July 17, 2018

I’m speaking at SMX Melbourne 2012!

Quick post to let you know I’ll be speaking at SMX Melbourne next month!

I’ll be discussing  PPC Audits – should be a blast.

So if you’re in Melbourne, it’s not too late. Come along!

Here’s a slick promo video from Barry and the team too…

Hope to see you there… and If you do come along be sure to say hi!

GlassHat.com: Search Academy MD Matt Collis Advises Not To Waste Money On SEO

Interesting news today from Matt Collis and the Search Academy team in Sydney concerning their new SEO planning platform, GlassHat.com and how this proprietary platform will help drive efficiencies within an SEO program, and more importantly drive better results.

I’ll have more information on this new platform as it comes to light, but in the meantime I have republished the full press release below.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Jul 16, 2012 – Recent statistical research from Search Academy, the Sydney-based SEO firm, provides strong evidence on how many Australian advertisers may be wasting their time on Search Engine Optimisation.

The issue, according to Managing Director Matthew Collis, is that most SEO firms “conduct SEO solely on the recommendations of an associated guru or based on generic industry perceptions, effectively putting your SEO on their ‘one size fits all’ SEO conveyor belt. Organisations such as SEOMoz provide compelling evidence towards what all the influencing factors are towards a website’s ranking, yet if you take a look one step deeper you might be enlightened to learn that the list of priorities change for every industry, client, and keyword”.

Collis draws up on examples such as the consumer electronics sector, which when analyzed by his firm demonstrates there is more value to be gained in Social Media activities than any other aspect on or off the website. This compares dramatically with the Health sector, where users less often share information on Social Media sites than in consumer electronics, where the SEO value is found predominantly in authoritative and detailed content.

“It makes sense when you think about it, but to date we are not aware of any client that is being provided with a data-led, systematic approach to discovering what the right SEO priorities for their business are” Collis says. It seems, when left to being advised by an SEO firm as to which activities to undertake, the response if often related to the services they sell – for example, almost without exception every SEO firm will point to content and link building as important factors, but their services are sold in accordance with how they have been packaged rather than towards that client’s specific priorities.

“The simple fact for many advertisers is they could easily be buying services they do not need, and in the worst-case scenario be buying services that are damaging rather than improving their rank”. Collis goes on to explain “if you perform in-depth analysis up front, as we do, you might find that you already have too many low quality in-bound links and that it is your site’s page load time that needs improved as the priority. We have never come across two clients or keywords that require the same project plan, and in many cases the statistical analysis provides surprising insights which buck commonly held SEO beliefs”.

“Search Academy’s services are driven by a proprietary methodology which has been developed into a full service software platform called GlassHat. We take reliable and highly correlated data from a variety of sources such as Majestic SEO (for inbound link data), website scraping, Social Media APIs, and Search Engine ranking tools. We then put through a series of rigorous statistical tests to determine which will affect our client’s website ranking the most. We then turn that into an Activity Plan which is updated on a monthly basis so it reflects any search engine algorithm or competitive landscape changes”.

Companies currently buying SEO services, which is not based upon bespoke SEO research, may well be wasting money on these services, in the same way as someone who ignores a road map wastes time and petrol.

About Search Academy:
Search Academy is the centre of excellence in search marketing – advice is available ‘on demand’, at accessible rates and with full transparency, flexibility, and control over the work carried out.

Search Academy helps business owners, heads of marketing and Search Campaign Managers to improve their understanding of the benefits that SEO, SEM and Social Media can have for their organization.

Gideon Sundback celebrated in a Google doodle

Where would we be without this man!? Gideon Sundback, Swedish-American inventor of the “zipper”,  celebrated in today’s Google doodle. Zippedy-do-da!

Gideon Sundback celebrated in Google doodle


Editor’s Note: I now know who to curse when the zipper gets stuck!

New Matching Behavior for Phrase and Exact Match Keywords in AdWords

Google announced today via the Inside AdWords blog that, from around mid-may, exact match and phrase match will actually have the option to no longer be as strict as they are now,  so an ‘exact match’ may also include very close variants:- misspellings, plurals / singulars, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Wow. (As in ‘WTF are you doing Google?’ Oh yeah right, increasing yields.)

Interesting move for Google as it will no doubt increase impressions inventory and clicks revenue for certain keyword / account segments, but I would be careful when deciding whether to actually turn this on as it may not be the right move for all account types and verticals. Especially if you have already invested time in building out a kick-butt exact match campaign!!

If you’re only running broad match campaigns at the moment, then no stress, Google already love your money you long time.

Naturally, this will actually work well to help expand exact match impressions, but will it maintain a laser focus on intent and relevancy???  err. no. (which is why you built an exact match campaign – right?)

I’m seeing the setting available in AdWords now – But Google have said that the feature will not go live until mid May.

What was not clear from the Inside Adwords blog post was whether this setting would actually be the new default campaign setting, but looking at a live account now, the modified exact and phrase match (MEXPHAM for short!) looks to be disabled by default. phew, but do check your own exact / phrase match campaigns.

Screen shot of the options in campaign setting tab FYI!

## Update: I just checked another account and an exact match campaign defaulted to ‘Include plurals, misspellings and other close variants’. Cheeky Google.


FirstClick Consulting acquires MediaMax

The news was out  today that FirstClick Consulting have acquired digital marketing agency, MediaMax. Congratulations to Grace Chu, Mark Armstrong and team. Looks like an astute move.

Will 2012 be the year of even more consolidation in the digital performance agency space? I think so, but we will have to wait and see!



Here’s FirstClick’s press release…


FirstClick Consulting, Australia’s leading independent search marketing consultancy specialising in SEM, SEO, Conversion Optimisation and Digital Strategy, has acquired MediaMax, a digital performance agency that services clients including STA Travel and Schering – Plough.

MediaMax, founded in 2005, will operate under the FirstClick brand. As part of the acquisition, FirstClick welcomes James Tait, founder of MediaMax, who will join FirstClick as Client Services Director.

Grace Chu, CEO of FirstClick says, “We saw a fantastic opportunity to expand our reach into the travel sector by acquiring MediaMax. Not only are the MediaMax clients strong, premium brands but the MediaMax team, headed up by James Tait, allows us to grow our team rapidly and to an extremely high standard.”

FirstClick has also added three more premium brands to its impressive portfolio of clients. Medibank, Fuji Zerox and Amaysim have all appointed FirstClick Consulting to manage their search marketing campaigns. All three brands join the likes of ANZ, realestate.com.au, news Digital Media and seek.

Grace continues, “I’m thrilled with the rate of growth FirstClick is experiencing. We’re really excited to be working on such strong brands that are committed to leading the way in search marketing. We’ll continue to do what we do best – and that’s make money for our clients through strategic search marketing.”

Although specialists in search, FirstClick also provides the latest thinking and out-of-the-box solutions across ROI strategy, Local Search, Social Optimisation, Mobile Search, Video Search, Performance and Display Networks, Analytics and Training.

Happy 13th Birthday Google!

Happy Birthday Google.

Wow. 13 years old.

Welcome to your teenage years. Angst, anger and rebellion to ensue.



sem samurai’s new digs!

Today semsamurai.com has a brand new theme design thanks to the awesome team at Studiopress.com.

I got interrupted by my 3 year old during the set up process so I’m sorry if you visited and the site looked a bit.. err… odd!  All should be well now.

Please let me know what you think in the comments!


(And… that link above is a our affiliate link. So if you’re thinking about buying a studiopress theme then please buy through that link and help support semsamurai.com!)

ireckon and BlueGlass Interactive Partner in Australia.

MASSIVE News! Internet Marketing in Australia just got a whole lot more awesome today.

BlueGlass Interactive Australia
ireckon and BlueGlass Interactive have partnered to for BlueGlass Interactive Australia.

I know Darryl (@ireckon) and Greg Boser (@GregBoser) quite well after hanging with them at SMX events over the years. And I’m very excited for them and everyone else involved.

Two very passionate and knowledgeable companies combining can only be a good thing for the AU market.

Random SMX West 2011 Buzz – Day 1

[Read more…]

It’s a ‘Google Promotion’! Google’s Adwords House Ads have a new name.

I was just doing some research and noticed this in the top adwords spot.

A sponsored link for webmaster tools.

Is this new? I’ve not seen it before,  and I don’t recall ever seeing the disclaimer ‘Google promotion‘  instead of ‘Sponsored links’..



Perhaps Google have finally given in to pressure… But I am still seeing them buy ‘sponsored links’ for other terms.