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This is an amazing video of a free running academy in LA.


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Lucky 7 – Google’s Newest Functionality

We have all seen some crazy things happening in Google lately.  I for one will see completely different results at 7:30 am and a whole new set at 9:00am.  It appears that Google is in aggressive testing mode.  We are seeing more and more Google Local results along with many brands shifting around and completely different page one results for multiple industries day to day and almost hour to hour.

One of the newest and most exciting new addition is the inclusion of the Google “Lucky 7″.  UK SEO David Naylor posted about it this morning and something about it got me all excited as I finally saw it for our primary flagship this morning as well.  We are used to seeing this all the time under site links or the top listings.  We are now seeing it deeper in the SERPs.

Image Here soon….I guess Googles server is getting killed by these queries right now and throwing errors (Google FAIL).

For a long time now I have had a passion for secondary listings.  To me if you had a secondary listing it told the world you were an authority in that space and your site has multiple pages that may contain what I am looking for.  With the new Lucky 7 (my attempt at coining an SEO phrase) we have the potential of going from 2 results on page 1 to 7 results on page one.

The data analysis here is huge.  This will allow us to capture enough data on deeper landing page to make decisions based on a statistical confidence level.  If we can drive more traffic to a third or forth landing page for a specific keyword then we may be able to fine tune our conversion funnel by boosting up the top performers.

The competitive analysis here is huge as well which is both good and bad.  Not only can you dig deeper into your competitors related pages (by keyterm) but with proper tracking you can identify your competitors focal points and defend or attack them in advance.

Now the question is, who will provide the first ranking tool that will gather all the top positions on page one and label them properly?  Game on…

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SEO Competitive Analysis in 10 Steps

I get a lot of people tell me about their ideas and how thy want to start a website about “widgets” that will be terribly profitable.  Some have even come with an NDA while others have a 3 year old site that is stale and out of commission (literally).  Everyone thinks they can get enough out of me in one lunch to get them on their way.  Most of the time they leave the meeting a little more humble about the process and with a deeper respect of the dedication needed to build a site that will bring in natural traffic.

Weather you are starting a new site or reviving a site that has not focused on SEO, the first step is universal.  Stalk your competition.  You need to do some keyword research and determine which phrases to attack.  Keep in mind that Google has about 60% market share, Yahoo close to 20% and MSN/Live just under 10%.  With that in mind, make sure to monitor Google Suggest.  Google Suggest is the pre-populated search queries that greatly shortened the long tail for most sites.  It is an aggregate of the most popular search queries so the results are likely more competitive and obviously a place you want to play.

There are plenty of tools to help you with keyword discovery but you get more benefit from attacking your competition by hand.  Do yourself a favor and get SEO Quake for Firefox.  This tool will give you everything you need for some good quality web stalking.

You obviously know a term or two for your niche.  If you don’t then you have more problems then a lack of traffic.  Look at Google Suggest and determine if any of the force fed results are a better match for your product.  Run the query and look at the top 20 or so results.  Ignore the Wikipedia and YouTube listings.  Go to the #1 player and lets take a look at how they got there…

1. Look at the URL – Is it the home page or a deep page of an authority site?  Are the key terms in the URL?  Is the TLD a .com/.org/.info?

2. Look at the Page Title – Does it contain your keyterm?  Does it begin with the keyterm?  Is it the same as the rest of the site?

3. “Ctrl-F” the Keyterm – Is it a focus of the page?

4. Run Query “” in Google – Is it a deep site?  How strong is the rest of the site in relation to the keyterm niche?

5. Check the Meta Keywords/Description – Do they exist?  Do they contain the queried keyterm?

6. Check the Pages Backlinks – How many links are showing up in Yahoo Site Explorer?  How many in Google?  Are they all from the host domain or are they disbursed to various sites?  Are they buying links?

7. Check the Google Cache Date – How long has it been since it was visited last?

8. Check the Whois Record – How old is the domain?  Is it the same owner as other results in the top 20?

9. Check the Internal/External Links – Is there a ton of AdSence on the page?  Do they have a large amount of Internal or External links on the page?  Are they selling links?

10. Check Yourself – Be honest, would you buy from this site?  What colors/fonts are they using?  How is their page structured?  Is the page easy to navigate?  Is there a definate call to action?  What is it?

So there are a lot of questions to ask yourself here.  You may or may not know how to find the answers (I heard Yahoo has Answers).  In order to understand how to approach your site, proper research is needed on your competitors.  Knowing how they build their sites and what types of marketing campaigns they use is crucial for dominating the field.  80% of natural clicks occur in the first three positions.  If your goal is not to own those positions then SEO is not for you.  It takes patience and dedication to get there and the journey starts with stalking the competition.

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Google Church

Some Questions Can’t be Answered by Google

Google Church

Google Church

There are some questions that can’t be answered by Google. That is what I saw on my way to work this morning thanks to Uy Ta pointing out the sign on the busy road. The church had this posted on both sides for all travelers to see. I am not sure I am a believer though. Come on, Google has Wikipedia and YouTube right? I have always found an answer after carefully constructing the proper query. According to Francisco Debs, even if Google doesn’t have the answer, it wont be long until they change their algorithm. If you “ASK” me they should have put “There are some questions that can’t be answered by Jeeves”. Ask any tech geek and I am sure they would agree.

The funniest part about the sign is its location. This church is located right across the street of a search marketing giant here in the Carolinas. Red Ventures (one of the few Inc 500 companies in Charlotte) spends most of their time bowing down to Google, MSN and Yahoo. Perhaps they take offense that we consider Matt Cutts a devine oracle and his blog the written word of Google Gods. Each evening before I go to bed, I get on my knees and pray that the competitors don’t knock me out of the #1 position in my sleep. Each morning I wake up, and am delighted by reports of CPCs, CTRs, CPAs, SERP positioning, impressions and conversions.

After careful deliberation of the koan expressed by the church above, I have to agree with them. There is one question I have been devoting my life to find an answer to. A question that has plagued me throughout my journey on a road to enlightenment. It has been filled with great joy and sadness with each shift and PR update. Google, what is thy algorithm?

Religion is a touchy subject. I feel it necessary to end this post with a quote from Jet Li as he and I share a very similar view.

Is there a religion that is superior morally and spiritually with respect to all others? I strongly believe the answer is no. Sure, religions differ from one another in their outward trappings, in the Gods their followers worship, in the customs and rituals which their practitioners observe. But upon closer inspection, the underlying heart and central principle in every religion is the same. Every religion boils down to love, to a respect for all living things, to choosing peace over violence as a means of resolving a conflict. The essence is universal; it is only the means to the end that varies.
-Jet Li -

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