Posts Tagged ‘Search engine optimization’
This week, one of our team members, Philip Mastroianni shared with the IMI team some insight into Reddit.com, a highly effective social news and entertainment website. Reddit, familiar to many of us already, has a bulletin board system where users submit content, can vote up or down a post, and comment on many different subtopics.
So why is Reddit still a worthwhile social site? As of 2012, Reddit has about 37 billion page views, 400 million unique visits, 30 million posts, and 4.4 million page views. The site got up to 1.6 million unique visits in one day. In 2011, Reddit received a Quantcast US rank of 66 (out of all the sites on the web), and an Alexa US rank of 43.
Popular Reddit Terms
Despite its plain interface, Reddit is a sophisticated site with its own lingo. Some commonly used Reddit terms are listed below:
OP: Original Poster
“According to the OP, the image was taken from The New York Times“.
TIL: Today I learned…
“TIL that taxonomically, modern-day birds aren’t just descended from dinosaurs, but are considered to BE dinosaurs“.
DAE: Does anyone else…
“DAE think that Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street should have their own full-length sitcom?”
IAmA: I am a….
“IAmA Police Officer in Arizona, AMA”
AMA: Ask me anything.
“I have had 2 ACL reconstructions. AMA.“
TL;DR: Too Long; Didn’t Read
“[After a long, detailed story] TL;DR I went to Vegas, found a monkey in my hotel room, and lived ‘The Hangover’ in real life.“
FTFY: Fixed that for you.
Term used when someone makes a change to another user’s post or image, often with humorous results.
Famous People Who Use Ask Me Anything on Reddit
- President Barack Obama
- Larry King
- Molly Ringwald
- Bill Gates
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
(Who also happens to answer questions
in r/fitness from time to time)
- Zach Braff
- Jimmy Kimmel
- Ron Paul
- Stephen Colbert
- Bear Grylls
- Firefox UX Design Team
- Mars Curiosity Rover engineers and scientists
Ask Me Anything – Upcoming Chats
- 98 Degrees (Band)
- Charlie Rose (Talk show host)
Before posting something on Reddit, you want to make sure that you post it in the right category. The more people that “upvote” your post, the better chance it has at reaching more viewers. Some of the most popular and active categories are listed below:
What is Karma on Reddit?
Karma reflects how much good the user has done for the Reddit community. The best way to gain karma is to submit links that other people like and vote for, though you won’t get karma for self promoted posts. So, what can you do with the Karma you receive on Reddit? Nothing, but with more Karma, you gain some credibility with other users.
Top tips to get Karma:
- Cat pics … and more cat pics
- Random Wikipedia article and /r/TIL
- Random famous person and random quote
- Post to /r/atheism
- Funny GIF files (nostalgia can work)
- Original meme content
- Bad Parking Job Pictures
- Reposts (wait 2-4 weeks)
The Reddit site categorizes topics very effectively and prioritizes stories by how many upvotes they receive. This distinguishes them from Facebook or Twitter. For internet marketing news, for example, you may want to check out these subreddits:
- /r/gmarketing (guerilla marketing)
Content Promotion on Reddit
With so many people using Reddit every day, it is a great way to promote interesting content. For example, let’s say you have an infographic you want to share. There is an infographic category that you can share it in. We recommend interacting with a community and commenting and voting up other members’ posts besides just sharing your own. Like anything, the better the content is, the more it will get shared. For example, pictures with funny text on them, or memes, do really well on Reddit.
As Philip explained in his presentation, Reddit is a great site and when used regularly, can be an effective source for content promotion. What has been your experience using Reddit? Leave a comment below.
With so many ads bombarding us online, it is refreshing to see an ad that makes us smile and resonates with us personally. Today, brands are challenged with figuring out how to make money from their online community. Most of the time we don’t want to be interrupted while we are trying to get our social groove on, so how do you wiggle your way into your customers’ browsing experience in a way that doesn’t make them annoyed? You can start by creating tailor made content that your fans will naturally like. Just ask the online strategists from some social savvy brands that figured out how to do this – Gatorade, Whole Foods, Samsung, Oreo, and Coke.
1. Gatorade – Gatorade is a brand that has a lot of sport and celebrity relationships and lots of opportunity in the social space. So how did they take advantage of this to create content that their users will like and share? They had PR, media, and brand managers listening and learning from their followers online. They didn’t just look at the number of fan increases every month, but instead really listened to what their fans were saying. They also analyzed their web traffic to see how their consumers were finding the website.
One of the things they learned was that people were mentioning on Twitter that Gatorade was a hangover cure. They then created campaigns that identify with this and engaged with their consumers. They also started a #winfromwithin campaign that encouraged followers to share how they emit strength using that hashtag. They created images that inspire that included their logo. Their fans associate Gatorade as a drink for the workout warriors and a brand that implies through imagery – Drink Gatorade and you can be like Dwyane Wade! In this case, they didn’t ask fans to sign up for something for “a chance” to win free product. They created content that people wanted to share – without being asked to.
2. Whole Foods
At this year’s Online Marketing Summit, I heard an innovative case study from Michael Aaron Bepko, the community manager for Whole Foods. He explained how important it is to really listen to your fans and give them what they want. By doing this, they decided instead of just having 1 Facebook and 1 Twitter account that they needed to segment out different topics and create more brand accounts by topic.
For example, they noticed a lot of site traffic came from Pinterest based on people searching for recipes. So not only did that encourage more pins, but also a Whole Foods Twitter account just for recipes. They also segmented out their meat posts into a whole new Whole Foods meat account – to please their vegetarian fans who were complaining on the main brand’s feed. They also started a Twitter account just about cheese. I would even suggest doing a Google Plus hangout with their cheese enthusiasts and talk about their cheese selection and how to cook with them.
They also noticed that users in different parts of the country have different needs and topics that concern them. So, different Whole Foods stores’ around the country made their own Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts. This created a sense of community for the followers and also sparked competition between the different stores to get the most amount of likes and engagement. For this strategy to work well, they closely monitor and regulate who is posting on behalf of the brand and what is being posted.
By extracting data from the social space and segmenting out their user activity to figure out what people are actually saying, Whole Foods discovers what their followers are passionate about, and learns more about what is important to them. They then create engaging content that their users enjoy. This creates an emotional bond and relationship with their customers, one that might make them loyal to Whole Foods instead of another grocery chain. Again, here they are not creating sweepstakes or giving away free products, but ultimately getting to know their fans.
3. Samsung – “The Next Big Thing is Already Here”
Samsung did something out of the box and it resulted in a huge profit and growth for the brand. Instead of wasting millions of dollars on a boring and flashy TV commercial, they paid attention to what consumers were saying online before even releasing their product.
They closely monitored what people were saying in real-time about their competitor’s product, the Apple iPhone5 on Twitter. Then, they shared that feedback with their product development team. The result was The Samsung Galaxy S III, a product that fixed some of the issues that people complained the iPhone 5 didn’t have. In this case – taking the time to listen to people online and give them what they wanted had a massive impact on their success. Samsung then translated this into a TV commercial that showcased what they learned from listening to people on Twitter and Facebook. Below is a commercial that not only did great on TV, but also went viral on the web – with over 17 million YouTube views.
Notice the actors in this commercial are mimicking what people were saying online about the iPhone5. This contextual advertising is the direction more brands need to take to reach their customers. If you are creative enough to come up with a great TV commercial, people will share it and talk about you online.
However, they won’t necessarily buy your product unless it is a great product that does what they need. For example – would you buy a Dodge Ram based off on an entertaining commercial they made about farmers? See the engaging Superbowl commercial – So God Made A Farmer. This commercial has over 14 million views on YouTube and many rip off videos – but not many that are associating the Dodge brand and truck with the content.
Speaking of Superbowl advertising, a highly engaging and relevant ad was done in the spur of the moment that fans went wild for online. Marketers were sitting in a room watching the Superbowl during the black out and came up with: “You can still dunk in the dark”.
This was a simple yet effective way to engage with people as they waited around for the lights to come back on. They were able to do this because they got approvals quickly and thought on their feet. As the web changes, marketers need to change how they reach their audiences. In this case, Oreo seized the day and capitalized on an opportunity that their competitors did not, and got over 16,000 re-tweets from it.
Coke has been around the block for awhile –so engaging with their audience is not their first rodeo. From creating the image of the modern day Santa, to dancing polar bears – they are masters of creating great content. So what are they doing online? They have content that is created by full time employees, over 40 freelance writers and photographers, many people throughout the Coke system, marketing, and public relations teams coming up with engaging content.
This is a collaborative internet marketing strategy that all brands can learn from. Don’t just have one stressed out person come up with all your advertising collateral. Instead, utilize the minds of different people to get ideas of what will work. As one of the fastest growing agencies in the country, we have access to diverse teams and the best tools that strategize for you. We also work with you to create engaging content.
An example of a great Tweet by Coke was done by a creative writer: “When you open a Coke, 12,352 bubbles are born. Happy Birthday bubbles.” Another great piece of content I found was a video they made for Valentine’s Day and posted on Twitter saying, “Our #Valentine to you. Love, @CocaCola”. The video below called, “Love is in the Air – a Coca-Cola Valentine” creates an emotional bond with viewers. It shows happy couples getting a balloon magically at their feet arriving with a fresh can of Coke.
So how should you spend your marketing dollars online? Start by really getting to know your audience and building relationships with them. Figure out your organic brand advocates and utilize them for ideas, product development, and content. Reward your online customers for their loyalty by letting them be the first to know about new products. Whether you are promoting your Instagram pictures on Twitter or sharing your TV commercials on YouTube, being contextual, collaborative, and creative is the path to success. We know you might not have the mega marketing budgets that these 5 brands do, but we can help you grow with our integrated SEO and social media marketing campaigns.
On Tuesday, March 5th IMI invited some of our local clients in house for an exciting thought-leadership event sponsored by Google called Google Engage. Our clients watched a compelling 2 hour live broadcast from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. As a partner agency to Google, we were delighted to be included in the first ever Google Engage for Agencies event. Speakers such as Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP for Americas Marketing, discussed how businesses can grow in this digital age and reach more customers online. Below are the key takeaways from this event.
During the session, we were introduced to ZMOT – the Zero Moment of Truth: that instant when customers open their laptops, pick up their smartphones or their tablets, and search the web. They may read a review, look for a coupon, watch a video, or read a blog before making a purchase. With the right digital marketing strategy, you can reach shoppers more often at the right time, in the right place, and with the right content.
At the Zero Moment of Truth, today’s shoppers bounce back and forth at their own unique way in a multi-channel marketplace. They switch devices to suit their needs at any given moment.
The challenge for businesses today is to meet customers where they are online with exactly what they are looking for. For example, regarding YouTube videos, it is a much younger audience curating the content and determining what is cool. So if your target audience is on YouTube, running True View video ads would be a good way to reach them.
You also want to make sure your brand messaging is consistent across TV, tablets and mobile phones and create a good experience on all devices. So, what can you do to appeal to this growing tablet audience at ZMOT? Find ways to give shoppers the information they want at the time they want it online. Do they want reviews and ratings? If so, a simple way to reach them is to write ad copy that boasts, “Five stars on Yelp.” You want to give the users what they are looking for by answering their questions in your content and ad copy. You can also build relationships with your customers through videos, Google Plus hangouts, and social media.
Reaching Your Customers through Mobile and Tablets
Website traffic from tablets and mobile devices increases every day. Therefore, you want to be sure to create tablet-friendly ads and use them in tablet-targeted campaigns. As the Google Mobile Playbook notes, a paid ad that states: “Shop now from your tablet” is a stronger call to action than “Shop online.”
While images on iPhone listings are very small, they also play a big role in leading to conversions. Through eye tracking, Google researchers could tell that users would pause on a listing with positive reviews, then look at the image before making their decision to click or not.
MAT™ – Multi-Attribution Technology
With customers finding your website through so many different channels, it is essential to segment out where they are coming from and trace the click path they used to see what made them buy a product.
If you’re just relying on the last click, you’re missing out on a whole lot of information about user behavior. Our MAT™ , or multi attribution analytics tool tracks all the marketing sources that customers are exposed to before making a purchase, thus measuring the success of each digital campaign.
Couples Resorts is a client of ours who has a successful fully integrated digital marketing campaign with Display, SEO, SEM, and Social Media campaigns. Through using our MAT™ technology, we found that display media is a great introducer to the website. MAT™ helps us understand the performance of each digital marketing campaign by reporting on the introducers, the influencers, and the closers.
How Our Google Partnership Can Help You
So what can IMI as an agency help you with? We work with our Google Reps to help our clients reach their goals. Google provides us with a vast amount of data, tools, and education. Our Google reps help IMI by providing us with their own market research and data of online habits across many industries. We use this information to create a strategy that leads to optimal results for our clients. For example, Google researchers found that users really pay attention to social signals like reviews. They found that listings that averaged three or more stars in reviews took 41 out of 47 clicks. Also, the volume of reviews matters. 29 of 47 clicks went to listings that had at least four reviews.
As Google releases new tools and research, we are the some of the first to know. We help our clients implement these new trends and tools and link their campaigns together across multiple channels.
We also help businesses to engage with their users. At IMI we have a comprehensive data-driven approach to internet marketing. With our tools, partnerships, and expertise we extract data from all of our clients’ digital channels to help understand user behavior, create content that meets their needs, and ultimately increase ROI and bottom line.
At our Google Engage event, our audience walked away with valuable knowledge and enthusiasm. We look forward for the next Google Engage event and hope to see you there.
As social media continues to be a big influence on consumers as to whether they decide to purchase with your brand versus a brand not on social media, some of us may be asking, what happened to SEO? Although I’m still a firm believer in professional search engine optimization services, we internet marketers need to be cognoscente on where an audience is searching for information about your brand. According to a study by HubSpot, if 85% of Internet users have a Facebook account and 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands via Facebook , then your brand should definitely not only have a brand page on Facebook, but one that is fully optimized and engaging. When creating social pages for a product or service, be sure to follow these steps to create a fully optimized social network.
Before I begin breaking down each channel you’ll want to gather a keyword list from your online marketing company’s SEO department. Narrow down the list to your top 3-5 keyword phrases which will be included in all descriptions across your social networks. Now let’s begin:
With the ever-changing world of Facebook, it’s important to stay up to date with all of the new updates within the platform (i.e. editing your brand page to Timeline view). The about section is your chance to give a short description of what your brand does, while also including a keyword and link back to your site for Google to index. It is also a best practice to include links in the description section to all other social networks that your brand is active on.
For even more SEO value within Facebook, consider placing a keyword at the beginning of your status update; especially updates that include a link back to your site. Click on the timestamp of each update and you will be brought to a separate page specific for that update. The first 18 characters, sometimes a bit less, of your update will be the SEO Title for that post.
With only 140 characters or less, there’s not much SEO opportunity on this platform, but still some SEO benefit.
What you write in your bio information is very important not only just for SEO, but also for other tools that gather Twitter users based on a search query (like FollowerWonk). Don’t forget to insert a keyword in your bio and also include a link to your site. Design a custom skin for your Twitter page that includes more information about your company and calls to action.
A social network result from the search engine giant itself, we have Google+ and its land of opportunity for SEO.
Before creating a profile for your brand on Google+, decide whether you want to create a local page (for a specific address like a hotel or restaurant) or a brand page (for products/services). A Google+ local page now integrates with Zagat reviews. Once your page is created, edit your descriptions to be keyword-rich. Google+ allows you to link those keywords within your introduction, creating the dofollow links that Google loves. Having a profile that is linked to a website will also help your credibility; it’s a simple snippet of code provided by Google that is to be inserted on your sites homepage. Learn more about profile and page verification badges on Google+ here. Once this is done, your Google+ page will show up on the right hand side of the Google search page for relevant queries, thus making your Google+ page more discoverable. Lastly, don’t forget to include links to all of your company’s other social networks in the links section.
Another social network result of Google is the video sharing platform YouTube.
Although there is no option for anchor text links in the about section of your channel, be sure to include your keywords as “tags” in the channel settings. Link to all other social networks and also take advantage of designing a customizable YouTube skin for more information about your product or service and calls to action. As you begin to make a presence on this platform, keep in mind that your video title doubles as a SEO title and the video description doubles as your Meta description. This is a great place to add keywords as your “tags” for each video uploaded if it doesn’t sound right in the description.
According to my research, there isn’t much SEO value so far from LinkedIn brand pages. Therefore my recommendation would be to include keywords in the about section, specifically in the specialties box which will help your company appear in search within LinkedIn. A link to your website is also not to be forgotten.
Who would’ve guessed that a virtual pin-board would create so much buzz so quickly? Getting verified on Pinterest is much like getting verified on Google+. All you need to do is download the verification file from your settings and host it on your sites homepage. Don’t forget to include keywords in the description of your Pinterest page, and if possible, title your boards with a keyword. Boards also have SEO opportunity within their descriptions, so be sure to have a keyword there as well.
Now that you have properly optimized six social media channels for SEO value, watch as the referral traffic from social increases over time. With the ability to reach over 50% of Americans, according to We Are Social, social media networks should not only be created, but optimized to ensure you are building relationships while also ranking in the search engines. Have other social SEO service recommendations? I’d love to hear in the comment section below!
One of the challenges SEO professionals face is how to report on and measure their link building efforts. In the past, some SEOs just got a certain amount of links a month for example, 100 directory links, and 15 rented links. Thus, they equated a large amount of links every month to their site as a good strategy. They did not necessarily look at the links. They were focused on quantity –not the quality of the link or how the link was acquired – but instead staring at the number of links.
1 Link vs. 1000 Links: “Prepare for Glory!”
Being in the Post Panda and Penguin era is not easy. It is also not very simple to explain to others who think they understand how this update will hurt their website, as they are probably still sticking to the old school tactics of link building. Today, the valuable beats the outnumbered. This is like Rambo beating a whole army, or the 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas going against a gigantic army of Persian soldiers except the Spartans win. Or, it’s like Steven Segal in some random Steven Segal movie single-handedly beating everyone down. Get it yet? Google does not rank you higher just based on how many links you have. Google may even penalize your site if you have a large suspicious amount of backlinks from untrustworthy sites. It's high time we all accept this new game called, “Quality over Quantity”. Having one high quality blog post from a trusted site is likely way better than having 1,000 low quality posts. So instead of scurrying frantically on creating the next new strategy to get around the update, realize that the quality of links is most important these days. If you do go after more quality links, then heed the words of King Leonidas, “Prepare for glory!”
Pre Panda/Penguin Era: Death of the Sidebar & Footer Links
Some popular linking techniques that worked well before Google’s latest algorithm update were side bar and footer links from blog networks, paid links, and directory links. Google’s updates keep us SEO’s in check and push us to be more creative and strategic. We know there is no way of getting around the Penguin, so why not take the time and effort to come up with a natural link baiting strategy rather than working with outdated, ineffective tactics? If your link baiting strategy is for the sole purpose of increasing rankings, you likely will fail. Important signals these days are brand impression, social signals, and the bottom line if other people like you or your business.
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first” – Wendy Piersall
Post Panda & Penguin
The question among marketers lately is how their techniques are living up to the new Google algorithm change. What has been popular after the Panda and Penguin update is finding influencers that are relevant in your industry, building relationships through social interaction, infographics, and creative content marketing. We all realize that these take a lot of time. Is it worth spending time on? Would you rather take the risk of acquiring hundreds of untrustworthy links? Or would you put your blood, sweat, and tears into creating a piece of unique content that would gain you good, quality links?
So, the Panda and Penguin updates have thrust internet marketers, some kicking and screaming, into getting better quality links. And the whole idea of QUANTITY does not exist in this Post Penguin world.
What are the Top Search Engine Experts Saying About Quality Link Building?
“The objective is not to ’make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural."
“They must understand that their days of buying links are over, and they must create great things on their site that gets natural links.”
"There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the Web."
“Many SEOs complained about the Panda and Penguin updates, which does not mean Panda and Penguin updates are bad. Since the people that were doing link building correctly from the very beginning were not affected by it. Of course there would be a few instances where a site was hit by Panda or Penguin that didn't deserve it, but Google is opening their ears to cases like this to come up with appropriate fixes.”
“Strategic integration – that’s the best SEO strategy that everyone should at least try doing these days. Search engine optimization is not just all about optimizing pages and building links to them, it’ll take more than that, as search engines are constantly improving how they assess rightful pages – that should be ranking well on their results – knowing that they are also evaluating websites’ authenticity, popularity, relevance and authoritativeness through other metrics from social and usage data.”
Why Less Is More – Link Building ROI
Reporting on the amount of links we acquired does not show a justifiable ROI, but analyzing other metrics such as traffic, engagement, and keyword rankings are helpful in painting a whole picture – and seeing how one quality link builds the authority of a whole website. We don't need to stare at the amount of links we get, but instead, analyze the value of how more natural links improve the overall marketing campaign. We should also quantify other metrics depending on the specific goals and go beyond rankings. This will help us get the most value out of reporting ROI in a link baiting strategy. Below are some ways to evaluate the overall value of a natural link, acquired in a post penguin world:
Evaluate how much traffic the link brought to your site
Look at increases in non-branded and branded traffic. Also, see how many unique visitors came to the site after a blog post, article or other piece of content was published. Look into the amount of referring traffic and recognize any big jumps from press releases, infographics, etc.
See how a link increased your branding impression based on the amount of social shares
Was there an increase in your social engagement? Explain that social signals aid ranking factors. Were there any new Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus followers?
See if any relationships were built though the people who have shared, liked, or commented on your content
This is analyzing how many social interactions you gained from content you post online with a link back to your website. How much of an increase of shares or likes did you see on your social channels? What other mentions did it receive?
How many natural links did it obtain?
Examine each relevant link and see how valuable it is. How did that natural link gain you the brand presence you deserved?
Jason Acidre stated, “Something to think about every now and then as an SEO: Are we really helping our clients? Are we bringing value to their business?”
With everything that comes to online marketing and its ROI, Acidre’s quote makes the most sense. Don’t stress about how many links you acquired every month, the most important lesson to be learned is what is bringing value. When you are attempting with a link baiting strategy, are you increasing your brand’s awareness, social followers, traffic increases or other branding metrics that is getting your business out there?
What I have come to realize, even outside of SEO, is that it is all an interconnected strategy. Good quality links will lead to getting your name out there. Creating some unique and natural will lead to people talking about you. After the Panda and Penguin updates, no one cares about just building links. What do your potential customers come from? If you want to reach them, create something interesting that they would like and share naturally. That is the strategy I recommend, what are your thoughts on link building in a post Panda and Penguin world?
Updated: On Sunday, August 19th, Jenn Mathews posted a public response on her blog regarding the “Search and Social” service mark. In her post she goes in depth about her road to attaining the service mark. From her initial industry work experience to planning the “Search and Social Woot!” conferences, she divulges her intentions and how she plans to move forward.
Last week Jenn Mathews announced that she has a registered service mark for the popular industry term,“Search and Social”. She publicly posted the below image on her Facebook Timeline, where she was promptly greeted with negativity and complete dismay from thought leaders in both the social and SEO industries. I would like to update this post to reflect Jenn’s recent discourse and insights that continues to shed light on this discussion.
Who is Jenn Mathews?
Jenn is the current president at Wappow, where she orchestrates conferences and networking opportunities for individuals and companies within the online marketing and emerging media space. She is well versed and experienced in SEO, PPC, social media and other media outlets, and has over 10 years of experience in the industry.
I do not know Jenn personally, and I am excited about how this topic and discussion is carving a path for open conversations about this event.
Why did she register “Search and Social” as a service mark?
Despite initial negative public discourse surrounding her announcement, Jenn defended the service mark stating,
“I did it to protect the Search and Social Conferences, the Search and Social workshops, and the Search and Social Consulting company I run.
I have run across others using it, and we have mutually worked out an agreement.”
Are we experiencing trademark déjà vu in the industry?
Remember the guy that attempted to register “SEO” as a trademark in April 2008? Jason Gambert truly riled up the SEO community when he attempted to take ownership of “Search Engine Optimization”, SEO, stating that he was the first person to use the term. His argument for registering is below and was first posted on his personal blog.
“My goal in owning the trademark for the word SEO is not to try to force people to change their SEO process, but rather, prevent companies from selling “SEO” as a service under false pretenses.
…We will also be forming a board of directors to oversee changes to the process, and format in which SEO can be sold (basically the BBB for the SEO industry).
We will restrict businesses from selling the process of SEO as an “SEO” service if they do not meet the process approved by the SEO trademark requirements.
Those approved will use SEO as normal, but will now be able to use the term as SEO™, and will be able to claim that their SEO service is approved under SEO
This power is for the people of the Search community and the protection of the general business consumer.”
The challenge began when SEOmoz filed the first opposition to the trademark in 2008. However, the company never pursued this further due to their legal spat with Ripoff Report. Ultimately, the victory of the industry came down to SEO enthusiasts and the incredible perseverance of a certain individual, 25-year-old Rhea Drysdale (right), who fought the case with her own finances, and almost two years later, won the case. In March of 2010, Gambert’s claim was formally blocked.
Seeing that this instance was successful in disputing a previously registered trademark, could this happen once again? Click here to learn more about disputing registered service marks.
In an updated statement from her blog yesterday, Jenn states:
“I can only hope in this blog post and as as time will tell, that I am making myself clear – I do not in any way have the same, or even similar, intentions [as Gambert's attempt at trademarking the term "SEO"]“.
What does this mean to our search and social media industries?
As the search and social media landscapes continue to evolve and are increasingly relying on high synergy between the two, this news could have been incredibly problematic to the industry. Many arguments can be made about:
- The broad nature of the terms,
- Inability for others to promote internal and/or external service offerings such as (conferences, events, groups, etc.),
- Loss of business and revenues of those in the industry who have previously invested in the term
- Traffic to site that drove visitors via “Search and Social” term
- Do these events pose a potential to be a monopoly of the industry down the road?
I thought Jenn’s closing remarks were particularly interesting, so I am quoting them below to help frame the discussion as well as her overall intentions with the service mark:
- Does this mean that my event won’t be able to be duplicated? By no means does this protect the unique format I have created, which still leaves me nervous as I see events duplicating the format already.
- Does this mean that no one can have a conference called “Search and Social”? Technically, no they cannot – but I’m a pretty reasonable person and am happy working with others that would like to use the phrase. In fact, Rob Garner and myself just worked out an agreement for his book “Search and Social“ which is coming out November 6, 2012. In fact, he’ll be speaking at Search and Social Hawaii 2013, and we’ll be handing out copies of his book to all of the attendees. (Rob let us know this comment in response to Jenn’s above statement: Just want to clarify some of the facts here. I do not have any agreement with the person mentioned above, contrary to what is stated. I will not be speaking at this conference, and there will be no books handed out. As I have stated to this person in what I thought was a private email conversation, “search and social” is a generic term. Again, no deal or agreement was made. Thanks, Rob)
- Does is mean that no can can define their event using “search and social” as a description? Gosh no… I want this industry to use the two as a cohesive means to market their businesses. SEO’s should be using social, social media professionals should know SEO, and let’s not forget that SEM and PPC have morphed into social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin and any SEM would be crazy not to be utilizing them.Just as the song “Happy Birthday” is sung by millions all over the world, the rights belong to Time Warner, but no one is going to come barging down your door if you start signing.
Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below. What do you think of Jenn’s response?
Side note: Jenn, thank you for taking the time to respond – it is greatly appreciated!
When people hear of Google, an iconic image of the six colorful letters, simple search bar beneath and “I’m Feeling Lucky” tab usually pops up in people’s heads.
But for those people who are familiar with social media, search engine optimization and all the perks that come with the worldwide web, they know that Google is making headlines everyday to make our Internet experience safer and easier. Google makes its way to daily newsfeeds and it is becoming a well-known fact that the powerful company is becoming more important for your website or blog.
So what are the most recent changes? Substituting the home page’s logo with fun keyboard games during the Olympics isn’t even half of it.
Catching the Internet Pirates
If it hasn’t been publicized enough in the past year, Internet piracy has emerged as major problem. From illegally downloaded mp3s to bootlegged films of summer hits, Google’s has recently declared that they are cracking down on this piracy that’s infecting the web. The company’s core web search engine will be relegating websites that often host unlawful copies of films and music. It will take into account the copyright infringement notices a site has received and then alter the link’s ranking.
Google’s head of engineering claims that in the past 30 days, more than 4.3 million URLs have been submitted containing possible copyright infringement. It may seem like this makes it more difficult for us to download those EPs we so desperately want on our iTunes, but Google’s proactive approach to eradicating Internet piracy is a huge feat for the entertainment industry. It establishes Google’s power beyond the world wide web too, making it appear unstoppable.
Google Plus’ New Addition is a Plus
Google has also achieved new internal accomplishments. This is for all you Google Plus members. If you joined this social networking site, owned and operated by Google itself, you will know the URL can be overwhelming on the eyes and just hard to remember. To access a typical Google Plus profile, you will have to put in a URL looking something like this: http://plus.google.com/109299348960895456083/. Now, custom URLs are finally coming to Google +. This user friendly approach will enable URLS to look more like Facebook URLs, but with a nifty little algebraic plus in the web address (i.e. http://google.com/+paulmccartney or http://google.com/+nissan). Currently, a user needs to fit the criteria to acquire such an exclusive custom URL, but overtime, the unique web addresses will be accessible to Google Plus members worldwide.
Travelling on the Web Made Easier
For all you businessmen, Google has invaded your world too. The company announced on August 12th that it will be purchasing Frommer’s travel guides to enhance its local and travel searches. Since purchasing Zagat last year, which specializes in restaurant reviews, Google has expanded once again, and is becoming a more relatable, media company. It will make your travel planning easier, giving you the results you want and optimizing your search even more.
So if you are a music guru, social networking fiend, or daily businessman, Google’s news is becoming more and more relatable to a wider spread of Americans. The powerful corporation is taking bold moves and in turn, taking headlines and making news.
More often than expected, many link building strategies fail and leave people wondering why the strategy was unsuccessful. These failures are most commonly attributed to improper execution of link building. Successful link building strategies are an important element to search engine optimization campaigns (SEO) and therefore proper execution of link building strategies will ensure success with SEO efforts. In this post we will give you some insight from one of the top internet marketing companies as to why many link building strategies commonly fail.
With link building there are three main elements that typically are the main factors within a link building strategy, but often these three elements are commonly misaligned or overlooked. These three elements are the link building strategy, content strategy, and link bait. People often confuse or misalign these concepts which can lead to failure of the overall link building strategy.
The content strategy is the outline or road map to creating great pieces of content, which can be used as part of your link building strategy. Your link building strategy is how you actually plan to get links. Sometimes the content from your content strategy will generate links by itself naturally, but this does not necessarily make it part of your link building strategy. Link bait is a piece of content created with the intentions of solely getting links from it, but it is not a part of your content strategy and is more a part of your link building strategy. People often confuse the content from the content strategy as link bait, but these are two different pieces of content usually. Getting these two confused can set your strategy up for failure because each of these strategies serve different questions and audiences.
To successfully execute your link building strategy you should create a content strategy that includes link bait, but is not all link bait and has a good mix of link bait and content. Also decide which pieces of actual content you can leverage to build links. Also focus your link building strategy on getting links from sources above and beyond the sources that your content can gain. Also coordinating with your social strategy can further help leverage these efforts. Essentially it all comes down to integration between all the elements of a link building strategy along with additional strategies such as social or traditional marketing.
Forgetting The “Strategy” Element
Although this sounds like a no brainer, many people often do not fully plan out or execute their strategy. Executing several campaigns without integration among campaigns prevents your efforts from being a strategy. Also many do not have a set road map of how they plan to execute the strategy because they are too focused on launching a campaign. Creating a distinct course of direction with goals and purpose of the strategy is essential to making your strategy successful. When doing so it is important to consider the following:
- Who: Who is accountable for the project? Who is the audience?
- What: What is the purpose? What are the goals?
- When: When will it be executed?
- Where: Where does the strategy fit in or integrate into the grand scheme?
- Why: Why is the strategy being pursued for both the user and business perspectives?
- How: How will you reach the goals? How will you track it?
Like any strategy formation it is essential to know all the reasons for the strategy and how it will be implemented. This will give you a clear view of how the strategy can be successful. Also it is important to monitor and track elements of the strategy to make sure all aspects are performing properly. By doing so, you can find elements that are underperforming and make adjustments of need be and possible. Combining all of these planning elements will help ensure that your strategy is successful over the long run.
Lack of Defined Goals
All strategies will have visions and intentions but without goals there are not quantifiable measurements for success of the strategy. Lack of goals can prevent even well planned strategies to achieve success. Goals should be broken up into short-term and long-term goals with specific numbers or objectives in order to give the strategy direction. Allow your short-term goals to be stepping stones towards your long-term goals, which will essentially give you a path of goals with actionable milestones. If you see that your goals are not being met early on it could be an indication that one of the elements of the strategy is underperforming and hindering reaching the long-term goals. With milestone goals you are able to identify where something may have gone wrong and adjust accordingly without having to guess where in the timeline your strategy started to drop off. Also having goals based on the S.M.A.R.T concept will give a solid outline and realistic direction for your goals. S.M.A.R.T goals are defined as:
Lack of Proper Tracking
With any link building strategy the team members involved will come with a way of counting their links, whether it be manually or through automated tools. However, simply counting the number of links is not the only element that should be considered with your project tracking. In addition to the number of links your strategy is receiving, it is also important to know the following:
- What are the links doing for rankings?
- What is the anchor text spread of the links?
- How have the incoming links fluctuated over the project?
These elements of tracking are commonly overlooked which can make it difficult to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your link building strategy when you are not tracking them over time. Also you need to share these results with everyone on the team so that everyone is up to date and has a proper understanding of how the project is performing.
The proper method to tracking links starts with pulling all the data and analyzing it based on the three criteria posted above. Also after defining the project goals, it is important to determine KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for measuring if the goals have been met. Monitoring these KPIs through analytics or third party tools will help to properly execute the process. Also it is important to consistently analyze the data to monitor the performance of the project in a real-time. Convert the data into visual representations to share among team members so that everyone can understand the current state of the link building strategy without divulging too much time into trying to understand the data. Simply put, consolidate it and make it easily understandable for everyone involved. From there draw conclusions about the strategy’s success and share these with the whole team. Compare newer data with historical results of the strategy to understand how the strategy is progressing over time. Also it may be necessary to reassess the strategy and determine if any changes should be made. If changes need to be made, fully plan them out and make sure they can still be integrated with the other marketing channels and initiatives.
Wrapping It Up
These common pitfalls account for a large number of strategy failures. To be successful with a strategy it is important to realize the difference between the content strategy, link building strategy, and link bait. From there create solid road maps for each element while integrating them all together to maximize the potential of each element. Great content alone will not get the most links, as well as great link bait alone will not get the most links. Incorporating great content strategies and link bait into your link building strategy will be most effective, especially when integrating this strategy into your social and traditional marketing strategies to leverage the power of each other. Also it is imperative that you fully form a strategy and consider all the elements; who, what, when, where, why, and how. There is a reason why these concepts are taught so early on in life, because they allow for proper planning. Incorporating these elements into strategies will give you a thorough direction and well thought out strategy that does not overlook any elements. Also it is important to have defined measurable goals for your strategy. Short-term goals that are milestones for long-term goals will allow you to properly measure success at all points of your link building strategy. Last but not least you need to track your progress properly while considering all the elements of successful tracking.
While many people often assume link building to be a strategy to simply get links and increase search engine rankings, ultimately these results are aimed towards increasing conversions in the long run. You are in business to sell products or services to make a profit, not to top the search engine rankings. Incorporating your goals, strategy elements, strategy initiatives, and properly tracking your link building progress will help you create a solid link building strategy that will avoid the common pitfalls that most failing strategies tend to overlook and lead to conversions. Let us know your thoughts on this and can you think of any other common pitfalls?
Google is always making changes to their algorithms, whether they are officially announced to the public or kept under wraps. The main algorithm changes, Panda and Penguin, have hit some websites pretty hard and negatively impacted rankings. These updates have had multiple versions released or data refreshes where the update was run again, and these updates usually are claimed to affect around 1% of search rankings (i.e. Panda 3.9). While this percentage may not seem like much, it is a significant number given the immense number of websites and searches out there. Unless you are extremely active and knowledgeable in search engine optimization (SEO) it is difficult to monitor changes in Google’s algorithms. If you are not one who is deeply immersed in SEO, have no fear, as SEOmoz recently released Mozcast. Mozcast is a daily weather report based upon the changes or “turbulence” for Google search engine rankings to indicate algorithm changes.
Google makes hundreds of changes to their algorithm each year (516 changes in 2010) indicating that being aware of when these changes are occurring can be extremely beneficial to anyone involved in internet marketing. As a top internet marketing company we stay on top of Google updates and continuously monitor rankings, but Mozcast seems to be a great tool for anyone who may not be as up to date with the Google algorithm changes.
What Does The Weather Report Mean?
The daily weather report is based on the changes noticed in search engine rankings over the past 24 hours. The hotter and stormier the weather report, the more Google’s algorithm and search engine rankings have changed in the past 24 hours. An average day is roughly around 70°F so weather reports above 70°F indicate higher than average changes and lower temperatures indicate a lower than average amount of changes. Depicting the changes as a weather report is more for fun, but it also makes it extremely easy for anyone to understand the amount of changes occurring within the past 24 hours. The temperature in the weather report is converted into an icon for one of the five following severity levels:
The weather severity icon is based on the temperature, so stormier icons such as rain will coincide with higher temperatures (more change) and sunnier icons will typically coincide with lower temperatures and less change. The weather severity icons are considered to be a at-a-glance view while the actual temperature is more of a refined view. The temperature is calculated based on the metrics that measure change which we will explain later in this post.
Current, 5 Day, & 30 Day Reports
Upon viewing Mozcast’s page you will see the current weather report in the center of the page with a large icon depicting the type of weather and temperature. The current weather report is actually for the previous day because the report is generated based on the previous 24 hour history of Google algorithm changes. To the left of that you will notice a sidebar weather report on the left, which gives the weather reports for the previous 5 days. This gives the weather icon, temperature, day of the week, and date for easy reference. Also below the main weather report the page shows a bar graph that gives the weather report for the past 30 days. This only shows the temperature, but the temperature is really the most important measure of algorithm changes.
How Does It Work?
Every 24 hours the creators track a set of 1,000 hand-picked keywords that are deliberately chosen to be depersonalized, delocalized, and evenly split across 5 “bins” of search volume. The results are tracked from the same location and same time everyday to keep the system as controlled and consistent in execution as possible. Then for every keyword the creators pull the top 10 Google organic results and compare them to the results from the previous day to calculate the rate of change or “delta.” From there two metrics are used: Delta 10 and Delta 100.
What Are These Metrics?
Delta100 is the first metric used in the temperature calculation process. Delta100 measures the changes in top 10 rankings for any two days. The Delta100 metric gives a number ranging from 0 to 100. The number of the metric is calculated based on these rules:
+0 if the rankings for the keyword stay the same.
+|#| if the ranking moves within the top 10.
+10 if the ranking drops out of the top 10.
When a ranking moves the “#” refers to the number of spots it moved. To make this easier to understand, if a URL moved from #1 to #5 then the “#” is +3 which gets added to the Delta 100 for the keyword. This is calculated for all the URLs in the search results for the given keyword to get the Delta100 for the keyword. Delta 100 is calculated for all 1,000 keywords and is used to calculate Delta 10.
Of the two metrics used to determine the weather report, Delta10 is used to calculate the temperature of the weather. Delta10 is essentially the rate of change across the entire top 10 results. Delta10 is calculated by taking the square root of Delta100 for each keyword. Delta 10 is based on a scale of 0 to 10 respectively, because Delta100 is on a scale of 0 to 100. Then the creators take an average (non-weighted) of all Delta10 figures to use in the calculation for the temperature. At this point, Delta10 is multiplied by a fixed multiplier to calculate the temperature (numerically in °F) of the given days weather report. The fixed multiplier is currently 28.0, but this could change as the tool is still in its initial stages and will likely receive some revisions.
Mozcast is updated around 7:30am PST and also includes Events and News pages. The News page will showcase the product updates to Mozcast and the Events page includes a list of recent algorithm changes and their respective weather scores.
Now that SEOmoz has provided everyone with a valuable reference point, its important for everyone involved in this field to be aware of it and to utilize it. Although it will not tell you what changed in the algorithm, it is a good indicator of when Google updates are taking place. So go check out Mozcast and let us know what you think.
After recently posting revenues of $1.18 billion, Facebook has beaten second quarter estimates. This small bump in revenue calms some people’s nerves as fears of the company’s success were still looming over their heads after an abysmal IPO. The site’s large majority of revenue came from advertising at $992 million, beating expectations by $71 million. Facebook reported that there were jumps in daily, monthly, and mobile users of 32%, 29%, and 67% respectively.
This news comes as relief to many, not only investors, but also to the rest of the industry as many companies have begun investing in social media, with Facebook being the main priority. Recently, the whole notion of content is king, and an emphasis on social media along with connecting with consumers has taken the forefront for many internet marketing companies. These positive reports from the popular website may be a precursor of something to come in the future. Social media has become more important over the past year and is said to even be good for ranking within Google. Is this the beginning of social media exploding into the internet marketing world?
Many tactics and processes that were once prominent with SEO and internet marketing have now become obsolete with the new Google updates. Many marketers and companies have turned to social media sites such as Facebook as another avenue for reaching their target market, especially as popularity has increased among these types of sites. Will we see Facebook increase its revenue in the future with more and more companies pouring their trust into the social platform? Or will we see it all come crashing down?