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#346940 Matt Cutts Warning: Guest Blogging Is Done

Posted by seosmarty on 20 January 2014 - 07:13 PM

I really think with his following and influence, he needs to think twice before pushing "Publish" to avoid edits like that :)

#348888 Whiteboard Videos -- Anyone?

Posted by socialwebcafe on 13 April 2014 - 02:54 AM

Hi Donna,


First, thank you for your patience in my extremely delayed response.  I am definitely a work in progress on that.


Thank you for your response.. got me thinking :)


Your list of alternate names is great!  I forget sometimes that there are phrases like "Explainer Videos."  I keep calling them whiteboard videos and then I get lazy and call it whiteboarding which sounds more like something one would do at the beach.  Great to have the list, so thanks for putting that out there for us, Donna.


Yes, I'm like you.  I like to add something that has zing.  I like to do it more than I do it, but that is more of a time limitation.  That is where tools like slideshare or even embedding an instagram or pin are helpful, just to get something, even a fizzled zing in there.  (Yes, and I say that I am writing a post that is zingless.  lol.)

So, for your question, yes, Sparkol is something that you can do yourself.  Though, I didn't find that it was instantly intuitive.  It isn't like I signed up and all of a sudden was producing masterpieces.  There is definitely a learning curve.  But, I think, as with all things, once you get the hang of it, you can spit out videos quicker.  Sparkol does have some how-to videos and my recommendation is to watch those and watch them a couple times to really get the hang of it.  Then, give yourself some slack and allow yourself to mess some up :)


BTW - I agree, I do feel like watching whiteboards that are well done help to drive the info home for me.


The whiteboard, above, is not all Sparkol.  I made a whiteboard via Sparkol and then brought it into Final Cut Pro and enhanced it.  That certainly isn't a requirement and is more of a case where I am so comfortable using Final Cut Pro that it was like breathing to just add a few things like flares, music, transitions, etc.  However, Sparkol does offer these things so that you do not need any other programs.  There is the availability for music and different options for your transitions, too.


Here are some tips, off the top of my head, for whiteboard videos, no matter what tool you use to make them:

  • Keep them relatively short, or modular (like under 3 min) ... unless it is meant to be a full length teaching session or something.
  • Keep a variety.  For example, use the hand to write out part, and then slide in the next part.
  • Keep it moving.  If it is too slow, people will stop watching it and leave.
  • Use the spacers (watch the instruction videos for how-to), to create a pause after the text is added.  This gives viewer time to read it.
  • If you are inserting an image, lower the timing from the default 30 seconds to 7 seconds.  What will happen is the drawing will start slow and then all of a sudden instantly finish.  That is ok.  The viewer will be intrigued by the first part, but you won't lose them by it taking 30 seconds for the full picture.

Some of the tips above hit on some things that have worked really well for us in the video business.  The process of illusion.  Just because you *can* let every image be hand-drawn for 30 seconds each doesn't mean you should.  Do you want to watch a video move at a non-engaging snail speed?  No, if it bores you it is going to bore your viewers too, so keep that thing hopping.  Adding music, change of color, change of image, anything to keep it going. You can give the illusion that the viewer is watching the entire cat being drawn without actually waiting for the entire cat to be drawn.  As long as the full kitty is shown at the end of that piece, you have successfully provided an engaging moment with the illusion of the full drawing process.


Til next time,


#347684 What Do You Consider A Spammy Image File Name?

Posted by WPMuse on 12 February 2014 - 04:01 PM

Great minds think alike! Let the test begin!  ;-)



#347012 I Want To Merger All My Sites

Posted by evolvor on 21 January 2014 - 09:26 PM

The first thing that pops in my head here is not to think about this as "how can these fit into one website" but more like "can these fit under a brand". I think they all could probably fall into a brand, with even more doors opening based on how that is developed.


If you went to a newsstand you'd find all sorts of magazine brands (think "lifestyle" magazines) that could sell any of those products (but perhaps with specific angles - "Better Homes & Gardens" has a certain demographic, "Style" another, etc.)  Perhaps thinking about a brand and building that, then incorporating all the products under it would make sense. If done well the sky is the limit for what else could be sold under the brand. 


If there is a shared demographic among those who visit these sites or purchase these products, then you have an opportunity

#346777 $60,000 In 6 Months? Part 1

Posted by ShawnaSeigel on 16 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

In 2011 I started an amazing experiment to create $60,000 in sales within 6 months by opening an online quilting store.




It had to be done using ONLY social media and of course organic SEO.

I was SO close!! After 6 months we generated $55,618.77 in sales. It took us 6 and a half :)


We shared our progress throughout and sold the store shortly after the 6 months were up.




So how did we get people to our new website?


Social Media


We blogged, we facebooked, we twittered, we flickered, and we pinned.


We emotionally connected with our customers. We let them into our lives and they let us into theirs.


It was absolutely wonderful.


Beginner's Guide to Social Media


Most people I talk with are scared to jump into the social media pool. They don't know how or even where to start.


Guess what? You are not allowed to use that excuse any more :)

Today Moz released the Brand New Beginner's Guide to Social Media:






This guide has something for everyone to learn and education is powerful if it is applied!




Let's work together to improve your social media skills. If you are going to work through the guide, let us know below!

We will check-in with your progress and make sure you are applying your new found skills.


Remember, team work makes the dream work!




Coming Soon - $60,000 in 6 months? Part 2.

Social Media helped us to get the traffic, but what did we do to get the sales?

#344942 The Words No One Noticed At Matt Cutts Pubcon Keynote

Posted by DonnaFontenot on 23 October 2013 - 12:39 PM

At Pubcon today, Matt Cutts was the keynote speaker, and the session was live-streamed at ustream.tv/channel/pubcon


I wish the session had been recorded for later viewing, because there were two very brief parts that I'd love to pull out and share. But alas, we'll have to rely on my paraphrasing because I can't recall the exact words he used. As far as I could tell, no one even noticed those few words that came out of Matt's mouth, but in my opinion, they were the most significant words in the entire hour. You can see a text recap at http://searchenginel...t-pubcon-174906 but it too failed to mention this part.


While Matt was discussing the "moonshot" changes that are taking place, such as the Knowledge Graph, Voice Search, Conversational Search, etc. he said something to this effect (totally paraphrased by me, so don't quote me verbatim):


All along, Google has attempted to organize the world's information, and nothing in that statement mentions the phrase "search engine". Users want answers, and that's what we're attempting to give them.


Later, in the Q&A portion at the very end of the session, Matt again referred to this when discussing how Google seems to be using up all the space in the SERPs with ads, toolbars, etc, so there's little room left for organic results. Another paraphrase:


Users want quick answers, and don't necessarily want to be sent off to a site to answer it. Your job is to provide content of real value that does more than just give a 3-word answer to a question so that users will want to visit your site.


I quickly tweeted about that, saying, 


Butt matt, if you give the answers, the users will never see our value.


HA! Just noticed my tweet's typo there. Bahahaha! Anyway...I digress...


My point, of course, is that as Google gives more and more "answers" in the SERPs, there's little to no incentive for users to ever leave Google, or ever have the chance to see the valuable content we have.


People say, well, it's Google's site, so they can do what they want.


That's not always the case, however.


The "answers" that Google gives is not their content. It is OUR content.


We've always had an implied "contract" with Google.


We'll let you crawl our sites, Google, if you'll send traffic back to us.


The "contract" isn't this: We'll let you steal and use our sites' content, Google, without anything in return (traffic).


Google - via Matt's brief, nearly unnoticed words today, is letting us know...we are going to keep stealing your content, because we love our users, and we don't care what you think about that.

#344852 The 100% Google Cure | Seo

Posted by WPMuse on 17 October 2013 - 09:30 AM

No wonder people are despondent, dejected, and depressed.



I know of sites totally and completely playing by "the rules" and they were put out of business by g#####'s latest attempts to stop spam.   Very cool sites, all the boxes checked.


I am now of the opinion that spam to g##### is anyone who they can squeeze ad dollars from.


We now live in a day where playing by the rules doesn't pay and the only one really listening to the market place is the NSA.


The only way to approach all this is pretty elegant in it's simplicity:


Create the best site for your market, and concentrate on providing the best product/service possible -- then nurture the customers and relationships that come your way to build partnerships for the long haul. 


That's all you can control -- so be the best at it that you can!

#349032 White Hat Seo Service

Posted by DonnaFontenot on 21 April 2014 - 05:12 PM

Is there such thing as "white hat link building" today?


No. Link building is over. Content promotion is its replacement. Basics are:


1. Create fooking amazing content. FOOKING AMAZING CONTENT. (nothing less than fooking amazing, got it?)

2. Promote that content. Share it via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Tell your list about it. Make sure the right people see it. 

3. Rinse. Repeat.


That's it. That's all you can really do now is create ______ing ______ing ______. (you tell me what you need to create. you should know by now). Tell everyone it exists, and hope someone important links to it.


Anything else will likely fail or get you into trouble.

#348778 Is Attacking Matt Cutts Appropriate?

Posted by EGOL on 08 April 2014 - 12:04 PM

Rather than attacking him for being part of it (which I admit is a bit suspect), the reaction was aimed at Matt Cutts only. 


This is what I feel is the injustice.


Its too easy to go after the mouth piece for Google rather than doing some research about the nature of the site.


I think that it is absolutely appropriate to tell Matt what he needs to hear.


How many webmasters have been slapped down hard because google thought that their links were manipulative, then they got stuck with $500,000 of inventory, a five year lease at $5000/month, and employees on unemployment. 


Google slaps lots of sites for links that Google thought were paid, google thought the webmaster made and none of that was true.


Engineers should know all about Type I and Type II errors.  


If somebody calls them hypocrites that is a lot better than losing their paycheck, selling their cat, and eating fried Fancy Feast... and I would rather do that stuff than layoff my employees.


No sympathy here.  Matt should know what it is like to be blamed for stuff that was unintended.


I really like Matt.  I have great respect for him.  Just saying that getting splashed with a little mud will be good for his character and cause him to do some reflection.


How many times have you written a little code and got unintended results?  Google does that too but don't know it.

#348680 Customer Support Should Be A Ranking Factor

Posted by iamlost on 02 April 2014 - 08:48 PM

Customer support aka customer service is a business factor, a critical business factor. That said...


A ranking factor?

Let Google that far into one's business?

Ummm (nanosecond shock response period)...



#348205 The Getty Carrot...

Posted by iamlost on 06 March 2014 - 08:12 PM

You may have heard that Getty Images, infamous for hardcore copyright infringement demands and pernicious cloaked crawlers in search of same, is making available some 35 million images for sharing via some SM platforms and non-commercial (careful, definitions can bite you) blogs.


Until you read the T&C carefully from front to back and are certain you understand all ramifications.

And then...do NOT.

1. the T&C are subject to change without notice and use after change posted is acceptance.
2. the image is free ONLY when embedded via their HTML code (similar to how one embeds a YouTube vid) and so is controlled by Getty not you.
* resizing, a problem.
* load time (third party delivery), a problem.
* can change or remove image at their sole discretion, a problem.
* can collect site info without notice or reimbursement.
* can be used to deliver ads (type unspecified) without notice or reimbursement.
Note: yes, the current agreement specifically allows the last two above.
3. Getty has a nasty track record.

The idea is fascinating in it's scope.
And I bet most bloggers will not read past the initial hoopla hype to the conditions aka fine print. Plus Getty seems to be drawing a pretty strict interpretation of non-commercial - wanna bet some bloggers get sent huge bills for 'commercial' use?
If the take up is widespread then Getty will have built (one image embed at a time) a ginormous ad network (User Generated Ad Network?) not only on blogs but on SM platforms. End run!
Sharing not only images but their accompanying ads. Home run!

With remarketing built in...Grand slam!
Plus the data mining...


#348198 The Ultimate Wordpress Safety And Security Guide

Posted by joedolson on 06 March 2014 - 04:30 PM

Number one: Keep WordPress up to date.


Regardless of any fears that you might experience problems from updating WordPress, the problems you might have with upgrading WordPress are *nothing* compared to the problems you could have because you left a known security hole open.


Number two: Keep your plug-ins up to date.


This has a secondary caveat: keep an eye on the last update from any plug-in. If a plug-in hasn't updated in a couple years, you may want to proactively pursue a replacement: that plug-in may have been abandoned.


Updating plugins is a scarier thing than updating WordPress core -- plug-ins don't get anything like the same security reviews and testing that WordPress core gets. But, nonetheless, it is more likely that a plug-in will get better with updates than that it will get worse; and unless you're prepared to review the plug-ins, you're better off upgrading.


Number three: Keep your themes up to date.


This is very much like the issues with plug-ins, except that themes actually do get at least a basic security review before they're allowed into the WordPress repository; more than plugins, at any rate. If you're using a commercial theme it's a different story, but if its from a respected commercial theme vendor, they probably have invested in verifying its security.


If you're using a theme that you purchased in a back alley somewhere...well, change themes. That theme is probably dirty.


Number four: Work with a pro-active hosting service.


The security of your site isn't purely the responsibility of your theme; there are other ways into your site. Work with a hosting service where you're confident that the service is going to be involved and responsive if you have a problem. The cheapest hosting isn't so cheap anymore if you have to pay a security firm $200/hr to clean up your site from a hacking, or if you lose a bunch of business-critical data.


Number five: Delete everything you aren't using.


Themes you tried but didn't use? Plugins that aren't active? Just because it isn't active doesn't mean that it can't leave a window into your site. Get rid of them. Get rid of them all.


Number six: Keep regular backups.


If you don't have at least a daily backup, then you're not backing up enough.


Number seven: Visit your own site regularly, both logged-in and logged-out, or use a change detection service.


If you get hacked, you want to find out immediately. Right away. You have no time to lose - the sooner you find out, the more confident you can be about which backup you can restore to. Restoring from backup won't solve the hole in your site; but it will make sure that you have a "clean" version of your site to work with.


Comparing the clean version of the site to the hacked version is a great way to quickly spot the differences, which might lead you to the problem.

#348125 A11Y * 3

Posted by iamlost on 28 February 2014 - 09:06 PM

A trifecta of accessibility goodness:
* Accessibility Guidelines v1.10, BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines.

* Introduction to Mobile Accessibility (SlideShare, 152 slides) by Henni Swan, 21-May-2013.

* Screen Reader User Survey #5 Results, WebAIM, 26-February-2014.

#347974 Adwords Ads On Mobile Are A Failure For Us

Posted by iamlost on 24 February 2014 - 11:52 AM

Not all businesses or calls to action are of interest to people via their mobile devices.


While it is currently impossible to explicitly opt out of either desktop or mobile (we know why) it is possible to set ad bid rates that accomplish either, i.e. set your mobile bid at half the desktop (within Enhanced Campaigns) and it likely won't be shown to many/any mobile users.



#346934 Matt Cutts Warning: Guest Blogging Is Done

Posted by seosmarty on 20 January 2014 - 06:25 PM

If you do depend on guest posts for a living (Ann...), start saving your money so you have something to fall back on when the hammer finds you.

I don't depend on guest blogging OR Google. I do many things!
But I stand for EACH of my guest posts ever placed. They are signed by my name and I will never want them removed

#346639 We Have A New Moderator And New Community Social Hostess

Posted by swainzy on 13 January 2014 - 04:14 PM

Haven't been by in a while so thought I'd drop in and wish you two a Congrats! :applause: Margo I kinda use 'ta have your position. It was so fun to be a social  butterfly here. I also built up the emoticon library for when words aren't enough. LOL. I sure miss the ole days here. Anyone remember "Who Is This"?

:beatingheart:  to all,


#346517 Clients Who Dont Want To Use Social Media

Posted by clandestino on 07 January 2014 - 05:10 PM

This is one of the reasons why I do not believe that social is worth my time.  From this perspective social does not scale. You got to be out there constantly and earn every sale.  That's piecework!  


You're right about the continuous exposure that's required.


One thing you can do to help is hire someone to do general posts related to the industry.  There are lots of people out there who can do it and they work pretty cheap.  I've also been impressed with the interesting things they come up with in their research.  I think it may be because they're looking at it with "fresh eyes," much like your customers do.  In managing a sales team, one of the things that happens the longer a salesperson is on the line is they become experts and then they stop selling.  They start taliking about all their new found knowledge which is kind of exciting to them and they quit talking about things that are important to average persons that know nothing about the subject.


That social media person would help you build credibilty also because your customers would see a continuous flow of information which would suggest a Brand with resources.  That builds credibility that leads to trust.  It impossible to sell to people that don't trust you and its the hardest hurdle to get past in the selling cycle.


When your part time staff have the day to day down, you can get involved in "engagement" of your customers.  Relationship building if you will.  I could write a book on how to do that.  You can work smarter rather than harder though.


Somewhere I read that Donald Trump would call influencers that he needed to keep in contact with during lunch knowing they wouldn't be available.  He would leave a message, that way he maintained the contact without having to spend 30 minutes plus on the phone with them.


Maybe in this day and age, text messages would serve a similar purpose.  Or maybe Twitter?  Or Facebook? Or?  You get the idea, it doesn't have to be time consuming if you're smart about how you go about it, and you are smart.


An idea that just popped into CRAM (Chuck's Random Access Memory - which is more random these days than I'd like, :) ), maybe a good start point would be to create a Twitter Group for your Influencers.  Give them a reason to want to come and connect with you.  This could be a small scale test as well as a learning opportunity -- then scale to the hundereds of different niches that could produce for you.


I would search for -- guy kawasaki social media --and read about how Guy became the number one speaker at all of the UGC Symposiums.  He built Alltop based on social media, and with a lot of time on Twitter.  He basically did what I suggested above.  Having said that, he spent a lot of time doing the posting himself to start.  He was out on the front lines learning with all the rest of us.  (He did use robots too to cover the globe, though.)  After he understood how, he hired people to do the day to day, but still posts himself -- I think its because its a little addicting.  We had a lot of fun with it back in the early days.  If you shot Guy a DM, he'd always answer back even with info that others would try to hide to protect their competitive position.  He's a stand up guy (excuse the pun, it just happened).


Note: Twitter is the perfect tool to drive prospects to your blog.

#346490 Private Domain Registration... Do You Keep Your

Posted by tommr on 07 January 2014 - 03:24 AM

I have only made a domain private once, and it was because I was pulling a prank on a friend and I wanted him to try and guess who was the owner by the content of the site.  

Otherwise I have nothing to hide as I am only engaged in legal activities.

I fully disclose who I am and company info. with address and contact information on any website so it would be very easy to find me and to tell the truth if you want my identity then good luck to you!
As a matter of fact our credit card processing company insists on it.


The registrar is likely trying to up charge you, seems like more and more everybody's hungry.


That said I have had people contact me with offers for similar domain names and I believe they used a whois database as I use the same unique email address for all my domains.  But that does not freak me out.  And in fact a good deal may someday come my way in this fashion.


As Donna said, they would need to hack your email account and probably your registrar account as well in order to transfer a domain.
In the old days you would request the changes, then the registrar would email you, then you would have to top post the email and send it back in the original form.


These days all my domains have domain lock.  So not only would you need to hack my email address but you would also have to hack my goddady or network solution account to release the lock.   Since I use different and incredibly complex passwords for all my accounts you would not be able to gain access to the accounts.

Also, since my passwords are really difficult, I need to copy and paste them and I store them in a file that is kept on 2 separate dedicated password protected FTP directory at 2 separate hosts so that I can access them anywhere on any machine in the event that my data is lost or stolen but a trojan that slipped by would not be able to get them.
A bit over kill I know but we had a fire a few years ago and ever since I have been a bit more careful.

#346393 Clients Who Dont Want To Use Social Media

Posted by EGOL on 01 January 2014 - 10:32 AM


I have quite a few middle aged clients with websites who are not prepared to embrace social media but want to be at the top of the search engines.


:)  I am not engaging social media simply because I don't like being social and I don't think that it is a good investment of my time.


I can spend my time writing an article that will serve thousands of people per month, year after year after year on a platform that I own/control and that I can easily monetize, or I can spend my time kibitzing on social media.  (I do post a bit on forums but that is a recreational use of my time which I have no obligation to do or continue - although it might involve some kibitzing :) ).


Although I don't embrace social with my time my website gets a lot of traffic from Facebook, Stumble, Pintrest and especially the TIL part of Reddit.  My visitors take my content to social for me because they want to share it with others.   It works nicely.  Other people do the jobs that I don't want to do and I don't have to pay them.  That's how things are supposed to work IMO.   It is more genuine to let it happen that way rather than hiring a shill to do it for you.


So, if you have a client who does not want to embrace social or is an old fart like me... then the recipe for getting something out of social is a library of content that includes the types of content that people like to share.  The items from my site that get shared a lot are OMG! topics, relevant-to-the-news topics, and fascinating images.  For your client's site it could be humor, rants, how-to-fix-it or snarky stuff.







Obviously they need to be on Facebook and I am prepared to post the odd message for them...


I am not convinced that they "need" to be on FB... and I am going to be skeptical about anyone who claims that he can speak to the topics of my websites unless he shows me a resume that demonstrates that he will know what he is talking about.  My sites are not written about opinions, gossip or yadda yadda topics.



I have never spent much time looking for social media opportunities.  I produce what I am good at producing, then some conversation starts on social media and somebody points at my content and a flood of people arrive... sometimes by the hundreds of thousands.



...what other social media is out there that is known to work from an SEO point of view and of course I am able to maintain without their input.



The influences that social media has had upon my content creation include:  A) a appreciation of the enormous value of great images... B) a slight bias to OMG topics... C) a willingness to create evergreen content that provides basic information about topics that are frequently in the news (and often doing that very quickly when something big in the news occurs that is related to the content area of my website).


If I was you, I would look at the traffic coming into the client site already.  What is happening on social that brings people to the website.  Make more of that... or more of what seems to drive traffic from social to other sites in the client's niche.  Outdo the competitors so you get the traffic.

#346344 Evolution Of Seo - How Much Have You Evolved?

Posted by EGOL on 28 December 2013 - 11:48 AM

About ten years ago I used  to watch the forums to see what people were saying and rush to adjust my sites with every update.   Man that was a lot of work.


Then about seven years ago I started publishing quality content and making no changes to my site for the purposes of SEO.  I also stopped all efforts at acquiring links.


When I publish a new article it ranks deep in the SERPs.  Maybe on the tenth page or lower.  Then over time it begins to climb the SERPs.  S-L-O-W-L-Y.


Then, six months later, a year later and sometimes two years later the article is in contention on the first page of google and bringing in nice traffic.   After that length of time many of these articles have accumulated very few editorially-given links, some NO editorially given links,  but, yet they rank at the top of Google for really difficult queries.   I am often shocked and amazed by their rankings.


So, I have placed the bet that links are not the only thing that drives rankings and my interpretation of what I have described above is that I am indeed correct. It happens with almost every article that I publish.  


Almost none of them rank for difficult queries right away and almost all of them rank on the first page of google for almost any keyword that I optimize them for if I am willing to wait six months to two years - and their climb to the first page is slow and steady.  


My belief is that somehow google is observing what the visitors to your pages are doing and using that to determine rankings in the absence of links.   I don't give a ratsbeehind if you don't believe me because I've seen it work hundreds and hundreds of times with almost no variation.