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Google vs the Press Release: Manipulation or Good Business?

mgylInqGoogle thought it was time to remind everyone that link schemes are a violation of their webmaster guidelines and anyone caught trying to game the system will be severely dealt with.

Of course. We get it. We all know about black hat SEO and about Panda and Penguin and the rest of the zoo. We got the message and most of the marketers online have fallen in line and have nothing to worry about.

Or not.

Google’s latest update contains a few paragraphs that will make even the most by-the-book marketer lose a little sleep. For example:

Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines. Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that violate our guidelines:

NBC News Buys Stringwire and Gives Power to the People

stringwireNBC News has acquired a new user-generated, live video service called Stringwire which they’ll use to help gather on-the-scene coverage of breaking stories.

The company’s name is probably a combination of two terms commonly used in news journalism – stringer and wire. A stringer is a freelance journalist or photographer who sells his content to a news “wire” for distribution to a variety of news outlets. It’s a grand old system that has been around since newspapers began and it works because you can’t have a reporter standing by in every city waiting for news.

Stringwire takes that concept a step further with a system that turns every person with smartphone into a news producer.

Here’s how the New York Times explains it:

People Prefer to Watch Sports Videos on Tablets and Other Interesting Mobile Content Facts

battle of the mobile devices

Mobile is to today’s content marketer what the printing press was for newspaper publishers. Thanks to these handy devices it’s easier than ever to put an abundance of content into a reader’s hands both quickly and cheaply.

Sure people still sit down at their computers to watch videos and read blogs and news but mobile does two things a PC can’t do. First, it allows people to access content almost anywhere and at anytime. That means they can catch up on their reading while standing in line at the bank. Or, as they do here in Southern California, while they’re stuck in traffic.

Second, mobile allows for laid back browsing – when you’re sitting on the couch waiting for the commercials to end so you can see who is going home on Project Runway. It’s the perfect time for consuming short chunks of information.

B2B Readers Want Their Print and Digital, Too!


While consumers are slowing giving up their magazine subscriptions in favor of the web, people are still turning to print magazines for their business needs.

According to a survey by ABM, 96% of media users still read trade magazines to keep up on what’s happening in their industry. 45% said they read a print magazine at least weekly. Of course, the numbers for web users were even higher but 74% said they go back and forth between traditional print and digital media.

Above all, B2B readers are looking for practical information they can use to run their business and make buying decisions. In addition to print and the web, 93% said they read information provided by product manufacturers, 92% rely on e-newsletters and 80% turn to conferences and trade shows to help keep them up-to-date.

The Main Goal of Content Marketing? Leads

Content marketing is everything these days. Everything that a marketer does is about content. Develop content for thought leadership. Develop content for various channels to reach everyone where they are. It makes sense.

Of course, developing that content isn’t just an exercise to keep people working. It’s about getting people to buy products and services.

According to a study reported by eMarketer that was performed by IMN (a conference organizer), that fact has become much more apparent in recent months. When marketers were polled regarding the primary goals of content marketing they really showed there is pressure to generate leads in today’s marketplace. Take a look for yourself.

Primary Goal of Content Marketing

OK, if you are a content marketer you better generate leads, huh? But what is most interesting about this though is that even though there was a relatively low percentage of respondents in 2012 saying that revenue generation was their primary goal (9%) there isn’t even any mention of it in this year’s numbers.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Are Now Open to All

Posting ads is fine but when you hand someone a piece of content they can use right now – that’s the start of a relationship. LinkedIn can help you make that connection with their new Sponsored Updates program.

In social media speak, an “update” is any content you published to your feed. Could be a blog post, a video, a presentation or a graphic. In this case, it has to be on a Company page, not a personal profile but from there it works pretty much like any online ad buying experience.

linkedin sponsored ad dash

You can use the self-serve ad tool in LinkedIn to target your content. Choose from options such as location, job function, industry even security levels. If you’re a really specific person, you can even target all the folks who work at one company. You can also go international reaching out to more than 200 countries in 20 different languages.

From Conversation to Content-Delivery: Professors Predict a Change in Twitter

twitter logo“Get ready for a TV-like Twitter.”

That bold statement comes from Columbia Business School Professor Olivier Toubia. He and his colleague, University of Pittsburgh’s Assistant Professor Andrew T. Stephen just released the results of a study they conducted on Twitter usage. They study is called “Intrinsic versus Image-Related Utility in Social Media: Why do People Contribute Content to Twitter?” and it concludes with the end of Twitter as we know it.

Don’t worry. There’s not going to be a giant Twitter Apocalypse or anything. (Sounds like a Syfy original movie.) Twitter usage is just going to keep shifting until it becomes more of a content-delivery system and less of a means of conversation.

Here’s why.