Taylor Pratt – 2009 SEO Bracketologist Champ

This year one of my brackets was with a group of basketball-lovin’ search engine marketers. While I was pretty optimistic after the first weekend, my bracket melted pretty quickly. Taylor Pratt’s did not, however. Taylor is the Principal at Awesome SEO based in Austin, TX. Congratulations to Taylor for rockin’ his bracket and winning for the second straight year. Here’s a full list of the competition from Yahoo Sports. How did I do? Well, let’s just say I won’t be drafted for my bracketology insight anytime soon. I always seem to take Gonzaga a few picks too far. Oh well, one of these years it’ll happen.

ESPN Pulls Link to UConn/Syracuse Game

Media companies are funny.

They want the traffic from social media sources, and offer up embedded links to their videos and content in hopes that it creates a viral following. That is, until they get something that is insanely popular.

Then, they throw a temper tantrum and yell, “Mine, mine, mine!”

That’s what ESPN just pulled with their own video recap of the UConn vs Syracuse 6 OT game in the Big East Tournament. I watched the video this morning, and noticed they provided an embedded link in the video and posted it to my web site (giving full credit to ESPN as well as an additional link to the full story).

Now the video is pulled due to the popularity of the clip. Sure, you can still get it at ESPN, but they radically changed their sharing policy once they realized it was a good clip.

Lame, lame, lame!

Not that ESPN cares about what I think about their sharing policy, but it’s just not a good practice. If they genuinely want to engage in social media and have people participate in the conversation they need to keep a consistent policy and go with it.

My 2 cents.

Rant over.

The Madness Starts Early – UConn vs. Syracuse

College basketball is about to trump all things search for a little while. March Madness started early this year in my book courtesy of a six overtime game between UConn and Syracuse in the Big East Tournament. Yeah, you heard me right, six overtimes. Check out the highlights. It’ pretty freakin’ amazing! Here are a few of the details from this epic battle that lasted until nearly 2am this morning:

  • Eight players fouled out
  • The game lasted 3 hours, 46 minutes
  • They had a combined score of 244 points
  • Seven overtimes is the record for college basketball (Cincinnati vs Bradley in 1981)
  • The game was 1/10 of a second from being over at the end of regulation

Check out the highlights above or read the details on ESPN. It’s just the beginning of March Madness, baby! Man, I don’t see how Syracuse can have any legs left to play West Virginia tonight.

Oh yeah, I should also let you know that I’ll be “working from home” next Thursday and Friday from an undisclosed location in a secret bunker loaded with flatscreens. I love this time of year!

We held Stephen Curry scoreless…

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I feel like blogging about college basketball. I just saw an amazing story about the Davidson/Loyola of Maryland game that I may or may not try to relate to SEO. I’m sure many of you remember Davidson. Specifically, Stephen Curry, their sharp-shooting point guard that torched Gonzaga (and everyone else) in the tourney last year until they lost to Kansas, the eventual National Champions.

Anyway, Davidson beat Loyola of MD by thirty points last night. But here’s the thing… Stephen Curry didn’t score a point. Loyola played a triangle-and-2 defense the entire game (meaning that Stephen Curry had two players guarding him at all times, while the other three played zone). So what did he do?

He stood in the corner the entire game! With two players constantly guarding him at the corner, his team essentially had a 4-3 power play for 40 minutes. Talk about not seeing the basket through the trees! I don’t know what the Loyola coach was thinking. It’s one of the oddest strategies I’ve ever seen. There’s a really good write-up about the game on Rivals.

From an SEO perspective (come on, you knew I was going to wrap this into an SEO post) I see this all the time. People are always looking at their trophy phrases and saying “Yes, I’m #1 for my super cool search phrase. Awesome!” But that’s akin to being featured on SportsCenter. Is it super cool? Sure. Are you going to tell everyone you know to search your phrase so they can see you atop Google in all your glory? Absolutely. But, does it really help you win more business? Well,.. maybe. In some cases. But truly understanding your analytics really is the key to getting more clients. It’s just not as sexy. I doubt any of you are going to talk about long-tail organic search traffic, conversions, and bounce rates over Thanksgiving dinner with your family (And you shouldn’t, btw. I can tell you from experience).

Just know that understanding these metrics are what’s going to help you get through this troubled economy.

By the way, Gonzaga is playing in a stacked tournament (with Michigan State, Georgetown, and Tennessee to name a few) that starts tomorrow. This should really let us know if they’ve got what it takes for a deep run come March. Davidson will no doubt look for an encore performance this upcoming March.

I have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all!