Browsing articles in "SEO Blog"

Santa’s Making An Early Run: Save Big on Guest Blogging

Dec 7, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  1 Comment

Even though the temperature is rising towards 80 degrees outside my office today, I’m still a sucker for the all things Christmas. So, in the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to run a special guest blog post offer. Our standard rate for guest blogging is $150 a post. But because nonstop Christmas music and more glasses of eggnog than I can count have revved up my Christmas spirit to full blast, I’m offering discounts as big as Santa’s belly through the end of December:

  • $75 a post for agencies
  • $100 a post for individual site owners

That’s a massive savings of up to $75 per post! 

(since I don’t want to end up like Bob Cratchit, this deal requires an order of at least 10 posts)

I’m no Grinch, but this deal really is going to end on 12/31. Since the last thing you want is to start 2013 with regrets about not saving money on a proven service, order today so you don’t miss out!

To get started simply call 281-727-0484 ext 5 or simply contact us.

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Buying Online Traffic for Links – Worth it?

Dec 7, 2012   //   by Carter   //   internet marketing, SEO, SEO Blog  //  2 Comments

Distilled recently discussed the possibility of buying awareness to build links, a possibility that I’ve toyed around with in the past with some success. Carson Ward’s test certainly demonstrated it was possible to build links this way, but is it a worthwhile use of time and money?
I hate giving vague answers, but the truth is that it’s going to depend on your content, audience, and industry. However, I can offer some advice on how to figure it out for yourself, and possible other uses of advertising traffic you may not have considered.

Which Channels Are Best?

Carson’s results are in line with my own on this. AdWords impressions cost more than the keyword tool says they’re going to, and the value probably isn’t there, because even low competition informational keywords end up going for about half a dollar per click. AdWords appears to be for selling, plain and simple.

Reddit and StumbleUpon ads are cheapest, but also have some of the lowest time on site. Of course, high bounce rates can make time on site appear lower than it actually is. The most promising ads seem to be on Facebook or targeted display ads, with the display ads doing best in terms of links and price. Obviously, Facebook ads can lead to social subscribers and word of mouth that are beneficial even in the absence of links.
That said, I wouldn’t write off Reddit or StumbleUpon as possibilities, simply because they send such a large amount of traffic at such a low cost. If you gain enough traction with StumbleUpon, it’s algorithm will continue to send traffic for quite a while. In both cases, if you can get the conversion rates high enough, the huge traffic potential makes these promising channels for those who know how to use them.
As I said, success is going to depend on your company, which is why you’ll need to find ways to…

Measure Success

How you measure success is going to depend on what your goals are, and links aren’t necessarily the only thing you should be taking into consideration. However, assuming it’s all about search engine authority, you’ll need to be thinking about:

  • Time invested in the ad campaigns
  • Time that would have been invested in outreach for the same results
  • The financial value of the time invested in either
  • The possibility that ads and outreach can work together as multipliers
  • The link diversity, the quality of the site sites that link, the domain and page authority of the links, the relevance of the link pages and anchor text, the number of referrals from the links, and the quality of the referral traffic
  • The actual impact on rankings

Clearly, metrics are never as clean in this industry as we’d like them to be, but here are a few ways to make things cleaner (I’m considering outreach a “channel” as well):

  • Track which channels are used on which posts, and the number of hours invested in each channel toward that post
  • Vary which channels are being used to what extent, and randomly choose one channel to avoid using at all for each post
  • Over time, look for correlations between the number of hours invested in each tactic, and the results
  • Examine whether a mixture of strategies results in a different impact than either of the strategies acting alone
  • When possible, compare metrics between posts that went live at the same time

This is not nearly as clean as straightforward A/B testing, but it can be hard to justify using only one channel for each post. Even when you can, you still have to recognize that the content of each post is different, and this is going to have an impact on your results. You can only compensate for this by testing the results on a large number of posts.

Another Use for Paid Traffic

What many online marketers don’t realize is that paid traffic can also be used to test content. All too often, a piece of content goes live and falls flat on its face. If you’ve invested in particularly large amount of time in a piece of content, it may be worth the effort to test its effectiveness using paid traffic. In this way, you can test the content before it is released the general public.

Conclusions

Is it worth it to buy awareness as a method of building links? My experience tells me that it probably will be useful for most businesses to divert some of their funds in this direction. The most important aspect of this is making sure the ads are only displayed and written for influencers, the kind of people who will link to and share content. Other advertising dollars will probably be better spent on direct conversions.
However, it’s equally important to recognize that advertising channels become increasingly saturated over time, and ad blindness is a growing concern. Investing in relationships is a skill that can’t be outright replaced with ad money.
Do you think it’s worth it to buy traffic as a link building method?
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Carter

Carter Bowles is a freelance writer, science blogger, and SEO enthusiast. He lives in Idaho with his wife and daughter, where he is pursuing degrees in physics and statistics. Carter writes for Northcutt, a Chicago based SEO and Inbound Marketing company. Like Northcutt on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out all they have to offer at www.northcutt.com.

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Google Knowledge Graph: What is it and what are its Functions?

Dec 5, 2012   //   by Stuart   //   SEO Blog  //  6 Comments

Just this May, Google rolled out a new feature in their search results. Since this is best explained if you can visualise it, here is what you should do:

  • Open up a Web browser
  • Point it to Google
  • Type a name of a person or a place. For this example, let’s just use C. S. Lewis

Are the results you generated similar to this image?

Knowledge Graph

Now, if you take a look at the far right corner, you would notice that it shows a short biography of C. S. Lewis, a list of his works, and a “People also search for” section. All of these things are what you call a Knowledge Graph.

What it is

Basically, it is a way for the search engine giant to give you what you are searching for without leaving the page. However, it is important to note that it does not always appear for every query.

Right now, it only returns results on things, people, and places that Google knows about. And these include art works, celebrities, cities, films, and geographic locations, to name a few.

In short, it is a method devised by Google to enhance the search experience for you, so that you will find the information you want quickly and easily.

If you are wondering how it gets its facts, Google has mentioned that it retrieves information from websites such as the CIA World Factbook, Freebase, and Wikipedia. If you look at most of the results, you would notice that most of them come from Wikipedia.

What it does

What is the main reason you would use a search engine ()? The obvious reply would be to learn about something.

It understands what you are looking for

Now, before the Knowledge Graph came into being, when you typed “Taj Mahal” into the search bar, you would receive results based solely on those two exact words. But Google took this to a whole new level and developed a “graph” that understands how entities in the real world are connected to each other.

So, when you search for “Taj Mahal,” it will give you the most likely result that you are looking for, i.e. the iconic structure in India. Below that, under the “See results about” section, it also lists other things that might refer to your search.

Search Result

There are also cases where it just lists the related entities. Let us take Ahab as an example. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when the name is mentioned? Do you immediately think about the biblical character? Or do you know him best as the captain in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick?

Google provides you with all the possible answers!

It gives you pertinent information

Let’s say you need to find all you need to know about the author Charles Dickens. Through the Knowledge Graph, you will be given a brief overview of his life. In addition to that, you will also be presented with facts such as the day he was born, the date that he died, the name of his wife and children, and his body of work.

It allows you to dig deeper

Let us take the information returned about Dickens a little further. If you look at the “People also search for” section, you are given Mark Twain, Jane Austen, and Arthur Conan Doyle as suggestions. For the literary lover, this could mean new writers to discover.

Here is another example. If you want to know “Chinese restaurants” that are closest to your location, Google will give you a list of dining establishments as well as a map showing their locations.

This is also true if you want to find out the next concert of your favourite singer or band. You just type in their name onto the search bar and, if they have new shows, it will be listed under the “Upcoming events” section.

Also, if you want to visit a particular place and want to know famous attractions, this will be listed in the “Points of interest” area.

Points of Interest

The Knowledge Graph also has a carousel feature that allows you to explore further the topic you are searching for. Let us take “museums in London” as an example. It displays a series of images featuring the museums found in London. However, this is not yet available for all Google domains. But if you point your browser to “google.com” and type in a query, you can see this in action.

It allows you to see relationships between entities

This is a relatively new feature added by Google. To help you understand this better, let us use another example. This time it is Kevin Bacon.

Knowledge Graph

If you look at the “People also search for area and hover over the images that you see, it would show you small pop-up with added information. Take the case of Kyra Sedgwick. It would tell you that she is his wife and also mentions a few films that they worked on together.

In his Inside Search blog, Google engineer Golan Pundak states that the search engine giant is starting with the connections between actors, actresses, movies, TV shows, and even family relations.

However, it is also important to note that this does not apply for all search queries. As Pundak adds in his article, “When there is an interesting explanation available, you can now see it at a glance.

 

Conclusion

The Knowledge Graph  is still in its early stages, having just been released this year. As Google continues to improve upon this addition to its search engine results page, we can only hope to expect changes that would enhance the user search experience in the near future.

 

Stuart

Stuart Pollington is Head of Technical Operations at Smart Traffic an SEO company providing online marketing services for businesses across the globe.

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Multivariate Testing for Better Results With Your Online Business

Dec 5, 2012   //   by Ruben   //   SEO Blog  //  1 Comment

Operating a business over the Internet is no different than running a mortar and stone shop. The process entails a utmost customer satisfaction by delivering services or products that appeal most to their specific preferences.

 The most successful entrepreneurs are then spawned by the methods that involve constant solicitation of consumer feedback and suggestions. After all, it is the buyers that liquefy the flow of profits towards the biz.

In an online setting, surveillance of the buyers’ inkling can take place through forums, digital questionnaires and e-mailing services. While these are usually effective, they can have major lapses – only visitors with enough time to spare in formulating messages for the company can participate in the discussions.

Plus, there is not guarantee on the objectivity of the reviews submitted. For all you know, some of the items in the site may have been written by the competition to mislead proprietors. This is an unruly ploy, but it does exist in the World Wide Web.

Fortunately, there’s a better alternative in studying the purchasing motivation and partiality of the consumers: multivariate testing.

 

Snippet of Information About Multivariate Testing

 

Multivariate testing is an experiment conducted by marketing experts to assess how certain website components are performing in terms of traffic and conversion.

In essence, it mimics the process of holding out two equivalent products and asking the consumers which of the items are more likely to be bought.

Web developers would then create two different versions of a web page and see check which among the variants provide favorable results in terms of hits, sales and engagement.

Multivariate testing is different from A/B testing in that more than one element can be tested at the same time. Still, web visitors participate in the experiment unconsciously. The variants will be displayed in their screens, and their online activity will be recorded.

Among the things that entrepreneurs can monitor include click out rates towards links, number of views on the landing page, volume of items sold, number of users who signed up for subscription, etc. It actually depends on the metric used for the test, and the primary goal of proprietors in conducting the experiment.

 

How Multivariate Testing Contributes to Online Success

 

Multivariate testing satisfies various principles in marketing that can guarantee triumph in the industry. For one, it gives businessmen a clear direction on how to please their niche. Results from the test practically maps out the most viable steps that they can take to deepen the engagement of web visitors and boost revenues.

At the same time, multivariate testing helps in accelerating optimization process. Given that multiple components can be tested together, they can quicken the pace of coming up with designs to implement for the site. The very same reason allows entrepreneurs to enjoy liberty of dry-running their ideas.

Limitless elements for testing defy the boundary of evaluating ideas.

When these benefits are rolled together, they pave the way for endowment of competitive edge that may not be possible to acquire from any other means.

Multivariate testing increases the chance even of small businesses to have continuous flow of income amidst the tight competition. Given that adopting structures and designs can lure audiences into making an action, multivariate testing is the sharpest tool in slicing through company rivalries and bringing highest possible conversion rates.

 

Most Effective Ways in Doing Multivariate Testing

Before Multivariate Testing…

  1. Assess the performance of the website. Prior to the experiment, it is best to step back and analyze the strengths and weakness of the site including plusses and glitches. Focus on design and web content. Then determine the areas of improvement.
  1. Prepare for the test. Multivariate testing may be straightforward, but it is not a mere push of a button. Make a list of all the elements that can be tested and rank them according to priority. Test the most important components first. You may also consolidate the elements and separate those that need to be tested individually.
  1. Bridge disparities. Come up with a goal (usually concentrated on addressing pressing problem of the site) and formulate hypothesis (probable solutions to the troubles).
  1. List all the possible combinations of the elements to be tested.
  1. Craft the variants and finalize them before running the test.

There are actually loads of programs that you can use to carry out the test. Most of the software can automate the redirection of users towards certain variants, even the generation of potential combinations and recording of data.

But this doesn’t spare them from technical hitches. Always be hands-on during the period of the test. Make sure that the test is running simultaneously and is within the expected timeline. Otherwise, you end up with bunch of raw data that leads to no definite conclusion.

Then interpret the data wisely after the testing period.

Remember that your skills and knowledge is the most major determinant of multivariate testing success. Have a fill of information by reading more on Maxymiser about the procedure and going through with it. Only then can you have the right armor to thrive in the cyber market.

 

 

Ruben

This is a guest post by Ruben Corbo. He is a freelancer writer specialized in different topics including technology, online marketing with an AB Testing guide and Product Recommendation Engines, music, art, and motivation. When Ruben is not writing he is producing and composing music for short films and other forms of visual arts.

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How the Title of Your Posts can Increase Web Traffic

Nov 26, 2012   //   by Deny Saputra   //   SEO Blog  //  11 Comments

All writers strive to be creative. From our first five-paragraph essay to our most recent blog post, our mentors have been telling us to be imaginative and think outside the box. Sure, being creative and finding new ways to express yourself can get you noticed. However, when it comes to the title of your posts, you should start thinking inside the box. This doesn’t mean you have to think of boring titles to dumb down the topic of your writing. Instead, you have to be smart and strategic when you name your post.

Think about the way people search online. Maybe even to find this post, you searched for a simple question. People often go to Google with questions in mind. “What should I feed my cat when he’s sick,” or “How do I know if I have heat stroke?” These questions are simple to answer, but many websites make them more complicated by getting creative with the title. For example, a medical blog might answer the second question in a straightforward article, but might name it “The Dangers of Hyperthermia.” The person suffering from heat stroke is not going to take the time to even look at this lengthy article, and they probably don’t even know offhand that “hyperthermia” is the technical term for heat stroke. Even though that website has exactly what the heat-stroke sufferer needs (aside from a cold glass of water), it will not receive this valuable click. Instead, the curious web surfer will move on to the next search result hoping for answers.

So, what should you name your post to get traffic? The answer is simpler than you might think. You need to answer people’s questions directly in the title. If the person with heat stroke saw, “How to tell if You Have Heat Stroke” in the list of results, there is a good chance he or she would click it right away, because it is the answer to their question. It’s impossible to know exactly what your audience will be searching for, but if you include one of the following six words in your title, you’re bound to answer hundreds of the questions that pop up around the web.

“What”

First of all, anyone searching for a specific question will probably use the word “what” in their search, which will put you higher up on the Google search results. Obviously, if you answer the question they typed in but there’s no indication of that in the HTML code or title, you might not even come up in the search results. Second, there is a higher chance of people clicking on your page if it seems to answer exactly the question they have in their head. If they’re wondering what foods are low in carbs, or what the best airline is, you can answer their question in the title. It’s essentially reading their minds and beating them to the punch. Articles such as “What to Avoid in Your Next Job Interview” or “What Foods Help Your Kids Concentrate” are irresistible even to people who just happen to stumble upon them.

“How”

When you use the word “how” in your title, people will assume you have some sort of secret to share. “How-to” books have always been popular, and it’s because the word “how” indicates that there is a simple and direct way to learn something new. If you’re going to tell people how to do something in a single post, there’s a good chance they’ll grasp the concept and walk away that much smarter. The word “how” can appear in titles of all sorts of articles. They can be simple, serious, funny, or informative. For example, some “how” titles include:

  • How to Register to Vote
  • How to Organize Your Shoe Collection
  • How to Get Ready for Work in Ten Minutes or Less
  • How to Impress your In-Laws
  • How to Find Love without Dating Sites

 

Obviously, some of these articles are ones that people would directly search for to learn something. Upon their search, your article would be most appealing from a list. Others are funny and would catch the eye of anyone just perusing your site. When you set out to answer a single, simple “how” question, the answer becomes a secret that no one can resist.

“Where”

This is another way to make your article sound like a simple article. It might seem difficult to pare down your title to contain any of these words, but with a strategic attitude, anything can apply. The “where” titles are perfect if you’re writing for a local site or if you’re simply doing a regional article. For example, you might have a post called, “My Favorite Burger Joints in Memphis.” People that know you will be excited to read this, like your mom. Otherwise, people won’t really care which you like unless you’re a world-renowned expert. Instead, try titling your post, “Where to Get the Best Burger in Memphis.”

“Who”

Everyone loves to gossip and hear about other peoples’ victories and failures. It’s why sites like Facebook are so addictive. For that reason, using the word “who” in your title ensures readers that they’ll get some juicy information on a single person, and that’s almost impossible to resist. Articles like, “Who Flashed the Paparazzi on her Way to the VMA’s?” “Who Made Oprah Cry on National TV?” and “Who Bought a $300 Dress for Their Baby?” are all enticing to readers. Obviously, the “who” question is more applicable to celebrity, TV, and political news, but you can try to spin it to fit your article.

“When”

Using the word “when” in your title will give your readers a sense of urgency to hear what you have to say immediately. Even if they didn’t ask “when,” they’ll probably read your article to make sure it’s not already too late anyway. For example, your audience might have searched, “How do I start a new career?” and you might have a post titled, “When to Change Careers.”  Your post sounds even more interesting than the one they were looking for, so you’ll get more traffic that way.

“Why”

At the root of all questions is a resounding, “why?” You can answer more serious and more complex questions with a “why,” so you should try putting it in your title. “Why You Need to Stop Eating Meat,” “Why Your Boyfriend Left You,” and “Why You’re So Stressed All the Time” will certainly get your article attention. People see the statement, and even if they weren’t interested when they started searching, they’ll find it difficult not to click and at least browse the page.

By using one of these six words in the title of your article, you are giving up on more flowery, artistic titles. However, you are also making your post irresistibly appealing, which translates into getting more visitors for your site. These titles make your article sound simple and straightforward, which charms the waning attention spans of most people searching the Internet every day.

 

Deny Saputra

Deny Saputra is an internet marketer and writer. Read more valuable articles by Deny and team at GetWebsiteTraffic blog that specially sharing various topics about internet marketing and targeted traffic generations follow me @denygwt

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The Art of SEO – How Not To Do Things

Nov 26, 2012   //   by Matt Beswick   //   Google, SEO Blog  //  4 Comments

On a daily basis, the volume of pixels expended on the right way to do SEO could fill a virtual Library of Alexandria. We’re so awash with great ideas on how to correctly promote and perfect quality content that we sometimes lose sight of what not to do. Poorly executed SEO is a major hindrance to your goals. Here’s a quick summary of the techniques to avoid when optimizing content for the search engines.

Low-Quality Content

The typical web user is searching for relevance and meaning in a sea of generic content online. So many webmasters try to “phone it in” with mass produced web spam, and it’s no surprise that they often fail to achieve the desired results. Your SEO success starts with the basics, which is original and unique content that actually delivers value to the end user. Put some serious effort into your content first and foremost.

Keyword Stuffing

A major mistake made by bloggers and marketers every day is the practice of stuffing irrelevant keywords into articles in an attempt to dominate Long Tail queries. Google’s wise to this practice, and they have ways of figuring out if your keyword-stuffed content actually delivers the goods. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs, and only include the major keywords that assist your pages in being indexed properly by the search engines.

Building Spammy Links

While a solid 25% to 30% of SEO revolves around content creation, the rest of the formula is largely inbound links that show Google and Bing how valuable a site is to readers. Link exchanges are dead, and they’ll do you more harm than good these days. The same goes for forum spam and mass referrals from sites with low PageRank. Build organic links the right way through viral social media promotion and guest blogging on reputable sites.

Doorway Pages

If you’re not familiar with the term, then suffice it to say that Doorway Pages are indeed a major faux paus. Otherwise known as gateway pages, jump pages or portal pages, they’re designed to trick search engines into thinking that they have value while delivering very little to an actual user. Many rely on Javascript redirection to get unsuspecting users to click through to a desired landing page. In short, avoid this chicanery.

Content Cloaking

If you’re a decent human being, it’s likely that you don’t know what Content Cloaking even is. Still, it’s important to understand how it works. In a nutshell, it’s all about using server-side script to identify search engine spiders based on their user agent and IP address. When a potential Googlebot rather than a regular user is detected, a different version of a page is served up. If you’re running a website of any note, you’ll eventually get caught using this tactic and be consequently punished in the SERPs.

Taking Shortcuts in General

In spite of the best efforts of Google and Bing, it’s still possible to temporarily trick the search engine algorithms and slide some weak content through their filters. In all your SEO efforts, stop and think about what you’re doing before proceeding. If it’s fundamentally disingenuous, don’t do it. Trying to cheat won’t get you anywhere in the long run, and it’s also a huge waste of time. Last but not least, mind the fundamentals like canonical URLs, 301 redirects, sitemaps and basic meta tag implementation.

Running a Tight SEO Ship

When you foolishly choose to deploy the tricks described above, the consequences can be ultimately catastrophic. Each one is a surefire way to incur algorithmic penalties courtesy of Google’s Penguin and Panda, and can even lead to manual penalties if not kept in check. Put in the time to produce high-quality, well-optimized content and the search engine gods will reward you. Otherwise, don’t be shocked by the inevitably low SERPs rankings that result.

Matt Beswick

Matt Beswick is UK based SEO Consultant and founder of Pet365. Find him on Twitter - @mattbeswick.

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Black Friday Special Offer: Guest Blogging Blowout!

Nov 23, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   guest blogging, SEO Blog  //  No Comments

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Just wanted to share a quick announcement about a very special offer we’re running:

Black Friday Special Offer: Guest Blogging Blowout

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday (Nov 23 to 26)

  • Only 5 Slots Available

If you’ve been thinking about our guest blogging services or know someone who has a guest blogging need, this is the deal to take.

Our normal rate for guest blogging is $150 per post. But from Black Friday though Cyber Monday, we’re knocking $100. off this rate. The first 5 customers who order at least 10 guest posts will get them for just $50.  a piece. I must be loco!  This offer will end as soon as the 5 slots are taken, so don’t miss out on a chance to get some great links and awesome exposure!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Social Media and Intellectual Property: Should You Spend Your Time Preparing?

Oct 15, 2012   //   by AmandaD   //   SEO Blog  //  21 Comments

Many businesses are excited to share ideas and start conversations on social media—and they should be. It isn’t always easy to get people to really connect with your accounts and participate in your discussions, so you want to do what you can to be impressive and earn some engagement. Unfortunately, sometimes sharing all of your ideas on social networks can backfire, and most small businesses aren’t prepared.

Getting your readers interested in an idea or a great contest is never a bad thing, but you want to take precautions to make sure that someone out there isn’t stealing your idea. Most businesses have heard of “intellectual property,” but now the term is being brought into the social media world.

What is Intellectual Property and How Does It Work With Social Media?

For those who are unfamiliar, intellectual property is and idea that you own when it is published or printed (so on social media). Even though you may not have a patent or official documentation, it is your intellectual property. When things go wrong, someone steals you’re idea, he/she gets the credit, and you get to watch someone else get rich. Someone stealing a company’s intellectual property can usually just go right over to a Facebook page or LinkedIn account, check it out as if he/she was just a normal reader, steal a few ideas, and leave. It’s as simple as that.

Fortunately, there are measures that small businesses can take to protect what is said on their social accounts. A few of these precautions include:

  • Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts to track certain key terms or your company name. This will help you see when these things pop up online.
  • Trademark: Before you set up your social media accounts, make sure that your company has a trademark to help protect the name. If you have any strong ideas that you want patented, do this before posting on social accounts.
  • Scheduling Tools: Consider using social scheduling tools (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.) to track your company name and keywords. This focuses on social media as opposed to the web like Google Alerts.

It is also worth mentioning that it isn’t always a good idea to take action when it comes to intellectual property. If you think someone has stolen an idea, talk with that person to determine if it was unintentional. In most cases, the person will remove whatever is bothering you. It’s also not a good idea to take action if you’re benefitting from someone trying to use your company name—it’s only when your business is in jeopardy that you should take the next step.

What to Do When You Want to Take Action about an Intellectual Property Issue

Taking action involves some research. First, you will want to read up on the “terms of service” of the social network account where you think the intellectual property issue occurred. These pages usually help you see what steps you can take. Next, file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to hopefully block the website that has stolen your idea from Google. Lastly, you’ll want to talk with a legal professional to determine the final process.

While it may seem easy, this is a new issue. Many small businesses simply don’t even realize this is a problem until it’s too late. People have been dealing with intellectual property issues for many years, but the issue with regards to social media is new. The sooner your company gets prepared, the better.

Has your company ever been a victim in a similar situation? Is this something that concerns you when you think about your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: michiganbusinesslawcenter.com

AmandaD

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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Viral Content Buzz – Take Social Media Promotion to the Next Level (For FREE)

Sep 20, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  22 Comments

You spend hours researching and writing a great blog post. After editing it several times, you finally hit publish. Shortly after tweeting out a link to it, you notice some of your friends and colleagues sharing the link on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks to this push, readers start coming and you receive several comments on your post. Unfortunately, just as everything seems to be moving in the right direction, it all stops! No more comments, visitors or Tweets. You’ve hit the point where your buzz has completely fizzled out.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to keep the momentum going for posts that you put so much effort into creating? Since myself and everyone else I know within the blogosphere has experienced this problem, I decided to do something about it. With the help of my amazing friend and co-founder Ann Smarty, we created a new social media promotion platform: Viral Content Buzz.

Viral Content Buzz 101

The one sentence summary of this platform is that you can get more social promotion for the great blog posts you write by sharing other people’s great posts through your social media presences. This is done by earning and using credits. You get credits for sharing, and can then use those credits to get your best posts promoted. Keep in mind that all of this is 100% FREE!

In addition to being free, we feel that our focus on quality is what’s going to make VCB incredibly effective for users. Because we want to create the best platform possible for our users, we:

  • Manually review submissions to ensure they meet our quality guidelines
  • Only allow real social media accounts to share (no bots)
  • Reward users who have taken the time to build a strong social media presence with more credits
  • Tailor the posts in your dashboard to your industry and interests

Now that you know what Viral Content Buzz is all about, watch this great video that Ann made so you can see the site in action:

The Start of Something Big

Viral Content Buzz is up and running, so you can go sign up now. While we’ve already got a lot of great features, we’re committed to continuing to build on our solid base. Here are some of the additions you can expect to see in the coming weeks and months:

  • Support for Google Plus, Pinterest and StumbleUpon sharing
  • The addition of a table view layout and the ability to easily switch between both layouts
  • Email notifications of project approvals, rejections or stoppages
  • Click through reports that detail how much traffic came from users’ shares
  • A browser bookmarklet for one-click project additions
  • The ability to see the Wuzzrank (social buzz authority) on existing projects

As always, I want to thank you and all of my readers for your amazing support! Once you sign up and try out Viral Content Buzz, be sure to leave a comment with what you think about it!

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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GoDaddy Down: Attack, Internal Error, Or Who Really Cares?

Sep 14, 2012   //   by AmandaD   //   SEO Blog  //  22 Comments

When something goes wrong in a business, there is expected panic. You know that you have a lot of work ahead of you to fix the problem and you know that some aspects of your business might suffer. However, not many businesses have to worry about their entire business just disappearing with no solution in sight. Unfortunately, many blogs and other websites operate entirely online. The website is the business, and if the website is down the entire business is down for a certain period of time. In many cases, working with an IT team can solve the problem, but when your hosting service is out of commission you are on their good graces.

Although this may not be a common problem, it can happen, and it did. Just a few days ago one of the largest web hosting companies and the largest domain registrar GoDaddy went down. This left many asking the panic-stricken question: What do I do now?

How The GoDaddy Mishap Affected Customers

For those of you who didn’t hear, GoDaddy had a company outage that left millions of sites in the dark on Monday, September 10. The problem occurred for not only those who have their sites hosted by GoDaddy, but also the sites that have their domain registered by GoDaddy (even if they are hosted by another party). The GoDaddy phone service was also down, and it seemed Twitter was the easiest way for people to communicate about this issue.

The real excitement, however, seemed to lie in the story of why GoDaddy went dark in the first place. The company not only had to deal with angry customers and Twitter groups sprouting up complaining about the outage, but they had to deal with a little bit of controversy as to how such an outage could occur.

The Story: Why GoDaddy Went Dark

According to several sources, someone by the name of Anonymous Own3r actually admitted to attacking the company and causing all of this uproar. It was not a collective attack, but rather an individual who claimed in a tweet that he or she is taking GoDaddy down because:

Now that the company is back up and running, they claim that the problem was not the result of an attack. According to TechCrunch, GoDaddy claimed that the problem was “a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables.” Interim CEO Scott Wagner explained that no customer data was harmed and there is now a system in place to make sure this never happens again.

The Future of GoDaddy: Are Webmasters Forgiving?

In the end, whether there was an internal issue or someone really did attack the company does not really matter. What matters is the fact that many websites were left in the dark and there was nothing that webmasters could do about it. It’s important to trust your hosting company for this exact reasons, so will this affect GoDaddy?

In my opinion, yes it absolutely will. Should companies be transferring away from GoDaddy? Although the problem likely won’t happen again, transferring over and registering your domain name somewhere else might not be a bad idea. Believe it or not, it’s not even all that difficult to do! Below are some of the steps to make it happen:

  1. Go to “domain management” and login to your account.
  2. Find the lock icon and click; then unlock the domain.
  3. Just simply uncheck the box next to “lock domains” and hit enter.
  4. Click on the domain name you want to move and click on “domain details.”
  5. Find the “authorization code: send by email” button and click. Check your email for an authorization code and give it to your new registrar.

If you are concerned about your web host, there are a variety of different options for you. You can visit Mashable to check out five great alternatives.

Is the GoDaddy drama going to steer you away from the company? What did you find to be the biggest problem? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo Credit: twitter.com

AmandaD

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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