Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Cares About Gamification?

A lot of buzzwords get tossed around the Internet nowadays: engagement, community, viral, crowdsourcing, leveraging, optimization, synergy…should I keep going? Recently for me, Gamification has snuck into that list and the more and more I study, apply and research it, the more and more it shows up. It’s kind of like when you meet a person who works in your building you’ve never met before and then you see them everywhere or like the first time you notice a car model and then it’s the only one you notice for a few weeks.
Anything seems big and important when you’re engulfed in research about it and hang out in places where it’s discussed. Over that past few weeks, I’ve been making a case for Gamification to be important to you and your business here on I’ve talked about the basic ideas and importance of it, introduced you to the Bartle Test and even gave you a Glossary you can refer to when dealing with Gamification, but then I got to thinking, “Who really cares about all this Gamification talk?”
Sure, it’s interesting to me because I’ve been a gamer my whole life and have been interested in what makes games fun for quite some time now, but that doesn’t mean you give two shakes of a lamb’s tail about it for your business. Let’s take a look at some reasons this “fad” is going to be around for a while and why you should start caring about it.

Who Cares About Gamification? | Business 2 Community

Friday, June 24, 2011

Feds to Launch Probe of Google

Federal regulators are poised to hit Google Inc. with subpoenas, launching a broad, formal investigation into whether the Internet giant has abused its dominance in Web-search advertising, people familiar with the matter said.
On today's digits: the FTC is poised to serve Google with subpoenas as the Commission looks to explore the company's dominance on the Web; Walt Mossberg gives us his review of the Google entirely cloud-based laptop, the Chromebook; and, tips for creating protective passwords (first step: stop using "QWERTY", maybe?)
The civil probe, which has the potential to reshape how companies compete on the Internet, is the most serious legal threat yet to the 12-year-old company, though it wouldn't necessarily lead to any federal allegations of wrongdoing against Google.
While Google has faced several antitrust probes in recent years, the U.S. has limited its investigations largely to reviews of the company's mergers and acquisitions. The new inquiry, by contrast, will examine fundamental issues relating to Google's core search-advertising business, its biggest money maker, said the people familiar with the matter.

Feds to Launch Probe of Google -

How To Claim Your Business On Facebook Places

Facebook Places is essentially free word-of-mouth advertising for your business. When customers check in, they'll automatically be telling their Facebook friends about it. If you run a small business with a street entrance, there's a good chance that it's already a part of Facebook Places—with or without your input.

How To Claim Your Business On Facebook Places : Marketing :: American Express OPEN Forum

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why do pages tend to rank well for product queries?

Amazon, Shopping Websites, Integration of Product listings in Google Search

Will showing recent posts on my homepage cause a duplicate content issue?

Duplicate content, blog posts, teaser blog posts, lead-in for new article online.

Would you rather spend time with a perfectly optimized website or..

kitten, matt cutts, cute stuff, cute factor in search optimized websites

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More Than 1 Million People Per Week View Customer Service Tweets [STUDY]

A new study from TOA Technologies reveals that more than one million people view tweets related to customer service every week and that more than 80% of those tweets are of a critical or negative nature.

It’s no surprise that people who have a negative customer service experience are more likely to tweet about it than those who have a positive or neutral one, but the sheer number of negative tweets is pretty daunting to anyone who is currently involved in Twitter customer service.
However, it also offers an opportunity. The study suggests that customers who have a negative customer service experience and who tweet about it have a broad impact on brand perception now than ever before. But that means that companies who are willing to engage these customers via Twitter – by asking them what they could do better next time, addressing their complaints, and offering refunds or coupons for a subsequent service – have the chance to turn these vocal customers into positive brand ambassadors.

More Than 1 Million People Per Week View Customer Service Tweets [STUDY] - AllTwitter

HOW TO: Optimize Marketing Copy For Mobile

When writing copy for any medium, it’s easy to drown in a sea of lead-ins, clever anecdotes and introductory sentences. There’s hardly time for that on the web. Marketers don’t have the luxury of leading up to anything. The only option is to be direct.
Website visitors typically won’t read big blocks of copy — they want to get in and out and move on to the next site. Think of copywriting for mobile as distilling down web copy even further. If web copy is skimming the cream off the top of the milk, mobile copy is skimming cream off of the cream.

Users on the web are notoriously distracted and hop around from page to page. Mobile users are distracted even further. Their devices are buzzing with push notifications from their apps, text messages and emails are constantly popping up on the screen. They might be standing in line at a grocery store, waiting for a movie to start, in a taxi, in an elevator or walking down the street. These scenarios — and mobile use in general — are defined by three key factors:
  • 1. Pockets of Use. Picking up their mobile device is a secondary task. They’re just trying to fill up a pocket of time while doing something else. Users have just a few moments to check their phone or look up a piece of information while they’re completing a primary task (waiting in line, elevator, etc.).
  • 2. Perpetual and Inherent Distraction. Traditional web users may face distraction from email, chat and the infinite number of other webpages they could be on, but when those users land on a page, they typically stick around until they become bored or want to check out some other piece of information on the web. Mobile users, on the other hand, face perpetual off-device distractions — use of their mobile device is secondary. Byrne Hobart, founder of investment research firm Digital Due Diligence, observes that mobile marketers are “writing for an audience that’s in the middle of something else.” They might be waiting for their subway stop, their floor on an elevator, their line to be called at Whole Foods, a friend to show up at a restaurant. Point is, the number of off-device distractions for mobile users is limitless.
  • 3. The (Very) Small Screen. Mobile devices have tiny screens — they simply do not fit a lot of content. It’s critical that marketers keep this in mind as they write copy. What will fit onto a user’s screen without scrolling?

HOW TO: Optimize Marketing Copy For Mobile

Knocking down barriers to knowledge

As much as technology has advanced, there are still many barriers between you and the answers you’re looking for—whether you’re juggling a clunky mobile keyboard or waiting for a website to load. Today we held a media event in San Francisco where we talked about some of the latest things we’re doing to tackle these barriers on mobile, announced that we’re bringing our speech recognition and computer vision technology to the desktop, and took the next step for Google Instant—Instant Pages.

The thirst for knowledge doesn’t stop when you step away from your computer, it continues on your mobile device. In the past two years, mobile search traffic has grown five-fold. Mobile search today is growing at a comparable pace to Google in the early years.

Official Google Blog: Knocking down barriers to knowledge

3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Social Search | Social Media Examiner

t turns out that Google is not going to sit back and allow Facebook to eat away at their search advertising revenue. Instead, Google has recently made some bold moves that all online marketers should be responding to.
What’s happened is Google recently changed its search algorithm that determines what type of online content is the most relevant—specifically placing greater emphasis on original social content.
While Google didn’t specifically announce a focus on social content, the handwriting was already on the wall. Prior to the recent changes, Google co-founder Sergey Brin commented that Google has only touched 1% of what they’re capable of with social search.
Indeed, you may have already noticed that socially shared content is rising to the top of your Google search results. So, if you want to earn higher rankings with Google, you not only need to be creating high-quality content, but also actively encouraging its sharing on the social networks.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Social Search | Social Media Examiner

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bing Updates to Bing Webmaster Tools, data and content. - Webmaster Center blog - Site Blogs - Bing Community

Bing has been investing in building its Webmaster Tools for a while now, and today we’re announcing some of the most recent updates. We spent a lot of time earlier this year meeting with people at search conferences to understand what new features they wanted to see from us, and what current features we could support further. We also gathered feedback on what helpful content should exist within our webmaster space. Through the Honey Badger update, as we’re calling it, you’ll see noticeable investments in both areas as we launch a revised webmaster experience here at Bing. In fact, you can count on more monthly content being added in the near future as we work through a list of topics we’ll be covering. Below you will see some of the investments on the feature side and on the content side.

Bing Updates to Bing Webmaster Tools, data and content. - Webmaster Center blog - Site Blogs - Bing Community

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait: SEO is About Quick Action and Patient Results

The process of search engine marketing can be defined as a strategic game of quickly implementing strategies that will increase your site's exposure and conversion rates, while also patiently waiting for the fruits of your efforts to bear out.

Sometimes you're doing one or the other, but most often you're doing both at the same time. Taking action here, while waiting for results there. Then taking action over there, and waiting for the results here.

Hurry Up and Wait: SEO is About Quick Action and Patient Results

Google Analytics Blog: Pilot the Webmaster Tools in Google Analytics inte...

Google Analytics Blog: Pilot the Webmaster Tools in Google Analytics inte...: "Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools, which tool should you use? For many webmasters and online marketers, the answer is both. Much of the da..."

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Explore Google Search - Autocomplete


As you type in the search box on Google Web Search , Google's autocomplete algorithm offers searches that might be similar to the one you're typing. Start to type [ new york ] -- even just [ new y ] -- and you'll be able to pick searches for New York City, New York Times, and New York University (to name just a few).

Why it's helpful

  • Rest your fingers.
    The algorithm predicts search queries in real-time, so typing [ golden gate b ] and then clicking 'golden gate bridge' is faster and easier than typing it out.
  • Catch a mistake.
    Did you mean: Melbourne Australia? Start searching for [ melborn ] and Google's algorithm will present more common spellings for what you might be trying to find.
  • Repeat a favorite search.
    If you're signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, the algorithm may show some predicted queries based on searches that you've done in the past. Data that you send to Google is protected by Google's privacy policy .
  • Find other useful information.
    Even if you've disabled Google Instant, there are some features in autocomplete to connect you immediately with the information you're looking for. For example, if you type [ weather brus ] you may see the current weather in Brussels, Belgium, described right in the list of search terms. This also works for flight status, local time zones, area codes, package tracking, certain answers, definitions, calculations, plus currency and unit conversions.

Explore Google Search - Autocomplete

Google search basics - Google Instant

As you start to type your search terms, Google Instant automatically shows results for a popular search that begins with those letters. If you don't see the results you want, just keep typing and the results will dynamically update. Connect to the information you need faster, even before you finish typing your search!

How it works

The basics of Google search are the same, including how results are ranked and how Google determines relevant results. What has changed is the path you can take to get to relevant results.
Here's what happens when you search:

Start to type. As you type a search on Google, the homepage automatically starts displaying your search results -- no need to press Enter. A list of predicted queries is generated using the autocomplete algorithm. These predictions are displayed in a drop-down menu below the search box.

See results. The algorithm tries to predict what the rest of your query might be based on popular queries typed by other users. The first prediction is shown in light grey in the search box, and the search results you see instantly will be for that predicted search. If instead you want to see results for only the text you've typed, just press Enter or click the Search button.

Type more, see more. If you continue to type, Google dynamically updates the search results to match the first prediction for what you've typed.

Refine your search. Don't find the information or website you want? It's easy to refine your search after seeing what results appear. Here are some options:
If you see what you're looking for in the list of predicted queries, click the query to see relevant results.
Use your keyboard's down arrow key to scroll through the list of predicted queries, and see results appear for each query you pause over.
Continue typing your query until the results show what you're looking for. As always, you're still able to type your full query and press Enter or click the Search button.

Google search basics - Google Instant

Thursday, June 02, 2011

White Cloud Toilet Paper - The Ripper

toilet paper, white cloud toiler paper coupons, bad bathroom habits.

Will SEO still exist in five years?

SEO - Search Engine Optimization - IR - Information Retrieval - search - google - Bing

Can switching to HTTPS harm ranking?

SSL - secure sockets layer - seo - google search engine optimization - privacy - security

Different Ethnicities May Use Social Cause Social Media Differently

Are your social cause social networking habits developed or were you born this way? Key findings from a new survey reveal differences in the way different ethnic groups engage in social change social media.
A few weeks ago Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication released key findings about gender differences in social cause social media. On May 31 2011, they released findings based on the way in which different ethnic groups use social cause social media. The survey was completed by 2000 online participants between November 30th and December 22, 2010. According to the Center for Social Impact, the survey has a margin of error of +/-2.2% at the 95% confidence level.

Touchy Territory: Different Ethnicities May Use Social Cause Social Media Differently -

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Solving Duplicate Content Issues Arising From Faceted Navigation | Search News Central

Faceted nav also has SEO benefits, in that these facets serve as keyword-rich links and 'tags' of sort that add semantic relevance to the products contained within each facet.

But it's not all good news: faceted nav can also result in problems with indexation, specifically duplicate content issues. As sometimes many different facets will contain nearly identical sets of products with little variation, search engine spiders could end up in crawling loops where they crawl slightly different product lists over and over again.

One example is an ecommerce site under development I came across recently. Build in Magento, this site uses faceted nav and contains about 1200 products. But when I unleashed Xenu on it, it kept finding new pages until I finally aborted the crawl at over 40,000 URLs crawled.

Solving Duplicate Content Issues Arising From Faceted Navigation | Search News Central