Howdy, Eagle watchers! Here’s your Friday dose of knowledge and fun. This week, we have a splattering of keyword research, pointers from Google, and of course an-ask-me anything. Dive right in.

 

Negative SEO: still taboo or becoming an accepted practice?

http://econsultancy.com/blog/64368-negative-seo-still-taboo-or-becoming-an-accepted-practice

Chris Bishop, director of 7thingsmedia, takes a look at how negative SEO is done at present, how you identify it, and what search engines are doing to combat the practice, over at Econsultancy.

 

Is there a version of Google that excludes backlinks as a ranking factor?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCY30WhI2og

Ever wondered why Google doesn’t stop using backlinks as a metric to rank websites, given the lengths they go to to keep out unnatural links? Well, they’re trying but they aren’t quite there yet, says spokesman Cutts. And he thought we didn’t know that?

 

I’m Hiten Shah, Co-Founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. Ask Me Anything.

http://inbound.org/discussion/view/i-m-hiten-shah-co-founder-of-crazy-egg-and-kissmetrics-ask-me-anything

The Eagle simply l-o-v-e-s AMAs. It’s Hiten Shah this week on Inbound.org. The entrepreneur-par-excellence offers some cool insights about his companies Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, startups in general, and CRO.

 

Recovery Stories Emerge From Google’s Third Page Layout Refresh

http://www.seroundtable.com/google-page-layout-recovery-18129.html

Barry Schwartz draws attention to a couple of happy stories, as narrated on WebmasterWorld, post Google’s third refresh of their Page Layout algorithm. Sites that moved their ads below the fold gained higher SERP spots.

 

60+ Keyword Research Tool Alternatives to Google Keyword Planner

http://www.smallbusinessideasblog.com/keyword-research-tools

Brian Lang has compiled a monster list of keyword research tools on his Small Business Ideas blog. Go try out a few if you don’t fancy Google’s Keyword Planner!

 

5 reasons why brands are cutting out agencies

http://digiday.com/agencies/pulsepointes-5-reasons-brands-cutting-agencies/

Here’s one from the world of advertising. The relation brands have with ad agencies is not very different than what they have with digital marketing firms. So, this has wide implications.

 

John Mueller: Google May Not Show the Redirect Target URL in SERPs

http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4646897.htm

Google’s John Mueller said that they might display the redirect URL over the destination URL in search results, as and when they deem appropriate. Click here for details of what’s appropriate.

 

Should You Attend a Search Marketing Conference in 2014?

http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/2014/02/why-attend-a-search-marketing-conference/

Yes, says Chelsea Adams on the Bruce Clay Blog. Where else do you get to learn from your peers, meet industry leaders, discover the latest tools used by the pros, and network while having beer?

 

Magento Commerce SEO: A Primer

http://www.add3.com/insights/seo/magento-commerce-seo-a-primer/

Brian Rauschenbach discusses canonicalization, pagination and other on-site best practices for ecommerce stores running Magento. A much-needed revisit, even though SEO guidelines for Magento keep popping up every now and then.

 

The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research

http://backlinko.com/the-definitive-guide-to-keyword-research

The latest, updated, ultimate, insane, supreme, extreme guide to keyword research from good old Backlinko – covers competitive analysis, tools, long tail keywords and commercial intent. Way to go, Brian!