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Social Media Higher Learning; Part 1

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 12 April 2010 12:23

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo patents

Back at the beginning of last year I posted a ton of geeky reading titled; SEO Higher Learning. This was a large resource of various papers, patents, lectures and books for the search geeks of the world. At the time I thought it would be an interesting excercise to also start collecting some for the world of social media/networking. What follows (in a two part series) is the end product of collecting various goodies over the last year.

The goal of this excercise isn't really about picking apart these social sites, but more to offer people some deeper insights as to how they work and various research that has been done. I find getting into the headspace is helpful when trying to better program in a scalably method for now and into the future. In this post we're looking at various patents from the last year awarded to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

I will post more tomorrow (on other papers, patents and lectures).

Read more... [Social Media Higher Learning; Part 1]

5 Tools for SEO I Can’t Live Without

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 13:40

(the following is a guest post from Anthony Verre)

Sometimes there must be a list. Sure they're common... you see them all the time, but hey, they're easy to digest and useful too!  And, what better list to create than a list that is so ever-changing among search marketers and SEOs, as the tools we use.  It’s no Big Ass List of SEO Blogs, but rather an essential list of SEO tools that help get your job done more efficiently and quicker; tools that help you look, feel, and diagnose like a SEO ”sharpshooter”.

1) Web Developer Toolbar (Firefox Plug-in)

Developed by Chris Pederick, this is one tool I use everyday. It brings out the SEO geek in all of us, allowing you quickly dissect a page for all the core elements of SEO.  You can check all the ALT-Tags on images, check page semantics, and validate the page’s HTML and CSS.  All in a couple of clicks.  And, if you’re not using Google Toolbar (for whatever reason), you can generate a “cached” text-only view by dropping out key page elements in a few seconds.

Web developer tool bar for FireFox

2) TechSmith’s SnagIt (Screen/Image Capture Tool)

This is another genius of a tool I use everyday. And, sure, there are other tools out there (and free) like Jing or FastStone, but, as the saying goes, ya’ get what you pay for.  And, even though the license is a bit steep at $50, it’s worth every penny. 

SnagIt has multiple options for screen capture (region, full page, and scrolling page) with an option to keep web page links still embedded. It has Photoshop-esque image enhancement tools, and the ability to record mouse movements on screen.  It’s basically a downgraded version of Camtasia. The learning curve is a little deep, but once you familiarize yourself with it, screencaps, infographics, and client explanation slides become a snap.

Snagit screen capture tool

Read more... [5 Tools for SEO I Can’t Live Without]

Search Marketing Tools

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 25 December 2007 00:00

Search Marketing Tools and Resources;

Vertical Search - If your looking to do some vertical research try out one of our Google Custom Search Engines that reside here on the FireHorse Trail;

Social media marketing searchSocial Media Marketing Search - for searching all the Top SMM related blogs. 
Soicial activity search Social Activity Search - if your doing buzz monitoring or research, search all the top Social Sites.  

NEW - Tweed a search for Twitter and FriendFeed - good for Buzz monitoring!


80+ Tools from around the web - here are some links to a wide variety of tools for doing your Search Marketing research and more. As always, if you have some suggestions for tools to be added or even ones that you feel suck, let me know.

General Research and Analysis;

SEO Digger - you can find out for which keywords your site ranks high enough to be in Google Top 20. You can analyze your own sites as well as sites of your competition

Search engine Saturation;  Check your Search Engine Saturation levels and compare your website to competitors

Blog Juice Analysis - compare Blog to others on a variety of factors

SEOmoz Page Strength - designed to satisfy the curiosity of webmasters, surfers and web marketing professionals seeking a better metric to quickly assess a site/page's relative importance and visibility.

Xinu - Check your PageRank, backlinks and much more; overview tool.

Keyword Analysis - page and KW analysis tool from Dave Naylor

KW and Phrase density tool - I am not a huge fan of KW density, but this one also gives insight into 2-3 word phrases; so we'll give them a break.

Authority Finder - compare top ranking sites on Google and Yahoo in a nodal graph.

Web Spam Detector - take a quick look for potential flags a web page may have.

Digging deeper ; URI Valet - Check Server Header - Batch Server Headers - Cool Cache checker - Bad Neighbourhood Header Checker -


Keyword Research and Targeting;

Spy Fu - lets you see which keywords your competitors are buying and which ones they optimize their site for.

SEO Digger - you can find out for which keywords your site ranks high enough to be in Google Top 20. You can analyze your own sites as well as sites of your competition. Is less effective for smaller sites/niches.

Abakus - Analyzes - analyze a webpage for top keywords and phrase usage.

Advanced Google search tool a tool from Liam that uses some of the advanced search parameters from Google to create a complex search that can be useful for competitive data in keyword research (and for link building too).

Google traffic estimator sandbox - a tool that give's estimated traffic clicks and cost for given terms on Google Adwords. This is another handy metric to have when doing KW research.

Google Insights search tool - much like Google trends for looking at search data. Great for research purposes.

SEO Book tool - Aaron Wall has a good tool as well that feeds a ton of data that can be handy.

MSN Keyword Trends - forecast the search volume and demographic predictions of your selected list of keywords. (also see MSN SERP Cluster tool)

Key Compete - KeyCompete is an online keyword research tool that identifies the keywords your competitors are using in their pay-per-click campaigns. KeyCompete also identifies the competition that is bidding on your keywords. |

Suggestion Tools; Overature Suggestion | Miva Suggest | More Suggestions | Word Tracker FREE | Keyword Discovery FREE  | nXplorer| iWeb Tool | SEO Book tool (new) |


Link Building and Analysis;

Hub Finder - looks for sites which have co occuring links to related authoritative websites on a particular topic.

Bad Neighbourhood Checker - scans the links on your website, and on the pages that your website is linking to, and flag possible problem areas.

Link Diagnosis -show you all the important information about your competitor's links. The report includes pagerank, anchor texts, no-follow information and more.

Web Spam Detector - take a quick look for potential flags a web page may have.

Link Valet - analyzes both internal and external links for a given webpage.

Backlink Builder - searches for websites of the theme you specify that contain keyphrases like "Add link", "Add site", "Add URL", "Add URL", "Submit URL", "Add Article" etc.

Advanced Google search tool a tool from Liam that uses search oprtators from Google to create a complex search that can be useful for finding link locales. Knowledge of Google Hacks is helpful.

Backlink Analyzer - another great tool from Aaron Wall (free download) 

Taffic Marks - a web-based SEO app that identifies so-called hub sites that usually rank in at least 3 of the top 10 ranking sites for your given keyword.

Yahoo site explorer file parser - this tool is handy for getting a concise list of linking sites from the Yahoo TSF file export.

Backlink Watch - complete detailed information about quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to your website.

Majestic SEO Index tools - Anchor Index is a system designed for research of relevancy algorithms that are heavily based on backlinks and anchor text. This index is currently under heavy development, so consider this interface being a beta version that can change or go down at any time.

Directories; TriFecta Tool list of Directories | SEO Friendly Directories and Directory Critic - Niche directories - More Niche Directories - List of Paid Directories - Hub Finder - Directory Rate -

Article Submissions;  Article Directories and Niche distribution Article Submission Services - Article Marketer |


Blogs - always a good way to do SMM and Link building at the same time as stayin in tune; Blog Hub | Technorati | MyBlogLog | Blog Catalog | Google Blog Search | Blog Juice Analysis 


Social Media - Big List of Social media - Here on the trail


Rank Checking;

Google Rank | Rank | Geo ranks | Multi DC Checker | Data Center Watch Tool | Google position tool |


Developer Tools;

Meta tag generator; - Web Page Speed; - Robots.text Creator - Cloaking Checker - My IP Nieghbours (checks sites on a server) - Web Spam Detector - Domains on My IP - Who hosts that site (find hosting provider of a given domain) -

Domains; Sedo - Domain Bot - Domain Tools - Reverse IP lookup - Reverse IP 2 - My IP Nieghbours (checks sites on a server) -


Misc. Tools;

PPC Tools ; Overture Bid Calculator; | Adwords Keyword calculator 


Press Release sources;

PR Web/ | Business Wire / | | PR News Wire / - Big list PR Sites -


FireFox Extensions ;

SEOpen - 23 metrics from back links, whois and checking robots.txt.
SEO For Firefox -Aaron Wall’s tool - 13 different signals
yExplore - easy right click access to Yahoo Site Explorer info.
SeoQuake - Interesting tool for analyzing search results - Don’t overdo it.
KGen -Keyword generator analyzes a page for keyword frequency and placement.
Niche Watch Tool - Checks back links, indexed pages, keyword frequency and several other SEO signals.
MetaTags - Offers a side bar menu showing a web page’s meta data, links, keyword frequency and others.
Search Status - Highlights nofollow links, back links, indexed pages, Alexa and Compete rankings.
Prefbar - Toggle JavaScript, Flash and images as well as spoof user agent.

tnx to TopRank



Have a suggestion? Leave them in the comments...

Read more... [Search Marketing Tools]

The Big List

Written by David Harry   
Sunday, 23 December 2007 20:49

Social Media Marketing; the Big List

A while ago as part of my research into Social Media Marketing, I rooted through some lists of various social sites to really see what there was out there. If you remember the recent, Value of SMM post, one of my concerns is the ability of SMM to be universal in it's application. Now there are obviously thousands of social sites out there of all shapes nd sizes... problem is that many are sparcely populated and unlikely to be of much value to user and marketer alike.

So I decided to start a master list of Social Media/Networking type sites that seemed to have some life happening. Once I was looking at it I thought I might as well share it with ya'll..... This list is by no means exhaustive, but I had to go through lists containing 100’s to get to the real meat. So enjoy and come back often as I shall do my best to keep it relevant.

If you’d like to suggest one, make sure it actually has a few members or is on the rise… a list with garbage is useless.

If there is a site on this list you feel should be nuked, let me know as well…

Read more... [The Big List]

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