SEO does not always mean the same thing

April 28, 2012

A wise man once said that “all marketers are liars.”

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This couldn’t be further from the truth. It surprises me that business owners are still not savvy about online marketing. Many don’t see the need for a local search marketing strategy because they think, “only the big companies with huge pocketbooks” advertise aggressively online. They are the companies always at the top dominating search results. Sure this can be done to some extent by sinking yourself deeper into credit card debt with Google Adwords, but why keep going back to the World’s Largest Auction (bigger than Ebay!)

Organic search results get over 1/2 of the click volume.

Most small businesses don’t understand the concepts and strategies of content marketing. Then again, most SEO services and agencies tend to focus on the on-page website changes, business may or may not deploy a blog strategy depending on whether the website is built in a blog style CMS like WordPress. Unfortunately for businesses, they often can only afford a cheap SEO agency who typically fails to use content for building backlinks. I say you can’t afford not to. Stop going back to the auction! Organic and local complements PPC domination and also stretches a budget with recurring revenues from search engine result page share of voice and real estate.

I once SEO’d a “bookie service” website that took up 5 of the first 7 results with multiple websites and different business names

Some SEO firms optimize for Google Places and setup local listings, but do they include accounts with the data centers UBL and Localeze listings? Do they provide manual local listing optimization that focuses on creating as many local citations (mentions of your business name, address, and number?)

I recommend finding a transparent and holistic firm that focuses on a diverse approach to SEO, not just moving things around on a page and changing a few settings (how often you gonna change a Page Title?)

If someone calls and offers you SEO service you have every right to be skeptical. After all, “all marketers are liars” and SEOs are the biggest out there.

I have always said the minute you change a page title you are “gaming” Google.

Just stay away from link builders who use non transparent or blackhat SEO methods. While the potential short term business may be good for your wallet, getting kicked out of the search results or worse de-indexed is not something you can easily overcome.

I do recommend considering separate IPs and crazy aggressive tactics for local search niche domains though.

Hiring an outsourcing company or yellow pages type company for your online marketing is just crazy. Everything is proprietary and you won’t own a thing.

They should stick to what they do best…

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DFWSEM and Social Media Club Dallas Join Together to Bring an Entreproducer Copyblogger Event

April 19, 2012

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We had a packed house at the combined mega DFW Search and Social Marketing meetup event at the Angelika Theater in Dallas with Brian Clark the CEO of the #1 online marketing and content marketing website Copyblogger.

Never before has DFWSEM and the Social Media Club of Dallas combined forces for one mega packed presentation.

Here are the noteworthy tweets from the night’s hash tags #DFWSEM and #SMCDallas:

@dfwsem: RT @copyblogger: Give a shout out to @RavenTools @ContentAuthrity for sponsoring the big #DFWSEM #SMCDallas @copyblogger meeting this week.

@ContentAuthrity: Excited to sponsor this event! #DFWSEM They have brought in a great speaker @copyblogger!

@SarahBoswell: “first ya gotta get turned on” – @seanthinks to @copyblogger

@jloomstein: getting my @copyblogger on at the #dfwsem event. Wait #SMCDallas event. Wait #DFWSEM event. Nevermind.

@YoungbloodJoe: notice Mike is wearing a blazer. First time… #dfwsem

@aprilewilson: lol – “can i pretend i’m hiring so i can get free drinks?” #DFWSEM #SMCDallas

@mikedmerrill: Just donated $10 to @RedCross tonight by texting REDCROSS to 90999 #smcdallas #dfwsem

@aprilewilson: “here’s my asshole boss!” @seanthinks #DFWSEM #SMCDallas

@GregGifford: The audio delay on the big screen makes me think a Kung fu fight will break out any second #smcdallas #DFWSEM

@dfwsem: .@copyblogger built an audience first before trying to sell a product. #DFWSEM #SMCDallas

@SarahBoswell: Wow @seanthinks is even sexier when he’s 100 ft tall 😉 #dfwsem #smcdallas #dfwtweetoff http://t.co/WfoztzwS

@CC_Creative: By serving [your readers’] educational needs you find out the products they need – Copyblogger #dfwsem #smcDallas

@tonynwright: What @copyblogger is saying, as we say at @wrightimc, is YOUR website should be the center of your marketing universe! #dfwsem #dfwtweetoff

@dfwsem: The soap opera was invented by Procter and Gamble to reach depression-era wives. True content marketing. @copyblogger #dfwsem

@dfwsem: The soap opera was invented by Procter and Gamble to reach depression-era wives. True content marketing. @copyblogger #DFWSEM

@wrightimc: The internet has always been social. @smcdallas may have to change their name to the internet club. #SMCDallas #dfwtweetoff #DFWSEM

@tonynwright: Here comes the “sharecropper on a digital plantation” line. Love that line…#dfwsem #dfwtweetoff #smcdallas

@YoungbloodJoe: Please say smart things so I can be lazy and retweet you. #dfwsem #smcdallas

@TheEverNovice: Whoever just took an upclose picture of @seanthinks and @copyblogger on their iPhone, tweet it out. #dfwtweetoff #smcdallas #dfwsem

@TheEverNovice: Whoever just took an upclose picture of @seanthinks and @copyblogger on their iPhone, tweet it out. #dfwtweetoff #smcdallas #dfwsem

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@si1very: “Don’t focus on Facebook – it’s ‘digital sharecropping’ – U’re just lining Zuckerberg’s pockets.” @Copyblogger at #DFWSEM / #SMCDallas

@ChrisChurchill: RT @LaurieShook: Brian clark @copyblogger has turned content creation into a $5 m a year business #smcdallas #dfwsem

@wrightimc: The data says that people value content rather than random conversation @copyblogger #dfwtweetoff #smcdallas #dfwsem

@dfwsem: If you feel like you’ve given too much, you’re on the right track. #smcdallas #dfwsem

@aprilewilson: all sites need to publish content on a regular basis, whether you call it a blog or not #SMCDallas #DFWSEM @seanthinks

@tonynwright: Copyblogger realized he gets more ROI from writing than conferences! #dfwsem #smcdallas

@dfwsem: RT @YoungbloodJoe: @seanthinks question for @copyblogger any advice for ad supported websites? | Change your model. #DFWSEM #SMCDallas

@ContentAuthrity: @dfwsem @copyblogger Content should move past “Google proof” and focus on it being consumer proof content. Great Content! #dfwsem #smcdallas

@YoungbloodJoe: “A rising tide raises all ships”, that’s the quote he was looking for. #dfwsem #smcdallas cc @seanthinks

@SocialMediaDFW: Close up pic of @Copyblogger CEO (left) being interviewed by his CFO @SeanThinks (right) at #smcdallas #dfwsem event http://t.co/XEgjUY09


Dallas SEO Expert Testifies as Expert Witness in Federal Court

April 18, 2012

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) April 10, 2012 Search engine optimization expert Mike Stewart testified in late March before a United States Federal Judge during a hearing on motions in an international trademark case. Stewart, who operates Dallas-based SMBSEO, was an expert witness in the case regarding the impact of similar business names in the geotargeting environment of today’s search engines.

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The hearing, Civil Action number 3:10-CV-0165 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, involved a Canadian owned company operating under the name Cash Store Financial Services, or CSFS, and a Dallas-based company operating as Cottonwood Financial. Cottonwood Financial operates short-term lending stores in several states under the trademarked name Cash Store. CSFS also operates similar stores in Canada under the name The Cash Store. Until recently, the similar names did not cause a problem because of the vast difference in geography and customer base.

However, CSFS is now a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange and has several million US investors. They distribute information online and through hardcopy to US locations, often under the names CSF, CSFS, Cash Store Financial Services and The Cash Store. As US information distribution brings the CSFS branding across international borders, a trademark issue and brand dilution may be occurring. Cottonwood Financial is bringing legal action against CSFS in an attempt to prevent the Canadian company from using the Cash Store name.

During Mike Stewart’s expert testimony, he presented screenshots showing location-based search results pertinent to the case. He was able to show that searching from a computer with a Dallas-based IP address for terms like “cash store financial” or “cash store financial services” returned results indicating that the company had physical locations nearby. Canadian company CSFS does not have Cash Store locations in Dallas, but Cottonwood does. Google’s geotargeting logic, which attempts to align search terms with top results in the geographic area surrounding the user, causes the issue.

According to court documents, Cottonwood’s pleadings attempted to prove that the Dallas-based company would be harmed by the dilution of the trademark. Possible harm could include loss of business, negative brand connotations and dilution of online marketing efforts. They filed a preliminary injunction to prohibit CSFS from using the Cash Store name within US communications. CSFS filed a motion to dismiss the case.

According to court documents, dated March of 2011, Judge David C. Godbey stated that “Cottonwood does have a strong likelihood of making a case for dilution.” However, according to the most recent court documents, he has not determined whether Cottonwood made it’s case for all legal action requested. Last year, he granted a partial motion from CSFS to dismiss certain aspects of the case. At the same time, he also granted Cottonwood’s motion for preliminary injunction. CSFS will not be allowed to use the name The Cash Store in US communications until the case is fully decided. According to Mike Stewart, with his recent expert witness testimony, the pending final ruling from the court case may indeed go in Cottonwood’s favor.

Businesses that rely on search engine marketing or online branding should keep an eye on the outcome of this case. The implications already seen provide compelling reasons for businesses to take proactive actions like keyword research to ensure their trademark and online brand is not threatened.

About SMB SEO LLC SMB SEO LLC, a Dallas-based advertising agency, helps small and medium-sized businesses grow in revenue by dominating online, mobile and social media marketing channels. SMB SEO offers a cost effect, transparent, and holistic search engine marketing service solutions that includes Organic Search Optimization, Local Search Optimization, Paid Search Optimization, Link Buiding, Content Marketing, Listing Optimization, Video and Website Development services. SMB SEO recently relocated to the Urban Towers Offices in Las Colinas at 222 W. Las Colinas Blvd. Ste 1650 Irving, Tx 75039. SMB SEO is proud to be a corporate member of the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, the oldest and largest search marketing meetup group in the US. For more information, visit http://www.smbSEO.com.

About Cash Store The Cash Store is a trusted financial lending company with more than 270 locations across the country. The Cash Store specializes in providing customers with a fast and convenient way to meet unexpected financial expenses. The Cash Store is not the average lending company and prides itself on providing a stress free environment and simple approval process. For more information on services, visit The Cash Store on the web at http://www.cashstore.com.