Facebook, Targeted Marketing? Maybe Not…

Recently, Rae from Sugarrae posted about the rise of Facebook as a targeted marketing medium. As a college student myself I know all to well about Facebook. As an incoming freshman Facebook was just beginning to catch on. I remember spending 2-3 hours a day browsing everything from who were in my classes to who the cute girl that lived down the hall was. Within the past year Facebook opened the flood gates. A medium of expression that was once exclusive to college students was opened to every high school across the United States. People were awestruck when this happened. I vividly remember standing near the free speech lawn as students proposed a boycott of Facebook. I though to myself are they serious?

Shortly after opening Facebook to high school students it was opened to the masses. Many users though it could be the MySpace killer, having never used MySpace because of the annoyances associated with it, I agreed with many of my fellow students.

Another major change of Facebook caught many college students by surprise was the change to the Facebook “Home” Page. I remember having a debate in my Digital Media class as to whether or not this new page was an invasion of privacy. Facebook had begun using RSS feeds to let fellow students know “up to the minute” what was going on in their friend lives. Once again students on the free speech lawn were proposing a facebook boycott. This time I joined in.

Since Facebook has beefed up their privacy settings I have become a regular user again, checking it 3-5 times a week. By no means am I a Facebook Addict. But Rae’s post made me ask myself what if I was?

Today while I was on campus and around the fraternity house I asked several of my friends whom I know are addicted to Facebook if they ever clicked or paid any attention to the ads on the side column of Facebook. After asking 25 total people this same question 23 people said they never pay any attention to them. To tell you the truth I was downright astonished.

I would love to get my hands on some real information regarding the click threw rates of Facebook Fliers.

This said I think I may do some testing with the valentines promotion and see how my results are. If college students are that apathetic about advertisements then maybe the advertisers that can afford to publish more than just “Fliers” are really just wasting their money.

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Jason Calacanis the King of Linkbait?

For those of you who haven’t been watching this circus check out ShoeMoney’s post: Calacanis Plays SEO People Like A Fiddle.

I am absolutely astonished at the effect this little marketing ploy has had on the SEO industry. Who would have thought by pissing off a bunch of SEO gurus you could get instantaneous backlinks from well ranking sites and lets not just stop at that, you can get your site optimized with 20-30% more traffic.

I think Calacanis has just been crowned the King of Linkbait.

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Its All About the Content

Recently, I have been amazed at the amount of blogs posting articles about “link baiting.” The key behind this phenomenon is nothing new. It’s something that nearly all successful websites have. Compelling and useful content. If you don’t offer content that makes your audience want to return then you just lost a visitor. After all the content is why people want to visit your site in the first place. If you have compelling content this will inevitably leads to links. The term “link baiting” is really just a new term for an old concept with a twist.

Wikipedia defines link baiting as “any content or feature within a website that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites.”

In my own terms link baiting is: Offering compelling content with a hook. This hook is anything that will make people want to put you on their site or to get people talking.

As blogs have hit the mainstream, it seems that every webmaster needs content. Often times they write about something that left an impression on them. This is exactly what link baiting is. If you can leave your visitors wanting more then there is a much higher chance that they will link to you, because you gave them something to write about.

Today Neil Patel over at Link Building Blog spoke on the use of widget to get back links. Within this post he references Flickr with over 1 million back links. This is a prefect example of compelling and useful content. Flickr has made photo shareing a global sensation and they have offered many features that allow users to integrate their photos into many other softwares, thus providing them with numerous back links.

Putting together a widget can be as complex or simple as you want to make it. A couple of great examples of useful widgets have been published by ProBlogger and Hype2.0. Although both of these range in complexity, they both offer the end user something useful.

If you would like to do some more reading on link baiting (although you probably already have) I would highly suggest:

And suprizingly good:

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Has Google's Replacement Arrived?

Will a search engine named “Powerset” have the potential to dethrone the sleeping search giant? VentureBeat broke news that the San Fransisco based company has won the exclusive rights to a new search technology that may give Google a run for its money in the realm of search. This new technology, which was developed at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in Silicon Valley, has been 30 years in the making.

Natural Language, as it has been coined, seeks to understand language and focuses on the meanings of words and how they relate to one another, not just rely on strong key word associations as many popular search engines do. Google has not taken “natural language seriously enough.” States Kaplan, PowerSet’s chief technology officer, instead “their orientation is toward shallow relevance, and they do it well.”

Powerset’s new technology has the potential to change the way people search. Instead of replying heavily on key words we may soon be able to ask search engine more complex questions such as “Who did IMB acquire in 1996?” The most exciting part is the technology has to potential to learn with time. VentureBeat revealed that Powerset’s core team now includes more than 40 employees, many of whom are well known in the realm of search.

Read the whole story at VentureBeat.com

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Experiences with Link Laundering Sites

Recently Eli of BlueHatSeo.com revealed a technique known as link laundering. Eli does a great job at explaining this technique but in essence you create a shareware software directory. For authors to submit their program to your directory they must in turn link back to one of your sites. This does not have to be the directory. This in turn generates a great deal of back links, making promoting your real money making endeavors much easier.

Talking this advice to heart I decided to run with it. The biggest obstacle to clear now is getting my directory into the databases of directories. The Association of Shareware Professional offers a directory on their site. My first impression was that this must be the place to start.

As soon as the site went live, I submitted my directory for inclusion on their list. While their directory seems to be comprehensive hasn’t been updated since early January this poses a real problem – how to get authors to your site?

Having hit a brick wall I returned to blue hat. Within the comments of Eli’s post I posed the question: Where to now? Within minutes he pointed me to Dmoz (Duh) and Rudenko which has a software submission service and a shareware program to semi-automate submission to directories. With both of these directories your site may take weeks to months to get inclusion on. Until then we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Needless to say I BlueHatSeo.com has won me over as a loyal reader. Though posts aren’t daily Eli offers great new perspectives to SEO, in general. I love checking Netvibes and seeing that there is a new post there. It makes my day.

Update: After taking a few hours to get my site included in a few of the auto PAD submitting programs, I’ve received a few inclusions. This should pick up shortly.

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And So It Begins

With some basic SEO, link building, and traffic generating experience under my belt it has become apparent that semi-passive income through the internet is attainable. This weblog shall be my journal of my experiences as I travel along the road of enlightenment on to financial freedom.

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