A couple of decades back, Brett Borders had visionary aspirations. Instead of aimlessly wondering the halls of his high school, he took to the underground to search out threads of conversations that were beginning to surface in this new arena called the Internet. A unique but somewhat logical beginning for a fellow who would later go on to bill his blog the “Social Media Rockstar,” Brett was in search of digital networking way before its time.
In a recent interview I conducted with him, he sums it up as, “an extremely limited (environment)… the only social networking options were Prodigy/Compuserve, a handful of local Bulletin Boards and the the same 35 active users.” Along with a small group of hacker friends, he learned how to call overseas and obtain Internet access by sneaking through local university and business systems.
He would then hack into telephone systems that would allow access by dialing out without being traced. According to Brett, it “really wasn’t that devious,” as his group was the same kind of crowd that today “you would find on FriendFeed or Digg.” When the first public internet service became available in his area in 1994, he immediately quit hacking as he “finally had unlimited, bulletproof access to the ‘Net,’” where he found it “far more interesting to connect versus crack.” However he looks back on these early days fondly as it motivated him to become a resourceful out-of-the-box thinker who could forge a path into the future without the need of a guidebook.
Brett studied Sociology in college where he was able to reflect on some of the anthropological underpinnings of online social demographics. Metaphorically similar to a Margaret Mead uncovering tribes in Samoa or New Guinea, Brett observed and researched the collective consciousness of various online tribes. He proposed that “online social interaction mirrors real life (with parallels to) castes, circles, cliques and socio-economic groups.” And as a social marketer, he now feels that to communicate to each group and target them properly, one needs to analyze their social structures and online habitats.
When asked why institutions of higher learning haven’t embraced social media as an academic discipline, he feels that “universities are kind of reactionary in that they (will only) offer programs and classes after a job market emerges.” Since social media jobs are presently just beginning to take on a prominent role in corporations and organizations, it will take a while for universities to catch up.
Today Brett Borders is an independent “Web Traffic Developer.” Even though Borders’ blog is titled “Social Media Rockstar” he doesn’t view himself as rock star, nor Internet Famous. Similar to Liz Strauss titling her blog, “Successful Blog” and Hugh Hefner labeling his pop culture mag “Playboy,” his blog title is more about the content versus a moniker for himself as the originator.
According to Brett, ” I think with the exception of a small handful of established, elite social media people, pretty much everyone out there is ‘faking it till they make it.’ I wake up, explore, learn, make mistakes, improve and re-define myself on a daily basis. I try to be confident, but also completely honest about what I know about and what I don’t – and careful not to mislead or make false promises to people.”
However, Brett is also cognizant that online detractors can be more powerful than your actual followers. Non-fans (what Brett terms “your shadow”) are usually much more diligent about blocking the spread of your message than the average acquaintance is dedicated in spreading it for you. Here’s a visual interpretation of Brett’s perspective on this topic.
To become Internet Famous, according to Brett is to be an initiator, not a follower. For example, when social media first came on to the scene, those that became the most successful in blogging and developing apps were those that pushed the envelope, by using new tools and searching out new terrain to maneuver. Brett feels the ones that faltered in this regard were the less aggressive breed who settled for “aggregating or recycling” the work accomplished by the front runners.
Brett refers to some of these social media followers as “online snake oil salesmen” who are motivated by money. These are the folks that aren’t “at all shy about claiming they know stuff that they don’t or making promises they can’t deliver. There’s a boom of interest in social media and SEO – and there are only a few barriers to entry (all you need is a website and business card), so some less-than-scrupulous types of people are trying to cash in on it.”
“The truth is that you have to give something (time, energy, attention or $$$) before you can really expect to get anything in return,” notes Brett. Something he calls “Digital Karma,” where those that are serious about online marketing and invest their time strategically and ask for recommendations are the ones to reap the benefits. “Those who are looking for ‘quick fixes’ and too-good-to-be-true promises can easily get burned or disappointed.”
Narcissism is sometimes an unattractive by-product of Internet Fame “There’s something very hypnotic about watching someone with an over-blown self image get all excited about themselves (which is why sites like TweetingTooHard.com are funny),” notes Brett. “There’s also “bad boy” and “bad girl” rockstar types in social media who are outspoken, hostile and inevitably create drama wherever they go. Many people unconsciously placate them (to avoid getting on their “bad list”) and follow them to see what kind of exciting trouble they’re gonna stir up next.”
In retrospect having lived through the Web 2.0 explosion, Brett reflects that “today social media is definitely over-hyped. “Yes, it is very powerful. Yes, it changes they way business is done. Yes, it empowers people to make choices they never had before – and it changes the world in some ways. But people are still people – and we like to waste a lot of time and use social media to mindlessly distract and entertain ourselves.”
He also believes that social media marketing is not a great fit for many types of products and services. He affirms that companies could “definitely get more ROI with traditional advertising or other online marketing methods like SEO or PPC.”
Currently Brett is working for an automotive publisher that focuses on hybrid and electric car technology. He’s building buzz and connections around content that raise people’s awareness of next generation transportation options. In the past he’s worked for international e-commerce companies, product manufacturers, and local tech start-ups in Boulder, Colorado.
In closing, I think Brett Borders’ Internet fame came about as result of his invested time and energy in this field and that his advice is based on years of trial and error. While he feels that a lot of folks are just not cut out for this business (“it’s demanding, time-intensive, volatile, and requires much more creativity than people are able to give to it”), I think Brett Border is one of those experts that has sized up the social media landscape realistically and knows how to make it do his bidding.
If you’re looking for a social media coach to help you wade through those Web 2.0 waters, I would suggest you contact Brett Borders for the job. He may be just that Social Media Rockstar his blog refers to.
For other stories on the Internet Famous, check out my previous interviews with Nick Thune, Marina Orlova, Julia Allison and Alejandro Reyes… and stay tuned for more stories of the the Internet Famous in the weeks to come.
A new URL shortener from Digg wraps your website in a Digg frame instead of taking users directly to your website. This results in a number of obstacles for the website owner.
Digg is not alone in utilizing this process. A platform allowing companies to manage Twitter profiles, HootSuite, uses ow.ly to shorten URL’s in much the same method. StumbleUpon will soon release su.pr which may also make use of the same frame-wrapping tactics.
Let’s go through some of the obstacles presented by these frame-wrapping methods:
First, let’s look at analytics as they perhaps take the biggest hit. Because digg.com’s URL shortener always wraps your site in a digg.com frame, it always appears that it is digg.com requesting your site. All traffic is cloaked making it impossible to see where it is originally coming from.
Therefore whenever digg.com’s URL shortener is used, no matter if it actually coming from Twitter.com, a rival’s site, an affiliate or Digg itself, many analytic solutions will always credit digg.com as the referring site.
It may even get more complicated if your social media campaign uses referrals from social sites as a metric. Through this route it can appear like digg.com is driving traffic to your site without your site ever even being submitted to digg.com.
Affiliates will also have an interesting role when this frame-wrapping technique is utilized. Most affiliates are prohibited by affiliate terms and conditions from frame-wrapping merchant sites in order to protect brands.
Since a frame-based URL shortener doesn’t always show the URL, or the full URL, of the site being pointed to, that site domain will end up hidden. For example, HootSuite’s URL shortener, ow.ly, link for bigmouthmedia shows the URL as http://www.zmogo… with the remainder of the address hidden.
So, as the URL’s become further muddled, the tracking codes of the affiliates may end up being passed around when the shortened URL is shared. It then becomes possible when the next gen URL shortener is used in combination with a site like digg.com that a large amount of traffic being driven to your site would benefit the affiliate.
It is important to point out that many affiliate tracking forms will be instantly visible if the URL shortener shows any of the full or long URL.
And next, SEO campaigns will also be affected negatively by the frame-wrapping URL shorteners. The elite first gen URL shorteners assign a 301 redirect from themselves to the initial “long” URL.
In the case where a link from a trusted site to another site counts as a vote from the trusted site to the other then the 301 redirect safeguards that as much of the vote passes through to the intended site as possible from the URL shortener. In circumstances such as this Google requests that 301 redirects be used.
Such is not the case when the frame-wrapping URL shorteners are utilized. The link’s worth is not passed through to the target site in this situation. The worth of the link remains with the URL shortener.
So what now for the website owner and/or internet marketer… complain about it? Seems like there are 2 options: find a way to adapt, or boycott those that implement shady wrappers.
Turning off the DiggBar:
There are two ways in which you can disable the Digg Toolbar. Go to your settings page and select “Never Show Diggbar for external links”.
The above preference is only available for people who are members of Digg. If you don’t have an account at Digg, open this page and hover your mouse between the “close” button and the feedback button on the Digg toolbar. Click the drop-down arrow and select “Always hide the toolbar”.
For an in-depth analysis of the Digg Toolbar, see: The Digg Toolbar Exposed; What’s in the code?
WordPress plug-in to block the Digg Toolbar
In the first part of this article I explored some of the ways in which the current credit crisis was going to affect the way people used the internet to spend money. In this next part I am looking at the ways in which the credit crisis and looming economic recession will increase the amount of people who use the internet to earn extra income. In times of uncertain economic climate studies have shown that people find innovative ways of making extra income: The batten down the hatches mentality which leads many people to take on extra work to help make ends meet. In the past, home-working solutions such as direct mail marketing and even sewing and textiles work have proved to become more popular in times of recession as the secondary income earners, such as homemakers, turn skills into cash to help the family income. With the advent of the internet more and more people are turning to the internet as a source of cash, and the early signs are that this recession will see a sharp increase in people trading their skills for cash online.
One of the main ways in which people can earn a little extra cash online is by contributing material for content hungry web masters. Indeed the rise of the paid blogger has seen thousands of sites launched onto the web offering opinions on everything from cooking the perfect steak to home-schooling your children. Indeed so big is the market that a whole secondary industry has opened up to service the need for fresh and relevant content; sites such as elance go further and offer any number of freelance services from web design to accountancy and business planning. Indeed the need for skills to be used in the development and promotion of web related business is one area of the economy which continues to grow even in the recession. As I mentioned in the previous article the amount of money being spent online continues to increase and as the online environment continues to become more and more competitive so does the demand for quality services to support online presence. Many of the skills needed are not the result of long term institutional learning or education, but rather the result of the hobby or pastime of the new age. Many people can write well and those who have embraced blogging and seen how to generate good internet traffic find that their words are suddenly worth money on the open market. Similarly with web design skills, the explosion of web sites has created a thriving market for skills which were once the preserve of the bedroom hobbyist.
As the recession begins to take a hold of our economies and the supply of money tightens around the world we are going to experience a renaissance of the home worker. Indeed entire incomes are now earned online, not only from selling skills over the internet, but also people who are trading, be it on eBay, or through drop shipping companies and even by playing poker full time against other poker players worldwide. The internet has allowed truly global interaction between suppliers of skills and products and those who are willing to pay for them. Recent advances in the way in which transactions take place on line, most notably through paypal and similar secure banking systems, have allowed most people access to relatively safe transfers of money and services. Interestingly the various large delivery companies of the world have reported that business is still as good as it ever was as more and more people forsake the high street to shop online. Further the internet has leveled the playing field between big corporations and the innovative small business man. If you can find a niche where you can offer a good product or service at a good price people will find you. No longer is it needed to have a significant physical presence in our towns and cities, a well designed, easy to use web site and a good price is enough; even without the web site it is easy to reach thousands of customers through eBay or Amazon, or to use an affiliates service. All this in turn, of course, leads to an increase in the need for good web design and copy, which fuels other web-related business and so on and so on.
So what does the recession mean for the internet and the way we do business? In short, the recession, this one in particular, will, I think, mark the death of the way we have traditionally done business, and those people who are now forced to use the internet for maximising their dollar will continue to do so even when the recession ends. This in turn will make such things as SEO and web design even more important and more sought after, so get cracking and refine your sites and services, and when the next boom cycle begins you will be in a position to reap the rewards.
As many people have tried to figure out, the secret behind Digg’s Algorithm remains to this day a conundrum, a mystery, a secret clouded in obfuscation. Some great thinkers have of recent date conjured up the belief that it might not be a secret at all, and that for all the investigation, maybe a magic formula doesn’t really exist, at all. Perhaps it’s a great hoax, like the Wizard of Oz, a case of smoke and mirrors a pretense held up to keep to the world in the dark, when in actuality it’s just someone assigned to the role of wizard who makes decisions frivolously and on a whim with each and every new entry that is fed into the Digg news bank.
For those of you who are not aware, Digg is a social bookmarking website that offers participants (aka diggers) a way to discover and share content from anywhere on the Internet, by submitting links and stories where other diggers can vote the content up or down in a process respectively called digging and burying. Tens of thousands of stories are submitted daily, but only the most Dugg stories ever appear on the front page. So the obvious goal for diggers is to continuously make attempts at grasping at the illusive gold ring, every time they hop on the Digg-go-round. With its immense popularity, it has prompted the creation of other social networking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, Techorati and others to evolve based on a similar premise.
Other lines of algorithm speculation include those proposed by Rand Fishkin, euphemistically referred to as the Wizard of Moz, but who is in actuality the CEO and Founder of SEOmoz, a hub for search marketers worldwide that provides education, tools and resources to help search engine optimization companies improve their skills.
Fishkin believes that even though Digg isn’t as widely used as Google (whose complex algorithm is another story altogether), it has become highly sophisticated in mixing and blending a unique mixture of ingredients into their algorithmic stew!
He, like others, assesses the obvious; i.e. voting in and of itself is the dominant component. The theory being: if one votes for one article more than others, the more popular story should succeed in the final analysis, similar to our recent presidential election (unless of course the Electoral College thinks differently, but that’s another Wizard of Oz story).
Differing from a mere popularity contest, Digg has taken into consideration a factor that is missing in general elections, and that is timing. Any number of votes in a very short period (if not manipulative) is stronger than the same number of votes over a longer time span. The speed of voting is given more weight, based on the idea that a buzz has been created and excited the digerati to gravitate toward the story quickly.
Also if a low number of stories have recently made the front page in a given category (as all submissions have to note content type), the story is likely to get on top with fewer votes; whereas if there is a high number of recent submissions, the opposite may be true. Also the time of day is a trigger. If 100s of people all tag the same item at 12 midnight, this might be a disqualifying factor and Digg red flag the submission.
The idea of manipulation is another dynamic that Digg is known to weigh. They look at the domain from whence the link came. Has it had content submitted previously? Did that content receive votes, get marked as spam or make the front page? And has the domain been automatically flagged for being manipulative?
Then you have the consideration as to the profile of the submitters and voters. Have they submitted or voted on high quality stories in the past? Or are they simply voting for their own work? Also how many friends do they have? Diggers with more friends can obviously sway a vote. And how long have they been diggers. New registrants might be spammers.
Similar to the Wizard of Oz parody video shown above, the truth of the matter is there is some manual intervention. Many Digg users may not realize it, but all the stories to hit the front page are virtually scrutinized by the Digg editorial staff that may or may not pull a story if they determine the content is too marketing-focused, driven by marketing dollars or has a marketing agenda.
The source of the votes is also thought to be a significant algorithmic element. If the same IP address or IP block appears for one submission, or if an abnormally high number of folks came via a certain geographic region to a Digg page (for example, with no referring URL) these methods could possibly signifying a mass email or IM link. In these instances, Digg might be discounting the value of those votes.
Less of a factor is the “number of views” to the actual Digg ratio. Nonetheless, an abnormally high ratio of views with few diggs could mean that people aren’t really fans of the content that they have given it some consideration, but don’t believe in it enough to spend the time and effort to vote for it.
Matt Asay, GM for Alfresco, a leading open source enterprise content management firm notes that in his interviews with Rami Taibah, a veritable Digg rock star, with over a 100-front page stories on Digg have offered up a few nuggets of wisdom for diggers. Rabitha believes that Digg wants a diversity of people to digg up a post, and that if you continually rely on your same crew of diggers, your future diggs will start to slide in the ratings. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt, according to Asay that Taibah “has over 2,500-plus followers (to rely on), which means that he has a ready-made audience of fans that tend to like the things he Diggs, but who’s counting?”
Finally, why not explore what Digg has to say about its own secret formula. Getting it from the horse’s mouth, Anton Kast, with the inscrutable title of Lead Scientist (shades of the Wizard again) is quick to admit that tweaking the Digg algorithm is a continuous work in progress. But he also states that Digg has “made a few notable enhancements to (their) promotional algorithm recently, to ensure that all Diggers have a fair chance at getting their submitted stories promoted to the homepage,”
And with that definitive and enigmatic statement posted to Digg’s blog, February 12, 2009, Kast quietly slips back behind the veiled secret curtain where only the Oz of Digg can hide well, maybe with some assistance of one MC Hammer! Because Digg is an enigma, and like all enigmas, as Hammer prophetically chants: “U can’t touch this!”
You’ve probably read a hundred articles on subjects such as the ‘top ten tips on choosing your niche’ or ‘how to make a load of cash from this niche’ and they are all probably much the same. So instead of providing a re-hash of all of these same articles, which are of dubious use to the budding internet entrepreneur, I’m going to use a little deconstruction here to get to the much misunderstood root of the how’s and why’s of developing your niche.
First, as this is a deconstruction of the concept, it is important to define what it is we are talking about. A niche, in purely marketing terms, is a concept that has been around for countless years, and describes the exact position of your product in ‘the market’. A good thought experiment is to imagine the world’s biggest shoe shop, selling every conceivable type of shoe and footwear. There are sneakers, there are brogues, wellingtons, galoshes and flip flops, and we have, in fact, a store which is the size of seven football stadiums. As a customer you cannot be expected to trawl through miles and miles of shoe racking to find the pair of shoes you want. Shopping for a pair of shoes would take you a number of days. So the store has, quite sensibly, developed a number of sections and sub sections for different types of shoe. Broadly these fall into categories such as ‘dress shoe’, ‘sneaker’, ‘work boots’ and so on. Imagine that you are after a pair of good stout work shoes and, thanks to the clever organisation of the store, you are able to find the work shoe section easily. But as this is the store which sells every shoe available on the planet it is a pretty big section even so, about the size of half a football stadium. If the store wants its customers to return it will have done a few things to this section, it will have broken it down into a number of sub sections. Imagine further, that the shoes you want are steel capped, full ankle boots, with non-slip soles and made from black leather. I think you will agree that this is a fairly specific requirement. I would imagine that the store would have divided the section into capped and non-capped fairly early on in its organisation of work shoes, so we are now dealing with an area a quarter of the size of a football stadium. Within this section there would probably be a distinction between shoes and boots, roughly half again, so now we are dealing with an eighth of a football stadium, and so on until you find, with relative ease, the small section selling the shoes you want to buy.
The niche you develop works in exactly the same way as the above example, it allows you as the vendor to create a very specific online presence, for a very specific internet user. This, the difference between the creator and the user, is the second part of the deconstruction. In creating your idea you will inject an enormous amount of yourself and your own personality into it. Whatever your niche is you will choose it in part because of what you believe you can bring that’s fresh and interesting. Web media lives, or more often dies, on its content, and if that content is not fresh, interesting and unique, you will not retain your customers. Whilst page rank and SEO are important aspects of web marketing, having content that keeps bringing people back to you day in day out, will ensure that your site goes from strength to strength, and generates the all important word of mouth, or viral presence.
So, the question is do you generate content that you find interesting, or that you think your users will find interesting? The answer lies somewhere in between, as your niche should appeal to both yourself and your end user. If it does not appeal to yourself you will never create or edit the quality of content that you need. If it is not appealing to the user, no one will visit.
So where does this short deconstruction of the niche leave us? With two important points, I hope. Firstly, careful consideration needs to be undertaken to understand where you’re going to place yourself in ‘the world’s biggest shoe shop’, for this is what the internet has become. Particular emphasis needs to be placed on not only how you place yourself, but also how easy it will be for your user to find your ‘place’. Secondly, when you have found your place, you need to fill it with content that works from your perspective – in that you feel the passion and interest in the subject —- never forgetting that it is the end user who must ultimately judge you on the content of your site. This is not an easy job, and I wish you luck.
There’s a lot of talk around the internets about which (free) Linux distro is the ‘best.’ And while this article won’t opine either way, I do hope to put some perspective on the Linux debate using public data.
First off, using Compete.com
We all (hopefully) know the good and bad sides of Compete… While their data is great for getting a general sense of how site traffic measures up by comaprison, it relies on tracking visits made by users that have the Compete toolbar installed, and therefore should not be considered entirely accurate by most standards.
Next up: Google
Searching Google for the term Linux returns the following ranks (free distros only):
- Ubuntu (77,500,000 pages contain the term ‘ubuntu’)
- Debian (73,900,000 for ‘debian’)
- Fedora (32,300,000 pages contain the term ‘fedora’)
Wordtracker is a service that estimates search volume for keywords/phrases.
- Ubuntu – 2,289
- Fedora – 536
- Debian – 212
Looks like we’re starting to see a pattern here. I must say that Ubuntu as the leader was not a surprise, but I was expecting to see Mandriva rank a little bit better (it was a close 4th in many categories).
In summary: Ubuntu, presumably, has built a Linux distro that is easily digested by the masses, well supported and gaining ground in huge leaps on the internet. Admittedly this may not be the most scientific method for comparing Linux distros, but it is undoubtedly a method. Other ideas?
We all use Google search. I know you use Google. Know how I know? Because you use Google. I know you don’t not use Google, don’t try to convince me otherwise.
Go ahead and complain about how Google owns the entire Internet market of everything, complain about Google’s arrogance or about how it helped China to censor the Internet. Grumble about how Google is squirming into every aspect of your life. Make a fuss over how the word google has turned into a verb. Bitch about how much better your unknown, niche search engine is.
Yahoo! will never make a comeback, Windows Live search has always sucked, and you’re not going to convince me to use imacoolsearchengine.com.
Top 1 Reasons Why Google Search Sucks
1. Because it doesn’t.
Google search sucks because we can’t find a reason for it to suck. Google search is simple, easy-to-use, reliable, accurate, vast, fun, and there. It’s there. It’s everywhere. I don’t even have to go to google.com to use it. Sometimes I’m searching with Google and I don’t even notice. Powered by Google is one of the most used phrases on the internet.
We want to find a reason to hate Google like we can find for Walmart or Microsoft. I want to hate Google. I hate that I can’t hate Google.
Google ads may suck. Google web browsers may suck. Google maps may suck. Google search does not suck. Go and google something (I hate that I just used it as a verb) and tell me that your search experience sucked. Oh it did suck? Really? You’re lying. That search was wonderful, it was amazing. You found what you wanted and several other interesting things.
Are you going to tell me that Google search isn’t the best for search engine optimization? Are you going to inform me that it’s search algorithm is sub-par? BS. Give me side-by-side comparisons to go with your arguments accompanied by search engine speeds and results, then shove it up your ass. Statistics show that 99% of users find what they want on the first page of a Google search and the other 1% are racist bastards.
Excuse my language. My feelings are getting the best of me. I want to hate Google search so much, so much…but here I am, unable to accept any Google search directed criticism. Give me rhyme or reason to hate Google search. I’ve heard many testimonies, but none that have been solid reasons as to why Google search is a bad thing, or why it is anything less than a great thing.
Please help me.
Reports are popping up all across Internet forums about Zunes committing suicide. The Microsoft 30GB Zune players are ceasing to work everywhere and all at the same time.
Gizmodo and Zune forums are two examples of where this news is coming from. This Zune crisis is being dubbed Z2K9 due to the simultaneous mass failure at the end of the year. The below comment is taken from a Zune user that reported his issues to Gizmodo:
Apparently, around 2:00 AM today, the Zune models either reset, or were already off. Upon when turning on, the thing loads up and… freezes with a full loading bar (as pictured above). I thought my brother was the only one with it, but then it happened to my Zune. Then I checked out the forums and it seems everyone with a 30GB HDD model has had this happen to them.
Gizmodo has also found an easy official fix for the problem.
The Z2K9 crisis was at first ignored by Microsoft and the Zune customer support website, but recently Microsoft released the following statement:
We are aware that customers with the Zune 30GB are experiencing issues with their Zune device. We are actively working now to isolate the issue and develop a solution to address it. We will keep customers informed on next steps via the support page on zune.net (zune.net/support).
There is still no word on what has caused this too happen. The drama of the day has been decorated with colorful comedy as many relate these happenings to Y2K and possibilities of Microsoft propaganda. At least this event brought some excitement to the web and a fix has been quickly found.
For those who don’t know what social bookmarking is, most will define it as putting the Bookmarks Folder from your Web browser on a specific site for all users to see. It has now become a phenomenon as others who look on social bookmarking sites will bookmark others’ content, to turn something popular into something even more popular.
There are several Social Bookmarking sites on the web today, and the top five are:
These sites are set up so a user can create a profile, just as they would on a social networking site like Facebook or MySpace. This creates a community where people will see what other users are bookmarking. As a result of all this chatter amidst users, certain sites can often get more traffic than they normally would have received by just sitting around on the web.
Some writers are using social bookmarking as a tool for viral or guerilla marketing for their content. There are some strategies necessary for this, and they are as simple as a pointing and clicking on a recommendations area to post their article on a social bookmarking site.
Some have recommended that writers who post articles on the web not put every article that he or she will write on a social bookmarking site. Instead, just put the ones that will be helpful or of interest to other web surfers.
The best part of Social Bookmarking is that the user creates an external link to his or her site that will be useful for keyword searches on search engines. Of course, this shouldn’t be the only method an online writer should use for drawing traffic to their content, but it is an effective one. Those who want to become more effective in marketing should study the world of social bookmarking to discover how it works, and how to gain readers from it.
Source 1, Source 2, and Source 3
It’s hard to believe that a site’s popularity is often determined by the public’s ability to enter in a few keywords on a Search Engine like Google, Yahoo, or MSN, but this is the age of SEO. Since this search engine factor can make or break a business or website, web entrepreneurs have to ask what the future of online marketing and SEO will be.
First, search engines will just keep getting smarter with services that can collect our data about our surfing habits. I’m certain that all of you have felt disappointed when you entered in what you thought was sure to be the perfect keywords for a search, only to find the Top Ten list was on some topic completely unrelated to what you wanted. Relevance will become a factor, and more distinct keyword phrases will be required in the future. The sites that can focus on exactly what the user wants will discover more hits all around.
Also, SEO will soon become more than just the right keyword phrases, inbound links, and keyword density. Instead, it will be about all of these concepts working together in a synergetic strategy based on a company or site’s primary goals. All content will need to be based on all sorts of information such as social data, meaning testimonials, feedback, reviews, and product comparison.
Another key factor is the quality of the website. It isn’t enough to have all the factors that will draw interested users toward a website, but success will be determined on the professional look of the site. Even if your site is number one in the top ten, a user may not want to use a site that is of poor quality. He or she would rather hit Back and click on number two.
Other future developments depend on improving technology, which is getting better all the time. For example, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Scanning allows users to scan hard copy books, letters, and documents, for unique content, enabling searchers to get their content easier. Visual Identification is also going to factor in as users will want to search for information using images, rather than many searches that use information to obtain images.
So what is the future of SEO marketing? Simply put, it is a whole lot of work by those who want to succeed. Sites that want to be star players will need to work with all factors that draw traffic to their site, and create a quality site so that users will stay. It will also be about keeping up with Search Engine technology of the future.