Guest Post: John Colascione on His New Website Book & Why He Wrote It

This is a guest post written by John Colascione, author of the recently published book, Mastering Your Website: Insider’s Guide To Fully Understanding Your Website, Search Engine Optimization and Building Your Brand, now available on Amazon. I asked John to write a guest post to discuss his background and the book. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section.

Hello, My name is John Colascione and since you’re reading this blog I think it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re a bit into domaining like myself. Thanks to Elliot, I’ve been given the pleasure as well as the honor of posting here on to both announce the recent release of my book “Mastering Your Website” as well as share some of my thoughts about “Search” in general and a little about me.

First of all, I’d like to mention that I have always found great fulfillment helping people learn and understand the Internet. What really works, what worked for me, and what (in my opinion) not to waste time on. I believe a significant part of this comes from the fact that everything I have ever learned came from others who were willing to spend their time in forums sharing case studies and experiences of what worked for them. Eventually I began exploring and trying new ideas of my own and vice versa. These days teaching what I know and what I’ve learned is, in a way, a chance to give back for everything I have picked up through the years. It is kind of funny, one of my partners actually didn’t want me to release this book thinking that I’m “giving away all of our secrets”, but I don’t agree. It’s not a secret in itself, but a way of thinking.

About twelve years ago when I first started with the Internet, I didn’t know much at all about having a web site let alone making or marketing one. I was a regular AOL user and I dabbled a little here and there to look things up and check email. I don’t even think many people really knew what Google was back then and search engines were far from a common tool or thought for the average person.

I wound up taking a class for computers at Hendricks Institute of Technology in Lindenhurst, New York. There I broke the ice using the computer taking a course to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Troubleshooting operating systems wasn’t really for me and I left the training before taking the test, but my dabbling with computers and the Internet was far from over.

I continued with what I already knew about the net (which wasn’t much). I started using EBay to buy hard to find collectibles only to resell them on that same venue for 2 to 3 times what I paid for them. I really liked this Internet stuff and the freedom that was involved in it and I built my first web site using a site builder program I found from Although the program was great, I reverse engineered it through a significant desire to understand how it worked so that I didn’t need it anymore; I wanted to do it on my own steam. After I built some test sites for friends and family I built my first real project in notepad, and then I started to build more.

Eventually I found myself with hundreds of niche domain names all related to my main site and I was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at my site because I wanted to win and I wanted to win big. A while later as things grew I moved on to buying some of my competitors web sites.  I wanted to have the greatest site on the planet! No, I really did. Well, obviously that didn’t happen because I do not own Facebook, Google, or Twitter. No, my brand was much smaller, but I sure didn’t treat it much differently. I remember once that someone had said about the site, that they weren’t sure what the heck it was. That it looked sort of like a directory, but probably the best one they had ever seen. Here is a verbal audio description of the site, as well a funny and similar comment from Gawker which was easy to find.

Anyway, long story short (the rest is in the book – I don’t want to spoil it.) I wound up with a pretty large portfolio of sites all which supported what I called the “mother ship”. When I think about what I was trying to do, it was really the process of building a brand. To utilize domains and search engines to make my site popular with users and effectively brand the name (something which turned out to be immensely important today as you’ll notice search engines lean towards brands quite significantly – the writing has been on the wall for some time).  I really wanted that brand name site – all the way back then, and to have a great site that Long Islanders could call home. It turned into a business through traffic and the determination and passion I had for the project. If you listen to Google engineers they’re always talking about how you should make your site for users and not search engines and that couldn’t be any more accurate, especially from what we’re seeing today.   Now search engine optimization is turning into a target – not a benefit.

So why this book, why now, why ever?

I’ve written a good amount of material through the years, but I must admit, as my time has run thinner and thinner, so has my place as an author for the web or forum participation, but I have been wanting to write a book for a good while, about five years in fact – but it has taken me this long. Many people have asked why I have not yet  written a book, or just an e-book but the answer is that I really didn’t get around to it, but now, because of what I’ll detail below, I’ve made time.

Recently there have been some very interesting as well as unsettling updates from Google which have certainly shook the ground that not just domineers walk on, but developers too. I use the word unsettling because most domainers and developers are highly engaged in their sites and I imagine a great majority of them focus on search optimization as a key ingredient in maintaining a healthy amount of natural traffic. This usually means marketing the sites in ways you believe, at the time, will benefit the site in search – but developers can’t forget about users in the process.

It’s definitely not like the old days when webmasters would pounce on top of PageRank and data center checkers to see what the “Google Dance” was doing that quarter and whether or not pages would gain or lose visibility, especially knowing that things would pretty much stay that way until a future dance which was likely months away. Remember those days? Well they are definitely long gone and likely to be a distant memory only for veterans to reminisce on.

Last Tuesday Google released its official list of 50 changes, the second round of significant and very public updates Google has made. Google’s blog Inside Search stated: “We’re starting to get into a groove with these posts, so we’re getting more and more comprehensive as the months go by.” The prior month were 40 changes, and the month before, just 17. I mean geez, if this keeps up where are we going to be in May, June, or July?

My guess is that it will actually level off some as far as the quantity of changes, but the frequency should  persist, at least, according to what they are telling us. Either way, what I am seeing now is unlike anything I have ever seen before, but I truly knew it was coming. It’s almost a reversal of what makes sense. Google calls this “leveling the playing field” where sites with little or no optimization do well. I’ve seen some pretty spammy stuff popping up too, but for the most part, I think this will improve the index.   They are also not necessarily done either as it seems Google likes to receive some blowback sometimes and use feedback to measure whether or not their updates have gone too far, and then pull back a little if need be.

Overall, some of the things happening right now I talked about as early as 2005, but many didn’t believe me. Some seemed a little farfetched back then. Low and behold here they are all being discussed, it’s all there.

It’s not like Google wants to have to clean up the entire Internet, but unfortunately, their just got stuck with project. I mean, people have come to expect them to be so good at what they do, how are they supposed to deal with these people that just “litter” their Internet with junk. I think in a way, the spam team at Google must feel like someone has come over their house at night and just dumped their garbage pails on the front lawn and ran away, Google is going to hide on the side of the house at night and come out and ‘stick em’ so they do not come back anymore.

So Now What? What’s to come down the road?

Google places will compete for all Yellow Pages style businesses worldwide and listings will be verifiable. Google+ will begin to compete and possibly surpass leading social sites like Facebook and Twitter due to the power of the intermingling services. Google Analytics, a neat tool which seemed like a free perk from the ole GOOG, will be installed across every site that exists because eventually sites will do better when Google knows more. And now watch how quick people jump on bandwagon when they notice the effect authorship has on their posts (it’s going to be big). Google will eventually tie every single site back to a unique individual via a Google+ Profile. And all of this will be used to rank the results, and for your own good of course. I mean, in order to make search better for you, they need to know you better.

Also, don’t forget, the more complicated and unpredictable the results, the more business owners will resort to PPC. If I had to take a guess, I’d say Google’s second quarter revenues this year will see a spike beginning now in a positive direction, another win for the ole GOOG. You’ve really got to hand it to them, they know what they’re doing over there. If you get the book, see my chapter on “Google Is King”.

Google is clearly winning the war, at least in my opinion, not just in search, but in life itself. Google knows you (your searches), your friends (your connections), your likes (Google+), their likes (Search Plus Your World), what entertains you (YouTube) or what makes you laugh, where you are in the world at any given time (Gmail/Android) or where you’ve been – and I bet with a relatively low amount of computing power – Google even knows where you’re going before you get there. Maybe Google will predict your next action, your next thought based on a collaboration of thoughts past?

So what is the reason for the book you might ask? I wrote this book, because out of everything I’ve seen to date, Google is changing faster and more significantly than ever before. I have always wanted to write and publish a physical book and likely will not have the time to share this in its current form sometime in the distant future as that future is happening now, but I will save the rest for my book. The book is unique, up to date and understandable. It was great fun writing the book and I will very likely write another one sometime soon. Thanks for reading and let’s see what the coming months bring.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Come on John,

    Read the post liked it – clicked on the Amazon link to buy it….no kindle version??


    Thank you for continuing to post well. Missed you at DomainFest.

    Tarry G

  2. “The rest is in the book; I don’t wnat to spoil it”.
    It’s a little hard for me to determine what there is to spoil. I could have appreciated knowing more what the book is about. Glancing at your article I determined that you were mostly telling about the ubiquity of Google.
    For some users, Google is the internet. For others, Facebook is. Those two services will not eventually be able to keep up with the growth of the internet.
    Just my impression. People will always find more and more things they can’t get from either place. But just to speak of Google for a moment. Natural search terms will not find what people really want to know a lot of the time. They will get bombarded with stuff they are not looking for, and conglomerated e-commerce sites that are themselves search-based, so they have to do more searching when they get there, or they will find on the first few pages of hits sites that are ad-revenue driven. These sites will not satisfy the users, leading them to use Google less and less. Sooner or later specialized search engines and more or less non-profit advocacy sites will generate the traffic. Google’s model of money-driven search will recede and Google’s revenue will not be able to keep up with the ambitious projects.
    As for Facebook, since I just mentioned it, I will say that it is too strict and limiting to keep up with the expansion of the internet communications medium. Facebook is an amusing toy and it will be around for a long time, but it lacks real utility: users will get tired of its limitations.
    Before I think about buying your book, I will wait til some more reviewers read it so I can find out what the point is. So far you just said stuff I already knew. I want a book that will set me to doing stuff; new stuff or new ways of doing stuff.
    Next time you review it say more about what it will do for the reader.

  3. Hello Tarry,

    The book was just released and I am waiting on Amazon to convert it into a Kindle version. I’m also looking to get it working with the Nook as well, but I will focus on the Kindle first as it is an Amazon compatible. I would have liked to have the Kindle version up already but they are sure taking their time getting back to me on it.

    Gains, your right, I didn’t give enough info on what is actually inside the book, so let me give you an idea of what’s in there.

    I started the book out pretty simple for those who buy the book that are just starting out. The first few chapters (total 30) are about geting a good domain and web hosting and what to expect, IP’s DNS, web editing software and how to get a site going. Then, after the basics are out of the way, the book begins to cover Search Engine Optimization and how you should go out building and optimizing your site. There are a few chapters on links becuase of how much there is now about links and what to avoid as well as what to go after. Then, after the semi intermediate stuff is out of the way, we go into algorithms, content marketing, some strategic like all the new stuff which Google is doing and finally I tear into some Google Patents and explain what Google is doing next, why, and how they will be doing it. It ends of with some predictions for the future. I worked hard to cover as much as I could but I do feel that there is almost endless topics for this type of stuff, but most everything is in there. I feel pretty confident that anyone who reads the entire thing will come away with some valuable thoughts and insights that should at least change a few of the things your doing today. I don’t think it would be possible to not like the book, but I’ll bbe conservative and say it is surely possible. But I will say this, no matter what your experience level, there’s stuff in this book you haven’t thought of yet.

    Thank you both for taking the time to read and leaving comments. 🙂

  4. You sorda answered my concerns and it looks like you went an extra mile or 2 or 3 in your book for all that material being inthere in there. In fact it must be huge and could even be some kind of classic in the ephemeral world of computer books. It is sure a lot of work writing any book. Thanks for the extra information about it.

  5. About 210 pages. It’s a 6″ 9″ book. I will list the Chapters below. I figure that beginners will enjjoy the entire book and more advanced people will like at least half of the book.

    • Preface – The Purpose of this Book
    • Introduction – So Who Am I?
    • Chapter 1) Getting Your Domain Name
    • Chapter 2) Why Do I Need Web Hosting?
    • Chapter 3) Building & Running a Web Site
    • Chapter 4) Understanding Search Engines
    • Chapter 5) When Should You Submit?
    • Chapter 6) Filing A Reconsideration Request
    • Chapter 7) Search Engine Optimization
    • Chapter 8) Google’s Infamous PageRank™
    • Chapter 9) How Link Popularity Works
    • Chapter 10) All About Link Building
    • Chapter 11) Meta Tags & How To Use Them
    • Chapter 12) Example of Algorithm Hypothesis
    • Chapter 13) Why HTML Pages Can Be Better
    • Chapter 14) Google Is King
    • Chapter 15) Using a Robots.txt File
    • Chapter 16) Relocating JavaScript
    • Chapter 17) Does W3C Validation Matter?
    • Chapter 18) Social Media “Algorithmically Speaking”
    • Chapter 19) Google’s Panda: February 2011
    • Chapter 20) “White Hat” and “Black Hat” SEO
    • Chapter 21) Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
    • Chapter 22) What Is Reputation Management?
    • Chapter 23) Content Marketing – The New SEO
    • Chapter 24) Understanding Semantic Search
    • Chapter 25) Website Monetization
    • Chapter 26) Measuring Traffic and Statistics
    • Chapter 27) Local Search and Google Maps
    • Chapter 28) What’s Happening Now?
    • Chapter 29) The Google Patent Interpretation
    • Chapter 30) Focusing On The Future

  6. Hi John,

    I am really looking forward to reading it soon. Having worked for so many years, on numerous projects under your supervision and guidance, i know the gem of a resource this book is bound to be. I would assume you have well documented all your tried and tested tips, suggestions and methodologies. I have seen them working and now i will have a book to refer to. I would also love to see your perspective and analysis of the latest changes in Google algorithm.
    Just wish you had elaborated a little more on Social Media.



  7. Everyone is addicted to Google, depend heavily on them for one thing or the other, and finally made them the God of internet or (DEVIL). Now, right or wrong you have to live with their autocracy/ monopoly till another good SE comes up to challenge them. As it stands now, more than 50% of all the search traffic for any web site comes through Google, all the others together contributing the rest. So, you have no way out, if you are running an online business or any other site.

  8. @Krisha – Their market share is actually about 81% of search. There is a couple rising starts like Blekko and DuckDuckGo (which I first saw from the above comment which points it out), but for the most part, Google’s competition is Miniscule at best.

  9. On I briefly outlined how to get rid of blekko which inexplicably hijacked my search defaults and would not quit. I then discovered many complaints about this seeming spyware hijacker. Anybody that thinks blekko is a serious contender for search is unaware of these problems. Duckduckgo I would be afraid to try if it is in the same category.
    As for blekko, it requires sophisticated measures to get rid of it, at least on my Vista machine. I suppose it could have got on there when I downloaded freeware, though I would normally uncheck any riders that were shown to be in the install utility.
    Google may be around for a while, but the company is too large to manage. It has grown without enough oversight and that oversight might not even be possible given the scope of what it is trying to do.

  10. That is pretty unbelievable Gains. A search engine claiming to be spam free is hijacking searches. Insane. I tried both of those competing search engines above, breifly I might add, and I was initially impressed with both of them, in particular DuckDuckGo, as I appreciate it’s mission. Agreed, Google is a goliath that isn’t likely going anywhere, and I think eventually they will cave to the legislative pressure. Unfortunety, we won’t know when that happens, or to what extent it may have already taken place.

  11. I couldn’t uninstall blekko using the instructions on the site, and indeed the site at the time said that the uninstall instructions would not always work ; my best guess is seldom to never.
    I did a search online and found a number of complaints about blekko, and no real solutions, only guesswork.
    I had to edit the Window Registry to get it off IE after trying the blekko uninstall utility to no avail. Even after the program had disappeared from the Windows Programs folder, it was still hijacking all the searches. My rudimentary instructions are posted at
    Getting it off firefox was a bit easier after the program had been deleted. about:config and filtering for blekko and deleting 2 keys did the trick in firefox. If the program is still in your program folder the registry keys will reinstall it. After the program is deleted the windows registry keys will still make IE use blekko unless you search the registry and delete all the keys with blekko in the strings. It is a very nasty search hijacker, unless the program has been re-written by now. This problem was only a few weeks ago, and I still have no idea what shareware program put it on my machine.

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