Online Marketing

  • Google’s Latest Algorithm Change Infuriates Online Marketers

    SEO: This week, Google’s head of webspam released a video to address a common question: how does Google separate the concept of popularity from that of authority? The answer is that the team is still working on new algorithms to accomplish that. An example given was, although porn sites may be more popular than government sites, government sites are almost always more authoritative. Google’s goal, therefore, is to focus on awarding higher rankings to sites that hold more authority on particular topics. Google recently confirmed that some GoogleBot useragent spiders are not properly passing verification protocol. GoogleBot, crawling over a certain IP range, was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was, “no such host is known.” Acknowledging that the problem is on their end, Google has temporarily stopped GoogleBot activity in the .249.70.0/24 IP range and will fix the issue before continuing to crawl within that range. Technology: Amazon Fire (not to be confused with the Kindle Fire) launched this week, giving consumers yet another way to stream content from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon itself, on their televisions. Priced at $99, Amazon’s set-top box supports 720p and 1080p resolutions and includes features…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: The Science of Rankings and Instagram’s Milestone

    SEO: Earlier this week, Google’s head of search spam tweeted a surprising tip about SEO: “no need to delete your old disavow links file before uploading a new one. You can just upload the new one.” The reason, apparently, is because when an old disavow file is deleted and a new one is uploaded, two emails are generated to the Google team, which may be confusing when they review manual actions. In light of Google’s recent announcements about search engine penalties, it would be wise to heed this new advice. Related to the penalty news, Google took the time to answer questions regarding the consequences for SEO spam. First, the team clarified that webmasters who are targeted manually by the Google webspam team will be notified in Webmaster Tools. Additionally, a fall in the rankings is not necessarily indicative of a penalty: there may be an implementation of algorithmic tweakings which benefit certain websites for the purpose of refreshing the ranking priorities for Google’s index. On the other hand, there are also cases in which websites will drop in the rankings simply because the competition is doing a better job at influencing their own rankings. Google claims they are not…

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  • Marketing Stars Series: An Interview With John Jantsch

    In our Marketing Stars Series, we bring you insights from some of the top influencers in the world of online marketing. We’ve asked the best of the best to share their insider knowledge with you, our readers, so that you can harness the power of their expert advice, tips, and tricks in your own marketing efforts. Today, we are honored to have the opportunity to bring you our interview with John Jantsch. John is a marketing consultant and speaker, and the best selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine, and The Referral Engine.  We are thrilled that he agreed to answer a few questions for us .  1. John, tell us a little bit about what it is you do, and why you’re so passionate about it. I’m a marketing consultant, author and speaker but mostly I just try to make marketing as simple as it really is. 2. Can you give us a quick intro to Duct Tape Marketing and its mission? Duct Tape Marketing is the brand name I’ve given to my attempt to turn marketing into a system that eliminates the frustration that business owners feel around marketing their businesses. 3. How did you get started in this industry?…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Google Penalties and 8 Years of Twitter

    SEO: Google is beginning to take action against sites that host spammy guest blog posts, and the results are quite tangible. Earlier this week, the owner of MyBlogGuest.com, a large network for guest blog posting, confirmed that she received a penalty from the search engine. Initially there was confusion over whether publishers who participated in the MyBlogGuest network would also be penalized, and it appears that the answer is ‘yes.’ Google’s head of search spam tweeted, “when we take action on a spammy link network, it can include blogs hosting guest posts, site benefiting from the links, etc.” Site owners who have used MyBlogGuest to publish posts are reporting drops in the rankings, as well. While on the topic of rankings, research from comScore is indicating that Google’s share of US search query volume has stayed stagnant over the last year, while Bing’s has grown. In February 2013, Google had a 67.5 percent share, Bing had 16.7, and Yahoo held 11.6 percent. Compared with this year, in February 2014, Google’s share is at an identical 67.5, Bing grew to 18.4 percent, and Yahoo dwindled down to 10.3. These figures, however, do not include mobile search share or query volumes. In…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Redesigns and Revamps Galore

    Social Media: Following last week’s announcement about the long-awaited changes to the layout of Facebook’s News Feed feature, the company announced this week that their redesigns won’t stop there. Individual business Pages will soon be affected by change, as well. After describing the new look for Pages as “streamlined,” Facebook released an image of what users can expect to see as soon as this upcoming week. The left-side column of Pages will contain most of the general information about businesses, and the right-side column will reflect a Timeline that is more accurate and less buggy. Additionally, for Page administrators, information about the ads they’re running and the “likes” they’re accumulating will be visible no matter where they look on the Page. According to surprising new data published by eMarketer, Google+ may be set to overtake Facebook’s popularity by 2016. G+ is currently the second-most popular social network, with 26 percent of Internet users worldwide logging into the platform at least once per month. If G+’s growth rates for sharing activity continue as they are, it is very likely that Google will catch up to Facebook sooner rather than later. As it stands now, Facebook continues to triumph as the most…

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  • But My Website Is Already Optimized: The Importance Of Ongoing SEO

    When you had your business’s very first website built – or even when you recently had it redesigned – you probably made sure that all your SEO ducks were in a row, ensuring that the designers were carefully optimizing every aspect of your site to be easily found and ranked well by search engines. Right? So when someone starts talking about ongoing search engine optimization, you think, What for? My site is already optimized! And you wouldn’t be wrong. Yes, your site was optimized for search engines at the time it was designed and built. But effective SEO is actually much, much more than a one-time fix. SEO is not simply a matter of putting certain keywords in the right places on a website, or even setting up the coding of a site correctly. Those are important aspects of it, of course, but definitely not the whole picture. In order to explain why ongoing SEO is so vital to your business’s success online, we’ve assembled a list of 5 necessary, ongoing SEO tasks that must be done in order to keep your site on Google’s good side. 1. Ongoing Review of Analytics: If your site has been optimized, that’s great….

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Scrapers, Semantics, and Snapchat: Oh, My!

    Social Media: Brand names are about to inherit some serious power on Facebook, thanks to the social media platform’s update to their News Feed algorithm. Now, when a brand’s Page tags another brand, or even a celebrity in a post, followers of either the publishing Page or the tagged Page may see that content appear on their News Feeds. As a consequence, brands will be able to reach out to wider audiences. Facebook’s algorithm will be able to consider which users are engaging with brand content, which then will determine if the content is relevant for followers of both the posting Page and the tagged Page. Why just stop at Facebook, though? According to new data at Sumpto, Snapchat may be the way to go when marketing to college-aged consumers. Not only do over 77 percent of college students use Snapchat at least once every day, but 45 percent of students say that they would open a snap from a brand they don’t know. A striking 73 percent would open one from a familiar brand. Should Snapchat allow brands access to user data, companies could begin advertising to users of the app based on a variety of demographics. 67 percent…

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  • Marketing Stars Series: An Interview With Danny Wong

    In our Marketing Stars Series, we bring you insights from some of the top influencers in the world of online marketing. We’ve asked the best of the best to share their insider knowledge with you, our readers, so that you can harness the power of their expert advice, tips, and tricks in your own marketing efforts. Today, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring you our interview with Danny Wong of Shareaholic. Danny is a rock star in the content marketing space, and we are honored that he agreed to answer a few questions for us .   1.  Danny, for the readers who don’t know you, could you please tell us a little bit about what it is you do, and why you’re passionate about it? As the Marketing Manager at Shareaholic, I wear a number of different hats. Primarily, I edit and manage our blog, where we publish articles about content marketing, traffic acquisition and noteworthy traffic trends. I also work with journalists and bloggers to create buzz around our announcements as long as our *news* actually has industry-wide implications rather than simply news that only impacts our business. I love what I do because I actually…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: WhatsApp, Bing on Grammar, LinkedIn Layouts and more!

    What has been happening in the marketing world this week? Let The Marketing Zen Group fill you in on the latest and greatest of online marketing news in our MZ Weekly News Round-Up, published every Friday! Social Media: Facebook’s purchase of the popular mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for a mind-blowing 16 billion US Dollars has dominated the news in social media. This tops what Facebook had bid on Snapchat last year by over 13 billion dollars. WhatsApp’s growth has by far exceeded that of every other social network to date. Referring to WhatsApp’s soaring growth, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call, “No one in the history of the world has done anything like that.” While Facebook and WhatsApp have not released future plans as to what the buy could mean for social media, our CEO Shama Kabani took to Facebook with this quote: “Facebook + WhatsApp = FaceApp – the next in mobile chat. Please note time and date.” For now, both companies will keep their own headquarters and not intermingle staff. LinkedIn made headlines by opening up their publishing platform to 25,000 members, and soon will expand to everyone else on the network. This is great…

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  • How to Write Crazy Successful B2B Marketing Content

    Sometimes it can seem like B2C marketers get to have all the fun. They’re the ones talking directly to consumers, telling gripping stories in their blog to tug at the heartstrings of their audience, or pushing out one hilarious Facebook post after the other. They’re the ones who can get away with being informal, lively, and entertaining. There’s just no way for straightforward, professional, serious B2B marketers to put that much fun in their marketing content – is there? Well…let’s talk about that. Here’s the thing to remember: Everyone, whether B2C or B2B, is writing content for human beings. The term “business-to-business” makes it sound like one impersonal entity is transmitting data and statistics to another impersonal entity, but in reality, behind every corporate façade there are…people. People who are experts at what they do, yes. People who are serious about the business they run, of course. But also, people who are just like you, just like us, and just like the consumers who enjoy the goofy Facebook posts. So why the huge difference between B2C and B2B marketing content, then? Why is it that B2C content tends to be more fun, while B2B can be on the boring side?…

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  • Facebook Marketing Gold: New Call-to-Action Buttons For Ads and Posts

    Well, that was nice! Facebook may have lessened online marketers’ organic reach by changing their algorithm, but they’ve given us a nice little treat to make up for it, by enabling the addition of call-to-action buttons to ads and organic posts. Any salesperson who’s been around for even a little while knows the old sayings – “Ask for the sale,” and “Always Be Closing.” In the realm of online marketing, being salesy according to old sales standards isn’t productive – but some of the same principles still do apply. The fact remains that if you ask someone to do something, they are much more likely to do it. Just as asking for the sale prompts a customer to take action, asking them to “click here” or “sign up” prompts them to do just that. That’s why blogs and social media posts and landing pages the world over have calls to action strategically worked into their copy. And that’s also why those little call-to-action buttons are so effective at driving conversions. For Facebook to add this option for marketers is huge. Just think of the possibilities! It’s just as useful for B2B Facebook marketing as it is for B2C Facebook marketing…

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  • A Valentine’s Day Love Letter…To Online Marketing

    Dear Online Marketing, I don’t quite know how to say this, but I’ve felt this way for a pretty long time now, so I guess I’ll just come right out and tell you… I love you. My parents think I’m crazy to fall for a marketing method like you. They would have been much happier if I’d started going out with a TV commercial, or even a magazine ad. But nothing on TV or in print compares with you. You’ve got everything that they have and more! So what if TV commercials can be cool sometimes…you’ve got YouTube! And any online content worth its salt beats a print ad, hands down. You’re so hot – all the offline marketers are totally jealous of us. Have you noticed they keep trying to get a piece of what we’ve got going on? Whatever. You’re mine. I had a dream about you the other night. We were walking on the beach together, mouse in hand, and you told me that you wanted us to spend our lives together, to be connected all the time. You wanted to go everywhere I did, and cater to my every whim. (Ha! What TV commercial would ever…

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