Google Search Quality is Smart to Be Messing with Link Spammers

In case you’ve not yet read about Google’s patent on rank modifying for spamming techniques, check out SEO by the Sea and SEOptimise. It’s a clever system from the Google folks designed to dissuade spammers (particularly link spammers) from being confident of their results. The basic premise is simple – after observing rank improving behavior on a page/site (either spammy…

Prioritizing Features & Product/Engineering Investments

Probably the hardest job the executive team has at SEOmoz (beyond improving culture) is managing the prioritization roadmap for features. Right now, the vast majority of the Moz engineering and product teams are working on a large release that will likely be 12+ months from start to finish (which is actually something we hate – we’d all far prefer to…

The Uncomfortable Challenge of Topgrading Your Startup’s Team

If things go well at your startup, there will inevitably be a point where the business is growing ahead of the team’s abilities. Engineers will find themselves facing architectural, scaling, and complexity issues they’ve never dealt with before. Marketers will discover their historical strengths dwarfed by the quantity and complexity of different customer acquisition channels and the huge challenges of…

Manufacturing Serendipity

I’m on the road ~100 days each year. When I’m in Seattle, I have at least 30% of my days filled with coffees, calls, and communication to folks outside the company from whom I’m seeking absolutely nothing and where my goal is merely to be helpful. I do most of this in the name of a process I now call…

Cynical Optimism

Geraldine sometimes tries to describe my outlook on life as cynical optimism. I think that’s a fair assessment. I generally believe that humans will do a lot of stupid, selfish, hurtful, tragic things to each other and themselves. I see this as exacerbated by behavioral and evolutionary psychology, which is poorly understood and even more poorly compensated for on an…

Mozcon Feedback & Erica’s Letter to Speakers

I’ve written before on this blog about how we’ve been working to make Mozcon a remarkable outlier in the field of marketing conferences. Today, I received my feedback scores from Erica McGillivray, who (along with Charlene & Jen) did most of the organization and speaker wrangling for the event. I wanted so share that letter here on the blog, as…

The First 500 Links

Most of the time, when I write about SEO, I like to present facts, data, or lessons learned from numerous experiences. This post doesn’t have those (well, maybe a little on the experential side, but not nearly enough to make it a rock solid assumption). Instead, I’m going out on a limb with a suspicion about how Google’s evaluating and…

My Performance Review for the First Half of 2012

As I mentioned yesterday on the blog, it’s performance review season here at SEOmoz, and since transparency is a core value for us, I’d like to share my personal performance review and the grades/feedback given by Sarah (at least, most of it) publicly here on the blog. I’ll start with the scale we use:…

Making Performance Reviews Better

We’re doing performance reviews at SEOmoz right now. It’s tough, because on the one hand, I agree with a lot of the general criticism of traditional reviews and I’ve seen plenty of data to suggest that classic reviews can have negatives that outweigh their value. Some good reading on that here: 1, 2, 3, and 4. On the other side,…

Mobile Won’t Change Everything

I constantly hear the refrain that “mobile’s going to change everything.” Everything in this context is typically presumed to mean search, social media, advertising, marketing, and the Internet broadly. Since I’m a marketing professional and a marketing-focused entrepreneur, I’ll ignore the other items and focus on the marketing part of that equation. And, perhaps weirdly, I disagree with the statement…