Aug.20

Wil Reynolds’ Link Building Victories & Failures

At the Link Building Victories & Failures Affiliate Summit session, Wil Reynolds explained that authority links aren’t always the answer! In his example, Wil explained how a client of his had numerous authority links (fashion magazine websites) but still was not getting the same rankings as the competition. So Wil and the folks at SEER tried some different techniques.

To start, before you can ask for help, you must offer help. RT others, link to their content, build your Karma bank. Some ways to do this for your niche are twitter searches (search.twitter.com or a column in TweetDeck)

Wil mentioned The Ontolo Link Building Book which has given him many ideas, and briefly showed Majestic SEO as a tool he uses at SEER.

Conferences

Aug.19

Supercharging WordPress for SEO

Jon Henshaw, co-creator of Raven Tools, presented on day 1 of Affiliate Summit in a session called, Supercharging WordPress for SEO. The session was jammed full of resources to help improve the search engine optimization of a WordPress blog, primarily via plug-ins.

To start, Jon explained how WordPress 3.0 now comes with the multi-user functionality previously created by WordPress MU. So running multiple blogs off of a single WP installation is now easier than before. Tools to enhance an MU WordPress set-up include

Jon then went on to discuss themes, and how powerful the Thesis theme is.

Jon Henshaw presentingHe then touched on HTML5 and its semantic mark-up with section elements, which are like comments within the HTML (not visible to the end user) that help spiders pick out the header, footer, nav, article, etc. within an HTML page. This feature of HTML5 sounds a bit like microformats, which help search engines read the content on a page, and understand what the content is about.

Jon then talked about many, many plug-ins, including ones for

The discussion then moved to permalink structure (use Custom: /%postname%/ – don’t worry about changing post titles or URIs, as WordPress will redirect appropriately) and then talked about speeding up WordPress.

Since page speed is now becoming a ranking factor (the primary reason I moved my hosting to Amazon EC2, and will be changing over to the Thesis theme), you should make sure your WordPress site is responding as quick as possible.

WP Total Cache is a powerful plug-in which will cache WordPress pages, so the data is pulled from a static file, instead of multiple database queries. Enabling Gzip compression will compress data coming out of the server, allowing it to transfer to the browser faster, and then automatically decompress and be displayed to the user. Google is a big fan of this!

Of course, if you have a popular blog, you’ll soon realize your content is being pulled from your RSS feed republished on other blogs. There’s a plug-in for this problem, which will give you a backlink from the auto-blog site back to yours.

A couple of other SEO plug-ins were covered, including Headspace and the All in One SEO Pack, but Jon warned that since these plug-ins do so much, if it breaks, a lot breaks with it.

Other plug-ins covered include:

At this point, Jon was going beyond SEO and I lost interest. The session was a good one to attend, but there were a lot of resources to write down. I think it would have worked better if he gave a single URL that listed all of the resources mentioned in the slides.

When the videos from Affiliate Summit are released, I encourage you to watch this session (if you had a Gold or higher pass). There were plenty of good ideas shared, and I’ll be using many of them to work on improving my blogs.

Conferences

Jul.16

Affiliate Summit Schedule

Affiliate SummitOne of the greatest innovations to Affiliate Summit since early registration (Saturday before the show) is probably the interactive scheduler, which allows you to select from the sessions and create your schedule for the show.

I’ve created my schedule, and have a little tip which may help you out, if you use Google Calendar.

Click on the “My Schedule” tab (which would be yours, not mine), then you’ll see a yellow box with options on how to view your schedule, one of which is an iCal feed.

Copy that link, then go to Google Calendar and in the left column, choose Add > Add by URL

Paste in your iCal URL, and your schedule will now appear in Google Calendar! I set the calendar to TXT me 15 minutes before something starts, so I know where I’m going next. Just be careful if you do this from a different timezone (I’m in NY, so NYC is the same for me). You’ll have to go into your calendar settings & adjust the timezone.

So now that I have my conference schedule figured out, where’s the party list?

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