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Capitalize on Emerging Marketing Trends Emphasized at SMX West
Author: Virginia Nussey

The topics covered at an Internet marketing conference paint a picture of the online landscape. There were three major themes that emerged from the first SMX Search Marketing Expo of 2013. In this article, businesses seeking a competitive Web presence will understand how to leverage these truths:

  • The future online is social.
  • Google is adding more ways to rank reputation and authority to solidify its position as the ultimate popularity contest judge.
  • And Facebook is the social butterfly who knows everyone and what they're into, so get connected.

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  Back to Basics
Claiming Your Authorship on the Web
Author: Jessica Lee

Google seeks to identify and rank content producers and integrate author rankings into the search algorithm. Google+ and Google's author verification system work together to signal to the search engine who is the writer of online content. In this article you'll read:

  • How verified authorship signals writer authority to Google.
  • Benefits to registering for Google's verified author program.
  • How to set up and optimize your Google+ profile for authorship visibility.

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Tips For Long Lasting Customer Relationships - Part 1
Author: Manuel Keppeler

A lot of attention is paid to converting a potential client and to making people or companies buy your product or service. But what comes after that? Do we put the same effort into keeping clients happy, repeat customers? In part 1 of this 2 part series, we cover:

  • How to set expectations at the outset of a project so the team is on the same page.
  • A process for maintaining constant communication throughout an engagement.
  • How to keep the client an active participant at all stages.

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  Hot Topic
The Content Economy

Facebook and Google+ changed their looks in the last month, and underlying the cosmetic changes are major content strategies for the respective platforms.

Google+ introduced a larger cover photo and a new tab on business pages for local reviews. As the changes give brick-and-mortar businesses increased visibility, the implications for a local business looking to be discovered by nearby mobile users are apparent.

Facebook rolled out a new News Feed, touting larger images and posts and a more engaging mobile experience. During its announcement event, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the new design as a "personalized newspaper" and "well-curated magazine." Like a newspaper's sections, users can view posts and content with filters including music, photos or pages liked or just friends. Of course, the new News Feed signifies more than a pretty layout.

One tech analyst describes the critical strategic move behind the new look (emphasis added):

"Facebook wants to change the way we use Facebook. They want to change Facebook’s purpose, because the race is on to be the container for all of your consumption.

Larger photos and a cleaner interface are great changes aesthetically, there’s no argument there, but the bigger change is functional. Content is now the center of the Facebook experience, not relationships."

Take the social networks' redesigns along with this year's release of Google Enhanced Campaigns (allowing for granularity in controlling ad campaigns for mobile and desktop devices), Google Product Listing Ads rolled out to mobile devices, and the introduction of targeted ads to the Facebook News Feed and it becomes clear that these tech giants are eager to monetize the content curation and feed platform. As further illumination that Facebook is betting big on the visual content economy, a guideline added in January limits text to 20% of custom graphics used for ads, seeking to block abuse of the image-heavy system.

Analysis of the Facebook News Feed at continues:

"We have never produced more content nor consumed it more than we do now. There’s so much to watch, to read, to listen to, to look at, that finding the best ways to consume all of this content becomes a problem that needs a solution."

It's a sweet day for the advertiser and the content channel when users accept the ad is accepted as content.

  Education Matters
SEOToolSet Training: Education that Evolves with the Engines

In the competitive world of SEO and Internet marketing, strategies are constantly evolving. Constant evolution means constant education. In his training sessions, SEO veteran Bruce Clay provides education that is always fresh, relevant and impactful.

Joel Schwartz, owner of Plorex, an SEO company based in Monroe, New York, knows the value of Bruce's SEO training firsthand. Last week, he attended his fourth Bruce Clay SEO training course.

"Knowledge is power," Schwartz explains, "and that's especially true with SEO where the pace of change has become so rapid. I try to keep up as much as possible."

When asked what keeps him coming back, Schwartz said he finds the inspiration and "aha!" moments he's looking for at Bruce Clay's training course. "Each time there is always a point where I feel like, wow, this information has just made my whole trip from New York worthwhile."

Fresh off last week’s SEOToolSet Training course, Schwartz reports Bruce left him thinking critically about over optimization.

"What Bruce taught regarding over optimization was like a wake up call. I'm ready to go back and revisit old content, old links and readjust to a new, changed environment."

Will Schwartz keep going to conferences and reading industry blogs? Absolutely. "If I miss an SMX or SES I still get to keep up thanks to liveblogging by the incredible Bruce Clay bloggers Virginia Nussey and Jessica Lee," Schwartz says. He's eager to keep learning and thankful to have great teachers like Bruce Clay and resources for education like the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog and newsletter.

"What is so remarkable about the search and SEO industry is how eager these people are to share their knowledge with anyone. It just blows me away and there is nothing like it anywhere else."

Want to take your SEO skills to the next level and experience your own "aha!" moments? Learn more about and sign up for Bruce Clay's SEO training. If Schwartz's experience is any indication, you'll come back again and again!


Yahoo says goodbye to products that don’t fall into the "daily habit" frame, including Yahoo Clues, Yahoo App Search, Yahoo Sports IQ and more.

Marketing Land announced additions to its team: general assignment correspondent Amy Gesenhues, associate features editor Jessica Thompson and contributing editor Ginny Marvin. Monica Wright and Elisabeth Osmeloski take on new titles and responsibilities at Marketing Land.


PubCon South hits New Orleans from April 22 to 25, guaranteeing attendees social media and search marketing education in the Big Easy.

The next SEOToolSet Training takes place in Simi Valley, CA, from May 13 to May 17. Through the three-day standard SEO training and two-day advanced SEO and certification course, attendees receive a best practices foundation for SEO that complies to search engine guidelines and steers clear of penalty minefields.

SMX Advanced comes to Seattle, WA, June 11 and 12, with Bruce Clay's SEO training workshop on June 13. Book with a super early bird discounted rate if you register by Friday, March 29. Starting Monday, April 1, get an additional 10% savings with the code WS-ISS10, good for an All Access pass and workshops.

From April 3-4, SMX Sydney conference and workshop series will be held at the Sydney Hilton hotel. Bruce Clay Australia's Jeremy Bolt and Kate Gamble will be speaking at conference sessions on conversion rate and landing page optimization, enterprise SEO and local SEO. Find Bruce Clay Australia in booth 10 and enter to win valuable prizes, such as a free seat in SEO training or a CRO audit.
On May 8, Bruce Clay Australasia presents a 1-day SEO training workshop in Sydney, Australia.

Bigger photos and bigger ads are on the horizon for Facebook. The News Feed will also debut some changes, such as a single feed that displays the updates of all pages you like.

Supersized images, additional privacy options and a tab for local reviews are in store for Google+ users. As the changes gradually roll out, users will also discover a divided About tab that separates into stories, places and links.

Can’t get enough of Matt Cutts? Neither can ClickConsult. That’s why they created The Short Cutts, a site that condenses 437 Cutts’ videos (more than 16 hours) into concise, text versions of a his answers!

In an effort to improve ad relevancy and delivery, Bing has enabled its settings to consider ad group targets and campaign targets together.

Google's newly launched Webmasters Help for Hacked Sites provides step-by-step instructions for removing warning links from search results that appear when a site has been hacked.

  Word on the Wire

Google released an interactive infographic allowing consumers to explore how Google search works. How Search Works takes users on tour of how Google indexes over 30 trillion pages, utilizes algorithms and fights spam.

Google released the Search Quality Rating Guidelines to the public on March 1, but as seasoned webmasters and SEOs know, this was not the first version of the guidelines. A previous version of the guidelines (nearly four times as large) was quietly circulating long before this one, Matt McGee, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, examines 34 changes between the two versions.

This month, Facebook is rolling out and testing a redesigned Timeline. The new timeline features a revamped toolbar, a new About widget and more.

Earnings from Facebook Gifts proved underwhelming as reports show that in December, only .4% of users made a purchase from Facebook Gifts. Nonetheless, Mark Zuckerberg remains "excited about the long-term potential of commerce on Facebook."

Google makes exploration easy with Google Field Trip. As users roam about, this app notifies them when they’re near something they might want to check out, such as notable shops, restaurants or experiences deemed awesome by experts.

In last week’s Google Webmaster Help Video, Matt Cutts talks about the algorithmic damage that would transpire if Google mistakenly penalized paid links. "It is in our enlightened, best self interest, as well as the interest of users, to make sure that we don’t accidentally classify links as paid," Cutts explained.

After suffering apparent manual penalties at the hands of Google last month for buying link rich advertorials, major UK flowers site Interflora is back in the bloom of Google rankings. In the wake of the incident, some see a weed: SEOBOOK points out Google doesn’t practice what it preaches as its own articles that are riddled with links to Google products.

More than half a billion internet connected devices have been reported in U.S. homes. That means there are 5.7 internet connected devices per household, up from 5.3 three months ago — and more Internet connected devices than people per household. Tablets and smartphones lead the way in this upward trend.

In an effort to show authorship, additional snippets populate above the knowledge graph on Bing’s SERP. You can see a comparison of screenshots of the snippets that show up on Google versus Bing.

Digg disappeared from Google’s index Wednesday morning when Google accidentally applied a webspam action to the entire site. Oops.

Last week, Bing announced that it has expanded its Satori technology to form deeper connections between entities by utilizing information drawn from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more.

  SEOToolSet Updates

Each month, our developers make improvements to SEOToolSet V5 to ensure users have a more efficient experience. The following updates were made this month:

  • Fixed a bug that would cause an error in any keyword tool due to an incorrect value being passed from the API.
  • Fixed a bug in the monitor with incorrect project database indexes.
  • Fixed a bug where the password would reset in certain instances without the user triggering a reset.