IABC – Demystifying Search Engine Optimization

Lookattheprettyscreen Taught a fun SEO seminar called "Demystifying Search Engine Optimization" at the Houston Technology Center for the International Association of Business Communicators Houston Chapter today.  This picture really captures it all, "look at the pretty screen!"

The reviews came in very good, so hopefully everyone got their value and will come to more great IABC events in the future.

One interesting thing about teaching SEO on a network with NAT is that we actually, as a class, got locked out of the Marketleap Linkback Calculator!  The good news is we had no problem getting the class to move on to the next slide after lockout occurred.

SEO, PR and Branding

The echo chamber demands I repeat rubel: Great article on SearchEngineWatch about a recent panel called "Using Search for Public Relations & Reputation Management" by Catherine Seda

Nan Dawkins, … asserted that consumer-generated media such as blogs are making reputation management through search a growing necessity. …a search on Google for "Walmart and unions" pulled up several blogs that blast Walmart for blocking employees’ efforts to unionize. Fortunately, Walmart is smart. The company created and optimized a landing page for this keyword phrase that ranks #2 in Google’s organic results.

and later

you shouldn’t sit around waiting to respond to bad press. Instead, be proactive””write and optimize press releases to score some good press.

The only flaw I see with this is that I did search for "walmart and unions" and did not see a Walmart page in the top 5.  Hmmm.  But still, the point is valid that you must and should respond to negative coverage while working to build the brand through positive coverage.  And this DEFINITELY includes an awareness of the role of search engines in the brand building process.

AJAX, Exactness of Speech Matters, Especially for Context Ads!

Cnnajax As a marketing and sometimes programmer, I find this hillarious.  I clicked a link on "web based software challenges windows" from CNN.  Web based software like gmail use a programming style called AJAXAJAX in this context is NOT a soap or real estate.  Rather it means "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML"

But that is not the point.  The point is that Google, the company that is threatening Microsoft apparently with their software is also serving the contextual advertising on CNN.  Next to the story about their success no less.  And all of the contextual advertisements ARE FOR AJAX THE SOAP!  Oh, the irony.  It just kills me.  Exactness of speech matters even for machines.

This is the text apparently being picked up on with innacurate but factually correct keyword relevance:

The threat comes in large part from Ajax, a set of Web development tools that speeds up Web applications by summoning snippets of data as needed instead of pulling entire Web pages over and over.

And these are the ads it shows!

Buy Ajax at drugstore.com
Free shipping with minimum purchase. Plus get 5% back in store credit. Great…

Ajax Real Estate
See the MLS listings for Ajax and Pickering.

Gulf States Laundry Machinery Company
One stop shopping for all your dry cleaning and laundry parts and equipment,…

Ajax on eBay
Find Ajax items at low prices. With over 5 million items for sale every day,…

Somedays you’re the windshield, and somedays you’re the bug.  But a little Ajax will take that stain right out.