“What’s the best…”Let me stop you right there. The answer is “It depends.”Ah yes, one of the most frustratingly glib retorts known to man.But you know what?I think it’s high time we started embracing it.It’s in the “it depends” moments when we:Start to think strategically.Stop latching onto every shiny new tactic we see in our news feed.Finally stop blindly following every “best practices” checklist or correlation study and start critically examining everything through the lens of our unique needs.We need to embrace the fact that there are no universal truths in content marketing.Sort of.What Are You Trying to Do?When I say there are no universal truths in content marketing, I’m not saying that there aren’t objective best practices we need to follow (hence the “sort of”).If we want something to show up in search results, we can’t accidentally leave a noindex tag on it.If we want our … [Read more...] about There Are No Universal Truths in Content Marketing (Sort Of)
I’ve spent over two years developing a social media measurement platform. One of the most important things I’ve learned during that time is that what counts as good and valuable measurement is unique to almost every client. While there are some commonalities between companies in similar industry verticals, my experience suggests strongly that there simply is no “cookbook” for social media measurement that applies universally. What this means is that you can’t simply watch what the gurus are measuring (or the competition, or that guy you met at the conference) and adopt it as your own. To make matters even more complicated, there is an enormous amount of data available about social media – and only some of it will be valuable to you. Sorting through all of it to find the bits that will be useful simply isn’t an option. These challenges often lead to two common disasters: Analysis Paralysis (nothing gets measured and sound bites like … [Read more...] about The Truth About Social Media Measurement
As a former journalist, longtime researcher and American, I’m profoundly troubled by our national struggles with the value of science, the need for evidence and the meaning of the word, “fact.” With the US government currently imposing gag orders on research and coining terms like “alternative facts” to try to justify their rejection of the truth, we’re in dark times. My colleague, Kevin Mandeville, lightened things up a little by poking some fun at Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s assertion of alternative facts by creating the #AlternativeEmailFacts hashtag. He used the hashtag on some dubious statements about email marketing and encouraged others to join in. And join in they did, with nearly 100 alternative email facts served up over the course of a few days. Some of the statements were simply ridiculous (and constituted anti-waffle rhetoric): Others seemed cathartic: And a few were perhaps cries for help: But many took jabs at … [Read more...] about Are you buying #AlternativeEmailFacts as truth?
Jim Jansen is one of the few academics I know that is fascinated with Internet search. He has spent a good part of the last decade looking at patterns in search query and website logs, dissecting them and continually looking for significant trends. Jim and I crossed paths a number of years ago and have kept in touch ever since. When Chris Sherman asked someone to talk to Jim about his latest research, I was quick to volunteer. As I said in my last column, a chat with Jim is always fascinating. First, a quick word about Jim’s background. Dr. Jansen is an associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Pennsylvania State University. He has more than 150 publications to his credit. In fact, in the time I’ve know Jim, he has turned out papers at an amazing rate. He’s also co-author of the book, Web Search: Public Searching of the Web and co-editor of Handbook of Weblog Analysis. Jim moved into his academic career from the military, where he … [Read more...] about Researcher Jim Jansen On The Truths & Myths Of The Search Buying Funnel
If your rankings haven’t recovered from Google Penguin yet, you’re looking for answers. By now, you’ve cleaned up onsite keyword spam, you’ve stopped participating in blog networks, and you’ve read a ton of articles about how to recover from Penguin, but nothing is working. The fortunate reality is that Penguin is simply an algorithm; a mathematical calculation that factors in different data sets to result in a “score” which is used to rank every Website you see in the search results. The first step to beating this algorithm is to understand it. Understanding Google Penguin The primary method by which Penguin operates is by examining your inbound link profile metrics to detect what it deems to be “unnatural” activity, and the main signal of unnatural activity appears to revolve around anchor text. As such, if you’ve been hit by Penguin, then it’s likely due to an over-optimized inbound link profile, as determined by the … [Read more...] about Post-Penguin SEO Link Building: The Naked (URL) Truth