Digital Marketing & Production

Team Mindshare

Google AdWords has established itself as one of the most powerful and valuable resources available in the realm of online advertising. This isn’t all that surprising – after all, Google is by far the most widely used search engine on the planet, with the Google Display Network reaching about four-fifths of all Internet users in the U.S. What’s more, Google represents the default starting point for countless consumers looking for a new product or service. Any firm that can effectively leverage Google AdWords can ensure that it is prominently displayed in front of these potential customers at exactly the right time and with the right  message. The result: more site traffic, a higher conversion rate and more opportunities.

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Trends in web design these days are hard to get away from. New, interesting layout approaches and cutting edge functionality are constantly arising and driving revisions to the web design process. One thing is for sure though, I am pleased to see that the days of glossy, glassy, gradient-esque, three-dimensional, abstract, or just simply too virtual design elements may be well behind us. Apple broke the barrier and established the standard that cleanness is essential for a good web design. What it really comes down to is that the details matter, and knowing the rules before you break them will ensure success in the design of your website.

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The Jersey Shore Bizfest was a great event. I’m not sure what the actual attendance numbers were, but it felt like it was packed. Numerous local businesses contributed to what turned out to be a very solid opportunity to talk about various business initiatives. I have to say, the conversations were very interesting. If nothing else, it provided the opportunity discuss the latest trends in the internet marketing world with folks who were genuinely interested. Either that, or they did very well humoring me!

Core and More Technologies was on the ground in San Francisco for what turned out to be a very worthwhile event. Among the guests were the likes of Google, Yahoo, Brafton, LinkRisk, and many other great companies.

I have to say that one of the most interesting conversations that we had was with Joanne Locascio, Sr. User Researched at Yahoo. Joanne enlightened us to what Yahoo Gemini is really all about. In a nutshell, Gemini introduces the ability to leverage contextual advertising directly through search results. That is significant, as this is something that cannot currently be done via the Google AdWords platform.

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Any good SEO provider will include in their project process a recommendation stage, whereby they identify certain pages to optimize for certain keywords. Of course, with the various algorithm updates over the past several years it is now almost pointless to attempt to optimize one page on a site for a theme unrelated to the rest of the site. For example, if I establish a 95% optimize rate on a page for the term ‘tires’ on a website that sells televisions, I will have an uphill battle getting that page to rank against sites whose prevalent themes relate to tires.  That improvement to the science of ranking relevance was part of what the Panda algorithm was all about.

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Google. That is a word that brings a lot of joy and some pain to many users. SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization, has been a hot topic for years. With over 70% month over month market share, one could speculate that Google has cornered the market on SEO and the strategies companies use to gain your attention.

Simply put, when you are searching for something you want to get the best results, right?  In the past, some marketing companies employed black hat SEO tactics designed to “trick” search engines into thinking they had the most relevant website.  Keyword density and backlinks (though link farms) were given high priority, and people were able to quickly, and unjustly climb the page ranking ladder.  Google’s core product is a relevance engine.  If the results become or are even perceived as being inaccurate, they will inevitably lose market share.

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“SoLoMo” isn’t a new term in the marketing industry, but it’s one still too often left out of discussions at meetings and in marketing plans.  An acronym for “social, local, mobile,” SoLoMo was incepted because of the rise of importance of its three components – social media, local optimization and mobile marketing.  Why?  As the marketing landscape evolves, these three pillars came to be inseparable from one another and critical to the success of any online marketing endeavor.

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What Happened?

As of mid-afternoon on September 23, 2013 (at least in the U.S.), all organic search referral data coming through Google is no longer available.  The ‘keyword’ field, where this data was previously available in the Google Analytics dashboard, will now be populated with the value “(not provided)”.

All search through Google is now encrypted.  You will notice that when you go to, the URL is now prepended with ‘https://”.

The origin of this change dates back about two years ago.  It was around this time that the “(not provided)” value began showing up in referral data.  To be precise, it was in October of 2011 that Google began encrypting all searches for anyone logged in to Google. This was done to address evolving privacy concerns. Now, this change is being applied to all searches. In speaking with some of our partner marketing automation providers recently, this change has caused major headaches for them in terms of product accuracy.  And that slope just became much steeper.

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