Category: Internet Marketing


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At the top of a list of articles that I’m pleased with, are the ones that made it to the first page of Google.

Top Articles are on the First Page of Google

One thing that I’ve learned recently is that when it comes to ranking on search engines, you really had best be on the front page.  Google users have changed their search patterns. For them, the top articles they’re likely to click-through and read are going to be on the front page of Google.

Top (Traffic) Articles are not on Deeper Pages of Google

No longer do they drill down to the second, third, fourth and fifth pages of results (which for everything there are usually millions of some kind of results).  Though this may happen occasionally, what is incredibly more likely to happen is for them to simply go back to the search box and refine their search.  (I know that’s what I do.)

My “Top” Articles on Google

Yes, this leaves me excited!  That’s how I felt to discover some of my posts were on the top page of Google.  These articles were ones I’d just put out there, with no real intention (usually) that they’d end up on the front page of Google. Many bloggers have number one positions, and a lot more traffic, but for me, this is a fun start.

At any rate, I’m happy to share that a number of articles from  NewTechnologyGeek.com have actually become “top articles on Google” (at least being on the front page of search).

 

Today’s Top Articles on Google (Mar.06/2011)

As of the time of the writing of this article, (and these always change) the following articles were ranked on the first page of Google for relevant search terms!  Here are some, separated by categories.

Keyword optimization (making sure I was conscious about finding a niche with openness to certain keywords — i.e. no strong competing sites with keyword-based traction; containing those words in that specific arrangement) was my only real tool of optimization.  That and outbound links, though I consider that a subset of the larger tactic, since being aware of the visible text of your links is fairly significant, I understand.

With each article/webpage, I note whether or not I spent time doing that kind of optimization, or just wrote it “off the cuff” and let it fly, I note at the end of each entry.

 

Sectional Pages on the Front Page of Google

  1. New Technology Geek.com:  The home-page of this website—which you should expect to rank on the first (top) page for its own name.  Now, granted, this is not technically an article, but I’m happy it’s on the first page of Google.  Search Terms:new technology geek, “new technology geek” [Yes, this is a “first result” top listing, though this shouldn’t really count as a “top article on Google.”]  (Not optimized at all.)
  2. Recent Trends Category Page which, though it’s not really an article, still comes out on the top/front page of Google for this search.  The reason being is that near the top of this page is the following article:  Splainers.com: Let Us Stick Figure Your Story which is a short review/explanation of what the Splainers site is, was a surprising hit over top of other links out there.  Search terms: splainers.com

Notable Sites and/or Recommendations on the Front Page of Google

  1. Splainers.com: (see above)   Search terms: splainers.com (Not optimized.)
  2. Qwerty to Dvorak Converter: If you got your keyboard stuck in a different keyset input mode, and you already typed a bunch of text, how can you save yourself the time of retyping it?  (Recommending an online converter/translator site.)  Search terms: qwerty to dvorak, qwerty to dvorak converter, dvorak to qwerty converter, etc.  (Maybe optimized?)
  3. Several Sources for Free apps for the Mac: The app store and a number of freeware and shareware lists and sources online.  I’m really geeked about making this a “top” (front page) article on Google since, despite a lack of research on my part, I suspect this is a fairly commonly searched term.  We’ll see.  Search terms: free apps for the mac (Optimized)

How-To Articles on the First Page of Google

  1. How to Freeze Panes in Excel 2008: This is a really simple article describing how to fix a particular Excel problem with “freezing panes”  (maintaining visibility on the first one or more rows and/or columns).  Search terms: freeze panes in excel, excel freeze panes, etc. (Optimized?  Probably not optimized—one good note is that I made sure to include in the title and meta-keyword [tags] the version and operating environment so that people would be more likely to find this if it was exactly what they were looking for.)
  2. How to Set Your YouTube Thumbnail: The basic quarters (25%, 50%, 75%) rule, as described elsewhere, with insight on the wiggle-variability of where thumbnail frames actually show up. Search terms: how to set your youtube thumbnail, youtube thumbnail video how, etc. (Optimized, I think.)

Stories and Articles (Informational) on the First Page of Google

  1. JC Penny’s Google Black Hat Tryst: At the recommendation of Girbe E. from the Film Farm, I checked out the story of how JC Penny appears to have used some “black hat” techniques to get all sorts of their products to be top articles on Google’s front page(s) of search results.  Though a number of professional news outlets covered this, apparently it wasn’t all that many, and this one got to be on the front page too.  Search terms: JC Penny and Google, (Optimized unintentionally.)  Perhaps losing traction.
  2. Who’s Afraid of Duplicate Content?: Wow. This short anecdote which mentions Google’s algorithm change and how a bad example might’ve hurt someone else’s rankings….Well, this one blew my socks off getting on the first page of Google (which it seems to be slowly edging off.)  Search terms: duplicate content [Maybe it was just freshness—but it’s neat to have landed on the front page of Google for a two-word search string. (Not exactly long tail!)], Google algorithm change and Duplicate Content, etc.

 

First Page Traffic Breakdown

What I’ve heard is that the distribution between traffic from Google search results gives the web-page that ranks at the top in natural search about 35% of the total web-traffic available on that search.  The rest goes to the remainder of the articles found on the first page of search, and subsequent Google pages do not rank at all.

 

My Next Goal

Now, if only I get the top search result for articles written here.  That’ll be my next goal—getting some articles in the top result on relevant front pages for a particular subject or search keywords.

Job-hunting is beginning to involve more and more online aspects.  Traditional internet job-hunting aspects, from finding ads online, to using online services, are being over-shadowed by the power of social media, LinkedIn and your Google-quotient.  It seems that more and more, what people can find about you online has more authenticity and relevance than what anybody else can say about you.

This article just confirms that.

If you don’t have an online presence, you won’t appear to be relevant and you will be passed over for more savvy applicants that have visibility. You need to be creative in your job search by developing your own product, eBook, viral video, or personal advertisement.

via 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years – Dan Schawbel – Personal Branding – Forbes.

I recommend that you find a way to leverage social media and the internet in your own job-search.

 

Yup.  Building your community online takes some practical effort, and a little knowhow.  Matt Mullenweg describes how…not to go about building an online community.

6 Steps to Kill Your Community — Matt Mullenweg.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

How do you set your YouTube thumbnail…again?

According to this seemingly complicated formula, this is how YouTube sets frames in its videos:

X = Video length in sec.Y = X divided by 4 or X/4 in sec.

via How to Set Up The Right Poster Frame in YouTube.

Okay—admittedly, there’s more to it than that—I just cut it down to that for simplicity’s sake…maybe I should say, for “complexity’s sake” because I thought the Squidoo lense where I found this information had perhaps a bit too involved a way of explaining all this.

So, how do I figure out what video frames YouTube uses as its poster frame?

A simpler (or at least different) way to express that would be to put your poster frames at the quarter marks (1/4, 1/2, 3/4).  But then they make it even more complicated by adding statements about “you’ll have to experiment a little bit.”  Well, which is it?

How do you figure out how to set your YouTube keyframe?  Is it this super-exact formula, or is it “just fool around until you figure it out?”

[If the latter is true] In which case, why did you bother making an article (in this actually a Squidoo lense) about all this?

Video Compression Likely Affects Thumbnails

….but then I surfed a bit more and found these comments in response to a related YouTube video that they had posted:

well i tested this out on my video, “winter longboarding edit” – verdict: doesn’t work. my video is 4:07 long, meaning a thumbnail every 61.75 seconds; while each is Roughly at the minute mark, my first thumbnail is at 0:54, 2nd at 2:00, 3rd at 3:00 – by your calculation they Should have been 1:01, 2:03, 3:05. have they randomized it a bit now?

via YouTube – YouTube Thumbnail Timer Video.

I think the answer is that there is a segmentation used in video compression, where the only actual real “frames” somehow are located at the boundaries of those segments.  This means that for things like DVD chapter (start points) and, I’m guessing, these YouTube thumbnails too, the salient single frame of video must occur at that boundary-mark.   Probably YouTube aims for the 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 (quartermarks) but only can come in as close as possible.

Where (and what) are thumbnails?

These thumbnails are, practically speaking, small JPGs stored on the YouTube server.  So now that you know how to set thumbnails for your YouTube video—where do you find those video thumbnails, once they’re set?

According to the Squidoo lense, you can find them here:

YouTube thumbnails are built like this:
http://img.youtube.com/vi/[video-id]/1.jpg

In this instance, “1.jpg” is only the format…the other thumbnails will be “2.jpg” and “3.jpg” in the same root directory.

Building these Thumbnails into Your Scripts

I have the distinct feeling that, like everything online, this quarter-mark policy will eventually change.  So, you can count on it (roughly) for now, but I’d recommend not making a huge deal about writing your scripts around these special numbers.

Just be aware, things change.

Conclusion regarding this Video Lense

Probably, with a hope to monetize, this lense also included a reference to an eBook you can buy about YouTube marketing.  This book posits that you can do your YouTube marketing taking only “an hour a day.”  A few notes about that statement:

  1. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot from one perspective .
  2. This is actually probably an accurate statement (from that same perspective)
  3. It is not a whole lot from that same perspective.
  4. From another perspective, that is a lot of total time to be invested (think about how many hours that is across five years!)
  5. And, well, see below…

Though I can’t comment on the value of this product, I will go on to say that I did find a great free many, many page report about YouTube marketing at RapidVideoBlogging.com, which seemed extensive (if not exhaustive) and also pretty accurate from what I could tell.

(No, I’m not an affiliate for either of these sites, but I thought I’d just share them anyhow—I just thought there were valuable and thought I’d share them anyways.)

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Duplicate content.  What is it?

Your site should have works that are original to the online environment.  If not, you’ll be penalized by Google (in terms of your ranking) — don’t worry, no nun is going to come to your house wearing brightly colored letter-badges and slap you with a “Search now” ruler — but you don’t want to lose your ranking in Google if you can help it.

This is part of being a contributor who shares things with the online world!

A recent change to Google’s algorithm sticks it to duplicate content harder than Google did before.

There were a couple of articles about all this—and one that ironically quotes the other (duplicate content?) here: Google Algorithm Change, Greenlight: Small Business – Technology , and here: Google update cracks down on duplicate content.

I’m bringing this up to remind everyone that the main thing you want to contribute online is good, high quality, unique/original content.  …and I also want to solve a problem I may have inadvertently caused.

A little while ago, I showed a mock-up of a World War II veteran stories website, that was supposed to be a demonstrator to the good folks at the Film Farm, but I neglected to explain duplicate content penalties, and how a real website shouldn’t have content just copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

They recently put out a new post (as I’d urged them to become more regular about content being posted to their site) and they’d followed through with gusto.  However, their latest post, featuring a new type of update that they were going to share—namely videos from their archives.

However, I noticed that a big (more than half) part of their post was a chunk of quoted material from Wikipedia, and I realized that might get them sent in the wrong direction on their search rankings.

Oops!  So, I wrote them an explanatory comment…and then in searching around for more information on this topic, I wrote this article to compile it all here.

LINK BAIT - Tsavo Media

Image by Frank Gruber via Flickr

A couple articles from ProBlogger.com I’ve come across talked about the issue of “Linkbait” …what is that?  I didn’t know when I first heard it—but I guessed, and I did so correctly.

  1. Introduction to Linkbaiting
  2. 20 Linkbaiting Techniques.

These two articles give (1) a basic definition and explanation of the concept/practice, and (2) a list of examples of how to do it (right or wrong) with some of the risks involved.

Linkbait. I think it’s a silly name—a name for really good stuff.

Okay, someone will correct me and say that it can also be really bad stuff…so it’s really “linkable stuff.”
But, it’s really good in the sense that it’s stuff that’s worth having on the internet if someone wants to link to it …it’s worth enough of someone’s time for them to discuss it.  It’s obviously something that someone wants to talk about—but wouldn’t you want to always make blog posts / articles / web-content that people want to talk about?

Linkbait is what you should try to do anyways.

So, what is linkbait?  Well, apparently these two above articles qualify—so the articles about linkbait, were linkbait.

J.C. Penney

Image by Michael R. Allen via Flickr

JC Penny’s situation is fairly common—black hat techniques are used to exploit a loophole in Google, but Google eventually finds the loophole, patches it, and applies a (search) penalty to the exploiter, usually knocking them well down in search rank so that they don’t get as much traffic.  What was remarkable is how well JC Penny was able to pull of this stunt, and how widespread and effective they were able to make it.
The story of all this, I heard about from a friend, and then was able to find reference to in an online news source… It looks like they had a huge number of incoming links from other sites.  Remember how I mentioned link-building?   But, it wasn’t a genuine natural process…it was something fake/forced, which though not illegal benefits only JC Penny, and not the larger crowd that Google is trying to service (in other words JC Penny wasn’t actually being good high quality contributors to get those results, they were just finding a shortcut)…now they disavowed their involvement in this process…but I’m not so sure.  There was a slightly scandalous viral video that was circulating (and got a lot of exposure) with their name on it, and they disavowed it too.
We don’t know, but it’s possible that this was a carefully orchestrated gambit—knowing how much traffic was out there in the holiday season, and weighing that against how little traffic there is available after the holiday season.  Maybe they just knew that if they could even get a fraction of a percentage increase in traffic during the holidays for their online sales, it would far outweigh any penalty Google could impose in the post-holiday season when there’s so little traffic to be had anyways.  That’s the wager you have to make when doing black-hat stuff—usually short term gains vs. long term stability.

Image representing Xtranormal as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

The first thing I’ll point out is that video is beginning to become more than just the “hot” new thing; it’s a “keeping up with the Jones’ thing” now for business.  YouTube, I hear, is the second largest search engine—and is used for posting not only video, but audio (without real video with it) or even text-based things (with information textually in the description only).

More and more companies are offering their services for web-based video construction.  Let me highlight a couple.

1. Epipheo Videos

The business creates videos for businesses on the web, using an animation style, and with a focus on a solid-core nugget of an idea.  So much focus is put on this central nugget, that the name of the company is actually an amalgam of video and epiphany.

2. iScript

This one doesn’t rely on voice-synthesizers, but takes your screenplay, and has (real) actors record it into a listen-able mp3 which you can then send to Hollywood script reviewers who will supposedly be more apt to listen to your screenplay than read it (even though the latter is faster) because they’ll take it with them when they go jogging and such.  I’m one to take advantage of spare moments doing menial tasks listening in to podcasts and such, but I really am not sold that “Hollywood is listening” as their tagline asserts.

 

3. Xtranormal | Text-to-Movie.

This is sort of silly—but it allows users to make movies with pre-made talking avatars, 3D, basically, with ability to create scenes of dialogue, with what look to be pre-defined accents, poses, characters, settings, etc.—all read by a speech synthesizer which shows how technology is becoming uncannily better.  I’ve seen a couple of these before I realized what they were, but first sat up and noticed when this was posted on a friend’s Facebook:

Another funny one on the site, was this movie, about a woman held captive—in a action-movie-style parody.

 

Unfortunately, I haven’t tried any of these—but just came across them, so don’t consider anything I say an endorsement, or even a critical review: it’s really all just a flag/alert to some interesting new ideas out there.

Burning Words: Write them Now!For almost the past month, I’ve been writing, short stories. One per day. My goal: do this for one year, and have not only practiced extensively my craft, but opened new brain maps for success—for thinking of myself as not just a someday writer, but as a definite here-and-now author.  However, something large and exciting is looming:

So, in one hour it begins: NaNoWriMo — The Infamous National Novel Writing Month where pure output beckons, and thousands of would-be writers test their mettle to see if they can make it work and win. The prize? Having accomplished a full first-draft of a 50,000 word novel (novella?).  If you sign up online, you will be one of the official contestants, responsible for writing an average 1,667 words per day, or about 2,000 if you take one day in seven out.  At the end of the process, the honor system prevails with an automated online word-count checker.

Not to take away from the initial goal I had of writing a short story every day, I found this shortest form of short story I could find—the drabble.  It’s technicall one-hunded (100!) words only, which gives you room to pack a punch, but not to mess around. Here’s one piece of machinery that I found very useful, app-wise, when it comes to writing: especially drabbles, but I imagine it will be just as great for 2,000 words a day during NaNoWriMo as well: Write or Die by Dr Wicked.

What is this application?  It’s a very simple online text-enter zone, where you can set some parameters (basic goals for words, time to spend, etc.) and then start typing.  If you fall behind your parameters (your # of words, etc.) then an annoying alarm sounds, and the screen will flash pink, then red.  This warns the dawdling mind that time is up.  Various levels of forgiveness are available, including the military-strength kamikaze mode, which begins to delete your writing after you pass a certain point of slothful not-putting-words-on-paper.

Just do it.  Carpe diem.  Recently, the “classic” movie Back to the Future celebrated a significant anniversary since it’s release date.  The actor who portrayed the time-machine inventor / mad-scientist “Doc” described his character thuswise: as a man engaged in a race against time, someone who had so many ideas, so many thoughts, so much to do, that he simply couldn’t stop.  An apt theme for a main character in a movie about travel through time, no doubt, but it is more than that — it’s a window on how we all should live our lives.  We all have genius to pour out onto this life, good things to do—and so much distraction to waste away the beauty that we could sow upon the world.

Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart unto wisdom.

-Psalm 90:12

Life is short.  Write fast.  As another sci-fi flick mad-scientist character (Soren, from Star Trek: Generations) said, “Time is the fire in which we burn.”

Write or die.

Just a note: the Write or Die application by one mysterious “Dr. Wicked” came into my personal noosphere (cognitive space, knowledge, awareness) when I was listening to a brand new (to me) podcast:  You can find it on the iTune store under “Tech for Writers” — its content is extremely helpful, and I actually find this podcast to be made of  probably more practicably applicable information than many of the other more “fun” how-to-write shows that I often listen to—the real nuts and bolts of things to use, and the day-to-day physical side of life as a writer is quite bracing herein, and like nothing I’ve seen anywhere else.  Quite the example of the niche.

Roomba‘s and apocalypse: former schoolmate Rachel Zylstra…a musician singer-songwriter with a YouTube channel called “Advice Music.”

Roombas, Captchas and the End of the Age

Roomba Eats People. Enter Captcha.

A song entitled “reckoning (rhetorically) with robots” deals an answer to a tongue-in-cheek query:

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