French based rolling paper company Odet-Cascadec-Bolloré or OCB have recently launched a cutting edge Facebook campaign that invites you to embrace a gradation system within the Facebook ‘Like’ paradigm.
Their campaign video (below) encourages Facebook users to ‘say goodbye to the Like button’ and instead, ‘welcome the new and cooler way of rating on Facebook’ and that ‘Lick is the new Like’:
Last Friday, our Head of Search Tim Grice hosted our monthly B3 Brunch Google+ Hangout on the subject of the recently released Penguin 2.0 update.
The Hangout saw some great questions come through in the Google+ comments with many centred around use of the Disavow Tool and strategies we should be using going forward in a post-Penguin world.
In-line with the questions and comments we saw coming through about Penguin, Tim provides his thoughts on this below.
The main thing people need to take away from the recent update is that it’s not a penalty; it’s an algorithm that is negatively affecting them. Penguin is targeting websites that are ‘over optimised’, with the main focus being on links, therefore it is important to audit your link profile and remove the negative signals Google are using to run the algorithm. If you have been hit by Penguin you have to accept that your investment in low quality link building has been identified and killed by Google, therefore as well as removing the bad links, you need to start thinking about what makes you link-worthy and developing a natural strategy moving forward.
Penguin is like a reset algorithm, if you have invested in link manipulation, it is now worthless and you need to start from scratch by cleaning up your profile and building on a more solid foundation.
You can view the Hangout in full below or over on our YouTube channel.
As always, our next Hangout will be announced right here on the blog and also on our Google+ page so be sure to head over and add us to your circles to be the first to find out about it.
If you have any burning questions or topics that you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Hangout, do let us know by emailing email@example.com or in the comments below. The same goes if you have any follow up questions with regards this month’s Hangout – we’d love to hear from you!
On the first day his post drove ~60,000 visitors to the Branded3 site. That’s around 20-30x our usual daily traffic, just to one page.
Our Google Analytics graph for April/May looks like this:
In isolation it looks as if we usually have quite low traffic.
The annotation under the graph says:
Stephen Kenwright breaks Branded3 server: The antisocial network: Path texts my entire phonebook at 6am
(ProTip: You can add annotations by double-clicking any date – this is useful for notable changes to your website such as a large change in traffic or a website redesign)
Content has rightly taken a far more prominent role in SEO in recent months. Given the fairly new but oddly familiar status, we are currently somewhat in a state of flux; brilliant content is a necessity, but many of us are unsure about how to create it.
Creating fabulous content is easy – if you know where to look. You don’t have to have a team of Shakespeares in order to create something mind-blowing, though a certain amount of experience outside of SEO is always helpful.
The important thing to remember before creating any content is that this is the element of the site that is customer facing. Imagine your website or blog like a shop: the retail assistants may have a relatively small role in the overall running of the shop, but they’re the people you remember, the people with whom you directly deal.
There are numerous resources you can use to create content that people will remember – these are just a few of them.
We’re big fans of BuzzFeed here at Branded3 (who doesn’t love random lists of why the North is better than the South?!) and we especially loved the Desk Safari post today, so we thought we’d do our own B3 version.
So here goes, Desk Safari at B3 Towers!
Head of Creative & Social Andy as a kangaroo.
Insights Analyst Emma as every SEO’s best friend.
Marketing Manager Felicity doing her best Meerkat impression.
Chilling out on a rock, Content Writer Gina.
Digital PR Executive David, Me (Laura) and Project Manager Rosanne as some purrfect kittens.
Project Manager Rosanne couldn’t resist being in twice so here she is as a chicken.
Outreach Executive Rob showing his stripes.
Senior Developer Doug decided on being a playful kitten.
Our London office also decided to join in…
Account Director Mike starring in Lion King.
Account Manager Joe choosing a sideways look as a camel.
And finally, Search Strategist Jenhao as an SEO’s other best friend, the panda.
So there you have it, our best Desk Safaris, we’d love to see yours too so get involved and post them in the comments below!
There’s one story that’s dominated the social media scene this week, but there may be a few others that have passed you by! Take a look at what we’ve been reading about:
Facebook introduces clickable hashtags
- Details – May as well get the big story out of the way first! Yes, Facebook has announced the use of ‘clickable’ hashtags which means you can not only click on a hashtag used in a post to reveal all posts using that term, you can use the native Facebook search bar for the same function.
- What does this mean? – The introduction of hashtags on Facebook means brands can finally get relevant content in front of target Facebook users who are not existing fans of their page, for free. Before this, the only methods would have been through paid advertising. But I’m sure Facebook will find a way to monetise this new system and I don’t think it will be too long before we see promoted (paid for) hashtags, the likes of which already exist on Twitter.
Branded3 sent me, a Social Media Strategist, and Tom Armenante, an SEO Strategist, to day two of SAScon2013. We both took some interesting points away – especially me, with regards to tracking and attribution of social media activity, so we thought we’d give you a summary of what we learned. Oh, and an extra special shout out to Jeff Coghlan and his company – mobile, social, gaming and digital production, Matmi – his augmented reality and gamification talk really blew us away – and thoroughly entertained us!
Keynote Interview – Mike Little, co-founder of WordPress
- The number of WordPress sites is approaching 67 million: Over 377 million people view more than 4.1 billion pages each month. Impressive!
- Born by chance: WordPress was born when, in 2002, a group of bloggers were using B2 but the man who created it disappeared and became uncontactable. The security issues that arose spurred a member of the community to take the software and develop it, with the first release of WordPress emerging in 2003.
- Success due to ease of use: Mike believes that WordPress became such a success because of its user-friendliness, the large, supportive, self-moderating international community that’s built up around it, and the fact that the open source GPL means that anyone can create services, plugins, themes etc.
- Promotes freedom of speech: WordPress.com is effectively banned in countries with an oppressive government regime because it gives citizens easy access to a voice that can be heard globally.
- Continuing improvements to mobile: While WordPress can be used on all of the major mobile operating systems quite easily, developers are working on improvements in this area.
Our Head of Search Tim Grice will be hosting an expert G+ Hangout in Brunch with Branded3 this Thursday at 11:30am (BST) in which he’ll discuss his thoughts so far on Penguin 2.0; the latest algorithm update to be rolled out by Google.
Around 2% of English-US search queries have been affected by the update and in this Hangout, Tim will be sharing his advice on how online marketers can best get their strategies in-line with Google’s guidelines.
With almost 10 years’ experience in the online marketing industry, Tim oversees the development of search strategies for some of the biggest brands in the UK.
An influential SEO blogger; Tim’s unique insights and creative strategies have helped to establish him as an industry thought-leader who’s always at the forefront of Google’s algorithm changes.
If you’re an online marketer, don’t miss this Hangout for the latest tips and advice on staying ahead of Google’s updates.
To take part in the Hangout, simply click here to join the event – the first nine to get involved on the day will be able to join in with the discussion – but don’t worry if you miss out on being the first users there, as we’ll be recording the Hangout on air for you to watch on our G+ page or our YouTube page.
See you Thursday at 11:30am!
There’ve been some really exciting updates for casual networkers and social geeks alike this week, so cast your eyes over our list and feel free to add your own in the comments box below.
For the last few years it seems that SEOs spend more effort trying to avoid penalties and updates than attempting to get rankings. It started in 2011 with Panda – an algorithm update designed to stop users writing content just for search engines that is notoriously difficult to recover from.
Panda is very effective at catching sites with thin, spun content that provides no value to users, but surely nobody who still has a reliance on SEO is still trying tactics like these? We’re still finding plenty of sites in need of historic content clean-up operations, but with Google supposedly working on “softening” the Panda update, now is the time to take stock and learn the lessons. Don’t think for a second that low value content will get a thumbs-up from Mountain View in future, and that things that are just about passable now will provide value five years down the line.
Do you use Google Analytics on a regular basis? Are you the go-to person when someone has questions about Google Analytics? Do you love diving into data and getting something really quite useful out of it?
Have you ever considered becoming Google Analytics qualified?
What is the GAIQ Exam and why should I bother?
GAIQ (Google Analytics Individual Qualification) is an exam offered by Google to prove that an individual is proficient in the use and understanding of Google Analytics.
- Costs $50 – you both purchase it and take it online here
- Only available in English
- 70 Google Analytics Related questions (all multiple choice) – chosen at random
- 90 minutes long (test can be paused, expires 5 days after starting)
- 80% is the passing score (you can get up to 14 questions wrong)
- Receive a certificate, and your name is listed in Google’s list of Qualified Individuals. Not to brag, but here I am.
- Once passed, certificate expires after 18 months (so if you’re reading this in 2015 or later, the link above probably won’t work)
Taking place at the home stadium of Leicester Tigers at Welford Road, the two teams – one playing for HM Forces and the other for Scotty’s – kicked off at 11am Friday morning and finished at 12pm on Saturday, in what was an astonishing display of stamina and determination.
Branded3 was at the helm of all the action live from the stadium, utilising Twitter, Facebook and a live blog to encourage people to come down to Welford Road to support the players, or make a donation to the charity if they couldn’t make it.
With a target of £22k to reach, organisers were ecstatic to realise this goal was quickly surpassed with latest figures suggesting the amount raised actually stands at nearer £60k.
Latest from B3Labs
- Another milestone reached for Branded3 as it’s acquired by the
St Ives Group
- The latest media consumer findings & what they mean for digital marketers
- Talk to Branded3 at @BuyYorkshire in Leeds next week!
Latest from Blogstorm
- Watch @Tim_Grice talk all things Penguin 2.0 in June’s #B3Brunch
- Content can kill your site: How to fix it
- Search expert @Tim_Grice talks Penguin 2.0 in a G+ Hangout this Thursday