About the author

Joe is the founder of Zen Optimise and Chief SEO trainer. He likes talking about Branding, Kite Flying and SEO.

Joe Williams

The Weekly Optimiser

Each week, we bring you the best digital marketing advice from around the web. And since it’s Friday 13th today, we’ve thrown in a few horror story extras


This week’s top pick:

Products can be replicated; services can be copied: content’s what makes the difference. “According to The Corporate Executive Board, 60% of the sales cycle is over before you’ll speak with a prospect for a business-to-business transaction.”


#1: Search Engine Watch: What Does it Take to Get a Link From the BBC?

The BBC’s rules on linking match up with Google’s desire for links to add value and to be earned on merit. Great PR can get your content picked up by a major news corporation, resulting in high-quality SEO links. From the BBC’s guidelines: “A link must never be included on the public service site or within the editorial content of a commercial site in return for cash, services or any other consideration in kind.”

#2: Search Engine Land: Google’s Matt Cutts On What To Do If Your Site Was Hit By Panda [TEXT + VIDEO]

The short answer: “write high quality content, content at the level of published books or in popular magazines.” Producing original content that people will enjoy and that adds value is key. In the video, Matt Cutts confirms that the Panda Algorithm is now integrated into the main algorithm and indexing system. 

#3: The Guardian: PR, SEO and content marketing – it’s all going in the same direction

“Recent updates to Google … seem to be less about link building strategies and more about creating quality content that people want to share.” In fact, SEO is still about link building … but not the old, easy link building. PR and content marketing skills are now crucial for the direction that SEO is heading in.

Friday 13th Horror: Cyrus Shepard: The Sad State of My Search Traffic After Disavowing 35,000 Links

Disavowing links is a way of reporting spammy links to Google. Cyrus sets up an interesting experiment by using it against good links. For two months, nothing happened … then Google released Penguin 2.0, a new update.

Content Marketing

#4: Intercom: Why Cards are the Future of the Web

Card-based layouts (think Pinterest) are fast becoming the new design paradigm of the web, influenced by mobile browsing. “Content consumption on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Line, you name it, is all built on the card design metaphor.”

#5: ZenOptimise: 13 Handy Content Marketing Tools

Are you struggling to find enough time for content marketing? These 13 handy tools, covering every stage from content discovery to content promotion and outreach, could make your life a lot easier.

#6: Think Traffic: 10 Fast Ways to Become a Better Writer

Even if you don’t have much time, these ten great tips will help you jump right in and produce better pieces of content. “Starting with the answer first can be terrifying (and worse, inaccurate or incomplete). … You don’t need to answer the question to write a great story or essay. Begin with a question, and add your thoughts.”

Friday 13th Horror: Content Boost Blog: Three Effective Content Marketing Lessons from Your Favorite Scary Movie

Learn a few lessons from horror films that could help you keep readers engaged with your content. “You know a scary movie is successful when people start buzzing about it as soon as the lights are raised in the theater. Later that night, they’ll still be thinking about the movie as they go to sleep, keeping the lights on. Similarly, you want your marketing platform to remain ingrained in your customer’s mind. ”

Social Media

#7: Google+ Developers Blog: Google+ author attribution & embedded posts

Google is extending Authorship to create an automatic link between users’ WordPress.com or Typepad blogs and their Google+ account. They’re also introducing embedded posts, so Google+ posts can be added into web pages.

#8: Zen Optimise: 8 Reasons Why Your Business Blog Sucks

We hope it doesn’t … but we’ve seen all of these mistakes crop up a fair few times on business blogs. Check that you’re not guilty of any of these (and follow our simple fixes if you are).

#9: Social Media Examiner: Searchable History of All Tweets: This Week in Social Media

Topsy now offers the entire history of public tweets. Curious to find out what a particular person first tweeted, or when a specific word or hashtag was first used? Now you can! Social Media Examiner also rounds up other top news.

Friday 13th horror: ifb: Social Media Slays: 4 Lessons for Stayin’ Alive Online

“As I started watching Scream 4, I realized this film is ultimately all about our day to day communication, social media, and our culture’s obsession with 15 minutes of fame. ” Is your social media life quickly heading for horror story territory? Find out here, with the help of a few horror film lessons…


What have we missed? Let us know in the comments what posts have helped you this week.