One of Google’s longtime goals has been to personalize the Web for every single user. In this online world, Google would have the ability to use human aspects, rather than cold code, in order to assess ranking factors.
Sounds a little too futuristic to be possible, right?
Author Rank, Google latest algorithmic update, is about to take Web 2.0 technologies one step further, putting an author’s qualifications and expertise at the forefront of their search engine algorithm. Not surprisingly, Author Rank is being hailed as the largest update to Google’s algorithm since, well, ever. If you thought Panda screwed with your SEO efforts, get ready. Your content marketing strategy is about to be turned upside down. (more…)
Social networking has become an integral component of businesses today. Smartphone’s and social networks are important for allowing users to interact, share, meet up, and recommend places, allowing for more traffic and profits for business owners! Location based marketing allows for users to give live updates of their location, with the help of mobile phone tracking, global positioning satellites and other real time locating system technologies. Most commonly, people use lo-so apps to check in whenever they go places, allowing for users to publish what venue they are at. Lo-so networks such as Foursquare, Loopt, Google Places, Facebook Places and Gowalla are helpful in enabling a business not only with a physical location to interact with customers online, but also for them to visit the store in person!
Types of Location Based Marketing
Google Places is a type of location based marketing that is simple for organizations who want to get their information out to the consumers when they are searching for your business. Listings for Google Places show up when you search on Google, and the application also allows for tags where users or businesses are able to attach photos, videos, and much more. Foursquare is popular among fans of MTV and Gossip Girl (viewers check-in when they’re watching), where companies are able to provide relevant tips on places and events that are occurring within a certain location. Gowalla focuses more on travel, with a key partnership with Disney theme parks. Scvngr provides challenges for players to accomplish when they arrive at a certain location, for example checking in, taking a photo, adding a comment, and so on. This form of customer engagement truly enhances the users experience at the organization. Facebook places allows for users to share where they are, connect with friends nearby, and find local deals. Check out the following video to learn more about Facebook Places.
Advantages of Location Based Marketing
Location based marketing is the future. It allows for companies to differentiate their business from local competitors, and to capture their target audience. Location based marketing also encourages impulse buying, for example when organizations say “Receive 50% off if you come into our store in the next hour!” Businesses are able to announce any promotions through these applications; so that when users “check in” they are notified of any deals that may be available! Location based marketing allows for a stronger one-on-one relationship, where there is a better connection and a customer-employer relationship is formulated. Location based marketing also builds brand recognition and loyalty among your consumers.
Will Location Based Marketing Fulfill Your Goals?
Location based marketing takes into consideration the goals of your organization, whether you are trying to increase foot traffic into your store, if you want to sell more of a certain item or product, if you want more people during a specific hour of the day, if you are looking for new customers, or repeat customers. Considering these questions allows for you to decide whether or not location based marketing would enhance your business and fulfill your goals.
Should You Use Location Based Marketing?
The key step when first approaching location based marketing is ensuring your location is accurately listed in order for users to find your stores and products! Since discovery is such a key component of the location based marketing process, it is important to establish name recognition. Location based marketing allows for brand recognition and encourages customers to “check in” to your location! Using location based marketing allows for an increase in customer engagement and brand loyalty. Many organizations also offer promotions to users who “check in” to their location. Location based marketing allows for an increase in customer engagement, where a better relationship is able to be created between businesses and customers.
Is your business currently using location based marketing techniques to draw customers in? Let us what sort of effect it’s had on your business in the comment section below.
Google’s quest to provide better search results continued last week, as the company released what many are now referring to as the “Farmer” algorithm update. While Google didn’t come right out and say that this update was designed to weed out content farms, their official blog did note that the latest algorithmic improvement was designed to reduce the “rank of low quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.” In theory, this sounds great – less crud clogging up search results is always a good sign. Unfortunately, many arguably useful sites have seen drastic drops in their rankings over the past few days, some with devastating effects. Worried that your site might be put out to pasture as part of the latest update? Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about Farmer.
Expect Significant Ranking Changes
“We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites.” Google admits that the Farmer update has had a significant impact on search results. However, the search engine giant insists that the update will provide better rankings for high-quality sites, those sites with “original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.” High quality sites with unique content and relevant information will thus be rewarded as part of this algorithmic update. So in other words, if ever you needed a reason to start blogging or posting useful, original resources to your website, Google just gave it to you!
How Do You Define a Content Farm?
The jury is still out as to whether or not the latest update to Google’s algorithm has actually improve search engine results. While there are many spam-centric content farms on the Web, there are just as many that offer solid, if not generic, content. Take eHow.com, for example. I often refer to the website for simple instructions and step-by-step home improvement guides (I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not overly handy). Sure, the information on this site isn’t super unique, but the way it’s presented is extremely useful. Is it a content farm? Yes, but I wouldn’t consider it to be a haven for spam. So how have sites like this been affected by Google’s update?
Sistrix.com, ran some reports to see how some of the most prevalent content farms have been affected by the change, and the results are quite staggering (view the report here). While eHow wasn’t included in the study, big names like Article Base, Buzzle, and eZine Articles were. All of these sites were shown to have taken a hit in keyword rankings, with considerable losses. It’s being reported this morning by Mashable that Mahalo.com, which started out as a search engine, but later turned into a content publisher, has halted all freelance content production and have been forced to lay off nearly 10% of their current workforce. This isn’t surprising, considering the Sistrix report notes that the company lost rankings for nearly 70% of their keywords virtually over night.
In short, it looks like Google has finally found a way to weed out content farms – but is the change too extreme? While Mahalo’s practice of creating hundreds of landing pages is certainly spammy, it can be argued that the information provided on the site is original and useful.
Have you noticed some useful farm-like sites disappearing from your search results? Are you happy about the change, or worried that the affects might hamper your search ability or search-generated business? Share your thoughts below!