The SEO Community – A Tale of Friends and Scorpions

This is a post that may anger you and piss you off, but hopefully it makes you think a little. But I think a lot of the people in the SEO community are short sighted and are willing to sacrifice themselves and the community as whole if they see the chance to get a link or exposure. Much like the scorpion in the tale of the frog and the scorpion, they can’t help themselves even when it means their own self destruction.

I’ve been in this field for a log time. I’ve seen a lot things and gotten a lot of help from people who came before me, and I appreciate the value they contributed in teaching me a trade that allowed me to start my own business. This is why I am so disappointed by the current trend to sacrifice yourself, someone else, a tactic, or even a whole community in exchange for a short term goal that, in the end, isn’t worth it.

I was an editor at threadwatch for a number of years. You could argue that it was at Threadwatch and WebmasterWorld where I paid my dues, cut my teeth, and got my exposure (and officially became a pain in Matt Cutt’s ass ). I learned how to write front page promotion worthy posts and how to craft click enticing titles. It was sad when Threadwatch became a victim of its own success and the site owner had to make the tough call and cut people out, but it was a necessary move. Sadly Threadwatch eventually consumed itself and needed to be shut down. To be honest it was overdue, but it was still sad and, like a self asphyxia masturbation session, the last moments weren’t pretty.


Post image for The SEO Community – A Tale of Friends and Scorpions

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray

This is a post that may anger you and piss you off, but hopefully it makes you think a little. But I think a lot of the people in the SEO community are short sighted and are willing to sacrifice themselves and the community as whole if they see the chance to get a link or exposure. Much like the scorpion in the tale of the frog and the scorpion, they can’t help themselves even when it means their own self destruction.

I’ve been in this field for a log time. I’ve seen a lot things and gotten a lot of help from people who came before me, and I appreciate the value they contributed in teaching me a trade that allowed me to start my own business. This is why I am so disappointed by the current trend to sacrifice yourself, someone else, a tactic, or even a whole community in exchange for a short term goal that, in the end, isn’t worth it.

I was an editor at threadwatch for a number of years. You could argue that it was at Threadwatch and WebmasterWorld where I paid my dues, cut my teeth, and got my exposure (and officially became a pain in Matt Cutt’s ass ). I learned how to write front page promotion worthy posts and how to craft click enticing titles. It was sad when Threadwatch became a victim of its own success and the site owner had to make the tough call and cut people out, but it was a necessary move. Sadly Threadwatch eventually consumed itself and needed to be shut down. To be honest it was overdue, but it was still sad and, like a self asphyxia masturbation session, the last moments weren’t pretty. Leer más “The SEO Community – A Tale of Friends and Scorpions”

Link building techniques: Risk vs. reward

# Search engines do not consistently apply the rules. You may see your competitors doing something and getting away with it. You try it a few weeks later and bam: Penalty.
# The rules change. What’s safe one week might not be safe the next. That’s life.
# Your competitors are going to report you. If they’re search-savvy, they’re watching for anything they think might be a bad practice, and they’ll report you at the drop of a hat.


by ian

Link building is all about risk management.

There are lots of ways to build links. But search engines do not like to be manipulated. They work constantly, with lots of really smart people, to find ways to filter out links secured purely for SEO purposes.

That makes many forms of link building risky, because:

  • Search engines do not consistently apply the rules. You may see your competitors doing something and getting away with it. You try it a few weeks later and bam: Penalty.
  • The rules change. What’s safe one week might not be safe the next. That’s life.
  • Your competitors are going to report you. If they’re search-savvy, they’re watching for anything they think might be a bad practice, and they’ll report you at the drop of a hat. Leer más “Link building techniques: Risk vs. reward”

5 Tips For Optimizing A Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign

When pulling together a pay per click (PPC) strategy for a company you really have to think about what your company’s goals are. Better ROI from your PPC keyword campaigns or traffic for branding? Those goals influence what keywords you target, the development of your landing pages, ad content creation, and how you measure the success of the each pay per click campaign. Here are a few factors to consider when developing a PPC campaign.


When pulling together a pay per click (PPC) strategy for a company you really have to think about what your company’s goals are.  Better ROI from your  PPC keyword campaigns or traffic for branding? Those goals influence what keywords you target, the development of your landing pages, ad content creation, and how you measure the success of the each pay per click campaign. Here are a few factors to consider when developing a PPC campaign. Leer más “5 Tips For Optimizing A Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign”

SEO worst practices: The content duplication toilet bowl of death

50% of SEO (search engine optimization, in case you live under a big rock, or you’ve never been to this blog before) is staying out of the way, staying out of trouble, and letting search engines find everything on your web site. It should be easy, but people seem to constantly create new ways to get in the way. Here’s one of my favorite examples: The exploding URL, AKA…
The Duplication Toilet Bowl of Death

There are lots of little problems that can generate duplicate URLs. But the worst is the Exploding URL, aka the Duplication Toilet Bowl of Death.

URL stands for ‘uniform resource locator’ – the unique address for any one page or file on your web site. It’s very, very important that you have one unique URL for each page – read the canonicalization series for the in-depth explanation, or read my Search Engine Land article on the same subject for the digest version.

Say you have a site that delivers different content to people who live in different cities. You let folks choose by clicking on a map. Once they click, you add a query string like “?city=seattle” on to the end of the URL.

Good so far.


by ian

omg.jpeg

50% of SEO (search engine optimization, in case you live under a big rock, or you’ve never been to this blog before) is staying out of the way, staying out of trouble, and letting search engines find everything on your web site. It should be easy, but people seem to constantly create new ways to get in the way. Here’s one of my favorite examples: The exploding URL, AKA…

The Duplication Toilet Bowl of Death

There are lots of little problems that can generate duplicate URLs. But the worst is the Exploding URL, aka the Duplication Toilet Bowl of Death.

URL stands for ‘uniform resource locator’ – the unique address for any one page or file on your web site. It’s very, very important that you have one unique URL for each page – read the canonicalization series for the in-depth explanation, or read my Search Engine Land article on the same subject for the digest version.

Say you have a site that delivers different content to people who live in different cities. You let folks choose by clicking on a map. Once they click, you add a query string like “?city=seattle” on to the end of the URL.

Good so far. Leer más “SEO worst practices: The content duplication toilet bowl of death”

5 Tips For Optimizing A Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign

When pulling together a pay per click (PPC) strategy for a company you really have to think about what your company’s goals are. Better ROI from your PPC keyword campaigns or traffic for branding? Those goals influence what keywords you target, the development of your landing pages, ad content creation, and how you measure the success of the each pay per click campaign. Here are a few factors to consider when developing a PPC campaign.

1. Keyword Research:

* Conduct PPC research to determine what keywords competitors are using, and what keywords work for competitors.
* Consider using a social media monitoring tool like Radian6 to help find new keywords from social media related to your industry.


When pulling together a pay per click (PPC) strategy for a company you really have to think about what your company’s goals are.  Better ROI from your  PPC keyword campaigns or traffic for branding? Those goals influence what keywords you target, the development of your landing pages, ad content creation, and how you measure the success of the each pay per click campaign. Here are a few factors to consider when developing a PPC campaign.

1. Keyword Research:

How to Conduct a Tweet Chat for Your Business or Brand

To promote our recent book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, my co-author, Joe Kraynak, and I participated in a ‘Tweet Chat’ (also called a Tweetchat) about Facebook. If you have never heard of Tweet Chats and have no idea of what they are, just think of them as online, real-time conversations broadcast via Twitter. They are typically held at a pre-arranged time, among a group of Twitter users, using a specific Twitter hashtag–such as #AskCIG–to identify the discussion and Twitter users are invited to ask questions via tweets using the designated hashtag.

While all this sounds simple enough, conducting an effective Tweet Chat can be a little awkward, especially for the ill prepared. Although this feature is referred to as a chat, it is much more cumbersome than chatting online with any of today’s popular instant messaging platforms. Personally, I would rather conduct such an interview on a Facebook Page in the comments area of a Status Update; there at least the discussion is all in one place and easy to follow, instantly archived, and associated with whatever brand’s page it appears on. On Twitter, there’s no branding, the discussion is not archived in any reasonably accessible manner, and the platform itself is entirely devoid of the type of analytics today’s businesses need to gauge the effectiveness of the effort.


To promote our recent book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, my co-author, Joe Kraynak, and I participated in a ‘Tweet Chat’ (also called a Tweetchat) about Facebook. If you have never heard of Tweet Chats and have no idea of what they are, just think of them as online, real-time conversations broadcast via Twitter. They are typically held at a pre-arranged time, among a group of Twitter users, using a specific Twitter hashtag–such as #AskCIG–to identify the discussion and Twitter users are invited to ask questions via tweets using the designated hashtag.

While all this sounds simple enough, conducting an effective Tweet Chat can be a little awkward, especially for the ill prepared. Although this feature is referred to as a chat, it is much more cumbersome than chatting online with any of today’s popular instant messaging platforms. Personally, I would rather conduct such an interview on a Facebook Page in the comments area of a Status Update; there at least the discussion is all in one place and easy to follow, instantly archived, and associated with whatever brand’s page it appears on. On Twitter, there’s no branding, the discussion is not archived in any reasonably accessible manner, and the platform itself is entirely devoid of the type of analytics today’s businesses need to gauge the effectiveness of the effort. Leer más “How to Conduct a Tweet Chat for Your Business or Brand”

SEO is a Tactic, Not a Strategy


by ian

SEO is no more a strategy than printing business cards.

It’s a tactic that forms a large and essential part of your internet marketing strategy.

I had a phone call today that went like this:

Page 2 Leer más “SEO is a Tactic, Not a Strategy”

How’s Your Website’s Landing Page?

Question: Is your value proposition reflected in your landing page? Can people tell right away:

* What you are offering?
* Who you wish to appeal to?
* Why they would be interested in your offer?
* What they need to do to participate/purchase?

If you own a website, a particular challenge that you’ll face is how you can be found amidst a throng of like-minded individuals who are also grappling for a potential customer’s attention in this free-for-all space. What will make you stand out from the rest? What will set you apart?

As trivial as it may seem, first impressions really do last, so look your best the first time. And this is where landing pages, the first thing that they will see, will play a crucial role in your business.


August 6, 2010

Question: Is your value proposition reflected in your landing page? Can people tell right away:

  • What you are offering?
  • Who you wish to appeal to?
  • Why they would be interested in your offer?
  • What they need to do to participate/purchase?

If you own a website, a particular challenge that you’ll face is how you can be found amidst a throng of like-minded individuals who are also grappling for a potential customer’s attention in this free-for-all space. What will make you stand out from the rest? What will set you apart?

As trivial as it may seem, first impressions really do last, so look your best the first time. And this is where landing pages, the first thing that they will see, will play a crucial role in your business. Leer más “How’s Your Website’s Landing Page?”

9 steps to SEO PR that won’t drive the PR team crazy

by ian

SEO PR is important. Having a press release ranking for the right phrase can be a real boost:

* It can occupy a top 10 ranking for your company name, thereby pushing down a site that says bad stuff about you and your brand.
* If hosted by a wire service, it may rank for a long-tail phrase even when your site cannot.
* Put a quality link out on the web.
* Sometimes (gasp) get you media attention.

Remember, though: If there’s a PR person or team working for the same company, you’re walking right through their turf, wearing a mohawk, tasteless body piercings and a T-shirt that reads Death to all who oppose us!.

I mean, that’s not what you’re actually doing, but that’s the perception. And you can’t really blame them.

If you’re editing an existing press release, you’re messing with their prose. The changes you make will show up out on the wire. If the CEO reads the release and hates it because of your changes, guess who gets the talking-to? The PR team.

If you’re writing a release from scratch, it’s even worse. Especially if the PR person/team doesn’t know you. She’s going to bear full responsibility for something that, at best, she’ll get to review an hour before it hits the wire. And again, if the CEO hates it, she’ll get the flak, not you.

But SEO PR has gotta get done. So use these tips to optimize a press release and keep the PR team sane:


RIO GRANDE, PR - MARCH 12:  Charles Howell III...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

SEO PR is important. Having a press release ranking for the right phrase can be a real boost:

  • It can occupy a top 10 ranking for your company name, thereby pushing down a site that says bad stuff about you and your brand.
  • If hosted by a wire service, it may rank for a long-tail phrase even when your site cannot.
  • Put a quality link out on the web.
  • Sometimes (gasp) get you media attention.

Remember, though: If there’s a PR person or team working for the same company, you’re walking right through their turf, wearing a mohawk, tasteless body piercings and a T-shirt that reads Death to all who oppose us!.

I mean, that’s not what you’re actually doing, but that’s the perception. And you can’t really blame them.

If you’re editing an existing press release, you’re messing with their prose. The changes you make will show up out on the wire. If the CEO reads the release and hates it because of your changes, guess who gets the talking-to? The PR team.

If you’re writing a release from scratch, it’s even worse. Especially if the PR person/team doesn’t know you. She’s going to bear full responsibility for something that, at best, she’ll get to review an hour before it hits the wire. And again, if the CEO hates it, she’ll get the flak, not you.

But SEO PR has gotta get done. So use these tips to optimize a press release and keep the PR team sane: Leer más “9 steps to SEO PR that won’t drive the PR team crazy”

How to Reach Targets and Get Marketing Results

One of the obvious must-do things as a freelancer is to market yourself. The concepts of self-promotion and marketing are in just about everything we read when looking to improve our businesses. We are constantly being told to promote ourselves, develop business, toot our own horn, boost client relations…the list goes on. We’re told a lot of what to do, and in many cases, how to do these things. What is often missing is learning about the ways to make these concepts work.

Something I’ve learned since I started freelancing full-time–by trial and error, of course–is that you cannot simply market yourself aimlessly. Instead you have to really think about where your clients are. And how to reach them.

For example, you’ve probably been told to make a website. And chances are, you have one. Fantastic. But what happens next? How do you get the people you want to attract to see it? Better yet, who are those people?
Ready…?


One of the obvious must-do things as a freelancer is to market yourself. The concepts of self-promotion and marketing are in just about everything we read when looking to improve our businesses. We are constantly being told to promote ourselves, develop business, toot our own horn, boost client relations…the list goes on. We’re told a lot of what to do, and in many cases, how to do these things. What is often missing is learning about the ways to make these concepts work.

Something I’ve learned since I started freelancing full-time–by trial and error, of course–is that you cannot simply market yourself aimlessly. Instead you have to really think about where your clients are. And how to reach them.

For example, you’ve probably been told to make a website. And chances are, you have one. Fantastic. But what happens next? How do you get the people you want to attract to see it? Better yet, who are those people?

Ready…? Leer más “How to Reach Targets and Get Marketing Results”

This Just Tested: How PPC specificity drove 21% more clicks and cut costs 66%

It has been a while since we have published Pay Per Click (PPC) ad testing. Lately, it can seem like PPC has taken the back seat to topics like social media and mobile. However, PPC remains an integral part of the online marketing campaigns for many of our own Research Partners, so we are still testing to discover the most effective ways to craft PPC ads.

So enough introductions and segues, let’s get down to the test.


It has been a while since we have published Pay Per Click (PPC) ad testing. Lately, it can seem like PPC has taken the back seat to topics like social media and mobile. However, PPC remains an integral part of the online marketing campaigns for many of our own Research Partners, so we are still testing to discover the most effective ways to craft PPC ads.

So enough introductions and segues, let’s get down to the test. Leer más “This Just Tested: How PPC specificity drove 21% more clicks and cut costs 66%”

Infographic: Brilliant Details On SEO / VIP – Nice ;)


There’s a lot of buzz on the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that your site or blog can be easily found through natural search but why exactly is this vital for marketers? The theory is that the higher a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors or traffic the site will receive; also known as giving the site a greater web presence.

As images often present more data and abstract ways in a much clearer way, I’ve chanced upon this fantastic infographic that covers everything from basic keyword research concepts, through site architecture, page optimisation, link building, SEO tactics, social media, and some basic SEO and PPC click through stats and explanations. Leer más “Infographic: Brilliant Details On SEO / VIP – Nice ;)”

Infographic: The Butterfly Effect On Social Media


Imagine doing something small and having it explode into something humongous in a few weeks later; is that even possible? Technically it is and this theory is called the butterfly effect. The metaphor refers to making a small difference in the initial state of a physical system which results in a significance difference at a later stage.

But, what do you if you add social media into the mix? The guys from SocialReflexion came out with a beautiful infographic to explain the content development process, and how it’s used to create all sorts of goodness for your brand on social networks. What we noticed from the visualization is that, search engine optimization gives the biggest boost to the number of viewership the content gets but in order to achieve that stage, one must have a fantastic content!

Oh how I would love to have one Online Media Gazette featured on Digg’s popular page someday.

infographic social media effect

http://omgzam.com/infographic-the-butterfly-effect-on-social-media/

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Using Metaphor to Communicate in Zero Words or Less | ANidea – powered by the minds at AgencyNet


Our Capabilities section is a testament to the almost endless variety of talent within our Agency.

The section is responsible for communicating AgencyNet’s core service offerings. Each slide, designed by one of our talented designers, illustrates our twelve core capabilities with abstract, surreal, or literal visual representations.  Creating visually arresting designs is a common assignment here, but this particuar challenge was ambitious, even by our standards. It was our mission to design every slide such that the services could be understood without reading a single word of copy.

In my next few posts, I’ll pull apart a few of the designs I created for this section. The first one “SEO & SEM, is one of the most essential components the industry today. No matter the quality of any given web project or application, without properly executed SEO & SEM, it can become lost in the vast sea of digital content.

My challenge was to creatively and visually stress the necessity of this service. I wanted the viewer to feel the emotion of being stranded in a roiling sea of confusion and the relief of eventually being discovered — the metaphorical result of well executed SEO & SEM.

Being from the Bahamas, I’m what you call an “Island Baby,” I’ve had my share of moments when I was stranded for a nail-biting length of time on the open sea. Fortunately, a solution or vessel always came to the rescue right in the nick of time. Drawing a parallel from my own experiences, I gave the “SEO & SEM” text subtle life-like characteristics by placing it partially submerged and floating by a buoy.  The letters represent a floundering project, saved from disappearing into a vast, deep blue ocean (or cyber wasteland).

Change To This Theme

http://anidea.com/creative/using-metaphor-to-communicate-in-zero-words-or-less/

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How to Get Motivated for Self-Promotion


by Alex Mathers

As creative professionals, we are constantly met with obstacles that challenge our motivation to market ourselves effectively. Whether it’s lacking energy and focus, or believing that we are “not good enough” in the face of competitors, our drive to take action in promoting ourselves and the work we do can sometimes take a beating.

Fortunately, there several ways to regain a sense of confidence and purpose, so that self-promotion doesn’t feel like a chore.

Here’s a step-by step-approach for getting fired up and getting organized to market yourself in the short-term and the long-term – an essential task that too many of us neglect. Leer más “How to Get Motivated for Self-Promotion”