Slashes

Most of us use a calendar of some sort to keep track of appointments, meetings, birthdays, events, etc. If you’re like me, every morning (or at the end of each day), you put a slash mark or two through the day you’ve just completed. As I added my daily slash this morning, it struck me how routine it is for me to do that. Every day, another slash. What do the slashes represent? In addition to another day completed, they represent wasted opportunity. Continue reading

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Privacy For Sale?

Privacy for Sale?On October 18th, Google made the announcement that they would begin encrypting search queries for users that were signed-in or chose to use the https url to initiate searches. Their reasoning for this change was to enhance the default search experience and protect the personalized search results they deliver.

What is encrypting?

In this instance, encryption refers to utilizing a secure sockets layer, or SSL connection. An SSL connection allows the information you enter on a web page and submit to be encrypted, or protected, from unauthorized, prying eyes.  Most browsers recognize SSL connections, or secure forms, by displaying an https url instead of the standard http version. For example, Google’s standard url – http://www.google.com is the unencrypted url and the newer https://www.google.com is the encrypted page. Continue reading

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Google Webmasters Blog Hacked?

Around 10:30 PM Central time last night (April 2), Google’s Webmaster Central Blog feed seems to have been hacked, albeit not maliciously. Take a look at the screen shot below. Many entries of various photos from what seems to be a photographer’s website.

Google Webmaster Blog Hacked?

Proof of Google's Webmaster Central Blog Being Hacked?

Clicking the user link on the posts takes you to mismo334’s (Joe Hewes) Flickr page.

Seeing as how it’s not April 1st, I doubt it’s a joke on Google’s part. I also can’t see how it could be intentional. No Google representatives have publically addressed what happened as of yet. So what’s up?

Share ideas below. We’ll update the post as more information becomes available.

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Why Does Google Contradict Itself?

This post is a bit on the geek-centric side of SEO. You’ve been warned. Also, this is strictly an opinion rant. I still love Google and believe every client should optimize their site for the best rankings in Google. <hugs></hugs>

Ever wonder why the number of pages indexed in Google (as shown in the Sitemaps section of Webmaster Tools) is different from the number of pages indexed in Google (as shown in a site: search of Google itself)?

<rant>Google forums and blogs, as well as other industry sources say that it could be because of the way Google stores data. You see, Google utilizes what are called data centers. According to the Webmaster Central Blog, “Occasionally, fluctuation in search results is the result of differences in our data centers. When you perform a Google search, your query is sent to a Google data center in order to retrieve search results. There are numerous data centers, and many factors (such as geographic location and search traffic) determine where a query is sent. Because not all of our data centers are updated simultaneously, it’s possible to see slightly different search results depending on which data center handles your query.” Continue reading

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Online Negativity – Embrace the Dark Side

As Michael Fauscette describes in his post How to Deal with Negativity Online, there are a few different types of online negativity you may be required to deal with (Real Issue, Constructive Criticism, and Unwarranted Attack)- regardless of whether or not your company has an online presence.  This post focuses mainly on the third type. You’ll need to be honest with yourself or get an unbiased third party opinion to decide which of these types applies to your situation.

Regardless of what’s been said about you or your company, there are 5 rules of the road that will keep you from escalating the situation and making it a total disaster. Continue reading

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Impact of Social Media on Branding

What impact, if any, does social media have on your branding strategy? Go to Google and type in the name of your company. Hit search. (Right now, I’ll wait.) How many of the listings on the first page were your company or your company’s page on a social site?

0-1   You have major problems. Stop reading this and call us for SEO help.
2-3   Google sees your website and knows your name.
4-6   Not Bad! You’ve put a little work into securing your brand online.
7-10 Way to go! You must be Target or Amazon.

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ROI – The Return on Ignoring Social Media

ROI is the latest scapegoat.  “If we can’t measure it, we can’t afford to invest in it.” Sound familiar? Too many times business owners and decision makers refuse to invest in social media strategies because they can’t effectively measure the return on their investment. ROI has been the traditional tool to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and other initiatives. How much will it cost to implement and how much money will we make as a result. The difference is your ROI. Well, the mold has been broken. You simply CANNOT measure ROI effectively on a social media campaign.

Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely set goals for a social media campaign and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) so you’ll know if it’s effective. But if you want a guarantee that if you spend $5000 on a social media campaign you’ll make $50,000 as a result, you might as well invest the money in traditional ads, PPC campaigns, or other traditional marketing and sales efforts. Harsh? Yes, but it will save you and your social media guru lots of arguments and unrealized expectations.

How should you measure a social media campaign? Continue reading

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Structure of a Successful SEO Campaign

In order for your search engine optimization campaign to be a success, there are several things you must consider, and an order in which to accomplish them. In this article, I’ll describe the view from 1000 feet.

Step 1 – Define Goals
If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you will likely never accomplish it. Write down your goals. I know, it sounds stupid, but if you write down your goals you are much more likely to actually accomplish them. What return on investment to you expect? What increases in your key performance indicators (KPIs) would you like to see? How many more sales or conversions each month?

As you set your goals, also plan the time frames in which you expect to achieve them. Set some deadlines. Keep in mind that many facets of the SEO process can take some time to begin performing – so allow a little wiggle room.

Continue reading

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