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Graywolf Fights the Dark Side

@graywolf, @sugarrae and @streko team up to defeat the dark lord.

@graywolf, @sugarrae and @streko team
up to defeat the Evil Empire.

“its kinda like star wars … when the republic turned into the empire … (hint google isnt the jedi knights)”

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SEO Blogs are Worse Than Affiliate Data Feed Sites

Philip Wilson Steer: The Black Hat

Random Pictures Can Make Duplicate Content Look Authoritative (Philip Wilson Steer: The Black Hat)

In the affiliate days of old, you could take a data feed full of product descriptions and slap it up on the net, buy yourself a PR9 link and you were off to the races. Champagne for everyone. It was long tail before the phrase existed. Google got wise, and in addition to de-linearizing PR, they started doing very sophisticated duplicate content filtering.

The cliche term “Add Value” was born sometime thereafter, and augmenting commodity content has become an art form. The key is to add enough new and unique value so that you can have oodles of keyword rich content without tripping the duplicate filters. I’ve said ‘add value’ again and again at conferences, and I really mean it. I really mean add value to my wallet, that is, but if that means making an original site then so be it.

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Calacanis has the Solution

I have nothing to say.  This is a good read.

I agree with all but about 20% of it. ;)

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Lisa Barone: I’m livbloging htis.

Lisa Barone: I'm livbloging This T-Shirt

Lisa Barone: I'm livbloging This T-Shirt

I made a shirt for Lisa to wear at Affiliate Summit West


Live Blogging: Please Make It Stop!

Turkey Live Blogging

Turkey Live Blogging

Live Blogging: please make it stop!

Do we really need a live blogged Turkey Day?

I can’t take it anymore

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Twitter: Use a Picture, Look Less Like a Bot

The Default Twitter Icon Says You Aren't Worth Following

The Default Twitter Icon Says You Aren't Worth Following

If you are on Twitter, use a picture and not an animation or logo. You will:

Kudos to my old colleague Chris Cummings who made a brave step forward and switched from an icon to a real photo on Twitter Already I pay more attention to his Tweets, and I suspect his followers will increase at a faster rate.

Some of you still don’t get it.

If your goal in social marketing is to gather a bigger following, use a PICTURE of yourself. Nothing says ‘I’m a Robot’ like a cartoon gif.

Credibility is always an issue, and if you are just a social marketing shill pretending to be what you are not, not using a real picture is a dead giveaway.

BTW: I heard the new motorola krave might cause cancer.

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Emulate Humans, Not Robots

Emulate Humans, Not Robots

Emulate Humans, Not Robots

In the world of SEO or in the world of Social Marketing, you should strive to emulate humans, not robots.

Humans are more personal and they provide better quality, and people trust other people more than they do robots — in general for good reason.  So when you are putting content on a web page or building a social network presence, make yourself look as human as possible and not like a robot.

What do you mean “I look like a robot”

Robots are everywhere.

  • They make websites without logos
  • They use default wordpress themes
  • They republished content that hasn’t been customized
  • They make cookie-cutter websites
  • Use logos instead of pictures for their Twitter profile
  • They comment on blogs with random words and links

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What if CNN Showed a 500 Error?

Server Errors During YouTube Live launch

Server Errors During YouTube Live launch

What if CNN Showed a 500 Error? Not all the time, just occassionally when you turn the channel to 43, or whatever channel it is in your cable system. Maybe it just did it when there was a big game on, the superbowl, the Obama Inaugeration. Maybe it was just a few users. It would still suck.

YouTube is trying to bring TV broadcasting to the masses with their new YouTube Live, and proved (at least to me) that they are not going to be the defacto winner

Maybe it was Akamai’s Fault. Who knows.

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Tech Tip: Intersection of Two Files

I was working on trying to figure out whether to retweet @graywolf‘s post about his new business centered around viral marketing. My thought was that certainly anyone that was following me on twitter would be following him. In order to find out, I wrote a quick shell script to pull down his followers using the twitter api and pulled it into a flat file and grep’d out the users from all the other data.

How do You Find the Intersection of the Files?
To fiind the intersection of the resulting files, I found a simple way to do it on the command-line.

grep -f file1 file2

Done. That’s easy, no?

This takes each line of file1 and uses it as a pattern to match in file2. Grep is a command line application found natively on all linux distributions and mac os’s. You can use it on windows xp or vista by installing cygwin.

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Scroll Cloaking : Simple and Effective Cloaking

Scroll Cloaking as Implemented by a Forum

Scroll Cloaking as Implemented a Forum

Cloaking, in the search marketing sense, is a technique where you show different pages to the Search Engine bot than you do to your users. Marketers do this for a variety of reasons, but most often to show keyword rich content to the search engines that would look unnatural to a human. Often cloaking is more or less a bait-and-switch tactic, although it does have quite a few legitimate uses such as geographic specific content.

Scroll Cloaking

One type of cloaking that I find to be particularly clever and easy to implement is what I call ‘Scroll Cloaking’. Scroll Cloaking was pioneered by a site featured in the image to the left that I will not name. It is a forum that makes money by answering technical questions for it’s paying members. Most developers I’ve talked to absolutely despise this site because they appear to offer only the question and not the answer, and are ranked for thousands and thousands of technical search terms on Google. They try to get you to buy a subscription to get the answer, and I know more than one frustrated person that has ponied up the cash without realizing they could just scroll to the bottom of the page (albeit sometimes as much as 5000 pixels).

Why Do This?

Like most cloaking, scroll cloaking allows you to put content on the page for the search engines that you don’t want your users to see. In most cases, it’s keyword stuffed gibberish. In other cases, it’s content that you need for SEO, but content you don’t want the user to get without paying. Scroll Cloaking allows you to do this, at least for a large percentage of users, while still being able to claim to search engineers that you are not hiding content – because it’s still on the page and visible.

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