Saturday, April 27, 2013

Infographic for Mordern Marketer

Infographic for Mordern Marketer. Do you have it in You ?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Google Algorithms and its DNA

Google... My GOD! “Google has much more data now than it had 10 years ago,” such as Google Maps, AdWords and Google+ Local, Oakes writes, explaining the search engine giant’s algorithm update. “This means many more data points are available to assist in understanding which result is a legitimate business and which is a shallow website.”

The impact that Google’s recent Penguin and Exact Match Domain (EMD) updates are currently having on various website rankings is huge.

On September 28 is that Google announcement over change that is aimed at combating “low quality EMDs.” These are sites that are thin on content and lack relevancy.

Top of these, Google's 7-Result SERPs having a bigger Effect on websites than Panda & Penguin

“The percentage of keywords impacted is currently 8% across the industries we examined. This is significant, considering that a critical update like Panda affected 5% of searches.”

Do you agree that Google wants to make more money (through Adwords/Sponsored listings) with these kind of strategies???

Source: Webpronews & Equities.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What is SEO?

SEO means Algorithmic love. That means, Algorithm of any search engine that loves a website will show up on Google Search Engine or any search engine for that matter.

Here is a fantastic article "The Virtuous Cycle Of SEO" from Mediapost by Gord Hotchkiss that tells us all about this love:

Virtuous cycles are anomalies. They fight the universal law of entropy, and for that reason alone, they are worth investigation. Rather than a gradual slide toward dissipation and equilibrium, virtuous cycles build upon themselves, yielding self-sustaining returns cycle after cycle.
In marketing, there are not a lot of virtuous cycles. Most marketing efforts need to be constantly fueled by a steady stream of dollars. The minute the budget tap is closed, so is the marketing program. But there are a few, and SEO is one of them, if done correctly. Let’s take a quick look at the elements required to build a truly virtuous cycle.
The Power of Positive Feedback
Positive feedback is the engine of a virtuous cycle. It’s what drives sustainable growth. Think of it as the compound interest paid on your marketing efforts.
In an SEO program, positive feedback comes in the form of the algorithmic love shown to you by the search engines, dragging in an ever-increasing number of eyeballs. These eyeballs also contribute to the feedback loop, creating new links, new user-generated content, new activity, all of which continue to drive rankings, up, which drives new eyeballs, which… well, you get the idea. And the cycle continues.
Investment Required
Virtuous cycles require an upfront investment, and it’s usually a significant one. You can’t collect compound interest on a zero balance. Cycles don’t start from scratch.
In SEO, the investments required come in the form of content and an engaging user experience. You have to give a user a reason to come, to engage and to evangelize to really leverage the benefits of SEO. You can evaluate if you have the makings of a virtuous cycle by asking yourself the following questions:
-      What are my users coming for?
-      What will they do?
-      How can they engage?
-      Why will they care?
-      Will their expectations be exceeded?
If you have a less than satisfactory answer to any of these questions, you don’t have what it takes to create a virtuous cycle.
Appealing to Human Nature
If your cycle depends on human behavior, as most do, you have to appeal to one of the basic tenets of human nature. As complicated as we can be, we are generally driven by a surprisingly small number of basic needs. Harvard professors Nitin Nohria and Paul Lawrence, in their book “Driven,” identified four fundamental human drives: We need to acquire, to learn, to bond and to defend. Examine any virtuous cycle, and you’ll always find at least one of these drives at the heart of it.
Ask yourself how your online presence contributes to these drives. Remember, for a cycle to begin, positive feedback is required. And positive feedback depends on engagement from your visitors.
Universally Beneficial
Finally, a virtuous cycle needs to benefit all parties in order for it to be sustainable. It needs to be a win/win/win. If, somewhere along the line, someone gets screwed, the cycle will ultimately fall apart.
In SEO, this means you must play along with the algorithm rather than try to beat it. Short-term thinking and virtuous cycles never go well together. One algorithmic update to crack down on a SEO loophole will shut down your cycle in a heartbeat. But if you work with a search engine to make a great user experience discoverable, the cycle will begin.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The SEM Olympics

Here is a nice post The SEM Olympics from Mediapost that mixes Website optimization tips with Olympics by Aaron Goldman:

In honor of the 2012 games in London, I thought it would be fun to compare the various Olympic sports to relevant search marketing themes. #ykyasgw
  1. Archery – for Olympic archers, the slightest gust of wind can be the difference between a bullseye and bullsh*t arrow. In SEM, seasonality can also have a huge impact on your results, and some products will fare better than others.
  2. Athletics – this category includes track races like the 100 meters as well as field events like the shot put. The latter reminds me of managing paid search keyword bids manually. All I can think is, why on earth are you trying to throw that boulder when we have machines that can do that?!
  3. Badminton – players throwing matches to earn better position in tournament play is the equivalent of purposely getting links from negative sites to improve your SEO position.
  4. Basketball – the U.S. team nearly losing to Lithuania is a reminder to never underestimate your competition. That goes for SEM too.
  5. Beach Volleyball – searching for ways to help your female colleague “crush everybody” in SEM? I know someone who may train-her.
  6. Boxing – the paid search equivalent of the rope-a-dope is pulling back budgets a few hours a day to make competitors think you’ve capped out and then coming back with a fury after they’ve lowered their bids.
  7. Canoe Slalom – mashing up kayaking and skiing is like optimizing your website for both humans and spiders. It’s very hard to do both.
  8. Canoe Sprint – for rowers and searchers with short attention spans, sometimes you just want to search one and done.
  9. Cycling – BMX – watching the motocross version of biking reminds me of perusing Baidu search results pages. You’re never quite sure where to look.
  10. Cycling - Mountain Bike – managing a marketing program can feel like climbing a mountain. Don’t mistake plateaus for the end of the trail.
  11. Cycling – Road – outside of cycling insiders, who knew there were so many different types of matches? Outside of search insiders, who knew there were so many different match types?
  12. Cycling – Track – the advent of the indoor track as a way to charge spectators an entrance fee is reminiscent of Google’s recent move to charge merchants for placement in Google product search.
  13. Diving – a diving best practice is to have no splash. An SEM best practice is to have no splash page.
  14. Equestrian – having fun yet? Shall we keep horsing around?
  15. Fencing – the target in fencing is usually the torso; however, search marketers often go after the long tail.
  16. Football – using one’s hands in football is like keyword stuffing on a website: a flagrant foul.
  17. Gymnastics – Artistic – vaulting to the top of the search results takes much precision, and even one slip can cost you the top spot.
  18. Gymnastics – Rhythmic – gymnasts must keep the apparatus in motion throughout their routines in much the same way paid search marketers must constantly adjust bids to ensure proper position.
  19. Handball – the object of handball is to score goals. The object of search marketing is to hit goals. So there.
  20. Hockey – the summer version of this sport is played on a pitch, and stamina is key. In SEM, stamina is also key for agencies in an RFP pitch.
  21. Judo – in judo,sometimes the best offense is a good defense. In paid search, setting up negative keywords can help ensure your brand does not appear for undesirable queries.
  22. Modern Pentathlon – in the pentathlon and SEM, there’s always room for a little freestyle.
  23. Rowing – any good row team must rely on its cox -- and any good SEM team must think outside the box. 
  24. Sailing – there’s no such thing as auto-pilot, whether you’re sailing a dinghy in RSX or dinging a sale in SEM. 
  25. Shooting – in shooting and SEM, you must keep your target in sight at all times. And the best paid-search portfolio algorithms will be calibrated to avoid recoil when extreme seasonality causes spikes.
  26. Swimming – whether you’re talking swimming or SEM, it’salways best to let your results speak for themselves. Jeah!
  27. Synchronized Swimming – if you’re using a paid search technology platform, it’s critical to make sure the work you do in the tool remains in sync with the search engines.
  28. Table Tennis – I don’t know any table tennis pros -- but I bet they, like many of the search marketing pros I know, grew up on pong.
  29. Taekwondo – in taekwondo,you must avoid attacking opponents’ faces. In SEO, you must avoid facing opponents’ attacks.
  30. Tennis – executing SEM programs after getting buy-in from all internal stakeholders is the equivalent of playing the Olympic Tennis final in front of your home crowd.
  31. Trampoline – in SEM, trampoline, and life, you gotta get used to the ups and downs!
  32. Triathlon – winning this race requires excellence in swimming, biking, and running. Winning in SEM requires excellence in social, local, and mobile.
  33. Volleyball - in volleyball and PPC, it’s all about the fundamentals. Bump. Set. Spike. Keyword. Ad. Landing Page.
  34. Water Polo – you’ll want to avoid touching the bottom in water polo and SEO alike.
  35. Weightlifting – in the Clean and Jerk, theset-up to lift the weight up to your chest is crucial. In paid search, the set-up of your campaigns and ad groups is crucial.
  36. Wrestling – in wrestling,officials award points for various actions before crowning a winner. In SEM, marketers must reward all the various touchpoints that led to a conversion before crowning a certain keyword.
OK, that’s a new Olympic Record for list length in one my columns… 36! Shattering the old record of 26. Time to start training for Rio! Source

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Google Shopping will now be a paid placement

Did you hear that?

Right, the age old opportunity for marketers is now gonna be no more. Yes! the Google base/Product search placement will not be available when October rolls around. Retailers will be finding their free ride on Google Product Search is over -- it will be replaced by Google Shopping.

Google Base Data API will be retired by Google on June 1st, 2011. Its functionality has been replaced by the two new Google Shopping APIs.

No longer will marketers be able to just provide Google a data feed of their inventory and product details and sit back and enjoy free activity from organic search.

Do you know that the volume of clicks for this activity is not insignificant, either. It is estimated that 5%-10% of search traffic to retailers’ websites comes from Product Search. Going forward, each product a retailer wants to list in Google Shopping will be a paid placement, via a CPC or CPA model.

However, Google seems intent on monetizing every area of the search engine results page,and this is the next step.  That said, this isn’t necessarily just a huge cash grab for Google. There are other factors at play as well.

Is this good for retail marketers?
Retailers can benefit from Google Shopping in some ways. One important area is the increased level of control that will allow retailers to influence traffic volume and promotion for specific products during promotional periods. Marketers will be able to eliminate fluctuations in volume and allow for clearer differentiation within the Product Listing Ads results.

This change will also result in cleaner search results for users, which will benefit marketers as well. Product listings will be more reliable, with less duplication and more accurate product details. When you are paying for a placement, you are more likely to provide higher quality and more updated product information.  Better results will likely drive increased usage of Google Shopping compared to Product Search. Happy customers who have the results they are looking for are more likely to convert – which is a win for everyone.

Lastly, by making merchants pay for the listings, Google aims to force out merchants who use feed trickery and misinformation to drive clicks.

There is work to be doneIt’s not too early to begin to prepare for this change, especially considering how close to the holiday shopping season it will go into effect. Make sure your feeds are high quality and you understand the budget impact this will have.  This change also adds an additional facet to your search engine marketing programs. You will now need to balance Shopping between SEO and other paid listings, which could be a cross-team effort.

There’s much uncertainty about how exactly this will work in the end: how relevance factors at play will work in rankings, what importance will be placed on such factors as trusted store verification, or reviews or rating information. Marketers must stay on top of any updates or changes that happen, as Google will be making adjustments during and after the rollout in order to optimize both the user experience and the benefits for marketers.