Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Google adds Social Media Data to Search Rankings

Most SEO's know this bit of information already... but for the rest of you, Google uses social media data in its search engine rankings. The question is WHAT TYPE OF DATA? For any corporation or small company it is ESSENTIAL that you add social media to your marketing strategy.

Why? Precisely because Google uses these social media feeds in its SERPs. Google is constantly changing the way it evaluates social media. Most social media spam is filtered out. They use Twitter & Facebook quality links in ranking = normal useful  links.They also try to find the "reputation" of the author and only the social media profiles that can be crawled and that are public are taken into account. So if your promoting your business via social media, do not change your profile to "private". Trending items or "social buzz" are used as a quality signal. So if your "tweet" makes it in the Google real times results, your doing great! Getting reciprocal followers or adding lots of followers do not help much so dont go overboard and add everyone on the planet.

Social media links can help you speed up your website’s indexing and they are taken into account by search engines such as Google. In short, Google evaluates the quality of the post and the authority of the author. With Facebook, the shared links from Fan pages are treated similarly to Twitter links. No links from personal walls are used in rankings. Social media has become more important in the contribution of search engine rankings and it is crucial that you use it appropriately.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bing to Index Facebook Data

Last week, Microsoft Bing (search engine) and Facebook announced a partnereship that will give search results a social media flavor. This new partnership will allow people who use Facebook to see Bing search results that incorporate information from their friends.  Bing will now be able to search your friends (likes/dislikes) and deliver you a more custom search result. This will also help you find people (using facebook data) as well as recommendations on products and services.

This could be good or bad. Good if you want a more personalized social media result. Bad is you want to be found or your personal Facebook information out in the public domain.

This new social search integration has numerous SEO opportunities for small and large businesses. This integration can also be a good tool in reputation management. Bottom line: This deal symbolized the importance of social media in search results. This is just a first step, in the future most all social media platforms (data) will be indexed by some or all of the search engines. That's why online marketing tools such as corporate twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages, etc., will become a crucial part of any online marketing strategy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Social Media Trifecta for Small Business

If you’re like a typical "small business", you’re looking for new ways to bring in customers. My advice = Use Social Media. Most "small business" have little or no resources to hire a full time Social Media manager. If this is the case, then my recommendation would be to concentrate only on these 3 Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp). Take an hour a day (or night) and network/add content to these Social Media sites.

This is a great site and becoming a force in small business marketing. Yelp is your chance to give customers the scoop, right on your Yelp business page. Once logged into, build out a rich profile under the "Business Information" tab. You can share the history behind your business and what you do best. Also, add a little something about yourself and your employees so that Yelp users can get to know you. Let people know your business is on Yelp. Add a button (Yelp link) to your email signature file, website, and all marketing collateral

Get photos of your business up on Yelp, ASAP. If your business is a restaurant, add a picture of your menu. Own a boutique? Add a shot of your great new merchandise. It's a simple, fun and effective way to illustrate your story. Finally, ensure a photo of your storefront is included so people know what to look for when they decide to visit you offline and in person.

Twitter is also for small business owners looking to build new local customers. To sign up for a twitter account, go here The first thing to do is set up a proper "Profile". Make sure you fill out your twitter profile to include your website URL, business phone #, and specific keywords related to your business or service that will help potential people to follow you. Follow people in your field of business such as peers, customers, and competitors. Follow your competitors followers as well. Run twitter contests, give away special online twitter discounts or offers. Always include "Add Follow Me on Twitter" in email signature file, website, and your other social media accounts.

Make sure you don't mix your twitter business account with a personal account, keep them separate as well as the messages. Engage in related business conversations. Look up conversations that will help drive customers to your twitter account using keywords in twitter search. DO NOT go overboard and follow too many people that follow you or you will risk looking like a spammer. If you have a blog on your small business website, always reference a new blog post on your twitter account. Stay with it everday and be patient, the ROI will pay off in due time. Retweet others relevant to your field or business. This helps establish credability and you will pick up more followers.

Get on Facebook now! Facebook pages tend to work better for businesses while Facebook "groups" do well for non-profits, interests and causes. If you’re a one-person business, rather than creating Facebook pages for your name, consider setting up a Facebook page for the company, product or service name and add keywords to it. People may be more likely to subscrbe to your Page (become a “fan”) when they see the topic that follows the company name.

Content is king for a Facebook business page. Facebook is a great place to share tips on how to do things faster or more effectively with your product or service. Post "how-to" videos or screencasts. Announce free upcoming events or webinars. Mention if you or someone from your business will be attending an event for a potential meet up. Its always a good idea (content-wise) to import your twitter feed and business blog posts.

Make sure you use Facebook to connect with your existing customers AFTER they’ve already bought from you - rather than trying to use Facebook to mine for leads. This is the path of least resistance. Since they already know you, they are more likely to interact with your page - crucial for organic growth on Facebook.


Friday, June 25, 2010

They Keep Stealing - Why Keep Paying?

Normally, this blog would cover an online marketing subject such as SEO, SEM, Social Media, etc., but I have been swamped lately with work, projects, and meetings. In any case, check out this great article by Dylan Ratigan over at the Huff Post regarding the underwater mortgages and the Banks. I'm a big fan of Dylans, going back to his time at CNBC. I should be back blogging soon! Excerpt below:

"Well, it is becoming time to take matters into your own hands... I suggest that you call your lender and tell them if they don't lower you mortgage by at least 20%, you are walking away. And if they don't agree, you need to consider walking away.

That is because you probably are a good person. But your mortgage is a business deal, and it is not immoral to walk away from a business deal unless you went in to the deal with the intention of defaulting.” Enough said.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monetize Twitter Update: I called it!

Twitter Monetization Model = Promoted Tweets based on CPM. Real-Time advertising people. I called it back in July 2009. Although, a lot of people called it. Not just me ;)

Incredible statistics! Twitter has 106 Million users. Its search engine gets 600 million queries every day. Insane. What stat I would love to know is the "real time on site" for the average user. Not the "time on site" because that stat is distorted. Why? Twitter is mostly run in the background on the desktop, laptop, and mobile. Users will toggle back and forth all day. I want to know the "real time" the typical Twitter user is interacting (focused) on Twitter. Real-Time on site (in addition to search and installed user base), is another way to pitch advertisers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The MySpace Nuclear Option

Transform MySpace into a dating site.

The signs of MySpace problems go way back but really surfaced when CEO Owen Van Natta resigned. I won’t dwell on the many reasons why MySpace is declining (declining market share, shrinking revenue, loss of key employees, etc), instead I would propose that MySpace reinvent itself and become a dating site. Yes, I said it. A dating site. The demographics are there. 50-50 male/female ratio (at least in U.S.), MySpace is huge in the 18-34 age range (very pop culture), and nearly 40% earn an estimated $30-$60k/year. Plus you have the MySpace freaks, strippers, gamers, nerds, and everything "Twilight". Most importantly, the online dating industry is worth $1.049 Billion. Customers of dating sites spend an average of $239 per year. The average visit per site time is 22 minutes. 22 Minutes! Think advertising revenue as well as pay wall revenue right from the start. International revenue (specifically China) would be HUGE. The MySpace brand (like it or not) is formidable. MySpace should integrate the Twitter API with profiles and dating ads. I could go on and on again, but the main point is that MySpace trigger that nuclear option and become a dating site. Take all that revenue away from eHarmony,, and the adult dating sites. Do this ASAP. The revenues will be terrifyingly enormous. Game over.

See breakdown below.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Number 1 Twitter Retweet Tactic

The easiest way to get your business message across Twitter is to follow the people in your niche with below average followings and get them to retweet.

Think niche Tweeters. Go for the long tail Twitter strategy. These below average niche tweeters give you more of a chance to get "retweeted" and follow you back. It takes between 3-4 retweets to get this momentum up to a "tipping point". The problem with following MASS twitter power players & celebrities with such a huge following is that they will probably not follow you back, thus never retweeting your message. This is good whether your promoting something, selling, branding or reputation management.

Another good "best practice" is to unfollow the people that don't follow you. Pretty simple. Get rid of the deadweight.  Its a< 1% chance they will actually read and retweet messages. Do this twice a month.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Random Musings. Cisco, Dell, YouTube, Streaming.

  • Is it me or does every one (platform) now have an app store?
  • Cisco's huge annoucement this week was a total let down. Yes, the technology is cool, but I was hoping for an "Apple" like change the world annoucement.
  • The time to kick cable TV out the door is near. Wii gets Netflix and streaming soon. YouTube gets live sports streaming. The new generation of streaming TV set-top boxes are finally going to make traction.
  • Looking forward to the Dell Mini 5. Looks good on paper and the specs. Love the colors.
  • I don't think Twitter is all "Tweeted out". In fact, lots more features coming. IPO in 2011?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Will HTML5 Destroy Flash?

Maybe. Too soon to tell. SEO people will prefer HTML5 rather than Flash. Flash is not SEO friendly. In fact, Flash is search engine-invisible. HTML5 will eventually do everything Flash does plus the added search engine optimizations such as Improved page segmentation, A new article tag, A new section tag, A new header tag, A new footer tag, A new nav tag.

In order for HTML5 to overtake Flash, browsers must have to support it, right? Full browser support will happen in 3-8 years? The full HTML5 spec wont be finished (probably) for another decade. Your starting to see improved support for HTML 5 elements in Opera 10.5, and possibly IE 9. Chrome and Safari do support HTML5 video. Firefox is still behind, although I think there are add-ons to Firefox to support HTML video?

HTML5 allow a standards-based pathway to busting those Flash barriers with canvas graphics, drawing video onscreen, Web Forms 2.0, and local storage for private data. So who needs Flash? The only drawback I see now in HTML5 is that it has very basic support for sound. Who will win? Who knows? This may play out in about 1-5 years (depending on who adopts HTML5). Personally, I think they can both coexist, but I would rather use HTML5 for search engine reasons.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Apple Rumor

After its shareholders meeting today, the Apple rumor of the day included possibly buying a large acquisition in the future? Apple prefers having cash to paying Dividends. If Apple were to buy say SPRINT, t-MOBILE, etc. for their iPAD + iPhone = GAME OVER. Apple has a truckload of cash. Think about it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is Twitter Gearing Up for an IPO?

Seems like it. All indications are now starting to point to an IPO. Step #1. They just hired Pixar's Finance Chief to become their new CFO.  IPO in 2011?

Monday, February 8, 2010

FREE Social Media Newsrooms!

Last July, I wrote a blog post entitled "Tips On Setting Up Online (Interactive) Newsrooms" which touted the effectiveness of the format as well as tips in setting one up. I just came across a new site, Presskit'n, which allows you to build an online newsroom quick and easy. Its really simple to use, free, nice template, and no publishing limits. Online media newsrooms with added Social Media functionality are becoming the standard now in disseminating your company's story. If your lacking resources, Presskit' is your answer! I believe this is one of the first "Social Media" newsroom sites that has a free format.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Apple Tablet Eve

I feel like its Christmas Eve with the new "supposedly" release of the Apple Tablet tomorrow. I love Apple and I love its innovated products. After every major introduction (think iPod + iTunes & iPhone), Apple shakes up some industry ecosystem. This time around it will be the book & magazine publishing industry. I can’t wait to view magazines on that bright colorful display. Throw in the book version of iTunes and I am good to go. Should be a fun time tomorrow. I will be checking out the live blogging at either Gizmodo or Engadget.

This year I want to blog on up and coming start-ups, technology, and of course, online marketing techniques through social media. One trend that has been increasingly popular is the "cloud" computing trend. This is due to many reasons such as cost reduction, collaboration, e-commerce, etc. One start-up I ran across recently, "Sharetivity", harnesses the cloud through a browser plug-in and "shares" content among users. This is particularly useful for students in college to research, share, and archive their content online. Check out Sharetivity's FAQ for more information.

Recently, Sharetivity partnered with schools and colleges to help raise funds for their students using this service. Sharetivity will generate revenue when the students conduct search from the Sharetivity site via the Google search box within the Sharetivity application. If Sharetivity is adopted by a school or institution (university), they will share 50% of the revenue. This start-up is backed by an industry veteran that has raised a total of $50 million of Venture Capital in his previous 3 start-ups. Check them out and play with their service. This is one company that will be making headlines in 2010.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Need a Job in 2010?

FYI. A quick note regarding new jobs in 2010. If your a highly skilled technical writer, Sr. Release Manager, QA Analyst, IT, Help Desk Associate, Applications Programmer, Crystal Reports Developer, Business Systems Analyst, and your located in the SF Bay, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, or Houston, Tx area, head on over to Mekaza Staffing. 2010 is headed for a job rebound, and Mekaza Staffing has all the latest job openings in these areas. Mekaza (located in Northern California) is another good job resource to have in addition to all the local and national job search engines.