John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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January 30th, 2007 by john andrews

SEO Is Easy: Half-Baked Marketing Crap Part II

Why do we blog? No, not because of Google. try again. Why did we start blogging?

Ahhh… there ya go. We started blogging because we were writing about what we were doing. Because placing our stuff into context was satisfying for us. Telling the other side of the story was therapeutic. It was the rest of the story that nobody knew. It served a purpose. I don’t see many blogs like that any more. So what happened?

The biggest barrier to creativity is…… Google?

A little while ago, if I asked a New York City dentist to describe what should be on his New York City Dentist website, he would have told me all the reasons he is a better choice as a dentist that the other guy down the street. Credential. Education. Years of experience. Today when I ask that, I get all this half-baked Internet marketing crap. From a dentist no less. Sometimes I get an interpretation of half-baked marketing crap. Vast detailed descriptions of dental procedures like molar extraction, peppered with local place names… almost as if he wanted a website about Park Avenue prosthedontics and Gramercy Park Root Canal.

In the eyes of the search engine, that’s a Dental medicine site.  Or a Dental directory. Or Dental marketing, even. But that’s not dentistry!

 

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January 30th, 2007 by john andrews

SEO Is Easy: So You Say You’re A Wedding Planner… where are Your Weddings?

You say you’re a wedding planner, and your site talks all around weddings. But where are your weddings?

You say you’re a musician, and your site talks all around your music, but where are your songs?

You say you’re a vaccuum cleaner salesperson, and you talk all about Hoovering, but where are your Hoovers?

You say you’re a New York City Dentist, and you sure seem to know a lot about molars, but where is your dentistry?

The “LSI spam” is worse than the link spam these days, and sadly, missing the mark. I’m blaming the ebooks…because there must be some source of this mis-information. A top-ranking service provider in a major US city, with only 3 backlinks (one from a whois service)? Yup. I’ll give you a clue: you’ll never be the first person in a new place if you only follow.

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January 26th, 2007 by john andrews

Why I Love PPC “Arbitragers”

I love AdWords/AdSense arbitrage. It’s the greatest thing to happen to SEO since Florida.

Everyone knows from experience that PPC basically stinks as a traffic source. Sure it can be good traffic, but when it is it suddenly becomes expensive traffic. And when it isn’t, it very slowly becomes inexpensive traffic, and most likely expensive again when the landing page quality idiot says you need to pay more to play. I don’t know a single person who is willing to say PPC is a good deal. Not one.

Now organic traffic, like the kind that comes from a good SEO initiative, is excellent traffic. It’s “free” of middlemen, and when it ceases to be valuable, it is adjustable. There is no quality idiot stepping in and saying “your referrals are good, but your site isn’t good enough so now pay more”. If it doesn’t convert for me, I recycle it as exit traffic for someone else to take a shot at. The waste lies with Google. At least so far.

So why is PPC arbitrage good? Because it is THE high-profile, rags-to-riches dream story that everyone wants to believe. The arbitrage guys flash the bling bling and show the big checks and all the common dreamers hear is “PPC…riches….success…PPC”. Adwords and AdSense and profits….profits…profits. They don’t connect the two. The think AdSense…profits. AdWords…profits.

Every time I hear another big shot bragging about the riches he made in PPC I smile. That’s another few hundred webmasters who will start paying Google for traffic, stop competing in the natural SERPs, and forget about me. And on top of that, if enough webmasters confuse arbitrage with profitable PPC advertising, Google will remain flush with cash and not think about throttling the organic traffic stream it is forced to send my way for free, so it can continue to claim to be a search engine, and take all that PPC money from everybody else.

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John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John

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