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Mark Traphagen

What Kind of Content Gets Most Shared?

Results of a huge study carried out by +BuzzSumo and reported by +noah kagan analyzing the 100 million+ content pieces for which they've tracked social shares over the past eight months.

The results are quite revealing, and cover a wide range of attributes, such as the post's length, sentiment, image presence, influencer involvement, and many others.

As +Rand Fishkin cautioned in his share of this, not all these may be directly causal, so read with discernment. And we should also keep in mind that any such large scale study is giving us averaged results across a wide range of verticals and audience-types, so your mileage may vary.

Nonetheless, this study seems to both confirm some conventional wisdom about content sharability while upsetting a few cherished apple carts as well. 

#seo   #contentmarketing   #blogging   #plusonly  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

Why Does Google+ Have View Counts Now?

In this 5 minute video from the +Stone Temple Consulting Here's Why series, +Eric Enge asks me to explain the new Google+ view counts that show on most profiles and pages. 

For more about Google+ view counts, see http://www.stonetemple.com/new-google-plus-views-count-important-metric-or-vanity-of-vanities/


ERIC: So Mark, recently Google+ added view counts to your profile pages and hovercards, right? Why did they do that?

MARK: We now see view counts on Google+ pages and profile. If you go to someone's profile of page, and you look in the upper left-hand corner on the cover photo, you'll see two metrics, if the user chooses to display them. One is a follower count (which we've seen before; it formerly said "people who have you in circles"), and then views. 

The new one, though, is the view count, so let's talk about first what that is. What are these views? What we've learned from sources at Google is that it's a total of all of the views of basically three things:

1. Your profile or page, if somebody actually opened that and looked at it.
2. All of your posts.
3. All of your images.

Now with posts and images, it's really what we call in the online world an "impression," meaning that it appeared on someone's screen. It doesn't necessarily mean that they focused on it, that they clicked on it, it just appeared on their screen, even if they were scrolling by. If a post or an image comes by while they're scrolling, that counts as a view, which in part explains why some people's view counts are very large. A lot of people were surprised when they saw their view counts. 

So that's basically what it is.

ERIC: Why do you suppose they chose to start displaying this?

MARK: Well, I have a theory about that. I believe that when Google exposes something to us, a piece of data, that they always have an intentionality behind that. They want to give us that information for some reason. 

So I pondered about this. Why would they now be emphasizing view counts? Here's what I think. When you look at the view counts, first of all, as I said, for many pages and profiles they're very large, it's a very high number, especially in proportion to the number of followers. So on a very simple level it might be a way of encouraging people who use Google+, that a lot more people are seeing their stuff (potentially) than they might have thought.

Most of us, of course, tend to focus on the information right in front of us. We put up a post, and we got 4 comments and 5 +1's, and, "well, that's that!" What we don't realize is that reshares of that post, or even +1's since last July, can be pushing that post out to hundreds or even thousands of people. That's where those big view numbers came from. So the first thing would be encouragement. Sort of a pat on the back acknowledgement that your reach on Google+ is more than you think.

The second thing is, I think, what I've called Google User Behavior Modification (GUBM). They use these metrics, they put out information, because they want us to change our behavior. I believe that they want to see less concentration on people just chasing after follower numbers, which can be gamed in various ways. People buy fake followers or get massive circle shares schemes going.

In order to get a view count, you actually have to be posting something on Google+. You have to be putting up posts or images. You have an incentive to do posts or images that people will want to engage with, that they'll reshare, that they'll +1, so that view count goes up. So they're pushing engagement.

ERIC: So the first part was really a marketing piece, which is, "let's show that Google+ has a lot of value." That's like seeing a lot of page views or impressions, as you said. So that's interesting, and then the second part is, OK, let's put some reality in the system, so that people can compare impression or view counts, and get less focused on this
follower count, because too many people are gaming that. 

MARK: And that's better for the users, and better for Google. If users are happy, if they're seeing content going by in their streams, they're going to feel better about Google+, they're going to want to use it. It overcomes that "ghost town" image that Google+ has had in the past. So it's pushing a win-win that they hope will be for the benefit of both the users and the network itself. 

Keep up to date with Stone Temple Consulting's constant updates on what works (and what doesn't!) in digital marketing!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and get updates on future Here's Why videos, as well as our two weekly Hangout shows: The Digital Marketing Answers Show and the Digital Marketing Excellence Show: http://www.youtube.com/user/stonetemplecons

Follow Eric on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stonetemple
Follow Mark on Twitter: http://twitter.com/marktraphagen
Follow Stone Temple Consulting on Google+: http://google.com/+stonetemple
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

Semantic Search Perspectives

Semantic search is having such a deep impact across marketing and branding that we're only now beginning to see (and feel) some of the shift in awareness. Todd McDonald caught up with me for an interview. The piece presents several perspectives hence its value. Take the jump here: http://goo.gl/gqBSf8

Diagram courtesy of +Eric Enge and +Stone Temple Consulting 
David Amerland David Amerland

Rules of Engagement

When it comes to generating trust in Hangouts, we frequently take into account factors such as appearance, setup, form, style, expertise, knowledge, and subject matter, which are all important elements. But none of these will work quite the way you expect them to if there is an ingredient missing from the equation. That ingredient is engagement.

Excerpt from: http://goo.gl/AVWmEh
David Amerland David Amerland

New study finds about 70% of responsive sites surveyed are slow to load, due to heavy image use. I guess that kind of makes sense -- with a dedicated mobile site, you might pay more attention to dropping out images.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

Meet Sabita Malla, Glass Explorer and senior research officer for +World Wildlife Fund Nepal. Celebrate #EarthDay with Sabita as she explores how Glass can help in her mission to protect rhinos. 

Sabita uses custom Field Notes Glassware, software that was developed by a Glass Explorer who wanted to help WWF cut in half the work required to manage field conservation efforts. Sabita’s team is one of five nonprofits exploring how Glass might amplify their impact as part of Giving through Glass, a program we launched a few months ago in partnership with +Google.org: goo.gl/AT9obZ

We’re extending the program for another round starting today. Nonprofits can apply now through May 20 at g.co/givingthroughglass. Five nonprofits will win: Glass, a $25,000 grant, a trip to a Google office and a connection to Glass developers.

And if you’re a Glass developer who wants to partner with a nonprofit and code for impact, sign up now at goo.gl/IeRjnk.  

#mybeautifulearth   #throughglass  
David Amerland David Amerland

My Entry for Time Magazines MyBeautifulEarth Challenge

I took this along the Eagle River near Eagle River, Alaska, last May.

+TIME has asked that we share our favorite original photos displaying the beauty of our planet and tag them #mybeautifulearth  here on Google+. On Earth day they will display their favorites. 

#plusonly   #alaskaphotography   #alaska  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

1964 World Fair site. I really need a walk-around photo sphere mode to do this right. Hint hint Google Android
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

Find the Hidden Benefits from “The Scott Treatment” http://ow.ly/pLNkX via +Scott Scowcroft
David Amerland David Amerland

Does Content Marketing Work?
Video #2 in my Content Marketing 101 series.

For some companies content marketing is old hat news, but most are just starting to believe in creating their own media to attract targeted, profitable leads.

It's natural to be skeptical about a process you're unsure of and in this case, ask the question, "Does Content Marketing Work?"

Here's a video to answer that question.

Subscribe on YouTube for receive more Content Marketing 101 videos as they're released: http://goo.gl/My8UpZ

#contentmarketing   #contentstrategy   #contentmarketingstrategy   #contentwarfare  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

New: Assess Topical Trust Flow of a Site's Back Links

When assessing the link health of a site, it's not only important to look at the number and authority of inbound links, but their relevancy to the site. It's been difficult to get a quick picture of that, until now.

+Majestic SEO has just introduced Topical Trust Flow, a score that takes into account both the likely trust level (i.e., how likely search engines are to trust the link) and the relevancy of the linking page/site to the target page/site. 

Find out more at http://stonet.co/QEpzWF 

#seo   #linkbuilding   #linkbuildingtips   #analytics   #plusonly  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

Happy Birthday, email spam. You're 20 years old today. Well, not so happy birthday.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

Back to the Future

The fact that we're using Trust, Loyalty and Candour to describe tomorrow's business indicates that finally we're getting to the stage where the values of the past are being rediscovered as essential, rather than nice-to-have, disposable bolt-ons, and are being applied in the business space. 

Quote of the week: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

h/t +Richi Jennings 

David Amerland David Amerland

OpenBSD developers remove 90,000 lines of OpenSSL code and "the codebase is still API compatible... declare OpenSSL is beyond repair and begin LibreSSL fork

OpenSSL and it's Hearthbleed bug affected around 17%... or half a million of the Internet's secure web servers certified by trusted authorities. The bug potentially allowed attackers to access user names, passwords, or even the cryptographic keys of the server used for SSL. After reviewing the code for OpenSSL OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt has created a fork claiming that OpenSSL cannot be salvaged. De Raadt told ZDNet that his team has removed 90,000 lines of C code. "Even after all those changes, the codebase is still API compatible," he said. "Our entire ports tree (8,700 applications) continue to compile and work after all these changes."

It's insane to think that something that protects so many consumers has so little resources attached to it. It'll be interesting to see if LibreSSL takes over, if OpenSSL gets funding to clean up it's code, or if everyone is just lazy and leaves it as is until the next bug comes up.

Paul Spoerry Paul Spoerry

Today Majestic has launched a new version of Site Explorer, which has categorized the whole web into about 800 categories.  That’s about 700 billion pages right now, with our full historic index to follow when we can.

Rather than totally repeat the announcement over at http://www.stateofdigital.com/majestic-trust-flow/ (thanks +Bas van den Beld ) I thought I’d talk a little bit on G+ about how we have done it… without giving away the whole secret sauce of course.
Any object on the web can be categorized… not just traditional web pages. Here’s +John Mueller 's Google+ profile shows that he is primarily all about Computers / Internet / Web Design and Development and secondarily about Computers / Internet / Searching for example. Hope that’s a fair assessment of you John? Check out a few friends while you are here! J
When we started looking at categorizing the web, I have to confess that I was mildly skeptical as to whether (a) we would pull it off and (b) whether the data would hold up to scrutiny and (c) whether people would care. Fortunately for us, +Matt Cutts  did a spiffing video on the 2nd April about “Topical Pagerank”. Thanks Matt! I am glad that we have been able to get this out before Google’s topic update though – at least we can show that we worked this all out ourselves and not using third party data.
Actually – that is not entirely true. One of the first things we looked at was what topics we should use to categorize the web. Options on the table included Dublin Core and some sort of tag based system, but in the end we decided that the Open Directory Project has an open source categorization structure and if it was good enough for AOL it was not a bad place for us to start. That said, we found the categories slightly problematic – especially when it came to (say) electronics maufacturers in the UK vs Electronics manufactures in the US… when companies get large, localization only serves to disrupt categorization. So we took the ODP categories as a framework, but then changed them for the sake of our algorithms.
The next step was the actual categorization part. This was really interesting and I can’t say too much, but we decided that one of the biggest weaknesses of human edited directories was that two pages n the same site could be about totally different topics. Some sites are very specialist… others very generalized. So we decided that the only solution was to categorize pages, and then do some roll up calculations to help give an overview at a subdomain or root domain level. This is something we are now quite practiced at, so that part was OK. The part that IS technically challenging is that many of these categories overlap dramatically semantically and differentiated between categories is really hard to do, because finding patterns for one category that differentiate from a lower or parallel subcategory is not at all easy. We have spoken with a number of researchers, practitioners, university lecturers and all manner of people about this and we did not find a useable solution on a plate. I guess that explains why it has never been openly attempted before. I know Google have Topical PageRank, but they don’t share that knowledge and neither would I if I was them. Also challenging… with a little under 1000 categories, we have to score every web page against all 800 to know which categories are most important.
So our Fresh index has about 700 billion URLs.
Multiply that by nearly 1000 categories to see the scale of the challenge.
Now do that on every Fresh Index update (daily if we can).
That’s quite a calculation. Excel won’t cut it… and it is also one of the major reasons why we take a little longer than some to show new links. We think the extra day’s wait is well worth the extra insight we can bring.
Once we have scored every URL against all the categories, we maintain the top few for the index. Not every page has a Topical Trust Flow for every category of course and this manes that the resulting table would have lots of blank cells if it was on a massive spreadsheet, so we are able to reduce this data down a lot.
The reason for doing all this every day is really so that we do not have to try and calculate all this for you on the fly every time. I would imagine that it is possible to come up with a clunky “categorization algorithm” which can start churning on demand, but it really is unlikely to be effective at the URL level and at the domain level we have already seen that this is not granular enough to be useful.
I’m pretty excited that we have categorized the whole web and would love this news to go a bit more mainstream than the SEO community… so if anyone knows any reporters on mainstream papers or TV news programs that thinks this might be a little bit more that “just another SEO Tool” I’d love to hear from them.
In the meantime – if you get a chance to publicly talk about what we’ve achieved, I would really like the exposure.
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

Now Google Street View can take you back in time down streets, up to seven years back.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

How Do Webmasters Actually Respond to Google Penalties?

My friend +Russ Jones has published an intriguing study on +Moz looking at the actual, post-penalty behavior trends by webmasters of penalized sites. He looked at:

1. Whether they actually worked to remove bad links.
2. Did they increase AdWords spend (to compensate for lost traffic)?
3. Do they actually recover from the penalties?

Some of the results may surprise you, as Russ does some mythbusting.

#seo   #penguinupdate   #googlepenguin   #googlepenalty   #googlepenaltyrecovery   #plusonly   #russjones  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

+Mark Traphagen joins the ISOOSI chat today at 3pm EST and we're super excited to have him on the show. 

Mark has been one of the people for me personally (and I know for many others too) that has really been instrumental in highlighting the benefits of Google+. But, not only the easy pickings that are clear to see. Mark evangelizes the use of Google+ as not only a business network but a social network. A social network that is on a different level to anything else we have on the interwebs. He'll be the first to say that it has given him opportunities that would never have existed before it. And I for one share that experience and couldn't agree more.

All businesses can learn from this hangout... and we'll start really with the basics too. We know we have many small businesses that use ISOOSI and list their businesses in our search directory that currently have zero presence on Google+  

So, some of what we talk about may be already known to those that are immersed in it on a daily basis.... but through this hangout we hope to join Mark in expressing our belief in the platform and communicate the benefits it can bring to you - from a personal AND business perspective.

+Carlos Fernandes 
President, ISOOSI
David Amerland David Amerland

Stats from Janrain show, unlike Gigya's stats from yesterday, that while Facebook still leads in social logins, Google is a very close second.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

Facebook's latest earnings are in, and the company booked $2.5 billion in revenue and passed the 1 billion mobile user mark.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

The Other Panda Just Saved Me 69% and 2MB

You know you need to include high res images to your blog articles and you know page load speed is an important ranking factor with Google, especially since mobile is becoming the preferred device.

I use TinyPNG to compress my PNG images

#imagecompression   #tinypng   #jnferree  
Neil Ferree Neil Ferree

This is a real tear-jerker when the reveal happens. It really made me think (and now second-think) about how often I'll pass the homeless without trying to make contact. 
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

Added photos to Share Earth Day Photos On Google+ Events.
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

A Truly Complete Guide to Developing a Content Strategy

Wow. This is an entire eBook disguised as a blog post. An incredible resource from +Distilled that covers in great detail the entire process through which you can come to develop content that is highly focused on your target audience, and therefore that gets the results you seek.

This is not a light read and then click-to-share. This one deserves to be bookmarked, studied at length, and worked through for your business.

#contentmarketing   #contentmarketingstrategy   #plusonly  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

Promotional and transactional emails are not the same -- tips on succeeding with both types.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

Content Marketing For Smart Beginners 

Here’s what I know from experience 

Marketing with content is a means to an end. 

There’s a famous saying. Maybe it was Einstein (kidding) who said:

"No one who ever bought a drill wanted a drill. They wanted a hole. Therefore if you want to sell drills, you should deliver information about making holes, not about drills.”

Many marketers content creators I see here on Google Plus are NOT making this connection. I see the power users of this network creating content for their peers not their prospects. Lots of preaching to the choir.  

Everyone, including you, is in the content game

Yet the number of  people all saying the same thing and same way about content marketing is overkill. I've actually begun un-circling people who constantly drone on and on about content marketing, and nothing more.

You’re boring.  

That said, I’m almost feeling guilty about entering this crowded ring. But I feel I have something to contribute that a majority of the others are not. Simplicity. 

My Experience

I've been a content and copywriter for many Internet marketing gurus since 2009. I've made a full time income from sitting at the kitchen table or the coffee shop writing content and copy for others’ blogs, email newsletters, launch sequences, webinars, video scripts, etc. 

Content Marketing For Smart Beginners

First, I’m going to share what I know about content marketing for the people who I think really need it: smart beginners. Not the Google Plus echo chamber. 

Smart beginners are individuals who have an Internet connection, and a kitchen table. They might be involved with direct selling, or an affiliate marketer, or own an organic salon, or a boutique fitness studio, or they might make their own products. They have no staff that can help. They are their marketing department, and in most cases they don’t have a shred of Internet marketing experience or knowledge. I’ll show several examples of smart beginners in this series. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, smart beginners are looking for quick, accurate information, not an academic treatise. Smart beginners don’t want or need 3500 word articles on the power of a Plus 1. 

My Promise

My promise is two fold: 

1. This series will help you become a better copywriter and content creator for the distinct purpose of generating more leads, turning those leads into buyers and repeat customers. It’s everything you need to know about content marketing distilled into 9 or 10 relatively short lessons (under 500 words)

2. Google help me! There’s so much more to life than content marketing, and my aim here on Google Plus is to create more meaning, money and love for myself and others. Yet I’d be remiss if I didn’t share what I know, and create this easy to use resource - for the record. 

We start tomorrow

Neil Ferree Neil Ferree

"FYI., there’s not a single picture of my new boat shoes or the madras cloak I got at American Apparel. And the Blade of Doom I use now has a great handle made of reclaimed wood that I got on Etsy. I love Etsy." -- Death would like Google to help improve its image.
Danny Sullivan Danny Sullivan

What Kind of Content Gets Most Shared?

Results of a huge study carried out by +BuzzSumo and reported by +noah kagan analyzing the 100 million+ content pieces for which they've tracked social shares over the past eight months.

The results are quite revealing, and cover a wide range of attributes, such as the post's length, sentiment, image presence, influencer involvement, and many others.

As +Rand Fishkin cautioned in his share of this, not all these may be directly causal, so read with discernment. And we should also keep in mind that any such large scale study is giving us averaged results across a wide range of verticals and audience-types, so your mileage may vary.

Nonetheless, this study seems to both confirm some conventional wisdom about content sharability while upsetting a few cherished apple carts as well. 

#seo   #contentmarketing   #blogging   #plusonly  
Mark Traphagen Mark Traphagen

The Flashtorch "searchlight" is a compact, portable searchlight that is capable of producing an incredible 4100 lumens of intense white light. Use this power to guide your way home, light a fire, or even fry an egg!
Cuz yeah... flashlights should be able to fry eggs. To quote Dr. Evil, "You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!"
Paul Spoerry Paul Spoerry

Do you use Scema.org markup? +SearchmetricsDE found that only 0.3 percent of domains are using the markup code on their websites.
Monica Wright Monica Wright

Google Plus and Social SEO Go Hand in Glove
So Long as You Adhere to the 5 -3-2 Model 

5 Shares of OPC other people's content
3 Shares of Your Created Content
2 Personal Factoids or Images

When you have Scoop.it in your CC Model, its pretty easy to curate killer content from some of the top content curators on the Net and with its powerful syndication engine, your social microphone is very capable to post your updates to your top social channels.

#scoopit   #contentmarketing   #contentmarketingtips   #jnferree  
Neil Ferree Neil Ferree

10 Social Media Blogs You Should Follow

I compared the SEO/SEM Metrics from Alexa and SimilarWeb on each of these social media blogs. Most of the stats were as expected and some were puzzling? 

Stats on each Blog

◘ Total Visits
◘ Page Views
◘ Time on Site
◘ Bounce Rate
◘ USA Rankings

Since this is a Slideshare Deck, I made it so you can click through to each site by clicking the site logo/header or the SEO metrics element.

If you use Feedly, you might want to add these social media blogs to your RSS feed. Most of the articles that post to feedly have a lot of social shares so you know the content is top notch!
Neil Ferree Neil Ferree

The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research 

- The ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters
- The ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters
- The ideal length of a Google+ headline is less than 60 characters
- The ideal length of a headline is 6 words
- The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words
- The ideal width of a paragraph is 40-55 characters
- The ideal length of an email subject line 28-39 characters
- The ideal length of a presentation is 18 minutes
- The ideal length of a title tag is 55 characters
- The ideal length of a domain name is 8 characters (made me count my domain name characters, LOL)

For more details, proof and examples, read @ http://blog.bufferapp.com/the-ideal-length-of-everything-online-according-to-science

Let me know what do you guys think! 
Julio Fernandez Julio Fernandez

I don't know about you, but I hate it when I get to this point and have to declare social post attention bankruptcy. 

What was in those posts? Was there some announcement that I needed to know about or perhaps some new social media tool that I could try out. Maybe there was a beta I had not heard about.

I will never know. Oh the finality of it all.
Kevin Mullett Kevin Mullett

Episode 4 of The Local Small Business Show is now available

I just might get the hang of being a podcaster yet.

#podcast   #smallbusinessowner  
Courtney Engle Robertson Courtney Engle Robertson

Google Street View Can Send You Back In Time

I'm not surprised that Google does this. Why should I? We've come to expect this from the Internet giant. Check out the video! It's neat! Nice Back To The Future Reference
Seth Goldstein Seth Goldstein

I finally have the new Twitter profile, and I'm using the photo from the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony for the cover. Do you follow me on Twitter? No? Do it now! :)  https://twitter.com/SocialJulio
Julio Fernandez Julio Fernandez

Los Angeles is the nation’s epicenter for creativity, film, acting and some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. Check out our favorite spots for an LA bachelorette party:


#bacheloretteparty #ad
Paul Spoerry Paul Spoerry

I don't get the controversy over the "Man U" coaching situation...Popovich is Ginobli's coach and he's pretty darn good IMO.
Todd Mintz Todd Mintz

I'm wondering if all the recruiters that are contacting me are actually one recruiter with multiple personalities.
Todd Mintz Todd Mintz

I'd like to announce that my start-up was acquired before I even started it up.  On to my next project...
Todd Mintz Todd Mintz

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