Monday, June 30, 2008

Adobe Teams Up With Google & Yahoo For Flash

Finally. This just in. Adobe will make it easier for search engines to index more content in applications built with its Flash software. As you know from my 2nd post, search engines have a hard time indexing Flash files. Now, with some "optimized Adobe Flash Player technology," they'll be able to "uncover information" in Flash files "that is currently undiscoverable by search engines." This is good news for searchers who now might be able to find more stuff on the web. Its also damn good news for publishers who use Flash applications: more of their content can now be indexed by Google than before, which will increase traffic!

A great move by Adobe. This will give companies and developers even more reason to keep using flash. Probably still wont show up in Microsoft Live Search as they have a competitor to flash called "Silverlight."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Safeguarding The Celebrity Brand Online

I’m sure everyone agrees that there are way too many “Celebrity” gossip websites out there. What I can’t believe in this day and age of a web 2.0 world, is that the individual celebrity publicist, or their agency’s do not really know how to protect their celebrity clients “brand” online. Online gossip websites are notorious for spreading rumors and FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt). FUD is a marketing and PR tactic used in the technology world to influence public perception by disseminating negative (and vague) information. Whether it’s a rumor, or FUD, the main reason for this tactic is increase website traffic and “clicks”. Traffic and clicks generate advertising revenue for these gossip websites and they will do anything or say anything to get their fair share of this revenue. Whether it’s true of not, this type of business model will ruin a celebrity brand. From what I can concur, Celebrities fight these gossip sites with lawsuits or threatening email. Both are a waste of time and money. So you drag a gossip website to court, and spend large amounts on legal fee’s just to get the site to tear down the blog or picture when they will do it again in a few months? Threatening emails or phone calls only will create negative media relations that may never be repaired between the celebrity and the website owner. In fact, it may encourage them to write more rumors and negative content. Old school tactics do not work anymore as there are thousands of these sites to litigate.

So what’s a celebrity to do? Well…………..first off, tell your publicist to stop sending nasty emails or handing it over to your legal team. It will only create more negative content and wasted energy. In addition to the old fashion publicists, celebrities, sports figures, or any famous person that wants to keep his or hers reputation/brand intact needs to hire a person specifically (or agency) to devote their time to defend and even develop strong working relationships with these websites or bloggers. In the corporate world we are seeing the standard media relations departments create groups under them specifically for “blogger relations”. A blogger relations team will initiate contact with all website or bloggers that write about the company. By establishing these relationships, a company, or in this case a Celebrity can get advance “heads-up” on possible rumors or FUD and head them off before they are posted on the web.

Why keep a celebrity brand intact? Because a “rumor” or “bad press” can take off and go viral on all sorts of social media sites. When that happens, sponsorships, scripts, movies, endorsement deals may reduce to a trickle or may even end. The entertainment world needs to start hiring “online publicists” to guard their celebrity investments! The online publicist’s job (only job) is to monitor the internet for ALL information posted about their client. They need to reply to negative (or positive) articles and blogs via the comments section. Develop personal working relationships with these bloggers so that they will double check their facts with the celebrity before posting any rumor or undesirable pictures. Other duties would be to establish official pages on social media websites (like a fan page on FaceBook) where you can communicate with the public on a regular basis to squelch any negative gossip. Again, the internet has matured and a celebrity publicist must also establish new tools in the web arena to successfully create or maintain their clients brand and image.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This Week's Traffic Tip

Submit your website or blog to quality general directories. One such quality director is DMOZ:

This "Open Directory Project" is syndicated by many other sites. Including your website or blog in DMOZ will provide you with inbound links. Other directories to include:

Yahoo Search Directory Directory

There are many more you can include. Listing in directories is always an ongoing effort. New directories pop up everyday. Spend an hour a week listing your business or service in online directories. The payoff can be increased traffic.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Measuring Marketing Buzz Web 2.0 Style

Twitter. Love it, like it, or hate it. Whichever you prefer, Twitter is THE talk of social networking and communication nowadays. Twitter is considered a “micro-blogger” platform. Think of it as a short IM typed to the world. Twitter allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter web site, via the Twitter web site. Think of it as text messaging on the web. Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. What makes Twitter interesting is that if you have the right tools, this is one way of measuring your product or brands “buzz” on the internet. One such tool or “application” that will tell you if your new product or brand is the talk of the net is Summize is the twitter search engine that will give you conversations in realtime. It crawls through Twitter’s public timeline in realtime, thread together associated tweets (text messages) and lets you search for buzz words, keywords or whatever terms you might want to search for.

Did you just introduce your newest product? Search Twitter via Summize and see what people are saying about your product. Has your branding campaign been less than steller? Search Twitter via Summize and try to figure out why? Want to find out what people think of your website or blog? Search Twitter via Summize and find out. You get the picture. There are many other applications that leverage Twitters user base to chart tweet data. I have even seen an application that allows you to see trends on Twitter over time (I will cover that application in a subsequent post). Online Marketers must be able to use these Web 2.0 tools to test and measure their company’s overall strategy. These types of tools keep evolving, so always keep an eye out for updates or new applications that will leverage social media sites.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This Week's Traffic Tip

Optimize Your meta tags!

Meta keywords tag: it should contain your primary keyword and its common misspellings and synonyms for spiders/web crawlers to pick up. You can have approximately 800 characters in this tag (including spaces). If a term is competitive, it is going to need to occur in your page copy and/or inbound link text for you to rank your page well. An example of a competitive term is "shopping". The meta keywords tag is typically used to highlight a couple of the main keyword phrases on which the page is focused. The meta description tag should be a few sentences of text that uses various versions of your keywords and describes the purpose of the given page.

Meta tags is a very small part of the overall website optimization strategy to bring in traffic. What's important here is that creating meta tags is easy and FAST. Just one piece of the overall puzzle. In the end, write your content for human consumption. If you write exclusively for search engines, the pages will read poorly and nobody will want to look at them.