This handy tool uses Facebook’s authentication to download information about your personal Facebook usage. This is NOT the same as analytics for Facebook pages. But it does use the same permission requests you’d need to play Farmville or a related game.
For those non-geeks out there, the Wolfram Alpha search engine does computation. Put in math problems or ask the GDP of France in a Google-esque search box.
Go check it out and watch it lay bare who your friends are, when you’re online most often, and what things you talk about most.
When Google’s Panda update started targeting on-page optimization that were considered low-value—with special focus on duplicate content and outbound links that appeared to be spam—it caused quite a controversy. Now, the most recent Penguin update, which targets primarily inbound links and links that are particularly identified as unnatural, controversy has once again arisen. Many businesses on are now seeing their traffic, search engine rankings, and even a significant amount of income drop with amazing speed. And just like what happened with the Panda, many are complaining that they’re being targeted unfairly.
The problem with many of those who complain is that they really have no clear idea what the term “ethical SEO practices” mean or what they constitute. This is particularly true of small businesses; this is why many people think they’re being unfairly targeted by Google’s updates—they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. Take the case of an online business that has derived its ranking from the start by using tactics such as article spinning, using inbound links from networks, and buying links: for years the business owner may have used these tactics without realizing that they go against the primary mission of Google, which is to provide its users with only the most relevant search results. One of the reasons for the business owner’s failure to realize this fact is that his online business may have been doing quite well until the Penguin update. Also many businesses underestimate the importance of hiring a white hat SEO company to handle their accounts properly and in the end they got what they paid for.
The fact that you continued to enjoy good rankings, good traffic, and good sales even after the Panda update was launched doesn’t necessarily mean you can just relax and expect to be saved from the Penguin update as well. After all, the very reason why these updates are launched in the first place is for Google to be able to provide their users with the best answers to their queries. Imagine yourself being the one searching for something on the Internet. You wouldn’t want to do a Google search only to be victimized by the manipulative use of SEO services, would you? The best way for site owners to ensure good rankings regardless of what updates Google comes up with, therefore, is to make sure they follow only ethical SEO practices.
The problem lies in the fact that not all webmasters are SEO professionals. This means your webmaster may not really know how much is too much where search engine optimization is concerned. Even if you read Google’s updates and guidelines, they still wouldn’t do you much good if you don’t know the basic rules in the first place. That’ll be like cooking with a list of ingredients, but no cooking instructions. Making even the slightest mistake could ruin the entire recipe. To further aggravate the situation, search engine algorithms are so mercurial that what works today may not necessarily work three months from now. This is why it’s very important for you to keep up with the latest algorithm changes.
To make it easier for you to deal with the Google Penguin and any other further updates, here are three important things the Penguin should have taught you by now:
1. Diversity and balance are the key
The reason why Google’s Penguin update focuses on penalizing “spammy” sites is that Google wants to improve SERP quality for the benefit of searchers. If you want to get on top of search results pages, therefore, you either have to buy an AdWords spot there or come up with exceptionally good content for organic rankings. More importantly, you’ll have to forget about shady SEO tactics. Remember that saturating your title tags with keywords, using low-quality back links, and unnatural inter-links are the top targets of the Google Penguin. You should also learn how to mix up the types of content on your site. You can learn more about balancing your page look and feel with content, here.
In this image, the Biltmore website was able to achieve balance by distributing content evenly in blocks. Well chosen illustrations also added dimension to break the monotony of the site. – http://net.onextrapixel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/biltmore.jpg
2. Strive to be as Pertinent as Possible to Your Audience
As long as you remain relevant to your target audience, you’ll always be safe from the pummeling these Google updates give errant sites. Take note that Google has recently introduced the Knowledge Graph, which is expected to hugely change the SEO game. Google is changing the way online search is processed; instead of depending heavily on keywords, search results are becoming more and more dependent on concepts that are relevant relative to each other. This means searches are moving away from its dependence on disjointed keywords. What this means for site owners is that the quality of their outbound and inbound links will now be measured according to their relevance and usefulness as well as the importance of the information in relation to the user’s query. This makes it even more important for you to develop connections and authority in your chosen niche. If you haven’t already started, then now is definitely the best time for you to start community building, particularly since community members are usually the best sources for natural links. Community building is also an excellent tool for customer retention.
3. Provide Useful Content
Since you now know that your main focus needs to shift from shady SEO tactics to building your credibility, your target audience’s trust, and your authority in your niche, then you need to understand that the best way to achieve this purpose is for you to keep things real. This might mean overhauling your entire site content. What’s important is for you to start focusing on creating better content, especially in on-page and guest posts. To put it simply, you have to keep your site content clean, clear, and useful.
There is a way for you to avoid getting pummeled by the Penguin and even if you’ve already been hurt, you can still bounce back. The secret is in taking a close look at your site to identify what could have gone wrong and then making the necessary adjustments.
If your website has been heavily affected by the Penguin update, you may want to go all out on SEO. However, due to the update, some of the old tried and tested optimization tactics may not work as well as before.
If you are still doing the same things you have been doing before, then there are chances that you may be making some grave SEO mistakes, which may even drive down your rankings even more.
1) You Are Using the Same Anchor Text – Using the same anchor texts, like “click here” or “find out more” or “click the link” may not do well for your website rankings. However, using these kinds of keywords would make your anchor text profile look natural. Use your brand name in the anchor, as well as your domain name. The key here is to link as naturally as possible by using natural keywords, and avoiding being aggressive.
2) Spun Content – In the past, the more content out there, which linked back to your site, the better it was for your rankings. However, eventually, article directories became breeding grounds for poorly written articles, which were posted just for the sake of links, and we saw plenty of spun content, which absolutely made no sense. Spun content that do not make any sense and are posted for the sake of placing links will definitely get you penalized by Google.
3) Over-Optimizing – Back in 2010 and 2011, over-optimizing was a very popular thing. People used keywords as many times as they could in a blog post or article. Today, however, over optimization does not give your site that boost and appeal to Google like it used to before. So, avoid forcing keywords in the first and last sentences when they look unnatural, and avoid unnecessarily underlining, italicizing, and bolding the keywords because these do not provide any added value to your site.
4) Spam Blogs – Using spam blogs can also be bad for your rankings. Spam blogs are basically blogs with poorly written content. Most posts for spam blogs usually do not have any sense, typically contain a wide range of disconnected topics, and are posted only to put links in them. Real blogs that want to rank in search engines need to have a clear focus and should have excellent content that people will take time to read.
5) Spam Commenting – Some people prowl popular niche blogs and post spam comments. However, this may not work at all. Spam comments include all comments which are placed to simply drop links and do not contribute to or provide any real value to the blog readers.
6) Ranking Using Only Popular and Paid Blog Networks – Plenty of sites which were dropped by Google Penguin used popular blog networks. Instead of using paid blog networks, you may want to use article marketing instead since this continues to be a solid method for site ranking.
7) Using Free Directories – Article directories used to be very popular a long time ago and they were the go-to places to find helpful information on the web. However, they became loaded with poor and uninformative content, which is why Google has forced them to take a backseat. Good directories categorize and classify effectively so people can find helpful information easily. However, there are free and poor directories which do not classify their content and also accept poorly written content. These will not help your site at all.
Aside from these mistakes, there is one thing that you should remember. Google dislikes spam. Keep this in mind regularly and remember that any practice that constitutes spamming or providing spam-like content to readers will definitely not be good in the eyes of search engines.
So, take at look at your current practices or the SEO services of your provider and determine if they are currently making any of these mistakes. If they are, then you should stop doing these and use more helpful and relevant SEO tactics instead.
Read Up and Keep Yourself Updated
The key to search engine success is to play by Google’s rules, which changes from time to time. So read up and update yourself about the newest Google updates because a good tactic today may be an SEO mistake tomorrow.
See you at the top!
Traian, the guest author of this article, is the Director of SEO and co-founder of Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that provides top rated SEO services to businesses across North America. To invite the author to guest post on your blog too, please contact www.pitstopmedia.com.
Google Voice is a great service, but it looks like the voice mail to text translation service is far from perfect. Take this message we received, for instance. It’s mostly intact but the translator seems to have problems making out names and some words. Most of the time, it seems to spit out some pretty wacky transcripts. So unless you have perfect annunciation, speak slowly and clearly, expect bizarre messages like this one!
“Hey Dad, It’s drinking again. Sorry I missed your call. I’m around for a while (248) 996-7926. I will put my phone off of 51, so I’m here at this time. Thanks bye bye.
You can use this tool inside Facebook’s Graph API to find multiple pages for any business or brand! First, go to the Graph API inside the Facebook Developers page. Scroll down until you get to the ‘Searching’ section. You will see that Facebook supports search for many different objects. We’ll use pages to search for all Fuddruckers’ Facebook pages.
After clicking on the ‘Pages’ link, we are taken here. The search is defaulted to search for platform, and we can change where it says platform to Fuddruckers in the url so now it starts with:
To pull more than 25 search results, add:
The search will now pull 200 results with the name of each page, its category, and id number
We are interested in the id number because we add it to the end of www.facebook.com/ to bring us to their page
Select all, and copy to a new workbook in Excel, and run a simple ‘Sort’ on the data so we can isolate the user id for each Facebook page.
After the sort, you will end up with a list where all of the id numbers are together. Isolate these and paste them to a new workbook.
We will now use the find and replace feature to:
replace with: www.facebook.com/
click replace all
Use the find and replace tool to clean up the rest of the apostrophes and spaces, replacing them with no characters. Your list of the top 200 Fuddruckers pages is now be ready to go!
The hashtag #GRAMMY received over 7.0 million mentions through Twitter this year while its counterpart #OSCAR received only 1.9 million mentions with 633,874 users tweeting about this during the show.
Adele was mentioned over 3.8 million times on Twitter, and spiked at over 700,000 mentions at one given time. That tops any Actor/Actress Mentioned at the Academy Awards, with Brad Pitt being the most talked about actor (62,025 mentions) and Meryl Streep most talked about actress (38,202 mentions).
As you might expect, the Oscars generated the most buzz at the end with over 125,000 mentions per 5 minutes during the announcement of Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin mentioned 64,000 times), and Best Picture (The Artist). Most mentions were directed at “The Artist” – the first silent film to win an Academy Award since 1929.
The Grammy awards generated the most attention during Adele’s performances, award speeches, and a performance by Rihanna that generated over 700,000 tweets. Comparing that to the Academy Awards, no single celebrity could match any of the Grammy traffic, even as Oscar traffic is still very timid.
Though the awards themselves may not have generated much talk during the show, the Academy may make up through the memes now spreading around the Internet. These moments include the Angelina Jolie Leg-bomb now being photo-shopped across the world into famous pictures, The Robert Downey Jr. Tebowing, and Sasha Baron Cohen dropping the supposed ashes of deposed dictator Kim Jong Il onto the unsuspecting Ryan Seacrest (326 Tweets).
Social TV sites such as GetGlue did help pull in the Oscar ratings creating an extra 60,000,000 impressions across Facebook and Twitter, but is unclear whether this helped or deterred conversations.
As an advertiser, one has to think hard about next year’s awards show season and where to start placing budgets. Crowd sentiment played a factor at The Grammy Music Awards, where Adele – the top mention and new Social Media favorite – had recently overcome vocal surgery. Many tweets were sent because of the inspiration they gave; unfortunately there were no such stars at this year’s Academy Awards. Best advice for advertisers; keep track of the stars rising and falling. If there is a star about to undergo major surgery or a big life changing event who also is up for an award, you can bet it will generate a huge amount of traffic when the award is announced. Also, look next year for the Oscars to be brought to online viewing, as this will also play a huge factor in viewership and interaction.
As Billy Crystal put it best, “There is nothing Americans enjoy more than watching millionaires giving each other Golden Statues.”
About the Author:
Andrew Corliss Facebook Analyst for Blitzlocal. Graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2011 specializing in Marketing and Analytics. He has worked on a variety of projects in advertising and brings his wealth of experience and knowledge to BlitzLocal.