Birthday wish?

Oct 31, 2005 at 7:50 PM
Tomorrow is my birthday.

My best friend and roommate, Amber, moved out today. She's newly engaged. Her sweetheart and she are moving to Portland and are gonna move to Jacksonville after that.

My kids are in Florida visiting their dad.

My sister was planning to come out to visit me around now, but it'll be a few more months now (probably January).

I wished for peace and quiet for years, as the pandemonium abounded. Now I have it. Aplenty. More peace and quiet than I know what to do with.

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it on your birthday.

Modern limerick

Oct 29, 2005 at 10:19 PM
Here's a limerick that does not relate to my current situation. I just felt like writing one.


Consultant's Problem

There are four hundred things that annoy at me
and another seventeen things really cloy at me
But the one that stands taller
And really makes me holler
Is clients that just won't exploit me

I show 'em all of the ought to's
I tell them the do's and the don't do's
But making the changes
and getting new ranges
(Those good things I said) they just wont do's.

They want it to be totally breezy
They don't want to think- "make it easy"
so the hidden text stays,
the flash homepage delays
And the bots try to crawl but get queasy

After whatever dollars they paid
And the hours of how-to tirade
when it's all done
their web's been spun:
Sales just ain't what their site's made.

trashing blogs MAY not be the right marketing tack in today's world. What do you think?

at 8:21 PM
NOTE: This is an opinion piece. Anything I say here is my opinion. Cause this is a BLOG. Duh!

This terrible magazine says we're all "spewing lies, libel and invective". Interesting. And WHO is it that's saying this again???

Oh yeah, someone in one of the industries currently losing advertising dollars to the blog world. (Remember all those new AdSense customers? They had to come from somewhere.)

Funny, there was no mention of that in the article...

If the 1 (one!) posted case study from that article says anything, it says that someone who knows of the owner of Forbes magazine is disliked on the web and got trashed.

So?


He can just as easily get out there and post his opinion in a blog, just like blogs are doing about him.

Perhaps this holier-than-thou magazine does not like the simple fact that magazines, print articles and the clichéd "MAIN STREAM MEDIA" (echo echo echo) are no longer the way to get information. We got sick of their slanted, endlessly pedantic way of viewing the world, and their "we'll use small words cause you're mind is soooo tiny" way of talking to us.

The court of public opinion will continue to exist so long as free speech does. It's an unfortunate side effect. Freedom currently lives on the internet.

We know where to look for truth, and we recognize it when we see it. And then we write about it.

In order to stop that, Forbes would have to lobby to put caveats onto the freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Which would inevitably backfire on their own actions. The magazine's logic in putting out this article is flawed.

As a final note...

OPTIMISTIC VIEW: "all press is good press".

I am already in the future

at 8:04 PM
I keep hearing that eventually people will receive all their entertainment through the net. Because of how far out in the country I am, the radio stations suck, so I only listen to iTunes radio. Every ad I see arrives by email or alongside my search results or inside of a feed ("Powered by feedjumbler!" gets screamed at me ten times a day). I don't watch TV anymore because there is no cable here, and I'm still protesting the whole sattelite TV thing (don't get me started!!!). So, I am already in the future. My entire connection with the outside world occurs right here on the blogosphere, eBay, Google, and in my head (being alone in the woods will do that to you).

I just built a blog from the ground up

at 7:59 PM
I just re-built a blog for my dad.

I have time to do this for others, but not for myself. So blogger it is.

I am busy 100% of the time. My job is wonderful and I love it, but the learning curve never ends, so I'm always either working or studying.

My friends - Soulfound

Oct 27, 2005 at 2:22 PM
Check out Soulfound's music and then vote if you like the songs.

These people are very good friends of mine for the last several years, and very good people. I want the world to notice them. Go Ivan and Chris!

Over-reaction to Jagger is rife

Oct 25, 2005 at 2:12 PM
Google's Jagger update is making some pretty heavy flux occur in rankings. Some SEOs (me included, I admit) seem to be guilty of over-reacting to the flux from the update. I think that in the longer run (by next month), the whole update will level off, and everyone who deserves good rankings will have them back. I can already see that some good has occured (page rank improvement).

Anyone who is accidentally on the bad side of Jagger by two month from now will probably have figured it out and get things righted with their tactics so that they can resume good placement.

There are so many people trying to beat the algo all the time with some fancy get-links-quick scheme, or some other kind of work-around for the true way to get a great presence on the web (real word-of-mouth, individually set up links, and a cleanly coded site are a good start). So many people think there must be some other way to get great ranking, that can be done overnight, with minimal effort, and with no one knowing you exist.

Something along the lines of Cinderella walking into the ball, so many sites want to be able to show up on the net and instantly dance with the prince. Some web marketers realize this, and sell bogus or sneaky services to those would-be princesses. False SEO (black hat stuff), schemes to trick the algo, link farm links, fraudulent click-throughs, etc. The list goes on.

For weeks before the Jagger update, I was being pitched some new linking scheme by email every five minutes, and I noticed that everything was about page rank tricks and getting bajillions of links overnight. I ignored it all, but I am sure there were millions of others who did not.

It's too coincident that the Jagger update seems to be mostly about those two things. I see some cause and effect here.

It's odd to hear those same people who were trying to sneak around the algo crying foul over the results of the update. The update is probably being done primarily because of those attempts to trick or distort results. Google does NOT ignore our actions, to the contrary, it takes them into account. The algo is nothing more than a way to try to provide good results to the searcher because of positive (and in spite of negative) actions that we all take. Where is the causation? On the site's end, not on Google's end.

So, I take back the post from yesterday where I presumed the sky was falling. I was wrong.

In the end, Google will return to normal from the Jagger update. The next time it'll need an algo shift is when too many sites start magically winning their way into Google rather than earn their way.

My point is:

Their is no Cinderella story to be had on the net. If a Cinderella does get into the ball, the fairy godmother gets a grey-bar and everyone else returns home with a rotten pumpkin they paid too much for.

Is anyone else out there having to take CRAWLING seriously?

Oct 24, 2005 at 7:28 PM
I have a slow internet problem, and I've had it for DAYS.

I keep getting DNS name server errors while browsing (on and off). It's really bothersome. I heard something a few days ago about it being because one of the DNS name servers is down, but nothing recently.

I searched for it for a while today. This seems like BIG news to me, so why is no one mentioning anything? There's the bigger mystery!

Apparently you can be caught red-handed and still be innocent

at 7:15 PM
What if you fell completely out of the rankings at Google, presumably due to supposedly "bad" linking practices. But you weren't the one setting up links to those black linking programs? What if you have a site in a highly competitive arena and you've been right on the first page for years much to the frustration of your competitors.

What if a chink appeared in Google's armor?

You'd be knocked off the first page in no time.

It's happening. When I found out that the Jagger update changed the weight of links, I wondered whether they'd thought about what would happen if someone purposefully sabotaged the sites with great linking strategies.

Here's a great explanation of the damage being done, from search engine watch...

We've all been upset that there are unethical ways to manipulate your own search results, but now it appears that you can actually manipulate OTHER people's placement just as unethically! Being upset about search spam seems petty compared.

I sure hope Google closes their trap door soon. I have a large amount of faith in the Google algorithm (built on years of always being able to find what I'm looking for there), but my income depends on it being tamper-proof, and depending only on the factors that the webmaster and SEO control, such as design, coding and natural links.

My Blog is finally sanctioned by the state

Oct 22, 2005 at 12:50 PM
As an SEO who does PPC consulting, I like to keep up to date. So I subscribed to the Inside AdWords feed direct from Google. As is obvious to anyone in this country, the current search czar is Google. Granted: they are generally a benevolent dictatorship, but they still rule supreme.

Last night, Blake posted this on Inside AdWords. Here's a snippet:

AdWords advertisers and Blogger. A perfect match? Give it a try, and see what you think.


The entire notice was entirely to prop up Google recent acquisition of Blogger (AKA, anything ending in .blogspot.com, like my blog).

It marks the very first time I have ever received an Inside AdWords post that was NOT specifically related to running a Google PPC campaign. Google recently purchased BlogSpot. Google was cross-marketing it's various services, outside of through benign methods such as links on the home page. This is huge, a watershed for Google.

Why is it a watershed? Yahoo! has been agressively cross-marketing it's various services for ages. You can't sign up for Directory listings without being hyped the paid search listings without being hyped for PPC listings at Yahoo!... and when you're done, you get newsletters every week trying to sell you every service Yahoo! has. It is through Yahoo!'s much more aggressive marketing that they are even in competition with Google.

Google has been benign in it's leadership (by depending on word of mouth and name recognition for it's popularity) because it has been SECURE in it's leadership.

They appear to be testing the waters on a public they deem extremely firm, their experienced AdWords user.

I'd bet that depending on the results (whether more blogs are started by AdWords subscribers) they will switch to a somewhat more agressive marketing stance. This is a bigger deal than it seems at first. I have seen lots of other sites copy-catting Google, but I have never before seen Google copy-catting another site.

Now, I'm not saying Google's in any danger. Now way. As long as the vast majority of web users are minimally interested in the web outside of their instant gratification needs, they will pretty much stick to the search engine that came with their portal and Google - period. There is too much name recognition there. End of story. So Google will remain top of the heap because of it's non-portal name recognition status.

But, if Google slowly starts agressively marketing themselves between services, (then possibly to the public?) the general perception of Google will change slowly, too. What happens if we start seeing Google ads at the SuperBowl?

My housemate came home.

Oct 21, 2005 at 3:12 PM
Amber came home.

She spent six weeks away - a full month of that was spent in Katrina-land helping out the refugees from the storm in a tiny village that was decimated.

Things have definitely changed for her lately. Her whole world view has changed. The entire nature of her life will now be different (and hopefully better) because she went to volunteer for Katrina relief.

She has a new fiancé (another volunteer, isn't that sweet!). So she'll will need a home of her own - she's not staying.

Four weeks late for coming back home puts her in deep doodoo with me for messing up my plans and finances but that's not the big issue for her. She has no money and no job now. So she has to jumpstart her life pretty much right away.

I wish her well, and want her to succeed in life.

MSN does not have a page rank of 2

at 2:51 PM
So the new page ranks are up (well, mostly).

There has been a lot of talk about the page rank of 2 that displays when you go to http://www.msn.com. This is a case of seeing not being believing.

Here's why it's bogus:


  • Note that it is a PAGE rank, not a SITE rank.

  • Their front PAGE is violating the rules of redirects. Try to go to http://msn.com, and you get an incorrectly set up redirect to http://www.msn.com (temporary rather than permanent according to Google Guy).

  • GoogleGuy also points out that the http://msn.com page has a page rank of 8.

  • Also that the Shopping page at MSN has a page rank of 9 - very big of them, considering that MSN is a competitor.



Now the real issue here is whether or not you have faulty redirects on your site. Google gave MSN such a HUGE cut for it, it has become obvious that temporary redirects are officially being treated as VERY BAD (to use an industry term).

Here is what GoogleGuy said exactly:

MSN has been doing some different redirects lately. This isn’t a deliberate action on Google’s part. If you check, you’ll find that their root domain http://msn.com/ has a PR8.


And if you can't trust a nameless faceless Google insider, who can you trust?

The most important thing to take away from this?

Temporary redirects can get ANYONE massively penalized, but it's totally fixable. Just correct your redirects.

How can you tell if an SEO is authentic?

Oct 10, 2005 at 6:34 PM
My father and I are search marketers. We're experts, and we actually care about what we do and how well we do it. Our little company has been around, thriving in the competitive market of search optimization since 1996. Basically, since search marketing started this company has been around, doing the same thing, and doing it ethically.

Countless hours of study, elbow grease and hard work have gone into the technical knowledge we've gathered on our SEO site. There is tons more that we just don't have the time to gather into the site because we're too busy with client work. One of our mantras is that there should be no SEO secrets. Anything we have learned the hard way, we try to take the time to explain it on our site.

This morning, I went to copyscape to check for plagiarism, and I found people who had copied entire sections of our site onto their own sites, as if it were their work.

For a second, I was flattered. Then it hit me: thousands of hours of work we've done to develop that knowledge -- simply lifted like a subway token from my pocket. We have books lining the walls that this guy has never read. Tons of head scratching and problem-solving behind us that this guy just skipped.

After showing our great content, they offer their own unworkable lies -- "submit to thousands of search engines at once!" being my personal favorite.

Show me a list of thousands of search engines in the first place. Who has the time to use a thousand search engines? I use as many as five search engines, and mostly because I'm in SEO. Most people stick with their one or two favorites. There just aren't that many... But I digress.]

These sites were using our ethically gathered SEO truths to pawn some SEO snake oil, eggregious shystering. Our content makes them LOOK like experts, and that's all they want it for. The sites lifting our content were obviously completely pretending to be SEO experts, and it finally kicked in for me the truth of what I've been hearing from others but never quite believed:

A large, unknowable number of search marketers out there are frauds, no more able to help you get better placement than the con artist is to get blue-hairs onto the promised cruise to Bermuda.

Now I finally believe it. The nay-sayers finally got me to listen.

What to do about it?

Same thing we've been doing all along; arming you the consumer.

So, when you're considering an seo "expert" or "guru" for your next SEO project, consider the possibility that they are smoke and mirrors, stolen truth and wrong solutions wrapped up in a pretty package.

  1. Call them and TALK to them in person. Get references. Call and talk to at least three other real website owners who've gotten results from that exact SEO provider. If they can't give you at least three real references, don't use them.

  2. Check their site in the name spinner at WhoIs, like so:
    http://whois.sc/seo-firm.com

    If the contact information at WhoIs doesn't match up to who you're talking to, they're bogus.
    And look at the domain start date. Did they open up shop within the last ten minutes? Go elsewhere.

  3. If you can't find a reputable firm, check the forums. Call the person at the top of the heap for a competitive keyword of your choice and ask who they used. Ask around. Get real people to tell you who they recommend.



Summary:
There is nothing wrong with a small SEO firm. I work for one, and we do a great job at SEO.

There is something wrong with a fly-by-night SEO firm. And the difference can be undetectable from a distance.