Friday, December 14, 2007

Google Webmaster Tools Continues to Amaze with New Features

Google Webmaster Tools has added a few new features that are worth mentioning. Under "Diagnostics" there is now a "Content analysis". Google is reporting information on Title Tags, Description Tags, and Content.

Webmaster Tools can tell the Webmaster if titles are missing, too long, too short, non informative and if they are duplicated.

It can provide the same information for the description tags. This is key because historically Google used snippets in their SERPs. Now good meta descriptions can be used. That means more control over the SERPs with an ability to "sell" a searcher on your link.

I am not sure what the content area is going to display or report on yet.

They have also added information about Sitelinks. This can be found under "Links", then "Sitelinks". At Pubcon 2007, Matt Cutts publicly announced that Sitelinks are a natural part of their algorithm. Google Webmaster tools allows for an opt out of any of the algorithmically discovered sitelinks. I find it hard to believe that any sitelink would not be valuable.

If you are not familiar with sitelinks, here is an example:

Google Analytics Updates Their Snippet Code

This is pretty interesting. Google Analytics has updated their snipper code. It is a bit longer, but nicely deals with the issue of http vs. https. There are also some new bonuses, you may read about it more at the Google Analytics Blog.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Joe Laratro is on the Pubcon Advisory Board

I have actually been on the advisory board for some time, but know it is official...


The Press release is available here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I just read an article by Andy Beal where he announces a deal between Google and GoDaddy. I find this very cool because I was always concerned if hosting with a low cost provider was in any way frowned upon by a Search Engine. In the case Google is embracing GoDaddy's content. The deal should further the acceptance of Google's Webmaster Tools and Analytics.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Every Link is Sacred Song Parody

ARTIST: Monty Python
TITLE: Every Link Is Sacred
BY: Lane R. Ellis, Lead Editor,
DATE: November 7, 2007

[The PubCon Meaning of Life]

There are Googlers in the world, there are Yahoos
There are SEMs and SMMs and then
There are those that follow Larry Page, but
I've never been one of them

I'm an Organic Optimizer
And have been since before the Web was born
And the one thing they say about Organic Optimizers is
They'll index you as soon as you're warm

You don't have to be a six Pageranker
You don't have to have a great site
You don't have to have any content on
You're an Organic Optimizer the moment Berners Lee came, because

Every link is sacred
Every link is great
If a link is wasted
Cutts gets quite irate

Let the heathen waste theirs
On the dusty ground
Cutts shall make them pay for
Each link that can't be found

Every link is wanted
Every link is good
Every link is needed
In your neighborhood

Blackhat, Whitehat, Hacker
Link theirs just anywhere
But Cutts loves those who treat their
SEO with more care

Every link is useful
Every link is fine
Cutts needs everybody's
Mine, and mine, and mine

Let the spammers fake theirs
O'er mountain, hill and plain
Cutts shall strike them down for
Each link that's made in vain

By Lane R. Ellis
Lead Editor,
© 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

A New Google Dance - Well... At Least a PageRank Update

It has been some time since we have seen a major update at Google for their Search Results. This still is not a major update, but there is a PageRank update. My observations so far:
Many sites endded up with lower PR
PR from low sites dragged down high PR sites
Blog linking took PR from their Main sites and lowered their Main sites
5 may not be average anymore, it may have shifted downwards

What does this mean? It is a little early to tell if this had an effect on traffic. My gut would be in the case of the site with external Blogs, that Blog traffic will increase and site traffic will decrease.

This also means that lots of links are meaningless (or harmful) for PageRank unless they are from high PR sites. The value of "volume of links" with keywords vs "quality of links" with keywords is going to be very interesting to watch.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What is 1080P?

This resource article was passed on by a friend on mine. He is rigorously researching his new Plasma TV purchase. This is an amazing and very informative article on 1080P.

On another note I have been researching HD DVD Players. I went the HD route 3 years ago. At the time HDMI was not an option on Stereo Receivers that were less than $1500. It seems that HD DVD only (at least mostly) sends the HD signal over HDMI. My entire setup is through component cables. It looks like if I go the HD DVD route, I am going to have to send the video directly to the TV and not through the receiver (the right way to do it). Oh well... After researching the "HD Up Conversion Through HDMI", I found that there is some antiquated copyright rules that do not allow HD output from DVDs through component cables. That is just downright silly!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tony Soprano Lives! - Confirmed

Months after the hottest debated ending in history (I will put Planet of the Apes remake and the TV series Dallas up there), David Chase has come out and publicly explained that Tony Soprano did not die at the end of the series, nor was there any hidden meaning in the ending.

The world debated onion rings, the song playing (Don't stop believing), and a members only jacket. In the end it was just the show the died, no different that it began -- from darkness.

Read more about it here:

Tony Lives! (At least until the third movie)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Halloween Traffic is Here!

Shari from Annie's Costumes sent me this link she found in Digg.

It is amazingly funny. I am a moderate Star Wars nut. There is a very early picture of me in a Storm Trooper costume. I also made Baby Joey dress up like Yoda last year. My Wife is taking control of this year's costume.

Anyways, enjoy the link above and spend some time looking around Digg. It can be an amazing source of traffic if you've got the right content.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Microsoft Live Search 2.0

The new live search 2.0 was bowed today by Microsoft. For those of you that are familiar with Google Universal, this is the same concept. If you are not, what it means is the integration of multiple forms of online media in search results. A query for "Danica Patrick" may show images and video clips embedded right on the results page. A query for "HD DVD Player" may show images, products, prices, and reviews integrated into the SERPs.

This means quite a bit for traditional SEOers on the Web. There is something very appealing about these new SERPs (a picture is worth a thousand words). The new frontier of optimization is about more than html content and links!

Search Engines for Kids!

I have not had the time lately to update my Blog with some great happenings. I just saw this article and thought it was certainly worth linking to: Search Engines for Kids. Certainly not the place for most ecommerce marketers to worry about, but nice for the parents to know.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Live Search Webmaster Portal Beta

I was just invited to the Live Search Webmaster Portal Beta! I am a huge fan of Google's Webmaster Tools and Yahoo's Site Explorer. I have been patiently waiting for MSN's program since they announced their acceptance of the Sitemap Protocol November of 2006.

I am also looking forward to some of the innovation they may add to their Webmaster Portal. MSN (Live Search) has been very innovative with some of their search product releases so far. The bar may be continually raised from friendly competition among the major Search Engines.

Once the program is launched, I will chronicle some of my discoveries. This will also be added to any Search Engine Marketing Classes that I may be teaching.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One of the First TV Commercials for Search Engine Optimization?

I have been waiting for this day for 7 years. I always expected to see a sleazy infomercial telling the public how to make millions from Search Engines. I am not saying that informercial does not exist, I just have not seen it yet. Tonight I noticed a Yellow Book Commerical that grabbed my attention.

First the commercial said, "Looking to Advertise in the Yellow Book?". The answer was clear?

Second it mentioned you could also advertising on their Internet version,

Then the shocker came... "Looking to Advertise on the Major Search Engines?". You can do that through Yellow Book too!

I used my DVR to rewind and watch the commercial over and over again. I have seen advertise. I have seen Microsoft Adcenter advertise. But this was the first time I have seen a solution for advertising on the Major Search Engines on TV!

I visited I did not readily find the information about advertising on Google, Yahoo, and MSN. It is a shame that their marketing message is not unified between TV and their Web site. Hopefully, enough people will put "How does my ad appear on Search Engines?" in their lead form for them to update the site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby Joey

Happy Birthday Baby Joey!

It was one year ago on August 24th that this bundle of joy entered my life. It has been an amazing year. Each day has gotten better. I remember when it was exciting for him to open his eyes. Then it was sitting up. Then rolling over. Then crawling. Now we have walking! Soon enough it will be his first Web site and Search Traffic! I may start to optimize for "Baby Joey" and see what I can accomplish.

His first birthday party was awesome! Char Hut catered it - I highly recommend them. It was great quality food at very reasonable prices (hot sauce for the burgers and the onion rings are not to be missed). Doris' Italian Market also made special sausage stuffed with peppers and onions that my Dad prepared for everyone.

Our first trip to Disney World is next week. I used to always complain when my friends took infants there. I thought it was a waste of money. Now that I see the way he looks at things, I can't wait. I hope to see the magic of Disney once again - through his eyes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Google's Ad Placement Formula - Big Payoff

I noticed the email last week about Google's new ad placement formula. In its simpliest terms: A new threshhold will be considered for moving ads to the top of the page. It will include the max cpc as part of the algorithm, but not charge anymore.

The net of this is that if everyone goes and increases their max CPC bids to try and get to the top of the page, then everyone pays more because all of the bids increase. I am normally a huge fan of whatever Google does, but this change stinks. All it does is give a theoretical reason for advertisers to spend even more with less return (if the click cost increases) right before the holiday season.

MediaPost picked up an article that explains why this is good for Google's stock. At $500+ per share, the stock is fine. Google does give back in many other ways - free Google Analytics, free Google Checkout. This change only has the opportunity to raise the keyword bids without any added value.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

GoToMyPC's Content Development Strategy

I just received an email newsletter from GoToMyPC. I have been a big fan of their product long before Citrix purchased it.

Citrix does a fantastic job of continually updating the remote pc login service and even worked out some of the bugs that Vista was causing. I have a long history with Citrix that includes an old certification on my wall for Metaframe. (That’s another story)

When I read their latest newsletter I noticed a call to “Send Us Your GoToMyPC Story”. When it comes to natural search, I am always devising brilliant (ok... they are not always spectacular, but they do work!) content development strategies. This is certainly one that I would have recommended. User generated content is not only one of the keys of Web 2.0, it makes for amazing unique keyword rich content. Plus it puts the work of generating the content on their client base's shoulders. What could be better? How many ways can Citrix writers talk about their product? This strategy can not only work as positive testimonials, but could also help increase the range of keywords that GoToMyPC ranks for. Thus it can increase their "long tail" of search.

I will even help promote it. They say in the newsletter the stories may be used in future newsletters. For it to be really useful, it should all be added to the Web site.

Submit your GoToMyPC story to:
(Include lots of keywords and a good keyword anchor text link to your Web site)

Friday, August 3, 2007

SEO Class NY a Raving Success!

I just got back from the second SEO Class. It was held at the Affinia Hotel in Manhattan. This was a two day intensive training for advanced Search Engine Marketing techniques.

Below are very brief take aways from some of the sessions.

Brett Tabke did an amazing presentation on Video optimization. Search Engines are able to scan the frames for text and review the audio for content. Video is prominently showing up in Google Universal results. Do a search for "Google webmaster tools" in Google and you will see a thumbnail for a video by Matt Cutts.

Todd Malicoat did a few great presentations on link building and SEM tools. A very cool take away was his classification of 12 types of links: authority, directory, run of site, one way inbound, .edu, media sites, press releases, article bio, rss, comment and profile, presell pages, and reciprocal.

Greg Niland covered research & testing. Multivariate testing is a complex topic. With his guidance and training, it becomes a much easier proposition. He also did a great session on brand management and protection. This is a hot topic! Nothing bothers a CEO more than negative information showing up on the first page when doing a search for their company name. Greg laid out strategies to effectively combat that problem.

Michael Grey was the workhorse of the bunch. He covered the most topics and gave the attendees a ton of great take aways. His topics included blogging, content generation, brand protection, social media marketing, and technical issues.

Brad Geddes is the king of Google Adwords (among many other things). He frequently teaches advanced PPC seminars directly for Google. When he talks about PPC everyone listens! Besides great information about PPC strategies, he gave away a great Google Base Tip - Add custom fields to your database, Google loves new information.

I covered advanced content generation and Webmaster Tools. Never delete any content that exists on your Web site. Archive everything! Old content can drive traffic and validate the Web site's age. If your site is not registered with Google Webmaster Tools, do it today. Google provides a wealth of information about their crawling of your site for free.

Overall the training was a great success. The most interesting feedback was about some of the intangibles of the 2 days. Workshops were available during the regular sessions for one on one time with the experts and live reviews of the attendee's Web sites. We (The SEO Trainers) had three meals with the SEO Class attendees and two cocktail hours. This interaction time with access to our wealth of knowledge and experiences in Search was probably the greatest asset for the class.

The next SEO Class / Pubcon event will be in Los Angeles in November. Stay tuned for more information or send me an email to get on our mailing list.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Heading to NY for Pubcon / SEOClass

There are still a few seats available if you are interested in attending the Advanced Search Engine Marketing training in Manhattan next week. Visit SEO Class for more information.

I will be covering Second Generation Submissions (Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer and the Sitemap Protocol) and Advanced Content Generation. You may notice by looking at the syllabus, there are no sessions on SEO basics like titles and meta tags. The focus of this training is Advanced SEO.

Lobster Mini Season 2007 Results

It was a great Lobster Mini Season! The picture above is myself and Dr. Amunategui with our catch. We also had help from John DeMarco, Peter Leshaw, and Tony Cuozzo.

The weather was great, the seas were calm, the water was clear, and the Florida Lobster were ready for the picking. There were hundreds of boats within eye's view. The boats that did better then us had a system of dropping divers at different locations and circling back to them. I had not seen that technique before, but it was a great way to efficiently cover a lot of ground.

Regular Lobster Season opens August 6th. I will most likely wait for the weekend to go out again.

Simpsonize Me - Part 2

After a few days of getting an error message that was at least customized with the Simpsons flair, I finally got in and was able to Simpsonize my picture.
I guess it sort of resembles me? I wonder if I will show up in an episode one day?
The Simpsons Movie opens today, best of luck!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Burger King's Simpsons Mini Web Site -

I am typing away on a Sunday night working on my presentations for next week's SEOClass Search Engine Optimization Class in NYC. The Simpsons happens to be on the TV. I noticed a commercial for Burger King that was very creatively integrating the new Simpsons Movie and their products. Then I saw it!

I was a Really big fan of their Sith Sense Mini site. I also really liked their Subservient Chicken site! So I was intrigued by what the Simpsons site had to offer.

Unfortunately, too many other people have their laptops in front of the TV and hit the site at the same time... I received a fatal error - Service Unavailable.

I waited about 20 minutes and the initial spike must have settled since I was now able to log in. I started the upload process (apparently it will convert a picture of your face into a Simpsons-esque cartoon character) and other plug for it hit the TV.

It looks like the servers are not prepared for the initial load. I tried several times with no luck. I will update this post with my Simponsized Picture and marketing feedback on this new site.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Does your business show up on Google Maps?

A business without a sign is not a business. A sign could mean many things in today's virtual world. I am speaking particularly about a sign on Google Maps. I just got back from a trip to the Hamptons, NY. I am setting up my first LocalbyLocals (Local Search Marketing) franchise in Long Island. (But that will be another post)

I started heavily relying on Google Maps on my smartphone to find close businesses. Unfortunately both places I was looking for did not show up -- An Asian Fusion Restaurant and a Liquor Store. We had to do it the old fashioned way and drive around. Now, that is not to say that there were not results for both searches. Even the smallest local business should be registering their site with Google Local, Yahoo Local, and MSN Local. These free registrations can act as your "sign" when people are searching on the local search products.

In the airport on the way back, I picked up the latest issue of Wired Magazine. I saw the big picture of Optimus Prime (Transformers) and thought it would make for good reading. I did not notice the article across the top of the page: Google Maps is changing the way we see the world (HyperLocal). It is a great article and I highly recommend reading it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lobster Mini Season is Coming!

For those who are not familiar with Lobster Mini Season, it is a two day period where recreational divers can catch up to 12 Florida Lobsters per person per day. It is the highest employee absentee holiday in South Florida. It probably equates to the opening of hunting season in other parts of the country.

This year it falls on July 25th and 26th (2007). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Web site has up to date information on Lobster Mini Season and the Regular Season Rules and Regulations.

This holiday is a Dive Shop's dream. Actually, it is hard not to pass "Lobster Gear" in the local Walmart. (Lobster Gear usually means a net, tickle stick, and gloves)

Here are a few tips from someone who has gone out the last 10 years, well minus a year or two for bad weather.
1. Leave early and plan on being out for the day
2. Bring plenty of food and water
3. Make sure you have your up to date Saltwater Fishing License and Lobster Stamp (Now available in 5 year increments)
4. If you have not used your dive gear, service your regulators at your local dive shop
5. Make sure your tanks have been VIPed and are up to date
6. BE PATIENT - This is usually amateur hour on the water. If someone is in your spot, go somewhere else. If a boat gets to close, wave and move away from them. The ocean is a big place and everyone can have fun. Leave the tempers at home. Enjoy the day off of work and on the water!

There is nothing like watching grown men and women chasing bugs around the bottom of the ocean. It is quite comical. I hope everyone has a fun and safe mini season!

One last thing - Lobster on the BBQ!
Split the Lobster in half by twisting off the head
Cut the tail down the middle using meat shears
Brush with garlic butter and grill on both sides for about 6 minutes
The Lobster meat will peel out of the shell with ease. Mmmmmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Transformers - This is NOT your Parent's Transformers

It is MUCH BETTER! I am a 31 year old father. My child is a little too young to enjoy Transformers yet, but I do have my old collection waiting for him in the garage. After a little research, I found out that my Transformers are now called Generation 1 or G1 for short. I remember first being interested in Gobots, and then Transformers became my favorite toys.

Back to the movie... This film was incredible! I would easily put it up with Armageddon, Independence Day, and even some of the Star Wars films. Seeing the "Spielberg" name tied to the movie made me wish he would have been involved in the new Star Wars films. It was action packed, had amazing effects, and a very good story.

Marketing wise, Chevy made a splash with the new 2008 Camaro that should make the 007 serious and BMW jealous. I left the theater and headed straight online to find out when that car is coming to the market. The Chevrolet Web site catered directly to me (someone who just left the theater). My only complaint was that the new Camaro mini site did not stand out.

One last note, when I was looking up Movie times, I used my Motorola Q to try to find local times. I was a little disappointed in Google Local, but it did lead me to That site is Smartphone friendly. Yahoo Mobile was the best solution I came across. While I a browsing the times, I noticed that the Transformers Movie was playing on a DLP screen. I closely followed the DLP hype of Star Wars III - The Revenge of the Sith. I even saw the movie for a 3rd time in Orlando, FL just because I found it playing on a DLP screen. I did not notice the difference then, but I really noticed the High Definition DLP broadcast of The Transformers. I could not recommend enough watching it in a state of the art DLP theater!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

IPhone Activation Problems

I was at a friend's 4th of July party when I was informed, as the residential tech guy, that I would be activating an IPhone. Admittedly I was a little excited to play with one. My first impression of the device was that it was very sleek, but a little heavier than I would have expected.

I attached it to a Laptop and started the process. The first step was to upgrade to ITunes 7.3. The upgrade took about 20 minutes. Once the upgrade was completed the registration process started. I was setting up the phone for new service with At&t.

I made three attempts to complete all of the information before finally giving up. All the failures were the same, they could not verify the credit of the person's credit card information I was using. I even tried two different people and credit card info. Plus they ask for the Social Security Number of the service owner!

30 out of 50 people at the party were very disappointed that the phone could not be activated and they could not play with it. The resolution seemed to involve working directly with At&t for an authorization code.

One cool thing that I did learn was that the Apple Store in Aventura Mall, FL was offering several free classes daily on IPhone usage.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Search Engine Marketing Training Classes Coming to NY!

Do you attend Search Engine Conferences and leave feeling you wanted more?

Do you know the basics of Search Engine Marketing and want to learn more advanced techniques?

Are you a business owner with an online presence who would like to learn more about Online Marketing?

Are you an Online Marketing Manager who would like to learn more about what your staff or outsourced solution is doing for you?

Are you a Web designer that would like to master Search Engine Optimization?

Do you work in New York and want to take a 2 day intensive training course on Online Marketing?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, WebmasterWorld's Pubcon and SEOClass have a solution! (I mention this solution because I am one of the trainers) Our New York Search Engine Marketing Training Class will be held July 30th -31st at the Affinia Hotel in Manhattan.

There are only 2 days left to save $1000 on the course!

Please contact me directly if you are interested in discounts for multiple attendees from the same organization. Seating is limited to 50 people. This will be extremely hands-on training with live examples and time to examine many of the attendees' Web sites.

If you are interested in Online Marketing and want to learn from real experts that will not hold anything back, this is the event for you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Friends Keeps Asking Me What I Think About The IPhone

Apple did a marvelous job changing the mp3 player world with the Ipod. Are they locked and loaded to do it again with cell phones and mobile Web devices? It sure looks like it!

My first concern about the Iphone centers around the browser. The commercials are really pushing the Web aspect, but the phone will use the Safari browser. Until recently, the only way to see what a Web site looks like in Safari, was to own a Mac. Now there is a PC based version of the software. Web designers may be updating sites in the near future to make sure they look great in Safari.

My next concern is about the lack of a keyboard. Ipods proved to be sexy, catchy, and trendy. The Iphone is following the same path. It looks clean, simple, and easy to use. My question is without a keyboard, how easy and realistic is it to type, text message, or email?

The Iphone could be the boost Mobile Advertisers have been looking for. If this phone does catch on with any of the popularity of the Ipod, a revolution is about to occur. Palms, Blackberrys, Smartphones, and other mobile Web devices have not been adopted by the masses. There have been many challenges for Mobile Marketers because of the variety of platforms and access. If the Iphone becomes very popular and widely used, a new channel for marketing will explode.

Some questions still exist...

For corporate users how will it work with Exchange?

Will it play nicely with Microsoft products to sync calendars, contacts, and tasks?

Will Itunes be the PC interface vs a more traditional ActiveSync type of program?

Will there be an Iphone Nano? (Just Kidding or Maybe Not)

Coming June 29th 2007!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MySpace just blasted SEO efforts

I just noticed this, new links in Myspace profiles are being converted to This change will effectively negate all search link value for links in the profiles and comments.

Obviously there is still potential for good traffic from regular Myspace traffic.

I really liked setting up Corporate Myspace accounts... Time to move on.

This must be a huge red flag for the adoption rate of link building through Web 2.0 sites. If Myspace sticks with this new plan for links, it is likely that other popular sites will follow (Friendster, Facebook, Linkedin, etc).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hosted Exchange - Smart Phones - Working From Home

Hosted Exchange may be one of my favorite technical developments in the last few years. I was certified as a Microsoft Exchange Server Administrator in 1999. I was an avid user of the product for a while, but if the domain was large enough it could be a full time job just to administer the server. Two years ago I started looking at the early adopters of Hosted Exchange solutions. Both Asp One and 123 Together were ahead of the curve.

Hosted Exchange means getting all the value of Microsoft's product without any of the admin headaches. Some of the features include Outlook Web Access, shared calendars, shared contact lists, backups, Blackberry support and more!

During my recent quest to become even more tied to my company, I decided it was time to use a hosted exchange solution myself. I went with Hostway's solution. They recently purchased a local company that I was very familiar with (Affinity Internet). My plan is $10/month for 500 megs of storage and one mailbox. The icing on the cake came when I found out that since my Motorola Q Phone uses Windows ME and Active Sync, the is no addition fee for mobile access. Now I can be offshore catching sailfish and actively managing my email and PPC accounts right from my phone!

If you are interested in learning more about Hosted Exchange Solutions, please contact me. I have been in charge of several large implementations that worked out flawlessly.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Trip to the Florida Keys - A Little Fishing and a Little Search

I had the pleasure of spending last weekend in the Florida Keys with a business associate who is also my fishing buddy. Tony Cuozzo is a religious user of Yahoo's XML Feeds (Search Submit Pro) through MoreVisibility. His web site is - a leading provider of hard wood floors online.

My family stayed at his family's home, which he also rents: House for rent in the keys (you can check out the pictures and rates). It was an awesome house in a great neighborhood in Islamorada. Tony took me out on his 33' Grady White Express (with a tower!) to the Islamorada hump to fish. We ended up in a nice school of Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) and kept a few for dinner. We also saw a beautiful small Blue Marlin jumping very near the boat.

While not fishing, we did discuss quite a few items releated to Search Engine Marketing. He is extremely pleased with Omniture and their tools. He is also impressed with an open source CRM software called Sugar CRM. I always value Tony's insight and innovation as it relates to ecommerce and tracking. He is currently working on a patent on a method to assign ROI to multiple keywords based on a matrix of how and when the user came to the site.

It was great getting down to the Florida Keys, fishing, and talking shop with a good friend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Top Secret WebmasterWorld Meeting at WMW Headquarters in Austin, TX

(The WebmasterWorld Brass and me!)

I had the pleasure of joining a strategy meeting in Austin, TX (The Headquarters of Brett Tabke's WebmasterWorld) a few months ago. I was sworn by a blood oath not to discuss many of the elements of our strategies. I can let you know that all efforts were geared to making the next Pubcon even better than the past ones!
The dates are set! WebmasterWorld's Pubcon 2007 will be in Las Vegas, Dec 4- 7 2007. The available tracks are being expanded and fine tuned. It will be another great event for Web publishers, online marketers, and just about anyone who loves (needs) Web traffic.
As a regular moderator of the sessions, I get a good amount of feedback from attendees. We are going to do even more this year to promote networking. Since I am also a techie, I am well aware of the challenges of getting certain personality types to leave their comfort zone or crack their shell. There are lots of new friendships and business relationships to be made at Pubcon. We will do our best to faciliate that process while providing one of the most educational conference around!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to Access Google Adwords from a Smart Phone

I was never a fan of gadgets. I spend most of my days in front of a computer as it is, I do not need to be any more "integrated into the Web" than I already am. Well that was my thought until I started working full time for myself. I realized that being able to work while not being in the office was a blessing. I started with a laptop and then worked my way to a Motorola Q phone from Sprint. First think I did was check my Web site on the browser and I was pretty impressed with how well it worked. Then I installed Google Maps and became REALLY impressed.

I was on my way down to the Florida Keys this past weekend (That will be the subject of my next Blog post) when I client called and asked me to pause his Google AdWords campaign. I was on the road, so I tried to do it from my phone's browser. It did not work.

Yesterday I searched Google for "Windows Mobile and AdWords", the first result was from Webmasterworld. I quickly learned that the Opera Browser works fine with Google AdWords. I installed it, tested it, and bingo! Now when I am on the road, I can do any type of emergency work on AdWords. I imagine I would only use it for pausing and un-pausing campaigns.

Thank you Opera!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sopranos, The End - Don't Stop Believing

So my predictions and thoughts were not exactly on target about the end of the season and the character "exits". Junior Soprano coming back into play in the last episode was a major surprise for me. The best I can tell was that he was used as a part of Tony's closure and happy ending. I don't think it was quite necessary though, I liked his first exit better.

I was also wrong about the time jump, but I have a few reasons on why it would have worked better. The decision to whack Phil originally was for Tony's crew's survival. When the sit down happened with the rest of the NY family (one of the greatest scenes of the episode), the decision to wipe out the boss of the NY family seemed hasty at best. Phil may have been a little nuts (still celebrating his dead brother's birthday), but unless the NY family really felt the heat, were loosing members to a war, or loosing a lot of money because of the war - why kill the boss? In a hurried storyline, Tony Soprano is more important and powerful then the boss of the NY family? That pill is a little hard to swallow. While most of the show seemed realistic enough about wise guy B.S., the hit I am not so sure about. Plus, looking back, the Soprano crew has almost whacked the other two bosses (Carmine and Johnny Sac) and one point, but never had to follow through.

"We are going to win this thing!" You would think that quote coming out of an FBI's mouth would have been about catching Tony, but it felt more about NJ beating NY. It was cool though...

I was right about the "family" aspect of the show. The last episode put all of the Soprano family back together. Janice was going to be a responsible mom. Meadow was going to fight for the rights of Italians as a lawyer (don't even get me started on the irony of her reasoning), A.J. was back on track, Carmella is happy with her Real Estate, and Tony won.

That is where the show made a significant twist. The entire season was seemed to be leading to a tragedy. In the end, Tony won. There was a happy ending. A family was just having a dinner together and eating some onion rings. Phil is gone, the junkie nephew is gone, the goofy brother in law is gone, his shrink is gone, his mother is gone, his uncle was mentally gone; but the nuclear family was still in tact.

David Chase created an amazing phenomenon. The Sopranos is probably one of the top ten brands of the last decade and sits up there with Google and Ipod. The ending of the show will probably be debated for years. It just ended on the words "Don't Stop" from a Journey song as his daughter joined the family for dinner. The whole world was probably holding their breath. We were teased with the possibility of an assassin, or a car accident, but it just ended. Why not end it that way? The show started that way. We got to be part of the Sopranos world for a brief period of time. Maybe there will be movies? Maybe there will be specials? Maybe we will never see a new Soprano moment again?

It was fun while it lasted.

I have not read anything else about the finale yet. I wanted to get my thoughts up first. I will probably write about this topic once or twice more. I am sure there is more to say - Don't stop believing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Should Web Marketers Know What Their Mcafee Risk Factor Is?

The quick answer is yes. I recently purchased a new Gateway Laptop. It came with Vista and a McAfee trial. I noticed while looking at search results that there were little green markings. At first I thought it was a "Vista Thing", but turns out it was a rating system by McAfee to warn users of potential spammy / spyware Web sites. I did not like the functionality, so it was disabled. After thinking about it, wouldn't you like to know if your site was not "green"?

This comes to mind because of an email I just received about Spyware still plaguing searches. This article reassured my initial concern that marketers really need to know how popular third party tools may be affecting their links.

If you do not know how your site ranks, find someone with McAfee and make sure you are in the clear.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sopranos - 2nd to Last Episode

From time to time I will write about topics other than SEM. Tonight's post has to be about the 2nd to last Sopranos Episode. I have been told by quite a few people that they feel I am a maven. I am certainly a maven when it comes to food, but I think I am also a Sopranos expert. It is extremely sad to see this amazing phenomena in our history coming to an end. I have a few thoughts to share.

I have been closely watching this season thinking about the end of the show and what was going to happen. When we last saw Junior Soprano, he was sitting in a metal institution stroking a cat. At that point I realized that was his "exit". That was the last time we would see Junior Soprano in the history of the series (barring some strange twist in the last episode). There have been a few other exits that are worthy of mention. Johnny Sac's exit was in a prison hospital dying of cancer. Christopher's exit was dying partially by the hand of Tony and partially drowning in his own blood.

Tonight there were even more exits as the show wraps up. I believe Dr. Melfi's exit was with the close of her door to Tony. She gave up and was beaten. Bobby's exit was a little more dramatic - he died defenselessly in a hobby shop. Silvio may have exited in a violent shootout where at least he got a few shots off, but he may end up in a coma state for the remainder of his days.

So what happens in the Sopranos Season Finale? Looking at the season to date, each character's exit has been sad. There has been no happy endings. No one has had that "new start" or "sunrise" that Tony saw in the desert. Does Tony die? Does he find a way to leave the life and start over? Does he wipe out the NY family and take over? One more week and we will find out.

I think the last episode jumps ahead a few months. I think a war may have raged on and taken tolls on NY and NJ. I dare not suggest anything more than that. The series ends in 7 days. This will be a long 7 days to wait...

One more thing to consider is that the series was about family. The Mob backdrop was always exciting, but not what it was all about. We will have to see what is left of both Soprano Families in the end (blood family and crime family).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Volvo's "The Hunt"

I am always impressed when I see the integration of TV and Web. In this case, Volvo is driving traffic that is tied to the Pirates of the Caribbean - At Worlds End to a Web site that about finding a buried treasure and a key to a new Volvo. Sometimes this type of marketing is just for buzz or branding, but this implementation has some very specific conversion goals. First the site would like you to stop by a Volvo dealer and pick up a treasure map. Seems like an awfully good start. Since you are at the dealership, why not look around?

Then you have to register on the Web site to find clues about "The Hunt". Ultimately someone will when a key to a new Volvo XC90 and $50,000 in Gold. Seems catchy enough. In the process they will amass a huge contact list for further marketing. Since this in Volvo, the list will probably be kept to themselves. If it was a less reputable company, the opportunities to monetize that list could be endless!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Now is the time for Realtors to embrace Online Marketing

Tandem Interactive has just released a short article on the Real Estate Market and Search Engine Marketing. This is an excerpt:

"The current shift in the market back towards the buyers has reignited the need for savvy real estate marketing. Buyers are doing much more research and are more hesitant when investing in a property. Most real estate agents are familiar with the classic offline media channels for marketing, but a new breed are turning to the Web and embracing many of the channels of Online Marketing. Search Engine Marketing is a very powerful tool for real estate marketing."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Introducing ExpoCal - The Online Collection of Internet Marketing Events

Ever wish you could find an online calendar that listed all of the Search Engine Marketing and Online Marketing events? Well now you can! The guys from Webmasterworld have put together The site is very simple and still in beta, but it can be extremely useful for planning your conference attendance throughout 2007.

Google Checkout is Still Free! is still free! That means that small, medium, and large businesses can take advantage of using then as a merchant account through the end of 2007 with no fees. In other words if you receive an invoice from Tandem Interactive and want to pay by credit card, I will send you a Google Invoice. If that invoice is for $1000.00, Tandem receives the full $1000.00 in the bank. No fees, no transaction fees, it is awesome. I've personally dealt with setting up merchant accounts, and Google Checkout makes the process painless.

Recently, SFIMA saved over $1500.00 in fees by using Google Checkout to process the attendees for the SoFIE Awards. We used the regular check out buttons, but Google Checkout can also send email invoices.

If you have not already tried it, it is certainly worth using for the remainder of the year. Much like their Free Analytics product (Google Analytics), they should wipe out the competition by providing a superior product to the public for no cost.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Carribean 3 - New forms of Rich Media

I was just on MSN and decided to read an article about Rosie O'Donnell leaving the View. Honestly, I've never even seen the show, but I am well aware of the controversy that has surrounded her. So I was interested in reading a non-seo article... It happens. By doing so, I came across an amazing piece of rich media! At the top of the page was a banner for Pirates of the Caribbean - AT THE WORLDS END. The banner said "The End Begins Today". OK that is not very impressive, but then I noticed a scrolling bar that appeared to be part of the banner. It was listing screenings in my area. I was not logged onto MSN, so this was done through IP targeting.

Looking through this page's HTML code, MSN referred to this banner as a SuperBanner. I would have to agree. The banner is actually a Flash Presentation. I was quite impressed with this implementation of Rich Media. The local flare really made it stand out to me and certainly facilitated my venture off to the Movies!

Welcome to Tandem Interactive's Blog

This Blog will chronicle developments in Search Engine Marketing. My main target areas will be: Local Search, PPC, Advanced Content Development, Pay-Per-Call, Analytics, Blogs, Podcasts, Video Optimization, Corporate Myspace and other Web 2.0 Accounts, Search Engine Marketing Training, and Web Press Release Optimization. One of the goals of Tandem is to stay on top of the latest techniques for online marketing. Therefore any new trendy tactic will also be examined for utilization by the trend makers and early adopters.