Category Archives: Search Engine Strategy

DuckDuckGo the Search Engine to Use for Privacy

This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen on the Internet. And it was the recent discovery that NSA either can or does know everything about you (so to speak) based on our digital life. The NSA scandal has ended up providing a surge of web surfers heading over to DuckDuckGo (DDG) to use their search services in place of Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

Founder, Gabriel Weinberg, began seeing traffic and usage of DDG building quickly soon after the government’s use of the Prism program was revealed. Enjoying 1.7 million searches a day,  after the Guardian report hit the news the searches increased to 3 million searches per day within two weeks.


Weinberg has taken a different approach to online privacy – one I have not seen anywhere else on the Internet: zero tracking. Zero. No tracking whatsoever. No cookies are set; no data related to the users’ IP address is stored; there are no user logins required anywhere; and the connection is encrypted by default. In other words, NSA has nothing to request/require from DDG because there is nothing to turn over about any user of their search service.

DuckDuckGo web searches

You can read the complete article The Guardian has posted on this entitled:  NSA scandal delivers record numbers of internet users to DuckDuckGo. But first, look at this graphic that shows how much privacy is on everyone’s mind.

Interestingly, prior to the NSA revelation, few people really knew about DDG – I didn’t. Fewer than 4 in 100 knew that this was a search site, let alone a safe, secure and private search site. Within days, the traffic had increased more than 50% because this is the only search site that offers zero tracking. I know I’m being redundant, but what an amazing online business model.

And – this is a good search engine. I have tried all my main keywords for my many sites and I am coming up as expected.

What does this mean for your web searches?

Instead of getting junk ads based on where you have searched before, your searches result in pure information, based on the search term, not where you are and what you have searched before. For me as an SEO specialist, Online Reputation Management expert and Web Designer, it is everything I have needed in order to do pure analysis related to my client’s needs. Because Google looks at your IP address and locale, my searches tend to come back focused on my city and not my client’s reputation or search engine results page position for their keywords.

Not only that, but every time you search for anything, your browser remembers where you were and serves up ads on sponsored sites related to your past searches. The reported for The Guardian DuckDuckGo article has some great examples and it is well worth the read.

And don’t forget the main reason the traffic has jumped on DuckDuckGo: the desire for privacy. How sweet it is.

DuckDuckGo is my new search engine of choice. Join me? Thank you Mr. Weinberg.




LinkedIn as the sure path to online presence

I have recommended social media as a necessary focus for improving a business’ online presence with a first focus on LinkedIn. Any business person with a good LinkedIn profile will find that their LinkedIn will show up #1 when their name is searched. This is a great slideshow that proves this point:

It’s a long presentation, but well worth your time – if you want to show up strongly against your competitors, focus on your LinkedIn profile and account now.

Online Marketing Frauds

My good friend, David Chapman, has written a nice article on statements that you might hear from SEO companies in order to sell you on their expertise. He mentions five search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) claims that simply are not true. They may seem like common sense to SEO specialists like David and me, but if you are not familiar with the Internet, you might buy into the routine.

The five issues mentioned in David’s article are:

  1. Guarantee of #1 placement
  2. Volume discounts (PPC)
  3. Submissions to thousands of Search Engines
  4. Promis of hundreds of links back to your website
  5. You are dealing with an Inside Man
Take a closer look at the full article on SEO and PPC Bad Sales Tactics.

How does Microsoft SEO their website?

Whoa! Imagine doing the SEO work for a site the size of Microsoft’s. In an interview with Derrick Wheeler, Senior SEO Architect for Microsoft, talks about the large-scale SEO requirements for a multi-business, global site such as Microsoft.

One of his most interesting quotes is:  “A lot of people talk about ‘content is king. content is king,’ says Wheeler. “With ‘mega SEO,’ structure is king because without structure, your content won’t even be discovered.”

Those of us to who SEO for online properties can really understand this statement.  Interestingly enough, structure of the website, blog, or other properties always require a good structure. Without it, how can you manage your website and it’s recognition by the search engines?

While Microsoft doesn’t have to really worry about being “punished” by Google for slow-loading, low or no traffic pages or broken link, the authority status of Microsoft proves what we have always known.  Your job as an SEO specialist is to crete the authority recognition from search engines that will build traffic and good search engine positioning.

Read the article: An Inside Look at How Microsoft Handles SEO Across its Massive Site

Chesa Keane

The Court of Public Opinion

Here is a perfect example of how the Internet becomes the “court of public opinion.” Our team is working on this project with today being the worldwide announcement of our client’s lawsuit. If you follow this case online, you can see how the process works.

First, we created a blog,, with the complaint and the facts of the case presented online. Once everything was in place, a press release was sent out for worldwide release. Within minutes, the story began showing up everywhere. Additional support for the release was offered through Twitter postings and retweets.

If you wish to follow this as a case study, it is the perfect example of how a well-managed reputation management campaign can get your message out to the right audience.


SEO Basics – always important

One of the most important tasks in  SEO strategy is to make the website SEO friendly.  The results give the website increased traffic based on industry keywords rather than relying solely on the corporate identity or product, branded keywords.  More traffic, in turn, results in better ranking and positioning.

When a website has no appreciable changes over time, the site will be viewed as stale-dated by viewers and by Google even with traffic.  Search engine results positioning relies on several elements:

  • Age of domain
  • Length of time domain is active
  • Keyword-rich content
  • Keyword positioning (titles, <H#> tags, body usage of keywords, file names)
  • Absence of broken links
  • Free of navigation errors
  • Changing content, frequent updates
  • Traffic, consistent and growing

As an SEO consultant, these aspects are discussed over and over with my clients — yet, the work that it takes to maintain this activity is often dropped.  And the result is to see the positioning of the website drop in a relatively short period of time.  The message here is that the Internet is not a static environment and activity that goes stale does not “fit” the Internet.

We can never forget the basics.  Fortunately, when these activities are resumed, positioning will return fairly quickly.