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Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Optimization’

Who Is This Google Penguin Guy and What Has He Done With My Rankings?!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

by Jake Brenner

Unfortunately, yes. Far from being the helpful hero they intended, Google’s new search algorithm, ‘Penguin’, has morphed from super-update to super-fiend (thus far). On April 24th, Google made the decision to unleash Penguin from its lair. Since then, no site has been safe and it’s taken the Internet by storm. From flipped rankings, to accidental site ‘Blacklisting’ Penguin’s devious ways seem to have been enough to confound even the most brilliant of Google engineers.

Like the officials of Gotham City, initially denying that Penguin was the one to blame, Google did eventually come out and say that the new algorithm was responsible for the “accidental” blacklisting of numerous sites during the switch. Even though that does little to help the websites affected during the takeover, many of which are signing the “Please kill your Penguin update” petition. Where’s Batman when you need him?

Our advice to you: keep a close eye on your traffic and your rankings. If you find that your site has completely dropped off, or the majority of your rankings don’t come back in a week or two, it’s possible to re-submit it for review by Google, although it’s unclear to us if they are still currently accepting submissions.

One helpful lesson to be learned from this, that we’ve preached since the beginning of time…or the Internet at least, is to NOT DEPEND SOLELY ON ONE MARKETING CHANNEL. Yes, SEO is crucial to the success of a website, but just like any investor will tell you, diversification is the best long-term strategy.

Going forward, we do expect rankings to come back up to normal, but for now we’re doing our part to monitor the airwaves as best we can and ensure we stick to our usual routine of excellence. If we come across anything relevant you’ll be the first to know. So for now, stay tuned for more. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Not so cuddly huh?

A Shout Out to Social Media Skeptics and Cynics

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

By Nicole Fletcher

It truly baffles me how even today, at the end of 2010, people are still completely blind to the wonderful world of social media and the endless list of possibilities this exciting new industry brings. I get that people ‘don’t have time to tweet‘, ‘don’t care what their sister’s friend ate for breakfast’ or simply ‘think this whole thing is just a fad’ – but everyone is on Facebook and everyone is inundated by the web daily. Why then are people so against learning about and taking advantage of all this new age of tech wonder has to offer?

I’m not one for conformity, after all, my personal blog is called Deviate From the Norm…but it seems clear to me that, unlike palazzo pants and bedazzled denim, Social Media is here to stay and some people just can’t, or won’t, accept that. People talk about the social verse like it’s some uncool food item in the nerdy kids’ lunchbox; like it’s something tacky or lame that the popular kids will soon force into extinction. I’m here to tell you, as Jacob Tyler’s new Social Media Director, it’s not. It’s here to stay and if you aren’t on it, well frankly, we’ll take off full speed into the future without you.

This new age of marketing that we are all so fortunate to be witnessing first hand, is just starting to bloom and grow. Social Media has totally redefined marketing, as your clients and customers can now take an active stance toward…or against your brand. With the billboards and television commercials of yesteryear, businesses never heard a peep from their clientele, who essentially hold the fate of their brand in their hands. Now, corporations, small businesses and public figures alike get to hear, see and feel it all. The truth might hurt…but better to hear it loud and clear in bold black and white, than not at all.

If you’re a business small or large you MUST know that you are not above this. You MUST take advantage of the marketing tools available to you for if you don’t, your competition surely will and probably already has. Most people don’t understand Twitter and I get that. I guarantee though, if you spend some time educating yourself, you’ll learn that thousands if not millions of people are already talking about exactly what you do for a living, or think about, or eat, or believe and those people should be on your radar as prospective clients and friends. The simple lesson is this: you must develop a presence for yourself..or hire someone to handle your social media for you. Most of the most modern marketing tools are available to you at no cost but your time, effort and passion. One of the most basic marketing fundamentals centers around ‘being your brand’ so if you’re not willing to give it some love, how can you possibly expect to succeed? If I haven’t convinced you on the vitality of this rapidly growing industry, here are some stats to gnaw on.

-500 million people are on Facebook
-Human beings spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook per month
-30+ billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
-24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing declines in circulations- shock gasp
-There are over 200 million blogs
-More than 600 million searches take place on Twitter each month
-Lady Gaga has 7.2+ million followers on Twitter to date.

Get the point? Social Media is here to stay, so learn about it before we’re so far down the futuristic highway that there’s no hope of catching up.

Before You Get Started in Social Network Marketing

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

A lot of marketers, once they figure out that social networking might be able to help their business, rush out to join every site they can find. As wonderful as their enthusiasm is, this is usually a bad idea. That’s because, as with most business activities, it’s a good idea to have a specific plan – and end goal – in mind before you start investing a lot of time and effort into it.

Spending your time wisely

Social networking is a very, very big field. You could easily spend all of your hours working on it. Would that be worth it for your business, though? For 99% or more of us, the answer would be a definite “no.” The trick, then, is in figuring out where the sweet spot is: we need to know what we’re trying to accomplish, and how we’re going to do that, before we begin.

I have already mentioned that the three biggest aims of social network marketing tend to be deepening customer relationships, finding referrals, and increasing your search engine profile. Which of those is most important to you? It’s likely that you’ll want to accomplish a little bit of each, but at the same time, realize that one of those goals is normally going to take priority over the others. And whichever one it is will dictate which tasks are most important.

Deepening customer relationships

If your major goal is to get closer to buyers, then you’re going to want to concentrate on putting out a steady stream of communication, as well as emphasizing depth in your social profiles. What does that actually mean? Usually, it means that you are going to enhance your online brand by letting customers take a peek behind the curtain. Whether you are a micro-sized startup or a multinational conglomerate, you’re going to try to engage your clients with a bit of personality. Your emphasis will be on getting to know people better, and vice versa, which makes you less of a vendor and more of an advisor or a friend.

Finding new referrals

When you’re looking to make and take contacts via social networking, you’ll want to take a slightly different approach. You’ll still need interesting profiles and frequent communication, but everything you do should be tilted towards widening the net a bit. Instead of beginning one-on-one conversations online, why not start a forum for feedback, or try to create “viral” material that’s likely to be passed on amongst friends and colleagues? It’s not hard to find new clients by using social networking sites and ideas, but it does take a conscious effort.

Search engine positioning

As with the other two major goals, some improvement in your search engine rankings is bound to come from a consistent social networking effort. But if crawling to the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing is your primary goal, then your focus is going to be on a steady stream of interesting, keyword-rich content being distributed and linked throughout your social networking profiles. Because sites like Facebook and Twitter are being increasingly used by search engine spiders, adding new articles, videos, and other media can be a great way to improve your company’s SEO rankings.

Sizing up the Social Network Market

Friday, October 8th, 2010

In marketing – whether it’s online or off – it’s never a bad idea to “go to the people.” If you can find a venue where lots of your buyers are hanging out, it only stands to reason that you should be there, too.

The biggest argument for using social network marketing as a tool for finding new customers can actually be summed up that simply. Of course, there are other benefits, too, and we touched on some of those in the last section. You should definitely be looking to deepen the ties you have with your existing customers, not to mention improve your search engine positioning… but if you’re like most companies or self-employed professionals, opening new accounts is going to be your biggest concern.

Just how many potential accounts are out there? Let’s have a quick look at the numbers:

Facebook, possibly the “king” of all social networking sites (not counting myspace, which has more members and a longer track record, but little commercial value for most of us since it tends to be popular with teens), boasts more than 500 million members – including 175 million who log on every day, and 100 million who access the site through mobile devices. That’s an awful lot of prospects, no matter what business you’re in.

While not at Facebook’s level, Twitter has more than 105 million users and is gaining ground at the rate of 300,000 new members every day. That’s more than 50 million tweets daily, covering members’ views on business, sports, politics, personal life, and everything else under the sun.

It would be easy to think of LinkedIn as a “smaller” social networking site, given that it only has around 50 million registered users, but that number misses the point. Because it’s focused on professionals, networking, and business topics, LinkedIn is the straight up shot to Facebook’s cocktail – a more concentrated venue for social network marketing. It’s a place to do business and meet others to do business with; you don’t have to contend with people looking to catch up with family and friends there.

The rest of the social networking market is as hard to define as it is to measure. Some would count YouTube, which registers upwards of a billion hits each day; others would mention blogs, as well as sites like Digg.com, Stumbleupon, or Flickr, but none of these are important enough to detail on their own… yet.

The point to take away isn’t that these secondary sites don’t matter, but that the social networking market is huge, and growing all the time. It could be that next year will bring a more popular venue; how many of us thought Twitter would be a major force just a few years ago, or that Facebook would become a hot place to advertise? If you’re going to use social networking effectively, you’re going to have to stay on top of these trends and adjust, but luckily the strategies that work with today’s major players translate to other sites, as well, so you just need to get the fundamentals down.