SEO is a one-time fix?

Dave Pasternack of Did-it.com (an PPC firm) has stirred up a controversy in the SEO community by claiming that SEO is not rocket science, and that SEO is simply a one-time fix (see here and here). The message is that companies do not need to hire an external SEO firm in an ongoing basis. Of course, the SEO community, many of whom who make their living by engaged with clients in an ongoing basis, does not like this message, and many have been very vocal about it. For example, Aaron Wall of Seobook.com is starting a contest at Threadwatch.

Let’s look at the key arguments Dave presented:

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Wikipedia now placing rel=”nofollow” on links to external sites

Wikipedia is now plpacing rel=”nofollow” on links to external sites. It’s interesting to see that the impetus for this change is from a recently announced SEO contest, where the top winner who can optimize for the phrase “globalwarming awareness2007″ wins a car.

I like this move. In fact, I thought this move is long overdue. But, it’s better late than never. Even though not all spiders observe the rel=”nofollow” directive, the important ones do, and that should be enough to limit spam in Wikipedia.

Different Colors of SEO Hats

In the SEO world, we often hear terms such as white hat, black hat, and sometimes other colors of hat like gray (or grey, in some parts of the world). They refer to different levels of doing search engine optimization for a site. But, what constitute white-hat practices, and what constitutes black-hat practices? Chris Beasley of Websitepublisher.net has written a good article on exactly this topic. There are some other articles that divides SEO into more shades, but I like this one because I thought 3 is a good number (do you really wan to read through the 9 different shades of SEO?)

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13 Directories Worth Submitting Your Site To

One issue for people doing SEO for their sites is which directories to submit to. We all know about DMOZ and Yahoo. Unfortunately, getting listed in DMOZ is difficult, as in many cases one cannot even submit a URL. Getting listed in Yahoo directory will require you to spend $299 upon submission to get reviewed, and $299 annually every year.

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Salaries for SEO professionals

Rand has a posting on SEO salaries in SEOMoz Blog. In the post, he listed average salaries for various SEO positions for both in-house and agency.

His numbers appear to be on target, although the range he gave is quite large. And because it’s impossible to provide numbers for every metro area in the world, one will need to apply cost of living adjustments if he/she wants to see whether his/her own salary is within that range.

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Danny Sullivan announces his plans for 2007

Danny Sullivan announced his plans for 2007 in his blog today. In short, he will participate in next year’s SES conferences, although in a decreasing role with each one (chair of SES NY in April 2007, co-chair of SES SJ in August 2007, and consulting for SES Chicago in December 2007). For Search Engine Watch, Danny’s last day is still November 30, 2006.

This is definitely good news for the industry in the short run, as Danny will stay involved with SES, which should ensure that SES is staying on course. In the long run, it appears that 2007 will be a transition year for him, and that come 2008, he’ll most likely be doing something on his own. This should allow him some time to carefully plan out his next steps.

Modify Title Tag in WordPress posts

The default WordPress page titles for single-post pages are usually not in a very SEO-friendly form. For example, in the template I am using, the title for a single post looks like: TopCat Blog » Blog Archive » Converting from Blogger to WordPress.

This is not good for SEO because the title of the post is at the end of the <title> tag. I want to convert this into a title that includes just the title of the post.

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Blogs I Visit Regularly

Here are the 5 blogs that I visit regularly, in alphabetical order:

Aaron Wall’s SEO Book
This blog is focused on the search engines and the SEO world. Aaron usually makes some pretty good points.

Danny Sullivan’s Blog
Danny’s personal blog, where he talks about search engines as well as anything that comes to his mind.

Jensense – Making Sense of Contextual Advertising
This is a must read for anyone involved in Adsense, YPN, or any other similar programs. Jennifer Slegg talks about major happenings with these types of programs. Sometimes I find out about these changes through this site first!

Search Engine Watch
Search Engine Watch has a wealth of information on what’s going on in the search engine world. One nice feature I like is the “Search Engine Forums Spotlight”, where it lists the topics of interest from the various search engine forums.

SEO Black Hat by QuadsZilla
This blog talks about some of the more, shall we say, “interesting”, ways of doing SEO (it’s called SEO Black Hat for a reason, right?) You may or may not agree with some of the techniques discussed there, but it’s always good to know what others are doing.