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Confessions of a Designer

Anneke Short is a London-based designer who has come up a series of minimalist posters that are out to challenge the preconceptions that people have of graphic designers and website designers.

‘Confessions of a Designer’ is a collection of quotes based on ideas Short has either found herself thinking or she has heard other designers complain about. The quotes portray the frustration and realities that designers often face when dealing with clients who just don't understand the business of design.

Update, see also:

10 Things People Say to Graphic Designers

10 More Things People say to Graphic Designers

What is VVM? Viral Video Marketing

Want to learn more about Viral Video Marketing?

Visit to learn lots of great business advice on how to make your own viral videos. Or if not viral, at least how to make videos that generate customer leads.

The Changing Responsibilities of SEO

When it comes to keeping SEO clients happy you really have to deliver the goods. Its basically a shopping list of responsibilities you have to do.

However as time goes on its becoming clear that there is many more responsibilities for the SEO expert to do than there used to be.

In the beginning...

1999 - SEO was really just links, navigation and basic keyword search. Over time things like spider readability, avoiding duplicate content, HTML sitemaps and so forth. Blogs started appearing, image ALT text became more important.

2004 - Five years later they were making HTML and XML sitemaps, issues surrounding rel="nofollow" coding, complex keyword analysis, social media was starting to appear, widgets, articles, content research, Search Engine Marketing rears its ugly head...

2009 - Videos and social media has gone mainstream. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, bookmarking websites, AddThis codes, guest writers, guest bloggers, PR companies getting in on the SEO action, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, reputation strategy and tracking...

2012 - Its become so much that one person can't do it all. You have to have separate people doing SEO, SMO and SEM because one person can't be an expert at all three.

The problem is that the general public sees "SEO" as a catchphrase for SEM (Search Engine Marketing, which is completely separate) and SMO (Social Media Optimization, a whole other topic)... without realizing how different they are.

Here to sort out this mess is three handy definitions:

SEO - The process of creating a network of links to promote specific keywords targeted at one website with the purpose of getting it to the top of the search engine. This process is called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short).

SEM - The process of advertising on search engines directly via Google AdWords and similar advertising programs and paying per click each time people click on your ads. Search Engine Marketing does not boost SEO.

SMO or SMM - The process of writing buzz on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking websites. The links all have rel="nofollow" and Social Media Marketing do absolutely nothing for SEO. SMO, wherein the O stands for optimization is a misnomer because it doesn't really "optimize" anything. Its just buzz.

And last but not least...

VVM - Viral Video Marketing. Blame YouTube for that one. Still in its infancy VVM is either a grand waste of time and money or a really lucky win when it actually works. VVM is a bit like shooting a bullet at another bullet and hoping the two will ricochet, that is how awful the success rate is.

See Also
The Laughable Expectations of Non SEO People

5 Hot SEO Tips

1. If you absolutely MUST use Javascript drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the search bots / spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Be SMART about PageRank. If the topic of a PageRank 1 website is more on topic with your product it is more valuable than a PageRank 2 or 3 website (but not a PageRank 4).

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

How to Promote your Business via SEO

#1. Set a budget.

Decide how much you want to spend on promoting your business via SEO. I recommend a minimum budget of $300 if you want to make a dent. (Less than that won't do much.)

#2. Go for quality links on quality websites.

A PageRank 1 link is worth FIVE PageRank 0 links. A PageRank 2 link is worth TWENTY-FIVE links. PageRank 3 = 125. The quality of the website has a direct value which can be measured in quantity thanks to the popularity of the higher PageRank.

This means if you're advertising your business its better to go after the higher PageRanks first, especially on websites which are on topic for your website.

Your goal should be to find ten PageRank 3 or 4 websites that are on topics directly (or closely) related to your website and get ten high quality links for $30 per link (the links will be renewed annually).

If you're looking for a website to advertise on I recommend the Lilith eZine, a general purpose online magazine with topics on everything.

#3. Pick your keywords.

Ie. If you're selling Toronto Maltese puppies then that is the keywords you want to choose. You should also use alternate variations like Maltese puppies in Toronto or Maltese dogs in Toronto. The idea is to emphasis the location and what the product is. Notice that I also used differently links for each one. This will also help to boost the SEO of the entire website and not just main page.

#4. REMEMBER to renew your ads every year. The longer the link is there the more valuable it is.
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