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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Article: Mobile payments for dummies (infographic) | VentureBeat


Mobile payments for dummies (infographic) | VentureBeat
http://venturebeat.com/2011/09/07/mobile-payments-explained/?obref=obinsite

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Changing landscape of hotel search

http://ivisitorguide.blogspot.com/2011/10/changing-landscape-of-hotel-search.html?m=1

Loyalty phone app for restaurants

http://www.loyalli.com/

Survey into Social media and ROI

http://ivisitorguide.visibli.com/share/G1mqpq

Fwd: Tweets are - customer service and/or Emarketing




Begin forwarded message:

From: David Wood <david.wood@gmx.co.uk>
Date: 13 December 2011 10:38:17 GMT
Subject: Tweets are - customer service and/or Emarketing

Monday, December 12, 2011

SME survey on Advertising focus/spending

http://searchengineland.com/seo-single-most-important-marketing-channel-for-smbs-survey-103944

Infographic of bottom line effect of loading times

http://visual.ly/how-loading-time-affects-your-bottom-line

Infographic timeline for 19 years of the TEXT

http://www.tatango.com/blog/text-messaging-turns-19-timeline/

Reputation management now for restaurants. Revinate

http://blog.revinate.com/2011/12/revinate-launches-comprehensive-social-media-solution-for-restaurants.html

What blogs and Apps can do to draw web site interest

http://www.tnooz.com/2011/12/12/news/what-blogs-and-apps-can-really-do-for-travel-websites/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Tnooz+(Tnooz)&utm_content=Google+Reader

30 social media tips

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29348/30-Brilliant-Social-Media-Marketing-Tips-From-2011.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+HubSpot+(HubSpot)&utm_content=Google+Reader

Hotel Marketing snippets

http://www.reviewpro.com/online-reputation-and-social-media-management-for-hotels-recommended-readings-of-the-week%E2%80%93-december-9th-6319

21 Social content ideas

http://searchengineland.com/21-types-of-social-content-to-boost-your-seo-103625

Friday, December 9, 2011

cloud-whitepapers

http://cloud-whitepapers.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/confirm?u=27a65d9879fa1e6d5a8aec8b7&id=68964e912d&e=a2605c8d7c

Increasing visibility.

http://alainclasse.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/how-to-increase-your-hotel-content-visibility/

Twitter Launches Brand Pages for Business Accounts




Begin forwarded message:

From: blog@hubspot.com
Date: 8 December 2011 20:59:05 GMT
To: david.wood@gmx.co.uk
Subject: New Article: Twitter Launches Brand Pages for Business Accounts

New Article: Twitter Launches Brand Pages for Business Accounts

A new article has been posted on our blog by Pamela Vaughan:

Twitter Launches Brand Pages for Business Accounts

This email was sent to david.wood@gmx.co.uk.
If you would like to unsubscribe from these notifications, click here.

HubSpot
25 First St, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA 02141

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Small Biz New Year’s Resolutio... (businessinsider.com)



Small Biz New Year's Resolution: Improve Your Social Media Presence
http://www.businessinsider.com/small-biz-new-years-resolution-improve-your-social-media-presence-2011-12

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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for C... (blog.hubspot.com)



The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Social Media Buttons
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29544/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Creating-Social-Media-Buttons.aspx

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Social media to build a reputation

http://ehotelier.com/hospitality-news/item.php?id=22233_0_11_0_C

7 key ways to optimise Twitter for search

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29401/7-Key-Ways-to-Optimize-Twitter-for-Search.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+HubSpot+(HubSpot)

Poster by PowerPoint

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Going Viral Visualized [INFOGRAPHIC] (via Mashable)

http://mashable.com/2011/12/03/viral-infographic/

10 top ideas for Emarketing hotels - from eHotelier

Digital marketing for hotels is becoming increasingly complex. Hotel managers need not only to service guests, manage rooms, availabilities and pricing, but now are also expected to compete for guests in new channels and digital communities that emerge every day. Hence, many hotel managers are asking themselves how they can expand their brand online while still having the time to run their business.

The obvious choice has been to hire additional staff, but this tactic is just a temporary solution, because demand for digital marketing is unstoppable and the problem will continue to grow. The breakthrough solution for this complex problem is a digital marketing architecture and tools that provide a consistent multi-channel experience to hotel guests and prepare hotels for future digital marketing demands.

This article provides a quick checklist on five important items hotel managers should consider when defining a digital marketing strategy for their hotels:

Top five items in a hotel digital marketing strategy
  • Hotel website and booking engine are Number One. This is probably nothing new to you, but your hotel's website is the best opportunity that you have to engage and sell to your guests. On average, guests spend 6 minutes on hotel websites. 6 minutes is ample opportunity to engage your future guests with bold pictures, easy-to-read room descriptions and attractive offers that make the decision to book simple and predictable. One additional important item is to show what guests will experience when they come to your destination: ensure video is part of your web strategy and you will mesmerize your guests. So, when was the last time you updated your website? If the answer is more than 2 years ago, your website could probably be a lot better.

  • 60% of consumers are social travelers.According to Forrester, 60% of guests use one or more social networking platforms during their search, shop and buy process. Hence, it is critical to manage tripadvisor ratings, have a professional-looking presence on facebook, and allow guests to engage over twitter. And to use the social network to amplify your message, ensure that good experiences your guests write about are shared on the different digital communities. For photos we see the best results using Flickr and for videos a dedicated YouTube channel. And don't forget email: it is still the most widely mechanism used to share itineraries and ideas of trips.

  • Mobile consumers will demand optimized content in 2012. Mobile traffic is the fastest growing category in digital marketing, and to no surprise also in travel. Google research states that 19% of all hotel searches are already executed on a mobile device. If you deployed a mobile solution in 2011, you will realize that mobile consumers have a much more utilitarian behavior - they are looking for the hotel's address, phone number, or want to book a room for tonight or tomorrow night. Hence, the experience to conclude those tasks must be optimized in 2012. While success can be found using mobile as a stand-alone media, it provides the largest rewards when it is used as an integrated, multi-channel engagement platform. If you can provide consistent messages across web, social and mobile, while ensuring that the most relevant offers are prioritized then you truly have provided multi-channel digital marketing.

  • Diversify online distribution channels.Recent studies indicate that booking.com is driving a whopping 50% of all hotel online bookings in Europe. This dominance is threatening to hotels as they become more dependent on (and therefore vulnerable to) a single channel that is already demanding higher commissions based on results. Therefore, it is critical to diversify your channels. If you are the manager of a boutique property you should consider signing up with tablethotels.com, mrandmrssmith.com or jetsetter.com. One good source of information for the latest trends in accommodation websites you should consider signing up for is tnooz.com's roundup of top travel websites per market.

  • Innovate with marketing campaigns.Digital marketing is not a one-time project. It is a new discipline that must be embraced by hotel managers. However, digital marketing does not necessarily require learning a lot of new tools and hiring a lot of new staff. Using the appropriate tools, hotel managers can use their existing e-commerce and reservations staff to create campaigns, follow-up and reap the rewards of increased marketing exposure: more and better bookings. So, choose your tools to minimize setup costs and provide maximum flexibility when creating your campaigns.

In conclusion, a successful digital marketing strategy must provide a consistent multi-channel experience to hotel guests. This can be achieved by using a multitude of tools or an all-in-one hotel digital marketing platform. But no matter which tools you select, at the core of your strategy should be a digital marketing architecture that prepares your hotel for future digital marketing demands.

If you want to learn more about what GuestCentric can do to improve your hotel's digital marketing chat to one of our specialists online or sign up for our Coffee with GuestCentric webinar.

WIKIPEDIA video

learn more at

http://vimeo.com/18879649

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Article: Get MarketMeSuite, The Free Social Media Dashboard for Business


Get MarketMeSuite, The Free Social Media Dashboard for Business
http://marketmesuite.com/get-app/?BN

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Article: White Paper - An ERP Guide to Driving Efficiency


White Paper - An ERP Guide to Driving Efficiency
http://cloud-whitepapers.com/cloud/default/index/164

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Sent from my iPad

Article: 6 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results



Sent from my iPad

Digital predictions for 2012



Rowan Heasley, founding partner at Naked Penguin Boy, gives his digital predictions for 2012.

According to the self styled experts on Mayan civilisation, their cosmic prophecy predicts an earth shattering experience that will occur on December the 21st, 2012. The experts argue a bit after this on whether it would be a sunspot storm, asteroid, rare line up of the earth, sun, mars and galactic centre or if the Galactic federation will finally come to earth and welcome us into the galactic fraternity.

So, besides suggesting that we all buy and give Christmas presents early, here are our other predictions for 2012.

1. Content marketing to increase – With Google's upcoming Panda update, marketers are going to have to focus more on the quality of content rather than quantity, and creating engaging experiences for their audiences will have a direct impact on their search engine results.

2. Mobile continues its expansion – After years of saying that it was the "year of the mobile", 2010/2011 was the first year it really kicked off thanks to Steve Jobs (RIP) and Apple, with Android following closely behind. Mobile continues its expansion with more and more brands looking for mobile solutions to their business issues while closely watching the rise of tablets.

3. Gamification - the hot topic (more among agencies than brands) of 2011 will start to get more serious and structured and be implemented in more campaigns. Though, by its very nature it will hardly be noticed. You will engage and "play" with a brand but not quite be able to put your finger on exactly why you are enjoying it as you admire your collection of badges and trophies.

4. Games – With the rise of mobile, social media, gamification and the stress on ROI, more marketers will be looking at using games as a tried and tested method of reaching their consumers (adver-games or games for content).
Seeding and promotion of the games will also gain more prominence in order to reach the target market more effectively.

5. Cloud computing – This is a bit like what mobile has been for years. Suppliers of cloud computing are starting to tout it as the big thing of the year but it has not quite taken off and probably won't until late 2012 either.

6. Social media continues expanding – Facebook trundles on with its privacy issues while users and brands wish it would improve its search engine and make finding new content easier. Google+ which has been off to a reasonably good start will allow its platform to settle in a bit and will then start to push and market it from the middle of the year. Expect to see some good celebrity related stories in the press to help this along.

7. Security – Slowly but surely the boffins have been winning the war against hackers making it more and more difficult for them. Unfortunately that is only in the PC world - with the growth of mobiles, tablets, cloud computing and with more employees taking work home with them, whole new areas have opened up to hackers and we will see some embarrassed companies in 2012 as data is stolen on both an enterprise and individual level.

8. Engagement strategies – closely tied with some of the above predictions, brands will realise the importance of developing an engaging and shareable brand. The most engaging brands will have the most brand advocates and will therefore be most liked by search engines. It's a win-win situation if you can get it right.

9. SMO and SEO – Social Media Optimisation will play an increasing part in your overall Search Engine Optimisation where using social activities to support your SEO and the overall effectiveness of all social media marketing.
Think: sharing, engagement, content, recommendations and conversations.

10. Strategy – Surprisingly most brands don't have a digital strategy in place and work on ad hoc projects instead. In 2012 more thought will be given to tying these projects together into a more effective strategy that will produce more gains and be more flexible over the coming years.

And in summary, 2011 was not the greatest of years with all the financial woes of Europe and the US, but 2012 should definitely be better; after all it will be at least one day longer.

Viral marketing study

Pee Marketing.



World's first pee-controlled video game opens in London bar
http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/worlds-first-pee-controlled-video-game-opens-in-london-bar/

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spool tool

What is Spool?

Spool lets you:

  • View Flash videos on your phone
  • Read articles without pinching or zooming
  • Save content for offline access

Here's how Spool works:

1) First, add a webpage to your Spool using your phone or computer. For computer access, go to getspool.com.

2) Next, we'll extract all text, images, and videos from that page and save them to your Spool. Videos are "recorded", just like a DVR or VCR records television, so they take longer to save.

3) Finally, once the page is saved, we'll notify you and download it to your phone.

For fun, try adding one of these pages to your Spool - a page on pandas, our favorite animal, a video on Cut Copy, one of our favorite bands, or a NASA video on lunar eclipses, our favorite type of eclipse.

Article: What is Spool?

What is Spool?
http://getspool.com/s/tWf4paWO

Sent via Spool, an easy way to save web pages and videos to your phone
Get it at getspool.com

Monday, October 3, 2011

Demo Center test title | Lexalytics.com

Demo Center test title | Lexalytics.com

Sentiment Mining demo

OPEN Forum Mobile :: Idea Hub : Article

OPEN Forum Mobile :: Idea Hub : Article

Online Marketing: What Motivates Your Customers?

Online Marketing: What Motivates Your Customers?

The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing | HubSpot Ebook

The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing | HubSpot Ebook

How we improved search performance by 2x - Airbnb Engineering

How we improved search performance by 2x - Airbnb Engineering

7 Awesome New Mobile Marketing Infographics

7 Awesome New Mobile Marketing Infographics

Visualizing website performance | Visual.ly

Visualizing website performance | Visual.ly

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Digital PR Consultant

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Digital PR Consultant

Research Shows Link Between Online Brand Metrics and Offline Sales | Nielsen Wire

Research Shows Link Between Online Brand Metrics and Offline Sales | Nielsen Wire

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

41 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

41 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Share Your Favorite Recipes Via QR Code With Ziplist

Share Your Favorite Recipes Via QR Code With Ziplist

How to Measure Your Social Media ROI [Infographic] | Mindjumpers

How to Measure Your Social Media ROI [Infographic] | Mindjumpers

7 Examples of Stunning Online Presentations

7 Examples of Stunning Online Presentations

7 Examples of Stunning Online Presentations

7 Examples of Stunning Online Presentations

34 Awesome Twitter Ideas for Engaging Your Prospects

34 Awesome Twitter Ideas for Engaging Your Prospects

Pressly Turns Websites Into Tablet-Friendly HTML5 Web Apps - TechCrunch

Pressly Turns Websites Into Tablet-Friendly HTML5 Web Apps - TechCrunch

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CLOUD Based Hotel Management Systems – Some Common Concerns | ehotelier.com News Archives

CLOUD Based Hotel Management Systems – Some Common Concerns | ehotelier.com News Archives

How to Use Facebook for Business - Free HubSpot eBook

How to Use Facebook for Business - Free HubSpot eBook

How to implement your KPIs and Measures — Made to Measure KPIs

How to implement your KPIs and Measures — Made to Measure KPIs

22 Social Media Alerts Your Business Should Be Using

22 Social Media Alerts Your Business Should Be Using

53 New Mobile Marketing Charts

53 New Mobile Marketing Charts

Cracking the Code | trendcentral

Cracking the Code | trendcentral

Using Social Media and Review Analytics to Guide Marketing Strategy | ReviewPro

Using Social Media and Review Analytics to Guide Marketing Strategy | ReviewPro

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Public Relations Kit from HubSpot!

Public Relations Kit from HubSpot!

5 Obvious Ways to Grow an Email List That You’re Ignoring

5 Obvious Ways to Grow an Email List That You’re Ignoring

Inbox (9/25)

Inbox (9/25)

5 Tips To Get More Online Customer Reviews

5 Tips To Get More Online Customer Reviews

social-marketing-roadmap.jpg (JPEG Image, 648×1610 pixels) - Scaled (26%)

social-marketing-roadmap.jpg (JPEG Image, 648×1610 pixels) - Scaled (26%)

Pressly Turns Websites Into Tablet-Friendly HTML5 Web Apps - TechCrunch

Pressly Turns Websites Into Tablet-Friendly HTML5 Web Apps - TechCrunch

The 5 Keys to Conversion Rate Optimization - Search Engine Watch (#SEW)

The 5 Keys to Conversion Rate Optimization - Search Engine Watch (#SEW)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Aim Social Media Marketing at Loyalists not Prospects!

Joan Voight | September 9, 2011
Brands should letting existing fans spread the gospel on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
Marketers who put out their brand message on social media in order to attract new customers will be sorely disappointed, according to Gallup researchers. Instead companies should use Facebook, Twitter and other social media, combined with offline word of mouth, to persuade existing customers into recommending their products to prospects.
In other words, it is largely a myth that branded social media will generate sales from new customers. But it can generate the kind of insider recommendations that lead to sales increases.
The findings are based on a Gallup survey of more than 17,000 social media users completed in October 2010. The research evaluated everything from the latest mobile social media apps to old-school word-of-mouth. Analysis of the numbers was released September 1 in the Gallup Management Review. According to the survey, branded social media initiatives don’t drive prospective customers to consider trying a brand or recommending a brand to others in their social network. But prospects are likely to try a product or service if they hear good things about the brand from an engaged existing customer in their social network.
“Since marketers are less likely to engage prospects directly through social media, they should encourage or guide their current customers to advocate on their behalf instead,” say Gallup analysts Jim Asplund and Blaise James. The research also suggests that brands should concentrate their social media efforts “on your most engaged customers because these customers are the most likely to advocate on your behalf and the least likely to criticize you,” say Asplund and James.
Specifically, about three-fourths (74 percent) of loyal customers engaged their social networks in a complimentary way about their favored brand, product or service, according to the survey. Loyalists never engaged their network in a derogatory way about their favored brand. In contrast, only 1 percent of disinterested customers complemented a brand, product, or service on their social network, while 14 percent criticized a product or service they bought.
Gallup’s analysis takes it a step further, saying that metrics such as Net Promoter, followership, app downloads, hashtags, and click-throughs are not useful for revealing a brand's social engagement (the degree to which customers will work for or against your brand within their social networks) and subsequent sales increases. James points to Apple as an example of a high-engagement and high-sales brand. “We compared the Apple brand to the Microsoft brand in our research and found out that Apple has almost 3 times as many fully engaged customers. Apple also enjoys a social engagement score that was almost 4 times higher than Microsoft.”
The analysts stress that a brand’s social engagement with a customer should be measured and managed across all channels -- online and offline. “Digital-only social media initiatives are leaving far too many prospects and customers untapped. Our analysis suggests that the most frequent type of social networking is still analog -- face-to-face or over the phone. Don't confuse the channel (social media) for the desired outcome, (social networking),” they warn.
Other researchers acknowledge the “friend factor” in social media marketing. Gian Fulgoni, comScore’s executive chairman, says comScore’s findings reflect the persuasive influence that fans have on their friends in driving sales. He calls it “the amplification impact of a trusted communication,” and compares it to the way that an audience's recommendations to their friends determine the success of a Broadway show.
Incidentally, the Gallup survey also shows that the likelihood of people relying on online ads and TV ads to decide what product or service to buy is about the same as the likelihood of relying on company Twitter or Facebook pages – a mere 1 percent.
Tags: Facebook
Categories: Social Media

How to Fix a Fragmented Customer Experience

How to Fix a Fragmented Customer Experience

5 Ways to Make Your Customers Love You

5 Ways to Make Your Customers Love You

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Article: 5 Golden Rules for a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign

New Article: 5 Golden Rules for a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign

New Article: An Introductory Guide to Highly Effective LinkedIn Ad Campaigns

New Article: An Introductory Guide to Highly Effective LinkedIn Ad Campaigns

Fascinating Event Marketing Stats [New Ebook]

Fascinating Event Marketing Stats [New Ebook]

10 Helpful Uses of RSS Feeds for Marketing

10 Helpful Uses of RSS Feeds for Marketing

OPEN Forum Mobile :: Idea Hub : Article

OPEN Forum Mobile :: Idea Hub : Article

18 Reasons to Use Social Media

18 Reasons to Use Social Media

Top 10 Most Commonly Used Internet Marketing Metrics [Data]

Top 10 Most Commonly Used Internet Marketing Metrics [Data]

intro-to-facebook

intro-to-facebook

Shelf Life of Social Media Links Only 3 Hours [Data]
from HubSpot's Inbound Internet Marketing Blog by Pamela Vaughan

shelf lifeWhen it comes to link sharing in social media, it turns out it's not about where you share it -- it's about what you share. New research from URL shortening service bitly focuses on how long a link is "alive” before people stop engaging with it and whether it matters what kind of content it is or where it was shared.

By calculating what bitly is calling the link's 'half life' (the time it takes a link to receive half the clicks it will ever receive after it’s reached its peak), bitly evaluated the persistence of 1,000 popular bitly links, and found some strikingly similar results.
Half Life Research Results

* The mean half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours.
* The mean half life of a link on Facebook is 3.2 hours.
* The mean half life of a link via ‘direct’ sources such as email or instant messaging clients is 3.4 hours.
* The mean half life of a link on YouTube is 7.4 hours.

halflife density2 resized 600In a nutshell, bitly's research reveals that generally, links shared on Facebook, Twitter, and via direct sources like email or instant message have a shelf life of about 3 hours. This excludes YouTube, where people remain interested in links for more than twice that -- 7 hours! And while you can expect that the majority of links will only remain interesting for less than 2 hours, others can generate a lot more interaction and clicks, lasting for more than 11 hours.

From this, bitly concludes that when it comes to the lifespan of a link (if you exclude YouTube from the equation), it's not where the link is shared that matters; instead, it's more important what the link shares (the content) that has the potential to attract more clicks and engagement.
Marketing Takeaway

Bitly's research indicates that when it comes to promoting content in social media, marketers need to focus mostly on quality. Whether a link makes it in social media depends on the content it points to, so marketers should put the majority of their efforts into creating remarkable content that has the potential to make an impact. It's not enough to just post any links to Facebook and Twitter. Rather, marketers need to make sure that the content they link to is high in quality and valuable to its audience in order to reap the maximum benefits of social media marketing.

When it comes to content creation, are you placing enough emphasis on quality?

Photo Credit: Alex Barth

End-of-Season Hotel Marketing Action Plan | ReviewPro

End-of-Season Hotel Marketing Action Plan | ReviewPro


New Article: How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Generate Event Marketing Buzz

New Article: How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Generate Event Marketing Buzz


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header2

header2

Shelf Life of Social Media Links Only 3 Hours [Data]

Shelf Life of Social Media Links Only 3 Hours [Data]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Top 10 Most Commonly Used Internet Marketing Metrics [Data]

Top 10 Most Commonly Used Internet Marketing Metrics [Data]

HSMAI eConnect - Five Tips for Engaging Guests on Twitter | By Pedro Colaco

http://www.hsmaieconnect.org/news/154000370/4052827.html">HSMAI eConnect - Five Tips for Engaging Guests on Twitter | By Pedro Colaco

YouTube Links Last Twice as Long as Those on Twitter or Facebook [REPORT]

YouTube Links Last Twice as Long as Those on Twitter or Facebook [REPORT]

Don't Let Customers Become Angry Birds on Twitter | Social Media Today

Don't Let Customers Become Angry Birds on Twitter | Social Media Today

5 Tips for Getting More Video Views

5 Tips for Getting More Video Views

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

11 Excellent Email Marketing Infographics

11 Excellent Email Marketing Infographics

Invent_the_future_the_new_normal_for_hotels_in_2010_beyond.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Invent_the_future_the_new_normal_for_hotels_in_2010_beyond.pdf (application/pdf Object)

HBR.org - powered by FeedBurner

HBR.org - powered by FeedBurner

4 Tools for Building a Business Mobile App

4 Tools for Building a Business Mobile App

Twitter / Tweet Button

Twitter / Tweet Button

Small-Business-Marketing-Guide.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Small-Business-Marketing-Guide.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Friday, September 2, 2011

"How Twitter Helps Network Solutions Manage Its Reputation"

su.pr/2r35p0 (VIDEO)

Does PageRank really matter

Does Google PageRank Really Matter? by NEIL PATEL on AUGUST 31, 2011 Does Google PageRank Really Matter? quicksprout.com/2011/08/31/do So what’s the deal with PageRank? Should you panic over every little change in your PageRank scores? Or do you even need to focus on increasing your PageRank? Although those are all good questions that you have, before I dive into the Google PageRank (PR) metrics, let’s look at exactly what PageRank is and how it’s gained or lost. By understanding how PageRank is calculated, you can see its specific limitations in the evolving world of search, as well as what it can still be used to measure effectively. What is PageRank? As far as a working definition of PageRank goes, you don’t need look any further than Google’s own Technology Overview page, which describes PageRank as: When Google was founded, one key innovation was PageRank, a technology that determined the “importance” of a webpage by looking at what other pages link to it, as well as other data. Basically PageRank, which was also named after Google co-founder Larry Page, assigns a score to every page in its index based on the number of websites linking to it and the relative quality of these links. PageRank scores are reported on a 0-10 scale, with PR0 being the lowest indexed rank and PR10 being the highest. If you have a new website your PR will typically be N/A until a PageRank update happens. And if you are wondering how PageRank is exactly determined, according to PageRank Explained, the equation used to calculate PageRank is likely version of the following formula: PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + … + PR(tn)/C(tn)) The formula above is the original equation that was published when Google was first developing the PageRank metric, so although it’s probably gone through a lot of changes over the years, the base variables are probably still similar. And while you probably don’t care how it’s calculated, the important conclusion to draw is that links coming from a PR3 site with 5 outbound links would be more valuable than links coming from a PR5 site with 1000 outbound links. The other thing to note about PageRank is that it operates on a logarithmic scale. This means that the difference between a PR0 ranking and a PR1 isn’t the same as the difference between a PR7 site and a PR8 site. This image below by Elliance should give you a good understanding of how it works. How often is PageRank updated? In 2008 there were 5 PageRank updates, 5 in 2009, 1 in 2010, and 3 so far in 2011. Although historically it’s updated a few times a year in the toolbar, it’s actually constantly being updated on Google’s end. The reason Google doesn’t want to constantly show you your new Google PR score on a daily basis is because they don’t want you to obsess about it instead of focusing on creating a site that doesn’t just provide value to people, but also solves problems. So whether you have a new site or an old site, it’s good for you to realize that your PageRank score is being update and you shouldn’t focus on what the toolbar is reporting. Instead you should focus on your marketing efforts to grow your business. Is PageRank important? PageRank does not correlate that strongly to search engine results placement, just because you have a high PageRank it doesn’t automatically guarantee you a high placement on Google. And if you also rank really well, it also doesn’t guarantee you a high PageRank. In SEOmoz’s study, they analyzed the search results for 4,000 keyword phrases and compared the sites that appeared in these SERPs with their individual PageRank scores. If the two variables were perfectly correlated, in which the highest PageRank pages were first, the correlation would be 1.00. But as you can see from the graph, the correlation between rankings and PR in Google’s SERPs was barely .20. The overall result of the study was that Google’s PageRank is, slightly correlated with their rankings as well as with the rankings of other major search engines. So while it’s true that PageRank played a huge role in Google’s ranking algorithm in the past, its role today clearly isn’t as important in terms of rankings, due in large part to the fact that plenty of other ranking factors have been introduced since the launch of PageRank. As more ranking factors are introduced, their relative weight must get smaller, as each represents a smaller percentage of a site’s total score. For example, when PageRank was first launched, it was one of maybe a few dozen factors that were considered by Google’s ranking algorithm. Today, however, the algorithm considers more than 200 different variables, decreasing the importance of each single ranking factor significantly. My PageRank experience I’ve own dozens of sites and they have all have a different PR. Some of the sites I own have a PR that is as low as 3 and I have a few that are as high as a PR8. The one thing that I’ve noticed is that 5 or so years ago the sites had really high PageRanks did really well in Google. But sadly it isn’t the case anymore. It could have been the way I was increasing my PageRank as I was getting sites like TechCrunch and all of Gawker Media to link to my blog from every one of their pages through a business development deal I did with them (no money was exchanged). Doing this not only drove good traffic to my site, but it typically got my site to a PageRank of at least 7 if not 8. After years of doing this and realizing that I wasn’t really ranking higher on search engines by boosting my PR and my traffic wasn’t growing by leaps and bounds, I went back to old school link building to increase my traffic. I personally don’t focus on PageRank anymore, but instead I focus on: Social media traffic – as your social media traffic increases, you’ll typically get more links coming into your site and in the long run you’ll rank better. Create good content – if you have good content that is unique, people will find out about your website and link to it. Clean code – if your website code isn’t search engine friendly, you won’t rank that well. From meta tags to URL structures, those simple things can have a big impact on your traffic. For example, by just tweaking TechCrunch’s meta description and title tags I was able to increase their search engine traffic by over 30%. Time – SEO is no longer a quick game in which you can rank on the top of search engines without putting in the time and effort. Don’t focus on growing too fast, but instead be patient. Build quality links instead of going for quantity and just give them time to kick in. Site authority – it’s all about the long tail. If you want to get millions of visitors to your website you can’t just focus on ranking for a few keywords, you have to rank for thousands if not millions. Build links to your internal pages and you’ll notice that your overall site will get a higher authority and rank better across the board. Conclusion So based on this information, it would be easy to assume that PageRank doesn’t matter as much anymore. And, in some ways, it doesn’t. Having a higher PageRank isn’t going to get you ranked higher in the search engine results, which means that working towards a high PR isn’t going to bring in more website traffic or, consequently, more sales. From the standpoint of improving the metrics that actually make a difference for your site, it’s true that PageRank doesn’t matter much anymore. Susan Moskwa, a Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google sums up this idea nicely in a post on the Google Webmaster Central blog: I posit that none of us truly care about PageRank as an end goal. PageRank is just a stand-in for what we really want: for our websites to make more money, attract more readers, generate more leads, more newsletter sign-ups, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that PageRank is totally worthless. There are two areas in which PageRank still plays an important role: The way PageRank contributes to your site’s indexing frequency. Using it as an indicator of penalties from from bad back linking strategies. First off, PageRank plays a role in determining how often your site is re-indexed. If your site has a high PageRank, Google considers it to be more important and worthy of being crawled and analyzed more often than a lower PR site. Being crawled more frequently can lead to content being ranked in the search engines more quickly, so for this reason, having a high PageRank is still important. Also, PageRank has long been used by Google as a warning shot to penalize website owners who are using linking strategy that violate Google’s terms of service. Recently, both Forbes.com and JC Penney suffered high profile penalties for using paid inbound links to boost their PageRank unnaturally or for selling them. So with regards to our original question about whether or not PageRank matters anymore, the answer is yes… and no. While focusing on improving your PageRank isn’t going to directly correlate with better rankings I wouldn’t recommend abandoning it entirely. If you see a dramatic downward shift in your PageRank, take a good, hard look at the SEO strategies you’re using. If your number continues to increase gradually, it’s smooth sailing for you. So do you think PageRank matters? 3 trackbacks Adsense101 » Blog Archive » SearchCap: The Day In Search, August 31, 2011 August 31, 2011 at 11:08 PM My Secrets to Improve Page Rank | Increase Page Rank Fast | Improve Google Page Rank