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Sunday, May 08, 2005
PowerBlog Review: The Other Bloke's Blog
Read all the PowerBlog ReviewsEditor's note: Welcome to the sixty-fourth in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. This week's review is being guest-blogged by Lynne Meyer.

Beware Shady SEO Stuff and Cardboard Web Sites

By Lynne Meyer

Barry Welford, President, Strategic Marketing Montreal tells me the goal of his blog, The Other Bloke's Blog, is to provide visibility on issues of importance to the business community in Montreal. He also posts information to appeal to a wider business audience beyond Montreal. In addition, he intermingles enough references to upcoming fun activities in Montreal to make me want to log onto Expedia and book a flight there pronto!

There's plenty of good stuff here - from search engine optimization and buzzword marketing to turning prospects into sales.

What I especially like about this blog is that Barry fearlessly gives us "the good, the bad and the ugly." I culled the following two postings as examples of some of the "bad and the ugly" business practices out there. You could call these cautionary tales, as they demonstrate how small business owners pay good money for services they may not be getting.

In "Watch it, your SEO is showing," (April 29, 2005), Barry enlightens us that there's a dark side to search engine optimization. "While most individuals involved in providing SEO use reputable methods, there are some dishonest practices. These shady characters attempt to deliver to search engine web pages that will rank highly, while showing something totally different to people who visit the site." It sometimes takes a bit of digging, he explains, but it's easy to spot their work. "So, if one of your competitors is consistently at the #1 or #2 position for important keywords, it's good to question why." Barry also links an article on the topic titled "Worthless Shady Criminals: Defense of SEO," that provides more information about these unsavory tactics.

Speaking of web sites, in his March 23 posting, Barry poses the question - "Is your web site a cardboard replica"? He relates that he's heard the following comment over and over again from small business owners : "I spent good money to get a website, and I've seen no action as a result. What a waste of money."

This may be because you've been sold a cardboard replica of a web site, Barry states. "A cardboard replica is a facade that looks impressive, but there's nothing behind it," he explains. "You can quickly check to see whether your website seems to be a cardboard replica by doing a Google search of your company name. You'll find your web site among the chosen references. "At the end of the short few lines about your web site, there will be a link labeled 'Cached'. This is the version that Google has seen. On that Cached page, there is a line saying 'Click here for the cached test only'. That really is the content that Google is seeing behind the facade," he notes. "You may be shocked to find there's nothing or very little there. No wonder you're not too happy with your web site. It's just a cardboard replica."

Wow! Shady SEO practices and costly web sites that are merely cardboard replicas. Who knew? Well, Barry does. And, fortunately for readers, he's willing to share this and other valuable information.

* * * * *

-- Lynne Meyer, APR, is a senior public relations professional with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of marketing communications. Lynne is president of her own marketing consulting firm, A way with words, and can be reached at lynnemeyer@cox.net.
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