Rich Snippets & Learning To Love Not Being #1

#1 rankings have a hallowed place in the minds of most SEOs. Many of us use #1 rankings as bragging rights (I’m guilty) or as one of the key metrics for campaign success (guilty again). But long-term trends in the way search engines rank pages and display results are both changing that. Now, it’s entirely […]

Analytics & conversion

The Infinite Funnel Of Search To Sale

“And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, […]


The Art Of The Follow-Up Post In News & Article Publishing

Classic linkbait campaigns follow a “throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks” model. Which begs the question: what do you do when it does stick? Let’s say you’ve written a solid piece of linkbait, and you’re ranking on page one for a topical head or near-head term. So what do you do next? […]


The Growing Need For SEO In Political Campaigns

It’s going to be a while before we see a political campaign that’s “less digital” than the last one. Budgets keep getting bigger, and investing in online outreach continues to provide candidates with the biggest bang for their buck. But selling voters on politicians and policies isn’t remotely similar to selling, well, anything else. But […]


Why So Many Blogs Fail (And What to Do About It)

It’s a safe bet that right this minute, someone, somewhere, is advising a small business owner to start a blog. And it’s an equally safe bet that this blog will be a waste of time. Blogging used to be an effective strategy, but its current popularity is a holdover. And case study after case study […]


Link Laundering: The Growing Threat That Tarnishes White Hat Sites

Let’s say your site’s security is bulletproof. Your password is memorable to you, but uncrackable. Moreover, your forum’s moderators are sleepless and relentless: nobody gets away with spamming you, and the only followed links you allow forum posters to contribute is a single followed link on their profile page. Plus, you don’t let people mass-create accounts. […]


How To Win Enemies & Influence People By Turning Controversy Into Links

There are a few easy ways for journalists to get their readers’ attention: breaking news, in-depth profiles, tugging emotional heartstrings, or by stirring up some controversy. If you’re doing any kind of link-building, you want to appeal to one of those basic formats. Most SEO consultants advise you to create fact-dense or emotionally-compelling content. And […]


The Bleak Future Of Commoditized, Outsourced SEO

SEO tasks vary wildly in complexity: some of them are best done by a seasoned expert, some of them require creative flair, and many are fairly rote—directory submissions, some kinds of copywriting, and some varieties of link-building. For those simple, repetitive tasks, it’s tempting to turn to outsourcing. In fact, some SEO consulting firms act […]

Google Analytics

Your Landing Page, Their Site?

SEO is a game of tradeoffs and opportunism. Do you go after that single high-value keyword, or do you cede it to a big competitor while growing your long-tail traffic? Do you pay up for professional copywriters, or rely on user-generated content to fill up your pages? Will you write great blog content by spotting […]


Better B2B SEO Through Jargon

In many ways, business-to-business SEO can be trickier than consumer facing SEO. When you’re marketing to consumers, you’ll often be better-informed than they are after an hour or two of research. And in many cases, all you need is content that survives a cursory glance, not an in-depth reading. And as anyone who has written […]


3 White Hat Ideas To Optimize Google Suggest Results

One of the funniest moments at SMX West last month was the exchange between Avi Wilenksi (owner of Promediacorp, an SEO company) and Othar Hansson (Google Engineer). Avi had just discussed a case study of how he was able to alter Google Suggest results by “crowdsourcing” people to manually input queries—i.e. by somehow convincing them […]


The New Age Of Article Marketing

I’ll admit it: my SEO strategies leaned a little too heavily on article marketing in the past. It was tempting, it was easy, and it was pure SEO. The old trick was pretty simple: there were dozens of “article directories” online, which would pay somewhere between “A pittance” and “$0” for 300 words or so […]

Google Analytics

Updating Google Image Results For Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is all about managing “image”, sometimes quite literally. In one of my recent engagements, I worked with a model who was concerned about her Google Image Search results. Many of the top pictures of her were unflattering and outdated — potentially costing her work. We crafted an online reputation management campaign that: […]


SEO For A Good Cause: Supporting Advocacy & Non-Profit Campaigns

Not every SEO campaign starts and ends with a P&L statement. An increasing number of political campaigns, advocacy groups, and nonprofits are using search engine marketing to achieve their goals. It’s tempting to apply the same metrics to either kind of campaign: traffic is traffic, and conversions are conversions, after all. But issues-based campaigns often […]


How To Grind Out Q&A Content For SEO Success

Every content-driven SEO strategy targets a tiny sliver of a giant Venn Diagram, with content that is either a) valuable enough that someone out there will search for it, and b) unique enough that it can rank. There’s one company that has turned that from a guideline to a credo: Demand Media. Demand Media’s financials may be […]

Google SEO

No, You Can’t Rank Well Just By Cultivating Terrible Reviews

Over the weekend, the New York Times carried a great article on, an eyewear site whose owner claims that bad reviews got him to page one of Google. Danny Sullivan responded to the piece with a look at why Google’s algorithm fails and why reviews should be a bigger part of rankings in this particular case. […]

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