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People are obsessed with SEO — which is weird. Just a few short years ago, SEO was considered snake oil. I have been designing and implementing SEO strategies since the mid-90s when SEO included lots and lots of directory submissions and quite a lot of compassion for people who were stuck on dial-up with PCs that could only deal with small, low-resolution monitors. Now, both online reputation management (ORM), something I have been doing since 2003, and organic search engine optimization are both essential services, though I fear that too few really consider all the variables when they purport to having deep knowledge of the state of the art.

Google-Analytics1This was embarrassingly obvious when I attended Vocus’ Demand Success 2013 conference. Mind you, it was awesome and so worthwhile, but it’s a communications conference and not a tech conference. There were quite a few panels and presentations about SEO, it’s true, but none of the presenters who were discussing search were technologists. Their SEO expertise was limited to content: how to optimize content for Google using linking, surfing Google trends, keyword diversity, as well as a little bit about organization, structure, and maybe something about Google Webmaster Tools — however, you’re never going to get to the top of Google’s Hit Parade if you don’t understand that Google is well-past all the trickery and all the surfing and has finally been able to boil it down to the essentials: users must get what they’re looking for without needing to wait. Needing to wait? Yes. You can have the most perfectly-tooled website, wired for sound and optimized to within an inch of its life, and if the quality of hand-off from Google, which is optimized for speed, to your site, which may well be optimized for content, is slow — meaning your site’s a pig with tons of plug-ins, no caching, and living on an over-taxed shared virtual server in a discount data center that’s nowhere near the backbone of the Internet — then Google will always err on the side of speed — Google knows that all visitors always blame Google for any experience that’s not instantaneous and that it’s almost never Google’s fault — it’s almost always the hand-off to the target site the visitor chooses.

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About the author

  • chrisabraham-photo
  • Chris Abraham
  • Chris Abraham is a leading expert in digital: social media marketing, Internet privacy, online reputation management (ORM), and digital PR with a focus on blogger outreach, blogger engagement, and Internet crisis response.A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and advisor to the industries’ leading firms. He specializes in Web 2.0 technologies, including content syndication, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media. Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 78 the last time he looked.Chris is currently Director of Social Media at Unison agency, where he is expanding their social media offerings by starting a social media practice. Unison is an integrated brand agency combining strategic, creative, and technology services to help their clients build and strengthen their brands.

    Chris recently completed a five-month contract with Reputation.com as Team Lead, Special Projects, in sales for their “Whale Hunting” team. Chris was one of two whale hunters tasked with closing clients for their high-end Picasso Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Executive Privacy products, from $10,000-$100,000/month campaigns for high-net-worth and high-profile individuals and Fortune 500 companies.

    Prior to Reputation.com, Chris ran his own digital PR and marketing company, Abraham Harrison, LLC, from Washington, DC, Portland, Oregon, and Berlin, Germany, with clients including: Kimberly Clark, The Daily, Habitat for Humanity, Greenpeace, The Fresh Air Fund, International Medical Corps, Sharp, Pew, Alzheimer’s Association, and others. Previous to starting AH, Chris worked on the Interactive Team at Edelman Public Affairs in Washington, DC, consulting with clients such as Wal-Mart, Shell, and GE on blogger and social media strategy. Before Edelman, Chris was Technology Strategist for New Media Strategies, a pioneer in online brand promotion and protection with clients including Sci-Fi Channel, Buena Vista, TomTom, Paramount Pictures, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Disney, Reebok, EA, RCA, and NBC.

    In the early nineties, Chris joined The Meta Network, a seminal online virtual community based in Washington, and so began his career as an expert in online community development, social media, social networking, and online collaboration. Chris has had a web presence since 1993 and started blogging in 1999, focusing on community, connection, innovation, and brand extension. As a technologist, Chris has consulted T. Rowe Price, the US Department of Treasury CIO, Friendster, Deutsche Telekom, and others.

    Chris has taught blogging courses for the Writer’s Center of Bethesda, has been a guest lecturer on public affairs blogging at Columbia University’s SIPA school and the American University in Washington, DC, the Emergent Technologies Advisor to the Urban Institute’s Communications Advisory Board, and a Renaissance Weekend participant since 2001. Additionally, he is the go-to expert on social media, citizen journalism, technology, and the Internet for BBC World Service, CNN Radio, and CNet’s BNet.

    Chris received his BA in American Literature from The George Washington University, studied American Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, studied French at the University of Hawaii, and studied German at both the Washington and Berlin Goethe-Instituts. In addition to the Huffington Post, Chris blogs for his own blog, ChrisAbraham.com, for Biznology.com, for Socialmedia.biz, and for MarketingConversation.com. Chris has written for AdAge’s DigitalNext and Global Idea Network blogs.

    Chris is indulging his mid-life crisis by buying a motorcycle and taking up the shooting sports including trap and target shooting with both rifle and pistol. Until he gets the novelty of gun ownership out of his system, you’ll find Chris in South Arlington, Virginia, right across the river from his beloved Washington, DC.

    Chris is president of Gerris digtial and director of social media at Unison.

    (Disclosure: I am a former employee of Reputation.com and they continue to sponsor my work)