SEO2012: A Visual Look at Search Engine Optimization

First, note that the article starts with “opinion” and the truth is that all content related to SEO is exactly that, opinion. Any representative or person that claims to have “facts” to back up their SEO strategies has discredited themselves. This is not to say that professionals can’t produce data that shows results, but simply put no one outside of Google really knows what drives Search Results in a manner that can be supported by fact. If you then take into account the fact that SEO has changed so many times in the last two years, one could argue that the industry has removed itself from the categories that allow for the titles guru and expert.

Search Engine Optimization

The chart is meant to be a tool, one that business owners should find useful as a roadmap for talking points with a SEO Professional or Agency. While there are finer points and details to contend with, you’d be hard pressed to find a real professional in the industry that could argue about the basic premise here and how important quality SEO is derived almost equally between each of the three sections. As such you should expect and anticipate that your SEO strategy should touch on all three, or spend your time and money somewhere else.

Onsite, represents the structural design and make up of your website. The structural design is a crucial component to how the site is crawled and MORE importantly will allow your users to interact with it. Engagement which is the perceived value to the user or visitor, is believed to have direct value correlations to onsite structure. Things “onsite” like Meta descriptions will affect things like CTR (Click through rates) which is one of the values we believe Google uses to determine if the placement is justified. Followed closely by bounce rates and time on site, which again we believe are all indicators to your sites value in relation to a topic or keyword. The Offsite refers to things like Social Signals, which once heavily included Twitter, but now seems most influenced by +1 activity from Google+. Geo references and Google Local are also factors in the search results both as an independent source and as part of traditional organic results. While backlinks are frowned upon in the perspective of buying links, you’d better believe that it’s going to continue and finding strategies that are genuine in nature are crucial to you survival on page 1.

There is no cookie cutter for SEO, anyone that walks up claiming they have the package for you is full of it! Genuine SEO strategies take time and must evolve, you can start with a budget but what you get as a report at the end of each month can be completely different, types of content, links, social outreach/bookmarks will all change over time and the SEO strategy should reflect that approach and not a useless plan that says $800 you’ll get 50 links, 3 articles and # # # #. That’s a big red flag.

In the end, SEO is part of a business. The Search Engines want to put people in touch with the service they are looking for and you should only want to spend time and money on strategies that place genuine search results that you can benefit from. In the end it’s all about connecting people with the content, product or service they want or need.




Did Digital & Social Media kill the economy? [OPINION]

While the internet is full of success stories for Digital & Social Media, and we all know I have covered a few, like Facebook Success Stories (Social Media), Google Places for Your Service Industry (SEO), New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features (SEM) etc. However, I was recently left wondering about the bigger picture…

Did we fail to learn in web 1.0?

Websites were all anyone could talk about in the late 90’s and everyone was trying to get on the web. The issue with web 1.0? Business owners created a website just to have a website, which resulted in a business move that in most cases was a poor investment. The websites had no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on a business rather than positively. The complete lack of strategy wasted time and money which also left the business owners in disbelief about the value of such a venture.

Less than a decade later here comes the Social Media Revolution, with the promise of opportunities to reach and touch people on a global scale at rates, that overnight, make TV and Print look like the dinosaurs. In 2008 the Social Media rush is on and you can’t help but get a sense that web 2.0 looks a lot like web 1.0. Social Media sites are flooded with businesses that again have no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on brand. Overnight Social Media Marketing becomes a keyword that tens of thousands flock to. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is barely in industry use and gurus and experts pop up everywhere and overnight the guy next store has started an agency.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 and forever changed the music industry, mobile for business doesn’t pick up steam till 2010, when it starts to become a part of mainstream marketing. With the announcement in early 2011 that Smartphones have surpassed PC sales the industry prepares for the next technology rush. In that same year reports indicate that Mobile Advertising is Expected to Reach 5B in 2015. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is now front and center and the young child of social media tries to pivot and tie mobile and social together, not an easy lesson as Social Media giant Facebook is learning in 2012. A prediction everyone sees coming but Facebook and the greedy analysts, and a point I tried to make days before the IPO in my aritlce “Why the Facebook IPO looks like a Bad Investment. Just like websites and social media, the industry rushes to mobile, creating apps, mobile sites and forever changing their advertising all without any thought to a strategy or branding.

Was there a bigger problem?

  • For the first time anyone who wanted to launch a website could.
  • The masses can be reached through Social Media sites that are free.
  • Everyone has a mobile device envisioned as if we all lived in the era of Star Trek .

What is it about the “basement business effect” that caused irrefutable damage to the digital economy?

The basement business effect

With the entry level barriers of owning and operating a business practically vanishing overnight and with the pool of talented employees vanishing, the best corporations are left competing against the best talent, who despite the lack of traditional resources can do the same job for a fraction of the cost and in some cases better!

Here enters our problem, the entry barrier is so low that anyone can show up at your door with a fancy website, flashy business cards, a MBA from the internet and the promise of gold. Fool’s gold that is. The market tumbles overnight because the shift happened so fast no analyst can predict the effect the American ego has on the pretty bubbles floating in front of them.

It’s not just digital, but it’s hard to argue that digital hasn’t played a crucial role in the economies demise. Banks offer checking accounts for free, the technology and promise of low overhead and the thought that you don’t need a traditional infrastructure make it seem possible. The overflow of students in education that already had swelled the ranks were overtaken by the fact that you don’t ever have to come to school to earn the same degree as the people before you did.

As if the degree from Walden, Phoenix, Capella or any other distance program could even compare to the brick and mortar programs. Can you truly believe that the distance learner has any of the abilities that a traditional student was forced to learn through socialization and real life interactions? I have done them both and I don’t think so…

Digital and FREE

FREE, its killing our economy and the digital revolution is what caused it. The best technology still requires two things:

  1. Education (Invest to Expect)
  2. People (Humanity)

While the industry would have you believe that there is an automated solution for everything, there is not and the truth is humanity can’t stand automation. Take IVR, the phone system that would replace a call center employee, for example.  The research shows that people can’t stand it and those that offer a “real” human interaction have seen their sales climb! However, this will not stop someone from selling it and some unaware business from buying it.

FREE is the biggest thing plaguing business and the economy. Despite the common phrase “you get what you pay for”, business owners continue to pursue FREE at their own demise. The pursuit of FREE, whether by the seller or the consumer, leads to complete chaos and is quickly ruining our economy.

Make a decision, it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling. Invest in what will work and you’ll get the ROI your looking for.

If you’re a consultant selling digital services, STOP doing FREE consulting or proposals. The second you start to look over a company’s assets, be it the business model, the website or the social media site, you are WORKING! Do you want to work for FREE? How do you see that in the long run?  This is why you are running around working 80 hours a week and only getting paid for 10!

If you’re the business owner stop taking or looking for FREE! When you get something for free you don’t respect it, and if you don’t respect it, it’s useless. Second, you’re not that smart. When you assume you can listen to someone explaining a business or marketing strategy and then you just go do it yourself, you are, quite literally, entering into idiotic behavior. Now you’ll spend time doing a job that you don’t quite understand, are not equipped to supervise, and might never have the skill set to correct or evolve as needed. Worse, you are spending time working on something that won’t provide the promised ROI (based upon the professional’s history), and you will end up spending more than necessary, and possibly stunting your businesses growth!


Killer Keywords – The Key to Advertising Success

For those just getting started with PPC advertising, specifically Google AdWords, you might find the whole process to be a little overwhelming. Google provides, what seems like a million different tools to make your life “easier” but often times it makes things more difficult when it’s a matter of getting started.

In an attempt to free you from your state of paralysis, I’d like to start small and offer a couple of tips to embarking upon your Google advertising journey by walking through the process of building a keyword list.

Build Your Foundation 

This is where it all begins. Keywords are the phrases that trigger your ads to be displayed when a Google search user enters into the query process.

An effective keyword list is a vital component to campaign performance. Begin by creating a list of words and phrases that relate to your brand, products and/or services. While a great place to start is by brainstorming on your own, there are tools to help.

Google Keyword Tool

Google provides a great resource that will essentially build a base of keywords for you. Isn’t that handy?! You have the ability to search on category keywords, Web sites and/or categories. Based on your search query, Google returns hundreds of potentially related keywords. Here are a couple of suggested uses:

  • Search for keywords using competitor’s website domains. This strategy will discover terms that people are searching on that point them to competitor sites.

  • Search for terms related to your brand name or your core product offerings. Be sure to use negative keywords to refine your search

  • The results from the Keyword Tool not only offer a list of generally related keywords, but also a new Beta tool, called “Ad Group Ideas.” This is an extremely helpful tool when you’re looking to find more specific keywords to build tightly knit Ad Groups, which we’ll discuss at a later time.

Search Query

Another excellent way to discover keywords is to simply perform a search query for words and phrases related to your company. There are a few ways to use this:

  • Perform a search and note the predictions that Google makes for your search. These are terms that Google has stored as previous searches. This is valuable information that should not be ignored.
  • Perform a search and see which sites come up in the organic and paid search results. Visit those pages and browse the site for keywords you can use. You can search for words displayed on the page, and you can also search for meta-tags, which are simply the keywords within a page that specify page description and are used by browsers and search engines. To find the meta-tags follow these steps.

Not All Keywords are Good 

Consider the perfect keywords and phrases that will provide your Web site with the most effective resulting traffic. The goal of running an AdWords campaign isn’t just to drive traffic to your site for the sake of getting more eyes on your Web page. The intention is to drive users to your site who are going to take a desired action.

Target users who are looking to buy or sign up for what you’re offering. Let’s use the example of a coffee merchant. There are thousands of coffee suppliers. Consider what makes you different.

Differentiation Considerations:

  • Location – do you have a brick and mortar location? Where do you ship to? What are best performing areas?
  • Specialties – Is your coffee organic? Is it fair trade? Where are the beans grown?
  • Special events – Do you host cuppings? Are you providing discounts or have sales coming up?

These questions will help you build long-tail keywords that improve the performance of your campaign.

Your first instinct might be to simply build a list of general words and phrases related to coffee, but resist the urge. Instead, use the questions posed above to build a more effective list of phrases that have less competition and are more relevant to what you’re offering.

Building a good keyword list can be a time-consuming exercise, but it’s worth it. Try to think like a customer. Test search queries to see which competitors are displaying for which keywords and how you can refine your terms to get in a competitive position. You won’t know how your keywords perform until you actually put them in market and begin to optimize them. Don’t worry about that now. For the time being, just focus on building your killer keyword list.



The Key to Successful Copywriting

Too many times, copywriters end up focusing their efforts on writing a book rather than a short story.  A copywriter’s job is not easy, it’s a tedious task to continue coming up with fresh taglines and copy to intrigue the reader. The biggest challenge is how to say something short, sweet, and to the point without going on and…and on and on.  Having too much copy can destroy most types of marketing materials ranging from brochures to print advertisements.  Remember the old saying “Content Is King.” The the key to successful copywriting is based on tailoring it for the type of marketing piece. For example, a small tri-fold brochure would need less copy than a full length 25 page brochure/catalog.   Too many people try to jam everything in and leave no imagination to the reader. The goal is to capture your prospects interest and drive them to your website or to call your company to find out more.  Intrigue your prospect and don’t give it all away at one time.

Here are some key steps to successful copywriting:


1.Tailor Your copywriting For Each Project:

Tri-Fold Brochure – Keep it simple stupid!  Make sure you don’t use too much copy in a small tri-fold brochure.  Use bullet points and highlight the important factors and key benefits of your product/service. Don’t write a book.  It’s important to use quality images/photos in this type of medium to draw the reader’s attention and less text.

25 + Page Brochure/Catalog – This type of brochure requires a medium level of content and photos. You need to fill the pages with product descriptions, product benefits, and the types of products.  Make sure you use the same set-up on each product grouping and discuss the important items in the first paragraph of each section.

Corporate Website – Websites require extensive content.  The content should use terms to help optimize the site and keep the SEO strong.  Most websites consist of paragraphs about the company, the mission statement, the leadership team, and lists in detail the products and services offered.  It’s important to build your company’s Unique Selling Proposition prior to hiring a copywriter.  Make sure you use your USP on your website and elaborate on the details.  A website is a great place to tell your story.

Print Advertising – The most important part of the ad is the headline.  Make it compelling and substantial!   If your company is launching a branding ad…then less copy is good.  If you are launching a product ad…then more copy is good that focuses on the bells and whistles of your new product.  Always make sure you have a good offer in your advertisement if your goal is lead generation. A response-driven ad is important to generate new leads for your company.  A good copywriter knows how to portray the offer in a way that will entice people to call!

2. Know your Audience:

It’s important to ensure that your copywriter understands your audience so they can tailor their writing style accordingly.  Engineers will need more technical copy while consumers will need basic easy to understand copy. 

3. Know when to outsource to a professional copywriter

Many business owners are great at financials and running a business. However, they are not good writers.  Accept this fact and don’t try to be something you’re not. Hire a professional copywriter to write your marketing materials. This way you can stick with what you know and focus on your business.

Next time you hire a freelance copywriter…you should discuss your marketing strategy up front and what you hope to accomplish with the marketing piece.  This will help the copywriter come up with the right type of copy for your campaign. Copywriter’s should continue tailoring their writing based on the medium to ensure the best work possible. Also…it’s important to keep consistency within all your marketing materials by using the same copywriter.  Don’t switch copywriter’s too often….Try to keep the same one on staff or as a freelancer. Happy writing!!


How to Avoid the Google Sandbox in a New Blog

If you run a web site, which you want to be visible on the search engines, you should know about the Google sandbox and how to avoid it. The search engine giant, Google, implements measures to keep violators at bay.

What happens if you committed errors using Google’s applications and services? Well, if you incurred violations, Google may remove your web site from its search engine result pages. This is called deindexing. To find out if your web site is not indexed, visit Google and key in your web site domain in this

What Is Google Sandbox?

If you can see your web site moving from the first pages to the 10thpage or more of the SERPs, then, you are not yet deindexed. But


this is a possible sandbox effect. The sandbox is a place where web sites, especially the new ones, are placed until they have proven their worth in ranking. Sometimes, your web site is thrown into a sandbox if for an instance, your web site ranks for a certain keyword today, and gone from the ranking tomorrow.

What Causes Google Sandbox?

The sandbox happens if you have done something that agitates Google in matters such as SEO and backlinking. Common instances where inviting a sandbox is imminent are when you create myriads of backlinks to your web site in a very short time or create backlinks within poor quality content.

In a way, sandboxing a web site is a punishment done by Google by putting your web site down below the ranking where there is no traffic. But being in a sandbox is not permanent. It can last from a few days to a few months.

How to Avoid Google Sandbox?

Having diverse backlinks is important. If you use hundreds of backlinks by employing ScrapeBox or XRunner, then being sandboxed is very likely. New web sites are more vulnerable to being thrown in a sandbox than older web sites especially iftheir SEOis not well diversified.

For example, if you are running a new web site on diet, and have created two thousand backlinks in its first week of launching into the media buzz, you must ensure that those backlinks are from various sources like comments, articles, blog posts, forums, news releases, to mention a few. For Google, those backlinks could have been generated naturally.

How Should You Plan Your Backlinks?

One sure way to avert Google sandbox is to diversify your backlinks by creating them gradually over time. Rather than rushing in to create many backlinks in a short time, concentrate on creating several backlinks from different sources. While Bing and Yahoo give more value to quantity, Google is giving more weigh to quality of pagerank that each created backlink has.

So, the next time you begin with your SEO campaign for your weight loss web site, ensure that your backlinks are well diversified to avoid the penalty of being sandboxed.


Richie Richardson is passionate about SEO and SM. He occasionally writes on topics related to weight loss, Bistro MD diet and other diet programs like Medifast and Nutrisystem. Click here to know more about him and his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter @zarrylyms.

5 Ways to Recover from the Google Penguin Update

Google’s algorithm changes have a history of coming complete with their own warm and fuzzy sounding names. Pandas and Penguins that may inspire happy feelings in those unfamiliar with what they mean coming from Google, may not understand when SEO masters and content creators cringe and hold back tears when they hear those commonly friendly feeling terms. At the end of May Digital Ethos posted how some struggling with the Penguin update could avoid being fully penalized.

The most recent update, the Google Penguin WebSpam change, has actually been one that has been the most impatiently awaited and most expected update ever.

The Penguin is Angry

Many sites have suffered from the most recent update due to several reasons relating directly to SEO, or search engine optimization, practices. Google has warned business owners, web designers, content creators for years that while SEO can be highly-constructive and positive, it can also be very negative, and result in penalties that can be incredibly difficult to recover from.  Good SEO practices can include keyword research, high-quality and educational content, and as always, originality is vital. These are also commonly referred to as white hat techniques.

It isn’t the white hat techniques that have angered the Penguin. The techniques the Google has finally put the digital foot down on are most often referred to as black hat SEO. They include such practices as:

Google has officially classified the above black hat schemes to be Webspam and it will no longer be tolerated. Google’s own Matt Cutts has been a part of the Webspam team for a bit and has put out hundreds of videos in his own webmaster help series. This video will not contain any of his usual wisdom when it comes to good web practices, but in fact just the opposite.


The point here is that although these things might sound crazy, when put into actual audible language, these are exactly the same practices that the Penguin has sought out, and selectively destroyed. Matt Cutts advises watching these two videos if you’ve been hit by the angry Penguin and endorses these tips to help website owners recover as quickly and easily as possible.

There are several ways that web developers, content creators and SEO specialist have determined will help you survive the Google Penguin update.

5 Steps to Recovery

  1. Eliminate all unrelated links on your website.
  2. Generate only backlinks that are obtained organically, such as guest posting.
  3. Limit the number of ads on your site and focus on easy site navigation for visitors.
  4. Try to include only contextual links.
  5. Use different anchor text when linking to your site.

Don’t forget to check the search engine spam penalties page for more information that could be vital to the recovery of your website.

Google wants users to focus directly on white hat SEO methods that include creating high-quality and highly compelling content. They have suggested for years now that unless you are using white hat techniques, it is absolutely better to use no search engine optimization at all.

ODE TO ANDY ROONEY: My Social Media ‘Pet Peeves’, Part Two

The first part of this blog post detailed my first ‘pet peeve’ about facebook. It involves the new ‘timelines for business pages’ and the page cover designs in particular. You can refer back to that post, Ode to Andy Rooney: My Social Media Pet Peeves, Part One to read it as well. This post, Part Two, will explore my ‘pet peeve’ #2. 

Charlyn Shelton on facebook LIKES

Here’s what Charlyn Shelton of the Facebook for Beginners, facebook group thinks about just asking for ‘LIKES’. She knows that ‘customer experience’ is where it’s at these days on facebook.


It is no longer possible to count how many requests one gets in one day. If you ‘LIKE’ my page, I will ‘LIKE’ yours. These taunts are endless and nauseating. Can you hear my screams of frustration? This ‘LIKE 4 LIKE’ obsession no longer has a place in social media land.


There was a time, long ago in facebook time, when there were no business pages. There were personal pages for regular folks and fan pages for celebrities. Within one or two incarnations, that has all changed. ‘Fan pages’ were eliminated. They became ‘LIKE’ pages. The goal was to get as many ‘LIKES’ as possible. That was how the search engines determined one’s popularity or ‘reach’.


Google has mastered the shape-shifter game. Once too many ‘SEO-iacs’ figure out the algorithm for getting their clients highly rated by Google, Google changes shape. The ‘trick’ is no longer getting gobs and gobs of ‘LIKES’. But it seems that the pedestrian facebook timelines for business users have not gotten the message.


The facebook Edgerank Triangle

The facebook Edgerank Triangle ©

Now Google rates users by how much they interact and engage with each other. Imagine that. Google is rating business people by how social they are. What a unique concept. Social media is about being social. Yes, SOCIAL. That means being polite when making an introduction to another business owner and possible new colleague. It includes working on becoming a trusted connection. It holds as most sacred, being patient and waiting to talk business until the right time.


Communication on social media is no different from in-person interactions in many ways:
• Being polite when introduced
• Working at becoming a trusted colleague and connection
• Being patient about talking business and waiting for the right time to do so

Approaching a complete stranger with “ ‘LIKE’ me and I will ‘LIKE’ you” is like speed dating. It makes politeness a time consuming luxury. It does not leave room to become a trusted colleague or connection. It definitely obliterates patience.


facebook and google +

Facebook on google + ©

The one relationship that seems to have worked out very well is between facebook and Google. Who knows what was said behind those closed doors. No speed dating there. It just so happens that simultaneously Google changed its algorithm so that the numbers are no longer what matters most and facebook now requires only 30 LIKES for a business page to be fully functional. What a coincidence. Or was it?

So, to get to the point about Pet Peeve #2, once a business page has 30 ‘LIKES’, there really is no need to keep annoying people with, “If you ‘LIKE’ me, then I will ‘LIKE’ you”. (Imagine the annoyance of this being said by two pre-teen girls chatting with each other. No offense girls, but we’re talking boring business. So I doubt you would be interested in this discussion anyway.)

I hope that the points that I have attempted to make are clear and that I have made my case. Is it Pet Peeve #1 or #2 that drives you to distraction? Is it both? Or is it neither? If you agree or even if you disagree, please let me know what you think. I would really like to hear from you. Thanks.


Alison Gilbert is a Digital Age Journalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBMEi, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz  located on Long Island, New York.
This boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by combining the best of traditional advertising with the latest online marketing technology. Contact Alison Gilbert at or call 516-665-9034 EDT/NY/US. MARKETING BYTES serves local/small businesses virtually everywhere.



Alison Gilbert is a Digital Age Journalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBMEi, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz  located on Long Island, New York.

This boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by combining the best of traditional advertising with the latest online marketing technology. Contact Alison Gilbert at or call 516-665-9034 EDT/NY/US. MARKETING BYTES serves local/small businesses virtually everywhere.


Andy Rooney ©     
 Photo of Andy Rooney ©


Google Places for Your Service Industry

An innovative business known as has found a way to use Google Places for service industry networking. While they specialize in working with HVAC contractors and Plumbers, PlumberSEO helps those in their industry take their businesses to the next level with effective online marketing with social media, SEO, map optimization and many other internet marketing tools.

Find a Plumber and More

It used to be that when you were looking for a plumber, electrician, roofer, or any other type of service contractor, you picked up the yellow pages and almost always went with the one that had the most impressive ad, the most credentials, and the most well-known company brand name. In today’s world, very few people still use this traditional method of printed resources, instead, they head to the web to look for the best options for service contractors in their area. One of the ways in which Google has made this search easier for consumers is by adding Google Places.

Check out this quick video to get familiar with Google Places if you require a bit more in-depth understanding.

Now when people look for service contractors in their area, they commonly head to Bing, Yahoo, Google, or other favored search engines as well as to social media sites where they may ask friends or family if they can suggest a contractor in the area.

A recent survey of 2,000 consumers revealed the 86% of the surveyed use the internet to find local business, 74% of those cited search engines as where they go when seeking a local retail or service industry contractor.

Local businesses that are not showing up on page one of search engines are missing major opportunities to grow their business as most people tend to decide their choice in contractors from page one of search engine results.

How to Manage Google Places

Google Places isn’t without its own flaws. However, most of these are user related and may just require a bit more of an in-depth understanding of how Google Places works. If you have had any issues you may want to check out this video for some helpful tips if you find you need help troubleshooting.

In addition, be sure to check out how to Optimizing Your Google Places Page to get the best results for your business.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education ( Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Surviving the Google Penguin Update

Penguin Rescue_020

Penguin  (Photo credit: iliveisl)

Google’s April 24th update – codenamed Penguin – seems to have had some seriously adverse impact on many sites. Google has said time and time again, that SEO can be very constructive and positive. They have pointed out that effective SEO can make a website more accessible and crawlable. Basic SEO includes techniques such as easy keyword research conducted to help ensure that you are embedding the best and most attractive words for your industry, product or services.

Since good search engine optimization can equal good marketing, being creative and using a variety of ways to make your website’s content compelling is also key. This can also be beneficial on your social media networks, great content will be shared, and that is always a plus. Those who use suggested white hat, or organic, techniques as opposed to black hat, or more nefarious methods, do not usually experience some of the devastating problems that are common with big algorithm changes such as the one with Penguin and the previous Panda change.

Penguin Eats Webspam

Sites that pursue black hat techniques, or Webspam, may use shortcuts that can help to raise their page rankings quicker than the organic white hat methods. Anything from link farming to keyword stuffing can help to temporarily boost rankings, but then Google always seems to find a way to punish those who do. It is simply not worth it any longer to spend time looking for loopholes when organic methods continue to stand up to even the strongest test in Google’s content updates.

Penguin specifically focused on penalizing sites that utilized:

When Penguin was rolled out it was referred to as the ‘webspam algorithm update’ for this reason. It intentionally targeted those sites using black hat tricks to bump themselves above those using good wholesome white hat organic marketing methods.

Be sure to also check out the search engine spam penalties page for more information that could be helpful in helping you to remove issues from your site that Google’s new update is now frowning upon.

Google says that they want people to focus on white hat SEO methods such as creating compelling websites and creative content, or even no search engine optimization at all, before considering using any black hat methods. Although some of the webspam techniques they have been eliminating in recent algo changes are more than ten years old, Google has warned repeatedly about practicing bad SEO methods and admit that they are continually improving on ways to make sure their next releases find the other black hat needles in the haystack that is the internet and swiftly penalize them too.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education ( Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Tips to Extend Media Coverage

Media coverage is not easily obtained, but comes at a great cost and effort.  It is highly sought after because of the credibility and significant exposure derived from it.  Today’s media cycle is constantly moving, which gives many stories short-term relevance but a long-term shelf life.  When a company or an organization does get a story in the press, it must do everything it can to leverage its exposure quickly to secure a return on investment.  Below are several strategies for ways of extending the life and brand-building power of hard-earned media coverage.

Social Sharing


Use your social media infrastructure to promote press coverage.  Post links immediately on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest (photos) and/or others.  Social media is a direct conduit to an organization’s fans, followers and “likers.”  Social media allows you to get the message out quickly and efficiently, but remember, every social media platform is different and each message should be customized to each site.  All coverage must include the link to the story or video.  If the link is too long, use a tool like to shorten it.  Post at different times of the day and week to maximize the reach of the post.

Don’t Forget Images

Images are important.  Select the best image to include with the post and make sure to stress key messages in posts describing what the story is about.  Photos and media outlet logos help attract attention, shares, likes and retweets.

Proper Crediting

Post the article or a link on your website and/or blog.  Keep in mind that you may need to get permission to reproduce a published article or video.  Post coverage links in the groups you belong to on Facebook and LinkedIn and in appropriate threads on sites like Digg and Reddit.

Teamwork is Vital

Teamwork is key.  Company employees, friends and contacts can share positive company news in the groups they belong to on social media.  A collaborative effort can help increase the exposure exponentially.

Debra Vilchis, Chief Operating Officer of Fishman Public Relations, proposes creating an e-mail message to send to “customers, coworkers, and friends, pretty much anyone you know.” Share with them the press coverage directly, or include a link to the video or print story.


Communicate the company’s success and media coverage internally to employees and vendors.  Include the coverage prominently in electronic or print company newsletters.  Every company should have a news area on its website.  Links to stories should be placed here.  Multiple story links demonstrate that the business and its principals are industry leaders and experts.  Positive media coverage can increase company morale and productivity, and enhances the company’s credibility and stability to outside partners and vendors.

PR pro John Lee said, “Depending on where your story lands on the media food chain, use it as a stepping stone to garner more coverage.  Compelling print and online stories can be the best way to generate TV coverage, especially when they include a compelling human interest story.  Use print coverage prominently in a pitch to TV, but emphasize the visual aspects to the story, and if possible, suggest a fresh angle or an interesting person who can be interviewed.”

Publicity trainer and speaker Nancy Juetten suggests “creating a custom signature for your outgoing emails [because it] makes it easy for clients and prospects to read about your good news and remark upon it.”

Media coverage is a vital part of branding, credibility enhancement and promotion.  It is    positive third-party content, which must be pushed out on social media streams.  Good coverage can and should be repurposed periodically to ensure key individuals and target audiences see it and learn important information about you and your business.  Media coverage offers unmatched credibility enhancement and promotion.  The value it provides cannot be easily measured, but it is worth many times more than advertising and other forms of marketing.  When you get the coverage use it.


This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information, go to or to his blog  He can be reached at or @wjcorbett.


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