What I love about online marketing is that you don’t always have control over what happens with your websites and your traffic. The thing is that you could be perfect in Google or Facebook one day and banned overnight with zero ways to contact them or get back. It is scary that your entire business lies in the hands of others like Bloggers, review sites that try to scam you by showing up for your trademarks and charge you to remove bad listings (especially ones that aren’t true) and email service providers who can block your domains for spam when it was a competitor that did it. You have giant companies competing with each other that hold huge grudges and even if you are the smallest company in the world, they can penalize you without you even being on their radars. The thing you have to remember is that you need to diversify your traffic and revenue and not only be creative, but make smart decisions. With that said, here are 5 myths and things that could effect your business.
1. Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads and your SEO. If you remember from this post, I was removed from adsense because of a site being scraped. There are rumors and even an announcement that Facebook (Google’s rival company now) is releasing an ad network to serve ads off of the actual Facebook site which would compete with AdSense. Because of their large amounts of user data and behavioral data, this could finally be one of the strongest competitors to the Google Adsense network. Unfortunately, Facebook offers little to no support just like Google which sucks, but it could make an excellent alternative for those of us who have been booted from using Google Adsense with no way to get back in. One thing you’ll have to think about though is that Google is one of the worlds largest ad networks and with them gaining ground this year at Yahoo’s demise but Bing also taking more share of the search volume, Google could get pissed and in theory lower your rankings if Googlebot and Chrome find Facebook ads on your site. Although it would seem unfair, especially if you were removed from Adsense, in Google’s eyes you could be making money for them and sending traffic to their advertisers (even though they removed you) instead of Facebook advertisers making money for them. Because of this, if Google sees Facebook ads on your site where it used to see AdSense (if they have a record in their cache), they could in theory give you a penalization…remember Google is a company that is for Profit, just like Facebook. Both of them have the right to remove you without any reason just like you have the right to use them or their competitors.
2. Do I Change Clothes at Conferences? – One thing people ask me at numerous is shows is why I wear the same shirt or shorts over and over, or if I ever change clothes. Yes, I change clothes, probably twice a day and I shower in the morning and in the evenings almost every day. I am extremely OCD and very clean. The reason I end up wearing similar or exact duplicates of shirts and pants is for two reasons.
- I buy two or three of everything that I love. I also store them next to each other and in color order in my closet. Because I usually try and take the first flight or train in the morning so there are less delays and there are usually less passengers, I just reach in my closet and pull clothes out without looking. This means I am going to have about 6 of the same or extremely similar colored shirts. The same goes for shorts and pants. I actually do change every day.
- The second reason I wear extremely similar clothing is so that people can easily recognize me. When you are around thousands of people it is hard to remember everyone. By having very similar clothing on, you are not only easier to recognize, but somewhat easier to find since people know what to look for. It can be color, style or even brand. You can also wear the same coat or colors you have on your avatars to make yourself even more recognizable and make it easier for people to find you. It is just one thing I learned from going to different shows and being able to be more memorable.
3. If you don’t have a blog now, it’s to late to start. This is false. Blogging is nowhere near dead. I launch new sites all the time with people and see other new sites launching on blogging platforms as well as blogs launching all the time. One of the blogs I launched within the last year and a half now has between 5 and 10K new unique visitors a month and I have never spent a penny advertising it, building backlinks, etc… Instead I just updated it with interesting content and let Google and social sharing buttons do the rest. Although there is a ton of noise and competition, blogging is a very good way to launch a site and to drive traffic and sales. You just have to be consistent with your posts and make sure you aren’t giving people fluff.
4. Putting SEO by “Insert Your SEO Company’s Name” in your footer and on your site is ok. This is false for two reasons. The first reason is because unless you are a marketing firm, marketing agency or blog, you are linking out to unrelevant sites that have nothing to do with you. This is bad for your site and can cause a small penalization in Google. The second reason is because you don’t want the search engines to know you are working on trying to influence their rankings. They want to think your site is being linked to, etc… naturally and not some firm building links to it. Also, if the SEO firm gets in trouble or listed as Blackhat, or gets banned or one of their clients does, guess what, you have now told the search engines that your site uses the same company and probably those same methods which can put your site at risk. Your SEO company wants the backlink, but at the same time they should know that links from unrelevant sources can also penalize them. I don’t recommend you link or name your SEO company and they should be making the same recommendation that you don’t for the same reasons.
5. Author Rank is Now Starting to Matter. This is 100% true. If you’ve noticed when you are logged into, and sometimes not logged into Google, when you do searches new things start to appear in the search results because of author rank.
In the image above you’ll see three photos above the SERPs. Kristi Hines or @Kikolani (awesome blogger), Matt Cutts (I don’t need to tell you who he is, and for some reason Me?!?!?! (I’m stiff confused as they kick a lot more butt then I do). It also says there are a hundred and 60 more personal results. You’ll also notice that there is an author rank in the actual results as well.
Suppose you see a picture of an author that you really like, you click on it to see what it is about, or you click on the 160 more results from the authors and images you see. Here is what you get.
In these results you all of the sudden see a ton of information about the author, why you should or should not trust them, how many circles they are in, who they know, how many Google+’s they got, how many comments are on the post as well as a ton of other data that will help you figure out the ranking factors and algorithm of Google Plus, Author Rank and the Organic SERPs.
Since Author Rank is now part of almost every search result you see when you are doing research on something, it is important to not only have yourself linked into it, but to produce a ton of quality content and learn how to optimize yourself for the algorithm so that you can now gain extra exposure (with your picture to add a ton of branding to it) in the SERPs on new terms. It can help to add credibility to your site as well as build yourself as a brand. If you are not using Author Rank yet, and you are wondering why everyone else is now popping up with a picture for your best terms, now is the time to start and try using it before it is too late.
With more and more emphasis on personal brand, knowing user data and really trying to figure out why someone is doing one thing as opposed to another, it’s more important than ever to build your own brand online, have it recognizable by everything from search engines to people and to be able to provide the best possible on site experience and content with the most relevant in bound and outbound links. You need to pay attention to the drama between the major sources of traffic and what they are doing as well as try to be coherent of how they are interacting with each other’s platforms. It may seem like high school again, but there is a reason certain people thrived in high school and others did not. Instead of impressing your peers, you have to impress the giants and also make sure you don’t do anything to offend them. Marketing is getting more and more complex each year and this year it seems to be all about a popularity contest and who is friends with who. As long as you remember to try and make your most important traffic generating streams happy, without going overboard, you should be fine.