What Would D-Mac Do


Friday, February 26, 2010

ZOMG! This is sweet!

Remember Madlibs? Apparently they convert.

Needless to say, this goes right in the "Boy I wish I thought of that 10 years ago" file. Simple yet insanely effective way to optimize content on a contact form.

Google's Secret Plan?

This article in the Motley Fool came down the pike on Wednesday. Go ahead and read it, but the gist is basically that the author thinks Google's endeavors in energy and its license to be an energy vendor is actually laying the groundwork for it to be a content provider in your living room (aka, they want to control the TV). The author suggests that one day, you might have a wee Google box wherein all your content is funneled through like your Direct TV one. He cites Nexus One as proof that Google isn't afraid to jump into the hardware world anymore.

That's a valid line of thinking to be certain. Not sure I'd buy the idea that Google is going to make the leap from the content organization realm to the content publishing realm though. I see this being more of a partnership with OnDemand, DirectTV or some distributer of that ilk.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Facebook in Real Time Now

From the "Probably should have had this in order before you rolled out the technology" file, comes the announcement that Google is going to be displaying Facebook Status updates in the Real Time box. Well at least Andy Beal mentioned it this morning.

This is really good for agency search marketers. One of the most prevalent challenges we face is convincing our clients that their social media shouldn't be treated as some sort of silo independent of their SEO efforts. Generally, there's a PR firm in the mix that is territorial by nature and some SEO shop who comes along going "Hey! We can handle your social media too!" is not looked kindly upon. I can speak for myself when I say my intention is never to take PR duties away from a PR firm, since that's like, what they do and all. I DO however want to make sure the search behavior we see coupled with volume and activity on the website is properly communicated and proportionally responded to through social media. The two most definitely influence each other.

With this news comes an even more direct influencing effect. I've said it before, as have a few talking heads out there, but Real Time Search seems like it was launched a little too early. Basically authority and trust is given to whoever said something most recently. However, the fact Facebook status is included means it's one more place our clients can control their brand.

What I propose to do with this: Use Facebook and Twitter status with a liberal use of keywords in a game of leapfrog and double my chances of ranking in real time search. This is all the more reason the PR folks need to be aware of what we're seeing in search volume.

What do I expect to happen? For SOME of my clients, I think some people are going to search for their brand, and when a Facebook feed for their official FB page comes up, they'll go "Wow, so (insert big ubiquitous yet entirely impersonal brand) has a Facebook fanpage? Interesting..." and some of those branded queries will siphon off to the Facebook page and some of THOSE will become fans. I also expect this to be a blocking tactic for queries where we aren't getting any traction. Since I already know real time search doesn't have anything to do with links, retweets or any other measure of popularity (at least I think I know that), we can get in front of the SERPs here. The net result of which is that at least for brief pockets, we'll be able to pull in clicks to the Facebook or Twitter page and hopefully drive traffic into our own funnel (or whatever the goal of the site happens to be).

Now the crux of a project like this is that you have to be on top of where the buzz is. If you are pushing messages in Facebook and Twitter based on keywords that have seasonality to them, you better be doing so when that seasonality is at its peak. Don't talk about the wonders of Valentines Day in October in other words. Everything must be as topical as possible. We could get creative here too. Who says everything has to be based on whatever it is the client's brand sells? Why keep the brand in a bubble? I say the sky is the limit in branding.

Potential Topical Theme tie-ins (I'm thinking out loud here...so be prepared for some mass stupidity in this list):

-RIP for celebrities
-Birthdays for celebrities or people of note
-Weather phenomena (hello New York)
-Legislation / Political news (with care though since talking politics is a road fraught with peril)
-Sports (am thinking about how Gatorade could discuss Winter Olympics on their FB updates in real time and tie the brand in via Real Time Search Results)
-Space Shuttle launch/landings
-Awards show results (Grammies, Emmies etc)
-News of the Weird type stuff

My point is that the dual nature of social media, where the communication in the walled garden can now be indexed and shown in a SERP has some great possibilities for search marketers. I'm fine with this. Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time until Real Time Search is refined to the point where Google can parse which Tweets and status updates are important verses which are just background noise.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bing doesn't index 302 redirects

This post on SEOrountable pulled up a post from the Bing Community thread wherein they just out and said 302 redirects are not indexed.

Well this definitely explains a few things for some of my clients. I don't understand the logic behind this on Bing's part. I would guess this is more of a technology thing than somebody over at Bing saying "hey, we don't like those temporary things, howzabout we just throw the whole lot out?".

Ultimately, I can't see how this will be the law of the land for Bing going forward. There's so many CMS's and tools out there that temporarily redirect things without the user even really intending for it to be so. I mean, not associating history to a temporarily redirected link is one thing. Throwing it entirely out of the index is entirely something else.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Senior Marketers Not Getting it

Couldn't have said it better myself (in regards to that study).

I think this is more a symptom of those senior marketing people being too involved in the next big thing (tm) and not being involved in the 'what always is the big thing'

Monday, February 1, 2010

SEOmoz to be a fulltime software provider

Or at least that's what Rand's latest post says.

I'm not surprised by this move, even though I don't know that I agree with it. SEOmoz's premium membership services have long been the primary source of revenue for the company. Ever since that round of VC they took on, those services have increasingly become the focus of the company.

Ultimately, they know what side their bread is buttered on...the post above goes into all the detail and reasonings therein. I do use their crawling tools here and there, although to be fair, they aren't what anyone who would know such things call "Enterprise". So perhaps the Distilled partnership and refocus will be what helps them go "to the next level".

My previous agency decided they'd straddle the balance of a consultant and a software provider. It failed miserably for a multitude of reasons (the least of which was not that the entire company was afloat because of VC and the Devil wanted his Due...like now). While I don't think SEOmoz will fail or fall into that VC pitfall, I do think this will need to be a delicate balance between offering tools the engines provide and, well NOT putting yourself in head to head competition with competitors. Not that I think SEOmoz envisions developing an analytics platform (which is precisely what my old agency sought to do), but they COULD put themselves in the line of fire of Ad Planner or webmaster tools. Not that that's a bad thing persay, but I do believe Google takes a "you're with us or you're against us" position when it comes to what software you offer.