Gawker’s Multi-Million Dollar SEO Mistake

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Think SEO is expensive? Try losing 30% of your traffic and revenue overnight due to mismanaged and/or ignored SEO. That’s basically what happened to Gawker this year.

Not to pick on Gawker, but seldom do business people get so much transparent traffic data to see a direct cause-and-effect of a major redesign gone bad (unless they blow a hole in their own foot at some point). So that makes this a uniquely teachable SEO moment. So what happens when you run web properties generating tens of millions of dollars in organic traffic, and one day you push a site redesign to the loud guffaws of many an experienced SEO? Look no further than the graph below.

How much did this mistake cost Gawker? $2 million, $5 million, maybe $10 million of revenue lost to bad SEO. And it’s not like selling mattresses– people don’t come back when the store is open. Missed search traffic can’t come back… you either get the click when the user searches or its lost forever. SEO doesn’t look so expensive anymore.

If you’re responsible for a search-driven web property, for the love of Mike, be smart about SEO. Test, test, test. Hire people who have the battle scars. If Gawker wasn’t owned by a sole proprietor, you can bet there would be some uncomfortable Board meetings with the title of “Why We’ve Missed Our Revenue Forecast for FIVE Months.” The bottom line is, never take your organic search rankings for granted.

Scheduling Appointments in Google Calendar the Easy Way

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whenfreeJust wanted to announce a handy Google Gadget I created to help automate the task of scheduling appointments.

Install ‘When I’m Free’ Google Calendar Gadget

Background

I use Google Calendar and schedule appointments all the time with people who are outside my company and don’t use Google Calendar, so we can’t see each other’s calendars. That means I spend a lot of time looking at my calendar and suggesting available times to people.  I spend a few minutes looking over my calendar to prepare an email that includes something like this:

Would any of these times work for you?
– Tues 11/17 3:00 – 5:00 pm
– Wed 11/18 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
– Thurs 11/19 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

That looks simple, right?  Why do I need a tool to help do that?  Because I do this all the time, and every time it takes 3-5 minutes to scan my calendar and suggest times.  …AND, if I’m booking an appointment in a different time zone, I like to be nice and translate it to the other party’s local time zone, which takes another second or two.  …AND since I book a lot of appointments, my calendar is constantly changing, so and every time I want to suggest some available times, I have to go back and do it again.  I’m not one to enjoy repetitive tasks, so I looked for a solution.

I used Xobni for Outlook because it has a nice feature called “Schedule time with so and so” that will look at your calendar and automatically prepare an email to someone with suggestions for upcoming available times when you can meet.  But I couldn’t find anything like this for Google Calendar, hence this Gadget.

calendar_gadget_diagramWhat it Does

It’s a tool that can look at your calendar and create a list of available times that you can easily copy and paste into an email message.  All you do is install it, tell it how many days out you want appointments, the timezone, and how much buffer you want between your existing appointments (to avoid getting booked on back-to-back meetings) and you’ll have a list of times that you can easily copy-and-paste into email whenever you need it.