Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

Using your budget for ORGANIC SEARCH

I’m starting some research regarding how a budget should be distributed. These are for the people who do the bulk of the work on a given site.

You’re given a budget. That budget is free to distribute as you please.

I’m looking for examples such as:

  • Conferences
  • Tools
  • Contract help
  • Social Media


  • Paid search budgets
  • Payments/containers to agencies
  • Media buys

For now, I’m just looking to compile a list. Once the list is completely, I’ll ask for % of time spent on each item.

Tell your friends!

Set your goal – Get people to pledge you!

Friends of a friend have started a new Facebook Page called “SurPRIZE Me”.

The page encourages people to set a goal and get people to pledge them if they succeed.

The pledge can be anything! Be creative!

My goal is to get this page 100 new likes and goals by the end of August.

So come on over and set up your goal. Meet new people around the world and see what your friends are willing to do for you when you’ve achieved that thing you’ve been putting off.

Here is some information:

SurPRIZE Me is a network of people rewarding one another for completing their goals.

HOW IT WORKS: Read the list of goals that you see on this page. If you want to help someone accomplish their goal, pledge to do something for this person. If you want to list your goal to start getting pledges, message me.

If someone pledges for you, make sure to pledge for them. Pledges can be anything you can think of from real to virtual.

Examples of Pledges:

  • “If you complete your goal, I pledge to tell all of my facebook friends about the awesome job you did”
  • “If you complete your goal, I pledge to take you to the movies.”
  • “If you complete your goal, I pledge to wash your car for you”
  • “If you complete your goal, I pledge to give you a dollar!”

Pledges can be anything as long as they are supportive.

SurPRIZE me pledge network on Facebook

Why Bing will make you audit your meta keywords tags

Where’s that time machine? Bing is using the meta keywords tag in its ranking algorithm again.


Danny Sullivan’s The Meta Keywords Tag Lives At Bing & Why Only Spammers Should Use It article offers awesome insight from Duane Forrester of MSN.

To summarize – the meta keyword tag won’t make a huge difference, but Bing may use it to identify spammers via tag stuffing.

If you’re like me, this doesn’t change a whole lot. Personally, I haven’t used the meta keywords tag in a long time; not worth the time and effort in my opinion.

However. If you’ve got some pages that have some stuffed-to-the-nines keyword tags (for whatever reason – automation, past tactics, etc), you’ll want to audit your site(s) carefully. It’s time to clean them up. They may actually be working against you now, as a signal to Bing that you endorse spammy techniques.

It’s just good practice to use meta keywords properly (if you use it at all) but this is just one more very good reason to ensure that your pages are utilizing this tag properly. No need to draw negative attention to your site.

Simply: audit your pages’ keyword tags and clean ’em up. Get rid of them altogether or use proper and relevant keywords.

Way to go Winnipeg!

For all the years I lived in Winnipeg, and since then, I was always very cynical about the NHL returning to Winnipeg. Even after last week’s announcement that TNS&E had purchased the Thrashers.

But the challenge of selling 13,000 season tickets was CRUSHED – more than half were sold through presale and the rest sold within 17 minutes of the general sale opening.

CONGRATULATIONS Winnipeg – thank you for proving me wrong!!

Suck it Bettman.

SEO Columbus – Why SEOs NEED to know ORM


Every group has one. In the SEO industry, there are far too many – the folks who call themselves SEOs but are neglecting the knowledge behind on major factor – Online Reputation Management.


Read the story of SEO Columbus by my SEO friend Mike Halvorsen.  If you don’t read it (though you really should), here’s the coles notes version.


Mike is an SEO. He recently moved to Columbus so on his PERSONAL blog, he created a navigational link with the anchor text “SEO Columbus”.  Apparently there’s another SEO in Columbus (Joe) who is insisting he “owns” the term and is insisting that Mike remove instances of that keyword that confuse him with Joe’s business.


Except Joe doesn’t own the trademark for SEO Columbus.  In fact, you can’t even trademark the term SEO Columbus, SEO Toronto, SEO Canada, etc.


After a bit of back and forth (mostly forth), Mike did the sensible thing – reach out to the SEO community.  The result is many, many comments by Mike’s supporters and a few attempts at rebuttle by Joe.


Here’s the thing.  Now Joe has made some enemies. Now there are comments and blog posts and even spoof sites against Joe and his company (which, by the way, is KaLor Technology, not SEO Columbus).


Joe’s got himself a biiiig online reputation management (ORM) mess.  It’s one thing when negative comments are posted organically through user review sites, but when those reviews are coming from professional and proven SEOs… well.  That’s pretty much disaster.  If Joe didn’t realize that branding with a generic phrase wasn’t wise before, he needs to realize it now and seriously consider rebranding himself to a) escape this mess and b) avoid it in the future.


I’m sure we’ll all be watching the SERPs for any movement in the top spot for “SEO Columbus“.  Despite Joe’s exact match domain and years of reputation building, I don’t think it will stand against a community of search professionals banding together for the right cause. Stay tuned.


Google’s gone loco… I mean Local!

Google made a significant shift with it’s organic search results in the past few weeks.  Now, by default, you are served results based on your geographic location.

Signed in or not, if your search query qualifies, you’ll see that on the right a map appears over the paid listings.  See my search below for office furniture:

This is pretty handy if you’re looking to shop somewhere in person and for brick and mortar businesses, this is a fantastic change.  But what if you’re an online retailer?  How can you possibly compete with this?  This is an issue and needs to be answered.  I’d love to hear how you think this problem can be solved.

Keeping a Consistent Social Profile

Whether you’re representing your company or yourself, it’s important to be easily recognized by a photo or image.

Think about big brand campaigns… whatever they do, their colours, fonts and graphics are the same throughout. How many times have you glanced at a billboard, web banner ad or commercial and immediately know the company because the name even appears?

Across the web when we’re Tweeting, liking things on Facebook and commenting on blogs, there are many opportunities to attach an avatar or profile picture. There are two important things to remember on this:

1) Don’t change your avatar frequently
2) Keep your avatar the same across all sites

I’m not going to address the first topic at this time, but I will say that constantly changing your avatar or profile pic is almost like wiping the slate clean – people glancing at it won’t know automatically that it’s you. Make it easy for people to recognize you and you’ll have a better time keeping their attention.

Keeping your avatar the same across all sites is trickier. It can require signing up on every site, editing your profile, uploading the photo, etc. But there’s a tool that can make this easier.

Hello Gravatar! Gravatar is an online service that allows users to associate a photo with an email address, or even many email addresses. When you use this email address to comment on blogs, sign up for social networks, etc., your profile picture will automatically show up.

Of course, the site you’re signing up for or commenting on must have Gravatar enabled, but more and more sites are on board with this. I can’t speak for all popular CMS and blogging applications, but WordPress uses Gravatar by default for blog comments.

Head one over to Gravatar and get yourself set up. Trust me, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches.

Do you use the META keywords tag?

With all the major search engines long abandoning the META keywords tag (except for Yahoo, but its search results are soon to be powered by Bing), there seems to be less and less of a reason to use the META keywords tag.

Do you still use it?  And by use it, I mean put effort into putting relevant keywords in the tag.

[poll id=”2″]

OS4 for iPhone, you fooled me!

I upgraded my iPhone to OS4 the other day (without drama, thank goodness). Yesterday I noticed a new icon at the top.

I thought, cool! It’s a compass pointing north! Then I realized that, from sitting at my desk at work, it was actually pointing southeast. That was my DUH moment. I realized it’s just the indicated that GPS is on. Then the other DUH moment. My 3G doesn’t have compass abilities.

Oh OS4, you did fool me there. But it’s ok, I’m smart again!

More reasons to start taking Bing seriously

It’s been over a year since the Bing search engine launched. It’s done fairly well, often beating Yahoo! in terms of market share; not surprisingly, though, it doesn’t come close to Google. However, lots of people are considering Bing to be a positive alternative to Google.

Including Facebook. Facebook may not be the first place you’d go to do a search, but if you’re looking for something on Facebook, whether or not Facebook itself has results, it offers web results served by Bing. See the screencap below.

Another area of massive potential is through Apple’s iPhone. As recent as a month ago, rumors were still swirling that Bing would become the default, but at the WWDC in June, Steve Jobs announced that Bing would simply become another choice for the default search engine.

You can choose Bing as your default search engine by going into your Settings, then choosing Safari and Search Engine.

Whether or not you personally prefer Bing over another search engine, we cannot ignore that more and more big companies are looking to Bing for their search results instead of automatically going to the giant Google.

If you haven’t given Bing a shot yet, I definitely suggest trying it and seeing how your searching experience changes from one search engine to another.