Monday, June 30, 2008

Build your Network NOW to prepare for economic uncertainty!

I was interviewed for a newspaper story on this topic today! And I was referred to a post by Kristina Cowan called 7 Tips For Boosting Your Career Through Online Social Networks.

With a recession looming (or here already) it is more critical than ever to start build your network IMMEDIATELY. I hope things don't get any worse, but unfortunately, many Americans are going to be looking for work in the next 6-12 months. Now is the time to lay the foundation of a strong network of friends and business relationships that you can call upon if you, or someone close to you needs help.

I told the journalist that in my mind everyone should follow these three key steps.

1. Create a great profile in the online social network that you get invited to join most frequently. If you get a lot of LinkedIn invites, it is likely that your personal 'network' can be found there. If you hear from a lot of friends on Facebook that is the place for you. Kristina covered this topic extremely well in her blog.

2. Online networking is still networking. The old saying is that 'you must give to get'. What that means in online communities is you should help people out, answer their questions, connect people looking for jobs with opportunities you know about, participate in groups on the social networks. Find things that interest you or groups focused on areas that you have a lot of knowledge about. Participate actively and volunteer for any possible organization roles.

3. The final step is to Build your personal brand online. Develop a blog or website focused on your unique area of business expertise or a personal passion area. A blog on or is free! And, these blogs can be formatted to look like a website, updates take minutes to do and are as easy as sending an email. By making 3-4 posts a week you'll quickly develop a following and Google and the other search engines will start showing your posts in the search results. Link to other popular bloggers who cover the same subject matter as you and comment on their blogs to develop your link to the online community.

Good luck building your online presence. I hope you won't need to fall back on your network, but if you need it in 6 months, you'll be happy you started today, instead of the day after a layoff.

Hat tip to Sonia Meisenheimer

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Matt Harding's Amazing Social Media World Tour

You may have seen a video of Matthew Harding dancing in incredible locations from all around the world. His video is in amazing HD from Vimeo. And his story is told on his blog.

Even more incredible...the thousands of people who followed Matt on his blog and joined him for a dance in locations all around the globe!

And further proof of a social media miracle...Matt received sponsorship from Stride Gum to support his travels. We love sponsors who support our social media indulgences!

Hat tip to Peter Shankman for this link.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Google Improves Blackberry Service

Google has updated service on Blackberry's. Also, it proves that Google Universal Search (GUS) is becoming more relevant with search.

  • Improved Comprehensive Results: Incorporates results from Product Search, Blog Search, News archives search, and more.
  • Blended results: Web, image, local and news results are now combined. But, Google says they've made it easier for you to focus your search on any one of these categories, just check out the links at the top of the page.
  • Longer snippets: Google says they did this to try and give you your answer on the results page.
  • Related searches: Look for them at the bottom of the results page.

  • Using Google Trends for PPC and Penetrating Foreign Markets

    Last week, Michael reported how Google Trends is now tracking not only searches but also compares traffic between websites. However, this is only the start of what you can use Google Trends for.

    Local PPC Advertising - marketers can find out which regions are searching for a broad keyword phrase. It can drill down from region (Countries) to sub-region (State) to City. For national companies looking to focus their local advertising efforts, Google Trends is an essential PPC advertising tool.

    Penetrating Foreign Markets - Google Trends tracks search trends for the global marketplace. US-based companies that are looking to expand into foreign markets can search and find what countries / sub-regions are looking for their products and services.

    Additionally, Google Trends advises what language your target audience speaks and popular news stories related to that keyword phrase / website.

    Blog Posting Tip: How Long Should a Post Be?

    When blogging, a question many people may have is how long a blog post should be. Some people may not even consider the length of a post, but I believe it's an important element in blogging success. There isn’t really one answer, but a few elements to consider.

    Quality over quantity is always a good piece of advice. A good blog post can be 200 words and just be as good as a 500-1000 word post. In my experience a post that is too long may be overlooked, since most web readers tend to scan text more than actually sitting down and reading. Also, short and to the point blog posts are good because they get their information in as little words as possible, and the information will most likely stay with the reader.

    With attention span in mind, checking your web stats can be another way to determine if long blog posts or short blog posts are better for your blog. Depending on the average time a user spends on your site, it may be better to do either or.

    I’ve seen bloggers divide their posts into multiple parts if you need to do a long blog post. I believe this tactic is a good way for readers to keep coming back to your site. They may have read your first part of an interesting blog post and will keep coming back in anticipation of your second part. But in the meantime, they may go through other blog posts within your blog, which leads to getting to know more and possibly become a frequent visitor.

    The best advice is to focus on the point of the blog post. What are you trying to get across? That should be the main focus, followed by blog post length. It doesn’t hurt to do both longer post and shorter posts. That’s the beauty of blogging, there are a bunch of different ways to go about doing things.

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Track Your Website Visitors With Google Trends

    You can now track websites like you can with Google Trends. You can compare data for up to five websites and track their daily unique visitors. The charts show you regions from where visitors came from and other website they have visited along with terms they searched.

    Geekpreneur Releases Free Ebook About Twitter recently released a free ebook about Twitter its potential for promoting your online brand or personal brand. The book starts with the basics and also provides advice for the frequent user as well. 140 characters is not a lot to work with, but 140 characters can really be effective if you say the right thing.

    The ebook outlines topics such as:
    • Promoting your Twitter Profile
    • The difference between a blog and ‘twittering.’
    • Using Twitter to enhance your online business
    • Using Twitter as a linking tool
    • Twitter tools that can make you use Twitter more than just at
    Twitter can be used in so many ways, but not many people realize it. This ebook is a great way to figure out how to use it.

    Download the free ebook at

    Why Did My Rankings Fall in Google?

    Yesterday, Google held it's second live webmaster chat event. During the event, Jonathan Simon discussed why webmasters can fall down or even out of the Google rankings.

    Duplicate Content was cited at the top of Jonathan's list. It can be caused by multiple URLs, syndicating content and even scrappers pulling content from several sources and sticking them together. Ten Golden Rules Tip: If you have duplicate content on your site, be honest about it. Disallow those sections in your robots.txt. Syndicate your content carefully, ensuring that your original work gets credit through a text link or require posters to exclude your article in their robots.txt.

    Server Issues are another factor that can effect your rankings. If your server is down or timing out because it's being over taxed, the Googlebot might arrive at your site, ready to spider it and find nothing there. Ten Golden Rules Tip: Make sure you're hosting your site on a reliable server. And if you do some viral marketing to boost your traffic, make sure your hosting company is prepared to handle it.

    Competition might have made recent changes to their SEO campaign, either by improving their content offering or getting more link love from authority sites. Either way, it spells trouble for any company that's sitting on their SEO laurels. Ten Golden Rules Tip: The best never rest. Just because you have great SEO rankings today, doesn't mean you'll have them tomorrow, so keep adding new content, building more quality links to your site, and show Google through your hard work why you should be Number 1.

    Changes in Search Trends can also affect your rankings. Google is constantly tweaking their algorithm to improve their results. One factor might be weighed more heavily one week and less the next. Ten Golden Rules Tip: Follow SEO best practices and don't stress about Google's tweaks. Your rankings might flucuate here and there. However, give it some time to level out before you start making changes to your SEO campaign.

    Webmaster Guidelines Violation by your staff or 3rd party vendor can have a serious negative effect on your Google rankings. Ten Golden Rules Tip: Make sure you know who you're working with. If your site gets flagged for a violation, fix the problem and then submit your site for reconsideration.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Yahoo! Google and MSN Search Wars

    Today, Tech Crunch posted a follow up to their "scoop" about Google purchasing Yahoo! Search. After their original post, Yahoo's stock plunged and there was a mass of speculation.

    The post today features the full text of the agreement itself - very detailed and with much commentary.

    I think this is all extraordinary. And I am concerned on many levels. I am not sure this will benefit the consumer - and marketers will be perturbed as well. Competition is good, and this will have a severe impact on the two companies being seen as competitive websites for advertising.

    I am sure that Google and Yahoo! will do what they can to address the potential confusion, but I'm still concerned for what the deal will mean to marketers and consumers.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    Help Firefox Break a World Record

    Mozilla is attempting to set the world record for most downloads in a day when they launch Firefox 3 on June 17th. A quick search on had no information on the current record holder for most downloads in a day. Firefox has been my primary browser for sometime now and I will be part of the download. Firefox has even set up a website to help spread the news, where you can pledge to download the program, to date over 1 million individuals and counting have pledged. Also on the site, Firefox has set up numerous banners and buttons to further help spread the word.

    Download Day

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Leadership Keynote Speakers and Authors Jay Berkowitz, Seth Godin, Jeffrey Gitomer, and Andy Sernovitz Speak At eBay Live!

    eBay Live Chicago 2008 conference June 19 – 21, 2008 at McCormick Place West in Chicago, Illinois will play host to four of the world’s top sales and marketing keynote speakers. Those who are attending will learn Internet marketing ideas such as how to sell things on eBay and internet marketing ideas from leadership keynote speakers Jay Berkowitz, Seth Godin, Jeffrey Gitomer, and Andy Sernovitz.

    Internet Marketing Ideas Reviewed by Internet Experts include:
    * What is Web 2.0? What it means for you
    * How to use Social Media to promote an eBay store?
    * How to improve your website so it shows up in Google searches
    * How can I build my personal brand online? How to sell things on eBay?

    Friday, June 6, 2008

    Plurk: Another Microblogging Site

    This week, I discovered a new microblogging site emerged, similar to Twitter called Plurk. Since I am a loyal Twitter user I was pretty hesitant to try the service out, but I did anyway. Plurk allows you to microblog like Twitter, but also gives you qualifiers.

    ReadWriteWeb explains each part of a “Plurk” entry in the image below.

    Each Plurk entry is recorded on a timeline and as you add friends to the timeline you will see their Plurks as well. For each Plurk, you can respond to it directly. I personally find the site to be pretty addicting and because of it I admit that I’ve been neglecting Twitter. With the downtime that Twitter has gotten lately, I wonder if Plurk will be like the next addiction as Twitter has been, or is just something to use until Twitter becomes stable.

    Adwords Editor 6.0, Microsoft AdCenter Desktop Beta, andNothing Yet for Yahoo Search Marketing

    During SMX Advanced, Microsoft announced they were launching an AdCenter Desktop, a software application allows advertisers to create, optimize and manage online campaigns with Microsoft. Before this announcement, adverstisers managed their campaigns through a web interface which was slow and not very user friendly. Microsoft sees a fully functioning application not just an editor. If interested in signing up for the beta, there is an online form to fill out. Once I get a chance to play around in the new application, I will post a full review.

    Also, this week Adwords Editor released Version 6.0 with improvements that make a great application even better. The first thing you notice is when you download fresh stats, the whole account uploads, not just the tab you are in. You can also do more with placement targeting and conversion optimizer. Another great tool is the ability to download a csv with performance results as well, which makes reporting a little bit easier. You can learn about all of the changes/upgrades here, I am still learning all of the new tricks and tools.

    And finally Yahoo Search Marketing, still hasn't done anything (other than Panama a while ago) to make managing PPC campaigns any easier.