Microsoft & AOL Enter Significant New Deal

Microsoft and AOL have just completed the finishing touches on a significant new deal that will have AOL searches powered by Bing (up till now they were powered by Google).  In addition, the ad inventory on Microsoft properties such as Outlook, Skype, x-box, MSN and more will be sold through AOL rather than through Microsoft directly.

Silicon valley word cloud concept

Silicon valley word cloud concept

Different parts of the deal will be put in place between now and January of 2016, with some of the most significant changes coming in the next few weeks.  The deal is set to last ten years, and future changes agreed upon by both companies can extend that out further.

This deal will remind many of the deal between Yahoo and Microsoft, which had Microsoft powering the Yahoo search results.  While that arrangement has been bumpy, it seems to have benefitted both companies overall.

AOL Search Results

The part of the agreement that is likely to get the most attention is the fact that AOL search will now be powered by Bing.  AOL has long used Google, so this change will take the AOL market share away from Google and give it directly to Bing.  While AOL really only has 1% of the US search market, this is still important.  Removing one percent from Google and giving it to Bing will look like a 2% swing on the stats.

Google has not commented on the move yet.  They aren’t likely to since this really is a small loss for them overall, but a loss none the less.  For Microsoft, however, it can be seen as fairly important.  They only recently passed the 20% mark for total share of the US search market, so this will take them a little bit closer to reaching the 25% mark, which will be a major milestone for them.

Display Ads

While it won’t get the same amount of press, this is actually likely to be a more important part of the deal.  Having AOL sell the ad space for Microsoft is going to be quite a change for marketers as well as Microsoft and AOL.  AOL already has an effective team in place since they own many popular web properties, so they may be able to use this to drive additional ad buyers to not only the Microsoft properties but also their own.

The deal is effective for Google’s top nine global markets including US, UK, Canada, France, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.  In addition, Microsoft will begin using AppNexus to programmatically sell display inventory in other smaller markets including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Microsoft display ad team won’t be losing their jobs, fortunately.  Many of them will, however, have to begin working for AOL rather than Microsoft.  The specific number is not known yet, but most people say it will be between 500 and 1200 employees.

These changes are small overall, but are likely the first of many between Microsoft and AOL.  These two companies are in good positions to partner up to improve things like search, ad inventory and much more.  Marketers will be wise to keep a close eye on how Microsoft and AOL’s relationship evolves.

Headlines Essential to Driving Traffic from Search & Social

While it might not be surprising to many, the headline of a story is the most important factor when attempting to drive traffic to it from either social sites or search engines.  This is according to a new study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.  The study analyzed the habits of 20,000 people in 12 different countries and learned a lot of important information.  The following are some of the key points that are covered in the study, and how they can be used by marketers.

Headlines More Important for Search than Social

While a good headline is essential for a successful story no matter where it is published, the study found that it is significantly more important when people see it on search results compared to social media.  For search results, the study showed that more than 50% of people in each country (well more than 50% in some countries) said that the headline was the most important factor when determining which stories they click on.  For social, on the other hand, that number dropped to an average of 37% for most countries, with the highest being just under 50% in Ireland.

Other Factors that Encourage Clicks

The other factors that were ranked were ‘content that comes from a site I know and trust’ which was the second most popular option and ‘content that comes from a person I know and trust.’  For search, not surprisingly, content that comes from a person I know and trust only got a few percentage of the people.  On social, however, it was nearly 25% in most countries.  This is, of course, because people see their friends and family sharing a post so they assume it is going to be interesting or engaging.

For search, having a site that is from a trusted site that people recognize is far more important than having a site that comes from people they trust.  In most cases, Google and the other search engines will rank trusted and/or recognizable sites such as well known news sites, YouTube, WikiPedia and things like that.  For marketers, building a brand can help drive traffic by building trust in the brand name.  Of course, that takes time.

Using Proper Headlines

While it may be obvious that using great headlines is essential to driving the most traffic you can, it isn’t always as easy as people would like.  Figuring out what types of headlines work best for your specific site or product can be difficult.  Some things are proven to drive traffic, but they don’t convert very well.  On the other hand, some types of headlines may not get as much traffic but will convert at higher rates because of the fact that it attracts more motivated buyers.

Finding the right balance can take some experimentation and learning about your target customers.  This is well worth the effort and over time will allow you to write high quality headlines for your posts, videos and other types of content.  If you are interested in seeing the full study from Reuters, you can see it HERE.

Five Content Options for Attracting Traffic

When it comes to making affiliate sales one of the most important things you need is a steady stream of traffic.  For most marketers today, that means putting up new content on a regular basis.  New content provides visitors a reason to come back, encourages sharing, builds links and helps give the search engines the information they need to rank you well.  It can, however, be hard to think of content options that are related to your niche without getting overly repetitive.

The following five options have been proven to engage readers, encourage sharing and bring in traffic both while it is published and for months afterward.  When done properly, these ideas can give you an almost endless number of ideas that you can turn into blog posts, videos, tweets, Facebook posts, infographics or any other type of content that you need for your site.

Case Studies

These don’t have to be overly complex studies to be informative and important for your readers.  Find something that you’re doing anyway, and write down each of the steps you take.  Take a little extra time to document the results and you’ve got yourself a very useful post.  If you have recently brought in a new customer, for example, you can write about the steps you took to get the customer to make their first purchase.

Customer Interaction or Reviews

If you can get a customer to take a picture with your product or record themselves opening it or using it, you can turn that into a very popular post.  People love seeing real people with products before buying them.  Consider offering a ‘bonus’ if they provide you with an honest review, a picture, an ‘unboxing’ or some other type of user content for your site.

Responding to Customers

If your customers are asking you questions or making comments on your social media pages, you can take those and turn them into posts.  Choose a few of the best questions or comments, put them up in a post and then reply to them.  You can also record yourself reading the posts and giving a response on camera.  This is a very good way to show your customers or potential customers that you really do care about what they do and say related to your brand.

Tips & Tricks

Come up with 5 or 10 ways to help people who have purchased your product to get even more out of it.  Simple tips that can make what they already purchased even more valuable than it normally would be.  This will not only show potential customers that you care, but will also get existing customers to come back again and again.  Even if you’re just promoting an affiliate product you can still offer this type of content to show that you’re more than just a portal to buy.  You’ll be there for the customers well after the sale.

Timely Posts

Look at the news or look at what time of year it is and try to associate your content with that.  If it is the start of a new school year, consider writing something about how your product can benefit students.  If it is almost spring, write about your product and spring.  Any holiday, news event or other time specific item will due.  This not only gets extra popular when you post it, but each year at that time you can often get a resurgence of traffic, especially if you remember to ‘reshare’ it.

What You Need to Know about the Google Mobile Algorithm Update

If you’re involved with performance marketing of any type, you’ve almost certainly heard about the upcoming search algorithm update from Google.  The update is focused on encouraging websites to become more mobile friendly.  If rumors are true, however, it is going to be a major ‘slap’ to anyone who hasn’t yet optimized their site properly for mobile devices such as smart phones.

multitasking in hands

Many of these rumors were prompted by Google’s announcement that they were going to be making updates to the algorithm specifically focused on making the web a more mobile friendly place.   This is quite an unusual move from Google, since they tend to try to keep any algorithm updates as quiet as possible until they roll them out.  The fact is, however, this one has the potential to impact a huge number of sites and Google seems to want everyone to take preemptive action to minimize the impact as much as possible.

Read on to learn about a few of the key points that will be most important to marketers.

When Does the Algorithm Take Effect?

The ‘mobile-friendly’ algorithm change is launching tomorrow, April 21st.  This is the official date that has been given by Google.  Whether it is a one time update or it will be rolled out over the course of days is not known, but most people expect the changes to be completely done on the 21st.

Only Impacting Mobile Searches

One nice thing to keep in mind is that this algorithm is only going to impact searches that are done with mobile devices.  So, if you do a search on Google on your PC, you’ll get one set of search results.  From a mobile device, you may get something completely different.  While this can help to minimize impact for some sites that aren’t mobile ready, it is still a huge issue.  Mobile adds up to around 30% of searches today, and that number is growing rapidly.

Tablets Aren’t Mobile?

Oddly enough, this algorithm change is not going to impact searches done on tablets.  Many people expect there will be a second update focused on tablets, but that has not been confirmed by Google.  It is not exactly clear why Google is not lumping the tablet searches in with mobile devices since they operate in much the same way.

How to Test Your Site

This is perhaps the most important thing you need to know.  It isn’t always enough to just put up a theme that claims to be mobile friendly.  You need something that Google will recognize.  The best way to check your site is to use a free mobile friendly testing tool, one of which can be found HERE. That tool is provided by Google so it is likely going to be the most accurate option available.

It’s Not Too Late!

Another important thing for all marketers to keep in mind is that it is not too late to make changes to your site.  The algorithm is said to operate in a ‘real time’ way, which means as soon as you make the changes, Google will begin ranking your site properly.  With this in mind, you could update your site today to be more mobile friendly and avoid any negative impact from the update.

Topics Could Be the ‘New Keywords’ in 2014?

On the final day of 2013, Google was granted a patent that immediately created a buzz in the SEO world. The patent in question was titled, “Search Query Results Based Upon Topic” – which is enough to give you a good idea as to what it was about.
The idea of providing search results based on a more general topic rather than more specific keywords is not new, but often misunderstood.

For example, a search with the keyword ‘wrecking ball’ could be considered to be part of a topic dealing with demolition and construction. At the same time, it is a new song by Miley Cyrus from her album Bangerz and so could be part of a topic dealing with the artist or album too. Where a conventional search engine would online return results that had the keyword ‘wrecking ball’, a topic-based search engine would return results that were part of the topic and may include words such as ‘demolition’, ‘Miley Cyrus’ or ‘Bangerz’.

How Soon Will Topics Be Rolled Out?

Although many SEO experts have already started to notice that Google’s results often don’t match all the keywords in a query ever since the Hummingbird update – it doesn’t look like it is using topics as yet.

The technical scale of being able to link keywords to topics is massive and would require a constantly-updated database. Of course, it is well within Google’s means to accomplish this, but it is safe to say that it will take time for them to do so.

What many suspect is that topics may even be rolled out gradually over the course of 2014. Perhaps Google will even decide to use a combination of topics and keywords to slowly phase it in.

On the other hand, it may also be that a topic-based search is simply one of the many ideas that Google is toying with and they won’t act on it in the near future at all. Suffice to say, until Google actually announces a change or more topic-based results that exclude keywords completely start appearing – it could happen at any time, or not at all!

The brunt of the impact that topic-based searches may have is that they could possibly eliminate keyword-targeting entirely. Again, the details will only be known when Google makes them available or makes the shift.

Social Implications on SEO in 2014

facebook-like-iconRecently Google’s Matt Cutts definitively stated that social signals such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers are not being used by their ranking algorithms. From Google’s point of view the reason for that is simple: It is unstable considering Facebook, Twitter and other social websites could ‘cut off’ their ability to view those metrics.

The question many have been asking is: Considering the finality of Matt Cutts statement, does that mean that social networks and media have no implications on SEO for the foreseeable future?

Still Indirectly Beneficial

Although social signals may not be directly beneficial to SEO rankings, it is no coincidence that for some time now marketers and SEO experts have noticed a correlation between the two.

Essentially, the indirect benefits of a strong social presence extends to SEO in a variety of ways:

•    Website content will gain more exposure and is more likely to gain backlinks
•    Fans of the brand are more likely to become repeat visitors to the website and bounce rates will be reduced
•    Better PR results in happier customers which translates to increased positive reviews in Yelp, Google Local and so on

Add to that the fact that a strong social presence is directly beneficial to a website in terms of the traffic that it can generate, and it is safe to say that social’s impact is still substantial despite Google’s algorithm not utilizing its signals.

The fact of the matter is that the web is getting more and more social by the day. While social’s implications in 2014 do not seem likely to be any different from what they were in 2013, its indirect benefits to SEO still make it worth serious consideration.

Also: While social signals may not currently be in use, even Matt Cutts has admitted that it is likely to

Rules to Live By When Link Building in 2014

Its been a while since i posted about Blogging specially link building, So i thought it would be a good idea to post something about link building for my folks using SEO to drive traffic. Links are still just as important as ever to SEO in 2014, but only if handled properly. As many people are starting to realize, the wrong kind of links could end up being more of a liability than an asset, and result in Google taking action.

The worst part is: If action is taken against your website, it could take months before it recovers. Recently Google’s John Mueller said, “Over time (and this process can take months), as our algorithms re crawl the affected URLs, reprocess the links found on the web, and update their data, they’ll be able to take the new state into account.

Do Not Spam Links

In simple terms: Spamming does not work anymore. Towards the latter half of 2013 and the first month of 2014, it has become apparent that Google is proactively dealing with what they term as ‘unnatural links’.

As a result, spamming forums, blog comments or article websites with fake or low quality content isn’t going to cut it. Similarly link farms, excessive link exchanges, automated programs, and so on are risky propositions too.

Relevance is Key

Nowadays, using the exact same keyword is a surefire way to set off the alarms for ‘unnatural links’ – but relevance is still as important as ever. Last year Google introduced the concept of ‘Things, not strings’ that emphasized the fact that the links that point to your website should come from websites that deal with a similar topic.

Long story short: Relevance should be real, and not limited to anchor text. The topic of the websites linking to you should be related to the topic of your own websites, and that’s what is important.

Guest Blogging May Be Done

Just a week or so ago, Google’s Matt Cutts essentially warned that guest blogging is on the Google Webspam Team radar: “Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

Make no mistake, guest blogging is still going to be an excellent way to gain exposure, reach, and so on – it is just low quality guest blogging resembling spam that seems likely to take a hit.

Create Link-Able Assets

Increasingly, it seems as if the trick for link building on 2014 is going to revolve around creating link-able assets in the form of content or even applications.

Essentially, link-able assets are simply anything that people tend to link to because it is useful, interesting and unique. While such assets are not easy to create by any means, their value is beyond doubt especially since owners of other websites related to yours are likely to link to it – automatically and naturally creating the sort of backlinks that Google wants everyone to have.

Pay Attention to Authority

As far as authority websites with those .gov or .edu domains are concerned – not much has changed in 2014! Backlinks from these websites are just as powerful as ever, though even more so if they are somehow relevant too.

Moving forward it is safe to say that 2014 will probably see Google take even greater measures in an attempt to provide its users with the most relevant results. Throughout 2013 and this early stage of 2014, Google has shown that it is willing to walk to talk in policing its requirements on backlinks.

Most awaited Google page rank update is here!

google-pagerankSurprisingly after Almost 10 months Google has finally updated Page Rank today on 6 December 2013.  Page Rank update was something all of SEOs and Webmasters always waited for however since last Update  which was on 4 February 2013, There were no more Updates and it was considered that Page Rank would not have any effect and it was considered dead. However recent update once again have proved many of them wrong and it seems Page Rank still matters and is something webmasters should worry about.

However we will see many confusions cleared in coming days and get much more to discuss about Page ranks..

A lesson for people even sometimes you should nt believe what  Matt cutts says matt cutts

SEO is much more than targeting a few keywords

The main reason behind the immense success of search engines is the nature of human beings to be curious about everything. They want to know more and more, I can bet you have used any of the popular search engines at least once today as well.

seo
The internet has made it extremely easy for people to gather information about anything they want to know about. Where finding information on internet is so much easy, wanting to be found by curious people in your industry can take some serious strategic planning and hard work. Businesses that want to attract heaps of free traffic from these search engines pay thousands of dollars each month on SEO to out rank their competitors and appear right in front of the potential customers.
The competition in SEO market is getting stiff day by day (no matter which industry you belong to). The main reason of this is the fact that all offline businesses are now planning to go ONLINE to tap into the undiscovered potential market.
Here we will be talking about the key factors that make an SEO campaign better than the others and how businesses can make the most of this technique to attract laser targeted traffic absolutely FREE.

What Role Keywords Play in SEO?

You can’t deny the fact that keywords are the backbone of any SEO campaign, no matter how well-planned and up-to-date your SEO strategy is, if you choose the wrong keywords initially, you will end up wasting your time and money. In short, choosing the right keyword can make or break your SEO campaign, so do take good care while choosing the right keywords for your business online.
Keywords are divided into two broad formats: Broad and Exact, hence make sure that the keywords you choose have sufficient number of searches in Exact search format, otherwise you might not receive much traffic even if you are able to outrank all your competitors for that specific keyword.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that Long-tail keywords are the new Lifeblood of SEO, hence you can’t simply neglect them. Make sure that your SEO campaign contains a good mixture of both Long and Short tail keywords so that you get the maximum benefits out of your SEO campaign.

The Misconception:

Although keywords are the primary factor that should be taken care of initially in any SEO campaign, you should realize that only selecting the most profitable keywords, and putting them in your title tag and somewhere in your content, won’t do the trick for you anymore. You have to do a whole lot more to be successful in SEO after the recent Google updates, especially the Panda and Penguin.
Methods like High Quality Link Building, Guest Posting, Social Networking and Updating the Content Often are also required to rank for any keywords.
Another thing that most of the people don’t realize is that SEO doesn’t only take time; it takes a heap of hard work as well. You can’t just wait and expect to rank on top one day. You have to continually invest your time in building quality links gradually and adding up more and more content to the website. Link Early – and – Link Often is the way to go in modern SEO.

Combination of Social Media & SEO – A Perfect Mix

SEO and Social mediaDue to the stiff competition in the online industry, the success of any digital marketing campaign of any website is now completely dependent on its wider digital presence. SEO is considered to be the best method for increasing the popularity and web presence of your online business and success can be achieved by simply interlinking your company`s website to its different social media properties. It is said that the more links, retweets and likes you receive, the better your presence and chances of getting noticed would be, this will also help in increasing your rankings in the SERPs.
SEO is no longer enough for your company to stay online and get noticed (especially when Google is launching one update after another). A solid social media campaign can work well along with SEO for the production of great results for your online business in the long run. Once you add social media into your SEO campaign, you can see a dramatic improvement in your rankings and overall traffic. The reason for this quick improvement in the rankings is the constant sharing and redistribution of your content via these social platforms, which makes the search engine think that your website provides high quality content and the audience is actually appreciating the content.
Today almost all of the online businesses have their social media accounts and they are aggressively using them for the promotion and sharing of their content. Google+1s along with Facebook likes, Pinterest and tweets are proving to be the best sources of increasing SEO rankings and referral traffic. The reason for this quick effect to rankings by these social media hubs is that Google has started giving sufficient weightage to the social shares a particular website has in its search algorithm.

Social platforms and activities on them are now being incorporated by the search engines within their respective ranking systems. The result of these modern SEO strategies along with effective social media campaigns is simply amazing. This fact has given birth to the use of quality and engaging content which has the potential of going viral on social media. Now if your content is of high quality and is interesting enough to engage the readers then sharing of this content via social media would automatically boost up. If it is readable, relevant, and interesting, then people will go for it, read it and would surely share it at different social media platforms to let their family and friends know about it as well.

Your SEO strategy will automatically turn into success if you keep your company’s social presence maintained. The more socially active you are; the better you can spread awareness among your targeted audience and grab their attention. Similarly attention of people towards your content would result in more reviews and social shares. The quality of the content is much worth as compared to the quantity. All you have to do is to generate high quality engaging content. The number of shares, likes and tweets to your content is highly dependent upon the quality of your content and once you start producing quality stuff, believe me, sharing would be an automatic process then due to the viral nature of most of the social networking sites. This way you can achieve higher search engine rankings that will ultimately result into a solid clientele looking for your business both on social media and through Search Engines as well.

Blacklink Plugin for SEOs

Hey guys,

Miss rocker here.. Back with something to boost your sites to the top!

Get the power of Deep Contextual Linking with just a few clicks of your mouse! The days you spent slaving away trying to create deep context links are gone!

So what are deep context links?

It’s simple… It is a link that connects two relevant pages or posts. The keyword here is RELEVANT.. If it is not relevant you don’t get the link juice. If a blog has lots of traffic but only a few contextual links, it is probably not making much money. On the other hand, a blog with less traffic and more contextual links will start to get traffic more and monetize quicker, which means it will generate extra revenue.. Exponentially.

This works well if you have multiple blogs… Because usually you will spend SOO MUCH TIME just managing links and keywords.. And instead of making big money you will lose big money!

So let’s just go over it again;

Contextual Links are key SEO factors. A proven fact is that the more relevant back-links you point to a particular post on your blog or site, the better your Google rankings are.

This keyword plug in will help you get one over on your competition and generate the keyword results that YOU WANT..

 

This plugin also ;

– gets  the keywords from the highest ranking sites in your niche.

-Creates amazing SILO STRUCTURES (a way of creating interlinks that reduce bounces rates, higher click through and improved rankings) for your SEO content, with just a few clicks, the software does this automatically!

-Optimizes each and every link for maximum Affiliate earnings

-Has an easy to navigate central dashboard for complete link management which;

Gives you control over density and variation

Optimizes each and every part of the linking system with your site(s)

And much much more

 

And it doesn’t stop there!

MASSIVE TIME SAVING BONUS ALERT!

As a thank you for grabbing this plugin you will also receive 9 bonus expansion packs!

 

These are ready to go keyword expanded that you can simply upload and instantly multiply your long tail keyword list.

Add in the ‘buying’ and ‘review’ expanders..

Or even all the cites of the USA, UK and Australia.

Your keyword list just exploded! BOOM!

 

There’s more in store for you yet! Go ahead… Check it out!!