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7 Tips to Save Money on Pay-Per-Click Campaign

save_money_ppcA friend of mine recently asked me to help him with his PPC campaign. He has been using Adwords & Yahoo Search Marketing for over two months now and spent a little over $4,800 already. It may not be a huge figure for many of you, but for a tiny little business that he runs, it was quite a big deal. He told me: “PPC doesn’t work” and when I asked him why, his answer was plain and simple – “I lost all my money and didn’t get enough return”. Now that I’m helping him to clean up his ‘mess’ and also seeing all the campaigns he created and the keywords he was bidding on, it was clear to me that people who are ‘just’ starting PPC doesn’t actually understand the PPC game well enough. So I thought of sharing a simple set of tips that any average Joe can implement on their PPC campaign today and see some success straightaway. Since Christmas is right around the corner, you might want to look at these tips quickly and make necessary changes to your campaign.

7 Tips to Save Money on your PPC Campaign

  1. Stop using Broad Match – A lot of folks doesn’t know or probably doesn’t bother to use the different keyword match types that are available in Adwords. By default if you type in a keyword in your adwords campaign it is set as a “broad match”. The problem with a broad match is that your ad is often displayed in other different variations of your keywords, even if these terms aren’t in your keyword lists. Even though Google says that the broad match always uses relevant keywords, but we (‘advertisers’) know that its not often best for your business. For example, if Jeremy Schoemaker of Shoemoney.com wants to bid on the keyword “Shoe Money” on a broad match, Google will probably find a lot of shoe related queries as relevant. (Which certainly isn’t the case here).

    So if you have done some work on your keyword research and you are confident with a couple of 2-3 words and long tail keywords, use the “Phrase” or [Exact Match] instead of a Broad Match.

  2. Use Negative Keywords Effectively – I have seen a lot of PPC campaigns that doesn’t implement this sweet Keyword matching feature – Negative Keywords. Suppose you run a web hosting business and you are bidding on the keyword “web hosting” on broad or phrase match. So now suppose If someone performs a search for “free web hosting”, its basically going to trigger your ad. But do you sell web hosting for Free? No! Then do you want to pay for that extra click and have those unwanted impressions which is probably lowering your CTR (Click-Through-Rate)?You can use Negative Keyword match feature to filter out keywords for which you don’t want your ads to show. So words like “free”, “cheap” are common Negative keywords. But its not limited to that. Its absolutely essential to have negative keywords if you have a lot of broad/phrase match keywords in your campaign.

    If you are confused about your negative keywords, Go to Adwords Keyword Tool enter your keyword and choose the “Negative” in the drop-down under Match Type. This will show you a whole bunch of negative keywords that may suit your primary keyword.

  3. Smart Bidding – If you have played with some auction sites like Ebay you probably know this secret already. A smart way of bidding for anything is to do the unnatural. Don’t bid like any other Joe, always try to bid in odds (I personally prefers to bid in 1s, 3s and 7s). Now the question is why? Well the main reason is doing odd things gives you an advantage over others who are always playing by their ‘predictabe’ rules. Thus it sort of gives you a higher chance of winning the bid war.

    So instead of bidding $0.10, I’d bid $0.13, and for $0.15 I’d prefer to bid $0.17. So for someone who is bidding in 5s (like 5, 10, 15, 20…), would need to place 4 bids to outbid my ($0.17). Moreover lets say if the highest bidder was $0.10, you can outbid him by only 1 cent ($0.11) rather than paying $0.15!

  4. Create Separate Ad Group, Ads and Landing Pages – If your PPC account looks like my friend’s (1 Campaign, 1 Adgroup, 1 Ad, 1 Landing Page, 20 Keywords) then you are doing the whole thing wrong. Try to group similar keywords in Individual ad groups and create Individual Ads for those and point them to their designated Landing pages. This will not only improve your CTR but also improve your conversion.

    Lets say you are running a web hosting business, and you offer different types of hosting (e.g. Shared, Reseller, Dedicated etc). So for best result, you may want to split your whole keyword list into 3 logical segments related to the 3 different types of hosting you offer. And then use those keywords to create 3 different adgroups & Specific ads for the specific services. Point all those ads to your relevant landing pages (e.g. www.host.com/shared-hosting.html). This will definitely help you to get a better quality score as your ads & landing pages will become more relevant to the term the user is searching for. It is likely to increase your CTR & and will eventually lead to higher sales. So at the end of the day because of your good quality score you will be paying less and getting highly targeted audience to the highly targeted offer pages – All this just for a little bit of initial hard work from your side.

  5. Geographic Target - If you are just a bakery at queens, why would you want to pay for clicks that are outside your business zone? Use the GEO target facility to target your audience well, this will substantially help you to lower your ad impression, higher CTR, higher quality score and a better ROI.
  6. Time your Ads, Show your Ads When They Matter – If you are a local Pizza Store, would you want to show your ads when people at 3 AM search for Pizzas? (Assuming you don’t. have a 24 Hour Delivery). It would be ridicules and a big waste of money if you actually pay for clicks after your business hours where none of the searchers can actually order your pizza during that period of time.

    So What would you do? Use Ad Scheduling to time your ads to match your requirements. Ad scheduling lets you control the days and times your AdWords campaigns appear. So if you are running “Special offers” for Fridays, you can use Ad Scheduling to only show ads (a specific one) on Fridays. Try to think of a time when your ad would actually matter to your customer. By default, your ads will run for 24 hours in a day by trial and error you might be able to find out that running ads on a specific time of the day gives you more conversion! (e.g. People would search for “morning headache” usually in the morning after getting up from bed..)

  7. Don’t bid on Content Network – I know some might disagree with me here but this is purely based on my own experience & what works best for me and my clients. I feel that even though bidding at content network is often cheaper, but in terms of conversion the performance of content network is very poor. Again, I’d say that this may be different for your case as some niches do really well in content networks. But if you are really starting out fresh with PPC & adwords, I’d urge you to remove content network from your campaign. This setting is set in the campaign level, so once you turn this off all the other ad groups that are in that particular campaign will be affected.

    What if you want the content network, but you dont want to harm your quality score by having too many impression and low CTR? Easy solution is to create a completely separate campaign only for content network and test the results! Note: You should ALWAYS modify your content network bid as its much lower than the search network bids.

Wait…You just got lucky, Here is a bonus tip for you.

Track Your Results: Google offers a Search Query Performance report that can basically show you the exact term that a user typed into Google that triggered your ad, the match type between your keyword, and the search query alongside all of the standard AdWords reporting metrics like click through rate, conversion rate, cost per conversion, etc.

Google has also done AdWords Integration in their Google Analytics — its an awesome tool that provides in-depth reporting on all aspects of your campaign’s performance.

So what other simple strategies you use in your campaign? Share in Comments!

Update: Here are some more bonus tips from the readers:

  • Test Everything - Test everything. Split test, multivariate test, PAMVAR test… Test until the cows come home, and then test some more. (Shared by: Pete Wailes)

    Pay-Per-Click is not like flying on a plane (Once you get up, you can’t just get out unless the plane lands). In PPC everything is very flexible. So test your campaigns over and over again and tweak it according to the results that you are getting.


5 Useful Google Analytics Features You Probably Don’t Use

google-analytics-tracking

Google Analytics is free and powerful web analytics tool that gives webmasters all sorts of statistics about their website. Over the years Google analytics has really evolved with amazing new features and become a strong product for any small-medium business or even an enterprise.

Recently during a session with one of my client (who runs an online t-shirts store), I went over some of the analytics feature that he wasn’t using. In fact he was totally clueless that many of those even existed. Even though these features have existed inside Google Analytics for quite some time now, but an average webmasters never bothers to check beyond their total number of hits on a day, traffic sources and so on.

So I decided to do a quick post highlighting some of the ‘less-used’ features of Google Analytics and why you should start using them.

1. Google Analytics Alerts (Intelligence): Google Analytics intelligence comes with a set of default alerts that will show you interesting trends in your analytics data, 24/7. When something happens out of ordinary, it is important that you get access to that information fast and focus on making strategic decisions, instead of sifting through an endless pile of data. The Automatic Alerts stores historical data as well so you can go back in time and look at some of the automatic alerts which has been triggered by Google Analytics. This can really help you discover insights that might otherwise go unnoticed. For instance, if your site’s bounce rate suddenly increases or say Search Traffic suddenly decreases, Google Analytics should be able to catch that and alert you to dig down further. Google Analytics also gives you the flexibility of adding custom alerts with your own variables & rules. Watch the following video to learn more:

2. Comparing Stats with your Past Data: Everyone loves the calendar feature that lets you see all your stats for a specific time frame (e.g. 22nd July 2010 – 29th July 2010). But sometimes raw figures doesn’t really make much sense if you don’t have anything to compare those with. Fortunately Google Analytics gives a easy way for anyone to compare their stats with a past timeline. The best part is it also calculates the difference in numbers for you and give you a quick overview of the comparison. To access this feature, simply check “Compare to past” in the calendar and it will let you select the time period of your past stats.

google analytics stat comparison

3. Customize your Google Analytics Dashboard: By default the Google Analytics Dashboard shows some basic widgets like Site usage, visitor overview, goal overview, content overview, traffic sources overview etc. But lets say if you are running an eCommerce website, you may also want to look at some other widgets on your dashboard like – Adwords overview, Top Landing Pages, Search Keywords etc. So if you like to see any particular widget on the dashboard, simply go to that specific page and press “Add to Dashboard” button on top. Now if you go back to your Dashboard you will see that widget at the bottom of the page. You are also free to drag-and-move all the dashboard widgets in any order you like. If you don’t find a particular widget useful and think that its taking up your dashboard space, simply press the cross (‘x’) on the corner to remove it from your default dashboard view.

customize google anlaytics dashboard

4. Segment your Traffic using Advanced Segmentation: Analyzing your data in aggregate is not very useful, as it doesn’t give you the right insights of the many individual factors that builds up the overall stats. Google analytics comes with a very powerful segmentation tool that you can use to identify which segments of your traffic are performing and which are not. This leads to more analysis on the under performing segments and eventually an increased overall site performance. There are a bunch of default segments available, that makes it very easy for you to segment out your paid and organic search data or just perform some analysis on the visits with conversion and so on. Once you are comfortable with the basics, you can also make up your own custom segments and save them for later user. Watch the video below that briefly goes through the GA Advanced Segmentation feature.

5. Setting up Goals: Every website has some business objectives that it wants to achieve. For an eCommerce store it may be the number of raw sales, for a consulting business it may be the number of leads thats comes from the site’s contact page. Google analytics makes it very easy to define and track the business goals of your website. This comes very handy to justify the amount of money/resources that you are spending in order to achieve some of your business goals. For instance, you may have heard that twitter/facebook brings in a lot of traffic to a website and lets say so you have started spending 8 hours day on those sites trying to promote your products. Maybe you have gotten a couple of hundred visitors but without proper tracking it would be very hard for you to know whether it was worth all the effort? Because any typical analytics stats would only tell you that you have received “X” number of visits from Facebook or Twitter. But what it doesn’t tell you is, how many of those visitors has also made a purchase fro your store or has performed a positive action that helped your business in any way. With Google Analytics Goals tracking, you will be able to know exactly that. If you are spending money on PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising), Goals are a must have. You can learn more about setting up Goals in Google Analyics here.

Bonus:

Make it a habit to check your Analytics Data: Many website owners set up Google Analytics on Day 1 and never log back in to check what is actually happening. Having Google Analytics on your website doesn’t help you if you are not making good use of the data and insight it provides. So it is very important that you make it a habit to look at your stats regularly based on which you can further tweak your web strategy and (hopefully) improve your site’s overall performance. You can make Google analytics send you a daily/weekly/monthly report via email, so that you get access to all the stats right from your inbox.

So what is your favorite Google Analytics feature? Share in comments!


Conversion Funnel in Google Analytics

If you are a hard core Google Analytics user (like me), you are probably already familiar with Goals.

What is a Goal?

In simple terms, A goal is something that a site/business wants to achieve. So for instance, If its a E-commerce website, one possible goal can be the orders or sales that take place online. For a consultation firm, the goal can be to get the contact information of the client and so on.

In a typical buying process, a buyer actually goes through a series of steps to complete your goal. These steps, in traditional marketing are often referred to as AIDA model. AIDA stands for Attention > Interest > Desire & Action.

Funnel in Google Analytics

So basically in order to complete a Goal, a prospect will often go through these 4 steps or in other words will go through a sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you will often find a lot of prospective customers who are probably paying attention to your market & also probably interested in your product, however as they go deeper into the buying process, many of them feel disconnected and lose their desire which results in them taking no action (no purchase/order/sales).

How can Google Analytics help with Funnel Visualization?

Google Analytics has everything that you need to keep track of your Website goals as well as to track whatever that is happening inside your Sales Funnel.

So for instance, a company like Dell comes up with an online offer almost every other day. One of their primary goal is to get as many order as they can for each of the respective models/units. With hundreds and thousands of visitors coming to Dell’s website everyday for various reasons, not everyone is actually becoming their customer (placing an order). Some visitors are probably just browsing, some goes deep into the order page and then leaves probably because they didn’t find the right configuration that they were looking for and some are probably just confused in the order process etc.

Unlike a physical store, where the sales person has the ability to communicate with the buyer and also read his body language to better understand the needs and wants, a website just doesn’t have that luxury!

It’s bascially up to you (the webmaster/owner), to look at what happens during each step of the sales closing process (i.e. conversion / sales funnel) and find a way to make each page in the process as helpful and painless as possible.

So how can Dell identify the visitors that goes inside the sales funnel but doesn’t complete the whole process? How can Dell find out why some of their visitors are leaving their site in the middle of an order process?

Google Analytics Funnel Visualization is the answer!

How to Set Up Google Analytics Funnel

There are plenty of tutorials (including the official help pages from google) that shows you the steps for setting up a funnel in Google Analytics [I included some of them at the end of this article].

So instead, I’ll share a video with you that sort of demonstrate the Google Analytics Funnel Visualization report in just 60 seconds! [Source: Google Analytics Blog]

So are you using funnels in your sales pages? Share in comments!

Below are some articles worth reading. Have a look..

Understanding the funnel - Seth’s Blog

How to Set Up Conversion Funnels in Google AnalyticsPPC Hero

Funnel Problems in Google AnalyticsLunaMetrics

The True Purpose of Google Analytics FunneleCommerece Optimization

Using a Conversion funnelBruce Clay Inc.

Conversion Funnel 2.0Clickz

Goals and Funnel Visualization Report- VkiStudios


Improve Your PPC Ad Copy to Attract More Eyeballs

Google Adwords Ad Copy Optimization

Your customer is always searching for you online, and even though you have your Pay Per Click Advertising campaign running – they may not find you! Google Inside Adwords blog has recently posted a video, highlighting some of the best practices of writing your Google Adwords Ad copy. [If you are viewing this via Email – click here to watch the video]

Write Better Pay-Per-Click Ads – Follow Google’s Guideline

  • Use your keywords in the ad text as it will appear in bold when your potential customer performs a search using those keywords.
  • Be specific when creating your ad. An Ad that is very general in nature is less likely to do well compared to an ad which is very specific.
  • Include a Special Officer or Unique selling point in your ad copy. Example – 10% discount, Free home delivery etc.
  • Include a call-to-action in your ad. Think about what would you want your customers to do after they see your ad and state that clearly in your ad copy. Example – Buy now while stock lasts!, Request a Free Quotation etc.
  • Make your ad text inter capitalized. Capitalize the first letter of each word in your ad copy as it looks more professional and has more chances of being seen and clicked.
  • Don’t take your customer to your home page once they click on your ad. Instead take them to a specific landing page that supports your ad copy and the product that you are selling.

Facebook’s Mystery Event may unveil Instagram Video

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Facebook seem to be on a roll with new features & products lately. Last month they showed off new features for their Facebook Home for Android, and just last week some users noticed clickable Hashtags on Facebook.

The company is now planning to hold a small Mystery event on June 20th. They didn’t say much about what they are going to announce, but most tech journalists got an unusual plain white snail mail with the following message:

“A small team has been working on a big idea,” the invitation reads. “Join us for coffee and learn about a new product.”

Now what are the speculations? Well initially, we heard that facebook is working on some sort of News reader. Personally I wasn’t very psyched about it. I think feedly does more than a decent job for most of us.

vine-on-iphone

But now Teachcrunch is reporting that, the whole thing might be an announcement for Instagram Video!

Yes, thats right, video on Instagram. Isn’t that cool? Featurewise, its probably going to be a copy of Twitter’s vine which recently got a lot of traction with their 6sec video clip sharing. But with the entire Instagram team behind this, I’m really excited to see what sort of new innovation they can bring in video sharing.


ParaShoot – Wearable live logging HD Video Camera

82bb6b8dc1e148928928f188f172c77f_large

Wearable computing is definitely the next big trend in technology. This explains why there are so many different companies trying to open the wearable computing market by creating products in different niches. The health monitors, watch and camera that syncs with your phone seems to be winning at the moment.

So far I am personally rooting for some items myself – Google Glass, Memoto, Apple’s iWatch (??).

ParaShoot is a new Kick-starter Project that caught my attention. ParaShoot lets you record your life’s amazing moments in HD by wearing their tiny (48 x 30 x 11 mm) pendant.

ParaShoot will support all smartphone platforms, but it can also operate standalone device. All images & videos that you will take on the device will be automatically stored on it’s own cloud server. Pricing of storage is unknown but they will most likely have a monthly pricing for “unlimited” storage. (Well, why not just make it free and allow users to link it to their own dropbox or google drive?). It also supports micro-SD cards, so if you don’t have internet connection for a while you can still record and store your data locally. (and i’m guessing it will auto sync once a internet connection is available).

The ParaShoot app (to be released) will accompany the device as a remote control and users can use it to check the view finder, organiser and also share their images/videos via email, youtube or facebook.

parashoot-520x337 The Kick Starter project is currently planning to raise $260,000 in order to cover the cost of its first prototypes of ParaShoots. It has already passed $22,000 mark with 140 backers and has a further 36 days to go.

So how much will the device cost?

The Parashoot team mentioned in the page that the device will ordinarily cost $269, but if you are an early backer, you can get it along with a bundle of other goodies — for only $149 (not inclusive of international shipping charges). Shipment of the first batch will start in late October.

So what do you think? Would you want to wear such a thing? Does it bother you if people starts wearing these recording devices on the street, public trains & even bars? Lets face it, once china & south korea starts mass producing these concepts – there will be so many variation and brands of these sort of recording devices that you wouldn’t have a clue when your nose-picking is being recorded.


Top 5 Web Development Mistakes to Avoid

Everyone has a website these days, but not every website is equal. As the online environment becomes ever more crowded, you don’t just need to have a website, you need to have an outstanding website that implements advancements in web development to introduce features and applications that enhance functionality and customer satisfaction.

To aid you in your pursuit of the perfect page, here are some top web development mistakes to avoid:

  1. Forgetting to take care of the basics: As your company develops and your products and services gain more widespread popularity you may find that the amount of visitors to your website increases dramatically. Before you begin any web development ventures, it is therefore important to make sure that all elements of your website can be adjusted (graphic files that allow for compression in size and dynamic elements that can be replaced for example) to prevent your website crashing with increased traffic or producing slower load times with the addition of new content and applications.
  2. Impenetrable information: As your site grows in the course of web development and begins to cover an increasing amount of topics and contain greater quantities of applications, it may become extremely difficult for visitors to find exactly what they are looking for. Including clear navigation and indexing systems as well as a search tool on your website will allow for easier navigation of pages in the first instance and help to filter information to customers in a way that is relevant and under their control.
  3. Lapses in security: When your website begins to contain an increased amount of information and boasts a greater amount of daily traffic, security risks can also increase. To prevent hacking and unauthorised access to your customer databases and confidential company information, any web development plan must include the establishment and maintenance of secure operating systems and coding.
  4. Immobility: As we progressively use our mobile phones and other portable wireless devices to access websites, it is absolutely imperative that any web developments you implement are compatible with all manner of mobile platforms. Nothing will frustrate your site visitors more than when they try to access information on the go and are constantly stalled by unsuitable display options.
  5. Incompatibility: Another possible problem that must be taken into account with any new web development is a resulting incompatibility with some of the most popular web browsers. New web browsers are constantly introduced and the applications on your website must stay accordingly up-to-date. To make sure that your clients don’t become discouraged, make sure you rigorously test the functionality of your website for cross browser compatibility.

About the Author

John has been working as a freelance writer for Infinite IT Solutions, a Melbourne-based premium web development and online marketing company dedicated to providing personalised web services to ensure that your business stands out from the rest.


YouTube Trends – Watch Trending Videos on YouTube

youtube trends On Youtube over 35 hours of videos are being uploaded every minute! Thats a massive amount of content for anyone to watch and quite frankly out of that 35 hours of video 49% are probably crap and 50% are probably cat videos! So the gem actually lies within that 1% that goes viral and becomes really popular. But keeping track of these youtube memes and trends are often a big problem as there is no central place where you can go to just consume all the “great” stuff.

Well youtube seem to have just solved that problem with their new initiative named :Youtube Trends. The site is basically an analytics hub for the giant video sharing site, featuring a lot of feeds showing all the trending videos and trending topics (which are generated via metadata). In their official blog post they also mentioned a feature called “4 at 4? that will present four buzzed-about videos twice a day. Other features include: a Know Your Meme-esque blog to analyze said videos and a dashboard that breaks down popular videos by demographics (location, age, gender, etc). Youtube Trends also presents videos in billboard-style charts, some cool data visualizations and more.

Read the Youtube Trends FAQ section to learn more about the service and also take this chance to watch a nice YouTube compilation of the most watched videos of 2010.

Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager writes:

We see YouTube as a way to not just be entertained and informed, but also as place that can help us understand more about the world we live in and the people we live in it with. And that’s what YouTube Trends is all about.

Introduction to YouTube Trends

(video link – for RSS Users)


Tech Support for Your Parents: Google Tutorials

Good news for those who spend a lot of time teaching or helping their parents with their computer or internet issues on a day to day basis. Yes, I mean You! If you are a bit tech savvy, I’m sure you are often the Go-to-guy [ or go-to-gal ] to fix all computer/ IT issues of your parents, grandparents, neighbors, extend family, friends, friend of a friend and the list goes on…

how to copy paste - Google video tutorialsEven though personally I don’t really mind helping out when such occasion arises, sometimes it just becomes overwhelming if you happen to be the tech guy for a lot of people. Dealing with someone’s tech issue is never easy as most of the time you are not in the same location as the person who needs your help. Thus you try to provide help over Telephone or IM and often it does more harm than good. Lately as technology has advanced, I often just use softwares like – Teamviewer, GoToAssist or any other remote desktop clients to get control over their computer remotely so that I can do the necessary fix from my end and they can just sit back and watch.

But what can beat some good quality, short, easy to understand how-to videos produced by Google that covers a lot of those simple (sometimes annoying) problems/questions that often gets thrown at you. Google’s this new initiative can be accessed at: http://www.teachparentstech.org/ which is a really cool way for you to send a “how-to” video on a topic of your choice directly from the site. Currently they have videos on a wide range of topics like: Computer basics, World Wide Web, Communication, Multimedia & Search. Check out some of their sample videos below:

- How to Make a blog

- How to Share Photos Online

- Take a Screenshot

- How to change Desktop Wallpaper

For the rest just go to: http://www.teachparentstech.org/

Also check out Google’s video introduction of this initiative:

My Two Cents:

I think its a great move by Google, but not sure why its called – Teach Parents Tech? I mean parents are not the only people who needs help with tech. But anyway since Google now is into a much wider “consumer market” with their Android, Chrome Browser, Chrome Netbooks etc. overall its a very good initiative from the company to show everyone that they truly cares and in the process they may eventually push more people to their “cloud” of products.

(Via Google Blog)


Google Introduces Social Sitelinks – Dumb Idea?

Google has recently introduced something called “social sitelinks” in the search results. Social sitelinks basically looks like normal sitelinks but includes your friend’s profile pictures/avatar, their name and the link to their profile. Currently its working for sites like: Twitter, Youtube & Myspace.

Mike Cassidy, Director of Product Management at Google wrote that Google Sitelinks are based on the same technology as Google Social Search – they are using the social circle of a user to identify relevant websites and user pages.

Example of how Social Sitelinks may appear in your search results:

google social sitelinks

If you want to see the social sitelinks in action, try doing a search for the term “twitter” in google. Note: This may not work if you are not logged into your Google account and you don’t have Google profiles enabled.

Even though I have both enabled, I couldn’t really replicate the screenshot as posted in the official Google blog. Thus I believe this may not have been rolled out to all users yet. However I just don’t see the point of Social sitelinks. I follow over 2000+ people on twitter, I wonder which 5-6 people are they going to shown as sitelinks and how are they going to pick the most important ones? And why would someone do a search for the phrase ‘twitter’ in the first place?

What Google Social Sitelinks Could Have Been?

Even though I don’t quite understand the current application of Google Social Sitelinks, I don’t totally discredit the idea. If social sitelinks works for other major sites that I read everyday e.g. Techcrunch, Mashable, Search Engine Land, Techmeme, NYTimes etc. then there could be rather an interesting implementation.

For instance, If I could just do a search on google for the term “Techcrunch” and underneath the organic Techcrunch listing get an additional 5-10 social sitelinks, which can basically be the most recent techcrunch links shared by my friends then I think that additional information will be pretty useful to me.

Just a thought…

So what do you think of this new Social sitelinks?4


Facebook Newspaper – Create your own Newspaper

If you have lots of friends in your Facebook then going through all the news articles/videos/pictures from the facebook newsfeed can be overwhelming.

But a new web service from Tigerlogic called PostPost plans to change that.

PostPost – Your own Social Newspaper

Postpost may seem like any ordinary news aggregator that you may have seen or used before. But the big difference here is, instead of gathering links from all over the web, PostPost only looks at stuff that your friends have shared.

So PostPost is essentially a newspaper made from all the links, videos, photos your friends have shared. The reason I keep calling it a ‘newspaper’ is because it does look like one. The formatting & layout looks very much like a magazine, and the recent/important stuff tends to appears on top of the page.

What I have found most useful about this service is it’s search feature. Not only you get a really nice magazine like feel, you can also perform search on all the items your friends have shared. PostPost is integrated with TigerLogic’s yolink search-enhancing technology thus the results it returns is really powerful and accurate.

Use of PostPost is absolutely free and as the service grows I think they will add new features. There are a number of things that I personally want in the service:

- Ability to reorganize the layout (drag-n-drop).

-Marking certain source “Important” so that they get higher priority.

Check out the video to get a better idea of PostPost:

Try out PostPost and let me know what you think about the service!


Microsoft Montage – Create Your Own Online Montage

Microsoft has recently demonstrated a new product of their Fuse Labs (a research-focused division of Microsoft) named “Montage“. According to them, Montage is a new way to organize and curate web’s information. As the name suggests it is basically a ‘montage’ that you can easily create & share online based on any topic of your choice.

montage - jessica alba

As you can see from the screenshot above, I tried the service quickly and made a montage of “Jessica alba”. Basically after you specify a topic, it automatically get relevant news/blog entires/pictures/videos/tweets on that topic and displays them in a ‘magazine-like’ layout. It also allows you to easily change the layout/design & gives you the ability to move things around.

Below is a short video introduction of the service:

So try it out and see if you like it.


Google’s Lesser known Search Operator – AROUND(n)

Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration recently blogged about a new Google search operator that totally missed my radar. But according to Googler Daniel M. Russel, who was the first one to write about this AROUND operator in early October 2010 – this operator has been around for over 5-6 years!

Google AROUND(n) Operator

AROUND operator is basically a proximity search operator that lets you find a phrase that happens to be in close proximity of another phrase. Previously if you have searched for a term like: pancake recipe in Google search (without any quotes), what it would basically do is search the entire web for the term “pancake” + “recipe” and will return the pages where both these terms happens to be on the same page (regardless of their proximity).

But then you may sometimes prefer to do a phrase search / exact match search where they can put your search term inside quotes, like “pancake recipe” and then Google will only return results where the word pancake and recipe appears together.

So in this example the results returned via the first technique is often ‘too broad’ and the latter is ‘too specific’. What if you want something that is in between? Even better, what if you could specify the exact proximity of your two keywords (in words) to get more desired results?

With this Google AROUND(n) Operator, you can do just that!

Syntax: Keyword1 AROUND(n) Keyword2 [Where n = number of words (proximity)]

So the same search of pancake recipe can be performed using something like this: pancake AROUND(10) recipe. Here I’m telling google to return all those pages where the keyword – pancake & recipe appears within the proximity of 10 words.

google around search operator

Some Notes:

  • If my keyword1 contain multiple words (e.g. breakfast pancake instead of just pancake), then you can use “quotes” to limit the search scope of your first keyword to only breakfast pancakes. So it will look something like this: “breakfast pancake” AROUND(10) recipe
  • The word AROUND needs to be in CAPS in order for this to work
  • If Google can’t find anything within the limit that you specified, it will just do regular ranking of the terms without the AROUND coming into play.
  • Barry Schwartz pointed out that Microsoft’s Bing also have a similar search operator called “near:n” which works pretty much the same way. You can read more about it here.

Generate Successful Link Bait Ideas [Infographic]

Voltier Creative a SEO company based in florida has created a really interesting infrographic that shows you how to generate successful linkbait ideas. You can view the high-res infographic here or just click on the image below:


Created By Voltier Creative

Note: This itself is the perfect example of how to create a successful link bait. Just see how this company has managed to get me to write about them and link to their website just because the bait itself is too good to not share!

If you want to learn more about linkbuilding then read my linkbuilding guide & some tips for building authority links.


Google Launches Google Demo Slam

google-demo-slam Few days ago there has been a lot of buzz about this really mysterious website called demoslam. It was clearly a Google related website, but there were no official words from the Google team about that.

Today RWW confirms that, Google Demo Slam (http://demoslam.com) is ON and its a place where Google wants everyone to make and submit their creative & entertaining tech demo videos that illustrates any functionality of a Google product. And later some of the best videos will be picked by Googlers and will be showcased on the Google demo slam website for user voting.

So far the videos there are pretty interesting & fun. Check out some of them below:

This is what Google says about Demo Slam:

Google Demo Slam

The Demos Slam preseason will start today and will be on for the next few weeks. If you go to the official website, you will be able to vote for all the weekly winners from the featured demos. I personally love the idea because this site will eventually become really beneficial for anybody who isn’t very tech savvy or for someone who is new to the Google universe.

Check it out today: http://demoslam.com and submit your own tech demos!


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