Gaga for Google

by Carl Weiss

If you are like most website owners, then you feel that you haven’t made the mark until you can find your listing on page one of the world’s most popular search engine, Google.  The problem is that with 360 million websites online and 130,000 new sites coming online each and every day, it’s getting harder and harder to generate a page 1 result…or, is it?

As I pointed out in my past two blogposts, SEO Sorts ‘Em Out, parts 1 & 2, the rules for SEO have changed drastically in the past 5 years.  Of course, that’s the nature of the SEO beast, in that the search engines change their algorithms regularly to make sure that wily professionals like me can’t game the system.  The bad news is that this weights the game in favor of the big guys, since large companies can out-produce any mom and pop firm when it comes to creating content by the boatload.   The good news is that there are still ways around the SEO bottleneck that every small concern can capitalize on.

Yahoo for YouTube

One of the best weapons that everyone can employ is YouTube.  The problem is the way in which most small businesses employ it.  By that, I mean that all too many small concerns think that creating and posting a TV-style advertisement is going to get them into the game.  What they don’t understand is that there is a big difference between viewing habits on YouTube versus the Boob Tube.

 On TV, there are people who will sit through a 30-minute infomercial without batting an eye.  On YouTube, short, punchy videos that deliver 90 percent content and 10 percent advertisement is the way to go.  Want to sell a widget online?  Don’t create a used car ad with a Billy Mays look alike whose job it is to scream out your advertising copy.  Online you are much better at coming up with a series of videos that portray the lighter side of widget use. 

Case in Point would have to be the Orabrush.  This device at first glance sounds like a toothbrush, but it’s not.  What the Orabrush is, is the world’s first tongue brush.  Invented by Robert Wagstaff, the device languished on the shelf until his firm created a series of humorous YouTube videos that have currently been seen by more than forty million viewers.  (Check out my video below for a better take on this concept.)

Make Them Laugh Til They Buy

What works for the Orabrush can also work for you.  Or, you can take the concept one step further and create your own Web TV show that showcases your business.  For instance, my firm currently has a client that sells APC UPS backup batteries.  More specifically, they sell the replacement cells for these batteries.  When I spoke to the VP of marketing for the company, I asked him if they had ever done any videos on the subject.  “Only one,” he told me.  

Keying in the term APC Battery Backup into YouTube, I found his video (which can be seen below) which shows the viewer how to swap out the cell in a particular model.  Sounds about as interesting as watching paint dry, doesn’t it?  Surprisingly, this video has racked up nearly 46,000 views in two years, which is not an insignificant number.  Pointing this fact out to the VP, I told him that there was obviously an audience to be tapped on YouTube.  However, I also pointed out that while viewers would not be averse to seeing the occasional how-to video, in order to sustain interest and build a large audience, we would need to get a little more creative.

Thus was born the idea for the APC Battery Boys, a web TV series that is currently in preproduction.  (Stay tuned for the February launch of this series.) More of a gadgets and gizmos show, the APC Battery Boys is going to investigate the world of batteries and more importantly battery powered gadgets, some off the shelf and some DIY.  The sponsor will be able to enjoy product placement shots in virtually every episode, plus promos by the shows three cast members.  Shot on a shoestring budget, this is exactly the kind of grassroots programming that makes for must-see online TV
YouTube to Google in One Easy step

Not only can this concept be used to mine YouTube for a growing and receptive audience of prospects, with a little tweaking it can also generate a page one result on Google.  Since Google owns YouTube, it is always searching for what is known as “mixed media,” not the least of which are YouTube videos.  And since Google only puts one or two videos on the first or second page of most web searches, if you can get your video picked up by the search engine, then you more or less own this search, since it is a fact that people are five times more likely to click on a video than a website link.

So if you, like billions of other people worldwide, are gaga for Google, go the extra yard and start producing videos that can go a long way toward generating more exposure and building a receptive audience online for your growing business.

If you are looking for assistance in shaping and shooting a promo or web TV series for your growing firm, give Carl Weiss a call at 904-234-6007.  Carl Weiss operates a leading producer of web-based video programming and marketing.  He can also be heard live every Tuesday at 4pm at with his Working the Web to Win online radio show.
SEO Sorts 'Em Out - Part 2

by Carl Weiss

Last week we talked about how to keep your website atop the heap no matter how the search engines alter their algorithms by concentrating on the creation of outstanding content.  In this installment, I am going to show you how to increase your backlinks, how to generate favorable reviews and recommendations, as well as how to get a bead on what the competition above you on the search engines is doing and how you can turn the tables on them.

Being Upfront About Backlinks

For many years the major search engines have put a premium on how many sites link to your site.  Back a few years this actually caused a great deal of conflict, since it spawned backlink factories that turned out backlinks like linked sausages.  You’ll know you have come across someone who has worked with these firms if their backlinks are in Farsi or Chinese.  The good news is that the search engines cracked down on these bad boys bigtime.  The bad news is that most search engines still rate a portion of your worth on backlinks.  Is that’s what’s bothering you, Bunky?

Other than spending hour upon hour of identifying and emailing firms in your industry begging for backlinks, or spending thousands of dollars on software that does virtually the same thing, what if there was an easier way?  In fact, what if you could develop backlinks every week as part of your normal website update procedure? 

Well there are several ways of creating backlinks without working up a sweat.  One of them is article marketing.  If you google  “free article submission” you will be presented with scads of sites that are hungry to publish your articles.  By publishing your blogposts with these sites you will achieve a wider following and you will also be granted a byline and an opportunity to include a link back to your site.  When anyone republishes your articles, they are obliged to include both the byline and backlink.  So the use of this technique can spawn backlinks like rabbits, once you have established yourself as an authority by publishing a number of articles.

Of course, this isn’t the only opportunity to cultivate backlinks.  You can also create backlinks by republishing your blogs on your social networks, by joining in on online discussion groups and by becoming affiliated with any number of online professional organizations.

Sharing the Wealth

Speaking of networking, another way to increase your site’s SEO value is by having those who know and do business with you to write a review or recommendation online.  Such sites as Google Local, LinkedIn and Merchant Circle, to name a few, make it simple for colleages, associates and your customers to tell the world how they feel about you and your service.   This technique is especially effective if you can offer to reciprocate with the people whom you are seeking a review.  (Check out Hecotr Cisneros' review of Google+ in the video below.)

Getting a Bead on The Competition

Once you find yourself on the top of page two or the bottom of page one on the search engines, it is time to start employing advanced techniques to get a bead on what the competition is up to.  Online this couldn’t be easier, since there are a number of free sites that will give you the competitions battleplan chapter and verse.    The one I use is  By entering a url in the dialog box on the main page, along with the urls of as many as 5 competing sites, you will be presented with an analysis of competing sites.  You’ll be presented with such things as how many backlinks a site has, along with their Twitter and Facebook ratings, how well their homepage is optimized and a score of other statistics.  If you want to see in black and white what it will take to take the high ground, simply have the site analyze your site along with those of your competitors and then get cracking. 

While SEO isn’t as complicated as rocket science, it can be daunting to the uninitiated.  That’s why so many firms employ professionals to keep their SEO up to snuff.  Personally, I prefer it if clients work with us tag team style, where they supply some of the content and allow us to put it into play.  After all, we may know more about how to feed the search engines, but they certainly know more about their businesses.  All I can say is that if you want to generate search engine results, there is no shortcut to success.

Carl Weiss and Hector Cisneros are going to make their online tips and techniques interactive in two weeks when they start their “Working the Web to Win” online radio program.  Stay tuned for updates and check their work out at and

SEO Sorts 'Em Out - Part I

Now that we have spent the better part of the past few months talking about the shortcuts to page one of Google, I think it’s time we start talking about the pig-in-a-rut proposition known as Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO.  Back when I first started getting paid to help companies online in 1995, one of the first businesses I ran was a little site called, which was an SEO business. Back then we guaranteed not only that we could get client’s sites to page one in their choice of keyphrase, we could do it in a matter of 24-48 hours.  Well, that was then and this is now.  Today, even the best SEO experts will you that it is going to take months of work to achieve a page 1 result on Google using SEO.  Why?  Two reasons:
1.      The way that SEO works today is not based upon a simple algorithm.  It is based on such things as content, backlinks, and a number of other variables that take time to compile in order to gain the upper hand over an opponent.
           2.      The rules of the game are subject to change with little or no notice by the casino owner.  In other  words, you could be on page one today and if Google, or Bing, or Yahoo makes a sudden alteration in their ranking algorithms, you could find yourself on page 101 the following day.
This being said, there are a number of trends that are unlikely to change any time in the near future. Therefore, if you want to roll with the punches with the least amount of anxiety, here are the elements that you need to continue to work:
Content is King
            No one is ever going to find fault with outstanding content.  That being said, if you will look at many websites, you will find that they are spending far too much time and effort on graphics and far too little on such things as video,blogging and social networking.  Yes Virginia, the googlebots do search for such things.  So if you've got them, you need to link them to your site.  More importantly, you need to feed them at least once per week if you want your webiste to be regarded favorably.  (One of the ways that I increase page count is by also creating a page that corresponds to my blogpost.  This means that I am adding more than fifty pages of content to my sitemap every year as well.)
          Speaking of sitemaps, adding one couldn't be easier since there are a number of free sitemap generators online, such as  As long as you know how to use ftp, all you need to do is transfer the code that the site provides to your root directory and you're in business.
          And business is what generating page 1 results is all about online.  Next week, I'll show you how to generate backlinks and read your opponent's battle plan in realtime using another free online facility.   Until then, keep working the web.

Carl Weiss is president of an online marketing firm.  If you don't have the time to work the web to win on your own, Carl offers a FREE WEB PRESENCE ANALYSIS that's guaranteed to show you how you stack up against the competition on the Internet.  Did I mention that it's FREE? Go to his site to find out more.