Pay for link building?  What?  Yes, the different ways people do their link building vary from totally free to exorbitantly expensive, but one method a lot of people have not really considered is actually sending traffic that will build links to pages that deserve them.

There are different ways to use PPC to target your landing pages, but if you have good enough content you can use the traffic you attract to help create more links.  The cost will vary based on the keyword you choose, but in some cases this can be very beneficial for your SEO.

Julie Joyce at Search Engine Land has 8 tips to help you fine-tune this approach.

I just had to pass this one on. This is a real-life example of someone who was trying to find a hospital where a friend of his had been relocated, but couldn’t. All of his searching through Google wouldn’t let him find the right phone number.

In some cases, I can understand, but for a hospital?  This is one case where I do agree with him for sure – something should have been done.  It’s a great example of how not doing proper SEO will make it so that people trying to find you or your services will never be able to online.  In cases like that, the only way to pass on your site (and get traffic) is through offline marketing, be it on business cards or television commercials.  I think if you have a web site, it’s silly to have it sitting on the web without getting any natural traffic.  But that’s where SEO comes into play.

At any rate, if you want the full details on this crazy hospital example, check out Alan Bleiweiss’s SEO story.  It’s a doozy.

It appears Google and YouTube are starting to put in something new – automated captioning.  This will help a lot for people who are unable to receive the audio for either physical or mechanical reasons.  It’s going to start with English only, but they will be using voice recognition software to turn the audio into legible captions.

There is word that this update may affect SEO, but I have my curiosities about this.  It can only truly affect SEO if the captions are somehow written into the page code.  We can only see if this is the case once this new development in YouTube goes live.  We’ll see how it turns out.

When doing SEO, one of the most underutilized tools I know of is actually Google AdWords.  The benefits of how running an AdWords campaign can help SEO in various ways are numerous, and a lot of straight SEOs aren’t even aware of it.

Dave Davis of Redfly is a PPC pro, and he covers the crossover nicely in this post.

Yes, even the BBC is starting to adjust to the new wave of internet marketing.  It appears that they’re starting to consider SEO when writing their news posts online.  And keep in mind for the BBC, SEO stands for search engine optimisation, not the silly search engine optimization we talk about.

Enough of their traffic comes from the web and search engines, so they are making changes.  It’s true!  I read it on the Guardian.

So what SEO tools are out there, available online, to save you time and money?  Are there any that are worthwhile?  I actually think so.  Some of the big ones that I use include Yahoo Site Explorer and the Google AdWords Tool.  There are several other tools that people use, some of them cost to use, some of them are free.  (The above tools are free.)  So what’s worth using?

Well, Chris Boggs from Search Engine Watch has put together a really nice list of different quality SEO tools.  For the most part, I think his list is solid.  Not sure why he’s an IE man (I won’t question that too much, it can only lead to something bad), but his choice of tools for search engine optimization is solid.

One tip he mentioned that I think is worth saying again – make sure any of the methods in which the tools help you are things you already know how to do!  It’s worth extra time to learn how to do it manually first.  Then you can go on to find a tool to save your time and effort, and still have the skills that tool applies towards.

It looks like smaller cities are starting to see their businesses move more online with web sites, online marketing and social networking.  This would not surprise me too much to see, as the demand here for Tulsa SEO has increased, as well as for Tulsa website design.  I’m willing to bet it’s very similar in other cities.

In this case, it appears that Columbus is definitely on the list of cities rising in their online presence, and it’s showing for several different types of markets.

So it seems like some security guys have found a few new attacks, posted as image links on blogs.  These posts are engineered to end up on high Google results, but point to malware sites.  It apparently doesn’t work on up to date server software, so keeping your updates current is a good idea.

You can get more details here and here.

Canonicalization is a major part of SEO, but at the same time one that still gets missed by many web designers.  Check out my guest post at Daily SEO Tip.  I get into more detail on what it is and how to fix canonicalization there.

I still hear from a lot of SEOs that are convinced the keywords meta tag actually makes a difference.  Well, I thought I’d run a full test to see how much attention the search engines pay to it.

The test was as follows: I put a random string of letters and numbers together and slapped it into my keywords meta tag.

Keywords Meta Tag Test

Keywords Meta Tag Test

So there it is.  And I let the engines go out and gobble up my site.  After the robots had all crawled it, I did a check to see what each search engine found.  And this might surprise you, but here you go:

Google Keywords Meta Tag Test Results

Google Keywords Meta Tag Test Results

Yahoo Keywords Meta Tag Test Results

Yahoo Keywords Meta Tag Test Results

Bing Keywords Meta Tag Test Results

Bing Keywords Meta Tag Test Results Keywords Meta Tag Test Results Keywords Meta Tag Test Results

And as you can see for yourself – only Yahoo and Ask seem to pay any attention to the keywords meta tag.  Not only that, but it was very recently revealed that Yahoo will no longer use the keywords meta tag.

So, as I’ve said before – the keywords meta tag is only used by people who have not done the research to realize that it doesn’t do anything.  For SEO, keep your optimizing solid – use the primary elements, the title tag, the description tag, header tags where valid.  But remember to target humans, not just the search engines.  If you keep that in mind, you’ll likely find yourself in better positions on the search engine results pages.