A Funny Tale of Search Engine Optimization or “Is This Amazon Italy?”

In Erin's Perspective by Erin L. Cox

By Erin L. Cox

I was sitting in my office the other day when my phone rang.


“Hi, is this Amazon Italy?”

“Um. No.”

“Oh, is this Amazon at all?”


“Who am I calling?”

(Reluctant to give her information.) “Just me. This is my private phone number.”

“Is this Erin at Publishing Perspectives?”


“Well, when I Googled ‘Amazon Italy,’ your name came up.”

And there was the answer. This writer was looking to contact someone at Amazon Italy about her e-book sales, tried to find a way to contact them via the website (a particularly circuitous rabbit-hole), and finally resorted to Googling “Amazon Italy.” When she did, she landed on our news site and went to our contact page. Because my role has to do with the sales and marketing of the site, I must have seemed the likeliest person to help her.

Because we tag all of our stories with keywords for easy searching and to optimize for search engines (SEO), our site came up when she put those keywords into Google. Obviously, I was not going to be able to get her the sales figures for her book and I explained that to her, but it did make me think of the numerous searches I’ve done that have lead me astray and how to make search engine optimization more precise. Or, is that the point? That by using general terms you get a wider swath of searching.

What’s the best usage? Tell us what you think.

About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.