As a blogger, you probably do not have the luxury of having a staff of people to work for you. As such, your time is very valuable and you need to spend it where it will do the most good. We have reached a point in late 2010 where the work required to generate traffic for a normal blog via search engines is much greater than that required to generate an equal amount of traffic via social media.
My thesis is simple: for the majority of bloggers, the time and effort invested on social media is better spent than time spent on SEO.
This post will probably generate controversy. There are an army of people out there who make a living selling SEO products and services. To use an old adage, when you only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail. To them, SEO is the beginning and end of traffic generation.
To be sure, search engines do drive a lot of traffic, however, with the increasing pollution of search engines with content farms, Google’s love of big brands/big media, and the increasing amount of work required to rank for ever longer keywords, SEO is no longer worth the effort for most bloggers.
The power of brands
Google loves brands. The reasoning behind this actually makes some sense. An easy solution to the problem of spam websites was for Google to give extra authority to sites that have large, established brands. This doesn’t bode well for bloggers, however.
To given you an example of how much authority brands are given, several months ago I conducted an experiment. I had an article that I had done some link building on. After several months the article ranked #3 for the keyword I was targeting (behind two large media properties). I had an opportunity to put some content on the website of a very large media brand. I put that article, word for word, on their site to see how they would rank for the exact same keyword. Within an hour, they were ranked at #4, just behind my original article. In a day, they were ranked above me, even though the same content had been on my site for months and I had gone through the effort to do link building.
I realize there is a new content bonus that Google will give articles for a while, but the fact they were able to rank so high, so quickly, even against a previously indexed article with links, shows just how much the deck is stacked against blogs. Google can’t easily tell the difference a legitimate blog from a made for Adsense spam site. If they could, there would be no spam.
If you are in a niche that doesn’t have a large traditional media presence (niches like Internet marketing, SEO, or social media) you might not notice this because there is little media competition. However, if you are in a niche with a large traditional media presence (like travel, politics, news, sports, or food) you might see on a regular basis how difficult it can be. Seguir leyendo “Social Media Vs. SEO”
If you sit all day in front of a computer screen (and I suspect many of you reading this probably do), here’s some information that might bring you to your feet.
A recent study published by the American Cancer Society proves what common sense has been telling us for years: sitting is bad for your health. The study links increasing sedentary lifestyles (specifically the growing trend of computer-related jobs that require sitting all day at desks) to rising obesity, diabetes, and mortality. The study results showed that the more hours an individual spends sitting each day, the more likely his or her lifespan would be shorter.
Women who spent six hours a day sitting had a 37 percent increased risk of dying versus those who spent less than three hours a day on their bottoms. For men the increased risk was 17 percent. Seguir leyendo “How to Stand and Deliver Productivity and Health”
In a letter to its members last week, Associated Press made the announcement that bloggers should be cited as a news source. This is a significant move from the AP, given that they have a history of not exactly ‘getting on’ with bloggers. Given that such a large news organisation has made a point of recognising bloggers as a viable news source, which they should have done a long time ago, it has much wider implications on how bloggers affect the news agenda and overall news industry. We’ve already seen some developments in this area, such as publishers employing bloggers on the ground, but I think this goes one further than that.
The announcement has served to recognise the work that bloggers put into breaking and reporting stories. But interestingly they make a point of saying that they must credit information where it occured from a website, so you would hope that this would cover Twitter as well, given that so many stories break on here. The details aren’t clear on quite what this attribution would look like (is it the website or the individual that’s credited?) but this is definitely a positive and exciting move.
Importantly this has implications for the individual blogger opposed to blogs overall. Even though the AP states that attribution to a blogger or other source doesn’t have to occur at the start of a story, it still means valuable visibility for bloggers in front of a wide audience. If you’re a blogger that breaks news then this has huge implications on how high up the news chain you could get. Instead of just having to go out and find stories yourself, if you get in front of the right people, it could mean that bloggers are approached with the right information and maybe even given exclusives ahead of traditional publications. This may be looking a bit too far into the future, but the possibility for this can certainly be seen now.
Are AP slow off the mark?
I don’t want to risk downplaying the significance of the move from AP, but you could very well argue that they’re actually a bit late to the game with their most recent change. In ‘The Source Cycle‘, an analysis of articles from the New York Times & Washington Post over 6 years finds that blogs are increasingly referenced as a credible news source. And this was carried out in 2008. It’s when you look at it in this context that you realise just how much work is still to be done when it comes to recognising bloggers and importantly growing the area overall. AP is a huge news agency yet only now are they making this change.
As exciting as this announcement is, we must question who is looking after the blogger’s rights and how can they make a living from their blog? It’s one thing to attribute them as a news source, but you would hope that this change from AP may well affect the blogosphere overall and we may start to see more bloggers employed by news organisations who recognise the collective power of bloggers in regional areas. This is where bloggers’ ability to influence and set the news agenda really starts coming in to play and can change the traditional news industry.
By NICK BILTON
Sorry, Steve Jobs, I owe you a new iPhone.
For the past few weeks I’ve been using a loaner iPhone 4 from Apple. As most reviewers have pointed out, the silky smooth glass front and back makes the phone an object that is a pleasure to hold.
But not to drop. An object made of glass surely needs protection, right, which is why I added a nice blue bumper to the edge of the iPhone.
I thought it would work beautifully until I dropped my iPhone on the concrete on Tuesday evening. The phone’s glass became a Humpty Dumpty look-a-like.
I’m still trying to figure out whose fault it was? Of course, I’m mostly to blame for being clumsy and dropping the phone. But is it also Apple’s fault for creating a gadget that breaks so easily? Seguir leyendo “Electronics Designers Struggle With Form, Function and Obsolescence”
If you never saw Minority Report, then we can just tell you – when Tom Cruise uses a “computer” he looks more like a conductor of an orchestra, or maybe a DJ, than your average typist. As he browses through files, he swoops his arm dramatically in the air. He forcefully pushes useless information out of the way and manipulates video with swoops and twists of invisible dials.
If you’re anything like us, all you thought was “I can’t wait to play with that.” Well, your time is coming soon.
The New York Times’ Bits Blog reports that John Underkoffler, a science consultant for Minority Report, has worked for the last decade with his company, Oblong Industries, to take the gesture-activated interface from the screen to, well, the screen. Underkoffler unveiled the interface, called the g-speak Spatial Operating Environment, at Friday’s annual TED conference.
The interface has been tested for a number of applications, from virtual pottery-making at RISD, where you watch a user create a digital wire-frame pot as if using a spinning wheel, to the more intangible Tangible Media Group at MIT, where the g-stalt interface allows the user to “manipulate complex data sets with the hands”.
“Starting today,” reads the Oblong website, “g-speak will fundamentally change the way people use machines at work, in the living room, in conference rooms, in vehicles.”
According to the article in the Times, this type of interface has already been in use in Fortune 50 companies, government agencies and universities, and it quotes Underkoffler as saying that “in five years’ time, when you buy a computer, you’ll get this”.
Several computer, PC and console makers are already getting ready to release gesture-based interfaces and consumers should start seeing them sometime within the next year, according to the Times.