Google Hires Ray Kurzweil as Director of Engineering

Beginning December 17, 2012, Google’s new Director of Engineering is Ray Kurzweil, a renowned futurist whose affinity for Google has been known for years – since Google funded Kurzweil’s Singularity University. At Google, Kurzweil will be working on new projects involving machine learning and language processing.

Raymond Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil, who earned a fortune developing computer voice recognition, is now Google’s new Director of Engineering. (Image via Wikipedia)

The announcement comes one month after Kurzweil’s release of How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, a book that explores the mysteries of the human brain, and how this knowledge can be used to create intelligent machines. He goes far enough to predict the rise of the machines (cyber-humans) by the end of the 2020s. The Terminator may not be a work of fiction, after all.

Ray Kurzweil is best known for other two bestselling volumes, The Singularity Is Near and The Age of Spiritual Machines. He is also known for important contributions in fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, and speech recognition. And he believes that the future belongs to nanotechnology and robotics. Now Google will be a part of that future.

In a blog post on his site, Google’s new Director of Engineering describes his new position with enthusiasm:

“In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic. Fast forward a decade — Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. It’s easy to shrug our collective shoulders as if these technologies have always been around, but we’re really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Google to work on some of the hardest problems in computer science so we can turn the next decade’s ‘unrealistic’ visions into reality.”

Google artificial intelligence dreams, may not be that far after all.



Advanced Search Operator Tactics


Advanced search commands are the cornerstone of “good, old-fashioned SEO.” By that, I mean the art of doing SEO stripped down, without tons of tools.

In a world that is saturated with SEO software solutions, advanced search commands are the man vs. wild of the search world. If you gain a better understanding of advanced search commands, you will definitely become a lot more resourceful when doing down-and-dirty site auditing, link prospecting, and competitor analysis.

Before we get into it, a short disclaimer: there are so many ways to use these advanced search commands that one could easily write a whole book on it – or at least a novella.

Also, if you’re using these search commands in another awesome way that I fail to mention, pleasedo leave a comment. I love discovering new ways to use advanced search commands, as do SEW’s readers!

With all that said, let’s explore the most awesome advanced search operators for Google and Bing and how to use them.

Cornerstone of Any Search Command SEO: Google Commands


Where Else You Can Use It: Google, Bing, Blekko [/site], Yandex, Baidu
*note:site:may behave slightly differently in those engines

Definition: Adding site: to your query will restrict the search results to the domain you’ve specified. []

How to Be Awesome With It: You can scan indexed URLs to get an idea of information architecture, potential duplicate content issues, and get an idea of overall number of pages indexed.

Pro Tip: Combine Site: with inurl: or allinurl: [may not work in all search engines] to analyze specific sections of a site. How big is the blog of a competitor site relative to the approximate total pages indexed? How many of those sort pages without are indexed? How many paginated pages are indexed? How many session ID pages are getting indexed? [ inurl:sort=price]. Are those pesky non-www. versions of pages getting indexed. Any time you want to analyze content within a site, the site: command is a very robust tool to have in your toolkit.


Where Else You Can Use It: Blekko [/similar]

Definition: When you use the related command, Google will return webpages that are similar to the webpage you’ve specified. []

How to Be Awesome With It: The related command has been used to find out the “neighborhood” of backlinks. However, keep in mind that there has been debate over the years on how accurate this command is for Google specifically.

Intitle: and Allintitle:

Where Else You Can Use Them: Bing, Yandex, Baidu, DuckDuckGo

Definition intitle: When you use the query in title:, Google restricts the documents it returns to those containing the term you included in the title. [intitle:keyword]

allintitle: When you use allintitle:, Google restricts results to those that contain the keyword that you specified in the title. So if you search [internet marketing] google will only fetch documents that contain the keywords ”internet” and “marketing” in the title. Notice the addition of the conjunction. [allintitle:keyword phrase]

How to Be Awesome With It: This command can be combined with a site: command to help identify templated, thin or duplicate pages by just identifying a part of the title that appears across the thin pages and searching for it. You will see about how many of those types of pages Google has indexed.


Definition: wildcard(*) to search for terms separated by 1-5 words
[internet * marketing] or [“internet * marketing”]

How to Be Awesome With It: The commands mentioned above are a great way to find articles about specific topics to build a potential list of prospects to market to. Keep in mind, though, that although these are powerful commands, they’re only as good as the searcher who is performing them is clever.

Honorable Mentions

Google Reverse Image Search

While this isn’t an advanced search command, it is so cool! Just click the little camera in the Google image search bar and you can query an image link or a local file and it tells you all the places where your image has been found. If you’re an image heavy site, you can easily reach out to websites that have snagged your images and ask them for a citation back to your site. It’s also fun to see just how image content travels.

Google Verbatim

Again, this isn’t a search command, but Google Verbatim allows you to search using the exact keyword you typed, so no spelling corrections, no replacing words with synonyms, and no words with the same stem, or personalization. Verbatim gives you search rankings without the preservatives. To get to verbatim from a Google SERP, click on Search tools, then you’ll find it in the All Results sub-menu.

New And Shiny: Bing Search Commands


Definition: Returns the pages that are linked-to from a domain.

How To Be Awesome With It: This command can be used to explore check the link neighborhood for a site or for finding prospective sites to connect to for promotional purposes.


Definition: This command returns originating results from websites or subdomains for the provided IP address. Another thing to note about this command is that prefix-matching is also possible with it, so ip:89 returns the site IP:89.356.567.76 if it’s in Bing’s index.

How To Be Awesome With It: This command can be used when you’re trying to map out a possible link network that may live on the same IP for competitor research or backlink removal projects.


Definition: url: command tells you if a given URL is in Bing’s index.

How To Be Awesome with It: This command is similar to the Google cache: command. The url: command is a useful one to run to identify if a particular page is indexed in bing or not. This is helpful for diagnosing if you’re having a crawling issue in Bing beyond just using Bing Webmaster Tools.


Definition: The Domain: command limits results to the domain that is specified. This command also returns any suffix matches. The big difference between the domain command and the site: command is that site: searches up to two levels only. Also, keep in mind that IP cannot be used with this command.

Tips For Bing Advanced Search Commands

Bing Meta Operators

Definition: A meta operator is an operator that is used with other operators. Takes a simple list as a parameter and returns results based on that. One example of this in Bing is keyword:(intitle inbody)software. The output of this command would translate roughly as intitle:software orinbody:software.

How To Be Awesome With It: When you’re trying to find a type of content with great precision, this is very helpful.

Other Fun Bing Commands for Geeks

Subtle Differences contains: and filetype: in Bing

The contains: operator returns pages that link to other documents and multimedia like music, video, PDF, and so on. Conversely, “filetype:” returns pages that created in the format that is specified, returning .pdf documents, if you specific filetype:pdf.

Understanding words surrounding a given keyword using near:

The near: operator searches for a specific keyword that is within range of another word. Bing documentation gives the example of foo near:10 bar explaining it as, “Ordering is considered in ranking. Thus, in this example, pages that contain bar ten words or less after foo would receive a greater boost in rank than pages in which foo appears ten words or less after bar. However, depending on the rest of the query, this does not necessarily mean that the former would be ranked higher than the latter.”

Blekko Fun SEO Slashtags

Although Blekko SEO data is no longer free to the masses, here are a couple cool slashtags that I have had fun playing with.


Definition: Lets you see the links to a site.


Definition: Lets you check the popularity of internal pages of a site.


Definitions: These commands displays URLs that have content that is the same as that of the website you are looking at. This lets you quickly check for content theft.

Other Great Resources To Check Out

Offical Documentation

Some Interesting Articles

Moment of Zen

Image Credit: 123RF Stock Photos


Why I Love Google Panda (and you should, too)

“Panda” has become kind of a dirty word among SEOs. Tweet about a trip to the zoo or a cuddly stuffed animal, and you’re bound to get a tweet back saying, “Ugh, don’t say panda, I’m still traumatized.” My response to this reaction is twofold:

Reaction 1: Whatever, you guys. I still love pandas.

I mean, look at this guy:


Reaction 2: Whatever, you guys. I love Google Panda.

The hell you say?

Yes, that’s right. I’m kind of a fan of Google Panda. Why? Because in addition to being an SEO, I’m also a Google user. I use Google multiple times every single day; everything from topics I’m researching for work, to the menu of the place I’m going for dinner (WHY PDF WHY?), to a variety of queries that start with “can dogs eat.” And back in 2010, Google started to suck.

An embarrassing anecdote

During the 2010 holiday season, I went out and got myself my very own, non-plastic, real live Christmas tree for the first time. Unbeknownst to me, that tree came with a very special Christmas gift just for me: fleas. My apartment got fleas like your great-aunt’s cat Mr. Mittens. It was bad, people. And it being the holiday season, I was pretty strapped for cash. What I wanted was a way to get rid of the little bastards myself, without calling an exterminator or spraying my apartment with poison. So what did I do? I turned to Google.

Here’s what I found: pages and pages of articles titled “How to Get Rid of Fleas” that were all meaningless, thin-content paragraphs riddled with links to exterminator services. Not just one or two, but multiple searches resulted in a SERP full of this garbage. It was only after a fair amount of digging that I was able to find the solution (vacuum alllllll of the things really thoroughly, seal your clothes/bedding in a plastic bag for a day or two and then wash them in super-hot water) I was looking for.

Lately, I’ve been speaking to some college classes on SEO and when I start to talk about Panda, I ask if they remember a time when it seemed like every search they did turned up shallow, worthless results that seemed to talk about what they wanted, but didn’t actually provide any answers. And you know what? They all remember, and they all agree that SERPs have improved significantly since then.

The Panda update was an upsetting, stressful time for SEOs and business owners alike. It was far from perfect; a lot of perfectly good content got knocked out with the bad, and a lot of innocent (i.e. non-black-hat) websites were affected. But it ultimately did make a lot of SERPs better, returning more trustworthy information that is more relevant to the query.

Take a look at the SERP for “How to Get Rid of Fleas” today. It still has a ton of results from sites like eHow and Instructables, which are sites that we might typically associate with having been hit by Panda. The difference is that now, those pages actually contain information on how to get rid of fleas. Additionally, there are results from highly reputable sources like the ASPCA, adding a measure of trust.

Panda was intended to make sure that when people Google something they can actually find it. On that measure, I’d say it succeeded more than it failed.

Bad panda

“But Ruth,” I hear you say. “You should know as well as anybody that innocent businesses were affected by Panda. People lost a lot of business.”

bad panda

I know, and I kind of blame Google for that. They told us that the best way to rank was to have content on every page. No matter how many times they told us “create content for users, not search engines,” by also telling us to have content on all the pages, they were effectively saying “create content for search engines.” Small businesses often don’t have the resources to create the kind of consistent, deep, relevant content that Google really wants. I can see why creating a bunch of keyword-rich but otherwise meaningless content might have seemed like the next best thing. I can only imagine how frustrating and scary it was for businesses to have their pages wiped from the SERPs in Panda’s wake, and I KNOW how frustrating it was for SEOs to try to help those once-burned, twice-shy businesses get back into Google’s good graces.

How Google makes money

Google makes money because Google has gigantic market share. They can charge advertisers more because they have the biggest pool of potential ad impressions and clicks to sell. This means Google has a complete interest in ensuring that when people search for things, they find exactly what they’re looking for. That’s it. Google does not care whether or not they foster small or local business growth in the U.S. and abroad. They only care about serving up the most relevant results they can to as many people as they can, so everyone keeps using Google.

Like I said, Panda wasn’t perfect, but it did make a big difference in SERP relevance to a lot of queries. The other side of Google’s gigantic market share, however, is that many businesses need some kind of presence on Google to succeed. We owe it to our clients – nay, we owe it to the Internet itself – to help them actually create relevant resources for users who search on their keywords. In addition to pleasing Google, you may convince some of those people to buy something.

It also means that we should make sure our clients invest in diverse sources of traffic. If a site has more than 50% of its traffic coming from Google, that leaves you pretty vulnerable to changes in Google’s algorithm.

Finally, it’s more important than ever to help businesses of all sizes – even those who can’t afford SEO – market themselves online, the right way. I’m so excited that SEOmoz is working with GetListed now. I’m hoping that with increased access to resources to market themselves online, small and local businesses can start knocking content farms out of the SERPs. I’m also hoping that future updates like Panda – designed to keep quality in the SERPs – will be less dangerous to small and local businesses,because they’ll know more about what to do and what not to do.

I’m also hoping we can go back to thinking “D’AWWWWWW” instead of “D’OH!” when we see a cuddly guy like this one:

cute panda

Top 1 SEO Tips for 2013

If we’ve learned anything in 2012, it’s that Google isn’t letting up on low-value tactics. We’ve had the Penguin update13 Panda updates (so many that we needed a new naming scheme), and a crackdown on low-qualityExact Match Domains (EMDs), to name just a few. While I can’t tell you Google’s next move, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty – there’s more to come. So, how can you protect what you’ve built in 2013?

I was going to write a long list of suggestions, but I realized that they almost all boiled down to just one idea. I’m not going to toy with you – my top tip for 2013 SEO is this:


If at any point in 2012 you asked “What’s the best [X] for SEO?” (link-building tactic, tag, directory, etc.), you’re already in trouble. Any single-tactic approach is short-term at best. Real companies, real link profiles, and real marketing are rich with variety.

So, what does that mean, practically? I’m going to cheat a bit and split my one tip into five kinds of diversity that I think are critical to your SEO success in the coming years.

1A. Diversify Anchor Text

Let’s start with an easy one. We’ve all known for a while that overly aggressive inbound link anchor text was pushing the envelope, and the Penguin Update definitely reinforced that message. If every link to your site reads “buy best Viagra cheap Viagra today!”, it might as well read “spam spam spammity spam,” especially if it’s in a sentence like:

If you’re looking for the best price on the new iPad and iPad cases, thenbuy best Viagra cheap Viagra today! and get a free bag of Acai berries.

It’s not natural, and you know it. What’s the best way to make your anchor text seem “natural?” Stop obsessing over it. Yes, anchor text is a signal, but any solid link profile is going to naturally use relevant text and appear in the context of relevant text. If you want to tweak the text on some of your high-authority links, go for it, but I wouldn’t break out the spreadsheets in 2013.

1B. Diversify Your Links

Are guest posts the one true answer to all of life’s questions or are they a scourge on our fragile earth? To read the SEO blogosphere in 2012, it’s hard to tell. Any link-building tactic can be low quality, if you abuse it. The problem is that someone reads a tip about how guest posts make good links and then they run off and publish the same slapped-together junk on 15,000 sites. Then they wonder why their rankings dropped.

Nothing screams manual link-building like a profile that’s built with only one tactic, especially if that tactic is too easy. At best, you’re eventually going to be doomed to diminishing returns. So, take a hard look at where your links came from in 2012 and consider trying something new next year. Diversify your profile, and you’ll diversify your risk.

1C. Diversify Traffic Sources

There’s an 800-lb. Gorilla in the room, and we’re all writing more SEO blog posts to avoid talking about it. Most of us are far too dependent on Google for traffic. What would you do if something changed overnight? I know some of you will object  – “But ALL my tactics are white-hat and I follow the rules!” Assuming that you understood the rules 100% accurately and really followed them to the letter, what if they changed?

The more I follow the Algorithm, the more I realize that the changing search UI and feature landscape may be even more important than the core algorithm itself. What happens if your competitor suddenly gets site-links, or you’re #8 on a SERP that drops to only 7 results, or everyone gets video snippets and you have no videos, or your niche shifts to paid inclusion and you can’t afford to pay? Even if you’ve followed the rules, your traffic could drop on a moment’s notice.

You need to think beyond Google. I know it’s tough, and it’s going to take time and money, but if you’re dependent on Google for your livelihood, then your livelihood is at serious risk.

1D. Diversify Your Marketing

There’s been a very positive trend this year toward thinking about marketing much more broadly – not as a tactic to trick people into liking you, but as the natural extension of building a better mousetrap. I think this is at the heart of RCS (not to put words in Wil’s mouth) – if you do something amazing and you believe in it, everything you do is marketing. If you build crap and you know it’s crap, then marketing is sleight of hand that you hope to pull on the unsuspecting. You might score twenty bucks by stealing my wallet, but you’re not going to gain a customer for life.

Stop taking shortcuts and make a real resolution in 2013 to think hard about what you do and why it has value. If you understand your value proposition, content and marketing naturally flow out of that. Talk to people outside of the SEO and marketing teams. Find out what your company does that’s unique, exciting, and resonates with customers.

1E. Diversify Your Point Of View

I recently had the pleasure to finally see Michael Dorausch (a chiropractor and well-known figure in the local SEO community) speak. Dr. Mike arrived in Tampa for BlueGlassX and built his presentation from the ground up, using photography to tell stories about the neighborhood and local history. It’s hard to explain in a few sentences, but what amazed me was just how many ideas for unique and original content he was able to find in less than 48 hours, just by having a fresh perspective and passion for the subject. I’d like to say I was inspired by the presentation, but to be totally honest, I think the emotion was embarrassment. I was embarrassed that he was able to generate so many ideas so quickly, just by coming at the problem with the right attitude.

In 2013, if you tell me your industry is “boring,” be warned – I’m going to smack you. If you’re bored by what you do, how do you think your prospects and customers will feel? Step out – have someone give you a tour of your office like you’ve never been there. Visit your home city like you’re a tourist coming there for the first time. Get five regular people to walk through your website and try to buy something (if you don’t have five normal friends, use a service like The New Year is the perfect time for a fresh perspective.


Best Practices for Building Your 2013 Enterprise SEO Campaign

2012 has been a year of rapid change. The markets have changed, the search algorithms have changed, the SERP results have changed, and how we define what we do is changing.

We’re in an industry that is now 15 years old and growing rapidly. SEO is forecast to be a $2.2 billion industry, according to the Forrester U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016.

The growth and importance of SEO and the fusion of search, site, and social fueled by advancement and integration of technology brings opportunity to scale our search and integrated marketed efforts to best effect for the best results. Here are some tips and a process that will help you build and, most importantly, scale your SEO campaigns in 2013.

What is Enterprise SEO?

A common misconception about enterprise SEO is that it is directly related to company size. Many companies and large brands with complex infrastructures, multi departments, multiple site and multiple products are well suited to enterprise SEO. However, small companies that manage large and multiple sites also use enterprise SEO.

Enterprise SEO involves managing search and social campaigns holistically using a suite of integrated tools that include monetary, productivity, and relationship management type solutions. From a technological perspective – it is a platform of integrated tools and features.


Building Your 2013 Enterprise SEO Solution

Enterprise SEO captures and builds upon opportunities not just across your site, search and social campaigns but focuses on the interplay of data across these functions. How you use this data, execute and align action throughout your organization will be critical to your success in 2013.


There are many ways to build an enterprise SEO campaign. For many, at first, the task may seem a little daunting. Above is a structured way of looking at it and breaking it down to make the process easier to digest.

Channels and Data


Your site should be at the center of you SEO strategy. Building your enterprise SEO campaign means you need to recognize every entity in SEO, the subjects of your SEO strategy. These include pages, keywords, keyword groups, backlinks and social signals.

  1. Success and value based metrics: This is every metric that measures success as defined by you and your business – goals, business outcome, sales, conversions such as downloads, bounce rate – revenue and return.
  2. SEO variables – every variable that impacts and/or correlates with these metrics.
    • Traffic – visits, page visits, keyword traffic
    • Links – Domain- and backlink-based
    • Rank – Position for volume based and long-tail terms and branded vs. non-branded
    • On-page – title tags, H1 tags, alt attributes, anchor text
    • Social – Signals, Likes, +1’s
    • Content – keyword density, copy, headlines, text to content ratios and so forth
  3. Time variance – Ensure you have the ability, technology, and resources to measure these over a period of time so you can analyze performance, identify trends, and implement appropriate action.


Google continues to evolve its algorithm to promote great content and demote sites that are focused on gaming or reverse engineering the algorithm. Google updates such as Panda and Penguin are indications that these search short-term tactics are over.

Link Analysis and Link Building

All your enterprise link building strategies are built to pursue 100 percent white hat practices.

Understanding and adapting to the way that SEO has changed is essential. Keeping up with change and innovation is a time and resource heavy tasks.

A great example of this type of best practice is highlighted in a detailed 8 page Majestic SEO and Rosetta Marketing Whitepaper on backlink management and best practices.


Local and Mobile

Google’s recent changes with regard to social signals and local search signify an important shiftand focus on mobile search as, in parallel, mobile adoption rates surge.

Search is also more local now as results vary by location and your enterprise SEO technology needs to deliver refined SEO success metrics and variables based on location.


Many enterprise SEO campaigns need to also reach global audiences. For many, ranking globally is a top priority. Not only does this boost your marketing ROI, it also maintains your brand online and globally.

Now actually managing a global SEO is campaign is a whole post or two in itself as you look for variance and differences across local nuisances, translation, search engine types, and global law. Crispin Sheridan from SAP gives some great tips here on global SEO best practices.

Blended Search and Universal Search

SERPs now not only include blue links but also images, video, places, and news, among others. Your 2013 enterprise SEO strategy should make use of this opportunity to dominate the SERP by:

  • Tracking and analyzing universal rank performance for its keywords. It gives you more visibility into how different content types are doing on the SERPs
  • Tracking ‘blended rank’ (i.e., rank of the big blue links amongst all types of search results). It also gives you a better measure of their performance on the SERP – see metrics section above

As the market has a renewed focus on content in 2013 measuring how and where your content ranks.


Enterprise SEO requires looking across traditional SEO techniques and social media channels. Social is a productive channel since search engines increasingly rely on social media traction for pages in order to decide how to rank them. Social media, influence and social media link building should all form part of your 2013 strategy.

For example, enterprise SEO teams are increasingly using Twitter to drive SEO campaigns. Leading brands like Adobe and Tiny Prints have actually driven rank by increasing tweets sharing those pages.

There are several data points you can use to build your campaigns. For example:

  • Understand which keywords are trending on Twitter and promote mapping pages.
  • Correlate Tweets with rank – where you see a positive correlation reinforce Twitter activity.

Analysis and Opportunity

You aren’t the only company vying for your audience’s attention, click, and revenue. Understanding where your competitors are positioned in SEO is one important aspect in today’s competitive landscape for meeting your organic search goals.

There are several ways to look at competitive intelligence. One framework approaches this from the content, authority, and opportunity angles.

Another good way to approach the opportunity aspect of competitive intelligence is looking at:

  • Improving share of voice: Understanding you and your competitors’ performance and strategies, and using this to improve your own share of voice.
  • Forecasting opportunity: Quantifying the value of SEO opportunities.

A key component of your 2013 enterprise SEO strategy should involve keeping an eye on competition since what they do affects you too.

  • Analytics for existing competition: Your enterprise SEO strategies should support competitive intelligence. For example, track how the competition is doing, vary analytics and actions based on this. This can be in the form of rank for your competitors for the keywords and keyword groups that matter to you; their backlink profile including anchor text and authority of linking domains
  • Discover new competition: Your known competition is on your radar. But be sure to include all your competition. For example, those that are in your line of business and are grabbing SERP real estate as well as those that happen to rank well even though they have nothing to do with your business. The latter are usually ignored since they don’t steal your business but they occupy positions that could have gone to you.
  • For both, deconstruct SEO strategies: The list of competitors isn’t enough. Look into building a system that helps you understand what their strategies are and what their target keywords are. Where is the competition getting their links? What’s the anchor text? What relevant keywords are they ranking for that you are not ranking for?
  • Turn your competitive intelligence into opportunities and close any gaps: Discover new keywords that you should be tracking, domains that are potential back linkers and so forth. You will uncover areas where your competition is doing well but you aren’t – narrow this gap. You see areas where you’re way ahead of competition – keep doing this better


The best way to decide where to invest your SEO resources is by projecting potential returns form each project. This way, enterprise SEO organizations allocate resources based on hard driven data.

Building your enterprise SEO campaign includes developing the expertise to:

  • Create a forecasting model: Know what problem you want to solve. Know what to forecast and how this will determine your actions and decisions. Know what determines the business result you want to forecast. Quantify how these variables will affect the business result.
  • Build the opportunity model: Allow for multiple scenarios, Define and place value on opportunities. Run the forecast for multiple scenarios.
  • Take Action: Based on projected revenues and business results.

Execution and Return

CRM, workflow and task management are a huge part on enterprise SEO campaigns – especially those for large brands that have multiple departments, sites, and reporting structures.

Good enterprise SEO involve technology and systems that align goals and objectives across your/your clients organization efficiently.

Streamlined Execution

Your enterprise SEO strategy should be set up to take the in-depth analytics and data and actually act on it. It should also foster a collaborative mindset driven by streamlining the way marketing activities are executed. It should also provide full visibility into how the teams are executing on its goals.

In order to build the most advanced enterprise SEO campaign it is important to use data to action. This comes from:

  • Reporting based on role: Enterprise SEO assumes that there are different roles within a marketing organization – the VP of marketing interested in revenue from portfolio of sites; director of search looking at rank and conversions from a subset of sites; and SEO managers seeking insight into keyword rank performance. Your enterprise SEO strategy should have the ability to deliver this varied insight depending on who’s seeing it. Also, every role digests information differently – executives need dashboards; SEO practitioners love to get their feet into the data. An enterprise SEO system not only satisfies different levels of hunger for data but also serves it in recopies digestible to each audience and especially the CMO.
  • Moving from understanding to action: Your campaign now has all the data, you have worked out how to present it in formats fine tuned to different audiences. Now is the time to extract real understanding and take action. It’s important to build a mechanism automatically calls out what actions to take. Ideally this mechanism should list possible and different actions that see people and managers can see right through your organization. Ensure your mechanism is comprehensive and can provide control to the SEO manager to target any of the SEO goals in previous section and provide insight on which variables should be controlled to achieve these goals.
  • Clear KPIs and organizational alignment: You have the data and now it’s time to share. Ensure that a clear understanding and agreement on your objectives such as:
    • Who does what?
    • How will you define KPIs for each team member?
    • How are these KPIs related to the overall goals of marketing?
    • Is every team member aware of how their KPI is related to the overall goals?
  • Streamlined Process – how tasks are executed with owners, deadline and status reporting: Knowing what the next steps is a great. The next step is to create a scalable program that takes all these steps and assign it to the concerned team members. Ensure all activities also has a deadline, decided in collaboration with the team member in charge of it as well as other team members on who this task might have dependencies.
  • Real-time visibility and transparency: In order to build a soundly executed SEO strategy 100 percent visibility will be required into how well the team is executing on all tasks. Corrective action, such as adding more resources to complete pending tasks, reallocating people to the tasks, may be needed. Every team member has to be in the loop about activities that influence their work or their own activities that impose dependencies on others.
  • Automation and efficiency: Does your data tell you that you need fix the on-page factors for the new landing page you just created? Then you probably assigned it as a task to your web team. How do you know if the task was completed? You could have the web team to update you on progress but building or utilizing an automated system – which automatically tells you when the on page factors get fixed – saves you vital time. Pursuing a back link on your partners site? Use or create a system that notifies you as soon as the link goes live with the right anchor text.

Executive Buy in and Operational SEO

A true enterprise SEO strategy across sites, search and social needs executive buy in and support. The execution of your strategy is dependent on multiple teams and team members doing their job in a collaborative manner – this varies between brand/in-house and agency models.

There are multiple moving parts that span across all areas of marketing, content, PR, and demand generation. Under such circumstances, it helps to have an executive champion ready to solve any technical, financial and people issues while reinforcing the important of the enterprise SEO strategy.

Ben McKay, Head of Organic Performance at MoneySupermarket shares some great insight.

“Be brave with organizational design. Prior to 2011, a team of 20 SEO’s might have been relevant to deliver campaigns, but moving forward a team of 10 SEO’s and 10 specialist digital marketers might be more value adding for both the business and consumers alike…at MoneySupermarket, we have seen a great deal of career development and satisfaction come on the back of this transition too.”

Close the Loop on ROI

After you run forecasts, run analysis on what’s working across channels, it’s important to see if you actually got the ROI you should.

For example, if you assigned a dollar value for a keyword opportunity that you pursued, did you actually realize the goals? If not, why? What went wrong? Were you projections off and was that due to any assumptions? Or was it a problem of execution – were you slow to execute on the content development plans in order to boost rank?

The reasons could be dime a dozen – the point is, after every project assess your ROI achievements and be sure to look across your:

  • Your data across sites, search and social
  • Your execution
  • ROI projections

What’s more – providing a tight integration of analytics with SEO enables companies to pull in ROI measurement and glean insights on how their efforts are performing and what actions they need to take. Integration allows you, as marketers and not just SEO professionals, to look across channels to measure total productivity across all digital disciplines.

2013 will involve looking closely at not just SEO, but also how it relates to content and social media and broader digital marketing and cross channel integration. More on that next year.

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Bing It On Holiday Search Challenge: Search, Compare & Win

Starting today, we’re inviting people in the US to take a new holiday-themed Bing it On Challenge for a chance to win a ‘Microsoft Box of Awesome’ (Windows Phone 8, Xbox 360 with Kinect, Windows 8 device) or a chance at the grand prize:a $10,000 paid trip to any place in the U.S. Test it out by searching for your favorite holiday activities such as “how to make homemade eggnog” or “ice skating rink” and pick your preferred results. clip_image001 To enter the sweepstakes or learn more, visit the challenge site at, Official rules can be foundhere. Launched earlier in the Fall, the Bing It On Challenge is an online tool that makes it easy for you to compare Bing and Google’s web search results. The challenge is simple – within the tool you search for five search queries of your choice and compare unbranded web search results from Bing and Google side-by-side. For each search result, you choose a winner, or declare it a “draw”. After you complete your five search queries and vote for each one, we show you the final score. You can then share the Bing It On Challenge with others via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Good luck! – The Bing Team

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5 Pinterest Boards for Content Marketers

Are you a content marketer? Do you love Pinterest? If you don’t, you should, because there is no better place to find relevant content for your industry, nor is there a quicker way to share that content. Not only can you find plenty of items to educate you on the latest information in today’s online market, but you can also use it to promote yourself by creating a fun and informative board for others to follow.

Plenty of others have had that idea, and they have created some great boards that you should check out. Five of my personal favorites are possibly even the best boards on the social networking site.

1. Internet Marketing Posts

Internet Marketing Posts

Most of these pins are links to outside sites, and all of them are high quality posts that are really helpful. You can find information on topics like creating better content, niche ranking, and using YouTube to generate traffic, among others. I am surprised this board doesn’t have more followers, as the quality seems to have been carefully maintained. One thing that is disappointing is that there are only 42 pins, and it has been stuck at that number for a while. I would have liked to see more posts, and maybe if there were more posts, there would be more followers. Nonetheless, what is already posted is well worth a look.

2. Infographics Infographics

This is another board that should have a lot more followers than it does. The board features more than 300 infographics related to social media, content marketing, and PR, and I have found many great ones that have been really helpful. The graphics are in English, but the descriptions are not, and that might explain why there are fewer followers than I would expect. It’s probably harder for the majority of users on Pinterest to find this board by searching. In any case, this is a must follow for anyone who is looking for industry specific infographics.

3. Branding/Marketing


This one is a smaller board, but there is nothing but high quality infographics on marketing and branding here, including a few good ones on the history of content marketing in both a pre-modern and modern context. Everything here is really interesting, and it is one of my favorite collections of visual data that I have found anywhere on the web. And that is saying a lot, given the many blogs now dedicated to the topic.

4. Infographics


One of the largest infographic boards on Pinterest, this board has 1,400+ pins and thousands of followers. Of course, there isn’t a specific subject focus for these pins, so it can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to searching for relevant content marketing pieces. I have noticed a bit of an emphasis on social media, however, and that can be helpful, especially for general information that you can apply to your industry’s context.

5. Marketing, Media, Etc.

Marketing, Media, Ect.

This is mostly a board for infographics, but there are some links to outside articles, as well. I have found a lot of really cool data here. The fact that there are 90+ followers, yet only 27 pins, should speak for itself. There is quite a bit on content marketing on the board, as well. It isn’t updated often, but everything on the board is so good that it is worth the follow.


Content marketing is an interesting and varied topic, and there is always more to learn. Boards like these give you a ton of information and allow you to enjoy yourself while reading them. Not to mention, you will also have the ability to share that content with others who might find it useful.

What are some of your favorite marketing boards on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments, or share your own!