Archive for February, 2011
Facebook made a change to the way “liked” content displays in users’ newsfeeds. From now on, when users like a piece of content on a website, a link, along with a brief description and a picture will show up in their own newsfeeds (see screenshot), essentially replacing the Facebook share feature.
Before, liked content showed up as a title and link. To get the image and brief description, users had to copy and paste a URL and attach it to a post on their own wall. This move makes it a lot easier to share content with this more prominent newsfeed layout, and will be better for media organizations looking to use Facebook to spread content.
Also, for this reason it’s even more important to install the Facebook Like button on individual pages and posts.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about JC Penny’s “success” at gaming Google, ranking first or near the top for every search from “black dress” to “area rugs”…and subsequently being caught by Google and blacklisted. Now, we learn from the Wall Street Journal, a second major online retailer has cheated Google’s guidelines and been caught.
Overstock.com used a black hat SEO strategy similar to the one JC Penny used: artificial placement of inbound links on outside websites (aka link farming). However, their tactics do appear slightly less shady; Where JC Penny paid thousands of random websites for link placement, Overstock asked (or paid) educational institutions with .edu domains for link placement. Because Google’s search algorithm gives more weight to links from .edu websites, especially when they link to consumer retail websites (rare), Overstock.com gained a significant artificial boost in SEO. While the benefits may have been great while they lasted, Overstock was caught and is now paying the price, with Google “correcting” their search results.
So many stories, so little time. So every week we put together a list of notable tech/media/non-profit stories and publish them here. This week: Tech companies and the Middle East, music, and why Murdoch doesn’t get social media.
Why the corporate values of tech companies like Twitter and Facebook are becoming integral to revolutions.
After weeks of complaints that it’s failing to find the best information on the web while companies enlist black hat practices to game search results, Google announces a change to its search algorithm and a war on content farms.
More big finance jumping on social media, J.P. Morgan announces Social Media Fund. Buy Now!
Listen up. The much-loved music streaming service Spotify just raised another round of funding, reports they’ll be in the U.S. soon.
Time says your favorite link shorteners like Bit.ly will be fine, no matter what happens in Libya.
Facebook is always changing. Here’s a quick video on how to set up a welcome tab in the new iFrames.
The Daily’s social problem, or why I’m now betting against Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad newspaper.
Up until today, I’ve been reading The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad newspaper, on a third party website called The Daily Indexed. Thankfully, someone hacked the Daily through their own trial subscription so we non-iPad toting types could read the content. But now that trial subscription has run out, and so has that site it appears.
By design, The Daily is essentially anti-social. It’s only available on the iPad. There’s a Daily website, but stories can’t be found there (without the help of clever hacking). The Daily subscribers can share links to stories over Facebook and other social sites, but those of us without access cannot, unless we’re given the link first. There are no embedded hyperlinks in stories that would bring a user out of the app or to another site. The content can’t be found on search. And as far as I can tell, with no list of staff contacts, there is no easy way to reach a reporter, should a story break that you, say, wanted to tell someone at The Daily about.Read More…
We’re looking to hire an intern this spring with potential for full time employment in the summer. Here are some details:
A Little About Us
We’re a digital agency with a progressive bend. We like working with charity organizations, non-profits and like-minded brands. We help groups build communities online, activate social networks, grow sales and change the world.
A Little About You
A recent, or soon-to-be, grad with experience in social media and digital marketing. Comfortable communicating with clients and sharing your new ideas. Of course you’ll need to be on all the regular social networks too.
What You’ll Do
Daily social sweeps for clients and help manage social media profiles. Manage Adwords campaigns, Google grants and Facebook ads. Help develop new campaigns for clients as needed. Write blog posts and anything else you think you can do that will add value.
Click around our site, read our blog, follow us on Twitter and get in touch over email.
Send inquiries to john.peabody at commonsensenms.com
Here’s a new rundown we’ll be posting every Friday of the week’s must-read tech, non-profit and social media stories.
How did J.C. Penny end up so high in so many search results? The New York Times looks at the nefarious business of gaming Google, and Reid Benson shares tips on ranking higher in search, the proper way.
Facebook page redesign hurts tab traffic.
Red Cross shows how damage control should be done on Twitter, and creates new web slang too. #gettingslizzerd
By far the most striking change in Facebook’s recent Fan Page redesign was the new placement of tabs. Now photos take the top spot above the wall, along the marquee, and tabs are relegated to a lesser position underneath the profile picture.
Our initial research shows this new layout affects tabs traffic negatively.
We graphed some tab click data for one of our clients. Now, even though this shows a decrease in tab traffic, we’re not ready to scrap tabs altogether.
First, we think there will be a natural lull when users re-learn where the tabs are and get re accustomed to them. Second, with the new redesign came the ability to advertise directly to tabs. This along with Facebook’s shift from FBML to iFrames signals to us that tabs will become more robust. Of course, for now to get users these tabs, we’ll likely have to pay the piper sort of speak, in the form of FB tab ads, and wait to see if users readjust to the new layout.
We’ve written about QR codes before. And there’s a good chance you’ve seen quick response codes, the square black and white images, used in advertisements too. Here in Boston they are common place on the subway ads. We started using QR codes with one of clients and so far our preferred QR code generator is Likify.net.
Likify is unique because it builds a Facebook like button into a QR code. So when you scan them with your mobile device, it brings you to a like button page for a given Facebook Fan page, instead of to web page. It’s just one more way to pick up fans , and to bridge the digital world with the real world.
The best part of the free service that Likify provides though, is the ability to track how many scans and likes you get from a given code.
If you’re looking for a good QR scanner for you phone, I suggest QR Reader for iPhones. It’s free and easy.
No one should be surprised that Borders has filed for bankruptcy. Sadly, it was inevitable. When you get books for less from outlets like Amazon, when you can read magazines online and when well, what they were selling, we are buying in other places and in other ways.
What is interesting to note is how Borders, and other bricks and mortar companies, and legacy groups in generals, define themselves in terms of ‘what they do’ and how they often are deeply mistaken about what their core business is. I have been noting that newspapers think they are in the ‘paper’ business when actually they are in the ‘news’ business.
Borders sells books.
The web makes it easier and faster to sell books.
So, Borders should sell books online, via e-readers, et cetera. But for years, a decade perhaps, Borders thought it was in the bookstore business. And when it tried to catch up it was too little, too late.
Ironically, there isn’t a single reason in the world why Borders shouldn’t own Amazon. Or have been Amazon. Except, that they didn’t understand a decade ago, they were in the book business not the bookstore business.
Since the NY Times’ story broke this past weekend, much has been made of JC Penny’s recent “success” at gaming Google. In case you’re not familiar with the case, here’s what happened:
For roughly 4 months JC Penny was the top Google organic search result for everything from “dresses” to “area rugs” to “samsonite carry on luggage”. How? JC Penny’s search consulting firm, SearchDex, used black hat methods that included placing a huge number of paid links on shady sites, which sent clickers to JC Penny’s home page. While these links used anchor text relevant to Google search terms (e.g. black dresses), they were placed on completely irrelevant sites (e.g. nuclear.engineeringaddict.com) and clicked on either by SearchDex users or, more likely, a bot they created. This operation yielded phenomenal short-term results but has now incurred the full wrath of Google; JC Penny’s search results are now subject to “corrective” action.
So what’s the lesson here?
It’s simple: Play the SEO game fairly. When you use black hat methods you’re likely to get caught, and the risks far outweigh the rewards. As benevolent as Google may appear at times, you do not want to cross them (a lesson BMW learned in 2006). As such, here’s a quick guide for properly improving your SEO:Read More…