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FEATURE:
Spread the Word with Social Buttons
BACK TO BASICS:
Local SEO on a Budget: Power Marketing Without a Website
INTERNATIONAL:
The Best SEO Apps on the iPhone
THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, sound bytes, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.
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  FEATURE: Spread the Word with Social Buttons
Author: Susan Esparza
 

There is no denying it. The age of social media is no longer on the horizon or just around the corner. It is indisputably here. Social features exist on your phone, in your email and on search results for all major search engines. Social signals are well known to be factors in the decision-making process and are being actively used by Google and Bing in their algorithms.

One of the simplest ways for any website to join the conversation and tap into the power of social media networks is by adding social media buttons to its pages. The question is often not "should buttons be added to the site" but "which buttons should be used?" This article breaks down which buttons you need and how they work.


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  BACK TO BASICS:
Local SEO on a Budget: Power Marketing Without a Website

Author: Jessica Lee
 

Local search is a growing sector, and local businesses cannot ignore the exposure local optimization can offer. With social networks, location check-in services, business listings, review sites, mobile applications and more, local businesses can now secure a portion of online traffic and boost client engagement even without a website and on while on a budget.

According to research presented at search industry conference, SMX West 2011, Andy Chu of Bing reported 53 percent of queries having a local intent, with the top categories being movies and restaurants. Bruce Clay has even said that Google will be primarily a local search engine in the years to come.

But local search optimization doesn't stop at PC users searching for a business online at home. Local and social search are merging with mobile Internet and applications to offer more ways to for a business to reach its target market. Optimizing for local search without a website can draw not only online traffic, but foot traffic to a place of business.

Nearly 100 percent of the suggestions made in this article are free or cost local businesses next to nothing. The catch? A little investment in research and time. But, it's an investment worth making in order to stay ahead of the curve and search engine trends. And it's a fantastic way to increase exposure without having to invest thousands of dollars into a website.


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  INTERNATIONAL:
The Best SEO Apps on the iPhone

Author: Bruce Clay Australia Staff
 

Doing SEO on your mobile phone? We decided to analyse every SEO iPhone App we could we could get our hands on from the App Store and this is what we found.

The native SEO iPhone applications currently available definitely don't provide the full capability of desktop or hosted SEO tool solutions; however that is not necessarily the point.

SEO related iPhone apps should provide the data you need whilst away from your office and although the current offerings might not meet all of the typical SEO needs, the future looks promising. The most significant surprise was the sophistication of the analytical apps available from Omniture SiteCatalyst and Thomas Blackburn's Analytics Pro.


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  Hot Topics

New Cloud Storage Services: The Benefits and Risks

Two new products created buzz this month: Google Music Beta and Google Chromebook. And while they both have the Google name in common, they have something else that makes them alike: cloud storage.

Cloud storage is a virtual storage system that's an alternative for storing information on a hard drive, flash drive, CD or other type of storage device.

Cloud storage allow users to save information, photos, videos, documents and more on a virtual storage system that can be accessed anywhere.

Many people are attracted to cloud storage systems because it alleviates the need to save and backup data, frees up memory space on a computing device and allows for much more storage of data.

Many people use cloud storage and may not even realize it. Common cloud storage devices include services such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, Google Docs, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and Flickr.

So what are Google Music and Google Chromebook promising? Ease of access to your most used data from anywhere at anytime - as long as you have an Internet connection. See, cloud storage typically only works if an Internet connection is available.

Google's Chromebook is available for order June 15 and touts efficiency and ease of access. Chromebook performs all its tasks via the Internet and has a built-in Wi-Fi connection.

Logging into Chromebook automatically logs a person into all the accounts they have through Google, such as Gmail and Google Docs, and syncs settings with other computers, so whether at work, home or somewhere else, all the data a person needs is right there.

Google Music allows storage for up to 20,000 MP3s in one place. Once all a person's music is uploaded to Google Music, she or he can listen to it from anywhere via the Web or Android mobile phone device.

Google Music also allows access to recently played songs or tailored playlists on an Android mobile device even when the Internet isn't an option, for example, on an airplane. Google Music tells us with this new service, we can spend more time listening to our music and less time managing it.

Should We Be on Cloud Nine About Cloud Storage?

While cloud storage may initially sound foolproof, concerns over security and reliability are often the most voiced. However, cloud storage systems often highlight that safety of data as something they can provide.

See, data loss is often vulnerable when left to one device, for example, a hard drive or memory stick. When someone's laptop goes missing or if it crashes, the data is forever gone if it has not been backed up.

With cloud storage, the data is not susceptible to same kind of risk. In fact, many storage devices duplicate the data, called redundancy, in order to ensure it's easily accessible at any time.

However, the reliability of the organization providing the cloud storage is important to keep in mind. If a company is financially unstable and could go under or if they don't take measures to protect data through encryption, authorization and authentication, data loss could be an issue.

But the reliability of a company does not always factor. Take, for example, Amazon’s cloud computing and storage, Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS rents cloud storage and computing power to serve up sites people want to access online.

Last month, Amazon’s servers failed to work properly and big-name sites such as Quora, Reddit, Foursquare, Hootsuite all suffered. These sites were either down completely without access or severely slowed down.

Other concerns include privacy. Cloud storage devices are often too complex for the average hacker to break into, but that still doesn't eliminate many people's concerns about private information stored virtually and potentially viewable by other parties. Other concerns over ownership of data stored in the cloud are also often expressed.

As we move into the future, some people predict personal memory and storage devices will become a thing of the past as we begin to store all data in the cloud. The question still remains if cloud storage is more or less reliable than people saving data when left to their own devices.


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  Shuffles

Wael Ghonim, the Google Middle East employee who was detained during the revolt in Egypt announced he will be taking a long-term leave of absence from the company to start a non-governmental organization in Egypt, Wired reported.

The spiritual predecessor of Facebook, original social networking platform Friendster is erasing all its user data on May 31. The service will be relaunching with an eye toward being a 'social entertainment' site without the old data. User accounts will remain active.

After a couple of months of being on Yahoo!'s chopping block, Delicious was been acquired by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, founders of YouTube.

Twitter bought the third-party desktop and mobile app Tweetdeck for $40-50 milllion.

Microsoft bought VOIP and Internet message service Skype for $8.5 billion. Skype was formerly owned by eBay before being mostly sold off to other parties.

Switched On Media has appointed iCrossing UK new business director Dan Richardson as business development director.

 
  Shindigs

SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 7-8 has SOLD OUT. Bruce Clay, Inc. will be there liveblogging, speaking and presenting a one day SEO training workshop, so we hope to see you there as well.

Bruce Clay will be presenting One Day Training at two upcoming conferences: SMX Advanced in June and SES San Francisco in August. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to extend your conference experience and take advantage of expert training.

In the U.S., the newly updated SEOToolSet® standard and advanced training and certification dates for 2011 are as follows:

California Training 2011

  • July 11-15
  • September 19-23
  • November 14-18

SMX Melbourne will be held on November 16th and 17th for anyone in the online or search marketing field.

 
  Attaboys

Google announced the June 15 launch of Chromebook, notebooks which will run Chrome OS. The notebooks will retail starting at $350.

SEO-community-favorite, Blekko has committed to trashing data after 48 hours in order to protect user privacy.

 
  Word on the Wire

Google will soon launch a +1 button for websites, allowing users to promote pages via Google's new service.

Facebook took a reputation hit when it was revealed that they had hired a PR company to start a whisper campaign against Google, encouraging journalists to delve into privacy violations by the search engine. Facebook apologized for getting caught.

Google News has started offering the option to filter press releases and blogs from News results which means that news sources that have been classified as blogs now stand to be diminished in importance.

Twitpic - an image sharing service used by many Twitter users - updated its terms of service and faced a backlash when the update seemed to imply that Twitpic was claiming copyright over user-uploaded photos. Twitpic issued a blog post in an attempt at clearing up the issue and updated the TOS again to clear up the issue; however, many are still unhappy with the service's content distribution deal which would allow Twitpic to profit from user uploaded photos. Search Engine Land took a deeper look at what online distribution rights apply to sharing services like yfrog and Twitpic.

Google shopping – Live in Australia Google has recently launched its retail search engine “Google shopping in Australia”, adding another competitor to the constant and rapid expansion of Australia’s e-commerce market.

Google Releases Version 9 AdWords Editor Google AdWords editor software is a free desktop client for managing AdWords campaigns. Version 9 is said to enable users to manage campaigns over multiple accounts more efficiently.