A Call for Scientific SEO Testing

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
- Bertrand Russell

I’m not sure about the world at large, but that quote by Bertrand Russell pretty much nails the SEO industry.

In an industry governed by an algorithm that reportedly incorporates over 200 factors and has countless PHDs working to improve it, we’re constantly bombarded with people claiming to have discovered the key to the topic du jour. To make matters  worse, there always seems to be a massive number of people willing to believe the claims, no matter how bombastic!

Wild A** Guesses

In the aftermath of Google’s Penguin updates, the blogosphere has been flooded with articles discussing what Google changed, what sites it impacted, and most importantly, how to recover if your site was spanked… all within a week of the update rolling out!

We literally had dozens of articles “educating” readers on how to recover from an update before even a SINGLE site recovered!

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How to Alienate Your Social Media Audience

Social media is a powerful tool in the right hands, and your business can do great things with a well executed Facebook or Twitter campaign. But you can harm your business if you’re not careful when executing your social media strategy. There are a couple of quick ways to alienate your social media audience… I don’t suggest any of them.

OMG Spam

First of all, and this is obvious…Spam. People hate being spammed. They also don’t like being reminded to Like or Retweet or Follow with every post. Popular comic artist Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal explains how to get more Facebook Likes – in “colorful” Oatmeal fashion. He has great points! No customer wants to go to a Facebook page and see the brand they were interested in purchasing pleading with people to create a connection. Instead, that business should be already creating something memorable that’s going to make people want to come to their page to talk about it with others who enjoy the brand or service.

Angry Face by Piez 丫莫蝸牛, on Flickr

This is what your fans look like when you spam them.

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How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Summer Slowness

Businesses of all types have a lot to gain from the scorching summer months. The benefits aren’t only limited to air conditioning and ice cream in the office freezer. A successful business can use summertime as an opportunity to build their team, strike up new relationships with old customers, or even gain new clients by running exciting new promotions that get people talking about their brand. Summer can provide a breath of fresh air for all businesses, regardless of the temperature.

If Your Team is in a Slump

Predator, PreyThink outside of the box with team building. Getting everyone together for coffee and donuts for another summertime icebreaker meeting is wonderful, but if you want to know what makes people tick and foster relationships that expand outside the office, bring together employees with common interests.

If your office is full of fitness fanatics; try something a little crazy. This varies by level of fitness and office environment, as all race participants have to register as individuals and not as a team – but Run For Your Lives is a 5K race that enables its participants to run as either hordes of undead zombies shambling toward race participants, or lets you be the bait, stumbling through a grueling obstacle course while being chased by said undead masses. A 5K race isn’t particularly long, so even if you have people saying, “I’m not in shape to do that!” try suggesting they put on their best fake blood and shamble along as a zombie to join in the fun. (I don’t mind admitting I’d have to be a zombie because I’m not a runner!)
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Hollywood Hack Day & Popify.tv

Hollywood Hack Day
Hollywood Hack Day was June 9 & 10 and we took the AuthorityLabs dev team on a road trip from Chandler, AZ to Hollywood, CA for a little developer R&R. That’s right, R&R for us is a weekend of little sleep, lots of pressure and presentation on what we accomplished to a room of 150+ people.

The team (myself, Matthew, Dave and Steve) headed out of town Friday. On the drive to Hollywood we discussed ideas, concepts and strategies for the weekend. Sticking to our strengths we decided on aggregating all of the concert data from around the web and sharing that info based on your location. Step 1 done. Off to the bowling alley for some pre game fun.
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Spy on Competitors for Keyword Opportunities

One of the common misconceptions amongst people trying to rank in Google for a given term, is that the sky is the limit. For instance, some might think because they’re in the tourism business that they can rank in the top 10 for “travel.”

With universal search, one day, maybe. But we want to consistently rank for the terms that mean the most to our business that are within reach.

One way to figure out if a keyword is a good opportunity is to see what sites currently rank in Google. That will give you a pretty good idea that if there isn’t a site like yours (i.e. a competitor isn’t ranking), then it might be more difficult to penetrate because Google is essentially saying, they don’t want sites like yours in that search result.

That means we need to do a lot of Googling to see where our competitors rank, right? Well, kind of. Googling hundreds of keywords is incredibly time intensive so why not use a tool that already checks site rankings in Google to speed up the process?

What we’re looking for are keywords where Google says sites like ours belong. To do this, we are going to use a tool called KeywordSpy to identify great opportunities to rank. Just to note before we dive right in: KeywordSpy is meant to give an overview of rankings, not necessarily the exact rankings. Therefore, if KeywordSpy says www.eyeglass.com ranks #1 for “cool glasses” it could actually rank #3 or #10 tomorrow.

For this example we’re going to be using the eyeglass frame space. At the end of the exercise you should have a keyword list where Google is already rewarding your competitors, so why not you? [Read more...]

Want a Free Site Audit?

It’s no secret that site audit panels are some of the most popular sessions at all the various SEO and affiliate conferences. As a result of the success and feedback I’ve heard from the analysis of Target’s new website, I decided that we’re going to start doing site audits on a regular basis. They won’t be full-on audits like you’ll get from a paid consultant, but they will point out easy fixes and recommendations for making your site better. This won’t be meant to bash anyone specifically and will be gentler than what we did with Target. This is an opportunity for people to not only learn what could be done better on their own site but also gives others the ability to learn based on real life scenarios.

We’re going to initially shoot for one every two weeks but if there’s good feedback it may be more.

The Rules

  • Submit only one of your sites for audit.
  • Email must be sent to siteaudits AT authoritylabs.com and must come from an email on the domain that is being audited (no throwing other people under the bus :P).
  • Not everyone will get a chance to have their site audited. We will choose based on what we feel people can benefit the most from.
  • By submitting a site, you accept the risks involved in having us pick your work apart.
  • We’re not doing this to “out” anyone, so if you’re doing all kinds of shady stuff, we likely won’t pick your site for review. We’d suggest not even submitting it in the first place since people will be allowed to comment and add their thoughts. It’ll save both of us a headache.
  • No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.