Tag: Matt-Cutts

Chris Hooley SECRETS!

You know you’ve finally made it at least to C-lister SEO pseudo celeb dude status if any one of the three following things happens:

  1. Matt Cutts links to you from his blog (not just talks about you, but actually links to you… DAMN YOU MATT CUTS! You know you loved the drinkbait, STILL NO LINK!)
  2. SEO Fan Girl blogs about you
  3. A parady website is created, devoted to solely to you

With that said, I am proud to have passed a new level in my SEO career. I bring you… shamefully, Chris Hooley Secrets. WARNING: this site is not 100% accurate. My favorite drink is not Appletini, it is Melontini and ONLY when served with a pink umbrella.


Blog Tag… 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chris Hooley

I don’t know if this was a brilliant little piece of linkbait, or a cheap trick stolen from a MySpace bulletin, or a bit of both. The 12th word in this post should help you decipher my thoughts on it. Geeky or not, it’s still kinda fun.

It was supposed to be a nice little tap, but I think Greg Boser dope virtually slapped me. He’s too bad ass to tag somebody gently, and I have no choice but to obey.

* FYI- the 6th thing you didn’t know about Boser: In the 4th grade he used to pick his nose and make the little kid at school eat it.

* that statement might not be true.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chris Hooley

  • I am a unich.
  • As a matter of fact, my shit doesn’t stink.
  • I am wearing a pretty pink teddy right now.
  • I’m NOT in denial.
  • I did not have relations with that woman.

OOOOk. I felt obligated to be funny [thanks greg... I CAN'T HANDLE THE PRESSURE!!!!] I am as glad as you are that it is over. Now for the real stuff.

5 Real Things You Didn’t Know About Chris Hooley

  • I was adopted, and found my birth family on the web – no shit. My totally awesome, kick ass family [Hooleys Rule!] adopted me from an orphanage as a baby. I grew up #2 of 4 brothers, and my older bro is adopted too. Here’s the kicker… I found out later in life I had 3 full blood brothers and a full blood sister too. I met them (not in person yet), and they are on my MySpace page. Crazy, crazy web! My name was almost Dustin Mykal Ansbergs.
  • I played saxophone for a few weeks in the 6th grade - My parents saw that I taught myself to play Axel F on the casio keyboard and next thing you know, I was picking an instrument for band practice. I rebelled against that one!
  • I used to be able to dunk – But I sucked at basketball. That didn’t stop be from playing every day tho. All I cared about was yoking it hard with two hands and hanging on the rim and being a bad ass, so I worked on my legs like a maniac and basically worshipped Sawn Kemp, MJ, and Dominique Wilkins. Embarrassingly enough, I was that white guy with hops who everybody picked first when they saw me warming up, but regretted it the second the game started.
  • In a prior life I produced albums and songs for joke bandsCrack Money Records even performed shows with some known bands… Body Count was the biggest band we opened for. Even Ice-T loves the drinkbait!
  • I technically had plastic surgery last month- Seriously. I have multiple lipomas, and many of them were concentrated around my midsection and back. My doctors said don’t bother to remove them, but I did, and NO I am not “that guy“.

w0rd!

Ok, now it’s time to tag a few more folks to keep this virus spreading. Let’s see how many people actually do this.

  • Peter Wailes, come on in buddy. You have been tagged.
  • Kris, I almost didn’t tag you because it would make your angle ring true, but shit man you rock and I can’t resist.
  • Fuhgeddabowdit – Donald Trump, say hello to my little friend Mr. Tag!
  • SEO Thursday’s Nathaniel Broughton for giving me a reason to be an icey hot stunta.
  • And finally, Josh Strebel because his Luke Skywalker ass keeps begging me to link to him. I’m Darth Vader bitch. I tag with force.

Sorry guys, rules are rules and now you need to do it too.

As a side note, Happy Hanukka to the Jewish SEOs out there.


SEO BoyBand: A Buzz Marketing Flop

I thought there was NO WAY this LinkBait experiment could fail. The idea seemed solid and outside the box. Let me explain why I did it, and why it didn’t end up making as big of a splash as I had hoped.

The Premise

At PubCon 2006, a tall thin guy named Kris and I were chatting about how funny it is that SEOs are treated like they’re in a boyband at these conferences. We joked about how we should be throwing our underwear on stage while they are speaking, and they should be signing our boobs.

Both of us apparently took a lot away from that conversation. Kris went on to write one of the funniest blogs ever, and I went on to do that DrinkBait stuff. We both had great success with our campaigns, which kept me thinking. I should do more fun stunts to attract attention and invoke a positive reaction. I mainly was looking to entertain and get a laugh, and of course, create a buzz.

Campaign Specifics

Just creating a post and buying the domain for SEO BoyBand isn’t enough to warrant props for outside the box thinking. I needed to make this good. After pondering it for a few days, I finally had a game plan.

  • Register SEOBoyBand.com
  • Write story about major SEOs forming a BoyBand
  • Hire Skorp to photoshop a few hilarious pics of the band in action
  • Here’s the kicker: Max bid on Google Adwords for the phrases SEO, Search Optimization, Search Engine Optimization, etc. the day the Chicago SES Conference begins, and leave campaign running for a few days.

I figured most SEOs search for that phrase rather frequently, and if I owned that phrase during the convention, somebody would notice and I would have created a word of mouth marketing monster. It didn’t quite turn out that way.

Why The Heck Run Adwords? Was it Expensive?

Because I’ve never seen a LinkBait idea marketed that way. I wanted originality points, and something interesting to talk about after the fact.

And yes, it was expensive. I spent well over a grand in less than 2 days on marketing a joke.

Let’s Explore That Adwords Campaign

Pictures speak a thousand words. Just check out this insanity.


Almost 14k impressions. 98 clicks. $13.78 Avg. CPC. $1350.38 ad spend. 4k daily budget. $99.00 default max bid.

A little nutts eh? I was breaking through and placing $99.00 bids to force bonus. I let Google’s ad serving algo keep my click costs in the highest end of the general range that current advertisers are running now.

Here are the phrases I was running:
NOTE: this provides some great insight as to which SEO related phrases people are searching for

The best part of the campaign however, was the ad copy. They were mind numbingly dumb, and I though t they were funny as all get out. Check these ads out

Man, I love that. I thought it would be like playing a harmless prank on the SEO world for a bit.

Why Did it Fail?

There’s probably a ton of reasons, but here are a couple I can think of.

  • I overestimated the percentage of people at SES Chicago who would search for the phrases I advertised
  • SEO people are probably blind to the PPC ads on their vanity searches
  • I didn’t put much effort behind making a splash with it
  • Maybe it wasn’t as funny as I thought?
  • There was nothing in the post that called for action or interaction of any sort
  • People were too busy at SES to be searching for stuff… bad timing
  • I didn’t properly seed the joke by telling key people that this was going to be posted
  • I didn’t submit it to any social bookmarking type sites (and neither did anybody else lol)
  • I didn’t write the story well

What did we learn here?

I don’t know, you tell me! I would still love to see www.SEOBoyBand.com turn into a pop culture phenom. (*note, that was obviously tongue in cheek sentence, and a purposefully gross overstatement) I was even going to make a series out of it by incorporating industry news and the rest of the mainstream SEO celebrities with a reality show type feel… but if the people don’t like it, I won’t serve it!

With such pop stars as Matt Cutts, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Greg Boser, and me (again, joking… those dudes don’t have pull like me yet, but they are working on it) how could it possibly fail? Any ideas?


BS-1 Behind the Conference: SEO BOYBAND

BS-1 Behind the Conference traces the rise and fall of the most prolific boy band in SEO history. The first group of SEOs ever to travel outside the typical conference circuit and into the dark underworld of pop music made their debut after they met at Webmasterworld’s PubCon 2006. Their first single, “Use the anchor text: love”, quickly rose to the top of the del.icio.us popular chart, giving the band instant notoriety, fame, and wild success.

SEO Boy Band initially started working the conference circuit in early 2006 where SEOs, CEOs, and even SEO Fan Girls have been spotted throwing their underwear on stage as the band performed public link analysis sessions, which often ended in public riots. The thought of the buzz gave band front runner Chris Hooley the idea to take the show on the road.

After a grueling dance rehearsal, the band agreed the choreography and timing was right. SEO BoyBand began touring all over the greater San Jose area. After a few sell out shows, it became apparent to the crew that their newly found fame would get more than they bargained for.

In a rare interview with BS-1 Hooley says: “I was just doing it for the buzz, these free pairs of underwear are just another perk!”

Greg “Web Guerilla” Boser chimes in “not to mention the 600 backlinks I got from Digg yesterday” as he Hi Fived Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz who says “I’m a bad ass SEO“.

Meanwhile, the absence of these high profile SEO rockstars on the conference and blogging scene created a void, which some more crafty web marketing experts quickly exploited.

The release of their second single “Rollin’ Wit da Bloggerz” brought even more fame and backlinks. However, the grueling 7 day a week schedule of blogging, singing, and dancing began to wear on the super group. This didn’t stop the pop marketing powerhouse, they continued the media craze by releasing “Link Pop” and following it up with their smash hit “Love me, Leave me, then Link to me”

Eventually the media craze became to much for the SEO Boy Band to handle. Chris Hooley spent countless days DrinkBaiting, while Greg Boser and other band members stayed up night all night using the harder stuff to keep going.

“I just, really love the purple ones” said Boser after a long night of pounding yoohoo and snorting pixie sticks. “I don’t know what I would do without them”

The increased exposure and sugar consumption eventually started to tear at the band. Bitter rivalries between members of the back up dance crew eventually led to disaster. SEO BoyBand stopped touring after an incident where Tim Mayer and Adam Lasnik nearly choked each other out. Danny Sullivan tried to stop the violence, but ended up instant messaging the police.

Back up vocalsit Matt Cutts saw the transgressions, quit the banned, er.. I mean BAND, and applied a minus 30 penalty to the whole crew. That was the last time Mayer and Lasnik spoke, and ultimately the end of SEO BoyBand.

After the dust settled, nearly a fortune in backlinks was amassed. Chris Hooley, as the owner of the domain, currently controls the link equity created by the band. “It’s a time in my life I’ll never forget. What’s your name again?”

Although the experience might have been a blur to the band members, the memory of their rise to #1 on the SERPs, I mean charts, will never fade.


*props to Skorp for the images. Check out his BadTastic Blog for more crazy antics and SkorpShopping!


Going Under the Knife, Wish Me Luck!

Blogging will probably be light for a few days here in HooleyLand.  I got an appointment with a scalpel at 9AM.  Nothing serious, just a few lipomas to get rid of.  I might blog tomorrow, but if I do… take whatever I say with a grain of salt.  I’ll be on painkillers all day and probably anti-anxiety medicine in the morning. I’ll be loopy!

I promise, the post I’ve been hyping up is still coming.  It will be worth the wait.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll internally combust, and you’ll find the true meaning of life, love, happiness, and scoring links from Google’s home page.  And you’ll see pictures of Matt Cutts shredding on the ones and twos.


DrinkBait Recap: a Drunken Buzz Marketing Experience

DrinkBait: I Did It For The Buzz.

Here’s a little story of how one crazy web guy tripled the traffic to his personal blog simply by trying to jam as much fun into a 36 hour period as possible. For less then the price of a single Yahoo! directory submission or one hour for a high traffic phrase on Adwords, I became pseudo-famous for at least one day in the SEO world.

A wise man once said: “The trick to SEO is finding out what the search engines want, then giving it to them til they bleed”. The question is, what DO the search engines want? Do they want anchor text links on tons of external domains? Link exchanges? Div positioning and table tricks? Probably not. I think they want to know where the buzz is at.

The BackGround

Before PubCon 2006, a guy named Nathaniel Broughton and his buddies came up with a brilliant idea which they thought would make great “LinkBait”. (more on that term later) By developing an SEO Drinking Contest, they combined the power of the blogging SEO community with the social aspects of a major web conference and the party atmosphere of Las Vegas.

Brilliant idea to get people buzzing. Everybody knows that any conference like this has it’s fair share of social climbers begging to get a picture with a semi-famous SEO personality. The root of the contest was a no brainer. People where already going to buy drinks and get pics with these luminaries of search listed within the contest.

To seal the deal and insure that the blogosphere would participate, they offered a cash prize of up to $1300 to the winner of their contest. This was a no brainer. Who WOULDN’T submit their pics to the contest and who WOULDN’T link to such a neat, buzzworthy blog post if they might be featured as winners or shown next to their favorite SEO Rockstar on a highly trafficked blog, and even potentially earn a nice little cash prize?

Somebody is already catching a buzz. Google better find them if they want to stay relevant.

How To Make Your Viral Marketing Monster Work For You

Viruses by nature only need to be introduced to one person, at one opportune time, to spread like wildfire. Back in the 80s a man named Gaeten Dugas, who had contracted a relatively unknown virus, almost single handedly helped kickstart an epidemic in our country. For politic reasons this may be a bad example to use on how to positively spread a viral campaign, but it illustrates an important point. One person can multiply the results of a virus or viral campaign by moving quickly at the very beginning. If the virus hits the right person at the right time, it will spread exponentially faster.

When I first caught wind of this campaign, I was already excited to get to Vegas. I love the fun, the action, the free drinks and pretty girls, and I love marketing. Can’t get much better than a company sponsored trip to Sin City to attend a web marketing convention with most of my favorite speakers. All I need now is a little motivation to get my bags packed and stop playing “bicycle” with my daughter. So I hopped on Technorati to find out who’s blogging about the upcoming conference to see if there was anything I should know about such as parties I wasn’t invited to or things I can expect when I get there.

That’s when I found it. My excuse to mingle, my reason for going to the conference (aside from the potential nuggets of knowledge and possible contacts), my favorite new idea. PubCon Drinking Game.

Right place, right time, I was infected with the viral and they made a monster out of me.

Working the Angles

Now I’m in Vegas and rolling into the conference. I did my research and I was ready to mix it up. I immediately was greeted with like minded people who were equally as motivated as I was to engage in conversation. Being outwardly social and sincere with the nearest stranger can often kill the awkardness of a new crowd and can sometimes have long term benefits. I was feeling OK and getting into and out of sessions, but I was mostly obsessed with the contest. How am I going to win if I have no idea where all the rockstars of my industry are going to be?

That night I went out with my little brother and a friend from work and just did the typical Vegas gambling, drinking, flirting.. it was normal Vegas fun. Then out of nowhere at Nine Fine Irishmen in New York New York I saw one of my bloggers. (I call them “my bloggers” because I’ve been reading their blogs for quite some time and felt like I already knew them)

Greg Boser and Oilman Todd Friesian where surrounded by a bunch of women (and guys but I was mostly blind to them) and having a great time, probably reveling in their coolness. I asked for Greg if I could get a pic for that drinking game, and he laughed and said “Only if you buy me a beer” with perfect timing. He chuckled to Todd and said “Hey this is the first guy buying drinks for that drinking game” who immediately stepped and and mentioned he was also worth big points. (note: this was not condescending, he was totally digging the fun)

So I got my pics and left wondering where the other SEOs are, and how on earth can I possibly find them? I just chatted it up with two big guys and made them both chuckle a bit. I want to duplicate that with every big shot in the search industry. But how.

That’s when it hit me. Marketing 101. Deliver the message to the target audience WHERE the audience is. Target. Path of least resistance. Make noise where it is heard.

Hit Them Where They Are

I needed to find out where they would ALL be. Quick, think, they are all at the conference during the day, but where else… where else would they all be at the same time? Nowhere else, that’s where. It’s Vegas and at night people will scatter and do whatever they fancy. Now at least I know I need to use the conference itself as the time / place to deliver “the campaign” (or up until this point, drinks). Now I need to figure out how.

I spent the night thinking about it, do I buy a bunch of beers and put them in a back pack? Do I buy a bottle and some Red Bull? with cups? Is that even legal? That’s when it hit me. Nips. I fell asleep happy, knowing I can technically buy drinks for people without being at a bar and somehow get some pics the easy way. I found a loophole.

Kick It Up a Notch!

On day 2, knowing I would be waiting til the 3rd day of a 4 day conference to hand out the drinks (so nobody could steal my idea) I took a break from the conference to hit that SEO Thursday blog. That’s when I saw a person named markus941′s comment left at 10:04 AM.

Oooooh, I want to play.I’ll be staying at Harrah’s so a Bass Ale, but if you see me @ New York New York it’s an Irish bomb all the way.Nice “drinkbait” post by the way.”

DrinkBait! That is just too funny. One of the hottest topics in SEO lately is LinkBait, because it is not trying to fool Google or fake popularity… it is creating content with the purpose of making it “link worthy” to HELP search engines find cool new relevant content. The idea is brilliant. DrinkBait is obviously a funny little shtick, a play on words, and also very relevant for an SEO convention in Vegas since both are prone to high levels of alcohol consumption. Double meaning- both funny, both relevant.

Perfect. I need to find out NOW if that domain exists. Might be worth some links, might be worth some buzz- worst case I meet everybody and they all know my name, which in itself holds value. Within 5 minutes, I bought the domain name from Moniker and put together the plan of attack.

Tying It All In Together

In order to be successful, a good marketing campaign needs an implementation plan. So I planned out my day accordingly. Wake up, buy nips, write blog, print drinkbait.com labels, tape labels to bottles, search for web gurus and snap pics.

Within 30 seconds of getting off of the monorail, I spotted one of those SEO consultant rockstars and ran up with the bag of drinks. Great ice breaker, good shtick. “Hey Todd, you rock man! What’s your favorite drink?”

He laughed, about seven times actually, and was basically speechless. (which is the exact opposite of what would normally occur when you run up and meet somebody who has no idea who you are, but who you respect immensely)

It was too easy. One by one I found industry experts and delivered the DrinkBait. Every time it was received with the same enthusiastic laughter and appreciation. Hell, it’s a free drink that has a few side jokes attached- who could resist? (well one person did actually resist, but more on that later).

Then, I saw The KingPin of the Search Industry. Standing right there talking to a guy next to me.. I waited as patiently as I could when I finally blurted my shpeel about the contest and the drinks and the whole shebang. I sat like a little kid who just gave his dad his first Christmas present that he bought with his own money.  It seemed like it took an eternity to gage his response, and then I was met with a warm inviting smile and a chuckle. “Oh now THIS is great! I love the idea! I gotta to let a few people know about this!”

I was floored! The top guy in our industry giving ME props? I felt like a million bucks. The rest of the drinkbaiting seemed easy. IN fact, I even approached the almighty Matt Cutts ON STAGE to give him his bottle… and here’s the kicker- he already knew about me and was excited to let me get my picture taken with him! I felt like I had arrived.

Taking it to the Next Level

It worked. Everybody loved the silly buzz marketing stunt. Now comes phase II- making it bigger and better. Just like any marketing campaign: you start with a smaller test and based on the results, you either turn it up, turn it down, or turn it off.

After a day to think about it I had the perfect slogan for my campaign. “DrinkBait: DOING IT FOR THE BUZZ”. I went and bought a shot glass necklace, more nips, more labels, a label for my back and picked out my silliest most buzz worthy shirt out of my suitcase. Today was the “networking session”, AKA: DrinkFest. If I was going to make noise, this was the time and place.

I met almost everyone, and they all knew I was coming. I was being waived at and big industry experts where waving yelling out “DRINK BAIT!”. I got a bunch of pics, drank a lot, and even got interviewed by WebProNews. It definitely made a lot of buzz, and now when I go to conferences things will probably be a little different. The people I felt like I have known for so long will mostly know me now too. Good or bad (mostly good) this campaign created exactly what I think the search engines, and people want. They want the buzz.

The Results

It took exactly one day for all search engines to find my site and rank me #1 for the term DrinkBait. Now, this term is not competitive, but you gotta admit that’s still pretty quick. I did not try to build one single link. No link exchanges, no self linking from other sites, no text link ads, no link whoring. I just got some links because others picked up on the buzz and because my site was optimized for it (don’t mind you that the term was practically non existant to this point, just re-read that last sentence again and LOVE it!).

You can’t get banned from a search engine if people link at you because your topic is interesting. So if there is any takeaway for an SEO to get out of this, it is make something buzz worthy and you assume no risk. You’ll probably get some links because it is good, interesting content.

Takeaways for marketers: give new things a try, don’t be shy, go with your gut but let logic guide you as you go, and watch CLOSELY for opportunity.

Hopefully I can expand on this lesson and learn how to be the best viral buzz marketing SEO out there. Maybe I’ll end up on one of those lists where people should buy ME drinks just for being known for doing what I do best. Catching a buzz!


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