Facebook EdgeRank: Why 15% or Less of Your Status Updates are Shown to Fans

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, Social Media News, test

A major development on the Facebook platform is the introduction of EdgeRank, a ranking formula that determines which posts are displayed on the News Feed of fans and friends. This algorithm filters and prioritizes the posts your fans will see and the order in which they are shown on their News Feed.

This article describes EdgeRank and how it affects your Facebook activities? Facebook had to introduce a ranking algorithm to reduce the amount of clutter displayed on people’s News Feeds.

To overcome the effects of EdgeRank, you need to understand how to create and manage the updates you post on Facebook, how to time these updates and how to engage with fans and friends using Facebook features like Likes, Share and Comments. Unless you fully embrace the concept of engagement, your status updates will simply not show up on the News Feed of your fans.

What Is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is a Facebook algorithm that controls which status updates are displayed in each user’s News Feed. EdgeRank not only filters what posts are displayed, it also sorts and prioritizes the order in which they are shown.

To start, let’s clarify the term edge as the ranking formula itself is based on this rather esoteric term. We shall clarify its meaning in an easy-to-understand manner.

As it applies to Facebook, every interaction a user performs that produces a piece of content is known as an edge.

For example, the following user actions are in themselves known as edges:

* Posting a status update.
* Uploading a photo or video.
* Listening to a song.
* Changing the classification of a fan or friend.
* Clicking, liking, tagging, sharing, commenting and befriending people.

Every one of these actions generates an edge which, depending on its EdgeRank score, may be displayed in a user’s News Feed. Looking at the actions shown in the above list, you can already see that EdgeRank monitors your engagement and this, to a large extent, determines if your status updates will be shown on the News Feed of your fans and friends.

Now, let’s examine a more scientific definition of EdgeRank.

EdgeRank is measured by the aggregation of three separate factors which, on account of the terminology used, may seem a little difficult to grasp.

Affinity (u). This essentially tracks your interaction with fans. Each action produces a different weight that measures the effort involved which, by itself, demonstrates the level of interest a user has in the content posted. Posting and commenting produces a higher score than clicking or liking. Using Facebook parlance, the affinity score is also based on how connected a user is with an action. The more you interact with a particular person, the more connected you become.

Edge Weight (w). Each edge category has a different weight (score) which determines what type of content Facebook considers valuable for posting onto the News Feed of fans and friends. Highest on their ranking is videos, photos and links. The more comments, likes or shares a post update accumulates, the higher its edge weight.

Recency (d). This factor relates to the “time decay” of status updates. As a post ages, it loses points. It is assumed that Facebook adjusts the recency score based on the time elapsed since the user last logged into Facebook and also how frequently
the user is active on Facebook.

Like the Google algorithm that determines page rank, the precise equations contained in the EdgeRank algorithm are not publicly known and you can assume that the algorithm will change and evolve over time. However, the above explanations should give you a reasonable insight into the factors that determine whether particular posts will show up in your News Feed as well as those of your fans.

Finally, do not assume that you can check, measure or calculate EdgeRank because there is no general score. You can, however, measure the effects of EdgeRank by using the Facebook analytics tools to see how much engagement from other users your posts accumulate. A separate chapter in my book describes the Insights analytics feature.

How to Improve Your EdgeRank Score

If you market your brand, product or service on Facebook, you need to consider how you can best improve your EdgeRank score. The reason is simple. Unless you pay attention to EdgeRank, the majority of your fans and friends may never see your status updates.

According to the latest available research, only 6% of your fans will interact with your content (Napkin Labs)

Facebook recently claimed that only 15% on your fans will see your status updates on their newsfeed.

Acquiring Likes has, in itself, become a fairly meaningless activity although you need to reach 400 likes in order to see certain data in Insights. “The more the better” approach is not the target you want to chase. Fostering engagement with your fans should be your principal goal as this is the only way to improve your EdgeRank score.

Here’s the mindset you need to adopt when you post updates, photos or videos in Facebook:

* Don’t try to trick the EdgeRank formula to rank your content higher. Instead, create content that motivates your fans and friends to like, comment and share the content.

* Aim to create a community of followers.

* As is the case with the Calls-To-Action items you embed in sales letters and/or squeeze pages, you must TELL people what to do or they won’t do it. Clearly state what you want your fans to do. “Leave a comment below”, “Click Like if you agree”, “Click the Share button now”. Every action your fans take will improve the Affinity score of the EdgeRank algorithm and this will increase the number fans that see your post in their News Feed.

Pages Feed (November, 2012 Update)

Facebook has responded to mounting criticism from users who want to see all status updates posted by pages the have liked.

Commencing mid-November, 2012, a new menu item was added to the left-hand column of the News Feed page.

You can enable this function in order to see all status updates from pages you have liked. However, if you have a large number of Likes, you may well be overwhelmed by the amount of clutter on your News Feed.

Article by Alex Backlund. His Kindle eBook “Facebook Marketing: Your Social Media Campaigns Using Facebook’s 2012 Additions” explains in detail all the new promotional and advertising Facebook has introduced so you can better reach your target audience.

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Facebook EdgeRank: Why 15% or Less of Your Status Updates are Shown to Fans

Mobile Ad Gains will Cost Facebook Billions: Analyst

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Social Media News, test

Facebook can expect to shell out about $2 billion a year for its future mobile ad campaigns, predicts a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

Despite the mobile gains the social network made in the latter half of 2012 and the resulting investor confidence that drove the firm’s stock above the $30 mark last week, Brian Wieser, in a research note, lowered his rating on the company from “buy” to “hold.”

He said the stock “had a good run to back up this value, leading to the change in recommendation.”

Facebook’s stock has enjoyed a remarkable rise from less than $18 per share in September to its current value of about $32, thanks to the company’s $150 million in mobile profits in the third quarter — a jump of about $140 million from the previous quarter.

Wieser is predicting Facebook’s mobile ad division will produce $1 billion in revenue this year, adding mobile advertising looks auspicious for the social media site in the short-term.

The problem, the note indicated, is the elevated costs connected to this type of advertising. For instance such campaigns tend to be more labor-intensive than conventional Web campaigns. If the social network’s growth in mobile is due to an increase in mobile campaigns, which would include mobile apps, that could translate into lesser profits and lower CPMs.

“Even if CPMs were higher, the absolute volume of impressions delivered will be much lower than on the desktop,” Wieser said.

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said in October Facebook is pushing so hard to make money, user backlash could weaken its stock value.

Greenfield said Facebook’s “aggressive” drive to increase revenue would eventually backfire.

“In the face of drastically slowing payments revenues and falling investor sentiment and employee morale, it feels like Facebook is pushing advertising monetization harder than they should be, which we believe will harm user engagement in 2013 and beyond,” Greenfield wrote on his blog.

Greenfield was correct in his prediction that Facebook would report higher third-quarter ad revenues. He added, however, that mobile ads would take up more space on screens, annoying users and raising the chances of accidental clicks.

Greenfield slashed his 2013 revenue forecast to $5.6 billion from $5.9 billion.



Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Mobile Ad Gains will Cost Facebook Billions: Analyst

FTC’s Google Ruling: Reactions Around the Web

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

The verdict is in, folks. After months of hoop jumping and a highly criticized last-minute delay, the FTC has finally issued a ruling for its 19-month Google probe.

The probe centered on Google’s alleged manipulation of search results to highlight its own products at the expense of its competition. Accusers claimed that Google was abusing the vast market share it occupied in a monopolistic fashion.

In a nutshell: the FTC unanimously cleared Google of all anti-trust allegations, and Big G walked away free and clear after agreeing to nothing more than a few mild concessions.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz defended the agency’s findings in a recent press conference. U.S. trust law, he said, was designed to “protect competition, not competitors.” He pointed out the fact that Internet users do have other options when choosing a search provider, and the FTC believes Google delivers a better user experience by tweaking the SERPs – even when it does intentionally rig the rankings from time to time to tout its own wares.

Needless to say, this made lots of people livid. Now that we know the outcome, let’s look at the best of the backlash from the Web.

Competitors Respond Surprisingly, smaller search engines were the first to rush to Google’s side and issue statements displaying their solidarity with the search giant. For example, according to a recent Inc. article , Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta applauded the decision, saying, “Just because you got free traffic from Google yesterday doesn’t mean you have the right to get it today … It’s not appropriate for lawmakers to decide how a company’s algorithm should function.” Those statements weren’t made solely to show some Google love, however. Blekko is likely taking the stance in an act of self-preservation during a very unsteady time for every search engine in the industry.

The CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, agreed. He said the accusation of Google’s “search bias” is irrelevant. According to Weinberg, adjusting search results internally as it sees fit is a search engine’s right.

Everyone’s not as pleased as Blekko and DuckDuckGo, however. Microsoft in particular is downright furious. In a blog post http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2013/01/03/the-ftc-and-google-a-missed-opportunity.aspx published directly after the FTC’s press release, Microsoft’s vice president and deputy general counsel Dave Heiner railed against the findings:

“The FTC took steps today to address some of Google’s improper business practices. We find it troubling that the agency did not adhere to its own standard procedures that call for the agency to obtain industry input on proposed relief and secure it through an enforceable consent decree. The FTC’s overall resolution of this matter is weak and-frankly-unusual. We are concerned that the FTC may not have obtained adequate relief even on the few subjects that Google has agreed to address.”

He went on like this for quite some time, pausing to rant about the problems with each component of the FTC’s investigation.

Concerning patents, Heiner grumbled that Google had promised those in the standards community it would ensure standard essential patents were accessible by all firms – and that they would do so using “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.”

He said Google broke that promise, and instead of making a license available to everyone, the search giant set out on a string of lawsuits designed to bar Microsoft and other companies from shipping Xboxes and Windows-based PCs that used the relevant standards.

Heiner quickly moved onto the issue of search bias – the centerpiece of the FTC’s probe. He reminded readers Google has always claimed its primary mission has been to offer search engine users relevant answers to their questions. According to Heiner, the FTC may buy that claim, but to others (like Microsoft) it’s clear Google brazenly manipulates search results to highlight its own social network, products, and services. He makes a good observation to back up his point:

“Is Google+ really more relevant than Facebook? Are Google’s travel results better than those offered by Expedia, Kayak and others?”

So, yeah, Microsoft’s mad. Companies around the Web are having a broad range of reactions to the investigation findings, and the opinions out there are truly a mixed bag.

Google’s Concessions: Good for Search Marketers?

One rather unexpected reaction from the Net is the buzz bubbling up from search marketing circles. Google had to make some concessions before the FTC let the company out the door. One agreement in particular – mandatory changes Google must make to its AdWords platform – is a real win for the search marketing community.

AdWords is Google’s primary money pot, so signing off on the changes could not have been fun for the company. Search marketers were popping champagne, though: they’d previously been banned from duplicating their AdWords campaigns across competing platforms. Now, Google must allow users to export their data without any interference. Marketers will no longer be forced to deal with the time suck of managing multiple ad campaigns across many different search engines, which will cut down on their workload exponentially.

Search marketers will be able to do some major comparison-shopping as well. According to a write-up on AdWeek: “The Google changes mean that now marketers are in control of ad campaigns, not Google. Vendors will be able to concentrate on optimizing campaigns for the best financial return because they will now have an apples-to-apples comparison of campaigns across platforms.”

That’s huge not only for search marketers, it’s a real win for small business owners as well.

From one corner of the Web to the other, the reactions to the FTC’s wrap-up were varied. Some were unexpected, and others were very much what we thought they’d be.

What did you think about the FTC’s findings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Nell Terry is a tech news junkie, fledgling Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She thrives on social media, web design, and uncovering the truth about all the newest marketing fads that pop up all over the ‘net. Find out more about Nell by visiting her online portfolio at Content by Nell.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

FTC’s Google Ruling: Reactions Around the Web

Five Ways to Use Social Media for Career Development

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

Do you know some employers now ask applicants for their Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter handles in their resumes? Like it or not, social media is starting to play a role in who companies hire and the trend is likely to continue in the future – regardless of which specific sites we’re using by then.

Because of this, it’s important each one of us take a good look at our social media footprints to ensure there’s nothing out there that will make us look unprofessional or otherwise raise a red flag for potential employers. Even if you think there’s nothing bad lurking around, it’s in your best interest to search occasionally because anyone can post pictures and comments that you may not want co-workers or employers to see.

But it’s not all bad. For people who are truly savvy about their social media presence, there are quite a few ways you can leverage it to obtain better jobs, build your brand and generally further your career – no matter what that might be.

Here are five of the best ways to use social media as a career development tool:

Network – Well, they are called social networks, aren’t they? Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great ways for you to connect with people in your chosen field and develop relationships to help you both now and down the road. The key, as it is in any networking situation, is to display confidence and do your best to forge a personal connection with any person you contact. This could be as simple as mentioning you went to the same high school or enjoyed their paper on faster-than-light particle analysis and hope to do similar research. However, if you truly want to develop a relationship, consider commenting on the person’s blog or posts they make and only attempt to strike up a real dialogue over time. This way, they may feel more invested in you because you’ve shown you are invested in them.

Brand yourself – We live in a world of sound bites and 30-second YouTube videos that get 100 million hits, so the best thing you can do to present a clear picture of yourself to potential employers and clients is to figure out what your personal brand is and how to convey that as clearly and simply as possible in all of your social media messages. Your personal brand should tell your audience what you do and whom you do it for, and it can (and should) be consistent across all of your social media platforms. That means, if you have an environmental law blog that talks about saving the trees, your Twitter avatar should be a picture of a redwood and all of your Facebook posts should focus on environmental matters.

Obviously, I’m not being completely literal, but you do want to be careful that you don’t stray from your message too much. People want to follow those who are consistent so they always know what to expect.

Narrowcast – While sites like Facebook allow you to “broadcast” your talents to a wide range of people because they are so huge and popular, they also offer the opportunity to narrowcast by letting you join or create smaller groups where you can focus on getting the attention of the people who may be important in furthering your career. Beyond this, though, the Web is full of social media sites created to focus entirely on very specific niche audiences. Writers have places like Goodreads, where they can speak directly to other writers and readers; Dog industry professionals have Dogster, a site for dog lovers. These are just two of what are hundreds – and possibly even thousands – of niche social media sites out there where industrious people can easily build up a reputation and start to make themselves into a household name.

Post on the world’s second largest search engine – No, it’s not Bing, and obviously Google is No. 1. I’m talking about YouTube. Videos are becoming more and more popular as a way to get your name out to the public because they have become easier to make. Case in point: a number of people are now creating video resumes to make themselves stand out from the crowd. Some people simply incorporate moving text and animation so their normal, everyday resume is a bit more exciting. Others try to tell a story with their resume text over stock footage. And still others directly address their audience as if they were hosting a talk show or interviewing for a specific position. This can help you to stand out not only because it’s so different from what everyone else is doing, but also because more people may be more willing to watch a video than read a resume or blog post. Oh, and one more thing, simply having a video raises your profile with the major search engines, meaning it will be easier for potential employers to find you.

Guest post – Of course, that doesn’t mean the traditional blog is dead – far from it. But there are so many people out there today who have blogs that it’s hard not to feel like a needle in a haystack or the tree that falls when no one is around – is anyone listening? Guest posts are a great way to get around that problem. The idea is that you agree to write a post for free (some places even charge you), on a site that gets more traffic than you do. In return, you get a little author’s bio at the bottom where you can link to your site or blog. In this way, you may get a few more visitors to your page, and possibly even a bit of business. Guest blog enough and you’ll have traffic coming in from numerous sources; not to mention the fact that you’ll have created a number of “linkbacks,” another tool the search engines use which will help you rank higher in search results.

Mike Walters is a writer for Engagement Health, LLC. When Mike isn’t busy reviewing wellness programs he spends his time reading and writing about the health-care industry.

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Five Ways to Use Social Media for Career Development

5 Things that are In Store for SEO in 2013 and Beyond

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

2011 and 2012 have been incredibly important years in the world of search engine optimization and for search design trends in general. In an effort to make the web closer to something
semantic and highly responsive to the real needs of human readers, Google has performed some major overhauls to the way it ranks the websites it has indexed by its web crawlers.

These overhauls will be ongoing and will continue to develop further in 2013; creating a web popularity landscape that depends not just on classical SEO tactics but also numerous other factors involving social media, website design and friendliness to the latest browsing systems such as mobile web viewing.

Let’s go over some of these key trends that will almost certainly be really big in this new year.

1. Humanized Ranking Metrics

With Google’s repeated massively damaging blows to black hat SEO during all of 2011 and 2012, the days of effective link farming, content stuffing, keyword stuffing and other “nefarious” optimization tactics that don’t actually reflect site popularity are over. This trend will only continue and whatever black hat optimization tricks that are still working for some sites will only continue to deteriorate in their effectiveness.

Instead, Google is steadily working its way towards creating a more humanized ranking index that, in addition to reflecting other metrics which we’ll soon get to, also takes a lot of its value analysis from real time social media and human user metrics of actual popularity amongst readers.

The end result is expected to be a more “real time” search results profile for queries and an increasing amount of weight given to data collected from Twitter, Facebook, other social platforms and, of course, Google’s own array of social media tools. An important aspect of this will involve site owners connecting their content to each of these social platforms and also integrating themselves more with Google’s own network of content tracking. (despite the obvious bias in Google’s favor here)

2. Quality over Quantity

This almost certain 2013 trend is great news for a lot of content weary bloggers and site owners. Instead of giving heavy emphasis to massively content stuffed websites, Google and other search engines will continue to focus more on ensuring that their best ranked content is judged more by its quality, relevancy and freshness.

Updates like some of Panda’s iterations were a particularly good demonstration of this and played a part in giving precedence to sites whose content was most relevant and valuable for a given search, even if the sites themselves were not major content producers like some competitors might have been.

Based on this trend, site administrators should work towards really filling information needs with high quality posts without rushing to fill out as much new content as they can as quickly as possible.

3. Mobile Search

The mobile browsing landscape is only continuing to grow and soon it will completely overtake conventional web search. This means that adapting to the technical and practical details of this changing environment is a crucial step for SEO conscious site owners in 2013.

Speaking on a purely technical level, more emphasis has to be given to making websites more mobile friendly and designing them so that they are fully responsive not only to different PC browsers and screen sizes but also to thousands of different mobile platforms, from tablets to a whole array of smart phone types and operating systems.

Additionally, from other optimization standpoints, work to get your sites and their content more oriented towards mobile friendly content delivery. This could mean post design, text layout and presentation media such as video or audio

Another interesting feature of this emerging mobile search trend is the fact that a lot more of it takes place through a complex series of social network connections, bringing us to our next point.

4. Increasing Social Media Importance

We already partly covered the incredible importance of social media weight in our first major trend point, but it bears mentioning in more detail.

In 2013, you will absolutely need to develop your website’s social platform presence and integration as much as possible.

As more and more of the data about what’s trending on their platforms gets collected by social media sites, more of it will also become available for review by Google. This in turn will make such metrics more important in deciding search rank value. Ultimately Google is working to provide the most human relevant search experience possible to its users and the fundamentally human guided nature of social media popularity makes it a vital base of information for Google to achieve its goal.

Help this process along as much as possible by developing your popularity in the social media platforms and building up a base of dedicated fans that keep coming back to and repeatedly sharing what you have to offer further down the social chain. Not only will this eventually improve your essential human ranking value in the new search landscape, it will also achieve the vital site popularity building step of making you less dependent on search rank and SEO for the long run.

In essence, by developing a fan base at least partly through your social presence, you’ll be forcing the search engines to pay attention to you. Another way of looking at this is that building a deep human popularity amongst many fans and other influential websites will create a domain authority for your pages that no search engine can ignore.

Additionally, bear in mind practical technical steps that will improve your social media friendliness; things like creating multiple profiles across several popular media platforms, connecting them fully to your website through social media buttons and making it easy for people to log on through their Facebook or other social networking accounts.

5. Conversion Rate Optimization

However Google works, it has to also pay attention to reality on the digital ground. In terms of CRO, this has an enormous potential importance for 2013 because it means that a major factor in higher ranking may soon be how well sites get visitors to perform useful actions.

In essence, while many sites may have numerous visitors, the ones that optimize their pages for the best human engagement are those that actually get the readers not only to visit but also do things like buy products, click more links or opt in to a mailing list with their email addresses.

Since successfully doing all this is an obvious indicator that people are getting real personal value from a website, it’s very likely that Google will pay more attention to it in 2013.

For your own site, focus as much as possible on delivering high quality and getting maximal action or purchase conversion rates from whatever visitors you do have. Doing this is even more important than focusing on raw visitor numbers.

Matthew Ellis has written for the marketing and tech industries for many years as a freelance author. He also owns a small business that deals within those realms. When he’s not working, you can find him covering Acquirent’s sales jobs in Chicago.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

5 Things that are In Store for SEO in 2013 and Beyond

101 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

One of the chief concerns we have as website owners is how to drive traffic to our websites. Without knowing how to get more traffic, how else will we get more leads, make more sales and continue to make money online?

There are a number of ways to get more traffic, so I’ve collected this list of my favorite traffic-generation techniques. I’ve tried to organize them into the following categories:

• Content and article marketing
• SEO and search engine marketing
• Video marketing and podcasting
• E-mail marketing and syndication
• Advertising and PPC
• Public relations and spreading the word
• Social media and bookmarking

Of course, some techniques could arguably be placed in more than one category.

Content and Article Marketing

1. Start a blog or add a blog to your website. Use WordPress.
2. Research your article keywords using the Google keyword tool. Target your blog posts and articles using these keywords. (Read How to Add Keywords to Your Website.) This will help your posts rank higher in the search results.
3. Update your website or blog frequently. Three times each week is great. Daily is better.

To continue reading Matt’s article please go to: 101 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

101 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Google Not Blocking Sites – Deliberate or Oversight?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

I recently came across a couple of articles on WebProNews and Search Engine Roundtable that both reported onGoogle’s new found inability (or unwillingness?) to continue blocking sites that users specify they don’t want displayed in their search results.

According to a Google employee in a recent official product forum thread, this was a “known issue a while back.” My, what a vague response… vague enough to lead one to believe that Google doesn’t care too much about blocking sites from the SERPs for users.

Funny – we’re talking about the same company that has been rolling out waves of aggressive algo changes for the sake of bettering the “user experience” for searchers. So, um… why does this not appear to add up? Seems to me a company so obsessed with pleasing the user would snap to and fix this problem as soon as people began asking questions.

Maybe more is at play here than meets the eye.

The Hard Evidence

Over at Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz tried the blocking feature himself and included screenshots of his findings in his write-up. Schwartz tried blocking the website”proflowers.com” two different ways. First, he attempted to use the “block site” feature directly in the search results, but he noticed it was nowhere to be found. He then went into his search settings and manually blocked the site. After waiting a couple of minutes, he searched again.

It was still there.

The site appeared in the ad unit atop the organic results, so I wondered whether its “sponsored listing” status was the reason the blocked site still appeared. I decided to try it myself using (what *I* consider to be) the most annoying website on the planet: eHow.com.

First, I navigated to my personal Google search settings and manually blocked the site:

Notice I blocked the site using both the www and non-www version of the URL to head off any potential confusion. Then, I waited a few minutes. When I searched for “how to make ceramic pendants”,this was the second result:

Confirmed. It really doesn’t work. Try it for yourself.

The Circumstantial Stuff

There’s massive speculation that Google’s been pretty cozy withDemand Media for quite a long time now. After Ehow’s initial slap when Google’s Panda algo rolled out, it inexplicably bounced back in the SERPs – with a vengeance. For that matter,many other content farms are beginning to resurface in the search results more frequently as well. Are we to believe that these websites have removed all of their low-quality content and started from scratch?

Or… is there more to this story?

Forbes, Reuters, and many other reputable news sources have written glowingly about DemandMedia’s miraculous resurgence these past few months. As far asrecord profits go, Demand claims it has reestablished earnings by diversifying its revenue model. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Demand’s “meh”-worthy Ehow content is also showing back up at the top of the SERPs.

But let’s flash back to 2011. In April, the Panda update slapped Ehow from search results right alongside other content farms.Then, in August, Google renewed its standing advertising agreement with Demand Media – good for the next three years.Demand Media is big business – the company boasts ownership of Cracked.com, Ehow, and various social media websites. Google’s renewed deal with the company was much sweeter than the originalagreement had been. Here’s some details on the perks of the new deal, as reported last year by ZDNet:

Of course, Google could not in good faith save Ehow from the initial wrath of Panda and leave other content farms to plummet into search engine oblivion simply because it had a big contract with the company. However, it is rather curious that one year later, we’re once again seeing Ehow articles on the first page of search results for countless keyword phrases.

Full disclosure: I was an author for Ehow a couple of years back, before the site was slapped by the algo changes. Soon after the initial blow, Demand closed down the article claiming platform for all Ehow authors, stopped producing content for its Ehow library, and began weeding out and destroying low-quality articles from its database. However, a great many articles remained – even those that would be considered nothing more than”halfway decent” writing. They simply trimmed the fat by skimming the worst of the worst from their collection. To this day, mediocre articles remain right alongside the good stuff.

Use Your Own Judgment

The opinions in this article are purely speculation, so take the information herein with a big grain of salt. Suggesting that Google somehow restored Ehow’s standing due to backroom deals would be akin to insider trading… or would it?

This is uncharted territory, and the rules of the Internet arebeing written in real-time. Things that seem unfair may be happening right under our noses, and until we set precedents and define the legality of certain situations (as we’ve seen the FTC attempt to do multiple times this year), the search landscape is a virtual free-for-all.

Why do you think Google’s no longer blocking websites from itssearch results? Do you think it’s a glitch, or is there more atplay here? Give us your take in the comments below!

Nell Terry is a tech news junkie, fledgling Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She thrives on social media, web design, and uncovering the truth about all the newest marketing fads that pop up all over the ‘net. Find out more about Nell by visiting her online portfolio at Content by Nell.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Google Not Blocking Sites – Deliberate or Oversight?

The Rebirth of E-mail Marketing

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

Remember e-mail marketing? Many consider the practice a dying art; a marketing technique that’s fallen by the wayside in favor of social media.

Well, things are starting to look up for the old school Internet marketing method. The ‘Q3 2012 North America E-mail Trends and Benchmarks report’ () was just released by Epsilon (a major marketing, consulting, and e-mail list management company), and the news looks good for e-mail marketers.

Epsilon’s Findings, in a Nutshell

Epsilon’s report showed major growth in the use of triggered messaging. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, triggered messaging refers to an e-mail that is automatically sent to a customer or prospect as the result of some action.

The most obvious examples include “Thank you” e-mails sent after you make a purchase and the traditional “Welcome” e-mail you receive when you sign up for a service online. There are many lesser-known triggered e-mail types as well. For example, think about those annoying e-mails you receive after abandoning an online shopping cart. Those, my friends, are triggered messages.

According to the report, triggered messages were up 10.3 percent year-over-year. They yielded 75.1 percent higher open rates as well as 114.8 percent higher click rates. These stats were compared to Business As Usual (BAU) messages in Q3 2012.

Judy Loschen, vice-president of digital analytics at Epsilon, had this to say about the upswing: “It’s no surprise that triggered messaging improves customer engagement, builds loyalty, and drives sales. The challenge is the integration of triggered message systems, as with other real time systems, can be an overwhelming and often lengthy process that requires significant investment to yield the pay-off. Over the past year we’ve seen many marketers investing in the implementation of triggered message systems because the return on investment is significant and the results are immediate.”

So open rates are up and the ROI is awesome. Sounds like triggered messaging does indeed still work.

Business-as-usual (BAU) e-mails did not do as well as triggered e-mails, but they still came out swinging this quarter. First, keep in mind that this data is compiled from 6.4 billion e-mails sent by Epsilon in July, August and September of 2012. The e-mails spanned a wide range of industries and almost 200 different clients. I appreciated the diversity – one can apply this data to his or her own marketing strategy with relative confidence regardless of niche.

BAU e-mails maintained a strong non-bounce rate, holding steady at 96.1 percent. In addition, BAU open rates increased quarter-over-quarter (+6.5 percent) as well as year over year (+14.6 percent). The result? An average open rate of 27.2 percent overall. In the second quarter, the average open rate was only 25.6 percent. Click rates also increased by 0.1 percentage point (2.7 percent overall) from Q212. They’re now at 4.5 percent.

It’s All about the List

Old school Internet marketers have been singing the praises of list building for years now. They still do. And for good reason… lists work (when you build them right). Lately, though, dismal open rates and increasing consumer skepticism have led some to believe the ol’ e-mail list is a dying art. Some.

The power of the list has not diminished – it’s just experiencing a string of roadblocks. Epsilon’s new study confirms what many shrewd marketers have known all along – e-mail lists are gold. If you can work them right.

This leads me to another part of the Epsilon study: the E-mail Activity Segment Evaluation (EASE). The highlight reel for this portion of the program includes the fact that 66 percent of new subscribers in an average list had no opens or clicks. Roughly half of an average e-mail file had at least one open or click over the course of the year the study took place. To top it off, EASE reported that approximately 28 percent of an average e-mail file’s subscribers had opened or clicked sometime during the last three months.

Loschen had something to say about these stats as well: “It’s also important to note that our EASE analysis found that over half of an average email list is unengaged. This highlights a significant opportunity for marketers to reactivate this dormant asset. Email marketers should view subscriber engagement as a strategy – not a one-off campaign – and focus on segmentation strategies to provide relevant and timely messages at the proper cadence to create a more meaningful dialogue and re-establish their relationship with consumers.”

Open rates may rise and fall, but if you build a loyal audience around your brand, you’ll experience far less fluctuations than most. Loschen’s quote reminds me of an Internet marketer whose list I’m on. I’ve been opted into dozens of lists in the past, and I’ve ignored e-mails from pretty much all of them until I would finally unsubscribe. One marketer, however, I kept around. She tells personal stories about her life, cares about the people on her list, and gives back whenever she can. For these reasons, this particular marketer has drawn me (and hundreds of others) in.

Believe it or not, I actually look forward to her e-mails. On the occasion that she does try to sell me something, I actually listen to her pitch. Sometimes I even buy the product in question. This, my friends, is marketing at its best. You don’t have to get up-close-and-personal about your life, but you do need to create a dialogue, attract people, earn their trust, and leave them wanting more.

Epsilon’s stats are promising – they prove e-mail marketing isn’t going away any time soon, especially with the rise of mobile users. That said, if you can manage to engage your audience (and learn how to treat them right), you’ll earn loyal customers that will stay with you for life. And your open rate won’t be too shabby, either.

Nell Terry is a tech news junkie, fledgling Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She thrives on social media, web design, and uncovering the truth about all the newest marketing fads that pop up all over the ‘net. Find out more about Nell by visiting her online portfolio at Content by Nell.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

The Rebirth of E-mail Marketing

The Social Media Argument and Fad

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Social Media News, test

Social media has become a marketing strategy that is of growing importance to the business world. But, there are still arguments as to whether it has any true value to business. Some claim it’s not a viable solution to marketing strategies while others swear by their profile – that it is the answer to today’s business needs.

Marketing Today’s Audience

Perhaps sites like Facebook and Twitter are simple fads, but that is exactly why it is so important to market to their users. Television originated as a bland three-channel option when it came out, delivering public messages and some general entertainment. But, in its growing popularity (fad), it has become a host for prime-time advertisement.

Social media is currently no different. In the business sense, it is where the business is right now. Billions of people from all over the world have social accounts on at least one medium, making it the perfect tool for any marketing strategy.

Then there are arguments about how Facebook isn’t focused enough on business applications. But, does it prove worthy for networking’s sake? After all, there is a multitude of advertising through Facebook, which means that it proves viable to someone. In argument, there are claims that LinkedIn and blogs tend to generate far more positive results for businesses, which is true. These applications are far more business-oriented than other media accounts. But, it’s also wise never to limit your opportunities.

So the real question to those that argue against social is: Are you using the tools provided, or misusing the profile you just think you have? This is perhaps the most common mistake of anyone who doubts the influence of social media. It is like someone who gets a rotten apple and decides that all the fruit in the tree is going to be bad.

What Do you Get Grom Your Social Networks?

Fundamentally, proper social strategies all come down to a few calculations:

• Who is the target audience? Each media has different audience content, and it’s important to understand who you are talking to.

So, if you’re using social, you have to ask yourself whether it’s cost effective and time efficient – is it worth your efforts? Are you trying to appeal to an audience that isn’t there? Is there viability in your strategy? Basically, will your audience be able to find you through your select social outlet?

• Providing quality content that is intriguing to the audience is essential to success.

Generating quality content isn’t as easy as it seems. Sure you could generate posts about your business, but it is also wise to incorporate present trends and fads into the content. What makes you so special, but at the same time, what makes you so relatable?

• Delivery is the biggest issue, because this includes the use of the tools that each social media has to offer.

This is where many social marketing strategies go wrong, because delivering the message relies on the proper use of the tools you have at your disposal. Take Facebook for example. This site offers personal profiles and business profiles. A common mistake is to use a personal profile for your business. You limit the abilities of your social networking strategy. You can’t be “liked” by anyone or use the different tracking tools and apps that are available to a business profile. Additionally, you are limited to what you can and can’t do. It also looks far less professional.

What Social can Offer?

Social is not a stand-alone marketing strategy. It is designed to work with other networks and expand visibility among a far larger audience. This is a characteristic that many failed social marketing strategies failed to grasp. Social networks are networks of people. This is how you reach an audience of today’s demands. If the current fad was reading the labels on a fruit, it’s guaranteed you would see advertising in the produce section. However, that’s what it is – an advertising strategy that helps to increase visibility, awareness, and improve a business’ sales through word-of-mouth marketing.

The majority of people trust peer recommendations over any other source of advertising, including television and radio. Word-of-mouth marketing is perhaps the most powerful advertising tool available, and it relies on the ability of a business to network its image by including themselves in the current trends of today’s audience.

It all comes down to what a business wants to invest in their brand and how they will measure the success of their engagement with their brand community, wherever they spend time. Businesses need to excel at their brand communication and not get hung up on loving a communication channel.

Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word-of-mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz. She facilitates online visibility services and word-of-mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy, http://buzz2bucks.com.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

The Social Media Argument and Fad