Matt Cutts at PubCon South

Live from Austin PubCon, March 12, 2009:

Google software engineer and spam cop,  Matt Cutts, also the search giant’s spokesperson to the SEO world, gave the keynote address for the second day of PubCon South with the announcement of the Google Friend Connect API, which will integrate accounts like OpenID, Google, Yahoo or AOL Instant Messenger to make leaving comments on blogs easier.

It’s not just for blogs, but can be used for forums and other CMS systems, too. The idea is to make it easier to leave comments without having to constantly type in user names and passwords, etc.  Ultimately this will also combat spam.

Matt said that Open Source plugins for WordPress, Drupal and phpBB will be released later today. Matt says since these are Open Source, improvements from the SEO world for these plugins are welcome.

The API will allow you to join web sites so that you don’t have to log in each time to leave comments.

This was Matt’s eighth PubCon, including the very first.

Matt’s blog for SEO and related issues is .  More information on the Google Friend Connect API will be available on his blog later today.


Guy Kawasaki at PubCon Austin

Live from Austin PubCon, March 11, 2009:

Guy Kawasaki of said he was late to blogging. First year was easy because he just regurgitated his existing content. Second year was tough. Third year he hit the wall. Then, he discovered Twitter.

“I was born to tweet!”

It took him a month or two to figure it out. At first, it was “what is this crap?” Only 140 characters?

Now he says, do you know how much better the world would be if all communications was limited to 140 characters?

“Twitter for me is a weapon to promote I believe I have to tweet high value, very informative links so that people will tolerate my promotion of Alltop.” is Kawasaki’s topic related “magazine” site.

The moment you go to and search for yourself or company, you open yourself up to finding conversations, he says.

One of his favorite tools is Twitter Hawk which always looks for a string, drafts auto tweet and sends to persons looking for that string. Twitter Hawk records that it sent a tweet to a Twit and will not send to that person again. It also costs .05 each to send the tweets to help reduce spamming. Check it out at .

Isn’t this spamming?

“If I do it, it’s good marketing. If someone does it to me, it’s spam,” Guy says with a smile.

Another great utility he recommends is Tynt. With Tynt, you copy a line of javascript into you blog code. When someone copies text from your blog, an attribution link (your blog) shows up. Great for content theft because it drives traffic back to you and it provides a management console where you can see what is being copied. Check out .

And, Guy thinks that the more dumb an idea, the more likely it is to work, citing examples of ideas that sound so far out that they sound ridiculous, but are successful.

His current book is Reality Check and his web site is .


About The Web Optimist

OK, I’ve finally gotten around to putting up an About The Web Optimist page. I figured some folks might want to know who this person is dishing out free advice!


For those of who wondering what happened to my Ask Me About S E O page, I had to disable the plugin after my recent hosting switch. For whatever reason, it just refused to work, generating errors instead of tips. Feel free to leave questions on any post or through my contact page.


Flytunes Updates Interface, Adds Video

Flytunes has added video and upgraded the interfaceFlytunes, the Internet radio service for mobile devices, has rolled out a GUI upgrade and the addition of videos and podcasts.

I gave the new interface and videos a try and have to admit, they are pretty slick…when the technology cooperates. For instance, although I watched some fun Best of YouTube videos that offered nice quality on my iPhone, I still had some hesitation and pregnant pauses in the video stream. It could be my wireless-G network, I just don’t know. Other times I couldn’t get the videos to do anything at all. I tried Fox News Flash several times and never could get the thing to work.

The interface is slick and simple. When you first go to the Flytunes Player in your mobile device, you get a bar simply asking “What do you want to do?” with a down arrow on the left. Touching it opens a window on the bottom that lets you scroll through several options – Radio High Bitrate, Radio Low Bitrate, Video, Podcasts, AccuRadio and Settings. I’ve been listening to the radio stations a bit and enjoyed them.

Next you are asked to “Select a genre” and then “Select a station” for your chosen category. For instance, select Podcasts, Technology and then something like Diggnation and you’ll get some flashing “Loading” messages before a menu of podcasts comes up.

Sound quality is good and I must say I’m impressed. When it works. So far, my iPhone experience with it has been hit or miss. As I mentioned, it could be my Wi-Fi connection that is causing the sputters (works fine for my PCs, though). Flytunes is apparently gearing up for the iPhone broadband that is coming.

Flytunes says there are now 350 channels available, which is a lot and, they change the interface constantly as they add new features. Right now, it’s simplicity at its best.

Give it a try with your iPhone or iPod. It’s free!


Rebuilding After Host Company Implosion

What you will see for the next few days (or weeks) is the rebuilding of this blog after my hosting company went MIA overnight. They haven’t been the most stable host I’ve ever had. My blog would be up and down and, after being unavailable for writing or editing most of last week, I took the plunge and moved to a new host.

Unfortunately, the latest backup I have is over a month old, so expect yet more reposts as I try to replace lost content. I don’t even know if the old hosting company will re-emerge. Their site is still unavailable, too.

So, let this be a good lesson. Back up EVERY day! Now, if I can just figure out where some of my stuff went. This new version of WordPress does NOT like some of my plugins and theme.



GoLive Goes Dead

Adobe GoLive is deadAdobe has announced the demise of GoLive, the web authoring software used by many web developers over the years.

I, for one, found it confusing, hard to use and, at least in the version I tried when I took over as the web site marketing manager at the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention and Visitors Authority several years ago, a code bloat wizard. Whatever I worked on seemed to get full of code that I, as an SEO, felt was just in the way. But, as I mentioned, I only tried that one version.

Adobe took over Macromedia, the maker of Dreamweaver, my personal favorite, in 2005, which meant the company was marketing competing products until now.

I know there are lots of GoLive aficionados out there who are sorry to see it go, but Adobe is offering upgrades to Dreamweaver for registered GoLive customers for $199.


Are We Heading for One Big LAN?

The web is becoming more like one big local area network.
With the Internet acting more like a handy local area network, surfers need to be more aware of protecting their privacy.

The days of the isolated PC are over. No longer do we set up a PC to work independently with desktop applications. Even dedicated desktop apps generally want to connect to the web to download updates or validate the registration, a far cry from my first computer which didn’t have hard drives or even a modem.

Face it. If you sit down at a computer these days and the Internet access is down or there isn’t any, you feel totally lost. I sure do. Fire up a tired old desktop app to try to get some work done? How archaic!

More and more, our PCs or Macs insist on an Internet connection to fully function, meaning we are connected in ways never dreamed of just a few years ago. Yes, we had some online service providers pop up in the late 1990s with dreams of providing software that would work online through a browser, but, thanks to broadband, we are beginning to see the transition from solo desktops to what I see as more of a worldwide local area network.

We’re beginning to work together through online applications like Google Docs, where we can share calendars and documents with ease. No more emailing the docs to other team members in far off places and then trying to walk through them over the phone. Even those phone calls can be made with voice over IP software like Skype with simultaneous video and online chat.

Continue reading


Live Product Upload Down

I get an error message with Live Product UploadHope you’re not trying to upload a feed to Microsoft’s Live Products shopping service this morning because it’s down. I get a Runtime Error if I try to access the upload page at

I suspected something funky earlier this week. I set up an account for my client,, and uploaded a rather large feed, something like 25,000 products (hey, it’s a huge site with LOTS of eyewear products). According to Live Products, which is much like Google Base and even will accept a Google Base feed, it can take up to 36 hours for the feed to be live. This was on Monday and late Friday night the upload still showed “processing” as the status. Thirty-six hours, huh?

No word yet on what is happening.

Hope I didn’t break it. 😉

Update: OK, Live Product Upload appeared to go back up around noon Pacific Time. However, the feeds I uploaded on March 10 are still showing “processing” today, March 15.

Again, so much for the “36 hours” mentioned on the site. You’d think if there were problems with the feeds, which have to be refreshed every 30 days, Microsoft would at least alert me to them.

Sheesh. I know it’s free, but most aggravating.

Update #2: Whoops! Checked at 5:15 p.m. Pacific time Saturday and it’s giving that Runtime Error again.

Update #3: Looks like it’s back up, but it’s been seven days since I uploaded my client’s feed and it STILL says “processing” in the Product Upload control panel. I filled out the feedback form requesting an explanation at Day 6, but no word back yet.

Up to 36 hours my ….

Update #4: Turns out Microsoft did respond. I found it in my spam folder, but the remedy is a pain and might turn into a major project. Google Base feeds are supposed to work with Live Product Upload, but now I’m being told to cut the feed into smaller chunks and see if that works. The feed is something like 25,000 products. This is pretty lame, Microsoft.

Update #5: I split the feed into two and uploaded both over a day ago. I’m looking at the Live Product Upload control panel now and it shows these and the two earlier March 10th full uploads as still processing (I’d delete them, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do so). This is getting old…

Update #6: …really old. Splitting the feed into two equal parts had no effect. Still says “Processing” as do the two feeds I uploaded on March 10. If we have to split this baby into a dozen pieces to upload it every month, we might pass. I sent an e-mail back to Live Product Upload support. I’ll let you know what they say.

Update #7: It took two weeks, but after a few e-mails to support, the tech folks at Microsoft got the feeds up and live. Now that they’re up, I need to make some changes and upload again. Problem is, I’m getting that Runtime Error in ‘/’ Application error again! Sheesh!


Video: Sam’s Club does SEO

Paly video about Sam's Club SEONice video explanation of the “Sam’s Club does SEO” story going around the blogosphere lately. Based on the post Sam’s Club Wants to Be Your Search Engine Optimization Company – Should You Let It? by Scott Buresh over at Search Engine Guide, Sage Lewis, in his best WWF announcer voice, figures that the company actually doing the work, Innuity, is probably swamped with businesses expecting the whole SEO package for $25 a month. Problem is, that $25 only covers a tiny bit of a full search engine optimization campaign. In fact, it is primarily a local search submission program.

But, having the service offered by a major retail institution like Sam’s Club does lend a touch of credibility to our profession, which is too often compared to the likes of used car or snake oil sales persons.

Anyway, great blog post by Scott and video by Sage. Check them out.