Friday Catch-up: Most Important News and Posts about SEO and Online Marketing this Week

Category: Friday Catch-up, SEO News

smile-friday-catch-upIt seems that no Friday Catch-Up is complete without Google stirring some controversy. It is our most constant companion and our heart cannot help but go out to advertisers who find themselves running in circles. Not all hope is lost though. This Friday catch-Up may just have something in store for advertisers. Google might be a bad mother but she still loves her kids.

NEWS

Nofollow recommended for Links within PRs similar to paid links

pr-sites-nofollowAfter the updates to Google’s link schemes webmaster updates it’s important to understand just what Google meant by the changes. According to John Mueller who is Google’s leading analyst of Webmaster Trends, PRs must be treated similar to advertisements. He stated that press releases should be nofollowed. He said that it was recommended not only to nofollow optimized anchor text but also all other links within the PR. Read more at Search Engine Land.

Search functionality and Threaded Comments introduced to LinkedIn’s Influencer Program

LinkedIn has started expanding its influencer program in an effort to get people to visit their site regularly as opposed to checking in when they require a job. Trying to be much more than a job search engine; LinkedIn has introduced threaded comments to its influencers program. This means that posts made by influencers can be replied to and that conversations can be started below it. Similar to Facebook’s tag feature, other users can be mentioned in posts. LinkedIn is slowly beginning to morph into a social media site. Read more at Tech Crunch.

Bug in Google’s Analytics Report Causes Problems for Users

On August 1st, Google’s Analytics Support Forums were flooded with complaints that their reports had suddenly stopped working and updating. The problem was that it didn’t seem to impact everyone. The bug also seems to be exclusive to standard updates and not real time ones. After numerous complaints, Google Analytics Dashboard confirmed that there indeed was a bug that was being resolved by Google. Read more at SEO Roundtable.

Facebook Introduces Embedded Posts

An announcement on July 31st by Facebook introduced the new ‘embedded posts’ feature. This means that Facebook posts which have been set to public can be embedded onto blogs or websites and that users can directly like, share ad comment on them directly from sites. This feature works similar to embedding YouTube videos into blogs. The visible post would be up to 100-150 words whereas the rest of the post will be visible after clicking the ‘see more’ button. Read more at Venture Beat.

Introduction of Draft Campaigns to Twitters Ad setup process

Twitters advertising platform is finally seeing some updates after 3 years of its introduction. Twitter will introduce visual aids such as progress bars and contextual clues to show how to setup the ad.  Advertisers will also finally have the ability to save ad drafts which they can complete at a later date. Advertisers will also have access to a Target Summary Box.

Redesign of Google Sitelinks

The latest redesign of Google’s organic search results shows white and gray backgrounds with more quick Links. A search result may be divided into sections to narrow down to webpages within the websites. These collapsible sections may be clicked to further expand options containing site links. This update however has not been implemented throughout the platform as yet.

USEFUL POSTS FOR READING AND BOOKMARKING

The Life and Times of Digital Content Marketing

Ann Smarty of Internet Marketing Ninjas talks about the importance of content in her introductory post in a blog series. She defined content marketing simply as attracting people who have the power to influence others. She begins with the creation of the very first websites where content marketing wasn’t a huge deal. The usefulness of content was finally recognized when email came along. At that time spam emails were a completely acceptable way of adverting. The introduction of blogging and social media sites however completely changed the game. Read more about the evolution of Content Marketing at Internet Marketing Ninjas.

Which Camera to Use for Product Photography

Images are a very important part of the content that you post and are the very thing that first catches a user’s eye. Jason Lawrence answers a very important often overlooked question regarding which camera to use when doing product photography. Since high quality images give a more professional look, small businesses on social media sites are looking for cheaper cameras to use for the purpose and achieve good results. According to Lawrence the things that must be kept in mind when purchasing a DSLR camera are the Manual Mode, the Video Mode and the lens flexibility. His list included Nikon cameras for those on a budget and Sony and Canon DSLRs for a more professional touch. Read a more detailed account over at Practical Ecommerce.

Censored Keywords in China

China is notorious for the amount of content and number of global websites that it restrictscensored on the internet. Those catering to a chine audience face a multitude of difficulties due to this. Econsultancy shared a very handy list of keywords issued by Chinese government authorities listing the words that you should avoid. Some keywords referred to politically or culturally sensitive issues or content such as pornography, spyware, gambling and human rights. Other keywords are specific to political events or to uprisings.

Where to set up Business Discussion Groups

Networking to some extent is very important for every business. Some businesses however rely much more on this feature than others. Google+ Communities, Facebook Groups and LinkedIn provide users with a platform where they can interact with similar minded people or those working within the same field. Read more at Social Media Examiner.

Facebook Marketing Tips by Mari Smith

One of the top social media influencers according to Forbes, Mari Smith provided insight into Facebook marketing strategies that are often overlooked. She stressed the need to avoid repetitive and continual posting or posting irrelevant content. For marketing and measurement she recommended the ZuumSocial and CrowdBooster Apps. In a secret she revealed to Top Rank Blog, she stressed the need for trained and active Community Managers in social media departments.

Custom Google Analytics Dashboards

All online marketing decisions made by advertisers need to be backed by data. Not all custom-ga-dashbadvertisers however have the skills to analyze and derive accurate conclusions from the Analytics tool. Ned Poulter lists 6 custom made dashboards which will help advertisers better compartmentalize the mountain of data collected. Dashboards were customized for Brand Monitoring, Social Media, Ecommerce, etc. He also stressed the importance of making your own dashboard but recommended these for people who did not know how to do so. Read more at State of Search.

Using Facebook Hashtags for Marketing

Once unique to Twitter, hashtags have found their way towards Facebook and can be used as great tools for marketing. Hashtags will help expand the reach of the product which means users only exploring within the same category can gain access to your content. Keep monitoring your reach to see which hashtags work better than others. Brand your Facebook page by giving it its own hashtag and provide users with the initiative to use it in their posts. It is recommended however that hashtags be used sparingly since they are not conditioned to the preferences of Facebook users. Read more at Social Media Examiner.

The New Trend of Pastel Colors in Web Design

Many websites, new or redesigned ones are going for muted pastels in their designs. This was seen after there was a surge of bright neon colors. An effort to deviate from the norm of using fluorescent colors gave birth to this new trend. Muted colors are mostly used by brands which demand sophistication or a playful soft look. Flat and childlike designs are widely popular on the web. Photography blogs or sites however make the best use of pastels and seem to be best suited for them. Read more at Design Shack.

The History of SEO

Kieran Flanagan writes and illustrates an amazing chronology spanning over two decades recording the creation and development of Search Engine Optimization. Flanagan takes us back to 1994 when Brian Pinkerton created the first web crawler to index web pages and give the top 25 results. The 2000 launch of Google Adwords and the Page Rank toolbar were notable events preceded by Google Suggestions. The Google Caffeine update, followed by Google Vince and finally Google Panda aimed at the generation for better quality content. Google Penguin on the other hand punished content that was of a lesser quality. Read more at Hubspot.

Dealing with Trolls on Twitter

Being used by more than 500 million individuals, cyber bullying has become a major problem for twitter. Twitter users target individuals threatening or abusing them with violent messages regarding containing physical & verbal abuse and rape. It was revealed that more than 50 abusive messages are sent per hour. Some methods to avoid such messages are to block the sender; report the tweets and the sender, retweet to spread awareness or alert twitter with the ‘watch my account’ button. Read more at The Guardian.

Lowering the Cost per Conversion on Adwords

Every advertiser wants to pay as little as possible for conversion and must find an optimal balance where they can pay the minimal amount without harming their campaign. Decreasing the maximum CPC, keeping an eye on the search query report for successful keywords, optimizing ad copy and keeping campaign settings in check are some ways to keep the CPC cost low. Read more at State of Search.

How to get the most out of Pictures in Advertisements

picturesPictures are a very important part of advertising. They are the first thing to catch the eye and are what compel the user to read further. When adding pictures to a product website make sure that they are large enough to view or zoomable so users can look at important aspects such as embroidery or embellishments properly. 360◦ views and a look on the inside are also great ways to showcase the product. High quality images are also important for a more professional look. Read more at Econsultancy.

INFOGRAPHICS AND VIDEO

What Data is analyzed by Marketers

An infographic by Econsultancy and Lynchpin shows the importance of cross-channel activity and shows how interactions between various online channels are monitored. 63% of the respondents paid more attention to social data in 2013 whereas customer survey data was neglected. 64% of marketers however still paid for the conduction of online surveys. View the infographic at Emarketer.

Using Country Code Domains for sites not targeted for the Location

In reply to a question on YouTube, the Google Webmaster channel recommended that ccTLD’s (Country Code Top Level Domains) should be avoided. The question asked by the user enquired how the search results were affected if they opted for country code as opposed to global’.com’ codes which were becoming expensive. Google recommended that popular domain names used by countries such as .IO which pertains to the Indian Ocean should be avoided since they would affect the search results of the website. He did however say that country codes which had few results and were not particularly popular or optimized for the country could be used.