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Archive | Internet Marketing Articles

Organic linking building is still important, and that’s not changing any time soon

It’s not easy to build links. Building links the right way is even harder. You have to put in lots of effort, and sometimes all you get are rejections. It’s not easy, but it pays better than any other technique for raising organic ranking. Matt Cutts of Google has mentioned the importance of links time and again, stating that links will still be relevant for many years to come.

However, there’s also the question of manual and Penguin algorithm penalties, which were created to punish unnatural linking practices. If links were not important, there wouldn’t be a whole industry dedicated to link auditing and sanitization of link profiles. Google would not dedicate this much time and resources to examine link quality and punish spammy links.

Still, there are many people proposing that link building is dead in order to shoo away one of the most important organic ranking techniques. The reason for this, other than the fact that it’s difficult, is that incorrect link building can lead to attraction of a penalty or worse, a lawsuit. But that’s not reason enough to take the next flight out of link-building-land.

Any marketing strategy aimed at improving organic rankings must include strategies for natural link-building. Sure, great content is very important and matters a lot, but there are thousands of pages on the Internet with great content which no one ever sees. Without linking, great content can only stretch so far, especially in more competitive market segments.

Organic link building techniques

The thing to remember is that genuine link building is very different from link spamming. The former involves gaining editorial links that have inherent value that may be different from SEO value. These links must be placed by human beings. Automatic link dropping is a sure way to attract trouble.

Here are a few ways you can build links naturally:

  1. Controversy – you want to apply this very sparingly, because if you use it too much, it loses both taste and efficacy.
  2. Humor – you can depict your controversies in a softer, more humorous tone every now and again. Be original as it’s more effective.
  3. Forum participation – Not as a spam-linker, but in your personal/professional capacity to engage with the community and provide helpful answers and contributions on the subjects under discussion. You will build authority and improve your opportunities to attract links.
  4. Original research – dig into a subject not previously explored and publish your findings; this can earn you a lot of links.
  5. Social media – choose the platform that a huge chunk of your target audience is found and be there. Get to know people and engage with them on an authentic basis, which could build interest in your brand and content hence attract shares, which improves your quality links volume.
  6. The “Top X List” – these should also be provided sparingly to avoid diluting their effectiveness.
  7. Blogging – this helps to build credibility and establish authority and thought leadership in your field. Write well and do it frequently.
  8. Tutorials and how-to’s – these may not give you tons of links, but they make an enormous difference for rankings, especially with long-tail keyword queries.
  9. Plugins and other products – create a useful extension, app or plugin and make it open-source.

Conclusion

Where rubber meets the road, editorial link building counts for a lot, and it still will if you’re looking at making a difference in the long term.

 

 

Category: Internet Marketing Articles

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Feline Fascination: How the Internet came to be Obsessed with Cats

By Joe Cox

Many cat lovers will tell you, if you’re having a conversation about cats, that the ancient Egyptians not only loved cats but worshiped cats as gods, treating them with such reverence that they became a focal point for an entire society. Fast forward three thousand years and you’d think not much had really changed, if YouTube was anything to go by. A search for “cat” returns a staggering 46,000,000 videos; that’s a lot of feline footage.

Assuming you manage to get though all of these, Vimeo will serve you up another 130,000, whilst Vine will give you another 1,400,000 kitty mishaps and tomfoolery, all in six second bursts. Now, even the ancient Egyptians would be impressed with that kind of dedication.


A Brief History of Cats and the internet

From the inception of the internet cats have been at the centre of the action. Usenet was one of the net’s early text driven forum systems and for years one of its most popular groups was found on rec.pet.cats (or recreation.pet.cats).

If you’re interested you can still browse this fascinating insight into an early moggy hive mind on Google Groups.

After the internet began to break through into our common consciousness in the 1990’s it wasn’t long before it became clear that cats were going to have a huge presence in this new and exciting online world.

“2Channel” was an early text board, often featured cats being drawn using ASCII art, a design technique that predates the internet and has led many people to conclude
that some people just have too much time on their hands. Even in its earliest days, the signs of our obsession with cats were there to be seen.

Before the advent of social media and YouTube, many cat related antics were spread by email chains. Early 2000 saw the infamous “Bonsai Kitten” hoax, with “Cat Stacking” and “Ceiling Cat” arriving in the years afterwards. The age of the cat meme was born.

Early cat memes found their way into the social subconscious through way of popular message forums like 4chan and YTMD but by early 2005 a new video sharing website had arrived on the scene and not only changed the internet forever but catapulted cats into the digital stratosphere.

Hilarious cat videos were suddenly ubiquitous and by the time Facebook began to take off in late 2005 / early 2006 the stage was set for an endless conveyor belt of cat related memes via social network feeds. You may recall such hilarious internet sensations like “Cats who look like Hitler”, “Serious cat”, Long cat” and of course “Happy cat”. By 2013 our fascination with cats with seemingly human expressions showed no sign of waning and arguably reached the height of popularity with “Grumpy cat”.

What to Cats Say about Us

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why it’s cats that have taken the internet by storm, as opposed to any other creature (four legged or otherwise). Whilst it’ true there is no shortage of non-feline related funny animal videos online, the volumes just don’t come close to challenging the hegemony of cats online. Love them or loathe them the internet generation seems preoccupied with cats.

But why cats? What’s wrong with dogs or any other animal for that matter? Understanding this can give us some fundamental insights into our own psychology and our need to humanise or ‘anthropomorphise’ cats by adding captions describing amusing things they might be thinking, making them sing, talk or play the piano, or simply making a celebratory out of a genuinely grumpy looking cat (which in fact has a form of feline dwarfism).

But maybe our love of cats is just born from their insatiable sense of curiosity and complete dis-interest in the human world. Writing in Mashable, Amy-Mae Elliot compares our cat online obsessions with our comparable lack of
interest in dog videos:

When a dog gets in a box, it’s because he desperately wants you to think he’s cool. When a cat does it, it’s because it suddenly felt like the right thing to do at the time. More often than not, it totally was. I think it’s the very aloofness of cats that makes us want to caption their thoughts, or put them in front of a keyboard and see what happens.

The ubiquity of the online cat isn’t reflective of our love of them as pets then but rather in their autonomy from us and our influence. Cats do things on their own terms regardless of who is watching and that makes what they do seem so much more genuine and therefore appealing to us.

Of course the potential virality of this kind of appeal certainly hasn’t been lost on marketers.


Making Cash out of Cats

By mid-2005 cat videos and memes were everywhere and it wasn’t long before marketers started looking to connect with the ever-growing phenomenon of online cat videos. A “Wonderful Pistachios” ad from 2012 showed us Bento the cat cracking a pistachio nut as he played the keyboard. The video was a take on another hugely popular cat craze, the “Keyboard Cat”.

Bigger brands like Kia have hinged entire adverts on cats with the Kia Picanto and later a partnership with the site Cheezburger where they asked site users to create a series of cat memes for the Sorento crossover. The results were typically irreverent with the Kia brand being partly lampooned. Given they were looking for young consumer brand interaction, they succeeded.

As a marketer, regardless of whether you are a cat person or not, campaigns based on cutting edge internet sensations have the potential to go viral and create a huge buzz around your brand. But like all marketing efforts that attempt to tap into the zeitgeist, they have the potential of being seen as jumping on the bandwagon or lacking in sincerity. Indeed, some of the best cat related marketing videos have played on the very idea of cats online popularity (such as John St.’s ‘Catvertising’ video) or attempted to humanise cats in ever more bizarre ways by making them sing or even have opposable thumbs (in Cravendale’s ingenious ‘Cats with Thumbs’ video).

See also: The Psychology Behind Grumpy Cat Videos

 

About the Author:
Joe Cox is Head of Content for Bristol digital marketing and SEO agency, Bespoke Digital. He has written about SEO, social media marketing and digital PR for the likes of Smart Insights, Ad Age, Ma

Category: Internet Marketing Articles

The difference between digital and print advertising

It can be very difficult to make the decision whether or not to go digital when it comes to your advertising. Digital and print advertising are very different, even if they might both achieve the same goals. Getting it right can be very difficult, especially with a limited budget, and that’s before you even begin to take into account other new media advertising options, such as those GlobalMessaging offers.

Digital focuses on interaction, print focuses on information

In a print advert, you’ll need to include all the important information such as location, phone number and website – possibly an email address too. This kind of information is so important if you want interested people to be able to find out more or get in touch in the future.

In a digital advert you don’t need this kind of information as you can already assume that the reader’s preferred method of finding out information would be to look at your website. This is why all digital adverts contain a link through to more information.

You’ll also need to encourage interaction (such as a click) on a digital advert. These calls-to-action are a big part of persuading someone to take action now that they’ve seen your advert. A tempting button is usually the best way to go about this but text such as ‘read more’ or ‘act now’ does the same job.

Digital advertising goes beyond your initial advert

You’ll need an engaging destination for people to click through to from your initial advert. If you don’t capture someone’s interest after that first click then they’re probably going to leave your site and never think about you again.

When developing your advert, think about where the user is going to click through to. Think about whether the site is easy to use, if it offers the reader something and how that all converts into a sale or a lead – either now or in the future.

Digital offers greater control

It’s a lot easier to target your adverts to people whom you know will be interested in what you have to offer. This means you can keep a closer eye on your budget and get more bang for your buck.

You can also pay-per-click on these kinds of adverts. This means you’re only paying for people who have seen and engaged with your advert, unlike print advertising, which you pay for no matter how many people actually pay attention to the ad.

Print caters to those without the internet

Print advertising still has its place as it targets a whole different type of person. Depending on the magazine or newspaper your advert is going into, you can reach some interesting demographics, who perhaps don’t use the internet.

If you want to advertise something quite broad and don’t need the niche targeting that digital offers then print is still a viable option. As long as you understand that there are big differences between the two types of advertising, you should be able to make an informed decision as to which is best for you and how to make the most of it.

Category: Internet Marketing Articles

Seven reasons why people don’t want to link to your website (plus solutions)

Links from other websites are extremely important if you want to get high rankings on Google. Unfortunately, it can be very hard to get good backlinks. Sometimes, your website itself is the reason why other people don’t want to link to it. Here are seven reasons why other people do not want to link to your site:

7 reasons why people don't want to link to your site

1. Your website looks like it’s 2005

Ten years are a very long time on the Internet. If your website was designed in 2005, it will look extremely outdated. The Internet is full of good looking pages. If your website cannot compete with them, people will go elsewhere.

Your web pages must be easy to read. Use a modern design, big headlines and an easy to skim page structure.

2. Your website is bloated

If you have twenty different pages on your website that basically contain the same content, it is difficult to choose the right page for the link.

Make sure that your website has a clear focus and that it’s easy to find the right pages on your site. Having multiple pages with slightly changed content will only trigger Google’s Panda algorithm.

3. Your website contains broken links and images

If the homepage of your website contains a big broken image then people will think that your website isn’t updated anymore. Nobody wants to link to dying pages.

Check your pages with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to make sure that it does not contain broken links that drive visitors and linkers away.

4. Your website is sloooooooooow

People are impatient. If it takes too long until your website is rendered in the web browser, most people will go to another page. In addition, page speed is a ranking signal for Google. Make sure that all pages of your website load quickly.

5. Your website content is outdated

Do you have a blog on your website? Is the last blog post several months old? Better remove the blog from your website. If you cannot maintain a blog, it can do more harm than good. People don’t want to link to abandoned websites.

6. Your website has way too many ads

A website that contains too many ads does not look like a professional site. People do not want to link to ads. They want to link to websites with content.

7. The content of your website is unoriginal

If your website only contains content that can be found elsewhere, it’s not likely that many people will link to your site. For example, there are more than 382,000 results for the search term “how to train a dog”.

If your page is one of them then you must offer something special so that people link to your site and not to the other sites.

Search engine optimization requires some work. If you invest some time into optimizing your website, you will get more website visitors, more customers, and more sales. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to work as efficiently as possible with your web pages. If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Try SEOprofiler now risk-free!

Visit SEOprofiler.com

Article by Axandra SEO software

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Is this what Google will use instead of the PageRank algorithm?

Google recently announced that the PageRank toolbar won’t be updated anymore. Does this mean that Google won’t use PageRank as a ranking factor anymore? A Google patent that was granted in September indicates that Google might use some kind of PageRank 2.0 to rank pages.

New methods that Google uses to rank web pages

Google’s new patent with the name “Onsite and offsite search ranking results” lists several on-site and off-site factors that Google might use to rank web pages. This could be something like PageRank 2.0.

Google insights

1. On-site data that Google might use

On-site data is data that can be retrieved from the analyzed web page and the complete website. According to the patent, Google might consider this information:

  • The frequency of the searched keyword on the web page or website.
  • The location of the searched keyword on the page.
  • The placement of the web page in the structure of the web site. For example, the home page might be regarded as more important than a page the requires several clicks before it can be viewed.
  • How often a web page is linked from other pages of the same website.

How to analyze on-site data:

According to the patent, on-site data is important for Google’s ranking algorithm. SEOprofiler offers two tools that help you with on-site optimization: the website audit tool analyzes the contents of your web pages.

For example, you will see how many clicks each page is away from the home page, you will see errors that can keep search engine robots away, etc.

The Top 10 Optimizer analyzes the contents of individual web pages.  The frequency of the keywords is checked as well as the location, the different web page elements, the links, etc.

2. Off-site data that Google might use

In addition to on-site data, Google also uses off-site data to determine the position of a website. Off-site data refers to ranking signals that can be identified without accessing the web page:

  • The number of links to a page or website from other websites.
  • The number of times a web page has been clicked in the search results for a particular keyword.
  • Other statistical data about the relevance of a site.
  • Topical relevance to other sites: if many sites that are relevant to the keyword link to the same site, the linked site becomes more relevant.
  • Authoritative relevance to other site: the number of links to the site can indicate a high authority of the site. Websites with a high level of authority could be trusted more.
  • Web pages that have links from websites with high authority get a higher authority than websites that are linked from sites with less authority.
  • According to the patent, websites with a higher number of links get a higher authority.

How to analyze off-site data:

The Link Profiler tool in SEOprofiler gives you a detailed overview of the backlinks that point to a website. You can sort the links by category, context, quality and keyword.

The link disinfection tool in SEOprofiler shows you the links that can have a negative influence and the hub finder tool helps you to get links from authority websites.

The same website might have more than one page that is relevant to a keyword. In that case, Google might use a combination of on-site data and off-site data to find the most relevant page of the website.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to optimize both on-site and off-site signals. If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now and find out how SEOprofiler can help your site to protect your rankings.

Article by Axandra SEO software

Category: Internet Marketing Articles

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