Social Media – It’s everywhere. And businesses use it for market research and intelligence. They use it for branding. They use it for Lead Generation. They use it for interactivity. And some of us understand that it’s tied at the hip with SEO, PPC and other Online Marketing methodologies.

Google Trends

Trends

(Scroll down for the Big List.)

Trends are powerful things.

Knowing what’s hot and happening now in the world can be fun. It can also be a great source of ideas for relevant content, linkbait and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

As Wikipedia says, "SEO Trending is a technique used by webmasters to write content based on recent events on the web to get more visibility for their websites in search engine results pages."


What are Trends?

Think about this. Trends show the general direction in which something tends to move. They show a possible future, the "buzz" of tomorrow, the next hype, an evolving topic. Or…An opportunity for the SEO-inclined to push their websites up in the search engines, get more backlinks and new traffic.

Now think about this. When there’s hype around something, people will:

  • Speak about it
  • Get curious about it
  • Search for it
  • Share it

How Trend – Spotting affects SEO

What does this mean for the SEO Consultant and/or Webmaster? The trends and the hype provide a framework for a certain amount of success. Here’s some things to do during the hype:

  • People will speak about it
    • Listen to their words (keywords)
    • Join the conversation via Twitter, Social Media, etc. (real time search)
    • Create trust by allowing discussions on your site, forum, blog, etc. (user-generated content)
    • Become an authority by getting them to speak about the relevant pages on your website (backlinks)
  • People get curious about it
    • Understand intent behind the unclear questions and give answers (intent)
    • Give away more – value-added free relevant content (incentives)
    • Use all available channels to give answers (universal search)
  • People search for it
    • Don’t underestimate the rapid increase in search volume (search volume)
    • Google’s "Query deserves freshness" factor will push keywords to the top of the SERPs (SERP Promotion)
    • Create fresh content for these queries (fresh content)
  • People share it
    • Find creative ways of using the hype for Linkbait to get new links (link bait)
    • Actively use Social Media to spread content and generate new traffic (SMOSocial Media Optimization)

Tools to Identify Trends

But how do we identify them? We know they’re happening but we usually hear about them in the now or in the past.

Aside from simply listening in the proper places, there are many paid and free tools to do just that. We spoke about Hot Content Ideas from Google and The SEO of Search Trends, but what about a bigger list of Tools?

Well here you go. I’ve compiled a fairly huge list of tools for you to go out play and learn from (in no particular order):

I’ll understand if you need to take a break after that; God knows I do!

SEO Trend It and Spin It!

Definitely not advocating the Black Hat "Spin" methodology here, but more of the original intent of the word. 🙂

Now that you have a huge toolbox to find out what people are searching for and talking about, be a little bit creative and original in your content creation. Make it interesting so that people who come to you as new traffic, come back and want more.

The Links of SEO

SEO Links Relationship

SEO involves links. We know this. It’s also known that Quality over Quantity is extremely important to Search Engines (and even more important to me).

But what do Google, Yahoo and Bing consider to be quality? Not to mention the fact that sourcing links for SEO can be a painstaking process. If we are going to take the time and effort to undergo this endeavor, we need to be sure we get our ROI (Return On Investment) – the link, and not the black-list.

Let’s look at 3 Important Factors to consider when sourcing links for SEO.


The best way to ensure Google finds your site, is for your pages to be linked from lots of pages on other sites. Google’s robots jump from page to page on the Web via hyperlinks, so the more sites that link to you, the more likely it is that we’ll find you quickly.

SEO Link Sourcing: 3 Important Factors

  1. Link Authority

    What is Authority?
    Some folks like to look at the number of total back links as if the high volume equates to quality, regardless of obvious SEO implicaitons. These numbers can often be misleading, however.

    For example, blog comments and site-wide links… In fact, many of us shy away from judging anything based on numbers alone. But if you want to get some linking in there for SEO, then you must understand that both Quantiy and Quality are very important.

    A small site that is an authority within a niche is a great find indeed – more important than simply looking at how many back links it has.

    Here, it’s not about the site’s link strength, but rather it’s about the trust it has built up. And this trust…You want.

    Especially in SEO.

    Remember the phrase "Birds of a feather flock together"? Well it sometimes holds true. And most Search Engines assume it is.

    So if you want your site to be thought of along the lines of trust, integrity, and thought leadership, you need to associate your online identity with other online identities that rock those things.

  2. Link Relevance

    What is relevant? First off, Spam is not. Secondly, and most ideal, would be an entire website devoted to your niche topic; your niche keywords…It’s where you want to network and collaborate – perhaps exchange guest posts even; for SEO and for overall win-win in life. However do keep in mind that if the site is too low quality, PANDA will drop you.

    But some topics have HUGE amounts of competition. Just think about "Ringtones" or "iPads"…But, think about "Downloadable Ringtones for Macs" or "iPad usage in the Workplace"; now that is a bit more specific, a bit more relevant, and a bit easier to deal with when it comes to link sourcing for SEO.

  3. Link Accessibility

    What is Accessibility? Wikipedia defines Web Accessibility as "the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities."

    However, not all clubs are built the same. Just in and get yourself a link from a university or scholarly journal. Simple huh? Yeah, but not easy; not in the least. Sourcing quality, authoritative and relative links can be a trick in and of itself. How accessible is it? That’s the last key.

Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.

RSS to Email

RSS to Email

The Problem with RSS

You really love your favorite RSS Reader / Feed Reader / Aggregator / etc., but it’s starting to get hairy; you’ve subscribed to so many of them that simply checking in with your reader seems to daunting a task these days.

Or perhaps you don’t use a feed reader; you prefer to sign up for Email newsletters instead. And you’re coming across cool websites that you’d like to subscribe to, but only see links for RSS.

Sound familiar? I know it does for me. Personally, I use to use Google Reader as my preferred online RSS Feed Reader, but it was discontinued back on July 1st, 2013, but they also provided a nice list of alternatives.

Aside from that, I also found myself commonly in both scenarios mentioned above.

RSS Readers: The Email Solution

Is there one? Yes indeed.

If you don’t have a feed aggregator, but are interested in learning more about them, check out this super-cool & super-detailed Compariosn of Feed Aggregators, by Wikipedia.

But if you’d simply like to Subscribe to a RSS Feed via Email, what to do? Some feeds are burned and hosted by Google’s FeedBurner, and sometimes there’s a link therein that allows you to do so. And often, there’s not.

Free RSS to Email Services

We’re talking about us – the end-user here; the ones who like to be notified of new articles or posts, etc. on our favorite websites. Not the email marketer trying to integrate RSS feeds into their newletters.

And believe it or not, there’s a few you can use for free!

Give ’em a shot!

social media monitoring

Monitor Social Media

Last week, I hinted that for marketing tools, you only need Social Media. That’s not completely true. But it’s a good start.

Social Media, indeed – the internet in general, is a vast marketing playground. What we need are tools that help us manage the conversations.

Enter Social Media Monitoring or Social Media Measurement, not to be confused with the SMM of Social Media Marketing.

When focusing on conversations or mentions about our selves, companies, sites and brands, we usually look similarly to what some call "Brand Reputation Management", or BRM.

So let’s look at special niche of social media tools…

Tools for Monitoring Your Brand (and others’)

When I first wrote this blog post, I had a whopping three tools to offer. Now, there’s so many to choose from, I couldn’t possibly include them all. However, this list of tools should do the trick to get you started. 🙂

Social Media: Are You Listening?>

Are you Listening?

Social Media is big.

Smart folks in Online Marketing understand that the various sites and tools are excellent opportunities.

Not to simply throw your stuff out therelinks, likes, fans and spam. No, there are bigger and better opportunities.


Social Media Marketing

We need to provide solutions to problems. We need to connect with our customers on a personal level.

Marketers around the globe are painfully aware of this paralyzing scenario: "We need to provide solutions to problems. We need to connect with our customers on a personal level. But how do we know what these are?"

Enter Social Media. Think about this: In Social, people want to tell you what their problems are, their interests, where they hanging out, and who with.

Think that type of information might be useful to your next marketing campaign? I think so.

Next, think about this: With Social Media, conversations happen. And word-of-mouth happens, so good or bad, people are talking – and they could be talking about you.

So if you are an Online Marketing professional, but you simply use Social Media as an end-user only, you’re missing a huge picture…Are you listening?

Zemanta

SEO with Zemanta

"Get the most out of your blogging time." That’s what the producers of a pretty cool tool says about their blogging add-on service, Zemanta (Acquired by Outbrain in 2017).

I’ve been looking into it, and Zemanta is indeed useful. Like the WP plug-in Insights, this nifty thing gives you all sorts of media suggestions, based on what you’ve written.

In-Text Links, Photos, Tags and related articles are all within a click’s reach! You can use it via Browser extensions, bookmarklets and Server-side Plug-ins (for WordPress or Joomla, for example).


Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be. We at Zemanta are thinking hard to help make blogging easier for you. We’re engineering better creative tools to help you get the most out of your blogging time.

Zemanta for SEO

Not only that, but you can also sign up for Zemanta as a Content Publisher. And that means more SEO for you. CEO of SEOMoz (now just Moz), Rand Fishkin, says "Zemanta is, quite possibly, the most exciting company in the link building space today. You get direct links that send traffic and provide ranking value for SEO. In an average month using Zemanta, our site received dozens of links and many corresponding boosted rankings."

Check out these 5 Steps to SEO Success using the Zemanta Recommendation Engine:

  1. Zemanta indexes your images, articles, and content via full RSS feed
  2. When relevant, Zemanta recommends your content to 1000’s of Zemanta influencers
  3. Zemanta influencers can drop your content onto their site with a simple click
  4. The average Zemanta influencer has 700 Twitter followers and 1000 Facebook friends
  5. Your content continues to be shared, consumed, and linked to

Sounds good to me. What do you think?

Outbrain Acquires Native DSP Zemanta

Social Media Marketing or SMM

Social Media Marketing or SMM

Jeremiah Owyang, of the Customer Strategy group, Altimeter, will be teaming up with Social Media Solutions group, Social: IRL, on April 26th to lead the Social Business Summit.

Hosted at the Embassy Suites hotel near Kansas City International Airport, the event boasts a full day of interactive sessions, focused on social strategy and a business goal’s first approach to creating scalable social media programs.

Goals? Social: IRL says the goal of this day-long workshop is for attendees to learn from both Jeremiah and from fellow attendees and bring an actionable plan to their day jobs.

Disco Google

Google's new Disco

UPDATE:
Disco Discontinued.

Yesterday I posted about Facebook Acquiring Beluga to bolster to make use of their mobile group messaging technology.

Mobile Group Messaging War

Facebook is not the only contender in this space. Now that they’ve acquired one of their would-be competitors, they only have to deal with the applications like GroupMe, Groupflier, Celly, Fast Society and Kik, although Facebook will easily dominate the marketshare in my opinion.

Enter Google’s Disco

That’s right; now Google has entered the fray.

Their new service, Disco, is offered both as an online service and as an iPhone application. No Android download yet, due to the acquisition of Slide; yet this very same Slide acquisition gives Disco the ability to support Facebook integration in order to import your friends, etc.

Disco is extremely bare bones currently and I’m guessing Google just wanted to get into the competitive landscape ASAP.

Mobile, Online and Social Marketing

With such a landscape growing, it will be interesting to see a similar explosion happening for advertising and marketing service providers.

Updated

Google shutters Slide, founder Max Levchin moves to greener pastures

Beluga from Facebook

Facebook Catches Beluga (Whale)

UPDATE
Beluga no longer exists…

You’ve created a social Group on Facebook for the SMM (Social Media Marketing) in your Online Marketing campaign; yet you see very little activity… Sound familiar?

With smart phones all the rage of mobile and Facebook all the rage of social – brand interaction can happen at any time. Except within Facebook Groups; the technology hasn’t been integrated.

Well that’s about to change.

Beluga Whales are Social Critters

"Beluga whales are smart, social, and mobile. Just like our apps." That’s the Facebook tag line for Beluga, a company offering a mobile messaging service within groups they call "Pods". The nifty apps have been freely available for the iPhone & Android markets.

To skeptics of the reliability & technology of this young company, having only launched in late 2010, I point to the Beluga Team itself; Ben Davenport, Lucy Zhang and Jonathan Perlow are three ex-Google engineers – so you know it’s got to be good.

Beluga helps groups of friends stay in touch on the go. Use it to plan a night out or just share updates and photos. It’s instant, intimate and simple. Best of all, it’s completely free.

There’s an old simple marketing formula – "Identify a Problem & Present a Solution". So what if we plugged in Facebook’s mobile group messaging problem with Beluga’s solution?

Big Fish Facebook Chomps Beluga Whale and Marketers Win

Facebook took the bait, acquiring Beluga earlier this month. They took the team and the technology. And I bet they’ve got your attention too.

With Facebook’s preexisting oomph and Beluga’s mobile group messaging, location integration and photo-sharing, it looks like your Social Media Marketing campaigns might be getting the boosts they need – via Groups.

I think Social Media Marketing just got a little more interesting. What do you think?

Read the announcement on TechCrunch:
Facebook Acquires Group Messaging Service Beluga In A Talent AND Technology Deal

Facebook Privacy

Facebook - Privacy

We all know that most folks are a bit up in arms about Facebook‘s Privacy issues…

But, did you know that you can actually be a “Fan” of Facebook’s privacy? Crazy, but true.

On the Facebook blog, they announced that they’ve actually created a Facebook Privacy Fan Page, where you can "Like" it

Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Facebook Privacy Resources