In the weeks since Facebook’s IPO, the Zuckerberg-lead social network has been under intense scrutiny, with many expressing doubts as to the financial viability of Facebook’s revenue model, especially with regard to its advertising service. GM pulled their Facebook marketing campaign, and music industry e-commerce startup Limited Run made an impact with their claim that 80% of the clicks for their Facebook ads were made by bots (although the jury is still out on the accuracy of that complaint). A study from the Advertising Research Council claimed that “blank” ads with no content were performing only 0.1% less well than regular ads.
While this news is not good for Facebook’s future revenue, and businesses should think hard before spending their advertising budgets on Facebook’s paid ad platform, the real value of Facebook and social media generally was never through paid ads anyway. The true virtue of social media is not that it increases short-term conversion rates, but that it allows brands to build engagement and foster a community that can have a significant impact on revenue over the medium and long term. In this area, the future of Facebook is much more robust, and the indications are that social media proper, rather than paid ads on social media, are an excellent target for marketers.
Archive for August 30, 2012
A couple of weeks ago we looked at negative SEO and what you can do to protect your site. One of the techniques we mentioned was hacking. Competitors, upon gaining access to a site, may alter the content or add malware to pages in the hope that Google will delist or penalize a site. Hackers may also simply attempt to use a site to spread their malware without any particular intentions regarding SEO.
We gave a number of suggestions for dealing such an intrusion, but often, after having received a warning from Google, it can be difficult to determine exactly what the Googlebot crawler is seeing. Hackers are adept at making a site appear perfectly normal to those who go directly to a page, while serving malware or undesirable keywords and hidden links to search engine crawlers and those who arrive at a site from a search engine. What you see when you visit a site is not necessarily what Googlebot is seeing.