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StepForth’s methods of providing search engine optimization services for Google rankings have evolved significantly over the past year. Since the release of Google’s March 30, 2005 patent application, “Information retrieval based on historical data“, our SEO and research departments have made site usability and understanding user behaviours a priority.

After reading, analysing and writing about information found in the patent application, we correctly predicted user behaviours were becoming critical factors in Google’s estimation of the relevancy or importance of documents in its index. Read more…

It has been an interesting and rather heady month here at StepForth’s news desk. Several times this month, we had the cursed blessing of realizing the absurd, awesome reach of our column, newsletter and blog.

One story we covered (or miscovered, depending on how one looks at it) led to the delisting of INewswire from Google News. Another, written eighteen months ago, was introduced as Exhibit G in the Motion for Dismissal filed as part of Traffic Power vs. BatteryFuel Suit. Lots of stuff we wrote about Google was quoted and reprinted in literally too many other places to bother trying to keep up with. The weirdest one though, the one even my mother probably wouldn’t believe is that someone at Cambridge University (the one in England) liked an article enough to reprint a hardcopy in their quarterly tech-mag. Read more…

The word “change” has over a dozen definitions, at least according to my electronic source at Princeton University. Aside from the various nouns describing what is literally cold and hard cash, my preferred use of the word is as a verb. The following definition caught my eye this morning. It applies itself quite well to a situation facing most, if not all, established SEO shops.

(v) change , alter, modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation) “The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city”” Read more…

For almost a full year we have been preaching a brand of search engine optimization that quotes heavily from the gospel of Usability. Under our marketing philosophy, sites should be designed and optimized in order to make transit from any given entry point (not necessarily the index page) to the desired goals and expectations of both visitors and site owners, as simple and intuitive as possible. Read more…

The firm I work for, StepForth Placement is making a service out of cleaning up other people’s search marketing messes. That alone is not big news. As a part of our general services SEO firms have been cleaning up other people’s messes for years. What is big news is that Google finally appears to be taking action against some of the most egregious forms of “black-hat” SEO techniques. Cleaning up messy SEO might be more important than ever. Read more…

Fierce windstorms have plauged Southern Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia for the past five days. Last night’s storm was the worst by far causing blackouts over much of the region.

StepForth’s downtown Victoria office is up and running again however several of our workers who telecommute (myself included) awoke to find our homes and home offices were without power. Suffice it to say we are compensating the best we can. Read more…

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Longest Two Day Weekend, Ever

Change seems to be the theme of our story these days with the Internet, search marketplace and our daily set of tasks morphing rapidly. Change is a good thing but never comes without its price. For us that price has been painful, literally.

The StepForth staff has just survived what has to be counted as the longest, most physically challenging weekend in the nine year history of our firm. Bill is still down sick, Scott is temporarily offline, Ross, Mark and I have just recently gotten back online, and our new offices are still turned upside down. Read more…

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

StepForth Placement Moving

StepForth is leaving its quiet, residential space in the Fernwood neighbourhood of Victoria and moving downtown to its new Bastion Square offices.

The move is prompted in part by the tremendous growth of our industry over the past few years. We’ve grown too, bringing on new staff, upgraded services and a growing list of marketing partners. Also, the new location is simply too nifty to pass up.

This will be our last full day in our current space. On Friday, we start the process of ripping out the servers, dismantling the office, disconnecting our computers and saying goodbye to the funkiest section of town.

We’ll miss the Thin-Edge of the Wedge pizza parlor, the George and Dragon Pub, and our downstairs neighbour, “Fast Sammy” the convenience store owner. Our free-range mascot, Hydro the death-defying squirrel will also be remaining behind.

Our new offices are located in historic Bastion Square overlooking Victoria ‘s gorgeous inner-harbour. Our new building houses some of the oldest offices in the Pacific Northwest region, originally built as a warehouse for supplies heading towards the Yukon gold-rush or to logging and mining interests on the north end of Vancouver Island.

Needless to say, we are all excited and a bit intimidated by the move.

As of Monday, our new address is:

StepForth Placement Inc.
#208, 26 Bastion Square
Victoria BC,
V8W 1H9

Please note that our phone numbers and email addresses will not change.

Toll Free (North America) : 1-877-385-5526
Local Phone Number: 250-385-1190

On behalf of the StepForth crew, I’d like to say thanks to the entire Fernwood neighbourhood. You’ve put up with a lot of parties, traffic, and general geeky weirdness from our space and we’re going miss it here. Thanks for the support, friendship and being such amazing neighbours.

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

State of Search Marketing 2006

Happy New Year everyone! After a two-week slowdown, the North American business world is gearing up to its general terminal velocity. In the high-tech environment we work in, terminal velocity often appears to approach the speed of light. Being human beings however, we are not capable of moving as fast as light. Our working environment moves or changes faster than we can possibly keep up with. Read more…

It is that time of year again. Between the extra helpings of turkey soup and sandwiches, writers of every stripe are making lists of predictions for the coming twelve months. Last year, we got just over half our predictions correct. This year we hope to do as well or better but in an industry as dynamic and rapidly changing as the world of search, we couldn’t expect to hit a home run on every prediction. The only thing that is certain is the idea 2006 will be as or more interesting than 2005. Read more…