Search Engine Marketing

You Know You’re a Search Geek if...

By Ken Lyons December 03, 2009 Posted In: Search Engine Marketing Comments: 6

You know you're a search geek if...Okay. I admit it. I'm a big ole' search geek. My life pretty much revolves around search. I mainly read search marketing blogs, have a SEO consulting biz on the side, and work full time for WordStream, where I'm surrounded by other search marketers all day, and we sell search marketing tools to members of the search marketing industry. So my search geekiness should come as no surprise.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to create a list and share some of the truly nerdy search stuff I’ve done that makes me an uber geek. Plus, this should help anyone who's on the fence, wondering if they are or aren't a search geek too. Because if you've ever done any of these things, then well...

You Know You’re a Search Geek if...

You're impressed by domain names

When we moved into our new office last month, I called the local spring water rep to set up water delivery. He told me to place an order through "" Like a true search geek, I was instantly in awe of such a rare and remarkable domain and immediately shot it around to everyone in marketing at WordStream in an email geekishly titled, "Awesome Domain." The responses were just as enthusiastic, with comments like "Holy crap! Sick domain," and "Nice score!" My fellow search geeks didn't dissappoint.

Anyone has ever said to you, "Please stop ruining the Internet!"

Google temporarily blocks my home IP address on a pretty regular basis for "suspicious behavior." Don't ask... This always seems to happen right when my wife needs to search for something of importance. Seeing Google search blocked (yet again), she usually gets very frustrated with me because she's forced to use "stupid Bing," as she calls it (God forbid), and curses me out the whole time she's typing, chiding "Can you please stop ruining the Internet!!"

You've compared your site rankings in the Caffeine Sandbox vs Google

Let's face it, nobody on planet Earth besides search geeks are comparing Google vs Google Caffeine results. I saw a very funny comment about Google Caffeine recently (forget who the author was...) that "the Caffeine Sandbox is Google’s way of keeping an eye on SEOs." I’m sure there’s some level of truth to that.

You base baby names on available domains

This has to be the ultimate act of search geekiness. When coming up with baby names for my kids, I ran all suggestions through the Go Daddy domain search to see if the vanity URL was available (first names + last If it was taken, I crossed it off the list. Needless to say, my wife wasn't a big fan of my baby naming process. She said I was obsessed with search, and didn't want to base our baby's name on domain availability. Like other crazy "non search geeks," she doesn't see the value in being able to squat your kid's domain names for them.

You bicker over who came up with a geeky search saying first

There’s been some contention at WordStream over who in our office coined, “The Olympics of Search,” a term we use for hypercompetitive search verticals. WordStream Founder Larry Kim claims he invented it, so do I, and we’ve had some lighthearted disputes who is the true originator is. BTW, leave it to a couple of dweeby guys who stare at computer monitors all day getting all geeked up over analytics reports to compare their jobs to the Olympics and themselves to Olympic athletes. Anyway, for the record, I invented the term. And now it’s in print and indexed by Google, which makes it official by search geek standards. Ken Lyons, creator of the phrase “The Olympics of Search.” There. Argument over. Ha!

You criticize every rinky dink website’s lack of optimization

When I see poorly optimized websites, I'm compelled to rant and rave while my poor wife rolls her eyes. I can’t help myself. And it's not done to be malicious. It's more out of frustration. Local restaurants are the worst offenders. They are notorious for having poorly designed and optimizated sites. My favorite Indian restaurant’s website, for example, drives me bananas. They recently moved and decided to announce it in the home page title tag of all places: "Punjab Indian restaurant has moved up the street to a bigger and ..." Of course, finding their phone number on the site though is impossible. It's not on the footer, not on the home page, not in the meta description (all logical places). Must be on the "Contact" page, right? Nope, that prompts Outlook email. Now, who the Hell emails a restaurant their take-out order? I could go on, but I've lost interest. End of rant.

You optimize your home videos on YouTube so they’ll outrank your friends

Yes. Sadly, I’ve done this. And I've even gone so far as to building links to my kids' YouTube posts just so other parents' videos of their kids wouldn't outrank my daughter’s dance recital in the universal SERPs. I know. I'm a petty, petty search geek.

You fix broken site links in your spare time

This isn't mine, but I felt it was worth sharing to demonstrate true search geekiness. Larry Kim recently told us that when that needs a break from the "daily grind" of developing new WordStream products, he runs Xenu Link Sleuth internal link reports and goes across the WordStream site fixing any broken links he finds. He calls this his "me time." True story.

Okay, so those are some tales of search geekiness. Now it's your turn. Feel free to add to the list and share your own search geek anecdotes in the comments below.

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Thursday December 03, 2009

Richard (not verified) Said:

Thanks Ken, that was fun.

I'll take honors for being the 1st to retweet your article.

Sadly, I ranked only 2 1/2 out of 8 on your quiz. But I aspire to greater SEO geekiness.

I can only add these questions to your SEO Geek quiz:

You know you're an SEO Geek if...

1) You tell friends your SERP rank for certain keywords (even if your friends don't know what SERP or keywords are).
2) You renew domain names that you've never implemented, and never will implement.
3) You visit WordStream once a day hoping for articles, just like this one.

Thanks Ken.

Thursday December 03, 2009

Ken Lyons Said:

Richard, greats adds to the list.

I'm so guilty of #2. Senseless domain hording.

Friday December 04, 2009

Dali Burgado (not verified) Said:

This is freakin' hilarious, Ken.

Thank you so much for the ROFL. So true. I do the rants and raves.

You got me on the baby names though! lol

Saturday December 05, 2009

Dave Davis (not verified) Said:

Hahah! Absolutely love the "Stop ruining the Internet" one! Been there!

My suggestions would be:

You know certain keywords positions and you tell people to "search for x and click the first result" rather than giving them a URL.

Monday December 07, 2009

Ken Lyons Said:

Ha, good one, Dave. I do that too.

It's often easier than giving them your URL. Plus, it's a way to show off your SEO skills too.

My wife loves looking for reviews online and as we all know those verticals are notoriously domainted by super spammy affiliates. The other night, I pointed out to my wife that the "digital camera review site" she was on (that was riddled with Adsense and affiliate links) may not be the most unbiased or trusted source of information. She got really frustrated and said, " and your SEO buddies are the worst! You're spoiling Google for everybody."

Monday December 07, 2009

Jeff C (not verified) Said:

I don't call myself a geek but maybe I should start to. I got my two babies' names from two available domain names. Thanks for the info. :)

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