The Greatest Attribution Ever Graphed


Multi Channel attribution is amazing, to say the least. In the immortal words of Avinash Kaushik, “You will have an orgasm!” If you weren’t there for Mozcon, I’m sorry. Don’t let it happen again, but you can always get the video of his presentation when it comes out.

Much like the way I felt on Christmas day 1996, I couldn’t wait to play with a brand new system whose inner workings I knew almost nothing about: the Nintendo 64. Rand will corroborate my story. Today, it’s the new Multi Channel Funnels segmentations in Google Analytics, Version 5 (trumpets please, Avinash).

Below, you’ll find some Michelangelo-esque screenshots of how we (the Slingshot R&D guys) broke down some custom segmentation and compared them to show differences between:

  • Non-branded, organic, first interaction
  • All non-branded organic interactions
  • All conversions

To create a custom Conversion Segment, simply click the link, as shown in this screenshot:

To create the First Interaction Organic, Non-Branded Segment, select the following:

  • Include [First Interaction] [Medium] [Containing] [Organic]
  • Next, select [Add a conversion path option]

And for the love of all that is Mozzy, go to the “and” section to add this piece. Use “or” and you won’t know North from a Bear-o-dactyl.

  • Exclude [Any Interaction] [Keyword] [Matching RegExp] [fill in your branded terms here]

Done? Awesome. Next.

To create the All Organic, Non-Branded segment, select the following:

  • Include [Any Interaction] [Medium] [Containing] [Organic]
  • Next, use “add” not the “or” option [Add a conversion path option]
  • Exclude [Any Interaction] [Keyword] [Matching RegExp] [fill in your branded terms here]

Done? You’re the best. Now grab your chopsticks, eat some Cheetos, and enjoy the graph!

Delicious… the graph, I mean. If at some point you decide you’re tired of looking at all those conversions (what is wrong with you? Oh right, you’re a Mozzer), you can pick and choose the specific conversions you’d like to see.

Gratuitous screenshot for your enjoyment.

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Google News Now Using Googlebot for Crawling


Google announced today that it will no longer be using a separate crawler for Google News, and will now start using Googlebot.

“Google News recently updated our infrastructure to crawl with Google’s primary user-agent,Googlebot. What does this mean? Very little to most publishers,” says Google News Product Specialist David Smydra. “Any news organizations that wish to opt out of Google News can continue to do so: Google News will still respect the robots.txt entry for Googlebot-News, our former user-agent, if it is more restrictive than the robots.txt entry for Googlebot.”

“Although you’ll now only see the Googlebot user-agent in your site’s logs, no need to worry: the appearance of Googlebot instead of Googlebot-News is independent of our inclusion policies,” says Smydra. “You can always check whether your site is included in Google News by searching with the “site:” operator. For instance, enter “” in the search field for Google News, and if you see results then we are currently indexing your news site.”

As far as analytics, you’ll still be able to differentiate traffic from Google Search and traffic from Google News, Google says.

Sites using Google’s metered subscription model or the first click free model won’t have to make any changes, but sites that require registration, payment or login before reading the full article, Google News will only be able to crawl and index the title and snippet that’s shown on the page.

Google stresses that the change will not affect how it crawls your News sitemaps.

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Facebook Pageviews: That’s A Lot of Faces


Here’s a quick explanation concerning the concept of just how big one trillion is,here’s a quote from children’s author, David Schwartz. “A billion seconds is 32 years. And a trillion seconds is 32,000 years.”

Now, while I’m not sure how that would convert in relation to pageviews,but we’ll just go with this: For those of you who think a billion pageviews is impressive; and it is, it’s nothing compared to one trillion pageviews, which, if we go by Schwartz’ standard, is ten thousand times larger than the petty one billion’s worth.

And that, folks, is the amount of pageviews Facebook has received since coming online, the most of any site listed in Google’s “The 1000 most-visited sites on the web” list. At the top, with that gaudily impressive trillion count–here’s what it looks like in numeric form: 1,000,000,000,000–is Mark “I’m NOT Jesse Eisenberg” Zuckerberg’s social networking creation.

For those of you who are uncomfortable with such a claim, especially when you consider Facebook’s acknowledge membership count has not surpassed one billion members yet, a post from Digital Inspirationhas you in mind:

Officially, Facebook has 750+ million users but the number of unique visitors who flock Facebook every month is much higher because certain sections of the site – Facebook Pages and Profiles for example – are open to non-users as well.

A perfect example of this is AT&T’s Facebook page. Granted, it’s not a personal page, but even without being signed in, you can at least view AT&T “Like this page” invitation. Upon “liking” AT&T, users then “get access to everything AT&T.”

How that’s accomplished through a mere social network site, I’m not sure, but the offer’s out there. Of course, you could also point out that you have to be a Facebook member to “like” AT&T’s page, but the fact is, you can still see at least one part of their content if you are not.

Interaction or not, this, too, counts as a pageview in Facebook’s incredibly large pageviews coffer. Here’s a look at the rest of Google’s top ten sites in regards to pageviews, and there should really be no surprises:

YouTube’s there, as is Yahoo and MSN. One noticeable absence however, is itself. A disclaimer on their “Learn more” page states:

Keep in mind that the list excludes adult sites, ad networks, domains that don’t have publicly visible content or don’t load properly, and certain Google sites.

Based on the listed results, it’s safe to say the actual site was one of the omissions. With that in mind, do you think has more or less pageviews than Facebook’s mighty trillion mark?

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Bing Gives a List of 18 SEO Fundamentals


Microsoft is systematically killing off the mystery of Bing-Yahoo optimization. In addition to a post on quality content that we covered previously, Bing has now told us the 18 fundamental things that webmasters need to know about search engine optimization. Here’s the basic breakdown:

  1. Make sure your site is crawlable by using an XML sitemap, a robots.txt file, and well-structured on-site navigation.
  2. Improve your site structure by using an HTML sitemap and linking to trusted sources both within your site and outside of it.
  3. Create a solid content hierarchy by doing basic keyword research and avoiding placement of your content in rich media such as Silverlight and Flash.
  4. Use a short meta title that has fewer than 65 characters and that’s unique to each page, and try to include the targeted keyword toward the beginning of that title.
  5. Use a unique meta description tag.
  6. Create quality content (following the guidelines Bing provided earlier).
  7. When you build links, focus on keyword-relevant anchor tags that link back to quality content on your page.
  8. Create an RSS feed.
  9. Use markup.
  10. Create a user interface that prioritizes the user experiences; the search perspective on things like page load time aren’t as important as how the user responds.
  11. Encourage social sharing with the use of social buttons.
  12. Don’t cloak your website.
  13. Don’t use link farms.
  14. Don’t engage in three-way linking.
  15. Don’t duplicate content.
  16. Don’t use auto-following on the social front.
  17. Don’t use thin content.
  18. Don’t buy links.

It’s always good when the search engines themselves tell us what they’re looking for. While this list is fairly basic, it does cover the most needed 101 ground. What items, if any, do you feel Bing is missing?

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5 Mobile Marketing Tips From Cindy Krum


In 2005, I remember asking the audience at my SES San Jose session how many were using analytics and was amazed when only about 25 percent of the room indicated they were. Now it appears mobile marketing is in the same situation. A recent survey found more than 50 percent of web designers ignored mobile browsers when developing site designs.

“This year, mobile web access has risen to nearly 15 percent of all UK web traffic, which means the number of websites missing out on this prime traffic is also increasing,” Heart Internet director Jonathan Brealey said.

Financial Times chief executive John Ridding noted recently that mobile registrants to FT convert to subscribers two and a half times more than any other access method. Does a possible 250 percent increase conversion get your attention?

Cindy Krum, CEO of Mobile Moxie and author of “Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are,” has spoken at numerous SES conferences around the world. And mobile was once again a hot topic at SES San Francisco this year – mobile marketing was named by many speakers as a key component of the future of search.

“The cell phone is where people go to fill their down time and find information to guide their daily lives. Get hip to the mobile aesthetic or suffer the consequences!” Krum said.

She said the main thing with mobile is you need to build your site with a flexible template that can accommodate to fit a variety of screen sizes, and orientations gracefully. Like in the early days of the web, many companies are phoning it in and creating mobile “brochure-ware” rather than really trying to create utility or build a great user experience, Krum said, adding that an app-like look and feel will be well-received on your mobile site.

Additionally, you want to code to the highest standard possible. XHTML is generally ideal, she noted, “but be ready to start learning bits of HTML5 and Mobile AJAX to snazz things up. The design aesthetic is also a bit different. You should be drawing ideas and inspiration from apps, rather than your existing site.”

Here are Krum’s top five tips for marketers getting involved in the mobile space.

1. Outline and Prioritize Development & Resources

Your priority should be the most likely reason customers have for accessing the site – not the ideal reason. For example, even though a bank may want to help customers create long-term investment accounts from their mobile phone, because that is the most profitable transaction, doesn’t mean your bank site should focus on long-term investment accounts. Your mobile site should still focus on everyday tasks like checking account balances and finding ATMs.

A mobile site really has the opportunity to shine and make a difference for your customers with the monotonous, everyday tasks. Special activities such as researching investment accounts will still most likely happen at a full-sized computer.

2. Check the Competition

Look at applications in your vertical to see what they look like and what kinds of functions they include. This is the new bar and your site should meet or beat the expectations set by those applications.

Take this information and compare it to the sitemap of the desktop site and the goals you have set for the mobile site. Determine which of the app functions you will be able to replicate or emulate on the web and which will have to be adapted to work in the browser.

3. Educate Yourself on User-Agent Detection and Re-direction

There are ways to do it properly and ways to get all of your mobile pages removed from the mobile search results very quickly. (Synopsis of the concept and its impact on SEO here).

Create a site plan where mobile page urls are formatted as mirrors of the desktop URLs, with only a slight difference, like the addition of a “.” or “/”. This will make the user agent detection and redirection script eminently easier to generate, and will keep your development team a bit more sane.

4. Read up on Cache Controls and Header Controls

Most SEOs ignore these things, but they can affect the load time and indexing of the site (great article on this here).

5. Create a Promotion and Integration Plan

This is very important to create a quick awareness & adoption for the new content. This is where your initial ROI will come from, so it can’t be ignored.

Use every opportunity you have to make your existing customers aware of your mobile site. They are going to be the easiest people to get to the mobile site.

This means including a list of features with screen shots in newsletters, social profiles and on your desktop site. It also means setting up a mobile PPC campaign, at least for your brand-terms, and maybe even adding a line about it in your standard email signature line for a couple weeks.

Like any launch, you should create and push a press release about the new mobile content, and if you are running traditional media ads like print, direct mail, TV or radio, you should also mention the mobile site there.

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Bing Shopping Adds 7 New Features to Improve Searching, Sharing


Bing is continuing its commitment to an intuitive and comprehensive shopping interface with a large lineup of extra features on Bing Shopping. This includes easier filtering, a new filter option, better browse pages, and a Facebook share option.

The Key Changes

Bing announced seven new features. Users can now:

  1. Add one or more filters directly through the search bar when at
  2. See “product-level deals to the site,” letting them view discounted products at a glance.
  3. Add a filter to find discounted products.
  4. Add a filter to show only results from favorite stores.
  5. Share shopping lists on Facebook.
  6. Store multiple shopping lists (previously, you could only store one).
  7. More easily navigate several major “browse pages” in the shop by category segment.

While several of these items are focused on streamlining the user-end while empowering the back-end, the addition of Facebook sharing further entrenches Bing with the world’s largest social site. Bing already allows sharing of vacation plans, search results, and individual products.

The new features follow Bing’s redesign of Bing Shopping in April, and the addition of shopping features such as mall maps. It’s not particularly surprising that we’re seeing frequent and substantial changes. Since Bing was released, it’s been heavily committed to a small group of its services, with Bing Travel, Entertainment, and Shopping at the top of the list.

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Maximizing the Benefits of Online Video Through SEO


For publishers, incorporating video into your website can help build visibility, engage audiences and increase page views. For marketers, video drives brand awareness and, when done correctly, it creates a unique opportunity to tell a product’s story. With YouTube as the second largest search engine in terms of total search queries, user adoption has really underscored the value of video.

Why Incorporating Video Is Beneficial To Brands

Video attracts new, relevant search traffic

“Blended search,” the practice in which search engines display videos, images, news stories, maps, and other types of results alongside their standard search results, has become increasingly common on major search engines. Optimizing video content to take advantage of blended search is by far the easiest way to get a first-page organic ranking on Google.

Video assets can be easily syndicated

Online video is usually channel agnostic. By syndicating video properties to multiple sites, businesses can extend their reach to new eyeballs.

Video is inherently interactive

Videos are far more likely to be shared than text-based pages. Additionally, a video thumbnail on a social media platform — Facebook, for example — grabs more attention than static text and often results in more comments, more “Likes,” and more traffic to the brand’s website. According to YouBrand, pictures and video within Facebook are engaged with and clicked more often than just text and questions.

Video engages site visitors

Video provides a familiar user interface for site visitors. When videos are properly produced, they captivate the user. For users, rather than navigating, scrolling and clicking to access information, video becomes a one-stop resource.

Video has a longer term impact

Video can give customers an in-depth view or demonstration of a product, helping consumers quickly understand what a company has to offer and determine if its beneficial to them before taking the next step. Videos can also build trust and credibility for a brand or company.

Now that I’ve incorporated video, how do I optimize it for search?

Connecting with audiences doesn’t stop with the video; it begins with SEO optimization so audiences find your video in the first place. Though SEO tends to give the highest return on investment, it’s still under-invested from a marketing budget perspective. According to Nate Elliot at Forrester, less than 20% of marketers report inserting keywords and even fewer use more advanced tactics like writing keyword-rich captions and annotations or creating online video libraries.

Nate also states that videos on your site are 50 TIMES MORE LIKELY of being shown on the first page results than your text pages and best of all, so few interactive marketers focus on video optimization that most of the videos in Google’s index aren’t very well optimized.

Maximizing SEO for Video:

Increase blended search results

Create a sitemap and semantically mark up your video pages. A video sitemap is a detailed list of all your video content provided in an XML file. When submitted, XML sitemaps route search engines to your video content with the information necessary to display results as a video object. Semantically marking the page provides a similar set of information about each video, but instead of including the data in a separate file, the information lives with the content on the page itself. As such, when a bot indexes the page, it finds what it needs upon arrival.

Increase the perceived value of individual videos

Linking to individual videos from outside sources such as websites, blogs and social media sites help increase organic rankings. Additionally, encouraging ratings and comments also benefit the likelihood of recommendations as users are more likely to view and share videos that are perceived valuable by others.

Help search engine robots easily read and index your video

When your video is published, make sure to add text transcripts and captions with links and other relevant information on the page with the video. Metadata descriptions are still very important and should include a description of the video using multiple keywords. Keywords should be used in the title of your video to make it easier to search. Optimize your video’s URL to contain information about the video and your relevant keywords. The best way to add text content around your video (in combination with the above) is to create an article post about the video, or vice versa, whereby the video complements a stand-alone article post. This makes video an integral part of content creation for your site and helps create a more valuable page (in terms of SEO rank and engagement) than a page without video.

Calibrate efforts by analyzing data

Be proactive by checking your video’s effectiveness by analyzing the data you are tracking. Google Analytics is helpful in tracking clicks and views as well as visitor source data.

Give viewers the tools to help increase your video views

Make it easy for users to bookmark, share and link to your video.

Video drives engagement. With the hyper growth of video distribution and consumption, it only makes sense to maximize the value video can bring by employing SEO best practices. In places where text and pictures previously served as the only media to engage users, promoting video means new audience reach and, maximizing the benefits of SEO for video can put you or your brand ahead of the crowd.

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