Is it Too Soon to Worry About Yahoo! & Microsoft Bing Search Partnership? (Yes)

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

The world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is going wild today with the news that Yahoo! and Microsoft announcing a 10 year partnership. Search Engine Land has been doing a great job covering this news, complete with liveblogging the press conference and getting inside interviews.

However, a lot of coverage out there is starting to speculate into what the SEM industry needs to do and how this changes things, particularly this post from SEOmoz speculating the Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo Deal Changes for SEO. I think we all need to take a few deep breaths and not get ahead of ourselves here. Here’s the fine print from the Search Engine Land article that is all to easy to overlook:

…At full implementation (expected to occur within 24 months following regulatory approval)..

That’s 2 years AFTER the Federal Government approves the deal. And don’t forget the shareholders need to approve too. Given the size of Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as the Government’s Anti-Trust folks and the DOJ’s interest in maintaining competitiveness in the industry, which is already in an oligopoly if not monopoly state already, neither the shareholder nor the Government approval of this deal is likely to come quickly (or possibly at all). The Washington Post has a great article explaining some of the legal hurdles and is already commenting on the scrutiny Microsoft and Yahoo will face. If it will take 2 years after this approval, we’re talking light years in the tech world.

Think about 2+ years ago. Twitter was practically unheard of. MySpace still dominated Facebook. The iPhone hadn’t been released yet. 2 years is HUGE!

As part of the professional SEO community, I think it’s important we keep this all in perspective. This deal could be ground-breaking, but not any time soon. It’s important to think about what all this could mean, but remember that right now all that has happened is Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer shook hands with each other. We should educate our clients on the details of the agreement, but let them know its nothing to start worrying about yet. Even in a few years, when everything is “fully integrated,” at the current figures Bing will only have a miserable 15% of the market compared to Google’s 78%, making its market share less than 1/5th of Google’s.

So my message to you is this: stay calm, keep current on the deal (because the agreement is going to change, especially once the legal issues start being scrutinized), and continue go about your business focusing on the search engine that ridiculously dominates the other one or two out there, even when you combine #2 and #3’s market share. In all seriousness, Twitter could overcome Bing/Yahoo in two years in terms of number of searches, traffic, hits, revenue and more, as their new home page certainly shows a redoubled interest in search:

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Photo credit Yahoo and Twitter

My Twitter Follow Back Strategy: Top Reasons Why I Won’t Follow You Back

I’m really generous about following people back on Twitter. I’d guess I probably follow back over 90% of the people who follow me. I use Tweetdeck and organize everyone I follow into groups, so even though I follow 896 people, I probably only closely follow about 100 users that fit in to one of the following categories:

TweetDeck

  1. All Friends – This is the category where everyone shows, and I largely ignore it. I do glimpse at it, and sometimes tweets catch my eyes and occasionally I may even move a user into one of my other categories if I find them interesting enough.
  2. Friends – These are people I know in real life. Family, friends, classmates, etc.
  3. Colleagues – These are the people I work with. I work at a digital marketing company of about 500 people, and certainly not everyone is on twitter, but a good percentage are due to the nature of our work and I’ve tried to locate and follow as many of them as I can. There are some really great quality tweets in this category.
  4. Favs – These are my favorite users that don’t fit in to one of the other categories. Ad gossip (yeah you @agencyspy), companies and businesses, thought leaders in digital and seo, local people, etc. Kind of a catch-all for things I find interesting…

So given the nature of how I treat “All Users”, I don’t mind following people back as I know I’ll probably never read their tweets. So what will cause me to not follow someone back?

  1. You tweet about politics too much or exclusively. You can’t make a valid political argument in 160 characters or less. Issues are too complicated to be reduced down to this, and you’re not going to change anyone’s mind in one sentence fragement. I especially can’t stand the #tcot people (apparently anyone can nominate themselves a Top Conservative On Twitter – kind of like calling yourself a social media expert, IMO), because they tend to be rather extermist and one-sided in their thoughts.
  2. You are a spammer. When I get a notice that you’re following me, I look at your tweets. If you tweet the same thing over and over again, to the same link, you’re spam. Goodbye. spammer
  3. You have only been on Twitter for <1 week or only have a few tweets total. You probably fall in to the spam category. That one bit.ly link you have (coincidentally, your most recent tweet), is probably to porn. Not interested. Extra spammy points if the avatar is a good looking woman.
  4. You tweet what you eat. Everyone always talks about how they’re not interested in joining twitter because they don’t care about the mundane details of your life / what you’re eating at the moment. Agreed, that stuff sucks – but you don’t have to avoid Twitter altogether, just these people. No follow for you.
  5. You post a link about “get 1,000 followers instantly at _____.com”. Those sites are really spammy and malicious, and often they hijack your twitter account and send out tweets like that. Definitely not interested.
  6. You tweet at people (excusively). I’m not big into having conversations via twitter, as they’re much better channels (i.e AIM, Gchat, or the telephone) to have a much more enlightening and expedient conversation, but if you’ve never once interacted with your followers and simply just shout messages at them all day long, you kind of suck at Twitter and I don’t want to be associated with you.
  7. You tweet A LOT. Like once every 10 minutes or more. Your tweets are so close together that I wonder how you can type so fast. You have issues. I think you’re wierd. Leave me alone.

There’s probably a bunch I’m missing, but I’ll update this later when I think of them.  What are your pet peeves / reasons for not following back? Like I said earlier, my standards on who I follow back are pretty liberal – what are yours like? Do you have a follow-back strategy?

Summer Cubicle Fun – Aloha, Broesph

We had a contest at my company to decorate our cubicles for the Summer. Here is my contribution after a well-spend $12 run to the Dollar Store. Theme: Hawaiian Luau. Aloha, Broesph.

My Hawaiian Themed Cubicle

via my TwitPic

“Social Media Experts” Are Really Only Experts at Cliche

HanselSoHotRightNow
I saw a great post over on Conversational Marketing today called 10 Questions to Evaluate a Social Media Expert. It is a really funny, yet pretty useful blog post about all of the social media hacks out there that call themselves Social Media Experts (or Gurus). Calling yourself a Social Media Expert / Guru is like being Hansel from Zoolander – so hot right now. I’ve been meaning to do a similar post, so thanks Ian for inspiring this post – I encourage you to click the link and read his wonderfully sarcastic (yet amazingly insightful) post as well.

Here’s my list of warning signs that a person you are talking to isn’t really a social media expert:

  1. They call themselves a Social Media Expert or Social Media Guru. Seriously, that is total lame-sauce. If you really were an Expert or Guru (btw, Guru…seriously? Are we Harry Potter?), you wouldn’t have to tell us that you were one, we’d already know. Go cast social media spells at Hogwarts with your twitter buddies, I’m going to stay away from anyone who claims to be an expert in anything.
  2. They mention Twitter in the first 10 seconds, or talk about Twitter for over 25% of the conversation on Social Media. Twitter isn’t social media. Twitter is a media channel that works in some applications, and doesn’t in others. Twitter is not the end-all, be-all strategy for success on the internet.
  3. They call it “Social Media” over and over without explaining their definition of what that means. First of all, “social media” is a complete bullshit term. I challenge you to find me an example of online media that isn’t social in some aspect. The only thing I can think of is an old-school, Web 1.0 web page that is basically a flyer or brochure published on the web with no ability to interact with the site. If so, there are so few of these sites any more it would be easier to identify the anti-social media on the web. However, I’m okay with using this term, but you have to define it first. You can define the term however broadly or narrowly you want, but you need to define it otherwise you’ll never really make sense – everyone thinks a different thing when they hear the phrase social media.
  4. You say the phrase ‘so-and-so really gets it’ when referring to using social media effectively. AHHH! At least you’re consistent in your use of cliches. -1 additional point if you then talk about Zappos and Dell on Twitter…yes, anyone with a pulse and internet connection already knows this – they made money using social media – whoopee! Apparently you’re the one who doesn’t “get it” if that’s the best, most creative example you can give us.
  5. They see Social Media as a one size fits all strategy. It’s not. Each company has different goals and objectives, and what works for one client really well might work awful for another one. If it were as simple as applying a process over-and-over, there wouldn’t be a need for “social media experts,” as everyone could just do it yourself. You need someone who can understand the pros and cons and make thoughtful approaches to connect with customers and partners. Sometimes that means not doing any social media at all (gasp!) – some companies really do work best under the radar (besides Halliburton).
  6. They tweet, facebook, blog, digg, etc. more than 20 hours a day. You must really think you’re important if you feel the need to share your thoughts every 15 minutes from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Perhaps this explains how you’re so narcissistic as to call yourself a social media expert in the first place. News update, Hoss – if you don’t have a life outside of your social networks, then that’s scary. If you really have all that time to update your social networks 24/7, then do you have any time leftover to focus on your clients? If you have such little human interaction in your life, are you really the right person to help drive my brand? No, and No.
  7. You talk about twitter the whole time. Again, enough with the Twitter. We get it. It’s so hot right now.  Well, so was AOL 8 years ago. What’s your point? There always be a bigger, better thing right around the corner. You have to think long-term. If you focus your entire advertising around one channel, and that channel then slowly diminishes in importance (MySpace, anyone?), then what do you do?

Anyway, go check out the post at Conversational Marketing. Here are my favorite quotes:

If you know more than 5 people, chances are you now know someone who declares themselves a social media expert. How can you tell if someone’s claim of expertise is legit? Here’s my quick quiz. Ask each question and take the appropriate action:

3: What is social media?

“Blogging and Twitter and stuff”. Excuse yourself for a bathroom break and don’t come back.

“A trendy term to describe a new kind of mass media”. Totally acceptable.
4: What’s a social media campaign?

“Voting something to the front page of Digg using my proxy server and 35 computers”. Flee the scene, and get to a minimum safe distance as soon as possible.

“I have this great software that will put a link to your site on 21,000 forums and 10,000 blogs…”. Push them down the garbage chute. Don’t be seen with them in public.

7: How do you build an audience?

“I auto-follow 20,000 people on Twitter”. If you’re OK with it, kick them in the groin for me. If not, nod politely and move on.

“I follow interesting, relevant people on Twitter, comment on relevant blog posts and try to get into the conversation”. Home run. Try not to weep with joy.

10: How does social media impact SEO?

“It builds relationships that turn into links later”. HIRE THEM NOW.

Read more: http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2009/07/10-questions-for-social-media-experts.htm#ixzz0M2bHZrRh

Auto-Tune the News by The Gregory Brothers

This stuff is too funny, I have to share. The Gregory Brothers take news clips and set it to a beat, auto-tune the voices (a la Kanye West) and remix the heck out of it to make very funny songs. Very Jon Stewart / Steven Colbert -esque in showing politicians at their worst (to be fair, probably out of context too, but even still…absurd). No educational content here, I just can’t keep it to myself – also posted on my facebook, twitter, and gchat statuses (if you read all of those, I’m sorry – for multiple reasons). Enjoy, and you’re welcome:

My favorite one, about smoking lettuce. What a ridiculous argument:

Find the rest of them here on The Gregory Brother’s YouTube Channel. Oh, and here’s mine while I’m at it. I didn’t start using my YouTube channel until recently but its a great way to bookmark your favorite videos and give props to the original authors.

Updated 8-4-09 with the latest episode.

MySpace still makes more ad money than Facebook!?

I’m a bit suprised by this, because I thought MySpace was pretty much dead – but apparently, they make more ad revenue than the more popular (and more user friendly) social networking site Facebook. Take a look at traffic for each site:

Compete shows ~122,000 unique visitors for Facebook last month but only about ~61,000 unique visitors for MySpace – so Facebook has double the visitors!

Yet, according to a new report on social media by eMarketer, Facebook isn’t expected to suprass MySpace in ad revenue until 2011 – still a solid two years away!

Penelope Haller-Roshon

What gives!? In my humble (and possibly misinformed) opinion, Facebook has a generally more wealthy, educated crowd than MySpace – the type of people who are more likely to spend money on products being advertised. When Facebook first launched (ahh, the good old days!), it was only open to Ivy League colleges (Zuck was a Harvard elitist, apparently), then it was opened to other top colleges that weren’t quite Ivys but still pretty darn good (yay, Northwestern), and then they opened the floodgates for 12 year olds, grandparents, and anyone else with an email address, even my dog Penelope!

The quickest growing demographic on Facebook is now older users, who also would presumably have more money to spend on the products being advertised. Here’s an interesting chart of Facebook Demographics during the first half of 2009:

My only guess is that these estimates by eMarketer are on the (very) conservative side – and that Facebook will beat out MySpace much quicker than 2011. If I were a betting man (and I am), I’d put my money on this occurring MUCH sooner – the demographics and growth of Facebook are too hard to ignore…and MySpace is a more or less a sinking ship! With Facebook ad revenue growing and MySpace ad revenue likely to shrink, it seems like the perfect storm. And with all the rage of Twitter these days (and Facebook redesigning to imitate it), MySpace gets less attention and new users, putting the nail in the coffin.

Update: Laurel Papworth’s “The Business of Being Social” blog has a great post on this topic that supposes MySpace still holds a commanding lead over Facebook for ad revenue because of the Google / Myspace ad deal that generates $2.17 per user for MySpace, as well as MySpace’s event planning services like product/album launches and etc. I bet she’s right, but I still wonder what is taking Facebook so long to find a way to arrange an even sweeter deal than MySpace, given their more favorable demographics, growth, and traffic. I know Facebook has their own ad channel as opposed to using an established channel like MySpace does with Google, which should mean more profit in the long run, but even then…c’mon guys! Quit poking each other and get on it 😉 Thanks for the linkback, Laurel!

My List of SEO Blogs You Should Read

A List of SEO Blogs You Should Read

A List of SEO Blogs You Should Read

I’ve had a few friends ask me what blogs they should follow to get more exposure to SEO. I always give a very similar answer, so I thought I’d post here to consolidate:

First, I tell anyone interested to read this incredibly helpful post on SEOmoz: Beginner’s Guide to SEO. It probably takes about 30 minutes to read through but it provides such a great, straightforward introduction.

Once you got a firm grasp on that, I recommend you setup a Google Reader account so that you can subscribe to several blogs all in one central place. Then go and add the RSS Feeds to the blogs below. I’ve listed them according to importance:

Must Follows:
Matt Cutts: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/
Matt Cutts is basically Google’s main point of contact with the SEO world. Many changes to Google’s algorythm and webmaster guidelines are communicated through him.

SEOmoz: http://www.seomoz.org/blog
Its a pretty straightforward, interesting blog with practical tips, updated several times a week.

Search Engine Land: http://searchengineland.com/
With SEO celebrities like Danny Sullivan contributing, this is a wealth of knowledge. There are tons of posts a day, some of which are not very important nor interesting, but likewise there is a ton of great stuff as well.

Other Notables:
Search Engine Watch: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/
A lot of posts on this blog are overlap with Search Engine Land, but its good to at least skim through or find more information about a post you saw elsewhere. It is pretty comprehensive.

iCrossing’s Great Finds Blog: http://greatfinds.icrossing.com/
There aren’t many posts, but the posts are well written and easy to understand. This blog is particularly great for clients working with an SEO person or agency and don’t need to know every detail but want to be informed and current on industry news and best practices.

Conversational Marketing: http://www.conversationmarketing.com/
It’s a little more human than the rest, with a little more humor and opinion than the others. It tries to be less like traditional media and more like a blog, which I can appreciate

Google Webmaster Central Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/
It’s not really that helpful since anything that is posted that is really newsworthy is commented on the above blogs, but its not bad to follow anyway. It is also heavy into selling new Google Products that you need to sign up for.

Nick Roshon’s SEO Blog: (you’re already here)
Because I’m awesome. And I don’t just focus on current news, I like to cover basics, topics of interest, etc., so that you learn new stuff and refresh the basics all at the same time. Yes, I’m that shameless 🙂

Did I miss anything? Email me or Leave a Comment and I’ll take a look and consider revising my post!

Image Credit chitrasudar via Creative Commons

Automatically Update your Facebook Status through Twitter without being Annoying

Selective-Facebook-Status

I’ve been using a new Facebook application called Selective Twitter Status that is a pretty smart solution, I think. Many users automate their facebook status to update anytime they tweet. The problem with this is that a lot of Twitter users send tons of tweets per day. In Twitter, this is totally normal and socially acceptable. In Facebook, if you’re updating multiple times a day, it can get annoying…very annoying.

While some of your Facebook friends might actually care about what you’re tweeting, chances are you have some Facebook friends who don’t: the person who lived down the hall from you Freshman year, your (extended) family members, coworkers, neighbors, your sibling’s significant other, etc. These are people you still want to stay in touch with on a basic level and be able to see where they are living and what they are up to these days, but you probably don’t need nor want to have daily updates as to what articles they are reading, what they are thinking/doing at the moment, etc. – and they feel the same way, it’s just TMI.

Enter Selective Twitter Status – it will automatically update your Facebook status based on your tweets, like a number of other automated twitter/facebook apps, but this one will only update facebook with the tweets you decide. Simply put #fb at the end of your tweet, or you can even modify the settings so you can put #fb anywhere in the tweet. And voila, only update Facebook with tweets you think all of your friends would be interested in.

Facebook-Selective-Status

The use of the hashtag #fb here isn’t technically a proper use of hashtags, but it’s not really a big deal. The more popular hashtag for Facebook would be #Facebook anyway, and I really think hashtags are a dying pheonmenos, as explained in this interesting article over at Search Engine Journal: The Slow Death of Twitter Hashtags.

Another nice feature is the link in each update to follow you on twitter – since so many people are now hopping on the Twitter bandwagon, but have already been on Facebook for a while, this provides an easy avenue for them to find you and connect via Twitter.

So check it out, let me know what you think!

PageRank Update for June, 2009

I now have PageRank 2!

Reported on Search Engine Roundtable, it seems like Google has updated PageRank sometime yesterday, which was a bit unusual as PageRank was just updated in May and usually there is a 3 month cycle between updates, although a commenter on that post points out that updates have been more frequent since the last Google Toolbar was released.

Personally, I wonder if PageRank hasn’t been updated in part since the SEO community has now had time to react to Matt Cutt’s bombshell on the change in how Google will treat nofollowed links and PageRank sculpting.

So, if you’re in SEO, check your client sites and see if anything has changed, and if you’re a blogger, hopefully you saw a boost. Again, PageRank isn’t really that important of a metric, but its hard to ignore a “score” given to you by Google on a scale of 1 to 10. And at the very least, an improvement in score is an improvement nonetheless, so I’ll take what I can get.

My last report on PageRank was on May 28 where I had achieved PageRank of 1. At the time I had 53 incoming links on a 3 month old website/domain. As of today I have 224 inlinks (in Yahoo! Site Explorer) on a 6 month old domain. Most of these inlinks aren’t that valuable, and Yahoo! counts links that are nofollowed (whereas Google would not).

Setting Up Google Analytics for WordPress – A Wealth of Data for Free

Google-Analytics

Wow, I don’t know what I was thinking for the first 3 months when I using the basic “Awstats” program on my server as my only software to track traffic, visits, incoming search keywords, and all of the other vital information about visitors to my website.

Google Analytics is free, provides an almost overwhelming amount of data, and is super easy to integrate with WordPress. If you are running a WordPress blog and haven’t upgraded your analytics software, I suggest you hop over to Google Analytics now and get started. This should take 5, maybe 10 minutes tops to get setup (full disclosure, it took me about an hour, haha), and whether you are a data geek or not, you’ll find out some cool stuff about your visitors that will help you connect with your audience better, so it’s good to check out no matter what your background is.

You can use your existing Google account and within a minute or two Google will give you a 10 digit ID number like UA-0000000-1, which you’ll need for the next step.

Next, you’ll want to install the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, which you can do by clicking the link in the last sentence or by going to your WordPress Site Admin – Plugins – Add New and search for “Google Analytics.”

Once installed and activated, all the plugin requires is your analytics ID (i.e. UA-0000000-1 in the previous example), which can be found right next to your URL in the Analytics dashboard. The plugin will then automatically insert the necessary code in the footer of each page.

One caveat (and why it took me ~1hr to get all of this going): some WordPress themes take control of the footer, including the theme I’m using called “Carrington.” If the code isn’t being automatically inserted into your footer due to your custom WordPress theme (the Google Analytics dashboard will have a ! sign instead of a green check in the Status column), it may require you to go into Site Admin – Appearance – Editor – default footer and entering the code yourself, or in the case of Carrington you can go to Site Admin – Appearance – Carrington and there is a custom field there that reads “Footer code (for analytics, etc.).”

Anyway, what does this get you? A lot. And it’s free. Some sample statistics & screenshots:

Top-Traffic-Sources Top traffic sources show where my visitors are coming from. It’s kind of neat to see such a high amount of natural search traffic coming from Google, but also interesting that my twitter account has generated a decent amount of traffic, as well as my flickr account and a few blog comments I left over at at Agency Spy on MediaBistro.com. I guess this shows why it’s important to promote your website holistically through a number of channels, not simply relying on just one media channel (i.e. twitter) to generate traffic. I’m getting traffic from places I’m not even intentionally soliciting it from (like the blog comments).

Keywords-Driving-TrafficAnother good one is the keywords driving traffic to my site through Google. You can tell that they are relating around three very recent blog posts I had on Google’s Treatment of NoFollow and how it will impact blogs, A Social Media WordPress Plugin I recommend, and my tips and advice for the new Facebook Vanity URLs that rolled out earlier this month. This reinforces the core truth about blogging, SEO, and internet media in general: fresh, timely, and relevant content will get you more visitors and well-written, useful, informative or otherwise enjoyable content will keep them coming back.

Browser-Statistics Browser statistics shows what internet browsers people are viewing my site on. It makes me so happy to see MS Internet Explorer at the bottom. To me, this tells me my viewers are more tech saavy and don’t use IE just because it was the default browser and they upgraded to a browser that doesn’t completely drag ass and generally suck at the internet.

There’s tons more information in here, but you’ll have to set this up to find out. You’ll notice in both screenshots above there is an option to view a detailed report on each data point, showing just the level of detail you can drill down to.

Branded Content Parody by College Humor

This is the funniest video I’ve seen in a while, so I’m reposting it. Follow Jake & Amir on Twitter for more humor, and I also highly recommend the Silicon Alley Insider for daily reading if you are in tech/advertising.

Without further adieu:

Courtesy of:  http://www.businessinsider.com/college-humor-explains-branded-content-clip-2009-5

My favorite part: “Branded content. Webisode. Mobisode. Hybrid. Multiplatform. Hyper-distribution. Integrated. Organic. Social. Viral. Community. CPM. Efficiency. Organic. Beacon. Embeddable. Dina Kaplan. Widget.”

I need to memorize that.

Change in PageRank Sculpting, nofollow treatment by Google: A Mad, Mad (SEO) World

<a href=image credit ari via creative commons

This is really only for the technical SEO folks, but Matt Cutts of Google has recently clarified how Google treats nofollowed links and it’s implications for Page Rank Sculpting, but this has much broader implications on how people will link out both externally and internally in general, IMO. Below is your recommended reading to learn more:

Here’s my quick take on things: the nofollow tag (which tells Google bots not to follow this link or flow any page rank through it) has been increasingly abused to manipulate rankings in Google. The nofollow tag started as a way, in part, to block blog comments with URLs in them from being followed or counted as links by Google’s bots, so that if there are 80 comments with links in a post the bot would almost pretend that those links weren’t there at all. This is no longer a valid simplification, as this recent clarification by Mr. Cutts indicates that the bot will still “count” those links as being on the page, it just won’t pass along any PageRank if you use the rel=nofollow attribute.

The implication that is getting the SEO world in a tizzy is this: every link on the page, even when nofollowed, may be counteracting your efforts to pass along PageRank to the webpages that you are acutally intending to link to and actively trying to give credit to. To take the argument one step further, the fewer links on a page you have, the more PageRank can flow between them. The more links you have, even when nofollowed, the less importance (via PageRank) is passed along. It would be in your interest, then, to only link to pages that you really want to pass credit along to, which are probably only internal navigation  links within your domain, and a few (but probably not many) high quality external links (since Google does view linking to authority websites as an indicator that your site, too, carries some authority, maybe).

Does this mean we should turn off the ability to leave URLs in blog comments? Should we stop linking to spammy websites as examples of what not to do? Should we never link out to a page unless its of high authority with good PageRank and backlinks? Stop linking out to external domains altogether?????

It’s too soon to tell, but I sure hope not, and I highly doubt the implications are really this grave. Various authority blogs (which I can still comfortably link to, as seen above) will probably do more research to both confirm these changes and see to what extent gratituitious  nofollow linking will really harm things. I’ve always been generous in linking out to other pages, as I know that’s the only way I’ll get links back and I don’t mind giving credit where credit’s due.

But, I’m worried that less benevolent, somewhat “greedy” bloggers who are too focused on SEO and not enough on their readers that will start taking up that annoying habit of only linking to your own webpage, even when talking about an external source.

Okay kiddies, back to work, my lunch break is over (just like PageRank sculpting via the rel=nofollow attribute, burn!)