Will Google Discount Infographic Links?

WebProNews reports that Google is considering discounting infographic links and then links to an interview with Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team. But Mr. Cutts doesn’t say anywhere in the interview that Google is considering discounting such links.

Still, I’d say that assuming they might consider that at some point in the future would be a fair assumption based on the comments that Mr. Cutts does make.

In principle, there’s nothing wrong with the concept of an infographic. What concerns me is the types of things that people are doing with them. They get far off topic, or the fact checking is really poor. The infographic may be neat, but if the information it’s based on is simply wrong, then it’s misleading people.

Google has discounted links in the past because information was misleading. They want their search results to be quality results and if information that is misleading rises to the top, those results will fail the quality test.

The other thing that happens is that people don’t always realize what they are linking to when they reprint these infographics. Often the link goes to a completely unrelated site, and one that they don’t mean to endorse. Conceptually, what happens is they really buy into publishing the infographic, and agree to include the link, but they don’t actually care about what it links to. From our perspective this is not what a link is meant to be.

This is an even bigger no-no. If people decide to republish an infographic and the embed link points to another website where the infographic is not published, that’s truly misleading. It’s also quite nefarious. I would not blame Google one bit for discounting those links.

Any infographics you create will do better if they’re closely related to your business, and it needs to be fully disclosed what you are doing. The big key is that the person publishing the infographic has to know, and agree with, including an endorsement to your site as attribution with the infographic. Even then, there is reason to believe that the link is more about the barter to get the infographic than a real endorsement of your site.

This is an interesting take. Mr. Cutts’ final statement leads me to believe that Google is aware that people who republish infographics don’t always necessarily endorse the site those infographics were originally published on. They like infographic and in order to use it agree to link to a site that they may not otherwise want to link to. But I question whether that is enough to discount the link on.

Webmasters really should take greater care in examining links. If you see an infographic on a website that you can’t endorse, then don’t use the infographic. Don’t pay for the infographic with a link to a site that you can’t get behind.

The interview also has some other great information in it that can help your SEO efforts.

July 10th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Why ‘More Often’ Content Is Better

If I were to ask you, “How much gasoline in your automobile is the optimum amount,” you’d likely respond “a full tank.” Theoretically, if you could have 1 million gallons of gas in your tank, then it would be better to have 1 million gallons than 500 gallons. The reason is simple. You can go farther, faster.

The same content holds for online content. The more you have the better your marketing.

I’m not talking about mediocre content here. I’m talking about premium grade content. The kind of content you’d expect to publish on your website every day.

If you are prone to accepting low quality content (I hope not), then imagine 1 million pages of low quality content. That’s better than 1 page of low quality content, or even 500 pages of low quality content. But upgrade your content to mid-grade or high-grade. Same quality, different amount. Which is better, 1 million pages or 500 pages?

Quality is always preferable to quantity, but given that the quality is the same, you are much better off with more content rather than less. The reason is, you can go further in your marketing much faster.

Every page of content you create has the potential to rank for a certain number of keywords and phrases. If you perform your SEO correctly, then you increase your chances of getting more traffic with every content page you publish. That’s why more is better.

July 9th, 2012 / Content Development

Keyword Research: Data Or List?

Most companies doing business on the Web and who are interested in SEO come to the table with at least a list of keywords they think are important to their businesses. But have those lists been tested? Are you sure your list is a good list?

The big question on keyword research is, How important is that list of yours? Is it more important to stick to your list unwaveringly or go strictly on the data?

I think most SEOs will tell you to do your keyword research and let the chips fall. Accept the data and go with it. Nevermind your list. Naturally, I think keyword research is important and must be done. I wouldn’t say keep your list and live by it religiously.

There are times when you want to ditch the intuitive keyword – the one you think is the best keyword – and go instead with the profitable one based on the research. Then there are times when you’ll want to go with your keyword instead of the one suggested by the research. But when are those times?

In the first case, you should go with the keyword that the research suggests when your two keywords are synonymous terms but you find that more people search for the data-based keyword or it has higher CTR or click prices. In those cases that keyword will undoubtedly make you more coin. But what if the keyword suggested by your research is the wrong keyword for your business? In other words, it’s profitable, gets a lot of traffic and click-throughs, but it just doesn’t fit your business? In that case, go with the keyword on your list. It’s your business and you know it better than Google.

July 8th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Twitter And Social Search

Twitter recently announced that they’ve upgraded their search feature. Now, you can search people you know and enjoy Twitter’s autocomplete search feature.

Of course, Google and Bing have both had an autocomplete search feature for some time now. Many users like it, but some don’t. Some that do like this feature don’t want it to run every time they search for something. Will they feel the same way about Twitter’s autocomplete?

There has been a big time battle for social search for at least three years now. Last year Google introduced Google+. Not long before that Facebook and Bing announced a partnership for their mutual benefit.

It is speculated that a part of the reason Google rolled out Google+ so soon was because Twitter pulled out of a partnership that cost Google a great deal of cred in realtime search.

What does all this spell? The race is on for dominance in social search.

Google has an advantage with millions of pages naturally indexed in its search engine. However, Facebook has another kind of advantage, one that swallows Google whole. It’s the social knowledge component on its end users. Facebook has more information about what its users like than Google does.

The verdict is still out on who will win the social search engine war, but you can bet it will be waged for a long time before it is over.

July 7th, 2012 / Social Media Marketing

Create Instant Content With Your iPhone

Your iPhone is more than just a phone. It’s a handheld content creator. And I mean there are things you can do with your iPhone outside of your apps. Here are 3 powerful ways to create content instantly with your iPhone.

  1. Take photos – Your iPhone is a handheld point-and-shoot camera. Just hold it up to the subject and take the picture. Then, upload the photo to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or even your own website. All within a few short seconds.
  2. Record yourself on audio – Your iPhone also has a feature that allows you to speak into your phone’s microphone and record yourself speaking. Let’s say you are at an industry conference. You just came out of one of the most exhilarating sessions you’ve been to in years. Walk into the hall and give your instant reaction to your phone. Record it. Then upload it to your favorite social media sites or your website.
  3. Shoot a video – Your iPhone is not only a handheld camera and voice recorder. It’s also a video camera. Shoot a segment of video related to your niche and upload it to YouTube or even your own website. Instant video content.

With you iPhone you can create instant content. Take advantage of the opportunity.

 

July 6th, 2012 / iPhone Apps

5 Sources Of Instant Website Traffic

Website traffic is sometimes hard to come by. If you rely entirely on search engine optimization methods, it could be weeks or months before you start seeing traffic. What if you can’t wait that long? Here are 5 sources of instant website traffic I’d encourage you to pursue right now.

  1. Pay per click advertising – PPC isn’t cheap. You do have to pay for your clicks. However, you get the set the price of the click. Many niches these days are very competitive so you could end up paying well for those clicks. That is, unless you go with a smaller PPC search engine. Nevertheless, you could get instant traffic.
  2. Post a Craigslist ad – Craigslist not only can deliver traffic to your website within 24 hours of you posting an ad, but it’s free. There isn’t any better advertising anywhere in the world.
  3. Guest blogging – Write a blog post on a popular blog and you’ll see loads of traffic within a few minutes. Have something valuable to say and that traffic could turn into some real dollars.
  4. Video marketing – Post a video to YouTube and a few other popular video sharing sites and you can see instant, valuable traffic to your website.
  5. E-mail marketing – Send a short blast to your e-mail list. These are warm leads, people who have requested information from you in the past. Don’t squander the list. Use it for something that benefits you and send them to your website with an offer they can’t refuse.

If you’re looking for instant website traffic, try these 5 methods of getting it, some of which are free.

July 5th, 2012 / Online Marketing

Don’t Stop, Keep Blogging

Remember why you started blogging in the first place? You had something to say. And you wanted to say it.

Your blog is an incredible marketing tool. It’s SEO, it’s social media, it’s branding, it’s customer service, and it’s a conversation all rolled into one. Why kill it?

SEO Benefits: Every blog post is a separate web page. If you optimize each one for 2 key phrases, then after one year you’ll have 730 potential No. 1 rankings. Plus, you can increase each of your website pages’ SEO potential with internal links, and more. Blogging is constant SEO.

Social Media: As social media, your blog keeps you connected to the outside world. Share your blog posts with your friends and fans on your favorite social networks. Start the conversation on Facebook and bring it to your blog.

Branding: Your message is your brand. As long as you have something to say, say it.

Customer Service: Your customers read your blog. They’ll have questions. They’ll have issues. Interact with your clients on your blog and see how your business improves.

The Conversation: Your blog is a two-way street. Allow your readers to speak to you, then you speak to them. Communicate, start conversations, enter into a dialogue. You build trust when you allow your audience to talk back.

Your reputation is all you have. When you start a blog, you are taking your marketing to a new level. Don’t stop. You’re just getting started.

 

July 3rd, 2012 / Blogging

When Your Site Falls In The SERPs

Search engine rankings are not static. They never have been. And likely never will be. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if you ever suspect that search engine rankings will remain static, then you’re insane. It isn’t going to happen.

So why then do online marketers get so excited when they see sharp rises and falls in their search engine rankings?

Here’s a little insider knowledge for you: Search engine rankings at first are quite high for most websites. The search engines discover your site and place you pretty close to the top of the search rankings. This is freshness. Because your web page is new, if it matches a particular search query, it gets a little extra ranking love.

However, it’s natural for these web pages to settle back in after a couple of weeks. They’ll fall to their natural search rank and stay there until something dramatic happens or your consistent SEO efforts pay off.

Occasionally you’ll see sharp rises and falls after your site has been active for a long time. These are due to the search engine tweaking its algorithm. When they do that they create a little dance in the search results. It favors some sites and hurts others. But after the dance, sites settle back in to their natural rankings again.

Search engine rankings are in a constant state of fluctuation. It’s natural. Don’t freak out about big swings in the rankings. Just wait it out. It’s usually a temporary thing.

July 2nd, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

YouTube’s Novel Idea

Here’s a novel idea. YouTube is planning a marketplace where video producers and on screen talent can hook up. The marketplace could serve as a place where small business brands can find screen talent to promote their brands on YouTube.

So why would you want to do that? Several reasons.

  • It’s less expensive than celebrity endorsement
  • It can be very effective in reaching your target audience through YouTube
  • There are thousands of YouTube celebrities who earn six figure incomes from their video channels and they can be a gateway to your target market
  • Just do it for the fun

Seriously, this will likely become the next big marketing opportunity for a lot of small business brands. Listen to what YouTube Group Product Manager Baljeet Singh has to say.

 ”The creativity coming out of YouTube rivals that coming out of creative agencies any day of the week,” he added. “And we already know that their content performs really well on YouTube.”

So if you found a YouTube celebrity who had an audience of hundreds of thousands subscribers on his or her YouTube channel and those subscribers were the same audience that you were targeting, wouldn’t it make sense to hire that celebrity to endorse your brand through YouTube? Maybe on your own channel, perhaps on his channel, or maybe on both?

And then you can distribute that video widely across the Internet using social media. Just think of the impact it could have.

YouTube’s marketplace could very well be the solution that small business owners need to make online video marketing as commonplace as TV advertising.

July 1st, 2012 / Viral Marketing

More Google Integration With Google+ And YouTube

Google has been integrating all of its service under one umbrella, that umbrella being Google+. The latest integration involves YouTube, but this one is reportedly voluntary.

This is a tough call, however, because YouTube has not required users to use their real names. However, Google+ does require it. You can have a brand page, but brands can’t have a Google+ account. If you have a branded YouTube account, then you can use it – if you want to – as the person your Google+ account is attached to.

In other words, if your real name is Sam McGee and that’s the name your Google+ account is under, but your YouTube account is SMG358, then you can opt to sign into YouTube as Sam McGree. You can also opt not to.

This is important for brands because you may want to continue using your branded YouTube account under your brand name and there’s nothing in YouTube’s guidelines that say you can’t. But if you want to integrate your YouTube account with your Google+ account it will be more difficult to do. It’s a call that you’ll have to make on your own.

I think a case could be made for either way depending on the business and the brand. Some brands will benefit by keeping their YouTube and Google+ accounts separate. Others would do better to merge.

Think about your own situation before you make a decision. It’s not an easy one. But consider your options within the context of your overall marketing plan.

June 30th, 2012 / Online Marketing