The Best of The Web Optimist 2008

Richard V. Burckhardt, aka The Web OptimistThe year has passed so rapidly that I can’t believe we’re already at the end of 2008! The Web Optimist blog is an outlet for me to pass on things that I learn in my real job as an SEO (as I have the time) and I’ve published a total of 90 posts this past year, some in-depth articles and some just quicky “did-you-know-this?” items.

Here’s what I consider the best of The Web Optimist over the past year (in no particular order). You might not agree, but hey, it’s my blog. 😉

1. S E O Tools & Tips Want a look at what I consider essential tools for my day job as an SEO? Here’s what I use in my personal arsenal.

2. Robots.txt: Powerful but Picky! – The robots.txt file is a powerful tool, but you’ve got to be extremely careful with it. This post discusses one of it’s little idiosyncrasies that could easily trip you up. That’s my Lost in Space toy robot in my back yard in the photo. Yep, I wanted to be Will Robinson growing up! Such a geek!

3. Shopping Site Essentials Got an ecommerce site and think you can do it on your own without product listings on shopping search sites? If so, you are missing out on a MAJOR opportunity to expand your product and brand exposure around the globe. Yes, it costs money to be in most of them, but you can strike gold if you know what you are doing. This post gives you some tips to get you started.

4. Beginning Viral Marketing Want to get a campaign started that will spread like a virus but don’t have a clue how to start? Videos? Social sites? Freebies? Here are 14 clues to help you get going.

5. Grabbing the Longtail – No, I’m not talking about a cat, here. In this article I point you in the direction of ranking for multi-word search phrases, getting cheaper PPC traffic and increasing your site visits without a lot of work.

6. User Content GenerationUser generated content basically turns your customers and site visitors into SEOs for you while generating fresh keyword rich content for the spiders to devour. You just need to know how to get them to contribute and this post provides some great pointers to encourage the process.

7. Online Retail Optimization: Will It Blend? You can’t just post your product pages on the web and expect them to rank as well as they did in the days of ten blue links on the search results pages. There’s a lot more competition now that Blended Search (another term for Universal Search) has become the norm. To compete, you’ll need to optimize images, videos, feeds and more.

8. Google Personalized SearchThe search giant has put a new spin on rankings by personalizing search results when you are logged into your Google account. To rank well for users who are signed in, you’ve got to get sticky and this post shows you how.

9. Annoying Speed Bumps on the Information SuperhighwayC’mon, folks. Using the Internet should be easy. So why do hotels, software, hardware, web sites and even the search engines make things so hard? This is one of my rants on things that should be simple but aren’t.

10. Brand With Your Head, Not Your GutUsing past experience with the local tourism bureau, I discuss online branding and how politics and misguided reliance on a name rather than a brand can trip up a campaign.

11. Will Trust Kill the Algorithm?I’ve heard a lot of comments about whether Google is going social lately. The answer is a resounding yes and I blogged about it a year ago.

12. Is Universal Search Harder?Despite the big push towards including everything AND the kitchen sink in search results, Universal Search can actually make finding what you are looking for more difficult. Sure would be nice to have an off switch!

And, I left the best for last because it wasn’t originally published on The Web Optimist, rather I guest posted over at Search Engine Journal. My 55 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love has been reposted here as Free eBook: 65 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love featuring ten more tips and a downloadable PDF file. Look for that to grow to 100 tips very soon when I update Mom’s tips in 2009!

I add to the blog as I have time. Thanks to all of you who have come back as return readers, commented, e-mailed and joined as Twitter followers. We’ll see what 2009 brings!

Happy New Year, folks!