Unoptimizing Thunderhead Mountain to Rank for "Crazy Horse"*

Unoptimizing Thunderhead Mountain to Rank for "Crazy Horse"

It’s often said that you should simply “write great content for your users” in order to do well from an SEO perspective.  I think it should be more correctly stated as:  “Write great content about a topic that your users care about and which few have done a good job addressing”.  There are many aspects of this definition that will be interesting to explore, but what we’re going to address in this article is how to write content “about a topic”.  I would argue that the most important step in content optimization is a final “unoptimization” step you should always perform before finalizing any document –  to ensure you’ve successfully made the document be *about* the topic you’re targeting. Full article»

Ronald Reagan Visiting The Set of Star Trek: TNG. Your Argument is Invalid!

Ronald Reagan Visiting The Set of Star Trek: TNG. Your Argument is Invalid!

This is a bit of a rant.  There are a variety of annoyances I’ve been encountering with Google’s Advertising and Analytics products, and I thought I’d collect them here.  It’s written as a sort of a letter to the Google product teams (addressing them as “you” and so on).

Not to say they are not doing a great job on a lot of fronts!  I love the attribution features in Google Analytics…the mobile support AdWords added last year (although problematic) may, admittedly, have been the only realistic way to support mobile devices in a reasonable way; they really do have a lot going on.

Here are some very low-hanging fruit for improvement though Full article»

Thinking about Outreach

“I Link…Therefore…”

Commenting in a thoughtful manner can be a great way to engage with your audience and peers, build links, and even garner click-through traffic.  I’m *not* talking here about spamming WordPress blogs with thousands of auto-generated comments using automated tools.  “Thoughtful” commenting, as I call it, adds value to the conversation, and makes the internet a better place, not a worse one.  This article will detail best practices for what can be perfectly legitimate marketing practice, done properly and with the right intentions. Full article»

Provisioning a Server in Days of Yore

Provisioning a Server in The Good Old Days

SEO Tools, particularly website audit ones like Xenu Link Sleuth or PowerMapper SortSite, can sometimes take a long time to run when examining particularly large websites.  Occasionally you may even need to reboot your machine for some other reason, which then ruins some particular run of these tools, forcing you to start over.

I recently got frustrated with this (and my laptop hitting near-Fahrenheit-451*-levels when doing site audits) and began looking for cheap solutions for running Windows software remotely.

*R.I.P. Ray Bradbury!

Why Cheap “VPS” Services Seem Like a *Really* Bad Idea
My understanding of most VPS (virtual private server) services is, they aren’t necessarily virtual private servers in actuality – most are merely an *account* on a virtual private server, Full article»

No Links to Poor Richard's Almanac?   Major Fail, Mr. Franklin!

No Links to Poor Richard's Almanac? Major Fail, Mr. Franklin!

There are many ways to go about getting links;  the different methods vary widely.  I recently helped some clients with their linking strategies, and when I did, I researched a wide range of approaches from the perspective of a number of characteristics.

This article presents a massive comparison chart that may even make you reconsider certain link building practices you might already be pursuing. Let’s get a few points straight first though. Full article»

A few years ago, I included a contributed piece on how Tumblr was becoming an absolute monster in the marketplace.  Since then, Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo and has grown even bigger since.  This contributed piece by Amy Williams is a great overview of how businesses can take advantage of Tumblr; also in the near future I will detail how she contacted me and convinced me to accept this piece – it makes a great case study of link-building done right. – Ted Full article»

Optimization of Design Can Lead to *Big* Wins

Optimization of Design Led to a BIG Win

If you want to “Bring Back the SEO Cup”, you would do well to emulate the folks who designed and built the “Stars and Stripes” yacht back in 1986 and ensure that your website has a highly optimized design.

There are a number of SEO design principles for website architecture that have been extensively written on in the industry, including “Mapping Keywords to Content”, “Siloing”,  “Keeping Your Website Shallow”, “PageRank Sculpting”, and “Internal Anchor Text Sculpting”.  These principles are important because although you may not be able to control how much the outside world links to you, how your website is organized is completely under your own control, so you should take full advantage of your options in designing it.

This article will walk through the theoretical basis of each, so you can understand not only how to apply these principles, but *why* you should.

*Shout-out to my father, Dave Ives, who wrote an early Fast Fourier
Transform computer program that ended up being
used to help optimize
the hydrodynamic design of the Stars and Stripes ’87 – great work Dad!

Full article»



Of the major disciplines in SEO, architecture is perhaps the most important of all.  This is because if you don’t take into account Google crawling behavior and Google can’t properly spider your website and discover your content, then it won’t matter if it’s the right content, whether it’s optimized, or whether you have obtained any links to it.   It may as well not exist if Google can’t discover it.

You’re probably familiar with Google’s spider program, Googlebot, but there are many other ways that Google visits your website.  This posting will attempt to pull them all together, and raises some open questions about Google crawling behavior for the community because some aspects of Google’s numerous spiders are still relatively mysterious. Full article»

These Tools Are The Greatest Invention Since This Thing

These Tools Are The Greatest Invention Since This Thing

Search Engine Tools are a dime a dozen, but most only do a very tiny micro-task; substantially useful tools are few and far between.  Here are my personal favorite free search optimization tools for SEO; some may be familiar but hopefully there’s a few surprises in here for you Full article»

We Burned a British Ship *Before* the Tea Party, and refused to Sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights Was Added

We Burned a British Ship *Before* the Boston Tea Party, and Refused to Sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was Added

For an SEO consultant in Rhode Island (just as for any business), it’s important to leverage all possible marketing channels to reach potential clients.  Word of mouth and references from website design firms and various website and internet solution providers can be key.  With this in mind, I recently met with a local RI marketer who may be able to help me with some SEO consulting references, and in the process, I might be able to help him with his clients in RI search optimize their websites.  He mentioned he has been doing a lot of on-page optimization for his firm’s marketing services, and even with little to no link building, they are ranking well and getting some good leads.

This prompted me to take a look at whether I rank for any terms people local to me care about, and I don’t.  In fact, I have to confess that, while one might think I must be doing all kinds of crazy things to optimize this blog Full article»