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Instagram expands advertising and support with Instagram Partners and connects Facebook

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Facebook, Social Media | Comments Off on Instagram expands advertising and support with Instagram Partners and connects Facebook

Instagram started as a simple photo sharing site. Once Facebook got involved, purchasing the 2-year old company for $715 million (first reported as 1 Billion), their intention was always to turn a profit. With the creation of Instagram Partner Program, Facebook/Instagram steps into their next evolution. Instagram started as an iPhone app on October 6, 2010. Ads, more of a type of sponsored posts, went live on Instagram on a few weeks ago, going global on September 30, 2015. The advertising update allowed for delivery of ads across both Facebook and Instagram (more info on that). Instagram Partners is similar to Google’s Adwords support where business partners have been given the authority to act as agents for Google. Instagram Partner Program is starting off with 40 partners that are specializing in three categories for businesses: ad tech which focuses on planning, buying, and optimizing ads. Community management, specializing in engagement and interaction with communities. Content marketing, which supports curation of content and sharing on the social platform. Make sure to read up on the ad platform and partners on the Instagram Tumblr page, Instagram for...

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Google & Yahoo working on a 3-Year Deal

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Google Updates, Yahoo | Comments Off on Google & Yahoo working on a 3-Year Deal

Google & Yahoo working on a 3-Year Deal

Today, during a call with investors about earnings, the Yahoo management team presented the investors with a bit of a confidence booster in news of a partnership with Google. According to the press release containing details on Yahoo’s business highlights: In October, the Company reached an agreement with Google that provides Yahoo with additional flexibility to choose among suppliers of search results and ads. Google’s offerings complement the search services provided by Microsoft, which remains a strong partner, as well as Yahoo’s own search technologies and ad products. Yahoo & Google Partnership History You may have forgotten, but this isn’t the first time the two search giants joined hands. The first came in 2000 when Google won the partnership when Yahoo moved away from Inktomi. Yahoo’s search results have rarely been “Yahoo” search results, often being supplied or managed by a provider. In many of these deals, Yahoo not only benefits from the service of a respected search platform but in the deal of 2000, Yahoo gained shares of Google, that was privately-held at the time. Wonder what those stakes look like today?! During the deal that lasted from 2000 to 2004, Google search results were mixed with Yahoo searches, creating a blend that Yahoo’s algorithm manages. Although Yahoo didn’t have a very large market share at the time (or now) they didn’t care and in the renewal of the Google deal in 2001, the main change was in the Yahoo directory, when it went from being a free platform to a $299 paid system. Since then, Yahoo has connected with Yext for business listing. It’s kind of their strategy, to just generate revenue through partners and businesses that believe in Yahoo. If you’re a statephile, you can check out Danny Sullivan’s article on the old partnership. This first partnership lasted until February 2004, at which time Yahoo returned to using it’s on algorithm and technology for search results and ad delivery. What should be noted is that each geographical area, such as the UK and Japan, have their own versions of the search results. Part of a global or multilangual optimization strategy involves ensure use of language support for traffic from different locations. You may have seen URLs containing .eu, .au, .fr, or others. In 2010, Yahoo Japan, chose to use Google technology, powering 90 percent of web searches, instead of following the U.S. based Yahoo that elected to use Microsoft Bing in 2010 (NY Times). Chief Executive of Yahoo Japan Masahiro Inoue was quoted as saying, “At the present time, we feel there are quite a few areas where Microsoft is not yet ready, Google is one step ahead in Japanese-language services.” Nuances of the Current Deal In this 2015 deal, Google isn’t taking over the results just augmenting the results. After signing a 10-year deal with Microsoft Bing in April 2015, that mirrored the one from 2010, Yahoo had renegotiated the rights to partnerships and the ability to use other technologies in the results, aside from Bing’s. As reported by Vindu Goel in July of this year, “Under the revised deal, Yahoo can use its own search technology or that of other providers for up to 49 percent of its search results.” What this really means is that Bing is used for 51% of all Yahoo...

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Facebook Cuts The Fat – No More Fakers

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Facebook | Comments Off on Facebook Cuts The Fat – No More Fakers

Have you noticed a drop in your Facebook likes and/or your followers? If so, you are not alone. On March 12th, Facebook implemented a trim to there system to reduce the number of spammers, inactive accounts, and fake accounts. In doing so, many pages saw a drop in 5-12% of their likes and followers. The numbers for everyone is different but everyone may have seen some sort of drop. This should be viewed as a positive change from Facebook. By removing the ‘illusion’ of more followers, users can trust the number of likes and followers; improving the credibility of the social platform, as a whole. If you haven’t leveraged the authority provided by user engagement and reviews, you are missing out! Engagement on social networks helps build up important signals for search. Social and search play well together. Business-to-Business is a bit of a struggle on social media but consumers and clients respond well to retail, service, and product manufactures online that are active on their social platforms. Make the most of these ‘free’ resources by posting regularly, offering unique content, and engaging with your target audiences. A mix of 70/20/10 is the industry standard. 70% of the time, you should be posting engaging, meaningful content focused on user needs and relevant tips for your industry. 20% of your content on social should be industry specific; touting your knowledge or news related to the audience. Only 10% of your posts should be self-promoting. Happy socializing and Happy St. Patrick’s...

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Google FIBER, Nashville!

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Google Fiber, Google Updates | Comments Off on Google FIBER, Nashville!

Google FIBER, Nashville!

Google is making a big announcement today concerning Google Fiber and it’s introduction to Nashville proper. If you aren’t familiar with Google Fiber, let me enlighten you. Google Fiber is the search giants expansion into the ISP field in the form of low-cost, high-speed Internet service. Fiber focuses on Internet and TV services, connected to the Google Play store, Google+ and Google Drive. Fiber is currently only available in certain cities. Unfortunately, C.SEO‘s Spring Hill location is out, but the satellite office is in Nashville, so, still winning! As Google expands, they make a big hoopla around each new city. And expectantly so with broadband speeds in the 1000 Mbps range. That is about 100x the speed of basic services currently available in most locations. To view a list of current cities and Google’s plan for expansion, visit: https://fiber.google.com/newcities/.   But, back to Nash Vegas! The introduction of Google Fiber will result in new jobs, faster Internet services, and something the community has been looking for; alternatives to Comcast, Charter Communications, and Dish Network. Healthy corporate competition never hurts consumers… well not always, and not in this case. With Google Fiber jumping into the fray, the ISPs will be forced to reduce costs, improve service, or alter there business models where Internet services are concerned.   The Wrapper Google Fiber in Nashville is a good thing. Want to see if you will be able to get in on the action? There are only a few areas that will start off with high-speed Internet by Google. According to maps posted on Erichsen Group’s website, for the latest round of Fiber cities (Portland, OR | Atlanta, GA | Raleigh-Durham / Charlotte, NC | Nashville, TN) the areas in Tennessee that will be privy to the next evolution of Internet service are: Springfield, Hendersonville, Downtown Nashville, Brentwood, La Vergne, parts of Smyrna, Murfreesboro (lucky MTSU), and Franklin. Check to see if your neighborhood is getting upgraded by visiting https://fiber.google.com/cities/nashville/home/ and clicking “Check Address” at the top. If you’re one of the lucky ones, Welcome to the...

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Client Testimonial: MyGuru, Test Preparation and Tutoring

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in C.SEO, Marketing | Comments Off on Client Testimonial: MyGuru, Test Preparation and Tutoring

This is a short “testimonial blog post” about the effectiveness of the investment I’ve made in working with Chris on local online marketing strategies. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about marketing strategies for my small but growing tutoring company. We’ve been around since 2009, and I’ve tried a lot of different stuff: inbound marketing through content, social media (of course), pay-per-click, and various offline strategies too. My goals are to both improve SEO rankings but also increase actual web-site traffic (through both organic search and referrals from particular web-sites). As a provider of 1-1 tutors in various cities with no physical locations (students meet tutors in coffee shops, libraries, etc.), we face a specific set of challenges. MyGuru has an elite team of tutors in Chicago, but we’ve expanded to many other cities as well. Our success is, in large part, a function of being known locally for having great tutors. At the same time, we are trying to build a brand that, regardless of location, is more generally known for offering excellent advice related to specific exams, like the ACT, SAT, GMAT, or GRE, as well as for academic skill development through better mindsets, academic planning, more effective study habits, or better time management. So, I worked with Chris and C.SEO to develop a three pronged strategy: Develop powerful, general content that’s not location specific and build links associated with that content Develop powerful, localized content, and build links associated with the content Use specific tools to cost effectively get local profiles up on the most important business directories, like Google Plus local, Yelp, Angie’s List, and more. I have been very pleased with the results of this effort. There are so many marketing options available to small businesses these days, and lots of ways to spend (and waste) money and time. By working with Chris, I not only get helpful advice, but someone who was able to dig in and set up Google Plus Local vs. Google Plus Brand profiles for me, or call Yext and negotiate on pricing, and many other major and minor things. The results have been nice. Organic traffic is about 50% higher after about 6 months of working together. MyGuru is flourishing in part due to Chris’ helpful advice and hard work. Mark Skoskiewicz Founder of MyGuru   — This is a guest post authored by Mark Skoskiewicz and posted by Chris Turner...

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Penguin 3.0 Is Here!

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Algo Changes | Comments Off on Penguin 3.0 Is Here!

Penguin 3.0 Is Here!

The last Penguin update occurred in October of 2013. We saw some signals a new update of Google’s link quality component of the algorithm was coming. Before most Google updates are implemented, there are changes that happen with the SERPs, fluctuations in the number of search impressions, link changes in Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), and a few other signals. As of October 21st, Penguin 3.0 is being released, worldwide. It should impact 1% of all US English queries according to Pierre Far of Google UK. The roll out will last several weeks as it is implemented across all of Google’s search platform. Although this Penguin update is given a full version number, it is being referred to as a refresh; only it is a refresh on a global scale. Most SEOs believe this refresh is focused on determining the value of links in guest posts and blog networks to a further extent than the first iterations of the update. However, the focus was to also help sites doing well in the link-building category a slight boost in search visibility.   The Wrapper   In the Penguin’s last update, several websites were hit with penalties and Google offered a link disavow tool to help webmasters communicate with Google concerning links the website owner does not endorse. Penguin’s latest update shouldn’t impact most businesses or websites that are not pursing paid links, spam links, advertorials, link networks or other links that violate Google’s quality...

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Panda 4.1

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Algo Changes | Comments Off on Panda 4.1

Panda 4.1

Content is built to help inform and educate users. Google’s algorithm handles multiple areas focused on quality and content. To ensure the search results are as relevant as possible, the Google algorithm has several components that focus on separate values. Panda is aimed at identifying low-quality content. The latest update to Panda, released on September 25 and rolled out over the span of 2-3 weeks, is designed to help SMBs and their sites. This update, like others, only affects certain queries. “Depending on the locale, around 3-5% of queries are affected.” According to Pierre Far. Furthermore, Pierre said, “Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice.” The latest version of Panda (4.0) was released in May of 2014. Websites with low-quality content and content that is overly duplicated were impacted by the release of 4.0. Popular websites PRWeb and PRNewswire were impacted, losing up to 70% of their search engine traffic according to Forbes. That original release (Panda 4.0) affected about 7.5% of all English queries by comparison.   The Wrapper What can be taken from this latest Panda version and Pierre’s comments is that the algorithm has been further refined to improve the way content is evaluated. Websites that offer little unique or informative content may find themselves loosing visibility; while small businesses with good localized content may see a slight increase in search...

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Bing Updates and Edits, 2014

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Bing | Comments Off on Bing Updates and Edits, 2014

Does Bing really matter? Well according to comScore, they sure do! Google has the lion share of the market with 67.6% while Bing remains in second place with 18.7% and Yahoo is at 10%. With these numbers amounting for 96.3% of the market, we know that other search platforms, like AOL and Comcast, account for only 3.7%. Business owners know the value of Google but many underestimate the value of Bing. Microsoft’s search platform isn’t a strong competitor with Google’s brand and user loyalty, but with a number of partnerships that include Facebook, Klout and TripAdvisor, Bing is taking a sniper’s approach to search versus a broad strategy. Agencies often leverage these partnership opportunities using services like Yext to manage business listings. Along with this, general website optimization and optimization done for Google, often covers what is needed for organic visibility in Bing. When it comes to Microsoft’s search system, business owners can make use of: www.bing.com/webmaster – Bing’s Webmaster Tools’ System www.bingplaces.com – Bing Local Business Platform bingads.microsoft.com – Microsoft’s Pay Per Click Platform In 2014, Microsoft has made a few changes and started working on a few transitions. The first is associated with the separation from Yahoo. Bing and Yahoo partnered thinking a joint approach would help them overcome the beast that is Google. However, when Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo, Bing was one of the first partners on the chopping block. Their partnership is slated to end in 2015. Along with this, Bing has expanded their maps system to include additional images and data points for local searchers. This increased focus on local coincided with Google’s local update, Pigeon. The most recent change involved the removal of 130 million URLs for keyword stuffing. If you are at all familiar with SEO, you may know the big three no-nos of search: duplicate content, spam content (and links), and keyword stuffing. These concerns were addressed in Google during the early 00’s but it is only now that Bing is refining it’s index and improving the quality of results. Unlike the big dog, Bing offered details of the removal in a post on their official blog.   The Wrapper Ultimately, Bing has a few tricks and tools working in their favor. It is up to business owners to determine how much value is available in the 18% share Bing manages. It is possible, that for a minimal investment of time, effort, and/or money, business owners can make the most of Bing’s market share of...

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Penguin 3.0 to hit before the end of the Year

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Algo Changes, Google Updates | Comments Off on Penguin 3.0 to hit before the end of the Year

Penguin 3.0 to hit before the end of the Year

We have seen the signals that Google was preparing to make an update or change to their search system, in regards to refining the way the algorithm evaluates links, for some time now. Tremors in the search surrounding links comes in the form of changes in GWMT’s link reporting, changes to authorship, concerns with directory and forum linking along with the ever-controversial advertorial links. Penguin focuses on links and Panda focuses on low-quality content. Search Engine Land offers a great history of Penguin update and Barry Schwartz shares his thoughts on this news as well. According to their records, the order and dates for releases are: Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012 (initial release, affected about 3.1% of search queries) Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012 (less than 0.1% affected) Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012 (less than 0.5% of queries were impacted) Penguin 4 (Penguin 2.0) on May 22, 2013 (2.3% of queries affected) Penguin 5 (Penguin 2.1) on Oct. 4, 2013 (1% of queries affected) The next update is planned to be a complete update of this backlink evaluator of the algorithm with a focus on allowing Penguin to run like Panda does now, which is monthly. When the algorithm runs, it refreshes the Google index to align better with the signals and values of web pages; meaning that see improvements  becomes quicker. Currently, it can take a few weeks (6-10) for changes made in regards to links to be fully realized. The Wrapper Although Google is not giving out many details or officially announcing ever update, John Mueller with Google announced their anticipation of releasing a Penguin update within 2014 “in the reasonable future.” This really means that it will be easy to see recovery after a penalty and to see search improvements faster with white hat and organic link...

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5 Facts about PageRank in 2014 (and Beyond)

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Algo Changes, Information Technology | Comments Off on 5 Facts about PageRank in 2014 (and Beyond)

5 Facts about PageRank in 2014 (and Beyond)

Why Links Matter/ed – PageRank   Introduction to PageRank   When you have the job of organizing the world-wide-web, you need some method of assigning value to each page the web contains. For Google and its creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this value came to be known as PageRank. This arbitrary value is a combination of several parameters associated with any and every page saved to their index. PageRank is meant to offer an ‘absolute quality’ for any given page. It was understood in the early years of Google (circa 2008-2010) that the top elements used in PageRank were links pointing to pages (+), the number of links on a page (-), and page-level qualities (e.g. technical coding, content, terms, etc.). As far back as 1998, when Page and Brin initially presented Google to Stanford University, the idea of their indexing system was to evaluate content on the web and present the findings to users for easy accessibility. During the process of evaluation each page would be indexed, quantified and stored based on over 200 factors. In 2014, what matters the most in that evaluation? Not only to businesses but also to Google? What Matters in 2014 for PageRank Over the years we have all become a little jaded when we hear the term ‘algorithm’ when having conversations about Google. “Hey, did you hear about the latest algo change?” “The local algo is really messing with my business.” We may have forgotten the mathematics involved in Google’s process of ranking and valuing. There is a lot of science behind the Google algorithm(s). Even with all the updates, the fact that search platforms use mathematic equations has stayed the same. The updates the Google team makes are centered on the quality of the indexed results, incorporation of user feedback (this is where ‘organic’ comes from) and the inclusion of their business plan (sadly). Money is now a major motivator of the search algorithm and the changes being made. So, in 2014, what factors are within our power to influence search to position our web pages in prime positions?   Five Facts of PageRank Links – As with the first iterations of the Google algorithm, links are a primary factor in the mathematics used to determine the value of a web page. The algorithm has evolved past just looking at the number of links and focuses more on the quality of links. This means, the links pointing at a web page pass value, but that value is evaluated for relevancy along with some concern with ‘why’ the link exist. Why is this page linking to that page (and visa versa)? Why would a user click on the link? Ensuring pages linking to your web page(s) are appropriate is vitally important. Content – Building a great site is one thing, having tons of great links is another, but all of that only makes since when the content of the site is worthy of existing. Content is king but only when the kingdom is worthy of subjects! The best kind of links come from users that enjoy your content; whether it is a product, service, educational, informational, or just entertaining. The content is the meat of the experience, without it the page is just an empty plate. Context – Theme here is...

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