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Ethics and Blogging: Attribution where due

Duncan has started what looks to be a very worthwhile series of posts over at the Blog Herald on Ethics and Blogging – something that we all need to be continually challenged on. His first post is on giving Attribution where due or crediting your sources – something i ranked on a while back. Here’s a bit of what Duncan had to say.

‘Providing attribution is an ethical consideration all bloggers should consider. Many of you reading this already will, but you may be surprised how many don’t, and the higher up the blogosphere you go, the worse it gets. Think of it this way: you put your heart and soul into a post and half a day later, somebody posts nearly exactly the same thing, you cant prove the link but its more than coincidence, and you’re either heartbroken or angry. You don’t like it happening to you, so be ethical and don’t do it to others, you might be surprised: many bloggers like to see who is linking to their posts, they may well see yours and then all of a sudden you’ve got a link back…see the picture: do the right thing and good things may come from it.’

Write in a Granular style – One Topic Per Post

Robert has a good simple tip on how to make your posts easier to pass around for your readers and suggests you write in a granular style. To put it most simply.

‘Make one post contain one idea, or set of links.’

I agree with Robert although can think of times when you might want to include a few grains or ideas in one post. Some bloggers build their whole style around having multiple ideas in one post – however I personally generally find these blogs difficult to link up to and read. I’d much rather see one post, on one topic, with one heading that describes that post.

This is especially important for your readers who use RSS to read your blog and who either just look at your titles or who select to only see excerpts (the first few lines) of your post.

I would also add that it helps with the search engine optimization of your post if the search engine’s bot only finds one topic in each post rather than numerous.

Getting Better Adsense Ads – Stopping ads for Blogging Services

One of the most common problems that bloggers using Adsense have is that they constantly find that they are served with ads for blogging products and services. Whilst this might not be a big problem for a blogger writing on the topic of blogging (I don’t mind too much here at ProBlogger) – it can be terribly frustrating if you’re writing on a niche topic that has nothing to do with Blogging. For one ads on blogging don’t pay very well but secondly if you have another topic and you have ads for blogging your readers are not likely to click on them as they are not relevant.

ALJ at Chatquah & Galoshes has the same problem and posts about Getting Better Adsense Ads. They come up with the following solution – block some or all of the following URLs from serving ads to your site using the ‘Competitive Ad Filter’ feature that Adsense supplies.

ALJ says it got rid of a about 30-50% of the offending ads – not perfect but an improvement.

I’d also suggest that you scour your page for any words or code that contains anything to do with blogging as it will trigger the ads. Don’t just look at your actual text, also see what is in the code behind it, your URL, picture names – everything. Especially what is at the top of your blog as most people believe the first few paragraphs often trigger the ads.

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Yahoo buys Flickr – Confirmed

FlickrBlog confirms the rumors that everyone has been talking about recently – Yahoo! has bought Flickr:

‘Holy smokes, SOMEBODY out there is bad at keeping secrets!! Yes! We can finally confirm that Yahoo has made a definitive agreement to acquire Flickr and us, Ludicorp. Smack the tattlers and pop the champagne corks!

Woohoo! What does this mean? It means that we’ll no longer have to draw straws to see who gets paid, schedule conjugal visits between trips to the colo….wait! That’s not what you want to know. This is what you want to know:’

Congratulations flickr – another example of an innovative web based development being bought up by the big guys.

Found via Kris Krug

Comparing Blogger to WordPress

Balay ni Bambit has a great comparative analysis of Blogger vs WordPress for those of your who are still at the stage of choosing a back end client for your blogging. She ends up coming down on the side of WordPress (as I think most serious bloggers would – I admit I’m biassed) but points out some of the issues you’ll have if you are making the switch. You might also like to check out her post titled Blogger to WordPress in 13 Not-so-Easy steps if you’re contemplating making the switch.

What does Google display under your page title?

Antone over at SEO SEO Secrets of the PageRank Masters has finally updated his blog with a post on determining what Google displays under your page title in search results which a few people have asked me about recently. I hope it helps.

‘So how do you control what text appears in Google’s search results? Make sure the search terms you are optimizing for appear close together early in your meta description tag or close together early in your page. If your site navigation appears above your content, put it at the end of the document, and use CSS to position in higher in the page instead of putting it at the beginning of the document. Then, hope that people use the search terms you’re optimizing for!’

Five Reasons Businesses should Blog

Robert Moskowitz writes an article with Five Reasons to Blog which would be most worth any business thinking about starting a blog looking over. Here are his headings – he writes more on each one.

  • Blog to put a human face on the company
  • Blog to obtain free market research
  • Blog to offer a “Buy In” that increases customer satisfaction
  • Blog to leverage opinion leaders’ influence
  • Blog to gain on the Big Dogs

Random Blog Tips – Make Post Titles Page Titles

Related to the last Random Blog Tip on Titles – Incorporate the title of your post into the title of the page.

Again you’ll notice that I’ve done this here at ProBlogger. If you click on this link on one of my blogs for the Canon Rebel Xt digital camera you’ll find that the title of the post is ‘Canon Rebel Xt’. Then if you look at the top of your browser you’ll find that the page itself is titled ‘Canon Rebel Xt’. The title of the post is the page title.

Why is this important? There are two main reasons.

1. The main reason has to do with how Search Engines like Google rank your page. Your page title is of major importance – if it contains your keywords your page is about then it is more likely to rank well in Google if they are in the title.

2. The secondary reason is how your page will appear in Search Engine results. If someone does a search for ‘Canon Rebel Xt‘ in Google and sees my link with that as a page title (its currently ranked 4th) they are more likely to click it than if they see a page that does not contain the keywords they are searching for. For example, before I made this change to my Digicam blog all my pages were titled ‘Digital Photography Blog’ – not the most inspiring thing to click on if you’re searching for information on a specific digital camera.

You don’t have to get rid of your Blog’s title all together – you’ll see here on ProBlogger I title my pages with ProBlogger and the page title. Its up to you, but I’d highly recommend at least including your post title in your page title.

How you do this will vary depending which blogging tool you use. On most there will be a tag that you need to insert in your ‘title tags to include your post title.

Preople Rank – Is yours bigger than mine?

Preople-Rank-1

Ok – for all of us Ego surfers out there – Preople Rank is just the trick. It will rank your name in comparison to others on the internet. This is how they explain their service.

‘ok, we visit a few search engines, search for your name, get the number of times your name is found online and perform a complicated calculation to extract a ranking. We guard this formula with our lives because it is what makes our service, and your ranking, unique.’

So for me – I get a ranking of 45,700 (although I did it twice again and got another number too) which means there are 2917 names in their database with higher ranking and 36628 with lower. Sounds impressive until you start to compare it with a few others out there.

So this got me thinking about what others might rank. One of the nice features of Preople is that you can compare two names. So I decided to answer an age old Blogging question – who is more powerful – Nick Denton or Jason Calacanis? Ok – so this tool won’t answer that – but it’ll tell us who gets themselves talked about more than the other according to the Search Engines. Ready for the results? Here they are….

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Online Ad spending increased by 21.4% in 2004

Spending on Internet advertising in the US market increased by 21.4% to $7.4 billion in 2004 in comparison to 2003 – a higher increase than any other area. The overall average increase across all mediums was 9.4%. Encouraging signs.

Source U.S. Advertising Market Shows Strong Growth in 2004

via Poynter Online