I keep hearing how “SEO is dead” which is an interesting observation to me. It’s always from the same group of people that usually tout themselves as something along the lines of “social media experts” or “social media strategists”. They seem to believe that because social media exists, SEO and search is dying…how they’ve collectively come to that conclusion is beyond me.
My first question is, how can social media ever replace search? I can’t seem to grasp the idea of going to twitter or facebook to find banana bread recipes, a local dentist, or anything really. Why would any of these sites even try to step into the ring with Google? It wouldn’t end well for them. There will always be search, social media is not equivalent to search and never will be. Social media is great and has it’s place, but there is no logical way for it to replace search. Yeah, aspects of social media can influence aspects of search, but that in no way shape or form kills SEO.
To say that SEO is dead is to say that search is dead, as long as there is search there will be SEO. The means of optimization and strategy for raising position in the search engines might change but optimization will still be alive and well. I think most of the…well…lets just call them misinformed “social media experts” are referring to current methods of search engine optimization. Sure, link building, PageRank sculpting, keyword density, and all of the buzz words of SEO might mean nothing in the future, but something WILL invariably replace it.
Lets (hypothetically) say that everything we know about SEO goes out the window. In this fantasy land the search engines decide to use social media and create different metrics based on how users interact with a website to decide where it falls in the search engine results page. This could be a number of different things like: the click-through rate of the website whenever it’s posted, the number of likes it receives, the amount of people that tweet it, and anything else a search engine would deem a quality metric. Even in this scenario an opportunity would still exist for webmasters and search engine optimizers to either try to game the system or ethically gain social approval and increase interaction to OPTIMIZE their rankings.
Lets say that if your website has the most number of likes in your niche, it would show up for keywords that are most often mentioned on your fan page in the Google search results. As soon as that ranking metric is discovered there is instantly an ability to optimize. That’s exactly how search engine ranking factors have come to be known, through testing and discovery. This scenario would follow the exact same SEO process used today.
As long as people are searching for what they need when they need it and businesses can make any kind of money from ranking well in the search engines, optimizers will have no lack of work in the near future.
What it comes down to is that search engines use computers to grade, prioritize, and rank websites. As long as there is an algorithm calculating rankings there will always be some form of optimization. Until the day when Google employs the entire human race to sort through every website on the internet, optimization will still exist.
Don’t take my word for it, listen to Matt Cutts:
SEO is still alive and kickin’ and will be into the foreseeable future.
Inviting all of your friends to your fan page or facebook group can be insanely tedious and agonizing. When I made my fan page for my blog I wasn’t about to click 400 names to invite all my friends, that’s just a pure waste of time. Instead I found a way to invite ALL of them with a few clicks and it works like a charm.
To invite ALL your facebook friends to your fan page/group do the following:
1.) Copy/paste this code snippet:
2.) Go to your fan page/group and click the “suggest to friends” button.
3.) Once the box pops up asking you who you’d like to invite, paste the snippet into the URL bar of your browser and click enter. It’ll automatically select all your friends, then all you have to do is click send invitations!
That’s it! One pretty easy, quick, and useful trick that saved me a lot of time.
It’s not often big video game releases or demos/betas use crafty marketing. Halo: Reach is an upcoming video game title by AAA game studio Bungie. Bungie recently released an online beta version of Halo: Reach for people to test and try out. The Halo: Reach Beta was released on Monday and Bungie used a marketing tactic very commonly used for internet marketing product launches. The mechanism Bungie used that I’m referring to is suspense; which is one of the most underutilized and most effective methods of promoting any new product. When “gurus” release internet marketing products they on occasion won’t give a firm time/date when the product will launch, just a general idea. This builds suspense, people talk about it more, and once the product launches the flood gates open and more people buy into it because of all the chatter and hype.
The Halo: Reach beta did something very similar to this. They publicly announced the beta would become available on Monday and claimed that there were too many parties involved to give a firm time. I find that extremely difficult to believe when they have always been able to give firm times and dates when releasing things like map packs and other game downloads. What did this end up doing for them? People tweeted about it all day, people blogged about it, posted about it on forums and just made a huge commotion because people wanted to know when it was going to come out. Once the beta went live so many people logged into the game at the same time the servers crashed for close to 2 hours. This just goes to show that this tactic worked even better than they expected. If they had said it will be available at 2:00 PM it wouldn’t have received anywhere near as much attention in the blogging and social spheres.
I must say I’m impressed someone at Bungie thought of this, it’s great to know there are marketers (or marketing-minded people) inside of bigger companies that really know how to change things up.
So it’s day 2 at Continuity Summit and I must say I’ve been blown away so far. The event has exceeded all my expectations in every aspect. The people I’ve met here are great – from people just starting up to owners of multi-million dollar internet based companies. The networking opportunities are letting hundreds of people create mutually beneficial relationships giving everyone a shot at growing their business or creating new streams of income.
My company Beast Media gave a presentation on AdWords yesterday and my partner David Sinick did an amazing job. We received a lot of compliments and made some great new connections that I’m excited about. Continuity Summit has been a truly life changing experience for me this weekend. I’ve always 100% believed in what David and I are doing but the validation and appreciation I’ve been greeted with by the other attendees is extremely inspirational!
So I’m sitting here at the first day of Continuity Summit waiting for registration to get over. The event’s shaping up pretty good so far and I’m excited to meet new people over the next 3 days! If you’re coming out be sure to say hi. I’ll update over the next few days with new information and maybe even some pictures.
After writing my post on the image of affiliate marketers becoming tainted to the general public I wanted to touch on consumer responsibility. A large majority of the “non-legitimate” affiliates chalk up the misleading rebills to consumer responsibility.
If you’ve ever seen the acai berry landing pages you know how they’re structured – something similar to “Just Pay Shipping”, “Free Trial”, “Get it For $1″, etc. In general, nowhere in plain sight does it tell you that you’re being enrolled in an $89.99 (give or take) per month program that is virtually impossible to terminate without canceling your credit card.
The typical retort from acai berry affiliates is that it’s the consumers responsibility. That means it’s your job to find the tiny link on the bottom of the site and read through the terms of service where it quickly glazes over the forced continuity you’re blindly signing up for. That is a beyond idiotic argument to make and not a realistic demand.
Just imagine if everything in life was structured that way where this scenario is entirely possible:
You buy a box of cereal and are secretly enrolled in an $80 a month program for that same box of cereal every month. After being billed $80 for a box of cereal the following month and trying not to murder someone you decide to call customer service to cancel. The phone rings for hours with no answer and you realize the situation quickly becomes hopeless. You then cancel your credit card because no box cereal is worth $80 (unless it’s Lucky Charms).
I don’t think any society can function in a world like this. Consumer responsibility only goes so far, there are things that consumers need to do to protect themselves and then there are things that are completely unreasonable to expect of people.
Being an affiliate is getting an increasingly bad wrap from the general public. Mainstream media has had a rising interest in the acai berry industry the last few months. I recently saw an hour long segment on a local news station talking about the acai berry “scam” and it amazed me at how misinformed they were about it. (let alone the fact they’re over a year late.) They talked about the nightmare rebill system very commonly found on acai berry websites and the extremely poor consumer ratings.
So what does this have to do with affiliates? They’re on the front line when it comes to blame and lashback moreso than the actual publishers. There are a huge amount of affiliates that are doing borderline unethical/illegal things to make quick cash. This isn’t a “one bad apple spoils the bunch” scenario either; there are thousands of affiliates promoting questionable offers and creating this scammer image. The title of “affiliate” is quickly becoming as mistrusted as used car salesman.
The reason this is happening is simply greed. There was a hole in the system for protecting consumers online by misleading them and it was heavily taken advantage of. Now that firm action has been taken by the FTC most of these affiliates are both whining and struggling to keep their income at the same level.
This is always going to happen with these types of offers which is why long term legitimate campaigns > short term questionable offer.
With all that said, there are plenty of affiliates out there playing by the rules and not exploiting the system that have the ultimate “I told you so” on the others. Props to all of my legitimate affiliate brothers, keep doing what you’re doing and you won’t have a problem making it.
I’m on my way to Connecticut for two weeks and I’m pumped to work my ass off and flesh as much new material as possible. My partner David Sinick and I have some huge plans for the next few weeks. We’ll be putting on a presentation at Continuity Summit in early March for a new product line we’re creating centered around creating and managing pay-per-click campaigns. We have loads of awesome content and lots of tips/tricks/secrets for staying super profitable that we’re excited to share. After Continuity Summit we’ll be launching the line of products to the rest of you so be sure to stay up to date here if you’re interested. I’ll update you guys throughout my trip about the products and other new and exciting big picture stuff.
Being completely open minded when testing new campaigns can be difficult. Whenever I start creating a campaign and begin to jot down headlines and copy to test I frequently disqualify a lot of possibilities on the spot. After you run different campaigns for a while you get an idea of what’s going to work and what isn’t, this can both hurt or help you as I’ve come to realize. I ran a lead generation campaign recently for a free initial consultation and tested two different headline:
“Sign Up For a Free Initial Consultation with Your First Visit”
“Sign Up For a Consultation”
Normally I wouldn’t have even bothered with the second headline because it isn’t anywhere near as appealing in my mind. I decided to just throw a bunch of wild card headlines into the mix like “Sign Up For a Consultation” just to see the CTR and opt-in rate difference but I was pretty shocked by the results. The second headline has an opt-in rate TWICE as high as the top headline. Even with experience you never know if something will work until you try it – especially in an unfamiliar niche/demographic. What I’m getting at here is this: try LOTS of different variations in your campaigns – don’t pigeon hole yourself to what you think will work. Make sure you’re covering a wide spectrum of ideas and not just testing your assumptions for what will work.