My Site ranks better than yours…

By Julien Raby

The early days…

Do you remember when you first got into SEO? Personally, I was studying general Web Design when I first heard about it. My teacher was trying to explain us the value of a link and why Search Engines gives so much importance to it. He used the “courtyard metaphor�?. “In high School, there is the “Alpha Beta�? gang (Revenge of the nerds copyrights) and the nerds itself. Typically, the guys in the football team get more advantages and attention than nerds. But, if one of the big guys starts hanging with a nerd, it won’t go unnoticed. The nerd will suddenly become more popular. That’s the same thing with Websites and links. If you get a connection with the established ones, your popularity will grow�?. Although it was a questionable choice of metaphor to use in front of a bunch of apprentice programmers, we did understand well the value of a link.

Excuse my French: How to choose keywords for your regional market

By Anne-Marie Castonguay

As the Spanish-speaking market grows online in the US, as the borders in Europe disappear, as China is on the verge of becoming the biggest world market, we are confronted more and more with particular challenges concerning our target’s real language. It gets even more difficult in smaller geographic regions such as the very distinct French-speaking Quebec in Canada. While we, SEO specialists, know the door to traffic heaven is using the right words, tools available are less than useful for regional markets, and they can downright lead you on the wrong path.

Channel Sponsors

SEO is Pointless (But You Don’t Have to Tell Your Clients)

By Jordan McCollum

Sad, but true: our industry is pointless. But don’t go and trash your beautiful keyword research (or worse, kill this browser window!). Of course SEO has a purpose. Simply stated, the purpose of “pure” SEO is to generate more qualified traffic to a website. And that’s good—more is better. Right?

Not always. Sometimes, more is just more.

How can you tell if your SEO is pointless? Here’s an example: Jim Bob’s Weddings-and-Webdings contracted with an SEO company. Six months into the contract, Jim Bob is forwarded a disturbing article that claims “SEO is Pointless.” He calls his SEO for the conversion rate, as suggested in the article. After some prying, Jim Bob finally gets a breakdown:

Pre optimization: 335 unique visitors/month 5 conversions/month
Post optimization: 9500 unique visitors/month 50 conversions/month

Most SEOs are Virgins

by Jeremy Luebke

I can hear the email programs firing up now “…just because I’m up till 5am link building and editing title tags in my underwear does not mean I’m a virgin…” Slow down, you can close your email client, you have it all wrong. A virgin SEO is one that has never had a site banned by a search engine. And like in real life, if you’re a virgin, you don’t know what your missing.

Method to My Madness

SEO 2.0: Marketing, Analytics and the Evolution of the Industry

By Scott Woodard

In the beginning there were rankings – and rankings were good. Later, there was revenue – and revenue was better. Over the last few years search engine optimization (SEO) has undergone a dramatic, yet subtle change. A change not just in the tactical details of how it’s performed, but more importantly, a change in the overall industry. Rather than a singular event, the shift of the industry has been a gradual series of events and changes whose overall impact is rarely noticed. Despite the overuse of the 2.0 moniker, SEO has reached a point where it is justified – the industry, the strategies and the tools have evolved to a point where I believe we can draw a line in the sand and say, “that is where we were, but this is where we are.�?

ERROR 530: We’re Sorry. The Internet Is Fully Optimized. Please Find A New Occupation.

By Nuno Andrade

The death of search engine optimization as we know it is inevitable. As more SEO “experts�? crowd the industry, the less value each one can provide to companies in search of their expertise. Only a few years ago, it was not uncommon for an SEO specialist to receive six figures for work that, although simple in nature, would bring their client twenty times that amount.

Then, the “secret�? to ranking well was as simple as making modifications to HTML title and heading tags or copying the code of a competitor site that, by pure happenstance, already ranked well. Today, although these methods have evolved with the help of tools such as Keyword Discovery and WebPosition, they are of far lesser significance.

Wednesday Morning Bowl-a-rama: How to teach internet marketing to your grandparents

By Eric Hebert

The first Wednesday of every month, our local business committee gets together at the bowling alley to discuss the happenings around town and how it affects the local business. Their main function is to promote the city and its businesses. They accomplish this by holding fun events several times a year in hopes of attracting outsiders to come in and experience what the city has to offer, which is rich in culture. Like my grandparents, they have no clue how to use the internet properly, especially when it comes to advertising these events. They primarily advertise through newspaper ads, billboards, flyers, and other means of communication via 1974. Nevertheless, they do experience moderate success with their events using their rather small marketing budgets. Did I mention that the city is also a college town with 20,000+ students with their eyes glued to a computer screen all day?