SearchFest 2011 Mini-Interview: Todd Malicoat
Todd will be speaking about “Competitive Intelligence” at SearchFest 2011, which will take place on February 23rd at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available now. To purchase, please click the following link.
Todd Malicoat (aka stuntdubl) has over 10 years of experience in internet marketing and 5 years experience consulting on search marketing management at an executive level. As the SEO faculty chair for MarketMotive.com, Todd leads a comprehensive online marketing curriculum with other experts in all facets of internet marketing. Todd has been an active international conference speaker at Search Engine Strategies, Webmaster World Pubcon, Search Marketing Expo, Affiliate Summit, Dreamforce, and other industry conferences for over five years on various aspects of online media including search marketing and social media.
Armed with the funding of a generous angel investor, Todd developed a process to find, negotiate, and purchase undervalued websites like CollegeDegree.com. These sites were redeveloped and further monetized using proven strategies for creating sustainable web properties with substantial appreciation in relatively short periods of time. This proprietary process for identifying and redeveloping web properties is the foundation for Todd s current and future ventures, and has provided returns of over 500% in a year on the above respective sites.
As a thought leader in the online business world he has been named among the top 50 Most Influential Marketer s of 2008 and 2009 by Invesp.com, and Top 40 Most Influential in Search Marketing by GSInc.co.uk in 2007. He has been cited by Inc. Magazine, The Sydney Herald, Website Magazine, The New York Post, Infoworld, and many other media outlets on search, reputation management, social media, and other web related issues. Todd also runs a blog that covers all areas of web traffic acquisition called Stuntdubl.com – that echoes his mantra of "Getting hit by traffic…not cars."
Knowing that you re big on SEO Tools , what tools might someone use to develop Competitive Intelligence that can be used to compete in the SERPS?
My personal favorites always include the toolsets at SEOmoz SEO tools and SEObook training tools (Aaron’s competitive research tool is probably one of my all time favorites – I’ve been using it for domaining purposes for the last 3 years). The tool at seobook is built on the amazing data collected by the good folks at SEMRush.com, which is a tool every search marketer should be aware of. Spyfu is another fantastic competive analysis tool every search marketer should have in their toolbox. Compete.com, Quantcast, Majestic SEO and some of the tools in Raven tools are among the other tools I keep at the ready in my toolbox. I’m hoping for one of these great vendors to help us all by creating the KOB analysis tool.
How do you determine whether a certain online competitive goal is viable or whether the effort should be either refocused or abandoned?
In addition to tools – I think it’s critical to have an understanding of the competitive nature of a search result and how to gauge it. I deem this "KOB analysis", or Keyword Opposition to Benefit Analysis. KOB is the equivelant of a cost to benefit analysis for a specific keyword ranking. Since every search result is a battleground, it makes sense to do this at the very top level of the search volume pyramid (for one, two, and even sometimes three word phrases). I base my KOB analysis on a score of 8 major factors for the "opposition" portion:
- Anchor text
- On page optimization
- Global link popularity
- Local set links
- Unique linking domains
- Social media metrics
After giving each site in the top 10 of the search results an opposition score, you can compare this to the benefit of ranking for a keyword (I use cost-per-click multiplied by search volume to calculate benefit). The overall KOB scores reveal the long hanging fruit, and show which keywords may be too competitive based on the resources it would take to match the sites in the top positions. As a side note to any tool developers reading this – I will gladly offer up the formula and algorithm suggestions for building the "KOB tool" to anyone who uses my terminology and provides a linkback:)