Did you prank anyone on April Fools’ Day? Well you probably didn’t have to anyway because some of the biggest names in tech had more than their fair share of April Fools’ jokes.
Most of the shenanigans were pretty obvious, but there was one in particular that seemed to have really fooled a few oblivious people (more on that below).
A quick note though: Whether you were the prankster or the prankstee this past April Fools’, don’t forget that all the jokes on the 1st of April should just be made in the name of good clean fun. (And if you ended up on the wrong side of a prank, don’t worry… you can always get your revenge next year!)
Anyway, in case you missed them, below is a summary of some of tech’s best April Fools’ jokes of 2013.
Google Nose - “In the fast-paced world that we live in, we don’t always have time to stop and smell the roses. With Google Nose BETA, the roses are just a click...
Establishing a savvy Twitter profile means maintaining the quality of posts or, rather, tweets. While businesses should conduct their social media activities in a business-like manner, there are still plenty of ways companies and organizations stray off the road into status territory that actually detracts from their reputations. To tweet optimally and avoid disenchanting clients and Twitter followers, be sure you aren’t tweeting as follows.
Too Much Promotion
If your business uses Twitter as a platform for continuous advertisement, it may be turning off your customer base. Savvy business tweeters can still keep their brand present in the consciousness of their followers without indulging in excessive self-promotion. Instead, use the platform to tweet about events or to disseminate useful information about your industry. Your followers can easily tell the difference between useful information and self-grandeur. Moreover, people don’t want...
Everyone knows that Google is slowing getting rid of its referrer data. For years, this is how we were able to verify our keyword data from the free Keyword Tool put out by Google. With referrer data coming up "not provided" - even on the analytics dashboard, how are we to figure out how people find our site? Enter WassUp.
What Is Wassup?
WassUp is a simple Wordpress plugin that gives you analytics right from your Wordpress dashboard. It collects a lot of data about your visitors including their ip/hostname, whether they're a bot or human, search engines used to find your site, the operating system of the user, complete user agent, spam and hack attempts.
The plugin also have a really simple admin console area that allows you to filter by:
record count per page
"top ten" charts with aggregate data (i.e. top queries, requests, etc.)
records by time period
records by entry type
You can even customize how often the...
There's an old joke that goes something like "99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name." You chuckle, but you know it's true. And that's not all - it's become something of a running gag in the SEO industry too. For years, SEOs have been beating the backlinks drum and small business owners have been marched off an optimized cliff. After Panda, a lot of the old backlink strategies just up and died. Article directories withered away into obscurity, and link networks were (and continue to be) crushed by Google.
Anchor Text Isn't That Important
SEO firms (and their clients) got a major wake-up call when Google dropped this bombshell on its Inside Search Blog in 2011:
Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors: We look at a number of signals when generating a page’s title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as...
Log on to Google.com any given day and enter a search query for a random person, place, or landmark and you are no doubt going to be bombarded with page links, suggestions, and image previews related to your term. Bing.com recently added a new expansion to its Snapshot feature that allows the search engine to make better associations between places, people, and things.
Bing’s Snapshot feature is found on the right hand side of the page when users use the search engine and provides images of relevant people, places, or “things” that correlate to the query term. Using a new technology it calls “Satori,” Bing is seeking to provide better image results that draw a clear correlation between subjects.
Bing posted the following statement on its official blog on 21 March:
Today, we are inviting people to check out Snapshot to experience our expansion of Satori.
Since its introduction in June, we have expanded Satori to include a significantly...
Regardless of where you get traffic from, keywords matter - at least a little bit. Keywords are what your target market uses to describe what they're looking for. If you're not mentioning them on your page, in your ads, and as descriptors in meta descriptions and titles, you're probably not capturing the traffic you could be. Still, you could overdo it a bit when it comes to keywords - especially when it comes to keyword targeting. Do you make any of these common mistakes?
You Overemphasize Volume
Traffic volume is important, but it's not the only thing that matters. Here look at what happens when we search for the term "SEO" using Google's keyword tool:
Holy cow, that's a lot of searches per month for the term "SEO." All you have to do is get ranked for that one keyword phrase, and you're set, right? Not so fast. You see, it doesn't matter how many people search for any keyword if it's too competitive....
Doing keyword research is part of SEO (if you're doing it yourself, that is). It's hard word. You have to grind it out, sitting at your desk all day, thinking of what your ideal audience is looking for. Sometimes, it's helpful to look at your competition. But, your competition isn't exactly banging down your door and telling you what they're doing. So, you have to do a little research. Here's how:
This search operator allows you to query terms that you specify in the anchor text on links to the page. It's helpful for finding pages with the same anchor text you're targeting. While Google has placed a lot less emphasis on this, it's still helpful to see who's out there - because for many years, anchor text was important. There are a lot of anchor text links still floating around out there, and so this is still one way to spy on your competition.
If you start a search query with the...
There are a lot of SEO plugins out there, but few of them can really match the power of SEO by Yoast. It's powerful, deceptively simple to use, and it has just about everything you need for optimization of posts and pages. You don't have to monkey with a lot of settings, and the optimization is done right under the text editor (which is good, since you don't have to leave your post or page to optimize it). If that weren't enough, it's available for free from the Wordpress plugin directory. But it's surprising to see so few people making full use of it. Here's how to get more out of this great plugin:
Choose Your Focus Keywords
Yoast doesn't choose your keywords for you. You do have to put in the wrench time on that one to figure out what you should be targeting. However, once that's done, Yoast will keep you focused. It does this using an input box aptly named "Focus Keyword" under the "general" tab (which is...
It's the specter of every webmaster: a never-ending fire hose of traffic. Why is this so hard to achieve? Well cupcake, for one, getting traffic to your site is a skill. In fact, it's an entire business. A business that you're trying to do all by yourself - that's why you think it's so hard. You're trying to do two things at once. You're trying to run your own business as well as a "side business." Guess what? Usually, that's a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there's a solution for that: outsourcing.
You're Hiring Experts
When you outsource your traffic generation to another company, you're basically creating a marketing department for your company. No, they aren't employees as a matter of law, but they "yours" as a practical matter. They will answer to you, provide you with all of the data analysis you'd get from an employee working the same position, and they will also be motivated to help...
There has been a lot of chatter online and within the SEO community over the last week that a major update for Google’s Panda algorithm was going to be released in the very near future. Many SEO professionals took to the web on Friday 15 March declaring that Panda 25 (the latest update) had in fact been released. Other professionals claimed that the release date was set for Monday 18 March; and all the while Google remained hush releasing only the following statement through a spokesperson:
“I don’t expect us to tweet about or confirm current or future Panda updates because they’ll be incorporated into our indexing process and thus be more gradual.”
SEO professionals and Google officials could go back and forth for days about whether or not Panda and Penguin updates have been released, are just rumors, or are still in the works. The best way to get to the bottom of it is to look at a timeline of events from the past week that point to a planned...