Back in the day, SEO was all about discovering what the algorithms liked and creating sites that tickled them in just the right spot. Nothing made the algorithms happier — to indulge in a bit of anthropomorphism — than to see lots of keywords and lots of links with lots of relevant anchor text.
The natural result was sites that appealed to algorithms, but weren’t quite up to snuff for human beings. Over the years, however, Google has become better at determining what it is that human beings like in their SERPS, and many of the previously successful SEO methods have fallen by the wayside.
For traditional advertisers, mobile is a bit of a head-scratcher. Display advertising revenue is in decline generally, but with the restricted screen real estate on mobile devices, there’s not a lot of space for advertising. Forms of advertising that rely on spatial dimensions, like banner ads, are not well suited to mobile platforms. Temporal advertising is more successful. That is, advertising that takes advantage of a viewer’s time, using the whole of the mobile display. Examples include interstitial ads in text (as seen in apps like Flipboard), or the pre-roll advertising that has become ubiquitous in popular videos.
These forms of advertising are missing a trick. They often don’t aspire to virality; instead, they piggyback on the virality of other content, taking advantage of the popular rather than targeting popularity for themselves. However, while users will tolerate a small portion of larger screens being taken up with advertising, they are much less willing to put up with interruptive advertising. Platforms that put a barrier between consumers and the object of their desire create an instant moment of irritation in their users. Content marketing, if done well, creates the object of desire. Brands become the providers of the object of value, rather than the irritants that users have to pass through to reach their goal. For that reason, inbound marketing, and content marketing in particular, is strongly advantaged in the mobile space.
Many small businesses find getting to grips with social media to be a troublesome aspect of online promotion. They often oversell and alienate potential followers, go overboard with sharing to the point of spamming, or set up a Facebook page or Twitter account, send a tweet or two, and then completely forget about it.
Social media for businesses is a marketing tool, and as with all marketing tools its use has to be consonant with overarching business goals. But, it’s not as simple as filling a page with products and declaiming how awesome you and your team are.
In creative writing classes, students are often told that the number one rule is “show, don’t tell”. The same rule can be applied to social media. Brands need to demonstrate their value to potential followers and sharers, rather than declaring it in overwrought PR speak or heavy product promotion. Authenticity is key.
Over on Search Engine Land, the perennial discussion of the benefits and disadvantages of using subdomains vs. directories has recently been reignited.
In his post, 5 Whopping Lies That Keep SEO At Status Quo, Ian Lurie, presents as his 4th most egregious lie:
“We Can Put The Blog On A Subdomain. It’s Fine.”
The conversation on this issue has been swinging back and forth for a long time, with people on both extremes and quite a number in the middle who claim that it doesn’t matter at all for SEO. which is also Google’s stated position.
Micheal Martinez, of the excellent SEO Theory blog responds in the comments that:
“You and [Rand] Fishkin are completely wrong on the subdomain issue. It’s a shame this kind of misinformation is still being shared on major SEO Websites like Search Engine Land.”