Conrad Saam

Conrad Saam

Conrad Saam is the founder and general manager of Mockingbird Marketing (formerly Atticus Marketing), an agency delivering advanced online marketing exclusively for the legal industry. Previously, he spent 6 years running marketing for legal Q&A site Avvo -- which went from concept to market leader without spending a dollar on advertising (they were really really good at SEO). He's the author of The FindLaw Jailbreak Guide and hated by legal marketing vendors and social media marketing consultants who fleece their clients.


Suing Your SEO: Can An Agency Be Held Liable For Poor Results?

It was only a matter of time before a lawsuit was filed against a search engine optimization agency for failing to deliver. Last week, the legal marketing industry was aTwitter (and aFacebook and even aPlus) with news that law firm Seikaly & Stewart had filed a lawsuit against The Rainmaker Institute seeking a return of […]

Google Analytics

How To Work With Four Common SEO Leadership Styles

I’ve had the pleasure of working on SEO in a variety of companies both in house and, frequently, through casual advice to other companies. After eight years in the business, I’m convinced that the success of search for an in-house person hinges on their ability to work within a leader’s approach to search. This is […]

Google algorithm updates

Dealing With People – The Hardest Part Of SEO

The really hard part about search engine optimization isn’t the SEO itself but dealing with people within your organization who have (or should have) an impact on SEO. Optimizing H1s is easy. Dealing with people is hard. Really hard. What follows are a series of the most important lessons I’ve (maybe) learned while dealing with MBAs, […]

Analytics & conversion

How Scattergraphs Can Be Your Best Friends

Recently, I was on an in-house SEO panel at SMX with REI’s Jonathon Colman. Most of the audience’s questions centered around explaining and reporting relevant metrics to upper management. Turns out, while search has come a long way, many execs still use terms like “Google Juice” and define success as launching a PPC campaign to […]


Recruiting: 12 Questions For Uncomfortably Hands-On SEO Interviews

I was shocked by the widespread, deeply negative reaction to the introductory paragraph of my column last month, in which I described beginning every interview with a math problem.  The response is probably best typified by EricM: Despite missing the entire point of the article (that you can use simple free tools to calculate confidence […]

Analytics & conversion

Do It Yourself A/B Testing

I always start marketing interviews with a phone screen of some variant of the following question: “Let’s say this is your first day at Urbanspoon and I show you the following data. We’ve just launched an A/B test of that I’d like you to evaluate. [The example can be almost anything you want to test […]

Paid social

UGC + Search Collide: Jesus, Jelly & Susan G. Komen

The first rule of social media marketing is to have a great product. File that rule away while you read on . . . Companies are increasingly integrating user generated content, reviews and social media into their overall marketing initiatives. In principle, this seems like a good idea. In practice, it can falter. I’m going […]


A Letter From Santa To The Search Community

December, 2011 The North Pole Dear Search Community: Thanks so much for your many letters to the north pole. Your nicely written texts and emails included some familiar requests from last year and some entirely new ones. Lisa and Ian, I’m very sorry, I can’t drop that referring keyword data  from signed in users down the […]


How To Terrify Executives Into Linkbuilding

Much has been written about the poor in-house SEO, fighting the good fight to inculcate SEO awareness and best practices throughout the organization. This is an unenviable task and more than one in-house has shared a narrative with me that sounds something like this:  SEO:  “So, I’m concerned that we’re not proactively link-building and that […]

Link building

Aspirations Of Incompetence: Benchmarking Competitors

Why oh why do we obsess over our competitors’ SEO strategies and tactics? Business leaders, frequently molded from concentrated Type-A material, can’t help but obsess over performance relative to competitors. They celebrate gains in market share, the thrill of stealing a client and the schadenfreude of a competitor’s stock decline. When introduced to SEO, they […]


Am I KW Crazy? A Guide To Tackling An Ubercompetitive Keyword Strategy

In which I recommend (a very limited) focus on ranking reports . . . I’ve long railed against the stupidity of keyword ranking reports and the insufferable myopic thrashing that occurs when consultants or business units get wound around the axle trying to diagnose a two spot slip for a favorite pet term. (Or worse, […]


What Your UGC Or Community Site Can Learn From Google+ And Quora

We have a lot to learn in the upcoming Clash of the Titans cage match:  Google vs. Facebook. The nastiness has already started with Facebook blocking the chrome extension to download FB friends and numerous petty PR quips. Twitter further kicked the hornets’ nest by letting their data agreement with Google lapse. (This was a […]

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