Happy Halloween 2012 – Costume Origins and Ideas

Happy Halloween!

This spooky day isn’t complete without costumes, candy and having a good scare. But have you ever thought about the origins of Halloween costumes? This all began as a season of celebration (and superstition), as people in ancient Celtic culture would dress up to scare spirits away. These costumes often involved spirits, ghouls and other frightening things. Over time, Halloween and the idea of costumes became more popularized to be more child and pop-culture friendly. Aren’t we lucky that people everywhere can now enjoy Halloween in their own different way?

Here are some online marketing-themed spooky costumes:


Black Hat SEO (also available in white and grey hat)


Google (other options include: Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuck Go. You can also bring back the oldies like Ask Jeeves and Dogpile!)


Evil Penguin (also available in evil panda)

Sleazy salesman (Cold-caller selling questionable SEO services… enough said!)


Content scraped (Hit by bots that crawl and steal your content while slapping on spammy affiliate links? You’ve been scraped!)

Let us know if you have any other good ones!

Online Marketing Lessons to Learn from 3 Scary Movies (Part 2)

Happy Halloween Eve! Get ready for some more lessons from scary movies:

4) Gremlins
Gremlins and links – what do they have in common? One is cute and cuddly (Gizmo/white hat) and the others are just plain nasty (Mogwai/black hat). In the movie, the bad gremlins multiply quickly and can cause havoc if left to their own devices. (If it were only so easy to kill bad links with bright light…)

As we know, there are different types of links and automated services might not be the best. Links should be earned a few at a time and not by the dozens or hundreds one day out of the month to catch up. Even Google recently said that website submission services can be harmful to your site. Proceed with caution and just like having your own Gizmo, some people just aren’t ready!

5) The Fly
In this cult classic by David Cronenberg, Dr. Brundle turns into a human fly in an experiment gone awry. His ultimate wish is to be fused with his wife and unborn child to become… you know, the ultimate fly-human-hybrid. After his plot is foiled, he begs his wife to put an end to his misery – which she does.

Does this sound familiar to your website? Some owners can go overboard with content, design, over-optimization, thin content, and questionable SEO tactics over the years. Pair that with an exact match domain and you’re bound to be buried by Google in the post Panda and Penguin world. There’s a time for it and some people just need to know when to end it all… and start over new. This means 301 redirecting your content or affected URLs to a new domain and starting fresh with new content. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Don’t let the monster consume your pride and work things out before things get any worse.

6) Friday the 13th
At the end of the film, just when you think the masked killer is dead, there he is! Not only does Jason live but he also survives 11 other sequels including trips to space, hell and an intense battle with Freddy Krueger. The same goes with SEO. Many people claim that SEO is “dead” but it has really taken a life form of its own and is constantly changing to adapt to the evolving search marketing landscape. You can go on and on about how search engine optimization is a dying art but at the end of the day it comes down to the truth – SEO lives (and so does Jason Voorhees)!

Read our previous post here and let us know what you think!

Online Marketing Lessons to Learn from 3 Scary Movies

Halloween season is finally upon us! And even though the weather is in the upper 80’s here in Los Angeles, it’s always fun to get into the fall spirit by conjuring up some scary movies and see what we can learn from them. Scaredy-cats, be warned!

1) The Exorcist
In horror movies, it’s particular disturbing to see things that are distorted from things we see in everyday life. What might seem normal in an advanced yoga class isn’t so cool when it’s in the form of a possessed, 12-year old girl spider walking downstairs! That’s why certain angles and even slight changes to regular features are so scary.

Keep this in mind when designing your website – even with the most basic things such as having a Home button towards the left-hand navigation and Contact Us to the right. It’s not smart to tweak traditional design elements that can confuse customers and cause them to leave. In some cases, it can be downright spoOooOoky.

spider walk

2) Killer Klowns from Outer Space
If you haven’t seen this cult-classic, you’re really missing out. Evil alien clowns terrorize a small town with popcorn and cotton candy guns. Did I mention that they drink their victims through a silly straw?

Much like SEO, clowns get a bad wrap. Clowns can be creepy (Pennywise from IT and clown doll from Poltergeist) and SEOs can be deceptive (hidden text and content scraping). The origins of clowns come from a  happy, positive place… which so happened to fall down a deep, dark place over the years. The same thing goes for search marketing. There are ethical ways to go about online marketing and then there are methods that are 100% designed to manipulate search engines.

So the choice is yours… are you going to be a good (whitehat) SEO or dabble in blackhat methods that could get your site penalized?

3) Twilight Zone Episode: “Button, Button”

Ok, so this isn’t a movie but it’s too good to be left out. The storyline is as follows: a couple receive an offer from a strange man – a box with a button. If they press the button, they’ll receive $200,000 but a person who they don’t know will die. They end up pressing the button, receiving the money WITH the ominous warning that the box will be reset and give to someone else who they don’t know!

As always, the lesson learned here is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of any internet marketing firm who promises you X amount of #1 rankings. Or “social media gurus” who promise you business from thousands of “fans”. When it comes to marketing your business, it’s best to use your common sense and not to be greedy. Online marketing is slow, persistent work that pays off in the long run. There are no shortcuts and those who choose them will face consequences sooner than later.

Make sure to stay tuned for 3 more scary movies and their takeaways!

Halloween Edition: Scary SEO Mistakes That You Can Avoid

Let’s take a Halloween inspired look at how you can steer clear of some SEO mistakes:

1) Not targeting advertising keywords – If you offer funeral planning services, did you ever stop to think how many competitors you will have on a national and even global level? Yes, using “funeral planning” make sense but don’t forget to throw location specific terms in there. Los Angeles funeral planning and Kalamazoo funeral planning target an exact audience while also including the broad term. In other words, be like those psycho killers in the movies for once: know what you want and don’t stop until you get it!

2) Not tracking your efforts: Do follow analytics on a regular basis? If not, you’re missing out on a whole lot, including what terms users are searching for when clicking on your site and even how long they spend on the site. Nothing compares to numbers to track your SEO progress. You should also see how your rankings change on a monthly basis. Being on page 1 versus page 2 of a search engine results page makes a HUGE difference.

3) Lacking consistency: Unlike web design, SEO success is not something that you can achieve by just doing one thing and declaring it done. In order to gain and maintain your search engine rankings, your writing should be consistent. The best SEO efforts are those that are ongoing and where you create helpful and relevant content that is related to your keywords and customers.

4) Using duplicate content: There’s just something creepy about duplicate content that makes it as bad as twin children in horror movies! Whether it’s submitting to article directories, putting it on your site or another domain, duplicate content is a big no-no. Search engines don’t look favorably on duplicate content so stick to keeping things fresh! Not to mention that users certainly don’t appreciate seeing the same thing over and over again..

Have a Happy Halloween and keep these SEO tips in mind! Of course, I can’t leave you without one last scare… the creepy Snickers lady!