This Ain’t Your Mama’s SEO. Tuning Into “Social Signals” and More.

Anyone who pays attention to search engine results—which is pretty much anyone who does any kind of search engine optimization (SEO) or Internet marketing—knows that the world of SEO is changing rapidly. Even big time properties like NYTimes-owned About.com have publicly confirmed precipitous drops in traffic because of Google’s most recent updates to their algorithms (called “Panda” and “Penguin”). And more of these changes are coming from Google very soon.

The Changing Face of SEO Strategies

We all know that change is almost always challenging, and I know that many of those who dance around the edges of Internet marketing frequently back off due to completely understandable experiences of overwhelm. There’s just so much going on. But that doesn’t change the fact that it really is a “brave new world.” In all honesty, I can only promise more changes at an accelerating rate.

The (hopefully) good news is that I’m here to bring you up-to-date and to help if I can. So here’s the latest:

Expanded Influences: Beyond On-Page and Off-Page Factors

In my book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know” (which I am now referring to as “The Essential Primer on Internet Marketing”), I break SEO, or search engine optimization, down into two main areas.

Briefly, the first area is On-Page Factors. These are things you can do to your web pages, from its content to things like HTML <title> tags, and much more.

The second area, Off-Page Factors, are probably more important and provide influence to search engine rankings based on the links TO your site and its pages from other websites. Search engines consider the willingness of other reputable websites to link to your site as a kind of “vote of confidence” that essential boosts its credibility.

While I’m just skimming the surface of these two components of SEO, the big news that I am reporting here—to those of you who don’t monitor this space in a professional capacity—is that there is now much more to SEO than On-Page Factors and Off-Page Factors. This is increasingly so, and in the spirit of the Big Data trend, there’s no question that this world will continue to become increasingly complex.

In order to keep this single blog post digestible, if not bite-size, I’m going to provide a high-level overview of the new components of SEO and offer links that deliver what I consider to be a valuable in-depth illumination of these new SEO factors.

Welcoming Social Signals to the Internet Marketing Mix

The biggest new ingredient is called “social signals” and it’s where the social media explosion meets the world of SEO. Just as search engines have used links as Off-Page Factors to determine a website’s influence, Google and the other search engines are now using you and/or your company’s social media activities including re-tweets, comments, likes and shares as indicators of your site’s value, especially as it relates to the keywords being searched in areas relevant to your expertise or market.

For more on this I recommend this excellent overview of the meaning and importance of social signals from SEOmoz: 
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/your-guide-to-social-signals-for-seo

You may also want to check out this thoughtful SlideShare, The Future of SEO from Rand Fishkin:

At the end of the day, it’s all about quality content

There’s no question that this is a moving target. But the good news is that Google is being consistent in their approach. They do their best to penalize those who try to manipulate search results, and they do their best to reward those who develop an authentic following, a positive reputation over time, and thus, real influence. Those people have always been known as “authorities” and they naturally exude that “social signals” that the search engines value above all else.

The real bottom line is that the best way to get good positions in Google’s search results is to earn those results the “old fashioned way” … by being valuable. This means consistently publishing content—whether written, recorded audio or video, or photography or other visual media. There is no substitute for quality content (known now as “content marketing”); and this will increasingly be the only true leverage in search engine results.

We are here to help

Finally, a bit of shameless self-promotion: We continue to evolve ComBridges SEO and social media marketing services. For example, we can manage your campaigns and provide strategic guidance. Please let us know how we can help.

“It’s a Wonderful Web” 2013!

cb-ipadThe first edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter for 2013 is out. It includes the following articles:

  • 2013: The Year of Anything is Possible
  • Special Offers!
  • Free 1-Hour Audio: Web Radio Interview
  • Luscious Links

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to read it online.

New Internet Radio Interview: What’s So New About New Marketing?

One of the fun things about having written a book about Internet marketing is getting to do interviews. Thanks to Susan Scher of the BlogTalkRadio show, “In Other Words” for the opportunity to take a full hour to discuss why I think that understanding the new dimensions of online communications is so important. Among other things, the interview (linked below) covered topics like “what’s so different about New Marketing,” authenticity, the rise of online video, the empowered consumer, social media marketing, my Attract/Engage/Relate approach to sales funnels, content marketing, and much more. Please enjoy and let me know what think.

Listen to internet radio with Perfect World Network Radio on Blog Talk Radio

New YouTube Video Invites You to Our Online Course in Internet Marketing

I don’t know how to get more personal than creating a 3-minute video invitation that explains the real value that I know will be available to those who join me in the four-part online course in Internet marketing, Start with a Solid Foundation: Building on the 8 Key Concepts of Sustainable Online Marketing. At the very least, I’m “walking my talk” about using online video; but I hope it’s more than that… By the way, I have a few discount coupons for anyone who signs up by Saturday. Please let me know if you’re interested.

Please check out this video and let me know what you think:

You can also click here to check out an online press release overview of the new book and the new course, “Internet Marketing’s Missing Links Revealed and Illuminated by New Book and Online Course.”

I hope you’ll join us! Any questions? Please use the Contact Us form and I’ll do my best to get right back to you.

Latest Review of Our New Internet Marketing Book is Awesome

We are thrilled with this new review on BlogCritic.org of Jon’s new book, Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know.” Among other clear and articulate nuggets, Tara Hornor says:

“The author, Jon Leland lays out a systematic approach to marketing that both encompasses a strategic vision for authenticity married with practical, functional tactics.”

Internet Marketing is a short read at about 85 pages, but you’ll find that every page is packed with powerful information. It’s a distilled version that could be hundreds of pages if Leland wanted to fill the book with fluff. Instead, he provides a very refined and focused piece that is brimming with uniquely centered and balanced approaches to both big picture strategy and down-to-earth tactics for Internet marketing.”

We are grateful. She got it! 🙂

Read the full book review

Learn more about the book

Order Now from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle Edition

Radio Interview: Listen Now to Better Understand the New Marketing Landscape

I was delighted to be interviewed by my friends at the Hoffman Institute Foundation on their Hoffman Connection Internet radio program hosted by VoiceAmerica. It was fortuitous and synchronistic that the interview was scheduled (as it turns out) on September 11th, just one day after my new book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know” went live on Amazon (and on what would have been my mother’s 99th birthday.)

The energy was sparkling, it seemed to me, over the course of this hour-long program. With interviewers Hoffman Institute co-founder, Raz Ingrasci, and Hoffman teacher and psychotherapist, Ed McClune, we explored some of the main ideas in my “8 Concepts” including the role of authenticity in marketing (not an oxymoron), the different types of Internet marketing (SEO, PPC and social media), what makes New Marketing different from Old Marketing, how I decided to self-publish the book, and much more.

I hope you enjoy this free audio program and I sincerely look forward to your feedback. Thanks for listening!

Just click below to listen now, and feel free to use the share link as well! 😉

New Internet Marketing Book is Out + Radio Interview Tomorrow/Tuesday

New Book: Your Primer on Internet Marketing
This is a special day. My new book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know,” which has been in the works literally for years, is available as of TODAY on Amazon.com, in both a Kindle and a full-color print editions:

Kindle   +   Full-Color Print
 

The back cover reads:

Welcome to the most practical and concise introduction to Internet marketing available.

This book’s top-level conceptual overview opens a whole new world of online opportunities for both those who are just getting started as well as those who may be struggling to find traction. After clarifying the inefficiencies of Old Marketing, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know” illuminates the fundamentals of New Marketing with clarity, the author’s palpable enthusiasm and even a bit of humor.

Enjoy the ride. The toothpaste is not going back into the tube. New Marketing is here to stay and because it will continue to evolve rapidly, the sooner you get involved the better.

Internet Radio Interview on Tuesday (and On-Demand)
To kick off the book launch, I’m psyched about being on the Hoffman Institute’s Internet radio show this Tuesday at 4pm PT. We’ll talk about my new book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know,” authenticity in marketing (not an oxymoron), and give away free copies of the book.

What Everyone Should Know About Their Online Presence Radio Webcast
Date & Time: September 11, 2012, 4:00pm PT
Where: via webcast at http://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/radio-show/ (click this link to listen anytime via their archives)
Guest: Jon Leland
Interviewers: Raz Ingrasci & Ed McClune
Program Description: In this age of social media and connectivity, you may be wondering just what exactly your image looks like in cyberspace. And if you are, it is a critical question to ask. This week on the Hoffman Connection find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know and SHOULD know about your online presence. Jon Leland, Social Media and Marketing guru joins us to share tips, facts and the latest need-to-know information on how to put yourself out there!

Hope you can join us.

If you have a blog and would like a guest post excerpt from the book, or would like to do your own interview, please let me know!

NEW “Wonderful Web” ENews: “New is New Again”

The new edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter is out. It includes the follow short stories:

  • It’s All About YOU (including Paul Simon quote)
  • New Marketing in Another New Era
  • Whipping Up Lower Cost Websites (fresh offer)
  • Make Your Marketing More Effective
  • New Custom-Designed Client WordPress Websites
  • Is Your WordPress Website Safe? (new services)
  • New News About NewMarU (update on our educational site)
  • Luscious Links: More Useful Info, Just a Click Away (valuable!)
  • Quick Hits: About the New Enews Format

If you’re not already a subscriber, you can read it online by clicking this link.

“The Challenge of Authenticity: You Can’t Let It Wait” — An Urgent, Live Interactive Conversation

The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse.  — Carlos Castaneda

We all know that every moment is precious, yet we seem to need wake up calls. My old friend, Robert Rabbin’s wake up call is a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. But he’s not taking it as a “curse.” He is turning up the volume on his life’s work which is all about authenticity.

Last year, when Robert and I had an online conversation (via my educational site NewMarU.com) about how crucial authenticity is to Internet marketing, it changed the course of my work and I edited a ten-minute video of the essence of that conversation.

This year, the urgency I am feeling from Robert is several “octaves” higher. I think this is a conversation you will not want to miss. It may change your work and your life, unless of course you are already fully satisfied that you are doing everything you can to live the life you are meant to live. Personally, I don’t know too many people like that.

So, if you are looking for inspiration to live your life more fully, you are Invited to… 

The Challenge of Authenticity: You Can’t Let It Wait

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 — 4:00pm – 4:30pm US Pacific Time 

Join me and my friend Robert Rabbin, author of The 5 Principles of Authentic Living: How to Live an Authentic Life in 10 Words as we talk about how even life’s most difficult challenges can be used as opportunities to live a more meaningful life. If Robert can do this with his stage 4 cancer diagnosis, what challenges do you have that can’t be transformed into enlivening opportunities?

I am uplifted by Robert’s commitment to respond to his challenge by deepening his commitment to his life’s work. He has turned it into not just an opportunity, but an extraordinary one. His insights are transformational. Please don’t miss this very special event. Be part of our conversation. It is completely free, live, and will be interactive via the embedded chat. It will be available online via video or streaming audio, or by telephone. Once you sign-in online, there will also be long distance phone lines (local charges may apply) and these will be available for Australia, New Zealand and the UK, as well as for the US.

Online, there will be live video of both Robert and I during the event. If you register, a recording will also be available (tech gods willing); but it will probably not include video of our lovely faces. 😉

Addendum: In case you missed it…
Robert and Jon talked about how even life’s most difficult challenges can be used as opportunities to live a more meaningful life. This is an authentic conversation that will inspire you to live your life to the fullest. If you missed the live event or just want to be inspired all over again, here’s the recording: