Search Evangelist

Read the latest blog from Searchology.

  • The Internet “Kill Switch”

    According to the Huffington Post, there is another proposal proposed by Joseph Lieberman to which would allow the President of the United States to shut down or take control over portions of the Internet. Not only is this news, but if it passes, it would potentially change how we gather information and what we can access via the Internet forever. What reasons would the U.S. government have  for shutting down the Internet? The short list; cyber terrorism, protect government agencies, secure government files from groups like Wikileaks , after that...it gets very fuzzy on why a Internet Kill Switch would be needed.

    In fact, I imagine that if government agencies are protecting their data, records, top secret files, and have the best professionals in the industry, there is no need at all for a kill switch of any type for the Internet. How does ...
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  • BP Oil spill and the Search Results – Good PR or good for nothing?

    Try a few searches on Google for "bp oil spill" or even better...try "oil spill response" and you will find some very interesting results. The first of which is British Petroleum buying keywords to "manipulate the search results" as Kieth Olbermann pointed out this evening on MSNBC.  ABC may have broken the new first with their take on BP Buys Search Engine Phrases. This would be a good first step in online reputation management and may backfire as the disaster is certainly going to cost BP, America, The Gulf Coast, and our planet more than just a few pennies per click.

    While on the surface of things, it may seem like a great way to start changing hearts and minds of America it will not. And it is way to little way to late. The current situation in the BP has created could have been avoided in the first place. While I don't care t...
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  • There Is No Guarantee in SEO

    I've been asked many times over, "Do you offer a guarantee for your SEO services?" The answer is no. I never have and I never will. My automatic response is my lack of ability to control the Google algorithms. Trying to reign in or directly control Google's magnum opus is like trying to rebuild the pyramids of Egypt in my back yard. It just isn't going to happen. All a professional SEO consultant or SEO firm can do is provide the best practices and do their best to deliver good content, links, and articles, etc.

    In a recent post, SEO Guarantees Should Not Exist , by Nick Stamoulis backs me up on this issue. Not only with his own take on the SEO guarantee but with a post directly from the Google Webmaster Blog. I refer you to a Q&A s...
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  • Did Social Media Just Get Mean Or More Honest?

    This morning in the Chicago Red Eye, I read a very brief segment about Unvarnished, the new social website which allows users to rate their coworkers, bosses, business partners, and more. Certainly this raises a lot of questions about what is going to happen with social media. What if you have a coworker who constantly shows up drunk? What if your boss monitors a site like this? Could your reviews of your peers act as the new Big Brother? What will be the impact on your future career?

    Those of us that are in 'the know' or have figured out that your privacy is no longer really yours...know that what you put online can come back to haunt you. Last night on Fox News Chicago, they ran a spot about a young teenage girl who was coaxed by her then boyfriend to create a video starring her in flagrante delicto. The resulting video was sent around the world and is illegal to own and publish in most countries because it is child pornography. The problem is this video has traveled th...
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  • Freedom Of Information & The Internet …Not In Texas

    I have a lot of opinions about the Internet, online advertising, politics, etc. I usually don't discuss or write about the intersection of Internet and politics. It is a little off topic for me to discuss politics and the Internet. It seems as if Barack Obama solidified how important the Internet can be when it comes to politics and, more importantly the real influence it can wield. Most of my material should stay in the realm of searchology. However,  this was a little to big of a story for me to pass up.

    There is no doubt, the Internet is a powerful tool and may become even more powerful than books. You remember books right? Kind of like vinyl, old school and out of style but still cool. I'm sure your asking yourself, how this could be so? The Internet becoming more important than books. The answer is one word. TEXAS. Well really it's the Texas State Board of Education.

    You see, ...
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  • So, what is your domain name worth?

    Recently the Huffington Post posted an article on The 11 Most Expensive Domain Names purchased thus far in our very short world wide web history. I do not find it all that out of whack when you consider the search volumes for terms like;

    • Vodka.com (sold for $3 million) - estimated Google global search volume for "vodka" - 5 million last month
    • Business.com (sold for $7.9 million in 1999) - estimated Google global search volume for "business" - 151 million
    • Toys.com (sold for $5.1 million in 2009) - estimated Google global search volume for "toys" - 124 million
    • Beer.com (sold for $7 million in 2004) - estimated Google global search volume for "beer" - 24.9 million
    • Casino.com (sold for $5.5 million in 2003) - estimated Google global search volume for "casino" - 24 million
    While these number are astounding, it is all...
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  • Google Is Brining The Hammer Down on QA

    I've had some new business join my growing client roster recently. This of course is a good thing...however the one of the primary complaints is ads not showing up in Ad Words for poor quality scores. I have a simple formula I'd like to share...and if you have read the Google Ad Words guidelines you will find that what I recommend is not much different than what Google already recommends.

    Here is my formula for higher quality scores with Google Ad Words.

    Keywords + ad copy + landing page = higher quality score

    Sure its simple and pretty straight forward. However, if you have too many products or services and are trying to push too many paid search keywords through the same page without marketing some type of lading page adjustments your quality score will suffer. Here are some other pointers for higher quality scores.

    • Build a unique landing page for each major ad group or each major PPC campaign
    • If possible try and buy a URL which is relev...
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  • The Real Cost of Advertising Online

    A good friend of mine [he is also a independent internet marketing consultant] had a very interesting conversation this morning. Our talk was all about the real cost of website marketing and the big fees some Internet marketing firms charge for their services. Why do they charge so much and does that have a potential impact on the botique online firms and the independent marketing consultants? Moreover, what does that do to the businesses who become obligated to pay these hefty bills? In the current turbulent economic climate, all sizes of businesses are going out of business in the thousands across the country. One would think that truth and justice would prevail in harsh times. Or some type of ethical honesty would arise from all sides of business to help one another through this harsh period. No, not in the online marketing industry or Capital Hill. Much like the Truth In Lending Act ,  I believe too...
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