The Portent Blog

rick-backus PPC

20 Aug, 2012

Google Shopping: Interview with Rick Backus of CPC Strategy

By Portent Staff

Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of CPC Strategy, a comparison shopping engine management company started in 2007. They take client feeds across multiple platforms (Amazon, Nextag, PriceGrabber, etc;) and optimize them for ROI through strategy, attention to detail and expertise in CSEs (comparison shopping engines.) Rick was kind enough to let me ask a… Read More

unzipping1 SEO

10 Aug, 2012

How to: Mine server logs for broken links

By Ian Lurie

I’ve broken this out into lots of steps. You could do it all in one or two steps with a shell script or other geekery. I wrote this to keep each step simple, and get you into Excel as quickly as possible, instead. I’ve railed about fixing broken links for years now. I’ve presented webinars… Read More

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Web Marketing All in One for Dummies Internet Marketing

1 Aug, 2012

Win the (Brand NEW) Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies Book

By Portent Staff

For months now, Portent CEO Ian Lurie and Director of Search Marketing Elizabeth Marsten have not slept. They have not eaten. They have missed out on critical episodes of True Blood. Why? Because they have been brewing brilliance with co-authors John Arnold, Marty Dickinson, and Michael Becker, developing the second edition of Web Marketing All-in-One… Read More

Say what matters Internet Marketing

26 Jul, 2012

Say what matters: My Mozcon 2012 presentation

By Ian Lurie

These are the notes from my Mozcon 2012 presentation. I emphasize ‘notes’. There’s quite a bit of stream-of-consciousness going on here. If you want to see the presentation and supporting materials, instead, go to the bundle, or check out the slides themselves, right here: I think the folks at SEOMOZ are mad at me.… Read More

A tiny slice of a tiny idea graph Internet Marketing

25 Jul, 2012

Help us build the Idea Graph: A click is all we ask

By Ian Lurie

If you want to skip the babbling and just sign up, click here, then install the app. Life is very random. You’ve probably noticed. For example, did you know that I like Marilyn Manson’s music, but I’m also a fan of Beethoven. I love to watch the NFL but not baseball. I like electric cars… Read More

Internet Marketing

18 Jul, 2012

On cycling, near-death experiences and content

By Ian Lurie

I biked to work today. Which has nothing to do with this post, except that I biked back, too. My ride home includes a 500-foot climb that pitches up to a 10%+ grade in a few places. No big deal when I was 30 (or even 40). But now, at 44, with about 10 extra… Read More

google shopping beta PPC

21 Jun, 2012

What a Paid Search Marketer Needs to Know About Google Shopping

By Portent Staff

Froogle, Google Product Search, Google Shopping- whatever you call it, it’s integrated with AdWords – now more than ever. And if you think Google is going to stop there…yeah, right. This just got a bit more competitive is all. Oh yeah, and less free. If you’ve been following along with the recent announcement that Google… Read More


4 Jun, 2012

Web copywriting 101: Sub-headings

By Ian Lurie

I went to read The Skills Gap Myth on this morning, and I saw this: I know I’m off Diet Coke, and low on caffeine, and my brain’s working in slow motion. But still, that’s an awful lot of uninterrupted text for a Monday morning. When you’re writing online, you need to break up… Read More


31 May, 2012

And So Are the Days of Our Tukwila Lives…

By Portent Staff

Today, Portent is moving to the Smith Tower. But before we can say hello to downtown Seattle, we have to say goodbye to Tukwila Life. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “That’s Tukwila Life” – it’s the motto of the city of Tukwila, where Portent has made it’s home for the last ten years or… Read More

when penguins go bad SEO

14 May, 2012

Google Penguin for non-SEOs

By Ian Lurie

If I say ‘Google Penguin’ to an SEO pro, they shudder. In the SEO world, Google’s Penguin update is the nastiest, scariest update since, I dunno, Florida? Here’s an explainer for all the marketers who are wondering what the hell just happened to their traffic: What’s an update? The engineers at Google constantly tune their… Read More


4 May, 2012

10 Dangerous Defaults in PPC

By Portent Staff

You remember that episode where Homer Simpson goes into space as a NASA astronaut? He only got to go because Barney Gumble has an alcoholic relapse and Homer was the second runner up. Scientist: Well, Homer, I guess you’re the winner by default. Homer: Default? Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language:… Read More

The Dashboard Analytics

25 Apr, 2012

SEO Analytics, Middle Earth-Style

By Ian Lurie

Who saved Middle Earth? No, not Frodo. His will shredded like wet toilet paper. Gollum took the lava bath, destroyed the ring, and saved everyone from a 36″ Dark Lord. Does he get any credit? Nooooooo. Nine-fingered Frodo is the hero. The ladies all swoon at Legolas and Aragorn. But not poor Gollum. Internet marketers,… Read More

honey-badger-principles Internet Marketing

17 Apr, 2012

Three principles of internet marketing

By Ian Lurie

I’ve put in some time lately talking about what internet marketing is not. I thought I’d take a crack what internet marketing is, for a change. Internet marketing’s driven by three principles that are often in tension: Note that I didn’t say The three principles of internet marketing. These are principles of internet marketing. But… Read More

just think how much more authority we'll have now Random

2 Apr, 2012

The big merger

By Ian Lurie

No, Portent didn’t merge with another company. But we just finished merging my blog, Conversation Marketing, into the Portent web site. From now on, you can find all the same stuff I used to write on Conversation Marketing here, instead. Why’d I do it? Let me count the reasons: The rest of the team at… Read More

businessstarts Random

22 Mar, 2012

Information is free. Knowledge is not.

By Ian Lurie

In business, everyone keeps confusing information with knowledge. They’re different. Even the dictionary says so: Information: Facts provided or learned about something or someone. Knowledge: Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Information is ones and zeros. It’s raw data, or a list of facts. It’s… Read More