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Marketing the Modern Way: Experts Share Secrets! Secrets!

April 20, 2015

I find the advice of experts interesting. When I worked at Halliburton Nuclear, there was an engineer who knew about “everything.” The person was supposed to be an expert in biology, water, nuclear physics, and, of course, math. I recall the person was bright, but his confidence exceeded his mental baggage compartment.

When I encounter experts without the background this pontificator of yore had, I wonder if the big luggage and tiny cart idiosyncrasy is operating. You be the judge. Navigate to “8 Awesome SEO Secrets from the Experts.” A word about whether the advice is good or not: If these experts had secrets which worked, wouldn’t these folks be household names?

Just a question. When it comes to getting a Web page to light up the Google search results, the folks in the European Commission have a suspicion that Google puts its hand on the rudder of results ranking. The notion that eight experts can fiddle the results which Google may steer to some degree if the allegations are correct raises the question, “Okay, who controls results?” I will leave the answer to you as you read the write up.

Herewith are the secrets from the experts, or, I should say, “so called experts.”

Numero uno is semantic search. Okay, there’s a secret for you. I am not able to define to my satisfaction semantic search, but you have the truth, gentle reader. Go forth.

Here are several other secrets:

  • Write factual, logical, coherent articles
  • Use Google Plus
  • Connect with influencers
  • Write for mobile devices
  • Visualize
  • Markup

Here’s the paragraph I marked as one which puzzled me:

The rise of the Chief Statistical Officer or Chief Conversion Officer is not far away as businesses realize that dominating a niche is going to take more than a few hastily thrown together Adwords campaigns being added to their marketing mix.

I assume only search experts qualify for the job of statistical officer. Differentiate this from other baloney, and perhaps you can be a butcher. Experts, like the fellow at Halliburton, can do just about anything or so they think.

Stephen E Arnold, April 20, 2015

The Cost of a Click Through Bing Ads

April 9, 2015

Wow. As an outsider to the world of marketing, I find these figures rather astounding. MarketingProfs shares an infographic titled, “The 20 Most Expensive Bing Ads Keywords.” The data comes from a recent analysis by WordStream of 10 million English keywords, grouped into categories. Writer Vahe Habeshian tells us:

“WordStream analyzed some 10 million English keywords and grouped the them into categories to determine the most expensive types of keywords (see infographic, below).

“(Also see a similar analysis of the most expensive keywords in Google AdWords advertising from 2011.)

“The most expensive keyword on Bing Ads is ‘lawyer,’ which would cost advertisers seeking the top ad spot a whopping $109.21 per click. Not surprisingly, the top 5 keywords are related to the legal world, indicating how lucrative clients can be.”

Yes, almost $110 per click whether legitimate, a human error, or a robot script. That’s a lot of fruitless clicks. It seems irrational, but it must be working if companies keep spending the dough. Right?

The word in second place, “attorney,” comes to $101.77 per click, and “DUI” is a comparative bargain at $68.56. After the top five, law-related words, there are such valuable terms as “annuity,” “rehab,”  and “exterminator.” See the infographic for more examples.

Cynthia Murrell, April 09, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

A Kettle of Search Fish

April 6, 2015

We have hear a lot about the semantic Web and search engine optimization (SEO), but both have the common thread of making information more accessible and increasing its use.  One would think this would be the same kettle of fish, but sometimes it is hard to make SEO and the semantic Web work together for platonic web experience.  On Slideshare.net, Eric Franzon’s “SEO Meets Semantic Web-Saint Patrick’s Day 2015-Meetup” tries to consolidate the two into one happy fish taco.  The presentation tries to explain how the two work together, but here is the official description:

“Schema.org didn’t just appear out of thin air in 2011. It was built upon a foundation of web standards and technologies that have been in development for decades. In this presentation, Eric Franzon, Managing Partner of SemanticFuse provides an introduction to Semantic Web standards such as RDF and SPARQL. He explores who’s using them today and why (hint: it involves money), and takes a look at how Semantic Web, Linked Data, and schema.org are related.”

The problem with the presentation is that we do not have the audio to accompany it, but by flipping through the slides we can understand the general idea.  The semantic Web is full of relationships that are connected by ideas and require coding and other fancy stuff to make it one big kettle.  In fact, this appears to have too much of the semantic Web flavor and not enough of the SEO spice.  One is a catfish for fine meal and the other is a fish fry without the oil.

Whitney Grace, April 6, 2015
Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Search Engine Optimization: Chasing Semantic Search

April 4, 2015

I have read a number of articles about search engine optimization (SEO) and Web search. From my point of view, the SEO sector wants to do more than destroy relevance. SEO seeks to undermine the meaning of discourse. For some marketers, the destruction of meaning is a good thing. A Web site and its content will be disconnected from what the information the user seeks. The user, particularly a recent high school grad, is probably ill equipped to differentiate among reformation of information, disinformation, and misinformation. Instead of identifying Jacques Ellul’s touch points, the person will ask, “Is he Taylor Swift’s hair stylist.” As I said, erosion of meaning is a good think when a client’s Web page appears in a list of Google search results or is predicatively presented as what the user wants, needs, and desires.

Examples of these SEO learned analyses include:

Sigh.

The basic idea is that concepts and topics rise above mere words. In this blog, when I use the phrase “azure chip consultant,” Bing, Google, or Yandex will know that I really am talking about consulting companies that are not in the top tier of expertise centric consulting firms. There is a difference between an IDC-  or Gartner-type firm and outfits like Booz, Allen, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey type firms. The notion is that via appropriate content processing and value-added metadata enrichment, the connection will be established between my terminology and the consulting firms which are second or third class.

The reason I use this terminology is to provide my readers with a nudge to their funny bone. Bing, Google, et al do not make these type of connections without help. The help ranges from explicitly links to the functions of various numerical recipes.

In my experience, marketers describe concept magic but usually deliver a puff of stage fog like that used by rock and roll bands. Fog hides age and other surface defects.

Does anyone (marketer, user, vendor) care about the loss of relevance? Sure. Each of these sectors will define relevance in their of their phenomenological position. The marketer wants to close a sale or keep a client. The user wants a pizza or a parking place. The vendor wants to be found, get leads, and sell.

When meaning is disconnected from relevance and precision, those filtering information are in control. If a company wants traffic, buy ads. Unfortunately for the SEO crowd, mumbo jumbo is its most recent reaction to the challenge of controlling what a Bing, Google, or Yandex displays.

I am not confident the search engines are able to present that they want to display. Search is broken. In my experience it is more difficult today to get on point information than at any other point in my professional life.

Here’s a simple example. Run a query on Bing or Google for Dark Web index. The result is zero relevant information. What the query should display is TOR domain. Hmm. Wonder why? Now how does one find that information? Good question.

Now look for Lady Gaga. There you go. Now try “low airfares.” Interesting indeed.

Stephen E Arnold, April 4, 2015

 

Google Steers SEO Pros Toward User Experience

January 21, 2015

Curious to learn where Google is driving the search-engine optimization field these days? Search Engine Watch tells us, “6 Major Changes Reveal the Future of SEO.” Writer Eric Enge declares, “Google is doing a brilliant job of pushing people away from tactical SEO behavior and toward a more strategic approach.” Um, okay. As long as that means more relevant information for users.

The article lists Eng’s six observations and what each means for SEO approaches. For example, Google has stopped handing users’ keyword data to websites, requiring them to use other methods to monitor keyword performance. Then there’s the Hummingbird algorithm, which Enge says is really a major platform change. The write-up also considers the current influence of Google+ and Google’s Authorship program. Finally, Enge cites the In-Depth Article feature Google introduced last August, which points users to more comprehensive sources of information. See the article for more on each of these points. Enge concludes:

“All of these new pieces play a role in getting people to focus on their authority, semantic relevance, and the user experience. Again, this is what Google wants.

“For clarity, I’m not saying that Google designed these initiatives specifically to stop people from being tactical and make them strategic. I don’t really know that. It may simply be the case that Google operates from a frame of reference that they want to find and reward outstanding sites, pages, and authors that offer outstanding answers to user’s search queries. But the practical impact is the same.

“The focus now is on understanding your target users, producing great content, establishing your authority and visibility, and providing a great experience for the users of your site.”

Well, this does sound like a good shift for users. Will SEO workers used to focusing on PageRank data and keywords learn to adapt?

Cynthia Murrell, January 21, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Bloomreach: Googlers, MBAs, and $41 Million in Funding

January 3, 2015

Founded in 2009, Bloomreach is now popping up in my Overflight system. The company is buying Google ads and publishing a blog written by Bloomreach’s storyteller. The company is a “personalized discovery platform.” The angle seems to be ecommerce search, which will probably make EasyAsk, Endeca, and SLI Systems long for the day when MBAs ignored search for more glamorous endeavors.

The company offers an interesting mix of marketing oriented search services. There is hosted search and consulting. I noted a bit of search engine optimization as well. And, not surprisingly, there is some “Big Data marketing” lingo too.

Information about the company is available at this link.

Stephen E Arnold, January 4, 2015

The Latest Advice for SEO Pros

November 18, 2014

As Google’s search algorithm evolves, so the search engine optimization crowd adapts. Business2Community offers tactical updates in, “Semantic Search: Keyword Choices and Relevancy.” Writer Kaila Strong cites a recent Searchmetrics study which emphasizes four key factors to high rankings: semantically relevant and semantically comprehensive wording; long form/ higher word-count content; enriched content with diverse media; and easy to read content. Strong observes:

“While all these areas are important, the first bullet – ‘semantically relevant…’ – stands out to me in my role as an SEO professional…. Let’s see how this new emphasis on semantics and ‘semantic search’ affects how we evaluate keyword choices and relevancy further.

“So grab a coffee and get ready to dive a bit deeper into the technical aspects of exactly how a computer program (bot/spider/search engine like Google) determines what the meaning of a page is – what question this page is the best answer to – and, subsequently, what it should rank for.

“Keep in mind that as a marketer, you have control over a page’s quality, as well as the keywords the page could rank for. But the lines of influence and manipulation are blurred. A proper understanding of the science behind search can help shed light on the best way to develop content in today’s Google world.”

Strong notes that recommendations don’t come directly from Google, but from SEO experts who research the issue. Emphasizing that the semantic web is all about connections, she describes in detail three components of Google’s algorithm these pros have identified: a clustering method called co-citation, the concept of co-occurrence, and holistic linguistics. See the article for details about leveraging each.

Cynthia Murrell, November 18, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Desperate for Traffic? Paid Links Work, Just Do Not Get Caught

November 3, 2014

I read “Should Hotels.com Get a Google Slap for Soliciting Paid Links From Bloggers?” The main idea is that Google does not like this practice. However, my reading of the write up took a different turn.

First, the write up makes clear that paid links do work. So if you are desperate for traffic, the trick is to finesse the watchful eye of Mother Google.

Second, perhaps Google should formalize paid links and charge.

With revenue a growing concern from a very large one trick pony, I can envision this action as soon as Google figures out how to monetize YouTube, News, etc.

Stephen E Arnold, November 4, 2014

SEO Gets Some Love

October 2, 2014

SearchEngineLand reviews software and the latest review “BuzzSumo Ups The Ante In Content Analysis” gives credence that SEO is not dead. The reviewer laments that he must find something negative about the software reviewing, but when reviewing BuzzSumo’s new Pro tools he had a hard time saying anything bad.

The new features are explained, including they can be used to analyze data, generate reports, and content alerts. The most fun and useful is the different types of data collected and how they can be manipulated. BuzzSumo is a great tool to help marketers gain insights into content performance and even how the competition is doing.

What is the negative?

“…[W]hile the ability to set a minimum share threshold for the keyword and brand Content Alerts is really useful, you cannot specify a minimum number of shares for specific social networks, just an aggregate total. Again, I’m sure this will be added in the future, but hey, I don’t want people thinking that BuzzSumo gave me a briefcase full of cash, so I had to come up with some way they could improve.”

Analytics are like spying on your users. As with manipulating data, it is fun to see how different content is received. Remember that analytics tools do not have to be purchased. While BuzzSumo has excellent tools, Google Analytics will give you comparable information.

Whitney Grace, October 02, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SEO Push Or Objective Review?

September 3, 2014

Butler Analytics recently evaluated a business analytics firm and showed the results in “InetSoft Review.” InetSoft is described as a top tier business intelligence platform and allows functions for ease of use. Further into the review, InetSoft is called “understated” due to the lack of praise for its stellar products. Potential users can choose from three packages:

  • Style Report Enterprise-an enterprise reporting application that supports many constructs.
  • Style Scope-an interactive dashboard software application with visualized analysis and real-time reporting.
  • Style Intelligence-an operational business intelligence platform with a data mashup engine for dashboards, visual analyses, and reporting creation.

The packages have varied options:

“InetSoft offers both perpetual licenses and on-premise annual subscriptions. Small to midsize organizations and business units can take advantage of user-based licensing, while large organizations can leverage server based licensing for enterprise deployments. A maintenance and support charge of 20% is added to perpetual license sales and is included in the annual subscription price.”

This is definitely high praise for an “understated” company. The review is objective enough and will definitely add to InetSoft’s content marketing and SEO value.

Whitney Grace, September 03, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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