Google Authority Listing Boosts Search Engine Traffic

Google Authority Listing Boosts Search Engine Traffic

Many of you know that two weeks ago, I finally moved into a house (pics coming soon). In case you didn’t read that, it basically outlines why I so grateful to have finally moved out the tiny apartment and finally into a big house again. Well, that same weekend, I also found out that Google finally granted me an “authority listing.”

google authority listing nate whitehill

What’s an authority listing?

When I first started blogging, there were no other “Nate Whitehill’s” who ranked for their names in Google. Within a month, I ranked #1 for my name. Now, not only do I rank for my name, but I have been given an “authority listing” in Google for my name.

Similar to an “indented listing” (see below), an “authority listing” is a site which has received a significant of natural backlinks, total number of daily searches, and high quality linkback “authority” from other high PR sites, over a long period of time. Many of you know that I have been blogging since January of 2007, so, it took me about a year for my name to receive an authority listing on Google.

Not only does an authority listing appear as the first result, but it also has 4-5 other links directly under it pointing to other high PR pages within your site. I am sure that Google listed my “23 Things I’ve Learned After 7 months” post only because it is probably the most linked-to post on my blog.

What does this mean for the future?

Well, for one, I will start to receive more traffic for my name than previously. In this Google Analytics chart, it shows the number of searches per day for my name over the past year.

 google authority listing

As you can see, search traffic spiked in late September, but has also been steadily rising over the past month.

Why is it good to rank high for your name?

On the Internet, your reputation is a lot more important than your resume. Anyone can start a business online or make money, it doesn’t take any special degree or incredible resume. However, online reputation can help tremendously when it comes to effectively networking or marketing online.

Not to mention, if a potential employer really wanted to find out about you, they would Google your name and not just look at your resume. Just as long as you have surrounded your online reputation with positive and noteworthy achievements, then it can only benefit any online OR offline new job opportunity.

Any other “Nate Whitehill” who wanted to rank #1 for his contact would have very difficult time doing so thanks to my new Google Authority listing.

What do you rank when you type in your name? Do you have an authority listing?

Moving, Finally!

Moving, Finally!

Ever since I moved from Seattle to Scottsdale, Arizona in July of 2006, I have been living in small, cramped apartments with my business partners and best friends since high school, Josh Mullineaux and Matt Blancarte. While living with my best friends and business partners is awesome, they will both agree that three guys living in a small apartment has not been the ideal situation.

Our first apartment, The Palladium, was located right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, right across from several upscale nightclubs. For a first apartment, it was very nice, especially given that it was situated directly across the street from the happening Scottsdale nightlife. I believe the square footage was around 1200 square feet, which for two guys (just Josh and I, at the time), wasn’t bad by any means.

You might think that being so close to so much nightlife, I must have spent a lot of time partying. Nothing could be further from the truth! During my first six months in Arizona is when I really started spending ALL of my time working to develop a sustainable online business. Needless to say, given our goals at the time – to create a sustainable online business – we didn’t get much use out of the local nightclubs. During the eight months we lived at The Palladium, I think we went out less than half a dozen times. Josh and I eventually figured out that if we were going to spend all of our time working on the business, we may as well move to a cheaper, quieter location.

As a result, in March of 2007, Josh and I moved to a less expensive, more suburban apartment in North Scottsdale. Even though at this new apartment we were paying half of what we paid before, the quiet and somewhat suburban location made it much easier to consistently work without being distracted by the local partying and nightlife. Not to mention how we saved a lot of money by downgrading our living situation.

In August of 2007, when we started UBD, our other business partner (and best friend since high school), Matt, moved in with us into our 900-square foot apartment. Why did Matt move in (and more importantly, where did he sleep!)? Matt moved in because previously he had been living in Tempe, a 45-minute drive away, and given how crucial his role in the business quickly became, he started spending all of his time up at our place in Scottsdale. Prior to that, Matt was commuting 5-6 days a week. We finally managed to save up some company dollars and bought Matt a futon, so he has been sleeping in the living room for the past six months. Talk about boot-strapping!

As much as I enjoy working full-time with my business partners and best friends from the “comfort” of our own place, “comfortable” is NOT the word I would use to describe our living situation over the past several months. We have made a lot of sacrifices over the past 18 months, including saying goodbye to partying, living in a relatively uncomfortable situation, and working long hours with no end in sight.

Finally, however, the day has come! We are moving out of our apartment into a real, live house! Not just any house, but one in which we will all be able to be in the kitchen at the same time. In our current apartment, our kitchen is so small that it is nearly impossible for us to have the oven and fridge doors open at the same time!

Anyway, we have been planning and saving to move into a house for the past several months now. As far as our requirements, we needed four bedrooms and a three car garage. Why four bedrooms? We can use the master suite as our office design and write off a hefty portion of the monthly payment.

Not only is this house perfect for our current situation, but the location could not be better. The best part about it is that it has a pool and yard, so now Matt can finally move his puppy, Jojo, in with us (Josh, and I, and my two cats). Anyone who has ever lived in Arizona knows that if you plan on spending any time outside in the summer, you’d better be near a pool. Summer temperatures typically range from 100 F (37 C) at night to 115 F (46 C) during the day.

We are moving in this weekend, but I will definitely post some pics as we get set up!

What has everyone else been up to? At least it looks like we won’t be seeing a Microhoo anytime soon…

Here are some pics from the surrounding area we are moving to… Looks kind of like another world, doesn’t it? The third pic down is a crazy rock mountain called Pinnacle Peak.





Making sacrifices in the present in order to benefit in the future can be dicey. You really have to carefully weigh what you’re giving up and what you have to gain. Right now our “sacrifice” for the past few months is feeling like it was justified: we like the position it has put us in, and we all feel like we can see the benefits. However, it is a subtle proposition that only each individual can negotiate with confidence. I look forward to hearing what your own challenges in that regard are.

Microhoo! Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion


No joke. Microsoft made an offer of $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo, thus FINALLY creating a competitor to Google. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, publicly released the following letter discussing the merger.

January 31, 2008

Board of Directors
Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Attention: Roy Bostock, Chairman
Attention: Jerry Yang, Chief Executive Officer

Dear Members of the Board:

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of Microsoft to make a proposal for a business combination of Microsoft and Yahoo!. Under our proposal, Microsoft would acquire all of the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 based on Microsoft’s closing share price on January 31, 2008, payable in the form of $31 in cash or 0.9509 of a share of Microsoft common stock. Microsoft would provide each Yahoo! shareholder with the ability to choose whether to receive the consideration in cash or Microsoft common stock, subject to pro-ration so that in the aggregate one-half of the Yahoo! common shares will be exchanged for shares of Microsoft common stock and one-half of the Yahoo! common shares will be converted into the right to receive cash. Our proposal is not subject to any financing condition.

Our proposal represents a 62% premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock of $19.18 on January 31, 2008. The implied premium for the operating assets of the company clearly is considerably greater when adjusted for the minority, non-controlled assets and cash. By whatever financial measure you use – EBITDA, free cash flow, operating cash flow, net income, or analyst target prices – this proposal represents a compelling value realization event for your shareholders.

We believe that Microsoft common stock represents a very attractive investment opportunity for Yahoo!’s shareholders. Microsoft has generated revenue growth of 15%, earnings growth of 26%, and a return on equity of 35% on average for the last three years. Microsoft’s share price has generated shareholder returns of 8% during the last one year period and 28% during the last three year period, significantly outperforming the S&P 500. It is our view that Microsoft has significant potential upside given the continued solid growth in our core businesses, the recent launch of Windows Vista, and other strategic initiatives.

Microsoft’s consistent belief has been that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! clearly represents the best way to deliver maximum value to our respective shareholders, as well as create a more efficient and competitive company that would provide greater value and service to our customers. In late 2006 and early 2007, we jointly explored a broad range of ways in which our two companies might work together. These discussions were based on a vision that the online businesses of Microsoft and Yahoo! should be aligned in some way to create a more effective competitor in the online marketplace. We discussed a number of alternatives ranging from commercial partnerships to a merger proposal, which you rejected. While a commercial partnership may have made sense at one time, Microsoft believes that the only alternative now is the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! that we are proposing.

In February 2007, I received a letter from your Chairman indicating the view of the Yahoo! Board that “now is not the right time from the perspective of our shareholders to enter into discussions regarding an acquisition transaction.” According to that letter, the principal reason for this view was the Yahoo! Board’s confidence in the “potential upside” if management successfully executed on a reformulated strategy based on certain operational initiatives, such as Project Panama, and a significant organizational realignment. A year has gone by, and the competitive situation has not improved.

While online advertising growth continues, there are significant benefits of scale in advertising platform economics, in capital costs for search index build-out, and in research and development, making this a time of industry consolidation and convergence. Today, the market is increasingly dominated by one player who is consolidating its dominance through acquisition. Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a credible alternative for consumers, advertisers, and publishers. Synergies of this combination fall into four areas:

Scale economics: This combination enables synergies related to scale economics of the advertising platform where today there is only one competitor at scale. This includes synergies across both search and non-search related advertising that will strengthen the value proposition to both advertisers and publishers. Additionally, the combination allows us to consolidate capital spending.

Expanded R&D capacity: The combined talent of our engineering resources can be focused on R&D priorities such as a single search index and single advertising platform. Together we can unleash new levels of innovation, delivering enhanced user experiences, breakthroughs in search, and new advertising platform capabilities. Many of these breakthroughs are a function of an engineering scale that today neither of our companies has on its own.

Operational efficiencies: Eliminating redundant infrastructure and duplicative operating costs will improve the financial performance of the combined entity.

Emerging user experiences: Our combined ability to focus engineering resources that drive innovation in emerging scenarios such as video, mobile services, online commerce, social media, and social platforms is greatly enhanced.

We would value the opportunity to further discuss with you how to optimize the integration of our respective businesses to create a leading global technology company with exceptional display and search advertising capabilities. You should also be aware that we intend to offer significant retention packages to your engineers, key leaders and employees across all disciplines.

We have dedicated considerable time and resources to an analysis of a potential transaction and are confident that the combination will receive all necessary regulatory approvals. We look forward to discussing this with you, and both our internal legal team and outside counsel are available to meet with your counsel at their earliest convenience.

Our proposal is subject to the negotiation of a definitive merger agreement and our having the opportunity to conduct certain limited and confirmatory due diligence. In addition, because a portion of the aggregate merger consideration would consist of Microsoft common stock, we would provide Yahoo! the opportunity to conduct appropriate limited due diligence with respect to Microsoft. We are prepared to deliver a draft merger agreement to you and begin discussions immediately.

In light of the significance of this proposal to your shareholders and ours, as well as the potential for selective disclosures, our intention is to publicly release the text of this letter tomorrow morning.

Due to the importance of these discussions and the value represented by our proposal, we expect the Yahoo! Board to engage in a full review of our proposal. My leadership team and I would be happy to make ourselves available to meet with you and your Board at your earliest convenience. Depending on the nature of your response, Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal.

We believe this proposal represents a unique opportunity to create significant value for Yahoo!’s shareholders and employees, and the combined company will be better positioned to provide an enhanced value proposition to users and advertisers. We hope that you and your Board share our enthusiasm, and we look forward to a prompt and favorable reply.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Steven A. Ballmer

Steven A. Ballmer

Chief Executive Officer

Microsoft Corporation

2008 is going to be an exciting year, no doubt.

Full story here