Archived Blog

The Fallacy of Search Engine Marketing Only

Allow me to offer a pre-emptive caveat – I own a successful search engine marketing company. Like most businesses, we are constantly trying to expand our client base – primarily through using the same search engine and internet marketing methods that we deliver to our clients. A quick search on terms such as “search engine […]

Investing in Pay Per Click Marketing or Search Engine Optimization – a Company Decision

As click costs rise, many companies who are already investing in active pay per click marketing campaigns are looking toward hiring a search engine optimization company to supplement their marketing portfolio in order to increase their exposure and reduce their advertising spend. In some cases, frustrated by click fraud and increasing click costs, marketers are […]

Chasing Leads: Offline Lead Tracking in SEM Campaigns, Pt. 1

Tracking the source of your leads is perhaps one of the single most important elements in your overall marketing campaign. It’s the method by which you’ll gauge budget, approach, revisions, and a host of other deciding factors. Whether your reps are instructed to inquire ‘how did you hear about us?’ or there are checkable boxes […]

Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search: What Should Your Philosophy Be?

As a search engine marketing company, we are often asked by clients and prospects if there’s a basic philosophy when it comes to organic search engine optimization and paid search advertising. “Is one tactic more favorable than another? How do I know which channel to pursue?  Should I do both?” Without a hard look at […]

Achieving internal buy-in, leveraging your existing assets, and understanding the unique challenges of outsourcing to a search engine optimization company

The powerful capabilities of organic search engine optimization (SEO) are now a highly sought after marketing tool by many companies that want to alert customers to their products or services by focusing on certain keyphrases that highlight these offerings. And though SEO has embarked on a meteoric rise in the past few years, other non-traditional […]

Why It’s Vitally Important to Trust Your Search Engine Marketing Company in a Down Economy

It’s a fact of life in business that when there’s an economic downturn, the first thing that’s usually cut is available marketing spend, typically an unfortunate byproduct of accounting’s inability to justify costs without hard data in place. While the argument has been made numerous times over the years in books and articles that cutting […]

Chasing Bing: The Truth behind the Hype

In recent weeks, we’ve noticed a surge in clients calling us to ask questions like “what’s up with Bing?” Or, “are you optimizing for Bing?” Even “are you taking advantage of Bing?” In other words, people want to know that their search engine optimization company is taking special steps to ensure adequate representation on the […]

Peeling Back the Onion: Metrics that Matter to a Good Search Engine Optimization Company

“I want to be number one on Google for (insert hyper-competitive keyphrase here).” It’s usually the first thing we hear in terms of search engine optimization – a company wants to be in that coveted top spot on Google, Yahoo!, Ask, and MSN. No matter the industry or specialty, when companies approach us with their […]

How Yahoo! Walked Away from $44.6 Billion

When we last left Yahoo!, Jerry Yang (CEO) and the rest of the board had just spurned Microsoft’s $44.6 billion takeover bid for the supposedly greener pastures of potential deals with AOL, News Corporation, and/or Google. The rejection of Microsoft’s bid also put the current board on a collision course with Carl Icahn in what […]

The Evolution of Online Advertising Technology – More Targeting, Less Privacy (Part Two)

Even with the cookie-type behavioral advertising technology, there was a way for users to prevent these ads from targeting them. They could set their machines not to accept any cookies at all by setting their browser security setting to high. This solved the privacy issue, although many websites would (intentionally or not) render improperly with […]

The Evolution of Online Advertising Technology – More Targeting, Less Privacy (Part One)

Please bear with me as I go through a brief history of basic online advertising. The evolution of targeted online advertising is interesting, because I believe the perceived harmlessness of early advertising technology and targeting tactics lulled many people into a sense of complacency or perhaps even false security. In the beginning of targeted online […]

A Compatible E-Commerce Solution for Your SEO Campaign

The most ambitious Internet retailers, hoping to emulate the style and online influence of and other recognized brands, tend to aim for sprawling electronic retail websites that may look pretty but accomplish little else. If all the push is towards what appears on the front end instead of a concerted effort in choosing a […]

Flash and SEO: Like Oil and Water

We often deal with clients that are planning to “revamp” their sites with Flash, with SEO having already generated tremendous gains in their sales. The thing that we most dread to hear is that they’ve hired an experienced “Flash designer” that will be taking their websites to the “next level.” Unfortunately, that “next level” is […]

Are You Ready to Outsource to a Search Engine Optimization Company?

So, you are the marketing manager of your firm, and you’ve finally decided to pull the trigger and hire the search engine optimization company that you’ve been talking to for months. The budget has been cleared, the SEO firm is ready to start, and it should be just a matter of time before you start […]

Targeting Niche Audiences – AOL’s New Branding Strategy

AOL, once considered a pioneer in Internet technology, has fallen on hard times over the years, unable to devise an effective branding strategy. A failed merger with Time-Warner, a non-focus on search while Google built an empire (the AOL search engine eventually began serving up Google results on its portal site), and declining dial-up business […]

Local Search Engine Optimization – Revisited

Roughly a year ago, local search engine optimization was all the rage – the new frontier in search engine marketing. For a while, it seemed that everyone was interested in the local search angle – even multi-national companies. However, for many companies selling products or services to the entire United States, or even globally, it […]

Using a Search Engine Optimization Company vs. Hiring an In-House Expert: The True Dollar Cost

It’s a common question that companies who are considering hiring a search engine optimization company often face – is this something that we can do in-house? More importantly, can we do this in-house and get the same results that an expert search engine optimization company would provide? As this article will demonstrate, clearly the answer […]

Sam’s Club Wants to Be Your Search Engine Optimization Company – Should You Let It?

If the buzz is to be believed, Sam’s Club is now a search engine optimization company that is targeting the local search market aggressively. The fact is, this isn’t something new; it’s just recently come to the forefront. Sam’s Club has partnered with a company called Innuity to offer a program that is primarily targeted […]

Behavior-Based Internet Advertising: Who Is Watching You?

Have you ever been surfing the web and come upon Internet advertising that provides a direct solution for something that you’ve been researching lately? Did you think that it might be related to your computer cookies, or did you chalk it up to serendipity? The fact is, it almost certainly wasn’t a coincidence. Behavior-based Internet […]

A Slippery Slope: Google Owns a Search Engine Optimization Company

If you own or work with a search engine optimization company, or even if you’re just hoping to better your search engine placement, then you are probably aware of the recent acquisition frenzy that took hold among the major search engines. Google paid $3.1 billion for DoubleClick, Microsoft paid $6 billion for Aquantive, and Yahoo […]

What Every Search Engine Marketing Company Should Know about Keyword Selection

There are many keyphrase tools out there, but any quality search engine marketing company should know that they are in no way replacements for true market research. When one is embarking on a campaign of marketing on the Internet, it is important that keyword selection represents an understanding of one’s audience. In this article, we’ll […]

Google’s Paid Search vs. Organic Results – A Rickety Wall of Separation

“Chinese Wall – The ethical (not physical) barrier between different divisions of a financial (or other) institution to avoid conflict of interest…” “While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results.” Google’s Webmaster Help Center FAQ “NO pay […]

Current and Future Search Trends: What the Top Internet Search Engines Are Doing

The future of search is unclear – what is clear is that change is rapidly happening for all of the top Internet search engines. Google as always is the frontrunner for many of these search trends, but even little guys like are making waves. In this article, I will attempt to cover some of […]

Current and Future Search Trends: What the Top Internet Search Engines Are Doing

The future of search is unclear – what is clear is that change is rapidly happening for all of the top Internet search engines. Google as always is the frontrunner for many of these search trends, but even little guys like are making waves. In this article, I will attempt to cover some of […]

Does Your Search Engine Marketing Company Understand Your Marketing Method?

So you have decided to hire a search engine marketing company as a part of your overall marketing method. The firm that you choose will have a tremendous impact on the success of your campaign, but you knew that already. However, what are your evaluation criteria? For too many companies, the answer is plain, simple, […]

Brand New Websites: A Search Engine Optimization Company Perspective

It’s an unfortunate fact – no matter how good your search engine optimization company or in-house talent is, brand new websites have a more difficult time achieving search engine success for competitive phrases than their older counterparts, particularly on Google. However, the worst thing that a new site owner can possibly do is presume that […]

All Search Engines Love Spiders: How Meta Commands Can Help You Love Them Too

Nearly all search engines utilize spiders (which are also known by their original name, robots) to go out and scour the web looking for web pages. These search engine spiders then bring the data back to be indexed by the engine. Since roughly 1996, individual meta commands have existed that can be used on individual […]

Creating a Website and the Eye of the (Web) Spider

If creating a website were a movie, here’s how it might go. Picture, if you will, a Rocky-style montage with a song playing – the Eye of the…Web Spider. A team is involved in creating a website from the ground up. A driving, inspirational song begins. The first scene is a highly contentious meeting, with […]

Google Personalized Search – All’s Well or Orwell?

Is Google personalized search something to be concerned about? You be the judge. Imagine this scenario: You go to Google and enter your search term. Big Brother, the totalitarian character from George Orwell’s novel 1984, watches with detached interest. You see, to Big Brother, you are only a number – but he’d like to know […]

Search Engine Optimization for Universal Internet Search – Back to Square One?

Universal Internet search is a new frontier that many of the search engines are exploring and that your search engine marketing company or internal SEO department is likely investigating. Organic search engine optimization, until recently, had been a fairly straightforward endeavor. The goal was to optimize the content on a website so that it would […]

The True Cost of an In-House SEO Campaign: Why an SEO Firm Can Increase Your ROI

When a company is considering embarking upon a search engine optimization campaign, the first discussion that normally is had is whether to take care of the campaign in house or to hire an outside SEO firm. Handling an SEO campaign in house is an attractive and popular option for many companies – after all, the […]

Your Internal Departments and Your Search Engine Marketing Company – A Play in Five Acts

Many companies are not aware of the different roles that various departments in their organization will fill when they begin to work with an outside search engine marketing company. What follows is a demonstration, in play form (bear with me), of which internal departments are involved in a typical SEO campaign and why. It also […]

Systematic Theft – One Search Engine Optimization Company’s “Nasty Surprise”

Let’s face it – any search engine optimization company knows that the industry has carried a collective black eye for many years. This is unfortunate, because there are many firms out there that do outstanding work and who must struggle for simple legitimacy simply because there are so many fly-by-night companies and snake oil salesmen […]

Understanding the True Value of a Resource Area for Your Website

Many websites currently offer a resource area for visitors – an area filled with articles covering relevant topics to the industry with which the site is connected. It may be created by a search engine marketing company or by the business itself, and it includes articles that may cover how to do something or define […]

Questions to Ask Your Potential Search Engine Marketing Company- Part 2

Last month, I went over questions that you should ask your potential search engine marketing company regarding its tactics. That set of questions is critical, as before moving forward with any of the myriad of search engine optimization companies out there, you should always determine whether or not they will put your site at risk […]

Questions to Ask Your Potential Search Engine Marketing Company- Part 3

The first part of this series was about questions to ask a potential search engine marketing company regarding the tactics that it will use to optimize your site. These questions are crucial because there are search engine optimization companies out there that will use techniques that can put your site at risk of penalization by […]

Questions to Ask Your Potential Search Engine Marketing Company

Search is a growing industry, and it seems that every day there is a new search engine marketing company in the game. However, the skills of many of these search engine optimization companies are questionable — staying on top of the knowledge curve can be daunting, and getting up to speed more daunting still. Moreover, […]

Natural Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click Advertising – Which Should You Choose?

When people hear about online marketing, they often think of two of the more popular methods that a company can use to enhance its visibility on the Web: natural search engine optimization and a pay-per-click program. In an ideal world, you would use both strategically to maximize your site’s profile. However, budgetary constraints often make […]

Don’t Sabotage Your Search Engine Marketing Company

The average search engine marketing company is in high demand, and with rising pay-per-click costs and growing exposure of SEO in the mainstream media, this is unlikely to soon subside. Unfortunately, many organizations that willingly embrace SEO as a marketing tool also unknowingly sabotage the efforts of the search engine marketing company they have chosen. […]

Your Search Engine Marketing Company–Protecting Your Time and Your Brand

A search engine marketing company can create a campaign to bring you new, targeted leads, and raise your company’s online profile, all while keeping in line with your branding design and strategy. However, you will find that in order to get quality results that last, significant changes will need to be made to your website, […]

Search Engine Marketing Services: Trends and Predictions

The search engine marketing industry is consistently evolving, sometimes at a pace that makes it hard to believe that search engine marketing services can stay on top of all the latest developments. The one constant for search engine optimization firms, and for the industry in general, is change–usually for the better, sometimes for the worse, […]

Your SEO Service, Ethical Search Engine Optimization, and Competitor Monitoring

When a company undertakes a search engine optimization program, whether it is performed in-house or outsourced to an SEO service, most of the attention (and rightly so) is focused on the company website. This is the one aspect where there is a feeling of control—once a website is released into the wild, the company will […]

B2B Marketing on the Internet – A Largely Untapped Marketing Tool

I’m in the business of search engine marketing, so it’s sometimes easy to forget that a majority of people don’t really know that the industry exists, how useful it is in B2B marketing on the Internet, and what a valuable Internet marketing tool SEO can be in general. However, the fact is that a disturbing […]

Leprechaun Repellent and Guaranteed Search Engine Optimization Companies – The Disturbing Link

When researching search engine optimization companies, it is tempting to choose any company willing to offer guaranteed SEO services. It is human nature – people love a guarantee. This holds especially true for purchases where the buyer is purchasing something outside of his or her area of comfort. When companies first consider pursuing search engine […]

Professional SEO in Your Business Marketing Strategy – Convincing Your Company

While professional SEO (search engine optimization) is becoming increasingly recognized as an extremely effective component of an overall business marketing strategy, the SEO industry itself is still very much in its infancy. Because SEO is a relatively new industry, many key decision makers are not even aware that professional SEO exists, or they simply believe […]

Working with a Professional SEO Firm: Is Ongoing Management Needed?

More and more companies are beginning to understand the importance of incorporating professional SEO, whether internally by a search engine optimization expert or from an outside firm, in their overall marketing efforts. It is typically harder for them to understand, however, why the discipline requires an ongoing effort for long-term success. Companies often fear that […]

A New Keyword Advertising Model and the ISEDN: an Interview with Mel Strocen of Jayde Online

The Independent Search Engine and Directory Network (ISEDN), founded in June 2005, is an alliance of approximately 48 niche search engines and directories. The innovative feature of the ISEDN is that members have agreed to use a new “hybrid paid inclusion” advertising model that charges advertisers a flat fee in exchange for displaying their ads […]

Professional SEO: Hand off to Bob or Outsource the Job?

We are often asked if professional SEO (search engine optimization) can be done effectively utilizing in-house talent. Despite our obvious self-interests on the subject, our answer is always a qualified “yes”– you can achieve professional SEO results using existing talent. However, for every company we have known that has met with great in-house SEO success, […]

Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy: Make Love, Not War

When it comes to search engine optimization strategy, there are basically two camps – those who view search engines as adversaries to be conquered at any cost and those who regard search engines as partners in their online marketing efforts. Long-time readers of my articles probably already have a good idea of which camp I […]

The Myth of Rankings – Beyond Search Engine Optimization

What follows is a condensed version of a conversation that happens all too frequently when I am approached by a prospect interested in search engine optimization (SEO): Prospect: We need our website optimized, because we aren’t showing up for any searches. Me: What searches have you tried? Prospect: We don’t show up for ANYTHING. Me: Why do you want […]

SEO: The True Cost of Doing It Wrong

There is much debate in the general public and in the search engine optimization community as to what amount companies should pay for search engine optimization expertise.* Prices are all over the board, and can be influenced by an SEO firm’s size, reputation (or lack thereof), resources invested in customer service, and many other factors. Moreover, […]

The Holistic Approach to Search Engine Marketing Services

Holistic: [adj] Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. Holistic Theory: [noun] The theory that the parts of any whole should be considered in relation to the whole, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Although the word “holistic” is often used to describe a […]

Interview with Building Your Business with Google For Dummies Author Brad Hill

Brad Hill has worked in the online field since 1992, and was a recognized authority on search engines long before two now-famous Stanford graduate students started tinkering with what would eventually become Google. His popular books, among them Google For Dummies, Yahoo! For Dummies, and Internet Searching For Dummies, share a knack for taking what […]

Natural Search Engine Results – The Great Equalizer

You scroll down past the banner ads and enter your search term. You pass the “sponsored search engine results” without a glance. You ignore the shaded results to the right, as well as the additional “sponsored results” at bottom. Hiding somewhere in the middle of it all, you finally find the search engine results for […]

Search Engine Keyphrases and the Power of the Modifier

Most search engine optimization experts agree that the keyphrase selection process is the single most important step in a search engine optimization campaign. However, clients frequently ask their search engine optimization company to target very general and competitive search engine keyphrases. While targeting such terms is usually not worth the effort, the addition of a […]

Interview with Wordtracker Founder Andy Mindel

Longtime readers of the Medium Blue newsletter know that we often make reference to Wordtracker, a powerful keyphrase evaluation tool that gives popularity figures for individual search terms based upon actual search engine activity. Since the keyphrase selection process is the most important step in any search engine optimization campaign, we recently interviewed Andy Mindel, Wordtracker’s […]

Are You Ready To Hire A Firm Offering Search Engine Marketing Services?

Search engine optimization is a growing industry, and increasing numbers of companies are becoming interested in hiring an outside firm offering search engine marketing services. Unfortunately, many of these companies become interested in search engine optimization for the wrong reasons, and many also have unrealistic expectations of what search engine optimization companies can offer. This […]

Addressing the Keyword Phrase

It is fairly common knowledge that the words that appear on web pages are one factor in the way that those pages are ranked in individual search engines. This means, of course, that a page that contains a keyword phrase one or more times has a better chance of ranking highly than a page that […]

Selecting a Search Engine Marketing Company

There are many factors to consider when selecting a search engine marketing company. Unfortunately, many businesses that haven’t previously used search engine optimization to promote themselves are unsure how to evaluate potential search engine optimization companies, and many are intimidated by the entire concept. The following article, divided into five major topics of consideration, is […]

Wading Through The Search Engine Myths

There is an abundance of search engine information available on the web- some of it valuable, much of it contradictory. Throughout the years some prevailing search engine myths have developed. Some of these myths are still encouraged by companies with a financial interest in their continued existence. Others are based upon techniques that were effective […]

Styling Your Copy for Search Engines AND Visitors

Since all of the major search engines use the words that appear on web pages as an important factor in their ranking algorithms, it is important to make sure that you let the search engines know exactly what your pages are about. However, it is just as important that you do so in a way […]

Monitoring Your Search Engine Positions – Five Tips

Increasing numbers of companies are recognizing the importance of high search engine positions as part of their overall marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many do not recognize that search engine marketing is an ongoing process, rather than a one-time “quick fix”. Protecting high search engine positions, once attained, is critical to the ongoing success of any search […]

Are Your Search Engine Positions At Risk?

Ever since there have been search engines, there have been techniques that unscrupulous webmasters and shady search engine optimization firms have used to artificially boost their search engine positions. As search engines caught on to these techniques, they devised ways to detect them without having someone physically look at each site (a practical impossibility, considering […]