Archives for December 2005

Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

Spotlight on Search – Rand Fishkin

The next interview for Spotlight on Search is with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz. Two interviews in one day? Well, the repsonse to my queries to interviewees has been fantastic. Plus, Rand has received some excellent attention in the media recently.

First, congratulations on the Newsweek article and for getting Slashdotted, twice in such a short period of time!

I remember reading in the Search Engine Watch forums a while back about how you were considering attending the Search Engine Strategies conference. It seemed shortly after you were explaining Google patents with Dr. Garcia on a SES panel. The growth of your visibility and involvement in the industry is impressive.

Lee: Please describe your background and how did you get involved with search engine optimization?

Interview with Barry Schwartz (RustyBrick) of Search Engine Roundtable

Spotlight on Search – Barry Schwartz

Here’s the next installement in the series of Monday interviews called “Spotlight on Search”. Today’s interview is with Barry Schwartz, who runs a web application development business called RustyBrick, edits and writes the Search Engine Roundtable blog, serves as moderator on numerous forums, provides editorial coverage and speaks at Search Marketing conferences.

Lee: Tell us about your background and your business, RustyBrick

Barry:  RustyBrick is a Web development firm my twin brother and I started back in high school, actually.  My brother is the tech side of the business and I am the business side.  We have 8 employees right now, looking to hire two to three more PHP/MySQL developers.  So if you know any coders willing to work in the New York area, please send them my way.

Search Engine News Blog

When I first started Online Marketing Blog in Dec 2003, it was mostly a reblog. I would post links to articles I found interesting on the web. I would also add comments to those links.  When I transferred the blog away from hosting to it’s own domain name and WordPress, I also stopped posting news links for the most part and moved those sorts of posts to a blog I was using to develop article ideas. I’ve had Thomas update the layout of that blog and it is now called Search Marketing News.

SES Chicago and Week Wrap Up

It’s been a pretty amazing week. Chicago SES Sunday through Wed and Thursday my 300C was rear ended by an Isuzu Trooper – ugh. Today I’m still catching up. We’re getting more inquiries for new business now than every before. That’s the idea, right?

My situation this week is nothing compared to what Barry had to go through to get home. Here’s Barry’s wrap up of all the posts he, Ben and Chris covered this week. It’s amazing what those guys can get done.

I heard from several people that I missed a great party Wed night at SES in Chicago that was sponsored by, Bruce Clay, TrueLocal and NY Times held at Buddy Guy’s Legend Jazz Club in Chicago. Ward Tongen has a photo on his moblog. None of the search engines or other vendors were planning an overall party for the conference, so Brandy from set it up on the fly – that’s amazing.

Yahoolicious! Yahoo Buys

Check this out! Yahoo Buys 

We’re proud to announce that has joined the Yahoo! family.  Together we’ll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community.  We’re excited to be working with the Yahoo! Search team – they definitely get social systems and their potential to change the web. (We’re also excited to be joining our fraternal twin Flickr!)

via BoingBoing 

Here’s the post on the Yahoo Search Blog

Tags: Yahoo delicious, Yahoo,

SES Chicago: Q&A on Links with the Search Engines

I had some distractions earlier in the day and did not get to blog any of the pre-lunch sessions. So here’s the first post-lunch session:  Links Q/A with Search Engines moderated Detlev Johnson from PositionTech.  This session is a combination of short presenations followed up with Questions and Answers.

Speakers include:  Kaushal Kurapati – Ask Jeeves, Charles Martin – Google, Tim Mayer – Yahoo, Ramez Naam – MSN.

Detlev announces a part this evening sponsored by WebmasterRadio, Bruce Clay, PositionTech, TrueLocal and NY Times.  This is kind of funny: Tim Mayer takes a photo from the podium of Barry Schwartz blogging from the front row.

First up was Kaushal Kurapati from Ask Jeeves to talk about how links work with Ask Jeeves.

Links from high quality pages are best.

DMA Beefs up Membership with Andrew Wetzler

Since I’m on the DMA Search Engine Marketing Council, I thought I’d post this release that just went out.   The Search Engine Marketing Council (SEMC) of the DMA was previously known as the Association of Interactive Marketing (AIM). Lots of acronyms, but also lots of good work.


New York, NY, December 7, 2005 – The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced today it has appointed Andrew Wetzler, president and co-founder of MoreVisibility, membership chair of its Search Engine Marketing Council (SEMC).

SES Chicago Day 2 Wrap Up

This is the first SES conference I’ve been to where there were no large scale events sponsored by any of the major search engines. There are smaller, invite-only gatherings, but they only involve a small number of attendees. 

I opted to check out some of the Chicago steak houses recommended to me by Jolina, one our Public Relations rockstars, who is from the area.

On Sunday, Andy from WebCertain and I first checked out Harry Caray’s.  This place is definitely a Chicago tradition in sports bars. Unfortunatley, their interpretation of what "medium" means was very different than what Andy and I had in mind. Service was excellent though.

SES Chicago: RSS Blogs and Search Marketing Panel

The last session I attended on day two of the Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference was RSS Blogs and Search Marketing moderated by Danny Sullivan.

Speakers included: Dick Costolo – FeedBurner, Nan Dawkins – RedBoots Consulting, Greg Jarboe – SEO-PR, Stephan Spencer – Netconcepts, Amanda Watlington – Searching for Profit

First up was Amanda Watlington:

Blogs Good and Evil
Shows quotes from
BusinessWeek: Blogs Can Change your Business
Forbes: Attack of the Blogs

Offer platform for businesses to provide a more personal method of communication.
Can provide feedback through comments and trackbacks
Advertising opportunity

Can put out negative information

Blogs Continue Grow
70,000 per day as of Oct.
13% updated weekly
1.2m posts per day

Blogs are a threat to mainstream media

SES Chicago: SEM via Communities, Wikipedia & Tagging

More Search Engine Strategies goodness from Chicago: SEM via Communities, Wikipedia & Tagging

Moderated by Danny SUllivan.  Speakers included: Jeff Watts – National Instruments, Andy Hagans – Text Link Ads, Aaron Wall – SEOBook, Jim Boykin – WeBuildPages

First up was Jeff Watts of National Instruments.

National Instruments approach to community:

Traffic = Community + Search + Content

Very focused on content development. NI looks at community as a way to find out what people are looking for relevant to their web site.

Any conversation about community needs to start about buzz. Need to make sure you a part of the conversation. Alludes to Cluetrain:  “The conversation is going to take place, the issue is whether you choose to take part or not.”

SES Chicago Keynote with Danny Sullivan

Keynote Day 2 of Search Engine Strategies with Danny Sullivan

Danny says keynotes should be inspiring.

How are we (search marketers) viewed? 
Shows photo of guy wearing spam shirt and drinking a beer.

Shows quotes from various sources characterizing SEOs as:  Worthless, shady, criminals, cockroaches

Who to blame?  

Blach Hats:
Blog spamming, keyword stuffing, content thieves, cloaking

But consider some contradictions:

  • Some news sources are allowed to cloak
  • Large respected pubs selling links
  • Web site of respected blog software maker hosting spam pages

White Hats:
Algorithm ingnorant, simple tips overselling, industry best practices


  • Simple tips aren’t simple to people who don’t know
  • Working with designers and others to do content SEO is a skill

Search Marketers to Spend $5.7 Billion – 2005 SEMPO Survey

After the last session about advanced keyword research, SEMPO held a reception where they were to announce some of the preliminary findings of what Dana Todd called their annual "big ass survey". 

The SEMPO state of the industry survey run last year provided some very interesting and insightful statistics about how marketers are using search marketing as well as future expectations.

The 2004 SEMPO survey indicated search marketers planned to spend about $4 billion on paid search, organnic and paid inclusion. The 2005 SEMPO survey reports that number to rise to $5.7 billion as announced by Kevin Lee of SEMPO’s Research Committee. Confetti flew at the SEMPO reception as Kevin announced more statistics out of the survey.

A press release about more details of the survey are forthcoming.