SEO content marketing roundup, week ending December 8th

In this week’s latest and greatest web writing news, it ‘tis the season to tune up, make a plan, take stock of 2010, and note the forecasts for 2011:  content marketing will become ever more critical, SEO and search will increasingly integrate social signals, and social media marketing will continue its expansive growth (in spite of the rumors, Facebook doesn’t “own” the internet…yet…)

Content Marketing:

First, two highly recommended reads:  one from eMarketer on why “magnetic” content marketing will be crucial to your success in 2011, and the second from Content Marketing Today on the essential skills you need to write “kick-butt” copy for your website.

Yet another smart post on content marketing is at Design Damage, and Sonia Simone addresses conversions at Copyblogger.

Content Marketing Institute offers 13 inspirational content marketing examples “in action” while Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch discusses the new rules and tools of generating media attention.

Two noteworthy interviews with industry leaders:  Bernie Borges (of Find and Convert) posts a podcast interview with the co-authors of Content Rules, and Ross Hudgens interviews Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media.

Read Write Web reports on 2010’s top overall web trends, as well as the top web start-ups of the year (and yes, Groupon made the list)!

“Game-changing” trends in mobile marketing for 2011 are discussed at iMedia Connection.

Record-breaking numbers are in from last Cyber Monday and they’re music to e-commerce marketing ears, to the tune of over $1 billion in U.S. spending according to Comscore.  For an insightful analysis of Black Friday from a digital perspective, see this post at Digital Marketing Strategy.

And for some levity, Conversation Marketing posts its vision of the best way to launch a web site.

SEO & Search:

A great read on holistic SEO web design and usability is posted at Search Engine Land, as well as a revealing piece on what social signals from Twitter and Facebook are being counted by Google and Bing in their regular search results.

Strong proofs to debunk SEO myths and educate your clients are offered at SEO Himanshu, while Search Engine Journal discusses “the sweet spot” of an SEO audit in its ongoing series on the subject.

Tuning up for 2011:  Are you aware that you have keyword research data that you’re not putting to use?  Search Engine Land explores this untapped goldmine, and in a second post, outlines a 9-step SEO checkup for your site.

In related posts, Wordstream looks at advanced query-mining in data analysis, and how to generate custom Google analytics reports for your website.

In a follow up to Matt Cutt’s advice to SEO’s to take a long-term view towards where Google is heading, Michael Gray adds his warning that Google is becoming the answer — rather than the search — engine.  Provocative angle.

Rand Fishkin applies the truism of the rich getting richer to SEO, social, and all organic marketing at SEOmoz, while Danny Dover gives a presentation on the sibling rivalry between SEO and PPC.

It’s all the buzz: in classic David & Goliath fashion, Groupon refused Google’s incredible $6 billion acquisition offer, while Amazon invested $175 million in LivingSocial, reportedly to counter Google’s bid.

Speaking of the big G:  Google held a much-tweeted You Tube event/press conference announcing the release of its Chrome OS Netbook.  Coverage of the conference can be found at Search Engine Land.

Damage control:  In response to last week’s well-publicized gaffe (rewarding a socially hostile merchant with top ranking) the big G announced changes in its Google Places algorithms and is now suspected of using online merchant reviews as a ranking signal.  Google News is also getting cleaned up, as the big G is reviewing its inclusion standards.

At the same time, Google is trying to protect site owners by verifying edits to their Places listing by others.

Finally, Read Write Web announces its top 10 semantic web products of 2010, Yahoo reviews its past year in search, and Search Engine Watch advises search engine marketers to plan their 2011 strategy now.

Social Media Marketing:

Of course, the dominant news was Facebook’s launch of its new user profiles pages.  You can also read the full 60 Minutes interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg if you missed it Sunday night.

The explosive growth of social media is nicely summarized in this Harvard Business Review article, which also forecasts 6 social media trends for 2011.

Social Media Examiner posts a how-to on creating a social media marketing strategy, and Content Marketing Institute discusses creating a social media conversation calendar for implementing that strategy.

Conversation Marketing explores ways to keep the conversation going (in its way), and Top Rank ‘s Lee Odden asks the real social media pr consultant to please stand up.

How to effectively manage your online reputation is posted at Social Media Examiner, while eMarketer discusses the value consumers place on positive word-of-mouth advertising.

Copyblogger posts scientific tips to getting more reader comments on your blog, and in a closely related piece at Problogger, Dan Zarella offers his insight into the best time of day to publish your blog posts.

Barry Schwartz reviews Google’s new social sitelinks at both Search Engine Land and Search Engine Roundtable.

How the Fortune 500 use social media in their marketing is posted at Mashable, and iMedia Connection lists the best social media campaigns of the year.

I’m sure I’ve missed something – do you have any blogs or articles that you’d like to add?  Please feel free to share, and thank you!