San Francisco Weight Loss and Bariatrics Surgery Website Announced

Fremont, CA – April 20, 2011 – Jason McDonald, a leading SEO / Social Media consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area, is proud to announce his latest SEO project with Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, an organization of 240+ doctors who are part of the Sutter Health network. The new weight loss surgery site includes an overview of weight loss surgery procedures including LAP-BAND®, REALIZE® Band, Roux-en-Y, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Duodenal Switch. The site also contains details about conditions addressed by bariatric surgery, such as diabetes and hypertension. Bariatric surgical procedures benefit thousands of people every single year, and surgeries such as Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics are helping many people lose weight through advanced procedures.

“As we all know, the United States is experiencing an obesity crisis,” explained Dr. McDonald. “Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation’s medical team includes leading providers of weight loss treatment, including bariatrics / weight loss surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I was really honored and excited to work with Sutter Health on this project to help promote the services of their top weight loss surgeons to San Francisco, Marin County, and other cities in the SF Bay Area.”

Information on the new Weight Loss Surgery site can be found at: http://www.sutterpacific.org/bariatrics/weightloss/

ABOUT SUTTER PACIFIC MEDICAL FOUNDATION

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides patient care through its affiliation with three medical groups. Their 240+ physicians offer primary, specialty and complex medical care throughout San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Lake Counties, as well as at outreach clinics in Northern California and Nevada. Their physicians are dedicated to excellent patient care, combining the latest in medical knowledge and technology with a personal touch. Sutter Pacific physicians are part of the Sutter Health network and provide hospital services at Sutter Health hospitals including California Pacific Medical Center, Novato Community Hospital, Sutter Medical Center Santa Rosa and Sutter Lakeside. Additionally, our San Francisco-based physicians are part of Brown & Toland Physicians. For more information or to find a doctor near you, visit www.sutterpacific.org or call 1-888-699-DOCS (3627).

ABOUT JASON MCDONALD – SEO / SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized SEO consultant in search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and search marketing based in the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX, DeVry University, and the Continuing Studies program of Stanford University.

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at https://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-702-879-4771 or email, jasonmcdonald.blog@gmail.com.

Listen First! Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage, Stephen D. Rappaport – Book Review

Being a good listener, argues Stephen Rappaport, is an increasingly important skill in the age of effective Internet marketing. This playbook by the Advertising Research Foudnation is a detailed (perhaps over detailed) effort to help businesses both small and large learn how to leverage social media as a platform for marketing research. Although quite difficult to read, its value lies in its difference: unlike most social media marketing books, this one is all about listening and research.

By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor – JM Internet Group
Posted: April 20, 2011

Social Media Marketing Research by Listening In, A Lot!

Contents:

Listen First! Social Media Marketing Research

Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage - Stephen RappaportMarketing ultimately is about selling; marketing is to selling, as strategy is to tactics. So as marketers, we are the eyes and ears of our companies – constantly scanning the environment for opportunities and threats. As Rappaport argues in this book, the new social media landscape provides unprecedented opportunities for us to ‘listen in’ to our customers – and thereby gain insights into both opportunities and threats.

Whereas previously marketing research was largely about surveys, focus groups, observational methods, and sales data, now we can hear customers as they complain, customers as they praise, customers as they suggest ideas to us (and to each other). Social media venues such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and the like are a veritable gold mine of untapped marketing intelligence.

For that brilliant insight alone – I recommend that you buy this book as it’s one of the best marketing books. Heretofore, most social media marketing books have largely been about talking and getting customers to talk about you; this book switches our focus to the logic of listening.

Defining Marketing Objectives

As marketing needs clear objectives, so too does marketing research and so too does listening in to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Rather than provide clear outlines and guides, however, this is where the book falters a bit. It has many, many case studies but all written in small fonts without clear breaks between concepts and best practices. There is a ton of information in the case studies, but it is really up to you (the reader) to tease it out. It’s unfortunate that the book’s editor didn’t know where the BOLD key was in Microsoft word! That would have made the book a lot easier to read, and to get the correct take-aways.

I especially liked the distinctions made. For example, Rappaport distinguishes between Brand Backyards like one’s own Twitter account, blog, or forum and consumer backyards such as the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts of others. Too often, corporations have tried to control the social media marketing dialogue rather than embrace the necessary chaos of this new marketing world order.

The case study on Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow who provide bacon-flavored products is especially informative. Rather than getting stuck down with academic research agendas and objectives, the two basically trolled user forums and blogs to realize the obvious: everything tastes better with bacon! From this social media marketing insight a bacon powerhouse was born.

At the level of theory, Rapaport reminds us, an overly academic researcher might have objected to the lack of statistical rigor in the I-love-bacon listening strategy. But, he reminds, us the results (sales!) speak for themselves.

So first define your objectives, and then listen. Or better yet: define your marketing objectives as you listen, and don’t get too hung up on social science rigor!

Reputation Management and Social Media Marketing Listening

Among the new social media marketing buzz words is reputation management. Rapaport only touches on this subject, but reminds us that listening is a critical element of an effective reputation management strategy. You have to know your reputation, after all, before you can manage it!

He concludes the book with a list of online resources, that I will peruse and investigate during my summer break. I track hundreds of free social media tools, and I am eager to investigate his picks. My hat goes off to him for having a list of resources as many otherwise great books, leave us hanging. In this age of the Internet, no book is complete without a list of links and Rapaport obliges. Thanks!

Outsmarting Google, Evan Bailyn – Too Smart for Our Own SEO Good and Not To Mention, AdWords

The SEO industry is plagued by know-it-all SEO’s who conclude that they know this or that about Google, or who prophesize that this or that strategy is the best way to succeed at Google. Remarkably, the real ‘secrets’ of SEO are actually well known: good keyword-heavy content, well structured tags, and lots of links. Beyond that: hard work. And don’t think that you know it all, because you (and I don’t). We see through a glass, darkly.

A Little on Links, a Lot on Conclusions without Facts

By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor – JM Internet Group
Posted: April 7, 2011

Contents:

Outsmarting Google: Can it be Done?
TrustRank, PageRank, and Links
Nuclear Football: Keyword-heavy Content for the Long Tail

Outsmarting Google: Can it be Done?

Evan Bailyn - Outsmarting GoogleI bought this book because I was intrigued by the title: Outsmarting Google as well as the authors, Evan Bailyn and Bradly Bailyn, who have run some very successful websites. These are smart guys who definitely do know what they are doing. Unfortunately, they are in the geek group of SEO people: too smart for their own good, and not necessarily the best at explaining to others what can and should be done to get to the top of Google, for free.

The book’s tone, starting with the title, is very smarty-pants. The authors tell us some secrets about Google, but upon closer analysis, the secrets really boil down to what everyone already knows about how to get to the top of Google – namely:

  • Identify your best keywords, especially long tail, high value keywords.
  • Write good keyword-heavy content.
  • Use the proper tags, beginning with the TITLE tag.
  • Get links.
  • Emphasize links from high PageRank sites, or as the Bailyns emphasize high TrustRank websites.

Leaving TrustRank aside for the moment, the most useful part of this book is the discussion of link building. Some of their ideas are:

  • Systematic emailing (a.k.a., asking others for links).
  • Press Releases
  • Create Funny or Ridiculous Content
  • Create Interesting Content
  • Top 10 Lists
  • Compendiums
  • Contests
  • Widgets
  • Social Media (namely, profiles with links)
  • Awards
  • Advertising (a.k.a., surreptitiously buying text links)
  • Guest Posts
  • Research bulletins
  • Link Reverse Engineering
  • Link Only Photos
  • Wikipedia

What concerns me about the book is the lack of attention to detail. For example, the authors correctly point out that a link with the REL=NOFOLLOW attribute fails to pass link juice, but then argue that you should seek out links on Wikipedia, all of which are REL=NOFOLLOW. Another example: in the discussion on AdWords, the authors talk about match types, but fail to distinguish between BROAD MATCH and BROAD MATCH with MODIFIER, a critical, money-saving way to better focus AdWords.

Throughout, they also make assertions such as Google does not care about word order in terms of keywords in a TITLE tag, or that Google (unlike Bing) does NOT pay much attention to the H1 family. None of this can be substantiated through actual searches, and actual results. The authors fail to point out that we really do not know what we don’t know about Google, and some factors (such as H1 / H2 tags) may correlate strongly with SEO success, but that of course does not mean that we know FOR CERTAIN that they help.

That said, why shouldn’t you use them? They clearly do not hurt, and the probability that they do help is very high – as you see them again and again on successful websites. We see through a glass, darkly, with respect to Google. That fact should be acknowledged by all SEO’s, in my humble opinion.

TrustRank, PageRank, and Links

TrustRank is an appealing, interesting concept in terms of links and link building. Essentially, Evan and Bradley Bailyn hypothesize that Google has a hidden factor that ranks sites it trusts more than sites it does not trust. Clearly, new sites on the web are valued less than older, established sites. Sites with many inbound links from other high quality sites are valued more than other sites.

So the authors make a distinction between PageRank and TrustRank, but throw the baby out with the bath water here. They argue, cynically, that PageRank on the Google Toolbar is a Red Herring designed to throw us off Google’s trail, whereas the top secret TrustRank is the critical factor. The distinction is spurious. Again, if we acknowledge that we see through a glass darkly here, the game clearly becomes –

  • Solicit links, as many as you can.
  • Don’t pay for links; don’t participate in link farms.
  • Try to get links from authoritative websites in your keyword families, as measured by their PageRank and by their position on searches that matter to you.

Duh. This isn’t really rocket science. It’s just common sense. Get links, lots of them. Links help with SEO. Clearly yes yes yes yes.

Nuclear Football: Keyword-heavy Content for the Long Tail

Finally, the authors give some secret advice which they term the The Nuclear Football. Beyond the hype this is basically advice on focusing on lots of keyword-heavy content, that focuses on the long tail of your keyword searches.

Blogging is one way to generate such content. Another is user forums. All of this is great advice, but not really that revolutionary. So, in sum, the book is a good one. But there are many other better books out there for SEO (my favorite: Peter Kent’s SEO for Dummies), and this book just disappoints at providing new insights into how to outsmart Google.

Ultimately do we really want to outsmart Google? Or just provide to Google what Google really clearly asks us to provide: keyword heavy content, structured well through HTML tags, with inbound links from quality websites? It’s a lot of hard work, but there just isn’t any magic nuclear football.

Satellite Phone Email and Data Service SEO Project Announced

Fremont, CA – April 5, 2011 – Jason McDonald, a leading SEO / Social Media consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area, is proud to announce his latest SEO project with Global Marine Networks. Global Marine Networks (GMN), the leaders in advancing satellite data speeds and services, helps Fixed and Mobile Satellite Services providers and their customers by offering the industry’s fastest, most reliable and easy-to-use satellite phone email and web compression. The new SEO project aims to improve the company’s SEO position as a market leader in acceleration technologies for the satellite phone market including email and data service for Isatphone Pro and other satellite phones.

"One of the great things about the SEO businesss," explained Dr. McDonald, "is its variety. Global Marine Networks is one of those gee-whiz companies that helps people worldwide, especially in the maritime environment, to access email through their satellite phones quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. I am very excited about working with GMN, not only to help them improve their Google rank but also to learn about the dynamic satellite phone industry."

The project’s first landing page concerns Isatphone Pro Email and can be found at: http://www.globalmarinenet.com/isatphone.php

ABOUT GLOBAL MARINE NETWORKS

Global Marine Networks (GMN), the leaders in advancing satellite data speeds and services, helps Fixed and Mobile Satellite Services providers and their customers by offering the industry’s fastest, most reliable and easy-to-use satellite phone email and web compression, and other hardware and software services to maritime, oil and gas, first responder and business continuity users. The company’s products include high-speed satellite email, weather and oceanographic data software, satellite data control routers, vessel tracking systems, and ship to shore communications solutions for users of satellite and wireless data services.

ABOUT JASON MCDONALD – SEO / SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized SEO consultant in search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and search marketing based in the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX and DeVry University.

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at https://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-702-879-4771 or email, jasonmcdonald.blog@gmail.com.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets, Danny Dover – Book Review

Ars Poetica in Poetry is when a poet writes about the art of poetry itself; these are typically poet’s poetry, poems written by poets for other poets and for themselves. Such is Donny Dover’s Search Engine Optimization Secrets. As a book for SEO professionals, it is excellent and a first of its kind. As a book for small business people, it isn’t a match. You would be better off with Peter Kent’s Search Engine Optimization for Dummies. Here’ is my book review of Search Engine Optimization Secrets

An SEO Playbook for SEO Experts, Not Your Average Small Businessperson

By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor – JM Internet Group
Posted: April 2, 2011

Contents:

Ars Poetica and Search Engine Optimization Secrets
Secrets
Method in Search Engine Optimization

Ars Poetica and Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Danny Dover - Search Engine Optimization SecretsThere are poems by poets for other poets; films by directors for other film directors; and now Danny Dover gives us SEO for other SEO gurus. Useful? Absolutely. Especially if you are an SEO expert yourself. This book has several chapters on how to organize your SEO project. So if you are an SEO consultant or company this book is a gem of how-to-get-organized.

That said, it suffers from the geeks-know-all attitude that plagues the SEO industry. The SEO industry will never, ever truly expand and go mainstream as long as it is a tragedy of geeks leading geeks. Yes, robots.txt is important. Yes, we should all worship at the font of Google’s Webmaster tools, and yes, I adore cuddly Matt Cutts as much as the next guy. But, what is really lacking in the SEO industry? What do our clients struggle with?

  • Information overload: too much esoterica, and not enough BIG PICTURE information.
  • Too much GEEK and not enough English.
  • An abysmal lack of positioning SEO as a technique of MARKETING (which it is) vs. a technique of computer science (which it is not).

If you are a small business person investigating SEO, or looking for an SEO consultant (besides choosing me, because I am bilingual: I speak Geek and I speak Marketing)… Buy this book! Just not for yourself. Buy it for your SEO consultant. It is a great book for him or her to get organized, on a step-by-step level.

Secrets

Remember the phrase, Don’t judge a book by its cover? Well in this era of Amazon and Kindle, we need to revise that to Don’t judget a book by its title. I ordered this book for SECRETS to Search Engine Optimization not as a how to in terms of managing my business and client flow.

Fortunately, thankfully, it does share some good secrets. First, domain vs. page popularity. I had long suspected that this was a concept, but Danny put this into words. I will now teach all my students this critical difference, and it makes intuitive sense. There are just too many new pages on the Internet for the old saw that PageRank is URL dependent to be true; Dover is confirmation of what I intuitively suspected – domains have PageRank across their pages, not just URL’s. Clear insight.

Second, link building techniques (pgs. 122- 125). Not really secrets but useful nonetheless. Everyone says go out and get links, but no one really explains how. Here, Danny gives some great information on how to go out and solicit links – start a blog, sign up for HARD (Help a Reporter Out), write articles, offer to guest blog, etc. None of this rocket science, but all useful to share with your clients.

Third, throughout the book there are other nuggets here and there… Such as how to cloak your requests to Google to avoid personalization – neat trick, Danny!

Method in Search Engine Optimization

Method in SEO is increasingly important. My clients are often overwhelmed… Too much information, too many esoteric details, and definitely too many SEO Geeks parading around like total know-it-alls… Danny has the beginnings of a method for working with clients, albeit too hard on the side of Geek and not hard enough on the side of marketing. But, all the same, that effort redeems the book and allows Danny to check this one off of his bucket list.