I’m obviously not the first person to write a list of WordPress plugins. However, I use some pretty interesting plugins (specifically a couple that I have not really noticed on other lists), so I thought it would be fun to take a little time to talk about fifteen of the best WordPress plugins I use. Hopefully, you will find a couple that you haven’t checked out before!
Photo Dropper: I really appreciate all of the great photography that is available on Flickr, and because I want to see it continue to grow, I always try to play by all of their rules. Fortunately for me, Photo Dropper is an awesome plugin that makes it easy to search for a Creative Commons photo on Flickr, add it to my post and have the appropriate credit links appear directly under the photo.
Platinum SEO Pack: I know everyone talks about the All-in-One SEO Pack , and while that used to be my SEO plugin of choice, once I tried the Platinum SEO Pack, I never looked back! If you want to make sure that all of your on-page SEO is taken care of for your WordPress blog, you can’t go wrong with this pack.
Referrer Detector: As I have learned throughout my journey into social media, one of the best things you can do is create a personalized experience for the people you are trying to interact with. It’s for this exact reason that I’m a big fan of Referrer Detector. When I’m bringing in visitors to my blog from a social site like Reddit, this plugin makes sure that they are greeted with a personalized welcome message and a nice reminder that positive votes are always appreciated.
Ever since Google began to gain momentum in the early years of the 21st century (and then went public in 2004), people have assumed that Google is unstoppable. Although other search engines have fought and clawed in an attempt to take back share of the search market from Google, they have all failed (yes Yahoo and Microsoft, I’m talking about you).
Because of Google’s dominance over these other large corporations, it’s easy to see why most people would assume that no company could come up with enough money to come close to competing with Google.
However, over the last couple of months, one company has emerged that could present a real threat to Google. While many people could not grasp why they had been able to raise over fifty-five million dollars in funding, people within the tech industry were still obsessed with the concept of Twitter for over a year. However, it was only recently when everyone started to realize that Twitter could actually pose a direct threat to Google (hence their ability to raise so much venture capital).
Without further ado, here’s the list of five reasons why Google should fear (or more likely, buy) Twitter:
It’s Personalized: If Google is a vast library with only one librarian to guide you around (who can be hard of hearing depending on how complicated the information is that you are looking for), then Twitter is the same library but with all of your friends (and other individuals who you trust) standing around different areas of the library to point out the information that you should actually care about.
It’s Flexible: While it’s true that you can use Google on different platforms (such as your desktop or your mobile phone), Google can’t come close to offering the wide variety of flexible experiences that Twitter can. Whether you are using IceRocket Twitter Search to search and reply in real-time, Twitpic to share pictures with your followers, Tweetdeck to keep up with your stream of Twitter activity, Tweetie to use Twitter on the iPhone or BackTweets to monitor who is tweeting about your blog or web site, it’s easy to see that the ways to adapt Twitter to your own preferences are almost endless.
It Can Be Customized: Although it’s true that Google allows you to create a personalized homepage, Google simply can’t offer the same level of customization as Twitter. For example, Twitter has mentioned the possibility of serving local news to individuals who are interested in this topic. While this may not seem that significant, the reason that it’s a big deal is because Twitter is able to inject this topic (or any other topic for that matter) directly into your Twitter stream (which means that you don’t have to worry about anything except for absorbing the information).
It’s User Generated: This obviously ties in with the first point, but it’s an important point to note in itself. While Google is dependant upon it’s crawlers to go out and find the material for its index (which then must be organized by its algorithm), Twitter doesn’t have to worry about collecting a single drop of information. Instead, it let’s its extremely active participants collect and share all of this information on their own.
It’s Fresh: Although the first four reasons on this list are all important and should be enough to make Google pay close attention to Twitter (which they already are), the most direct threat to Google is because of Twitter’s ability to deliver fresh and relevant information the minute it becomes available.
In fact, it’s this exact reason why Twitter began to gain so much attention back in October of 2007. When wildfires broke out in California, many people turned to Twitter to get up to the date information about the progress of the wildfires. While a search of Google yielded a couple of news results and a bunch of information that was not relevant at the time (since people didn’t want to know about the history of wildfires, but what was happening at the moment), Twitter was giving people the exact, fresh information that they needed.
While Google has been doing their best to deliver relevant content that is fresh (by taking steps such as creating their Query Deserves Freshness model), so far Twitter has proved that once again, human contributions simply cannot be matched by an algorithm.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below
I have noticed over the past couple of months as I have become more active in the Digg community (and making many friends), a sort of dark cloud appears when the subject of SEO comes up. Not only is there a general dislike of SEOs in the Digg community, but my URL has also been banned from Digg, per a ‘so called’ “TOS violation”. The ironic part is that the article that got the attention “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Banned by Digg” was about how to get banned by Digg.
I have been warned in the past by many friendly Diggers that it is not a good idea to have anything that reflects SEO in your profile, or this could make you lose points within the Digg community as a whole.
So here is where it starts to get interesting. A high profile user. mklopez submitted an article from this blog a couple of weeks ago. Now, I have to say I was a bit surprised (and a bit flattered at the same time) that a high profile Digger had submitted one of the articles from my blog. This naturally caught my attention. So I was paying attention to the submission at this point. It was climbing fast and hot in all categories.
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#1 – Use a script: Digg is a company that has has received $40 million dollars in funding. Therefore, if you are naive enough to think that their system can’t detect when someone is using a script, you deserve to get hit by the Digg ban hammer. The bottom line is that you can’t automatically game Digg’s voting system, so if you are trying to use a script to accomplish that goal, you are doing nothing more than spinning your wheels in neutral!
#2 – Submit 5x more stories than you Digg: Although it is not as complex as the Google algorithm, Digg definitely has a very interesting algorithm. Therefore, if you think that you can get dozens of your own stories to the front page without ever participating by Digging other stories, you are lying to yourself.
The Digg algorithm is all about encouraging participation, so if you want any chance of your top notch content performing well on Digg, you need to focus on Digging other stories that are legitimately good, submitting great content from other sources and then only submitting your very best content on a very rare basis.
#3 – Spam your way to high hell via the Shout System: I actually like Digg’s Shout System, because it can be a legitimate way to expose other users to content that they are going to enjoy. However, once you start abusing this system to draw attention to every single story you submit or Digg, don’t be surprised when you get informed that your Digg account has been banned.
I’m assuming that most reading this are already using StumbleUpon, or at least know what StumbleUpon is all about. If not, check out Tyler Banfields post from December Are You Stumbling Yet? Tyler really does an excellent job of explaining StumbleUpon, how to get started, and its benefits.
The purpose of this post is to address a legitimate concern that new and seasoned Stumblers alike need to be aware of and that is the possibility of being “put under review” by the SU gods. Being put under review generally means that you will not ever be able to use your SU account again…
Imagine you are Stumbling along, building your friends list, having a good time and about a year into it: BAM. You are “put under review” (banned). No warning, no initial explanation, you just suddenly cannot use your account anymore. This is precisely what happened to a friend of mine.
My friend, who shall remain nameless, I can say with certainty was a quality Stumbler, and definitely not a spammer. So naturally this scenario is a little perplexing to me. I decided to review StumbleUpon’s terms of service and their rules. I found mostly everything to be pretty straightforward and it seemed like common sense. Don’t do things like harass other users, promote only your website or blog and the general “no-spamming” language.
Before we proceed I’ll share with you one of the actual email that was sent to my friend that was “put under review”
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This post is mostly assuming that those reading this have a pretty good idea about what twitter is all about. For anyone that is still not sure about Twitter and it’s purpose, Havi Brooks wrote a great post explaining the purpose of twitter in Twitter Demystified and Debunked
OK, now let’s get right to the meat and potatoes of this post.
For those of us who have been using twitter for awhile and are starting to get into the groove, I have assembled a list of 10 Twitter commandments to keep you on the right track and keep you from committing Twitter blasphemy.
- Thou shall not
pull a Guy Kawasakiact spammy. i.e Don’t send an auto reply DM asking me to check out your blog or download your crappy E-book. FAIL! Let me put it this way: Would you walk up to a stranger in a bar, pull up a bar stool, slam your business card down and say “I have a new E-book that just came out and you can get it at a reduced price if you join my mailing list!” Of course not, people would think you were insane. Networking online is no different than IRL. Just be genuine, add value to the community, and people will naturally want to know more about you. That’s the way it works online and IRL (same as it ever was).
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I hope everyone had a wonderful new year. I know I did. Now that we all have our goals set and we are coming out of the starting gates strong in 09. To keep the momentum going let me share with you this video I found on Vimeo.com. Just a reminder that we are living in exponential times my friend(s)
As business owners, bloggers and/or search marketers, we all go through pain staking efforts to get qualified traffic to our websites from the SERPS, Paid search and our various social media outlets. However all this effort and hard work may be in vain if our users are not able to easily fill out our contact form(s). Sure the CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) or as I like to call it CPA (Complete Pain in the A**) is intended to solve a valid business problem, but at what cost? Should we really make customers/prospects work this hard to contact us? Not to mention by using a CAPTCHA you will be alienating multiple groups with disabilities i.e. blind people and people with dyslexia.
I have asked five of my friends who I consider to be authority figures in the area of search marketing, SEO, design and usability the following question:
What is your opinion regarding CAPTCHAs on contact forms as they relate to web conversions and accessibility/usability?
I want to thank everyone for your patience. I am currently on vacation dancing with Santa’s elves in the north pole. We will be back to business as usual shortly. Thanks again.
This is my good friend Sheena Melwani’s version of All I want for Christmas, originally by Mariah Carey. I refer to her first as my friend however Search Engine Marketing Group did have the honor of putting together her blog. If you like this song, I hope you will check out the rest of her music at SheenaMelwani.com 7 Million viewers on youtube can’t be wrong! Happy Holidays!