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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

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.


January 9, 2013

Google Ad Words for YouTube Videos

Google has released a new service to promote your YouTube videos online, called AdWords for Video. Google has taken many of the familiar components from their popular AdWords service and successfully applied them to video in a new video campaign management tool that allows for quick video ad creation and better video ad reporting.

Google announce back in November of 2011 that they discontinue the original ads.youtube.com service. The new service is located at http://adwords.google.com/video. Existing users of Google AdWords can sign in with their current account credentials or sign up for a new AdWords account.

"If you have an ad or a video, YouTube is the only place where you can surround your brand with relevant content and YouTube makes sure that it is appropriate for your audience. With the millions of views that YouTube gets every day, they are certain to find a perfect fit for your message."

AdWords for Video screen shot

This new AdWords service allows users to easily promote their videos on YouTube and the Google Display Network. The GDN includes videos and content from thousands of websites and claims to allow you to access to 80% of the "online video content space."

Google AdWords for video allows you to:

  • Reach the right viewer at the right price
  • Pay only when the ads is viewed
  • Allows you to easily manage video ad campaigns

Users will get valuable information such as the number of views, video reporting, easy to setup targeting for your preferred audience(s).

For more information, see Google Support.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:09 am

Categories:Google,YouTube

 

 

December 20, 2012

Video Ads Planned for FB Timelines

Co-Workers and clients ask me why I stopped using MSN Messenger, like it’s a surprise to them that I don’t willingly sign into an application that spends most of it’s time trying to download videos/advertisements to distract me?

To me the more advertisements I see on a service the more I see that service as coming to an end, with one final attempt to monetize the fleeting popularity of the service at it’s peak of it’s traffic volume.

So clearly then Facebook is signalling that now is the time to monetize and cash out, with executives promising video advertisement opportunities in 2013.

TV Staticfacebook video

To quote the original article on AdAge:

“By April at the latest, it(FB) will offer video advertisers the chance to target video ads to large numbers of Facebook users in their news feeds on both the desktop version of Facebook as well as on Facebook apps on mobile phones and tablets.”

There’s also some advanced speculation that the goal will be to keep the video adverts capped at 15 seconds, which would help minimize the amount of data transfer that is wasted on content you never wanted to see in the first place.

Additionally, if advertisers have to compete in 15 seconds or less, this could produce ‘light’ video spots that are then re-used on other sites around the web, hopefully just replacing existing clips that are 30 seconds.

To the advertisers out there (some of which are our clients) this means that if you were in the planning/edit stages of a video promotion for your site, and social media was one of your target audiences, then you would do well to plan on a 15 second version of your clip in advance.

Speaking of Video Advertising

What would happen if YouTube paid a handful of the most popular YouTube video creators together to make a ‘popular mashup’?

I think this is what would happen (this is NOT the cheap re-mix you may be expecting):



Felicia Day and Minecraft? It’s almost like I helped make this.

 
Nice work YouTube! Clearly, at 28million (and counting) hits since it was released on Monday, people can’t get too much of a good thing, which is shocking considering how overplayed some of those videos are, especially the Gangnam Style remixes.

The end of the clip has some references to the video sources, some of which were fresh links for this old dog. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:28 pm


 

 

December 19, 2012

Instagram: “All Your Photos Are Belong to Us!”

There was a huge online outcry from users when Instagram introduced a new privacy policy and Terms of Service that will take effect on January 16, 2013. Concerns were raised over changes that would allow for Instagram to sell users photos to advertisers without notice or compensation.

Instagram’s 100 million users use the popular app to take stylized picture of everything from food they enjoy to pets or any other aspect of their daily lives to share online. When the news of the proposed changes hit Twitter, the story and accompanied anger towards them went viral.

This change comes just four months after the social media giant Facebook purchased Instagram for one billion dollars. The new policy states: "A business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness and photos."

Instagram protest

Later that same day, Instagram issued a blog post stating:

"Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram."

"Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

Now that Instagram is owned by Facebook, it may be a similar scenario to how updates to Facebook have typically played out. Facebook has a tendency to roll out mass changes with the anticipation of user backlash; only to retract part of their updates. It’s a case of moving 10 steps forward and taking 1 back, ultimately the changes still get adopted.

The simple truth is that whenever you are online, whenever you use an App, it is very likely that your information is being used by the site or is being sold as data to interested third parties. The best way to maintain some semblance of privacy is to not go online at all – which wherein lies the irony.

It is almost impossible for most of us not to be connected to the internet at some point every day; be it through a PC, a Smart Phone or tablet. When we go online our user data is collected, stored and researched by a multitude of companies for a variety of purposes; some benign, some nefarious.

We are only now becoming aware that we are no longer just consumers; we are in fact walking product endorsements and advertisements for big business. What happens in the next few years will determine our new role in the emerging global marketplace. Do we want to protect our privacy, or do we want ads that are geared towards our relevant interests?

SEO news blog post by @ 11:28 am

Categories:Facebook,Privacy

 

 

December 11, 2012

Thinking of making an ‘App’ for the Apple Store?

You may want to re-think that decision, perhaps even focus on a ‘mobile’ provider for your site, or an Android app instead of one for Apple’s store.

Rotten Apple with bite mark

Why? Well lets list the reasons:

- Android OS is shipping on more phones currently than any other mobile OS
- 2013 should be the year that Android overtakes iPhone in subscriber #s
- A mobile ‘face lift’ should load on any phone/browser
- Apple is cracking down on all ‘Apps’ that generate revenue outside their store..

The last one is a real kicker, especially for Microsoft who is currently unable to update their SkyDrive app after Apple realized it was handling in-app purchases without going through the Apple Store.

Essentially Apple is rejecting all Microsoft app updates and 3rd party apps that communicate with SkyDrive until Microsoft has a solution to Apple’s need for a 30% cut of all transactions done through it’s App Store.

So if you made an Apple Store ‘App’ for your site, all you can do with the ‘App’ is browse information and provide free resources, since any attempt to engage in a financial transaction would require the Apple App Store to participate, at a 30% margin.

That’s just.. wait for it.. rotten.

Making Easy Money by Ignoring Copyright Infringement

A North Korean Won with Park Jae-sang's face.

On the surface, it may seem counter-intuitive to your profit margin, but not letting people steal your content could be what’s stopping you from getting rich.

PSY, the chubby Korean behind the most popular YouTube video to-date, is raking in the profits from his ‘Gangnam Style’ video, and it’s all because he didn’t censor his own work by chasing copyright violations.

If you look at TV commercials, ad revenue, product endorsements, and other direct revenue from his popularity, PSY is making over $8 Million in 2012 alone.

Clearly there’s a trade off between copyrights and profits that doesn’t favor always locking down your content.

I’m wondering though, once fame has taken hold, if next year we’ll have a story about PSY suing people for copyright infringements?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:59 pm


 

 

December 6, 2012

#DROIDRAGE Back-Fires and Creates #WINDOWSRAGE

#WINDOWSRAGE

Microsoft is spending an increasing amount of resources on pointing out the faults of it’s competition, reviving the #DROIDRAGE hash-tag at a moment in time when most Android users have very little to rage about.

For me it’s like watching some high-school bully try and make light of his own faults by pointing out the problems with one of the best students in school; Ultimately running out of complaints and resorting to childish tactics in an attempt to keep themselves from looking bad.

In this case the best student is pretty popular, and the insults have backfired on the bully, leaving the bully (Microsoft in this example) feeling like they are standing in public with their pants around their ankles.

The net today is bubbling with annoyed Windows users sharing their frustrations.

For me, a non-mobile PC user, I have general beefs like:

DirectX 11.x will be for Windows8 only?!

Microsoft Security Essentials is getting merged into Windows Defender?!

But if you take a swim through the #windowsrage hash-tag on Twitter you will see a lot of Windows Mobile, XBox, and other flavors of rage against Microsoft’s products.

Meanwhile, Google’s Saving the World..

While I’ve yet to see Google chase after Microsoft’s reputation, it might just be due to them having no time for it, what with all the awesome things Google’s been doing around our planet.

Google Drones seek out poachers

Like a $5 million dollar grant from Google to the WWF that’s getting spent on unmanned aerial ‘drones’. While the WWF doesn’t want to call them ‘drones’ because of military references to the term, that’s pretty much what they are.

Unlike the military’s drones however, these unmanned aerial watchdogs won’t be rigged for anything more than surveillance of the vast areas of land that the WWF protects.

In fact from what I can tell these will just be ‘commercial’ versions of the drones you see hobbyists and flight enthusiasts playing around with.

The $5 million is actually a small part of the $23 million total funding that Google is providing, this year alone, to non-profit organizations with challenges surrounding technology and innovation as part of Google’s Impact Awards Program.

I doubt that’s much of a ‘slag’ on the competition, but apparently Google has bigger goals than mocking/slandering competing companies?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:44 pm


 

 

December 5, 2012

How Short Content Can Help you Rank

A common misconception is that you need to provide at least 500 words of onsite content to have your page rank with Google. Your rankings are dependent on many factors and signals and is not necessarily determined by the number of words on a page; no matter how well written they are.

copywriting

It all comes down to creating unique content that is not only interesting, but engages your viewers and drives ongoing conversations in the form of replies or comments. In a recent Google Webmaster Help thread John Muller of Google, clarified this exact point.

"Rest assured, Googlebot doesn’t just count words on a page or in an article, even short articles can be very useful & compelling to users. For example, we also crawl and index tweets, which are at most 140 characters long. That said, if you have users who love your site and engage with it regularly, allowing them to share comments on your articles is also a great way to bring additional information onto the page. Sometimes a short article can trigger a longer discussion — and sometimes users are looking for discussions like that in search. That said, one recommendation that I’d like to add is to make sure that your content is really unique (not just rewritten, autogenerated, etc) and of high-quality."

Google crawls everything from full articles to 140 character tweets. Google recognizes that even short comments or articles can be triggers for engaging conversations. There is no magic number; there are no “tricks” to SEO. Creating unique and valuable content and you visitors and ranking will follow.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:56 am


 

 

November 29, 2012

The Karaoke Web Standard

KWS Side bar image

Well Microsoft has finally managed to get a leg up on all the current desktop web browsers available today with it’s new Karaoke Web Standard.

KWS Logo

To quote the KWS wiki entry:

This specification defines a new API, focused on semantic language processing for two-way communication with a remote host. Eschewing typical binary protocols, this new interface creates a system-to-system forced sonic recognition on the receiving party.

The KWS definition page goes on to discuss key points like pending API access to the libation ES codebase, and encourages modification from the base parameters noting that each user has unique aptitudes in variety of related skills.

Indeed while some users, such as myself, have a low threshold for personal embarrassment (regardless of how many times a week I write these posts), I could possess high vocal aptitude that would mitigate a fond user experience if I were to stick with preset templates.

The spec deals with concerns such as bitrate, throttling, error mitigation, audio auth rights, P2P connectivity, and semantic packet delivery, but fails to touch on less favourable issues like hackers that implement auto-tuning modules.

Included with the announcement were two YouTube videos, one that explains the need for the new standard:

 
And a second video that focuses on presenting the new KWS:

 
Oddly the videos came along with a link “thebrowseryoulovedtohate.com” that’s got an extra ‘d’ in every instance?

Come back with my imaginary horse!
The theme is apparently along the lines of “Have you tried IE Lately?”, with the assumption that you’ll like what you see.

 
I’m personally assuming that next week someone on the IE marketing team will get a phat bonus for a spike in downloads that doesn’t correlate to actual user shift.
 

FireFox 64bit?

Waterfox Logo

In related news, FireFox has given up on 64bit development for now, listing a number of issues that make it a very wise decision, regardless of the folks that were ‘enjoying’ the struggle of maintaining a 64bit browser with very little 64bit extension support.

While a 64bit FireFox could theoretically run faster, the added expense of development was taxing the coders and holding back the progress of the browser vs. it’s competition.

If you MUST have a 64bit FireFox there is a build of FF with 64bit support, it’s called ‘WaterFox‘ and you can get it from Sourceforge.

Since I already had FireFox installed I grabbed the portable copy of WaterFox and it runs great, picking up most, if not all, of my FireFox profile/settings.

Personally? I’m using Chrome, and I am writing plugins for Chrome because I feel it’s going to win the browser war thanks to Android, Apple, and many other systems that use the WebKit engine by default.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:50 am


 

 

November 27, 2012

New YouTube Creator Space in LA

Google’s YouTube service has just launched it’s third Creator Space studio, this time in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles.

Hughes H-4 Hercules Fuselage

The 41,000-square-foot aircraft hangar was formerly used by the US Army for making helicopters in the Vietnam years, and it was the assembly point for the famous Hughes H-4 Hercules transport plane in World War II.

Renovations to the facility have been extensive, with Google adding:
- professional-grade equipment
- green-screen stages
- motion-capture rooms
- screening room
- editing labs
..and more!

Have a look at the video from the UK version of YouTube’s Creator Space:

As you can see, this is a huge boon for aspiring entertainers, actors, producers, and even editors who want to learn the craft.

In fact it reminds me of the library in my Elementary school which had a full VHS recorder, camera, TV, and space to set up a stage. We would take the time to write scripts (bad jokes), dressup (do giant paper chipmunk teeth and thick rimmed glasses count as costumes?), and perform for camera.

While nobody ever watched what we recorded (this was during the advent of VHS), the recording was a popular affair and students would flock to the library when we were doing a show over lunch.

Likewise YouTube is hoping that they will encourage creators to mingle and ‘hang out’ in this space, granting them free reign to come and go as they please for the time period they are allotted.

Signing up for the UK space is done via this customized Google Docs sign up sheet.

There doesn’t appear to be any such sheet for the new California location, but the Creator Hub Website should handle all your inquiries.

The LA Times did a nice job of gathering some photos of the LA Creator Space into a gallery:

The new You Tube facilities in Playa Del Rey

Interestingly enough the same channel also has a really well polished video on YouTube Analytics that I’ve personally never seen previously:

 

Ernie Coombs / Mr.Dressup’s 85th Birthday

November 26th would have been Ernie Coombs’ 85th birthday, and Google Canada celebrated with a Google Doodle.

Mr.Dressup - A Canadian Childrens TV Show

It’s very amazing what one man, a puppet boy named Casey, a magical storage box full of costumes, and a puppet dog named Finnegan can do to engage an audience. When I was young I always wanted a tickle trunk, which really means I still want a tickle trunk because I’ve never grown up. ;)

Mr.Rogers on the other hand always seemed like a strange show, and I never really watched it, favoring our Canadian version, Mr.Dressup.

It’s interesting now to learn that Ernie Coombs, a US citizen, actually worked with Fred Rogers in Canada to debut ‘Misterogers’ which later on became the US children’s TV show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

In fact many of the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” set pieces, such as the Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the ‘tree’, and ‘castle’, were created by CBC designers during the initial 3 year run in Canada.

Mr.Dressup stayed in Canada, and became one of the longest running Canadian TV shows, running between 1967 and 1996 for a span of 29 years.

The actor may have passed on but our memories will linger for generations to come.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:31 am


 

 

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

There seems to be a lot of spam vs. turkey this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for!

In fact just today I was reading about how Google is thanking Maps contributors with ‘Badges‘!

If you login to Google and head on over to the Map Maker section of Google Maps you can get started on either reviewing changes that need to be approved/disapproved, or make your own.

The badges are apparently awarded as follows (stolen from IBF):

List of Google MapMaker badges

So Thanks Google, for being Thankful! This is going to work very well for trust factors on your G+ profile, which as we pointed out many times now, should also be the author link for your site content.

In Other News..

DuckDuckGo was trying to prove they could deliver better search results without learning anything about the user.

It would have been neat if it were possible, but I wouldn’t send a stranger out to buy me new shoes, and I don’t want a web search that doesn’t know me either.

At this point DuckDuckGo have been reduced to complaining about Google not selling them cool domain names like “duck.com”, and how many extra clicks it takes to change the search engine in Chrome vs. Firefox.

While I agree that making use of duck.com as a 301 to google.com is a bit ‘cruel’, my guess is that nobody offered Google a fair price for the domain, and it’s not bad business to improve the value by holding onto the name until a valid offer comes along.

If DuckDuckGo wants to disclose how much they offered Google, I may change my opinion, but for now this is just ‘big business’ vs. anything ‘anti-competitive’, and if this is the absolute worst mud that DDG can sling at Google then they have little to complain about.

Google Music Translate

While I have been eager to see someone like Wierd Al tackle the song Gangnam Style with some English lyrics, I am not sure I’m eager to see this ‘project’ come to life:


Heck this was meant to be a joke, but Google is so spooky with it’s tech that this is totally plausible?

Indeed some news sites this morning are actually getting flamed for discussing this as if it were a real service offered by Google.

Well ‘played‘ sirs.. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:53 pm


 

 

November 15, 2012

Google Ingress – Niantic’s Project

Google's Niantic ARG Logo

My post about creating traffic detours on the internet had a blurb about the Niantic Project where I was speculating that it was indeed a Google Field Trip promotion where you play the game by visiting landmarks to view clues.

I wasn’t too far off with my speculation, today is day 1 of the closed beta for Ingress, a ‘Niantic Project’.

The video gives us a pretty good idea that this will a modified version of Google’s Field Trip app with extra options to interact with both the landmark clues but also potentially other players of the game.

Essentially it looks like the goal is to get enough people from all over the world working together to solve/hack enough of the important clues to solve the mystery.

Clues appear to be well placed so that you get an idea that something is going on with a landmark, but until you find the right interaction with the landmark the information is locked.

From the screen shots we can see there’s a level meter tracking your progress as a player, an energy meter that likely limits your ‘moves’ in the game, and a GUI that was developed specifically for this game.

Right now you can’t join in and play, but you can sign up for the closed beta on the Ingress Homepage.

My guess is that you’ll have to be patient in waiting for a reply to the beta signup. Not only will there be a lot of interest, I’m betting that the team wants to approve people in an even distribution globally.

Picture what would happen if they let people sign up at random. Due to the per-capita density of nerds/landmarks, Canada would solve all it’s clues too soon and try linking it’s gates before any of the other countries are ready to link up.

Back over on Nianticproject.com we have an exotic interactive screen that requires a password with the clue “CLASSIFIED _ _ _ _ _ _ matter” implying that the password is 6 letters long, which fits none of my guesses!

Even getting past that clue leads to more clues, so the game is clearly not going to be solved or won by one person.

Brandon Bager is apparently trying to make me look like a bad guesser. He’s confirmed that at 9:33am the invite script was on the letter “B” for invites.

Perhaps I should go back and add another email address that doesn’t start with an “A”?

Patience!

SEO news blog post by @ 10:54 am


 

 

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