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Google comes up with Social Search!

February 4th, 2010 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora

 

Google’s announcement of stitching Google search results with social networks is now a successful feature, launched as an opt-in experiment in Google Labs. 

Google comes up with Social Search - SERPS

Google comes up with Social Search - SERPS

Social Search has literally made online search a lot more easy and personal, which means now when you are searching for a particular piece of information blogged about, by a friend of yours, you get it on the first page.
What really makes Social Search amazing is the fact that it easily finds any piece of web content from your social connections on internet, whether you are looking for a Blog or tweet or friend’s profile update. In simple words, you can call this feature as a search filter that finds you result from your social circle on Blogs, FriendFeed, Twitter or any other social networking sites linked to your Google account. 

              

 Google search works just the way it has been doing for years now, which means you can still go on searching for information without using the new ‘Social Search’ feature. Social Search is nothing but an attempt of making search results more relevant and flexible, as not only does it provides all your social circle based web information on one place… but also prioritizes results from your friend circle.

Google Social Search Results

Google Social Search Results

 Despite social networking bazaar of Twitter, blogs and Facebook being a huge platform for social media marketing, it is not hard to find those who are skeptical and ignorant of its ability to advertise to a bigger circle of prospective customers.
The good news is that social circle search not only, remarkably, answers all such uncertainties, but also displays a good example of how social search results can change SEO.

Since the Social Search displays results from a particular circle of friends (Google users) linked to social networking sites, if you are a business firm seeking good SEO or online marketing through web of networking sites, having online networking profiles or blogs can do a lot. So now when a follower on your Twitter profiles searches through Google’s’ Social Search, the result will also feature content or pictures or blogs posted by you… because, you are part of the user’s social circle.
Isn’t that speedy marketing and unique form of SEO? Truth is… ‘Social Circle Search’ boosts and defines the social media marketing feature of many networking sites.

How it works? Simple, you add links to your social networking sites on your Google account, stay online and in no time this new feature will present you with relevant resources, collected from your circle of known people on web.

Google Social Search SERPS for a Search with Google Bus

Google Social Search SERPS for a Search with Google Bus

How it helps? Well, imagine you need a good comparison of iPhone and a new Blackberry mobile set. So, instead of tweeting your friends or calling them up to ask if anyone knows which phone is better, you simply search online… and Google’s Social Search will, scan each and every publicly posted content from your friends online to, give a search results from people you know… in short, if your friend has blogged or tweeted about the information you seek, Google will bring it to you (its always better to get information from trusted source than an unknown blogger) along with other results too.

Google’s Social Search is based on the perception that a user would always give importance to search results, from a known and trusted group of people.
It seems Google is trying to transform the verbal social search into techno form of online social search…!

Bing shares its formula to right link building!

December 1st, 2009 | Posted by Bhavya Kapoor | See all posts by Bhavya Kapoor

The Bing community blog is picking up, Kudos to the eminent blogger from webmaster center team “Rick DeJarnette”, for putting up such nice write ups.

Yes, I am about to put forward my thoughts on the much hyped, yet appreciated blog post by Bing:
http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/webmaster/archive/2009/11/20/link-building-for-smart-webmasters-no-dummies-here-sem-101.aspx

Bing - Link Building Methodology

Bing - Link Building Methodology

Well, in my opinion, “Market through Search” is a route taken up by every business on web today, in a hope to get that right traffic and since Google is one major traffic driving highway, a huge amount of link building is done following the Google prospect.

But what has easily been escaping everyone’s eye is what I intend to throw some light on! While, Google might be the bull of Search market, none can today deny the presence of other big search engines running tough to compete, with Bing being one of the toppers in the row!

For the first time, Bing has come out and spoken out loud about its expectations of link building process done by webmasters online. Bing’s formula for things to do and to avoid for effective link building is, unsurprisingly, similar to that advertised by Google with a point more or less different or new.

Now that is what all of us webmasters need to know about very well, don’t you think!? And hey, check this out: Bing too counts quality links as a priority when determining the ranking of a website.
Bing’s formula clearly goes on to say that expecting instant success and satisfaction is a wrong approach and that a continual efforts and creativity are the key elements to stick to.

In other words fellows, things to avoid while link building are basically a list of manipulating and violating elements that are often used to speed up as well as to influence the route for marketing, through search route. When your objective of link building is good and improved web ranking, Bing clearly says no to any hidden links used on a web page and linking to known spam sites.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Bing also rejects process of exchanging with bad web neighbors and paid link farms.

But believe it or not, I have to agree with Bing here now. Having inbound links from a relevant blog is good, while getting huge traffic of inbound links from unrelated and inappropriate sites or blogs is totally erroneous, just to get our website ranked high within a short time span, isn’t cool anymore (Ah, well, it won’t work either, anyways :) )!
And just so you know, in case you don’t agree to me, Bing holds a stern perspective towards those found violating and manipulating the link building codes for “Marketing through Search”.

If you need to know stuff that you should do, to get better rankings with Bing, read on…
- Bing favors the idea of publishing professional articles on web based article directories, as well as informative and useful, but to the point, online press releases.

- Creating a blog/forum on a website is always an added advantage to that business site, in terms of online marketing. -

- If you don’t have a blog on your website, you can always partake in other blogs/forums sharing information regarding your site or business.

- Bing expects you to stick to the theme, so I suggest it would be wiser to constrain to relevant blogs and forums only, as well as publish your business related articles only. Only by participating in and publishing the related blogs and information can you attract relevant media people, product reviewers, industry experts and bloggers.

- Notifying online users of new content through email newsletter is a right approach.

And lastly, going advanced by connecting to social networking sites is the new “must-to-do” approach to spread your website links.

Phew! These are what I call Bing’s formula to efficient and effective link building.  And believe it or not, I totally endorse it! 

I know what you guys must be thinking by now. You can’t find much difference between the approach or Google and Bing when it comes to Link Building, can you? You’re right! But although Bing has a simple formula for good link building which clearly resembles to what Google works on, I truly believe that with more and more Search Engines laying effective guidelines out-in-open, people like you and me would be better equipped to understand the pulse of Search Engines and achieve better web ranking systems for our clients.

Let me know what you think!

Blog world rises up to break its predicted doom!

November 27th, 2009 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora

I was browsing through TechCrunch just like any other day, and could’nt stop my self from reading this pretty interesting writeup. Experts at TechCrunch have figured out that Old School Blogging is picking up yet again, while the twitter like micro blogging platforms are nearing a saturation. Well yes, that’s how it goes at the moment!

Just when there was a downfall to Web-Blogging trend, as predicted by experts who couldn’t ignore the high tides of the shorter and smarter Blog posts, through Microblogging platforms like Twitter, Flicker and Facebook, Blog world has come back refusing to be written off so soon.

2008 was the year when a lot of bloggers were pulling back their Blogs to modify them into a Tweet or Wall post, because of the excessive publicity being drawn by the all new world of Microblogging and Social Networking boom. Microblogging was truly and undoubtedly launched as a simple and smarter way of giving the focused information in one sentence, by cutting down the exercise of paragraph-building over one little point.

But with the latest research figures shown by comScore, it is evident that Blogs are not dying or vanishing, well… surely not yet! In fact, the recent data clearly shows a decline in Twitter visitors, not just in US, but all over the world. The slow down has been observed, more or less, in the Twitter website rather than in its clientele like TweetDeck and Seesmic.

Blogging Platform Versus Microblogging platform: Wordpress and Twitter Usage Comparison graph for October 09

Blogging Platform Versus Microblogging platform: Wordpress and Twitter Usage Comparison graph for October 09

While a Microblogging platform like Twitter witnessed a visitor downfall from 58.4 million to 58.3 million in the month of September, Blog site like Wordpress.com have been rising higher with a gain of 10 million visitors and ended up the month with a  total visitor count of 151.8 million. This phase of picking-up in growth of Blogging has come as a pleasing surprise for the Blog world, which was becoming pretty much a stagnant story.

The use of research data of WordPress is just an example to show that the good old Blogging hasn’t died yet and holds the power to re-emerge, as a major net-communication and web-marketing platform. The growth data of sites like Blogger (which rose from a slump, to an increase of18.2 million visitors in the month of October) visitors tells the same story that Blogging hasn’t been smashed to its end, as was being predicted by those who were mesmerized by the revolution of Microblogging wonder like Twitter.

Blog world is certainly shinning again, but to say that this sudden one-month popularity and incoming traffic spike will make Blogs the King again and slay the Microblogging future, would be a wrong thing to do.  The comScore research is just an observed pattern that does not tell us much right now, except that Twitter or Facebook might be going slow currently.

I for one believe that shortcuts while expressing yourself, or probably summarising expressions in a 140 character limit is something that’ll remain in trend with the younger generation. I also think that nothing at the moment can outdo old school blogging. The more the words, the more freely you can express yourself. Quiet obvious, I could’nt have covered this topic so extensively on a micro blogging platform like twitter. But the flipside is, I do not underestimate the power of spreading this article through twitter to my followers.

Anyways, one thing is clear now, that despite the dooming predictions and the birth of rival Blogging platforms, Blogs are still going strong and hold the power to affect the market, communicate, and spread virally.

Interested in knowing more about Blogs and their advantages? Give us a call or check out our Blog Marketing section!

Yahoo’s Paid Inclusion Program is coming to an end!

October 21st, 2009 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora
Yahoo Paid Inclusion Program is nearing it's end!

Yahoo Paid Inclusion Program is nearing it's end!

 

Yahoo has issued a statement to announce its decision to put an end to its paid inclusion program by the end of year 2009. The news was confirmed by a Yahoo spokesperson, on October 15, at the iProspect/Range Online Media Client Summit, moderated by Danny Sullivan Editor-in-Chief Search Engine Land.

Just as now, you can notice that Yahoo Paid Inclusion  link now redirects to Yahoo Advertising.

According to the statement issued by Yahoo on the change, Yahoo said that it’s trying to focus all its resources and work to its core service area, which also includes improving relevancy of advertisements to intensify ROI for advertisers and user engagement and advancing search experience. Using enhancements like new search results page, Yahoo has pushed up improvement and advancement in Search Marketing, Consumer Search and Rich Ads in Search and matching technology. Yahoo hopes to provide control, relevance, value and innovation to its advertisers, and stepping up ROI, through these enhancements.

A few months ago during a Yahoo/Microsoft press conference, Yahoo was found unsure about its strategy to handle paid inclusion. The Paid Inclusion program has always been found on the controversial side. According to Jim Lanzone, former CEO of Ask.com, charging money to include a website in an organic search index, which is free, is hypocritical.

Yahoo is determined to end its ‘Search Submit Pro cost-per-click program’ and ‘Search Submit Basic’ (charging annual fee per URL) by the end of December 2009. Advertisers being affected by the change in Yahoo’s paid inclusion policy have been given enough time, to help in the changeover.

Google Webmaster Tools upgraded with more features

October 20th, 2009 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora

Google has launched two new webmaster tool features in its all new Labs section to help website owners and webmasters, with broader viewing of their web pages. The release of features ‘Fetch as GoogleBot’ and ‘Malware Details’ have been purposely done in the Lab section to get user feedbacks, before making it an official release.
Both the features serve individual purpose and help in viewing web pages from perception of a Google spider or bot.

Fetch as GoogleBot is designed to allow users to view their web pages through the perception of a GoogleBot. In simple words, one can see the web pages through the eyes of a web page crawler when seeing a page on a particular domain.
The feature is easy to use, you just have to type the name of whatever page you want to view, if its home page you need not type anything, then click on the button ‘Fetch’. Next step, hit the button ‘Success’ and get the view of the page through a Googlebot’s eye. 

 

fetch-as-googlebot-image

Fetch as GoogleBot Feature

 

New Feature at Google Webmaster tools: Fetch As GoogleBot

New Feature at Google Webmaster tools: Fetch As GoogleBot

 

This ‘Fetch’ feature works well to assists webmaster in seeing if there is any bug on the web pages of their website.

The second feature released by Google in Google Webmaster Tool’s Lab section is Malware Details. This extensively important feature makes work easier for webmasters, who have to go through monotonous process of detecting and cleaning a website infected with malware.

 

New Feature at Google Webmaster Tools: Malware Details

New Feature at Google Webmaster Tools: Malware Details

 

Malware Details Feature at Google Webmaster Tools

Malware Details Feature at Google Webmaster Tools

Earlier, Webmasters had to rely on Google SERPS to see if the website bears a “This site may harm your computer” notification. Now, the Malware Details are just available under this very new section and as soon as it is detected, you can take corrective measure to get rid of any thing malicious on the server.

Overall, we feel that the two new features are good, although there are a handful of free Website Crawler Simulators as well as Malware Detecting tools available online, but when it comes right from the labs of Google, it surely can’t be overlooked!

Google goes Super Sized!

September 10th, 2009 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora

Our day starts with offering prayers to the Google God (pun intended), Just as our systems powers up, the browser takes us to the Google homepage. And Voila! What we see today is either a dejavu or perhaps some browser UI settings at work. Well, not really, but what is it actually? Alright, here it is:

 

Google Search Box Prior to 9/9/09

Google Search Box Prior to 9/9/09

 
Here’s the Latest Version:
 
Google Homepage and New Search Box as on 10/9/09

Google Homepage and New Search Box as on 10/9/09

 

Just as you can easily see the difference, the search box has gone even bigger, bigger than the logo itself. And no, it doesn’t ends here, type something into the box and that is plus sized too!

At first we mistook it as a browser setting and started to fiddle with the CTRL+Scroll Wheel Movements to adjust it to solace, but somehow things remained unaltered. Then was the time for us to think that “It’s the time for change!”

Who else other than the Horse himself could clear it up? We heard it right from the Horses mouth:
Google’s Official Blog posts about the recent changes.

Google’s very own Marissa Mayer said:

“For us, search has always been our focus. And, starting today, you’ll notice on our homepage and on our search results pages, our search box is growing in size. Although this is a very simple idea and an even simpler change, we’re excited about it — because it symbolizes our focus on search and because it makes our clean, minimalist homepage even easier and more fun to use.”

And that’s not the first time Google has made such changes, History holds it all and you can check out the evolution right here:
Google’s Homepage Evolution

And since all these statements are quiet plausible, what happens when it comes to Image, Video Search?

Although the change is evident when we search the Web Results at google, but nothing is yet implemented at the Images and Videos page. Nor it has been to Map, News, or shopping either.

 

Old Format of Boxes and Text for Google Image Search

Old Format of Boxes and Text for Google Image Search

 

The video search page suffers from the same Old format:

Old Format of Search Box and Text for Google Video Search

Old Format of Search Box and Text for Google Video Search

 

Are they not a part of Search? Or may be they are just out of focus at the moment.  Enough said!

Just a mop up: If you’re reading this Google, fix it up! We are looking forward to the changes to show up on other channels too! Let the usability revolution begin and spread into the whole search world of Google!

Worth mentioning, we did not miss a chance to notice the special logo coming up yesterday, 9/09/09 at the special time of 09:09:09. Worth a glance:

Googles Doodle for 09/09/09

Google's Doodle for 09/09/09

 A phenomenal doodle for a phenomenal event, Kudos!!

5 Fabulous Twitter Tools to help you analyze Tweets

September 4th, 2009 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora

Social Media Monetization is an important set of words for business sector, trying to analyze social media sites like Twitter. And for monetization of these social networking websites, media measurement tools are employed. These tools are basically tweet analyzing software that assists a company with various kind of analysis including sentiment and behavioral analysis. Monitoring tweeting habits and tweet content helps in keeping a tab on tweeps posing as a benefit for business prospective.

Corporate sectors planning to make use of social media marketing for online popularity cannot overrule the importance of twitter monetization today. Twitter tools assess and measure tweet fluctuations, make a data of hash-tag frequency, quantify regular twitter activities like profile and status update, and chart count of followers and more. Social media through twitter is undoubtedly a major marketing tool, considering the heavy competition among brands trying to attract netizens today.

We bring to you 5 extraordinarily useful twitter tools that will support your aim of social media measurement by analyzing tweets and the brains behind them. Divided into categories like sentiment analysis, behavioral and opinion analysis, these tweet software basically work by breaking down the tweet data and content to assess them and present them statistically.
We’ll show you how to make apt use of these tools to explore the inside out of Tweets and get the maximum benefit by analyzing them to your business’s favor.

Sentiment analysis

Purpose of using social media websites, by corporate industry, is to track the popularity and image of the company or its product in the online circle of prospective clientele. But, tweeting alone will not help in keeping a check on things being said or the sentiments of tweetizens.
Sentiment analysis is designed to provide you with statistical data of negative and positive sentiments about your brand, services and products being launched. Two remarkable Twitter sentiment analysis tools are Twendz and Viral Heat.

Twendz

Twendz is a fabulous tweet analyzing tool that works by focusing on tracking sentiment based analysis. This tool gives you the real insight picture of your brand’s image or product’s ranking by breaking down a collection of relevant tweets and scrutinizes them through categories like negative, neutral and positive, each one represented by a color like red, white and green respectively.

 

 
Viral Heat

Viral Heat is also a great sentiment analysis tool that supports your social media measurement, by dividing tweets into categories like positive, negative and neutral along with percentages. But, apart from giving you the analysis based on good and bad tweets, Viral Heat does lot more.
This tweet analyzing tool goes deeper into the tweet dissection and offers information like active tweeters, percentage of tweets including URLs, websites and videos being shared among tweetizens, and more.
Viral Heat is quite useful for corporate industries looking forward to keep a check on the performance of their marketing campaign on internet.

 

 

Opinion analysis

Opinion analysis is done by comparing a selection of tweets against more number of tweets on the same topic. This kind of analysis helps in understanding nature of tweets as well as how they stand against other tweets. Opinion analysis is the easiest way to understand general consensus to support a media campaign for business purpose. One such amazing twitter opinion analysis tools is crimson hexagon.

Crimson hexagon (VoxTrot Opinion Monitor)

One of the most powerful social media monetization tool, Crimson Hexagon consist of a superb opinion tracking system called VoxTrot Opinion Monitor. Using its powerful opinion tracking system, crimson hexagon supports the tweet analysis by tracking tweets based on predefined subject. It tracks tweets, divides them in categories according to the tweet content and finally develops a statistical data based on breaking down of the content.
For example, this tool breakdowns content of subject defined tweets and offer opinion characteristics, for example, ‘Who Cares’,’ Nice Service’, ‘Bad Company’ and more.

 

Twitter Behavioral Analysis

When all you want is to track the tweeting pattern and tweet behavior of tweetizens who could affect your business campaign, you need a remarkable twitter behavioral analysis tools like TweetPsych and Twitoaster.

TweetPsych

Social media monitoring tool of behavioral analysis, like TweetPsych (built by Dan Zarrella), work mostly by analyzing and monitoring linguistic characteristics of group of related tweets. TweetPsych measures number of tweets and create a psychological profile to explain the tweeting pattern, which helps a social media campaign in judging the kind of response to expect from tweetizens.

 

 

Twitoaster

Twitoaster works the same way by analyzing the tweeting activities and creating a statistic based data that makes it easy to understand the tweeting behavior. Twitoaster analyzes the tweet activity by threading tighter various tweet conversations on web. This surely helps a social media campaign by giving the tweeting style, conversation characteristics, as well as tweet and replies count per hour, week and day.

 

 
Twitter analysis tools or software are basically social media monetization or measurement tools that support a business concept by measuring tweets on opinion or behavioral pattern, to help a company in strategizing its Twitter marketing campaign.
Because in the Social Media Marketing world, the more you know about the people you wish to deal with and how they react to your marketing approach, brand awareness or blog posts, the better it would be for your business online.

Corporate marketing gets social with Twitter and Facebook

September 1st, 2009 | Posted by Sahil Arora | See all posts by Sahil Arora

What started as a revolutionary concept of creating social networking online has now become a super marketing tool, for modern business sector. And Twitter and Facebook are an active part of the resulting excessive competition and race to make online social networking the next best thing, but even the creators of these modern programming based websites had not much clue back then, of their actual potential to attract business industry.

In order to get the idea of their marketing and selling potential and ability, it is important that one should know what these social networking sites do and why thousands and thousands of people all around the world are going crazy over them.

Facebook

With the purpose of a social networking site being a connective bridge between people from different parts of world, Facebook has surely made an impact among netizens who are enjoying the birth of internet, emails, chat messengers, and video sharing sites like YouTube.
Facebook today has become a planet in its own, with people from almost every country residing and enjoying themselves in it. Mostly, this online platform is used by many to stay connected to their friends and family members across the globe. People with lots of time and craze towards making online friends, emailing, personal chats, sharing pictures and more are also the ones who survive on Facebook and its existence.

Facebook and Marketing

Since Facebook means hundred and thousands of people connected to each other, from different groups and communities, the scope of marketing through a Facebook profile is quite an advantage for companies looking forward to spread awareness on their services and products, through their blog posts and, most importantly, their presence on web.
Facebook is more about having a personal platform to stay connected with online customers by communicating with them, sharing links to website or blog posts, uploading pictures, and starting forums.

It is easy marketing, which might not sell something on the spot, but definitely makes you a known Brand and gets you followers! Corporate sector has started using Facebook to get an insight on their market value, their image, feedback from customers. Because of the rapidly increasing and growing user base on Facebook, business companies get a platform to promote and present itself to their prospective customers.
But when marketing through Facebook, one has to keep in mind that it only works when enough time is invested.

Twitter

Although, they both arise from the evolving digital technology, Twitter is not Facebook’s twin. In fact, Twitter is little more complicated, but more effective in many ways.
Twitter is like a fusion of a messenger and a Blog, which has the ability to reach beyond known circle of people. That’s why it’s better known as a Micro Blogging platform today!
Twitter, like Facebook, too has a potential of social networking, but is yet to attract as much people as Facebook.

Since Twitter has less personal element with absence of facilities like video and picture sharing, not many people (with the liking to upload personal pictures, with captions, and collection of videos) enjoy indulging much with this latest avatar of social networking.

Twitter and Marketing

Twitter might not be as popular among netizens as compared to Facebook, but it has surely made a big impression among corporate industry. Tweeting is ‘next big thing’ for many companies, as it allows them a small podium to present themselves to a mass and puts them in spotlight.
Since Tweets are small and go straight to every follower, companies and brand owners get to send one good message to everyone, all at once. It lets them send news, updates and information online with help of a tiny but very valuable tweet.

While some business firms use Tweeting as a mode of getting Feedbacks from customers, others end up using it to research on their consumers and stay in the competition.
Twitter, having the ability to generate online search engine traffic, is also a major tool for websites that need visitors. Promotional tweets often consist of an information message and the link to a website or blog article. In short, Twitter has the right promotional skills required by online marketers and bloggers.

Who is the winner?

Twitter and Facebook are both massive social networking tools that can be used for advertising, marketing, researching and communicating. Each one has its own benefits for marketing seekers, thus branding the best one is not the right question, as the usability and benefit varies depending largely on the companies and their purpose for entering the social networking world.