Archive for the ‘SEO Research’ Category

Search Marketing Standard Subscription Discount

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 |

I have been a subscriber to Search Marketing Standard for a while now, and I am pleased with the information and topics discussed. Now is a great time to try it and get a 67% discount, so a 1 year U.S. subscription would be $4.95 (International – $6.60).

The coupon is: HOLIDAY67 and here is the link to the subscription page.

This promotion is for new subscribers and will remain active until Dec. 10th. At that time, they will also send a donation check to Toys for Tots – $1 for every subscriber that used the coupon code during registration.

Great information and a great cause.

Find Competitor Backlinks with MSN Live – SEO Tip Week 46

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 |

Update 1/15/08: This feature is no longer working with MSN Live.

Check on the backlinks from your competitors is part of the competitive analysis of any good SEO consultant or “expert”. Up until recently using Yahoo to research competitor backlinks was the only search engine you could do this in effectively. Well, now is also back in the game and showing you backlinks to websites. But they also have a nice trick for using keywords to narrow your search.

If you visit and search for the following: “seo tips” you will be show search results that have links pointing to and also have the phrase ‘seo tips’ on that page that links to Be sure to include the plus sign (+) at the front or else you won’t get any results. You can click this link to see the search results for yourself: “seo tips”.

This can be an extremely useful research tool and adding the keyword phrase to the search makes it a even more valuable tool in your SEO toolbox.

SEO Toolkit: Everyday SEO Tools – SEO Tip Week 36

Sunday, September 9th, 2007 |

SEO TipsSEO consultants always have their favorite tools and a few months ago we hired a new employee which necessitated showing what SEO tools I like to use. That led me to come up with this list of my favorite tools for SEO. I wanted to list the tools I use most frequetly rather than a list of sites with large collections of SEO tools. Maybe that will be a future post.

My SEO Toolkit:

I use this dozens of times everyday for client and competitor sites. Provides some basic tools to help with search engine optimization. Including google backlinks, yahoo backlinks, PageRank check, http header viewer, and more. All features are available by right-clicking on an open area of a web page, or by using the included toolbar. I wouldn’t leave home without it. You will need Firefox, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I can’t imagine an SEO consultant or SEO company not recommending Firefox over every other browser.

Keyword Discovery
KeywordDiscovery compiles keyword search statistics from over 180 search engines world wide, to create a very powerful research tool. It has a free trial, but it is well worth the money to get full access.

WebPosition Gold
Web Position Gold offers a nice set of tools that we use for monitoring search results. I know it does much more than this, but we do most things manually around here. I like the way it displays the search results online for our clients to see anytime they like.

WordPress Blogging Software
All of our clients, and this blog, run WordPress. It is the BEST software for blogging in my opinion. The ablibity to add funtionality through plugins will always be the deciding factor, especially with so many plugins being created to support our SEO efforts.

SEO for Firefox
Want to know why Google or Yahoo! ranks pages? SEO for Firefox pulls in many useful marketing data points to make it easy get a more holistic view of the competitive landscape of a market right from the search results. You can turn it off and on easily.

Google Toolbar for Firefox
Do I really need to explain this one? Google search in your browser with lots of helpful toos, especially for on-page optimization.

Add-on for Firefox that displays the Google PageRank, Alexa rank and Compete ranking anywhere in your browser, along with fast keyword density analyzer, keyword/nofollow highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info and other SEO tools.

Google Webmaster Central
Be sure you have signed up all the sites you manage SEO for. This is very helpful for understanding how Google sees your website.

Yahoo! Site Explorer
I mentioned Site Explorer in an earlier post, Research Your Competition with Yahoo Site Explorer but it bears repeating, this tool is indispensable in my daily routine. Fortunately, SEOpen (see above) access most of the features for Site Explorer from its menu.

If you have any tools you use, please take time to comment and let me know.

Sphinn – Search & Internet Marketing Professional Website

Thursday, August 9th, 2007 |

sphinnUpdate (8/13/07): I Sphunn my first story today on Squidoo. We’ll see what happens. See my Squidoo Sphinn.

I joined Sphinn today and found a few hours of my time were soon gone. It is fascinating reading, especially so because I consider this very informative site built by the ideas and comments of my peers. If you are interested in Internet marketing, and I assume you are if you are reading my SEO blog, then I would say it is worth 30 minutes to read some posts and see what you think. The best and the brightest are there, of course you will also find too many people who are ignorant and/or just taking up valuable bandwidth. For now though, it looks like a promising site. Think of it as Digg for Search Marketers.

Here is the origin of the domain name:

Why Sphinn? We liked the idea of a place where marketers could put their own “spin” on news by commenting on stories or having discussions. But was taken, as was and was a N too far, we felt. So we went with, pronouncing it “sp-hinn.”

Sphinn away!

Research Your Competition with Yahoo Site Explorer – SEO Tip Week 28

Friday, July 13th, 2007 |

52 SEO TipsI’ve got a simple SEO tip today. As an SEO Company we are always doing competitive research. Many of our clients are astounded at the wealth of information that can be discovered using Yahoo’s Site Explorer especially for competitive link research. Site Explorer can help you track down the links pointing to your competition and allow you to contact those same sites and request or pay for a link to your site.

Yahoo’s search engine also provides information about competitor backlinks. You can find tools to do this for you but going to Yahoo! Search and typing in the following commands will work just as well.

  • If you are looking for web pages that link to multiple competitor, usually you will find good backlink pages like this, you would type in:,
  • We also should all know how important .edu and .gov links can be to our site. So why not look for competitors who have these links. I’ll give an example as if I was looking. I would type in a keyword such as “seo” and then do a search for only .edu domains. I would type in: seo Replace the .edu with .gov for government backlinks.

Of course there are many other things you can do for research and seeing what advanced options are available can be a great catalyst so be sure to view the advance search options in Yahoo! for more ideas.

Google also has advanced search but I think Yahoo! does a better job with options and functionality, especially when it comes to researching backlinks.

Please send any suggestions or add them to the comments on this SEO tip. We are always looking for new ways to improve our SEO research methods.

Keep Current on SEO Techniques – SEO Tip Week 23

Saturday, June 9th, 2007 |

Obviously one of the most important parts of an SEO Company’s success is keeping up with the new trends, latest techniques and search engine news. The best way to do that is to read the best SEO blogs out there. I have listed some in my blogroll to the right. I hold them all in high esteem, and of course, I would recommend reading my own SEO blog.

SEO Forums
Keeping up to date with SEO forum browsing is also a good idea. Here are some of my favorites:


Search Marketing Standard MagazineSearch Marketing Standard Magazine
I have recently discovered something almost unheard of in the Internet world, a printed magazine that still has relevance. It is Search Marketing Standard. I read my first issue this month and was impressed with the wealth of information and the breadth of subjects covered.

As an avid researcher and online reader it is refreshing to sit away from my desk, or outside, or at my home, or anyplace other than my office, and read a printed document. There is something comforting even in the this digital age about holding a glossy magazine and flipping casually through the pages. I even looked at the advertisements, something we have trained our eyes to avoid online.

Looking at a colorful magazine is one thing, finding it useful and informative is quite another. Search Marketing Standard did a nice job in both areas.

Search Marketing Standard (SMS)

The issue of Search Engine Marketing Standard that I read (picture to the right) covered many topics in the search engine marketing arena. Of course they had articles about search engine optimization and search engine marketing, but they also gave commentary about social media marketing, SEO certification and a few other gems, including blogging and linkbaiting.

One of the most useful items in this issue was a very informative listing of SEM training courses and certification. I would have like to have seen a review of each course, but that could be very subjective, time-consuming and costly so I can understand the omission.

I also felt a nice job was done bridging the sometimes enormous gap between beginners and professionals in the SEO industry. It is something I try to do on this blog so I was pleased seeing SMS attempt this as well.

SMS also realizes a magazine without a website is a missed opportunity, so they have built a companion site. While you can’t read the published articles (why would you subscribe if you could?) they certainly don’t withhold information about the SEO tips and advice. The site is a useful tool for research with helpful blog posts.

Yearly subscription to the magazine starts at just $15 for 1 year/4 issues for US-based readers and $20 for international subscribers (shipping included). Click Here to subscribe today, I recommend it.

Keyword Research Tools – SEO Tip Week 2

Friday, January 12th, 2007 |

52 SEO TipsIn hind sight, I should have put this SEO Tip first but better late than never. You must do keyword research before you start optimizing your site, that much is obvious, but what tools should you use?

There are two excellent keyword research tools that I can recommend as professional tools. They are Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery. Both are great and both are different. At Big Oak we started with Wordtracker and move over to Keyword Discovery after a year or so. We felt KD had an easier interface and liked they way it worked us. This is not to say Wordtracker didn’t do a fine job for us, because it did. It was really just a matter of preference. You may find Wordtracker better for your method of research.

If you are just getting into the game you may want to try something else that is free to do your initial research. You can use Overture’s keyword search tool, but it is limited to one month of keyword searches and often isn’t working because too many people are trying to use it. You’ll want to move to the pay-for-use programs quickly if you are truly serious.

In any case, do not overlook this important step and don’t assume you know how people are searching for your product or service. If you optimize a site with the wrong keywords you may end up with a high ranking site but won’t convert your traffic! Correctly identifying the best keywords and search terms using a keyword search tool will help your odds of success and give you a fighting chance to target prospects who are more likely to turn into clients.

My colleague, Holly Rodriguez has written about choosing keyword research tools on her SEO copywriting blog, Check it out if you would like more information.

Deep Linking Strategies for SEO

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 |

At Big Oak SEO we have been employing deep linking for the past year and finding a tool to help with a task like deep linking is a nice surprise. Read on to see how you can begin your deep linking SEO campaign with some help.

Sometimes one of the hardest things to do for any website is build links to deep content.

These are the links that generally will help the site perform best overall in the search engines. This is because while it may take hundreds or thousands of links to help a home page rank highly, it may only take a few to help a deep page rank.

In this article I give you some tips on building those deep links.

I’ve had a tool on my computer since it first came out that I’ve always loved. But it wasn’t until today that I realized it could do much more for me.

The tool is Blinkx Desktop Indexer. (more…)

Meta Search Engine Provides SEO Tool

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 |

ZippyZippy was launched in September by the seasoned SEO Dave Naylor, and provides some valuable tools for site optimization.Zippy’s design is similar to Technorati’s new design, with a minimalist white background and lots of bright colors. The site is pretty easy to use, and has a slick feel with the help of some ajax. It took only a few minutes worth of playing around to really get a grasp on the functionality. However, a tutorial or features page, would be nice to help introduce the functionally to a new user.

The basic search functionality for Zippy queries Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask and mashes the results together. It then ranks the results among the four.

Zippy is a new meta search engine that queries other major engines and returns results in a format most suited for Webmasters and SEOs. Read more.

Google Blog Alerts

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 |

Post from Read the full article.
A coworker noticed that his Google Alerts now contained a new “Google Blogs Alert” within his email this morning. Sure enough, you can see the new Google Blogs Alert. My guess is they’re using their Google Blog Search, which already finds new blog posts and then sends the alerts.

Now the only question is “will Google add blogs to the main Google News”? And would you be for it or against it? After all, there are a lot of poorly written blogs out there and right now the Google News is a useful resource. Perhaps Google can take the Top 10000 blogs out there based on a combination of Google PageRank, Technorati Ranking, etc.

Google Alerts beta page now lists blogs, webs, groups, and comprehensive in the drop-down box.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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