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Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Google+ Search, $10 per Twitter Follower, Facebook 1 Billion Users, Foursquare Search Engine, Social ROI: No, Really!

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 13th, 2012     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Search Marketing, Social Media

Search, plus Your World

The big news this week centers around the changes that Google has rolled out related to Google+ integration with search, which as the tech press buzzing.  Google is aiming to bring users additional search functionality that is incorporated with their Google+ profiles.   The official Google blog states that “you should be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.” Industry observers are saying it’s too much Google+, all the time.

Regardless, it’s a new dimension on the face of search and that spells opportunity (for those optimists among us) to Optimize. Here are a few tips on Google+ optimization. Be sure to add TopRank to your Google+ circles!

Lee Odden

What Google Personalized Search plus Your World Means for Marketing – SEO Tips

Lee Odden on Jan 11th, 2012     Google, Online Marketing
Google Plus Your World

Screenshot from Google's promo video

Google Personalized Search rolled out yesterday revealing a change as significant as Universal Search in 2007. Unlike the major change that brought images, video thumbnails, news and blog posts within search results for all, the Google plus Your World changes are only visibile when logged into Google.

There are many stories to be told here, from Google as a social network to the tit for tat statements Google and Twitter are making. From an online marketing perspective and more specifically, search marketing, the introduction of more Google features only available when logged in will arguably increase the number of searches done when user search terms are encrypted and not available for website owners in their web analytics. The “Unknown” category of keyword referrer for this blog has risen dramatically, which isn’t helpful for future content refinement or optimization.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Principles for User Generated Content: Michael DeHaven SES Chicago 2011

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 16th, 2011     Content Marketing, Google, Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines

SES-Chicago-Michael-DeHavenMichael DeHaven’s presentation at SES Chicago on “User Generated SEO” started with some actual user generated content from the audience. Before the session DeHaven gave 5 volunteers a bite sized Ghirardelli chocolate bar. In exchange for the treat he asked that each of the volunteers write a review of the chocolate and then share it with the rest of the audience.

What Was the Response?
The chocolate was called everything from waxy, to too sweet, messy, and melt in your mouth goodness. In contrast the packaging created by the Ghirardelli marketers was quite different, “take time to slow down and feel yourself melt with each bite.” As you can see the professional marketers took a much different approach than the consumers.

Ashley Zeckman

Is it Time to Make Google+ Your Plus One? 5 Key Problems Solved by Google+ Pages @adtech NY Keynote with Christian Oestlien

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 10th, 2011     adtech, Google, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

Christian OestlienThe closing keynote on Wednesday at ad:tech New York was presented by Christian Oestlien the Head of Social Advertising Products at Google.  The opening of Oestlien’s presentation featured an example of Google+’s new Hangout feature shot live at a Black Eyed Peas Concert.  Fans were given an opportunity to interact with the music sensations in real time.  Black Eyed Pea’s frontman will.i.am is noted as saying “This isn’t behind the music, this will become the music.”

Since launching in June, Google+ has already acquired over 40 million active users.  Users have also uploaded over 3.5 billion photos in those short months.  According to Oestlien the goal of Google+ for enable marketers to interact with their fan base in a way that they never have before.  When developing Google+ the team set out to see how they could influence and impact as well as improve that way that marketers are utilizing Online Marketing today.

Jolina Pettice

SEO Considerations in a Connected Consumer World

Jolina Pettice on May 20th, 2011     Google, MIMA Seminars, Online Marketing, Search Engines, SEO

Mike Grehan On a sunny, warm day in Minneapolis, marketers gathered near one of the city’s best attractions – LakeCalhoun – to learn about “Search and the Connected Consumer”, a view of how people retrieve information online and what that means for the future online and search engine marketing.

Hosted by MIMA, the event featured Mike Grehan, Global VP Content, Search Engine Watch, ClickZ & Search Engine Strategies.

Mike started by educating the audience on the history of the World Wide Web and the Internet (note: they are not one in the same).

Jolina Pettice

SES New York 2011 Roundup

Jolina Pettice on Mar 28th, 2011     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO Tools

The SES New York 2011 conference wrapped up last week on the heels of one of the biggest Google updates in recent years.

And although there was enough Panda talk to make a passerby think we might all be zookeepers, there were other themes running through the conference as well including content, paid strategies and tools, tools, tools.

Here’s a quick recap:

Panda: The Aftermath, as it was called essentially recapped what TopRank and other content advocates have been saying along.

Create unique, quality content that is written first for the target audience and second for the search engines. It’s those who have been living dangerously – or maybe just naively – creating what’s now referred to as shallow content who likely got hit the worst.

Lee Odden

5 Instant Search Engines & the Mash-up

Lee Odden on Sep 21st, 2010     Google, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

instant searchImitation is the sincerest form of flattery and on the social web, that flattery goes one step further, often in the form of a mash-up. Google has launched a variety of services to much fanfare by the media and yawns from the masses (Google Wave, Buzz).

However, the recent implementation of Google Instant has resulted in a number of “instant” implementations on other types of search. Twitter has tempted us with the promise of real-time, all the time and Google’s effort at real-time results has resonated with a number of developers. How much it has resonated with the searching public at large, is not yet being disclosed.

Check out the following Instant Search applications and see which you like best:

TopRank Online Marketing

10 Reasons Why Your Analytics Are Failing & 13 Tools To Help

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 29th, 2010     Google, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Other Events, Web Analytics

Fail Whale AnalyticsWeb Analytics are a key indicator to the health and performance of any website, but online marketers often get lost in the complexities and details, forgetting how important analytics actually are and why.

Analytics can provide a wealth of information but marketers often look at high level indicators such as: top content, bounce rates, entrance sources and keywords without tying it all together. In most cases, there is a tremendous amount of insight that can be used to make smarter marketing decisions, but most companies barley scratch the surface. At the OMS Minneapolis event last week  Adam Proehl gave an excellent presentation on analytics failures and successes. I’ve taken my notes from that presentation and combined them with my own opinions to create this list.

TopRank Online Marketing

10 Easy Local SEO & Online Marketing Tips

TopRank Online Marketing on May 20th, 2010     Google, Local SEO, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Yahoo

Google Places Pin There are currently 29.6 million small businesses in the U.S. (SCORE). 63% of consumers and small business owners use the Internet to find information about local companies and 82% use search engines (Webvisible & Nielsen).  That means there’s a lot of opportunity for local SEO.

Recently I attended GetListed.org’s Local University in Minneapolis which focused on how to optimize web sites for local search.  Out of all the good information that came out of the event, here are 10 easy things you can do today to optimize sites and content to attract local customers.

1. Claim your profile.
It’s as simple as logging into Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local and walking through the verification steps which include a phone call or post card to verify your address.

Lee Odden

Google is Skynet. Search Suggest Opinions

Lee Odden on Apr 21st, 2010     Google, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Yahoo

To know what the world is searching for must be amazing. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are in that position but they’re not exactly sharing those insights. Well, except if you do a little guess work and leverage their keyword research or keyword suggest tools. For example, the suggest-as-you-type features that all the major search engines now offer can provide some interesting insight “on the fly” into what people are searching for.

For quick keyword research, Aaron Wall has a Google Suggest tool for keyword suggestions that adds more options and insight.

There’s some entertainment value to this as well. Start typing in “my girlfriend” or “my boyfriend” and you’ll see what I mean. Along those lines, let’s see some examples for each major search engine using the syntax, “Google is “:

Lee Odden

New Google Design & Not Entirely Unlike Jeremiah Owyang

Lee Odden on Apr 3rd, 2010     Google, Online Marketing

No this is not linkbait using Jeremiah’s name. Read on to find out what this “not entirely unlike” business from Google is all about and what it has to do with him.

A while back I wrote about the new design Google is testing (which I like a lot) that adds a third column to search results along the left side.  It’s come and gone a few times since then as I move about the country and as Google reveals it for testing.

As of this morning, Google is delivering the new design to me again and I noticed something different after doing a search on my name. (Admit it, you Google your own name too!) At the bottom of the new column it shows an unconventionally named, “Not entirely unlike” result.  What kind of label is that? It reminds me of the slang phrase, “it doesn’t suck”.

TopRank Online Marketing

Google: The Social Media Company

TopRank Online Marketing on Mar 19th, 2010     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Social Media

Over the last few years, the popularity of social channels – for professionals, teens, grandmas and everyone in between – has skyrocketed. Consider the recent numbers:

  • Twitter experienced an annual growth in 2009 of 1,382%
  • Facebook now boasts 400 million active users
  • Every minute, 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube

Between blog posts, Facebook status updates, tweets, videos and every other piece of social content published, there’s a whole lot of information floating around out there.

Enter the latest social media player, Google.

Google’s latest activities, acquisitions and features all point to the fact that the search giant no longer has a close eye on web 2.0; it’s already there.

Here are 5 ways Google is now becoming a dominant social media player:

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