• Climbing The Slippery Slope Of Mount White Hat
    On Monday of this week, fellow Search Insider Ryan DeShazer bravely threw his hat back in the ring regarding this question: Is Google better or worse off because of SEO? DeShazer confessed to being vilified after a previous column indicated that Google owed us something. I admit I have a column penned but never submitted that Ryan could have added to the "vilify" side of that particular tally. But in his Monday column, Ryan touches on a very relevant point: "What is the thin line between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?"
  • Google Analytics Experiments Can Cause An SEO Challenge
    Back in June, I detailed the sun setting on Google Website Optimizer in favor of the new Google AdWords Experiments. For the most part, I've been really happy with the new Experiments option -- there are real benefits to the new approach. However, I have encountered a small glitch that testers using Experiments should take into account.
  • Walking The (Thin) Line Between SEO And Web Spam
    Rank Modifying Spammers is an interesting exploration of Google's search algorithm and the possible direction the company may take in its fight against Web spam. The author's hypotheses stem from a Google search patent that was recently discovered by Bill Slawski of SEOByTheSea. The potential implications of that patent, as articulated by SEO Book, are why I'm a little anxious.
  • Direct Vs. Distributors: Clash Of The Compensation Models
    The world of marketing is heading for a head-on collision, thanks to consumers who seem to think they have the right to inform themselves prior to purchasing. The problem? We marketers trying to jam a semi-trailer full of legacy channel baggage into the sleek new two-door direct-marketing roadster we're taking for a spin. Simple physics dictate that something has to give. My money's on that bloated distribution chain.
  • Mobile Is Where It's At (Literally)
    The ease of mobile search and the ability to find product information, prices and reviews while in a store has led to "showrooming," with 39% of walkouts influenced by smartphone usage. "The four walls have become porous," says the Wall Street Journal. Indeed they have, but smartphone commerce isn't only confined to the physical retail environment. Tablet and smartphone users are also much more likely than desktop or laptop users to be interacting with digital media during prime-time television hours. This is also when consumers are more likely to be on social networks, where 90% of consumers trust recommendations from …
  • Sweating The Small Stuff
    A couple weeks ago, I was having lunch with my old pal, Tony Bombacino. One of the many things I love about Tony -- besides the fact that he thinks you can order steak frites and, as long as you also get a salad, it's a healthy meal -- is that he's the human embodiment of CliffsNotes for business books. I sure don't know how he finds time to read, but thankfully he's able to remember book theses better than rap lyrics. Over lunch, one of the books T-Bo recommended -- and subsequently summarized so now I don't need to …
  • Natural Language Connects Search And Social
    For all of the talk about "search and social" as an interdependent concept and discipline, perhaps the most important connective point between the two is the use of shared language. I mention this because many search professionals are not fully leveraging their keyword skills in social areas, and social media marketers are not leveraging search-based keyword tools for social audiences as much as they should.
  • The Ultimate SEO KPI: Return On Rank
    I'm not introducing anything new or novel by saying that SEO "rank reports" are unimportant. That sentiment has existed for years among many SEOs, even before Bruce Clay's famous "Ranking is Dead" presentation at PubCon in late 2008. What was once the key litmus test for success in SEO has now been made obsolete by a decidedly more advanced and personalized set of search results. What engines return to users as they search is often unique to them, based on geographic location, historic search behaviors, and social connections. To now say that any site ranks #1 on Google for a …
  • Living A B-Rated Life
    I love ratings and reviews -- and I'm not alone. 4.7 people out of 5 people love reviews. We give them two thumbs up. They rate 96.5% on the Tomato-meter. I find it hard to imagine what my life would be without those ubiquitous 5 stars to guide me.
  • Accounting For Variables You Can't Account For
    Ryan learns a search lesson from a bad in-store experience.
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