Month: December 2007

Search and Blogging Reporters Forum from Pubcon 2007

Michaelby Michael Dorausch

Among my personally top-ranked sessions I attended at this past week’s Pubcon 2007 conference in Las Vegas was a Search and Blogging Reporters Forum that featured a panel of blog and media experts.

Lee Michael Rand and AndyThe panel featured three big names in the industry of blogging and search (Andy Beal, Lee Odden, Rand Fishkin) and it was moderated by Michael McDonald, the current managing editor for WebProNews.

I managed to get this photograph of all four gentlemen together, just before the morning search and blogging presentation got started.

As an editor for Planet Chiropractic News (nearly 10 years now) I found this session to be one of the most valuable of the week’s panel discussions. It was educational to get the speakers perspectives on different types of media blogs and how the information was being utilized.

The group talked about how journalists are increasingly looking to blogs for information that can be used in mainstream news articles. Some numbers were thrown out as to percentages of how many journalists were now using blogs as their primary source of information for news article creation. During the discussion Rand Fishkin mentioned that he had received an e-mail earlier in the morning from a major tech magazine reporter. The reporter was doing some fact checking on a recent blog post and they wanted to get more information.

During the panel they talked about A-list bloggers and shared some examples of newcomers to the blogosphere that have quickly developed reputations in their niche areas. A blog by Andy Beard was mentioned as an example of one that has rapidly added new subscribers and gained much popularity in the area of online marketing.

They discussed their own blogs and talked about the different ways users interacted with them. As an example it was pointed out that Andy Beal’s Internet news site (Marketing Pilgrim) creates a lot of industry-specific content, but users don’t typically leave many comments. In comparison, Rand Fishkin’s SEOmoz blog posts were shown to often receive many user comments, sometimes numbering near a hundred. My take away there was that audiences viewed each of the blogs differently, even if they were frequent readers of both (like myself). While the first is an important source of news information, the second engages a community that responds to posts on a consistent basis.

Lisa Jane TamarThe roundtable discussion was live blogged (an incredible talent) by Lisa Barone, so check this out to get her in-depth coverage of the blogging forum.

Photo to the left is of Lisa Barone, Jane Copeland (of SEOmoz), and Tamar Weinberg. These ladies make attending Internet conferences much easier as they are typically live blogging and making detailed notes which appear in summary posts.

Something I thought would be of value for all bloggers would be to provide contact information for media and journalists, so that one could be easily accessible for quotes, interviews, and source information that may be valuable to a journalist preparing a story for a major media publication or television news broadcast.

I suppose it’s time to update my own contact information.

SEO Texas Holdem Poker Tournament Big Success

by Michael Dorausch

They played until almost 3am, the Texas Holdem Poker Tournament at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas was a big success.

There was lots of fun to be had, and search engine marketers from all over the planet came out to attend this first (I’m suspecting a 2008 event is likely) large scale poker tournament played by attendees of PubCon 2007.

The event began at 9pm and did not end until around 3am, with Dan Perry beating out Jeremy Shoemaker, for a winning pot of over $3000.00.

Klein and Dan Perry

That’s David Klein of PurposeInc with winner Dan Perry. David is a chiropractor who has written articles for Planet Chiropractic in the past.

david-neil

Players pose for photos, including David Dellanave, Neil Patel, and friends.

poker tshirt

The t-shirts came out great and every player received one. Some hotel staff at the Venetian received shirts as well.

bill mike

Bill Hartzer of Texas with Michael Dorausch (that’s me) of Los Angeles, showing their cards.

There were over 80 players and the charity event was sponsored by Best of the Web, Planet Chiropractic, SEOish, and Chipotle.

A big thanks to everyone that participated to make this such a spectacular event!

Matt Cutts on Directories and Links

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

This is a quick post from the front row at PubCon 2007 in Las Vegas. Matt Cutts just took a question from a person in the audience who asked about directories being hit in the index back in September.

Matt Cutts on Directories and LinksWhen Matt is researching directories owned by an individual (or group) he will go through those sites and confirm who owns them. If the directory owner says yes, I own these other domains, Matt will look at those as well. He will also ask about any expired domain, to get an idea of what other domains the directory owner has.

His suggestion is that as an SEO, one needs to assess the quality of the site (the directory). He follows that up by saying there are directories out there that are well maintained, but one has to use their Spidey Sense as an SEO to get a better understanding as to quality.

Things Matt mentions are not good include stuff like if a directory requires a reciprocal link. Value adds that people can be looking for are directories that will include sites without requiring payment.

He finishes by saying there is a difference between high quality vs low quality directories and with some research one can find best resources.

Matt answered a number of other questions earlier in the session. Tamar Weinberg live blogged the Keynote with Matt Cutts so she has more info on the directories question at the end of her post (she types much faster than I do).

I’ll be adding some related resources here as I locate them, as I believe the session was live blogged by others.

Serving up Localized Advertising Without Wasting Money

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Bricks and mortar businesses, like chiropractic offices and dental clinics, are increasingly looking to the Web for online advertising opportunities. Some small-business owners are conducting their own local search paid advertising campaigns, also known as PPC, and many have signed up for programs that are managed by Internet yellow page companies. Here is some information I’ve gathered while traveling that may help you save some money.

I am currently in Las Vegas attending an Internet conference (PubCon 2007) and I’ve been using the online access provided at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel that’s available in my suite. Whenever I travel I tend to browse through yellow page advertisements (if a hotel still puts books in the room) and research what kinds of small businesses are advertising to the local community.

Las Vegas is a unique community as its metro area receives a ginormous amount of tourist traffic. Most web-based related searches in Las Vegas are going to be centered around shows, hotels, restaurants, casinos, and such. As a result, non tourist related web sites may sometimes find it difficult to rank well in search engine results, simply because there’s such an information overload of entertainment and travel related search content.

Business owners in vertical markets like the industry of chiropractic health care, or the dental industry, may be more likely to go with a paid advertising model to ensure their information is appearing in the best possible location when search queries are made.

I will use chiropractic is an example, but these methods and models apply to nearly any service industry. Relaxing in my hotel room and performing queries for Las Vegas chiropractor, or chiropractic services in Las Vegas, are returning results for Internet yellow page directories, as well as chiropractic offices in the area.

Yellow pages styled sites are currently purchasing the most ad space on the Google page I am viewing. Companies include YellowBook, DEX, Local.com, and CitySearch (a popular directory of products and services). Beside the major yellow page companies there are some local chiropractic offices placing advertisements, as well as some not so local offices. The nonlocal offices are likely losing ad revenue, as they are nowhere in the geographical area that I’m in.

I took a look at one advertisement and it was for a chiropractic office in the state of Illinois. More specifically it was in the city of Barrington, yet the businesses advertising was appearing on my screen in Las Vegas. Refreshing the page I see advertising for a chiropractic group on English Road in Rochester, New York. This office is located in the 14616 ZIP code area, but ads are appearing nearly 2000 miles away. Scrolling down to the bottom of the page there is an advertisement for a chiropractic office in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Unless you have unlimited funds to brand the name of your clinic I really don’t think it’s a good idea for chiropractors to engage in local ad campaigns that appear in nationwide results. For offices that are doing their own ad management it’s good advice to check with your contextual ad platform (Google Adsense or Yahoo Ads as examples) and modify your account settings so that advertisements only appear in areas within a certain mile radius of your business. To my knowledge, all advertising networks offer tools to Geo target your ad impressions.

These findings are not unique to this industry as performing a search for a local dentist returned advertising results for dentists and Oregon, Michigan, and New York City.

Whatever small business vertical you may be in, tighten up your area for online display of advertising, so you can stop losing money on clicks that will likely not convert to new business.

planetc1.com-news @ 3:35 pm | Article ID: 1196897741

PubCon 2007 Craig Newmark of Craigslist Kickoff Keynote

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I’m in Las Vegas at Pubcon 2007 with about 2000 others listening to the kickoff keynote speaker, Craig Newmark of Craigslist. If you don’t know what craigslist is, I don’t know where you’ve been.

I’m just realizing this morning how much Craig’s creation has affected my life. I have hired at least 3 employees from the site, hired models for chiropractic photo shoots, sold computer equipment, purchased furniture for my office, and attracted people to my adiola office. The web site has probably resulted in over a billion transactions and its allowed people to connect to rent apartments, sell homes, find cheap furniture, create relationships, make friends, discuss like-minded topics, and engage in a smorgasbord of other activities.

Craig claims to be quite a nerd but he says he hasn’t done much coding since 1999. His site hit about 1 million page views per month in 1997, wow. They did banner ads for a while but he said the banner advertisements tended to slow things down. Around 1999 he says craigslist began to form into a real company. Code for the site was rewritten during that same time and he says he hasn’t written new code since.

Talking about extremists, Craig said something like… The reason you hear more from extremists is because moderates have stuff to do.

Craigslist currently has a presence in nearly every city in the United States (especially popular in metro areas), parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and international places such as Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, Mexico, Moscow, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, and others.

SEO Texas Holdem Tournament 2007

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada will be host to an SEO Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday, December 6, 2007. The event is sponsored by Planet Chiropractic, Best of the Web, Chipotle, and SEOish.com. The idea for the tournament came from a San Diego chiropractor who has recently launched a company that will focus on search engine optimization services for chiropractors.

seo texas holdem tournament 2007 The event is officially known as the Purposeinc 2007 SEO Texas Holdem Charity Poker Tournament. The tournament is being held on Thursday night at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino and some of the biggest names in the field of search engine optimization will be in attendance. One of the industry’s largest conferences, known as Pubcon Las Vegas, is being held at the convention center this week, with thousands of webmasters, Internet marketers, SEO and social media experts attending.

More than 50 players have already been registered for the tournament, and as many as 200 are expected to attend. This Charity poker tournament is being sponsored by Best of the Web, Planet Chiropractic, SEOish, and Chipotle.

Planet Chiropractic will be covering news from the PubCon conference throughout this week, with articles that relate to small business owners, chiropractors, local search, and social media. Non-news related content will likely appear on our blog pages. Here is a blog post regarding PubCon 2006 and Guy Kawasaki.

Charities include the John Dau Foundation, FireFighters who became Burn Victims from the recent Fires in San Diego, Criminon, and Wherever the Need.

More information regarding this poker tournament can be viewed at purposeinc.com.

planetc1.com-news @ 10:42 pm | Article ID: 1196750564

Things I learned from Guy Kawasaki at Pubcon 2006

DorauschBy Michael Dorausch, D.C.

It’s amazing how many things can change in a single year’s time.

About this time last year I was attending an Internet conference at the Las Vegas convention Center in Nevada. The conference is called PubCon and it is attended by thousands of webmasters, SEOs, web marketers, and entrepreneurs. This years PubCon 2007 event begins on Tuesday, December 4th, and I will be attending in representation of Planet Chiropractic.

I was looking back over some of the changes that Planet Chiropractic has experienced during the past year and I was reminded of a keynote address given by Guy Kawasaki during the first morning of last year’s conference. I had come to Las Vegas in 2006 because the web site was going through some growing pains and I was seeking some information that would help me make decisions to move things in the right direction. Attending the event was the best that I’d ever made in Vegas (it certainly beat betting on the Raiders over New England in the 2001 divisional championship).

Stop Asking the Wrong People
I’ve been to hundreds of conferences over the years and I love when you’re sitting in the room getting the feeling that someone is speaking directly to you. I remember Guy asking the audience to link to his blog and help improve his Technorati ranking. What enlightened me was not what he asked but who he asked. He was in a room of nearly 2000 webmasters, all of whom had the ability (and the understanding of value) to move forward and take action. His blog currently ranks among Technorati’s most popular, with a current position of number 33.

Make Something Meaningful
I had started Planet Chiropractic back in the late 1990s, when I was a student in a Los Angeles Chiropractic College. While attending school I discovered there was a lot more about the profession than cracking backs and bones. As a student I became real passionate about my profession and the Internet showed great promise as a way to evangelize. There were chiropractic schools all over the United States, numerous professional organizations, hundreds of conferences to attend, thousands of chiropractors throughout the world, and above all, a lifestyle lived by many in the field that was nearly a polar opposite of everything espoused in the field of medicine. I felt I was on the right track here, but something had happened in recent years that I hadn’t anticipated.

Who are all these people?
Guy was talking about letting a hundred flowers blossom and something related to innovation. He basically said that sometimes people who you do not anticipate, will buy your product or use your service, and he used the example of early Apple users compared to the audience the company reaches today. Light Bulb! That’s exactly what had been going on. While the web site had started as a destination for chiropractors, it was increasingly receiving traffic from two very distinct group of users. The first group was people looking for chiropractors. The second group was people looking to become chiropractors.

9618 calls answeredLet 9618 Flowers Blossom
To help the people that were looking for local chiropractors, we contacted chiropractic authors from our web site, chiropractors that had purchased products from us, chiropractors that had posted classifieds, and chiropractors that had accounts in the event system, and asked if they would mind if we added them to a chiropractic directory. There were no objections. In fact, about 70 chiropractors agreed to participate in a call tracking study which allowed us to gather statistics as to when calls were made to their offices from our web site.

The image shows 9618 answered phone calls to date, beginning from the first of January 2007. One chiropractor added more than 300 new clients to his business as a result of those phone calls. Those are some serious flowers.

Don’t Panic
The group looking to become chiropractors has been interesting, since they’re typically young adults aged 16 to 25, who don’t know much about the industry of chiropractic. Unlike chiropractors that had been in the field for a number of years, this group had three basic interests when visiting the website.

  1. Is this something I want to do?
  2. Can I make money doing this?
  3. Where do I get started?

We had hundreds of articles addressing why one would want to become a chiropractor, and I thought that would be good enough, I was wrong. When we covered news that a Playboy cover girl (and Super Bowl Godaddy Girl) was married to a chiropractor, the MySpace generation poured in, and as a result we identified two areas receiving a significant amount of new traffic. The first was a series of articles about chiropractic salaries and the second was the school review pages.

Here we are telling them you can help a lot of people in your community and make a nice living, and they’re thinking… go to school – make great money – marry a centerfold, where do I sign up?

I’m working on where we go from here, and I’m looking forward to getting some answers at this years PubCon 2007.