Free Bing Ads Credit – Be Quick

Bing AdsSo remember I posted a few weeks back about Search Engine College having $100 Bing Ads credit vouchers to give away? Well we still have a few vouchers left, but they need to be claimed by 30 June 2014.

So if you have been wanting to try Bing Ads, now’s your chance to test the waters with USD 100 in free ad credit, courtesy of Bing Ads and Search Engine College. Simply sign up to become a subscriber and the voucher is all yours. Heck, we’ll even throw in a $75 AdWords voucher for good measure.

Don’t delay though, as we only have a handful left!

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Fast Five in Search – Week 16, 2014

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After posting my list of Top Digital Marketing News Sources a few weeks ago, some of you asked me if I could recommend some sources that focus exclusively on social media and social marketing news. I’m happy to oblige with this week’s Fast Five. There’s more than five, but let’s stick to the format and reveal five at a time (more next week).

Here’s this week’s Fast Five – Top Social Media News Sources:

1) SiteProNews Social Media News – SiteProNews is probably the largest single source of daily social media news that I visit in my morning rounds. Because their article feed is collated by author tags, the stories can be filed under several categories, including social media (linked above), social media marketing and social networking articles, so be sure to check each category for the latest stories.

2) Social Media Examiner – Pitching as the world’s largest online social media magazine, Social Media Examiner was founded by well known copywriter Michael Stelzner. With a flock of well known self-help gurus as guest bloggers, Social Media Examiner helps businesses discover how to best use social media, blogs and podcasts to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate awareness and increase sales. Technorati ranks Social Media Examiner as one of the world’s Top 5 business blogs.

3) Social Media Explorer – Headed up by social butterflies Nichole Kelly and Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer is a strategic services agency focusing on both social media marketing and digital marketing. As well as articles about social media marketing and search engine marketing, this site also provides an extensive selection of articles about public relations, media and journalism.

4) VentureBeat Social Media News – A little bit Huff Post, a little bit Mashable, this quirky site aims to “provide deep context to help executives, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts make smart decisions”. With 11 million monthly pageviews, the site is growing in popularity and seems to source more unique social media news than some of the bigger players. A handy bookmark if you’re looking for a new perspective on social.

and finally…

5) MarketingLand Social Media Channel – MarketingLand.com was developed as an offshoot of the successful SearchEngineLand run by Danny Sullivan and his team. Given the constant morphing of search engine marketing and social media marketing, it made sense to expand topics across separate sites under more relevant category headings and domains. This is the new and improved social media newsfeed now hosted on MarketingLand.com, but you can see older social media archives over on SearchEngineLand.com.

I’ll complete the list with my five remaining Top Social Media News Sources next week.

Happy news hunting!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 15, 2014

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Google’s head of spam fighting – Matt Cutts – posts regular videos on the Google Webmasters YouTube channel. His posts can make waves in the SEO industry like no other because they often preview upcoming changes to the Google algorithm. So this week’s Fast Five is a collection of Matt Cutt’s most popular webmaster videos of all time.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) How Does Google Search Work? – In this video, Matt explains how Google’s ranking and website evaluation process works from the crawling and analysis of a site, crawling time-lines, frequencies, priorities and filtering processes within the databases. With over 380,000 views, this is Matt’s most popular video in the Google Webmaster channel.

2) Does Google Use the Keyword Meta Tag? – After years of webmaster confusion over whether Google does or doesn’t index the content of the Meta Keywords tag, Matt put the rumor firmly to rest with this post by confirming that Google does NOT index the tag.

3) What Should We Expect in the Next Few Months in Terms of SEO for Google? – After months of Panda and Penguin algorithm tweaks, Matt thought it was time to set a few things straight and reveal a little more about what we might expect from future algorithm updates.

4) Canonical Link Element – When Google launched support for the Canonical Link Element, Matt took to video to introduce the element and the way it should be used for SEO benefit.

and finally…

5) What Are Some Effective Techniques for Building Links? – The fifth most popular Matt Cutts webmaster video involves the consistently difficult subject of link building. In this video post, Matt discusses several effective ways of building organic links that many webmasters overlook.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 14, 2014

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Last week I treated you to five of my favorite Digital Marketing News Sources. This week I share the remaining five that wouldn’t fit on last week’s list.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five – Top Digital Marketing News Sources (continued):

1) TechCrunch – This site is similar to Technorati but more about the companies / products and less about the Silicon Valley egos. I’ll visit this site if I want to know more about a particular tech company, app or product. TechCrunch is best known for profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products and breaking tech news. The TechCrunch network claims to reach over 12 million unique visitors and draw more than 37 million page views per month, with more than 2 million friends and followers on the various social media channels. The site first came to world wide attention when it broke the news of Google’s acquisition of YouTube in 2006.

2) WebProNews Technology News – WebProNews mostly covers the latest developments in search engines, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, advertising, and online branding. Their authors also offer personal opinions quite freely, which can be both a positive and a negative. The site is a bit ad-heavy, but I’ll pop in here if I’m looking for an alternative angle on a particular news item or a second opinion.

3) Expanded Ramblings – A recent discovery, Expanded Ramblings describe themselves as a clearinghouse for original and curated digital marketing tips, stats and news. I think this is a little modest, as they have one of the most extensive libraries of Internet statistics and Infographics that I’ve ever come across. I’ll jump over here if I need to source an infographic or verify any type of fresh Internet stats.

4) HubSpot Marketing News – HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform and somewhat of a pioneer in the online marketing industry. Although their core business is software and online tools, they have been publishing a solid marketing blog for years. I like this blog because the content is always super fresh and reliable and focused on actionable marketing tips and techniques for businesses of all sizes. Everything they publish is easy to read and implement and makes jolly good newsletter content.

and finally…

5) SiteProNews – I have to add this one with a disclaimer – I sometimes write for them :-) But bias aside, SiteProNews is a voracious aggregator of tech and marketing content. If you’ve heard rumblings on any tech topic, you’re likely to find an article about it already published somewhere on this site. With arguably the largest webmaster readership on the Internet, SiteProNews sources an enormous amount of fresh content from staff writers and guest bloggers alike.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Dry Your Tears: Link Building Isn’t Dead

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It’s been a controversial couple of weeks in SEO land, with Google again taking action against large online communities and sites that they claim have broken their webmaster rules.

The current crackdown relates specifically to the practice of guest blogging and how it breaches Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by falling under their revised definition of Link Schemes. Manual penalties have been handed out to sites that are known to offer guest posting services on a large scale or provide a guest blogging network. The penalties follow a similar pattern to Google’s action against article marketing directories last year.

What I don’t understand is why everyone’s so surprised. People are acting as though guest blogging is new to Google’s spam radar. It’s not. If you look at Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, you’ll see the following cited as an example of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:

“Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links”

Based on my research on the Wayback Machine, this statement was added to the Guidelines sometime between the end of July and the beginning of August 2013.

Besides, Matt Cutts has given plenty of warnings about potential action taken on sites that use such methods. We’ve been duly warned, folks.

Even so, webmasters are like lost toddlers at the mall right now when it comes to the topic of link building. They are wandering around blindly, crying loudly, looking for familiar territory and some kind of reassurance that everything is going to be ok. I’m witnessing a lot of tantrums and hearing shouts of “link building is dead!”, “Google’s killed innocent links, it’s so unfair!”

If you’re one of those frightened webmasters, DON’T PANIC. Take a breath and review your current link building methods. If they include anything remotely similar to what Google describes in their link scheme definition, stop doing it. Now. Assign somebody to clean up aisle 4. Remove any incriminating evidence of said scheme and remove it from your link building plan, permanently. Breathe. Take a yoga class and chill the heck out.

Most importantly, don’t abandon your link building activities. The practice of building links is not dead, despite the rumors. It’s just different. The best link building tactics have actually been under your nose the whole time.

Don’t believe me?

Here are 11 Easy Ways to Build Editorial Links.

Now, go dry your tears.

 

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