Friday, November 7, 2008

50 Great Widgets For Your Blogs

Widgets are a handy, easy and simple way to add some flare to your blog. Whether you’d like to display the number of currently online visitors to your site or simply the weather report for Los Angeles, you can do it with widgets. We’ve assembled a list of 50 useful or simply cool widgets for your pleasure. And remember, the first rule of widgetizing your blog is - don’t overdo it!

MyBlogLog’s Recent Readers - this widget can easily be called a hit amongst blog owners; its popularity even managed to convince Yahoo into buying MyBlogLog. The widget lets you see the avatars of recent visitors to your blog, provided they’re also members of MyBlogLog.

Mashable - get the latest social networking news from this very site.

Flickr Flash Photo Stream Badge - display images from your Flickr profile with a handy Flash photo stream.

Preview Anywhere - see a live preview of outgoing links in a small popup which activates on mouseover. Some find this annoying, while others might find it useful.

Twitter Badge - if your life is so interesting that everyone must know what you’re up to all the time, then a Twitter badge is the ideal counterpart to your blog. It’ll proudly displays your recent tweets.

Digg News - display the latest Digg links on your blog. Themeable and fully customizable.

FEEDJIT - real time traffic data directly in your blog’s sidebar.

LineBuzz - inline comments for your blog. Very handy for blogs with frequent lively discussions.

Flixn - display a stream directly from your webcam, so your blog visitors can always see what you’re up to.

3Jam - lets your visitors send messages to your mobile phone, without them knowing your phone number.

Jaxtr - with Jaxtr, your visitors can actually call you to your mobile phone; again, your number stays private.

LinkedInABox - show off your LinkedIn profile. Perfect for personal blogs.

Box Widget - enable visitors to use’s online storage directly on your web site.

Price of gas - displaying gas prices on your blog might seem unnecessary to some, but it’s cool if you have a traffic/travel related blog.

iBegin Weather Widget - Display weather information in your sidebar. Just like with Price of Gas, works great with travel-related blogs.

ClockLink - display time in various time zones with these nifty Flash clocks.

Film Loops - display the latest loops from your FilmLoops account.

Daily Painters - display paintings from famous painters on your blog.

WhoLinked - show your visitors which sites have recently linked to your web site. Works with all major blog platforms.

Criteo AutoRoll - displays links to blogs similar to your blog.

Bitty Browser - embed a cute, fully functional mini web browser to your blog.

Leafletter - create a mini website and embed it into your blog.

WikiSeek - search Wikipedia with this simple widget.

FeedCount - show off the number of visitors to your blog with this handy little button.

Technorati Link Count - display the number of links your website has from one of the biggest blog authorities - Technorati.

MyPageRank - another good way to show how “big” your blog is is to show off your Google PageRank.

CheckPageRank - in addition to showing your PageRank, this widget also shows your Alexa ranking.

BlinkxIt - embed a link to related videos directly into your website.

Skype button - display your Skype online/offline status on your blog.

RockYou Horoscope - not something I would personally use, but some people are into horoscope. Hell, most people are into horoscope. Anyway, this widget shows horoscope (doh!) and does it in a nicely designed colorful box. Tagometer - display how many times have users saved your page. Linkrolls - this badge shows your latest bookmarks from

Timelines - need to create a timeline? Seek no further. This widget makes it really easy.

PollDaddy - PollDaddy lets you create beautiful polls in no time, and display them at your blog.

Vizu - another poll-making widget, compatible with all major blog platforms.

AnswerTips - display definitions from for various terms on your blog. The definitions are shown in bubbles which are activated on doubleclick.

AnswerBoxes - give your visitors a chance to enter a term themselves, and get a definition from

Now Playing - if you got to share your current playlist contents with the world, Sigamp will do the trick. Works with most popular music players, including Foobar, Winamp, iTunes and others.

BuzzBoost - display headlines from your RSS feed on any website.

LibraryThing - show off the latest books you’ve been reading.

Plaxo Address Book - let your most faithful visitors access their address books direclty from your site.

AuctionAds - a widget that displays auctioned items on eBay, and gives you a percentage of the price paid when sometimes buys an item.

aStore - similar to AuctionAds, only for Amazon. Create a mini-store on your site and receive profit when someone buys an item through your store.

Plazes - show your current location on a Plazes map.

Stockalicious - track your portfolio with this widget, and share it with others. Let everyone know how much money you’ve lost.

Yahoo! For Good - create a charity badge and ask for donations for a worthy cause.

Giftspace - your friends never know what to buy you for birthday? Let them know what you really want with this nifty widget.

MixMap - see where are the visitors to your MySpace profile from on a map.

Google Map Widget - display a searchable Google Map on your website.

Google Video Search - add a video search form and selected videos to your web site.

Odeo player - display an Odeo player for and podcast right there in your sidebar.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Getting the Most out Of Your Anchor Text: It’s not as Simple as you Think

For any SEO campaign, whitehat or blackhat, anchor text is imperative. Just getting you backlinks doesn’t matter without proper anchor text. That’s a given, that almost every SEO knows. But today we’re going to explore variance of anchor text, and how it affects ranking (especially in SEO campaigns where links are gotten quickly)

For this entry, we will pretend we’re trying to rank for Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes

How it Used to Work
Back in the day, trying to rank for “Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes” would mean you spam or send out your link always using the anchor text “Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes”, and the ranking would appear. However, with the introduction of the sandbox, and a few other anti-spam constraints that Google has built in, this no longer works. At least not if you’re getting your rankings quickly.

Why This Doesn’t Work Now
The sandbox and other anti-spam constraints(including the anti-Google Bomb algorithm) means appearing too heavily for most less common niches results in penalization. On the chance that you can avoid that via slower link building, Still, you will rank for that keyterm, and probably nothing else. Neither situation is our best case scenario.

How it Works Now
Now, you can’t just spam out the same link text over and over and expect to rank (in most situations/niches). Beyond that, we want to rank for more than one keyterm. As a result, you have to make sure your anchor text varies in order to get into that top spot. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to say “fuck my targeted key phrase”, and use junk text. It’s possible to intelligently add your link text and come out on top.

How to Pick Intelligent Anchor Text
Now, the beauty of modern day anchor text is that there’s overlaps that benefit rankings. An overlap is a situation where multiple key phrases you use in anchor text happen to overlap certain words, but not the entire key phrase with eachother.
So we take a few key phrases, say “Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes”, “Discount Marlboro Cigarettes”, “Discount Cigarettes”,”Cheap Cigarettes”, and “Buy Marlboro Cigarettes”. Examine the table below to understand the crossovers that occur.

Anchor Text Overlap Table

Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes Discount Marlboro Cigarettes Discount Cigarettes Cheap Cigarettes Buy Marlboro Cigarettes
Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes
Cheap Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes
Discount Marlboro Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes
Discount Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes
Discount Cigarettes
Discount Cigarettes
Cheap Cigarettes
Cheap Cigarettes
Buy Marlboro Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes
Marlboro Cigarettes

Analyizing our Table of Anchor Text
Ok. So, looking at those overlaps, we can see what phrases(in addition to our selected of 5 keywords) we’re getting some anchor text power from.
We have the most overlaps for the word “Cigarettes”. This is good, as it’s our most competitive term. In addition to the overlaps that are only cigarettes, we have multiple overlaps involving that word. Now, we probably will not be ranking for cigarettes any time soon. However, it allows us the ability to rank for a lot of terms that are simply added on to cigarettes.
Since we have marlboro, cheap, and discount overlapping quite a lot as well, we are given extra power for anything involving those words. So “cheap cigarettes” would be drawing on the power of several keyphrases involving the word “cheap”, manymore involving the word “cigarettes”, and then get a LOT of juice from any that overlap with the phrase “cheap cigarettes” directly. So we’re doing good. That’s not our targeted keyphrase though. However, it’s important to realize exactly how much power we have for each of those terms individually, then combined with eachother. Now, adding in the word “marlboro”, we pull in yet more power from the overlaps, making us a shoo-in to rank.

So with that setup, we should easily be ranking for our desired phrase of “cheap marlboro cigarettes“. However, there’s so many different ways to distribute our anchor text into different possible searches, that we’ve actually probably picked up good rankings in several keywords, vs the one we probably would not have gotten if we’d used solely our own link text.