A weekly roundup of the most interesting and useful posts and articles on search / inbound marketing from the past week. (Apologies for the late post this week. The editor was out sick yesterday.)

Social Media & Content Marketing

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Should Know
You’ve seen many of these on the sites of top bloggers, and some you haven’t seen (but they are using them behind the scenes!).

144 Most Valued People on Google+
Heard that Google+ is a “ghost town”? Don’t believe it! Most of that talk is coming from tech bloggers who have never bothered to try to use the service properly, and/or are quoting suspect data. This list, nominated by the active Google+ community, will fill your circles with a healthy sampling of the kind of intelligent content and conversation that takes place there.

Google Docs Now in Google+ Hangouts
Speaking of Google+, the network just added a great new feature. Now you can share a Google Doc to the sidebar of a Google Hangout live video chat and everyone in the chat can collaborate on it in real time.

Winning the Content Marketing Race
Jason Cormier shares how to plan and execute a successful content marketing strategy. Did his giving a plug to Virante blogger Mark Traphagen help earn him a spot in this MMQ issue? You decide!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The Brand of SEO and the Trend of Inbound Marketing
Respected “SEO Evangelist” Rand Fishkin has been toying for some time now with finding a new name for SEO, and his main plaything has been “inbound marketing.” He’s reaching for something new both because he thinks the name “SEO” has become too tainted and he believes SEO now has a host of inseparable allies and needs a name that covers this bigger tent. You can read the response/rant of Virante CTO Russ Jones in this comment.

The New PageRank, Same as the Old Page Rank?
Bill Slawski examines descriptions in newer Google patents and ponders whether they signal subtle but important changes in the way PageRank is calculated.

Local Search Usage Study Infographic
Get the latest stats on the growth of localized search.

Google Webmaster Tools Author Stats
This Labs feature still in testing shows stats for all the URLs Google has linked to your verified author account. Don’t have Google author verification? Find out how to get it.) This is as close as we can come right now to measuring the power of AuthorRank in Google search.

Paid Search Advertising (PPC)

Top PPC Blogs of 2012
Great list. These are all blogs I read regularly as well.

Three Fail-Proof Steps to PPC Optimization
1. Figure out where to optimize 2. Determine what tests to run 3. Identify when to end the tests.

Web Analytics

Loving the New Version of Google Analytics
Slides from a presentation by Rachel Gerson cover what’s changed in the New GA and how to use it.

Industry News and Stats

 Watch a Google Search Quality Meeting (uncut and annotated). The first-ever uncensored public view of how the Google search quality team works through a proposed change to Google’s search algorithms.

For Clicks and Giggles

This photo was pinned on Pinterest on a board labeled “SEO Tips.”

We’re calling hoax. We spent all afternoon reorganizing our product line in nifty wire baskets, and saw absolutely no change in our search rankings.

Photo by ESPNHS. Used through a Creative Commons License.