Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie


About Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie founded Portent, Inc. and is now an independent digital marketing consultant advising clients on SEO, content, analytics, and strategy. You can find him at https://www.ianlurie.com

Ian Lurie's latest articles


How To Build Your Own Enterprise SEO Datastore

I hereby swear to not use the phrase “big data” again in this post. Enterprise SEO is all about the data. More accurately, it’s all about data storage. If you can look back over a year, pull out different metrics and see which ones correlate to success, you’re one step closer to repeating that success. […]

Google algorithm updates

5 Whopping Lies That Keep SEO At Status Quo

I’m a little dense. I admit it. Sometimes things just don’t sink in. Me and the many voices in my head have attempted to define Enterprise SEO many times. Is it about big sites? Internal politics? Higher likelihood of failure? IT teams and branding guidelines? Nope. Apparently, enterprise SEO is something we say when we’re clueless. […]


You Need To Steer To Survive In A SERP-Happy World

I was ready to write a completely different column today. Then, I saw the announcement that Raven is doing away with ranking reports and any other SEO data that might ruffle Google’s feathers. I quickly went through denial/anger/bargaining/acceptance: I’m sure they’ll find another way to get this data; this won’t affect anyone else What the #$)(*!*) […]


6 Ways To Shatter The Ceiling With An Enterprise Site Quality Audit

Enterprise SEO has always emphasized visibility, authority and relevance. If you’re optimizing a site with more than 10,000 pages, you now need a streamlined way to audit site quality. Quality matters, and it matters even more on large sites, because you can repeat the same issues so many times. That drags down your entire site. […]


Using Share Of Voice To Measure SEO Results

Sometimes the biggest problem for any marketer is language: communicating results in a way that makes sense to your boss/client. Nowhere is that more true than for SEOs. We talk about rankings, but we know rankings mean diddley squat. We point at ROI, but no one believes us. We try to lobby for changes like […]


What Is In Your Enterprise SEO Toolkit?

Enterprise SEO ain’t like the others. As I’ve said before, simply saying “I’m an enterprise SEO!!!” doesn’t make you one. You need different tools, and different skills, and a whole different level of diplomatic kung-fu. I lack diplomatic-fu. And skills are always open to debate. But the tools are forever. This is a very incomplete […]


Don’t Forget The Other Type Of Enterprise Search

As SEOs, we focus on external customers: Getting more people outside an organization to sign up, buy, read, follow and otherwise participate. We don’t invest a lot of effort at helping internal customers: Colleagues at our own company who need help finding critical information, but end up grinding their teeth after 10 minutes lost in […]


You Know You’re An Enterprise SEO If…

What the hell is ‘Enterprise SEO’? Most people use the phrase when: Angling for a raise. Selling me their SEO widget. Trying to re-define their now-banned content spinning service. Those aren’t good criteria. So, I’m tackling the question: What is enterprise SEO? Are you an enterprise SEO professional? Here’s a test. Check off each item, […]


Why Enterprise SEO Shouldn’t Focus Solely On Keywords

I’ve got a joke for ya: What has 250,000 URLs, a content team of 15 people and three target keywords? Your website. I understand SEO’s keyword obsession. It’s hard to let go, and a nice, high ranking for a really juicy phrase tends to justify budget. But, as I’ve written before, there’s more to justifying […]


Easy SEO Wins For Big Sites

If you’re optimizing a site of 10,000+ pages, one-by-one title tag edits isn’t really your best bet. Enterprise SEO is all about scale. So, when I’m working on a behemoth of a site, I look for lazy site-wide wins first. I define a lazy site-wide win as one that: Won’t require intra-office diplomacy worth of […]

Link building

How To Prune The Enterprise Link Tree

As Barry Schwartz pointed out earlier this month, Google’s warning sites about spammy link practices. And it’s no April Fool’s joke. While most of the attention’s been focused on affiliates, link networks and the like, enterprise sites need to take a careful look at their own link profiles. But that’s not easy. Instead of hundreds […]


How To Get The IT Team On Your Side

Ah, the IT team: The land where SEO dreams go to die. The bigger the institution, the harder it is to pry a few tiny SEO tweaks out of the developer group. They’re resource-constrained, buried in the poop that the entire company dumps on them and, by the time you get to their office, not […]

Google Analytics

The Challenge Of Justifying Enterprise SEO

It all comes down to money. Face it: You can talk about executive buy-in, cultural shift and managing expectations. But if the C-Suite doesn’t see a return on investment, SEO is dead within the enterprise. So you need a way to measure and justify SEO activities. To do that, you must deal with two challenges: […]


The Enterprise SEO Guide To Response Codes

Response codes impact every page, image and file on your website. A visiting search engine bot figures out what to do based on those codes. Incorrect response codes can cause: Indexation problems; Duplicate content; Site performance problems; All manner of other site higgledy-piggledy. Enterprise SEO is all about big, site-wide wins. Response codes are just […]


Friends Don’t Let Friends Use NoFollow

This is an old, old issue, but one that keeps cropping up. People keep using nofollow. Why? Please, tell me why? The nofollow tag is bad, bad, bad for SEO campaigns. The only time you should use it? If you’re selling links or doing something that could be interpreted as selling links, and want to […]


From Garbage To Gourmet: Fixing SEO Content Strategies

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Site Owner: I want to rank higher in the search engines! SEO: OK, you’ll need to fix a few things… produces a list SEO: And you’ll need to start a content strategy. That means 10-20 pages of new content per month, minimum, plus work to promote it. […]


29 Ways To Speed Up Your Website

There are so many reasons to make your website faster:  Higher conversion rates, lower bandwidth costs and yes, higher rankings in organic search. Frankly, I’m stunned how often web teams resist doing it. Here’s a list from easy to not-so-easy, of 29 ways you can get things running faster on your website: Put your images on […]


Simple Tips For Writing An SEO Style Guide

You want to rank, you have to write stuff. Lots of stuff. If you’re a big company, you’re likely going to have 5+ copywriters going like gangbusters producing articles for your site, guest blog posts and link bait. Even if you don’t, you still have the content that currently exists on your site: Product descriptions, […]


6 Content Tips: How To Write When You Have Nothing To Write About

When I tell a client/friend/colleague they need to add X pages of interesting content to their site, I typically hear one of three answers: 3% of the time: “No problem, I’m on it.” 75% of the time: “But I don’t have anything to write about.” 22% of the time: “No one wants to hear about […]


How (I Think) Crawl Budget Works (Sort Of)

Crawl budget – the number of pages a search engine will crawl each time it visits your site – is a huge factor in SEO success. While a number of factors go into determining the amount of pages crawled, one fairly strong one is the site’s overall crawl budget (crawl efficiency being a key component as […]

Google Analytics

9 Step SEO Checkup Using Google Webmaster Tools

If you’re an SEO beginner, Google Webmaster Tools (also known as GWT, if my fingers get lazy) is a great place to start a site tuneup. If you’re buried in SEO minutiae and need to pull together some intelligent, actionable to-do items for your site, you could do a lot worse than signing in at […]

Google Analytics

4 Tips For Search (And User) Friendly Design

Great design, happy users and optimal search visibility can coexist. But it takes a some subtle balancing on the part of the site design team. I’ve got no great ‘ah-ha’ suggestions here, but 10 small things you can do to reach that goal, without violence between team members. Put The SEO On The Design Team […]


Standards Compliance: Just Do it, Already

Dear coders: please write your HTML/XHTML code to be standards-compliant. Yes, I know — we’ve been down this road before. Folks have tested compliant versus non-compliant code, and it doesn’t help with search rankings, so why bother, blah blah blah. Just use the damned standards, OK? Standards compliance does impact rankings, albeit indirectly: Standards compliance […]

Link building

How To Grab More Rankings With Google’s Branded Search Results

It’s been 10+ days since Google added ‘domain stacking’ or ‘brand stacking’ to their algorithm. In case you don’t know what brand stacking is: Go to Google. Do a search for ESPN basketball. I see six results from espn.go.com. Use a proxy to search for ‘Trek bikes’, and you’ll see six results from www.trekbikes.com. Note: […]


Why I Still Hate Rel=Canonical

Note: this article assumes you understand the basics of canonicalization. If you don’t, have a look at my article, 8 Canonicalization Best Practices In Plain English. I still don’t recommend using rel=canonical. It should be your weapon of absolute last resort. Last February, the Big 3 search engines announced support for this link tag. A […]


3 Lies The Search Engines Will Tell You

Google, BingaHoo! just so you know: nothin’ but love from me. You guys rock. Really. We have a good relationship. But most relationships are based on trust, and that means you shouldn’t lie to me. If we’re all going to continue going steady, I need to clear a few things up. These are the (white) […]


8 Canonicalization Best Practices In Plain English

Canonicalization sounds like a process for recognizing sainthood, or maybe a training course in aiming large projectile weapons. But it’s actually one of the most important aspects of organic SEO. Good canonicalization means search engines crawl more pages of your site; it means that link authority and PageRank get consolidated, so you have a stronger […]


A Plea To Corporate America: Get IT Out Of The SEO Business

They’ll thank you for it. A lot of people think I’m an Information Technology hater. I’ve often said that IT can be a huge impediment to SEO efforts. I constantly lobby to move websites off company networks. I strongly feel that Internet marketing is marketing first and technology second. But the truth is, I’m a […]


Go Green Or Go Home: Recycling Content For SEO

Content. Content. Content. SEO’s hammer clients with pleas/prayers/entreaties to produce content. Writing, videos, images, audio, sanskrit, I don’t care; just please, for love of all that’s right and good, produce something. Clients respond: I don’t have time. I can’t write. I hate writing. Our partners won’t let us publish anything. The branding team will veto […]

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