It's time for Google to start thinking. In the next few months, Google will start giving you more intuitive results based on a refresh the company is currently implementing. These changes represent some of the biggest changes the company has ever made to its search engine.
Google isn't scrapping its beloved keyword-based search system. Website rankings are still based on the words the site contains, how often other sites link to it, and many other factors. No, what Google is doing is more of an enhancement. A major one.
The company wants to provide more relevant search results by incorporating something called "semantic search." Semantic search refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words. For the last two years, Google has been data mining for hundreds of millions of entities like people, places, and things. It is now able to string all of these entities together and provide context for searches.
For example, if you were to...
Do you have a traffic problem or a conversion problem? The Internet marketing world seems to think that the best way to boost traffic to your website is to just get more visitors. That's so 1990s. Hits don't count for anything these days. It's all about engagement. If you can't engage your audience, you're done. Pack up your stuff and go home.
Hits, Visits, and CTR
SEO experts have trained many a marketing department to pay attention to hits, site visits, and click-through ratios. The latter is dying a hard death because CTR has this air of respectability. After all, it's a click, and a click is an action that can be measured. Marketing people love measurable results. But, there's more to marketing than just measuring. You have to know what you're measuring. Would a 10 percent CTR be a good thing when your sales are down by 50 percent?
Back in the old days of Internet marketing, buying banner ads and setting up...
Google has been on a mission to personalize its search results. The mighty "big G" thinks that its users want increased personalization, as well as more local results, in its results pages. However, a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicates that users don't like all of the attention Google is giving its users. Pew interviewed 2,000 adults in the U.S. and questioned them between January 20th and February 19th of this year. Pew was hoping to better understand the usage patterns and preferences for Internet users when it comes to search engines.
Search Still Popular
According to Pew, search is still one of the most favorite online activities with 91 percent of users doing daily Internet searches. Google's market share is over 66 percent, according to the most recent comScore data. However, 83 percent of the people in the Pew study reported that they use Google to perform Internet searches. That's the good...
Getting more site traffic may have come with a heavier price. From the nether regions of cyberspace, online privacy company Abine is making headway on their new product offerings that promise to stop advertisers dead in their tracks. Abine has already released "Block the Trackers," which completely stops companies from tracking visitors when surfing the web.
While this is meant to keep big sites like CNN, Facebook, and many marketing companies from spying on users, it could also throw a wrench into your marketing campaign. You see, Abine's product blocks all websites, by default. Any time you try to track where your visitors are going on your website, Abine's "Block the Trackers" plugin blocks your attempt and notifies the user that he's being tracked.
That kind of thing could cause your site visitor to become annoyed or nervous about what else your site might be doing that Abine doesn't know about yet. While this...
It's like 1996 all over again. In the beginning, Google did not exist. Then, when it came on the scene in the mid-1990s, the company changed the way we use the web. At that time, getting more visitors to your website was a matter of linking to your website from another website that had a good flow of traffic.
Once, Google established itself, it claimed 95+ percent of the share of index search. Today, that percentage is shrinking against the backdrop of mobile search. While Google's desktop index search is hovering at around 50 percent market share, its mobile search share is at 97 percent. It looks almost like a phoenix rising out of its own ashes.
Google may be trying to redefine its business model to focus more on mobile search. This is big news, and could point you towards an additional 1 billion users whom you would never be able to engage otherwise. How?
Well, Google's own Jason Spero suggests that mobile search penetration is...
A long-forgotten mode of communication is email, but it could be the key to breathing life back into your business during this recession. You've heard it before: "the money is in the list." The problem is that it's getting harder and harder to market to people through email.
Spam filters, and unsubscribe rates are high because many marketers don't know how to properly use a mailing list. The old days of endless pitching are over. Consumers are wary of giving out their email addresses because they've been burned by spam in the past. There are 5 ways you can turn things around, though, and stand out from the crowd.
This is salesmanship 101. Few people know how to do it properly, but if you can master the art of storytelling, then you will stand out from the noise in your marketplace. Most businesses go on an endless pitch-fest as soon as they receive an email address.
Customers don't care about your...
Buying website traffic is considered a necessary evil these days. Most SEO experts tell their clients to simply optimize their websites and use offsite SEO to help improve their search engine rank. Some companies have created an entire business around finding what people want, and then trying to get content based on those wants to rank in the search engines. The traffic flow is huge (or at least it used to be) for these kinds of sites which are affectionately dubbed "content farms."
Enter Demand Media. Demand Media is a company that writes and distributes content based on search queries it digs up using an in-house algorithm it developed just for this purpose. At one point, the company hired a slew of writers to work on a contract basis. Some of these people were actual writers, while many of them were wannabes.
Demand Studios paid contractors based on expertise, and even divided people according to specialties. While this isn't a problem in and of itself,...
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not for everyone. However, if you're in the right industry, these sites can boost your profits and bring your business more customers than you can handle. The key to making this work is to understand what's under the hood of your favorite websites.
LinkedIn is, more or less, a professional network. This site is one of the most underused websites on the Internet. It's a great way for B2B businesses to build and expand their influence. Because LinkedIn is comprised of professionals, you should have a difficult time reaching out to people in pretty high places within professional organizations.
Unlike randomly searching on Google for the owner of some business you want to do business with, LinkedIn allows you to make friends with them and have a dialog with the owner. Sometimes, you can interact with CEOs of large corporations. It's not just for...
Buying backlinks to boost traffic has been a major driving force behind the SEO industry. The idea is simple: Google (and other search engines) place a lot of weight on websites linking to you. If you have a lot of websites linking to you, the search engines will start to recognize you as an authority website and will rank you highly in their search engine for keywords relevant to your website. The more links, the more weight you have in the SERPs. Ergo, buy as many links as you possibly can. Game over.
Well, it could be game over, but not in a way that you would like. When you purchase backlinks to your site, you're almost never going to be buying merit-based links. Merit-based links are backlinks that are pointing to your site that are editorially vetted. This means that a human eye looked over the link, looked over your website, and decided to place the link on their site. That's a tough link to get.
Google can recognize a merit-based link. They know that comment...
You're sometimes told that you'll get more visitors to your website if you just do good SEO. This SEO is supposed to land you a top position in the search engines. That, in turn, turns on the fire hose of traffic to your website.
Good in theory. How does it play out in practice? Well, for some, it doesn't play out well at all. For others, organic SEO has become essential for the survival of their website. In both cases, it's dangerous to put all of your eggs in the Google (or Bing, or Yahoo or...) basket.
For starters, organic SEO is only as good as the algorithm that underlies the search engine you happen to be listed in. Once the algorithm changes, your search engine rank may change. Moving just one position could cut your traffic in half. Ouch. That's not a recipe for a stable business model.
Secondly, SEO takes a long time to work. You can't throw up an ad and gets customers next week with organic SEO. You can with paid ads....