neil Patel shares “The Secret to Getting Highly Targeted Traffic from StumbleUpon” at Quick Sprout.

Magdalena Georgieva posts a simple guide for marketers on how to use hashtags on Twitter, at HubSpot.

Greg Finn explains the new shades of the Google+ share button at Marketing Land.

So “Why Bother With Google+?” Robin Neifield explains at ClickZ.

Ann-Marie Jancovich discusses “Public Relations in the Digital Age” at Vertical Measures.

Citing data from the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Phil Mershon discusses findings on how B2B marketers use social media at Social Media Examiner.


photo thanks to Mike Licht,