Fast Five in Search – Week 36, 2013

fast-fiveThere’s a real mix in this week’s Fast Five. We’ve got a couple of interesting case studies, some changes to Google and a bit of advice for those who haven’t made the change to mobile SEO yet.

How a Stay-at-Home Mom Built a Million-Dollar Business (from her living room) through Passionate Online Marketing by Beth Hayden
This is a great story about the intersection of inspiration, creative thinking and dedication. Kelly Lester’s home-based business is expected to pass the $1.5 million mark this year. In this interview Kelly is candid about her success and shares how her social media and content marketing strategies created a passionate community around her product.

Kill it on Facebook by Being TAGFEE by Corey Shelton
TAGFEE is a Moz corporate motto: Transparent & Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic and Exceptional! Corey illustrates the success of this approach through the case study of a professional photographer’s community engagement on Facebook.

When Keyword (not provided) is 100 Percent of Organic Referrals, What Should Marketers Do? – Whiteboard Tuesday by Rand Fishkin
Recent changes by Google have sent the percentage of keywords (not provided) numbers soaring. In this special Whiteboard Tuesday, Rand covers what marketers can do to make up for this drastic change, finding data from other sources to stay on top of their SEO efforts.

SEO Strategies for Mobile Phones and Tablets by Tina Courtney-Brown
With over one billion mobile phones and other devices in the world, those who don’t have a mobile friendly site a little behind. But should you develop a specially made .m site or a mobile responsive site?

And finally…

Reports Claim Google May Ban Cookies on Chrome and Android by Kelsey Jones
In the wake of the release of NSA (National Security Administration) reports that the United States government office is using Google and other Internet data to spy on American citizens, news sources such as DailyTech.com are speculating that Google is working on a way to block cookies from Chrome and mobile operating system Android.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless

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Fast Five in Search – Week 35, 2013

fast-five5 Ideas about the Future of Work from WordPress.com by Scott Berkun
Whether you’re reading this from your small cubicle, your newsroom or your home-office – most of us have wondered what the average workplace of the future look like – now that communications technology has changed the world dramatically. This post gives us a glimpse into a rather nice sounding future!

The Kind of Video You Should Create for Your Business – Whiteboard Friday by Phil Nottingham
If you’re thinking of adding videos to your site and your overall marketing strategy then you must read this helpful Whiteboard Friday post from Moz. Phil Nottingham shows us great (and hilarious) examples of many places to start.

Avoiding Disaster: How to Prevent the 3 Most Common Content Marketing #Fails by Adria Saracino
In the rush to create content that will appeal and even better – ‘go viral’ – many companies are not mapping out clear strategies, or tracking the effectiveness of their campaigns. Adria outlines three of the most common content marketing fails and their solutions.

Content Marketing Strategies for Brands—An Interview with Marc Purtell by Murray Newlands
This post follows on nicely from the one above. It’s clear that link building and content marketing need to be aligned – but in a post-penguin world, this needs to be a very careful alignment.

And finally…

Study Determines Google+ Shares Have Little Impact on Search Rankings by Kelsey Jones
Stone Temple Consulting’s recent study on Google+ shares and whether or not they affect rankings is interesting. It seems there is still a wide divide between the influence of social media and search engine results.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless

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Fast Five in Search – Week 34, 2013

fast-fiveWhat do Google, social search and copywriting have in common? They’re all featured in this week’s Fast Five!

Matt Cutts Tells You What To Do If Your Site Was Hit by Panda by Matt Southern
According to Matt Cutts, everything comes down to good quality content. If you’ve got that, you’ll be fine. This post contains a video link to Matt’s original post.

Content Marketing: A Truly Winning Difference by Brian Clark
What makes a brand go from great to amazing? Brian provides the key ingredient in this great post.

Forget Google’s Games – Make Social a Primary Traffic Source by Simon Penson
This is an intriguing post which poses some serious questions about the future of Google’s dominance over the search market. Did you know the 50% of 18-23 year olds use social media as their primary search tool?

How to Improve your Business ROI with Social Media Listening: Don’t Just Listen… Engage! By Nilay D
This is a rather long post, but if you’re looking for ways to really drill down into your social media campaign, you’re sure to find some helpful advice here.

And finally…

Inbound Marketing and SEO for Bands and Musicians by Brandon Seymour
I found this post for a friend of mine, who is looking for ways to increase his band’s online presence, but the advice is good for anyone in the creative industries.

Enjoy!

*Image courtesy of Threadless

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Fast Five in Search – Week 33, 2013

fast-fiveThe Future of User Behaviour – Whiteboard Friday by Will Critchlow
We all know the rise of mobile devices and location apps means that Google knows a lot about us. In this post Will Critchlow explains exactly how explicit and implicit queries are determined by Google and how this will continue to change the face of SEO.

Social Search Engine Topsy Has Indexed All Tweets in Existence by Kelsey Jones
Seven years ago, some of were wondering what this new Twitter thing was all about. Now there are half a billion Twitter users and over 400 million Tweets sent out each day. Topsy has put all this data together in a searchable format, which means social media analyst’s can build reports and study key influencers like never before!

These 7 Brands Prove that Snap Chat Can Be a Useful Tool by Albert Costill
My teenage daughters and all their friends are avid Snap Chat users, but I have to admit until I read this post I never realised it could be such a useful marketing tool. Albert lists seven businesses that have had great success with this new tool.

The Art of Writing Great Google+ Posts by Demian Farnsworth
I love these kinds of posts and this one’s worth a look for the links alone. Although specifically aimed at Google+, Demian provides the kind of solid writing advice that will work for any platform.

And in a similar theme…

How to Write Your Way to the Top of Your Industry by Pamela Wilson
Another great post from the team at Copyblogger, full of solid writing advice – this one also contains links to treasure.

Happy reading and writing everyone!

*Image courtesy of Threadless

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Yahoo! Tops Google for Web Traffic

Yahoo beats GoogleWow. I’d never thought I’d get to type this in 2013: Yahoo! has ousted Google to become the number 1 source of US web traffic.

The comScore Top 50 US Web Properties report for July 2013 reveals that Yahoo! owned sites attracted more unique visitors than any other networks, including Google. The numbers are pretty close – Yahoo! traffic only beat Google traffic by less than 300,000 visits, but this win is a significant one for Yahoo!, given they haven’t been at the number #1 spot since 2008, according to Greg Sterling.

You might think these numbers were influenced by Yahoo!’s recent purchase of Tumblr, however Tumblr is ranked separately in the report, way down at position #28. Which makes me think that the hard work put in by Marissa Mayer and her new management team over the past 12 months is finally starting to gain traction.

It must be a sweet victory for ex-Google executive Mayer, who took over the top job when Yahoo! was in crisis – struggling from years of poor leadership and financial mismanagement. Despite an overall revenue dip of 7 percent compared with this time last year, Yahoo!’s latest financial figures reveal solid income growth for the past quarter – up 150 percent on the previous year.

The upshot of this for webmasters is: you simply CANNOT continue to put all your eggs in the Google basket. I say this until I’m blue in the face: Google is NOT the Internet. Both Yahoo! and Bing are major players in the search industry with the potential to provide as much – or in Yahoo!’s case, more – traffic than Google.

If traffic from Google dominates your site stats, take action now:

  • Optimize your sites with ALL the search engines in mind. Learn what content / tag structure ranks well on Yahoo! and Bing. Optimize your pages accordingly.
  • Study your analytics and learn what keywords convert better on Yahoo! and Bing. Better optimize your content for those keywords.
  • Observe how much traffic you get from Yahoo! and Yahoo! partner sites. Compare conversion rates for this traffic with the traffic you get from Google and other sources.
  • If you haven’t already established a Bing Ads account, create one and start experimenting with paid advertising on the Bing and Yahoo! networks.
  • Verify your web site/s via Bing Webmaster Tools and start observing your site performance via that account.
  • To encourage indexing, upload your XML sitemap to Bing and Yahoo! via Webmaster Tools and keep it up to date.
  • Monitor your performance in all search engines to reduce your reliance on Google traffic.

Taking action now will mean that you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors and more importantly, if your Google rankings suddenly plummet – *cough* Panda, Penguin *cough* – you’ll have traffic from other sources to catch your fall.

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