Useful Tools For ScreenCasting & Usability Testing

Tweet Have you been paying $29 and now $39 a head for Mashable has a list of free and commercial screencasting tools, including web-based/online ones. (New to remote usability testing? – Read my user testing guide .) The Screencasting Handbook has another list with certain other ones listed and describing relevant feature differences. Finally,… Continue reading

Can SEOs Automatically Analyze Backlink Profiles?

Tweet In a thought-provoking article, Russ Virante of Virante SEO asks whether, instead of manually checking through competitors’ backlink profiles, it’s perhaps possible to automate the analysis, at least to dig for paid links. He suggests that by using SEOmoz’s link index, and comparing the numbers on some backlink profile metrics against those of Wikipedia… Continue reading

SEO Software Startup Story: The Usability Testing & Social Integrations Of BuzzStream

Tweet Paul May co-founded BuzzStream, a CRM for link building and PR/social media that allows online marketers to manage relationships and be more effective in getting results, be they links or press. He gave me the following two-part interview about the software creation and startup process. I’d already interviewed Ann Smarty before about her creation… Continue reading

Developing Websites To Rent Them Out

Tweet Flipping websites is a common and popular practice, but you can make more money in the long term by renting websites out, instead of getting a one-time payment for them. This technique only works in a few niches; one in particular is the local business niche. Many local businesses are still in the dinosaur… Continue reading

Advertising Lies: “Engaged Audience” In Advertising

Tweet The purpose of advertising is defeated by “engaged” audiences. I came across an old advertising saw in Vanessa Fox’s recent article about the Food Network vs AllRecipes traffic battle, namely that advertisers want an engaged audience. That’s idiotic. Why? Engaged audiences don’t click. Ask any AdSense publisher who clicks his ads most, and you’ll… Continue reading

Who’s The Best Social Media Agency / Company In Canada?

Tweet A friendly business acquaintance of mine, Jean-Julien of Sid Lee, asked this question recently on Quora. I thought I’d answer here for the benefit of my readers. The question is kind of futile, in my view. It’s the same way many marketing award shows are only aimed at promoting themselves (they charge thousands per… Continue reading

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2 Case Studies On Reversing Negative Reviews

Tweet This is a guest post by Liz Krause, who writes for EtherSpeak, a company specializing in Unified Communications for internet phone service. They are a SIP trunk provider and also offer internet encryption for business class VOIP. For anyone who has ever owned a small business, the adage, “the only bad press is no… Continue reading

Web Design Signal vs Noise

Tweet Do CSS galleries actually show the right way forward for web design? Via a fascinating post on whitespace and visual hierarchy at Usability Post, I also discovered the UX part of Stack Exchange, one of the web’s biggest Q&A sites. It’s got loads of intermediate-advanced questions and is well worth a visit for people… Continue reading

Are You Buying Skewed Panel Data?

Tweet In yet another fascinating case study, Mr Green’s blog shares a mobile marketing campaign aimed at recruiting panel members for a demographic research service. What’s fascinating is the bit about optimizing the campaign by device, carrier etc. Some phone models convert better than others, and not always for reasons of usability. Shoemoney years ago… Continue reading

Brilliant New Followup Features At MyBlogGuest

Tweet I just logged in to my friend Ann Smarty’s My Blog Guest forum for finding guest posts and was treated to a delightful surprise: two genius new features for improving your followup. Under a message box, within the private message area, are two checkboxes that read as follows: Notify me if the recipient does… Continue reading

Daily Deals Don’t Deliver – Yet

Tweet Excellent criticism of daily deals on TechCrunch The question is – how do local companies go about following up to make these deal seekers become repeat buyers? The startup that solves that problem will be bought for 9 figures asap by Groupon. Some leads to follow: On a related… Continue reading

Dealing With Panda? Try A Readability Tool

Tweet If you’ve read about Panda, you’ll know that the quality of your writing and editing is a key notion targeted by Google’s update. So why not try a tool that will evaluate your readability? This is in a similar vein to Brian Patterson’s recent post suggesting a grammar checker, but the tool I just… Continue reading

Paypal’s Exchange Rates Are Aweful – Important FYI For International Marketers

Tweet I put $2000 US into a paypal account of mine, and Paypal is listing that as being worth 6653.79 Israel New Shekels (ILS). That’s an exchange rate of 1 USD for 3.32689 ILS. (6653.79 / 2000 = 3.32689) According to, the exchange rate between the two currencies is 3.42120 . That’s a full… Continue reading

Excellent Parody… But Perhaps Useful For Internet Marketers

Tweet Read this brilliant comic by XKCD, parodying a popular field of internet marketing… It’s funny because it’s an observation about reality which is absurd… and yet, I wonder if this is worth testing as an internet marketer… Tweet

Review of PPC Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day

Tweet David Szetela has long been one of the PPC experts I most admire, not least of which for his informative presentations at SMX – typically on the Google Display Network (GDN), his specialty. He wrote a book for Wiley/Sybex’s online marketing An Hour A Day series, Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day,… Continue reading

3 Cheap Tools to Attack the Panda Update Head-On

Tweet This is a guest post by Brian Patterson, a partner at SEO consulting firm Go Fish Digital. The Google Panda Update hit many webmasters like a freight train, leaving a long line of quality websites as collateral damage.  While the Panda update did have the noble cause of weakening the grip that content farms had on… Continue reading

Don’t Put A News Feed On The Homepage

Tweet Why not put a news feed of your company’s latest press releases on the homepage? Because 99 times out of 100, you won’t have news to share on a sufficiently regular basis to make the use of space effective and worthwhile. The net result is that you look silly, when, halfway through 2011, your… Continue reading

BuzzStream Does It Again

Tweet It seems whenever BuzzStream send out an email with new product features for their link building CRM software, I’m highly impressed with the value they’ve added to their product. It’s a great competitive differentiation they’re building, and in my eyes, highly worth it for any link builder regularly building links manually. Some of their… Continue reading

Where Do I Take My Business Next?

Tweet With my book set to come out hopefully in the next few weeks, I’m on the fence as to where I want to go next career-wise. I’d love to hear your advice and suggestions. As things stand, my situation looks like this: 1) I have 5 years experience in SEO, with some PPC thrown… Continue reading

Blogroll finally posted

Tweet Want to know what I read? Here’s a partial blogroll, focused mostly on local SEO, advanced SEO, conversion, and friends. I’ve also long linked out to a variety of other sites in my blogroll posts category. If I’ve overlooked you, and you should be on there, leave a comment. I’ll most likely add you… Continue reading

Condoms For Panda: Noindex Low Value Pages Despite Inbound Links?

Tweet I recently came across what is to me a new SEO problem. A site I consult with has some thin pages with a handful of ads at the top, some relevant local content sourced from a third party beneath that… and a bunch of inbound links to said pages. Not just any links, but… Continue reading

Google Talks Mobile, Local and CPA At Goldman Sachs Con

Tweet Here are my notes on the interesting points in Google’s presentation to Goldman Sachs’ Tech and Internet Conference. It’s noteworthy not just for seeing the trends in where they’re going, but for the principles that govern their thinking and the way they want to be perceived. 1) Google saw Japanese users paying relatively… Continue reading

How SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer Prioritizes Links

Tweet While emailing with Aaron Wheeler about SEOmoz‘s Link Intersect, Aagon gave me the following insight into how they crawl the web and prioritize their choices of links. It’s pretty fascinating from a tech perspective… Hey Gab! Thanks for writing in and sorry that you weren’t able to find that directory in the Competitive Link… Continue reading

News: 1/3 Of AdWords Dollars Are Spent On AdSense!

Tweet “Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of $2.43 billion, or 28% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a 19% increase from first quarter 2010 network revenues of $2.04 billion. ” What’s interesting to note is that roughly 70% of that goes to… Continue reading