Who the hell does Graywolf think he is?

I have been reading Michael Gray at www.wolf-howl.com for it must be over a year, maybe more. I remember when the SEO Rockstars critiqued his Disney ebook, which I thought was kinda cool.

He certainly knows his stuff and is the man to go to if you want to get on the front page of Digg.

Greg Niland had him on his show Good Karma, which can be downloaded at webmasterradio.fm

These are my notes from the show. Michael talks fast so try to bear that in mind when reading. I havn’t the time to go through it and clean it up so you will have to deal with the spelling, typos and grammer. For the lawyers all errors and ommisions exist and as it’s my notes everything is alleged. If you want to find out what was said verbatim go download the show.

Here are the notes

Good ROI aka Greg Niland presents a podcast with

Michael Gray aka Graywolf who lives at http://www.wolf-howl.com

A must read for anyone in the industry.

It’s a busy time for Graywolf.

This time of year is good to be in the weight loss, insurance sector.

Brand management is a hot topic. Big corporations are making mistakes online. How can we learn from their mistakes.

What should we do with press releases.

MG
Matt Cutts says that press releases do not pass link value. But you can boost the press release by linking to the press release with a keyword.

GN
Keyword stuffing and link stuffing is long gone, but a press release is a good way to be discovered.
Good for starting the buzz.

MG
Tie the press release into news events. Take advantage of the natural press.

GN
If something is current, rush out a PR and take advantage of the news cycle.

GN
Look at a press release for buzz and branding, from that you hopefully will get the links.

MG
Always monitor what the blogs are saying about you. Use an rss feed alert based on a keyword.
Check out Technorati.

GN
Microsoft recently had an issue with Vista, they sent bloggers free laptops for talking about them, it’s like borderline bribery.

MG
It was a bad example of what you should do. Promotion wise.

GN
Microsoft said it was just for testing purposes.
They recognise that bloggers are influencers, but it wasn’t handled right.

So if you feel like promoting through bloggers make sure you know what you are doing.

MG
If you have someone complaining about a product, fix it. It’s business 101. IF it doesn’t work, get your message out. If someone says something bad about you threadjack it.

Threadjacking is where you take control over the conversation. For example on threadwatch, a thread on another website would be discussed and because Threadwatch has more people, the conversation is continued there rather than the original location.

GN
It’s a useful tactic if someone is being negative about you. If you create an open enviroment where people can post good things about you, you will be suprised with the testimonials about you. A good way to put someone in their place.
If you leave it on a forum that is negative it’s not good.

MG
Never stifle someones opinion, but have a technical problem with your comments and bye bye after a period of time.

GN
Link bait, now it’s picture bait.

MG
I’ll take credit for picture bait.
It’s about doing something that hooks people in and interest them. You may have a cool title but then ruin it with bad content.
If you want to know what good bait is, go to DIgg, search in your sector by 365 days and look at what got dugg. You can see what people love and what they hate.

GN
Digg is the place for Link bait

MG
Bait that works really well on Digg may not work well on Netscape or Techmeme.

GN
Someone wrote a post that Matt Cutts eats babies, is that wrong.

MG
It’s obviously a joke, most people new. But you should be careful with people who are ill.

GN
Think if you would want people to write a post about you that may offend. It may be true but you think it’s funny.

MG
Photoshop a bowl of babies and Matt Cutts with some barbecue sauce, take it further.

GN
How to handle when someone is attacking you. What to do when someone crosses the line.

MG
Most of the people who comment on Digg are 12 years old.

GN
Not all Digg users

MG
Those that comment are not worth debating.
The positive comments that you make help you in making the home page.

GN
We are not saying use a network of friends or and automated commenting system.

MG
If things die down in the debate, go back in and comment again and get things going.

Don’t comment when you are angry. Wait, then threadjack it where you are in charge.
Link out to a thread you control.

GN
No one is proud of the things said when angry.
Threadjaking in that situation is a good idea.

MG
Picture jacking, digg will have pictures next to the story. So does techmeme, so chose a picture wisely, something that induces click.

GN
Or gives something to the masses, you don’t want to offend people but….

MG
Shoemoney is using mybloglog by having a picture of a fine woman.
Which I am sure is increasing his click throughs.

See what other people are doing and think what pictures are working.

Web 2.0 is great because everyone is into sharing everything.

GN
lets talk about Blogging tips
You have one of the bigger blogs out there, it’s a powerhouse. You outrank people for their own name.

MG
My alexa started at 40k at the start of 2006 and went to 6k at the end.

GN
The lower the figure the better, you can fake it but not by that much so well done.

MG
You have to post 2 or 3 good posts a week.
Look at where people are not blogging and blog there, post the good stuff on the weekend if noone else is.
Go to techcrunch and go indepth with a quality story.
You could get your link at the bottom of techcrunch.

Blogging is hard, John Scott says it’s the most time consuming and least paying thing I do.

GN
Blogging is a labor of love and not for the short term play.

MG
I have a place called the idea dump where I write my crazy ideas and when I can’t think of something to post I go in there and dig something out.

I publish the full RSS feed.
Which is good and bad, I am getting scraped to death. I can’t keep up with it. Google is smart enough to know I am the source.
Readers get the quality information with out the ads. The money is in the archives, I can saturate those pages with the advertising.

GN
Blogging is not about today, it’s about the future. If potential clients can see a large amount of posts they are going to be impressed.
It’s a long term play.

MG
I have been playing with a new stats programme. Most of my regular readers are not coming everyday, I get a lot of drive by traffic and this works with the advertising.
The loyal readers are in RSS
Most people use the title as the anchor text to link to you. People are looking for the dirt, not subtle read between the lines.

It’s hard to striked a balance between calling people out and someone you disagree with.
Think about you may meet people at conferences who you say things about.

GN
The industry is small so…

MG
Play nice and things are better.

Go with people who have comments. Comments are the quickest way to get noticed. Be completely selfless, offer a good point. You want people to say wow that was insightful
A great tool is for keeping track is called co.mments.com, it’s a bookmarklet that adds your comment to your list
RSS is the way to keep track of more information quickly.

Link freely and link often, people want to know what people are saying about them. Use technorati to track who is talking about you.

GN
If you had 100k to spend to promote an affiliate site for something.

MG
I would outsource all the content.
I would create a blog storm
Videos on youtube
Pictures on flkr

If I had only 100$ I would take advantage of everyone I know.

If you want people to subscribe to your rss but a big rss button in there and make it obvious that this is where to subscribe to RSS. Make it impossible to miss.
Without being silly.

Give the monkey a banana.

Make the operation as easy as possible to perform.

GN
How to listen to Google

MG
It’s hard to read the tea leaves. Difficult to know who to follow. Figure out what they say if it’s not true think about it.

Like with supplemental, it’s what they say is different to what we see.

The end result is the same, if you’re not ranking, there is a difference between a filter or penalized, but not to a small site owner. You could have multiple things going on, an engineer may not want to say a particular thing.

People complained about making off topic post, but my chicken noodle video post has made me 50,000 page views.

See Graywolfs’ post about the show

Comments

  1. says

    Can I just say that Alexa is a very inaccurate way to measure an SEO site’s popularity.

    Alexa reports back to base each time someone with it installed hits a site. Alexa then uses this data to extrapolate what their actual traffic is. So, if they get 100 hits on a day – they’ll assume that 1% of the visitors to that site probably had the toolbar installed and guess that they had 10,000 hits.

    “Guess” is the operative word. Who visits SEO blogs? People interested in Search marketing and SEO. I would bet that the percentage of visitors with the Alexa toolbar or (Craig Raw’s Tools for FF) would be closer to 30-50%!

    So Alexa, using the same math, assuming a 1% install base reports 100 hits as 10,000, when it actually could have been only 200 on an SEO site with a 50% Alexa toolbar install rate.

    This is the dirty little SEO/Alexa secret, and it would make a good post in itself.

  2. lyndonantcliff says

    I agree, I would never judge a site soley based on Alexa. For me it’s a quick and dirty way to see what a site is doing, add pr and backlinks into the mix and you get a snapshot of what the site is doing.

    Of course the only true way is a peek at the raw server logs.

    Also if a site is aimed at web savy people who are more likely to have the toolbar installed the data will be skewed.

    However, where Graywolf has jumped from 40k to 6k would indicate to me this does represent a substantial jump in traffic. But I can be sure of that as I have followed the blog over the same period of time.

    For example, this site had an Alexa ranking of 200k a week ago and on Saturday it jumped to 8k, mainly because I wrote a post which attracted about 2,000 people mostly with toolbars installed.

    Although even armed with that knowledge I still got a kick out of the spike in the stats.