Weekend Wrap 16 – Google 2012 Review, Small Business Link Building, Fake Social Media Experts

So much insightful information this week it was hard to choose – but we think we selected some of the very best.

Starting off with a 2012 review of all Google updates which will definitely inform and a WordPress theme change SEO check list which is invaluable.

If  you are a small business owner looking for a link building strategy that works – you can read it here.  Also an epic post you will  want to tuck away and read over and over again from Jason Acidre – it’s everything you need to know about inbound strategy and is a fantastic resource.

Our light-hearted post this week gets stuck into social media experts – it’s very amusing and we also feature a post from one of our favourite bloggers Mark Schaefer – he shares his wisdom on great titles for blogposts – always valuable and interesting.

Photo this week – Okiroto Stream Muriwai Beach

Okiroto Stream west coast Muriwai

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Wow! 2012 has been a huge year for Google and SEO and this blow by blow summary covers Panda, Penguin, Google notifications, trust and reputation, exact match domains, the Pirate update and a lot more. This yearly summary is in early like the malls and their Christmas decorations.
In this post 5 top US SEO/content strategy experts are asked about the increasing role of content marketing in SEO, measurement of content marketing results, the cost to business and some great examples of companies getting the combination very right. Some very useful insights.
This one is perfectly timed – we are gearing up to move to a new WordPress theme ourselves. Distilled always gives great value and this is no exception. A nice, easy to follow check-list to make sure you don’t lose ground when you move to a new theme. Watch this space for our new design over the coming weeks.

There is always a ton of stuff around link building when you are a big industry player like Kissmetrics or SEOmoz but often these tactics just do not work for a small business. A small local business is unlikely to have the budget, time resources or social reach for a combination of epic content, infographics and linkable, shareable content that goes viral. This post gets real about what works for the little guys.

Weekend Wrap 15 – Google Insider Secrets, Evil Link Building, Epic Content

Some real goodies this week from our search for the best around the Web!

See what Google are  really doing (!!) in this in-depth interview with an ex-member of the elite search quality team, the current state of SEO from those who know and where to from here… how to rid your e-commerce website of those errors that hinder your ranking, a humorous, refreshing post on evil link building methods, a look at the views of 35 powerhouse social media personalities on how to be influential on Facebook, a great post on how epic content or long-form posts in content marketing get big rewards and much, much more – plenty here for your week’s reading to keep you up to date.

A little bucolic scene this week – visiting family enjoying feeding the alpacas

Alpacas eating from buckets

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

What better way to get insights on what Google is really doing than to interview an ex-member of Matt Cutts’ search quality team. The first interview caused a bit of a storm with Google saying that this ex-Googler didn’t really work for them and disputed some of his claims. This follow-up is just as interesting and contradicts some of Google’s public inferences.

Top SEO Tips Straight From the Industry Experts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some of the biggest names in SEO share on Hubspot their insights and opinions on what is the current state of search engine optimisation as well as giving advice on the best approaches to take. Insights from Rand Fishkin, Darmesh Shah, Stephanie Chang and Greg Shuey.

This post on Kissmetrics is a must-read for anyone working with an ecommerce website. These errors are almost the default setting for many ecommerce sites when they are first built and they will seriously hinder your chances of ranking well on Google.

And here is one just for fun. Peter Attia has put together a follow-up of 9 nasty ways to build links (and recommends you don’t do any of them). Good to see someone having a bit of a laugh when so much SEO commentary is dead serious.

Weekend Wrap 12 – Google Disavow Fallout, SEO Predictions, Facebook Fail

Plenty to keep you informed this week as we look at the inevitable fallout from the recent launch of the Google Disavow Tool, Google sending mixed messages – asking for content for humans while demanding multiple technical considerations purely for search engines, a great case study on content marketing strategy to get 100,000 monthly visitors and an awesome example of how two huge European brands battle it out for a giant share of the auto world!

This week we are looking at a view over Lake Taupo on the 14km walk from the Whakaipo Bay to the small town of Kinloch.
View from Whakaipo Bay Taupo

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Yes, it had to happen… already people are uneasy with the potential fallout from Google’s disavow tool. Ever since Penguin was rolled out a number of larger brands have been sending legal threats to those people linking to them if they do not have decent site authority. Now the fear is that large numbers of good quality sites will be disavowed and penalised by Google! It seems that Google would have been better off to just ignore poor quality links rather than punishing them…
This is simply a brilliant slidedeck which explains in detail how to integrate SEO and content marketing in a presentation over 109 slides. Jonathon Colman examines the myths and realities of SEO and discusses editorial calendars, the content lifecycle, metadata, content audits and much more.

 

A massive amount of valuable info here in an interview with Jonathan Goodman who has just presented at Search Engine Marketing Expo in New York about where search is at, what Google is up to, and where Google is likely to go next. Panda and Penguin, unique content, anchor text, back-links, the disavow tool and more are covered here.
Kristi Hines is one of our favourite bloggers and she really nails it with this post. Everything you need to know and more about how to get the most out of Google Webmaster Tools with screenshots all the way through to help you understand every step.

 

Have Keywords Stopped Being A Proxy To The Customer?

The technical compliance needs for any website are getting more and more crazy. Matt Cutts has made almost 300 videos to help understand what you can and can not do! This great post looks at how Google is saying create your content for humans, then insists on multiple technical factors for search engines.

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Weekend Wrap 6 – Google Fails Test, Technical SEO and Bob Marley

We kick off the Weekend Wrap with Google in the limelight again, the ongoing process of optimisation, a great post on solving SEO technical issues, what we can learn about marketing from Bob Marley and a lot more to stimulate and educate from the week that was!

Enjoy the posts…

This week’s photo – a Spring storm brought big swells at Muriwai Beach last week – only the gulls seem unfazed!

Spring storm at Muriwai Beach

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Would Google Fail Its Own Quality Test?

Following hot on the heels of last week’s leaked Google guidelines on page quality this post runs Google’s own site through the test. How do you think Google fared? (this is pretty funny)

The Importance of Ongoing Optimization – Tips Included

When can you say your site is optimised?  The truth is that you should never stop optimising your content – it’s an ongoing process as explained here.

Common Technical SEO Problems and How to Solve Them

I usually shy aware from ‘techy’ posts but this one is worth its weight in gold!   Excellent technical SEO tips, understanding accidental homepage duplication, 301 redirects, soft 404 errors and much more. File this one away for future reference – you never know when you might need it or know someone else who does!

How to create a lightning fast website

As you are probably aware, site speed is one of the many valuable ranking factors Google looks at.   Wordtracker gives a really useful tutorial on how to improve your site page load speed for that small but subtle lift in search results.
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Weekend Wrap 5 – Google Leaks, Link Building Fears And Kicking Ass Online!

We kick off the Weekend Wrap with some secret insider information leaked from Google followed by how SEO hasn’t really changed much in 16 years (sort of), post Penguin webmaster fears of natural links, moments of truth on how shoppers buy, heavyweight blogs to bookmark and follow and a whole lot more from the week gone by.

Enjoy the posts…

This weeks’ photo – between putting the Weekend Wrap together we found a bit of time to get some dead trees taken down (between rain showers). Many thanks to our nephew Marcus! (that’s Marcus in the photo)

 

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Search Quality Raters Instructions Gain New “Page Quality” Guidelines

Rarer than hen’s teeth! A leaked internal Google instruction manual for their human page quality reviewers.  Wow!  You don’t often get this sort of inside information.

The Only SEO Strategy That Works (Cutting Through The Bullsh*t)

The Google algorithm created back in 1996 is still basically the same as the algorithm that functions today! (kind of!)  So have the SEO experts just complicated things?  An excellent post showing how SEO works, no tricks, no subterfuge, but a clear no-nonsense breakdown of how to do it – don’t miss this one.

The Hidden Cost Of Cheap SEO & Social Media Labor

Second post from Search Engine Land this week however this one is too good to leave out.  How often have you heard the saying “you get what you pay for?”  This is a great summary of what can happen if you are miserly with your SEO and social media budget.  What really happens if you say yes to one of the daily cheap SEO offers that avoid the spam folder in your email?

Fear Of Google Ironically Has People Considering Making Natural Links Unnatural

Google has caused ‘fear and loathing’ among webmasters with its messages about links.  This panic has led to many webmasters requesting to have links removed from sites that they would otherwise find valuable, fearing that Google will not like them and hurt their rankings. This post looks at another symptom of Post Penguin Panic Syndrome! (PPPS)
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Weekend Wrap 2 – Penguin fears, meta tags, Twitter tips and more

There has been a lot going on this past week and with everyone waiting for the latest updates from Google we bring you a sneak preview from some of the most influential thought leaders in the industry, plus more about what Google wants from your link building efforts, how to create fantastic ‘explainer videos’ and why telling stories is now so important.

We welcome you to call in on a weekly basis and see the valuable goodies the week brings.

First up though – a picture taken during the week of the wild daffodils in our paddock that burst through every year – Spring is on it way!

 

Enjoy the posts below…

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Meta Description Magic: Think Less about SEO & More about Click-Throughs

Hilarious! Google overshoots meta-description length for their own results! Absolute wisdom on the frequently debated meta description tag and its importance to website results.

Google: Further Penguin Update “Jolts” To Come; Panda Is Smoother & Monthly

A lot of people are getting rather anxious as they anticipate  the impending Penguin Update!  Matt Cutts even went as far as to say that the next Penguin will have some jarring effects until Google gets it right…

Why Search, Social Media and Content are Vital For Your Company’s Success

Excellent overview showing how SEO, social media and content strategy are now critical to online success.  Jeff Bullas discusses the three core pillars of digital marketing with Technology Fast 550 expert Andy Jamieson and covers some of the reasons why an integrated strategy works… “Is your company stiff, static and slow or is it dynamic, social and real?”

The Unbearable Torture Of Linking

Is 2012 the time when the scales finally tipped the other way and Google officially became the enemy?  There is a lot of panic out there and this post assures if you provide Google with what they want –  quality website, quality content, engagement…

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Weekend Wrap – SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing Highlights

Every week we come across a huge amount of amazing content from the rapidly changing world of Social Media, the almost daily upheavals of SEO and the incredible creativity of the Web’s Content Marketing Strategists.

We find the very best posts for you on a weekly basis to save you time and filter out the noise on the web so you can get the best and most up to date information for your business.

We welcome you to call in on a weekly basis and see the valuable goodies the week brings.

First up though – a pic of our old Magnolia tree reminding us that Spring is not far away with its beautiful pink buds.

Enjoy the posts below…

Magnolia tree in flower – Muriwai Beach

Here are a selection of the best articles we have found from top bloggers, marketers, social media strategists and search engine optimisation specialists.

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Nine Articles for Serious WordPress Publishers

If you’re a WordPress fan (or not) you won’t want to miss these nine articles showing the value of an online platform that does convert!

How to Conduct an On-Page SEO Site Audit

It’s one of the first steps any good SEO consultant will do before beginning a project and this detailed post talks you through the crucial steps of a site audit.

Google Will Penalize Sites Repeatedly Accused Of Copyright Infringement

Beware the latest penalty from Google that could see your site taking a dive in search results and find out why it’s dubbed “The Emanuel Update.”

How Google Finds Unnatural Links to Your Website

Are you keeping the right company?  When it comes to Links Google has warned us… hang around in the wrong neighbourhood and you will surely get into trouble!
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Is Social Media The Next Big Bang?

I am currently engrossed in the most amazing book by Bill Bryson, some of you will probably have read it already – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” for which he won the prestigious Aventis Prize in 2004 for best general science book. It’s a remarkable book and I believe the world would be a better place if it was mandatory in every school library.

I know I would certainly have taken an interest in science if this book was around in my day and had been readily available to break down the mysteries of atoms and photons.

Bill Bryson is a gifted story-teller and he presents the study of science through this book in an articulate, friendly and light-hearted way and more importantly, in a language everyone can understand.

The most curious thing happened when I was reading this book that had a profound effect on me.  Now I’ve only read the first few chapters so far but no matter what page I turned I couldn’t stop thinking about the incredible similarities between The Big Bang Theory and the arrival of Social Media… it’s quite extraordinary.

Night lights of US West Coast

What about this analogy?

The Big Bang Theory and social media both appeared as uncontrollable events, a force majeure, something that took hold at a moment in time and has been spreading ever since.

“It took three minutes for 98 per cent of all the matter there is or ever will be to be produced and voila! The Universe was born.”

I’m not saying that the “coming” of social media technology was conceived and completed in three minutes, but we do know that this phenomena exploded onto mainstream consciousness in a similar fashion and expanded with a parallel intensity … and is still spreading.

Both events appeared with a “hiss and a roar” on a magnitude of universal proportions.

Social media keeps on expanding…

“In less than a minute the Universe is a million miles across and growing fast.”

In less than six years social media has made a major impact on our lives… and continues to mature and grow on a daily basis.

And what about this from the Book?

“In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were troubled by a persistent background noise, a steady stream of hiss that was relentless and unfocused. It came from every point in the sky, day and night, through every season”.

(Does this remind you of  a small flightless blue bird that has its lodgings in every corner of the world?)

It was eventually discovered that this “persistent background noise” was in fact the edge of the Universe – some 90 trillion miles away!
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Twitter Analytics Tools – A Crowdbooster Review

Management of multiple social media accounts can be a huge drain on your time and resources. Never believe anyone who says social media is free! It ain’t! In this post I will review a Twitter Analytics and scheduling tool called Crowdbooster – no affiliate relationship is involved here so you get nothing but the facts without a pitch. And seeing as this is social – please share with the Tweet, Like, Share type buttons at the top.

Like most people you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed with the sheer number of social media accounts you need to be active on if you are in business.

You are also more than likely finding that tweeting, updating, sharing, liking, +1ing, In-ing (Ha!), pinning, stumbling, tumbling, checking in, digging and every other possible permutation is WEARING you out!

I have written previously about Twitter techniques to engage – this post is about how to cut down on the amount of time spent managing your social media accounts.

Social media analytics

Say hello to the wonderful world of social automation – and before you get up on to your high horse – yes, I can hear the chorus already:

Social is all about the conversation, it is about being in the “now”, it is in real-time… 

I agree, 100%!

And you should never automate conversations in social media, or thank yous, or any other more personalised interactions. Ideally you should check into social media frequently to reply to people… in real time.

However, there are certain aspects of social media which should be automated.

Some of the more mechanical tasks associated with managing your social media can take hours every day if you do these manually.

So, tools to assist with reducing the amount of time you have to spend on social media are a necessity.
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Social Media Marketing Experts Or Amateurs?

Why should you care about social media?

The rapid rise in social media over the last few years has given business owners some pretty exciting tools to connect with their customers.  Social media presents huge opportunities for dialogue in a global market where discussion, sharing information and exchanging ideas contributes to building better and longer lasting relationships with customers.

Who can you trust?

It has also produced a whole new wave of ‘social media marketing experts’ (SMME) or ‘social media managers’ (SMM) willing to be the voice of your business and take control of your social media strategy.

Social media manager with gag

While some SMM’s will prove themselves adept in managing your business campaigns with social cohesion, it still remains intangible for them to become the ‘voice’ of your business.  There has been a lot of debate over this as business owners scream long and loud “You’re crazy if you think I have time to twitter all day”.

With changes in the Internet happening at the speed of light, finding a SMM today is an interesting proposition. There is no code to follow so you need to be sure when casting your eye around to fill this role that you ask the right questions to ensure you get the right answers.  It is essential you confirm they are fully up to date with the increasing speed of changes in the social media landscape…

Beware the amateurs and the damage they can do!

Take a look at how this ‘voice’ of the business went seriously wrong:

You may be willing to hand over the “voice” and reputation of your business to a SMM company who knows nothing about your business.  Within a matter of hours your business is  let loose in the hands of some rookie sitting somewhere in a room full of thirty or forty people in their early 20’s working on commission and claiming to be versed and trained in the art of social media – its bollocks!

Is it a good idea to outsource social media?

How they can even start to get a handle on how your business or any other business operates is beyond me when you are one of hundreds of companies being offered a monthly package with a ‘one size fits all plan.’   You don’t have to look far on any of the social media platforms to recognise some of the accounts they handle and what a dismal job they are doing.

It may seem like an easy option to hand over the tricky job of understanding and using social media to a SMM company.  However, at best you will be ignored, at worst you will effectively damage your online brand and reputation by looking inept!

So… back to square one then?

You can’t afford to ignore the mighty social media giants because you don’t understand how social media works or because you won’t invest the time to learn this stuff.
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Marketing With Twitter! It’s Not All About ROI

Twitter marketing is about giving and sharing information2012 will be the year for businesses of all sizes to seriously acknowledge social media.

Business owners now have an exceptionally powerful and proven marketing tool to add to their portfolio – Twitter!

As we all know Twitter is one of the largest social networks in the world and if you take the time to create and shape a strategy that integrates with your other marketing methods you will certainly reap the benefits.

To understand how marketing with Twitter brings business success can be a daunting prospect if you are not familiar with the nuances of Twitter and it definitely pays to get it right.

Unfortunately most companies are missing out on this opportunity simply because they have not taken the time to understand how Twitter can work for their business.

In his book  “The Tao of Twitter” Mark Schaefer says “I have studied, observed and written about hundreds of different success stories through Twitter and the social web and they all have one common formula running through them.  This is truly the path, the way, the Tao of Twitter.”  

He goes on to describe the business benefits of Twitter as being created through three elements  – one of these is “Authentic Helpfulness.”

In the case studies below I demonstrate how all of these connections have occurred through ‘authentic helpfulness’.

In all cases there was never a pitch for business and no sales page to convert leads.

The connections were made through the genuine desire to offer valuable information to educate and help other business owners understand how they too can reach out to find potential business and partnerships using social media.

As Schaefer says “Content is the new currency of the social web and sharing valuable information is the catalyst to forming new relationships and business partnerships”.
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