Archive for February, 2011

Overstock Joins Paid Link Building Scandal

link-building-scandal

By: jack0

Recently, several high-profile companies have found themselves in violation of Google Search TOS by either buying or selling paid links. Forbes, in particular, was the first company to face warnings from Google over links delivered by Conductor, an SEO firm. Today, Overstock.com joins the list of Forbes and JCPenney’s of sites getting punished by Google for SEO violations.

Today’s news highlighted the continuing ripple-effect coming through several big-name sites and retailers from a link building practice seen by Google as a violation of their TOS. The Forbes PR drop and JCPenney’s punishment both were well documented and saw drops to their site’s PageRank for their participation in buying or placing these links on their site.

Today’s news, broken from the Wall Street Journal, highlights Overstock.com and their link-building tactics. It seems that Overstock was promoting company discounts through college websites and breaking through to .edu domains.

Education domains, or .edu, are seen by Google as the cream of SEO links back to to sites. By doing this practice, Overstock was able to get hundreds of .org and .edu to link back to their top-level pages. A quick search for the text of the add yielded 383 results linking back to Overstock pages. Removing a few keywords reveals 1000′s of results using the phrase “overstock.com has extended”.

The idea here is that Overstock and other companies are taking advantage of the Google algorithm in ways that were not anticipated. Google’s reaction is understandable, but rest assured they are probably already coming up with a detection technique for this and the next level of link building that they would consider in violation.

How to Avoid Customer Complaints on Social Media

avoid social media

How to Prevent and Address Customer Complaints on Social Media

by: Mohammad Jubran

Social media is a powerful life force, not only changing the culture of social interaction for entertainment purposes, but impacting the business arena as well. An organization’s success can soar with the right exposure on Twitter, LinkedIn and other public channels. However, it is also necessary to learn how to deal with negative online sentiment about your brand.

Gone are the days when criticism from a disgruntled customer can simply be routed to the complaint department and placed in the circular file. Tweets cannot be drowned out quite so easily. The good news is that customer service delivery is finally getting some well-deserved attention. The downside is the viral manner in which bad news spreads on social media when you do not know how to deal with negative online sentiment about your brand.

Ben Franklin’s quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, rings true for customer satisfaction. Issues occur when management is driving external customer service without unifying internal processes. When technological systems do not talk to each other and customer service delivery is inconsistent, a disconnect results which ultimately reaches the consumer. In the traditional environment, being re-routed to an 800 number when issuing a complaint is bad enough, but having to repeat the story is intolerable. Consider how information disseminates on a social network and it is clear that negative feedback can increase exponentially.

Consumer comments, whether positive or negative, require an expedient response. Positive comments should be acknowledged in the public arena so that negative comments are not the only verbiage to surface. Respond publicly to negative feedback as well, but reserve the exchange of details for an offline discussion. For the framework of the conversation, SEA is an acronym which stands for shock, empathy and action. Express shock that this incident occurred, demonstrate understanding of their reaction, and outline the corrective measures to be taken. These measures should be definitive and followed through to closure.

Grievances are inevitable but, in the end, your brand will be assessed more by the organization’s reaction to the incident than the event itself. Allegiance to your brand will be earned if the company is viewed as part of the solution, rather the problem, and fans will come to your defense. At the very least, they may reserve judgment on future consumer complaints.

Improve Google Ranking with Blogger

blogger

By: Codex-M

There are around 321,000,000 results for site:blogspot.com in the Google search engine. This means there are 321,000,000 indexed pages for blogs that are hosted in Google Blogger. Yet with this large number of pages, you’ve probably noticed that only a few of these blogs manage to get a decent Google ranking for most common blogging topics. Why? And can you duplicate their success? Keep reading.
A quick list of the most common blogging topics is published here: http://promediablog.com/blogging-tips-10-most-popular-blog-topics-to-make-money-online/. For certain key terms, a few sites stand out. For example, for “film reviews blog,” two results deserve further study: commonguyfilmreviews.blogspot.com and telugu-film-reviews.blogspot.com. For “pet blogs,” internet-pets.blogspot.com is worth a look. For “fashion and jewelry blog,” we’ll look at three results: dcelestine.blogspot.com, in-vogue-jewelry.blogspot.com and profashionjewelry.blogspot.com.

This article will examine the SEO characteristics of these blogs and what makes them rank in Google for their targeted terms. The information gathered by this observation can be used by aspiring bloggers to optimize their blogs for the best results in Google.

Content is Still King: Consistency and Quality

One of the common characteristics of most these blogs is that they emphasize writing quality content on a consistent basis.

Another thing worth observing is the large minimum number of indexed pages on these blogs. Based on the sample provided, you can observe that most of them have indexed pages greater than 50; in short, all of the blog owners have written at least 50 posts for their blog.

A high number of blogs in Google’s top 10 even have hundreds to thousands of indexed pages. Regarding the quality of the content, these blogs feature original content, and most of their blog posts are more than 400 words long.

These blog authors write useful and convincing content with the sole purpose of meeting the demands of their readers. The blogs’ readers, especially those that are coming from Google, expect quality information, and these blogs deliver. You might observe that their content is not spammy in nature, and that the authors write naturally for their readers.

Another thing worth observing is that these blogs do not contain too many ads on their pages. Well, you might have seen that most of Google’s “blogspot” users set up blogs just for Google AdSense. As a result, their blogs contain a lot of ads, but little content, which is a mistake.

But the top ranking blogs do not contain distracting or obtrusive ads. Instead, most of them even have no ads, or if they include an advertisement, it is clearly separated from the content, and limited.

This implies that these blog authors are not blogging just for the purpose of making ad income; they are blogging to write great content which is helpful for their readers.

Finally, they are not only writing quality content on a single occasion; most of these blogs are consistently updating and adding content.

Promoted Tweets – Twitter Advertising

twitter advertising platform

Source: Twitter Help Center

What are Promoted Tweets?

Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets that advertisers pay to highlight to a wider group of users.

Where do users see them?

Promoted Tweets from our advertising partners are called out at the top of some Twitter.com search results pages.

Promoted Tweets are clearly labeled as “Promoted” when an advertiser is paying, but in every other respect they exist initially as regular Tweets and are organically sent to the timelines of their followers. They also retain all the functionality of a regular Tweet including replying, Retweeting, and favoriting. Promoted Tweets are displayed in search in Twitter.com and some of our ecosystem partners, and in user timelines for some users in Hootsuite.com.

If users click on a Tweet that includes a hashtag that is being promoted by an advertiser, they may see a Promoted Tweet among the related Tweets in the details pane.

Are Promoted Tweets only shown on Twitter.com?

We have begun to make Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends available beyond Twitter.com – something we have discussed doing since launching Promoted Tweets in April. We are currently testing syndication of Promoted Products with a select number of partners, including HootSuite and TweetDeck. These partners will run Promoted Tweets in searches and also highlight Promoted Trends, sharing in Twitter’s revenue for these products. We are also beginning to test syndication of Promoted Tweets in user timelines. Initially, we are testing these with our partner, HootSuite. As with all Twitter launches, we’ll review the initial feedback and determine where we take it from here.

Are Promoted Tweets like other online ads?

Since all Promoted Tweets start out as regular Tweets, there is not a single “ad” in our Promoted Tweets platform that isn’t already an organic part of Twitter. This is distinct from both traditional search advertising and more recent social advertising.

Anything else to say, interested?

This is a new thing for Twitter and we expect to iterate and experiment to make the platform better. We’re really excited about it and appreciate getting your feedback. Interested advertisers should visit our Business site to sign up!

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