Chickens, Eggs & Link Building: Visibility Requires Links, which Require Visibility

Finally, the chicken and egg dilemma solved on a t-shirt

Being the new kid on the web is hard. You need links to boost a site’s visibility, but it’s awfully hard to get links naturally without visibility in the search results. Sites can’t link to you if they don’t know you exist, right? It’s a little like the classic chicken & egg causality dilemma. But not really since if you don’t have a site you wouldn’t care about links anyway. Whatever.

The point is, link acquisition is hard work. Researching topically relevant sites and crafting the right approach for each takes time and creativity. Cutting corners leads to poorer conversion to links at best, and outright spam at worst.

BK’s Subservient Chicken

On the surface, link bait seems like an easier way to build links. After all, you just have to think of something totally cool that could go viral. “Subservient chicken? Ha, I coulda thought of that.” OK, fine, dreaming up a great idea is a good start, but what about content creation and promotion. The “If you build it, he will come” theory only worked when the interwebs were very, very small. And not really then, either. Let’s assume the audience actually gets to the bait. Once they devour it, cross your fingers that it will cause enough of a reaction to convert to links.

Frankly, if link building was easy, everyone would do it. It would be easy to spam. Which means that it wouldn’t remain valuable for long in the search engines’ eyes. Which also means it would cease to be effective for SEO, and we’d all be talking about something else.

For now, links rule the roost. What’s your go-to link building tactic?

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Covario Acquires Netconcepts: Software and SEO Services for Results and ROI

Covario Acquires Netconcepts

Netconcepts is officially Covario. As of 7 a.m. CST today, my fellow Netconcepts search geeks and I are now Covarians. We’ve been acquired by Covario Inc., the leader in enterprise class search advertising software and services, headquartered in San Diego, CA.

“With the acquisition of Netconcepts and the GravityStream technology, Covario is bringing a unique solution to advertisers to help them accelerate their ability to present their brands on all the major search engines globally,” said Russ Mann, Chief Executive Officer of Covario. “By coupling the predictive analytics in Covario’s Organic Search Insight with easy execution capabilities of Netconcepts’ GravityStream technology, advertisers will be able to identify the SEO actions that drive better rankings, and then deploy those strategies quickly, and in a highly scalable way to achieve their ROI goals.”

I’m looking forward to being part of Covario’s:

  1. D3 for SEO (Data Driven Decisions). Love the focus here. SEO theory & planning without implementation is a waste of time. But SEO implementation without data on which to base decisions is terrifying. This acquisition combines a solution that drives decisions (Covario’s Organic Search Insight) with a solution that implements decisions (Netconcepts’ GravityStream technology).
  2. Focus on brand advertising clients. Netconcepts’ client base has traditionally been ecommerce clients. The ability to service some of each will be refreshing, and enable us to broaden our vocabulary & skill sets into new industries and architectures.
  3. SEO services team. With a team twice the size, with tools and methods developed by two strong SEO services teams, and with two technology solutions at the ready to compliment the services we offer, I’m really looking forward to leaping forward as a combined team.
  4. Proximity to the beach. Well, maybe not the beach part since I dislike sun, sand and water. But 70 degrees sounds pretty darn good as I shovel out my driveway again in the dark and cold.

Here’s to a new era for the new Madison Covario team, and cheers to our new mother ship in sunny San Diego, Covario!

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

A Yarn about SEO and the Launch of Hobby Lobby’s New Ecom Site

I joined a knitting circle tonight at my local yarn shop / framing gallery Woodland Studios in historic downtown Stoughton, WI. Like the world of SEO, knitting has a language all its own … one that I don’t fully understand yet. I showed up with my tangled wad of yarn from big box Hobby Lobby, and all those nice ladies (and one man) with boutique yarn and fancy patterns welcomed me with open arms. While feeling warm and fuzzy and needlessly self conscious about my Hobby Lobby yarn, I suddenly realized: 1) I want to give Woodland Studios a link; and 2) I haven’t properly welcomed Hobby Lobby to the commerce world.


Launching a new site is one of the most nerve wracking projects for an SEO professional. Let’s have a walk through of their virgin site’s initial SEO, shall we?

Continue reading “A Yarn about SEO and the Launch of Hobby Lobby’s New Ecom Site”