November 11, 2019

Google Search Trends Insights October 2019 - AMP Agency

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for October 2019.

Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month.

Google Doodles Drive The Top Queried Terms

The two terms with the most volume last month were showcased as Google Doodles.

  • Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau - Oct. 13th - 10 Million+ queries
  • Sylvia Plath - Oct. 26th - 10 Million+ queries

Both of these Doodles were created to celebrate each of these historical figures’ birthdays, but the queries were collected as the top queried keyword for the day prior to their actual birthday. For example, even though “Sylvia Plath” was the top keyword for October 26th, her birthday is the 27th. We’re not sure how Google is calculating the timing of these queries. If these numbers are generated by the US audience, it doesn’t make sense why they do not correlate with the day the Doodle was posted.

Sports Queries Dominate October

Of the 93 keyword phrases that we collected for the month of October, 55 of them were related to sports. The majority of the terms were related to Major League Baseball (21) and the NFL (20).

The phrase “World Series” got the most queries for the month on October 30th with 5 Million+. This date coincided with Game 7 of the series.   

Many of the queries related to sports were team names:

10/3/2019 - Seahawks - 2,000,000+

10/5/2019 - Cowboys - 2,000,000+

10/6/2019 - Chiefs - 2,000,000+

10/7/2019 - 49ers - 2,000,000+

10/9/2019 - Dodgers - 2,000,000+

10/9/2019 - Braves - 2,000,000+

10/10/2019 - Patriots - 2,000,000+

10/13/2019 - Seahawks - 2,000,000+

10/14/2019 - Packers - 2,000,000+

10/15/2019 - Yankees - 2,000,000+

10/21/2019 - Patriots - 2,000,000+

10/22/2019 - Astros - 2,000,000+

10/27/2019 - Packers - 2,000,000+

10/27/2019 - Patriots - 2,000,000+

AMP theorizes these queries were driven by users who wanted to know the score of the game that the team is playing based on the dates attached to these queries. Teams with large fan bases make the top three phrases where other teams do not.

A Few Movie Keywords Made The Cut

Google Search trends can be used as a predictor of successful opening weekend of a film or how large the buzz is around a certain picture. Two queries made the list in October: 

10/3/2019 - Joker - 1,000,000+

10/21/2019 - Star Wars trailer- 1,000,000+

Joker had a record breaking weekend at the box office. The interest of the Star Wars trailer is high, but it does not compare to the volume of queries associated with the keywords for the previous sequel trilogy films.

 

star wars trailer trends

 

Looking at Google Search Trends data over the past five years, the interest related to the latest Star Wars trailer is lower than it was for the films that were released in 2015 and 2017. This may be an indication that the upcoming film may not make as much.

Interest In New Tech

Apple and Google had a few of their new products make the list in October:

10/28/2019 -  AirPods pro - 1,000,000+

10/15/2019 - Pixel 4 - 500,000+

Clearly, fans of Apple are excited about the earbuds. It’s interesting that the new Google flagship phone didn’t drive as many queries as the iPhone 11. Will Google make a Doodle of its new phone? Probably not.

Every Day is a Holiday 

Did you know that October 3rd was National Boyfriend Day? Me neither – but it drove over a million queries. We have been looking at the popularity of these non-traditional holidays over time. Here’s how National Boyfriend Day has been trending over the last 5 years:

 

national boyfriend day

 

Looking at the peaks over the last 5 years, this holiday drove more search interest back in 2018 than 2019. Along with the big spikes that correspond with the actual date of the holiday, there is a complementary one that occurs a couple of months prior. The smaller spike is triggered by another holiday – National Girlfriend Day. It happens on August 1.


We compared these phrases to see what the volumes looked like side by side:

 

national girlfriend  day vs. national boyfriend day

 

When we look at this view over the last 12 months, it is clear that these two holidays are intertwined. I wonder what discussions take place when National Girlfriend Day happens. Do boyfriends search for their day to see when they will get repaid for celebrating the holiday for their girlfriend? Is the lower spike of “national girlfriend day” during the timeframe of October 3rd indicative of boyfriends’ lack of planning for next year? There are just so many questions.

New Holidays = New Opportunity

All joking aside, these non-traditional holidays have been appearing throughout the year. AMP Agency has been looking into these types of phrases to understand if they are gaining in popularity. If we can get ahead of these trends, it can be fruitful for our clients as it makes sense for them to own or run promotions that coincide with some of these holidays.


Now that October has wrapped up, we’re excited to see what trends November brings. See you next month!

October 8, 2019

Google Search Trends Insights September 2019 - AMP Agency

“What keywords are trending?”

 

It’s the question people ask me all the time SEO. That’s why, in an effort to answer it, I have been collecting Google Search Trends data since the beginning of the year.

 

As anyone who has used Google Trends will tell you, this tool provides quick information to see directional data on anywhere between one keyword to five keywords presented over time. When you want to gather information on trending terms around topics, however, things get a bit more time-intensive. I believe you really need to put in time to pull data on a regular basis and review it as you go to get the best insights – so that’s precisely what I’ve been doing.

 

To-date, I have two initiatives going – one is at a macro-level, and the other is at a micro-level.

 

The micro-level initiative is focused on understanding search volume growth around keywords that are related to some of my client’s top products and services. We’re constantly digging in to see what the latest rising and top terms are and then conducting further research and analysis on them using the Google Trends tool.

 

The macro-level initiative is structured towards gaining a better understanding of the most popular queries are on any given day. With the help of my teammate Brandon Ma, we have been pulling the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google every day. This data pull and analysis has given us some understanding of what drives people to query Google in the moment, what topics people have been interested in this month, and what we can learn from it. Ultimately, we are putting in the work to provide insights for our team and our clients to utilize this free Google tool to its full extent.

 

In this blog post, I am presenting the findings for the top searched terms from the US in the month of September 2019 from Google’s Daily Search Trends found here:  https://trends.google.com/trends/trendingsearches/daily?geo=US

 

Each of the top three terms was recorded with the number of queries that keyword drove for that specific day. Google reports estimations in round numbers with a plus sign next to the number to denote the exact count is somewhere above the number shown. The scale that we saw for the top three keywords last month topped out at 10,000,000+ and the lower limit was at 200,000+.

 

Here are some of the observations we had after looking at the data.

 

Google Doodles Drive Searches

Google drives searches in its engine by changing its logo via its long-running Google Doodle program. Changing their logo entices users who visit the homepage of Google, open their app, or open a new tab in Chrome to click on the Doodle and, in turn, query the engine. The majority of the keywords that were reported to have 10MM+ queries for the month of September in the US were presented as Google Doodles:

  • Ynes Mexia – Mexican-American botanist and explorer in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15)
  • Rugby World Cup – Opening Day of the tournament (9/19)
  • Junko Tabei – First woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, celebrating what would have been her 80th birthday (9/22)
  • Fall Season – Noting the first day of Autumn (9/23)
  • Google – A doodle to celebrate the engine’s 21st birthday – somebody buy it a beer! (9/27)

Sports Interest Fuels Queries

With the NFL season kicking off in September, it has dominated as the top trending topic of the month. An NFL related phrase took the top queried term of the day 11 times throughout the month.

 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Antonio Brown – 2MM+ (9/4)
  • NFL – 5MM+ (9/5)
  • NFL – 5MM+ (9/7)
  • Thursday Night Football – 2MM+ (9/12)
  • Antonio Brown – 2MM+ (9/20)
  • Eagles vs. Packers – 5MM+ (9/26)

Since I have been looking at these top phrases since the beginning of the year, Google Trends data certainly supports the popularity of the NFL over all other American professional sports leagues. As for most popular teams, the Cowboys are the top driver of team name search queries. The Patriots come in second for the month of September, but I am sure they’ll be number one again when it matters.

 

TV Show Premieres Are Search Worthy

With the new Fall TV season, people are still Googling their favorite network TV shows.

  • American Horror Story – 500K+ (9/18)
  • This Is Us – 500K+ (9/24)
  • Masked Singer – 500K+ (9/25)

Some other TV events also made our list:

  • AGT Winner 2019 – 500K+ (9/17)
  • Emmys 2019 – 2MM+ (9/23)

Although their popularity is waning, Primetime TV shows still get attention for their premieres.

 

The Top Tech Keywords

Hot new video platforms and the latest iPhones drove millions of queries last month.

  • Tiktok – 2MM+ (9/6)
  • iPhone 11 – 5MM+ (9/9)
  • iPhone 11 Pro – 2MM+ (9/10)

Marketers have been keeping an eye on Tiktok as a new platform to reach audiences. With the spike of search interest in early September, Google Trends is showing that user interest is increasing.

 

Searches Related to Politics

Queries related to the national politics made the top daily searches in the month of September.

  • Democratic Debate – 2MM+ (9/11)
  • Impeachment – 1MM+ (9/23)
  • Trump – 2MM+ (9/24)
  • Whistleblower Complaint – 1MM+ (9/25)

News stories typically drive queries as people seek to learn more about events as they happen. It’s fascinating to see the progression of the presidential impeachment inquiry.

 

Conclusion

After pulling the top three queries each day for 30 days, we garnered a list of 90 phrases by the end of September. Looking over these phrases as a whole and segmenting them by our own categorization, it’s clear Sports and Entertainment related keywords spur the most searches. Sports keywords made up 38 of the 90 phrases. They were mostly NFL related with instances of college football, tennis stars, and Champions League soccer (sorry, football).

 

Entertainment keywords took 26 slots of the 90 total keywords. Sadly, celebrity deaths made up a good chunk of those queries (RIP Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek). Other queries were related to premieres or releases. Just like TV shows, movie titles also made the list. We probably could have predicted big opening weekends for It: Chapter 2 and Ad Astra based on the keyword search volume each of them had in September alone.

 

Now that we have this collection of data and high-level analysis, we are eager to know more. Was the search interest around this year’s season opener bigger or smaller than last year? What are the top rising phrases related to Fall? Was the release of the iPhone 11 as big as X? Once we dig in further, we’ll have some valuable insights to share with our teams and clients.

 

See you next month!

January 9, 2017

The Poetry of SEO

Someone recently asked me if there are any similarities between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and poetry. At first it seemed like a forced question—a half-hearted attempt to connect two unrelated pursuits in order to make sense of a narrative that appears otherwise pretty jagged. That narrative being, of course, my life—as I’ve recently made the sharp and odd detour from freelance poet to SEO Coordinator in an ad agency. But I’ll tell you what I’ve found so far: poetry and SEO share more than you might expect at first glance.

“The right words in the right order”

This is Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous definition of poetry, praising a tasteful economy of language. But think about it—is there a better description of SEO? A great title tag requires a hailstorm of googling for search volume and competition: consider all possible synonyms, with plurals, singulars, and mix the words around in every conceivable order until you hit that magic balance where the most highly-searched, relevant words and phrases that other companies aren’t using enough are perfectly placed in the right spot in the tag.

Working within Constraints

A few areas of SEO thrive on some pretty hard and fast limitations. Particularly in Meta Data, where Best Practices require Title Tags under 60 characters and Meta Descriptions under 155 characters. That means you better come up with something pretty compelling, ideally with choice keywords, in under the length of a Tweet. Poetry likewise has a long history of limitations, from the constraints of formal poetry (where there are strict rules on rhythm, rhyme, number of lines, and in some cases even subject), to the bizarre experiments of Dada (the great Dada writer Georges Perec penned a whole novel completely excluding the letter “e”).

Works on Multiple Levels

Good SEO satisfies two very disparate crowds: real live searchers and search engine crawlers. It takes great skill to speak the language of the people while playing by the complex rules of the search engines. In a similar way, memorable poetry is satisfying on the surface level while rewarding those who reread for another level of deeper meanings.

Although, as far as I know at this point, search engines don’t seek out the same things that lovers of poetry do—but I wouldn’t put it past Google to incorporate a taste for verse in its SERP algorithms.

 

 

April 10, 2013

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?'?

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

Cheese Its vs. 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

Cheeseburger

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

nsync v. backstreet boys

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'?

Link Building and PR

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:

Superman SEO

But you'd probably rather have this person do it:

Rachel Lawton

April 10, 2012

SEO Buzzwords Explained through Real Life Scenarios

BUZZ WORD #1 ' LINK JUICE

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.

BUZZ WORD #2 ' PANDA UPDATE

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.

BUZZ WORD #3 ' SOCIAL SHARING

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

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

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.'?

April 5, 2012

The Effects of Semantic Search, Insights Lab Episode 6

Google recently announced its plans to give search a refresh via semantic search technology. What does this drastic announcement mean for search marketers?

Find out in this week's Insights Lab episode, featuring Matt Jacobs, AMP's Director of Integrated Marketing and Joel Breen, Director of Digital Media.

December 4, 2011

Search Engine Giant Baidu to Invest Millions to Launch the SEO industry in China

China is getting ready to take on SEO in a major way and is ready to invest major dollars towards a fast growing industry according to the latest report released by Nasdaq. Baidu, the biggest search engine in China which holds a massive 84% market share is reportedly investing as much as $470 million dollars now through the end of 2015 into search engine optimization (SEO).

Baidu plans to develop an industry which will train as many as 100,000 new search engine specialists as part of the game plan. The ultimate goal is to help both small and larger companies expand and grow their businesses through adaptation of SEO. With 485 million users in China, there is a huge opportunity for growth in an emerging market and Baidu (www.baidu.com) expects that by planning the adaptation of SEO, it will help raise awareness and increase usage for its online paid advertising services.

This news is certainly quite interesting. It's pretty amazing how much the SEO industry has evolved over the years versus what it used to be at the very early stages. What used to be an underground, rarely talked about approach to simply making websites rank higher in Google, has transformed to a whole new level of mainstream.

The demand for SEO in the United States has been growing fast, as competition keeps growing and getting tougher. Search engine marketing is a crucial element in 2011 and will continue to become even more important throughout the years, no matter what type of business you operate. Baidu is recognizing the need and wants to set the standard in China. And with such an enormous market share, I have no doubt they will accomplish what they intend, while creating thousands of new jobs in the industry.

August 4, 2011

Buying Your Way to the Top with Social Media

With the popularity of SEO, social media, and the boom of the online industry, competition is becoming fiercer than ever. It is no longer common to find someone outside of the marketing world who doesn't understand the basic fundamentals of search engine marketing.

Back in 2001-2002, all you needed was a website utilizing basic SEO elements and a few links and Google would love you and you could outrank your competition. Fast forward to today, the game has completely changed. Now, Google will likely ignore you until you're able to prove your website deserves to rank in their search results based on their criteria. With over 100 factors taken into account into the Google search engine algorithm to determine how a website is ranked, this has lead to new level of abuse and capitalization from certain individuals and companies to try to game the system. Search engines are constantly changing the way their algorithm works in order to fight spam and tactics that violate their guidelines. Violation of these terms can lead to a website being penalized or in worst case scenario, banned.

Social media has become a key player in influencing the impact of search engine marketing and Google has openly stated they are now considering social signals in their ranking algorithm. With the popularity of social media networks such as Digg, Twitter, Facebook, and most recently, the introduction of Google+, the level of abuse is rising from underground groups to manipulate and find ways to trick search engines.

Most recently, new social media company Plussem.com began offering a service where they utilize a group of people to vote for the website of your choice on Google+ in exchange for a fee. Looking for 50 votes? It'll cost you just 20 bucks. Want 2,000 votes? You can get it by paying the equivalent cost of an XBOX 360. While this idea sounds enticing, and may work for a short time frame, the MIT engineers behind the scenes at the Google Plex are most likely working day and night trying to figure out a way to prevent abuse from such services. My thought on this topic is, if you do get any type of benefit, it will be short lived.

This type of manipulation is nothing new. Dig further around the web and you will find all kinds of paid services where you can buy social media love.

Let's take a look at the service Subvert and Profit as an example. This site offers everything from paid YouTube to Twitter votes. Not only can advertisers benefit from this, but social media users can also make money from it. Want your message to be spread across Twitter? You can do that too, with a service like Sponsored Tweets.

The rise of these types of services is here to stay. While these services can make you appear popular to your audience, participating in these networks will not give you a long term benefit or a spike in search engine traffic or rankings.

Focus on building buzz-worthy and interesting content your audience will naturally react to. Utilize SEO best practices, participate in social networks to build your networks and you will build your reputation online as an authority on your topic.

Remember, content is KING.

August 4, 2011

Buying Your Way to the Top with Social Media

With the popularity of SEO, social media, and the boom of the online industry, competition is becoming fiercer than ever. It is no longer common to find someone outside of the marketing world who doesn't understand the basic fundamentals of search engine marketing.

Back in 2001-2002, all you needed was a website utilizing basic SEO elements and a few links and Google would love you and you could outrank your competition. Fast forward to today, the game has completely changed. Now, Google will likely ignore you until you're able to prove your website deserves to rank in their search results based on their criteria. With over 100 factors taken into account into the Google search engine algorithm to determine how a website is ranked, this has lead to new level of abuse and capitalization from certain individuals and companies to try to game the system. Search engines are constantly changing the way their algorithm works in order to fight spam and tactics that violate their guidelines. Violation of these terms can lead to a website being penalized or in worst case scenario, banned.

Social media has become a key player in influencing the impact of search engine marketing and Google has openly stated they are now considering social signals in their ranking algorithm. With the popularity of social media networks such as Digg, Twitter, Facebook, and most recently, the introduction of Google+, the level of abuse is rising from underground groups to manipulate and find ways to trick search engines.

Most recently, new social media company Plussem.com began offering a service where they utilize a group of people to vote for the website of your choice on Google+ in exchange for a fee. Looking for 50 votes? It'll cost you just 20 bucks. Want 2,000 votes? You can get it by paying the equivalent cost of an XBOX 360. While this idea sounds enticing, and may work for a short time frame, the MIT engineers behind the scenes at the Google Plex are most likely working day and night trying to figure out a way to prevent abuse from such services. My thought on this topic is, if you do get any type of benefit, it will be short lived.

This type of manipulation is nothing new. Dig further around the web and you will find all kinds of paid services where you can buy social media love.

Let's take a look at the service Subvert and Profit as an example. This site offers everything from paid YouTube to Twitter votes. Not only can advertisers benefit from this, but social media users can also make money from it. Want your message to be spread across Twitter? You can do that too, with a service like Sponsored Tweets.

The rise of these types of services is here to stay. While these services can make you appear popular to your audience, participating in these networks will not give you a long term benefit or a spike in search engine traffic or rankings.

Focus on building buzz-worthy and interesting content your audience will naturally react to. Utilize SEO best practices, participate in social networks to build your networks and you will build your reputation online as an authority on your topic.

Remember, content is KING.

August 4, 2011

Buying Your Way to the Top with Social Media

With the popularity of SEO, social media, and the boom of the online industry, competition is becoming fiercer than ever. It is no longer common to find someone outside of the marketing world who doesn't understand the basic fundamentals of search engine marketing.

Back in 2001-2002, all you needed was a website utilizing basic SEO elements and a few links and Google would love you and you could outrank your competition. Fast forward to today, the game has completely changed. Now, Google will likely ignore you until you're able to prove your website deserves to rank in their search results based on their criteria. With over 100 factors taken into account into the Google search engine algorithm to determine how a website is ranked, this has lead to new level of abuse and capitalization from certain individuals and companies to try to game the system. Search engines are constantly changing the way their algorithm works in order to fight spam and tactics that violate their guidelines. Violation of these terms can lead to a website being penalized or in worst case scenario, banned.

Social media has become a key player in influencing the impact of search engine marketing and Google has openly stated they are now considering social signals in their ranking algorithm. With the popularity of social media networks such as Digg, Twitter, Facebook, and most recently, the introduction of Google+, the level of abuse is rising from underground groups to manipulate and find ways to trick search engines.

Most recently, new social media company Plussem.com began offering a service where they utilize a group of people to vote for the website of your choice on Google+ in exchange for a fee. Looking for 50 votes? It'll cost you just 20 bucks. Want 2,000 votes? You can get it by paying the equivalent cost of an XBOX 360. While this idea sounds enticing, and may work for a short time frame, the MIT engineers behind the scenes at the Google Plex are most likely working day and night trying to figure out a way to prevent abuse from such services. My thought on this topic is, if you do get any type of benefit, it will be short lived.

This type of manipulation is nothing new. Dig further around the web and you will find all kinds of paid services where you can buy social media love.

Let's take a look at the service Subvert and Profit as an example. This site offers everything from paid YouTube to Twitter votes. Not only can advertisers benefit from this, but social media users can also make money from it. Want your message to be spread across Twitter? You can do that too, with a service like Sponsored Tweets.

The rise of these types of services is here to stay. While these services can make you appear popular to your audience, participating in these networks will not give you a long term benefit or a spike in search engine traffic or rankings.

Focus on building buzz-worthy and interesting content your audience will naturally react to. Utilize SEO best practices, participate in social networks to build your networks and you will build your reputation online as an authority on your topic.

Remember, content is KING.

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