Can I use blackhat article spinning (spintax) for whitehat purposes?

Whilst chatting in our office last week, reminiscing of ye old SEO tactics such as article spinning, automated backlink tools, etc, we started talking about article spinning and how it might have some legitimate value in certain use cases.

But first, let’s just one thing straight: In no way do I / we condone the use of article spinning for the purpose of blog posts, news articles or anything in between. There is a time and a place for everything, and spinning an entire article to get a unique version just isn’t something I’d recommend. On the other hand their are a few uses that I think we could re-examine such as:

  • eCommerce descriptions
  • photo gallery descriptions
  • meta descriptions, in some cases
  • and a few more

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Get “Natural” Anchor Text from Infographic Embed Codes using JavaScript

State of Infographics and SEO?

Infographics are an excellent part of a well-diversified content marketing arsenal, and although it should not be the sole reason for their creation, offer a great many SEO benefits to your website. In a 2012 interview with Eric Enge, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, went on foray about infographics:

“There are ways that infographics can be created and that represent an OK form of promotion […] I would not be surprised if at some point in the future we did not start to discount these infographic-type links to a degree. The link is often embedded in the infographic in a way that people don’t realize, vs. a true endorsement of your site.”

Needless to say, the interview made people second guess the SEO value of infographics. Matt Cutts’ statement however, isn’t all that bad and shouldn’t be perceived as an omen that spells the imminent demise of clever data visualization. It can also be interpreted as an affirmation that a correctly managed (non-spammy) infographic campaign will continue to be effective in the future, even if only with a slightly discounted link value. Continue reading

Python Script for Creating an XML Sitemap with rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”

Google specifies three scenarios for which rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” is recommended:

  1. You translate only the template of your page, such as the navigation and footer, and keep the main content in a single language. This is common on pages that feature user-generated content, like a forum post.
  2. Your pages have broadly similar content within a single language, but the content has small regional variations. For example, you might have English-language content targeted at readers in the US, GB, and Ireland.
  3. Your site content is fully translated. For example, you have both German and English versions of each page.

via Google Webmaster Tools Help

Similarly, there are three means for which hreflang can be implemented. It can be tagged with the element within the section of each page, expressed through the http header for non-html files, or within your XML sitemap. There is an obvious advantage to applying it within an xml sitemap for enterprise level sites, like the ones I tend to work on. Typically, it is much easier to get an updated xml sitemap uploaded than to apply new tagging to a myriad of pages. However, even when applied within an XML sitemap, it can a be tedious process for large websites. I created a quick python script to help make that process a little bit easier.

hreflang python tool usage

This is script is designed for a website where the alternate language site has an equal number of pages to the primary language. For example, there are the same number of pages for en-uk and en-ca as there are for en-us.
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Sharing Other Peoples Content and Simultaneously Promoting Your Own

I share content created by other people and do not exclusively self-promote.

Social media is the main marketing channel that I use for personal branding. I frequently share content written by my competitors, content created by friends and acquaintances, content that I find interesting (but written by strangers), and sometimes, content that isn’t at all interesting to myself, but that I feel may be of interest to my audience.

There are plenty of reasons why one should share work that is not their own. It’s an easy way to foster online relationships, create a valuable experience for your audience, improve your visibility (by increasing your appearance in people’s social network feeds), and create a very human-image of yourself. It’s an image of a person that is a reliable source of information and an expert in his field- he is sharing all relevant information, not just items he created. This is how one can continue to earn trust and credibility.

gallup 2013: trust of marketers graphic
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What Is SEO and How Do We Define It? Expert Opinions.

Insight on how to explain SEO to everyone, including your Mom.

SEO is often misunderstood, and I have found that its definition varies dramatically from practitioner-to-practitioner. So, what is SEO?

I asked some experts (primarily via our /r/BigSEO AMAs) how they define SEO and how they would explain it to various people; specifically, I asked the following questions:

  1. How do you personally define SEO?
  2. How do you define SEO to your colleagues?
  3. How do you define SEO to the C-Suite?
  4. How do you define SEO to your mom?

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The 44 Nightmare Responses Your Agency Will Get When You Ask A Simple Question… (A Satire)

This is a satire of the type of responses you sometimes hear from clients when working at an agency, and is a collaboration of some awesome people on Reddit, who request to remain anonymous. The views expressed in this post absolutely do not reflect a particular agency or client.

Agency:

Hi, we’re about to launch your campaign. We just have a quick question for you. What time is it on your office wall clock?

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