As I began to post a recent article from a blog on one of our SEO Moves Facebook pages, a little message popped up informing me of a new way to promote my business online. After clicking to “Learn More” I have found that Facebook has just released a new option to “Promote your Post” for all business pages that have more than 400 likes. They also came out with a handy guide explaining how to use this new functionality titled “Promote Your Page Posts“. Here is a screenshot of what the initial promote option looked like for me:
Based on the information provided in the guide for using this feature, the higher you set your budget, Facebook will automatically attempt to determine the number of users that would be reached by your promotion. Once you start the promotion, you are able to pause it, adjust it, and resume it at your will. You can also target the promotion to users by location or language. This will cause the post to only show promoted for users that are from the set location or language and can be helpful for a regional company that would like to promote a sale or special offer in only one particular area. The entire process is described in the guide as:
News reports like this one from globalpost and businessinsider have been popping up over the last couple days reporting that Google Chrome has become the worlds most used web browser as reported by StatCounter. Immediately when I heard this I thought that there was no way this could be true so I went to check my own Google Analytics Data…
Google Analytics Browser Data on Car Rentals over the past 30 days:
Google Analytics Browser Data on Housewares for the last 30 days:
As you can see, chrome is not even close to catching up to internet explorer in any of these verticals. To make sure I wasn’t going crazy I ran some reports on Travel in Germany, The Middle East and Spain.
Last night while browsing Facebook’s iPhone app, a little message popped in at the top of my News Feed informing me of a new Facebook iPhone app devoted to managing the pages you are an admin on all from one place.
While the number of smartphone users continue to grow daily and as social media interaction is developing into a major factor in the credibility of “great content” in Google’s eyes; I decided to head over to App Store and give it a try.
Rich snippets are all the rage these days. Ever since Google started
enhancing their search results with these extra tidbits of information,
everyone is rushing to update their web sites with the metadata to
enable them. So what is the benefit of having a “rich” search result for
your site? Good question. Other than giving the search engine user a
little bit of extra bit of detail, I suppose there’s also a subtle
psychological factor that kicks in. Someone might be more inclined to
click on a search engine result that has a 5 star rating and a friendly
face than one that doesn’t. Plus, they’re just plain cool. Who doesn’t
want to add bling to their search results? But this only scratches the
surface. There’s much much more to them than that.
Instant information aggregation: It’s only a matter of semantics
Rich Snippets, as Google calls them, are actually semantic markup. The
idea of marking up some sort of document with meta information for the
benefit of machines is not a new idea. Semantic markup is as old as
information technology its self. For example, a Word document contains
metadata about its author, and a digital photo contains meta data about
the camera it was taken with. You might, for instance, store your
digital snapshots in a photo archiving program which uses this semantic
data to filter your photos by date taken, lens type, flash used, etc.
So, in essence, metadata is data about data.
It’s should be clear, then, how this “data about data” can be extremely
useful to search engines. It can provide a search engine the ability to
derive a semantic meaning from a document’s meta
information rather than having to rely purely on the abstract, human
understandable, concepts within the text of the document. Searches can
become less about keywords in text documents and more about
relationships between semantical data types.
To illustrate this point further, consider the following search: Find
all restaurants with a 3.5 star or better rating on the Las Vegas strip
that specialize in Italian OR Mexican cuisine AND are open after 11 PM
on Sunday nights AND do NOT require reservations. On the
semantic web, rather than a list of links to restaurant web sites that
may or may not match your given criteria, you might get a list of
“restaurant result objects” that DO match exactly
that criteria and never even have to visit the restaurant’s web site.
This is where the real power of semantic data lies. Instant information
This “semantic web”, also, is not a new idea. In fact, Tim Berners-Lee
himself envisioned the world wide web as a kind of “Semantic Network
Model” and even the earliest HTML specifications included the concept of
meta tags, which you are undoubtedly familiar with. Later iterations,
such as XHTML, took this idea a step further. Most notably is the RDFa
specification, which has been around for quite some time.
dynoTable: A JQuery plugin for creating editable tables
A while back I was working on a project that required the GUI
to allow the user to dynamically add, remove and rearrange various form
fields contained in table rows. The tricky part was that the UI needed
to have this functionality for several different types of elements
across several different forms. For instance, one set of fields was for
adding and removing specifications to a product while another set of
fields was for adding images to a product. Thus, I needed a solution
that would be flexible enough to work across virtually any type of form
Naturally, I turned to JQuery. I first took a look around within
JQuery’s plugin ecosystem to see if perhaps there was already a plugin
that might do the job. While I did find a few different plugins for
adding removing form elements, none of them did exactly what I
needed, specifically re-arranging items… So, I was left with either
trying to hack the functionality into an existing plugin, or roll up my
sleeves and write my own. I choose the later option, since JQuery’s
excellent extension mechanism makes writing plugins a fairly
straightforward process. The result is the plugin below, which I call dynoTable.
What the plugin does
DynoTable makes an html table editable. With it you can:
Click and Drag to Re-arrange rows (If you have Jquery UI included on
Getting started with dynoTable is a snap. First make sure you have
JQuery, and the dynoTable plugin, included in your page like so:
I’ve recently been doing some work integrating social media events, such
as facebook likes, with google anayltics and was pleased to find that
Google gives you a deep level of control over what you can track. It
occurred to me that since a social media “event” is not really much
different than any other client side event, why not use google analytics
to keep tabs on any event the visitor might trigger.
With just a few lines of code, you can take your analytics a step
further and get some fine grained details about not only your visitors,
but their interaction with your web site. Using the techniques I show
below you can answer questions such as:
Did the user scroll a section of your page into view?
Did the user start filling out a form?
Did the user encounter an error while interacting with your site?
Did the visitor move their mouse over a particular page element?
These are just few examples off the top of my head for how this could be
useful, but you get the point. The sky is virtually the limit on what
you can track.
Get Tracking with _trackEvent
So, let’s dig in with a quick and dirty example that shows how to detect
if a user mouses over a a specific image on your page. To get started,
A google anyltics account (Obviously)
The google tracking code installed in your sites head
JQuery included in your page
When you include google’s tracking code in your html, it brings in a
global variable named _gat
(Google analytics tracker) . Using this variable, we have a handle by
which we can get all trackers that have been included on the page. Using
the tracker objects, we can push arbitrary events onto the _gaq
(google anyltics queue) to be tracked. They can be anything. Their
meaning is entirely up to you.
After an event has been pushed onto the queue as an event, you can
monitor them under the “Events” section in your google analytics
account. (If you’re the pointy hair type, it’s probably neat idea to set
up goals for your events!)
So, the steps thus far are:
Decide what arbitrary events you want to track
Get a handle on all trackers included on the current page with _gat
Use the tracker to send an event to GA.
In our example, we will present the user with some images of food and
ask which is their favorite. We want to know when a user mouses over an
image, what type of image it was, and which food they select. With this
in mind we might write with some code such as this (Take note of
comments) Read the rest of this entry »
Recently I was tasked with logging social media interaction on a site
utilizing the “buttons” (what do you call those anyway) of Twitter,
Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
We wanted to be able to record not only when a social media button was
clicked, but when an actual share, like, or whatever took place. In
other words, we needed to know that the user actually did the share.
Nothing very difficult. Most of the big players in social media have
handy APIs that let you subscribe to events they fire off when a share
takes place, which makes this fairly straight forward. In a perfect
world it WOULD be easy, but there’s -always- a monkey wrench lurking
around the corner ready to ruin your day. In this case the monkey wrench
was a royal “Pin in the Ass.” I am referring to, of course, Pinterest.
Pinterest is the newest social media fad, so their button is popping up
all over the place at an alarming rate. Everyone is rushing to get their
images pinned to the worlds biggest pin board. But there’s a problem.
While Pinterest’s “Pin it” button works fine, they offer no offical API,
so unlike the other social media services, there’s not much you can do
with the Pin It button. You can stick it on your site, and that’s it.
You cannot track events, such as when a “pin” occurs, or even when
someone simply clicks on the darn thing.
The good news is that Pinterest is working on an API, which should
hopefully be ready soon. Parts of it are apparently in “Read Only” mode http://tijn.bo.lt/pinterest-api
takes the simple link, removes it from your DOM, and replaces it with an
IFRAME. (an embedded html document right in your page where the button
goes) So the pin it button is not actually a button. Rather, it’s a
small html file loaded from Pinterest’s CDN embedded in your page. The
transformed code looks like this:
Because they put it in an IFRAME, it’s like putting a brick wall around
the button. The IFRAME is pointing to
http://pinit-cdn.pinterest.com/pinit.html, which is obviously different
than your domain… Thus, you run up against the browser’s same origin
policy (A security measure browsers implement which ensures scripts from
two different domains can not interact with each other.). So, I was
stuck. I could not get through the IFRAME brick wall, so I decided to go
around it completely.
I wanted to publicly thank Bill Slawski from SEO by the Sea I recently hooked up with Bill in a Google Hang out which was hosted by and old mate of mine Dejan from DejanSEO. After listening to him talk about various SEO related topics, I knew I wanted to hear more. I fired off an email offering to take him out to lunch and he responded promptly (maybe he was just hungry?), we sorted out a day and time for me to come down to meet with him.
It was a pleasure to chat with an industry veteran and share some war stories. I am looking forward to learning from and working with Bill in the future. If you have the opportunity to listen to Bill speak, listen very carefully and take notes .
I have been reading and studying the term negative search engine optimization (SEO). I find it quite funny how people at Google in particular (Matt Cutts) says Google Bombing or negative SEO is difficult or nearly impossible without high jacking someone’s website. This is totally wrong, but then again he is the same guy saying you need links to get your site to rank, but don’t buy them… (If I hear that loaded answer one more time!).
Google is very smart. What they do is rely on a human being’s general perception that if something is deemed wrong or is generally unacceptable, that most will avoid it. They have been pounding down everyone’s throat that paid links are bad, if you buy links your a bad person or evil webmaster. They talk about penalties and banning websites. In the past penalties were very rare, but recently I have seen several link buyers penalized.
As soon as I see a client penalized, I see the clear path to negative SEO. Each and every time I see or hear about a website penalized for off site SEO work, I create a log of what transpired and what the effects were. Does Google think SEO’s or people involved in search engine optimization are dumb? Well we are not. I have a list of places where links are penalized, I have a list of the types and quantities of links that have been penalized, I know how long it takes and how to avoid it or how to cause it.
I am not talking about buying links for Viagra for a number one ranked website for the search term homes. But you know if the site that ranked #1for homes, ranked between 4-6 for home sales, sell homes, buy homes etc., and that these are the keywords that a top quality website can be penalized for, then you simply build just a few too many really good links. Do not be obvious, do 100% legit SEO (buying links is OK in my book) work for the target site, just do a little too much, a little to quick, and guess what they will be given a -30 or a -45, for several of the over optimized keywords. They will not be penalized for their primary keyword which would require a 100% hand removal from Google or a Hand Penalty from Google, but it is not difficult to get them hammered for their 2nd tier search words.
Needless to say, I can present Google with multiple instances of proof that this is a fact, and I can certainly repeat the results if required.
Google is crossing its fingers that the general SEO community will frown on the part of negative SEO, because of the bad Karma, but in reality what is the difference between getting your site to rank higher (therefore lowering your competitors site) or simply lowering your competitors site so your site ranks higher?
Google is really beginning to upset me with these link threats, and link penalties. If they continue this barrage on SEO companies, everyone will just do very low profile SEO for their client’s sites, and over optimize 3-4 of their competitor’s websites. When multiple SEO companies adopt this theory, Google is really screwed. They will lose nearly all control, and be left unable to properly address which sites should be rewarded and which should be penalized.
For now Google is OK, because of the bad Karma factors and the “it’s wrong to do this”, but it will only take Google penalizing 2-3 top clients before SEO companies will all decided it is so much easier, and more profitable to negative SEO their competitors.
I will say that it is NOT hard, it is NOT difficult. If a group of top SEO and link builders got together, they could probably get nearly any site penalized.”