May 2010

Google’s Pac-Man Logo The Best Ever!

Google's pac-man logo

Talk about bread and circuses! Google’s interactive Pac-Man logo celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of that most famous of video games can’t fail to put a smile on the faces of many Google critics. To play the game, just go to Google’s main search page and click the very cool insert coin button or wait ten seconds and the game will self-start. Hey, it’s really challenging using your arrow keys to squeeze Pac-Man around the ins and outs of the Google logo. So far, I’ve only gotten 3/4 of the way through the second level. And this from a lady whose Atari 2600 is still in crisp working order – knock on wood paneling. Phew!

Funnily enough, my husband and I wound down from work last night playing videos games. It’s not something we do all the time, but every so often I am overcome by a nostalgia-based need to fight dragons, win treasures, gobble up little glowing squares. Yesterday evening, we joined forces trying to fight our way through the levels of Swords and Serpents for the old Intellivision II. The little plastic inserts for the controllers were lost sometime back in 1985 or so and so we’re playing a bit blind, but I think it’s very stress-relieving for a married couple to transform themselves into a knight and a wizard and go on an adventure.

The culture of the video game is something my spouse and I share…it’s something deep at the roots of who we are, as 70’s kids. It’s really kind of amazing to think that 30 years have gone by since I was sitting on a rough, brown carpet playing Pac-man on a tiny TV set with my big brother. Time flies, but the memories remain strong and clear.

Are you a fan of old technology? Here’s my hint of the day: take a shot at playing the old Scott Adams Text Adventure Game, Pirate Adventure. It took us three night to win this fantastic classic which we remembered so fondly from childhood. The kids today don’t know what they missed, I say, with those first text and video games that called upon the imagination of the user rather than laying everything out for them in larger-than-life animations as today’s games do. It’s fun to revisit the dawn of our world as tech-bound people. If you’re feeling bored tonight, give Pirate Adventure a try, and don’t forget to say ‘Yoho’ for me.

Around the Igloo

I can’t believe I’ve let a month go by without blogging. I don’t think that’s ever happened in the 4 years I’ve been publishing here at the SEOigloo. The truth is, between helping clients and doing the spring planting on our organic microfarm, I have been utterly slammed with work. That’s a good thing, but I surely am busy.

New Web Design Clients
We’ve taken on several totally cool niche clients in the past couple of months and it’s been both fun and intense helping them to get their stories in order so that we can tell them effectively on the web. I’m incredibly excited this week about a website design we’re doing for a lovely company. Their product line suggested a color palette of persimmon and cobalt – fantastically bold, warm and vibrant tones. I think this may be one of the handsomest websites we’ve designed to date and I’m really looking forward to launching this one when the time comes.

Local, Localer, Localest
Meanwhile, on the Local front, I am more convinced every day that small business owners are in serious need of honest, thoughtful Local SEOs with whom they can consult. Just today, I was speaking with a very nice fellow who has been running his company for some 3 decades. He handed over the keys to his Local Search Marketing to a student and he’s now got 15 or 20 Google Places listings in tow for his address and may have been penalized or banned. Not nice news, but this kind of thing is common. Google just hasn’t gotten the word out there far enough about the most basic tenet of using Google Maps – one listing per address. Only one (excepting firms with multiple professionals, in which case you need one listing for the building address and a unique listing for each practitioner). Small business owners have serious work ahead, shouldering the responsibility of learning how to use Google’s tools the way Google wants them to.

The good news is, some folks are going out of their way to lighten the load for the harried SMB. My respected friends and colleagues, David Mihm, Mike Blumenthal and Matt McGee and others have just completed the second workshop in GetListed.org’s Local University.

Imagine getting to sit down in a room with some of the Local Search industry’s finest minds, plus representatives from major search engines, and receive powerful training about how to gain highest visibility for your local-focused business and you have the Local University series in a nutshell. This workshop may be coming to a city near you in the near future. Be smart and book your seat. You will not find better Local SEO education anywhere, and that is my unpaid, unasked-for endorsement.

Google is also starting to pick up the pace a little bit in terms of offering SMBs some one-on-one contact. Here is a recap of the webinar Google held on May 10th in an effort to promote small business understanding of Google Places and Maps. It’s really good to see Google reaching out like this and the questions being asked offer considerable insights into the areas of Maps that SMBs find most confusing and problematic.

Nifty marketer and all-around-nice-guy Mike Ramsey is continuing with his series of interviews with Local SEOs…I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. Hey, Mike…where’s the next interview?

Another smart Mike (has anyone else noticed that Local seems to be a Mike-oriented industry?), Mike Belasco has won our admiration with his company, SEOverflow’s, gorgeously packaged referral commissions. We didn’t know Mike’s company offered commissions on referrals when we recently sent a client to him; imagine how touched we were when we received a really handsomely put together little square brown envelope, complete with this company’s beautiful branding, and a little check inside. Unexpected, nice things like this really can make your day. And, the professionalism of SEOverflow’s print materials have only increased the respect I already feel for their work.

Finally, Andrew Shotland has not necessarily increased my respect for him with this photograph, but I think he deserves some kind of award for Local goofiness. Thank you for the laugh, Andrew.

On The Farm
As of last Friday, the corn is in, as are the potatoes, squash, spinach, lettuce, beets, arugula, mustard, tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers. The amount of scrubbing we have to do between field and laptop in springtime is ridiculous, but, oh, is it good to be alive for this time of year again.

What’s going on in your life, in your business? What’s exciting you this week on the web? There is so much going on, and I wish I had twice as much time to read it all, write it all, do it all. At the very least, I wanted to give folks an update to let you know I’m here, I’m crazy busy and I’m loving it.

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Flickr Photo Credits:
Persimmon
Cobalt