Vacation

Vacation

Here’s my current state of mind: I haven’t taken a “real” break in a number of months (where I completely unplugged), so that’s what I’m doing right now at the Mountain Film Festival in Colorado. I’m mostly offline from Thursday afternoon to Wednesday. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve hit a bit of writer’s […]

Entity Search is Here. What Does It Mean?

Entity Search is Here. What Does It Mean?

Today Google announced that they have rolled out the “Knowledge Graph”, which Matt Cutts explains thusly:

Google has been talking about entity search for a while, and a lot of talk has happened in the past few months, starting with this story on Mashable (of all places) and an interview with Amit Singhal of Google. In that interview, Amit said:

It’s a challenging task, but the work has already begun. Google is “building a huge, in-house understanding of what an entity is and a repository of what entities are in the world and what should you know about those entities,” said Singhal.”

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Tools for Creating Editorial Calendars

Tools for Creating Editorial Calendars

We’re all realizing the value of content and content marketing when it comes to SEO and earning rankings, especially with all the algorithm updates from the past year and the recent Penguin update as well. Content is more important than ever, and even the most skeptical are coming around to see that the time for content marketing is now.

All of that is well and good, but it does us no good if we don’t know how to create an editorial calendar for content creation. So let’s examine some tools that can help us do that. Just like a lot of processes that we think “Man, I wish I had a tool for that”, sometimes you need to try a few to figure out which one works best for you. These should get you started. Read more about Tools for Creating Editorial Calendars

SEO Presentation from General Assembly

SEO Presentation from General Assembly

On Sunday I taught a class at General Assembly, a startup incubator, to a group of Chinese entrepreneurs from the 2012 ECSEL Fellows Program. Basically, they are all entrepreneurs who are running companies that have been dubbed as important to the Chinese future and are pushing forward in their respective industries to make change. Some […]

The Importance of Data Perspective

The Importance of Data Perspective

Online marketers have been realizing more and more the value of having a lot of data and making educated decisions for your site and your business based off of that data. Data can tell many tales and point the direction in which a site, and even more importantly a whole industry or vertical, is heading. This can help us avoid upcoming algorithm changes, or make adjustments based on our competitor’s moves so that we can continue to stay on top.

We must be careful, though, to be sure that we looking at full enough of a dataset, with long enough of a view, to make correct decisions. Otherwise, it is quite easy to misinterpret what is actually going on and thus make unwise decisions.

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Competitor Link Prospecting in Microsoft Excel

Competitor Link Prospecting in Microsoft Excel

You all know I’m a big fan of Microsoft Excel, and I love building Excel templates that help you do your work better. You’re in luck, because today I’m releasing to you an Excel template that I love.

I call this one the Competitor Backlink Prospector. Now, SEOmoz has the Labs Competitive Link Finder, but this tool has never quite worked the way I’ve wanted it to. So, I took it upon myself (inspired by my old coworker Ethan Lyon, who is now at SEER) to create this spreadsheet. Read more about Competitor Link Prospecting in Microsoft Excel

Content Marketing Webinar Video

Content Marketing Webinar Video

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing a webinar entitled “A Guide to Content Marketing” alongside Greg from Zemanta. During the hour-long session, we sought to give tips and tricks about content marketing for everyone from a small business operator to professional SEOs listening in as well.

My favorite tip, one that I use frequently, is the value of having a place where you can store ideas as soon as they arrive. Often, ideas that go into your idea-holder will not see the light of day, but some are good enough to be expounded upon further and then written to the point of publishing.

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Free SEO Quick Wins and Links. Recommend Sites!

Free SEO Quick Wins and Links. Recommend Sites!

Help me help you

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post called “If I did SEO for @everywhereist, I would…“, wherein I gave Geraldine Deruiter, Rand’s wife, advice for her travel blog about some things she could do to her site to improve her SEO.

Through this, she asked me to do a bit of work. I implemented all of the recommendations that I made for her, and through this we saw this traffic increase:


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Eight Useful Excel Functions for SEO

Eight Useful Excel Functions for SEO

It’s probably not a secret anymore that I love Microsoft Excel for data crunching. Nothing makes me happier than getting a whole mess of data and making sense of it. While I’m definitely not an Excel ninja on the level of Mike Pantoliano, I’ve learned a number of tricks in the past couple of years to help out a lot with my work. Whether it’s keyword research, building a sitemap, or cleaning up URLs and finding duplicates in rows, here are eight of my favorite Excel functions that make my life easier every day.

For all of these, the data is in cell A1, unless otherwise noted.

Stick these in your list of functions!
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My SEO 101 Presentation from Faith+Tech

My SEO 101 Presentation from Faith+Tech

On Monday, February 13th, I presented at a meetup called NYC Faith+Tech, which was founded by my friends from Faithstreet. They asked me to present on SEO 101, to help people know what SEO is and what they can do on their site to make it friendly to search engines. I took at 10,000 foot […]

Considerations for Facets and Filters in eCommerce

Considerations for Facets and Filters in eCommerce

On simple blogs or websites, navigation is usually quite straight-forward. You organize your site into categories, or funnels, of information or articles. You link to your most important pages and try to minimize duplicate content.

When you have a large ecommerce, travel, or other large site, however, sometimes this is not enough. If you have millions of pages, and want as many as possible to be indexed and ranking well, you simply cannot, nor would you want to, link to every page. Imagine this scenario where the only difference is color –

  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-red-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-blue-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-yellow-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-pink-polos

Let’s be honest. It’s going to be impossible to make all of these pages unique and ranking-worthy.

Or to use a skiing example, where the only difference is length – Read more about Considerations for Facets and Filters in eCommerce

You Need an Online Marketing Strategy

You Need an Online Marketing Strategy

In November I went to a meetup that was put together by a couple of friends of mine who are doing a startup that I think has some real potential. The title of the meetup was “Establishing Your Online Presence”. What struck me, though, was that not many people understand how to launch their online presence. The two people who spoke, who are both wonderful people who are doing cool things with technology, were both struggling to figure out how to get people to use their (I think) extremely helpful offerings.

If you are in the same boat, allow me offer you some things to think about that might benefit you.

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Rapportive – The New Linkbuilding Tool

Rapportive – The New Linkbuilding Tool

I recently discovered the new tool Rapportive. This tool has revolutionized my life, and I am not even doing any hardcore linkbuilding at the moment.

Why is Rapportive so great? Let me show you.

Contacts Directly in Email

Rapportive is an add-on to Gmail that shows you the information about people that you are emailing. Let’s see what happens when I go to email Rand: Read more about Rapportive – The New Linkbuilding Tool