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Paranoid? Stay the Course.

I grew up in the Glory Days, when all these cool and interesting things were going on, and people were like this or that... and we learned a lot as we grew up. Just like you did. No matter when you grew up, basically. Except for a relatively few relatively short periods of history, we all grew up during such times. There was glory. If you lived life you witnessed it.

Even if you were dumb, or poor, or oppressed, or disabled, or whatever... you were still alive. How did you live? Yeah, things have certainly changed today. We might even be in one of those relatively rare and hopefully brief periods of history I alluded to earlier.

Anyway -- one of the details I remember is the phrase "you're PARANOID!". If, during play, one kid showed concern about something that hadn't perturbed the others, the threat would be instantly assessed by a confident 5 year old who would then proclaim "don't be PARANOID!".

I'm guessing this was at the start of the American Medication era ... following the introduction of Valium as an elixer-like magical solution for post-war adult boredom fortified with low self esteem and peppered with angst. While parents yelled things at each other, before escaping to alcohol, Valium, or sloppy but sexually liberal neighbor's garages or laundry rooms, the kids picked up the more biting alliterative audio bits to reuse on the playground or in the back yard.

Like a fragment of some mondo mashup like "I'm OK, you're OK, and neither of us is afraid of Virginia Wolf, Dr. Spock!" twisted into pre-school socially stigmatizing dramatic accusation.

Life is great. This play with my friends is awesome. We are all safe. My Mommy loves me, and is blissfully happy. My Daddy is important, strong, proud and happy. Santa is real, and my dog will live forever, just like me. And if you even suggest there may be ANY reason why any of that is not 100% true, then wow YOU'RE PARANOID!

Future Posts:

  • bring back /fake-reviews-cesspool.html, wednesday-fun.html, seo-consulting-2.html, google-chrome-privacy.html, health-vault.html, google-agency.html, google-go-words.html, google-toolbar.html, free-seo-tools.html, panda-update-seo.html, trailing-slash-seo.html, seo-zend-framework.html, seo-correlations.html, nytimescom.html

So Much Broke

A Story: NameJet activates an online auction because I have a backorder preset at $79, which appears to be a good deal today for the owner of the domain. He previously reserved it, held it, and eventually came to realize it had no liquid value.

Since he sees an opportunity to sell it for $79 instead of suffering a humiliating reverse dutch auction leading to a $9 liquidation, NameJet holds an "auction" with only 1 participant... me. And after a few days, NameJet charges me $79 for the domain.

Plus a few dollars more as a "fee" for doing nothing. I get charged $83 after tax.

Then NameJet tosses the domain over to its partner Network Solutions, and sends me a notification that I can claim it there. Under the rules of this archaic and corrupt system, NetworkSolutions will not hold my domain hostage for 60-90 days. I'm not permitted to transfer it anywhere else.

If I update the contacts on the domain, it restarts the lockdown clock.

NetworkSolutions will now bombard me with marketing emails, including reminding me that the public contact information on the domain is "whatever NameJet told them to put on it", and I can pay them extra to put "privacy protection" onto the domain.

And there's another twist... the domain is NOT in my Network Solutions account. That account is empty.

After 45 minutes with Network Solutions tech support, no one knows why the domain is not in my account. They see that it is, and even shared a screen shot with me showing the domain in "my account".

When I asked what account it was, they balked at telling me. A security risk, they say, to tell me my own account ID. You see, they use account "names" in the dashboard I get to see, but account ID numbers internally.

So Tech Support can see the domain in account XXX but can't verify that my account "whatever name" is account XXX. And I was the ONLY one able to step through the logic and suggest... gasp... that MAYBE, just MAYBE, the account he was seeing with the domain in it was NOT the same account I was seeing when I logged into my named account.

Neither of us could verify that, because neither of us had complete information. I guess that is because... because... it would be a security risk?

You see, this horribly broken system is so corrupt, it is costing me hundreds of dollars to have that domain, even before I have the domain.

These poor tech companies that collect millions every month (for managing a database of text records) are such VICTIMS of fraudsters, that they need to hold me hostage out of an abundance of caution. To keep me safe, of course.

Oh I know, it's a "glitch".. these things happen... you know how "technology" is. I need to have patience and "allow" them to find and fix the problem. The problem they created. The problem that prevented me from getting the domain that I contracted with NameJet (who got paid immediately), because I now have to spend hours on tech support with Network Solutions, and somewhere at NetSol has to do whatever as glitch-fixing.

Eventually (I hope), if I watch carefully, I will get the domain and then be able to request a transfer to my actual domain registrar of choice, to add it to my portfolio or perhaps use it. If I don't watch carefully, Network Solutions will lock the domain in my account, and charge me very high renewal fees once renewal time comes around -- typically 3 or 4 times the average renewal rate at other registrars.

Oh, and when is that renewal? Nobody knows yet... it's another "glitchy" variable in the corrupt process. I'll learn after I get access to the domain... sometimes it's just a few months away.

So broken.

Wisdom and Experiences vs. Beliefs and Commitments

One person is very experienced. It's clear from hir LinkedIn (hir resume, or CV). Another is wise. This is well-known, and although not everyone knows of The Wisdom in That Head, there is no contrary evidence to refute it is true, which means a lot today.

If you Google the name, you WILL find repeats of what is claimed in the speaker bio. You WILL NOT find contrary opinions.

They are both on a panel at your conference. Would you believe what happened next?

The experienced professional had enough wisdom to carefully manage the public appearance, so as not to appear foolish, or impetuous, or (gasp!) uninformed. Hir talk was powerful and irrefutably impressive, as was widely expected. Not much risk was taken, however. Nearly everything had been said before, and published to both Medium and LinkedIn.

The Wiser one had already prepared to appear adjacent to the trendy sensation, with hir modern, absolutely irrefutable assertions, which would of course be backed up with powerful evidence that extra-clearly demonstrated the absolute certainty of hir conclusions.

And most of that was easily found on Google, so prepartion was not difficult. Unfortunately, the order of speaker appearance was not known in advance.

None of that mattered, however, provided The Wiser avoided stating clearly any of Those Things that The Experience One was expected to repeat. Hir talk was not likely to include new revelations, and so the risk of alienation was low.

The conference organizers knew what they were doing.

But... did you know how to listen to this orchestrated show?

Probably not. That really doesn't matter, because it'll be a great show. It will tick all of the boxes, defining it as a great success.

The Speakers were there, and did Their Things. The People were there, validating the conference and the speakers. And YOU were there, which confirmed your value as participant in the community or industry in your own mind, via the evident Proof of Many comprised on all The Right People attending (and wishing they could attend), the Proof of One asserted externally by the Wise Ones and The Experienced Ones on the panels and asking questions, and the ever-essential faux Proof of One invented by your ego: you can't believe you got to go, and you were there, and it was awesome.

Long sentences of layered logic are addicting to those able to carefully follow them. They are frustrating to those who cannot.

Does that make them good, or bad?

The Wise One knows the answer, and knows why. The Experienced One will simply agree with the two-part assertion - that long sentences of layered, structured logic can be rewarding, and they can be annoying. And hir position will not be wrong.

The Wise One will not reveal this, nor reveal that this is obvious to anyone who bothered to look.

The Experienced One will share a laugh with the crowd... almost ALL of the crowd... by noting the deep meaning within the assertion, and affirming how so very true it is first with respect to the amazing seemingly-biological reward associated with following the complex logic expressed via a nuanced flow of language, and then firmly validating all of Those People in the audience who find such communications frustrating and difficult.

It's a show. It's all a show.

Collectivism interferes with Personal Freedoms

Seems odd to have to say this, but I discovered that some very smart people in my technical fields of endeavor support some of the collectivist activity we have seen here in America.

I had difficulty believing this. The very same individuals who are honestly excellent at understanding scale, and the importance of scale when designing or engineering systems, do not undertand how that same scale concept applies to collectivism (including socialism and communism).

Although history clearly shows numerous failures of collectivism to scale (and zero instances of successful deployment?), I understand that many of these brilliant tech people do not know nor care to know history.

While every one of these successful technologists and tech business people clearly enjoy financial privilege in our society, freely spending what many would consider exhorbitant amounts of what they consider to be their extra cash on personal indulgences. These are not limited to $1500 iphones and $7000 cameras, but also on "experiences", such as a recent "Fully-catered Arctic Journey" one recently signed up for, on what you and I would probably consider short notice.

They enjoy considerable personal freedoms, and openly demonstrate their desire to enjoy the privileged lifestyles. All the while they openly declare support for (and often financially support) collectivist actions.

Yes, I am noting people who live in Seattle and Portland, but also see this in California and even in one case, New Jersey.

Collectives are popping up all over the country, promising "new" mechanisms for "taking care of each other" via organized pooling of efforts and resources. You may have missed it. It may be flying under-the-radar of COVID.

Look closely, and you'll see emerging problems with governance of these endeavors, and you'll probably also see emerging declarations of rules and policies. They are typically longer than my tech peers would normally bother to read. They read like what we saw in the Soviet Union during its communist totalitarian days... glowing declarations of intentions that protect the most vulnerable, while imposing reasonable rules on everyone. Complex multi-layer logical hierarchies of rules that seem to have been crafted from an end-point to a goal-justified deployment. Almost always limiting the freedoms of those able to contribute, in order to allegedly increase the freedoms of those more vulnerable comrades.

The ends justify the means.

The ends are honorable social justice. Protecting humanity from a recognized insult.

This might be unaffordable healthcare, or food shortages due to COVID shutdowns, or any number of other recognized "needs in the community". Just look at the funding mechanisms on the web, and filter for "collective" -- you'll see hundreds.

As soon as any of them gains funding, the issue of integrity arises... who is getting the money? How is it being spent? And there are the usual declared hierarchies that prioritize the most vulnerable, and justify sacrifice by everyone else, for the glorious ends to be achieved.

Often these are template-based. Someone is developing and distributing templates for that problematic part... I wonder how that works?

Apparently my peers think that there is enough "extra cash" in their pockets to allow their local communities to extract suitable amounts via these collectives, without impacting their own iphone upgrade schedule.

There is, right? The rich should pay more taxes, right?

Of course there's enough to still go on that week-long wildlife photography "course" that has been delayed until Rhodesia re-opens from the COVID shutdown. Oh, and that's a business expense, right?

This is not about Charity

To those thinking "he doesn't want to share -- this is the problem we have in capitalist society" I say "Go Away." You're the kind of idiot I don't want reading my blog. You see black and white, and fail at all of the nuanced navigation tasks that real life requires of us.

Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of The Way.

LEAD: If you try to lead but few follow, you have failed. Rethink your understandings as they are off.

FOLLOW: If you follow, respect the self-protective instincts nature gave you. Otherwise, you seal your own fate (which is fine), but it might not match your expectations.

GET OUT OF THE WAY: If you do any forward thinking at all, let it be that if you don't lead, and aren't following, then you are in someone's way. If they are leading or following, you will suffer consequences that may not be in line with your expectations. If they, too, are simply "in the way", you may want to consider your environment -- environments full of useful idiots are very likely to be consumed by a slave owner, and there will be very little you can do about it once that happens.

Interesting reading...does it reveal how support for collectivism (and redistribution of wealth) is founded in resentment and selfishness?

Spectator Life

Are you a participant life, or merely a spectator?

Sometimes it seems to me that people today are more spectator than participant. They watch... and even watch themselves, almost as-if dissociated from their own live's activities. The proportion.. the fraction of life they dedicate to watching vs. doing, seems to be increasing steadily.

Narcissism has a lot to do with "looking in the mirror" (or the pond reflection). But narcissism seems evaluative of the self (and often critical) and of others (via contrasts to self), even if the self-image is wildly distorted.

I am accustomed to "ego" and "conceit" expressed by celebrities and "beautiful people" (narcissists?), even when it is largely based on appearance, or make-pretend, such as is the case with Hollywood stars fully-engaged in cosmetic surgery and cos-play.

But this new "me" type of attention focus is not introspective (and definitely not overtly self critical). And it seems to eschew comparisons to others.

Is it possible for humans to actively pretend to admire their obviously imperfect selves from a distance, and not subconsciously develop low self-esteem and suffer the psychiatric maladies commonly associated with low self-esteem? Cognitive dissonance?

Is it possible for a burning fuse, connected to an explosive, to burn burn burn and keep burning without ever ending in an explosion?

Only in cartoons.

Is it possible for a sane human to witness a continually burning fuse on a stick of dynamite, which keeps burning but never detonates, and still experience the emotions associated with a lit stick of dynamite about to explode?

Of course not. Adaptation happens.

Probably unrelated: Anyone else notice the increasing anhedonia I'm seeing just about everywhere in America?

SEO Wasted Time 2021

It's 2021. SEO has changed. A lot. Yet, I still see a majority of SEO efforts deployed are optimizing in ways that really don't matter much today.

I just reviewed a domain offer. I took a look at the potential buyer's current website. It looks great. And they are successful. Yet... my SEO judgment tells me this site is probably not doing well with organic rankings.

My wise-eye tells me this... my gut. My honed instinct.

Like most professional SEOs today, I have limited tools to help me "see" actual evidence of SEO performance. Oh, sure, we have tools. They just aren't useful. And this is a big part of the problem. Do SEMRush, AHRef, and the like actually report truthful, actionable insights that help with competitive organic SEO efforts?

If the tools look great, yet are not trustworthy with respect to the actual reality upon which organic search rankings are based, then those tools are deceptive. If you follow them, you are wasting effort to a degree equivalent to the amount of effort you put into the SEO, plus the amount of effort you put into evaluating your performance using those deceptive tools, plus the amount of effort you did NOT put into doing what actually matters for search marketing performance, plus.... a whole host of additional facets of competitive webmastering that combine to increase the cost side of your balance sheet.

This can be very expensive, if you measure return by organic search performance.

What am I talking about??

For example, the very useful SEMRush tool shows me their data on each query appearance for the domain. This would be how often they noticed this domain in the search results, when they scraped Google from wherever they scraped Google. SEMRush then calculates a number they suggest reflects the relative portion of that website's organic search traffic that is generated by that search query.

I have no way to know how accurate these data are, but I don't need to. I simply understand them to be SEMRush data, which I am considering.

In this case (like many others), I see so many long-tail search queries and keywords, comprising such a small percentage of the total website traffic.

That means a lot of content work was done, to generate a lot of ranking keywords, that do not produce search marketing results.

Another useful feature is the CPC estimate, or percentage of spend. The idea here is that maybe the search query could have been purchased via PPC auction, which may have incurred an estimated cost, which might mean that this organic search ranking performance has a "value" when compared to what it would have cost to purchase the opportunity with PPC.

That's a lot of "maybe", but the data are still interesting if you consider them critically.

The PPC price estimate is not an actual cost, does not generate traffic in the same proportions as organic listings (absolutely nor relatively), etc etc etc. Yet, some marketing manager somewhere is believing that this value is what they got "for free", after spending on SEO.

Here I see thousands of seemingly-relevant long tail keywords, with mostly zero PPC values.

Each of these "top ranking results" belongs to a blog post on a niche topic, obviously SEO "optimized" to rank for those keywords. Someone's SEO Content Shop is getting paid, and producing content.

And it's a collossal waste of time and money.

Did this web site rank for the actual "money terms" known to be the primary interest of their highest-converting, primary market customers who use search engines?

No -- Not. At. All.

Does anyone know this?

American Exceptionalism

American exceptionalism is an interesting current topic of much, often heated, debate. Sadly, it is ignored more than it is addressed. That seems to be the norm these days - ignoring that which you dislike, or wish did not exist.

My primary wonder on the topic is whether the phrase refers to "American" as in the nation of the United States, or "American" as in individuals (like me).

I know... patriotic statesmen currently mean "America's Exceptional Character". But to me, more fitting is the idea that "American Exceptionalism" refers to the striving of individual Americans to be the very best. And I don't mean "the very best they can be". I mean the very best.

This is a priority trait amongst many of my friends and associates in the web/internet space. We want to be the best.

Regardless of how you decide to define (or enforce) your borders, economies, or societies... globalist or nationalist or based on any of numerous personality traits (or defects), we individuals want to endeavor to achieve success by distinguishing ourselves amongst our peers based on performance.

We want to win, but only if the prize goes to whomever is the best.

So why then "American" exceptionalism? If it is about performance and merit, why define national boundaries? Why not just compete globally?

Because... as is painfully obvious to everyone with actual skin-in-the-game, most endeavors are culturally bound. They vary with culture... language, mores, standards, and all of the practical realities that follow from those, and the nation states (and borders) that have evolved over millennia.

If you view business as a game, you simply can't play many games on a global scale.Most games don't scale globally. And when they suffer under scaling constraints, actors (politicians) intervene in ways that bias the rules away from merit.

There are many foolish people who believe that the world can use one language. Those same people then discover that nobody wants to speak one universal language. So the fools start to impose rules about using language... to force people to comply with what they initially asserted was a natural evolutionary end point, and only reluctantly (if at all) acknowledge is a tyrannical imposition of structure driven by covert objectives that bias the "game" away from merit and performance.

As I previously noted... exceptional individuals do not want to play biased games, especially biased games manipulated by dishonest actors for covert reasons that benefit underperforming players.

American Exceptionalism is the idea that an American strives to be the best. Not just "to win" (which I see is part of the modern corruption of America imposed by corrupt elites on the entire world), but to literally, figuratively, and philosophically be the best that can be. That means accomplish the best, which ultimately benefits everybody, not just Americans, or elites, or whatever team is currently in power.

Of course that criteria of what is best, is not easy to define. There are always compromises to be made, and interim stages, and adjustments and compensations and ideals. But mature adults understand that, and are capable of maintaining eyes on objectives while (fairly, justly) managing propgress towards "better".

The Problem with

If you use and think you are "negotiating" for a domain purchase, you are likely missing one very important aspect: it is a broken system.

While the Domain Agents website pretends there is an ongoing negotiation based on your initial "offer" (whatever it was), there is, in fact, no such negotiation under way. There may have simply been your offer, and a decline.

If you leave a "note" and think that is part of a conversation, you have been misled. There is no conversation. The Domain Agents system will only allow a response if the "seller" submits to an agreement to be in negotiations to sell the domain (at a named price). Therefore, unless the seller is making a price offer (which is allegedly legally binding), no communications will show up in response to your note. A seller eager to answer you, but unwilling to "agree" to the DomainAgent assertion that all communications are a "binding agreement" to sell the domain, will not answer you.

Your mistake was engaging with Domain Agents, and agreeing to their terms. You would have been much better off simply emailing the domain contact listed in the public WHOIS registry.

Don't use these automated, anonymous systems -- they are merely promising the moon and taking the fees, while skimming the easy anonymous transactions. In your case, they may be ruining any chance you have of actually negotiating for a domain name.

Unless I am willing to "name a price" (which will not be the case for most worthwhile domain names), there is simply no way to discuss (or negotiate) through the Domain Agents system.

Domain Name as NFT

Some years ago I got involved in a project to investigate provenance, and progressive models of art valuations:

Provenance (from the French provenir, 'to come from/forth') is the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object...

The project wasn't a winner, mostly because of the founders, and because the source of the ideas driving the endeavoring part of the endeavor was illicitly driven.

If you know me you know what I mean by that.

While much of American English is ignored by today's overwhelmingly left-brain-driven generations, illicit is not the same as illegal. Illicit is neither the same as "immoral", which itself is not as strongly tied to religion as today's readers believe.

In competitive SEO, you must be honest about your true intentions. Any deception at the senior level of a project will cause failure, via one or more usually unexpected and typically misunderstood vectors.

I will refer to a startup or search-related marketing project as illict if the drivers are dishonest, or otherwise misrepresent the true intentions for the project.

Provenance and Art Value

When considering provenance, you are acknowledging value emanating from available factual evidence supporting the originality and/or the historical context of an artistic work.

By acknowledging provenance, you acknowledge value in the work that is not intrinsic to the work as a piece of art, but as a non-fungible work.

An exact replica of the Mona Lisa is not as valuable as The Mona Lisa. Only proof of source (e.g. provenance) can differentiate the exact replica from the original.

If the difference in value between such an exact replica and the original Mona Lisa was, say, 10 million units of fiat currency, then one could argue that the satisfactory provenance that proved the original to be the original, and not the replica, was worth... 10 million.

Okay... so maybe that's a stretch. The Mona Lisa was worth 10 million, but could not have been traded for 10 million without the provenance-proof step of the transaction. So what is the value of the Mona Lisa? What is the value of the provenance-proving steps?

Domain as NFT

While the world explores the concept of NFT (the popularly -elected moniker for "non-fungible token"), I wonder who owns the domain name.

A domain name is a non-fungible token. It has inherent value in the same way that the Mona Lisa does, when evaluated next to an exact-replica. There is only one of any given domain name. There are other domain names that others may deem to be equivalent (depending on use), but none are "the one" same domain name.

What is the value of a domain name?

Great question. The common joke answer is "whatever someone is willing to pay for it".

This answer reveals the NFT nature of domain names -- they are unique, and valuable, in large part because the unique nature of the domain name captures some portion of the variable market value of the name, to the potential buyers. A value that shifts unpredictably with time.

Domain names are NFTs, yet are a more valuable form of NFT than the digital NFTs everyone is gushing over today, because the world has built major systems of commerce on the domain names. The global World Wide Web is dependent upon the Domain Name System, which uses domain names as the basis of truth.

One thing preventing sky-high valuations of domain name NFTs is our co-existing awareness of the market value we can presumably extract from our currency markets in the short-to-mid term, because the systems by which we deploy a domain name for return on investment (the revenue-conversion) is based in current technologies and the DNS system.

A second big factor preventing billion dollar valuations is the risk associated with those same deployment systems. Who cares if you own A.whatever? Does it have any value at all? But we care if you own, because we acknowledge less risk for controlling than controlling A.whatever, and we acknowledge the inherent value in as unique NFT.

You can see this by comparing valuable commerce names like to the rare single-letter dot com domains like or A single-letter dot com is so rare that the auction markets value the domain at much higher levels than other domain names. Up to the limit imposed by acknowledged risks. It is worth noting that Chinese investors have been most active in buying one and two letter dot com domain names, seemingly for their NFT value.

Perhaps the domain name represents the provenance-proving step in the Mona Lisa exact-replica example. The example where it is unclear how one could value the actual, legitimate, authentic Mona Lisa from the relatively worthless exact replica Mona Lisa, without assigning the value of the authentic Mona Lisa to the provenance-proving step(s) of the sales process, instead of the work of art.

Valuing Social Constructs

Society has a lot of growing up to do. From artificially-supported fiat currencies to false equivalents of "equality", and on through the very definitions of "mental illness" and "happiness"... we are in for some impactful surprises as power is assumed by often ignorant, usually quite biased individuals (and the organizational cloaks they don to hide their individualism).

We are on our way to an eventual better understanding of how we value what we value, and what is actually of value to humans on earth. It seems obvious we failed to teach human values in school, where we should have taught human values.

I expect a bumpy road.

Cue the episode of The Twilight Zone gold has become worthless because man figured out how to manufacture it.

SEO for the Google

In 2021, we are still doing SEO for Google. The relative traffic numbers are still there, so the consultants still justify the SEO budgets. The relative ranking / traffic data remain as justification for trying to rank higher. The barriers to ranking a new site are higher than ever, which further justifies SEO spend for those who rationalize such things.

Add in the challenges posed by social media and its influencers, who have been building private audiences for many years, and can now demonstrate higher attention numbers than even popular national television news programs.

And thus the lie is exposed: Audience.

What is Google's audience?

If you're "optimizing" for The Google, you should know the audience you are competing to earn from the "search engine". That knowledge is core to your business, if your business is ranking converting opportunities (i.e. URLs) in Google.

But perhaps you have actually limited your practice to "optimizing" other people's web pages to improve their ranking in Google's SERPs. A so-called "professional SEO services provider" who increasingly generates the very rationalizations that are then used to justify spend (using testing tools). In that case, is it all just a scam? Are these "professionals" ever able to show business success that follows from allegedly successful SEO efforts, beyond the tools they use to justify the effort?

Look carefully at those tools in 2021. And look carefully at the alleged Google search audience. And then cancel those SEO Service budgets, if they aren't driving bottom line success metrics in an attributable way.

But if you're pleasantly surprised...if you see that your SEO is delivering on the promise of more, better-converting traffic to your URLs, then I suggest you increase your spend, while you can.

John Andrews and

Someone once told me that when they hear a conference speaker describe some SEO issue, they prioritize finding out "what would JA do..." as their next step. This blog was named "JohnOn" because it represents my opinions "on" a variety of topics (most related to entreprenuring using the web, in competition with other publishers).

A few selected references noted from a brief period when I was public with my SEO thoughts (a random few of many -- I see no reason to list them all here):

  • Sole guest on a segment of Webmaster Radio, where I was literally grilled by the host on a variety of SEO topics, as if he was capitalizing on his chance to get some free SEO consulting he could use for his own SEO consulting business. He admitted during the interview that, yes, I really did know a lot about SEO. LOL
  • Quoted in Bloomberg Business Week, on Google's and Demand Media's co-dependency (2011)
  • "John andrews is one of the smartest industry folks i've ever met", said the author of Killer Facebook Ads (in the book).
  • Cited as an essential resource in the book "111 SEO Tips" (published in German)
  • Cited for defining competitive website optimizing as an effective practice, in the book Website Visibility: The Theory and Practice of Improving Rankings
  • "John Andrews is one of the smartest, most perceptive people in search marketing", noted by search conference organizer in 2008, in a profile published in advance of a rare conference appearance.
  • Invited and sponsored to attend/speak at numerous conferences, some of which I accepted and attended. These include TRAFFIC (several times), Search Engine Strategies (SES), Search Marketing Expo (SMX-Advanced), Domain Roundtable, Search Fest, and others.
  • Recommended as one of 3 resources for business people seeking top-tier insights into web publishing: "John Andrews.... you'll need to read between the lines a bit as he's not going to just lay out every tactic or shift in black and white. He'll suggest things to consider and in general he's way ahead of the curve. Read everything on his site and sign up for his newsletter."
  • I have known 2 former Rock Stars who became web marketers/SEOs, and this compliment was published by the one who went on to win a lot of web marketing awards: "Some writers have more guts than others...John is fearless and totally gets it. There was some buzz in 2010 about how effective certain SEO firms, known for correlation studies, are at reverse engineering Google’s algorithm. This post from John Andrews is the definitive one to our mind, and challenged other thought leaders in respectful and compelling ways."

Quoting My Self

"To an experimentalist, everything is an experiment. Observations are rarely what they appear to be."

MediaPost highlighted my "Healthcare Search Marketing" SEO notes, so I ranked myself into position #1

MediaPost highlighted a blog post of mine about healthcare search marketing consultants and agencies. I had noted that ranking for a healthcare search term was not always associated with servicing the searchers finding the top-ranking result. If you were good at SEO you could rank for a term, even if you didn't deserve to be top-ranked for that term (

After that, I decided to rank myself for "healthcare search marketing" and promptly earned the top #1 position. I held for over a year. During that time, I received emails from professionals in the health space, complaining that I had insulted them. Remember, this was back when people actually believed Google was a benefactor for the web. Some successful yet amazingly ignorant programmers back then were so sheltered, they openly hated on SEO (even technical SEO), preaching that you could rank for relevance by just-making-good-content (Cal Evans, "Just Say No to SEO", July 2007 updated Feb 2019).

On Censorship...quoted from a 2008 interview

Prior to Threadwatch I mostly stayed out of forums and the like, due to frustrations I felt dealing with those who quietly "managed the message" as moderators. People only see what gets published, and they want to believe it’s the whole story. If they are told "we only edit out obscenities" then they believe that what they see is what was written, perhaps sans obscenities. Sadly, that is far from the truth. Posts are edited and deleted as needed to manage discussions, and often there are strong agendas at work behind that process. Threadwatch started as a place that promised not to do that, and it didn’t. I was one of the first 3 editors of Threadwatch, and I didn’t even get any instructions for doing the job. It was simply assumed that we would only fix problems, delete obvious spam and bring questionable issues up for discussion. Everyone had a voice if they exercised it. If there were too many UFO posts the community complained to the posters before any moderators did.

On Helping Others with SEO as a Consultant, quoted from an interview

I follow the consultant model in my business, rather than an agency or practice model. That means I focus strategically on those aspects of search marketing (and competitive webmastering) that bring business success rather than simply SEO success. I believe that a business looking to succeed in search marketing is actually looking to succeed online in general, not just gain more search traffic. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have that general online success model worked out yet, and their SEO efforts fail to perform cost-effectively even if they succeed based on SEO metrics alone.

Fortunately, the same knowledge an SEO needs to achieve SEO success can be used by the business itself to refine the online success portion of the overall Internet marketing equation. This can be done at the same time, and with relatively little incremental cost, via the consulting model. I hope to demonstrate that for the Search Fest audience, by showing how working effectively with an SEO at the strategy level can guide you towards overall online success, while simultaneously empowering you to effectively manage your SEO engagement and empowering your SEO to succeed on your behalf.

On Competitive Webmastering...quoted from 2008 interview

Much of what we do as search optimizers is really just good web publishing, following proper technical and usability guidelines. But as search becomes the default access channel for Internet users, building for search (search friendly publishing, or SEO) is actually necessary.

And that is a self-reinforcing thing -- the more search works for people, the more they use search. If every webmaster optimizes, they all need to optimize further to compete. So if you expect to be competitive today, you need to be search optimized. If tomorrow we have something new that is more important than search, we webmasters will need to accommodate that as well. In general, you are a competitive webmaster.

*If there is a way to contact me, it is provided at the bottom of the page.


Not 10 seconds into my first post on Substack, I broke the editor. A few clicks later attempting to unbreak what they broke during the edit process, my 2 paragraphs of prose were gone. Deleted. Never saved.

So simple a task... and so broken a process of building businesses on the web.

To this "user", Substack sucks. It only took 10 seconds to find out. After 20 minutes of signing up (investing in Substack).

Because there are both pros and cons to substack, and this "reminder" quickly shifted Substack from the "worth trying" side to the "just another broken app that will cost me in the future", I will not continue with Substack.

I know why everyone else continues with them... but that's not important to me.

For reference: wrote some draft text. Use hard returns to separate paragraphs a bit, like normal writers do, when writing. Now highlight a few lines, and use the editor toolbar to assign them to a (numbered) list. Notice how wrongly it formatted your content into a numbered list.

Good luck undoing that... you can't edit the markdown, and you can't access the list tool again.

Now look for help on formatting.. there's a link or two.. click it and... your content is gone.

Yes I understand embedded editors, toolbars, etc. Yes I have worked with TinyMCE, configured and extended it, and even "fixed" parts of it etc. I know what's involved, and how rough that road can be, and browser dependencies etc. Not my first rodeo. And... Substack sucks.

Need to reach me? Call me, or text me, or hit me up on Slack, Discord, Telegram, or other. I'm not active on Facebook, nor am I on LinkedIn.

If you need my contact details or phone number, just find someone you know who already has it, and ask them for it. #simple.

If you discover that you don't know anyone who knows me, well... sorry about that. Maybe you can you ask every SEO person you know "Do you know how to contact John Andrews?". That sometimes works well.

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