Show archive of April 2010
April 28, 2010
Twitter is becoming further integrated into search results, and Bruce, Susan and Virginia start the show by discussing newly released Twitter-based search features. Google introduced Replay It, a feature that lets users zoom into what was being said about a topic on Twitter during specific dates and times. Bing is testing real-time results that include tweets and most-linked-to URLs for the keyword. And Twitter is shaking up its Twitter Search service with the addition of Promoted Tweets. Twitter and its pulse on the public conversation continue to be used in new and interesting ways.
Facebook has also been pushing the boundaries of new and interesting, as last week the network introduced a number of social plugins for developers. Marty Weintraub, president of aimClear Search Marketing, gives listeners a guided tour of the eight new plugins that have the potential to drive engagement and social interaction on a site.
Maintaining a strong social presence online can be an ongoing challenge for any company, but it’s not the only one. A survey of search marketers indicates that link building, keyword research and bid management are the three most challenging aspects of SEM. The show hosts agree that link building is a task that requires a lot of elbow grease and is often neglected because it’s time consuming. Quality content creation isn’t mentioned in the survey results, but maybe it should be, as great content attracts users and links.
April 21, 2010
Site speed has been added to Google’s search ranking algorithm, explaining that if all other things are equal, the faster site provides the better user experience. Bruce says that site speed may have had an effect on rankings even before Google’s official announcement this month. Along with the importance of site performance for the user’s current experience, poor performance in the past can keep users from coming back in the future. Google has said that less than one percent of search queries will be affected by the new algorithm factor, though as Susan points out, one percent of a lot is still a lot.
Dave Snyder, CEO of Second Step Search and co-founder of Search & Social, then talks to Virginia about the upcoming Search & Social Spring Summit, an Internet marketing conference taking place in Tampa, FL, May 3-4. Dave explains the marketing and business community’s hunger for information on social media, and talks about the advanced-level knowledge transfer that will take place at the intimate conference. As the organizers planned the agenda for the event, they made an effort to listen to feedback and now have plans to cover a number of rarely discussed issues in Internet marketing.
Then Susan, Virginia and Michael revisit site speed and the Google Analytics blog’s reminder that asynchronous tracking is a faster way to include Google Analytics tracking on your site. They also discuss additional data that has been added to Google Webmaster Tools, including click-throughs and impressions reported for a page’s average position in search results. Considering that Google uses data like this for every decision the company makes, it’s good that they’re now providing businesses with this information, as well.
April 14, 2010
It’s iPad mania in the tech world these days. The touch-pad tablet computing from Apple has been flying off the shelves since it became available in April. Some technology analysts expect to see the iPad user base reach critical mass within months, so it might be worth an SEO’s time to consider optimizing their content for the device. Safari, the default browser for the iPad, has released a readiness checklist for the iPad for developers. Google explains how to deliver ads to the iPad and other mobile devices. Keep in mind that Flash doesn’t render on the iPad and that the device switches between landscape and portrait layout.
Alan Bleiweiss, an SEO consultant at HeyDudeWheresMySite.com, then talks to Virginia about the challenge of setting client expectations up front and how an SEO site audit establishes a foundation of understanding and communication so important for any project. He outlines obstacles that keep site owners for realistic expectations, and ways to manage them. He also shares his technique for dealing with ignored recommendations. And based on years of experience, he gives his advice for establishing mutual respect and trust by avoiding the pressure of providing free services.
Then the co-hosts take a high-level view of the marketing big picture. The rivalry between different Internet marketing channels is a disservice to businesses looking for improved online visibility. Rather than pointing to a one-dimensional solution for an optimized Web presence — be it SEO, PPC, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing, or more — channels work together for optimal effect. Vanessa Fox lays it out well in her post Should Restaurants Care About Local Search? Think “and” and not “or.”
April 7, 2010
Kicking off the show, Bruce, Susan and Virginia take a look at the new search user interface Google is rolling out. At the beginning of the year, Bruce predicted a UI change to the Google search results, though he says he didn’t expect a change like this. Susan criticizes the interface as too busy and cluttered. Search expert and former Googler Vanessa Fox shares the impact of the changes, which include location auto-detection, a “nearby” feature, and time filters and vertical search options that change based on the query.
Tracy Falke, who runs Content, SEO, SEM, and Social for Freestyle Interactive, a UK-based communications agency, then talks to Virginia about how to automate Twitter while maintaining a human touch. Tracy explains the types of tweets that work best for automation, and the Twitter situations that require human intervention. She also outlines an actionable strategy for responding to negative feedback on Twitter. Finally, they look at the cutting edge of location-based and the bleeding-edge of augmented reality applications, and how businesses can extract intelligence about their customers.
Then Virginia, Susan and Daerick Gross explore some of the recent headlines in search and social. YouTube has redesigned its site in an effort to increase stickiness. Related videos are much more prominent, and information of the current video is less prominent. Facebook has also changed some aspects of its network with the introduction of Community Pages and the shift of “Become a Fan” to “Like.” Many marketers feel that the added option is more confusing than helpful for businesses.