A Plea for Data

Hey folks, many of you who follow me on twitter (@rjonesx) may have noticed some discussions between myself and @authoritylabs a week or so ago. I have embarked on a new study that looks at the relationship between SERP features (places, ads, carousel, images, video, etc.) and organic click through rates. Using GWT CTR data, Google Keyword Traffic data, and Authority Labs SERP data, we can determine the actual organic traffic a SERP will return. Take for example two keywords – one gets 1000 visits a month, the other gets 400 visits a month. The second has no advertisers and no SERP features, the first has places and 10 ads. It is actually possible that the second one with less traffic volume actually delivers MORE organic traffic because of these SERP...

Announcing warnJS – the internet emergency broadcast system

I don’t know if you have ever huddled in an internal room with your children during a tornado warning, but it is one of the most unsettling things I have experienced in my life. While unsettling, it is equally relieving to know that you are in the best place you can be before it hits. There are many ways we become aware of impending weather emergencies – the emergency broadcast system on TV and radio, weather apps or text message services on our phones – but one media provider seems left out altogether… the Internet. It seemed silly to me that the most versatile medium mankind has ever known wouldn’t have a solution that made the dissemination of this kind of information quick, easy, and unobtrusive. So I went to work. I used my 8...

List of SEO Tools and Whether They Are Vulnerable to Heartbleed

Make sure your SEO tools haven’t been affected by the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug. I compiled as many as I could think of here, but you might want to run some checks and add them in the comments. All of Virante’s tools were either unaffected or have been patched. Name URL...

Proposing a Debate Series

I recently responded to a request for pitches from SMX with the idea of doing formal debates on contentious topics in the search marketing industry. I thought it would be a good idea to open the topics up for recommendation. Even if SMX doesn’t do it, we could certainly do something on hangouts or at other conferences. So here are some of the debate topics I think would be worth considering… To Out or Not to Out Following Google’s Guidelines is the Best Course of Action Links are Losing Value Google is a Force for Good Online Paid Search vs. SEO Social Media is the Future of SEO Usage Metrics are the Future of Ranking Factors Alright, what debates would you like to see? What contentious issues would you like to hear from differing opinions...

An Open Letter to BrightEdge

Below is my correspondence with the BrightEdge representative who has been soliciting our business. I have removed names as the representative has been truly professional. Hi ###, First, I apologize that you are the recipient of this email. As my point of contact at BrightEdge, you have done an excellent job in selling what is no doubt an excellent product. I have used BrightEdge through clients in past and can say with certainty that it is a valuable platform and is likely worth its price. However, it has come to my attention today that BrightEdge has filed suit with SearchMetrics regarding a series of patents acquired in the last 2 years. While I find software patents in general to be concerning, or at least requiring of greater scrutiny, even a cursory glance...

A Formal Proposition of Search Ethics

Many of you may not have known this, but the first time I ever became publicly introduced to Moz and the SEO world in large number had nothing to do with introducing a new tactic or proving my merits as an SEO, but rather my particular position on the growing debate about ethics and Search Engine Optimization. Rand Fishkin picked up on my piece entitled “Consensual SEO: Debunking the myth of Ethical SEO” in a post called Russ Jones of Virante on Search Engines & Consent. While it is still a good read, we humans tend to do this silly thing called “grow” and in time I have come to what I believe to be a more thoughtful and complete understanding of the Guidelines, ethical search marketing, and the reasons for the continued tensions...

Virante’s Software List Grows Again

I am proud to announce today the launch of AuthorRank Pro, the first and only tool that allows you to track your AuthorRank, AuthorTrust and other metrics over time. The tool also helps you find great authors for your own site and great opportunities for writing on other sites. But what I am most proud of is the growing corpus of great software owned and operated by Virante. Remove’em: We’ve removed over 1,000,000 bad backlinks from the web as the most comprehensive tool for penalty recovery online. nTopic: Statistically proven to increase organic traffic when recommended language is applied across your site. Penguin Analysis: The Machine Learned Penguin Risk Detector. Know just how vulnerable you are to the next Penguin update! AuthorRank Pro: The...

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