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SEO News Roundup for November 19, 2010

November 19th, 2010 | | SEO News Roundup

Is it just me or does it seem like Google is launching a new product every week? On Monday, Google launched an early release of Hotpot, a local recommendation engine powered by users and their friends. This feature allows users to review destinations on Google Places and share it with their friends. Vanessa Fox at Search Engine Land has written a post breaking down Google Hotpot and how it differs from other products like Foursquare and Google Buzz. Fox’s blog will help you understand what exactly Hotpot is and how it works.

According to Stone Reuning of SearchEngineGuide.com, there are ways to use blog comments to obtain solid organic links. First, don’t be “spammy,” which basically means read the entire blog before commenting, and perhaps you’ll get a link from the blog. Second, include your full name in the comment to gain trust. Third, be friendly and personal—thank the blogger for their post and address them by name. Fourth, contribute something to the conversation. Don’t just post “Great Job” or something like that (albeit good natured). And finally, be sure to keep in touch with the blogger. If you use these tips, you may be able to get a solid link from a quality blogger.

You get onto Twitter, set up an account, and there—you’re done.  Soon your dedicated following will appear on your doorstep, clamoring for your attention.  I mean, that’s how it works, right?  …Wrong.  Maintaining your Twitter account and tweets takes time and the same attention to protocol you would give your other link-building suitors.  Fortunately, Zeke Camusio of Search Engine Journal addresses this issue head-on in his list of winning Twitter tips. With Twitter, there’s no time for apathy or awkwardness: knowing how to woo your followers with style is one step of your online marketing plan that should not be ignored.

Whether you’re currently with an SEO agency or considering using one, there are some things you should consider when evaluating them.  A good agency will work with you as part of your online team and avoid the cookie cutter approach to your site’s SEO. You should never feel like you’re in the dark with your agency. Communication is a key component, and the agency you choose should always be happy and willing to answer questions about what they’re doing. Check out Gareth Owen’s five important tips for choosing an SEO agency on Search Engine Watch for more details on how to make a great choice.

Is SEO changing? …Not really. Gabriella Sannino explains in her intriguing Search Engine Journal post that SEO isn’t necessarily changing—the basics are still the basics. You’ll always want to track, test and tweak. You should always put a campaign together thoughtfully and revisit and adjust when needed.  However, more competition is definitely out there, and how do you succeed in a more competitive marketplace? After all, as Gabriella explains, the World Wide Web might be the busiest place on Earth, but it’s also the smallest.

Abby is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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