Why the “New” Rules of SEO Are Giving People Déjà Vu - by Sean Ward

Posted: February 1st, 2013 by Sean Ward

Search engine optimization is always changing, but the significant shifts to Google’s algorithm that we have seen lately have been amongst the most aggressive in recent years. Specifically, the “Panda” and “Penguin” changes have taken some of the focus away from keywords and links, and put them on fresh, unique content… in other words, quality over quantity.

Although this has come as a bit of a surprise to some business owners and web designers, it really shouldn’t have – searchers have always wanted more relevant results, and so the burden is on search engines to give it to them. Besides, what comes around goes around, and the “new” rules of search engine optimization are starting to give some business veterans déjà vu.

Why? Because in the days before keywords ruled all, being current, interesting, and unique weren’t just good ideas for your marketing plan, but necessary for getting any kind of attention at all. In other words, a lot of current SEO really just comes down to good old-fashioned public relations.

With that in mind, we can take a few classic ideas off the shelf and apply them to current search campaigns:

1. Either be newsworthy or talk about what is. People like articles and ideas that are current, so it’s a good idea to base your content strategy at least partly on topics that are relevant right now.

2. Set the tone yourself. It used to be that copying competitors was a good way to build content. These days, however, you want to be a market leader – invent your own ideas and concepts and then let others try to keep up with you.

3. Follow an editorial calendar. Instead of posting material randomly to the Internet, follow an editorial calendar that encourages you to come up with new content on a regular basis and forces you to organize your thoughts and topics into consistent themes.

Search engine optimization might be changing, but the basic rules of marketing, online or off-line, tend to be fairly consistent. Be a source of interesting, high-quality information, and customers will always give you more of their attention.

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How Germany Solved Social Privacy - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: March 21st, 2012 by Benjamin Spiegel

Following our latest post discussing the social overhead I did some research how some of the more privacy strict Countries handling this. I looked in-depth at a large variety of German publishers and portals.

I discovered a Schwaebisch (South German) newspaper who has implemented the perfect solution from a usability perspective:

Social Sliders Off

Social Sliders Off

Social Sliders Active

Social Sliders Active

Activate Facebook

Activate Facebook

I personally like this solution because it is fast loading (0% overhead unless you call it) and also maintains your privacy unless you socially engage with the page. I am also fairly certain by preventing all the social elements to be loaded your page speed and score for paid will be higher.
Also seeing elegant solutions like this makes me hopeful that when and if the Privacy Laws in the US change, we will be able to quickly adapt a proven Solution. From a Marketer and Spy perspective this solution is horrible ;) We do not get to track users paths and behavior as much as we would like to, but that is a discussion for my other Blog ;)

Either way, just wanted to give some credit to the creators and my German heritage…

Social Media & Privacy

Social Media & Privacy

LINK: http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.der-vfb-manager-fredi-bobic-zwischen-genie-und-wahnsinn.2e084a74-5e37-4973-9cb0-4c2021a33eb8.html

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Google+ in Adsense! Affiliate Program next? - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: March 13th, 2012 by Benjamin Spiegel

So today I logged into one of my AdSense accounts, and what did i see?
Google+ in AdSense
So I am a big fan of Google+ and prefer it 1.2 Million times over Facebook, but all my friends are still on Facebook… So I have to be too!
Either way while I am happy about Google+ being promoted, I am unsure how Google+ is relevant to my AdSense account or performance. And even when you click “Get Code Snippet” you still not getting anything special or tracked…
Adsense and Google+
So Google, while I am happy you pushing Google+, please stay out of my AdSense unless you start paying me for sending traffic to Google+

Hmm that brings up an interesting thought, why not? I think goggle should have an affiliate program that pays for each phone verified user you generate, I think something small like 1-4 $ would be awesome, I could see this really taking of and generating the user base we need!
Or what about getting paid for ad impressions on my own Google+ page?

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Visualizing the Social Media Overhead - by Benjamin Spiegel

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 by Benjamin Spiegel

We all know how important site performance is for Organic Rankings as well as the impact it has on paid spend and Quality Score. We have spend a large amount of time over the  past few months working with our brands and their agencies to optimize their sites performance. A primary Quality Indicator we use is the Google Page Speed Tool.

So as an example i will use this site as a benchmark. I follow all the Tips and hints google gives you and archived a Score of 95 Points. This included a lot of Server Side Modifications, moving my media to Amazon AWS, my database to RDS and compressed all my HTML, CSS & JS. I also created some odd Slices and and codes. But hey i got a higher score now. So how do i get the remaining 5 Points, by looking at the Errors i see:

As you can see above, all my “negative” page speed scores are from Social media, the funny part is that google says you should do XYZ and google themselves is not doing it….

For example:
The following cacheable resources have a short freshness lifetime. Specify an expiration at least one week in the future for the following resources: And whats the first thing that shows up: http://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js
So google, please change your own code, so you give me a higher score, so i rank better so i pay less on a CPC base….

As you cant see the reaming errors are all offsite at the API’s and Social Media Sites themselves.. Twitter Images to large. Google JS not minified…. Google serving same content form separate URLs….

So all this social icons and share things are creating a huge overhead in external calls, media to be loaded, queries to be run. I mean, don’t forget when you open a URL on my site, it goes and asks Google, Twitter, Facebook etc how many times this page has been rated shared etc… Lots of overhead.

So everybody likes and loves Charts, so i tried to come up with a Way to visualize this, and the best one i have found so far is a new Feature in Firefox 12:

Firefox 12 3D Code Inspector


What is this? This 3D Visualization shows the depth of page elements, basically how many items are they wrapped in. Back in the day we switched from Tables to CSS to avoid having code this badly/deeply nested. But it seems we are moving back to it.
Based on the Image above, you can clearly see that the biggest overhead is from Facebook, then Google, then Twitter and oddly LinkedIn is the most optimized.
Just for kicks, below is the same Visualization from our own site:

Soo what?
It seems that we try to optimize, clean and sharpen our code/designs and content on a Daily base to please Search Engines and other algorithms, in order to archive better rankings, higher social indicators and an overall better user experience. BUt in order to stay on top of social trends we load ourselves up with sharing icons and social widgets.
I think with such a wide use of sharing tools & Widgets we need to ask social network companies to optimize their code and offer solutions with a smaller overhead!

UPDATE:
just one more, this could become an art ;)

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