October 04, 2010

Tapping Into Google's Freshness

By Li Evans

Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East

This panel was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated it would be. The speakers on this panel shared a lot of insight into just what it is that Google likes in the way of freshness in content, links, and mentions when they are looking at content and applying the algorithm and displaying results to searchers.

Danny Sullivan was the panel's moderator and added a lot of personal insight from his experiences with running Search Engine Land that also brought a lot to the session. Janet Driscol Miller, Kenny Hyde and Joe Shehata were presenting on this panel and each had a unique perspective as to what they see in the way of relevance in the manner of "freshness" in Google.

Janet Driscol Miller of Search Mojo, led off the panel discussing "Query Deserves Freshness" factor of the Google Algorythm. The QDF has been around since 2007, but has really been brought to the forefront with Google's launch of Caffiene earlier this year. The QDF is used to determine what searches are "hot" and looks for the most recent information available for those trending queries.

Janet went into some great detail about the different Google tools that you can use to help keep up to date on trends and also if the keywords your marketing campaigns are focused on are also spiking for certain reasons. She went on to show the audience how Google insights can be embedded in a page and how marketers can leverage this tool to their advantage by writing relevant blog content around the insight that is spiking.

After Janet concluded her really informative presentation, Kenny Hyde took to the podium and focused on the three primary things that he has seen make fast changes in Google's search results. These three factors also allow the more authoratative sites remain pretty stable in the results, where sites who are not strong in these three areas tend to fluctuate a lot more.

The three areas that Kenny focused on were links, brand mentions and fresh content. He started off with pointing out that with links it's not just quantity and not just quality, it was both. Along with that the variety of the links and where they come from matter. The final piece of the linking puzzle that Kenny discussed was consistency in link building, that once you start building links, you have to continue at the same rate (or increase) if you want to remain "fresh" to Google.

The second area, brand mentions, isn't just using the keyword in the link as many would think, but more to the point that if there is a link you've attained, it's just as important to make sure that on that page there are other mentions of your brand. The sentiment of the brand mention is also an important factor as well.

When it comes to fresh content, Kenny pointed out a few things. The content itself doesn't have to be on a high ranking page, blog posts and syndicated content work well too. It also doesn't have to be on your site, where content such as press releases and reviews are perfect for this type of freshness factor.

The last speaker to round out the panel was John Shehata. John took a look at the freshness factor of Google and what matters in the perspective of Twitter and how it affects the search results. Getting your content retreated is probably one of the most important factors here. Google looks to this as an indicator of relevance. Some things to avoid though is using too many hash tags in your tweets, as the search engines have confirmed that they view this as a spam my tactic.

John also highlighted that not just the quantity but the quality of who is following you and retreating your content is rather important to the "Freshness" factor in Google. Getting influencers to rewet your content is taken as a sign to the search engines that this content is relevant more so when more people rewet it. John rounded out his information by saying it's just as important to encourage family, friends and followers to post your content in other social communities to further the relevance of the content.

This panel had a lot of great tidbits, advice and tips that I came away with some great information to apply here at SMG. Overall,if you can pick the brain of Janet, Kenny or John, I'd say do it!

September 08, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Twitter Tips - URL Shorteners, Blogging & ReTweeting

By Li Evans

This week for our Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing Video, I'm discussing some Twitter Tool that you can integrate into your strategy to get a better handle on what's happening with all those URL's you are tweeting out.

Full Twitter Tips Video Transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Twitter Tips - URL Shorteners, Blogging & ReTweeting" »

September 01, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Free Blogging Tools

By Li Evans

It's been a few weeks without a Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing Video so I pulled one that I hadn't yet posted to SMG.  This week its all about tools, free tools for Bloggers and their blogs.  Google's got three really great tools that any blogger can integrate into their blog to take it to the next level.

In today's video we'll discuss Google's Feedburner, Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer.  It's quick and to the point, and maybe it'll help you to decide to install one of these free tools to help improve your blog.


Free Blogging Tool Tips Video Transcript after the jump....





Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Free Blogging Tools" »

August 16, 2009

The Power of a Twitter Suggestion, Product Reviews & Video Sharing

By Li Evans

Earlier this afternoon I was getting a little disheartened by some .... pardon the expression,.... lame ass marketers touting that everyone needs a Blog .. type promoting social media marketing.  You know the type, they think they know social media because they have a blog and a twitter account.  A friend of mine asked me to check out some links from some webinars that .. well frankly, some schmuck put together who thinks social media is about links from a blog directory.  Pardon my candidness - but schmuck is about the best way to describe who presented the information.

For the record, like my respected pal Mike Grehan, I hate the term Social Media ... there's got to be a better term to explain this form of conversation/promotion/marketing.

With that all said, I set off then this evening to find a shredder.  Yes, something as plain Jane and utilitarian as a shredder.  See I got new checks, but the bank made an error and put the wrong number in the account area - so they sent me the correct ones.  I also have a bunch of CDs I need to shred.  Thus started my quest.

I went to Twitter and asked:
Li-asks-for-shredder-recommendations

Low and behold a local pal Shawn Collins of Afflilate Summit tweeted me back:
Shawn-responds

Of course I thanked him!
Li-thanks

But .... me being me not only did I watch his review:
We-views-review  

I did a search.Google-Ativa-DQ120-Diamond-Cut-Shredder  

Look closely at what I have highlighted in red boxes (click image for larger view), it's all Shawn.  Shawn's review ranks highly from the website I visited, not only that his YouTube VIDEO ranks highly.  Followed by the OfficeDepot.com listing (highlighted by blue box).  Funny thing - Shawn's link links right to the Office Depot product.

Now, If I wasn't such an in-depth internet user that I am, and as loyal to Staple as I am, I wouldn't have done a search on the Ativa™ DQ120D Diamond-Cut Shredder in Google to find alternate sources for this product.  However neither Staples nor Amazon carry this product.

Point is, I trust Shawn - he's one of my followers on Twitter who actually holds conversations, I've met him in person, and he even runs a respected conference called Affiliate Summit.  He's got authority in my book, a trusted authority.  Add to the fact that he's ranking in Google for all this, I'm buying the Ativa™ DQ120D Diamond-Cut Shredder from Office Depot.

That's not just the power of Twitter, it's the power of a blog post review and video sharing - Social Media Marketing (by an Affiliate Marketer) in action.

June 03, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Online Reputation Management

By Li Evans

This week's online marketing tips video is all about online reputation management in social media and search marketing.  It's a little different look beyond just monitoring with Google alerts and buzz monitoring tools (the first tip).  Buy building relationships and loosing your grip, these tips can also help you with your reputation online.





Reputation Management Online Tips Video Transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Online Reputation Management" »

May 12, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Community Building

By Li Evans

Finally I'm back with our Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing!

Today I decided to focus on Community Building in Social Media.  It's under 3 minutes, quick and to the point about 3 tips for helping to build the community around your blog, forum, or even networking group like those on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Enjoy!



Full Community Building Tips Video transcript after the jump ....


Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Community Building" »

May 11, 2009

How to Get Over the Ouch Syndrome in Blogging

By Li Evans

Detractors Let's face it, no one likes to hear "bad" things about themselves.  It's never more true when you have a corporate PR or Marketing department who's only job is to "spin".  But negative thoughts, comments and situations are a given whenever a company enters into the public spectrum.  There is always a detractor somewhere.  This is why companies who are entering into the social media space really need to be prepared to accept the love as well as the "non-love" with their brand, products or services.

So with a little inspiration from the group on Sunday night's #blogchat group and from Debra Mastaler (who I've personally called the Link Goddess) I present some ways for companies to get over the "ouch" of starting a blog.

  1. Grow a Thick Skin
    Everyone has a detractor.  That old saying that you need a "thick skin" or just let it roll off like "duck off a waters back" is very true when it comes to blogging.  Blogging naturally attracts emotions of all kinds.  People love you, people hate you, you as the company or blog owner need to have a thick skin to be able to accept both the negative and positive comments the posts on your blog will attract.  The biggest thing is don't freak out!  The next biggest thing is don't go into the standard "defense" mode.  Think things through before you actually respond to a negative comment.
  2. Don't Engage (or Feed) the Trolls
    Don't feed the trolls anymore goats than you need too. It's a bit tough to pick out the constant complainer & avid troll, from that customer who loves you but just has this one complaint or two.  Understanding the difference is key.  It means the difference from having a constant enemy to having the most evangelical fan out their for your brand, product or service.
  3. Allow Comments on Your Blog
    Don't be a one way communication device.  The days of just jamming a marketing message down your audience's throat is gone.  Even though it is technically your soapbox, blogging requires at least two way communication.  Even more it requires community participation to become authentic and authoritative, that's why comments are vitally important to a successful blog.
  4. Post a Comment & Trackback Policy Prominently on Your Blog
    To make things clear, and fair, companies should post (very visibly) policies about what types of comments and trackbacks they will recieve and publicly post.  This protects both the audience and the comment poster (not to mention the blog itself).  Having a policy that points out you will not accept comments that are vulgar, defamatory on a personal nature or racist in any way avoids companies from having to post such negative garbage and having to defend themselves against it.  Post a link to your comments & trackback policies prominently on your blog to avoid this type of nonsense.
  5. Don't Moderate for Negative Comments
    As much as anyone hates negative comments about themselves, you have to let them through, you can't moderate them out, not if you want to be taken seriously.  Even if the person thinks you are the worst brand to walk the planet earth, you have to have that think skin (referr to bulletin item #1) and just let that negative roll right off your back.  Look deeper into the comment and try to understand why the commenter is upset.  A lot of times negative commenters are really people who like you but are just really upset because you disappointed them in some way, shape or form.  By taking the time to figure that out and addressing it, you have the opportunity to turn that negativer commenter into your biggest evangelist!
  6. Admit When You Are Wrong
    If you were wrong, or your company did wrong, don't avoid it - just admit it and get it over with.  By admitting that you did wrong on your blog - whether its through blog comments or through a blog post itself, just admit you were wrong.  By admitting you were wrong, you'll gain a lot more respect from your audience, as well as loyalty.  We're all human, we all make mistakes, but when you can admit to those mistakes in a public forum, something that sticks around for a while, it creates a whole new dimension to your "trust factor" as will s strengthening your relationship with your audience.

I'm sure there's other tips out there for dealing with the "ouch" syndrome, do you have something that worked for you?  Would love to hear about it!

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March 11, 2009

President Barack Obama & His Social Media Agenda in the First 50 Days

By Li Evans

President-barack-obama Quietly, without trumpets, fan fare, ticker tape parades or walks outside of the limo that give the secret service heart attacks, President Barack Obama has been changing the way the executive branch of the government does business online.  Not only that he's influencing the other branches, in particularly the legislator, both Congress & Senate.

In the first 50 days of his presidency President Obama's team has pushed forward a number of new sites to help citizens of the United States understand better what the President and his staff are doing. This was something we have never seen before, all we ever got before was a static WhiteHouse.gov site that people continually tried to Google Bomb for "miserable failure".

I stated back in November that President Barack Obama was going to be "Our First Social Media President", within the first 50 days of this presidency he's sure living up to that moniker I tacked on him (sure hope he doesn't mind).  We also know that Blackberry is sure thankful for the free press, since he wouldn't give up his and got that super dooper James Bond one.  Besides the Blackberry, in the first 50 days of his presidency, President Obama and his team have launched a number of new sites above and beyond just WhiteHouse.gov and that's what I'd like to focus on today, along with some other things.

Continue reading "President Barack Obama & His Social Media Agenda in the First 50 Days" »

March 04, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Blogging & Gaining Subscribers

By Li Evans

I hope you can forgive me that this video is a day late.  It was made yesterday, I just ran out of time and energy to get it posted for you all.  Blame my 6 year old nephew if you must, he tuckered me out yesterday with playing in the snow and yes he didn't care it was only 15 degrees out. 

I've got three more blogging tips, to round out my tips on blogging.  Theses tips aren't as technical as last week's online marketing tips video, in fact anyone can implement these tips!  So check it out.



Full Blogging & Gaining Subscribers Tips - Video Transcript after the jump.



Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Blogging & Gaining Subscribers" »

February 24, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Building Your Blog Audience

By Li Evans

After a little hiatus the Online Marketing Tips Videos are back! This week I'm discussing three tips that can help you build your audience a bit more around your blog and the community that forms around it.

Full Building Your Blog Audience Video Transcript After the Jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Building Your Blog Audience" »

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