Will The Blogging/SEO Bubble Ever Burst?


seo bubble

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a start. There’s a cold sweat running down my forehead and my eyes are wide with panic. My girlfriend turns over and switches on the light to ask what’s wrong, but I can’t tell her. It’s too horrible…

What is this thought that haunts me and keeps me up at night? It’s the idea that someday I may not be able to make a living online anymore the way I have been for the last five years. You see it doesn’t make sense when you think about it: we can earn money online because we put ads on our websites and bring in lots of visitors, but then how are those advertisers making money? Often they make money by putting ads on their sites, or by selling products on their sites that people hardly ever click. The money goes round and round, but when is anything actually bought? [Read more…]

What Are Facebook Doing With Their Privacy Policy?

Image Credit: Techcrunch 2011

In the wake of the epic stories surrounding the inimitable Facebook and its latest acquisition, Instagram, one has to wonder how many more questionable actions can manifest from the camp of the social media giant. I, am of course referring to the squawking over the TOS back in December. This could spell long-term PR trouble. What exactly is Facebook doing?

Let’s get the facts straight. Instagram may still be having issues, what with its public traffic data being ripped from public view recently. But the company has apparently stemmed the flow of angry users fleeing the site like a burning building.However sometimes, it’s too little too late, as it’s beenwidelynoted that 25% of the active user base was lost in the aftermath.Instagram backpedaled on the issue, saying, “It would not sell members’ photos”. This was followed closely by a quote from the company,”that statement is not authorized for publication.”O rly, Instagram? There’s no sense of irony in that statement!

Facebook HTTPS Connections

This overarching argument about data and its right to be withheld or published, is a longstanding argument within social media ranks that goes back almost as far as the inception of journalism itself. Facebook, and its user base, is in the midst of a cold war over the fact that deleted accounts do not mean entire removal from the site. Users are able to download their data before doing so, but there is a finite period that accounts are cached in case the user changes their mind. What happens to the data after that time? Is it sold or otherwise leveraged for private gain? Or is it truly erased from the site? Facebook has said that the nature of caching in search engines in addition to “shares” on the site makes 100% data deletion truly impossible.

So the question remains, with only the most recent examples displayed for evidence. To answer the question bluntly, Facebook is shaping privacy policy so that is seemingly transparent but lesscomprehensible by most who engage the site. When was the last time you actually read a TOS when you registered to a site?A common joke among Facebook critics is, “Facebook is like a reverse eBay; you’re the product and the highest bidder gets access to your life”. So who is the highest bidder assisting Facebook shape privacy policy?Digital Sky Technologies, is the largest investor as of this writing and their partners’ history can be found here.

Source pages:TheNextWeb

Nike’s Winning Efforts With Social Media


Nike is one of the biggest and most successful companies in the world. It is considered a trailblazer in many aspects of business and people look up to Nike as a company that is at the forefront of innovation.

Nike is one of the companies that have fully embraced the power of social media as a way of enhancing its business and its relationship with its stakeholders. Nike knows that social media is an effective bridge that helps strengthen its relationship with consumers and it has developed an effective social media strategy that other companies are also emulating.

So what makes Nike’s social media strategy so effective? [Read more…]

Guest Posting vs. Article Marketing: The Importance of Understanding The Difference

Guest Posting

Guest PostingIn the last couple of years, guest posting on other people’s blogs has become a solid marketing technique. At first, the idea of letting some stranger post their content on your blog seemed ludicrous. However, many bloggers realized the benefits of more fresh unique content, and the wheel has been rolling ever since. I have personally guest posted on many different blogs, and I have noticed that guest posting is sometimes clumped together with article marketing as if they are “basically the same thing.” They are NOT the same thing. There are many differences, and that is what I want to explore. Let’s start with the similarities of the two: [Read more…]

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Blog Never Becomes an Authority Blog

Authority Blog

Authority BlogThe buzz words “trust” and “authority” are being thrown around these days in almost any article or blog post you read that has to do with SEO. In the last year, Google has made many changes to its ranking algorithm that put more emphasis on how other sites view yours. Perfect example would be ProBlogger. Obviously that blog is seen as an authority in the blogging niche. Google knows this because it has a lot of one-way links from highly relevant sites, and because other bloggers mention it in their content (like I just did). These are not the only ways that Google determines if a site is an authority site, but you get the idea. Because of all of this, everyone who opens a new blog wants to become an authority in their niche. Obviously, the difficulty of doing that will depend on what niche you choose. Regardless of the niche, however, if you want to guarantee that your blog never becomes an authority blog, make sure you do the following things:

After Your 10th Blog Post, Start a Coaching Program

Listen, experience and knowledge are totally over–rated. In reality, all you need to do to become a “mentor” or a “coach” in your niche is to say that you are! Don’t get all worried about refunds and people eviscerating you for not knowing your butt from your elbow, just read posts and articles by other experts in your niche, and regurgitate them in your own words! So what if your members don’t ever really learn anything new, or that most of them probably know more than you, what’s important here is their recurring $49.95 membership fee. [Read more…]

Then and Now: What Your Favorite Blogs Looked Like in Their Infancy

Blog Herald May 2003

As we all know, every blog has a beginning. The beauty of the web is that websites can be stored in a permanent cache; effectively taking a virtual snapshot of the way the blog exists at that moment in time and storing it for later retrieval. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could go back in time and see what certain blogs looked like then? Well, it turns out you can. Archive.org has a public cache that stores snapshots of websites at regular intervals. It is called the Wayback Machine, and works just like a regular search engine; I tapped into it to bring you some blog history. You punch in the URL of the blog/site you want to look up, and they show you what dates they have stored in their database. The tool is not flawless, and many searches turn up corrupted pages or missing images, but it is really cool nonetheless.   I did quite a bit of poking around on the database, and here are some of the snapshots I found:

The Blogs I Looked Up

From left to right, down the list in order, the blogs covered were Blog Herald, Boing Boing, Copyblogger, Engadget, John Chow, and Problogger. The thumbnails are in sequential order, so that you see the earliest snapshot of the blog to the most recent. To view each snapshot, just click on the thumbnail to load the full-size version of it. If you roll the mouse over each thumbnail, it will tell you what blog the snapshot is from and which date as well. This project was a lot of fun, and I could have gone on forever with it.

One thing that we can all take away from this example is the amazing amount of hard work and dedication the owners of these blogs have committed to their sites. We sometimes forget that everyone has a starting point, and everyone at one time was a nobody. Even Google. Now, I am gonna bet that after you read this post, you are going to head over to the Wayback Machine and start looking up all kinds of sites! Go for it.

[Read more…]

SOPA Clearly Isn’t the Answer to Online Piracy

Censored by SOPA

I honestly don’t fully know the best way to combat online piracy; but I do know that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) isn’t it. The bill would create a plethora of problems if it were passed. Let’s be real here, copyright infringement and piracy are real problems that need real solutions, but when you spot a weed growing in your front yard, do you dig up the entire lawn to get rid of it? No, you pull that weed, and ONLY that weed, out of the ground and you do your best to monitor the lawn for any future weeds.

User-Generated Content Sites and SOPA

Censored by SOPA

One of the complaints that you’ll consistently hear about the SOPA bill is that it is way too generalized and all-encompassing. For instance, under SOPA, a site will be considered dedicated to the theft of U.S. intellectual property if it is “primarily designed or operated for the purpose of offering services in a manner that enables or facilitates copyright infringement”. Well, take YouTube for example; the online video site serves an average of 100 million videos every single day. The majority of it is uploaded by users, who can remain anonymous with minimal effort if they so choose. Under SOPA, YouTube can be considered a site that is primarily designed in a way that enables copyright infringement because of those reasons. Totally nuts. Blog owners might find themselves harboring illegal content through RSS, and pay the price for it; who knows anymore? [Read more…]

Does Your Blog Have to Be Cheesy to Be Popular?


As someone who is somewhat new to the world of blogging, I found myself questioning many of the great blog posts. I assume that the blog community deems an article “great” when it gets more than 50 tweets or a lot of LinkedIn shares. The articles had great information, but there was one thing I couldn’t get past—the cheese. The majority of these articles had a long introduction that was cheesy and then a conclusion that summed up the cheesy metaphor. While some articles were clever and creative, I found the majority to be cheesy.

I continued to write my own blog posts and as time went on, I found that I was beginning to sound cheesy. I wanted something original, so I would force some extended metaphor onto the article. It started to seem as though this type of language was the mark of a good blog, so I began to adopt this tone. This led me to wonder: Have all the other bloggers done the same? Does anyone really like a cheesy sounding blog post, or is that just expected?

I decided to weigh the pros and the cons of the issue to see if the annoyance is actually beneficial:

[Read more…]

SEO Anchor Text to Cross Promote Your Sites


One of the great things about having a successful blog is that it makes it so much easier to launch your next successful blog. All of the hard work that you put into building up your audience and your search engine rankings is something you can leverage for your next site, especially if it’s related to the first.

In addition to the ability to leverage your audience and steer them over to the new site, you can also launch out of the gate with a SEO benefit in the form of of links from your established blog to the new one. This gives your new site some instant search engine credibility by proving it can attract links from an established credible site.

However, one area where I see bloggers with a smattering of SEO knowledge screwing up regularly is with how they treat anchor text when cross promoting. [Read more…]

China’s Twitter Weibo Gains on Original

Sina's Weibo zooms past Twitter

Sina's Weibo zooms past Twitter

There are more than a billion Chinese people and a lot of them are not using Twitter, because it’s banned.  These are the two major advantages of Weibo (which translates in English as “micro-blogging”) that has allowed it to cross the 200 million registered user milestone in two years, a feat that took Twitter about five years.

Just to show off it’s emerging dominance in Chinese cyberspace, which should include not only the People’s Republic of China but all countries where people read Chinese characters or speak Mandarin or Cantonese, Weibo took out a seven story ad on Times Square.  Clearly, the message to the markets of the world is that if you want to sell anything in Chinese cyberspace, then you have to deal with Weibo.

[Read more…]