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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.


March 7, 2014

Newscology March 6, 2014

Googcology

Put that finger down! As of now all you need is your beautiful voice to search Google on your desktop. Is this a sign of our increasing laziness or are we progressing towards a science fiction fact?
It could be that our need for convenience will spring board us into a Star Trek reality. Every day the amount of data we accumulate multiplies and it’s as if we are going to thrive on these technological advances just to increase our efficiencies. I’ve dreamed of the day to be walking the halls only to tap my communicator pin and query what the current movie releases are. I’m sure we are headed in the right direction but I would much prefer Google produce a hover board before moving ahead with anything else.

Scrapcology

Google’s war against scraper sites didn’t come without an ironic twist. Just moments after Matt Cutt’s released his video requesting webmasters to submit offending sites Dan Barker chimed in on Twitter. Dan proved that Google is actually an offending site by simply typing in; “What is a scraper site?” this then revealed a knowledge graph that scraped off a duplicated Wikipedia definition. Dan’s Twitter stream took on a life of its own with over 34,000 retweets making this the SEO post of the week.

Dan

Yahoo!cology

Yahoo has had a busy two months first with announcing being back in the search game and secondly purchasing Vizify. Vizify allows users to create infographic type material from their social media data and has had a very successful start. The argument is if Yahoo is actually capable of successfully maintaining Vizify because of all the trouble it’s had with its own infrastructure. It’s a little unclear what Marissa Mayer is planning with all this Yahoo action, but it seems to me that we just have to wait to see if something valuable comes out of this.

SMX

Shout out to anyone attending the SMX West conference March 11-13! During the March 10th 8:30am meet and greet they will be collecting a voluntary donation for Dana Lookadoo to help support her recovery expenses due to her unfortunate cycling accident. Every cent counts to find out more please go to SMX WEST.

SEO news blog post by @ 9:55 am

Categories:Articles

 

 

February 24, 2014

Blogcology February 20

Webcology welcomed marketing legend, award winning CBC host of Under the Influence as well as bestselling author, Terry O’Reilly. Mr. O’Reilly has a professional portfolio that includes some very big names, such as Tim Hortons and Volkswagen not to mention the iconic list of celebrities he’s directed in commercials over time. An interview of this magnitude was a dream for both Dave and Jim and as a follower of the show I walked away feeling inspired and focused. They discussed the similarities between digital and mainstream marketing and how the approach and methodology is not so different. The theme of most of the interview was clutter and how to survive and standout in a sea of advertising white-noise.

How to be Visible Amidst the Clutter

Terry discusses how he feels that our world seems to be consumed by the clutter of advertising caused by both mainstream media and digital. I’ve worked on the internet for a little less than a year but understanding the clutter is something I’ve related with during this short time. It was refreshing to hear somebody like O’Rielly who’s been in the industry for a long while to confirm this for me. His answer to one of Dave’s questions also confirmed the direction I was taking was on track.

Dave Davies asked, “What can marketers do to cut through all that clutter to make yourself unique in your message?”

Terry explains that there are truly two types of answers that globally work to achieve unique diversity. Firstly, it’s imperative that a brand differentiates itself by building a unique image that stands out from the core of the product by understanding the targeted audience. Creative advertising helps to keep things fresh and evolve with their clients. It’s important for any brand to come up with a new mode of interest for its audience but it’s equally important to continually grab their interest year after year.

Secondly, utilizing digital is a must to be visible in a cluttered world. For digital marketing it’s about knowing that perfect algorithm to single out the right person, then sending the right message at exactly the right time. Your relationship with a digital audience demands re-creation often and spontaneous audience targeting. During the last year with all the algorithmic changes within Google search we are required to step up our game to achieve brand awareness.

How Brands Survive Digital Clutter

Brand loyalty and customer relationship is very important when it comes down to a brand’s survival in a digital world. He emphasizes that customer relationship is marketing and to be successful, digital media needs to keep their client in mind. Ultimately, a smart marketer looks at every touch point and involves really understanding your client by making use of everything. His analogy of great marketing consists of a shish kabob on a skewer – you have a piece of chicken, a bit of pork, a mushroom, etcetera and these resemble the different marketing components but the fact that they are skewered links it all together with a consistent strategy and tone. You want it all coming from the same place. He mentioned that the brand that best represents this analogy is Apple. He says that it maintains consistency and client relationship is number one which represents smart marketing.

Ambushcology

The art of ambush advertising is becoming more frequent in the world of digital advertising. Terry mentions that it takes careful planning as it could easily negatively impact a brand and preventing that takes careful listening to the after effects when applying ambush advertising. An ambush moves quickly and can easily get out of control therefore, it’s important to listen for feedback from the audience on all efforts including social media in case things move south. He exclaims to be wary of this tactic as very few succeed but if well planned can be a positive outcome.

Sumcology

Terry made many insightful points during the program that works well for both digital and mainstream media. Recognizing the clutter is the first step to understanding how we approach a market. Now that the internet is cleaning up from years of negative and dishonest practices we should take into consideration what we place on our kabob securing our skewer securely through all components thus having a more desirable product.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:10 pm

Categories:Articles

 

 

February 19, 2014

Matt Cutts: Link Building Is Not Dead

Alright, I completely skewed what Matt was actually saying but the conclusion is right.  In a video put out by Google Webmaster Help today he answered a very interesting question.  The question was, “Is there a version of Google that excludes backlinks as a ranking factor?”  Great question and it would be interesting to see what the results looked like.  Unfortunately there isn’t one, at least publicly.

BUT …

Google does test this out internally and as it turns out the rankings are, as Matt puts it, “much much worse.”  He goes on to note that links add value to the results and while they have to combat spam in the area (Really?  I had no idea !) that the use of links as a ranking signal adds significant improvement to the way results are calculated.

So …

Let’s all keep in mind then that links are important and will continue to be into the foreseeable future.  As long as it adds value to the results and Google continues to become better and better at determining which links should and shouldn’t carry weight link building will continue to be a necessary and important part of SEO.

This is (as you can tell) a brief post but important for people to remember with all the talk about link building being dead, the rise of content marketing as sometimes the only focus of SEO and which strategies are under attack.  A good, ethical link development strategy is critical to rankings.  And that’s from the horses mouth. :)

Don’t believe me?  Here’s the video:

SEO news blog post by @ 11:56 am

Categories:link building

 

 

February 14, 2014

Blogcology February 13, 2014

Comcology

It’s not set in stone yet but Comcast and Time Warner Cable may be on the verge of a merge as Comcast aims to acquire Time Warner’s 11 million subscribers as well as thirty thousand Wi-Fi hotspots. This has the potential of creating one of the world’s greatest power houses – but will it come at a cost to the consumer?

Although uncertain if current prices will be effected it’s speculated by consumer advocates that customers likely will see some increases on their monthly bills. What is certain is that internet streaming services such as Netflix will be under pressure to maintain their viewership as Comcast is already limiting the amount of data their customers can use, making streaming video virtually impossible.

It has been mentioned that with a stronger financial stake in the industry this merger has the potential to offer more benefits to consumers. However, this could lead to an argument between the two companies based on how Comcast limits their client’s data use. There is a large demographic that rely on full streaming companies and don’t necessarily utilize cable. If this demographics’ internet usage is hindered then these customers could begin to become sparse, essentially closing out full streaming services.

We have to remind ourselves that it’s not only a mingling of dollars it’s a merger of minds. Both contributors in this union have survived based on their clientele and it will hopefully be taken into consideration when moving forward. Without the client these companies wouldn’t exist. Like it was mentioned on Webcology, “It’s important to that we become the gatekeeper on this proposal to make sure that this deal doesn’t become less of a benefit for the consumer.”

Chinacology

Recently the online censorship organization GreatFire pointed the finger at Bing saying that they are censoring queries in China. China, being known to be the largest perpetrator on censorship, may be the perfect candidate for this case but many people are all fired up as to why Bing would be compliant with this. GreatFire said that when it searched for the Dalai Lama in Chinese and compared it to a similar search in English, very different results were given.

Microsoft denies these allegations saying that this was not an intentional omission of websites from the search engine results. On Webcology they made a very simple but proving point that creating a search engine to begin with is difficult and it could be just a matter of random results. Meaning that Search is a complex beast and can be variable in what it delivers.

Although no more talk has been said about the issue it’s left for the conspiracy enthusiast to sort out the variable.

Techcology

Ugh, infinite scroll, I like to say that this is only a good thing for a conversation and not a website. I always drop off a site that has no end. If you insist on having this lame architecture then this blog from Webmaster Central is a must read. It explains the how to organize the page to prevent trouble from Google down the road or just get a better site. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2014/02/infinite-scroll-search-friendly.html

If the last blog enticed you then another would be, “Faceted Navigation Best (and 5 Worst) Practices. Using specific filtered color and price ranges can easily dupe a website into duplicate content. This literally explains straight from the mouth of Google what to look for to keep things clean.

Sumcology

*Be aware of how things are changing in media and be vigilant when it comes to how it affects you
*t’s important to be aware that there might not always be a political reason it could just be a technical glitch
*Get rid of that disgusting infinite scroll webpage

SEO news blog post by @ 4:06 pm

Categories:Articles

 

 

February 10, 2014

Review: Return On Relationship

Return On Relationship by Ted Rubon and Kathryn Rose

Return On Relationship

by and Kathryn Rose

Book Details Details

Amazon Rating: 5 stars – 27 reviews
Price: $9.89
Availability: In Stock
Pages: 133
Publisher: Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC -
Published In: 2013
Language: English
ISBN-10: 978-1-62295-820-7

 

Beanstalk’s Review Of Return On Relationship

Historically the axiom “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” plays out well but when it comes time to give advice or review something it’s not always possible.

As noted above, this book is very well reviewed on Amazon garnering reviews such as:

“Ted Rubin’s and Kathryn Rose’s pearls of wisdom in their new book “Return on Relationship” is a powerful read and marks a mind-shift in building online relationships. I highly recommend it!”

When I read more of the reviews (while scratching my head wondering how it got 5-stars) it made a bit more sense with reviews starting with sentences like:

“When my friend Ted Rubin asked me to read his new book, Return on Relationship …”
and
“I promised my friend Ted Rubin that I would read his book as soon as I got a copy …”

As the owner of Beanstalk I like to keep a ready supply of books handy for staff to read and for me to keep learning from.  I suppose this review can best be summarized by my thankfulness that I was the first to read it so it could be pulled off the table and I wouldn’t be wasting staff time reading it when they could be doing something more useful, like watching the Blendtec folks blending Justin Beiber into something more palatable (yes – they did it … see below). ;)

Now, To Be Fair …

It’s not that the book itself gives bad advice, it’s simply that it makes great statements of the obvious and packages it as brilliant truths with statements such as, “We can no longer expect to be successful if we simply just focus our efforts on telling our target market how great we are.”

If you knew absolutely nothing about online marketing and social media the book may be useful to some degree.  But then again, so might watching Mad Men.

If you’d like the Cliff Notes version of the book it’s summarized with the following:

  • You can’t please everyone.
  • Blogging is good.
  • Develop relationships with others.
  • Be good to your clients and answer their questions.
  • Be available in whatever medium your target market is on.

That about covers is.  Just stretch that out to 133 pages.

I know of Ted Rubin by reputation and was very surprised to have gleaned so very little from this book.  Hitting the end I should have more of a desire to implement some new ideas that I do to recover the hours I just wasted.  But that’s how I felt when I got to the end of it.

My instinct was to give it 1 star but I’m going to give it 2 stars out of 5 as it may provide some level of usefulness for those going in with virtually no knowledge.  It does provide the information is an easily digested way.  That’s about the only positive I can give it.  That and learning how to read Amazon reviews prior to purchase.

You can find it on Amazon here if you feel so inclined.  I don’t recommend it but then … 27 of his friends do. ;)

And If You Decide …

To follow my advice and enjoy the demise of Justin Beiber instead, here’s that. ;)

Full Disclosure

We want to draw attention to our disclosure so we try to make it obvious. When we review something we like, we make note of it. When we review something we don’t like, we make note of it. If any of the products or services we review offer an affiliate program, we join it. And if you can make extra money doing something you’d already be doing – we recommend you do this as well.

While we profit from some of our reviews, this is not the primary source of our revenue and does not bias the review itself. We’ll let you know if we don’t like something, even if they offer a great commission and we’ll recommend something great, even if they offer none. But we will profit where we can. And now you know.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:54 am

Categories:Books

 

 

February 7, 2014

Blogcology February 6th

Jim and Dave had a full plate to chew on this week on Webcology. Between Yahoo! wanting back in the search engine ring and Facebook turning ten we’re glad to say that Justin Beiber never made it into the show today. No complaints yet.

Yahoocology

Good ol’ Marissa Mayer is ready to tango in the search engine world. According to Search Engine Watch author Jenifer Slegg, Mayer has prepared two projects code named Fast Break and Curveball. This is all an attempt to raise Yahoo!’s organic and paid search in-house. Is it possible that Yahoo!’s golden child can make this happen?

Many are sceptic if Yahoo! can achieve this or not. Their one year contract with Microsoft’s Bing ends this year in March but up until then there’s not much Yahoo! can do as Bing provides organic search results and paid advertising. This relationship gets even more complicated because Microsoft powers the international version of Yahoo!. How this will play out for Yahoo is unpredictable mainly because of its variable and uncertain past with search.

According to SEW’s Jennifer Slegg, Microsoft contributes to 31 percent to Yahoo’s revenue. Making a bold move like this and saying goodbye to Microsoft would make this a large gamble. Like Jim said; “If there is anybody more perfect for this job Marissa is.”

Facecology

Did everyone have fun with their little gift from Mark and the FB team? Seems to be that’s the case. The short summary about time wasted on Facebook accompanied by tear jerking music was a sweet success. Even if you didn’t want to do it, you did it anyway. I would agree with Dave Davies that I would have picked different pictures in the video but on another note, I would probably do what Jim did and post a Sid Vicious video as my Facebook Movie.

Googcology

Expedia.com got slapped with a massive penalty from Google forcing Expedia to lose 25% of its visibility on the net according to Forbes. Expedia isn’t the only big power house to get slapped on the wrist by Google; JCPenney as well as Overstock.com survived. Unfortunately, when this type of action occurs it’s not just ranking that is hurt it’s the pocket book. The EXPE stock dipped losing a grip in the stock market birthing proof that a negative online reputation can affect your public trust.

This reminds me when just after the crash of the American economy in the early 2000 many major Ponzi schemes appeared. This is just what happened after the house cleaning done by Google in the last year. As search became cleaner and cleaner the negative link efforts appeared. Many of these link acquisitions were nasty and happened to be sadly unethical; thanks to Google we won’t be seeing much of this in the future.

Laycology

Advertising and marketing can be an interesting world. We often find ourselves scratching at the door of creativity trying to come up with the next best ad. Frito-Lay came up with that next great idea named “Do Us a Flavor”. What they did was allow fans to design a flavor, name it and post it on a bag then share it for voting. Thousands upon thousands entered then shared it socially. Unfortunately, the way the general public took advantage of this by naming the flavor unmentionable names brought it into debate. None the less this brought them epic publicity and an edge with competition.

WEbcology pic

Sumcology

* Yahoo needs attention
* Facebook knows you best
* Justin Beiber wasn’t mentioned on the show
* Google likes making the big boys sweat
* Hopefully the next flavor of chips isn’t “Dirty Socks”

SEO news blog post by @ 11:19 am

Categories:Articles

 

 

Google Doodles For Gay Rights

Google diidle for gay rights.
In what I consider to be a very bold move on Google’s part, their UK Google Doodle (the image that shows their name on their homepage) today acts as a protest of the Russian stand against homosexuality.  The doodle, which displays various athletic events, is colored in the trademark rainbow used to represent the gay rights movement worldwide.

While only visible as a doodle in the UK, worldwide they have included the following quote beneath their search box:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

My only critique of the effort is that they are putting dollars ahead of their principles by not rolling out the same doodle worldwide.  This is clearly a reaction to the 88% acceptance of homosexuality in Britain vs 60% in the US.  Nonetheless, it’s great to see a company visibly convey their corporate ethics to the world.  This is true regardless of what the stand of that company are.  If you dont’ feel comfortable stating what your views are, then it’s time to re-evaluate what they are to begin with.

SEO news blog post by @ 9:37 am

Categories:Google

 

 

February 6, 2014

New Microsoft CEO – Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
On February 4th Microsoft announced a new CEO. His name is Satya Nadella and he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Nadella, 46, is the third CEO of the company and it’s his “youth” and background in both business AND engineering that make him an excellent choice.  What’s clear in this decision is that Microsoft is placing as much emphasis on business acumen as it is on technical knowledge and the ability to understand what it is they’re doing and how to work with those that do it.  The hope is (in my mind anyways) that this will help them  avoid some of the past major blunders of their past such as their inability to capitalize to their potential on the growth of mobile and let’s not forget the decision to not go into search earlier that lead to them to a hard uphill battle with Google.

To aid in this transition Bill Gates is stepping down as Chairman (at Nadella’s request) to take a more active role with the product groups.  You have to know that they have faith in his skills to have Bill spending more of his time working at the company.  Here’s the video Mr. Gates put out about the announcement:

At only 46 he has over 20 years with the company and there’s no doubt that he’s paid his dues and understands the culture and their strengths and weaknesses.

The Future

In the near future we can expect to see a reorganization as Nadella moves to (as he calls it) amplify their ability to adapt and move on new technologies.  The interesting part is that you probably won’t hear much of Nadella himself who’s tended to remain in the background, clearly quietly making a huge impact at one of the world’s largest and most respected companies.

I personally wish him luck and that he avoid some of the disasters I see on the horizon for Yahoo! and their CEO Marissa Mayer.  If rumors are right, Yahoo! is working on their own search engine.  Search didn’t work for them the first time Marissa, just because you came from Google doesn’t mean you can make it work now.

If You’re Interested …

There’s a good piece on the Satya Nadella (to get you started anyways) over at Wired.  You know … if you want to know more about the man who will be driving the future of your PC, gaming and mobile experience.  No biggie though. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 6:58 pm

Categories:Bing

 

 

January 30, 2014

Blogcology January 30 2014

Facecology

With the release of Facebook’s fourth quarter report, it’s becoming more apparent that most people who engage socially online are doing so from a mobile device. This expresses the growing value for mobile ready marketing of websites. It also proves that social notoriety plays a key factor when gaining internet interest and authority. If more users turn to their mobile devices but also turn to a social site to connect then obviously if you have a business this is a large chunk of the world’s population contained in one social platform. Go figure.

Biebcology


Want your Klout to go up? Mention Justin Bieber on your social timeline and you can expect your social influence to rise dramatically. Bank on it

Snowdencology


Edward Snowden – A Nobel Peace Prize Nominee?
Well that’s a good thought but I have to agree with Dave Davies that he doesn’t really deserve it. The amount of change that contributed to peace is nothing. The irony of this as Jim Hedger pointed out is that the very person who won a peace prize – President Obama – is hunting down the nominated Edward Snowden. The two Norwegian MP’s that represent the Socialist Left Party, Sosialistisk Venstreparti, say that Snoden’s actions opened opportunities for new democratic openness and freedom. Unfortunately, there is no direct impact for world peace which renders this nomination a no go.

Mozcology

The Moz Industry Survey is one of the most looked forward to surveys of the year. No major surprises in this year’s survey; it is everything I expected. It gave a good look at the progress of the market and what will be expected for at least the next little while and noted that there is a steady increase of women entering the industry. How will it look in the future? I can only predict salaries will go up, social media reputation will have a stronger presence and Matt Cutts will run for president.

Sumcology

* I can safely bet that you are a mobile user
* Justin Beiber has klout and needs to get it checked out
* Edward Snowden is not Gadhi
* Moz makes boring stats pretty with lots of pictures

SEO news blog post by @ 3:44 pm

Categories:Articles

 

 

January 27, 2014

Blogcology January 23, 2014

Mattcology

SEO’s are going crazy from Matt Cutts recent statement on guest blogging. He says, “If you are using guest blogging as a way to gain links, you probably should quit.” What he’s referring to is the many scheming SEOs who are using guest posts in a spammy way to gain advances in search results. The internet has been a large dumping ground of poorly written content with little or no relationship and often no relevancy to the business itself. After the post many SEO’s were ranting and raving on how link building is dead and without this all is lost.

Stop being Drama queens! The answer is to create relationships within your specific industry and don’t fear the nofollow link. Just simply promote yourself and your knowledge – after all, isn’t that how authority is built? Some comments left after Matt’s recent blog brought up this concern and he returned with: “If the links are nofollowed, then they don’t affect PageRank, so it would be outside the scope of my team at that point. A high-quality guest post with no-followed links can still be a good way to get exposure to a new audience, branding, etc.”

The fact is it’s not about old school link techniques. It’s more about the brand connecting, communicating, actually getting out there and creating relationships to gain brand exposure and grow an audience. Google wants more genuine brand involvement with their audience, not underhanded fake approaches for an empty result. Once a company has successfully attracted the attention of a relevant audience it should have no problem acquiring organic links naturally by the audience themselves. If you have a reputable brand and promote it well, natural links will follow.


AmCology

You better think twice if you felt your identity was safe on the internet. Michelle Stone from AmOne, an online financial support group, explains how far some will go to retrieve your information. Unfortunately, these criminals will go as far as researching your friend’s social posts as well as even communicating with them to pull the information they need for their own financial gain. It happens more often than you may think.
We’re a growing society who shops online more often and need to learn how to protect ourselves against online theft. Methods of payment are crucial when it comes down to protecting yourself from a major loss. Michelle mentions that the best route is by using brand name credit cards because of the added insurance cards offer. Being prepared but also knowing how to be safe is why AmOne is participating In StaySafeOnline.org’s data privacy day on January 28th to answer questions on how to stay safe in the digital world. Follow AmOne via Twitter @AmOneMoney for the full scoop on data security.

Sumcology

* Love thy audience and the links shall follow
* If you think you’re digitally safe, you’re probably not

SEO news blog post by @ 3:56 pm

Categories:Articles

 

 

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