Select Page


Your blame complex

A metaphor for unmanifested progress

How you should be hiring (or getting hired)

Weekly catch up

Three things to make you look smart:

1. There was a hearing last Friday discussing if businesses like Google and Facebook should compensate news channels. Google and FB aren’t for it, but 

2. Microsoft is.We’re officially in mobile first territory. Here’s what Google says you should do about it.

3. FB announced more ways you can monetize on their platform.

Three things to make you look happy:

1. Remember how “reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as 1.5 hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32 percent”? Well, Ikea can help by lulling you to sleep with its relaxing reading of their catalog in their new podcast.

2. We want to say amen to Nike’s ad about how mothers are counted among the toughest athletes.

3. Also, this virtual egg hunt sounds kinda fun.


Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the Executive Director of SEO at Edmunds. He has 15+ years of experience in the industry, has spoken at SMX (Search Marketing Expo), and is known for building effective SEO teams.

Matt’s recommendations for hiring:

Choose aptitude over technical skills.
Matt suggests choosing a fast learner over someone trained in technical skills. Sure, there are certain roles this doesn’t apply to. But in a tight SEO team, it’s efficient to hire someone with solid marketing principles who can learn the rest.

Make sure they mesh.
Matt has turned aside candidates with wonderful recommendations, experience, and skills when they don’t click with his team or company.

Value a fresh perspective.
It’s easy to find someone who will validate your opinions. However a golden candidate brings their distinct opinions, while gelling with your team’s personality.

So, how do you get a great hire?

Make it a group effort.
Matt says, “While we’re all fantastic decision makers, never trust ONLY your decision making.” He explains how everyone from team members to their CPO help him make the best hire. They inevitably think of things you won’t because they care about things that you don’t, and sometimes they give you confidence to make those gutsy hires.

Consider multiple rounds.
Matt participates in quite the interviewing process. (But hey, it works.)
1st round: recruiter. 2nd round: director, and 3rd round: speed dating technique. (About five people meet with the candidate, including team members and the CPO.)

Tell them the bad.
Matt told us that he’s “probably overly transparent about what the person will experience in their role.” And we give that ????????????????. He doesn’t really regret his honesty though because it’s resulted in team members who aren’t surprised by the challenges that come with their job. Plus he’s careful to share the wonderful opportunities, along with the difficulties.

Ask yourself this

Do I have weird a blame complex?

Fun fact: in quite a few languages, instead of saying “I broke the lamp,” they say, “The lamp broke itself.”

Do you see how us English speakers are more likely to assign blame because we’re used to saying “I broke my arm.” What kind of psycho breaks their own arm? So yeah, we’ve got some weird blame complex. (More on language’s effects in Lera Boroditsky’s Ted Talk.)

What does it look like when blame is thrown around the workplace?

  • People care more about their own self-image than about results = Results suffer
  • People are less likely to admit when they’ve done something wrong = Mistakes are hidden = Results suffer
  • People are scared = Creativity dies = Results suffer

Obviously, blame is no good. These questions will help you gauge where you’re at.

1. When it comes to a failure, do you blame the person or the results

​What not to do: Joe, you didn’t get the traffic up to what we wanted this month, what are you going to do differently next month?
What to do: Joe, traffic wasn’t as high as we aimed for, what are you going to do differently next month?

2. Do you own up to your own mistakes? When you do, are you depressing about it?

A confident, “I didn’t do that right,” sends the message that successful people admit mistakes. And it suggests that mistakes aren’t the end of the world.

Wordless Wisdom

Reminder: don’t discount unseen progress