The Right Way to Think About Google

Oops, they did it again.
Our friend Google caused a panicked rumble through the tech world late Monday afternoon, when they announced they’d be restructuring under a new holding company called Alphabet.
Never mind that this is something companies do all the time. Never mind that there’s no reason to think it will change what’s happening with search in any way. Never mind the weird, April-Fools-looking new domain.
Google can’t really do “normal things,” because every time they make even a small visible change, most of us wonder,
What will this do to my rankings?
Why the collective jumping at shadows? Well, because if your business depends on your search rankings — and we’ll talk about that in a minute — you probably have a certain amount of Google-induced stress disorder.
Key elements change. Abruptly. And secretly. And you’re left scrambling to pick up the mess.
And to be honest, it can get right on your last nerve.
But if it causes you more than a few moments of irritation, you may benefit from shifting the way you think about the web’s favorite 800-pound gorilla.
Here’s how I’ve learned to think about Google (courtesy of advice from Copyblogger’s founder, Brian Clark). Which means when they pull stunts like this — and they do, with some regularity — my pain is limited to a few curse words and some moderate tweaking.
I have five rules for keeping my sanity when dealing with Google.
Rule 1: “What’s my plan if this goes away

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On Pink Hair, Marketing, and Business on Your Own Terms

It’s always interesting being in an airport as a person with pink hair — especially when I’m traveling for business.
Pink hair is a little more mainstream these days (curse you, Nicki Minaj), but it still gets attention.
Small children think I’m some kind of live-action muppet, which I enjoy very much.
TSA security officials look at the combination of the pink hair and the business jacket, and give me a puzzled smile. My fellow business travelers give me confused looks … mixed, sometimes, maybe with a tiny bit of jealousy as well.
Anything you do that’s visibly different will get people telling stories in their own heads. Pink hair seems to inspire stories about freedom from arbitrary rules, about navigating the economic changes of the 21st century, about 4-hour workweeks.
The 4-hour workweek part is bogus, but the rest of it has some merit.
I first dyed my hair pink in a kind of post-corporate stress disorder statement — I’m not going back there.
I had attitude about corporate when I was in that environment. Career-limiting kinds of attitude. And I’ve never particularly gotten over it.
I’m sure that I should have behaved myself better and been a little more politically astute. But I’ve never been all that good at that. Ah well.
When I first declared independence with my hair, I was a fledgling freelance copywriter with definite ideas about writing, content, business, and ethics.
Funnily enough, now I’m a reasonably seasoned business owner with definite ideas about writing,

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Announcing The 2015 Cost of Online Business Report [Infographic]

Here’s a neat fact to start your day: Copyblogger has a goat keeper among its readers. We know because he took our 2015 Cost of Online Business survey.
Now, more than likely it’s a prank. A prank by some misfit in Boca Raton.
But I have to confess: part of me wants there to be a goat keeper (somewhere exotic) who is a faithful reader of Copyblogger. An enterprising shepherd who dreams of growing his herd — with content marketing.
Ah, to dream.
But whether or not the goat keeper is real doesn’t really matter. It is, however, just one of dozens of interesting discoveries we made during our 2015 Cost of Online Business survey.
Discoveries like:

More than a quarter of respondents identified as a Small Business Owner.
Most website owners are struggling to make a living online.
Yet more and more people are choosing to enter the online business realm.
Generating traffic is the biggest challenge of running an online business.

And 53 additional interesting results.
Results that will help us create content that solves your online business problems and develop new products that better serve your needs. Not to mention allowing us to upgrade our current products based on what matters most to you.
Naturally, we wanted this information to serve you better. But we thought you needed it, too.
How can you accurately evaluate your current strategies and tactics — and their associated costs — if you don’t know what other folks are doing and what’s working for them?
You need to know your options.
The survey results in three ways
We’ve decided to provide the results

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