Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Put Your Content Copies Under Control

We are all being copied. The moment any new article gets published, it is being republished on some crappy blog (more often than not, without any credit). There’s not much we can do about that.
This post is about those content stealing that is done through direct copy-pasting from the page. This is just one way to steal your content but it is used pretty often.
So how do we go about people copying our content?

1. Force a link back to your page

Tracer is a free tool that forces a potential content thief to link back to your page. If any part of your page is copied, it adds a link back to your site to the copied content. Of course, the link might be manually removed but most thieves never care to.
The installation is really quick:
  1. Register
  2. Get the script and put it sitewide before
  3. You are done!
It also offers some nice statistics on which content is copied off your pages and how often.

2. Allow to embed your content (instead of re-publishing it)

EmbedArticle is an interesting service that invites anyone attempting to copy your content to use the generated code to embed the article (with the link back to the original). You can even configure the widget to show your ads in the embed article (to earn from that re-used content).
Just insert the generated code (or use the Wordpress plugin) to get it working. The Embed Article widget window will pop open whenever more than 10 words (or whatever number you set) are highlighted and there is a copy command.
Embed article
If you want, you can even encourage embedding your content to other sites by using a handy interactive button:
Embed article button
The site also offers basic stats on who embeds your content and how many clicks you get.
Warning: please test thoroughly before running. For me, the plugin won’t work for some of my blogs. Not sure if that was the theme issue.

3. Forbid copying text

This method seems to be both extreme and low-effective (since it only forbids right-click but not CTRL+C copying) but it is still often used.
WP-PreventCopyBlogs (by Johnu George) is a handy plugin that has quite a few options:
  • Track those who copy your content (you’ll need to grant the addon your data base access);
  • Disable right-click in the selected text (you can create your own message for those who attempt to copy anything from your blog using Right-click option);
  • Disable selecting text all over.
Using the plugin, you can probably request a link back from those who attempt to copy your content:
No copy plugin

Some Tactical Tips for Tracking the Long Tail

Most of us in the search industry are pretty much aware by now that simply tracking individual keyword rankings to determine performance is all but a dead SEO practice. This scene is played out for a variety of reasons, due largely in part to personalized search and Google serving search results based on a searcher’s physical location.
With that said, I personally have a hard time believing that most people are willing to ignore keyword rankings altogether – nor do I think we should. Benchmarking rankings for specific keywords and tracking progress over time is still a very valuable exercise. However, focusing onlyon rankings is far less than ideal. So what other metrics are folks using to track the effectiveness of their SEO efforts? I will expand on a few, but please, feel free to share in the comments as well.
A Recommended Approach
In general, it’s best to correlate keyword rankings with traffic. But not only is it a best practice to track organic visits from targeted keywords, it is a best practice to capture their long tail counterparts as well. In other words, think of your targeted key phrases as the “base” and track search engine visits from all variations of a given base keyword. Often, when traffic begins to increase from long tail search queries, it is an indication that search engine optimization progress is underway. In addition, tracking long tail traffic in relation to targeted keywords will help to illustrate the value of your SEO efforts until you have obtained better visibility for the more competitive, high search volume keywords.
One recommended approach is to segment tracking between “exact match” targeted keyword rankings and keyword category traffic.
Exact Match Targeted Keyword Rankings
This refers to a standard approach: perform thorough keyword research and identify the top keywords that represent your products or services and track their rankings. Cross reference organic traffic from these “exact match” keywords to monitor growth as rankings improve and to ensure those keywords are converting into leads or sales.
Keyword Category Traffic
Tracking keyword categories captures the long tail of traffic to paint a more holistic view of how these categories are actually performing. A keyword category can be created by lumping a group of related keywords into one comprehensive “bucket” that makes up a given category. Keyword categories can be very simple. For example, a Review category could simply consist of all search engine traffic that came from queries that contained the word “review”. Keyword categories can also be more complex however, for example a Television category could consist of all search engine traffic that came from queries that contained the word “television” and/or “hdtv” and/or “flat screen” and so on. These categories can be created in a manner of minutes by using Google Analytics Custom Segments.
You may also consider categorizing your exact match targeted keyword rankings to match your keyword categories for tracking the long tail. With this approach, a separate ranking report would be run for each category and then appropriately cross referenced with long tail keyword traffic. In graph format, one axis would contain exact match keyword rankings and the secondary axis would contain that category’s long tail visits.
So there you have it. A relatively simple approach to tracking long tail traffic and mapping it back to optimization for specific keywords. There are other metrics to trend as well, such as the number of keywords and the number of landing pages (mainly for very large sites) that drive organic traffic. It wasn’t too long ago that analytics solutions were not able to provide such customizable and flexible reporting features, so take advantage if you haven’t already.

Monday, April 5, 2010

8 Search Engine Related iPad Apps

Aside from Twitter  and Social Networking apps, another interesting set of apps available right now on the iPad App Store are search-related. I scoured through the App Store to get the most significant of these search-related iPad apps – and found 8 of them. Here are 8 search-related apps that you might want to check out.

Zillow Real Estate Search

This iPad app lets you view photo galleries of home’s on the iPad’s large screen and tap, swipe, pinch and drag to see Zestimate home values , homes for sale, homes for rent, and more. The app also lets you filter searches by price, beds, baths, and other filters, search by monthly payment, view full-screen color photos, save searches, get push notifications, email homes to friend as well as share homes on Facebook. (Free) iTunes link. Mobile Search

If you need to find local businesses and other related information while on the move, you might want to get this app from the iPad App Store. This app features local business search, GPS location, maps and driving directions. It lets you view business websites and videos, save business details to your Contacts and sort items alphabetically or by distance to your current location. (Free) iTunes link.

Meta Flavor Restaurant Search

This is  a pretty useful app for searching and comparing millions of restaurants and dishes. It lets you search by cuisine, restaurant’s name, and even by ingredient. The app also remembers your preferences and makes smart recommendations the next time you use the app. (Free) iTunes link.

Search Maestro (For Google)

Simply put, this iPad app lets you do Google searches on your iPad. It allows you save your searches and then browse them later. It also lets you save web pages, browse the internet fast, view current page in Safari and view searches even while your iPad is offline. (Price: $1.99)iTunes link.


Like Meta-Flavor, this app lets you search for specific dish and discover what other people have to say about this dish. You can browse through all the dishes that have been reviewed on a particular restaurant as well as submit your own reviews. The app also encourages users to share their dishes including photos of the finish product. (Free) iTunes link.


Searcher is a fast web search tool for your iPad. It currently supports,,, Wikipedia,,,,, YouTube, Twitter, Wolfram Alpha, Yaho and for translation. (Price: $1.99) iTunes link.


QuickFind is a pretty straightforward search tool for your iPad. It lets you search popular multiple sites at the same time. The app utilizes the iPad’s huge screen to come up with two column interface where the right column serves as display for your web browser. (Free) iTunes link.

JobServe Connect

One of the few, if not the only Job search tool available for your iPad. This app lets you search for jobs from a global database of over 40,000 job openings. It also lets you apply for a job quickly. And if you register for an account at Jobserve, you can view your latest jobs applied for, save and run searches, and get useful candidate messages from your online Jobserve account. (Free)iTunes link.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Track Keywords with Topikality

Topikality is an email alert service (something like Google Alerts but with some essential differences. So it can be used as an additional email alert service not an alternative one)
Best to use for:
  • Keyword research for your main/base keyword (to see which contexts it is used in);
  • Post and content ideas (to see what people write about in this niche).
The tool is currently impossible to use for reputation management because the database seems to small (so you won’t be able to spot every other brand mention).

Step 1: Create your search

Like I said, Topicality is best to use for keyword research and post ideas; so grab your main term (this is the one to rank #1 for which you can only dream :)) and create a “topik”. I found advanced search easier to use than the main interface.
The tool supports common boolean operators: AND / – as well as exact match operator (quotes):
Topikality search

Step 2: Filter your search results

Give the tool some time to gather results, then start filtering your results.
The tool will remember your choices  and adjust future results to your needs and preferences. So just a few days of filtering will improve the quality of search results and alerts.
Use an arrow icon to rank (the one that you like) any result higher and X-icon to delete those results that you found irrelevant:

3. Step 3: Enjoy your email alerts

Now you are going to receive email alerts listing new relevant results based on your initial search query.

You can continue adjusting results right from an email.

Optional: Settings

You can also configure the service settings:
  • Set the number of articles per email alert;
  • Set an email update period;
  • Disable / Enable voting frame for the articles you click through;
  • Select your time zone:
Topikality settings
As always, I encourage to give the free tool a try and let me know your thoughts in the comments!