Google Aligns Itself with Big Brands?...

This is one of the most interesting and well written articles on SEO that I have seen in a while: Aaron Wall on Google and Branding Not only does it cover current events but also has some history of the game.

Site Redemption

When I first started this blog it was an experiment. Much like The M Show, I had no idea where it would go or if I would have more than a few weeks of things to write about. Fast forward a few years, and yes, I guess I do have some content. Thanks to this lack of initial commitment I cut some corners. Rather than pay for two hosting accounts I decided to point RoninMarketeer.com to the same account that was hosting The M Show. Since Libsyn serves up 99% of the bits for that podcast the server had capacity to give. The problem is that many tools that watch the web don’t really like this. Even with proper redirects any tactic that only a spammer or cheap bastard would use is not going to give you that extra glass of fresh Google juice. My domain started strong with a page rank of 6 (PR6 if you want to sound like a social media douche bag SEO consultant), but then dipped to 5 as the blog gained momentum. I also noticed that technorati (hint – become a fan!) and lists like the Power 150 had me stranded out in Nowhereville. The final straw was when I hit PR4, not the web equivalent of hell, but definitely the neighborhood where the washer and dryer are out on the front porch and there are vehicles on cinder blocks in the front yard so you don’t have to mow the lawn. So I had two options – flush it all and start new, which would have been the easy route, or try rehabilitation. Again, seeing this more as an experiment, it seemed like it would be a good case study to fix as much as I could...

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO...

It’s not Spy vs. Spy. It’s different. I’ve only been to one SEO Event, as it’s much easier (faster, cheaper…) to do my research online. Recently there’s been a lot of chatter about one of Danny Sullivan’s events that some felt went too far into Black Hat Territory. I found a response that said “Guess what suckas! There is no White Hat!” of course I paraphrase. For n00bs (new people, to you n00bs), most believe there are two ways to do better in search engine results: White Hat – being “honest” and not doing Black Hat – making changes to your site, or getting links that have nothing to do with the user experience, and are done solely to score higher in the engines. Jason Calacanis deployed some f’ing astonishing Ju-Jitsu a little more than a year ago, stating that SEO was all BS. He issued a challenge made a lot of important points and said that SEO is “pissing in the community’s well”, based on his image of what the future would be (and I think he’s on the mark). The beauty of it all though is that it both validates the business model and drives traffic for his new venture Mahalo. A beautiful example of participating in social media and leveraging community. It’s not possible to buy or fake that kind of hype – but kids, don’t try this at home, you’re watching a professional stuntman here. Ok, so all that said… What to do? From what I’ve seen I think the wild west days are over. The web has become a communtity and the search engines are the law enforcement professionals. Black Hat has become like any other life of crime – it can provide benefit, but the downside is that...

Microsoft Live

Just a data point – I’m getting a lot of inbound traffic from Microsoft Live. That’s a huge surprise to me. The good news is that it’s from keywords I really like. I may give them a 7 day test to see how I like it.

Ron’s Predictions...

My Inbox is also my To-Do list. If there’s a message that is part of an important project it stays in the box until it gets done. This can be a great productivity booster – many times if I am unsure about the importance of a project I leave it in the inbox. If I don’t remember what it was about by the time it hits the bottom of the box (or if the original requestor hasn’t asked about it in the 4 months it took to get to the bottom of the inbox) that’s an alert that perhaps that TPS report (re: Office Space) wasn’t that urgent, or it’s time for me to get to something I have been putting off. I had started kicking a project around in the Summer that is moving again. As part of the first attempt to start this project I had asked some social media luminaries to give their opinions on some marketing techniques and whether they are gaining ground or dying. As most social media consultants are full of crap and/or have an aversion to real work, I only received a response from Ron. His response has made it to the bottom of the inbox, and as he had the courtesy to respond I cannot let decent content go unused (and Ron – if this is still your opinion you could cross-post to this and skip writing on Thanksgiving day!). I asked: Is eMail dying? 1)email is not dying — yet. Email is something that is very popular for people over a certain age. The younger folks don’t use email. They text message, instant message, send bulletins, etc. I don’t know what these folks are going to do when they need to get a job and...

AdWords and AdSense Primer – Questions from Ron Amok...

My friend Ron sent over a question asking for clarification on this post from Google – they are doing placement targeting and CPC for placement targeting. What does this mean? Here’s a play by play to get you started. Back in the dark ages of Google Adwords (like 2 months ago), there were two places to run your ads. You could buy words that would show your ads when people searched for them in Google. In other words – if you bought “Donuts” and somebody searched on Google for “Donuts” your ad would show up on the right side of the Google Search Engine Results Page (or SERP for the hardcore insiders). This is grossly simplified, there are a lot of things that go into whose ad shows up and where on the page, and there’s a bidding process along with a determination of the quality (read – spamminess) of your ad. The next step was to provide this same functionality to websites other than Google – and thus was born adsense (keep in mind I am not a Google historian, I have no idea about these timelines really, I have a tough time remembering breakfast, never mind when this stuff rolled out. For a great history of Google check out John Batelle’s “The Search“). Adsense allows other websites to run the same ads that show up on the Google SERP. For example if you scroll to the bottom of this page you will see a bunch of google ads, some of them may even include “Donut” “SERP” or “Help with Google Adwords”. For having Adsense on your site Google pays you. I’ve had it running for a year and I think I’ve made 72 cents or something. I don’t care because I did...

Curing the 302

Well, it seem like the domain name change has propagated in a flash (translation – it looks like everything is working properly). So, what was that all about last week? The short version was to improve my Google Ranking. Read on if you are into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or we’ll see you at the next post! I originally created The M Show and set up a domain name, and I rent the services of a server from the good people at WestHost who make sure it stays running for me. When I created Ronin Marketeer I purchased that domain name and pointed it the blog directory on The M Show server. You may have noticed that you get here from RoninMarketeer.com, but all of the article links start with http://www.themshow.com/wordpress Everything worked, so I was satisfied and went on my way for a couple of months. Then, one day I was informed that I had made Todd And’s Power 150 (now the Ad Age Power 150). It was great to be on the list but I noticed that my Google Page Rank was a 4. I didn’t think that could be true, but it was. The Google Page Rank is a score that every page gets that is the judged importance of your page. The score runs from 1 to 10, and the normal progression I have seen is a new domain will score a 5 and after you get some links and credibility you go up to 6. 7 or more and you are getting to be big time, last time I looked things like Amazon and Wikipedia get 9’s and Google is the 10 (this may have changed, I don’t pay much attention to scores beyond my own). I spend most...

Warning – Bumpy Road Ahead...

I’m going to be pulling a stunt to see if I can improve my Google ranking, if I screw it up I might mess up the domain name for a while. If you are a fan and you notice that the site is down please drop me a line, if I pull off the stunt I’ll explain everything when I’m done. Stand back as Evel Knievel gets ready to jump the canyon… Update: Ok, I’ve made some DNS changes so roninmarketeer.com may be down for a good day or two, this blog is actually hosted at themshow.com so everything but the header link should work and I’ll fix that. And Ron, planning for Snake Canyon prepares me for the worst case...

Sailing the SEO Seas

About two weeks ago I had an epiphany, we have been tracking a number of search results for some key terms that we optimize for (for those who don’t speak geek – when you type in a certain term in Google, we do some work to make sure that our pages come up on the list, I check the results for a number of terms weekly). I noticed some patterns where results would remain clustered (we would be placed with similar pages) but the locations would be all over the map. i.e. – Let’s say we were result 12, I would note results 13 and 11, and two weeks later we’d be clustered at 35,36 and 37. It bothered me that sets of links would move as a cluster, and I think I have a reasonable theory: much the way campaign results evolve and go in and out of favor, so do search results. What was once the most popular link for “Paris” will change from week to week depending on whether the city has something big going on, or if the hotel heiress does. One of the rookie mistakes people make in SEO is thinking that their content is the most important thing in search, this is ignoring the most important factor in search results – clickstream data from the results that users select.  When Google shows you 10 results that can keep track of what you click on and then compare it to everyone else. If you modify your search phrase that gives them some more data. More important yet, if you click on a link and then come back 3 seconds later to try something else, that says a whole lot. This is a core argument why a lot of people...

BlogDay

Today is officially BlogDay, you can get the story and original recommendations in my previous post. Just a few other things I read that are always great: I’m a salesforce.com insider by reading SalesforceWatch. On the small business tech font, and for Tales of Chicago check out Chicago Mike. Most readers know I’m still going through Sex and the City withdrawal, The Pink Shoe Diaries help me cope. As a comic fan (aka – Fanboy, aka – dork) Title Undetermined makes me laugh. I’m also giving a second plug for Mike Champion because he needs a dose of the Google Juice, and mentioning GameSpot which is not a blog but still full of great...