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PR is Your Most Valuable Link Building Tool

A large component of effective SEO is to acquire links from authoritative sources that are relevant to your brand. Getting a link from a respected source validates your domain in the eyes of search engines, thus increasing your chances of achieving greater visibility for your website and ultimately driving an influx of qualified traffic to your site. Respected sources can be traditional news outlets, blogs, and even the social media pages of relevant industry thought leaders. As an SEO professional, a question I get asked quite often is, 'Greg, our competitors are outranking us because they have more links and/or better links. How do we acquire more links?'? custom written paper What people should start realizing is that link building is essentially PR. Most companies already employ a PR team, which essentially serves the same function as link building. For the past couple years, search engines have been devaluing irrelevant links, and recently there has been a crackdown on sponsored links and advertorials. Valuable links come from relevant content and relationship building that maximizes connections with authoritative sources. PR is essentially relationship building. Link building comes from relationship building. Just to hammer the point home, I'm going to put this in layman's terms by outlining other things that are essentially the same. Cheez It/Cheese Nips While essentially the same thing, I don't know one person that likes Cheese Nips more than Cheez-Its. In fact, as a child I was always a little saddened when my mom would cheap out and bring home Cheese Nips from the market. With that said, I would always eat them'?¦because cheesy crackers are delicious. Any Fast Food Burger Sure there are slight differences in taste, but at the end of the day, they are all delicious and they are great ways to get diabetes. AJ McLean of Backstreet Boys/Chris Kirkpatrick of NSync I would challenge you to remember these two members of their respective 90's boy bands. Therefore, they are the same person. Ok'?¦you get the point. Link Building and PR are 'two peas in a pod'? You might already be employing people to build relationships and broaden the trajectory of your company's message, so why not educate them on basic SEO practices and reap the rewards of their efforts? They already did the hard part, so now all they have to do is ensure that their outreach efforts include a link back to a relevant part of your website (preferably with well optimized anchor text). As an SEO professional, there is no greater frustration than seeing that a client got covered on a well respected website, only to find that there is no link back to their own site. Guest blogging can also be a great way to acquire links as well. Neil Patel wrote a pretty great post on guest blogging best practices, so be sure to check it out. In short, here's how it works. Your company creates compelling content that can help a blog owner add value to their own site. In return, the well-respected blog owner posts the content on their blog and links back to your company. Now, instead of having your social invalid of an SEO person establish that relationship, you should leave it to your seasoned PR professional. That PR professional can also help to get authoritative people to talk about your company on their social networks as well. You COULD trust this person: But you'd probably rather have this person do it:

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. Once a user clicks on reviews, they are taken to a 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.  

Pinterest for SEO

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a photo sharing social network that allows users to create and manage various categorized image collections in a 'bulletin board'? style fashion. Users can 'pin'? photos into categories they create based off their own personal interests. Pinterest helps people all over the world connect through their own like-minded interests, such as travel, culture, fashion, cuisine, and photography. Who uses Pinterest? The average Pinterest user is female between the ages of 24-54 Over 90% of Pinterest users are female* 33% of users are between the ages of 35-54* 50% of Pinterest users are parents Pinterest users are extremely active: 12 million unique monthly visitors* 2.2 million of those users post daily* How are consumers using Pinterest?** Expressing themselves Reminding themselves Learning and exploring topics Searching for and discovering new things Why is Pinterest beneficial for SEO? It is no secret that search engines are using social media interaction as a measure of search authority within their algorithms. Since users can share 'pins'? on both Facebook and Twitter, there is an obvious benefit from an SEO point of view. Listed below are additional SEO benefits from Pinterest: Picture captions are completely optimizable, and 'pins'? can be indexed in search engine page results.  See the example below of Google generating a Pinterest link to a photo of Alaska when a user input the keyword 'Alaska.'? Each image can contain links to send traffic to appropriate parts of the website. Following and supporting popular bloggers and websites across the web can increase your visibility and search authority- ultimately increasing the chances of high profile web sources featuring your brand on their websites. Things brands should be aware of:  Blatant self promotion is frowned upon, and ultimately will not be the most effective utilization of the site.  The most successful Pinterest profiles are those that interact with the community and 'pin'? items from other community members as well. As mentioned earlier, brands can support the target community by following influential people in the category, and 'pinning' photos from people have interests that align well with your brand. The Travel Channel does a fantastic job of connecting to people's emotional ties to travel, such as the culture, food, and activities in addition to highlighting its traditional offering'suggesting destinations. The key lesson here is do not solely feature your company's latest product and service'ensure there are additional boards that feature secondary categories associated with your brand, thereby creating more of a connection with the consumer. It is important to supply engaging imagery to maximize results. If your brand decides to use Pinterest, Pinterest sharing buttons should be added to all applicable content. Providing that your brand actively participates in the Pinterest community, the site can be a great way to build social presence, gain search authority, and increase overall visibility for the brand. Sources: *comScore, Mashable February 2012              **Maxymiser, March 2012     Rich Text Area Toolbar Bold (Ctrl / Alt + Shift + B) Italic (Ctrl / Alt + Shift + I) Strikethrough (Alt + Shift + D) Unordered list (Alt + Shift + U) Ordered list (Alt + Shift + O) Blockquote (Alt + Shift + Q) Align Left (Alt + Shift + L) Align Center (Alt + Shift + C) Align Right (Alt + Shift + R) Insert/edit link (Alt + Shift + A) Unlink (Alt + Shift + S) Insert More Tag (Alt + Shift + T) Toggle spellchecker (Alt + Shift + N) ? Toggle fullscreen mode (Alt + Shift + G) Show/Hide Kitchen Sink (Alt + Shift + Z) Format Paragraph ? Underline Align Full (Alt + Shift + J) Select text color ? Paste as Plain Text Paste from Word Remove formatting Insert custom character Outdent Indent Undo (Ctrl + Z) Redo (Ctrl + Y) Help (Alt + Shift + H) What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a photo sharing social network that allows users to create and manage various categorized image collections in a 'bulletin board'? style fashion. Users can 'pin'? photos into categories they create based off their own personal interests. Pinterest helps people all over the world connect through their own like-minded interests, such as travel, culture, fashion, cuisine, and photography. Who uses Pinterest? The average Pinterest user is female between the ages of 24-54 Over 90% of Pinterest users are female * 33% of users are between the ages of 35-54 * 50% of Pinterest users are parents Pinterest users are extremely active: 12 million unique monthly visitors * 2.2 million of those users post daily * How are consumers using Pinterest? ** Expressing themselves Reminding themselves Learning and exploring topics Searching for and discovering new things Why is Pinterest beneficial for SEO? It is no secret that search engines are using social media interaction as a measure of search authority within their algorithms. Since users can share 'pins'? on both Facebook and Twitter , there is an obvious benefit from an SEO point of view. Listed below are additional SEO benefits from Pinterest: Picture captions are completely optimizable, and 'pins'? can be indexed in search engine page results.  See the example below of Google generating a Pinterest link to a photo of Alaska when a user input the keyword 'Alaska.'? Each image can contain links to send traffic to appropriate parts of the website. Following and supporting popular bloggers and websites across the web can increase your visibility and search authority- ultimately increasing the chances of high profile web sources featuring your brand on their websites. Things brands should be aware of:  Blatant self promotion is frowned upon, and ultimately will not be the most effective utilization of the site.  The most successful Pinterest profiles are those that interact with the community and 'pin'? items from other community members as well. As mentioned earlier, brands can support the target community by following influential people in the category, and 'pinning' photos from people have interests that align well with your brand. The Travel Channel does a fantastic job of connecting to people's emotional ties to travel, such as the culture, food, and activities in addition to highlighting its traditional offering'suggesting destinations. The key lesson here is do not solely feature your company's latest product and service'ensure there are additional boards that feature secondary categories associated with your brand, thereby creating more of a connection with the consumer. It is important to supply engaging imagery to maximize results. If your brand decides to use Pinterest, Pinterest sharing buttons should be added to all applicable content. Providing that your brand actively participates in the Pinterest community, the site can be a great way to build social presence, gain search authority, and increase overall visibility for the brand. Sources: * comScore , Mashable February 2012              ** Maxymiser , March 2012     Path : p  » strong

SEO Buzzwords Explained through Real Life Scenarios

BUZZ WORD #1 ' LINK JUICE 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. BUZZ WORD #2 ' PANDA UPDATE 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. BUZZ WORD #3 ' 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. BUZZ WORD #4 ' 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. BUZZ WORD #5 ' CANONICAL TAGS 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.'?

Forget Google, Bing & Yahoo - It's Hammertime!

In a move as confusing as his 1994 foray into gangsta' rap, Hammer (formerly MC Hammer) is launching his own search engine called WireDoo. After all, nothing is more 'gangsta'? than droppin' fresh new algorithms across the current search engine landscape. All weirdness aside, Hammer claims that WireDoo will spotlight 'deep search,'? and topics closely related to search queries. For instance, if somebody searches for 'Hammer's mansion,'? they might also get results for debt consolidation and insanity medication. When Hammer spoke at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, he helped explain relationship inspired search by comparing it to gathering home buying information. If someone were to search for 'homes in Cambridge, MA,'? they might also receive information regarding area schools, neighborhoods, and other city related information. Whether WireDoo is successful or not, Hammer has successfully come up with an idea that is unique to its competitors. If the celebrity of Hammer is enough to get people using WireDoo, the premise is interesting enough that in a best case scenario, WireDoo could end up merging with an established engine. Granted, it will be important to actually wait until the engine is launched, but the fact that it will enter the market with a lot of hype could give it a fighting chance initially. Think about it, for as important as search is in our daily lives, it has had little celebrity influence'?¦.until now. *Disclaimer- The rest of this article contains no truth whatsoever: One odd thing I noticed about WireDoo was that every #1 ranking featured anchor text stating the words 'U Can't Touch This.'? The anchor text linked to the song on iTunes. I soon became concerned that Hammer might only have his own interests in levitra online sales mind with his new business endeavor. For instance, when somebody searches for 'Reebok Pumps,'? the 1st search result is a link to his song 'Pumps and a Bump'? on iTunes. I became even more suspicious when I did a search for 'kidnapping,'? and all that came up was a link to buy his song 'Have You Seen Her?'? Come on Hammer'?¦that's just inappropriate! When I typed in 'financial disaster,'? it was evident that one of his developers played a joke on him, because all that came up was the following image: Hammer will also be launching his own analytics platform to coincide with the launch of WireDoo. WireDoo's analytics platform differs from the likes of Google and Bing in the way that it provides an easy to understand grading system that lets webmasters see exactly how their site is performing. Hammer's grading system is as follows: 2 Legit 2 Quit = Outstanding It's All Good = Good Work This = Needs Improvement Pray = This Site Sucks You guessed it - each grade (song title) contains a link to buy the song on iTunes. In conclusion, if your search and analytics results have been void of all things Hammer, 'Here Comes the Hammer'? to the rescue.

Forget Google, Bing & Yahoo - It's Hammertime!

In a move as confusing as his 1994 foray into gangsta' rap, Hammer (formerly MC Hammer) is launching his own search engine called WireDoo. After all, nothing is more 'gangsta'? than droppin' fresh new algorithms across the current search engine landscape. All weirdness aside, Hammer claims that WireDoo will spotlight 'deep search,'? and topics closely related to search queries. For instance, if somebody searches for 'Hammer's mansion,'? they might also get results for debt consolidation and insanity medication. When Hammer spoke at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, he helped explain relationship inspired search by comparing it to gathering home buying information. If someone were to search for 'homes in Cambridge, MA,'? they might also receive information regarding area schools, neighborhoods, and other city related information. Whether WireDoo is successful or not, Hammer has successfully come up with an idea that is unique to its competitors. If the celebrity of Hammer is enough to get people using WireDoo, the premise is interesting enough that in a best case scenario, WireDoo could end up merging with an established engine. Granted, it will be important to actually wait until the engine is launched, but the fact that it will enter the market with a lot of hype could give it a fighting chance initially. Think about it, for as important as search is in our daily lives, it has had little celebrity influence'?¦.until now. *Disclaimer- The rest of this article contains no truth whatsoever: One odd thing I noticed about WireDoo was that every #1 ranking featured anchor text stating the words 'U Can't Touch This.'? The anchor text linked to the song on iTunes. I soon became concerned that Hammer might only have his own interests in levitra online sales mind with his new business endeavor. For instance, when somebody searches for 'Reebok Pumps,'? the 1st search result is a link to his song 'Pumps and a Bump'? on iTunes. I became even more suspicious when I did a search for 'kidnapping,'? and all that came up was a link to buy his song 'Have You Seen Her?'? Come on Hammer'?¦that's just inappropriate! When I typed in 'financial disaster,'? it was evident that one of his developers played a joke on him, because all that came up was the following image: Hammer will also be launching his own analytics platform to coincide with the launch of WireDoo. WireDoo's analytics platform differs from the likes of Google and Bing in the way that it provides an easy to understand grading system that lets webmasters see exactly how their site is performing. Hammer's grading system is as follows: 2 Legit 2 Quit = Outstanding It's All Good = Good Work This = Needs Improvement Pray = This Site Sucks You guessed it - each grade (song title) contains a link to buy the song on iTunes. In conclusion, if your search and analytics results have been void of all things Hammer, 'Here Comes the Hammer'? to the rescue.

Forget Google, Bing & Yahoo - It's Hammertime!

In a move as confusing as his 1994 foray into gangsta' rap, Hammer (formerly MC Hammer) is launching his own search engine called WireDoo. After all, nothing is more 'gangsta'? than droppin' fresh new algorithms across the current search engine landscape. All weirdness aside, Hammer claims that WireDoo will spotlight 'deep search,'? and topics closely related to search queries. For instance, if somebody searches for 'Hammer's mansion,'? they might also get results for debt consolidation and insanity medication. When Hammer spoke at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, he helped explain relationship inspired search by comparing it to gathering home buying information. If someone were to search for 'homes in Cambridge, MA,'? they might also receive information regarding area schools, neighborhoods, and other city related information. Whether WireDoo is successful or not, Hammer has successfully come up with an idea that is unique to its competitors. If the celebrity of Hammer is enough to get people using WireDoo, the premise is interesting enough that in a best case scenario, WireDoo could end up merging with an established engine. Granted, it will be important to actually wait until the engine is launched, but the fact that it will enter the market with a lot of hype could give it a fighting chance initially. Think about it, for as important as search is in our daily lives, it has had little celebrity influence'?¦.until now. *Disclaimer- The rest of this article contains no truth whatsoever: One odd thing I noticed about WireDoo was that every #1 ranking featured anchor text stating the words 'U Can't Touch This.'? The anchor text linked to the song on iTunes. I soon became concerned that Hammer might only have his own interests in levitra online sales mind with his new business endeavor. For instance, when somebody searches for 'Reebok Pumps,'? the 1st search result is a link to his song 'Pumps and a Bump'? on iTunes. I became even more suspicious when I did a search for 'kidnapping,'? and all that came up was a link to buy his song 'Have You Seen Her?'? Come on Hammer'?¦that's just inappropriate! When I typed in 'financial disaster,'? it was evident that one of his developers played a joke on him, because all that came up was the following image: Hammer will also be launching his own analytics platform to coincide with the launch of WireDoo. WireDoo's analytics platform differs from the likes of Google and Bing in the way that it provides an easy to understand grading system that lets webmasters see exactly how their site is performing. Hammer's grading system is as follows: 2 Legit 2 Quit = Outstanding It's All Good = Good Work This = Needs Improvement Pray = This Site Sucks You guessed it - each grade (song title) contains a link to buy the song on iTunes. In conclusion, if your search and analytics results have been void of all things Hammer, 'Here Comes the Hammer'? to the rescue.

  • 3 min read
  • October 25, 2011

I Know You 'Like'? Me, But Can I Get a '+1'??

Getting a '+1'? doesn't only apply to guest lists anymore. Google recently launched its new social sharing button, which will compete against Bing's recent partnership with Facebook and the 'Like'? button. While Facebook is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, Bing still doesn't compare to Google in terms of search engine user percentage. Even after last year's Bing/Yahoo! merger, the two engines combine to make up only about 14% of the total market share in the United States (Google has an impressive 85%). So even though Facebook activity may be influencing Bing's organic search results, the Bing user base is still relatively small for the partnership to have shown great impact thus far. With unsuccessful past social media experiments of their own, Google is using their new +1 button as a means of influencing their own search algorithm. The social aspect of +1 comes from the fact that users need to be logged into a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Webmaster Tools, or other Google powered channels). From there, Google users can see which of their friends liked certain content, whether it's displayed on a link from a search engine results page, or an actual piece of content from a website. A recent study showed that 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they already know, and 71% of online consumers admit that reviews from family members and/or friends influence purchase decisions (Econsultancy July 2009, Harris Interactive June 2010). This data, coupled with the growing popularity of Gmail, and the worldwide popularity of YouTube should help get the +1 button to penetrate the psyche of a large amount of Internet users. I mentioned above that the +1 button can be applied to pieces of content and search listings, but the +1 button isn't only limited to organic listings. Paid listings can also benefit from the button. Google separately monitors which people clicked the +1 button sildenafil using a color coded display, which shows whether a user clicked the button on an organic listing, a paid listing, or on a website. The implementation versatility of the +1 button, combined with the social experience could have a great impact on click through rates for both organic and paid listings. Google has also rolled out detailed tracking solutions to support the +1 button. In Google Webmaster Tools, a user will soon be able to track detailed +1 activity, search impact, and demographic data. In Google Analytics, users will soon be able to track visits that were affected by social media engagement, which will pull data from all social media sites (Facebook, Twitter'?¦etc). It remains to be seen if the Google +1 button will catch on with Internet users, but if it does, the tools are in place to revolutionize the Google algorithm and bring social based search to the mainstream.

Putting Some Love into SEO

As someone who has spent the majority of my life around music, I recently wondered what it would be like if artists sacrificed their artistic integrity to make their songs more searchable within search engines.  Call me a dork, but yes, this thought actually entered my brain and it intrigued me enough to write a blog about it. This idea would be terrible for musical integrity, but it would be great for sales and artist related search traffic. So I thought about what some of the more popular music related search terms might be, and the first thing that came to mind was 'love song.'?  Maybe it's because I just got married, maybe it's because Valentine's Day just passed,  or maybe it's because I recently sang a karaoke version of 'Endless Love'? with our office manager Patty. Regardless of the reason, after researching the search volume of the term 'love song,'? I discovered that there are 2,240,000 monthly searches for that exact term across the world. When you think of artists who made their living off love, who comes to mind? Luther Vandross? Lionel  Ritchie? While I'm sure many of today's 20-30 year olds were probably conceived to the music of these two men, neither Luther or Lionel were ever smart (or simple) enough to have a hit single called 'Love Song.'? So naturally I asked, "who HAS had a single called 'Love Song'"? The only 3 artists that came to mind were The Cure, Sara Bareilles, and 80's rockers Tesla. After doing a quick Google search for the term 'love song,'? videos and lyrics for all 3 of these songs showed up on the first page of Google. That is pretty amazing considering the high search volume, and the number of popular love songs that exist. Tesla also had an album called 'Bust a Nut,'? but that's a different search for a different day,  on a different computer. Give them some slack'?¦it was the 80's. Tesla just might have predicted SEO would be huge while they were just learning Prodigy! Sara Bareilles may have struck SEO gold with 'Love Song,'? but she sure didn't gain any SEO points by keeping that last name. How many people do you really think can spell Bareilles? I know I had to look it up! Note to Sara: There's probably a reason why Lady Gaga doesn't go by Stefani Germanotta. How about going by Sara Ellis? Just a thought'?¦

Your Status Updates Are For Sale'?¦ and Mark Zuckerberg Might Be a Drug Dealer

In the movie 'The Social Network,'? Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg led us to believe that since Zuckerberg so desperately wanted to be considered cool himself, that he also wanted Facebook to be cool, so that he could be considered cool by association. For this reason, he was against selling advertising on Facebook, as he thought ads would cheapen the experience and make it uncool for potential users. Seven years and billions of dollars in value later, Facebook is the biggest website on the Internet and it has since allowed sponsored ads. The conspiracy theorist in me believes that Zuckerberg always intended to have ads on the site, but he just wanted to get everyone addicted to Facebook FIRST, and THEN make money off these addicts. You may ask, 'Greg, are you comparing Mark Zuckerberg to a heroin dealer?'?  In a way, I AM comparing Mark Zuckerberg to a heroin dealer, only WAY smarter, because Facebook isn't illegal, and it's a universally accepted addiction. Now that sponsored ads have been in our Facebook consciousness without mass Facebook upheaval, we will now see the beginning of sponsored stories. With sponsored stories, businesses can now monetize their Facebook fans.  For example, let's make up a fictional store called 'Sneaker Land.'? Aside from having the most original name for a sneaker store in recent memory, Sneaker Land also has a growing Facebook fan base. Occasionally, Sneaker Land posts interesting pieces of content based around the sneakers they sell. This content might deal with subjects such as sports or fashion. If a 'fan'? of Sneaker Land were to 'like'? this content, Sneaker Land could then pay Facebook to feature this information in the 'sponsored'? column for all friends of fans to see. By doing this, Sneaker Land is building awareness to the social networks of their fans, while increasing web traffic, and ultimately increasing their bottom line. Sponsored stories aren't just limited to article related content. 'Check Ins'? have become a popular feature on Facebook as of late. These 'Check Ins'? can now also be sponsored as well. Now if you 'check in'? to Sneaker Land with your friend Joe, all of your friends can now see a Sneaker Land sponsored ad letting them know that you were at Sneaker Land with your friend Joe. The advantage of sponsored ads is that the ad has longer staying power to penetrate the consciousness of your social network, rather than being buried in the list of recent status updates. While this information may seem scary to some people, the idea of sponsored stories doesn't stray far from behaviors that the majority of people already participate in. People are quick to share personal information with their friends, and now this information will just be there longer for people to see. If you don't want this information being used, then don't share it to begin with. The idea of sponsored stories seems like a slam dunk for businesses wanting to reach their target audience, while building their social media presence.  In addition, social media posts now routinely rank in organic search results, so it would be an ignorant move for companies to not at least pay attention.

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