Is This Microphone On?

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.