By Dan Thies

Is This Microphone On?

By Dan Thies

Howdy, all!

  • My name is Dan Thies, and I am your new SitePoint blogger for search engine marketing. I guess a brief introduction is in order.

Who Is This Guy?

  • I’ve been building and promoting websites since Netscape was a start-up, and I’ve been dealing with search engine optimization as long as there have been search engines. I have been much more heavily involved with search engine marketing since 2001, when I published my beginner’s book, SEO Fast Start. We’ve sold just under 5,000 copies of that book, with the 5th edition due out next month.
  • You will find me on several different fora that discuss search engine marketing. I am a moderator at the High Rankings and Best Practices forums, a membership committee volunteer for SEMPO, and a member of the executive committee of SeoPros, the Organization of Search Engine Optimization Professionals.
  • I started my current company, SEO Research Labs, in 2003. We provide support services and training to SEO/SEM consultants, site designers, and other web professionals. Since then, I have not done any search engine marketing work directly for clients, instead, I serve as a consultant to the consultant.
  • SEO Fast Start is now available as a free download from my website, if any SitePointers would like to dissect it. It’s not intended as a comprehensive reference to SEO, but as a simple system for beginners to follow as they learn to do their own search engine optimization.
  • If you want a big comprehensive book on search engine marketing, you don’t have long to wait, because SitePoint will be publishing my new book later this month. It’s taken over six months to write, and it’s a monster, so stay tuned for more on the SitePoint Search Engine Marketing Kit.

Axes To Grind? You Bet!

Yes, I have an opinion or two.

  • Most “search engine marketing” is better described as “optimization.” Optimizing web pages, optimizing pay-per-click campaigns. There is a lot more to marketing than technique.
  • The goal of search engine marketers should be to improve business results, or support the aims of the organization or individual who owns the website… search engine rankings are not a business result, neither is “more traffic.”
  • Keyword research and keyword strategy are the core of search engine marketing, and the discipline of keyword research needs a lot more attention…. so I’m going to talk about it a lot.
  • Black Hat vs. White Hat is irrelevant, but I am not a big fan of deceptive techniques, short term strategies, and quick fixes.
  • More opinions to come…

So What’s The Plan?

My plan, pending a flood of comments telling me otherwise, is to try to attack a different topic or theme each week – cover some background on Monday, deeper discussion on Wednesday, and look at related tools and resources on Friday. In between, and maybe instead of that in a busy week, we’ll look at breaking news and hot topics.

  • Let me be the first to say Welcome!!! SEO is a pretty hot topic and I look forward to your insight.

  • Welcome to our blogs Dan. We just sent “The Search Engine Marketing Kit” to our printers so you can expect it to be released on sitepoint.com in a few weeks time. It’s a large binder full of useful information and a CD-ROM. Similar in design to ‘The Web Design Business Kit’. Dan has done an excellent job, you’ll love it.

  • Nice intro Dan! Look forward to seeing your stuff.

  • Awesome, I look forward to reading your posts and your book!

  • Hi Dan, thanks for introducing yourself. I (and many others) are looking forward to reading what you have to tell us. :)

  • Great intro, thanks for the tip-off on your book :)

  • thorbergdt

    Can’t wait to see what you have for us!

  • Jill Whalen

    Good luck with it Dan, and congrats!


  • Sounds great! I’m very excited to read more.

    It’s also great to hear you’re a moderator at High Rankings. I think Jill is superb.

    I completely agree with you that keyword analysis is crucial and should be talked about more.

  • Welcome, Dan. This is really interesting. Can’t wait!

  • MarkB

    Welcome, and thanks for the blog!

    A post about algorithm changes, and how best to recover from one (and I’m talking Google here, of course) would be MOST welcome :)

  • can’t wait for the new kit!

  • Mike Empuria

    Your credentials speak for themselves. Welcome and good luck with this blog.

  • mhdoc

    I clicked on the “free download” link and found myself on one of those pages that, to me at least, screams “Marketing Hype, content free page”. Another click was reguired to get to a page with the standard picture and testimonials. Finally, at the bottom of page two is the requiirement to sign up for a newsletter and “promotional materials” in order to get the “free download”.

    Did someone do a study that proved this kind of layout is the road to success? For me at least, when I see this format loading, I am reaching for the back button before its done. Only the fact I was starting from Sitepoint got me to read page two; and even with that I did NOT sign up.

    Am I atypical, or do others feel the same way?

  • GDA

    Mhdoc is right! The page looks like an “earn 1 million $ with this marketing tricks-book” type website. It’s just an advertising similar to “buy a book which tells you all the secret tips about xyz”.

  • MarkB

    *shrug* I signed up for the download easily enough; certainly didn’t feel like a chore.

  • mhdoc,

    Yes my site works just fine for my business. Thanks for asking.

  • Looking forward to reading your posts.

    – Craig

  • Anthony Parsons

    Nice blog Dan, and I look forward to learning some more from you here.

  • Anonymous

    Nice Information

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