Posts Tagged ‘Internet Marketing Company’
The Inc 500 | 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony was a three day event, held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix Arizona from October 3 – 5, 2012. There were many amazing speakers present including the CEO of Hubspot, Brian Halligan and former chief evangelist of Apple, Guy Kawasaki.
Inc. Magazine recognized Internet Marketing, Inc. as one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies of 2012, and ranked them 185 on the exclusive Inc 500 list. This list recognizes businesses all over the US for their success and future potential. Inc. Magazine honors the country’s top independent entrepreneurs and private companies in America.
Our Co-Founder and CMO, Brent Gleeson, a former Navy Seal and combat veteran, spoke at the conference at the “Day of Service” event alongside Simon Sinek, the best-selling author of “ Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action” and Norm Brodsky, founder of CitiStorage and Inc. 500 columnist. The event was focused on mentoring veterans entering the workforce as entrepreneurs. Brent spoke about his experience as a SEAL combat veteran and the transition to entrepreneurship. Brent was also a mentor during the all day event running performing one on one sessions and a series of round table discussions with veteran entrepreneurs.
One veteran attendee said, “It was very inspiring to listen to Brent’s stories and see how he connected his combat experience to the chaotic world of entrepreneurship.”
On Friday night, there was a black tie gala and awards ceremony where Brent, and IMI COO Ben Norton, accepted our award. The evening was full of great entertainment, inspiring speakers, and a fantastic awards ceremony. There was a lot of mentorship, collaboration, and networking of leading entrepreneurs from all over the country. We look forward to doing business with some of them and are honored to have made the Inc. 500 list.
Google’s search ranking has added new filters that should affect your daily search. If you’re in any way affected by SEO or any kind of internet marketing, you will know how much Google rules the world wide web. If Google penguin and Google Panda updates weren’t enough to keep you busy, Google’s taking action on DMCA requests as well.
DMCA, Hollywood and Pirates
An odd grouping of words when first looked at, but DMCA, Hollywood and pirates have all come together in regards to Google’s newest update. DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Acts, are requests that can be made by users against sites that contain alleged “copyright infringement”. Now who would be a large target for copyright infringement? Thats right; Hollywood.
The entertainment industry has pushed criticism towards Google to stop the copyright infringement of their music, videos, shows, movies, etc.
The tough thing about filtering infringement is it can’t be recognized through a simple algorithmic formula. Copyright infringement has to come through review by either users or a more authoritative source. To officially be deemed containing copyright infringement, a court of law has to review such material. Google’s new update takes valid DMCA requests against a site to lower it’s Google rankings. This is aimed at taking down rankings of websites with pirated material and give some money back to Hollywood.
But I’m Innocent
Google by all means is trying to do some good here by ridding its search results of infringed material on web pages that probably contain spammy ads and are potentially harmful to your computer. The one problem with this update, like many other things, is it can be abused by users looking to do harm for whatever reason. A valid DMCA request is simply a user filling out all the right paperwork and submitting it to Google without a counter-challenge.
Sometimes the innocent is “filed” as guilty. Google is trying to combat this in their update by offering “counter-notice” tools to help protect sites with proper copyrights. Just like Google Panda and Penguin updates, you might need to do some work to keep your site up their in the rankings.
What can I do?
This update can seem scary if your website has material that could be seen as borderline infringed material. So is Google going to make you vanish from the search engine because of some DMCA requests against you? No. While your website may suffer some rankings for a time, you will not completely disappear from the record. Again the counter-notice tools will help to protect your site, and you can file counter-challenges against requests.
While this might seem like a lot of work, Google says they will be making adjustments as the update goes on. If you receive less requests overtime, Google will bump you back up in the rankings. So stay calm, ride your site of any infringed or potentially infringed material, and stay vigilante about requests against your site.
Last week on April 24, Google released another update to it’s search algorithm, officially named the Penguin update. According to Google Blog:
“We’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines. This algorithm represents another step in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content”.
The change in algorithm was not as much of a scare to search engine optimization agencies as many thought, as the update only affected roughly around 3% of all English search results. The update was mainly targeted toward low quality over-optimized or spammy websites utilizing black hat SEO tactics. The Penguin update was a warning shot from Google cautioning all to stray from cutting corners with black hat or spammy tactics and to play by Google’s rules or forever be unseen in Google’s SERP. In case you weren’t clear of what Google defined as web spam, below are 5 tactics that could get you in trouble with Penguin and how you can avoid doing them.
- Keyword Stuffing: This is the practice of filling a webpage with keywords in an attempt to rank high in Google’s search results. This is a common practice among non SEOs who don’t know any better. Simply copy and pasting “cellphone covers” will do the opposite of ranking you high for cellphone covers. To avoid this penalty, monitor your keyword density, but most importantly, create quality content that informs and engages readers.
- Link Schemes: Selling text-links, utilizing blog networks, linking to spammy sites, all of these tactics are considered link schemes and Google will penalize you. Avoid linking to web spammers or “bad neighbor” sites as these will lower your own PageRank. Instead link to quality relevant content and perhaps you will receive a few links back in return.
- Cloaking: Cloaking is the act of deceiving search engines by providing different content for search engines and users. An example is writing html for search engines and then showing users flash or pictures about a completely different topic. Google perceives this as deceptive and the best way to avoid it is to focus on creating content for users not search engines.
- Automated Queries: Software that is used to submit pages, or check rankings on a regular basis are prohibited by Google and violate it’s terms of service. Stay away from programs such as WebPosition Gold™.
- Using Black-Hat SEO Tactics: In general, if you practice black-hat SEO, you most likely know that you are doing something deceptive to manipulate Google. Instead of trying to manipulate SERPs, create quality content for users and link to quality relevant sites. If you try to practice the latest “get-rank-quick” schemes you may experience high rankings for awhile but eventually Google will catch on and penalize you.
Starting out as a simple application founded in March 2009, Foursquare has grown into a full fledged, social media marketing community boasting over 20 million users worldwide with over 2 billion check-ins, and millions more everyday. In light of the recent passing of “foursquare” day on April 16th, Foursquare has proven to be a major player in the local search industry, rivaling the likes of Google and Yelp with its new built in search features. Users can interact with reviews, photos, menus of restaurants, etc. With over 750,000 businesses using the merchant platform, it is becoming easier than ever for it’s more than 35 million data based locations to connect with users in ways like never before. By offering coupons to nearby users or posting information about their establishment, restaurants, hotels, salons, can all create more foot traffic resulting in more customers.
Foursquare has recently come out with its Explore program that allows users to search for local venues on its website, similar to Google maps. Foursquare describes it as “adding an ‘interesting’ layer to the whole world”. Available on its mobile platform for some time now, Explore adds a whole new dimension to the local search industry for users on the Foursquare website. With the vast number of locations tagged within the system, this creates an extremely valuable tool with regards to internet marketing and reaching users through social media that can lead to creative ventures in the future.
Lookout internet marketing companies, last month Google released details on 40 algorithm changes for its search engine, including one that was titled “Codename: Venice”. Two changes caught our eye and directly affect the way search is becoming more localized. Here are the two snippets from Google’s announcement:
“Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.
“Improved local results. We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.”
It seems that searching for broad keywords will return localized results based on where Google thinks you are located. I conducted a brief experiment by first signing out of my gmail account, deleting cookies, enabling pws=0, enabling incognito mode, and setting my location to United States to make for an unpersonalized query. I then searched for the keyword “Software Company”. The results are as follows:
The findings were definitely surprising. When I changed the location set from United States to San Diego, the results were populated with way more localized results. It seems that the top four results are the same for both universal and local settings but beginning from the fifth listing, the results became more localized. From the looks of things, the 3-4 top dogs will retain their positions but the rest of the results will favor local over non-local. This makes it both a challenge as well as an opportunity for search optimization agencies.
From an SEO perspective, it seems that having your location in title tags or having a specific localized landing page will have enormous weight on localized results. One thing is for sure, localized search will be a big factor in 2012. What do you think about this change? Are your search results more or less relevant after the update?
How many times have you accessed the web through your smart phone lately? I bet you can’t even keep track of it. Consumers are believed to be madly in love of their smartphones these days. In the past few years, we have seen a huge increase on sales of smartphones worldwide. According to Jason Spero, Google’s head of mobile sales, 38% percent of the total population in the United States is now smartphone owners. 95% of these owners generally used their smartphones for mobile search. Jason Spero also anticipated that about 1 billion people would use their mobile phones as their primary tool for internet usage by the end of this year. So how prepared are businesses for this change? Are their sites mobile ready? Have they prepared a much stronger internet marketing campaign that would utilize the fast growth of mobile user enthusiasts?
I conducted a little visit to the Top 10 Fortune 500 companies’ websites to see if they are mobile ready and surprisingly, I found out that only 4 out of top 10 companies are mobile ready: Walmart, General Motors, Bank of America, and Ford. I found their mobile sites very user friendly and easy to access. These are companies that use the internet and marketing towards end consumers, and having a mobile ready site helps them reach their target demographic easier.
Though the other top 6 companies’ sites (Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Fannie Mae, General Electric, and Berkshire Hathaway) were accessible through mobile, they are not mobile friendly and I found them hard to explore. It is understandable if some of these B2B companies do not target mobile users since they are not selling a product or service to end consumers. There is probably no need for it now, but in some small way, if these businesses really want to maximize the experience to their target audience, then creating a mobile ready site is not a bad idea. For example, an investment holdings company like Berkshire Hathaway having a mobile friendly view of related financial news and stock price updates would really be beneficial to their investors.
There are no more questions that businesses have to go mobile. By creating a more effective search marketing campaign, they have a bigger opportunity of reaching a much wider demographic. But this potential success might not start unless they accept the idea of creating a mobile ready site. With the overwhelming success of the mobile industry these days, businesses should really consider operating in the mobile world more. So if you are a business, get started and create a mobile ready site. Do not miss out on this great opportunity and soon your business would benefit from all the love that this huge mobile community is giving.
Last Friday, search engine giant Google Inc. was exposed by the Wall Street Journal in a privacy scandal which some call “cookiegate” involving cookies being installed onto Apple’s browser Safari. The problem is that Google knowingly circumvented Safari’s browser settings in order to install cookies even when users opt for the “no third party cookies” setting. The reason Google puts cookies on a user’s device is to track sites visited, which in turn lets Google tailor internet advertising to the user. In short, the more data Google can collect, the more money it can make through its online advertising business. So, in wake of recent events at Google Inc. here are the pros and cons of cookies.
- Privacy: The main concern for most users is privacy. Cookie enabled web browsers keep track of all the websites you have visited. This means that with permission (or not in Google’s case), third parties can access the information stored by these cookies. These third parties can be advertisers, other users, or even the government in some cases.
- Security: Cookie security is a large problem. The concern is that many security holes have been found in different browsers. Some of these holes were so serious that they allowed malicious webmasters to gain access to users’ email, different passwords, and credit card information.
- Secrecy: Although third party cookies can be blocked through your browser settings, most people don’t have the technical expertise to do this. Most browsers purposely make it difficult to find this setting in order to prevent you from turning them off. No cookies mean no data, which in turn means less money.
- Conveniency: Cookies not only remember which websites you have been to, they also remember information about forms. Tired of filling out your address every time you buy something online? Cookies can make filling out address forms quick and efficient. Most online shopping websites nowadays allow cookies for address and email information, but make you fill out your credit card information each time.
- Effective Advertising: How nice would it be to only be offered products or services that are relevant to you? Internet marketing companies collect data from cookies to run marketing campaigns aimed at a very specific market segment including product group, geolocation, search term, and demographics.
- Ease of Control: It is actually really easy to manage your cookies if you know how. Most browsers make it easy for you to clear your browsing history. Just go to tools, clear history and select cookies. Cookies are stored in your hardrive in a text file under cookie.txt, and since it is a text file you can use just about any viewer or text editor to display, edit, and delete them.
In context to Google’s case, cookies are not always bad. Google’s intentions were to make their +1 buttons for Google+ more effective across different browsers. While Google may have used some taboo tactics to bypass Safari’s browser, their intentions were to make their search more personable. This tactic has however landed them a lawsuit. From a user perspective, cookies are there to make web browsing more efficient and personalized. If you have nothing to hide from search engines, enabling cookies will make your web browsing experience more pleasant and efficient. We would love to hear what your opinions are on cookie privacy, please feel free to share below.
As of last week, LinkedIn has reported outstanding financial reports, including a near 20% jump in stock in just one day. Reports from the fourth quarter of 2011 tell us the social networking site experienced a 105% increase in revenue in comparison to fourth quarter results of 2010. LinkedIn ended the fiscal year with approximately $167.7 million in revenue.
What we found to be most noteworthy is the “Hiring Solutions” part of their end of year reporting. Their recruiting services reportedly jumped 136% from the year prior in revenue, ending 2011 with $84.9 million in revenue just from the hiring makeup of their website. This makes LinkedIn the fastest growing public provider of corporate recruiting solutions.
Steve Sordello, CFO of LinkedIn, talks about the success of the professional social networking site. “Our fourth quarter results underscore the company’s success in 2011, which saw revenue and adjusted EBITDA more than double. In 2012, we will continue to invest in our product, engineering, and sales infrastructure to capitalize on our long-term opportunity.”
Top marketing agencies should pay close attention to these findings because LinkedIn could be their next go-to for finding professional, hard-working internet marketers. Here are four ways in which a marketing company can utilize LinkedIn for recruiting services:
- The Job Postings section of LinkedIn allows you to post open positions at your company and also buy highly targeted ads. LinkedIn is clever enough to target those ads towards users that are most likely to respond upon seeing your ad. Research shows that the ads placed on LinkedIn are much more effective than ads placed on Facebook.
- With Talent Pipeline on LinkedIn, those who apply for a position that your company posts will be put in a managed stream. This is similar to a candidate marketing and applicant tracking system.
- Employment Branding is a service LinkedIn provides to you for building a unique career website directly within the LinkedIn network. With this service you are able to promote jobs to the right, interested candidates.
- Finally, LinkedIn Recruiter serves as the company’s vast recruiting platform; providing you with access to their entire database of nearly 150 million professionals who are seeking employment.
Is LinkedIn’s huge success of 2011 enough to make your company think twice about where you will look for new employees? Let us know how you plan on utilizing LinkedIn for your next job postings.
As 2012 marks the first year in history that marketers will spend more in online advertising than print, web marketing strategies are more important than ever. Through various SEM services, like search engine optimization of keywords and content, your website can keep up with the future of advertising.
The first hurdle is creating content that is credible, relevant, and successful. A recent survey showed that 3 out of 4 professionals stated that generating original content, as well as having the time to do so, is one of their biggest challenges. Some internet marketing companies rely on the Google Keyword Tool to hand them a list of the latest internet buzzwords, but targeting only popular keywords can overlook more modest words with less competition. There’s risk ranking across the board in optimizing content, and it’s often that the most popular keywords aren’t able to bring in the best return on investment.
The second challenge is making your content seen. If a tree falls in a forest…well, you know the rest. Once you’re on the right path with smart content and the right keywords, it’s time to reach your target audience. Current social media followers or blog readers aren’t the limit, the objective is to reach as many internet users as possible.
While there are countless methods of online advertising available, by linking up with top internet marketing companies, your site has the potential to reach a global platform. A company experienced in creating content in multiple formats has the highest benefit, maximizing the avenues in reaching your target audience.
After the sea of chocolate wrappers, heart shaped cards, bouquets of flower, and listening to “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston fifty times, comes the inevitable Valentine’s day hangover. While some people may never want to search the words Valentine’s day again, Google has provided some very interesting consumer insights regarding Valentine’s day 2012.
According to a recent consumer insights study from Google, Valentine’s day searches have increased 35% from 2011, with an expected $210B for web-influenced sales in 2012. What does this mean for local businesses? First, it means that V-Day is a giant vertical with plenty of profits to capitalize. Second, it means that since more consumers are using search engines for information, as a local business, you may want to reach out to an internet marketing company and begin optimizing for Valentine’s day keywords for 2013.
With all that money going toward gifts and activities for your loved ones, the top performing product categories are as expected. They are jewelry, dining, and flowers [respectively]. The shocking trend is the ratio of spending between men and women on Valentine’s day. The average man spends about $158 while the average woman spends just about half of that at $75. Another surprising find is that consumers are researching gift ideas about two days earlier than last year. So in a nutshell, if more consumers are taking the time to plan and conduct research, researching earlier, and most likely buying what they researched; then wouldn’t it make sense as a business to utilize a search engine optimization agency to drive searches toward your website?
Top Performing Internet Retailers
In late January 2012, SEO research company, Conductor analyzed over 1,700 high-volume local and non-location specific keywords, to determine domains that appeared most frequently for Valentine’s day queries. To the right is an infographic they have provided which sums up their findings. To no surprise Yelp.com has dominated local searches for both gift and activity related terms. However, travel review site Gayot.com was close behind. On the non-geographic side, Gifts.com and Redenvelope.com exceeded others for “gifts” searches.
From the findings in the research we can see the impact that internet marketing has on holidays such as Valentine’s day. In a society where consumers are begininning to utilize search more and more often, it is all the more important to optimize your websites so that it drives traffic and achieves conversions. For the small local florist who doesn’t get much exposure during the year, come Valentine’s day 2013, this could be the make or break effort for your business. Please share with us your thoughts regarding the holiday search frenzy. Will this trend continue?