Archives for March 2007

Search Engine Room Wrap Up

Search Engine Room here in Sydney has officially wrapped up and it’s back to business for us. Well, sort of. The time difference between Australia and back home makes things a little tricky but thanks to Email and a great team, the show goes on. We’ll have 4 days to check out Sydney, which is both awesome and a crime since we’ve come so far and there’s so much to see. Maybe next time it can be a longer stay.

Photo Courtesy Michael Visser

On day two I presented on a panel called, “Blog Marketing and Optimisation” with Andrew Pascoe (second from right below) who writes the Under The Rotunda blog and gave a great introduction to blogging as well as methods of deriving traffic via search and aggregation sites like Techmeme and Digg.

Search Engine Room Photos

We’re starting day two of Search Engine Room and I’m really looking forward to it. Day one went very well with some really interesting presentations on a variety of topics ranging from vertical search to link building. I did a presentation on SEO and PR and it seemed to go pretty well. Quite a few people asked me after the session if we had an office in Australia. Hmmm.

Gavin Appel Lee Odden

We had a great lunch with Gavin Appel from Hitwise who shared all his secrets with us. 🙂 Actually, it was great to hear the story of how Hitwise has grown and developed over the years. They are a global brand and have done very well for themselves.

Monday Online Marketing Links

Ha, it’s actually Tuesday morning here in Sydney. Am prepping for the first day of Search Engine Room and wanted to share a few links:

Just before leaving Minnesota for Australia, I received a copy of Cat Seda’s new book, “How to Win Sales and Influence Spiders” which focuses on leveraging SEO and online PR. I hope to have a review next week.

eComXpo starts Tuesday and runs through Thursday. This is a great virtual tradeshow that allows you to visit exhibitors and view presentations without the expense of traveling. With all the search marketing conferences and seminars popping up, this kind of platform might become even more popular than it is now for both attendees and speakers.

Extra Text Editing in WordPress

Color Color ColorA client asked me today for more control in their WordPress control panel. Specifically, when posting they wanted to control the font sizes, colors and do a bit more. As a designer I always freak at that question as I think the code is going to be filled with massive amounts of font tags and out of order strong tags and ohhh the madness. But, then again, maybe I’m overreacting.

So, I did some researching and came up with one possible idea, Xinha4WP. It’s a WordPress plugin that replaces the default text editor with a much more advanced version. It also needs the Text Control plugin to work so you need to install that too.

TopRank Down Under with SEO, PR and Reputation Management

SunRise at 35,000 ft
Susan and I made it to Sydney, Australia early this morning and go to watch the sun rise over Eastern Australia during the descent. After a few hours getting through customs, then getting our bags x-rayed on the way out and then getting checked again to get into a line to get to the exit of the airport, we made it outside for the line to the taxis. It might have been a lot of hurry up and wait, but we were just thankful to be outside in the fresh air.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing a presentation on SEO and Public Relations. The buzz about SEO and PR has been strong the past few years, especially with Greg Jarboe, Jamie O’Donnel, Sally Falkow, Amanda Watlington and many others including TopRank making significant headway into developing new strategies and tactics for clients.

Bulldog Reporter Advanced PR Tech Chicago

After getting into the Chicago Hilton, a familar place from SES conferences, I walked the 3-4 blogs to the Columbia University campus where Bulldog Reporter was holding the Advanced PR Technology event. Greg Jarboe and I switched the time of our session with Katie Paine so she could make a plane to Dubai.

Regrettably I did not join the event in the am when it started and missed a number of fantastic speakers including Debbie Weil, but I did get to meet her for the first time. We are fellow bloggers over at Business Blog Consulting. Shel Israel blogged about Phil Gomes presentation here.

Search Marketing Blogs Update 031607

Not many additions this week although we have quite a few in the queue. Most of them are very new blogs and need to get some more content before we can add them. Here’s the updated search marketing blogs list.

Blogging Guidelines:

  • Add value – this is a given, but you’d be surprised. Write original content or truly insightful commentary on industry news.
  • Post 3 or more times per week

High Rankings SEM Seminar Photos

Day one of the Minneapolis High Rankings seminar went well and I think the presentations were well received. One thing I think I did not emphasize is that the speakers are not only subject matter experts, but they’re skilled at instruction as well

Matt Bailey reinforced himself as one of my favorite speakers and I recommend that you travel to wherever it is that he’s speaking next to learn about analytics and usability. If nothing else, you can enjoy his Star Trek “red shirt” hypothesis.

Jill covered technical issues and writing for the search engines as well as an overall recap – all great info. Christine Churchill did two excellent presentations, one on keyword research and one on paid search that I’d like to get recordings of. Karon Thackston did a session on copywriting that focused on SEO as well as persuasion and branding, which I think a lot of SEO copywriters miss out on. I had not seen Scottie Claiborne speak before and her session on link building was very thorough.

Don’t Go Auto Updating WordPress Yet

Wordpress UpdateOne of the annoyances of WordPress is that when a new version comes out, you have to take the time to upgrade. Sure, it may be just re-uploading everything, but that still takes a few minutes per blog and I think that’s why a lot of people tend not to do it. To work around this, the InstantUpgrade plugin was created. Good idea, but is it ready for primetime yet?

The plugin explains that it can automatically update to the latest version of WordPress for you, or you can tell it when to update the files for you. It does all the work and you get to sit back and relax.

Legacy SEO Clients

I started doing site optimization work around 1997ish but didn’t start taking on my own clients until 2000. We started TopRank in 2001 and some of our SEO clients are companies I’ve worked with for 7-8 years. That’s a lifetime in internet time, getting to know their business, hitting success goals and receiving referrals for even more business.

The services we offered then and the services we offer now are quite different and one of the issues agencies have to deal with when auditing client hours vs revenue is to decide where the business is profitable and where it’s not. Client business models change and vendors are expected to change along with the clients in order to best serve the client’s needs.

Minneapolis High Rankings SEM Seminar Starts Tomorrow

By now the High Rankings SEM Seminar team has infiltrated our city of melting snow and is preparing for the all-out assault on SEO, PPC, Analytics and more for the benefit of the local marketers wise enough or fortunate enough to attend.

The fun begins around 7:45 am or so for registrations at the Crown Plaza downtown Minneapolis and the ball gets rolling around 8:30. It looks to be a very good sized group. Actually, it’s an ideal size – small enough to be able to interact with all the other attendees and speakers over two days and large enough for a variety of interactions, comments and feedback.

I’m looking forward to it and hope to see you there. More details about the seminar here for any last minute attendees.

Bloggers Faceoff Interview Rand and Lee

I nearly missed mentioning this. Daniel over at Daily Blog Tips does an interesting form of interview where he asks two people the same questions and posts their replies as a sort of “face off”.

In the past he’s done this with Darren Rowse and Jeremy Shoemaker as well as John Chow and Matt Coddington. This week he did such an interview with Rand Fishkin and myself, which might have been better if it were with Rand and Danny or Rand and Matt Cutts, but hey I’m not complaining. 🙂
It’s not much of a faceoff since SEOmoz gets 10 times the traffic Online Marketing Blog does. Despite that, many of our answers are quite similar with the exception of the questions about reading just one blog and a one word description that describes the reason for blog success. Thank you Daniel for the exposure!