March 29, 2018

Don’t Tell the Media: Retail is Alive and Well

It’s rare to go a full day without reading a headline in your email inbox or on a news site highlighting the rapid demise of the retail industry. Many brands that have become household names are undergoing massive business restructuring or shuttering their doors altogether. Shopping malls that once served as go-to destinations for many communities are experiencing increasing vacancies. The perception largely driven by the media is that brick and mortar retail is a sinking ship, but what is the reality? Deloitte set out on a nearly year-long study to better understand the state of retail as it stands today and the driving forces behind recent changes. And what did they find? The silver lining.


Despite the onslaught of negative press, retail is still growing and in many places, thriving. Backed by a stable and growing economy, consumer confidence is at an all time high. Experts predict that in the next five years, online sales will grow 11.7 percent annually, and in store sales by 1.7 percent.1 That’s healthy growth across the board.

IBIS World Projected Retail Growth

Deloitte found that a big contributor to the success of brick and mortar stores actually comes down to income. Today, shoppers in lower income brackets prefer to to buy in physical stores. As the wealth gap continues to widen, more and more Americans are losing their discretionary incomes and landing in this low earning bracket. The purchases they make will likely be in person, so brick and mortar stores stand to benefit the most from this change in the distribution of wealth.


With this in mind, here are a few marketing priorities to consider:


1. Fine tune your customer acquisition strategy

Yes, you know a lot about your customers, but are you investing into the right channels that will lead them (and other audiences who look like them) to make a purchase? As mentioned previously, even details like household income (HHI) play a significant role in the way people shop. Consumers with a low HHI may compare prices online before ultimately going into a nearby store to make a purchase. Your marketing dollars should be aligned with these behaviors. For many brands, it may be time to reevaluate how consumers search, and ultimately buy. Find an agency that can help you understand the unique features of your most profitable audiences, and then identify the right mix of channels to activate them. Small optimizations on the front-end can have a big impact on long-term growth.


AMP Agency Customer Journey Mapping

2. Make it easy for consumers to compare prices and find inventory at nearby stores

Eighty-one percent of consumers do online research before making a purchase.2 Whether shoppers are becoming more cost conscious or simply cost aware, the fact is they are more informed than ever before. Retailers should leverage local ads to motivate store visits. Solutions like Google’s Local Inventory Ads and Brand Showcase Ads allow shoppers to quickly locate information on the products they’re looking for as well as their availability in nearby stores. Google also has a feature that allows advertisers to adjust bids for individuals with a certain income range (from the top 10% to the lower 50%), who live within a certain geography. If you’re a multichannel retailer who sells discounted items, you may want to increase bids for searches that originate in an area in the lower 50% household income level. To measure the impact these ads are having on driving purchases in stores, check out Google’s Store Visits tool. Store Visits uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure the number of people who click or view ads and later visit a store.


3. Build superior storefront shopping experiences

The digital and physical shopping experience shouldn’t be planned in silos, rather they should be developed as a consistent end-to-end experience. Forty-two percent of in-store shoppers search for more information while in a physical store3 and savvy retailers like Sephora are combining digital elements into their physical stores to make it easy for shoppers to explore, find and purchase the products that are right for them. Discount retailers like Marshalls are making the physical shopping experience more social by encouraging store visitors to share their unique finds with their social networks using the hashtag #marshallssurprise.


Marshalls Surprise

4. Leverage partnerships to grow awareness and sales

Brands and retailers often market to the same consumers, so by working together, their power is magnified. With ecommerce set to experience double-digit growth over the next five years, digital co-op investments are a great way for brands to increase their exposure online and drive sales across channels. The right agency can help you identify, manage, and measure the outcomes of these opportunities.


While the Retail industry is alive and well, we are seeing a massive shift in the way multichannel retailers operate to meet the changing needs of their consumers. And let’s not count out pure-play e-tailers. Amazon is working hard to turn low income shoppers into loyal customers. Individuals who receive government assistance can qualify for a reduced $5.99 a month Prime membership, and EBT cards can now be used to pay for qualifying groceries. We expect that as brands compete more on price and free shipping becomes more universal, consumers from all income brackets will begin to make more purchases online.


As Socrates once said, “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”


Here’s to building the new.


You can access a copy of the Deloitte study, The Great Retail Bifurcation, here.


1 IBIS World

2 GE Capital

3 Google, Ipsos


October 18, 2017

An Easy Guide to Discovering Content Ideas

Two of my favorite things, outside of my wife and daughter (of course), are 1) beer and 2) creating content from high volume keywords. I can hear you saying, “Really, Greg?” and I would say, “Yes, really.” So, what a better blog topic that combines these two and gives some tips for creating content that people actually want to read?

You might have guessed, but I’m a beer snob. I used to be ashamed to admit that because I hate being trendy, but I can’t hide the fact that 2017 is the height of craft beer mania. Check out how the term “craft beer” has trended since 2004 according to Google Trends. Craft beer may as well be Taylor Swift, pointy fake nails, Herschel bags, or one of those undercut haircuts with a tiny ponytail on top.*

*For the record, I’m currently drinking a Lamplighter Stardust IPA brewed with Simcoe, Summit, and Amarillo hops. I love Lamplighter Brewing Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Lamplighter employees: Hit me up to coordinate my free cases).

Cool chart, huh? It's free courtesy of the Googs' Trend tool. You can get a graph on anything you want there.

Let’s imagine I came up with the really unoriginal idea to start a beer blog. For the sake of this blog, let’s assume I want to be a source of education for beer newbies. So, where do I start? I can hear you saying, “Greg, it must be really overwhelming to figure out what to write about, right?” And I would say, “Wrong.”

With the right (mostly free tools) and a little bit of SEO know-how, you can figure out exactly what you should be writing about and how to drive traffic to your site over time. The best part is - it’s all based on real data and what people really want.

I bet a lot of beer newbies see a porter and a stout as being similar. Looking at Google Keyword Planner, we can see that “porter vs stout” gets 5400 searches per month. BAM! I’ve written my first article entitled “What is the Difference Between and Porter and a Stout?” For those of you who aren’t aware, Google Keyword Planner is linked to an existing Adwords account. If an Adwords account doesn’t exist, there’s a great free keyword research tool through “The Hoth.”

When should I write this article? In the chart below, it looks like search interest around the term “stout” peaks in the cool/cold weather months - not surprising since a stout is a hearty beer. It’s also not a surprise that searches peak around St. Patrick’s Day. Guinness is a stout and it’s one of the most famous Irish beers. With this knowledge, I’ll likely publish my article in the fall, and then maybe I’ll do another feature on stouts around St. Patrick’s Day. BAM! Who am I? Emeril Lagasse? Punch me…

Ok, so now my mind is working. What about summer beers? I see a lot of people drinking shandy-style beers in the summer. Since I actually have no idea what a shandy is, I’m going to Google “shandy” now. Based on Google’s “Auto Complete,” many other people have the same curiosity as I do:


Based on this tip, I confirm that many people are curious to know what a shandy is. After doing some keyword research, I see that 1600 people per month type in the exact query “what is a shandy?” Sweet.  Check out the shandy search trends below. There’s no surprise that queries around “shandy” peak in the summer since it is a light, fruity, and refreshing beer.

Search data is great and all, but what is actually resonating with the public? What have people been sharing over the past year? Using BuzzSumo (which just got acquired by Brandwatch), we can see the most shared content pieces pertaining to a given topic over a preselected period of time. I love using this tool to understand the types of content that actually resonates with the public. Check out the results below for the query “craft beer.”

An article entitled “IPAs Are Giving You Man Boobs” was shared over 93K times. This list has some great inspirations for fun and lifestyle content that I can add to my blog. Most importantly, I’m currently rubbing my chest and thinking that I might need to go to the gym.

TLDR: Use keyword data to discover and create awesome content.

  1. Google Trends to see popular searches
  2. Google Keyword Planner to see the volume of searches for particular keywords
  3. BuzzSumo to see what’s being shared in social
November 26, 2013

Google Helpouts: Thoughts from AMP SEO & Social Experts

How do you make YouTube better? Personalization and authenticity in real time. It's no surprise that Google seems to have mastered the art with the launch of their latest offering, Google Helpouts, personalized Q&A sessions from certified industry experts.

So, what makes Google Helpouts different than YouTube?

With over 600,000 how to videos on YouTube, it would seem an answer for everything already exists, but what Helpouts revolutionizes is real help from real people in real time through video. As Greg and I were talking about the endless possibilities of Google Helpouts and its core differentiators, he shared this touching anecdotal example.

I'm 32 years old and I still type 'How to Tie a Tie'? into YouTube's search box once a year, and even then I can't follow the directions. Imagine if I could pay some style guru named Marcel in France to give me a personalized tutorial on all the funky knots I know I'll never use? In his awesome French accent he'll say, 'No, you're doing it all wrong. You were supposed to make a loop with your left hand first. Watch me!'?

With the advent of Helpouts, I look forward to Greg's perfected Windsor knot.

Google HelpOuts

More importantly, what do Helpouts mean for brands?

By now, most of us understand content truly is king.  Content Marketing has taken both social and SEO to an elevated level over the past few years ' operating under a simple premise - write about stuff people search for and promote it where people can find it.

Now, our brains really started working, if content is king, what is personalized real-time content? Preliminary hypothesis led Greg to the following: 'Personalized Content is the King on Steroids.'? But, really, at its core, personalized content is personal.

This means, Helpouts allow brands to create personal connections with existing and potential consumers. Now you're not just a long tail keyword that pops up in search results, you are a video adding value in the moment a consumer is looking for it. And over time you have the ability to become their resource, someone they trust.

These Helpouts provide added visibility for your brand and branded content and if it is actually helpful, these videos will drive some serious social chatter, establishing you as a thought leader in your space.

How Can You Start Using Helpouts now?

One way brands can get attention on Helpouts is by sponsoring content creators who align with their offerings, and offer these sessions for free. This allows for some creative freedom, but also provides brands an opportunity for increased impressions.

Another way a brand can take advantage of Helpouts is by applying a YouTube-like approach. Brands can own the Helpout and provide critical information about the goods and services it owns and show consumers the value of their products and services as well as how they maximize their efficiency.

Additionally, similar to YouTube, Helpout videos can be embedded into websites, which further increases SEO value by having valuable content pieces available on the company domain, rather than on the main Helpouts platform.

Final Thoughts from the SEO & Social Corners 

Greg's thought: As digital marketers rooted in SEO, Google Helpouts speaks to the most important element in the evolution of SEO over the past few years, giving users what they want. Give users what they want and the social chatter, meaningful blog posts, authoritative inbound links, and earned organic traffic will follow. It's simple marketing really.

Rachel's thought: And simple marketing is about integration, which is why as a digital marketer rooted in social, Google Helpouts compliment everything that makes social exciting - connecting to consumers in an authentic in way in real-time. It now longer provides brands the opportunity to hide behind a tweet or a YouTube tutorial. It's real two-way communication, which we both think is pretty exciting.

I wonder if there's a Helpout on how to make AMP agency your marketing agency? No need, just click here.


October 24, 2013

Future M 2013 Recap

Last week, quite a few AMPers attended MITX's Future M, a conference that brings together marketing and technology innovators to contemplate and celebrate the future of Marketing. See below for a few highlights from the conference and AMPers' thoughts.

Session: Are You Kidding Me?!

Speaker: Victor Lee, VP Digital Marketing, Hasbro

Favorite Quote: 'I'll be interested if you'll be interesting.'? ' From Victor Lee's presentation

Takeaway: I thought this bit of insight was a great reminder to not get stuck in 'data land.'? Data is an invaluable resource for marketers, and it's great for measuring success and recognizing trends, but often times we get so buried in data that we lose site of the story that the information is telling us. It's important to remember to take a step back and really bring the data to life. At the end of the day, numbers are just numbers unless you use them to tell a story.

Session: Find Your Golden Thread

Cara Francis

Speaker: Jim Speros, EVP, Fidelity Communications and Advertising

Highlight: I drew a ton of inspiration cultivated from case studies presented. The standout cases were Dove, Coca Cola and Fidelity. These cases are successful because they leverage consumer insight and human emotion to connect with the target audience.


  • Brands are becoming more and more integrated, and those who aren't will fall by the wayside.
  • It's vital to keep one driving point to a brand or campaign message ' one point will always drive home the hardest and be the most effective.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

Coca-Cola Happiness Without Borders

Fidelity Saving For Skydiving

Session: Building to Learn with Art, Copy, & Code

Speaker: Aman Govil, Head of Advertising Arts Team at Google

Highlight: As described through Google's project 'Art, Copy, & Code,'? we're in the midst of a 2nd creative revolution, driven by technology. Code is being added to the core creative process, enabling new forms of brand expression and engagement.

Takeaway: Art, copy and code is the creative team for the connected world.

Session: Mobile + Consumer Loyalty Insights from JetBlue Airways

Leslie Fines

Speaker: Jonathan Stephen, Head of Mobile and Emerging Tech at JetBlue

Highlights: Mobile is, of course, everywhere and travelers are looking for simple on-the-go solutions. Given this insight, JetBlue conducted a digital rebrand -  making a mobile app and redesigning the desktop experience to match the app. The app knows where you are in your travel cycle, so every time you open it, it gives you the info you are looking for without clicking anything (i.e. when you go through security then open the app, it will tell you what your gate is and if your flight is on time. When you land, it will tell you baggage claim information. Just by creating an app option, JetBlue loyalty program sign ups increased by 10%.

They created a similar system for their pilots and crew. The mobile app for the crew is hosted on iPad that each crew member/pilot has on board. For pilots, the app holds all flight manifests, maps, etc. For crew members, the app will take orders and the usual things. The coolest thing about it is that it shows where people are seated and can highlight things about them (i.e. Steve is in seat 5A and has traveled with JetBlue 100 times. He only orders Ginger Ale). This functionality enables crew members to deliver top rated customer service.

Takeaway: The key takeaway for me was that before implementing ANY new feature on mobile or elsewhere, brands need to poll their customers (Facebook/in app/surveys/everywhere they can) to find out exactly what their user needs in order to create the best experience.

To read more about the conference, visit

February 11, 2013

Enhanced Campaigns -- Latest Updates to Google AdWords Platform

According to a blog post released by Google on February 6, 90% of Internet consumers accomplish tasks through the use of multiple devices (desktop, tablet and mobile). On Wednesday, in an attempt to stay ahead of this changing user behavior, Google announced its most recent 'upgrade'? to AdWords ' enhanced campaigns. By June 2013, AdWords will be removing its campaign level device-targeting setting and will instead target all device types together.

This announcement has left many advertisers up in arms and for good reason. As a common best practice, paid search campaigns have been managed differently across mobile phones, tablets and desktops due to varying consumer intent, performance results, and costs. The roll out of enhanced campaigns will force advertisers to combine tablet and desktop performance and pay the same cost per clicks (CPCs) for both, regardless of previous efficiency advantages of targeting the devices separately. Additionally, mobile bids will be set as a multiplier of desktop and tablet bids, but knowing what that multiplier should be is still unclear to most advertisers. And if one device type is experiencing particularly high bounce rates, it will likely negatively skew total conversion rate performance if reporting can no longer be broken out by individual device. Stripping advertisers of their campaign control in this way begs the question: Is this just a ploy for Google to drive up CPCs across the board in the face of revenue concerns?

That is not to say that everything about the new interface is bad. By determining whether a user is browsing on their home/work computer or on-the-go, Google has the ability to tailor the most appropriate ads for the consumer's situation. For example, users searching for a restaurant from a desktop or tablet are probably interested in browsing the menu, whereas a mobile searcher is most likely looking for an exact location or directions. By having insight on where the search was initiated you can appropriately tailor search results to different situations, including the ability to bid higher or lower based on a user's location. Additionally, Google's enhanced campaigns will include reporting on an individual sitelink level. This is great news for advertisers who were frustrated with only being able to see performance data for a block of sitelinks, instead of having the ability to identify the best and worst performers. And by creating a less confusing AdWords experience, Google will likely boost their retention of new advertisers.

At a high level, the theory behind the AdWords changes sound great. But will the increased simplicity of ad creation and campaign management across multiple devices present new control challenges for paid search advertisers? Almost undoubtedly, yes. But isn't finding creative workarounds and new ways to 'beat the system'? half the fun?

July 13, 2012

Contextual Design for Paid Search, Insights Lab Episode 18

This week in the Insights Lab, Megan Walsh, Account Supervisor, Paid Search, gives an overview of contextual design for paid search campaigns as well as tips and tricks on how to improve search listings through contextual design.

Tweet us @AMP_Agency to let us know what topics you want to hear about!

June 28, 2012

Graphic Designing with Google

Quality Score can be a frustrating concept for a Paid Search Marketer. We are used to immediacy and hard results, but Quality Score is always a little less tangible. The other day we were brainstorming ideas for an account that has broad keyword targeting and therefore low CTR's and poor Quality Score. We decided to make a small tweak to our Display URL and move the term after the forward slash, in front of the domain. In the previous format the domain was the only text extended to the headline but when keywords precede the domain, Google also allows them to show in the title. This resulted in a format similar to extended headlines and significantly improved metrics.

During the two week test, we ran the exact same ads with two different Display URL's. The new URL had a CTR 28% stronger, CPC's 13% lower and Conversion Rate 67% stronger. However, the biggest gain that came from the test was improved Quality Score. Our highest volume keyword had been at #1 since launch and moved to #2 during the testing period, a major improvement that has now shown even further improvements on CPC's.

While a large majority of Paid Search is data and analysis driven, this experiment exemplifies how it can also be very basic graphic design. Figuring out how you can manipulate your ads to drive the right format can lead to a substantial increase in site traffic. This is a practice that Google is constantly using and becomes extremely apparent in a 10 year difference of the Google Search Results Page for the keyword 'flight'. Their constant tweaking has lead to a 12% increase in Paid Search CTR this past year, which is something Paid Search Marketers should be taking advantage of within their own creative units. It will not only lead to naturally improved metrics, but Google should also reward you with improved Quality Score for following their own best practices.


Query: 'flight' in 2002


Query: 'flight' in 2012


June 5, 2012

Local Search Just Got More Social with Google+ Local

On May 30th, Google officially rolled out 'Google+ Local' to replace Google Places. With the change, Google is providing a more interactive and informative way to search for local restaurants, businesses, and venues- all while taking steps to make their own social network, Google+, more relevant and powerful.

This could be a smart move for Google to drive up the user base of Google+, which still trails Facebook by roughly 800 million users. By integrating local capabilities into Google+ and feeding that information into popular Google Applications (i.e. Maps, Local Search Results, etc.), Google can expose and introduce users to Google+ as they search for local information. In addition, a new user-friendly layout has been implemented, along with the ability for users to see what local establishments their friends visited, liked, and reviewed.

One of the more interesting enhancements to the platform stems from the newly formed partnership between Google and Zagat, a well respected restaurant and entertainment review service. With the addition of Zagat, Google adds more credibility to their local listings while offering users an informative alternative to sites like Yelp, which only offers user reviews based on a 'star'? rating system.

Below is an example of how these changes are unfolding within Google. In this example, we did a search for 'Cheers,'? a Boston bar and tourist landmark.Google+ Local

Once a user clicks on reviews, they are taken to a Google+ Local Page.

Google+Local Page

Since users and businesses are now being forced to use the Google+ interface, it is critical for businesses to embrace Google+. For those businesses who have already contributed information to Google Places, Google will be transferring these accounts over to new Google+ Local pages. Over 80 million 'Places' pages have already been converted to 'Plus Local' pages, and eventually all existing Google Places accounts will be converted. As of now, businesses can still manage their listings through Google Places for Business.

If a business does not currently have an existing Google Places account, then they should establish a Google+ account and update their listings as soon as possible. Once the account has been created, businesses can enhance their listings with a wide variety of assets that will be critical to engaging their audience.

Specifically, businesses should consider taking these steps:

  • Make sure the phone number and address associated with the business are accurate
  • Identify a business category that best fits the company's objectives
  • Upload a profile image that has a strong connection to the brand
  • Customize the Google+ 'About' tab to include:
    • A keyword rich introduction, which can include a hyperlink back to the company website
    • Hours of operation
    • Website URL
    • Contact information
    • Related links (if applicable)
  • On the 'Photo' and 'Video' tabs, photos and videos should be uploaded to showcase the brand.
  • Promote the new Google+ page on other established social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter. This will help to build brand followers. Google+ allows businesses to group these followers into 'circles'? if they wish to segment this list.
  • Be sure to add Google+ sharing buttons on the business website in addition to Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons. Be sure that these buttons are featured on all articles, blog posts, and press releases, as well as on the homepage.
  • Share content on Google+ in a similar fashion as sharing content on Facebook and/or Twitter.

In conclusion, while Google's intentions with this enhancement are largely driven by the need to increase the user base of Google+, there are many opportunities for smart business owners to leverage the new features, expand their presence, and drive increased engagement with their target audience.


May 29, 2012

Content Marketing: How to Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

As digital marketers the ball is always moving'innovation is the norm and only accelerating. The constant challenge for brands and marketers is to evaluate this evolving landscape and take advantage of new opportunities. Historically, being a search guy has meant constantly testing new placement, creative, device and campaign management technologies as both paid and organic search have become more personalized to the end user and competitive among brands. This is even more pronounced on a broader digital scale ' the past year alone has witnessed the explosive rise of Pinterest, Google finally entering the social world (for real this time) with Google+ and of course Facebook's acquisition of Instagram.

Content Marketing is yet another tactic that has been buzz worthy in the past year. Like social media, a content strategy can mean a variety of things depending upon ultimately the program's objectives and level of sophistication. To help make sense of this, I thought I'd share the hierarchy of how we're thinking about content marketing for our clients. The good news is that if you have a website, you're probably doing it already to some degree.

Digital Asset Optimization

This is the baseline starting point. In all likelihood, you have a website and within that site you have produced and posted some content elements from videos to press releases to perhaps a blog. That's great, a big step and the most important. Yet, the greater benefit is in activating that content to expand your digital footprint throughout organic search, social media and other earned channels. Digital assets should be keyword optimized according to your SEO strategy, placed appropriately on site, enabled for sharing and distributed to relevant social channels.

Brand Publisher

While digital asset optimization is the initial starting point for developing and activating your content strategy, an advanced Content Marketing program is strategic, comprehensive and ongoing. Strategic in that message, channel and velocity of content is driven by empirical audience research. This data will identify clear audience drivers and needs and opportunities through which to engage them. Comprehensive as content is developed in a variety of forms thus reaching your audience through their preferred channel of engagement whether that be via webcast, article, video, infographic or other.

Ongoing ' this ultimately refers to the concept of brands as publishers in that the content program should be consistent over time. This will not only foster a relationship with your customer, but frequent new content will expand your brand's overall footprint and organic search profile.

Brands as Story Tellers

Brands that have nailed down the fundamentals of content marketing then move on to more robust strategies of truly becoming story tellers. These brands have a well oiled publishing and distribution operation of research, development, activation and measurement. The next step is then pulling this unique brand positioning into all forms of communication from sales and support to social media engagement. It means truly owning your niche and telling your story through all facets of your business.

Adding Value

A colleague and mentor of mine once advised me to add value in every interaction whether that be personal or professional. That advice has been invaluable throughout my career and is at the core of what content marketing is all about. Regardless of where your brand is in the hierarchy of content strategies, the fundamental principle is simple - provide engaging, valuable information to your customers, clients and constituents. Add value and they will not only be customers, they'll be advocates.

April 10, 2012

SEO Buzzwords Explained through Real Life Scenarios


Lil' Wayne

Lil' Wayne's juice gets him 'crunk,'? which means that after Lil' Wayne drinks his juice, he is able to perform to the masses at an optimal level. Lil' Wayne has been at the top of his game for the past 5 years, and maintaining the quality of his juice will be an integral element for future success.

SEO Translation- Get your Website Performing at an Optimal Level:

Paid links from 'spammy'? link directories are a thing of the past. Websites now rely on authoritative and highly relevant links from various respected sources. High quality, shareable website content, combined with active engagement and promotion is a key element in obtaining these natural links. The power of these links, which is known as 'link juice,'? is a key element in getting your website stronger visibility across the web.


Chinese Food

In 1983, the food court staple known as Panda Express changed the way Americans looked at 'Chinese Food'? forever. Their inexpensive and mostly unhealthy meals have helped contribute to high obesity levels in the United States.

SEO Translation - Google doesn't want you eating Panda Express everyday:

In 2011, Google rolled out their 'panda'? updates, which consisted of algorithm changes designed to penalize websites that offer low quality content. These updates specifically target content that provides little or no value to a user.

In the past, Google users were force fed irrelevant search results from websites that pushed out low quality content in order to achieve higher search visibility. The game has changed. Just as we are seeing healthier food options in food courts across America, we are also seeing higher quality, relevant search results for our everyday queries.


Social Sharing

We all have generous friends and cheap friends. This behavior becomes evident when you gather at a bar for drinks. There is always one guy that is never around when it's time to buy more drinks. Nobody likes this guy, and he is often ridiculed incessantly as the crew gets drunker.

SEO Translation - Invest in good content and share it with the masses

With search engines increasingly incorporating social media excerpts into search results, it's becoming more important to develop frequently updated, high quality content that people actually want to share through a variety of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Plus. This search engine optimized content can be in the form of articles, videos, photos, infographics, and even social feeds. Web users will appreciate your site as a valuable source of information, while search engines will reward you for your high quality content sharing efforts. Search engines don't reward websites that fail to offer valuable content, just like non-giving people aren't rewarded with valuable friendships.


Spider Accessibility

The girl pictured above saved all her hard earned cash to buy her ideal Smartphone. Unfortunately that same day, her significant other made her go on a camping trip in the woods of Maine, where cell phone service is not only non-existent, but also frowned upon! Her brand new phone was completely useless to her at that moment.

SEO Translation - Your expensive website might not be functional for search

These days, many companies wish to have an attention grabbing website full of images, Flash, and animation components. While the website might look cool to a user, search engines aren't able to interpret any of the content that lives within these elements. It is important to make sure that websites are built with abundant textual components in order for search engines to be able to spider and index the site effectively. Much like the girl who couldn't use her Smartphone, there's no point in having a 'cool'? website if it isn't visible in search engines.


Matt LeBlanc

Remember when you could say that Matt LeBlanc was famous? I know it's hard to remember, but there was actually a time when he was on a level playing field with Jennifer Aniston. Since starring in Friends, Matt LeBlanc's 'illustrious'? credits include Ed, Lost in Space, and Joey- a Friends spinoff that spun off the air immediately.

SEO Translation - Matt needs people to focus on his only role that ever mattered

Canonical Tags are used with sites that house the same or similar content. In order to avoid a duplicate content penalty from Google, a canonical tag can be put in place to tell Google what the preferred version of the site should be. These tags are especially useful for commerce websites that feature similar product descriptions on multiple pages. They can also be used for websites that have different domains for multiple regions. For example, a business might have 3 separate domains for the United States, England, and Australia. All of the content on these 3 websites is in English, and it is very similar, with only slight regional variations. In order for Google to not penalize this business for duplicate content, the business might place a canonical tag on the United States domain, as they feel the domain in their home country is the most important.

If Matt LeBlanc decided to start multiple 'Friends'? fan sites across the world, he would surely place a canonical tag on whichever site featured the largest picture of him with Jennifer Aniston. With this tag, he would be essentially telling Google, 'Since my acting career has been mostly disastrous, I want you to focus on a time when Jennifer Aniston acknowledged my existence.'?