Google lawsuit highlights why every business needs to manage its online presence

leonidesignoryblog:

Great article and a must read for any business whether or you are online or not.

Originally posted on Naked Security:

Google Places logoLong before the internet was born, the secret to running a successful business was, according to my business tutor, primarily about location, location, location.

She was right of course – if you opened a shop in the middle of nowhere then you had little chance of grabbing any passing trade and your entrepreneurial career would have been extremely short-lived.

With the advent of the internet however, location has become far less of a concern for many types of business as many swap brick and mortar premises for virtual stores.

The growth of e-commerce has been a boon for large corporations looking to expand into new markets and reduce costs, as well as sole traders who are now able to run their own businesses from home and with minimal outlay.

But trading online, or merely having an online presence, is not a bed of roses and it does present its own…

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Twitter Tips

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I run across these random tips for various social media channels quite a bit. So I decided to start a post dedicated to them.

Twitter Tip 101: Use hashtags & links together. Tweets with hashtags+ links outperforms Tweets with just one or another.

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What does Google say about keywords, should they drive your blog or should content?

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Form over fashion, chicken or the egg, and keywords before content are just some of the intellectual debates that have raged as humankind attempts to come to grips with the big questions that plague our times. While the relative merits of comfort over appearance are well known, the chicken versus egg chronological lineage is still up for debate when people bend their thoughts to more esoteric contemplations. What is not up for debate is the importance of quality content over keywords when it comes to writing engaging online copy that will appear high in search engine results. Indeed, the old days of stuffing a 500-word article with 122 examples of the exact same keyword are long gone thanks to changes made by Google to their search algorithms, which punish the practice of keyword stuffing and rewards content that it perceives to be relevant and helpful to the end user.

Rise of the Machines…

In the “Wild West” of early internet interaction, it was discovered that the search engine rankings could be “gamed” into recognizing, and singling out, websites that practiced the art of keyword stuffing. Simply stated, keyword stuffing is the practice of writing online copy to be read by a machine rather than copy designed to be consumed by a human user.

This old formula was predicated on the notion that search engines scan the internet looking for certain keyword density in response to search inquires. When the engines located articles displaying such keyword density, they posted the results in search rankings for the end-user to consume. Unfortunately, this practice dictates that copy be written for machines rather than humans, and the results rarely offered compelling or helpful information.

Recognition that People Are Using the Machines…

Search engine giant Google sought to change this reality by tweaking their search algorithms in early 2012. Known as a Panda Update, the changes affected nearly 12% of all search inquiries, and the results have transformed the way people write copy on the internet. Under Google’s new protocols, the sure fired methods that drove search rankings in the past, no longer guarantee the lofty heights that they once achieved. In much the same way that you cannot discount the movements of an elephant when you are sleeping together in a twin-sized bed, the shear size of Google has assured that their changes are felt throughout the online search world.

Google based their changes on observations of social media. The propensity to share valuable information on such platforms as FaceBook, Pinterest, and Twitter drove the recognition that the yardstick for high search ratings is quality content rather than the ham-fisted tactic of keyword stuffing.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Panda Attack…

If your site is negatively impacted by a Panda update, you will know almost immediately, and it will manifest itself in the form of dramatic drop in traffic. It is possible to bounce back from a panda hit, but it takes some diligent work and a little time. Google recommends reviewing your site for substandard material as that is the new yardstick in determining high search rankings. Further, it should be noted that quick fixes would not provide a solution:

  • Panda is not about back links and anchor texts.
  • Tidying up a messy back link profile will not help.
  • Reconsideration requests won’t help.
  • Recovery will be re-measured once Google rolls out another update.

Webmasters can expect a Panda roll out every four to six weeks on average, and continuously upgrade their sites in the interim to achieve better results. Specifically, they should keep an eye out for content that would draw Panda’s ire:

  • Remove material that would probably not be shared by readers.
  • Get rid of duplicate material on your site. This might apply to content that has been pilfered from elsewhere on the web, or it could mean pages have been duplicated across your site.
  • Scour the site for thin material with an eye towards replacing pages that only have a sentence or two with quality engaging content.

Improved Literary Frontier…

These new rubrics have resulted in a marked improvement of the quality of online copy. While the use of keywords has not been removed, their use is within the framework of a natural, in-depth discussion of the topic that leads to their use in a naturalistic way. As such, copywriters and SEO professionals are scrambling to develop superior copy that represents an improved literary frontier for those looking for quality online information and content.

 

Written by Danny BenDebba

CEO of http://www.daasn.com and http://www.daasnlocal.com

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In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl//ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Have you ever fed a troll? Well, I have, but I’m not going to ever do it again! I’ve let trolls almost ruin entire days, and even weekends. Not anymore!

A troll loves to get fed. They thrive on getting under people’s skin and making them angry. They ignore facts, and will not stop. You can never get the last word in with a troll. Nor can you ever win a debate and convince them that their stance is incorrect. So, why even bother? Exactly! Don’t feed the trolls and they will go elsewhere. There is nothing worse for a troll than being starved….aka ignored!

Then, if they become overly obnoxious and rude, you can always block them! Most social sites have the ability to block people from being able to interact with you or see your posts in the future. Since becoming a publisher, I have become quite familiar with how to block someone on LinkedIn. For those that may not know how to do it:

  1. Go to the profile of the person you’d like to block.
  • Note: After you block someone, you will disappear from the Who’s Viewed Your Profile section of the person you blocked.
  1. Move your cursor over the down arrow next to the button in the top section of the member’s profile and select Block or report from the list.
  2. Check the box next to Block.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. On the next screen, click Agree to confirm.

Additionally, you can report abuse to LinkedIn by emailing: abuse@linkedin.com

Many people tell me they are afraid to post due to trolls and their negative comments. So, they choose to not even post. Don’t let trolls prevent you from posting on social media. Stop feeding them. Starve them!

Don’t feed them your time.

Don’t feed them your energy.

Don’t feed them your emotional well being.

They get NOTHING!!!

Join me in taking a stand against trolls and online bullying by ignoring their behavior, and taking away the satisfaction they get from making people angry! Got any good stories about starving trolls and putting them in their place? Share them in the comment section!

Insight into the state of Social Media Marketing 2014

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There are three times during the year that I step back and spend some time evaluating my social media marketing efforts. One is right at the beginning of the year. I always have high hopes to do this in the first few weeks of January but as the saying goes, the best laid plans… The next is May which is roughly a third of the way into the year and once more in September.

When May came around this year I decided to document some of the steps I take to evaluate my social media marketing health so to speak. These will change from year to year as the tools of the industry change so plan on doing a little pre-evaluation research each year to make sure you are keeping up with trends and the ever changing landscape of social media.

I will be using results shared via the 6th annual social media marketing industry report. You can download the entire report from the link at the end of this post. Here are the gauges that I used this May to evaluate the state of my social media:

Visual Storytelling:

No surprise here. This point of view has been on the rise steadily since the beginning of social media and continues to be a cornerstone of content marketing. With the introduction of platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and even Google+ it has gained popularity in leaps and bounds. What has become more prevalent however is the use of both audio and video in the visual arena. While social media has always recognized and rewarded rich content it is now critical. It is by far the main advantage that social media has over marketing channels.

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Facebook advertising is a must:

Gone are the days of unlimited organic reach on Facebook. It was a great ride while it lasted but if you want to be effective or even noticed on Facebook you will have to pay. When Facebook first introduced “paid” advertising it was a extremely cost effective way to really get the jump on your competition. As marketers and businesses began to see the advantage of Facebook advertising and increased their budgets according, Facebook took notice and like any good free market company they used it to their advantage. I personally have no problem with the paid advertising model that Facebook is using and that others are sure to follow. It helped to weed out the players from the dabblers. Accordingly Facebook advertising has become more sophisticated, targeted and effective. If you have not spent time learning the new tools that Facebook has added to their advertising tool box you should do so, it is well worth it.

2014-05-25-Paid-MediaGoogle+ learn it, use it, embrace it, it’s not going away:

I have been telling my clients for the last 3 years that although Google+ may not appear to be a significant player in the social media arena, you ignore it to your own detriment. The primary reason Google+ is important is due to the general understanding that Google+ presents unique opportunities for building your online identity and authority.

If you have not heard  of Google+ recently change in leadership, well you might be living under a rock but that aside this change has some questioning its future. Let’s be clear about one thing: All of the social networks should be considered “rented land.” So, be sure you are building an online presence on a site you own and control. When it comes to Google+, I’m confident of two things. The nature of Google+ will change just as the other networks will. However, there is no question Google+ will survive as a resource for growing your business. Why? Google is in the content business, and social provides valuable context that adds value to that content. This is why Google co-founder Sergey Brin took over the CEO role at Google in 2011 to focus specifically on social search.

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Email Marketing is alive, thriving and the preferred tool for sales conversion:

If you think of social media in the same terms of the “circle of life” you begin to understand how email marketing plays a critical role in your content marketing circle of life. The majority of leading marketers name their email newsletter as their number one sales conversion tool. This is why everything else is designed to drive subscriptions to it. Podcasts are great for getting information out to the masses especially if they are free, but you will find statically that they very rarely convert. On the other hand email, good email does convert. Now it has to provide inherently great value for it to convert, after all subscribers want and deserve your very best. If you consistently honor that, conversion becomes a natural by-product of the ongoing conversation.
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Podcasting the great differentiator:

Serious marketers are getting into podcasting so if you consider yourself a serious marketer read on. Podcasting is on the rise for a variety of reasons, with one of them being that its much easier for audio content to stand out because there is far less of it available than other formats. On a practical level, every person you interview for your podcast becomes a willing marketing partner, at least for that show. Podcasting is also a great way to meet other industry leaders as you effectively collaborate to help each other. Probably the best reason for creating audio content is that it tends to be more personal. Think of it as the future of talk radio. Your personality will naturally emerge as you communicate your message to your audience that is giving (nearly) their full attention as they commute, exercise, or just pass the time.

2014-05-25-Audio-PodcastingThat is my process in a nutshell, now as promised, here is where you can download the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Check it out, as there is a whole lot more to learn about the myriad questions that small business marketers share.

 

 

 

Blogging Tips From Power Bloggers

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Here’s the awful truth: nobody is reading your blog.

Nobody.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Yes, you. Promoting a blog takes work, and it’s work that only you can do. So make sure your content is on point. Create original images and use them intelligently. Build relationships and a loyal audience. Get personal. Leverage Twitter and other social media platforms to maximise visibility, engagement and sharing.

And most importantly: make it happen. This visual from Referral Candy features nine powerful blog promotion tactics from top marketing experts.

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Raising Awareness with Instagram

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Instagram is ideal for building awareness but not merely brand awareness. People and organizations are using the network to increase awareness about social causes and issues.

Gan Chin Lin uses Instagram as a way to recover from and cope with an eating disorder. Lin’s work of cooking, baking and taking photos has turned into a passion; she calls herself an “advocate for a healthy, nourished lifestyle.”

Brand tip: don’t be afraid to address social issues. Think about the issues that matter to you and your audience. How can you use visual media to address those concerns and provide hope?

Maz McWilliams uses Instagram to document creative images of melons to increase awareness about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). People started asking him about the project, resulting in a collaborative movement.

Brand tip: empower your community. Ask them to participate in your cause by providing basic guidelines and a hashtag.

Jamie Oliver also focuses on food, but his goal is to promote both an event and a cause. His Food Revolution Day seeks to excite kids about healthy food, teach them how to cook and raise awareness about the need for better food education.

Brand tip: use Instagram to generate excitement and momentum for a short-term event while promoting long-term interest and support for the cause to which it ties.

Want to know more about cause marketing? Get your free “Boost Your Bottom Line With Social Good” guide now!

Jill Abramson the former executive editor of The New York Times has found Instagram useful on both a PR and a social issue level even if she isn’t directly responsible. When she was forced out of the Times, her daughter took to Instagram to show off her mother’s new hobby.

Brand tip: harness the narrative through visual media. Be careful; Macklemore’s public apology after his Grammy’s win was so flagrantly self-interested that he has received even more public ill will.

The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) uses Instagram to raise awareness about AIDS and to build excitement and support for its fundraisers and auctions.

Brand tip: give your audience a sneak peek into upcoming events with behind-the-scenes footage.

2014 new Rules for Content Marketing

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Before you start thinking about marketing your idea or brand, a good thing to do is plan your brand awareness marketing campaign. Without a specific plan, there is little you can expect to achieve in this harsh social media climate where everyone is trying to be seen. There are an unlimited number of things you could do to get attention, but when it comes to getting the word out, these 21 new content marketing rules are something you should have a look at.

We have visited the topic of content marketing many times before, but it seems there are plenty of things left to talk about in order for all of us to reach the people that we really want to reach. I was thinking the other day about how we here at Bit Rebels could reach further into the airwaves of the Internet and reach people who have yet to discover the compact news flow that we have to offer. I had a short discussion with my partner, and we agreed that we would look into several other approaches. But that’s just it, there are so many approaches that you could sometimes get lost in the noise of it all.

When I think about content marketing, I always end up at the same place, which is original and engaging content that people want to send to their friends and loved ones because they either find it interesting, funny or even shocking. Unfortunately, any blog or online newspaper runs the risk of becoming a gossip or a surprise generator website in the bad sense of the words. Is this good or bad?



As you can see, the questions are many and they will most likely never end. That, on the other hand, is a good thing because that means that there is always room for improvement and refinement. When it comes to the content marketing rules we can consult a fresh infographic presented by Kayak Online Marketing called 21 New Rules Of Content Marketing.

It should be said that even though many people would like there to be sure ways to succeed with brand awareness marketing, it’s the content marketing rules that determine the outcome of your social media marketing campaign. When you know how to update, interact and engage on social media, half the battle is already won. There are plenty of examples of this where ordinary people have become social media icons in the eyes of the ordinary users.

With these new content marketing rules, you definitely have a better chance of slipping through the social media noise and actually ending up on someone’s top list. It won’t be easy to adapt all of these, but the more you can incorporate into your campaign the better. As always, when I write articles concerning this topic, I say that it’s through engagement, transparency and presence that you will reach ordinary users who are the true engine behind social media.

What exactly does the “perfect Tweet” look like?

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Tweets including photos have up to 35 per cent more retweets, according to new research by Twitter into effective tweets across verified accounts.

However, this is in stark contrast to what B2B brands are actually sharing. B2B Marketing’s recently published Social Media Benchmarking Report revealed 79 per cent of brands share written copy over social, despite only 34 per cent believing it to be ‘very effective’.

Meanwhile, video was listed as the ‘best type of content’ to share on social media, despite only 63 per cent actually sharing video clips.

So, how do you create the perfect ‘retweetable’ tweet? Basically you can’t. It’s not an exact science, it’s all down to experimentation. For example, after I followed all of Twitter’s rules to creating a retweetable tweet, my update (although mustering half dozen favourites) received less than half the retweets than its basic text-only counterpart.

In order for brands to succeed on social media, marketers need to take on board this information, keep track of their social activity, draw up reports and then tailor updates to what best suits their audience. Because, after all, every audience is different.

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