Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

Facebook launches own search engine, Graph Search

January 17, 2013

by Brian Oliver

Facebook is bringing a social networking element to search with the beta launch of its own search engine, Graph Search.

It will allow users to search for friends or people they have interacted with by using cross-sections of information within their social network. Initially, only photos, people, places and interests will be searchable, but more content will be added in future.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says “Graph Search is not Web search” and describes the new search feature as the social network’s “third pillar” after its news feed and timeline.

“Graph Search is a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook,” says Zuckerberg. “Graph Search is a really big project. It will take years and years to map the whole index of the graph. Eventually, we want to index all the posts and all of the content on Facebook.

“This is one of the coolest things we’ve done in a while.”

Zuckerberg insists that Graph Search is not intended to be a rival to Google. All searches will be restricted to Facebook. Users with wider search queries will be directed to Bing, through a new partnership with Microsoft.

“We have the social network, now we can truly search it,” says Zuckerberg.

Meanwhile, Bing has announced that its search results will now feature five times more content from users’ Facebook friends, including status updates, shared links and comments.

More information about Graph Search HERE…

# # # #

                       About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of London-based strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Advertisements

Outsourcing of content marketing set to increase this year, says report

April 20, 2012

by Brian Oliver

Seventy percent of companies plan to outsource at least part of their content marketing in the next 12 months, according to a new Digital Content Marketing Survey commissioned by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and branding agency Brandpoint.

This follows CMI research earlier this year which revealed that 62% of companies are already using third-party expertise to strengthen their content marketing activities (compared with 55% in 2011).

The 2012 Digital Content Marketing report – based on a Readex Research survey of nearly 400 ‘marketing decision-makers’ – found that 99% of respondents had recently used some form of content marketing.

And what these companies are looking for in a third-party content provider, says the report, is the ability to deliver “engaging and creative storytelling”, “custom content”, and “professional-level writing”.

WELL-WRITTEN CONTENT IS KEY

Industry observers believe the shift toward using external content providers is being fuelled by the growing importance of publishing well-written content on a regular and sustained basis.  Many companies, it seems, are finding they don’t have enough time, expertise and resources to achieve this in-house.

They also recognise that poor quality writing – with bad grammar, spelling mistakes and factual errors – can have a negative impact on their brand’s reputation. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team, recently warned that sites with frequent content errors tend to have lower rankings in search results.

As Contented Marketer recently reported (“Frequent publishing helps to improve ROI”), the ability to publish quality content on a regular basis is a key factor in maximising investment in content marketing campaigns. At the same time, Google is now upgrading the page-rankings of websites that deliver high-quality content that people want to read and share (see “Google updates making quality content dominant factor in SEO”).

CONTENT BEING OUTSOURCED

The new Digital Content Marketing Survey found that video is the type of content that marketers are most likely to outsource, followed by infographics, online articles, digital white papers, e-books and blogging.

Only 18% of the marketers surveyed cited cost as the deciding factor when choosing whether or not to outsource content marketing. Eighty percent stated they were happy to pay a little extra for the added value of well-crafted, customised and professionally-written material.

BEST RESULTS

Social content, blogging, press releases and online articles are the forms of content used most often, says the report, with marketers finding that social content, e-newsletters and blogging provide the best results.

WRITE FOR PEOPLE NOT SEARCH ENGINES

Eighty two percent of respondents said it is more important for their website and blog copy to be written for people rather than search engines – with SEO expertise ranked fifth among the list of 11 qualities marketers want in a content provider.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said: “This survey affirms that marketing pros are embracing the value of online marketing, but they also acknowledge the need to stay true to certain fundamentals. Quality continues to be a key requirement for success across all forms of content marketing.”

He added: “While the Internet continues to revolutionise the way we all do business, the need to tell a clear compelling story through our marketing efforts remains constant.”

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Content marketing set to benefit as Google bids to ‘humanise’ searches

March 30, 2012

New semantic search technology will penalise over-optimised sites…

by Brian Oliver

As part of its efforts to ‘humanise’ its approach to search, Google is understood to be planning the most significant changes yet to its search algorithm.

It is not replacing its current keyword-search system, but intends to blend it with new semantic search technology that will increase its ability to read and understand a page (and its content) almost like a human. This, says Google, will help to improve search accuracy and provide more direct answers to users’ queries.

The new algorithm – called Google Penguin –  goes even further than last year’s Panda update which downgraded the page-rankings of content farms and low-quality, advertising-heavy websites full of aggregated duplicate content.

Google’s new semantic technology will reportedly group data into three categories: people, places and things. It will then analyse every word and interpret how various keywords relate to each other – instead of simply counting how many times a specific keyword appears.

Role of content marketing enhanced

Observers believe these changes will further enhance the role of content-led marketing and will boost the page-rankings of websites that focus on delivering high-quality content to visitors.

At the same time, keyword density, backlinks, and on-page optimisation will become less important as a result of the Penguin update.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team, recently warned that sites will now be penalised if they are aggressively over-optimised.

“We’re trying to level the playing field a bit,” said Cutts. “All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over-optimisation or overly doing their SEO – versus those making great content and great sites.

“We’re trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it – like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links, or go well beyond what you normally expect.”

Cutts said Google wanted to reward people who “make a compelling site, make a site that’s useful, make a site that’s interesting, make a site that’s relevant to people’s interests.” 

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Bing, Yahoo and Ask growing, but Google still dominates UK search market

March 11, 2012

by Brian Oliver

UK content marketing campaigns should continue to focus on achieving high rankings on Google’s search engine results pages, according to the latest UK figures released by digital intelligence service Experian Hitwise.

While search engines such as Bing, Yahoo and Ask managed to marginally boost their share of UK search volume in the four-week period ending 4 February 2012, Google remained the clear market leader.

The Experian Hitwise figures show that Google.com and Google.co.uk achieved a combined total of 90.84% of the 2.3 billion visits to search engines made by UK internet users during this period. However, Google’s share slipped slightly – down 1.11% from a total of 91.75% in December 2011.

Meanwhile, Bing received 3.78% of UK search volume (up 0.14%), Yahoo 2.31% (up 0.09%), and Ask 1.83% (up 0.09%).

UK visits to search engines were 4.5% higher in January 2012, according to Experian Hitwise, with nearly 100 million more visits than in January 2011.

Some 89% of buyers now turn to Google, Bing or other search engines to find information on products, services or businesses before making a purchasing decision – that’s according to a February study by strategic communications firm Fleishman-Hillard and market research company Harris Interactive.

The study underlined the importance of creating high search engine results by implementing an integrated content marketing strategy – publishing high-quality original content that provides sales prospects with useful and valuable information when they conduct searches.

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Digital content marketing up by 22%, says Mintel report

February 23, 2012

Julia Hutchison, COO, APA

by Brian Oliver

The use of digital content marketing formats – such as branded websites, digital magazines, e-mail, mobile applications and video – has increased by 22 per cent since 2007, according to the latest market intelligence from Mintel.

Commissioned by the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA), the December 2011 report confirms that digital reach is now extensive in the UK – with a user total of 41.2 million, averaging 1.1 million visits per digital title per month.

Digital now accounts for 37 per cent of all content marketing activity, says the report, and is likely to overtake print formats (such as customer magazines and newsletters) by 2013. This growth is expected to be driven by the expansion of smartphone formats and apps.

Print currently accounts for 52 per cent of all content developed – a figure that has fallen significantly since the last APA/Mintel study in 2007. At that time, print accounted for 71 per cent of total content marketing activity (compared with 90 per cent in 2005).

MORE B2B USERS

The report also notes that B2B use of digital content has risen by 13 per cent (from four per cent to 17 per cent) over the past four years.

The most common e-zine frequency is three to five times per year, says the report, while a third of website-based content is now updated daily – indicating marketers’ commitment to keeping content fresh and up-to-date. This also reflects findings from APA-commissioned YouGov research in 2010 which showed that consumers wanted new content daily from their favourite brands.

The report says the rapid growth of content marketing is attributed to a number of factors, including the flexibility and cost effectiveness of the channel and growing demand from consumers for branded content as an added-value exchange for their custom.

GROWING AWARENESS OF BENEFITS

Julia Hutchison (pictured), APA’s COO, says: “Having worked through five years of recession coupled with fast evolving communications, the report shows that the [content marketing] industry is now better equipped to create more effective content solutions for clients.

“Client-side marketers are becoming even more aware of the benefits of a content marketing strategy.”

She adds: “The ever increasing levels of convergence have played strongly to content marketing’s strengths and we are seeing more clients choose to supplement their offerings with multi-channel content.” 

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

 

Are you ready for the Content Marketing explosion?

February 11, 2012

by Brian Oliver

As businesses of all sizes continue to find it hard to generate sales leads in the current economic climate, more companies are recognising that integrated content marketing can play a vital role in building relationships with potential customers and moving them through the buying process.

Key content marketing tools include: customer-focused blogs, magazine-style brand microsites, social media content, eNewsletters, digital magazines, videos, infographics, eBooks, and ‘how-to’ eGuides.

A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that some 60 per cent of B2B companies intend to increase their investment in content-led marketing in 2012.

Of course, content marketing has been around for a while. It’s a ‘pull’ mechanism designed to hook potential customers and reel them in. It’s all about engaging with them, and getting them to trust you, by creating and sharing content that is helpful and informative. In other words, promoting your company or brand without actually ‘selling’.

MORE TOOLS FOR SHARING CONTENT

What has dramatically changed the content marketing landscape, though, is the fact that there are now more tools for sharing content than ever before.

This means what used to be regarded as a ‘soft’ tool that took ages to make anything happen has now emerged as a powerful weapon capable of delivering impressive results pretty quickly.

As a result, even global companies like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are now putting a much greater emphasis on developing an integrated content strategy – creating and distributing original content that is relevant, valuable, informative and entertaining … and shareable.

The great appeal of content marketing is that it can be employed just as effectively by small start-ups and SMEs. You don’t need loads of money to spend on ‘old-school’ techniques such as advertising and direct mail in order to attract customers.

INFOGRAPHIC

To illustrate the growing importance of content marketing, BlueGlass Interactive – a leading Internet marketing specialist based in Tampa, Florida – has created an excellent infographic called The Content Marketing Explosion.

TAKE A LOOK …

Created by BlueGlass Interactive

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Content marketing agencies set to replace traditional ad agencies?

February 2, 2012

by Brian Oliver

The content marketing agency is replacing the traditional ad agency for many companies, insists Jon Wuebben, CEO of ContentLaunch, in his latest book Content Is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile (Nicholas Brealey Publishing).

“In the process,” says Wuebben, “these firms are savings thousands of dollars and reaching thousands more as a result.

Content marketing is the lynchpin of all successful online business endeavours.”

Even Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest marketer, seems to have finally woken up to the growing power of content-led marketing.

According to Jim Edwards of BusinessInsider.com, P&G’s CEO Robert McDonald recently told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” the company’s $10 billion advertising budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually account for the lion’s share of P&G’s ad spend.

In Content Is Currency, Jon Wuebben explains why … and how.

He describes the fine art of content development and shows how customer-grabbing content can tell the story of a product or a business.

He looks at how to optimise content for search and social media so that it gets noticed, and provides an insider’s view on the ever-expanding technology and content marketing landscape. The book also includes a suggested “road map to online marketing success”.

Content Is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile is available on Amazon in all major formats.

More information is available at http://www.contentiscurrency.com where Chapter 1 can be downloaded for free. 

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Google updates are making quality content the dominant factor in SEO

February 2, 2012

by Brian Oliver

More marketers are finding that Google’s recent changes and updates to its ranking system are now making quality content the key driver in search engine optimisation (SEO).

At the same time, the changes are shrinking the importance of technical SEO tactics led by mathematicians rather than genuine information providers.

This dramatic change in SEO presents an enormous opportunity for content marketers to gain a competitive advantage over rival brands – especially if their competitors are not yet using content-led solutions, such as customer-focused blogs, social media, targeted eNewsletters, videos, eBooks, white papers and eGuides.

MARKETING OPPORTUNITY

Now more than ever, the consistent use of high-quality, keyword-driven content, such as that provided by Focus Content Marketing, can elevate your website to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) … and keep you there.

That’s why content marketing is now seen as one of the most effective online marketing techniques available to marketing managers – and why many observers are tipping content-led marketing to explode in 2012.

IMPACT OF GOOGLE CHANGES

Last year saw some of the biggest and most important changes to Google’s algorithm, including the controversial Panda update which reportedly knocked the wind out of the sails of several high-ranking sites.

Ever conscious of the need to keep improving its service to users, Google introduced these algorithm changes because it recognised that some websites with top Google rankings were simply high-traffic, low-quality content sites stuffed with keywords.

It set out to limit the visibility of poorly-written filler material created by content ‘farmers’ in favour of sites boasting better-quality authoritative content.

HIGHER RANKINGS

Google now uses quantifiable social engagement metrics and recorded data (such as the length of time people spend on a page) to determine how valuable a page is to everyone who lands there.

When people spend longer browsing certain pages, Google assumes the content has been read and the user obtained the information they were looking for. The search engines consequently give those pages a higher ranking.

If your content is well-written, informative and puts the reader first, it is more likely to keep your potential customer on the page – and Google will recognise this. In other words, if you publish content that keeps your readers happy, Google will be happy too.

Similarly, quality content with higher incoming links will also be displayed at the top of the search results.

MORE CUSTOMERS

Most importantly, though, delivering trustworthy, problem-solving content will not only elevate you in the search rankings, it will also show potential customers or clients how you can help them. It will enable you to gain their trust … and potentially lead to a positive purchasing decision!

# # # #

About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

________________________________________________________

CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing