SEO Services For Serious ROI. Blog Posts For Serious SEOs.

Value Links And Understand Search Like Matt Cutts With Submarine Crawling

Welcome Search Newz visitors! It seems that Search Newz’s syndicated version of my article, “If You Listened When Google Announced Submarine Crawling,” which follows up the one you’re seeing now, forgot to link to an important Matt Cutts video. So there’s the link to help you out. Anyways, on with the show – here’s what submarine crawling is all about, as interpreted from Matt Cutts’ explanations.

Matt Cutts’ post and this Webmaster Central post recently explained that “high quality” sites are being given special treatment – submarine crawling.

We all know that links from high quality sites are more valuable than those from average or mediocre sites. Now, Matt and Google have given us a new measurement for finding high quality sites – submarine crawling – and thus high quality link prospects.

Russian Submarine

Russian Submarine courtesy of Orpheus Grey.

So WHAT is Submarine Crawling? (more…)

Silver Star Mercedes Montreal: Car Dealership Case Study

If you live in Montreal, you’ve probably seen Silver Star print ads. But you’d be a lot less likely to see them in search results on any major search engine because their search marketing effort is nonexistent (well OK, maybe MSN might return them). Not only is their SEO (What is SEO?) non-existent, it’s a near-100% duplicate of Mercedes-Benz Canada’s site!Mercedes Silver Star Splash Homepage

If you’re Google and some random Canadian searches for “Buy Mercedes Benz car,” would you rather return the more authoritative Mercedes-Benz website or a total copy on a subdomain?

The answer isn’t as obvious as you might think. (more…)

550 Subscribers, Newspaper Article and other Milestones

Things have been absolutely incredible here lately, as I’ve achieved a variety of milestones.

1. Matt Cutts complimented me and by recognizing that I was one of the first two people (with Mike VanDeMar of the Smackdown blog) to notice Google indexing site searches. (more…)

Google Unveils The Source of Search Results Pages in Its index

And it isn’t Google Analytics, as I mistakenly thought. So I need to apologize to Google (and to you, my readers) for the error/false accusation and getting people worried for nothing.
Even more humbling, both Matt Cutts and the official Google Webmaster Central blog have called yours truly’s site “high quality.” So let’s see … (more…)

No, I Won’t Vote For You. Yes, I Know You Voted For My Last Post.

I’m in a crap situation, and I need to learn to say no. First, because saying yes is eating into my own time and second because I’m embarassed to admit that I voted for friends’ submissions that were average and not really deserving of votes. (more…)

SEO ROI Tops 200 Subscribers: Case Study on Feed Analytics and Poll

I recently topped 200 subscribers to my RSS feed! Thanks to all of you who subscribed :). Update: Make that 300 :D!

Now, I need to qualify that statement. Over 200 people have clicked on a subscribe link, in the past weeks, be it in a post or in my sidebar. But I’m concerned about the confidence I can place in my data, which idea came to me from reading Avinash Kaushik‘s Web Analytics An Hour A Day.

My problem is that because I feel Google has enough power and enough data, I’m using ClickAudit click counter/meter to measure how many people click individual subscription links. Tracking is at the post, widget and sidebar level.

The problem is that, since I’m not on Feedburner, I don’t have access/usage stats. And at the same time, as I’ve recently experienced a surge in traffic (10,000 visitors last month), it’s very difficult/tedious to just look at my logs and see how much of that is referred from feedreaders. Even if I went that route, I’d be unlikely to find all my subscribers visiting on any given day.

All of which has left me wondering what you guys were expecting when they clicked my subscribe links! Were you expecting the feed itself? A page with more information about subscribing, like these 20 reasons why you should subscribe, possibly with an email form as well? A Feedburner page?

So I’m inviting all of you who’ve recently clicked subscribe (as well as those of you clicked a while ago) to give me some feedback and vote on this poll:

1) When you clicked subscribe, you were expecting to go to the feed.

- Yes, I expected the link’s destination to go to your feed.

- No, I didn’t expect the link’s destination was your feed.

2) For those who were expecting something else, what did you think the link would take you to?

- A Feedburner page.

- A page about the newsletter/subscription.

- Something else. (If this is your answer, please tell me what that something else is.)

3) Still for those who answered “No,” what did you do once you realized that the link had opened up the feed? Why?

- Subscribed anyways.

- Didn’t subscribe.

Thanks for helping me figure this out! And please, if you hadn’t subscribed prior to reading this, don’t answer the poll. But do subscribe to my RSS feed ;).

p.s. I apologize to my readers for the cutting off in feedreaders due to using the ‘more’ tag for excerpts on the main blog page and the SEO ROI homepage (where you’ll now only find the best/most important posts I write). I’m trying to figure out a way around that, while still showing excerpts. Please bear with me while I try and figure out how to get you all full feeds.

Google Is Indexing Site-Search Results Pages

Google Analytics is broken (like PageRank is broken), and leaking my data into the index. All the site searches here on SEO ROI are resulting in site-SERPs pages getting into G’s index. How is this happening?

Final Update: This has been disproven as being the source of the site-search-results appearing in Google’s search results. I had good reason to believe that Google Analytics was the source of this (you can see below for my original thoughts on the matter), but there’s now a clarification. My apologies to Google and to my readers for the mistake.

A while back I saw a video about using Google Analytics to (more…)

Aaron Wall on Growth Areas, Independent Webmastering, Hiring and More (Interview)

Aaron Wall is a teacher, SEO, marketing expert and generally a very bright guy [obviously, he agreed to do an interview with me ;) ]. Beyond the site we all know and love, he’s also the man behind Search Engine History, Blackhat SEO and a variety of others. Most of you reading this probably know these things, so let’s just move on with the interview. As always, there’ll be free dofollow links in updates to the post for intelligent comments and particularly if you find the source for some of these questions…

1) Where do you think are the most promising areas for testing and experimenting, as far as discovering new, actionable SEO insights?

  • I think studying psychology and sociology are key areas for growth. (more…)

Question the Wisdom of Crowds

Ever see that classic gag of a couple of people standing around staring upwards at nothing and pointing in the same direction? A crowd grows around them, and gets gradually bigger. The point is just to see how many people they can attract into their crowd of starers (more…)

The Sneakiest Text Link Ad Disguise Or How To Pass Any/All Human Reviews

Google AdSense Here’s another Greyhat SEO idea for you, ladies and gents. The sneakiest text link ad disguise ever! It’s a true Sherlock Holmes who’ll see through this disguise. If you enjoy this post, there’s plenty more where it came from (i.e. the greyhat, idea and linkbuilding archives), so do subscribe ;) . Update: Many people reading this want to hide their link destination using javascript. See here.

Google AdSense unit image courtesy of Frank O’Dwyer.


  1. Put Adsense on the page from which you want to sell/buy a text link.
  2. Take a screenshot (more…)

Scratchpad: Questions, Reputation Management, Domains and PPC

Scratchpad, for those of you who don’t know, is my informal column. Take the ideas for what they’re worth and ignore the style.


Q1: What is the best measure of attention equity? Links? Daily visitors? Repeat visitors? Subscribers? Trends in the prior statistics? Something else?

Q2: Is scannable content contributing to (more…)

The Biggest, Baddest, Resource Bonanza Bar None!

Here’s my effort to share original resources that haven’t received wide attention/link love on other blogs. Hence I haven’t shared Aaron Wall’s tools (how useful would one more mention be?), Xenu Link Sleuth or SEOmoz’s tools (though I had to put them in the Friends section). Here is search marketing’s BIGGEST, BADDEST, RESOURCE BONANZA BAR NONE! (If you enjoy it, subscribe – there’s lots more where this came from ;) .)

The SEO Business

What makes Web sites credible?

Proposal layout and design

Five Simple Ways to Make Your Proposal More Competitive

Canada Business – Starting a Consulting Business – Interesting item for my fellow SEO consultants here (more…)

The Independent Webmaster’s Manifesto

  • If knowledge is power;
  • If information is knowledge;
  • And if Google is organizing – and, more importantly, distributing – the world’s information;

Then isn’t Google the single most powerful organization in the world?


Editorial Calendar: Lotsa Goodies Coming Soon!

Hey gang,

I’m back from SMX West – the best three days of my life EVER – and have got some great material to share with you guys. Here are some highlights of what’s coming: (more…)

At SMX; Be Back Next Week

I’m headed to see my brother out in BC, and from there, onwards to SMX in California. I’m not sure whether I’ll be blogging or not during the conference, but if I do, I’ll do my best to make it original stuff rather than session summaries or roundups, though I may do that as well. Bottom line: Don’t get your hopes up for fresh content this week; it’s my turn to learn from others. :) If you need to satisfy your hunger for SEO knowledge, look at these nice recent posts…

3 SEO Strategies (Not Tactics) To Make You Think

Online Community Moderation: Interview with Kat French 

Winston Churchill Would Have Been a Greyhat SEO

How I Made $3000 This Week And You Can Too! (Spoiler: I didn’t make 3K in a week and that’s the point of the post.)

On Motivation and Influence (or Be Nice to the Loner Kid Lest He Destroy Your Reputation)

3 New Metrics To Waste 30 More Hours A Week On

A/B Testing vs Multivariate Testing

–> You’ll notice that many of these didn’t appear on the frontpage. I publish content that you can only see if you regularly check out my category pages or if you subscribe. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe already and get the goodies! If you really need more convincing, here are 20 blockbuster reasons to subscribe :D.

How I Made $3000 This Week and You Can Too!

Actually, I didn’t. And that’s why this post matters. (more…)

Gab & SEO ROI’s Charity Awards for Search Education (Cases)

I’m a Bookworm. Really. So I’d say I’m reasonably well-placed to give out some Charity Awards for for Search Education. The way it’s going to work is that everyone who wins an award gets a shiny badge and has their name added to the donation I’m making to the Africa Is Real charity. They’re a Montreal group started by some friends I met at the OWN conference.Book Stack (more…)

1,2,3 – It’s As Easy As A/B/C Testing

A/B TestingI was emailing a prospect recently who mentioned that a competing firm had proposed doing A/B multivariate testing. If you’re familiar with the jargon of testing different ads/landing pages, you would know that A/B testing is different from multivariate testing. I can’t blame the prospect or my competition however, because ours is an industry enamoured with jargon and it sometimes gets me confused too! In any case, let’s see what A/B testing (more…)

Montreal Business Community: Startup Camp and Yulbiz January

Last month, I attended StartupCamp Montreal and Yulbiz, and I’ll be discussing the people from Montreal‘s business community whom I met below. You’ll recall that I spoke at FacebookCamp Montreal. Now, most of you reading this are not in Montreal (though considering the attention my competitors pay this blog, perhaps that’s not quite so) – so why should you care? Well, two reasons. (more…)

Online Community Moderation and Personal Networks with Kat French

Here’s a refreshing interview with Kat French, well known in the SEOmoz and Sphinn community and certainly a person to keep an eye out for in search marketing. We cover online community moderation, the strength of social media and of personal networks, and much more. (more…)

SEO Consultants: The Good, The Rad and The Sexy

Do you know your SEO consultants? Read this through for your guide to the good, the rad and the sexy of internet marketing’s most in demand professional – the SEO consultant. (more…)

The Truth About Influence

Duncan Watts claims that the Influentials theory is nonsense, yet if he were to think critically about his own work, he’d see that there are many flaws to it. (Hat tip to Maki for sphinning the Fast Company piece on Watts.) Influence still matters.

Yahoo email adWas Mass Marketing Effective Or Was It Personal Networks Operating? (more…)

4 Great Linkbait Ideas Free for the Taking

I’ve guest-posted at Dave Harris’ Huomah, sharing some linkbait ideas I had lying around for linkbait pieces which you’re welcome to develop! If you like it, also please do Sphinn the post. It also ties in to guest-writing I did at Pandia on succesful linkbait’s characteristics. And speaking of influencing people to link to you and/or sphinn your stuff, check out my most recent article, On Motivation and Influence. If you like it, a sphinn would also be appreciated. I put about a dozen hours into it and am really proud of that, so it would mean a lot if you could help it go hot.

Besides all that, I’m going to make the traditional invitation for you to subscribe to my RSS feed if you like my materail ;).

On Motivation and Influence or Be Nice to the Loner Kid Lest He Destroy Your Reputation

Frozen Motivation (Ice Cream)What follows is a letter I wrote late one night out of anger, frustration, depression, pain and a desire to get my feelings off my chest so that I could finally fall asleep. I’ll be using it to illustrate and explain the two most important elements of human behaviour: motivation and influence.
The former is the explanation as to why someone behaves a certain way, and the latter explains (more…)

Post #88 – Scratchpad

ScratchpadFormal writing is really frustrating because it requires you to dress up simple ideas in complete sentences, edit your work for grammar and spend an unholy amount of time writing what it would take you a few minutes to express verbally. When you come up with new ideas or discover new stuff as often as I do, that can get really frustrating.

So I’m hereby inaugurating what I hope will be a regular column here: Scratchpad (scratchpad picture courtesy of one eye fish). I’ll share my latest ideas, in a raw scratchpad type format and be paying even more attention than usual to your feedback. (The Post #88 reference was the pre-naming version of this post’s title and I found it quite appropriate to an informal column.)

For this first issue, I’ve got

  1. New uses for Google’s Keyword Tool External,
  2. Mined ideas from Google’s Press Days 06 and 07,
  3. Revelations of what the PPC arbitrageurs (more…)

RankRanker (Rank Ranker “Free SEO System and Link Exchange With Extra Earning”) SPAM

I’ve gotten two emails from a certain “” (aka “”) trying to sell me their “Free SEO System and Link Exchange With Extra Earning”. While spam email pitches for terribly named, grammar-rule-flaunting, “get rich quick” systems (NEW: Now With An SEO Twist!) (more…)

Adviso, Dreamhost, 1 and 1 Internet, and Network Solutions : 4 Reputation Management Case Studies

The following are four cases involving reputation management. The paragraphs are long because (i) they were written that way and it felt natural (ii) I’m too lazy to edit (iii) most importantly, we’re all suffering from shorter attention spans. I promise you good content if you read on. Some definite lessons to be learned about proactive reputation management for those of you who are attentive to detail. (more…)

Google Maps Folds Google Earth Booking Engine, Reviews, Own Pics Directly Into SERPs + A Big List of Hotel Review Sites

Google Maps has been doing a lot of testing and playing with its search engine results pages (SERPs) lately. I’ve seen the EarthBooker hotel booking engine tightly integrated with many hotels. At the same time, when I performed a longtail search for a hotel to stay at during the SMX West conference, I found some reviews (or other stuff Google seems to find relevant) folded directly into the SERPs (you used to have to click more info to see the reviews). And there’s also pictures being folded in from Google’s (more…)

This 20 Year Old Pisher Speaking at SMX West; Are You Going?

Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West Speaker badgeVanessa Fox and the team at Third Door Media have given me an incredible opportunity – the opportunity to speak at SMX. Following Danny’s great explanation of what they were looking for in terms of pitches, I thought about my experience and what I could share with attendees. I pitched some ideas for local and voila – I’m in for the local panel :D ! So Third Door: Thanks a lot for taking a chance on me. I can’t predict the reception, but I can promise you I’ll be working like mad to make that presentation worth it for your attendees.

I highly encourage you guys to grab the early-bird special before it expires – you save $400!  It’s THE search marketing conference, and besides, I’ll be there ;). (more…)

Linking Oot n Aboot: Wynn Sucks, Learn Joomla SEO, Positive Facebook Ads ROI

I’ve decided to start a semi-regular link love thing sharing items I’ve recently come across that I’d like to share with you folks as being valuable resources. This “Linking Oot N Aboot” column name comes from David, who remarked to me upon seeing a picture of me in a suit with a poppy: “You’re a canuck too?!” Yep, sure am! And though I don’t have the maritime/Atlantic Canada pronunciation that we seem to be famous for, I’ll shamelessly use my country’s national slang for the hell of it. (more…)

Hidden Meatball Sundae Post, Commenter Link Love

Due to this blog’s buggy technology (as in, horse and buggy), my blog is hiding a post I think many of you will enjoy. That post is Whitepapers Are So ’07: MyVenturePad Gives Away Meatball Sundaes for Linkbait. It discusses MyVenturePad, their great linkbait as well as a related book I’m reading: 10 Reasons for Businesses to Blog. Besides that, I’m taking the opportunity with this little upkeep post to share some link love with recent commenters. (more…)

Why Google is Broken

Google is broken because PageRank no longer models what it did in Brin and Page’s foundational paper. (more…)

Carnival of the Capitalists New Year’s Edition 2008

Here we are in 2008 and it’s time for another Carnival of the Capitalists! This is one of the longest-running carnivals in the blogosphere and it’s largely due to the great organizational skills and dedication of Jay, from the Business Sphere. (more…)

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