Archive for June, 2011


SEO Comics: CEO View of SEO, Part 9

SEO Comics

SEO Comics: Just signed a great link trade deal with some nice lady. Anybody know what a "milf" is?

CEO View of SEO, Part 9


ICANN Haz (dot)Cheezburger

ICANN haz .cheezburger?

ICANN haz .cheezburger?

ICANN, the dark and diabolical secret society that controls all internet names and naming from their Lovecraftian lair  somewhere deep beneath the Matterhorn, has unleashed a new terror upon us: unlimited third-level domain extensions.

You didn’t think .com, .net, .edu, and .gov were all there is, did you? Surely, you’re already using all the new top-level domains they’ve introduced since 2004, right? Of course, you regularly find yourself typing,,, and, don’t you. Well, if you love those extensions, you are gonna swoon over this next round:  Unlimited. Third-level. Domains.

That’s right, kiddies. ICANN haz .cheezburger!

Or .coke, .ibm, .google, .nytimes, .wendys, .you-name-it. All you need is a $185,000 application fee, and proof that your new .domain is useful, necessary, and yours by right.

Since ICANN is a “non-profit” (if “self-funded”) operation, we’re sure they initiated this earth-shaking plan purely out of concern that the internet was growing short of usable territory, and NOT because every time they approve a new set of third-levels, every company in t he world feels obligated to snatch up all the new variations of their brand name. And not because every Fortune 5000 company in the world is going to immediately pony up the $185k for their new vanity plates.

They did it for us.

In case you wonder, here’s what this latest hold-your-breath-ICANN-announcement really means.


Seriously, nobody cares. Because nobody types URLs into the browser address box anymore. Nobody goes anywhere on the net that didn’t start with a link from somewhere else: a search result, a bookmark, a link in an article, a link forwarded in a joke email by a goofball co-worker. The biggest impact unlimited domains is likely to have is a surge in new SEO company marketing materials.

ICANN haz nap now?


Friday’s SEO Site of the Week

Today’s Site of Week is an interesting SEO Expert Quiz on SEOMoz. There are some surprises here for even the most experienced search marketeers. It’s a big old quiz—better reserve a half hour or so. We took it and missed a couple that seemed “no-brainer.” Think you know SEO?


We’ll give it a giant question mark.


Local Search: Attention All Brick-and-Morter Merchants

Two questions.

  1. Are you a business with a physical presence?
  2. Are you prominent in local search?

If the answer to #1 is “no,” you may skip today’s post. If the answer to #1 is “yes,” then the answer to #2 had better be “yes” also. Because if you plan to do business in your community—that is, if you plan to attract customers to your place of business—you damn well better show up high on the Google page for search terms like

  • Your business name
  • Your industry + your city, your region, your neighborhood
  • Your product or service + your city, your region, your neighborhood

Because if you don’t, you are missing a rapidly growing market segment, namely those customers who never use the Yellow Pages. They instead look stuff up on the internet, at home or at the office, on their computer, on their cell phone, on their iStuff.

Try it. Go to Google and type your industry plus your city. Like “pizza eugene.” Are you on the map that appears covering the top 3 or 5 or so positions? If not, you’re in trouble. Your competitors have claimed that extremely valuable real estate. And even if you’re at the top of the “normal” listings (those beneath the map stuff), you are losing money.

Local search for Pizza, Eugene

And the winners are

So how do you fix it? First, you have to sign up with Google Places. This is necessary. Fill in all the details. All of them. Add photos. Use your best keyword kung-fu and pick great keywords for the description and services fields.

You will need to validate the listing. They do this by either robo-phoning your main business number and giving you a PIN code, or by mailing the PIN to you on a postcard. You will then need to enter the code next time you log into your Places account.

If your competition is weak, that may be all you need to do. If they are strong, you have to fight back. One very important way is to get reviews and ratings from as many people as you can.

One more thing. What if you looked yourself up just now and found a listing that’s just plain wrong? Like a competitor’s address or phone number in your listing. Or even somebody else’s business name in your address. Look through your Places account. There is a link in there that lets you report a problem. Do that immediately and keep doing it until it gets fixed.

And here’s something new! Google has just launched “City Pages” which is a collection of city information that will also be huge, I’d guess. Read more here:

Google Adds City Pages


Google Instant: Now the Wrong Page Is Even Faster

Couple of days ago, we went on a little rant about Google’s propensity for trying to read our minds in order to deliver search results just the way we want them. Never mind that they really can’t read anybody’s mind, and let alone the extraordinary level of control they can then exert over our access to information, and forget completely that this could absolutely ruin the whole search marketing industry—we forget where we were going with this, but rest assured, the internet is not a better place because of Google’s determination to guess what we want and deliver it without further ado.

So now, today, we read about Google Instant.


Now, not only do they try to decide what you really want to see, but they then assume that they are right and start loading their first choice for you onto your computer. This is known as “prefetching” and while it may speed up your experience—if they did guess right—it also uses your computing resources without your permission which may have a deleterious effect on any multitasking you’re doing, or on your trying to load the page you actually wanted.

Please Google please! Make it stop!

A bunch of stories about Google Instant,2817,2386934,00.asp


SEO Comics: CEO View of SEO, part 8

SEO Comics

SEO Comics: What our SEO needs is some social networky stuff like iPad or HTM5

CEO View of SEO part 8



Dear Google,

You’ve been, for many years, the search engine of my dreams. I’ve loved you, worked with you, used you and let you use me. We’ve shared many things. We’ve gone many places. We have lived and learned and grown together during our time together, and I have never really strayed. Oh, sure, I’ve occasionally glanced at another engine. Even flirted a little from time to time. But I have never, ever considered leaving you for another.

I mean, really. None of the other engines compare to you. Yahoo? A pale shadow. Bing? A pretentious imitation. Wolfram-Alpha? Egotistical, single-minded, and smarter than I need it to be.

Google, you are my search engine.

And through all this, I have never asked anything of you except honest answers to my questions. If I wanted to know about Genghis Khan, you knew where to look. If I wanted to find a new tattoo design, you pointed me in the right direction. If I wanted to buy shoes, you were there for me. You even began to show me where I could find things in my own town. Pizza? It’s right over there! Movie times? Gotcha covered!

Which is all good. Every innovation has tried to make the information I receive just what I was looking for. All good.

Except that now Google, you have finally gone just a little too far. Lately, when I have searched for information on anything—seriously, just about anything—you treat it as if I existed on an island, with no cares for anything but my immediate surroundings. You have localized virtually every search I make. If I want to find the best internet deal on blue jeans, you send me to my local Sears. If I want to learn who my biggest SEO competitors are, you only show me those within a 10 mile radius.

If I type something with an unconventional spelling, you think you know what I meant—and deliver what you think I wanted, not what I searched for. Spell check is all well and good, but maybe I wanted to search for “flikr” not “flicker.” Possible, maybe?

If I search for Cowboy Boots on Wednesday, but on Thursday I want to find the Cowboy Junkies, DON’T SHOW ME BOOTS!

You believe you can read my mind. That you can tell just what I was thinking when I typed that search query.


Not kidding. This could seriously ruin our relationship. End it forever, even. If I want to see local search results I’ll tell you that’s what I want. Stop reading my IP and deciding for me what you think I should see. If I want to search for something that’s spelled weird, LET ME.  And don’t think you know what I want today just because you saw what I wanted yesterday. JUST STOP IT.

At the very least, give me an option! Let me choose a version of your engine that just gives me the best answer, not necessarily the one you decide is the best answer for me.

No, really.

Formerly yours, and still yours but beginning to have second thoughts,