Natural Search Blog


Are you an SEO Superhero?

I was tickled to see these SEO Superhero t-shirts that Covario was giving away to attendees of the SMX West conference in Santa Clara this week:

SEO - Covario's SEO Superhero T-Shirt

Naturally, I got my t-shirt sporting the SEO Superman-esque logo! I don’t wear t-shirts a whole lot, but this is one I’ll definitely wear sometimes.

It felt odd not to see Stephan Spencer, VP at Covario, at the SMX conference, since he’s been such a search marketing juggernaut over the past few years and his book, The Art of SEO, just came out. But, I understand that he may be hitting some other conferences, and these speaking gigs can sap the energy out of one really quickly.

There’s not a lot of companies that could pair themselves up with an SEO superhero promotion and still be taken seriously, but I think Covario can do it. I know from formerly working with Netconcepts that their automated SEO solution, GravityStream, is an awesome service, and pairing it up with Covario’s analytics makes for a very strong combination. As a technologist, I certainly think it’s best to simply program a site to have excellent optimization for search rankings, but I’ve seen time and again when large companies are unable to get past bureaucratic IT development processes to roll something out in a timely fashion. For those companies, GravityStream is a really good solution.

For all of you who also attended the SMX West conference, did you get your SEO superhero t-shirts? How often will you wear them?

10 Practical Actionable SEO Tips To Boost Your Website Visibility

Today’s post covers ten practical actionable SEO techniques that can give your site a major boost and help it achieve better visibility in the major search engines. These observations are made by Whitespark, a SEOmoz member who attended the recent SEOMoz PRO Training series.

These tips are easy to implement and will suit a majority of the businesses on the web. With paid traffic getting more expensive with each passing day (and yet providing only 12% of traffic on the web), it is high time all website owners started ramping up their organic seo efforts. These tips will certainly help in improving a site’s natural search visibility which still accounts for 88% of the traffic on the web.

There are a few proprietary tools (created by SEOMoz) that are mentioned in the post. These tools do a great job of automating the mundane tasks thus saving valuable time and giving great results to help you plan your strategy. You have to be a paid PRO member to access these tools.

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Natural Search Marketing is Just in Time Conversation

I had the extreme pleasure of presenting to some of the biggest brands around at the 2009 Brandworks University. This year represented 19 years that Lindsay, Stone & Briggs has put on this annual branding conference. Brandworks is very unique in many ways as conferences go: attendance is mostly done by invitation, but attendees still pay a fee to attend; rather than elective presentations running simultaneously, there’s one block and presentations flow back-to-back and are formulated to relate to and support each other as well as the underlying theme; rather than a typical podium setup, presentations are done “in-the-round;” and it isn’t hard to find attendees who are able to claim 5, 10 or more years of attendance. Needless to say, if you ever get the opportunity to attend or are invited to speak, I highly recommend it.

This year’s talk was around the core theme of the “conversation economy” and how marketing, branding, and business in general is being shaped by and around conversations. Not surprising, there was a fair amount of talk around social media. Of course, my portion was to focus on natural search as part of this conversation, which thanks to blended search, crosses over and intersects all marketing channels. While my view on natural search hasn’t changed much over the years, preparing my presentation for the conference helped me frame it up with the exact message phrasing that I’ve been looking for – “just in time conversation.”

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Speaking at Dallas WordCamp 2009

Wordcamp Dallas 2009I’m speaking at this year’s WordCamp in Dallas again later this week.

WordCamp is a mini-convention for WordPress and blogging enthusiasts. Some of the content is WordPress-centric, but other content is applicable to bloggers in general, such as how to promote your blog and other stuff.

I’ll be speaking on how to use social image sharing services for promotion. Social media sites such as Flickr allow people to publish and share their photos with many other people, and the site is well-constructed in terms of search engine optimization, so posting images there helps get media distributed all over. Using Flickr can help one gain more attention, inbound links, and overall search rankings.

I’ve spoken on using Flickr for promotion and optimization before, and I’ve written on details of image optimization here a number of times.

I’d further recommend blogging to everyone – I first started blogging here on the Natural Search Blog as a guest, after Stephan Spencer invited me, and it eventually changed my overall career path. Be sure to check out Stephan’s articles on blog optimization, btw, since he’s pretty much the top authority out there on the subject.

There’s still a few seats left for Dallas WordCamp – sign up before they’re all gone!

Vint Cerf & The Architect in The Matrix

While attending and speaking at the recent SMX West conference in Santa Clara, I had the opportunity to photograph Vinton (“Vint”) Cerf, Google’s VP and Chief Internet Evangelist during his keynote interview conducted by Chris Sherman.

After returning, one of my friends saw my pics and remarked that Vint Cerf resembled the Architect character in the Matrix movies. It immediately struck me that he was right — so I knocked together a comparison pic:

The Architect vs. Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf and the Architect in the Matrix share a number of feature similarities: similar age, dress, coloring, and facial hair. The biggest difference is that the Architect has a full head of hair while Vint is balding. (more…)

Dan Heath, 5th Keynote at SES San Jose 08

Dan Heath, one of the co-authors of the book, “Made to Stick“, spoke on the last day of the Search Engine Strategies conference, last week. Dan is a Consultant to the Policy Programs for the Aspen Institute.

SUCCES - Sticky Idea Hallmarks by Dan Heath
Dan Heath presenting Made To Stick’s hallmarks of sticky ideas:
Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories.

Dan presented the main concepts from his book, covering why some ideas survive and spread while other ideas die. As with a number of SES conferences in the past, many attendees apparently decided that this last day of the conference would be of lesser worth, so the audience for this keynote was a lot sparser than on previous days. This was a shame, because, aside from the Orion Panel discussion, this preso was likely the one that would’ve been of the highest worth to marketers.

How do you introduce an idea so that it may catch fire and spread? What are some characteristics of sticky ideas that make them viral and persistent? (more…)

Googledance 2008

The Googledance party was held last night at the Googleplex for SES Conference attendees, and it lived up to its traditional party-on-a-grand-scale reputation for which it has become known.

Googledance, beside building 43
Googledance, 2008

The theme this year was “Glow in the Dark”, and they gave out t-shirts which flouresced nicely under blacklights, and those endothermic glow sticks that can be linked up for bracelets or necklaces. In one area was a large Lite Brite station that allowed party-goers to make colorful messages or illustrations of their choosing with the translucent pegs.

One really cool entertainment was the “Glow Graffiti” – they had set up a couple of different stations to allow the crowd to do digital graffiti — using laser pointers to write on the sides of a couple of buildings. A camera tracks where one drags the laser pointer beam on the wall’s surface, then a computer captures the trajectories and redisplays the lines drawn back onto the wall continuously with a projector. In this way, one can draw all over the side of a building with light.

Google in Digital Graffiti
“Google” tagged in digital graffiti on side of building

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Orion Panel: Tech & Info Giants – 3rd Keynote at SES San Jose 08

The Orion Keynote Panel, “Technical & Information Giants”, touched on fairly broad topic areas this afternoon at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose.

Speakers included Matt Cutts (Google Engineer), Rich LeFurgy (Partner, Archer Advisors), Kirsten Mangers (Co-Founder & CEO, WebVisible), Robert Scoble (Managing Director, FastCompany.TV), Danny Sullivan (Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land), and Tim Westergren (Founder, Pandora).

DSCN5767

Conference Chair and moderator, Kevin Ryan, framed up the introduction to the panel by using numerous pop culture video snippets to emphasize the impact of Google, social media, and the overall internet on everyday lives. Some of the funnier snippets included quotes from South Park and Californication. (more…)

Satya Nadella, 2nd Keynote at SES San Jose 08

Satya Nadella (Microsoft’s Senior Vice President of the Search, Portal & Advertising Platform Group) spoke at this morning’s keynote at the Search Engine Strategies Conference.

Sam Johnson quoted, Satya Nadella Microsoft Keynote, SES

Nadella spoke on how Microsoft approaches search and how the company intends to shape trends in search development and how they intend to exploit them.

Nadella shows current popular content in search: Michael Phelps

Lee Siegal, 1st Keynote at SES San Jose 08

On opening night at the Search Engine Strategies Conference this week in San Jose, Kevin Ryan () spoke with Lee Siegal about his book, “Against the Machine”, and the ideas in it.

Kevin Ryan Talks to Lee Siegal, SES Keynote
Kevin Ryan Interviews Lee Siegal, SES Keynote

Siegal proposes that the internet culture is perhaps damaging our attention span and he points out the benefits of having intentionality about what we do. Interesting!

Lee Siegal, Keynote at SES San Jose 2008
Lee Siegal, author of “Against the Machine”

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