A new form of black hat SEO has emerged. Web sites have popped up that sell clicks on Google's +1 button. For a fee, Web sites can get anywhere from 50 to several thousand unique clicks for the +1 button on their site. But wait before trying to go against Google's guidelines. Michael Bergbauer says that long-term it could be "detrimental or disastrous." For companies willing to go against Google's guidelines, buying +1s for a Web site can have numerious negative outcomes, such as lower quality scores and delisting the site in Google's Index.
Alibaba Group wants to buy Yahoo, so the company hired Duberstein Group earlier this year to explore the potential transaction, according to Ian King. Duberstein is the lobbying firm of Kenneth Duberstein, former Reagan administration Secretary of Staff. Yahoo, which owns 40% of Alibaba, also continues to consider proposals by private-equity firms seeking to buy minority stakes. Alibaba said it is ready to buy back the percentage of the company Yahoo owns.
Remarketing campaigns typically have high conversion rates and drive low lead or sale costs because the strategy is to serve ads to those who picked up a cookie in their Web browser by previously visiting a specific Web site, Rob Boyd tells us. Getting runners on base to "drive home" the message turns visitors into buyers by giving them a simple reminder in the form of a display ad. Comparing remarketing to baseball, he explains that it's the "perfect blend of individual effort and teamwork" in an example that estimates a search network keyword click cost a dollar with only …
Adam Sutton takes a look at what search and social media articles readers shared most. He shares links to more than nine case studies and how-to articles. The articles, as Sutton puts it, point to resources that help measure Facebook campaigns, avoid Google penalties and improve content marketing. According to MarketingSherpa, 60% of marketers plan to increase their social media budgets, 57% plan increases in SEO, and 41% plan increases in content marketing. Here's a look at where it's all headed.
When it comes to analytics, what were the top trends for 2011? Garry Przyklenk gives us some insight into the top topics, such as online and offline data integration, social media analysis, and mobile analytics. The news led Adobe to acquire Omniture and then launch SiteCatalyst 15, and Salesforce.com bought Radian6. The increase in investments across analytics will flourish in 2012. Przyklenk throws a few stats on the table and points to an eConsultancy report that puts the worth of the Web analytics market at about £104 million, which Przyklenk estimates somewhere around $4 billion globally.
Eric Covino reviews the enterprise version of Website Auditor, an on-page optimization tool found in Link-Assist's SEO Power Suite. He begins with steps to get started, such as detailing instructions on entering Web site URLs, choosing Page Rank factors, configuring scan depth limits, and more -- then moves on to analyzing and customizing and working with results, and custom settings and reports.
Amazon, Wal-Mart, Dicks and Macy's came out clear winners during the 2011 holiday season, while Sears, J.C. Penney, and Gap were clear losers, according to an infographic put together by FastUpFront. On that list during the holiday season reveals those benefiting support retail, jewerly, hospitality, trucking and music. Those that suffered were summer vacation resports, construction retail, the television industry, construction and landscape. Specialty winners include Coach, Tiffany & Co., and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Sometimes marketers need to stray from the topic of search just for the fun of it, especially when it comes to finding more time in a day to build links, keep up with first-page rankings, and optimize paid-search campaigns. In a post on Google+, Google's Avinash Kaushik points to professors at John Hopkins University who have developed a permanent calendar by using computer programs, mathematical formulas and analytics. The idea creates a calendar with each 12-month period being identical to the one that came before, and remains that way from one year to the next. This means that holidays and …
Bing created a "magical holiday calendar" with Lonely Planet in a promotion that gives folks a chance to plot their own adventure. The Grand Prize, a trip valued up to $30,000 for one winner and guest, means working with the travel experts at Lonely Planet to create a custom 15 day/14 night itinerary exploring up to four destinations around the world.
John Battelle gives us a rundown of predictions for 2012, and reviews those made for 2011 to see how he did. In a recap, he writes: "We lost Steve Jobs, stupid Internet legislation reared its ugly head yet again in the form of SOPA, Internet IPOs came back in a big way (but didn’t perform as well as most would have liked), and the world woke up to the implications of programmatic buying and Big Data, ... ." Battelle runs through his 10 predictions, analyzing each one.