A New Year, A New Look

Wow, it’s been almost a year since my last post. No, I didn’t fall off the grid, or join a monastery, or abandon SEO so I could take up homebrewing Melomel mead like these guys. Truth be told, after the huge response to my last post it’s taken me a while to even want to write on my personal blog again. The majority of responses were really positive, but wow – the ones that were negative were LOUD. I don’t know about you but there’s only so many times I can be told to go f**k myself before I start feeling a wee bit discouraged.

I’ve also had a lot going on. For one thing, in August we moved to Norman, Oklahoma so my fiance, Justin, could take a job as a professor at the University of Oklahoma. “Move to Oklahoma” was pretty high on my list of Things It Never Really Occurred to Me I Might Do Someday, and yet here we are. We kind of still can’t believe we live here – every so often something will happen that rocks us back on our heels and makes us say “Wow, we live in Oklahoma.” (As Justin puts it, it’s like the movie We Bought a Zoo, only instead of buying a zoo, we moved to Oklahoma).

With the move to Oklahoma have come other big changes. The biggest of which – I’m no longer working at Moz. An in-house SEO who’s not actually in house turned out to be too hard, for both Moz and for me. So now I’m setting up shop with my own SEO and inbound marketing consultancy here in Oklahoma. It’s going to be a crazy adventure, and I’m pretty excited about it!

I’m also going to be doubling down on this blog, starting with the new look and continuing with, you know, posting more than once per year. I’ve been doing a lot of pondering lately, and I have some Things To Say. So stay tuned!

Things You Think Aren’t Sexist, But Really Are

There’s been a lot of talk in the industry lately around sexism at conferences, both in selection of speakers and behavior among attendees. With some sexist/outright creepo behavior, it’s pretty easy to tell where the line is (not that that stops some men from gaily trampling over that line). Most of us would agree that outright propositions or full-on groping are not acceptable behavior at an industry conference.

But you, Type of Dude to Whom This Post is Addressed, would never do something like that. You’re one of the good guys. You have no problem with women being successful, and you’re happy to have women speak at conferences. You’d certainly never just outright grope someone. But there are many more subtle behaviors that contribute to an atmosphere of sexism that you may not even be aware of. It’s hard for you to hear that they might be sexist, because you are a good guy and don’t think of yourself as sexist – but there’s room for improvement! So here are some additional things that you can work on. Continue reading

#PubCon Wardrobe Essentials

PubCon is next week!  A 3-day, multi-track panorama of learning and networking in fabulous Las Vegas.  This will be my 4th PubCon, and I’ve learned a thing or two (Don’t forget to eat dinner, bring more business cards than you think you’ll need, make friends with people who don’t drink so you can steal their drink tickets).  One area where I really feel my experience coming in handy this year: packing.

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My 2 New Rules for Professional Growth

Welcome to Emotion in Tech, a new series in which I reflect on the unavoidable connections between our emotional states and the work we do.

change bumper stickerThere’s a bumper-sticker quote (or as I’m starting to think of them, Pinterest quotes) attributed to Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s a nice sentiment, but as personal mottos go it’s both a little smug and a little unrealistic.  Can one person really exert that much control over the whole world simply by changing his or her own actions?

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Spilling My Guts

In the SEO world we use our heads a lot.  Do we think (x) is affecting our ability to drive traffic via search? Let’s test it!  Is Google rewarding (tactic 1) and no longer as impressed with (tactic 2)?  Show me the data!

Pumpkin gutsDon’t get me wrong – I love this.  It frustrates me when people make blanket assertions and don’t back them up with data.  But marketing isn’t a wholly quantitative discipline – there’s always that “X factor” that separates the truly successful from the also-rans. In my world, we tend to call that X factor “trusting our gut”.

I can’t always blog about what my gut tells me is true.  Sometimes, I just don’t have the data.  Sometimes I’m just feeling too philosophical – and SEO blogs tend to love actionable, tactics-driven posts (and rightly so).  Sometimes the things I feel in my gut are just too emotion-driven to have a place anywhere but my own, personal blog.  So voila: my own personal blog.