The Future of Search Engines?

Search engine marketing is one of the most rewarding forms of marketing in terms of return on time and capital investment. Compared with direct paid advertising, where your traffic stops when you stop paying, search engine optimization is a work done today to keep working for you for some time down the road.

There is risk in the process, and it’s a big risk when the search engine giant Google decides to make a change that not only weeds out the low quality, meaningless content, but also harms some of the most content rich sites like article directories and the publishers who take their articles from article directories.

Being said, Google is not the only player in the game. Back in October 2010 Bing and Yahoo merged their search and are both now using Bing search engine. Also Bing closed some deals with third party search engines, that syndicate the search results from Google, to use Bing instead.

Now Bing accounts for 33% of the search activities on the Internet. That leaves Google, AOL, and all other search engines with 67% of the search.

Are tables turning on Google in the future? No one can tell, but obviously there is more to search engine optimization than Google. Yet, most of the search engine optimization services and information products around focus on optimizing for Google as if it were the only search engine that matters, and ignore the fact that there is another heavy weight player in the ring called Bing who’s gaining more share of the market every minute thanks to the new management of MSN and that of Google, who by the way took offices around the same time two or three years ago.

Google’s main focus now is mobile, which is by the way could be a big time bigger than computer Internet network. But the kind of service required for mobile is different and the same user could use both for different purposes. This means that search engine marketing is still a big medium for marketing and advertising, and it requires that search engine marketers keep working on updating their knowledge and techniques in order to maintain their existing businesses running.

I’d like to close with the fact that most of the content on social networks like facebook is meaningless and serve no value to the user. I mean that kind of I had that for brake fast and I love whatever. Yet, such sites got no harm from the new changes in Google’s algorithms.

I have no idea what’s going on, but I’ll be happy to hear from you if you have an opinion or news about it.

The Death of Article Marketing and Autoblogging

A few days ago Google announced new changes in the algorithms that should, according to Google, affect 12% of the search queries. The purpose of these new algorithms changes is to weed out websites with low quality that give a not so good user experience.

One group of websites that have been affected by these new changes are article directories like ezinearticles.com, because in spite of the efforts that they do on ezinearticles to keep their content unique and of high quality, still in Google’s sight it’s duplicate content. The only thing I can think of now is that ezinearticles is an article directory where marketers and authors publish their articles, and publishers go and pick the articles that suit their websites.The publishers copy the article as it is with it’s links and post it on their websites. That makes it a duplicate content.

So for those marketers who kept annoying you with the “duplicate content is a myth” thing I say: how are doing ;-)?

And there goes most of the efforts of Internet marketers who spent months and years writing articles and spending money on outsourcing to drive traffic and build back-links to their sites.

But that’s not all. Have you heard of the autoblogging business model? If not, it’s that you build a blog, subscribe to a service that scrapes content from allover the net, rewrite it sometimes, and post it on your blog automatically without your interference. You just worry about placing the ads and collect the revenue.

Now, thanks to the new algorithms, this model is dead. Really, thank you Google.

Thank you Google, because now it’s time for legitimate bloggers to take over and leave those autobloggers in the dust trying to figure out how to spam the system once again.

Now it’s your chance. Start a legitimate blog and start providing your own unique content about something you love and have knowledge about. Now you can take back what’s yours.

Is 2011 a wonderful year or what?

Facebook Viral Marketing: In Light of the Egyptian Revolution

If you have been following the news lately you’d be aware of the changes taking place in the Middle East, especially in Egypt and Tunisia, and currently in Libya and Yemen. The preparing for the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions was so powerful that it resulted in their dictators to be toppled in the matter of days, and obviously the Libyans are on the road to follow.

The interesting thing is that the preparation of these revolutions took place on the biggest, most visited website on the Internet today; Facebook. This example of viral marketing is one of the most successful ones to be studied and lectured about in the field of marketing as well as in the politics avenues.

The Egyptians started a similar attempt of revolution a couple of years ago called “the movement of April 6th.” and was aiming at general strike allover the country. The strike took place partially and the attempt failed to make any change. Later after the Tunisians tried their own version and it worked, the Egyptian found a successful example in front of their eyes to follow, and they did successfully this time.

The lessons that we as marketers should learn from the Egyptian revolution example are huge and might take quite some time and a set of websites devoted just to cover this subject, but for the purpose of this article I’ll only focus on 3 major lessons to come out with and apply in our marketing efforts.

1. Create a Front:

The Egyptians had this clearly manifested in the form of the people against the corrupt system. It’s “us” and “them” kind of segregation. This front creating made the supporters of the cause belong to the front and do anything at their disposal to defeat the “others”. That included spreading the word to their friends and relatives; commenting, liking and sharing of the stuff they wanted to go viral; reported the “others” comments as spam and got their competitors blocked from using facebook; collected related material and shared on the fan page of the front; and shared their support and, eventually, their celebration of success.

If you can follow this example in your campaign you’ve got a winner. Find a segregation, if there is not any make one and be patient. It might take a while, but after it takes off you can not stop it.

2. Social Proof:

Social proof is one of the psychological triggers used to convince people to follow your cause. The “movement of April 6th.” didn’t make it because it lacked the proof that this could work, especially that the Egyptian people were afraid of the brutality of their corrupt system in dealing with the opposition.

After the Tunisian example the atmosphere was different. They had the example to follow and the proof it could work because the Tunisian dictator was analogous to their own. “If the Tunisians could do it, so we can” the thought. That spirit was manifested during the clashes with the police and their tools. I remember one of the leaders, her name is Nawwara, was on the TV with Al-Jazeera telling the audience live on TV that “it’s only you who are worried because you are not in the middle of the battle, we have a high spirit here and are confident of our victory” more or less as some meanings might get lost in the translation.

Where was this spirit two years earlier when they used the same medium (Facebook)? The answer is that this time they had the example to follow.

So if you have real success stories, or if you thing your own story could be as inspiring as the Tunisian example, then share it with your fans on your fan page.

3. Persistence:

This one is obvious, but it’s worth to be stressed at. The Egyptians and before them the Tunisians faced threats of death and injury. In fact, hundreds were killed and thousands were injured in both countries, but the revolutions kept going until the survivors collected the freedom fruit.

And here I’d like to stop and ask you this question: are you here for fun or for a cause? If that’s a hobby that you want to make a few bucks on the Internet here and there then this model is not for you. It only works if this is the cause of your life. You gotta be cornered, like I was recently, in order to push yourself to the absolute limit and start racking thousands of dollars in revenue that could change your and your family’s life and future.

So, what are you waiting for? You’ve got a fan page to build and a cause to work for. Get going.

 

Branding Advertising, Google’s Slap, and You!

My last post about bringing value to the Internet and making money while doing so has raised some questions, especially from those who are used to direct marketing and measuring results with targeted keywords etc. The fact is that there are changes that are happening around us and a new trend is building, and my last post was an adaptation to these changes.

In the past few months tens of thousands of affiliate marketers got their Adwords accounts permanently suspended and they were banned for life from using the program. Those affiliates are used to the targeted keywords and direct marketing results measured by direct ROI. And those marketers claim that they made Google when they switched from Overture (Yahoo’s PPC back in the early 2000s) and spent millions of dollars every month with Google to make millions in revenue for themselves and their families.

It’s also said on many blogs and seminars is that Google did that to cut the way on floggers, but it’s also in favor of large corporations. And this is the change in the trend of advertising on Google.

The current advertisers on Google’s Adwords, which includes search and content network (Adsense) has two new criteria that are different from affiliates:

1. They have the advertising budget that they must spend, and the return is not a direct matter for them because:

2. They are also interested in branding their companies names, perhaps more than in direct sales.

When you are after branding the keywords are not going to make a huge difference for you. All what you need from your advertising to be effective is to easily leave your name printed in the minds of the readers. With that in mind, it makes more sense to bid on cheap keywords that get a lot of traffic than on targeted keywords that get tons of competition and is consequently very expensive.

If you check any adense block on different websites from one location you’ll find that there are certain ads that are repeatedly appearing to you regardless of the content of the website. Those are after branding.

So if  you are providing content about the latest in the news, guided with Google trends, and with a some free press releases and articles submitted to article directories you can get a flood of traffic to your blog, and those branding type of ads will keep showing to your readers according to their location not according to the content.

I hope this article explains my last one a little bit and makes it make sense to you.