Hey Google! Take me to the Best Bike Shop in Greenville”

Ah, the simple life. Remember when SEO, Search Engine Optimization, was relatively uncomplicated?

You could spend a few hours on your Google dashboard, track down your keywords (the reference point your customers were using to find your site) then write a blog post and stuff it like a Thanksgiving turkey with corn bread and key words. Observe:

“Are You Looking for the Best Bike Shop in town? Well take a look at Sunshine Bikes, located in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina. We stock the best , fastest, and sexiest bicycles in Greenville, SC and our customers come from all over the Upstate of South Carolina for our great pricecs on Michelin cycling tires, Power Bars, Stan’s Tubes, and components from SRAM, Ritchey, Campagnolo, and Cane Creek. ”

Santa Cruz mountain bike fromSunshine Cycles in Greenville, SC. Yeah they might be a client of mine.


Not a cyclist? Just swap out all that cycling specific nomenclature (bike shop, best bike shop,bike tires) for your product’s and you’ll quickly understand.

Google prefers fresh websites with rich content and if your site hasn’t updated its content at the same rate as your competitor’s, they were more likely to end up on the top of the search results. And that’s why blogs were critical to one’s SEO success.

Now…who actually types into a search engine field anymore?  Now we have Alexa, Siri, Google Home, Echo, and running robots.  Yeah, running robots.All this guy is missing is a chest-mounted .50 caliber.

Didn’t an Arnold Schwarzneggar character warn us about this?

SEO. Because your web visitors might not say “I’ll be back.”

Anyway, where was I? Voice search.

“Hello Alexa? I still like to type and prefer solid writing skills over video production.”


Now it’s no longer enough to manage your SEO in that old-fashioned, aforementioned technique. Blogs are still important (Google still likes fresh web content) and when crafting that blog post, you’d best take a few minutes, use your favorite voice search app and search for your own product. Go back to your Google dashboard and see how people are finding your site, and your competitor’s, then craft that post using those long phrases and sentences. And it helps if you can craft an intriguing essay because the written word is still a powerful tool.

And if you’re struggling with your SEO, your Instagram feed, or the jungle that LinkedIn has becoome, give us a call. We’ve been doing this for a few years and love helping customers find the perfect bike, or restaurant, or fabricated rebar, or craft beer, or…

If I don’t answer the phone it’s because I’m on my bike.

You can reach us at john at jackrussellconsulting dot com. Or just us the contact form below.

Trial By Mob and the New Social Media

Tennessee is looking for a football coach. Again. And in this sordid tale lies a lesson in all of us that portends the future.

After five lousy years, the University of Tennessee fired its football coach and after an extensive search, this past weekend they offered the job to Greg Schiano. Since 1995 Mr. Schiano has been a head coach at Rutgers University and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an assistant at Ohio State and Miami as well as the Chicago Bears. Prior to 1995 he was an assistant at Penn State for Joe Paterno. And Joe Paterno was the guy that turned a blind eye to another assistant coach, Jerry Sanduskey and allowed him to get away with molesting young boys for years.

Both Joe Paterno and Jerry Sanduskey got what they deserved courtesy a very public blood letting.

Fast forward to this past weekend when the University of Tennessee lets its fans know they’ve hired Mr. Schiano to be their head coach and before you can sing Rocky Top, east Tennessee’s social media went berzerk and blamed Greg Schiano for enabling every bit of Jerry Sanduskey’s child molestation.

“If UT actually cared about us you wouldn’t be getting ready to hire a supporter of child molestation and rape as the new football head coach.”

“Schiano covered up rape at Penn State”

And on and on.

Forget the fact that Greg Schiano was exonerated by the intense legal investigation that followed, or that he was good enough to get hired by two pro teams and two colleges in the years following. He was found guilty by a jury of Twitter and Facebook users and that was enough for the University of Tennessee. Mr. Schiano was fired by the end of the day. And my Dad promptly rolled over in his grave.

Dad was a judge in south Louisiana and he was routinely questioned on the outcome of many a sensational trial. People that had never set foot in his courtroom, much less bothered to read the trial’s transcripts would quickly pronounce judgement based on their skimming of a 500-word newspaper story. They would call him at home, stop him in the grocery store, or yell at him at a traffic light and demand an answer.

His response was always the same. “Were you at the trial because it lasted four and a half days and I don’t recall seeing you in my courtroom.”

So with respect to the University of Tennessee, I’ve got a couple of questions.

Q) Did they properly vet Mr.Schiano?

A) Definitely

Q) Did they anticipate a possible social media response to his Penn State background?

A) Maybe

So why the hell wasn’t someone at the University able to take a stand and tell their social media crowds they’ve done their due diligence and you’re over reacting? Jeez…

Who’s going to take this head coaching job now knowing that they could be fired by a bunch of Twitter users? Heck for that matter, why bother with a coach at all when you could have the fans calling plays from the stands via a Facebook update or an Instagram hashtag?

So what can we learn from this incident? This knee jerk reaction via Facebook isn’t going away so if you’re in a leadership position and you have to make a tough decision, you better be prepared for a possible social media frenzy. And when that happens, unlike the University of Tennessee, you’ll need to stand straight, look directly at the cameras, and respond; “Were you at the trial because it lasted four and a half days and I don’t recall seeing you in my courtroom.”

What Happened on Friday?

Dear Friends and clients of Jack Russell,
Did you lose your internet service or access to an important website this past Friday? You weren’t alone.  Although it sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, a foreign government attacked a multitude of DNS servers and was able to take down a big chunk of the internet. They did this by co-opting tens of millions of online devices, everything from baby monitors to Nest thermostats, and directing those devices to send data to very specific locations.  This was a very sophisticated attack that likely took months to plan and therefore hardly the work of your typical hacker.  Big online sites such as AirBnb, Twitter, Spotify, Woo Commerce, Shopify, etc, were all brought down, some for a few minutes, others for a few hours.  So what does this mean to you and how can you take precautions?

Imagine if you lost your internet service for a week or more? It’d feel like someone dropped a bomb on your business.

First of all, here’s how this happened. Websites have unique online addresses based on a numerical value. These are the IP (internet protocol) addresses. My site, chefjohnmalik, can actually be found at
A DNS server translates that numerical value into the web address of chefjohnmalik.com.  When the websites started going down it was because the DNS servers (not the actual websites) were taken offline. 
The downside is that this will probably (definitely) happen again but who knows when? So please think about this.  If you did lose your internet for a day or so, how would your business survive? What could you do today to prepare you for the next outage? What systems could you backup to a local hard drive (not cloud based) that you could still access even if your internet went down?
If you’re one of my restaurant clients, how could you prepare yourself if Open Table went down on a Friday night? Perhaps you can make a paper copy of the night’s reservations on a daily basis?
If you’re in health care or medical, could you do the same thing with your appointments?  Is your POS system online and if so, what could you do if it went down? How would you make a sale?
Now when this does happen again, you might want to try accessing a particular site directly via its numerical value, all you’ll need to do is find it.
If you’re running Windows, just hit the start button, type in “command prompt” and a black box will open
Type in “tracert” then the web address
A search for my IP address would look like this—>  tracert www.chefjohnmalik.com

The IP address is what comes up next to where it says tracing route to chefjohnmalik.com
Here’s a screen shot of my own IP address.
So my suggestion is to spend 30 minutes or so finding the IP addresses of your important sites, save those addresses somewhere safe, then if the same thing happens, you can try typing in the IP address which bypasses the DNS servers and perhaps you can still access your most important sites.
And here’s a story from C/Net on the recent web attack.  “That Massive Internet Outage, Explained

Hoping for an If

I’ve been fascinated by and have followed Formula 1 racing since high school. Unlike NASCAR or Indy racing, the technology, and the budgets of F1 are in another world. And when a team of engineers has a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, there’s no telling hat they’ll come up with. Over the years I’ve watched clever teams subjugate the rule book by chilling the fuel (lower temperatures allowed the fuel tank to hold more fuel); forcing exhaust gas over a movable rear wing to increase the car’s grip; create an electrical charge for hybrid motors by capturing the heat generated by the brakes; use pneumatic bursts of air in lieu of springs to open and close valves because a mechanical spring could never move fast enough when your engine revs to 16,000 rpm. And every year the cars become more fascinating.f1-mclaren-honda


And one of the best teams has always been McLaren. Founded by Denis Hulme and Bruce McLaren in the late 1960’s, their team grew to be a technical powerhouse that dominated a variety of racing disciplines. And in the mid 1980s, none other than Honda joined their team as the engine supplier. From 1983 to 1992, Honda engines powered F1 cars to 67 victories, with 44 of those coming from McLaren. And those 44 victories brought McLaren four consecutive world championships.

Following those stunning years, Honda took a hiatus from F1. They came back,sort of half-heartedly, from 2000 to 2004, but not with McLaren. And then in 2014 they announced they would be back with McLaren. And the racing world rejoiced and delighted in this. Fans wondered what sort of technical marvel Honda would produce, what sort of breathtaking innovation would come forth from the Willy Wonka factory of engine manufacturers?

Sadly their return to glory never materialized. While the car above may look like an earthbound missile, it’s been woefully uncompetitive against the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, and Williams. They have two former world champions behind the wheel, the brightest engineers in Japan and England, and a history of technical innovation on their side and they still managed to create an absolute dud of an engine, which created a dud of a car.

What went wrong?

For that you’ll have to ask someone much smarter than me but it’s gotten so bad that one of their drivers recently hoped for an if:


Did Fernando Alonso really say that?

This relationship seemed to have everything going for them. They had the best budget, team, support, leadership, drivers, and so on. And yet here they are, well into their second year as a team and their lead driver is wishing someone in front of him had wrecked because that might have given him the possibility for a podium, i.e. third place.

Trust me when I say that no one in the racing world would’ve expected this arrangement to yield these sort of results.

Which brings us to you and your business web-based goals. The clients I perform Search Engine Optimization for end up on the front page of their desired key word searches. Results like that do not come overnight, they come after research, website optimization and the publishing of essays geared towards the client’s product or service. And I believe that all the technical know how in the free world won’t achieve results unless you’ve got an intriguing storyteller.

I know I couldn’t save McLaren, but perhaps I can help you. With SEO there’s no secret formula, no white hat methods that only so-and-so knows; it’s solid common sense followed up with carefully crafted essays designed to draw the reader in, get them to engage with your website and convert them to followers and buyers.

Don’t turn over your SEO to an office volunteer then hope for an if. Your social media landscape is too important a commodity for that. My company, Jack Russell Social Media, specializes in front page SEO results. And remember, the best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google’s search results.

And Now a Word on Facebook

Someone recently asked me which social media platform offers me up the most referrals.  And I almost laughed. When has someone called me out of the blue and said “I need my search engines optimized?” How about never.  And that’s just fine with me. Because I get new clients from my existing clients, that’s where. Yes even in this digital age, and the pervasiveness of social media, most of my clients come from personal referrals.

But hold on. Once I get a referral, there’s a great chance that those folks are going to Google me, search for me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, look at my reviews, etc.

Super Chef!

Flashback to that time I went out on stage in a boxer’s robe while the theme from Rocky blared on the PA system.

Your business probably has a similar track and that’s the way it should be. Even though I’m in the social media business, I rarely get the cold calls from someone I’ve never met. Is that a bad thing? Not really. If I get a cold call from someone who has no understanding of me and what I do best then that usually means I’ll be competing against a host of other folks. Ugh! That’s so time consuming…I’ll have to do some background research, figure out who else they might be talking to, devise a pitch specifically for the client, rehearse my pitch, get all dressed up, wait in an office with bad music or tattered magazines…I could keep going.

Today I walked into an office of a prospect. It’s people that know me through two other clients and they follow me on a couple of my social media platforms. They’ve seen my videos, know my voice through my updates and tweets, and love my sense of humor. And even though I wasn’t wearing my finest prospecting suit, she hugged me and exclaimed “We can’t wait to start working with you.”  That’s so much better than having to get all dressed up and sit in some uncomfortable office.

The first rule of thumb in business is: take care of business!  Take care of your existing clients, deliver the goods, communicate, visit, say hello when you’re in the area then remember to ask for referrals at the appropriate time.  You never know which one of your customers will be your rainmaker so treat all of them like gold.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to bake cookies for a client.






Olly Pierce is one of my clients. Olly is a gym owner, body builder, and a former Mr. South Carolina. He’s fairly well known in the Greenville fitness circle because he’s been at it so long. Olly is also a really good guy and he knows his business like the back of his muscular hands. He loves helping other people make their goals come true, especially if those goals are fitness related.

Several months ago we partnered up and I’ve been doing a variety of work for him including making some videos. Some of these are fun, most are instructional. As his son Aidan prepares for his first body building competition, Olly asked me to create a video on Aidan.  Aidan played football with my son and he’s helped me in the gym; he’s a good kid with a good heart and he obviously enjoys being in the gym.

So here’s the result of our efforts. I think it’s a bit choppy but the clients love it and Aidan is in darn good shape for a 17 year-old kid. Darn good.

Take a look for yourself. And remember, if you’re looking for Social Media services in Greenville, SC, give me a call. (864) 616-7171

Giraffe for Rent in Greenville, SC

One thing’s certain in this brave new world of digital marketing, change. The arc of the social media landscape is as predictable as a handful of popcorn kernels tossed into a hot frying pan. Just when I think I’ve got a handle on the learning curve of social media, some platform throws a monkey wrench into the works and the popcorn starts popping. Right now I’m challenged by LinkedIn wanting to be Facebook, Facebook wanting to replace cable TV, Youtube wanting to be Spotify, and Twitter forgetting what made it cool. Even Instagram has forgotten what made it fun and interesting and so popular.  And Snap Chat? Sorry kids but now that Town & Country Magazine, Huff Post, and your local TV stations have Snap Chat accounts, the end of their cool factor is near.


Autumn the Giraffe has a new Daddy.

One of my clients recently approached me and wanted to spend a chunk of money and they asked me to find an outlet. The client is Mark Muncy, a well-known Pediatric Dentist in Greer.  Mark’s office is heavily decorated in a jungle motif with parrots, tigers, monkeys, and plenty of tropical green plants. He’s also been known to don the occasional giraffe costume. Hey after all, he’s a Pediatric Dentist. And he’s sort of a big kid. You’d have to be to be in that business.

Dr. Muncy Logo RGB

And this is also my work, along with Curtis Newman and Sonya Brown.

So I thought about his needs, his customers, and how best to reach them. And then I went to the Greenville Zoo and found a huge opportunity for him. As of May 1st, Mark’s office now sponsors the Giraffe Cam and Giraffe exhibit.

Five years ago, heck even a year ago I would’ve come to a different conclusion. A year ago I would’ve spent some money on Google but take a listen, mobile web searches are now taking place in a handful of apps and that’s a trend that’s going to continue. How many of use now Facebook as a search engine without even realizing it?

“Hey friends, where’s the best place to get a tune up on a Lexus sedan?”

Every time you pose such a question on Facebook, a Google programmer gets that much further way from a 12% raise.

So back to those giraffes. Here’s why I think this’ll be a home run for Mark Muncy. The zoo gets hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and most of those are moms with their kids. And the Giraffe Cam gets tens of thousands of hits per month and in the end of the summer, we’ll get a third giraffe, a male that’s coming here to hopefully make giraffe babies with Autumn. Let’s hope, correct?

Plus the Giraffe Cam is so darn cute. I dare you to watch Tatu the baby for less than sixty seconds because you won’t want to miss her doing something baby giraffy.

So how can I help you? Is your business looking for an out of the box cross-promotional opportunity? Then give me a call and we’ll talk. (864) 616-7171. There’s a giraffe out there waiting on you.

Super Chef!

I’m the Chef that knows his way around SEO, Google, Facebook, and a kitchen.




The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

Who hasn’t tasted defeat? I have and it hurts. I’ve competed in Tae Kwan Do, Cycling, Cooking, and Business. And in these competitive endeavors I’ve often felt well-prepared and ready for battle. Over the years I’ve brought home trophies, medals, glory, newspaper clippings, TV and magazine appearances, grand prizes, and cash. I’ve also brought home wounds, stitches, bruises, and scars of all shapes and sizes.  In one rather memorable NORBA-sanctioned Mountain Bike race, I knew, just knew I would win. I can’t remember being more prepared or more confident than at any time in my life. Then as soon as the starter’s pistol fired, I was waylaid by another rider and hit the ground hard enough to get a mouth full of dirt and gravel embedded in an elbow. I managed to finish in third place.


I’ve been humiliated by a trio of kids on a Food Network show that was supposed to be fun entertainment but it sure felt like a winner take all competition to me. So that’s how I approached it. And when the kids overwhelmingly voted for the other chef, wow, did that hurt. Yeah, nothing like having millions of folks watch along as you get your butt handed to you by twelve year-olds.

As I’ve I grown older, I’ve learned to be prepared for defeat. It still hurts but it should also make me stronger, more resilient, and hopefully more gracious. I’ve also helped others compete and I’ve prepared them for victory, and defeat. Because at the end of the day, we have to be ready to accept the outcome. We can’t blame the officials, the fans, the field of play or the opponents. When we compete, we better have a keen understanding of the rules, our teammates, and our own abilities.

Which brings me to Cam Newton.

There’ so much to like about the guy. Of course his athletic abilities are super human and he’s done wonders for the Panthers. And I like his approach to the game. I love the way he signals a first down, the way his cadence can disrupt the opposing team, and the high fives he gives to his fans after a victory. And honestly I can’t remember any pro football player taking that much interest in the fans, or his teammates. At the NFC championship game, he had all the names of his teammates inscribed on his shoes. With respect to children, especially the ones battling a life-threatening illness, he goes above and beyond what any player in my recollection has done. Yeah, there’s a lot to like about Cam.

And then this happened.

Cam sulks jpeg

And we all know it was wrong. But just catch your breath for a minute and understand that Cam is the leader of the team, not the leader of the organization. There’s Jerry Richardson and after that there’s a host of administrative staff; a GM, assistant GM, Director of Player Engagement, Team Administrator, HR Director, and so on. So my question is, did any of these people prepare Cam Newton for defeat? I know, Cam should’ve been more professional and gracious. But the man is 26 years old and he’s just had his butt handed to him in the most important performance of his life. Of course he’s going to be disappointed and dejected.  Plus the NFL decided to cram both teams into the same conference room so he has to listen to the opposing team brag about their victory. The real question is why the heck was he allowed to go in front of the press in such a foul mood? Wasn’t there anyone in the Panthers organization that had prepared him for this moment?

When Apollo 11 lifted off on its way to the moon, President Nixon had a speech ready just in case the astronauts died. And he was prepared to read it. General Eisenhower had a concession speech ready in case the Normandy landings failed. It’s the hallmark of a great leader to prepare themselves.

Physically and mentally, Cam, and the Panthers, were ready to play football. He’s a tough competitor and I have no doubt he walked into that stadium in the best shape of his life. He’s had an amazing year and he’s led his team through adversity and glory. He’s done wonders for the organization yet when he needed the Panthers organization in his corner, they weren’t there.

Are you prepared for defeat? Are your people?

Work hard. Work smart. Know your opponent’s weakness and exploit them. And when all is said and done and you’ve given it your best shot and you still end up in second place, will you throw yourself on the floor and kick and scream? Or will you hold your head high, do a little self-evaluation, then plot your comeback?

Panthers 5