Getting Better Google Search Rankings

Peyton Manning Snowboards with David Beckham

As I write this, Peyton Manning Omaha, Snowboarding, and David Beckham are trending on Google (

Peyton Manning, Snowboarding, David Beckham

Realistically, we aren’t going to enter the Zeitgeist annals for Google search rankings unless we are Peyton Manning snowboarding with David Beckham …. and that would last about a day when we’d be replaced with something easily as silly.

Getting ahead of the Penguin/Cobra Google Updates

Google Penguin Updates

Google gives their updates innocuous names, Penguin and Hummingbird, which are harmless creatures, but I’d suggest Cobra or the Great White update. You know it is getting harder and harder to achieve Google search rankings to stay in front of the gazillion other sites on your subject. The Google Spam gods are working very had to rid the net of spam sites (hooray for them) but they’re hurting a lot of websites and the people who earn their livings from those sites while they work toward stamping out spam.

You can’t beat Google, you have to join them

Enough whining!  Every two years Moz Blog does a study looking for the qualities of websites with high search ranking.  This year the not so surprising info on search results is that Google +1s are a huge factor …

After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well known metrics including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.

Combine that with the added oomph the “Search Plus Your World” update gave +1s and we have a Google monster that has to fed. Since Google merged search and Google+ the value of a +1 is exponentially stronger because it re-orders Google+ search results by the number of +1’s they receive.

Pinterest Agency BoardGot those Google +1 buttons up yet?

I first wrote about this in 2012 (!) SEO and Google+ and didn’t take my own advice … those +1 buttons didn’t go up on every page … You can be they’re on all my pages now and I recommend adding them to every client.

And while you’re admiring them, you could certainly give me a big Plus1 for this post.

– and if you’re interested, Google has a video of top searches for 2013: Google Zeitgeist 2013, which is really pretty cool.



Kindle Self Publishing – Get Thee an Editor


Kindle Self Publishing - You Need An EditorKindle Self Publishers, Listen Up

Kindle is a boon to authors (and readers of authors), but in our rush to self-publish, we skip a step.

Really Good Writing Demands Editing

Editors abound in mainstream publishing; not so much with Kindle Self Publishers.

Mainstream publishing has editors for a reason – and that reason is authors think that their work, the words they labored so hard for, revised so intently, and love like children, shouldn’t be questioned, touched, or God forbid, stricken from their work.

Not just new authors.  Anne Rice of vampire fame decided she didn’t need input on her work.  Her decision-making process in her words:

After the publication of the The Queen of the Damned, I requested of my editor that she not give me anymore comments. I resolved to hand in the manuscripts when they were finished. And asked that she accept them as they were. She was very reluctant, feeling that her input had value, but she agreed to my wishes. I asked this due to my highly critical relationship with my work and my intense evolutionary work on every sentence in the work, my feeling for the rhythm of the phrase and the unfolding of the plot and the character development. I felt that I could not bring to perfection what I saw unless I did it alone. In othe[r] (sic) words, what I had to offer had to be offered in isolation. So all novels published after The Queen of the Damned were written by me in this pure fashion, my editor thereafter functioning as my mentor and guardian.

This goes on and on …. but you get the picture.

After getting some rough reviews on, Anne Rice  posted a 1200 word rebuttal saying she had “no intention of allowing an editor ever to distort, cut or otherwise mutilate” her sentences. Public opinion dares to disagree.  Most people find her unedited work too wordy, rambling, and difficult to finish.

Sort of like that paragraph from her blog.

Hemingway. Fitzgerald. We want to be them.

Papa, Ernest HemingwayOur goals for writing are varied, but I don’t think many authors want to produce froth.  In our zeal to turn a memorable phrase, we forget that the masters were economical with words.  Spare.

“No Pilar,” Agustin said. “You are not smart. You are brave. You are loyal. You have decision. You have intuition. Much decision and much heart. But you are not smart.” 
― Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls

Tight. Crisp. Beautiful.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Needed an EditorMore?

“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

His sentences are imperfect, but his voice, his storytelling, is clean and clear.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Editor, Andrew Turnbull (Collected Letters) had this to say about Fitzgerald’s writing: “Fitzgerald was a lamentable speller. Following his ear, he habitually made such slips as “definate” and “critisism”, and proper names were his downfall. Fitzgerald frequently addressed his best friend, Ernest Hemingway, as ‘Ernest Hemmingway’ or even ‘Earnest Hemminway’.”

Which Brings Us to Spelling

The eye sees what the mind expects to see.  When we’ve worked over a piece of prose, we know what we want it to say and our mind will oblige us with a perfect view.  We overlook our misspelled words, incorrect contractions, improper tense.  Things that make us look unprofessional.

A fresh eye, trained to write and punctuate will catch those grammar school errors and save us from ourselves.

If for no other reason than the words spell check didn’t find because they were the wrong word, spelled properly, every author needs an editor.

So, get an editor.  Before everyone sees those typos on their Kindle.


Web Design: 5 questions to ask before you Hire a specialist

Are you getting good web advice?Unfortunately, in my business, I get called in a lot when web design projects aren’t going like they are supposed to. People who have jumped onto the internet bandwagon, bought a site, or had one built, and aren’t getting what they wanted from it.

These are the things that I’ve experienced with my clients, and you ought to run screaming (well maybe just run) in the opposite direction if you hear these words spoken.  And for sure, you should put your checkbook away and save your money.

SEO and Google+

Google+ SEO For Business PagesHave you considered the SEO possibilities of using google+?

If you’re a first mover on this, you’re going to capture more visibility,” says Rob Garner, vice president of strategy for digital marketing agency iCrossing. “This is kind of a gift in a lot of ways.”

Your blog represents . . . You

Drive Traffic to Your WordPress BlogYour blog is the most personal thing you will ever show the world.

Present anyway you want, most of the people who see it will never see you. If your blog’s job is to promote you and generate revenue, then you are going to meet people. Via phone, email, or in person.

Daily Digest 1.31.12

From the pubs I read yesterday:

$25K for a Slick Brand Page For Your Business On Twitter

<> Guess I won’t get 1 this week 🙁

Snickers, Twitter, And The Problem Of Compliance in the UK

<> Didn’t immediately reveal they were sponsored tweets

How to twitter: #NewNewTwitter

How to TwitterI’ve finally gotten the #newnewtwitter, and I really, really like it.

Except for what they’ve done to direct messages.

NewNewTwitter is slick and sexy and fast.  It has been simplified somewhat, although I do still have to look for some things after having it for a week or two.

But direct messages are a task.

Daily Digest 1.28.12

From the pubs I read today:

Brad Pitt enters Social Media on Google+Brad Pitt Joins Social Media on Google +, Skips Facebook, Twitter

His first foray into social media was a post about his Make It Right venture in New Orleans on Google+.

Daily Digest 1.27.12

From the pubs I read every day:

A Site to Help Soothe the Sting of Break Ups

We help people find out why their relationship ended. <> #RUKiddinMe?

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