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Google Penalties

Google Penalties – Prevention and Recovery

Imagine that you are setting up a new website. You worked hard on it, and you want everyone to see it as fast as possible on Google. You might have limited on time, or you might just be ignorant of the SEO process. Either way, you hear that there is a guaranteeable way for your website to be at the top of Google search results within days. At first, everything turns out great! You are at the top of the search results for keywords you want and more people notice your site! Then, you wake up one morning to find that your site is gone.  None of the results are panning out. Y What happened?

Google is a search engine site that exists primarily for the purposes of helping people find what they need when looking for something specific. It relies on a system of indexing that requires accuracy and ease of access for people who are searching for information. If a site is indexed properly, they get higher on the search result list. If a site uses tactics that appear to be “cheating” or playing the system, it will suffer Google penalties. I suppose Google giveth and Google taketh away.

seo marketing, google updatesWhat are Google Penalties?

When Google penalties are afoot, your site will be much lower on Google search results. It is sort of an ironic punishment for people who are trying to “game” the system or take short cuts. Since Google was first created there are countless ways for people to try and cheat the system. At the same time, there are multiple ways that Google penalties were enacted and developed in response to cheaters.

So, what are the ways that Google penalizes cheaters?

There are two ways that Google serves penalties: Algorithmically and Manually.

Algorithmic Penalties

An algorithm is basically a program that runs one or more tasks automatically, based on a set of pre-written instructions on the behest of the person or people who worked on the code. Google is famous for them simply because it is much faster and efficient to use when it comes to checking the integrity of related links vs human intervention. Of course, algorithms still suffer from limitations due to the hyper-specific nature of the code. An algorithm can only work within the parameters that it is given in the first place.

For instance, If an algorithm is supposed to crawl all over the internet for signs of a broken link, then it will only catch and penalize broken links, and not any other violation, like a misdirect. A few famous ones over the years include:

  • Panda: Google Panda is all about vetting content. In this scenario, it checks websites to make sure there is enough relevant content on a website. If the content is not relevant or just bad quality, they will push it down the search result list. If the content is informative and relevant, the site gets more priority on the search results list.
  • Penguin: The Penguin update focuses on the “black and white” viewpoint of policing the internet.  It was released to catch sites that were keyword and link spamming its search results, either through buying and spamming people with unrelated content.
  • Hummingbird: Hummingbird is an algorithm focusing on each word in a query. It contextualizes the definition of words and applies them to the query. This adds a level of nuance to the search engine.
  • Pidgeon: Much like it’s animal counterpart, the homing pigeon, Google’s Pidgeon algorithm focuses on filtering search results based on location.

These algorithms along with others do their jobs with impunity and impartiality.

Manual Google Penalties

Of course, machines alone can’t run Google. There needs to be a level of human oversight in case an algorithm comes across Google Penaltya function it does not understand or people are contesting with their judgment. This is where manual penalization or “manual action” comes in.

The impact a manual action has on your site can vary. It often depends on the severity of the website misconduct. Also, just a side note for those who think large corporations get away with doing said misconduct…they really don’t. Surprisingly, sites like Overstock.com, BMW.com, and even its own company Google Chrome, got penalized for behavior that didn’t seem on the up and up. No one is immune from search engine scrutiny.

There are ways for you to rectify the things that they are looking for. It all boils down to whether or not you are willing to make the changes necessary to fix it.

Google can penalize your website for :

 This would be most likely a scheme on the part of the web developer. Basically, an unnatural link is an outside link to your site that appears unrelated or just exists to artificially inflate your page ranking. If you get caught, they will penalize you for it.

This wouldn’t be the fault of the site owner. However, the measure is a precaution to prevent the spreading of possible malware and computer viruses to visitors to your site. Once you repair the website and you tell Google, they will take back the penalties.

Naturally, this is exactly what it sounds like. If you have little in the way of written content or text, you are not going to be prioritized. This is due to the fact that visitors are just likely not to stick around a page that long with little content.

This one is also self-explanatory. If you are sending unwelcome messages to people and are blocking content access behind advertisements you are harassing users, plain and simple. Just avoid this practice altogether if you want your website to not suffer a Google penalty.

 This one is more for large messaging formats like forums or comment sections. Basically, when users are trolling or are offering inane or dangerous commentary for no reason but the “Lulz”,  your website will pay the penalty for it. If you aren’t up to date on the security behind the comment section or the forums, your site will pay the consequences.

If you disguise your link that will send the user to the wrong spot on a website, then you are cloaking. Just avoid doing this altogether.

Before Google was mainstream enough to start looking into security and algorithms, people would try to cheat the system often. One of their favorite ways to do it was to spam as many keywords as possible, relevant and irrelevant. These days, the algorithm catches it. Every time. This is so old that not even twelve-year-olds try it anymore. Just don’t disguise or spam your content.

No website host is free. And if they say they are, they are obviously lying. They just surround your sites with as much ad space as possible to the point where there is too much spam. Just pay for a simple drag and drop site if you need one cheap.

If you have too much incorrect information, missing data, or broken links, the site will look like the user stopped maintaining it. If you want to be visible again, clean up the site and make sure everything leads to the right place.

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-02-19T16:11:41+00:00February 19th, 2019|Post|0 Comments

Facebook Marketing: Where is the Line?

Facebook Marketing: Where is the Line?

Facebook has seen a tumultuous time for the last couple of years. There has been hearings, investigations, interviews, accusations, apologies, and drama. So, it is understandable that the idea of marketing on any social media platform, including Facebook, would not look appealing. Especially for smaller businesses who do not have a lot of money on their hands for paid forms of advertising. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about marketing your business on Facebook, or Facebook marketing. If you know what to expect from the attitudes of Facebook users, you will start to get more comfortable with using the platform. So, let’s talk about the climate of Facebook, its users, and what is okay and not okay when it comes to Facebook marketing.

How Facebook Works

How to get local SEO in Huntsville, Al

On the user side of Facebook, information is freely offered to the platform to create an account. This way, people who may have a pre-existing relationship with this person or may have a similar interest can connect. The amount of information that exists on the profile is determined by the amount of information people are willing to give.  Once they connect with others, they will have them on a friend’s list with recommendations based on mutual friendships.

Facebook also pays attention to the things you like, offers you click on, and what you share. Then, it uses this information to make recommendations or delivered sponsored content. This money that is paid to Facebook by advertisers is what keeps Facebook free charge for users.

When it works, the companies that advertise of facebook makes advertising revenue and everybody wins. Users have a fun, “free” product to use that offers them stuff they actually like, Facebook and its shareholders get money, and Advertising companies get a profit from advertising online to enough people who want to buy their goods and services.

All in all, it looks like there is a three-way symbiotic relationship between the user, Facebook, and third-party companies.

So, what is the problem? Why are users so concerned about privacy and what makes the Facebook marketing landscape more difficult for small and large businesses alike?  The answer to that question has to do with the ethics of data collecting and social media interactions.

Facebook Marketing and Gathering Data for Company Use

If an advertiser or someone in Facebook Marketing isn’t satisfied with just making money from ad generated leads, they will try to compile their own data for ways to make more money. The more facebook marketing surveyinformation that they can get about the people that buy their products or use their services, the better they can outdo their market competition. After all, what company wouldn’t want more success than their competitors with insider knowledge of their demographic?

Due to the sudden boom in technology,  new situations are presenting themselves that haven’t come up before. This leads to a few questions about the role of technology, how much data third parties should be allowed to gather, and respect for user privacy.

The best that lawmakers and ethicists have to go off of comes from the concept of personal autonomy and consent. If someone gives information freely to another person and knows where the data is going, that is an ethical form of data gathering. If someone is taking information from an unknowing party, whether for the purposes of Facebook marketing or for identity theft, it is an unethical move.

Consensual Information Gathering

Sometimes, they go through routes that are clear to the users like outright asking them questions about their preferences in surveys and polls.  This is perfectly ethical among marketers and businesses. This is because surveys and polling rely on the informed consent of the people participating in the survey. If a user doesn’t want to participate or wishes to remain anonymous, they have the right to refuse. There is no foul because the users have been given a choice about what information they are willing to share.

facebook marketing, facebook climateNon-Consensual Information Gathering

The polling and survey process has its drawbacks. Sometimes it is inefficient or too slow for companies to gather everything they need. So, they take it without asking. They do this by scraping. Users take a personality quizzes or some other amusement set up by these data collectors. Then, while that is going on another program that is attached to it gathers the private information of that user and their Facebook friends. Then that data is sold for profit to advertisers or any other willing buyer.

A scraping program that was intended for the purposes of academia gathered all that information and instead of applying it for their personal studies, they sold it to a political firm hired by President Trump.

The backlash was insane when people found out. Facebook some revenue and the number of users dropped quite a bit worldwide. Not enough to end the platform completely but certainly enough to gain attention to the stock market.

The Gray Area

When you make a new account for an app, you get a long contract of stipulations. This is a Term of Service Agreement.  They are made up of long paragraphs with sections and subsections with what the user is agreeing to the moment they sign up for any social media platform or software program. These paragraphs often state things about the information users agree to share. It also usually contains a promise from the user that they will not copy any of the code to make their own version of the program. It also grants the social media provider the right to use and profit off of user content whenever they see fit without compensating the user.  Wait, what?

Most of the time, people don’t bother to read the entire thing, and on some level, it isn’t their fault. The average American reads at an 8th-grade level.  That is about sufficient for reading labels for medication directions, but not for legal and binding contracts.

A lot of those contracts are written at a reading level of at least a college sophomore.  The use of the confusing language in these contracts is outright manipulative on the part of these social media creators. But it is still technically legal. They had a chance to inform themselves and didn’t. At least in the eyes of the law.

But people still agree to it without knowing what it says anyway just to use the platform. The contract is still considered legal and binding. It is still seen in the eyes of the law as legal and binding.

Conclusion

This combined with the Cambridge Analytica incident has created a lot of mistrust between users and the Facebook platform. This is the hurdle that Facebook Marketers will have to overcome. So, what can be done about it? How do Facebook marketers put users at ease? I will explain the series of steps in the next article.

www.purpletieguys.com

 

By |2019-01-31T15:38:28+00:00January 31st, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Facebook Marketing: Where is the Line?

What is Google Guaranteed Business?

What is Google Guaranteed Business?

We know that a lot of people use the internet more than ever before to make purchase and service decisions. Hell, we already know thanks to data available to the public that on average “the number of daily searches on Google – 3.5 billion, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.” Google has changed the name of the game when it comes to gathering information and sharing it with the world. However, it has had its hiccups in the past. For instance, a lot of people weren’t thrilled when they were forced to make accounts on their social media just to comment on Youtube videos. Also, does everyone remember what happened to Google Glass?

Despite their failures, that does not mean that they aren’t going to try new ways to make money as any good company would. Their latest venture proves thatgoogle guaranteed business they are still ready to move forward to help their business, and the ones affiliated with them, grow. Google Guaranteed Businesses have been popping up in local maps. They are characterized by a small green shield, almost portraying a sense of endorsement towards this particular business.  It raises a couple of questions, “What is a Google Guaranteed Business?” “Can anyone become a Google Guaranteed Business?” “What sort of benefits and drawbacks does it have?” So, we are going to dig deep and find that out.

Google Local Service Ads

Before we start talking about a “Google Guaranteed Business” we need to understand the context that the term is framed. Without any context, it sounds like a Google-run business. While that sounds like the case and could possibly appear like an endorsement, this is farther from the truth.

It means that the local business has paid for advertising space under Google.

Google has been playing the advertising game for a good while. They launched their Adwords back in the year 2000, with 350 customers.  Adwords is a program that would prioritize businesses that used specific keywords on the top of the search engine page, providing that they paid for it.

Eventually, they started integrating their own map program. This both provided direction for users and offered recommendations based on a cross-section of keywords and what was in their local area.

This expanded into a service known as Google Local Service Ads. Businesses were pushed on the top of the search list for local maps provided that, yes, they paid for space with a specific keyword.

This is a sound business practice on the part of Google. Why? Because it has made them billions of dollars in revenue every year. However, these programs were not without its faults. This lead to frustration for the businesses that paid a lot of money for advertising, only for it to not pan out.

Flaws of Google Advertising

Google ads, at the end of the day, is a PPC (pay-per-click) system. This means that the advertising business pays money for each time a person clicks on their ad. While it does not initially sound like something that could be flawed, it needs to be understood that the customer pays for every click, not every conversion. This means that it is too easy to waste money, paying for people who click on the site. Regardless of the fact whether the business makes money from it or not.

Another issue that crops up with Google advertising is the fierce competition over the same keywords. If you are a small business and the term you are aiming for ,or the area you are advertising in is too broad, you will most likely be swallowed by the competition. The playing field is available to everyone, including multimillion-dollar corporations that can out easily out buy the competition.

It also doesn’t help that the best way to get any sort of ROI is to constantly watch, experiment, and gamble with a lot of time and money.

These have been consistent complaints through many Google Ad users, to the point where smaller businesses just don’t bother or walk away from sheer frustration.

google guaranteed business

But not only businesses have been frustrated.

There have been plenty of customers who have outright trained themselves to not click on the ads. Middle-aged to younger users are kids who have grown up with the internet. They have learned to associate the ads with scams or unwanted offers. There are even some businesses that advertise that aren’t even fully licensed. All a business needed to advertise, after all, is pay for it.  So, to avoid any risk of a virus or any unwanted misinformation, people don’t bother clicking.

But Google has taken notice. Most of their money comes from ad revenue. If local businesses are getting too frustrated by being possibly pushed out by the system, they would need to fix the system in order to get that money from revenue back. This is where Google Guaranteed Business came in.

Google Guaranteed Business

A Google Guaranteed Business is essentially business advertising insurance. This is a way for Google to step in and prevent too many advertising losses and service fraud.

How it Helps Customers

  • How it works is that Google vets the business that pays for their AdWords to make sure that the local business provides legitimate goods or services. They do this through” a strict screening process by Google including a background check, license, and insurance check as well as a screening of reviews and ratings.”
  • Any customer that works with a Google Guaranteed business and is not happy can submit a claim to Google.
  • Any job booked with a Google Guaranteed business has a money back guarantee. The work done by the businesses is guaranteed for up for $2,000.
  • Upon its initial launch, the services were only available for locksmiths and plumbers, the industries where past business fraud hit the hardest.

How it Helps Local Businesses

  • If businesses make it through the screening process then they are qualified to receive even further priority over Google’s traditional ads in the results list.
  • Google compensates any business dispute for up to $2,000. Businesses won’t always be out of pocket if a service goes south.
  • This form of advertising service is a pay per lead model. While businesses are responsible for turning them into customers, businesses are paying for direct results.
  • It creates a level of trust for customers. Google is staking their money and reputation on the behalf of the business.

 

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2019-01-25T13:56:40+00:00January 25th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on What is Google Guaranteed Business?

Voice Search

Speak: How Voice Search is Changing the Way we Ask and Answer Questions Online

 

It seems that human consciousness has been making another shift between written and verbal languages in the field of technology. And it is no surprise really. After all, cave drawings most likely came before speech in the prehistoric world. And oral story tradition had been the primary method of storytelling before the mass production methods of the printing press. It would make sense that speech would ebb back into the sphere of human influence. Especially since texting became a huge technological movement with cell phones over the last two decades.

But, part of me wonders, what does this mean for computer algorithms and search engines?

Also, what does it mean for the world of SEO? And how does that translate to how web-based businesses are trying to be seen (or heard )organically on search engines.

Well, computer scientists, mathematicians, and coders are already laying out the foundations for the implementation of this new movement.

 

How A Computer Can Recognize a Voice

 

There are four ways that a program can recognize speech patterns. 

  1.  The first is simple matching, where a word is recognized in its entirety, and it is compared to similar sound stored in the memory.  However, voice search, marketing, seo, since it relies only on the specific sounds stored in its memory, there is a wide margin of error.

2.  With this flaw in mind, the second form of speech recognition came to be, pattern and feature analysis. In this form of analysis, each word is broken into bits that are recognized from key features, like vowels, and other phenomes.

However, various languages use different phenomes. For instance, English uses about 46 phenomes while Spanish used only 26.

If a company wanted to sell speech recognition software internationally it would need to know what variables to keep and what to drop per user.

3. This lead to the third approach to speech recognition software, language modeling.

In language modeling, knowledge of grammar and the likelihood of certain sounds or words to follow each other is used to improve the accuracy and speed of voice recognition.  It’s like the predictive text of your cell phone. If you curse a lot, use slang, or antiquated vocabulary words, the predictive text and speech will pick up on your patterns.

However, there was still a problem with voice search and recognition software. The programs still didn’t know how to distinguish background noise and how to shut them out specifically. What’s more, there was still a strong chance for accuracy to suffer overall.

4.  The solution to that was to take the best model we knew for learning and recognizing human speech, our brains, and convert it to voice search software in the form of artificial neural networks.

 

If you want to learn more about it, Click here. It’s fascinating stuff. 

 

How Many People are Using Voice Search Now?

 

We know how it works, but do we have any proof that this is an actual trend. Yes, actually.

According to current data from both the NPR and Edison Research, “One-in-six Americans (16%) own a voice-activated smart-speaker.” It has also been shaping our current e-commerce marketplace. According to that same study, “22% of U.S. smart speaker owners have purchased something using their devices.” And the numbers are projected to rise drastically by 2022.

It is very tempting to take the information and to utilize this trending towards your business for fun and profit.

However, the very last thing I want to do is to contribute to another dotcom crash. Instead of telling you to do something foolhardy like invest in stocks that have no guarantee of returns, why don’t I tell you how you can set up your website for voice search software. It can increase awareness of your business all around. Mainly, by modestly working as part of a passive portion of your overall advertising and marketing portfolio.

 

How to Optimize your Website for Voice Search SEO

 

Voice searchThankfully, it is not all that difficult for you to optimize your website for voice search. Mainly, because of a lot of the steps for basic website SEO run are mostly the same steps that you would take for regular SEO. This includes making sure you are properly listed on Google maps and creating engaging content on your website. However, there is one notable difference that needs to be addressed if you are going to optimize your website for voice search.

It is keywords.

See, when it comes to speaking, and writing, people have different habits overall.

When a person is typing something up on Google, they have learned to treat it like a library index.  People expect to type in a word or three before they hit the search button and look at the front page.

When a person is asking a question organically, they speak in a complete question, as if talking to another person.  So if you want to optimize your keywords for voice recognition, the best way for you to go about it is to write down relevant questions as your keywords.

Why is that?

It is my personal hypothesis that it is because the act of typing and keyboarding was only stressed as a marketable skill for a few decades at best.  The act of talking and socialization, however, has been a marketable skill for as long as public speaking existed in ancient civilizations.  What’s more, people feel comfortable personifying things like inanimate objects and animals, because it gives people a chance to relate to something alien to them. So why should it be a stretch that we talk to our voice recognition software like we would another person?

 

Conclusion

As technology marches on, we continue to lean on both the written and spoken word. Who knows what will be in store for us by the year 2050. Until then, let’s learn to speak the language of voice search technology.

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2018-11-07T16:28:01+00:00November 7th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Voice Search

Digital Billboards: Should you Add it to the Digital Marketing Mix?

Digital Marketing: Billboards

 

Have you seen the two-hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last.”- Clarisse, Farenheight 451

While we haven’t gotten a fire department that would be starting fires, as opposed to putting them out, one of the major themes that the book Farenheight 451 predicted was the rapid growth of technology. It also unwittingly predicted the detachment of personal connections that come with the increase of technology, and the gymnastics advertisers and marketers have to make to catch up.

But their future didn’t shape exactly the same way as our present. Instead of fast cars, large screens taking up the entirety of the walls, and violent teenagers, we have rising gas prices, little electronic screens that take up our lives, and teenagers that are too lazy to go outside to get in said violent fights. Not too bad a tradeoff.

The point I am making, however, is that while our billboards are still 20 ft long, the landscape of billboard advertising has changed to match our current technological landscape.

We can now debut our advertising electronically, along with public service announcements, the time, and even the temperature.

But what makes it a legitimate form of digital advertising? Is it too dangerous to invest in?

So, we are going to be talking about the history of the digital billboard, its progress, and the progress it has made for advertising.

 

The Birth of the Digital Billboard

 

digital marketing, billboardThere is no definitive timestamp for the launching of the first digital billboard. However, I can tell you what I found based on my research, and you can decide for yourself when that was.

Unofficially, Daktronics, a South Dakota based advertising company claimed on their official site that they were the ones to have at least been the first to integrate the idea of digital display on outdoor billboard advertising. According to them,

“Some of the first “digital billboards” we sold were not 100% LED displays. Before manufacturing full LED displays, we sold products to billboard companies here and there, but most of these consisted of static displays with a simple message center integrated into the campaign displaying messages or time and temperature displays. Full LED displays were simply too expensive for billboard operators to justify purchasing. When we began attending tradeshows for the billboard market, we were practically unknown. In the year 2000, this began to change, and we started to get interest from outdoor companies.”

This digital billboard was sort of a visual hybrid with a 2/3rd to 1/3rd ratio between a digital and traditional format. The pixel quality was low and it was an expensive endeavor at the time, but the concept was intriguing enough for Lamar’s Outdoor Services to try it out.

Daktronics claimed that it wouldn’t further catch on until 2004-2007.

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the first digital billboard was erected in 2005. While the suggested timeline matches Daktronics, there was no mention of them by the OAAA, which leads to some confusion about when the first digital billboard was launched.

 

Safety Concerns

The job of any billboard on the road is to capture the attention of the passersby in traffic. That much is obvious. But when it came time to focus on the possibility of safety regulations, some people were worried about the potential damage that Digital Billboards could cause drivers.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, (AASHTO), conducted a study in 2009, regarding that issue.

“Although some such signs use scrolling characters across a screen, and others use rotating
panels (called Tri-Vision or Roller-Bar signs), it is the LED technology that has the
greatest potential for capturing attention, and therefore, distracting the driver.”

This caused enough of a concern for highway beautification interest groups enough to bring it up in court. The Department of Transportation provided their own data and determined that this was not a problem.

The study concluded that while drivers certainly paid more attention to electronic billboards more than their nonelectronic counterparts, it was only by about 30 more milliseconds. It was not enough time to cause a drastic increase in accidents.

” The results were both well below the “currently accepted threshold of 2,000 milliseconds,” the study said.

 

A Conclusion to Part 1

So, we know how they came to be and how it affects the safety of drivers. This demonstrates that digital billboards are certainly a legitimate form of advertising with little ethical issue involved. But what sort of businesses are best for the electronic billboard format? Who responds to a billboard advertisement the best and what added advantages does the digital format have in comparison to its analog counterpart? The answers to these questions will come at a later date. Next week we will we look more at the” marketing” aspect of “digital marketing”. We will also examine the most effective ways digital billboards work for companies.

By |2018-10-26T16:18:32+00:00October 26th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Digital Billboards: Should you Add it to the Digital Marketing Mix?

Citations

The Benefits of Using Citations

citing sources, citation

The written rules of grammar can be flexible. There are times when you can end a sentence with a preposition, use contractions, and use slang, and it is perfectly acceptable. And it makes sense. These rules change depending on the context and placement of what you are trying to accomplish. However, there are some rules in grammar and by extension, blogging that is absolutely sacrosanct. You always start your sentence with a capital letter, and you always end it with a punctuation mark. So, where does the rule of citing your sources fall on the basic rules of writing and grammar?

When it comes to blogging, citing your sources is not only common courtesy, it is considered an absolute imperative. Especially if you are trying to create content that is both relevant and accurate. Penalties for copying and pasting other people’s content can range from being buried by search engine algorithms to possibly getting sued by the original content creator.

However, there is more to citations than simply protecting your website and dodging legal trouble. There are some actual benefits that come with citing your sources and giving credit to other contributors.

 

You Appear More Credible to Others

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone at 3 AM on Facebook over something that was clearly in the wrong with their political information? Have you ever needed to write a convincing essay or blog post about something you were passionate about? What would be the one thing that you could do to solidify an argument? You cite a source.

People spread useful information for means of survival. When people spread certain information to other people, they are trusting that information to have a benefit for everyone who is able to hear it.

So, when multiple people point to a single source of information as something reliable, they are giving it credibility.

When you point to where you can get your information, and combine it with an authoritative tone, you are far more likely to win the trust, or at the least begrudging respect, of your opposition. That is because you have clearly shown that you took the time to research and understand your position before you try to establish it in an argument.  People don’t respect others who don’t know what they are talking about. Especially when it comes to debate over serious and controversial topics.

 

citation, connectionsYou Can Make Connections

When you are crediting the people who research the topic you are writing about, you are essentially doing them a couple of favors. For starters, everyone loves recognition. Everybody, in some way, shape or form, likes the idea of their work deserving credit  That sort of recognition gives people a little ego boost, and who doesn’t need that from time to time when it comes to their own accomplishments?

Also, it helps reinforce the credibility of the source you just cited.

The one thing that people love more than a small amount of recognition, is a larger amount of recognition. When you reinforce the credibility of another person’s research and hard work, you are elevating them to a standard of important knowledge. So, people will feel more than flattered when you cite them as a source.

If you get in contact with the people you cite, it can also give you a chance to establish personal connections over something you are both passionate about. Who knows? Maybe if you keep crediting and contacting your sources, you might very well land a career out of something you blogged about?

 

It Boosts your Web Visibility

Getting your blog/business website indexed on a search engine is the fastest way to getting it seen. However, there is a laundry list of rules and regulations that these search engines go by that determine what is relevant, and what is not. There are a few things you can do to your site to make it count towards your favor. For instance, you can format your site so it is mobile friendly. Or you can blog at least once a day for five days a week to increase your activity count. And while that alone might work, that does nothing to draw other people towards your site.

This is where citation will help you out the most. When you link out to other sites and have them link back to you as a citation, more people will naturally find your website.

Not to mention, the algorithm for search engines like Google or Yahoo will reward you for it. When it sees you linking out to other pages both outside and inside your website, that gives them a trail to follow. When you give them a trail to follow, they will take notice and see it as credibility.

 

How To Cite a Source

Citing a source is ridiculously easy. All you need to do is create a link to what you are talking about. So, If I was talking about Huntsville, Alabama, I would link it and it will send you to a page that will talk about the city in length. Just make sure you keep it relevant and occasionally talk about the experts who you researched in the first place, and it will be smooth sailing from there.

 

If you like this article, Click here for more! If you want to set up an appointment with Robert, feel free to click on the pop up at the home page!

By |2018-10-23T12:12:45+00:00October 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Citations

Know the Difference: Good Internet Marketing

Good Internet Marketing: What does it look like?

So, I mentioned before that internet marketing, in general, is more of a solid business decision than a fly by night fad. Building a website, creating a product listing for your store, or at least listing your location on Google will more likely help than hurt.  However, I cannot help but feel more inclined to hit my head against a wall repeatedly when I see the video search results for internet marketing techniques.

 

internet marketing

 

There is a laundry list of promises for passive income that range from $100 dollars a day. Some of these promises range into 5 digits. And these promises are made by people who either only know a fraction of what they are talking about. Either that or they are so desperate to get rich quick that they are willing to lie.  It is people like that, that give people who truly want to work in promoting other businesses a bad name. And the terrifying thing about it? Desperate and hopeful people continue to fall for it. The hype of false internet marketing claims that are not only unsustainable but can cost them what little they already have.

Since a lot of these “courses” stem from either a fundamental misunderstanding of how internet marketing works, I am going to go over the seven different types of online marketing and the ideal situation you want to be in when applying them.

 

Search Engine Optimization

As much as we talk about it, we don’t talk enough about the right timing for businesses to undertake SEO services. For those of you who have recently visited this site, or have never read internet marketinganother article about it, here is a brief definition.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

This is done through a series of strategies that increase the odds of your website being accessed by people looking for your type of goods or service.

The ideal situation to start implementing SEO services would be :

  • If you have a strong business model already in place
  • If your website is easily accessible for everyone to see
  • And If you understand that this produces slow but long-term results

 

Search Engine Marketing

While the term has become somewhat generalized to mean all kinds of internet marketing regarding search engines, Its original definition still stands in marketing circles.  Search engine marketing is a form of internet marketing that increases the visibility of websites, through paid advertising. Think Google Ads with a combination of SEO and a small amount of PPC. This form of advertising has seen a lot of backlash lately since people have become warier of clicking on ad results on search engines over the years.

Still, it is a viable method of advertising if your company:

  • Has an older, more established website
  • Wants more results from an older/ less internet savvy target demographic
  • Can afford to spend more money for results to save time

 

Pay Per Click

This often goes hand in hand with Search Engine Marketing and is often hosted by the same top-tier search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. In the PPC model, advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Once the click happens advertisers do their best to gain business from the website visitor. If the cost of the incoming business is worth more than the price of the advertisement, then the business gets a profit.

While the idea of it sounds tempting, this only works for certain business objectives, ones that rely on the impulsivity of the potential customer.  For this model to work you would need:

  • An online store on your site
  • You are creating a contact list from those clicks
  • Money to invest in those ads
  • A good or service that requires little risk on the part of the consumer

 

Content Marketing

This form of marketing is a little more subtle but can be powerful depending on who you get behind your product or service. This sort of marketing is the internet version of “word of mouth”. It involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not expressly exist for the sole purpose of branding but does at least garner some interest in a product or service. This sort of marketing is more organic compared to its other counterparts.  However, because it is organic, you will get new business and genuine interest this way.  This sort of marketing is good for:

  • Businesses  that can give away free samples to influencers
  • A business with a brand/identity that coincides with the influencers
  • Businesses that let their product speak for itself.

 

Affiliate Marketing

This sort of internet marketing revolves around the idea of two different companies or affiliates to work symbiotically for mutual profit. Affiliate marketing is an online sales tactic that lets a product owner increase sales by allowing others targeting the same audience – “affiliates” – to earn a commission by recommending the product/ website to others.  I see this all the time on Youtube channels for things like Audible and the Dollar Shave Club.

It works with a more niche environment, and it is certainly not for everyone. To pull it off successfully, businesses that want to use this tactic need:

  • A good business partnership
  • A strong tactic that can close sales and increase profit for both you and your partner
  • Enough time and creativity to update content regularly.

 

Email Marketing

This is a case where the marketing term is exactly what it says on the tin. Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. It is probably the oldest form of internet marketing, yet is the hardest method used to get clientele.  While it is cheaper and easier to send than traditional mail, it is the absolute worst way to get in new clientele. This is due to the existence of spam filters, and the occasional fear of malware or viruses that come from e-mail attachments.

Email marketing is best when:

  • Your company is contacting previous clients
  • You have a newsletter or a promotion for people who already opted in on receiving messages
By |2018-10-13T14:26:56+00:00October 13th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Know the Difference: Good Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing- Is it a Fad?

Internet Marketing- Is it a Fad?

 

In my last article, I mentioned that when I brought up internet marketing to small businesses that they reacted with a polite refusal at best and derision at worst.  And it makes sense when you have seen entire economies rise and fall based on fly-by-night speculation. Several financial institutions have collapsed under the assumption that they were going to make a lot of money without any evidence to back it up. And people that shouldn’t have paid for it did, dearly.

This sort of pattern has left people weary and wary of the idea of  “the next big thing”. But it does make me wonder, how much of that suspicion is valid? When I am talking about SEO practices, building a Facebook page for their business, or putting them on Google Maps, they act like I am trying to literally steal their money.

So, are they right? I don’t think so. While I understand that smaller businesses and hopeful startups have been burned by the goldrush nature of things like the housing crisis and the dot-com crash, these smaller businesses are throwing the baby out with the bathwater by rejecting all forms of technology and internet marketing techniques. So, why is something like building a website and using social media not a fad?

 

Internet Access has Become more Mainstream than Ever

 

phone ettiquite ,internet marketing

Fads are considered a foolish investment by most business owners today, mostly because it just has a short lifespan. For instance, if you were the store that stocked only fidget spinners, you would have seen a boom in business for about 2 months.  After that, you would be scrambling to keep your business afloat because you would have no more demand for the product.

So, if you are going to invest in your business, you are going to want to invest in something long-lasting.

The big mistake of the dot-com crash of the nineties was that the home computer and use of the internet wasn’t a necessity at the time.  Unless you worked for the government or the telecommunications industry, there was no need to have one.

People bought websites with the hopes of selling goods and services online. But they did so with little idea if their customer base even used computers. Computer owners in the 90’s were a niche crowd with only 36% of US families owning one in 1997.

Also, the internet was an optional service at the time. You had to pay for the browser separately, and you had to buy a dial-up connection through the phone company.  Dial-up in the nineties meant that internet access was much more expensive and harder to use.

Then, dialup was replaced by broadband and satellite. New processors were made for computers to send and organize information faster. The percentage of Americans having a home computer increased from 51% in the year 2000 to 77% by 2010.

And that isn’t even counting smartphone users today. 75% of Americans as of 2017 own a smartphone.

So, it is safe to say that having a webpage now would be a much less risky venture than having a page in 1997.

Advertising and Internet Marketing is becoming more Regulated

 

When the internet first made its way into the public mainstream, it was considered a free for all. Like unsupervised children in a playground, great times were had by some and others had internet marketing, pop upsgotten themselves hurt badly. It was a time when caution about personal information was a must because the law hadn’t caught up with the emerging technology.

Spamming, hacking, phishing, emails from Nigerian royalty, and more had been at its most rampant when the public had gained access to the internet. And all of those paled in comparison to the appearance of the ever intrusive pop-up. It was commonplace to see at least one to three pop-ups per page. And most of them easily made unfounded claims like people being sweepstakes winners, or that you could get a few free days of the internet if you entered in your personal information.

However, after mistakes were made, brilliant minds learned to adapt at becoming savvier on the internet. Businesses who employed White Hat Hackers and Users who picked up coding learned to create countermeasures to take care of themselves. Eventually, stronger regulations of mainstream websites like Google or Youtube were made once they increased their popularity. Google started to set rules and regulations about what pages had relevant data, and what pages didn’t. They even made programs that penalized spam tactics like keyword stuffing on websites.

Internet marketers and advertisers who had time to cultivate their craft learned from the public just how annoying intrusive ads could be. So they started using the internet less for a vehicle for ads, and more as a place where customers can be offered relevant content.

Would that many people constantly adjust, adapt, and make policies for this sort of platform if it was just a fad? Absolutely not.

 

We aren’t Promising Instant Wealth

When the dot-com crash happened, it was because a bunch of people was investing in an empty promise that something was going to make them money. People just assumed websites made people rich, and never ironed out any details beyond that.

When we offer our Internet Marketing services, we don’t promise that it will make your business rich fast. We do promise, however a greater chance for your business to be seen by the 170 million people in the United States who own a mobile device. We do promise that we can increase the odds of your local business getting seen by the 80% of shoppers that use their phone to find alternate locations while they are inside your competitor’s store. Those of us in internet marketing want to give your business more exposure than some of the more traditional methods of advertising that may have been falling flat for the last few years.

We come up with personalized plans, find your target audience, and use strategy to let the people who need your services know who you are.  We only want to get people in the door. That’s why the Tie’s latest mantra is “no gimmicks, no contracts, no BS”.

By |2018-10-06T22:27:46+00:00October 6th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Internet Marketing- Is it a Fad?

Internet Marketing- Is it a fad?

Internet Marketing- Is it a Fad or a Mainstay?

In my time as a marketer, I have seen people from walks of life refuse our services. It is bound to happen in any business, no matter what you are selling. What makes it interesting, however, is the reason why they refuse. When we tell older businesses we use internet marketing, they practically panic. Their first response is to outright refuse the services we offer because they knew nothing about it. In their minds, internet marketing is at best a novelty and at worst a scam.

To them, internet marketing seems like a gold rush situation. By that, I mean various ‘gold rushes’ in the world of buying and selling in the global marketplace, like the stock market. These are times when promises of fast wealth meet with almost too many hopefuls that either has little knowledge of how things work in the industry they are trying to break into or are gambling on what little they have for success. When enough of these people get on the money-making bandwagon, the institution they are relying on begins to collapse under their weight. Eventually, it means the financial downfall of those who pin their hopes and dreams on a new resource.

So, it raises a few questions for me: What is internet marketing? How sustainable is it? Will it become a common staple in businesses once the glamor has died down?

We have a few comparisons that may be an indicator of where the future of internet marketing could be headed. The greatest of them was the speculation of how much the internet was worth in :

The Dot Com Crash of 2000

bubble dotcom crashSpeculative Growth

When the internet was first adopted commercially, there was a lot of hype that surrounded it. Back in the days when access required slow-moving dial-up,  many financiers, corporations, and other big league investors knew that this was going to make them rich. Investopedia explains,” During the dotcom bubble, the value of equity markets grew exponentially, with the technology-dominated NASDAQ index rising from under 1,000 to more than 5,000 between 1995 and 2000.”

When you see that much growth happen so quickly, you can’t help but take notice. That was especially the case for investors during the 1990’s. If you were to put the 80’s and 90’s in a time capsule, you would notice a strong sense of optimism and a naive sense of blind faith that would be reflected in American culture at the time. This naive and optimistic attitude also carried over in the world of the stock market, and it only multiplied when they saw the stocks for technology grow so quickly.

 

Aside:

 Stocks and investments are a really abstract concept, so I will briefly define it for context. When a company needs money for a venture, they sell a piece of the company to buyers in the form of stocks.  The price of the stocks is set based on how much the company is estimated to be worth, and how many are made. Stocks for businesses that last tend to grow slowly over time and keep growing. There is a low risk for the buyer if the company is old and has practiced well-assessed risks. The risk for the investor gets higher if the company is newer, or is pulling off a project with the investors’ money with no guarantee of success.

 

Some of the growth was legitimate. Technology companies that had made new products like Cisco and Oracle made calculated risks and grew stock marketnaturally. However, a bunch of that sudden growth in the technology sector came in the form of everybody trying to sell all kinds of things on the internet. If a domain name ended in .com, from ’97 to ”02 it was a new business trying to break in this new untapped marketplace.

Before there was even a term for ‘internet marketing’ investors were so convinced that they were going to make bank that they poured their time and money into these businesses that were starting out. Never had the phrase “shut up and take my money” been more relevant than at that time. People quit their jobs in order to sell stuff online full time.  A lot of money went into advertising, ‘getting big’ all with the promises of getting rich.

That all failed miserably.

 

The Bursting of the Bubble

There were multiple factors that contributed to the lack of profit for these starter web-based businesses. First was y2k. Computer programs before the year 2000, had everything dated in two digits. Everything. After 99, the clocks on these programs would reset to 00, a default that would shut down or restart the programs to a blank state. Including the computer programs that ran nuclear warheads.

The government and the private sector scrambled to fix that setback costing time and money. Soon everything seemed to be okay. Then, Japan, a technological giant that impacted our tech stocks, went into recession. Yahoo and eBay ended merger talks which affected the market. Microsoft lost a monopoly lawsuit in 2001. Pets.com, a joint business with Amazon, went out of business. Then September 11th happened, shattering the world trade center, along with the hopes and dreams of both investors and startup companies.

In the end, only 48% of these dot-com businesses survived the crash, which might sound like a lot, but they were valued at less than what was initially predicted. Some of them wound up even sued for lying to investors. The ones that didn’t survive got liquidated leaving many people jobless and out of assets.

What Does it Have to Do with Internet Marketing?

I am covering this point in financial history to point out two things. The first is to illustrate the disappointments to which possibly lead to jaded mindsets of today’s businesses being reluctant to have an online store in the first place. The second is to provide a template in which I can compare and contrast internet marketing to see if the speculation of market growth is valid, or if it is just excess optimism in a world of people trying to get rich quick.

I will draw the comparison in the next article.

If you like reading more about this stuff, check it out here on our blog! If you want to read about nutrition or learn about the unique types of mold in the world, click here and here!

By |2018-09-28T12:55:00+00:00September 28th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Internet Marketing- Is it a fad?

Can Marketing Brainwash People?

Can Marketing Brainwash People?

Today’s market and political climate are painfully tumultuous. That is why half the country is burning their own Nike shoes and the other half is buying twice as many.  It is the reason why some of the people of Huntsville, Al wear Rocket science t-shirts, while the people of Decatur, Al let you know that they voted for Trump & Pence on their bumper stickers and hats.  With the spread of social media, it seems that American values have never felt so polarized.

The only one thing they seem to agree on is that the media is brainwashing their kids.

The job of a marketer is to sell products,  in a persuasive way that speaks the majority of the people, they are selling to. So, are advertisers the devil?  Just how much of an impression can a marketing or ad campaign make? Can you change the mind of the public through advertising alone?  The only way to get an answer is to find out if people can get brainwashed in the first place.

Subliminal Messaging

The biggest accusation towards marketers and media I have seen to date is subliminal messaging. I heard crazy things while growing up in Huntsville,

subliminal messaging

          Copyright Fox and Matt Groening

AL from Disney coercing kids into sex through subliminal messaging or Playing Helter Skelter backward summoning the devil. It has sent people into a moral panic.  It is also 100% urban legend.  There has been no recorded evidence of subliminal messages working anywhere.

Where did the misconception come from?

James Vicary, a behavioral scientist in the 70’s, published an experiment that stated subliminal messaging made his test subjects buy popcorn and Coke when they didn’t even want any.  However, the president of the Psychological Corporation, Dr. Henry Link, called foul and told him that the study wasn’t credible unless he was willing to repeat the test and get the same results.  When Vicary repeated the test a second time, he did not get the same results. It turned out Vicary fudged his numbers. He even publically admitted he falsified the results while he was under investigation.

However, admitting false data wasn’t interesting to the people selling newspapers. So, they barely covered the rescinding of that information. Thanks to yellow journalism and bad science that most people now, even many of those in Huntsville, Al, believe subliminal messaging is still a thing.

But why weren’t people affected by something like that? What makes people subconsciously immune to suggestion?

The answers to those questions come from both the KGB and the CIA.

Mind Control Doesn’t Work

mind control

       Copyright Duffer Brothers and Netflix

Every country has its sins. Whether the country is as old as civilization itself or is only a few years old,  there are going to be horrible secrets behind the scenes of its government.

Project MK Ultra is one of the lesser known atrocities committed by our government at a time when the country was still trying to be a global superpower. What little of its records were declassified in 2001 told the story of an attempt to outright brainwash people into becoming sleeper agents during the Cold War. There were a lot of illegal acts that were involved. These included the use of torture, hypnosis, experimental drugs, and child abuse.

However, in all of this tragedy, there was something interesting in the results that were uncovered. Hypnotism could put people in a suggestive state, but it couldn’t control one’s mind.

If someone has strong scruples against an action, even in a hypnotic state, they won’t do what they are told.

According to Psychology Today, “What has been documented is that if you found a subject whose personality was deviant, to begin with, and wanted to direct their minds to do something extreme like plant a bomb or commit an assassination, you may be able to guide him or her to do it—with or without hypnosis.”

If the American Government can’t hypnotize someone to become a spy,  no advertisement can hypnotize an adult.

Why do People Change Their Minds?

If no one can hypnotize a person and tell them what to do, then why do people change their minds? After all, cults exist and people try new things every day.  The answer to this question boils down to two words: emotional connection.

People are not logical or rational by nature. We are emotional first and logical second.  It doesn’t matter how rational the argument maybe if you point out evidence for evolution to a creationist, they are going to feel attacked and deny what’s right in front of them. And if you tell someone that they have a home in your compound they will be much more receptive to drinking the kool-aid in front of them.

So, a successfully persuasive person would need to lower down the defenses of their audience before making their point. It’s the same with marketing campaigns. You need to create an emotional response to your product to succeed. Until then, you will win no one to your product, no matter how logical your reasoning can be.

Next week, I will go into further detail about the science behind marketing persuasion. Stay safe Huntsville, Al!

By |2018-09-21T19:47:15+00:00September 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Can Marketing Brainwash People?