The It Getters

I met Rand Fishkin of Seomoz.org for the first time at Portland’s SearchFest 2008 in February. I’d crashed my bike the weekend before, and I arrived at the conference late, missing his keynote.

He’s an amazing guy. His speeches are some of the best in the industry. They’re rapid-fire, hilarious, and terrifyingly engaging. They are prime examples of structured and engaging learning experiences for large groups. In person, he’s charismatic, kind, and entertaining.

His blog is always a great read, but an old article about “It Getters”, struck a great chord with me.

In the article, Rand examines the problem that happens when “companies get big, add staff and eventually, the hiring gets a bit sloppy.” “Thus,” he points out, “you can accidentally add lots of “doesn’t get it” and “causes others to lose it” to your organization, sucking away the ability of others to produce more amazing times”.

This handy chart might explain things more easily:

Rand Fishkin's 'It-Getting' Scale

Rand thus proposes “a short and extremely simple set of recommendations for anyone running a company, starting a company, managing a team, or planning their professional life:

  • Discover what “it” is that you get
  • Apply yourself ruthlessly to “it”
  • Become competent at identifying “it” getters in your areas of weakness
  • Surround yourself with them”

The It Getters” originally posted on the Seomoz blog on August 7th, 2008

The SEO Quake Addon for Firefox | Page Rank, Inlinks, and Sitemaps

Seo Addons, Extensions for FirefoxI was talking with Julian Chadwick of PDXPipeline this Monday about the tools he uses for search engine optimization. We recorded a podcast that will be posted Monday night on Hazelnut Tech Talk. However I wanted to pass on some of the information he gave me regarding the SEO plugins he uses for Firefox. I’d like to review the SEO Quake, as it has been very useful to me.

Basic Information

There are a few baseline pieces of baseline information that any SEO beginner. One of these is Page Rank, or Google’s consideration of what a given page is worth. Page rank varies from site to site, and there are a number of factors that contribute to pagerank. One of them is the amount of websites linking to a given website. This is called ‘inlinks’. One can find out this information by going to Google and entering the string “link:http://www.yoursite.com”.

The amount of links from a site to you website show up differently in Yahoo! Search vs. Google search vs. MSN. Obtaining this data takes a while without a good tool to help you find it. There are additional metrics one can find about a site, such as the page rank, sitemap, alexa rank, and whether the site has been indexed in search engines or not. Site indexing is different from checking inlinks.

If the pages of your site are not indexed by search engines, it is difficult for searchers to find them. Making sure your website has a sitemap and submitting it to Google Webmaster tools is an essential baseline step in the SEO process. You can generate an .xml sitemap for free by using the free tool provided at XML-Sitemaps.com.

SEO Quake for Firefox

SEO Quake is a plugin that adds another layer of information on top of your brower’s basic information. Instead of having to search for inlinks, the inlinks are displayed right on top of the site for you. You can also choose what information you want displayed about the site. There are plenty of options (accessible from preferences) that allow you to view any information you want about the page you’re on. There are Yahoo! inlinks, links to domain, Alexa rank, Page Rank, inlinks from MSN, compete rank, sitemap, and the robots.txt file, just to name a few.

SEO Quake Addon for Firefox - Preferences

Using SEO Quake rocks. It’s super-customizable and generates a ton of rich information without the need to click. Plus, you can click on the information and download into a spreadsheet or text document for later use or data analysis. Highly recommended.

Download

This is a link to the download site for SEO Quake. Again, it is only available for Firefox browsers, so if you aren’t using Firefox (which you most undoubtedly should), then you’ll be missing out.

Resources

Thanks to Julian Chadwick for mentioning this plugin. You can check out Julian’s site at PDXPipeline or follow him on Twitter @pdxpipeline.

For more information on SEO, Julian and I both recommend SEOMoz.org, a Seattle-based company providing an extremely comprehensive database of resources and tools for beginner, intermediate, and advanced SEO specialists. Try the free Trifecta tool on your site for starters.

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Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist from Portland, Oregon. You can follow her online @caseorganic.

The Programmable Web | A Quick and Dirty Mashup Review

Mashups and APIs are some of the best ways to get customized, rich data that is not accessible by one site alone.

Mashups use API’s to gather different data streams into ones that allow less user action to useful data ratios. As search-expert Rand Fishkin of Seomoz.org pointed out, “One of One of the best resources out there for finding APIs is ProgrammableWeb’s API Directory

Here are five mashup examples from Programmable Web. At the very least, they should spark inspiration, critisim, or discussion: your pick.

1. Local Blog Search

FeedMap allows you to see Blogs from your neighborhood and subscribe to their RSS feeds after seeing their descriptions and latest posts.

When I searched for Portland, Oregon, I found a lot of blogs, but none that I recognized. Most were under the radar – not the big ones like eROI, or SiliconFlorist:

Sample Result for Portland, Oregon:

Loosely Coupled Human Code Factory – A.K.A. Mercenary Engineer Feed Blog
Recent posts: Your Agile and The Flow

The site has nearby blogs as well as tagging capabilities for each blog. Not bad for finding smaller blogs within one’s area.

2. Auto Generated Event Sites

EventSites allows you to make quick websites for your event.

Test

I decided to make a site for Tweet PDX, and was amused to find that the hours were in 24 hour mode.

Flickr Tags

Excitingly, there was a Flickr tag prompt. I found this to be useful.

Saving the event

I was promoted to register an account with Eventful to create the event, so I did. Another caseorganic landgrab.

Event Dispersal

I really enjoyed one aspect of EventSites; the ability to send the event to Google Calendar, del.icio.us Events, Ping-O-matic, Upcoming.org and Facebook, Myspace and Technorati with a few clicks of a button (assuming you allow Upcoming.org access to EventSites).
Cool stuff.

3. Ask 500 People and Watch the Results

Ask500People shows real time stats of poll questions geographically and numerically as they are asked.
Awesome.

4. A Place Between Us

a.placebetween.us says “Trying to find a meeting place between friends? Enter your addresses and the type of place you want to meet.”

So I did. I said I’d like to meet someone between the Portland Small Business Accelerator and Backspace. It wasn’t smart (I had to enter the exact address as well as the city and state), and the results only gave me Startbucks Coffee.
Good idea, terrible data granularity. So much for that Mashup.

5. Where is the Path? (or street)

Where is the Path is an interesting mashup that combines topographic maps with Google Satellite maps to help you match trails with what they look like in real life, from above.

The interface uses two targets that match up the topo map to the Google map. Not bad. Also works for cities. Might be useful for finding bike paths/alt routes.

Conclusions

If you find an awesome Mashup or set of Mashups, please tell me about it.

You can also send billions of links to @caseorganic if you happen to enjoy Twitter.