Tracy - 5/49 - Digital Marketing Agency

SEO White Knights – SEO for Good

By | SEO | No Comments

Here comes some excellent PR for the SEO industry – Searchengineland reports on the case of SEO’s taking on the Google Cash Scam.

Google Cash is a scam, unaffiliated with Google but using their name, which is basically a get-rich-quick scheme, which of course benefits the founders, at the expense of the people who fall  for it.

SEO White Knights are attempting to reduce the damage done by the scam, by SEO-ing articles telling the truth about the scam to the top of the search results.

I LOVED reading about this – the SEO industry takes a lot of crap from people who don’t understand what we do, and who think we are spammers/scammers ourselves. This story shows the good behind SEO – that it can be used to positively affect the status quo – by burying dangerous stories, or promoting important ones.

SEO is democratic. It takes time and effort, but anyone can do it, or hire someone to do it. So if you feel strongly enough about something, you could join the cause to promote or destroy it. There is nothing unfair about SEO – if you think your site deserves to be higher, then do some work on it. If it is a good quality site, with some work it should be able to get really good rankings.

The SEO White Knights show how SEO can be used for public use – health awareness campaigns, scam alerts, anything the public needs to know can be promoted. PPC could also be used (although maybe not as effectively), and is currently being used by the Google Cash scammers (not sure why Google is allowing those ads?!).

SEO can be used not only to directly increase visitors, but also for proactive PR, defensive PR, branding and influencing people for the better. For example, imagine an SEO campaign which optimised the sites of local animal shelters for searches about buying pets? Or campaigns which optimised recycling or reusability organisations for searches about waste disposal or dumping?

Now this is what I call a feel-good Friday….

Social Media in Australia – Statistics

By | Social Media | No Comments

Comscore has released some interesting social media data, focussing on Australia.

The data shows that not only is social media huge (as we already suspected), but that it really does capture a significant amount of the publics attention, and is therefore a BIG opportunity for marketers, PR people, companies – really anyone that has anything to say or sell.

Comscore found that more than 70% of Australian internet users used a social networking site in June 2009 – almost 9 million people.

9 million people were on social networking sites, which included Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and others. Thats a pretty big audience for a relatively small country. It is even better for companies that target internationally, because once you leave our shores, the numbers simply skyrocket, and that international audience can be targetted through social media campaigns you can create right from your own desk!

Surprisingly, the fastest growing group of users are the over 30’s, and unsurprisingly, the fastest growing membership is for Twitter. I was surprised that Twitter wasn’t already bigger than its small share (5%), but it is relatively very new compared to things like Bebo and MySpace, and catching up fast.

Of the 9 million Australian social media users, 6.1 million use Facebook.  Social networking is a medium whereby you are often engaged daily, or even multiple times daily. Compare this with other media, and you can see that social media is becoming pretty ‘main stream':

  • SMH newspaper readers (offline) – 0.8 million daily
  • SMH online – 12 million in June
  • Daily Tele readers (offline) – 1.1 million daily
  • Channel 7 news – 1.5 million daily

Comscores executive VP for the Asia Pacific had this to say:

“Knowing that the vast majority of a site’s visitors are social networking users should be a wakeup call to any marketer trying to understand its audience. Engaging your audience is not only about how you interact with them when they are on your site, but also about how you reach out and interact with them through other online channels, including social networks. As social networking sites increasingly become one of the Internet’s most popular destinations, it is especially critical for media companies to engage their audience where they are spending the majority of their time online.”

Offline Inspiring Online Marketing

By | Digital Marketing | No Comments

Today I was surfing the net and looking at design blogs, and a post from Toxel.com really grabbed my attention.

The post is a collection of pictures of bus stop advertising – not boring posters, but original ideas which were different, grabbed attention, and some really worked specifically for bus stops.

However, the best was saved until last, and was a picture of a 3M ad. (Major apologies, image function not working right now, will input image soon – visit that link to see it now).

It is the wall of a bus stop filled with cash (some fake, top bits real), and covered with their product – Security Glass. This is a physical demonstration of their product, with a bit of wow factor added in. It certainly got my attention, and made me think – how cool is this? How can I recreate this online?

Well, the thing with online and offline these days  is, that they are starting to come closer and closer together. The lines are being blurred. 3M could easily have spruiked this ad online –

  • Lauching the ad online via Twitter, Facebook or other social media – including photo’s and explanations of the ad.
  • Continue the campaign by posting video’s of people interacting with the ad
  • Maps of the location of the bus stops so people could check them out

Similarly, there is a cool post from Designer Daily , showing ‘Unconventional urban marketing’ techniques.

For example, moss graffiti, reverse graffiti and snow tagging. These are all completely cool ideas, but how to transfer them online? Well, these kinds of marketing are obviously location specific, so a Facebook application, Flickr, Youtube or Twitter campaign could alert people to where they are, display photo’s of the artwork, or even show how they are made.

SEO's Most Important Factors

By | SEO | No Comments

SEOmoz has released its 2009 Search Engine ranking factors – a conglomeration of the opinions of a number of professional search marketers. (Take it all with a pinch of salt of course, would you give everyone the answers if you knew them?)

Of course, SEO is a mix of science and art – you guess a bit, you test a bit, you combine and see how things come out. No one except the magicians at the search engine algorithm departments know exactly how your site is ranked, but these experts all gave their opinions and there were a few things they agreed on…

The number 1 most important thing for ranking, according to 73% of those surveyed, was external links with keyword anchor text .

Most of the top 5 were link related, with Title tag being the only on-site factor listed.

The worst things for SEO, included link farming, cloaking and having a lot of downtime for your website.

In fact, it seems that the 2009 survey listed a lot of the same things as the 2007 survey, indicating that the ‘dynamic’ world of SEO isn’t changing as much or as fast as we sometimes think.

Nobody seemed to be going out on a limb with their opinions or predictions. In particular, I found it really strange that for the question:

Which of the following statements best represents your opinion of how Google will treat links as part of their ranking algorithm over the next 5 years?

Nobody at all chose the answer

Links will become largely obsolete, much the way keyword stuffing fell by the wayside in the late 1990’s.

The most popular answer – that the importance will decline, but they will remain powerful , seems to make sense, but I just find it odd that in a ‘cutting edge’ profession like internet marketing, no one could conceive that links would become obsolete.

No one chose it because the current idea of ‘recommendation’ and PageRank makes so much sense. But have we become so insititutionalised by this system that we can’t imagine another way? Will we be blindsided by Google if/when they come up with an alternative?

With link farming, link buying and the proliferation of sites which are practically pointless except in the business of placing links on them, I can definitely imagine a clean-up of some kind coming along.  Perhaps there will be umbrella groups of sites, or you will need sponsorship, or you will need authentication, or you will have to BUY your way in (would you put this past Google?).

Would Google rule out the possibility of getting rid of links? I wouldn’t think they would rule out anything, and so thats why I don’t like to either.

Alice laughed: "There’s no use trying," she said; "one can’t believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven’t had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland.

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