Saturday, July 30, 2011

Setting The Purpose Of Your Social Media Presence - Social Media Marketing V/S Social Media Optimzation

Marine Institute Ireland, Strategic_Planning_S...Image via WikipediaEvery online marketer today is harping on the social media mantra but everyone is still experimenting with this media for getting the outreach, visibility and that extra mileage which is possible from this marketing platform but there is no sure shot formula to achieve these objectives.

Hence, it is highly important to focus on the purpose of using the social media sites and have a strategic plan else it is very easy for your voice to go unheard inspite of you putting in so much time, effort and resources.

I am sure every one who has experimented with this media has made mistakes, got carried away with the tweeting and realized the futility of just having a presence on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ and not achieving anything out of it despite all the efforts and time which has been invested by them.

Every SEO recommends that the company should have a social media presence and thats a valid suggestion indeed, because the search engines have integrated the social data and signals with search results to add more value, quality and are also adding the preferences of your social network to the search results.

So The Questions That Need To Be Answered By Businesses Are –

  • what is the purpose of our presence on social media sites? 
  • Is our target to create more klout on the social media site in our niche industry or to make our search presence stronger using social media as one of the options? 

The Difference Between Social Media Marketing And Social Media Optimzation

Social Media Marketing is usually creating content and distributing content by sharing it on the social network for maximum out reach. It is usually in the form of a corporate message for its targeted audience which if effective gets shared further just like an advertisement. Its like pushing the message across to more and more people .

Whereas in Social Media Optimization is sharing the content usually in the form of a link so that it gets further shared and people come back to the site so it pulls the targeted visitors to your site via the social media platform.

The selection of the social media platform entirely depends on this purpose .

Social Media Marketing focuses mainly on:

· Advertising

· Direct Selling

· Customer Support

· Public Relations

· Branding

· Communication

· Direct Marketing

· Sales Promotion

· Publicize An Event By Using # tags To Make It A Trending Topic

Social Media Optimization Focuses Mainly On Driving Inbound Traffic From Social Media Sites By:

· Having URL Links For The Content In The Posts So It Can Generate Inbound Traffic

· The Content Can Be In The Form Of Images, Infographics, Videos, News, RSS Feeds, etc.

· Sharing Content Related To Your Industry – Which In A Way Promotes Your Company Beliefs And Value

· Connecting To Communities

· Make Sharing Content Easy So That It Becomes Viral

· Having Rewards For Sharing The Content

· Setting Up The Social Media Profile With A Focus on Linking To The Other Web And Social Media Presence Of the Company To Create Corelation And Improve Quality External Linking.

· On The Proper Bio Description On The Social Media Site In Order To Establish Online Identity And Also Link To The Relevant Site, Blog Or Profile.

Hence , depending on the purpose of your presence on the social media platform the efforts have to be focused on that particular activity to achieve the right objective of either marketing directly or get inbound traffic .

Every business activity needs to have a plan and a purpose , engaging on social media for a business purpose without planning the task is a sheer waste of time and other resources  and may harm the social business image of the company rather than heal it and leverage it.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

20 Questions Which Help You Judge The Progress Of The SEO Campaign Without Facing The Meteors Of Metrics

Your Website Is One Among MillionsImage by FindYourSearch via FlickrSearch Is Changing. As A Website Owner, Has Your Attitude, Approach And Expectations From An SEO Campaign Adapted To The Change? Do You Look Beyond The Ranking Report?

Search Marketing has evolved and has more to offer in terms of quality and quantity in the local and global arena. Every search marketer keeps on harping on the fact that search is beyond rankings and is more about quality web presence and having a good inbound web marketing strategy.

You may not be an expert at statistics and analytics and may not like to delve into the metrics and analytics. You may not have time for SEO reports but I am sure you want to judge and get an idea  about whether the SEO campaign is on the progressive path in your own way . Especially when you are paying a huge sum for it.

The answers to the following 20 Questions will help you to ascertain your quality footprints on the web which can ensure Quality Inbound Traffic and Long Term Web Presence and also give you an idea about the progress of the SEO campaign.

1. Does your business have a local presence.(Listings in Google Places And Google Maps)?

2. Does your company have a blog?

3. Do people read and comment on the blog posts?

4. Do the images from your website and blog get listed on the image search?

5. Have you uploaded videos about your products, company , etc. on YouTube or on your own server?

6. If you have videos on your server then has a video sitemap been submitted to Google?

7. Do the videos rank in SERPs and Video Option Search Results for the targeted keywords?

8. Which are the major 15-20 search queries (Head &Long Tail) for which the site ranks on Page 1?

9. Are these search queries directly related to your company, product or service?

10. Do people fill the form on your website to contact you?

11. Are these inbound mails from the site increasing?

12. On which country domains is your website ranking?Is this in sync with your geographic target?

13. Are the rankings stable for more than a quarter?

14. Does your website rank for branded and non-branded terms?

15. Does Your Website rank for local intent keywords on organic search (for e.g SEO Ahmedabad)

16. Do the page titles give an idea about what the page is about to the user?

17. Can the user share the content of the page easily to his social media site?

18. Do the images have Alt text which tell more about the image to the user?

19. Does the website have a sitemap for the user?

20. Is the content useful for the user and not stuffed with keywords by the SEO?

The answers to all these above questions give you a quick idea about the progress of your SEO Campaign and overall web presence of your website.

If you want to go by the metrics that matter and want numbers to monitor the progress read the post on the following link:

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Current Evolutionary Phase of SEO - Its All About Quality Web Presence And Over All Web Strategy

Web strategy meetingImage by @boetter via FlickrSEO as we all know is about optimizing your website so that it ranks in the search results for your website targeted keywords. In early 2000 when search was all about keywords and rankings alone it resulted into spam of very high degree for which Google had to introduce the PageRank Technology to fight the spam and maintain quality search results.

The PageRank Technology which gave importance to inbound links initially improved the quality of search results but eventually gave rise to a link building industry and a link spam which again polluted the search results. Apart from inbound links the content aspect is also given a lot of importance from the search engines from the very beginning and this also gave rise to many sites and a lot of content which was added to the web in various forms from the SEO benefit by content spammers.

In order to fight the link spam and the content spam Google came up with the Panda Update in Feb. 2011 which penalizes and bans sites with low quality content .

The ranking factors and the importance given individually and jointly to these factors keeps on changing but one thing which has remained constant is the importance given to your overall quality web presence or the quality footprints that you create over a period of time in the web journey of the website has always a considerable factor.

The search algorithms are becoming very sophisticated and so is the search behavior as the searcher now know that he has options and when online buying is increasing and it is even becoming more mobile a website owner now not only needs to rank on the search engines but needs to analyze and understand the search metrics like the Click Thru Rate , Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate, GEO Targeting, Local Search Queries and any other metric which maybe specific for the progress of that particular site keeping in mind the objective of the website.

Keeping the present scenario in mind the SEO needs to help create an overall quality web presence for the website and inter link the already existing quality website foot prints intelligently so that the website gets the benefit from the past existence on the web.

Currently An SEO Needs To work on :

· Optimizing On Site And Off Site Factor To Get High Rankings

· Keep a Track Of Important Metrics That Matter

· Analysis and Action There upon of Those Metrics Which Need Attention

· Keep An Eye On The Algo Updates

· Tune and Tweak The Website As Per The Algo Updates

· Help and Advice On How To Get Quality Inbound Links

· Educate The Owner About The Digital Assets Which Are Being Created As a Part Of The SEO Campaign For His Company

· Keep The Client Updated About The Latest Development In The Search Industry

The SEO Periodic Table clearly mentions that

“Some factors influence more than others, and No single factor guarantees top rankings. Several favorable factors increase odds of success. Negative "Violation" and "Blocking" factors harm your chances “

Hence, the SEO needs to keep working on the improvement of the favorable factors and continuously increase the potential for overall SEO success and at the same time go on negating the violation and blocking factors. In order to have this approach you cannot have a standard SEO formula for every website. Each and every website is different as per their web presence and needs to be managed individually and as per the plus points and minus points of that website. Hence Rand Fishkin Of has rightly said that the role of an SEO has transformed into one of that of a web strategist .

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Google Plans To Support Brands, Businesses, and Beyond. Google+ Business Profiles For All

Google+ and Google’s plans to support brands, businesses, and beyond. Google+ Business Profiles For All

Googler Christian Oestlien discusses the interest in Google+ for businesses and how the company is soon going to have Google+ Business Profiles For All

With business profiles it is highly essential to have a person identified to represent the business.

More in the video below:

Related Articles:

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marissa Mayer Reveals The Surprising Origins Of Google

Image representing Marissa Mayer as depicted i...Image via CrunchBaseGoogle's first female engineer Marissa Mayer reveals the surprising origins of the popular search engine's iconic logo in this sneak peek of the primetime special, "Martha Stewart Presents: Women with Vision." Premieres July 18 at 8 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel. For more info, go to

Marissa's career advice: "Find something that you're passionate about and that you just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing."

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Why Is Your Google+ Profile Important From The Search And Social Media Perspective?

Google has finally embarked the social media journey with full promise and poise.

Google has added a big plus to the already existing FB, Twitter and Skype to create Google+. With this initial success Google has proved that by integrating the social and search platforms they have made social and search individually and jointly more meaningful .

Google now has access to its own data related to social signals and Google is very much focused on search and according to me the Google+ initiative is mainly aimed at enhancing the quality of search results which is very much affected due to the mal practices because of link building and content spamming.

As my main focus is on search as an SEO I think , it is imperative to be active on Google+ from the web presence perspective due to the following reasons:

· Google+ social signals are going to affect the search results in Google undoubtedly

· Google is also experimenting with business profiles

· These business profiles have a full possibility of being integrated with Google Places affecting local search.

· Google+ has the feature of circles by which categorization becomes easy and simple due to which you can manage the personal family and friends circle along with the professional and business circle via the same platform and social media profile.

· Google has introduced the rel author tag and Google clearly mentions on that you need to add the link to your author page in the list of links on your Google Profile so the co-relation with the rel attribute and the profile of the author can be set and verified.

· Google Plus is already mobile

· Visits to your site from Google+ can be viewed in Google Analytics Reports . You can go to any tab, any report in Google Analytics and see Google+ traffic side by side with your regular traffic, just by selecting the Google+ traffic segment

· Google clearly has mentioned that ,”Our vision is to have include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.” Hence once the Real Time Search option is active again on the search page the Google+ posts will be listed on it.

In short having a Google+ profile and using it actively will add a plus to the organic SERPs, local search, blogger profile via the rel author tag, real time search option and you will be able to track and measure the Google+ data via Google Analytics.

Though I agree this gives more power to Google to monopolize the search platform but according to me Google very much deserves it and this is one monopoly which may have the maximum market share but keeps on working hard on innovation and keeps competing with its previous results at the same time offers value to the user in the form of information and knowledge in many ways at no extra cost.

1. What more can a user ask for?

2. Do you think your Google+ profile can be neglected as a social media platform or from the search and overall web presence perspective ?

3. Is there any other point you would like to add in the above mentioned list of reasons for having a Google+ Profile?

Related Article:
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

First It Was The TV And Now The Internet Too Targeting Children From An Early Age

Computers in JapanImage by Sam Howzit via Flickr

The Internet is here to stay and is becoming  a part and parcel of daily lives. Children too from an early age   are using computers for games , academics and connecting to friends. They need guidance and their online activities need to be monitored not from the stalking perspective but to guide them and clear any misconceptions they develop while watching certain content for which they may not be mature enough to distinguish between what  is good for them and what might harm them.

The activity which might create distorted impressions has the potential of  giving the right options to the children too, it all depends how responsible you are as a marketer or developer .

All business schools emphasize on the social objectives of business along with marketing, sales , administration, etc. online business is no exception.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Do You Think You Need To Make A Choice Between Google+ And Facebook ?

google+facebookImage by Ruth Tsang via FlickrI just read an article on the following link:

and started writing my views as a comment but it went on to be so long that I decided to publish it as a blog post instead.

My thoughts on the article mentioned above:

I think Google is synonymous to search and FB is synonymous to social media but with the integration of social signals and search Google realizes the need to have access to some reliable social data that they can trust and also integrate easily in their search algorithms.

Google had access to Twitter data from October 2009 onwards and Google had announced the Real Time Search option but now in June 2011 that option has been deactivated as their deal with Twitter has expired. And at the very same time Google announced Google+ because they want to continue with their integrated results of search and social.

Google is very much focused on search and according to me the Google+ initiative is mainly aimed at enhancing the quality of search results which is very much affected due to the mal practices because of link building and content spamming.

As mentioned on

Google clearly has mentioned that ,”Our vision is to have include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.” So if businesses want to be found on the real time search of Google having a presence on Google+ is a logical thing to do.

But that does not mean that they need not have a presence on FB as more than making a choice of being on FB or G+ it is more about how I can widen my out reach further by reaching out to my niche targeted audience via search and social media.

FB originated with a vision and mission of social out reach and connections Google started off with a focus on search which now is referred to as library search as social media has given birth to real time search so for Google it seems the most logical next step to take.

But as social media and SEO companies our objective is to help businesses have a maximum out reach on the web i.e on the search engines and also on sites where the netizens are spending more and more time.

Eventually as the most important aspect is the target audience, depending on your product, service or purpose of online promotion one will have to select the platform and as the title of the post says it is much beyond the initial hoopla, its true only time will tell whether Google is able to succeed in its third time initiative of social media after Orkut and Wave. So far it seems very promising as the Circles aspect of G+ does give you an easy choice to make regarding what you want to share with whom.

Moreover, Google is also experimenting with business profiles on Google+ which they might integrate further with Google Places which is another inviting feature for businesses to have a presence of Google+.

When Google had its humble beginning as a search engine nobody had thought that they would out do Yahoo or Altavista but due to their technical expertise and focus they have been able to achieve a monopoly for search. Only the future will say whether FB will be able to forge ahead as it is being doing for all this time as now they have true competition else there is full possibility that they can meet the same fate as Yahoo if their focus gets shifted.

Otherwise I think FB and Google+ can both exist together serving different purposes and niche targeted audiences.

There is a great insight on what happened to Yahoo when their focus shifted from their identity as a technology company to a media company on the following link:

A related article on our blog

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Women In Tech – A Panel Discussion

The following video has a great discussion about the women’s issues in the field of technology. One of our previous blogposts conveyed similar ideas and sentiments but viewing this video gave more insight as it is a group discussion .

The talk is very inspiring but After viewing this video I am convinced that whatever the geographic location the issues related to women in tech are globally the same.

The members in the Women In Tech Panel Discussion held at Facebook Headquarters On 20th Of April 2011 Include:

  • Sheryl Sandberg - COO Facebook
  • Jocelyn Goldfein - Director Of Engineering - Facebook
  • Theresia Gouw Ranzetta - Accel Partners
  • Jessica Herein - CEO Founder , Stella And Dot.

The panel discusses issues about:

· Flex timings at work for parents when they have a child. (Paternity leave not maternity leave)

· Women choosing a technical career by opting for Maths and Computer Science

· More women as entrepreneurs on the social web

· To break away from the stereotype way of raising children by telling them that girls should play with Barbie dolls and boys should be aggressive

· Give equal access to technology and technological devices to your daughter as you would give to your son

· Intergating more industry experience into the curriculum along with the theoretical sessions for more real time exposure

· Entrepreneurship or a job whatever is your arena of work go out and reach out to your success if you believe in yourself and think that you deserve that promotion
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Personalized Search Results and Integrated Social Search Results - A Perspective

What Is Personalized Search?

As the term suggests personalized Search Results means search as per the users preferences and as per the past search patterns generated by is search behavior .

Google also introduced social search in 2009 which they integrated in search results when they announced an update to it in Feb. 2011 when Google made Social Search more comprehensive by adding notes for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites.

Personalized Search in 2009 according to Google :

Signed-in Personalized Search
Signed-out Personalized Search
Where the data we use to customize is stored
In Web History, linked to your Google Account
On Google's servers, linked to an anonymous browser cookie
How far back we use search history
Indefinitely or until you remove it
Up to 180 days
What searches are used to customize
Only signed-in search activity, and only if you are signed up for Web History
Only signed-out search activity
How to turn off

Many fear that this this way people would be get search results from their friends and network and everyone can view different results. This would further render SEO as useless and having a good content based site won't hold much of the value.

I agree to disagree on this point as to opt for search results or to opt out of search results is totally the choice of the user. The user today maynot be that search savvy but as the search engines are evolving so is the search behavior of the users. Today people want to get search results and the opinions of the people whom they know without spending much time and this kind of feature saves time and also backs a search result by what their friends and acquaintances have to say about it.

The average user is becoming more and more savvy day by day and wants the option and choice to search within his personalized search and save time or explore and search from a wider range of results by disabling the personalized search.

This kind of feature is a great help to content curators who have a set method of curating content within their personalized search preferences as this not only saves time but also gives a choice to the user.

In fact with this aspect of the user becoming more smart and search savvy and the search engines becoming more and more open to give wider options to the user, the SEO has a much wider connotation and implies complete quality web presence rather than only search engine presence.

Hence , SEOs have to guide and educate their clients not only about regularly giving quality content to their users but also educate them on how to connect on social media and have a wider outreach via social media sites, blogs, videos , discussions, participating in Q & A related to their industry, etc. In other words create an atmosphere of trust, authority, knowledge and information for the website and the social accounts representing their business.

Personalized search is not diluting or distorting search but helping evolve search to a more meaningful and target oriented search with the user preference as the focus. 


Google Going Gaga Over Social And Search Newbie Launches In 2011

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...Image via Wikipedia
 Since January 2011 there has been a  complete metamorphosis of the search and social integration by Google focusing on quality search results  and  the user.

All these major launches and announcements indicate that Google is serious about social and search . It wants to focus on quality search results by integrating the social voice in the search results keeping the user at the epicenter.

  • In January 2011 Google announced that they will be taking the search spam very seriously Matt Cutts Said that “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.” That change was approved at our weekly quality launch meeting last Thursday and launched earlier this week. 
  • Google started tightening the noose on the quality aspect of search results with the Panda or Farmer Update for its search algorithm from February 2011 onwards. So far, the Panda schedule has been like this: 
                 · Panda Update 1.0: Feb. 24, 2011
                 · Panda Update 2.0: April 11, 2011 (about 7 weeks later)
                 · Panda Update 2.1: May 10, 2011 (about 4 weeks later)
                 · Panda Update 2.2: June 16, 2011 (about 5 weeks later)

  • In February 2011 Google announced an update to Google Social Search 
  • In March 2011 Google Announces its +1s recommendations 
  • In May 2011 
                       Google introduced the official search blog
                        Google Social Search  went Global 
                       Google shared its view about what count as a high quality site.

  • In June 2011 Google introduced 
                      The authorship markup and the rel attribute.
                      Google announces search by voice, text or image
                      Updated and evolved the design of the search page
                      Highlighted Content Creators In Search results
                      The mega social Media project Google +

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