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Announcing The Best Inbound Marketing Content

February 11, 2012 – 5:44 pm

spacer It’s like Reddit for inbound marketing. is the brainchild of Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz and  Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot. It’s objective is to present the best and most current online content on all aspects of inbound marketing. is entirely dependent on user contributions and user curation. It uses a Reddit-like system of upvoting to surface the best content to the “hot articles” list on the front page. Anyone with a Twitter account can register for an inbound account (inbound uses Twitter OAuth verification). Account owners can submit new content, as well as vote and comment on submitted content.


Obviously there will be a temptation to spam or game a site this open, but just like on Reddit, inbound has moderators (at this point that appears to be limited to Rand and Dharmesh) who promise to ban anyone who frequently submits bad content or doesn’t act “cool” on the site.

By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Online marketing, SEO, Social Media | Tagged inbound marketing, online marketing | Comments (0)

Virante Director of Social Media Marketing to be Panelist in Major Webinar About Google+

February 10, 2012 – 12:19 pm

Virante Director of Social Media Marketing +Mark Traphagen will be one of four panelists teaching over 30 Fortune 500 companies, major universities, and government entities about using Google+ for greater brand engagement and visibility in a webinar sponsored by leading PR agency Bulldog Reporter.

+Mark Traphagen has been active on Google+ since its first week, and has built a reputation as a Google+ for business expert. He blogs regularly about social media for business at and has guest posted on +Neal Schaffer‘s popular WindmillNetworking blog (The First 5 Things You Should Do with Your Google+ Business Page).

By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Google+, Social Media, Virante | Tagged google+ webinars | Comments (0)

How to Use Your Google+ Business Page: Your “Owner’s Manual”

February 6, 2012 – 5:33 pm

spacer I miss my ’67 VW Bug.

Armed with my grease-stained copy of the classic How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual for the Compleat Idiot, I could fix anything on that car, with its lawnmower-simple engine.

Your Google+ Business Page isn’t really much more complicated than those 1960′s VW engines, but without a good guide, much of what you can do with it might remain buried under the hood. So, without stooping to call you a “compleat idiot,” here is your quick and easy guide under the hood of your Google+ Business Page.

But before we get started…

  • If you haven’t created a page yet, go to Create a Google+ Page.
  • If you have a page, but want to be sure you’ve set it up properly, see our Complete Guide to Optimizing Your Google+ Brand Page.

What’s in this guide?

Jump to the following sections:

  • Where Is My Page?
  • Sections of Your Page
  • Page Settings
  • Creating Posts
  • Understanding Your Profile
  • Editing Your Profile
  • Using Notifications

Where Is My Page?

The first mystery for most new Page owners is how to get back to their page after they’ve created it. On your Google+ home page (where your main Stream view is), look underneath your name at upper left for a gray “1 page” with a down arrow (the number will depend on how many pages you administer).

Clicking that arrow will reveal a list of your Pages. Click the one you want to work with. When the avatar and name at upper left change to the ID of the Page, you are that page. In other words, every activity you do–posting, commenting, +1ing, etc.–you will now do as that page, not as your personal profile.

Read More »

By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Google, Google+, Social Media | Tagged google+ business pages, google+ for brands, google+ for business, google+ guides | Comments (1)

First Update to Google Search Plus Your World Increases Relevancy

January 31, 2012 – 5:16 pm

Google may have the world’s largest search engine, but they can turn it on a dime!

Earlier today Google’s new Search Plus Your World (SPYW) disappeared from my Chrome browser for several hours. It was back to what looked like “Google Classic.” After a browser restart a few minutes ago SPYW was back…but something had changed.

Suspecting that the “downtime” might have been Google installing an algorithm change, I did the now classic “proof search” for SPYW: “music.” Until today, this search returned Britney Spears as the top result in the “People and Pages on Google+” box for all users.

Results before today -

Also, Britney’s Google+ profile was near the top of page 1 of the actual results when searching for her name. This result was roundly criticized by many tech bloggers as delivering less-than-relevant results, as Britney has far larger followings (and posts more often) on other networks, such as Twitter. Read More »

By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Google, Google+, SEO, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged google search plus your world spyw, google seo, google+ and search results | Comments (0)

The Myth of the Relevant Link

January 26, 2012 – 11:04 am

It is a growing conception of the SEO world that getting links from highly relevant pages is no longer just valuable, but necessary in order to rank. I am by no means the only SEO to doubt the veracity of these claims (here is Michael Martinez and Julie Joyce on the issue in 2007), but despite their reasoned arguments, the myth continues to persist. Read More »

By Russ Jones | Posted in Google, SEO | Tagged link relevance, relevant links, search engine optimization, seo | Comments (17)

Google Webmaster Tools Updates its SEO Report Ranking

January 26, 2012 – 10:40 am

Google announced, via its Webmaster Central Blog, that it was making an update to the “Top Search Queries” data.  Beginning today, Google Webmaster Tools Top Search Query report will take the average of a site’s top URL rankings for a query versus an average of all results for a site’s URLs on a given query.  For example, if your website about gadgets showed up today as the 3rd, 7th, and 11th results on a Google search for “cool gadgets,” Webmaster Tools would take the average of 3, 7 and 11 and the report would show an average position of 7.  Starting today, Webmaster Tools will show an average position of 3 for the same query.

Of course, it will also take this average over multiple queries within a given time period but your average positions should start improving, going forward. Your historical data will not change, according to Google.

By Elliott Koppel | Posted in Analytics, Google, SEO | Tagged analytics, google analytics, google webmaster tools, seo | Comments (0)

Calculating the Potential Value of an Exact Match Domain

January 25, 2012 – 4:32 pm

spacer We recommend that all of our clients adopt a multi-site strategy for rankings, as it increases the number of sites they can have ranking for any particular target keyword phrase. This multi-site strategy also helps mitigate some of the risks of search engine optimization. For competitive keywords, finding such domains can be a difficult task. However for long-tail terms it can be much more cost effective.

A great example is Don’t try beating them in the search results for almost any query with “electric violin” in it!

Often you can find domain names with subtle variations of the long-tail terms you are targeting available for $10 from your favorite registrar. In some instances, though, you may be forced to purchase them from an existing owner or through an auction. Virante has a simple formula we use in helping our clients determine an acceptable price to pay for these domains.   Please note this is not a method that applies to all domains, but rather for long-tail terms in which an exact match domain would likely obtain top positioning in the search engines with little “encouragement.”

Exact Match Domain Value Formula Read More »

By Russ Jones | Posted in Free SEO Tools, Google, SEO | Tagged domain value, exact match domains | Comments (0)

Getting Started with Your Google+ Business Page

January 24, 2012 – 8:23 am

spacer I have a guest post on Neal Shaffer‘s Windmill Networking Blog, titled “The First 5 Things You Should Do with Your Google+ Business Page.”

So you’ve followed the sage advice of savvy social media experts like Neal Schaffer, telling you why you need to have your business on Google+, and you’ve created a business page for your brand.

Now what?

Obviously (I hope it’s obvious!) the worst thing you could do is just let your page sit idle. So let’s set some priorities and get to work making your page effective. The recent announcement by Google that G+ is now heavily integrated into Google search makes it all the more important that you optimize your page and start your involvement on Google+. G+ is still young, but it’s growing rapidly. Early adopters of any new social media outlet gain significant advantages over the competition, and it’s not too late to claim that space in Google+.

Read more >>>

By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Google, Google+, Social Media | Tagged google+ brand pages, google+ business pages, google+ for business | Comments (0)

Our Guides to Google+ for Business and Personal Use

January 23, 2012 – 11:44 am

By popular request, here are all our “how to” guides for using Google+ effectively, whether for business or personal use, in one convenient listing.

How to Use Your Google+ Business Page: Your “Owner’s Manual”

Complete Guide to Optimizing Your Google+ Brand Page (featured by Guy Kawasaki in his “Mega-list of how-to guides for Google+ brand pages” )

How to Get Yourself Featured in New Google Search plus Your World Personalized Search

How to Show Your Google+ Profile Photo in Google Search Results

How to Add Administrators to Your Google+ Business Page 

How to Verify Your Google+ Brand Page with Google 

How to Use Google+ Ripples to Increase Your Social Capital 

How to Use the Post from Google+ Search Feature – Start a conversation around a set of search results



By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Google, Google+, Social Media | Tagged google plus, google+ and search engine results, google+ for brands, google+ for business, google+ guides, google+ tips and tricks | Comments (0)

How to Use the Google+ Post From Search Feature

January 18, 2012 – 10:01 pm

Google+ keeps rolling out the innovative (and often fun!) new features. Now you can start a conversation around any Google+ search stream.

Here’s how it works on a breaking news item (about the Costa Concordia, a luxury liner that ran aground off Italy):


Now at the top of any Google+ search for posts from Google+, you’ll see a “Join the discussion about [search term]” box (arrow). Notice also the Pause button (red  rectangle), handy for breaking news because the search stream updates in real time. Read More »

By Mark Traphagen | Posted in Google, Google+, Social Media | Tagged google+ share from search, google+search | Comments (1)
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