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.