Welcome to Greenlight's weekly dose of Blog Watch! It's that time when we share the latest news and insights that have caught our eye. Enjoy!
MOBILE SITE AUDIT CHECKLIST
Now that it's 2014, the question isn't "should I build a mobile site?" It's "how do I build a good mobile site?" Whilst the ultimate aim is to build a responsively designed site not everyone has the capabilities to build one. Mobile sites are, at their core, just sites; but redesigning your site for very small screens and linking your mobile site to your desktop site gives you a lot more to think about.
PASSIVE LINK DETECTION
Setting up crawlers to probe other people's Websites is unethical and unfriendly. Just because you want to know who is linking to your website and where does not give you the right to waste other people's bandwidth and server resources for your own selfish uses. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to see when other Websites link to your site.
MATT CUTTS SHARES 4 WAYS GOOGLE EVALUATES PAID LINKS
Paid links are an incredibly gray area. What exactly is a paid link? How can Google figure out what is paid and what isn't? Google's Matt Cutts dove into the topic of paid links in a webmaster help video.
'Sometimes people might say something like, "Hey, I'd like to send you a gift card.' You know what gift cards are pretty fundable you can convert them to money and back and forth... On the other hand, something like "I'm going to give you a free trial of perfume" or "I'm going to buy you a beer" or something like that, that's less of a connection.
But we do look at how close something is to actual money when we look at those kinds of things. If somebody goes and buys you a dinner and you write a blog post four months later, and the dinner wasn't some huge steak dinner with 18 courses ... that's probably not the sort of thing we worry about, as you would guess.'
SEO STRATEGY HAS CHANGED, BUT HAS YOUR REPORTING STRUCTURE
As SEOs, we all generate ranking reports for our keywords on a regular basis. Maybe weekly or monthly, but we all do it at some point. With so many changes in the last few years (or months, even!) do you really think ranking reports are the only metric to track SEO efforts?
If you've ever been for a suit or dress fitting then you know that measurement matters. Measuring the success of your content efforts is a lot less embarrassing but no less hands-on. So be prepared to drop trou as you step into a measurement frame that bares all. For metrics never lie. Well, sometimes they do. When the Content Marketing Institute asked companies what their greatest content marketing challenges were, "most companies placed measuring the impact of content and promoting content at the very bottom of their lists." This is rather ill-advised because in this case, ignorance is not bliss. You've got to measure, measure, measure. Otherwise, how will you know what works?
Let's take a piece of content as an example. Imagine you parody Samsung's Ellen DeGeneres Oscar selfie stunt by taking a picture of loads of bloggers who dress up as the corresponding celebs. You position it, seed it, outreach it. The idea was there, it was timely, relevant and humorous….but, did its topic and positioning carry your marketing message? Read forth these links to find out.
With the news a couple of weeks ago that M&S has hired journalists to create its new content offerings, there's a renewed emphasis on creating journalistic content across the board. The Drum has a great piece on harnessing disruption. In an interview with Nic Newman, founding member of the BBC website, the current culture of journalistic reporting is discussed. Newman explores both quality and speed as topics. Importantly, he also discusses how "celebrity and social media has led journalistic institutions to be undermined by these trends."
It really is a battle of the journalists as another post on The Drum titled 'Online media industry lacks traditional news sense', talks about journalism being a skill that shouldn't be forgotten about. Mark McSherry, of the Sunday Times and Bloomberg fame, reminds us deciding that whether something is newsworthy or not requires serious skill. Putting together a front page of content requires "careful curation." On those working in digital news he comments;
"The people who get hired to run the digital version of these news sites or papers or magazines are very good with their technical skills, they have good digital media skills, but they don't always come from a journalism background where they've learned to make those calls. It makes me sound like a bit of a dinosaur but a big part of [a journalist's] job is to decide what stories should be there. That's your front page."
Why is this important? Because when it comes to content, especially content hubs, we can't forget that curation is king.
OMNICOM IN BED WITH INSTAGRAM
More and more social media channels are being bought and/or monetised which means more opportunity for brands to annoy their fans, I mean reach their fans where they're active. The latest big ad deal is between Omnicom and Instgram which is said to be worth up to 100m big ones, great move by Facebook. Read more about the deal here.
A NEW WAY TO MAKE CONVERSIONS COUNT
Say what? Google has launched a new way to count conversions? Or has it just renamed "1 per click" and "many per click"? It's called flexible conversion counting and enables you to measure the value of each click. So if someone clicks on an ad and purchases a shirt on Monday, a pair of jeans on Friday and downloads a catalogue on Saturday this would be counted as 3 conversions. Then they decide to download the catalogue again on Monday and then again on the following Tuesday this would still count as 3 conversions. Google explains it way better here and give you a cute diagram to spell it all out…
GOOGLE TEST SMART ANNOTATIONS
Created to beef up your real estate on your ad in the SERPs and supposedly give potential clickers yet another reason to click on your ad. In my opinon it looks too crowded and forces the user to spend longer deciding which part of the ad to read…so do I want to find out how many G+ followers the company has, how well the company is rated in reviews, where they're located, the telephone number, OR do I want to just find out if the company sells Samsung laptops and what special offer they have to make me click!?