Category: Rants & Raves

Content Indexing and Content Scraping

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Two different screenshots to share here, mostly for my own interests (blog post rule fail: don’t post for you, post for your readers) but maybe there’s a slim chance you’ll find some value in what’s being shown.

The first image shows a screenshot for research I was conducting related to seminar information in the Dallas Texas area. I was in Texas for several days this past week, and I must say that I love Texas BBQ.

Dallas Chiropractor Dallas Texas 75209While in Texas, I was getting local search results related to the area I was staying in. If you take a look at the image above you’ll notice there are three separate primary websites indexed (the ones with green URLs). Each of the three has a title (like the top one which includes TX 75209), a snippet (the middle one is missing this), and address information.

Besides those three elements, there is a thumbnail photograph for two of the listings, and then there are a series of URLs (the ones in light blue) providing citations for each of the websites. Look carefully at each of the three, do you notice that the top one is the most complete?

Gebhardt Chiropractic Denver ChiropractorThe next image shows an example of scraped content. Bloggers and webmasters alike despise those that scrape their content. It is nearly always done without permission, and the scraper typically injects their own links into the content, in hopes of gaining link juice directed at their own domain.

If you look at the URL here for my photo iPhone review from 2010 you’ll notice that what’s shown in the screen grab above is the exact same content appearing on this blog. What this Gebhardt individual is doing, is scraping content authored by me (without my permission) and he’s using a plug-in to strip links and redirect keywords to his homepage. A real award winner this individual is.

The moral here: some chiropractors link and other chiropractors steal.

Join the Billion Dollar Wellness Revolution

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Marketing materials sent to chiropractors by mail, fax, and e-mail continue to show up in my chiropractic office (and thousands of other chiropractic offices across North America). There appears to be a new trend in marketing materials arriving the past two months. Gone are the direct-mail campaigns for nonsurgical spinal decompression with offers to fly myself and my family to Hawaii or Florida to attend a sales presentation.

Now that chiropractors decompression units are appearing for sale on auction web sites and our chiropracticclassifieds pages, it’s becoming clear that those marketing to chiropractic offices have moved on from pushing decompression therapies and are now in the business of selling wellness.

So while various spam e-mails targeted at chiropractors continue to appear in our PC inboxes (woo hoo, the rate is going down) direct-mail pieces seem to predominately be focused on selling chiropractors on wellness based marketing tactics. I came home from BarCamp San Diego today to find a direct mail piece sent from a chiropractic marketing company in Florida that boldly states How to attract more women into your practice!

emotional and physical wellness

I did some research online to check what kind of terms were coming up when someone did a search for “wellness” with the image to the left showing the top eight results.

Turns out wellness is a brand of dog and cat food. Good to see people are also searching for “health and wellness” and other wellness related searches.

I wasn’t too impressed by the numbers and it has me thinking that perhaps people are searching for something else besides the general term.

Not to worry though, looks like 2008 is going to be a summer of marketing wellness to chiropractors, just like the summer of 2006 was for marketing spinal depression.

Do you want to put all your chiropractic marketing dollars in the wellness basket (so you can attract more women into your practice)? What about chiropractors that adjust children or focus on pediatrics? Is that wellness? How about those focused on sports performance, is that wellness based or injury based? Then there’s the manipulators, marketing manipulation under anesthesia, is that therapeutics or wellness? One thing is for sure, I’ve received no direct-mail, unsolicited e-mail, or faxes sent to my office, by people marketing the correction of vertebral subluxation as something chiropractors could be doing in their practice.

I’m looking forward to see what direct-mail marketing pieces I receive next, not. Hold the presses, I was about to close this post when I noticed another piece of mail from a different chiropractic marketing company based in Tustin, California. Maybe wellness isn’t the only thing we will be reading about, as the piece of mail talks about a recession in the United States.

Wellness Revolution or 2008 Recession, which topic do you think is going to be focused on more in materials being marketed to chiropractors this summer?

Snapshot E-Mail Spam Targeted at Chiropractors

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

It’s not like I’ve seen any decrease in spam showing up in my e-mail inbox (or the admin section for comments on this blog) but we’ve been taking a different approach with the topic lately and it’s actually gotten us some good feedback and attracted some links. Woo Hoo.

I wrote about niche industry e-mail spam a few weeks ago, and it turns out a number of other small-business industries are experiencing similar types of spam created by those working inside the niche. That article has a screenshot, but this post includes another, that I grabbed yesterday evening.

manipulation under anesthesia e-mail spamming

It’s not like I only got seven spam e-mails to the inbox, this was just what appeared at the top of the fold. We have some MUA (manipulation under anesthesia) spam from some American Academy of something or other. There is also spam from a chiropractic company trying to promote attracting more new patients with great insurance. I’ve requested removal for multiple Planet Chiropractic e-mail addresses being sent by that group but they continue to appear. Time to contact the ISP. Until the, their e-mails will get lumped in with the learning how to attain large measurements and how to clone oneself.

Turns out that one of the e-mails sent was not actually spam, it just got misdirected into the bulk e-mail box. Can you tell which one? I sometimes can’t on first glance, so on a good day I will scan through some of these e-mails (usually 300 to 600) and hopefully pull out the ones that aren’t spam. In most cases they are first-time contacts from people I haven’t received e-mail from in the past.

That’s my e-mail spam report for the day, hopefully there won’t be many more.

New Direct Digital X-Ray Systems

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Bombarded with spam in my e-mail inbox yesterday. It’s nothing new, but what really ticks me off, is the amount of spam I get from businesses marketing to the chiropractic industry. I get x-ray spam, seminar spam, buy my pills spam, multi-level marketing nutritional products spam, make a million bucks conning selling patients into spinal decompression spam, and all sorts of other garbage.

Some company marketing digital x-ray systems spammed every e-mail account on Planet Chiropractic yesterday, and when I checked e-mail at my chiropractic office in LA, there was more spam from the same company. I know most of this is coming from people that scrape web sites for e-mail addresses, a pretty sleazy practice. I also know I can take greater efforts to protect my e-mail identities. Some of these e-mail addresses I’ve had for 10 years, so I don’t want to change them now. Just have to continue improving on blocking spam. Yesterday it was mentioned in a PC news article that one should never put their e-mail address inside the body of a post (this was related to classified ads). If you have to add your e-mail address there are numerous things you can do to at least slow down to the scraping process. Some people will do this … mike [at] planetc1.com … or this Mike [at] planetc1 DOT com … or even this Mike :: planetc1 :: com. Most people could figure that out. I’m sure many spammers will to.

To the douche bags spamming me with digital x-ray system info, thanks for the content contribution.

Douche Bag Spammer Systems offers low power, cost effective, next generation Direct Digital X-Ray imaging solutions. We are the leading cost, performance manufacturer of both an 8 x 12 and 13 x 17 CCD single array detector. All systems are available as a Retrofit device, delivering 12 megapixel high resolution images to computer screen in just 6 seconds.

Full systems under $35,000.00

Come see the web site and all the examples of our applications and the resulting images taken on real equipment with live subjects. All images are taken on single phase x-ray machines found in private doctors offices. We have a DR system at CR pricing. Over 50 systems installed. Chiropractic, Veterinary, Podiatry and Hand Surgery. We can help you build a DR System with the new X-ray machine of your choice. See sample images below.

Regards,
Dirt Bag Spammer Systems

If you’re a Digital x-ray manufacturer, installer, or wholesaler, feel free to drop a link in the comments. As long as you’re not a spammer, I’d be happy to send you some business.

More New Patients with Posters

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I didn’t know where to put this so it’s ending up in the rant section. I’ve been posting regularly about stuff I get in the mail and I’m starting to get behind as a stack is building up on the couch. I can’t even lay down now so I’ve got to get some topics posted or just toss everything in the recycle bin.

the nervous system anatomical poster

I received a postcard from a chiropractor in Freehold, NJ 07728 that on the front said “Do You Want More New Patients?” Now, so everyone understands, I LOVE NEW PATIENTS, but I get postcards and faxes and direct mail and email with some of the dumbest or archaic ideas for going about doing so. It’s not that this particular card I received was dumb, it’s that the items on the card do not answer the question asked (at least for me).

The postcard was an ad for chiropractic posters and I have to say they look like leftover product from 1971. Come on folks, quotes from Websters Dictionary and Gray’s Anatomy (not the show but the book) made into posters? There was a vertebral subluxation poster and I don’t care how old those are, I like them all. I’ve been thinking about creating a VSC poster that reads “All Those Subluxated Will Burn in Hell” just to see if anyone is actually reading it. Err…. Humor.

I also got a postcard from Forte Systems (in El Dorado Hills, CA) regarding a “Spooky Sale” on some chiropractic software. I’m afraid to order it since I’ve spent too much time helping chiropractor friends recover their crashed windows servers that use this stuff. I have some older version (think it’s 7000) and I can’t say I’d recommend it to anyone. I’ve asked someone to please present some chiropractic office software that does not look like it was designed for Windows 3.1 but nobody has come forward yet with anything.

A solution is coming, I know it is!
End of rant.

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.

Pain Management Manipulation under Anesthesia

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I received a fax at my chiropractic office today with a headline that read Pain Management Manipulation under Anesthesia. There’s nothing unusual about the office receiving faxes, we get several a day. This one caught my attention than I thought it was pretty funny (you may think it’s pretty sad).

Some event is going on in Texas, regarding training for Manipulation under Anesthesia, also known as MUA. On the fax it states that “MUA is one of the most exciting chiropractic physical medicine procedures being performed today..” What in hojimeny is chiropractic physical medicine? Is this stuff being taught at colleges? I’ve heard of physical medicine, and I am familiar with the term chiropractic medicine, but I’d never heard the terms combined. I guess this is what you could call long tail use of words.

A sentence later in the fax says that MUA expands the primary role of the chiropractic physician in chronic pain management and physical medicine. I knew I’d be seeing that term somewhere. I’m wondering if what they really meant to say was a chiropractor can be making lots more money making believe they are a medical doctor, instead of practicing chiropractic.

Interesting that this is a 34 hour course, which is made up of 18 hours lecture, 12 hours clinical proctorship, and four hours of literature review. Wow, after one weekend you could be a certified manipulator. It’s a good thing the people having their bones jerked around are under anesthesia, be sure to show them your weekend course certificate when they come to, that should get some laughs. Research shows laughter is good for healing.

Let me ask you, if this was something that was really a benefit to patients, shouldn’t that be listed? The fax includes 10 reasons to incorporate MUA, and only one mentions anything about offering pain relief for patients. The rest of the advantages listed include: increased medical referrals, two hour a day practice, no overhead expenses, see only six patients per week, increase your income by four or five figures per week, obtain outpatient surgery center privileges and secure hospital privileges.

All of this great stuff is being provided by some Manual Medicine Academy and I don’t believe there’s any affiliation to any chiropractic group, organization, or college. Sounds like a lot of fun (kidding) but I’ll be busy that weekend in October.

New York Times Keeps Links to Themselves

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

What’s the deal with colossal websites, like the New York Times, keeping all their links to themselves? Not that there’s any law that says they can’t do so, I just think it goes against what most other websites and blogs are doing.

I noticed a story today in the Times related to Virgil Griffith and his WikiScanner. In the Times article, there are lots of internal links to other Times content, but no outbound links for Virgil. I find that interesting and this is why…

virgil imageLast week news broke out online regarding Virgil Griffith’s WikiScanner. Beginning first on Wired News, the topic moved through social media sites (Digg, Reddit) like a firestorm.

Within hours of the news spreading, Virgil posted some information for the press (media ppl are required read this before asking questions), which he placed as a bold link at the top of the WikiScanner page.

On that page, the very first topic Virgil addresses…
How should I link to your homepage?
Link to me with <a href=”http://virgil.gr”>Virgil</a>. Thanks.

Next topic…
I represent the media. Will you talk to me?
Yes, I will talk to you. But as I’m on a quest to become the #1 hit on google for query ‘virgil’, I ask that on your website you put a link to virgil.gr with the anchor ‘virgil’ as described above.

Third topic…
Why did you create WikiScanner?
To improve virgil.gr ‘s Google pagerank for the query ‘ virgil ‘

It’s not until after Virgil makes those three requests that he addresses other reasons why he created the WikiScanner. “To create minor public relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike.”

I’ve been following this story very closely since I first wrote about it Tuesday morning in planet chiropractic news. After making my post, I did a Google search for the term “virgil” to see where he was at in his quest to become #1. Not good.

I decided to do a WikiScanner follow-up article in which I explained Virgil’s quest to be at the top of search results. Since then, I’ve been watching various online news web sites and social networking sites, to see if Virgil was getting his links, and getting closer to his goal. This whole WikiScanner issue created a great opportunity for me to see how long it would take for someone’s web site to appear in Google natural search results.

When I saw the WikiScanner article in this morning’s New York Times, I thought maybe Virgil had hit pay dirt with a mega-link. That was not the case.

In the Times coverage of the WikiScanner, I counted 15 internal links from the New York Times article to other articles on the same website. The New York Times had zero outbound links. No links to Virgil, no links to WikiScanner, no links to Wikipedia, and no links to Wired News, who broke the story first (the Times did mention that).

I’m sure there’s some sort of bureaucratic corporate policy that keeps New York Times authors from linking to other sites. It just sucks, in my opinion, that they are so free in giving internal inbound links to themselves, and they share no link juice with others.

I mean, here is a major website that relies on open source software (Much of The New York Times runs on WordPress) on the back end, but they don’t share that same open source free giving spirit when it comes to links. Nothing against the writers at the New York Times, just pointing out my observations.

Either way, Virgil is getting tons of traffic, and he is getting links from thousands. As a result, “virgil” is on an ascent to the top. I checked the position for the search term “virgil” in Google, the day the story broke. Virgil.GR was appearing around position number 30 in a Google search.

This morning, his homepage comes up in position (lucky number) 7 and I’m betting he’ll hit position #1 within a week from today. What this self-proclaimed mad scientist and disruptive technologist will do after that, no one knows.

Top 20 ranking in search engines under 500 bucks

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Internet scam report
I received another one of those “statements” a few weeks ago with a promotion that I could get my web site ranked in the top 20 results for only $499.99!

These statements show up at my chiropractic office at least every month and I’m sure all sorts of businesses receive similar looking mailings that at first look like an invoice.

This latest one came from Montréal Canada and it had the word “statement” across the top. There was a registration number and my business listing information was listed as “SAME” (as if I’d ever done business with them before). Registration was due by August of 2007 and my item description was “Top 20 Rank” with an amount rate of $499.99 to be mailed by that date.

There were directions to have an authorized signature and select a credit card, including card number expiration date and security code. Bottom information was be returned to the address listed in Canada.

Along with the statement came a photocopied sheet of paper that included corporate logos for aol.com, Google, Yahoo, Overture, HotBot, AltaVista, LookSmart, Netscape, and even the DMOZ open directory project. The fact that Overture was listed, which had been sold to Yahoo! a few years ago, should be a red flag.

The letter asked… “can Internet users find my business information when they need my product or service?” According to the letter the Web has over 780,000 directories, with each one listing over 3 million categorized businesses.

You may be thinking this is just direct mail marketing as usual and not a scam but the big giveaway was the letters that were in all caps reading “WE GUARANTEE TOP 20 RANKING FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

What kind of guarantee? A guarantee of a top 20 listing in AltaVista.com with a search keyword phrase of “long-haired bucktoothed chiropractor Hollywood”? Something like that? Even if the guarantee was for top 20 single keyword listing (such as chiropractic) in Google, currently the most used search engine, it would not be worth the fee of $500. Looking at the statement it says bill with net 30 terms which has me thinking this company would be billing my credit card $499 a month until I decided to cancel.

I don’t know any reputable company working in the space of search engine performance that would guarantee specific positions in search engines.

My advice is to never act on these offers, whether they come by mail, cold calling, fax, or e-mail. I get them from all four of those sources (and I’ve been getting a lot more from direct telephone marketers).

There are great resources online and you can save yourself lots of heart ache and expense by doing some of your own research. If you’re seeking tips specifically related to improving the function of chiropractic web sites, visit the chiropractic homepage project. To get ideas on improving search engine performance for your website in general, checkout web sites like Bill Hartzer (a search consultant) and Michael Gray (a.k.a. graywolf). You’ll get honest and reliable information from web sites like those.

Whiplash Relief as Wellness Chiropractic Care

Is whiplash and injury pain relief part of wellness chiropractic care?

Several months ago someone presented a demo to me of a marketing campaign they were thinking of rolling out in my area. They showed me some slides, pretty graphics, a mini commercial, and gave me a pitch that the world is moving towards wellness so it would be in my best interest to get on the bandwagon of optimum health and wellbeing and begin projecting that to my community. With their help, and several thousand dollars of my hard earned hands on adjusting money, they could get me exclusively recognized as a wellness expert in my area.

They did not want to mention chiropractic in any advertising as to not give the public the wrong idea. Instead, I was to be marketed as a wellness expert! I decided to decline on the offer and continue to do what has worked for me best in the past… ask for referrals.

So it’s months later and I’m searching online (notice I do that a lot) and I come across some marketing from this same company. Wow, find out how you can get the pain relief you deserve for your recent auto accident and resulting whiplash injury. Call today to schedule your chiropractic appointment.

Now, I have nothing wrong with people seeking chiropractic care after being involved in a car accident, but is that wellness? I thought wellness care was something one typically paid cash for, involved affordable plans that allowed you and your entire family to get adjusted, and was focused around the correction or reduction of vertebral subluxation.

Having your head strike your seat rest and moving backward, after your vehicle was plowed into and your body is moving forward, is not what I visualize as a wellness experience. No, this is something commonly known as personal injury and yes it’s something many chiropractors specialize in, I’m not denying that.

There are lots of companies driving personal injury clients to chiropractors, I like when they are clear that their intent is just that. There are lots of companies promoting wellness services on behalf of chiropractors, I’m OK with that too. Nice when they describe clearly what it is they intend to do.

Not all chiropractors have a practice like mine, some specialize in things like auto collisions and work injuries. Chiropractor, Suzanne Frye, who went to the same school I did (CCCLA) sees lot’s of “PI” patients. Call her if you are you are seeking chiropractic care in Lancaster, CA.

The Chiropractors Pennsylvania page on Planet Chiropractic makes a good example of how different chiropractors practices can be. On the page are a number of chiropractors I’d feel comfortable referring to. I’d go see Ram Parikh for a personal injury or wellness, Sharon Gorman for a rockin’ adjustment, Joe Strauss for straight chiropractic (does Joe see personal injury cases?), and Skip George for scoliosis corrective care.

And for you that may be wondering what should I do now? I was in an accident or I want affordable family wellness care, who should I call. I’ll let you in on a secret… Either way, call a local chiropractor and ask them this question “What is a subluxation?” If they can’t answer you or flub about as if they have no clue, it’s likely a sign to call someone else.