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Post-Hummingbird: Link Building is Much Alive and Kicking. Says Who? Why, Google of Course!

By | Feb 24th, 2014 03.47 AM | View all posts in Tips & Tricks

While there is all the new hype on the rise of content marketing after the launch of Hummingbird, many online marketers end up questioning the importance of links? Has content marketing really become the new SEO and link building no longer matter? There’s many reasoning for and against this statement.

But one thing we want to flat-out share with you is: link building is not dead and is very much alive and kicking.

Our confidence level? Super high. Why? This is what Matt Cutts says in this video here:

“It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really really big win in terms of quality for search results.”

So how does the rise of storytelling and content marketing factor into the equation. Link building has just gotten more advanced. Rather than building up link volume, Google and other major search engines are now very capable of identifying natural links from topic-relevant websites; a.k.a quality backlinks.

What this means is: if you’re still building your links via mass link building method as oppose to creating quality content to bring in natural traffic, then the probability of Google’s algorithm identifying your link building tactics has just gotten 1,000 times more probable compared to 4 years ago.

On the contrary, good marketing has always been about storytelling, the ability to reach your audience at an emotional and humane level. Good content engages the reader, persuades them and makes them believe in what they are seeing. If they like what they see, they’ll share it. And on the internet, how do you share? At its most basic level, via links. And it’s those natural links that would send positive ranking signals to Google to display your website higher in the search results.

So, content marketing isn’t exactly the new SEO, but in a way you could say: an upgraded, more advanced and sophisticated version of SEO. Do keep in mind, there are over 200 ranking factors, here we’re just saying links building is still one of the important factors not to be neglected and with it comes content marketing.

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Google Penalizes Virool: Even the Big Guys Could Get Burned

By | Feb 20th, 2014 01.22 AM | View all posts in News and Updates

Google has just penalized social video advertising site: Virool. Alexander Debelov, co-founder of Virool first noticed a problem around 5 weeks ago and only discovered how great their problem was once logged into Google Webmaster Tools: bad backlinks. The website has contacted site owners and disavowed a handful of link, expecting to be reinstated soon.

“While National Positions hasn’t received a penalty for their work they did for Virool, Google isn’t above penalizing SEO companies that are engaging in black hat tactics for their clients, as they did with iAcquire in 2012. And Google has been very active in handing out penalties recently, including another seed-funded company Rap Genius, as well as multiple link networks.

It can be difficult for the average person to know whether an SEO company they have hired is ethical because a lot of the unethical ones claim that they only do white hat SEO – after all, not very many people are going to hire a company that strictly does black hat SEO, unless it is for a churn and burn site.

This is the latest reminder to be careful when hiring an SEO firm, because the last thing you want to do is get stuck trying to clean up a mess and recover from a Google penalty.” —Jennifer Slegg (Search Engine Watch)

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“Can We Put a Cookie on Your Site?”

By | Feb 10th, 2014 09.59 AM | View all posts in Tips & Tricks

If you’ve been in the industry for quite some time, you’ve probably come across these 2 phrases often enough followed by a frown. And chances are you don’t have the heart to correct fellow online marketers either:

“Can we put a cookie on your site.”

“We will just drop a pixel when they convert.”

These two are in fact very different things but functions similarly. So for those of you, who already know exactly what they are, just skip this blog post. Otherwise, here’s a fast quickie:

A pixel gets imbedded onto the page you want to track. It’s basically an image file that is really tiny at 1 by 1 pixel and requires a server request to render. Hence, provides tracking data.

A cookie on the other hand is a file that the server places on your computer or device that you’re using to browse the internet. Cookies go by session and are used by many online marketing tools to track web usage data.

So you couldn’t really place a cookie on a website page but you can place a pixel. And you couldn’t really drop a pixel, but you could a cookie. …makes sense?

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Doodle 4 Google 2014 Contest Has Just Begun

By | Feb 7th, 2014 02.23 AM | View all posts in News and Updates

Doodle for Google’s annual contest has just begun. The contest is not merely a creativity contest but encourages technology for today’s children. The winner of Doodle contest would get to showcase his/her work on Google’s homepage as Google’s logo for the day besides winning a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his or her schooling (courtesy of Google for Education).

The contest is for children from Kindergarten to 12th grade and each kid is allowed to submit only one doodle by 20 March 2014.

Last year’s contest saw a total of 13,000 Doodle 4 Google submissions. Let’s see if 2014’s number will top that.

Doodle’s by Past Winners:

2013: Sabrina Brady, 12th grade

Google Doodle 2013

2012: Dylan Hoffman, 2nd grade

Goodle Doodle 2

2011: Matteo Lopez, 2nd grade

Google Doodle 3

2010: Makenzie Melton, 3rd grade

doodle 4

2009: Christin Engelberth, 6th grade

Google Doodle 5

2008: Grace (Suryung) Moon, 6th grade

Google Doodle 6

Learn more about the Doodle 4 Google contest here.

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Your Facebook Life

By | Feb 5th, 2014 04.07 AM | View all posts in News and Updates

If you check your Facebook account several times a day, chances are you’ve already seen this. Seen What? Your Facebook Life. Yes, you.

A video about your life on Facebook ever since you first created an account went live online on Tuesday. It’s basically an automated tool that aggregates your photos into a short video story. The 62 seconds clip, titled “A Look Back” commemorates the 10th anniversary of the social network, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and four classmates at Harvard University on February 4, 2004.

People often ask if I always knew that Facebook would become what it is today. No way,” wrote Zuckerberg. Read the full post here on Facebook

And while you’re at it, why not check out what Zuckerberg has in store for you in your own A Look Back video.

Facebook a Look Back Video

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