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Link Sculpting and Keyword Cannibalism

Which page should rank for which keyword? That is the question. It's your question, and it's Google's question. What you need to do is a) build a spreadsheet that matches ONE (and ONLY ONE) major landing page for a keyword phrase, and b) as you create content, use INTERNAL LINKS to link to that ONE and ONLY ONE page as you mention that keyword across blog content.

For extra credit, make sure your HOME PAGE and KEYWORD FOOTER also focus you "link juice" to those keyword-specific landing pages.

Read more, here.

Google Killed Google+: Here's an Update

Google has killed Google+ local, moving reviews to the Google search results and the social aspects to Google+. To make it more confusing, as a business, you update or manage your Google+ local information inside of Google+.

And it's harder than ever to explain to "mere mortals" how to write a review on Google+.

To read a nice update, click here.

Google Reviews: Formerly Google+ Reviews

Google is clearly "up to something" with Google Local reviews. You can no longer "see" a business's reviews in the "new" format of Google+. You can only see them on Google maps via a Google search result.

For potential reviewers, the new instructions to write a review on your business are to go FIRST to Google maps, find your company, and then write a review. So bye-bye Google+ for reviews.

For the official Google instructions on how to write a review, go here.

Finally: Social Media Explained (in a T-shirt)

Finally! A T-shirt that explains social media (http://amzn.to/1TIyhyy)

Automated AdWords: Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Many vendors use what is called "dynamic keyword insertion" on AdWords. You gotta love it when it goes awry.

Here's an example:


Here's a link to their landing page. It's obviously TOY Brahman Cattle. But if you're a rancher, looking to find some Brahman cattle (which weigh, on average, 2000 lbs), free shipping is definitely going to be a Christmas bargain!

As for those of us who do AdWords, be careful with "Dynamic Keyword Insertion" as you could get some pretty weird clicks!

Here's another one. Did you know you can buy "Smelly cats" on Amazon?


Neuromarketing and the Pepsi Challenge

I have just concluded my Personal Branding class at Stanford.  The students - as usual - were fantastic.  I gain so much from my students at Stanford - I should PAY them for the privilege of teaching the course!


Any way, one of my students (Sonia Lopez Sanchez), shared her project on Neuromarketing (of which) I am only vaguely aware.  So I looked it up on (where else?) Wikipedia.

Here's some food for thought.

In a study from the group of Read Montague published in 2004 in Neuron,[9] 67 people had their brains scanned while being given the "Pepsi Challenge", a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Half the subjects chose Pepsi, since Pepsi tended to produce a stronger response than Coke in their brain's ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region thought to process feelings of reward. But when the subjects were told they were drinking Coke three-quarters said that Coke tasted better. Their brain activity had also changed. The lateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the bra…

AdWords Preview Tool: Great for Mobile SEO Checkups!

If you are doing "Mobile SEO," you'd want to see whether your company shows up in mobile, and be able to vary things like your physical location and/or the type of device (iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, etc.).

AdWords Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool
Guess what?  Google AdWords (https://adwords.google.com/) has a tool called the Ad Preview Tool, and it does just that.  Here's how to get to it:



Login to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com/.  You MUST have an account to use the tool - just set one up with a credit card (you do NOT have to spend money, you just have to have an account).On the top menu, click on the far right pull-down: Tools > Ad Preview & Diagnosis.  Here's a screenshot:






Next, enter your target keyword phrase, and on the far left, select the mobile device you want to use.  Here's a screenshot:




Now Even Better: a Realistic-Looking Phone Simulation!
It gets better: Google is upgrading the phone interface so you get a really good-lookin…

Revlon Love Test: What Goes Viral, and Why?

Deconstructing Love (and Viral Videos)I woke up this morning, checked something on YouTube and saw the big, bold red banner by Revlon the LOVE TEST:





Watch the video - it's inspirational, moving, funny, provocative, and sexy. Read the comments on YouTube: the video is clearing touching people's hearts, not surprisingly as it speaks to the greatest enigma of the human experience: love.

Here it is:
Revlon Love Test: Choose Love


Deconstructing ~"Revlon: Love Test: Choose Love"OK, stop crying.

Let's be cynical marketers and deconstruct the video (which as of 6 am Pacific time / October 22, 2015 has 467,440 views - yes, it's "going viral"). What's going on here in terms of marketing? 

What are Revlon's objectives? 
And what are Revlon's methods?

#1 - Revlon wants to sell more cosmetics. The subtext of the video is that if women take a little time each day, and use Revlon cosmetics, they will not only look better, they'll feel better. They'll h…

Google vs. Apple on the Open Web

Google: Penalize sites that promote apps.
Apple: Encourage growth of apps to overwhelm the open Web
Us: Caught in the middles

Says the New York Times - 

That situation has been made even harder by some recent moves by Apple and Google. Last month, Apple enabled ads to be blocked on mobile websites on iPhones and iPads, which threatened to hurt publishers that relied on such ads for revenue. And next month, Google will start penalizing websites that use pop-up screens to promote their apps by placing them lower in search engine results, a move that some have called “app blocking.”

http://goo.gl/uIvRe1

Google Local Guides: Who Knew?

Google+ Local, formerly called Google Local or Google My Business (Who really knows what the official name of Google's local service is?)... launched a service in February called "Google Local Guides." 

Unlike Yelp, Google has never successfully built a community around its local service, and the fact that Google+ is pretty much a flop hasn't help. That said, it looks like a major shake-up is in motion at Google with respect to both Google+ and local.

And - today - I actually received some spam from Google asking me to join and be a guide. So they're maybe kinda sortta trying to promote Google+ Local and build it into a viable social media, competitor to Yelp.

One can hope.

Here's the spam they sent me:



The idea is like Yelp Elites to motivate and reward a bunch of do-it-yourself, passionate local reviewers. 

Resources on Google Local Guides

Google Takes On Yelp Elites With Its New “Local Guides” Program - TechCrunch, February 6, 2015.Google Local Guides (Official P…

Ad Blocker Software: I'm Going to the Dark Side

I am going to the dark side: blocking ads. I've been in business since 1994 on the Internet, making my first money off of an advertising-supported site, eg3.com. Generally speaking, I recognize that ads support the "free" content on the Internet, and I am decidely NOT against ads.

I am Not Against Ads. I am Against Slowness
But... we're reaching the tipping point.

My Web browsing is getting slower and slower and slower. I was recently at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, and at one of the presentations (on advertising), the jolly presenter talked about ad-serving software, and all the wonderful data it gave advertisers (on me and my habits). I'm not opposed to that: I recognize that "personally non-identifiable" information isn't bad - I'd like to get relevant ads.

I don't mind ads.

Ads Slow Down Your Browsing
What I DO mind is slowness. As I watched the presenter, I realized that it was the ad serving - the remarketing, the lookups to ad netw…

Google Wants to Hire an SEO (And It Reveals Some Things About Google)

Search Engine Land found something quite funny: Google has a hiring post out that it's looking to hire an "SEO expert."  Ha, ha, ha. This has been picked up by the media, ironically, as if Google doesn't understand its own algorithm, and need someone to "game the system" to get to the top of Google.

Read the Google SEO Job Posting

You can read it -

Search Engine Land: Google Is Hiring An SEO Manager To Improve Its Rankings In Google (http://goo.gl/Cj0O1y)Program Manager, Search Engine Optimization (official Google job posting) (https://goo.gl/3mtFLB).

Google (Still) Believes in Technical SEO!
Humor, aside, if you read the job posting it tells you some interesting things about Google, or at least about the mindset about the person who brainstormed the job offer.

First and foremost, the job offer is all about "technical SEO." Despite what Google has been telling the world (for years now), that you "just need to write good content" and "w…

Google+ Bashing: Yelp Has It Right (But It's Google's World)

Today's New York Times has a very provocative article about a study conducted by Tim Wu of Columbia University on local search results. Essentially, Wu presented people with local search results in two ways - 

With the Google+ "snack pack" of local search resultsWithout these results, showing the older "traditional" search results, excluding the "snack pack" of local. According to Wu and the study (financed by Google competitor Yelp), consumers strongly preferred the second set of results. Essentially the study argues that Google is systematically giving preferences to Google+ local results OVER the "better" Google organic results.

Yelp also financed an infomercial website called Focus on the User and a YouTube video explaining it.  All of this argues that Google is using its monopoly search power to give preference to its own local system, Google+ Local (now renamed Google My Business) over Yelp's competitive local system.

As Consumers and …

A Keyword Example of Why The Google Monopoly is Bad

It's late Friday afternoon, and I'm checking in on my Feedly. Feedly is one of my favorite news aggregators, and I came across 'Through the Google Lense,' which is an official column by Google on trends in search queries.


Through the Google Lense is pretty sad when you drill into it. Why? Because the tool its actually based on - Google Trends - is in and of itself a sad little tool. Google Trends gives you only the most basic access to search query trends on Google: you can compare two words to each other, but you can't really drill into words (phrases, synonyms, related words, etc.) and you can't really do much with the data, quantity or value of search terms.

You can't really customize Google Trends to any significant degree.  So it's a more a temptation than a tool.

Why is that? The reason, I submit to you - dear reader - is that Google is a monopoly, and like all monopolies, Google stifles innovation.


If It Walks Like a Duck, It Stifles InnovationFor al…

SEO Factory Social Media Factory AdWords Factory

Andy Warhol (who happens to be my favorite artist) called his workshop in New York City, the factory.  The concept being that he didn't "make art." He orchestrated the production of "stuff," which may or may not have been art. Warhol played with the continuum of where mass production ends and where art begins or vice-versa. Mad Men would have been proud of him, as he was both thoroughly commercial and thoroughly brilliant.

The SEO / Social Media Marketing / AdWords Factory

How does the "factory" pertain to SEO / Social Media Marketing / AdWords? Well, many people think of this marketing task like ART: create the PERFECT website (one time), create the PERFECT Facebook Page (one time). It's a "work of art" and once done, it's done. Not to mention it takes a long, long time to produce.

That's not how to think about it!

You want to think about it like Andy Warhol: your SEO / Social Media / Adwords is a factory:


Goals come in.Keywords com…

Details Details Details: AdWords & Details

I love AdWords! I hate AdWords! It's all about the details. Meaning


Do you know your keywords?  Really know your keywords: which ones are "transactional," which ones are "converters," which ones are "dogs?"Do you write strong ads that ATTRACT customers and REPEL non-customers?Do you have a strong landing page that leads to a CONVERSION?And - have you forgotten about SEO? Can you get what you're PAYING for with AdWords for FREE via SEO?

Spell Check Your Ads
Oh, and as a Harvard Alum - shout out to Harvard.  Do you SPELL CHECK your ads? You gotta kinda sortta look intelligent on your ads.  See screenshot of currently running Harvard ad.

A guy walks up to the "8 items or less" aisle at a store in Cambridge, MA, with 25 items. The clerk asks, "Are you from Harvard and can't count, or from MIT and can't read?"



Quality vs. Quantity vs. Promotion on Your Blog

Food for thought on a Friday. AWeber had an informative webinar by a company called LeadPages. As is so often the case in these free webinars, the presentation was pretty cheesy, and felt a bit like being at the state fair: it slices, it dices, but wait - there's more!


I enjoyed it, however.  The product looks good, especially for those who are not good at Web design.  It helps you make quick landing pages for ad campaigns, email signups, or any other type of offer for which you want to "squeeze" out an email sign up.

The Takeaway: Good Enough Content Beats Great Content
Here's the unusual take-away. The presenter indicated that in their experience "high quality" information can be easily trumped by "low quality" information. The somewhat cynical idea being don't stress so much about having to produce the ultimate, best content. Just produce "good enough" content, and use it as your "carrot" to capture an email address or lea…

AdWords Livestream: What You Kinda Shoulda Otta Know Sorta

Google had an important AdWords livestream today, and you can watch the really really long 45 minute video, here.  Unfortunately, it's very long and they talk v e e e e e r r r r r y y y  s l  o o o o  w.  So here's my wrap up.


Mobile, mobile, mobile.  Google wants everyone to "go mobile," and that includes AdWords. So it's all about mobile these days. Now, whether that works for you is another matter. A lot of these "searches" on mobile are very consumer-oriented, and not particularly in-depth. So if you are in restaurants, auto's or big brands... mobile may be great. If your product is complicated and not phone-friendly, then the phone might not be for you.  Tablets and PC's might be better - but Google has completely and utterly drunk the mobile koolaide, as if "everything" were mobile.  Sorta kinda maybe.Apps. Some new stuff is coming out in Apps, including app promotion tools and ads are coming to the Google Play store (there'…

Facebook and Video: Ads and More

Facebook is going ga-ga for video... What's interesting here is that (finally!) YouTube has a contender that could really contend (sorry Vizio). Facebook wants you to 



Upload your videos to FacebookShare your videos via FacebookWatch videos on FacebookAdvertise videos on FacebookAnd foggetta about YouTube.  You can learn more about Facebook for videos here  (as a user) and here (as an advertiser). For information specifically about video ads on Facebook, click here.

Google Takeout: How to Backup Your Google Stuff via Google Takeout

Do you like takeout?  Or as the Brits say "take-away?" Well, if you use Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts, etc., Google has a semi-secret service called "Google Takeout." It will back up your data, and you can download it as a ZIP file.

Very useful and nifty if you 

a) get locked out of your Google account or hacked
b) Google goes crazy and does even more nefarious things than usual with your so-called "private" data (privacy... how quaint).
c) you want Microsoft-formats of your stuff.

If you depend - as I do - on Google services, Takeout is a fabulous thing to know about.  (They don't do a great job promoting it, of course).

Using Takeout to Backup your Google Files

Log in to your Google account (just go to http://www.google.com/) and make sure you see your name / picture in the top right - or click on the blue LOGIN button on the top right.Go to Google Takeout by clicking on https://www.google.com/settings/takeout. Follow the instructions t…

It's Mobilegeddan. It's the MOpocalypse. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid!

Well Google is doing "something new," or rather unprecedented: threatening a major algorithm update - IN ADVANCE.  Giving everyone "plenty of warning," and spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) among all Internet marketers.

Tomorrow - April 21, 2015 - is the day known as "mobilegeddon" or the "Mopocalpyse," the former term beating out the latter.

Basically, Google is threatening that if your website is not mobile-friendly, be prepared to drop in the SERPS (search engine results page) rankings like an Motorola Razr outside of an Apple Store when the iPhone 7 comes out.

So - 


Is your website "mobile friendly?"  Check it by Googling it on a mobile phone, or going to Google's mobile check site, hereDo you get a lot, or a little, traffic from mobile visitors?  Is so, be afraid - very afraid.  If not, not so much.The Big Question: One Algorithm or Two?
Now, it's not completely clear if Google will have one algorithm for BOTH deskt…

Local SEO Update: Big Changes Coming to Local?

Google's may be planning big changes to local.  Yikes! http://bzfd.it/1FBGBwe

Local search is incredibly important because

Many searches are "local" in character - e.g., "Pizza," or "Massage Therapist."Many other searches which you might not think are "local" actually are e.g., SEO Expert.Google+, though hardly a huge social media success, is the #1 interconnect between Google and local.
To boot, Google+ can help you "control" your branded searches, and by getting you local reviews make you AWESOME. For example, search for the JM Internet Group on Google.

Top Online eLearning Sites: Lynda LinkedIn and Learning

You may have heard the news that LinkedIn is acquiring Lynda.com, one of the most successful eLearning sites. As someone who is very involved in elearning - both online and off - that makes me think, and give some thought to the whole eLearning industry. 

Who are the leaders? What's going on here?

Some pro's about eLearning: learning online means anyone, anywhere and almost anytime can learn. For many small or esoteric topics (e.g., sexual harassment training for a company, or how to use PowerPoint for presentations), this opens up many new possibilities. It allows employers to more easily train workers, and it brings learning to cities like Tulsa or Omaha that do not have the depth of learning opportunities that San Francisco or New York have.

It means anyone, anywhere, can take a class on Java programming or a class on how to use PowerPoint.  That's really cool.

Top eLearning Sites
Here are some of the top eLearning sites - 

Lynda.com - soon to be part of LinkedIn, and focus…

The Need for Speed: PageSpeed and SEO (and You)

Time is money. In lots of ways. Way #1. Get fast Internet for your business.  The fastest you can possibly get. Comcast, for example, has "gaming" Internet which is incredibly fast - a lot, lot faster than AT&T universe.

Back East, they have FIBER which is even faster than Comcast.


Time is Money

Time is money. Every second that you (or an employee) waits and waits and waits is time lost, money lost, effort lost.

As for your consumers, the same difference. If your website is slow, they'll leave. If your website is slow (especially) on mobile, they'll leave (and Google will hate you).

A fast Internet connection for you. A fast website for them.

The need for speed.


Check your internet speed
Speedtest @ http://www.speedtest.net/Google PageSpeed @ https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed

Automatically Schedule a Post on Google+

Google+ may be dying (or not).  No one seems to know. But one thing that would be so useful would be the ability to schedule posts, or even to connect a Google+ profile with Hootsuite.

Unfortunately, that seems impossible.
One solution?  A chrome extension called DoShare.

Amazon Giveaways and Social Media Marketing: Something New!

Amazon has a new program called aptly "Amazon Giveaways." Essentially - 

Brainstorm a reason WHY you want a Giveaway.  For example, use a giveaway contest as a way to "get followers" on Facebook or Twitter.Find a product on Amazon to "giveway" in exchange for an action.  You can use your own product if it's on Amazon!Set up the giveaway via Amazon, and you pay only for the product and shipping.Promote your giveaway on Social Media.
Amazon is making it "easy" to set up a giveaway promotion (and of course "easy" to sell more stuff via Amazon).

More Information on Amazon Giveaways
Here are links for more information - 

Amazon’s Newest Tool Lets Anyone Host Giveaways Online Amazon Giveaways (Official Amazon Page).Amazon Giveways on Twitter.  (Great way to see giveaways in action, and get ideas).Amazon Giveaway lets anyone run a sweepstakes and rack up Twitter followers