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7. 12. 2007
The SEO Blog with attitude
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the-seo-chicks-turn-35-years-old-in-dog-years

OK so we’re celebrating our first 6 months of blogging with a quite lengthy (but typically fascinating) glimpse into the minds of the SEO Chicks.

SEO Chicks Spice IT Up

The photo is courtesy of my good friend Gene. He’s afraid the other girls will kill him so I am not linking to him here. It’s so hysterically bad that I had to put it up…it serves me right that I look the most idiotic, too. Anita, never again mention the Spice Girls!! Once I stop laughing I will continue being serious and professional, naturally.

OK then, I’m good now. It’s our 6 month anniversary and naturally we wanted to commemorate the occasion with a post about this. We’ve all been completely thrilled by the blog in general. We’ve gotten some really great feedback on posts we’ve written, and overall we have been just SO insanely pleased by the response to what we’re doing. Lest I ruin the moment, read on for our thoughts on what’s happened over the last half year…

1. Is the current blog what you envisioned when we first got started? If not, what’s different?

Anita: To be honest, when we first started, we didn’t have much of a vision for the blog itself - we just knew that we wanted SEO-Chicks to be the sounding ground for women in the search industry. So the current blog definitely outshines most of what I had in mind.

What is so incredible, but not without a cause (Lisa and Julie have worked relentlessly to spread the word), that we’ve become so well known in the industry in such a short time, and people speak of us with a lot of respect, which I find great. I think that we as women have a lot of support in our industry - it’s reflected in the fact that a lot of our readers are male. Now I am sure that there are still a few male skeptics out there, but it seems Lisa is doing a great job at weeding them out - LOL.

I’d say we’re becoming the Spice Girls of Search Marketing… (note from Julie: bad move Anita. We all now blame you for the photo.)

Judith: I think I was just glad something happened. I remember Lisa’s experience in the pub and I am so glad she is the woman she is and launched in to action. I’m a bit of a feminist and am often disappointed by the lack of women in SEO though there are many notable ones.

I guess as the statement was made that sometimes we’d blog about non-SEO (chocolate, handbags, shoes) stuff, I thought it’d have a much more personal life blog slant. I’m thrilled it’s come out as a professional SEO blog with a huge information slant.

Julie: It’s much better. I knew Anita quite well when we started, but I didn’t know Lisa very well at the time so I thought the blog would be great and I DID have high hopes for it, but I didn’t realize it would end up being as fun as it is. I thought it would seem more like work, to be honest.

Rebecca: I’m pretty proud of the current blog. I actually envisioned something less serious and more jokey. I’m not saying that the blog isn’t amusing or facetiously written–it’s just that SEO Chicks is also rife with great, practical, and useful posts that make the blog just as good as any other SEO blog out there.

Lisa: God yeah! I thought it would be good, but I must admit it has completely exceeded my expectations. I have about a million ideas a year, and most of them ends up being just that, ideas! But this time it was different, it was more like a cause. I was fed up with people telling me what I couldn’t do, and what I didn’t know, bla bla. If someone tells me I can’t do something I will sure as hell do anything in my power to prove them wrong, that drives me more than anything. Slightly childish maybe. I call it the Erin Brokowich syndrome =) So, when I met Anita at a LondonSEO party and we got talking, it kind of unfolded itself in this idea about a blog, and the ball started rolling. I got so excited about the prospect of kicking some ass in the blogosphere I bought the domain the day after.

God I’m ranting now, basically the biggest difference between what I thought it would be like and what it is now is how well we have been received. I’m usually quite an optimist but never envisioned people would welcome us like they have!

2. How has the blog affected you professionally or in the SEO world?

Anita: It’s definitely made my name a little more known (grin). It’s hard to determine the direct effect for me, as professionally I am more involved in the marketing side of things. I am a search professional though, and as a woman in the field I am genuinely proud to be a part of SEO-Chicks.

Judith: I think personally it’s gotten me back blogging which I had given up when I left the last industry I was previously in. With working in media, I find myself doing a lot of reputation management and above-the-line marketing in SEO which has been a great change and given me great stuff to write about. I’m keen to start doing some technology reviews too.

I don’t think it’s changed me in the SEO world yet though the distinctive tight green shirt will likely change that (though any tight shirt also may when combined with free chocolate). I think I got recognised by a couple of people but I think Lisa and Julie are the real stars of SEO Chicks.

Julie: I haven’t let fame go to my head. The tiara is just for show really…the blog has definitely affected me professionally. I’ve had some incredibly generous fellow SEOs giving me feedback that leads me to believe that I actually do know what I’m doing, and our name is definitely out there. I haven’t been to any conferences since the blog first started, so as far as being affected in terms of having crowds of SEOs screaming my name, I can’t really say yet. Usually it’s just one or two. OK it’s one usually. And I pay him.

Rebecca: It’s given me a nice sense of camaraderie and has strengthened my existing relationships with the chicks I knew before joining on as well as helped me form relationships with new chicks and with readers.

Lisa: Professionally it has done heaps for my career, I’m convinced the success of the SEO Chicks was one of the major factors of me winning “Newcomer of the Year” at the B2B Marketing Awards. It has also helped me reach goals within my company but convincing the people I work with that blogging can be a powerful tool, I am now finally getting a separate website for Base One Search and the department is growing at 100 mph  It has been fantastic! Busy but exciting! The blog has also improved my knowledge both from other SEO Chicks bloggers and the SEO Chicks readers! And lastly but not least I’ve gained some cracking friends along the way, I don’t think a day goes by without me and Julie IM’ing each other. We all email each other on a regular basis talking SEO or just general crap =) I think of the chicks as some of my closest friends, they all rock! I’m going to cry now…ha! You think?? The hardcore Viking has a heart??

3. What was your favorite post that you wrote? Why was it your favorite?

Anita: Hahaha - well I haven’t written that many posts, although I love writing - we always get such great response from our readers. My favorite would have to be the one on the creative SP@M subject line, and that’s again because of the responses it received - especially that poem…

I must say that we’ve done a great job not to steer this blog into a ‘feminist rant state’, because that’s not what we want. We don’t want sympathy - we just want to be acknowledged as the great professionals that we are, and that’s hard to pull off. I feel we’ve managed to involve our readers on a professional level without gender barriers.

Judith: I think my favourite post was about being a woman in tech. It was my favourite because it spun off a great secondary post about the history of women in computing and how we wouldn’t have Google if not for a woman!

Julie: My favorite one to write was the Chimps post. Not only did I legitimately get to search for things like “chimps wearing khakis” and “mad chimp waving flow chart around”, I got to dive back into the whole primatology thing that was one of my first loves. Plus it made me laugh to write that one…I am a huge, HUGE fan of satire and writing something like that is so much fun. It WAS about SEO, but it was making fun of what we do in a non-threatening way.

Rebecca: Haha, I’ve only written two posts because I’m a slacker, but I definitely want to contribute more. I’d say that I liked my “Get Anal Retentive About Your Anal-ytics” because I’m a fan of bad puns.

Lisa: Ehm, well I’m quite modest, ha! Am I bullocks. I really enjoyed writing the latest blogpost on The Algorithms and mixing it with some Matrix action, I’m a total movie freak so writing about SEO and mixing it in with movie analogies got to be the best thing right? Although saying that, I do LOVE Julie’s posts, all of them! I don’t think I’ve read a single post that Julie wrote and not laughed out loud, she is a comedy genius. I loved the post Julie wrote titled “Feckin’ Women’s knickers! Girls! and SEO!”

That’s got to be the best blogpost title ever, and if you don’t get it you need to watch this Father Ted Clip Absolutely feckin hilarious!

4. What are the reasons you joined the Chicks?

Anita: Well, a few reasons really… First and foremost was the belief that we deserved a voice in the industry. The other side of that is because I had received so much good support from the males in my search crowd that I felt we owed to give the right message through our blog, without slanting the good vibe that already exists.

But a large part was played by Lisa’s action driven persona ;o) She is only the second person (after Julie), that has chased me up for results - and that commands respect. So on the morning after we’d decided to start SEO-Chicks, she emailed to say she’d registered the domain and we were comitted - awesome - so all of a sudden this had become a reality and now we just had to keep going. I really loved the fact that I can work with a really driven and savvy woman :o). So here I am…

Judith: I’m passionate about women involved in tech and SEO and I love writing plus Lisa is a FANTASTIC person. How could I not blog here - I love this place!!

Julie: I was scared of Lisa and didn’t want to say no to her. If she’d asked me to parachute into Algeria to retrieve a first edition of a Camus novel that was in the hands of an anti-Camus book club, I’d have done it. Actually I really just wanted to write something and have it matter. I’d also been wanting to work with Anita again and this was the perfect chance.

Rebecca: I love Lisa Ditlefsen, and she asked if I would join. She’s bad at creating logical meetup landmarks at tube stations, but she’s a damn smart woman and quite business savvy.

Lisa: Ehm well again, it was kind of a: “we are going to show them Woman can be good SEOs, and shock horror we can be funny too!! “ Although I’m not as big of a feminist like Judith ;) I still like seeing woman kick butt.

Uma

5. Where do you see the SEO Chicks blog in 6 more months, on our 1 year anniversary?

Anita: Hmm - this is always a hard statement to make. But I’ll be brave and work on what the historical data shows… I can see us becoming the central blog where women can be themselves and talk about SEO the way they want to. We will continue to respect/appreciate the support from our male readers too of course.

I hope we will start a series of meetings for Chicks in the SEO community - where we can meet up and network in person. I also hope that we will be given a voice in the major search events where we can bring support for newcomer females in the industry.

I’ll never forget my first search conference in New Orleans in 2005 - there were a total of 3 females in the opening reception. It makes me very happy to see that now the split is almost half - half. So I can see that SEO-Chicks has a big future…

Judith: I think we’ll take on board stuff we learned from the tagged “meme” about more guest bloggers, more tech toy reviews (I have a 1GB Samsung music player right here to do in fact), and possibly gain a logo.

It is also my hope we will also all be sent many gifts of good quality chocolate and new techie toys but somehow I don’t really think that’ll happen *grins*

Julie: I hope that we’ll really establish our blog as a great place for newcomers as well as advanced SEOs. I love it when we’ve gotten comments about how nice it is that we don’t talk down to anyone, but we don’t try and overuse technical language just to prove something. I think we’ll continue to have insanely silly posts mixed in with professional ones, which gives everyone a break from boredom.

Rebecca: I’d love to see regular segments and even more recognition within our industry. And I want an SEO Chicks hoodie. :D

Lisa: I think the blog will continue growing and hopefully our audience along with it. To be honest I really enjoy it just like it is, and don’t particularly want it to change at all=) Is that naïve? I hope well all stay as straight talking and chilled out as we are and not get caught up in the evils of monotising and money crap. I always wanted this to be a recourse for people to get-together talk SEO, and hopefully laugh, and I think it is, I don’t want it to change =)

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30th November 2007 | Comments (27) | SEO Chicks News, Chick Stuff | by Julie Joyce.

how-to-act-right-in-vegas

Since some of you may be going to PubCon and staying at the very posh Wynn (the hotel of choice for the SEO Chicks minus one), I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you some pointers and let you all learn from my past experience.

To properly enjoy your stay, please keep the following in mind, especially whilst inebriated. I might suggest laminating a copy of this post to carry with you at all times, in fact, as a plastic covering will keep the tips from being soaked with the copious amounts of alcohol that you’ll most likely be drinking. And spilling.

1. The Wynn really is a posh place. Public drunkenness is everywhere in Vegas, but at the Wynn, you’re likely to be escorted away quietly by scary large men in dark suits. Stay in groups of at least 4 when drinking large quantities (and may I recommend the Sidecar as a quite lovely drink?) so that, if you’re the victim of the aforementioned quiet escort, someone can remind you of it for the rest of your life. Plus you need witnesses.

2. Ah, the Sidecar. This drink caused me to loudly speak about my sexual preferences to people that I later encountered professionally and it caused someone who shall remain unnamed to get so insane that a wheelchair was almost stolen whilst its owner was standing up out of it, innocently filling out a form at the desk. Her response when I said “good god woman, what are you thinking?” was something to the tune of “well he’s not using it right now!” The Sidecar is deathly strong, and if you see someone drinking them one after the other, don’t think “well hell, let her keep going. At this rate she’ll pass out soon!” because no, she freaking won’t. She’ll get you thrown out of a bar later on is what she’ll do. Beware the Sidecar.

3. Beware of going to nice dinners with people that you don’t know well. When the check arrives, they’re sure to excuse themselves to go to the loo and never show up again. If you are going to dinner with a large group, try Taco Bell.

4. If a lady, or an SEO Chick, drags you out onto the dance floor, do not, I repeat DO NOT, abandon her and say something lame in a wheedling tone like “I just really want to drink my beer!” This is really ungentlemanly behavior. If you happen to be female and one of us drags you out, well enjoy it and ask us if we like jazz. Also if this is all going on, don’t ask the DJ to play Kraftwerk because he’s never heard of them and that’ll just piss you off. This happened to me, courtesy of Ekrum Ashgar and the worst DJ ever, whose name I wish I’d obtained so I could slam him constantly.

5. Do not tell any strippers your hotel and room number and then become surprised when they show up.

6. When enjoying a buffet, do not attempt to rearrange the tables.
The staff doesn’t like this for some reason, and they’ll yell at you. Also in this same vein, do not attempt to “get your money’s worth” and then go drinking and puke all over everyone. Seeing veal once is bad enough, but seeing it twice? I shudder to think.

7. Do not let the Chanel salesgirl make you believe that yes, $2000 isn’t that bad for a handbag. It IS that bad. It’s freaking NUTS. Especially since said bag is purple.

8. Do not get into a pizza delivery car/security vehicle thinking that it’s a cab. However, IF you do, pay the driver a few bucks if he’ll take you somewhere. More than likely, he’s gonna get you there faster than a Vegas cab driver would. Um, I have attempted this BUT Lisa takes the cake here because she wasn’t stopped by a friendly Irish drunk first like I was.

9. Do not be afraid to use your cleavage to get free truffles at the chocolate shop in the mall across the street from the Wynn. I wasn’t afraid to use my friend’s cleavage for this purpose, to the tune of 12 free truffles! Embarrassing behavior on my part, but it certainly isn’t the first time and I sure know it won’t be the last. If he’d appeared to simply be a man who enjoyed slightly built red-haired women who make witty remarks about SEO, I wouldn’t have pimped her out like I did. Still, free truffles!! Obviously I was party to this travesty and I am still mortified by it, but it worked.

10. Don’t act like a jerk in general. Don’t go around asking people “are you somebody?” in a really obnoxious tone, or you’ll probably get beaten down by a man in a kilt. Don’t suck up to the SEOMozzers just because you think they’ll buy you dinner (they will try!) and don’t, under any circumstances, ask a redhead if the carpet matches the drapes, unless you are seriously into being punched in the face by a girl.

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29th November 2007 | Comments (25) | SEO Events & Photos, Just for Fun | by Julie Joyce.

interview-with-danny-sullivan

After interviewing Danny Sullivan for Technology Weekly (while you have to sign up for it, it is free), I decided to create a blog post from it and scavange up bits from the internet to fill in my blanks (future of search taken from “Out of my Gord“).

Danny Sullivan is one of the best-known names in the world of internet search technology. Since first researching how search engine algorithms worked back in 1995, Danny Sullivan has remained one of the world’s foremost public authorities on search algorithms. Everyone from Google’s founders to ordinary business people have looked to him as an expert as they discovered the importance of relevant search results. His early monitoring of search engine changes, “Search Engine Watch”, developed into a large business from which he opted out in 2006 to start his own new company.

In 1995, before Google existed and there were about 40 different algorithms, Danny Sullivan was working in the area of web development. Even while the internet was still somewhat new, ecommerce had emerged on the scene and some companies were putting significant time and money into creating web versions of their offline shops. One client of Danny’s was not ranking well for a term they desired to be found for on many of the search engines. At the time, there were no tips online for people to look at and learn from. Danny spent a significant amount of time investigating what factors influenced search engine rankings, then published his seminal findings online.

Danny’s work was the first attempt to understand the complex algorithms that various search engines used, as well as divine from that how to rank well for a given term. While others within the field stumbled and guessed, Danny codified what it took to rank well. As a result of this pioneering work, he received a lot of attention and his search research became an online ‘must-read’. This attention, combined with his professional interest led him to create “Search Engine Watch” - a place where anyone could turn to and find information on how search engines were ranking sites.

As a result of his pioneering work, the founders of Google referenced his early work as they progressed with their own engine. Danny’s early work on search rankings sparked a passion within him that has followed him throughout his life to the present. Search was never something he expected to be writing about more than ten years later. When he made a recent change from Search Engine Watch to his newly created Search Engine Land, the community appreciation and ‘love’ revitalised him and kept him interested in staying involved. Since December 2006 he has been working on Search Engine Land which has quickly become the primary point of information on and about search engines and related activities.

Working further to keep in touch and on top of changes and affect change, he has gotten involved in running a series of conferences with the inagural event in London in November. Focusing on a more general basic to intermediate level, he is also trying to push more networking based on his own experiences. He has found that one of the most important things about a conference isn’t just the conference sessions – it is the exchange of knowledge and expertise that happens while people socialise. This vital knowledge exchange has spurred Danny in to changing his own conferences, adding formal networking sessions both around break times and after the day ends.

When looking to the future, Danny was asked if social search would dominate search anytime soon? “I really don’t see this happening” he adamantly commented. While he cited Maholo as probably the best example of a social search engine, he also stated that it was not threatening the existing engines. “Not even Wikipedia has all the answers”, he said, “and so I think a search engine can present different options to answer a question.” Search is evolving with the introduction of universal search, one boxes and the like and as a result nothing else seems poised to replace it.

Recently on Sphinn, a news aggregator site Danny runs, there was a suggestion that he could and should build a better search engine. And while he said he was never tempted, he also said that he felt a yearning to actually work on a search engine. He would like to be able to make changes and effect the way things get ranked rather than simply writing about it after the fact. He would love to be proactively involved. It would be a huge challenge though, he admits, citing Microsoft who are still struggling to build a better search engine.

For the future, Danny sees a greater push towards personalisation within search engines. With search having crept in to almost every facet of our lives and gadgets increasingly web-enabled with search built in, having an engine that understands what you mean when you search for “Fire London” will be indispensable. The future of search is still firmly with search engines. When asked about what search engine he would use if Google did not exist or was down for a week, he very quickly answered that Yahoo would get his search business. With the most mature and longest established crawler, it has excellent search results and so would easily be his first choice. The old ones are still the best, it seems.

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28th November 2007 | Comments (4) | Interviews | by Judith 'deCabbit' Lewis.

seo-chick-will-swap-chocolate-for-pubcon-party-invites

Shameless as I am, I am soliciting party invites at PubCon in exchange for sweedish druid chocolate. :)

That’s the good stuff mind you - Marks & Spenser truffles!

Please! 

That lovely, creamy, lucious sweedish druid chocolate of SMX fame is going to PubCon Vegas and I’m willing to swap A WHOLE BOX to get the SEO chicks all in to a party.

We’re all sad and lonely and some of us aren’t even going to the talks *sniffles* :(

So please - your donation of party invites for the SEO Chicks will be going to a worthy cause.  You’ll be able to feel better knowing your donated party invites will help all the SEO Chicks enjoy themselves.

Small children will hug you in the street, mothers will greet you with a smile, angels from on high will trumpet the joyous news of your wonderous gift of party invites for the SEO Chicks!!!

*ahem*

OK - maybe nothing quite so dramatic but you’ll feel better knowing you did a good deed

So please - do a good deed today and donate party invites to the SEO Chicks at PubCon.  Thank you.  :)

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| Comments (5) | SEO Events & Photos | by Judith 'deCabbit' Lewis.

when-ppc-doesnt-work-and-yes-i-have-the-ads-turned-on

Have you ever had a client who did NOT do well in PPC? I have one now, and here’s why I don’t think that it’s simply my being an idiot (although it doesn’t help the case) that’s causing the ads to perform poorly: I’ve been able to do well in every other paid campaign that I’ve ever run. Really well, in many cases, with seriously high conversion rates and excellent ROI. However, I can’t crack this nut.

There are obviously industries that perform best in certain arenas, whether it be organic listings, paid listings, billboards, magazine ads, etc. radio spots, etc. However, I’m on a quest to figure out what I could try to make sure I’m doing everything possible to drive relevant traffic to this client’s site so I wanted to dive headfirst into PPC demographics. Obviously I’m diving in headfirst. How else would you dive?

Anyway, here’s what I can find easily…different people use different engines. Well well well, who knew? Other than that, I can’t find much concrete data to support my half-baked idea about how this one client is not traditionally sought out by people using the internet to find their services. However, does that mean that this is an impossible dream? We’ve had a few conversions, which tells me that there are at least a few (um, 3 to be exact) people who are getting the message.

Here’s something to compound the problem, too: I don’t have access to their analytics. Sure, I can request a report but it’s not the same as being right there in it on a daily basis. I also don’t have the ability to throw tracking code up all over the site, or mess with anything other than meta tags for various reasons. So what DO I have? I have a nice relevant landing page with a contact us form that gets filled out. The contact us form gives a user everything he or she needs in terms of information to provide in order to receive an accurate quote. It really is a lovely form too. I have a nice concise ad that gives a user relevant info, quick and simple. The URL is that of a trusted company in the US and abroad, too. But I’m getting nothing.

I’ve asked the other SEO Chicks/brainiacs about this as well, and they’ve had some excellent insight ranging from the slower conversion cycle for B2B ads to the notion that many B2B “shoppers” will search online and then call or come by in person to do business to my aforementioned half-baked idea of this truly not being a traditional industry that attracts online users. However, does that mean that this is going to be impossible? Are there really some industries that simply do not, at least not at this time, do well online? Can anything be done about it?

So in a post about how to get more user comments, it was suggested that the writer ASK for input. I’m asking…if anyone has ANY advice for me on this one, please let me know. I would be most appreciative.

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26th November 2007 | Comments (12) | PPC(Pay-Per-Click) | by Julie Joyce.

whats-changed-in-the-matrixehm-i-mean-algos

Whilst at SMX London last week I attended the session;“What’s new with the Algorithm?”,now, I had quite high expectations for this session as the panel included: Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Dave Naylor, Dixon Jones and my favourite Icelander Krisijan Mar Hauksson. Not so surprisingly this session was dominated by talking about the new Google PageRank and what is thought to be a change in the linking algorithms with regards to paid links. Not necessarily because the panel wanted to talk about it but the audience brought it up, again and again and again. Yawn…

Now I love these guys on a panel together, it’s so entertaining, a weird mix between Scandinavian irony and Northern English sarcasm = comedy. But, saying that, I was quite disappointed they didn’t go further into the different aspects of the algorithm. Maybe the session should have been called “What’s old and now more important in the alogorithms”??? Now, that might have been more relevant, basically what I’m saying is I’m bored of the Google PageRank discussion. A few of my clients websites got a decrease in PageRank BUT it hasn’t affected their rankings whatsoever. Has anyone else had any change in rankings and traffic since the PageRank update? If so please shout!

Let’s compare the search engine algorithms to the Matrix (why the fuck not?), do you remember this scene from the movie:

Neo sees a black cat walk by them, and then a similar black cat walk by them just like the first one

Neo: Whoa. Déjà vu.
[Everyone freezes right in their tracks]
Me,ehm I mean Trinity: What did you just say?
Neo: Nothing. Just had a little déjà vu.
Trinity: What did you see?
Cypher: What happened?
Neo: A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it.
Trinity: How much like it? Was it the same cat?
Neo: It might have been. I’m not sure.
Morpheus: Switch! Apoc!
Neo: What is it?
Trinity: A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

matrix_wideweb__430×326.jpg

When one part of the algorithm changes, is adjusted or added to, it’s likely that the “old stuff” will change as well, right? Now, I have no doubt that something changed in the algorithms with regards to the PageRank and quite possibly related to paid links. BUT my point is WHY is everyone looking at just the obvious that changed, the more interesting bit is what other things did they change to accommodate this? See where I’m going?

I have a few theories, ok maybe more lose random thoughts, about what has ACTUALLY changed in the Matrix, god damn it, I mean algorithms. And I would love to hear your thoughts on this, let’s get a real discussion about this.

1. IS CTR back in the Algorithms? Once upon a time you had people franticly clicking on their own website in the SERPs to get it higher in the results. As CTR was a quite natural way of measure relevance, ok slightly naive of the SE thinking no one would take advantage of this. We all know that CTR is a significant part of the Quality Score in Google’s paid listings, now isn’t there a chance that this vaild measurment of relevancy is back in the algos, obviously more sophisticated than before, including bounce back measurement etc etc?

2. Content for pity sake! I am such a big believer that it all starts and ends with your content. If you don’t have flipping keyword rich content it does not matter how many links you have. I really don’t think SEO is about sodding links, if you don’t have a keyword strategy and optimise your content properly (without keyword canablizing it to death) you are on your way. But what is the more important part of the content? Here’s my order, and please feel to disagree. I might punch you, but please go ahead ;)

- Title tag (this tag has always been important but I think it’s become even more important in the last 12 months, so don’t fucking ignore it!)
- H1 tag
- Internal links & anchor text
- Main content (now I get a lot of stick for this but I still work on keyword density, not to get an ultimate keyword density or anything like that but to make sure one page will get ranked in-front of the other for targeting as quite often it’s difficult to not keyword canabalize a little, some relevant keywords you just have to use throughout the site.

3. Technical SEO aspects. Now I will gladly admit this is where I know the least. At one of the last sessions at SMX “Website Tuneup” Rob Kerry (evilgreendonkey) did a cracking job at evaluating some really shocking websites. But I must admit I found myself thinking “whatthefuckniwho?” most of the time. Some of these sites were not getting any results simply because of the ridiculous mess their code was in, loads of re-directs going to pages that didn’t exist and loops of endless error messages. This is where we need to start thinking clever, or maybe just basic. I think if a website is built with accessibility in mind it’s quite often SE code friendly as well. Rob can you share some knowledge with us here? What were the tools you used to find out how messy the code was?

So what’s it going to be? The blue or the red pill????
pills2.jpg

Ha! Google is the “system” and to be able to figure out the system you have to be “in it”. Taking the blue pill is what an SEO will do when all he cares about is earning shit loads of money and spamming the fuck out of Google. Now taking the red pill is always questioning and sharing your knowledge with other SEOs and together achieve greater understanding of the system!

Google, DODGE THIS!
trinitdodgethis.jpg

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25th November 2007 | Comments (16) | SEO | by Lisa Ditlefsen.

smx-london-%e2%80%93-conference-overview

Promoted as targeting beginner to advanced participants, Search Marketing Expo (SMX) London happened on November 15-16 2007 to a 300-person strong crowd.  Housed in the very nice Hilton London Metropole, SMX London was the first conference in the UK from the team of Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman since forming Third Door Media in 2006.

Despite the large number of participants, SMX London 2007 retained the feel of a much smaller conference, enabling participants to meet and network with each other without being or feeling overwhelmed.  With breaks between every session, networking was quite high on the agenda and many businesses concluded valuable deals.

As with all conferences, after-hours networking and information sharing was also central to SMX London with one overheard conversation dealing with an in-house SEO being helped by two other SEOs to better pitch for internal buy-in.  The free flow of information both during and after the conference was staggering and many in-house and agency search marketers benefited from insider tips and tricks.

The dense schedule of fifteen sessions per day over two days was made manageable by the three track system which grouped together sessions in logical streams such as Paid Search or Case Studies or Beginners.  Frequent breaks after long sessions also enabled longer opportunities to meet and network with speakers.

Despite being targeted at beginners and intermediate SEOs only, this conference did attract intermediate to advanced SEOs and SEMs.  The sessions, while not too advanced, often failed to explain the basics to the novice user, sometimes citing examples well known within SEO communities but not outside them.  Someone new to SEO hoping to learn and understand may have felt left behind (except by Lisa who was BRILLIANT!). This level of engagement was absolutely right for the bulk of the audience though.

The information revealed at the sessions ranged from the welcome refresher tips to some of the more complex, lesser known tactics often employed by industry experts.  One session in the basic track actually covered some more advanced link building techniques.  A session on paid search covered certain interesting PPC tactics which were not quite white hat :)This conference covered information and topics which had many participants smiling knowingly or writing furiously.  The information provided was often invaluable and available nowhere else.

One refreshing change was the lack of sales pitches.  While previous large conferences of this type tended to have at least one sales pitch in every session on every day, SMX London 2007 refreshingly did not.  With one exception, the sessions seemed sales pitch free which was also a welcome change from the norm.

Overall, SMX London 2007 was an impressive inaugural event.  With its success in both attracting a more advanced audience, and delivering the relevant content to this audience, this event looks to have many successful years ahead of it.

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22nd November 2007 | Comments (7) | SEO Events & Photos | by Judith 'deCabbit' Lewis.

post icon 4 Ways To Improve The SEO Chicks Blog
4-ways-to-improve-the-seo-chicks-blog
The SEO Chicks have been neutered! Wait, that’s not right.
We’ve been tagged for a meme by none other than my fellow redheaded primate freak Rhea Drysdale. Our subject? 4 Ways To Improve This Blog. Short and sweet, just like Anita. It was hard to get the list down to just 4 ways but here you go…I do love a meme!
1. Get a damn SEO Chicks logo. We really are working on this, I assure you. A logo is a good thing to have. I don’t have any witty comments about a logo unfortunately. It’s nice on a t-shirt, business cards, and your header. Period. Chicks like us need a seriously high class logo to reflect our utmost dignity and grace and we just want to find the right one. (Cough)
2. Entice more users to comment. I’m not talking about the “hey you girls are cute!” comments either. Thanks for those though!! We’ve gone back and forth between allowing all readers to comment and allowing only registered users to comment. Regardless of what we do, we get the same people commenting. I’m not negating their importance certainly, and we all appreciate all of the regular readers who comment but I don’t think that we’re getting as much feedback as we’d like on many of our posts.
3. Make it easier for new users to find more good posts to read without having to really search for them. Michael Gray does a great job of this. A Top Posts section would be nice…it would also be nice if we simply listed other relevant posts that a user might like every time we write something.
4. Strip down to bra and panties and have an SEO Chicks tickle fight that’s photographed and proudly displayed online.
In the essence of memedom, I tag the following to write more about this subject…and hopefully some of them will provide us with more enlightening information than I have.

Evil Green Monkey (Lisa’s betrothed)
Danielle Winfield (who still owes me one from last time you little minx!)
Stephanie Weingart (one of my new best friends)
Matt Davies (who better be throwing in some musical references in his post)

21st November 2007 | Comments (22) | Blogging | by Julie Joyce.

chocbait-20-%e2%80%93-the-smx-london-chocolate-experience
The Chocolate Experience travelled to SMX London this time. Once again, your intrepid SEO Chick waded through the thronging hordes of SMX revellers (plus some who could not make it) at the pub and attempted to ply her trade in nothing but a tight SEO Chicks t-shirt.
Apparently simply shouting about the availability of her precious chocolate was another ill-conceived attempt at a method of dispersal and so she sat back to enjoy the chocolates on her own.  Saddened by the dead silence at her offer, she drowned her sorrows in a glass of fine wine bought for her by someone who was also talking hotel rooms in Vegas (dodgy as that sounds, it wasn’t ;) ).
Whilst enjoying chocolate and a nice red wine which seemed to actually compliment the chocolate, others began joining her in the enjoyment of the chocolate.  Soon a second chocolate tray was opened and much fun was had.  A third and fourth tray soon got polished off and a combination of personal dispersal with casual ‘on the table’ distribution seemed the best.
Will ChocBait make it to Vegas?  Who knows…?  Permission has been sought, chocolates identified (M&S truffles), thoughts on numbers to bring started mulling (50 boxes/100 trays? 200 trays?) and ideas are fermenting.  Chocbait 2.0 was more of a success but still lacks the popularity of the original – the inspiration – the best bait yet – drinkbait.

Stay tuned – The Chocolate Experience may be coming to a conference near you….

19th November 2007 | Comments (12) | SEO Events & Photos, ChocBait | by Judith 'deCabbit' Lewis.

the-most-poetic-spam-ever
OK, I pondered on whether or not to post about this, but then the naughty side of me decided that this type of creativity should at least be mentioned - if not showcased…
This morning when I opened my Inbox, I was greeted with one of the most poetic spam Subject lines I have ever come across:
screenshot_01.jpg
Aaah - they almost managed to make is sound romantic. I know, I know, some of you may be cringing right now, but you have to admit that this is creative at least.
As a marketer, I am constantly noticing things that stand out - ‘purple cows’ - in the words of one of my favorite marketers - Seth Godin.
So here I am presenting to you a lesson in how to make your message stand out of the crowd - ‘purple cow’… hmmm.
15th November 2007 | Comments (8) | Just for Fun | by Anita Chaperon.


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