Monday, January 31, 2011

Twitter Testing New Advetising Platform - Beta Stage

WebPro News interviewed  David Szetela of Clix Marketing who is one of the few advertisers included the Twitter’s beta program for testing Twitter’s Ad. Platform. In his interview he mentioned that the program had similarities to the Google and Facebook Ad. programs but with some differences.

Twitter some time back had introduced the concept of Promoted Tweets and is testing the Twitter Self- Serve Ad. System before going with it in a big way. it is a self-serve program with a little difference to it as currently you cannot start your ad. campaign on twitter like anybody and everybody can you do it on Google . In order to become a part of the Twitter Ad. Platform one needs to contact twitter to get embedded in the Twitter Ad. Program.  

View The Interview:

The Ad. Program  is based on the concept of the promoted tweet, where the advertiser can tweet something then contact Twitter to promote it when someone searches something related to that or he can also have somebody influential retweet that tweet and the advertiser can promote that retweet .

How will Twitter Measure The Cost Of Advertising or Promoting The Tweet/Retweet:
David Szetela said that the payment for the advertising will be based on a new metric called  the Cost Per Engagement (CPE) and the engagement will depend on the following factors:

  • Retweet Of The Sponsored Tweet
  • Reply To The Sponsored Tweet
  • Click  On  A Link Of A Sponsored Tweet
  • When Somebody Favourites The Sponsored Tweet

If any of these actions take place the advertiser  pays the agreed amount to  Twitter. The second  metric will be engagement rate (ER), which is similar to click-through-rate (CTR).

According to “Promoted Trends is seeing good traction in the marketplace, which gives us cautious optimism for Twitter’s fledgling ad products,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson, author of the upcoming report “Worldwide Social Network Ad Spending: 2011 Outlook.”

Let’s see how this paid scenario picks up on Twitter and will we have a so called Organic Engagement V/S Paid Engagement on this Social Media for SMM like we have a SEO v/s PPC on the search engines for SEM? But one thing is for sure Twitter is growing.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Google's Algorithmic Change To Prevent Content Spam Is Live Now

Matt Cutts had mentioned earlier this month on - “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.”

He confirmed on his personal blog that the Google Algorithm has been updated and live now to prevent content spam.

Matt Cutts has also posted about this update on

Before this announcement also there were many SEOs who were discussing about the effect on the SERPs

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Using Google Webmaster Tools Appropriately For SEO

I have been using the Google  webmaster tools since time immemorial now, but using them appropriately for analyzing the website from the SEO perspective is always an ongoing learning process. Google keeps on adding valuable features to the tools and keeps on making it more useful to webmasters and SEOs.

Maile Ohye – The Developer Programs Tech Lead from Google explains this very clearly in the following video.

The Webmaster Tools features she has explained in the video are summarized as follows:

  • Sign Up For Email Forwarding In Webmaster Tools in Message Centre 
  • Check For Search Queries 
  • Use Keywords To Target Content 
  • Reduce Duplicates Through HTML Suggestions And URL Parameter Handling 
  • Diagnose Crawl Errors 
  • Prioritize Content Through Internal Links 
  • Verify Access Through Fetch As Googlebot 
  • Use Site Performance To Improve Speed 

View the video for a detailed explanation :)

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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Highlights Of Conference Click Asia Summit 2011- ‘The Power Of Digital And Mobile Marketing In Asia’

Last week I had the Opportunity to participate in the largest marketing event in Asia
delivering Digital, Social and Mobile marketing solutions – Click Asia Summit 2011 .
It was a 3 day summit with a focus on ‘The Power Of Digital And Mobile Marketing In Asia’.


The highlights of the conference:

The conference started of with a very inspiring keynote by Gurbaksh Chahal, RadiumOne . It proved a point  that in order to be successful in the digital world one does not need a string of degrees and qualifications attached to his name but a focused approach , dedication and hard work. Gurbaksh’s session encouraged the entrepreneurs to take failure also as an opportunity and go ahead with more positivity rather than getting bogged down. 

The delegates had to keep choosing the options of the sessions available , trust me it was a tough one as whenever you made a choice somewhere you felt that you are missing out on the other session which was equally informative .  

The sessions on   Mobile Web: The New Mass Media by  Mahesh Narayanan, Google India and There's an App for That! By  Neil Burton, Web Spiders – UK proved that   mobile marketing strategy  has to be a part of your digital marketing strategy  if you want to future proof your online presence for the long run as statistics and data proved that more and more people are switching on to their smart phones to surf the web and downloading more and more Apps. For their smart phones.

But I think that as smart phones become smarter and internet connectivity becomes better and cheaper  for the handsets there will be no need to download Apps. But the handsets will be used more like we use our laptops today. We discarded our desktops for laptops, now we shall discard our laptops for smartphones and that will literally put all the power in the hands of the people as people will shop surf more online due to the ease and accessibility always available in their hands. Read more on :

 The presentation on  Metrics-Analysis-Action! And the Day 2 Keynote on Digital Analytics By Gillian Muessig, SEOmoz    focused on the following points:

  • No analytics signal is a signal in itself
  • Data is not information and reporting is not analytics
  • Always dive deeper  and track to find answers to how the offline and online advertising is lifting each other
  • Data is not analytics –  As just having a car is not sufficient  you need a driver to drive it – Just data is not enough you need to analyze it and decompose the metrics to get answers which will help you to take corrective actions and right decisions.

Gillian’s informal way of speaking and reaching out to the audience for questions attracted everyone’s attention and made a dry topic like analytics very interesting .

 The sessions on : 

Advanced View on PPC vs. Organic by Jeff Adelson Yan, Levelwing
Search Engine Marketing - Dead and Buried? (PANEL)  by
Milind Mody, eBrandz
Navneet Kaushal, PageTraffic
Raghavendra Satish Peri, IBM
Best Practices: Online Marketing Vivek Bhargava, Communicate2 

They all focused on the importance of having a marketing mix of SEO, PPC, Local Search with a focus on Google Places. They also stressed on the fact on how one marketing strategy helps on leveraging the other sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. As these topics a very vast in themselves the extent to which they were discussed was not sufficient and satisfactory.

The first day concluded with a refreshing session by Mr. Anupam Kher touching the human side of technology and baffling everyone with a down to earth talk and chat on how success has made him more humble and how failure and adversities in life can make you a better person.

On day 2 the following workshops:

Ecommerce In India: Opportunities & Challenges (PANEL)
Dirk van Quaquebeke, Brandmile Ptd. Ltd.
Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal India
Digital Marketing, Lead Nurturing and Social Media for B2B Enterprises
Neil Burton, Web Spiders - UK
Anol Bhattacharya, GetIT

Mobile Marketing & Brands in the Mobile Web Environment
Naveen Tewari, InMobi
Rajiv Hiranandani, Altruist-Mobile2Win

Clearly stated the emerging of the mobile web and the current trend of mobile Apps. Kunal Bahl described the ABCD of Indians as A for Astrology, B for bollywood, C for Cricket and D for discounts.  and went ahead to discuss the success of Snapdeal India . The key factor for any ecommerce site to be successful is to give a predictable experience on the site to the visitor was the main takeaway. 

Dirk van Quaquebeke, Brandmile Ptd. Ltd. Mentioned that the India is fashion conscious, Indians have disposable income and are early   adapters to e-commerce and deals and discounts work well in the Indian market.

Neil Burton, Web Spiders – UK and Anol Bhattacharya, GetIT spoke about lead nurturing and Social media in a B2B scenario . The importance of content  for lead nurturing was highlighted . 

The content should be remarkable and  ignite conversations. The main takeaway - Content provides the context for conversations in social media. In a B2B scenario for social media forget about the image supply as much as information as possible. The main ROI for a B2B campaign is lead generation and building relationships.

  • B2B is different  from B2C
  • Create a strategy
  • Talk business from start
  • Talk numbers , statistics and data
  • Build a community
The session on Twitter for Business by Pradeep Chopra, Digital Vidya was a runaway hit with a very  individual style of conducting the session Pradeep Chopra immediately connected with the participants and I am sure convinced everyone to start tweeting.

The # tag for the conference #cas11 surely became the trending topic.

On day 3 there were two specialized workshops to choose from, one was on Advanced SEO and the other one was on Social Media Marketing.
The SEO workshop  was conducted by Bill Hunt, Back Azimuth Consulting and Benedict Hayes, Communicate2

Rajiv Dingra, WAT Media spoke about the importance of blogging.
They were full day workshops covering the following topics:

Advanced SEO Workshop
Social Media Marketing Workshop
9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Bill Hunt, Back Azimuth Consulting
Benedict Hayes, Communicate2
Rajiv Dingra, WAT Media
Gaurav Mishra, MSLGROUP Asia
Gillian Muessig, SEOmoz

SEO Factors
The Algorithm
SEO Campaign Strategy
1. Real-life social networking game
How do we connect with others on social networks around our passions?
How do connections lead to conversations, collaboration and community?
How can brands connect with people around their passions?
SEO for Complex Websites
The Challenges
The Specific Challenges for Large Sites
What to Avoid in, Large Sites Especially
How to Rope in Stakeholders
How to Maximize your Search Shelf Space
How to Centralize your Efforts
The Downstream Impact
How to Maximize Searcher Stimuli
2. Community-centric integrated marketing
How is the social web changing integrated marketing and the role of agencies?
How can brands create a series of integrated marketing campaigns that build upon each other?
How can brands leverage owned, paid and earned media into their integrated marketing strategy?
Pepsi Refresh case study.
Managing Complex Search Programs
How to Effectively Deliver Search at Scale
Key Focus Areas for an Enterprise
How to Integrate SEO in the Workflow
Roles and Responsibilities within the SEO Team
How to Make a Page Search Friendly
What are Organic Search Diagnostic Metrics?
What are Organic Search Performance Metrics?
3. Social web strategy for business impact
How can brands leverage conversations, campaigns and communities for business impact?
How can brands build online communities to organize and energize their evangelists?
How can brands measure business impact, platform influence and program engagement?
Dell case study.
The Dynamic Issues in SEO
About URLs
How to Manage Keywords
Understanding the Intent of the Searcher
4. Social web strategy in the B2C context
How can brands use contests to build high-engagement communities?
How can brands use communities to drive retail footfalls?
How can brands create cause-based communities to connect with their stakeholders?
Starbucks case study.
How to Manage Complex PPC
Creative Development
Google Quality Score
Optimizing Landing Pages
5. Social web strategy in the B2B context
How can brands use communities to strengthen relationships with partners?
How can brands use communities to attract and motivate talent?
How can brands use communities to establish thought leadership?
Microsoft case study.
How to Measure the Success of a SEO Campaign
Executive Dashboard
Search Health Report
PLP Scorecard
Search Effectiveness Metrics
Integration Metrics
How to Build a Business Case
6. Strategy on a post-it note game
What are our brand values and business objectives?
Who are our brand evangelists and what are their passions?
What is our core platform and program strategy and how will we measure success?
Searcher Intent Modeling
Searcher Intent Modeling Overview
Searcher Intent Modeling Steps
Integrating Paid & Organic Search
Keyword Arbitration
The Challenges
The Keyword Conflicts
How to Allocate Keywords

Link Building
Digital Asset Optimization
The Challenges
A Checklist
The Best Practices

Enabling Success in a Large-Scale Global Search Marketing Program
The Burning Issues
Fundamentals of Search marketing
Search Organization Audit
Enterprise Search Ecosystem

Managing a SEO Process
Managing a Team
Managing the Keywords
Managing the Technology
Managing the Performance
Managing the Priorities



Sunday, January 9, 2011

SEO Though a Subset Of Internet Marketing Has An Edge Over Advertising And Marketing.

The larger goal for SEO and PPC campaigns is the same – To gain search engine visibility, get targeted traffic and thereby business enquiries or online sales. A well managed SEO or a well managed PPC campaign have the potential of achieving these said goals.

Whenever we talk or discuss about organic rankings we discuss about how the search engines are improving their algorithms for churning out quality results as per the ranking factors which mainly revolve around the content and other quality factors of the website.

When we discuss about PPC campaigns ,  conversations and discussions get focused on the bid amount and how the search engines are working on  reducing the click fraud rate. This basic difference itself tells us that PPC is pure advertising but SEO is about getting ranked for quality results.

A SEO campaign helps you:

  • To establish an online brand 
  • Have a good online reputation
  • Gain maximum visibility all over the web
  • Helps you  work on the website to making it more rich in content and error free HTML 
  • Solve Cannonical Issues
  • Eliminate Duplicate Content
  • Add more meaning to the images of your website 
  • Work on many other technical aspects of the website like HTTP headers, 404 pages, 301 redirects etc.

The SEO efforts put on a website continue to pass on the benefit of all the footprints created by the SEO campaign even if you stop working on the SEO after say about  1 – 2 years but, the PPC benefit gets terminated when you stop paying for the listing. Though there are situations when PPC can give the immediate return needed but SEO is something that cannot be ignored by any business owner having long term goals and plans for tapping the online market and establishing and online presence in the long run.

SEO  has the same objectives  like the other online marketing campaigns  but  in addition SEO  also helps the website owner to establish an online brand by reaching out all over the web for making a presence of the site being optimized via social media, local directories, other topical sites and communities  where the site can get links and have a platform to speak out the company ideas, values and goals.

Moreover, SEO relates to optimization for all the search engines not Google alone. Hence, any good SEO campaign will focus on all the search engines which have their own index and try to get maximum visibility on them. We know that Google is synonymous to search and has the maximum market share but you never know which search engine might just get bigger and bigger and start being used  for search. For example Bing is gradually gaining popularity though at a very slow pace .

A genuine SEO campaign does not only help the website owner to get the high SERPs for the targeted keywords but also contributes in helping the search  engines  deliver quality and relevant search results.

The search engines time and again offer webmaster guidelines, tools and other help forums to help the SEOs with the search results. The following link tells us Google wants the SEOs  to follow certain ethical guidelines in order help in the quality search results as an SEO campaign also has the ethical factor woven into its functionality.

Hence, if your SEO campaign is a genuine SEO campaign rather than only a Google Optimization programme then you sort of future proof your search engine organic presence.  On the other hand  paid listings and other marketing campaigns give you a very short lived visibility for your site.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why User Generated Content Will Be More Important In the Future For SERPs

As we all know that the social signals are a part of the search engine algorithms for determining the SERPs. Social media gives an equal platform to each and everyone to voice their opinions, views, thoughts and in various ways using whatever media they are comfortable with – images (Infographics), videos, text, etc. All this is giving an exponential increase and impetus to the UGC – User Generated Content on the web.

This UGC and the links on such content which add value to the content has the potential to push the SERPs up or pull the SERPs down of the links mentioned. Content has been the king on the web world but the UGC does not only have the plus points of the content but also has the power of the intent added to it. Hence, it has the potential to push or pull in the positive or negative direction.

User generated content may be in the form of:
• Reviews
• Comments
• Feedbacks
• Testimonials
• Ratings
• Blogposts with a focus on a certain product or company
• Tweets on Twitter
• Posts on Facebook
• Wikis

All that is voiced on such platforms about a certain company, product or service generates a WOM which creates an online reputation of the company . Hence , it is the user who has to be focused on in the whole campaign of promoting a website. The UGC will depend on the user experience the visitor has on the website .
The co-relation of the other metrics like the time on site, bounce rate, the goals achieved, the number of new and repeat visits and other such metrics from the analytic reports and the UGC will determine the popularity and the purpose of the website which will in turn affect the rankings and over all visibility of the site.

Well this is my perception, only time will tell as to how all this gets more and more incorporated in the search engine algorithms and how it is reflected in the search results.

Related Post:

The Power Lies In The Hands Of The People


Monday, January 3, 2011

The Advantages of M-Commerce

Author : 

The wider connection a business can make to their target markets, the higher possible sales they can have. With this, maximizing benefits from the current technology like mobile devices is a big step that industries need to establish.

In connection, the development of Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce gives an opportunity to many businesses to offer flexibility for their customers to have access to their business from devices such as mobile phones.

M-Commerce is the term for making business transactions using mobile devices. There are already several existing M-Commerce applications and services nowadays that have been very helpful to us. Some are mobile banking, location maps, and variety of news, mobile shopping, ticketing and mobile file sharing.

Mobiles are being used more and more on daily basis and its more then just making and receiving a call. Mobile companies are coming up with new features for their smart phones, which offers consumers ease, flexibility and security at the same time. My self I have a Blackberry and an iphone which I use both to run my online business, from sending and receiving emails, online accounts, socialise on Facebook and Twitter and also paying for my shopping so I just need to collect it. I believe if I was to loose my phone, I would be lost, as I would have no communication, besides my wife calling me, I wouldn’t be able to operate my day to day business. Having these features on my phone, saves me hours in a day, as I don’t go home to a full inbox of emails, I don’t need to wait in queues to collect my shopping, as I have already paid for it.

The integration of M-Commerce to a handy device is an immense benefit to all of us, as I have just demonstrated above.

Below are some of these advantages:


It is a true convenience to do much from a handy device via M-Commerce. With wherever you are, in just a few clicks on your mobile device, you can already do shopping, banking and download media files.

Flexible Accessibility 

User can be accessible via mobile phones and at the same time be accessible online too through logging on to various mobile messengers like Yahoo and Gtalk and other networking platforms.On the other hand, user may also choose not to be accessible by shutting down his mobile device, which at times can be a good thing.

Easy Connectivity 

As long as the network signal is available, mobile devices can connect and do commerce transactions, mobile to mobile and even mobile to other devices. No need for modem or WI-FI connectivity set up.


Each mobile device is usually dedicated to a specific user, it is personal. You can do whatever you want to your mobile device, modify the wallpaper, change view settings or modify contact information as you send emails or e-payments.

Time Efficient 

Doing M-Commerce transactions do not require the user to plug anything like personal computer or wait for the laptop to load. Just hit the on button of your mobile device and your ready to go.

Despite the small screen, having something in your pocket that can do so much via M-Commerce is really an amazing technology and a great help. E-Commerce business are also making applications for mobile phones which allows users to browse their online products and make payments with couple of buttons.

Is Mobile Commence appealing to you, is this something you would implement into your business, share your thoughts with us regarding mobile e-commerce in the comments below.

Author Byline:

Wasim Ismail is a web solutions project manager and also an online entrepreneur & blogger at specializing in online business.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ecommerce, Magento And Your Online Store

With the growing increase in online sales taking your store or business online is the most sensible and logical decision. Businesses which do not offer products or services online stand a risk of losing their online market share to their competitors.

Once you decide to take your store online the most logical question is : which is the best platform for developing the ecommerce site with user friendly built in features for a shopping cart, e-payments, CMS and site administration.

There are quite a few options available but we recommend Magento for an online store as Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform built on open-source technology that provides online merchants with unprecedented flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their eCommerce store.

Magento’s intuitive administration interface features powerful marketing, search engine optimization and catalog-management tools to give merchants the power to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. Designed to be completely scalable and backed by Varien's support network, Magento offers companies the ultimate eCommerce solution.

You can read the FAQs related to Magento on 
Once you have an online business its not the end but the beginning for establishing that business. As the online competition , marketing  and management are also issues which have to be given attention to.

  • Advertising the URL is crucial initially till you gain a substantial WOM (Word Of Mouth). Locally you may be a brand and quite famous but when you go online you need to establish that brand as you in real time when you first started your business. 
  • Most of the people will find your store via the search engines – Hence, optimizing your site for the search engines is something which cannot be taken lightly. Next is to generate a good online reputation so that it generates a favorable WOM is important . 
  • Social media presence helps you to have a voice on the web. You can start engaging with your existing clients via social media which in turn will help you to get additional genuine fans and followers and help you have a wider reach. 
  • Encourage existing regular customers to buy online so that they can share their user experience (UX) with their friends and followers via reviews, emails and by posting on their social media profiles. Make all these options available on the site itself so that they can send the message easily online. 
  • Create a blog which gives you the platform for sharing your ideas, promos, advice, etc. thereby helping you to establish an online brand image and persona. 
  • The online market scene is no different than the real time market but the online markets help you to have a faster and wider reach. 

Think Local And Act Global is the latest mantra of the online world which substantiates that Marketing is active storytelling , PR is reactive storytelling - Internet marketing is real time, active and reactive and has a local And global reach. 

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why SEO Is More Relevant And Important Today

I don’t think anyone needs any introduction to what SEO stands for. Everyone who is serious about online business is very much aware about the importance of Search Engine Optimization. Every year as the year comes to an end there are blog posts on – SEO IS DEAD – But  as always again the importance and the need for SEO bounces back on the online scenario with more added life energies.

As we offer SEO services and myself am an  advocate for  organic search , when I read posts predicting the end of SEO I get more motivated to write about why it is more important than ever before.

Yes, SEO in 2011 is for sure much more than just rankings. The juvenile definition of SEO which mentioned only about getting high rankings is no longer applicable. The SEO fraternity who have been promoting websites  online since the time when the term SEO itself was not coined surely know what I am talking about.
We have come a long way since 2000 where individual  submissions in the search engines was the main task for SEOs. SEO in 2011 is not only about getting high rankings but about building a brand for the business that you are promoting. It is about helping the client establish his goodwill online and have a true online persona for himself and his business.

This is possible by helping the business create relevant and right footprints on the web and also by helping the client to rectify any faux pas which might have created unwanted footprints. As the search options go on increasing and the social fabric gets woven more and more into search the guidance and training of how to use the social media effectively is also one of the SEO deliverables today.

As many people think that if they are tweeting about what they are eating or where they are going they are engaging in social media and this should help them with their search engines presence also. But, if you are not engaging with the people on twitter about your focus area of work or the discussions are not topical then I think you are just wasting your time. As non-focused discussions will not help you create the social link graph needed to help your SERPs soar.

Of course, as it is social media so a proper balance and blend of work discussions and casual chats (which help you to project your true personality) should surely help your professional and personal profile be projected in the right way so that people know who you are and what work you are involved in.

Today, SEOs guide their clients about creating blogs and focus on subject matter about what they want to associate themselves with on the web. This also is a way of projecting your personality and sharing your views and opinions about the concerned topics , products and services. If blogging is done with a focus and a purpose in mind and if your blog offers knowledge and information thereby attracting regular traffic then again the blog content helps you to establish the online persona which has become a part of the SEO deliverables today.

The blogosphere is showing an increase in the no. of personal blogs as people want to blend their social and professional personalities and create an individual presence along with the online industry they are associated with.

Hence. SEO is more relevant, has a wider meaning and involves much more understanding about the web world  than just on page tweaking of the website for meta tags and content.