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Welcome to another edition of Christian Reads… (So You Don’t Have To) – SEO Edition. This is the first edition in 2012! Exciting! My new years resolution was to curate some kickass SEO content and hit these roundups hard for you folks. So without further ado, here’s some good SEO news & articles that I’ve been reading:

Creating Content: Staying Creative & Becoming Search Engine Marketing Wise

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Shameless self-plug, but this post rocks. I created this post specifically for folks who are content creators to show them in a fun way that hey, you can really make anything interesting and exciting. Also included are illustrations by me that, I’ll admit, took me way longer than they should have.

Comparing Google Trends for Websites and Google Analytics Data – 2011 Edition

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This was an interesting post done by Dynamical (if I were them, I’d preface the company name with “radical” for any and all mentions – Radical Dynamical) where Ani López compared actual Google Analytics data versus what Google Trends was giving him. He did this back in 2009 and reported that things weren’t matching up very well. Well, it looks like Google is doing a better job of matching up the data… so the short of it is that Google Trends is now showing more reliable data than ever before.

SEO + User Experience: Like Peanut Butter & Chocolate

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Old news but new video! Ben was able to speak at the 2011 Seattle Interactive Conference and recently a video was made available for those who not attend to view the session he was in. We may be a bit biased, but Ben’s presentation certainly was the best of the bunch. Plus – if you end your speaking gig in a session with, “Boom!” (at 25:24) it pretty much guarantees you to be a speaker at that conference for life. Fast forward to 17:30 to see Ben’s presentation.

Intermission

We at Amplify like to be an organized bunch. That’s why Ben was recently interviewed about how, as a small business owner, he uses calendars to great success. You can check out that fantastic article here.

Cascade Content for SEO

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Aliza Earnshaw of AboutUs informs us about how adopting a cascading content strategy can help improve the reach and visibility of articles that you write. Not only that, but search engines use social signals to help determine rankings… so a solid cascading content strategy can help you with search engine rankings as well.

Counting to 10 the Google Way

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The always funny Dr. Pete over at SEOmoz shows us how the first page of Google really isn’t the “top 10″ anymore; it’s the top 10 PLUS some. In one example, there were 16 actual listings on the first page! So why are there more results on the first page of Google? Hint – universal content. Also – the context of the search query. If someone is searching for “pizza”, then naturally, Google will show them results with a strong preference for listings that have Google Local flair (address stuff), some quick hits from their Google Image findings and even news that features the word pizza!

M-M-Megasitelinks

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Google announced megasitelinks which, as you may have guessed, is an improvement to how their search engine chooses sitelinks to display for any given listing in the organic search results. They called this an algorithmic update for selecting sitelinks but megasitelinks will also show sitelinks specific to the searcher’s metropolitan region location. So we’re getting even more personalized with search results than ever before.

21 Types of Social Content To Boost Your SEO

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Jordan Kasteler shares 21 different types of content that tend to be content types that end up being successful viral content. You can’t create a piece of content with the attention of it “going viral”… but you can set it up to have the greatest chance possible of doing so.

My Own Personal Christian Reads…

My coworker Ryan gave me “Game of Thrones” which is the first entry in the “Song of Fire and Ice” series by George R.R. Martin for Christmas, as I very much enjoyed the first season on HBO. So I’m slowly making my way through that.

Readers Read… (So I Don’t Have To)

What have I missed? Did you read anything really awesome in late December / early January that you’d like to share? Please let me know in the comments!

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