A weekly roundup of the most interesting and useful posts and articles on search / inbound marketing from the past week.

Social Media & Content Marketing

What Women Want: 6 Lessons for Pinterest from 100K Visitors
Through extensive testing, expert viral marketer Colby Almond has discovered methods that actually work for marketing on what many are hailing as the fastest growing social network ever. Bonus: podcast interview with Colby Almond about Pinterest traffic.

Google, Google+, and the Shared Interest Graph
A slide show on Google+ that demonstrates how Google is not building “just another social network,” but rather perhaps the most powerful engine for connecting people by their interest graph ever devised. Along the way, it is bringing about the rise of the individual author over the “page” as the primary source of SEO authority (about which more in the next link).

The SEO Power of Google+ Plus Google Author Rank
Virante Orange Juice blog author Mark Traphagen’s experiences with being able to have his Google+ posts show up (and stick!) at the top of Google search results. His hypothesis is that a combination of an influential Google+ profile, engagement with the posts on Google+, and his AuthorRank with Google for his online content are enabling this.

Facebook Timeline Brand Pages Are Here
During March Facebook is rolling out a Timeline configuration for brand pages similar to the Timelines now present for most user profiles. The new format comes with many new options for brands to better present themselves.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google Confirms Panda 3.3 Update
Google announced its latest changes to its ranking system. As usual, the press release only mentions broad categories of change, with very little specifics. However, the reference to “turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years” has caused quite a stir of speculation in the SEO community. Bonus: Here’s a great Google Panda infographic that explains the history and major effects of the update.

How Google Makes Liars Out of the Good Guys in SEO
Google tells site owners to do certain things in order to rank well in search engine results. But in reality, Google often rewards those who do the exact opposite.

Has Exact Anchor Text Had Its Day?
Trying to assess what has changed as we move into 2012, one SEO tester believes it is less important to have exact match anchor text than it used to be. He advises mixing in a more “natural l blend of anchor text incorporating brand.”

Paid Search Advertising (PPC)

Big Changes to Facebook Advertising and What to Expect 
Facebook advertising is changing again. Here’s the rundown.

Impact of Quality Score on Cost Per Click
A good, basic explanation of how a good Quality Score lowers the cost per click you pay for AdWords ads.

Comparing Facebook Ads to Google Ads is Like Comparing Cowboys to Ninjas
Google ads are intention targeted while Facebook ads are interest targeted. Each has its place and must be targeted accordingly.

Web Analytics

Eight Recent Google Analytics Changes
Screen captures and explanations of the biggest changes to the Analytics user interface.

Industry News and Stats

Inbound Leads cost 61% Less than Outbound (New Data)
Study shows that inbound marketing (SEO, blogging, social media) produces leads at nearly 2/3 less cost than outbound marketing (direct mail, trade shows, telemarketing).

Just for Fun

I want this for my office wall. (Click image for the original, which you can zoom in on with your mouse.)

beer chart

Photo by ESPNHS. Used through a Creative Commons License.