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June 23, 2008

SEO Weekend Update: Optimal E-mail Days

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Should Google Adopt an Ombudsman?

Barry Welford left a comment on Michael Gray’s Google Website Trends wrist slapping that asked if Google would benefit from hiring an ombudsman, or more likely a team of them. It’s a novel concept, but I don’t think it’s particularly realistic.

Barry thinks hiring an ombudsman and bringing in a third-party would allow Google to “ensure equity”. I can see his line of thinking here, but what does that even mean? You’re going to have a really hard time nailing down what “fairness” and “equality” means on the Internetz and what rights users have vs. the right of Google to run its search engine however the heck it pleases. Is it fair that Google is telling the world what keywords you target, what your traffic is, and who’s related to you? Is it fair that Google has established guidelines that you have to adhere to if you want to appear in their index? Is it fair that Google can remove your site from its index for any time and for any reason? Is it fair that Susan’s Web site ranks higher than mine even though I’m clearly superior? Probably not, but Google is a business and it has a right to do what’s best for its search engine.

Regardless of my displeasure with Google’s decision to share your site information for kicks, I don’t think Google is out to hurt its users or webmasters. I think they do a pretty good job most of the time of keeping their users in mind and doing what’s best for the average Web searcher. Unfortunately for you and me, we’re not the average Web surfer, which means we often feel wronged when Google does something to change how sites rank. In my opinion, as much as I love the geek journalism term, hiring an ombudsman would be a bad idea. Giving search marketers a person to complain to won’t make them feel more heard or listened to. It’s just going to raise their stress levels when they spend the entirety of their day ranting and complaining to that one person. [And slowly remove the will to live from that person. –Susan]

Are Video Conversations Next?

Kim Krause-Berg says that social media as we know it today is on its way out. People crave human contact and what we have today takes that away from us. We’re missing the feeling of being with people, being able to look someone in the eye, and form a real connection with them. Kim harks to a new social media system where people can form satisfying connections. Is that why video conversation site Seesmic just earned another $6 million in funding? Is Seemic that environment or can we only develop “real” relationships in person?

I don’t know. I don’t even understand the appeal of Seesmic. I’m not interested in video blog comments and the idea of meeting strangers and then having conversations with them seems unappealing, if not downright terrifying. And as much as I like the social connections that I’ve formed on Facebook and Twitter, I realize that part (okay, a big part) of the reason why I love conferences is because I get to hug my friends and gossip with them and be silly with them in person. Maybe a system like Seesmic will be able to help bridge those two relationships.

What do you think the next level of social media is? Is it video conversation among different social groups? Would that help people like Kim get the interaction they’ve been missing? How do you want to interact with people online?

Question: When’s The Best Day To Send An Email?

Answer: There isn’t one.

Jeanniey Mullen explains that there is no longer a “best” day to send an email. In case you thought you still had control over your customers’ actions, you don’t. You can’t simply send an email and expect your customers to act. Things must now be done on their terms, which means knowing when they’re thinking about your product, what they want from you, and being aware of what they’re using to read your emails. This is where checking site logs and looking at Web analytics information is super important because it gives you a clear snap shot of your core audience. If you don’t know who your customer is and what they want, you don’t even have a chance of getting their attention.

Fun Finds

Marty Weintraub (whose last name I can’t spell regardless of how many times I try) offers up 24 different industry recruitment channels. Yowsa. Who knew there were so many SEO job boards? [We should be posting to each and every one of them. –Susan]

The Google Operating System blog gives me the heads up about how I can play my favorite YouTube video on loop by adding a simple parameter. Sweet!

Microsoft says if Yahoo fires Jerry Yang they may bid again. Yikes.

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One response to “SEO Weekend Update: Optimal E-mail Days”

  1. Kim Krause Berg writes:

    Lisa wrote: “…can we only develop “real” relationships in person?”

    That’s getting into where my head is going! I don’t want to keep knocking SM, because it has it’s place and serves a purpose. It starts something but doesn’t always finish that thing or even stick with it.

    What kind of relationships matter to us? Maybe the Internet is helping to define new ones. I wonder at what cost though. :)



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