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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Google Loses Twitter Feed, Do We Care?

What does the expiration of the Twitter deal with Google mean for SEO?


Quietly, or as quietly as anything that changes with Google happens, Google let their deal with Twitter expire. The original deal let Google gulp from Twitter’s stream of information from the millions of public profiles available. Along with the expiration of the Twitter deal Google has also shelved its Realtime search option, which twitter was a large portion of the “realtime” feed for that results sorting option.

• So what does this do to Google’s use of social indicators as part of their algorithm?

Google has stated previously that they use and integrate social signals into personalized search results(results that are tailored to your preferences when you are logged into your Google Account). So now that they are not getting the full Twitter feed what will happen to using these signals in their algorithm? We suspect that they will use a similar tactic they use with Facebook, which is crawl and index the publicly available content and depending on the total content available use that as a ranking signal. Other experts are also postulating that this is a move by Google or Twitter to break ties due to Google’s venture into the social realm with Google+. Although still in limited beta, Google appears to be betting heavily on their new social platform.

• Are marketers who started investing in social for ranking now out of luck?

It depends on how you are currently using your social networks. Are you simply trying to link and keyword spam the search engines or are you actually talking to your audience? If you are talking to your audience then there are benefits to be had from this tactic. Having your audience interact with your brand and your content can lead to increase traffic to your website; which in turn helps add to your site’s authority as a source, especially if they share it with their friends.

One thing you should learn from this experience as a company and a marketer, if you haven’t yet to this point, is that things change quickly on the internet, especially in search.

To stay above the fluctuations ask yourself these questions before changing your site to suit Google’s algorithm:

• “Does this change go beyond just appeasing Google?” (Answering “Yes” would be a good thing here. The focus of your site needs to be to talk to your customer and not talk to Google (unless they are buying what you’re selling.))
• “How does this benefit my audience?” (What is in it for them?)

So what is the net takeaway of the latest news from Google?

We suspect that this indicates a change of course for Google which had placed quite a bit of effort on integrating and using Twitter data in personalizing and tailoring their search results. However, they also appear to be readying to backfill the data loss with their own product. Another possible indicator of their desire to push Google+ is the rebranding of Picasa and Blogger to Google Photos and Google Blogs respectively. If Google places the weight of their existing brands in with this new service it more than likely means that they are willing to explore this for the long-term and as a business you should watch this as a potential long-term strategy as well.

If you continue to build your site and communities for your audience and not for the search engines you will have more long-term success and not feel the pinch of needing to make drastic sweeping changes. Good unique content (rather on the website or on social) is still King. Without content you cannot talk to your audience and without your audience you are nothing on the web.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Search Engine Land's Periodic Table of SEO Elements

I really don't want to make this blog into a place that just rehashes the same stuff the "major" Search Engine Marketing blogs are putting out. But I just have to share this awesome infographic from Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Blog. This is something to have on your desk and use as a reference to help you mix these elements together to make something awesome.

”Search

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SEOBook Google Collateral Damage Infographic

Great infographic from SEOBook which graciously allows others to post this infographic on your own blog so that it can reach more people. Great way to get additional exposure for a piece developed for their blog. Anyway here it is:

Google's Collateral Damage.

Infographic by SEO Book

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Are you a Twitter Prostitute or Tweet Purity Ring Wearer?




Where do you fall on the spectrum of increasing your twitter following? Do you have your account locked down so only those "special" ones can get in? Or are you out on the corner begging for people to come visit you? You think you know what you may be on this spectrum but what does your follower count say about your Twitter promiscuity?

Just curious. Leave comments with where you think you fall on the line but also thoughts on why you would lean to one side more than the other. What keeps you from being an extremist in either direction?

No fence riders allowed! Pick a side!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Google-Bing Face off on Algorithms

I am not going to comment too much on this video as I want people to comment themselves on their take of this debate and Google's (and Bing's) accusations. So here is the debate for your consideration.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Things that won't happen in internet marketing in 2011

Yeah everyone does the Top 10 predictions of what will happen in the coming year. Well I am bucking that trend in a major way. Here is what isn't going to happen in 2011. In fact here are 11 things that are not going to come into fruition this next year.

1) Location based services will not reach wide adoption. The power users will still be power users but most people will stay away and most business will try it and then promptly ditch it due to low turnout outside their mega-marketing pushes that cost them more than they bring in via services like Foursquare or Facebook Places.

2) iPad imitators will not see the sales needed to keep them on the market. Apple will keep its strangle-hold on this section but will come out with an update that allows multi-tasking. This will still require us search/internet marketers to consider the best method to market to these devices. Optimization will stay the same for these devices search is search but viewing the page and listing could be affected.

3) Social media integration in search results still won't be perfected. Between spammers and devious marketers gaming the system and your friends being, well..., your friends, integration will not lead to better results but more things to consider when looking at the results (I wonder when there will be so much info per each listing that only 1 entry shows up for a search, hmmm).

4) Mobile search differentiation ain't gonna happen. In the vein of dogs will hunt, people will search! With the advent of Google Instant, this really brings mobile and desktop search closer together and the need for specialized optimization unnecessary. Mobile companies seem to be trying to attract users by making their mobile experience more like their desktop experience.

5) Search Algorithm gaming will not go away. Although Google and Bing continue to make strides to fight the infringement on their algorithm (i.e. Google's renewed efforts to find and punish cloaking) the spammers are hungry and innovative. I have a feeling as the search engines continue to minimize what is viewed as a top listing (sorry but top 10 doesn't make the above the fold status any more) there will be a greater effort for marketers to find any means to gain the attention of their target audience. It is the yin and yang of search marketing the black side (black hats) has the little bit of good somewhere deep down but the white side (search engines) still have that little bit of black deep down. It is all about how big that speck of good or bad is on each side.

6) Pay-per-click advertising isn't going to get easier. Sure there will be new tools but most of the good ones will be out of the price range of most small business owners. Google's innovations will continue to distract from the paid ads that have been under constant legal challenges and public questioning (BP oil spill ads).

7) Automated Search Engine Optimization will not be within reach for most Search Marketers. Similar to their PPC counterparts these tools are out of range for most for the effective ones. However, the ability to create the basis for SEO still escapes most of these tools.

8) FTC Do Not Track legislation will fail (as it is currently written). The Do Not Track (DNT) legislation is too broad and reaches too many companies with deep pockets. Before a version will pass congress certain limitations will be applied and then it will only apply to a narrow scope in specific instances.

9) Search Optimization certification/qualification will not be dictated by any authority. This is something that has been disputed in the industry for years. The idea is that there should be an authority that certifies search marketers so that companies can be ensured that the "expert" they are hiring knows what they are doing and is not going to endanger their company. The issue is that Black Hat SEO's probably know the most about passing these qualifications. In order to subvert the system you have to know the system inside and out. A singular authority for Certification will appear this year or will not be deemed a trusted source for certification. Companies will continue to offer educational courses with certificates but there is too diversified a field and companies don't know who to trust anymore unless Google/Microsoft give an endorsement to one of them. However, that is not happening this year.

10) I will not be buying a vacation home in Cozumel. Oh come on I had to have one fun one in here. At least I know this one will be true for sure (even if I win the lottery I still would not buy one in Cozumel, maybe Puerta Vallarta but not Cozumel).

11) SEO will not die. I know a cliche one to end on but I think appropriate given my profession. I do whole heartedly believe this to be the case. Are there adjustments to tactics? Yes. Are there new methods that need to be learned? Definitely. Will search marketers become irrelevant? Irreverent, Yes; irrelevant, no.

The opinions expressed above are based on observations and analysis. They are mostly hunches and thoughts so please take these in the spirit that they were written...to spark discussion. So lets talk it out!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!>I think...

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