Like many companies, Netconcepts recently celebrated the holidays with a little staff get together and mystery gift exchange. There were the usual, but always popular gifts of coffee, tea, chocolates, and wine, as well as a very popular Atari console ... and as we did the "you can open one or steal one" gift rule, it certainly was the most fought over gift.
Unfortunately due to timing, Stephan wasn't able to make it as he was out visiting our friends in Seattle and participating in a great SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday otherwise he might have been torn between the Atari and the unique gift that follows and shows that even search geeks have a sense of humor (twisted as it may be).
Every search marketer has their bag of tricks and tools, but why settle for a bag when you can have a kit ... or more accurately, a box with built in carrying handle? And at $15 or less, the cost limit for our gift exchange, within range of even the budding search marketer.
What comes in a Search Marketer's Kit? I thought you'd never ask. Luckily, each item in the kit comes with its own identification tag.
You first start with (1) a fine quality white corrugated box of the single-construction type, hinged lid with locking tabs, and a recessed plastic handle that can fold flat when not in use. Add in a Styrofoam interior for safe travels and you are ready for your first on-site visit. Note: being one who has had delayed luggage on all of my trips, including not only both the outgoing and return on one occasion, but even on the last trip where I carried-on (don't ask), I'd highly recommend this as a carry-on only.
Of course, before hitting the road, you need an actual client to go see to begin with. Gaining new clients is always an exciting time worthy of celebrating, and what better way than with a little bottle of bubbly, hence the (2) New Client Celebratory Kit.
Like any industry, there are of course differing philosophies and approaches. Not to discriminate, the kit comes with the required (3) Official SEO White Hat (Professor White Hat Approved, aka, Stephan, who may or may not have actually approved) and (4) Official SEO Black Hat (Dave Naylor version, who also may or may not have actually approved).
Social media has experienced and will continue to experience dramatic growth in importance in 2008 and beyond. But of course, not all social circles are the same and a top-notch search marketer needs the right tool for the right environment, such as the (5) Domestic Social Marketing Kit, (6) International Social Marketing Kit (St. Pauli Girl lager, in the 24fl. oz. size, of course), or the (7) Bad Neighborhood Social Marketing Kit (Falls Brewing Dirty Blonde English Style Blonde Ale).
With search engines devaluing of directories and traditional link building strategies, search marketers must rely on additional link building strategies. Perhaps one of the most valuable is the ever important linkbait. Clearly no search marketing kit could truly carry the label "official" or "super deluxe" without (8) Rand Fishkin SEOmoz Links - Premium Linkbait (Beef Jerky links).
New domains of course present many challenges to search marketers. While there are tactics that can be employed to help minimize the delay in securing page-1 rankings, such as the aforementioned social media and linkbait, a good search marketer also knows they have to set expectations, hence the (9) Official Yahoo! New Domain Deck of Cards to keep clients occupied while their site builds up authority.
The Google smack-down on paid text-links left many link buyers and sellers scrambling to minimize or avoid a downgrade of their PageRank. Matt Cutts, Google's web spam cop, did of course clarify Google's position; that they aren't opposed to the practice of buying or selling text links, but there are right ways and wrong ways, and doing so as a way to influence search engines or a site's PageRank is definitely the wrong way. Thankfully the kit also included a (10) Matt Cutts PageRank Protection Kit (and I'm sure, this 2-pack of condoms may also not have been officially approved by Matt either) to add "nofollow" to any links you sell.
These kinds of products always feature some kind of free bonus and this kit appears to be no exception. While much of the focus of the kit seems to be on the newest approaches, there is a hat-tip to some old-school products, such as the (11) eMail Marketing Kit.
Perhaps though, the greatest value and most exciting component of the kit is the (12) Official Google Future PageRank Predictor Tool (although probably not official, approved, or otherwise). This one piece may be worth the $15 all on its own. Apparently, you surf to the page that you are wondering about, check the PageRank of that page, line up the OGFPRPT indicator on the PageRank, and then spin it to get a prediction of the future PageRank for that page. While we haven't tested it just yet, it apparently comes with an accuracy of +/- 10.
Note: Sadly, the Mr. Potato Head Santa and the mini Christmas tree are not included.
I don't know about you, but I'm already excited with what the 2008 version may have in store. Will this be the hot item for next season? Only time will tell. Perhaps it will end up going head-to-head against another Atari console next year.