Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category
I’m not a prolific blogger, by any means, and I’ve been using this blog on my personal domain to blog about a range of topics outside my core specialization. It’s a little hodge podge. So for 2010 I decided I would move the posting about Local Search Marketing stuff over onto the main domain I use to market those services, Geo Local SEO.
I’ll continue to use this blog to write random stuff about the internet outside of local, and maybe post more pics of my cafe racer motorcycle.
Seems everyone got the notice that top 5, top 7, top 10, top 11 or top 38.2 lists make for good blog posts. Here is a sample of what I can see in my RSS feed readers today, in order by numbers of things in their list.
- 5 Top Reasons to Evaluate Your Social Strategy
- Top 5 Small Business iPhone Apps
- 7 Tips for Surviving PubCon
- 7 Bad Writing Habits You learned in School
- 10 Blogging Mistakes Most Bloggers Make
- 10 Pre-Press Tips For Perfect Print Publishing
- 15 stressful jobs that pay badly
- 16 Things I’ve Learned About Business while Being an SEO Consultant
Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good stuff in a few of those, but man, the internet sure likes to take a good idea, run with it, bastardize it, then beat it to an agonizing bloody death. With a side dish of spam. Big heaping dish. Like those 700 pound people who need a crane to get them out of the house would eat.
The thing is… about good things…once everyone is doing it, it’s not so good anymore. Boring. Been there, done that, saw it re-tweeted a dozen times.
Top X lists are still effective, people like them, their are easy to write, easy for readers to scan and digest, etc., etc… But it’s time for something different. A new bandwagon for everyone to jump upon. I suggest we cut right to the chase. Top 1 lists!
Here’s a few examples;
- The single best reason to hire a Local SEO (shameless plug)
- The #1 Reason to Use Wordpress as you content management system
- The Best Way to Make More Money
- One PHP Class Every Programmer Should Know
- The Only Reason to Trade the Markets with 3x Leveraged ETF’s. 3 times leverage…Duh!
- One Search Engine Headed to the Dead Pool, Yahoo
Ok, interweb land, get going before this next bandwagon takes off without you. What’s your single best tidbit you can blog about?
First off, I like Twitter. Love it. I used to hate it, before I actually tried it. I figured the concept of micro-blogging was just some lame version of status updates that would degenerate to the stupid mundane stuff. A lot of average users probably do just that and may be a chief cause of the reportedly high rate of user drop off. But in following my peers involved in search marketing I saw all those links being shared to great content. Lots of great content. Content I would have missed without Twitter.
So, yeah, Twitter is great. A game changer even. But as that game is changing it’s revealing some “issues” I have with Twitter.
Time and Productivity Drain
Twitter is addictive. Facebook, though it’s lost it’s luster as the greatest thing since sliced bread, lost it to Twitter in fact, generated so much buzz about its addictive qualities that slang names arose - FaceCrack and CrackBook were popular references. Perhaps we should rename Twitter too. CrackBird might be a good one.
Once you’re following a fair number of twits your tweet stream is a steady flow of information. If the majority of the people you are following are posting good stuff, and links to great stuff, it gets hard to pull away and get some actual work done. Great for increasing your knowledge base but you can’t turn that knowledge into productive gains if you’re stuck in that cycle of continually gaining more knowledge.
I recently had to take a break from Twitter to get some work accomplished. I’d fallen behind on some projects, partly due to the time spent on Twitter, and decided to stay away. Instead I went old school and just checked my RSS feeds for interesting new posts (noticed something about that which write about below). So now I have 4 days of info I missed out on. Do I scroll through the last 4 days of the stream to see what I missed? No, I’ll probably just scroll though the last day instead. Chalk the rest of it up to what I missed before I joined Twitter. But I know I probably missed a link to something I would rather have seen. Oh well, down the drain.
Link Juice Drain
Things go viral quickly on Twitter, very quickly. And it can send a lot of traffic. I’ve seen it first hand. It’s all those links being shared and being re-tweeted by the networks of twits. But it’s fleeting. It eventually gets buried and lost in the ongoing stream and corrodes your marketing efforts.
Twitter links are nofollowed so they pass no search value, and all those great people who thought your content was so fine that they shared it with all their friends, who shared it with their friends, and so on, did it in Twitter. They didn’t blog about it and give real links that pass link weight for search engines, links that exist on content with real longevity. Real links can continue to send traffic over time but links in Twitter eventually just get sucked down the drain.
Speaking of links in Twitter, URL shorteners are all the rage but they pose a significant long term risk for the web as a whole. Many have written about short URL services being evil, nontransparent for users, and tool bar shorteners that use frames are essentially doorway pages. But there is another elephant in the room. What happens when a popular URL shortener goes bust and closes down? Seems to me they don’t really have a solid business model. What happens to all those links out there? Poof! Gone. They disappear. Or worse still, someone buys up the failing site with it’s massive database of redirected links and re-redirects them to their own affiliate offers or porn sites. That story will send the twitterverse into a massive frenzy when it happens, and it probably will happen, and it will suck, like a drain.
I spend less time reviewing my RSS feeds because I often find those new posts on Twitter first. But I’ve noticed something else recently as I review my RSS feeds, especially over my self imposed 4 day Twitter moratorium. My feeds don’t seem to be updating as often. I could be wrong but I think many bloggers (the SEO and internet marketing bloggers I follow at least) are blogging less - because, you guessed it, they are tweeting more.
This, however, might mean an increase in content quality as the really good stuff gets the blogger to take the time to write a quality post, much longer than 140 characters. The lower quality and repetitive, rehashed drivel can thankfully/hopefully disappear down the drain.
The internet is just vibrating about Twitter. Everybody is speculating on Twitter’s next move, or complaining about the stupid moves, buyout rumors abound, real-time search will be the Google killer (not)….. It goes on an on. People are even speculating on how Twitter should go about making money. Uggg, my brain is going to explode and ooze down the drain.
Ultimately they are all just trying to produce link bait, mostly no-followed and shortened links at that, to take advantage of the current Twitter buzz. Fair enough I guess. I suppose this post even falls into that category.
As I finish typing this post on my laptop, connected to the internet, I can hear something swirling through that series of tubes. It’s a sucking sound as big swaths of the web get sucked down the drain. And in the background, little blue birdies are chirping.
Now I’ll head on over to Twitter and tweet a link to this post. Even use my own wordpress generated short URL, http://stever.ca/drain. If you enjoyed it please re-tweet it. If you really really enjoyed it how ’bout throwing me a link. Preferably a real one please.
This post is a reply to Greg Sterling’s post, Perception & Reality : Naming Names. It started out as a comment on his blog but became rather long winded and moved more in the direction of broad market commentary than just about Google and the “M-word”, monopoly. So I posted it here instead.
It is at times like this, deep recession, that the public becomes more protectionist, and politicians become more populist. Rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly). Google best tread lightly in its M&A activities so as not to provoke the wrath of a nervous public, labeling them with the dirty “M-word”, and opportunistic politicians out to give the people what they think they want (the real reason, of course, is they want a moment in the lime-light and perhaps forward their careers with some higher political office appointment later on). Nor must they give reason for a competitor to play dirty by trying to sway things into that direction.
The web has been flush with various reports of major online advertising networks getting far more aggressive to prop up their revenues as the current economic crisis causes online ad spends to decline. At the local level we saw ad spend decline for small businesses too.
Some prime examples;
- Google allows beer and hard liquor ads, just before Christmas no doubt.
- Ask.com becoming an arbitrage play for Google
- Goggle now offers domain parking services to display Adsense ads
- Federated Media slashed ads rates for holiday season
- Google running it’s own internal arbitrage play
Here in Canada I just noticed a MAJOR publisher, the Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s largest newspapers, if not the largest, using ad display methods that force a click in order to read articles in the Report on Business. And there is no little opt-out X to close the ad.
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