Friday, October 18, 2013

Google starts to show (not provided) in organic results

Yes - you heard correctly, a trial new version of Google, code-named Google Ninja, is going to start sharing organic results as "(not provided)." Already infamous amongst website owners, this latest move does little to help the growing unrest and anger directed towards the search engine, which is one of the biggest in the world.

A source at the company, a Google Search Quality Engineer, who couldn't be named for privacy reasons, had this to say:

"Google take privacy very seriously. After our very successful hiding of organic keywords, people reached out to tell us how important this is to their daily lives. Now, they don't need to be embarrassed about using Google to search for drugs, weapons and ideas for criminal mayhem. As such, all organic results will be shown as "(not provided)" and the links will be disabled. Naturally, Paid-ads will still show, as people are paying for that, so it would be kind of wrong not to"   -- (Not Provided)

Web store owners up and down the country are said to be left pulling their hair out in frustration with the search giant, rumoured to be smaller than Yahoo! in its search marketing share according to DomScore, the website that rates and scores Dominatrix Dungeon owners according to popularity and domination ability.

Google Chairman, Chris Muller-Lite said that the company were just trialling the idea and that (not provided) would only make up a tiny share of the organic search results and most people wouldn't even notice.

It really is a bit of a complete joke!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Funny thought about earned links and Negative SEO

The pain of looking through your own back links to see who is linking to you, the angst of wondering what Google thinks and what to do about them. Webmasters were right to worry about Negative SEO - its true and Google is already warning and penalising sites because it can't really determine "natural" and "unnatural" links.

Earned links are the most spurious, because they come from the lowest value. I'll write about them in more detail later on. This is a funnier thought from Skype:

I was talking to one of my colleagues and I was lamenting the earned links we have from seemingly low quality blogs (i.e. lower than ours, the vast sum of the web is build in a authority pyramid shape with high sites at the top built on bases of lower ranking sites). This isn't their fault. Nor is it ours.

But here's the summary of out thinking:

*A Brief history of SEO*

2003-20012 Helping people build quality, helpful links like "visit my finance blog here"
2013: Helping people delete helpful links and replace them with just click here and disavowing all the free links you got for writing great content

*The New Rule* Write good content but not _great_ content - otherwise people will link to you and you'll have to disavow them all !

#fun #seo #negativeseo #google

Thursday, June 6, 2013

seoMoz reinvent themselves into twitter marketing

SeoMoz has been a clever little company since it's founding. Their tool and USP was their ability to spy on and record other people's links. It's all rather counter productive if you ask me

Well, for a link-obsessive product (let's face it, the other SEO stuff is fudge and guesswork) - link obsession doesn't work anymore. Copying links that anyone can get is, as you've probably guessed, just not worth it. Getting higher value links is and while you can find them, you may not have the real life relationship to get them created.

What now for seoMoz?
Well, they're a clever little lot and rather than argue with link building, it seems that they found a way to cater to the masses of bad SEO's and give them what they wanted. As people copied links, more links had to be found and the whole ponzi scheme got off to a great start....

But now, the main tool in seoMoz's kit, the Link Explorer, is somewhat past it's sell-by-date, so they recently acquired FollowerTwonk, which according to it's website provides Twitter Analytics. Now this could be quite useful

Social Media is the future for.....Moz (?) !
The erstwhile CEO may often be lampooned for his "Great content" quips but it turns out that not only could this be the saving grace for (seo)Moz but there are more Social Media consultants than there are SEO's - so this should be a fantastic page turner.

We'd like to wish all of the crew over at the new Moz all the best! Watch this spot

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SEO is about putting content into context. Content is a vital component of online marketing - that's the point of online marketing - to drive visitors to content! But there's a growing myth that content = marketing and we want to balance that with some new thinking.

How does Google look at content - really, its from the users point of view. You might be writing for the user but you don't get to decide if you're the right content to read at that time. That's why users like Google and, unless you have your own channel, that's the game you have to play!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Visitor Stats for Top US Sites

Do you know how many users are on .....  ?

We're constantly bombarded with the total number of visitors for the top ten platforms, and some are better known than others. But we think that opinions are always a poor substitute for facts...

So, thanks to the people at Experian, these are the biggest websites in the US by weekly visits up to last Friday, the 23rd of February 2013..


Sunday, January 27, 2013

How to manage Page Admins in Google+

It seems a little more complex than it needs to be but at least its probably not something you need to do every day. Here's a quick step-by-step guide to setting up admins for a Google+ page.

Step 1

Go to your new page and “Switch to” the page

Step 2
Click on the home Icon and then select "Settings" from the gear icon

Step 3
Select the "Managers" slider switch

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Opinion: twitter and Google+, some thoughts

If you've been following me, you'll notice I'm finding more and more to play with on Google+. I didn't like Google+ at the start because it seemed much more deeper-dive than twitter and I love twitters ADHD style.

In 2008 (I know, I was late to the party), I joined twitter and also started blogging. Everyone told me, as if it was written on the wall, that twitter was nonsense, a fad and would never work. In 2012, I think its fair to say, twitter went mainstream. 200 million+ users. Every news and major corporation had embraced it. Twitter was even used in revolutions and wars.

Millions on twitter tell me that they know Google+ won't work. Its failed. Its a waste ground. Millions of them have never been - but they know, matter-of-factly, unquestionably know that Google+ doesn't work, won't work and could it just go away. Without a doubt.

That's Google+'s ace card. Twitter was better, IMHO, to small business in 2008 and 2009 because it was mostly early-mid stage adopters. You could talk to big company CxO's, scientists, and journalists. Thought leaders and provokers. Disruptor's. Everyone who had a place in real life and especially those who didn't - were welcomed with open arms in a sort of start-up type liberal, open minded disruptor.

But now its main stream and that's gone. But Google+ has this in spades. Don't come to Google+ to look for twitter - keep Hello! magazine over in twitter by all means please :)

I know very few people good at predicting the future of technology. Like a handful. And they aren't the masses that laughed at twitter and then 3 years later found themselves opening an account on it. No, people are afraid of having to have two accounts. And if twitter is Hello! magazine and Google+ is twitter from 2009 - I'm pretty happy with that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Facebook and the $100 billion loan to small businesses

Facebook have just launched their Graph Search system. According to Mark Zuckerberg, this is the 'Third Pillar' in the Facebook Graph Platform. It will be based on 'Likes' and it will return results and this is different from Google, which is based on 'Links,' according to transcripts based on live blogging during the launch at their HQ today.

Dissecting the obvious straight line thinking 
There will be lots and lots of straight line comparisons. Because they mentioned Search, there will be lots of immediate comparisons to Web Search and Search engines. Specifically Google and Bing! (yawn). This will range from "not yet competitive" to "massive challenger to Google" to "at last, SocialSearch is here and SEO is dead."

Stepping away from the hype
Essentially, searching for things within your own network isn't true. LinkedIn do a great job. Twitter do a reasonable job. All three do awful jobs of searching across their databases. I'm not being unfair - most search functions are pretty basic. Google makes a very, very complicated tough job look easy. And what Facebook announced is a search based on their network, content and structure. This isn't web search.

No need for crystal balls
You can already measure how big Facebook Web Search is: Bing is directly connected to the search bar. Both Facebook search and Bing search are so truly awful that, despite Facebook's 1 billion users, Bing has less than 10% of the global search market, which we estimate to be about 3 billion people. That's according to search impressions. Actual traffic volume would suggest Bing is less than 3%.

Facebook fixed a bug or Facebook created a problem
Having a working search system that extends over and above keyword matching is one thing. But there's a problem. Facebook made a big loss for many years. Some nice guys in some stylish suits who live in some expensive offices gave them some cash. Lots of it. And then Facebook paid them back by withdrawing a huge loan that they took out from Wall street on behalf of Small, Medium and Large businesses everywhere. They took a bet that they could connect you with a billion people and it would simplify your advertising costs by putting all of your spend in one place...

Social Graph Search is based on Connections
Ah, clever Facebook - because they're not connecting you with 1,000 million people at all. Because that would be stupid. Instead the only people who can find you are the people already connected to you. That means you'll have to continue paying for likes. And now you be sure that that got even more expensive.

Hello Spam
Facebook are doing a terrible job at handling spam. We get messages like this monthly and Facebook doesn't delete the likes or the accounts that sell them. This is why we think Google has been so slow to build in Social Signals. That and what's the point of connecting to content you're already connected to?

There isn't any. Google is about finding new content. 18% of searches performed every day are brand new. Never before used. Here's an example: "Prince Harry Naked in Las Vegas" - before 2012, I bet you this was never ever searched for before.

Spam, keyword stuffing, fake likes, fake pages, duplicate pages will be on the up

Facebook promised free marketing and the bailiff is here to collect. That's a big loan and somebody has to pay up. Forgive me for being cynical, but I just am. Meanwhile, seoMoz are still in the quest for "Great Content." Well, anything that's emotional - because obviously that equates to great.

Is anything free anymore?
Every website in the world is indexed, catalogued and returned fair and square in Google. Businesses are listed by location, for free via Google Places (Google Local). Google+ is also free. So is YouTube. Go there - its free. Also, if you do decide to go for advertising - the conversion rates are epic.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Google+ in 2012 [Video]

Entertaining Google+ video capturing the many milestones and events that happened on the layer in 2012 - from live hangouts with musicians to the Space Station. 2012 was just the beginning :)

Interested in Google+ ? Join our Online Marketing Community and visit our Primary Position Google+ page

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Is Google becoming too arrogant?

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely"
John Dalberg-Acton
This quote, which is a great observation, continues to prove itself. It's 2013 and we're still plagued with dictatorships and Mad Men struggling to stay in control, justified only by their ego and self value. 2012 was a bad year for a few - especially of the strangest and oldest. But they still stand. Sometimes we forget about them. Like Robert Mugabe, who continues to wreak havoc on the people who sought to liberate, not unlike Castro. But sometimes we just fail to recognise them.

Google is a tech company that I'm very familiar with. I'm often accused of being a Google fan boi. But I'm a fan of technology, not technology companies. Microsoft, Dell, Intel and Yahoo came before, not necessarily in that order but close. I've also worked for most of them in some shape or another.

Google is just the newest crush. But it's waning thin. They used to stand for the best. They had a dream. They delivered. They challenged. And now, seemingly without a challenger worthy in their own eyes, they've become a bit of an abuser of power.

I Googled "Google." And then I had to Google Pre-eminent. You couldn't make it up. I just grabbed the first result, as it was rather fitting.

Good Content
This is a dangerous PR stunt for Google to play. They've shifted the dislike for PageRank to the spammy SEO companies that tried to sell and buy their way into organic rankings. To say that it ranks site purely on content is a big PR gamble. Google cannot judge content and it has no intention because its context that determines the value of content. Not grammar. Or Style. Mostly, it's User Generated Content. Typically rushed, often breaking multiple Rules. Think Fora (forums?), Buy and Sell sites, Trip Advisor. That kind of thing. That's what Google means by "Good Content." Not Stephen King. Sorry PR and Copywriter people. Google and users just don't care.

Google still loves Meta data and even expanded it what it processes. It still cares about Server and folder/file architecture. Canons. PageRank. Penguin wasn't about good content - it was about going after people who use keyword stuffing and buy/sell links. That has nothing to do with content.

Taking on the world

The EU and FTC handed them a tiny slap on the wrist recently with their back track of an anti-trust investigation. Actually, it was a peck on the cheek. In fact,  if you were a senior VP or other executive, you'd be forgiven if you thought it was actually a ringing endorsement of everything they do. Except that the EU seem to be a little more determined - given Europe's history of favouring protectionism.

Google still play the scrappy start-up. They're challenging everybody. Video. Search. Online Marketing (via acquisitions and investments). Car makers. Sat Nav. Mobile phone OS. Mobile phone handset makers. Office productivity. Hosted E-Mail. Laptops. OS.

They're taking on giants like Apple, Microsoft, Nokia....etc. If it can connect to the Internet, Google wants a large slice of it. 80% or so should be fine.

Wake up Call
The problem is, that most of their products are just too basic. Not basic just from a clean, uncluttered point of view. But basic. Worse than Ryanair or no-frills - a  just "Doesn't work" basic. In the last month, updates to the Search product have seen Google Local and Google maps fail to work for searches in Europe.

Their Google Apps - so basic that you can rely on it when you have carrier pigeons to carry your TCP protocol - is now a "premium" product. I'm sorry - but Google Apps isn't worth paying for. I might use 50% of Microsoft Word features and Google might have 50% of the functions we use 50% of the time but its starting to take its own drugs if it believes that its a premium service.

Analytics is a dinosaur product that doesn't work properly. Its unreliable and its rubbish. Google hind behind "its a free product" as an excuse for doing something properly. You only have two alternatives - accept the unsupported failure product or fork out €50k a month for the premium version. For small businesses.

SiteProNews seem to be wondering the same thing, Is Google Becoming a Tyrant?

I'm sorry Google, but you're going to have to go back to the drawing board. To be a world leader, you ALWAYS have to deliver the best, not just the first time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New! Internet Marketing Ireland Community on Google+

Are you working in Internet Marketing in Ireland or have an interest in it? Then you'll love our new Google+ group, which is also a great introduction to how Google+ is evolving and growing rapidly, with over 235 million active users.

Many marketers are reluctant to set up on Google+ as they seem to have an ever growing time demand from existing and other must-have platforms. But Google+ is growing faster than twitter, facebook and pinterest. It also doesn't require the same amount of time or intensity of use. The iphone and Android apps are also brilliantly fast and sleek.

You use and interact with Google+ from everywhere and anywhere, without having to go to your profiles:  Google Mail, Search, on-page on websites. Its integrating into all of Google's platforms and its really making the rest look a little clunky, which should have a positive impact for all users as the different networks compete and improve their offerings to compete and stay ahead.