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Comments Off on New SEO Technique Growing Popular: Whining!

New SEO Technique Growing Popular: Whining!

by Frank Reed at marketingpilgrim.com

It appears as if it’s not just the poor businesses in Europe but now sites of all different kinds that have a funny view of Google as a search engine. I say funny because they apparently have decided that in order to get ranked (or retain rankings that they have lost) they need to implement the latest technique in SEO which is complaining about fair treatment from Google.

An article in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend reports

Google Inc. increasingly is promoting some of its own content over that of rival websites when users perform an online search, prompting competing sites to cry foul.

The Internet giant is displaying links to its own services—such as local-business information or its Google Health service—above the links to other, non-Google content found by its search engine.

The complaints are coming from some big players which makes this whole thing all the more interesting.

Those companies say their links are being pushed lower on the results page to make room for the Google sites. Critics include executives at travel site TripAdvisor.com, health site WebMD.com and local-business reviews sites Yelp.com and Citysearch.com, among others.

“There is no denying that today Google is competing [with many websites] for the same Web traffic and the same advertising dollars,” said Jay Herratti, chief executive of CityGrid Media, a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp. that owns Citysearch and sister sites Urbanspoon.com and InsiderPages.com.

These cries of foul are coming from sites that for years have been getting the bulk of their traffic from Google. Now that Google has made some significant changes in how they present information, especially in the local space, the big sites in the Google index are crying foul. And, rather than work to figure out how Google is doing this and what exactly Google is looking for, they are reverting to the same trick that kids do when they have something taken from them which is to whine.

TripAdvisor LLC Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer said the traffic his site gets from Google’s search engine dropped by more than 10%, on a seasonally adjusted basis, since mid-October—just before Google announced the latest change to the way its search engine shows information about local businesses. TripAdvisor.com, whose top source of traffic is Google, reviews hotels and other businesses frequented by travelers.

OK class, let’s go over this again. Google is a company not a government agency. They can do whatever they want to do and there is literally no basis for anyone to cry foul if they feel they are not being treated the way they should be. Personally, I am glad that Google doesn’t simply serve up a list of information aggregators (most of whom are just glorified directories of some nature really). People go to Google for direct information and being passed off to another source that requires more search to get to the answer is a bad result for a Google user.

Read the full article…

Social Media is B.S.* for Many Local Businesses

*B.S = Bad Strategy

In the past month, I’ve attended three webinars, read 14 articles, and attended an early morning in-person seminar all on the subject of Social Media as a business tool.

After all this, in all my experience, I’m afraid that the Social Media Emperor has no clothes!  That’s because I’ve seen no reason to believe that it will actually be worth the effort that it takes to do this stuff properly.

You would expect me to be an evangelist of this work. I’ve not only worked in this field since 1992, I’ve built several social networks (with my team).  But no, I’m not an evangelist, I’m a skeptic.   Having seen the bubble of Internet vapor burst in early 2001, I feel strongly this may be happening again, only this time, the losers could be struggling small businesses who invest their time and energy unwisely.

What a small business needs from its efforts, be they online or off, is ROI. If you have 12 hours in a day to run your business, you probably do not have time to setup Facebook fan pages, write blog articles, tweet on Twitter, and still sell. manufacture, ship, and keep the books as most small businesses do.  So before you tell me to go Yelp, or contribute to the public works Wiki, or check my comments and trackbacks, you’d better be prepared to tell me what it will be worth to me in additional sales and more importantly: profit!

Putting My Money Where My Blog Is

Frankly, I’d love to be shown a true ROI analysis which demonstrates in a meaningful way what benefits blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, or Yelping have brought to you or a client that you work for.  I am seriously interested enough in this information, that I am willing to put an open offer out here for a cash and services package worth at least $500.  If you can show me a real analysis of ROI (time + expenses) for using these tools versus how it has directly impacted your revenue, I’ll give you:

  • A year of “green” web hosting (worth about $150)
  • Web site Search Engine Optimization (worth about $250)
  • $100 in cash

This offer is good through the end of 2009, open to anyone with serious intent to help me learn something about these tools. I remain the sole arbiter of whether you’ve succeeded, but it will be worth it to me to be shown the light, if there is any.

In the meantime, while the jury’s out, I’m helping my clients to cover these many Social Media bases with the least possible amount of time and effort expended. I do it with a process that allows them to simply send a text email to a specific address and then this system will:

  1. Post the message to your web site’s blog
  2. Post it to all of your social media presences (facebook, linked-in, GOTML, etc)
  3. Post the subject line as a tweet on Twitter (linking back to your site)
  4. Send a beautifully formatted graphic html email to your prospect list
  5. Offer you response data to measure interest in the message
  6. Give you a foot rub and a pat on the head (just kidding)

If you are interested in having me wrangle the media for you as noted above, or if you want to submit an ROI analysis, please email me: bg@bgamedia.com.  And I promise to publicly recant my skepticism when I’m properly educated.