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Archive for June, 2012

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield: BloodhoundBlog is six years old today.

I almost let this day slip by without taking notice of it. Shame on me. Six years, almost 5,000 posts, and the only place in the RE.net where truth will out and where hustlers dare not dissemble and jive.

I am sad, to say the truth, that the promise I saw when first I began this crusade for a cleaner, more honest kind of real estate is by now all but shattered. Realtors went from bus benches and urinal cakes to their digital equivalents in the form of Facebook “likes” and Pinterest panderings — all without ever once stopping to think about the things we might have and should have done, the things we could have done and the world we could have made by doing them.

Even so, here’s my take, always:

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
      –Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

If you loathe your self so much you can’t live without having your ass kissed, BloodhoundBlog is not for you. If you’re desperate to learn the latest tricks for deceiving your clients, you’ve come to the wrong place. But when the stench of corruption is ripe in the streets, when you want for once not to be lied to by the people you pay to lie to you — when you want to know the truth, no matter how painful it might be — you know where to find us.

Here’s a toast to BloodhoundBlog and to all the people who have written here over the years!

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  • 10 comments

    You say you want a revolution? Here is how to restore freedom in America.

    Will Republicans repeal Obamacare next January — or ever? Don’t hold your breath. Mainstream politicians of both parties are addicted to corporate campaign contributions — and who knows what other kinds of bribes? — so what we will get will be a pathetic, cosmetic “reform” of Rotarian Socialist medicine. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    If you want to restore the liberty of the American people, you will need to change the United States Constitution. And you will have to do that by constitutional convention and state-by-state ratification, because there is no way that Congress will vote for the necessary changes.

    In a very short summary, here is what needs to be done, if the head of steam built up by libertarians, by free-market conservatives and by the Tea Party movement is not to be wasted. The text within the quotation marks is proposed amendatory language, followed by a discussion of the objective to be achieved.

    1. “The words ‘general welfare’ appearing in the United States Constitution or its Amendments do not create any powers of the legislative, executive or judicial branches of the government of the United States. Any legislation authorized by the words ‘general welfare’ is repealed.” This gets rid of one of the most pernicious pieces of federal elasticity.

    2. “Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution is stricken in its entirety. Any legislation authorized by that clause is repealed.” This does away with the power of the federal government to regulate commerce. The interstate commerce clause is second only to the general welfare clause as a means of enlarging the power of the national government.

    3. “Amendment 16 to the United States Constitution is stricken in its entirety. Any legislation authorized by that Amendment is repealed.” Goodbye federal income tax. The federal government will have to return to taxation by capitation — the head tax.

    4. “Amendment 17 to the United States Constitution is stricken in its entirety. Any legislation authorized by that Amendment is repealed.” This language puts the Senate back under the control of the states. This was a vital check on federal power. Its absence is what has permitted the most abusive usurpations of power by the federal leviathan.

    5. “No governmental entity in the United States nor any office-holder or employee of any governmental entity in the United States is immune from criminal prosecution or civil litigation.” This eliminates the legal doctrine called sovereign immunity. The argument is that the people ought not be able to sue themselves. But when government functionaries commit crimes against citizens, they should be held fully accountable to the law. Americans fought and died so that no sovereign could tread on the rights of the people.

    This language will eliminate much of the federal government. The power to defend the nation will be retained, but most of the alphabet soup agencies will be gone, as will be most of the taxes and regulations strangling our economy — which means we can look forward to an “economic miracle” in very short order. The states will have to fill some gaps, as will the civil courts, but I think we will all be quietly amazed at how little value the national government brings to civic life — and how relieved we all will be to be out from under its enormous weight.

    If the first word that comes to your mind is “But” — every word after that will be capitulation to tyranny. If you want freedom, this is just the beginning of the process of dismantling the leviathan state. If you won’t support these small overtures to restore American liberty, you will deserve the chains you so proudly wear…

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  • 1 comment

    Did you Seymour Glass? It’s a perfect day for an iPhone killer.

    Project Glass. Too much to love. Phone with no hands. Video with no hands. Internet with no hands. I can use an iPad when I need it, but 80% of what I’m doing with mobile computing, this can do. Here is where we’ll miss Steve Jobs. Google is better than Microsoft with new ideas, but what we’ll notice, when this ships, is everything that should be there but isn’t.

     
    More: No phone on-board, no stereo ear-buds. A lot of hardware for so little functionality, a lot of room for me-tooish clones. This is the first of many new ideas where the passing of Steve Jobs will be sorely felt.

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  • Comments are off for this post

    “If almost-as-good is free or nearly free, what is the market value of slightly-better?”

    Six years ago Friday, I launched BloodhoundBlog with the words cited in the headline:

    In a subsistence culture, the work of the mind is precious and literally unsupportable. We are by now so rich that millions of people can create intellectual resources that they give away, in turn to be remarketed by others. This may or may not work in the long run for companies tapping into and amplifying open-source-like works of the mind. Consider that aggregator software levels the playing field for small players. The interesting thing is what it will do to companies whose entire business model is based on scarcity and hoarding. If almost-as-good is free or nearly free, what is the market value of slightly-better?

    I’ve hit that theme again and again over the years: How much future is there in a job that millions of very smart people are willing to do for free?

    Stewart Brand said “information wants to be free”. This has intellectual property implications far beyond ordinary information. But with respect to that ordinary information — news, opinion, fiction, poetry, almost all music, etc. — the war is over. Hoarding lost. The challenge amidst this vast abundance is not getting people to pay for your information — but simply getting them to pay attention to it.

    The daily newspaper has no hope whatever of nicking me for fifty cents. The question that will decide if there is even to be a newspaper is, can they hold onto my eyes for as long as fifty seconds? And will someone pay for those eyes in the random hope of piercing my vast indifference to advertising?

    It comes down to career advice, I think, for the newspaperati and for all of us: How much future is there in a job that millions of very smart people are willing to do for free? Maybe not the same work, but so close that any differences become academic. And: If you’re committed to sharing information even in a marketplace where ordinary information is so abundant as to be without monetary value, what are you going to do to make a living?

    At Forbes magazine, Susannah Breslin offers advice on why you should not be a writer. Her arguments seem a little defensive to me, but it’s hard to fault her for that: She’s getting paid to write — for now — but getting paid to create ordinary information seems like a diminishing return to me. Here’s why: The quantity of ordinary information available to you is ludicrously infinite. The quantity of time you have available for that information is tragically finite. You can’t begin to make a dent in all the stuff that is available to you for free. Why would you pay for more?

    That’s a question that elicits a dinosaur’s roar from paleo-journalist Leonard Pitts:

    The function served by daily newspaper journalism is critical to the very maintenance of democracy.

    That reads to me like the the opening argument in a plea for tax-payer subsidies. Good luck with that…

    The death of pay-for-play in the lesser arts results from the massive horizontalization of art. If I used to read the newspaper at lunch but now I catch up with my Facebook friends, why am I still subscribing to the newspaper? Reading is reading, and reading about people I like is more fun that getting heartburn over the antics of Obama or Romney. Mindshare is finite and the content competing for it is infinite. What is the market value of a commodity available in infinite quantities? Zero. Don’t like that? Dang…

    Salon magazine wonders, “What happens if no one pays for music?” The answer? The band plays on. What currency actually motivates artists? Attention. They want to get paid, but they need to be noticed. If the artists who want to get paid more than they want to be noticed go get other jobs… no one will notice. The working conditions at the Malaysian shoe factory are terrible, but the line outside the personnel office is two miles long. Meanwhile, for consumers, crap art is crap art, and free crap art is the richest kind. How do we know all this is so? Because the crap artists who used to get paid by standing athwart the chokepoint now sing lyrics written for them by Leonard Pitts: “The function served by forgettable-music-for-pay is critical to the very maintenance of democracy.” Yeah. Good luck with that, too…

    This is all very funny to me, because it is obvious to each one of as consumers, and, simultaneously, completely opaque to us as producers: We want everything we can get for free, but we want to be paid for everything we have for sale. Here’s the way the world really works: You own your property to the exact extent you can defend it. This has always been the case, it’s just more obvious as the marginal value of commodity goods plummets and the marginal cost of defending them soars. Rock stars want for you to subsidize the expense of defending their essentially worthless property. Journalists go them one better, appealing for coerced hand-outs in exchange for their worthless prose. Neither of these irrational arguments is likely to hold up for long. How many taxpayer-funded ceremonial blacksmiths do you have in your town?

    Here’s the funniest bit of all, though: Academics want to know who is going to pay them for regurgitating the same swill over and over again, when a much better teacher can do the job once, perfectly, and teach a billion students effectively for free:

    Inevitably, as colleges struggle with competition, they will be torn between using their credentialing authority to better sell their own courses rather and allowing students to choose the courses offering them the best value. Will they uphold the public trust that is manifest in degree-granting authority—or use credentialing to pursue profit-maximizing strategies?

    If you have any doubts about the answer to that question, take it up with Leonard Pitts — or your favorite ex-rock star.

    Again: If almost-as-good is free or nearly free, what is the market value of slightly-better?

    Not much. And if you think that’s a bad thing, you just might be a dinosaur…

     
    (Cross-posted from SelfAdoration.com.)

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  • 8 comments

    Internet savvy Phoenix real estate broker seeks a buyer, a partner, an investor or a job.

    A note to the Bloodhounds: I want to come in from the cold. If you know of a biggish Phoenix brokerage that could use my skills and assets, I’d appreciate the referral. –GSS

    I own a very small boutique real estate brokerage — good reputation, strong good will, clean books, and colossal internet power — but I am ready to move on to something else. Stripped to the essence, this is what I have to offer:

    • A very strong internet presence consisting of several hundred-thousand web pages on a number of domains. I have several custom-built automated IDX sites, and I can throw 300,000+ backlinks at any web page, raising any web site’s standings in the Search Engine Results Pages virtually overnight.
    • A FlexMLS-based IDX real estate search site that scores on the first page of Google for a number of very-high-value search terms.
    • Me: A sales professional with a deep background in print and internet marketing and strong systems, applications and API programming skills. I built all of the web sites discussed below, and I have a lot of experience building workable IDX/VOW RETS solutions from the FlexMLS database. I have high-level relationships with real estate industry technical professionals and vendors, and I can present comfortably to groups from 50 to 50,000 people.

    In short, I have a freight train’s worth of internet power being pulled by a mule-powered real estate business. The interent presence I bring to the table would be of substantially greater benefit to a much larger brokerage. Here is a summary of my internet assets:

    • BloodhoundRealty.com — Main brokerage lead-generation site. It’s built as a WordPress weblog at the top level, but it subsumes thousands of pages, including separate web pages for every community and subdivision in Metropolitan Phoenix. The idea is to capture long-tail searches and upstream them into qualified leads. I have technology, so far not implemented, to effect the same kind of long-tail search-capture for every street address in Metropolitan Phoenix, taking those searches back from the national Realty.bot sites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Realtor.com.
    • FreePhoenixMLSSearch.com — The most robust MLS search in Metropolitan Phoenix, and one of the strongest MLS sites in SEO performance. This site is a consistent source of motivated buyer leads. The IDX-driven sites discussed below drive click-traffic back to this site to keep potential buyers engaged as they refine their searches.
    • Ascende.me — Pictured above, this is an iPad-optimized IDX-driven luxury homes catalog. This site can be repurposed to support subdivision listing farms for individual agents. This is the future of internet real estate marketing to both buyers and sellers and no one has it but me.
    • DistinctiveParadiseValleyHomes.com — A weblog built to rhapsodize Paradise Valley luxury properties.
    • ABetterListing.com — A site devoted to marketing to equity sellers, a demographic category we may soon see more of.
    • PhoenixShortsaleValues.com — A site focused on marketing to short sale sellers.
    • Re-brandable lead-generation sites — These are running as automated IDX-driven sites now, capturing and upstreaming long-tail searches.
    • Real estate weblogging sites — Real estate industry-specific weblogging.

    I’m open to just about any idea, but I’m initiating this discussion in pursuit of compensation. I can help you maintain and build upon these internet investments as well as maximizing and building upon the value of your existing net presence, but my immediate objective is to transfer my business assets to a broker better equipped to manage them. I have skills that are in very short supply, and I want to maximize the value of my intellectual capital. As it says in the headline, I’m looking for a buyer, a partner, an investor or a job. If you want to push your business to a higher level on the internet, I want to hear from you.

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  • 26 comments

    An Effective way to gets lots of pages indexed to your real estate web site

    Search for Pateros areas properties near Lake Chelan

    I’m cheap on spending money on real estate stuff from vendors promising all kinds of things, whether it is leads or exposure.  But, I went ahead and tried out a real estate search utility that is setup for WordPress.  There were three reasons I chose to do it:  1) They would program it to work with our itsy-bitsy MLS at Lake Chelan (no other vendors, IDXPro, etc. support such a tiny market). 2) Each listing in my MLS, and every saved search I did, became a page indexed to my web site.  3) They are less expensive per month than my current vendor with no setup fees.

    Sure enough, I now have 4380 pages indexed to my site in little old Chelan.  I’ve moved up one spot in the top 5 Google results in a week.  I do have a nice real estate search for browsing properties with a photo type of interface.  The vendor is Spot-on Connect.

    I have saved a bit of money in that they replaced part of what my former vendor did.  However, I haven’t been able to shut off my older IDX service because their searches allow more user choices to create more specific searches.  Yes, there have been a few bugs, but the Spot-on people have been pretty quick in fixing them.

    I’m even getting search traffic, for searches like “9607 sr 17, coulee city, wa 98851″ coming to my web sites that did not arrive before.

    I wouldn’t plug a vendor normally, but I’m getting fond enough of this approach to hope Spot-on connect survives and prospers.

    Like many things, the service hasn’t been everything I could wish for, but it is a pretty effective way to get your SEO juice up if you use WordPress.  If that and the ability to have beautiful custom neighborhood searches, like the one pictured above appeals to you, they are worth checking out.   This is one of the better things I’ve done for improving my web page ranking, ever.

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  • 10 comments

    Ray Bradbury: “In sum, do not insult me with the beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-defiations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or make into a fist, my lungs to shout or whis­per with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book.”

    Lately I’ve been pondering where the spice in our culture has gone? Perhaps, as a woman of a certain age, I’m unable to see it, but I don’t think so. My deviant detector is fairly well-tuned and I’m drawn to the outsiders of the world because, well, I am one, but it’s very milquetoast out there these days. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone or their delicate sensibilities.

    Somehow I missed reading Ray Bradbury. Well, no, not somehow. That was pretty much a planned avoidance of the sci-fi genre in general because it tends to spawn cult-like followers. True story. And I’m not much into cults however clever they are. But today David Boaz at the CATO Institute posted the Coda to the 1979 Del Rey edition of Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury. And while I’ve been pondering our collective love of the plain vanilla, I’ve concluded that it seems to have begun around the year this Coda was written. Either it was the death of disco or the election of Ronald Reagan but something went terribly wrong around that time. I never read Bradbury, but this is quite lovely and also funny and has enough biting social commentary to make me appreciate the man’s sensibilities and shared appreciation of digressions. There are indeed many ways to burn a book.

    About two years ago, a letter arrived from a solemn young Vassar lady telling me how much she enjoyed reading my experiment in space mythology, The Martian Chronicles.

    But, she added, wouldn’t it be a good idea, this late in time, to rewrite the book inserting more women’s characters and roles?

    A few years before that I got a certain amount of mail concerning the same Martian book complaining that the blacks in the book were Uncle Toms and why didn’t I “do them over”?

    Along about then came a note from a Southern white suggesting that I was prejudiced in favor of the blacks and the entire story should be dropped.

    Two weeks ago my mountain of mail delivered forth a pipsqueak mouse of a letter from a well-known publishing house that wanted to reprint my story “The Fog Horn” in a high school reader.

    In my story, I had described a lighthouse as hav­ing, late at night, an illumination coming from it that was a “God-Light.” Looking up at it from the view-point of any sea-creature one would have felt that one was in “the Presence.”

    The editors had deleted “God-Light” and “in the Presence.”

    Some five years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 (count ‘em) short stories in it. How do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book?

    Simplicity itself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito—out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron’s mouth twitch—gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer—lost!

    Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky read like—in the finale—Edgar Guest. Every word of more than three syllables had been ra­zored. Every image that demanded so much as one instant’s attention—shot dead.

    Do you begin to get the damned and incredible picture?

    How did I react to all of the above?

    By “firing” the whole lot.

    By sending rejection slips to each and every one. By ticketing the assembly of idiots to the far reaches of hell.

    The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people run­ning about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/ Republican, Mattachine/ Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.

    Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by minori­ties, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the libraries closed forever.

    “Shut the door, they’re coming through the win­dow, shut the window, they’re coming through the door,” are the words to an old song. They fit my life-style with newly arriving butcher/censors every month. Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with censorship and book-burning in the fu­ture, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn Del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.

    A final test for old Job II here: I sent a play, Leviathan 99, off to a university theater a month ago. My play is based on the “Moby Dick” mythology, dedi­cated to Melville, and concerns a rocket crew and a blind space captain who venture forth to encounter a Great White Comet and destroy the destroyer. My drama premieres as an opera in Paris this autumn.

    But, for now, the university wrote back that they hardly dared do my play—it had no women in it! And the ERA ladies on campus would descend with ball-bats if the drama department even tried!

    Grinding my bicuspids into powder, I suggested that would mean, from now on, no more productions of Boys in the Band (no women), or The Women (no men). Or, counting heads, male and female, a good lot of Shakespeare that would never be seen again, especially if you count lines and find that all the good stuff went to the males!

    I wrote back maybe they should do my play one week, and The Women the next. They probably thought I was joking, and I’m not sure that I wasn’t.

    For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangu­tan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversation­ist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights end and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mor­mons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent type-writers. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture. If the Chicano intel­lectuals wish to re-cut my “Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” so it shapes “Zoot,” may the belt unravel and the pants fall.

    For, let’s face it, digression is the soul of wit. Take philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Ham-let’s father’s ghost and what stays is dry bones. Laur­ence Sterne said it once: Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, the life, the soul of reading! Take them out and one cold eternal winter would reign in every page. Restore them to the writer—he steps forth like a bridegroom, bids them all-hail, brings in variety and forbids the appetite to fail.

    In sum, do not insult me with the beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-defiations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or make into a fist, my lungs to shout or whis­per with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book.

    All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It’s my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset I’ve won or lost. At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try.

    And no one can help me. Not even you.

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  • 7 comments

    Unchained melody: Sam Cooke with “A change is gonna come.”

    Sorry if I seem to be ignoring y’all. I am all but completely unable to make an honest living in real estate right now, and that leaves me with next to nothing to say about making an honest living in real estate.

    I am not without things to say, of course. Never that. But I am doing most of my talking at SelfAdoration.com just now.

    Here’s proof: A post about changing your life for the better featuring the incomparable Sam Cooke singing A change is gonna come.

    Art first:

    Then rhetoric:

    You have a unique, inviolable nature as a type of entity. You have many characteristics in common with other entities, and with other organisms, and for the most part you cannot change those characteristics. But every purposive action you can take is guided by your conceptually-conscious mind — by your free choices — and you can always resolve to choose differently going forward. When you do, your life will change — for the better, if you choose wisely. You know this is so, and, in consequence, if you simultaneously insist to yourself that it is somehow not so, the cognitive dissonance will make you miserable — and progressively less efficacious over time.

    But if instead you accept your true nature as a human being for what it is, and then act accordingly, your life will get better and better in every way. No one can absolve you of your sins, since you answer to your self alone. But for the same reason, no one can rob you of your triumphs.

    There is much more on that theme in this week’s “movie of the week” — a video podcast I am doing every week.

    If you have not yet read Man Alive!, I entreat you to do so — and to share it with everyone you love. We all say we want to see the world change, but the book offers an actual strategy for making the change you’re looking for — in your own life and in the lives of everyone on Earth eventually.

    Looking for the Cliff’s Notes? Here is one very potent idea: The world won’t change until people change. If you crave freedom, evangelize egoism:


    The typical libertarian/conservative strategy of lamenting everything in high dudgeon is useless. It’s preaching to the choir, but, much worse, it serves mainly to convince the choir that things can only get worse.

    This is completely false. Any problem created by the human mind can be solved by the human mind. But that tautology illuminates the path we must take, doesn’t it? It’s not the state we need to change, nor the legislature. It’s the people.

    Human liberty is the consequence of individualism, but individualism is the politics of egoism. We will not turn socialists into libertarians by yelling at them or about them, but we can turn anegoists into egoists — and hence collectivists into individualists — if we can show them why self-adoration offers a better way of life for every human being.

    That’s where Man Alive! comes in. People who understand the value of the self can work out everything else on their own. People who do not are frail converts at best, doomed to be burned out in short order by all the bad news libertarian and conservative pundits constantly spew.

    We are not doomed to descend into a tyranny borne of dependency and despair. Man Alive! and SelfAdoration.com will show you how to avoid these ugly fates.

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  • Comments are off for this post

    Google Updates Penalize Cheap SEO

    Three years into my private law practice, the web continues to be the primary way I market my law firm. Having represented more than 500 people over the past three years, I’m starting to see both repeat business and referrals. But not everyone needs a criminal lawyer, the way they’ll eventually need a realtor, so it takes time to build out a referral base.

    In order to not put all my eggs in one basket, I’ve launched a bankruptcy practice as well with separate websites and separate identities to help channel potential clients to the right information, and so that if my web presence suffers on one dimension, it won’t suffer on all dimensions.

    We’ve also tried other marketing efforts, including direct mail, radio advertising, and networking. The networking can be effective, but that’s really not my strength, so I’ve not invested the kind of time and effort that I should on reaching out to other lawyers in order to develop referral channels.

    All of this is to say: I spend an inordinate amount of time focused on Google (and to a lesser extent Bing and Yahoo) in watching updates.

    For the past nearly 30 months, my website has been number 1 in my city for my primary keywords. But the ride has been bumpy, especially in the last year and a half. Google has made more than a half dozen important changes to its algorithms and search behavior since January, including one that is rolling out as we speak. This after a number of years in which Google implemented fewer updates than that for entire 12 month periods.

    Some of the updates have been improvements. For instance, in April, Google released a penalty for over-optimization – basically spammy and keyword laden websites. Fortunately, I had moved away from keywords about a year prior, so I was not penalized, but I did see some competitors take a huge hit.

    What does this mean? It means that, first of all, there is never one SEO strategy. Building a quality website takes time, and Google is trying to reward quality over quantity. And it’s trying to penalize people who take quick – and often spammy – routes to success.

    If you were building a website in 2009 (as I was), then the road to the top could be swift. But if you’re building a website in 2012, it’s a much harder slog, not just because of the increased competition, but because Google is increasingly on the watch for cheap techniques.

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