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5 campaigns you wish you thought of

Top 5 Mobile Campaigns

The strategic and creative possibilities offered by mobile devices are the future of advertising and marketing. People spend more and more time on their smartphones and less time watching TV. As a logical consequence, promoting a brand means to rethink the allocation of advertising budgets between old and new channels of communication, even if things seem to be moving at a slow pace: while 37% of the total time dedicated to media was spent watching TV and 24% on mobile, advertising spending on TV remains at 41% compared to 8% on smartphones and tablets (source: KPCB). (more…)

SEOMoves - Content MarketingWith Google and other search engines increasingly trying to ‘humanize’ their algorithms so that their preference of websites reflects that of their physical users, there has never been a more important time than now for website owners to make sure that the content they use is fully up-to-scratch.

It is no secret to anybody that Google is a bit of a bookworm, with its head of webspam Matt Cutts frequently using his Webmaster Central vlog to point out that, while intelligent use of images, infographics, videos, and audio files helps a website’s ranking, the search engine is still hungriest of all for text.

Content should be viewed as the bricks and mortar of your site. If you view your website in the same way as your house, of course you want it to look pretty and stand out on your street, but there’s no point doing that if it’s made of sponge bricks and uses porridge as mortar. Nobody would want to visit such a house more than once, and it would fail in its purpose. Aesthetic features on your site should be there to accentuate its solid foundation of content – not in place of it.

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I wonder what algorithm update Google used to determine the users intent for this search result? Oh wait, they have not searched yet, I wonder if this provides a great user experience?

credibility_cartoon_seomovesIt’s easy to publish a blog post, a tweet or a status update. Sometimes too easy. As a business owner (and bloggers are business owners, too) you have a responsibility to publish facts. Readers don’t come for fiction, or to be taken on a breezy diversion of gossip and rumors. They come to your blog and follow your social media profiles to learn something from you.

You can seriously damage your brand by doling out misinformation as if it’s accurate, so take your time to get it right. Be certain you’re publishing facts.

To Kill Your Credibility Fast:

1. Jump on a Non-Scoop Scoop

Ever heard of a Twitter death hoax? This all-too-common viral “scoop” works for a number of social psychological reasons, none of them useful in getting to the truth. A quick Google search reveals insight about them from highly reputable sources, including the TheNewYorkTimes.

Facebook scams work the same way. I spent no time at all cross-referencing independent sources about apps that claim to let you see who viewed your profile. I debunked them in no time here, here, and thisone even references Facebook’s own Terms of Use.

Did you hear about the false CNN and Fox News reports that the Supreme Court struck down the individual health insurance mandate? It was such bad reporting about such a big event that the mistake got almost as much attention as the real news! However, you aren’t a news organization. No one will talk about you for making a mistake. They just won’t pay attention to you anymore.

2. Reiterate Common “Knowledge” that isn’t True

Whatever your area of expertise, you probably hear about all sorts of myths that masquerade as facts. Living in the world of internet marketing, I witness countless assumptions about the Google algorithm being spun into “knowledge” all the time. This spring, as the Penguin update rolled out, SEO bloggers made up stories about what the Over Optimization Penalty means.

I don’t think they were trying to deliver false information, but they did. All they needed to do was read Googlesownblogpost on the subject. Often, the actual truth is less interesting than the general consensus about what’s true.

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Just heading to bed and noticed that out of the blue, many exact match domains have slipped in search. I noticed a number of exact match domains names have slipped somewhere from 5-40 positions in search. It was really long over due that Google fixed this issue. Exact match had gotten so far out of hand that domain names like www.health-insurance-quotes.us were ranking well.

Glad to see Google has discovered a way to tweak this, although I am not a fan of some of the recent changes Google has made, they really did need to make some serious changes.

Google has been releasing changes to it’s algorithm rapid fire, I think they updated it about 3-4 times in the past 60 days. I think they may take a breather soon, and possibly even turn back some of their changes. I think they have moved with a VERY heavy hand on some of their link updates, and have really scared everyone online.

Everyone now is worried about “over optimization” I have had nearly every client of ours contacting us about this, so needless to say it is on everyone’s mind (including mine).

Google announced the launch of Google Shopping in four new countries this week: Australia, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. Google Shopping is a comparison shopping engine delivering product results already in US and many other countries.  Google includes products delivered to them via data feed.

Product results in US are shown directly on page one of standard search, with images, pricing, and customer ratings.  This high visibility can be a large traffic force for any ecommerce business.  But thus far the shopping results in the new countries are not displaying in the main results. The user must click the Shopping tab on the left to use the retail search engine, but we expect in due time Google will integrate products into page one as they have elsewhere.

This is basically free traffic and advertising, so any business shipping to these countries needs to take some action. If you already provide your data feed to Google, you just need to create a new feed and choose that country from the drop down.  If you are not set up with Google Shopping yet in any country, visit the Merchant Center to open an account and set up your product feed.

With our strong presence in the Australian market, we are most excited to see this launch! We have been prepping our clients for this and ready to get them included immediately.

Also note that this makes it more important to use the hreview microformat for your customer reviews as we discussed last week.

Baidu, a “local Chinese Google”, who leads the search engine market with over 75% share (Google only has 19 percent), is also one of the biggest and popular websites in the world. Alexa currently ranks it as the 6th popular in the world, just above Wikipedia and below Live. As do most big players in the SE industry, Baidu offers various services – such as video and image storage, website building platform, online encyclopedia, discussion forums, and more.

However, in today’s dynamic world, standing still and cherishing your achievements will very quickly lead to dethronement, at the very least. That’s why Baidu is looking to expand even further, especially when the number two Chinese website, Tencent, is also gaining ground, entering Alexa’s “world’s top 10” this month, after surpassing Twitter.

Tencent is largest internet company in China, and, with Facebook being unavailable to users, it is trying to utilize the social networking niche to compete with Baidu. The “satellite” services that are being offered by Tencent are very similar to the stated above Baidu products, making the clash between the two a “hot” battle for dominance. Baidu’s response, according to Robin Li, the CEO of the company, lies within expanding its own network of users and making it more “social”. In addition of fighting Tencent, this should also serve as additional income channel for the Chinese market leader.

While several companies established a Fairsearch.org group in order to try and prevent the Google-ITA deal, claiming that it is a yet another step of monopoly (by Google that is) of the airline ticket market, Bing has decided not to complain, but to fight. In addition to purchasing a predictive engine for flight costs, the Farecast, about a year ago, they now team up with one of the popular travel search engines, the KAYAK. It seems that the deal is beneficial for both sides – after all, KAYAK is probably also worried about Google acquiring ITA, despite their talks about “welcoming Google as a competitor”.

It their announcement, Bing flatters KAYAK, calling its new partner “a leading innovator in travel search”, and talks about “more comprehensive travel search experience”. The deal should benefit those people who want to plan and book via Bing. Although this looks like trying to stop people from leaving Bing, the move is actually a counter-step to Google entering the travel search. Of course, although “Google is not wining every niche it enters” as said KAYAK CTO and co-founder Paul English, it can affect the market heavily.

So, there is nothing left but to wish good luck to both Bing and KAYAK in their struggle.

Recent consumer study conducted by comScore and GroupM revealed that although 64% of the users are likely to follow a brand on Facebook and/or Twitter, search engine is still the most popular initial step for the majority of purchases made online. The study shows that nearly 60 percent of future buys originate within the search engine websites, with social media coming in the third place with 18% behind company websites (24%). And of those 18%, nearly half will eventually turn to search at some stage of their research. Similarly, only 40 percent of those that use search as their initial step will use social media throughout the purchase.

Moreover, almost no users (less than 1%) use Social Media and do not use search, while the search beats the “search+social media” combination 50 to 49 percent. Only 45 percent, though, use search throughout their research with 26 percent stating that they only use search in the beginning of the process.

The study also shows that customer reviews are something customers are looking for – making the recently reported idea of “SearchReviews.com” pretty viable. 30% of the responders said reviews are the most important thing to them. Social networks were selected by 17% of the users, and video sharing finished third with 14%.

Notably, the study only researched COMPLETED buys. So, maybe social media is simply good at preventing future purchases? After all, reading a page of negative opinions about a product can drive you away from it, and sometimes the whole idea of purchasing a certain accessory can become obsolete…

Russian top search engine, Yandex, which was founded in 1997, has made an outstanding progress in recent years. Despite constantly growing competition from both the local Rambler and the “global” Google, it has succeeded to increase its market share in 2010. According to Yandex report, for the first time in four years the engine’s share of the Russian search market exceeded 60 percent, reaching the 64% mark. Yandex has also launched its English version, officially “going global”, possibly intending to fight Google at its own ground.

Despite speculations about going public in 2008, Yandex cancelled the move at the last minute – possibly due to fluctuating economic conditions in both Russia, the US and Europe. Thus, the company is still privately owned, with about 24% being owned by the founders and workers (another 10% held by former employees) and over 60% owned by various funds (including the initial major investor, ruNet Holdings).

After reporting a year-to-year increase of 43% in revenue, which was over 400 million dollars, the company now plans to attract more investors. The IPO (initial public offering) is expected to take place in the early summer and will be managed by Morgan Stanley and the Deutsche Bank. According to various reports, Yandex’s target is raising 1 billion dollars with this move.