To start off my new SEO career I read a book (The Art of SEO) and started to follow these three blogs: Search Engine Land, Blumenthals and SEOmoz. I read these daily and from now on I plan to post links to the more interesting pieces, particularly if I have a comment or observation about them. I know that there are plenty more good resources about SEO, but this is what I have mental bandwidth for. For now.
But first, the big news of the online world: Google + arrived on June 28. It took me a week to get in, but I joined it on July 5. This makes me an early adopter, but doesn’t put me on the bleeding edge. And for those who haven’t heard about Google+ yet, it’s official description is “The Google+ project makes sharing online more like sharing in real life.” The unofficial opinion about seems to be that it is a new social networking site intended to compete with Facebook .
And now today’s links with my comments in italics:
- Julie Joyce’s tips on how to do (very) low budget link building include: advertise the old-school-way, do online branding (e.g. use Knowem to check on what SNS your brandname is available), guest post on other blogs, conduct interviews and answer questions.
These tips sounded a bit obvious, but well collected for clients who want link building. (As you know getting links from quality websites pointing to your site increases your ranking at Google, which is a main goal of SEO.)
- Danny Sullivan went after the story of why Google Realtime (the service that provided search of the latest updates on various fast-paced channels) went offline: because Google’s deal with Twitter, that gave them access to the latter’s special feed, expired.
I am so curious what’s going on between these companies. I am sure there is much more to the story, than accidental lapse. There must be some big business ideas that influenced a conscious decision before this. I hope the consumer, me, will end up with better services out of the battle of the giants.
- Matt McGee reported that Picasa will be renamed to Google Photos.
I haven’t been a frequent Picasa user, because I found Flickr a better tool and because the 1 GB limit of the free Picasa account (you can always purchase more space though.) But now that one of the main features of Google+ is “photos”, by which they mean Picasa, I might end up using it more often. I understand that from a branding perspective Google Photos makes more sense for the company, but I also know that changing the name of an existing product/service is always a hassle and might mean losing existing customers. On the other hand Google probably hopes that with the help of Google+ the number of Picasa/Photos users will increase dynamically. So they gain more users by calling it Google Photos, than they lose by renaming an established brand. I hope that the changes in the service itself will not be too radical, as we just learned with my mother on how to use Picasa’s photo management tool.
Today I finally learned something that I knew was possible, but never needed to figure out the specifics: “Google Analytics Advanced Segmentation.” First I want to share some definition so the previous four words would mean something to you if it doesn’t.
“Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness.” Or to put it in lay man terms: using this tool can tell you how many visitors your sites have, where they come from, how long they are staying on your site, what pages they are viewing there and much more information about the visitors and the site usage.
“Advanced segments allow you to choose what types of visits you want to be considered when generating the data for a report.” For example you can create a segment to see who is coming from a certain country or city, who have already visited the site last week. The combination of possible metrics and dimensions to include in the segment is quite high. And now I know how to create/combine them.
Having been energized by my new knowledge I checked out what else I don’t know in the realm of Google Analytics. This search led me to “Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test.” I haven’t decided whether I will take the test that would cost $50 and is valid for 18 months. But I know that I will work my way through Conversion University’s online course that test takers use to prepare.
A few weeks ago I started to work in a new, non-full-time position at PBHS as an SEO developer. As I never did such work before I have a lot to learn. I will try to keep track of my learning here, on my blog. I suspect that I cannot write down everything I do as a lot of the information is confidential. But the more public aspects of my learning curve will show up here. Including musings on the contents of various SEO blog posts.
A quick word for those who are not familiar with “SEO.” It is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, that Wikipedia defines as “the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.”
My new job has plenty of advantages:
- Knowledge – I can learn a whole new set of marketable skills, in an up and coming field.
- Technology – I was given Mac with a nice big screen to work on. (An iMac Core 2 Duo with a 24 inch screen ) I haven’t used Mac Os X more than an hour two in the past, so it will be great to become “ambidextrous” again in the computer world. (I was a “Mac only” person between 1992 and 1999. Became a PC user when I got a corporate job in 2000 and had both a PC and a Mac on my desk for almost two years. Since 2002 I’ve been working on PCs only. Now it is–way past–time to become comfortable on the Mac platform.)
- Social – I am working in an office and can (and do) communicate with colleagues. This provides a chance to heal my growing cabin fever, after working from home for the last 4 years. (And having worked from home offices for 12+ years out of the 16 I lived in the US.)
- Self-esteem – My work will matter. I have been building websites on and off since 1994, but rarely built successful business sites. I like to fee useful that I am providing value for my customers. As an SEO developer at PBHS it is very tangible: we measure how are clients websites are doing. Instead of meddling with my own little sites (with no risk as my livelihood does not depend on them) or corporate intranets (where the ROI is harder to measure) I can work on multipe clients’ sites evry day and making a visible difference to their bottom line. Feels good.
- Financial– Helps paying the bills.+1. Health – There is an excellent gym, I mean “Health Club,” a couple of blocks from the office, that our family joined and I have been going to almost every second day, since I started my new job. My body and mood is in much better shape already.