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longhornkate vs katemorris
August 25, 2008

This has been a big topic this past week at SES San Jose. There was even a panel talking about twitter and the panelist spoke about how you need to brand your name, not another name like yours. According to them the only exceptions are the older SEOs like Graywolf.

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When I started out on twitter I used a name I had come up with for MySpace, longhornkate. It showed my love of the Texas Longhorn football team and my first name. I am a single female so thought this might be best considering I might change my surname someday.

Then this past week a number of people I respect noted that I should be going by my real name on twitter to build that brand, instead of longhornkate. After about the 8th person, I decided to try it out and see what people thought.The reaction has been mixed. So what do you think? LonghornKate or KateMorris? I own both domains, so that’s not an issue.

Please vote and then post a comment explaining why you feel that way. I am so curious.

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What should my brand be?
longhornkate
katemorris
> View Results
PollDaddy.com
Posted by Kate at 4:24pm
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austinsem soft launch
August 14, 2008

It’s almost … well it is official. AustinSEM.org has launched, but just with a temporary site. We’ll be looking for a better place to host and a great designer to help us with the site. For now, it totally works. Please stop by if you’re an Austin SEM and sign up. We have some great things coming up and want to get together with as many Austin SEO, SEMs, etc as possible.

You do have to be working in the industry though. We will soon start training for those that WANT to do it.

I’m excited to get our community together and hope the other SEMs in Austin agree.

Posted by Kate at 11:47am
2 Comments »

sxsw interactive
August 08, 2008

The web is getting inundated with request for votes on their proposed panels for SXSW Interactive. In true fashion, I have one as well. If you have a few seconds I’d like to tell you where to vote for ours and most importantly, why.

VOTE HERE

Title: Rock Your Video Marketing Like a P*rn Star (With More Clothes On)

It’s an all girl panel including myself, Laura Alter and Nadia King. Three hot women talking about video marketing and SEO.
Taking a page from the top industry on the internet to feed your business model can’t be a bad idea.
Video marketing is one of the newest topics that few understand and utilize in business.
It’s going to be so much FUN!! 🙂
VOTE HERE

Posted by Kate at 8:39am
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school and adolesence
August 07, 2008

Okay, a post I was writing for here I gave to Bruce Clay as a guest post. I think it was a good topic, and Bruce Clay gets many more readers than I, so I sent it that direction.

The Adolescence of SEO

Next up, someone on twitter asked me to keep everyone up to date on my schooling and it’s progress. So I will attempt to be better about updating everyone on what I’m learning and how it applies to SEM. I just got done with a class called “Organizational Behavior” which explored everything from personality types, to teams, to Maslow. Speaking of Maslow, Dana Larson just wrote a post on Maslow and applying the Hierarchy of Needs to Social Marketing. Pretty good. It’s not the theory organizational behaviorists use much anymore but the parallels she draws are awesome.

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I did get an A in that class after some hard work, lots of studying (much to Todd Friesen’s annoyance), and a few times praying. I’m a third the way done (4/12) and holding onto my 4.0. So far so good.

Posted by Kate at 2:29pm
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live asks ask?
July 31, 2008

Live released a new look … look familiar?? *sigh* But it does look good. Live looks like Ask, Ask is using Microsoft Maps, hmmm …

New Live.com
live.com

Ask.com
ask.com

Posted by Kate at 3:07pm
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beating a dead horse
July 31, 2008

Houston SEO Company

Being in school for an MBA, you hear the same companies talked about over and over again. That’s the good and the “bad” ones. Worldcom and Enron are favorites for what not to do. Google and Sun Microsystems are the most recently talked about in my organizational behavior class as the “good kids.”

There has been a lot of buzz about the new search engine Cuil, including my own review, and many others. But now we have reached terminal velocity, people are tired of hearing about it. There was so much buzz before and so many scathing reviews after that the saturation point has been reached.

So why do we keep talking about it? It’s a clear example of what not to do. If I do get to teaching at the university level someday, I am sure Cuil will be an example I use over and over again. They did everything right before the release, but missed the boat on their release. Like Vista, it’s pretty, but the functionality just isn’t there. Things should have been tested over and over, then checked again by beta testers. Once that was done, and they had the sign off from a few top minds, then they should have released.

So hopefully this will be the last time I speak of the abomination until I end up teaching, or writing a thesis. As writers and educators (which all SEOs are), we love to have a “what not to do” and that’s what Cuil gave us.

Posted by Kate at 9:58am
2 Comments »

cuil – a review
July 28, 2008

Cuil – said “cool.” Nope. I want to say “coolie.” Sphinn worked for me, but not this one. Though there are still people that mispronounce Sphinn, so whatever. It’s the engine just released from former Googlers. Last night it was all over Twitter, so I thought I’d check it out this morning, especially after the Austin American Statesman talked about it too.

First searches: I don’t like the picture thing and the layout. Maybe it’s like Facebook (I personally like the new layout), sometimes it’s just something to get used to.

I think this is too simple for the core searchers to use. Maybe it’s more for the “normal” person … but I don’t think you are going to get far by ignoring the SEM world. We are the ones that make recommendations. While we are finiky, Google knows how this works. Cuil founders, you worked there, you should know that. Give us ways to check things and test things. You give us nothing right now.

On the upside for them, there is a possibility that this will change everything. The title tags I have now look really stupid on this layout and the mass of text below is weird. I now want to know more about where they are pulling info from and how to edit it. If this takes off, SEO will change yet again. It makes results change and we will have to grow to fit it.

For right now, am I worried? Nope. So far from what I’ve seen on twitter, no one else is impressed either.

Final thought: If you want to go after the top search engine, don’t announce it that way. Google didn’t get to the top by releasing as the “next Yahoo.” Be your own damn engine. Do something remarkable and leave it up to the world to decide.

Search #1: “auto refinance”
Reasoning: I know the space VERY well, and wanted to see how things showed up.
Outcome: The “rankings” are about right … but the pictures throw me off. Some have pictures some don’t. But good so far (read my company shows first).

Search #2: “kate morris”
Reasoning: My name. 🙂 Again, I know these results.
Outcome: How is my website, katemorris.com, while not updated, third. And then there is a picture of grapes? WTF? That appears no where on my site. It’s old, but not that ripe! Then there is my SEOmoz profile and old picture. I changed that like a month ago. Old results guys.

Search #3: “austin sem”
Resoning: Checking for logos
Outcome: Pathetic. The largest agency in Austin is listed 5th, with another companies logo. FAIL.

Search #4: “seomoz”
Reasoning: Lots to cover here … just interested.
Outcome: Still no company logo. Some of the pictures are right (about 60% of the time they are), but the most fascinating thing is the “Explore by Category” Box. Rand … you got “Black_hat_seo” as a category. Teehee.

Search #5: “austin pizza”
Reasoning: Local search
Outcome: Nope. This is bad. And the Category only gives national chains. Austin doesn’t work this way people. Maybe small towns, but Austin Pizza, Flying Tomato, and Mangia would be pissed here.

cuil wishlist
How many of my pages are indexed? site: doesn’t work
No Advanced Search
No way to edit the photo that appears or guidelines on how to change that
Local Search
What are yours?
Posted by Kate at 8:44am
2 Comments »

adwords ad and keyword tracking problem
July 24, 2008

Maybe someone has a solution to this, but for now I am calling this a “would love” feature in AdWords.

Situation: My company wants to test placing the phone number in the ad text and how that converts better than other ads. There is some debate about this and I want to try it. 🙂 So we assign a phone number to the campaign and a landing page with that phone number. Full tracking since people might click and then convert online and we want to know that.

Also know that we track all keywords with keyword specific URLs in AdWords. AdWords give precedence to keyword specific URLs (and I LOVE that) meaning they override the ad copy URL.

Problem: With these new ads, the new landing page is only specified in the ad URL, which is being overridden by the keyword URL. I can’t start a new campign with new keyword URLs because it’s duplication. The ads won’t be rotated correctly.

What I need: A way to attach trackers in the keyword to append to the ad URL. That was hard to say. Let me explain.

Ad 1 URL: www.example.com

Ad 2 URL: www.example.com/lp

I want to set a tracker on all keywords in that campaign so that when someone searches “blue widgets” and gets Ad 2, they get www.example.com/lp/?source=bluewidgets. If they got Ad 1, it’d be www.example.com/?source=bluewidgets.

Basically what I’m looking for is a choice of changing the keyword desination URL if need be, but also have the option of appending a tracker on the end of the ad URL.

Anyone agree? Got ideas for me? I’m posting on webmasterworld too, see what happens there.

Posted by Kate at 10:43am
3 Comments »

is viral marketing permission marketing?
July 23, 2008

At SEMforSMB, I hear one speaker say that one type of permission marketing is Viral Marketing. He was saying that things like widgets and linkbait are just as good as emails, etc. I am not sure I agree there, if you think about what some people consider viral marketing. I must define before I move ahead, so please wait before butchering me. 🙂

If linkbait is done the right way, it is just an extension of your regular marketing. It is an interesting article, list, or application that directly connects with your product. People know what they are using and reading is related to you and it makes them more interested in your product. If they like your marketing, your writing, and they then sign up for more information on their own, that is permission marketing.

But what some linkbait and viral marketing has become isn’t permission marketing. What you wrote, designed, or released is funny, fun to read, etc. But is it related to your product? If it’s not, and you get people’s info from it, or push your unrelated product in any way, it really isn’t permission marketing.

So I get his original point, but I’m not sure it applies in all terms of viral marketing.

Posted by Kate at 9:27am
2 Comments »

austin or orlando?
July 21, 2008

A few days ago Graywolf and I had a small debate on Twitter and I’m curious. If Danny or Kevin (think that’s his name) wanted to pick a new location for a national show, where would you want to go?

Graywolf wants Orlando (yawn!) hehe.

I want to see a show come to Austin (along with many other Texas people). Why? Austin is the live music capital of the world. We have more awesome music in a five block radius than Orlando has in the entire Magic Kingdom. Austin has Sixth street, one of the most well known strips of top notch bars and dives in the US. We have Lance Armstrong, Keep Austin Weird, ACL (Austin City Limits), Congress Bridge Bats, SXSW, The Driskill, some of the best local restaurants, and the best TexMex anywhere!!, the list could go on and on! Austin is the best place for SEOs to meet up because we have the best mix of technology, laid back-ness, food, and alcohol on the planet!!

This all stems from Laura Alter’s post about how we get no conferences in Austin that are geared toward SEMs (she and I just got back from one geared to SMBs).

Posted by Kate at 9:02am
7 Comments »