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Find all of our SEO/SEM newsletter articles relating to issues that may affect your business below. To receive new articles by email, subscribe to the High Rankings Advisor now.

Jill's Random Website Marketing Thoughts

October 9, 2013
I had a few interesting topics to write about this week, but none of them seemed meaty enough to spawn a full-fledged article on their own. So I decided to throw them all out there with a little bit of commentary to go with them. I hope some of them resonate with you! Read More >>

How to Do SEO for Now and Forever

September 25, 2013
While it's easy to say what SEO isn't, it's a lot harder to pin down exactly what SEO is these days. On the other hand, SEO is still the same thing I said it was when I first started writing about it over a decade ago -- that is, making your website the best it can be both for people and search engines. Read More >>

Jill's SEO Tools and Extensions

May 8, 2013
Here are the tools I use regularly to help with my SEO consulting services. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

May 8, 2013
What online tools do you use almost every day in your work? Read More >>

How to Manage a Paid Search Manager

April 24, 2013
In this High Rankings Advisor article, guest author Ross Lasley explains what you need to know and convey to any paid search manager that you may hire. Read More >>

Interview with B2B Website Marketer Dianna Huff

March 26, 2013
I've known Dianna Huff since at least 2007, but she's been helping B2B companies get their websites in good order since 1998. From the best way to market your content via mobile devices to how to write content that appeals to a B2B target audience, Dianna has got it nailed down. Read More >>

Adapt or Die - Stop Trying to Control Your Customers!

February 27, 2013
This article chronicles what I learned through shopping for wedding dresses with my daughter: Businesses that operate in an old-fashioned manner trying to control the information they provide their customers will likely not be around much longer. Read More >>

Are Female Speakers Under-represented At SEO Conferences?

February 27, 2013
Do you believe that female speakers are under-represented at SEO conferences? And if so, why do you think that is? Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

February 13, 2013
JobShadow Interview with Jill

Why Running Ranking Reports Is a Fool's Errand

December 19, 2012
By now you've heard the news that a few of the major SEO tool companies will no longer be providing ranking reports as part of the website data they supply. While you are probably still in shock and scrambling to figure out what to do about it, if you're serious about your online marketing, it's actually the best thing that could happen to you. Read More >>

18 SEO Killers You Must Clean Up and Avoid for 2013 and Beyond

November 14, 2012
There's a lot of talk lately of Google having finally killed SEO through their Panda and Penguin algorithms, which continue to ensnare more and more websites with every new update. So is SEO really (finally) dead? Read More >>

Marketing Artwork Through Social Media

October 17, 2012
An HRA reader asks Jill how she might use social media to promote her art. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

October 3, 2012
Do You Run Ranking Reports?

Wasting Client Money With Some Unnatural Link Removal Requests

September 5, 2012
This week, rather than a High Rankings Question of the Week, I've got a rant of the week instead. Read More >>

6 Web Marketing Strategies I've Learned (So Far) From Promoting My New Website

April 18, 2012
Read on to see what I've learned (so far) trying to market my new website. Read More >>

Measuring Natural Keyword Traffic in the Age of (Not Provided) Secure Search

April 4, 2012
What does Google expect honest search marketers to do when we can no longer accurately report the natural keyword segmentation of traffic? Read More >>

A Simple Strategy for Building Smart Email Lists

March 21, 2012
How smart is your email list? Read this guest article by Matthew Coers to make it smarter! Read More >>

Giving Has Its Own SEO Rewards

March 7, 2012
It's pretty amazing and very cool that a simple gesture can have such a profound effect on someone's career – and, I daresay – life. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

March 7, 2012
Have you done any good deeds for others that ended up helping your business? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

February 8, 2012
How Viable Is the Freelance SEO Market?

SEO Question and Answer Lightning Round

January 25, 2012
What does a good online marketer do when stuck for topic ideas these days? Go to Twitter, what else! I asked my followers to hit me with their burning SEO questions and they didn't disappoint. Read More >>

Do We Need an .edu Domain?

December 14, 2011
Is it true that, in general, .edu domains get ranked higher than .com? Read More >>

10 Questions for New SEO Clients

November 30, 2011
If you could only ask 10 general (non-industry-specific) questions of your new SEO customers, what would they be and why would their answers help you help them? Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

November 30, 2011
What questions do you ask a new SEO client, and why? Read More >>

Ending Social Media Marketing Confusion

November 2, 2011
You know you're supposed to get on Twitter to somehow promote your website. So you start randomly tweeting out links to a product or service page on your website. But who is going to care? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

November 2, 2011
Should Blog Reviews Use NoFollow Links?

High Rankings Question of the Week

October 19, 2011
How do you measure the success of your SEO work? Read More >>

Why Both Weight Loss and Google Rankings Are Limited Goals

October 19, 2011
Similar to weight loss being a poor main goal for your health and fitness regime, where your pages rank for specific keyword phrases is also a poor main goal.


Why SEO in All the Right Places Doesn't Cut It Anymore

October 5, 2011
Learn why many websites that were making their owners tons of money in the past through traditional SEO, no longer work as well "post Panda." Read More >>

Go Live With Incomplete New Site or Wait?

September 21, 2011
Once my site is ready, I'll be approaching owners within the niche. So I really don't want people to find me for the first few months. My thought was that I would not add my new keyword-rich titles, headings, links, etc., until after a month or so, to keep people from finding me too soon... Read More >>

Microsite or Main Domain?

September 21, 2011
I was wondering if you had any advice about which option is better SEO wise…buying a domain for a microsite or adding the information to your website as additional content? Read More >>

Can I Remove Omniture Code and Install Google Analytics?

September 21, 2011
Is there any harm in going in adding a Google Analytics account ID and getting rid of the Omniture info in the code? Read More >>

Two Different Target Markets

September 21, 2011
Can I use a splash page to direct two different target markets to the appropriate sections of my website? Read More >>

Deceptive Marketing: A Necessary Evil for Search Marketers?

September 7, 2011
When building links or doing other search marketing tasks, it necessary to lie? Isn't that sort of thing exactly what gives marketers in general (not just search marketers) a bad reputation? Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

September 7, 2011
Are dishonesty, stretching the truth, or white lies necessary to be a good marketer? Read More >>

How to Optimize Copy When You Can't Use Keywords

August 24, 2011
What's the first thing you think of when writing with keywords? Probably one of the first is that keywords and phrases are descriptive of the products and/or services you're writing about. But what happens in those circumstances where you can't (or don't really want to) use your chosen keyphrases descriptively? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

July 27, 2011
What are your quick words of wisdom for a business owner just starting out with SEO for their site? Read More >>

Who Keeps Spreading Silly SEO Stupidity, and Why?

June 15, 2011
Not a week goes by where a reader or a client doesn't ask me a question based on some bad SEO advice they heard or read somewhere. In this article, I try to figure out where it's coming from and why it gets spread. Read More >>

Content Being Copied

June 1, 2011
One of our connections came across a horrible website that copied our homepage and used it for their "About Us" page. What can we do about it? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

June 1, 2011
Do you recommend bidding on competitors' brand keywords in your paid search campaigns? Read More >>

The Dissection of a Twitter Account

May 18, 2011
10 Ways I've Used Twitter This Month

Getting Found Locally in Google With Only One Company Address

April 20, 2011
Is there a way to tell Google which states the site is relevant for? Read More >>

How Can I Convince People of the Value of SEO?

April 20, 2011
I have a client who was called by [one of those online Yellow Pages–type companies] that would build him a website for $39 a month, which he wants to look into. What could I tell him that would convince him to go with me? Read More >>

16 SEO Tactics That Will NOT Bring Targeted Google Visitors

April 6, 2011
In an effort to keep you from spending your precious time on supposed SEO tactics that will have absolutely no effect on your rankings, search engine visitors, conversions or sales, I present you with 16 SEO tactics that you can remove from your personal knowledge base and/or SEO toolbox as being in any way related to SEO. Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

April 6, 2011
How Much Info Do You Give Up Front To A Client? Read More >>

The Truth About Search Engines and Flash

March 23, 2011
If your company wants people to actually understand what you do when they come to your website, how does playing with the spinning balls further this goal? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

March 23, 2011
Do you get work done during vacations? OR do you even try? OR do you even take vacations? Read More >>

Stirring Up SEO Trouble

February 16, 2011
Hi, my name is Jill, and I’m a %#@$ stirrer! Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

February 16, 2011
Is it too late to save SEO and its reputation from those who have made SEO = spam? Read More >>

Google Sucks All the Way to the Bank!

January 19, 2011
Jill writes about why Google wants their organic search results to "suck just enough." Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

January 5, 2011
Have You Been Affected by the Economy or Competition? Read More >>

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

December 15, 2010
Where Have All The Advertisers Gone? Is AdWords dying? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

November 3, 2010
What do you think of the new SERP display for local listings in Google? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

October 20, 2010
What can someone charge for selling a link on their site? Read More >>

Expected Traffic Increase After SEO

October 6, 2010
Our CEO is looking for a specific goal in site traffic generated by organic search, based on our implementing SEO recommendations. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

October 6, 2010
What's your measure of a successful SEO implementation? Read More >>

Dear Google...Stop Making Me Look Like a Fool!

September 22, 2010
Jill Whalen writes an open letter to Google lamenting the amount of spam still found in their search results. Read More >>

SEO Is Bound to Fail If...

September 8, 2010
...If you don't keep your SEO abreast of website changes.
...If you think your SEO can work independently and not need (a lot of) your help.
...If you know enough SEO to be dangerous.

Twitter Question of the Week

September 8, 2010
What's the biggest reason you've seen for SEO failure with clients? Read More >>

Do You Suffer From BlindWebsititis?

August 25, 2010
When you review the keywords from which people clicked to your site, are they only peripherally related to what you offer? If so, your website is likely suffering from BlindWebsititis! Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

August 25, 2010
ROI Is Greater Than Traffic

Questions About Starting an SEO Company

July 28, 2010
I'm considering starting my own SEO company and working with local businesses and I was wondering if you could offer any advice. Read More >>

Opt Out of SEO at Your Own Peril!

July 14, 2010
If you're a small-business owner, you know you need a website in order to compete online. But I sometimes wonder how many owners know they don't just need a website, but one that's been developed with SEO baked in from the start. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

July 14, 2010
If you're a website designer, do you work with SEOs? If you're an SEO, do you work with developers? Read More >>

9 Steps to Diagnosing Lost Search Engine Traffic

June 30, 2010
For the past few weeks I've been tasked with reviewing a few different sites that have seen a loss in traffic – their owners hoped to find out why... I can usually make some educated guesses based on what I dig up in Google Analytics. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

June 30, 2010
Have you seen sites obviously penalized by Google and, if so, what was the cause? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

June 30, 2010
Forum member "KemoSabe" wanted to mask a keyword-rich domain with a more memorable one for humans. Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

June 16, 2010
Forum member "flarbas" posted that they were frustrated because their boss suggested crazy changes to the company website. Read More >>

Appending Tracking Codes to Email Signatures

June 2, 2010
In last week's newsletter you mentioned appending email signature links with campaign tracking codes. Can you please detail how to do this? Read More >>

Ranking for Local Keywords – Part 1

June 2, 2010
Why does one of our websites come up #5 on Google under the keywords "our keyword phrase Los Angeles" when the keywords "Los Angeles" are nowhere to be found on our pages? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

May 5, 2010
Help Choose: Subdomain or Directory?

SEO Recommendations Don't Implement Themselves!

February 24, 2010
I've had the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses through the years – from tiny one-person small businesses to huge international companies. While there are many similarities in working with different sized companies, there are also important differences. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

February 24, 2010
If you had an extra 20 hours a week, what would you do with them? Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

February 24, 2010
New Affordable SEO Small-Business Package.

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

February 10, 2010
Have Big Companies Taken Over the Internet?

Difference Between SEM and SEO

January 20, 2010
I was wondering what the differences are between SEM and SEO. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

January 20, 2010
What (if anything) will you be doing differently with your SEO strategy this year? Read More >>

A Decade of 21st Century SEO

January 6, 2010
I've been SEO'ing websites long before the 21st century began. Sometimes I feel I've been touting the same SEO processes and procedures for the past 10 years. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

January 6, 2010
What has changed most in Search Marketing since 2000? Read More >>

6 Website Redesign SEO Secrets Your Developer May Not Know

December 16, 2009
You need to address a number of SEO tactics before you get too deep into your website redesign. The reason you need to keep SEO front and center during this time is twofold: so that you do not lose your previous traffic, but also so that you can gain additional targeted search engine visitors when the new site goes live. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

December 16, 2009
How often do you think most websites should be redesigned? Read More >>

Forum Thread of the Week - Google SideWiki

September 30, 2009
Have you heard about Google's new project called "SideWiki" yet? Read More >>

Why Should I Buy From YOU?

September 16, 2009
Today we have another guest article from SEO copywriter and trainer Karon Thackston. Read More >>

Recommended Marketing/Business Books

September 16, 2009
The Twitter Question for this week was: "What good biz or marketing books have you read recently?" Read More >>

Adjusting Domains

September 2, 2009
My plan is to move all the home decor products from the old site to the new one AND change the products of the old one back to selling the jewelry, perfume, wallets, etc. – that is, the "gifty" stuff. What is the best way to make this change? Read More >>

SEO for a Swiss Site

September 2, 2009
I have a corporate client that is planning to purchase a company in Switzerland and they are wondering if I can do the SEO. But then it dawned on me, checking their rankings with a U.S.-based IP address might deliver different search results…do you think? Read More >>

Any Good SEO Books?

September 2, 2009
I am new to SEO. I am writing my first website and would like to get a better understanding of building a great website that will attract my target market to my site. Can you suggest any good books that can help me achieve this goal? Read More >>

Do you give ballpark SEO quotes...?

September 2, 2009
The Twitter Question of the Week is: "Do you give 'ballpark' SEO quotes to companies if/when they won't tell you what the website is? It's kinda necessary, no?" Read More >>

BlindSearch - Search Engine Taste Test - Stuff You Might Like

September 2, 2009
Have you seen "BlindSearch" yet? It's a page with Google, Bing and Yahoo search all together, but with no branding. You make a search, see three sets of results and choose the one you feel provided the best results. Read More >>

5 Factors When Choosing an SEO Company

July 22, 2009
A lot of companies get so confused when attempting to hire an SEO firm that they simply give up altogether and don't hire anyone. Part of the problem is that they simply don't know whom to trust for this service. Read More >>

What are you not doing on your website? - Twitter Question of the Week

July 8, 2009
I asked my Twitter peeps, "What are you not doing on your own website that you often recommend your clients should do?" Read More >>

Anti-Reputation Management - Twitter Question of the Week

June 24, 2009
Recently, an individual asked us to solve a problem for him. A member of his family had dealt with a certain company and, he said, was harmed as a result. This individual wanted to know how he could get high rankings for his blog when someone typed in the company's brand name. Read More >>

New Optimized Page vs. New Site -Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

June 24, 2009
Forum member "taterchips" (great name!) is interested in tackling a specific niche within their profession and was looking at the most effective way to play to that niche. Their question has to do with whether they should add a new page or section to their existing website or start a new website for this particular niche. Read More >>

Publishing Text Ads

June 10, 2009
We are being contacted more and more by companies asking if we will add to our websites and/or clients' websites a short paragraph of text that includes a link to one of their clients' sites – i.e., a text advertisement. Read More >>

The Time for SEO Is Before You Need It! - Stuff You Might Like

June 10, 2009
Thought you might be interested in my TalentZoo column from last week entitled: "The Time for SEO Is Before You Need It!" Read More >>

Video Elevator Speeches for Websites

May 27, 2009
Do you think a positioning video has value on a website, or does it interfere with the structure and architecture of the website? Read More >>

Calendar for Long-tail SEO

May 27, 2009
We want to put a calendar of events on our website. Google Calendar appears to be a great product but since it is not hosted on our website the long-tail SEO value (which is one of the main reasons we want to do the calendar) is lost. Read More >>

Setting Up an SEO Shop Overnight!

May 13, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following request from an email address in India:

"sir/madam.i want to start SEO(search engine optimization)business.but before that i want to know about to intitate this?can u please help me?"


Why Content Is (Still) King When It Comes to B2B Websites

April 1, 2009
Today's guest article comes to us from Dianna Huff, Principal of DH Communications, Inc. Dianna specializes in B2B marketing communications consulting and copywriting, and is an all-around nice person. Read More >>

Measuring SEO Services

March 4, 2009
My question is, how should SEO services be evaluated? In other words, what measurable objectives beyond landing above the fold are appropriate? Read More >>

Discontinued Products Showing in Google

March 4, 2009
I would like to ask a question too, please. Our website is geared to sell GPS equipment. Many of the products have a life of about 6 months to a year. Google indexes these very well, and we rank highly. However, some searches display discontinued products (I guess because they have been around the longest). Read More >>

SEO Non-compete

February 4, 2009
What do you think about a potential SEO client who asks you to agree not to work with any related company for 2 years after the conclusion of the business relationship? Read More >>

SEMPO In-House Search Marketing Survey - Stuff You Might Like

January 21, 2009
Are you an in-house search marketer? If so, please take a few minutes to fill out SEMPO's Second Annual In-House Salary. Read More >>

Picking Up Where Another SEO Left Off - Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

January 7, 2009
Forum member "Say Yebo" was putting together an SEO proposal for a potential client who wanted to know if the project would be different because they had already done some SEO stuff. Read More >>

Setting Realistic SEO Expectations

December 17, 2008
In 2005, when I originally wrote the article below, I thought by the time 2009 approached, things would have changed. Yet many businesses continue to have unrealistic expectations of what an SEO campaign is all about. We've had a number of calls to our office recently from companies who continue to be hung up over one specific keyword phrase, with no interest in branching out to others. Surprisingly, I changed very little of the content of this article because the message is still as valid as the day I wrote it. Read More >>

When Should Site Sections Be Separate Sites?

December 3, 2008
"I'm just about to launch a new site. It should really be 3 sites but the client talked me into making it one or the deal was off. It's for private sales of cars, property and boats. It also has a business directory for each section. The sections are in subdirectories rather than domains for easy maintenance." Read More >>

Shutting Down a Site

November 19, 2008
I work for a nonprofit that since 2000 has been operating an e-commerce website to provide emerging artists with a web presence. It has earned a toolbar PageRank of 5, thanks to some decent inbound links. Due to a variety of things, the parent company of the website has decided it's time to shut the site down. Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like: Free Webinar on Search Marketing Findings

October 22, 2008
I wanted to let you know about a free webinar that I'm doing with MarketingSherpa called "New Research Findings: Search Marketing Tips, Tactics and Trends." Read More >>

SEO Is Not a Last-Ditch Effort

September 23, 2008
Sales are down for many businesses due to the slow economy. Business owners and CEOs are looking for that one thing that can pull them through the hard times and keep them afloat. When times get tough, many turn to SEO, hoping that it will be the ticket to increased sales. While SEO is almost always a good idea, if you're counting on it to save a failing business, you may want to rethink things. Read More >>

Measuring Success Beyond the Search Engines

September 10, 2008
I admit it. I'm a Google Analytics junkie. I try to stay away, but every now and then I hear it calling my name and I break down and log in. I feel the familiar rush of excitement running through my veins almost instantly. And I know anything else I may have planned to do that day won't get done because I'll be in my own world for hours. My analytics world. Just me and my stats. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh… Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like: Recent Interviews With Jill Whalen, CEO High Rankings

August 27, 2008
I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently by a number of online marketing folks and thought you might enjoy learning more about me and my thoughts on a plethora of search marketing issues.

Is Twitter for the Birds?

August 13, 2008
Today's guest article comes to us from my friend and long-time HRA subscriber Jim Spencer, founder of JBS Partners  – a website design and marketing firm in Winchester, MA, that serves small business and solo entrepreneurs. I met Jim in person at a SEMNE (Search Engine Marketing New England) event.   Read More >>

Reverse DNS to Find All Your Sites

August 13, 2008
Forum member "doogie88" was looking for a website where he could do a reverse DNS lookup. 


Offer Expiring 7/31 on B2B Lead Gen Book

July 30, 2008
This is your last chance to save a few hundred bucks on MarketingSherpa's B2B Lead Gen BigBook...erm Handbook ;). Read More >>

SEO Plagiarism

July 2, 2008
Over the past few weeks, I've had a few run-ins with plagiarism in various forms and thought I'd take the opportunity to have a little rant about it. My hope is that by discussing it, people will become more educated about the issue and perhaps it will become a little less rampant online. Read More >>

2008-09 B-to-B Lead Generation Handbook

July 2, 2008
MarketingSherpa has recently come out with an amazing handbook for B2B marketers. While they call it a "handbook" that's really not a good description of it, as it's basically too huge to hold in your hands for very long! 

Getting and Keeping Clients and Customers

June 11, 2008
Today's article is a bit off-topic as it talks about how the little things you do can make a big difference in obtaining and keeping your search marketing clients. Read More >>