International Genealogy and Search Engine Rankings

For many years I have wanted Ancestry.com to go international, since the world population is more than 20 times larger than the U.S. population. I felt that a Rootsweb-type model could be done in virtually every country of the world, followed at sime time, by an Ancestry-type subscription model. The one (a user generated content model) would lead to the other (a premium database model.) Note: I left the company in February 2002 and have no inside information about the company or its plans.

The long term cumulative impact of guerilla marketing

In December a panel of internet entrepreneurs shared their stories and their keys to success with my BYU marketing and Provo Labs Academy students. One young woman told how she had teamed up a few years ago with her brother to start an ecommerce site, selling a very unusual niche product. They did almost $1 million in revenue last year. One student asked her how long it took for her sales to take off initially. Her answer surprised me: she worked for an entire week before she had her first sale.

WSJ Startup Journal: How to stand out online

Some people are born with great names and others have great names thrust upon them. In the 1960s when I was given the name "Paul Allen" it was an ordinary name. But thanks to the dynamic duo of Microsoft's Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the name is now famous. But what do you do if you want to be found online, but you can't possibly stand out like the rich and famous person with the same name? Or what do you do if you have a name like "John Smith" that is so common that it can't possibly stand out?

Search Engine Strategies in Chicago

I'm attending my first panel at SES Chicago. I chose to attend the session called Bulk Submit 2.0. The presenters include Amanda Camp, the Google engineer over Sitemaps, and Amit Kumar, the Yahoo manager over Site Explorer, along with two agency search marketers. Everyone is enthusiastic about the industry's acceptance of a bulk site submit protocoal at www.sitemaps.org. I will try to boil down all the advice from this session and others into future blog posts.

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