It’s surprising what being snowed in can do for your productivity over a weekend.  I’ve finished up with some changes to the site, finally added a Portfolio page and an About Us page (so you can see what my ugly mug looks like).

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The iPad is the latest Apple news and it’s been getting a lot of attention.  Considering this, some not-so-nice SEOs are using the fresh keywords to do black hat SEO to infect computers across the globe with malware.  They’re targeting laterally related keywords such as “Apple Tablet” and “Apple iPad Rumor”.

Be cautious if you see some weird results when you do searches on these types of terms.  The eWeek Security Watch has more info on this.

This isn’t directly internet marketing related, but it’s something I know a lot of people have been waiting for.  The iPad (AKA the iTablet and other names).  It looks to be a cross between the iPod/iPhone, a laptop, and a television.  It’s thin, sits in your lap, and is full touch-sensitive.  Plus compatible with your old systems, so you can copy apps from the iPhone to the iPad to have them full-screen.

It looks like it might have good potential for a portable movie player with a substantially larger screen, has better use for eBooks, and the higher resolution makes everything a little easier to see, such as maps, your calendar, YouTube, not to mention web browsing.

The full announcement came today from Apple, so if you’re curious to learn more about it (as I still am), you can check out the official iPad page.

Google just upped their record from the 4th quarter of 2008 by 17%.  So how much is that, exactly?  Revenues in the 2008 4th quarter: $5.70 billion.  And they’re only improving.  Revenues in the 2009 4th quarter: $6.67 billion.

The fact that this is only for one fourth of the year blows my mind.  If that stays consistent, then that’s in the neighborhood of $25 billion a year.  They’re doing okay.

If you want to get more of the details on these numbers, check out this article from Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land.

In SEO, many people often think of the different types of SEO tactics that are put into play without ever really putting together a solid strategy.  Knowing how to distinguish which tactics should be used for which market is a great skill.  It’s something that is not focused on by all SEOs, but it really should be.

Beyond that, after determining which tactics are best, one of the best abilities to have is efficiency at various tasks.  Knowing how to balance your time for each need that your projects require is a very valuable asset.  Stephan Spencer described it very well in his article on Search Engine Land, I highly recommend viewing his tips on all of these often missed elements of SEO.

It’s not always dead on accurate, but by using Google in the right way you can often figure out what your significant other is interested in.  How?  By using what’s known as “predictive text”.  It’s the ability by Google (and Yahoo) to see what you’re typing in and try to predict what you might be looking for.  By only entering a few words in, you can often glean a lot of very interesting information.

For example, you can type in “how can I get my girlfriend to” and then let Google roll, see what it comes up with.  (Warning, even though it’s only text, it’s not all child-friendly content.)  Replace “girlfriend” with “boyfriend”, “wife”, “husband”, etc. and you have a new research tool.

Mind you, in many cases these results may not match at all with your significant other’s thoughts and desires, but it can still be fun to explore.  And for marketers, this is a gold mine.  These are the hot buttons that are looked for to prompt action by many marketers, and Google is just giving it to you.

If you want to see more detail and screenshots of examples of these, check out Vanessa Fox’s excellent article on Search Engine Land.

When a major magazine that focuses on large businesses and exchanges of huge numbers of money talks about how important SEO is, you know that it’s worth knowing about.  Forbes put up an article about search engine optimization and gave a few really great tips.

The article mentions how there are over 12 billion searches each month and that most people never look past the first page on their searches.  Because of this, being on the first page of results for your market is becoming more and more valued and valuable.

The tips they talk about are details such as content, keyword organization, and even speed of the site itself.  The other element I was happy to see mentioned was the reminder to never forget the visitor directly.  I’ve often told people – top listings don’t matter if no one wants to stick around when they visit your page.  Because of this, good web design and focus on attractive details to the customer is important.

As posted in article by PC World, even Google can make errors on occasion.  In this case, some statistics for users of Google Business Center were sent to incorrect Business Center users.  This included information such as how often the business had appeared in listings, how many times the business was clicked and follow-through clicks on the business site itself.

This error was found to have been by human mistake, not an error directly with any of Google’s systems.  Google was on top of it and corrected it quickly.  They published a written statement to acknowledge the error and that when they discovered it, said they paused all emails to Business Center users until they could determine the cause of the issue.

The 80-20 rule is one that applies to several areas of business.  This includes SEO.  There are some elements in SEO that take a large amount of time and effort, especially in areas like building backlinks.  In this case, deciding on which 20% of these can provide 80% of your SEO value can save lots of time while not cutting many results.

In addition to this, when you have hundreds (or thousands) of pages on your site, it’s important to try avoiding the duplicate content penalty where possible.  To do this, each page must be unique and have valid content.  With that many pages, even with a full staff it still takes a lot of time.  In this case the 80-20 rule can be applied to choose the most important of your site’s pages and make sure they’re prepped to be crawled fully by the search engines.  You can find more detail on how to apply the 80-20 rule to SEO from Eric Enge at Search Engine Watch.

Apparently Google in Japan got a big penalty placed on them by Google themselves, taking their toolbar PageRank level from 9 to 5 (Search Engine Land posted an update about this on an earlier story they had).  This is a huge sign – one, that Google takes bad actions by any site (even themselves) very seriously.

Only now has the penalty been removed, although the toolbar PageRank is only up to 8 (not 9).  That’s almost a full year of penalization (11 months, to be precise).

The malady that Google Japan performed?  They paid bloggers to review a new Google widget.  This isn’t the first time Google instated a penalty on themselves – it does go to show that Google enforces their rules consistently, even against themselves.

It demonstrates that if you want to be sure to keep good rankings, you do have to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.