Experts in the search marketing world have been watching the last major manual Panda Refresh the past three days. This was the 25th and final announced and published update to Panda, Google’s anti-web spam algorithm. Google has stated that “Panda is becoming more of a ‘rolling’ update.” Google Distinguished Engineer, Matt Cutts, is quoted at SMX saying:
Rather than having some huge change that happens on a given day. You are more likely in the future to see Panda deployed gradually as we rebuild the index. So you are less likely to see these large scale sorts of changes.
This is encouraging to us at Globe Runner, we are monitoring all of our clients’ sites and have not been hit by the major Panda updates and with only small tweaks coming in the future, we are confident that we can keep doing what we are doing to rank well. Google is recognizing our clients’ quality sites.
Pinterest has finally announced an analytics tool! The analytics will show verified website owners the information they have been waiting for since Pinterest began: the number of people who have pinned items from the site, the items/images that are the most popular to pinners, how many people have visited your site from Pinterest, and even the most popular repins. For businesses looking to quantify the value or traffic coming from Pinterest to their site, the process just became much easier. At Globe Runner, we are encouraging our clients to contact us if they have questions about their Pinterest strategy or would like to begin using Pinterest.
There were also a few updates to Google+ this month. The three main updates are a new local reviews tab, an easier interface to update your information, and a new aspect ratio for cover images. The new aspect ratio is enormous. Photos can now be 2120 x 1192 pixels, this means your cover photo can now cover the entire screen “above the fold” of the Google+ page.
Globe Runner Internal Update
Our CEO Eric McGehearty was featured February 28 in the Upstart Business Journal for an article he authored on why young entrepreneurs are “too dumb to fail.” The article tells Eric’s story from artist to entrepreneur two times over before the age of 30. Read the full article.
Just for Fun
If you have ever wondered how Google Search works and did not want to engage in a long and involved technical conversation with an algorithm engineer, Google has released a website entitled How Search Works. The site is interactive and allows you to follow a search query through the process to the results. Google’s Inside Search blog describes the content as including:
- An interactive, graphical explanation of Google Search
- A view into major search algorithms and features
- A 43-page document explaining how we evaluate our results
- A live slideshow of spam as we remove it
- Graphs illustrating the spam problem and how we fight it
- A list of policies that explain when we’ll remove content
Globe Runner SEO Updates
Meet the newest member of the Globe Runner team, Claire Elizabeth McGehearty! She joined the team in Lewisville, Texas on February 15, 2013. She is by far the smallest member at only 7lbs 9oz and 21 inches long. She and her three big brothers keep founders Eric and Heather very busy!
This month Google announced Enhanced PPC Campaigns. These campaigns will be “smarter” and multi-device friendly. A single campaign will now support different locations and devices, thus replacing the old system of creating duplicate campaigns for each location and device for which you want your ad to run. Within an Enhanced PPC campaign, you will be able to customize your ads and bids based on the time, device, and location of the customer. Enhanced campaigns will also offer advanced reporting that will allow comparisons between different types of conversions; for example, app downloads vs. phone calls lasting longer than 60secs. All of these changes are geared towards reducing the number of campaigns and the complexity of your Adwords account.
Google plans to roll out the Enhanced campaigns slowly by first giving advertisers the option to switch some of the campaigns to the Enhanced version to test out the new system. At Globe Runner, we are excited for this change and have already switched a couple of accounts to play with the new system and prepare for every account to be Enhanced. By the middle of this year, Google plans to upgrade every account.
The most famous adverting day of the year, the Super Bowl was this month. This year’s Super Bowl ads sold for $3.8 million per 30 sec spot. However, the now infamous 34 minute blackout opened up a unique opportunity for real time marketing. The brands that were able to react quickly to the black out with relevant and creative content have been praised by the social media industry. Social media is the ideal real-time marketing platform.
By far, the most praised real time marketing and social media “win” during the Super Bowl blackout was Oreo’s tweet, “You can still dunk in the dark.” This tweet was a win because it highlighted a current event in a non-disparaging way and tied it into the brand’s message in a creative way.
A great social media strategy incorporates current events that can be easily tied to a brand’s message in a way that makes sense and provides a positive feeling about the brand. The brand’s message should not be lost in the “noise” of the surrounding issue. Only a few brands have done this well, and Oreo is the most recent example.
Just for Fun
The high price tag of a Super Bowl ad spot had those of us in the digital space talking about how much further that $4 million would go if used on internet marketing. A few examples of this are an 8 day homepage ad on YouTube (which is one of the top five most visited pages on the web), 200 pieces of Buzzfeed-sponsored content (which is a personal favorite and highly shared site for those of us Globe Runner), and a spot on Twitter’s Promoted Trending Topic every day for a month! For more on what $4 million can buy online, see http://www.digiday.com/brands/what-a-4-mil-superbowl-ad-could-buy-in-digital/.
I love the business of fashion, not just for the creativity surrounding the industry, but also for the unique business strategies used to develop successful brands. In todays fast-paced consumer society, experts and investors are looking for fast returns when helping grow a brand. Working in the digital industry, I find this to be an extremely common phenomenon. Companies might come and go in less than a year or two. That’s why I find PPR’s 51% investment in the emerging London label Christopher Kane extremely encouraging. If you’re not familiar with PPR, they are a multination holding company based out of France and usually work with the development of luxury brands.
Almost ten years ago, PPR invested in two relatively unknown (at the time) fashion brands, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. The company received much criticism for these investments. Many believed the two brands would underperform and have minimal impact to the bottom line while requiring large capital injections in order to grow successfully. PPR understands the luxury fashion industry, so they understood that these brands would need plenty of time to develop a unique brand identity and market position. Today, both Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen have grown into successful businesses, each generating over $130,000,000 in annual revenue. I believe PPR is pursuing that same strategy with Christopher Kane, giving the brand plenty of time to develop a personality, brand identity, and market position before expecting a ROI.
The article from Business of Fashion finished with a quote detailing the most important element of my current career, “Perhaps now, with the time, space and team made possible by the PPR investment, Mr Kane will focus some attention on his digital presence too.” Currently, www.christopherkane.com takes you to the personal blog of a “software guru”, not the Christopher Kane fashion brand we have in mind. Any company today should understand how important an organized, efficient, scalable, and engaging digital presence is in today’s consumer society. This is especially true in the fashion industry where everyone loves their trendy, innovative digital devices which are widely used for communication and information gathering. I’m sure PPR will do all they can to take control of that domain, and I’m curious to see how much money that “software guru” receives for his domain.
Globe Runner SEO Year in Review
Before we look ahead to the New Year, we felt it appropriate to spend a moment and review some of the successes of 2012. A banner year in many respects, some of the largest changes came internally, where three of our own were promoted to new positions, with the advancement of Cody Sharp to SEO Team Lead, Felipe Rocha to Lead Developer, and Damon Gochneaur to Director of Marketing. With strong leadership in place, Globe Runner added some core team members in Andy Odom, Account Strategist, Claire Parker, Communications Specialist, and Cameron Fergus, Web Developer.
While growing our team and client list, we were also proud to maintain a key position in the industry, with our CEO, Eric McGehearty, being re-elected to the DFWSEM Board of Directors as Vice President of Sponsorship. DFWSEM is the largest regional Search Engine Marketing professionals group in the country and helps to validate our role in both our local community as well as our professional circles
2013 SEO Trends
A study conducted at the end of 2012, has shown that SEO is increasing in recognition in importance as a part of an overall marketing strategy. This is illustrated by survey participants: 66% indicated that their marketing budgets were increased for 2013, 6 out of 10, reported that they were increasing their SEO budget for the following year, and 16% of organizations now have a dedicated Search department. Search as a marketing strategy continues to grow. At Globe Runner we are prepared for this and are staying ahead of the curve and continuing to develop our strategies to help our clients rank ahead of the competition.
Two trends that are predicted to take a major role in 2013 are link diversification and content marketing. At Globe Runner, we have always taken a diversified anchor text link strategy, believing that it was best to diversify back link profiles and have anchor text links to relevant content that our clients’ customers are searching. Globe Runner’s content marketing strategy has been focused on encouraging and assisting our clients in publishing and optimizing quality content often, keeping a company site fresh and useful for customers. We also stress the importance of publishing relevant, interesting company news as press releases.
Big Data is another important topic for 2013. More and more data is now available from search and social platforms. These platforms are no longer in their infancy and for the first time reliable data is available. The challenge will be to analyze and apply this data in data driven decision making. The statistics below illustrate just how much data is available and what the industry is describing as “Big Data.”
This data is really staggering when you think about its implications. New tools like Facebook Graph Search will help with the applications of this data.
Big Data Stats:
- 1 billion Facebook users
- 500 terabytes of data per day
- 2.7 billion “Like” actions per day
- 2.5 billion pieces of content per day
- 300 million photos per day
- 500 million Twitter users
- 400 million tweets per day
- 156 million Public Blogs
Facebook announced a new search tool on Tuesday: Facebook Graph Search. Graph Search will allow Facebook users to search for information about their friends within the platform. Searches can be done for information about people, photos, places, and interests. For example, within Graph Search, a user will be able to search for which of their friends like the show, How I Met Your Mother and are from Denton. The search results will display your friends. You will also be able to search friends of friends. The search tool will not violate Facebook privacy settings in anyway because the only information that will show up in search results is data that is normally viewable on Facebook based on users’ privacy settings.
The implications for social media strategy with the Graph Search tool are exciting. The tool is currently in beta mode, but once it is available, brands will be able to use the search data to highly target certain fans in a much more personal way. Watch the demo from Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch
Globe Runner SEO Updates
November has been a busy month with some internal changes including the format of our monthly and weekly reports. Do not be surprised if the reports you see in January are formatted differently than what we have previously sent out.
Continuing our season of networking events, our SEO Team Lead, Cody, went to the Dallas Digital Summit. The speakers at the Summit had a central theme around the wealth of data that is provided with digital marketing and how using this data appropriately leads to better decision making and an increased ROI. Our philosophy at Globe Runner this year has been “data driven decision making” we have seen this confirmed by our peers as a winning strategy and many of our clients have benefited from these decisions.
2013 SEO Predictions
Our CEO, Eric McGehearty, recently put together some predictions for the coming year in the online marketing space. The talk was originally given for the members of TIE. In the talk, Eric discussed likely changes in the Google algorithm, possible tech mergers and acquisitions, continued growth of mobile and upsets in the social media space. The talk also focused on opportunities for entrepreneurs to leverage online marketing to their business advantages. Here is a preview of the talk.
If you are one of the millions of Twitter and Instagram users then you have probably noticed that Instagram photos no longer show up in your Twitter feed and you will now have to click on the Instagram photo link to see the photos. This is just one of the ways the social sphere is becoming more and more cutthroat as each social media platform vies for dominance. It is becoming even more important now to have a social media strategy that customizes your messaging specifically for each platform.