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Sam Michelson & Client Business Development

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Sam Michelson

Sam Michelson was in town, and he is the CEO of Five Blocks, a digital reputation management firm based in Jerusalem, Israel. We spoke about how Sam started, which actually was via an e-commerce site selling cell phones as an affiliate.

Sam explained that they sold tons of cell phones but there were a couple of complaints here and there and those complaints really showed up at the top of the search engines. So he started to write refund checks to these customers, but some of those customers were frauds. During that process, he thought about how to manage the reputation of his company online.

Sam was born in Pittsburgh, he is the son of an army family, so they moved around. He went to Yeshiva University, then went to graduate school in Israel, then the Israeli army and then had jobs at technology companies in Israel. That is where he learned his technology and online skills. I believe we met first at an SMX Israel, where he may have spoken and sponsored at past events.

We then discussed business client development, i.e., getting new prospects and customers. Sam said this was all done organically; it happened out of solving their own internal issues. Sam said he was willing to spend thousands of dollars per month, but larger companies are likely willing to pay more. So once they figured out how to do it for themselves, they then moved to figure out how to do it for others.

So they decided to go the public relations route to get some business. That PR company became their first client, and they started to work by trial and error. So they systematically on LinkedIn tried to talk to people and firms within the public relations space. They did not find new clients through online marketing but rather by reaching out through connections.

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It was a lot of outreach through LinkedIn and word of mouth. And they spoke about reputation management in terms of building up the positive stuff and not about hitting or destroying the bad stuff – being positive versus negative. Sam also shared everything and didn’t keep any secrets, and that helped them get more attention despite sharing competitive knowledge. Sam was doing content marketing, in a form, before most.

Five Blocks proposals are 15 or so pages that spell out the steps you need to take to solve the problem. They spell it out and many ask him why? He said because the clients that he really wants will hire them to do those tasks.

He said they close about 50% of all proposals, which is super high. But he said a lot of this is because he is getting a lead from a word-of-mouth reference and they are not shopping around.

For more on Sam Michelson, visit Five Blocks and find him on LinkedIn.


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Forum discussion at YouTube.

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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: March 1, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google has new structured data carousel beta details for rich results. Google now lets you opt out of place entities in page insights. Google Business Profiles customer interactions updates every few days. Google wrote in a court document that its search quality has improved. Google AdSense has offerwall messages. I posted the weekly SEO video recap as well.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

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SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

We had two periods of Google Search ranking volatility this week, one last weekend and one on Thursday or so. Google court documents say search quality has improved and not degraded. Google dropped the see more results in the local panel this week for a period of time until it fixed that bug. Google also removed the news tab but that seemed like a bug also and was fixed. Google has a bug with the European hotel/travel results being hijacked. Google also broke the filetype search operator for a while. Google Analytics is seeing a lot of referral spam from Poland. There is new structured data carousel beta details. Google is testing a most-read articles carousel in the search results. Google is also testing popular opinions carousels. Google local panels is testing expandable menus. Google has this reviews disclaimer for “people like.” Google Analytics added new default Google Ads reports. Google Ads Performance Max placement reports to show the search partner network. Google Ads is testing limited by budget status color coding. Google Ads support reps may use Google Translate to chat with advertisers. Microsoft said it will bring back testing of Bing Deep Search. Google said that Microsoft tried selling Bing to Apple but Apple didn’t want it due to quality issues. A survey shows SEOs dislike Google more now than ever. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Sponsored by BruceClay, who has been doing search marketing optimization since 1996 and also has an amazing SEO training platform.

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Search Topics of Discussion:

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Early Signs Of Another Google Search Ranking Update On February 28/29

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Google Logo Ranking Rocks Falling

I am seeing early signs of a possible Google Search ranking algorithm update starting yesterday, February 28th, and into today, February 29th. The chatter started to spike yesterday amongst the SEO community and some of the third-party rank tracking tools are showing a spike in volatility.

Again, Google has not confirmed an update in over 16-weeks now but we have had plenty of unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm updates since then, including a weird one this past weekend.

Keep in mind, we are all waiting patiently for the next big Google update that Google has been promising since November.

So what are we seeing related to this possible unconfirmed Google Search update?

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

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SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Semrush:

Semrush

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Mangools:

Mangools

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

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Mozcast

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

Some of the tools have not yet updated for the day, so I may come back here to update them later.

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SEO Chatter

The SEO chatter is just starting up and most of the chatter I am seeing is coming from the comments area here (I’ll weed out the noise for you by embedding the relevant comments here) and some from WebmasterWorld:

Had a week (again) of amazing conversions – today, just dropped like a rock…here we go.

Anyone else experiencing low Traffic today??

Awful today. After 2 reasonable days

Yes. This week has been horrendous since Monday. I’ve hit the lowest low since September.

Google traffic was better than usual on Sunday and Monday, normally traffic is almost dead from Saturday to Monday. Today, however, things are looking bad. Google traffic so far is significantly lower than usual on a Tuesday. This back and forth is really getting on my nerves.

On Sunday I also noticed uphill traffic, then today when I woke up it was -20% and now -7%. They just move a paa higher or lower and the traffic suffers

Same here…Sunday and Monday very strong traffic. Tuesday off a cliff again. USA traffic is -22% at 4:30pm. The question is, when traffic is high is it converting?

Yesterday was a miserable day for me, as I expected. -43% compared to Sunday and Monday. Sistrix shows a drop of 5.1% for my website in its visibility index today. A look on my direct competitors shows that they have been hit even harder. Other websites that I monitor have also fallen sharply.

Maybe whatever rolled out over the past weekend reverted in some way?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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