Google for President:
Steven Berlin Johnson is probably one of my 3-4 favorite authors. He writes awesome books and lots of cool articles.
Not too long ago he wrote Google for President, which looked at how the presidential campaigns were missing the boat (no, not the swift one) on buying Google AdWords ads.
Democracy only works if you actively participate. Over the last two months I have been running a smallish campaign on Google AdWords for the presidential election. I wrote about my line of logic and my actions in a boringly named article Political Search Engine Marketing.
I do not care much for either canidate, but think now is a good time for change. Whether you think I am right or wrong it is a fact that our government, our society, and our world would be far better off if people questioned authority and spoke their mind a bit more often.
Anyone think Political SEM is going to get huge?
Just in case it does I registered the domain name. No intention of making a site for it anytime soon, but if I really start to dig politics it could be a fun way to get into some mischief. There are lots of other things I want to learn about too though :)
A bunch of random forum news... Hired?
Lots of stuff going on in the SEO Forum scene. In the last week not one but two people have tried to hire me as moderators for new forums that are coming out. I said no, but talk about a saturated market... One of the forums is a big money pay site, the other will be at a link site (since they are not out yet neither of them are mentioned by name in this post).
Its kinda cool that people would be willing to pay me to do what I do for free anyway. I wonder if it would be worth it to try to make my own forum? I could have one of a million SEO forums :)
My friend Nandini is starting a new forum called SEO Zip. I am not supposed to mention it until tomorrow, but I felt like mentioning it with all the other forum stuff. I am trying to help her get it off the ground running, so I will try to post there a good bit. Please stop by and say hi.
Post Trades is a new forum dedicated to link trading. They got a cool tool for analyzing data about your site in the upper right corner too.
(from an anonymous forum moderator at a forum which is new to me) I got accused of major forum spamming for the first time:
Your many posts in the seo forum smell like spam to me. I am sure of it. But, I am a fan of link spam so no problem... just try to put more thought into your posts. It is too obvious that your just trying to get a high post count and want to post the smallest amount necessary in order to give a half-assed answer.
I am not saying your answers are wrong - just shallow, and you know it. If you don't know it then you have no business running seobook.
I did not even put a sig link in my posts and all I could think was "what a jerk."
Next Friday I am going to raise the price of the SEO Book to $79. Explanation / reasoning in extended post entry if you are interested in that sort of stuff. I will continue to give my ebook away to qualifying charities and also to one winner from each of my weeklyish newsletters.
I am usually all for selling stuff as cheap as possible, but I would like to continue to improve my ebook, and the time I spend reading and compiling data is a large portion of my life. There is a ton of value in that.
By leaving a low price on my ebook it makes some people assume it has a low value, which is absolutely not true. I work a ton to keep that ebook up to date and even go to many of the conferences that sometimes cost thousands of dollars to attend.
I still could improve the grammer in it some and I want to work to make it better and better. I want to keep learning and hopefully be able to pass on better and better knowledge. I could try to continue to sell it for $40 forever, but I do not think the sales will dip that much if I charge more, and if I charge more I will be able to invest more into it.
I also will still give away a free copy of my ebook to qualifying charities and am also giving away a free copy of my ebook in each of my free weeklyish newsletters from now on.
One of the best ways to get lots of cheap traffic is to appear on AdSense ads for many people writing articles in your industry. One technique to help acquire this traffic is to bid on some of the names of various article authors.
Some people are not a fan of this and some are.
I have gotten a wide variety of responses:
"I am honored you are bidding on my name."
Tell me the search volume you are getting and I will give you a free $100 gift.
I have also got a phone call, a cease and decist letter, and a copyright violation notice.
Recently I noticed the following ad:
running on AdWords for "SEO Book" and "Aaron Wahl." If one wants to use my name as a marketing / brand strategy you would think that they would take the time to spell it correctly? It is a good idea to use misspelled words to pick up additional traffic, but the incorrect spelling & targeting means the ad will likely get limited distribution and makes it lack credibility.
You should be aware of local trademark / copyright laws before bidding on competitors names. If they ask you to stop then I usually suggest doing so unless you are trying to push the envelope.
My goal is not to piss people off, but to:
extend my distribution;
build more link popularity;
build business partnerships;
and sell more ebooks.
Some of the responses you will get from other businesses will be positive...some will be negative. The good thing is that you are getting responses.
Running these ads helps you open the doors to some future business partnerships.
Running these ads helps you glimpse the motives and thought processes of others in your field.
Running these ads also help you view some of the relative branding strength of various businesses / personalities in your industry.
What Are They?
I would like to help sculpt social policy to increase the functionality of the world around me and the enjoyability (is that a word?) of life on Earth. For example, I would like to make available HONEST FEEDBACK about the effects of antidepressants.
Where Did You Come From?
Ask again later.
Are You Smart?
All indications say no.
What is With These Answers?
Ask Jeeves gave out a new magic Ask Jeeves Ball. I like to play. Its fun...
Is There Anything You Are Sure Of?
I have not used deoderant today (I am sure I say this most days.) I guess in a sense that means I am sure that I am not sure.
News is often provided with manipulative goals. One of the greatest advantages I have over most other SEO news site or SEO websites is my own lack of affiliation or property.
Since I do not need to make a ton of money to support myself, I usually recommend people do not buy most things. If you know what you are doing it does not cost much to do a good job at SEO. The learning process can be somewhat expensive, but after you gain the knowledge it does not go away.
The real reason for this post is that I am now the Inktomi moderator over at SearchGuild. When I provide future information about SEO I will probably be biased saying that SearchGuild is the best SEO forums.
Last year (long before I was a moderator at SearchGuild) I reviewed some of the SEO forums, and stated that SearchGuild was one of my favorites.
These are some of the things I stated I liked about SearchGuild last year in my article.
Chris and crew frequently come up with their own compelling theories on the whats and whys of search engine news
it is independent of large firms and corporate America
lots of technical know how (for example Chris made a bot to surf DMOZ listed sites to make a data resource)
has an extremely friendly feel about it
not much misinformation floating around
One thing I did not include on that list is that there is no hard sale at SearchGuild. People try to answer your questions without sounding overly witty or super self promotional.
I view SearchGuild as the open source equivalent to SEO and am glad to be affiliated with it. What do you think?