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

Ongoing Case Study: The Advanced SEO Book Put To The Test

Someone told me recently he’s skeptical about the value provided by The Advanced SEO Book. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s had great reviews and gotten me positive feedback from SEOs at serious online companies like Salesforce, I’ve decided to eat my own dog food and implement the tactics and prove their worth.

At least once a week, I’m going to write about what I’m doing to build the site, generate revenue and how it implements my book’s advice.

Here’s a quick preview of the game plan: (more…)

Why Does This SEO-Promoting Email Spam Beat Gmail’s Filters?

I spend an inordinate amount of time deleting spam emails from my Gmail inbox.

Update: Someone said I shouldn’t try to get these guys penalized. Here’s my response:
They’re wasting my time daily and I should stand back quietly? It’s called protecting what’s yours. You don’t think house alarms are bad, even though they might embarass thieves or get them caught, do you? I’m protecting my time from thieves.

If my email is public and scraped, Gmail should still block the spam people send me. Since they’ve been horrible at stopping this for at least a year, and probably more like three years, I’m going to start posting these emails here and hopefully Google will improve its spam filters as a result. As I get more spam emails, I’m going to keep posting them here. And maybe these people will see their own emails scraped and rendered useless by their fellow spammers… (more…)

How To Chill A Client Out When Traffic Drops Over Memorial Day

I got an email today from a client freaking out because their traffic was down about 40% yesterday and Google simultaneously sent them warnings in GWt / their email. How do you chill such a client out? (more…)

Twit Cleaner – Really Useful Tool To Unfollow Dead, Useless, Bot Accounts

I love Twit Cleaner!

Excellent Parody… But Perhaps Useful For Internet Marketers

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…

3 Cheap Tools to Attack the Panda Update Head-On

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 the SERPs, many high-quality, content-rich websites were cleaned from Google in one fail swoop.  To address the outrage found across the blogosphere, Google has provided a list of questions to ask yourself if you want your rankings to return.

From the list of questions Google provided, I’d like to propose 3 cheap solutions that could help get you back in Google’s favor.

1.  Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?

I think it is a little ridiculous of Google to even consider this as something to base rankings on, but I won’t get very far arguing with them (I’ll leave that to Aaron Wall).

The question is, what could we possibly do to have Google think the answer for this is ‘yes’ for our website?   Remember, they are doing this via algorithm, so it’d be pretty hard for them to analyze our design or look for other superficial indicators of trust.

However, there are ‘tangible’ items that they can check for to indicate trust, and  what makes the most sense to me is for Google to check for the ‘Verisign Verified’ seal.  It’d be pretty easy for Google to look for this, and if it is there, the website gets the box checked on this question.  At ~$19/month, its a minimal investment if your website was previously making a great deal of money but took a big Panda hit.

Verisign verification image

2.  Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?

This question does have merit, but I really doubt Google’s sophistication to check for deep stylistic and grammar errors. While the built-in Microsoft Word grammar check is ok and probably on par with what Google would be able to do (my speculation), Apple’s built in grammar check is atrocious.

Rather than rely on these built-in tools, my preference of late has become a very comprehensive ‘cloud’ grammar check tool called Grammarly.  This tool grades the grammar of an article, performs comprehensive content reviews, and offers rich suggestions for improving the quality of an article.  At around $10/month, it is well worth the investment and I’m pretty confident it’s much more comprehensive in reviewing content than Google could ever be (because grammar isn’t the space Google operates in full-time).


3.  Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

The recent ranking correlation data gathered and analyzed by SEOmoz is nothing short of shocking. Of all of the metrics they track, Facebook Shares (not ‘Likes’) have the highest correlation to rankings.  Google’s question on ‘sharing’ here, plus this corellation data, leads me to believe that Facebook and other social shares could be a critical signal in the Panda algorithm.  There are hundreds of tools to help in this space, but I’d like to point out a few of my favorites… and the best part is, these are free!

  • ShareThis – Put this button at the end of your article.  It’ll give people an opportunity to easily share your content across a number of social and bookmarking sites.
  • –  Facebook is making it more difficult to do ‘sharing’ and instead favors their ‘Like’ button.  Sharing on Facebook means that it can show up in another users ‘Top News’, whereas just ‘Liking’ a piece of content will not show up in one of your friend’s ‘Top News’. This handy little widget does all of the work for you to get ‘Share’ on your site.

In addition to these two tools, increasing your overall engagement in social media will ensure that your content constantly stays in people’s various social streams.

So there you have it, 3 tools that can help you beat the Panda update.  Matt Cutts has indicated that the Panda algorithm is not run daily, so it could take some time to bounce back after implementing all of the various changes being suggested.

This is one of the most sweeping updates Google has performed, and sites caught in the cross-fire can expect numerous tweaks and adjustments by Google as time goes by. By focusing on what Google is saying publicly about the update, we can attempt to make educated guesses on how to satisfy the various pieces of the algorithm.

Learn more about Brian Patterson and his ORM work here.

Has My Blogging Helped You?

If so, I’d love to get a testimonial to that effect that I can use for my advanced SEO book.

Anything you can share about the following points in particular might be helpful:

  • Case study
  • Challenges finding time such as working 2 jobs etc
  • Having a negligible budget to start with
  • Before / after you started reading my blog

I’ll be happy to share the testimonial here on the blog and give you a dofollow link (with your chosen anchor text) for the time, so long as you’re being honest. Just type it into the comment box below along with your name, email and desired link/anchor text!

Thanks a bunch!


Update: Dan Hinckley of Exhibit Edge trade show exhibits is first in the comments. Thanks Dan!

Brian Patterson of, a Virginia SEO company, emailed me the following.

“As a partner at a web firm increasingly focused on SEO, The SEO ROI
blog continually helps me keep in perspective that SEO isn’t just about
links or traffic or other basic metrics, its all about delivering a
positive ROI for our clients. Gab’s creative ideas help me continually
increase ROI, and our clients are loving us for it.  Thanks!”

Christina’s added a comment below. She runs a sleep help site :).

Mac help” by Mike. (See comments.)

Guys, if you want a link – I’d really appreciate specifics – stuff you’ve done based on this site or other details.

Speaking At Pubcon On Usability, Conversion & SEO !

Brett Tabke n the gang at Pubcon just added me to a panel entitled, Post Click Marketing: Landing Page Optimization. Hear Me Speak At Pubcon Here’s what I plan to speak on, per my application: (more…)

The Insanely Short-Sighted Tale of How Yahoo Killed Its Biz-Dev

“One way to fight this sort of strategy [Google's strategy of playing in every market] is Yahoo!’s sell or outsource everything but the logo strategy.” (-Google As A Publisher)

Amongst other moves listed there are the closing/selling of the Yahoo Publisher Network, Yahoo’s answer to AdSense, and the outsourcing of Yahoo shopping to PriceGrabber. If you take that along with Yahoo’s failure to ever take the analytics company it acquired out of beta, you see a pattern emerging:

Ecommerce Shopping Carts and Shipping Rates: Don’t Wait Til Checkout!

While working on some ecommerce affiliate sites, I tried to find the ecommerce merchant’s shipping prices. Unfortunately, it’s a remarkable pain in the neck to find shipping info at most mom-n-pop ecommerce stores.

I think it’s because they place a blind reliance in their ecommerce store’s shopping cart. The problem is that the cart was usually created by a programmer – not a customer service rep. So the priorities in design were easy coding, not easy buying. As a result, lots of shopping carts cause SMBs to lose sales.

Shipping a cat

Photo credit: Dan Chace, aka Lacrymosa

Here are some examples of what not to do, and why they’re bad ideas. If the ecommerce cart you want acts this way, switch!

1) Worst idea EVER: Ask for my credit card info before telling me the shipping price.

Protest Experiment: 1 Month Without Google Search

In response to Google’s efforts to block access to Latma’s We Con The World parody, which is another proof of Google’s political bias and unreliability, I am going to go a month without Google search. I look forward to seeing how this works, and will report back. If you want to make a widget to this effect, or do the same, please feel free, and do let me know. (more…)

P* Comment Spam?

I’ve written some posts on A/B testing and split testing that have seen spam from people purporting to be from P*able. Personally, I find it surprising that a VC backed company would bother with poor quality blackhat tactics like such obvious comment spam, so I’m wondering if it’s not someone with an axe to grind against them. They’re not even in public beta yet though, so perhaps some marketing director there just purchased a really crummy SEO package trying to save some bucks. (more…)

I’m Nominated For The 2010 SEMMY Awards !

2010 SEMMY Nominee

And I’m lucky to have been nominated in two categories!

1. My post, “The 4.5 Personas of My SEO Site,” is nominated in the SEO category! If I get into the Finalists round, I’d love for you to vote for me to win!

The post has also made it as a reference for Full Sail’s Internet Marketing Master’s Degree.

Full Sail IM Master's

2. My article on 101 advanced tips to buy text links also got nominated in the Link Building category.

Here’s hoping the judges will consider my writing good enough to go through and win! :D

If You Listened When Google Announced Submarine Crawling…

Then you’re way ahead of the curve and understand what Matt Cutts is talking about, late in this video, on getting crawled and indexed more rapidly and deeply. If not, it’s time to understand search like Matt Cutts and read up on submarine crawling. This also goes back to what I was writing about thinking like search engineers and what Google wants. These are not merely abstract ideas, despite appearances. Grasping these notions puts you a step higher on the ladder, closer to “SEO Director” and further from “SEO data entry monkey,” because you can solve problems rather than merely execute other people’s solutions. (more…)

Cited by CNet’s Stephen Shankland

Stephen Shankland blogs for CNet on Digital Media, and he’s a reporter who learns fast and understands search marketing pretty well, especially for someone who’s not immersed in it 24/7 like many of us search geeks. Yesterday, he wrote a post highlighting some of the recent controversies (more…)

The New Face of Reciprocal Links: Widgetbait

I recently got this email: (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…)

Scratchpad: Email Link Exchange Spam That Isn’t Spam & Real Links

First, I present to you this amusing little email: (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?


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…)

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…)

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…)

4 Credibility Bombs Teach 2 Crucial Lessons on Link Worthiness

A girl I was close with in high school wanted to get her nipples pierced. I’d heard some horror stories about nipple piercings and decided that I’d do some research on the topic to try and dissuade her, assuming she’d learn from others’ mistakes. (more…)