An SEO Christmas Present – Giveaway

Update: Contest is open to all. This contest is not US only. Yay!

A few months ago I decided that I wanted to do something special this Christmas for my readers and for some kids. While I’ve still been pondering what to do, I got a cool email from a friend over at one of my fav magazines and an idea was born. Boris over at Search Marketing Standard has graciously offered to give away a 3 year subscription to his magazine for the winner of my little contest (more on that in a second).

In the spirit of Christmas giving though, he’s also offered to sweeten the pot with a discounted rate for my readers and a charity match to one of my favorite charities. You’ll get a 67% discount off the price of a year’s subscription. It’s usually $15 per year and for the next 15 days you can get it for $4.95 US ($6.60 Intl) by using coupon code HOLIDAY67. (subscribe here)

Bonus: He’ll match each subscription that comes through with this coupon code with a dollar to Toys For Tots.

The Contest

So, how do you win? Well, it’s actually fairly easy. I want to know what you are doing this Christmas to change the world. No, not the whole world, just your little part of it. Just post it on your blog and ping back here to enter (trackback). At the end of next week I’ll go through the trackbacks or comments and compile a list of all the entries and make one big list. I’ll post the full list here and will choose the winner. Of course, if you have one that you think really shines, I’ll take that under advisement. I don’t really want to try voting on this one, but if there’s one that just really amazes you please let me know.

So, if you are doing anything special, from soup kitchens to Operation Xmas Child, please let me know. I want to be inspired. How are you changing your corner of the world?

Upcoming Travel – Geek Meetups?

I have a few trips coming up and if you are in any of these areas, I’d love to meet you.

November 29,30 – Las Angeles, CA (business and The Winnies)
December 10-30 – Savannah, GA (going home for XMas)
January 6-11 – Las Vegas, NV (CES)

If you are a local or are going to be there during those times, call me (408) 718-0886 and don’t get any funny/creepy ideas because I am not afraid to Kung Fu your arse. 😉

More Pics From Blogworld Expo

John Hong from Zappos, as a local, was great at showing us around Vegas. I was crushed that we didn’t have time to go to the Double Down, home of the Bacon Martini, which is the url that John asked me to credit for the photos. Well he wanted me to credit another one, but in the interest of decency I’m going with baconmartini.

Anyhoo, Double Down specializes in Punk music, and as I’m a fan of that sort of music (see my I would have enjoyed it immensely, likely as would Jeremy as he actually knew who Henry Rollins was, but it was just the past adults bedtime by the time we got around to it.

John took some great shots of us Friday night, and video of Liz acting silly. She’s lucky he only sent me the pics. 😛

Maria and I at the Blog Movie Car

Me and Maria Palma

Robyn Tippins and Jeremy Pepper at Shadows in Vegas

Me and Jeremy Pepper

Robyn Tippins

Me making fun of Jeremy’s choice in clothing

I’m getting ready to go to Webcom-Montreal now. If any of you are in Montreal, call me at 408-718-0886 so we meetup (more details on MyBlogLog blog)!

Everyone Likes To Get A New Reader

My daughter has been blogging for a while, privately. But, we have just recently allowed her to blog out in the open (ie not password protected and included in search results). Today she got her first reader/commenter that was not a member of her family.

blog readers

Remember when one reader made you feel this way? I do, and it was the coolest feeling. It’s the same feeling I get when I look at my subscriber number and it’s climbing.

It’s so nice to see that my daughter is a big blog nerd too!  Incidentally, isn’t it cool the way tweens play around with fonts and font sizes in email messages?  I wish I had the time…

PHP Developer Wanted

I have a small bit of capital for a startup I’m working on (read bootstrapping) and I need a developer. If any of you are a whiz at php and database-driven sites, please ping me with rates.

Hilarious Customer Service At BidPay Auctions

Apparently BidPay has banned my account, and a few friends, because our primary bank is at NetBank. They told us that we should ‘bank with a legitimate bank’ LOL

Not that I care, because I don’t think I’ve ever used my BidPay account, but I thought it was so funny that they think our bank is bogus. We’ve used them exclusively, other than our brokerage accounts, since 1998. They are based in Alpharetta, GA, and they have excellent (almost hyperactively inane) security and the only real-time money transfers I have ever seen. I’ve made a balance transfer in the drive through window at McDonalds before and had the money available by the time I made it to the window. They are awesome, and they have 24 hour, 365 customer support via phone. Every company, employer or client, I’ve ever worked with have had no problem with using them for direct deposit or wire transfers, including b5, Yahoo!, Intel and Google (adsense). Apparently BidPay is more concerned about security than those corporations? LOL

As well, the BidPay guy was pretty rude, so it’s not like I’m upset that we can’t use the account, but it’s just ridiculous! I guess I know who won’t be giving eBay a run for their money. Morons…

Elvis Has Left The Building

It’s with a heavy heart that I point you to Eric’s post about why he’s leaving MyBlogLog. I can’t imagine what it will be like to go to work without his inspiration and leadership.

It has been an honor working for you for the last two years. I’ve done some things that I’m really proud of and some things that make me want to hide under the bed. But these have been two of the best years of my life and I’m glad that I got to spend it with you.

Feeling Very Productive Today

Since I’ve done everything on my MIT (most important tasks) list for today, I wanted to finally take part in Wendy’s Monday Motivation.

On my MIT list today was:

1. 30 Mins on Eliptical (done)
2. Email – 500 (done)
3. Return 2 calls
4. Laundry

On my new To Do list for today is:

1. Complete An Internal File For Y!
2. Write HTML Creative For Email Campaign
3. Write One Chapter Of My Book (completely unrelated topic-History)

If I get all of this done, I’ll jump for joy. If not, I will end up doing it tomorrow, which is a crappy punishment.

Now I Know Why My Blog Was Banned From Google’s Index

Update:  Brian, from the Search Quality Team, just gave me a bit more info.

You probably have a compromised .htacess file, and maybe a .php script dropped in your cgi-bin/ directory, based on cases I’ve seen in the past.  I can’t be sure without access.  These hacking spammers tend to change and adapt.

On our end, we see pay-per-click pages when we visit the pages from Google results.  One of this spammer’s goals is to leech off your good reputation in our index to send users to pay-per-click programs, which is a clear violation of our Quality Guidelines.

Looks like when my site was hacked last year, some annoying links were added to my site without my knowledge. Take a look at what happens when you do the “” search on Google:

Google Banned

Now I have to find out how to dig through my server and find any pages like that. That should be fun 😉 Of course, I also have to find out if they’ve done it on any other domains I hold, since I also don’t want them being banned either.

So, no conspiracy, just a clever, malicious hack that will cause me hours of work…

Brian White from Google was kind enough to send me an email giving me a heads up as to what the problem was, so, “Many Thanks!” to Brian.

My guess is that spammy pages were added by a malicious third party. You may want to contact your ISP’s tech support if this is the case.

The reality is that such pages can have a negative effect on our users, so in these cases we typically prioritize a removal from our index first. We do want your site in our index 🙂

What Do You Look Like Meme?

Robyn TippinsI was tagged by Zep last week and have just slowed down enough to post a pic. Life has been busy lately…

This is pretty much what I look most of the time. I rarely let my hair down, literally and figuratively. 😉 Thanks for tagging me Zep!