Google Analytics Real-Time Launches for Real Time Traffic Data


Google announced the launch of a new set of reports in Google Analytics today, which shows you what’s happening with your site as it happens. Pretty cool.

It’s called Google Analytics Real-Time (fittingly).

“One way that I like to use these reports is to measure the immediate impact of social media. Whenever we put out a new blog post, we also send out a tweet. With Real-Time, I can see the immediate impact to my site traffic,” says John Jersin of the Google Analytics team. “For example, last week we posted about the latest episode of Web Analytics TV and also tweeted about the post. By campaign tagging the links we shared, we could see how much traffic each channel is driving to the blog as it happened. We could also see when we stopped receiving visits from the tweet, which helps know when to reengage.”

“Another way I’m using Real-Time is to make sure campaign tracking is correctly implemented before launching a campaign,” he says. “When getting ready to launch a new campaign it’s critical to make sure your measurement plan is working before you start driving visitors to the page. With the Real-Time reports you can find out in seconds whether you’re getting the data you want in Google Analytics.”

Users can find the reports in the new version of Google Analytics. They didn’t bother to add it to the old one. You should have access to it from a link at the top of GA. If you’re not already using the new version, this might be a feature that makes you go ahead and switch. You’re going to have to get used to the new version sooner or later anyway.

Now, if they could just get realtime search back.

Google also announced Google Analytics Premium for its biggest customers. It comes with extra processing power, advanced analysis, service/support, and guarantees. More on this here.

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Business Wire Patents SEO Strategy


Press release distribution service Business Wire announced that it has been awarded a U.S. patent for the technological process of optimizing and distributing press releases to maximize their ability to be found and tracked in the search engines.

So, basically they’ve patented an SEO strategy. Strange, but interesting. Will this lead to other SEO strategies being patented?

Business Wire says its strategy is the result of “years of research and development and considerable investment.”

I wonder how many SEO firms would make similar claims.

“Our new SEO patent provides complimentary enhancements to Business Wire’s already powerful press release distribution and measurement services,” said Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President of Media Services and Product Strategy.

“Through Business Wire, customers have the power to effectively analyze and optimize their press release content for search, then simultaneously deliver their news to media and market participants via our patented NX delivery network, then measure audience engagement via our NewsTrak reports,” she added.

“With the awarding of this patent, in addition to Business Wire’s NX distribution technology patents, our company continues to develop unique, proprietary and more effective communications innovations that have been a hallmark at Business Wire for 50 years,” said Cathy Baron-Tamraz, Business Wire CEO.

It’s going to be interesting to see if this patent leads to any legal battles in the SEO world.

Business Wire is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

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30 Google SERP Changes That Impact Your SEO Strategy


Just a few years ago SEO was really simple. You had to be in the top 10 or rather in the top 3 for relevant keywords. Then the traffic came and with it the leads, sales or whatever you wished. Today there is no real top 10 anymore. Even if you are at #1 in the organic search results, you might be below the “fold” so that users have to scroll to see your site on the Google search results page aka SERP.

Google has introduced so many changes to most SERPS that you can’t ignore them and go on as if it’s still 2005. You have to change your SEO strategy accordingly.

While many people already have noticed that Universal search is all over the place, and images, video or news results get displayed frequently, many still behave as if SEO was about checking rankings and aiming for #1 in organic search. These 30 Google SERP changes impact your SEO strategy in a way you can’t ignore.

  1. Ads and universal search push organic results below the fold
  2. There is opportunity in local search results
  3. Paid shopping results show above organic results
  4. There are sometimes more or fewer than 10 results
  5. Infinite scroll allows users to peruse longer lists of results
  6. Author avatars get displayed on the left of search snippet
  7. Bulleted snippets made of list items stand out
  8. Local results show up even without adding a location
  9. For location-based SERPs, organic results almost disappear
  10. Local SERPs may vary significantly
  11. Huge full-page site links for brands monopolise branded queries
  12. Brands tend to dominate their own SERPs
  13. Sidebar menu attracts clicks and competes with the actual results
  14. Social search annotations show up with favicon sized avatars
  15. Google+ bar with red notification distracts while searching
  16. +1 button clicks reorganise your search results significantly
  17. Google +1 counts appear in search results for everybody
  18. Public Google+ profile messages show up prominently in SERPs
  19. Google remembers and adds recent search queries you performed
  20. Your last visited pages get highlighted by Google
  21. Google adds your address from Google Profiles to public search results
  22. Mobile SERPs differ significantly from desktop SERPs
  23. “Searches related to” draw away attention from first query
  24. Google instant search results send people away to partial queries
  25. Google instant previews can lower your CTR and affect conversion rate
  26. Personalisation is taking over the average SERPs
  27. Keyword matching domains can now barely be seen
  28. Google may shorten your URL displayed, hiding “irrelevant parts”
  29. 5 years from now SERPs could be completely different
  30. Google can highlight on-site videos in SERPs

So how do we actually deal with these SERP changes? How exactly do they impact your SEO strategy? There are a few common traits you can focus on:

  • Relying on ranking reports is less and less useful; other metrics and KPIs have to be taken into account, such as traffic, conversions and ROI.
  • Websites have to be more usable and social in nature to stay competitive in SERPs.
  • You have to embrace universal search and add other media types than text.
  • Local SEO is the only SEO many businesses can go after, while for others it’s a new way of getting additional exposure.
  • Like it or not, you have to pay Google “to get your organic ranking back”, whether by ads or shopping search results.
  • You need to offer many ways to reach you, both via Google and social media. Organic results are not enough anymore.
  • You have to step up your SEO efforts or increase your SEO budget. SEO isn’t simple anymore, if it ever was. Now there are so many things to consider that only full time specialists can deal with it correctly.
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Google Homepage Advertises Addition of CityVille to Google+ Games


Google today welcomed popular game “CityVille” to its small collection of social games on Google+. Google once again used its valuable homepage space to promote the popular Zynga game, just as it promoted Google Offers and the opening of Google+ recently.

CityVille is Zynga’s largest game on Facebook, with about 70 million users per month, according toAppData.

Earlier today, we reported that Google+ may have more than 43 million+ users. Google+ also became the eighth most visited social networking site, attracting 15 million U.S. visits during the week of September 17 to 24 – growth of 1,269 percent –Hitwise reported.

When Google+ Games launched with its first 16 games, including “Angry Birds” and another popular Zynga title, “Zynga Poker,” it was revealed Google will take a 5 percent cut of in-game purchases, as compared to Facebook’s 30 percent cut. Google invested somewhere between $100 million and $200 million in Zynga last year.

“It’s no secret we’re big fans of Google+ here at Zynga,” Zynga wrote in a blog post. “…naturally we wanted to ‘build’ a presence for it on Google+. Ultimately, we want to make our games accessible to everyone, everywhere – no matter where they play or what platform they play on.”

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The Secrets to Successful Multilingual Social Media


Love it or hate it, social media has changed the way we interact, advertise and engage with our target markets. Even the chances that you made it to this article through social media are high – a recent study found almost 9 in 10 businesses use social media for marketing purposes.

And why not? It’s free, it’s effective and you can reach people all over the world in a few simple clicks.

But to truly reach global markets, you need to speak their language, and there are a few essential tricks you need to know to make it in the heady world of multilingual social media.

Think like a local
To appeal to locals you’ve got to act like a local. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean swanning off round the world for many vacations (though that would be nice). What you will need to take into account is exactly where people are hanging out on the internet. You may have spent a lot of time and effort on smartening up your Facebook page, but consider that potential customers in a country like China (where Facebook is banned by their infamous censorship regime) won’t even be able to see it, even if you take the time to translate and localize it.

Instead of poking and liking each other, in China, QZoneis home to 480 million Chinese-speaking members, while over in Brazil, orkut (incidentally owned by Google) is the favored social network for around 66 million active users. Portuguese use online has grown by 990% in the last eleven years, and can partly attribute its success to ever-increasing user numbers in Brazil—an emerging market that is proving popular with marketers world-wide.

Talk the lingo
While it’s a given that you need to speak to those overseas in their own language, sometimes this is easier said than done. The first step that many will take is to head straight to online free software like Google Translate or Babelfish. If you’re planning on doing this, do it with the knowledge that machine translation is rarely without errors. While it’s sophisticated technology indeed, it’s just not clever enough to be able to interpret slang, idioms or subtle linguistic nuances that come with, well, not being a machine. Many years ago Pepsi had a famous (and highly embarrassing) mistranslation when its ‘Come alive with the Pepsi generation!’ slogan allegedly translated in Chinese as ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead!‘. Hiring a professional translator will eliminate any potential red-faced moments, as well as being able to help you localize.

Keep your messages relevant
Speaking of localization, if you’re going to broadcast your message across numerous languages to many different countries, you’re going to have to make sure your message is tailored to your audience and their locale. Nothing makes people reach for the ‘Unfollow’ button faster than having to read messages that just don’t apply to them. Remember that they’re reading your updates because they think you have something interesting to say, so keep them local! Follow their local news, keep up-to-date with industry gossip in your target language and avoid any cultural references (like celebrities, national holidays, TV shows etc) that might mean nothing in other countries—remember that while you sit down to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, the rest of the world are in the office!

Management is Key
With so many different languages across social networks, it’s important you find a way to manage them all effectively. The first thing is to establish different accounts for different languages, as broadcasting your message in a dozen languages from the same feed is guaranteed to alienate your audience. Just take a look at any major corporation and see how they do it. Air France, for example has at least 13 different multilingual Twitter feeds (Here’s an interesting French fact: you’re not allowed to mention Twitter on the TV in France).

Remember time zones too—while you might have that Friday feeling, it’s already Saturday in Japan. There are some great tools like Hootsuite that allow you to schedule Tweets to be sent whenever you choose, so you can target the right people at the right times.

Talk back
Once you’ve got going, you need to keep up the momentum. Don’t be daunted when your followers/fans/customers start talking to you in a language you don’t understand. If it helps, you can use machine translation to get the gist of what they’re saying, and respond in an appropriate manner, using the same method you do to translate your social network updates in the first place. If you’ve got the resources, it can really be an advantage here to have a native-speaking staff member on your books, as they can respond in a timely (and accurate!) manner.

Taking your social media multilingual can be a scary thought, but with a little planning and expertise, it can really open up a world of opportunity for you and your business… and we certainly all ‘like’ that.

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Web Liquid Test Drives 5 Top Social Media Monitoring Tools


Digital marketing agency Web Liquid has released a comprehensive report that pits five top social media monitoring tools against one another. Paring a list of 40 tools down to just five enterprise-level platforms with cross-channel coverage, they used electric vehicle company Tesla Motors as their subject in this case study.

Each of the five tools selected for in-depth testing has the ability to set up and define a query through the UI; to manually validate data; and to export raw data. The five selected were:

Performance Summary – No Clear Winner

In the performance summary evaluation, Web Liquid ranked each of the five tools on a scale from 1 (best) to 5 (worst) on the quality and/or ease of use of the following attributes: query, data quality, data quantity, data management, raw data output, and usability/interface. Synthesio received the most top marks with high scores for query and data quality. Still, advantages and disadvantages are spread fairly evenly throughout the group. performance summary chart

Web Liquid notes that no monitoring tool is perfect, and that “the technologies they employ are not nearly sophisticated enough to be taken at face value.” Human data validation is key.

Quality vs. Quantity in Data Collection

There are two very different approaches to data capture; Brandwatch and Radian6 employ the first by attempting to crawl and retrieve as much of the Internet landscape as possible. The result was a broad spectrum of data that was more susceptible to spam. Of the mentions captured by Brandwatch and Radian6, the proportion of spam mentions was 46 and 40 percent, respectively.

Synthesio, Alterian and MutualMind took a different approach. They each use a white list of sites, resulting in cleaner, but not as all-encompassing, data. Synthesio picked up the least amount of spam mentions, at just 3 percent. insert data quality chart

Overview of Each Tool Assists Marketers in Buying Decisions

Web Liquid provided in-depth coverage of each tool with an evaluation of each and their pros and cons, company statement, and pricing (where available). They point to the importance of word-of-mouth marketing and were inspired to test out the tools by the sheer number of companies developing tools designed to capture and analyze these types of data.

Instead of recommending one particular tool over another, Web Liquid has offered an overview of each tool and its capabilities (or lack thereof) to help companies make better buying decisions when choosing social media monitoring software solutions.

Download a free copy of the Social Media Monitoring Tool Buyer’s Guide from Web Liquid

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Bing Launches Action Buttons in Search Results


Bing announced the release of “Action Buttons” in search results today. These are buttons on certain types of search results (including travel-related) that allow you to engage in specific actions related to that result.

Think about things like checking into a hotel or a flight, checking on a flight status, booking a flight, renting a car, etc.

“Now when you search across 7 popular categories – including airlines, couriers (e.g. FedEx), restaurants, banks, rental cars, software downloads and hotels – you will be presented with buttons for top actions on the site, that directly take you to the page where you can complete your task,” explains Bing Program Manager Deepak Vijaywargi.

“Based on how people search, our algorithms now determine top actions and corresponding links in the site for a given category with high precision,” says Vijaywargi. ”For instance, with airlines the top 3 tasks are: check-in to a flight, check the status of a flight or book a flight. For software sites, if you are searching for a specific product you likely want to download it. For car rental agencies, you’d like to rent a car, find out locations or contact them.”

Bing pitches the feature as an extension of its deep link inclusion on search results, but I’d say this is probably one of the most interesting things Bing has done with its results in a while. Bing has always positioned itself as wanting to get you the answers and get things done as quickly as possible, and this should, in theory at least, help with that.

It will be interesting to see if Google borrow’s the idea.

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