Monday, November 22, 2010

Our state of debt in the U.S..."When Does the Madness End"

Report on the state of the United States Public Debt

The United States has had public debt since its inception. Debts incurred during the American Revolution and under the articles of confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 with President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.

The first dramatic growth spurt of the debt occurred because of the Civil War. The debt was just $65 million in 1860, but passed $1 billion in 1863 and had reached $2.7 billion following the war. The debt slowly fluctuated for the rest of the century, finally growing steadily in the 1910s and early 1920s to roughly $22 billion as the country paid for involvement in World War I.

The buildup and involvement in World War II social programs during the F.D. Roosevelt and Truman presidencies in the 1930s and '40s caused a sixteenfold increase in the gross debt from $16 billion in 1930 to $260 billion in 1950.

After this period, the growth of the gross debt closely matched the rate of inflation where it tripled in size from $260 billion in 1950 to around $909 billion in 1980. Gross debt in nominal dollars quadrupled during the Reagan and Bush presidencies from 1980 to 1992. The Public debt quintupled in nominal terms.

In nominal dollars the public debt rose and then fell between 1992 and 2000 from $3T in 1992 to $3.4T in 2000. During the administration of President George W. Bush, the gross debt increased from $5.6 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008, rising from 58% of GDP to 70.2% of GDP. The lack of fiscal responsibility and policies will burden our next generations in ways that we currently cannot comprehend. Under the Obama administration, the madness continues… We observe that since starting in March 2009, the Congressional budget office estimated that gross debt will rise from 70.2% of GDP in 2008 to 100.6% in 2012.

Our economy and middle class will continue to erode until there will only be two classes, the haves…and the have nots. This "spend first and ask questions later" form of government continues to mathematically bury Americans and cover over its sins with each new graduating class. Just look at the last set of numbers in the paragraph above…It’s estimated that the gross debt is equally to the gross national product of our nation. And that debt is no longer sponsored by fellow Americans and North American Banks and investors…that debt is serviced by our world competitors, and enemies.

There are Biblical comparisons that can be made to this sort of hysteria and poor decisions. Around the Christmas table, the conversation will again be sobering…as we get closer and closer to our destiny as a debtor nation. I hope I’m wrong, but I hear those Pied Pipes leading us closer and closer to rushing waves…They’re getting louder and louder every day.


Gross Debt in Billions undeflated[10]

as % of GDP

Debt Held By Public ($Billions)

as % of GDP





































































































2010 (2 Nov)


93.2 (3rd Q)


62.0 (3rd Q)

The startling numbers and indicators reveal our lack of leadership by decision makers today.

(under Presdient George Bush alone, the debt doubled by 5 trillion dollars in just 8 years, with the help of President Obama, that figure is up an addional 40% tipping out at just under 14 trillion dollars, expected to be 100% of GDP before he leaves office in 2012)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SEO Mistakes - Mark Nunny's 12 Common Mistakes

Mark Nunney's 12 most common SEO mistakes: SEO expert series
by Rachelle Money, 12 November 2010

Have you ever embarked on some SEO work and got that sinking feeling that you might be doing something wrong? You're not alone. Our expert Mark Nunney gives us the dirty dozen top mistakes he sees being made in SEO, as well as tips on how to negotiate the pitfalls.

1. Missing the big picture

Most SEO advice is given for a single page, word or technique. But if a site is to be responsible for a profitable small business then in most situations it will need hundreds of pages targeting hundreds of thousands of keywords using a wide range of techniques.

All of these pages, keywords and techniques need to work together so you need a plan to coordinate that, including:

• Keyword research looking for potential keywords with Wordtracker Keywords Tool and existing traffic with Wordtacker Strategizer)

• Strategy (your prioritized groups of target keywords)

• Site structure (matching your target keywords) and navigation to distribute link power around your site

• On page SEO

• Link building with Wordtracker’s new Link Builder tool and online PR.

To work at any scale beyond a micro-niche business, you must change your perspective from single (or exact match) keywords to keyword niches – groups of keywords sharing the same seed ...

... so right now I’m helping a site selling slippers and I might focus a lot of SEO and link building on the single keyword slippers but I’m really interested in tens of thousands of keywords containing slippers, including leather slippers, men’s slippers, ladies slippers, etc.

I designed Wordtracker Strategizer to work with this shift in perspective from single keywords to keyword niches.

2. Not having a keyword or SEO strategy

What are you trying to achieve? Most importantly your SEO strategy should serve the company, marketing and brand strategies. A keyword strategy is a prioritized list of the company’s target markets' niches, as defined by the keywords used in those niches - the words and phrases used in search engines.

3. Putting too much trust in an SEO company

You need to get whoever you have approached to prove what they've done, even when you have a personal reference for that company. You should take a step back and ask yourself, "what is being delivered?" Make sure you are getting your money's worth.

Often they (businesses) will see a company with a nice website and they may be inclined to trust them because of that. Here are a few simple questions to ask any agency you might be talking to:

• Do you always give complete ownership of site analytics accounts to your clients? If not, why not? (The answer is they want to ‘lock you in’.)

• How do you build links other than paid, directories, press releases, article sites and using your own websites?

• Can you list all the link building techniques you have planned for me, give the weighting you’ll give to each and why?

• Give examples of how your strategy and tactics might change with circumstances.

• If their given link building techniques include the likes of comment spamming and buying links ask: I understand they can work now, but what happens when Google stops them working?

• (Following up on the question above) Remember the Florida update? If the person you’re speaking to doesn’t remember 'Florida', ask to speak to an SEO who does.

4. Having a company structure or systems that are unable to accommodate change

Change is always difficult. But combine it with something completely new and you’ve got a problem. The new thing is SEO and online marketing - neither is particularly well understood or even trusted, and in some cases companies have never heard of it.

Change is never going to happen unless those with authority and responsibility absolutely insist it does. This slows down many large companies and allows the small, who do embrace SEO, to do well. Here’s a nice example - do a search for hotels in London, Paris or New York. You would think you would see all the big names at the top, but you’ll see plenty of companies you’ve never heard of.

5. Not coordinating SEO with your editorial, sales and marketing departments

New content without SEO to maximize the number of target visitors seeing that content is a waste.

SEO without marketing to convert those visitors is a waste.

Your content, SEO and marketing should work together as part of a process.

6. Not monitoring response or acting on results

You have to monitor response eg, the numbers buying your product or signing up to your newsletter.

You may find that the market niche you hoped would work ends up being lame. If so, move on.

Monitor traffic, rankings and response for relevant searches. If you are getting good or bad results you need to act appropriately. That might be moving on to the next target niche, or investing more resources into the same ones.

7. Poor content management systems

It’s a cliché to say you need the right tools to do the job. One of SEO and online marketing’s tools is a content management system (CMS) that gives you complete control over most of the content, on most of the pages, including site navigation, menus and all marketing. Not having that is like entering a car race on a scooter.

8. Letting developers control website content

Partly as a result of companies having no existing knowledge and systems to accommodate online marketing and SEO, those who build the website have by default often become in charge of its content.

But letting developers take control of online content is like letting the mechanic drive the racing car. Or buying a car from a Ford garage and letting the mechanics decide where you can drive.

Take control of your website.

The developer's job is to deliver the functions you want and keep the site working. What goes on the site and where and when is the responsibility of editorial and marketing, including SEO.

9. Not doing SEO now

Here’s a simple point; every day you wait to start SEO means it will be more expensive to get the same results when you do start. If you can get to the top of Google for a collection of keywords this will give you momentum and help you stay at the top, and it becomes cheaper.

Serious search engine success allows for serious business success - put these things together and you’ve basically got a gold rush. If you don’t do the work now it’s going to cost you a fortune to do it in the future. There is a simple reason for this and it’s inbound links.

10. Neglecting the importance of site structure and navigation

Most reasonable sites for reasonably sized businesses are going to need hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pages.

If you have hundreds of pages you need an optimized site structure and an accompanying site navigation. Even on a small site it’s possible to get this wrong and waste all your work.

You might have wonderfully optimized pages and links but if you don’t have your navigation right, or your structure isn’t right then your success will be limited.

What should you do? It’s hard to give a quick answer, but you should organize your site content into categories of related content. Let’s say you had a site selling chocolate - you would have all your Belgian truffles in one place and chocolate cake recipes somewhere else, almost working as different sites with their own home page (category home pages.)

On larger sites, related categories can be grouped together into channels.

Make sure your home page links directly to your site’s most important category pages. See Are your Superman Pages trapped in a basement full of kryptonite?

11. Neglecting your home page

Your home page is by far your most powerful page because most of your site’s inbound links will come to there. Use that power with copy to both target your toughest keyword niches and help other niches with links to their category home pages.

You can test what works, trying keywords of varying degrees of difficulty and ambition.

12. Over-relying on your home page

This is just as problematic. There are only so many different keywords you can effectively target with one page. When success is achieved for a keyword niche with your home page – move that success to other pages using internal and external links.

Updated on 12 November 2010, this post was first published on 26 June 2008.

November 11, 2010

YouTube Trials Smarter Video Search with Topics


YouTube last night launched a new search feature on TestTube called Topics on Search. The new feature brings up related searches, which are retrieved via an algorithm that looks at video tags, comments, shares, viewing patters, and other signals.

Basically, you start with any generic search term, and Topics on Search aims to find you related videos on topics that you might be interested in seeing. This provides endless entertainment options.

Topics also can work in combination with your original search to help find the exact video you're looking for, or didn't even know you were looking for.

The goal is to keep people on the site longer -- typical users spend 15 minutes a day watching YouTube content, according to BBC -- watching more videos (and seeing more ads). But also, the site is seeing insane growth.

YouTube just announced that more than 35 hours of video is uploaded every minute on the video-sharing site. That's 2,100 hours per hour, or 50,400 hours of new videos per day.

SEO Topics

Let's look at an example search for [SEO]. Our search returns several related topics to the right of the Explore link: search engine optimization, matt cutts, backlinks, keyword research, market samurai, adsense, google, affiliate marketing, and website.


You can either click on one of the new topics, which will take you to a new search, or you can click the blue plus (+) symbol next to the topic, and that will add that new topic to your initial query. Let's add the backlinks option.


This serves up 2,900 results, so I added "matt cutts" and my search became [seo, backlinks, matt cutts], which narrowed it down to 67 results, most of which were added anywhere between three months and two years ago.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another game changing tidbit from someone a lot smarter than me.

Continuing my quest to change the way I do business and consequently change the way I live my life, I have been engrossing myself into Michael Gerber's book E-Myth Mastery. I'm almost through it for the second time and although much of it is from the shelves of "good ol" common sense, there is something remarkably fresh and penetrating to the way the concepts are presented and hammered home. I feel myself having my toes stepped on "hard" and my cheeks smacked around like I've been a kid holding onto my childish ways.

I found this clip on YouTube along with lot's of other material by Michael, and most of it is priceless advise. The E-Myth concept is that most business owners are simply technicians experiencing an entrepreneurial seizure. And, the painful reality is that most of us continue on with the technician's mentality until quiet desperation becomes a way of life.

I'm trying to get my arms around these concepts, leadership principles, and successful life plans, but it's slow. Yesterday, he expounded on the opinions that our life is going to continue, nothing more than what we have been used to producing in the past. And the question becomes, if that's the case, how can you ever change. Well, you've got to want it. Bad! That's what I'm in the process of changing right now as we speak. Let me know what's working for you, I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From Next Web -

I’ve been in the social media space now for quite a few years and I meet with at least 5 companies each week who have understood the importance of utilizing social media for their businesses but are still afraid of entering their brands into the new media age.

blog post photo

What are they worried about? Here are the top five concerns that I’ve heard from executives and my response to them:

1) They’re afraid they’ll lose control of their brand and open themselves up to negative feedback.

When you open a business and start marketing your services and exposing your brand to others, people will start talking about your brand. And this is what you wanted right? This is why you exposed them to your brand in the first place. People are going to be talking about your brand no matter what.

I’ve been in the social media space now for quite a few years and I meet with at least 5 companies each week who have understood the importance of utilizing social media for their businesses but are still afraid of entering their brands into the new media age.

What are they worried about? Here are the top five concerns that I’ve heard from executives and my response to them:

2) They’re afraid they’ll lose control of their brand and open themselves up to negative feedback.

When you open a business and start marketing your services and exposing your brand to others, people will start talking about your brand. And this is what you wanted right? This is why you exposed them to your brand in the first place. People are going to be talking about your brand no matter what.

The question is:Do you want to be a part of the dialogue or do you want to just play ostrich and ignore what people are saying? If a person is dissatisfied with your services, do you prefer he opens up this discussion in a “I hate ” group opened up by another hater or do you prefer that he come to your page and post the complaint there allowing you to respond appropriately and even perhaps win him back as a client?

Social media didn’t create the dissatisfied customer – it only allowed him a platform to express his frustration. If you don’t give him the stage to speak, he will do it elsewhere and believe me, it will cause a great deal more damage to your brand if you’re not there to respond and open to criticism.

When we speak of social media, we speak of conversational marketing – listening before selling, opening a dialogue with the user and not just throwing a blinking banner in his face. Brands need to make that switch in their heads and understand that social media is SOCIAL. Many conversations will be positive and you will have these nice messages recorded for everyone to see publicly – your bosses, your investors, your customers and potential customers:

I love Zappos 300x157 The Top Five Reasons Brands Fear Social Media

Some conversations may be negative but these conversations should be seen as welcomed opportunities to regain customers. If you utilize social media effectively and are alert to what people are saying about you online, then you can also respond in a timely and intelligent manner. When you’re dazed and confused and too afraid to see what people may be saying about you, that’s when the conversation can get out of control and your branding and positioning can go out the window. Companies who understand social media know that by using social media they are increasing the number of positive responses to their brand and making sure to control and decrease the negative responses by showing people that they actually care about what they have to say.

3) They don’t understand it

Companies fear social media because they don’t understand what to do with it, what to talk about, who to turn to. They often time try to do it in-house without the appropriate guidance, fail miserably and then say that social media doesn’t work. Don’t hire your friend’s son who is very active on Facebook to do your marketing strategy for you. Just like you wouldn’t fix your car in-house or do your PR in-house, neither should you start doing social media on your own without having a social media guru at your side. And when I say guru, I mean someone who has had a good track record in creating successful social media campaigns for other companies in the past. Once you have such a guide at your side and you begin to understand what social media is all about, then you will not be afraid of it anymore and you will start to recognize the infinite number of amazing opportunities that social media will open your brand to.

4) The effectiveness of social media is hard to measure

Since social media is still in it’s diapers, it took a little while for tools tracking the ROI on social media campaigns to emerge, however today we have a suite of different tools that allow companies to track even the most minute details in the effectiveness of their social media campaigns.

Tools like Google Analytics which allow us to track the traffic coming into our site as well as where it’s coming from has existed for years. Google alerts which allow us to see the blog posts and other sites linking back to our site have also existed for a long time. And we are now seeing an influx of services that not only allow you to easily monitor what people are saying about your brand but also see who are the top influencers, opinion leaders in your industry and more. There are numerous services that allow you to see the top influencers on twitter such as: Twitter grader and twitter analytics services such as Twitalyzer . Facebook also provides its own insights to page admins and enables admins to view information regarding the demographics of their fans and also how many interactions, comments, wall posts, etc. were found on the page. The more we learn about social media, the more tools we get to measure it.

Not only are our efforts in the social media realm measurable but social media campaigns also allow us to target specific campaigns to specific niches like no other media today.

5) They’re afraid that employees will be on Facebook and twitter chatting all day.

Facebook today has around 350 million users. If Facebook was a nation, it would be the world’s third most populous after China and India. Your employees are there anyway. Why not utilize the fact that they are there to help your cause? When you need to spread the word on Facebook, why not enable your employees to help you or when you finally open that fan page on Facebook, why not allow your employees to become fans and encourage them to take part in your social media activities. Dell for example, who is well known for their great twitter strategy (a strategy which has earned them $6.5 million to date), has around 200 employees working its twitter account, responding to people.

In addition, not allowing your employees to have access to the vast amount of information that can be found on social networks as well as not enabling them to use these networks as research tools nor to network with people in the industry also puts your company at a great disadvantage to your competitors who do allow their employees (and even encourage them) to use social media tools.

6) Social media is costly.

This last fear is not only something that companies should not fear but it is also not true. If you consider the millions of people that you can reach using social media as opposed to the cost of buying an ad on TV or buying a banner, you’ll see that social media is one of the most cost efficient ways of reaching your target audience today.

To anyone who still thinks social media is a fad, WAKE UP. It’s not. Social media is here and it’s here to stay. If you took a look at the latest report that came out of Davos regarding social networks, you’ll see that Facebook is now the second most popular site on the internet after Google and that according to Nielsen since February 2009 people have been spending more time on social-networking sites than on e-mail, and the lead is getting bigger. The question for your brand is no longer whether to be there or not to be there. The question is WHEN will you be there and the longer you keep your head in the ground, the more you’ll lose touch with what’s happening out there in the real world.

Great Ostrich pic credit:


Friday, January 8, 2010

Video SEO and Tips for 2010

With the proliferation of YouTube and other video search platforms and hosting sites, Video SEO now offers affordable and dramatic results to increase site traffic and improved listing performance.

A recent Forrester Research report, they found that when videos are published properly, with optimized tagging and keywords, those videos had 53 times the likelihood that they would generate first page Google ranking above traditional SEO techniques and best practices.

Video SEO can be considered more effective than traditional Search Optimization in two ways. One, Google and other search engines work to have a mix of content posted in search results. They tend to rank video higher in importance to ensure that their search results maintain balanced mixed content output. And Two, as reported in a recent white paper, there is such a massive amount of video content on the web, and so little optimized for indexable search, the benefit to properly published materials is greatly performance enhanced.

Because many companies and site holders embed their own videos improperly, they are unseen by search indexing tools and have no way to catalog and apply to search compilation. Therefore, (Lesson Learned)you will want to obtain the help of someone who has experience with posting and properly listing your video content for the web. And, another key question that must be asked is whether production value is important when you post products and services for a world wide audience. Although YouTube has made it easy to purpose your video content, and optimized for the web, is your message going to confuse audiences on quality messaging to your target users? You may want to utilize some homegrown content with that of a professional when your audience sophistication comes into play.

A few other tips include:
  • Index the video permalinks and the videos themselves

  • Create linking back to your site when possible

  • Optimize your video per search engines you want search results to appear

  • Search for great keywords and search results by using the YouTube Suggest Features

Some Tips on Video SEO from Aaron Wall of SEOBook:

1) If you are going to post content on your site and on YouTube, you are best posting it on your site first. and the reason being is – you want the links coming to your site, if you can; because then that link juice can be used to rank better for a wide array of keywords.

2) You can also give people embed code like Vimeo does, so you are building links back to your site from embeds.

3) Try to make your site have more content on it than you put on 3rd party sites – perhaps there is a part 2 on your website or textual transcription on your site

These are just some things to get you started on your video SEO. We'll continue to add to the list and provide additional tutorials as they become available.