Day two of the Google advent calendar

Second day of the launch countdown. Today’s message says:

Make sure we have your current info. Update your profile on the Engage portal.

Yesterday’s message was printed on a green background, today it’s red. Same chocolate as yesterday.

I have to admit I’m a little disappointed.  Big hype, expensive campaign, lame messages… Hopefully we’ll see improvement in the future items.

Photo credit: Daniel Oines

Warning < rant >


Lately, it seems that anybody who read an article about SEO, is an “expert.”

These so-called “experts” promise first page placement and tons of customers. One problem is that they can actually produce these results and quickly. The unwitting client is happy and goes on paying them. When Google closes that particular loophole(s) the client loses all rankings and has to start from scratch. In the process the “expert” created dozens, if not hundreds, of empty pages/posts that have no reason to exist except to boost rankings.

Imagine driving through your city/town and every billboard/sign has been handwritten/drawn by a 5-year-old that doesn’t even speak your language. Would any of that information be relevant to you? Would you be interested in the products (if you could figure out what they’re about)? Then why are we letting these companies litter our internet highway with all this junk? Why are we hiring these companies?

Further frustrating is that a lot of these “experts” have extremely low prices. Part of the reason is that they use offshore companies, and part of the problem is that “cheating” in SEO is a lot easier than actually doing the necessary work to earn your rankings.

Here is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Now compare this to any article on The Spectrum Group’s site and tell why these people get any business? 

How do we fight this?


Photo credit: Luke Addison

Football or customer service

Undecided if I should blog about my first football game yesterday or the fantastic customer service I got today at Target.

Both are rare events.

First the game. I don’t like football and the game last night didn’t make it better. Being at Candlestick Park in San Francisco was fun, especially knowing that this was the last season for the team there. The game was good, I guess, the 49ers won. There were a couple of fights and 3 people running (or trying to) across the field until the police got to them. My wife and son enjoyed the game and I was there for moral support.

Then today, in our continuing quest to find an affordable bicycle for Mariano to ride to school we stopped at target. Of course Target is always understaffed and this was no exception. However the “Senior Team Manager” came to my help and went way beyond simply answering my questions to actually trying to help me. Very refreshing and she made my day.

Will I go back to a football game, probably not. Will I go back to Target, definitely.

Photo credit: Roger Wollstadt

Password updates

Spent the day changing all my passwords. Because I’m a stickler for security, all my passwords follow these rules:

  1. 12 characters
  2. At least one Capital letter
  3. At least two numbers
  4. At least one special character
  5. Cannot be a word, combination of words
  6. Cannot be pronounceable
  7. Must be unique. Yes for every website
  8. Cannot be remembered (unless you have a photographic memory)

Here is an example: 23@CnBOfB*iF

Because these passwords are impossible for me to remember I use a password manager. How do you handle passwords?

Photo credit: Martin Magdalene

Continuing my never-ending education

One of the things I really like about what I do is the incredible fast pace of change in the industry. This means that I must continuously learn, unlearn, and relearn a lot. SEO for example can change monthly.

The last few days I’ve been brushing up on my PPC and while re-enforcing most of my knowledge, there are many new items to consider. My brain is full.

I love my job.

Photo credit: Patty Pickett


I’ve been using only the “standard” post type. Today we explore the “Aside.” The official definition is “aside – Typically styled without a title. Similar to a Facebook note update.” What do you think, is it useful on a blog?

P.S.: An interesting side effect is that this post cannot be clicked on in the blog feed.

Photo credit: Bert Knottenbeld

Today I:


  • drove to the airport at 5:30 am
  • removed some unused software on my system
  • ran the boot repair for Windows when the PC complained about some of the changes I made
  • fixed a Gmail error by deleting a cookie
  • started working on migrating a new client over to our systems. Looking forward to working with them
  • accessed the Jetpack development site, read the docs, and installed the beta plugin on this blog
  • completed all tasks for today
  • upgraded 86 plugins and themes for customers
  • kept my 11-year-old busy
    • made lunch
    • fixed the computer he was trying to play on
    • drove him to his activities
  • researched and fixed my sticky mouse problem
    • learned something new about msconfig
  • took another advanced PPC course, just because
  • monitored FB and G+
  • answered email
  • wrote this blog

So why don’t I feel productive?

Now that I reread this I also notice that I’ve had a lot of PC problems today. Starting to thing about wiping the OS/software drive clean and re-installing. What do you think?

Photo credit: Daniela Vladimirova