Keyword (Not Provided) – Google Makes Big Changes for SEO

– by Cam Clark

The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) changes rapidly and this week Google announced a dramatic move to secure searches “to protect internet users.”

What does this mean for your SEO efforts?

Analytics programs will no longer be able to tell with which keywords were used to bring a visitor to your site.  

Keyword data has been a very valuable component in SEO because it’s used by developers and marketers to improve the website experience. This, undoubtedly, will make optimizing a site more challenging.

However, Rand Fishkin, Moz CEO, makes a great point, “Any time we see the complexity of our practice is increasing, we also have an opportunity, because it means that those of us who are savvy, sophisticated, able to track this data, are far more useful and employable and important. Those organizations that use great marketers are going to receive outsized benefits from doing so.”

While Google sites privacy concerns, some experts point to the NSA’s Prism project as Google’s main concern though keyword data will still be provided through paid search. Which makes you wonder if this is a sneaky way to get you to buy more Google ads? Or are they truly just looking out for the little guy?

What are your thoughts?


Curation key to a quieter internet

by Cam Clark

In 1990, when Sir Tim Burners Lee created the first ever web page, he imagined the web being a worldwide tool. I doubt, however, he ever could have imagined that in 2012 there would be more than a trillion web pages on the net. In fact, the Internet has become so large that one of Tim’s latest jobs has been to figure out a way to measure just how big the Internet really is, in both size and impact.


So far, the ways invented to deal with this growing glut of web pages have come in the form of lists, directories, search engines and wikis. Even with all of that, the internet has become nothing more than semi-organized noise. All of these technologies are helpful but, with Internet users worldwide spending a collective 35 billion hours of time online every month, if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, navigating the internet can be a huge waste of time. How can we use that time more efficiently and find stories that are interesting, timely and relevant even if we don’t know they exist?

Currently this is accomplished in one of three ways:

1. Professional Curation – This is what we normally think of as news. For example, An editor there decides what information is important for you to see. This is good for world and national news. Websites linked to TV stations and newspapers are often the most trusted, but they may be poor at targeting your personal interests. They’re not extremely timely by today’s Internet standards, where a story that is 15 minutes old is considered stale, and they tend to lean toward the sensational.

2. Social Curation – This is the information that your friends share on places such as It’s great for finding information that is of personal interest, obscure or local, but generally poor at finding the types of items a professional curator would choose.

3. Trending Curation – This is the opinion of the masses, as found on sites such as Google Trends or trending on twitter. These work well to keep you informed of up-to-the-minute breaking stories or the latest cute cat video, but information can be misleading if it turns out to be based on rumor.

If we are to stay sane and on top of what is happening in the world, we need to bring the concept of web curation to the next level. All the pieces are in place. It just comes down to combining them correctly. Easier said then done.

What will this information source look like? How could these sources be combined to use each one’s strengths to limit their weaknesses? That is the part I haven’t fully figured out – yet. Maybe it will be some sort of dashboard that has a column of the most immediate trending information along with top stories from news organizations all vetted for truth and tailored to your specific tastes, geolocation and what your friends are posting about.

With Google Plus’ recent update to include trending information, I believe they are getting very close. The problem is, they don’t, at this time, have the same strength of social graph that Facebook has. Facebook also could attempt this, but it does not have the strength of search that Google has. Even if Facebook partnered with Bing or bought Yahoo!, both have less than 5% of the search market, so it’d still be a stretch.

What do you think the future of Sir Tim Burners Lee’s creation looks like? What would be the most useful combination of these three types of content for you to keep up with your friends and the world at large?

sopa pipa graphic

Strike Against SOPA & PIPA


SOPAToday is the strike against SOPA and PIPA. Many websites are blacking out and offering information about SOPA and PIPA and how to get in touch with your congressmen to tell them how you feel about this legislation. These bills would create Internet censorship laws more intrusive than Syria or China currently employ in their countries.

For those of you who do not know, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is House Bill 3261 (HR 3261) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) is Senate Bill 968 (S 968). Both of these bills seek to stop piracy on the Internet, but overreach this goal by giving private companies the ability to police our Internet and censor sites based on the belief that piracy may be taking place – without requiring proof that it is in fact taking place. Your website could be in danger if you link to a site that uses a photo they do not have the copyright to, even if that photo was used by an online advertiser.


Wikipedia in black out mode.

Wikipedia in black out mode.

Wikipedia is blacked out except for the pages dedicated to informing you about SOPA and PIPA. Craigslist, which started dedicating the top left corner of its site to news about SOPA and PIPA a while back, today only offers that information.

Since I started writing this blog, already three co-sponsors of the bills have withdrawn support, so the strike is working. It is kind of nice to learn that we still have some power over our own Congress, so please show your support. Our own Sen. Ron Wyden has been doing his best to stop the bills, and is even offering to read anyone’s name who signs up during a filibuster should the bill come to a vote. But you should still get in touch with your congressmen to give them a piece of your mind.



This image would put our whole site in danger of being censored by SOPA & PIPA because I took it from a facebook page.

Today is probably the easiest day to figure out how to do that, with so many sites offering information on how to get in touch with your representatives. We might as well hop on that bandwagon.  Here are some of the sites I like to use:

Open Congress

House of Representatives (generic)


This one is my favorite way to keep track of what is going on in general. Especially if you are curious about who voted and how they voted on whatever bills have made it through Congress:


For more information about congressman and companies that are supporting these bills, check out these links:

Boycott SOPA Sponsors

Judiciary Committee’s PDF for the bill

ProPublica – Who in Congress supports SOPA

pile of wires

NFC – Tap to change the world (and your wallet)

by Cam Clark

Nostrodomus I am not, but I feel like I know a good thing when I see it. For a while now, I have liked what I have seen from the world of Near Field Communications (NFC). NFC is a short-range wireless technology already used throughout the world today. It’s gaining significant traction in places like Japan and Europe. As a cousin to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), it operates on wireless frequencies connecting a user’s mobile device to a receiver or smart tag, usually a few centimeters away. NFC effectively allows you to wave your mobile device over a receiver or smart tag to exchange things like text, images and URLs effortlessly. You can also use it to make purchases and swap other data.

What will this have to do with you and me? A lot, potentially. With just a touch you could do any of the following:

NFC graphPair Electronic Devices

  • Home computer components
  • In-car devices
  • Home entertainment systems and remote controls
  • Headsets and handsets
  • Cameras and printers/digital frames


  • Quick and secure Wifi set-up. (Imagine just tapping your phone to a wifi base station to set up the connection)

Information Gathering

  • Just tap your mobile device to any smart tag and read product history or patient information, check in to a location or trade contact information, or get the latest movie trailer from tapping a movie poster.

Asset Management

  • Smart tags for product for inventory control


  • Ensure secure area access to your building or use your mobile device instead of a paper ticket.

The biggest impact will be in financial transactions. NFC is the first piece of tech to have a real chance to replace the credit card. Think about that for a second. Imagine how easy it would be to hold an NFC-enabled mobile phone close to a terminal to purchase products or services, download coupons or special offers, keep track of customer loyalty programs, pay for public transportation, go through pay turnstiles or even vending machines without cash, cards or tokens. We have been walking around with credit cards since the 1970s. Soon the swipe will be a tap.

NFC image
So what are we waiting for? Essentially, both the chicken and the egg. First off, you need a phone that has an NFC chip. Much like how phones started incorporating GPS chips a few years ago, new phones will start incorporating NFC chips. Juniper Research projects that by 2013, one in five mobile phones shipped will be NFC-enabled. We also will need to start incorporating smart tags and NFC tech into more products. Companies such as are already popping up to help make this a painless process.

If you take away one idea from this blog, it should be this: Keep your eyes, ears and smartphones peeled for new developments in this area. It should be a fun ride.


A conceptual video of what a day in the life of a college student equipped with NFC technology.

If you are a bit more geeky, like myself take a look at the first 17min of this video.


Facebook wakes Google’s sleeping beast – Google+

I just finished reading a great article by Steven Levey over at Wired on the back story of Google’s most recent push into social networking, Google+. It’s a lengthy piece, but I would definitely recommend the read.