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?  Competitive Web & SEO
December 30th, 2007 by john andrews


By my casual observance is getting hyped is SEO/SEM world this quarter. I would never suggest they were “paying” for coverage, as that is against the Google guidelines (ahem) but it sure does look like someone is orchestrating a campaign. I remember whan Markus was citing them back in the day, and I got curious, so I took a look at what Compete says about this blog.

Firs thing I notice is wow… something happened in July 07 that drastically increased my traffic! I have no idea what it was, but according to compete I went from sub-1,000 visitors to > 35,000 visitors in a month’s time (and stayed there).

I suppose it was my stellar presentation at Domain Roundtable? No, that was August. Maybe it was my impromptu atendance of SMX Seattle in June, where I didn’t speak, quietly haggled with the show director over being denied a lunch pass (twice), and stood in the back of the now famous “Gray Wolf bashed Matt Cutts” session next to Natasha Robinson, whom I didn’t know at the time? I had no idea that sort of behavior would increase my site traffic 35 fold, but I definitely plan on doing it again first chance I get.

I also notice Compete says this has been a bad month for me. I’m going down… seriously. 32.8% off for the month already. Ouch. I suppose I had better start posting more Christina Dolce Nude posts.

But looking further, I see a reason why even I (sans payment) might hype Look at this “ranking” graph. It shows “the top one million websites in the U.S. based on the number of People the domain attracts each month” accordng to’s methods:

Now THAT’s impressive. Netcraft is tracking over 150 million web sites right now, and my little blog is in the top 68,000 of *all* websites on the Internet. Geesh. The pen is mightier. I should raise my advertising rates, for sure.

Too bad Alexa doesn’t show the same behavior. Neither do my traffic logs. But I’l take the data if you don’t mind.

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December 30th, 2007 by john andrews

Why This Blog is a Failure

Every once in a while some blogger in my space will hint that I don’t know how to manage this blog. It’s usually subtle… a reference about how one of my posts might have had a big impact if I had just…. or how posts should be short with pictures, not long and wordy like mine…. or how “teaching sells” and negativity hurts in the long run……Sometimes I get mentioned as an example of how not to be successful.

Funny. These people don’t know my goals, and yet they seem comfortable suggesting I am not meeting them. Know what’s even funnier? Sometimes my goal is to target those exact people, to get them to read my words. Hah. Take that to the bank, if you CAN (snicker snicker).

But I do concede that I will NEVER be any good at link baiting in the SEO world. I will also argue that this blog is not a qualified example of an attempt, because even with thousands more back links and more broad English-language appeal than the local restaurant currently ranking #1 for John Andrews, Google won’t rank this blog #1 for John Andrews. But, even if Google wasn’t messing around with the natural order of the search results, I would be miserable at link baiting in the information providing space. The reason? Well, it isn’t truly because I don’t like to give away SEO secrets. I would do that for rank. It is because I am simply not good at pretending to be dumb. I can’t, for example, proclaim with a straight face that it is not dangerous to give away code. Hell I can’t even link to it with a straight face. It would be so phony, even I couldn’t stomach it on my blog.

A post like that… one making an absurd statement and backing it with circuitous logic is great link bait. You get the people who like you to comment “great post” and link to it saying “Abhijit makes a great case for giving away your code”. You get people like Matt of WordPress Fame to link to you, because it shows others that there is an argument being made for giving away code (even if Matt holds back any endorsement so he can flip either way on the issue later, you got the link!). You even get contrarians like me linking to you because your link bait is so… unbelievable. Done well, the argument that giving away code is not dangerous can be so evasive the sheer illogic of it can cause others to comment about that fact alone (and link to it). Check out Mark Jackson’s response to the trolling :

Wow! I am amazed that no one here sees the faulty premise of this analogy. Only two people seem to understand how ridiculous this analogy is; and one is an artist.

Hey Mark, careful about that prejudice against artists! We need those gems in our otherwise monochrome world. I can’t imagine a world of just engineers, Engineers, and…. insurance people. Yuch.

Anyway I could never pull it off, and so no links for me!

***Update: IncrediBill submitted this to marketing site Sphinn so if you like it, consider adding a vote (Sphinn) to move it to the front page and increase it’s exposure. It has 19 votes and needs 25 or so to get promoted.

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December 30th, 2007 by john andrews

WordPress: That Took 14 Months

In November of 2006 I noted how much fun it might be to read “draft” WordPress blog posts of competitors. Forteen months later, we read this and this and this. Good thing I deleted my Lupins post.

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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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