Search Engine Optimization and WordPress: Mark McLaren Speaking at WordCamp Portland 2010

Search Engine Optimization - Speaker WordCamp PortlandLast year’s WordCamp Portland was two full days of WordPress joy, and this year’s is going to be even better. Sure, Matt Mullenweg and Jane Wells were there – two people who are shaping the future of WordPress. And this year not only are they are coming back, but WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith is coming along, too. So if you have a question or a request related to WordPress, there’s pretty much no doubt you’ll be able to have it addressed right there on the spot.

I will be speaking, as well. The topic is Search Engine Optimization and WordPress. This will not be the same SEO and WordPress presentation I gave at WordCamp Vancouver. The focus will be on keywords and the importance of links for search engine optimization.

Did I mention that WordCamp Portland also features awesome food – and BEER?! How many conferences, un- or otherwise, have you been to that have kegs of killer microbrew at the snack table? Right.

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Social Media and Social Transformation via the Internet: The Cluetrain Manifesto

On the “Reading Social Media” Book Club Blog, Veronica Sopher and Maya Bisineer have posted my summary and review of The Cluetrain Manifesto. The Cluetrain Manifesto is a social media classic that was written before the term “social media” even existed: way, way back in 1999-2000. It says everything that’s now familiar to us social media types. But it’s not written as a book on marketing or business; it’s about the Internet and its implications for the way humans – mainly humans in corporate America, but really all humans living in industrialized countries – communicate.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Summary and review of The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual
by Mark McLaren

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SEO Snake Oil

Internet pundit John Dvorak recently called Search Engine Optimization “the modern version of snake oil”. Unfortunately, people will listen to what Dvorak says about SEO because he has tons of visibility – notoriety? – on the Web.  Search Engine Watch’s Mark Jackson writes a good rebuttal of Dvorak’s article here: “SEO Snake Oil“.

I (sometimes) find Dvorak’s views refreshing. He is not afraid to speak his mind. But with that kind of authority he should act more responsibly and show some forethought. How about asking for some input from the SEO community?

Among other things, I notice that Dvorak does not understand the difference between “tags” and “metatags”. Tags are a relatively new way of classifying information on the Web. Metatags (or “meta tags”) are part of the HTML <head> section of code in a Web page. Some meta tags are used for search engine optimization. Clearly, Dvorak does not know what he is talking about when it comes to SEO.

Had he talked to a professional like Mark Jackson or Vanessa Fox before spouting off, they would have easily cleared up any misunderstanding.

SEO has a reputation as a kind of dark, mystical art. It’s not that well understood, and there are those who prey on business owner’s ignorance by selling them shoddy SEO services without having to be accountable for poor results. But search optimization is not rocket science. It is mostly common sense stuff that any good SEO practicitioner can explain clearly and understandably – and implement with measurable results.

If you are thinking of hiring an SEO professional, ask them for references and ask to see case studies or records of results they have produced for their clients. And don’t call SEO “snake oil” until you have read a book like “Search Engine Optimization for Dummies” or talked to a professional and looked into it a bit.

To learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services offered by McBuzz, click here.

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