Marty Weintraub isn't easily placed all the time. He falls in the same class as Rae Hoffmann or Dave Harry in that regard.

One moment he's the most well spoken gentleman you ever encountered, the next he's rolling the verbal punches with the best of them.

Quite consistently however he puts out some seriously interesting posts, proofing he's thinking about all this "stuff" and giving it serious consideration.

Unable to hunt him down for schedule a guest post with him I had the chance to get him to answer a few questions.

SEO was in-page. SEO was links. Google promotes its historical treatment with the PR that "over 200 factors" are involved with ranking a document. If you have to make a "single most important factor" statement regarding SEO in 2009, what is it?

Aiming for SEO that's attainable is our most important new "factor" concern. The strength of site and competitiveness of SERPs come into play in wire framing SEO.

For instance a client might be creating a new site, new domain registration, etc... Some keywords will be highly contested in the SERPs and others less, especially on the mid/long tails. It would be foolish to optimize the site for keywords which could not be attained in the short or even mid-term without a lot of work . Therefore, it's important to aim clearly at low hanging fruit; the intersection of search volume and attainability.

On the other hand, maybe we're working with a site sporting Toolbar PR3 and great trust as indicated by LinkScape. "Attainable" means an entirely different thing as we reach for more contested keywords deeper in the site. Sometimes we evaluate similar pages to predict future pages strength and aim for what we believe we can attain by expected natural growth of the page's strength.

Your company's site is strongly aimed at Duluth Minnesota SEO (ps: this will become a link to your relevant page). Many SEO companies, including SEP, target a specific area vs "the world" or "the web". Why is that?

*He smiles broadly* First, is stupid. The cobblers son goes shoeless. In 2006 I did that site in a hospital room at Mayo. My staff has been working on fixing it. I think I'll make the call to the server team to permanently redirect to aimClear Blog now. 🙂

I'm sometimes bummed that I don't have a great "Duluth" place to rant about local stuff like politics and the dynamics of always being FROZEN here. aimClear Blog is about our company, it's lifestyle, our craft, PPC, SEO, SMO, Social PPC, SEM conferences, etc...

I can honestly say that I've never targeted aimClear Blog at's just a place where I love to write, answer common questions from clients and challenge our team to be as good in reality as we are in theory. was all created before we were out of our gourd with incredible client work. It should be taken down or made as cool as the blog is.

SEO has a clear mechanism to work with (search engines) even though the inner working of the mechanism is somethng we have to derive from the end result.
How does SMO (social media optimization) work; the "mechanism" we work with are humans?

Social media mirrors physical life. The same authority structures, strengths, weaknesses and hierarchy of intercourse hold true. We grow, we suffer, we win, we lose, we gain authority, we fuck each other figuratively and literally. Humans are only somewhat predictable. Working with social media is about understanding the fickle human animal, the same way we do in the physical world with manual relationships.

In your keyword research article you mention how the results can be used in the "real world" as well; in regular advertisement, commercials etc. That's an interesting idea. Care to expand a bit?

Right. I noticed in 2007 that it benefited a cool hotel client we still have to take the keyword research, give it to front desk and suggest that they answer the phone using those words. In the online/offline equation, nobody disputes the benefits of advising offline by online demographic research.

The economic times are hard. To those about to be laid off or already laid off, what would you suggest they do to earn an income, full or partial, *as soon as possible* via the web?

Great question. I would say get into an Internet focused advertising agency as an associate SEO or PPC account manager. learn how to leverage one new channel at time and gain an understanding of the space. Friends like @Streko would say that learning to be an affiliate marketers can be quick dividends for the extremely motivated and smartest among us. I would tend to agree.

The people advised above have set up their site. Naturally, budget to promote is low or non-existent. What do you suggest they do now?

Start blowing PR content, normally disseminated by brick channels on the 7 classic nodes of public relations, out a properly configured feed using WordPress as a 2X a week practice. You can read great content marketing writers like Lee Odden, for tips in sourcing feed material.

Content marketing has worked since Cave people got laid by drawing animal pictures on the wall and predicting the weather. Publishing by best practices is nearly free, for those who care to reach that high. There's nearly always a steady stream of easy to grab content in any company, which can be archived and indexed by Google from a feed.