Our Inaugural Meld Hangout with Rand Fishkin and Steve Gerencser

We’re doing our first Meld Hangout On Air tomorrow, April 9th, at 10:30AM, Pacific time. We’ll be discussing some of the recently highlighted issues with Google, specifically around linking practices and what is and isn’t recommended.

Come watch our first Hangout

Joining us will be Rand Fishkin of http://MOZ.com and Steve Gerencser of http://SteamDrivenMedia.com. Unfortunately, this HOA won’t be open attendance, but you will be able to listen in live and offer questions and comments. Afterward, it will be available here for viewing, if you can’t make it.

We hope to see you there! https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cdlv7im795dmlrbs5j79s4ahu7g

Note: You can view this HOA video here.

Stick a fork in it – Interviews are done!

“This is why SEOs can’t have anything nice”


I thought I was dreaming and then I realised I was awake and it was a nightmare – it was the link apocalypse.

Matt Cutts' tweethttps://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/452101448734474240

You are seeing this correctly, a tweet from Matt himself to an interview.

Wow, just click on it and have a look, I stopped counting around 53 commercial anchor text links and affiliate links and not a single link on the page has nofollow on it. (no robots.txt, either 😉 ) Continue reading “Stick a fork in it – Interviews are done!”


New Nine Inch Nails album – new post. In 2012 I wrote a post in Don Rhoades blog called “How NIN makes me a better SEO” based on “The Downward Spiral” album. I just celebrated my third SEO birthday, and I want to share some stuff about SEO, clients and general observations. This is for you, SEO. This is for you, client. This is for me as well. Thanks for reading.

The eater of dreams

Thinking is good. Over-thinking, not always. We proclaim new techniques, the “ultime guide to <insert topic>” and “X number of things you need to do for <insert topic>”. But the reality is that there is no one-fits-all solution for SEO problems of our clients. But one thing I don’t see around too much is to dream of something more for our clients. Dream of something beautiful and then try to realize it. We can be wrong for sure, but SEO does not necessarily mean “boring” or “geek”. Create some magic.

I am just a copy of a copy of a copy.

No, you can’t copy. It’s not me telling you as SEO. We all know that duplicate content is not good for your website. But your readers / customers are asking you to present something new, something different. How? Just look around you. Ask your friend. Ask your audience. Read something not related to your business. Push yourself harder.

Everywhere now reminding me I am not who I used to be; I’m afraid this has just begun consequences for what I’ve done.

Three years in SEO, and I’m still learning. I’m still learning that shit you create as an SEO will come around to haunt you. So, let’s be honest and say “no, I’m not going to do that” when clients ask for impossible things. Educate the client. One of the things I love about my job is being able to sit down and explain how SEO works and why your website is not working. I’m not 100% geek, I’m not an Excel maestro, I’m not a guru (or other stupid titles). I’m just a guy who knows something about SEO and can help with that. Continue reading “HESITATION SEO: THREE YEARS AS SEO.”

SEO, ORM, PPC – What???

Some of us grew up with IBM, some of us grew up with ABC, NBC and CBS.

If you are reading this, maybe you work in SEO, SEM, PPC or ORM, maybe on a PC.

Maybe you get slang.. maybe you don’t.. from A to Z.. here are some things you should be thinking about.. read between the lines.. and letters.

When we use capital letters to shorten our verbal or written description of something to a word, it is a form of language known as an acronym. If not pronounced like a word, they’re initialisms.

Here are some you may or may not know, directly related to Digital Advertising from A to Z.

ABT – Always Be Testing – (see #whitecoatseo).

A.S.A.P – As Soon As Possible – this doesn’t mean go build links, it means perform the due diligence needed to allow the client’s content to rise in search queries.

#BHat – Black Hat SEO – it might be unethical, it might be illegal, if you show it to Matt Cutts, it should get you removed from Google.

Bing – you know, Microsoft’s search engine? It’s at least usually 20% more traffic alone JUST by adding your client’s website to Bing Webmaster Tools, why haven’t you done it yet?

CPC – Cost Per Click – If it takes one person one hour at a billable rate to update some code on your website, if that hourly rate is $100 and you gets 10,000 visits on your website from that SEO coding, your cost per click is one cent. This is also used in budgeting for paid media, PPC, BT or RT. Continue reading “SEO, ORM, PPC – What???”

Matt Cutts’ Guest Blog on the Secrets to Ranking in Google

There has been a lot of discussion over the last few weeks about penalties and what you should do to rank in Google. I thought the best way for me to address these issues was for me to just write a guest post.

Guest Blogging

When I wrote this – The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO

I didn’t mean it! Guest blogging is alive and well and I have tweeted as much, to prove this is indeed the case

I am also hoping that this apology from me to Ann Smarty will go some way to easing the pain of Ann and the other fantastic SEO’s who have been hurt a little recently.

Continue reading “Matt Cutts’ Guest Blog on the Secrets to Ranking in Google”

The Bitter Irony of Hiring SEOs via Google…

INTRO: This post had been in SEOno‘s Drafts for over six months, and I never thought that I’d ever publish it. However, following Doc’s open letter post, and particularly this comment – “I’m not whining about my lost organic traffic. I’m fortunate, in that the vast majority of my business comes from client referrals. I don’t need Google, in that regard.” – I thought that I’d post it on here instead.

Bitter Lemons photoIn recent months, I’ve had my SEO skills questioned by other SEOs on two occasions.

The first time was a few months ago, regarding a blog post I’d written for Box UK (my previous employer). Some arsehole lovely individual left an anonymous comment saying that I “should be sacked” from my SEO role at the company because the post’s title and meta description weren’t optimised. Granted, I didn’t write the post to rank for anything (more on that later), but I’m wondering if this person’s opinion on optimisation was the old school “keyword1, keyword2, keyword3, adnauseum” approach, because, y’know, that’s how you SEO things!* But well, yeah, y’know that’s just like your opinion, man.

* Eagle-eyed readers will spot that that sentence was (mostly) sarcasm…

The second time was a few days ago, regarding my new website’s copy. Someone I know told me that while there were instances of some of the keywords in the titles, meta descriptions, body copy, etc., they felt that it may not be enough to rank.

So it’s inspired me to say something that I’ve wanted to say for ages, that I’m sure will rock the boat (or should that be ‘shift the rankings’) of a few people in our industry. Continue reading “The Bitter Irony of Hiring SEOs via Google…”

3 Site Integrity Issues So Basic They’re Often Forgotten

I’ve been talking to a lot of prospects lately, from large and small organisations, with a common theme being that whilst reviewing their websites, whether they are brochure sites or large, complex ecommerce sites, their sites display a lack of site integrity.

By this, I’m mostly referring to common items, like monitoring and fixing broken links, cleaning up after page URL changes or improperly transferring from a previous domain.

All of these items chip away at a website’s authority and we’ve found that fixing these items alone can really help boost a website’s visibility in search engines.

Broken Links

Broken links just happen with websites. You link to great external resources which get moved without you realising and the other site doesn’t redirect these properly (or simply deletes them, the fools). Sometimes this happens internally on a website, particularly when multiple stakeholders have the ability to change a website without thinking about the implications of the changes that they’re making.

You might think that case study is out of date now and needs to be deleted and later replaced with a new kickass one, but did you remember to remove the links to this page from the rest of the website?

So, how do you find all these broken links? My favourite tool for this is, of course, the Screaming Frog SEO Spider, of which I’m a big fan (here’s a picture of me wearing my Screaming Frog Hoodie which they kindly sent me).


Continue reading “3 Site Integrity Issues So Basic They’re Often Forgotten”

Collateral Damage

cross hairds
They say there is no smoke without fire, but, the latest “attack” and round of penalties from Google has left a lot of “innocent” people in the crosshairs of the web spam team and wondering what the hell is going on.

Let me explain.

We have all seen this tweet.



We all knew who it meant. Continue reading “Collateral Damage”

Hi Julie! Did You Know What An Idiot You Are?

Put on your Hammer pants because it’s fussin’ time. (Note: Even I don’t have any idea what that means.)

I have a high tolerance for spam emails because, as a link builder, I spam the piss out of people so it’s a bit hypocritical for me to get all high and mighty. However, I am indeed going to climb up on a high horse right now because I’ve truly had it with these guys.


Here’s the thing: I very rarely respond in a rude fashion even when people are begging for me to jump ugly, so it really does take a lot. I will certainly talk a giant amount of shite of course, behind their backs. ANYHOO, I’m currently being besieged by companies who are offering to sell me SEO leads. I was actually planning to rant a bit about SEO companies who point out that my site isn’t ranking on the first page of Google for some keywords that they don’t actually mention to me in their snotty emails, but I’m heading for the leads people instead because they are about as obnoxious as Bono. I’ll soon get to the “your rankings are freaking NOWHERE!” people though, don’t worry.

My latest lead-gen exchange went something like this, and for this post I’ll call the company “Dimwith and Dunderfloppin”, and I’ll be “Lady Latika.” No no, I’ll be Julie. Continue reading “Hi Julie! Did You Know What An Idiot You Are?”

Where is Google Taking Us?

Those of us that work in online marketing are well aware that Google is constantly changing the way it selects which sites to show in the SERPs, in which order of importance to display them, and even which sites to downgrade or exclude.

Many site owners may be only vaguely aware of what criteria Google uses in its efforts to respond to a searcher’s query. After all, it’s pretty much a full-time job to keep up, since the search engine’s algorithms are in a constant state of flux.

The Dominant Trend: From SERP Results to Answers


Nevertheless, some trends are fairly obvious to those that pay attention. Things like Instant, Knowledge Graph and Rich Snippets were a few products that were quickly noticed by even casual searchers. But looking at many such features, over time, can help in detecting trends. And those trends can sometimes show you where Google may be taking us.

Google-SERP-Monopoly2Google has made it quite clear, in both statement and deed, that the era of “10 blue links” has passed. They now strive to answer questions right in the SERPs, rather than provide us with links to sites that may answer our questions.

What does this mean to site owners? A couple of things, actually. First, in the short term, it accentuates the need to have pages that are highly relevant to the questions we want our pages to answer. For now, at least, that strategy can still help a page rank highly for specific topics. But what about the long term? Will that really be enough? Continue reading “Where is Google Taking Us?”