SEO for Homecoming Queen

By Stephanie Courtney

If you hated high school as much as the rest of us because it seemed that only the kids with flash and no substance got all the attention, then search engine optimization probably seemed like a homecoming you could only dream about. Face it; search engines became a beacon of marketing hope for those of us who have something to say rather than something to show. But, if the cold hard irony of search engine popularity is only beginning to dawn on you, it might be time to stop celebrating your Carrie-like triumph over image driven mediocrity and smell the SEO rank(ings).


From Geek to Chic – The Soap Opera of the Internet

By Kristoffer Howes

Launching your website and embarking on a search engine optimization endeavor, is much like reliving your social interactions of school; specifically your High School social life.

Your pubescent self esteem and, in this instance, the success of your website; is based upon your popularity. On the Internet, this is said to be achieved by establishing meaningful links. In the eyes of Search Engines, these act as a vote and a means of measuring your credibility, and in turn; your popularity. Kind of a, “Yeah, I know him; he’s cool!” Here is where the plot thickens.

The State of the SEO Industry Address

By Taylor Pratt

It seems like over the last year more and more posts have come out criticizing SEO, questioning the use of standards, and all in all, casting a dark cloud over the industry that so many of us have grown to love. I’ve stood up to fight in the pointless drama, but it seems like there will be an endless amount of posts as to the death and corruption of SEO. Allow me to light up the beacon of SEO freedom, and follow me to what the industry used to be, and still should be, regarded as.

Brace for Impact! There’s a Scholarship Contest Coming!

You might want to go ahead and change the oil on your RSS reader. At 2pm ET today, we’ll publish the first batch of entries to our 3rd Annual SEM Scholarship Contest. That means you’ll see quite a few new posts hit your RSS reader. The same will happen at 2pm ET on Thursday and Friday.

I know you’ll be tempted to hit “mark all as read” but don’t touch that button. This year’s entries are top-notch and you’ll want to read each one–I promise you’ll learn something new from each of them.

Now, if you’ve entered the contest, here are few notes specifically for you.

  1. Entries will post today, Thursday, and Friday at 2pm ET.
  2. No, you won’t get an email notifying you that your entry has been posted.

First Estimate for Growth of Search Engine Reputation Management Industry

Every time I speak with a journalist about the online reputation management (ORM) industry, I’m often asked “How big is the industry?”

You know what, I don’t know.

However, when it comes to Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM)–which is a component of ORM–I have a better feel for the amount spent in the space.

So, in light of the complete lack of “estimates” for the SERM space, I–well actually Trackur–have put together the first ever estimates for the size and growth of SERM.

Here’s the estimate:

As you can see, the estimate for SERM spend is a conservative $100 million in 2008. This includes all spending on reputation management within the search engines. That means it includes specific SERM campaigns, as well as the amount spent on SERM as part of a regular search engine optimization effort. Accused of Encouraging Click Fraud

The local search property,, is coming under fire for its lack of a click fraud system.

According to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, is defrauding its advertising customers by not only turning a blind eye to click fraud, but the lawsuit states they are actually encouraging it.

“Most click fraud cases involve companies that simply turn a blind eye to it,” said the victims’ attorney, Brian S. Kabateck, Managing Partner of Kabateck Brown Kellner. “Citysearch does this too, since it has no real program to prevent click fraud. But Citysearch goes beyond indifference to actively incentivizing click fraud. Citysearch’s motive is simple: clicks equal cash, whether they’re fraudulent or not.”

Pilgrim’s Picks for May 28

I see that we’re now trademarking our weirdness. So here are today’s Pilgrim’s Picks™ ;-)