Tag search: features
URL Search is defined by Google as when a user types a URL such as www.myspace.com into the search box. It differs slightly from Navigational Search which is where a user types the name of the site e.g. “myspace” rather than the URL.
Ranking highly for popular URL’s can send a huge amount of traffic and is a great way to target your competitors customers.
For example if you saw your competitor running a newspaper advert with a URL such as xxxxxxxx.com/offer at the end of the advert you can expect people to be searching for that URL on the major search engines.
The image below shows the traffic Blogstorm received in the last 2 weeks from people searching for “www.direct.gov.uk/taxdisc” (see results page here). If a tax disc was a commercial product that I could sell then this traffic would be pretty valuable. Although the total is 8,019 the figures for the last few days have been around 2,000 per day.
Of course you need to have a catchy title otherwise nobody will click on your listing, it also helps to be competing with people who have no clue about SEO.
Ranking for these sorts of pages is pretty easy because they usually have very little competition unless you are targeting major sites. Certainly if you stick to a niche industry you can often outrank the original site or at least come second.
As well as keeping an eye on URLs that your competitors are publishing offline a great way to find popular URLs to target is by using the Google Keyword Tool. Simply enter “www” as your keyword and it comes up with a list of popular URLs which can be ordered and sorted as you wish.
Google Suggest is also a great way to find commonly searched for domains and even pages within domains.
Every month thousands of websites get hacked into and have hidden links inserted into the pages by people wanting their spam sites to rank highly in the search engines.
Most SEO companies, including mine, see a good number of hacked websites, usually after the site owner contacts us wanting to find out why their Google traffic has suddenly dropped for no apparent reason.
Matt Cutts has stated that 2008 will be the year hacking and SEO collide:
2008 will be the year that hacking and search engine optimization (SEO) collide in a major way. By the end of the year, a nontrivial fraction of blackhat SEO will involve illegally hacking sites for links or landing pages.
One webhost will get a significant black eye as hundreds or thousands of customersâ€™ websites are hacked. The growth of illegal-blackhat SEO will leave traditional blackhats with a difficult choice: risk doing something illegal or sit out.
Google doesn’t give you a warning when they see lots of links to black hat sites – they just stop sending traffic to the pages that contain them. If the hacker has only added the code to a few of your pages the traffic drop can be quite small and it becomes almost impossible to diagnose the problem.
Clearly what we need is some kind of easy to use method for site owners to get a notification as soon as these links are added. Because the hackers often hide the links from everybody apart from Google it’s clear that we need to leverage the Google spider to do the work for us.
Luckily Google Alerts allows us to create advanced search queries so we can set up an alert to monitor our websites for any terms that might appear when a hacker takes control. Of course we can’t monitor every term but it is a very good starting point. I must thank Vin from Digital Agencies for tipping me off about this trick.
To get started we need to think of a few likely spam terms that people might like to inject in our site and then use them to make up a search query:
viagra OR cialis OR levitra OR Phentermine OR Xanax site:blogstorm.co.uk
Next simply go to Google Alerts and enter the query above into the “Create a Google Alert” box and you will get an email whenever Google spots one of your chosen spam words on your site.
As some of you might be aware yesterday was the First Day of Summer (not that the weather was anything like summer) and I happened to write a blog post about it.
To celebrate the occasion Google changed their logo and linked the logo through to some search results for “first day of summer 21 june“. As you might have guessed my blog post came up in the number one spot.
Being number one for this search term sent about 16,000 extra visitors to Blogstorm. Not bad for a Saturday when traffic is normally quite low.
The search term “first day of summer” was the hottest term on Google Trends thanks to the link from the Google logo.
A couple of minutes ago Reddit made the interesting decision to open source their algorithm.
Not many people have looked at it yet, in fact I was the 4th to join the group as you can see from the screenshot below.
This afternoon I will be spending some time to try and understand the algorithm and see what steps marketers can take to improve the amount of content that hits the front page.
We’ve always strived to be as open and transparent with our users as possible, and this is the next logical step. When we say ‘open-source’ we mean specifically that the code behind reddit is available to the public for download, and we’re inviting the public to submit code to help improve the site.
Reddit is unique in the social news scene in that we have a huge community of developers. It seems only natural that we give you all in that community a chance to contribute back to reddit and make it a better place for everyone. We know reddit’s success has less to do with our technology than it does with you, our community, and now we want to let our community improve our technology.
Viral marketing campaigns are an amazing way to generate a huge amount of buzz and brand awareness whether they are carried out online or offline.
In this post we have honored the best viral marketing campaigns of all time, both online and offline.
If you know of a campaign that deserves to be on the list why not write about it in the comments.
Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold (Nike)
Without doubt my favourite video on the list is this masterpiece from Nike. Watch as Ronaldinho takes delivery of a new pair of boots and spends over two minutes demonstrating the most amazing football skills the internet has ever seen.
23.5 million people have watched this ad on YouTube. Pure genius.
My Heart Will Go On (Free Macbook Air)
The genius of this video isn’t in the song (that’s just been copied from the Titanic video) it’s in the fact that the user uploaded the video just to promote an affiliate deal.
How many of the 21.9 million users who viewed this clip clicked on the affiliate link I wonder?
Note that the original video has been removed from Youtube so the one below is a replacement.
This video shows viral marketing in its simplest form. Upload an amazing video clip of a guy playing the guitar, write a quick note saying that he learnt to play the guitar at GuitarMasterPro.net and hope some of the 45 million viewers want to learn to play too.
Dynamite Surfing (Quicksilver)
With a reputed 10 million page views in the first few months of launch this viral advert for Quicksilver took the web by storm and did more to promote the brand than all their other advertising combined.
Of course we know the footage was staged and the surfers were really actors but this didn’t stop the video spreading virally around the web.
Do The Test (Transport for London)
This video has made the list purely because it has seen so many page views in a very short time. In just 3 months over 3.7 million people have viewed the video making it one of the top campaigns of 2008.
Stolen Nascar (TaxBrain.com
Promoting a website about tax is pretty difficult so the marketers behind this stunt decided to get creative.
They staged the theft of a Nascar with their website address on the site and managed to get over $1 million woth of TV exposure totally free within just a few days.
The stunt shot the site into the limelight and it has never looked back.
Working with Napolitan Productions, we brainstormed for a couple of days and concluded that our NASCAR racecar sponsorship had our branding, so we felt it could be the centerpiece in a viral video. Research indicated that a NASCAR had never been stolen by a racing fan, and since these fans truly are fanatical — just maybe a NASCAR could be stolen on lazy summer day at a small racetrack in California. Helping us along this path was the release of the movie ‘Talledega Nights.’ We hired real stuntmen, models and a seasoned reality TV camera crew. We rented the local racetrack to rehearse, clued in racetrack management of our plan, then the following Sunday at a live racing event, the car was “stolen.”
Threshers 40% Off Voucher
In 2006, shortly before Christmas, Threshers leaked a voucher worth 40% off wine and champagne via the internet. Apparently the voucher was only intended for suppliers and the belief that Threshers had mistakenly released the voucher made it spread faster and faster around the world via email, social networks and blogs.
Threshers pretended to be worried about losing money on the promotion but no doubt ended up making a huge profit and getting publicity in a month than they got for the whole year.
“It was never intended to get this big,” a company spokesperson said.
The company admits it is slightly concerned about the popularity of the offer.
“We are waiting with bated breath… Early next week, we should get the figures for what level of business we have seen this week and over the weekend,” the spokesperson added.
“This is a better offer than normal and it could end up hitting our profit margins.”
Subservient Chicken (Burger King)
The site, at subservientchicken.com, features a chicken-suit-garbed human embodying the classic BK tagline, “Have it your way.” In a nod to adult “cam” sites, users type in commands and the bird obeys. Visitors are eating it up — and, Burger King hopes, consuming large quantities of its TenderCrisp chicken sandwich as well. The site is part of an integrated campaign for the new product.
“It was important to us to get to the elusive adults in their early twenties and thirties, the 18- to 34-year-old men, the so-called missing men who aren’t watching TV,” said Blake Lewis, a spokesperson for Burger King, which is controlled by Texas Pacific Group. “This audience embraces the Internet.” Lewis said the site got 46 million visits between its launch Wednesday, April 7 and the following Wednesday.
Gorilla Advert (Cadbury’s)
Another recent example of how an amazing advert can get millions more views thanks to the web comes in the form of a gorilla playing the drums for Cadbury’s.
In todays era of social networking it’s easy to think how quickly the likes of Facebook and Myspace grew but the real viral marketing pioneer was Hotmail.
In December 1996 Hotmail had 500,000 registered users – less than a year later they had over 12,000,000 users. This astonishing growth rate was down to the fact that every single email sent from Hotmail included a small advert promoting the service in the footer.
Connecting advertisers to publishers is a service that keeps PR agencies and linkbait/viral marketing companies busy every day of the year.
The value of having your product reviewed and profiled on a popular blog can be huge.
Today I’m pleased to announce a brand new never been seen before FREE service to connect online publishers and bloggers with advertisers.
The service, called Blogstorm Buzz Marketing, launches with input and support from several leading names in the online marketing industry.
Blogstorm Buzz Marketing is an email based group which allows advertisers to pitch to bloggers in the environment of a private discussion group. The only people who see your pitch are other members of the group and you can share as much or as little information as you like.
How It Works
An advertiser creates a new tool, releases a linkbait article or writes a press release. As part of the campaign the advertiser wants to get as many bloggers writing about and linking to the story as possible.
The advertiser sends the following email to the group:
Hi, I work for a gadget retailer and we have just released a brand new cool gadget. I really want to get some coverage from gadget blogs so if you can write about this then email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss prices and details.
Any interested bloggers or publishers can then contact the advertiser directly and offer to cover the story at an agreed price. The deal is carried out privately without requiring the advertiser and publisher to identify themselves publicly at any time.
Why is this different to PayPerPost, ReviewMe etc?
Some of the existing services ask bloggers to use nofollow and disclose that articles are sponsored posts. We let publishers and advertisers make their own decisions on this matter.
Existing services make publishers and advertisers place their information in the public domain which allows close scrutiny by search engine editors. We allow publishers and advertisers to remain anonymous and only disclose their identity to each other.
How do I join?
To request an invite send an email to email@example.com with some details about who you are. We don’t accept people unless we can verify their identity in some way – this is to make sure the group is as secure as possible. If you want to sign up to the group with a different email to the one you normally use to preserve anonymity then that’s fine – just make sure you tell us.
How much does it cost?
The price will depend on the value a post on a particular blog can give to the advertiser. This group is intended for more advanced marketers so I expect bloggers will be charging $50 to $5000 for an editorial and link.
Likewise we expect to have advertisers who are more than happy to pay large fees for an article and link on a popular website.
I’m an advertiser, what do I do?
The best way to use the service as an advertiser is to wait until you have a good story that a blogger or news publisher might reasonably have wanted to write about. Then send an email to the group (similar to the one above) and await responses.
I’m a publisher, what do I do?
As a publishers you need to monitor the group for stories you think fit the theme of you website. Once you see an opportunity then contact the advertiser directly and explain what publicity you can give and the details.
Are the links nofollow? What about disclosure?
The details and specifics of the links and blog posts you publish need to be discussed with the advertiser. We won’t be making any rules about how content should be published.
Why is this free?
At present the service is free but we reserve the right to charge a fee for advertisers to email their pitches to the group in the future. This is to cover the cost of having people moderate the forum so that people don’t send low quality content or spam.
Recently Google decided that the internet wasn’t quite big enough and started creating extra pages on a number of websites.
Googlebot does this by making up random words, entering them into web forms and indexing the results.
You can see that blogstorm.co.uk has 57 of these auto-generated pages indexed in Google already.
It’s quite easy to block these pages being indexed as other people have pointed out but 99.9% of webmasters won’t know about the issue. The best method to “fix” the problem is to noindex,follow the pages you don’t want to be indexed. Don’t use robots.txt as this is a waste of any links you happen to gain to these pages.
As long as a site has lots of authority (PageRank & TrustRank) then Google adding a hundred or so extra pages isn’t going to have an effect on your rankings. It might even get you some long tail traffic (as long as the pages are optimised) but you need to keep an eye on the situation to make sure Google isn’t creating thousands of near duplicate pages.
My guess is that these auto generated pages might cause a big issue for some people so watch this space.
Google has just launched Google Friend Connect, a service that allows site owners to integrate social applications onto their pages just by cut & pasting some code.
The service is pretty big news for bloggers and anybody who has a fair amount of traffic and wants to make their site more social. Personally I have 2500 RSS readers and will be using the service to allow you to rate posts and give feedback. I might even create a fan wall where readers can sign up to be Blogstorm fans.
Giving Google access to ratings, comments and reviews of my posts could be pretty helpful in terms of SEO if Google starts to integrate this into the algorithm. If they know that 50 trusted Google users have recommended a post on my blog then it will rank better than another post that has received very poor ratings.
This is the biggest step yet towards social data being included in search. Check out the video below and view some example sites. I have included some screenshots so you can see just how important this could be.
Google Friend Connect lets you grow traffic by easily adding social features to your website. With just a few snippets of code, you get more people engaging more deeply with your site.
Attract more visitors. Visitors bring along friends from social networks like Facebook, orkut, and others to interact on your site.
Enrich your site with social features. Choose engaging social features from a catalog of gadgets provided by Google and the OpenSocial developer community.
No programming whatsoever. Just copy and paste snippets of code into your site, and Google Friend Connect does the rest.
Social media, linkbaiting, link building, blogging and building an audience are hugely time consuming tasks that require a lot of skill, some great ideas and most importantly a long term vision.
Intelligent online publishers have been creating Link Building Machines for years but others try to rely on short term fixes. The short term fix (as you might have guessed) isn’t a good long term business strategy.
Put simply a Link Building Machine is a site that attracts thousands of links every month and hundreds of links to each one of their recent stories or blog posts without any direct marketing being carried out to create those links.
The BBC is a Link Building Machine, so is Wikipedia, so is Engadget, so is the New York Times. They are all sites that have the following key components making up their Machine.
- A large number of fans who love to read their content
- A fanbase that likes sharing content across social networks
- Fans & readers who publish content on blogs & other websites – the linkerati
- Good search engine rankings
Any website that has these elements is a Link Building Machine. Take a site like Wikipedia for example, it doesn’t have any RSS subscribers but Wikipedia ranks highly for so many informational queries that the articles are used as citations and reference links thousands of times every single day.
A site like the BBC can release a news story and find it being shared across thousands of blogs and social networks without the BBC having to do any marketing whatsoever.
One of my favourite examples of a Link Building Machine is a site that has thousands of well optimised images attracting millions of visitors from Google Images every single year. This site cleverly uses this script (this one is good too) to build thousands of new links every month with zero effort.
Creating your machine
Publishing one off linkbait articles is great for traffic and links but it isn’t a particularly effective long term strategy – unless carried out as part of the Link Building Machine development process.
Publish one linkbait article and it might get thousands of readers and hundreds of links but if you can replicate that success and publish similarly high quality articles every day for 6 months you might just end up creating a Link Building Machine.
Forget about building links to your site today – concentrate on your long term goal of finding thousands of people who love your website enough to tell the world whenever you write a new post.
In light of the new Google Adwords trademark issues we are launching a new service designed to help businesses in the UK attract the traffic they deserve from brand name searches.
Here at Branded3 we believe that companies have a right to receive 100% of search traffic for their own company name. Building up a brand is hard work and we firmly stand by the principle that any visitor searching for “Brand X” should be directed to the “Brand X” website.
Yesterday Google opened up their Adwords system to allow bidding on trademarked terms meaning “Brand Y” will be able to place paid search ads on the results page for “Brand X”. The first page of Google usually contains 10 natural results and up to 12 sponsored results. This means that even if a brand features at the top of the natural results as well as the sponsored results there are still 20 more results that potential customers can click on.
We call this phenomenon “traffic leakage” and it can have a major impact on sales.
The most common issue is likely to be traffic leaking to competing sites but other issues are likely to arise from affiliates and even campaigns that set out to destroy a companies brand and reputation.
Search Branding Service
While there is no way to stop other organisations bidding on trademarked terms there are a number of defence mechanisms that will maximise traffic from these terms. If left unchecked we expect that brand name traffic will start to drop well below the current level as advertiser competition increases in May.
Branded3 recommends that all companies in the UK take strong action to ensure that they control the maximum amount of Google’s screen real estate in both the organic and sponsored results so that traffic leakage to competing websites is minimised.
To find out more about how Branded3 Search can maximise traffic for your brand keywords call 0113 281 4100 or contact us today.
A monopoly exists when a enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it. How much does Google have to grow before they have a monopoly over web use in the UK?
Another interesting figure from Hitwise is that next weeks trademark rule change is going to cause a drop in traffic of 7.6% to affected brands. It will take some time for this traffic drop to occur for most brands but 7.6% is a big drop in traffic, especially if it comes with a 7.6% drop in revenue too.
Launching a new website is so amazingly hard that most people have sleepless nights for weeks before and still end up making a mess of it. Hopefully some of thet resources and articles below will help.
The key is that you have to drive a huge amount of traffic and you can’t do it via search or any other method – it has to come from getting links from popular news sites, blogs or perhaps social sites (although these users are less loyal). This is the only way your launch will be a success.
My main aims when launching a new website are as follows:
- Get as many links as possible
- Get as many visitors as possible
- Get as many subscribers to a blog or news feed as possible
These aims are pretty simple but it is amazing how many people don’t think about them. It is very important to take advantage of your initial storm of publicity to build some foundations for future success. The links you build from your launch will help your search engine rankings for years to come. The subscribers you build in your first week are the people who will help grow your brand for the next 5 years.
Successfully launching a new website has been described as an art form. By breaking it down into a series of small steps you can turn it into more of a science and make your chances of success much higher.
I’ve seen so many site owners that spend a huge amount of money building a site and then don’t have any budget for a massive viral launch. With hundreds of millions of sites being launched every year how do people expect to get traffic without doing some work? In my opinion the budget for marketing a site in the first month should be equal to the budget for building the site in the first place.
Read the articles below to learn more
A series I wrote at E-consultancy
How to launch a new website – design & creation
How to launch a new website – pre-launch
How to launch a new website â€“ launch week
How to launch a new website – post launch
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
- Early thoughts on Penguin 2.0
- 5 myths about manual penalty recovery
- Google gets more aggressive with link devaluation