Compete SnapShot Stats

Compete – SnapShot is a tool that I’m sure some bloggers will find useful in their analysis of how their blog compares with others. Yes I know – it’s not cool to analyze your own stats too much but most of us do it from time to time on sites like Alexa – so if you’re into that you might want to check this out too.

Like Alexa you can compare your domain with others and it’ll give stats on traffic, ranking, pages/visit and average stay length. I’ve done a little comparison with the results on it versus Alexa and actually think Competes are pretty similar – although in a couple of cases I’d say Compete is even more accurate.

found via Duncan

Designing with Colour – Tips

Fss Colour 2 03 ThumbMark Boulton is running a helpful series on Five Simple Steps to Designing With Colour which those of us who are ‘design-challenged’ might find helpful.

He’s written two posts so far at here and here.

Mark is also putting together a book called Five Simple Steps – Designing for the Web which will no doubt be a good read (Mark’s someone who I read regularly and admire the work of) . It’s due out around Christmas time but you can sign up for a $5 discount.

$5000 Blogging Scholarship – Voting Opens

Voting is open for the $5000 Blogging Scholarship. There are some good bloggers in the list but after a bit of consideration I went with Paul Stamatiou (who I’m a regular reader of and admire as a blogger).

It is a bit of a difficult one actually as there is such diversity between the bloggers and it is difficult to know whether to vote on blog ability, potential, like-ability etc. I suspect in the end it’ll unfortunately end up as a popularity contest? The guy winning so far has the fortune of writing for the ever popular Daily Kos and as a result will be difficult to beat.

Who are you voting for – and why?

How Comments Can Help Your Blog Rank Well in the Search Engines

A few weeks back I wrote a post titled 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog which got a bit of attention around the web after doing well on Digg.

As usual – the comments that a post gets when it is featured highly on Digg were mixed (both the comments on Digg and the post itself) but one of the recurring questions I was asked as a result of the post was:

Why would you want more comments on your blog?

There are many reasons why I think comments on a blog are good. Here’s three that I responded to the question with last week:

  1. Feedback – I find that the comments readers leave help me to improve my blogging
  2. Group Learning – the comments on posts often add to the knowledge base and learning that goes on as a result of the post. My ‘expertise’ on any given topic will only ever be partial at best – but between us we know a lot more
  3. It Feels Good – OK – I’ll admit it. Looking at a post and seeing that a few people have wanted to take the time out to respond is a nice feeling.

I’m sure there are a lot more reasons that we could come up with (feel free to share yours) but another one that hit me earlier today was the impact that comments can have upon Search Engine Optimization.

Comments Present Search Engines with Fresh Content

One of the many ‘rules’ of SEO is that search engines like freshly updated and changing content. This is one of the reasons that blogs do so well in search engines (if you regularly post that is) as your blog’s front page is constantly presenting new content to the SEs.

The beauty of comments is that they too freshen up your blog and present the search engines with something new to look at.

Each time that someone comments on your blog they change the page that your post is on and the next time that Google or Yahoo send their bots to index it they will find that it has been updated – which can’t hurt that page’s ranking.

The exception to this is when comments are spam comments with links to dubious sites – which can actually hurt your standing in search engines – plenty of motivation to keep on top of comment spam.