Why SEO is Search Engine Scamming

Danny Sulliven has a post on Searchengine land called, Dear Fox News: SEO Is Not Search Engine Scamming (Unless You’re Scamming Yourself).

It’s the kind of post where I read the first few paragraphs, think yeah yeah yeah and then go back to watching the Cartoon Network.

But lets go back to Fox News, which is an American TV News channel whose slogan is “Fair and Balanced” and tends to get watched by people who thought George Bush was a socialist.

If you search for the story headline that Danny refers to, “top online jobs to leave you friendless”, Fox comes up number one on Google so it must be true. I realise that not everyone who reads this blog is British and so their default position may not be one of sarcasm and cynicism.

In other words:
If you are reading the Fox News blog for informative, insightful content you’re an idiot
If you want to know what SEO is, you google Danny Sullivan.

But I doubt anyone reading this blog needs to be told that, which means I have just wasted valuable time when I could have been watching the Cartoon Network.

Analysis of an SEO story going Viral on Twitter

I tweeted, The Future of seo. From one of the UK’s top seo companies, Freshegg.com

The following retweeted the story.

Catnboots
lloydcooke
webaddict
mimojito
tyno
BWelford
Bukowsky
notifyneal
casspa

The total number of followers these account represents around 21,000 people. Is there going to overlap, as in the same person following twice? Probably. Are everyone of those followers going to be online at that time? Doubtful.

How many of the remaining number actually click through? I cannot calculate, but the webmaster of the targeted website cam. From there they can construct an idea of conversion rate of a retweet.

It remains to be known the value of a story going viral. My definition of a viral is where someone passed a story on that another person had picked up.

This story has obviously a highly focused audience and not likely to leek into the mass market. But not many people need to see it to be a successful post. Sometimes I have found only one person needs to read a post for it to be successful.

We don’t yet know the power of a retweet, but those who have spent their lives steeped in the world of the viral for the past few years know something very interesting is happening.

We can feel the heat, even though we cannot measure the burn effect of the viral.

Building Twitter Real Estate

Which leads me to another aspect. How do you get people to retweet your stuff. Most of the principles of linkbait apply here, you give people the reason to retweet.

Most people don’t get that. I do a lot of training and it’s amazing how such a simple, fundamental aspect of online networking gets overlooked.

Give people a reason to reteet your stuff.

I don’t have time to go into this in more detail, but here’s a clue. The above accounts all retweeted the story. Do you think they are worth following?

Do you think tweeting quality information is going to get you retweeted?

Do you think they will be motivated in any way to tweeting this story?

I know a lot of social media marketers wished I would stop blogging and giving away all the tricks. But I just can’t help it, I love to share ;)

You can follow me on Twitter if that is your desire here

SMX impressions, thoughts and future drug use

It’s a few days after London SMX 08 and I think my brain and central nervous system have just about calmed down. This was my second conference and the first I presented at. I wasn’t able to go to a lot of the sessions on the first day as the cycles in my brain were being used up thinking about my presentation, and of course I had to rewrite the whole damn thing.

I even had to write it out in longhand as the smart-arse bloke on the registration desk printed it out in teeny text and then told me not to be too funny, cheers mate, very helpful.

It’s interesting though, writing it out in longhand whilst listening to Obama storm to victory, really helped drip the narrative into my brain. And as the presentation was on using psychological techniques to seduce links, it felt right.

The second day was crazy too. I managed to deliver my presentation without tripping up on the way to the podium (my baseline for success) and was able to enjoy the rest of the guys presenting, Tom Critchlow, Jay Young and Wiep Knol.

Between the 4 of us I think we have been responsible for quite a few links, and the party is just getting started.

Here is the main thing I took from the conference.

Content for humans is more important than ever. Exceptional content is vital to getting links. But here’s the thing I come across all the time. Journalists and corporate copywriters, those trained in a traditional, conventional way do not seem to get it. I talk to a lot of seos’ about their content creation and they all bemoan their staff and their lack of fire in their belly and in their text.

I suppose when you clock in and clock out it doesn’t become passionate and vital. Also, a lot of the conventional education for writers these days goes against what works when using content to build links.

There is a formula for creating content for links and it’s easy to learn. But it’s hard for writers to unlearn what doesn’t work. You also have to take into account that writers are a pretty much, messed up in the head bunch, at least the good ones are.

Excellent linkbait, fantastic copy which causes mouthfuls of coffee to be sprayed over a 22 inch, Samsung monitor is very, very hard to do. Which is why people who can write like the devil on a wet and wild weekend can charge a premium rate.

SMX London has made me think about content in a new way, and I think there is a demand for a service on a number of price points which can delver.

SMX Conference regrets.

Didn’t get a chance to chat to Dave Naylor, I really wanted to but it was a whirlwind. Didn’t chat more to a number of my linkbaitcoaching.com people, it would have been great to have sat down with them for a day or two and knock around ideas.

I also got to meet the delightful Christine Churchill, the well read Julie Joyce, the chocolate loving Judith de Cabbit and cheeky Northern bloke, Patrick Altoft.

Plus a load of other people I feel guilty about not including in this post, but the kettles about ready.

Note: this post was written a few days after SMX London 2008, and yes it’s late. It’s been lurking in my Wordress Drafts file with 200 other unpublished posts. The reason is I have been insanely busy, mostly with setting up offices and taking on rather large clients who share my Holistic view of social media marketing and seo. But that’s for another post.

How Much Money Should an SEO be Paid?

I know how much I should be paid, but how much should an agency seo, or an in-house seo be paid?

As a freelance my fee is dictated by the market, I set it too high and I get no takers, too low and I am swamped.

But what about those who work in organisations? It’s a difficult question for some to answer and I so rarely see it discussed in the seo blog world. Maybe because not everyone wants this information public.

Various factors are obviously involved like, experience, expertise, job availablity etc.

But what’s the starting pay for an seo and how much can you earn?

I’m interested in your thoughts.

Keeping up with seo blogging

To me, blogging has been a means to an ends. Get clients, establish the brand, wind a few people up. The problem is of course when you get the clients you no longer have the time to blog.

But, I think you still should.

It keeps the mind focused, it keeps the creative gene fed with blood and oxygen, it enables you to start conversations on topics you are interested in. Problem is, if you are late for a client, which I am 80% of the time (have difficulty letting go of the work, just one more tweak) then they may get pissed at what they see as you goofing off on your blog. When in fact it actually helps get the juices flowing and helps you serve the client better. [Read more…]