The Debates About SEO

Search engine optimization is an interesting concept, one that I’ve been dealing with for almost 4 years now. It’s interesting because you never really know where discussions on the topic are going to take you, and often people love to disagree on things concerning different aspects of it.


Debating Creationists
by the mad LOLscientist

I recently wrote a guest post about this subject on another blog. My general premise is that people shouldn’t be stressing themselves out about using all sorts of SEO tactics when it comes to blogging because it’s better to make your content look smooth and sound seamless than it is to worry about too much of the SEO involved in trying to get people to your blog. In my view, you don’t totally throw out SEO, but don’t overly worry about it because, for blogs, it’s not as important as the breadth of your content if you’re a niche blogger.

Of course I encountered disagreements on the post, which I kind of expected, because there are many others who would say I was stark raving mad for saying that. However, I stood my ground. Based on research and real evidence, if you have at least 100 blog posts on a subject all the SEO sculpting in the world isn’t going to make a blog post stand out from any other in the search engines. Having a consistently good pattern of writing on your niche will work wonders, though.

An interesting way to show this is to look at this blog’s top 10 keywords from January of this year through August 31st for how people found this blog on search engines and see if the posts they might match up to were all that optimized. Here we go:

1. Cleavage – well, that’s still my most popular post for some reason, but in a post that was almost 1,350 words I used that one word less than .7%, even if it’s in the title.

2. Ultra Diamonds complaints – I wrote one post about this back in 2008 and I mentioned it twice, and not even in a row.

3. sensors quality management scam – I’ve never written a single post on this topic, and I have no idea what it even means. I wrote a post on secret shopper scams, and someone wrote that line in a comment.

4. forcefield.exe – mentioned once in a post I wrote about Zone Alarm.

5. do they still make zima – I wrote that comment once in a post on, well, Zima.

6. pdf my url – I wrote a post on this software, but I used the term “pdf” twice and “url” three times.

7. favorite classical pieces – I wrote a post on my favorite classical pieces, but I only used the phrase once, not including the title.

8. obsession with numbers – This is the first post where, as I look at it now, one could say I optimized it, although it certainly wasn’t intentional.

9. google desktop thunderbird – This one is also inadvertently optimized, and when I look at it, probably very well indeed.

10. mystery shoppers corp scam – once again this phrase doesn’t show up anywhere in the post I wrote on secret shoppers, and I have no idea where the word ‘corp’ comes from.

What’s my point? Out of my top 10 keywords, only two posts are actually optimized, and that occurred because of natural writing rather than any attempt to provide proper SEO to the posts. And the two posts that are optimized are #8 and #9 on my list; how do we explain the top 7?

As I said and will reiterate, I’m not saying that if you wish to take the time to do it that going through the process of optimizing your content might not be a worthy goal? What I’m saying is that, at least in my opinion, writing your content so that it makes sense to your readers, and eventually search engines, seems to work just as effectively if your topic in some way matches up to what people are looking for. At least for blogs; we can talk about websites another time, unless you read the article I just linked to. lol

Or I could be wrong… nah! 🙂

WWE Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80’s








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De-Stressing Life By Not Commenting

Two weeks ago on my business blog, I wrote a post titled Do We Have To Talk To Each Other? The premise of the post was that there are times when it’s probably better not to have interactions with someone else because not every person you encounter has to be deemed as someone you have to have a crucial conversation with. If it’s work related in a company and you need to do business, that’s one thing, but in your personal life, why would you want to consistently go through that type of thing?

Conflict by Rishi S

here are things I normally don’t like to discuss, but every once in a while, in my own space, I’ll get off a bomb here and there.

For instance, I don’t like the way the state of politics is in our country right now. Suffice it to say, my politics is totally against the party of “no”, and I don’t like how they’ve consistently lied to the American public about health care and about President Obama personally. I was particularly intrigued by this post on The Slate titled Why Won’t Any Republicans Condemn the “Obama is a Muslim” Myth? Don’t even let me start talking about this thing with the guy who’s going to be burning Quran’s (they keep changing the spelling of this thing; someone needs to decide on it one way or another and leave it be) this weekend, because my overall take wouldn’t be what someone might expect from me.

Having said that, I’ve realized over time that there are some battles you just can’t win, especially online. It’s not necessarily whether you’re correct or not. It has to do with distance and perspective.

Back in the early 90’s I was on bulletin board systems, the early versions of forums for those of you too young to remember. There was this particular forum I was in where some people came in just to be naysayers and cause trouble. They weren’t overly interested in the topic or in discussing issues; they just wanted to jam up the works.

This one guy in particular got on my nerves so much that I decided I was going to track him down. And I did; guess what? It turned out he was only a 90-minute drive away.

I got his real name, got his address and phone number, and I was ready to go. But I decided instead to let him know I had his information and that I just might pop down for a “face to face conversation” (sometimes I have a mean streak; I’m working on that lol).

In the forum I outed him, with his real name and the dorm he lived in; yes, he turned out to be a college student. I didn’t give his phone number or the name of the college, but he knew I had the goods on him. He wrote back saying if I showed up he would call the police and have me arrested for harassment, and that he would sue me for everything I had; good thing I had nothing back then. He deleted his account and never bothered any of us again. It didn’t stop anyone else, but I had my proof.

People tend to behave differently in person than they do online. Not everyone of course; I’ve met some wonderful people. But nasty people are a different matter. They’re not trying to be civil; they don’t care about you or your space. It may not always seem to be intentional, but there are patterns that happen, “track record” as I like to call it.

Sometimes, it’s not that drastic. There are some of us who just can’t get along with others. It’s unknown what the reason is, but it happens.

I have an interesting track record myself. People who meet me say that if you can’t get along with me, you have a problem. I appreciate that, but I also know I’m not every person’s cup of tea.

I’m a bit too politically correct for many. I’m also a bit of a hothead when I feel it’s justified, and I go for the throat. I’ve told friends that it’s never good enough to get even; you have to go for the jugular so you never have to deal with it again. That’s a concept the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card captured perfectly; it’s a great book and one I’d recommend to anyone who likes science fiction that’s not too far away from the world we could recognize. It’s a reason I’ve only ever had 2 practical jokes pulled on me and why I ended up having few fights as a kid.

Peace by lintmachine

However, I’ve come to an epiphany at this juncture. I’m now 51, and I know that realistically I’ve lived more than 2/3rds of my life. I have the right to decide if I want to spend any of that time arguing with people whose minds I’m never going to change or just leaving it alone and keeping some peace in my life. I’ve decided I’m going to try to go the peaceful route. If I feel that I’m starting to get mad at something, I’m going to leave it be, at least as it pertains to me. I need to work harder on de-stressing my life by not commenting.

If I feel the need to come to someone’s defense, I’m still going to do that; trying to save the world, as my wife says, but my big 3 are loyalty, respect, and trustworthiness. I’m loyal to my friends and people I like; I hope I’ve proven that often enough over the years both online and offline.

So, if you don’t see me respond to a certain post here and there, trust me, it’s probably a good thing. Social media has brought the world closer, but it’s also brought a lot of people together who aren’t really prepared to play well with each other sometimes. On Twitter I’m sometimes more political than I want to be; I think I’ve struck the correct balance on this blog. I tend to think that all of us have to try to take some time to look at what we see when we’re being responded to, but we also have to be ready to defend ourselves as well as try as best we can to get our proper message across. I add a smiley face a lot, or a “lol” to make sure people take what I’m saying as tongue in cheek fun. If you misunderstand that, I’m not giving a second chance anymore. I need to de-stress my life.

Who’s with me on this one?
 

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Social Media Marketing Won’t Work If…

I’ve talked a lot lately about social media marketing and influence. Overall, comments have been positive, but fairly minimal. Not that I’m searching for big numbers of responses to the topics (okay, I am) so much as thinking that, as we move into a new age, this should be a pretty big topic for a lot of people to be both thinking about and talking about.

What occurred to me yesterday is that the topic is out there, but not really all that big to the group that I’m marketing to the most. That group are people between the ages of 35 to 65, people with established businesses who I thought might be ready to learn more about how to market to people. What I’m realizing is that there is a definite generational difference between the people I’m marketing to and the people who literally already get it. I’m marketing to a group that’s missing it, that can’t see why they’d even want to get started, let alone want to learn it.

I actually understand this. I’m the same way in other areas. On Wednesday a group called Lady Antebellum was in town, and I had, and still have, absolutely no idea who they are. Justin Bieber was also in town; him I’ve heard of, but I couldn’t tell you a single song. Without having kids, I haven’t tried to keep up with the pop music scene, and thus I hear songs that for the most part I don’t like and names that mean nothing to me. Out of the names listed for the next reincarnation of Dancing With the Stars I had to look up 6 of them to see who they were; these are stars?

I get it; we concentrate on what interests us at all times, and even if something might be in our best interest for our business, if we can’t fully embrace it then we feel we don’t need it. So I decided to list 5 things that indicates why social media marketing won’t work for you.

1. You don’t have time. I keep hearing this one over and over, and frankly, it’s both a valid concern and nonsense at the same time. It’s hard for people to squeeze more things into their schedule if it’s booked tight and you’re working all the time. The reality is that no one is booked all the time and no one is working all the time. We all waste time during our workday; if we didn’t, we’d go crazy. My belief is that even if all you decide to do is 15 minutes a week, just to establish a presence somewhere, you do yourself a world of good. If you could find an hour a week you could write a blog post, maybe post a link on a Facebook business page, do an update on your LinkedIn page, respond to one group post on Linkedin, and send out a link or message on Twitter regarding a business, a retweet, whatever. When you have more time, do more; just do something.

2. You don’t have the money. How much money does it cost to do social media marketing? Depending on what you do, nothing or just a little bit; way less than any other type of marketing you might do. Twitter; free. Facebook; free. LinkedIn; free. Email; could be free, and with an autoresponder less than $200 a year. YouTube; free. Blog; free, or if you pay someone to write it then that could get pricey depending on how much you want written.

3. You don’t understand it. Most of the time when people say this, it means they haven’t even looked at it. If you sign up for LinkedIn, it pretty much tells you what you need to do step by step. There might be some intricacies for real business benefits, but in general, you’re done. Same with Facebook; probably the day you sign up you’re going to have invitations already there from people who’ve been wondering where you’ve been. YouTube isn’t as easy, and though Twitter seems pretty easy, I could see where someone could get confused early on. But I run into almost no one (had to add the “almost”) who’s signed up for a Twitter account and says “I just don’t know what to do” without meaning “I don’t have time”.

4. You don’t even try. Michael Jordan says he’s never made a shot he didn’t take. Whereas many people have thrown up a website, they haven’t taken the time to determine whether it represents them well or not. “Close” doesn’t get it done when you’re hoping to get business from someone that’s thinking about paying you thousands of dollars and your website looks cheap. “Close” doesn’t get it done when you’ve written one blog post in a year. “Close” doesn’t get it done if you create a Facebook business page and done absolutely nothing with it. As with anything else, you have to at least take some kind of consistent action, even if it’s once every two weeks, otherwise it’s best not to even start.

5. You’re not social. And there’s that word again, “social”. Social says you interact with someone instead of “at” them. Social says you respond to comments or email here and there. Social doesn’t say you have to tell everything about yourself, or deal with people who upset you or irritate you in some fashion. It does mean you have to be ready to participate in whatever you start, and it can’t only be about you. And trust me, on Twitter, if all you’re doing is putting out links and retweeting people all the time, it’s viewed as you being all about you.

I can’t remember if I’ve written stuff like this before, but I’ve certainly brought it up in workshops, and I plan on always bringing it up whenever I have the opportunity to talk about it. No one has to do it all; but if you want it to have the chance to work, you still have to do it.

My Friend The Chocolate Cake








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Mitchell’s Top Ten Recommended Blogs

One could ask “what makes you think anyone cares about what you think are blogs people should read.” The response would be “my blog, my opinion, case closed.” In actuality, I think that it’s a nice thing to recognize people when you enjoy things they do. And people like being mentioned, even if they may miss it. I’m going to say that I doubt everyone I name will notice that their blog has been mentioned here, and that’s okay. It’s just another list post; studies show that people love list posts. And if you’d like, copy the little badge I created and add it to your website, then wait for people to ask you if you’ve lost your mind. 🙂

Actually, August 31st was Blog Day, where bloggers are supposed to name 5 blogs they recommend for others to read. But I had something else on my mind for that day, so I decided to go my own way and do it today.

First, did I have any real criteria for what I was going to look for? Absolutely not! In this list are some friends of mine, some big time names, and some folks whose blogs I just have to make sure I check out as often as I can. I don’t always comment on all of these blogs, but I do from time to time. But I always make sure I read them, and I think that’s what makes them important to me. And two of the blogs on this list were on last year’s Blog Day list as well.

I put them in alphabetical order so I didn’t have to rank them. They are what they are; here we go:

Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online – As you probably know, I really respect Marelisa’s blog, and the interview I did with her should prove that. It’s just a quality blog, very deep, and one of the few blogs that I actually have to slow down to read. This blog was on last year’s Blog Day post.

Beautiful Summer Morning – Nick Grimshawe has a beautiful blog, very calming and motivational, and I actually have to give him credit for introducing me to Josh Groban, who I’d never heard of until Nick posted one of his videos on his blog. Nick also has the distinction of being on my 2008 and 2007 Blog Day list.

Click Newz – It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about Lynn Terry, but I still make sure I read her blog all the time. I ever wrote a post about her and how she makes money, as she’s one of the top internet marketers in the country. Lynn’s blog was also on my 2008 Blog Day list.

Kikolani.com – How could anyone not list Kristi’s blog as one of their favorites? I always make sure to go through her Fetching Friday blog, as she puts up a lot of blog posts she’s read through the week and is recommending others view. At one point I thought of stealing that idea, but man, that’s a lot of work! So young and so accomplished; great work!

Mostly Bright Ideas – This is actually a very new blog written by Charles Gulotta, and if y’all haven’t visited it by looking at some of his blog titles then you don’t know what you’re missing. He’s very funny and insightful, and his images are funny as well. To think, I convinced him to think about writing a blog, and look what he’s done with it; great job!

Problogger – Okay, a top guru who was also on my 2008 Blog Day list, but who can truthfully deny that Darren Rowse isn’t on his game? I like it best when he’s writing instead of the guest posts, but I sometimes learn from those as well. This is one of those blogs where if you’re looking to learn a lot more about blogging I suggest you go through his archives.

Solo Business Marketing – Shirley George Frazier’s blog on marketing is a great one, so much so that her blog was one of only two that made my 2006 Blog Day list. I must have been mad not to mention her again before today. I learn a lot by reading her blog, and I think it deserves a heck of a lot more attention that it gets.

Twist Image – Mitch Joel recently wrote Six Pixels of Separation, and it was through a conversation he was having with a friend of mine that I discovered his blog. He talks about marketing and communications in the social media age, and something interesting that he has are podcast interviews, which are pretty fascinating. I guess you could call him a guru.

View Infinitum – This is my friend Scott’s blog, and I have to say that he’s found quite the following over the past year. It’s a photography blog, and though I’m not anywhere close to a photographer, I will say that he gives a lot of great information on the craft, and I think I’ve even seen Sire popping in there from time to time.

Wassupblog – Speaking of Sire, his blog took a major jump over the past year, getting an Alexa rank as high as 65,000 at one point and still sitting in a pretty nice place. He covers internet marketing, blogging, and a host of irreverent issues that are funny from that quirky Australian point of view. I think if he were British his blog would probably be an even bigger deal; yeah, I said it! lol His blog was also on my 2009 Blog Day list, and I keep telling him that when I grow up I want my blog to be as big as his. Then again, it means I have to grow up.

There you go, my top ten list of blogs I hope you check out. Congrats winners!

Gomadic Universal Charging Station








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