At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.
For our regular readers you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Best Of The Web as far as general directories. In fact, it’s one of the only ones I recommend to most people based on cost and reputation. Well occasionally they offer discounts and this one’s a big one. They’re offering a full 50% off but only for Cyber Monday.
They have annual and one-time options. At this discount however it’s pretty safe to say that the one-time payment at $150 (after 50% promo code is applied) is the way to go. I know I’ll be submitting more than a couple sites.
Every once in awhile it would be nice if there was some construction on the information superhighway.
Some road work that caused folks oblivious to our websites to detour?
We all want some traffic to take a pass through our pages, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Ideally we’d want the detour sign to read:
“Turn here for great deals on XYZ!”
…but more often than not folks go for something a bit more catchy like:
“If you like kittens and free bacon turn now before it’s too late!”
The problem with the former is that people don’t respect honesty as much as they should, after all, everyone has something for sale, tell us something we didn’t know.
The problem with the latter is that while totally successful, the traffic driven to the site won’t be on target at all, will likely bounce, and the best anyone can hope for is brand recognition. Unless the site actually has kittens and free bacon, but who would be reading this if they had all that? (Note to self, make a site with endless kitten pictures where the uploader is paid in bacon.)
Ideally we wish to find a ‘Goldilocks’ approach where we aren’t too off-putting with boring honesty, nor are we luring in people who have zero interest in the site.
So lets take a moment to look at two common approaches for traffic generation that I don’t see discussed often, one is very timely.
Google just launched a massive ARG called the Niantic Project and I am already 7 13 days behind on the clues/feeds..
The idea is that you become very curious about the game and subscribe to the daily clues. With luck this catches the eye of your friends, they get curious and sign on too. By the end of the game Google should have a large subscriber group waiting anxiously for their announcement.
Speaking of clues, one thing I seem to have discovered ahead of the crowd is the Interactive global Niantic XM (Exotic Matter) POI map that Google built:
If this game is an introduction to the recently released Google Field Trip app, then is it possible that Google associates have taken the time to embed ‘clues’ into major landmarks around the world that need local residents to ‘discover’ using an Android device and the Google Field Trip application.
With any luck Google will use Niantic to reach more people than they normally would, and the more people who know about field trip, the better/more interesting it will be.
Think Outside the Box
In this case, the box, is the web/online and thinking outside means creating web content that people will want to print/download and share.
All of our team is doing on-page optimization training so that all of us have some skills with on-page SEO. Even if we can’t have each member doing live A B tests and such, they should know why you would run one and be familiar with the current standards.
This means that each of us has an SEO cheat sheet pinned to our cork boards and each of these has branding on them that we’re fine with. In fact I’m very tempted to promote these as something all of you should print for your daily SEO but I need to check and see if they are still available to the public.
If your company has info pages that are getting a lot of traffic, I’d look at pulling together a PDF of the content for download with a quick-reference for printing.
Getting your brand out there and helping potential clients is a win win for you if the market you are in is something that you want to be recognized for.
Giving it Away
If you felt like making a resource and simply giving it away was too much for your time/budget, then you’ll be shocked by the next suggestion:
Give something substantial to a charity, preferably an example of your trade.
As an example: If you sell shoes and there’s a drive for winter shoes for the homeless, putting free footwear on people that cannot afford your product won’t cut into potential customers/sales, and it will remind people where to get shoes, and that winter is coming.
If there’s nothing you can do for charity that lines up with your company, you can always just give some money away, many sites thank donors with an ad or a link, and even micro loans are a nice way to help out with friendly options to get you started.
There’s a ton of ways to get unexpected traffic to your site in a manner that will have the visitors eager to explore, and potentially buy your product. Anything else and you risk the traffic bouncing off your site and telling Google that you aren’t offering interesting content.
Today’s Google Doodle
It’s with pride that I re-share the daily doodle for the Canadarm!
Google is celebrating 31 years of Canadarm use today with the above doodle.
After 90 missions the Discovery and Atlantis Canadarm installations will be retired with the shuttles for museum display. The Canadarm that was fitted to the Endeavour was given back to the Canadian Space Agency and it is currently on display in the Quebec headquarters.
Heck looking at this thing’s sensor list (5mpx front Camera, 2mpx rear Camera, Microphone, Accelerometer, Compass, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Barometer, GPS), all it’s missing is the ability to taste.
… and removable storage?! I find it very odd there’s not one mention of what sort of interface the tablet has for removable storage, though I’d be really shocked if it didn’t support MicroSD cards.
The price is almost as shocking, with the 16GB selling for $399US, and the 32GB version selling for $499US. Both models should be available on the 13th of November, which is also shocking because it’s a bit early for an xmas promotion, but that’s Google for you.
The Nexus 7 sports many of the same sensors as the Nexus 10, but it’s single 1.2Mpx camera is clearly just for web-chat/video calling.
The $299 Nexus 7 has fully unlocked HSPA+ support which I am almost certain will be used for more than just web-surfing given the available internet telephony options.
Last but not least is the latest cell phone from Google, the Nexus 4. In fact I seem to have saved the best for last.
This is way more than a phone at this point, we’ve really got to start looking at these devices as mini-tablets because the Nexus 4 has better features and functionality than most existing tablets.
The price gives the Nexus 4′s secret goodness away, the 8GB version goes for $299US, and the 16GB retails for $349US, both of which are unlocked/contract free. That’s not a typo, if you spent $799(CAN) on an unlocked 32GB HTC One X, which has inferior screen hardware, you might want to sell it, quickly.
According to Google’s blog:
The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract (check here for more details).
In a nutshell it’s 4.7″ display, at 1280 x 768, has got the highest pixel density (320ppi) of any device in it’s class.
Indeed, if the world were to switch to this grade of phone and/or tablet hardware the concept of a ‘mobile version’ of your website would be pointless since this hardware has more than sufficient resolution to display a desktop style website.
At these prices the idea of the world switching to Nexus isn’t too far fetched either. I know I’m in the market for a better phone and I’m so glad I went with a standby device and waited for something this good of a value to come out.
October 26th 2012 will be remembered as the final day before all the snapping sounds started, the eve of the angry school girls holding images of devices they’ve never seen in real life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the functionality that Microsoft has added to their tablet, and the effort they put into getting just the right amount of ‘snap’ feedback, probably cost them a lot more than we’d believe..
But, all too soon, the first users will be ‘snapping‘ these open and then hopping into ‘Bing‘ to find something while looking around the coffee shop to see who’s noticing them.. SOON!
All the play on word noises aside, with the 26th a mere 10 days away, the offer to get a Surface in your hands on the release date is pretty cool.
Microsoft is starting with 3 options:
- 64 GB with Black Touch KB Cover $699 (Sold Out)
- 32 GB with Black Cover $599 (Sold Out)
- 32 GB without a cover $499
You can buy the Touch Cover separately for $120 in 5 different badly photo-shopped colors, or buy a ‘physical KB’ style Type Cover for $129.99.
Clearly the discerning owner would have to opt for the ‘Type Cover’ so that it makes click sounds that will turn the heads of iPad users in the coffee shop.
That’s about where the envy will likely stop however, given the 1366×768 resolution, 2GB of RAM, proprietary NVidia T30 CPU, and applications exclusively supplied by the Microsoft Windows Store.
The Windows RT Surface tablet also comes with a trial copy of MS Office 2013 Home/Student RT Preview that you’ll have to upgrade to the full version later when it’s released.
Personally I’d hold off and wait for a NON Windows RT Surface.
- Good luck using a different OS if you find Windows 8 doesn’t match well with your needs
- Your choice of browser is currently IE10 or IE10 Desktop Mode
- Your sole provider of applications is Microsoft
It’s not news that I deeply dislike the idea of limited access/walled gardens/etc., but clearly this isn’t shared with everyone since nothing is slowing down the pre-sales; Heck Microsoft was actually having issues with page loading earlier today!
Oh speaking of which here’s the official link to the Microsoft Surface on the MS Store site.
Would you believe that Harvard University is giving away free diplomas for their doctorate degrees in Medieval Latin?
How about a free Networking course from Stanford University that covers packet switching and queuing?
Would you believe it’s online and open to anyone?
Yup! If you always wanted to put ‘Stanford University’ on your resume, you can now do it for free, online, and nice reasonable 10 week duration, then click right here!
Admittedly, when I read the announcement that Google Advisor was here to help me manage my money the first thoughts were about privacy and that last bastion of private information Google hasn’t touched yet: Banking.
Being wrong never felt so good!
Google Advisor is not (at the moment) a way to suck more private information from you, it’s actually more of a consulting service for comparing bank accounts, credit cards, certificates of deposit, and more.
As someone who’s setup review sites for various services/offerings I can tell you how handy/popular it is to break down competing services so the consumer can select something that meets their exact needs.
Google Advisor claims that the information it’s showing is based on my data, but a 0% intro rate on transfers for 18months? If that’s really available to me I’m going to have to send Google some chocolates.
Google bought QuickOffice
Google bought the mobile office suite ‘QuickOffice‘ which allows ‘App-Level’ access to office documents for mobile devices based on Android/iOS/Symbian.
This move seems redundant with Google’s ‘Docs’ suite offering even more connectivity to your documents/spreadsheets/presentations, but that is just a cloud service, not an ‘App’ and you can have more offline control of your work if you have an ‘App’ vs. a cloud service.
Plus you can’t argue with the users, they want ‘Apps’ and will pay for them.
Google bought Meebo
I’m not sure if this was related to Yahoo’s ‘Axis’ bar plugin that came and went with zero fanfare, but it’s an interesting purchase for SEO interests.
Meebo is a handy social media tool with some great options for ad placement and on-line marketing. SEOs not already dabbling with the tool should take a look, like yesterday.
If you’ve been managing your Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.., profiles without a management tool, aggregation sites like Meebo are really what you’ve been missing out on.
We know that Google owned properties have more relevance and trust on the web than similar services/products. After all, if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
So if you were using some other social aggregation tool, and were doing it solely for SEO awareness, you can safely assume it’s worth the effort to try out Meebo for a potentially improved result/relevance from your efforts.
We will be doing some testing (as we always do) and will blog about our results to further expand on what the service offers over others. This may even warrant an article or two?
Our regular blog readers will have heard repeatedly from me that I’m a huge fan of Best Of The Web. BOTW is a now 18 year old directory that holds some very solid SEO value. One of the niceties of BOTW is that their review fee is (if you want it) one time. Another of the great things about this directory is that they’re turn you down if your site sucks. Why is this a good thing? It’s good because directories that include everyone who pays hold very little weight in the eyes of Google and for good reason. A directory that will turn you away if your site is sub-par is naturally going to be a better vote in Google’s eyes when they do choose to accept a listing.
Well … today being their birthday they’re offering 50% off listings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them give this big a discount so today’s the day to submit that’s for sure. You just need to use the code “SINCE94″ when submitting. It’s good for all their submissions from web to blogs, etc.