Why I’m Thankful Matt Cutts Kneecapped Guest Posts for SEO

guest-postsMatt Cutts decided his next 30 day challenge would be to cause chaos and angst in the SEO community by announcing the demise of guest blogging as a tactic for getting backlinks.

It’s a lengthy post, with lots of justifications for the move, but boils down to this:

“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

Are You Tracking the Right Marketing Metrics? [Infographic]

It’s all well and good that you’re smart enough to run a balanced marketing campaign, but are you tracking the right metrics. This infographic will help you understand the difference between vanity metrics and those that actually matter.

Metrics-That-Matter-Guide11(By, via)

 

82% of Companies Ignore Branding Goals When Interacting With Customers

Here’s something that will make you step back and look at your own branding and customer experience strategies. Only 18% of companies provide a customer experience based on their branding strategies. In other words, if a company runs a major ad campaign boasting a personal frustration free experience, it’s unlikely that its customer support and sales staff are taking a blind bit of notice.

Forrester Research

This all goes back to being congruent in your marketing. As I’ve said before, the experience you provide customers must be congruent across all of your different marketing channels: TV, radio, print, search, social etc. It’s not enough to just make sure you appear to be congruent, you have to make sure that every employee is on the same page. If you claim to “try harder” then you’d better walk the walk!

R.I.P. Keyword Data?

not-providedSearch marketers of the organic kind have all but accepted that they will no longer see anything other than “[not provided]” in their Google referral data. Keeping them going was the fact that Bing and Yahoo at least shared their keyword referral data–albeit with a significantly lower market share to pull from.

Now it appears the fat lady is warming up her voice, with news that Bing has ramped up its testing of encrypted search, possibly as a means to support Yahoo’s desire to go encrypted by Q1 of this year.

Will SEOs still be able to get keyword referral data from Bing? According to a Bing spokesperson…

“At this time we are still evolving our rollout of HTTPS at Bing. As we continue to develop our implementation, we will keep the SEO/SEM community needs top of mind and balance them with consumer privacy and security concerns.”

Google Steps Into a Hornet’s Nest of Privacy Concerns With Latest Acquisition

google_plus_nestGoogle announced yesterday that it plans to acquire Nest Labs for $3.2B in cash.

That’s a lot of Benjamins for a company that makes thermostats!

Except, they’re not your ordinary “how do I set this again” thermostat. Nope! Nest offers a smart, internet-connected thermostat. The type that knows when you’ve left the house, and even when you’re in the room! Did that just set off any alarm bells for anyone?

Google will own technology that will know  when you’re feeling too warm or if you’re feeling chilly. Google will know when you leave the house. Next step? You see an Adsense ad on your phone reminding you to pick up a new fleece sweater while you’re at the mall.

Perhaps.

DuckDuckGo Parties Like It’s 1999

DuckDuckGo LogoI’ve tried to like DuckDuckGo, I honestly have. While I found the Google challenger lacking in relevant results, others are apparently believe that is a small price to pay in order to preserve their privacy.

According to The Guardian, DuckDuckGo has seen a surge in the number of searches conducted–mostly thanks to the NSA freaking us all out with its poking around our privacy.

DuckDuckGo Growth

While the hockey-stick growth chart looks impressive, it does need some perspective. With 4 million queries a day, DuckDuckGo has reached the lofty numbers achieved by Google…back in 1999. Its one billion queries in 2013 is paltry compared to Google’s one trillion.

Did a Judge Just Void Your Right to Post Anonymous Reviews?

anonymousIf you’ve ever posted a negative review online–especially on Yelp–then news from the Washington Times might give you cause for alarm.

A Virginia court has just ordered Yelp to hand over the names of seven reviewers who left anonymous, negative reviews on the Yelp profile of a company called Hadeed Carpet Cleaning. The owner claims that the reviews cannot be matched to any existing customers and therefore must be fictitious. On those tenuous grounds, a judge in Alexandria agreed with him.

Of course,  Yelp’s legal team is pitching a conniption:

“Hadeed really did nothing to justify the need for the identity of the Does in this case,” said Mr. Levy, who works at the D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen. “It’s going to make it more difficult for the marketplace of ideas to get valuable information about companies.”