Month: September 2007

Providing Links in the Press

Mike DorauschBy Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I came across a web site today with a blog post by an Internet marketing specialist that was recently interviewed for an article which appeared in the Guardian newspaper. Andy Beard, the guy that was interviewed, didn’t get a link to his web site in the online version of the newspaper article, of which he was a source of significant information. For anyone that knows the value of an inbound link to your web site (especially from a major news web site), you can probably imagine how this guy felt about the situation.

It was funny that I came across the article today, since just earlier this morning I was thinking about press that planet chiropractic received in mid-August of this year. I posted about the press the web site received, but I didn’t talk about anything like inbound links. I remember first being notified that the article had appeared on an investors web site on a Friday evening, and I went to check it out while I was still at the office.

The biggest thing I was bummed out about was there were no links from the article to the planet chiropractic web site. I remember thinking that it would still be cool because Monday the article was going to appear nationwide in print, along with a photograph of me in my office, and a recently shot photograph of Van Halen. As it turns out, it was only the initial web site that did not provide any links. Thank goodness for syndication of content. By Saturday morning, the same article, along with hyperlinks to our homepage, was appearing on major news web sites such as CNN Money, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo! News Canada.

I don’t know how long those articles will remain on those web sites, but we’re currently still getting inbound links from some of the major news web sites, that covered the story. I guess in my case, the moral is don’t be impatient, as the links may come in future versions of an original article. I don’t know if Andy Beard will be so lucky as the Guardian does not have a reputation of sharing much content in syndication.

Either way, his post was a good reminder of my past situation, and it offered a few tips and techniques on how to optimally link out to others when providing online news content.

Thimerosal Vaccine Study Looks at Safety

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

A large number of news reports appeared in nationwide news today, with reports on research released Wednesday, with findings that Thimerosal is not a neurological trigger in children that have been vaccinated. The study did not address a relationship of vaccines and autism.

Vaccine news has been on the rise since Jenny McCarthy appeared last Tuesday on the Oprah Winfrey show, talking about vaccines her child received and the autism that developed soon afterwards. The nation is gearing up for massive flu vaccination programs, beginning as soon as this weekend. Earlier this week there were news reports regarding research suggesting little science to back up claims that flu shots are effective for the elderly. As a result, nationwide vaccine campaigns will likely be geared towards injecting the largest population of children possible.

big vaccination needlesThe most recent news regarding the mercury compound additive thimerosal gives pro-vaccine groups an opportunity to push forward on this falls large-scale vaccination efforts. Rather than rehash what others have already authored, here are five varying viewpoints on topics related to this week’s most recent vaccine news. I specifically sought out articles appearing on nontraditional media sites, since major media sites tend to typically show boilerplate press release style content, when it comes to polarizing topics such as vaccine safety and effectiveness.

The first article comes from a fairly new web site called the daily green which is operated by Hearst digital media. The article is titled Vaccines Don’t Cause Brain Damage. But What About Autism?

Another article comes from “America’s Best Political Newsletter”, CounterPunch. This vaccine article, titled Same Old Story, Same Old Song and Dance, is authored by Anne Dachel, and it provides a look into how drug industry influence is affecting advertising and reporting of topics such as this one.

Arthur Allen from the Huffington post has an article on the popular blog today titled: Thimerosal Vindicated in Another Study, Yet … the Show Must Go On

Also from the Huffington post comes an article by author David Kirby which was posted yesterday. The blog post is titled: CDC: Mercury in Vaccines Damaged Your Child. Or Not.

I love Wired News, so when I noticed that Brandon Keim posted a Thimerosal related article to the Wired News blog, I had to add it to this list. Again, the post is authored by Brandon Keim and it is titled: Another Look at the CDC’s Thimerosal Study.

Regardless of what your thoughts may be on this issue, it’s interesting to see the number of people beginning to speak up and take a stand. It was only a few years ago, that moms wanting to participate in open discussion about their children’s health and vaccine safety, were made to look like raving lunatics hell-bent on risking the lives of others, and disrupting the scientific medical establishment. That’s not to say that some don’t still refer to parents questing current medical policy as cultists and crackpots, but it’s getting easier to spot those blatantly pushing big Pharma objectives.

planetc1.com-news @ 9:19 pm | Article ID: 1190953168

Buzz People Noticed Yoga Was Popular Too

mikedby Michael Dorausch

I just noticed today someone from Yahoo! found Yoga Topics were growing in popularity.

I blogged about naked yoga last week after I did some keyword research and found a number of funky yoga and massage terms appearing in SERPs. That research was a result of extended searching I was doing related to 1895 chiropractic search terms. Tonight I was visiting a Yahoo! page and saw a buzz article on a similar topic (Yoga, not chiropractic).

According to the article, yoga searchers are in the 35-44 age range and are primarily in the coastal states of New Jersey, New York, Florida, and California. The authors findings suggest most are interested in finding online yoga offerings, teachings, mats, and poses.

With all this increasing popularity in Yoga related searches, someone really clever and smart should see about procuring an easy to spell and remember domain name such as YogaSearch.com. Imagine you owned that? You could clean up selling it to the right person or company.

Valuable domain?

Blue Balls on the Beach

Mikedby Michael Dorausch

I just had to tell you about my blue balls (and a Big Red one too)!

I’ve spoken, blogged, written, about running on the beach in Marina del Rey more times than I could find links for. We had the first big rain of the season over the weekend and it’s common that all kinds of cool stuff (and trash) washes up on the beach after such storms.

My dad can be to blame for my oddness of finding stuff, as he turned me on to the concept as a kid. He often reminded me that valuables could be found in all sorts of places, one just had be conscious and aware of opportunities. You may not consider items like rubber blue balls valuable, but that’s fine by me.

I headed out on my 4 times a week beach run yesterday with the intention that I’d come across some fun stuff. I enjoy finding money but on this morning, I was particularly tuned to finding dog toys, no idea why.

Blue Balls on the BeachRunning along the beach about 2 miles in I came across the first blue handball that had washed up onto the shore. My yellow labradors LOVE these balls, and they don’t get all slobbery like tennis balls. I was happy with myself to find the ball and kept moving. A half mile more and I acquired a 2nd blue ball, and this one was a bit cleaner, and a bit more blue. Picked it up, stuck it in my pocket, and kept on running. I reached the jetty and turned back towards home with the balls bouncing in my shorts (not trying to be offensive here, just sharing what was going on). I began giggling and thinking “I’ve got blue balls” while humming the AC/DC tune of similar title.

I don’t know why I do it but it’s frequent that I catch myself thinking “can’t get any better than this” and then it does. A nice 4 foot wave rolled unto the shoreline and dropped a big red “Kong” ball right in front of me. To get this one I had to step a bit into the wave but it was worth the wetness. Could not fit it in my pocket so I ran along with it in my hand. These have got to be the best dog balls of all, they are virtually indestructible. My older lab “Zoey Daisy Love Buttons” will claim this one for her own, no doubt.

Can’t throw the Kong around the house but the others are perfect for that. The post obviously had nothing to do with chiropractic unless I made the stretch and suggested having people show up in the office is like having balls wash up on the beach. For those seeking new people, balls, or other things, make yourself available, and the opportunities arrive.

What a cool place this universe is, at least the parts I’ve experienced.

Online Local Search Phone Directory Being Sold

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

InfoSpace has announced that they will be selling their online phone directory service, Switchboard.com to Dallas company Idearc, for $225 million in cash.

InfoSpace, the Seattle-based provider of online search and directory services, made the announcement last Monday, that they had agreed to sell the switchboard.com directory to Idearc, who owns superpages.com and publishes the Verizon Yellow Pages.

InfoSpace homepageInfoSpace owns a number of online directory properties such as DogPile.com, WebCrawler.com, and MetaCrawler.com. All of the sites currently have an impressive Google page rank of 8. Switchboard.com primarily promotes itself online as a yellow pages, white pages, and maps directory, although the web site provides other services. The web site’s home page currently focuses on helping consumers locate local businesses, a market space that’s been showing significant growth over the past year.

Visiting the web site, a quick search for “Lawyer in Chicago” brings up directory listings of attorneys in the Illinois Metro area. The web site currently features several sources of advertising, including sponsored ads that are appearing at the top of general directory search results, which switchboard refers to as “Featured Sites.” Traditional banner advertising was also appearing down the right sidebar, for businesses such as Discover Card, when I performed the attorney search.

From a search engine optimization perspective, the deal could be a great one for Idearc, owner of Superpages. I performed a Google search for Chicago lawyers which presented a superpages yellow page directory listing in the first organic non paid position. Great work by the SEO team for superpages. That success could easily be duplicated for the switchboard web site, which holds a number of popular natural listings for many local business terms, hundreds being locally based chiropractor business terms.

The sale will provide a significant amount of cash to the Seattle-based InfoSpace, with the company getting to unload a valuable asset at a high premium. InfoSpace had acquired switchboard.com in 2004 for the sum of $160 million. The companies expected to focus on its other search sites and mobile services businesses, including cell phone services such as ring tones, games and mobile phone search applications.

The local search industry is more vast than most people may realize. As consumers, we often focus only on those industries we are accustomed to, such as chiropractic. But local search is popular for a mind-boggling number of services ranging from local dog boarding services to in-house medical services. Depending on their needs, consumers are searching for terms related to services for their pets, such as Las Vegas Dog Grooming, San Diego Boarding Services, Santa Monica Cat Kennels, to search terms related to the elderly, such as Cleveland Adult Home Care, Dallas Nursing Homes, Boise Assisted-Living, and Massapequa Senior Housing.

What do you search for locally?

planetc1.com-news @ 10:52 pm | Article ID: 1190872377

September Birthday Board Ideas

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I’m categorizing this post in the marketing section even though it could go in a “nice things to do” section. I had an experience earlier this week after creating a birthday card for someone who’s been influential in my life, which reminded me of a number of things related to birthdays and good customer relations.

I love birthdays. After several years in chiropractic practice, I’ve also learned that others love birthdays as well. In a fairly recent post, I mentioned that I received a birthday card from Life Chiropractic College West, with a reminder that it was time to renew my continuing education credits. Since that time, I’ve received a birthday card from Southwest Airlines, and yesterday I received a birthday card from Macy’s.

I haven’t been paying attention to what the relationship is, but I am a loyal and quite satisfied customer of all three of these entities. Growing up on the East Coast, I’ve shopped at Macy’s for many years. I buy nearly all my business related clothing at Macy’s and I’ve been very happy with their men’s department in Beverly Hills, 3rd St Promenade, and Macy’s Las Vegas (love going there when I’m traveling). The birthday card I received from them is good through the month of October, and it included a $10 off certificate. I didn’t take it as a marketing ploy, I consider it thoughtful that the people in marketing at Macy’s take the time to find ways to thank their customers.

I don’t remember if the Southwest Airlines birthday card had any special offer in it, but I received a card from them just the same. I’ve traveled Southwest Airlines flights to Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Oakland, on a monthly or greater frequency, for the past six years. I love Southwest Airlines. I appreciate that their marketing department puts in place a system like sending out birthday cards to their customers.

I’ll be doing my chiropractic continuing education locally this year but I’d recommend future chiropractic students to Life West Chiropractic College in a heartbeat. I’d also recommend any of their continuing education programs, especially their SPA day event, they hold each year.

September birthday board After my experience with the birthday card earlier this week I was reminded of an event that takes place in my chiropractic office everyday. Each morning, or each afternoon, depending on when we start our day, my staff, and I go over the list of birthdays we have for people scheduled on that day. We do our best to make sure all people visiting the office receive a happy birthday wish from us. Many come in on their birthdays, but if that’s not the case, we attempt to give them a birthday wish on the visit before their birthday.

We’ve been doing this so long I’ve almost forgotten about it, as it’s part of our daily routine. In the photo you’ll see something we call the birthday board. The theme changes every month and the staff always puts lots of effort into creating a nice design. September 2007 was the 112 year birthday of chiropractic, so that was the theme for this month. Birthdays are listed in date order for all active clients that have a birthday in the month of September. For privacy purposes, only the first initial of their last names are displayed on the board. In addition to that, when people begin care in our office, they are given an opportunity to Opt Out of the birthday board program. A look at how many names are on the board can give you an idea of how many have chosen to participate.

This was an idea I got from someone else in chiropractic, long ago. I know I have someone to thank for the idea, but the technique is practiced in so many offices across the country, I don’t recall the original chiropractor that introduced me to it.

With the event that took place, I was reminded again this week of how simple wishing someone happy birthday is, and how much it is welcomed. In my experience, people love when we wish them happy birthday. I’m under the assumption, that some even specifically schedule their chiropractic visit on their birthday, knowing we are going to make a big deal of it when they arrive in the office. We keep a supply of horn blowers, birthday candles, and other related items handy, for such events.

For me, the practice of wishing people happy birthday has long ago not been part of some marketing effort, although I’ll admit that’s how it began. I’ve stopped counting, but the number of times I’ve heard executives, CEOs, self-employed business owners, marketing folks, and others, comment on the effectiveness of our birthday celebration approach, has been many.

It may sound corny, but if you serve your community with an intention that they’re the greatest people in the world, they tend to reflect that. Take the time to get to know your people (wherever those people may be), and don’t forget to wish them a happy birthday!

Brad Pizza Georgia Council of Chiropractic and CCE

United States Department of Education Transcripts

The following is part of our 2007 Chiropractic History Month coverage. This content comes from transcripts, provided by the World Chiropractic Association (WCA), regarding June 6, 2006 proceedings that took place in Arlington, Virginia. Chiropractor, Brad Pizza, speaks regarding the Council on Chiropractic education.

Chairperson D’amico: Thank you very much. Mr. Pizza, President, Georgia Council of Chiropractic–Chiropractic something.

Dr. Pizza: Yes. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for allowing us this opportunity as a profession to come to the United States Department of Education as a body that can help to perhaps shed some light on some issues that are going on in our profession today. I’m an alumni of Life College, a 1983 graduate. I have two active practices in Atlanta, Georgia, and I represent three to 400 doctors of chiropractic as the president of our State association. I have been very, very involved with the activities at Life University from its onset in 1983 when I became a graduate.

We have found that when the students were told that their accreditation had been voided, the entire State of Georgia was devastated as far as the chiropractic profession was concerned. This is a committee that’s out of control, ladies and gentlemen. They policed the chiropractic profession as if it’s a German Nazi investigation of people and lives. The Georgia chiropractors want this board to know the things that happened at Life University in 2002 were deplorable. There was one reason for the largest chiropractic college in the world to have its accreditation revoked. The devastating effect that it had on the community of Atlanta, on the State of Georgia and the students that were at that college, it’s unbelievable how far the reach that may go today. I would like to just read a few principal points. The revocation of the accreditation of Life University was devastating to the faculty and the students and the community. Dr. Brimhall was the chairman of the CCE, COA at the time, and is responsible to guide the commission, not destroy a college that we took so long to build. The decision resulted in two lawsuits. The decision was overturned at the Federal level. Lawsuits are now settled and the accreditation is restored and now Brimhall is the President of the CCE.

The CCE needs to be reformed, ladies and gentlemen. The one thing I’d like you to leave with this afternoon is to let you know that Life University produced the most chiropractic students in the country, they got an excellent education, and they were able to go to every State and pass every licensure that was asked of them, and they did it wonderfully. The educational institute of Life University bar none was magnificent. We graduated students that went on to become very successful doctors and took care of thousands and thousands of patients, and one organization decided that that institution didn’t have to be. Was it professional jealousy? Was it motivated by money? I ask this board. I’m not a politician, nor am I someone in the educational field. There are many people in this room that have more expertise than I do, but I’d like to let you know, ladies and gentlemen, That the education at Life University that those students were receiving at that time had absolutely nothing to do with the loss of that accreditation, and I would like someone in this room to investigate that further. The CCE has manipulated the system and I think it’s time they need an adjustment. Thank you for your time.

Event History: Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Hilton Arlington Hotel Arlington, Virginia 22203

United States Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education
National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality And Integrity

The Council on Chiropractic Education, Commission on Accreditation
Action for Consideration: Petition for Renewal of Recognition
Transcripts of Proceedings*

Complete transcripts have been made available via the WCA JVSR CCE Transcripts
PDF Complete 36 Page Document: PDF CCE 2007 Transcripts

planetc1.com-news @ 1:51 pm | Article ID: 1190753522

Lots of Flu Shots but Little Science in 2007

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

The influenza flu propaganda machine is rolling, with news reports that there will be plenty of injectables and nasal sprays available for mass vaccination. But as we’ve seen in the past, promotion of the flu vaccine does not come without reports from medical journals questioning the effectiveness of such a vaccination program.

Reports began appearing online last week with news that there would be massive amounts of flu vaccines available this season, with many clinics beginning to give shots as early as October 1. From the Saginaw news in Michigan, comes a short post that health authorities promise to have lots of flu vaccine stockpiled, as many as 132 million doses, apparently more than the nation has ever produced. Yet, the Seattle Times today has an article from a health reporter covering a recent report in a medical journal, suggesting that the benefits of flu shots for the elderly have been greatly exaggerated. According to the report, public policy on flu vaccination has been based on flimsy, and even nonexistent, evidence.

After following flu vaccine stories year after year, it certainly has become apparent that local and state officials have a considerably different viewpoint regarding mass vaccination, in comparison to those of scientific researchers and experts in the field. One may begin to wonder whether there is bias in either of these groups and if so, where is the public safe to get their help information from? Do we give researchers greater trust, or are they hell-bent on promoting journals, or secretly out to trip up the government? Do we trust our elected officials to filter out what’s best for our health and longevity, or are they puppets of special interest groups?

One of the best ways to follow topics related to flu vaccines this season is to regularly check what’s appearing in the news. Historically, the majority of articles have been of a position of public health benefit but there’s always a few slipping through that are citing reviews and reports in medical journals, with data that contradicts what’s appearing in the major media. When it comes to your health, you’ve got to make the best choices for you. It doesn’t hurt to be well-informed and aware of all viewpoints.

Search through Google News for flu shot benefits and flu shot risks throughout the 2007 flu season, if you want to keep up on the latest news related to the topic.

Check out some Planet Chiropractic content with articles related to previous flu seasons…

November 2004: Flu Season Wellness Plan Should Include Chiropractic Care
July 2006: Flu Vaccine for Pregnant Moms
October 2006: Poor evidence to support flu vaccine effectiveness
October 2006: 2006: Deaths After Flu Vaccine Halt Vaccination Program
October 2006: How do you spell fear? FLU
November 2006: Flu Vaccine increases risk for neurological disorder

planetc1.com-news @ 10:24 am | Article ID: 1190741066

Spotting Fraud on Nervo-Scope Ads

by Michael Dorausch

Here is a quick post of a type of email to watch out for when placing chiropractic classified ads on the main website. While pages are getting thousands of views each week and there is lots of user activity, everyone is advised to be aware of fraudulent attempts to purchase products. No need for headaches.

Ad Headline: Nervo-Scope
Posted To: Chiropractic Classifieds

am interested in immediate purchase of your item. After several consideration over the advert placed on the website my client has really shown interest in it and would really want to issue the payment in form of certified bank check. Will you be accepting a certified bank check check? The certified bank check that will be drawn by my client would include the cost for shipping company that will be coming for the pick-up after you have cashed the payment and the remaning excess funds it being sent to shipping Company. the shipping company will be solely be responsible for the picking-up of the item after you have send the remaning excess funds on the payment to them of the item. Please contact me asap via email for futher questions as regards this transaction if you really show willingness in selling this item asap do get back to me with your full name and conatct address and also your contact phone number. Thank You and I am expecting your response asap

Now, if for some crazy reason you think that is a legitimate email message from some local chiropractor, just wanted to let you know it is not.

I’ve been thinking it may be a good idea to request all DCs wanting to purchase products be asked where they attended college, when they graduated, what techniques do they like, etc… Should at least be able to weed out a few scammers.

Here are some related posts…
X-Ray Equipment For Sale Attempted Fraud
Classified Ad Scams Chiropractic Table
Chiropractic Classifieds Best Practices

The SEO Reputation Solution

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Sometimes you’ve just got to evangelize for others, and get the message out for all those people who may be thinking negatively about an industry. SEOs, bear with me.

If you’re a small-business owner, chances are you already know people calling themselves SEOs (short for Search Engine Optimizers) and SEMs (Search Engine Marketers). They cold call you while you’re having lunch, with guarantees of page one results on Google and other search engines, they fax you daily with promises of untold business riches when incorporating their $49 a month secret search engine strategies, they fill your e-mail inbox with competitor bashing offers that appear just too good to refuse, they are even increasingly showing up with magical SEO presentation sales booths, at your niche industry conferences.

I too know these charlatans, thieves, scam artists, low down dirty no good for nothing bottom dwellers, and just basically scum of the digital earth. Problem is, they may be everything I just stated, but they’re not SEOs, or at least not the people I’d recommend you do business with.

The people I know as SEOs are absolutely passionate about what they do. Beyond what most people would possibly imagine, they are hard-working, generous, caring, social, and community driven. They are intelligent thought leaders of a new and much-needed industry, and they do help an untold number of small business owners, individuals, and even corporate enterprises, connect better with their audiences.

Earlier today, Carsten Cumbrowski authored an article that appeared on Search Engine Journal, titled the SEO Reputation Problem. I came across the story during my early morning visit to Sphinn, a fairly new web site that offers an organized collection of some of the most popular current topics related to the search engine industry.

Carstens article linked to and reminded me of a post on the same SEO Reputation topic, authored by Lisa Barone of Bruce Clay Inc. Lisa had summarized a discussion featuring several leaders in the industry, that took place at an August search engine conference, known as SES.

If you take the time to read Lisa’s article, you may realize that these people not only care greatly about what they do, they care enough to gather together and have discussions about how they can better serve their clients, and even how they can better help those who may not be clients, avoid the pitfalls and perils that can be encountered when seeking advice and services in the growing industry of Search.

In Lisa’s article, Kristopher Jones, CEO of Pepperjam, states “the most important conversation you have to have with a client as an SEO is one about expectations. If that discussion doesn’t take place, the client will come in with expectations that are unreasonable and that just propagates the idea that SEOs are unreasonable.” I believe, if that discussion does not take place, a lose-lose situation develops.

On his blog earlier this month, Lee Odden shared what I’d consider a valuable resource, and a fitting example of how some leaders share with others in the industry. Evaluating Client Search Marketing Readiness is a post that can help to assist SEOs in developing that all important conversation with potential clients. The same article can help business owners better understand what it is they should be prepared for when seeking a successful SEO relationship.

The SEO industry can learn from the industry of Chiropractic. Before you decide I’m making a shameless plug, consider this… Not having that conversation about expectations results in societal thinking that a solution to a long-term problem can and should be resolved in a single Band-Aid event, and for under $49. While it’s the method that proves most successful, those that suggest a long-term balanced approach with a focus on optimal results for their clients, risk developing a public perception that they are greedy and/or practicing outside the norm of the industry.

Unfortunately, as Jennifer Laycock pointed out in the above-mentioned Lisa authored SEO discussion, this sets up the opportunity for a competitor to call out an honest, well-intentioned individual as a scammer, simply because of the public perception that surrounds the industry.

Specialists in the field of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, can continue to work together and provide a more united front, separating themselves from those that are preying upon newcomers seeking assistance.

Those of us that have reaped the benefits of late-night hours of research and dedicated hard work of search industry professionals, can volunteer our time by giving back with articles like this one, offering the general public a testimonial of sorts, as to the ethical and effective approaches taken by those, that continue to provide their clients with great success.