All About Content

Short Note About the Redesign

Posted by Melanie Phung on Friday, June 6, 2008 at 11:43 am

I’ve redesigned and migrated All About Content from self-hosted Blogger to self-hosted WordPress this morning (and by “I”, I of course mean “someone much smarter than me, on my behalf”) and such things never go off flawlessly. So expect things to be kinda-sorta broken for a little bit.

Some of the links don’t work. Monthly archives aren’t redirecting (but now posts are organized by categories instead of month, which makes more sense anyway). And worst of all, I accidentally deleted almost all my comments from this year (and there was some good stuff in there). Also, in the migration the comment links didn’t transfer, so if you left some really thoughtful, brilliant comments to earn a dofollow link, I’m really sorry about that! I’ll figure out how to retrieve those from the back up and do my best to insert the links back into previous comments as well.

I know this is the part where I’m supposed to solicit feedback on the new site, but I’m scaredĀ  🙂 Keep in mind it’s a work in progress!

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Category: Navel-Gazing

SEO Blog FAIL

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 4:56 pm

So recently someone tells me that I should do a post about SEO on my blog. Um, okay. Apparently my blog can haz FAIL.

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Category: Navel-Gazing

MSN India Syndicates Plagiarized Content

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, April 7, 2008 at 9:58 pm

If you do a Google search and there are two results that contain the same wording, and one of them is from some no-name blogger and the other is on the MSN.com domain, which one do you think is guilty of plagiarism? If you guessed the blogger, think again.

Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about my content being scraped by some spam blog. That happens all the time and I’m quietly resigned to that. What I’m talking about is plagiarism by a professional writer, for profit, on a presumably credible news portal.

My recent post on Viagra’s anniversary happens to rank well for a search on that phrase, but so does an article posted on MSN India.

This piece, “written” by Aditya Mehta and syndicated through India Syndicate blatantly rips off my post’s funniest line (on what SEOHack calls my only decent best post on this blog). The one word difference (the use of a second “please” at the beginning of the last sentence) is due to my having gone back a day later and editing it out of my post because it was redundant… something Aditya Mehta apparently didn’t catch.
India Syndicate Plagiarizes My Content

It’s not MSN’s fault because they just bought content from a third-party provider, right? And I’m sure India Syndicate has hundreds of freelance writers, making too difficult for the content syndicator to police all its writers. (<– this is sarcasm, in case that wasn’t clear. I don’t care how difficult it is to do QA on a product you sell, that’s still your responsibility)

So, boo-hoo, who really cares about MSN India or some stupid Indian article syndication company and whether a few sentences of a fluff article aren’t original? Well, it certainly pisses me off and since this is my blog, I get to rant about whatever I want. There’s also no easy way to contact MSN’s editorial team or India Syndicate (an email to their Contact Us address bounces), so it’s not like I have any other outlet.

Who, if anybody, is responsible for ensuring integrity of the content on MSN’s network (whether it be MSN India or any other portal)? And now that freelance writers for India Syndicate know they can get away with content theft and even have that work published on major resume-padding sites like MSN.com, what’s to stop them from taking shortcuts on everything else they do from now on?

It’s really not that hard to figure out if something is plagiarized — a company with resources like MSN surely can afford some sort of software that checks if content already exists on the web (you could even call it a “search engine”) before it publishes something to its content network.

Update: April 8, 2008

Wow, did my complaining help? The URL to the offending article has changed to point to a completely different article. Good thing I took that screen shot of the SERPs first; wish I’d done the same with the page itself since I wanted to go back and check how much else of that article was copied from other people. The complete text that was copied from me read:

Indirectly or directly, Pfizer is responsible for probably half of your email volume, so be sure to take a moment to reflect on the historic importance of this day. But remember, if your celebration of Viagra’s anniversary lasts more than three hours, please call a doctor. (original post)

Here it is viewed from a different angle:


Same URL, different page info when viewed through my browser cache. The old post appears to be gone from MSN, Google and Yahoo as well.

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Category: Intellectual Property,Navel-Gazing

New Year, New Job

Posted by Melanie Phung on Friday, January 11, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Happy New Year. Just a quick update: I’ve resigned my in-house SEO job and accepted a Sr. SEO Manager position at New Media Strategies, an agency specializing in online intelligence and word of mouth marketing.

It’s an exciting opportunity for me to do exactly what I want to be doing at this point: to identify new opportunities/attract new clients, work on a variety of projects, and build an SEO practice from the ground up.

One of the last things I wanted to do before I start my new job is to help recruit for the in-house position I’m vacating.

Here’s what the company will need the ersatz SEO superstar to do:

Key Responsibilities of the Position:

  • Recommend and manage content development strategies.
  • Monitor trends in search engine algorithms and searcher behavior to identify new opportunities.
  • Optimize web pages including copy, meta tags, alt tags, and streamlining code for SEO.
  • Maximize the shelf space on search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • Deliver quantifiable results measured against concrete revenue goals
  • Work with development teams to improve site architecture for SEO
  • Educate developers and designers about factors that influence crawlability and rankings, allowing them to understand how their decisions impact SEO

It’s posted under the title SEO Manager on LinkedIn, where you can also apply. Oh, and by the way, if you’re curious about how much SEOs earn, the SEMPO in-house salary survey just came out.

I’m also taking on more freelance clients (obviously where the projects wouldn’t pose any conflicts of interests).

If you’re interested either in learning more about the SEO position or in hiring me for a small scale SEO contract project, look me up on LinkedIn and send me a message.

p.s. Take a look at these SEO interview questions to make sure you rock the interview.

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Category: Navel-Gazing

Starting a New Chapter…

Posted by Melanie Phung on Friday, November 9, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Chapter 11 that is. My company declared bankruptcy yesterday. (What does Chapter 11 mean?)

As far as my SEO projects are concerned, it’s “business as usual” though. If by “usual” one means that coincidentally, i.e. completely unrelated, one has been working off bad keyword data for the last year. A bug in our reporting was only recently discovered that completely changes the profile of our organic search traffic. arrrrghhhh!

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least.

That’s all for now.

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Category: Navel-Gazing