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The Why and How for the Evolution of Link Building as Content Marketing (Part 2)

content marketingWe previously discussed how link building has evolved from a primary indicator for search engine relevance, why it is becoming less relevant, and tickled the idea of there being something we don’t quite understand as the future of SEO.

And so we begin…

The Previously-Unspoken Ranking Factors where Content is the Only Way to Compete

As humans, we suffer from Adaptive Bias. As marketers with Adaptive Bias, we suffer from trying to fit the square peg of social metrics into the round hole of search rankings.

What we don’t know – because we’re not looking at it – is how other factors are influencing search engine rankings.

Study Looks At SEO Tactics Regarding Effectiveness and Difficulty

If you are trying to prove a point about anything related to SEO you can probably find a study that supports what you are trying to prove. That, of course, is bias and it should have no place in looking at something objectively but, hey, this is SEO. If it wasn’t for opinions and stances there would be nothing to write about.

A study that was shared by eMarketer which was conducted by Ascend2 and Research Underwriters shows how B2C and B2B marketers view certain aspects of the SEO game with regard to how effective certain tactics are and just how difficult they are as well. Here are the charts so you can see how these two segments view the act of SEO.

First the B2C crowd:

Effective v Difficult SEO B2C

Now the B2B crowd:

ICANN Awards First Agreements for New Top Level Domains

online_communities11It’s a big day in the world of domaining. ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) just took the next step in changing the way we navigate around the world wide web when they signed the first four registry agreements on new top level domains.

Top level domains are those words we type after the “dot” – com, net, edu, org. But now that the internet is getting crowded, ICANN decided it was time to create new living quarters to house everyone so they created 2,000 new TLDs and put them up for grabs.

Elastic Pricing for Content: Should Popularity Drive Prices Up or Down?

This morning, I visited the online portal for my local newspaper to check on my subscription. (I didn’t get my Sunday paper.) When I hit the page, I saw a story that interested me, so I clicked on the headline to read it and got this:

ocregister

I understand their need to make money but there are several things that bothered me about this graphic. First, the idea that this particular story is “original content exclusively for subscribers.” It’s a story about a traffic accident that led to a freeway closure. Even though I subscribe to the newspaper, rather than deal with figuring out how to log in, guess what I did? I left the site and went to local news station KTLA where I was able to read the story right now and for free.

The Why and How for the Evolution of Link Building as Content Marketing (Part 1)

link building.bwI first want to get three things out of the way:

Link building is not dead.
Link building is still imperative to any SEO efforts.
The “old” ways of link building are still valuable.
But things have changed for you as a marketer.

And this change is only the beginning.

Here’s where you are now, and where you’re going as an SEO, link builder, and content marketer.

The Four Axioms of Search Engines and Relevance

Search engines are here for one thing: To provide the most relevant search results for its users.

That’s it. Nothing else.

Search engines do not care that you rely on their traffic to make money as a marketer or webmaster. And in the ways that they do care (e.g. making Google Analytics free), they only care about because it helps them fulfill on their promise to their users.

Google Tests Larger Thumbnails in News Results

According to Google Operating System, Google is testing larger thumbnails for news results. This may not seem like a big deal, but it kinda is. Because it’s not just the photo that’s changing, it’s where the title lands that is important. Have a look.

This is what you see if you search for a news story using the “Web” tab.

current news

There’s one small photo in line with the top story, followed by additional links. Above the is a general topic link that sends you to the “News” tab.

news specific

Friday Fun: Most Famous Brands by State

This image put together by writer and artist Steve Lovelace which he calls “Corporate States of America” is a great conversation starter for marketing junkies. While Lovelace meant it as social commentary (and I get that) most people miss that point.

Whether it serves a greater purpose (Be aware America, it’s a corporate country! Nice but not exactly a hidden gem) or not, it’s fun to go the lighter route and debate some of the choices. OK Pilgrims, start with the choice for California ……discuss!

Most Famous Brands by State

This helpful update came from the folks at Adweek (along with some humorous commentary of its own)

UPDATE: A few of the states are hard to make out. New Jersey is Campbell’s, New Hampshire is Timberland, Vermont is Ben & Jerry’s, Rhode Island is Hasbro, Delaware is DuPont, and Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines.