There's a saying that "controversy creates cash." That is often true when you're talking about something with an established dogma. Take SEO and online marketing, for example. There are certain "SEO truths" that you should never break. Ditto for social media - except that there are controversial social media marketing strategies that break all the rules and could earn you a flood of new business.
1) Focus on building a cult-like following. Most businesses focus on getting as many "likes" as they possibly can. The sheer number of users and clicks on websites like Facebook is supposed to be enough to win you a flood of new business. The problem is that it doesn't. Who cares if you have 10,000 "likes" on Facebook, or 250,000 "+1s" on Google+? The real litmus test of a marketing strategy is the bottom line. How many new customers did you get this year? How much did your revenue grow? If you focus on a...
It's been just two weeks since Google launched "Search Plus Your World" (SPYW) to the Internet. The result? People love it. Rather, it appears that users love it. The blogosphere is up in arms over the whole deal.
Google's SPYW is really an integration of normal Google search and Google +. This venture is an attempt to make search results more "social." However, the big "G" can really only display search results from its own social network because companies like Twitter and Facebook won't play nicely with Google. Other social media companies won't share data with Google in a way that Google wants. In some cases, they won't share user data at all.
Thus, the end-user is left with search results that look like they favor Google's own products. This has drawn sharp criticism from some bloggers who see Google as a giant in the industry that is becoming biased - taking the focus away from the user...
Pretty pictures aren't just for show, and you shouldn't be faking reviews on Yelp to inflate your mentions the web. These things really matter to users. A recent study by a Canadian company, Mediative, sheds new light on how mobile users are viewing search engine results.
Mediative's latest study was conducted on the iPhone. In part, the company disclosed that:
"Every participant in the study was given the same scenario as in the previous Google Places study – an imaginary road trip with stops in Hamilton, London, Winnipeg and Edmonton, with the task of choosing a place for a friend to get a tattoo in each of those cities based on the Google Places search results. From the participants in the eye tracking part of our study, we recorded each individual session, and then compiled the sessions to create heat maps that represent aggregate gaze data and supplement the qualitative findings."
While users tend to scan web pages on a large...
Google's having another difficult month. A recent Wall Street Journal article dishes up new details about a government sting operation that compelled Google to fork over $500 million in a settlement offer. Big "G" acknowledged that it allowed, and even helped, Canadian pharmacies to sell drugs in the U.S. in violation of federal law.
Google's not one for playing by the rules. It's even been caught red-handed buying links in violation of its own TOS. However, by breaking federal drug laws, Google may have goofed up on a scale much larger than "best practice violations." Even if you think drug laws are irrational, and immoral, and you think the government shouldn't have the right to make drugs illegal, the point of fact is that the government forces everyone to comply with its drug laws.
The Department of Justice investigation and the resulting settlement with Google is over. There's nothing new happening there....
There are many SEO companies out there right now vying for your advertising dollars. SEO is a bit of a black hole sometimes. You don't know exactly what you're paying for, other than something vague like "backlinks" or "page impressions" or "hits." While it is difficult to measure some SEO strategies using traditional metrics, you should be able to tell your clients exactly what it is that you will do for them. Try to make everything you do measurable and understandable for your client.
Also, avoid saying or doing these 6 things. They'll make you look stupid. Really, they will:
1) Don't tell your client that home page PageRank on a domain means something. For example "I have a PageRank 8 site." First of all, who cares what PageRank your site is. The reality is that PageRank doesn't mean anything in regards to ranking. A lower PageRank site can rank higher in the search engine results pages than a...
The Internet is getting increasingly social. That's a great thing for some people. Think about it. What is the best form of advertising? It's referral advertising, isn't it? Who do you trust more: an obvious and polished advertisement created by professional a Madison Avenue advertising agency or your friend?
Let's say you're hungry, and you don't want to cook. So, you decide to go out to eat. You surf the Internet or your T.V. for something delicious. You see a slick ad for a big-box chain restaurant. There are images of moist, delicious hamburgers. There are images of hot and oily french fries cascading over an empty plate sprinkled with salt and pepper and some kind of mysterious, but delicious looking, seasoning.
You might be enticed to go out to eat at this joint. However, how many times have you gone to a restaurant only to discover that what you get on your plate isn't the same thing as what you saw in the commercial? Does this...
One of the truths you're used to hearing about online advertising is that you must increase your "click-through rate." Click-through rates are a measure of how many people click on an ad you've placed. Many online companies offer display ads, contextual ads, and even text-link ads. If you're relying on click-through rates as a measure of "user engagement" with your company, you're going to be in for a big surprise (if it isn't already obvious to you yet).
Some companies are slow to join the online advertising game. If you have never tried buying an ad online, you don't have a lot to unlearn. If you have been buying ads online, and have suffered through wacky conversion rates, here's why: click-through rates don't translate into user interest.
The Internet isn't like the physical world. When someone walks into Burger King, there's a really good chance they're buying a burger (or something...
Google is a monolithic creature that promises nothing, but offers everything. At least, this is what SEO experts and online marketers tend to think. Google is hated just as much, and sometimes even more so, than it is liked. It's not uncommon to hear people complain about how Google ruined their business during the last Panda update, or how Google closed their Adsense account, or how Google stole their first-born child and disappeared like a thief in the night. OK, maybe the last one is exaggerated a bit, but so are many of the negative comments made about Google.
Over the years, the big "G" has given webmasters numerous tools to help with SEO. Some smart and savvy webmasters have seized on the opportunities given, while others have ignored them and them blamed the search engine giant when their marketing failed to pan out.
Among the short-list of improvements that Google has offered webmasters is:
The ability to submit and validate XML...
You're only getting a fraction of the traffic you could be getting if you just rely on the "desktop version" of your website. Not only should you have a mobile version of your site, you should consider doing some SEO so that you can be found on mobile devices. With that said, don't let your SEO company sell you worthless services, and don't make these dumb mistakes:
Mistake #1 - You decide to build a ".mobi" TLD version of your site so that you can be indexed and ranked.
Why It's A Mistake: A ".mobi" domain name is an extension that you can buy in addition to your ".com" domain extension. This ".mobi" extension is supposed to help you rank well in Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. However, there is no evidence that this extension benefits you at all.
In fact, there is some evidence that shows that Google has more ".com" websites indexed than ".mobi". If...
In a world powered by Google, every Internet marketer fears the "Google slap." A Google slap is so affectionately named because it refers to the big "G" taking your website down a few notches in the search engine results pages. If you've ever had this happen to you, you know that it is utterly devastating from an organic traffic standpoint.
You basically fall off the Internet map, and your business could dry up in a heartbeat. Thankfully, if you've done a good job with your SEO, you probably have nothing to worry about - until now. Google has rolled out its most radical change since Panda. It's called "Search Plus Your World." This new way of accessing content on the Internet is highly personalized, and can slap your website down in a heartbeat. How?
Think about this for a moment. Google owns Google+. Google isn't just sitting on the sidelines here with its social media invention. It's integrating it heavily into its...