How big is Manta?

Sometimes when working on a big site for a long time, you get used to the big numbers. It’s easy to talk about hundreds of thousands of these and millions of those and lose perspective of just how many companies are on Manta. For fun today I decided to do some simple math to try and put the volume of companies I work with into perspective by providing references to more familiar items.


A Dell 5130cdn laser printer [1], touted as one of the fastest laser printers, would take over 2.5 years of nonstop printing to print out all 64 million companies. You’d need 2,836 of these printers running non stop to print them all out during an 8 hour working day.


Once printed I could lay them end to end and form a line about half way around the world [2], about 423 marathon [3] runs end to end. If you ran all those marathons back to back at the fastest pace ever run[4] you would be running for over 36 days without a break.


I could stack them flat to reach a height of about 20,000 feet, which is higher than the maximum altitude of most helicopters. The Boeing Apache AH-64 gunship has a maximum service ceiling of 21,000 feet[5]. Most skydivers bail out between 3,000-13,000 feet [6].

If we took the papers and stood them up end to end, instead of going half way around the globe, they’d go up just over 11,000 miles, almost twice the thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere[7]. The space shuttle and space station orbit the Earth between 100-300 miles, while GPS satellites orbit the Earth between 6,000-12,000 miles[8].

The ~24M companies in the US arranged this way would create a line of paper about 22,000 feet high, or 17,600 Empire State buildings[9] stacked ontop of each other.


If we laid all the paper out and taped it all together into a rectangle it would have an area approx 1.5 square miles which would cover 722 football fields[10].


I would need 128,000 reams of office paper needed to print every company which would weigh about 1,280 tons[11], equivalent to about 640 SUVs[12], or a pod of 116 world record male orcas[13].


These reams of paper would take up 13,851 cubic feet, so I would need 34 shipping containers[14] to hold them all.


If each company was a dollar bill and if we used a money counting machine typically used by banks[15], it would take almost 27 days to count them all, not including time to load and unload the machine.


If each piece of paper was held by one person, I would need almost all the people in California, New York and Virginia[16].


  1. Dell 5130cdn laser printer prints at 47 pages per minute, single sided
  2. The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles
  3. A marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards
  4. Fastest marathon ever run is by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2:03:02
  5. The Boeing Apache AH-64 has a service ceiling of 21,000 feet
  6. Skydivers jump between 3,000-13,000 feet
  7. The Exosphere is the outer layer of the atmosphere at ranges up to 6,213 miles (10,000 km)
  8. Satellite orbit altitudes
  9. The Empire State Building is 1,250 feet high
  10. An American Football field is 120 yards by 53.3 yards
  11. Calculations were done using 20lb paper.
  12. Assuming the average weight of an SUV is 4,000 lbs.
  13. The largest known Killer Whale was a male that weighed around 22,000 lbs and was 32 feet long
  14. The volume of a twenty-foot cargo container is 1,360 cubic feet
  15. The Tay-Chian TC-5500 desktop note counter can process 1500 to 1800 notes per hour, I used an average of 1650 notes/hr for the calculation
  16. List of populations by State taken from April 2010 census data

Beer Thirty in Columbus OH

Since moving to the Columbus area, I’ve practically been a hermit, rarely venturing out. I live and work on the outskirts of Columbus, rarely needing to travel inside the I270 circular. There are a number of really great neighborhoods within the I270 ring, like Upper Arlington, Clintonville and the Short North, but to me and my limited travels, I jokingly call anything within I270 “downtown”. On the occasion that I have driven through “downtown” I’ve noticed a number of bars that would be quite interesting to visit:

Betty’s Bar
435 W Nationwide Boulevard

Phil & Young’s Tavern
1455 Harrisburg Pike

Amicon Grill
1168 Chambers Road

Claddagh Pubs Of Polaris, LLC
8745 Sancus Boulevard

Ok so the last one is not downtown, but I pass by it all the time and yet have never gone inside, which is really quite odd, since I used to frequent an Irish bar in London (a lot!) before moving here.

There are so many really cool bars and taverns in Columbus. I probably won’t get to sample them all, but I’d love to step into a few of them, sample their food and beverages and perhaps record my visit with a photo.

What other bars and taverns in Columbus should be on my list?

Memorial Day 2011

On Memorial Day, the Rotary club here in Westerville, along with volunteers from many other organizations planted 2,500 flags, into what is called the Field of Heroes. It pays tribute to the sacrifices given by the many people in harms way, in order to protect our rights and freedoms. I missed photo opportunities in previous years for various reasons, but was adamant that I was going to capture the field this year.

On Monday morning I arrived at the field around 5.40am which gave me just enough time to scout for some good locations before the beautiful sunrise hit. From the weather forecast I knew there were going to be some clouds in the sky so I hoping for some crepuscular rays (aka God Rays). Below is one of the images I captured and processed into an HDR image from 5 separate frames.

Field of Heroes - Memorial Day 2011

Thank you to the Yahoo Editor who chose this image to appear in the Memorial Day gallery on Flickr alongside other wonderful images.

Redirects in the Real World

Photo Credit: TheCullinaryGeek

A couple of weeks ago I decided to go out for a meal with my wife, we dropped the kids off and headed out to one of our favorite Italian restaurants. As we pulled into the parking lot we immediately knew something was wrong. The lot was empty! This is a well known, family owned, independent restaurant which is always buzzing. I walked up to the front door and peered in. All dark. I scanned the door and windows for an indication of what was going on. Nothing, just the standard postings of the menu and list of business hours.

I trudged back to the car and discussed it with my wife. We made a quick decision and ate at a different place a couple of miles down the road.

The next day, my wife was researching the restaurant and told me that they’d moved a block down the road. My mind was racing: “Why didn’t they post a permanent redirect to the new location?” It seemed like such an obvious solution.

People forget to post redirects to new locations even in real life. In this case, it would have only taken a few minutes to post the new address on a piece of office paper and tape it to the door. They lost my business, reluctantly to another restaurant that day, but we’ll be visiting them again at their new location, at which point I will adjust my mental bookmark.

2011 Spring Clean

It’s been so long since I really did much with this site, so I thought it was time to give it a spring cleaning. I chose a nicely coded wordpress theme and made a few minor adjustments. Unfortunately this site hasn’t received much attention since I’ve been in ‘head down’ mode for the past couple of years.

Enjoy the new theme and feel to drop me a line if you see something broken, missing or quirky.

My Mustache Brings all the Girls to the Yard

This November I shaved my goatee and grew a mustache (aka mo) much to my wife’s disdain. It was part of a worldwide event known as Movember which aims to raise awareness of common male forms of cancers, such as testicular and prostate. Susan G. Komen does a great job of raising awareness for breast cancer, but to date I haven’t come across a male alternative that’s quite as prolific.

Mike Halvorsen suggested that the men in the office grow mustaches to help promote and further the cause. While some men were a little hesitant, I plowed full ahead into mustachery madness. When I announced to my wife that I was removing my goatee and starting to grow a mustache she was a little surprised. But when I put it to her that a man’s mustache is like a pink ribbon, she let it go, with the proviso that it also goes at the end of the month.

When I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s manly men all wore mustaches, it was just something you had to do, there simply was no choice in your style of facial hair. It was a foregone conclusion that by the time you reached your teens you would stare at your top lip in the mirror for at least an hour each day trying to coax out a fine, whispy mustache, because only then would you be considered a real man.

So back to our mustachery endeavors in the office, we had about a dozen finely groomed Manta men touting all shapes, sizes and styles of masculinity. Our group raised $415 which was awesome, especially considering that our company matched that donation.

So on to next year and I hope we can entice more Manta staff and other organizations to grow a mustache in the name of promoting cancer awareness. It’s now December and I’m once again clean shaven. My wife is happy that my mustache is gone, even though it will be back again next year, to hopefully raise even mo money.

Optimize for Search Engines or Users?

Over the years a lot of SEOs have gone back and forth over this legendary question:

“Do you optimize for search engines or users?”

From my SEO point of view, it’s a ridiculous question.

We like to ask leading questions, and this either or type question is extremely prevalent in our daily lives:

  • Do you take the red pill or the blue pill?
  • Do you cut the red or green wire?
  • Do we go left or right?
  • Nikon or Canon?
  • Chevy or Ford?
  • Pepsi or Coke?

From an SEO point of view, can you see what’s wrong with all of these questions? They’re written to suggest that you only have two choices, when in fact a creative SEO will be able to come up with a lot more than two answers. SEO is usually not constrained by physical limitations of the real world, as in the questions above.

The most obvious answer to the question is that you optimize for both. The two choices given in the question are not necessarily mutually exclusive, that assumption is inferred by the question. Challenge your assumptions!

Other answers could be:
1) Test and see which wins
2) Take sections of your site and focus each section on either engines or users.
3) Create a similar site and write it the other way, then refer to #1.

You see, even with a question that started off with what appeared to be only two possible answers, within a few seconds, we’ve expanded to many more possibilities. With some more creativity, you can probably come up with a larger selection.

So next time you’re asked a leading question, take a moment, challenge your assumptions, then deliver your creative SEO answer.

List of Pubcon 2009 Speakers twitter ids

I happened to be looking through the Pubcon 2009 conference binder looking for one of the speakers so I could find their twitter ID. Then I thought, hmmm, perhaps there might be other people also doing the same thing. So here’s the list of Pubcon 2009 speakers in alphabetical order by last name, with their titles, companies with link and twitter ids, where I could find them. Let me know if there are any edits, additions etc.

Reem Abeidoh
Social Media Strategist, Outrider

Tony Adam
SEO Manager, Yahoo!

Bryan Allison
VP Marketing,

Glenn Alsup
President, Viewmark

Peter Arceo
Executive Director of Casino Marketing, Las Vegas Hilton

Elizabeth Archambault
Freelance Affiliate Marketer, Wedding-Resources

Jeff Arena
Sr Product Manager, Yahoo!

Tim Ash

George Aspland
Founder & President, eVision, LLC

William Atchison
Founder, Crawl Wall

Andy Atkins-Krueger
Managing Director, Web Certain Europe Ltd

Jake Baillie
Managing Director, STN Labs

Loren Baker
Editor, Search Engine Journal

Jim Banks
CEO, Global Direct Media

Alexander Barbara
Founder, EasyTweets

Frank Bauer
Chief Mechanic, Web Tuning Garage

Andy Beal
Internet Marketing Consultant, Marketing Pilgrim LLC

Alex Bennert
In-house SEO, Wall Street Journal

Jay Berkowitz
CEO, Ten Golden Rules

James Birch
Owner, JEBCommerce

Daniel Boberg
Managing Director, Sales Technology, Yahoo! Search

Paul Boisvert
Lead Product Manager, Yahoo! Merchant Solutions

Michael Bonfils
International Managing Director, SEM International

Greg Boser
President, WebGuerrilla LLC

Guillaume Bouchard

Jessica L Bowman
Founder & President,

Jim Boykin
CEO, We Build Pages

Brian Breslin
CEO, Infinimedia, Inc

Scott Brinker
President & CTO, ion interactive, inc

Bob Brisco
CEO, Internet Brands

Nathan Buggia
Live Search Webmaster Central, Lead Program Manager,

Pete Burgeson
Director of Marketing, crowdSPRING

Lisa Buyer
President/CEO The Buyer Group

Charles Calabrese
Product Manager, Affiliate Network

Laura Callow
Senior Search Marketing Manager, Intuit Global BUsiness Division

John Carcutt
SEO Manager, MediaWhiz

Brian Carter
Director of Search Marketing, SEO and Social Media, Fuel Interactive

Brian Chappell
Sr. Social Search Strategist, Ignite Social Media

Robert Charlton
SEO Consultant, CharltonSEO

Christine Churchill
President, KeyRelevance

Bruce Clay
President, Bruce Clay, Inc

Darrin Clement
Founder & CEO, Maponics

Lawrence Coburn
President, RateItAll, Inc.

Shawn Collins
Co-Founder, Affiliate Summit

Brian Combs
Principal, ionadas local

Ray ‘Catfish’ Comstock
Senior Search Strategist, BusinessOnLine

Jason Cooper
Director, Value Added Services, Efficient Frontier

Matt Craine
VP of Online Media,

Curtis R. Curtis
CSMO, RankSense

Matt Cutts
Software Engineer, Google, Inc.

Ziv Dascalu
Founder, WiseImpact

Stoney deGeyter
President, Pole Position Marketing

Roger B. Dooley
VP of Digital Marketing, Hobsons U.S.

Michael Dorausch
President & Founder, Planet Chiropractic

Alison Driscoll
Interactive Copywriter/Social Media Strategist

Rhea Drysdale
Co-founder and COO Outspoken Media

Tony Economou
President, Citires

Allison Fabella
SEO Manager, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Joe Fernandez
Founder/CEO, Klout

Brandie Feuer
Director of Interactive Marketing, Planet Hollywood

Rand Fishkin
CEO & Co-Founder, SEOMoz

Vanessa Fox
Founder, Nine By Blue

Todd Friesen
Vice President of Search, Position Technologies

Giovanni Gallucci
social media ninja, giovanni gallucci

Karen Garcia
Partner & Co-Founder, GTO Management

Brad Geddes

Nick Genevish
Online Marketing Manager, Smart Destinations, Inc

Ethan Giffin
CEO & Founder, Groove Commerce

Brad Goldberg
Vice President of Marketing, Luxor

Chris Goward
CEO, WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Michael Gray
President, Atlas Web Service

Bill Hartzer
Search Engine Optimization Manager, Vizion Interactive

Scott Hendison
CEO & President, Search Commander

Jon Henshaw
Product Manager, Raven Internet Marketing Tools

Rae Hoffman
CEO, Outspoken Media

Chris Hooley
Owner, MCP Media

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

Ben Huh
CEO, Pet Holdings, Inc

Kenny Hyder
Founder, Rockstar Consultants

Dimitry Ioffe
CEO & Co-Founder, Visionaire Group

Mark Jackson
President / CEO, VIZION Interactive, Inc.

Sean Jackson
CEO/Creator, Ecordia

Nelson James
Vice President,

Adam Jewell
Search Engine Marketing Specialist, NetPlus Marketing Inc.

Dixon Jones
Managing Director, Receptional LTD

Ken Jurina
President, Epiar Inc

Alan K’necht
Founder & President, K’nechtology Inc.

Rebecca Kelley
Director of Social Media, 10e20

Jon Kelly
President, SureHits

Todd Keup
CEO, Magnifisites

David Klein
CEO, Purpose Inc

Topher Kohan
SEO Coordinator,

Chris Kramer
CO-Founder & Media Director Affiliate Benchmarks / NETexponent

Aaron Kronis
Director of SEO, Wpromote Inc.

Philippe Lang
Senior Vice President, Small Business, LivePerson

Joe Laratro
President, Tandem Interactive

John Lawlor
Founder and Head Coach,

Jennifer Laycock
Director of Marketing/Editor SiteLogic/Search Engine Guide

William Leake
CEO, Apogee Search

Kevin Lee
Executive Chairman,

Stephanie Leffler

Jeffrey Libert

Stephanie Lichtenstein
Affiliate Program Manager, Andy Rodriguez Consulting

Lewis Lin
Group Product Manager, adCenter, Microsoft Advertising

Laura Lippay
Director of Technical Marketing, Yahoo!

Heather Lloyd-Martin
President and CEO, SuccessWorks

Misty Locke
Co-Founder and President, Range Online Media

Joanna Lord
CMO, YourJobStop

Ian Lurie
CEO, Portent Interactive

Phil Maher
Founder, Intuitive Investments

Todd Malicoat
Independant Marketing Consultant, Meta4creations, LLC

Gregory Markel
Owner, Infusecreative

John Marshall
CTO, Founder, Market Motive

Will Martin-Gill
Director, Internet marketing, eBay

Michael Martin
SEO Director of Project Management, Internet Marketing Inc

Brian Massey
Conversion Scientist,

Shari McConahay
Co-Owner & Director of Marketing, Extreme Halloween, Inc

Michael McDonald
Managing Editor, iEntry Inc

Janet Driscoll Miller
President & CEO, Search Mojo

David Mink
Co-Owner/Chief Legal Counsel, Dream Systems Media

Melanie Mitchell
SVP of Search Strategy, Digitas

Roger Montti
Founder and Owner,

Joseph Morin
CEO, Storybids

Kate Morris
Founding Demon, Marketing Demons

Ulli Muenker
Search Marketing Manager, BusinessWeek

Gillian Muessig
President, SEOmoz, Inc

David Naffziger
President & CEO, BrandVerity, Inc

Ash Nallawalla
Traffic Manager, Yellow Pages Sensis Pty Ltd

Ricci Neer
Principal, Rock Star Media, LLC

Krista Neher
CEO, BootCampDigital

Steve O’Brien
VP, Sales & Marketing, Click Forensics

Lee Odden
CEO, TopRank Online Marketing

David Ogletree
Owner, SEO Fox

Elisabeth Osmeloski
Managing Editor, Search Engine Land

Craig Paddock
Managing Partner, Boost Search Marketing

Jeremy Palmer
President, Quit Your Day Job

Michael Perhaes
Assistant Vice President of Marketing, MGM Grand

Dan Perry
SEO Manager, Turner Broadcasting

Randy Petersen

Lisa Picarille
Online Marketing Consultant,

Victor Pitts
Vice President – Sales & Client Services, Moniker Online Services, LLC

Scott Polk
Director of Operations, Search & Social Media

Taylor Pratt
Senior Search Specialist, nFusion

Durk Price
President, eAccountableOPM

Will Price
CEO, Widgetbox

Adam Proehl
Managing Partner, NordicClick Interactive

Lou Ragg
Executive Director of Internet Operations and Marketing, MGM MIRAGE

Wil Reynolds
Founder, SEER Interactive

Lisa Riolo

Mark Robertson

Shawn Rorick
Chairman, Las Vegas Interactive Marketing Association

Dave Roth
Director of Search Engine Marketing, Yahoo!

Kevin Ryan
Chief Marketing Officer, WebVisible, Inc

Jill Sampey
Director of Search Marketing, Blast Radius

Kristine Schachinger

Steve Schaffer

Paul Schroader
President, PS Web Solutions

Barry Schwartz
President, RustyBrick, Inc

David Schwartz
Sr. Director of Marketing,, a CyberSource solution

Jay Schwartz
Founder & President, IdeaWork Studios

Ralf Schwoebel
Founder & CEO, Tradebit, Inc

Jay Sears
SVP, Strategic Products and Business Development, ContextWeb

Chris Shaver

Aaron Shear
Director of SEO with an eBay Company

Carolyn Shelby
Web Experience Manager, United Way of Metro Chicago

Matt Siltala
Owner/Chief Media Officer, Dream Systems Media

Seth Silver
President & CEO, Social Control

Marshall D. Simmonds
Chief Search Strategist, New York Times Company/

Rob Snell
Managing Partner, Gun Dog Supply

David Snyder
Co-Founder, Search and Social, LLC

Patrizio Spagnoletto
Sr. Director of Marketing, Yahoo! Search Marketing

Michael Stebbins
CEO, Founder, Market Motive

Stoyan Stefanov
Senior Yahoo! Technical, Yahoo!

Joe Stepniewski
Co-Founder, Skimlinks

Pat Strader
Founder & Managing Partner, Matterhorn Marketing

Scott Stratten
President, Un-Marketing

Michael Streko
Co-Founder / CEO, KnowEm LLC

Jessie Stricchiola
Founder & CEO, Alchemist Media, Inc

Adam Sussman
Director of Business Development, Best of the Web

David Szetela
Clix Marketing

Brett Tabke

Erika Tabke

Anna Talerico
Executive Vice President, ion interactive inc

Jeff Tirey
VP of Products, Mongoose Metrics

Matt Tuens
Founder & CEO, AcuVox

Cindy Turrietta
Co-Host, Founder, eMarketing Talkshow

Ted Ulle
Senior Search Analyst, Converseon, Inc

Lauren Vaccarello
Director of Publishing, Forex Capital Markets LLC

Frederick Vallaeys
SR. Product Specialist for AdWords, Google

Tanya Vaughan
Internet Marketing Consultant, Vaughan Marketing

Aj Vernet
Senior Vice President, Digital Broadcast Group

Aris Vlasakakis
Principal, Rank Focus LLC

David Wachs
Founder & President, Cellit Marketing

Wister Walcott
Co-Founder & VP of Products, Marin Software

Lyndsay Walker
Director of Online Marketing, Canada’s Web Shop

David Wallace
CEO, SearchRank

Aaron Wall
Author, SEO Book

Clarke Walton
Founder, Walton Law Firm

Amanda Watlington
Ph.D, Searching For Profit

Marty Weintraub
President, aimClear

Jiyan Wei
Product Manager, Vocus

Dave Werth
CEO & Founder, IDEAS Design Inc

Jerry West
President, SEORevolution

Jill Whalen
CEO, High Rankings

Derrick Wheeler
Senior Search Engine Optimization Architect, Microsoft

Karen White
Vice President of Marketing, SquirtGun Media Group

Warren Whitlock
Social Media Strategist,

Deborah Wilcox
Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Chris Winfield
President, 10e20, LLC

Kirby Winfield
Chief Revenue Officer, Mpire (WidgetBucks)

Dustin Woodard
SEO Consultant, SEO Naturale

Tony Wright
CEO/Founder WrightIMC

Chris Zaharias
VP SearchCenter, Omniture

Vanessa Zamora
Video Producer, WebmasterWorld, Inc

Dan Zarrella
Viral Marketing Scientist,

Richard Zwicky
CEO, Enquisite

Free SEO Review is starting to build some community tools to help Manta members connect with each other. Since I’m part of this project I’m trying to get some new people involved to give me feedback on the site’s features.

So to show my appreciation, I’d like to offer one hour of my SEO consulting services to anyone who signs up on and adds me as a business contact, between now and August 31st. Once we’ve connected, just send me a private message on Manta with some feedback and your website address and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive one hour of free SEO consulting by me.

Register on Manta, then visit my profile page to add me as a contact.

The winner will be drawn and announced here on Tuesday September 1st 2009.

The SEO review will be a multipage document pointing out major problem areas and recommendations to correct/enhance them.

Below is a graph showing organic traffic from Google:

The red arrow shows when I started working on