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GrayWolf: Ask any advanced SEO to describe what they want in a link and you’re likely to get something like this …

“A keyword rich link from a well linked/important/popular page on a trusted and authoritative website, that is preferably topically relevant to your site”

The problem is that a definition like that has so many loosely defined concepts it’s borderline irrelevant to someone who doesn’t have some level of experience. The most ambiguously defined part of that statement is “trusted and authoritative website”, because there’s no real publicly available/agreed upon metric for trust and authority.
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from JohnHGohde 2179 Days ago #
Votes: -16

If pagerank will never die, then why do you people constantly need to bring it up? And, why do you try to usurp the term SEO when SEM is what you should be using?

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from graywolf 2179 Days ago #
Votes: 3

ok john I’ll make it really simple. people need the ability to explain/understand things quickly, especially those who aren’t entrenched in the field. Pagerank fills that need. At it’s core it tells you wheter a website is trustworthy/important/respected/believeable. Google has in many cases artificially manipulated page rank.So the best tool that people have to solve a problem is "broken" or "not accurate".Until someone comes along with a better tool people will keep using the broken one.

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from Halfdeck 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

TBPR is still a useful metric if used in conjunction with other metrics, despite penalties, delays, lack of granularity, and selective PageRank iteration (Google not bothering to calculate PageRank for a percentage of your site). SEOmoz’ PageStrength tool (and their new version of it), for example, uses TBPR data in conjunction with other signals to measure site strength.

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from incrediblehelp 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Why not stop worrying about “trusted and authoritative” website and just focus on relevant ones.  This would help explain where to target your link building efforts.

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -6

@graywolf And, I contend that you are talking about search engine marketing rather than SEO.

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from Jill 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@JohnHGohde huh? How is what GrayWolf wrote not SEO?

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from jmaulson 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Jill, I’m surprised, aren’t you aware that - and as defined by John - "Search Engine Result Pages (Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about how to write web pages that rank well in the Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) using natural organic methods. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tweaks the content that you started out with. It is about fine tuning what you actually have control over."And, since your control over the link building process is very limited, it follows, link building is not an SEO practice, it falls into the dominion of SEM :)

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from Feydakin 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@incrediblehelp because relevance is a red herring.. You can link anything to porn in 3 steps or less.. Does that still make it relevant?? And then you have complimentary niches etc etc etc..

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from incrediblehelp 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I dont think relevany is misleading at all.  I would rather spend my time getting links from relevant source those with high TBPR any day.

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 6

@jmaulsonI don’t agree with John, link building has always been part of SEO. We were doing it long before Danny coined the term ’search engine marketing’. The need to expand the terminology was due to people carrying out other activities such as directory placement, paid listings and PPC. "The venerable phrase "search engine optimization" originally emerged to cover the optimization that was done for crawler-based search engines. Now directories are a big part of the search engine mix, as are paid listing services. In many cases, you aren’t really "optimizing" for these other venues, but you certainly are doing work that can influence how people are listed."SEW 2001Secondly, I don’t find control over the link building process to be limited. Month on month, we increase the number of IBLs to our client sites. If control was "very limited" you could not continually, and reliably improve in this area.

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from MarketingGuy 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Agreed link building is part of SEO and not specifically SEM.  It is after all a necessity for SEO success.What an odd point for the discussion to be dwelling on! :)

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -13

I, also, have a definition of Black Hat SEO.Ask any true SEO as to what they consider advanced SEO and Link Building will always be on the very bottom of the list because Link Building, unless it is Spamming, is totally not in your control. SEO is never about engaging in stuff that is not 100% in your control.Sorry, but engaging in stuff like Link Building which is not totally in your own control is a part of the broader topic of SEM. Link building is about website promotion rather than SEO.I engage in a lot of things, but that certainly does not make them a part of SEO.

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 7

I think it’s lovely you have your own definitions John. Like opinions, we’re all entitled to one. I just thought you would like to see how the term was actually defined, by the person who invented it.

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I know there is no real point discussing this with you but just for the public record...>SEO is never about engaging in stuff that is not 100% in your control.You seem to be confusing SEO with usability here if you’re looking for 100% control. If you’re talking about ranking and traffic from SEs then you better start to accept that they’re the ones holding the cards, not you. SEO has been, since the start, working with applications that are completely out of our control - we just try to see inside the black-box and work it out. Obvious I know, but apparently it needed to be said.

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -12

Where there it is.  I have just been informed that SEO is an invention, just like the electric light bulb. Sorry, but I really do not think so.

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Terms are invented or introduced. Language and meaning can evolve, for example, "Gay" used to mean "happy". However we’re talking about a very specific technical term here. Danny Sullivan, as someone who first introduced the term is going to have a pretty authoritve definition of SEM. I’m sorry, but I will take his definition over yours.

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -11

I will rest my case with how Sphinn, itself, operationally defines Search Marketing.# SEM# SEO# Paid Search# Link Building# SEM Industry# In House SEM# Other Search Marketing So, perhaps I should have said that Link Building is a part of Search Marketing rather than SEO as defined by Sphinn; the very forum that you guys are posting on?

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

That’s not evidence. Categories are there to help people filter out the posts they want to see. All the menu proves is that Sphinn believes "link building" sufficiently important (and interesting to people) to warrent it’s own category.

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -10

In the future, I will be sure to use SM over SEM."Sphinn believes "link building" sufficiently important (and interesting to people) to warrent it’s own category."Category = Topic = Subject = SpecializationWhich is just another way of saying that in Sphinn, Linking Building comes under SM rather than SEO.

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from rishilakhani 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I will rest my case with how Sphinn, itself, operationally defines Search Marketing.# SEM# SEO# Paid Search# Link Building# SEM Industry# In House SEM# Other Search Marketing By this very definition then... SEO and Paid Search are a different anilam to SEM as its in a different category?

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@johnHGohdeYou’re really reading far more into the menu structure of Sphinn than you should. It’s just there to make life easier for users. @rishilYes, and the SEM industry has nothing to do with the practice itself ;)

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -10

As long as SM does not equate to SEM, then under Sphinn’s definition Paid Search likewise does not equate to SEM.

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -10

And, the way that I prefer to look at it is as follows.SEO is not about engaging in superstitious behavior, whereas that is exactly what LB is all about. Why? It is a control issue.In SEO you tweak what you have control over. It is as simple as that. Cause most who call themselves SEOs do everything, but tweak the content of websites. Or as Google likes to stress, ADD value to the Web. So, is it any wonder that they totally fail to see the value of what SEO can do in the Google SERPs ranking department? These people should not be speaking for SEO, since they are giving the effectiveness of true SEO a bad name.Sure LB, or website promotion, is important. Nevertheless, LB involves an entirely different skill set, mind-set, and approach.So, my being a stickler over this detail is far from being strange. Please do not claim to be talking about SEO, when in fact you positively are not.

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from streko 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 6

yo JohnHGohde, let me as you something......you sippin’ on the lame sauce?

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from Eloi 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I think link building has always been part of SEO as Nick explains. Even if you don’t have as much control, there are onsite AND offsite elements of SEO, and Lb is one of them.I also agree that you should not define stuff based on a website’s categorisation of pages...So, would say that on AdWords, a content network campaign is not Pay Per Click Marketing because you have less control than a placement targetted campaign, or a search campaign?This is absurd and going nowhere.

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from Eloi 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

lol @streko

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -14

I think that you guys are proving my point quite well that you equate LB with ALL of SEO. When in reality you are not talking about the true topic of SEO, at all.Again, the skill set used in Link Building is totally different from the skill set used in tweaking content, or in Adding value to the Web.What is absurd is having to educate people about the basics of SEO. I do not care about what you guys have to do in order to make a buck. I am making a logical argument in a forum that doesn’t give a hoot about anything else other than making a fast buck.

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from NickWilsdon 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Of course links can add value to web, they can help users find other relevant information. For example, adding a link to a iPod review site to an article on MP3 players. Inter-document links are still a significant navigation method for users. They don’t all back-track to Google to search between page views. >What is absurd is having to educate people about the basics of SEO.Blimey, you’re not wrong there.

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from iBrian 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 3

SEO = onpage + offpage.In both instances, we are trying to communicate the meaning and importance of specific documents for organic search.The difference is in the method, not the meaning.2c.

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from DarkMatter 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

If I start saying the sky is green, will you guys argue with me too? I bet you wouldn’t bother, since such a claim would be too ridiculous to entertain, and doing so would only make you look foolish as well.

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from hugoguzman 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Wonder how long it’s going to take for someone to Google bomb John H Golde? If anyone is interested, I recommend that you target nincompoop.In all seriousness, who cares about what link-building is characterized as...we know it’s a the foundation for improving visibility for organic search terms and that’s that. If you know how to do it, you’ll likely be successful. If not, may god - I mean Google - have mercy on your soul.

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from cyandle 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@johnHGohde"SEO is not about engaging in superstitious behavior, whereas that is exactly what LB is all about. Why? It is a control issue."LB is superstitious..? Does that mean we’ll get 7 years bad luck?

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from wheel 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This ain’t so hard to define. Link building is about getting links from trusted and relevant websites. What’s a trusted and relevant website? A site that has trusted and relevant backlinks. What’s relevant? Links from a page that has backlinks from relevant sites, within content that is relevant. What’s trusted? A site that has links from trusted sites. What makes a site trusted? Assume that Google dictated a list of ’these sites are trusted’ and all that trust flows down through links kinda like pagerank does. We don’t know what sites Google deemed trusted, but we can guess pretty well what sites are collecting trust just by a gut check. A lot of .edu’s, .gov’s, authority sites, sites with really old backlinks, and so on. that’s it. Check the backlinks. Are the backlinks relevant? Do they look trusted? Yes, get a link. No, move along.

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from JohnHGohde 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -8

@wheelSounds like you are either talking about marketing or website promotion to me."Check the backlinks. Are the backlinks relevant? Do they look trusted? Yes, get a link. No, move along."Yeah, that qualifies as superstitious behavior.Personally, I get very effective results using straight on-page SEO with absolutely no effort put into link building whatsoever. If you guys cannot, then you have my condolences.Believe it or not there are thousands of websites out there that are not selling products, at all. Not-for-profit organizations are one obvious example. While plenty are trying to sell memberships to their organization, there are just as many who only want to be visible in the SERPs.In most cases, on-page SEO for those types of websites can be very effective. Not effective at all with tweaking webpage content? Then I am sorry for you, but that does not mean that on-page SEO is not effective. It just means that some people do not know what they are doing.

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from graywolf 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 4

the problem with going for relevance over authority is book-cheap-vacations-in-antartica.info is on topic for a travel site but the quality will probably be questionable at best. With that in mind I’d take a link from Techcrunch.com to my non related, non relevant travel website any day of the week.

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from StepIntoTheLight 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 3

John,What a chuckle.  GrayWolf wrote about link building and PageRank, not a rhetorical question about link building as SEO/SEM. We all know what he means by SEOs, tomato/tomahto... it’s still the same piece of fruit and it certainly doesn’t matter in the context of his article.Why don’t you write an article about link building as SEM vs SEO?  Then everybody who wants to help build the International Dictionary according to John, First Edition, can sphinn you up, down, and sideways.jeez. 

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from JohnHGohde 2177 Days ago #
Votes: -5

@DarrenSlatten "So there you have it, folks... proof that link-building is NOT part of SEO. It’s merely something that SEO practitioners frequently engage in."Very well written. Exactly what I was beating the bush at. Of course, their response will be: "Who gives a hoot. I am here to make a fast buck."Yes, they are indeed marketers.  So, why do these marketers have such a problem admitting what they are:  Marketers?I never re-defined the term SEO. So, I will re-ask my original question from my original comment."why do you [Guys] try to usurp the term SEO when SEM is what you should be using?"

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from jmaulson 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@NickWilsdon - I meant my post to be sarcastic :) @all - lol----------see my comment was voted downalways knew writing in English wasn’t my best skill :) :) :)

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from Jeremy 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 1

seo...sem...smo...smm..blah...blah...blah.It’s all just marketing.

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from JohnHGohde 2177 Days ago #
Votes: -1

@StepIntoTheLight "Why don’t you write an article about link building as SEM vs SEO?"Great idea.  Consider it done.Linking Building is a part of Search Marketing on Sphinn

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from NickWilsdon 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@jmaulson Sorry, I think my sarcasm radar is a little off at the moment. :) @JohnHGohdeI certainly admire your doggard persistance. You’d make a formidable Wikipedia editor (had they not already banned you of course). I know I will probably regret this, but why would any of us have a problem admitting that we are marketers?

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from NickWilsdon 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@DarrenSlattenOK I see where you’re coming from now. When I first started out doing this job I used to refer to myself as an SEO but once people started using the SEM abreviation it made more sense to me. I was already doing PPC, banner placement and email marketing so I could see my skillset being better covered by the broader term. It’s not far to go then from "search engine marketer" to "internet marketer". My goal has always been conversions, right from the start. My first job was pushing shareware, so we had a very obvious set of metrics to work with, i.e. downloads/registrations/renewals. I’ve always been open to any methods to increase conversion goals, including social media now. I understand your analogy, but I would question the "used car salesmen" part and your suggestion that roles outside SEO are somehow less respectable. This is a knowledge based profession, and even marketing has it’s own science. There are plenty of respectable and clever people handling marketing strategy for companies which touches on many aspects, including SEO. If we’re talking about frauds in our industry, sure, they are less respectable. These people can call themselves whatever they wish but they all have one point in common for me - a lack of knowledge. That’s is where I would draw the line, rather than on the SEO/SEM split.

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from Halfdeck 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 3

The label SEO started to feel restrictive, which is why Danny suggested the switch to SEM.We can either to stay faithful to the words "se optimization" and only call car mechanics SEOs, or we can broaden the meaning of the word SEO to encompass link baiting, directory submissions, internal link rewiring, on-page optimization, blogging, etc - in which case SEO = SEM.There’s no right or wrong -- words don’t define us; we define words. Some words have a tendency to evolve, during which it becomes a simple numbers game. If there are more people who want SEO to mean SEM than there are people who want SEO to mean "optimizing websites" that’s what SEO will end up meaning.SEO - the profession - to me is a whole different ball game than "search engine optimization." A blogger who gains 20,000 RSS subscribers in a year and nails #1 ranking for "make money online" may be a great marketer but he is not an SEO if he knows nothing about search engines. To me, an SEO needs to have a pretty deep knowledge of how search engines work. Does that mean an SEO has the power to control website rankings? Not really. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate to an ability to perform. The MMO blogger may be much better at producing search engine traffic than an SEO that knows Google inside and out. (In fact I’ve heard an adult webmaster who owns a site that pulls over 180,000 Google hits/day insist META keywords boost rankings). But without that knowledge and expertise, he’s a good marketer, not an SEO.That said, I don’t believe tweaking websites is somehow superior or more complex than other aspects of online marketing.

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from JohnHGohde 2177 Days ago #
Votes: -3

@@DarrenSlatten"I see SEO as a technical career. So when my industry is suddenly flooded with non-technical "SEOs," who start shifting the focus towards things like link-building, social networking, blogging, marketing, etc., then people begin assuming that I too must have a similar skillset as that crowd."Another quotable quote.I have a broad range of interests, making a fast buck on the Internet is not particularly one of them. I perfer to take a long term, HTML approach to SEO, that will last over time. Seems to work quite well to me. All except for blogging that is.Since there is only so much time in the day, I am having trouble trying to figure out why posting drivel on the social media should result in higher sales. And, what in the world does the social media, aka dating services, have to do with SEO?@NickWilsdonFrom reading the SEM and SEO articles on Wikipedia, I totally fail to see what is the difference between the two. I have been banned for the fourth time, and will be back editing again in January 2009, to perhaps correct the SEM article. Probably should switch to editing SEO articles, like I started out last time. It is more like a vacation, than a ban.Frankly, I do not see any SEM here making major edits to any articles, whatsoever, on Wikipedia except for what else promoting businesses, etc., with a line here and a line there. I am sorry, but that is not editing as far as I am concerned.

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from rishilakhani 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@DarrenSlatten - As usual I am going to have to bow down to the extremely strong and relevant arguments that make a point based on logic and facts. I think you are right in saying that the type of SEO you do is akin to highly specialised automotive engineer... However, there are many levels of "fixing" a car, and many of us "non-technical" engineers would probably the first line mechanics, akin to aprentices who have built up knowledge by doing, and not studying - granted very few will reach the levels of a scholar, but most will keep the cars running smoothly without the need to super rev it up... :P

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from wheel 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 5

[quote]Personally, I get very effective results using straight on-page SEO with absolutely no effort put into link building whatsoever. If you guys cannot, then you have my condolences.[/quote] Christ, I hope you’re not selling your SEO services to victims...errrr ’clients’. Because that’s just about the most clueless statement I’ve seen in a while.

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from Eloi 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@wheel that is indeed very clueless.[quote]social media, aka dating services[/quote] lol. I just can’t say anything more than lol. oh: "clueless" comes into mind again.I also read "Gah! Must resist talking with troll-boy", which seems very relevant in this case.

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from JohnHGohde 2177 Days ago #
Votes: -6

@wheelClueless it is not, a statement of fact it is.No need to resort to link building, becuase for the most part an extra push in the SERPs was has not been necessary.Now, who is clueless?

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from wheel 2176 Days ago #
Votes: 0

>>>>I also read "Gah! Must resist talking with troll-boy", which seems very relevant in this case.Yeah, well you need to remind of that BEFORE I post next time :).

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from ExInField 2174 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Page Rank is here to stay...Not sure why people insist on dragging this dinosaur out of the grave to beat it more...

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from JohnHGohde 2173 Days ago #
Votes: -9

@NickWilsdon"You’re really reading far more into the menu structure of Sphinn than you should."To me, structure and organization is absolutely everything.I found Sphinn by way of a noted Spammer, among other things. So, I guess that I should not be surprised at all to find out that Sphinni should really be called Spam Land Central. And, yeah, I did find Sphinn to be a faster way to post spam that was in fact showing up in Google.Search Engine Land is an all together better site on things that I find important. I have better things to do than trade insults with a bunch of bottom feeders. And, play their stupid little games in order to build a few links on a topic that is all together too congested to begin with.Furthermore, the visual editor on Sphinn absolutely sucks. And, the spell checker absolutely does NOT work with my installed copy of FireFox. The operators of Sphinn have not even bothered to add the most obviously missing words, like google, to their stupid little spell check dictionary.The next time that I need to post Spam on the Internet, I will whip up a private Google custom search engine that will target the topics that I am interested in Spamming. I will let the Sphinners here totally botch up everything.For exploring a large number of quality articles, that have been correctly classified by people who know what they are doing on SEM and SEO, I will now turn to Search Engine Land.Nevertheless, I will find the time to drop in on my new found friends, like Jill, from time to time.

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