AmandaDi

Facebook’s Graph Search and What It Means for You

You never quite know what Facebook has up its sleeve, and once you do find out, you never quite know if they’re onto something or if they were just having another one of those creative better-luck-next-time Facebook moments. However, just last month they announced that a new search system called Graph Search was in Beta testing. If the test does pass and we have a new way of searching for and filtering results based on Facebook data (I can see Google sweating now), it seems as though it could potentially be a great new opportunity for users as well as businesses to get connected. How Facebook’s Graph Search Works Facebook put out an introductory page to help those with questions see how the new Graph Search works. In a nutshell, it’s going to to help you type in searches that pull up results related to your friends. For example, I could search something like “photos of my friends in New York” and Facebook will pull up all of those results. As an individual going to New York, I might be interested in seeing some of the sights that my friends found interesting (especially great for those friends we can’t really ask—we all know that a “Facebook friend” is a bit different than someone you saw last Friday night). Because Graph Search is still in the Beta testing stage, it...

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Why Good Content Can Sometimes Fail: How to Make Sure You Don’t Fall Into the Trap

It’s hard to believe that good content wouldn’t always help your website grow and mature. After all, writers, blog owners, and even Google are always talking about the importance of great content. Above all else, a website must have quality content to really thrive. It’s the first piece of the puzzle, with SEO and promotion to follow. So what happens when good content doesn’t work? Is there something wrong with this good content? In the majority of cases, the answer is yes. Although something might be well written, it may not be ideal in terms of drawing in visitors. In other words, good content means more than just a well-written article—it means choosing a great topic, choosing the right tone, and marketing that content in a specific way. How to Look Past the “Well Written” and Focus on Content Success The first step when analyzing content to put on your site is always whether or not that content is well written. Check for grammar errors and coherence and organization to decide whether or not that article is something you want to put on your site. Once you’ve decided that the article is easy to read and free of any errors, you need to ask yourself three questions that are so often missed: Is the article bias or leaving out varying opinions? This can sometimes be hard to miss when...

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LinkedIn Gets a Makeover: What This Means for Your Business

Sometimes getting a fresh start is all a company needs to bounce back from a slump. In most cases, this fresh start begins with a new layout and a redesign of most webpages in order to improve the look and navigation capabilities for users and Google bots. This helps give the site a new feel and in some ways a chance at a new and better purpose. But what happens when the site is already successful? What happens when people feel comfortable with the layout? To cut to the chase—what happens if your website is LinkedIn? Although a redesign has been in the works for quite some time, many were still surprised to hear that LinkedIn confirmed last week that they are going to be changing their layout. Fortunately, LinkedIn made it clear that the site will remain professional; it will simply be more intuitive for users. New LinkedIn Features According to the LinkedIn blog, both the LinkedIn Today as well as the traditional LinkedIn webpages will change. The new design is said to be easier for someone to scan and get the information he/she needs. Under the “modern design” umbrella come a few changes: Relevancy – LinkedIn will now make sure that any updates or articles that are particularly relevant to you will show up at the top of your feed. LinkedIn will decide if content is relevant...

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How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Google+ Local

Google’s social networking site Google+ is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for individuals and businesses trying to improve their brand.  While connecting with others and promoting content is key to taking advantage of Google+, the site offers many more advantages including search engine ranking factors, +1s, and of course Google+ Local. For those who are unfamiliar, Google+ Local took the place of Google Places just a few weeks ago and can be found by clicking a “local” tab on a Google+ page. This new tab will allow users to easily find local listings right from the social networking site. If your company already has a Google Places page, it will be automatically switched to a Google+ Local page. In other words, it is extremely important to understand how this new page works to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the new system. Understanding the Google+ Local Changes   First, the Google+ Local tab as well as the listing will have a different format. Users will be able to click the tab and then type in a search query and location for easy browsing. All of the results show up with a large picture and an overall score. Below is a screenshot that shows the local tab on the left hand side and the search bar at the top: Second, Google+ Local has included Zagat scores to help you determine...

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Why Quora Can Work for Your Business

If you’re an entrepreneur or someone hoping to break into the world of business, you’re going to have a lot of questions. You can go to school for four years and pick the brains of your professors and spend all night doing homework in the library, but you’re still going to have questions. This is true with any profession, and most will tell you that finding the answers to these questions aren’t always easy. It’s intimidating to ask your boss a question that you may think should be obvious, and Google doesn’t always do the trick. Fortunately, Quora is beginning to take the world of questions by storm. For those who are unfamiliar, Quora is a social networking site that centers around asking and answering questions. These questions go from very specific to simple wonders. Below are the other two Internet avenues that one can take and some of the reasons Quora can often offer better: Google – This works well when you want to know the answer to a simple question, but nothing too specific. If you’re having a complex problem and want an answer, Google may give you something complex. Wikipedia – Anyone can add information to a Wikipedia webpage, and in most cases you have no idea where the information came from. With Quora, you know exactly who gave the answer to your question. Former CTO...

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My Blog Guest Summer Blogging Contest: The Easiest Contest of the Year!

Blogging contests usually involve countless hours of writing about a specific prompt or filling out paperwork that explains what makes your blog unique. While these contests are great and a great way to really get everyone analyzing the blogging industry, it’s nice to find an easier and faster contest during the summer. Fortunately, My Blog Guest granted this wish. My Blog Guest is holding a summer guest blogging contest where you get free content and a chance to win $1000 cash. In other words, this is one of the easiest contests for blogs because you really don’t need to do anything that you aren’t already doing. The contest works like this: Go to the Articles Gallery and make an offer on an article (or several articles). If the author accepts, publish the article on your blog. Promote the article via social media. Post the article URL and the author’s username in this thread. It’s hard to believe, but this is all you need to do. The contest is really about getting bloggers connected with authors and visa versa to help expand the blogging community. It gives blog owners great visibility from those who love the author, and it gives author the visibility for those who love the blog. In other words, there really are no losers in this contest. How You Can Win  So maybe there are no losers,...

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Internal vs. External Linking: Does the Difference Even Matter?

Most business owners who have even an elementary understanding of content online know that linking is important. However, what many do not realize is that there are many different kinds of linking, all of which have different benefits and different pitfalls.  The two most basic (but important) types of linking to understand is internal and external linking. This then begs the inevitable question: Do they differences really matter when it comes to SEO? Internal Linking 101 When someone says “internal linking” they simply mean a link that navigates between different webpages of your website. This is a great way to keep people on your site as long as possible and gives you the opportunity to help them learn more about a given topic by looking through your site as opposed to heading somewhere else. It’s hard to get all the information you need in one article, so linking internally is a huge help. Consider some of the other benefits: PageRank – Linking internally can help your page rank. This will help you move up to the top of search engine pages, so it can make a big difference when it comes to trying to improve the visibility of your brand. Although this doesn’t hold as much weight in terms of PageRank as someone else linking to your webpages, it doesn’t hurt. Navigation – As discussed above, having internal links...

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When Is It Time to ____ In SEO?

It seems like there are so many questions regarding timing when it comes to SEO. You can learn how to do something regarding SEO and you can learn why it matters and where it really matters, but your efforts won’t be nearly as successful if you don’t understand when to make the right move. After all, many aspects of business focus on timing—when to close the sale, when to make a purchase and file your taxes, when to launch a new product, when to discount a product, etc., and the SEO field is no exception. As the cliché saying goes, “timing is everything.” Unfortunately, many companies do not realize that SEO also has a strategic timetable that helps it succeed. Because SEO is (believe it or not) still a fairly new aspect of business, many company owners complete crucial changes to their SEO campaign out of order. Top 4 SEO Decisions Where Timing Really Matters Below are some of the most crucial aspects of SEO that should only happen at certain points in your SEO campaign: 1. Target New Keywords Most companies target a list of four to seven keywords where they hope to rank. Once your company has done its keyword research and determined which keywords don’t have much competition, it’s time for linking, sharing, linking, promoting, and some more linking. However, it is never a good idea for...

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How Will the New HootSuite and HubSpot Partnership Affect Your Marketing Efforts?

Now that the excitement about the HootSuite and HubSpot partnership has died down, it’s time to really consider what this will mean for small businesses’ social media efforts. Although it’s too soon to tell whether or not this will be as beneficial as it seems, there is no denying that more and more business owners are expecting to see real leads and real conversions come from social media. Because there are so many social media outlets available, companies are quickly spending money hiring social media experts and social media data analysts to help make sure social efforts are successful (and seeing leads come from social media is much more clear-cut than the types of numbers we see today). According to the HubSpot blog, the average budget spend on social media has increased 133% in just three years. This of course begs the inevitable questions: Is it possible to increase and gauge leads from social media, and if so, why haven’t we been doing this all along? How Closed-Loop Social Will Work For those who are unfamiliar, the partnership involves the all-in-one marketing software HubSpot and one of the most popular social media dashboards HootSuite, and was announced this past Wednesday. According to The Next Web, HubSpot currently claims to work with more than 6,800 companies in 46 countries, which helps them to attract visitors to their websites and convert...

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LinkedIn Hacked: What Security Precautions Can You Take When It Comes to Social Media?

Whether it has affected you or not, a headline reading “LinkedIn Hacked: 6.5 Million Passwords Leaked to the Web” gets people thinking. Social media security has always been a constant discussion since the networks began to grow in popularity, yet as with many things security, businesses are still staying basic when it comes to protecting their accounts. While changing your password is a great idea and trying to monitor who you are connecting with might help deter a hacker, a business should be taking more serious precautions. Hackers can hurt not only your social media presence, but actually hurt your SEO if they can figure out a way into your website. This naturally brings us back to that very familiar question: What can I do to keep my accounts secure? Tips and Tricks to Avoid a Social Media Breach It first helps to understand a little bit about security. There are many different types of security software out there to help a business stay secure, but there aren’t many that focus specifically on social media. After all, security for other aspects of a business—finances, important records and documents, etc.—is often a bigger concern to businesses. However, security software and precautions will generally cover everything online. In other words, if you were to implement security precautions to help protect your financial information, your social media and SEO efforts will likely...

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