Monday, November 30, 2009

Top 10 Great Twitter Stories of 2009… aka I’m Tweeted Out

Over the long weekend, I thought I would catch up on some industry news. I started browsing Web sites, only to discover Twitter... everywhere. I couldn't escape the 140 character micro-blog site no matter what I clicked. And I came into work today, only to learn that Twitter was named the most popular word of 2009.

So, in honor of Twitter topping the entire English language, here’s my...

Top 10 Favorite Twitter Stories of 2009

  1. Tweet & You'll Be Shunned – Former Vice President’s daughter Meghan McCain exposes cleavage on Twitter, and then apologizes to her 60,000 followers after posting the revealing picture.
  2. Tweet & You’ll Be Fined – Players from the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Bobcats are fined $7,500 for posting to their Twitter accounts during games.
  3. Tweet & You'll Become News – Actor and comedian Stephen Fry announces on Twitter that he deleted his Plaxo account with 20 million friends after the site exposes his personal information.
  4. Tweet & You'll Be Thin – Actress Demi Moore posts the “original” photo of her recent cover for W, and experiences a backlash by followers accusing her of using model Anja Rubik as a body double.
  5. Tweet & You’ll Be Sued – Rocker Courtney Love calls fashion designer a cocaine dealer on Twitter, gets sued.
  6. Tweet & You'll Be Suspended – A live Twitter feed to a local television billboard in Alabama creates a stir, leads to the suspension of the station’s general manager and news director.
  7. Tweet & You’ll Go To Jail – Pulp Fiction writer is re-jailed after investigation that he tweeted from prison. Authorities deny Twitter use had anything to do with his incarceration.
  8. Don’t Tweet & You’ll Go To Jail - Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber attracts mob of teenage girls to a mall in Garden City, N.J. Island Def Jam Records senior vice president is arrested by Nassau County Police for refusing to tweet the crowd, asking them to disperse.
  9. Tweet & You’ll Break Up – Jennifer Aniston allegedly dumps singer John Mayer over tweets.
  10. Miley Cyrus Chooses Boyfriend Over Twitter - "FYI Liam doesn't have a twttr & he wants ME 2 delete mine w/ gd reason"
Whew! What a relief she chose her boyfriend over Twitter!

InternetMarketingClub.org Presents The Ten Golden Rules for E-Commerce

Please join E-Commerce Expert Scott Pooler from http://www.iBusinessLogic.com and Jay Berkowitz of http://www.TenGoldenRules.com for a fun and enlightening webinar all about Best Practices for E-Commerce.

- Best technical solutions
- How to promote your store
- How to optimize your store for the search engines
- Best strategies to convert visits to sales
- Advanced E-Commerce Strategies

The event will take place on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 12:30pmEST – 1:30pmEST. To register please visit: The Ten Golden Rules for E-Commerce.

Adwords Report Center On Its Way Out

Remember having to go into the Adwords Report Center to find out what phrases people were searching to find your ads, what content placements your ads were appearing on, and whether your ads were performing better on search or content networks? Well, those days are near over as more and more advanced reporting is becoming readily available right in the Campaign Management tab.

It was always a hassle to go into the Report Center, set up a report, run the report, and analyze the report just go go right back to your Campaign Management tab to make adjustments. As part of Google's latest Adwords interface, this problem is quickly being solved with great data being available without running reports.

For example, instead of running a report to see what keyword phrases people are searching, you can just click on the "See Search Terms" button on your Keywords tab and get the complete list of search phrases that generated clicks on your ads. Right from that screen, you can add phrases as negative keywords with a click. You can also add well performing phrases to your campaigns with all matching options very easily.

The new Networks tab displays all the content network placements your ads appeared on along with click and conversion statistics. You can easily remove any content placements that are performing poorly or you just do not want to be associated with.

I am sure that I am not the only Adwords advertiser that is waiting patiently to see the Adwords Report Center disappear altogether.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Making Google Reader More Social Friendly & Colorful


As an avid user of Google Reader, I’ve noticed more and more social friendly features appearing within my Google Reader. Now you will notice favicon support has recently been added, which to some may add a little more personality to his or her subscriptions. There have also been a few other additions such as “sort by magic” and “recommended sources.” Of course, the more you allow Google to study your reader habits, the more personalized these results appear for you.

Another really helpful feature I have been using more of lately is the “send to” ability. You can access this feature by going to settings -> send to. This feature gives you the ability to share a post from a specific site by the click of a button from within your reader as opposed to having to go to the actual website. For example, if you have a subscription to a site and upon reading a blog post you think to yourself, this would be a great post to tweet, you can simply enable send to Twitter, and Google Reader will pop-up a screen with the tweet already prepared [as opposed to going to the site and retweeting].

Do you find these new features helpful?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Google Introducing New Ad Formats for Search

Anyone advertising in Google Adwords probably knows that Google typically only displays text ads on their search pages, while other ad formats (video, image, etc) can be shown on Google's content network. Well, somewhat behind the scenes, Google has been testing additional ad formats to be used in search, so don't be surprised when you start seeing videos, images, and products in the paid search listings.

For example, you may start seeing individual products with prices and links within a single Google ad as this is something they have recently been testing aggressively. Another ad format Google is experimenting with is the comparison ad. Great for consumers, comparison ads are designed to compare rates/prices of different advertisers within an ad.

As most of these new ad formats are of great benefit to the consumer, they can hurt the advertiser who does not stay on top of the changing landscape. Being competitive in paid search will require staying aware of new ad formats and using them effectively to reach your audience.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Type of Apps Do You Want for LinkedIn?

According to a breaking story on Mashable, today brings big news from LinkedIn, which finally invited developers to contribute to its social media platform. The new LinkedIn Developer Platform is expected to spur the onslaught of new apps you can use with LinkedIn – much like those available for Facebook and Twitter. In fact, you can expect integration with TweetDeck as early as this week, according to the article.

What does this mean for Internet Marketing?

We’ll have to wait and see, but for those of you that currently leverage social media to network and market your business, it appears you will have even more options. Of course, instead of Roller Coaster Kingdom, Farmville, Mafia Wars and the other time-suckers you can find on Facebook, I hope we can expect more useful business oriented applications.

For starters, I'd like to see a way to sync all my friends (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) so I could group (segment) them more efficiently, and communicate (market) to them from one application, with the ability to choose my platform (medium)...

What types of apps would you like to see for LinkedIn?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Webby Awards Announces the Past Decade's Top 10 Internet Moments

With 2009 almost coming to an end, we tend to reflect on the past year to remember all those memorable moments. Taking that a step further, The Webby Awards has just released what it considers being the 10 most influential moments of the past decade.

Here’s a look at the top 10 moments:

• Craigslist expands beyond San Francisco (2000)
• Google AdWords launches (2000)
• Wikipedia launches (2001)
• Napster shuts down (2001)
• Google's IPO (2004)
• Online video revolution (2006)
• Facebook opens up, Twitter takes off (2006)
• The iPhone debuts (2007)
• U.S. presidential campaign (2008)
• Iranian election protests (2009)

With technology continuously evolving, let’s see where the next decade brings us in advances.

Oxford English Dictionary Announces 2009 Word of the Year - "Unfriend"

You know that social media has made a huge impact when the Oxford English Dictionary picks a word to be the word of the year that has to do with Facebook.

unfriend - verb - To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook.

As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”

This word was chosen as the word of the year because its meaning is understood in online social networking context, and considered an interesting choice since this word starts with "un-" and is different from the norm.

Some other Technology driven words that were considered for the word of the year were also:

hastag - a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

Other Notable Word Clusters included Twitter related "terms" such as:
Tweeps
Tweetup
Twitt
Twitterati
Twitterature
Twitterverse/sphere
Retweet
Twibe
Sweeple
Tweepish
Tweetaholic
Twittermob
Twitterhea

Google and Bing Gaining Market Share

A measurement by Comscore shows increases in the percentage of searches running through Google and Microsoft servers from September to October. Where did the additional market share come from? Yahoo!

While Google continues to dominate the market accounting for 64.9% of all searches in September and picking up an additional .5% in October. Microsoft matched Google by picking up an additional .5% in October, now accounting for 9.9% of all searches. This is bad news for Yahoo, as they have been steadily declining throughout the year. If these trends continue, we just may see Bing overtake Yahoo in market share by the end of the year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is Your Link Profile Natural?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about link building and the importance of your Deep Link Ratio. That post explained that backlinks built to your site – including your deep link ratio, the anchor text used in the links, and the speed at which those links are acquired - should always appear “natural” to the search engines. Taking this one step further, the “natural approach” should apply to your entire link profile (incoming and outgoing).

So, what does this mean to your inbound link building efforts?

First, a healthy mix is necessary. And not every link needs to be perfectly optimized. Although this might seem contrary to what you have learned about SEO practices, even some no-follow and links without anchor text are desirable to ensure the right "mix."

Second, it means spending some time analyzing and understanding not only your own link profile, but also that of your competitors. Learn what they are doing, leverage it, and do just a little bit better. Just don't overdo it - that's not natural either!

Remember, every site has “good” and “not so good” links. As long as you stay within the “average” of other sites in your industry, your link profile should appear “natural.”

Here's a few Link Building Tools that can help:

InternetMarketingClub.org Presents The Ten Golden Rules of Writing for the Web

Join copywriting and marketing expert Allison Nazarian founder of www.allisonmediagroup.com and Jay Berkowitz Founder of http://podcast.tengoldenrules.com to discover the Ten Golden Rules for Writing for the Web.

- How is web writing different from print and broadcast?
- What are the key strategies to write for the search engines?
- Learn the Apple A Day Strategy
- Determine how many words should go on a page and how to use linking strategies

The event will take place on Wednesday, November, 18, 2009 12:30pmEST – 1:30pmEST. To register please visit: The Ten Golden Rules of Writing for the Web

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ten Golden Rules Teamed Up With IWearYourShirt.com With a Giveaway

Ten Golden Rules was featured on IWearYourShirt.com on our 6th year anniversary, October 10, 2009. We thought it would be cool to team up with IWearYourShirt and give away a Limited Edition Roger Federer shirt with the Ten Golden Rules logo on it. The contest was basically to find 10 things, take a picture of it, and submit it to Jason at IWearYourShirt.com. The winner definitely had a unique photo entry, which won him the shirt.

Congrats to Ken Westling for winning. We hope you enjoy sporting Ten Golden Rules on your sleeve! :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Reinvented Retweet

You may or may not yet have experienced the new retweet feature of Twitter, but the service has confirmed it is in the process of rolling out the feature to everyone. This feature and its attributes are progressively surfacing. Some interesting functions include:

• It can be turned off on a per-user basis
• The retweet area will have three tabbed sections: retweets by others, retweets by you and your tweets, retweeted
• You can still use the “RT” style for retweeting
• There will be a retweet timeline shown just below the individual tweets (perhaps a cleaner look)

The mechanics of the features were first explained by @Biz in a post entitled, Project Retweet: Phase One. Of course, all features have their pros and cons and will take some getting used to. Some additional information can be found at TechCrunch.

Getting Started With Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists is fairly new, and pretty useful too. A Twitter List helps you organize the people you’re following on Twitter. If you’re an organization junkie, then you’ll definitely have fun making your own Twitter lists. You can make a Twitter list for whatever reason, whether it is organizing your good friends, industry leaders, or favorite celebrities, you can make a Twitter list to group your Twitter peeps.

To create a list, log into your Twitter account, and on the right sidebar you should see an area called Lists with a link to create a New List. You can even set the list to be Public and have anyone subscribe to it, or Private, and only be able to access the list.



I personally find it helpful when it comes to finding industry leaders, as it is beneficial to follow the leaders in social media or the leaders in SEO. A way to see if you are part of a list is to log into your Twitter account and right next to your Following list, you can see if you are part of any lists.

A great site to find Twitter lists categorized by different tags such as bloggers, celebrities, food, health, politics and technology is Listorious.com. You can submit your lists for everyone to see and follow as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Manage Your Google Products


In the past eleven years, Google has been pushing out product after product, many of which collect personal information from the users. There are now so many products that many of us use, that it is hard to keep track of what you have registered for and where to find it. Once you are using Gmail, Reader, Calendar, Picassa, and a plethora of other Google interfaces, monitoring your security settings can become a very tedious task. Now, however, there is help.

Last week, Google launched Google Dashboard, a user interface that provides a simple and useful summary of all the products you are signed up for. When signed in to your Dashboard, you are presented a list of all your Google products and direct links to your personal settings for each. Now is a good time to brush the dust off of some of those Google products you haven't used in a while by logging into your Dashboard. For help understanding Google Dashboard, watch this video.

InternetMarketingClub.org Presents Online Marketing for the Hospitality Industry

Brian R. Walton, who led online marketing for brands such as Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Walt Disney World Resorts & Disneyland Resort, will be hosting a free webinar to discuss the following topics:

- Identify where the consumer is in the Vacation Planning Cycle
- How to use the right online marketing tactics and message based on which phase of VPC
- Consideration/Information Gathering
- Itinerary Planning
- Experience
- Return Visits

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 12:30pmEST – 1:30pmEST. To register please visit: Online Marketing for the Hospitality Industry

Monday, November 09, 2009

10 Ways to Improve Web site Readability

Most SEO experts will tell you that “Content is King.” And it’s true... Both search engines and people visit Web sites for the content. Unlike a search engine, however, users are looking for content to help them solve a problem or complete a task.

When you provide your visitors with the information they need, in a format they can easily digest, you’ll discover your conversion rate improves, along with your bottom line.

Unfortunately, people don’t really read on the Web – they skim. And if your content does not convince them to take the next step - whether it’s to buy an item, download a file, or click through to the next page – within a few seconds, they’ll quickly move on to one of your competitors.

Help your users (and your site's performance) by feeding them the information they need, in a format they can easily digest. In other words, make it as READABLE as possible.

10 Tips for Improving Web site Readability

  1. Understand your audience – The style and tone of your content should be appropriate. For example, the copy targeted to group of highly-educated doctors or scientists should be much different than that developed for a Pro sports Web site.

  2. Consider the purpose – Every page of your Web site should have a purpose. This needs to be considered as copy is developed.

  3. Write descriptive headings – Make it easy for users to find what they need by providing accurate, descriptive headings.

  4. Avoid “word clutter” – Be concise. Don’t use two words, when one will suffice.

  5. Keep paragraphs short – Long blocks of copy intimidate users. Keep blocks of text short - about 2 to 3 sentences.

  6. Use lists – Aid comprehension by presenting information in a numbered or bulleted list.
  7. Separate thoughts - This helps users find the information they need quickly. Limit the copy to one theme per page, and one thought per paragraph/section.

  8. Leverage illustrations – Used wisely, images can convey your message quickly. Support your copy with visuals - just don’t overdo it, or oyu will create a distraction.

  9. Utilize white space – Organize your page layout. Does it look neat and clean? Keep your design simple, and your copy will be easier to digest

  10. Check your facts – Readers want up-to-date, reliable and accurate information, If your information is bad, it won’t natter how easy it is to read!
For more tips on how to improve the readability of your Web site, check out Letting Go of Words by Janice Redish.

* Image Source: Letting Go of Words - Janice Redish

Social Media Optimization Strategies Explained at Webmaster World Pubcon 2009

An expert SEO panel including Jay Berkowitz, David Snyder, Rebecca Kelley, Reem Abeidoh and moderator Dixon Jones will be presenting 'Optimizing for the Social Media Pay Day' at Webmaster World Pubcon 2009. They will be sharing social media optimization strategies to help build more traffic to your website and convert that traffic into sales. Using social media, businesses can improve search engine results and build links. This search engine marketing conference will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 10-13, 2009.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Google Dashboard Allows You To See All Your Google Account Information

If you use Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Picasa, Google Reader, and any of the many products Google provides, you will now be able to view all your information in one place. By logging into your Google Dashboard, (www.google.com/dashboard) with your Google account log in, you will see a summary of all of your accounts with Google. It is pretty interesting to see how many Google applications you may have and not even realize. Of course, Google Dashboard is secure, and you can manage settings for all of your account in this area as well.

Below is a great video that summarizes what the dashboard is and what you can do in it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

What’s Your Web site’s Deep Link Ratio?

When it comes to organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the links pointing to your site are one of the most important factors that influence your search engine rankings. It’s not just a numbers game, however. The quality of those links is important, too - especially to Google. For example, if a large number of links and/or extremely reputable sites, such as The New York Times, point to your Web site for a particular search query, then Google "trusts" you are a relevant and popular authority on that topic.

From an SEO perspective, where those links point is yet another important consideration…

It addition to analyzing the quantity and quality of inbound links, you should evaluate your deep link ratio.

Simply put, your deep link ratio is the percentage of inbound links to your homepage versus all other pages of your site. To calculate your deep link ratio:

1) Calculate the total number of backlinks to your entire site. Important: Filter out links from your own domain. (Learn how to do this.)
2) Subtract the number of backlinks to your homepage. The result is the number of deep links to your site.
3) Divide the number of deep links by the total number of backlinks to get your deep link ratio.

Total Deep Links / Total Number of Links = Deep Link Ratio (%)

In general, sites with a higher deep link ratio tend to perform better in the search engines. So, all other things the same, a higher deep link ratio could give you just the edge you need to outperform your competitors.

However, be cautious of suddenly building a massive amount of deep links to your site. Links pointing to your site should always appear natural – both in terms of your deep link ratio, the anchor text used in the links, and the speed at which those links are acquired. Otherwise, Google and the other search engines may consider your site SPAM, and remove it from the search results.

InternetMarketingClub.org Presents Ten Golden Rules of Affiliate Marketing Webinar

Jay Berkowitz will be hosting a free webinar to discuss the following topics:

- How to get a virtual sales force selling for you
- Selecting the right solution
- Recruiting affiliates
- Best practices for program management
- How to stay current on new programs and technologies
- Payment strategies

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 12:30pmEST – 1:30pmEST and to register please visit: Ten Golden Rules of Affiliate Marketing Webinar

Stay Secure with a Fresh Browser

Now that National Cyber Security Awareness Month has wrapped up, it is a good time to make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep your computer and network secure. One of the most common mistakes people make that leaves them open to a security breach is using outdated browser versions.

Regardless of what browser you prefer, always using the current version is important and often overlooked. Think about it...every website you visit runs through your browser. That makes your browser among the most prone software to viruses, malware, spyware, etc.

If you haven't updated your browser version recently, there is a good chance that you are missing important security updates and bug fixes necessary to maintain a healthy computer. If you are reading this post on IE 6 or Firefox 3.5, go get the latest version now!

Google Wave: The Email Killer?

Late Friday evening as I was going through my email, I came across an email I was pleasantly surprised by: a Google Wave invite! I don’t even remember when I submitted my interest (it must have been that long ago), but I do remember this new feature sparking my curiosity. So what’s behind this “Let’s Start a Wave” saying? To sum up the Google Wave, this apparently seems like a not so easy task; Lars Rasmussen compares it to a hybrid of texting, wikis, instant messaging, blogging and emailing. His name may seem familiar as he and his brother, Jens, sold their idea of “Google Maps.”

I haven’t actually sat down to “Ride the Wave” yet, but I must say I’m excited to try it out. I have read mixed reviews but as always, doesn’t Google spark your interest enough to check it out? If you want to learn a little more watch this Google Wave video.