Diaspora – Your Next Alternative to Social Networking?

Join Diaspora

Privacy concerns about Facebook and Google+ are growing. Just check out this infographic about Facebook security. As Facebook announced its new Timeline, many people feel that these features are too stalker-ish. Do you really need or want to know your friends’ timeline of events from the day that they were born? New privacy features enable all friends to see all your activity – this means your boss, client, mom, professor or whoever else you happen to be friends with. Although Mark Zuckerberg made it seem so good, this “frictionless sharing” is what a lot of people are afraid of. This problem also carries on over to Google+ accounts, which seems to made even more for public search than Facebook.

While Facebook and Google + seem to want you to open up more to the public, it’s hard to see how you can socialize AND keep your privacy. But the answer you’re looking for may come in the form of Diaspora. The selling point of this relatively new social network is that it is secure – you can share WHAT you want, with WHOM you want. Another great thing is that you own the pictures you upload. There’s none of this nonsense where you give the company consent to use your pictures however they please, ahem.. Twitpic.

I admit that I’ve had my Diaspora account for sometime, I haven’t been making full use of it. I’m pretty sure that my non-internet marketing friends and family are even aware of what Diaspora is. Which is part of their problem… some early reviews say that the profiles are too plain and that there needs to be more features. Also, Diaspora needs a helping hand when it comes to monetary funds and have been asking for donations to help further their project. Sometimes, simplicity is best and I’d like to see where Diaspora takes things.

What do you think? Are you worried about social networking privacy features of other mainstream sites and would you look into using alternatives like Diaspora?

Recap of 2011 Google Agency Summit

Here’s the recap of our visit to the Google Agency Summit that we’ve been promising!

We’ll take a quick overview of marketing spending, display ads, mobile ads, and video in terms of small business use. The overall focus throughout the day was on small business (SMB) growth. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The small business segment is a promising category with big opportunities. Here are some key points that we learned:

SMB Spending and Growth

  • Total SMB digital ad spend is growing at 25% YoY (year on year)
  • Growth is happening within Google local services and beyond on platforms like: Facebook, Groupon and LivingSocial
  • According to Google’s (see graph), total US SMB marketing spending is expected to almost double by 2015. This is a self-proclaimed “conservative” forecast, so we could see numbers even higher than that!

Display Ads

With over 2 million sites, Google now has the largest ad network . What does this mean for the potential of display ads? The emphasis here was on the concept of remarketing. Remarketing allows you to target and show ads to users who have already visited your website. This is helpful to help them recall your products and services, something that they’ve obviously been interested in since they have already been to your site. This is an innovative new way to match the right customers to your message.

Mobile Ads and Video

Mobile ads are evolving and should be a different and more helpful experience for mobile users. There is less space on a mobile screen, which means that functions like “Store Locator” take priority over plain old text. People searching on their phone aren’t going to have the time or space to read text. Learn how you can build a basic mobile site with this free Google tool.

As for video, the big push is for small businesses to come on board, given the massive potential and size of YouTube. Small businesses could utilize video marketing by using banners, pre-roll commercials and even encourage user created content. With so much up and coming news, you can always stay updated with Google’s latest ad products here.

Marketing Goals

At the end of the day, it’s clear that Google is trying to make things easier for everyone – small business owners and their customers. This is why Google is so intent on integration and working closely with with agencies like Emarketed… so that we can help our customers!

It looks like there’s a lot in store in the future for small businesses. As a small business owner, it’s important to stay informed so that you don’t get left behind. Here’s a list of some helpful information on topics related to what we just talked about:

Mobile Web Sites
Video Marketing
Website Marketing
Landing Page Optimization

You can also comment, or find us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions!

Google Miscellaneous

In preparation for the 2011 Google Agency Summit tomorrow, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of 5 miscellaneous things about Google that we think you’d find interesting:

Google Lego
Image via Flickr

  1. A Lego Connection: In 1996, the first storage case made to “contain” Google was made of legos. Check it out!
  2. A Google a Day. If a game that allows the use of Googling is your kindof game, it exists! This game is also available in print, above the crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Take that, Sodoku.
  3. Hardcore Interview Questions. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew. These are a few examples of questions that will get thrown your way if you’re lucky enough to interview with Google. You can find out more about their interview process here.
  4. Google Hoaxes. Every year that April Fool’s Day comes around, Google has a new hoax lined up. This year’s Google Motion was beyond ridiculous and I’m looking forward to what they have in store for 2012.
  5. Google’s Most Expensive Keyword… is insurance! Loans, mortgage and attorney are close behind. Take a look at the rest of the list here.

Let us know if you have a favorite Google tidbit and stay tuned for an upcoming post to learn about our trip to Mountain View!

Emarketed to Attend 2011 Google Agency Summit

googleplexImage via Flickr

Exciting news! Emarketed has been invited to the 2011 Google Agency Summit at the famed Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California. We will be attending this all day event, which will take place on Wednesday, September 28th. It’s sure to be filled with the latest and greatest internet marketing news.

Along with many other search marketing firms, we’ll be there to learn about current online marketing strategies and trends. We’re also looking forward to staying updated on important aspects of :

Pay per click: How to increase ROI on PPC and dispelling AdWords myths.
Social media: Discovering more about YouTube and the potential of social networking sites
Mobile: Optimization that helps find new consumer segments

Stay tuned for our blog post review after the summit to read about our visit and feel free to comment if you have any questions/topics that you’d like to learn more about. We can’t wait!

Google Study: Paid Ads Do NOT Cannabalize Organic SEO Clicks

Do I have to choose between SEO or PPC?

This has been a popular question that has been highly debated. The theory is that if you choose the same keywords for targeted SEO and PPC campaigns, your efforts will work against each other and you’ll lose out, either in paid or organic search. Cannibalization is the term experts use when SEO and PPC compete against each other… this means wasted time, money and effort – especially when paid search is involved.

Surprisingly, a recent study of 400 campaigns by Google shows that 89% of the traffic generated by paid ads is not replaced by organic clicks. Overall, this means that paid ads did not steal clicks away from organic results in this sample.

Of course, this all depends on your industry and you could see stronger results using SEO and PPC or just one method. If you hear anyone make generalizations about using both methods without analyzing your keywords and business, it’s safe to be on the skeptical side.

For example, if you’re ranking high (or are number one) for a keyword, it probably won’t be helpful to focus your efforts on trying to get to the #1 spot for PPC as well. Instead, the benefit of PPC is that it can give your business better exposure for key words that you’re not ranking so high for organically.

Let us know if you have any questions about whether SEO and/or PPC is right for your business and we’d be happy to help you out!

Google Places Gets an Update


Last week, Google made a big update to its Places Pages and even more additions are expected to come! Why the sudden change? Google is trying to keep the focus on itself and focus on reviews made by Google users instead of other review sites. Before the update, Google Places showed snippets of reviews from Urbanspoon, Citysearch and even Yelp. As you can imagine, these other local-centric sites weren’t too happy.

Placing a stronger emphasis on customer reviews and business details will help owners reach out to locals. If you’re still not maximizing the use of local business directories, here’s what you’re missing out on (and you can definitely expect that number to grow):

– Local searches grew by 14 percent from last year.
– About 61% of local searches result in a purchase.
– At least 20% of online searches have local intent.
– 53% of mobile searches have local intent.

This update is important for small business owners because it means that you’ll have a better opportunity to marketing and analyze customer interaction with your brand. In their own words, Google describes the new Places as an “ongoing evolution”. Is your business ready for it?

How Will You Be Using Google Plus?

Facebook vs Google

In the battle of the giants, which one will reign supreme? Like vs Plus is a site where you can show your brand loyalty and cast your vote. After all, you can’t both Like and +1 everything, right?

Even if you’re tired of hearing so much on Google +, it’s important to stay connected so that you can adapt in the fast paced world of social media marketing. Here are some more ways you can use Google +:

– Chris Brogan shows us that we can blog with Google +. This basically consists of sharing a video/picture or some other media content and quickly following up in your own post with comments and links.

– Since business profiles are not allowed yet, you can take this opportunity to be innovative and show a personal side. Creating a personal profile associated with your business will allow you to socialize in a niche community and showcase your expertise.

– In a way, Google Circles reminds me of communities and groups on LinkedIn. Creating and organizing different Circles will allow you to network with different groups of people without worrying about keeping matters separate. (For example: connecting with clients, partners, employees, and friendly competitors… frenemies, anyone?)

– Watch out for Google Sparks. This is a section where you can receive personalized news articles and other information based on your interests. I see where SEOs can use this feature to their advantage by utilizing the right keywords.

Google + is more extensive than other social media platforms right now but it doesn’t necessarily mean that users have the time and knowledge to use them all. Let’s just see where all this potential can take us – after all, we’re talking about something that’s less than 3 weeks old!

Life After Google Panda Updates and Link Building

link building

Love it or hate it, link building is still an important part of SEO after the massive Google Panda updates.

The quality of your inbound links is becoming more important as Google Panda updates have shown us.  Although these updates are aimed at getting rid of “content farms” and lower quality links, many people’s rankings have been hurt by the recent Google Panda 2.2 updates.  For example, many people who used to rank well for certain phrases using article submission sites have now seen drastic drops. Of course, you know Google is already preparing version 2.3!

Because of these updates and changes to Google’s search algorithm, quality links have become increasingly important. Overall, the point of these updates is to help you recognize and ultimately remove low ranking on site pages and off site content in order to improve user/customer experience.

And with the debut of Google +,  you bet that social media activity is becoming more important in determining your search engine rankings! Back to my point of link building – it’s crucial to continue your efforts on a consistent basis. Here are a few good link  building resources that are sure to be helpful.

Coming Soon: Google + for Businesses

Google sure likes the aspect of exclusivity when it comes to their new products, don’t they? Well, it seems to be working well for their latest project: Google +. Invites for exclusive trial accounts for Google + quickly exceeded “capacity”, as not everyone who was invited was lucky enough to score an account. I guess we’ll just have to wait! And for business accounts, it looks like we’ll have to wait even longer! Information Week reports that business users will have to wait until later this year.

Here are a few tidbits about Google +:

– You can easily organize and share with the different people in your life by placing them in different Circles
– Concerned about privacy? You should know that Google intends to make all Profiles public and searchable.
– Confused about the new vocab? Facebook has Likes and Google + will use Google + 1.
– If you’re interested in group video chat, Google Hangouts will be your new favorite thing!

What do you think about Google + and are you excited about it or do you think it’s just another social platform?
Make sure to check out Social Media Examiner’s in-depth guide to using Google +.