Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

Vanessa Fox Discusses Search, Siri and Social

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 by Geoff Livingston 16 Comments

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Meet Vanessa Fox, one of the most brilliant minds in the interactive marketing space. I was first introduced to her at an event a couple of years ago here in DC.

In addition to running her own interactive agency Nine By Blue, Vanessa literally created Google’s portal for site owners, Webmaster Central. She just released the second edition of her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, one of the best resources you can buy to understand how search impacts business outcomes, as well as content creation and social media marketing.

Rather than wax poetic about Vanessa’s strengths, I asked her some questions about voice search, semantic data, social networking and more. Her answers are just amazing. And with that, here we go…

Will Voice Search Change Everything?

Geoff: How big of a disruptor does voice based search represent?

Vanessa: For the near term, voice search will likely not be all that disruptive but we’re in early days. The biggest initial change will likely be for searchers.
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Content, Search and Social: A Love Triangle

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 by Geoff Livingston 17 Comments

Caitlin Livingston & the Pyramids
My wife Caitlin “holds” a pyramid in her hands…

Experienced online marketers know there is no avoiding integrating content, search and social for a complete Internet strategy. They are irrevocably tied together, and increasingly so with Google, Bing and other search engines focused on adding social context to search.

I was reminded of this reading Top Rank Blogger and CEO Lee Odden‘s Optimize, which tackles the triple crown of online marketing – SEO, social media, and content marketing – with a deft hand. If you haven’t read it yet, Optimize does a great job of taking readers through the process of conducting research, choosing approaches, and encouraging familiar and new tactics alike to optimize just about every imaginable part of your online presence.

The dirty secret about social media was that in the beginning it was completely search driven with content and blogs sourced as primary content. Marketers began using blogs to compliment traditional marketing and trumping traditional web pages with fresh new content. Then social networks like Facebook and Twitter became entrenched in the online space. Search increasingly used social verification to qualify online content.
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5 Challenges for Google+ Business

Posted on: August 8th, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 10 Comments

google plus
Image by Sean MacEntee

Chatter about Google+ for business is abound, but other than the SEO benefits, arguments for a pro offering have not been compelling. In reality, there is no formal business offering yet. While Google+ is at or close to 30 million members, they are distributed globally, and are largely technologists or social media wonks. At this early stage, consumer businesses, nonprofits and non technology B2B plays have little to gain from Google+ other than SEO (can you say Squidoo II?).

Moving forward, Google+ needs to provide a substantive growth curve and a robust business offering to effectively complete. Here are five challenges facing Google+ for businesses:

1) Beyond SEO

It’s great that bloggers and corporate content producers can yield strong search results using Google+. It makes a compelling case to integrate +1 technology and sharing within content marketing initiatives. But beyond SEO, most of the business chatter about Google+ is, well, bloggers talking about setting up personal profiles. Businesses need more than that. They need paths towards tangible outcomes and ROI.

Until Google+ launches its business solution, there really is nothing for businesses and nonprofits to do other than to experiment with the existing personal features. The one exception is technology companies marketing to early adopters. Having your social media team get active on Google+ as individuals makes total sense. Dell is an early leader in this sense.

2) Geeky Is Great, But…

It’s nice that the social media and technology communities are enthused about Google+. For many, it makes life easier and more public than Facebook. But the non-indoctrinated “normal” person isn’t using Google+ yet.

Until wider stakeholder groups adapt Google+, most companies and nonprofits will find themselves marketing to the virtual wilderness. Instead, they should wait for core stakeholder groups to come to and stay on Google+ for a sustained period of months. When that happens, businesses and nonprofits should set up serious outposts.

3) Facebook Isn’t Giving Up

Zuck

Ironically, the most followed person on Google+ is Marc Zuckerberg. Strange as that may seem, it is emblematic of Facebook’s staying power.

Facebook’s continuing evolution sacrifices individual privacy to serve the larger business community. And make no bones about it, Facebook definitely offers the business community quite a lot. The offering rages from free community pages and social ads to customized contests and promotions and deeply integrated applications.

The most important part of Facebook’s offering is its widespread, global consumer appeal. The social network has more than two times as many active bodies in one place than LinkedIn, Twitter and the fledgling Google+ combined.

Facebook has yet to respond to the Circles challenge to its user interface. It would be surprising if the network that likes to opt in social technology challenges ignores Google+’s innovation. It’s very early in this competition. Really, the thing that Google+ can always beat Facebook on is privacy and an insistence on open commentary.

4) Twitter and LinkedIn Have Mature Offerings

Both of these second tier networks have more than 100 million active users, and are very mature with loyal communities. Twitter has finally figured out its business model with its new advertising package that retains 80 percent of customers. LinkedIn is an extremely strong B2B-only play with robust Groups, strong HR offerings, and increasingly well-used business profile pages. Google+ needs to determine where it fits in comparison with these two growing proven offerings.

5) No Proof of Concept

This one really isn’t fair given that the professional offering has yet to launch, but there’s no proof that Google+ will be a good play for businesses. Any company or nonprofit that participates in the initial offering will be an early adopter, experimenting with the medium. Most companies don’t feel so publish about testing a new medium with their precious dollars. Instead, they prefer to wait until the medium is proven. And that won’t happen until the end of the year.

Conclusion

Google+ is likely to succeed so stay tuned, but hold onto your wallet until 2012. There is still a lot of hype and uncertainty when it comes to Google+ for business. The exceptions to the rule are those marketing to the early adopter community and content marketers who can benefit from an uptick in SEO courtesy of Google+.