Twitter and Google in unholy Alliance?

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What unholy mother of god is this? Why is Google taking in Twitter feeds as part of its Search result?

The announcement made by Twitter was a rude shock to some and to many others, a serious flaw in Google strategy. Or is it? Let me explain the witchcraft behind all this.

Google previously paid to have access to Twitter’s firehose of post. Then the partnership broke down and never was heard from again. This time round, it’s on again with real time feeds being optimized to appear on Google SERPs. Google has a plan but what is it?

Does this mean I need to have Twitter to get a better Search Ranking?

This depends on several factors but you won’t get penalized for not having Twitter. Google is all about finding content and if you don’t have any, no point griping about it.

Is there a reason for having to support a Twitter channel for all my content marketing campaigns?

Having your Twitter Nick isn’t going to help you get a better ranking as the search engine is focused on real time tweets, this means news, events that makes the grade. Having a twitter feed just so you have a better SERP mileage won’t translate well until you know how to place you hashtags where it matters most.

What do you mean by hashtags for SERPs?

Remember trending stories that Twitter often suggest to you? That’s what Google is interested in and not your million of followers or for that matter, your URL post on marketing your wares. Hashtags help to identify trending stories and if you don’t have them. You are pretty much wasted.

So how do I make a difference with Twitter on Google SERPs?

Now you asked the golden question. You can make a difference on two points, first being relevant to the trending events, so hashtags could find your post listed on a Google search. The second is really….you guessed it, video content!

How Live Video is boosting Twitter Content

When Twitter bought out Vine, it gained a small footprint for video content. Sure the 6 seconds of fame isn’t going to last you and since it loops. It’s more about capturing the essence of the moment. Hell, it’s a video loop. What value is that? Probably not much but judging from the latest developments, it’s more a parlay of Periscope and a Meerkat.

Two mobile platforms, Meerkat and Periscope, are LIVE streaming apps which at this moment is unsupported in social media except Twitter. Google has a hangout feature to broadcast live but these are often used in teleconferencing and online seminars. It is also very unproductive to live stream events when no one is watching. Content has to be found and what better way to do this than on Twitter.

Content has to be trending issues and this is where you use hashtags. Indexing content using hashtags is nothing new, however if you have a hashtag that is hot…at that very moment it is happening…. guess what? Google has no access to that!

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Live streaming from mobile has existed for many years, but it’s integration in social media is kinda fluffy, There are sites like younow, which streams people’s lives to the world. It has been a bit of a hit in Europe and the US but has yet to catch up in the rest of the globe. However with the Meerkat and Periscope platforms on mobile, content can now be streamed via a social platform—which is great for discovering the latest happenings.

With Meerkat and Periscope, you can virtually capture a live feed as it happens on Twitter. The recent bout between the Pacman and Mayweather is a good example on how to skirt moves to block the live fight over the internet. People only had to use this to get a video feed as it happens on TV or at the scene. Great!

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So what Google has sneakily done is to add more content to SERPs without any real benefit to someone who has a Twitter account listed on a website. So unless you provide a running video feed of some kind or contribute to a trending hashtag would Google be interested in what you are showing.

In the end, it’s all about the content.

So don’t loose sleep over this integration. Google has to benefit substantially from this partnership more than Twitter. You on the other hand need only know that your live porn post of yourself skinny dipping in a mud pool can only be found if you used a trending hashtag. It might sound awesome but seriously folks. It’s all about the moment and how we are engrossed in it.

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How to create Awesome Content to boost your Google Authorship

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Gunning for a top rank on Google search? Have you started building your content credibility with Google’s authorship program? Haven’t? Better get cracking now before it is too late.

In the past, anyone can pen some nonsense and share that to the world. This hasn’t changed of course but what is written has. According to the latest Hummingbird SEO metrics, long form content is more important than those 100 words rants you post on Facebook.

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To ensure that the long piece of text is rightly attributed to you, Google changed the Hummingbird metrics to weigh in on WHO is providing the content. This is where Google Authorship comes in to diss you down if all you ever post are rants about your mother.

This whole authorship thingy might sound really complicated but it isn’t. All you have to do is to create an active G+ profile and link that to all your blogs. That’s it!

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What makes for an active G+ profile is simple. Make sure you fill in all the information about yourself, with a picture and a list of stuff you do. Think of the G+ profile as your link-in calling card to everything you do on the web.

Creating Content for Inbound Marketing

I hate to say this but what your fifth grade teacher said about being able to write well is probably more true today than ever before. Google SEO and Facebook SEO is different. For Google, it is a text type search engine whereas Facebook places more importance on sharing visual things like pictures and video.

I won’t touch on pictures and video as this requires more skill and dexterity to produce. What I will tell you is that text based content is really much easier to start with but you have to be truthful about the first thing that comes to you, that is…are you able to write something decent that can be understood by humankind.

I have seen in my career many failures with people often bearing college degrees, Masters and PhDs who can’t write a line interesting enough to be shared. This is no fault of yours of course, you can write a thesis like a text book and people will never read them except maybe for your college professor.

Text content only needs to fulfil two things.

  • Interesting and informative writing
  • Entertaining and witty writing

How not to be your Boring English Teacher

Remember the time when you were in school, you flipped those school text books and fell asleep reading it? They will come across as really informative but dull to read. Your teacher’s job is to make sure you learn it and he or she has to make it sound interesting enough for you to pick it up. So remember this golden rule…

Informative articles  may not be interesting, if you want to offer great content you have to make it Informative and Interesting at the same time for it to be any use to people reading it.

This is a talent that you may not have and it is best to admit it before you embark on the journey to gain world wide authorship rankings. There is absolutely nothing wrong if you decide to hire a writer to do this for you. Just make sure this is kosher with the writer as they sometimes write for many people and will reuse bits of what they have given you.

Google will not fault you on informative content, as facts are facts and there is not need to fictionalise content to meet Hummingbird metrics. How you choose your words to explain the content matters.

The Art of Making Stuff Interesting

If you are knowledgeable, then this would be pretty easy.

Give examples based on everyday facts to things that people can relate to!

People often give dimensions and measurements in numbers, this is fine but you should also give it a dimension that people can relate to, like the size of two football pitches, or the length of a candy bar.

Write about your own experiences with the subject matter!

Your own experiences to validate a point is crucial to making that yours and no one can steal this from you. Those ‘epiphany’ moments makes for great writing and this can help others relate to what you are talking about.

How to Be Entertaining as a Writer

To me, this is perhaps the most difficult thing when you’re not up to it. Everyone has their bad days so if you are asked to write something entertaining, it better be on a good day. There are some rules to follow which will be helpful:-

Ante up on that Thesaurus and increase your Vocabulary

You need words, lots of it, to throw at would be readers to keep them nimble. Language is used to communicate but sometimes we tend to have different words to describe similar situations. Having a vocabulary the size of a Blue Whale will help somewhat to conquering the authorship world.

Be Visual and Graphic about your Experiences

Your sense of observation is important when writing about first hand experiences. It’s like a painting. You fill it with color which then allows your eyes to dance with it. Color, smell, touch all give a visual account of what you are experiencing.

Exaggerate the facts to be witty

I have discovered that comedians, when using their punch lines often resort to exaggeration as means to be funny and witty. Just look up all the comedians and instead of enjoying the stand up action, analyse what they say and the words they use. Ask yourself why the punch line was so good. Once you get an idea on how to do this, sprinkle it around your writing. Bear in mind that you don’t need to be funny at every paragraph, otherwise it will read like a nonsensical feature.

Poke fun at Cliches and Social Norms

There are a lot of cliches that are cultural and you don’t have to resort to anything derogatory. Political cliches work best, racial ones only alienate your readers. Humans are creatures of habit. They take a dump every morning, have coffee and read the morning news. This in itself is a good cliche for everyday humor.

What Google Authorship Does for You

Online credibility. That’s the one thing that ties you to the SEO. If you take credit for all you have written, and people find it useful, they will start to share it.

By taking credit for what you write, you are in fact protecting your turf as a writer. No one can take that away from you even if they steal your article. Once Google has built a depositary of your work, they will rank your contributions higher on the search results. In time, you will become an authority on what you write about.

How to Protect any Written Content?

This is a trick I learnt from the folks at Google. If you want to catch someone copying your content, well first select a very unique sentence from your written content and paste that into Google Alerts. Once the search engine comes across this sentence, it will send you a notification to your Gmail account. Simple.

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Some sites will give you credit while others will steal wholesale from you. It’s up to you to file a DMCA complaint. That said, it’s never easy to get a take down as long as the offending site lies outside of the US. But to me, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Google Authorship knows that the written piece came from you and for that alone, it will thumb down the offending site in search engine results.

SEO with Hummingbird

It has been a long wait but the time has come. Google’s SEO criteria has finally caught up with the times.

In Panda and Penguin, both represented by seemingly black and white animals, the algorithm was simple. There was no real room for understanding the content that was on offer. It was either black or white as seen by the Google search engine. With Hummingbird, Google searches starts to see things in color. I hated the Panda and Penguin SEO. It was buggy and open to exploitation by sites trying to sell you malware with a smidgen of spam. When Google transitioned its search algorithms to Hummingbird, I was jubilant. Finally, the searching gets more intelligent with content searches.

I remember Panda and Penguin well. These dumbed down algorithm were the dark ages of content development. Everywhere you went, people used word play—a technique where you used the right keywords for Google to pick up, one could push a website up the ranks. Both Panda and Penguin were based on these old algorithm were at best, Neanderthal— only the keywords mattered. It was like you spoke in grunts and a successful search would deliver the results like magic.

 When Google turned 15 on Sept 26, 2013. It quietly introduced a new algorithm. Now before you jump the gun, you need to understand that the old is still in there and the new indexing will take a few weeks to months to kick in as data collected by the engine will be understood using the new algorithm. There are billions of web pages to take notice of before it starts making sense. Those who do not meet the new requirements will slowly see their page rank sink. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know why.

Google takes a Swipe at Commercial Freeloaders

Advertising is what sells. If you happen to have a leeway where people can get a listing for free, why not plug that up? This is the why Hummingbird was put into place. Advertisers and retail websites have long used clever tricks in SEO word indexing to avoid paying for a spot on Google for better page rankings. By changing the policy behind this apparent dumb downed approach of earlier SEO algorithms, Hummingbird has been optimized to recognize the context of your content as opposed to just some key words. Black Hat SEO techniques  used ‘bots’ to post to comments and link that back to their site to trick Google into thinking it was a more happening site than playboy dot com. Since the keyword string has been exploited commercially, Google turned it off. Yep. It no longer works.

Pure retail websites, commercial and business sites will no longer enjoy that sort of page ranking benefit they have in the past with Black Hat Techniques. So if someone keyed in “how to buy a used car”, then you will get real content that addresses your question instead of pointing you to a bunch of used car web sites. To get right to the top, you’d have to pay Google to deliver that result.

Google will prefer to serve up meaningful content to address your woes like…. how do you repair the kitchen sink? What do you feed an Owl? Can I trade my recalcitrant kid on eBay? That sort of stuff.

From Polysemy to Semantic Technology

How do you rank associated terms to content? Easy. By making the technology smarter. Hummingbird recognizes Polysemy (which means a singular term can be use to mean different things) and improves on the Panda and Penguin SEO model to associate more meaningful terms to useful content. In short, Semantic technology is the next phase of development and a notch higher than Information Technology (IT) principles.

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IT is all about storing and processing bits of data while Semantic Technology tries to make sense of it all in the context of human communications. It analyses more words in a sentence for communicative purpose. Hopefully it can also associate a male politician as a prostitute one day. That will be fun. It is this sort of double entendre that the new Google algorithm has to master eventually.

Voice Searches on Mobile

Hummingbird is a byproduct of mobile searches. It came about in 2011 when both Google and Apple decided to wage war to conquer the needs of mobile searching. Siri was born out of that and for that alone, Apple has already prepared itself to enter the search engine business with voice searching. Google was of course threatened and had to respond in kind.

Google and Apple both started offering voice recognition using Semantic Technology. For Siri and Google Now, both these systems had to understand a spoken questions to get answers as opposed to typing keywords to search the web. In the past, it was a one way street. both delivered results by detecting the keywords relevant to your question. Google has gone one step further by matching the context of your question to a relevant content that answers your question before serving this up to you. By recognizing human speech, it can also deliver results based on humanized content sans the sales talk.

Search Timeline 1997 - 2013

2013 marks the era for intelligent search optimization

For What the Future Holds I gotta Wear Shades

Hummingbird will be around for a long time and sites requiring a leg up will have to pay more attention to Content Optimization.

The birth of content optimization is nothing new. It has been discussed and demanded by content creators who spend countless hours horning their knowledge and sharing it with the world only to have it stolen and attributed to someone else who had a knack for exploiting keyword searches. All too often we click onto SPAM during our online searches and this has to stop. Online marketeers who have plagiarized websites for content will have no option but to change directions and move towards creating meaningful content. The future is finally bright enough for content developers to wear shades.

Keyword database has been turned off but will searching with keywords still work?

Google will need between three to six months to ease the new algorithm in. Your search ranking won’t be affected immediately but in time it will. There are millions upon millions of web pages and website that needs to be index, some of which won’t be getting the same high rankings after Google turned off the Keyword database.

Time is what is what Google needs for the new avian SEO to get cracking, those affected will be pure commercial websites that offer bookings, retail and any form of e-commerce. There was a time when all it took to rise to the top of the page ranking was a piece of software that inserted keywords into your page.

Content Optimization with Knowledge Graph

Creating content use to be another term for scrapping RSS news feeds off other sites or putting the stolen content through a Content Spinner to get something that sounded new. With more attention put through to Google Knowledge Graph, we have to relate that content to make up a whole picture and link it to the content originator.

Knowledge Graph is the Future

How do you link a random selection of words into something comprehensible? Well, one effective way is to make it understand what those words through a linking process. For example, if someone searched for a Ferrari F40, Google will piece together the information about the last car that Enzo designed and not link it to Lola Ferrari, the aging porn star with incredible headlights.

Names and terms gets associated with a dossier of information as opposed to data. It is sort of like what the NSA does when they decide to open a file on you. They would have your history, achievements, pet peeves and what you are doing now.

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Knowledge Graph is already live as you can see. Search for something notable and Google will be at your command to dig up as much as it can and even gives you the option to be updated on Google Now cards. As soon as Google digs up new content, you will be notified. Neat.

Content optimization will play a crucial role in the future of SEO. No more tricking Google with Black Hat strategies or hiring writers who just write a nonsensical bunch of keywords to help boost traffic. It is time you ante up on those online cost and it’s not software that you need but  people who can developed real content.