Social Media Magazine

Weekly Marketing Skinny • January 25, 2014

Posted on the 25 January 2014 by Ana Hoffman @AnaTrafficCafe
Weekly Marketing Skinny • January 25, 2014

Don’t have the time to read all the marketing news, blog posts, announcements, and other content related to SEO/social media/online marketing published each week?

I’ve got you covered.

I sift through trillions (well, hundreds) of online publications to stay on top of marketing news that might impact your online business.


Guest Blogging Apocalypse

Matt Cutts has made quite a few statements about guest blogging for the sake of link building in the past, but none of them was as clear as the one he posted on his personal blog this week.

Matt cutts' latest on guest blogging

But don’t take it too far; Matt has updated the post to also say:

I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

As you can imagine, this rocked the marketing world and everyone and their dog have written a post about it.

Here’s my favorite reaction to the guest blogging Doomsday:

guest blogging for link building is dead

Bottom line: guest blog for referral traffic and brand recognition, NOT for SEO.

Wait a minute! Are guest blogging backlinks to be removed?

That was the question posed at one of Google’s forum threads.

No one I can recognize has offered their response to the thread yet, but Barry Schwartz did mention it in his post and his response was:

“If you are asking the question, I’d say the answer is yes – disavow, nofollow or remove those links.”

I think it’s a bit extreme. Any other opinions? (here’s a great discussion on Google+)

Google: No Special Indexing For Facebook Or Twitter Because They Can Block Us

Matt Cutts has released a video explaining that Google currently doesn’t do much indexing or ranking for Facebook or Twitter pages.

Here’s why:

  1. They don’t want to start pouring engineering time into getting this data and then be blocked by Facebook or Twitter.
  2. They are worried they can’t crawl it fast enough to keep it up to date. Social data changes a lot and fast, so it may insult someone if they change their relationship status from one thing to another. (HA!)

But Matt adds they will and do plan on doing this in the future.

HT +Barry Schwartz

Here are some great insights from +Mark Traphagen on how to interpret Matt’s comments:

Google’s Matt Cutts: Understanding Social Identity on the Web is Hard – at

More Information About Websites in Search Results

Google announced that starting this week, you may see more information about your searches directly on the results page.

You’ll see this extra information when a site is widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough information to show or when the content may be handy for you.

new google search results

While it might seem like a nifty new feature, I agree with Matt McGee’s take at - it might not be the best thing for website owners:

As the screenshot above shows, the popup adds up to three extra links to the search result that don’t go to your website:

  • The avatar/logo links to the site’s Google+ page
  • The “Wikipedia” credit at the end of the text links to the Wikipedia page about the website
  • The “Owned by” text links to a Google search (in this case, for “Québecor Média”)

What’s your take? See discussion on Google+ for more opinions.

Yahoo Makes Secure Search The Default

Yahoo has now joined Google in making all searches people do automatically go through a secure server, i.e. it’s sending all queries through a secure server, one that can’t easily be eavesdropped on by outsiders, such government agencies like the NSA or private third-parties.

You can see the change happen because if you go to (the http:// prefix representing an ordinary, unsecure server), after doing a search, you’ll see that the URL has changed to https:// (representing that a secure server was used to process the search and send results to you).

What it means to marketers:

The move to secure search also means that Yahoo no longer passes along “referrer” data that tells web sites the keywords they were found for, in most cases.

Bummer. However, it’s nothing Google hasn’t been doing for a few months now.

However, Yahoo didn’t do as good of a job of it and it’ll now appear that it’s even less popular than it used to be (like it’s even possible, right?).

Was Expedia Penalized By Google?

SocialMetrics says so and looks like it was related to the link buying allegations Expedia was surrounded with last month.

There are also speculations of possible negative SEO; not sure if it holds water though.

Google Autocomplete: [Your State] Wants…

Google Autocomplete is notorious for taking a standard search and anticipating something completely ridiculous.

Check out the map below and see what Google thinks your state wants most. If your state happens to be blank, it’s because Google says it doesn’t want anything, which has to count for something, right?

Google Autocomplete your state wants

Story at Mashable

Seriously though, Google Autocomplete is a great way to discover new keywords to optimize your content for you might’ve not thought of before.

Another great tool for that:

By the way, you should share this post right now before you forget – much appreciated!

Social Media

The Grand Content Marketing Contest and have teamed up to give bloggers a chance to win $3,000 cash.

Not a bad way to start the New Year, don’t you think?

The contest ends on March 1 (the earlier you enter, the better chance you have to win it) and you can see the official rules here.

From Facebook Newsroom: Tip for Increasing Engagement With Links

I am sure we’ve seen/tried it all by now: placing links in Facebook updates, link fields or even in comments.

However, here’s a fresh tip from FB Newsroom:

The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share, so it looks like the one below. We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.

new facebook sharing tip

Does it hold water? Only time will tell.

One thing for sure: no matter what we do, our fan reach rates keep plummeting. 

Plus, it’s not a matter of us adopting this way of posting our updates or not. If we don’t, this is what we’ll get:

Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

Princeton University says Facebook is an infectious disease

is facebook infection

Have you ever wondered if (or when) Facebook will go the way of Myspace and lose its tight grasp on society? Researchers at Princeton University seem to think this will happen quite soon.

By comparing the spread of Facebook to that of an infectious disease, John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler found that Facebook is likely to lose 80% of its user base by 2017.

Does this hold any ground? We’ll see in 2017, I suppose…

Personally, I find myself spending more and more time on Google+ over Facebook; especially when my reach numbers are falling each day:

facebook reach is down

What are your thoughts?

HT DashBurst.

Facebook Offers Sarcastic Retort Princeton study

Facebook’s response was humorous and highly sarcastic. Taking a methodologically similar look at future Princeton enrollment, Facebook concludes that:

facebook to princeton retort

An eye for an eye?

Pinterest Is Experimenting with GIFs

Mashable reports that a new Pinterest feature available to select pinners allows them to play GIFs within the platform, a feature that was previously unavailable.

Pinterest: on Its Way to Generate Income in 2014

Pinterest will generate its first revenue this year, when it begins charging advertisers to promote their wares to Pinterest crowd.

The product is called “promoted pins,” and people interact with those pins in a lot of the same ways that they interact with Pinterest in general.

Details: Wall Street Journal

Pinterest Launches A Recipe Search Engine

Yet another news story from Pinterest.

Pinterest has announced a new feature designed to make it easier for those who use the site to discover, save and share recipes with each other: recipe search.

new pinterest recipe search

Searching for a specific ingredient or ingredients is simple – just type in what you’re looking for in the search bar (e.g. “salmon with asparagus”) then click the “All Recipes” option on the results page.

Once there, you can, of course, save your favorites to your own boards for easier access in the future.

Reported at TechCrunch

More from Pinterest? YES! Personalized Home Pages

pinterest personalized home page

Reports of a new personalized home page for select Pinterest users surfaced this week.

TechCrunch reported a new “personalized for you” link appearing in the top navigation for some.

Consumer Watchdog Files FTC Complaint Over “Send To Anyone On Google+” Feature

google ftc complaint over new Gmail feature

Marketing Land reports that Consumer Watchdog, the non-profit group that might more accurately be called “Google Watchdog,” has filed a complaint with the FTC over Google’s recent rollout of a feature that lets Gmail users contact Google+ users without knowing the recipient’s email address.

Consumer Watchdog calls the feature “an obvious invasion of a person’s privacy and a delight for potential stalkers.” The organization also says that it violates the terms of the 2010 FTC/Google settlement over Google Buzz, Google’s now-defunct social service.

Personally, as long as I can opt out, I am OK with the new feature. You?

Make Money Blogging

Google Published New AdSense Policies FAQs

If you depend on AdSense for your online income, you need to make sure you read them.

Two important points to keep in mind are:

When creating content for your site, a general rule is to ensure that the content is family-safe and legal. For more details, please check out our content policies.

Make sure visitors to your site are not misled and avoid any deceptive implementation which may bring accidental clicks. For more details, please check out our ads implementation policies.

The Big Google AdSense Cleanup of 2013

In 2013, Google AdSense:

  • Removed 350 million bad ads in 2013
  • Disabled 270,000 advertisers in 2013
  • Blacklisted more than 200,000 total publisher pages
  • Disapproved 3,000,000 attempts to join AdSense
  • Disabled 250,000 publisher accounts

google on bad adsense ads

Click to see full size infographic

On a Side Note…

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Weekly Marketing Skinny • January 25, 2014

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- Yaro Starak,

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Marketing This & That

Mark Your Calendars: February 4

The biggest land rush in the history of the internet starts on February 4 – about 1,000 new generic top-level domain names, or gTLDs (the last bit of an internet address, such as the com in will come into existence on Feb. 4 or after.

What are gTLDs?

web world gtld

Until 2013, there were only 22 functioning gTLDs (the most familiar ones would be: .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, and .mil). Now, that number will grow by about 1,000.

So when you go to (or any other domain registration service) after February 4, you’ll see a lot more choices in the drop-down menu than you see right now.

new godaddy domains

Is this a possibility to secure a great domain name you’d never be able to get as a .com or a waste of money? Time will tell.

Either way, mark your calendars and consider yourselves informed.

Would You Like a Free Cab Ride with Your Fries?

The day may be near when AdWords advertisers can offer customers immediate transportation to bring them to their locations right from an ad.

Google patent: google advertiser transportation ad

It’s just a patent US 8630897 B1 at the moment, but you just might start getting offers of a free cab drive (or Google driveless car) to entice you to visit a Google AdWords merchant.

HT TechCrunch.

FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears

After wearing a turned off and prescription lens-equipped model to the theater, a man had it torn from his face on suspicion he was engaging in movie piracy.

“About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says ‘follow me outside immediately’. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops.”

Several hours later the FBI conceded they’d made a big mistake.

Full story.

Also, a GREAT discussion on the topic at Google+ (thanks to +David Kutcher for interesting insights!).

Internet Rehab? The Dangers of Online Addiction

China was the first country to label internet addiction a clinical disorder.

Now hundreds of rehabilitation programs have sprung up throughout the country.

Concerned parents have gone to great lengths to subdue their children with sleeping pills or other incentives to get them out of these cafes and into these clinics!

HT DashBurst

First Ever Presidential Hangout

Obama Hangout Road Trip

On Friday, January 31, President Obama will “travel” the country in a virtual whistlestop tour.

He’ll hop into Google+ Hangouts with people from across the United States to answer their questions and hear their thoughts about the topics he addressed in his speech.

If you have a question for the President and would like the opportunity to participate in the Hangout Road Trip, just record a 60-second video with your name, location, a bit about yourself and the question you’d like to ask. Then post it on YouTube or Google+ and share it publicly with the hashtag #AskObama2014.

Source: Google blog

Apple to roll out larger-screen iPhones

The iPhone may be getting bigger again.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is developing a pair of new iPhones with larger displays, one over 4.5 inches diagonally and one over 5 inches diagonally, and plans to release them this year.

Thank You

It is a sad, sad day in a my life to realized that I haven’t published anything worth mentioning in the past week, confirmed by the lack of links from other blogs… Just tells me how much I am really spoiled by you, my readers, and all the attention you give me despite so many other excellent blogs to read!

Truth is I’ve been writing a blog post that I originally titled “SEO Traffic 2014: Quick Reference Guide for Non-SEOs“, but given that I’ve been writing it for 7 straight days and it’s up to 5,000 words long and counting, it’s anything but QUICK.

I’ll do my best to publish it next week and you have to promise to come back and check it out and, hopefully, give me two thumbs up – at the very least, for being the longest post you’ll ever read.

I do want to thank everyone of you who relentlessly shared my posts on social media, engaged with me on Google+ (since you couldn’t do it on Facebook because it doesn’t show my posts in your newsfeed any longer), left comments on my previously published posts.

Have I missed your mention? Let me know in the comments!

Want to see your name here? Mention Traffic Generation Café in your next blog post!

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