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The Smartest Sphinn It! FeedFlare — Now with comments counter

I was looking at my search engine referrals for this blog and I noticed some people looking for the Sphinn FeedFlare. I am glad I checked the page again, because I realized that I had forgotten to move it to the new server. After the move, I finally found the time to add a comment counter, similar to the Digg FeedFlare.

In order to install it, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to FeedBurner. Select your feed, click the Optimize tab, and then the FeedFlare option in the left column.

  2. Add my SphinnIt! FeedFlare by copying and pasting this URL in the Add New Flare field: http://hamletbatista.com/sphinnit.xml?version=1.0

  3. Select both checkmarks to make it available in your feed and posts, and, in case you haven’t done so, make sure you copy the JavaScript code to your blog template.

  4. Optionally you can use drag and drop to move it to the top of the list and make it more prominent. ;-)

Happy Sphinning! :-)

Thanks for your encouraging comments

techcrunch401.jpgFor the last few weeks my posting rate has slowed as we prepared to launch our new product at TechCrunch40, and it was taking more than my normal 10- to 12-hour workday. Looking at the ratings on our TechCrunch page, we’re happy to report extremely positive feedback. We brought home several solid leads from potential strategic partners (Intuit and AOL Business, among others) and several VCs. Last Wednesday we were contacted by an investment bank, so it seems they too liked our product and would like to see more customers using it.

After all is said and done, however, we don’t feel that RankSense is ready to leave private beta just yet. So far it has been tested thoroughly only by our technical writer, who has been using the product since it was in alpha. He’s done a fantastic job and seen great results. Pretty soon we hope to have many more success stories to share!

I want to personally thank you all for your kind words and comments. When delivered, I am sure RankSense will provide the most value of any SEO suite out there. We truly have a bright future ahead of us, so keep checking back here and I’ll keep you updated. Thanks again!

A Tribute to Sphinn

sphinn.jpgWhile I don’t participate on Sphinn as much as I should, it’s an awesome site. I have already discovered some really useful blogs I was not aware of previously, and recently the author of one of them tagged me. Sebastian, like me and many of my readers, enjoys the deeply technical stuff. I highly recommend subscribing to his feed, as his topics are very entertaining and along the same lines as mine.

I am sure I would not have found Sebastian’s blog without Sphinn. With that thought in mind, let me share a few more useful blogs that Sphinn has turned me on to:

Ralph, aka Phantomaster. While I followed his blog a couple of years ago, he had stopped for awhile and it was only through Sphinn that I learned he was back. Ralph helps us see Google from a different angle—an angle they definitely don’t want us to see! Subscribe to his feed to find out what I mean.

Michael VanDeMar. I have to believe his FeedBurner counter must be broken: it says he has only 2 readers! I came across his blog when he was ranting about Rand’s post involving Aviva’s directory. He covers some really interesting and controversial stuff. Check out his blog and subscribe to his feed. Let’s move that FeedBurner counter up!

Greg Boser. I recently found his blog via a post asking Danny to include a Dumbass button! I have to say it is hard not to follow a link with such a title.Check him out (and subscribe to his feed while you’re at it!).

Sphinn Doctor: Adding Sphinn It! (with Sphinn counts) to your feed and website posts

You have probably read about Sphinn – the Digg-like, social media site for search engine marketers. Almost every SEO/SEM blog has talked about it. If you haven't, Rand's post is an excellent introduction.

Instead of trying to explain why it is important to get on the Sphinn home page – that is covered in other blogs – I will focus on how to make your posts more “sphinnable” by adding a Sphinn It! link to the end of all your posts. You can do that by using FeedBurner FeedFlares.

In my previous posts on the website and feed you have probably seen something like this:

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SEO is Dead! (Long Live Advanced SEO)

After trying a few different approaches, I've finally found a clear direction for this blog. Some A-list bloggers consider that starting another SEO blog is a bad idea. There are thousands of bloggers writing about SEO and the market is already saturated. It's going to be difficult to stand out.

I have to say that I disagree. While there are lots of guys blogging about SEO, many of them are just repeating the same thing: "create good content" and "attract authority links."  If it is so simple and that is the only thing you needed to do, then why do we need to learn SEO in the first place?

Here are a few examples of sites with good content and relevant links that are not listed on the top 10.

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Shoemoney challenges Ranfish on full disclosure

Shoemoney invited Rand Fishkin of Seomoz.org to record an interesting dialog to be aired on his radio show, next Tuesday. Rand says they discussed their opposing viewpoints on whether bloggers should fully disclose affiliate/marketing deals to readers, especially if they are endorsing those products. It is going to be a lot of fun to listen.

My personal opinion on the matter is that it’s all about trust. Trust is one of the hardest things to earn on-line. It can take a lot of time and effort to build it and if you lose it, it’s practically impossible to recover it.

The advantage of disclosing is that if the product or service mentioned does not live up to the expectations of our visitor, we can always say that we didn’t endorse it. It’s nice to make commissions for our marketing efforts but that should not be in detriment of the relationships we are trying to build with readers.