How Should You Vet A Referral?

I was recently approached by someone who immediately had that demanding vibe that so heavily annoys me and makes me get more frown lines, and that encounter has caused me to rethink how I vet a client, both for my own business and to send out as a referral. You see, I feel like I am wasting someone’s time if I know I have no room to take them on, so I immediately tell them that and try to help them find someone who can help them. Usually it goes well and people are thankful that they don’t have to go trawling for someone with half a brain but sometimes it blows up in my face.

There was the guy (a lawyer, naturally) who flipped out on me when I said I had no room but that a friend of mine was very good at working in that niche so I’d be happy to make an introduction. He told me what he was looking for in the initial email so to me, that was enough info that I felt like I could just pass it on if he wanted. I did ask his permission, of course, but still he started insulting me for not spending more of my unpaid time in order to better suss out his exact business requirements. He called me unprofessional and it’s not like I was using smiley faces in my email signature so really, that bastard offended me quite a bit. 🙂

There have been the people who have followed up on my referrals but found them lacking and then emailed me to complain that I hadn’t given them enough info, or enough names, or basically done enough to help them find someone to help them. X company that I referred them to didn’t respond to their email and it had been at least 4 hours so damn it Julie, get on the ball and find someone who is faster at answering emails. Is that my job? No.

clocky clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t charge a referral fee to the SEOs that I send business to, and I’ve never had a referral where the referring SEO asked for one. I’m very, very lucky in that, so I feel like if I do know some good qualified people who have room for some new work, it’s just the right thing to do.

What exactly do people expect in terms of being helped to hook up with the right people though?

I will say that if someone is nice and appreciative, I will go above and beyond for him. I will personally ask around and see who does have room and I’ll follow up to make sure things are being taken care of, but still, that is unpaid time for me that takes away from everything else. It’s my choice to do it of course but lately it’s been more common for people to almost demand it, to expect it. Can you imagine calling a dentist who said sorry but we don’t have an appointment that day and you’d say well damn you, you silly cow, give me the names of 5 other dentists who DO have an opening for that day?

Take my latest encounter with a company who not only demanded that I immediately hop on a phone call in the middle of a weekend afternoon which would have severely impacted my time spent on the couch watching Luther on my iPad, but who then proceeded to ask me the kinds of questions that I answer in an extensive SEO audit, and who then proceeded to get extremely uppity and rude when I said I simply do not have the time to do this unless you want to pay me for my time. I recently had asked the Julia Sugarbaker of SEO, Debra Mastaler, how to handle situations like this as Debra has 1000 times the business sense that I do, and she told me to just give out a fair figure and say if you want me to dig in, this is what it’s going to cost you. Digging in, whether it’s to find the cause of a problem on the site or simply to figure out who might be able to help, all costs time and money. Right after this conversation, I decided to try it out, thinking that the person would bail but lo and behold she didn’t. She paid me to dig in and spend some time trying to help her figure out what to do. She didn’t expect me to take a couple of hours of my time and do it for free.

Deb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why do people keep thinking that we should be happy to work for nothing like this? Maybe because some of us keep doing it.

I can’t be the guy below if this keeps on.

no money man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And how much of your time should you spend vetting and helping a person that you can’t take on as a client? As I’ve said, some people are incredibly nice and gracious but some are 100% users. I’ve had someone try to get me to write up a presentation for him to present as his own in order to get a job and when I said no, he got very nasty. I’ve had someone try to get me to look at how they build links and tell them exactly what I would do differently. I’ve had several people try and get me to diagnose their problems and tell them how to fix everything, and all of this was expected for free, with none of these people being my clients or even prospects. I certainly don’t want to send worthless and time-wasting referrals to anyone and I have, sadly, and that’s something that really pisses me off because I feel like it’s rude on my part. Some people really are just absolute users though, and unless I spend my own time figuring that out, how am I to know?

So what do you do to vet someone that will only be a referral to someone else?

Guardians of the Galaxy Preview – Is Gamora An Homage to SEO Chicks?

Green for Gamora – green for SEO Chicks. I see a direct correlation to the ass-kicking female lead from Guardians of the Galaxy and all the SEO Chicks rolled into one. There’s the brains, the sass, the dexterity, the resourcefulness, the do and the green. It wasn’t clear from the clip if she would be able to increase the visibility of a site online however I get the sense she’d be able to do it by sheer force of will. Much like Lisa 😉

Gamora was still green after she was sprayed with orange goop on being taken to jail withoug the garish yellowing you might expect. Stylin’ the SEO Chicks look to the end. She’s part of a band which *seems* to be led by a raccoon. On her own she is feared and known far and wide – much like Lisa and Julie you might think. She’s pretty kick ass, killing guards and I think ripping one apart to get a device she was after. They didn’t show the gory parts in the 17min I saw.

But the 17 minutes did provide some other nuggets – Gamora is strong and independent and when it is suggested she use sex to achieve an end, she doesn’t just refuse – she gives the kind of withering look I imagine Julie could give anyone who crosses her 😉 Our SEO Chick in the flesh so to speak is the best traits of each of the SEO Chicks rolled into a killer on a galactic scale.

Is this movie awesome? Well, the 17min I saw in 3D demonstrated that 3D could be used to great effect to enhance a movie rather than be a gimmick. The clip of the prison scene was engaging and interesting and left me with a positive feeling towards seeing the full movie.

Will Guardians of the Galaxy teach you a new approach to SEO – possibly. The idea that a criminal can also be moral I am sure will strike a chord with some SEOs (but none of the SEO Chicks of course). That something you did for one reason can take on a life of its own and come to be something else is absolutely relevant. That someone who seems to be bad can actually be good will also have meaning.

Will you enjoy this film? Absolutely. Is this a bit silly? Sure but it is a bit of a break from me talking about SEO… sort of!

SES London 2014 – Day 1 Takeaway: 52 Stats, tips and quotes from #seslon

 

I’mma keep this to the point…

Keynote – Bruce Daisley of Twitter: Running In Real Time: Bringing Campaigns to Life by Marketing in the Moment

  • Superbowl 2013 – 25 million tweets yet Oreo managed to be timely, current and humorous and stand out with “you can still dunk in the dark”.
  • 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile – 70% of which at home
  • 25% audience purchased via twitter,
  • 50% use twitter to give them latest news, personalised news
  • 15.2 million tweets on the #grammys hashtag
  • •#pharrellsHat was a talking point
  • Mobile click stream analysis – 94% of twitter users shop on mobiles,
  • 56% of twitter users are influenced in what they purchase by what they see on twitter
  • •37% visit twitter before and or after shopping on their mobile
  • 1 in 3 say that twitter has a direct influence on their purchase decision

Session 1 – Building B2B: Judith Lewis and Krista LaRiviere

First Speaker – Judith of Decabit Consulting

  • High sharers convince low sharers to buy your product
  • 43% of people in the UK are prompted to purchase after online interation
  • If using multiple accounts, keep a uniform look to retain company image and to be recognisable as a single entity
  • Free your teams with a centrally governed set of rules, empower them with structure

Krista, CEO of gShift labs

  • 58 million tweets per day
  • 18 minutes is how long a tweet lasts (average lifecycle)
  • Content industry is $44BN dollar yet people are producing a lot of crap on this basis
  • Smarter content is based on data

Session 1 – Big Data Uncovered: Dixon Jones and James Murray

First speaker is Dixon Jones of Majestic SEO

  • According to Twitter on an average day approx. 500,000,000 tweets per day.
  • Compare that to Majestic who crawl 2,000,000,000 pages a day, but see 7,700,000,000 a day
  • Storage, CPU and bandwidth (transporting the data) are the scaling problems
  • “Only collect what you need and crunch it quickly.”
  • Average page size 320 KB = 600 terabytes of data
  • Approximates to 600,000 hours of video
  • Hadoop – becoming opensource option of choice. Used with R and MongoDB – good tools of choice for data crunching in cloud.

James Murray – Experian

  • If you were to put each individual data point Experian have, into an Excel you would be able to cover Paris
  • 2 exabytes of data created online every day
  • Customer behaviour is changing due to connected life, user sophistication and mobile tech
  • 11% of consumers are using a tablet as their main device…. Er hello retail websites???
  • 8,300 social networks and forums
  • Your customer only sees the brand. They are channel agnostic. Splitting teams by expertise creates inherent disconnect

Session 2 – Content Strategy

See here for a detailed write-up

Session 3 – Influence the Influencers – Lee Odden

Main speaker – Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing

  •  64% increase in content marketing budgets in the uk
  • Consumer publishing extends over 240 million blogs
  • 34% increase each year in companies blogging (though eveyrone is doing the same stuff, to get “more hooks in the water”)
  • 94% UK marketing function use content marketing
  • 39% highly effective use – 72% (B2B) 45% (B2C) are investing more
  • Influence is not having 50-1000 twitter friends

There are four types of content classifications according to Odden:

  • Evergreen (timeless, always relevant)
  • Curated (take whats current and input it in a newsletter > monthly eshot)
  • Repurposed: making ebooks of above
  • Co created = participation marketing, find common goals, go to your own community

 

Lisa Myers and Cheri Percy
Lisa Myers of Verve Search and Cheri Percy of Distilled

Session 4 – Unlocking the Secrets of Mobile Video, Cheri Percy and Jon Mowat

First speaker is Cheri Percy of Distilled

  • “in design, there are no more ‘hero sizes” – Mashable CTO. E.g. design is platform agnostic
  • By 2017 85% of the world wil have 4G devices
  • 51% of 2013 web traffic came from a mobile device (Cisco)
  • Do not neglect YouTube analytics
  • No. shares x total engaged views/1000 gives a manageable engagement score
  • Vine – explore tab for loads of trending topics
  • Share your first post on Vine with hashtag #firstpost (community convention)

Jon Mowat of Hurricane Media

  • Stories are told in narrative beats
  • Start with “the deal” and reach a “conclusion”
  • 62% of 18-32 YO prefer to check their phone in any “downtime” (as opposed to sit and think)
  • 37% say they check their phone if there’s a lull in conversation
  • Campaign need emotional and logical beats (but be careful when using together)
  • YouTube is a destination not a stopover. Only 1% click-thru to site from YT!
  • Don’t be afraid of the Pro channel and keep your brand films up to date inc. deleting old films

 

Enter Your Awesomeness for the European Search Awards

European Search AwardsOh yeah – The search is on for Europe’s top search and digital talent, as the European Search Awards 2014 is OPEN for entries! You know you want to get your shizzle on and show off how absolutely amazeballs AWESOME you are, don’tcha? DONTCHA???

Now in its third year, the European Search Awards attracts hundreds of entries from the leading search and digital agencies and professionals throughout Europe. Categories include Best Use of Search, Best Pan-European Campaign, Best Mobile Campaign and Best Agency. Trust me – HUNDREDS and we have to read ALL OF THEM so get creative and make sure you cover off the IMPORTANT points people! The awards, which are organised by Greater Manchester based events agency Don’t Panic, are open to companies based worldwide who are delivering work in Europe.

So come on – IMPRESS ME! Yep, that’s right, in addition to judging every UK Search Awards so far, I’m on to my second European Search Awards judging panel and I’m looking to get all judgmental and reward awesomeness!

The deadline for entries is 17 January 2014(ish), and the shortlists will be published on 14 February. But you know, it isn’t just me who is getting involved in this awesomeness… there are a HUGE number of other judges. So many that here is just a smattering of the judging panel which includes:

•       Jose Truchado, Director of SEO, Expedia
•       Judith Lewis (ME of course), Founder, deCabbit Consultancy
•       Danny Goodwin, Associate Editor of Search Engine Watch
•       Gianluca Fiorelli, Founder of LoveSEO
•       Kaspar Szymanski, SEO Consultant
•       Bas van den Beld, Founder, State of Digital
•       Bastian Grimm, Managing Partner, Grimm Digital
•       Fernando Maciá Domene, CEO, Human Level Communications

BOOYA! The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Friday 28 March 2014 after the brilliant and amazing RIMC conference (which you’ve already bought your tickets for, right?)

Don’t Panic launched the UK Search Awards in 2011 and the European Search Awards in 2012 and the inaugural US Search Awards took place in Las Vegas in 2013. Ya, the US is well behind the rest of the world 😉 JK!

And now for a word from our sponsors…
The European Search Awards are delivered in partnership with headline sponsor Manual link Building and in association with Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference(RIMC) and SEMPO.  The PR is handled by PR Agency One.

For more information about the European Search Awards, please visit www.europeansearchawards.com

Technical SEO Best-Practise: Slides from The Digital Marketing Show

Last week myself and my UK-based fellow SEO Chicks spoke at the Digital Marketing Show at Londons’ Excel. Our panel discussion was on Technical SEO, with each of us leading a few slides on one main topic; detailing the best-practise concerns and of course, the most common mistakes.

Here are the slides from the day and our twitter handles precede each section so feel free to tweet us if you have any technical questions.

Click-to-call Syntax and a Weird 404 Issue

For many of us working in technical SEO for an agency, the first stage of any new client win is to perform a site audit. Whilst many agencies will have their own procedures most experienced professionals will start with crawl-related checks and research. If a site (and pages therein) can’t be crawled, then they won’t appear in any search engine index and if there’s nothing indexed, then there’s nothing to optimise. (So let’s all go home and play CoD.)

As part of the checks and diagnostic procedures we make sure to cover at theMediaFlow, we have a look at any reported crawl errors in Google or Bing Webmaster Tools. I want to share with you a recent example of some unusual errors found as part of such a process; what caused these errors and how to fix them.

URLs with Company Phone Number Appearing as 404

In this part of the process I was looking to identify how many types of 404 errors were in play, (rather than instances of 404 error) and noticed that many of the thousands of total reported 404 errors followed a particular format. To refresh our memories Google Webmaster Tools reports the URL path, post domain…

Sample of 404 errors from Google Webmaster Tools

 

 

 

For the example site in question many of the errors appeared as follows:

——

0800%20111%201111

normal-directory/0800%20111%201111

nothing-to-see-here/normal-directory/0800%20111%201111

honestly-Im-okay/nothing-to-see-here/normal-directory/0800%20111%201111

——

The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that there’s a common theme and that:

a) all these 404 errors have a number in the path

b) stripping out %20 (which means that a space has been encoded) would leave us with a phone number format #### ### #### (i.e. four digits, three digits, four digits)

and c) that such phone number formatting used with 0800, 0843, 0845 and other non-geographical types are often used as customer service phone numbers.

So… you may know where this is going… For every URL on the site, there appeared a second version, with an appended directory – that (directory) being the addition of their own phone number.

 

What time is why?, taken from Know Your Meme

Given that the symptom reported (i.e. a 404 error URL for every genuine URL) logic would suggest there was an error in the mark-up around the phone number in the site header area as opposed to anywhere else it might occur, so this was my first port of call.

In Chrome and using Inspect Element to look at the isolated element (mark-up of the phone number) everything looked hunky-dory. Schema>Organisation mark-up was in place with the correct itemprop, (itemprop=”telephone”) so nothing of concern; however when I looked elsewhere in the code I found the following well-intentioned use of a href to phone number (for click-to-call) mark-up.

code_error

 

 

Now; referencing the phone number as per above was facilitating click-to-call functionality, so any front-end testing they may have done would show positively that a smart device user could click the phone number to call the company. However, due to the omission of the tel: instruction the syntax had the side-effect of creating a relative file path to the phone number as appendage to the existing URL. Hence generating thousands of annoying 404 errors that could easily be avoided, making for a much more effective crawl process.

 

Correct Click to Call Mark-up

To correctly reference the phone number and effect click-to-call without generating 404 URLs due to relative file path annoyingness do as follows:

<a href=”tel:+44#########” itemprop=”telephone”>

The important part here is the addition of the tel: instruction, as it is the omission of this that also creates the relative URL and thus generates our 404 errors. The addition of +44 (UK dialling code) was an optimisation so that the click-to-call would connect regardless of location. I found this piece on click-to-call links really useful background reading, particularly that there’s a list of additional native app URI schemes too!

So, not exactly a ground-breaking error or a revolutionary fix that will rocket this site up the SERPs overnight; however this was one of those weird quirky consequences of a simple code omission that could have hindered crawlers and inhibited the business progress a little. I thought it might be worth sharing as the cause of why these 404s appeared wasn’t immediately obvious.

With thanks to Joost for confirming my logic on the syntax omission and for sharing my belief in relative URLs as the root of evil

What Online Marketers Can Learn from the Arts Sector (and vice versa)

I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference on digital engagement in the arts sector. The conference took place in Brighton and was hosted by Culture24.

Culture24 is a non-profit organisation with a mission “to support the cultural sector in reaching online audiences”. The conference was in some sense a launch event for their newest research, in the form of a report titled Let’s Get Real 2.

[Quick sidenote: The first Let’s Get Real report was released in 2011, and became the starting point for an 11-month research project which brought together 22 cultural organisations to learn about “the practical use of technologies to gather data and how to draw meaningful insights from this”. The result of this research is the Let’s Get Real 2 report.

The full report can be downloaded from the Culture24 website.]

But what I want to talk about today is how we, as SEOs and digital marketers, can learn from this research coming out of the arts sector and use it to help us do our jobs better. So I’ve put together a few  general takeaways from this conference which resonated with me, and which I’d like to see us SEOs and online marketers thinking about more:

1. your target market is an ‘audience

One of the recurring buzzwords of the day was ‘audience’. I know that we as marketers do sometimes use the term ‘audience’ to describe our target market, but how often do we think about what that word means?

Consumers and customers seek you out in order to satisfy a need for a product or service. This is not engagement, this is purely transactional.

Audiences, however, come to see and hear you because they are interested in what you have to say and/or show to them, and in some sense they want to engage with that. For performing artists, the audience is an active participant in the performance.

Continue reading “What Online Marketers Can Learn from the Arts Sector (and vice versa)”

Gimme My Money

Recently we’ve seen several SEOs fussing about not getting paid, resorting to outing the offenders. Everyone’s favorite Dutchman-in-Ireland Barry Adams wrote “How I’ve Been Shafted By Darryl Collins from Banjax and Gingerparts” (which sounds so much like a revenge porn title) and the comment section is completely full of people coming forward to say that they’ve either also been shafted by Mr. Collins (that is so hard to type without giggling) or that it’s been a problem for them with someone else. Suffice it to say, it IS a problem. In my Link Club, we’ve recently discussed how to avoid this and let me tell you, it’s definitely a huge problem and I’m still trying to collect on an account for a client who left us years ago and still owes us a small fortune.

money

When you’re starting out, it’s tough to demand payment upfront because you might not think you have the credentials to back that up. Hell, you might not have them to be honest. However, we’re in an industry where some people feel that if we don’t get them the exact results that they think they deserve, they think they can screw us. The client I mention above signed off on buying links, saw the link report each month, and was happier than a pig in shit as long as he was making money but when he gets slapped by Google? He doesn’t want to pay us because we “got him into trouble” doing what he knew was risky, what he asked us to do, and what he was informed about every single month without fail. Funnily enough, this trouble of his happened 2 years after we stopped working with him and was never mentioned as a reason why he couldn’t pay until Google sent him the warning. Before, he’d just say something about it being hard to pay but he was working on it, but the second Google gets him? He can’t pay because it’s all our fault.

We’ve had other issues with various excuses attached, such as “we didn’t know what you were doing, not REALLY, because we didn’t have time to read all your emails or the actual contract which clearly listed exactly what you’d be doing” and “we were thinking that when we did not say yes please abide by the contract and continue working as we’ve both agreed, you’d know that we didn’t really want you to keep working.” If you went to the dentist and had a tooth filled, would you refuse to pay because you didn’t understand the chemical composition of the filling? Can you get out of a late payment for your mortgage because you didn’t like the color of your roof? Why do SEOs keep getting screwed like this?

screw

Here’s another problem: to get a client, you have to lay out enough strategy and tactics that you plan that they can just take you out of the process, do it themselves, and screw you. If you try to be vague enough to hook them but not give too much away, you might not land them as a client. Do you have any idea how many proposals I’ve had to clarify where I’ve had to list out actual ideas, because the general ones didn’t make the potential client feel comfortable that I could do a good job? Too freaking many, and guess how many of those came through? I can’t think of a single one, and after the last go-round with it, I just walk away if they don’t want to pay me upfront for the ideas that I want to implement, because I do enough work for free. I don’t make money off writing for any site but there’s always the person who comments that I should have given them more information and more tips. There’s always someone adding me on IM or emailing me, asking so many questions that I finally have to point out that I have a company to run and things to do for my own work and that I cannot continue to dig into THEIR problems, and every time I say this, I don’t get an apology. I get a comment about how they thought I was supposed to be a nice person and then they go into the guilt phase of being sorry they wasted my precious time.

I’ve always been against outing sites for doing bad things so logical thinking dictates that I should feel the same way about outing clients that don’t pay, but I’m not. I’ve never personally done it but will I? Who knows. I’d rather spend time brainstorming with my employees than sending the 15th email saying “we still haven’t received a check from you and I’m making a very indignant frowny face due to it.” When I hit my first non-paying-client roadblock, I sought the advice of other people as to how to handle it and the number one response was “threaten to out them somewhere for it.” However, I’m still uneasy with doing what Barry did although I respect him for it, but I’m still uncomfortable with it because with my luck, I’ll out someone who has been in the hospital in an iron lung for 3 months or something. Is it bad karma to do it? It’s certainly bad karma not to pay someone who worked for you in good faith. Some people are crazy though and will do whatever they like whether they’re right or wrong, and since I am Dr. No, all I can imagine is that I’ll pick the true psycho to out and say hey, Mr. Po Pants didn’t pay me for my link audit. Mr. Po Pants will end up burning my house down and since all my vinyl is in storage, he won’t even have any problems from toxic fumes.

In the end I suppose that the way around getting screwed like that is to demand payment upfront and in full. The first time I did that I was slightly embarrassed (thanks Mom) but I laid out my reasoning to the client and to my great surprise, she said “no problem. It’s happened to me too so I respect you for it.” Wowzers. Sometimes when something isn’t going to cost much, I’ll just do it and bill the client later but I’m now chasing payments from two people because I was that stupid. So I’m going to get better about it, and the second someone screws me on my money, I’m shutting them down. If a client felt like I was wasting their money and doing nothing, I’d expect them to shut ME down so I need to do the same right? Right.

So get your money upfront if you can. Get a downpayment if you can’t get the full amount, but don’t let it slide when things start to go wrong, not even for a second, because if people think they can avoid paying you, or that they can pay you very late, they’ll do it. If you’ve never worked with the client before, get at least a percentage of the amount before spending time on it and lay out the contract so that you have legal recourse if they don’t pay. Make a plan for how you’ll handle this if it does become a problem for you, and let clients know as soon as they sign on. Put details about payment expectations on every invoice, even if it’s just that payment is expected within x number of days. If payment isn’t made by the due date, stop working and tell the client you’ve stopped and will continue when the check arrives. It’s actually starting to work well for me, so no outing for me just yet. However, give me a few more months and if I’m still chasing that one client, it might just happen.

 

Could A Chimp Still Do SEO? A Followup

In 2007 I was much more obnoxious (and had more free time) and I wrote a post about whether chimps could take over our jobs.

I’m still sure that they could definitely perform certain functions in this industry, besides being DAMNED cute even if they are fairly deadly, but what about some of the new roles that have come about or gotten more important in the past 5 1/2 years? Could a chimp do those too?

Damn right she could.

DentalChimp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Content Marketing

Create sites that are great and useful, totally relevant, and constantly updated with new and brilliant content that people love, socialize, and editorially link to? Um, no, but can you do that either? Enough said.

AMAs

The beauty of chimps, as well as any other animal, is that you truly can ask them anything. They may not answer but you don’t have to get all cranky about it. In fact, some of their answers may be much less evasive than those of other popular SEO figures. Chimps may actually know what they’re talking about, too. Chimps can type (better than some of you, you lazy sods) and use sign language so I imagine a chimp AMA would be enlightening, entertaining, and you’d come out of the whole experience a better SEO. Just don’t ask them anything stupid like “how does a monkey get an Adwords account?” because remember, a chimp is not a freaking monkey. Are you a monkey? NO. Neither is a chimpanzee.

ask me anything

 

 

ASK.

ME.

ANYTHING.

 

Answering Questions On Quora

First of all I would like to say that in doing some research for this piece (because it’s so scientific) I came across the best chimp question ever outside of “Can a chimp impregnate a human?” which was “Would a chimpanzee enjoy going on a roller coaster?” My god, the imagery!! The answer is obviously yes, by the way. The difference in an AMA and Quora is that questions on Quora are much funnier and the answers given by people who are total idiots are really fun to read. A chimp could totally give a senseless answer that would make you wonder if you were actually the moron. You know those people who say things like “well it depends on 200 factors, none of which I can really talk about because I could get into trouble with Matt Cutts but I do have it on good authority that those 200 factors are subject to change but again, I can’t say any more. I’ve said too much already.”?? Well, a chimp could absolutely outclass those losers. A chimp could answer much more definitively and could back it up because who’s going to mess with one of those big hairy bastards?? They’ll rip your arms and genitals off, and don’t you ever forget it. You’ll read their answers and you’ll damn well like them, then follow them on Quora because they’re experts. And you don’t want to lose your arms and genitals.

Ranting Online

I think that a chimp would excel in this area because they are very good at waving their arms around, loudly chattering, and looking like brats. They also seem to be photographed in diapers or toddler attire on a regular basis, again fitting the profile of some online fussy pants. An online rant isn’t too different. You think a chimp’s post is crap or adds no value to the topic? Go ahead and tell her that and stand back. Hell hath no fury like a chimp, um, told that her post is crap or adds no value to the topic. Chimps are known to occasionally turn on people that they love, so imagine if they don’t like you and you talk some trash. You’re dead meat. They’ll get in your car after maiming you and probably get into a bit of a fender bender which YOU will end up paying for of course because I bet you didn’t think to add them to your insurance policy did you? Fools.

Negative SEO

Any animal known to regularly fling poo is an animal that could be brilliant at negative SEO. Research has just shown that female chimps can get really nasty in female-on-female interactions  (I swear to God that is not a dirty story) so imagine what they could do if a competing site, run by a female of course, continues to beat them no matter how many networked links they buy or how much content they spin. They will take it DOWN. They could bang out fake negative reviews on their internet-connected typewriters (since they like typewriters, being all old school) and diss you on Twitter. If their avatar is seductive, chances are they’ll have many male SEOs in the industry backing them up, too.

pissed off chimp with gun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit goes to ebaumsworld.com for this wonderful image.

Link Cleanup

Chimps are brilliant at making a mess but can they clean one up? No, but how successful are your damn link cleanup jobs??? Have you just restored your site to its former pre-Penguin glory? Have you done fewer than 18 reconsideration requests? Ok then. You can hush.

Building Tools

Chimps are great users of tools, and can make weapons out of lots of things and not just their own poo. That horrible chimp Travis (who names a chimp Travis?) was known to drink wine from a stemmed glass, something I still haven’t mastered. (Note: I am not making fun of anyone Travis hurt. Only Travis himself.) They can also ride on segways which some of our local police can’t handle without running someone over. Any chimp who can do that can build a tool to knock someone’s teeth out or tell you what your percentage of brand anchors is.

Community Management

Chimps ARE fiercely protective, so this would be a natural fit, plus they’re terrifying when they’re angry, like some of you. If they could figure out how to be online most of the time and set up brand alerts, I’m pretty sure a chimp could kick ass at this job. You talk junk about a chimp’s online member community, you’ll probably end up having your genitals ripped off.

I’m sure there are many others tasks and jobs that are suited to the chimp mindset and lifestyle (open air offices will always be a plus and they may smoke less than some of your coworkers…maybe) so will we be in danger of being replaced? Who will be the first to hire a chimp intern and try it out? Is that tax deductible? Could using chimps for SEO become the new thing, and if it can and does, will we need to rebrand the term used for it in a few years, causing tons of SEOs to have to change their titles? How can we get on top of this potential new chimp movement and future-proof our link building strategy so that we don’t get kicked out of Google???? Will “use of chimps” be added to the Webmaster Guidelines violations???

I’m going to have to take a Xanax now.

How to get the most from your data

Web analytics is a topic that gets mixed reactions, much like SEO really. Some people think it’s a myth, others are intimidated by the data, some know it is important but are limited to the basics and others can’t get enough (that’s me!). As an analytics specialist I find that my role includes the bits you would expect – implementing tracking code solutions and analysing data – but it also requires offering assistance in making the most of the data, from changing clients’ attitudes to encourage them to use their analytics more, to showing how the data can be used much more effectively.

The big thing behind this is that analytics isn’t about numbers.

Continue reading “How to get the most from your data”