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Cornerstone Lands Rogers Publishing Business

We don’t normally report on business wins here at One Degree but I thought this press release from Cornerstone was interesting as it shows a big company realizing that a) SEO was important and b) that they might benefit from outside help.

Cornerstone SVP Don Lange remarked that “The Rogers multi-magazine site was beautifully designed and written. What we brought to the table was a series of guidelines and reports that provided both content writers and developers with a series of blueprints and best practices to ensure that when search engines visit, the site clearly identifies the most relevant content. Our ongoing monthly service monitors where the site ranks with the most important keywords, tweaking the site when required.”

Good to see.

Update: Cornerstone is a sponsor of One Degree. They didn’t pay or ask for this coverage but in the interest of transparency, we note that they do help support One Degree financially through their sponsorship.


  1. Your Good Friend, Andrew
    Your Good Friend, Andrew January 31, 2007

    Ken, Ken, Ken. “We don’t normally report on business wins, but?”
    But Cornerstone has advertised on this blog!?!
    To be honest the description of the service sounds extremely weak for a company of Cornerstone’s stature. Ranking reports are dead, for starters:
    For now, the reason they won this business is because Rogers Publishing is already a major client on several other fronts. Right?
    I don’t normally dish the competitive dirt, but for SEO, Rogers Publishing will eventually find better.

  2. Don Lange
    Don Lange January 31, 2007

    Wow Andrew that seems to be a lot of hostility.
    I can’t tell you how many times we have been dissed by the competition over the last 20 years in all parts of our business. You managed to insult Cornerstone, One Degree and Rogers all in one blow. I guess you really do have a way with words.
    Anyway, I will still treasure my signed copy of Winning Results with Google Adwords.

  3. Marc Poirier
    Marc Poirier January 31, 2007

    My first reaction to this post was to send you a selection of our latest press releases. I have to agree with Andrew, this is a list broker, not an SEO company.

  4. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree January 31, 2007

    My Good Friend, Andrew says:
    “But Cornerstone has advertised on this blog!?!”
    I see your point. I can’t deny that Cornerstone is a supporter of One Degree (and will be doing more in 2007 than they did in 2006).
    I didn’t write the post with that in mind though – at least not consciously. Don at Cornerstone forwarded me a link to the press release and I thought it was interesting in that it was two large “traditional” companies putting out a press release about the importance of SEO. THAT is what I thought was newsworthy.
    To be clear, One Degree DOES NOT cover all the news – we are selective, and selective in a very arbitrary way. We’re a bunch of folks who do this part-time because we love to share ideas and point out things we find interesting. Part of my filtering process for what gets covered by me on One Degree is what comes to my attention. Don was astute enough to forward me a link and I decided it was worth a quick post. There were probably 20 other interesting things I could have posted yesterday but there is a limit to the hours in the day – that and my continuing lack of omniscience.
    Still, as we do more sponsorships on the site this year, your point is a good one that I need to think about. Would a disclosure statement help when we talk about current or past sponsors? Do you think Contributors should note whenever they know and like someone they are writing about? We already ask that they disclose conflicts of interest (i.e. they can’t write about their own shit and make it look like they are a disinterested third party).
    Thoughts and comments are welcome.

  5. Andrew Goodman
    Andrew Goodman January 31, 2007

    I had actually meant for this to be a private comment to my good friend Ken – mainly telling him what he and all of us who publish already know, that you walk a tightrope when you take advertising and then post comments on those companies on your blog.
    Unfortunately by now the genie is out of the bottle, and there is no going back. Another lesson learned about transparency and accountability in the blogosphere.
    Let me make it clear that I know people at Cornerstone and I meant no insult to any of them. It is a shame that this has the chance to degenerate into a food fight, or that it seems like I was personally insulting anyone. I didn’t mean to. By “better,” I meant absolutely that Rogers Publishing will find better SEO services than Cornerstone currently offers. I know hundreds of SEO firms, including the top ones. They’re better. Not better people or better service providers overall, but better at search marketing services. Absolutely. Cornerstone has limited experience in this field, and has also been openly critical of firms (like mine) who have little experience in traditional marketing. I assume this critique is also not personal.
    So, we in this crazy niche of search marketing do take our business – including the content of the services offered – very seriously. There are currently some much less polite debates taking place south of the border among service providers and agencies with different emphases. I think that’s as it should be. In reading the surface content of Ken’s post about Cornerstone, I noticed a distinctly old-SEO-sounding allusion to “rank checking” and really nothing that would be innovative to anyone from the search world. To claim that Cornerstone “won” this business was an inaccurate report, because Cornerstone (as they boasted to me) already has Rogers Publishing as a client. It was merely the extension of an existing client relationship.
    South of the border there would be long threads of debate and argument over such, getting right into the substance of the service offering (which sounded very plain-vanilla to me), and then some of the people at least would agree to disagree over the substance but be friendly personally, over a drink. I propose we do the same.
    Canadian politesse will only get us so far in a competitive sense, so maybe it’s healthy for me to (a) apologize if that personally offended anyone – I happen to like everyone who posted on the thread; (b) stick up for this point:… several of our Canadian marketing clique publications over the past 6-7 years have tried to have it both ways. We pontificate about blogger authenticity and openness, then turn around and ignore our own principles. In keeping with that, I realize that my private comment must be defensible in public, and apart from the lazy vernacular intended for a private communique, the substance holds. The OneDegree report on the Cornerstone move into SEO through a new client “win” was inaccurate or misleading, and looked biased due to the fact that Cornerstone was one of the first really prominent advertisers on this site.

  6. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree January 31, 2007

    A few things:
    1. I added a disclaimer at the bottom of the original post to make the relationship clear. I think in the future we’ll put a link behind company names noting their sponsorship. (Arieh – take note!)
    2. We’ve been pretty good at not allowing comments to degenerate into personal attacks over the last two years and I’m hoping we can keep it that way.
    If Andrew and Don want to debate the merits of their services in the comments here I’m okay with that, but I don’t want it to be about personalities and “he said”/”she said”.
    We’ll leave that for “south of the border”.
    Finally, why did I have to start this on the day Arieh decides to go skiing and I say I’ll keep an eye on the site? 🙂

  7. Sulemaan
    Sulemaan January 31, 2007

    Two quick observations.
    (1) Just because Cornerstone has other business with Rogers, doesn’t mean they automatically earn other contracts. Rogers is a huge company and there are a variety of departments.
    From what I know from the people who work at Rogers, they would subject Cornerstone to due diligence and even an RFP process with other vendors.
    Granted already having business with a vendor helps but it’s by no means an automatic ticket. That’s how it works at Sears.
    (2) I do agree that Andrew was right in noting that 1 Degree should have put up a disclaimer at the get go explaining the relationship. It was an oversight but who is perfect. Ken acknowledged it and fixed it. Enough said. Move on.

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