In my last post, I covered vocal HitTail advocate, Gary Beal who uses the service for optimizing his million-dollar paid keyword campaigns. In this post, I’m switching gears to discuss an equally vocal advocate on the organic search side, David Stockwell, who happens to be a Ph.D. at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, UCSB and San Diego Supercomputer Center, UCSD. His bio reads:
David Stockwell PhD is a well published scientist who has developed statistical software to help researchers make outstanding contributions in biodiversity such as managing and discovering new species. Founder of NicheShape, he is now helping corporate world to manage and discover new clients.
And he also happens to be basing his business in part on HitTail.
That’s not to say that David is unique in this respect. Fathom from CoopyRite is also disclosing this is part of his methods, and we believe a large array of SEO and online marketing firms are already following suit. David is just the most highly pedigreed and vocal. We also like the subject-matter of his HitTailing, and the thought that our tool is being used for social good beyond raising the bottom line.
Anyway, David’s NicheShape.com website is full of information about what he’s doing. But the post that probably gets most to the point of what he’s doing is one about dominating niche concepts in search. A lively discussion broke out in our forum where prolific SEO forum participant Randall McCarley of Web Development & Promotion made the point that HitTail suggestions should be carefully evaluated and measured against your site’s objectives. Dave countered with one of the most interesting replies I ever saw:
“Thanks I can understand your strategy but I am a HitTail slave. It sends me suggestions and I just provide content. Niche Modeling deals with the distributional statistics of any field, like the latest long tail trend, and I am just going where HitTail takes me. Where it will end up, nobody knows.”
David is a wonderful example of HitTail being used to generate revenue directly for himself through people advertising on HIS websites, and using the same techniques to provide writing for clients. He boldly states that not all content is created equal, and that for a small fee, he will deliver a short article that will provide that special edge in about a week.
Now in the field of SEO, we’ve got a lot of unsubstantiated claims being made. Often the evidence exists of SEO’s effectiveness, but the excuse is provided that it’s proprietary client information or competitive secrets are involved. One of the many things that strike me about David is the Ph.D. and the increasing amount of statistical analysis diagrams he’s rolling out to substantiate his claims. Much like Gary Beal who went public with screenshots of HitTail-supercharged AdWords campaigns risking fostering his own competition, David Stockwell spells out his methodology, specific tools that he uses and actual data evidence that its working.
Such generosity is in itself an artifact of the long tail effect. Given enough people using a competitive new methodology to come along, the laws of probability states that you’re going to have at least a couple who come forward in a substantially altruistic fashion and spell it all out for the rest of us.